Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why I Don't Care If You're Gay

Previously: Year End Odds & Ends

I'm frequently asked why I haven't yet posted anything on this blog about this business of gay marriage. I suppose that's because I'm concerned here primarily with topics that have something to do with my religion, and since my religion hasn't had anything to say about homosexuality one way or the other, I don't have much to say about it either.

To be sure, plenty of my fellow Saints have strong feelings against homosexuality, and gay marriage in particular. Some of these outspoken members even hold positions of authority within the Church hierarchy. But the opinions of members, regardless of rank, are not the same as a revelation from God himself, so none of them are doctrinal or binding on the church. We are not supposed to be guided by the opinions of men, but rather by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

As a believing latter-day Saint, I see no reason to become overly exercised regarding something the Lord has not yet seen fit to weigh in on.  God has expressed himself on many things that should be of concern to us in these latter days, but on this particular topic He has been conspicuously silent.

Since our founding in 1830, what has made us unique among all other Christian denominations has been the claim that our doctrines are obtained solely through revelations. That is the salient point I taught as a missionary in the first discussion: "Ever since that time, Mr. Brown," I testified, "The Lord has had a prophet on the earth to guide us and teach us his will regarding the important issues of our day."

If we are to take seriously our claim of a religion based on divine revelation, then we ought to stop parroting the tired objections of the sectarian churches on this matter and look to what God himself has revealed in the latter-days.  The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, but for some reason, the Book of Mormon does not address either homosexuality or same sex marriage. Neither is there anything about it in the Doctrine and Covenants, nor in any of the prolific speeches and writings of the prophet Joseph Smith

I haven't been able to find one single revelation from any of the latter-day prophets that would instruct us on the position we should take concerning the joining of one man to another in matrimony. There doesn't seem to be anything at all regarding same sex attraction. Is it possible this isn't one of the issues that concerns God as much as it seems to consume us? Given God's relative silence on the matter, we should at least consider that possibility.

We have no shortage of statements on the subject delivered in talks by general authorities, but none that I can find that claim to be revelations from God. Some members point to The Proclamation on the Family as an example of a latter-day revelation, but that is not a revelation. It's a position paper.

There are indeed a couple of instances where homosexuality is condemned in the old testament, but since when did we Mormons start taking our marching orders from a book which the prophet Nephi warned us would be a stumbling block in our day? A primary purpose for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, according to Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, and others, was as a corrective to the errors and misinterpretations which are present throughout the bible.

Many bible verses often used to prove God's condemnation of homosexuality do not hold up upon closer inspection. The King James Version of the bible is particularly rife with translations of words to which many have pegged inaccurate definitions.  What should be of utmost concern, however, is that in none of these oft cited verses is the Lord himself being quoted. Since when did latter-day Saints start believing in the inerrancy of the bible? Others may declare that every word of the bible is the literal word of God, but we're expected to know better.

In many areas where the bible is in harmony with God's will, the Book of Mormon confirms those teachings. But it is an article of our faith that much of what has come down to us in the bible has been  mistranslated and corrupted. A simple reading of Leviticus and Deuteronomy should convince anyone that much of what is contained therein is of no more value than the Code of Hammurabi. Why then are so many good latter-day Saints hung up on obscure bible verses, placing them front and center as though to define our creed?

For all I know, Gay marriage may be an egregious sin. But that's just the problem. I don't know. I have no way of knowing God's mind on this matter because God has not seen fit to reveal anything about it. So until he does, I think my wisest course is to continue to treat others the way I would wish to be treated. And that means abiding by the golden rule. Live and let live.

Recently on Facebook I shared a simple article by a writer who had decided his attitude toward homosexuals was less than Christlike, and wrote about his decision to stop being so condescending toward them. I was surprised by the firestorm of responses that resulted from my sharing that simple piece which I thought was fairly uncontroversial.

That thread triggered a lively discussion regarding what the bible actually has to say on the subject, and since most of the comments on both sides of the issue were intelligent, civil, and very informative, I would recommend those wanting a clearer understanding of what the bible has to say to check out that conversation here .

Of particular interest, I should think, are the bible verses that have become a stumbling block to us in our day, including the actual meanings of the words translated as "fornication," "effeminate," and the nearly indecipherable Greek phrase translated into English by the King James translators as "abusers of themselves with mankind." I still marvel that so many people who claim to revere the bible continue to believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the sin of homosexuality. Hasn't anyone read Ezekiel? He tells us plainly that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were the cruel way they treated their poor. Nephi reiterates the warning of Ezekiel concerning Sodom, and it is a warning many Mormons tend to ignore these days. We'd rather be searching around finding fault with others than looking to our own sins.

I Agree With The Duck Dynasty Guy
I don't know much about this guy Phil Robertson, also known as the Duck Commander, and I have not followed everything he has said. So I'm not endorsing everything he said recently that has caused such a row, but I do identify with this statement:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That's just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” 
That pretty much sums up my own point of view. Same sex attraction does not strike me as logical. You can mark me down as favoring the vagina.

In the words of the Duck Commander, that's just me.

But that's not everybody. As it happens, some men don't share my appreciation for lady parts. As difficult as it may be for people like me and the Duck Commander to grasp, to some men the vagina is a repulsive thing with no more appeal than the mouth of a squid. I know, because that's how I've had it described to me by a gay friend who was permanently scarred after looking at one up close. He reported it as being as horrifying to him as the creature from Alien.

By the way, if there are any children present, you might want to have them leave the room. At the very least, you should probably stop reading this to your children out loud.

How I Learned To Stop Hatin' On Homos  
I certainly do not think all gays and lesbians are angels. Some of the most obnoxious and self-absorbed people I've known happen to have been homosexuals. But also some of the kindest, most accepting people I've known have been homosexuals, so go figure. A sizable number of obnoxious and self-absorbed people in my life happened to be heterosexuals, so it would appear that sexual orientation doesn't seem to have much to do with whether or not a person is a jerk. Acting like a jerk is what makes a person a jerk.
 
Connie and I have a handful of gay friends who we love in a way that would have seemed inconceivable to either of us just a few short years ago. One of them lives in Salt Lake City and we love her deeply. And when I say we love her, I mean either one of us would literally take a bullet for this girl.  It would be impossible for us to find fault with her because the three of us have bonded spiritually. It would never occur to me to define our friend by her sexual orientation any more than she defines me by mine.

I was dismayed to hear how angrily some in the LGBT community demanded A&E cancel the Duck Dynasty show just because some guy said something they don't agree with. I'm just as opposed to that kind of bullying as I am when I see my fellow Saints invoking God's name as justification for treating others with disdain. Since when did we decide that when someone says something we don't like, that person should be forced to go away? Why not engage them in dialogue? That way if you can't persuade them, at least you'll better understand where they're coming from.

The biggest problem we now have between some Mormons and their gay nemeses is that neither side wants to recognize the divine in the other. Wouldn't it be better if we could have our differences and still respect the other person's right to their feelings? The Lord said to his people through Isaiah, "Come, and let us reason together." We don't have to adopt the other person's view, but we should respect his right to express it.

Like a great majority of Mormons, I used to believe wholeheartedly that homosexuality was a choice. That was the official position of my Church, and that's what I accepted as truth. (Note: this was the position of the Church, not the expressly revealed position of the Lord.)

I'll admit this business of same sex attraction is a mystery to me. I don't understand it; I can't fathom what makes some people "that way."  But I'll tell you what I am now absolutely convinced of: homosexuality is not a choice. Those who are attracted to members of their own sex did not "choose" to have those awkward desires. Many would rather be dead than queer, and sadly too many young people have been so desperate to escape their own natures that they have unnecessarily taken their own lives. A gay man or woman can no more choose to turn heterosexual than you and I can suddenly "choose" to become gay, and only a fool would believe same sex attraction can be "cured" at will.

The way I came around to understanding, accepting, and respecting those with same sex attraction is the same way a lot of others have. I got to know a young man who was gay, and I learned to love and accept him in spite of his "difference."

Actually, I've known this kid for quite some time. I was present when my wife gave birth to him.

I'm not going to go into how agonizing it was for my son to come to terms with his own nature. Suffice to say that throughout his teen years he despised himself for what he was. He tried to change who and what he was, and desperately fought an internal battle to become "normal." Goodness knows girls found him attractive, so he would have had no trouble being straight if it were only possible to wish it so. Eventually Michael came to terms with who he is, and learned at long last that God did not hate him. God loves him. I'm convinced there is nothing "wrong" with my son. Not one thing. 

That's why I am dismayed when I hear of otherwise good latter-day Saint parents turning their gay children out into the street to forage and starve. This is happening way too often. It's estimated that 40 percent of the five thousand homeless teenagers on the street in Utah are gay, and most of them are there only because their parents kicked them out for being gay. Somehow these parents allowed their perceived religious conditioning to convince them that abandoning their own children was what God would have them do.

If there is an opposite to being Christlike, that would define it, in my opinion. This is a tragedy. It is callowness of the worst kind. I fear for such people at the judgment.

The Right To Contract
Back when the LDS Church was actively encouraging its members to support California's Proposition 8 -the proposal to define marriage as between one man and one woman- I opened up my Sunday paper, the Sacramento Bee, and saw a prominent feature story about an LDS family that lived about 11 miles from me over in Folsom. What I read made my heart sink. The story told of the Patterson family's response to the call from their church to donate money to help pass prop 8, and how they had obediently turned over their entire life savings of $50,000 to the cause.

The Patterson family was not particularly well-off. They had a modest home and drove a 10 year old Honda. But by living frugally, they had managed to save enough money for their children's future missions and college educations.  Now they heard the call from their Church to contribute regarding what they obviously thought was a call from the Lord, and just like that, their money was gone. Evaporated into nothing for a cause that anyone with a modicum of foresight could see would never succeed.

I sat there reading that article knowing that no amount of money would ever make a difference because ultimately the question of gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage. Marriage has nothing to do with obtaining permission from the government, from a church, or from anywhere else.  It is about the right to contract, and no government has the right to impair a contract willingly entered into by any two competent adults. Proposition 8 could very well pass (and it did), but the rights of any two people to contract to cohabit would not be affected by its passage.

The Pattersons weren't thinking about this, of course. They had confused the opinions of some at Church headquarters with the immutable will of God, and firmly believed their life savings was going to have something to do with building up the kingdom and putting evil underfoot. Because the Church had asked this sacrifice of them, God was surely behind it. Their money would contribute to a victory for the powers of Heaven.

What the Pattersons failed to realize was that God had issued no revelation to the president of the Church instructing him on support for proposition 8 or predicting a political victory. There had been no revelation given to anyone commanding him to mobilize the Saints. This project was initiated by mere mortal men, the same men who set out without any instructions from God to use Church money to construct a multi-billion dollar shopping center in the heart of Salt Lake City during a time when most potential customers were experiencing financial hardship.

I wonder when the Saints will start asking the pertinent questions that should be asked of the Brethren every time something like this is proposed: "Where is the accompanying revelation? When did God authorize you to take this action or require this sacrifice from us?"

How will the Petersons survive without that nest egg they so carefully accumulated if Brother Peterson loses his job? They, along with countless other faithful members, were goaded into throwing away their inheritance by men who had received no instructions from God asking them to do so.

And now I read how many members of the Church in Utah are up in arms about the federal ruling which requires Utah to recognize same-sex marriages. They are in a revolutionary fervor, convinced that God will reward their efforts and lead them to victory. But I ask again: where is the revelation? How do they know God wants this battle fought?

Nullification Is To Be Used Against Tyranny
Doubtless you've heard of Trestin Meacham, the Utah man in the middle of a hunger strike until the state of Utah overturns the ruling recognizing gay marriage. He points to the doctrine of nullification as reason why Utah can stop gay marriages from being recognized in Utah.

But Trestin does not understand the doctrine. I am all for seeing states nullify federal law. I've been a vocal part of the nullification movement myself for some years. But the doctrine of nullification does not apply here. If the federal government had decreed that Trestin Meacham must marry another man, or even that he must marry a particular woman; if the federal government had stepped in and declared that gay marriages -or any marriages- would be prohibited, or that the LDS Church is hereafter required to perform gay marriages, then the people of Utah would have standing to rise up and nullify those laws, as they do any time the government oversteps its bounds.

But the government is not attempting to impose a law on Trestin Meacham or on anyone else. It is not restricting anyone's rights. It is merely declaring that the same right to contract which Trestin Meacham enjoys with his wife cannot be withheld from others. This ruling should be of no concern to Trestin Meacham because it does not affect Trestin Meacham. To quote Thomas Jefferson, such a law "neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

That particular federal ruling represented an expansion of rights, not a restriction of rights. If you want to see the proper and effective use of nullification, look no further than Colorado, Utah's next door neighbor. The federal government has declared the use and possession of marijuana to be a criminal offense. The people of Colorado passed a law that said, in effect, "We don't care what laws you pass. Our bodies belong to us. We nullify your silly decree and will do with our own bodies as we wish."

Some folks are concerned about Trestin Meacham's hunger strike and are worried that he could do permanent damage to himself if he continues. But I say Brother Meacham has every right to do with his body whatever he wants. Perhaps one day he'll learn that right belongs to everyone.

Update: As I write this I have just learned that the Supreme Court has issued a stay regarding issuing licenses for same sex marriages in Utah, and Trestin Meacham is now further abusing his body by gorging on pizza.

What Charity Means
Charity means much more than simply giving money to the poor. What it means is having a heart pure enough to recognize that every one of us is on our own perfect path. Charity means we allow others to find their own way. The Lord does not permit us to interfere with choices anyone else makes. No matter how repugnant and off-putting another's lifestyle may appear to us, we are required by the laws of heaven to let them be. Charity means we all get to live and let live.

Some of us Mormons tend to be overly concerned about the morality of others. If God had wanted us to get worked up about what other people are doing with their genitals, I think He would have given us those orders by now. In the entire bible, the few verses purporting to do with homosexuality don't even claim to be quoting God. So why are we hanging on them?

How To Take A Stand Against Gay Marriage
This may offend some people, but I'll say it anyway. I don't care for Homosexuality. It is not for me.  So here's what I've decided to do about it: I make it a point to refrain from participating in  homosexual acts. Every chance I get.

This is the method I have chosen that I feel would best protect the sanctity of my marriage. I'm happy to announce that my courageous stand has met with the approval of a grateful and relieved wife.

That is the limit to what God allows me to do. He does not permit me to interfere in the lives of others, regardless of how unsavory I might find their behavior. I am permitted to choose only what I will do with my own genitals. I am not charged with jurisdiction over yours.

Since the Restoration of the gospel began in 1820, God has had 194 years to tell us his thoughts about gay marriage. The fact that he hasn't said anything about it suggests to me this is not quite the issue with Him that some of us think it should be.


January 2014 Announcements! 
Come Let Us Reason Together
I suspect this post will engender some vigorous discussion on both sides of this issue, so I ask only that you remain civil and try to keep your emotions in check.  And please try to avoid posting as "Anonymous" because in no time the comment page will be crawling with people named Anonymous and it becomes impossible to know who is responding to who. Please use the drop-down box labeled "Name/Url" but if you must use Anonymous, please sign off with a user name in the body of the post to differentiate yourself from all the other people arguing under the same name.

And on the subject of arguments, Duke University is offering a free 12 week

course entitled "Think Again! How To Reason and Argue" beginning January 13th. I think a lot of latter-day Saints could benefit from learning to articulate their point of view. Getting a firm foundation in reason, logic, and common sense will also help protect you from government, media, and yes even religious figures who would try to manipulate your emotions for their own ends. Learn to spot the weaknesses and fallacies in your own arguments and become more persuasive when presenting your point of view. You can even earn a verified certificate from Duke University, and none of it will cost you a cent.

TED Talk
"The Ally Within"  is a short talk presented at TED by John Dehlin, telling his story of conversion from a typical latter-day Saint with typical Mormon attitudes toward homosexuals, to one who came to understand Christ's lessons of charity toward all mankind. John Dehlin is the quintessential Mormon. If all latter-day Saints were like him, most of the problems the modern church is currently facing would disappear.


The Passing of a Favorite Scholar
I just learned of the death of Richard Price on New Years Day. Brother Price was the co-author with his wife of  the two volume work, "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy,"a book that has had a profound impact on my own personal quest for truth.  In spite of having suffered a stroke two years back, Brother Price continued to post additional chapters free online under volume II. Richard's wife will continue to post additional research which you can obtain for free online here.

Rock On The Radio
Last week I was the guest on K-Talk Radio's Paul Duane Show in Salt Lake City. You can access and download a podcast of that show by clicking here. 


416 comments:

1 – 200 of 416   Newer›   Newest»
Gaybob Spongebath said...

Rock, I listened to your radio interview on K-Talk radio. What a rollercoaster ride!

Naomi said...

Very well put

Micah Burnett said...

I enjoyed reading your view and feel pretty much the same. I do believe it is a sin but have decided not to get too worked up about it until I know the Lord's mind.

It's a good point that we have had no revelation on the issue, but you also have to consider the void of revelation over the last 170 years.

Anonymous said...

Just came across this blog post. Quite thought provoking. We are all in a fallen state and we all need to make that "mighty change of heart".

http://lamplightjournal.blogspot.com/2014/01/church-newsroom-doctrine.html

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your point of view, especially considering you have a son who is gay. I have two nieces who are lesbians, much to their mother's dismay. This affects almost every family in existence. I believe sex outside of marriage is a sin. So whether that falls into the gay or heterosexual category doesn't really matter, as far as the sin goes. I do believe that there are diverse "deviant" sexual behaviors, such as beastiality, satanisc ritualism, multiple partners, sex outside of marriage, whether gay or hetero. This is my personal religious belief and conviction. Anyone who disagrees with me has that right. But they do not have a right to condemn me for my belief, just as I have no right to condemn them for disagreeing with me. Whether or not gays are "born that way" is not for me to judge. I condemn the act of disobedience to the laws of God regarding chastity. Period. Even then, I am in no position to condemn any person for any reason. That's God's job, not mine. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..." WJ

Big Dave said...

You make good points, Rock. It is unfortunate that such complex subjects cannot adequately be addressed in a few paragraphs in the comments section. If you are inviting comments, I suggest you narrow your focus a little.

Scott said...

I found your blog through a friend via Facebook. I typed out a pretty extensive comment (all positive) then technical issues and, poof, my text is vanished.
I'm gay. I'm Mormon (still participating in church to a small extent). I appreciate your reasonable arguments on the topic of homosexuality. It's also encouraging to see that you have accepted your son. I was blessed to have had a positive experience with my own parents and my bishop. When I made the choice to stop ignoring my natural inclinations, I decided that I would not let all the opposing voices ruin my faith. I decided that, like the woman caught in adultery, I would rely on God's mercy and hope that I could live my life in a moral, charitable way.
Also, I like what you said about free speech. To have free speech, it must be universal. Once we try to silence an opinion we don't agree with then it's no longer free speech! It's best to turn off the TV, put down the magazine, exit the web page. Gotta take the offensive with the agreeable. It's worth it!

ldsapostasy said...

Rock, I take it you don't believe the Bible to be the word of God?

The Bible has plenty to say about homosexuality. You're being very dishonest.

Calleen Bataiff said...

First of all I want to be clear that I haven't read the whole of your above blog as of yet, however, the point you have made on God not yet weighing in on the Gay issue is not true, if you believe the Bible to be the word of God and you have received personal revelation on the subject. One does not need to wait for a business decision from the administrators that are at the head of the LDS Church to get the word of God on the subject. If fact one is waiting tor the word of the higher-up's of this church, one will not be getting the word of God, they will be getting yet another business decision. Let's say for argument sake that the Pres. of the this church/organization is getting his direction from God himself. Those who he is over still cannot understand this word without personal revelation, however, my personal experience tells me the faces of the leadership of this church have no such connection with God.
Rock, I love your blog. You are very insightful. I'm sure once I read the rest of this blog I will find you've already come to a very insightful conclusion. Thanks for all your efforts. I know God is with you. CJB

Big Dave said...

It is also unfortunate that Satan has managed to have the teachings of every prophet/president since Joseph Smith thrown out because their insights are not found in the scriptures. It is ridiculous to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I guess patriarchal blessings are out the window too? How could they possibly have relevance to us if they are not scriptural?

Daren said...

It's hard to believe you think God hasn't spoken on the subject.

The very first commandment given to man reveals what is approved to God. God commanded us to "multiply and replenish the earth". This is reiterated in both Genesis and the Book of Moses (modern revelation). How does a homosexual couple multiply and replenish the earth together? They cannot. They are frustrating the purposes of God.

Remember, "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life" (3 Nephi 14:14). There is only one way to salvation: God's way. If that makes God a hate-filled bigot by our standards, then so be it. I will still follow God.

Really said...

Scientific evidence that gays can be cured:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/01/scientific-evidence-that-gays-can-be.html

Big Dave said...

I agree, Daren. Satan has the world convinced that if they are not open to anything and everything, then they are haters. Satan wanted everyone to be the same, to save everybody. God knew that some of his children would be valiant and distinguish themselves, thereby gaining eternal life. God also knew that the vast majority of the people in the world would let go of the iron rod and drift off into the mists of darkness and become confused. The iron rod is the word of god, and those that begin doubting it are doomed to follow forbidden pathways.

PNW_DPer said...

To the extent that Homosexuality, or SSA, is actually aberrant or sinful, I wonder if it is really a side effect of much more serious sins such as our penchant for supporting violence and war, as you have so exquisitely detailed in your many "Pure Mormonism on War" posts. I have a beloved niece who is openly lesbian, but her family background is that her parents were violently murdered in front of her when she was very young in a brother against brother dispute, where the tendency to violence was probably greatly exacerbated by the Vietnam combat experience of the two brothers, especially the perpetrator.

This niece admitted to my wife, after a little reflection, that the women she has been involved with all experienced or complained of real lack of affection and mothering from their mothers (obviously in her case, by her mother not being there after being murdered).

LDSDPer said...

Daren, this is the problem.

Did you know that in ancient times women who couldn't bear children were often left to starve or fend for themselves, because, according to custom/cutlure, a woman who could not bear was 'cursed'?

It is true. Christians who have inherited the Bible don't like to think about and talk about it, but there are references to it in what is left of the Bible:

1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel aenvied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

Why would she want to die? Because the culture considered a barren woman to be cursed.

Wow--

that's a happy thought--

so, by this same token, people who can't father or mother children biologically should have a law made against them, because they are cursed.

Same kind of silly logic that has prevailed for centuries over blacks and the priesthood--

but it's there; it's real. Many women literally were put outside the community to live or die--

so it was a pretty big thing to produce a child--

what narrow-mindedness, you say?

Well, I haven't read the entire blog, though I plan to, but I don't need to.

As a libertarian and a Mormon Christian I believe profoundly that it is not my business to tell others how to live.

I, too, can't understand homosexuality. I can't wrap my mind around it--

I also know it's not chosen, and I've read Mormon blogs in which those who struggle with same-sex attraction . . .

believe it is chemically-related and therefore on the increase.

But as long as the world, AND Mormons, loves its chemicals and wants to keep supporting constant warfare and the chemicals it brings--
and the chemical companies which are some of the most powerful entities in the world--

SSA will be on the upswing, whether or not it can be 'cured'--

that has to be a personal choice as well.

I've had family and friends with very rare health problems to which others claimed they had solutions, and after a lot of time and money, the solution was a non-solution and just a heartache, so I can't say.

But if a person truly believes in agency, he/she will allow others, after using nothing but the gentlest of persuasion--

to make whatever choices he/she will make.

I know this topic is hard for social conservatives. I used to be one of those, and I felt it was my 'duty' to force others to be good, but I don't believe that anymore--

Big Dave said...

LDSDper:

It is not about "telling others how to live". It is about suffering evil to exist in our midst. Lehi warned Jerusalem to repent, they didn't so Lehi and his family were removed and God worked his magic. Noah warned the people to repent, they didn't and god removed Noah from their midst. Nephi warned his brothers to repent, they didn't so they were cursed with a black skin and Nephi took off. Nephi could have just taken off in the first place. Lehi could have just taken off in the first place. I guess God found it wiser to eliminate evil in his people, instead of removing the righteous remnant. So here we are today. Where are you going to run to? There is no promised land. There is no big wooden cruise ship to embark upon. We are forced to stay and fight evil or this time we will all be destroyed. Even the saints had Missouri and Illinois to flee to. Where will we flee now?

Daren said...

LDSDPer,

I completely agree with you on not forcing others to be good. The only means Christ used to change minds and hearts was "by persuasion, by long-suffering, gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned" (D&C 121:41). Everyone is allowed to their opinion, and no one can force another into heaven.

The example you gave of barren women being cursed was a cultural tradition, and not endorsed by God. We should be careful not to attribute to God what were the actions of men.

Yet, the commandments of God are clear. God is love, but he still can't look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. (D&C 1:31)

Regarding homosexuality, I have a problem with the idea that someone who feels same-sex attraction cannot change. Maybe that person has tried, with an iron will, to stop feeling same-sex attraction, but they can't change their nature. The problem is that it leaves God out of the equation.

Maybe it's natural for someone to feel same-sex attraction. That's the point. It's natural.

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19)

In our natural state, we are all enemies to God, each in our own way. That is how it was intended to be. By giving us these tendencies or addictions, God is calling to us. He is asking us to reach out to Him.

I can speak from personal experience, having struggled with addictions of my own. God can and does change human nature. He is mighty to save. I know that for myself.

Jon said...

On the Family Proclamation, Radio West did an interesting story on a Mormon family bringing up a transgendered child who had a sex change. They asked the hierarchy if she could still be a full member. The hierarchy responded that they have received no revelation on the subject, that the revelation the individuals received (i.e., the family) is all the revelation that has been received on the subject.

In other words, The Family Proclamation is not revelation.

http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/raising-transgender-kid

Big Dave said...

Daren:

What do you mean, exactly, by "forcing others to do good"? No one is suggesting that a gun be held to anyone's head. I think we are required by god to call people to repentance and to eliminate evil. Didn't the Lord tell Joseph Smith something about declaring only repentance to this generation? What is missionary work all about? And if gays can try to pass laws giving them gay marriage rights, why can't we pass laws to stop the same? I really don't think we need a revelation from the Lord to figure this one out.

Calleen Bataiff said...

Once again, Bravo!!!! You've managed to hit the nail on the head. I suspect, after reading about the $50,000 donation, that the church was once again lining it's pockets by rousing the saints to act in defense of something or another, this time gay marriage. Next time it will be for helping some poor nation, or building some temple. It's an old trick. What we keep ignoring is that the God of the LDS Org. is mammon, and just like every other mammon based business, the goal is to get more mammon. We are such saps! I've been duped on things in the past as well, so I'm not going to judge anyone. I'm sure this family feels that they will benefit somehow in the next life, and will actually benefit from having to rely completely upon the Lord when their mammon completely runs out, so one way or another they can be blessed by this action given they turn completely to God, and not the Org. This could turn out to be a great blessing to them.

Once again, thanks!

Annalea said...

(Forgive me if this is duplicate--my first comment seemed to disappear into the ether.)

How dearly I wish that we, as a church, could really focus on the second baptism, the event called Sozo by Christianity at large. Sozo means "saved, healed, and delivered", and is the event that creates a new creature in Christ Jesus. It's the baptism of the holy ghost that brings visions and a completely new outlook and set of motivations. It's the beginning of being remade in the image of Christ. Sozo is what made the Lamanites cry out that they had no more desire to do evil. Sozo is why the Anti-Nephi-Lehis buried their weapons with an oath to give their own lives rather than harm any children of God *ever* again. Sozo opens the gates into our lives for the fruits of the Holy Spirit to flow. You know, the ones mentioned when Primary children chant "We believe in the gifts of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretations of tongues and so forth." Where are those gifts now? Why aren't they openly blessing the church, families, and individuals now? Why does everyone accept philia as a celebrated substitute for the rushing of a mighty wind and fire from heaven?

We have far greater problems than the conundrum of whether or not homosexuality is "okay" with God. The two great commandments are so utterly ignored as to make derision and violence not only acceptable but lauded and prayed openly in our meetings.

Oh, where is the power and joy and exultation in Christ? Where has the fundamental understanding of the power of prayer gone? (And that's not even a gift!) Instead of calling down the presence of the Lord into our meetings and being taught by angels or the Holy Spirit, we hear " . . . and we're so thankful for our leaders visiting here today, please help us listen to and obey them . . . " without a single mention of following Jesus in the whole five minutes. And I sat there, feeling the prayer's twisted efficacy in strengthening the bondage and spirit of eager servitude in the hearts of those who opened themselves to it. It was one of the saddest things I had ever felt.

We have problems so much bigger than homosexuality. Thank you, Rock, for writing what you have, and for doing such a clear and open job of communicating it, and how unafraid you are of the whole thing. Mormons could do with a whole lot more of that whole "unafraid" bit. :)

Annalea said...

Just to clarify: In my final paragraph, I wasn't trying to say homosexuality was "a problem" per se . . . just that it's an issue to many LDS folks, and it needs to be ousted from that position of honor and relegated to "God's problem" status.

jeanmarie said...

Just brilliant, Rock. If I still believed in Mormonism, it would have to be your brand of Pure Mormonism.

Daren said...

Big Dave:

I only meant we should live like the Nephites did:

“Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.

But if he murdered he was punished unto death; and if he robbed he was also punished; and if he stole he was also punished; and if he committed adultery he was also punished; yea, for all this wickedness they were punished.

For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a man’s belief; therefore, a man was punished only for the crimes which he had done; therefore all men were on equal grounds.” (Alma 30:11)

Our laws should be based on crimes. Crime, according to the 1828 Webster’s dictionary (which is from the same time period that the Book of Mormon was translated), is defined as: “An act which violates a law, divine or human; an act which violates a rule of moral duty; an offense against the laws of right, prescribed by God or man, or against any rule of duty plainly implied in those laws.” Thus, our laws should enforce basic moral standards, as established by God in the Ten commandments.

Beyond enforcing those laws, we should not try to force others to be good. Everyone has the right to believe and act (within the confines of the law) how they wish. Anything else is an encroachment on someone’s agency. Thus, beyond the law, we are left only with persuasion, long-suffering, unfeigned love, etc.

With that in mind, the idea of casting our your own child into the street because they have same-sex tendencies is abhorrent to me; as is the idea of cursing a woman because she can’t bear children.

Big Dave said...

Daren:

Excellent post. I also believe that we cannot regulate beliefs. Homosexuals are living together right now, and we can't stop it. What people do behind closed doors we cannot, and should not try to stop. I draw the line when people try to pass laws legalizing immoral and evil behavior. Well done, Daren.

ck said...

I find myself asking some of the very same questions. Where is the power of God that we read about in the scriptures? Where are the visions and the revelations and the administering of angles that were bestowed upon the early saints before the death of Joseph? Some people say the small miracle we experience today are just the same. It's a miracle that the age of missionaries was lowered they say. It's a miracle that so many temples have been built in such a short amount of time they say. But that is not what I see. I don't see Gods power in those things. I see mans power. And to me, it is not the same. But what do I know?

Daren said...

Annalea & ck:

Hear Hear!!!

As Mormon said, "have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." (Moroni 7:36-37)

It does feel like so much of what I have done, whether for the Church or not, was in vain. In other words, it has produced no effect. What is the unbelief that has so limited our gifts in these latter-days? How has our faith fallen so short?

anonymous said...

The bible has a lot to say for certain. It allows slavery, it allows for women to be raped as long as the rapist marries her, it says to stone people who do honor the Sabbath. It's an abomination to eat shrimp and animal sacrifice is essential. If you're going to honor one law in the OT, don't cherry pick.

BK said...

I find it very interesting and telling, that the Church and it's leaders and many members take such a firm and judgmental stand against SSA or SSM while at the same time they willfully ignore and fail to admit anything wrong with their own support and behavior with other far worse things that the scriptures have clearly declared over and over to be some of the vilest of sins.

Things like ignoring the sufferings of the fatherless and needy (while using the money to build large and spacious churches, temples and malls instead, that God clearly says are all in vain if they ignore the needy), and their indulging in polygamy and still today sealing multiple women to men, (even though their own founder & scriptures constantly condemned it (but they just want to say he lied, which means even worse things), and the Church's indulgence in and acceptance of divorce and remarriage (which Christ himself very clearly condemned, as well as JS and many modern Church leaders).

But the Church and it's members ignore and support those much more destructive issues and even justify themselves in them, while focusing on what they consider to be the sins of others (when God has not even given a revelation on SSA or SSM), but while God 'has' condemned their own behaviors over and over by pure revelation and from Christ's own mouth.

The Church ignores their own defiance of God's declared laws while judging others for something that God has not even officially declared a sin yet.

And there are so many other serious sins and issues the Church commits against known revelation which it must repent from before it can ever cast the 1st stone.

I also wonder why God has not spoken about Homosexuality, but then again, I believe he only had a true prophet, Joseph Smith, on the earth for a few short years before the Church fell into complete apostasy again, and people were left to dwindle in unbelief because most members and even most Apostles and leaders refused to follow Joseph and just wanted to believe or say he lied his whole life to them and they are not bound by his teachings or scriptures.

So it is no wonder that God did not give the people even more instruction about other issues, when they wouldn't even follow what he had given them, and still today the Church doesn't follow God's laws, so the Church or it's members can't rightfully condemn anyone else or remove their supposed 'mote' until the Church 1st removes the huge blinding 'beam' from their own eye.

Compton said...

To me the issue boils down to the sacred marriage that was instituted between the first man and woman that were created by God. God indeed has spoken on this subject with The Proclamation om the Family. I disagree that that letter isn't doctrine or that it shouldn't be taken seriously as revelation from God to the entire world. I have no problem living the commandment to love my fellow man and treat him/her how I want to be treated. But that has nothing to do with allowing homosexuals to be married. Marriage, as it has been established by God requires His approval and sanction and to me God hasn't allowed for homosexual marriage for all the years that humanity has been on the earth until our day because it is against his will. Much of your post here I don't disagree with and I don't understand why a lot of it is here to at tot to justify approval of same sex marriage. The issue is the sacred marriage covenant between a man and a woman. Government contracts for marriage, I agree shouldn't be given. I think there should be a way to seperate the government from marriage and provide rights to all couples who love together and are in a relationship. I don't see a problem extending all rights heterosexual people have to those who are homosexuals but I draw the line at marriage.

AussieOi said...

Fair enough. It does speak of it, as one of the other replies to your post discusses. This sounds like one of those occasions where we could all really use some information and wisdom from God no? Perhaps one of his living anionted, these self proclaimed "Prophets, Seers and Revelators" could speak on this matter. No? Please email when they do, to lmao@churchhq.com

Big Dave said...

Annalea:

I think god has made his position on homosexuality pretty clear:

"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust." (1 Timothy 1:8–11.)

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11.)

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." (Romans 1:26–27.)

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13.)

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus 18:22.)

AussieOi said...

Is that a long way to say they aren't real prophets and cant provide revelations?
Is that a typical Mormon way of blaming the people who for good reason don't trust the opinions that come from LDS leaders....Iraq War support, Lets go shopping City Creek, Blacks and priesthood, Adam God.
I could go on.
So which of those should I have relied on the holy ghost to reveal rocme as true.
What about just a good old fashioned "thus saith the Lord" to help point gods long suffering, very confused children in the right direction.
No?

Zo-ma-rah said...

Interesting ideas Rock. Needless to say this is a complex issue. I know you didn't say that all homosexuality is not a choice. But it seems to be implied. And I take issue with that. I can certainly agree that homosexuality can be inborn; but homosexuality can also be a learned behaviour. The human mind is capable of a great many things and someone choosing homosexuality isn't really that big of a stretch.

The biggest issue I have with the homosexual movement, and the reason why God hasn't spoken much about it, is that it is really an American cultural phenomenon. I know it exists in many other cultures but it is only in the environment of western, romantic, legalized, exclusive, monogamy that homosexual "marriage" as a "civil right" exists.

I say homosexual "marriage" just the same as I say heterosexual "marriage," as in state sponsored "marriage".

What is marriage really? Is it two people living together? What about cultures where the couple doesn't live together and the brother helps raise the children of his sisters? What about the marriage to trees(I believe this happens in India)? What really is marriage? How is it defined? Is is something that mankind gets to define, or is marriage something beyond human definition? Has it been defines and decrees by God/nature?

I don't claim to know these answers. But they need to be answered before we can move forward,

Annalea said...

I hadn't thought of things in terms of the mote & beam, but it really is so applicable here. Thanks for drawing the parallel.

I'm going to refrain from getting started on the plight of the needy vs. downtown SLC's shabbiness. I'm still in mourning over the lives that will be lost because their nourishment, shelter and clean water instead took form of opulence and worldliness in a big city. :(

Annalea said...

I appreciate the passage, Big Dave. Please note, though, that I never said I believed it was okay. I was trying to point out that we've got much more important things to worry about. It doesn't matter what kind of sin is happening . . . if we can bring souls to Christ, then everything that's not pleasing to Him will be left behind. God can heal this stuff, all of it. We need to stop reviling and persecuting, and instead openly invite others to come unto Christ. (Not to the church, not to follow the prophet, but to Jesus.) When people are saved, then comes the healing under which old sin falls by the wayside like so many treasures will be discarded to the moles and bats, but before that dreadful day.

AussieOi said...

Daren. I used to think like you do. It just doesnt make sense to me either.
Then one day I considered really, why would a 14 year old boy even want to be attracted to other boys? Of course they don't want to.
As much as I would like to think it can be changed, chemicals or therapy, praying it away, well, I don't know of more than a few people worldwide who have crossed back over to heterosexuality to show it works. The long list of boys and girls who took their own life over this tells me they probably tried and tried to no success.
As much as I agree that it is a sin- in the same context as young heterosexual pre marriage sexual activity- I have to accept that marriage provides an avenue for these people to enjoy a fulfilling life that they feel is honest with god.
My wife and I were very opposite on Prop 8. And then we agreed that there are other, more important, bigger battles we as Christians, or members, or a church, should be fighting, to protect the innocent who have no voice, and preserve good in our community.
Rocks point is right, the best Mormons, with Prophets leading them, can believe, is that god has bigger things on his plate.

Big Dave said...

BK:
I don't agree with your suggestion that homosexuals be given a free pass because other people are messed up in other ways. We shouldn't be hypocrites, mind you, but if god had to wait for a perfect man to chastise his people, it would never happen. Satan wants people to feel inadequate. He wants us to be fearful of carrying out the Lord's will. See how easy it is for Satan to paralyze people? Satan wants you to believe that you are unloving and uncaring if you call your brother to repentance. It goes against the nature of many people, especially women but understand that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

Read the lamentations of Nephi. He doubted his ability to do the Lord's will and was the younger brother and considered himself a grave sinner, even a wicked man. But god takes the weak and the sinful and forgives us and strengthens us and uses us to fight wicked, to fight those that would not just act badly, but would pervert the right ways of the Lord.

Big dave said...

Annalea,

Bless your heart, you are sweet to be sure. But I am going to do everything I can to stop same-sex marriage. I am not fighting against a specific person, I am fighting against an idea, a perversion. I don't really think this is persecution. The scriptures tell us to reprove betimes with sharpness, but afterwards to show an increase of love. God bless you, you are a sweet spirit.

Big Dave said...

AussieOi:

You seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of "there is no prophet and hasn't been one since Joseph Smith". While I agree that the church is in apostasy to one degree or another, what you are suggesting is dangerous. You are in revolt against church leaders, much the same as people revolt against the government. What you are inviting is anarchy - the anarchy that inevitably accompanies the destabilization and downfall of any regime. Do you have a replacement program in mind? Has god spoke to you and told you to rebel against church leaders or have you taken it upon yourself? Is there scriptural precedence for your actions?

I personally quit going to church a while ago because I did not want to come into conflict with established leadership, and the possibilities of genuine reform in the church are slim to none.I do believe that the leaders of the church are good men with wise council, and I refuse to be a party to their destabilization. If you put this leadership situation into the context of this blog you will realize that it is Gods church and god will manage it as he sees fit. You can either accept that or leave, but please don't be a part of anarchy.

BK said...

Big Dave,

I am not the one who came up with the command 'don't try to remove someone else's mote until you remove the 'beam' from your own eye'. Christ taught that, and so apparently he thinks no one should judge another until they themselves are righteous. That doesn't mean a person has to be perfect, just righteous and not supporting other kinds of evils and major sins, like the Church has and does.

The Church is being very hypocritical when it condemns and even excommunicates those who support SSA or SSM, when they are far from righteous themselves and won't even acknowledge let alone repent of their far greater problems.

I agree that 'all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing', but 'good' men don't support any kind of evil, or they aren't really good men and just part of the problem they think they are fighting.

Unknown said...

Now, big dave, quote the origial text, and kindly translate it into modern english, with the original meaning, and seperate the parts written as opinion versus the parts that were inspired by God. If you're not able to do that, then perhaps you don't know as much as you think. Finally, go beat you wife and children, because they've almost assuredly fallen short of the laws set forth by Moses. Make sure to kill ever bit who ever had sex with your daughters out of marriage, and kill your sons if they've done the same. Finally, shut up. You're dumb.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I was somewhat disturbed with parts of your article and was pondering what you wrote. I decided to open my scriptures to where I have been reading lately, Alma, and began to read Alma 42. This chapter has never jumped out at me or brought me such peace as it has today! I encourage all to read it and see if it brings some clarity.

LDSDPer said...

wow--

yes, most LDS 'blink' or 'wink' at war but become outraged over a person being attracted to the same gender--

I respect chastity, always, no matter how people feel.

I remember years ago listening to a wise man say, "there was a time when a person could live a full life without sex, and many did; today sex is considered just another biological function that has to be satisfied."

I believe that is true, but I don't like to see people who are outside the norm being persecuted or cast out--



anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter what your beliefs are, frankly, I'm shocked you all feel it essential to demand the rest of your families, your communities, your state and the world should live by your personal beliefs.

They are personal, keep them that way. I left Mormonism 10 years ago and II'm estranged from my family for the very reason I find in the comments here, you all feel it necessary to call other peoples private behaviour evil. You all feel it is your business to tell others how they should live their lives.

If you don't want to be gay, don't be gay. If you don't want to drink alcohol, don't, but don't legislate the rights of others because of your personal beliefs.
Keep your personal beliefs out of government.

LDSDPer said...

all right; let me see if I can address this--

government should have nothing to do with marriage, any kind of marriage. Regulating and licensing marriage between a man and a woman started this predicament.

It's not the business of government to regulate marriage.

Let's see now; what word or phrase was used: "evil in our midst"--

*I* happen to think, even though I find homosexuality repugnant, that the evil that is Monsanto . . .
is at least as great as that of homosexuality, but it is not taking place behind closed doors; it is taking place in the marketplace, destroying family farms, destroying the health and well-being of human beings and possibly contributing to all sorts of diseases and disorders.

And yet the "man who made monsanto" (who turned monsanto around after it got a black eye for agent orange)

is LDS, highly respected, was a stake president, and ran for president a little over a year ago--

and anyone who did not talk about how wonderful he was in *our* ward was immediately labelled worse than a scamp.

Big Dave, your points about anarchy are well-taken and important.

No, there is a place to which *we* can escape, and it is to God. The Holy Ghost is a protection to anyone who will ask and be at least trying to be worthy of it--

Nobody can escape evil, and just because I question their infallibility doesn't mean that I want the 'downfall' of the present corporate church.

But I do want Zion to be established. I want Jesus to come. I want Babylon to fall. The parts of the corporate church that have been infiltrated by Babylon will not be left standing when Babylon falls and Jesus comes to rule and reign. He won't make an exception; how can He?

I don't want the downfall of the 'church'; I don't pray for it; I don't hope for it. I don't think about it. I don't want another church NOW--

but I want Jesus to come. Those two attitudes may find it difficult to exist together, and I think that troubles the mind of each honest seeker after truth (and peace)--

I do not and cannot judge the personal righteousness of church leaders--

but I do know that corporations are the ultimate tool of Babylon, and Babylon will fall--

God has a plan, and I like what AussieOi says--

God has bigger things on His plate--

As for God not endorsing women being cast out for being barren--

it's hard to know what He did endorse in the Old Testament--

He loved those who were humble, took care of the poor and didn't worship idols--

that much I have gained from decades of studying the Old Testament--

how so many traditions came to be seen as sacrosanct in the world of today/pioneer times . . .

that didn't seem to impress God that much--

amazes me.

As for women being cast out then; do you think they are not now?

It's very subtle, but women and men who cannot bear children can tell you about it, if they trust you.

The stories they can tell--

I think you will note that none of the twelve apostles have adopted children, and none of them are childless.

I don't think this is the forum for discussing this, and I don't want to say more, but I can promise you that the division and the persecution and the rejection are very real.

Now. Today.

The point I am making when I declare this is that false traditions get passed on and become sub-conscious--

and that is what I believe has happened with so many things.

LDSDPer said...

the reason that many of the people commenting here say that they find homosexuality (especially the behaviors that can be involved) incomprehensible is that *they* wish (I include myself) to make the very point that the government should not be involved.

Let God decide the worthiness of each human heart. After all, He was the one who sent each of *us* to earth, not the government.

If I say that I find homosexual behavior to be delightful (which I don't) how believeable will I be when I say that government has no right to regulate such things (either way)?

It will be known that I have a conflict of interest. When I state that I find homosexuality something I can't wrap my mind around--

AND I say that government has no constitutional authorization to be in the marriage business--

then I can be believed, because I am a legally married heterosexual.

I would see all marriage regulation ended now and be quite happy about it--

but I know it won't happen. It provides too much fodder for both 'sides'--

LDSDPer said...

I learned something; thank you!!!

Wonderful (Annalea)

Now I have to go back and read what ck said--

:)

LDSDPer said...

I mentioned Monsanto above and, without naming him, the very prominent Mormon whose pockets were lined by Monsanto (and other similar companies)

tens of thousands of Indian (East) farmers took their lives because of crop failures due to Monsanto seeds/GMO/programmed seeds/costly fertilizers--

crops began to fail, because there was no money to remedy the situation; wealthy 'white' people benefitted--

and Mormons flocked to the voting booths to vote for that man to be the president--

East Indians became outraged and, after a lot of grassroots protesting and activism--

GMO seeds were made unwelcome in India, and, though Monsanto hasn't been kicked out completely, nobody Indian wants it there, not if they have hearts--

Yes.

LDSDPer said...

Government contracts for marriage, I agree shouldn't be given.


Yes. Marriage is sacred. It doesn't have to be legal to be sacred, OR--

Adam and Eve weren't issued a marriage license.

:)

*wink*

The point some of *us* who lean towards Libertarianism (pro-life in my case)--

are trying to make is that if there were no legal requirements for a man and woman to be married, homosexuals wouldn't be demanding the same.

It would become a moot issue, and then *we* could concentrate on reaching out to the poor and letting our lights shine and just . . .
let the Lord take care of people whose behavior(s) astonish us with their incomprehensibility.

LDSPer said...

"sweet"? Oh dear--

the FLDS call their women "sweet"--

oh, my, well--

all right, so--

I'm glad you haven't called ME 'sweet'. *clearing my throat*

I agree, Annalea--

I completely agree; everything can be healed by Jesus Christ. Any kind of sin can be forgiven if repentance is genuine.

But as for fighting same-sex marriage, everyone 'cool' is doing it, while voting for people who make money off seeds that don't grow and destroy tens of thousands of farmers.

*I* am fighting that. It's a daily battle. You take care of the sinners who defile themselves; I'll take care of those who gain great money and power by destroying the poor and the weak--

Both of *us* are fighting unwinnable battles; both of *our* enemies are behemoths--

you fight same sex "marriage"; I'll fight the big R's pet company--or used to be--

you'll have a lot of good Mormons who cheered for the man who made Monsanto and whose business decisions led to the deaths and suffering of SO man--

on your side.

I guess it's important that each of *us* pick his/her own battles.

Or . . . well, maybe making money from selling genetically modified seeds to poor Indian farmers isn't a perversion?

Darn! I picked the wrong battle. I should be fighting perversions, not sanitized murder.

Oh well; can't win them all--

*tongue in cheek*

LDSDPer said...

ninth line from the bottom:

should be:

"SO many--"

LDSDPer said...

I meant part of that to be for Big Dave. He and I have picked bones over race--

*groan*

He chooses to fight same sex marriage; I have taken on Monsanto--

LDSDPer said...

Alma 42 is beautiful. It is the words of a father to his son.

I don't think he published them THEN; they were published something like over a thousand years later--

for *us* to benefit.

Those who will benefit will benefit.

Big Dave said...

Anonymous 4:00

You might find what I have to say cruel, but only one of two possibilities exist:

1. There is a god, and he has laws, and among those laws are chastity laws, and god expects us to obey those laws. Those laws apply to the entire human race not just to those that believe in god. That there are penalties for not following god's laws, and entire civilizations have been erased as a result of not following those laws.

2. There is no god, and people can do whatever they want and it is nobody's business.

I should mention that some people have suggested that there is a third possibility, that god has laws but doesn't really care about enforcing all of them, but I should point out that this contradicts the scripture that goes something like "I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the last degree of allowance".

I am sorry for your struggles and wish you the best, but in the end every individual must decide where he will stand.

So the only real fair thing to do here is for everyone to pick the option that they believe in and fight for it. That is unless you decree that there is some universal truth that we should all subscribe to that transcends anything I have mentioned.

Big Dave said...

LDSDper:

You are a complicate person, and I can't quite figure you out. You seem to be opinionated (like me) but that is OK. I am sorry that I hurt your feelings in our discussion on blacks and the priesthood. In reality it has been rendered a moot point, and at the very least a point that will not be decided by me. You have a good and kind heart and it was wrong of me to be contentious.

I do not dislike gay people. A very near and dear friend of mine that I went to high school with is a lesbian. We joke that we both like girls. However, after spending much time making blog comments and interacting with liberals I know that their agenda is not good. I believe gay marriage to be wrong and I will fight against it. There are also many other things that we should fight against and that probably includes MR.

So if you can find it in your heart to forgive me I will try my best in the future to not hurt your heart. If we disagree I hope it will be with honesty.

Big Dave said...

Unknown 3:13

I would respect your wishes and go beat my wife and children but they were all killed in a car crash on interstate 80 in Nevada about 15 years ago.

Jean said...

Yes and that commandment was obeyed by the two people to whom it was given if we can believe the Biblical account you are quoting from.
God gave me no commandment to multiply and replenish the earth because it has been done and is being overdone. Maybe God gave us 'the gay' to control our population growth.
Gay couples are not able to reproduce on their own but today we have so many scientific advances; some that will explain how and why people are gay and some showing how babies can be made without a man and woman having 'repulsive sex'.
Gay couples can also adopt poor little children who have no parents. I don't think that children care if they have two moms or two dads, they just want to be loved.
Jesus said "Love everyone, treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you."
Is your heart filled with love Daren?

Jean said...

Oh I forgot to say Daren that in your analysis, any man who marries a woman who is unable to bear children is frustrating the purposes of God, but how would they know about that lack of ability unless they had previously had sexual relations?
Your analysis would make Russell M. Nelson a frustrator of God's plans. His wife was not able to bear children due to her age; I suspect they knew that already when he married her after his first wife died.

Your premise is so faulty, but you can repent of your bigotry and hatred and leave it to God. Is he some kind of impotent leader; unable to do his own work?

anonymous said...

This is where so many people do not understand the difference between law and religion. The law does have the authority to legislate marriage. In 1967, a case was brought before the Supreme court in Love vs. Virginia when the state of Virginia made it illegal for the different races to intermarry. The Supreme court had this to say:

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

The government has the legal authority to determine who marries, they determine who can has the authority to legally marry people, in fact, in most European countries, only the state has the authority and religions do not. Many Mormons are not aware that because of these laws, Mormons get married civilly and then sealed in the temple the next day...the Mormon church does not require a waiting period of a year.

It is the gov't who legally defines marriage, who gives marriage licences, and it is the gov't alone who can legally dissolve marriages through divorces. Religions do not have this authority.

anonymous said...

Big Dave: Your rationale leaves out so many other possibilities. For one, that there is no god, but that people are innately moral. They are able to make moral decisions because they love and are empathetic, they choose to be moral, they desire life to be better for all people. People are moral because it improves society as a whole.

Morals do not have to begin with god, society will not degenerate into chaos in the absence in a belief in god. The belief that god is the generator of morals is a false dicotomy.

anonymous said...

Do you really want to know the real reason people are gay? Listen to this:
http://mormonstories.org/byu-professor-bill-bradshaw-on-a-biological-origin-of-homosexuality/

me said...

Big Dave,
Anarchy means without rulers! It does not mean without rules. There's a BIG difference. We could all keep Gods rules and have a peaceful existence.
Just wanted to share that bit of etymology.

anonymous said...

Marriage is between consenting adults, it is legally defined in the USA as over 18 years old.. Marriage gives over 1,000 legal rights to them over people who are not married. There is no slippery slope, because animals and plants to not have legal rights and are not considered consenting adults.
http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/an-overview-of-federal-rights-and-protections-granted-to-married-couples

anonymous said...

Big Dave:
Why is it any of your business what people do in their own homes, in their own bedrooms? If they choose to do *perversions* as you call it, what does that have to do with you?

Who are you to judge? If it is god's law, let god judge. Who are you to set yourself up as people's judge and jury.

anonymous said...

Big Dave:
Since you like quoting scripture, I presume you plan to live by all the scriptures rather than cherry pick; so here are a few you may have forgotten about:
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that you may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.
2. I was thinking of selling my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. What do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. You are not allowed any contact with a woman while she is in her
period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. I hope you are putting those unclean woman out of the workplace and your home.
4. When you burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is your neighbors. Do they complain?
5. Do you have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath?. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. The question is, are you morally obligated to kill him yourself, or should you ask the police to do it?
6. eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, is it a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t know. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here? I'm sure you have 20/20, with that beam in your eye and all.
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I Lev. 11:6-8 says that touching the skin of a dead pig makes you
unclean, but I'm sure you have never played football without wearing gloves.
10. Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, the farmers and his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.

BearDeGuerre said...

...And when the time comes that we must all flee to Zion because we will not take up arms against our neighbors and we want to escape the judgements to be poured out without measure upon Babylon, when I get there will I then be turned away at the gate or worse stoned to death for being gay? Ah! The undiluted joy of being damned if I do and damned if I don't. And my family actually wonders why I don't go to church anymore.

Big Dave said...

I see that Rock claims that Nephi has called the Bible a "stumbling block" and he uses that as a justification for discounting any reference to homosexuality that the Bible may contain. The funny thing is, Nephi quotes Isaiah extensively in his books and in some cases the quotations from Isaiah in the Book of Mormon are almost verbatim from the King James version of the Bible. Now tell me how this is possible Rock? The King James version of the Bible did not even exist in Nephi's time. The Book of Mormon may not be as infallible as you believe it to be.

Perpetuation of KJB translation errors:


The King James Bible (1769) contains unique translation errors which also occur in the Book of Mormon. A few examples are 2 Nephi 19:1, 2 Nephi 21:3, and 2 Nephi 16:2. The Book of Mormon also references "dragons" and "satyrs" 2 Nephi 23:21-22, matching the KJV, whereas more modern bible translations do not include these mythological beasts.

The point is, every book has errors in it. You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Inspire said...

Big Dave, I would recommend that you take a look at Daymon Smith's series: The Cultural History of the Book of Mormon. It is a very thorough presentation (to the point of almost being overwhelming) of evidence supporting Rock's position regarding the Bible,

If you look closely, Nephi's vision describes that the baby has left the bathwater and in its place is the spawn of the devil. But what was Joseph to do? He told us on more than one occasion that the way God works is to speak to the language and understanding of men, in other words... through our idols (see Ezekiel 14). Yes, he channeled the Bible in many instances, but I think it was to get our attention. Because had he just written a book in the language of the day, it would have been completely ignored. But not a "gold bible."

The irony of it all is that Satan's intent is to "pacify" us and lull us into "carnal security," Apparently, according to Nephi, he would succeed... for a season. But by and by the Lord is going to turn it right around on the devil. He shows us our weakness where we witness what doesn't work. Is our pious, condemning attitude towards gays how Christ would behave? For the most part, I would check the "evil" column for our traditional approach. Luckily, the B of M encourages us to choose for ourselves what is good and what is evil. It seems that we're finally figuring that out. "Good" as defined by Christ to the Nephites in Bountiful is walking a mile with your neighbor, blessing your enemies and agreeing with your adversary while you are in the way with them. It is claiming mercy and condemning no one. It's not our prerogative to point out someone else's sin, only to repent of our own.

Annalea said...

Compton, there are specific structural differences between revelations and the Proclamation on the Family. First , the brethren chose to call it a "proclamation", not a revelation. Second, in revelation, God identifies Himself as the speaker, and usually offers some credentials (I am Alpha and Omega is one that comes to mind.). In the Proclamation, there is no such identifying nor is there any listing or evidence of deity speaking, other than the implication that infallible leaders cannot speak anything else. And lastly, who signed the Proclamation? Was it God, who so often closed revelations to Joseph with a restatement of His identity, or was it a group of well-intentioned, often-inspired men doing the best they could to help give direction and structure to a group of people whose cohesiveness seemed paramount? (That's the church membership, in case you wondered.) ;)

The leaders of the LDS church are very deliberate in the things they do. Those differences are intentional, and we need to not embue the words of men with more power than they came with.

Annalea said...

Big Dave, I must admit that "sweet spirit" bit is a head-scratcher for me. I've been called a lot of things in my adult life, but that is definitely not one of them. (Maybe it's the smiling gravatar that threw you off?)

And right now, I have very little context (beyond ck's response) from which to gauge just how much of that patronizing head-patting was intentional. Dismissing my position as something "sweet" but unrealistic in our time & place with the proverbial "bless your heart" thrown in for good measure doesn't lend credence to your argument. I don't require your approval or agreement. Simple respect will suffice. :-)

Now that that piece of housekeeping is out of the way . . .

Jesus didn't come to fight. He didn't come to prevent. He came to set the captive free. The only accuser is the devil himself . . . and I'm not about to take on that job. It's the Holy Ghost's role to show us our sins. Not man's. Nor woman's. Our job is to preach of Christ, prophesy of Christ, and write according to our prophecies, that all might know to what source they may look for salvation.

We are to carry that message--love, joy, freedom--to the ends of the earth. God has told His people over and over that He will fight their battles. We are to stand still and see the salvation of The Lord at those times when enemies come upon us. Otherwise, it's throw yourself into the business of loving souls back to Christ. He can, and will, take it from there.

Anonymous said...

Annalea -- you and the blogger seem to go out of your way to dismiss the revelatory inspiration of the Procalmation. Revelation does not need to have those specific structural characteristics, as you well know, for "whether by my voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same....And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."

So structural differences are really irrelevant, aren't they? And so you have chosen to think that the Proclamation, and all the teachings over the years by prophets, are not given by the power of the Holy Ghost. That is the real issue, not structural differences.

One wonders exactly what is your (and the blogger's) standard for revelation. You both seem on this point to deny it if it does not fit your own ideas.

Zo-ma-rah said...

Yes, but just because something is legally defined doesn't make it so. You mentioned a slippery slope. But I have said nothing of a slippery slope. What I implied by my questions is that the definition of "between consenting adults" is very ethnocentric. It rejects so many legitimate and culturally diverse forms of marriage.

Here are some examples http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_marriages#Types_of_marriages

And I think you referencing of the American legal system further emphasizes that homosexual marriage is merely a cultural movement and not a "rights" movement. I just doesn't have relevence outside of an American-type legal system.

Natali said...

This is how Satan gets us, isn't it? Get everyone thinking their sexuality is who people are and you have a massive detour, or side road, that can only lead to contention and thoughts not of God. Last time I checked we are all people, human, children of our Heavenly Father. We all have lusts, appetites, temptations, sins. It is the choices we make and our repentance that matter. I like what Annalea said, " God can heal this stuff, all of it." Is this not truth? Does it matter what lusts we feel? Do not our actions speak, not our temptations? I think when we start to identify ourselves by our sins, we take a step off the correct path. Of course it is diiificult, but what we choose and how we live our life, regardless of our natural inclinations (usually things in nature are to be risen above, as our thinking abilities are superior to the animal world and we can demonstrate self control and discipline - remember the natural man is an enemy to God). It is up to us to treat all as children of our Father in Heaven, as Christ taught us. I do not believe this means to accept gay marriage or sinful behavior, it means to be long suffering and try to love everyone.
I agree with Annalea, help people come to know Jesus Christ, really know him, and the rest will work out.

LDSDPer said...

I'm really sorry, Big Dave.

The above poster (unknown) has crossed a line.

LDSDPer said...

anonymous,

that is all the legal 'stuff'. What is "marriage" in God's Mind? I 'got' what Zomarah (sp?) was saying--

The legal stuff that *we* now know won't go with us into the next life. And marriage has become very messed up by modern culture or just by unrighteousness.

I am much less concerned about the legalizing of homosexual marriage than I am about the soaring divorce rate among heterosexual couples--

if marriage were not 'legal', there would be no divorce, but then--

I'm sure there are plenty who would argue that marriage couldn't exist without being sanctified by some governmental entity, and I don't believe that--
the difference would be that if a couple, married before God, decide to be unfaithful with each other and end the marriage . . .

the government could not, then, step in and wreck havoc and there would be fewer lawyers.

It would still be sad, but not as horrific as it is now.

Though I am not an anarchist, I believe our legal/justice system will never turn around from the broken-ness in which it is now found.

Steven Lester said...

Here is my take on the subject of being gay, which I am: I am also autistic, which kept me from experiencing any part of the life style, which is filled to the brim with loneliness and desperation of the saddest kind.

Before any of us were born, we felt no lust. Lust is of the body. When we die, we will leave our bodies, and at that time will be free of our lust, hopefully forever. Our bodies are animal, specifically ape-like, and much of our ways of doing things find their more pure echoes in chimp society. We are smarter, of course, and we are also spirit almost always completely imprisoned within our bodies, the intelligence of which is separate from our own, and which speaks to us constantly through primitive emotion and basal desires.

Now, being a homo is just like being straight, so far as the sexual pressures are concerned, only the attraction is different. The gay person strives very hard to emulate the straight way of being sexual as best as he or she can, but it is always artificial, and never real. It is incredibly frustrating to be gay, for that reason. Desperation lies underneath every relationship, and every expression of lust and lustful love. All because one's lust is based upon procreational imperatives, which the gay-directed lust can never achieve. A catch-22 damnation on all who lust after their own sex, because that is how they are, physically, from a body that they can never escape so long as they live. So, they make the best of it, if they can, and sever the connection between mind and body, if they can't.

Now, almost to a statement above, all seem to feel that there is only one kind of marriage: the religious one. In most places within the world this is true. But, here in America, which is where most of the fighting is going on, there is the other kind: the civil kind. This is where two consenting adults contract with the state and each other to follow certain mutual agreements as expressed through the laws which the state has set up, just for this kind of relationship. The state owns the children which are produced by this union or contract by the way, hence the CPS of much power and concern for the kids themselves. And only the state can dissolve this contract and the goods which the contract has produced.

This kind of civil marriage is the ONLY one that gays want to receive EQUALLY just as any OTHER citizen of the state may. Religious marriage is moot. It is not being attacked in the least. This struggle is no different than the struggle that existed earlier between the right of two people of different races to marry not being granted. Today, it isn't even an issue legally. In the future, after all of us bigots die and today's youth generation takes over, gay marriage won't be an issue either.

Leave the gays alone, and just worry about your own selves, people!

Big Dave said...

Inspire:

I have read some of Damon Smiths material and I question its validity. Wait, let me back up. To suggest that the Book of Mormon is the only source of truth is ridiculous. The endowment is not mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Baptism for the dead is not mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but it is mentioned in the Bible. The three degrees of glory are not mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but they are mentioned in the Bible. The Bible was called a stumbling block because Nephi knew people would say "a Bible, a Bible, we have a Bible and need no more Bible". Nephi never intended the Bible to be excluded from the standard works. He meant that the Book of Mormon was just as important as the Bible.

Daymon Smith is not a spiritual guru that can come in and put the whole church on its ear. Sure he has a phd, but he is trying to go back hundreds of years and figure out what happened, just like naysayers.

The only people being deceived here are the ones that are putting their faith in the arm of flesh like Denver Snuffer, Daymon Smith, JJ Dewey. Why is it OK to trust in these "arms of flesh" but not the general authorities? Last time I checked, Snuffer, Smith, and Dewey are not prophets. If you want to stray from the path, and claim that these people will lead you to the promised land, go for it. But I think folks like you are being deceived into thinking something that is very wicked (homosexuality) is some innocuous thing.

Unless people have been called of god to set things straight, then they are just charlatans trying to confound the work of the Lord. The D+C mentions one mighty and strong that will set in order the house of the Lord. Now if you can show me precisely who this person is, I will listen to him. But as Rock says, I have heard nothing to the contrary, so I will keep on believing what I believe until the Lord hits me over the head.

Steven Lester said...

Or not.

LDSDPer said...

@anonymous at 6:50 and with an apology to Annalea for answering what is your question--

but I have something to add that I think is significant.

Whether the "proclamation" is revelation or not--

doesn't matter to the discussion. It is not *our* responsibility to make sure that everyone in the world follows what *we* believe is true--

What is the point of the proclamation anyway? Probably to help those who are on the fence determine what they will do and how they will live, and that proclamation might help some, but it's not meant to be a sword--

Yes, Jesus said He came to bring a sword. Those who follow Him will feel that--they always do. But He didn't intend *us* to use His words to hurt others or to coerce others--
There's a big difference between screaming Jesus at someone and loving Jesus at someone--



As Annalea says below (or above; I am not sure)--

our responsibility IS to:

26 And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins.

I admit that, as a Libertarian, I find the collectivism among most LDS to be incomprehensible--

the idea that *we* have to 'defend' the word of God or anything anybody says--

in order to be faithful. We might agree with things, but righeousness is not dependent upon our 'defending' what others have said or written, even God.

Our righteousness is dependent upon our personal actions alone, not upon what sort of dogma we endorse--

let your actions speak--

For me (and my house) it is about serving the Lord. And for me (and my house) it is about Jesus Christ.

Anything else is . . . auxiliary--

Good things might be said, but even if something is a revelation, that doesn't mean that saying it over and over to people who have a basic comprehension of *our* own belief system--

is going to be a work of righteousness.

And, while saying that, I continue to say what I believe. But it is just what I believe. I don't expect to endorse anyone.

I just expect to follow Jesus Christ.

If *you* don't understand what I am saying, then that is part of the problem. Politics and religion are very closely tied in the brain, and for *me* it is my individual actions, not what I think of the actions of others--

that matter.

Unfortunately, I am a hypocrite in this, because I really do find the actions of entities like Monsanto to be outrageous. But the only way I am stopping them is in my personal choices. I'm not trying to get a law passed against them; I don't think that will work; I know it won't. And that wouldn't be true to my belief system at this point. In my opinion the U.S. constitution was compromised long ago--
and passing laws is just so much detrius--

Thanks, if you read this.

I agree with what Annalea says about Jesus Christ; her words are better than mine.

He is the Savior of the world, and it is He, at this point, Who matters. Leading people to Him, sometimes by feeding them, is the most important thing right now--

I believe.

But I'm not going to try to pass a law about it--

Heaven forbid, as it would.



But I can choose not to support the company, me, myself--and those I love who feel the same way I do.

If you can follow this line of reasoning, then--

good.

If not, I won't make sense to you.

Big Dave said...

Anonymous 6:50

I agree with you, but I guess there are some that believe that god organized a church only to have it immediately fall in to chaos after the death of Joseph Smith, to have the likes of Damon Smith and Denver Snuffer breathe life back in to it two hundred years later. Man, I went to a lot of conferences I didn't need to.

Rob said...

Jean,
Love does not mean indifference. Clearly, if your son is headed for the fireplace, love does not mean letting him think it is a toy, but rather helping him learn it will hurt him.

Rob said...

Big Dave and Anonymous 6:50:
Revelation is the word of God, not the word of man. It can only originate from God, not men. If you are willing to consider the scriptural evidence for this point, including the full context of the scripture anon used incorrectly, see chapter 2 (p19) of this book where it is laid out: http://upwardthought.com/commanded_in_all_things.pdf

Inspire said...

Be careful what you ask for, God might just accommodate your request.

Here is the context of the "A bible, a bible..." statement:
- The Book of the Lamb would come forth from the mouth of a Jew named John. It would be "plain and precious," easy to understand, and would contain the covenants of the Lord with man, as well as the words of Christ while He was on the earth, and finally, the prophecies of what happens until the end of the world.
- A church would be formed, and the desires of those who belonged to it would be riches, power and "praise of the world." The devil would be the founder of this church and his purpose would be to captivate men and to dig a pit for them.
- This Great and Abominable church would take the Book of the Lamb and remove the plain and precious parts and the covenants, to the extent that "they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men."
- This corrupted book would eventually go all the world, leaving a wake of captivity for the Gentiles.
- By and by, the Lord would bring forth much of his gospel to the Gentiles, which would be some of the writings of His ministry to Nephi's seed. The purpose of this would be to "try the faith" of God's people and to get the Gentiles to seek for the "greater things".
ENTER PRESENT DAY
- A number of believing Gentiles will come out of captivity and be given an extended record which is to be delivered to the remnant of Lehi's seed by the Gentiles.
- It is with this background that the "bible" statement will be made. There will be the "fools" who believe that there can be no more revelations from God.

Cherry-picking the Book of Mormon is an easy thing to do because we have been so well-trained in the practice over the centuries. But I ask you, if what we have in the current Bible is not a warped text, then when did it become "purified?"

Also, how is one supposed to demonstrate to you who the "mighty one" is so that you will "listen?" A sign? Why would you want to listen anyway, if all is well and nothing needs to be "set in order?"

Lastly, where in the Book of Mormon does Christ exemplify accusing others, pointing a finger at their sins and sending curses the towards those who you deem to be "wicked?"

LDSDPer said...

@General/radio program/Rock--

Those ads always came when a really good point were being made.

I'm glad you had Connie there to calm you down--

LOL!

VERY interesting--

I'm halfway through; BTW, Rock, thanks for linking it; I didn't do so well at finding it myself; I've never heard of Paul Duane before--

but then I only lived briefly in Utah MANY years ago--

Thanks--

One Little Sparrow said...

Ok, somebody help me out here because I'm a little confused. Please don't be mean because I am about to ask a legitimate question. I'm not trying to be flippant. You state in the blog that the church has taken no official stance on the subject and that no doctrine exists on the matter as well. But just the other day the church put out an official statement where they stated point blank that "homosexuality is a sin". That seems like taking a stance. How much more clear can they be? And that isn't the first time I have heard a church authority make a statement like this. So where are you getting this idea that they have never stated what they believe God feels about it? Are you saying that no prophet has ever stood up and said "Thus sayeth the Lord"? Is that the prerequisite for it being doctrine? If a prophet or apostle gets up and says that homosexuality is a sin (which they have on multiple occasions), then are you saying this is just their opinion and should be taken as such? I've always been taught that when a prophet speaks, it is the will of God. So if the church is putting out official statements I would have to assume that they are being ok'd by the prophet, and if that is the case, it stands to reason that the prophet agrees with the statement. Same goes for things said in conference. All the talks have to be approved by the prophet before they can be given. So again...how is it that you say they have taken no stance? From my perspective it would very much appear like they have, or am I missing something?

One Little Sparrow said...

This seems to matter because it is the difference between knowledge and faith. The reason church members put their trust in and subsequently follow the teachings and instructions of latter day prophets is because they believe that the prophet is not just another member who is taking it all on faith...that is what MAKES him a prophet. The church doesn't leave members that option. They don't come out with statements like, "You know, we are all just trying to do the best we can with the information we have been given." They are using terms like "special witness" which implies direct and personal relationships with Christ or God, or both. So again, it is one thing to say that these men are just like us in that God no more speaks directly to them as he does to you or I..(well maybe he does to you, but certainly not I ), and therefore everything they say including what they claim to be sin (which they have on multiple occasions) ((which by the way sin is interpreted as anything that goes against the will or design of God)) is simply their personal opinion or interpretation and to be taken with a grain of salt, and quite another to say that these men do in fact have a personal relationship with God which makes them privy to insider information that the rest of the world isn't. And if that is the case, then if they say homosexuality is a sin, which they have, then they aren't just giving their opinion, they are claiming to speak God's will.

It is like C.S. Lewis said about Christ. He didn't claim to be some groovy teacher or religious enthusiast. He claimed to be the literal Son of God. He CLAIMED his AUTHORITY. So either he was a liar, a mad man, or he was who he said he was. From all I can tell of the authorities of the church, it is the same scenario. They aren't claiming to be like everyone else who is just taking it on faith, they are claiming to be literal prophets and apostles. They are CLAIMING AUTHORITY. As far as I can tell, this leaves little wiggle room. Either they are liars, delusional, some combination of the two, or they are indeed privy to some amount of information that we are not. And if the latter is true, then when they say homosexuality is a sin, then where is it that you say they aren't being clear? Or are you saying that the latter is not true and they are just taking it all on faith and therefore what they say should be taken as opinion the same as anything that would come from you or I?

LDSDPer said...

Cherry-picking the Book of Mormon is an easy thing to do because we have been so well-trained in the practice over the centuries. But I ask you, if what we have in the current Bible is not a warped text, then when did it become "purified?"


Inspire, I usually find you easy to understand, and I know that often I can't be understood on here; I even confuse myself and have to go back and try to be more clear--

I really don't know what you are talking about here--

As for the "mighty one", I am completely in the dark about that--
I don't know who on earth that might be--
I guess, like many others, I am just waiting--

LDSDPer said...

Steven, I appreciate your perspective very much.

I don't think most LDS realize how regulated marriage is here in the U.S.; your point needs to be heard.

Big Dave said...

Inspire:

When did the Bible become a purified book? Partially when Joseph Smith re-translated parts of it, correcting some of the more egregious mistakes. Hence the JST of the Bible. I guess Joseph Smith saw some value in the book.

The Prophet Joseph Smith claimed a divine appointment to make an inspired rendition or, as he termed it, a "new translation" of the Bible. This appointment can be illustrated by excerpts from his writings. After laboring off and on for ten months on the early chapters of Genesis, Joseph Smith received a revelation from the Lord on March 7, 1831, directing him to begin work on the New Testament: "It shall not be given unto you to know any further concerning this chapter, until the New Testament be translated, and in it all these things shall be made known; wherefore I give unto you that ye may now translate it" (D&C 45:60-61). The manuscript of the JST shows that Joseph Smith began the translation of Matthew the next day. On December 1, 1831, the Prophet entered the following in his journal: "I resumed the translation of the Scriptures, and continued to labor in this branch of my calling with Elder Sidney Rigdon as my scribe" (HC 1:238-39). On February 16, 1832, he reported a revelation concerning the resurrection of the dead that includes the following reference to his divine commission to translate: "For while we [Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon] were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth verse of the fifth chapter of John" (D&C 76:15). On March 8, 1833, he reported the word of the Lord to him as follows: "And when you have finished the translation of the [Old Testament] prophets, you shall from thenceforth preside over the affairs of the church" (D&C 90:13). On May 6, 1833, Joseph Smith reported the following revelation: "It is my will that you should hasten to translate my scriptures" (D&C 93:53).

It is clear that Joseph was not just "making clarifications" in the Bible. He was "translating" it and restoring the many precious truths that were lost.

LDSDPer said...

Big Dave,

probably many on here do 'subscribe' to those men you mentioned. I enjoy Rock's blog, probably agree with much of what he says--

I found him on a political blog where he is also a member--

and discovered he was a member of the church, and it's been nice to come on here and babble, which I admit that I do.

But I have never read a book by any of those men--

I don't 'follow' them. I don't follow Rock. I enjoy these discussions, but my intent is to follow the Savior, alone. I am not ignorant of the fact, however, that I live in a world with humans, and humans need and want 'tribes'.

I can't talk to anyone in my ward about politics, so I come on Rock's blog and get politics and religion--

It wasn't Daymon Smith or Denver Snuffer or that other guy whose writings made me stop and wonder about a few things.

For years I felt that the Book of Mormon was being neglected and ignored in the church, because of the writings of my own ancestors!

There, you have it.

I could tell you their names, but I won't. :)

They were not leaders of the church, and they didn't always agree with the leaders of the church, but the ones who have influenced me heavily had:

happy families, weren't polygamists, weren't wealthy and believed the Book of Mormon was being neglected. They also had a lot of good to say about Joseph Smith and nothing at all to say about Brigham Young. One of them thought a lot of John Taylor, but most of the time church leaders simply were not in their journals. They were 'active' in their wards, lived far from Salt Lake--

and had their share of tribulations. I heed their words, because they are my ancestors--

and I began to ponder on why they felt the Book of Mormon was so important and why they were 'hesitant' about the Bible.

Because I landed on some of these ideas at the same time as other LDS--

is probably most a coincidence, or it's the way ideas tend to float around and bump into each other--

Take your pick--

:)

Porter said...

Rock addresses this issue at length, there is no dishonesty. His point, as I understand it, is that it shows up in the Old Testament (along with a whole bunch of really crazy stuff) and in no case is it given as directly from God. There is no revelation from the living prophets on this (or much else) and nothing in the Book of Mormon.

Private said...

Rock,
Your statement that God has been conspicuously silent on homosexuality has piqued my interest.
When has God actually revealed anything? Doesn't all scripture come from the pen of man?

PJ

Big Dave said...

Annalea,

I'm sorry if you found my comments to be inappropriate, and they probably were because I don't know you. However, I assure you that they were totally sincere and heartfelt. I have encountered so many nasty people on the internet (and I'm sure I am considered by some to be in that group), but your comments sounded very gentle and sincere...like a breath of fresh air. Again, I apologize for any misunderstanding and ask for your forgiveness.

Big Dave said...

One little sparrow:

Here is the problem, and one that has been echoed already on this blog. You suggest that the leaders of the church are in error, that they are not inspired, and as a result, they don't have to be listened to. I agree with you that there are things amiss in the church. However, when one takes it upon himself to point out the errors in the leadership, is it because god has ordained him to do that, or is he doing that on his own?

You see, the sword cuts both ways. First an argument is set up that the leaders are not receiving legitimate revelation. Then any statements the leaders have made about various doctrinal issues are discounted. This opens the door for charlatans to come in and say "look, this is what really happened in church history". "This is what the scriptures really mean". Or "the scriptures are silent on that issue and the general authorities opinions don't count so god has nothing to say on that issue". Sounds kind of ridiculous to me. Sounds like a recipe for chaos and disaster. Sounds like an idea that Satan would put into someone's head.

Why have some people taken it upon themselves to set the Lord's house in order? Do they think an absence of direction from god gives them a mandate to tear down the very structure he has created? Don't they think the Lord is capable of minding his own house? This is the patience of the saints. It is ridiculous to tear down the house you live in when you do not have another place to go, and I have yet to see anyone suggest alternatives to bad leadership. Do people think they can take over sacrament meetings and have open discussions? Never gonna happen. All that is going to happen is people are going to push the leaders too far and get excommunicated and become disgruntled and start their own church, or just live a virtual spiritual life on the internet.

LDSDPer said...

@One Little Sparrow--

I'm not Rock or an authority--

but I think drinking is a VERY scary thing. I do. I don't like to be around people who are drunk, and I am terrified to drive on New Years Eve, etc.

But I don't think the prohibition was a good idea; in fact, I know that it was not. Maybe for Utah, I don't know. But other parts of the country suffered morally from the prohibition; crime took over. Those who knew how to skirt around law and morality had the power--

and 'little people' suffered.

I won't go into detail, but a lot of young people lost their way because of the prohibition.

Proclaiming 'virtue' or morality as law--

is the problem here. The point is not whether lusting is wrong--no matter who feels the lust--

it's about fighting sin. Are we supposed to fight sin, or are we supposed to live righteously ourselves and let our lights shine to the world?

This is how I see it.

Unlike drinking, which can take innocent lives with drunk drivers, homosexuals really aren't a threat to *me*.

I think that is what *I* am trying to say in my comments--

so why be concerned about homosexuals wanting to be married? I don't believe in marriage being legal anyway--

so why would I care about people wanting to marry ____________ (whatever/whomever)

I don't believe in polygamy either, but I am glad it's been decriminalized--

this is just one point of view (mine)--

Pure religion and undefiled is visiting the sick and the fatherless; that is from James--New Testament--

it's not 'fighting' people who have different religious or moral beliefs--

the crusades were not righteous; they were not good--

they were shameful.

Gary Hunt said...

One Little Sparrow,

I will try not to be too mean :).

I'm not going to deal with the specifics of the topic of this article. I will express my concerns in regards to what you have expressed as being our obligations towards prophets, church leaders or the Lord's servants. Here are a couple of things you stated...

"I've always been taught that when a prophet speaks, it is the will of God."

"The reason church members put their trust in and subsequently follow the teachings and instructions of latter day prophets is because they believe that the prophet is not just another member who is taking it all on faith...that is what MAKES him a prophet.The church doesn't leave members that option."

These statements indicate that you believe because of their position (prophet, apostles etc...) we are supposed to obey (follow) what they say without question. Here are a few scriptures which contradict your belief.

The Apostle Paul said...

1Thessalonians 5:21

21. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Galatians 1:8

8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Moroni said...

Moroni 10:3-5

3. Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with deal intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

And finally Christ said...

John 7:14-18

14. ¶Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

15. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

16. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

17. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

18. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

The Apostle Paul, the Prophet Moroni, and Christ taught one very important principle in these scriptures. Do not take their word for it because of their position. Prove, try (do), study, ponder and then ask God. He will reveal the truth through the Holy Ghost. Did Peter know who Christ was because of Christ "CLAIMING AUTHORITY"? No, Read Matthew 16:15-17. What you seem to be missing is, that we have the spiritual obligation to find out, for ourselves, if what they (prophets, apostles etc...) are teaching is true or not. If we do not do this, we are being not only being intellectually lazy but spiritually lazy and willfully ignorant also. We cannot be saved in ignorance.





Inspire said...

Big Dave: You said, "When did the Bible become a purified book? Partially when Joseph Smith re-translated parts of it, correcting some of the more egregious mistakes. Hence the JST of the Bible."

Fair enough, let's look at that. According to how the B of M describes the prophecies, the "Gentiles" will have a "book" which will be so convincing, that to reject it is to be looking in the sun and deny that it is shining. This book will go through them to the remnant of Lehi's seed and then to the Jews. Also, once the Gentiles come out of captivity of the G&A church, they will be free forevermore, never again to be in bondage.

If the Bible has been restored again as the pure Book of the Lamb (and by the way, the B of M does NOT say that it will happen this way), where are the fruits? Where are the "greater things" which have been promised? Is Joseph's correction of a few Bible passages what are plain and precious and easy to understand? Do they clearly reveal the covenants of the Father made to His people? If so, then why haven't we (assuming we are the Gentiles) brought this to Lehi's remnant? Do we even know who they are (beyond our assumptions and inherited traditions)? Why are we still contending over its passages rather than being convinced of their plain and precious message? Are the Gentiles still in bondage, the way Nephi describes it? If not, when were they freed?

You can tell me Joseph's appended Bible is that thing, but there is no fruit correlating it to the B of M prophesies.

Big Dave said...

Inspire:


CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE JST.(Robert J. Matthews) Assessing the contributions of the JST requires a differentiation between the process and the product. The translation process was revelatory and educational, and was a means of expanding the Prophet Joseph Smith's knowledge and doctrinal awareness (cf. D&C 45:60-61). The contributions, therefore, go beyond the particular biblical text that may have initiated the process. Among the doctrines of the LDS Church that arose from the JST translation process are the building of Zion, patterned after Enoch's city; the age of accountability of children, with baptism at eight years; the extensive revelation about the degrees of glory and plural marriage (including celestial, eternal marriage); and various items of priesthood organization and responsibility. These and other doctrines were often introduced during the translation process and later developed through subsequent revelations now contained in the Doctrine and Covenants. Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants received during the translation process are sections 76, 77, 86, and 91, and parts of 107 and 132. In this way the JST has affected the spiritual life of every member of the Church, even though most of the members have not known of the JST.

The tangible product-the printed JST-consists of a Bible with thousands of unique corrections, additions, and readings. Although many Latter-day Saints regard this as the most correct version of the Bible now available, and therefore use it as a valuable source for biblical understanding, the wider contribution has probably been the enlightening effect that the process had upon Joseph Smith and the subsequent revelations through him that have shaped Church doctrine and practice. Most of the doctrinal and organizational revelations that have governed the Church, and that are now published in the Doctrine and Covenants, came to Joseph Smith during the period that he was translating the Bible (1830-1833).

Many items in the Doctrine and Covenants relate directly to the process of the JST. These gave direction to the Prophet concerning matters related to the translation, the selection of scribes, when to proceed with the translation, which portions of the Bible to do next, when to lay the work aside for other matters, and other such information, but do not contain texts of the JST. This type of related information is seen in the editorial headnotes to sections 35, 71, 76, 77, 86, and 91; and in the text of D&C 9:2;35:20;37:1;41:7;42:56-58;45:60-62;73:3;76:15-18;77:1-15;86:1-11;93:53;94:10;104:58; and 124:89. The Pearl of Great Price presents part of the product, and contains two extracts from the text of the JST, the Book of Moses and Joseph Smith-Matthew

Inspire said...

LDSPer,
By "cherry-picking," I am referring our practice of taking text from the Bible out of context and using it to prove some point or another, contending with our brothers. Centuries of doing this has brought many religious sects and "all manner of 'ites,' which according to Nephi has caused all to go astray.

We do the same thing with the Book of Mormon, picking and choosing how to apply its words "in our daily lives" or to condemn others by proving our point. All the while, we refuse to see what is being offered (the "greater things") and neglect the duty which has been commissioned to us (to take those things to remnant Israel).

We go around in circles, trying to perfect ourselves, when Christ tells us that His grace is sufficient. We look to those who have "authority" to lead us, when Joseph said this practice is the thing that darkens our minds. We point our fingers at those who are less "righteous" than we are, when Joseph told us that "the righteousness of man is sin because it exacteth over much; nevertheless, the righteousness of God is just, because it exacteth nothing at all, but sendeth the rain on the just and the unjust, seed time and harvest, for all of which man is ungrateful." By digging a pit for our brothers and sisters, we will ultimately be the ones who fill it.

The Book of Mormon is not some devotional text meant to help us in our daily lives (like we have used the Bible), although it certainly can do that if we accept and emulate the unconditional mercy of the Lord. Rather, through said mercy of God, we can connect ourselves to promises made which otherwise we would have no right to claim.

I know you are one who has felt that the B of M has been neglected. I agree with that and have spent a great deal of time trying to understand exactly what that means for me, as I consider myself a Gentile. I do not think these prophecies will come about through the institution or some leader who gives us a checklist of commandments to obey, Rather, it comes by using our own intellect and experience to determine what is "good" and what is "evil." Some may point at a particular "sin" and say that is evil. Yet the example the Lord set was to have compassion and charity for all. I choose this "good," and will let God sort out the evil stuff. But that's just me.

Inspire said...

Big Dave,
That's all well and good. But where's the prophesied fruit?

One Little Sparrow said...

Big Dave,

I never stated that I believed anything one way or another. I am asking a legitimate question based off of what I have read. I purposely didn't insert where I fall on the issue because honestly, I don't know, and that is why I am asking, I ask question when I don't know the answers and hope that others might. If I already had my mind made up on the subject one way or another I wouldn't have bothered to ask the question or to present what I have observed. And this is all it is, observations. So if someone is willing to talk to me about it I would love it. I'm not asking for eternal truth, I'm simply asking clarifying questions. If they have already been addressed then please point out to me where. I read the entire article and most of the replies but didn't see where anyone asked the specific questions I did.

Annalea said...

ITA with LDSPer, Big Dave. That comment hurt me to read it, even before you posted yours. It was just mean. :-(

One Little Sparrow said...

Gary Hunt--

I appreciate your reply and I don't feel like you were attacking me. Here is where I struggle. I hope that I am able to convey this. I realize that in my attempt to remain neutral, I left the door open for people to assume what I personally believe. To be totally honest, I don't know what I believe anymore. The reason for this statement is due to all the cognitive dissonance I have experienced over the years in the church trying to reconcile my faith and my religion. So when I make statements like the church expects us to follow the prophet, that is because that is exactly what I have been taught from the time I can recall being able to learn. We even have a primary song about it.

So now as a rational thinking adult, there have been moments where the leaders have said something and it just doesn't sit right. I will be honest again, I don't know if God cares about whether you are having sex before marriage or with someone of the same gender or even with yourself, but I have been taught by men who claim to have authority that He does, He cares very much. I can't tell you how many talks, books, lectures, lessons, and so forth I have been exposed to on that one subject alone.

I guess I should also tell you that by trade I study in the field of human behavior. I say this because you need to understand that when people say things to me like, " I just KNOW", what I want to say to them is if you don't know how you know, then chances are at least reasonable that the reason you "know" is because you were taught it before you could object and therefore if anything comes around to contradict that idea your brain literally will kick it out as false. The same as if I told you the moon is made out of string cheese. Of course, this hinders the whole, walking by faith thing because there are plenty of non Mormons out there that believe in their faiths just as fervently as we believe ours. I would be willing to be they have had just as many spiritual experience too, that confirm in their minds with "every fiber of their being" that their way of seeing God and life and so forth is "correct".

This would all be well and groovy if nobody was claiming authority and absolutes. If that were the case, religion and God would be more like a painting that is open for interpretation and there would be no one true interpretation or no expert art critic to tell us how to interpret it. Does that make sense? Can you see where I am going with this?

.

One Little Sparrow said...

I totally, utterly, and wholeheartedly agree that we shouldn't be sheep, I am an outspoken articulate human who has often been outcast from this LDS culture because I have dared to voice my concerns to friends, family, in Sunday school lessons, and even over open broadcast. I am also a bleeding heart and a pacifist and it literally hurts me to see other people suffer. But above all things, I want to do what is RIGHT, not what is popular or trendy or even easy, but what is RIGHT. I am a seeker of truth and what I am coming to believe is that even if there is truth out there, I will never find it in this life. But that is whole different kettle of fish

But coming back to the matter at hand. Remember when I was talking about the painting? That is how I personally see the world and life. Do I believe in universal rights and wrongs? Yes, but I believe it is a short list and so basic that it goes without saying, though I suppose one could argue that too if they wanted to....but I don't want to. At any rate, my point is that I have been taught from the time I was young that instead of interpreting the painting on my own, I should rely on the art experts (the prophet and apostles) to do it for me. Of course, I was also taught to pray and ponder it on my own, but then I was also taught that the living prophet would never be allowed to lead people a stray, but then I see the church make mistakes and fall prey to their own human emotions and prejudices, which would all be well and good and totally understandable if they prefaced their talks and official statements as "These are just our own human opinions on the subject", but they don't. Again, it comes down to authority. They claim to have it, they claim other churches don't. The prophet claims to be the voice of God on the earth. So if something is said over the pulpit or released as an official statement and it feels wrong to me, then what am I to make of that? Here are the options I feel like I am left with. If I am wrong PLEASE help me understand.

1. They aren't really speaking for God they are merely interpreting the painting as they see fit and very well could be wrong and so I don't have to follow their counsel and God will be fine with that because what matters most is that I follow the edicts of my own heart.

2. They aren't really speaking for God they are merely interpreting the painting as they see fit and very well could be wrong BUT since God has seen fit to put them in charge, the point isn't that I follow only when it feels right, or the matter itself, the point is it is a test to see how faithful I will be to His prophets even if they are wrong and it feels wrong to me. After all, this is all just one big test right?

3. They aren't ordained by God and they have no more authority to speak of His mind or His will than I do. They know this, but they aren't going to say anything because they don't want the curtain pulled back on the "Great and powerful Oz" because after all, look at all of the good the church is doing and doesn't the ends justify the means?

4. They aren't ordained by God and they have no more authority to speak of His mind or His will than I do. They know this, but they aren't going to say anything because they are evil and drunk on power.

5. They aren't ordained by God and they have no more authority to speak of His mind or His will than I do. But even though this is truth, they are so wrapped up in their own religiosity that they truly believe that they are being led by God and doing His will.

6. They Do speak to God and FOR God and so if something doesn't feel right to me it is because there is something wrong with ME. After all, if God is the beginning and the end and Perfect to boot, then what He wills is what we all SHOULD will as well. And if we don't, then there is a course adjustment that needs to be made if we want to be in harmony with God and His will

Anonymous said...

The question of being "born this way" should be no question at all even to the most conservative Mormon. If you believe that a gay persons weakness is just that, their weakness, what's the source of that weakness?? I the Lord give into men weakness....etc. If you don't believe they were "born this way" you are clearly contradicting divinely established doctrine. OZ 23

Annalea said...

Big Dave,

I really appreciate your humble response, and frank forgiveness of my testing the waters. I must admit to feeling somewhat hypersensitive to patronization lately . . . so I ask your forgiveness as well for believing that could've been what you meant. All I can plead is, having come from a very conservative background, that I relied on my own experience of others with similar views on gay marriage. For that, I am sorry. Through recent and very uncomfortable experience I know what it's like to be grouped with others due to a single similarity. It stinks. Big time. And it's uniquely humbling to realize that's what I just did. (wry chuckle)

I'm also glad I came across in my earlier comment as gentle and sincere. That was my hope. (I have a history of being too bold, of intimidating people. And that's frustrating, because I want to be able to connect with others, to come to understanding, and to reason together.) I think it was a case of cultural baggage and the lack of verbal inflection that tainted the word "sweet" with patrimony.

Pax, it is. And I'm happy to declare it.

Annalea said...

Big Dave wrote: "Don't they think the Lord is capable of minding his own house?"

I seem to remember there were thieves in the temple in Jerusalem until Jesus finally (after them being there for who knows how long) forcibly threw them out. That seems kinda like a big deal to me. God minds His house, but He is bound by our agency. He can only work in our lives to the extent that we invite Him.

Add to that the fact that President Hinckley's daughter said, before hundreds of women at a Time Out for Women Conference I attended, that knowing the leaders of the church as well as she did (growing up with them, since her father was called as assistant to the Twelve when she was a child), that while she loved them dearly, they were human. They were good men. But she didn't think the general authorities were perfect, that they were the most spiritual men she had ever known, or that they "necessarily the best men for the job."

Just sayin'. :-)

BK said...

Big Dave,

God has commanded everyone to judge church leaders and decide for ourselves if they are really what they claim to be. If what they teach is true or not, or if they are really righteous or not. We do this by comparing what they preach and practice with what Christ taught, and when you do that you can quickly see they are imposters and false prophets, as Joseph warned us to watch out for in the Church.

We are told to prove all things and persons, and to not put faith in something or someone until we know for sure it or they are true and right.

And the Lord can't keep his house from being defiled, for he gives man the agency to do that. All God can do is try to persuade man to be righteous, only when he returns will he mind his own house the way he thinks it should run.

BK said...

OLS,

So the thing to do is study, ponder, pray about and live the teachings of Christ to see if they are true and good and if so then judge everyone and everything else by them. Thus it's easy to see who is really righteous and a true follower of Christ. And I don't believe any LDS leader can pass that test since Joseph died, but that's another discussion.

But just because someone in any religion claims authority is no reason to assume they really 'have' authority until they can pass the test of comparing what they do and say to Christ. Do they preach and practice his exact teachings? Or do they add to them or ignore some of his teachings? Do they have true charity and perfect love, which Christ said only his true followers have. Do they teach and live by the Golden Rule?

We must prove if someone or something is true or not, way before we ever put any faith or trust in them, or everyone can easily be mislead if they just follow their feelings or even spiritual experiences, for the Adversary is very clever at even fooling people that they have seen and talked with Christ.

Big Dave said...

BK:

The church is ruled by common consent. So if you think a leader has gone astray, go to conference and vote against him. Then the matter will be handled from there. This is the proper way of dealing with it that the Lord himself has set forth. I'm pretty sure that complaining about the leaders on the internet is unproductive and not in line with what the Lord has revealed.

BK said...

OLS,

Good thoughts! You are using your head, and don't seem to fear doing so like so many. I believe you will find the right path and the truth because you have the courage to pursue such things and ask questions.

1st and foremost we must remember (if we believe in Christ) that God has commanded us to prove all things and persons (especially those claiming to be prophets or have authority from God) and make sure they are good, right and true, BEFORE we listen to or put any faith in them.

Isn't that logical? Isn't that fair? If we didn't do that we would easily fall for the falsehoods and false prophets that Christ and past prophets like Joseph Smith and BoM prophets have warned us about.

Do you not think God affords you (who may have been born in the Church) the same agency and allowance to question and prove all things as he does investigators of the Church? We are all investigators or must at least become so sometime in our lives, especially if we have been born into the Church and just assumed it was led by true prophets.

Have you taken the time to find out if it's really true that God will not let the Church leaders lead the Church astray? Have you taken the time to prove if all the LDS Prophets from Joseph Smith to today are really true prophets and not false one's? Do you know how to tell the difference? How did Christ say to do it? How did Joseph say to tell? By their possessing Charity or not, and by comparing their words and actions to what Christ taught. It isn't rocket science. Even a child can do it, but it takes honesty and more importantly 'charity' or at least a true understanding of it, to be able to discern charity/pure love in others.

I personally believe 3-5 are your correct answers depending on which leader you are talking about, for I believe some are more aware of their own falsehood then others, but surely they must all know they are not true disciples of Christ, for everyone knows when they do wrong and they know they preach and practice contrary to the teachings of Christ.

They must be constantly bombarded by 1000's of letters from the needy or those needing answers to things the leaders don't have answers for or things they don't want to talk about or think about or attend to.

I believe they would rather spend money on large and spacious temples and malls to look good then to really feed the hungry or spend their time attending to the fatherless in their afflictions or to make sure there is no more poor among them. This is very apparent when you look closely, but few ever do.

I believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, who understood charity, even though he was still trying to gain it himself completely. So even he was deceived alot, as we all are. But we can catch ourselves in our deceptions and be the wiser for it.

I believe the 'Holy Church of God' went into apostasy, just as the BoM foretells it will today, and just like it almost always has in the past every time it was set up. Does God give men and leaders less agency to go astray and take people and churches with them then he allowed in the past? No, it would be impossible for him to not allow church leaders such agency.

But Satan knows that most people prefer following leaders, it's much easier, so they don't have to do all the homework themselves. So he puts that lie, that their leaders are infallible or close to, into many religions throughout the ages, to more easily deceive and lull the people asleep and astray.

Big Dave said...

None of you seem to understand what I suspect to be the real reason our modern Prophets are warning against same sex marriage; we have already lowered our standards of marriage once for society, and if we allow society to budge another inch in the wrong direction, what hope do we have that the true traditional law of marriage (as taught in the Bible!) as God intended it for us? What good are God's efforts to restore his full and everlasting gospel in our dispensation if we just turn our backs on these inspired revelations?

Brigham Young was no doubt re-iterating Joseph's revelations when he said:

“Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman Empire... Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a hold sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, August 6, 1862

Not only is same-sex marriage not allowed in heaven - neither are monogamous marriages. God has already graciously allowed His Church to live this lower law of marriage to avoid societal backlash! Just how far do we expect God to condescend for the passing trends of man?

And don't tell me this is just brother Brigham saying 'crazy' things, because this is still current doctrine in D&C 132, taught in our lesson manuals just last month:

"61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified."

We're with the prophet, or we're against him. I know where I stand, and I will never back down just because it's the less popular thing to do in society nowadays.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary to some posts, God does give his commandment (Take it how you will) in Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." no more nitpicking or sliding words around to make them mean what you want. #KJV #GodQuotes

Really said...

Interesting:

"LESBIANISM

Maimonides forbids intimate relationships between women and compares them to the behavior of the Egyptians, which the Torah warns against imitating, although he states that one cannot receive lashes since the Torah did not explicitly state the prohibition. He cannot conceive of a monogamous female relationship and so explains that these women are not forbidden to their husbands or from marrying priests. Maimonides instructs the husband to be strict with his wife and prevent her from socializing with women who are known lesbians (MT Forbidden Intercourse 21:8)."

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/maimonides

Inspire said...

That we are "members" with voting rights like other organizations is a fallacy. Yes, we raise our hands to "sustain" the leaders, but it is nothing more than symbolic. Truth be told, the church is a corporate sole, which means there is only one member: the president. The rest of us are merely volunteers. Even if a majority of those claiming to be members voted a president or apostle out, there would be no basis on which they would have to legally relinquish their office, other than what they decided among themselves.

Check out this document: http://www.originalbookofmormonrestored.com/Heber%20J.%20Grant_Corp%20Sole.pdf

Big Dave said...

The proper process of handling the votes is as follows: if you are dissenting from God's ordained Apostles by raising your hand in opposition, you will be spoken to by Priesthood leaders in authority who can explain why you are out of line and to enable you to repent and get back in line with the Lord's annointed.

Big Dave said...

Compton, you're forgetting that the brethren cannot and do not consider the proclamation to be revelation, because it would be an admission of apostasy from Joseph's revelations on plural marriage. Now I'm no polygamist fundamentalist - God is letting us stick with the one man + one wife marriage for now due to societal backlash - but it would be blasphemy to admit that the Proclamation is a true revelation.

Annalea said...

A couple of historical points that might help out here:

1) Until near the end of David McKay's presidency, "the Prophet" meant Joseph Smith. The presidents of the church between Joseph and McKay were referred to as such. Brigham Young even said he didn't claim to be any kind of prophet, but that he was a good "Yankee guesser".

2) The PR dept began using the title of prophet to identify Pres. McKay, who was uncomfortable with the idea. (He was also very uncomfortable with correlation, which was started under his watch. But that's another story.) It was part of an effort to change the static growth of the church. (We had nearly no baptisms in 100 years, thanks to polygamy and other things introduced by Brigham Young.)

Sparrow, I highly recommend reading more here at Rock's blog. He hits all the high points that can help you untangle the cognitive dissonance. Daymon Smith's Cultural History of the Book of Mormon is also a good resource. Yes, it's scholarly (i.e. you'll need a dictionary), but it's good stuff.

Ordination of men is different from the ordination of God. In the D&C there are times when God announces that He is specifically ordaining the one(s) to whom He is speaking. What most LDS priesthood holders hold is the ordination of men, and authority in the organization. There are some who have power from God, but it is rare. I have no idea if the current leaders of the church are ordained of God, or only of men.

The word "keys" is seriously misunderstood. From my scripture study, all I've been able to find is the word "key" used to denote knowledge that opens the understanding, or unlocks the meaning of a scripture or vision. It is power, but only inasmuch as knowledge is power.

This is really like a laundry list, but I hope these help . . .

BK said...

Pick your prophet. We either have to stand with Christ and Joseph Smith who both condemned all polygamy in every age of time, or we can choose to believe in men like Brigham Young who preached just the opposite Christ and Joseph Smith.

I myself stand with Christ and Joseph.

BK said...

No Big Dave, I don't think the matter will be solved by just going to Conference and voting against him. For he has is devote followers all around him that believe he is a true prophet, even if he isn't. I'm not going to change anyone's mind at top, they have already made up their minds long ago to support the church whether it's true or not.

And even if they did replace the current President that is not the whole problem, for no one in the Church has any keys or authority to carry on the true Church that Joseph started, it went into a complete apostasy after he died, just like it always does and usually quickly.

And not only do they not have authority but all the church leaders would have to repent and start preaching and practicing the teachings of Jesus Christ, for now they preach and practice just the opposite and have since Brigham took over.

Brigham's Church can never become Christ's Church or the original Church Joseph restored, no matter how many leaders you replace or how many teachings you correct. The best it could ever be is a nice Christian Church that teaches Christ's doctrine, but doesn't have any real authority, and that is only if the Church completely repented.

Christ will have to restore his true Church and authority on the earth again some day in ZIon, then finally it will never go into apostasy again, for only righteous people who really follow Christ will be part of it.

BK said...

OLS,

You are assuming that the Prophet of the Church is a true prophet or the leaders are called by God to speak for him. But I don't believe they are. The LDS have about the same claim on continuation of authority then the catholics do. You have no proof that BY had any authority to continue the true Church after Joseph died (and we are to prove all things before we follow them). You just believed the stories they told you your whole life, like all of us did, without checking into it all. When you check into it then you see that the RLDS Church or FLDS Church or any other break off church back then, has just as much claim, or more, to be the true continuation of Joseph's original church, as the LDS Church does.

So if you can consider that if the Church went into complete apostasy after Joseph died, then Rock is right, there have been no latter day teachings about homosexuality, we only have what the Bible says and no one knows if the Bible has been translated correctly in any part of it.

The LDS Leaders have given their 'opinions' at best, and right or wrong you can't say or prove that they are speaking for the Lord, for they don't even follow him, so how could they be speaking for someone they don't even seem to believe in.

Big Dave said...

Big Dave @6:54

I don't know who you are , but you have hijacked my name and posted under it.

Big Dave said...

Inspire and BK:

I'm sorry that you feel that you cannot operate within the framework the Lord has set up for addressing grievances. I bet neither one of you have even tried, you are just speculating. You are not justified in sabotaging the Lords church because you have a gut feeling something is wrong, or even spiritual confirmation. The Lord's house is a house of order. Take your complaints to the proper authorities, let them process the complaint, and that is the end of it. The rest is up to the Lord. Pretty simple really. Your only other choice is to withdraw from the church, which is what I decided to do.

But standing back and taking pot shots at the church harms the good the organization is doing. It casts doubt in people's minds. The gospel is still true, even if the leaders are tools. Missionary work is still being done. People are being brought to a knowledge of Christ. What would you both do, take these gifts away from people? In the end it is up to each individual to decide what is right and what is wrong.

I refuse to be one of the people that fights against the church. The Lord said that there are only two churches, his church and the church of the devil. I don't see any other churches flying the LDS flag, do you? I suspect that eventually the church will lapse into total apostasy. Then, and only then can a new church be built from the ashes of the old one. It is up to the Lord to decide when this will occur. I cannot see all ends like the Lord can. I am small and weak, and I refuse to be a tool for Satan to prematurely destroy the Lord's work. I am just a worker in the vineyard. I don't get to decide the big things.

Inspire said...

Speaking for myself, taking "potshots" is not the same as asking questions and finding answers. I don't go around my ward accusing or warning or "destroying the Lord's work," yet, I still mingle with them, according to the dictates of my own conscience.

But is it "of the devil" to challenge false traditions and false doctrines on a forum where the questions are being asked and different perspectives are welcome? You continually make assertions which are your own speculation, yet produce no evidence or fruit of their validity. For the others here who are truly asking and are open to other possibilities, you want to slam the door in their faces.

If it is "given" to know if something is good or not, then why not exercise that agency and make a choice? Condemning another, in my experience, for any reason--including their sexual orientation--is not "good," based on Christ's teaching of blessing all men.

If you are a "worker in the vineyard," then why not represent the Lord by demonstrating His love (charity) towards your gay neighbors? If you believe Him, then you'll agree that all other approaches "must fail," but mercy, virtue and charity never fail.

IAmForLiberty said...

This is called "Pure Mormonism"? Paragraph 3 disproves that? You ignore past and living prophets.

Big Dave said...

Inspire:

I am not making this stuff up. Here is how the Lord tells us how transgressing leaders are to be tried: D+C Section 107:

78 Again, verily, I say unto you, the most important business of the church, and the most adifficult cases of the church, inasmuch as there is not satisfaction upon the decision of the bishop or judges, it shall be handed over and carried up unto the council of the church, before the Presidency of the High Priesthood.

79 And the Presidency of the council of the High Priesthood shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve, to assist as counselors; and thus the Presidency of the High Priesthood and its counselors shall have power to decide upon testimony according to the laws of the church.

80 And after this decision it shall be had in remembrance no more before the Lord; for this is the highest council of the church of God, and a final decision upon controversies in spiritual matters.

81 There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this council of the church.

82 And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood;

83 And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him.

84 Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness.

The key thing is that in the Lord's house things are done in order. We don't air our dirty laundry in public. Having a discussion with a small group of friends at church is one thing, but tens of thousands of people read this blog every month.

As far as gays go, if you have read all my posts you would know that I do not hate gays or even believe that I can stop their behavior.. Gay marriage is another matter. Gay marriage is wrong and is in the process of being made an institution, and is a mockery to god. Now I believe that god is the judge and he can fight his own battles, but I will not suffer evil to openly exist in my midst.











QAM said...

Thank you. Really. Thank you.
I've been struggling because my own internal "moral compass" seemed to be pointing in a different direction than the official stance of my church. I happen to believe the pesky little "judge not" instruction that so many of my good Mormon friends and family seem to like to overlook when they want to be nosy about the beams in the eyes of everyone around them. And with that, I also happen to believe that it's really none of my business what anyone else does in his or her own bedroom, or who he or she chooses to do it with, anymore than it's anyone else's business what I do in mine. I don't participate in a homosexual lifestyle for myself, but it's not my business if anyone else does. Quite frankly, I've always considered such a situation to be a matter between that person and God. Why in the world should I expect to be involved in a private relationship between another person and God?

I also don't think I should have the right to tell anyone else who he or she can or can't contract with. My marriage isn't affected by anyone else's, regardless of the genders involved. Even if I were to happen to believe the lifestyle in question was a black and ugly sin, again, NOT MY BUSINESS.

And all of the hate and vitriol and self-righteous indignation being spewed just doesn't feel very Christ-like to me. So perhaps we should all take a step back and a deep breath, and examine our own characters instead of trying to dictate others.

Just sayin'.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Yes, it does, PJ. Not all scripture consists of revelations, but all scripture, by definition, is "that which is written."

Some sections of the Doctrine and Covenants are "scripture" but not all of them are revelations. The Articles of Faith, for instance, began as a letter to John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat in order to provide his readers an outline of our basic beliefs. It was canonized decades after Joseph Smith's death, and is now reprinted in our scriptures. But no one would claim the Articles of Faith are a revelation from God.

For something that is written down to qualify as a revelation, Joseph taught that it must be identified as coming from the mouth of the Lord. Thus those parts of the D&C that were recorded as revelations, are carefully identified as such with qualifers like "Thus saith the Lord" or "I, the Lord" etc.

Conference talks are written down and published in the Ensign magazine, and as a result many members consider them scripture, which technically they are because they are written down. But very few of those talks are identifiable as revelations, because the speaker does not claim he is delivering a direct message from God.


Much of what is spoken of at conference is true, valid, and beneficial. But only the commandments of God received through a bona fide revelation are to be obeyed.

Anonymous said...

http://www.frc.org/issueanalysis/leviticus-jesus-and-homosexuality-some-thoughts-on-honest-interpretation

I. Willet deVale said...

Maybe you should have kept reading past the third paragraph.

"Pure" Mormonism does not consist of every wind of doctrine from the mind of man. Our religion is only pure when we follow the teachings of Christ.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I'm surprised, Big Dave, that you would quote from section 107 which contains instructions for dealing with the president of the church when he transgresses, given your stand that our leaders are incapable of any wrongdoing.

You seem to feel those verses prove that rank and file members are prohibited from publicly questioning false teachings and false traditions that crop up in the church. I don't see that in there.

One Little Sparrow said...

Annalea & BK

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. As if a crisis of faith isn't hard enough, it only adds insult to devastation when with pure intent you search for truth and what you are met with are people telling you that you are "fallen" or "faithless". I have honestly come to points where I have thought that I could still believe in the truth of the gospel, but choose to not be part of the organization. Thank you for treating my questions with love and respect.

As Doctor Phil or someone would say, "Those that have nothing to hide, hide nothing." I believe that this is true...to go along with that..The Truth Shall Set You Free. What I'm getting at is this notion that if the church is "true" and truly being led by God, then I would expect full disclosure and honesty from those who sit in positions of power.

I had never heard the concept that there hasn't been a true prophet since Joseph Smith. I guess I have always been taught that the mantle was just passed down after he died. I recall something in some scripture about God not allowing the church to fall into apostasy until Christ came again, which was taught to be as God would not remove His prophets again until Christ came.

But see this is exactly the problem with the church and faith in general. Too Many Variables. How can one be expected to "get it right" or find truth when one considers all of the variables involved? Aside from the fact that we can't talk directly to Joseph or anyone from that time, or the fact that the church has a PR department that filters the information that gets back to us, and then there is the whole thing about oral traditions that have been passed down for so long that we take it as truth when in reality it may be total bunk. And this is where people would step in and say, "Well, this is just where faith comes in", and "You just have to make a choice to believe even if you don't know", and "Ultimately you have to do what feels right. But then I watch videos of people who belong to the heavens gate cult and their "testimonies" of the divine nature of their leader seem eerily similar to those shared every fast Sunday over the pulpit. My point isn't compare the leaders, only to compare the religiosity and again to bring me to a place where I feel like I don't know up from down.

All that I want is to be given the FACTS, not what is PR correct or spun for the benefit of the sheep, I want the TRUTH, and I expect the TRUTH from people who have nothing to hide. Honestly, if the prophet of the church were to stand up tomorrow and say, "Look, I'm just taking this on faith like the rest of you. God and I don't sit down and have conversations, I'm just running this church the way I interpret He would want it run, which means I could be so totally wrong about some of the things I say, so use your own best judgement." I would be elated. I wouldnt be pissed, I wouldnt say, You SEE YOU SEE! He isn't a prophet after all! The whole thing is a sham! I would say, Thank you for your honesty, now lets all try and move forward towards a more Christlike existence. *sigh*

Big Dave said...

Rock:

You will have to show me where I said the leaders are incapable of error because I can't find it. What I have been saying is that the Lord has given mechanisms for disputes, and declared that his house is a house of order. The first mechanism is common consent. Now I have seen you openly criticism many leaders, but have you ever voted against them at conference? I doubt you have, but it is possible.

The second mechanism is that the Lord has told us in section 107 that no one is exempt from the councils of church, not even the prophet. He also said that after someone is brought before the common council, their word is final, and all discussions are over.

So based on what I know of church discipline you are not in harmony with the tools that the Lord has given us for addressing concerns with leaders. You have identified some problems, but I have seen no solutions. The way you are going about things is harmful to the overall cause of the Lord, and will not unseat the leaders you dislike. Taken to their logical conclusion, your theories will just cause people to leave the church, undermine the leadership, and perhaps cause people to not join the church to begin with.

I myself have issues with church leaders, but the Lord suffers them to be there. I quit going to church because I know that little ole my is never going to rock the boat, and I refuse to fight a battle I cannot win. You say "who am I to tell a gay person that their lifestyle is wrong" yet you are more than willing to tell the leaders of the Lord's church that they are wrong. Don't get me wrong, Rock. You have every right to object to what you consider to be bad leadership, but as I have repeatedly stated, it must be done in the order that the Lord has ordained. I really don't think you can justify any other approach.

LDSDPer said...

OLS,

I appreciate what you are saying, People, members, are 'cast out' for many different reasons, and I would be surprised if there were not a few on here--

I was talking about coercion when I answered you above, how it's not right for us to coerce legally--

the only laws that should be made are those that protect rights--

marriage is not a right; it should never have been considered a right--

I realize you are talking about other things here; I don't mean to harp on this--

you are not the only 'bleeding heart' on here; a lot of LDS don't want to admit to that, because most LDS are conservative (socially, at least)--
those who are liberal are generally looked down upon. I am neither--

but that is neither here nor there.

The point is that I believe there is a pure religion--

James was the brother of Jesus Christ, so I give him some credence:

27 Pure areligion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To bvisit the cfatherless and dwidows in their eaffliction, and to keep himself funspotted from gthe hworld.

13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;

I put in the one Book of Mormon verse to show that the same philosophy is found all over in the Book of Mormon--

I don't think much about 'the brethren' any more. I don't have any ill feelings towards any of them, however. I used to get all churned up when the speaking/teaching of one conflicted with the speaking/teaching of another--
I was always tied up in knots, and then I had an experience with the Savior and a few other difficult things happened to me that made it such that I just couldn't get tied up in knots anymore--
and I decided to follow Jesus and let the rest go--

believe it or not, I do attend the temple, but I figure that my following of Jesus is more important than anything I do there. It's a quiet place, and I feel it is important to go. I don't think anyone else has the keys, so I feel I am honest when I answer the TR question; the fact is that I think they do exist within the church; I'm just not sure how and where--but I don't feel I am being dishonest.

Helping the poor and the fatherless and those who are 'down' is my top priority; I come on Pure Mormonism, because I like to discuss these things with other LDS. I prefer not to talk to non-LDS about any of these things--
because there is at least some basis for mutal understanding, even though I realize there is much diversity in the church; I like that diversity--
I hope you can find answers, eventually, OLS. I have been tied in knots over all these things since I was a child, and I'm in my 60s now--

LDSDPer said...

so that Big Dave is not Big Dave.

Wow--that's hard--

Better talk to Rock about it, because I'm going to ask the false Big Dave some questions:

--Do you read the Book of Mormon at all?

--Adam and Eve, then, will not be married in heaven, since they were monogamous?

Wow, that was really some pro-polygamy stuff.

Not fair to the real Big Dave, false Big Dave.

False Big Dave, the world is already 'gone'--

Bring on the fall of Babylon.

Yes, Brigham Young did go to great lengths to justify himself; as to whether he really believed it or not . . .

or just benefited from it, who knows?

Sad either way.

LDSDPer said...

False Big Dave,

Brigham Young was no doubt re-iterating Joseph's revelations when he said:

That is what Pure Mormonism is all about--

Joseph never said anything like that, ever. Not in public, not in scripture.

Even 132, if you believe it has not been 'doctored', which some do believe, myself included--

does not require or command plural marriage.

No doubt? Yes doubt.

Anonymous said...

Have so many forgotten who we are and where we come from? We are children of God. We have the capacity to overcome anything!!!! Why do we constantly belittle ourselves because of the shortfalls of others. Nelson Mandela had an amazing quote about rising up to our full potential and being an example for others to rise to. We should not stoop down to a lower sense of existence so that everyone feels comfortable with their "natural" state or lifestyle. Rise up oh Men of God! We need to rise up and raise up others to a greater level of existence. Yes, love is essential. But love does not mean we accept everyone for how they are now, but help them become how they should be. God loves whom He chastises. We can't be so quick to be accepting of everyone weaknesses and shortcomings and tell them it is OK to continue to do so. True love is to call others to repentance, help them overcome their weaknesses, be with them when they mourn, encourage them to fight on, and be disappointed when they fail but still be their to support and love them. We have a great civil responsibility to be peacemakers and encourage righteousness. It is so sad when people, for the sake of "accepting" everyone, that they fail to stand up for anything and thus become "lukewarm". I know that with God all things are possible. With God, I can overcome anythings through patients, love, and support. We should love and support our gay friends through encouraging them to not give into homosexual behavior for such is a serious sin. Just like we all need to support and help our youth to not give into temptation and have premarital sex. The same concepts apply to breaking the law of chastity. Many might deem mankind as hopeless creatures unable to change... but I, think differently.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

One Little Sparrow,

Jesus said, "Come, follow me." Today the constant mantra repeated by the current crop of Church leaders seems to be, "Come, follow us".

This false assertion that "there is safety in following the Brethren" has now all but supplanted the first article of faith as the leading mantra of our religion. But it is a relatively new idea traceable to sometime in the mid 20th century.

Jesus said following Him would lead to safety, and that we are to love God with all our might, mind, and strength. In conference 1987 we were taught "there is great safety in having a love for the Brethren."

Before that, this false doctrine seems to have kicked into high gear with the speeches of Apostle Harold B. Lee (who incidentally was also the instigator behind Church Correlation, which was designed to tightly control information on the history and doctrines of the church that the members were permitted to know).

Like Boyd Packer, who insisted the members show proper deference to him and his cohorts and obey "the unwritten order of things," Elder Lee had a penchant for declaring doctrines that had not been previously taught, could not be found in scripture, and came very close to displacing Jesus Christ as the only being upon whom our safety lies. Said Elder Lee:

"Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones whom the Lord has placed to preside over his church."

"Look to the President of the Church for your instructions. If ever there is a conflict, you keep your eyes on the President if you want to walk in the light."

"Let's keep our eye on the President of the Church."

"Oh, you Latter-day Saints, there was never a time when you needed to look so much to the leadership of this church to know the truth."

"The only way we can be one is by following the leadership of the Church as the Lord has directed."

Except the Lord has never directed us to follow the leadership of the Church. And he taught that the only way to be "one" was through Christ's at-one-ment.

I'll take instead the counsel of our founding prophet Joseph Smith, who has a long track record of speaking the words God put into his mouth and not just his own opinion. Joseph said, "if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds."

The evidence of members today being darkened in their minds is all around us. Have you noticed that those who argue assiduously on the internet in favor of allegiance to the Brethren, tend to be the very ones whose responses are dogmatic and lacking in the light of Christ?

Where is the charity toward others' opinions? We have been conditioned in this church that it is necessary to be absolutely certain about our testimonies. Often those testimonies center around the Church rather around the pure gospel of Christ.

Certainty is the enemy of wisdom. A person who is absolutely certain of his position lacks humility and is incapable of learning anything that would contradict his preferred narrative, or of even conceding a minor point. He guards against the possibility of a little truth slipping through like a goalie guards the net.

I wrote a piece on this blog a while back called "Follow the Prophet: True or False": It was motivated by a letter I received from a member of the Church who believed wholeheartedly in following the leaders. Take a look and see if there are any actual teachings in our religion that would support her position:

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2009/10/follow-prophet-true-or-false.html



LDSDPer said...

Thanks, Inspire.

I've been trying to read the Book of Mormon through 'pure' eyes--

it's not easy to overcome the traditions of the fathers, though!!!

What you say makes sense to me; I am aware of C.S. Lewis' dwarves in the stable, and I don't want to be one of those--

:)

LDSDPer said...

I hope you can--
I'm so busy trying to repent of my own sins, that I don't really have time for anyone else's--
I am aware that there are those around who despise (me and mine) and have cast us out (not for what society would call deviant behavior, for other things--not for any kind of breaking of the law of chastity)--

and one of the major things I have to do constantly is forgive them, especially when they are LDS.

I AM impressed when someone is purified enough to call others to repentance!!!

:)

LDSDPer said...

Rock, that is interesting. I remain very confused about Harold B. Lee--

someone somewhere said he was trying to fight the corporation, but this doesn't sound like it; perhaps some of these men were conflicted; who knows?

I did not know the man at all; I am just very curious; sometimes it seems they contradicted themselves AND each other.

Well, anyway, I listened to the broadcast/podcast; the interruptions must have been frustrating--

It was good--

The reception was fuzzy at times, but you were pretty clear--

I was entertained by the western/Utah accents--

I had forgotten--

almost.

For what it's worth; I would be curious to read what others say about it, but then possibly not everyone has heard it--

One of my family members has read this most current blog essay; I have not, yet, finished it in its entirety. I am the one who posts, though--

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDSDPer,
Brother Lee does indeed seem to be an enigma. I do not think he was at all nefarious, but felt an obligation to protect the testimonies of the Saints. I think that is what motivates most of the Brethren; they feel an obligation to protect us.

But that comes from seeing themselves as somehow separate from the regular members. The Lord said that no one man is to be above another in this church, but that doesn't happen to be the way things have shaken out. The members are generally very deferential to the leaders, and I have sources within the Church Office Building who tell me that that kind of worship has gone to the head of more than one member of the Twelve.

Of once particular GA, my friend tells me, "he's treated like a rock star, and has come to expect it."

Harold B. Lee honestly believed that emulating the Brethren was a good thing. Certainly it's beneficial to heed any good and wise counsel, but his sense of hero worship clouded his vision of where our focus should be, i.e. "an eye single to the glory of God.

So it's not that Harold Lee was a bad guy. The problem stems from that "follow the Brethren" attitude taking hold over the years and growing into the monster falsehood that it is today.

We, the members, must take our share of the blame for believing it.

Gary Hunt said...

One Little Sparrow,

I'm glad you didn't feel like I was attacking you. I'm sorry It's taken a little while to get back with you. I will just say life is busy. I have been thinking about your comments and will make time either tonight or tomorrow to share with you some of my thoughts regarding what you said.


Steven Lester said...

The Church came with its official statement concerning same-sex marriage today. Here it is in totality:

SALT LAKE CITY —
Following recent court actions bearing on same-sex marriage, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles today sent the following instructions and guidance to congregational leaders throughout the United States. Leaders were asked to share this information with their members in appropriate settings.



On December 20, 2013, a federal district judge in Salt Lake City issued an order legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, striking down century-old state laws and a state constitutional amendment that defined marriage exclusively as between a man and a woman. The United States Supreme Court has put that ruling on hold pending consideration of the issue by an appellate court. During the interval between the district court ruling and the Supreme Court stay, numerous same-sex marriages were performed in Utah. Legal proceedings and legislative action in some other states and countries have given civil recognition to same-sex marriage relationships.

Steven Lester said...

As we face this and other issues of our time, we encourage all to bear in mind our Heavenly Father’s purposes in creating the earth and providing for our mortal birth and experience here as His children. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:27–28). “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well-being of society. Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and crucial to eternal salvation.

Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We urge you to review and teach Church members the doctrine contained in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

Just as those who promote same-sex marriage are entitled to civility, the same is true for those who oppose it. The Church insists on its leaders’ and members’ constitutionally protected right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family, and morality free from retaliation or retribution. The Church is also entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members.

Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same-sex marriages. Nevertheless, all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there.

While these matters will continue to evolve, we affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same-sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility—even when we disagree.

As members of the Church, we are responsible to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to illuminate the great blessings that flow from heeding God’s commandments as well as the inevitable consequences of ignoring them. We invite you to pray that people everywhere will have their hearts softened to the truths of the gospel, and that wisdom will be granted to those who are called upon to decide issues critical to society’s future.

Annalea said...

Big Dave, can you see how others might feel that the current system (which is practiced significantly differently than at the beginning) can seem like no system at all? If I have a problem with the way something is going, if I follow the procedure you outlined, I'm guaranteed to be marginalized, because if I think differently than the fallible, imperfect leaders, something is wrong with me. I can have a say (after being judged by every member in the Conference Center who sees me stand to object--if I could be seen or heard at all), but after that it's my job to listen to my leaders and pray until I agree with them. That's not a solution. It's a rigid and dictatorial conservation of power. :-( Add my double X chromosomes into the mix, and it could be a humiliating experience, as well.

I don't have (much) hope that I'll change the leadership of the church. But I can preach and teach of Christ--and bring others to Him. A sometimes-necessary part of that is talking about some of the problems in the church, so others can realize there is greater happiness and joy to be found when they seek after the blessings the Fathers had, like Abraham did. Complacency & contentment never did a spiritual breakthrough make.

One Little Sparrow said...

Rock--

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. To be honest, this has been a very dark time for me. If I am not actively thinking or doing something else my mind will return to the thoughts of everything I have ever been taught might be a total well-intentioned lie. I have had so much conflict in my heart over things I am learning about the church, even Joseph Smith. It isn't even the anti-stuff, it is the things the church will admit to.

To give one example, Polygamy. I have been taught since the time I was a little girl that sex and sexual intimacy was to be shared only between one man and one woman. In Hollands(?) book, he bluntly states that when you engage in physical activity with someone who is not your spouse, you not only offend their body, but their very soul, and you are in danger of the fires of hell. I believed it. I am now 30 years old and still a virgin. Even in Mormon culture this is becoming very rare. I don't know that if I were to have sex before marriage that it would send a cosmic ripple into the eternities that would cause the angels to weep, but I do believe that like many things in this world, sex is symbolic, and so much in the same way I like to open my presents on Christmas Day, I want to symbolically give that to my husband.

So where this ties in with polygamy is what I feel like is a stark contradiction. Maybe it is hard for the leaders of the church to realize (but then, all of the higher ups are Male), but women are sensitive creatures. Sex is and I believe should be, a bonding experience. So then explain to me how a loving heavenly father would instruct men to go out and take multiple wives and have sex with them and just expect his tender hearted daughters to essentially grin and bear it.

What frightens me more than the thought that polygamy has always been a man made notion is the thought that it truly is the way that God intended it. After all, was it not Brigham Young who said that only those who practiced polygamy that would be allowed in the highest degree of glory in the journal of discourses?

One Little Sparrow said...

(Continued)

Again, I find my problem. You and many of your readers seem to have something I lack, namely, faith and confidence in yourself. If I have learned anything in my 30 years in the church it is that left to my own devices, I would surely screw up my salvation. For this very reason, it is critical that I follow the voice of those who are in authority. So then something is said that doesn't feel right to me and I think, "Maybe THEY are wrong", and I have a moment where I think "Follow your own heart and what it is telling you to do", but then almost immediately I am bombarded with feelings of fear and guilt knowing and remembering everything that I have ever been taught. I have been taught that to doubt is wrong, that if I stray one hair from the teachings of our church and its leaders that I am "fallen" that I am "deceived" . I am sure that you have received emails and posts that pin you on the same board.

And here is where the hopelessness sets you. You seem to be brave in a way I seem to be incapable of. I want to be the kind of person who can follow the dictates of my own heart, but I have just had it pounded into me for so long that I can't trust myself, that I honestly don't know how. And so any time I do anything that in anyway contradicts the leaders or the teachings of the church I feel a tremendous amount of guilt and I think..."What if I am wrong? What if God really does think homosexuality is a sin? What if He really does expect me to just fall in line regardless of how it feels to me? Maybe God doesn't care how I feel, He just wants me to show obedience to Him, His leaders, My future husband, and possibly to the other wives my husband will take on in the next life. Maybe they are right after all...and how am I ever going to know? By faith? By feeling? I think we can all point to examples of people who have done terrible things because it FELT like the right thing to do. When people post hate on your blog I'm confident they feel like they are doing the right thing. And since I do not talk to God face to face, I have no way of knowing if the feelings I feel are legitimately coming from Him, my own mind, my unconscious desires, or the burrito I had for lunch.

I'm sorry to unload like this, I'm sure I must sound like a crazy person. But people always talk about praying and how God will answer you, well I've prayed, and He hasn't answered me as far as I can tell...but then again, it's probably because of something I have done, or didn't do. There is no winning in this game.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks, Steven Lester, for posting this update.

Gaybob Spongebath said...

Finally! We have a revelation from God through his prophet on this most pressing issue of the day!

Oh wait...That wasn't a revelation, was it?

Oh well. I guess we just keep waiting...

Anon 23 said...

Interesting how the Church doesn't even believe in or follow or realize their own statements.

For they know divorce and remarriage is against Christ's laws (they have admitted it in General Conference) yet because civil laws have now allowed it, the Church teaches it's ok now and not a sin anymore, The Church even allows remarriage to happen in the temples even though the Church's scriptures say it's adultery.

I think the Church will do the same with SSM and soon be saying the opposite about it too, and soon allow it to happen in their temples just as they do remarriage now, even though that was contrary to their doctrines too at one time.

Same happened with polygamy, the Church did a complete reversal, or at least Brigham Young and & Co. did, from what they originally taught about polygamy.

BK said...

OLS,

I have been where you are and asked those same questions, you are coming down a good road, a road that must be traveled, and best traveled in 'this' life for the greatest blessings. It's the road of truth and there are many alluring detours but if you keep your eye on Christ and his 'exact' teachings, not adding or taking away anything, then you will do fine. And if you live Christ's teachings you will have the Holy Spirit as your guide to teach you the truth of all things.

I do like a Church saying from the "Man's Search For Happiness Video' that missionaries show investigators,: "Only those who are unafraid of the truth will find it."

Unfortunately most people, especially in the Church, seem afraid of the truth, and even more afraid of searching for it on their own, without being told every little thing by someone they consider an 'authority'.

I realize there are a million different voices out there, but what helped me was as I said, going back to the beginning and start my faith anew in Christ. Then I test every man's doctrine by Christ's words. Joseph proves pretty accurate and so does the BoM, so I believe so far, that Joseph was a true prophet who restored the Church (though the Gospel of Christ never really left, the Catholics have had the Bible the whole time, they just didn't live Christ's laws completely, but they still preach Christ's laws better than LDS do)

But if you only believe the scriptures and teachings that Joseph published while he was alive, like in the scriptures and in the Nauvoo 'Times & Seasons' Newspaper, (that he sent out to the LDS around the world) then you can pretty much be sure he agreed with those things. I would not accept anything else that some second hand person or journal or rumor said about him, for it could be false. Stick with what you can prove Joseph signed his name to while he was alive. This is not hard. Read the book "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy" for free online at restorationbookstore.org to help see what things Joseph really believed and how twisted things got after he died and how so many people claimed things absolutely opposite to what he said while alive.

Study the scriptures Joseph published (D&C 1835 edition) which didn't include 132 or many other sections that BY later added.

If you believe Joseph lied and deceived the Church and his wife his whole life, and really did live polygamy, and that he could still remain a true prophet after doing that, then I guess there is no need to keep discussing anything, for I believe that is an impossibility, for polygamy is completely contrary to the teachings of Christ or the Golden Rule or plain common sense.

BK said...

OLS,

Continued -

Bottom line is God would not expect you or anyone to just take anyone or anything on faith, unless you or they can 'prove' it is true and right. Start with Christ, then accept Joseph Smith as a prophet if you think his published own words agrees with Christ, then only believe those people or leaders who also prove they teach and follow Christ's exact teachings. Then your selection of possibilities will lessen dramatically and you won't be so overwhelmed with opinions or people, for God would only expect you to listen to those who truly follow Christ and his exact teachings, which are few and basic.

Hope that helps. But yes, I believe Joseph was our last true prophet and hopefully he didn't weaken and fall too, like so many other prophets throughout history have done with things like polygamy.

And restudy the scriptures you think say the Church will not fall or go into apostasy, look at the source and meanings of words, you will find that is not what Joseph or his scriptures say. Don't listen to anyone past Joseph unless you have proved they are a true prophet 1st, which I don't think you will be able to do so.

Christ will return soon and restore his Church, all we need to worry about is making sure we are like him when he comes, and weren't deceived to follow falsehoods or false prophets.

Orchid said...

OLS,

I just want to say that I completely empathize with what you are going through. Many years ago, I studied anthropology at a university in Utah, and went through an almost identical crisis of faith. What I want to share with you, is my love and compassion for your situation and my complete faith that you will come to a conclusion or a reconciliation that works for you and for your life. Keep searching for it!

I had a close friend who went through this crisis of faith with me, and we each chose different paths. She went on to join another Christian church and she is completely content now (I believe) and I am very happy for her.

I eventually decided that my “testimony” (if that is the word we’ll use) was built upon the “church,” the “brethren” and the “vehicle” and not upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have since made efforts to redirect my focus to the study and understanding of Jesus, and to search for peace in my decisions. My testimony now is simply this – I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and His gospel is repentance and forgiveness through His atoning sacrifice, that we might be brought back into the presence of our Creator, our Father.

I find peace in keeping things more simple, and not getting too wrapped up in the complexity of different doctrine, throughout different eras. When someone talks about whether or not Joseph Smith was a polygamist, or Brigham Young a true prophet, etc. etc., I take comfort in knowing that either way, my Savior is real and His atonement is real, and His love is real. He wants me to be loving, accepting, charitable, peaceful and that is enough work for a lifetime – so I’m gonna stick with that for now. And for me personally, I find the CoJCoLDS a vehicle fit for that purpose.

Since that change, I feel a lot more “stable” in regards to the church. Not much can phase me. I’m not suggesting that you take this path, because we all have our own journey to map out. I just want you to know that many of us have been through what you are going through, and I truly believe all will be well in the end for you. Take heart and know that you are not alone in your struggles.

BK said...

OLS,

I understand how you are feeling, I know it can be scary to start thinking for yourself and following the command to prove all things. But you know you are a good person with a sincere heart. Aren't you just as entitled as Joseph to seek out the truth when everyone around you is giving you differing opinions? What if God told you the same thing he told Joseph, that none of them were true, at least no church now on the earth. If the Church had gone into apostasy after Joseph died, would that mean you weren't still a wonderful person who still believed in Christ. No. You know Christ is your savior and you can trust in him and his words. He said you will know his true disciples and true prophets because they will have true Christlike Charity and pure love. I believe they will have such pure love especially for their wife, before they can have it for anyone else. Do you really believe that a man with true love would ever hurt his wife or be unfaithful to her? You know you wouldn't do it to him in return.

Remember Christ's Golden Rule, it also proves polygamy is a falsehood, instigated and taught by BY, not Joseph Smith. For men would not want or put up with polygamy the other way around.

Most importantly, it should give you great peace to know that Christ taught against polygamy when he addressed divorce and remarriage. He taught the principle that a married man cannot marry another woman, even if he divorced his 1st wife 1st. Why? Because the divorce has no effect, he is still married to the 1st, marriage is eternal, nothing that man can do can dissolve any marriage. Thus Christ is saying that married men (or women) can't remarry while their spouse is alive. That covers polygamy too, and he surely had numerous women in his audience listening to his teachings who were just like you, they didn't like polygamy and wondered what his teachings were on it. He wouldn't lead us astray, he can't, for he is perfect. He was woman's best advocate. He taught us that husbands must be as faithful as wives must be. So you can put trust in his words alone, and see through the falsehoods of polygamy, no matter who or how many may believe in polygamy.

Also, Jacob's words in the BoM should give you comfort, they are the words of a man who understood how vile and abusive polygamy was to women. God never commands or condones abuse of women. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I believe Joseph told the truth his whole life and never lived or believed in polygamy, no matter how many may claim otherwise. Joseph appears to have loved Emma with a true love. Even his children tell of his love for their mother.

BK said...

OLS,

Continued -

Also, it may help you to see your dilemma more clearly if you listen to some of the sincere and courageous stories of women who have left polygamous groups, and how they were made to feel so guilty and scared that they were going to H.... Go on Youtube and pull up some documentaries about women who have escaped from those groups, there are many good documentaries about them. They will help you see that they felt the same as you, because the truth is, though maybe hard to see, is that the LDS Church is just another polygamous break off from Joseph's true original church. The LDS Church is no more true than the FLDS or RLDS or any other break off church. So try to see yourself in women from these other groups and realize that God wants you to feel loved and cherished by him and your husband and not fear either.

Hope that helps a little. I know in time you will find your answers, we all have to go through this confusing time when we start to see all the inconsistencies of the Church and thus have to go back to square 1 and start again with Christ and question everything we ever learned or heard, to make sure it's really true and right. Remember, Joseph and Christ warned over and over that there would be false prophets around us and to watch out for them, especially in the Church. Why should we be surprised that there are many of them? The BoM tells that everyone will fall for them in these last days except a few humble followers of Christ.

Big Dave said...

Annalea,

What few people realize is that the Lord built code into the Doctrine and Covenants. The text will be going along, and then, all of a sudden, the tempo will change and the Lord throws us an Easter egg:

D+C 85:

7: And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;

So even at this early juncture (1837), the Lord is telling us of a future time when a: his house will have become disorganized. and b: he will send a man to straighten it out.

In the very next verse the Lord tells us why:

8: While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.

When the Ark of the Covenant was being moved by oxcart, Uzzah reached out to steady it because it was leaning over. But touching the Ark was forbidden, and Uzzah was struck dead.. The man in v.8 that was replaced by the man in v.7 tried to steady the Ark (Laws of the church). He tried to steady the doctrine and change the doctrine and this is forbidden by the Lord.

The Lord also says in D+C section 90:

4 Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church.

5 And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.

Paul gives this caution in Romans 14:

4: Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

The Lord will hold his own servant accountable.

The Lord gives us an ominous prediction in D+C 112:

23 Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.

24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.

25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;

26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.

27 Therefore, see to it that ye trouble not yourselves concerning the affairs of my church in this place, saith the Lord.

It is very clear that the Lord knows what is happening, and has already planned for it.

Annalea said...

Sparrow, you are SO not alone. I understand so, so well . . . I've had (and still do have) many of the questions and dilemmas you've shared. I would love to sit down and talk and talk with you, listen to where you're coming, and share some of the ways I found answers. I admire your courage, and your insistence on not just swallowing the status quo anymore. Crises of faith, when ridden out with *true* faith, always bring forth far more deep and meaningful faith. God will find you. Just turn to Him, really and truly. If you can do no more than pivot from where you stand, when your heart is truly yearning for Him, and you are really and truly willing to accept anything He has to say to you, He'll come.

You don't have to "do it right". Remember Elijah and the priests of Baal? That's a good story to read right now.

And, no matter what, remember this: the Truth you seek is not a thing. It is a Person. One of the greatest joys I've found in this whole mess is that the One I love, the God I follow, is The Truth . . . and He lives and breathes. I'm done worshipping facts. Jesus is Truth. :-) And He WILL find you.

He will.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Big Dave, a couple of clarifications:

I have no desire to "unseat the leaders" I don't like. That is not what I'm about. My intent is to remind the MEMBERS that this idol worship of leadership is doctrinally unsupportable and likely dangerous to their salvation.

I'm not trying to reform the Magisterium. You mistake me for a revolutionary or a reformer. The Lord will set his own house in order in His own good time; He doesn't need me butting in.

The leaders are irrelevant to my life. God did not put us on this planet and then assign leaders over us. I find nothing in scripture commanding me to follow or obey these men, so I don't.

You write, "your theories will just cause people to leave the church." That is not the reaction I have seen. I receive email and other online communications almost daily from members who had been struggling with the contradictions they see in the leadership, thanking me for helping them in their decision to stay IN the church.

Regarding the idea of raising one's hand to oppose rather than support the Brethren: In the first place I see no reason to oppose OR support the election of what amounts these days to corporate officers, so I don't raise my hand either to support or oppose the general authorities of the corporate Church. That is a different organization than the church I belong to, the Church of Christ as defined by the Lord in D&C 10:67, so their "Church, " which is in reality a sole corporation to which none of us belong, is not my affair (see the link to the corporate charter that reader "Inspire" posted in a comment above).

I don't care who they elect to conduct their business. It is irrelevant.

When I say they are irrelevant, I mean it. They provide no revelations, teach nothing new, and, other than at conference time, spend an inordinate amount of time managing the business affairs of the corporation. Like any corporation I do not hold stock in, I don't pay much attention to their business affairs. They are only of concern to me when they exhibit hypocrisy and present themselves to the members as though they possess extraordinary spiritual gifts. (If any of them ever exhibited any of the gifts that were prolific in the Missouri and Nauvoo periods I'd be the first to perk up, take notice, and shout hallelujah.)

Second, Are you not aware of those incidents when members have, when asked for "all those opposed, please make manifest" shouted a loud "No"?

They were quickly ushered out of the tabernacle by security off camera. This despite being members in good standing who answered the question being asked at the time appropriate.

In the early days of the LDS church, when someone was proposed for a calling, there was not an immediate vote. That was the time for discussion and debate, and after that the vote was taken. In many cases, some were in favor, and others opposed, but the majority carried, and those who had opposed accepted the voice of the membership. Today the vote is expected to be unanimous.

Perhaps you are new to this game, but I'll make a suggestion. The next time someone is "proposed" in your ward to a calling, make sure you're sitting up at the front of the chapel, then raise your arm when asked for "all those opposed."

One or both of the following will happen: You will be ignored. Or the bishop will speak directly to you from the stand and invite you to meet with him afterward to discuss your objection. Your concerns will be dismissed, and the upshot of it all will be you have embarrassed yourself in front of the congregation.

Nevermind that the very opportunity to openly discuss your objections is at that time. YOU have become the problem. You are rocking the boat. There is no vote allowed except an affirmative one.

So why are we even asked?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Big Dave,
In your response to Annalea above you quote the scripture "And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing."

Is it your position that the current leaders of the Church are oracles?

Big Dave said...

Rock:

Interesting stuff. I will say this: When I was a kid an older gentleman was proposed as our new bishop and someone stood up and objected, and as I recall, the man was not installed as Bishop.

Most of what you have written is functionally correct, but the Lord saw fit to install the mechanisms. Even thought it may be an exercise in futility, standing and giving a nay vote may be a way of standing as a witness against what is happening. Of course I would not recommend it unless moved upon by the spirit.

I was in a testimony meeting as a young man. All the little kids took up the lion's share of the time with their little spiels. There was very little time left for the adults. Just as a particular adult stood up, the conducting councilor got up and declared that the meeting was at an end. A brother from the audience quickly got up and stated that he wanted to hear what the other brother had to say. The councilor was completely befuddled, and stood there, slack jawed. I also got up and said that I wanted to hear what he had to say as well. This created a Mexican standoff, but the bishop told the councilor to end the meeting nevertheless.

Later the bishop called me into his office and told that what I did was wrong, and the following month in testimony meeting he made me get up in front of the entire ward and apologize for what I had said.

I once taught temple preparation classes under the guidance of the elders quorum president. This guy was a real piece of work. He said that I had a $30.00 budget for the 6 session class. As of the last session I had not spent a dime so I wanted to go to Deseret books and purchase a Ensign publication called "Temples" to give to every couple. The EQP told me I could not do that. I told him that I would purchase them with my own money, but again he forbade me. This made me extremely angry, so I said lets go talk to the bishop. When the both of us told the bishop what had transpired, the bishop said that I must do as the elders quorum president commanded me even if he was wrong, because the EQP answered to the Lord.

Another EQP wanted me to head up a service project at the local high school to paint some hand railings. I told him that the wood needed to dry before it could be painted or it would peel. He insisted that I just go do the work, and I told him to get someone else because that isn't how I roll. He told me to obey him because he was the EQP. This time I told him to go fly a kite.

I could go on and on about the mishaps I have had with arrogant leaders. This is the biggest reason I quit going to church.

Big Dave said...

Rock:

The leaders are not the oracles. The oracles are the temple endowments. The lord gave them to Joseph, and he gave them to his successors. The leaders of the church have treated the oracles lightly and have changed them. This is an example of "steadying the Ark". The lord will cut them down for it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Big Dave!
In your last two responses to me I think we have finally found some areas of agreement!

I will concede to your point that we should raise our hands in opposition even though we will almost certainly be called on the carpet for not going with the flow. You are indeed right that the mechanics are provided for in the law God gave us, and we should not feel constrained just because dissent is currently not in vogue.

Gary Hunt said...

One Little Sparrow,

What you are experiencing is common to truth seekers. What I am about to share here are some basic principles which I have found to be very helpful in finding truth and gaining understanding. I hope that you will consider these ideas and that they will be helpful to you in your search for truth and peace of mind.

I'm going to paraphrase what a man named John Taylor Gatto once said. He said, to the effect, that we can either be actors (agents) in our own play or the unwitting actors (agents) in someone else's play. When referring to play he meant life.

When we are born we become subject to various influences. I will call these influences institutions. Examples would be our family, church, government, schools, media, corporations, professions, ideologies etc.... Each of these avenues of influence have their own customs, traditions and rules. Each of these institutions are competing for our support because they need our support for their survival. In other words they are trying to get us to be actors (agents) in their play. As we grow older and gain more experience we become responsible (accountable) for the influence these institutions have upon us. We start recognizing inconsistencies in what we are taught. I believe this recognition is termed "the light of Christ" in the scriptures.

At this point we have to decide which path we are going to follow. We can follow the path of least resistance by suppressing our conscience and believe what others are telling us. I have heard this termed "out-sourcing our thinking". Or we can follow our conscience by eliminating the inconsistencies and discover the truth of these things for ourselves. This requires work and can be very difficult at times. This is why most people choose the first option, "The thinking has been done for you". Joseph Smith indicated that this type of thinking was "slavery" and that a person "should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly."

There is a time tested methodology for eliminating the inconsistencies (cognitive dissonance) and discovering truth. It is called the "Trivium Method of Thinking," which simply put is Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. Grammar (Knowledge) is the first part of the process where we gather data. Logic (Mentality) is the second part of the process where we classify the data, eliminate inconsistencies and come to understanding. The final part is Rhetoric (Wisdom) or a comprehensive perspective of reality.

If we are in a state of "cognitive dissonance" we have a limited and focused perspective. Our thinking is fractured into parts (divide and conquer). This method is evil and is used to control people which the Lord defines as dominion being exercised unrightously (D&C 121). As opposed to "cognitive liberty" where we have a comprehensive perspective (wholeness/perfection) of the truth. It is the knowledge of truth which can set us free and give us peace of mind. That is what I believe is the meaning of the following scripture.

John 8:32

32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Gary Hunt said...

Big Dave,

I've never heard of that code in the D&C you mentioned. Is it called the "Big Dav-inci Code?" :-)

The dictionary defines "oracle" as mouthpiece of a deity; divine revelation or message; holy of holies in the Jewish temple; authoritative or infallible guide.
What is your basis for saying it is the endowment ceremony?

Calleen Bataiff said...

So you need to have a mortal man to rule over you so anarchy does not ensue? If one reads in the Old Testament about the time the Jews wanted to have a king like unto other nations, God was disappointed, because He was their King. No, relying on God and turning away from mortal men doesn't mean anarchy Seeking after truth, praying, and pondering, studying things out in your mind, and relying upon God, through the Holy Ghost is the rule for those seeking to come closer to God Himself. If one relies on the arm of flesh, they are cursed. If one relies on the arm of God, they are blessed.

In my humble opinion after reading Sec. 124, studying, praying, and pondering, I have come to the conclusion that the Mel. Priesthood left with Joseph. God has used the Mormon Org. to spread The Book of Mormon over the face of the earth, just like the Catholics, and others, spread the Bible, but that is where it ends. My allegiance starts and ends with a trust in God guiding and directing me in and to truth. Joseph Smith Jr. taught truth. Everyone after him spouted rhetoric. The rhetoric has changed over the years until now we are nothing but a bunch of idol worshipers, blindly following a moral man that we have been told is infallible.

The next step is this one "Mighty and Strong" who will come around to put things in order. He will have all the keys of the Priesthood, like Joseph Smith Jr. but like Joseph Smith, Mose, Melchizedek, etc.he will be a servant to God in doing His will and nothing else. If one believes in Gods word through scripture and the Holy Ghost, not the rantings of a person or persons in a position of hierarchical power, from bishop on up, then you've taken a step in the right direction.

My love goes out to all in hopes that each individual will come to a knowledge of how to overcoming their misconceptions and cultivating a personal relation with God that includes direct communication with Him.

STOP THE IDOLATRY!

Ty Kampen said...

Have you ever noticed that it is consistent across every religion that people will find a scripture somewhere to support their point of view, while excluding those that don't? I think we tend to call that "bible bashing" when we engage in roundabouts of "I'm right, you're wrong". It creates even greater confusion when organizations espouse one ideology, then do about faces and say, "We were wrong in our thinking before, this is the NEW right way to think/believe." The challenge that we as Mormons face is that the more we find instances of this happening within our own church leadership over time (Changes in Tithing, Word of Wisdom, Polygamy, All Men regardless of race being eligible for the priesthood, "Temple" vs "Temporal" marriage etc etc), the greater strain it puts on us to believe that all of our leaders are "inspired" and truly giving us the Word of God, as opposed to their own (always well-intentioned) opinions. How much of Church "Doctrine" is just the prevailing opinion of the day amongst Church Leadership, and how much is genuine direction from Heavenly Father? I suppose that I have to go back to B.H. Robert's quote . Elder Roberts very candidly discussed the limited nature of God’s
direct involvement in day-to-day Church governance in an Improvement
Era article at the time of the Reed Smoot Senate hearings—when questions were being raised about the autonomy of Church leaders. Wrote Roberts:

“There is nothing in the doctrines of the Church which makes it necessary
to believe that [men are constantly under the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit], even . . . men who are high officials of the Church. When we
consider the imperfections of men, their passions and prejudices, that
mar the Spirit of God in them, happy is the man who can occasionally ascend to the spiritual heights of inspiration and commune with God! . . .
We should recognize the fact that we do many things by our own
uninspired intelligence for the issues of which we are ourselves responsible. He will help men at need, but I think it improper to assign every word and every act of a man to an inspiration from the Lord. Were that the case, we would have to acknowledge ourselves as being wholly taken possession of by the Lord, being neither permitted to go to the right nor the left only as he guided us. There could then be no error made, nor
blunder in judgment; free agency would be taken away, and the development of human intelligence prevented. Hence, I think it a reasonable conclusion to say that constant, never-varying inspiration is not a factor in the administration of the affairs of the Church; not even good men, though they be prophets or other high officials of the Church, are at all times and in all things inspired of God. It is only occasionally, and at need, that God comes to their aid.” B. H. Roberts, “Relation of Inspiration and Revelation to Church Government,” Improvement Era 8 (March 1905)
I think I'm going to have to side with Alan on this one. The whole "anti-gay" movement within the Church smacks too much of biased opinion, however well intended, rather than true Godliness. The Church's old official policy that 'being attracted to the same gender is a choice' is a reflection of that. It smells too much of disallowing Blacks to hold the priesthood until 40 years ago. It's all so confusing :( One last thought/trivia item. Who was the first 'person' to mention Religion? "Oh, its Religion you want, do you?" Now that was an inspired line.

Orchid said...

I love this Gary, thanks!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for that wonderful B.H. Roberts quote, Ty. Very astute of him, as always. that quote deserves wider circulation.

Annalea said...

Well-said. Thank you. :o)

Big Dave said...

Ty Kampem:

The world is arguably more wicked now than it has ever been in the past , with the exception of Noah's days. At least this is what I have heard, and I tend to believe it.

Gays have been persecuted for hundreds if not thousands of years. For thousands of years of human history gays have never been married, and I assume that much of this has to do with society's attitudes and religious prohibitions. I have heard, however, that the Babylonian Talmud contains writings that cause Jewish scholars to believe that same-sex marriage occurred in Noah's time, and hastened the downfall of the people. If so, that is the only other time period I am aware of in which the practice flourished.

So here we are at the dawning of the millennium...a time the Lord has described in the scriptures as a time of wars, unrest, violence, perversions, and gross wickedness. In Joseph Smith's time, almost two hundred years ago, the Lord said that darkness covered the entire Earth. Yet the more liberal elements of our society would have one believe that man has finally come to his senses. That we are finally giving everyone equal rights. That somehow man has grown spiritually, and is now more Christlike. We love our neighbors now, regardless of their sexual orientations. In light of the time period in which we live, and the overall moral decay of the world, these trite expressions don't just sound fishy, but extremely counter intuitive. There is little doubt that since Joseph Smith's time man has become increasingly wicked. How many abortions were there in the 1830s? How many serial killers? How many rapes? How many Hitlers? How many Stalins? How close was man to having the capability to annihilate the globe with nuclear weapons?

The church has backtracked on various issues because of social pressure. That is why polygamy was abandoned, that's why the blacks were given the priesthood, and that is why the church will inevitably soften it's stance on gay marriage, and probably women holding the priesthood.

You see the church had it right to begin with. The thing that the church has done wrong was not in its original doctrines, but in changing those doctrines to be more pleasing to men. Taking the objectionable parts out of the temple ceremonies. Stopping polygamy (?, not sure about this one), giving the blacks the priesthood, changing its position on divorce...the list goes on.

So if you are suggesting that this new-found enlightenment is long past due, I couldn't disagree with you more. What has changed for the worse is mankind itself. The leaders don't sit in darkened rooms twirling their mustaches and contemplating their next evil deed. They are trying to operate in an atmosphere of zero revelation, and doing the best they can. Their biggest mistake is misleading the people into thinking that things have continued on the same from the beginning, when they have not.

Ty Kampen said...

Big Dave, I can understand your perspective on how you view the Church. I believe that many in the Church would probably agree with you, and I would have considered myself among those ranks before I started to really think and dig a little bit. I'm not saying you are wrong, you very well could be right. I do have some concerns with one of your statements. I may have misread, and if I did, you can disregard and I apologize. But you seem aggrieved because some of us propose that all people have equal rights within the eyes of the Lord. Do you honestly believe that only certain races of men should have the priesthood? Do you honestly believe that sexual orientation should have any relevancy to whether or not he/she has access to God? Do you honestly believe that if the Church hadn't "Caved" on Polygamy so many years ago that we would somehow be a more holy people?

Some things to consider, however: People assume that genocide, death, and war as seen on the scale during the 20th century has never existed previously. Any student of history would point out that this is a fallacy. While the volume of crimes and deaths and examples of moral decay over the past 100 years may in some instances exceed those in previous centuries, it is due to the size of the population, not because those in previous times were less inclined to commit sin. In 1645, roughly 1/3 of all women in London were prostitutes. More people died of venereal disease in Paris in 1705 than cancer. Children were forced to work starting at the age of 3 in workhouses for 18 hours a day by the decree of the British government in 1805. Yet those statistics have improved today. In some areas our generation may be more wicked, but in many others we are not. That doesn't sound as exciting as "we live in the most wicked time ever." There are thousands of examples of brutality and wickedness over all of history to rival those of Stalin, Hitler, and the sexual revolution, or whatever else you would care to name. I really don't know why so many like to say that our day is the most wicked, that previous generations were somehow more holy and less susceptible to sin. That our day somehow requires "stronger" measures, and greater efforts than ever before at keeping evil at bay. I'll give you an example. Have you ever wondered why France is almost exclusively Catholic, despite being surrounded by mostly protestant nations? At one time, there were almost as many protestants (Huguenots) in France as there were Catholics. What changed that? Over the course of 2 weeks in 1572 roughly 30,000-50,000 protestants were killed in France by their own government. Look up the St. Bartholomew's day massacre in Paris, 1572.
My point with all this lengthy history lesson is not that the Church is changing its policy because of social pressures, but because those making policy decisions have differing views than those who were in charge before. I honestly think the Church is staunch enough and confident enough in its position that it doesn't feel the need to bow to any outside influence. The only exception being polygamy because of the threat of war and annihilation.
I apologize for such a lengthy post, just remember that history is written by the victors and those in charge. I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe in living a christlike life as much as possible. I don't believe in something just because I'm told to anymore. It's ok with me that the Church isn't perfect. In fact, I don't think the Lord ever intended the Church to be perfect. If you haven't read the article by Roger Terry titled "Why the True Church Cannot Be Perfect", it helped solve much of the cognitive dissonance I feel. Best article I've read in eons. That's where I got the quote by BH Roberts.

LDSDPer said...

Rock and anyone else who is following this "follow the prophet"/celebratize 'the brethren' discussion--

I'm slow on this; it just occurred to me the other day that this is all about:

8 Nevertheless, if it awere possible that ye could always have just men to be your bkings it would be well for you to have a king.

This seems to be found in Mosiah more than any place:

16 Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a aking or kings to rule over you

A king by any other name is still a king--

the ancient Israelites demanded kings as well; *we* LDS from 1846 on simply changed the name, because Americans are not supposed to want kings--

My head is spinning on this--

Harold B. Lee was in education (outside the church, I believe); I have a feeling the public education attitudes affected him as well--

interesting thought--

public educators are very patronizing, have a strong sense of noblesse oblige, in spite of usually being poorly paid.

LDSDPer said...

hmmm, wondering why *they* didn't address the plural marriage(s) that were decriminalized at the same time--

Thanks, Steven--

LDSDPer said...

Big Dave and Ty,

Yes, I believe we glorify the past--

and then in the present many LDS become very concerned about social evils that are comprehensible, because so many social evils are incomprehensible, such as:

http://www.towardfreedom.com/labor/2673-combating-slavery-in-coffee-and-chocolate-production

And yet, how many times did (and still do at times) my children come home from church with cheap chocolate that was probably slave-produced?

or:

http://www.freewebs.com/childsexalert/

Too hard to think about, so "let us" go back to fighting SSM--

or:

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/un-silent-on-us-cia-nato-crimes-a-long-history-of-war-coups-color-revolutions-and-genocide/

probably this is a better site/link:

http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Economic-Hit-John-Perkins/dp/0452287081

The CIA and other American agencies have been involved in death and destruction for decades, and yet . . . few Americans seem to care about it--

child slavery, child prostitution, genocide, etc.--

are probably not as 'wicked' as same sex marriage according to many of the LDS I know--

especially since most of *us* know some "good" LDS who are in the CIA and other agencies--

A ward member unwittingly let me know a few years ago that a close family member was involved in atrocities happening in a country that wasn't even being mentioned in the 'news'--

a 'good' LDS--member of a special branch of the military; it was 'just his job'--

what is the tolerance for evil among LDS? If *we* are ignorant, then it is all right?

It is easier to deal with something that is being talked about publicly and being dragged through the courts than with all these other unpublicized evils--

they are too overwhelming. But I agree, Ty, evil, wickedness, oppression have been happening throughout the milennia--

if this 'generation' has a monopoly on any kind of evil it would be the tendency to be concerned with 'business as usual' while atrocities are happening all around--

"as long as I can live a middle class comfortable existence and send my children on missions and to BYU and go to church without having anyone prevent me--life is good, except that with SSM being made legal, the world has suddenly become very evil."

I don't know what to do about all the exploitation either, but I won't buy chocolate that isn't either organic (some protections in place there) or fair trade, and I'm not as rich as middle class. And yet I know many LDS who would put their money into fighting SSM who will buy Hersheys kisses to pass out in YM/YW--

and not think twice about it--

I used to feel the same way as Big Dave--

I don't anymore--

Joseph Smith did not keep the priesthood from blacks, and he didn't publicly preach polygamy--

and the stories of him teaching it in secret are debatable and don't speak very highly of his character--

and I happen to believe that he had a good character.

The church 'caving' on those issues? Perhaps the church didn't thrive because it went against some basic principles--

and needed to do a 'course correction' (something the apostles like to say)

Calleen Bataiff said...

There are no prophets in the hierarchy of the LDS church. The last prophet was Joseph. The next one will be here soon if not already here, but if he is here no one will know it if they aren't searching for truth and fixated on the church leaders.

LDSDPer said...

well done, Gary--

I wouldn't have known about logic if I hadn't homeschooled, and I had a college degree and beyond long before I began to homeschool--

that was a 'movement' as well--

When I was at BYU a pioneer home educator in Utah was killed by police or sheriffs (some kind of 'law enforcement' people)--

and I remember that the consensus of most of my fellow students was, "the price to be paid for being radical; he should have known better"--

that's when I first began thinking, "what is so terrible about teaching your own children?"--

oh well--

I ramble.

Big Dave said...

Ty Kampen:

I see that you are a student of history. Yes, I know of all the evils of French history, and I too am a student of history. Yet at what time in history has man made a single weapon than can kill millions of people?

What you did not address is how mankind can make these "positive social changes" (like same-sex marriage) against the backdrop of wickedness that is our world today? Is giving these "rights" to others a sign of the maturity and goodness of mankind, or a sign that we are ever more susceptible to the whisperings of Satan?

You see, it is counter intuitive to believe that in a land like America that such things could happen. If same sex marriage were good and wholesome, surely Satan would be fighting against it. If it were evil and depraved, surely Satan would be advancing it.

The internet has never existed before, and with it pornography has become rampant. 1984 and big brother are here in the form of the US government spying on and keeping tabs on the movements and activities of the population. Millions and millions of abortions have been performed (tell me when in history this has happened?). Do you believe that abortion is another one of those "rights" that people have? Hundreds of thousands of children are conceived out of wedlock, and single parent homes are the norm. And I don't think aids existed in ages past or there probably would have not been so many prostitutes.

Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world in his time, but in reality he just set up governments and left. The people didn't care who they paid their taxes to. Now the stage is set for the antichrist to appear. Weapons and armaments have advances to the point that the possibility actually exists that a single man or government can enslave the entire globe (especially with nuclear blackmail). The unheard of national debt of the United States threatens to destablize and undermine our economy and plunge the world into a super depression. The housing bubble was just a warning.

So to answer some of your questions, let me say that it is a moot point how I feel about blacks and the priesthood, or polygamy. Lord knows I have stepped on enough toes with my views. But now same-sex marriage is coming to the forefront, and yes, it might just be the issues that separates the sheep from the goats. You see the Lord gave us the parable of the ten virgins. The ten virgins are all members of the church, but five are foolish and five are wise. Five had oil, and five did not. Now I am not going to attempt to say which are which at this point, but the time is coming when the foolish virgins will be left out of the wedding feast. I don't think you can deny that the judgments of the Lord are upon this world. Anyone that can do math can easily see that.

Big Dave said...

LDSDper:

I am sorry that I raised the issue of black priesthood again. I must emphasize that it is really a moot point, and I don't want it to harm the dialog between us. If you look way above, I have issued you and apology, and I wish that you would accept it. It would mean a lot to me. I know it is not a moot point to you, and I get that. I am not trying to trivialize it.

Calleen Bataiff said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Gary Hunt said...

One Little Sparrow,

I have a few more thoughts to express to you. To be specific, about the concept of authority. We have been taught to heed/obey the words of the church leaders because they have "authority" from God, and if you don't you're disobeying God and going to hell. First it's important to know the definitions of words. Specifically "heed" and "authority".

Heed - having a care, take notice; care for.

No where does it say obey! We have been taught "heed" means to "obey," when in fact it means "care" or "take notice".

Authority - Author means originator, inventor; composer of a book etc... the suffix, -ity, means the form in which. Other definitions include...

1. Legal power, or a right to command to act; as the authority of a prince over subjects, and of parents over children.

2. The power derived from opinion, respect, credibility or esteem; as in someone who is know or respected for their expertise, knowledge or skills.

Matthew 7:29

29. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Luke 22:25-26

25. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

26. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

Doctrine and Covenants 121:37, 39

37. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

39. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

I believe the Lord is trying to teach us that there are two types of authority. The first being the type of... ("The kings of the gentiles") which is based upon "exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness,"; "they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion". The second type (righteous authority) is best expressed in the following scripture:

D&C 121:41-44

41. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

42. By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

43. Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

44. That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

Church leaders who exercises the first type of authority mentioned above are in a state where "the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man". We have no obligation to a person of no authority! Peace of mind comes from acting according to the dictates of our own conscience (light of Christ) and the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Christ said,"come follow me". He has given us the tools to discover truth. It's not always easy to learn truth when everything appears to be working against us using these tools. The climb up the mountain is difficult but the views are spectacular!

Big Dave said...

I would like some feedback from some of you. If you have no problem with homosexuality, then are you also OK with same-sex marriage? And if you are OK with same sex marriage, are you OK with temple sealings for gays?

I would like to know where everyone draws the line, and at what point in this chain they will protest.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Speaking for myself, Big Dave, I never said I'm "okay" with same sex marriage. I used to be vigorously against it. My position now is that I neither approve nor disapprove. In social questions, I am guided by my religion, and as I stated previously, my religion dictates that I shouldn't care one way or the other.

You'll notice in the the title of my post I made that point. I no longer care about this issue. Of the many things God has instructed me take special notice of, what other folks do with their genitals is not one of them.

LDSDPer pointed out the epidemic of slavery in our day, and there is no shortage of violent sexual crimes including American children forcibly abducted by the state and abused sexually while politicians not only look the other way, but in some cases have actively participated in the abuse.

With truly egregious sins taking place every day with little or no public outcry, why should I direct my blustering attention on a couple of donut pokers who wish to set up housekeeping together?

Am I okay with temple sealings for gays? I don't think that's in the cards, Dave. Although in pioneer days it was common for men to be sealed to other men, those men never consummated those sealings through participation in a sex act. Those sealings were performed as a way for men to be connected in some type of priesthood chain leading back to Joseph Smith. (There is no evidence that the prophet himself ever suggested any such nonsense, but since when have Joseph's successors limited themselves to his teachings?)

My belief is that God ordained marriage between a man and a woman. I would guess any other form of marriage is not ordained of God, but that doesn't necessarily mean it can't occur. Isn't that why gay Utahns rushed down to the county courthouse to obtain their marriage licenses? A license is permission to deviate from the norm. They did not seek that permission from the LDS Church, and I'm pretty sure if they had they would not have gotten it.

So let's set aside this silly idea that gay civil marriage is a slippery slope that will lead to gay temple marriages. No Church has to recognize or perform ANY marriage it doesn't approve of.

None of the admittedly few biblical prohibitions on same sex activity purport to come from the mouth of God, or even from the mouth of the Son of God. So, in light of all the evils God has explicitly charged us with opposing in these latter days, why get worked up about something he has not been specific on?

Maybe after I'm finished speaking out against America's state sponsored terrorism, state-sponsored kidnappings in the name of protecting the family, and our rapidly emerging domestic police state; maybe after we have routed out the secret combinations in government, and freedom and liberty are finally restored to this nation, perhaps then I can be persuaded to set to work preventing others from obtaining their personal happiness.

But even then, I'd have to make double-dog certain that was what God commanded me to do.

Shane Guymon said...

There are multiple scriptures that actually define marriage. So I'm unaware of what you are talking about. Here's one Jacob 2:27. Also you can find it more recently written in D&C 132:15, 18, 19, & 26. Notice in ALL of those places it says, "if a many marry a wife" it never says, "if a man marry a husband" or "if a woman marry a wife." There are more evidence of this throughout the scriptures. So again, I'm not really sure why you are saying what you are saying. God has defined marriage from the very beginning with Adam and Eve. You can find the story of Adam and Eve all throughout the scriptures as well.

BearDeGuerre said...

OK. For purposes of total disclosure yes, I'm a male and I'm gay. Now to your question:

1. I voted YES on California Prop. 8. Why? Because I personally never even considered the notion of "marriage" for myself with another man AND as for the gay movement, for at least two decades from the Stonewall Riots (1969) 99% of the movers & shakers, also like me, considered the whole idea of "marriage" as "ape-ing" the straight or heterosexual culture.

The Whole Idea Was A Non-Issue And UN-necessary.

That this past paradigm morphed into what we see today happened for a number of reasons that I won't go into now. But suffice it to say Big Dave, believe me or not, a big chunk of the gay community is CONSERVATIVE and many, many wish this issue would just go away.

2. NO Big Dave- it does NOT necessarily follow that if one is "OK" with homosexuality, (not that there's anything you, me or anybody else on earth can really do about it), that that means they are "OK" with same sex marriage or that they live in some paranoid terror that the church will be FORCED to solemnize those marriages in the temple.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc is not always the case.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Not arguing with you, Shane. What I don't see is any scriptural mandate for the latter-day Saints to focus their energies on this as if this is the issue that will trigger the collapse of our nation.

The Book of Mormon is filled with the lessons on what caused the destruction of the Nephite nation, but we tend to ignore those warnings and quibble about the petty. We ARE charged with guarding against encroachments against liberty, yet we don't seem anywhere near as concerned with exposing powerful secret combinations among us as we are in standing in the way of our neighbors who simply want to live out their lives together in peace.

God has shown us what our priorities should be in these times, yet many of our people stay out of those battles in favor of freaking out about other people's sexual sins. I see no reason to get worked up about other people's sexual sins unless those sins are committed on children or imposed on another by force or violence. Otherwise, I think we have more pressing matters to deal with.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

New Zealand church member Gina Colvin, "The Kiwi Mormon" has some interesting things to say regarding whether the recent decree from the Brethren on same sex marriage has just made a bad situation worse:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kiwimormon/2014/01/church-instructs-leaders-on-same-sex-marriage-or-did-it-just-make-a-bad-situation-worse/

Robin Hood said...

Hi Rock,
Happy new year to you and yours.
Have to say, I think you're way off on this one my friend. The counsel of the prophets, together with scripture, are very clear on this subject. Just because we don't have a "thus saith the Lord" revelation in the D&C on this particular subject doesn't mean the Lord hasn't spoken or that his will is not known. We do not need to be commanded in all things. Some things are just obvious.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

But which prophets? Where are the revelations addressing this topic?

We are indeed not to be commanded in all things, but engaged in a good cause. This is indeed a hot button issue with many members of the church who unquestionably see it as a good cause for them, but absent any actual revelation, the topic should be wide open for discussion within the church. It is not enough for The Magisterium to issue vatic decrees and expect their will to be obeyed. Not without expressly quoting God.

(When not speaking as a prophet, statements made by a president of the church carry about as much weight with me as the opinions of Brigham Young, and we have seen how undependable many of his declarations turned out to be)

There is no reason that this subject should have only one approved narrative in a church where we are free to speculate on those things God has yet revealed his will on. "Scripture" as I demonstrated above, can consist of anything that is written down. But only the words that clearly emanate from the mind of God (as in much of the D&C) are considered doctrine and binding on the church.

Some of our number feel that expending their energy attempting to prevent certain people from living together constitutes engaging in a righteous cause. Good for them. I disagree, but I don't advoate shutting them up. They are entitled so engage in whatever floats their boat. No one should try to stop them from expressing their opinions on the matter.

Because until the Lord himself gives us a definitive answer, I believe this is one of those things we ought to be able to have a healthy back-and-forth about in our church meetings without concluding one side is right and the other is dead wrong. The question for me is this: does actively standing in the way of the happiness of others qualify as one of those good causes I should be engaged in?

Here is what Gina Colvin had to say about it in the piece I referred to in my last comment:

"Of all of the political issues that the Brethren could have gotten their knickers in a twist over, why same-sex marriage? Why not condemn the unholy alliance between public and private interests? Why not address the problems with skyrocketing poverty and inequality? Why not be in indignation over human rights abuses? Or here’s a good one, why not issue a statement on the abuse and exploitations of girls and women?

" I just don’t think same-sex marriage is worthy of moral outrage. Its not exploitative, its not cruel, it doesn’t create poverty, its not a precursor for war, excessive corporatism, or exploitative economics, its not mean, its not intolerant, its not sexist, its not abusive, its not a social disease and it won’t steal your car or hold you at knife point. Heck, it doesn’t even deny the existence of God. Its simply the legal formalization of a monogamous relationship of choice. And lets face it, its going to happen anyway because its nonsense to assume that we can completely turn off our sexual orientation, and thus who we end up loving."

It is precisely because we need not be commanded in all things that we are permitted to debate, discuss, and contemplate those issues that we have not been commanded on. And this question is still wide open. We should not assume the matter to have been settled. The very fact that so many devout believers hold differing views on the subject is evidence that it is not.

So let me clarify my position once again. I don't approve of gay marriage. I don't disapprove of it either. I simply don't see this as God's highest priority. If it was, God would have addressed it somewhere in his messages to the church in the latter days.

LDSDPer said...

I can't do anything about SSM. At all. Believe it or not, the only homosexual (male) with whom I have ever had close association--

died almost 20 years ago, of AIDS. He was my 'baby' cousin. The last time I saw him, he was emaciated. I gave him a big hug, and another family member (a cousin in law) growled at me and said, "what are you hugging HIM for?"--
After hearing that, my husband stepped over and hugged him--
he (my cousin) looked as though he was going to cry.
I don't think homosexuality caused AIDS; I think it was an evil medical experiment that was let loose over Africa.
I CAN buy fair trade chocolate. I CAN encourage my family members to resist war. I CAN be aware of the fact that the Allied forces used nuclear weapons on innocent civilians (not just in Japan), but that no other nation has ever done that. I can try to protect my family from the massive amounts of chemicals that are being unloaded throughout the world, but especially here.
I can learn and be aware. But I can't tell people what to do or not to do in their bedrooms. They won't listen.

I can learn, but I can do little to influence the behavior of others. I can simply see that I am not living in blissful ignorance. The D&C makes it clear that we are to study even the sad things that are happening around us--
it does not talk about fighting people or even movements, just being aware of them, so we can teach our loved ones to fend off false ideas.

78 Teach ye diligently and my agrace‍ shall attend you, that you may be binstructed‍ more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

79 Of things both in aheaven‍ and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must bshortly‍ come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the cnations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a dknowledge‍ also of countries and of kingdoms—

I don't believe homosexual males will be sealed in the temple; the church's last statement made it clear that the stand will remain as it has remained.

Being civil does not go that far, I believe.

I am aware, because of the time I have spent on libertarian political blogs, that many homosexuals ARE actually quite conservative, and many of them don't believe in SSM, because they don't believe in legal marriage being a constitutional right for anyone. I believe the same. Therefore, SSM, too, is a moot point.

I have 'met' on political boards a lot of people like BearDeGuerre. The idea of homosexuals being a 'danger' to heterosexuals is just wrong.

The fact is that sexual promiscuity is a danger to heterosexuals; that is the greatest danger to all human beings.

And plural marriage was just a primitive form of sexual addiction. Since there were no computers.

People who allowed a man to marry more than one woman should have no business talking about what anyone does with anyone in a bedroom.



LDSDPer said...

this has nothing to do with Rock's blog, but with a political philosophy that seems to be foreign to many LDS, Shane.

God commanded a man to marry a woman. He did not command the government to license them to marry.

THAT is what many who are 'tired' of the battle over SSM and think that energies need to be focused elsewhere . . .

realize. Once a scripture is found where the Lord commands a man and a woman to have legal 'authority' to marry, then the argument about same sex marriage and God's commands can begin.

LDSDPer said...

@Robin, I'm curious about the legality of homosexual marriage in England. Is it allowed? Do church members fight it there?

It's hard for many Americans to understand the political philosophy which states that governments should have no 'control' over marriage. Marriage is God-ordained (and between a man and a woman) and should not be government-licensed. I think that any kind of ecclesiastical license that involves money should also be illegal; my British ancestors often couldn't afford to marry 'legally' (since England had a state-sponsored religion, and the religion required licensing)--

Licensing of marriage is one of those things that sneaked up on human beings on the planet for centuries--

and is absolutely an evil concept. It encouraged promiscuity of all kinds and was never good for God-ordained marriage.

I know it's a difficult concept for anyone to 'meet'. It took me years to understand it. Once I did, I realized that the SSM debate/fight is probably making a lot of money for someone--

but who is gaining from it? Lawyers. Ha, Alma and Mormon would have something to say about that--

:)

LDSDPer said...

*laughing at myself here*

A religion that requires licensing of marriage can do so only if it is state-sponsored; that practice being illegal would require that there be no state-sponsored religion--

my using the world 'illegal' there was laughable, because that would require a law against it.

The founders of the American constitution realized the evils of a state-sponsored religion--

but licensing marriage sneaked in when nobody was looking--

even though I think that plural marriage was a shameful blip in Mormonism's past--

definitely a matter involving getting off course--

if marriage had not been a legal matter, the church would not have lost so much property and freedom, probably would not have been corporatized--

and hopefully polygamy would have died the quiet death it should have died--

government control over marriage caused the entire debacle--

and it probably won't end (government control over marriage)--

but at least *we* can see it for what it is: an evil thing.

LDSDPer said...

but one of the apostles who has spoken out most strongly on legislating of morality (he believes it must be done)--

is also a lawyer and former judge. He's a good guy, but his training and orientation are definitely legal.

For a church whose founder said that the most correct book is the Book of Mormon--

within which lawyers are often criticized--

that is definitely a quagmire.

Lawyers make money, a LOT of money, off trying to legislate morality--

Even if Elder Oaks truly thinks it is important, it cannot be denied that only those with a lot of money can have influence over the legislating of morality--

and that those who already have a lot of influence and money have the most to gain--

15 Now these lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people; and this was to enable them that they might be skilful in their profession.

The verses about (and usually against) lawyers in the Book of Mormon are too numerous to mention, but I mentioned one.

Elder Oaks' continually bringing up the importance of legislating morality has made--

a lot of Mormon heads spin; it has done so to my poor, old head--

but the fact is that our nation is so corrupt at this point that it might be a better use of our time to:

13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;

Having arrived at the conclusion that the BEST *I* can do is try to find all the poor I can and feed as many of them as I can--*speaking of myself*

when some other LDS says that I am promoting evil, because I am not fighting SSM--

I feel a little bit sensitive about it--


Big Dave said...

Rock:

I just don't understand your insistence on scriptural proof for same-sex marriage. There are diverse things that exist in our society that are evil, and unwholesome, but are not addressed by Christ or the scriptures. Abortion is one such thing. Arguably abortion falls under murder, just as homosexuality falls under adultery and fornication.

Don't you see that Satan is using these loopholes to confuse and immobilize people?

It is not un-Christlike to condemn behaviors. We are not condemning people we are condemning behaviors.

LDSDPer said...

well, then, Big Dave, since murder is scripturally defined as a more serious sin than sexual impurity--

what are those who are fighting same sex marriage doing about abortion?
I remember President Kimball saying that we are a 'warlike people' and like to be against things more than for things.

Are you supporting those who wish to adopt parentless children (not children who have been stolen); are you encouraging women not to abort their babies? I use the word "you" symbolically and the question is rhetorical.

We are not to be commanded in all things, but there comes a point where one person can only do so much. It is wiser to work on a local level--

fighting SSM on a local level can get ugly, but there are other local things that are frightening as well, about which perhaps *we* CAN do something:

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/01/12/small-town-police-departments-beefing-up-on-military-grade-armor-93814

The fact is that human life is sacred, and most of the LDS I know get more upset about sexual deviancy than about killing humans in any form--

most LDS have given up on the battle against abortion, but what about fighting for life by offering refuge to a pregnant woman, for example. Or helping young people overcome the sex-saturated media that encourages teen promiscuity and abortion. There are many positive things that can be done.

I know I'm not Rock. It's a matter of priorities. That all things be done in order (Mosiah 4 and D&C, one of the earlier sections) is just another way to say "prioritize".

If some of *us* choose to place human life above making judgement calls on human sexual behaviors that don't take lives . . .

Big Dave, Rock taught something valuable a post or two ago--

He's not criticizing you for fighting SSM. I won't either.

I'm sorry if you've gotten the idea that I am criticizing you for that. I simply can't engage in that battle myself in good conscience, because of my political (and religious) beliefs.

I know you addressed this to Rock--

but then I saw this article about militarization, and I thought of the deaths of untold millions in the last decade through unfettered warfare sponsored by the USA--

and I linked it. To me that is far more of an outrage, but we each must choose *our* battles.

May *we* win the prize.

Peace.

Nathan Reo said...

My name is Reo. I consider myself to be a pretty conservative Mormon. I recently made the following video about gay marriage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63LDdVhns4I&feature=gp-n-y

LDSDPer said...

just as homosexuality falls under adultery and fornication.

(quoting Dave)

I assume that by 'homosexuality' here you mean acting on those feelings, not the being of homosexual.

But the fact is that when was the last time any of *us* called the police on people who were fornicating/adulterating heterosexually?

I have never done that. Would a new law criminalizing those behaviors be helpful in today's culture? Would it decrease the number of heterosexuals performing those sinful acts if there were a new law?

Should someone introduce such a law? If such laws are on the 'books', they are not being enforced. What would happen if they were enforced?

Ha, well, there wouldn't be many politicians left and probably not many police-people--

It's an interesting idea.

IF good Christians/LDS/Bhuddists/Muslims/Hindus/Jews proposed a law making it criminal to adulterate or fornicate--

and someone introduced a law making it not a crime, would it make any difference which side *we* chose, since such a law has not been enforced in centuries?

I think wearing an "A" on the forehead was last done in the times Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about, certainly not since the 1700s.

LDSDPer said...

link doesn't work, but I muted it, just in case it wasn't appropriate. I have a young person nearby--

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 416   Newer› Newest»