(Submitted by Dennis B. Horne)
Editorial note: The below quotations are excerpts from letters written by President Joseph F. Smith answering doctrinal inquiries received by him. His answers largely speak for themselves:
(submitted by Dennis B. Horne)
Editorial Note: In the below article, President Smith defines the label “Mormonism” very much as President Russell M. Nelson has. These prophets are one in their views on this matter. President Smith also expounds in some detail on many facets of church practice and doctrine, including the future. Most of the material is as true and relevant today as it was a hundred and twenty years ago—there is great consistency in church teachings and practice. One effect of his message is to make one proud to be a faithful member of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. The original article is titled, The “Mormonism” of Today:
(submitted by Dennis B. Horne)
Joseph F. Smith letter to Edith E. Smith, undated (but written later than 1901):
by Dennis B. Horne
According to Elder Quentin L. Cook, “President Russell M. Nelson has been a commissioned agent of the Lord especially with respect to revelations to” accomplish the following. Elder Cook categorized them thusly:
Further comments from Elder Cook about these and other prophetic revelations follow, as given in conference:
The below questions (in bold) were submitted to me for answer by Kurt Manwaring of the “From the Desk” website. This version of the interview, as given below, is considerably expanded from the version posted on his website, which eliminated much of the more sacred content he felt less-appropriate for his reading audience. Also, his final question with answer is found here, but not in the version there.
When President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke at Elder David B. Haight’s funeral, before relating a sacred spiritual experience he had shared with Elder Haight, President Hinckley said that he hoped he was not going beyond the bounds of propriety in sharing that precious experience. I have the same hope in sharing the material below—that I have not gone beyond the bounds of propriety in doing so. I take comfort in the counsel given by President Boyd K. Packer that more may be shared about deceased members and leaders than living ones. I do not wish to cast pearls before swine, nor give that which is holy unto the dogs, who turn again and rend. On the other hand, I do desire to build the faith of others, and keep certain precious matters from being largely lost to history. If no one knows about them they don’t do anybody any good. When studying the lives of faithful people, miracles and spiritual experiences naturally appear; “signs follow those who believe” as the scripture says.
While the below information is admittedly a little long, those who read till the end will be amply rewarded with minds and hearts edified and lifted concerning the things of the Spirit; they will feel to rejoice as I have and hopefully finish with stronger faith in Christ.
I think highly of and appreciate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ newsroom website, and also the Church’s Gospel Topic essays. These are fine and sound sources for accurate information about the Church, portions of its doctrine, and some little of its more controversial or oft-misunderstood history. However, despite the strong writing, vetting, and approvals they receive before posting, sometimes some rare error creeps in.
I suggest that one reason a few things are stated poorly (or wrongly) is because the authors explaining these varied topics are striving to diplomatically inform two very different audiences. On one hand, church members need accurate and faithful sources of information about the Church’s history and doctrine. On the other hand, non-Latter-day Saints, with little or no background or understanding of church history and doctrine, also need accurate and understandable sources of the same information. Satisfying both spectrums in one essay or a few topic paragraphs is so difficult that it is virtually impossible. Spiritually mature and faithful church members that study and love the scriptures can better understand the more advanced and difficult areas of church history and doctrine than can others (such as curious or critical sectarian Christians or atheist readers). This point is explained in President Boyd K. Packer’s superb book, The Holy Temple (25-26). Therein he wrote: