“A God who is obscure in explanation and absentee in governance must have a broad definition of success.” -alotlikelaman
I empathize with Atheists. I understand Agnostics. Chistians don’t have as high of expectations. But Mormons, you are the ones I’m wondering about. How do you deal with your absentee God? Do you know who I’m talking about? That God who was ever so present during the good ol’ days when Brother Joseph and Him were talking all the time. Over 100 chapters in the Doctrine and Covenants (yes, I know they’re called ‘sections’), but then, after the death of Brother Joseph, a long silence. It was almost like the silence after the death of the Jesus’ apostles. The Mormon Church claims a direct channel of revelation, a bat-phone of sorts, to God, and this uniqueness gives it claim to the title of the Living Church, with Jesus Christ himself at the head. But what happens when God stops talking to His church?
Mormons keep the revelations received by their prophets in a book called the Doctrine and Covenants. Currently there are 138 recorded revelations given over the course of roughly 87 years:
The 138 sections in LDS Church’s Doctrine and Covenants break down as follows:
- Sections 1–134, 137: From the presidency of Joseph Smith (1828–44)
- Sections 135–136: During the administration of the Quorum of the Twelve (1844–47)
- Official Declaration 1: From the presidency of Wilford Woodruff (1889–98)
- Section 138: From the presidency of Joseph F. Smith (1901–18)
- Official Declaration 2: From the presidency of Spencer W. Kimball (1973–85)
135 sections written during Brother Joseph’s ministry. 5 have since been registered. Where did that God who spoke so frequently and eloquently go? The thought of modern prophets who could utter the phrase, “Thus saith the Lord” was so powerful and inspiring. Yet the absence of the same strikes a similarly powerful chord.
I wish our prophets would come back and tell us something more inspiring than avoid tattoos or avoid multiple piercings. Tell us what God only knows. Tell us if God has a Spouse or many. Tell us why women can’t be ordained. Tell us why Brother Joseph kept Polygamy from his wife. Tell us why Brother Joseph often drank alcohol but we cannot. Tell us why the Church excommunicates free thinking intellectuals. When God is absent from talking to us, shouldn’t we be free to think how we choose until His word is revealed? Don’t punish us because He refuses to comment.
What are your thoughts on God’s absence, modern revelation, or excommunication?