‘Sin is not just breaking God’s laws; it is breaking His heart.’ – Adrian Rogers
A distinguishing mark of Mormonism is found in its infrastructure. Referring to itself as a corporation, it’s steeped in nepotism, and runs like a well oiled machine operating from the top down, think pyramid.
Members are assigned tasks, known as ‘callings’, and will fulfill their respective role until their phone rings with another position. If they’re part of the upper echelon, they’ll serve in that capacity the remainder of their life.
Mormons believe the prophet of the Church is the sole mouthpiece for God. No one else on earth can speak for God to direct the Church, and no one else is given revelations from God to move the Church in a different direction.
Strangely, the Mormon god sat very silent in the 20th century with Mormons only hearing from him twice. Once in May 1904 with the end of polygamy, and again in June 1978, when they allowed blacks into the Church. In essence, Mormons haven’t seen the likes of Brigham Young, or Joseph Smith, since they were alive and walked the earth.
The one thing they do keep reiterating in the past forty plus years is that the prophet will never steer them wrong, and what the prophet says is scripture.
See “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!” Elder M. Russell Ballard, General Conference, October 2014 and the official statement on the LDS website stating the following –
“You can always trust the living prophets. Their teachings reflect the will of the Lord, who declared: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).” Prophets, ‘True to the Faith’, (2004), 129–30
D&C 1:38 “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”
Comments like these are much like what Brigham told members in the 19th century, although they lack the same pizazz Young brought to the pulpit in his fiery sermons –
Journal of Discourses 13:95 “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, January 2, 1870
Back in those days Mormons awaited word from their beloved prophet to hear what their god wanted them to know, and the channel of communication was known as the Journal of Discourses. Nowadays, the Church has publicly distanced itself from the 26 volume set of sermons that were delivered from 1854-1886.
“The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It included some doctrinal instruction but also practical teaching, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest.” Journal of Discourses
Meanwhile, as we pointed out earlier, the Church has quoted from the Journals 84,000 times from 1971 – 2013 at their General Conferences. Just how unreliable are they if leaders are always using them?
To set the record straight, we went directly to the source to glean information on what the Journals had to say for themselves. Listed below are brief statements taken from each Journal. In these, you’ll be able to share with your Mormon friends and loved ones what the Church thought of them, and how they’re utilized today.
We’re listing only a portion of the prefaces of all 26 volumes today. The sheer volume presses limits upon what we can and can’t do! Sigh…
Tomorrow we’ll publish the rest of them along with recent comments from Church authorities and the ambiguity seen in how they treat this subject matter.
“Dear Brethren—It is well known to many of you, that Elder George D. Watt, by our counsel, spent much time in the midst of poverty and hardships to acquire the art of reporting in Phonography [shorthand], which he has faithfully and fully accomplished; and he has been reporting the public Sermons, Discourses, Lectures delivered by the Presidency, the Twelve, and others in this city, for nearly two years, almost without fee or reward.
Elder Watt now proposes to publish a Journal of these reports, in England, for the benefit of the Saints at large, and to obtain means to enable him to sustain his highly useful position of Reporter. You will perceive at once that this will be a work of mutual benefit, and we cheerfully and warmly request your cooperation in the purchase and sale of the above named Journal, and wish all the profits arising therefrom to be under the control of Elder Watt. – Signed by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards”
“The Second Volume of the Journal of Discourses needs no recommendation to make it interesting to every Saint who loves to drink of the streams that flow from the fountain of Eternal Truth. It is made up of the choicest fruit that can be called from the tree of knowledge, suited to the tastes of all who can appreciate such delicious food.” – Franklin D. Richards
“Each successive Volume of these Discourses is a rich mine of wealth, containing gems of great value, and the diligent seeker will find ample reward for his labor. After the fathers and mothers of this generation have made them the study of their lives their children’s children will find that they are still unexhausted, and rejoice that this Record has been handed down from their fathers to also aid them in following the way of life.
“No one can remain a Saint long, unless he progresses by seeking after the higher knowledge, spirit, and power of those who are set to lead him. A little observation and experience will also satisfy him that he can never fully understand their sayings until he has advanced as far as they have, and sees and comprehends as they do, hence he will ever find their instructions the great fountain from which he must draw the elements of his own progress.” – Orson Pratt
It would be altogether gratuitous and uncalled for, on our part, to write a commendatory p9reface to the Discourses of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles of this Church. To the Saints their words are as the words of God, the teachings fraught with heavenly wisdom, and their directions leading to salvation and eternal lives.”
This Number completes the Fifth Volume of the Journal of
At the close of the last Volume it was not unlikely that the source from whence the Journal is supplied would “be beyond our reach at the needful time, or that important events would hush for a season the oracles of God.
But from the number of Discourses delivered during the latter part of last year and the early part of this, previous to the absorbing events succeeding, we have thus been enabled to complete the present Volume.
It is unnecessary for us to dwell on the importance of the Discourses contained herein and the value of this Volume to the Saints* library, seeing that it represents a part of the most trying season of the Church. We therefore commend it to its readers without further preface, and we are confident that in years to come the value of the Fifth Volume to its possessors will be enhanced. The Publisher.”
In publishing the last two Volumes of the Journal of Discourses,
There have been more than ordinary difficulties to labour under..
One of the effects of the wicked Expedition against the Saints in.
the Mountains was a suspension. in the delivery of Discourses by
the leading Elders of the Church. Nor was this all. As Jesus the
Beloved Son was once left by his Father, that he might show forth
the great integrity of his soul, so also it seemed at this time wisdom
in the Father to leave his beloved Saints to manifest the vast
integrity of their souls. Therefore the Lord and his Prophets and
Apostles, for a moment, as it were, hid themselves, and the voices
of the Shepherds were not so often heard.
Of course, all this told upon the publication of the Journal of
Discourses; for if there were no Discourses delivered, they could
not be published ; so that, to prevent the Journal from being discontinued, we were compelled to publish Sermons delivered in past
years, some of which had been already published in the Star. -But
although necessity compelled us thus to act, there are several good,
ends thereby reached. The Journal of Discourses will become a
complete journal of all the Sermons delivered by the First Presidency
and the Twelve. Besides this, in the Sixth Volume will be found
published some of the choicest Sermons of the Prophet Brigham
and also many choice gems from others of the leading Shepherds of
“Israel. The Sixth Volume, therefore, cannot he other than a choice
Volume to all its possessors, while many Saints have had. the privilege
of reading and possessing these gems of inspiration who were
not in the Church when they were delivered.
We now respectfully offer to its readers the Sixth Volume of the Journal of Discourses. But we cannot close this Preface without expressing gratitude to our heavenly Father that the voices. of Israel are again heard which gives us the prospect of publish the Seventh Volume many of their words ‘of inspiration, power, and salvation.. . . The Publisher.”