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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Bruce R. McConkie and current Church curriculum

This is the third of a three-part series about Elder Bruce R. McConkie and his book Mormon Doctrine. The first two articles are found here and here. In this article, we will see that 85 times in current Church curriculum manuals, Elder Bruce R. McConkie has been cited as an authority on Mormon doctrine. In one case, an entire speech is reprinted in the manual. Elder McConkie's book Mormon Doctrine is cited no fewer than 44 times in current Church curriculum manuals.

I find it difficult to believe that Elder McConkie and his book Mormon Doctrine could be so well received by the Church generally if certain information never intended for the public represented the complete truth. Such stories, because they tell only part of the truth, are false.

In the following list, a link to current Church curriculum material is first given, followed by the words in the document that cite Elder Bruce R. McConkie.

  1. Family Home Evening Resource Book, Lesson Ideas, Fasting, 184: "See Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 276."

  2. Family Home Evening Resource Book, Family Home Evening Lessons, 15: Learning to Recognize the Spirit, 64: "Bruce R. McConkie, 'Hearken to the Spirit,' Friend, Sept. 1972, pp. 10–11."

  3. Family Home Evening Resource Book, Lesson Ideas, Manners, 204: " 'Courtesy is a natural outgrowth of the refining influence of the Spirit of the Lord.—Elder Bruce R. McConkie"

  4. Gospel Principles, Chapter 6, 31: "see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 268."

  5. Gospel Principles, Chapter 21, 137: "see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 313."

  6. Gospel Principles, Chapter 41, 265: "See Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 732."

  7. Gospel Principles, Chapter 42, 271: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: ... 'Come: Let Israel Build Zion,' Ensign, May 1977, p. 118."

  8. Gospel Principles, Chapter 45, 289: "see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 762."

  9. Gospel Principles, Books Cited, 383: "McConkie, Bruce R. Mormon Doctrine. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966."

  10. New Testament Stories, Abbreviations Used in This Book: "DNTC: Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, by Bruce R. McConkie, 3 volumes (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–73)

  11. New Testament Stories, Abbreviations Used in This Book: "MD: Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, 2nd edition (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966)

  12. Doctrine and Covenants Stories, Key to abbreviations: "MD: McConkie, Bruce R. Mormon Doctrine. 2nd ed. 1966.

  13. Hymns, Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice, no. 21: "Verse four, Bruce R. McConkie, 1915–1985."

  14. Hymns, I Believe in Christ, no. 134: "Text: Bruce R. McConkie, 1915–1985.

  15. Hymns, Authors and Composers, 387: "McConkie, Bruce R. 21, 134."

  16. Teaching, No Greater Call, 5: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie counseled ... Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966–73], 2:178."

  17. Teaching, No Greater Call, 8 (entire chapter quoted from Elder McConkie): "The following is an excerpt from a talk delivered by Elder Bruce R. McConkie to the Church Sunday School Department in 1977. The entire excerpt is a direct quotation."

  18. Teaching, No Greater Call, 13: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said ... A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 253."

  19. Teaching, No Greater Call, 18: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught ... in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, 45–46; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, 35."

  20. Teaching, No Greater Call, 43: " 'The crowning, convincing, converting power of gospel teaching is manifest,' said Elder Bruce R. McConkie, 'when an inspired teacher says, "I know by the power of the Holy Ghost, by the revelations of the Holy Spirit to my soul, that the doctrines I have taught are true" ' (The Promised Messiah [1978], 516–17)."

  21. Teaching, No Greater Call, 61: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote ... ('Finding Answers to Gospel Questions,' in Charge to Religious Educators, 3rd ed. [1994], 80)."

  22. Teaching, No Greater Call, 158: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught ... ('The How and Why of Faith-promoting Stories,' New Era, July 1978, 5)."

  23. Teaching, No Greater Call, 213: "Share the following statement ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 679)."

  24. Improving Gospel Teaching, Gospel Teaching in the Church, 1: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said ... (Doctrines of the Restoration: Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, ed. Mark L. McConkie [1989], 234)."

  25. Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A, 107: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said ... ('Drink from the Fountain,' Ensign, Apr. 1975, 70)."

  26. Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B, 27: "see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 548–49."

  27. Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B, 105: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie told the following story ... ('Hearken to the Spirit,' Friend, Sept. 1972, 10)."

  28. Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B, 180: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 710)."

  29. Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B, 265: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said ... (in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, 56; or Ensign, Jan. 1974, 48)."

  30. Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B, 289: "(Bruce R. McConkie, in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 74; or Ensign, May 1975, 50)."

  31. Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B, 289: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said ... (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 77; or Ensign, May 1975, 52)."

  32. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, 2: "(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 214)."

  33. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, 37: "(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 785–86)."

  34. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, 55: "(quoted by Bruce R. McConkie in 'Charity Which Never Faileth,' Relief Society Magazine, Mar. 1970, 169)."

  35. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, 91: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 844)."

  36. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, 122: "(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 661)."

  37. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, 245: "(Bruce R. McConkie, 'Drink from the Fountain,' Ensign, Apr. 1975, 70)."

  38. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, 245: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie told of other blessings ... ('Drink from the Fountain,' Ensign, Apr. 1975, 70).

  39. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part B, 11: "(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 403–4)."

  40. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part B, 66: "(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 148)."

  41. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part B, 73: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie said ... (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 74–75; or Ensign, May 1975, 50)."

  42. The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part B, 73: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie told us ... (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 76; or Ensign, May 1975, 51)."

  43. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, 18: "Read or relate the following story of how the Holy Ghost helped Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Council of the Twelve Apostles ... ('Hearken to the Spirit,' Friend, Sept. 1972, p. 10)."

  44. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, 90: "Share the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], pp. 658–59)."

  45. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, 132: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie commented on this verse as follows ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966–73], 1:89)."

  46. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, 142: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie writes ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 226)."

  47. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, 172: "Read Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s definition ... (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, p. 74; or Ensign, May 1975, p. 50)."

  48. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, 175: "The following definition by Elder Bruce R. McConkie may help clarify this point ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 166)."

  49. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 1: "Read the following statement from Elder Bruce R. McConkie ... ('The Seven Deadly Heresies,' in 1980 Devotional Speeches of the Year [Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1981], pp. 78–79)."

  50. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 48: "Read the following statement ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 539)."

  51. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 60: "In 1947, the First Presidency wrote ... (in Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 558)."

  52. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 74: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie spoke about elders in the following way ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 215; italics added).

  53. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 74: "Elder McConkie also said ... (in Conference Report, Lima Peru Area Conference 1977, p. 18)."

  54. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 74: "Explain that ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 481–82).

  55. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 74: "(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 559)."

  56. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 78: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie tells the following story ... ('Hearken to the Spirit,' Friend, Sept. 1972, p. 10)."

  57. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 109: "Have a young man read the following statement from Elder Bruce R. McConkie ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 118; italics deleted).

  58. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 113: "Explain that ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 121).

  59. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 122: "The purpose of ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 314).

  60. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 168: "Ask the young men to think silently about what the greatest blessings of their life have been to this point as you tell the following story by Elder Bruce R. McConkie ... (Bruce R. McConkie, 'Agency or Inspiration?' New Era, Jan. 1975, p. 38).

  61. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 181: "Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote that ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 602).

  62. Resource Guide for Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2. For Use in 2004, Lessons 1–50 With Ensign and New Era References: ... "Bruce R. McConkie, 'New Era Classic: Only an Elder,' New Era, Jan. 2003, 36–39."

  63. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 1: "Share the following quotation ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 224)."

  64. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 1: "tell the young men that Elder Bruce R. McConkie defined ... (see Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 26)."

  65. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 1: "What are the two aspects of ... that Elder McConkie mentions?"

  66. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 1: "In Elder McConkie’s definition of ..., what does the word ... mean?"

  67. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 35: "Joseph Smith said ... see also Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 60)."

  68. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 136: "Allow the young men to respond. Then share the following quotation with them ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], pp. 361–62)."

  69. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 147: "Ask the young men to listen for ... as you read the following statement made by President David O. McKay and his Counselors (Stephen L. Richards and J. Reuben Clark Jr.) in 1957: ... (quoted by Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 558)."

  70. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 147: "Ask the young men to listen to Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s explanation of ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 558)."

  71. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 155: "Have a young man read the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 121)."

  72. Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 155: "Explain that Elder Bruce R. McConkie pointed out three great truths that should be part of ... (see Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 786)."

  73. Young Women Manual 1, 2: "Quotation ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Making Our Calling and Election Sure, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Provo, 25 Mar. 1969], p. 5)."

  74. Young Women Manual 1, 47: "Conclude this portion of the lesson by discussing with the young women the following statements ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], pp. 701–2)."

  75. Young Women Manual 1, 56: "Quotations and discussion ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 559; italics added)."

  76. Young Women Manual 1, 72: "Write the word ... on the chalkboard. Then read the following definition ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 166; italics added)."

  77. Young Women Manual 1, 76: "Read the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie ... ('Agency or Inspiration?' New Era, Jan. 1975, p. 38)."

  78. Young Women Manual 1, 125: "Point out that the term ... has several different meanings ... (See Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 310.)"

  79. Young Women Manual 2, 9: "In summary, read the following quotation ... (Bruce R. McConkie, in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, pp. 74–75; or Ensign, May 1975, p. 50)."

  80. Young Women Manual 2, 89: "As you read the following, ask the young women to identify ... (Bruce R. McConkie, How to Get Personal Revelation, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Provo, 11 Oct. 1966], p. 4)."

  81. Young Women Manual 2, 149: "Quotation ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 346)."

  82. Young Women Manual 2, 157: "You may want to include the following: ... Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 124)."

  83. Young Women Manual 2, 179: "Read the following statement ... (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 229)."

  84. Young Women Manual 2, 179: "According to Elder McConkie, what is the first responsibility we have for ..."

  85. Young Women Manual 2, 179: "What is the second responsibility mentioned by Elder McConkie?"

It has been rightfully said of Elder Bruce R. McConkie's book Mormon Doctrine, "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 Mormon Doctrine Saga 1958 and 1966," in The Bruce R. McConkie Story: Reflections of a Son [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], 182; click here to read the entire chapter.)

I find it difficult to believe that Elder McConkie and his book Mormon Doctrine could be so well received by the Church generally if certain information never intended for the public represented the complete truth. Such stories, because they tell only part of the truth, are false.

20 Comments:

Blogger Julie M. Smith said...

I'm wondering if you have read the section on "The Mormon Doctrine Saga" in _David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism_ and what your response to it is.

I certainly wouldn't maintain that there are no quotations from Elder McConkie in current curriculum, but I would note that (1) many of your citations are rather old, if current (1970s) and (2) it seems one thing to cite Mormon Doctrine in the curriculum and another thing entirely to cite something he said in a Conference talk or a hymn text he wrote.

6/06/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger W. Lyle Stamps said...

By throwing in Elder McConkie quotes from Conference Talks, etc.; you have muddied your comparitive waters.

While there might be problems with Mormon Doctrine; his conference talks certainly don't share in the controversy anymore than anyother apostle.

6/06/2005 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Such stories, because they tell only part of the truth, are false.

By this logic, all stories are false.

6/06/2005 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous J. Stapley said...

I wonder how many times The Journal of Discourses is cited in Church Curriculum? I would venture to guess thousands of times. Despite this, we are not obliged to recognized every word as church doctrine, this despite being published by the Church. Mormon Doctrine has had a huge effect on the church and has some great info, but like the disclaimer on new editions states - the book is not authoritative.

C. S. Lewis is cited hundreds of times in Church publications. Should we be arguing about his books? Josephus is cited like crazy. Albert Einstein is cited many times as well. Authoritative? No, just wise.

6/06/2005 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger tmg_founder said...

I had decided not to post again after the one time that I posted and got reemed by another reader. I didn't feel like wasting my time and energy on a few of the people that are posting here that are willing to so easily criticize our church leaders that I love and that I listen to with both ears open. But I agree with Gary's comments policies. So I will try and not respond to attacks with other attacks.

Aren't the responses to the "subject" of Elder McConkie interesting. Here's my position...

I don't feel too concerned about Elder McConkie being "discourteous and offensive" towards certain groups mentioned in MD and in other places he has spoken. And at the same time I understand President Romney's concerns. It must be a very sharp line that Church leaders must walk. The devil wants the church to appear to be a threat to those groups outside. If we appear to be a threat the message gets stopped. On the other hand we have been told to be bold with our proclaiming the Gospel. Faith requires action.

Further I don't particularly see the problem with Gary mentioning ALL of the places where Elder McConkie has been quoted. Whether they come from MD or from conference talks, or other places. These comments or quotes are representations of what and who Elder McConkie really is.

Honestly, I love Elder McConkie's boldness in declaring the truth. But then again I believe in personal revelation and it has been through this practice that with a ravenous appetite I listen to ALL of the many prophet's words. And of course with particular attention to our living leaders.

So I would encourage those of you that seem so quick to judgement (and sometimes harsh judgement at that) to be careful that your ladder is against the right house before you shimmey up it. Apostasy, as we have been told so often, begins with even small criticism of the Brethren or our leaders. This doesn't have to mean that you are following blindly. We must still rely upon confirmation of the Spirit before we incorporate these beliefs into our own beliefs. This is the essence of personal revelation which we have a right to recieve. This separates us from the world and other false or apostate beliefs.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie was very much in tune with the Spirit - you know that third representative of the Godhead? Does that mean that he never made mistakes. Absolutely not. He was mortal when I knew him. And we all make mistakes. I only pray that I can get to the point where my testimony concerning the Saviour is as strong as his was.
Gary D. Goodwin

6/06/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger jeff g said...

TMG,

I apologize if my comments came across as being a little harsh to your ears. It you would like to comment without being subject to criticism, I can live with that. I think I speak for everybody that the learning process which we gain from these 'conversations' comes directly from our expressing a variety of views.

6/06/2005 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger tmg_founder said...

Dear Jeff,
Feel free to criticize me as much as you want. As apostates like you frequently do, you twist and distort meaning and ideas put forth, to serve your anger or dissatisfaction with the Lord. If you are unhappy with the tenets of great men, witnesses of Christ, then you should move on. I recommend that you leave the church and leave your vitrial behind. In the end - in your end - it will only serve to make you more and more bitter and finally take your life or any happiness that you could possibly ever know. It was bad enough when you criticized prophets and apostles, but when you question the divinity of our Saviour, you have really gone too far, and you are putting your eternity in jeopardy. Our host, Gary, is a very nice fellow, and is indeed a gracious host. And you may think that you can espouse opinions and "views" contrary to the Gospel, without being discovered. But you are surely wrong! Criticism, discussion and even arguing are surely components of a lively relationship between saints. But you and some of the others cannot hide who you are behind statements like "expressing views".

I wish to retain my temple recommend, so I will not further spar or "associate" with you after this comment. I will only say, once again, if you are unhappy with the leadership of this church, or if you do not believe in the divinity of our Saviour, take your vitrial somewhere else. I will not remain politically correct when others attack my brethren... brethren that I love.

I apologize to Gary for my breech of his commenting rules. And getting off track in discussing Elder McConkie's views and writings.
Gary D. Goodwin

P.S. Jeff - it's interesting that you thought you were the one that I was directing these previous comments to.

6/06/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous J. Stapley said...

tmg_founder - that was probably the least christian thing I have ever read in the bloggernacle. Jeffrey is not an apostate, and he doesn't deny the divinity of the Savior. You really should be ashamed of yourself.

6/06/2005 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger tmg_founder said...

J Stapley,
Where were you when Jefferey asked if I was even a Mormon ("Wow is this guy even Mormon, he sounds like a born again")? Where were you when he DID deny the divinity of the Saviour by saying that he likely made mistakes ("Even Jesus believed wrong things")? Where were you when he has repeatedly denegrated and questioned the authority of the Lord's Apostles and Prophets? Or shall I say "spoken evil of the Lord's annointed"?

I am ashamed of myself.

Ashamed for every time that I didn't stand up to the ridicule and denigration of men and women that I admire. Ashamed yes... for not being as bold as Bruce R. McConkie, a great and valiant servant of the Lord.

Ashamed for every time that I sinned and caused the Saviour more stripes.

The "least christian thing"? How can you say that me or my words are non christian? I thought the issue was Bruce R. McConkie and his contribution to the Church? Very curious how someone who is fearful of dealing with the issue tries to focus the conversation on an entirely different issue.

There is nothing "un" christian about defending the church or its rightful leaders in the way that I have.

If anyone would like to carry on this conversation in a more appropriate environment - my email address is tmg_founder@yahoo.com. And once again I apologize to Gary our host for this post.
Gary D. Goodwin

6/06/2005 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Julie M. Smith said: "I'm wondering if you have read the section on "The Mormon Doctrine Saga" in _David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism_ and what your response to it is."

There is a chapter titled "The Mormon Doctrine Saga" in Joseph Fielding McConkie's The Bruce R. McConkie Story: Reflections of a Son (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003) on pages 182-193. And I've reviewed that chapter here in a post titled "Bruce R. McConkie and B.H. Roberts—parallels and contrasts."

I was unable to find a section with that title in David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005). What I did find was the following:

First, a section on "The Controversy over Mormon Doctrine" (pages 49-53),

Second, two additional paragraphs about the controversy (pages 121-122), and

Third, nothing particularly new (see a summary of the controversy here from sources published in 1992, 2001, and 2003).

I also read with interest your review of the book here and I think the best comment I've read anywhere so far about David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism is Jed's comment here about the ethical questions—apparently sidestepped in the book itself and clearly sidestepped in all of the other reviews I've read thus far—related to President McKay's secretary keeping personal copies (for whatever reason) of material that came into her hands as a result of her employment.

In fact, your post and Jed's comment have motivated me to get myself up to speed and do my own review of the Prince and Wright book here.

Thank you, Julie, for your timely tap on the shoulder.

6/07/2005 01:57:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Jeffrey said (here—addressing tmg_founder) "Wow! It this guy even Mormon? He sounds an awful lot like a born again. If only absolutely true, unadulterated truth leads to salvation then we are all going to hell in a hand basket. Everybody believes wrong things, even prophets. Even Jesus did for that matter. It's not a sin. But nice try."

Jeffrey said (here—ten posts and three days later) "I apologize if my comments came across as being a little harsh to your ears."

Jeffrey: In my comment policies I've made four requests. (1) Don't criticize the Church or its leaders, (2) Politely disagree without being disagreeable, (3) Acknowledge the sincerity of those whose positions we cannot accept, and (4) Speak of principles rather than personalities.

It isn't a question of whether a particular person "would like to comment without being subject to criticism." It is a question of whether you are willing to make comments on my blog while honoring my comment policies. My blog is my blog. If you can't keep your comments within the stated guidelines, you should make them on your own blog.

Thank you.

6/07/2005 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Will said: "By this logic, all stories are false."

You may believe as you wish, friend. I, however, disagree with you. My point was explained by President James E. Faust this way : "There are different shades of truth telling. When we tell little white lies, we become progressively color-blind. It is better to remain silent than to mislead. The degree to which each of us tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth depends on our conscience." (Ensign, Nov. 1996, 43; see also New Era, June 1997, 8; emphasis added.)

Those who repeat only part of the Mormon Doctrine story perpetuate the falsehood that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not consider the book to be a reliable source of Mormon doctrine. My three-part series shows otherwise. But thanks for your comment.

6/07/2005 02:06:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Jonathan: Instead of just throwing out numbers pulled from thin air, why don't you do a little research on "how many times The Journal of Discourses is cited in Church Curriculum?"

You have the same access to http://lds.org that I have. Where I took the time to find actual examples of McConkie being quoted in Church curriculum, you offer none. And your estimate of "thousands of times" is a perfect example of your distorted world view.

Mormon Doctrine is authoritative in the sense that it is "of acknowledged accuracy or excellence; highly reliable." The fact that it is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not detract from its accuracy or excellence.

And by the way, it appears that you and I have discovered one more area where we disagree on basic Christian values. I happen to like what tmg_founder said. But then, you've already disparaged me often enough that I'm accustomed to it.

6/07/2005 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Lyle: I understand what you are saying. But the issue for some individuals goes beyond the book Mormon Doctrine. Some who frequent my blog have little regard for Bruce R. McConkie in any setting. I'm sorry for the confusion that this has caused you.

6/07/2005 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger jeff g said...

I apologize to both Garys. First of all I do agree that Gary is a very good guy who has dealt with some of my rather pointed criticisms in an admirable way. I think that we both consider eachother friends and would certainly like to maintain the exchange of ideas which I have personally enjoyed for the past couple of weeks. I will definitely try my best to respect your rules while posting at your blog. Again, I apologize.

The other Gary (tmg_founder) I again apologize. I did think those comments were directed towards me because I had criticized your comments rather intensely and having not taken the time to see if your comments could have referred to anybody else, I simply assumed it was me. (Was I wrong?) Now my asking if you were a Mormon or not was more a joke than anything else. You manner of speaking, combined with some of your ideas concerning the earths history sounded to me very much like a strong southern baptist quoting Mormon authorities. I don't really doubt that you are a Mormon, or a faithful one at that, just as I would hope that you could accept those things in me.

I don't question the Lord's divinity. I simply believe that since Jesus had a viel drawn over him just like we all do, this means that he too had to learn things (the scriptures straight out say that). Since he had to learn things, he didn't know everything, and since he didn't know everything he couldn't have been absolutely right about every belief which he ever had. My point is NOT that Jesus was morally flawed. My point is that having a less than perfect belief system is NOT a moral flaw. Thus making our exchange of less than perfect ideas between less than perfect people not inherently sinful at all.

I will assume that your invitation to leave the church was more rhetorical than anything else.

If you don't want to discuss things with me, that is fine, but I do hope that you accept my sincerest apology.

Jeff

6/07/2005 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous J. Stapley said...

Gary: Instead of just throwing out numbers pulled from thin air, why don't you do a little research on "how many times The Journal of Discourses is cited in Church Curriculum?"

Alas, the beauty of open discourse. I didn’t have time but this is good, it keeps us honest. In my mind I was thinking curriculum as being all Church publications, but I should have been more clear. I haven’t figured out the idiosyncrasies of the lds.org search function, but there does seem to be thousands of references (it cuts off after 500). As for actual curriculum there seems to be around 45, but I’m going to have to dig a little deeper.

I stand by my statement that Mormon Doctrine is not authoritative. The dictionary entry you cite supports that. Elder McConkie was a General Authority, but that does not make his book authoritative. The Church’s official pronouncement is required for that.

And I regret that I have in any way disparaged you, Gary. I sincerely apologize. I think, however, that there a large chasm between having opinions about someone’s ideas and suggesting that they should be excommunicated. I especially apologize if I have made any personal remarks, I don’t think I have, but if I have, it is reprehensible.

6/07/2005 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger tmg_founder said...

Jeff,
I accept your apology - thank you. Comments toward me personally, I don't really have a big problem with. I am in a profession where I have been spit on, hit and cursed at with more words than I ever knew existed. However my reaction was regarding what I felt was an undue attack of church leaders.

I don't know what you mean by "...ideas concerning the earth's history." And how that makes me sound like a Southern Baptist??

Jeff stated, "Everybody believes wrong things, even prophets. Even Jesus did for that matter. It's not a sin. But nice try."
I think that this statement needs some explaining. At least maybe I misunderstood what you were trying to say???? I can find no record of Jesus believing "wrong" things. D&C 93 states that He had not fullness at first but went from "grace to grace". Is this your reference? I am honestly interested in your ideas here. Fullness I believe is a reference to the Father's "glory and power", not meaning that He (Christ) had a lack of knowledge. Luke chapter 2 seems to me to point out that the Saviour did have perfect knowledge. Pay special attention to Joseph Smith's corrected translation of verse 46. And in 2 Corithians chapter 3 Paul states that one of the things that Christ came for was to remove the veil (vail).

If I could give you a small piece of advice, if you are open to it, be very careful in your choice of words. And please forgive me if this sounds somewhat condescending - I don't mean it to be. In other words say what you mean and mean what you say. I certainly have tried to do so. And remembering all of the time that the Gospel I/we believe and have faith in is perfect and my ideas (the ideas of a flawed man) are imperfect. There is a real and tangible difference.

Let's get on with it.
Gary D. Goodwin

6/07/2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger tmg_founder said...

J. Stapley stated, "And I regret that I have in any way disparaged you, Gary. I sincerely apologize. I think, however, that there a large chasm between having opinions about someone’s ideas and suggesting that they should be excommunicated. I especially apologize if I have made any personal remarks, I don’t think I have, but if I have, it is reprehensible."

I'm not sure if this was directed toward me - tmg_founder (Gary D. Goodwin) or Gary Shapiro???

Anyway, I don't recall suggesting that anyone be excommunicated. I am guessing that you are referring to my comment about leaving the Church if a person does not believe in it. I said, "If you are unhappy with the tenets of great men, witnesses of Christ, then you should move on. I recommend that you leave the church and leave your vitrial behind. In the end - in your end - it will only serve to make you more and more bitter and finally take your life or any happiness that you could possibly ever know."

The point really is, yes we are all entitled to our opinions. We can state them, display them or act upon them. That does not excuse any of us or relieve us of responsibility for those opinions, whether they are about Church Leaders, other members or people in the world. Ideas, thoughts and paradigms make up who we really are! If not so we are relying too much on the arm of flesh. And I don't think it's a terrible thing if you are wrong in your opinions. But we all must take responsibility for our opinions, ideas and words. I have been personally wrong many many times. But I would hope that I am open to personal criticism. Please feel free to try me. And I am not so ignorant to believe that all general authorities are always 100% right. I am open, or hope to think that I am open to discussion.
Gary D. Goodwin

6/07/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

J. Stapley said: "There a large chasm between having opinions about someone's ideas and suggesting that they should be excommunicated."

I do not recall saying anything about excommunication, on this or any other blog. However, it seems you and I do occasionally cross each other. In spite of this, I hope I can keep my comments limited to what is allowed by my own comment policies. If I have slipped—somehow suggesting excommunication, for example—then I echo your apology back to you with added emphasis. I apologize if I have made any personal remarks, which I try not to do. But if I have, please forgive me.

6/16/2005 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger jeff g said...

J. was commenting on the other Gary's invitation which he gave me to leave the church.

6/16/2005 10:03:00 AM  

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