15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
A few weeks ago in Sunday school, we the teacher led the class in a rather routine discussion about what a Seer is (relative to a Prophet or Revelator). It was interesting to me that she focussed on how a Seer has (not just can) seen everything from the beginning to the end of time) However, the class took a turn into the teacher asking for specific examples from the modern Seers leading the Church. Below is the list of specific items the class came up with:
- President Hinkley predicting the dot-com bubble popping
- Hinkley saying Y2K wouldn’t be the end of the world.
- The Proclamation on the Family
- The Gay’s are coming! (see #3)
- The feminists are coming! (see #3)
Aside from raising my hackles with all the anti-gay, anti-feminist discussion and ignorant comments, what was most striking to me was watching a room full of saints grabbing at anything they could to try and find evidence of seership.
Lets take a look at these one by one.
1 – In July-Aug of 1998, the stock market took a huge tumble, after a long period of rapid growth (dot-com bubble). The market soon came back up and continued climbing, but the swing prompted President Hinkley to address part of his October remarks to his desire for all of us to get out of debt, due to the unstable nature of the economy. He discussed the problems with debt, and the freedom and relief that comes by being free of it.
I was just browsing the list of reasons people gave for leaving the Church in John Dehlin’s survey, and came across the concern people had about the Book of Abraham. His translation shows no resemblance to the translations of the papyri done by Egyptologists. Now, one of the most common ways of reconciling this is through the catalyst theory. This theory now enjoys some bit of official sanction given it is now included in the Church’s Gospel Topics essay on the Book of Abraham.
Joseph’s study of the papyri may have led to a revelation about key events and teachings in the life of Abraham, much as he had earlier received a revelation about the life of Moses while studying the Bible. This view assumes a broader definition of the words translator and translation.33 According to this view, Joseph’s translation was not a literal rendering of the papyri as a conventional translation would be. Rather, the physical artifacts provided an occasion for meditation, reflection, and revelation. They catalyzed a process whereby God gave to Joseph Smith a revelation about the life of Abraham, even if that revelation did not directly correlate to the characters on the papyri.
I heard a lot of members who were happy about Elder Oaks talk addressing the concerns raised by the Ordain Women movement. However, I was rather disappointed Here is a paragraph from his talk, (emphasis mine)
The divine nature of the limitations put upon the exercise of priesthood keys explains an essential contrast between decisions on matters of Church administration and decisions affecting the priesthood. The First Presidency and the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, who preside over the Church, are empowered to make many decisions affecting Church policies and procedures—matters such as the location of Church buildings and the ages for missionary service. But even though these presiding authorities hold and exercise all of the keys delegated to men in this dispensation, they are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.
First, I want to say that he misses the point entirely in his response. As he is a former Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, I’m reluctant to think this was unintentional. He most certainly is at least remotely aware of their petition, that the Presiding Authorities take the question to the Lord for an answer as to whether women might be ordained. Yet, instead of answering that relevant question, he issues a “ruling” on a totally separate matter. He instead chooses to answer the question, “Oh, come on… Can’t you just ordain me right now!?” This reminds me of times when the Supreme Court decides to pass on really ruling on merits of a case, and rather rejects a case due to some minor technicality without addressing the more useful point of law. (more…)