Archives for the month of: April, 2014

The familiar story

The preceding post tells a story about Elijah’s mission that differs from the story found in our discourse and approved by correlation.   The correlated doctrine was outlined succinctly by Elder Quentin L. Cook at General Conference last week. Read the rest of this entry »

Responding to a Request

In a letter dated October 8, 2012, Presidents Monson, Eyring, and Uchtdorf asked that members “learn the doctrine of turning their hearts to their fathers.”  I believe the fullest understanding of this doctrine comes by studying the scriptures and words of the man who restored it: Joseph Smith.  This essay is an attempt to explain the doctrine using the teachings of the man commissioned to teach it.   Since all other explanations of it rely on others’ attempts to reproduce or synthesize Joseph’s teachings on the matter, it makes sense to simply go to the source.  Later traditions that conflict with Joseph’s teachings are omitted from this essay.  Since those traditions, rather than Joseph’s teachings, form the basis for virtually all Latter-day Saint discourse on the topic, this exploration of Joseph’s teachings will be different from the normative view.  While it will be unfamiliar to those who are only acquainted with more recent traditions, this exploration has the advantage of being rooted firmly in the teachings of Joseph Smith.   Understanding it will require acquiring Joseph’s definitions of words like priesthood, covenant, fathers, children, and ordinance.  It will require suspending our reliance on more recent attempts to define the gospel, to allow Joseph’s message to speak for itself.
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