Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, RLDS, RLDS Church, Reorganized Church, Reorganization

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  Our Scriptures  

The church has traditionally believed in the literal interpretation of the scriptures.  Joseph Smith said that a latter-day saint is liberal toward all and literal in his understanding of the scriptures.  While human investigation and rigorous reasoning have increased our knowledge about our world and the affairs of both people and nations, they cannot peer into the mind of God.  We may see some of His characteristics in creation and discover some of His attributes in His handiwork, but we cannot know His motives or discover His purposes unless He discloses them.  Our knowledge of spiritual matters is completely dependant on the revelation of God.

Because we must depend on God's revelation for any understanding of His intentions or any insights into His presence, His revelations are extremely valuable.  Past generations have placed an extremely high value on their content.  Today, many people discount their worth and some dismiss them altogether.  At best, such a dismissal discounts God.  At worse, it rejects Him.  Since any understanding of God's person or purposes must depend on His declaration, any dismissal of any of His revelations seems foolish and arrogant.

We understand that the medium through which information comes effects the quality of any signal.  Lightening and sunspots can affect communication transmissions.  Cell phones can disturb sensitive medical equipment.  Matter, even gravity, influence light rays.  When God speaks, the instruments through which his depositions come may affect the clarity of those revelations, but they do not invalidate them.  Understanding the medium through which divine declarations come can help expand the revelation, but ignorance of the method does not devalue it.  Light is still and divine pronouncements remain divine utterances.

Like every parent, our Creator loves each person equally, revealing himself to them according to their willingness to receive.  For that reason, we maintain that God reveals himself to every nation and kindred that seeks his counsel.  The Hebrews were one such nation, but God is not powerless to disclose His will to others.  Just as ancient Israel recorded pertinent declarations, it is possible that other peoples in different cultures received and recorded the word of God.  For this reason, latter day saints believe and accept scriptures from the God's prophets in past and present dispensations.  They are recorded in the Bible, the record of the Jews, the Book of Mormon, the record of the tribe of Joseph separated from the rest of Israel at the beginning of the Babylonian captivity, and the Doctrine and Covenants, the record of latter revelations.  These three sacred books from the tri-fold chord of our scriptures.


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