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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Bruce R. McConkie and current Church magazines

This is the second of a three-part series about Elder Bruce R. McConkie and his book Mormon Doctrine.  The first article is found here.  In this article, we will see that 31 times in the past 18 months, Elder Bruce R. McConkie has been cited as an authority on Mormon doctrine.

Two entire speeches by Elder Bruce R. McConkie have been reprinted in current Church magazines.  The book Mormon Doctrine has been cited in six current Church magazines, including this month's June 2005 Ensign.

Eight months ago, Elder McConkie was quoted by President Thomas S. Monson in the New Era.  Twice recently, Elder Dallin H. Oaks has quoted Elder McConkie's words in a Church magazine.

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 a current Church magazine article is first given, followed by the words in the article that cite Elder Bruce R. McConkie.

  1. Ensign, Mar. 2004, 42 (article by President Howard W. Hunter, Fourteenth President of the Church):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie [1915–85] of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 781)."

  2. Liahona, Mar. 2004, 44 (article by President Howard W. Hunter, Fourteenth President of the Church):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie [1915–85] of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said ... (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 781)."

  3. Ensign, May 2004, 35 (General Conference talk by Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric):  "see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (1966), 65–66."

  4. Liahona, May 2004, 35 (General Conference talk by Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric):  "see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (1966), 65–66."

  5. Liahona, Sep. 2004, 11 (article by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stressed our responsibility to do all that we can before we seek a revelation ... 'Agency or Inspiration—Which?' in Speeches of the Year, 1972–73 (1973), 108, 113."

  6. Ensign, Jun. 2004, 58 (article by Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie, Of the Seventy):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1915–1985) stated ... Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. (1966–73), 2:313."

  7. Ensign, Jun. 2004, 59 (article by Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie, Of the Seventy):  "as Elder McConkie explained ... Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:422–23."

  8. Ensign, Aug. 2004, 62:  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote ... The Mortal Messiah, 4 vols. (1979–81), 1:23."

  9. Ensign, Nov. 2004, 25 (General Conference talk by Elder L. Tom Perry, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles):  "Can you imagine what a special experience it would be to be in a quorum meeting and be taught gospel doctrine by ... Bruce R. McConkie?"

  10. Liahona, Nov. 2004, 25 (General Conference talk by Elder L. Tom Perry, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles):  "Can you imagine what a special experience it would be to be in a quorum meeting and be taught gospel doctrine by ... Bruce R. McConkie?"

  11. Ensign, Nov. 2004, 97 (General Conference talk by Elder H. Bryan Richards, Of the Seventy):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote ... (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 459, 461).

  12. Liahona, Nov. 2004, 97 (General Conference talk by Elder H. Bryan Richards, Of the Seventy):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote ... (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 459, 461).

  13. Ensign, Nov. 2004, 110 (General Relief Society Meeting talk by Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency):  "(see Bruce R. McConkie, 'Obedience, Consecration, and Sacrifice,' Ensign, May 1975, 50)."

  14. Liahona, Nov. 2004, 110 (General Relief Society Meeting talk by Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency):  "(see Bruce R. McConkie, 'Obedience, Consecration, and Sacrifice,' Ensign, May 1975, 50)."

  15. Ensign, Dec. 2004, 51:  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:  ... In Conference Report, Apr. 1970, 27."

  16. Liahona, Dec. 2004, 15:  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:  ... In Conference Report, Apr. 1970, 27."

  17. Ensign, Apr. 2005, 54-59 (an entire speech by Elder Bruce R. McConkie):  "Gospel Classics—Once or Twice in a Thousand Years"

  18. Ensign, Jun. 2005, 15:  "Thank goodness for a friend who pointed out these words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles ... As quoted in M. Russell Ballard, "Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not," Ensign, Oct. 1987, 7."

  19. Ensign, Jun. 2005, 60 (article by Elder Spencer V. Jones, Of the Seventy):  "For more information on 'the great and dreadful day of the Lord,' see 2 Ne. 12–14, 20–24; Isa. 2–4, 10–14; Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 3:1–79; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (1966), 687–98."

  20. Friend, Mar. 2005, 22 (Sharing Time Ideas):  "A week before introducing it, invite a family in the ward or branch to learn and practice the hymn 'I Believe in Christ' (Hymns, no. 134) in family home evening.  If possible, ask them to be prepared to sing this hymn to the Primary children.  You may also want to read Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s testimony (see Ensign, May 1985, 9–11).  Teach the children that the hymn 'I Believe in Christ' is an expression of testimony from Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an Apostle who died in 1985."

  21. New Era, Jan. 2004, 42-45 (an entire speech by Elder Bruce R. McConkie):  "Gospel Classics&f#8212;All the Light and Truth"

  22. New Era, Jan. 2004, 49 (Sunday Lesson Helps):  "In addition to the Resource Guides (printed in the May and November Ensign and Liahona), Young Women and Aaronic Priesthood teachers may find these additional resources helpful in enhancing lessons 1–4.  ... Young Women Manual 2 ... Lesson 1 Drawing Closer to Jesus Christ ... Bruce R. McConkie, 'All the Light and Truth,' New Era, this issue, 42.  ... Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2 ... Lesson 2 Knowing Our Father in Heaven ... Bruce R. McConkie, 'All the Light and Truth,' New Era, this issue, 42."

  23. New Era, Mar. 2004, 16:  " 'Intellectual things—reason and logic—can do some good,' taught Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85).  'But conversion comes and the truth sinks into the hearts of people only when it is taught by the power of the Spirit' (quoted by Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Mar. 1997, 9)."

  24. New Era, Mar. 2004, 49 (Sunday Lesson Helps):  "In addition to the Resource Guides (printed in May and November in the Ensign and Liahona), Young Women and Aaronic Priesthood teachers may find these additional resources helpful in enhancing lessons 10–13.  ... Bruce R. McConkie, 'Only an Elder,' New Era, Jan. 2003, 36."

  25. New Era, May 2004, 15:  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) has told us:  ... Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (1966), 660."

  26. New Era, May 2004, 49 (Sunday Lesson Helps):  "In addition to the Resource Guides (printed in May and November in the Ensign and Liahona), Young Women and Aaronic Priesthood teachers may find these additional resources helpful in enhancing lessons 18–21.  ... Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2 ... Lesson 21 Preparing for the Melchizedek Priesthood ... Bruce R. McConkie, 'Only an Elder,' New Era, Jan. 2003, 36."

  27. New Era, Jun. 2004, 50:  "The Q&A for March 2004 hit a deep chord with me, especially the opening paragraph and the quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie."

  28. New Era, Sep. 2004, 7 (article by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stressed our responsibility to do all that we can before we seek a revelation ... 'Agency or Inspiration—Which?' in Speeches of the Year, 1972–73 (1973), 108, 113."

  29. New Era, Oct. 2004, 6 (article by President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency):  "Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) counseled:  ... 'Agency or Inspiration?' New Era, Jan. 1975, 38."

  30. New Era, Feb. 2005, 49 (Sunday Lesson Helps):  "In addition to the Resource Guides (printed in May and November in the Ensign and Liahona), Young Women and Aaronic Priesthood teachers may find these additional resources helpful in enhancing lessons 6–10.  ... Young Women Manual 3 ... Bruce R. McConkie, 'All the Light and Truth,' New Era, Jan. 2004, 42."

  31. New Era, Jun. 2005, 49 (Sunday Lesson Helps):  "In addition to the Resource Guides (printed in May and November in the Ensign and Liahona), Young Women and Aaronic Priesthood teachers may find these additional resources helpful in enhancing lessons 21–25.  ... Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3 ... Bruce R. McConkie, 'Only an Elder,' New Era, Jan. 2003, 36."

It has been rightfully said of Elder 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.

4 Comments:

Blogger jeff g said...

Since when has any man, or group of men been able to establish "complete truth" with any kind of reliability?

As a side note here are a few notes of info. of the coming forth of Mormon Doctrine:

"Jan. 28, 1959 Apostle Marion G. Romney writes Pres. David O. McKay that recently published Mormon Doctrine by Seventy's president Bruce R. McConkie is discourteous and offensive toward RLDS church, to Christian Churches generally, to the Catholic church in particular, to Communists, and to evolutionists. Romney also says the book presumes to declare controversial issues and personal interpretations as 'Mormon Doctrine'.

Feb. 17 1959 In effort to avoid suppression of his book, Elder Bruce R. McConkie drafts letters to Improvement Era and Church News stating the Mormon Doctrine 'contains my personal views only, and I am solely responsible for all statements or opinions expressed in it.' He submits these for review of First Presidency, who reply 18 Feb. that 'they do not conform to the ideas that we have that you cannot be disassociated from your official position in the publication of such a manuscript.' Presidency concludes that 'pending the final disposition of this problem no further edition of the book be printed.

Jan. 7-8, 1960 First Presidency decides that Bruce R. McConkie's Mormon Doctrine 'must not be re-published, as it is full of errors and misstatements, and it is most unfortunate that it has received such wide circulation.' They are exasperated that McConkie and his publisher released book without pre-publication publicity nor notifying the First Presidency. Even his father-in-law, senior apostle Joseph Fielding Smith, 'did not know anything about it until it was published.' This is McConkie's way to avoid repetition of Presidency's stopping his pre-announced Sound Doctrine three years earlier.
Committee of two apostles (Petersen and Romney) reports that McConkie's Mormon Doctrine contains 1,067 doctrinal errors. For example, page 493 said: 'Those who falsely and erroneously suppose that God is progressing in knowledge and gaining new truths cannot exercise sufficient faith in him to gain salvation until they divest themselves of their false beliefs.' However, McConkie is affirming doctrine of omniscience officially condemned by previous First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1865. In announcing their decision to the Twelve on 28 Jan. 1960, First Presidency says that there should be no revised edition of Mormon Doctrine. Presidency reverses initial decision on 7 Jan. 'that the book should be [officially] repudiated.' By 28 Jan. Presidency decides against requiring McConkie to make public apology because 'it might lessen his influence' as general authority.
1n 1966 year after his father-in-law becomes assistant counselor to First Presidency, McConkie publishes second edition of Mormon Doctrine. It corrects only a few of the first edition's 'errors' cited by First Presidency and apostles in 1960."

- Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Quinn p. 844-6

6/06/2005 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Jeffrey: Regarding "complete truth," please read the First Presidency Message "Absolute Truth," by then Prophet and President Spencer W. Kimball (Ensign, Sept. 1978, 3.) I'd be delighted to know what you think of President Kimball's perspective on this.

Regarding the coming forth of Mormon Doctrine. Your Quinn quotes are exactly what I was talking about when I said (above) that 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.

Now what I mean by false 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.)

By the way, I seem to recall that D. Michael Quinn is an "excommunicated member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (Deseret News, 2/7/2004, page B3). Do you know whether he has decided yet to come back into the fold?

6/07/2005 02:45:00 AM  
Blogger jeff g said...

He never really left the church and is one of the more courteous and gentlemanly people I have ever met. He still goes to church (if I'm not mistaken) and his sons go on missions.

While he was excommunicated, it seems that he doesn't view it as the Lord's decision and expects this flaw in his record to be purged in the afterlife. Would that all excommunicated people were so optimistic.

6/07/2005 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger jeff g said...

I'm just curious, since Elder Packer openly advocates the telling of only faith promoting history while leaving out the "other stuff" doesn't this mean that he's only telling part of the story, thereby making what he says false?

The "New Mormon History" is trying to get away from this partial account of history and try to tell the whole truth the best they can. Aren't they trying to follow your advice more than the "Old Mormon History" which isn't really history as much as it is devotional?

6/07/2005 11:15:00 AM  

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