What is Truth? Alma Allred Debate Notes



Simple logic tells you certain things are false – for example, evolution theory tells you that zebras develop stripes to prevent a fly, and rattlesnakes develop rattles to prevent being stepped on; but those were advantageous before they developed them, and how could they decide to develop DNA to have those enhancements? Yet evolution theory claims that evolving does not happen in any direction it just happens randomly – and all of that is simply not logical, and it is not true.

Note – I love this about Alma Allred. He has sided with the Christian world (and against large factions in the LDS Church) in confessing that evolution theory is bogus propaganda.

Truth can be available to anyone by revelation, not just a certain religion. In the Bible, James promised if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.
Joseph Smith said let people bring what truth they have and come join with us.

Revelation is objective, but it does not come to man in mortality in its completeness. God speaks to us according to our limitations based on our ability to understand.
We don’t believe in a perfect Book of Mormon, we don’t believe in a perfect Bible, we do not believe we have perfect doctrine.

The canonized revelations contain objective truth. We have a canon of scripture and the church in the future will have those same doctrines. (We don’t play the “what if you church does ___ in the future” game, we don’t have to.) In society people will apostatize and lose the faith of their fathers, but this will not change the foundational doctrine of the church. The church itself will not apostatize. Where do you draw the line? Following the living prophet. We have confidence he will not leave the church into apostasy.

The church will never embrace gay marriage – we have the family proclamation which is very direct. It is very insistent that marriage is between a man and a woman and that children are best reared in that environment.
The church is not going to change on this you can take that to the bank.

The 1992 marriage in the temple manual was very clear about the doctrine of exaltation, but the new version of the manual is not so clear. This is unfortunate, but perhaps for the best.
We see the church grows more than 100,000 a year, and exaltation is still in the scripture and it’s still taught in institute classes, but it’s not the focus of teaching in the church right now.

We are promised that if we are faithful we will have every blessing that the Savior has, and the Savior has every blessing that the Father has.

The Desert Book store doctrinal section is now tiny compared to what it used to be. Many people in the Church don’t even know who Bruce McConkie is anymore. Unfortunately many members are dismissive of Elder McConkie, they need to repent. (Deseret Book was selling Michelle Obama’s book. Fatal mistake, trading McConkie for Michelle!)

Alma reports that the church is aware that among the youth there is a diminishing capacity to understand doctrine.
Cell phones and instant gratification of the internet have limited people’s ability to study perceive and ponder.
The church emphasis now is that children learn the doctrine at home at the feet of their parents.
A seminary class cannot compete with the home dinner table, there are all kinds of levels of students in the class and the teacher has to work with the lowest common denominator. For our doctrinally advanced youth, seminary classes can be boring.

Recently a college football player said he cannot hold meetings for longer than 50 minutes because his players cannot leave their phones alone for longer than that without becoming stressed.
CNN’s Studies have shown you should not make a statement that you expect to be remembered by your audience that lasts more than 15 seconds. You need to change speakers to keep the attention of the average CNN viewer. But truth cannot be enunciated in 15 seconds, you cannot have meaningful depth with that.

The University of Utah president recently put up posters all over campus saying “zero tolerance for intolerance.” This means ‘if you do not agree with the LGBT agenda, we do not have tolerance for you.’ Freedom of speech has been bastardized. Their inclusivity has a caveat that it only applies to include you as long as you agree with them. Now the greatest sin is offending someone.

Unfortunately, members and missionaries these days are very shy about the doctrine of the one true church and necessary priesthood authority for ordinances. The fact remains that those who reject the Church and its ordinances will not be saved in the celestial kingdom, and they are who God has classed as ‘the wicked.’
President Boyd K Packer said we cannot surrender the claim that this is the only true church, meaning the only authorized priesthood. And priesthood is essential for the eternal life and immortality of man.

The reorganized Church no longer sees their church as the only true church. They are basically liberal Protestants. They also believe the Nicene Trinity. They treat the Book of Mormon as more guidelines than truth, spiritualized and without a historical reality. They explain the first vision as merely Joseph Smith having a marvelous experience that changed him, they don’t present or teach or believe any detail other than that.
In the reorganized Church they tried to get rid of everything taught in the Nauvoo.
There’s a saying among the reorganized church that Mormonism is Joseph Smith’s church, and the reorganized church is Emma Smith’s church.
They spiritualize everything Joseph Smith taught in the Nauvoo period, getting rid of it. They got rid of several D&C sections and the Pearl of Great Price.

Some people want to spiritualize the Book of Mormon and say it was not a true account but the three witnesses handled and hefted the actual book, you can’t spiritualize that. If Nephi did not exist, the moral of the story could be gotten from anywhere else, it would make the Book of Mormon unimportant.

The primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is not to teach (every) doctrine (in detail), its main purpose is to convert people to Christ. (The fullness of the gospel of how to be saved is in there, but it doesn’t claim to teach every truth there is.)

Starting with President David O. McKay there has been a shift in the church – there is less in your face teaching. This transition took place when the church went more global. President Hinckley was very much oriented to friendly conversation. Leaders of the church realize that we can have more dialogue when we are gentle about feelings of others. The D&C says do not rail against any church. But it also says have debates/discussion etc. Debates gets people thinking but they do not do a good job at establishing truth, there are better ways.

In the church, from the time of Joseph Smith onward, you are not required to believe anything, your behavior is the important part. There have been notable heretics over the years that people have wanted to excommunicate for disbelief, but church leaders have said it’s not their belief, it’s their behavior that would result in communication. If they aren’t promoting heretical doctrines in the church then it’s not really a problem what they believe. The main thing we deal with is the behavior and we hope their belief will change. In the meantime they can stay in the church. The person who believes correctly will by instinct follow the teachings of the gospel. People can apostatize without being kicked out of the church so long as they are not trying to get others around them to apostatize.

Note – I am aware of a few cases of excommunication for belief, but Alma’s point here is right – behaviors are the key to faithfulness. Joseph Smith said he never heard of someone being damned for believing too much. And Jesus said he draws the line in the sand based on how we treated others (Matt. 25). This doesn’t mean go around believing whatever you wish – ultimately beliefs do trickle into behaviors, that’s what makes them so important/dangerous.

In the 1980s people in the church essentially all believed the same thing. But today there are wide differences of belief in the church.

The triune God is not of the Bible, it is of Nicene Christianity, and it is not defensible.
The god of Mormonism is the god of the Bible.

Joseph Smith said there will be pretenders and people who try to divide the church, but if you follow these two facts you will always be with the true church – 1st be with the majority of the saints and 2nd be with the history/records of the church.
In that statement records of the church refers to priesthood ordinations and baptisms. All of those records left Nauvoo with Brigham Young.
Those records will never be controlled by people who don’t believe in the Book of Mormon.

We want others to experience the revelatory truth that Joseph Smith was called by God. That he was a true prophet of the living God and that the doctrines which he taught are actually doctrine from God. Without that experience we do not expect people to believe. People can ask God to reveal this truth and he will reveal it to them. You cannot follow Jesus unless you accept those leaders that he has called; this is why it is important to have revelation that Joseph Smith was a leader that Jesus called. Jesus said concerning his appointed messengers, “He that receiveth you receiveth me.” By understanding and accepting the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith you will have a greater understanding of the Savior of the world.

We would consider people who are not in the church yet who preach of Christ be Christians. We say that they do good for their congregations, it is not all or nothing. Christian is not a term of fellowship it is a term of theology. If you claim to follow Jesus Christ, you can claim the term Christian.

When the church first began and baptism for the dead was announced there were two valid witnesses present at the baptism down by the river, it was a woman and the horse she was sitting on.

Can women have priestly authority? Women serve in the relief society and in the temple. They minister to the sick and afflicted. In some hearings Joseph F. Smith was asked if these are priesthood duties which the women do, he said absolutely.

If the law of the land approved of polygamy you would still be excommunicated for doing it, in fact in many parts of Africa it is legal to have polygamist wives, yet members in Africa are still excommunicated for it. It is because the president of the church controls the keys of the sealing power. It would not be surprising if 30 years from now marriage disappears as a social institution entirely. It’s happening right now in Europe. It may be down the line that if women want to be married at all they have to pick a man who is already married, but for that to be valid and sanctioned the church president would have to authorize it.

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