March Mormon Doctrine Madness: Round Two, Day One

1 – Joseph Smith vs. 12 – James Talmage

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Joseph Smith
James Talmage
Free polls from

2 – Continuing Revelation vs. 11 – Restoration of Priesthood Authority

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Continuing Revelation
Restoration of Priesthood Authority
Free polls from

3 – The Doctrine and Covenants vs. 7 – the 1st Official Declaration

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
The Doctrine and Covenants
The 1st Official Declaration
Free polls from

4 – Temple Building vs. 9 – The Young Women’s Program

Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?
Temple Building
The Young Women’s Program
Free polls from

Vote and then comment below!

14 Replies to “March Mormon Doctrine Madness: Round Two, Day One”

  1. My early picks:
    All the higher seeds. Of course, I was 90% of the seeding committee, so that might tip my hand.

  2. John, he’s pulled ahead, as of 2:10 PM EST.

    J, theologically I agree. I also think we owe a lot of our doctrine to BY and JFS, Sr. I have often wondered what Joseph Smith would say if he cracked open “Gospel Principles” today, or visited a church service. Any guesses as to what he might say?

  3. You’re eyes are deceiving you, John. I too went with all the higher seeds. But right now priesthood restoration is leading over continuing revelation… I don’t get it. What good is priesthood authority without continuing revelation??

  4. Geoff, maybe it’s how the question is asked — “more influential in the church today.” I voted for restoration of authority myself simply because continuing revelations are not common, rarely discussed, and to the outsider, totally absent. So even if it may not seem like there’s continuing rev. (I believe there is), the church still does things by p-hood authority, discusses it, and openly teaches it, in which case the restoration of that authority is paramount.

    But that’s just me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m flaming anyone’s votes here, I just see the “influence today” weighing in more on the rest. of authority than continuing rev., even though I’d prefer discussion, content, and experience in the latter.

    Maybe next year the question could read: “Dude, which of these is the coolest?” 😉

  5. I voted for priesthood restoration. I’ve had to weigh a bunch of these for hwo I think their influence is felt in the Church. In this case, I think nearly all members inherently understand something like “we have authority, and other churches don’t” along with ideas of the apostasy.

    As for continuing revelation, most members give it lip service. But my experience is that many really expect the Church (and church history) to be static and unchanging, and large-scale revelation (such as ending polygamy or the priesthood ban) tends to make people uncomfortable.

    From that perspective, I think the priesthood restoration has more influence in the Church.

  6. David J. pretty much said what I was going to – that the question is what is more influencial. And as Ben S. noted, authority get’s tons of press while revelation gets very little. We regularly sustain the brethren as Prophets, seers and revelators (authority), but actual continuing revelation is kept pretty private.

    As for Talmages views on the plan of Salvation, he was blessed to be there at the crux of post-polygamy Mormonism. The church had to redefine doctrines and perspectives and Talmages writings where there for the job. Current views on the Fall, Celestial Marriage, the Temple and the godhead all go back Talmage.

  7. J,
    I really see the current doctrinal formations really originating with Joseph F. Smith (if not originating, then gaining greatly in authority). Perhaps Talmage played the Huxley to JFS, Sr.’s Darwin?

    Also, I am with Geoff on the necessity of continuing revelation front because I don’t see it as only an institutional need. And we aren’t alone if Rusty’s recent T&S post is considered.

  8. Interesting, observation John C. I find JSF to be a bit enigmatic. The First Presidency’s messages on the godhead and adam are interesting, but they leave the door open for all the old timers that still held on to former beliefs (I think). Talmage was the non-polygamist new-Mormon-believer who gave us the narratives that we now use.

  9. Wow, I wich I had some idea about what the difference is between Joseph Smith and James Talmage. Guess I never sat down and laid them out side by side. Anybody know of a post on this I can check out?

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