Wednesday, April 3, 2024

An Apostle’s Letter to a Missionary Son:


Elder Spencer W. Kimball discusses being “In” and “Out of the Spirit,” Testimony,

and Constructive Gospel Study

Transcribed and Edited by Dennis B. Horne


Editorial Note: The Church Archives has just recently scanned and posted a letter written in 1947 by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, by then an apostle for only a few years. The letter is largely doctrinal in nature, being answers to questions posed by his missionary son Andrew. The below text constitutes about half of the letter (and a couple of bonus excerpts of another). Anyone can read all or part of the original scans on the Church Archives site. Some small portions of the explanations given are now obsolete and some policies have changed, but much of the doctrinal reasoning from the scriptures is still sound and insightful—some exceptionally so, such as the below:

Friday, February 23, 2024

Prophetic Warnings Against Teaching False Doctrine

  (McConkie, Petersen, Clark, Benson)

Compiled by Dennis B. Horne


Elder Bruce R. McConkie [self-explanatory letter to a private individual, 1982]:

I have just read for the first time your letter . . . in which you spend six pages presenting the general thesis that [mentions a false doctrine]. As you might surmise I am inundated with a flood of letters and manuscripts which set forth quaint and cranky and bizarre and false doctrines. . . . It is my practice to discard them because I have neither the time nor the inclination to engage in discussions or debates on doctrinal matters of the sort contained in your letter. You have indicated a sincere desire for a response and I think in your case I will make a few comments.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Personal Doctrinal and Scriptural Responsibility

  Assembled by Dennis B. Horne from the writings and counsel of
Elder Bruce R. McConkie

            I include below some emphatic counsel that Elder McConkie gave to his son and others regarding how to approach and search the scriptures. I underline salient points that the Ben Spackmans and Grant Hardys and Joseph Spencers and others of like ilk in and out of the Church could surely benefit from. These are taken from Joseph Fielding McConkie’s biography of his father, Elder McConkie:

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Ben Spackman Attacks the Prophet Lehi’s Teachings


By Dennis B. Horne 

In a recent blog post, Ben Spackman wrote:

“I believe Lehi in 2 Ne 2 was doing as prophets do; he “spoke in part and prophesied in part” per 1 Co 13:9. Lehi was reading Genesis through his sixth-century Israelite “experience and knowledge,” as is apparent from some other things in that chapter; the fact that it appears in the canonized and inspired Book of Mormon does not automatically render it an ultimate revelation of eternal scientific fact from the mind of  God, which overturns all evidence to the contrary.”

Friday, September 29, 2023

Inspirational Excerpts from the Journal of President Spencer W. Kimball


Compiled by Dennis B. Horne


Editorial note: the below excerpts from President Kimball’s journal were selected because I find them to be extra uplifting and edifying, or otherwise special in some way. I did not include a date with them because when I encountered and chose them I was interested in precious spiritual experience and insight, not scholarship. Some of these items can be found by using the index and links previously posted as “Precious highlights in President Spencer W. Kimball’s Journal.” Below is what I judge to be some of the cream of the cream in his diary. These tidbits make my soul sing and reinforce within me how grateful I am to be a member of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. This apostle and prophet became celestial material indeed. I include a little introduction of a few words to each excerpt to give some context:

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Counseling Experiences from President Kimball’s Journal: the Moral (homosexual, adultery) Problems of Members and His Book, The Miracle of Forgiveness

 Journal text selected by Dennis B. Horne 

Much of Spencer W. Kimball’s Apostolic ministry was devoted to working with and counseling members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that had committed “moral” sins. This mostly meant adultery (or fornication) but especially what today would be called LGBT immorality (or homosexual sin—the initials were not known in his time). Often this behavior resulted in marital problems.

Monday, April 17, 2023

A Prophet of God speaking for God Items regarding President David O. McKay from the Journal of President Spencer W. Kimball

 Selected by Dennis B. Horne


Editorial note: most of the below comes from either official minutes or dairy narrations of formal Council meetings in the Temple. Follow links to read all of the entries.


Journal, March 5, 1953. Thursday, Additional. Pres. McKay had asked Marion G. Romney and me to administer the Sacrament, it being our Testimony-Fast day. After we completed, Pres. McKay said something like this: “I am sure the Lord is pleased with our program. I believe that this TWELVE is approved by the Savior as much as any he has ever had.