Thursday, November 5, 2015

"The Lord Has a Plan for Us!" By Elder Carlos A. Godoy

Find this talk here.


  • Jefferson and Franklin both encouraged what Elder Godoy here encourages, namely re-examining things in terms of the basics. Jefferson and Franklin called it "a recurrence to first principles" and today we generally apply it in a political sense, but it works elsewhere.
  • Moses didn't quite lead Israel "back to its home." Because of his sin, traditionally considered to be his taking glory to himself at the waters of Meribah, Moses wasn't allowed to enter the promised land. Neither was Aaron around to enter the land. Joshua, therefore, had to lead the Israelites on that final leg of their journey.
  • I suspect Moses received more promises than Elder Godoy mentions (of course, Elder Godoy didn't claim his list was comprehensive, of course), but I suspect also that some of those unmentioned promises were more important to Moses' ability to endure tribulation. Lectures on Faith (lecture 5, I think) tells us that it's when we get a promise from God that our course is right in His eyes that we're able to withstand torture and trial cheerfully, but that without that particular promise, we'd falter.
  • Note that Lehi didn't exactly "remain faithful" as claimed. He did murmur for a time, along with his wife. One is forced to wonder at the doctrine of "the prophet cannot lead us astray" in light of that account.
  • The section heading says we need to consider our choices with the end in mind, but all his examples are of individuals who had marvelous visions and as a result, by Elder Godoy's interpretation anyway, they could deal with serious hardship. He then claims without scriptural support that we can be similarly persistent and resolute even without "see[ing] an angel" because "we have the scriptures, the temple, living prophets, our patriarchal blessings, inspired leaders, and, above all, the right to receive personal revelation."
  • Now he says we need to be prepared for challenges, and repeats his list of visionaries who, because of their visions, were prepared for challenges. But we're apparently supposed to be satisfied with none of the spiritual blessings afforded Moses, Lehi, and Joseph Smith.
    • And then we get a faith promoting story of someone who mentioned God in a secular setting, followed by an encouragement to expand our knowledge. They'll spend the next two General Conferences teaching us that the internet is not an appropriate place to get knowledge, without any hint that it's actually possible to follow Joseph Smith's instruction to seek divine teaching.
  • And now we're supposed to share the vision we don't need, using as examples people who did get those visions.
  • I don't disagree at all that the Lord has a plan for us. But this talk did little to teach me to find and follow that plan.

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