Saturday, April 30, 2022

Bruce R. McConkie and his father Oscar: Legacies of Men of Great Faith and Works— Kurt Manwaring’s “10 Questions Interview” with Dennis B. Horne

            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.

 

Monday, April 25, 2022

“Getting” or “Creating” Planets

 by Dennis B. Horne

 

            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:

 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

President Harold B. Lee Testifies about Revelation in Book of Mormon Translation

by Dennis B. Horne

             In late 1973, only two months before he passed away, President Harold B. Lee visited Rick’s College (now BYU-Idaho), where he attended a luncheon and then gave the college devotional address. As President of Rick’s, Henry B. Eyring was present with President Lee and described the events in his journal. These journal notations ended up in his biography, where they portray an unusually intense spiritual feasting among those present.

            At the luncheon, held in President Lee’s honor, President Eyring recorded that “President Lee began to speak. . . . He spoke with power, emotion, and informality that I cannot recreate on this page. He spoke of his own calling, saying, ‘If you think Satan doesn’t try to tempt the prophet, you’re wrong. I’m his prime target on earth.’”[1] This event foreshadowed the spiritual intensity of the coming devotional, held immediately afterward.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Apostles, Prophets, and God’s Former Priesthood Restriction

 By Dennis B. Horne

[Originally posted here on Saturday, February 13, 2021]

“We do not expect the people of the world to understand such things, for they will always be quick to assign their own reasons or to discount the divine process of revelation.”

(President Spencer W. Kimball[1])

            The purpose of this piece is to substantiate the inspired genesis and continued correctness of the priesthood restriction on black male members (meaning of African descent) until June of 1978. With the many confused or contrary voices of critics, activists, liberal academics and scholars, doubters, and dissenters now proclaiming the restriction was instituted by a prejudiced and political President Brigham Young, presentation of the abundant contrary evidence is both helpful and needful. Many lacking understanding have labelled the former restriction in the Restored Church of Jesus Christ as wrong and racist, and even call for the Church to issue a public apology (something that won’t happen). They suppose if they shout loud and long enough, or write enough articles and blogs, what they say will displace truth and become the main narrative.

            Because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church and Kingdom of God on earth, the truth is that the restriction was implemented by Him, and thereafter continuously maintained and sustained by Him, through His prophets, until He removed it by revelation in 1978. The following items reinforce and support this reality: 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Apostles and Doubt

[Readers desiring to obtain their own hardback copies of volume one of I Know He Lives: How 13 Special Witnesses Came to Know Jesus Christ can find copies on sale here  Softbound copies can be purchased here, on sale. An ebook (Kindle) edition is available on Amazon here, for cheap. The Amazon page also includes the Introduction and first chapter of volume one for free.]


(by Dennis B. Horne)

 

Brothers and sisters, let me give you a caution:

you won’t be of much help to others

if your own faith is not securely in place.

(Elder Neil L. Andersen[1])

  

            Regarding this subject, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught: “Now, the Doubter. I don’t want this to immediately have to get theological, but who do you suppose is the father of doubt? If you had to have an antonym to doubt, wouldn’t it be perilously close to faith? . . . This is a battle for the souls eternally of men and women. This is part of the plan of eternity. And it was not meant for us to come here and to be doubtful, or discouraged, or depressed, or blunted, or muted. We are here to grow and blossom and develop eternally. So, while there are some practical things we can talk about, keep the doctrine in mind and remember who you are.”[2] A strong and beautiful statement of truth.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Apostles are the Voice of Warning to All

[Readers desiring to obtain their own hardback copies of volume one of I Know He Lives: How 13 Special Witnesses Came to Know Jesus Christ can find copies on sale here  Softbound copies can be purchased here, on sale. An ebook (Kindle) edition is available on Amazon here, for cheap. The Amazon page also includes the Introduction and first chapter of volume one for free.]

 


(by Dennis B. Horne)

 

Set watchmen round about them, and build a tower,

that one may overlook the land round about,

to be a watchman upon the tower,

that mine olive trees [Church] may not be broken down

when the enemy shall come. . . .

(D&C 101:45)

  

            An uncompromising duty of those ordained to the Apostleship—of a special witness—is to warn and guard the Church and its members against the devices of the enemy, the Adversary. President Ezra Taft Benson explained:

 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Apostolic Ministry

[Readers desiring to obtain their own hardback copies of volume one of I Know He Lives: How 13 Special Witnesses Came to Know Jesus Christ can find copies on sale here  Softbound copies can be purchased here, on sale. An ebook (Kindle) edition is available on Amazon here, for cheap. The Amazon page also includes the Introduction and first chapter of volume one for free.]


(by Dennis B. Horne)

 

This is the work of the Lord. This is His church on the earth.

He has entrusted His church to the care of humble men,

who have extraordinary responsibilities.

(President Ezra Taft Benson[1])

  

            “The great responsibility of an apostle is to be a special witness of Jesus Christ. I want you to know that the Savior lives. I want you to know that he is divine. I want you to know that he did atone for our sins. . . . I want you to know that the Savior guides the Church today. I’m so grateful for the blessings I have had in my life, of both feeling the Holy Ghost, and also knowing the voice of the Savior.”[2] So declared Elder Quinten L. Cook as part of his ministry as a special witness of Jesus the Christ. And so also do they all declare.

            Only those who actually serve as apostles and special witnesses can fully understand what it means to be one. However, on occasion they share slivers of information that give us a glimpse into their burdens and blessings. Some of those glimmers are found throughout the chapters in this book (and the first volume); others are found below. Elder Melvin J. Ballard (who has a chapter in the first volume) was one of the greatest apostles of our dispensation. He declared: “I know, as I know that I live. that this is the work of our Father. I know that Jesus Christ lives, that he is the Redeemer and Savior of the world. I know it as well as I know that I look upon your faces today. When the day shall come that, like Thomas of old, I may thrust my hand into his side or feel the prints of the nails in his hands and feet; or like Mary, I may bathe his feet with my tears, I shall not know it any better than I know it today; for I know that he lives, that he is the redeemer of the world and that he did speak to the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that this is the Lord's work: that he is in it, and it will rise triumphant and go forward.”[3] Of his feelings at the time of his call to the Twelve, he reminisced: