Episode 4: Thus Saith The Lord
Episode 4: Thus Saith The Lord
The Q.More podcast aims to help navigate and start healthy conversations around tricky-to-ask questions about culture and doctrine in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The podcast interviews great minds about questions that are submitted by subscribers of the podcast. If you have a question you want answered, please send in questions via voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Latter-day Saints say “we have a living prophet,” we really mean it. We believe there’s a man who is the Lord’s mouthpiece. So, what happens when you’re studying your scriptures, saying your prayers, but you and the prophet don’t see eye to eye?
The question discussed on this episode of Q.More-
“Hey Rosie, my question is about the widely held belief that everything that comes from a general authorities mouth or pen comes from God. It’s clear this is not the case with Bruce R. McConkie’s ironically titled, “Mormon Doctrine,” being a prime example. We are taught that we can go to God to get our own confirmation about anything that comes across the pulpit. But for some reason or another people still believe things that are shown to be inaccurate later on.
So how do we really know that what are leaders are telling us is coming from God?”
-Question sent in by a listener
On the podcast Rosie interviews Kurt Francom and Dr. LaShawn C. Williams. They discuss the question above as well as personal revelation, our relationship to heading the prophets words, and how we should treat others that are struggling.
Kurt Francom’s bio from Leading Saints website-
“Kurt Francom currently lives in Holladay, Utah with his lovely wife Alanna. They are blessed to have two children (girl and boy). He enjoys drawing caricatures and editorial cartoons, basketball, reading, and college football. Kurt has served as a full-time missionary (California Sacramento), executive secretary, bishopric counselor, high priest group leader, bishop, 1st counselor in a stake presidency, and as an elders quorum president.
Check out the podcast episode featuring Kurt, where he talks about how he leads and the future of Leading Saints.”
“Sometimes we’re so anxious to save them that we forget they already have a Savior. And our role isn’t to save anybody, our role is to just love them and meet them where they’re at and encourage them along.”
When talking about how prophets sometimes contradict each other, for example President Hinckley approving of the term Mormon being used and President Nelson renouncing the use of Mormon and other nicknames, Kurt said this-
“To me this is a great example of the organic and long process of revelation, where even going back to President Hinckley, as I’ve read his biography, he’s the President of the church that introduced smaller temples. Well, you realize when you read his history, he had that idea decades before he was prophet. It was almost as if the Lord was massaging this into his mentality and into his person, so that when the day came for him to be President of the church and we needed the smaller temples, that idea was there. So, to me this is maybe an idea that God was sort of massaging into the brain with President Nelson as he was developing through his apostleship to become a prophet, that now is the time that we need to be more direct and succinct about that.
So there is some contradiction like you mentioned, there is some nuance, and I get excited about that because I think there’s opportunity to find deeper faith and deeper understanding about roles as prophets and I like when I hear two prophets, you know maybe one from another that contradict each other or disagree, because that’s the unfolding of revelation and inspiration, and I’m excited about that.”
Dr. LaShawn C. Williams
Dr. LaShawn C. Williams got her Bachelors degree in Sociology and Psychology. She then pursued a Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Administration. She concentrated in criminal justice, and then after she started teaching social work in classrooms she decided to complete a terminal degree in Education.
She has been a social worker for over 15 years and an educator for over 10 years. She currently works as the Professor of Social Work at Utah Valley University. In her bio, she says, “The skills I have learned as a professional impact every area of my life as a black person, a woman, a parent, a family member and a friend. There is very little that I will shy away from engaging in conversation because, overall, I believe in and value connections with other people.”
On the podcast, Dr. LaShawn and Rosie talk about Dr. LaShawn’s experiences in the church as a black women. Dr. LaShawn helps bring to light how to deal with questions or coming to terms with tough historical issues in the church’s past.
“I’ve had to always ask questions, because people have weaponized the word of God against me.”
-Dr. LaShawn C. Williams
When asked about how she deals with difficulties at church, she answered-
“You want me to give the honest answer to that? I take breaks from church. If going to church makes me more anxious or more depressed than staying home and finding a way to fill my cup, I don’t think God wants me to go to church and feel bad.”
When discussing prophet worship and following the prophet without question, Dr. LaShawn had a lot to say-
“We are not supposed to be lazy, slothful people. So if you worship one person, or follow what that person says no matter what, that’s lazy worship, lazy christianity.”
“You can sustain them in being able to do the work that they’re called to do. I do not put my trust in the arm of flesh, because I know that Prophets are tempted, Prophets make mistakes and they’re trying to learn their role as a Prophet the best they can, and they won’t always hit the mark.”
Resources mentioned in the podcast-
Official Church statement regarding doctrine