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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Book Of Mormon Bait & Switch

Previously: The Denver Snuffer Debacle

We Latter-day Saints love to revere the Book of Mormon, then tend to ignore its teachings in favor of doctrines found nowhere in its pages. As LDS cultural anthropologist Daymon Smith demonstrates in his remarkable book, A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon, this is nothing new. As it happens, few early converts to Mormonism bothered to read the Book of Mormon and had little idea of its contents. Most hadn't been converted through a reading of the book itself, but rather by what they thought the book represented. They saw the coming forth of ancient scripture on gold plates as evidence of God working miracles among men at the dawn of the millennial age. No need to actually read the book; the miracle was the message. Meanwhile, those converts who did read the Book of Mormon tended to scrounge around in it looking for parts that confirmed beliefs they already held.

If we are serious about the Book of Mormon being the cornerstone of our faith, then that book should be the litmus test as to what is and is not organically "Mormon." True, not every teaching has to have come from the Book of Mormon in order to be doctrinal. God did, after all, reveal additional truths through Joseph Smith both before and after that book came forth.

But a surprising amount of what we think is quintessentially "Mormon," actually turns out to be more Protestant than LDS. And many of those notions remain entrenched in the Church today. Daymon Smith takes a good hard look at where we got some of our more cherished beliefs and finds that more than a few teachings we assume are fundamentally "Mormon" are not to be found in the Book of Mormon, nor were they revealed by God through revelation. Instead, they have their roots in the Reformed Baptist movement from which many of our first converts were gleaned. These new converts, fresh from the tradition led by Alexander Campbell, remained firmly attached to their former beliefs. Rather than let those tenets go, they folded them into this new religion they were now a part of. Those who came after simply accepted these tenets as part and parcel of Mormonism. No one seems to have noticed a skunk had gotten into the woodpile. 

The Most Correct Book Ever Ignored
Soon after the publication of the Book of Mormon, many of those who embraced it immediately took to giving it second class status. They hailed it as miraculous and important alright, but they promoted it mostly as a companion to the bible; a marvelous work and a wonder that served to prop up the bible's authority. Never mind that the Book of Mormon prophets explicitly declared the bible to have been full of errors and omissions, and a stumbling block to mankind's spiritual progress for centuries. When new converts proclaimed this wonderful new scripture, it was mostly to support the veracity of the bible. It was rarely cited as its own authority. The Book of Mormon was touted as a helpmeet to the bible, "a second witness."

Among the teachings the Campbellites brought with them into the fledgling church was "The Plan of Salvation" outlined first by Campbell and Stone, and eventually codified in 1890 almost word-for-word in section four of our own Articles of Faith. Then there is that little matter of the "true church" being modeled after the primitive Christian church, replete with a priesthood of Apostles, Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons. Though it has been firmly entrenched in our culture for nearly two centuries, that organizational structure may turn out to be the most "un-Mormon" Mormon teaching of all. A religious organization structured after the primitive Christian Church is not recommended in the Book of Mormon, nor directed by God in any of his bona fide revelations. Yet we still cling to that format today, ignoring the fact that the first century church built on that paradigm failed precisely because it was so easy to infiltrate and neutralize.

Daymon Smith methodically reconstructs where and how these false teachings originated, and it appears the prime suspects are Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt. Both were greatly influenced by the teachings of Alexander Campbell, and both were instrumental in bringing many others into the church, including most of Reverend Rigdon's entire congregation.

The Face of Frontier Protestantism
If you have never heard of Alexander Campbell, he was the Billy Graham of his day. And for those of you reading this who may be too young to remember Billy Graham, in my day Billy Graham was huge. Graham was considered America's Preacher. He transcended denominations. His books sold millions. His speaking engagements filled stadiums. Politicians of both parties scrambled to be photographed with him if they had any hope of getting elected. In America, Billy Graham was bigger than the Pope.

That's how it was with Alexander Campbell, a famously popular evangelist in frontier America. He published as many as a hundred books and tracts, as well as a monthly periodical called The Christian Baptist. Every bible-believing American was familiar with Campbell and his teachings. When Campbell made personal appearances he was often accompanied by the Reverend Sidney Rigdon, known as "The Walking Bible" for his encyclopedic knowledge of scripture. Rigdon and his flock eventually broke from Campbell, but Rigdon retained his Cambellite beliefs, among them the idea that the true Church of Christ must be modeled after the New Testament church of the early apostles; that model would be evidence of the true church.

Both Rigdon and Pratt embraced the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as evidence that God was again working miracles, and they interpreted the book's miraculous coming forth as a sign that the true Church of Christ was at hand. And incredibly, the Book of Mormon spoke repeatedly of a "restoration." Say, that sounded familiar! Rigdon, Pratt, and the other disciples of Christ had been looking forward to a "Restoration of Ancient Things" as taught by Alexander Campbell.  This mention of restoration in the Book of Mormon was taken by them as a sign that the restoration was at hand and that they were to be part of it. To them, the word restoration meant something very specific: a restoring of the New testament church as it had been at the time of the apostles. Never mind that was not at all what the word "restoration" meant as contained in the Book of Mormon. These newbies only saw what they wanted to see. They saw the word, and they jumped to their own conclusions regarding that word's meaning.

Here is the way a friend of mine concisely described the meaning of "restoration" as used in the Book of Mormon:
"When the Book of Mormon spoke of "Restoration" it was referring to Israel being restored to the knowledge of their fathers; it meant our bodies being restored to their proper frame; Justice and mercy being restored to us individually. One way of looking at restoration is as a kind of Karma. What you put out into the universe is eventually restored to you. If I am in a place of judgment and accusation, then I become hindered with guilt and fear. However, if I’m willing to let go of the anger, then peace will be restored again to me."
I think the Book of Mormon prophets would be aghast at how we have warped their meaning. It is quite clear that the structure of the early "church" as presented in our perverted Bible is the last place they would want us to look to for direction. That icon failed a century after it was birthed, and the Book of Mormon was explicit in warning about it.

At the time of the Rigdonite influx of converts to Mormonism, there was no organized LDS church. Neither had Alexander Campbell's Disciples of Christ come into being as a formal denomination. That wasn't formed until 1832. The collection of Christians throughout America who loosely followed the teachings of Alexander Campbell called themselves disciples of Christ (small 'd' disciples) the same as many others called themselves "followers" of Christ. They were not members of any denomination led by Alexander Campbell; they merely subscribed to his interpretation of the bible. Most of these disciples of Christ became known as "Restorationists," and those who were gathered in Ohio with an interest in this new record translated from gold plates were labeled "Mormonite" Restorationists.

These new Mormonites might have declared a belief in the Book of Mormon, but that wasn't what pushed their buttons. What they really saw themselves a part of was restoring the ancient Christian church to the earth in these latter days.  Finding the word "restoration" in the Book of Mormon seemed to validate their belief that they were to be part of restoring the church the way it had been before the Holy Roman Empire mucked it all up.

They hadn't really found references to a restored church in the Book of Mormon, because churches in the Book of Mormon weren't organized from the top down. But they fooled themselves into thinking they had found it, just the same.

The tiny group around Joseph Smith had consisted of little more than Oliver Cowdery and a handful of witnesses to the Book of Mormon.  This new wave of Rigdonite converts swelled the ranks of the as-yet unorganized "church" considerably. Daymon Smith shows how their influence effectively diverted the nascent community away from a focus on the Book of Mormon and toward something else entirely. As Smith puts it, "Restorationists did not 'join' any church so much as graft the Book of Mormon onto their own metatext, and were [now being] called Mormonites..." (pg 155).

Even then, they didn't think of themselves in terms of the Book of Mormon. They were Restorationists first. Smith fully documents how this Restorationist philosophy elbowed its way in and overshadowed the message of the Book of Mormon. Instead of using the Book of Mormon to bring individuals to Christ, the focus shifted to bringing converts into this newly formed Church. And that remains our primary focus today: not so much bringing people to Christ as bringing new converts into the "true" Church.

Digging Through The Wreckage
I'm not engaging in hyperbole when I say A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon is the most important book I have read in a very long time. It's a game changer. It has forced me to completely rethink many of the things I have long believed were fundamental to my religion, and seek again for truths I had been ignoring. Frequently while reading the book, I would have to put it down for a moment to allow my head a chance to stop swimming.

Smith fully documents the Protestant Restoration tradition going back 400 years through Alexander Campbell and his influential father, Thomas Campbell, and other members of the Scottish Enlightenment. This was no new movement revealed by God in 1830. It's old news; and not all good news.  Smith painstakingly shows how our incipient religion was tainted very early by the false assumption that restoring the ancient church was our primary purpose for being.

As a cultural anthropologist, Daymon Smith has done a more thorough job of digging deep into the roots of Mormonism than many of those officially charged with the task.  It's little wonder LDS court historians sometimes have trouble fitting the pieces together. They are often forced to begin with what our conditioning teaches us must have been the endgame, then reasoning backward to try and make it all fit.

As Denver Snuffer put it, "reasoning backward requires you to begin with the result...To reach this outcome, you proceed with whatever assumptions are required to justify the conclusion" (Passing the Heavenly Gift, pg 321). But the problem with Mormon history is that much of it was tweaked and doctored years and even decades after the events described, then re-written again to more closely fit the chosen narrative. Many of these inconsistencies have been seized on by anti-Mormon writers as evidence of fraud, when what was happening was our pioneer forefathers were busy overlaying contrary dogmas ex post facto. They had a view of the manner in which they felt something should have taken place, and sometimes injected descriptions of those events retroactively in written accounts that contradicted other versions.

Happily for those inclined to know the real story, many source documents still exist, but few of us were made aware how much the original documents contradict things we were taught growing up. How many of us knew, for instance, that Brigham Young directed Willard Richards and others to doctor the official History of the Church, putting words into Joseph Smith's mouth he never spoke while omitting many of the prophet's actual declarations? Or that at least one scribe quit the church rather than obey those orders to fabricate history?  It takes a monumental effort to sort fact from fiction, but an anthropologist would have the appropriate training for the job. Where previous LDS researchers invented theories to make their findings fit the conventional narrative, Daymon Smith is not afraid to expose the blemishes for what they are: unattractive warts appearing on an otherwise healthy body. Regarding the revisionist history we have been raised with, Smith writes,
"What we read is mostly retrospection, recollection, revision, tradition, outright fabrication, guesswork. Gaps there for the filling in. Texts have been retroactively dated after being altered and the originals misplaced. We have little to compare post-Rigdon documents against. 'Significant changes have been made in the published texts of LDS scriptures and in church documents published in official histories, [historian Michael] Quinn complains, 'These changes retroactively introduced concepts, people, names, and structures which did not exist in the original revelations and historical documents.'
 "Changes are difficult to discern, and often cannot be checked against earlier text. It is a mess. The more difficult changes to track, however, come not from an inserted phrase or title or office. When the words seem the same -disciple, apostle, authority, dispensation, restoration- but the meaning has changed: that is when we risk retroactively reading inherited traditions covertly back onto the past.  More dangerous than formal changes, these changes in meaning have regrounded post-Rigdon Restorationism into the imagination of Mormons, and seemingly into the Book of Mormon itself." (Pg 200)
Here's why I think A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon is so important: within the first year of publication of the Book of Mormon, we had already begun to veer oh-so-slightly off course. Smith takes us back to the very beginning to show how things started going awry almost from the start. Those prideful members who are convinced Satan could never get a toehold in this work have little inkling of the subtle, nearly imperceptible ways of the Adversary.

The history of this church is a tragedy, really, when you think of how things could have turned out. The message of the Book of Mormon could have been universally embraced. It should have flooded the earth and brought multitudes of people to Christ. It's message was intended for literally everyone. Instead, it is identified in the public mind as a book proprietary to one specific religious denomination. And that denomination is not universally admired by most of the world's people. They don't really like us; why should they read our book?

What's worse, and clearly contrary to the will of God, a person who is converted to Christ through the Book of Mormon today can't simply give himself over to Christ and be baptized. Mormon Baptism means you are joining our congregation, and you'd darn well better be worthy of us. First you have to be vetted with an interview to make certain you are already following our rules. We can't have someone calling himself a Mormon seen holding a cup of coffee, now can we? In a Church that has become more of a brand than a religious society, the primary concern becomes protecting the image of the brand. Before you can become a member of the church that introduced you to the Book of Mormon, you are expected to comply with a list of rules and preconditions that are nowhere to be found within the pages of that book.

A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon is essential reading for all latter-day Saints. And this is only volume I of a projected five book series. It touches on only the first two years following publication of the Book of Mormon. Subsequent volumes will take us through to the present time. Volume II is already available (and has itself been split into two volumes). Volume III is almost ready. This series promises to be groundbreaking. Future volumes will show how the Book of Mormon fell so out of favor with the Utah pioneers that it was rarely read in private or spoken of from the pulpit. It was as though the Saints didn't see a need for it anymore now that they had their Church. At least one member found a use for it. A visitor to Utah at the turn of the century reported seeing a copy of the Book of Mormon in a Mormon outhouse. The pages weren't for reading, but for wiping.

Is it any wonder the Lord told Joseph Smith that the whole Church was under condemnation for treating lightly the things contained in that book? Mormons in Utah didn't start giving much thought to the Book of Mormon again until the late 1880s, and then only in stories published for children. Later Sunday School manuals would repeat the errors found in the children's stories, and if you follow the correlated manuals in church today you're still getting a half-cooked version of what the Lord intended you to have. As Denver Snuffer reminded readers on his website recently:
"Our thinking is tied to a model given to us by the Mormon traditions. The scriptures are not necessarily in harmony with those traditions. Therefore, it is necessary to look carefully at the scriptures, discard untruths, discover the revelations that are there and then believe what God has revealed. For many people that is too much to ask."
It's Not All Bad News
The ray of hope in all this is that everything is going according to plan. God had foreknowledge of all this. A very important part of Daymon's dissertation is Joseph's recitation of Ezekiel 14, which in essence tells us that God can only speak to us through our "multitude of idols."

As much as I frequently appear to rag on Sidney Rigdon, I actually have great compassion and admiration for the guy. It was largely due to his and Parley Pratt's tremendous zeal that word even got out about the Book of Mormon. In section 35 of the Doctrine and Covenants Sidney is told that the Lord has prepared him for "a greater work." Then in verse 7 we read the key statement: "And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles [that's us], for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people." Rigdon's "great work" was to do exactly what he did, so that we, in our day, could manifest the "folly" and "abomination" of it all. This is further supported by Moroni in Ether 12:

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.
"Wherefore, I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly."
In other words, the only way that we could come out of captivity of the “Great and Abominable Church” was to see our weakness, and then reject it. We should be ever-grateful to Sidney, Parley, Brigham, and yes…. even Boyd! They have put our weakness on display and now “it is given” to us “to know the good from the evil.” The talent once briefly possessed by the early Saints was taken away as we truly learned the meaning of restoration.

Sidney Rigdon foolishly threatened the Missourians with “extermination” in his famous July 4th oration and that threat was subsequently turned against the Mormons when Missouri's Governor Boggs issued his infamous extermination order. That's Karma.

Our people failed to complete the Nauvoo temple in time so “instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord.” (D&C 124) Good or bad, we tend to get what we have coming to us.

We can lift the condemnation. We can be restored. That will happen as we repent. But I believe repentance must take place at the institutional level as well as individually. That would mean letting go of the philosophies of men mingled with scripture that we have allowed to endure for so long, and walking away from the false traditions of our fathers. The authoritarian structure of the LDS Church today can be directly traced to the Mormon/Campbellite mashup begun 184 years ago. Now that structure is beginning to crumble as members are awakening to the reality that something isn't working.

I agree with the remedy proposed by Daymon Smith. He advocates a fresh reading of the Book of Mormon, setting aside what we imagine is contained within its pages and seeing only what is actually there. If we are sincere in our belief that the Book of Mormon is the foundation of our faith, we may have to start untangling ourselves from doctrines that are foreign to it.
    
                                                                    *****

Update October 24: My friend Benjamin Reed, who is an LDS scholar specializing in New Testament studies, feels it's important to point out that although Alexander Campbell called himself a "Reformed Baptist," the Reformed Baptist movement of today is an entirely different animal. I concur with Reed. Today's Reformed Baptists have nothing to do with the Campbellite tradition or Restorationism. I wanted to make that clear before a mob of angry baptists shows up at my door demanding a retraction.
                                                                    
Announcements!
Denver Snuffer Updates:As I was writing this piece I learned that Denver Snuffer has posted on his own website a review of the first three available volumes of A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon. (where did he find time to read them so fast?) They contain excellent insight, and are available by clicking here.

Also, those who read my previous piece about Brother Snuffer may be interested in the transcripts of the talks he is giving and will continue to give over the next few months. Look to the right side of his homepage in the box labeled "DS Talks." As you'd expect, they are outstanding and insightful. He posts the transcripts as he has time to edit them, so if you can't wait that long and wish to hear the live audio, you can obtain CDs almost immediately from PublishingHope.com.

Because many ignorant people on the internet have accused Denver Snuffer of profiting from these presentations, I feel it's important to note that Snuffer spends his own money on renting the venues and charges no admission fee. The CDs are made available at a nominal cost by the person providing the sound equipment to record the talks. Denver Snuffer receives no part of the proceeds from those recordings.

The Australians: Our friends who were introduced in my piece "Circling the Wagons" have posted about their progress thus far here. Additional donations to the Circling the Wagons cause can be submitted by contacting the proprietor of Perfect Day.

Speaking of Which: New readers discovering my posts here about tithing, and especially the one about charity, frequently write to me asking for advice on which worthy causes they might send their money to. I'm tempted to tell them to send it all to me, but I'd probably just blow it on toys and candy as always. So it's best you consider my other favorites causes both of which serve deserving fellow Latter-day Saints:

Circling the Wagons, at the Perfect Day link above.Your money is placed in a dedicated account at Zion's bank, and you direct its use.

The Liahona Children's Foundation now has a Facebook Page, and here's a video:


And remember: don't EVER pass up the chance to give directly to someone in need you see on the street, "for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Hebrews 13:2)

183 comments:

me said...

Rock,
All the information that I've been open to the last couple of years reminds me of being on a path along a mountain side. The more information I get, the faster it comes, and then I start to run. And as I run, the ledge I was just on crumbles behind me. Yikes!
Dam those 'ites'.

Log said...

I have thought, at times, the BoM is a manual, and intended not so much for the Gentiles, who cannot perceive it correctly due to the traditions of their fathers, but for the remnant of Lehi through the Lamanites, to whom the kingdom shall be given at the coming of the Lord. The ordinances described therein are not what we practice today, and the doctrines contained therein are derided - no joke - as "born-again Baptist snake oil."

That was an interesting insight about Rigdon in D&C 35.

Anonymous said...

Rock, I forgot how to publish on our blog, so I am commenting under anonymous. but this is Ron Madson

Very well summarized. Thank you. Now there is a place I can send individuals to have an succinct overview of this most important work that Daymon is engaged in.

I agree with you that it is not hyperbole to say that "A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon" is perhaps the most important work in our generation and will be for years to come---even a game changer.

I have had the fortune to see this work in progress. I have read Volume 2:A and 2:B (it is in two parts) and it gets better and better. In fact I was so engrossed by volume 2:B that I could not put it down and read through the night and finished the following morning.
Little gems like Joseph reading Ezekiel 14 at the first general conference and then later explaining its significance---how incredibly prophetic/prescient.

Also, thank you so much for the plug for the Liahona Foundation. It is growing rapidly---and it is using the "fish and loaves model"rather than the corporate model ie, all money received goes directly to the children and their needs trusting that the baskets will refill each month/year.

again, thank you for your contribution to our faith community.

Anonymous said...

Can you briefly describe the true actual doctrines of the BoM? Im in the middle of my 5th reading in 4 years, still dont understand any of it, except somehow it seems to me the Nephites=modern LDS church members...am I on the right track with that? I feel somehow that there is an insidious evil in the Church...possibly its actually the great and abominable church? Please explain!

Log said...

Sure!

Read this paper...

Then read this one.

Enjoy. If you need a shorter gloss, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

For all you Facebookers, it looks like there is a page dedicated to this series of books:
Click Here

I hope to see interviews or at least a dialog with the author of the book.

The Arkwelder said...

It boggles my mind that someone can attend Sunday School, Seminary, Institute, etc., their whole lives and still not know what the BoM is about. It is about the need for two groups--i.e., the "Gentiles", represented by the Nephites and the Native Americans, represented by the Lamanites--to come together as one people. Both need to be converted to Christ. Gentiles must undergo transformation and be adopted into the house of Ephraim. The "Lamanites", being associated with the house of Manasseh, must become Anti-Nephi Lehies. The are parts of a whole, forming the single tribe of Joseph. The Book of Mormon presents two possible paths: In one scenario, the two groups never reconcile, and so the Nephite nation is literally annihilated, and the lamanite nation is culturally annihilated. In the other scenario, the two groups do reconcile, and they attain Zion. I think in reality we'll see a mix of the two paths, meaning the choice ultimately rests with us. But one thing is certain, there will be no room for "gentiles", or more specifically the gentile way of life, in God's future kingdom, and the LDS Church is unmistakably a gentile church. We will be have become Ephraimites, which means reconciling with Manasseh, which I think is what fulfilling the covenant of the Book of Mormon alludes to. One way or another, the Book of Mormon, in a nutshell, is not just about Christ; it is about the end of gentile dominance and the rise of indigenous peoples.

Frederick said...

Rock,

Yet another fantastic post. I just got my copy of Damon Smith's book a few days ago. I'm already loving it. We so often read things into scripture that aren't there. One that has gotten my attention lately is D&C 130:22-23. We assume it is speaking of the Godhead, but nowhere is Godhead mentioned in that scripture. If we read it as speaking of the Godhead, it doesn't make sense compared with the Fifth Lecture on Faith.

When we read our preconceived ideas, or false traditions of our fathers into the scriptures, we literally become blind to the messages contained within and we become deaf to the word of God.

Thank you!

Inspire said...

I think this is a good start, Arkwelder, but you're still reading a ton of tradition into the whole equation. How do we know the Lamanites are the Native Americans? Where in the B of M does it say anything about Ephraimites, other than some vague Isaiah passages? Is "numbered among them" (which is what it says about the Gentiles with the House of Lehi) the same as being "adopted" (which is not mentioned at all in the B of M)?

Nowhere does it say the Gentiles will be utterly destroyed, but it does say that some will come out of captivity (that number is in question, for sure), regroup with Israel and "they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded." This was a covenant made to many prophets, so at some time or another (maybe not our time, granted) a number of Gentiles will "repent," etc.

I guess my point is that we have to start from scratch, really, and make no assumptions about anything... people, places, doctrines, promises, etc. except for what can be shown in the Book of Mormon. Maybe then we can put this thing back together, piece by piece.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I didn't see a reminder on Facebook to check out this latest blog! I just happened to go to it to see if you had added anything new, and here it is! This was quite a bit to digest, and I'm going to have to study it further before I can make a judgement on it. Thanks for sharing, Rock. Winnie

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Yes Winnie, I got too busy with other pressing matters to announce this thing as I usually do on a handful of Mormon Facebook groups. All I did today was give it a plug on the Mormon Hub. I'll get some more notices up tomorrow.

Meantime, feel free to share this thing yourself if you think it's worthwhile.

Isaac said...

So Daymon Smith is probably busted. If you're excommunicated do you still have to wear a tie to church?

Steven Lester said...

Jesus never wore a tie. In fact, I've always wondered what would happen if somebody wore to Church exactly what Jesus wore as pictured in any of the Church Libraries. If it was good enough for the Ruler of The Universe...

Steven Lester said...

A thousand years ago I went to a Free Methodist University here in Seattle, and attendance at both an Old and a New Testament class was compulsory. The young people there (I was about 40 myself) had come from families who had been Methodists for decades and had been taught stuff in Sunday School their entire lives, but the teacher only relied on the Bible itself, and much argument ensued. Each time, the Doctor of Religion would listen patiently, and then would speak a single 5-word rejoinder that rather ended the discussion in its tracks. "What does the text say?"

As an example: in Genesis the serpent talks to Eve enticingly. Everybody says that the serpent was Satan, or Lucifer, but the text never identifies anybody of the sort. It only says that it was a serpent who spoke and that he was old, and so that is all that we really can say we know. Really, nothing else.

jenheadjen said...

Awww, come on! I already had 20 other things running through my mind. Now the serpent and Eve??? Thanks for adding another gem to ponder. :)

The Arkwelder said...

I would contend that the Lamanites are most definitely the modern day indigenous peoples of the Americas. I'm not making an argument for BoM historicity here (I think such arguments distract us from what's actually important about the BoM), but in terms of it being a work of prophetic allegory, I'm quite confident that the Lamanites represent indigenous peoples, perhaps with special emphasis being on Native Americans. Think what you want (I actually consider it a weaselly mopologist argument, nothing more), but I choose not to take such a narrow view. The book is clear enough (especially Mormon himself) on who the Lamanites are meant to represent.

You are indeed right that there is no mention of Ephraimites in the Book of Mormon. There is no real distinction. We just have Nephites, and thus, their modern counterpart, gentiles. That should give us cause to pause. That tells me that God doesn't really see any difference between, say, a Catholic and a Mormon. They are all Gentiles in his eyes. He used the early Catholic Church for same purposes that he's using the LDS Church: Gentiles are movers. They're good at spreading the message, getting it out there. However, they don't have a clue how to build Zion because the Gentile way of life is inherently unstable and vulnerable to "pride cycles", which ultimately leads nations on a downward spiral towards destruction.

So you are right, of course, not all gentiles will be destroyed, but all the gentile nations will be. And as we see today, all of the gentile nations are experiencing some level of decline. Everything is unraveling before our eyes. What's important to note is that the LDS Church is a gentile church and, as an institution, is destined to go down with the sinking ship. It never underwent the transformation from "Gentile" church to "Israelite" church because it never reconciled with Manaseh before it tried to erect Zion and gather Israel. It seems to me that is the "covenant" of the Book of Mormon, but please correct me if you think I am wrong on that point.

I'm not a historian and I don't know where this talk of being adopted into the House of Ephraim originates within the Church, but it seems to be an early idea, and it certainly makes sense to me (given that Gentiles are already kinda like how Ephraimites are described). The D&C includes the line "the rebellious of not of the blood of Ephraim" however, and so while you contend that the idea is not found in the Book of Mormon, I believe it is in a sense implicit, and then further developed in the D&C. What the BoM does say is that the descendents of the Lamanites will build Zion and that a (likely small) remnant of repentent gentiles will assist. Another scenario (remember the two paths) is that the descendents of the Lamanites rid America of its gentile population. Again, I think it will be a mix of the two. All said, if you think I have taken too many liberties in drawing Ephraim into the fray, I can accept that. It's more how I conceptualize it; it doesn't really change the nature of the prophecies.

The Arkwelder said...

Furthermore, the irony should be lost on no one that while the BoM starts out very pro-Gentile, i.e., with its racist undertones, glorification of Christopher Columbus, etc., it then pulls the rug right out from under you by the end. Not only is the Nephite nation--allegorical to the gentile nations--destroyed, but Jesus says around ten times in 3rd Nephi that "this is the land of you inheritance".

Rock, you are right. We haven't read this book...at least not seriously. Nearly 200 years later and we still remain ignorant of it's most startling prophecies. Yet, in a sense, we did exactly what we were supposed to with it. We flooded the Earth with it--just like we do with iPods and Coca-Cola. God had a job for us and knew we were up to the task. Now that the message is out there he needs someone more "stable" to act carry the torch. God is merciful, nevertheless. For those of us gentiles who don't want to be merely discarded, he has offered us an escape route: "Become an Ephraimite," he says. However, it's akin to passing through the eye of a needle.

The Arkwelder said...

I think the BoM is for gentiles and Lehite descendants equally, what with it's warnings of pride cycles and Gadianton Robbers and whatnot. The Gadianton Robbers were of Nephite origin, i.e., homegrown. In other words, the warnings are certainly of gentile concern. In terms of who will eventually take the book more seriously, my bet is on the natives. Maybe it's for the best that gentiles don't read it or take it seriously; it's extremely subversive when you consider what it's really saying--essentially preaching the exact opposite of Manifest Destiny. That was ballsy for the 1800s.

Anonymous said...

If my understanding is correct, that Nephites=modern LDS church members, then the LDS church is actually the great and abominable church? I learned in seminary the great and abominable church was probably the catholic church, and this is probably an idea or tradition of our fathers which is not correct.

That is the extent of my understanding of BofM, basically to be wary of the LDS church, even tho Im an active member. But I need to go deeper into the BofM...so what am I overlooking? Am I on track with thinking I need to be wary of the Church, while simultaneously being an active member?

Anonymous said...

So is this where going for a personal visit with Jesus comes in? I pray for this every day. This is my understanding from what Ive read on Denver Snuffers blogs/book.

Robin Hood said...

Rock,
This is a well written piece (you always write well) which doesn't really say a grat deal. Not really. There are no examples or indications in your essay of the false teachings (according to the BofM) now extant in the LDS Church. I find this very disappointing. But I guess you do point us in the direction of this Daymon Smith character - a well known prophet, seer and revelator.
But I will pick up on something you state near the conclusion. You cite (and you have done this before) the example of the Nauvoo Temple not being completed. I believe you are wrong on this point. Why? Because there is a dedicated functioning temple in Nauvoo right now. The scriptures do not state exactly what the alloted time to complete the temple was, but you assume it was short. And short on who's timescale - man's or God's?
To me this smacks of double standards. On the one hand you suggest that we actually read what the Book of Mormon says, as opposed to what we think it says, but it seems you have failed to apply the same standard to your reading of the relevant section of the D&C. This, to me, is very disappointing because I value your insights in most respects.
My advice? Stop all this hero worshipping of Denver Snuffer et al, and get back to doing what you do best - saying it like it is rather than how someone else says it is.

Log said...

Anonymous,

Have you been to the temple?

Consider:

What does it mean that there will be many willing to preach to us the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture?

What does it mean that Satan supervises our religious instruction?

Where does our religious instruction take place?

What does Adam do, for which he is told "that is good"?

I'm not sure why you ask other men any questions at all, actually.

Rob said...

Robin Hood,
Please go re-read section 124. Look for the promised blessings for completion and promised cursings for not completing it. Now analyze the experience of the Saints who were exiled from Nauvoo. Please inform me of what visible cursings were NOT incurred by them after Joseph's death.

Anonymous said...

I dont want to ask other ppl questions. But I cant help it b/c I dont know when the HG speaks to me and when its just my own thoughts. And if its just my own thoughts, I could wind up way out in left field, in strange roads...so Im just trying to see what other people are channeling from the BofM and compare it with what Im getting out of it.

No havent been thru temple. Married to a nonmember who is open to all interpretations.

Anonymous said...

Where are you at in scriptures about Adam doing *that is good*? Does satan supervise our religious instruction thru the correlation committee? Is this something from temple? Im way off. I just feel theres something wrong in the church but I dont know what the BofM is saying either, so...I will just stop talking now.

Log said...

Anon,

I was referring to teachings had in the temple. Suffice it to say, your safest course is to read the scriptures for yourself, and believe nobody.

There is one piece of counsel I can give - read Enos 1:1-8, and take a day or two or three off from work and do likewise.

Log said...

Anon,

I feel I should give more direction, if you would receive it. You are under no obligation to listen to me or do any of these things.

Read 3 Nephi, chapters 12 - 14, and start from this point forward doing every thing the Savior teaches therein. Pray to the Father in the name of Christ to be forgiven of your sins, and to receive the Holy Ghost, morning, noon, and night, even as often as you think to pray, and continue doing this until God answers you from heaven, with fire, light, and indescribably glorious joy. You will know, when you get that answer, the difference between the Holy Ghost, your own thoughts, and the spirit of the devil, and the scriptures will come alive to you.

Micah said...

Fantastic, faith-filled post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Arkwelder, Also, can you provide a scripture where God himself says *Become an Ephraimite*? I want to read this for myself.

The Arkwelder said...

Anon, what I mean by becoming an ephraimite is reconciliation with the indigenous peoples on the north and south american continents. I do not believe that requires a personal visit from Jesus Christ, i.e., the Second Comforter. However, it probably requires a visit from the First Comforter, i.e., the Holy Ghost.

I have not seen the Second Comforter, but I have experienced the First, and it is not what most people who testify of the Holy Ghost think it is. It is much like the account of the Brother of Jared. That is, if your faith is sufficient, such things simply cannot be withheld. One must understand what faith is forever. Faith does not cling. It is not "certainty". Faith is the open and unreserved pursuit of truth. When it happens, when you recieve the First Comforter, there is a dramatic outpouring of love and light in your life and the Plan of Salvation is revealed to you.

You are changed in ways that only become apparent as the years progress. You no longer life by the law of Obedience and Sacrifice (which is based on rules and contracts), but rather the law of Grace, known in the temple as the law of the Gospel. This is because receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost epitomizes Grace. You are in essense saved from yourself, your sinfulness, your error and folly, and from thenceforth you yourself live by grace, i.e., the joy of giving and receiving, seeking out and cultivating beauty in all walks of life. This is impossible without the gift of the Holy Ghost, and a lit of people who think they have this gift, don't.

This will sound controversial to some here, but the fact is when you reveal the deeper mysteries, the people who it isn't intended for will invariably reject it or ignore it. Maybe I'll learn the hard way to keep my mouth shut, I don't know. The most distinguishing feature of someone who has received the Holy Ghost is that they see themselves as less of a self and more as part of the whole. I encourage anyone to venture outside of Mormonism for different perspectives on this. The eastern religions are very interested in changing states of consciousness (I don't want to romanticize them; they, too, are very corrupt), whereas western religion is more interested in rules. However, there is the notion of Christ-Consciousness. This is all implicit in Mormonism where the emphasis is not just on submitting to Christ but becoming like Christ. You could also look at the Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial as states of consciousness. The stellar is the "separate" state; the lunar is the "enlightened" state; and the celestial is the "emanant" (or godlike) state. Those in a telestial state of mind are called to live a terrestrial law, i.e., Obedience and Sacrifice. Those in a terrestrial state of mind are called to live a celestial law, i.e., Grace, Chastity (which is not what we think it is, but rather a bridge between Grace and Consecration), and Consecration.

The point is the LDS is the Church of Obedience and Sacrifice. Like Moses' time, it is reduced to living the lowest law. This is because it is under condemnation. If you want to progress further, you have to think beyond rules and contracts. This requires you to receive the First Comforter. I would say this requires an earnest an humble quest for truth, but for some people it just happens out of the blue (Alma the Younger).

Inspire said...

Arkwelder,
It very well may be that what you contend is true, but it feels to me like there are still plenty of traditions thrown in your descriptions. For example, who says that Christopher Columbus is the "man" being talked about in Nephi's prophecy? That is an assumption which has been taught by the church leaders (it's even in the chapter headers) to fit their agenda. How do you know that this part of Nephi's prophecy has been fulfilled? It seems that there are more problems with this reading than alignment (like have the Gentiles ever even come out of the "captivity" which is described?).

I don't think we can understand the "true points of doctrine" overnight, but I DO think that the only way it can start is by throwing out all our assumptions and traditions from the get-go. We can only let the B of M inform us and not be tainted by reference to a perverted book (the Bible) or our traditions, which Daymon Smith points are were suspect from the very beginning.

The Arkwelder said...



No I can't. I'm drawing largely from Christ's prophecies in 3rd Nephi concerning the gentiles and I guess you could say my Patriarchal Blessing, which I consider an invitation (everything in Mormonism is just an invitation) to become part of the House of Ephraim. Maybe I'm getting too caught up in Mormonism's rich mythology, I don't know.

The Arkwelder said...

Inspire, I think sometimes we can open our minds so much that it's like they become closed again. I'm going to say that it is safe to make *some* assumptions about the Book of Mormon. Not everything has to be thrown out. You weigh what's been said in the past, consider it in light if new information, and draw your own conclusions. I'm not going to go as far as you and contend that nothing can be said or known about the Book of Mormon. It is not meant to be overly complicated. For people who read it without wanting it to be something it isn't, the message comes through pretty clearly.

Inspire said...

"Not everything has to be thrown out. You weigh what's been said in the past, consider it in light if new information, and draw your own conclusions."

Right-on. I think this is the "I will show the Gentiles their weakness" part. We choose from the buffet, see what tastes good and just leave the rest behind. The thing is, until now, we've only been eating stale left-overs, so it will be nice to try some new fruit for a change.

Perhaps you are right about opening up our minds "too much," but that's a risk I'm willing to take. After all, "all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God." If my cup is already filled with false traditions, then there is no room to pour in God's truth. But just because I put something on the shelf, doesn't mean I can't bring it back. It just gives me a chance to consider where all my notions came from and if they align with the Book of Mormon.

Alma asks us, "my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?" Until I can confidently answer "yes" to that question (as taught in the Lectures on Faith), then I'm willing to give away all my assumptions (or as Lamoni says, "all my sins") to know the Lord.

James said...

I've been studying the Book of Mormon using Royal Skousen's "Earliest Text" (2009) edition for several years. In my opinion, this is a must have (not too expensive) for those interested in drinking the word of God from uncontaminated waters (insofar as is possible). The text layout reads like divine poetry and I've gleaned insights and seen things that I certainly would have missed using the standard version. We are extremely fortunate that Sidney did not get his hands on the Book of Mormon text like he did on Joseph's revelations prior to publication.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be much discussion on how the use of the KJV biblical style language in the Book of Mormon may very well have been influenced by another book written in 1819 called "The Late War."

http://archive.org/stream/latewarbetweenun00inhunt#page/n13/mode/2up

In the preface is a review by Samuel L Mitchill who very well may be the same Samuel L Mitchill who Martin Harris was seeking for opinion regarding characters from the gold plates. Could the use of a KJV biblical language style been the result of an endorsement by Samuel L Mitchill for using this type of language to encourage the reader of the above mentioned book?

LDS Anarchist said...

Rob, read section 124 again. The promised cursings were not given in conjunction WITH NOT completing the Nauvoo Temple, but were given in conjunction WITH completing the house and NOT obeying the Lord's word. See verse 47:

"And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say..." then followed the list of cursings in 47 and 48.

Also, the curse of being "rejected as a church, with your dead," found in verse 32 was only speaking of baptisms for the dead, not of completion of the temple. In other words, the rejection of the church (+ dead) was not contingent on completing the temple, but on performing baptisms for the dead within the temple after the appointed time they had been given. Until the appointed time, they could continue to baptize in the rivers, as they had been doing. After the appointed time, they had to baptize in the temple. If they did not perform baptisms after that time within the temple, they would be rejected. Here's the verse in question:

"But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God."

They ended up baptizing in the temple after the appointed time, so the church was never rejected, nor its dead.

Log said...

Does it matter that the temple was never completed (which lack of completion is a matter of public record)?

If the requirements were so slack that any "building" in any condition at the end of the appointment on the site designated would fulfill the conditions specified, we needn't have worried.

Anonymous said...

Anarchist,
I don't see what your point is if we can look at the results and view for ourselves what happened. Did the Lord unveil the face of his covering or did we receive cursings by our own hands? Did we "come to the light of truth, and the Gentiles to the exaltation or lifting up of Zion," or were we removed from our place?

It doesn't make sense to me that we received none of the promises given of light and Zion, but all the ones of the cursing, yet the stuff about the church being rejected with their dead was just semantics. We are not rejected yet we are cast out into the wilderness? Doesn't fit.

-J

Log said...

Here's my gloss of D&C 124; any serious disagreements?

Gloss (v. 25-27): Let all my saints come swiftly with all their treasures of the earth to build a temple for God Most High to dwell.

Gloss (v. 28-30): For there is no place on earth where God Most High may visit and restore again the fullness of the priesthood, which He has taken from you, neither is there a baptismal font where the saints may be baptized for the dead – and these baptisms must be done in a temple except when you are so poor you can't build one.

Gloss (v. 31-33): The saints are granted enough time to build a temple, and during this time baptisms for the dead are still acceptable outside of a temple. At the end of this appointed time, if the temple is not built and baptisms for the dead are not performed in it, the saints would be rejected as a church, along with their dead, for it is in the temple that the keys of the holy priesthood are bestowed, to the glory and honor of the recipient.

Gloss (v. 35-36): After the allotted time to build the temple is over, even saints in foreign places cannot baptize for the dead outside of the temple.

Gloss (v. 42-43): The priesthood of the temple (the ordinances thereof?) shall be revealed to Joseph, and the temple shall be built where they thought about building it.

Gloss (v. 44-48): If the saints labor with all their might, the Lord will sanctify the temple, and if they will listen to the Lord and His servants they shall not be moved out of their place. If, on the other hand, the saints do not listen to the Spirit, nor the servants of the Lord, they will not be blessed. In this case, if the saints build a temple, and don't do what He says, He will not consecrate the temple that it be made holy, and the people will be moved out of their place.

Gloss (v. 49-54): As a general principle, when men are commanded and labor in their might to fulfill and are hindered by their enemies, the Lord accepts their efforts and curses the enemies to the fourth generation so long as they do not repent; on this principle, the efforts of the saints in Jackson County, Missouri were accepted, and the slain of the Church there, who were pure in heart, shall be saved.

Gloss (v. 55): Do it now.


Suppose the saints erected an outhouse on the spot, with a bathtub for baptizing the dead therein; would that have fulfilled the conditions whereby the Church may avoid being rejected, along with their dead?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I think you're being too hard on me, Robin Hood. I'm already conscious of my inability to write briefly and concisely; and now you're telling me I should have included examples from Daymon's book? I guess I could have reposted the entire book to satisfy the curious, but my intention was to get people to buy the book and read for themselves.

Besides, volume I just lays the groundwork. The meat begins in succeeding volumes. It's necessary to have an understanding of what happened in the first two years since the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in order to understand what comes next, but from what I've heard from others (I have yet to read any of volume II), things really begin to take off after the first one.

I quoted Denver Snuffer because he said what I wanted to say better than I could. "Hero Worship" is a pretty strong description of my attitude toward Snuffer. I respect Brother Snuffer because what little I have seen and heard from him so far rings true for me. There may be some areas in which we disagree, but those areas don't get in the way of my admiration for his willingness to stick to his testimony of Christ in the face of powerful opposition.

Have you read his transcript of the Boise talk? I was pretty impressed by what he said there (I haven't yet read the subsequent talks). And I can't find anything to argue about in the words I quoted from him above where he advocates differentiating between Mormon tradition and Mormon scripture. I think we should all be more discriminating and seek the word of God over the opinions of men.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I've been meaning to read Skousen's version myself. So far my favorite by way of layout is (here he is again) Daymon Smith's Abridging Work. He arranges the Book of Mormon in the sequence he feels Mormon would have, and of course it's in a more narrative form without the constant versifyin'. Makes the Book of Mormon come alive much better than in the form we are accustomed to. I also have an 1830 replica, but the printing is not always legible.

Anonymous said...

From JRSG in Arizona:

No wonder Joseph Smith had so many problems and issues. Poor man.

I have had a hard time understanding why soe church president did not straighten out messes. Even today the SLC leaders keep silent on many things. Sigh.


On church-discipline.blogspot.com the guy who owns this site wrote a three part
article called "Mormonisn as Hermetic Christianity". I thought it very interesting. Worth a read. It was written July 5, 2011. The guy who wrote it is former Christian turned Atheist. But he now likes Mormons. He also wrote about Parley P Pratt and matter, and wrote about Adam-God by Brigham Young (which I figured out but he confirmed the conclusion I came to but by different means).
Rock, this was interesting information as usual. I am saving to get Damon Smith's books.
May you all walk in beauty

Anonymous said...

From JRSG again


sorry for typos. on phone

should say: .......hard time understanding why some or all church presidents have not tried to straighten out the messes. they have to know of problems. especailly today. even today SLC leaders keep silent on many things.

LDSDPer said...










Well.

I don't see any problem with your using another book to 'back up' your beliefs about the Book of Mormon, Rock.

I know I've been reading a lot lately on other (non-religious) blogs about the importance of not trying to justify our already held beliefs.

But, sometimes we just have to believe. Sometimes we want to believe, and sometimes we have had powerful experiences that fortify and justify our beliefs.

Just running on there.

So I appreciate it. I LIKE that someone who has a doctor's degree in cultural anthropology likes the Book of Mormon.

1--I have felt for several years now an intense need/desire to focus solely on the Book of Mormon. Sometimes I feel really guilty about the way I've been neglecting all the other 'canon'/scriptures. I used to enjoy them, but they're getting dusty as I read, often obsessively, the Book of Mormon.

I WANT to read it without bias. I WANT to read it without using the lens of Mormon culture/tradition. And I was feeling this without reading about Daymon Smith, so I feel kind of like, for once, I might be hobnobbing (in a cyber way) with some great minds. I can think that anyway--

It was many years ago that I sensed the serious 'disconnect' (the latest slang makes the point) between the Book of Mormon and current church culture. I was never sure what to do about it, but I focused on the Book of Mormon and took it, in my mind and heart, over anything else I heard at church. I began using the Book of Mormon as my ruler (as in geometry/not authority) to check out the accuracy of anything being taught--

goodness, many years ago.

2--A grandmother of mine who was still alive when I turned 14 who was known as a heretic in the church (though 'active') for believing polygamy was never a 'doctrine' (something Gordon B. Hinckley expressed to the entire world)--

and who was open about it and open about her pride that some of her ancestors had rejected it--

had a custom/tradition of sending copies of the Book of Mormon to each grandchild when he/she turned 14. I still have my copy. I know of aunts and uncles and cousins who were embarrassed about how she focused on the Book of Mormon; I remember how they excused it, saying, "well, she needs to be humored; after all, she is a very loving mother and grandmother." These were all 'active' in the church.

Now I realize how blessed I was to have this grandmother. She didn't accept the culture, ever. She didn't openly criticize the 'brethren', but she frowned at anything that was protestant--

and cared very little for the Bible.

And now I've gone back to that after spending years studying the bible (before my awakening to the Book of Mormon in the last two decades) and ignoring Book of Mormon classes in favor of Old Testament classes, etc. (college/institute)

Thank you, Rock. I've already told several family members about your new blog entry.

And all this 'stuff' about the D&C and the Nauvoo temple; that IS very confusing. Sometimes I do refer to the D&C, sometimes, but not very often. I used to be VERY familiar with it. It troubles me that sections have been, probably, changed and altered over the decades--

I will turn again, like a sow to her wallow--

to my Book of Mormon in the morning; best part of my day--

only way to start a day--

Robin Hood said...

Sorry if you thought I was hard on you Rock, I wasn't trying to be. I wasn't asking for quotes from Daymon Smith either, I was suggesting that it isn't enough to say "the Book of Mormon says this and doesn't say that", without actually quoting the Book of Mormon itself. I have very little interest in what Smith has to say, but a great deal of interest in what the scriptures have to say.
With regard to the Nauvoo Temple, the problem here is that most people who have commented on this blog appear to read only as far as verse 48. Verses 49 and 50 are well worth reading in this regard. Here the Lord declares that when our enemies conspire to thwart our best efforts, the Lord accepts our efforts and requires the work no more at our hands. In verses 52-53 he says this was the case with the Jackson County temple, but then goes on in verse 53 to say this was an "example" for us, and a consolation to all those called to do a work (the context here is general, and not specific any more to the Jackson County situation) and been prevented from doing it by the enemy.
I am also very concerned that some on here regard the exodus from Nauvoo to the SL valley as a curse from God. By what authority do some (and I include you here Rock) reach that conclusion? Was Joseph cursed when he was in Liberty Jail? No, the Lord said it was to give him experience and would be for his good. Why then, could the exodus not be for the good of the saints - especially as many of them since stated that it did them the world of good?
I really believe many of us need to step back and look at the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Who needs "authority" to see the obvious? Judgment in observation is a gift given to all of us: "brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. (Moroni 7 and other places).

Are you saying that the allotted time was 170 years? Okay, if so, where is unveiled face of The Lord? And did it take us that long to finally "cease not in [our] diligence" to build it? Did the church's enemies thwart the efforts of the Saints to build second homes and mansions in Nauvoo, create all sorts of "commerce" to rival the size of Chicago?

God gave us brains so that we could use them and reason through experiences like these. If we are looking for someone in authority to tell us what really happened, all we are doing is giving away our agency, and they will only tell us the thing that fits THEIR agenda. Thus, we see that what was meant to show us our "weakness" is propped up and celebrated each year on July 24 as a wonderful thing.

Come, come ye Saints. All is well in Zion. All is well.

Anonymous said...

Wo wo wo unto those who cry, All is well in Zion.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
Quoting you, "I have very little interest in what Smith has to say, but a great deal of interest in what the scriptures have to say."

But Daymon Smith is saying exactly that! Convincing members to seek out the scriptures is his entire mission. He recommends we focus on what the scriptures say, not what we have picked up along the way through rumor, legend, and faith promoting stories in Seminary.

This is Denver Snuffer's entire message also. Yet you reject their counsel because...why? Because it comes from mere mortals who do not hold official titles and stations and offices in the Church?

Good advice is good advice, no? Why not read what Daymon and Denver actually said instead of relying on the warnings of others who have no familiarity with their words? All they are saying is Mormon tradition has been relied on too long for what is true and isn't true. To repeat my quote of Snuffer's above, "The scriptures are not necessarily in harmony with those traditions. Therefore, it is necessary to look carefully at the scriptures, discard untruths, discover the revelations that are there and then believe what God has revealed."

" For many people that is too much to ask."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Regarding this controversy over D&C and the temple, I'm going to withhold comment until I learn more about the how reliable parts of the Doctrine and Covenants turn out.

Daymon spends a chapter discussing section 20, which not only looks like a confusing mashup of contributions by several writers, it is. McConkie in his introduction places it as a revelation give through Joseph Smith, but it is apparent to anyone that it's no revelation.

Hopefully Daymon will give us more information on other sections. What we do know about much of the D&C is that revelations were changed and modified from their first appearance in the Book of Commandments, to when they were included in the D&C.

I tried to consult the big volume of revelations from the Joseph Smith papers, because the scholars on that project have color coded the words in various sections that were written by Joseph, and different colors to indicate others such as Cowdery, Rigdon, David Whitmer, etc. For some reason I do not find section 20 included in that volume. Perhaps it is placed somwhere else. Does anyone know?

The chronological layout skips from section 19 straight over to 21 without explanation. Maybe section 20 is analyzed elsewhere. Or maybe this is just an example of why Daymon refers to the JSP project as "Problematic."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

The bottom line is that although we can call the Doctrine and Covenants "scripture" in that it is something that has been written down, not all of it is the word of God, and should not be assumed to be the last word in a controversy.

Sure would be nice if the living oracles of God ever asked God himself to settle and clarify these questions.

LDSDPer said...

Robin,

I know I've said something like this before, but you are in England, right?

Did any of your ancestors go to Utah after the 'saints' left Nauvoo?

All but one line of mine did--

and it was a curse. It took decades for my ancestors to get 'back' to the level they had been on when they first joined the church--

apostasy, murder, blood atonement killings, incredible poverty, heartaches of all kinds 'under'/over/in polygamy and out of polygamy--
divorce . . .

some of my ancestors who were in Nauvoo were, according to the official histories I have read and my own ancestors' journals, really pretty splendid people--

'hung out' with Joseph Smith, experienced mob violence; some were even 'turn the other cheek' types--

don't think any of my ancestors were involved with the Danites, for example--

pretty sterling characters from solid "Yankee" AND British backgrounds--

but it was a good 50 years or so before the ancestors got 'restored' to some semblance of decency (a majority of them, not all)--

it's heartbreaking to read my ancestors' journals and see the brutality of their lives there in Utah; most of them left; after leaving Utah they all did better, had healthier families, left polygamy, were able to send a few children on missions, some even began to get education, AGAIN!

No, it was not a blessing. Surely it was a trial, and *we* all need those, but if it was a blessing from God for their righteousness in the midwest, it was a very strange way to be blessed--

!

Log said...

"With regard to the Nauvoo Temple, the problem here is that most people who have commented on this blog appear to read only as far as verse 48. Verses 49 and 50 are well worth reading in this regard. Here the Lord declares that when our enemies conspire to thwart our best efforts, the Lord accepts our efforts and requires the work no more at our hands. In verses 52-53 he says this was the case with the Jackson County temple, but then goes on in verse 53 to say this was an "example" for us, and a consolation to all those called to do a work (the context here is general, and not specific any more to the Jackson County situation) and been prevented from doing it by the enemy."

The reason this principle doesn't apply to Nauvoo is in verse 31. We were given enough time and did not obey. Are there any other objections?

Log said...

Sure would be nice if the living oracles of God ever asked God himself to settle and clarify these questions.

Rock - what stops you from doing likewise? I mean, why rely upon anyone else for what is available to you?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well, I was being a bit sardonic there, given the penchant most members have for looking to the leaders for all light and knowledge. The point I was making was that no further light and knowledge is ever forthcoming from that body. They don't reveal anything from God.

I think back to Dieter Uchtdorf's recent talk in which he assures us that all these problems troubling the saints are things we don't understand and must just wait for answers that may come some day. But why wait? Isn't that what we have a prophet for? Why doesn't the prophet inquire of the Lord?

I don't look to the arm of flesh for my answers, but I wonder why those who do can't seem to notice that arm is hollow.



Log said...

Rock,

I understand that you're poking at the Brethrenites, and not necessarily the Brethren. However, the "new wine in new bottles" principle is in play. You cannot delegitimize the mythos of the power structure without sacrificing many of the souls of them who depend upon it.

Christ didn't bother, so far as I can see, attacking the Deuteronomist's perversions and thus delegitimize the priestly hierarchy from the days of Josiah. It wasn't relevant to the message of the kingdom.

Incidentally, I commend this article: Prophets and Kings in Lehi’s Jerusalem and Margaret Barker’s Temple Theology

It was very easy for me to see the parallels with today.

Rob said...

Who is "the enemy"? Remember when Joseph said, "if my life is of no worth to my friends, it is of no worth to me?" Remember when Warren Parish (I believe) Joseph's personal secretary, robbed the Saints blind in the Kirtland anti-banking fiasco, then left the church and supported the movement to kill Joseph? Couldn't members of the church be enemies in that verse? And if so, are they exempt from the cursings?

Rob said...

As far as we are reading the Book of Mormon and all, I would point out:

"And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved." (1 Nephi 13:40)

It would seem the bible is useful when read from the perspective of what the Book of Mormon teaches. I treasure my bible as I use it in that way. There are really good lessons there for those who have the Spirit and have a correct notion of the gospel derived from the Book of Mormon. The Lord calls it true in this verse with those caveats.

Ryan Nickel said...

Rock,

Most of Section 20 was written by Oliver Cowdery.

It was first titled "Articles of the Church of Christ" in 1829 by way of commandment from the Lord as both he and Joseph were commanded to organize a church.

Other parts were received or added to it in March 1830.

Interesting note is that section 22 at one point was part of section 20 and verses 66 and 67 were added in 1857.

Also, Oliver didn't want part of verse 37 in it either and wrote to Joseph a nasty little letter explaining his frustration with him, which he later recanted.

Sadly, the record doesn't state which part of the verse unfortunately.

Interestingly enough, in June 1830 section 20 became the first canonized scripture of this dispensation when put to vote.

However, from 1830 to 1835 there have been several variations and changes to it. From 1835 on to today, there has been very little.

In fact, the baptismal prayer in verse 73 was changed from "having authority given me of Jesus Christ" to "having been commissioned of Jesus Christ."

All of this is documented in Robert Woodford's brilliant dissertation on the Doctrine and Covenants.

Log said...

And, if I recall correctly, Rigdon did not like verse 37, going as far as to command Joseph to alter it. Even today, that verse is not properly perceived by many (if not most) in the Church.

Inspire said...

Log,
But where do you get your notion of Christ as being this way? The Bible. I'm not saying that the Lord isn't how you describe him, but your understanding comes from the very tradition which is called "perverted" by the Book of Mormon. Not to trustworthy, IMO.

Log said...

Honestly, I am surprised 1 John made it in the Bible; and I am not surprised at the lack of attention paid to it today.

1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

1 John 2:20 But ye have an [anointing] from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Log said...

The Gentiles would have no issue with any condemnation Christ cared to make of Judaism. Moreover, He didn't do so when He manifested Himself in the flesh to the Nephites, neither has the JST shown it nor in the D&C nor in the PoGP.

Lack of evidence is, as someone will surely say, not evidence of lack, but when you look in all the right places and never see a sign of what you are looking for, and you're not sure it existed in the first place, you have reason to believe it doesn't exist at all.

Inspire said...

Rob,
How do you know that the "twelve apostles of the Lamb" are the same guys the Bible is talking about? The Book of Mormon hints that these apostles are spread throughout time and are in charge of the "records." Seems more likely that some of the apostles are Abraham, Moses, the Brother of Jared and such.

We know that there is one apostle named "John," but it certainly would be presumptuous to assume that he is anyone other than a guy named "John" who penned The Book of the Lamb (the pre-corrupted version of the Bible).

I suppose the Bible can be useful if we are using the Spirit to teach us. But it isn't any more useful than Les Miserables, Shakespeare or Tolkien. There is a reason we were warned about the Bible as we have it now--it was meant to "blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men."

I don't presume to know what parts are true and what parts are snares, so I try hard to stay away from it. But that's me.

LDS Anarchist said...

This comment is in reference to the verses in D&C 124 that speak of the temple and baptisms and judgments, etc.

First, Rock, I'm sorry for the thread-jack, but everyone keeps throwing around the words "finish" and "complete" in regards to the temple and these words are not found in the revelation itself describing the temple assignment, and so I will make an attempt to clear up all this unnecessary confusion.

The commandment given to the saints was to build a house upon the designated place. The revelation was given on 19 January 1841. They were given an appointed amount of time in which to build a house. Before that time, they could perform baptisms in the river. Afterward, they had to perform baptisms in the house they had built. Now, Joseph Smith prohibited river baptisms in October 1841 and said that baptisms would recommence once the temple font was completed. The font was completed in November and baptisms for the dead recommenced on 21 November 1841, in the temple font.

Now, the reason why Joseph Smith stopped river baptisms in October is because they could only do them in the river until a temple of the Lord had been built. By October 1841, they had built a house of the Lord, so they had to stop. Once the temple font was finished, then they could do them in the temple, and fulfill the commandments, which they did.

Now, this might seem a mystery, but it really pretty damn simple. The word "build" in 1841 had various shades of meaning, one of which was "to raise or place on a foundation; to establish." By October 1841, the house of the Lord had been raised or placed on its foundation, or established on the designated place. So, they had to stop river baptisms. Once the font was finished, then they could recommence baptism within the house. All of this occurred.

The idea that the Nauvoo Temple was never finished, as they had been commanded, and that this was the reason for their being moved out of their place, is incorrect. They were never commanded to finish it, just to build it, which they did. They also were commanded relative to baptisms for the dead, which they also complied with, on all accounts.

They were moved out of their place for a variety of reasons, some of them dealing with transgression and others because of persecution (hinderment), but not because the Nauvoo Temple was never completed. So hopefully this false idea will begin to be corrected with this post. (But I won't hold my breath...)

LDS Anarchist said...

One more thing, and this is in reference to the Bible being corrupt, perverse, etc., and thus untrustworthy. Everybody thinks this idea comes from the Book of Mormon, but the Book of Mormon says no such thing. It never says the Bible is corrupt or perverse, (that is an interpretation that Mormons have overlayed on the Bible.) Joseph Smith, when he penned what is now the Articles of Faith, only said, "we believe the Bible as far as it is translated correctly." He didn't go farther than that. Also, the D&C specifically commands the elders of the church to teach from the Bible. Why do that if it is corrupt?

Look over your Book of Mormons again and see that the book carried by the Gentiles is never named. Everyone assumes it is the Bible, but that may be a false assumption. See this post for more info:

https://ldsanarchy.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/1-nephi-13-14-commentary-using-ctcs-view/

Anonymous said...

I think the Exodus proved to be 'a good thing' only for those it caused to wake up because of their sufferings, to see their awful situation of being deceived by a false prophet Brigham Young & others, who were leading them not only out into the wilderness to suffer for years in isolation from the rest of the world who could help them see their errors, but he was leading them to hell too, just as Joseph seemed to believe Brigham would.

But most of the Saints who followed Brigham did not wake up, despite all their sufferings. What is God to do? How can he wake people up who refuse to wake up & who want to be deceived? If such sufferings won't do it, if women won't wake up from having to live polygamy, if the poor won't wake up by having to pay 10% of their last dollars to support big salaries for rich prideful men, if nearly freezing to death does not make them question everything & everyone, then sadly it seems nothing will.

I appreciate LDSDPer's comments of how her ancestors finally woke up and left and thus started to do much better. It is sad to see how so many deceived Saints had to suffer for nothing, even to the lose of their salvation, but still, it was their choice to be & stay deceived. Most people seem to want to live in hardship & under false prophets, rather then accept & see the truth that will set them free.



Log said...

So if the saints erected an outhouse on the spot, with a bathtub for baptizing the dead therein, and called it a temple, that would that have fulfilled the conditions whereby the Church may avoid being rejected, along with their dead.

The requirements were so slack that any "building" in any condition, with a font, at the end of the appointment, on the site designated would fulfill the conditions specified.

"With all their mights" was just pep talk.

I wonder what would have happened had Noah tried that. "Well, Lord, you never said to finish the ark..."

Anonymous said...

I believe that mere common sense will tell us that the Bible is corrupt, incomplete, often false or wrong or the wording changed. (Just consider the story of how supposedly God told Abraham to kill his son, when God doesn't and even 'can't' tempt someone to do evil or go against the commandments, thus we know that story is wrong, either in who influenced Abraham to do try to do such a thing or in who translated it)

The likelihood that a righteous man with the Spirit ever had anything to do with translating any part of the Bible, is very very slim. It is far more likely that wicked men with unrighteous agendas & beliefs always translated the Bible into the many forms we have today.

Just comparing Joseph Smith's translation to the original wording in the Bible shows how completely misleading and 'off' the Bible so often is.

Just looking back through history to see how utterly rare it is & was to find a righteous man with the Spirit tells us all we need to know as to what to expect from the Bible.

Even the apostles who wrote or preached the original texts were still very deceived and influenced by worldly precepts & traditions. They were far from perfect and were all still learning themselves, still changing their own beliefs & understandings about the Gospel.

And just look how often Joseph Smith himself was deceived to believe error or put faith in & be deceived by evil men. If he could, we or the ancient prophets could be & are so easily deceived too.

At the very least we must read the Bible with a 'huge grain of salt' and hope we are living worthy enough to have the 'right' Spirit teach us truth from error & right from wrong, as we read it, like any book of scripture, for none are perfect, for prophets aren't perfect.

Anonymous said...

Says someone (Rob) who defends multiple marriages to underage girls and to women already married to other men. Your "correct notion of the gospel" is derived from the spirit alright, just not the spirit you think. You cannot defend the indefensible on one hand, and then go around preaching about spiritual matters on the other.

Inspire said...

"...the D&C specifically commands the elders of the church to teach from the Bible. Why do that if it is corrupt?" And now we're back to where we started: Ezekiel 14 (brought out in Daymon's book) tells us that if we insist on idols, then the Lord will speak to us through them. It's pretty crazy that Joseph uses that very idol to tell them (and now us) that it is their stumbling block.

So if the Bible isn't being described as perverted, what book are they talking about that has gone to all the "nations of the Gentiles?" Is it the Q'uran? Shakespeare? Something that hasn't come forth yet (which would mean "much of my Gospel, " which describes the Book of Mormon, hasn't come yet either).

I agree that the "book among the Gentiles" has not come forth, as stated in your blog post, but the book it describes had its beginnings as the Book of the Lamb. It became corrupted, but apparently, when carried with the Gentiles, it is restored or something because it seems to be very convincing to them. Obviously this part is a future event, because we are still in captivity, as described, and still have plenty of contending among us about it all.

Even if we are off with the locations and time frame, I believe this is a good exercise, and there won't be any bad that comes in conducting an experiment to see what the Book of Mormon tells us sans the influence of the Bible and other standard works. Is it so terrible to see what it says by itself? Sure, maybe it will be incomplete and there will be gaping holes. Fine. But Nephi says he delights in plainness. It could be that there is something so simple that we overlook it because all the other stories from other places that somehow have to match in our minds. I'm willing to take a look, anyway.

Robin Hood said...

Rock,
Are you not being a tad inconsistent in your position? You have said that, for you, the D&C is not the final authority on anything. You give reasons for this. However, it does seem to be the final authority for you when it supports your beliefs. Your treatment of D&C 119 in a previous submission about tithing is a case in point. There are others; Nauvoo temple for example.
Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander Rock.

Robin Hood said...

Anonymous,
The Bible has issues, that is true. But to call it "perverted" as Rock did is a little strong in my view.
As for the story of Abraham and Isaac, of course it's true! Who says God can't tempt us? And, who says if we kill someone that God tells us to kill, it's wrong. Because if that's your position I think Nephi might disagree with you.
Remember, God makes the rules and has all power over life and death. Just because he asks us to obey certain rules for our benefit, does not mean he has to obey the same rules himself. Just as we require our young children to obey rules we have grown out of. Why does everyone try to put God in a box?

Anonymous said...

Ryan is correct, it was Cowdery that did not like verse 37. Rigdon was not even a member when it was composed

Anonymous said...

Anarchist, one needs to take into consideration that the current corporate sponsored history of the church has been compromised. Lyman Wight who was there, and may know a little more about the situation than you, was convinced that the church was rejected. He did not see the resumption of baptisms for the dead as a sign that the saints were out of the woods:

“The church mostly went from there Kirtland Ohio to Missouri where they commenced another house from which they were driven to the State of Illinois where we were commanded to build a house or temple to the Most High God.

We were to have a sufficient time to build that house during which time our baptisms for our dead should be acceptable in the river.

If we did not build within this time we were to be rejected as a church we and our dead together.

Both the temple and baptizing went very leisurely till the temple was somewhere in building the second story when Bro Joseph from the Stand announced the alarming declaration that baptism for our dead was no longer acceptable in the river, as much to say the time for building the temple had passed by and both we and our dead were rejected together.

The church now stands rejected together with their dead The church being rejected now stands alienated from her God in every sense of the word” Church History Vol 2 p 790

Anarchist, regarding the following statement that you made:

" everyone keeps throwing around the words "finish" and "complete" in regards to the temple and these words are not found in the revelation itself describing the temple assignment, "

The term "completed" was being used by God's anointed servants in how they interpreted the revelation.

Joseph Smith said:

"I preached in the grove, on the keys of the kingdom, charity, etc. The keys are certain signs and words by which false spirits and personages may be detected from true, which cannot be revealed to the Elders till the temple is completed" HC 4:608

Joseph also stated that "I cannot reveal the fulness of these things until the Temple is completed. The necessity of the Temple is that the servants of God may be sealed in their foreheads" WofJS

Additionally, the Twelve sent out an epistle stating that the Temple had to be "completed".

"...knowing as they do, that if this building is not completed speedily, "we shall be rejected with our dead" for the Lord God hath spoken it". HC 4:472

Although God's revelations are the first standard to go by, his servants that received the revelations are often used by God a an important guidepost for understanding and interpreting what the revelations were saying.

We have the prophet and the quorum of the Twelve stating that the building of the temple included completion. We have the anarchist wresting the scriptures to prove otherwise.

Ryan Nickel said...

Anonymous,

You said...

"I believe that mere common sense will tell us that the Bible is corrupt, incomplete, often false or wrong or the wording changed. (Just consider the story of how supposedly God told Abraham to kill his son, when God doesn't and even 'can't' tempt someone to do evil or go against the commandments, thus we know that story is wrong, either in who influenced Abraham to do try to do such a thing or in who translated it)"

How do you reconcile your statement with 1 Ne. 4?

I'd really like to know...

LDSDPer said...

I read all the 'arguments' about whether or not the Bible has value, and I think of how it is important for people to receive personal revelation in such a personal thing as what books to read.

It is a choice. The Book of Mormon is also a choice. There isn't a giant reading list in the sky--*trying to interject some lame humor*

The Book of Mormon was written to the gentiles by people who watched civilizations collapse through evil and idolatry.

The Bible is a record of people who were never able to sustain the level of "chosen"--

If one person feels he/she needs to read the Book of Mormon alone/on its own to try to reject past false teachings, then so be it.

If another feels a deep need to study the bible and find the parallels, then that, too, is a personal choice.

Seeking individual guidance is a good thing. It shouldn't have to be a source of insecurity if a person is reading differently. The important thing is to 'come unto Christ'.

I can argue as well as anyone, and I use anecdotes and family history stories a lot--

but sometimes I think the arguing is really pointless. A person either believes the Book of Mormon is the most correct book, or not.

One of the things I like about the Book of Mormon is how it seems to be speaking just to me.

I am aware that it helps me to deal with other people and helps me to see some areas in which I have struggled with other people (especially in the church), but I don't see the point of applying it to anyone but myself. Ultimately it is for the purpose of helping myself know Jesus Christ that I read the book.

It's not about being 'right'--it's about reading the Book. And reading it. And thinking about it. And applying it.

And that's not something one person can do for another person.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

A few years ago I learned a different take on the story of Abraham's sacrifice: Having come out of Ur, and not knowing any better than the traditions upon which he was raised, Abraham was following the corrupt traditions of his home country by preparing to make a human sacrifice. Did did not ask him to do this, but sent an angel to stay his hand before he could follow through.

I did not take the opportunity to ask how the teller learned this; it may be legend, it may be well known within the ranks of bible scholarship, or it may be because the man teaching me this was a man I consider extraordinarily in tune with the spirit.

At any rate, ever since that day, I have been inclined to the view that God stopped Abraham from that terrible deed, he did not command it. This would be another instance of bible translators getting it wrong and justifying it as a lesson of verisimilitude of the sacrifice of Christ. It seems more than likely to me that commanding Abraham to kill his son just to make a point was out of character for God.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood, as I wrote in my piece, since reading Daymon's book I find it necessary to re-examine my former assumptions. Though I have never assumed everything in the D&C came from the mouth of God, it's now more important than ever to be careful not to take comments found in the introductory comments as gospel truth. McConkie indicates D&C 20 was a revelation given through Joseph Smith, yet nowhere in the text is that statement supported.

Nevertheless, I see no reason to assume D&C 119 is not what it purports to be, as it starts out with "Thus Saith the Lord." Section 20 does not, and proceeds to ramble all over the place delivering history, policy, testimony, etcetera. It may be useful in places, but it should not be assumed to have come from the mouth of God.

Inspire said...

This is really good stuff. We're FINALLY doing what we should have done so long ago in regards to the Book of Mormon: asking questions!

Robin Hood: If you think that "perverted" is strong language, then take it up with the "angel of the Lord." He's the one who said, "they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men." He also said that it causes "a great many to stumble" insomuch that "Satan hath great power over them." Yes, it IS strong language, and that's the very point. We think we can pick and choose what is "good" from the Bible and adopt it into our understanding. Well, this is the thing which gives Satan power over you, because he will lead people "by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever." The angel had us pegged alright, Nephi is told that "the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block [earlier that stumbling block is defined as the "perverted" text of the Book of the Lamb], that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor."

Ryan: It is a very good question... how DO we reconcile Nephi's act of murder? He said that the Spirit told him to do it and the end justified the means, right? What about the statement in Ether that "the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man." Is God unchangeable or not? If so, why are we making excuses for him? Could it be that Nephi, at a very young age was deceived? It seems to me that his first notion was to withdraw, but then all these excuses started popping up in his mind. Perhaps Nephi put this experience in there so that we could come to our own conclusions about the situation, and struggle with these questions. Nephi's culture was started with an act of aggression, of bloodshed. The Sword of Laban was brought into their culture and used over time to kill many more men. So, what ultimately happened to the Nephites? Seems to me that they were "restored" to their origins, which Father Nephi, by his own actions, defined for them: justified bloodshed.

Can we finally give ourselves permission to look at these things another way? Haven't we figured out by now that if we don't see miracles regularly among us, it is because of our lack of faith? Clearly, there is misalignment somewhere, let's look and see where it is. I am glad that we're having the conversation at least.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDSDPer,
I agree that we must individually rely upon revelation as to what scriptures are important. I don't thoroughly discount everything the bible says, and the D&C is certainly a support, but I think we need to get back to putting the Book of Mormon front and center. We seem to be missing the primary teachings of our religion when we drift from that as our anchor.

Log said...

Ah, so I did not recall correctly. My bad. My bad.

Log said...

You have misinterpreted. The Bible is not called perverted.

they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.

The excisions performed on the Bible were done to the intent that the ways of the Lord might be perverted, not the Bible. You took the words describing the intent and applied it to the Bible.

Log said...

Let us toss out D&C 98:33-38 as well. After all, as Inspire notes, God has in all things forbidden the shedding of blood, so clearly there can be no such thing as justification in war before the Lord - the people of Ammon were the only righteous in the Book of Mormon; even the prophet Alma was deceived, and should have let himself be killed. And forget about eating meat, even in times of cold or famine, as well - can't get meat without blood. And those Mosaic sacrifices in the temple? Blood being shed.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

The dictionary definition of "perverted" includes "distorted." It's clear to me that omitting plain and precious truths from the bible have distorted the word of God and made it a stumbling block to many.

"The right way of the Lord" being perverted was the result of the book having been distorted/perverted over time through errors and omissions. Seems like pretty much the same thing to me. Tomato/Tomahto.

The writers of the books of the bible entered things one way in their original writings. What came out the other end centuries later was a perversion of their intent.

Log said...

Rock,

It's not quite a tomato-tomahto difference.

In fact, the Bible could be utterly complete and yet the ways of the Lord be perverted.

26 I say unto you, wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them; therefore, ye have perverted the ways of the Lord.

LDSDPer said...

you know, something you said, Rock, reminded me of something I read long ago--

how when a spiritual movement is begun, there is usually an icon taken from it around which people center their lives--

and the real core, the gist of the movement, is lost--

I can't think what literary work or what speaker first implanted that idea in me, but it's so true--

For Mormons the Book of Mormon is and should be IT--

and yet Mormon culture is so far from being about the Book of Mormon--

oh well.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make 'it' drink--

:)

If I haven't already said it, I really appreciate this latest blog essay--

good stuff--

vitally important--

IF I ever get the money or the time or the strength--LOL!

I'll read Daymon Smith--

I'm intrigued now--

Inspire said...

Okay, fine. The Bible was changed, altered, or whatever so that our understanding would be perverted. Either way, we are blinded and our hearts are hardened. Daymon Smith's book is full of the particulars of what this looked like, along with overwhelming evidence of how our culture (not just LDS, but Western culture in general) has been in bondage because of what came out of these intended perversions of God's ways.

And doesn't this conflict about whether or not God allows killing lead you to want to search it out and understand the true nature of God (the "right ways of the Lord"), or are you content with the story you've told yourself for so long and going to just stick to it? The arguments you have should be taken to a higher source, because He is supposedly the one who declared them and created the conflict in the first place.

"The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart!" (History of The Church, 3:295)

LDSDPer said...

Inspire, you're using very strong language! What do you say, Log? Is that reviling? Or judging? Ah, perhaps that is the problem; a judgement is being made on the Bible? *chuckle*

*wink* (all meant in good humor; laughing at myself as well; how hard it is to talk about things without having strong opinions at times)

Inspire, I agree--about Nephi (and about the Bible, for what it's worth). I think he made a mistake, and I think the end of the Nephite civilization affirms that, but I also think Nephi was a pretty fine man--
The idea that everything that happened in the Book of Mormon was God's will is . . . well, flawed. That's the whole point.
I find the subtle and not so subtle racism in the Book of Mormon to be one of the strongest proofs of its veracity. How could Joseph Smith have figured that out on his own; he didn't spend much time with 'minorities', not as a young man anyway--

Rock, my husband and I have believed the same thing about Abraham--



me said...

Rock,
I'm glad you said that about the D&C. I've had the feeling since reading the testimony of John Whitmer to the members of the church, that possibly a lot in the D&C was brought about through the seer stone in the hat. Had Joseph given the breast plate back to Moroni sometime between finishing the translation of the Book of Mormon and the revelations in the D&C?
If so, then I'm not so sure I want to believe the stuff that came to him.

me said...

please disregard the previous comment.

Log said...

And doesn't this conflict about whether or not God allows killing lead you to want to search it out and understand the true nature of God, or are you content with the story you've told yourself for so long and going to just stick to it?

Bro. U no no me, n u no no wat i no. :)

Anonymous said...

Robin Hood,

If you believe in Joseph Smith & in Christ's ancient apostles & prophets, and it appears you do, they taught us over & over that God is the same yesterday, today & forever, his laws can't & don't change. God did not make up the rules he teaches us, he even has to conform to them too, or he would cease to be God. Thus God can't command someone to go against his former commandments or he ceases to be God. There are no higher laws of heaven that God is playing by & thus can change things & give us opposite commands, he has taught us his laws and though they are higher than carnal man's thoughts, they should be righteous men's thoughts & laws.

Joseph Smith and other prophets, taught that the way we know for sure if something is right or wrong, or if an angel, or revelation or a prophet is true or false, good or bad, is by the fact that it won't be 'contrary' to 'former' revelation, or the former laws of God, and what God has already taught us.

If God could or would change his laws or commands whenever he wanted, then it would be absolutely impossible to tell if his revelation or angel or personage of Spirit or prophet was true or not and not of Satan.

It's the fact that God doesn't change & can't change his doctrine & laws, that gives us the standard to judge all men and their teachings by and to judge all revelation, inspiration, dreams visions or visitations by. Or else there would just be chaos. Lehi stressed that fact that they needed the scriptures to take to the new land with them or they would dwindle in unbelief, despite having a prophet with them or despite that they may have the Holy Spirit as their guide. Those things were not enough to keep from being deceived, they had to have the scriptures, to test everything else, to test prophets words or their own inspiration.

No one can say they just need the Holy Spirit to guide them, for the way the Spirit relays information & revelation is the same way Satan does, it feels the same & usually Satan's revelation sounds a lot better & easier to us than Gods, if we are even in tune enough to hear God's revelation, which takes a very high level of righteousness, But we can always hear Satan's constant revelation, loud & clear, and thus we usually think it's coming from God, most never consider that their revelation might be coming from Satan. Few ever think about proving their revelation or visions.

Thus why even the best of prophets were often deceived by false revelation and why some eventually fell from grace. We have to have something else to judge our revelation by, and that is 'the word of God' from Christ and from Prophets who preach exactly what Christ taught.

Anonymous said...

Robin Hood, Continued---

Thus when and if Abraham thought he was receiving revelation from God to sacrifice his son, which of course he would have thought he was, we can know for sure he was deceived because God has already set his standard by saying 'Thou shalt not kill', especially the innocent. Thus, it appears Abraham, as Rock pointed out also, was deceived, and God had to send an angel to save Issac.

I believe Abraham fell from grace long before his scenario with Issac, as even some prophets do, even though he was highly favored of God in his younger days. His faith in God appeared to weaken in his later years when he wanted a son so bad and thus gave into his wife's request to live polygamy, which I believe Abraham knew was wrong, even a whoredom, (that's why he hadn't lived it yet & he was almost 100 & desperately wanted a child & his wife was way past child bearing age, yet he still didn't live polygamy, though he was probably rich & had many chances....until Sarah pleaded for him to live it with her desperate attempt to get a child even by her maid, for Sarah had given up on God's promise too it appears.

Once Abraham started living polygamy, which was against God's laws, he quickly lost the Spirit and just went down hill from there (living even more polygamy later on with concubines), and thus we see him trying to make sacrifices according to the custom of the day, because he had fallen and thought his revelation was coming from God when it was really coming from the Adversary, to sacrifice his son.

For most, if not all, unrighteous people believe their revelation & inspiration is coming from God, few ever think it is really coming from Satan even though it is, most don't even think it's possible they can be deceived or are deceived, for Satan fills us with prideful thoughts about how 'right & good' we are.

And as far as Nephi, either he was 'justified' under God's law because Laban had sought his life and stole from him, etc, or Nephi fell for false revelation also, OR the Book of Mormon is not true, though many good things are taught in it & thus Nephi never happened and God would not have told someone to do that.

But if you believe in the BoM then consider Moroni, with his perfect understanding, which means he had true charity, and yet he had no qualms about killing those who didn't keep the laws of God & protect women, children, freedom & religion.

I think we hero worship prophets and scripture a bit too much. 'We' are the one's who are supposed to 'prove all things' and discern all truth from error, that includes proving whether prophets and scriptures are true or not. By comparing them with what Christ taught. His teachings are the standard that we judge everything & everyone else by, even whether something comes from God or not.

Once we understand this standard to judge by, it is all very easy to judge, as easy as telling the night from the day.

Inspire said...

Log,
Tru dat.
It was meant as more of a general statement, and I include myself. Obviously, we "Gentiles" don't quite get the "true points of doctrine" or else we would be seeing different results than we are now. I'm just suggesting that there might be another story coming out of the Book of Mormon which we refuse to see because we hold onto what we think we know.

But, knock yourself out (you, as in the hypothetical "you.") Want to keep getting what we got? Keep doing the same thing.

LDS Anarchist said...

Good thing I didn't hold my breath.

These rebuttals do not take into account Joseph Smith's own actions and teachings, nor the actual wording of the revelation. Must I expound this whole thing? Is not what I wrote above sufficient? I guess I'll unfold a little more. My comments are in [brackets].

31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build [to establish the foundations of] a house [not an outhouse] unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time [10 months, from January to October] to build [to establish the foundations of] a house unto me; and during this time your [river] baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

32 But behold, at the end of this appointment [in October, after Joseph's announcement] your [river] baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me [and sure enough, come October, Joseph made an announcement and prohibited the saints from doing more river baptisms until the temple font was completed]; and if you do not these things [baptisms for the dead in the temple font] at the end of the appointment [after the time is up, meaning after Joseph's October announcement] ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God. [Since they completed the font in November and resumed baptisms for the dead using the temple font on 21 November, they didn't get rejected, nor their dead.]

33 For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time [in other words, after Joseph's October announcement] to build [to establish the foundations of] a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your [river] baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;

34 For therein [within the temple] are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.

35 And after this time [after Joseph's October announcement]], your [river] baptisms for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad [in other words, the river baptisms], are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.

36 For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places [temples] for your baptisms for your dead.

I'm not sure how much plainer I can make that.

Now, regarding Joseph's statements regarding keys, signs, words and sealing the servants in their foreheads not being revealed until the temple was completed, that is another issue altogether. We might ask ourselves, "Did Joseph end up revealing keys, signs, and words in relation to the temple?" If so, then since he said he couldn't do that until the temple was finished, what does that say? Did Joseph seal the servants of God in their foreheads? Etc.

Lastly, regarding the epistle sent out by the Twelve, if the quote is accurate and not taken out of context, well they were simply flat out wrong on that point. Rejection of the church had nothing to do with completing the temple, but in building it (establishing it upon its foundation) and then not doing baptisms for the dead within it. So, insofar as the epistle is accurately worded, it would have been they wresting the scripture, not me.

Lastly, and this is for Log's benefit, go read the few verses on the building of the ark. You'll notice that in fact the Lord commanded Noah to make (not build) the ark and specifically to finish a part of it (the window.) But maybe that's just our corrupt Bibles' faulty translations speaking...

LDS Anarchist said...

"Here's my gloss of D&C 124; any serious disagreements?"

Yes. Your gloss of vs. 31-33 is off. Specifically:

" At the end of this appointed time, [this is an interpolation you (and many other people) have inserted into the text]--if [the temple is not built and] baptisms for the dead are not performed in it, the saints would be rejected as a church, along with their dead, for it is in the temple that the keys of the holy priesthood are bestowed, to the glory and honor of the recipient."

The false idea is that they had to fully complete the temple and start doing baptisms within it before Joseph made his announcement in October, otherwise they would be rejected with their dead. The text of the revelation says no such thing.

Log said...

Your entire position rests, in the end, on the proposition that the Lord meant "establish the foundations of" where He said "build," instead of "complete."

The Lord is quite able to say "establish the foundations of" instead of "build" as He demonstrated in D&C 78:15.

Therefore, to me, your interpretation is not very plausible. It is possible, but then, as a wit from Law & Order points out, death rays from Mars are possible, too.

It is good that Noah was instructed to finish the window, in hindsight. And it is also good that Noah finished the rest of the ark too, even though he was only told to work on it (עָשָׂה `asah) (one of several possible shades of meaning).

Log said...

Also, I don't mean any personal insult by any of this.

LittleElse said...

Thrilled to discover your blog!! I joined "the church" in 1978 and have been arguing with "born and brainwashed" members ever since. A friend convinced me to attend BYU Ed Week 9 yrs ago (big trip - I'm from Georgia) and found members willing to use their God-given brain, such as Don Peterson and David Bokovoy. I have attended every year since. I need that injection of well researched study. I am not alone!! I consider myself a Latter Day Saint and not a Mormon. I prefer to follow what is in the scriptures as opposed to what someone's grandmother taught. Perfect case in point - women MUST wear dresses in the chapel. Aren't there more important things to worry about in this life? Thank you for your well thought out thoughts.

LDS Anarchist said...

No offense taken. But just to be clear, my premise is not based solely on the meaning of the word "build," since there are various shades of meaning to this word. My position rests, therefore, not on me arbitrarily choosing a shade, but on Joseph's actions and words, which indicate that Joseph took the word "build" to mean "establish upon its foundations." If you entirely ignore his actions and words during October and November, then you are free to use any shade of meaning that you want to, but if you include Joseph into the equation, then you must come to only one shade of meaning. Now, perhaps you may say that Joseph's interpretation of his own revelation was off, but if you concede that he understood the meaning of the Lord's words, given to him, then this is the only plausible explanation, and it is a very easy one at that. However, because the meanings of words change over time, and because words often have various shades of meaning, unless a person knows what "build" meant in 1841 (and modern dictionaries typically won't divulge that info) and unless a person knows what Joseph said and did regarding the temple in October and November, it is understandable that a latter-day saint can come to an erroneous conclusion.

I have given the correction because this error is perpetuated endlessly by just about everyone and it's high time, I think, to put a stop to it. Whoever wants to self-correct can do so.

Log said...

if you concede that he understood the meaning of the Lord's words, given to him

As the recipient of the Lord's words, I'm not sure Joseph necessarily would have any privileged insight into their meaning. I seem to recall reading something which indicated that, in fact, sometimes he did not. In fact, I think we canonized something to that effect (D&C 130:16).

And, we know this is on general principle incorrect anyways, having multiple scriptural counterexamples (3 Nephi 15:16-24).

Speaking for myself, I know that being the recipient of the Lord's words does not necessarily confer any greater understanding into their meaning than anyone else would have.

Therefore, we seem to be left where we were.

Incidentally, this is why I can believe in a Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon according to the text thereof, rather than believing in a North American setting, or a hemispheric setting.

Anonymous said...

LDSA- if you are the one giving the correction, isn't more like, "You should do it my way because I am right," rather than , "Whoever wants to self-correct can do so." The same notion is what turns me off to all the junk that comes out of the COB.

Anonymous said...

(Continued from above).. Meant to say, "isn't IT more like..." As in, that's how you come across.

Anonymous said...

@ Little Else: Welcome! Glad you found this site.

JRSG in Arizona

Zo-ma-rah said...

Rock, if the printing isn't legible you can always use it in your bathroom.

*sheepish grin*

Zo-ma-rah said...

I thought section 20 was not a revelation but was a founding document. That would explain why it's not in the JSPP book.

Regarding the exodus from Nauvoo I do think it was a cursing for not being obedient. I think these verses from Modiah 23 apply

21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.

22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.

23 For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob.

24 And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings.

When God curses or rejects a people it has a purpose. There's no reason to be afraid of it. God's power will be manifest as we are restored.

Log said...

Let's look.

31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

33 For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;

I used the word "built," which is the past tense of "build," as in "build the temple" one of the two things specifically commanded to be done during the appointed time.

The revelation says "if you do not these things [build the temple, and baptize for the dead in it] at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God." When, therefore, we speak after the appointed time, it is proper to use past tense for those things which were to have been done during the appointed time.

I submit you must justify your exception to my gloss, therefore.

Zo-ma-rah said...

Perhaps the Bible is not the Book of the Lamb as we assume.

http://ldsanarchy.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/1-nephi-13-14-commentary-using-ctcs-view/

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree they have to know the problems, and if they were honorable righteous men they would have spoken up about it all a long time ago.

Thus, I believe the church leaders agree with the messes, I don't think they want to change things, I believe they agree with most all the falsehoods taught & done by earlier leaders and that they will even continue to add more falsehoods to church doctrine & practices as time goes on.

But even if they wanted to change things I believe they know they can't tell the truth, or most would wake to the reality that the church & it's leaders are totally false.

Except for Joseph Smith, it seems he was a true prophet (unlike all the other church leaders since him) but he was very gullible for some reason, to fall for a lot of evil and evil people and even put them in high callings, and he appeared slow to keep evil in check when he did see it. Not sure why he would be like that if he was a true prophet that should have had better discernment... unless he wasn't a true prophet, then that would explain things, but I'm giving him the benefit of a doubt still.

But if Joseph really did live polygamy then that is the clencher and proves he was just another false or fallen prophet who fell for whoredoms, like so many others did before him.

Rob said...

Log, I strongly disagree with you on this point, though I am short on time and must sucker punch and run :)

All the standard works are chock full of Jesus and his servants taking down people's false traditions.

Though I will agree with you, in part, about the new wine new bottles. His efforts are always to replace the broken system, not to fix it.

Rob said...

To Anon 6:40: I accept calls to repentance in truth wherever they come from. I invite you to follow the principles of the gospel you espouse and seek to reconcile me to the truth through truth, long suffering, kindness, etc.

Inspire: You are arguing a position that has no evidence to counter my position, which has evidence (though is not completely assured, clearly). Nephi's vision identifies one of the 12 as John the account of the end times that Nephi saw but was not permitted to write. We have only one record of those things, that just so happens to be penned by a guy named, "John." We also know of only 12 apostles that Jesus ever called prior to the authoring of the book of Mormon.

I would suggest that totally ignoring evidence is not the best way to search for truth. I think accepting a theory that has no supporting evidence over one that has some and no refutation is bad idea, for what it is worth.

Log said...

Then do what Lamoni did, and you will receive it as Lamoni did.

There's a reason Enos told us of his wrestle before the Lord (Enos 1:1-8).

I can answer with an unambiguous "yes" to the question, and that is how it is done; there is no other way taught in the scriptures.

LDS Anarchist said...

Log, according to the section heading, D&C 124 was a "Revelation given to Joseph Smith". In the Lord's church, revelations given to a person are intended to be interpreted only by the recipient, not by the person through whom the revelation comes. This is why when you get a patriarchal blessing, the patriarch has no authority nor power to interpret the blessing, nor does anyone else. It is up to the recipient to figure it out, under the guidance of the Lord's Spirit. Barring more information from the Lord (3 Nephi 15:16-24;D&C 130:16), the recipient's interpretation is authoritative.

Because of this, when looking at D&C 124 and its interpretation, the recipient's understanding (who was Joseph Smith) takes precedence over that of everyone else. Unless there was a revelation correcting that understanding (which there hasn't been), the recipient's understanding holds more weight than that of everyone else combined.

Anonymous, I don't care whether you do it my way, or your way, or another way. I'm giving a correction to an erroneous idea that has been in the church for a long time and is perpetuated endlessly on Mormon blogs. I'm not a General Authority nor any other church leader, so feel free to discard my correction, as you wish, if my title is not sufficient to warrant anyone paying attention. Reading your words, however, it sounds to me that I come across to you as an authority and it is authority, or speaking with authority, that turns you off, and not so much one's title. If so, that's too bad, for there will be many people, not just GA's, who will speak with power and authority in these latter days, and if your mind shuts down the instant someone speaks as if with authority, then you can't be corrected. I hate to break it to you, but when God sends messengers to make a correction or teach true principles, they speak with authority. They don't say stuff like, "Maybe it could be this, or maybe it could be that." They don't beat around the bush, but come out and say, "It is this way." The tone of authority is hard to swallow by many people, which is yet another test we are put under, to see if we will submit to valid authority. Saints should not be bothered by the tone of authority, their only concern should be the legitimacy of authority. In other words, one should be more concerned with the truth of the statement, than with the authority or title of the one who spoke it. Is my correction correct? If so, then submit to it. If not, then denounce it as false and me as a false teacher. But don't quibble or complain about me speaking with authority, for my authority may be legitimate.

Log said...

In the Lord's church, revelations given to a person are intended to be interpreted only by the recipient, not by the person through whom the revelation comes.

I disagree, and gave scriptural grounds for my disagreement. If, in the face of the scriptural evidence, you wish to uphold the cultural traditions of the Church, that is your choice.

Log said...

Your position seems inimical to the idea we ought to understand the scriptures, at all - not just D&C 124 - now that I think about it.

Log said...

And since when are the section headings scripture? And so forth.

Anyways, all are free to judge for themselves; as for me, I have made my position plain.

LDS Anarchist said...

Log, you are free to disagree, of course, but the scriptures you cited are not grounds for disagreement. The first shows just what I said, that barring further revelation, the initial interpretation stands as authoritative. Jesus gave that further revelation, showing that the apostles' interpretation was erroneous. But take away that scripture, and you'd be saying that the apostles' interpretation was the correct one. The second one also shows that the recipient is the one who interprets the meaning. Joseph wasn't sure what the meaning was, thinking it could be this or that, and then gave his belief. His interpretation was a private one, as are all interpretations. The Lord speaks to us, and then we, privately, interpret, hopefully relying on the Spirit to give us the correct one. All scripture is of private interpretation, for the Holy Ghost comes on each and every one of us privately, enlightening our minds individually and privately. This is one of the reasons why Joseph changed the scripture:

"no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" to read "no prophecy of the scriptures is given of any private will of man"

There is the publicly revealed scripture, spoken by the power of the Holy Ghost, and then there is the privately revealed interpretation, given to a person by the same power. God has power to reveal the interpretation of any scripture that He has given to any specific person, to any of His children that desire to know that interpretation, but barring a new revelation that corrects the recipient's interpretation, that interpretation (of the recipient) is authoritative. This is because the word of God is jurisdictional. To some are given this, to others, that. The recipient has jurisdiction over the revelations he receives, both the content and the interpretation. This is to more fully judge us in our stewardships, that all may become stewards not just of material things, but of the words of God, also.

Cultural traditions have nothing, whatsoever, to do with this matter. It is a gospel principle that the word is put into jurisdictions. Thus we get divisions, such as the greater portion and the lesser portion, etc. I won't expound the entire thing to you. You are smart enough to know this stuff. The tradition that patriarchal blessings ought not to be shared with others freely is cultural, but not the principle that the recipient interprets.

This is why Hiram Page presented a problem. His revelations and interpretations were his jurisdiction and were accepted as such by several members and even by Oliver Cowdery. That wasn't the problem, so much as the fact that they contradicted what Joseph received. So, what did Joseph do? Did he just denounce him? No, he sought additional revelation concerning the matter and thus we got section 28. In other words, God corrected Hiram's incorrect interpretation (for he interpreted the revelations as coming from God), just as Jesus did for His apostles' interpretation in 3 Ne. 15. Until such correction, Hiram's private interpretation was authoritative. Who interpreted section 28? Oliver did, for it was a revelation given to him, through Joseph. Oliver, then, was the one to correct Hiram, not Joseph.

Again, all of this shows that the word of God is jurisdictional. When looking at section 124, then, we must also look at the interpretation of the recipient. You cannot divorce the one from the other. The same goes for the rest of the scriptures, too. A revelation given to Nephi should not be divorced from Nephi's interpretation of that revelation. Etc.

If you divorce the one from the other, without a correcting revelation authorizing such divorcement, you may end up wresting the scripture and coming up with an incorrect interpretation.

LDS Anarchist said...

Finally, the section headings are not scripture, but are based upon the best scholarship available, and thus are useful in determining the context of each of the revelations. They still may contain errors, which is why from time to time they are updated with corrections, as better scholarship brings out more specific information, but until they are shown to be erroneous, they can be considered trustworthy.

LDSDPer said...

Zo-ma-rah--

are you LDSA? It doesn't matter, but I followed this link, and I read one person's idea about the events in I Nephi 13 being a future event; I certainly hope not--

or I hope that the definition of church can cover even a satanic organization (which I believe does exist)--

I hope the 'world' doesn't have much more time before the end comes--

but someone on there talks a lot about Asian Gentiles. How do *we* know that Asians are gentiles? Couldn't some of them be descended from Hagoth?



Log said...

On a different subject altogether, but provoked by the comments:

Jeremiah 17:5
5 ¶Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

If, therefore, trusting in man, simpliciter, gets a man cursed of the Lord, then would we do well if we slavishly follow even a true prophet, Joseph Smith, substituting his ideas or notions for inquiring and receiving answers directly from the Lord?

After all, if there is a man between us and the Lord, does it matter if his name is Joseph Smith or Thomas Monson?

President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy.

I submit it don't make much difference whether we depend on a living or a dead prophet - either way, we be cursed.

1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.

2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?

4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

6 ¶Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself:

8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

Inspire said...

LDSPer,
I think 1 Ne 13 being a future event would be an exciting thing. You know it's not all doom, gloom and destruction for the Gentiles. A number of them (who knows how many) WILL come out of captivity and have the commission of carrying "a book" to the remnant of Lehi, which will be convincing to them. Eventually, in tandem they will build Zion (the Gentiles "assisting").

Could it be that THIS is the "marvelous work and a wonder" which was "about to come forth among the children of men"? If so, then we've had a few generations to shake off the chains of unbelief (which now we can finally see), and now, exciting times await.

I don't wish the "end" upon "the world." Indeed, I believe that we are about to experience the beginning. As the Lord said, "all things are new." That is something to cheer. :)

PS - Having said that, I don't ascribe to the whole Asian Gentiles scenario.

Inspire said...

I wouldn't call the Bible "evidence" of that being the same John discussed in the Book of Mormon, any more than I would attribute that John to being John Watson (Sherlock Holmes), Little John (Robin Hood) or Jean Valjean (Les Miserables). I'll grant you that the B of M references the Book of the Lamb, which later became the Bible, but we can't know if those two (or three?) Johns are the same guy, just like we can't know if the Tower of Babel is the same tower spoken of by Ether or if the Urim and Thummim in the Old Testament are the same as the "interpreters" spoken of in the B of M. Speculations lead to assumptions which lead to histories which lead to a false view of the nature of God (which leads to oppression and captivity).

In regards to my evidence, it is a working theory, but this is one of the scriptures I use: "Thou rememberest the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold they are they who shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel." It makes more sense to me that the reason these twelve would be judging Israel is because they have a (recorded) witness which will be what judges them... a testimony "sent forth" (the definition of "apostle") from God, if you will. Besides the Apostle of the Lamb, these other witnesses could be The Apostle of the Heavens (Abraham), The Apostle of the Creation (Moses), The Apostle of the Zion (Enoch), The Apostle of the Covenant (Abraham), etc. They would most likely have corresponding records which would eventually make their way "in their purity" to the believing Gentiles. Of course I'm just postulating all of this and I could be off. But you make it seem like it is not useful thing to ask a question in a vacuum (void of influence of corruptible sources). If you want evidence that the Bible is not a good well to draw from to support the Book of Mormon, read Daymon Smith's books. There is evidence aplenty, to the extent that you'll probably at some point say, "Mercy! Enough already!"

LDSDPer said...

I know some Asian LDS who believe they are descended from Hagoth; that is why I brought it up--

as for the "end"--

I want it. I admit it. We're not young; in fact, we are very much not young; we've worked very hard and have little to show for it--

and we have found ourselves quietly tiptoeing at church for a very long time; our children have struggled and been rejected--

this describes us very well:

https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/JBMRS/article/view/19682

It probably sounds selfish of me/us (I speak for both my husband and myself here)--
but we are eager to see things 'end' and 'begin'--
and I agree; the end of Babylon will be the beginning of things we can scarcely comprehend--

around us, in the church, we see people/ward members going on cruises pretty much regularly--

being very caught up in the successes of their children (worldly AND church-wise)--

and there are things that I cannot post on here, things that have happened to our family in the church (not through lines of authority, nothing official) that are unspeakably terrible--

we really do know what it is like to be rejected and persecuted--perhaps for being unique, I don't know--

we've tried to figure it out and decided it doesn't matter.

We want to be part of something "Zion"--

We want to be part of something heavenly--

the church exists for us as a way to be tested and as a place to take the sacrament and a place to be very careful what we say and do--

so--

I am eager; I am waiting. I don't want decades more to pass--

or it will certainly be too late for me--

My entire life, since I was a very small child, I have asked the Lord that I might be 'here', in the flesh/moral . . . when Jesus comes.

If much more time passes, I might not be.

I realize that I get too personal on here--

so much for theories; for me this is life or death--

*lol*

I will not mourn the end of Babylon, and I believe that many of the people my fellow LDS think of as 'wicked' are not truly wicked but have been humbled by rejection and would embrace the Lord--

those who are wicked need to be put in time out--

those who have knowingly swindled the nations, shattered the hopes and dreams of countless children and families--

etc.

time out--for them. They've had their time to reign in terror--

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that even some of the best scholarship in the Church is often very wrong and deceived about things, for they aren't always righteous, despite their learning.

I believe that some of the chapter headings are very incorrect, even false, in the D&C and the BoM. And we would be waiting a long time for leaders to see, repent & correct such errors. But the Spirit can correct all these errors in the scriptures for us, even if leaders never do.

And of course some of the sections of the D&C are also false in my opinion. Thus I don't believe we can always rely on Church leaders to interpret the scriptures Joseph gave us correctly, for I believe they are all clearly false prophets since Joseph, preaching & practicing completely contrary to the doctrines & scriptures that Christ & Joseph gave us,

But even true prophets like Joseph Smith often misinterpreted their own revelation & inspiration, either thinking it was coming from God when it wasn't or not understanding the meanings correctly. Prophets aren't perfect.

I have known many people who have received revelation from the Adversary that they think came from God, and it's easy to interpret that their revelation as wrong, even if they don't think so, for it goes against the scriptures.

So I believe we can indeed interpret other peoples, even prophet's, revelation correctly if we have the Spirit, and even if the person receiving the revelation doesn't interpret it right.

We can't assume that leaders don't often make mistakes or that they are even righteous. We are the one's who have to judge if they are righteous or not & discern if their revelation is true or not. To do that we must definitely get understanding from God about their revelation, even if the prophet or person receiving it doesn't understand what they were told by God or Satan.

Anonymous said...

LDSPer,
It sounds like you need a hug.

LDSDPer said...

Thank you, anonymous at 11:42--

hugs back to you, too--

:)

LDS Anarchist said...

Log, since you still cannot understand what I've written, for you I will unfold it even plainer.

vs 31: "But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me."

This time was from January 1841 to October 1841. So, from January 1841 to October 1841 their river baptisms were acceptable to the Lord. This approximately ten month period of time is the time that the Lord granted to them "to build a house unto me."

vs. 32: "But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God."

Now, here is where you go wrong. The saying "at the end of this appointment" does not mean "before the end of this appointment." It literally means "at the end." When was the end of the appointment? In October 1841, when Joseph made the announcement. That was the end of the appointment. You, and many others, have erroneously substituted "before the end" for "at the end." The saints performed river baptisms all during the appointed time all the way up to the very end of the appointment, and only stopped when Joseph made the announcement in October. So, when the text says, "and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead," the phrase "at the end" does not mean "before the end," as you and many others erroneously interpret it to mean. "At the end" in each of these phrases (in verses 31 and 32) both mean "after", not "before." The "things" that they were to do (in the phrase, "if you do not these things" only refer to baptisms for the dead, not to building the temple. These things were to be done within the built temple after the appointed time. The end of the appointed time was when river baptisms were to cease. After the end of the appointed time was when temple baptisms were to begin. The appointed time (ten months) was for the temple to be established upon its foundations.

Now, the text is plain in this. The Lord even makes it even plainer in verse 33 by using the very word "after" to indicate when river baptisms are no longer acceptable:

vs 33: "For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me"

The word "for" continues the thought of verse 32. In other words, "if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church...for after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me...your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me."

The confusion you (and others) are having is in twisting the word "at" into meaning "before" and also in twisting the words "do not" into meaning "have not done." So, you end up with the following:

"and if you [have not done] these things [before] the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead"

but the text does not say that, at all. It says if you do not do something (present tense, not past participle) at (not before) the end. And then it goes on talking about after the end.

LDS Anarchist said...

Again, if 12 noon on 12 October 1841 represented "the end of the appointed time" and Joseph stood up in the congregation on that day at exactly 12 noon and said that river baptisms would no longer be accepted, then the phrase, "at the end of the appointed time," indicated that after 12 noon 12 October 1841 they were supposed to "do these things." Now, you can interpret "at" as being exactly 12 noon, or you can interpret "at" as being after 12 noon, but it cannot mean "before" 12 noon, because that would contradict the word of God:

Remember, the appointed time was granted for them to do river baptisms. The text reads:

"during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me, but behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me"

If you transfigure "at" into "before" the statement becomes contradictory:

"during this time (Jan. to 12 noon Oct. 12th) your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me, but behold, [before] the end of this appointment [before 12 noon Oct. 12th] your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me"

Huh? That doesn't make sense, does it? That is because you have transfigured the word (in your mind.) When it is read plainly, without the transfiguration, it makes perfect sense. River baptisms were okay up until 12 noon. Afterward, they were not. After 12 noon only temple baptisms were acceptable.

Now here is a mystery that I will clear up for you, for this prophecy of the rejection of the church with its dead did not pertain to Joseph's day, but pertains to a day future to us, when the wicked church will cease to use its temples for the work for the dead. The Lord does not reject a church because they do not complete a brick building according to a construction schedule. The people of the Lord are never 100% obedient to the things He commands and He does not set His "rejection bar" at such a low standard. The Lord rejects a church because they trample upon the poor and needy, even all those spirits in prison, who need our help, by not doing the vicarious work for them when they have the means and opportunity to do so. This sin (not using the temples for the ordinance work) is what incites the anger of the Lord sufficiently to reject a people, not mere construction delays. This sin has not occurred, yet, but is still future. So, latter-day saints can relax over these verses and put their fears to rest. We ain't rejected, yet.

LDS Anarchist said...

One more thing...

Another thing that is misinterpreted in these verses in what "these things" represent. You (and others) think it refers to the building of the temple plus temple baptisms, but it can only refer to temple baptisms. I will break it down for you another time, since I've got to run now, but hopefully, what I've written above is sufficient to further correct this error. (Again, though, I ain't holding my breath. At some point, one starts thinking this is just a gospel hobby people have that they refuse to let go of, regardless of how much it is expounded...)

Log said...

LDSA,

I am with this comment acknowledging you said something. I appreciate your efforts. I don't agree with you. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"So, latter-day saints can relax over these verses and put their fears to rest. We ain't rejected, yet."

Whew! Sounds like we can be at ease. All is well!

Anonymous said...

@LDSDPer: I am so sorry for what you and your family have been through.
My familly and I have been treated badly by members and leaders in all three different wards we have been in. We were/are (me and my family) different I guess. I have a hard time understanding how LDS members can treat others so badly, especially other members. Even my former family treated me badly because I stayed in the church and served a mission (I endured a lot of ridicule). (I had to deal with some rotten missionaries too on my mission). It took a few years before I finally realized the Gospel/Doctrine was separate from the church.
Anyway I understand where you are coming from.
JRSG in AZ

LDS Anarchist said...

Log, I'm grateful for your acknowledgement. Before I end this discussion, I will offer one more correction (useless, I know, but what the hell...)

You wrote above:

----------------------------------

31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

33 For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;

I used the word "built," which is the past tense of "build," as in "build the temple" one of the two things specifically commanded to be done during the appointed time.

---------------------

Now, the correction is this: There were not two things commanded to be done during the appointed time. There was only one thing commanded to be done during that period: build a house of the Lord. Read the text again and see for yourself. I mention this only to show yet another example that people keep reading things into the text that aren't there.

Log said...

"These things" is not equivalent to "this thing."

Just sayin'. But thanks again for your efforts.

Allyson said...

I'm a homeschooling mother of 4 kids and most of the time a single mom as my husband is away a lot. I won't have time to read this book or the comments after your blog, but could you please post some examples of "errors"?
You've done a great job of explaining that there ARE errors, but it would help me a lot if I could see some specific examples that we might not think of right away.
Thanks so much in advance!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well Allyson, that would take a book -5 books, actually, and Daymon Smith has already written 3 of them, with more to follow.

I wouldn't begin to know how to summarize those errors brought out so far other than what I've hinted at in this review. I think Denver Snuffer has also given us a fascinating overview of what is right about the church and what has gone wrong over time in "Passing the Heavenly Gift," but then that's also a book.

I sympathize with your situation. It isn't easy herding kiddies; it leaves little time for personal reading and contemplation. But if you would like to take a look at one aspect of the problem that is digestible in small bites, I have reprinted JJ Dewey's masterful work, "Infallible Authority" on this blog. You'll find it in 19 short chapters on the right side of this page.

If I were to consider errors that have crept into the church, the easiest way would be to suggest you look at all the policies, doctrines, teachings, and dogmas of the Church. Those that cannot be traced to the Book of Mormon or any specific, DIRECT revelations (the kind that are clearly delineated as "thus saith the Lord"), may suggest to your mind a need for further prayer and pondering in order to ascertain whether they come to us from God, or were merely tacked on later.

On this blog I have brought up many examples of modern day idolotry, where we as members have tended to rely on the Pharisaical arm of flesh rather than on the word of God: testifying of "The Church" rather than of Christ or His gospel; emphasis on the Word of Wisdom as evidence of worthiness; the fairly recent practice of marrying in the temple rather than in public; all these and more are not doctrinal, but inherited traditions that we have come to believe are doctrinal. We seem to prefer our religion to contain the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. That is the beginning of error: relying on the arm of flesh rather than on actual the word of God.

LDS Anarchist said...

Now I will correct myself. I used 12 October 1841 as the hypothetical date that marked the end of the appointment, but looking at a 2008 edition of the scriptures, I see that there is a footnote that gives 3 October 1841 as the date and says to see HC 4:426, 446-447. The newest edition (2013) gives the same date in the footnote but no longer gives the HC citation (since the scholars no longer use the HC as their source.)

Unknown said...

Allyson,
The one error that is most important to understand is "unbelief." The servant of the Lord will be marred, because of unbelievers, but the Lord will heal him and show unto the children of men that his wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

The fight against Zion is doomed. The Lord will bring again Zion, and has established his Church among those of the Gentiles who have not hardened their hearts, just as he said he would in 3 Ne 21.

For a non-cultural, faithful, view of the Book of Mormon, see voicesfromthedust.org

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Yeah, that's what I should have said.

Anonymous said...

Allyson,

Here are 10 errors/falsehoods/false doctrine, for starters, (there are many more) that I believe were instigated by Brigham Young & his gang after Joseph died, which caused the Church to go into apostasy and split into many different groups.

Brigham's group was only one of the many break offs started by different Apostles & Church leaders. Many of the other groups were far nearer to the religion that Joseph's started, unlike Brigham's religion which was opposite Joseph's. & Christ's.

Errors & false Doctrine:

1. Brigham Young was not called of God (just sought the position himself & thus got himself elected by a small group of members, It appears the majority of the members did not follow or accept him. He had no keys, Priesthood Power or Authority to start, continue or lead Christ's Church, thus nor do any church leaders today. The RLDS has as much & far more right & authority to be the continuation, then the LDS does, for at least the RLDS stood for more Christlike principles in the beginning, BY was a false or fallen prophet, who preached & practiced whoredoms & the vilest of evils, which would have been an immediate 'amen' to any authority or keys he may have once held. It appears Joseph was about to excommunicate BY but died before he could, and that Joseph pitied anyone who was duped into following him.

2. The whoredom of Polygamy, instigated by BY. Totally against Christ's & Joseph's teachings & the scriptures. Never allowed by God ever in the history of the earth, though men may claim so.

3. Teaching the inequality of women in marriage, home, church & Priesthood. In a true Church there are Prophetesses & Female Apostles & leaders, etc. RIghteous men do not rule or preside over women or wives, they always lead together with equal authority, power & position.

4. Brigham's false ideas of sealings, endowments, garments & private, secret temple marriage to help his illegal & immoral marriages & doctrines appear legitimate. God commanded marriages to be public & monogamous. Temples were supposed to be used for completely different things, like Sunday services, Public Meetings, Public Weddings, All Baptisms, living & for the dead, Dances, Children, Non-Members welcome, etc.

5. Blacks denied the Priesthood & equality. At least the Church has somewhat repented on that one.

6. Paid Ministry. No Church leader should receive a dime. The scriptures are clear that they should support themselves and serve in the Church for free like everyone else. Even Korahor knew that.

Anonymous said...

Allyson, Continued...

7. Allowance of Abuse, Abandonment, Divorce & Remarriage by Brigham Young up to today. Christ taught that divorce & remarriage is adultery in all cases, then, now & forever. There is no such thing as divorce, all valid 1st marriages are eternal & monogamous. But BY and those since him have ignored Christ's teachings and supported, encouraged and rewarded adultery & spouse abandonment & disintegration of the family by allowing divorce & remarriage.

8. Tithing used for other things rather than poor & needy 1st & foremost. The fatherless (women & children) are not being protected and provided for, but usually ignored and neglected, even as sacred money goes to wealthy church leaders who want the fatherless's last dime too.

9. Tithing is way more than it is supposed to be & way less. Tithing is 10%
of 'surplus' not 'income' and the poor are exempt.. But Christ commanded that once our families needs are met we are to give 'all' the rest to relieve the suffering of the fatherless & the poor, not to build churches, temples, malls & salaries for men instead.

10. The Church appears to support Socialism not freedom. True Prophets, like Moroni, would constantly stand for & strongly preach freedom, liberty and standing for our rights & the Constitution, & not going along with or supporting unrighteous politicians & leaders, as the Church's false prophets do & say to do.

And one more vital one...

11. True prophets don't say they 'can't lead you astray', they strongly warn the can and could easily fall and lead you astray, (like so many prophets have in the past), so true prophets teach you better 'prove all things, question & study everything they do & say, to make sure they are leading you right and that they are truly righteous and have true charity, especially for protecting & providing for women & children & the fatherless, which is the whole essence & reason for religion.

Whereas, false prophets teach & promise God would never let them lead you astray and that the 'thinking & proving' has been done for you, thus they say all is well in Zion, don't worry, doubt your doubts, don't listen to your own revelation for it could be & is wrong if it's different then theirs. Thus they lull the people to sleep & lead them carefully down to hell.

Inspire said...

The above 11 "errors" are not ones shown in Daymon Smith's book that Rock reviewed, but appear to be the opinion of Anonymous. I know you probably have little time to consider these things, Allyson, but it's only yours to consider. If you take this guy's/gal's word for it, then your mind is darkened. Even if you take Daymon's word for it, your mind will be darkened, although he, at least, backs up his claims with overwhelming evidence.

We love our lists and summaries, but if you are going to get to know the Gatekeeper, my guess is that it will require climbing to the highest heaven and descending below the deepest abyss with your thoughts. That might take some time, but I think the Lord is patient.We are so mired in tradition and error that I think nothing else will break us free.

If you insist on a list, you can try Mormon Doctrine. See where it leads you. :)

Steven Lester said...

Actually, Inspire, Rock has written long blog entries about every one of these 11 rules, so I think the list reflects pretty well the mind and heart of our well-beloved blog owner. I may not be the scholar that you are, but I have read everything Rock has ever written on this blog, so I know whereof I speak. It's a good list to start from. I thank Anonymous for writing it. It has much merit.

Fusion said...

Anonymous (to Allyson),

Not a bad list at all. Not comprehensive, but definitely a good start. There is MUCH more to add to that list but I agree with Steven that Rock's blog is one of the best places to start researching.

Welcome to the awakening,
Fusion

Inspire said...

Steven,
I am certainly no scholar and I do agree that Rock's posts are a great resource and place to think about things. Likewise, Daymon Smith, Denver Snuffer, LDS Anarchist and others give us plenty to chew on. I guess my point is that there is an inherent danger in letting others come to all our conclusions and summaries for us. We can leave out Christ in the process, who, using the Holy Ghost, is the best Teacher. The discoveries we make when experimenting, I think, stick more than when we just take someone else's word for it.

The Corporation has capitalized on this notion and presented us all the correlated doctrines and programs we "need." It all started because God gave us exactly what we asked for: a church based off of a hierarchy depicted in a modified book meant to bind and captivate. That to me means that we have to reconsider pretty much every "point of doctrine" which takes some time. In Allyson's case, she doesn't have a whole lot of that right now so Anon's list can give her a head start. But I think eventually we all have to do a bit of mental exercise and put efforts into our own salvation, otherwise history has shown us that we can fall into a trap. That's all I'm saying.

LDSDPer said...

here's one--

the missionaries in the Book of Mormon chose where to go to preach, and they didn't get supported by 'mom and dad'--not financially anyway--

one of my grandparents served a mission during the time when they were to preach 'without purse or scrip'--

the new missionary program is a bit off base that way, also with regards to service. Ammon offered to SERVE the king; then he was able to teach him.

The MTC would be another example of something the Book of Mormon didn't inspire--

also . . . ha, ha--

universities that are funded by the church--

the Book of Mormon makes it clear that:

3 Nephi 6:12--

BYU is completely based upon worldly standards; there is no leeway, at all, for a different kind of learning.

For example, two of my special needs kids could never pass the academic tests for entry into college, but they have skills they could refine in a university setting, if they were allowed to do so. They are very competent in these areas, but they could never , even with the best tutoring, manage to pass the most remedial of most academic subjects--

we are always being bombarded with calls from BYU to donate money, but our children cannot benefit--

those in our ward who have attended BYU have (over 95% of them anyway, close to all)--

are the children of the wealthy in our ward--

so, here:


12 And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their ariches and their chances for learning; yea, some were bignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great clearning because of their riches.

There are those in the church who won't accept as friends for their children anyone who has not attended BYU--or graduated--

we have experienced this firsthand.

President Hinckley did and said some very good things, but when he talked about the importance of getting an education, I don't think he wanted about 3 Nephi 6:12, for example.

Then there is wealth--ha . . . probably better stop before I stumble. :)

*laughing at myself*

Just start reading the Book of Mormon, and many of these things become apparent--

if you can clear your mind of previous misconceptions--

and, oh, those 'traditions of the fathers'-

Alma 21:17; these were either good or bad, depending upon whether the traditions of the fathers fostered faith in Jesus Christ or faith in 'man'--

I know many 'good' members of the church who are very involved at the ward and stake level who . . . really don't think much about what the general authorities say; they trust in their riches and in the acceptance and approval of those around them--

that is very true--

the general authorities generally make them feel pretty good about their lives and their material success, too--


LDSDPer said...

sorry for typos; President Hinckley didn't warn about 3 Nephi 6:12 when he told everyone to get an education--

Anonymous said...

I agree, don't take my word for it or anyone's. Prove my list and all things and only hold fast to that which is true according to the teachings of Christ, found in the New Testament. Christ is our only standard of truth.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Fusion. I totally agree with you, there are so many more things that could be added to the list, those are just 'some' of the most critical I think for someone who doesn't have a lot of time.

Zo-ma-rah said...

Anonymous 9:46PM concerning your point 8. Section 119 tithing does not go to the poor and the needy. It goes to the four specific purposes stated in that revelation.

Zo-ma-rah said...

I think the point of Daymon Smith's book is trying to point out that the New Testament is part of the problem, having passed through the corruption of the Church of the Devil. The Book of Mormon is the pure scripture.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the New Testament is part of the problem and not always translated correctly, but it's also how we prove the Book of Mormon to be true.

If the Book of Mormon preached anything different or contrary to what Christ said in the New Testament said then we couldn't say it was true or another testament of Christ.

The New Testament, especially Christ's words, are the test for all other scripture to be compared against. No one's new scriptures or no new prophet can trump Christ's words in the New Testament.

The New Testament, no matter how flawed is still the standard for us to know what Christ taught. And when you actually 'live' his teachings you realize how true they are, and how utterly amazing it is that his true doctrines still got through centuries of unrighteous biased translators.

Log said...

How do you know - not merely believe - that?

Anonymous said...

I know Christ's teachings in the New Testament are true because I don't just believe them I have put them to the test and have lived them and found them to be true & and all other contrary teachings to be false that only lead to unhappiness & chaos.

I judge all doctrines & prophets by what Christ taught, for he was right and taught the only rare true way to happiness.

Log said...

I'm sorry - that doesn't really answer my question. After all, Muslims say the same, as do Taoists and Buddhists and really anyone who follows any religious teachings whatever.

How shall I distinguish between your claim to knowledge and theirs?

Inspire said...

Anon 10:33 - Billions of other people could say the exact same thing. Why even bother with the Book of Mormon if you already have the standard? What good does it do? Is it just a sign that everything you already believed about the Bible is true?

This is exactly what happened with the Campbellites (aka Restorationists). The Book of Mormon came along and they held it up to say, "See here, we have a miracle and a sign. It tells us that everything we know and love about the Bible is indeed true. The only truth, and we have it! Look, it says the word 'restoration' in the Book of Mormon, so we know they are tied together, and it is meant to show the world that we are a special, chosen people."

A close look at the B of M, however, tells us a different story. And it is that very attitude of "there may be flaws, but it is mostly good, and I happen to know which is truth and which is error" (said every Christian sect for the last 500 years) that binds us with flaxen cords. It holds onto us because we don't dare let go of our pet doctrines and beliefs about Christ.

But it seems to me that if the B of M is telling us that almost all of the plain and precious truths as well as the covenants have been removed (with just enough left over to keep us captivated), then it might be important to set the Bible aside long enough to see what the Book of Mormon is telling us, without an outside influence.

Anonymous said...

Log & Inspire,

I realize that everyone can and usually does say the same thing as I did. Most everyone thinks they are right, no matter how wrong or evil they may be.

In fact the more unrighteous a person becomes, usually the more sure they are that the are right & good. While the more righteous we become the more aware of our shortcomings & failings we are and how much we don't know and how easy it is to be deceived,

And 'everyone', even prophets, (if there are some on this earth), are deceived in many ways today, no matter how righteous they may be, for we live in a world drenched in falsehoods & false prophets and evil being accepted as right & true by most everyone, especially in the Church. Just look at how often Joseph Smith was wrong about things & ideas of the day, and deceived by false revelation from Satan and even so often deceived by evil men, even to put them into the highest callings.

The best anyone can say or do is to try to identify where they are deceived and wake up as quickly as possible, before it's too late to wake up and save our souls. For I believe Joseph Smith was right when he taught that if we are deceived to go along with evil or false prophets we will lose our Exaltation, despite that we were good & honorable people who did much good & service.

It's an interesting thing, most evil in this world is done in the name of God. Almost all those I personally know who are living in adultery and sin, believe themselves to be very righteous and are actually very nice people who do alot of good things. Most go to church & serve in their callings, often high callings, faithfully & they almost all have recommends, yet they can't see what they are doing. As many Church leaders have said, they have never known anyone who was aware that they were committing adultery until they got to the repentant stage & saw it for what is really was. For Satan gets such a hold on our mind if we let him, and he slowly convinces us as we sin more & more, that we are justified in what we are doing, no matter how evil.

But as you know, just because everyone feels they are right doesn't mean 'one' isn't. There is only one way that is right. One narrow way. And only those who really possess true Charity & perfect love will find out that narrow way & end up being right in the end, The only way anyone can prove they are really right is by their possessing perfect love. Do you know anyone with perfect love today? I don't, nor do I know anyone who even really believes in it when they realize what it means. I'm sure there are a few souls around who do possess perfect charity, and it would be so wonderful to actually know one.

Joseph Smith was right when he taught that only those with perfect love cannot be deceived. For the more unconditional love we possess the more light & knowledge we gain & the better we can discern truth from error & right from wrong and devils from Saints, until we can discern such things as easy as telling the night from the day.

So, even though everyone thinks they are right and that they are in the right religion, the real question & proof is, as Christ said, do they have charity, true unconditional everlasting perfect love? If not then they are nothing and are just fooling themselves & deceived & cannot achieve Exaltation no matter how good or knowledgeable or sure they otherwise are or were in this life.

Yet charity, Christlike love, is the one true trait that Christ said identifies his true disciples. Charity is unmistakable & so rare.

Anonymous said...

Log & Inspire, - Continued


As far as only needing the Bible, I don't believe that either. We do need the Book of Mormon and Prophets, to help explain Christ's doctrines to us in further detail. For though the basic elements of the Gospel are still found in the New Testament, even enough to live by and gain Exaltation, as many have through the ages with just the Bible alone & the Holy Spirit to guide & teach them, most people need more help than that, and thus additional scripture and teachings from Prophets can aid us in coming to an understanding of Christ's Gospel if we don't have the Holy Spirit to teach us those things on our own.

The Book of Mormon may teach more in depth about Christ's doctrines but it doesn't contradict him. Though Christ taught against polygamy when he taught against divorce, he didn't explain it further (or at least we don't have his words when he did) like Jacob did, who went further into why polygamy is so wrong in every instance. That is just one example of how useful additional scripture can be.

But, as Joseph Smith & ancient prophets taught, if ever anyone, even an angel or prophet, preaches something that is 'contrary' to what Christ said, then we can know for sure it is false. 'Contrary' is different then 'further explanation & enlightenment of Christ's words.

We need all the scriptures and prophets we can get. It's all a bonus, even if we have the Holy Spirit, for we have to study and learn line upon line for every truth. How nice it would be if we really had true prophets around us today to teach us additional truths we haven't figured out yet on our own. It's like a freebee to be told things by prophets and not have to figure it out ourselves by a lot of study & prayer.

The bottom line is we all must become prophets & possess Charity or we will fall & be deceived, yet never know it, for it takes one to know one. It takes true love to discern true love in others and realize they are true disciples of Christ, preaching his exact Gospel.

LDSDPer said...

well, I 'served' my mission in a Bhuddist nation, mostly Bhuddist, that is--there were quite a few who weren't 'active' (funny word to use for Bhuddism), but there were others who were, and I found that those who followed the tenets were most Christlike--
Also, unless *you* are one of those people who has believed the anti-Muslim/Islam propaganda that has been floating around the U.S. for the past two or more decades--

then you will realize that Muslims who follow the simple teachings (not the radical ones; the same goes for Bhuddists; there are radical Bhuddists, and they are scary people)--

are really following the teachings of Jesus. They even honor Him.

It's a test for any religion really, the golden rule especially. Any religion that goes beyond that or doesn't reach that--

is either radical or apostate in some other way--



Anonymous said...

LDSDPer,

I agree, most religions teach the Golden Rule & at least part of Christ's Gospel, it's just that they also teach a lot of falsehoods intertwined with it too.

But I believe there are people in all religions that can become Christlike and gain the Holy Spirit, which would show them all the falsehoods also taught & practiced in their religion. Thus they would separate from that false religion and not be apart of or support such false prophets & falsehoods & just quietly follow Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit on their own until Christ comes again.

It appears that all religions today are apostate from the true & simple Gospel of Christ, for they seem to have all mingled many false & even evil philosophies of men with scripture, the LDS Church being one of the worst who has done this.

Spektator said...

As usual, I am late to the party...

If you ask me, the Book of Mormon is written "to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile" It was written to convince "Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD" In my opinion, the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring all unto Christ. This is accomplished by applying the gospel and doctrines of Jesus Christ as found in the book to ourselves.

The gospel of Christ, as defined by Him, is found in the 27th chapter of Third Nephi. The doctrine of Christ is found in Second Nephi, chapter 31 and 32 and in Third Nephi, chapter 11. As far as I am concerned, the LDS church has perverted the gospel and doctrine of Christ by injecting the precepts on men.

Ask any active member to define the gospel and you will likely be told that we need to follow the prophet, pay our tithing, attend our meetings and fulfill our callings. That is the perversion of the gospel of which I speak. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the path by which we sanctify ourselves in order to abide His presence.

Ask any active member what the doctrine of Jesus Christ is and you will likely get a blank stare. After a moment of thought, they will likely speak of temple covenants, priesthood and prophets, seers, and revelators. The doctrine of Jesus Christ is how we are to apply the gospel in our lives.

We humans tend to want to make simple things complicated. In the process, the pure words of Christ are replaced by the precepts of men. Christ stated "Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church."

We must each choose who we are to follow. I attempt to direct my life based on the words of Christ.

Spektator


me said...

AMEN! And thank you Spektator for putting it in such eloquent language.

Anon 23 said...

Spektator.

You are so right. It is hard to find anyone in the Church who really knows what Christ taught, and it's almost impossible to find someone who actually lives his teachings. Yet they all call themselves righteous & Christian while living opposite of the Gospel.

Brigham's Church is not the Church of Jesus Christ, for it preaches & practices just the opposite of what Christ taught. It's amazing when you actually start writing down the differences between the 2 Churches. Here are just 10 of the many doctrines I came up with that are opposite

Christ's Church Brigham's Church
(From NT & BoM teachings)

1. No paid ministry. 1. Top leaders are paid.
2. Female Prophets, Apostles, leaders. 2. Only Male Top Leaders
3. Female Priesthood to bless, heal, lead. 3. Only men have Priesthood
4. Public Weddings. 4. Exclusive Weddings.
5. No polygamy ever. 5. Polygamy practiced or promised
6. Temple for Sunday service, etc. 6. Temple for Brigham's secret rites.
7. No Divorce & Remarriage allowed. 7. Div. & Remarriage freely allowed.
8. Women totally equal in all things. 8. Men preside in Church & home.
9. Tithing is 10% of surplus 9. Tithing is 10% of income.
10. Tithing is for fatherless 1st. 10. Tithing used on malls, temples,
churches, salaries, etc. while
fatherless are neglected.

Joseph & Brigham preached completely different religions.

It's impossible to follow Christ and the LDS Church, in fact, if you really follow & believe in Christ you will probably be disciplined or exed from the LDS Church.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

As always, Spektator, you have a facility for cutting to the jist of things.

Not too many years ago I would have been among those responding with blank stares if asked to explain or define Christ's doctrine & gospel. Or worse yet, answer with the false examples you presented above.

LDSDPer said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn6w255CGkk

Sidney and the nuns say it all--

mostly the 'amen' part--



ck said...

Great article, echos many of my own feelings. But the plan of salvation as originating from an entirely different movement is something I had never heard or even considered! I would like to know more about this. Is the plan of salvation really not part of true " mormon" docterine? Aka Christ's teachings. What parts of it are supported by Christ's teachings and true modern revelation? What does God intend for us to know regarding His plan for His children? I have always heard this life is a test. But lately I have been thinking perhaps it's more of a learning experience rather than a test. I will study and ponder theses issues myself but would love to hear your insight and insight that others have received from truly studying what is written in the scriptures.

ck said...

I agree with most everything you said, but recently I was reading the DC and it said that bishops and counselors should be paid or compensated for their time spent in working for the church. What are your thoughts about this?

LDSDPer said...

@ck, I wondered the same things and did some simple research--

in the Book of Mormon *it* is called "the plan of redemption"--

I like that; it focuses more of Christ's love, to *me*, than on rules--

the words "plan of salvation" are only used in one place in the P of GP--

in Moses.

Maybe that doesn't matter, but I prefer "plan of redemption"--

the "plan of salvation" never felt right to me, even when I taught about it on my mission, etc.--

Anon 23 said...

ck,

Then we all should be compensated for our service in the Church, but it's not even right that 'anyone in the Church' should receive compensation, such ideas were wrong and false revelation.

What section says that anyway? I wonder if it was added by Joseph or later by Brigham, for it seems many sections were later added by Brigham after Joseph died, things I don't believe came from Joseph even though Brigham claimed they did.

Also, even if Joseph put that in the D&C (that bishops & counselors should be compensated) I believe he was wrong, as he clearly was in many other things, for prophets aren't perfect, they are learning line upon line too and often make mistakes or even totally fall.

I believe that D&C verse was just Joseph's or Brigham's misguided belief that anyone should receive compensation from the Church. I believe the BoM is very clear that everyone from the top down should serve for free in the Church.

We have to decide which we're going to believe, the D&C or the BOM, for they are often contrary to each other. But then again, even the BOM is not perfect, and we need to be able to discern what parts aren't true.

Anon 23 said...

I believe this life is a huge learning experience too, but that it's also a huge test to see who will have true Christlike love/Charity and who won't. Those who have Charity learn great knowledge fast and aren't deceived by falsehoods, or at least not for long.

Those who learn to discern & choose the right in this life are rewarded with far greater eternal rewards then those who waste this life by entertainment, sin, denial, etc., and thus wait to learn most things the hard way in hell.

Either way we all have to learn to discern & choose right from wrong sometime, either by wisely learning from other's teachings & warnings (scriptures) or the hard way by our own sad, long & painful experience in this life or in hell and yet still not get the rewards we could have received.

I believe we can only safely believe the ideas about eternity that Christ actually taught in the New Testament. We must only study his words to create our beliefs about the afterlife, everyone else's ideas, even prophets or his apostles, may or may not be true.

ck said...

Thank you for your insight, You are correct when you say no one is perfect...even prophets and apostles. Although that idea is foreign to many members it seems. I suppose it all goes back to relying on the spirit. And I recently did some research about the D&C and it turns out it has been more "manipulated" than the church would have us believe. Interesting but also sad.

ck said...

That makes sense, thank you. From now on I am going to actually start studying the scriptures myself instead of just relying on what others have said about them.

ck said...

I definitely want to believe that Christ will judge us more on what's in our hearts than how well we conform to all the rules. So thank you for your insight.

Rod said...

Brother Waterman, This is Salt Lake calling. We'd really like you to STOP now!

bonniestanfield said...

Brother Rock, Hope you and your family are well.
Missing your writings.
FYI: We love LCF too!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks, Bonnie. Out of necessity I haven't had much time to spend online because caring for Connie has me overwhelmed even more than usual. I felt really bad about not posting anything in November, but I hope to knock out a new piece before Christmas. Just need sufficient rest to clear my tiny dinosaur brain.

(For those readers who are unaware of recent developments, my wife Connie underwent a hip replacement surgery, and neither of us is getting much rest as she works at recovering from it.)

LDSDPer said...

Thanks, Rock, for the update on Connie--

no pressure on the new posts; I do miss the lively discussions, but things have been busy here, too--

lots of busy trying to stay warm; we heat with wood. Lots of work--

Log said...

Paul said it.

9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

Anon 23 said...

Log,

Paul was not perfect, he still seemed very influenced by the precepts of men of his day, but still I don't see that he was as saying clergy should or could righteously be paid. Maybe the meat from the altars were used for the poor Priests, for even poor Priests or Prophets who are disabled can get in line with all the other poor, but that is alot different then rich able bodied church leaders receiving salaries. And they even expect the poor to support them and even ask the fatherless to give their last dime to them while those leaders sit in comfort and ease and the fatherless go without.

It is unspeakably evil. Even Korahor knew paid ministry was wrong and Alma assured him he didn't take a dime. King Benjamin was the same, even a King too, and a Prophet, and he worked to support himself the same as everyone else. The Book of Mormon is a more correct book then the New Testament, which may not even be translated correctly. The Book of Mormon surely condemns all paid ministry, even and especially for top leaders. For who can trust anyone when they are getting paid, for they could be in it for the money.

Log said...

Oh, really? You see, Joseph sold the Book of Mormon for money, and sold the Millennial Star for money, and was renumerated for his labors in the Church.

Paul gave the correct standard, and I suggest re-reading the Pentateuch.

Anon 23 said...

I never said Joseph was perfect. Of course he wasn't. So I don't agree with his selling of the BoM, etc. unless he sells it at just what it costs to produce it. No do I agree he should have been renumerated for his labors.

Hopefully he didn't do anything to fall from his place as a true prophet, but it was always possible. For example, if it comes out in the end that he really did live polygamy, despite his testimony to the contrary, then it only would mean that he was a fallen or false prophet, like so many prophets before him throughout history.

Polygamy seems to be a common thing that even Prophets can get caught in and fall from. I believe he didn't fall for polygamy though, for he understood how wrong it was.

Bottom line is that Christ taught against polygamy, so anyone who preaches or practices it is not a true follower of Christ, let alone a true prophet. That's really all we need to know.

Log said...

Where did Christ teach against polygamy, again? Did he not specifically give the law to Moses which permitted plural marriage?

I think he did.

3 Nephi 15
3 And he said unto them: Marvel not that I said unto you that old things had passed away, and that all things had become new.

4 Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses.

5 Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfil the law; therefore it hath an end.

And what did this law contain?

Deut. 21
15 ¶If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:

16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:

17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

So, it appears that Joseph need not have been a fallen prophet, anymore than Jehovah being a false God.