Bruce McConkie's Letter of Rebuke to Professor Eugene England


#1

I’ve been doing alot of reading when I stumbled upon Bruce McConkie’s Letter of Rebuke to Professor Eugene England from February 19, 1981. It’s about Brigham Young’s Adam-God Doctrine; alot to read but it’s worth it if these kinds of topics interest you as much as they do me. Well, I found this paragraph in the letter:

This puts me in mind of Paul’s statement: “There must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” (1 Cor. 11:19.) I do not know all of the providences of the Lord, but I do know that he permits false doctrine to be taught in and out of the Church and that such teaching is part of the sifting process of mortality. We will be judged by what we believe among other things. If we believe false doctrine, we will be condemned. If that belief is on basic and fundamental things, it will lead us astray and we will lose our souls. This is why Nephi said: "And all those who preach false doctrines, . . . wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!: (2 Ne. 28:15.) This clearly means that people who teach false doctrine in the fundamental and basic things will lose their souls. The nature and kind of being that God is, is one of these fundamentals. I repeat: Brigham Young erred in some of his statements on the nature and kind of being that God is and as to the position of Adam in the plan of salvation, but Brigham Young also taught the truth in these fields on other occasions. And I repeat, that in his instance, he was a great prophet and has gone on to eternal reward. What he did is not a pattern for any of us. If we choose to believe and teach the false portions of his doctrines, we are making an election that will damn us.

So I’m saying “OK… did this man just repeatedly contradict himself or am I missing something very key here?” Is there a double standard when it comes to prophets? Are LDS members supposed to take everything their prophets say with a grain of salt? What does this mean?


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