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Apostle Orson Pratt

Apostle Orson Pratt

Heaven knows that it is difficult to get a firm answer on what constitutes actual official church doctrine. Sometimes when you can’t figure out what something is – it is useful to figure out what it is not. I am introducing a new feature on Thoughts on Things and Stuff – an interactive discussion which pits the statements of the Prophets, Seers and Revelators of old with the current views of the Church.

I will provide a quote and reference and I invite the readers to briefly state whether the  statement is Doctrine or Heresy and a brief explanation as to why.

This discussion is open to active true believing Mormons as well as former mormons.

For the first entry I have a little gem delivered over the pulpit of the Tabernacle in August of 1852 by then Apostle Orson Pratt. His discourse was on the subject of “Celestial Marriage” and in making a case for why plurality of wives was essential for bringing the great and noble spirits to the right families, he stated the following:

” I have already told you that the spirits of men and women, all had a previous existence, thousands of years ago, in the heavens, in the presence of God; and I have already told you that among them are many spirits that are more noble, more intelligent than others, that were called the great and mighty ones, reserved until the dispensation of the fullness of times, to come forth upon the face of the earth, through a noble parentage that shall train their young and tender minds in the truths of eternity, that they may grow up in the Lord, and be strong in the power of His might, be clothed upon with His glory, be filled with exceeding great faith; that the visions of eternity may be opened to their minds; that they may be Prophets, Priests, and Kings to the Most High God.

Do you believe, says one, that they are reserved until the last dispensation, for such a noble purpose? Yes; and among the Saints is the most likely place for these spirits to take their tabernacles, through a just and righteous parentage. They are to be sent to that people that are the most righteous of any other people upon the earth; there to be trained up properly, according to their nobility and intelligence, and according to the laws which the Lord ordained before they were born. This is the reason why the Lord is sending them here, brethren and sisters; they are appointed to come and take their bodies here, that in their generations they may be raised up among the righteous.

The Lord has not kept them in store for five or six thousand years past, and kept them waiting for their bodies all this time to send them among the Hottentots, the African negroes, the idolatrous Hindoos, or any other of the fallen nations that dwell upon the face of this earth. They are not kept in reserve in order to come forth to receive such a degraded parentage upon the earth; no, the Lord is not such a being; His justice, goodness, and mercy will be magnified towards those who were chosen before they were born; and they long to come, and they will come among the Saints of the living God; this would be their highest pleasure and joy, to know that they could have the privilege of being born of such noble parentage.”
(“Celestial Marriage” Journal of Discourses, Vol 1, pg. 62-3, Elder Orson Pratt, August 29, 1852)

So please decide whether this statement is Doctrine or Heresy and back it up – with links to official church publications if possible!

If you use the Facebook comments at the bottom of this page, then people can ‘like’ your comment and the one with the most likes wins!

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