here.]‘ presentation “A house of order, a house of God” can be found
I’ll admit I think this is a poor presentation (no reason to pussy foot around here). As someone who has spent a great deal of time studying the scriptures and statements of general authorities, it is apparent that Hedelius is a professional scripture-wrester. I was going to write up a detailed response, but found it pointless and time consuming. It’s clear that she isn’t bringing any real arguments to the table. There isn’t a dialogue. Orthodox Neo-Catholicism is true, because it is, because we say it is, fruits be damned!
Honestly, I’m not sure if Hedelius ever proposes a solution to “Gnosticism” (read “Non-Neo-Catholic-Orthodoxy“). We gnostics are just so bitter because of “spiritual darkness . . . from reading accusations against church leaders” that it would take some enlightened individual to salvage even an ounce of our former faith. I presume it’s nearly impossible to change a “Gnostic Mormon’s” mind because they are typically better scholars of the gospel than their Neo-Catholic brothers (but remember, knowing what the scriptures teach = spiritual darkness, so the most enlightened are the least knowledgeable).
Let me show you how stupid this presentation was with one example. Toward the end Hedelius presents the steps to apostasy (as she sees it):
Let’s look back again at the apostasy progression we talked about before:
- I’m a loyal church member and I follow church leaders. I read about others’ prophecies because I long to hear more of God’s word and prepare for the future.
- I assume church leaders have visions and prophecies just like these others I’m reading about, since they all come from God. It’s a shame church leaders can’t talk openly about them; it must be because most church members are too faithless to handle it. I’m glad I’ve found these other sources for learning these things.
- Maybe church leaders don’t have these visions and prophecies. Perhaps because they’re too wrapped up in managing the church’s assets and employees, or they’re too full of themselves and their high calling. It’s a shame the church has become so corporate and uninspired. There is no prophecy or revelation from God to the church anymore.
- The church is apostate. I have found the replacement.
By the time a Mormon Gnostic gets to stage 3, he’s looking for a way to justify his conclusion that the Church has lost its way and Church leaders are uninspired and even corrupt. They often turn to a cherry-picked, twisted historical narrative that finds fault with church leaders and actions throughout history.
Stage 3 is surely bad. Only one step away from total Judas-Nehor-level apostasy. [gasp] However, what if (stay with me here for just a second, Neo-Catholics) church leaders admit that they don’t have visions and prophecies? Here are a couple examples:
- Elder Oaks recently said, “Modern apostles are called to be witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world, Doctrine and Covenants 107:23. This is not to witness of a personal manifestation. To witness of the name is to witness of the plan, the work, or mission such as the atonement and the authority or priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which an apostle who holds the keys is uniquely responsible to do. Of course apostles are also witnesses of Christ just like all members of the Church who have the gift of the Holy Ghost.“
- In Chapter 2 of the Joseph Fielding Smith “Teachings of the Presidents of the Church” manual, he is quoted as having written: “I did not live in the days of our Savior; he has not come to me in person. I have not beheld him. His Father and he have not felt it necessary to grant me such a great blessing as this. But it is not necessary. I have felt his presence. I know that the Holy Spirit has enlightened my mind and revealed him unto me, so that I do love my Redeemer, I hope, and feel it is true, better than everything else in this life.”
In Elder Packer’s very candid October 2007 general conference talk “The Weak and the Simple of the Church” he recounts: “Some years ago, I was with President Marion G. Romney, meeting with mission presidents and their wives in Geneva, Switzerland. He told them that 50 years before, as a missionary boy in Australia, late one afternoon he had gone to a library to study. When he walked out, it was night. He looked up into the starry sky, and it happened. The Spirit touched him, and a certain witness was born in his soul. He told those mission presidents that he did not know any more surely then as a member of the First Presidency that God the Father lives; that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father; and that the fulness of the gospel had been restored than he did as a missionary boy 50 years before in Australia. He said that his testimony had changed in that it was much easier to get an answer from the Lord. The Lord’s presence was nearer, and he knew the Lord much better than he had 50 years before. There is the natural tendency to look at those who are sustained to presiding positions, to consider them to be higher and of more value in the Church or to their families than an ordinary member. Somehow we feel they are worth more to the Lord than are we. It just does not work that way!“
If you believe the words of these prophets and apostles, then you are three-quarters apostate. Hedelius’ argument is so illogical and confusing it is the religious equivalent of Orwell’s 1984.
Literally, to avoid apostasy and/or Mormon Gnosticism you must reject the testimonies of the church leaders, believe they are dishonest (for admitting a lack of what we would call “prophetic” experiences), and then actually engage in the same cherry-picking of quotes (which is so evil) to support the notion of continuing revelation through the medium of apostolic succession over the past two centuries.
Ignorance truly is strength. Apostasy is righteousness.