Tuesday, January 8

'môrmən 'däktrin

"Mormon doctrine consists in the Old Testament (except the parts that aren’t doctrine), the New Testament (except the parts that aren’t doctrine), the Book of Mormon (except the parts that aren’t doctrine), the Doctrine and Covenants (except the parts that aren’t doctrine), and the Pearl of Great Price (except the parts that aren’t doctrine). All of these, as augmented by statements from church leaders (except the ones that aren’t doctrine)." ~Times & Seasons

This conundrum is actually one of the things that attracts me to Mormonism. I can believe what I want to according to my own mind, spirit, and (God willing) positive subjective experiences.


  1. Reading the McLellin papers as well as from RSR I am coming to a more clear doctrinal picture of the Church. It would seem that each period in the development of church doctrine brought in new converts but also flummoxed some of the existing. For example, most of the witnesses to the B of M never made it past the Kirtland period or Far West and fell by the way side including McLellin and David Whitmer. Then we have the Nauvoo era when Sidney, Bennett, and others parted company along with those who formed what would eventually become the Community of Christ. Next is the apostolic interregnum under the control of BY and the Twelve. I found it interesting that those who followed Brother Brigham West were referred to as "Twelvers". Had not heard that expression before. In Utah doctrinal changes perplexed some and they moved on namely John W. Taylor and Mathias Cpowley over the Manifesto. One wonders as the Church has moved, in my life time, away from the hard line of Elder McConkie and others if that is causing problems in different ways. At least let us hope there does not have to be any more episodes like unto the 'September Six.' Could we have a kindler and gentler Church as a legacy of Gordon Bitner Hinckley whom I love and sustain as the prophet?

    So much to read and so much to think about....

  2. Wise and enlightening as always.

    I think what I am coming to is, aside from the most basic doctrine (atonement, resurrection, etc.), a kind of loose grip on the rest of the teachings would be more beneficial, and healthier. Almost like the Taoist "figure pointing at the moon," in the sense that we should not hold so fast to the doctrine, but rather, to where it is supposed to take us. I.e. we do not worship the iron rod.

  3. I think that is wise Shenpa Warrior. It would seem that doctrinal changes and interpretations were difficult for many to come to grips with even in New Testament days. Jesus of Nazareth came to His own and what did they do unto him? "O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem how often would I have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her chickens..."

    Later, we had the disputes among the Brethren, between those that were at Jerusalem and Paul's group who disagreed over the requirements of cleanliness, dietary rules, circumcision, and becoming Jews first for gentile converts.

    Maybe the key, like a lot of things, is what did we learn in kindergarten? In our case it was what did we learn in Primary. "Follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet, don't go astray, follow the Prophet, he knows the way." Sweet song with a profound message for us all.


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