Monday, October 12, 2020

Kent P. Jackson’s Article on Joseph Smith, Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary, and the JST at The Interpreter

 

by Dennis B. Horne

             The Interpreter online journal recently posted a strong and sound article by retired BYU Religious Instruction professor Kent P. Jackson. For some time now critics of the Church have been trying to use the (false) conclusions of Thomas Wayment and Haley Wilson-Lemmon to weaken or destroy the credibility of the Joseph Smith Translation (or Inspired Version) of the Bible. Their conclusions are that Joseph Smith borrowed heavily from Adam Clarke’s bible commentary in creating the JST, with Haley Wilson-Lemmon (who is now an apostate) declaring that the Prophet plagiarized much of the JST.

            Kent Jackson has now thoroughly studied their conclusions and finds them to be nonsense. The Prophet Joseph Smith did not use the Clarke commentary in producing the JST and did not even have the book. Wayment and Wilson-Lemmon are simply wrong about most everything. In other words, the anti-Mormons have latched onto an illusion (that should not have been created) for comfort in their disbelief; a puff of smoke that is now blowing away in the wind and leaving them looking as foolish as ever.

            In connection with this, FairMormon also posted an audiofile with one of the Church’s History Department Employees (Mark Ashurst-McGee) also speaking to this issue. It seems that much of what he said is also now shown to be erroneous as well, the major item being his number of 5 percent of the JST being taken from Clarke’s commentary, when it is actually none. (I encourage people to read and listen to these items themselves.)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Time Again for Dissidents and Apostates to Become Loud

 By Dennis B. Horne

 With General Conference upon us, we will again see and hear the racket and squawking from dissidents, anti's, and apostates, all trying to use the increased attention on the Church for their own nefarious purposes. The Salt Lake Tribune is leading the way, as usual. This quotation from President Heber J. Grant summed it up in his day and in ours, beautifully:

"I have received a lot of anonymous letters, since I became President of the Church, telling me a great many things that people would like me to announce here, positions they would like me to take, etc., to all of which I shall pay no attention." Conference Report, June 1919, 139.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Doctrine of Sex in the Spirit World and the Resurrection


 By Dennis B. Horne

In the proclamation on the family, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles averred: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”[1] From this we are assured that male and female reproductive organs and sexual characteristics will remain in their proper place as gender identifiers for all eternity, worlds without end. President Dallin H. Oaks defined “gender” in the Proclamation as meaning birth sex.

Misled people can make use of all the science and surgery they can to modify these identifiers in mortality, but in the next life (beyond the veil) they will see that they still have the same essential characteristics they were born with to those same Heavenly Parents in their pre-existent home. God our Eternal Father is a perfect resurrected and glorified being with all knowledge and all power and he knows how to put a male spirit in a male body and a female spirit in a female body and he has never made one mistake in this regard in all the history of the world; nor will He ever. According to Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, “President Marion G. Romney said, ‘the God of heaven will never put a female spirit in a male body and he’ll never put a male spirit in a female body.’ You can write that down as God’s truth.”[2]

For those exceedingly rare incidents of abnormality, where some confusion (on our part) is present with these organs, if nothing sorts them out before then, death certainly will. Surgery cannot affect the eternal spirit found within the body of a man or woman in any way.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Repost: Another Mistaken BYU Harmonize-Evolution-with-Doctrine Movement

 


With BYU restarting, many incoming students will be forced to take biology. Reposting this information may be of use to some in countering many of the falsehoods they will be taught about evolution being part of the gospel. Also, if things proceed according to plan, I will begin a substantial series of blogs about evolution negating or corrupting the true doctrine of the creation of mankind this January, 2021.

“There is no need to attempt to harmonize conflicting views when some of the
views are out of harmony with the Standard Works. This is what life is all about.
The Lord is finding out what we will believe in spite of the allurements of the
world or the philosophies of men or the seemingly rational and logical
explanations that astute people make.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie[1]

“Informed members of the Church know that when they come across statements or
 doctrinal explanations which are contrary to what is in the revealed word, they are duty
bound to reject such.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie[2]

“I see others, [BYU Students] sharp, cynical, skeptical, in the know-it-all arrogance of blossoming young manhood and womanhood. They have inquisitive minds. They are easily taught—and easily led astray. Teach these with extra care.” Elder Boyd K. Packer[3]

            I may be behind the news, but I recently learned, to my dismay, that some professors in the Brigham Young University Biology Department are actively promoting another attempt to harmonize evolution with the gospel. Such a misguided and possibly even spiritually dangerous effort must not go unchallenged and uncorrected.
            I recognize and fully appreciate that BYU biologists must study and teach evolution for the school to be acceptable to the world as an accredited institution of higher learning. I also enthusiastically appreciate the almost inestimable value of the great majority of science for the betterment of the world.
            What is not appreciated, and what is unacceptable, is when the theories of the historical life sciences are forced to mix with the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in ancient and modern revelation—specifically, the theory (or theories) of organic evolution. Round pegs just don’t fit in square holes without causing damage; in this case spiritual harm. Where this latest BYU movement loses its way, as with its predecessors, is in supposing it can harmonize evolution of any brand with revealed gospel doctrine.

Monday, July 27, 2020

President Benson Warned Against Jana Reiss, Peggy Stack, Joanna Brooks, and their Ilk


            Editorial Note: President Ezra Taft Benson’s 1969 General Conference address could have been written this morning, as his warnings pertain to individuals right now who work against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—from inside of it. I use their names because they use their names, seeking as much publicity and influence as they can get for their views that are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Chris. I am awe-struck by the dead-on accuracy of President Benson’s descriptions of these people written over fifty years ago. He pegged these women and others like them perfectly. I don’t know why they still hold temple recommends, but it doesn’t matter, they are as President Benson declared anyway, and he even explains why they want to remain members. Below is some of the relevant portion of his address:


Disharmony of some members

            Sometimes we hear someone refer to a division in the Church. In reality, the Church is not divided. It simply means that there are some who, for the time being at least, are members of the Church but not in harmony with it. These people have a temporary membership and influence in the Church; but unless they repent, they will be missing when the final membership records are recorded. . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

BYU Gives Aid and Comfort to the Adversary

 or
Are there real golden plates and did God and Jesus appear to Joseph?



            “The idea that we must be neutral and argue quite as much in favor of the adversary as we do in favor of righteousness is neither reasonable nor safe,” stated President Boyd K. Packer. “In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good. We are therefore obliged to give preference to and protect all that is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have made covenants to do it.”
            The war in heaven (the pre-mortal existence), the great war of words and philosophies where a third of the hosts of heaven were lost to the adversary, continues among us today.
            I saw this BYU-published (Mormon Studies Review) 2014 interview that Spencer Fluhman of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at BYU conducted with Ann Taves, a non-Latter-day Saint religious studies scholar. In answer to an inquiry, she replied: “But your question, I think, alludes to the work I’ve been doing on early Mormonism and the contentious issue of the materiality of the golden plates, which is what I’ve been lecturing on in various venues. The golden plates take us straight into one of the most interesting challenges: taking the whole range of evidence and views on contentious claims into account and making our way through them as scholars in as transparent a fashion as possible. . . . I’m sure it helps that I am setting up the ‘puzzle’ of the golden plates with a claim that each ‘side’ holds dear—that is, that Joseph Smith was not a deceiver or deluded and that there were no ancient golden plates” (emphasis added).
            This friendly non-Latter-day Saints’ views, that impugn the existence of the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated, are here found in a tithe-subsidized BYU publication, that is not supposed to be supporting the enemy in the war, but to be unapologetically defending the truth with no question about what really exists.
            In contrast, we have this statement, given in General Conference, from President James E. Faust:

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Elder Ezra Taft Benson Speaks Prophetically to Issues Seen in the News Media Today


Editorial Note: In this General Conference address from 1967, fifty years ago, Ezra Taft Benson, who later became a president of the Church, speaks prophetically to issues seen in the news media today. Some of what he said could have been written in the last few days and weeks. Sometimes we forget how insightfully prophetic the apostles and prophets really are, because their messages are buried in the past. We are now reminded. Some academics have dismissed Ezra Taft Benson’s General Conference messages out of hand because he spoke a lot about Communism. Such dismissal is now seen as unwise—as usual. On the issue of race and the priesthood brought up in this address, Brother Benson was present when the revelation on the priesthood was received in 1978 and fully supported it afterward and while church president; he would have referred readers to Official Proclamation 2 in the Doctrine and Covenants for resolution of that issue. As for now, Elder Benson’s message serves as a guide to how to view current events—as conspiring men and women seek to harm the United States of America. As would be expected, his words run contrary to many of the false philosophies of our day and point us in the right direction toward solutions and public improvement.

In the Book of Mormon the prophet Nephi exclaims: "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Ne. 4:34.)

Prophesying of our day, Nephi said, ". . . they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2 Ne. 28:14.)

Precepts of men or principles of God