The Death of McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine

May 20, 2010
By

Last night on KUTV in Utah, an announcement was made which signals the end of an era.  It was reported that Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine will no longer be published by the Church, and that it will not be sold by Deseret Book.  Since I didn’t see the newscast, I’m not sure what reasons were given, but one viewer stated, “Why? For tighter correlative control, because of the book’s embarrassing clarity, and because of some controversial assertions in the book.”  He also said that the publisher asserted the book was withdrawn because of poor sales.

Sandra Tanner was interviewed on the 5:30 segment of the news, with her collection of every edition of McConkie’s book.  She provided me with her view of the decision:

I believe the main reason McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine” was taken out of print was due to its candid discussion of LDS doctrines that the church is now trying to hide. Such teachings as God once being a man, his wife–Heavenly Mother, and Jesus being the literal, physical son of God are just a few of the doctrines that are being minimized in current manuals. If the LDS Church felt “Mormon Doctrine” presented a faulty compilation of their doctrines, why haven’t they issued an authorized compendium of their beliefs? Mormons often say to me, “That’s not official doctrine” as though there was some place to look up the official teachings. Where is the official systematic theology of Mormonism?

Interestingly, KUTV has posted their news stories from last night online, omitting any mention of this segment.  There is speculation that it was held due to criticism of the way it was reported.  We will update you here as more details become available.

Written in 1958, Mormon Doctrine has served as a reference book for members of the Church for over 50 years, but has recently gone out of vogue.  References to McConkie’s work were taken out of the Gospel Principles manual when it was reissued this year for use in Priesthood and Relief Society classes.  Now it seems it is being further phased out.  It is only surprising that this has not been done before, since Mormon Doctrine has not enjoyed the support of every member of the highest Church Councils over the years.

I’d like to hold a little “In Memoriam” session here at Mormon Matters for Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine.  It was the first book I ever purchased when a brand-new convert in 1979, in the authoritative-looking black-and-gold binding. It was the perfect place for a convert to go for a source of Church teachings in a pre-internet age.  Thus, it shaped much of my early thinking about the Church.  This was the third edition, having been revised to be “more moderate” in 1966, and then again in 1978 after the Priesthood revelation.  Much of the Bible Dictionary in our current editions of the LDS scriptures come directly from Mormon Doctrine.  McConkie himself described it as “the first major attempt to digest, explain, and analyze all of the important doctrines of the kingdom” and “the first extensive compendium of the whole gospel—the first attempt to publish an encyclopedic commentary covering the whole field of revealed religion.”  Its teachings have had a major impact upon several generations of Latter-day Saints.

How have you been impacted by Mormon Doctrine?

Update: The story is now up at Connect2Utah.

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167 Responses to The Death of McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine

  1. Aaron
    May 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

    They finally published the story on KUTV:

    http://connect2utah.com/news-story?nxd_id=89525

  2. jks
    May 20, 2010 at 11:40 am

    It was a great book for its time. Imagine all those talks and all those lessons in the days before the internet.
    Now that we have the internet we don’t really have a need for it because of its limitations.

  3. geb
    May 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I agreed with President McKay that it should never have been published. Neither should “Man His Origin and Destiny.” Both of these were done without approval and caused trouble for years with outmoded racial and biological dogma.

  4. May 20, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Not much of a story on the KUTV link. What concerned me was his agreement with Pres. McKay to not re-publish after his presumption to speak for the whole church and the number or doctrinal errors were pointed out to him. Then after some time when Pres. McKay was quite frail and a I guess with Joseph Fielding Smith’s blessing he did a second edtion. It seems to me that he and his followers over the years have taken a hefty responsibilty on themselves to speak for God but then that’s what he told Gene Englund, i.e. it’s my responsibility to teach and your responsibility to listen.

  5. larryco_
    May 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    “…it’s my responsibility to teach and your responsibility to listen”.

    This is, of course, a part of McConkie’s apostolic calling.

  6. Mark Gibson
    May 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    My wife and I converted from RLDS to LDS in 1999. One of my wife’s co-workers was inactive LDS and let her have her copy of MORMON DOCTRINE. I have used it quite a lot to find scripture references on topics of interest to investigators. It even had a section on the RLDS; not very flattering but some truthful points.

  7. May 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I agree with GBS. The book has done more harm than any other LDS publication, IMO, and was written without authority while purporting to speak for the church. As converts to the church, it was also a favorite of my parents. So-called doctrines that it contained had countless actual negative impacts to real people (just to name a few):
    - relations with the Catholic church were hurt by the unrestrained vitriol pointed at them (“church of Satan,” “whore of all the earth”?).
    - further canonization of racist doctrines like Cain & Ham were absolutely being taught as if they were direct from God; I am aware of potential converts who were so unsettled by things members said promoting these same folkloric teachings, that they left & never came back. While BRM later disavowed those statements, they are in print forever. Print may be dead, but we can still look at its corpse on the bookshelf.
    - his indictment of face cards (on the grounds of their being Satanic?? – making Mormons look like uneducated kooks!) and including caffeinated soft drinks in the WoW prohibition (at the same time the prophet was a known Coke drinker) are enduring legacies of judgmental attitudes and superiority, causing friction between members, and even causing local leaders to engage in questionable practices like adding questions to the TR interview on the basis that it was in MD.

    I say it is long overdue that this book be dropped. I only wish the reasons were more on point: “For tighter correlative control” (isn’t this the same correlation committee that used it as a point of reference forever?) “because of the book’s embarrassing clarity” (“clarity” implies it is accurate, which it is not. The book’s embarrassing all right, but not because it’s clear) “and because of some controversial assertions in the book” (yes, content was made more moderate, but given the fact that there were over 1000 errors found in the original publication, this statement seems insufficient).

    I realize the church has a hard time dealing with any overreaching, overconfident leader who says things he (notice I didn’t say ‘or she’) is not authorized to say, and there are more examples of this than BRM. So I acknowledge the difficulty of separating the wheat from the tares within the man. This kind of surgery risks the patient. So I’d like to see a little more embarrassing clarity in disavowing the book, but I’ll take this step for what it is.

  8. Rob Osborn
    May 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    The book itself, for its time was a great resource. However, the problem with it is that many both within the church and outside the church view this book as “official mormon doctrine”. Whereas many of the references in the book do represent what the church teaches, some of the text only reflects BRM own personal opinions and ideas. Because of this one has to state that the entire book is in question. I do know thta the church did remove all references to the book in their latest “Gospel Principles” study manual. The church is doing a crackdown on the “official” doctrine and removing a lot of text from manuals that only represent one mans own opinions. There is much work still to be done but I forsee a future where all doctrine will be backed by scripture, not opinions.

    Personally i like “Mormon Doctrine” by BRM even though it has a few references in it that I just flat out disagree with.

  9. Randy B.
    May 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I watched the segment, but still am not sure it means that MD is actually going out of print. It does sound like DB won’t be publishing it, but I wonder whether another publishing house would pick it up? It really is funny to hear DB say that the problem is demand. They put out a beautiful blue leather edition for something like $400 last year that sold out almost instantaneously. There clearly is a market for the book, which makes me think it’s just a matter of time before someone else picks it up. I wonder if DB would carry a new edition if someone did?

  10. May 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Elder McConkie’s writing are a must read for anyone interested in Mormon doctrine. As an apostle he provided many great doctrinal insights.

    Mormon Doctrine is just one of his books. The fact it isn’t being published any longer isn’t a problem for me. I don’t refer to Mormon Doctrine has much as I do to his other books.

  11. May 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for the story. I’m gonna put up a post tomorrow on Mo Doc with some information from booksellers about it. To me it sounds a lot less sinister than people are imagining, but even so, there’s room for a little potential intrigue…stay tuned :)

  12. May 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    RE: #7

    What she said.

  13. Ray
    May 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I agree with Jared that he provided many great doctrinal insights – but it’s the other stuff everyone else mentioned already that makes me glad that DB no longer will be selling it.

    I don’t want members OR non-members reading it – not because it’s all crap (which it isn’t), but because it’s hard for too many people to read a book called “Mormon Doctrine” and realize that it is not, in fact, Mormon Doctrine.

  14. Aaron R.
    May 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I agree with Randy. I could almost guarentee that Signature are unlikely to let it go out of print. The Irony…

    Anyway, I don’t doubt that sales are down. The internet’s resources, including the far better and larger Encyclopedia of Mormonism, and much else officially published by the Church is now available online. Moreover I suspect that its tone is less-favourable than it used to be. Thus McConkie-ites like Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie are probably still the big sellers and his legacy will live on.

    Moreover, though I think it has been damaging I agree with Jared that he offers a thoughtful approach to a wide variety of gospel topics and that a nuanced reading of his texts is still a worthwhile thing. Thanks for bringing this up BiV.

  15. May 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks goodness!

    I studied Mormon history and theology for 2 years before joining the LDS Church in 1977. Within weeks I was told that I “just had to read ‘Mormon Doctrine.’” So I borrowed the copy in the Ward library.

    I could not believe McConkie’s outright distortions of 19th century Mormon theology; his denials of past teachings (such as The Adam-God doctrine). Worst of all was McConkie’s seeming ignorance and cluelessness regarding religion generally; his inabiility or unwillingess to grasp the implications of basic theological propositions; his seeming inability to see the contradictions in his assertions–such as his denounciation of polytheism on one hand, and his defence of the plurality of Gods on the other.
    Later while I was a student at the Y, I thought even less of McConkie when he delivered his ridiculous talk on “The Seven Deadly Heresies”–most of which had been official Church doctrines in times past taught by Brigham Young himself.

    McConkie represents that strange point in the mid-to-late 20th century in which official Church theology was still trying to hold on to certain elements of Classical Mormon Theology while embracing Mormon Neo-Orthodoxy, and appearing to be a more mainstream (Protestant-style) Christian denomination.

    Now that Mormon Neo-Orthodoxy is the official theology of the LDS Church (The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints–with emphasis on the words “JESUS CHRIST”), the Church wants to get rid of any reminders of Classical Mormon Theology–even the distortion of certain elements that McConkie included in his book.

    In short, McConkie’s “Mormon Theology” is not longer the Church’s theology.

    More and more I’m of the opinion that the Church’s theology is not really “Mormon” at all.

  16. Aaron
    May 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    “Why? For tighter correlative control, because of the book’s embarrassing clarity, and because of some controversial assertions in the book.”

    To clarify, this was my critical commentary elsewhere, and it was not in the news report nor were these reasons given by Deseret or the Church for the book’s cessation. The only reason given was “low sales”, which is, ahem, odd, because there are plenty of other books they publish with far lower sales.

  17. Hawkgrrrl
    May 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Aaron – thanks for that clarifying remark. Seems we may be in agreement anyway.

  18. May 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Wait Sandra Tanner is assuming the worst? I’m shocked I tell you — shocked.

    But as for the book “Mormon Doctrine”, I won’t mind it fading away at all.

  19. A non-mouse
    May 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Unfortunately, I see this as part of a wider trend. Church publications are rapidly becoming homogenized, de-intellectualized, and anonymous (ironic coming from this quarter). Mormon Doctrine might not have been right in certain regards, but we need books like this. We can’t just read Gospel Principles and other manuals over and over. Some of us need some meat to go with the milk.

  20. jmb275
    May 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Ummm, yeah, exactly what Hawkgrrrl said! The only point I will make is to try and separate our judgment of McConkie from the book. Condemn the book – fine, but let’s give McConkie the benefit of the doubt!

    Incidentally, I would have no problem with its continued publication if the title were changed to “The Gospel According to Bruce R. McConkie.” I still wouldn’t like it, but at least I wouldn’t have people in my ward quoting it and claiming it was Mormon doctrine (and yes, people in my ward still do this)!

  21. Rigel Hawthorne
    May 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I remember other church books in my home that now seem disturbing. Ever read, “God Planted a Tree” by Ora Pate Stewart? I just looked at Amazon, and there are actually used copies there for sale. It’s been decades, but I remember very precise explanations as to how the races of the earth were organized from the descendents of Noah, as if the author had quite clear knowledge.

    “Please Tell Me” was given to me (and many other LDS children) at my baptism by my Grandmother, and I still have it, but after digging it out and wondering about using it to teach FHE for me children, I’ve had second thoughts after reading the presumptions that I hadn’t considered questionable when I was eight.

    Of course, these are nowhere near the comparison to the grandness and scale of MD. Of course the authors of those shorter books were not Apostles. In those pre-internet days, it was fun lie on the floor on a Sunday afternoon and “surf” or flip through and read about whatever topic caught your eye. When thinking that I didn’t agree about the comments on playing cards or hot cocoa, well, it was kinda like comparing it to “Please Tell Me” or “God Planted a Tree”, or other books that were published in the day where perhaps it was more acceptable to mix scholarship with opinion. It was commonly thought in those days that one day, everything would be proven right. It wasn’t until later that the call went out for a pride check and return to the message of the Book of Mormon that the need to rethink assumptions followed.

  22. jmb275
    May 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Some of us need some meat to go with the milk.

    Hmmm, perhaps the meat is not found in controversial and/or literal interpretations of various texts. Perhaps the meat is no more complicated than Jesus’ original message!

    Though I do sympathize with the seeming watering down trend as I think it takes away from our mythology/cosmology.

  23. May 20, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Here are a few examples of what was cut from the 1958 original MD to the 1966 revised MD:
    - extreme anti-Catholicism (e.g. “The doctrines, traditions, practices, and policies of the Catholic Church comprise some of the most wicked of all abominations. Indeed, one of the revealed names of the Great and abominable Church is, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” or this gem: “Two great agencies on earth pattern their courses in accordance with Lucifer’s program of compulsion and seek to deny the inalienable right of agency to men. These are the Roman Catholic Church and the communistic dictatorships”)
    - a boatload of black & white anti-evolution statements (e.g. “What a different concept this is of the animal and related kingdoms than that which prevails in the narrow and false evolutionary theories held by apostate peoples!”)
    - consistently referring to other sects as “apostate” (this was replaced by “false” in most cases; not sure that was a big upgrade. Here’s another quote: “To a greater or lesser degree, all who belong to the great apostate churches of the day are antichrist” or a special word for the RLDS: “In its apostate bitterness the Re¬organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . . .” He reserves a special hate for the Athanasian Creed: “Of all the major creeds, the so-called Athanasian is by far the most senseless, unintelligent, and incomprehensible” Another favorite: “It goes without saying that the apostate perversions of sprinkling or pouring, where supposed baptisms are concerned, are an abomination”)
    - slight softening of harsh language (e.g. using “hinder” instead of “preclude”)
    - the elimination of a diatribe against artificial insemination (“Modern medical science has made it possible for children to be conceived by ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION. This practice, sometimes engaged in when a married couple is unable to have children, is morally and religiously wrong and should never be permitted, except in cases where the seed is taken from the husband of the wife involved. To inseminate seed from other then the husband is a form of immorality and indecency akin to adultery, and has been so denominated in some courts of law where gospel standards are not even at issue. Obviously such a practice throws paternity in doubt, scrambles genealogical ties, and lays the basis for discord in the family unit. Instead of turning to such an unnatural course, childless couples should seek to generate sufficient faith so that, the Lord willing, children may be born to them accord¬ing to the normal pattern ordained by Deity. Also many childless couples find their desires of parenthood are satisfied by adopting children”)
    - an anti-birth control rant (“It follows that those who practice birth control–the regulation of the number of births in a family by the employment of arti¬ficial means or contraceptives to prevent conception are running counter to the foreordained plan of the almighty. They are in rebellion against God and are guilty of gross wickedness”)
    - slight softening of the wording against card-playing (from “To the extent that church members play cards they are in apostasy and rebellion” to “To the extent that church members play cards they are out of harmony with their inspired leaders”)
    - a big section that is pro-capital punishment is replaced by the sound of crickets chirping.
    - an anti-carnivals diatribe (what did carnies ever do to BRM?)

    I’m only at the beginning of the C’s, people. Mostly what is objectionable is hate-filled ranting/harsh word choice and opinion that is not doctrinal.

  24. Holden Caulfield
    May 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks, BiV, for this post. Very interesting. Great comments. McConkie is still polarizing Mormons from beyond the grave.

    I don’t believe Mormon Doctrine is guilty of “embarrassing clarity” because it contained too many errors, but I love that phrase. That is useful.

    “It is my province to teach to the church what the doctrine is. It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent.” Classic McConkie, while telling Eugene England it was given in kindness and humility.

    As to the book, Prince’s biography talks of Pres McKay citing 1,067 errors of doctrine. From Pres McKay’s diary, “It was agreed that the necessary corrections are so numerous that to republish a corrected edition of the book would be such an extensive repudiation of the original as to destroy the credit of the author; that the republication of the book should be forbidden and that the book should be repudiated in such a way as to save the career of the author as one of the General Authorities of the Church.” In other words, it was crap (sorry Ray). It was such crap that it couldn’t be corrected and if it was nobody would believe McConkie again, at least that is what the Prophet thought.

    The original question was “How were you impacted by Mormon Doctrine?” Add it to the list of stuff I totally welcome into my life as an 18 year old searching for truth….and then learned “the rest of the story”.

  25. N.
    May 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Mormons often say to me, “That’s not official doctrine” as though there was some place to look up the official teachings. Where is the official systematic theology of Mormonism?

    Does she not have Internet access? or access to all the church manuals, magazines, and Encyclopedia of Mormonism?
    Sometimes I really have little patience for or little charity for the Tanners.

  26. May 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Geoff J — indeed, shocked ;)

  27. John M.
    May 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Has anyone else noticed that many of the gospel definitions in the Sunday School manuals, the Bible Dictionary, and on the Church’s website are almost quoted verbatim from Mormon Doctrine? That is kind of eerie.

  28. jmb275
    May 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Whoa, hold on just a sec here:
    Re 25

    Does she not have Internet access? or access to all the church manuals, magazines, and Encyclopedia of Mormonism?
    Sometimes I really have little patience for or little charity for the Tanners.

    Is the Encyclopedia of Mormonism an official canonized statement of theology? No. Are church manuals, magazines, etc. canonized? No. She is exactly right, there is no official systematic theology in Mormonism. None, zero, zilch, nada! If you have it, show it to me or direct me to it! The closest I’ve seen is the work by Widstoe/Talmage in the early 1900′s. But their work is not canonized either. The only reliable mechanism in Mormonism that I am aware of for obtaining systematic theology is by common consent. And there are very few doctrines accepted in our church by common consent.

    In short we have a whole boat load of statements from lots of different leaders. That in NO WAY implies a systematic theology. In fact, I would say the LDS church goes out of its way to avoid having a systematic theology, largely, IMHO, to allow for continuing revelation.

    Nevertheless, there is certainly a cultural systematic theology that is comprised a whole bunch of assumed rules and doctrines (most definitely a danger).

    Anyway, dang, hawkgrrrl, I haven’t seen you this enthused for quite a while! I get the impression you’re not a huge fan of MD ;-) !!

  29. Ray
    May 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I don’t want a comprehensive, systematic theology. I want to be able to have my own heterodox perspectives and still know I’m firmly within the scope of “Mormonism”.

  30. Thomas Jones
    May 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    “When the Lord’s servants speak or write under the influence of the Holy Ghost, their words become scripture (see D&C 68:4). Page 45 Gospel Principles”

    23. Hawk your on very shakey ground!!!

    Elder McConkie is one of the lords annointed an Apostle of God? Are you sure you want to go on record and slam a dead apostle? Your confident enough that a book that is still cross referenced and refered to in our manuals is heretical? Do you feel that a book that has been used for decades in the church was written not under the influence of the Holy Ghost?

  31. Mike S
    May 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    #30:

    Just because someone is an apostle doesn’t mean they can speak their own opinion. BY was a prophet and talked about the inhabitants of the sun and moon. I disagree with that. Does this mean I am “going on record and slamming a dead prophet”? Do you also disagree and slam BY, or do you look forward to your proselyting mission to the moon someday?

  32. May 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    RE: # 30

    Not everything cross referenced is/was heretical but enough was in error to cause him to be reprimanded by Pres. McKay and ordered not to publish a second edition. Elder McConkie was one of the Lord’s annointed but as noted above in many areas his work was not done under the influence of the Holy Ghost as evidenced by a readers committee of 3 apostles and Pres. McKay. Nobody is speaking ill of the Lord’s annointed but what I’m saying is that he took it upon himself to define for the church the theology of the restored gospel and he did it without permission other than I suppose his father in law’s, Joseph Fielding Smith. And he continued to publish it inspite of his promise to the prophet. That he did those things is enough for me to consider his work other than inspired by the Holy Ghost. It is not all heretical but assuming it’s all true because he was a GA is neither wise nor safe to quote Martin Luther.

  33. Thomas
    May 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Thomas Jones, please allow the Original Thomas to stand on the shaky ground next to Hawkgrrl.

    Mormon Doctrine was an instance of a man taking the Lord’s name in vain — asserting divine sanction for private interpretations. As a Latter-day Saint, it’s my duty to honor and sustain Elder McConkie in the discharge of his calling. In writing Mormon Doctrine,, Elder McConkie was acting ultra vires — beyond the scope of his authority — and is therefore open to the scrutiny appropriate for any other writer of speculative theology.

  34. Rigel Hawthorne
    May 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Wow TJ, is it really that all or nothing for you? I still love Elder M for his testimony, his service, and his literary accomplishments, but reading the text of the 1958 version is shocking. It’s also a bit humerus to see the rant about artificial insemination using donor sperm because of confusing genealogy. Brigham Young, as the prophet, gave callings to select married men to take married women (while they were concurrently sealed to husbands) as temporary wives “for time” so that posterity could be given to couples where the man was infertile. (See “More Wives than One.”) And this DID create confusing genealogy. Do you also consider every bit of Brigham Young’s writings in Journal of Discourses to fit the D&C 68:4 bar? I don’t. I loved President Kimball, and love much of his writings, but don’t care for “Miracle of Forgiveness”. I know, I know….I’m on very shakey ground.

  35. May 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Actually, Deseret Book does now and will continue to sell Mormon Doctrine as part of its electronic library, GospeLink — a fact that guarantees for the foreseeable future the accuracy of the following assessment:

    “The book Mormon Doctrine, written by Bruce R. McConkie, is one of the time-honored classics of Mormon literature. Few [LDS] books can match it in endurance or number of copies sold. Perhaps few books, except the scriptures, can match it in the frequency with which it has been quoted in talks and lessons by those seeking to teach gospel principles.” (Joseph Fielding McConkie, The Bruce R. McConkie Story: Reflections of a Son, Deseret Book, 2003, p.182.)

    Bruce R. McConkie’s influence is greatly underestimated, I think, by some who ignore his reputation among those with whom he served as an Apostle. According to Ezra Taft Benson, the First Presidency and Twelve frequently turned to Elder McConkie on matters of doctrine. (Ensign, June 1985, p.16.) Surely, the author of 1000 errors in one book would not have commanded that level of respect. Indeed, nobody found 1000 errors in Mormon Doctrine (click here).

  36. May 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Thomas Jones – we’re standing on shaky ground right next to the President of the Church (David O. McKay) and the members of the Q12 who found these errors and said these things to BRM directly when he published a book that implied church sanction and didn’t have it.

    However, I agree with what JMB said in #20. I believe BRM was sincere. Just grossly overstepping. It’s not personal; I don’t walk out in protest when the hymn is “I Believe in Christ.” But as a Mormon, I care more about the impacts to my living fellow Mormons (and investigators) than I do for a book, and I have to assume any apostle would agree that the worth of souls is greater than an outdated error-laden book, even his own. BRM is the one who made the clearest public disavowal of the folklore that was an erroneous justification of the priesthood ban, even though he had been one of the most vocal defenders of the ban and purveyors of the folklore.

  37. May 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    R. Gary – Thanks for weighing in. I have a document comparing the 1958 version with the 1966 version that shows over 300 pages of the book that had changes; I haven’t counted each individual change that was noted. Some of those changes were diction, which would be “double-dinging” for the same error – changing the word “apostate” to “false” certainly increases the count dramatically. And you are correct that BRM was highly influential. I disagree with your assertion that he could not be influential and have 1067 errors in the book, especially if 500 of the “errors” were changing “apostate” to “false” (not much of a change IMO). Even if he only had 100 errors, though, it was presumptuous to publish under that title without sanction.

  38. Martin
    May 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I think you’d want to have unanimity in the 1st presidency and apostles before you could call something doctrine, and when it comes to issues of the day, that doesn’t seem to happen very often. The apostles have had some pretty good dust-ups. That’s part of why Pres. Kimball’s revelation was so remarkable — it was apparently very unifying amongst those brethren. In a way, I like the fact that they’re not always in agreement — it says to me that there’s a lot of wiggle room for my personal development without feeling like I’m “out-of-line”.

    I have no problem with the apostles have strong opinions and voicing them. I do think some of them have inappropriately presented their personal beliefs as doctrine and even gone so far as to exercise unrighteous dominion. This bothers me, but I still accept them as apostles in spite of these things.

  39. Thomas
    May 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    “It’s not personal; I don’t walk out in protest when the hymn is “I Believe in Christ.””

    I do, however, tend to refrain from singing the part “I believe in Christ, my Lord, my God/My feet he plants on gospel sod.”

    Sod? Sod??!!?

    That rhyme is an abomination — almost as bad as the Canadian and New Zealand accents you need to affect to make the third verse of “Truth Reflects Upon Our Senses” rhyme. (Note to Mrs. Eliza Snow: “Dim” and “beam” don’t rhyme any better than “mote” and “out.”)

  40. May 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    It isn’t dead. Its just gone underground. As for all the wrong “doctrine” it teaches, I have yet to read any actual meaningful criticisms of the doctrines. Most are vague nit-picking about LDS Church political positions or practices that are not really official. Very few instances was he actually wrong (as in few Mormons actually believed those things). I love Mormon doctrine as it taught me how to read and study the Scriptures. On the other hand, I do believe it can and should be outgrown by those who use it as a learning tool.

  41. SUNNofaB.C.Rich
    May 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    on an interesting side note you could possibly fetch up to 525.00 for a 1st edition of this book on Ebay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/MORMON-DOCTRINE-BRUCE-R-McCONKIE-SIGNED-FIRST-/330431018934?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item4cef3937b6

  42. May 21, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Re #40. McConkie was a plain speaker, not a corporate apparatchik. I respect him for that a lot. He had integrity. His say-it-like-it-is approach didn’t fit well with the increasingly slick, corporate culture that allowed the Church to hedge its bets and offend nobody. Press releases from LDS Newsroom these days are as bloodless and carefully worded as those of a political party or big oil company.

    Mormon Doctrine is a pretty good summary of Mormon doctrine, as it turns out. That’s its problem. Of course the Church wants to bury it. Anyone who’s ever worked for a big organization knows this impulse. No big organization I’ve ever worked for wanted to be pinned down on specifics and held to them, even if they’re true.

    I agree with the idea that traditional Mormon doctrine is going underground. Elder McConkie’s book will be influential for a long time to come. Buy your copy now. The price on E-Bay won’t be dropping anytime soon (not until the copyright expires and the entire first edition is published on the Web).

  43. May 21, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Agree with hawkgrrrl and jmb275:

    1. Mormon Doctrine has done some real damage. (Although I must secretly confess to having enjoyed reading various passages in it from time to time.)

    2. Have nothing against BRM personally. That man put in more effort than just about anyone I can think of to help the LDS people understand “doctrines”. However, he had a hard time distinguishing his opinions from truth and definitely over-reacted.

  44. May 21, 2010 at 5:07 am

    MoHoHawaii — the problem is that LDS doctrine has had themes and schools rather than overarching unity once you get away from core principles. Take evolution. On the one side, the new earthers. On the other, Talmadge and others who favored evolution. On the other, people like Nibley who felt classical evolution wasn’t the whole story, but that it was disrespectful to not acknowledge others in the scope of their creation (such as preadamic man).

    McConkie’s weakness was that in his presentations he was an extremely anti-nuance advocate. On the other hand, his essays on gospel hobbyist types are great fun.

  45. May 21, 2010 at 5:19 am

    18, 25 & 26 crack me up. The reason Sandra made the news is because the other side made themselves unavailable. What kind of cheerleaders poke fun at the opposition even when their own team can’t be bothered to show up? The annoying kind.

  46. jmb275
    May 21, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Re MoMo

    Mormon Doctrine is a pretty good summary of Mormon doctrine, as it turns out. That’s its problem. Of course the Church wants to bury it. Anyone who’s ever worked for a big organization knows this impulse. No big organization I’ve ever worked for wanted to be pinned down on specifics and held to them, even if they’re true.

    I think this is interesting. I think from a technical standpoint it’s rather easy to argue that there is very little actual Mormon doctrine (i.e. that has been accepted by common consent). Indeed, I have argued that before. But I agree that MD is a pretty good summary of Mormon doctrine in our culture particularly if doctrine is interpreted to mean what people believe. But herein is the problem. Because there’s no official creed/doctrine it’s hard to pinpoint what is technically doctrine. On the other hand, everyone sort of knows (in a wishy-washy way) what we believe. As Ray has pointed out, this allows us to “have our cake and eat it to” but there is most certainly a cost.

    As to whether or not this is just an organizational tendency being played out, or spurred from revelation, I don’t know. I suspect the former.

  47. Mike S
    May 21, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I agree with jmb275. What is our actual “doctrine”? Is it limited to what is in the canonized standard works? And whose interpretation of the standard works? I think there is a problem of wanting to “have our cake and eat it too”, which leaves people confused. Why are Hinckley’s thoughts on earrings and tattoos raised to near “doctrinal” status by many in the Church, yet Brigham Young’s thoughts on interracial marriage, Adam-God, missionaries on the moon, etc. relegated to a mere man’s opinion and NOT considered “doctrine”? If we accept “doctrine” as being what is in canonized scripture, we don’t really have that much, and very little has been added for decades or longer.

    I think this is the fundamental problem with Mormon Doctrine. McConkie held himself up as the torchbearer for the LDS Church. He presented his opinions as doctrine, even as far as including it in the title. Because nature abhors a vacuum and the Church has always been reluctant to actually present it’s policies officially (even going as far as the clampdown on the CHI), many people unfortunately accepted McConkie’s opinions as “doctrine”. Luckily, things have changed over the past few decades.

  48. Mai Li
    May 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Damn, $500.00 on E-Bay and I gave mine to the D.I. several years ago.

  49. Dblock
    May 21, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I want to say ahead of time that what I am about to say is not meant to be offensive so please don’t take it as such. This is another area that I have a hard time with reconciling. After twenty years in the church I still don’t know what is Doctrine Verses what is church folk lore and this is the reason why. The book is another example for the following reasons. One reads it and then takes it to practice because that is what your suppose to do but then no its’ not really what the church wants you to do. What I want to know is what is doctrine? Nobody has ever really said or explained any of it to me that really makes sense. I have a friend who told me that the only real doctrine is or rather are the 12 articles of faith and that there is a broad scope of how we can use and apply the gospel in our lives. That makes sense to me, except when you run into TBM and then they want to beat you over the head with what the gospel is to them and if you don’t believe your not really living the standards.

  50. Aaron
    May 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Because nature abhors a vacuum and the Church has always been reluctant to actually present it’s policies officially (even going as far as the clampdown on the CHI), many people unfortunately accepted McConkie’s opinions as “doctrine”.

    This is an important point. Some people insist Mormonism doesn’t have an official systematic theology, and the Church avoids giving a clear official theology, but in the end this creates a vacuum to be filled. People naturally gravitate toward clarity and systematic theology, wherever they can find it.

    Mormon Doctrine was successful because the Mormon Church had not met the needs of its people. If people can’t find clarity and satisfying meat from the insitution or correlation, they are going to inevitably be drawn toward it elsewhere.

  51. May 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Aaron — make that some people. It has always been a problem in a lot of contexts (e.g. “it is not meet that I command you in all things” …).

  52. May 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Dblock – that’s a big question, probably the biggest one for any religion. I have heard it answered multiple ways, although I’ve never heard it was just the 12 Articles of Faith (plus, there are 13, not 12). Here are some varieties I’ve heard:
    1 – dictionary definition just says that “doctrines” are “the teachings.” Those change with time and are reinterpreted, corrected or made more relevant.
    2 – only whatever is published with the official “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” on it, including: the LDS standard works (OT, NT, BOM, POGP, D&C), Jesus the Christ, Articles of Faith, Marvelous Work & a Wonder, Truth Restored and one other I can’t remember (anyone remember? Was it Miracle of Forgiveness – I hope not!). Of course, even those have had minor changes – for example, the title page of the BOM that BRM wrote was revised recently.
    3 – The standard works PLUS anything said by the Q15 in GC or the Ensign (and if they contradict or change what was said earlier, most recent trumps oldest).

    I’m not so keen to have it nailed down. Isn’t one of the tenets of our religion that we are leery of tenets? In the POGP account of the FV, GtF says: “their creeds are an abomination.” So, God says the existing creeds are bad, and immediately we start casting about for new creeds. I think it’s not so much an indictment of those particular creeds – I think all creeds are prone to the same issues. Well meaning people have a hard time distinguishing between what is eternal and inspired and what is their own opinion or what they consider “common sense.” Cultural and personal biases leak through.

  53. May 21, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Christ was asked a similar question. He answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind . . . [and] thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself . . .” this is the main doctrine. It seems to me that everything else is meant to guide us as to how to do that. And, as a guide, it can change depending on our position.

    Matthew 22:37-40

  54. CS Eric
    May 21, 2010 at 11:51 am

    This was brought up in the discussion on another blog, but many of BRM’s supporters clothe Mormon Doctrine in the mantle of his apostolic authority. He wasn’t an apostle when he wrote it, which was part of the reason Pres McKay was displeased that he published it–it is the job of the First Presidency and the Twelve to establish what the Doctrine is, not another generic GA who happened to have good family connections. I am also bothered that he broke his promise to Pres McKay not to republish.

    I would be more comfortable with the book if, when he made the revisions after the 1978 Revelation, he had updated the rest of the book too. As mentioned above, there had already been made several structural changes to the Church’s organization, like the stand up of the different Quorums of Seventy, that could easily have been updated too. Sure, he made the changes he *had* to do, but not others that he could easily have done. If you are going to assume that much responsibility, you also have the responsibility to keep it current.

  55. Trevor
    May 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I suspect the church intended their recent publication, “True to the Faith” to be a replacement for it. And since most people seem to use the Internet in favor of books, it seems appropriate that the content is integrated into lds.org under “Gospel Topics.”

  56. May 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    People naturally gravitate toward clarity and systematic theology, wherever they can find it.

    I think this is an interesting paradox. I think part of why the LDS church is successful is BECAUSE we offer certainty. Certainty in families, certainty in eschatology, certainty in the purpose of life, etc. Indeed, research shows that stricter churches have more retention and converting power. Paradoxically, in reality, as we’ve pointed out, there is very little in the way of real certainty.

    Perhaps Mormonism really does have a good balance between these. The fact that I’m still a member, even a TR holding member, speaks volumes about what sorts of doctrines we can believe in. And yet, for many, Mormonism is an iron rod!

  57. May 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Reading through these comments makes me realize that Mormon Doctrine will never die as part of Mormon Doctrine. so many of the facts pulled from the first edition have worked their way into simple Mormon “fact”, i.e. Catholism beliefs, playing cards, etc.

    Hopefully getting away from it may change. I don’t know.

    Interesting post though.

  58. Matt
    May 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Two years ago the church issued a press release attempting to clarify what constituted church doctrine:

    http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/approaching-mormon-doctrine

    At the time I assumed this was in response to various questions that were raised as a consequence of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the public awareness of various LDS issues that raised.

    As I re-read the statement before posting this, I was struck by how little clarification is actually in that statement as to what constitutes official doctrine of the LDS church. Here are a couple of exerpts:

    “Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.”

    So we know that the church considers the standard works to be doctrine (I won’t get sidetracked here on a discussion of the multiple changes to the Book of Mormon text, but I do think it’s interesting the church still hasn’t changed D&C 132:61-63, which expressly authorize polygamy), and we know that the church does not consider every statement by a church authority to be doctrine. But we don’t have much clarification as to which statements of church leaders may or may not constitute doctrine.

    Here’s another exerpt:

    “Individual members are encouraged to independently strive to receive their own spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of Church doctrine. Moreover, the Church exhorts all people to approach the gospel not only intellectually but with the intellect and the spirit, a process in which reason and faith work together.”

  59. Thomas
    May 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    “Moreover, the Church exhorts all people to approach the gospel not only intellectually but with the intellect and the spirit, a process in which reason and faith work together.”

    Sounds like someone’s been reading Fides et ratio. Good.

  60. Curt
    May 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    On the basis of McConkie’s MD explanation of what the Celestial Kingdom would be like, I decided long ago that I was not celestial material. Have a read about it under the heading “OBEDIENCE.” This is shear speculative nonsense. Where he got it from is beyond me. He just takes Christs admonition to be “One” with Him to an extreme. If the celestial goal is to get rid of uniqueness and individuality, then why did it exist in the first place. I like being me, and I like you being you.

    If you think about it, McConkie’s notion of sameness smacks of totalitarianism, everybody marching to the beat of the same drum, regurgitating the same Nazi or Trotsky-ite nonsense. Now that is positively evil, no? Yeah, I’m sure I’ll engender some disagreement.

  61. May 23, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I think much of it is that the truth is larger than we can encompass in many areas, so that we can see parts, but not the whole.

    So we have a great deal of certainty in some areas families, certainty in eschatology, certainty in the purpose of life but not in others.

    Some have trouble encompassing that.

  62. CarlosJC
    May 23, 2010 at 6:45 am

    “(“It follows that those who practice birth control–….or contraceptives to prevent conception are running counter to the foreordained plan of the almighty. They are in rebellion against God and are guilty of gross wickedness””

    Goodness, I’m going to BRM hell!

    …..

    I also agree that he just overstepped the limits of his calling. He promoted a book as a quasi-official church work when it wasn’t. Neither are Jesus the Christ, Articles of Faith, Marvelous Work & a Wonder, Truth Restored or Miracle of Forgiveness.
    They will also have a use by date I believe. However the scriptures,POF and other first presidency statement probably wont.

  63. Kevin
    May 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    So, a prophet writes a book, and other prophets come along and disagree with it, and eventually the book becomes unpopular and is discontinued. It begs the question: what’s so special about prophets? If a prophet’s opinions and ideas fall out of trend eventually, what’s the use?

  64. May 24, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    my parents were both converts in the 60′s and that book still sits on their book shelf. i used it for every 2 1/2 minute talk i ever gave in my youth. i never read it in its entirety, but i feel sad they wont be printing any more.

  65. carlosjc
    May 25, 2010 at 6:27 am

    kevin 63

    apostles wrote (most) of those books, not ‘the prophet’

    plus there is a clearly defined process for new ‘prophet’ writings that we heed to as doctrine, as happened with the proclamation on the family,

    your comment (with all due respects) proves why there was a problem with brm’s book -people thought that it was a ‘prophet’ writing it since he later was called to the twelve (he first wrote it as a seventy)

  66. Doug
    May 26, 2010 at 2:34 am

    If Bruce R had just used a different title…

    Then there never would have been any hullaballo…using “Mormon Doctrine” as its title gave it the appearance of endorsement by the LDS Church even though McConkie himself explicitly stated that it was his work and he alone was responsible for its content.

    Even though I didn’t agree with everything in MD I still found it useful. the “Conk” also answered a few letter of mine from back when I was a new member and used some refreshing candor. I later got to meet him at the MTC (how many Apostles can do that nowadays?) and thanked him for his attention.

    Yes, it’d be nice for the Church to publish an exhaustive compendium, BUT…we all have access to the same Holy Ghost and each of us has a unique personality and intellect. Besides, hasn’t there been enough complaining of the “one size fits all” approach? Kwicherbellachin and get back to yer studies!

    P.S. Come to the “Dark Side”..we have cookies!

  67. Jeff Spector
    May 26, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Doug G,

    “If Bruce R had just used a different title”

    In the beginning that was the beauty of it, but in some circles, it became a liability or even a joke.

    I think they stopped printing it because everyone in the Church must have at least two copies. I have three including a first edition. I used them a lot years ago, but not so much anymore.

    It was useful in its time, but the Church has new leaders that need to sell books and be quoted in talks and lessons. It will return some day as a golden oldie like the Widsoe and Roberts books have recently.

  68. Cowboy
    May 26, 2010 at 9:59 am

    There really is no official way of determining what actually IS doctrine, regarding the majority of issues. Statements made by Prophets on isolated occassions (as though Adam-God for example, was an isolated thing) are not doctrine, but current Church publications are along with the scriptures. Many of those publications however cherry pick isolated comments made by Church leaders on isolated occassions. Interestingly enough, Mormon Doctrine is a commonly referenced source for many of those publications as well, though aparently that is beginning to change. So how current must a publication be in order to get a stamp of authority. It should be noted that Bruce R. McConkie wasn’t so much of an individual as he was a parrot to Joseph Fielding Smith, another Church leader whose “doctrinal” opinions have fallen out of favor. A lot of what influenced Mormon Doctrine were the routine published comments from President Smith in the Improvement Era, a former Church publication which confuses the question of what is doctrinal.

    The primary selling point of the Mormon proposition is the notion of Prophets which speak to God and provide clarity in a world of confusion. Former matters of Christian debate, such as the mode and manner of baptism, could now be settled with certainty because God was speaking and his Prophets could be trusted. They were to be a light to guide in a world of darkness, leading us to the Iron Rod. Certainty was the claim. Yet, now when the masses cling to that expectation, Church leaders take advantage to criticize them for being naive in their indocrtinated expectation. I am quite confused with comments on this post that find satisfaction in the personal lattitude afforded by this emerging ambiguity. Because they can still consider themselves Mormon without having to ascribe to those things they find unpalatable. Isn’t that like saying I wan’t to be part of the Church without actually having to believe in it? Do we want Prophets anymore, or have all such things ceased with Christ and the New Testament? Perhaps it is time for the Church to once again clarify the role and scope of Prophetic authority both past and present.

  69. May 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

    “The Conk” – love it!

    Doug: “Yes, it’d be nice for the Church to publish an exhaustive compendium, BUT…we all have access to the same Holy Ghost and each of us has a unique personality and intellect.” I agree with this sentiment. Even BRM who set about squelching dissent talked about the idea that every member of this church was entitled to personal revelation, to “entertain angels” (something like that – I’m too lazy to look it up right now). If you’re in the business of stoking the divinity in humans, ya can’t spoon feed ‘em everything!

  70. May 26, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I have it on good authority that Mormon Doctrine was in its 52 printing. That means that any argument that some might be thinking about the church wanting it go away or to hide it seems contradictory to their action with regards to the text. Additionally, I have spoken with Bret Eborn of Eborn Books who offered to buy the copyright to Mormon Doctrine to continue to print the text and before price was even discussed Deseret Book said no. Lease idea was not agreeable to them either. Consequently all of Eborn Books used copies have since increased in price and sold out as a result of this being discontinued. I think DB was perfectly in order to discontinue it. There are plenty of copies in the world today if someone wants to get their hands it on. Time to move on and read something that can help us be a better people.

  71. Holden Caulfield
    May 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

    “A lot of what influenced Mormon Doctrine were the routine published comments from President Smith in the Improvement Era, a former Church publication which confuses the question of what is doctrinal.”

    Without regard to the caveats the church puts out, I feel that if an article, book or pamphlet has been published by the church it better be church doctrine or the church needs to get in to another line of business. If the church doesn’t know what it’s doctrine is, don’t try to teach us anything about doctrine.

  72. Jeff Spector
    May 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Cowboy,

    “Because they can still consider themselves Mormon without having to ascribe to those things they find unpalatable.”

    I think that is a small minority of Church members. Most active members are OK with what they understand as Church Doctrine. They don’t partition themselves in that way.

  73. Cowboy
    May 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Jeff:

    What is the doctrine on Polygamy? What is the doctrine on progression from Kingdoms? What is the doctrine on caffeinated drinks? What is the doctrine on evolution? What is the doctrine on race, according to Elder Holland we now (surprisingly) know what it is not, but what is it in the affirmative? What is the doctrine on revelation, and establishing Church doctrine?

    I agree that the Church membership has a general sense of culture, but anytime some of these more nuanced facets of interest are asserted on the basis of historical record (quotes from GA’s), the recurring quip is that “well, that was just this persons opinion, but it is not doctrine”, as though there is a compendium to appeal to.

  74. Cowboy
    May 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    “Yes, it’d be nice for the Church to publish an exhaustive compendium, BUT…we all have access to the same Holy Ghost and each of us has a unique personality and intellect.” I agree with this sentiment. Even BRM who set about squelching dissent talked about the idea that every member of this church was entitled to personal revelation, to “entertain angels”

    In spite of our unique personalities, I don’t believe that eternal immutable truth could vary so much from person to person when it is supposed to have been obtained through the same Holy Ghost. I would argue that this very post, the notion that Bruce R. McConkie and his fellow GA’s could not even agree on Doctrine, is a testament as to how inconsistent revelation is – presuming that it even exists in the first place. How can we expect to a have consistent understanding of doctrine if the Church leaders, blessed with the Key’s of revelation (the Rock upon which the Church is said to be built), clearly do not.

  75. Trevor
    May 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    This appears to be the church’s official “compendium” of what is doctrine:
    http://www.lds.org/languages/youthmaterials/trueToThefaith/TrueFaith_000.pdf

  76. Curt Conklin
    May 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    It is human nature, esp. “Mormon” human nature, to want the Final Word. I suspect that if the Church were publish a compendium of official doctrines with all the issues people are capable of coming up with, it would exceed in number all the many laws and edicts the Jews were required to attend. What would be the point of such a document? I think that want and need for such a document speaks volumes about our collective insecurity.

  77. May 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I think all would do well to read this book by Dennis Horne, the author of the Bruce R. McConkie biography. He also wrote a book called Determining Doctrine. You can check it out at this link http://www.amazon.com/Determining-Doctrine-Reference-Evaluating-Doctrinal/dp/189071822X or google it. It might answer some of the questions that are circulated about more than one statement about how to determining doctrine… hence the title.

  78. Jeff Spector
    May 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Cowboy,

    I try my best to answer your questions from my own understanding of Church Doctrine”

    “What is the doctrine on Polygamy?” A true principle currently not practiced by the Church except where a man marries a new wife after the old one dies and the new wife is not sealed to anyone else.

    “What is the doctrine on progression from Kingdoms?” Don’t know

    “What is the doctrine on caffeinated drinks?” Only Coffee and tea are prohibited

    What is the doctrine on evolution? The Church has no position on the scientific theory of evolution, but teaches the creation story as written in the scriptures.

    “What is the doctrine on race, according to Elder Holland we now (surprisingly) know what it is not, but what is it in the affirmative?” None that I am aware of.

    What is the doctrine on revelation, and establishing Church doctrine? The President and Prophet of the Church is the only man authorized on earth to declare revelation and doctrine for the whole Church. Any canonization must be approved by the First Presdiency, the Council of the Twelve and by the Common Consent of the membership.

  79. Cowboy
    May 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

    “What is the doctrine on Polygamy?” A true principle currently not practiced by the Church except where a man marries a new wife after the old one dies and the new wife is not sealed to anyone else.

    The most recent edict on family and marriage makes no mention of polygamy. The rare recent statements from Church leaders (President Hinckley) are very ambiguous, and current Church manuals have manipulated former polygamy teachings so as to appear as though the Church leader was advocating monogamy. I agree that your position is a reasonable tack to take on the matter, given what we have to work with, but I’m frankly and politely not interested in your opinion. I’m interested in the Church doctrine regarding the matter, which is at the very least muttled.

    “What is the doctrine on caffeinated drinks?” Only Coffee and tea are prohibited

    Correct as per the Doctrine & Covenants. When President Hinckley was asked about caffien drinks, he just responded “isn’t the wonderful”. Again, just more ambiguity – though I would say ambiguity that leans towards favoring the McConkie position. Many members are divided still on this issue, which strikes at your point that most members understand what doctrine is.

    “What is the doctrine on progression from Kingdoms?” Don’t know

    Joseph Smith made some remarks on an occassion something to the effect that if righteous parents, who are sealed in the temple, remain faithful, they will not lose their wayward children. I believe he said something about those children ultimately returning to their parents. While this quote does not entirely explain itself, it has been the subject of debate regarding progression between Kingdoms, for quite some time. Elder McConkie stated as matter of fact (Seven Deadly Heresies) that idea of progression between Kingdoms is completely false.

    What is the doctrine on evolution? The Church has no position on the scientific theory of evolution, but teaches the creation story as written in the scriptures.

    Generally true, though again we have more than one Prophetic utterance dismissing this apostate notion of man.

    “What is the doctrine on race, according to Elder Holland we now (surprisingly) know what it is not, but what is it in the affirmative?” None that I am aware of.

    Again, a subject with a wealth of commentary from Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. Not to mention The Book of Mormon. Forget blacks and the Priesthood, what about the Lamanites? President Kimball made some rather embarrassing remarks on this subject I believe.

    What is the doctrine on revelation, and establishing Church doctrine? The President and Prophet of the Church is the only man authorized on earth to declare revelation and doctrine for the whole Church. Any canonization must be approved by the First Presdiency, the Council of the Twelve and by the Common Consent of the membership.

    I am familiar with the D&C teaches, and generally have no problem with that, except the Church generally doesn’t do this. The Living Christ and the Proclomation to the World would be the only recent examples that I am aware of. But more to the point, we have all of these other issues that we have just discussed which have no official answers, yet are deeply entrenched within our history. Shouldn’t we have some asnwers here that the Church can be held accountable for? Instead we get occassional nuanced expressions from Church leaders on isolated occassions that can be conveniently dissavowed if social tides change.

  80. Cowboy
    May 27, 2010 at 9:17 am

    “I suspect that if the Church were publish a compendium of official doctrines with all the issues people are capable of coming up with, it would exceed in number all the many laws and edicts the Jews were required to attend.”

    No one is asking for code book, just a clarification of doctrine. If polygamy is a true principle for example as Jeff says, why not get an official statement on that fact from today’s leaders? Do you not believe that the Church should have a concise doctrine, given our claim that the heavens are opened?

  81. Jeff Spector
    May 27, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Cowboy,

    Not sure what you are looking for here. I state what I believe to be doctrine and your comeback is that this person or that person said this or that. We are taking about recognized true Doctrine of the Church. Not opinion, advice or other ambiguous statements.

    1. Polygamy is still practiced in the Church in the manner I described, so while we do not practice it among the living and in fact, have banned it outright, it remains a true principle just like the law of consecration, which we also do not live but make a covenant to live it.

    2. Decaffeinated drinks – Still coffee and tea no matter what anyone else has said.

    “When President Hinckley was asked about caffeine drinks, he just responded “isn’t the wonderful”. Again, just more ambiguity – though I would say ambiguity that leans towards favoring the McConkie position. Many members are divided still on this issue, which strikes at your point that most members understand what doctrine is.

    I believe President Hinckley said, ” I don’t drink them and I don’t encourage anyone else to drink them.” Not a doctrinal statement.

    3. Progression between Kingdoms – I’ve just not studied it that much so I am uninformed to give a reasonable answer. I hope Joseph is right. Tere is more about that phase of our existence that we don’t know than we know.

    4. Evolution – Other prophetic utterances? Not sure about that. Other GAs opinions such as JF Smith, McConkie, yes, definitely. But nothing canonized by the church in that regard other than the creation story.

    5. Race – “a subject with a wealth of commentary from Prophets, Seers, and Revelators” Commentary, yes, embarrassing in light of today, yes. Doctrinal, NO.

    6. Revelation and establishing Doctrine – “The Living Christ and the Proclamation to the World would be the only recent examples that I am aware of.” no new doctrine given in either document as far as I can tell. Certainly not as far reaching as say “The Father and The Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve” given in Joseph F Smith’s time. But none of those are canonized as specific new doctrine of the Church. Because they contain existing Doctrine.

    “Shouldn’t we have some answers here that the Church can be held accountable for?” Like What? Blacks and the Priesthood? I am not following you there.

  82. Holden Caulfield
    May 27, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Pres Hinckley–”I condemn it (polygamy), yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal.”

    Good to have living prophets to clarify what dusty books may contain in error.

  83. Jeff Spector
    May 27, 2010 at 11:34 am

    #82, If you use the full quote, it makes more sense what he is saying:

    “I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we will abide by the law. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law.”

    It’s not doctrinal because it is not legal and because the Church stopped the practice. That is the key. We obey the law of the land and were willing to give up the practice to do so.

    President Hinckley knew as well as anyone about the situation with Polygamy.

    If that the best you can do?

  84. Holden Caulfield
    May 27, 2010 at 11:42 am

    “It’s not doctrinal because it is not legal”

    The church continued polygamy after it was illegal. Was it doctrinal then?

  85. Jeff Spector
    May 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

    “The church continued polygamy after it was illegal. Was it doctrinal then?”

    I know this has no conclusion but, When Joseph F Smith finally put a stop to it officially in 1905, it was no longer a doctrine practiced by the Church.

    What do you want me to say?

  86. Holden Caulfield
    May 27, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    #85–”What do you want me to say?” Say what you feel.

    I was simply airing Pres Hinckley’s disingenuous statement that polygamy was not doctrinal. Doctrines can be believed and yet not practiced, i.e. polygamy. He didn’t say that. He said it wasn’t doctrinal. Section 132? I believe that if the men and women who sacrificed to live a doctrine they did not want to (and many went to jail for) heard it said that polygamy was not doctrinal, they would roll over in their graves. Pres Hinckley, being the masterful PR man that he was simply wanted to distance himself from this politically incorrect marriage arrangement, truth be damned.

    Much like he did in his 1997 interview in the following exchange occurred:

    “Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?

    A: I wouldn’t say that. There was a little couplet coined, “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.” Now that’s more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don’t know very much about.”

    ****I wouldn’t say that***** Wouldn’t say what? There aren’t significant differences in the beliefs? or that Mormons don’t believe that God was once a man? Denying either is laughable.

    It just seems wrong for the leader (not just a leader) of a church to deny what the church believes, no matter what the setting.

  87. Rigel Hawthorne
    May 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I interpreted President Hinckley’s remarks on polygamy not being doctrinal in that entering a polygamous sealing is not required to enter the CK. (Thank goodness). Polygamous may exist in the CK, it may have been a commandment for early members of the church, they lived the law as if it would always be the practice for the church on the earth, they may have believed that living it was key for their pathway to the CK, but the doctrine that every man in the dispensation of the fullness of times must have a polygamous sealing to inherit the CK doesn’t exist.

  88. May 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    “Polygamy is still practiced in the Church in the manner I described, so while we do not practice it among the living and in fact, have banned it outright, it remains a true principle just like the law of consecration, which we also do not live but make a covenant to live it.” Hold the phone, there, Sally! I didn’t make any covenant to live it!

  89. Jeff Spector
    May 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    “Hold the phone, there, Sally! I didn’t make any covenant to live it!”

    Picky, picky….

  90. Cowboy
    May 27, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    1. Polygamy is still practiced in the Church in the manner I described, so while we do not practice it among the living and in fact, have banned it outright, it remains a true principle just like the law of consecration, which we also do not live but make a covenant to live it.

    Jeff, only you would be so bold as to say it this way, as I am certain current Church leaders would not be so willing to state this publicly – with supporting polygamy doctrine. Case and point, they haven’t done it, but what they have done is carefully weed out polygamy from the discourse including the contemporary records.

    “I believe President Hinckley said, ” I don’t drink them and I don’t encourage anyone else to drink them.” Not a doctrinal statement.”

    Mike Wallace: No alcohol, no tobacco, no coffee, no tea, not even caffeinated soft drinks…

    Gordon B. Hinckley: Right.

    Mike Wallace: …eat meat sparingly, exercise…

    Gordon B. Hinckley: Right.

    Mike Wallace: …get plenty of sleep.

    Gordon B. Hinckley: Right. It’s wonderful!

    The “60 Minutes” program on the LDS Church
    Broadcast on CBS TV, April 7, 1996

    4. Evolution – Other prophetic utterances? Not sure about that. Other GAs opinions such as JF Smith, McConkie, yes, definitely. But nothing canonized by the church in that regard other than the creation story.

    I should note that based on your suggestion that Prophets only declare doctrine under strict circumstances, that Prophets tend to say quite a bit more than what God has authorized them to. What again is the role of Prophets, since the last time something was canonized was 1978, and before that it was section 138? Also, according to you, a good deal of what they express as opinion does more harm than good. This presents a rather faulty link between man and God.

    5. Race – “a subject with a wealth of commentary from Prophets, Seers, and Revelators” Commentary, yes, embarrassing in light of today, yes. Doctrinal, NO.

    How can you be sure? Afterall as I read the 1978 revelation (we can agree that this canon, correct?), what I get is not a dissavowal of former policy, but rather a fullfilling of Prophecy that eventually persons of all races would be eligible for the Priesthood. In other words, the ban was in fact part of the program, and the 1978 was also just a part of the same program. Implicit in the statement: “Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood” is the idea that God had intended the ban. Now, putting this into context, what we don’t have is an explanation as to “why” the ban was needed in the first place, at least a reason that suits your definition of doctrine. What we have is generational dichotomy, one where Brigham Young and others stated by virtue of scripture and theology a number of “opinions” that today we would rather not remember. On the other side we have Elder Holland, on the basis of reason (not scripture and not theological clarification), that these brethren were wrong. However, if we must consider the possibility that Brigham Young was just stating opinion based on the absence of Canon, we must also accept the possibility that Elder Hollands comments are just as suspect. I think this even more poignant given that Elder Hollands comments are more likely to have been influenced by a desire to maintain positive public relations. So all we have here is opinion, neither yes or no.

    “Shouldn’t we have some answers here that the Church can be held accountable for?” Like What? Blacks and the Priesthood? I am not following you there.

    For starters, yes.

  91. Jeff Spector
    May 28, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Cowboy,

    “with supporting polygamy doctrine. Case and point, they haven’t done it”

    But, the practice of marrying men to new wives for time and all eternity is still practiced, so what does that tell you?

    Priesthood ban on Blacks being Doctrinal. Please prove it is was a doctrine of the church, certainly a policy and practice, but there is no doctrine to back it up. That is why the problem existed in the first place.

  92. Dave P.
    May 28, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Jeff,

    That’s a point that a lot of people haven’t come to terms with yet: church policy is NOT gospel doctrine. This is simply because the church is NOT the gospel and thus has created numerous policies that I believe were not received by revelation that end up turning people away from the gospel. Turning the Word of Wisdom into the Law of Moses or the BYU Honor Code, anyone?

  93. Hemi
    May 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Count me with Hawk, standing firmly on “shaky ground”. I have compassion for McConkie, I find him impressive in many regards. But many of his writings were, how shall we say, great and abominable. I feel the same way about the Correlation Department’s continued (if more invisible now) perpetuation of these ideas. But this news story gave me hope. Perhaps the church is moving away from the JFS/McConkie fundamentalism that has dominated church classrooms for decades. I worry though, that the discontinued printing, along with the removal of BRM references from correlated material will actually make his ideas more “official”. It’s like BRM continues to ghost write the manuals, but new generations wont recognize his distincive voice in the lessons. So maybe this is a step towards official endorsement of his views. I worry that this is the removal of an escape hatch for those who don’t embrace neo-orthodoxy. I believe there is much more utility in an approach that acknowledges the wide range of interpretation that has always been a part of Mormonism. In this “age of the internet”, I really hope that we are heading that way.

  94. Ray
    May 28, 2010 at 8:54 am

    #86 – Holden, when you look at the entire interview and parse what President Hinckley was asked and said, there is no lie in his response. He didn’t give a doctrinal treatise, but he couldn’t have in that forum. He ducked much of the potential conversation – absolutely. His answer was political rather than doctrinal – absolutely. However, the answer he actually gave was 100% accurate.

    If you are going to levy that type of charge, link to the actual interview, so everyone can see the exact question and full answer he gave. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  95. Cowboy
    May 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

    “Priesthood ban on Blacks being Doctrinal. Please prove it is was a doctrine of the church, certainly a policy and practice, but there is no doctrine to back it up. That is why the problem existed in the first place.”

    Perhaps this is just semantics, but the “policy” has never been disavowed as God’s will. Again I would appeal to the Official Declaration:

    “Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we 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.

    He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.”

    This declaration does not refer to a correction of policy, or any other consideration that leaves room for anyone to believe that the official position of the Church was that the policy was a mistake. This Official Declaration satisfies all of your conditions, as per the Doctrine & Covenants, to qualify as doctrine. What the document does say is that “…the long-promised day has come…”. Implicit in that injunction is a continued certification of the ban. In other words, the ban is only discontinued as a progression of a divinely intended course. The beginning paragraph quoted here makes that point very clear, that this was all part of Gods Eternal Plan, and that this part of the plan had in fact been revealed to the preceeding Prophets.

    Again, taking your position on what constitutes doctrine vs. opinion, anything said beyond this authorized statement, should just be conjecture. If you wish to take a postiion, that is certainly acceptable, but the doctrine is stated above.

    “But, the practice of marrying men to new wives for time and all eternity is still practiced, so what does that tell you?”

    It tells me that once a persons living spouse dies, they may marry again – like a lot of other people do. I don’t have a hard time accepting that polygamy was once a doctrine of the Church with remaining artifacts. But the obvious attempts at distancing themselves from the practice in it’s conventional form – including it’s extrication from all discourse, sends a conflicting message. The doctrine and covenants still maintains section 132, which would frankly be your better argument, even so in general it is a mixed message at best. I would expect out of a desire to accurately represent the truth about what constitutes a Celestial Marriage, the Brethren would wish to clarify the doctrine in spite of the policy, as they are now doubt aware of the general confusion.

  96. Jeff Spector
    May 28, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Cowboy,

    Well, we are having a semantics argument based on where we come down on these issues. And while I think that semantics is important, we can use them just as easily either way.

    “…the long-promised day has come…”. Clearly, the Church leaders had been predicting that the time would come for the ban to end, most had no idea when. The fact that a revelation was received to discontinue the policy does not mean that the policy rises to the level of doctrine. You can’t back into it that way. There is still no proof the ban was ever doctrine.

    And, perhaps you miss the subtle difference of an “official declaration” versus a canonized section of the D&C. The official declaration does not address doctrine at all, but policy and practice.

  97. Cowboy
    May 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Yeah Jeff,

    I’m satisfied to table this disagreement. Church leaders hadn’t been predicting, according to this (apparent) non-canonized declaration, but had been maintaining that this was all part of God’s eternal plan. They either believe and maintain by revelation that God established this policy according to plan, or it is just as I suspected and they don’t really have a clue about what God’s plan is. Doctrine that blows with the wind doesn’t really mean much in and of itself, and say’s about the same for those teach it.

  98. Holden Caulfield
    May 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    #94-”I don’t think it means what you think it means”

    Certainly a possibility. Seems pretty simple to me, though. I used the second example to show it was not the first time he’s done it. I’m certainly not the only one to have called him out on that “not doctrinal” statement.

  99. June 3, 2010 at 11:21 am

    1. Polygamy is still practiced in the Church in the manner I described, so while we do not practice it among the living and in fact, have banned it outright, it remains a true principle just like the law of consecration, which we also do not live but make a covenant to live it.

    Jeff, only you would be so bold as to say it this way, as I am certain current Church leaders would not be so willing to state this publicly – with supporting polygamy doctrine. Case and point, they haven’t done it, but what they have done is carefully weed out polygamy from the discourse including the contemporary records.

    “I believe President Hinckley said, ” I don’t drink them and I don’t encourage anyone else to drink them.” Not a doctrinal statement.”

    Mike Wallace: No alcohol, no tobacco, no coffee, no tea, not even caffeinated soft drinks…

    Gordon B. Hinckley: Right.

    Mike Wallace: …eat meat sparingly, exercise…

    Gordon B. Hinckley: Right.

    Mike Wallace: …get plenty of sleep.

    Gordon B. Hinckley: Right. It’s wonderful!

    The “60 Minutes” program on the LDS Church
    Broadcast on CBS TV, April 7, 1996

    4. Evolution – Other prophetic utterances? Not sure about that. Other GAs opinions such as JF Smith, McConkie, yes, definitely. But nothing canonized by the church in that regard other than the creation story.

    I should note that based on your suggestion that Prophets only declare doctrine under strict circumstances, that Prophets tend to say quite a bit more than what God has authorized them to. What again is the role of Prophets, since the last time something was canonized was 1978, and before that it was section 138? Also, according to you, a good deal of what they express as opinion does more harm than good. This presents a rather faulty link between man and God.

    5. Race – “a subject with a wealth of commentary from Prophets, Seers, and Revelators” Commentary, yes, embarrassing in light of today, yes. Doctrinal, NO.

    How can you be sure? Afterall as I read the 1978 revelation (we can agree that this canon, correct?), what I get is not a dissavowal of former policy, but rather a fullfilling of Prophecy that eventually persons of all races would be eligible for the Priesthood. In other words, the ban was in fact part of the program, and the 1978 was also just a part of the same program. Implicit in the statement: “Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood” is the idea that God had intended the ban. Now, putting this into context, what we don’t have is an explanation as to “why” the ban was needed in the first place, at least a reason that suits your definition of doctrine. What we have is generational dichotomy, one where Brigham Young and others stated by virtue of scripture and theology a number of “opinions” that today we would rather not remember. On the other side we have Elder Holland, on the basis of reason (not scripture and not theological clarification), that these brethren were wrong. However, if we must consider the possibility that Brigham Young was just stating opinion based on the absence of Canon, we must also accept the possibility that Elder Hollands comments are just as suspect. I think this even more poignant given that Elder Hollands comments are more likely to have been influenced by a desire to maintain positive public relations. So all we have here is opinion, neither yes or no.

    “Shouldn’t we have some answers here that the Church can be held accountable for?” Like What? Blacks and the Priesthood? I am not following you there.

    For starters, yes.

  100. Robertg
    March 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    If people do some research, they will find that the 1st Edition of Mormon Doctrine was not in line with Church teachings and President David O McKay denounced the book and ordered that it never be printed again without significant changes. The second edition with significant changes made was printed around 1966.

    People also went fruity over Joseph Fieldings Book, Man His Origin and His Destiny which was printed while he was President of the 12 Apostles in the 60s. Everybody instantly assumed it was church doctrine/revelation etc. President McKay said in a First Presidency letter that President Fieldings book represented his private opinion and not the opinion of the church.

    Point being that just because a church leader writes a book and extols a position ONLY means it is his/her private opinion, and not doctrine in the church.

    • Aminadi
      April 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Agreed! We cannot trust what the church leaders present. They seem to make mistakes more often than they get it right.

      And since the doctrines of the church invariably come through the words of a man who has claimed to have received them from some divine being or personal inspiration, even the doctrines of the church are untrustworthy.

  101. guest
    June 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Strange, you would think that high ranking members of the LDS church would have a solid understanding of the religions doctrines.  The president of the 12 apostles was writing books that not doctrinal by church standards?  This raises a lot of questions to be sure….

    • JTC
      November 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Actually Paul and Peter wrote and taught things that were against each other. That is why we read in the New Testament that they confronted each other about their practices and doctrines so that they presented a united Gospel (Galatians 2).

  102. Robertg
    June 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Key thing to understand is that the book, represents the “opinions” of the author and do not necessairly represent those of the church.    
      Just like if a Catholic Cardinal wrote a book, it represents his opinion, and not that of the Catholic Church.
    All of us have “opinions” and may express them in the form of books and articles, but they may or may  not be that of the Church.
      In terms of “books” as I recall besides the Scriptures, the only “books” that have the First Presidency stamp of approval is Talmages “Articles of Faith” and the text only (not the foot notes) of Jesus the Christ.    The various  Church manuals are First Presidency approved through quite a lengthy process that book authors don’t have to go through.    There are a few other works as well.
      Following the Prophet, signed declarations by the First Presidency, and or Council of the 12 as a Qrm are more authortative then somebodys book.  An example of these would be the Declaration on the Family in the 90s, and Jesus Christ that happened around the same time.  As I recall those were signed off by the First Presidency and the Council of the 12. 

    • Ronnie Sartors
      October 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      So McConkie was speading what amounts to as “false” doctrine….something that can in no way to trusted?….Wow, and it only took LDS “officials” 53 years to get rid of this….maybe it was their “opinion” that it is wrong….

      • Hemicudaclassic
        October 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

        many of you are harsch of your criticism… This was a man who spend his entire life devoted to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and doing charity work.  This was an honest attempt by a human being to share a lifetimes worth of knowledge.  The gospel is the important part and he knew it as well as anybody.  I digress for now.

        • Aminadi
          April 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm

          Please list some of his major charity work. I wasn’t aware of that. We pack food at a Meals on Wheels, make deliveries to the elderly, and a lot more. What did Apostle McConkie do in the way of charity? Anyone? Please be specific.

          • guysmiley
            October 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

            When he was young, he changed professions so he would not have to deal so directly with the slovenly riff-raff of the earth. This is not the attitude of a compassionate and charitable church leader!

        • guysmiley
          October 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

          You have demonstrated that you are thoroughly brainwashed.

      • Allen Hilton
        June 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm

        Hi, When an author is moved upon and inspired by the Holy Ghost and is a steward of a particular group, he can receive revelation for that group. As a prophet receives revelation for the church and announces that is indeed a message from The Lord it I’d doctrine. As a bishop is inspired by the Holy Ghost he can receive revelation for his ward. But the bishops doctrine will not over ride or be contradictory to the Prophets.

        • guysmiley
          October 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

          I have met many a bishop that promoted ideas contridictory to official church doctrine. Open your eyes and see things as they really are!

    • guysmiley
      October 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      This presents a shifting system of confusion because the Doctrine and Covenants says ‘whether it be by my voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same’. So which servants’ opinion are we to regard as scripture and what do we disregard? The entire scope of LDS doctrine is a contradictory mess that the leaders are constantly trying to re-align. I have always wondered why the church leaders produce so many books to explain the meaning of scripture that is reportedly from God – which should already be clear and understandable.

  103. Yetseh
    July 10, 2011 at 1:02 am

    YOU CANNOT LIE TO THE PEOPLE ALL DAY, THE TRUTH WI,, BE OUT

  104. July 15, 2011 at 12:21 am

    I used to be a Morman and this was a must have book.  It explains every doctrine to be clearly understood by all. I think it is amazing now that we have Morman running for President that it will no longer be in print by the LDS Chruch.  Looks pretty sneaking and that you are trying to hide some very strange beliefes.  Not only from the world but your own members.

    • Anonymous
      September 12, 2011 at 3:05 am

      I hardly believe that you’re mormon or ever were mormon at any point in your life. I have a hard time believing that there are any mormons or former mormons that doesn’t know the correct spelling of MORMON. After all, The Book of Mormon is a huge part of their doctrine and religion….morman??? C’mon. Nice try!

      • Ronnie Sartors
        October 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

        maybe she did not check spelling prior to posting….heck I make typos all the time…but maybe only you’re “perfect”

        • Alma the Modern
          October 31, 2011 at 10:29 pm

          how about some of that defensiveness for what you cannot dispute of the good of the church… if you’re a just, fair person….?

      • Ohheckigiveup
        June 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm

        I think she may have been making a comment about men’s and women’s roles in the church.  More Man…

    • Utah person
      September 1, 2012 at 12:12 am

      The church has been discouraging the use of Mormon Doctrine for over 15 years now. The church also updated all the manuals in the past few years…the church has nothing to hide, it is the Church of Jesus Christ.

      • Aminadi
        September 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

        Obviously, the Church hides its secrets so well that you don’t know about them. Financial benefits of being ex officio directors over Church owned companies; Second Anointing; Dallin Oaks’ polygamy; Apostle Lee’s charges of racism and discrimination; altering doctrinal statements in the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price; Joseph Smith’s contradictory claims about his “first vision;” his false claims about the Kinderhook plates; Brigham Young’s direct role (before _and_ _after_) in the Mountain Meadows Massacre; the Prophet himself, Gordon B. Hinckley, publicly disavowing; Prophet Hinckley’s uncertainty and ineptitude, which have been portrayed as “a listless list of accomplishments”; one of the facsimiles of the Book of Abraham shows the Egyptian God Min with an erect (thingee); Joseph Smith’s “Book of Alphabet and Grammar” vis-a-vis genuine Egyptian vocabulary and grammar; and on and on and on

  105. Billjoycemckee
    October 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    There is a misunderstanding about the revelations from God and a prophet. A prophet is a man that was chosen by God to relay his message to the people. He is a man who has his own understandings and opinions except when receiving that knowledge from God. A prophet is not infallible as a man. Bruce R. McConkie was NEVER a prophet and Never claimed that all his opinions were approved by the Church Presidency or that he  received revelation from God as pertaining to his writings. I gained many insights from reading Mormon Doctrine but never believed it was official doctrine. We are to receive knowledge from the Holy Ghost as to what is truth and what is not whether we are hearing it or reading it. Read the scriptures. That is where truth is.

    • Aminadi
      April 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      “Bruce R. McConkie was NEVER a prophet”!?

      You don’t know much about mormonism, do you?

      Apostles ARE prophets. See “Follow the Prophet” at http://mormon.org/commandments; “The Mormon Church vs. the New Testament Church” at http://packham.n4m.org/restored.htm; and “The Sustaining of Church Officers” at http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/the-sustaining-of-church-officers – “It is proposed that we sustain the counselors in the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.” Do you refuse to sustain the Apostles as prophets?”

      “Never claimed that all his opinions were approved by the Church Presidency or that he received revelation from God as pertaining to his writings.”

      Are you lying, or just ignorant? ( I do NOT mean this disrespectfully!) Either way, you give the church an undeserved bad name when you do that.

      • Simplyme
        June 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm

        I read the book and think that McConkie was very assertive explaining the doctrine. I think he was a prophet as all the apostles are. I think he explained the doctrine in a way that was extremely direct and this has created lots of controversy of members and no member no liking the teachings. This seems to be creating more problems that good. In other words the people of this world in not prepare to digest this yet. Therefore we going back to very basic until we can be more unlighted and obedient. Since the objective of the Gospel is to bring people to Christ anything that does the opposite needs to be adjusted to people understanding.

        • Aminadi
          May 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

          I actually admire your comment. I do not believe as you do, but your response is more objectively composed and knowledgeable than is more often the case. :)

  106. Rosematt76
    October 4, 2011 at 4:02 am

    The decision to quit publishing any book by any organization does not change what is truth. Truth comes by revelation therefore knowledge of its truth will come by personal revelation.  If you don’t want to believe in the church you have every right.  But if you think you can use logic to persuade a believer to go against the feeling he or she has personally received you are wrong.  I have a testimony that I received and have grown about the truth of the Book of Mormon.  It has had changes made in its publications.  The messages it contains are from God, but it was brought forth through man. Small changes have not shaken the revelation I continue to receive, or the witnesses I receive when ever I study its pages.

    • Ronnie sartors
      October 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Well, I have a testimony that I received the BOM is false and that it is and has always been false and goes against the truth of God…

      • Alma the Modern
        October 31, 2011 at 10:34 pm

        I have now developed a testimony that what you say is false and goes against the truth of the BofM & God… but we can change that :) there is hope:) http://www.lds.org

        • Aminadi
          April 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

          I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that Alma the Modern is mistaken.

    • Aminadi
      April 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      “The decision to quit publishing any book by any organization does not change what is truth.”
      But when an organization changes what it offers as truth, it does change that organization’s credibility.

      “But if you think you can use logic to persuade a believer to go against the feeling he or she has personally received you are wrong.”
      Now you’re confusing me! What the heck does logic have to do with Truth!!?

  107. Utah Mom
    October 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Great book on LDS doctrine!  Have a copy and intend to keep it and use it as a reference point.  Elder McConkie was extremely knowledgeable and a great spiritual leader.  Every product has a life cycle, and likely this book was no exception, esp. with the economy the way it is.   I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t reprinted down the road, when there is a new generation who never had it and want a copy!  Utah Mom and LDS Wholesaler/Scripture Creations

  108. Utah Mom
    October 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

    P.S.  Correction:  “Almost every product has a life cycle.”  There are exceptions obviously, i.e. improved products  and products that are inspired.  “Mormon Doctrine” is a mixture of both and Elder McConkie’s opinon/summation.  I just watched the news clip, Connect2Utah.  From the broadcast, it doesn’t appear that “Mormon Doctrine” had met it’s life cycle, so Deseret Book probably had other reasons.  My best guess was that Elder McConkie mixed in tidbits of his opinion from his own pool of knowledge and experience with the “Doctrine.”  I believe the majority of the book exudes “LDS” doctrine, even if it is editorialized by the author.  Please see:  “Card Playing” 1966 edition.  The vast majority of the text is a direct quote from a prophet–Pres. Joseph F. Smith, with a summary paragraph from Elder McConkie.   Part of the last paragraph was slightly paraphrased from the prophet as well–i.e., the last sentence particularly “Innocent non-gambling games played with other types of cards, except for the waste of time in many instances, are not objectionable.”  How do I know this?  I have read Joseph F. Smith’s words on this subject–we make several LDS card games.  From over 13 years in the business and working with the church on occasion regarding copyright issues, I know the church objects to quoting tidbits from the prophets words, because “all” of what the prophet said is important.  Misquoting the prophets words and taking the words out of context for the particular audience for whom they were intended is also a concern–perhaps this may have something to do with the withdrawal of “Mormon Doctrine.”  As for me–I’m holding on to my copy; because it’s a wonderful resource, particularly if you use the quoted doctrine and scripture references on a particular subject matter and let the Spirit guide you on the opinion part.  Utah Mom and LDS Wholesaler/Scripture Creations

  109. October 31, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    The following quote is taken from McKonkie’s classic: “Those who were less valiant in pre-existence
    and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions impose on them during
    mortality are known to us as the negroes. Such spirits are sent to
    earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion
    against God, and his murder of Able being a black skin. . . .
    Noah’s son married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain, thus preserving the
    negro lineage through the flood. . . . the negroes are not equal with other
    races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concern. . .
    . ” (Mormon Doctrine, 527-28).
    I’m interested in how the LDS responds to this statement of “doctrine.” I am aware that Blacks (Negroes) are now admitted as LDS since 1978, and that some report that the curse has been lifted. But, can anyone explain this doctrine?

    • Kenneth A. Becker
      November 21, 2011 at 3:40 am

      Walter,

      I don’t usually respond to things like this, but feel the sincerity of your question.  I will tell you of my thoughts about this issue of black or white, Jew or Gentile, man or woman.  As a fellow searcher for truth, I hope you understand what I am going to share with you and don’t take offence.

      I would like you to turn to the Psalms (of David) 90:16. 

      Here he writes something to consider- “Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.”  In my view and feeling, I see this as a support to the fact that I will not know all things from all times.  If I follow history as well as my mind will allow, I will see fruits from the men of the earth.  Some good and some bad.  I must rely on the Lord’s chosen servants for guidance and leadership as my understanding is not whole or omnicient in all parts or times of this world. 

      From this reference, I would like to introduce you to The Pearl of Great Price.  The reference is Moses 1:39, which states, “For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the imortality and eternal life of man.”  (I know I am paraphrasing a little from this reference, but my opinion is coming)  God, our Father in Heaven knows all of his children on earth, and wants us all to be happy.  He does not want us to be alone, nor does he want us to be in pain.  He has a plan for the ‘salvation’ (eternal happiness) of all of his children.   Jesus Christ is central to this plan. 

      I have come to understand and accept that while Isaiah was receiving these visions, prophesying, and seeing into the future, the Lord Jehova promised (covenanted) the means for the Tribes of Israel (sons or extensions of his family) to be found from its lost state.  Cain and his lineage come through the lost tribes of Isreal. 

      I would like to share something else that comes from the latter-day prophets-that of the gathering of Israel.  I hold near and dear something called, “The Articles of Faith”.  In there, the 10th article of my faith is “We belive in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personnnally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” 

      Anyways, I have come to understand this idea of all men, women, and children are saved from thier lost and fallen state because of a covenant made long ago with Abraham.  

      You can read about it also in The Pearl of Great Price.  Have you heard of it?  If you look for Abraham 2:8-11, it reads:  “8 My aname is Jehovah, and I bknow the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
       9 And I will make of thee a great anation, and I will bbless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and cPriesthood unto all nations;
       10 And I will abless them through thy name; for as many as receive this bGospel shall be called after thy cname, and shall be accounted thy dseed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their efather;
       11 And I will abless them that bless thee, and bcurse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy cseed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this dright shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.”  I have learned that through the priesthood, or in the priesthood all of us will enjoy the blessings of salvation through Christ our Lord.  The sweetest of the fruits is that we are allowed to choose it!

      I don’t mean to be long-winded.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is a personal thing for me.  I know it is for you, too.  I hope this made sense to you and that it helped.
      Regards,

      Ken Becker

      • Rodd
        November 22, 2011 at 10:13 pm

        I’m not sure that the point you were trying to get accross was very clear.  I would like to add the story of when Peter was told to go and preach to the gentiles and he didn’t want to because they were “unclean”.  The Lord goes on to tell Peter to not call unclean the things that the Lord has cleaned, (that’s obviously not  a direct quotation), but after that the gospel was preached to the gentiles too and not just the chosen people of God.  But that makes it seem like God has changed to some, but the reality is, God sets the parameters.  At first he said that the gospel should only be preached to the Jews, and after Christ was resurrected he said, Go and preach to every nation, kindred tongue and people.  It’s the same with the priesthood, God said blacks don’t get the priesthood right now, (But he didn’t say right now)  and in 1978 God told the prophet, Blacks can now receive the priesthood.  What I’m trying to get at is that we can nitpick everything that we don’t believe in life and point out the mistakes of men, or pass judgement where we shouldn’t be.  But the rule I try to follow is that if God says it’s so…it’s so, if God says stop then I try to stop. 

      • Anonymous
        January 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

        Ken  “Cain and his lineage come through the ten lost tribes”, explain please, the negro races descended from Cain and also from Ham, Jacob or Israel came generations later. Jeff 

    • guysmiley
      October 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      I will explain it to you. The truth is that the LDS church will change its doctrine and its temple ceremonies as needed to remain popular and not too contrary to society! ‘Follow the prophet’ assures that you obey without question regardless of how many changes they make to their gospel.

      • Rob Regit
        April 16, 2014 at 7:07 am

        Do you even comprehend the irony and hypocrisy in your statement?

  110. Michaelswapp
    November 8, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Its amazing to me that a book that contains so many incredible insights by one of the greatest scriptorial minds ever,can be denouced as a whole because of a few of his “opinions”.Elder McKonkie never claimed it to be scripture ,he stated it to be used as a reference only.

    • Aminadi
      April 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      hahaha A reference “only”. What is a reference? Hahaha No, not scripture, just an authoritative reference to explain scripture in clearer more authoritative terms.

  111. Michaelswapp
    November 8, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Its amazing to me that a book that contains so many incredible insights by one of the greatest scriptorial minds ever,can be denouced as a whole because of a few of his “opinions”.Elder McKonkie never claimed it to be scripture ,he stated it to be used as a reference only.

  112. No longer part of the cult
    November 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    The 1978 edition was reviewed by and OK’d by Spencer W Kimball–the prophet.
    So any backtracking after that, would clearly show how the “Church” doctrine changes with the winds.

  113. Happy to be out
    December 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    The LDS Church is trying to change a lot of things like it has in it’s Temple Ceremonies to stay in tact and stop scarring so many away.  Unfortunately via internet and  people more people are informed to it’s real history and hidden beliefs.

  114. Lbpulsipher
    January 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    The official doctrine is on the church website like it has been for YEARS.  Anyone can write a book and call it what ever they want. It’s freedom of speech.  If you read the BOM you would read it testifies of Christ and motivates people to be good to one another.  Nothing bad can be found by those that read IT and not internet fluff.  You can request a free BOM from their website LDS.org. 

    • Aminadi
      September 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

      I read it. I found something bad.

  115. Mkdees
    May 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Mormon Doctrine may be out of print – but there are used copies of it available on Amazon or any other used book sellers web site. The new bible dictionary made most of what was available in Mormon Doctrine un-necessary, since it contains most of the content from the book, plus much more. Bruce R. McConkie worked for many years creating the new editions of the standard works, his writing can be seen in the dictionary as well as the chapter and verse headings. It’s not so hard to believe the book printing was stopped due to slow sales. It isn’t as if they suddenly “bought up all the old copies, or even removed the already printed copies from the shelves” the printing of  the book was simply stopped. You could continue to buy copies of that final printing from Deseret book - until th copiees were sold out. Much of Elder McConkie’s life was spent spreading his vast knowledge and understanding of “Mormon Doctrine”, he was blessed as a true scriptorian, and his legacy in the form of the new edition of the LDS scriptures will far out-live me. I believe Mormon Doctrine was no longer being purchased because people had the  information already as a part of the Authourized Scriptures. Also, the church now has information available official web sites making the search for cross-references information on gospel principles simply a Google search away.

    • Aminadi
      April 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      “The new bible dictionary made most of what was available in Mormon Doctrine un-necessary, since it contains most of the content from the book”
      Would you document this, please.

      “he was blessed as a true scriptorian”
      Me, too. I mean, you should see my penmanship sometimes. It’s beautiful. And I never, but never, write lies. I am an even truer scriptorian than he was.

      “his legacy in the form of the new edition of the LDS scriptures will far out-live me.”
      Are you still alive? It is 2013 now, and a new edition of the LDS scriptures has come out. His “legacy” is somewhat diminished, and your ability to prophecy discredited.

      “I believe Mormon Doctrine was no longer being purchased because people had the information already as a part of the Authourized Scriptures. Also, the church now has information available official web sites making the search for cross-references information on gospel principles simply a Google search away.”

      Then they would be safe to discontinue publishing altogether.
      The reason MD was not being purchased was because the men above McConkie withdrew their approval.

  116. Almadeyounger
    June 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I wish you all can understand that what the church did was right cuz some doctrines needs to be prayed about and understood by the power of the Holy Ghost…..John 3:11 is what I recoomend for all of you! The Leaders know the reason why some things needs to be so……if you out there wants to know whats all about mormons……just contact the missionaries and you will know…..

    • Aminadi
      April 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Are the missionaries God? Is that why we can rely on them even though they are not Leaders, so would NOT know the reason why some things need to be so?

  117. Powersmike07
    July 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Iwould wonder that a man who spent his whole life in full service to the church could now be so wrong. I had this book in 1967 and it was great as far as mormon teaching was concerned. But they now want to appear christian so they dispose of it. Kinda like saying they dont practice polygamy but do it in the temples by sealing every day. I left this church years ago. The bible says we are to be honest, and since they dont believe it, what are we to expect? They hate christianity and everthing it stands for. You might as well start to re-publish it and at least be truthful with yourselves- christians know what you believe anyway.      

  118. Utah Person
    September 1, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Answering your question about “The official systematic theology of Mormonism” is what has been revealed by God the Father. We don’t add our philosophies to the doctrine of the Church. If God has not revealed it, we don’t use it in our books or speeches…The Church is really focusing on presenting to the wrold the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ . Although our life experiences and opnions can certainly help the kingdom of God on this earth, when these opinions are expressed or writen by a general authority of the Church , if they are not based on revealed doctrine, these opinions need to be presented in a away that the readers or listeners understand that the comment provided is a personal believe. The Church is true. We are all humans trying to please God. Our liders dedicate their entire lives to God with the same hope for eternal life that we all have…

    • Aminadi
      April 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      “If God has not revealed it, we don’t use it in our books or speeches..”

      Wha-a-at! You can’t possibly believe that.

      Maybe God revealing something, has a different meaning for you than I’m thinking of. How do you know whether something is a revelation or an opinion? Was the Follett discourse opinion or revelation? Have you listened to church speeches? There is much in them that has not been revealed by God.

  119. S. Preston Chase
    September 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I prophecied that the church would give the priesthood to black men (and never women) in 1974, four years before Spencer got his prophecy. One question, how can anyone believe in the current prophet when even Joseph Smith held this belief?

    • S. Preston Chase
      September 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Correcting myself: Joseph Smith did allow blacks to hold the priesthood, Brigham Young put out the official ban. McConkie said, “There are statements in our literature by the early brethren which we have interpreted to mean that the Negroes would not receive the priesthood in mortality. I have said the same things, and people write me letters and say, “You said such and such, and how is it now that we do such and such?” And all I can say to that is that it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation.” In other words, it appears to me that McConkie is saying that people should believe in the living prophet right or wrong, “repent and get in line.” Repent of any original thought that is contrary to the living prophet. And when the prophet or another prophet changes it up, there’s your new thought. It saves all that work of original thinking. Joseph Smith actually encouraged a direct connection for everyone with God. Though perhaps not official, I think the church rather frowns on this practice currently, certainly if any personal revelation conflicts with the church. But it’s all in the scriptures, and the scriptures declare that the kingdom of God is within, not without.
      [edit]

    • guysmiley
      October 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Exactly! If God does not change, why has his gospel been changed by the LDS church MANY times? LDS doctrine is a mosaic of some good principles mixed up with tons of borrowed concepts and the opinions of men!

      • Rob Regit
        April 16, 2014 at 7:11 am

        In your opinion, right?

    • Ardeare
      March 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      I was surprise that the church stated blacks were not inferior in heaven, that the church was born in racist times, and gays have no choice about being gay, but they do have a choice to be abstinent or not.

  120. Allen Hilton
    June 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Hi, When an author is moved upon and inspired by the Holy Ghost and is a steward of a particular group, he can receive revelation for that group. As a prophet receives revelation for the church and announces that is indeed a message from The Lord, it is doctrine. as a bishop is inspired by the Holy Ghost he can receive revelation for his ward. But the bishops doctrine will usually not ever over ride or be contradictory to the prophets. We all have the right to receive revelation for interpretations of doctrine to teach our family or classes we have stewardship over.
    The church has not published an ‘LDS Doctrine’ manual to offset what McConkie felt inspired to write. His stewardship was all church members under his service and calling. Once a Prophet uses a publication for a reference for the entire church membership one can consider the gesture a indication that he feels that publication is worthy of being ‘doctrine’ and inspired and to be used by the entire church. Joseph Fielding Smith did just that.
    That being said can a new prophet claim the Book of Mormon’ is incorrect? It has been supported as scripture since its publication and used as such. How then can a prophet discount another publication supported as doctrine by another prophet? Wherein lies false doctrine or false inspiration.? I will always consider ‘Mormon Doctrine’ inspired by The Lord.

    • Simplyme
      June 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      I agree with you. I read it and feel it is inspired. I just wrote above why I think is no longer in use. I just feel we are going back to basic because we are not being enlighten because of disobedience. Each prophet is called to do what is best for the generation he serves. I think each of us can get a testimony of what is true by personal revelation but this does not come free.

      • Aminadi
        September 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

        Why are Mormons so disobedient, then? Why would the highest truth and best religion attract people who are the most disobedient? Muslims practice obedience a lot. While there are many disobedient Catholics, the number of obedient ones is probably greater than the number of all Mormons put together. What is it about Mormons that makes them so disobedient, and in such hugh numbers that it is necessary to keep “going back to basics”?

    • Aminadi
      September 17, 2013 at 10:28 am

      “Once a Prophet uses a publication for a reference for the entire church membership one can consider the gesture a indication that he feels that publication is worthy of being ‘doctrine’ and inspired and to be used by the entire church. Joseph Fielding Smith did just that. . . . How then can a prophet discount another publication supported as doctrine by another prophet? Wherein lies false doctrine or false inspiration.? I will always consider ‘Mormon Doctrine’ inspired by The Lord.” Do you believe Joseph F. Smith’s 1919 “Gospel Doctrine” and Joseph Fielding Smith’s three volume “Doctrines of Salvation” are as equally inspired by the Lord and as correct as “Mormon Doctrine”?

      • Rob Regit
        April 16, 2014 at 6:51 am

        You have persistently done your best to discredit others’ beliefs and convictions. I’m curious though, what do you believe to be true? Anything?

        • Aminadi
          May 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

          “Persistently”!? “done your best”? “discredit”? “do you believe . . . Anything?” !?

          (1) If you think my few brief comments here demonstrate “persistence,” you need to do a lot more reading and studying, my friend, to learn what real persistence is.

          (2) I have not done my best. I have tried to do well, but I lack the time to really do my best on an internet chit-chat “forum” of almost any ilk. Not that there are no roses among the thorns, for there are.

          (3) I do not know whether I “discredit” others’ beliefs and convictions. Please be specific. I have attempted, however imperfectly accomplished, to address actual circumstances and statements.

          (4) I won’t say I believe nothing to be true, because that would be the
          same as I believe “Nothing is true” is true, which is absurd. So, yes,
          there is some anything that I believe to be true. :)

          If I tell you what I believe, then what? I think you probably intend to ask something specific, like what do I believe about God or religion, or the Bible, or what denomination I follow?? Or did you really mean to ask whether I believed “anything” at all!?

          In the context of this site and discussion, “The Death of McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine,” which is what we should focus our thoughts on, I believe the following:

          (a) McConkie was greatly revered during his apostleship.

          (b) “Mormon Doctrine” was revered almost on a par with Scripture itself (as the Journal of Discourses once were, and still are among many Mormons), and still is among some Mormons.

          (c) Living authorities of the Mormon Church have “persistently” (!) “done their best” (!) to increasingly “discredit” (!) “belief in” (!), or even respectful, doctrine-searching “curiosity” (!) into McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine”.

          (d) My personal beliefs regarding God, cosmology, religion, science, and “anything” else are perfectly independent of reliance on any book written by any Mormon prophet or apostle.

  121. BRH
    October 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I remember always being told, even as a child, to be careful when reading that book. Despite the name, the book never was Mormon Doctrine.

  122. Ardeare
    March 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Agree or not, McConkie was a brilliant mind.

    • Aminadi
      May 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Whenever I read assertions of this nature, I always ponder in what way the person in question demonstrated whatever quality one has imbued in him – brilliance, knowledge, logic, wisdom, love, honesty, diligence, devotion, purity, ignorance, hate, dishonesty, dissonance, laziness, hypocrisy, immorality, or whatever.

      And I am tempted to ask for concrete evidence supporting the presence of that quality in that person. So I ask, respectfully, what demonstrates to you, that McConkie was a brilliant mind?

  123. Dan
    August 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Mormon Doctrine is straight forward and explicitly reveals the strange and weird beliefs of the LDS (Latter Day Saints) church. It is clear proof that the God of the Bible is NOT behind the message of Mormonism because its message is so different from the Bible. Here are the main points http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/ldsbeliefs.htm

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