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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 12:30PM

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D&C 121:37 
…but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
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They used to quote this scripture to us when I was a missionary, emphasizing the “cover our sins” part (while pretty much ignoring the pride, ambition, control and dominion parts, since those are what drive the politics of Mormon priesthood). The intent was to guilt us into confessing, but it raised a question: If an elder had hidden sins that invalidated his priesthood and authority, what was the fate of those he might have baptized and confirmed while the heavens were withdrawn and the Spirit of the Lord was aggrieved? One visiting GA said, well, the converts were sincere, so the ordinances would still be valid. Then a smart elder asked, “So does that mean you don’t really need the priesthood?” That flustered the GA, who then changed the subject. Later, another visiting GA responded to the same question. “It would really mess things up, so just be sure you don’t have any hidden sins.”

I thought of this situation while watching a video about a mess in the Catholic Church. Baptism is just as essential in Catholicism. You aren’t a Catholic unless you’re baptized. Well, a few decades ago, to make the families feel more involved and responsible for the spiritual well being of the infant, and to sort of extend the welcoming embrace of the whole church, some priests started changing the baptismal script from, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” to “WE baptize you… etc.”

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, and a Vatican committee in charge of such things issued a directive to stop saying “We” and that baptisms performed using “We” were invalid. That opened a huge can of worms. Not only were there a bunch of run-of-the-mill Catholics with now-invalid baptisms, there were priests with invalid baptisms. You can’t be a Catholic priest if you’re not a Catholic, and you’re not a Catholic if they said the wrong magic words when you were baptized. And if you aren’t a valid priest, then all the baptisms, confirmations, marriages, confessions, last rights and such you had performed prior to the directive are also invalid. Hoo-boy.

We know how fussy Mormonism is about the exact right words in their ordinances and about the necessity of priesthood authority. But we also know they have the useful that’ll-be-straightened-out-in-the-next-life “doctrine” for the times their rules don’t neatly fit all circumstances, for when there’s a screwup, for when the all-knowing Elohim & Son who created the system hadn’t thought everything through.

But the important thing is to not have any unconfessed sins, right?

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Posted by: Shinehah ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 01:08PM

Some Mormons do vicarious work for the dead and some Mormon leaders get a vicarious thrill hearing about your sins.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 01:22PM

I really liked this part, Olderelder: "pretty much ignoring the pride, ambition, control and dominion parts, since those are what drive the politics of Mormon priesthood".

This whole passage of the D&C looks like an alibi - one that Smith clearly set up for himself and his polygamous clique.

Thanks for highlighting it (because you'll never get me, a nevermo, to read all the D&C unless threatened with a weapon ;-).

Tom in Paris

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 04:44PM

I’d threaten you with a rope but you’d probably consume it.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 01:55PM

Another huge problem occured during the reign if Heber J Grant.

Prior to him you conferred the priesthood before ordaining a deacon or elder. Then you ordained them a deacon or elder.

Grant said just ordain them.

After he passed away it went back to conferring the priesthood first the ordaining.

No idea how it is today.

But....many people said there were a lot of men who though ordained to various offices didn't really have the priesthood as it was never conferred to them and the ordnances they performed were invalid.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 02:51PM

olderelder Wrote:
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> But the important thing is to not have any
> unconfessed sins, right?

Sounds like Scientology.

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Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 03:33PM

This whole topic destroys Mormonism completely. I discussed it in my article "Authority and Apostasy: The Double-edged Sword for Mormonism"

http://packham.n4m.org/authority.htm

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 04:09PM

Thumbs up!

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 04:17PM

Funny how the more a God needs words and rituals to be exactly right or they are not valid, the more oppressive and controlling the culture is that believes in that God. It's all a projection of people's attempt to control and understand cause and effect.

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