The Tale of Three Resolutions and a Revelation

Brief History

The 1960s-1980s were a particularly tumultuous time in the church, and as a result arguably the most transformative. It was during this time that the church began to more mindfully examine its pre-conceived notions, including about scripture. For example, in his November 15th, 1967 article, “The Bible in the Early Restoration“, F. Henry Edwards asked what authority the scriptures had in our church life, as they could have such wildly different interpretations.

The conservatives of the church considered this a preposterous question. In response, the Center Stake of Zion passed a resolution they entitled “Affirmation of Scriptures” just 4 days after F. Henry Edwards’s article was published. This resolution essentially sought to restrict the entirety of the church to the scriptures.

“Affirmation of Scriptures” from the Center Stake of Zion

Approved November 19th, 1967

WHEREAS, There is always the possibility that false teachings can enter into the church, and

WHEREAS, The church is not for the purpose of communicating ideas that are not consistent with the scriptures (Inspired Version of the Bible, Authorized Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants); therefore be it

Resolved, That we affirm that the Inspired Version of the Bible, Authorized Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants are the scriptures of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and any teachings, writings, or activities that are not consistent with these scriptures shall not be tolerated in the church, its organizations, publications, or institutions (Doctrine and Covenants 42:4, 16)

Response and Discussion

It was announced in the January 1st, 1968 edition of the Herald that this resolution would be discussed at that year’s World Conference. The reactions to this resolution were swift, divisive, and often harsh. Even at this point in the life of the church we could see the fault lines that would ultimately rupture in the 1980s.

“Appalled Australian Appointee” by A.H. Edwards (Herald 115-2:40)

To the Editor:

I was appalled to read of the resolution passed by the Center Stake of Zion dealing with the three standard books. What a giant step backwards this resolution is. If i remember correctly the Doctrine and Covenants counsels us to seek knowledge from all good books. I would like to know who would police this resolution if passed, and just who would sit as judge in deciding whether or not the teachings, writings, and activities were consistent with the scriptures.

It seems to me that the Saints of the Center Stake are afriad of finding more light and truth which might force them to change their basic concepts. Such a defensive point of view also leads one to believe that the Center Stake Saints are fearful of having their beliefs shattered in light of modern scholarship.

Let us hope that the rest of the World Church has a more positive point of view than the narrow one expressed in this resolution.

A.H. Edwards
Sydney, Australia

“Center Stake Seventy Responds” by Gene Walton (Herald 115-3:112)

To the Editor:

A.H. Edwards’ letter (January 15) titled “Appalled Australian Appointee” really takes the cake. He states that those who favor removing false teachings from the church are taking a giant step backwards. I suppose, then, that when we follow the instruction of modern scholars we are walking in the light.

I believe we need to take a giant step backwards, and walk within the limits of church policy as defined by Joseph Smith, the prophet of the Reorganization. I believe this resolutionpassed by Center Stake will accomplish that very thing. Church History, Volume 3, page 684, in a section headed “What is the Policy of the Reorganization? Has it a policy?” states that the church’s policy is to “insist that the laws to govern the church are found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants; and whatever is contained in those books as doctrine for the salvation of man is the doctrine of the church. That whatever is taught to the church as doctrine, not in accordance with, or denies, contradicts, is in opposition to or contravenes the teachings found in those books is not the doctrine of the church; that all men, Latter Day Saints included, are amenable to God for their acts here, and always; that the scriptures are to all men for guidance.”

If we will take our heads out of the sand and be truly honest with the facts we will admit that we have men in the church today who are making statements not in harmony with our church policy as defined by President Joseph, and more than this, these teachings contradict, deny, contravene, and are in opposition to, and not in accordance with the three standard books, and therefore should not be tolerated to continue as it is not the doctrine of the church.

I realize this is a very strong statement; but it can be proven. In the Senior High Quarterly, Pupil’s Reader, Course C (October, November, December, 1960) titled “The Old Testament Speaks to Our Day,” the belief in God’s word concerning who wrote the first five book of the Bible is questioned. Whether or not Adam was actually created instantly of the dust of the earth is not only questioned as to its truthfulness, but is denied on page 12.

This denial is in opposition to God’s word. I quote from the preface to the I.V., “And now Moses, my son, I will speak unto thee concerning this earth upon which thou standest, and thou shall write the things which I shall speak, and in a day [twentieth century] when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught, and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee [Joseph Smith the Martyr], and they shall be had again among the children of men, among even as many as shall believe” (emphasis mine). Support for my statement can also be made by a comparison of the above with The Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi 1:158-159, pages 14-15, and several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, including Section 42:5, 16 and General Conference Resolution 387.

Brother Edwards says he would like to know who would police this resolution if it passed, and just who would sit as judge in deciding whether or not the teachings, writings, and activities were consistent with the scriptures. In answer I refer him to Doctrine and Covenants 126:10D, which can only mean that the three major quorums, Presidency, Twelve, and [seventy], have been provided, by law, with such responsibility.

As for the Saints of Center Stake being fearful that their faith will be shattered in the light of modern scholarship, and of being narrow in their point of view, I will close with my own personal testimony. Approximately fifteen years ago the watering down of the truths of scriptures started taking place in the Protestant denomination in which I was a minister, and I decided to look for a people and a church that stood on God’s word. I found that church and I left the broad way that Jesus said leads to destruction; and placed my feet upon the “old, old path,” the narrow way of Christ. That path which the Saints of God walk upon which leads to Life Eternal.

Gene Walton

Independence, Missouri

“An Erroneous Interpretation: Response to A.H. Edwards” by Iola McNutt (Herald 115-4:112)

To the Editor:

I can’t figure out why our appalled Australian appointee (January 15) should be so upset with the Center Stake resolution. Since when has it become so “far out” to expect the teachings, writings, and activities of this church to remain consistent with the doctrine as set forth in our three standard books? There seems little or no doubt that Brother Edwards has placed an erroneous interpretation on the contents of the entire resolution.

If, in fact, the Center Stake is fearful of having their beliefs shattered in the light of modern scholarship, it might be because they have seen some of these scholars at work. I, for one, and I don’t think I’m alone, hope that this resolution will pass. As for the enforcement or policing of this resolution, I suggest that Brother Edwards, myself, and every other member of this church should do their part.

Iola McNutt
Sylmar, California

“A Note of Surprise” by Eldon Derry (115-5:149)

To the Editor:

We were not too surprised to read of the action taken by Center Stake. When things may not be going well for an organization, it is always easy to take action diametrically opposed to the action necessary to guide the church in a direction that will fulfill its basic objectives.

Certainly, to promote an idea that would be exclusive, rather than inclusive, as far as other people are concerned, will not fulfill our mission. It is surprising that theories stated there are exact opposites, or negative, from what our position should be. Outs should be a relatedness in spirit with all men and a people cannot develop commonness of spirit with more rules that separate them. History is replete with abuses of rules and the punishments for them. Truth does not come from rules, but from involvement in human experience and knowledge that every one on earth belongs to the children of God.

A church is a place where people come together to break bread and it seems that we have not developed the institutions that are giving people a satisfacation in this area that is necessary; therefore, there are attempts to break down the institutions. Institutions promote social pressure, authority, presentations, and pressures. We do not believe that the church of the future will bring people to God with these worn-out tools.

Eldon Derry
Mission, Kansas

“A Scriptural Freeze?” by Evan V. Shute (Herald 115-5:170)

To the Editor:

I notice that the Center Stake proposes a resolution for the coming Conference obviously designed to “freeze” our scriptures in their present form. Can its movers have read recent Heralds or the introduction to the Authorized Book of Mormon?

For example, F.H. Edwards’ recent articles in the Herald point out that the Inspired Version was incompletely and inadequately revised. The “Authorized Version” of the Book of Mormon has been even more recently set in its proper context by our historian in an article in the Herald. He makes it clear that it is the fifth revised text (1830, 1837, 1840, 1842, 1908) since even the first edition of 1830 was a revision of the original dictated language. It is amusing but disconcerting to realize that had the Center Stake’s resolution been carried in the Conference of 1906 we would not have the very “Authorized Version” we now use.

Too many of the resolutions coming up at Conference seem out of touch with our world, too picayune and self-centered. In a world where hundreds of millions are starving and east and west Asia are in agony and our continent is bedeviled by race riots, we plan to discuss voting age and the appointment of branch pastors in stakes. We seem to be lost in trivialities with the world in flames.

Even our economics are at fault. Once every two years we meet for fifteen hours of legislative action, ceremonies, and ordinations, whose cost is at least $60,000 per hour if we consider salaries, preparation time, and the costs of the Auditorium chamber largely built for Conference purposes, and the hundreds of dollars each visitor spends. Our debates are too expensive to deal with trifles. Surely both God and man can expect more of us than this.

Evan V. Shute
London, Ontario, Canada

“Some Scriptural Teachings” by William D. Russell (Herald 115-7:221)

To the Editor:

I would like to suggest some scriptural “truths” which will be binding upon us all in the Center Stake Resolution is passed.

  1. The church will henceforth teach its members not to take part in war, for Jesus himself taught us to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:41) and the Ten Commandments expressly forbid killing (Exodus 20:13).
  2. All marriages across nationality lines shall be strictly prohibited, and all such marraiges already contracted shall be broken (see Exra and Nehemiah)
  3. The church shall recognize no grounds for divorce, for Jesus does not in Mark 10:11.
  4. The injuction of I Timothy 5:23 that “a little wine is good for the belly” shall be heeded by all the Saints.
  5. Baptism for the dead shall be accepted by the church (I Corinthians 15:29; DOctrine and Covenants 109:5)
  6. The death penalty shall be instituted for adultery, incest, homosexuality, and beastiality (Leviticus 20:1-16)
  7. All people who have ancestors within ten generations who were born out of wedlock shall be excluded from the church for the sin of their ancestors (Deuteronomy 23:2).

The Preceding are only a few samples of the many “new trends” the church will take when this progressive document is passed. Future World Conferences can be held in the kitchen on the lower level of the Auditorium.

William D. Russell
Lamoni, Iowa

“The Old, Old Path: Response to Gene Walton” by Mrs. Virginia Myers (Herald 115-7:221)

To the Editor:

I don’t know what words to use to say how much I agree with Brother Gene Walton’s letter under the title, “Center Stake Seventy Responds,” in the February 15 issue of the Herald.

My husband, too, had been a minister in another denomination. Together we had encountered numberous breakdowns in doctrine which then were followed by breakdowns in ethics. Believe me, the righteous path, the old, old path, is a narrow one – rebellious mankind to the contrary.

I have every confidence in the Three Standard Books of scripture and the truth of the proper organizational form of the chruch and its offices. But some thoughts uttered by some of the membership, leaders included, concern me considerably. I t often appears that man’s pride in his own supposed learning supersedes his knowledge of God and his wisdom.

Mrs. Virginia Myers
Gibbon, Nebraska

“In the Spirit of Fraternity” by Robert G. Fisher (Herald 115-7:221)

To the Editor:

I have read the resolution of the Center Stake Conference of November 19th, 1967 calling for non-toleration by the church, its organizations, publications, and institutions, of teachings, writings, or activities that are “not consistent” with the Three Standard Books. I would like to comment upon both the resolution and the sharp tone of some of the debate it has provoked.

The Center Stake resolution, and the dispute it has caused, are not worthy subjects for much attention in these difficult times when there is so much need for constructive fraternity in our church. The resolution could not make the truth any more true or falsity any more false if it were to be enacted unanimously by the forthcoming World COnference (as it almost certainly will not be) and tattooed on the back of each member’s left hand.

The Center Stake resolution cannot resolve any disputes within the church, but it has potential for creating division, as the reactions to it are already beginning to demonstrate. The resolution ought to be defeated because it is, particualrly at this stage of the history of our church, rather harshly inconsistent with the following scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 136:3C:

“Only in the peace of fraternity and the unity of those caught up in the spirit of Zionic redemption can the work of the Lord be accomplished. To this task let the church devote its energies.

Robert G. Fisher
Towson, Maryland

“Writer Fears Inquisition: Response to Gene Walton” by W.B. (Pat) Spillman (Herald 115-7:221)

To the Editor:

I read with interest Brother Gene Walton’s february 15 letter supporting the Center Stake resolution regarding church teachings. I believe Brother Walton entirely misinterpreted the meaning of Doctrine and Covenants Section 126:10, in his contention that the Presidency, Twelve, and Bishopric are provided with the responsibility of judging the consistency of church teachings with the scriptures.

Section 126 was given at Lamoni, Iowa in 1902 “in regard to the gathering and the work of the Bishopric in regard to the law of tithing and consecreation.” In particular, according to part “A” of paragraph 10, Joseph Smith III “made inquiry what should be the attitude of the church in regard thereto.” The total paragrahph points out that the whole book of Doctrine and Covenants “was to guide the advice and action of the Bishopric.” It goes on to stipulate that “unless the liberties of the people of the church should be in jeopardy, the application of the law as stated by the Bishopric should be acceded to.”

Section 126:10D, which Walton referred to, reads, “In case there should be a flagrant disregard of the rights of the people, the quorums of the church in joint council should be appealed to, and their action and determination should govern.” It goes on to say in [10]E, “I inquired what quorums of the church were meant, and I was answered, the three quorums the decisions of which are provided for in the law—the Presidency, the Twelve, and the Seventy.”

It seems obvious to me that Brother Walton has quoted a portion of the Doctrine and COvenants that provides for a check and balance on the Bishopric as they attempt to implement the gathering and the work in regard to the law of tithing and consecration. It seems unlikely that this scripture can be interpreted as relating to such matters as passing judgments on false teachings within the church.

This is the danger involved in any attempt to define “truth” once and for all. Even the best intentioned “see through a glass darkly” and are liable to interpret scripture out of context or at least differently than other equally well-intentioned persons. Rather then having an RLDS Inquisition I would suggest that when a Saint is in doubt regarding the divinity of any teaching he take the Lord’s advice to Oliver Cowdery in section 10:3 and thus develop a personal testimony of truth.

W.B. (Pat) Spillman
Independence, Missouri

“Images and Incantations” by Stephen J. Bradley (Herald 115-8:257)

To the Editor:

There have been letters in recent Heralds which have indicated that we should accept as true anything written in certain books, or that it is important that we name our organization with a certain arrangement of words. These people are not one bit less guilty of superstition and the worship of false idols than are primitive tribesmen who worship graven images and utter magical incantations.

Revelation should be the foundation of our churc. But it has to combine elements of inspiration and reason. Reason is needed to sperate true inspireation from false. One need only talk to people of several different faiths who all have “the spirit burning within” backing uo their own beliefs to see that this “burning within” method is extremely unreliable. Reason, faulty though it is, is the best tool we have for evaluating supposed inspiration. This openness has freed them from the chains of scientific tradition. Science without inspiration and religion without reason are both dead ends.

We vote on the revelations of our prophet because we know he is human. And so are those who vote. We all have the limitations of the human mind and are further limited by our upbringing which causes us to think in certain channels. We are human and our understanding will always be inadequate.

Our scriptures, just like other people’s scriptures, contain many precious gems of wisdom, as well as many mistaken ideas. Either the scriptures are “truth” all packaged up ir they are not.I f one passage of scrripture is subject to question, then every passage is. And no reasonable person can deny that some passages are questionable.

I certainly hope that there are those in the church who are teachings things “contrary to the bible.” It would be pretty sad if religion had made no progress in 2,000 years.

The mission of the church should be individual and social reform in the direction of Zion, a righteous society. We will need righteous people, not closed-minded people.

Stephen J. Bradley
North Burnaby, British Columbia

“Admonition in Scriptural Vessels: A Response to William D. Russell” by Francis T. Schrunk (Herald 115-10:329)

To the Editor:

I am surprised at the limited scriptural knowledge expressed by William D. Russell (Letter, April 1, 1968). Practically all of the scriptural “truths” refers to have been made obsolete, or superseded by the light that has come to us through the Book of Mormon, the Inspired Version, and the Doctrine and Covenants.

The texts he refers to the Nos. 1, 2, 6, and 7 were all given to the children of Israel, and according to my knowledge of the scriptures the Mosiac law was superseded by the gospel of Christ when He came to fulfill and do away with that which was carnal.

At the beginning of creation God commanded man “not to shed the blood of man” (Genesis 9:10-13), but also gave law to take the life of man who deliberately killeth, as the Book of Mormon so nicely states it (2nd Nephi 6:69). Latter day revelation tells the church (Doctrine and Covenants 42:6) that “he that kiils shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come,” but it also tells us when we are, and are not, justified in going to war, as does the Book of Mormon.

The text quoted from Mark in No. 3, found in verses 9-10 I.V., must again be taken in light of other texts on this. All three books condemn divorce for any reason other than infidelity. Man, not God, saw fit to change this through Conference action.

In No. 4, “use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake” was given by Paul to Timothy, probably because Timothy had some stomach ailment, and all health-conscious people today recognize the health benefits of freshly made grape juice. Again (in Doctrine and Covenants 86:1) the church is commanded to use “wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make” for sacramental purposes. There was, in the original Greek, some eaight to ten words, some of which meant freshly made grape juice, but when translated into the more perfect English (?) language they could only find one word “wine” for all of the ten.

Neither of the two references Brother Russell quotes is a commandment to practice batism for the dead. Read carefully Moroni 8:25-27, which condemns the practice in strong language, “and unto such baptism availeth nothing.”

I suggest that Brother Russell place at the head of his list of “all good books,” to most diligently study, prayerfully, the Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants.

Francis T. Schrunk
Lincoln, Nebraska

There were two substitute resolutions that were proposed, both of which wanted to explicitly not restrict the entirety of the church to the scriptures.

“Truth from All Sources” from the San Francisco Bay Stake

“WHEREAS, The study of the mission of the church in the contemporary world requires an analysis of the cultural revolution and crises of our time in relation to the uniqueness of our faith; and

WHEREAS, Section 147:7 of the Doctrine and Covenants emphasizes the necessity of interpreting, evaluating, and applying the scriptural principles of former years in this age; and

WHEREAS, In such process of study, interpretation, evaluation, and application the church should seek for truth and experience from all sources, scriptural as well as non-scriptural, in accordance with Section 85 of the Doctrine and Covenants; therefore be it

Resolved, That the World Conference looks with favor on the leaders and members of the church seeking truth and accumulated experience derived from all sources as they endeavor to study and apply principles of the gospel to the social, moral, and religious concerns of this age.

J. Substitute Motion for Affirmation of Scripture

WHEREAS, There exists confusion in the minds of many between that which the Lord recommends for the Saints to study and that which they are to teach; and

WHEREAS, We recognize the admonition given to the Presidency in 1833 (Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and F[rederick] G. Williams) that in order for the fullness of the gospel to be heard by every man in his own tongue, they should study and learn and become acquainted with all good books, with languages, tongues, and people (D&C 87:5)

WHEREAS, The Lord has admonnished that the Saints should seek diligently and “teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning even by study, and also by faith” (D&C 85:36A); and that such preparation should be made with “prayer and fasting” (D&C 85:21A); and

WHEREAS, the Lord revealed that all faithful elders should go into all the world and “preach the gospel” of Christ (D&C 68:1F-1G); the injunction to “preach the truth” (D&C 21:1) applies to all priesthood as wel as to Oliver Cowdery; the elders are called and “sent forth not to be taught but to teach the children of men” (D&C 43:4B) by the Holy Spirit; and all priesthood are commanded to “teach the principles of my gospel which are in the Bible, and the Book of Mormon… and to observe the covenants:’ and

WHEREAS, All church members are “called” (D&C 119:8) to share this mission and all people who have been warned are challenged and “sent” to “testify and warn” others; and

WHEREAS, The membership is further commanded to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom… that you may be instructed more perfectly in theoty, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel” (D&C 85:21B); therefore be it

Resolved, That we Reaffrim our belief in the revelations to us which clearly differentiate between the injunctions to “study” all good books and the specific commands to “teach” the truth of the gospel as found in the Three Standard Books of the church; and be it further

Resolved, That the priesthood and leaders of the church be instructed to proclaim only those principles which are in consistent harmony with the gospel in the Three Standard Books of the church, its publications, institutions, and public ministry.


This was quite the divisive topic, but it was ultimately resolved in Conference. The President of the church, W. Wallace Smith, gave us a revelation which came to be numbered as Doctrine and Covenants 149.

While this section is most often discussed in terms of the announcing of the Independence Temple, verse 5 also settled where we should take guidance from.

Doctrine and Covenants 149: 5

My servants … are commended for their diligence in seeking more light and truth from all available sources. For have I not told you that my glory is intelligence and he that seeketh learning by study and by faith will be rewarded in this life and the life to come? Your efforts to find ways to more successfully implement the goals of my church must be continued.

Ultimately, these resolutions were nulled by this revelation, and they were tabled by the delegates without discussion

Official 1968 World Conference Transcript

(Page 254)

Chairman Smith: … We call your attention now to item #1 on page 145. Who moves this resolution? Apparently you do not want to discuss it. We will move on to the next item. Item #23. Its pretty late, however, we don’t want to give evidence of the fact that we don’t want to consider these but they’re not going before us until they’re moved and if you don’t get on the trigger we’re going to move on because we have lots to do. This is before us, regularly moved and seconded. I would, just a moment. We need to know the names of those people that moved it. Now you jumped up.

Gordon Suddaby: Gordan Suddaby, Owen Sound District.

Chairman Smith: Thank you. And the seconder was Brother Gene [Eugene] Walton, I believe. The chair recognizes Brother Howard Downs.

Howard Downs: Mr. President. I wish to move item #2, “Truth from all sources” as a substitute motion for item #1 and then be recognized for further suggestion motion which I believe will expedite consideration of these matters.

Chairman Smith: Thank you. Do I hear a second? Brother Earl Horton seconds the motion.

Howard Downs: In view of the document (D&C 149) page 262 which has been approved by this Conference body I move to lay both of these matters, the all substitutes item #1 and item #2 which has been moved as a substitute, on the table.

Chairman Smith: Do I hear a second? Brother Coleman seconds the motion. We are confronted with the motion to lay on the table which is not debatable. We will proceed to put the motion. Those in favor make it known by show of hand. Opposed the same sign. The motion to lay on the table prevails. Brother [Delbert] Smith.

Delbert Smith: Would it be in order at this time to move item j on page 270 which also relates to the scriptures?

Chairman Smith: Yes, if you can get a second, we’ll have it on the – Brother Gene [Eugene] Walton seconds the motion. However, this is moved and seconded and will be called up at a later time for our consideration. This just moved it and we’ll consider, for our consideration. This just moved it and we’ll consider, continue on the agenda which we have prepared and call your attention to item #27 on page 155. Brother [Howard] Downs? What is your point?

Howard Downs: The motion to lay on the table was expressed in terms of item #1 and all substitutes thereto as well as item #2. The prior substitute having been printed. It was my purpose and my statement that it would be as part of the motion to lay on the table.

(Page 255)

Chairman Smith: That, that, of course, if included in the motion would take J on page 256, I believe it was, and this was the intent of the mover and the seconder which you have voted. All right, Brother [Larry] Melton.

Larry Melton: I know I get mixed up on my parliamentary procedure sometimes but I fail to understand how you can take a scripture, not forget it, a resolution that says that we don’t believe in false teachings and put another resolution that is not even on the subject as a substitute. The other resolution says we believe in truth from all sources. I’ve always said that I believe in truth from all sources, the #1 resolution–

Chairman Smith: Brother Melton, you are out of order. We have disposed of this matter by the action we have taken and you are discussing it. Brother [William] Dodds.

William Dodds: Was your ruling that item J was included under that tabling motion?

Chairman Smith: Yes.

William Dodds: I’d like to have the secretaries read that tabling motion then. I did not interpret that to be covering J. I thought it was on 1 and 2.

Chairman Smith: We will have the reading of the motion. The motion calls for one and two and all related matters which would cover J and this is so interpreted. Brother McClain? No – Pelletier. Brother [A.M.] Pelletier [Jr.}.

A.M. Pelletier Jr.: I’ve been mistaken as his father before but never as he. Mr. Chairman in the light of the fact that some were confused and didn’t understand that this included J, at least some that are seated around me, I’d like to suggest a recount of the house.

Chairman Smith: Well, you’re suggesting it but you’re not moving it, so we will take your suggestion only as a suggestion. For what purpose do you rise?

Unidentified: I have a question. If Brother Pelletier made a suggestion, may I make a motion to that effect, that we recount at this point?

Chairman Smith: Very well. Now this, do I get a second to the motion? Brother Pelletier would like to second it. The motion which you’re going to vote on is whether or not you shall lay on the table items #1 and 2 and all related matters. So we are going to see whether or not you want to do this, whether you want to divide the house and this is what we’re going to vote on. Brother, what is it? Very well.

Unidentified: In my mind the phrase, “and all related matters,” is somewhat subject to vagueness of interpretation. I would appreciate a description from the Chair as to what items that may have been printed would specifically be embraced in the phrase “and all related matters.” Now apparently one such related matter has been identified. Are there others?

(Page 256)

Chairman Smith: No, not directly related to this particular action, Brother Jeffery (?).

Jeffery (?): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Smith: In order that we don’t complicate the procedure, perhaps we could take the item J at the moment and give it consideration. Let’s back up to Brother Delbert [Smith]’s motion to consider it and do it now instead of later and consider that we have laid #1 and #2 on the table. We don’t want to be arbitrary in these matters but it seemingly is not clear that Brother Downs included this in his motion to lay on the table. Brother [Howard] Downs.

Howard Downs: We will now be clear and we will have an opportunity to vote. I move to lay item J on the table.

Chairman Smith: Brother Noble Gault. It’s been moved and seconded that we now lay item J on the table. This is not debatable. We’re going to have to decide whether we’re going to lay this on the table or not. Very well. What’s your point?

Unidentified: I have a question. Is item J before this body officially?

Chairman Smith: It is now by motion of Brother Delbert Smith and the second that he proposed.

Unidentified: Thank you.

The Question is, shall item J lay on the table as related to items #1, #1 and 2? Do you want this item to lay on the table? We have started the vote. What purpose do you rise? Is it related to whether it lays on the table or not? Very well.

Unidentified: Mr. President. When an item is laid upon the table, isn’t it required that some comment or some opportunity be made to give discussion before its laid on the table?

Chairman Smith: No. What is your point?

Roy Johnson: Roy Johnson, Northwest Ohio.

Chairman Smith: Brother Johnson.

Johnson: As I read it, on the Robert’s Rule of Order, that anything that is placed upon the table can be placed there for three months and that is the time limit.

Chairman Smith: This, this is probably subject to some interpretation but we would consider that three months would take us past this Conference and that this Conference when adjourned will not be the same body that comes back together in 1970. It will be constituted of different delegates and other personnel. So we will put to the vote. Should this item lay on the table? Those in favor make it known by show of hand. Opposed the same sign. Now, in order that nobody should be worried as to whether it carried or not, I feel that it did. Apparently you would like to have a division and instead of having you move it we’re going to let you (page 257) have a chance to be counted. If the tellers will take their places, we will call for the vote. Should this item lay on th table? Those in favor make it known by show of hand. Now keep your hands up long enough until they are counted. Will the tellers report?

(First number is the teller’s the second is the Secretary’s)

Fred L. Young: Brother Wakeman.

Chairman Smith: Pardon me, Mr. Secretary. Apparently they are not finished counting. Will the tellers report?

Fred L. Young:

Brother Wakeman: 91-91
Brother Bobbit: 50-50
Brother Olson: 123-123
Brother Burdekin: 59-59
Brother Lubers: 62-62
Brother Judd: 81-81
Brother Barlow: 75-75
Brother Baker: 36-36
Brother Carr: 74-74
Brother Sloan: 40-40
Brother Sheehy: 75-75
Brother Benson: 83-83
Brother Dobson: 117-117
Brother Woodstock: 89-89
Brother Dodds: 25-25
And there were 13 on the rostrum

Chairman Smith: Very well. Those who do not favor this laying on the table raise your hands until they are counted. Very well, will the tellers report?

Fred L. Young:

Brother Wakeman: 20-20
Brother Bobbit: 19-19
Brother Olson: 8-8
Brother Burdekin: 21-21
Brother Lubers: 55-55
Brother Judd: 9-9
Brother Barlow: 50-50
Brother Baker: 17-17
Brother Carr: 58-58
Brother Sloan: 20-20
Brother Sheehy: 34-34
Brother Benson: 77-77
Brother Dobson: 31-31
Brother Woodstock: 34-34
Brother Dodds: 16-16
And on the rostrum there was one.

Chairman Smith: We’ll wait for the totals from the secretary. The result of the voting: 1,093 says yes; 470 say no. It will lay on the table.


In light of this, it seems as if, paradoxically, we affirmed through scripture that we are not to exclusively look to scripture for wisdom; instead, we are to look at all available sources. In this way, the church the church affirmed a sort of universalism.