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Hodges- Lesson 6, Sustaining Those Whom the Lord Sustains

Hodges- Lesson 6, Sustaining Those Whom the Lord Sustains

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Published by Blair Hodges

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Published by: Blair Hodges on Mar 18, 2012
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Chapter Six: “Sustaining Those Whom the Lord Sustains”57
- From the life.-
Someone read
first two paragraphs: “George Albert Smith was sustained…that is our responsibility.”
 I am only a man
…” what would a prophet mean by such a statement?
 I will need the help of every
…” What sorts of things does prophet need helpwith? How about GAS in particular? Go to xxxvi.XXXVI- Reflections on Life at Age 80.-
Someone read
“In these eighty years” to end of page. GAS was thankful for support.
From the Life-
Someone read
paragraph, “In 1946…carry your part of the work.”-Any interesting stories about the act of sustaining in general conference?-If we know most people will raise their hand, why do we do it?
- Through His servants. (This speaks on one of the purposes of prophets.)-
Someone read
that paragraph, “From the time…enrich mankind.”“instruction tending to happiness…” like what?“ennoble and enrich mankind…” like what?-What are some recent examples of things our prophets have discussed in GC, any particular talks that have struck you at a time of need?-These duties are not the prophet’s alone, they extend to local leaders. Anyexamples?Here’s a cliché: “Sustain” in the dictionary, some synonyms: “To uphold, to support, toendure, to permit, to suffer” (as in “he sustained a broken leg”). Every meaning requiresstrength in the one doing the sustaining. Discuss individual terms.
To suffer
? Go to page63.
- When we criticize.-
Someone read
third paragraph, “The Presidency…as we see our own.”
“human frailties, they will make mistakes…” What is he referring to here?-
Ward Teaching Message
, “prophet speaks, thinking has been done.”
This statement originally appeared in the
Improvement Era 
, in June 1945, as theWard Teaching message.
NO Latter-day Saint is compelled to sustain the General Authorities of the Church. …However, there is the principle of honor involved in the member’s choice. When a personraises his hand to sustain Church leaders as “prophets, seers, and revelators,” it is thesame as a promise and a covenant to follow their leadership and to abide by theircounsel as the living oracles of God. …
When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.
When they propose aplan–it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. Whenthey give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God works in no other way.To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroyhis testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God.
Dr. J. Raymond Cope, the leader of the First Unitarian Society in Salt Lake City,was one of those concerned. He expressed his concerns about the impact of thismessage in a letter to President George Albert Smith. Cope cordially related thefeeling that such a message was “doing inestimable harm to many who have noother reason to question the integrity of the Church leaders… this cannot be theposition of the true leaders.” Within a month, President Smith responded to Dr.Cope.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day SaintsOffice of the First PresidencySalt Lake City, Utah
December 7, 1945Dr. J. Raymond CopeFirst Unitarian Society13th East at 6th South StreetSalt Lake City, UtahMy dear Dr. Cope:I have read with interest and deep concern your letter of November 16, 1945, in which you makespecial comment on “a short religious editorial prepared by one of your (our) leaders entitled “Sustaining the General Authorities of the Church’”. You say that you read the message withamazement, and that you have since been disturbed because of its effect upon members of theChurch.I am gratified with the spirit of friendliness that pervades your letter, and thank you for havingtaken the time to write to me.The leaflet to which you refer, and from which you quote in your letter, was not “prepared” by “one of our leaders.” However, one or more of them inadvertently permitted the paragraph topass uncensored. By their so doing, not a few members of the Church have been upset in theirfeelings, and General Authorities have been embarrassed.I am pleased to assure you that you are right in your attitude that the passage quoted does notexpress the true position of the Church. Even to imply that members of the Church are not to dotheir own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that everyindividual must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must, through theredemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is personally responsible to HisMaker for his individual acts. The Lord Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effortto give peace and salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true progress, butleaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings. This plan the Authorities of theChurch try to follow.The Prophet Joseph Smith once said: “I want liberty of thinking and believing as I please.” Thisliberty he and his successors in the leadership of the Church have granted to every othermember thereof.On one occasion in answer to the question by a prominent visitor how he governed his people,the Prophet answered: “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”  Again, as recorded in the History of the Church (Volume 5, page 498 [499] Joseph Smith saidfurther: “If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, andin their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compelany man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.” 

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