1 – Joseph Smith vs. 9 – Gordon B. Hinckley
Filed under Doctrine, Marginalia, Speculation
Gordon B. Hinckley
The Book of Mormon
GBH over JS? No way. Brother Hinckley will pass but our modern scriptures all came through Joseph.
Also, what good are ordinances without priesthood authority?
I agree with Geoff on priesthood authority, but not on GBH.
Say GBH were to announce that he was going to lead the Church into a merger with the Methodists. And say that somebody else (Monson, just to give him maximum gravitas) were to counter that he was going to split off and lead a church dedicated to the unvarnished teachings of Joseph Smith. I think a majortity of members would follow Hinckley. Hence, he wins. Which I also think is unfortunate.
I disagree. A living church entails living prophets. If you insist on maintaining the theology of the past, there are several splinter groups who would love to have you. I don’t mean that in a “love it or leave it” way, but rather to emphasize that if we actually believe in continuing revelation, which I do, then we have to believe in continuing revelators.
Y’all are talking about potential for influence with President Hinckley with this Methodist mergee example. Until he does something major like that I say the Book of Mormon, PoGP, and D&C have a greater actual current influence on the church and that means Joseph would win.
Even then, is it the BoM, PoGP, and D&C (as proxies for JS), or is it the correlation committee’s or CES’s interpretation of said works (both proxies for GBH) that have the greater influence? I still go with the latter.
Hehe… Not a bad argument about influence of the correlation committee interpretations, LL. I think that the weakness of that argument is that the CC influence (and we’re really talking about mainstream interpretations of modern scripture in general of course) doesn’t track to President Hinckley in anywhere near the way that the modern scriptures track to Joseph. In other words, the mainstream interpretations of the scriptures track to basically all of the modern prophets starting with Joseph F. Smith or so. When President Hinckley passes the same mainstream interpretations will be inhereted by his successor. I think you could easily argue that the influences of the sum of 20th century GA’s outweighs the influence of of Joseph, but not that President Hinckley himself outweighs Joseph’s influence today. I think it would take some major revelation to become more influential on the daily lives of members than Joseph is through our scriptures.
Geoff of course is completely right. GBH is a nice guy, very PC and all. But let me see … Proclamation on the Family vs. D&C, BofM, PofGP … man, it isn’t even close!
Like BKP said at the last general conference (in essense), everything since Joseph Smith has bee footnotes.
Here’s a counter straw man for you, at least as useful as the one you proposed, and probably more intriguing.
Say Pres. Monson, Pres. Faust, and all of the 12 say that they are forming a church that goes back to the Joseph Smith roots. Polyandry, law of consecration, council of 50, the whole thing. Now say that Pres. Hinckley says that he has received no such revelation and that the members of the Church should stay put in the Church as it is. What happens? Obviously the majority stay put and go with GBH. Is that again unfortunate?
I should probably state that I think anyone that votes for GBH here is nuts. Are you simply voting for the concept of a living prophet? Because that isn’t what is being asked here.
I guess I’m nuts.
I don’t need to paint “what if” scenarios to cast my vote. The way I see it is this: the question reads “more influential today“, and most the folks I know (outside of me and mine), know more about GBH, revere the guy deeper, and have a better handle on his teachings than JS. Even after GBH dies, this current generation (“more influential today“) will continue to revere and miss him more than we do JS. JS is beyond distant memory for all of us, but GBH, in this generation, will “live on” for a long time after he dies.
I’m not saying you guys are wrong per se (I’m JS’s biggest fan!), I’m just offering alternative viewpoints based on the question that was asked. And it’s the question that also had me voting for the Family Proclamation over and against any scripture that it went up against. Why? Because, it seems to me, more people are influenced by that thing than the others, by my (casual) observation.
John, I want you in on this. Why GBH over JS?
What David said. Although, I would add, that I think that GBH’s influence has been pervasive in Mormonism since the 30’s. I don’t think you can overestimate his influence.