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JAMIE - I have question about how doctrine is approved or rejected.For example, Brigham Young Adam-God doctrine when he was alive members believed that doctrine was true and after Brigham Young died soon it fell out of favor with the church.My question Brigham Young taught many doctrines they were not questioned but only this doctrine why, and why would prophet of God teach such a doctrine if it is not true?This makes me think whether everything Brigham Young taught was his opinion? I don’t know how doctrine is approved by priesthood, What is your thoughts.
JOEL - The Adam God doctrine has been debated and discussed for centuries and has been determined that it was something that mostly came from Brigham Youngs mind and opinion rather than revelation from God. Unfortunately we can't ask Brigham Young himself what he was thinking when he talked about this. We know that he mentioned the Adam-God topic several times in various speeches. The problem is that most of his remarks were not comprehensive addresses on the subject. He would mention only certain aspects of the doctrine and never really put it all together in a written form that everyone could study. It was also never considered official church doctrine.
What makes President Young's statements confusing is that within the same speeches and in other discourses, President Young definitely states that "Adam is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days;" which means that Adam is not Elohim, or God the Father.
President Young also explained that Adam helped to make the earth. If he only helped then that means that he was subordinate to someone who was superior. Young also states, "It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael." Here he places Adam, who we know was Michael, third in the list, and hence the least important of the three mentioned. So I think we just don't have all the details of what President Young was trying to teach or what he said was incorrectly reported.
Moses in Gen. 17:1-14 states that God gave Abraham an everlasting covenant and that the token of that covenant was circumcision; which was also to be everlasting. Verse 14 indicates that any "man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant." This is perfectly clear, but Paul rejects the everlasting quality of this covenant and indicates in Romans, chapter four and Galatians, chapter five, that circumcision availeth nothing. The covenant was not to be everlasting as predicted by Moses in his writings about Abraham. Moses said it was an everlasting covenant, Paul said it was not. Who was right? Moses was right for his time and people; Paul was right for his time and people. Our current propehtes are right for our time.
God doesn't take over a prophet's mind and force them to do and say everything perfectly. Prophets are human and can be wrong about some things but it doesn't make them any less a prophet, as long as what they are saying does not jeopardize our chance for exhaltation. Knowing if Adam is or isn't God the Father would be interesting, but it is not necessary for our life here on earth nor for our eternal salvation.
Another thing to consider is that Not every statement made by a Church leader (like President Young), past or present, necessarily constitutes "official" doctrine. A statement made by a single leader often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. Isolated statements a church leader makes are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.
With divine inspiration, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four "standard works" of scripture, official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith.
Some doctrines are more important than others and might be considered core doctrines. For example, the precise location of the Garden of Eden is far less important than doctrine about Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice.
Actually most of the essential core doctrines of the Church that we need have already been revealed. There is likely not much more new doctrines that will come forth.What we get mostly now is Church policies that have importance and relavance for what is happening in the church today or we get interpretations of existing doctrines to help us live them correctly.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:
"In the Church today, just as anciently, establishing the doctrine of Christ or correcting doctrinal deviations is a matter of divine revelation to those the Lord endows with apostolic authority." (D. Todd Christofferson, "The Doctrine of Christ," Ensign, May 2012, 86)
New doctrines usually happen by way of questions or issues that come up about a certain subject and the Apostles and Presidency discuss the issues in their meetings together. They study the history and scriptures related to the subject and pray about it and then the prophet takes it to the Lord asking for guidance and receives revelation on how to procede. His decision is brought before the Quroum of Twelve for their sustaining. All must be unified and unanimous in the acceptance of the doctrine. The fact that all 15 prophets are involved ensures that no single person can bring about false doctrines.
As an example, when the priesthood was extended to all worthy male members President Hinckley explained what happened in the meeting they had about this:
"We (First Presidency and Apostles) have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.On this occasion he(President Kimball) raised the question before his Brethren—his Counselors and the Apostles. Following this discussion we joined in prayer in the most sacred of circumstances. President Kimball himself was voice in that prayer. I do not recall the exact words that he spoke. But I do recall my own feelings and the nature of the expressions of my Brethren. There was a hallowed and sanctified atmosphere in the room. For me, it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his Brethren. The Spirit of God was there. And by the power of the Holy Ghost there came to that prophet an assurance that the thing for which he prayed was right, that the time had come, and that now the wondrous blessings of the priesthood should be extended to worthy men everywhere regardless of lineage.Every man in that circle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, knew the same thing." (Priesthood Restoration By President Gordon B. Hinckley)
The following flowchart, based on Elder Christofferson’s April 2012 general conference address (mentioned above), shows how doctrine is established:
"Revelation of doctrine comes from Jesus Christ
When revelation is doctrine for the whole Church, it comes to only the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see Amos 3:7; D&C 1:38; 28:2).Revelation from God may come by ...
His own person:
God appeared to Moses and showed him the workmanship of His hands (see Moses 1:1-9; see also Joseph Smith-History 1:15-20).His own voice:The Lord spoke to Nephi and commanded him to build a ship to bring his family to the Americas (see 1 Nephi 17:7-8).
The voice of the Holy Ghost:
This type of revelation is communicated Spirit to spirit. The New Testament Apostles received a confirmation through the Holy Ghost that they should not require new converts to keep the law of Moses (see Acts 15:5-29).
The messengers Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and each committed the keys of his dispensation to the Prophet (see D&C 110:11-16).Revelation may come to...
The President of the Church Individually:
The prophet and President of the Church can receive revelation individually that becomes doctrine when it is sustained by the united voice of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see Acts 10; Official Declaration 2).
Prophets Acting in Council:
The disciples in the Americas prayed to know what they should name the Church. Christ appeared to them and answered, "Whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name" (3 Nephi 27:7)."
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