Tower To Truth question:
4. If Brigham Young was a true prophet, how come one of your later prophets overturned his declaration which stated that the black man could never hold the priesthood in the LDS Church until after the resurrection of all other races (Journal of Discourses 2:142-143)?
Peter and the other apostles likewise misunderstood the timing of gospel blessings to non-Israelites. Even following a revelation to Peter, many members of the early Christian Church continued to fight about this point and how to implement it—even Peter and Paul had disagreements. Yet, Bible-believing Christians, such as the Latter-day Saints, continue to consider both as prophets. Critics should be careful that they do not have a double standard, or they will condemn Bible prophets as well.
The Latter-day Saints are not scriptural or prophetic inerrantists. They are not troubled when prophets have personal opinions which turn out to be incorrect. In the case of the priesthood ban, members of the modern Church accepted the change with more joy and obedience than many first century members accepted the extension of the gospel to the Gentiles without the need for keeping the Mosaic Law.
This is another case of the LDS church saying that a doctrine that they held for over 140 years was simply “one man’s opinion.” Give it a rest, folks. Either the “prophet” is speaking as from God’s mouth, or you can’t trust anything they say. Here we come back to Ezra Taft Benson’s words in “14 Fundamentals”—
Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.
For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
Did you hear what the Lord said about the words of the prophet? We are to “give heed unto all his words”–as if from the Lord’s “own mouth.”
That’s right, give heed to the words of the LDS prophet–unless they don’t make sense, or their prophecy doesn’t come to pass, or it becomes an embarassment to their cause, or they really need for Utah to become a state–then you don’t really have to listen, because it’s “just his opinion.”
Interstingly, in this same message, Youngs says,
“Brother George Q. Cannon brought me a god from the Sandwich Islands, made out of a piece of wood. If all the people bow down to such a god as that, it is in accordance with their laws and ordinances, and their manner of dealing among themselves; the Lord permits them to do as they please with regard to that matter, and this illustration will apply to all the nations upon the face of the earth. People who fall down beneath the wheels of Juggernaut, and are crushed to death; who sacrifice their children in the worship of idols; if they act according to the best of their knowledge, there is a chance for their salvation, as much as there is for the salvation of any other person.”
Here is the quote in question:
We have this illustrated in the account of Cain and Abel. Cain conversed with his God every day, and knew all about the plan of creating this earth, for his father told him. But, for the want of humility, and through jealousy, and an anxiety to possess the kingdom, and to have the whole of it under his own control, and not allow any body else the right to say one word, what did he do? He killed his brother. The Lord put a mark on him; and there are some of his children in this room. When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity. He deprived his brother of the privilege of pursuing his journey through life, and of extending his kingdom by multiplying upon the earth; and because he did this, he is the last to share the joys of the kingdom of God.
Did you notice that? Blacks will not receive the Melchizedek priesthood until all the sons of Adam have received it, and have been redeemed, and resurrected. And not until then! Obviously, not all of Adam’s sons have received the Melchizedek priesthood, or been redeemed or resurrected. Yet another false prophecy. Go figure!
Of course, this is in line with their beliefs that blacks and Indians were a “dark and loathsome people” (1st Nephi 12:23; 2nd Nephi 5:21; Jacob 3:5; Alma 3:6, etc. etc. etc.)
I would answer the issue of “the mark of Cain” or “disobedience in the pre-existence” or however the Mormon church wants to play this thing. But it’s a rabbit trail, one I won’t even go down. I could mention Galatians 3:28, or Ephesians 2:14-18, or Revelation 5:9, or why it took the Mormon church so long to understand what these verses meant, even though Joseph Smith was supposedly a “prophet of God.” But I won’t.