Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Vision

August 12th, 2017 by Zen

On one hand, visions and dreams that do not come through the church authorities, or ourselves, are not binding to us at all. And there are certainly no shortage of nutjobs out there.

On the other hand, there is a notable vision by Charles D Evans, a church Patriarch back in the 1890’s, that keeps ringing in my ear.

Right after showing the gospel restoration and general national prosperity, and right before discussing disasters and plagues, he is told

“But”, continued the messenger, thou beholdest a change. Confidence is lost, wealth is arrayed against labor, labor against wealth, yet the land abounds in plenty of food and raiment, and silver and gold in abundance. Thou seest also the letters written by a Jew have wrought a great confusion in the finance of the nation; which together with the policy of many wealthy ones, has produced distress and do produce further sorrows.”

Factions now sprang up as if by magic. Capital had entrenched itself against labor, and throughout the land labor was organized in opposition to capital. The voice of the wise sought to tranquilize their powerful factors in vain. Excited multitudes ran wildly about, strikes increased, lawlessness sought a place in the regular government.

I mention this, because while America has been relatively classless for a long time, this is exactly the situation we are seeing now.
I would go so far as to say we are entering a vicious cycle, where each action entices a greater counter-reaction, until the whole thing just diverges into fighting. Even accepting some injustice will be better than the anarchy this will bring.

So, while we don’t accept this for doctrine, or canon, it was published in the Contributor, which is a precursor to The New Era. (Contributor, Vol. 15, 1893; TRUTH 1:12, pp. 161-163)

So, my question is, is this worth paying attention to? Is there a middle ground between nutjobs we ignore, and canon that we hold sacred?

Comments (4)
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August 12th, 2017 14:58:39
4 comments

James
August 13, 2017

I didn’t put much stock in dreams until I served my mission in a place where I was regularly petitioned by members to interpret them (I always declined as politely as possible). Now I pay much closer attention, and while most are just dreams, I have had a few powerful experiences.

My feeling is, we can receive knowledge for ourselves and others through dreams just the same way as any of revelation. If a dream were important enough to be shared with the whole church, then the leaders would receive it too.

Example: it is my impression that Isaiah ‘s vision of babylon is similar, if not the same as, lehi’s vision of the great and spacious building (the hanging gardens of Babylon were an optical illusion created by the mirage over a river that has a tendency to fog up). Isaiah received it for the church, with an interpretation geared towards all of Israel. Lehi’s interpretation is more geared toward individual righteousness and his family specifically.


JRL in AZ
August 14, 2017

Such a good question. Levi Hancock, a righteous man (also a general authority and a patriarch) that is an ancestor to me and probably a good percentage of this blog’s readers, had a lot of dreams. If you read his journal, you can read about them because he recorded them faithfully and sought to find spiritual meaning in them. Some of them are clearly revelation. And some of them are just weird – probably the result of anxiety, etc.
I think that there is a middle ground. Some dreams are not revelation but they are more than just the product of our mind’s weirdness. I have had some dreams that I learned a lot from, but I don’t think they were revelation. I think I learned from them because I sought to find the spiritual meaning in them – kind of like finding spiritual meaning in everyday tasks. I have had ONE dream that I think was revelation. I remember it distinctly 20 years later.
As for other people’s dreams, I think we should seek the spiritual meaning in them, but also try to adjust for their cultural and political background to be careful not to accept parts that may not still apply to our times.
In other words, I guess we just have to read them with the Spirit and we will be okay and perhaps edified.


Bookslinger
August 14, 2017

Revelations that are meant for individuals may not be (and, i suppose, likely are not) for others.

(I think that) Personal revelation is tuned to the recipient, in content, context, language, ability of the receiver to comprehend, need, etc.

Any particular revelation is, almost by definition, only a piece of the bigger reality.

God is not a respecter of persons, so the _overall principles_ of how He deals with one are going to be the same, at a macro level, of how He deals with another. But at the individual level, it’s harder to correlate abstractions, since our circumstances differ.

So looking at others’ personal revelations can be tricky. We may be, are likely to be, UNaware of how similar or different our circumstances are from the original recipient.

We need prophets to explain “that still applies” or “that no longer applies” to … such as Paul’s admonition for women to keep silent at church and to keep their heads covered.

Prophets do give us clues that many of us, including me, ignore. I did not follow pres Hinckley’s advice to get as much education as possible and to stay out of debt. I know guys near my age who did go back to school, and they were sitting pretty when the recession of 2008 came around.

I got a real icky feeling reading that guy’s web site about the Welfare Mine. Even if there is a particle of truth in it, it is “looking beyond the mark” and can lead to stumbling. And I already do too much “looking beyond the mark”.

I find that all the outside-the-church books, and personal revelations that benefit me are really just repackaging of things that are in the standard works and Gen Conf talks.

Fer instance, Epictetus (The Enchiridion) helped me understand some gospel stumbling blocks I had. But, you may not see the connection, or you may think “well, duh, that’s obvious, you shouldn’t have needed Epictetus), or you may get hung up on some non-gospel stuff he said.


Vader
August 25, 2017

I have had some dreams recently that seemed unusually meaningful. One warned me against flaunting my political incorrectness at work, a la the Google guy. Another warned me against wallowing in regret for past choices that seem not to have worked out well.

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