The Wild World of Innovation: Which LDS Innovations Are Best and Worst?

You can’t believe how much I love my new job. I suspect that relatives and friends are getting bored with the regular, “Have I told you how much I love my job?” routine. It’s a bit more intense that I imagined, but the excitement level is very high because I get to work with amazing inventors and innovations every day, mapping out strategies for commercialization, intellectual asset development, marketing, etc. From lone inventors to large companies, from California to Florida to Russia and Israel, we get to be involved with innovation at so many levels. And we even have some of our own innovations we are taking to the market, such as a personalized security system to defeat thieves at many levels (check it out: US Pat. Appl. 20070250920 – also on – and for those who hate patents of this nature, PLEASE attack it with prior art and intelligent comments at, where I’ve been accepted for their peer-review pilot!) What excitement!

As much as I love innovation, there are some places where I don’t want it. Take my operating system. Every time Microsoft updates things, I’m nervous. What functionality has been lost? Will my drivers still work? Will my computer crash? From XP to Vista – ouch! That’s an innovation I’ve been resisting. Things that were easy in XP seem harder and slower in Vista. And some past upgrades in software products have completely deleted key things that were important to me.

Innovation in religion can also be undesirable. The innovations of the fourth and fifth century in redefining the nature of God, for example, are innovations that leave me a little bewildered. How I miss that good old time religion! Now I know we Latter-day Saints talk about the Restoration of the original Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that’s absolutely true for core elements like authority, baptism, knowledge of God, etc., but we should also recognize that there have been many innovations with time as well. Some things we do might be pretty foreign to the early Christians, and visa versa. And some things might seem pretty foreign to Joseph Smith.

So let me ask this: What innovations in modern Mormonism – innovations since, say, 1900, do you find most valuable? And which would you like to eliminate? Because not every upgrade is an improvement, and sometimes innovation can get in the way of real progress, as exciting as it may seem.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

57 thoughts on “The Wild World of Innovation: Which LDS Innovations Are Best and Worst?

  1. Mormons wanting to be identified as “Christian.” It seems that in the last few years, that we church members are focusing on trying to fit in with the rest of the religious community maybe a little too much. Of course we follow Jesus, and strive to be his disciples, but why do we want be recognized as something we are not. Mormons are different. We are a peculiar people after all.

  2. What? The real innovation is that of the antis repositioning Mormons as non-Christian, and claiming that belief in Christ is a modern invention.

    Here’s my favorite recent innovation: allowing women married in the temple to remarry in the temple again, presumably leaving it to the Lord and the parties involved to work out the final details.

  3. Disagree about the “Christian” thing commented above, mostly because the whole mormons-are-not-christian mindset is geared to keep mormons in check politically, these days…sad.

    But Jeff…good luck protecting my ideas and algorithms. They’re all Creative Commons/GPL licensed and free for the taking. No royalties for me, I guess. I’m concerned about a higher law – keeping our freedoms from being dramatically reduced by greedy men.

    Check back with me after you’ve lost your right to read.

    My favorite LDS innovation is Deseret Book. The high prices and restricted, copyrighted material shows a terribly outdated focus on commerce and ignorance of possible applications of the law of consecration.

    If the church is going to ask lay member computer programmers to consecrate their programming talent to help the church (heard this year), the lay members who can sing, dance, write, and direct should be producing free and shared content for members to consume. Why keep the poor in darkness? We are a CHURCH.

  4. Actually, Timelee Tim, the “non-Christian” charge has been leveled against the Church since the days of Alexander Campbell; it’s older than the name of the Church!

    I’d agree with Anonymous the First: one of the largest recent innovations has been the Millet-izing/evagelicalizing of Church theology. It hasn’t really caught on with the average Utah Mormon, but there is an increased emphasis on grace and having a personal relationship with Jesus in General Conference and the BYU Religion Department (which is actually very influential in Church cultural thinking). Thirty years ago that was unheard of (I still wonder what Elder McConkie would think of it all), and I’m still not sure what to think about that.

    One of my favorite innovations is a very old one, but one that would have been very foreign to Joseph Smith: the Aaronic Priesthood quorums. It was long after the Church was established in Utah that we saw the ages of ordination lowered from adults to youth. In Joseph’s day, they were all adults. Also, Teachers were the only Home Teachers, so I suppose having all priesthood holders above deacons going HT-ing would be an innovation, too.

  5. Anon, I’d appreciate some meat behind the claims. If you’re aware of existing documents that describe systems similar to those claimed in the patent, this information can be shared with the world at or with me directly (jeff at to ensure that it is considered.

    The “right to read” doomsday story has me scratching my head about what you think. Do you have a right to read my journal? My email? What gives you that right? If I like what I’ve written in my journal and wish to share it only on condition that people pay me for the privilege of reading it it, what right do you have to say I can’t? Isn’t claiming the right to benefit from someone else’s work – a benefit obtained against the will of the creator – the essence of theft? Yea, it plays well when tyrants stir up the masses with socialist propaganda about the “rights” of the masses to benefit from property of evil capitalists, but that attitude lacks any basis in justice, equity, or Gospel principles.

    I make my Web writings available for free. But they are still mine, and others have no right to reproduce my pages or blog posts and benefit from them as if they owned them. It’s my work. Whether it’s a house I build, a statue I care, a car I create, a poem or story I write, or a cake I bake, you have no inherent right to use it. What makes you think you do??

  6. >Do you have a right to read my journal?

    I only have the rights you allow me, don’t I?

    >What makes you think you do??

    That’s just it – I don’t.

    Having a right to read doesn’t mean “having a right to read anything I want,” it means “having a right to read something, somewhere.”

    The ultimate worst-case scenario is, all books are protected. You don’t have a right to read anything , period. Unless, of course, you have money.

    But then, even having money isn’t enough. You still can’t share the book with friends, for example, if it’s an e-book. Also, you don’t have the right to resell it when you consider it “used” and no longer wish to own it.

    The real problem is, this concept of “property” is not just limited to books. Or music. Or security systems. We live in a society that is obsessed with posession.

    To give another example, this is why the open source software movement is having to duplicate efforts made by proprietary software developers tens of years ago.

    None of the old code was sustainable. All that old code is still locked up because of restrictive licensing decisions made by people who have long since moved on. So it’s being re-written. The open source efforts are why Google can compete with Microsoft. It’s why Amazon can offer Linux cluster computing services. It’s why IBM still exists. It’s why you have a Tivo or a home internet router that runs Linux.

    With more restrictive IP laws at the beginning, none of this stuff would be possible – we’d just have a group of information cartels, and no way to for creative entrepreneurs to compete. It’s hard enough as it is. We need a sustainable economy, not one that collapses on itself because everybody wants their share.

    BTW – I think peer2patent is a great idea.

  7. What innovations in modern Mormonism… would you like to eliminate?

    The ban on plural marriage is the first that comes to mind.

  8. RWW,

    Please tell me you’re joking :). I can see the need for it at that time, and if it were required, I would likely accept it, but I would not wish for it.

    So I guess along those lines, I would have to say that the prohibition of plural marriage is one innovation change I am grateful for. Not so much because the thought of plural marriage is too much for me, but because of the persecution that was and has been leveled against the Church and its members because of it.

    Timelee Tim,

    About your favorite recent innovation, does that only apply to divorced women, or does it also apply to women who are sealed to husbands who’ve died? If so, that’s amazing news.

  9. Worst 20th century innovations
    1. Correlation gutting relief society, and MIA and Sunday school
    2. Loss of the Principle/Polygamy
    3. End of the gathering to Zion
    4. Changes in the temple ceremonies
    5. Loss of Mormon pamphleteering

    Best things
    1. Stake Presidencies directly under the twelve
    2. More Temples
    3. Growth of Mormon arts
    4. Growth of Mormon universities
    5. Growth of Mormon missionary program–especially the canned lessons and then their outliving their usefulness and getting gutted themselves–still not totally completed.

  10. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the 1978 revelation/declaration that opened the way for the priesthood to be given to all worthy males, regardless of race or ethnicity.

  11. Best Innovation: Banned plural marriage.

    Why? Purely selfish reasons. I can’t bear to think about having to share my intimacy with anyone but my wife, for my sake and for hers.

  12. Please respond–Nocoolname Tom

    I joined the church about 15 years ago. I’ve never lived out west so some of the Utah/Mormon colloquialisms escape me. Could you please explain your second paragraph to me a little better. I’ve only read some of Elder McConkie’s works. I find in the church people either love him or hate him. Do you have any idea why that is? Just Curious.

  13. Innovations in the church often reflect its ability to adapt its programs to stay ahead of societal changes that would weaken its members, one of the signs in my mind of a living church.

    I see changes as falling into 2 categories: substance and style.

    Favorite innovation of substance: granting the priesthood to all worthy males.

    Favorite innovations of style: I couldn’t pick just one.

    • Publication of the LDS edition of the KJV bible, with amazingly useful footnotes and reference sections.
    • Consolidating the meeting schedule. (3 hr block on Sunday vs. potentially 6+ separate trips to church over the course of the week.)
    • Family Home Evening & Church welfare programs as they exist today
    • Women at the pulpit in General Conference. The role and visibility of women in the church has definitely changed over time, losing much of its original strength and then coming back in recent years.
    • Changes in the Relief Society curriculum

    That last item makes my point about the church adapting to a changing world.

    In the early 1970’s,most of the church was inter-Rocky Mountains and most LDS women were stay-at-home moms living in communities that reflected who they were and what they believed. RS lessons expanded women’s skills and knowledge beyond the borders of their communities with units on Mother Education, Social Development, Spiritual Living and Cultural Refinement.

    Today’s RS lessons reflect a much different world. With a diverse world-wide church, increased women in the workforce, greater information availability and a society that embraces and promotes values at odds with gospel principles, LDS women today do not need lessons on the ethnic music of Thailand. (ie, Cultural Refinement). The RS curriculum today consists of doctrinal lessons drawn directly from the source, the scriptures and the words of modern prophets.

    Least favorite innovations? I have to say I am flexible and adjust to change well. However, as much as I love the consolidated schedule (and would never go back), I regret that those who serve and teach children and youth on Sunday cannot attend adult classes.

  14. Nobody ever mentions the real reason polygamy was dropped…. More than one mother-in-law!!

    (actually mine is great)

  15. Curious:

    Nocoolname Tom was referring to a public talk (general conference I think) given by Elder Bruce McConkie in the early 80’s, in which he strongly preached against “developing a personal relationship with the Savior”.

    He (BRM) said something very close to: “we worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost. Our relationship is with the Father.”

    Shortly before that talk, but still semi-publicly at BYU, he also excoriated a BYU professor or teacher for teaching the “personal relationship with Jesus” in a church/BYU/class setting. It was a very public and embarassing personal slam against that teacher/prof.

    But, he (the teacher) had promulgated something that the church was not teaching at the time, at least not with those exact words, so BRM felt he needed to correct the misunderstanding in the minds of the many students who had heard the teacher’s non-orthodox statements about a “personal relationship with the savior”. It was indeed a case where that teacher had borrowed that phrase from evangelical christianity, without the church leadership having first adopted the phrase.

    You can find BRM’s general conference talk at, and you can probably find references to what BRM said about the BYU teacher and his name on the web.

    However, now that the church has adopted some phraseology from other branches of christianity, and “nuanced” what it means, it is now safe to say “personal relationship with the Savior” assuming one also keeps in mind our proper relationship with all members of the Godhead.

    McConkie was, and is, still correct. What he said about “worshipping the Father, in the name of Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost” is still the most concise and probably the most accurate way of expressing our relationships with all members of the Godhead.

    President Hinckley has merely clarified the semantics. If we speak, act, and worship in the name of Christ, then we may properly say that we do indeed have a relationship with Him.

    After all, one of our goals as expressed by Saint Peter in the Bible is to have our calling and election made sure, and that does necessitate a personal event too sacred to talk much about.

  16. Of course I’m not joking about polygamy. It’s one of the more obvious symptoms of a Church willing to, in Brigham Young’s words, “partially slide a little from the path of rectitude, and go part of the way to meet our friends.” The last anonymous posting listed a few more symptoms, and I would add timelee tim’s favorite innovation as another.

    Among my favorite innovations are the ever-increasing use of technology to preach the Gospel (actually, Jeff’s webpage is the best example of this, far more useful than official resources, in my opinion), and efforts to consolidate meetings.

  17. RWW,

    So you are not in favor of a Church guided by revelation? Where in any of the teachings of the Joseph Smith and Brigham Young say there would be no more revelation after them? It would be one thing if changes were made through popular consensus, but when they come as direct revelation through the prophets, that is the basic foundation of the true Church. When you deny that, you deny all that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught. Then you have to assume that any prophet who has been opposed to the practice of polygamy is a false prophet, which leads to the Church being false.

  18. I’d either do away with the tea and coffee restrictions (with regard to full-fellowship – like temple recommends) or I’d enforce all of it equally (i.e. morbidly obese people are not living the word of wisdom either)… I think in the world we live in today that alcohol and tobacco use are a no brainer for abstination – but tea and coffee are not… and why do people tell the youth that Jesus drank grape juice? So what if he drank wine (real wine)? We live in a VERY different world… We have cars and MANY MANY MANY more drugs now. Anyhow, I know that the enforcement of the WoW happened after 1900 – so I thought I’d add it to the response to your question. In the meanwhile, I’ll respect the WoW oaths I took when I was baptized – but, I don’t fully agree with them…


  19. Gday guys,

    I thought I would just have to say something about polygamy. Personally I am not against it, I think it would be extremely tough but ultimately I don’t have a worry with the idea. I don’t believe you should be too worreid about the retraction of this as I believe the principal is still there, but we are following one of the other principals which is to be subservient to the laws of the state/country/whatever.
    I am sure more will be revealed to us in the future.


  20. I do not like to think that the our ancestors were “redefining” diety in the 2nd and 3rd century. I like to think that they were doing their very best to “clarify” diety.

  21. So you are not in favor of a Church guided by revelation?

    I am not in favor of the belief that every eternal principle we are taught by the mouth of a prophet is subject to future revision. I am not in favor of the false and manifestly absurd belief that whatever the current President says is unquestionable truth, even if it blatantly contradicts the inspired teachings of the past.

    I know that Gordon B. Hinckley is the Lord’s ordained prophet, seer, and revelator, but I also know that it would be irresponsible to follow him without question.

    As to the specific case of plural marriage, it may very well be that it was the wickedness of the general membership of the Church that led to its ban, similar to the Lord granting Israel a king, or allowing the loss of the Martin Harris pages.

    I won’t venture a solid opinion about the reason, but since plural marriage is a true principle I do mourn the fact that it isn’t officially practiced today.

  22. “Referring to a public talk (general conference I think) given by Elder Bruce McConkie in the early 80’s, in which he strongly preached against “developing a personal relationship with the Savior”.

    Now that I know and have a personal relationship with our Savior I will better know the Father when I meet Him. Thanks to you Mormons.

  23. Can I throw a question out?

    I think the motivation behind my question is simply to determine the ‘willingness’ of LDS people to follow their prophet.

    I know this is a hypothetical situation, but say in the coming years, the LDS prophet (and probably not Hinckley) might state that: Jesus did not atone for all sins, only certain sins.

    How might this then be received by the current LDS congregation? I’m not looking for an arguement as to whether or not it might happen; I’m just curious to see much willingness (if at all) there exists in people to change in response to what their prophet has issued.

    I ask this in relation to what I seem to be picking up on the issue of polygamy, that: although polygamy, (according to LDS theology) is required for exaltation etc. that people are happy for such practices (as issued by the prophet) to cease, in order to abide by the country’s laws.

    So, yeah. I’d love to know =)

  24. The requirement of attending all meeting to receive a temple recommend comes to mind, after all some of us have a brain chemistry that does not allow us to function well with large groups.

  25. RWW,

    You said:
    I am not in favor of the belief that every eternal principle we are taught by the mouth of a prophet is subject to future revision. I am not in favor of the false and manifestly absurd belief that whatever the current President says is unquestionable truth, even if it blatantly contradicts the inspired teachings of the past.

    Then you don’t believe in or understand what revelation is. Here are some quotes taken from a talk by Ezra Taft Benson entitled “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet.”

    President N. Eldon Tanner stated: “The Prophet spoke out clearly on Friday morning, telling us what our responsibilities are…A man said to me after that, ‘You know, there are people in our state who believe in following the Prophet in everything they think is right, but when it is something they think isn’t right, and it doesn’t appeal to them, then that’s different.’ He said, ‘Then they become their own prophet. They decide what the Lord wants and what the Lord doesn’t want.’ I thought how true, and how serious when we begin to choose which of the covenants, which of the commandments we will keep and follow, we are taking the law of the Lord into our own hands and become our own prophets, and believe me, we will be led astray, because we are false prophets to ourselves when we do not follow the Prophet of God. No, we should never discriminate between these commandments, as to those we should and should not keep.”

    President Wilford Woodruff tells of an interesting incident that occurred in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “I will refer to a certain meeting I attended in the town of Kirtland in my early days. At that meeting some remarks were made that have been made here today, with regard to the living prophets and with regard to the written word of God. The same principle was presented, although not as extensively as it has been here, when a leading man in the Church got up and talked upon the subject, and said: ‘You have got the word of God before you here in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants; you have the written word of God, and you who give revelations should give revelations according to those books, as what is written in those books is the word of God. We should confine ourselves to them.’
    “When he concluded, Brother Joseph turned to Brother Brigham Young and said, ‘Brother Brigham, I want you to go to the podium and tell us your views with regard to the living oracles and the written word of God.’ Brother Brigham took the stand, and he took the Bible, and laid it down; he took the Book of Mormon, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and laid it down before him, and he said: ‘There is the written word of god to us, concerning the work of God from the beginning of the world, almost, to our day. And now,’ said he, ‘when compared with the living oracles those books are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writing in the books.’ That was the course he pursued. When he was through, Brother Joseph said to the congregation; ‘Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth.’”
    Orson Pratt has said, “The very moment that we set aside the living oracles we set aside the revelations of God. Why? Because the revelations of God command us plainly that we shall hearken to the living oracles. Hence, if we undertake to follow the written word, and at the same time do not give heed to the living oracles of God, the written word will condemn us…”

    Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence.

    But it is the living prophet who really upsets the world. “Even in the Church,” said President Kimball, “many are prone to garnish the sepulchers of yesterday’s prophets and mentally stone the living ones.”


    With regard to your hypothetical, I rather think it is a very poor example of what a true prophecy might contain. It’s one thing to say that in one instance plural marriage is required and then in others it isn’t, because there is scriptural precedence for certain ordinances, practices, and ceremonies being done away with or required depending on the circumstances. Your hypothetical situation is the same as saying, “Okay, we’ve been taught Jesus is the Son of God, but now I’m here to tell you that He isn’t. Everything you’ve been taught up to now on that subject has been a lie.” There is no precedence for truth being changed. Either Christ is or is not the Son of God.

    So I will return your poor hypothetical with another one for you to answer. If Christ himself appeared to you and said, “I did not atone for all sins, only some sins,” how would you respond?

    I will however, respond to your question by simply saying that if the prophet gave a prophecy/commandment, and it was a very difficult one to understand and accept, I would try my best to understand and accept it. However, I would most assuredly pray for confirmation from God before doing so.

  26. Thanks Tatabug. Please know that the hypothetical question was just a off-the cuff kind of question. I appreciate that the question wasn’t very well thought out, but I guess I was merely asking to determine this willingness to change, which, it seems, is a central tennet in LDS living, i.e. continuing revelation etc.

    So, if such a thing does exist in Christianity, again, I wonder how willing people are to change or ammend their existing beliefs when new revelations come from your prophet?

    Might anyone else want to step forward and answer?

    Thanks again tatabug.

  27. Thanks bookslinger!
    That explains so many comments I’ve heard in Gospel Doctrine Class. I’ve just finished reading the first book in BRM’s Messiah series. At the end of that book he writes extensively about about one of our goals as expressed in Peter’s teachings. As a result I’ve been somewhat confused by some of the comments made about BRM’s ideas on Jesus Christ. I think you are right some of it is semantics but we do have to remember our proper relationship with the Godhead. Thanks again! You’ve helped more than you know.

  28. NM
    I view modern revelations a part of separating the wheat from the tares. When President Kimball gave the priesthood to “every worthy young man many left the church” Going Back to the manifesto, many people left the church in fact a whole new branch was started. When Polygamy first came to light and the general knowledge of the church many left. Acceptance of revelation from a modern or ancient source take thoughtfulness and prayer and I’ve found that those who leave are generally not that type. I do not say that all who stay do but a hard revelation is the surest way for God to test the faith of his people. All of Christ’s teachings are proof of that. So in general the majority of the church are willing to change whether prayerfully or just with blind faith.

  29. So, the willingness to follow leaders is a sign that one is faithful – and it is something to be celebrated? And disbanding might be seen as a separation of the wheat from the tares? It does make sense when you put it this way…

    …it’s all very interesting…

  30. NM,

    Zera makes some good points. Not everyone in the Church is very flexible when it comes to change. Many people do not completely understand the nature of prophets and prophecy. Some just lack faith and when something difficult arises, they end up in apostasy. Others may be quite willing to accept some changes but not others. Everyone, even within the Church, is different in how they respond to the teachings of the prophets and living the principles of the Gospel. It isn’t much different than in any other dispensation when the Gospel has been on the earth. Some are very faithful and obedient, some are lukewarm, and some are full of pride and rebellion. Some people are the type that you might describe as ‘fairweather friends.’ As long as things are the way they think they should be, they are great, but when something comes along that goes contrary to what they believe, they’re gone.

    In my own lifetime, the only major change in revelation has been with regard to the priesthood, at which time I was only about 5 or 6, so it wouldn’t have had any impact on me personally. So I really can’t say how I would respond to any major change, except that I think I would be able to accept it.

    At one time, when faced with the question of whether or not I could live the law of plural marriage as a requirement for exaltation, I felt like it wasn’t something that I could live and as such would be willing to give up any hope of eternal life because of it, unless I could somehow understand it better. Over time, I’ve had the opportunity to study the issue and have come to quite a different outlook on the whole thing, to the point that I would probably accept it if it were reintroduced, which is not to say that it would be easy for me. But I do have a testimony of its purposes.

    There are just so many different things to consider when it comes to the issue of revelation through the prophets that there really is no way to give you a clear answer about how willing the Church as a whole is to accept new revelation. Different revelations strike different cords with different people in different ways. Ideally, we should all be patient, prayerful, and reflective towards any new revelation, and we should be humbly open to whatever the Lord’s will for us may be.

  31. Yes, I understand tatabug. To be honest, I think I might have been looking for something mystical, but as you have simply put: it might just be that different people react differently at the prospect of any given change – whatever their culture, religion, ethnicity etc.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I love (and impressed) just how blatantly honest people are being with Jeff’s call for people to give their opinions about current Mormon theology and its associated practices…

  32. Peter,

    Regarding your comment, I am going to assume that you are implying that plural marriage may return (which indeed it may) or that it is a principle which will exist in heaven. To that I will refer you to an article entitled On Fidelity, Polygamy, and Celestial Marriage by Eugene England. I will insert a disclaimer that it certainly isn’t doctrinal, but makes a very good argument for the case against polygamy as existing in heaven. I’ve always assumed that it may be a requirement for heaven, and I am still open to the possibility that it will be, but now have good reasons to see why it may not be, and for good cause.

  33. I have very specific questions about the modern Mormon (LDS) Church that I have not been abot to find answers to, and I was led to this site. Specifically, what I am looking for is why the Church has steadfastly refused to disavow the teachings of Brigham Young regarding Black’s and the “Mark or Cain” and/or the “Curse of Ham”.

    Would it be possible for the owner of the Blog, or anyone else to be able to guide me in the right direction? Please contact me at

    Thanks in advance!

  34. Hi Tatabug,

    Thanks for the page. I will read it when it loads. I was wondering if anyone else had wondered about the things in the old testament that said something was forever, then it being changed later in the Bible. Like circumcision… I think that was one. I wish I remembered the exact references that I thought of at the time. Anyway, the point is that a principal may be set as forever and then later changed. I believe that at the time of the giving of the principal it was forever, until/unless the Lord tells us otherwise. So the children of Abraham would still be circumcising (those that don’t believe still do, most likely). Pretty good example of a “forever” principal being changed.

  35. Peter,

    That is a fantastic question! =D

    I of course, as someone who might represent Reformed Evangelical Christianity (as it seems there are no other reformists here) might be able to express our spin on this subject of circumcision! I’ll hold back though to see what others might say =)

  36. “Eternal covenant” I don’t see any where anyone would expect that any ordance would be eternal as they are always changing in the scriptures. Eternal covenant twice in the new testiment and just covenant 11 times in the old testiment. Forever just 10 time relating to land and keeping the commandments and G-d being forever, ect. Thus the need for continuing revelation which would include changes to existing principals.

  37. Gday NM,

    I am not entirely sure if you understood what I was trying to say but I would still be glad to hear your “spin” on whatever you have.
    I was more pointing out the fact that previous prophets had written forever to a principal because when the Lord gave it, it was forever. The Lord is the only one that can change that.


  38. I agree and understand. It is that some get caught up in some things can’t change but after seeing all the changes from the old testiment to the new and then the restoration changes I just keep waiting for the next revelation or change that we are in store for.

  39. On our desire to be identified as Christian. So many of us are converts to the Church from other Christian faiths, we did not feel we were leaving Christianity when we joined the Church.

    Now I have a deeper understanding of the Gospel, the Godhead, the plan of salvation, along with the role of Christ in it, but I am still a follower of Christ and thus, by my definition, I am still a Christian.

  40. tatabug,

    I don’t have the slightest problem with the idea of continual revelation. The issue is how to decide what truly is revelation, and what is opinion.

    As President Young said, “What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him.”

    I don’t put much stock in the idea that modern leaders take precedent, especially when that idea was put forth by a modern leader. It reminds me of Wilford Woodruff’s claim: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.” Since Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others taught the opposite principle on numerous occasions, Pres. Woodruff’s statement is self-negating.

    Listen to the Prophet, but follow the Spirit.