Maj Tom Merrill wrote:
...according to them, some families within Israel have been singled out for greatness. That there are lineages that have been set aside to rule and reign over the rest of us.
What is the opinion of the group?
===================== Grampa Bill comments:
Reading the first several answers to the Good Major's query, there seems to be near unanimity that the doctrine being taught is false. I'm not quite sure. True enough, the question is posed in such a manner as to elicit near visceral outrage, but lets look at some other aspects.
First, let's get rid of that "rule and reign over the rest of us" line. Christ taught that to rule is to serve and set the example in washing His Apostles' feet. Seems this ruling and reigning business ain't all it's cracked up to be.
Next, it is obvious there are certain families both within and outside the Chirch that rise to and remain in positions of prominence. The Smith family comes to mind immediately. Prophets, Patriarchs, Apostles, Seventies and numerous General Officers of the Church have arisen from this family over a number generations. It is not limited to the Smiths. Check the Pratts and the Youngs, the Tanners, et al. In fact, this phenomenon is so prevalent that if the doctine of Royal Blood is not true, the Church would seem to be a hot bed of nepotism.
One of the great blessings one seeks is to raise up a righteous posterity. If blessings follow righteousness, one would expect to see prominence in certain families.
I have read that Colonel George Reade, a prominent pre-Revolutionary War patriot, fathered a number of U.S. Presidents and a brace of General Authorities and Officers of the Church. He is also one of my ancestors and whatever prominence his descendants enjoy certainly skipped my branch and generation.
I think the main thing is that certain folks, by their pre-existant and/or mortal righteousness merit having some of the "great and noble" spirits to be born into their posterity.
I don't know that I have expressed this well, but I 'spect ther is something to this doctrine regardless of how distastefully it might have been expressed.
I'm sure you're correct in what you say above. Let's look at the question again.
At 09:59 PM 6/19/03 -0400, Maj Tom Merrill wrote:
I guess I'll turn off the "lurk mode" and bring up something about which I have a passionate opinion. The subject is "royal families."
There is someone in my stake who comes from what some would call a prominent family. They teach in church, and especially within their family, this doctrine. Seems that, according to them, some families within Israel have been singled out for greatness. That there are lineages that have been set aside to rule and reign over the rest of us.
And at a few of the words of the Savior on the matter:
"And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who [should be] the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, [the same] shall be last of all, and servant of all." (Mark 9:33-35)
"But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last first." (Mark 10:31)
"And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but [it shall be given to them] for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard [it], they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them [to him], and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:35-45)
I think the issue here is not whether or not some people are called to do great things in the Church, nor whether God may tell those people in advance something about the work they are called to do in order to prepare them for when the time comes. I don't doubt that Grampa Bill is correct that some families may have a significant number of these people who are destined for greatness born into it. What I think is the problem here is that the people Tom is asking about are going about telling others that the members of their family are so destined. As we see from the scriptures quoted above, the most important traits one who expects to be a leader in God's kingdom can develop are humility and an attitude of service toward others. If God has something great destined for a person, He doesn't need any help from that person tooting his or her own horn and asking to be called to greatness. In fact, I suspect that's a good way for that person to "blow it" and get that blessing withdrawn.
IMO, there's another somewhat similar thing that all of us who have been in the Church for any length of time, especially in Utah, have heard so many stories of that they have become jokes: young men (usually) at BYU announcing that they have had a "revelation to marry" a stranger. While I don't doubt that such things _have_ indeed happened (at BYU or elsewhere), my feeling is that those who have in fact received such a revelation do not go around announcing it to all and sundry, and _particularly_ not to the subject of the revelation until he has won her heart by normal means. Maybe on their honeymoon he might tell her "When I first saw you, the Spirit told me I was going to marry you," if such were the case . . .
Anyway, that's my 2 cents this morning.
-- Ronn! :)
God bless America, Land that I love! Stand beside her, and guide her Thru the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans, white with foam… God bless America! My home, sweet home.
-- Irving Berlin (1888-1989)
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