I hesitate to weigh in on this.  But perhaps if I confine my remarks to
generic comments it will be okay.  In fact, I know nothing about Brother
Murphy and have never read his article. I had heard something of this
gene study a while back when some bishop from Australia lost his feeble
testimony over it and made a big fuss about it. At that time I was
satisfied that the scientific story was incomplete and merely an excuse
for the man to act on his lack of spiritual preparation.  The statement
produced here by Brother Murphy, if it is authentic, does indicate a
point of view that needs to be addressed.  It is that point of view that
I am addressing, not Brother Murphy's attitudes, circumstances or
future.  Those things are largely irrelevant to me or any other member
of the church not involved directly in Brother Murphy's council.  The
point of view that I'm concerned with is that of members of the church
who feel they have a special duty or knowledge or even right that
requires or allows them to correct the doctrines established by the duly
appointed leaders of the church.

Fundamentally the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a
kingdom.  It is ruled by its King, Jesus Christ. The rest of us are
subjects, and to the extent that we are loyal subjects (submissive
disciples) we inherit certain valuable blessings. The rules, principles,
ordinances, practices  and doctrines under which the kingdom is
established and operates are distilled upon the kingdom by its King.
This is not a democracy.  Space for contradictory or new notions or
dogmas is not carved out in the church by dint of membership action.
This organization is ruled from the top down. Efforts to influence the
doctrine from the bottom up (intellectual arguments, scientific
pronouncements, social protests, petitions, arguments, debates,
demonstrations, quasi scholarly studies, philosophical musings,
lobbying, harassing, contradicting, campaigning, volunteering,
advocating, blackmailing, or whatever) will always be ineffective and
inappropriate.  One does have a remarkable appeal that is unavailable in
any similarly designed kingdom.  You can appeal directly to the Father
of the King.  He is open to your every personal petition and does hear
and answer your prayers.  He offers comfort, wisdom, pure knowledge and
love to any who approach him with faith, diligence, patience, brother
kindness, charity, humility and the same love.  To any that harden their
hearts to the doctrines of the kingdom He warns in Alma 12: 11 "And they
that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of
the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they
are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction.
Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell."

It is painfully evident that we must soften our hearts as we serve in
the kingdom of God. A change of heart is inevitable in this life.  It
will either soften or harden. Our whole energy should be focused on
doing those things and pursuing those ends which will soften (or break)
our hearts. Time spent trying to rearrange the doctrines of the kingdom
to our own liking, or according even to our own understanding. Carving
out space for different or even dissident notions seems singularly
contrary to the needs of the true disciple to order his own life after
the pattern set by the King.  Setting oneself up as the arbiter of
better doctrine than that revealed to the King's prophets seems to be a
practice to be avoided because it indicates, at the very least, that the
self appointed arbiter is hardening his heart. Nothing is more dangerous
to our eternal salvation than that.  Following along in the 12th chapter
of Alma "13 Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have
hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been
found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be
condemned. 14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will
condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also
condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our
God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the
mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence."

I would ask, do the statements and actions of those persons who profess
the strong desire to correct and reorder the kingdom follow a pattern of
meekness, humility, patience, and submission?*  Generally, of course,
they show us something altogether contrary to those virtues.  They are
couched in phrases that embrace absolutes, rock hard certainty, and
impatience. They are shrill and demanding. They scoff at the authority
and responsibility of those who seek to follow the established officers
leading the Lord's kingdom on earth. They know a better way.  They think
they know the only way.  Their hearts are congealed. They have chosen
their own fate.  Disciplinary councils may confirm it, but the choice is
made by the person himself in the quiet chambers of his heart.  

Tom

* The Doctrine and Covenants is wonderful.  It has these little
teachings that answer the most thorny problems.  One such is as follows.
Section 52: 14-20 (see below) gives us a pattern by which to judge the
statements of anyone professing wisedom in spiritual matters or the
desire to reorder the church. If I was looking at someone's demands for
a change to the church one of the things I would be interested to know
is how the man's life and manner of making his case fit the pattern
outlined therein.  I take the phrase "whose spirit is contrite" to be
practically synonomous with "whose heart is broken and softened".  It
seems self evident that if he is not obedient to the ordinances, if his
language is not meek, and if he does not seek to bring forth fruits of
praise and wisdom, and if he does not affirm and  give honor to the
revelations and truths (like the Book of Mormon for instance) already
given to the prophet, then that person is not of God. If he's not of God
it would be foolish and dangerous to follow his advice in matters of
God's kingdom.  Those charged with protecting the integrity of the
church may need, in extreme cases, to extend that protection by taking
disciplinary action so that the innocent will not be easily deceived.


 14 And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may
not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth
deceiving the nations--

 15 Wherefore he that prayeth, whose spirit is contrite, the same is
accepted of me if he obey mine ordinances.

 16 He that speaketh, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek
and edifieth, the same is of God if he obey mine ordinances.

 17 And again, he that trembleth under my power shall be made strong,
and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom, according to the
revelations and truths which I have given you.

 18 And again, he that is overcome and bringeth not forth fruits, even
according to this pattern, is not of me.

 19 Wherefore, by this pattern ye shall know the spirits in all cases
under the whole heavens.

 20 And the days have come; according to men's faith it shall be done
unto them



Cardston, Alberta
www.matkin.com


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Harold Stuart [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: December 4, 2002 7:23 AM
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Subject: Re: [ZION] Tom Murphy's Statement (was Re: LDS Writer Expects
to
> Be Excommunicat
> 
> Although I'm not Tom's judge, I do feel that his statements show
what's
> really going on here.  I know I'm preaching to the choir on this list,
> but I hope you all will humor me...
> 
> > I did not desire nor invite the church disciplinary council.
> 
> This is absolutely not true.  Tom is inviting the council by his
> actions.  He is directly and publicly opposing the work of God.  This
> invites a council.
> 
> > ...
> 
> > I do not desire excommunication
> 
> This is questionable.  A person who does not desire excommunication
> does not behave in the way that Tom has behaved.  I do not understand
> the need for some "intellectuals" to grub in the mud for publicity.
> Tom is trying his case before the high council in the media, and
> pronouncing himself guilty before anything has actually occurred.
> Perhaps he knows something...
> 
> > and believe that it would be in the best interest of the church to
> > halt the council.
> 
> Who is Tom to determine what the best interests of the church are?
Why
> do these Sigs always attempt to tell us what is best for us?  Why do
> they insist that they are always right?  Is it because they are
somehow
> smarter than we are? Perhaps they are just more arrogant.
> 
> > I believe that the LDS Church could provide a great service for
> > critically thinking members of the Church
> 
> This is a sweeping generalization.  Many critically thinking members
of
> the Church are patient, humble, and willing to wait for the Lord.
> 
> > if it would permit open discussion of the Book of Mormon as fiction,
> > perhaps even inspired fiction.
> 
> This would totally undermine the role of Joseph Smith as a prophet of
> God.  Doing so would destroy the Church.
> 
> > The scientific and historical evidence is so overwhelmingly arrayed
> > against traditional hemispheric and limited geographic
interpretations
> > that an open and honest discussion of an allegorical reading of the
> > Book of Mormon is warranted.
> 
> This is only in his own mind.  I wonder what he means by "historical
> evidence?"  Who is interpreting that evidence?  In his case, it is
most
> likely those who derisively call a sacred text the "BoMor".  As for
the
> scientific evidence, he has shown a remarkable lack of understanding
of
> the subject.  Data doesn't mean science.  Seizing upon one theory and
> riding it to the bitter end is one of the best ways to be consigned to
> the ash heap of history.
> 
> > My desire is to help create such a space for Mormons.
> 
> Another great intellectual descends from his tower on high, here to
> help me.  Oh, please.  If this were politics, we would call him a
> flaming liberal.
> 
> > Ultimately, it is up to my stake high council to decide if that view
> > is out-of-bounds.
> 
> No, it is up to the Lord.
> 
> > I am not going to change my view or sweeten it to please the stake
> > president or anyone else.
> 
> This apparently includes anyone who might have data or theories to the
> contrary.
> 
> > The matter of fact is that of the thousands of Native American
> > individuals and hundreds of tribal groups studied to date,
> 
> These are limited studies that cannot possibly take into account all
of
> the things that have happened to the ancestors of these people.  The
> Nephites were totally wiped out, and the Lamanites suffered terrible
> losses.  This would alter the gene pool, considerably.  Although it is
> a reasonable conjecture, the Book of Mormon does not identify the
> Native Americans as the descendants of these people.  He does not take
> this into account, either.
> 
> > not a single one of them has any evidence of a genetic tie to
> > ancient Israel
> 
> There is a major fallacy in this argument which he is missing.  His
> precious "Jewish" gene pool has been heavily polluted by the fact that
> Jews allow converts, and that they intermarry with them.  It would
seem
> to me that you could not state with 100% certainty that any piece of a
> genome is "Jewish", or for that matter, even "middle-eastern."  All
you
> could say is that statistically some traits would be more common in
> some groups of peoples, given certain assumptions, than others.
> 
> > within the time frame required by the Book of Mormon.
> 
> Perhaps someone with better knowledge of genetics could help me here.
> Is it possible to date pieces of a genome?  Can you say, for example,
> that a particular mutation happened on or reasonably near a specific
> date, solely from examining DNA?
> 
> > Not even Scott Woodward of BYU anticipates that future data will
> > change that scenario.
> 
> Woodward doesn't know either.  He isn't touting that fact in the
media,
> however, or writing books declaring that his lack of knowledge must
> mean that he knows something.
> 
> Notice, by the way, the use of BYU in his statement?  The fact that
> Woodward works for BYU is irrelevant, but makes it look as though BYU
> is tacitly supporting Tom's point.
> 
> > The high council cannot change the science by excommunicating me
> 
> Perhaps he wouldn't be in so much trouble if he actually applied the
> principles of science.  Observe:
> 
> 1:  Tom has a theory, that his actions are sufficient to cause
> excommunication.
> 2:  Instead of waiting for the process by which this theory can be
> proven, he has already decided that his theory is fact, and is
> proclaiming it to the world.
> 
> Using the principles of science here would show that he has
> understanding, rather than knowledge, of the subject.
> 
> > I refuse to misrepresent the evidence to please them.
> 
> Tom seems to understand misrepresentation of evidence very well.
> 
> I fear that many of these people are going to find out the hard way
> that the devil abandons his servants and leaves them to twist in the
> wind.
> 
> Harold Stuart
> 
>
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