Monday, August 17, 2015

"Yes, Lord, I Will Follow Thee", by Elder Eduardo Gavarret

Find this talk here.

  • The analogy in the "follow the voice" game is kinda silly, because there are no concrete criteria for distinguishing between the correct voice and other voices. He says he "felt confident" he was following the right voice, and his experience demonstrates perfectly that we can't rely on that confidence.
    • That said, it's helpful to promise the Lord, concretely, that we will follow Him.
    • Later he says the Lord's voice "cannot be confused".  Does that mean the Lord won't get confused, or we can't possibly confuse the Lord's voice with something else? Certainly the former is true, but it sounds like he's saying the latter, which is provably wrong. The scriptures never tell us we'll recognize Christ by some unmistakable voice we automatically recognize; they tell us to recognize Him by His fruits. Joseph Smith gives us keys in D&C 129 to test angelic visitors by shaking their hands; if Christ's message were unmistakable there, we wouldn't need those keys.
  • Elder Gavarret tells us non-members will receive the invitation to come unto Christ through the missionaries' invitation to be baptized, but he over-simplifies the situation. Many reject that invitation because they simply don't care about Christ, whether He lives or not, but many do care about Christ yet don't see His connection to the Church.
  • These days, the Church talks far more about following the prophet than about following Christ. Certainly most, if not all, members would agree they're following the prophet in order to better follow Christ, but Christ didn't tell us to find some proxy by which to follow Him; in fact He told us we'd be cursed by accepting someone else as our intermediary for Him.
    • "and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate;" 2 Ne 9:41
  • "As you strive to come to Him, you will gain the power to relieve life’s burdens, whether physical or spiritual, and experience a positive inner change that will help you be happier." This is exactly the sort of looking for Christ's fruits that we should be engaged in. It's not until we see that fruit that we can be confident we're doing the right thing.
  • The Lord's invitation to Enoch was far more than "walk with me." It included promises of great power, and the blessing of becoming a seer.
  • The change generated within a person such that they no longer want to do evil is related to following Christ, but it's the specific fruit of the baptism of fire, an experience few claim to have had anymore, and a doctrine about which the Church no longer allows itself to preach specifically. The Correlation committee requires all Church materials -- including General Conference talks -- to remain within a specific list of about 70 topics, and the baptism of fire is not on that list. I think I've mentioned this essay in earlier notes, but refer to it for more details, specifically chapter 13.
  • His list of steps to walk with Christ differs from the scriptural pattern. Alma 32 tells us to experiment upon the word, and check its fruits. Abraham, we're told, sought after the priesthood by following righteousness (Abraham 1:2). We can't find someone's message, assume it's from Christ, and follow it bull-headed to wherever it leads; we must find evidence that a message really is from Christ.

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