Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vengeance And The Latter-Day Saint

Previously: "How To Argue With A Mormon And Win"

One of the strangest occurrences that took place after the sudden death of Joseph Smith in June, 1844 was that almost immediately his followers rejected the things he taught them about not holding a grudge.

The first reaction of the Saints to the news that Joseph and Hyrum had been murdered was disbelief.  Joseph and Hyrum dead? It was inconceivable. But as the truth of the deed was confirmed, disbelief gave way to overwhelming grief. The grieving period was short-lived, however, turning quickly to anger and demands for retribution against the killers.

Which is understandable. Who wouldn't want justice? But when only five members of the mob were brought up on charges, and all of them (no surprise) acquitted by a jury of non-Mormons, the Saints began calling upon God to exact His own swift vengeance. William Clayton's prayer of revenge was typical of many, which he recorded the day after the murders took place:
"And now O God wilt thou not come out of thy hiding place and avenge the blood of thy servants.—that blood which thou hast so long watched over with a fatherly care—that blood so noble—so generous—so dignified, so heavenly you O Lord will thou not avenge it speedily and bring down vengeance upon the murderers of thy servants that they may be rid from off the earth and that the earth may be cleansed from these scenes, even so O Lord thy will be done. We look to thee for justice. Hear thy people O God of Jacob even so Amen."
Again, an understandable response, if not exactly Christlike. There is, after all, a difference between seeking justice and seeking revenge, but this is the early church so let's cut these folks some slack. I probably would have reacted just like Clayton, hoping God would smite those smirking killers who snuffed out the lives of Joseph and Hyrum. A perfectly understandable reaction.

Except right after the jury voted not guilty and the killers got away scot free, Clayton demanded God enlarge the scope of his wrath to include the entire population of the state of Illinois just to get even with that jury:
“Thus the whole State of Illinois have made themselves guilty of shedding the blood of the prophets by acquitting those who committed the horrid deed, and it is now left to God and his saints to take vengeance in his own way, and in his own time.”
Seems a little harsh. I'm sure there were people in Illinois who had never heard of Joseph and Hyrum, let alone wished them any harm.

Curse Of The Gentile Nation
I've recently become friends with William Shepard after discovering his writings on Mormon history,[1] so I'm currently reading a piece of his published in a back issue of The Journal of Mormon History entitled "The Concept Of A 'Rejected Gospel' in Mormon History." Shepard provides several examples of the Saints' intense desire for bloody retribution, and I was struck by how many of these early Saints were so blinded by grief and anger and a gnawing demand for "satisfaction" that they didn't care if every man, woman, and child in America was wiped out in the process. In fact, that's what they were hoping for. They soon laid the blame for the prophet's murders on the entire nation, and hoped to see America utterly destroyed for reasons that made little sense. As Shepard reports,
"For most of the nineteenth century, Brigham Young and the Twelve saw in the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith the final proof that the Gentile nation of the United States had reached the fullness of iniquity, had rejected the gospel, and would soon be cut off from salvation..." -Journal of Mormon History Volume 34, No.8 (2008)  (Subsequent quotes are from that article.)
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[1].  William Shepard is co-author (with Michael Marquardt) of Lost Apostles, the latest must-have book on Mormon History that you likely won't find at Deseret Book. Find out why by reading this free excerpt.


William Hyde, who was on a mission in Vermont when he heard of the murders, predicted in his journal  “For that blood the nation will be obliged to atone.”

And this from Wilford Woodruff's Journal:
“I asked my heavenly father in the name of Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the Keys of the kingdom of God that he would speedily avenge the blood of Joseph the Prophet Seer and Revelator, and Hiram the Patriarch, which had been shed by the hands of the American gentile nation, upon all the heads of the Nation and State that have aided, abetted or perpetrated the horrid deed, of shedding the blood of those righteous men even the Lords anointed.”
This call for the destruction of America looks to put a crimp in the church's missionary efforts, but they didn't care. The Mormons figured the rest of America had had their chance, and by gum they were dusting their feet and done.

Most Mormons weren't patient enough to wait for God to get around to exacting punishment, but vowed instead to take matters into their own hands. After viewing the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum, Allen Stout took a personal vow of revenge:
"I there and then resolved in my mind that I would never let an opportunity slip unimproved of avenging their blood upon the head of the enemies of the church of Jesus Christ. I felt as though I could not live. I knew not how to contain myself, and when I see one of the men who persuaded them to give up to be tried, I feel like cutting their throats. And I hope to live to avenge their blood; but if I do not I will teach my children to never cease to try to avenge their blood and then their children and children's children to the fourth generation as long as there is one descendant of the murderers upon the earth."
Pretty heavy, right? The surprising thing is, Stout's keening oath was pretty typical of the time.

Mosiah Hancock tells how, at ten years old, his father Levi had him place his right hand on the cold bosoms of Joseph and Hyrum in turn, and raising his left hand to the square the kid then swore a similar oath to that of Stout's, "which vow I took with a determination to fulfill to the very letter."

If merely getting even with the killer's descendants was enough for some, others like Orson Hyde were barely able to contain their enthusiasm for bringing on the destruction of their home country:
“Carthage Jail presents a scene of blood, and that blood has not been avenged; and when the time can come, and when it can be ordered in wisdom in the heavenly council, the scourge shall come.  And when you see these things come to pass, then rejoice and be exceeding glad.”
Orson Pratt, who referred to the enemy Americans as as "bloodthirsty Christians," was downright giddy in anticipation of the coming apocalypse:
 “It is with the greatest of joy that I forsake this Republic: and all the saints have abundant reasons to rejoice that they are counted worthy to be cast out as exiles from this wicked nation; for we have received nothing but one continual scene of the most horrid and unrelenting persecutions at their hands for the last sixteen years.”
If it seems a bit impatient for the Saints to give up on America after only sixteen years of proselyting, it's worth noting that Apostle Parley Pratt had predicted the second coming would occur by 1845. So America's time was clearly up.

Wilford Woodruff viewed the Saint's abandoning the United States as necessary so that “the judgments of God might be poured out on that guilty nation that is already drunk with the blood of the Saints."

The editor of the Millenial Star wrote:
“and they [the Mormons] will go forth shaking off the dust of their feet upon her [United States], and leaving their curse upon the doomed and fated people and rulers of the United States.”
And let's not forget the Oath of Vengeance inserted into the temple endowment by Brigham Young:
"You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children's children unto the third and fourth generation."[2]
I've never been quite certain what it means to "defile the temple," but the introduction of something as distasteful as this into a sacred holy ritual would top my list. It would be hard to come up with anything more in opposition to the gospel of peace than to implore God to murder your enemies for you in the very place Jesus Christ purportedly calls Home.

Happily, Almighty God chose not to act on those vindictive supplications, but we shouldn't take that to mean those who offered those imprecations weren't ready to do their part if the opportunity arose. Apostle Abraham Cannon tells how, when Hyrum's son Joseph F. Smith returned to Carthage at age 21, he encountered a man who said he had arrived five minutes too late to see the Smiths killed. Young Joseph F. came this close to knifing the poor guy before learning the man had disapproved of the killings. (Kenney, "Before the Beard: Trials of the Young Joseph F. Smith," Sunstone, November 2001.)
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[2].  The Oath of Vengeance was removed from the endowment ritual in 1927, thank goodness. Yet there are some Fundamentalists who take its removal as one more evidence that the everlasting ordinances of the temple have been changed. Just proves you can't please everybody.

Anyway, you get the idea. A handful of men committed a horrendous crime, and the victim's friends couldn't wait to make an entire nation of innocents suffer for it. I couldn't help thinking there was something familiar about all this. Then I noticed the calendar showing Memorial day approaching, which brought back memories of vindictive conversations that took place in my ward priesthood quorum in the weeks following the attacks of September 11th.

Discussions of what should be done to the perpetrators often crowded out the scheduled lesson, with some in the class expressing hope that the U.S military would immediately retaliate. The military did retaliate, of course, and there was no shortage of young latter-day Saints rushing to join the fight.

But fight who? Even if you buy into the conventional narrative (which I don't) that the perpetrators of 9/11 consisted of 19 Arab hijackers armed with boxcutters, the perpetrators of that crime were now all dead by suicide. Justice served, wouldn't you think?

Nope. Those deaths weren't enough to satisfy the bloodlust of most Americans, least of all many of my Mormon brethren. I heard proposals from my fellow Saints wishing our government would just nuke the entire middle east and get it over with.  Our nation had been breached by unknown assassins, and they refused to be consoled.

Millions did pay, of course, including many of the young soldiers who so enthusiastically participated in our national revenge fest. A dozen Memorial Days have come and gone since the first cries of vengeance were heard, and today, thankfully, the voices are more subdued.  Americans have died in these wars of vengeance. Mormons have died.

And to what end?

The tired bromide that "they fought to protect our freedoms" doesn't quite wash. Look around. While our idealistic young warriors were occupied fighting phantoms overseas, our freedoms have been seriously eroded here at home. And in the cruelest twist of all, the very politicians most vigorously engaged in eroding those freedoms have officially declared returning veterans to be America's newest enemy.

And why not? There is nothing more dangerous to tyrants than a soldier who has awakened to the reality that he has been duped. A former soldier who is fully awake is a threat to the establishment, no matter which party is currently in power.

Is it any wonder the very government agency charged with caring for our returning wounded is dragging its feet and letting soldiers die while awaiting treatment? On The Daily Show of May 19th, Jon Stewart expressed bewilderment:
 "Somehow we as a country were able to ship 300,000 troops halfway across the world in just a few months to fight a war that cost us two trillion dollars -an amount that didn't count towards our deficit because we paid for it somehow under the table. Yet for some reason it takes longer than that to get someone hurt in that war needed medical care or reimbursement, all while we profess undying love for their service."
And John Whitehead recently noted:
"The plight of veterans today is deplorable, with large numbers of them impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, marital stress, homeless (a third of all homeless Americans are veterans), subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration offices."
We erect monuments to those who die while serving in the military, but those lucky enough to have made it back are learning a harsh lesson:  Their own government really doesn't want them here. You served your purpose. You bought the lie. Now please just go away.

With every Memorial Day that's passed since 9/11, a growing number of Americans -Mormons included- are waking up to the reality that they have been played. Their emotions were manipulated in order to get them to support two wars that have resulted in...what, exactly? Certainly not more freedom or safety.  Americans are less free and less safe than ever before, and the dangers we face today don't happen to have originated with some hapless "enemy" living in Iraq or Afghanistan.

As for the brave Mormon soldier, why did his Church leaders not issue a voice of warning against the secret combinations who were conspiring to undermine the country in his absence? Silly question. Because they were in collusion, that's why.

You think that accusation is a bit harsh? Then I invite you to watch a video that was produced by the corporate Church and distributed on DVD to LDS servicemen and their families to coincide with the start of the war with Iraq. With the passage of time, the reassurances contained in this film ring more and more hollow. 

"What Is My Standing Before God?"
That was a question posed to Elder Robert Oaks of the Presidency of the Seventy by a young combat soldier struggling to reconcile his religious teachings with the obligation the government had put on him to engage in random shootings. This video, which you can watch here on the official LDS Church website, was intended to assuage the concerns of this young man and others like him. Entitled "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled," it's a blatant propaganda piece that contradicts every legitimate LDS doctrine regarding war ever revealed.

And that's the problem. The film completely avoids addressing doctrinal questions such as where and when it is permissible in the eyes of God for his people to go into battle.  The only place I heard the word of God quoted at all was in the title, which was a comforting reassurance Jesus gave to his apostles at the last supper before he left them, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the subject of  war. The purpose of the DVD is clearly intended to reassure the Mormon soldier he need not worry about the consequences of his actions. Let not your heart be troubled, the narrators tell him. Don't worry about it. You're doing God's work.

From start to finish, this presentation is a disgrace to our religion.

The video is introduced by Boyd K. Packer who assures the young LDS soldier that he will receive blessings for serving his country in this difficult time, and suggests that his efforts as a hired killer may even result in missionary opportunities. See son, you're not a mere soldier, you're actually a gol-durned missionary in fatigues! Sure, you may one day be forced to kill an innocent Iraqi family, but look on the bright side: You're helping the Kingdom of God roll forth.

There is an excerpt from President Hinckley's conference talk given in April 2003, a talk that has given Hinckley a degree of posthumous fame as the most equivocating prophet ever in the history of the Church.  It was full of useless platitudes, and devoid of any useful doctrine. That talk couldn't have been more insidiously brilliant if it had been written by Lucifer himself. Don't believe me? Go read it for yourself.

The video shows us a short clip of apostle Robert D. Hales speaking before a roomful of young recruits and assuring them "You are the defenders of the constitution."

 Really? Defenders of the constitution?  I wish you'd walk me through exactly how that works, Bob, seeing as the government that recruited these kids violated article one, section eight of the constitution by failing to obtain authorization from the people through their congress to wage this very war in the first place.

We used to have actual theologians as members of the Twelve, not just former business executives who happened to distinguish themselves in the corporate world. I wonder what Robert Hales would think if he ever got around to reading D&C 98:7 where the Lord declares that, pertaining to the laws of man, whatsoever is more or less than the constitution comes of evil?  Non-members can believe what they want, but we Mormons can't have it both ways. According to the revealed word of God, either a war is constitutional, or it's evil. You can't send Mormon kids to fight an unconstitutional war and tell them they're defending the constitution.

Where's The Theology?
My guess is that anyone watching this video on their way to the front is hoping to understand how God feels about the adventure they are about to embark on. Anyone raised properly in the church is bound to have some reservations about being required to kill strangers. Hopefully, this DVD the Church has provided will answer their troubling questions.

But the word of God is never used to bolster the feel-good message of this film. The viewer is introduced to Lance Wickman and Robert Oaks, two general authorities who were once career military men, and they offer their wartime stories about how life in uniform can be both difficult and rewarding.  Instead of delivering a message the LDS soldier can use, apparently it was thought the departing soldier could better identify with GAs who once had military careers. Too bad neither of these guys seems to know anything about LDS doctrine as it pertains to the issue at hand.

The message of the movie can be distilled in one sentence: War is dirty, nasty work, but it's unavoidable and necessary, so thank goodness we have righteous young priesthood holders like you to handle that dirty, nasty work that is for some reason unavoidable.  Oh, and by the way, thank you for your service.

Although the word of God is never quoted in this video, the twisting of scripture is apparent in several places. At one point Elder Wickman looks into the camera and says,
"Many have asked why so much of the Book of Mormon dwells upon battles and warfare. The answer, I believe, is that Mormon and Moroni understood exquisitely that we would also be forced to contend with war and bloodshed as we strive to live according to the teachings and examples of the master in these last days."
Holy cow. Face palm, anyone?

I'm usually considered the dumbest guy in the room, but even I can see that Oaks got the message of the Book of Mormon wars completely inside out.  What Mormon and Moroni understood exquisitely was that the record they wrote would one day be in our hands and they wanted to make super duper certain that we did not make the same stupid mistakes their people did.  Mormon compiled the record and included all those chapters about war so that we gentiles could understand two essential teachings:
1.  God's people have a right and a duty to defend their homes, their families, and their lands from invasion. We are justified in repelling those who invade our homes and lands, even to the taking of life, if necessary.
2.  God's people are never, ever, EVER justified in taking the battle into the enemy's lands. When we do that, the enemy is justified in repelling us for invading their homes, lands, and families, even to the taking of our lives.
 There you go, Wickman and Oaks. I just saved you both a lot of reading.

In Boyd Packer's segment of the video, behind him on the wall we see the famous Arnold Friberg paintings of Book of Mormon war heroes Helaman and Captain Moroni. Packer even quotes a scripture from Alma showing that war is sometimes justified to defend our lands and families. But what he fails to remind the viewer is that these men are heroes because they repelled invasions, not because they led invasions. They did not fight because they chose to, but because they had no choice. Their lands were being overun, so they stood in defense of home and country. And this is the key element: they stood their ground and defended from inside the borders of their own country, not in someone else's.

We honor Captain Moroni as a great patriot not only because he stood up to the foreign enemy, but also because he challenged the corrupt manipulators behind the politicians at home. Tyrants quake at the thought of an army of awakened Moronis returning home.

If Lance Wickman wants to understand why Mormon and Moroni included all that stuff about war, he should have consulted Mormon himself, who tells us explicitly why he stopped participating in the wars with his Nephite Brethren:
"It came to pass that I utterly refused to go up against mine enemies; and I did even as the Lord commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations of the spirit which had testified of things to come." (Mormon 3:16)
Did you catch that, Wickman? Mormon didn't include those war chapters because he understood we would be forced to contend with war and bloodshed. He did it to warn us to beware of our own pride and hubris that could easily lead us into unnecessary and destructive wars. He included those warnings in hopes we would be able to tell the difference between being forced to go to war and choosing to go to war. His entire personal saga is a warning to us to carefully differentiate between repelling an invader and being an invader.

Here's what got Mormon to throw down his sword in disgust and quit his own army:  A large force of Lamanite warriors had crossed over into Nephite territory and, mirabile dictu, the Nephites won the battle! They managed to drive the superior force of Lamanites all the way back across their own borders and back where they had come from.

This unexpected victory drove the Nephite soldiers out of their heads with exhilaration. They had actually beaten back the mighty Lamanites!  They started cracking open beers and chanting whatever the Nephite equivalent is to "U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!!  (It's all there in Mormon chapter 3, I swear.)

Next thing you know, the Nephite soldiers, full of piss and vinegar after that decisive victory, got it in their heads that they should put their armor back on and cross the border deep into the Lamanite's homeland so they could finish this thing with the Lamanites once and for all. Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out.

That's why Mormon quit, because he knew God does not protect the soldier who is the aggressor, and he refused to have any part in such goings on. That, Lance Wickman, is the lesson we are meant to take from the war chapters of the Book of Mormon.  Here is how the Lord himself revealed that doctrine in the latter days:
"This is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them." (D&C 98:33)
The Lord goes on to instruct us that this law still holds for us today except that today we have to be extra careful not to take offense. That's the Lord's doctrine on war in a nutshell, and it sure seems plain enough to me.

So what I would ask Boyd Packer, Robert Hales, Robert Oaks, Lance Wickman, Gordon Hinckley, and every other person involved in the making of that little feel-good pro-war disgrace of a video monstrosity is this: Why didn't you include God's word as a counterweight to your own useless, hollow opinions? Why did you leave out the only counsel that would have really mattered to the doomed young man in my former ward who gave his life for nothing, instead of blathering into the camera about how "the military is a noble profession" and "You are mighty men of valor"?

Maybe if you had been honest in your counsel and presented God's will in all this, there might be one less pair of grieving parents in the graveyard this Memorial day; one less young Mormon widow; one or two less fatherless children. You men had the opportunity to tell the truth to those in your charge, and you failed. You made false promises about military service bringing blessings when you know it brings nothing but death, sorrow, and destruction.

How many additional LDS families will forgo the joyous picnic reunion this Memorial day and instead hang their heads with grief over yet another unnecessary loss of a young son or daughter?

Mea Culpa
I am sometimes accused of being less than deferential to LDS Church authorities."It's wrong to criticize leaders of the Church," Apostle Dallin Oaks smugly asserts in this video, "even if the criticism is true."

Oh Yeah, Dallin? Well, I'll tell you what: You just go ahead and show me where the Lord himself has ever made that statement, and I'll give you a dollar. Otherwise it's not doctrinal, so wipe that smirk off your face, stop making up your own rules, and try preaching the gospel of Christ for a change.

Young, idealistic young Mormon men and women are DEAD because they were taught not to question or criticize Church leaders. Other young latter-day Saints are maimed, divorced, depressed, homeless, and suicidal, much of their troubles traceable to the belief that whenever a general authority opens his mouth, even if it's two-bit lower rung GAs like Robert Oaks and Lance Wickman, their very utterances represent the word of God, the mind of God, and the will of God.

These false teachings are causing real harm to actual, living, breathing members of our community, and they need to stop being promulgated right now.

What we could use from you in the next conference session, Elder Oaks, is a talk reminding the members that the leaders are as human and fallible as the rest of us, and that most importantly, a prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking the words God has put into his mouth, and that ANY OTHER TIME, he is presenting his own thoughts and opinions. 

Joseph Smith would not have allowed the members in his day to slather adoration on him, yet you guys lap it up. Joseph had the integrity to rebuke the Saints when he found they were depending upon him and not Christ. He told them that following the prophet was causing them to be darkened in their minds.  Do your duty and teach the Saints that whenever a Church leader teaches contrary to the established word of God, that leader should be shunned and ignored, not slavishly followed like some dark-suited demigod.
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Okay, I'm not sure where I was going with this blog entry, but it has clearly gotten away from me. I'm going to stop now and go cool down.

When properly observed, Memorial day is rarely a time for celebration, but I wish you all a happy Memorial day just the same.

Love and Light,
Rock






A Note About Commenting:Again, I must remind my readers that all comments posting on this blog only as "Anonymous" will be deleted. I hate doing it, so please abide by this rule and spare me the angst.

I respect all reader's wishes to post anonymously, and you may continue to do so as long as at the beginning and/or end of your comment you use some type of unique identifier so that others can tell you from the hundreds of others who tend to post as "Anonymous." With so many commenting under the name "Anonymous," the conversations have become increasingly difficult to follow.  It has also become obvious that some of those posting anonymously are often among the most uncivil; rather than engage in intelligent arguments, some of these people tend to get quarrelsome.  A civil argument advances the dialogue; petty and immature attacks on other's views do not.

Please note that if you are concerned about your privacy, the drop-down feature that reads "Name/URL" already keeps you completely anonymous. When you post using that method, I don't have the ability to track who you are (not that I would want to) and neither does anyone else. So it makes sense to use that feature if you wish to keep your true identity hidden. All you have to do is place whatever username you wish to go by in the "Name" box and ignore the URL part. Of course, if you want to further mislead others, you can put any link in the URL box you choose, such as Youtube.com, Amazon.com, or LDS.org

Those with Google, Yahoo, Wordpress, and other accounts can choose to post under those accounts, which helps to lead others to your own blog if you have one. But seriously, enough with all these people calling themselves "Anonymous." It's getting to be too much.

That having been said, please join the conversation below.

313 comments:

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Little Rock said...

And now Rock plays the waiting game. Soon the Peanut gallery will show up and express moral outrage. Little Rock will make some sort of response, and then Rock will have fresh ammunition for his dimwitted attacks, and a audience of admirers. Gloating will ensue shortly thereafter. Rock then crawls back under his "Rock". (Is that how you got your nickname?)

Gaybob Spongebath said...

Little Rock said to me "Well buddy, I have been all over the world, served in the military, owned my own business for 25 years, been on a mission, have 4 kids and 8 grandkids, and 2 college degrees. What have you done that gives you bragging rights?"

I can eat fifty eggs.

Little Rock said...

So I guess Rock does have a chink in his armor. The delete key is the ultimate argument-ending weapon. I guess this is where Rock gives us all a lecture on civility. Why can't we all just get along Rock, why? You are so adorable.XOXOXOXO

Little Rock said...

You know, Rock, I'm glad I took LDSDPer's advice and got my freak on...you know, gave in to the humor bug. I never realized how fun this good-natured ribbing is. I don't mean any of it, Rock, it's all good clean fun. No need to censor me...we're all friends here. I hope you don't think I am trying to make a joke at your expense or aggrandize myself in front of my admittedly few friends. Love to hear from you soon XOXOX.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Little Rock,
Your two recent comments were removed because you made crude sexual innuendos regarding my wife and son. I'm thick skinned and can take an insult, but you crossed the line by going after my family.

I'm thinking it's time you moved along now.

Little Rock said...

Don't start something you can't finish Rock. Let this be a lesson to you to show a little restraint instead of putting the screws to someone you think to have over a barrel. I could see the conversation gravitating this way and going away from the topic.

Just remember that I asked you to stop, and you wouldn't. You need to own that. This could have been nipped in the bud.

LDSDPer said...

@BK,

I think I told this blog about a young (female) friend of mine who left the LDS church only 3 years after joining it, because the parents of a young man (lifer/RM) who wanted to marry her were brutal and cruel to her over her non-LDS heritage.

A very 'superior' (meaning that in every way) young woman who served her heart out and was not treated well. I saw her being chased, literally, out of the church.

So she left. She called me and cried and said, "I'm going to lose friends like you and your family," and I said, "no, you're not. You're not losing us."

My daughter was aggrieved for her, and, frankly, we have no respect for the older couple/family who treated her the way they did or the young man who allowed it.

She met a young man from a Protestant denomination on an interenet site not long after that and married him in his church. On another phone call she said, "I know the church has some truths in it that nobody else has, but the people are among the meannest, hardest-hearted people anywhere."

She's right. She's very right.

One of the things I love about the Book of Mormon is that it NAILS modern Mormons, but only if they believe they are the gentiles and the gentile church.

I've read a lot of Daymon Smith, and he makes things clear for me, but I've always liked anthropology--

the idea of people stepping back from whatever culture they are in and studying themselves objectively, which is HARD to do--

has always intrigued me. I think that we can only really know God if we do that with ourselves; I mean, be brutal with ourselves and our weaknesses and our faults and flaws and sins.

My friend has had a good marriage, had 3 lovely children; the guy she married is a peach. They've been in our home a number of times; two of my children played with a musical group for her wedding. :) And we went to her wedding dinner; it was very, very nice.

Later she said, "my parents could be there; if I had married J. in the temple, they couldn't have been."

J. used to be a pretty sweet kid. He got so full of himself after what he let his parents do to this beautiful girl. I watched him go 'downhill'. I watched his entire family deteriorate in some odd way--

wickedness never was happiness. You can't be mean to people and come out being a better person, but Mormons can't seem to see that. If they go to their meetings and attend the temple and live the "Word of Wisdom" (which was not intended to be a commandment, though I, for one, am glad it has been; alcoholism rages in my family, and I'm glad I haven't ever taken a sip, though I was spiked a time or two--watching my older brother come home drunk before his mission (he has a house full of liquor now and is very antagonistic towards those of us who are still in the church. He hates Mormons. And lets us know that, but he's a mean guy himself. SO much irony.

LDSDPer said...

oops, went over the characters--

Anyway--

He finally got married; they have a little child, a baby. My daughter says the girl he married is a really good girl who got passed over, because she's not 'hot'--young Mormon men can be brutal, believe me.

and she feels sorry for her, that she had to marry J.

And I see my dear, young friend with her three beautiful babies and her continued testimony of Jesus--

with a really nice husband who is so much more genuine and less arrogant than most of the LDS boys (RMs especially) we know here or anywhere.

Man, they think a lot of themselves!!!

So, to me the freedom to join whatever church or not is truly sacred. No matter who wrote the Articles of Faith, I believe in that one about worshipping God according to the dictates of our own consciences.

I think a lot of Mormons who think a lot of themselves are going to end up being surprised by where they 'end up'.

Our only son, who is cognitively challenged . . . played for her baptism, and she was SO kind to him. She knew he was special. The girls in our ward from "LDS families" were really cruel to him.

They are still in touch. :)

I think I owe her an e-mail. :)

She lives in our state, but--

she's not in an easy place to travel to--

kind of out in the middle of nowhere, long time to travel shorter distance--

Thanks--

LDSDPer said...

Gaybob Spongebath--

do you have any idea what the thought of someone who can eat 50 eggs does to someone who has a hard time downing one egg?

EWWWWWWWW--

Thanks, though, for the delightful humor and break in the . . . whatever it is.

50 eggs. I truly stand in complete admiration. And you're still breathing?

50 eggs.

oh, um . . . did you keep those eggs down?

No, on second thought, don't answer that.

50 eggs.

I'm going to have to tell my husband about this--

this is changing the tenor of my day.

!

:)

Alan Rock Waterman said...


Irven,
Allow me to second what you said earlier about LDS Anarchist being probably the wisest among us. That site is overflowing with wisdom, knowledge and information.

The only problem I have is there is SO MUCH to learn from there I can barely find my bearings sometimes.

BK said...

LDSDPer,

Thanks for sharing that story, such stories are good to hear. For I think it's common for those raised in the LDS Church to think that marrying a non-member is so risky and wrong, when actually it is probably better, as long as the person is a good Christian, then marrying an LDS who doesn't think for their self and who obeys church leaders instead of Christ, as most all LDS do.

I have to wonder though what things the girl was talking about when she thought that LDS have some things that other Church's don't, for I can't think of anything valid or of such importance that one would want/need to be LDS because of it.

I don't think the LDS Church has anything over other Christian churches, in fact it is far more unrighteous and leads their members astray with all it's false doctrines and philosophies of men, far more then most Christian Churches out there.

I agree we have things like Relief Society, BoM, General Conference, Youth programs, Worldwide Church, etc., but I don't consider any of those things vital or worth being a member for, just 'maybe' helpful, unless we encounter & fall for falsehoods taught in them, like in Gen. Conf. or our scriptures, like D&C 132 for instance, which most members have fallen for.

As far as the members of the Church being the meanest, I don't know if I would say that, but I do think LDS are some of the blindest and easiest to deceive and lead astray to support evil without knowing it, because they usually don't think for themselves, but are so used to obeying blindly, without making sure their leaders are right or righteous 1st.

Thus members and leaders support the worst of men and their evils without thinking about it and comparing what they teach with what Christ taugth, (things like polygamy, disrespect & abuse of women, no female priesthood or no equality in marriage or church, tithing not used for poor, paid leaders, allowing & supporting men who abandon and divorce wives & children and not requiring them to totally support them anymore, but instead letting them remarry, etc.).

Thanks for you thoughts. Pride does seem to be the main problem with LDS, they are so sure they are right they can't see their wrongs. I got caught up in that too.

We are just like the Zoramites, so yes, the BoM does have good lessons in it doesn't it, that we can all learn from. :)

LDSDPer said...

@BK,

Well, my young friend's religious history is a bit complicated and I don't want to bore you.


But she's feisty. She and her mother got into trouble with their local parish priest (Catholic) asking questions.

She looked into several Christian denominations, and nobody wanted any questions asked.

Then she met the Mormons, and they loved her questions, but then, their answers led a particular way. She felt she had finally found people who were willing to talk about things, discuss things and that is why she joined.

Believe it or not, *we* LDS/Mormons used to welcome questions--

and then people began reading things on the internet and people like Bushman (can't remember his first name) wrote books like Rough Stone Rolling to justify the period of patriarchal purience that began with Brigham Young and lasted until Wilford Woodruff. He HAD to say that Joseph Smith had lived polygamy, even though there was no proof. Bushman relied upon the research of men like B.H. Roberts who was a staunch pro-polygamist and didn't do orginal research and, because of the manifesto, lost his respect for the Book of Mormon. B.H. and Bushman have followed the same worn-out non-research. Having to prove the bible, having to believe Joseph Smith actually lived polygamy (when he didn't teach it); all the secrecy stuff, which nobody can prove, because those who said it were not trustworthy either.

My friend loved the idea that the Mormons could talk about and think about eternity; she hungered for those things--

but when that family mistreated her and people in her branch with snarky with her about coming to do her 'calling' (pianist for the branch) when she had her hands in casts--

she was hurt so deeply, and a friend told her that Mormons were a fraud anyway, and my friend read such books as Rough Stone Rolling (where Bushman defends the church's position on polygamy) and In Sacred Loneliness (Comptom) and was disgusted with their defense of polygamy, believe them when they said Joseph Smith had started it--

and it was a matter of weeks before she went to the SP and asked to have her name removed.

I didn't know then what I know now, but I would not have urged her to stay in the church; she was being treated terribly.

She became a Lutheran when she met and married her husband, and the minister got upset with her, because she had 'questions'--

her husband urged her to just leave church at church, please, honey--

"don't make the minister mad"--

"just go listen to his sermon, take what you like and leave the rest, and we can go home and play with our babies and take long Sunday walks and have dinner with extended family" (a very loving extended family, by the way, which she would not have had if she had stayed in the church)

LDSDPer said...

part 2 about why my friend misses some things about the LDS church:

When she called to talk to me about this, she said, "nobody cares about eternity; Mormons do, but I can't accept Joseph Smith, because of polygamy, so that shoots the Book of Mormon down, and I liked that book. And my husband won't read scriptures with me; he won't lead our family in prayer, and I just wish he did. Mormon men can sometimes be arrogant, but I met plenty who weren't, and I wish that _______ cared about his family's spiritual well-being. He just says we don't question the minister, and I'm learning to keep my mouth shut, but I miss many of the things I learned about God when I was a Mormon."

She said that. I told her, "keep those things in your heart, if they comfort you," she said they did and she would--

"and be grateful you have a faithful man who will go to some church with you"--

and she said, "believe me, I am; he's such a good husband and father, and I can't expect him to care as passionately about God as I do."

So, that is what she said.

I believe people like Bushman and Comptom have pushed more people out of the church--

because they defend polygamy and tie it to Joseph Smith, and that's not fair or true, because there is no proof of it.

B.H. Roberts was very proud; he refused to admit that polygamy was wrong--and he refused to admit he could ever be wrong, and he didn't have good researching skills. And these modern LDS historians have relied on him.

Red flag on the play!!!!!

:)

But that is why my friend misses. She hated that the minister 'blessed' their babies, and her husband couldn't. She doesn't like the minister being all things to all people--

and the final 'word'.

But our church has become more and more and more that way lately--

so--

it's all a big mess. Where do people who want faith community go? She wants her children to have Sunday church and teachings about Jesus, so she puts up with it and leaves the minister alone now.

BK said...

LDSDPer,

Yes, I can see why your friend likes that aspect of Mormonism that talks alot about eternity, not sure why other Churches don't, maybe cause they are not as confident about eternity.

That is great thing that Joseph Smith did for us, he brought the idea of eternal marriage and family to the forefront of our minds and lives. And I don't mean 'temple sealings' but in his D&C 101 section his vow for couples getting married includes the idea that they keep those vows 'forever', not just this life.

I don't know why other Churches don't teach eternal marriage and family more, for it appears to me that Christ definitely taught about eternal marriage & family in a round about way. For instance he appeared to Mary after his resurrection (and probably often visited her the rest of her life, as many other deceased spouses I know of have done). I think people can easily realize Mary was Christ's wife.

And Christ would not have required people to stay married to unloving unrighteous spouses their whole life (and said no divorce or remarriage) if he didn't believe marriage was forever. For such unhappiness in marriage their whole life would have been ridiculous and for nothing if people were going to be able to find new spouses in the next life anyway or if marriage wasn't forever.

And yes, I agree the Church use to allow and even encourage questions, but that was before the internet and all these history books revealing the truth about church history. The Church's false and flimsy apologetic answers used to work most of the time because people were very nieve. But now they don't.

I find it interesting that in the Church's old filmstrip "Man's Search for Happiness"(that I used to use on my mission in the 80's) it actually says to question, ponder, search, study and test things out. It even says a great truth: "Only those who are unafraid of the truth will find it". How true is that! Too bad they don't really mean it or live by that today. You can listen to this old filmstrip on Youtube.

I would think there are some small humble Christian Churches out there that just teach the pure simple teachings of Christ and that allow and encourage questions and discussions and reasoning together about anything, for they don't have to be 'the only right church of Christ'. But just a church that teaches of him. But don't know of one yet.

But maybe your friend can someday learn that she can just teach her children about Christ at home, straight from the scriptures and that she has as much authority and right to do so as any pastor or prophet and even do it 'instead' of using them.

Maybe that would help her husband become more religious too, for he might feel a greater responsibility to lead his family if it was all on him and his wife.

I like the way the Duggers do it. I'm sure we all know family & friends who would like to study the simple teachings of Christ with us in a small setting instead of being controlled, demeaned and misled by some church that thinks only they have the whole truth.

Anyway, great story, thanks! I think we can all sympathize with her.

But I really like how she puts her husband & marriage above any church or even religion, for religion is really only created to help strengthen marriages and families.

Dale B said...

I don't think the LDS as a group are meaner than other Christians. That hasn't been my experience, but that's not to say that we don't have our fair share. Just look at the recent exchanges on this blog.

I think there are probably some valid generalizations that result from the membership being subjected to a particular point of view over a long time and internalizing it's precepts, such as the the idea of this blog post, however, we must be careful to recognize the weakness inherent in all generalizations.

I think we must measure all Christian churches by how successful they are at getting the body to internalize principles that originate in the Gospel of Christ. In some respects I think the LDS Church is quite successful in this regard, such as with the concept of service. In other areas it is certainly less so, such as being non-judgmental. So far as I can see, no extant Christian church really has it figured out, but nearly every one that I am familiar with is successful to some extent.

To the extent that we pattern our lives and attitudes after Christ, we will be blessed for it and will be a blessing to others. But humans seem to be a nasty, snarky bunch when they aren't honestly trying to repent and improve, so that even well-meaning people can become ornery under certain circumstances.

One of the key benefits to the B of M is that it provides more examples of good Christian conduct for us to pattern our lives after. A little clearer window to the master. In spite of the fact that it's doctrines have been largely ignored, it can still bring one closer to Christ if one abides by it's precepts.

BK said...

I also wouldn't necessarily say that LDS are 'meaner' then other Christians, though I believe Brigham Young and many other early church leaders were some of the most vile & wicked men in history.

But I do believe that LDS are 'far less' Christian and follow Christ 'far less' then most all other Christian Churches out there, despite the service LDS may do. For no amount of service or church attendance makes up for supporting vile evils like adultery, as most all LDS leaders and members do.

I believe LDS are by far more blinded and easily deceived to support evil and not know it, then most all other Christians seem to be, because the LDS are so used to obeying their leaders blindly without 1st making sure they are right or even righteous.

LDS also usually don't study the New Testament and Christ's teachings like most other Christians do, so they don't usually realize they are following completely opposite Christ and supporting the vilest of evils.

But such blind obedience is a choice they make, because it's easier then having to think for themselves as Christ commanded & warned them to and easier then having to live Christ's high laws, rather then the lower easier LDS doctrines.

LDS, like other religions, have fallen for the falsehood that they can't be led astray by their leaders, so that makes them especially vulnerable to being led completely astray. Which I believe is just what has happened, especially starting with BY.

I also see a great fear in most all LDS people that I have known, both leaders and members. They seem so afraid and unwilling to think for themselves or question, study, search or test things, let alone prove all things according to Christ's teachings, as they are commanded to.

Most of them don't seem to like to even talk about their beliefs, let alone compare them to the beliefs of others or to search their church history and make sure their church and leaders are really true and righteous.

I have found that most all other Christians of other Churches are usually easy to talk about religion to and usually 'want' to talk about their beliefs and don't have this same fear that Mormons do.

The LDS seem to have the same fear as the FLDS do, of talking and interacting with others outside their religion or discussing other beliefs or considering other viewpoints or looking into and testing their own beliefs, leaders and religion. As if talking with someone or reading something will suddenly make them do things that are wrong.

I don't understand this fear that most LDS have. I never had it even when I was LDS. I always enjoyed talking to people of other religions, especially as a missionary, and trying to understand their viewpoints and trying to find common ground. I never felt fearful that someone else could convert me to their religion or beliefs, just because I talked to them or read their books.

But LDS seem to shun and be very fearful of their family and friends who leave the Church or disagree with them.

The New Testament teaches us to 'prove all things' and that takes alot of searching, testing, questioning, discussing, pondering and prayer about not only our current beliefs but considering opposing beliefs too, to make sure we aren't being deceived while thinking we are right.

BK said...


I guess it's pride that causes LDS to not be able to see their errors and fear and blindness. They have been so talked into the idea that they are right and above all other churches that it doesn't even cross their mind that they could be wrong, or that they are just the same as other religious groups who also think they are 100% right and everyone else is wrong.

I believe the fear that LDS have comes from the Adversary who likes blind obedience & doesn't want anyone questioning their religion or leaders. For the 2 Tim. 1:7 teaches that "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind."

Those who leave the Church because they have found out the truth about church history or they realize the Church is not preaching or practicing according to Christ's teachings, are usually feared and rejected by their own close family and friends, not to mention feared and often cast out by their ward members and leaders.

I believe that is because deep down those LDS who fear those with different viewpoints or who have left the Church know they themselves as LDS aren't really as sure as they thought they were and deep down realize that they are probably wrong on many things, but they just don't want to face it, and learn where they are in error and repent and live according to Christ.

So 'fear and blind obedience' VS. 'questioning and proving' seem to be a choice we all have to make in this life.

engaged19times said...

BK, I cant remember if u have ever said u had actually become a "member" of another denomination. I know u prefer the NT and see the BoM as not true, but can be helpful. Have u joined another dnomination if u dont mind me asking?

LDSPer, I have a feeling ur friend's husband probably wouldnt join the mormon church if she wanted to go back to it. Just an impression from that story. She would lose a lot if she went back....to me it wouldnt be worth it, but some ppl are willing to alienate family to be a mormon. Oh the irony!

Anonymous said...

Also, just to throw this out there. Yes, I think the Duggars have something there with their "likeminded family church" thing they have going on. Its something ppl can do if they just dont fit in with a denomination, but have this need to go to church. Wonder if their show has ever filmed a church service.of theirs?

engaged19times said...

6:56 comment was mine.

Ron Madson said...

Rock,
I finally read your post. You know I appreciate all your words and sentiments on this topic and would only wish to echo all you said.

As you may or may not recall when Josh and I had a chance to speak at Claremont at the "War & Peace In our Times: Mormon Perspectives' conference, Lance Wickham was the keynote speaker. He predictably did not attend our lectures but we all attended his end of the day speech and Q&A. I had one question that I wrote out and read for him: "In 1095 at Claremont France (coincidentally another Claremont) Pope Urban II issued an edict that a Christian has a spiritual duty to support his nation at time of war (this case Crusades to kill Muslims)right or wrong and that if they do so they would be absolved of any sins in doing so ("war indulgence). I asked him: "Do you agree that our church does and should follow the same policy?" --to which he said one word "Yes."

In my opinion the blood of many our on their hands as surely as it is on the hands of those Crusading Popes who claimed to be representatives of Jesus on this earth and used that supposed authority to promote such evil.

Finally, in case no one posted in the comments, I still put forward this Petition whenever I see such posts as yours

http://ldsrenouncewar.org

I recognize that there is still south of 300 signatures but it does not matter in that even if only a few will go the distance and renounce all state sponsored wars--all of them then we will have a beachhead ---have to start somewhere.

thanks again for your clear renunciation---a renunciation that has not been forthcoming in our generation by those who sit in the chief seats and yet reject in both words and deeds with the advent of each new war ( or continuing war) the Lord's covenant of peace found in DC 98

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ron,
I hadn't realized until you just mentioned it that Wickman was they guy who wrote that astonishingly misinformed piece in that book. As I read it my jaw was on the floor, it was so incredibly antithetical to what one would expect from a latter-day Saint.

This is a good time to put in a plug for the book you and Josh contributed to. For those who don't own it, I implore you, go to Amazon and buy it right now. Forget about Wickman; most of the other essays make this book a MUST for every thoughtful member's library. Be armed and informed about LDS doctrine on war:

http://www.amazon.com/War-Peace-Our-Time-Perspectives/dp/1589580990/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401889811&sr=8-1&keywords=war+and+peace+mormon+perspectives+war

LDSDPer said...

@Ron and Rock--

wow; thank you.

Since I began to read the Book of Mormon as a book within its own right, without all the Bible baggage--

I can see how the people exposed themselves and their culture--

When you read it with the interpretation of the Bible and its metatext (a word I only recently learned)--

you think that God is endorsing everything.

No, not at all. He wants us to LEARN from that book, learn what it will say to us. And what it says to *me* is that those people were mostly obsessed with war and had no idea how to make or bring about peace. Most of the time, they didn't even try. I'll check out the renounce war. It's not a popular idea with most LDS, but if I have not already signed it, I will.

I generally don't take GAs very seriously, and that way I can't get as mad at them. I shrug a lot, because what can you expect from someone who is corporation driven?

As for the Book of Mormon, what IF an entire generation (I don't expect it; I'm cynical and old) began to read it for what it says, without all the baggage from years of being sabotaged and hijacked and nailed onto the bible--

there could be a change, a change in culture so complete and astounding that . . .

there could be Zion.

In the meantime, most Mormons will have to wake up (if they will) by being shown the parallels between early LDS history and current attitudes).

And that's what Rock does so well.

It always astounds me when people don't 'get' him. But then many LDS are in a deep sleep. I used to be myself. I wanted to protest Viet Nam, and I didn't have the guts. I watched a good friend be hauled off for burning his draft card. And I watched friends come home in body bags. Being a woman made my situation a little different, but I could have stood up, and I hadn't the courage to 'buck' my culture and my family--

*ashamed*

Little Rock said...

@LDSDPer:

I encourage you to get the book that Waterman suggested in the May, 2013 blog, entitled "War and Peace in our Time". There is an excellent bit in the book by Colonel(Phd) John Mark Mattox. Mark was my home teaching companion in Germany and we served together in the Branch Presidency. I think you will see that there is not a consensus among LDS scholars concerning warfare.

ron@lube1.net said...

Ron M
I have read all of your blog now after a few months of reading. I especially enjoy this one and the others about war. I am a Viet Nam vet 1967-68. Birddog Pilot (headhunters) Pleiku (Cental Highlands) I was one of those young Mormons who had just joined the church about a year prior to going off to further training and then to war. I had contemplated not going at all. Heading for Canada even. After all these years I feel so bad for what I saw and did in war. I loved the people and still do. I have learned to love my enemies since then. We are all commanded to. Few do, even those in the "church." I look forward to the refreshing. Jesus Christ is in charge and I am very comfortable with His leadership. As to men, not so much! As Maj General Smedley Butler said, "War is a racket."

Little Rock said...

Listen to this podcasby one of the editors of "War and Peace in our Time", Patrick Mason. I think you will all see that the concept of war is not black and white according to the scriptures:

http://mormondiscussion.podbean.com/2013/08/24/patrick-mason-war-and-peace/

LDSDPer said...

Thank you, Little Rock. I'd like, eventually, to get that book; my husband would be very interested in it (his 'military' history is unique)

Ron@lube1.net--

Oh, those were the worst years of the war, I think. More of my high school peers came home dead that year than in any other. Horrible years.

I'm so sorry. I knew a man who went to Canada (not my friend, LDS, who burned his draft card, bu an extended family member)

His entire family stayed there and did well; his wife went with him. But he was, honestly, not welcome to come back. :(

What a price was paid. When I think of those close friends of mine (and ours, my husband, too, lost friends and we've had some mutual friends with horrific ptsd in the ensuing years; our high schools (and later colleges) were about 500 miles apart and not in the west; we didn't know each other then. But we always take time to talk about the young men who would never come back.

But the PTSD and severe crippling war wounds of other friends . . .

have been almost as hard, as we have watched their families struggle.

One now, a friend from so many years ago who married my best friend--

has an unendureable life now, and he's only 65.

Yes--refreshing, restoring--

restoration.

Ah.

LDSDPer said...

Little Rock--

for some of us it is black and white--

faith in God or death--

nothing in between. You have your opinion, though, and I respect your right to it.

Gary Hunt said...

Little Rock,
Quite frankly, I am more interested in what the Lord has said on the subject of war, than what your former home teaching companion has said. By the way I purchased and read the book "War and Peace in our Time", when it came out. Doctrine and Covenants 98:32-38 clearly defines what is required before a people are justified (before the Lord) in going to war. I vote for what the Lord says.
I believe that there are several reasons why you have a hard time getting along with most commenters on this blog. Let me share them with you.
1. You express your opinions in the form of declarative statements, which in and of themselves are not arguments.
2. When someone challenges you on your statements and asks for documentation to prove your statements you fire back with ad hominem attacks, appeals to authority, appeal to emotion, appeal to fear and numerous other logical fallacies! It is almost like you have a list of all logical fallacies and are trying to see how many you can use.
3. You keep your cards very close to your chest. You make a statement about something which would lead a person to make assumptions about your position on a subject. You then attack them saying “you don’t know me…!” Your approach is very deceptive, regardless if you intend it to be or not.
4. Rock gave you an example about the “neoconservatives” and suggested you do a little research and learn who they are and what their motive are and all you did was infer that what he said was a crazy conspiracy theory. This demonstrates laziness intellectual and is an example of an ad hominem attack.
Note to Rock: When you listed some of the neoconservative you should have listed Richard (“Prince of Darkness”) Pearle. This is his real nickname in Washington D.C.
If you want to have real gentlemanly argumentation and/or discourse you need to learn the rules of making an argument, study what logical fallacies are (and not use them) and do some research – learn some real history before you try to make an argument about a subject.

Little Rock said...

@LDSDPer:

I encourage you to have an open mind and listen to the podcast. It is from the editor of a book that Waterman recommends )about the book). It is someone's else's words, not mine.

Little Rock said...

@Gary Hunt:

It is good and well to listen to what the Lord says. However, what the Lord says is open to interpretation. This is why the Mormon church has splinter groups, and there are hundreds of sects of Christianity.

Smarter people than you have written articles in the book that you reference, including my friend Mark Mattox that has 5 college degrees. I have simply suggested that people read the book and listen to the podcast. I suggest you listen to the podcast by Patrick Mason where he admits that the question of warfare in the scriptures is not easily answered.

Now you have come late to the conversation and are dredging up old grievances. It seems you want to beat me over the head and let the conversation devolve once again into a mess of fighting back and forth. If you want a fight I can give you one.

It takes 2 people to make an argument. I was reading an old blog post where Rock was arguing with an electrical engineer and amateur astro physicist, calling him a child. I have yet to see you call Rock on the carpet.

At any rate, I am not here to argue with the likes of you. Your post delineating all my faults is not Christ-like by any stretch of the imagination. I admit I am an intellectually lazy person at times, but I didn't start out with my guns drawn on this thread. I suggest you mind your own business.

Dale B said...

BK -

I don't know how you can quantify the righteousness of Mormons vs. Other Christians as a group. I'm willing to see that there are tendencies for error which groups can fall into, but I don't see them as 'far less Christian'. I'm not even sure what that means.

You mentioned, I think, divorce as being one of those non-Christian practices which Mormons accept, but I don't really see a huge division in terms of numbers between LDS and other Christians in that regard, so I can't see that as the 'big idea' that separates the true Christian from the 'far less Christian', at least in terms of practice.

I agree that Mormons tend towards being sheeple. We are taught that a testimony is so precious and so fragile that it is simply not worth the risk to go outside mainstream orthodoxy. As a result, Mormons self-censor to a very great extent. In almost any class if someone says something just a teensy bit provocative or outside the mainstream view, there are almost always those in attendance who will feel nervous and object to that line of inquiry. Of course, in most cases, the person making the point just shuts up, but if necessary the Bishop will be asked to nudge that person back into orthodoxy (or failing that, throw the bums out).

But I view the LDS culture in much the same way that I do the Japanese culture, where the culture encourages homogeneity and individualism is frowned upon. It doesn't mean that as a group they are better or worse Christians than some other church, merely that they have similar baggage. In many ways, I find that Catholics tend to hold a similar viewpoint with regard to their religion; their family ties and traditions outweigh their need to think for themselves.

Not all teachings, practices and traditions of the Catholics or the Mormons are bad, just as not all teachings, practices and traditions of other Christian denominations are good. You may value a set of doctrines or traditions more than someone else. If you feel strongly enough about them and find others who share your views, you may start a new sect. As I understand it, that's how we ended up with so many christian denominations. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're right, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're wrong either.

I think that if Christ really wanted us to be members of a single 'TRUE' church, he'd have left better guidelines. If he really wanted Joseph Smith to establish the 'One True Church' he'd have made certain that those who really looked into it would find an unambiguous message and a clear path to that certainty. I always thought that that is what the Book of Mormon provided. It wasn't until fairly recently that I've begun to think otherwise. But I don't find any certainty in any other message either. It seems to me then, that Christ expected us to live in a world of uncertainty with regards to the Gospel. Perhaps his plan is to have each of us seek him as individuals and not as members of some group. When He was on the Earth, only those willing to follow him against the mainstream practices, traditions and leadership of the day, became His followers.

Years ago there was a talk given about a group of guys that sought the 'True Church' by comparing it to a list of 14 points that they'd gotten out of the Bible. Because these guys were supposedly really smart engineer types, we were supposed to be impressed that their list matched characteristics of the LDS church (which they all eventually joined). However, I think you can make a similar list today and be completely turned off by what you see when you compare that list to what the Church does and teaches. I think to some extent, that is what Rock is doing here. Much like Martin Luther, this blog is all about the 95 theses that don't quite square with ground truth.

Little Rock said...

Gary Hunt:

What really made me grouchy on this thread was when Rock wrote something about "That is one of the most astonishingly ignorant statements I have heard a latter-day saint make in a long time". This was given in response to a statement I made about whether of not the leaders of the US ever prayed to god before initiating a war.

Of course Rock followed that incredibly rude comment with a lame disclaimer, something like I needed to repent for thinking that way like he already has, and BTW, nothing personal.

He insinuated that my response was incredibly ignorant because, after all, don't you know about all these well known conspiracies in the government? It is not incumbent upon me to disprove Rock's conspiracy theories that have not even been entered into evidence or proven in the least. It is intellectually lazy of Rock to give me a list of references for me to read to prove his point.

Of course I know that you people do not have the objective capacity for fairness to condemn such a rude remark (he has made many others) coming from Rock because you agree with him and like what he writes. I, on the other hand, write what displeases you, and you don't care if the contrarian gets it.

It is amazing that you people that see the scriptures in such black and white terms think it implicitly OK for someone you disagree with to be mocked. Then you turn around and tell that person it is their own fault, and that if they do not want to be mocked they need to do x,y, and z. That's pretty presumptuous, don't you think? It almost goes along with the theme about this blog, "You attacked us so we are going to attack you". I have already taken responsibility for half the blame earlier in the comments, but no one else has accepted any blame. I guess you consider this some sort of justified, righteous behavior, Gary, but I doubt the Savior would agree with you.

BTW, you had a straw man in your very first sentence of your first post.

LDSDPer said...

@Little Rock,

I am trying to be civil. You imply that I am not open-minded.

My time for open-mindedness on war is past. I don't even care what scriptures say. I care what I feel and what I believe the Lord has been leading *me* to feel. I don't require it of anyone else, but I do appreciate those who feel the same way I do.

Gary is good at logic; I am not.

Maybe it's not true that there are no atheists in fox holes.

But I'm at a stage in my life where death does not frighten me. At all. I feel very out of tune with the world. I am only in my 60s, but my health is such that I wonder sometimes how much longer the Lord will 'let' me remain as I now am. I won't go into detail. Rock's wife knows. He probably knows a little.
It's not about intellect anymore, though, for years, it was. I did graduate work. I almost went to Harvard. And then I got caught up with children who needed me. More than usual.
Same with my husband. It was what happened. Not sure why, but it happened.
I've learned a lot from being with special children. Their thinking skills are often just not 'there', but their feeling skills are powerful. Their spiritual abilities can be astonishing.

You seem to be very impressed by degrees and education. But, if I were to mention that the Book of Mormon warns about pride in education, you might just say, "well, it's open to interpretation."

I used to care what the scriptures say; I don't really anymore, because I know where the scriptures have led me. They've changed my heart. People who are natural-minded love war. People who think they are strong and smart love war. The Book of Mormon shows this. The Nephites in their astounding pride looked down so much on the Lamanites that I don't doubt they provoked them to attack, probably numerous times. The things they write about them are very offensive.
"We are so much better than you are. Whoever reads this; see it; we are superior people. God is with us."

LDSDPer said...

Wow--how can people not see that? And then "The Lord helped us fend off the Lamanites again."

How could these people not see outside that war box?

So, you see, I'm really not interested anymore. I'm too weak to aggress on anyone, but before I got to this point I decided that there would be peace in my heart towards everyone. If people had been horrible to my family members, I would forgive them.

My father had a doctor's degree in science and did postdoctoral research; there were no more degrees to get.

When he found out my mother had cancer and wouldn't live--

he took his doctoral dissertation and all the books he had written and had loved--

and took them about 1/2 mile from his house in a wilderness area and buried them all.

And then got down on his knees, and cried to the Lord, "forgive, Lord, my idolatry."

I have anecdotes. That's what I have now. My father turned to Jesus, and he focused on the Book of Mormon. I had no excuse.

You can believe this about my father or not, but it's true, the entire thing. I was dismayed. I had been 'proud' of my dad's doctoral dissertation. I remembered even reading it, though I didn't understand it. I was his only child who would help him with his research (humane, nothing scary)--

I have a brother who was a bishop and stake president and had a huge home in a very affluent place in California. He had a gardener, and someone came in weekly to help his wife clean the house.

He lost it all, because one of his employees (he had several degrees) sold him out to a more powerful company. He lost everything.

They had to sell everything, because there was no room for it where they were going.

There were times when they were so hungry that my poor sister in law would pray for some fresh fruit.

When I heard that, it was hard not to cry. And her prayers were answered. Someone had some extra bananas. Now they run a food drive for poor people, and they are allowed to take what they need, because . . . well, they are poor.

He said it was hard at first when people who had bowed and scraped to him would walk past him at church and not 'know' him.

This is true; you can believe it or not.

There was a time when I heard from one of their children that they laughed at us for our simple life and our relative poverty. That was even when he was a bishop.

So, for *me*, this isn't an argument. This is about things that validate my testimony of what matters, and what matters to me now is peace.



Peace. I am trying to prepare my children who are still under my influence to learn to protect themselves somehow, but none of them want to use guns. One who is no longer under my influence carries a gun everywhere.

I've been told that it doesn't matter whether I would choose death (or torture or maiming); I need to defend my vulnerable ones. Well, I'm more vulnerable than anyone now.

And I don't want anyone to kill someone else for me. I would really love to be in heaven. PLEASE don't save my life.

Little Rock, we aren't going to understand each other. But I am not 'you people'. Rock gives me a safe place to be spiritually, and I guess I know him well enough to know that he isn't trying to hurt you. Maybe because I've talked to his wife. It's easier to understand men when you have felt the spirit(s) of their wives. (no not polygamists here)

But if you can't understand, you can't. I don't condemn you. You just need to know some of *us* aren't in the same box as you are.

It's not all about fighting. It's about feeling the truth and wanting to know more of it.

I had no doubt about the early saints--

I knew how violent they could be. I am a seventh generation Mormon. There is a lot violence back there.

I wanted to stop it.

My dad stopped the professional/educational pride. I am stopping the violence. Here.

With this shaky old heart, with these almost useless old hands.

LDSDPer said...

Little Rock, I have no reason not to believe Rock--

but if you said something ugly about his wife--

you're going to have some angels waiting to deal with you. You don't know who you have taken on.

If my health is pathetic, Rock's wife has been through a lot more.

There's a reason he started this blog. He's taking care of his wife. He can't go out and 'work'. He works from home, so he can be there when she needs him.

My husband has made similar arrangements, not quite as urgent, but still necessary.

LDSDPer said...

Good to see you, Gary.

:)

Gary Hunt said...

Little Rock,

When you said "what the Lord says is open to interpretation" are you meaning that we can interpret it any way we want? There is not a right or wrong way to interpret what He says? That appears to be what you are saying. If I am wrong, please explain in more detail what you are intending to mean.

In your second paragraph you state, "Smarter people than you...",. How do you know they are smarter than me? Show me your evidence. By the way I have listed to the podcast.

You are the one who has come back and started the conversation again, trying to bolster your position.

In your final paragraph you say "I am not here to argue with the likes of you." What do you exactly mean by that?

I did not delineate all your faults. In fact I was pointing out things that, if corrected, would help you better get along with others on this blog.

I hope you work out the moral dilemmas you have with the church and government. I will honor your request and not write to you any more.







Little Rock said...

@LDSDPer:

I am not a warmonger. I served my country and I am done. I never had to shoot anyone. I have taken exception to this blog from the start because blanket statements were made roundly condemning war. I think the podcast offers a much more balanced perspective about Mormons and war. A good journalist always looks at all sides of an argument.

Now, if you only want to read the writings of those that agree with your particular viewpoint, good for you. But you took me to task a little bit over my treatment of Rock, and I responded to you. You never responded to me. So if you just want to keep your quiet, peaceful relationship with Rock, then enjoy the safe haven. But you got between me and Rock and I don't think your statements were fair and unbiased. So be it.

Little Rock said...

@Gary Hunt:

We supposedly have a prophet and apostles to help clarify doctrine for the church. Since many on this blog greatly discount what these men say, they are left to their own devices to figure out the language of the scriptures.

I have my personal opinions and beliefs. One reason I have been such a vocal opponent of this blog is because it is doing harm to the mission of the church. Not only do we need to consider the church organization and the scriptures, but we also must consider the historical context of the church. When will the church cease to exist? What is the mission of the church?

I believe we are very close to the end, and the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles. I believe that the church will exist til the very end, preaching the gospel, and bringing in converts. There are those that are cutting short the effectiveness of the church by openly criticizing it. I know the church has problems...these problems are really inconsequential. The main thing is that people hear the gospel. People can refine their beliefs later, and sort things out.

Do you think a Mormon villager in Siberia knows that Thomas Monson built a multi-billion dollar shopping Mall? Hell no. It simply does not matter. We must focus on the mission of the church. Satan has infiltrated it just like every other Earthly organization, yet we harm the work of the Lord when we attempt to bring about a premature demise of a system we think is broken.

The church is the Titanic and has hit an iceberg. We are scurrying about trying to save as many people as possible before it slips under the waves. If we torpedo the Titanic and put it out of it's misery, not many more people are going to be saved.

We can try to reform the church(which will not work). We can draw attention to the wickedness of the church (which will awaken some but alienate many more). Or we can start yet another church. I don't disagree with many of the statements that Rock makes which are often true and deserved. I feel that Rock simply does not understand the mission of the church, and realize that the church will come to an end when the mighty and strong one arrives to set affairs in order.

So you see, it is like 3 blind men describing an elephant. Only the sighted one that can see the elephant and understand it's purpose knows what to do with it.

BK said...

Dale,

After more than 50 years in the Church and being raised during my youth outside Utah with mostly non-LDS friends and having a big all active LDS family on my side and then marrying into a large non-LDS family of all different religions (my husband is the only member), including my mission experience, and then slowly waking up to the rampant errors and evils in the Church and it's leaders (local & general) through the last 35 years, and then finally choosing to leave the Church and stand for Christ and see how I am treated by family, friends, members and especially leaders, VS. how non-LDS always treated me.

It is just so apparent to see the difference between non-members and LDS. Coupled with all the similar experiences of others who have experienced the same that I've talked to.

You are right that most Christian Churches don't live by Christ's laws on divorce & remarriage either, but at least the Catholic & Baptist (2 major ones) have it on their official books still that remarriage is adultery and they teach against it. And they do seem to apply some restrictions and disciplines for divorce and remarriage.

While the LDS don't teach Christ's laws anymore and even teach that they are invalid and divorce and remarriage are not adultery. Thus the Church supports men abandoning their wife and children and rolls out the red carpet for them to marry another women in the temple no less. My non-LDS female friends and relatives have said they would never join the LDS Church just on how they see leaders support men in abusing and abandoning wives & children.

It seems that most churches, including the LDS, don't want to enforce Christ's teachings on divorce & remarriage or it would probably cause most people to stop coming. Thus it seems the LDS Church and others, sadly care more about money then morals.

But even so, divorce & remarriage is not really what makes LDS more deceived then other Christians, for yes they most all go along with it to some degree.

Most of my non-LDS Christian relatives & friends follow Christ and know his teachings much closer than the LDS and thus they can see just how awful and wrong so many things taught and required by the Church are, like:

-Polygamy, polyandry.

-Temple, time away from family, secret controversial, offensive rituals, false teachings contrary to Christ and demeaning to women and garments (unattractive, not of Christ), and worst of all denying parents, etc from seeing the marriages of their children/family unless they pay & blindly obey)

-Brigham Young and his atrocities, abuse towards women and his vile teachings like:

-Blood atonement, Adam God, etc.

-Priesthood withheld from blacks & women.

-Belief in slavery

-Treatment of the Indians,

-Disrespect of women in past and present, non-equal positions of leadership and authority.

-Requirement of large amounts of tithing, even from the poor, but then not even using the $ for poor.

-Great neglect of the fatherless and poor even though the Church is very wealthy and builds extravagant buildings and businesses and it's leaders live high on the hog off the widows mite.

-Seeing LDS discipline for the minor act of drinking coffee, wine or smoking, while then allowing and supporting men in abusing or abandoning their wife and his family responsibilities or other far more severe sins then health habits.

-Not studying, using or quoting Christ & the New Testament much, but instead putting far greater emphasis on teachings and words of Prophets then Christ's.

-Preaching past or living prophet's often 'contrary' doctrines instead of Christ's doctrines, and still wanting to be considered Christians.

BK said...

Dale, Continued -

-Additional scriptures like BoM, D&C, BoA, that take mental gymnastics to accept where they came from (gold plates and angels)and with no real proof that they are legit, and that they are riddled with falsehoods contrary to Christ & New Testament.

-Baptism for the dead (which doesn't make sense, takes up precious time needed for living family and not taught by Christ).

-The offensive and depressive teaching that marriages and families must be 'sealed' in order to be eternal or else they won't be together in the next life (which is completely contrary to even Joseph Smith's teachings, let alone Christ's).

-The requirement of young men and women to put off dating, marriage & education and be completely away from home, all family & friends for up to 2 years to serve the Church. (Not to mention how the Church used to require men to leave and neglect their wife and family for years to go on missions, often dating while there and bringing home a new wife. Totally contrary to Christ)

-Vast amounts of time required to serve in Church callings, often neglecting family who should come 1st and need all the time we can give them in today's busy world with most all marriages & families falling apart.

-Grandparents asked to serve missions when family comes 1st and needs them usually more.

-The 'minddarkening' teaching or inference that leaders can't fall, be wrong or lead the Church astray, and thus the requirement of blind obedience, following leaders even when you don't agree or face discipline.

At least most Christians think for themselves and even think before they join a Church and even change religions much more frequently if their pastor isn't acting or teaching what they think is right. They seem to have more and better discernment and critical thinking habits.

And most of all most Christians don't seem to have this strange fear that most LDS do, to talk about religion and different views or associate with different religions.

It's like how Christians & even LDS can see Warren Jeffs and his crowd correctly, but LDS are blind to how BY was even worse and how his followers blindly support his evil too.

Most Non-Mormons can see BY correctly, while LDS are blinded and seem fearful to look at BY and other leaders and their teachings with common sense and critical thinking or even just the Golden Rule, let alone apply Christ teachings as a way to judge, as most Christians do.

From my 50 very 'active' years in the Church, I no longer believe that most LDS are true Christians, for the Church and it's leaders preach and practice so contrary to the teachings of Christ. Almost any other Christian church out there is preaches and practices closer to Christ then the LDS does.

37andholding said...

Little,
All I can say is " thank God that you are the sighted one and know the purpose!

engaged19times said...

I'm following the BK storyline, not the Little rock fiasco.

Just wanted to piggyback on what BK was saying about the eternal families thing. Mormons truly think they are the only ones who believe that. But ask anyone ANYONE from another belief and theywill tell u they believe their family relationships continue after death. My nonmember husband does. No pay ur money get into the temple for ordinances required.

This is the most glaring example that the mormon church is a cult. This fearmongering they do that u will be separated from ur family in the hearafter if u dont pay ur money to be "sealed." Such BS!!!!

engaged19times said...

Also, anyone on here ever read that book, The Giant Joshua? Its fiction, but fiction is always taken from real life. Anyway, after reading that, it is impossible to return to the abominable thought that we are all going to live in polygamy in the celestial kingdom. Only time I would want to go to war is with a bunch of male chauvinist mormon polygamist pigs.

Irven Hill said...

Gary,

Do you really believe that Little- 'college' edumucated, non-coward, attack a mans wife and son on a blog, '2 businesses', 'knows people smarter than you', 'knows a guy with 5 college degrees','highly decorated soldier', "are you calling me a pacafist', 'claims he doesn't want to "disparage"the church', then disparages it on 2 different occasions, 'quit the church 10 years ago(but wants to tell everyone about the merits of said "corrupt"church he hasn't attended in 10 years), "I'm not here to argue with the likes of you"-Rock, will answer your questions? No, I'm sure you don't but, here's to wagering my backyard-"obviously Irven thinks the word of Wisdom is optional"- keg he will have something stellar to say.

Deep down I'm hoping to hear a story about his former mission companion/buddy who speaks 14 languages, has 23 college degrees and owns Yellow Cab of New York; just to name one of his 9 government sponsored monopolies from sea to shining sea.....That'll be a great one. All I'm gonna need is a pizza and some cold ones to read that precious little gem, while wondering what I have done with my life compared to a dude of the alias "Little Rock" and his superior circle of friends.

Mike said...

This is my second post to this blog, I've read it weekly for months and enjoy much of it.

This blog is going to loose credibility though if it continues to have the kind of conversation it is having with Little Rock. It needs to be stopped.

Little Rock is either a troll or worse, he is for real. Either way, he needs to be ignored because you can't have a reasoned discussion with him and if you can't tell already, what communication you can have with him, you don't want. Please just ignore him. Hopefully, He'll move along.

Rock,
While I don't really agree with any of Little Rock's perspectives, I do not think that you should attempt to make a judgement about those who go to war, even after a certain amount of time. We don't know to what degree any of them are enlightened or ignorant when they join, only God does.

Since I rarely post I would also like to bring up another thing about this blog that is really bothering me, and I think it hurts this blogs readers:

LDSDPer, your a very nice lady and I have enjoyed the few posts of yours I could bring myself to read. But, you're being rude by posting such long posts. It's like someone who tries to dominate the conversation or talk over everyone else. It's like when someone posts all in caps and is screaming. It's simple etiquette. I know this has been brought up before. But what you may not understand is that I think your hurting the blog by not being more concise. I think that too much off topic conversation by the same few people is scaring off the readers from posting. Rock says the site has thousands of readers a month, but only a few people are posting. And it doesn't look good where it's headed.

PNW_DPer said...

To Little Rock;

Regarding your statement; "One reason I have been such a vocal opponent of this blog is because it is doing harm to the mission of the church." No, what really does harm to the mission of the church is the attitude of the TBM's who are so sure and proud of their righteousness but don't have charity, like the family that drove out the convert who had to leave and marry into Lutheranism to have a happy marriage in LDSPDer's example, and who also do not have charity for our "enemies" in the middle east. As far as interpreting the scriptures, we need to be able to get in tune with the Holy Ghost to know the truth (isn't that how converts are supposed to gain a testimony? Moroni 10:4-5) to learn for ourselves. But not to worry, if we rely on church authorities to interpret them for us because we cannot trust ourselves to get in tune, the Savior still has a place prepared for us in Heaven (D&C 76:98-101), in the Telestial Kingdom.

LDSDPer;
Yes, you are wordy, but I think that your comments here are probably a healthy outlet for you to vent. By venting here, it probably makes it easier to do what you feel inspired to do with the church (stay as active in your ward or branch as health allows, but keep quiet). My wife has a hard time keeping quiet, and a hard time staying active. You, Connie (Rock's wife), and my DW all share being challenged with health problems, so I can feel some empathy for you, even if it's just in the "virtual world".

Irven Hill said...

Mike,

I agree. You are right. I apologize to everyone who would like to have a serious conversation and keep this blogs credibility in tact.

Anonymous said...

U know what Mike? That was just rude. And it isnt LDSPER's fault the comment system is so crappy. Anyone can say what they darn well want. If the blogger needs a better system for comments, maybe use that Disqus.

engaged19times said...

Aargh! My phone did it again. The 7:39 comment is mine.

LDSDPer said...

One last word before I apologize--

BK,

I Corinthians 15:29

mentions baptism for the dead. I know you don't believe Paul was a man of God--

but there is no mention of baptism for the dead in the Book of Mormon.

PNW_DPer,

Thank you for understanding.

Mike, I am sorry for writing too much. Even though I admit that your frankness hurts, it is probably kind of you to be truthful.

LDSDPer said...

Thank you for your kindness, engaged--

really--

I think maybe I need to spend less time on the computer, though.

You really are good. Caring about people is a sign of a follower of Christ.

LDSDPer said...

and, I'm not going off in a huff.

Rock, don't feel you have to defend me.

I have a very strange relationship with 'fellow' Mormons.

I really don't know when to stop talking. What PNW_DPer said is true.

I have to be quiet in my ward, or I would be 'out', and my health problems are incomprehensible to 99% of my ward members.

I'm getting my SP interview for my TR tonight, and I'm shaky about it and not feeling well. I'm not sure I'll be able to go back to the temple again, but I feel I should renew this thing.

I was locked off DP for a while due to a glitch in my computer. I've been on there for many years, and I'm a familiar name, but I never post long posts, and except for a few Christian fanatics, I get along well with most people on there and have 'friends'. I don't post on every topic either, far from it.

I won't leave the computer. I'll just give you *guys* (*wink*) a break for a while.

No going off in a tiff.

As a Mormon I am a very schitzy person; I get around other Mormons, and I become extremely 'nervous'. Some people, when they get nervous, they talk too much.

I really will be glad when there are no denominations anymore.

*waiting for Jesus to make that happen*



Little Rock said...

@Mike:

Mike, we can argue about who threw the first punch in this unfortunate exchange of hostile words, but your attempts at reconciliation consist of throwing me and LDSDPer under the bus.

I feel that I have made some valid points here. If you had read all the posts you would see that I have taken half of the responsibility for the goings on here. No one else has claimed any responsibility, except possibility for Irven, and there have been plenty of people that have continued to throw gasoline on the fire, including you.

I resent the fact that you feel you need to silence me. Have you learned nothing from what has happened here? Can you be a latter-day saint and exclude people?

What everyone needs to learn here is that it takes two people to argue, not one. No one is justified in insulting someone else, even if they think they hold the moral high ground. So, again, I apologize for reacting in a hostile manner to comments that I have felt provoking. It is not Christlike. I am sorry that I have frustrated people by being unclear and confusing in my views.

Little Rock said...

@PNW_DPer:

The haughty "TBM" members of the church are inconsequential, and have nothing to do with the mission of the church. The church has gone astray because not even the leaders know what the essence of the true mission is.

One thing that Mormons are good at is organization. The church possesses the organization to spread the gospel effectively all over the world. We have missions, missionaries, mission presidents, etc.

The church exists to get people ready to meet their savior. Many in the church hierarchy believe that the second coming is a distant event, and that the church will continue to roll forth until it fills the entire Earth. This is simply not true. The church is a sinking ship, that is failing in it's progress and will fall over like a lead balloon at some point. The church will fulfill its purpose by ushering in the times of the gentiles when the Lord himself has declared that the work is finished. In the mean time, we are just laborers in the vineyard. We tend the vineyard, cultivate it, water it, and care for it. We don't uproot trees. We labor until the Lord returns and gives us new instructions, because at this point no heavenly instructions are coming from Salt Lake City.

engaged19times said...

Sorry to keep harping on this, but Little Rock this tiff that started is more caused by the bad, unorganized comment system of this blog than anything. May I recommend Disqus or that system Daymon Smith uses? I think it would help a lot of the aggravation here that Mike was exoressing.

BK said...

LDSDPer,

I realize there is that verse about 'baptisms for the dead' in the NT, but it is very vague, it just shows that such baptisms were happening back then, not that they were right. There were many false things being done, taught and believed back then by the members.

If it truly was a true principle Christ would have taught it and if the Book of Mormon is true, it would teach it also, for the way LDS teach it it's absolutely vital for deceased people.

But the way I see it, is why would we have to be baptized for someone else? It makes no sense. If a deceased person needs to be baptized they can just do it in the Millenium, (when supposedly 99% of BFD will actually be taking place anyway)

For again, those deceased persons will be back on the earth with their physical bodies, so they could easily just do their own baptisms, like they will be doing many other ordinances and vital things for salvation, like marriage, having babies, etc. There is no reason they can't be baptized too if they can be married.

So I believe it only stands to reason that BFD is a false principle, just like many other principles are in the LDS Church, that's no shocker, many false things were taught by Joseph or made up, mostly by Brigham and Co.

We know that the living come 1st and with the way the world is and how busy everyone is and how marriages, families and people are disintegrating right and left, I believe it's just another thing Satan would have us wasting our time on, instead of serving and helping the endless line of 'living people' around us who are struggling, suffering and need saving.

And as for Paul, it's clear he didn't understand or respect women's true equality in marriage, church or society. His teachings are opposite what the real truth is. I don't know why that is such a shocker. For few men, if any, respected women in his day, for it was a very wicked male dominated society.

Just look at Brigham and his day and how bad it was and how men treated women, it was even worse in Paul's day.

We can see in the NT that the apostles often had trouble accepting, understanding and incorporating many of Christ's teachings, especially when they centered around women and marriage, for the men were so used to abusing women and treating them like property or children back then.

When Christ taught that there was no divorce and remarriage, the apostles then thought it would be better to 'not marry at all' if they had to stay married to the same woman their whole life and could never divorce her, that is just how they were.

Such attitudes and beliefs can take a long time to change even in men trying to follow Christ.

engaged19times said...

Now u take that Peaches Geldof. She was obsessed with the occult due to her moms OD on heroin. She dabbled in heroin too and tried to experience what her dead mother experienced and tragically OD'd herself, leaving two kids under age 3. Life is for the Living, folks. Not all this baptism for the dead, sealing for after death and the other macabre practices of the mormon temples.

Just today I was reading how tons of baby boomer mormons have no money for retirement cuz they thought the 2nd coming would have happened by now. Guess what ppl? Jesus aint coming! Not now, not ever probably. I havent ever met the guy or even an angel. And im starting to question these ppl like denver snuffer who say they have. He doesnt give a care enough to end these god awful wars. So why would he come visit peons? The jig is up Jesus. If ur so real, why dont u come on down and smite the 1%ers who start these wars?

Anyone want a laugh, read The Twitter of God. Sooo funny!

BK said...

LDSDPer,

What I mean't by all that about Paul & women, was just to show how fallible even Paul was and just because he taught or said something doesn't mean it was true.

We tend to idolize ancient prophets and apostles, etc. as if they can't be wrong or fall, when in fact, most all are often wrong or fall.

Since you seem to believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, just look how many times he was deceived by his own revelation and thus made wrong decisions and taught things contrary to Christ. But at least he warned us not to believe him if he did.



Engaged,

We should question anyone who claims to have seen Christ, let alone have been promised Eternal Life (like Denver), for the proof is in the pudding, their works. Do they really prove they have charity and follow Christ's teachings? I don't think Denver does. So I don't believe he really knows the 'real' Christ or understands his gospel.

Christ warned us about being led astray by 'false Christ's' who might visit us or come to deceive us. It seems many people are rampantly falling for these false Christs and thinking they have been promised Eternal life, yet I have never known one to really be following Christ.

So either the rest of us are working way too hard to follow Christ, yet not getting to see him, or they who think they know and talk with him are being deceived.


engaged19 times said...

BK, Most ex mo's seem to go atheist when they leave the church. I think its b/c when u finally wake up to the manmade workings behind organized religion u just cant tolerate any more church of any kind. So Im curious how u came to still believe in Christ if u dont mind my asking. If i dont have some kinda physical experience from Jesus or an angel by the time i am in my 50's or 60's (im 34 now), i will probably go atheist or at least agnostic.

Little Rock said...

@BK:

What you wrote about Denver Snuffer is spot on. There are many in the world that are "ever learning, but not able to come to a knowledge of the truth".

I firmly believe that it is up to every individual to discover truth for himself. I am highly suspicious of anyone that tries to influence the thinking of groups of people by making statements of doctrine other than casual conversations, no matter how good their intentions.

BK said...

Little Rock,

Yes, though it's vital for salvation, knowledge alone, no matter how much, doesn't guarantee we will see and understand things correctly or even insure righteousness.

And when we have alot of knowledge it's easy to get prideful and think we have everything figured out.

But I have found that the more righteous we become the more we realize how much we have been deceived and how easy it is to be deceived, thus we are constantly changing our views and watching for deception and falsehood continually, in our study, in our feelings and thoughts from what we hope is the right Spirit, or in what we hear from others, even those who profess to be prophets, ancient or modern.

For no one is perfect and anyone can lead us astray, even good wonderful people who don't mean to or realize it.

I believe it is 'charity' that makes it possible to see all truth versus error. And thus why Christ said to look for that 'one' trait in people to know if they are his true disciples or not. For those are the ones' who won't be deceived...too much.

I think it's good to be suspicious of anyone who tries to influence others. They could be right or wrong but we need to know before taking what they say to heart.

I find most everyone thinks they are right and have the truth, whatever religion they are in, and wants to influence, convert or share their beliefs with others, and I'm ok with that. Heck, that's what I do too.

But we just need to know how to discern truth from error, for most people, even LDS, don't think they have been or can easily be deceived.

Thanks.

BK said...

Engaged,

I have seen the same thing. John Dehlin has put up a study that suggests that over half the people who leave the Church become atheist or agnostic.

I believe it's partly because they too are just so justifiably frustrated, outraged, tired and leery of being led astray again. They don't want to even think about it all or trust anyone anymore. My son went that same route.

As to why I haven't, it's probably because all along while finding out the wrongs and falsehoods in the Church I kept coming back to Christ and what he taught, thus it kept waking me up more and more.

I agree with Christ and his teachings. I believe they really work better then anyone else's ideas or teachings. I have tried to implement them in my life and have found His ideas make sense, and are the best and only way to achieve lasting happiness, peace, love, freedom and prosperity in relationships or in societies and the world.

So I cling to Christ's teachings. I also have had other experiences too that help me believe in a loving God who hears and answers my prayers.

Christ's way is not easy, I find it very very hard, but I keep trying, for I believe it's worth it and the only way to the greatest happiness in the next life.

But I don't think anyone can say they 'know for sure' that something is true, unless God or Christ truly appear to them.

The best that we can say is that we 'believe' and 'hope' we are right and righteous.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Good heavens, I'm absent from my desk for a couple of days and when I come back I find Little Rock is still here!

In the entire history of this blog, Little Rock, I have only banned someone once, and that was because others were complaining if his boorish behavior. The other day I offered you a gentle suggestion that perhaps it was time you moved on and ceased to bless us with your comments. I guess I'm going to have to be more forceful.

I'm also afraid this will be fairly lengthy response, because I want to make my reasons crystal clear. I really hate to even take the time to respond here again, because as Mike aptly put it, you really ought to be ignored. He also said,(correctly, in my view" that "It's impossible to reason with [you]."

That's why I stopped trying to reason with you previously and simply responded with some light-hearted needling. But the degree to which you took offense to the teasing surprised me, then after you tried to make a clever riposte using crude sexual suggestions about my wife, I thought I made it clear you were no longer welcome on this forum. Apparently you did not take the hint.

Here's the thing, Little Rock. You have shown a remarkable facility for not being able to get along with the others on this forum. Have you noticed that others in this forum seem able to offer contrary views without antagonizing anyone else?

Look at the recent opinions expressed by BK and Engaged19Times, for instance. Although there are some things they write that I agree with, in other areas each of them expresses views that are completely antithetical to my own, yet their expressions are welcome and respected. Why do you suppose they have been able to express views that run contrary to most of us here and no one minds, yet when you burst on the scene, you engender resentment.

Gary Hunt offered you some friendly advice on how you could become a more effect arguer, while being less offensive. Yet how did you respond? Petulantly, that's how. You got angry with someone who was only trying to help you make your points more effectively.

Well, you didn't ask, but I'm going to give you some advice of my own. As I've written to you previously, please remember there is no need for you to take offense, as you are using a nom de plume, so no one knows you and you need not be embarrassed. Unless your name is really Little Rock and all your friends are reading this.

So here's my advice. What you could stand to do is engage in a bit of introspection. Ask yourself if this abrasive way you have of confronting others is working in your best interest. Are you gaining converts to your way? Have you had any success in convincing anyone of your position while you were insulting and attacking theirs? Are you capable of considering, even for a moment, that your assertions could possibly be mistaken? Maybe just a little?

The hallmark of a prideful person is that he is incapable of learning anything. After all the bits of knowledge your fellow readers have tossed your way, you have not gleaned one single gem of wisdom.

A couple of days ago I stepped back and let you have the last word. But now I'm revoking that privilege and I'm having the last word. Part of me says "leave it be, while the other wants it on the record that you have come back here and misquoted me. (I'll leave it to others to respond as to how you have misrepresented them.)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(Continued)

In one of your responses to Gary Hunt you said, "I was reading an old blog post where Rock was arguing with an electrical engineer and amateur astro physicist, calling him a child."

Well, that doesn't sound like me. I'm not inclined to call anyone a child. Still, you never know what I might have said in a moment of frustration, so I did a word search for "Electrical Engineer Astro Physicist child" in every imaginable form, including each word individually, and nothing you implied I said came up. Not anywhere.

But I did find a place where I had lost patience with a commenter who had continually engaged in insults and name calling (sound familiar?)

I finally tired of his smarmy dismissal of those he took issue with and rebuked him for looking down on "those who hold legitimate concerns about the clear suppression of truth" and presuming they "are deserving of only snark and name calling."

I concluded, "You have entered an arena where adults are trying to have an intelligent conversation, but you show up armed only with the taunts of a gradeschooler.

"You want to impress me? Try forming an intelligent counter-argument. Try doing a little research about the topic under discussion. Try reading a book or two.

"Then come back here and join the grownups."

That's a far cry from calling someone a child. I prefer to see it as expecting a grownup to act like a grownup.

But I can see why you might zero in on a comment like that. Hits kinda close to home, don't it?

You accuse me of attempting to "torpedo" the Church, to "bring the demise" of a system that is broken. "I feel," you state, "that Rock simply does not understand the mission of the church."

Ah, but I do. Some decades ago, President Kimball outlined the threefold mission of the Church. This is what it is:

1) Proclaim the Gospel
2) Redeem the Dead
3) Perfect the Saints

Recently, a fourth facet was added to the mission, "Caring for the poor and needy."

If you are as familiar with my writings as you claim to be, you'll know that I am critical of the leadership precisely because they so often DEPART from that clear mission. The mission itself I fully and support. And I understand it.

So what you are guilty of is bearing false witness. That one fact, as well as the very much NOT funny thing you asked me about my wife, is sufficient justification for prohibiting your return to this forum.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(Continued)

But you also can't seem to stop being offended because I expressed astonishment at an ignorant statement you made. Why is that such a problem for you? All of us are ignorant in some areas. I am perfectly willing to admit my extreme ignorance on many topics, including Mormon history and theology. I zeroed in on a particular statement of yours because it was smugly uninformed.

I suspect you took offense because the word "ignorant" has been known to be a playground pejorative one child will use to call another child "stupid," and you mistook my meaning. Please understand I was not calling YOU stupid. Or even ignorant. But I do believe your statement was ignorant. That word is not an insult. It comes from Latin, meaning, "I don't know."

You will recall that your statement (a rhetorical question, actually) was prompted by my quoting of the word of God in D&C 98:33 where He very clearly instructed his people they were not to go out to battle against ANY nation, kindred, tongue, or people, unless He, the Lord commanded it.

Your response to that was, "How do you know the leaders of the United States did not consult God before embarking on the Iraqi and Afghani wars?...It is their stewardship to decide whether this country goes to war or not."

I then explained why I thought that question was uninformed (another way of saying it was "ignorant.")

First, the architects of the Iraq war, were known Neo-cons laboring in the Executive branch and the Pentagon; they did not have "stewardship" to initiate war, congress did; and secondly, God makes his will known through his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7)and not through federal government usurpers.

You further misrepresented me on that count by complaining that my calling you ignorant was "in response to a statement [you] made about whether of not the leaders of the US ever prayed to god before initiating a war.

That is softening the accusation quite a bit in order to make me look unreasonable, and you look better. Did I ever question whether or not leaders of the US ever prayed to God before initiating war?

No I did not. What I objected to was your suggestion that the insidious architects of the war had been command by God to start it. I'd say there's quite a difference in the way you originally posed your question, and the way it came off in the retelling.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(Continued)

Others have chided you for insisting that the word of God is open to interpretation (which I also think is an astonishing admission), so I won't belabor that, other than to say I think God is VERY clear on the limited circumstances that warrant going to war. I'm convinced you are looking for any excuse not to believe him.

The overwhelming majority of the essays in "War & Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives" are consistent in their agreement with God's word. The two dissenting voices included are completely overmatched. So whose views did you embrace? You embraced the ones that run contrary to the word of God. Had you read the essays of the majority, you would have recognized the errors your former home teaching companion was teaching.

There is another word that is often found accompanying the word "ignorant," and that is "Deliberately" Ignorant. You have proven yourself to be blindly and deliberately ignorant in your conversations with everyone you have engaged on this forum. You are incapable of learning because you will not consider the remotest possibility that you could ever be mistaken, even carrying your sense of certainty to the point where you side with those LDS whose arguments promoting war as being a viable Mormon theology have been completely refuted by their colleagues.

When I first read that book, I wondered how any latter-day Saint could possibly read it and not be convinced that our religion prohibited the kind of adventure Americans were currently engaged in. Now I know of at least one.

In one of Irven's comments, he effectively demonstrated your absolutely schizophrenic opinions. In my prior essay, "How To Argue With A Mormon And Win," I posited that the primary reason for engaging in civil arguments with each other is so that we can better understand the other person's position. But in all this time, I don't think there's a person here yet who understands where you're coming.

You say you quit the Church years ago, but in the next breath feel it is beyond reproach. On the one hand you declare "Satan has infiltrated the Church," but on the other, we are wrong to point out that possibility. "We must focus on the mission of the church," you say, but "The Church is the Titanic and has hit an iceberg."

"The Church is a sinking ship" where "no heavenly instructions are coming to us from Salt Lake City," yet we "have a prophet and apostles to help clarify doctrine."

You assert that you "dislike America" yet you proudly served ten years in her military. So your dislike of the country clearly doesn't apply to how you feel about the federal government.

Is it any wonder no one "gets" you? After what must have been dozens of opportunities to present your views, you still have most of us here scratching our heads in bewilderment.

Go in peace, Little Rock, but please understand that any further comments you post on this forum will be deleted as fast as I come across them.

But you can rejoice. You won the debate! Your witty ripostes and devastating barbs brought me to my knees.

So now, please find some other blogger to antagonize. I understand Weston Krogstadt is currently accepting new patients.

I. Willet DeVale said...

I sort of suspect the person we know as Little Rock actually *is* Weston Krogstadt, posting under another name.

Or maybe he is Mr. Mxyzptlk, come here from another dimension to vex the otherwise imperturbable Rock Waterman.

Kevin said...

Whew. Having winced my way through nearly the entire Little Rock saga it's a relief to return to ordinary differences of opinion. The adventure was an exceptional example of the principles taught in the previous post, 'How to Argue With a Mormon and Win.' Civil dialog is a skill and a series of shared gifts and indulgences one with another. For that reason I'd love to see Jesus Christ participate in one of these online conversations. While he could bring the intellectual beatdown on any of us, would he? Not likely. Because he knows our hearts and our individual stories and loves us deeply he would probably meet each of us where we are right now and enjoy the conversation as a respectful friend. I think he would delight in us using our God-given powers of reasoning and communication.

I wish the person behind the persona of Little Rock well. While I sometimes felt irritated reading his words, the vast majority of us are much more similar than we are different. If the opportunity were to arise I'd invite him over for a barbecue. I kept wanting to reach out to him but didn't know how. Whether by design or by some internal incoherence in his nature I struggled to grasp where he was coming from. I'm sorry he said something offensive about your family, Rock. I'd agree that he self-selected out of the conversation at that point.

In your effort to put this divisive exchange to rest you've written most of a whole new post! As usual your thoughts and words argue against your claim of being a foolish soul ever so unlearned. Thanks for the wrap-up, Rock.

Anonymous said...

I offer my sincere, unqualified apology to anyone that I have offended by my un-Christlike behavior.

Little Rock

LDSDPer said...

For that reason I'd love to see Jesus Christ participate in one of these online conversations. While he could bring the intellectual beatdown on any of us, would he? Not likely. Because he knows our hearts and our individual stories and loves us deeply he would probably meet each of us where we are right now and enjoy the conversation as a respectful friend. I think he would delight in us using our God-given powers of reasoning and communication.

(above quoted from Kevin)


:) :) :)

LDSDPer said...

(((((Little Rock)))))

LDSDPer said...

As to why I haven't, it's probably because all along while finding out the wrongs and falsehoods in the Church I kept coming back to Christ and what he taught, thus it kept waking me up more and more.

I agree with Christ and his teachings. I believe they really work better then anyone else's ideas or teachings. I have tried to implement them in my life and have found His ideas make sense, and are the best and only way to achieve lasting happiness, peace, love, freedom and prosperity in relationships or in societies and the world.

So I cling to Christ's teachings. I also have had other experiences too that help me believe in a loving God who hears and answers my prayers.

Christ's way is not easy, I find it very very hard, but I keep trying, for I believe it's worth it and the only way to the greatest happiness in the next life.

(above quoted from BK)


Amen. :)

LDSDPer said...

Rock,

are the little "Please provo you're not a robot" things--

set up to be harder for those of us who post too much (and too lengthy of posts)--

or does everyone have to go through these several times to prove they are not a robot?

Maybe you don't want to see me be embarrassed anymore by writing too much and having it pointed out by 'helpful' people like Mike--

and you set it up a notch for me?

I don't know; I wouldn't understand; I'm not enough of a techy; I'm nothing of a techy.

But it's gotten very hard to get through the first word especially, and some of the numbers are impossible. Maybe I'm exposing myself as a 'paranoid person' when it's simply a matter of my vision failing.

!

And, yes, I am cutting way back on posting on here, but sometimes people say things I think they need to be thanked for. And sometimes I sense that some people need an extra hug. I'm old enough to hug anyone without being embarrassed.

engaged19times said...

I didnt follow that whole little rock fiasco. But i STILL think it wouldnt hurt to have an outline type format for the comments. Like daymon smiths blog. Or DListed.

Kevin said...

LDSDPer, your's is a big heart, sister. Your online hug for Little Rock made me smile.

Your exasperation with the captcha--the test to prove you're not a robot--made me smile too. They also drive me crazy and my posts are usually short-to-medium in length. Captchas were designed by some sharp folks at Carnegie Mellon University to separate an online reply from a human being from an online reply from a computer program. Without something like a captcha to keep them out, bot programs can seek out blogs and post all sorts of useless nonsense such as, "75%-Off Sale on Viagra!" Captchas also help keep out scrapers or bot programs that search the web gathering email addresses to send spam to.

If you haven't tried it already, consider the new captcha button. I look at a captcha closely to begin with. If I just can't tell what some of the letters are I click on the icon that looks like a circle with an arrowhead on one end and a new captcha is displayed. Click as many times as you like.

jled said...

@LDSDPer: I don't know you, but I love you. I come on here partly to read your comments. We are kindred spirits in that I am in agreement with you on so many things. You express so beautifully many of my own feelings. I'm probably about a decade younger than you, based on what you've said on your posts. I don't go to RS anymore, haven't for years, but if I did I wish I could sit by you and feel less alone in your company. You are a good and kind person. I wish I could correspond with you or that you'd keep a blog.

@Rock: God bless you, brother. You have changed my life and the lives of my grown children in the past year. Keep up your important work! I believe that you are also a messenger from God. I see so often that you *speak* with the pen of angels! I consider myself a Waterman-type Mormon.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Little Rock,

Your heartfelt apology is appreciated and accepted. I have the feeling that if you and I were to sit down in person one-on-one for a friendly chat, we would get on quite well and come to some kind of an understanding. For whatever reason, we were not able to make things work online.

So here's an invitation: I'm guessing you live in Utah, so one day I hope Connie and I can make it back there, and when we do, I'll take you to lunch and you and I can end up friends.

And if you don't live in Utah, we can still become long-distance friends anyway. Please contact me personally so I can tuck away your contact information. You can find me on Facebook.

I wish you all the best.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDSDPer,
No my dear, you are not being singled out for persecution by the Captcha system. As Kevin explained, it's like the TSA: you have to put up with some groping inconvenience if you want to get through.

I never wanted to implement it, and resisted that procedure for quite a long time. But then suddenly this blog was inundated with Spam, and I had to, because the nonsense comments were outnumbering the legitimate ones.

Sometimes some spam still gets through the system. Just this morning I had to delete two testimonials written by African women testifying to how a certain witch doctor helped them get their lovers to return to them.

That one seems to be the most prevalent these days. Witch Doctor testimonials.

As you already know, there are many people here who welcome your input, so if you have something you want to say, I say go ahead and say it. Those who are not interested in reading your comments can easily scroll past them.

When I created this forum I vowed not to censor or edit anything in it because I wanted my readers to feel free to speak their minds. I had to reverse that policy mighty quickly when a flood of obscenities began to come in from non-members who had discovered Nick the White Mormon on his personal webcam, and thought this would be the place to empty their heads. That's the only post I ever had to cancel all comments on.

I'm happy to report that I've never seen anything untoward come from one of your comments, so I'd say you're safe to continue.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Engaged,
I'm pretty much limited here to whatever comment platform Blogspot provides. Daymon's blog is written on Wordpress, which is why he is able to provide a different system.

I don't know what Disqus is, but if you happen to know that it can be inserted here, fine, let me know how.

Blogspot offers an alternative method for leaving comments, where a commenter can comment under a particular thread. For some time comments were grouped in that fashion. But a lot of readers complained that they were missing a lot of the conversation, because if they came here after a few days absence, it was very difficult to know if there was anything new without scrolling through the entire blog and looking for dates.

So as far as I know, this is the best I can do. Things have gone smoother now that "Anonymous" is not permitted, because back then there were so many anonymous's that no one was certain who was being addressed.

engaged19times said...

Rock, Thx for the info.

Yes, LDSPer should start a blog. I would check that out. So should BK. I already follow a couple other ex mo blogs, but they r younger ppl. The perspective of an ex mo after 25 or 30 yrs of church activity would be something new.

I also follow a couple mo blogs of ppl married to gay mormon men. But those give me the sads. So i stick with these like rock and denver.

LDSDPer said...

Thank you, Kevin and jled. Very much.

Thank you, engaged.

Rock, it was very confusing for me, because my mind isn't always very focused when it comes to emotional things--

to feel that I was being told that I lacked integrity, because I appreciate your blog. That was how things came around and bit some of *us* on the tail.

And it left me feeling, as engaged said so well, sad.

It's very hard for me to understand how anyone who is a truth seeker can be offended by your essays.

jled, you are welcome to communicate with me by e-mail. I don't know how we do it, so as not to expose each of us, because as Rock has said, there are lots of bizarre people 'out there'.

Engaged--

*sob*

I tried. I tried starting a blog for an opinionated grandmother. I am sad, because I had some really sweet pictures of my oldest and only granddaughter on there, and the thing simply slipped into cyberspace.

I was devastated, which techy people are not ever over anything techy.

The reason I have had to ask you so many questions about your posts is that I don't understand much of modern computer technological, and I truly don't understand any kind of smart phone.

I have never even held one. I am not 'against' them; they just aren't part of my life and can't be (for reasons that would be too exposing for me to mention)

I am stuck back in the old days of debate when each person had a certain amount of time to state his/her case--

and did it. And everyone did it. And then there could be discussion, which would generally be less lengthy. I get confused all the time. I truly am stuck in that age.

I was one of the few student workers who ran the first computer on the BYU campus. It took up and entire, very large room.

We used keypunch cards.

I did not understand what it was doing, but they hired me, because I was a fast typist, not because I did well in 'nobby' classes.

The kind taken by people back in the late 60s/early 70s by people who were considered 'bookish' and not at all interesting.

:)

Which is why I didn't meet my husband, another nerd but a techy one--

until many years later.

:)

Happy ending.

And, no, he doesn't have time to help me set up another blog; my feelings of dismay over losing the first one are still too poignant, and it's been 6 years. I know; I know; I am really too ridiculous.

He has offered, but it's the kind of thing he puts on his schedule for 6 months down the road, and by then I never want to do it, again.

BK,

Did you read where I quoted you and said "amen"?


What you wrote gave me warm fuzzies--

Thank you.


Dale B said...

BK -

Wow! What a list. Some things I agree with and some I do not.

I agree that most of what Brigham came up with seems to be junk theology. Polygamy is weird because, I think the way Brigham taught it was wrong, but I don't think it is evil of itself. I can't get around the fact that Jacob had 2 wives and 2 concubines and seemed to suffer no prohibition from the Lord as a result. I believe that it can be abused, which is what the B of M warns against and I think also the way it is often (not always) practiced in the FLDS church and previously the LDS church is wrong, because it robs women of their dignity and worth.

About the temple. I'm coming to the idea that the temple is really just more crap from Brigham, although I don't view it as monumentally evil as you do (apparently). I think it's emphasis on service to others is noble, even if it is misguided.

I have not yet formed an opinion about women and positions of authority and leadership. I don't find a strong position for that in the scriptures, although I don't see a direct prohibition either. Mostly in the scriptures we find that prophets don't challenge the cultures of their time. Polygamy and slavery come to mind as institutions that generated little comment from the prophets of that day, even though today it seems obvious. Perhaps the reason that we find so few women in leadership positions in the ancient Church is that, during that time women were culturally property of the husband?

Tithing I agree here, to some extent, but I think Rock has some pretty good articles on it elsewhere.

"Great neglect of the fatherless and poor even though the Church is very wealthy and builds extravagant buildings and businesses and it's leaders live high on the hog off the widows mite." Here I think I'm on the fence to some degree. I agree that the Church could and probably should do more, but when comparing the LDS Church to other protestant denominations I don't think it is as bad as you paint it. The Church does help some people, usually quietly, with money from their welfare monies. As to the leadership, I suspect that you are right, but I have no knowledge of their lifestyles. Rock also deals with the idea of priestcraft elsewhere, which I think is on point.

As far as distorting the Word of Wisdom and making it preeminent over other more heinous sins, I think you're basically right. You connect that with marriage again, which seems to be a MAJOR issue for you, so I'll come back to it later.

"Not studying, using or quoting Christ & the New Testament much, but instead putting far greater emphasis on teachings and words of Prophets then Christ's." I don't know that I would agree here. I agree that the LDS quote current prophets as though they were actual scripture, but to say that they don't study or quote Christ and the New Testament is an exaggeration. None of us would be on this site if that were really true.

"Preaching past or living prophet's often 'contrary' doctrines instead of Christ's doctrines, and still wanting to be considered Christians." Yes, and I think every Catholic falls into the same boat. Probably most protestants do as well. The problem, of course, is in figuring out what is contrary and what Christ's doctrines are. He didn't make it easy. He didn't spell it out in black and white. He expects us to seek him in prayer with humility and find it for ourselves. Such a process means that no Church will have it completely right, even if individuals come pretty close.

I reject your arguments about additional scriptures. How can you be sure that the Bible is the word of God? If you apply the same tests (as many atheists do), I think the Bible fails in much the same way, it's just been around longer. If believability of amazing claims is the test, we are all in trouble (think about Noah,Jonah, parting the Red Sea, etc.)

Liberty Ghost said...

BK (cont)

I think someone else mentioned Baptism for the Dead, but I think the passage in the NT is clearer on the subject than you allow. On the other hand, I think your idea about just letting them come back and take care of it during the millenium makes sense too. Call it a draw.

The idea of sealings doesn't bother me too much, but I'm beginning to think that the ideas we have about marriage are pretty narrow. We've lived as brothers and sisters together for aeons; why does the experience of a few years mean that we can only be with one particular person? Except when one spouse dies, then it's okay to be with two, or three or ...? I don't claim to understand it. Mormons don't really claim to understand it either, when you get past the basics. Ask about what happens when a widow and widower (both with children) marry and have and raise children together. Whose children are they?

I reject the argument about missionaries being abused by splitting them off from their families and time required to serve in Church callings. Sure, the Church asks them to sacrifice some time. If Christ didn't ask the Apostles to make sacrifices, I'm not sure what he was talking about. Don't you think that Peter's family was affected? Of course, whether or not the message is true makes all the difference as to whether that sacrifice is worthwhile.

I agree with your ideas about blind obedience and unerring leadership. However, again Catholics and many protestants follow their leaders in much the same way. Changing churches when one disagrees with doctrines is a two-edged sword, however. It tends to create churches of personality (like the LDS Church). Many preachers simply avoid doctrines that are hard for their parishoners to hear.

I think most Christians do fear change, whether Catholic, Protestant or LDS. Most are convinced that what they've been taught and teach their children is correct. Some refuse to consider any other teachings. Sure, most protestants are comfortable talking to protestants, because they know that deep down, there's not really much difference between them (at least nothing worth fighting about). Few Baptists would cut off a family member who became Methodist because the differences are considered by both religions to be insignificant in the bigger picture. But have you tried talking to a Catholic about other churches? I'd say the reaction is similar to talking to a Mormon, with the exception that a Mormon doesn't have 2000 years of ambiguous history to ignore, and so is marginally more defensive.

"It's like how Christians & even LDS can see Warren Jeffs and his crowd correctly, but LDS are blind to how BY was even worse and how his followers blindly support his evil too." I agree.

Mormons treat BY like the Children of Israel treated Moses (right or wrong). Moses was a murderer but was seen in the context of him being a righteous person called by God to do a work in spite of his sin. Mormons are trained to view BY and all the rest of their prophets in exactly the same way. I think this is wrong, but it doesn't invalidate every thing that they teach. Most of that comes from the Bible and was actually an outgrowth of the Campbellites; essentially a Protestant religion to which was added some additional scriptures and the idea of living prophets. But, as Rock continually points out, when there is a difference between the B of M and any of these (mostly Campbellite) teachings, it is the Campbellite teachings which seem to have precedence.

Dale B said...

BK (cont)

As to the doctrine of marriage... I will confess that I'm a serial offender. How exactly would you recognize my repentance from this sin? Christ did not condone it, nor adultery, but it was not, seemingly, the worst sin he could think of. We are all sinners. Having said that, I do recognize that having a bad marriage exacts a terrible toll on children. Sin has consequences. But, we all try to navigate life in the best way we can. If you can be confident that you are more righteous with a single marriage than someone, like myself, who's made mistakes, then good for you. I, on the other hand, have screwed up a lot more than the average person and I have no such sure knowledge. In fact, I think the worst offense that most Mormons commit is in their smug confidence in their religious superiority. I think the single marriage vs. multiple marriage debate is very much in the same boat. Will you hold your children or grandchildren in contempt if they divorce? I doubt it. I suspect that you will show forth an increase of love and recognize that life's trials are tough. Sure divorce is born of sin, but is it better to keep a terrible and destructive relationship together? Will you forever hold the divorced and remarried person in contempt? What blessings should be denied to him? Other than saying that divorce is wrong and equivalent to adultery, what, exactly, do you think the doctrine of marriage is that trumps happiness?

Mike said...

LDSDPer I just want to reinforce that my issue is not with you or your content, but only the lengthiness of your responses. It would be a shame to scroll past your posts and not get to hear the point you have to contribute to the conversation.


Rock, how do the scriptures treat alliances? eg; If you attack our allies, you attack us? Can an offense against our allies land constitute an attack upon our land? Can war against an ally of ours be war against us? What about an enemy who successfully invades an ally such as France, does this allow us to take whatever means necessary to free them? What if the purpose is people such as the Jew in Germany, are we right to enter foreign soil to save them? While I agree that that we reap what we sow in these conflicts, and that we might not be all too neutral, it gets complicated sometimes.

I was a big West Wing fan, bought all of the shows. In Season 03 episode 21: Posse Comitatus, the white house is trying to figure out what to do with a terrorist who is also a high ranking diplomat of an ally and has Diplomatic Immunity. The Chief of Staff wants the President to authorize an assassination, but the President is hesitant, he is Catholic. Then Finally (Leo) the chief of staff quoted a monk to the President

"A famous monk once said: 'I don't always know what the right thing to do is, my Lord, but I think the fact that I want to please you pleases you"

Then Leo tells the President that he has to order the hit. The President asks why, and Leo replies; "because you won" (the presidency).

Sometimes I wonder if despite all our learning, and all of our laws, if all we have and all we will be judged by, is trying heart-fully to please God. Laws are just a tool to train, just guidelines to teach, but the spirit is life eternal? Otherwise, how do we not become heartless lawyers? How do we not become the Jews again? Seeing that God has paid the price of our sins and imperfections how do we not walk boldly forth in the faith of him who we profess?

When will the law be done, away? If we keep asking God what the law is, will he not simply inform us? But in doing so, do we not ignore the higher law of the spirit which is there to guide us perfectly?

I know this is all a little abstract...

LDSDPer said...

@Dale B,

I hope you don't mind if I put my oar in.

Short, Mike. :) *ha*

I have always believed as BK believes about divorce and remarriage. I think the thing that bothers BK (BK, I hope you don't mind my speaking up about you)
is that she was her husband's first wife and he her first husband. He divorced her with a large number of children and left her without enough to take care of those children, and she had to leave the children to work, so they wouldn't go hungry. I don't think I'm being overly dramatic here.

Then he remarried, in the temple--

and was sealed again. The anger is as much for his being permitted to be resealed (as though he had done a little thing in leaving a family) as for the divorce, or even remarriage.

There are always two sides in every conflict, of course. But in many ways she was the victim, because he regained his 'status' in the church, while she struggled along, and has made the point, one of her children is now an atheist. Another child was married without her presence, because that child chose the temple and *our* BK decided she could not countenance a religion that would allow a man who had done that to a family to--

be in the temple.

She has some pretty severe personal grievances, and I have to admit that I side with her here. I have seen this many times. Husband decides it's too hard to get along with someone, divorces and goes on his merry way.

Only, I believe, BK told us some time ago, I think it was her--

that he had gone on and done it again.

I DO believe in repentance, Dale. I think humility and confession (to God) matter a lot.

I know people who have been treated so badly by spouses who ended up marrying again, because they couldn't live alone, couldn't take care of themselves.

I might wish the culture were different. I might be trying to change it in my life. Ours is a first marriage, almost 40 years. But we have to repent all the time of not being perfect partners.

But I would never tell those innocent people who have remarried (a very fragile niece for one) that they are wrong.

It's not my place or my business. Jesus gave that rule/law, and it is up to each individual to live it and reap the blessings or not to live it and suffer. But I do believe, very much, in repentance, so it's not my business to tell anyone else he/she has made a mistake.

But it is my business to note a trend. And the trend I note is a lot of abandoned wives and children and happy-on-his-way husbands, because of the policy that a man can be sealed again.

I don't think that's right, and I think the 'brethren' are culpable.

I also know first hand what it is like to be married to someone who suffered from a horrible childhood, the suffering of which was caused by divorce and--

the selfishness of a father. Who did remarry and treated #2 no better. But my husband was not around to witness it. #2 didn't want him. Guess who ended up completely unwanted?


It never goes away. But I will shake your hand, Dale.

I won't pull away from you.

But I'd like to give BK a hug.

I agree with much of what you say, Dale. You really are a truthseeker.

LDSDPer said...

oh, a bit of a joke about divorce and abandoned (in my husband's case, completely; he ended up a ward of the state)--

kids--

when my husband joined the church after college graduation (he put himself through)--

he didn't have to worry about family protesting; there was nobody to protest!!! :)

When he went on a mission he didn't know about farewells and open houses, etc., coming or going.

He had homesick companions, and he couldn't understand. He had never been homesick; he had had no home to be 'sick' for--

and, finally, when he flew into the SLC airport (he joined the church in Utah)--

to figure out what he was going to do with the rest of his life--

there was, of course, nobody there to pick him up.

He watched all the loving family reunions and couldn't wrap his mind around them.

He met me shortly thereafter, and we were married almost immediately.

He's never had to arrive somewhere and not have a ride. I've always been there, waiting.


And I can tell you he has worked EXTRA hard to make our marriage work, probably harder than the average man. And I, too, because I don't like the thought of him being alone again.

Sometimes good things come out of divorce, in spite of the pain and never-ending baggage.

LDSDPer said...

my radical answer to today's divorce and remarriage problem--

which would not 'fly' in the church, because of polygamy, probably--

If there are no children, there can be a legal divorce.

Divorce is such a big business, that lawyers would not, ever, allow this sort of change, so I am very aware it will never happen.

If one partner is leaving another, because he/she thinks he/she can have children with another person, then let him/her suffer the consequences. The spouse who is suspected of being unable to father/mother children will be better off without such a cruel, carnal person.

If there are children, there can be a legal separation.

The 'wrongdoer', or the spouse who has misbehaved, if one exists--

sleeps in a small studio home on the back of the property. It will take some $ to build, but much less than a divorce.

If there is no wrongdoer, and both want the legal separation, since divorce won't be allowed, the parents take turns living in the house with the children. Any parent who misbehaves has to leave and go to the little house in back. Legally required.

The children do not lose stability.

If either of the parents decide they don't like celibacy, they can work things out--

or commit real adultery, but not on the property and not with money needed by the family. The person who does so becomes a 'bad guy' and has to repent if he/she wants to try again.

But at least it would be called what it is: adultery.

If they can be chaste and don't want to work things out, the children's lives are not disrupted.

The children must always come first.

No divorces allowed for couples with children. Ever.

I have known of several people who have tried legal separation. One couple came back together again and have been, happily, together for 10 years. One was being selfish and needed to repent; the time was given, but good behavior was rewarded by being able to 'come home'.

The couple actually got pregnant when the repentant spouse came home.

But they were married still, so it was no problem. A decision was then made that the marriage could go on.

Divorce is NEVER the solution when there are children.

If there is abuse, the abusive spouse has to live separately with no contact until full repentance.

If children have been abused--

that man or woman will go on to marry again and do it again if not stopped.

Still, living alone is the solution until there is complete change.

It is VERY easy for people to cover up abuse by divorcing and remarrying.

LDSDPer said...

my preferred solution is that marriage not be regulated by government in any way--

and then, of course, in the case of *we* LDS *we* have to comply with the laws of our religion which now state that people can marry over and over and over again--

I think, too, that Mormons need something like the Amish, where they live together without physical relations for a time--

I think young people should be required to know each other better--

and you can't get to know someone better if you have stars in your eyes, which biology causes.

Our system is broken from beginning to end--

but God's isn't.

lysander said...

Well LDSPer,

As a lawyer who practices family law I am HIGHLY offended by your comments.

Just kidding actually. I think the government should get out of the family. But until that happens, people unfortunately can be taken advantage of without representation.

LDSDPer said...

@lysander,

I may be wrong, and, if so, I'm glad you spoke up. Aren't there provisions for protection for abuse in legal separation?

I'm sure there would be enough legal separations to keep lawyers employed.

*wink*

The problem with divorce (not separation, legal) is that a man can abandon a family, more or less--
and even with alimony laws in place, the original family ends up being robbed, even with legal representation. What if the husband has a smarter lawyer, for example.
And then, if/when that man remarries, if his wife chooses not to, for personal reasons, such as believing she is still married--

(I've known more than one woman who gave in to divorce and did not want it and resisted the idea of being divorced spiritually)

he marries again and invests more in the second family, and eventually does a good job of showing the 'world' how much better wife #2 is--

it's a quagmire.

A woman who does not want it but who is forced to accept it is in a bind. Rarely will she earn as much as her 'former' husband, even if she has an education. And, probably, if she is 'good LDS' she's been home with children and is now forced to leave them.

I know you are correct, but it becomes a game of 'who has the best lawyer?'--

and often men are more astute at choosing lawyers.

They've been out 'in the world'.

LDSDPer said...

and, yes, I've seen men 'taken' by divorce, too.

No divorce for couples with children should protect the scrupulous spouse.

More often than not the man who has 'left' a wife will leave another. And more often than not, the women who has chosen unwisely will choose again.

I know women who have chosen not to remarry to protect their children from abuse by stepfathers.

lysander said...

@LDSPer

When I was much younger I was extremely judgmental of those I thought didn't "measure up" to gospel principles and commandments. I took the lord's counsel about divorce very seriously. My parents weren't divorced. None of my fiends parents were divorced. As far as I was concerned, if you got divorced, you were sinful or you weren't trying hard enough.

After being married for 8 years, my wife sat me down one day and told me she didn't live me and that she never did. She claimed she only loved the "idea"of me. She said I had treated her so well that she would be stupid not to marry me. But she said she couldn't live a lie any more. I begged for her to just stay with me for the sake of the children we had, but she was determined she would have a better life apart from me.

That totally altered my paradigm. I realized that I had not done anything that led to the divorce. I realized that those who I had judged before might not be as "guilty" as I had supposed. I realized that I had judged unrighteously. I'm very sinful. But where was my sin in this? If I hadn't agreed to it, she would have filed anyway and the result would have been the same.

lysander said...

@LDSPer cont.

I believe I was led to do what I do because of my ability to empathize. I actually resisted it but my lovely new wife of 9 years told me I would be good at it because of everything I've been through in my own life. She was right (as she often is).

Now as to your questions. Yes there are protections in the law for legal seperations. I like your idea of couples doing that more often.

I will say this though. In my experience, there are certainly situations like yiu describe where men seek to "put away" their wives and go out and get the latest model. That is not the norm. I find that in today's world, it is the women that use the law as a club against their poor husbands. I might be biased based in my own situation, but ask almost any divorce lawyer who they would rather represent, men or women, and I'd bet money on men. I've seen women make up stories of abuse just to get leverage. It's pretty unsavory.

I wish I knew what the alternative would be to the present regime of family law and divorce. As a philosophical libertarian, it irks me how much the state gets involved in the family. I advise my clients to ALWAYS take into account the best interests of their children and to NEVER do anything just to get an advantage over the other spouse that would alienate their children against the other spouse.

LDSDPer said...

@lysander,

I don't think I've ever heard a more intelligent *what would it be called* treatise, personal short essay--

about divorce.

You had no way of knowing that I was on my way back to the computer, hoping that someone had been willing to say something about my radical ideas.

So I could continue and answer and even, yes, apologize.

Oh, yes, apologize.

Your humility does you great justice, and I have to say I believe, without knowing you, you are a great lawyer.

This is the situation as *I* see it.

1--I know women actually leave men more than men leave women; my own son was the victim of a very brutal divorce (long story; not up to talking about it; I don't even care if he is married anymore, because of that horrific treatment, but, yes, he is also very disabled, as is his 'wife'; the divorce was someone else's idea, not that of either of the couple, but once on board, his wife was heartless. Now I see my grandchildren in a very precarious place, because his wife can't take care of them, and he is not allowed to (for spite)

2--a majority of people who divorce are victims of the complete dissolution of the 'institution' of marriage, whether male or female.

What I am saying in my previous post is that I believe legal separations can help those who have just said too much and have doubts. I've known a number of people like that; nobody was abusing; both were discouraged; finances were awful and too much was said in anger--

and *I* believe the church policy (I can't see where it is doctrine, because I, as do many LDS, have some serious reservations about D&C 132)--

contributes to this by allowing a man to be sealed to more than one woman. I've seen widowed men become changed in personality the minute they knew they had 'more than one wife'--

I can't explain it; I watched it happen to my own father.

So, I wish that would change, but I doubt it will.

3--I see soldiers/veterans of never-ended wars (beginning with Korea) as victims of a dissolving government as well. Everyone has different attitudes to begin with. There are those who think they are serving (as you did, believing you would never divorce and 'how could anyone do that?'--I've been married for almost 40 years, and I know exactly why people divorce--

--exhaustion
--illness
--too much responsibility
--too little money
--too little time for couples to have together
--too much 'business' in the church (yes)
--problems with children

or . . .

--a clueless spouse (which your #1 sounded like; she sounds, sadly, like a victim of a 'be honest and do the best thing for yourself' crowd that hovers around unhappy women in and out of the church; I daresay she puts up a good front now, but she's probably unhappy, because what she did showed instability, selfishness and lack of committment. Sounds like she wasn't grounded in Jesus Christ, too.

So much for not being judgemental, right. Sorry. Maybe she's a peach, and you're better off without her, but nobody is the 'bad guy' here.

There is a powerful pro-divorce culture in our church. I've seen it enter wards and just take out 'solid' couples--
women get discontent; they aren't spiritually grounded; they have unresolved issues from the past--same with men.

So, what I wrote I do still believe.

But I believe in reaching out to the returning vets and trying to help them, and *our* government is doing everything to hurt and destroy and marginalize them.

They are victims. Some of them may have been more willing victims than others, but they are victims.

Until we acknowledge that our entire society (including the church) is broken, *we* are going to continue to lose *our* families--

and it will only get worse.

I see legal separation being used more as a stop gap--

TBC

LDSDPer said...

I used BK's story (worrying now that I shouldn't, even though she has shared all that), because her problem is and was that the church should help such women.

But, which ones does the church help? Who is crying wolf (which you mentioned); who is not?

It does seem that those who want to take care of themselves are loathe to ask for help--

and won't get the help, while 'users' will take whatever they can get.

Pure hearts are required for this, and there are precious few in the church--

One of my precious (older) daughters went to church today and was 'glared at' by an older man in our ward who just has a stinky personality.

When I had a particular calling, he came to me and complained, because this daughter had been asked to do something--

that he felt his own daughter would be 'as good' or 'better' at--

I told him that I would see what I could do about it; committments had been made--

I came home, and my husband and I were talking about it, and she overheard (has amazing ears) and has refused, since, to do that particular thing again--

But he didn't stop resenting this young woman who is between the age of two of his daughters, who also had mean-spirited personalities.

She sighed when she told me, "Brother _______ glared at me"--

this 'thing' happened 8 years ago--

and then she said, "I know I have to feel sorry for him, mom; he's a very unhappy man."

And yet when he is asked to give HC talks, he talks about how wonderful his wife and daughters are (he has a very large, very successful family)--

Judgement, yes. You are right; it has to be righteous, and I do know and associate with plenty of divorcees (mostly women, because I am one); I do not discriminate against them--

I know they are just victims--

and I don't take for granted my husband and my almost 40 years--

but I can tell you he has worked harder--

and he did one thing right. Maybe just one thing, when he married me, besides which I had a testimony of Jesus even back then.

That was that he married someone very loyal whose loyalties don't change and who was DETERMINED, no matter how many doors had to be slammed, to make the marriage work, because for *me* the thought of my husband being alone, again, after what happened to him when he was so young--

tormented me. It would always bring the 'love' back.

Plus, my father once said, "if you show up on my doorstep trying to leave that man, I'll slam the door in your face."

It was good advice for me, though I was actually never tempted--

because he's not an abusive man, and because my father had spiritual powers that saw into other people's hearts, and when he met my husband he said, "he'll do."

None of the others had.

I'm sorry you had to go through that to get a gem, lysander.

And I'm sorry, again, if you felt I was judging you and anyone else who is divorced. There are those, probably, who deserve it--

but who are they? *I* don't know.

I just know that the system is broken completely--

Now I've gone and been too long again--

and I'll upset someone. I meant to stay off, but the Spirit said, "someone is going to be hurt by your words; go and clarify."

But you beat me to it with so much grace.

hugs to your wife.

:)

LDSDPer said...

oh, BIG blooper--

probably the main cause of divorce right now, 2014--

in the U.S.



involvement in combat/military duty

I should put that in bold.

lysander said...

LDSPer,

I'm not offended in the least by your "radical" and "crazy" ideas. I have a few o them myself

Dale B said...

So, what is the right approach for marriage? I agree that the State should have little to do with it, except for the fact that the laws of the state are used to pick up the pieces when/if a marriage falls apart. The state provides some rules in what could otherwise be an even uglier process and circumstance. Right now, I think those rules pretty much stink, but I think having no rules could be much worse.

I think much of what has been said about this issue also shows that the Church has relatively little business in this arena either. Certainly a Church which can effectively "approve" or "disapprove" of someone's marriage or divorce can only serve to rub salt in the wounds of someone who feels that they've been victimized by divorce. Unless the Bishop (or other official) has the wisdom of Solomon or direct revelation from God they will be unable to accurately determine what the true issues are in the marriage/divorce.

Getting rid of the 'stamp of approval' that is the temple recommend is probably a good start. At this point, I'm not convinced that the modern temple ceremony is really a good idea in any case. I don't find much evidence for it in any of the standard works. I'm not sure I understand it's role in LDS life in Kirtland, but that might be more like what is found in the Bible. How can something, which is supposed to be so central to our religion, have so little written about it in 6,000+ years?

Maybe marriage should just be a family affair, where a couple pledges to sustain each other and join the two families? Maybe all marriages should be common law marriages. It seems the state has little problem assuming authority in the marriage regardless of how it starts or who performs the ceremony.

But, to think that if partners in every marriage really worked at it, they could all succeed, is simply naive. Banning divorce in all marriages with children is both naive and dangerous. Do you really want to force a woman is getting the &$!@ beat out of her every night to stay in that marriage? Will it improve a husband's 'attitude' to force him to live with someone that makes him miserable? Do you think that such arrangements are really healthy for children? Think about the circumstances and outcome of Henry VIII's marriages. It may have furthered God's purposes, but would your really like to be Anne Boleyn?

We are all on Earth to learn something. We will all make mistakes. Some of us will make the same mistakes over and over. Finding the right partner can't be boiled down into a simple, foolproof process that people will get right 98% of the time. It's complex, it's confusing,it's hormonal, it's barely rational. Apparently, it's supposed to be that way.

To make matters worse, people can and do change over time. Right now, my wife is not very happy that I'm not a TBM. I don't expect that she will ever be able to question the things I question, nor accept everything that I accept. I'm not the same person that she met and fell in love with. My goals and attitudes have changed. It is to her credit that she still loves me in spite of me, but if she got to a point where she couldn't handle it, would I be right to force her to stay in a relationship fundamentally different than the one she contemplated at it's inception?

Anonymous said...

Rock - my name is Sarah Hancock Jones and I'm a direct descendant of Mosiah and Levi Hancock. I've heard stories about them all of my life, but I'd never heard this one. I'd love the source. Thanks!

BK said...

Dale B.,

Christ was the one who banned all divorce and remarriage, but that doesn't mean he wanted or said that anyone had to or should stay living with an abusive/adulterous spouse. You can still stay faithful to your vows without living with your spouse if they are abusive.

And yes, all marriages will eventually succeed and be healed and happy, especially in the next life when all partners repent.

For everyone has to eventually repent and become righteous, it's just much easier to do here, then in the hereafter.

But I think both churches and governments should stay out of marriage, for neither one has any real authority to create or dissolve a marriage, no matter how much they may pretend to.

Marriage is really just between the couple and God. All anyone else can do is just witness their vows to each other and help them keep them.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Sarah Hancock,
The quote about your ancestors can be found in Bill Shepard's article "The Concept of the 'Rejected Gospel' in the Journal of Mormon History here:

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/mormonhistory/vol34/iss3/1/

(I provided a link in the article)

You may not be able to access anything other than the table of contents unless you're a subscriber, but you can purchase a single issue.

Vince said...

Retired MIT professor, Noam Chomsky, offers a sobering and remarkably fresh assessment of US foreign policy in a new article, 'America’s corporate doctrine of power a grave threat to humanity - The United States' foreign policy is increasingly guided by the concerns of the few - at a terrible cost to us all.'

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/noam_chomsky_americas_corporate_doctrine_of_power_a_grave_threat_to_humanity/

Bloodshed in the name of profit sounds consistent with the last days and a recipe for insuring God's declining support for America. The many members of the Church™ who believe just being American is evidence of our moral superiority may be in for a rude shock to learn that the state may not be committed to their well-being.

Gary Hunt said...

Rock,

I have been reading a couple of books the last little while. The first one is entitled, "The Pity of War: Explaining World War I", by Niall Ferguson. The second is "Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy", by Percy L. Greaves Jr.

What I find interesting about these books is that they show World War I and World War II were unnecessary. Both authors use extensive, original source documentation which backs up their claims. They show the political manipulations going on behind the scenes. They also show that U.S. involvement made things worse and caused a great increase in death and destruction during these conflicts. Talk about evil and conspiring men.

World War I did not "make the world safe for democracy"! World War II did not save the world from being taken over by Hitler. These two ideas which we have been conditioned to believe were marketing ploys (lies by PR firms) to sell the American Public on these wars. Again, evil and conspiring men!

I highly recommend these books for anyone wanting to know the real histories of WWI and WWII. They are available at Amazon.

MrHFMetz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrHFMetz said...

This is a prime example of how the blind follow their blind leaders and fall in the ditch together. Following a psychopath president who is going to war for the aggrandizement of his own ego.
With deadly result. Literaly! I fully understand your anger.
I still remember the day that America invaded Iraq, and I thought: will the Americans ever learn, so – relatively – short after the Vietnam debacle? I am grateful for the intervention of your country during the second world war, but that was an entirely different situation.
What is especially shocking to me, is the role the LDS church played, in particular some of the “general authorities” as described in this blog. This church has become a dangerous cult, when its leaders so brazenly speak contrary to the scriptures.
There is a warning in the D&C for those among us, overrighteous Mormons, who pay their tithings and don't drink a cup of tea, attend their meetings, go to the temple, and feel they are the apple of God's eye, but who swallow pills like these; who are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men; this is about you, and it is in your own D&C, section 76, vers 75.

MrHFMetz said...

While reading this shocking post I tried to watch the video "let not your heart be troubled", on several computers and with several browsers but it was impossible to open it. Anyway the information in the post regarding the church's attitude on the Iraq war is clear enough: this is apostacy.
Again the LDS scripture concerning warfare is pointed out, and rightly so because in Sunday School we hear nothing about it.
D&C 98 appears to be crucial on the issue; but also on the position of constitutional law and state law on the one hand and the law of God on the other. I find it remarkable that vers 4 of this section is usually overlooked, although it reveals a fundamental principle right there. It clearly says that the Lord expects us to observe to do all things whatsoever the Lord commands us; here the Lord explains to us that this is His law also concerning the laws of the land. So if the two become contrary we are to obey the higher law, which is the word of God: His laws. I can see no other explanation of this piece of scripture. No church can deviate from that principle without becoming apostate.

MrHFMetz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
1 Fold 1 Shepherd said...

The same desire for vengeance will again grip this church in the coming years. By 2023 our Bill of Rights will have been infringed upon as a nation, and perhaps nowhere more clearly than along the Wasatch Front. Bitterness will seethe among devout members as the government constrains the church to perform gay marriages and turn over assets. Mitt Romney's name will be in the mix with a critical Supreme Court decision over the Presidency. I fear for his life. One we now know seeks to show his true colors and rule this land with an iron rod. The printer's ink will be mixed with blood.

When America's military forces are nuked over Saudi Arabia some years from now, a spirit of vengeance will overwhelm the people after a short period of mourning. When Russia nukes some of our cities, and then 2 years later nukes many more and ultimately invades our lands, bitterness and undying hatred will consume the vast majority of survivors.

I weep in the spirit for those who cannot find forgiveness in themselves and understand that this is God's will against us for having turned our back against the Holy Spirit and the commandments of Jesus Christ. Their souls are bound with cords tied directly to the gates of hell, and for many the days of their probation will terminate before they have that change of heart that is mighty to save.

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MrHFMetz said...

I read the post again. Thanks for it and for your righteous anger. It is definitely the most powerful post of them all, in my opinion. I saw the video "Let not your hearts be troubled". At first it seemed not possible, but I just opened Youtube and typed in this title, adding the word mormon at the end, and it came up. The video is a disgrace. Actually I feel ashamed to be identified with the mormons, after watching this garbage.

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