Sunday, June 8, 2014

Uncomfortable God

Previously: Vengeance And The Latter-Day Saint

These are interesting times to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Untold thousands of faithful, believing members are now becoming disillusioned with Church leadership.  This disconnect between the membership and those at the top is fueled by the growing observation that the teachings of Christ are not always reflected in the words and actions of some who purport to be His representatives.

Recently, on a Mormon-themed Facebook page, a frustrated member gave voice to her concerns, and the response was nothing short of phenomenal. If a cheering standing ovation could be translated to the printed word, that would be the best way to describe the reaction of those who read her remarkable words.  Her essay has already been shared far and wide, because her concerns are the concerns of many other devoted latter-day Saints who see their Church being virtually stolen out from under them; transformed into something alarmingly different than it was in the beginning -indeed, different even than in recent memory. The author has graciously permitted me to share her words here, so I present them now as this month's Guest Post.

As I and others have discovered, some in leadership positions within the modern LDS Church have not reacted kindly to those lowly members who have drawn attention to the dichotomy between the Church today and the one founded through Joseph Smith.  Since not everyone is in a position to endure the very real persecution that can result when reporting reality within this community, I am omitting the real name of the author and just calling her "Cate."  I look forward to reading your reactions in the comment section below.
  -Rock Waterman

                                                    Uncomfortable God
                                                                                                     By Cate

Last April 5th, I gathered around the television with my family to watch General Conference. As active, temple recommend holding members of the church, it’s what we do every April and October. It’s not just a weekend off for me. I’ve actually had a love affair with General Conference since I was a child sitting in a darkened chapel, taking copious notes in spiral bound notebooks I could barely see to write on. The outpouring of powerful emotions and positive messages filled me with a special kind of pride in belonging to the church. My church.

It’s been years since I had to drive across town and spend two solid days in “Sunday clothes” to enjoy conference weekend. With the decades have come the wisdom that every talk isn’t meant for me, that every speaker won’t speak to the particulars of my place along the path of life, and that some Church leaders will misspeak to the degree that talks have to be edited after delivery prior to being printed in Church magazines. Some talks have even been rerecorded, the modified audiovisual presentations supplanting the original. For the most part, I’m just fine with that. The general leadership of the Church, for all the adulation they receive from adoring church members, are fallible human beings. I don’t expect their talks to be perfect.

But I also don’t expect their talks to be dripping with sarcasm and condescension; nor do I expect, with all the very real issues plaguing humanity, for them to target men of straw.  Sadly that’s what I heard this past April 5th.

To put it mildly, I was disappointed by Elder Holland's talk, "The Cost – and Blessings – of Discipleship".  As I listened to Elder Holland, normally a conference favorite, I was taken by how angry and sarcastic his tone was. I was saddened by how targeted his words seemed at certain groups within the church who are grappling with tough issues. Loaded words like "advocacy," "patriarchal," "provincial," and "bigoted" sprinkled throughout the talk seemed to point squarely at families who lobby for civil rights for their gay children, women who struggle with the hierarchical inequity in Church structure, and people like me, who see love -known in the scriptures as charity- as a divine power which never faileth.

Elder Holland came across as angry and condescending. Part of my takeaway,  I'm sure, results from the fact that I've dealt with an increasing number of church members recently who take my pleas for tolerance and compassion as "condoning sin" rather than an invitation to win through charity rather than compulsion.

As I listened to Elder Holland, I had the sinking feeling that his words would catalyze the most judgmental voices in the church, promoting a spirit of division and justifying intolerance. This intuition has been validated numerous times in the two months since the conference, both in church classes and online, as I’ve heard church members define faithfulness to God not in terms of what we stand for, but primarily in terms of what we stand against. President Uchtdorf’s big tent vision, which allows for imperfect members who grapple with complex issues, was instantly replaced with a dogmatic return to lockstep religiosity.

As I write this, I am aware that Elder Holland may not have meant his talk for me. He may have intended to condemn “the world” using the popular ‘us vs. them’ paradigm promulgated by religious leaders ad infinitum. The problem is that when you paint stark black and white lines like he did, those of us who have fought our way through life’s gray are going to feel the brush strokes.

Contrary to cultural mythos, it’s not because we are guilty and hate hard truths. It’s because, as was the case with Job, we’ve lived lives of hard truth and we’ve experienced the complexities of mortality firsthand. We’ve seen beneath the superficial skin of simple dichotomies and have felt the blood of our belief pour from us like water from a sword pierced side. In those forsaken moments, we found God, not a comfortable hand-drawn caricature designed to make us feel superior to others, but a fierce and loving God who demands every last shred of who we are until we are left with no alternative than to cry out “It is finished.”

There is a cost of discipleship. I know it. I’ve paid it. I pay it every single day. And having traversed my own wine press, however incomparable to that of my exemplar, I found a God who was radically more interested in my ability to love my neighbor in spite of his or her fallen state than to draw lines which exclude. I found a God whose love is transformative and whose love, when manifest through me, is a corrective force needing little, if any, accompanying condemnation.  Precisely because I found that God, I found Elder Holland’s words a harsh and demoralizing oversimplification of what I and so many others have experienced:
"Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.
"Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes—and this seems the greatest irony of all—these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of 'comfortable' God. Really? It was He who said not only should we not break commandments, but we should not even think about breaking them. And if we do think about breaking them, we have already broken them in our heart. Does that sound like 'comfortable' doctrine, easy on the ear and popular down at the village love-in?"
As I heard these words, intoned with such condescension, I was left to wonder, "Who are these people Elder Holland is referring to?"  I don't know them. I see people around me who are desperate to make this world a better place, myself included. People who refuse to hate others for their sins, often in contrast to the examples they have seen in the church.

I see people who want to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned with more than a plate of cookies and a warm casserole, all while their Church leaders pray over the opening of law offices, dedicate banks, build shopping malls, cater to wealthy elk hunters, and buy up the state of FloridaI see good people frustrated with being called to repentance by an institution which acts in ways that are sometimes baffling when compared to the words and life of Christ. I see a corporation that has built up a culture through correlated texts and copyrighted media which prioritizes unthinking conformity over true discipleship.

If Church leaders think we are dancing around Woodstock looking for flowers to put in our hair, they are precisely what Elder Holland denies - hopelessly out of touch. Contrary to the insinuation that we, who proclaim an answer in love, seek a comfortable god, I’m disgusted that my Church makes membership so damned comfortable.

Other churches in my town don't own malls. They run soup kitchens. They don't just sponsor BSA troops, they hold AA meetings. These churches help felons find jobs, sponsor immigrants and help their members adopt children from war torn nations. Churches in my city have homeless ministries, outreach programs for the elderly and impoverished, and their women gather to pour out their hearts in prayer for the suffering that goes on around the world. They actively fight against human trafficking, they consciously support ethical trade and are aware of the price paid by third world workers to support a first world lifestyle. They speak against injustice, proclaim peace, and create welcoming environments for people who "sin differently."

They do these things week after week, year after year.

At my church, 90% of what we do is incestuous service; we make dinners for each other, we visit the sick within our own congregations, we go to the temple for our own families. On occasion, we have a community service "project" or the Relief Society makes prescribed hygiene and newborn kits from downloadable patterns available on the Church website. We rarely see the faces of those who most need our service. As a congregation, we are so insulated. So aloof. So free to simply donate money as we plan our next family vacation, shop for a new "modest" dress, or call a plastic surgeon to schedule a mommy makeover.

Is the Church doing significant good in the world's poorest spots? Among inmates? With victims of domestic abuse? I'll have to take the Newsroom’s word for it. Even BYU T.V.’s between conference session media blitz on world affairs shows birthday celebrations and temple dedications, seemingly  prioritizing those events over our emergency response project/PR endeavors. We need hands that help every day. Not just after a storm. But every single day because the world is broken every single day. Because even in our own church, LDS children, a sickening number of them, go to bed hungry every single day.

I assure you, my walk through the gray complexities of life has made me terribly uncomfortable.

And yet we spend so much time on "sin management" at church. We spend so much time instilling fear in the dangers of interacting with the world Christ was sent to save that we have created a religion that only plays defense, as if followers of Christ could live out their faith pointing fingers at their enemies from inside a bunker.

No wonder our people have such problems with porn, divorce, abuse, vanity, and personal sins. We are so busy measuring the borders of our own garments that we can’t see past our own cloaks. For that matter, we have set such a low bar for discipleship that our good people are hopelessly underwhelmed by the dogma of white shirts and multiple piercings and our mediocre members are celebrating the self-mastery of 75% home teaching and being able to efficiently regurgitate an assigned General Conference talk from the pulpit, when invited to speak in sacrament meeting every few years.

We are pitifully uninspired. So yes. Let’s talk about a comfortable God. One who looks on approvingly while we grow in wealth as God’s children in Sudan go hungry.
         

Maybe this is why Brigham Young warned of the dangers of affluence.

Further, that village love-in, it's pretty damn hard to organize. You know why? Because it's easier to whisper gossip about a "sinner" than to take her hand and sit down together at a meal as fellow mortal pilgrims. It's easier to kick out a gay child and denounce his "choice" than to relearn how to love him and subsequently acknowledge the worth of the people he brings into your life. It’s easier to exclude than it is to live with the humble recognition that God can and does work in the lives of all people, even when they don't live the standards found within For the Strength of Youth.

And those are the kinds of behaviors justified among our people when you sarcastically dis-empower central godly attributes like love, the power which effectuated the atonement and which never fails. It’s what happens when you relegate mercy, gentleness, and the faith that God knows what He's doing in each of our lives to a hippie mantra. It’s what happens when you speak as if life and the Spirit are less effective teachers than pulpit pounding brimstone. The love-in for that uncomfortable God is awfully hard to organize in a culture that says we prefer our children dead than defiled.

And you know something else? That village love-in isn't the orgy you're imagining.

It's a feast. And a lot of people who've been invited are too busy doing meaningless church work to fit it into their schedule.

Or maybe they are too 'ritually pure' to sit beside the unwashed and unwanted who are being called out of the pews by the loving, forgiving, merciful voice of Jesus the Christ. I'll tell you this – a lot of folks are missing out as they travel the dusty Jericho road on their trek back and forth to church meetings and temple worship while ignoring the bleeding and broken. They are ever hastening the work of recruitment and never coming face to face with Christ in the least of these. And yet they are wondering why the fonts are dry.

How will it be, I wonder, when we reach the great beyond ready to celebrate with ancestors whose saving ordinances we’ve performed only to find ourselves instead viewing, gathered to Abraham’s bosom, a long line of those who sat outside our gates, ignored, from whom we must first plead and obtain forgiveness? Are we so myopic that we believe God applauds our ritual performances while the world outside the temple walls groans in desperate need of our attention? Oh how my God makes me increasingly uncomfortable.

I have seen the Church move in fits and starts toward more engagement with the world outside. Toward healing the world instead of just trying to fill pews. Certainly, I have seen individual members follow Christ into the lives of social lepers and the rejects. I know I am not alone in feeling the disquieting discomfort of a God who tenderly invites, “Come follow me.”

But I also know that most of that divine work is done outside the structure of the very Church which requires all our time, talents, and energy. I wonder when the institution of the Church will stop filing legal briefs and follow her members into the dusty streets of this world to touch and be touched by the broken and unclean? Perhaps the surge of power from hem to hand would heal us all.

My God calls me out into the streets. He leaves me restless with the ache to heal and be healed. It is a throbbing, relentless discomfort that compels me to do His bidding. And when I heed His call, lives are changed. They are transformed without the need for formalized discussions or new member checklists. They are changed because the good news is just that good.

The gospel doesn't spread by force -certainly not by forced discussion. It spreads by fascination.

And most of our people, having been fed a steady diet of pre-digested milk, are pathetically nonchalant. Starved for a gospel rich in transformative unity with God, they are uninspired by the lackluster offering of platitudes and proscriptions. They are wandering toward agnosticism, atheism, and other churches, not because they are unable to believe, but because the anemic offerings of their church experience have convinced them that God is not present at our self-congratulatory "historic" meetings or in our proclamations drafted by legal teams, however well they poll.

The slow but steady pioneer trail leading out through the chapel doors ought to be noticeable. But if it isn't, just wait a generation.

Those of us who remain seated due to inertia or in the hopes that the vibrant church we've read about in the increasingly available unvarnished tales of our father's faith are talking about things that matter. Things more pertinent to God than promoting modesty to four-year-olds in a Church magazine, things more awe-inspiring than a God who can only conjure warm fuzzies as a witness, things more restorative than endless hours in the pews. And our children are listening. Our children will have no memory of an uncorrelated church. They will see only another religious institution, patting itself on the back in the tradition of Pharisee forebears. A religion proclaiming its chosenness from within its insulated walls.

But you know what? There is good news. In fact, there is great news. This feast, our village love-in, it isn't ending any time soon. Its attendance is growing as more and more frustrated church members across all Christendom relinquish the bondage of certainty and embrace the hope and mystery that is the incomprehensible love of God. It swells with every realization that all men are our brothers and that being chosen is a call to action not an award for merit or the election of a lucky birth. The seats at the feast fill steadily as God fills us with faith in our fellowmen and empathy born of the solidarity of mortal sojourn and we are unified in the Eucharist of abandoning the fear that God will stop loving us "if".

Yes, there is good news indeed. Good news about the feast. And I have it on the only authority that matters - He's saving you a seat.

Postscript: Even though I was disheartened by Elder Holland’s talk, I continue to love this man and recognize the challenging position he holds as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. I cannot not love him. My uncomfortable God does not allow it.

                                                                     *****
A Note From Rock 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.

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710 comments:

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Matthew said...

Cate,

Your meek response convinces me that you really are an honest individual, and I misread the intent of your post. I'm sorry for doubting you. I have a question about another part that I'd like your opinion on.

Why do you think it's necessarily bad that most of the LDS people's charity is in-house ("incestuous", as you call it)? While I agree that every Church member ought to be serving those inside and outside the Church according to the principles laid out in King Benjamin's sermon, Mark 7:27-30 and D&C 41:5-6 lead me to believe that there's a "hierarchy" of importance in who should receive certain types of service. Until we achieve the lofty goal of having no poor among us, wouldn't it be expected that most of the member's service is concentrated within the LDS community? And, until we achieve that goal, wouldn't it be more appropriate for Church funds to go towards helping Church members?

I say all this fully cognizant of the social inequality, pride, and greed that exists in the Church which ought not to. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

engaged19times said...

So what is the scoop on the dangers of confessing to a bishop? When i was younger, dumber, and thought mormons had all the answers I confessed some stuff cuz they tell u bishops are the lords judges in israel. And then they use the scare tactic of saying bishops have some kinda superpower of discernment. When i look back now, those teachings smack of scientology using lie detectors.

Robin Hood said...

Hi Rock,
I really don't think your comments about Bishops in the church are either helpful or accurate. In fact, I think it was an absolutely appalling comment Rock.

However, I think I have realised the main issue that many people (though not all) who post here appear to have acquired. They seem to expect far too much from their church leaders and not nearly enough from themselves. Apostles, Seventy's, SP's you name it, are expected to be near perfect might men of God. In other words, many here appear to trust, or to have trusted in, the arm of flesh (ie. the leadership).
Most will recoil at that suggestion, but why such disappointment in other human beings otherwise? Elder Holland this, Brigham Young that, all Bishops blab your business etc. It's just one big moan-in; one long, ever-growing tedious helping of negativity. This blog didn't used to be like this.

I think this particular thread falls well below the usual standard for this blog because the OP article was so poor. Rock is such a good insightful writer but for some reason simply cut and paste someone elses work; which was, quite frankly, not of the same standard. Not by a long way.
As we say in this part of the world, "If tha's nowt good to say lad, say nowt".

LDSDPer said...

@Robin,

I wish you wouldn't generalize.

I expect absolutely nothing from anyone in the church.

Not from my bishop (who happens to be a very kind man and who worked with me, so I could get a recommend; I will never ask more of him, though one of my children and his wife share some challenges and have supported each other a little; it's been a mutual thing; it's been rare to have that, and I'm grateful for it)

not from my SP, not from his counselors, not from the bishop's counselors, though one of them is such a gracious man that when I get an e-mail from him I thank him for being so gracious; the other is a lout.

But I would never tell him that; my husband knows I think he is a lout, because he is (he also has a mean wife and children, poor man!)

I expect nothing from any regional authorities or general authorities.

I try to keep a low profile, because I am generally afraid of people who have any power, especially over me.

As for Brigham Young, well, Robin, he's dead.

And if you didn't have ancestors who were in Utah with him, you might not understand the fear and terror the man spread.

And it's been like coming out of darkness into sunlight to learn more of the truth about him. I am cautious. I believe he was put in his place (or allowed to be there) by the Lord, as a trial for very disobedient saints, and I have no right to say where he will end up, but I want no association with him.

Some of the things he taught were very destructive (right down to death) of some of my ancestors and caused a lot of suffering.

So, yes.

I merely said I didn't understand Elder Holland, and I rarely understand general authorities anymore.

I happen usually to understand Elder Uchtdorf. One of the things I like about him is that he is not an American and hasn't got American neo-conservative political values and beliefs. I worry about his being influenced by people in Utah, however.

I always understand him. The others often seem to be speaking in code.

But I expect nothing from anyone. I take care of myself. It's not easy. Our family takes care of our family.

IF we had an emergency, we might be able to call on our home teacher, who is a good man, but very elderly.

And there is one other elderly couple in our ward who are good and kind to everyone--

but we would not ask them for help; they have little to give.

I don't know where we would turn, because when we were down and out before, we didn't turn to the church--

and we got by. Somehow we managed to get a place to live and employment, though things were really hard for a very long time.

But we asked nothing of the church, and we have stayed free of government help.

What is this idea you have that American Mormons want the church to help them?

Not we.

I guess I am confused. I am becoming more and more confused, perhaps.

The Lord knows He is all we have, and He has been kind, so far, not to put us where we would have to depend upon those who would hurt us--

I need to be more grateful for that right now--

I have taken that blessing too much for granted.

In our area of the church wealth means a lot--

and we are not wealthy, so we stay as low profile as possible.

Joshua Henricksen said...

Gary and Alan:

I have re-read the scripture and I have done a bit of research regarding the word "servant." My opinion has not changed. I would invite the two of you to go back through the Doctrine and Covenants and look at how often the Lord refers to the mortal men and women mentioned in those revelations as his servants.

Please also see verses 14 and 17-18 where it not only references the angelic messengers, but also future presidents and apostles and Joseph Smith himself, calling him a servant. I would invite the two of you to go back and re-read the revelation to find the true meaning of D&C 1:38.

Little Rock said...

@Rock:

While I appreciate your responses to my inquiries, I must say that you can really take a lesson from Cate. Cate is not prideful, and is meek and humble. Her gentle demeanor is very much appreciated. I have not read all of her comments, but she seems to have the gift of diffusing arguments and not escalating them. Cate has not taken offense to my words, so why do you? When someone responds with kindness it takes the fight right out of me.

I admire Cate for taking the time to respond to my questions point by point in a very honest way without having to be coerced.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joshua Henricksen said...

Here here! Whomever you are, you nailed it! :)

LDSDPer said...

oh, Robin--

I know you didn't direct any of your comments to me, but I wanted to make it clear that I get e-mails from the nice bishop's counselor, because I have to answer to him in one of my callings.

Talk about being a real gentleman!!!

His wife is a peach, too, though--

LDSDPer said...

@anyone who cares--

"black and white" is found only in the Book of Mormon in reference to swearing not helping hair color to change to 'black or white'--

and that 'black and white' are alike unto God--


I am convinced that only Jesus can change hearts--

but sometimes people can have paradigm shifts when they read things others have written.

Which is why discussion is important.

It is very hard for me to understand how those who think "Cate" is destroying the church--

can think that.

But I know that there was a time, before sore trials came upon me, when I might have had the same reaction.

Cate, you are quiet today; you are probably exhausted by this. But I appreciate what you have written and continue to write.

I hope I didn't embarrass you by saying you were brilliant.

You are just an intelligent, connected writer. I admire that. :)


Friar Tuck said...

@Anonymous 8:57

I agree with much of what you write, but I think Cate is a very honest and sincere person. Maybe she hasn't given enough thought to correcting problems rather than identifying them.

Rock, on the other hand, I consider to be evasive and deceptive. He only points out the bad in the church, and has given little or no thought to what will happen if the church fails completely. He probably doesn't understand the 2000 years of apostasy that happened the last time the church went under. It is like toppling Saddam Hussein...many thought that Iraq would be better off without him, but look at the horrible mess that that country has become. Without supporting Saddam, let me just say that folks don't realize how much he was able to hold that country together. Now, militants are taking over Iraqi cities as we speak, and there will no doubt be decades of war ahead for that country. Maybe Iraq is a poor example, but it illustrates a point.

Cate said...

@Matthew

Thank you for the kind words, Matthew.

Even though the similar phrasing is used in the passages in Mark and D&C, I don't believe they address the same issue.

In Mark, the Greek woman is asking for healing. Assuming this is the same encounter described in Matthew 15, I think there is a broader context at play. Let's look at the Matthew account. The chapter begins with Jesus being accused of failing to honor (and to teach his disciples to honor) Jewish tradition. The Pharisees justify themselves in denouncing Jesus and his band by using the fifth commandment - to honor one's father and mother. "Father and Mother" in this case, represent prophets, priests, rabbis, and sages who lead the Jewish community and taught and defined proper behavior. Christ condemns the Pharisees as drawing near to God with their mouths but having hearts far from God. In other words, misunderstanding their own law.

The disciples are upset that the Pharisees are offended by the Lord's explanation that it isn't what goes into your mouth which defiles you but what comes from your heart. Even the disciples misunderstand. The Lord promises that every plant will be uprooted. In other words, the vain traditions will be overthrown.

Fast forward (well, don't really because this is all part of the same Rabbinic teaching but for brevity...) a few verses and we see the Lord's group have now moved on Tyre and Sidon.

In the Matthew account we meet a Canaanite woman, who recognizes Jesus as the Messiah(!)which we know by her reference to "Son of David". She is begging that her daughter be healed.

Christ is silent. After what He just tried to teach His disciples about tradition, the evidence shows they still don't understand.

They say (paraphrasing) 'Rabbi tell this Gentile woman to quit pestering us.' So He says precisely what tradition would have Him say as a Jewish Rabbi, who should not be interacting with this unclean creature. He turns her away.

She comes at Him more fervently. Worshiping Him. What does a Rabbi do in this instance - the eyes of His disciples upon Him? He rebuffs her again in a common colloquialism of the day. She persists.

In my mind's eye, I imagine it is at this point when He looks directly at His disciples.

After the third metaphorical knock at His door, He reveals Himself to her. Her daughter is healed and her faith is praised.

Do you think His disciples got the message that His mission was to all men, in stark comparison to the dictates of tradition?

Now on to D&C...

LDSDPer said...

@anonymous--

8:57--

your opinions are valid as your opinions, as anyone's are.

But your statements are blanket and general--

and you don't know whom Cate might be helping.

Her concerns about Elder Holland happen to have been expressed by some close to me. As I said, I stopped listening to the talk about the potato spitting--

and I wasn't just being puny; I wasn't feeling well, and that graphic expression almost undid me--

you can't say who is helping whom--

her agenda?

MANY people out here who are breaking their hearts to serve in numerous ways and have spent their lives engaged anxiously--

and ARE still in the church--

feel as Cate does. Who are you to speak for everyone and talk about 'movements'?

And agendas?

That is your opinion. You have expressed it. You have no idea how much people like Cate, who have the courage to speak up and out, help those who are struggling--

for some reason there are those who are just fine with things the way they are.

I am going to say something very strong here, and I daresay nobody will read it--

but when Babylon falls, and Babylon will fall--

and I don't think anyone here or anywhere would deny that corporations run the world--

Isaiah in 1 Nephi says "he will do his pleasure on Babylon"--

those who rely a lot on NT scriptures about Babylon (though there are plenty of references in the D&C)--

know that God will destroy Babylon.

Babylon is the 'whore' of the earth.

What is impoverishing the nations and starving the children, etc.?

Babylon.

I can find no better definition for modern Babylon than 'the corporation'.

It doesn't matter if the CEO is a righteous man. It doesn't matter what the original intent of the corporation was, once a corporation is created, it becomes its own machine.

So, when Babylon falls--

members of 'the church' had better have learned to lean on Jesus and not on anything that is part of that corporation.

The church was incorporated sometime in the early 1900s (Rock once mentioned when and by whom)--

it was not done by revelation; it was done by a lawyer, Charles Nibley?

Thirty/forty years ago church leaders (yes) were warning *us* to have our own light--

not to rely on the testimony of others, to have our own light.

It's been silent now for some time.

If you want to blame Cate and those who agree with her for the state of things,

make sure you have your own light--

do not rely on the arm of flesh--

and that phrase and directive is found all over in the Book of Mormon.

Nick said...

Agree with your sentiments, Robin Hood. The more Rock's blog degenerates into repetitive complaints against church leaders and church institutions the less interesting it becomes. This is the laziest form of persuasion and in fact such complaints are not persuasive at all.

Now everyone seems enchanted by Cate's correspondence. In this she does come across as thoughtful and courteous. Unfortunately her original missive, the one that supposedly went viral, portrays none of those qualities. Rather the original post makes a deliberate misrepresentation of Elder Holland and then uses that lie to justify a whole host of cynical and derisive complaints against charitable church efforts.

First, one must recognize the trick Cate pulls off. She claims that personally she likes Elder Holland and that he is a conference favorite. What concerns her is that "his words would catalyze the most judgmental voices in the church". Turns out Cate is one of those judgmental voices! She is sufficiently judgmental to publish and share across social media a very critical opinion of the Church and of Elder Holland.

Nice deflection, Cate. But rather than project to others your own feelings you would be more honest to own them and claim responsibility for them.

If Cate truly admired Elder Holland one would think she would make even the smallest effort to put what he said in context. But no, instead Cate projects the most divisive and ugly interpretations into his words. Thus, despite saying NOTHING about homosexuality or about Ordain Women Cate assumes that people with these concerns are his target and that he means to personally insult them.

Simply put, Cate demands charity towards her but she is unwilling to provide such to Elder Holland.

The hypocrisy continues. Her comment about "incestuous" church charity is especially revealing. Church congregations throughout the world have a sign that says "Visitors Welcome." All are invited to come and see and to participate with the Mormons. Within these congregations there are many who are needy and the Church community does its best to help. And yet Cate judges this service as unworthy of Christ.

Who is Cate to claim such authority to judge whose works are worthy of Christ and whose are not? If one feels service can be better rendered than take on the individual responsibility to render that charity. Don’t justify yourself by criticizing the efforts of others.

Or, as Christ explained:
Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.


LDSDPer said...

@Friar,

no human hand can stop this church or any corporation--

people here in America have been trying for years to stop these ridiculous wars (even those originally in favor)--

but the machine keeps rumbling on--

Rock has no answer for if the church falls?

Who is in charge of the entire world?

Put your trust in HIM and don't worry about whether or not the church falls. You can neither help or hinder it.

People like Cate keep some people in the church (because they are hurting as she is)--

and yet others who seem quite comfortable with the status quo insist she is destroying the church.

And that Rock is. Eh?

Rock has asked those who e-mail him and complain to tell him who has left the church as a result of the things he has written.

They never can tell him. It is 'comfortable' members who don't like his words.

It is those who are 'secure'.

But I can tell you that Rock's blog has helped some *I* know stay in the church.

There are people who come on here all the time who have already left or who are up in the air--

but Rock has given them no reason to leave--

He can't or won't force people to stay or encourage people to leave.

Why am I answering for Rock? Because I know he has helped people I love, and I am getting annoyed at those who keep saying he is so negative.

Do you have any idea how many broken hearts there are out there?

If you are comfortable and secure, and you think someone like Rock (and Cate) are destroying faith--

then why are you here?

Cate said...

@ Matthew,

D&C 41, the first revelation received in Ohio, was a specific response to a group of new converts who had come from a religious order known as "Disciples". The use of the word "disciple" in verse 5 was a pointed reference, I believe, to their (the Disciples) practices which were causing dissent among the congregation. I don't read these verses as limiting our giving, especially since the law of consecration was given only a few days later (D&C 42).

I think the real question though is this, if we pronounce President Monson, the Prophet to the whole world rather than simply to the church, then his stewardship, and that of the church, clearly has the same global responsibility.

As for King Benjamin's sermon, I will reread that this evening and respond to any parts I see as possibly creating a hierarchy of our service efforts. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any but those are probably my favorites passages in the Book of Mormon so rereading them will be a joy.

LDSDPer said...

@Nick--

Rock's blog is degenerating. Why are you telling Robin?

Why not tell Rock?

Cate has 'tricks'--

why are you telling Robin? Why not tell Cate.

Good heavens; there is as much negativity in the things you are saying to people who are discussing things on this blog as you think anyone is saying about public figures.

As I said, and it doesn't appear that anyone cares, the Spirit told me not to listen to that talk, and the only thing that happened is that I almost lost my dinner, because I did--

later I read it, and to me it is incomprehensible--

but the Book of Mormon is not incomprehensible to me--

Thank Heavens!

If we're going to quote scriptures, take your complaints directly to the person who has 'offended' you--

D&C 42:88 (and beyond)

No, you can't do that privately; this is a public discussion board.

But it is rude to discuss someone to someone else when that other person can read it.

Bad manners are negative, too.

Cate said...

@ Nick,

Even though your comments are harsh toward me, I appreciate that you are sharing them.

It is clear you think you know my heart. I can only say that you do not. However, I do not begrudge you sharing your words and opinion, though they are marked with the same lack of charity you accuse me of having.

Nick, I hold no ill will toward you, neither do I hold any toward Elder Holland. As I have repeatedly pointed out, my words were a reaction to a mindset I was worried would be exacerbated by some of the words he spoke. And yes, my words were less than charitable. I own them.

I won't continue to go through your comments point by point because I now realize, as I think others will, that you weren't looking for discourse any more than I was when I wrote the original blog post.

May we both do better in the future.

God bless you, Nick.

LDSDPer said...

@anyone I may have offended.

I have said that a person had bad manners.

I have been fighting a warring spirit lately.

Defensiveness and indigation lead to a warring spirit and contention.

And I want to be a peaceable follower of Christ (Moroni 7:3)

Cate, you are a good example.

I apologize for the defensiveness that has been in me the last few days.

I can't blame those who appear to be provoking some who have strong feelings--

I can only speak for myself on that--

Sometimes I think there are those who find it delightful to poke something until it squeals--

and I am easily poked.

Inspire has always been a good example to me, and he has showed up only once on this discussion.

I can see, now, why he doesn't come on much.

No more contention. No more warring in my heart.

I apologize to anyone whom I might have offended.

Cate said...

Anonymous June 11 8:57,

Do you know how we can recognize the idols in our lives? We are irrationally infuriated when they are questioned, ignored, ridiculed, or attacked.

Have you ever wondered why you are so angry when someone says that all isn't well in Zion?

I know that for myself, for many years, the answer would have been a defensive, nearly visceral response. I would have angrily responded to anyone daring to speak ill of the institution and individuals I considered to be above scrutiny. I've since come to believe that honesty is the only way we can become better. Still I'm not a fan of brutal honesty and some of my words were may fit that bill.

I'm sorry about your friend.

Anonymous said...
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Cate said...

@ LDSPer,

Thank you for the kind words. Given the wide variety of responses this post has garnered, and the range of characterizations I've gotten from prophetess to anti-Christ, I'm happy to have you just see me for who I am, a very fallible person who is really struggling with the institutional church that I love and broken-hearted by a church culture that seems to have a very unhealthy life of its own.

Robin Hood said...

Cate,
Then create your own culture!
I have very little time for people who whinge and offer nothing.

Do you know how the church welfare programme started? It started with a stake president who decided to do something about the great suffering experienced during the depression. He could have moaned on about the church not doing anything, or about the stipends of GA's when many of the Saints were going hungry, or any number of umpteen things. But instead, he decided to do something about it himself. The result is a massive positive then and now which has helped many, many people.
It was a good example of a bottom-up development. You seem to want and expect a top-down initiative to resolve your concerns.
This is very disappointing.

LeShel said...

Can someone explain the purpose of a dedicatory prayer and how it would pertain to a law firm and a bank?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You are obviously heartbroken over something but to demonize the leaders and to blatantly misrepresent the church, conveniently leaving out all the good that it does just to make YOUR point is dishonest. In your attempt to start being "honest" with yourself, as you said, you are being dishonest with others. But you have created the perfect, comfortable "gray space" on the Internet where you will always find like minded people because there will always be those who think they are smarter than the leaders.

Gary Hunt said...

Robin Hood,

I think your point about us expecting perfection out of leaders is correct. That is part of the problem. One other aspect I would add is best expressed in the saying “it takes two to tango.” In other words, many in leadership positions help foster that attitude among the rank-and-file membership. I have been told by church leaders on several of occasions that you are supposed to obey what your church leaders say because they are called by the Lord so what they say is the same as if the Lord said it, even if what they say is wrong! The scriptures do say we should heed their words. However most member assume the meaning of the word heed means to obey. This is incorrect. The word heed means “have a care, take notice, care for.” (Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology)

I believe that individuals and organizations need safety valves. We can call them avenues of recourse to resolve problems. If this is lacking the pressure builds up and things explode. This is what I think you see happening here on this blog. Why are people frustrated with church leadership? Many, are frustrated because when they go in for help with a personal problem or doctrinal issues etc…. What many get is well-intentioned but bad advice, told to sweep the problem under the rug (the bishop doesn’t want to, or is afraid to deal with it), “stone-walled” (the leaders are always correct and you as a member are wrong) as described above and other responses which in reality do not help the person. In other words, in theory there are safety valves but in practice there are no safety valves, problems are not resolved and members go somewhere else to get problems resolved.

engaged19times said...

To the Robin Hood Brigade: You know what all these conflicts are really about? It's the mormon cultural theme of acting like everything is hunky dory when it isnt, and pushing real issues into a closet. Nothing, and i mean nothing, about mormonism today or of yesteryear is puppies, lollipops, and rainbows. Even the BoM is so dark that I cant bring myself to share its stories with my small children. Why is it so prevalent in mormonism culture to pretend everything is okay when its not? And then when someone shines light on real problems, they are labeled apostate or anti mormon? Even my own parents who are first gen mormons act this way.

Not that I am defending Cate, cuz frankly with her BY quotes and love for Jeff Holland I wasnt inspired by the essay. But its not okay with me for ppl to sweep problems under the rug. Also, the sentiment that the church is perfect but the ppl arent does not fly with most folks anymore.

Gary Hunt said...

Anonymous @12:04 PM and @12:05 PM,

Many who are critical of how the church handles issues have been subject to or know someone close to them who have been subjected to ecclesiastical abuse. When these members go through the proper channels to get issues resolved they get "stonewalled" or told they are at fault not a particlular church leader. In other words "we are always right and you are always wrong."

BTW. In yourstatement you have created a "strawman argument", in that you are oversimplifying and misrepresenting what is actually being said.

LDSDPer said...

@Gary,

Thank you. As usual.



@anonymous--12:04 and 12:05

You come up with the most interesting thing.

Now I am beginning to wonder if I am smarter than a collective group of men or they are smarter than me.

I had never thought of that before.

This reminds me of something my parents told me that they had heard (a myth from the mid-1900s or before)


parents are leaving a few older children for a few hours, alone--

and the parents say,

"whatever you do, do NOT get up into the top of the cupboard, get a bean out of the bean bin--

put it in your nose and get it stuck there."


I'd never thought of whether or not I was 'smarter' than any of those men who are in SLC.

For one thing--

what does 'smart' mean--

in some cultures it means nattily dressed or well-dressed.

It can also be something parents tell children not to be, as in "sassy"--

It can refer to academics, of course.

Which meaning did you have in mind?

How hard would it be to get the ACT scores (if they had ACTs for most of the GAs; I know some of them must have)--

for the GAs.

Or their high school or college grades?

How can we find this out?

Some of them have quite advanced degrees.

I could never go up against Elder Oaks in a trial--

but I wouldn't want to, even if I don't believe that it's a good idea to 'legislate morality', and he does.

I think I need to mull this over--

I might actually be smarter than one or two of them in a few things.

Ah, HA!!!

I'm a REALLY good cook!!! I think I could probably outcook most of those codgers.

(I'm codger age myself; my husband consdiers himself a 'codger')

I MIGHT be smarter!!!

What an interesting diversion!!!

:)

Another way I might be smarter. I think I have spent much more time taking care of special needs children. There might be a special needs child among the children of general authorities, but I can imagine their wives (or schools) have done most of the work.

Have learned more about special children (from all kinds of special backgrounds)

I think I might be smarter there, but nobody has asked me to come to Salt Lake and talk about that--

I could go into some detail on things that aren't generally thought much of here in the U.S. Not the standard (though SO very difficult things)

like the autism spectrum or heavy learning disabilities or various syndromes--

but things that could probably help 1/4 of the children in the world who are now suffering--

but nobody wants to know that.

And, I need to do that myself.

Oops, I can't leave my home--

oh well.

What if I wrote a letter to them and offered to do an interest 'conference' on the needs of certain, very unique kinds of children who are not often found in the U.S. Because they aren't from the U.S.?

Do you suppose they would write back and say, "yes, please; we've been worried about this?"--

I don't know. What do you think?



LDSDPer said...

Robin, you can read that last one, too--

What if you tried to help a VERY at-risk child from a different part of the world (not long distance)--

and your bishop said that all the child's problems were your fault--

and that there were no children in the world with such problems--

even though an obviously VERY malnourished child could be seen sitting with my husband me and our other children every week--about three to six years smaller than he/she should have been--

and threatened to take your temple recommend for wanting to teach a non-English speaking child separately, who wasn't understanding his/her primary lessons and was having panic attacks for hours before going to church (including before going to bed the night before and not being able to sleep, a child with regular insomnia)--

and that it is against the handbook.

I wonder if you would say, "you are correct, bishop; I have sinned. Such problems as this child has endured are definitely not in existence in the world, and I take full responsibility for the condition of the child. Thank you for calling me to repentance, and how could I have thought to go against the handbook. Give me time to repent; take my TR, so I can be sufficiently humbled."

(that bishop came to me several years later, weeping, and apologized)

I now tell people about the bishop (who is no longer living) who apologized to me, and how precious it was to take him by the hand and say, "you are forgiven; please don't cry anymore."

Would you like to trade me experiences?

Or do you think I am whining?

I hadn't meant to share that much, but sometimes--

people don't 'get' it unless you give it to them straight--

and you still might not 'get' it.

You live in England, Robin; you've seen the hungry refugees, I am imagine.

We hide them here.

:(

eshols resetting

LDSDPer said...

sorry; that should have been 'internet' conference--

LDSDPer said...

@Cate,

You are so welcome.

:)

Thank you for being willing to take on all the negative stuff, so that those of us who need and appreciate what you have to say can have access to it.

Anonymous said...
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Gary Hunt said...

Joshua Hendricksen,

Here's the scripture. Let me walk you through it.

38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

The subject of the first phrase is what the Lord has spoken. The next four phrases tells us that he doesn't make excuses for what he has said. What he says will be fullfilled. The last phrase is what get many members mixed up.

"...whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

What is the subject the Lord is refering to? It is the words the Lord, Himself has actually spoken. It doesn't matter if the vehicle for distributing His words is His own voice or the voice of one of his servants. Many member interpret this to mean that whenever a servant speaks it is the same as if the Lord was speaking. They forget the prerequisite that the Lord has to be speaking in the first place for it to be the same.

Do you get it now?

La Bruja Kozmica said...

@37andholding, Kevin and BK,

Thank you for your comments, I appreciate them. As I said I have found joy out of the church, in this beautiful country among people I love.

However, as I am reading again some of the comments I see that some criticize Cate so severely just because she is expressing her point of view. Some will go on forever on discussions trying to prove who is right or wrong. And some even say: who we are to question the leaders of the Church.
Again, this is one of the many reasons why I am not at the church anymore, we cannot accept or respect others points of view even when they are against of our own beliefs.
We cannot call ourselves Christians and think it is ok to try to impose our opinion on others. It is all about respect and tolerance and religion by itself feeds intolerance in people.
I respect people who even knowing the deficiencies of the church (the organization made by men) decided to stay there because they love God and the gospel, my mother included. I respect people who like me decided to walk away because I know how harsh the church in Utah it can be. And I respect people who are completely against the church because I know they felt excluded by the own members of the church. And this is what Cate is talking about, how we forget about the really important things that the gospel teaches us, because we are very busy pointing fingers.

I am glad to know that there are people out there who are questioning things, because the truth it is not truth until it has been questioned.

Anonymous said...

"And most of our people, having been fed a steady diet of pre-digested milk, are pathetically nonchalant. Starved for a gospel rich in transformative unity with God, they are uninspired by the lackluster offering of platitudes and proscriptions. They are wandering toward agnosticism, atheism, and other churches, not because they are unable to believe, but because the anemic offerings of their church experience have convinced them that God is not present at our self-congratulatory "historic" meetings or in our proclamations drafted by legal teams, however well they poll."

This is me right now. Thank you Cate, for putting into words what I could not, and Rock, for having this blog to begin with.

-AmIWrong

LDSDPer said...

@anyone who thinks that a person who has problems with church leaders is whining--

then we went to our SP. Although we didn't 'go' to him, because we live in a part of the world (though the U.S.) where the church is very far-flung.

We wrote a letter to our SP. We wrote it carefully. We checked our grammar and spelling. We prayed over it; we probably fasted before we wrote it.

That following week was the night the SP and other stake leaders showed up at our building, and my husband was there--

our bishop had regular meetings there that night, too.

My husband watched as the SP took our letter to our bishop and heard the bishop talking, some him throwing out his hands.

The SP called my husband in and said, "I will protect your TRs, but you need to follow the bishop's counsel."

In other words, the handbook won.

Although, it wasn't even IN the handbook--

it was construed that way, but it was very fuzzy and vague--

it was left open, but our bishop preferred to think of it in a very controlling way--

so, our traumatized child had to go back to primary with children who stared at him/her, didn't understand him/her--

and a teacher who was . . .

the bishop's wife.

He had been VERY angry; he thought we were saying his wife was not a good teacher.

I had calmly, gentle explained it had NOTHING to do with his wife, nothing at all; I was sure she was a peach, a gem. My husband just sat and looked unhappy. The bishop brought a young counselor with him to that first meeting, which was a 'break into this room and break up this private primary class with a child and two parents'--

meeting.

The counselor was visibly suffering and kept giving me, "I am SO sorry" messages with his eyes.

I had to get up. I said, "Bishop, I need to go outside and cry."

I did. I not only went outside and cried; I walked 4 miles home; I couldn't go back there.

But the SP said he would 'protect' our TRs--

and he did--

a few years later he was smitten with a terrible illness, and both he and that bishop were younger than I, and I am younger than my husband--

the bishop had a doctor's degree, though his wife had not been to college--

the SP might have had about the same education as my husband.

So, I'm not sure what level of 'smart'

applies.

Our child was afraid for months, years--

but regular blessings were given, prayers were said constantly for emotional and spiritual protection--

it was a really hard time--

oh, and why had we done it in the first place? The PP, young and quite well-educated, had told us that she knew our child was getting nothing out of class, and why didn't we teach our child ourselves and showed us where, in the handbook, we would be permitted to do so.

Persecution?

I don't know; you decide.

This child does not 'get' the church. We've tried. The child gets Jesus and prayer, and that is good enough for us.

There are people out in the world who praise this child; this child has ended up (shocking us) being a musical prodigy and (well under 20 years old) plays with professional, mature adult musicians all the time. No, we don't leave our child alone with any of them.

There is acclaim 'out there'--

which will be the 'draw'.

Those 'worldly' people are kind.

It's a tightwire we walk.

The church is unfriendly. Same age youth laugh and talk to our child as though our child is a baby (our child does not like that)--

church is always a hard, stressful place to be--

symphony rehearsals are always a great joy--

so--

what would you do?

You would be very excited when you see an essay from someone like Cate.

When you find a blog like Rocks, you cling to it--

and you read your Book of Mormon.

That is what I have chosen to do.

The Book of Mormon has MUCH comfort for those who have been outcast.

But I cling to that TR. Why? God has told me to.



Ginny Lee said...

I have to say that Elder Holland's talk definitely needed to be said. Too many of us (including myself) condone sin --such as living together, gay marriage, and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, by throwing parties and congratulations for the sinner. A couple decades ago, we never did this! We would speak condolences and yes, sometimes even harsh words and acts that are not Christ-like. This author, "Cate", takes Elder Holland's talk way out of context. Elder Holland's talk is a warning to members of the church who think that in order to show love for the sinner that they need to embrace and condone the sin. "Cate" sites this in the beginning and then gets off topic and proceeds to find fault with the "stereotypical Mormon". Do some congregations put on a fashion show every Sunday? Yes. Do we get wrapped up in our own members needs? Yes. Is the church a wise investing financial corporation today? Yes. (And do we really want to go back to the days of indebtedness and desperation?) And what does any of that have to do with Elder Holland's talk? Sure, our members can use some more talking to about service, love, compassion, and especially getting over worldliness and vanity --which we already have received in past general conferences and ignore. But, this was a different type of talk that calls us to repentance for condoning sin and allowing it to spread in the world --without even a bat of the eye. This talk apparently seemed to strike a chord in "Cate", probably because she was one of the ones who needed a talking to!

Steve said...

SmithFamily,

What is the miracle God gave to you?


Steve Graham

LDSDPer said...

@Ginny Lee,

I'm glad someone understood Elder Holland's talk well enough to know what 'sins' he was referring to.

I didn't, so I wouldn't know--

Well, darn--

nobody at our house is participating in any of those sins you mentioned; nor have they.

We've had no out of wedlock pregnancies, no homosexual behavior (or talk), nobody is living together, unless your two single children who live with us would be considered, by living with us, as 'living together'.

My husband and I were legally married, in the temple, almost 40 years ago.

Hmmm.

So, let's see. I've never thrown a party for anyone like that either.

I had a cousin who died of AIDS 20 years ago. I hugged him when I saw him last.

Do I need to repent of that, Ginny Lee.

It's too late to go kick him now, but maybe I can repent by looking for someone who is:

living together

having a child out of wedlock

being involved in homosexual behavior

locally--

and go kick them a swift kick?

Would that suffice?

Wait a minute; I can't leave my house.

Awfully hard to repent when you can't go kick someone who is sinning.

*sigh*

You leave me no alternative but to feel guilty, because I'm not kicking sinners.

Or telling them how terrible they are.

I'll sit here and feel guilty for a while.

Will that help?

*heavy sarcasm alert*

All of the above is true, though; there is nobody here I can either kick out or kick for any of those sins.

But I didn't get that out of the talk--

even after I read it, I mostly got the potatoes being spit--

and I still had to work to hold down my meal--

But others are getting the talk--

they must be more inspired than I am.

LDSDPer said...

@Ginny Lee,

Wait a minute; were you real?

I mean did you mean that about those things being the most deadly sins?

Or were *you* being sarcastic?

It's hard to imagine you might be real.

Do you talk like that all the time?

Where are you?

Wait a minute; don't move; I want to come meet you (oops, I can't)--

and see for myself what someone who has this kind of attitude look likes--

I'd like to hear you speak.

It would be a very interesting cultural study.

Well, maybe you're not that rare. And, if you are, you are probably feeling that it is good you are around to keep everyone's standards high.

*sarcasm continues*

LDSDPer said...

oh, Ginny Lee, wait a minute; you said you had condoned sin?

Which one?

You mean someone you know did one of those things and you, *gasp*, didn't go kick them--

or throw a stone at them?

I really am shocked.

*sarcasm continued*

What is the world coming to?

And, by the way, I hold everyone personally responsible to stop homosexual marriage--

at the state or federal level.

Have you done it yet?

Shame on you!

Those of us who believe the government should stay out of that and all family matters (including heterosexual marriage)

realize it is an enormous pit, a quagmire.

Talking about stopping it, however, does relieve the feelings of some who feel that they need to speak out against "sin"--

homosexual marriage/traditional marriage and all the legal battles are a HUGE business; none of they lobbyists want it to stop--

they're making too much $.



Brian W said...

I found this article to be unfair in the author’s portrayal of who we are as a church. She seems to take a simple gospel truth which was succinctly stated by Paul that “Pure religion… is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” (James 1:27) and then distorts our practices as a church to argue that our religion has become too comfortable. A few examples that were especially egregious are the following:

1 - “Is the Church doing significant good in the world's poorest spots?” I wonder if the author has ever traveled to the poorest parts of the world to see for herself what is being done. I’ve personally seen some of the things the church is doing in the poorest parts of the world. We’re sending our sons and daughters to live among them to teach them the gospel. We’re leaving our comfortable retirements to live among them to build wells, teach English, and to provide funds for higher education. We’re building churches and temples, seminaries and institutes. All these things are infinitely more effective in helping the poor than just providing donated handouts.

2 – “For that matter, we have set such a low bar for discipleship that our good people are hopelessly underwhelmed by the dogma of white shirts and multiple piercings and our mediocre members are celebrating the self-mastery of 75% home teaching.” I’ve attended thousands of hours of sermons, lessons, firesides and I can say without hesitation that the topic of white shirts and multiple piercings maybe represents 0.001% of what was discussed. Furthermore, it’s clear to me that we believe the bar discipleship was set by the Savior himself when He said “Be you therefore perfect.” While this is obviously not attainable in this life, I see other churches dumbing down their expectations for their members while our church has never backed away from encouraging members to strive to be like Christ in everyway, however that’s possible in this world.

3 – “And most of our people, having been fed a steady diet of pre-digested milk, are pathetically nonchalant. Starved for a gospel rich in transformative unity with God, they are uninspired by the lackluster offering of platitudes and proscriptions.” I’ve personally found it to be just the opposite. The gospel restored by Joseph Smith is profound both in its simplicity and depth. We’ve been blessed with many more pages of scripture than most other religions and we have prophets that teach us the will of God in our modern day. There’s plenty of meat for those who will partake of it and I’ve personally witnessed people transformed because of it.

4- “I see people who want to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned with more than a plate of cookies and a warm casserole, all while their Church leaders pray over the opening of law offices, dedicate banks, build shopping malls, cater to wealthy elk hunters, and buy up the state of Florida.” What’s stopping members of the church from doing all those things now? The author implies that people lack initiative such that they need their Bishop or Relief Society President to organize and direct them to do so. The church I know states that “men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.”

The author also distorts the church’s financial structure. Sure, the church takes a fixed % of its annual intake and invests it for a rainy day in farms, malls, and other sundry investments, but let’s not lose track of the fact that the vast majority of tithes are spent directly in the work of the church. Maintaining buildings, youth programs, primaries, missionary programs, higher educational, etc. is expensive. I believe that someday when the rainy day comes we’ll be grateful to be able to continue the programs of the church by using these reserve funds.

Cate said...

@Anonymous June 11. 12:05 pm

You said I created a space on the internet for like minded people who think they are smarter than church leaders. Yet here you are. Disagreeing. And here I am. Taking some pretty harsh criticism and doing my best to respectfully respond to those who are offended by my words. Have you read the comment section? It's hardly an echo chamber.

Thank you for voicing your concerns. I value you input. For what's it's worth I don't think I'm smarter than anyone. Not even close.

LDSDPer said...

@Ginny Lee,

I need to apologize to you now.

Why do I go off and say such things--and then later regret them?

I thought maybe you might be using sarcasm yourself, and we could have a little chuckle together--

and then I realized that sarcasm is not appropriate, even if I am warning a person--

I am sorry.

Ginny, how often do you read the Book of Mormon? Do you read it at least daily?

By itself?

The next question is probably too personal, so I don't expect you to answer it on here--

but how do you feel about Jesus Christ.

Yes. Jesus?


LDSDPer said...

@Brian W.--


I prefer getting my advice about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked from the Book of Mormon, but it wasn't Paul who said that--

It was James, actually, the brother of Jesus.

1--Should *we* have comfortable retirements? And why--when others in the world who are LDS are going hungry?

2--When was the last time you saw a young man, wearing other than a white shirt, taking care of the sacrament?

3--plenty of scriptures, but you didn't know it was James who wrote James. I'm sorry; maybe it was a oversight anyone could have made--

4--earlier on here I wrote that my husband and I do a prison ministry for a young man, son of a single mother, convert, who is in prison on a false sentence; he served a mission (we supported him on it); he was married in the temple; his wife divorced him when he was put in prison, though she felt his sentence was wrong--
He lives in a highly populated LDS state; that is where he is in prison, and nobody from that area ever goes to see him. We are 1800 miles from him; we can't go see him, but we write him weekly, and my husband is his power of attorney. I have talked to his branch president several times on the phone and been told, "fine young man; fine young man"--
he is terribly lonely; his mother is crippled, and the last time she went to see him, there was an 'i' that had not been dotted, and after travelling 300 miles she was turned away; she is unemployed.
He could use some LDS with comfortable retirements to go see him regularly--

Last paragraph--yes, it takes much money to run all those things--
do hungry LDS children all over the world get to attend church universities? Hardly likely. I will tell you one thing; malnutrition impairs a child's intellectual capacity--
Are primaries more important than feeding children?
Right now in Sudan a large group of Primary children has disappeared (no, they were not stolen), because the branch that was teaching them and rarely feeding them (everyone was hungry there) was closed down because of 'political unrest'--
The U.S. has been covertly involved (as in, naughty) in Sudan for a very long time, but the political unrest is blamed on the governments there and the opposing religious forces whose animosity for each other continues to be fueled by those same U.S. covert groups, who are VERY good at what they do.

Have you seen this?

http://www.liahonachildren.org/#/home

Does anyone you know who has a 'comfortable retirement' support it?

I can tell you that most of the young people I know who attend BYU come from families who are financially secure and will have 'comfortable retirements'.

In our area, most of our less affluent LDS youth cannot afford to go there.

LDSDPer said...

@Cate,

I am beginning to realize that there are trolls on here.

I suspected it sometime ago, but I am slow--

:(

You can't let such people get you down--

you have done an admirable job. I couldn't have done it--

I, personally, couldn't resist Ginny Lee and Brian W., but I had to apologize to Ginny; I was being sarcastic--

As for Brian, I owe him (you, Brian, I am saying this to you)--

no apology.

Brian, I hope you read what I have to say.

candle said...

I am a recently returned missionary from this church. I say a lot of the inaction that most church members take towards anyone outside of their own faith. But I also saw many who would help anyone and had the pure love of Christ. I do not pretend to have all of the answers, I like to think that I can see both sides of this story.

There is one thing that stands out to me more than anything else. I have read the Book of Mormon. I have prayed about it and this church many times. I have received my answer many times. I do not understand all things, but I know God loves me and wants me to be happy.I know my answer.I may not agree with some things in the church, but I know what I must do and I try to cast out the beam in mine own eye before passing judgements. Therefore I trust in God. I can do my part in what I know I need to do without bringing condemnation down upon the heads of those I proclaim to be prophets of God. The church is not perfect, nor do I believe that it is without corruption. But my faith is in the truths that have been revealed to me. I will trust in God and in his prophets. I say this not for following the tide of the people in the church, on the contrary I believe us young guns will make many older members have heart attacks before we're through. Change is coming, we can all feel it. With this ever changing world I chose to trust the prophets, both ancient and modern and by so doing I chose to follow the answers that God has given me, even if I might not understand everything, I know enough.

Friar Tuck said...

@Candle:

So true my friend. I see little or no point in constantly complaining against the church, and I do not see how it changes the status quo at all, yet there are some that think it is their mission in life to set everyone straight about the evils they have discovered.

We all know what happened to the anti Christs in the Book of Mormon that fought against the church, don't we? They all died ignominious deaths, and yet until god humbled them they thought they were doing the right thing and were actually being led by Satan.

Bottom line is that no one has asked to be a general authority, they are called. This is god's church and he will allow it to be run as he sees fit. To believe otherwise is to believe that god is not in control. He must allow free agency, even among church leaders, to reign supreme. As long as there are faithful people in the church god will continue to bless it, yet if all the faithful rebel and leave for greener pastures, then the church will be full of devils.

LDSDPer said...

@candle,

Keep reading that Book of Mormon. Focus on it. Read nothing else for a while (yes, I know that seems drastic, but I can tell you it makes a big difference; why are we Mormons if the Book of Mormon is not THE most important "Mormon" book?)--

SO many young people come home from missions all fired up and stop reading the Book of Mormon or just depend upon weekly meetings to keep them 'fed'.

You have to do it yourself, and it has to be the Book of Mormon.

@Friar,

Goodness; I think you are extreme about the anti-Christs. And you predict such gloom for those who are concerned with such glee.

Friar, the anti-Christs were preaching against Jesus. Nobody on here who is concerned about the church in the 'last days' is preaching against Jesus Christ. I certainly am not. Watch for people who are uncomfortable when you mention Jesus Christ. Often they are very 'active'--

As for the 'all or nothing' idea about the church being led by God and every little tiny thing done in the church by anyone being His Will--

He uses everyone, and He is in charge, but you, personally, don't know what He is doing. To pretend that you do and to suppose that every little decision all the church leaders (and 'active' members) make is His Will is being somewhat blasphemous, in my opinion.

You can't speak for God. I still believe Thomas Monson has that calling, but I haven't heard him say, "this is what Jesus is telling me"--

It's interesting how quickly those who dismiss the concerns of others delight at the thought of their spiritual demise.

But Sherem denied that Jacob could know Jesus (or that anyone could)--

there is a man in my husband's HP quorum who sneers when anyone mentions knowing the Savior--

AND he is a prominent person in the stake.

Korihor believed in the power of the human being to do anything without God.

I didn't read anything like that from Cate.

I think you need to spend more time on your Book of Mormon.

How many times have you read it?

I admit that I am only on my approximately 33rd time, and I am in my 60s, and I am ashamed of that, but I am focusing on it exclusively now.

When I woke up to the suffering in the world it was because I was being buffeted by satan and my health issues were being used by him to beat me up.

I was rescued profoundly by Jesus, and my life was changed, and since then I want to feed more people--

and I will never be apathetic about Jesus, my Savior, ever again.

I have the same concerns Cate has. When I tried to take special food to a homeless man at our ward's Sunday supper, the RSP got so upset with me. I had my reasons; they were very valid. Too long of a story to share. I was told more than once, "poor people don't care about good food." I knew that man did. I was seen as the enemy. Do you think that is a sign that I am an anti-Christ?
American Mormons throw away food at church suppers (oh, yes, they do)--

while little LDS all over the world don't always have even one meal/day--

and they have parents.

If I say that, am I an anti-Christ?

I think you'd like me to be, and that says a lot about you.

LDSDPer said...

oh, and Friar, I don't think Cate wants to 'leave the church'. She has made that quite clear. I am certain I don't want to.

But with people like you--

if *we* go to church with people like you who are hoping for our downfall--

goodness; what kind of church is that?

Can you hear yourself?

37andholding said...

Friar,
Your comment about "yet if all the faithful rebel and leave for greener pastures then the church would be full of devils". TOO LATE. IT'S ALREADY HAPPEN(ED)(ING). ;)

You contradict yourself too! Is God in control? Or do we have free agency? There are other contradictions. Look at what you typed.
I have said so many times in the past two years that it is darn near impossible to live the church dogma and the gospel of Jesus Christ at the same time.

Friar Tuck said...

@LDSDPer:

You have misunderstood me, I don't believe that god rubber stamps every act of every leader at every level in the church. What I believe is that god allows leaders to use their free agency, good or bad. The member know what is right and wrong, but if god can sit on the sidelines and allow Bishop x to be an idiot, why can't we?

Besides, the lord has foreseen everything. He doesn't need people second guessing the leaders. D+C section 107 details instructions for handling misconduct in the church. I suggest you read it in detail, because it covers all contingencies, and nowhere in section 107 do I see the lord authorizing backbiting or criticizing. If a leader does something wrong, the mechanisms exist to make corrections. We do not become a law unto ourselves and circumvent the instructions the lord has given us by gossiping, backbiting, and evil speaking.

I will defend the church against those that would pervert the ways the lord has set forth in scripture. I have not called any particular person on this blog an anti-Christ, but if the shoe fits, wear it.

As I have stated before, a corrupt church hierarchy existed at the time of Christ and he allowed it to remain. He did not overthrow it. He gives people their free agency until the people are fully ripe in iniquity, then he makes changes. The lord is hanging in there with the existing church. It is our duty as individuals to build up and enlighten, not criticize and tear down.

LDSDPer said...

@Friar,

Read Ezekiel 14--

I am not very enchanted with the O.T. anymore, but Joseph Smith told 'the brethren' to read this. It refers to giving people what *they* want, which some of us believe Joseph was permitted by God to do--

even to their damnation.

It opens a different way of looking at things.

But, still, focus on the Book of Mormon and stop being thrilled when you think you've found an anti-Christ.

I worry for you.

:(

Do you squish bugs?

Friar uck said...

@37andholding:

God is in control and we do have our free agency...there is nothing contradictory about that.

You must understand that on this Telestial world we live on, god's judgments are deferred to a later time. If we lived in the presence of god, judgment for all deeds would be immediate. We are on probation. God is in control, but will allow people to err, or sin so that they can master their free agency. If we were immediately punished for unrighteous deeds, everyone would be afraid to make a move for fear of immediate reprisals.

Those that do evil (including some church leaders I suppose) will have to answer to god eventually. Yet some people can't wait, and want the GAs punished in real time, or made to "do it right". This is completely against everything the lord has taught us about free agency. If we have a serious problem with someone in the church, we use D+C 107 as our guide to resolve situations.

Satan is the great accuser, and wanted everyone to be coerced into obeying the law. God is in control, and every idle word and every evil deed will be punished and righted, but not bu us because we are just as flawed as everyone else.

Friar Tuck said...

@LDSDPer:

Why do you hang on to this "anti-Christ" thing? I only used it as an example of people that thought they were doing right, but were being led by Satan. I have not accused anyone here of being an anti-Christ, but it seems you keep wanting to accuse me of that.

I do not hope for the downfall of anyone, and I really don't understand where you are getting that. Could it be that you are judging me by name, when I was speaking only in general terms?

Veracity said...

@SmithFamily

I am sincerely interested in what you did to make money. I would be interested to learn more detail about what your husband is teaching.

LDSDPer said...

@Friar,

I've seen Cate be harrassed to the point where my heart has gone out to her--

I am old and confined, and I can access to the computer--

so I've been trying to give the perspective of someone who appreciates what she has written, very much.

I am tired, and I am going to try to stay away for a few days.

We could 'go' 'tit for tat'--

yes, your reference to anti-Christ did hit a sore spot.

I've been hearing, latey, (or reading) on various Mormon blogs that those who are concerned about the direction the church is headed and who want to focus more on what Jesus taught and following Him--

called "Korihors"--

and I find that ironic, because people who do that obviously don't understand the Book of Mormon.

Or haven't read about the anti-Christs.

All were deceived by satan to deny the Christ.

How is someone who is personally convicted to follow Jesus and concerned that, as an organization, *we* might not be measuring up to that--

denying the Christ?

That befuddles me.

I don't connect your reasoning, and apparently you don't connect mine--

so I'll call it a day with you, Friar.

But I will say one last thing to you--

Jesus does want us to follow Him. I know that personally. And he has not called me to invest my 'hard-earned' money in political values for conservative issues. He wants me to feed the hungry. And feed the hungry. And look for the downtrodden. And it does make me restless. And I'm very confined. This isn't easy.

HOW I wish I had been 'awake' 40 years ago. My shame is deep. I was so self-righteous. I thought that if I disapproved of all the 'right' sins and didn't participate in them I was a shoo-in for the Celestial Kingdom. Now I just want to be with Jesus--
and I don't think about where I'll end up.

And I don't think Cate or Rock and anyone on here who appreciates
what she wrote

wants to see anyone 'punished'. I don't. The thought of any of the leaders of the church being 'punished' never occurred to me.

You are the one who mentioned that, along with anti-Christs being associated with those who want to feed the poor more.

The anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon were deeply unconcerned about the poor and sick, etc.

But punishment for church leaders. Good heavens; what would bring THAT to your mind?

For another day, maybe--

I am becoming hazy.

I apologize, again, for any offense I may have committed.

I feel a profound need to preach Jesus Christ.

My favorite Book of Mormon verse:

26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

an old person who goes by LDSDPer--

LDSDPer said...

The anti-Christs KNEW they had been deceived; they just didn't want to admit it.

pride--

good night--

it's late in my time zone--very late.

BK said...

Friar Tuck,

The corrupt church in Christ's day, was not a true church or Christ's church, but an apostate church and religion. So of course Christ let it be and didn't do anything about it. He was busy establishing his Church anew, a completely different Church then the one that already existed among the Jews.

And as for Anti-Christ's, I agree that many who leave the Church are anti-christ, but so are most all members and especially most all leaders 'in' the Church for knowingly choosing to support a church, leaders and teachings which are 'anti-christ.

Most people throughout the world and history are and have been anti-christ, that is nothing new.

It has always been very rare to find someone in the LDS church or any church or no church, who truly is 'for' Christ and not 'against' him.

Most people say they believe in Christ but their deeds, words and lives reveal the opposite.

Jen Morrison said...

Wow this entry left me speechless! Brava!!!!

Tiani said...

Wow. I read this feeling like I could have written it, almost word for word. Thank you!

Irven Hill said...

It is tough to expound on what Rock says sometimes, but here it goes.

In his response to Friar Tuck, he makes mention of Friar Tuck asking him if 'he(Rock) gave any thought to what happens next'?

To that I would ask, what does it really matter to anyone else if Rock thinks of what will happen next? What does it matter to any individual if someone else gives any thought as to what happens next? The world will move on as it always does. If the current U.S. Government regime comes crashing down(which is inevitable at some point)why would I be worried about what "others" will do about it? In that situation, I will be concerned about myself and my family first. Then, when able I will concern myself with the needs of others who need my help. The last thing I will be concerned with is a "leader" who is going to do things for "all of us" and bring the "organization" back to its pre-disaster state.

So it is with "the church". Do we really want to look for the guy who is going to bring "the church" right back to its current state? I don't. Much like I don't need the TSA, NSA, IRS, CIA, FBI, MSHA, OSHA and the whole host of other useless garbage too numerous to list, provided by government; so it is with the church. While "the church" may not be as corrupt and polluted as government, there are many things I, and several others could and would like to do without. Number one being a multi billion dollar shopping center, along with correlation, the strengthening the members of the church committee(or whatever they call it, I call it LDSCIA), 3 hour block, etc.

While there are things that "the church" does that are worthwhile and good, which is more than I can say for government, many of us don't want the mammon serving, wealth building for a select few, menagerie it has become.

We aren't looking for someone to return it to its "greatness" of today. If that were the case, it wouldn't have to be set in order. The reason it is out of order is because of what it has become.

In the end, there will be true voices of reason who rise up and do the right thing. The correct ones will not be central planners, attempting to rebuild the harlots we have now. They will be humble followers of Christ and believers in individual liberty and that the individual, not a group or corporation is what matters. Some will perhaps "follow" them, others will follow the centralizers. The centralizers are always wrong. They are why our governmental corporation is tyrannical and why "the church" is out of order.

Some of us won't be looking around for a voice that's strong and loud. That's not how we're wired.

Friar Tuck said...

I guess the church thinks that critics are doing some real harm, like I have implied. John Dehlin just got a letter from the church concerning his membership. He was told to resign from the church by June 18 or face a church trial.

"I am greatly concerned about the impact these and other statements and actions are having," said the letter, from a church leader Dehlin said he had never met.

Cate said...

@ Friar Tuck,

Like you, I think the church is sending a clear message with these excommunications. Just as it did in 1993. the message sent 21 years ago only served to strengthen the anti-authoritarian sentiment among many in the church.

I mentioned something in the blog post about lockstep religiosity.

Sigh. Zion is not created by excommunicating the people we don't like. It's created by making them brothers and allowing them brothers and sisters.

And so we see again how our focus on small things detracts from the work of Christ.

But my real question for you is this - you used the words "the church". Do you believe leaders in SLC oversaw this action?

Cate said...

^^^ should say simply "making them brothers and sisters".

Phone typing is not my strong suit.

dixiegal of Idaho said...

I think that all of you need to start looking at the service that the Church does. When disasters hit....the Church is the first there with food and help. I have been in Idaho for 11 years, and a Catholic Church hosts a soup kitchen for the poor twice a week. Every ward is assigned a day to go help and serve these people. There is an overwhelming response from LDS members. We have Deseret Industries that help people get jobs and people a place to shop for very cheap. We have drives every year in each ward gathering things for the store. We help our own members with food and a helping hand with money problems so they dont have to go to the governments welfare system. Before talking bad about what other Church doesn't do.....look at all the good we do!!160

Friar Tuck said...

@Cate:

I don't know who oversaw the action, Cate. I imagine it went up the chain.

Here is a wonderful review of John Dehlin's "Mormon Stories" website that shows some of the dishonest tactics that critics of the church use to spread their message and gain a following.

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SMITH2-Return-of-the-Unread-Review.pdf

Kevin said...

Friar Tuck, if the Church™ is hoping to silence the views and questions of Dehlin and Kelly they've chosen an odd, nervous approach. Through the power of the internet many more people are now learning about Dehlin and Kelly as they read about the Church™ threatening disciplinary action against them. Don't read the New York Times? Try the Salt Lake Tribune. Don't read the Salt Lake Tribune? Try the Deseret News. Don't read the Deseret News? Try Buzzfeed. An immediate, unforeseen consequence of the threats is to introduce Dehlin and Kelly to a much-larger audience.

Dehlin's survey of why people leave the Church™ suggests that increasing numbers of Mormons are confused and alienated by the truth claims and practices that they grew up with in the religion. Showing Dehlin the door would seem to feed their doubts and lead them to explore his work which was well ahead of it time when he began his Mormon Stories podcast nine years ago. Since then he has worked to build bridges of understanding and respect between those who question and the corporate church and to foster Christ-like patience and love for folks going through faith transitions. Dehlin is a messenger. Shooting him won't give anyone a reason to stop questioning and will likely draw more attention to those questions. Rock is a messenger as is Cate. I love their quiet, welll-reasoned views and their willingness to countenance the views of others. I'm praying that they don't end up in someone's sights as well.

http://www.whymormonsquestion.org/2013/07/21/top-5-myths-and-truths-about-why-committed-mormons-leave-the-church/

Friar Tuck said...

@Kevin:

I suggest you read this extremely well-reasoned and comprehensive article that I suggested to Cate. I think you will see that Dehlin's approach is highly flawed. It is well worth your time. And Dehlin is not the only one that uses flawed reasoning. It is the blueprint for many church critics as the author explains. He also tells us how people fall hook, line, and sinker for these flawed concepts.

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SMITH2-Return-of-the-Unread-Review.pdf

Friar Tuck said...

Kevin:

I have had 2 posts about a John Dehlin review piece deleted now. Someone doesn't want this information to come out. If you give me your e-mail I can sent it to you directly.

Kevin Rex said...

Thank you, Cate, and Rock, you've given me hope again. I left the Church just last month, resigned my membership. The year previous, I was in the mental hospital on suicide watch, as I had finally come out gay to my wife of 28 years and my 5 children. I found solace in the local Metropolitan Community Church, and God is there, with them, saving those wonderful LGBTQ people, and I can assure everyone, with every fiber of my being, that "their" God is not a "comfortable" God, He is loving them just as much as anyone else, and He is leading them home. It is so sad, but I often turn to atheism because my LDS God is so awful. Thank you, both, for restoring and helping me have some hope that He or She is still there.

Kevin said...

Thanks for the offer, Friar Tuck. If they're anything like Gregory Smith's character assassination of Dehlin, though, I'll pass. I've listened to Mormon Stories from the beginning. While I haven't agreed with all of his conclusions I admire his interest in letting folks have their say in the cause of Mormonism.

Kevin said...

Here's a counter offer for you, Friar Tuck--an analysis of John Dehlin's landmark survey on Mormon Disbelief. "Why do some Mormons lose their testimony, and what happens to them when they do?"

The top church leaders who saw this were astonished at the results. They didn't realize that intelligent, affluent, multi-generational members of the Church could find so many reasons to be troubled by its truth claims and practices.

John Dehlin didn't make this stuff up he simply reported on a significant trend already playing out. I admire both Cate's and Rock's loyalty to what they believe is true in the gospel of Jesus Christ and their willingness to ask questions about what they believe is evidence of the hand of man overriding the hand of God.

http://www.whymormonsquestion.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Survey-Results_Understanding-Mormon-Disbelief-Mar20121.pdf

Cate said...

@ Friar Tuck,

Thank you. I will take a look at that pdf.

To be clear, however, I have no connection to either Mormon Stories or Ordain Women. My observations are from a distance.


Joshua Henricksen said...

@Gary - I understand that completely. What you don't understand is that is exactly what General Conference is! Please see vs 20 where it states that the Lord wants every man (and that term refers to women as well - think of the context) to speak in His name. This is not to replace Him. Quite the contrary - it is rather that we are close enough to Him that we say what He would. Please also see Official Declaration 1 where President Woodruff tells us that, "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty." The oracles of God include the Quorum of the 12, because we sustain them as prophets, seers, and revelators (please see "Revelation" in the Bible Dictionary, 2nd paragraph. A search on LDS.org of "revleators" in the scriptures section will be most helpful).

With all of this as evidence, do you really think that the Lord would allow His chosen servants to speak something from the pulpit at General Conference that wouldn't be what He would say if He were there Himself?

engaged19times said...

All this discussion about what The Leaders know or dont know about why ppl leave the church...look ppl, the only reason they care is because it could influence tithing money. The fact that it concerns them FOR MONETARY REASONS should give y'all a clue.

BK said...

Kevin,

I don't think the leaders were surprised at all. I believe they knew what they were hiding all these years and knew that when the general membership got wind of the truth that they would be very upset.

I believe the leaders know all the truth about church history and knew this exodus was coming and that it will just get worse, until everyone knows the truth and either doesn't care about following false leaders or they just leave.

BK said...

Joshua,

Yes, I for one do believe the Lord definitely allows LDS leaders to teach falsehoods and lead the people astray, just like he allows all leaders in other churches to lead people astray.

You're assuming what W.W. said was true, why do you just blindly believe him or any LDS leader?

Church history and the scriptures have proven that what W.W. said is totally false, that Prophets and Church leaders can and have taught falsehoods and led the Church astray many times over, especially Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

False prophets usually try to convince their followers that they can't be wrong, that is nothing new. We need to be smarter then that.

We have to be wise and use discernment in everything so-called prophets or anyone says, teaches or claims.

But I can see why people fall for such leader & falsehoods like 'the prophet can't lead the Church astray', for it's much easier then having to do your own homework & prove all things & live righteously to have the discernment to see through their errors and evils.

I believe that most people who are led astray 'want to be' or don't care that they are led astray, for it's just easier then standing for right & following Christ.

And God lets people believe whatever they want, whether right or wrong.

Gary Hunt said...

Joshua,

I am well aware of everything you have brought up. I have studied them for many years. I would say the thing you are unaware of is that presidents and apostles of the church have contradicted each other on numerous occasions. These occasions include General Conference. Let me give you some examples.

JOSEPH SMITH: Millennial Star, Vol 14, Number 38, pages 593-595. [(Apostle Samuel Richards on Nov. 13, 1852, recorded in the Millennial Star, 14:393-395.)] "We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them [even] if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told do by their presidents they should do it without any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves."

Brigham Young at the Provo, Utah Bowery Conference in 1867 "Brethren, this Church will be led onto the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people."

These two statements contradict what Wilford Woodruff stated when offering his opinion.

Pres. John Taylor told the people that if they found that he erred in doctrine that they should come to him and discuss the doctrine. If that person could prove him wrong he would admit it and consider it a blessing. He also expected the other person, if he proved them wrong, to admit it.

I am not trying to put down the leaders. They are human. They have their opinions and they express them. Even in Conference. Assuming the things they say are the same as the Lord speaking, just because of their position, is spiritual laziness. The Lord has given us a way to know if what they say is true or not.

Listening to conference, I have had experiences where the Holy Ghost has witnessed to me that what a particluar leader has said is true. I have also had experiences where the Holy Ghost has witnessed to me that what a particular leader has said is not true. The bottom line it ultimately is between the God and us. He reveals his truths to us through the Holy Ghost.

A final quote from Brigham Young.


"I have often said
to the Latter-day Saints--
Live so that you will know whether I teach you the
truth or not.
Suppose you are careless and unconcerned,
and give way to the
spirit of the world,
and
I am led, likewise,
to preach the things of this world
and to accept things that are NOT of God,

how easy it would be for me to lead you astray!

But I say to you, live so that you will know
for yourselves whether I tell the truth or not.

That is the way we want all Saints to live."

(Brigham Young, JD 18:248)

Annalea said...

I find it interesting that those who are struggling with something within the church have personal experiences and often scripture to bring light to their struggles and why they're having them, while most of those who stand to tell them they're wrong, to discount what they've said as whining, or trot out scripture to try to silence their attempts at opening a dialogue do so largely from a position that lacks that type of deep experience, saying, in essence, "I've never had a problem, so yours must be fake."

The other one I commonly see is "I've never had a problem like this, so your own sin is the problem."

I tire of those patterns.

Cate, God bless you. May He pour His Spirit out upon you in a new level of abundance, may your capacity to receive grow and deepen as you continue to press into your worship, your work, and your calling. Thank you for allowing Rock to post this here, and I'll do what I can--namely, pray--that you will continue to be borne up despite all of the {ahem}interesting{ahem} responses to your words.

I appreciate your words deeply. Thank you.

SmithFamily said...

To those who are sincere about trusting God over man entirely and would like to learn what He gave us to where we are making millions within a really short amount of time in this world's or better said, satan's economy - and learning what God did for us in going through our own tests - I'll post a blog entry on our newest first awakening blog if you will, voiceofanearthquake.org

As we have recently (past 5 years) been given beautiful awakenings as answers to many strugglings and prayers - and it was God who lead us (after a loving rebuke for not trusting him fully - but trusting man through the governement) to the promise of he will and can prosper you "as much as you put your trust in him - even so much will he deliver you from your trials troubles and afflictions" quote off the top of my head...

We just didn't get the principle of prosperity - we were not obeying it because we were ignorant to it, and he revealed that mystery to us... lovingly...

FYI - we have been lead to share this with many couples so far of which 20 or so have taken it on, all of which 20 have successfully supplemented their income in short amount of time and more importantly, we have watched them grow closer to the Lord through this...

We do feel strongly, the Lord is hastening his work by hastening his children who are taking the spirit as their guide, and we feel strongly that we need to financially be secured as time is not on our side any more... and this opportunity can prosper you quickly, which is nothing short of a miracle.

This is nothing closely related to an MLM (that is satan's business model in my humble view) and neither will we ever every want to see any of your money, but we love the spirit we feel as those we've shared this with have reached out and shared their experience and being prospered... that is worth more than any amount of money, the joy of seeing someone trust God more than they understood they could, and be prospered and blessed.


May I brag now because the Lord gave us this - so by the time I'm done writing this little comment - I will have made $250.00 to $500.00 (15 minutes or so) - God can prosper us. That is our first witness of our being awoken - that we would be happy to share with our fellow brothers and sisters so that we can TRULY start to build Zion, where there are NO POOR amongst us... and don't worry this opportunity is an ocean, and we are loving watching those who follow the spirit in this, find their own little island in this ocean...

http://voiceofanearthquake.org/

I'll post it tonight. Just put this blog up few weeks back as our attempt to post our feelings, thoughts, etc. as the spirit directs... of our recent awakenings and striving to follow the spirit to more truth - ultimately to Christ our Lord - all things work together for our good for those who love the Lord.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
Having read over the post in question (where I concurred that confiding in a bishop may not always be wise)I see where I may have come off a bit more strident than I intended on the topic. I appeared to be indicting all or most bishops, which was not my intent. But it is undeniable that SOME bishops have abused their position, and even more commonly, others feel it is within their calling to share what they have been told with other auxiliary leaders.

Twenty years ago, the Mormon alliance documented hundreds of reports of ecclesiastical abuse, including countless complaints from members that their dirty laundry had been shared by those they thought they were confessing to in confidence. Interestingly, it was Lavina Anderson, one of the September Six, whose excommunication was tied to the "sin" of collecting these reports because some in authority felt those reports made the Church look bad.

It's interesting that just as I sat down here to compose this response, I got a call from another friend who is a bishop, and he confirmed that some bishops do indeed break confidences and share information with people that the confessor never wanted shared.

But my main point was that the teaching most of us were brought up to believe, that confession to a bishop is a necessary part of repentance, is a false teaching not found in scripture. That's why I felt it important for all members to read the piece I linked to on The Law of Confession.

As my bishop friend often asked his ward members who came to him feeling they had to tell all, "Do you think that if you had not confessed to me, Jesus would NEVER forgive you?"

He informed the confessor that Christ had already forgiven them.

I wish all our ecclesiastical leaders would have the same understanding of the atonement as this good man has.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood my friend,
When I present a Guest Post, it's a rare thing(although becoming less rare lately, I admit), because I prefer this blog to represent my personal views.

When I have posted the writings of others, it is precisely because they have managed to say exactly what I would have wanted to say had I been able to say it as well.

When I came across Cate's essay on a Mormon Facebook group, I was absolutely bowled over with her ability to express exactly what I (and many others) have been trying to express myself for so long. Not to mention I'm downright envious of of her facility with words. If I had been able to say what she said half as well as she was able to present it, I would have done it myself.

So if there's any question over whether I might disagree with her views, I don't. They may as well be my own.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Little Rock,
I agree with you completely that I could take a lesson from Cate. I've spoken with her frequently on the phone these past few days and she is indeed one of the kindest, most Christlike people around. I could learn from her. I am constantly failing in my efforts to treat people kindly. I know that, and you are right about that.

And although you yourself have been exhibiting remarkably Christian attributes of late, I would remind you that the reason you antagonized so many in this forum (including me)to the point where we just couldn't take any more, was because back then you were continually abrasive and unrelenting.

That having been said, I'm lifting the ban I put on you last month, and I welcome you back to this forum.

(Watch yerself, though, okay?)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I feel it necessary once again to remind readers that those posting only as "Anonymous" without adding any username whatsoever to differentiate yourselves, will find your post removed.

This is not because I don't like what you've written. It's because before I instituted this rule, it was absolute chaos for the rest of us to respond or know who others were responding to.

If you have returned here and found your comment was deleted, please know that I hated to do it but I had to if I were to maintain any kind of consistency. You are invited to post that comment again. Just use some kind of identifier; it does NOT have to be your real name.

Bonnie said...

It is true that many members are living beneath their privileges; they could, and should, be serving more, but the fault is with them, not the Church. Spirituality inherently exists between the individual and God. The Church provides a structure to help people learn of Christ and His Gospel (which is perfect, although its members and leaders are NOT). Once a person is converted to Christ, he or she will naturally reach out in service to others, using his or her unique talents, in the situation that he or she is in. The Church is not going to prescribe to members exactly how they must serve. Otherwise, what would be the point of personal revelation? Furthermore, Church members cannot relieve the sufferings of every soul on earth. Knowing our limitations, we must first strive to make ourselves strong, so that we have more of ourselves to give. Then we must serve our families, as we've covenanted to do. Then most people serve those near them in their communities, because they don't have the resources to help in third-world countries. I don't think it was right for the author of the essay to sneer at those who bring casseroles to neighbors.

Robin Hood said...

Hi Rock,
I think you are right. You did seem to tar all (or most) bishops with the same brush, but I accept that wasn't your intention, so no harm done mate.

No bishop I know has ever, to my knowledge, broken a confidence. The only incident I am aware of is the reporting to law enforcement authorities following discovery of paedophile activity which the transgressor refused to report themselves. However, this is the law here in the UK, and applies to all clergy with no exceptions.

I'm not as good at writing as you are, so my comments may have come over a little clumsy. However, I just feel this blog has become very negative and less edifying than it used to be.
An example - your superb piece on tithing. You did an excellent job in presenting the issue, the problem, and the solution. After I read that article I felt I had learned something and had invested my time well.
However, the latest article originally authored by Cate did not do that. It just focused on the problems as she sees them, but offered no real solution or practical advice. This was a great shame in my view, and de-valued the exercise considerably.

Last evening I decided to replay Elder Holland's conference talk again and try to see it in the way Cate appears to. Try as I might I just couldn't. It was a brilliant talk aimed at the young people of the church and as such was timely and relevant to the world they face every day. I couldn't fault it.

Now, you say that you entirely agree with Cate's comments in her article. So my question is Rock, what in your opinion is wrong with Elder Holland's sermon?

Anonymous said...

Lolz,

It was okay, but I couldn't help noticing that the article writer's main concern was Elder Holland's talk was "dripping with sarcasm and condescension."

.....

Nobody else see the hypocrisy? Okay, that's fine.

I really don't know where I stand on all these things. This link was sent to me by a friend who just left, a friend I helped earlier in life.

My experience so far in life has been that this woman's view of wonderful churches outside of ours that are doing so many wonderful things all the time for poor orphans with no limbs is a bit....hyperbolic? Maybe that's not the right word, but it seems like typical liberal philosophy of "PEOPLE ARE STARVING IN SUDAN WHY DON'T WE JUST HELP THEM!!!!" Having seen the great government institutions in charge of organizing the non-governmental ones, I feel things are a bit more complex than that.

And while I agree that doing real, practical good should be a priority, I'm not entirely convinced that just visiting people once in a while (that 75% home teaching) is not far more beneficial than we think sometimes. I know a lot of people I've met who've meant a lot to me have been found that way.

To be fair though, Church sure is boring, and it does seem like there's a lot of hours and work involved that don't seem to go anywhere. Not sure how to deal with that, but I also don't know if that's the church or it's me.

Either way, tough questions, I at least appreciate people addressing them. Good luck all!

--DeadlyPacifist

nobody said...

WW's pants are on fire! It would be nice if people would actually read what has already been covered on this Blog!

BK said...

RobinHood,

Probably the reason there hasn't been much talk of solutions is because there really isn't much anyone can do about what the Church is doing. The Church is too far gone, completely apostate and far too big and prideful to change it's ways, it even tells it's members not to write the top leaders. Anyone who tries too hard to get the Church to change usually gets cast out or labeled.

I think we all know that any solution has to be a personal one, where we just take back our time, money and responsibility to serve as Christ taught and not direct our efforts towards a church that misuses such assets.


Alan Rock Waterman said...

Friar Tuck,
I note in your post to Kevin at 9:40 this morning your claim that two of your posts containing links to Mormon Stories have been deleted.

No one but me has that capability here, and I didn't delete anything of yours. I do see the one post you provided that contains that link just above your 9:40 post. It's possible that the comments you intended to post never made it through, but they were not deleted.

Unknown said...

The church seems to focus so much on which beverages people drink, how many earrings they wear and what brand of underwear is underneath their clothes that they forget to simply love one another.

37andholding said...

For those of you who are debating about the confidentiality between members and their bishops or other leaders, I want to reiterate again, there is a BIG difference in the multitude of leaders called to their positions in Utah and especially SLC areas and smaller towns versus the rest of the world. There are many bishops called in smaller areas because of the sheer number of members.
I have experienced several bishops personally who gossip and I have been the one gossiped about, to friends of mine who have expressed to me what has been said. I even wrote a letter to my bishop telling him of what I heard he said. I was given a voice message saying," thank you for your letter",but no apologies were given. I feel that I did my part but was not reciprocated. There seems to be a twisted understanding around these parts that gossip isn't gossip if it's under the guise of spiritual concern! And I expressed exactly that to him. No reply. Passive aggressive attitude reigns among us Latter Day Saints here on the Wasatch Front!!!!

engaged19times said...

37andholding, So how was it u were gossipped about by the bishop? Was it thru someone else? If it was thru someone else I would have sent them a letter too. U can have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter for certain things.

Ugh. I could just scream. This church is the absolute worst. I totes get the exmo community's vitriol for the mormon church now.

37andholding said...

Engaged,
He shared his derogatory opinions about me to my friend about my service in the ward. Maybe he wanted it to get back to me. Who knows.

malipali said...

Thank-you. Thank-you. This puts into words what I have felt for months and so much wished to be able to express.

Erica said...

Wow, if I'm looking for anti mormon material or church bashing this is the place!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
You ask me, "you say that you entirely agree with Cate's comments in her article. So my question is Rock, what in your opinion is wrong with Elder Holland's sermon?"

I think where we're mis-communicating is that you (and a few others here) are reading Cate's piece as a critique of Elder Holland's talk, which it really isn't, at least in my view.

The way I see it, Cate was concerned with some things (a very few things, if we go by what she actually wrote) that Holland said -and the way he said them- and she used those objections as more or less a jumping off point to express additional concerns that she shares with a great number of believing latter-day Saints.

The reason her essay was so positively received by so many believing members was that she was able to articulate the identical concerns that are currently troubling a great many members. And I mean A GREAT MANY members. You should see the thousands of threads I have seen on just a few of the Mormon-themed Facebook groups. There is a GREAT deal of sincere dissatisfaction among the believers. "The natives are restless" is a phrase that comes to mind, and the leadership of the Church appears oblivious to it.

Scads of good people who embrace the Book of Mormon, accept Joseph Smith as a prophet, and believe in the gospel of the Restoration are facing the dilemma over whether they should remain in a Church where those in top positions of leadership seem to focus their priorities in areas that just a few decades ago were not so blatantly engaged in.

Here's just one example from Cate's post that echoed with me:

"I see people who want to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned with more than a plate of cookies and a warm casserole, all while their Church leaders pray over the opening of law offices, dedicate banks, build shopping malls, cater to wealthy elk hunters, and buy up the state of Florida. I see good people frustrated with being called to repentance by an institution which acts in ways that are sometimes baffling when compared to the words and life of Christ."

It seems pretty apparent that the institutional Church is drifting closer to Babylon than it is to Zion. I can't see anything to criticize about those words Cate wrote. Yet look at how commenter Bonnie above entirely missed the point of that paragraph when she said:

"I don't think it was right for the author of the essay to sneer at those who bring casseroles to neighbors."

Of course Cate did not sneer at the idea of bringing casseroles to neighbors. She was lamenting that many of us want to do MORE than just that, but are often blocked by a culture that prevents the members from using their own chapels or organizing events at the grass roots level that were not developed and promoted through "the proper channels."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(Continued)
To Robin Hood,

Now maybe it's different in England where you are. Your example of the Church Welfare program having originated from one stake and then adopted Churchwide is a wonderful example of how things USED to be in this Church but are no longer possible, given the current culture.

That stake went ahead and created their own local welfare system without ever having cleared it with top brass in Salt Lake City. Eventually, the success of that program reached the ears of the general authorities and that tiny idea was soon instituted church wide.

All of us here in the states know instinctively that nothing like that could ever get off the ground today because if a lowly member or group of members tried to implement it, or even simply proposed it to their bishop or Stake President, it would get shot down somewhere along the line as it was introduced up the bureaucratic chain. That is, if the local leadership didn't dismiss it out of hand.

Why? Because if any program is worthwhile, it would have already been introduced by the leadership from the top down. THEY are the ones who are inspired. THEY are the ones who set the agenda. WE are expected to heed and obey.

The guy who had the idea for the extremely successful "I'm a Mormon" campaign of video vignettes had to fight tooth and nail to get the Church Missionary Committee to agree to even try it, and he had the advantage of already being a relatively high level Church employee assigned to that committee. It was members of the Twelve who headed that committee who refused for a long time to allow him to even test his idea.

No one in leadership thought that was a good idea at all. Having everyday people such as a motorcycle enthusiast representing the Church? No freaking way!

Interestingly, once the series launched and those first videos were positively received, someone higher-up took credit for his idea.

Cate's essay resonates with thousands of increasingly disaffected Mormons not because they didn't like Holland's talk, but because Cate effectively illustrated the reasons why the corporate Church has caused their disillusionment.

And please note: they are not disillusioned with the gospel of Christ or the doctrines of the Restoration. They have not rejected the religion. They are disillusioned with those who should be at the forefront of promoting the gospel, but instead appear to have other, less spiritually motivated priorities.

Some who have commented here appear unable to separate the gospel of Christ from the structural Church. And they will continue to defend the Church while they THINK they are defending Christ unless they come to detach the one from the other.

The gospel is eternal. This earthly church is temporary. As someone here put it, quoting an early church leader, the church is a scaffolding. It is not meant to be mistaken for the actual Kingdom of God.

I know you well enough to know that you know there is a distinct difference between the Church and the Kingdom, but sadly there are some here who believe they are one and the same. I think that contributes to their stiffneckedness in refusing to consider interpretations that don't gel with their firmly set beliefs.

If you are focused on Cate's few problems with Holland's talk, you're missing the bigger picture. Only a small part of Hollands talk is pertinent. What is pertinent is how Holland and others appear oblivious to the problems percolating right under their noses.

The natives are restless. And they are beginning to stir. Too many of them are throwing up their hands and leaving in frustration, which I think is unfortunate and unnecessary.

But it's not their fault for giving up. It's the leader's fault for not knowing how to lead.

I. Willet DeVale said...

Yeah Erica, you figured it out. This is a place for anti-Mormons. That's why it's called "PURE Mormonism," so you can learn everything about Mormonism that *isn't* pure.

You're an idiot.

(You'll have to forgive me Rock, but I'm getting weary of watching fools and morons stopping by.)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ferro Rocher said...

Anonymous @ 11:55pm, and others that are confused at the modern church:

Sorry but the LDS Church IS the corporate church and NOT the kingdom of God on earth, though you nmay have learned that through your correlated history, which history as always was written by the victors.

So when did the church stop being inspired of Him, you ask? Not last year, or 1993 when the internet appeared to open the dusty truth or 1984 when Ronald Poelman's brilliant talk was sneakily altered by the 'brethren' or 1921 when the magnificent 'Lectures on Faith' were unscrupulously taken out of our D&C by Pres. Grant or 1877 when the fake D&C 132 was inserted and the ORIGINAL section 101 on monogamous marriage was taken out or even at Joseph's death in 1844 when Hyrum was officially the church Prophet. The answer why we have been battered the way we have is simple-

When we thought way too much of ourselves and WITHOUT revelation, took the name of Jesus Christ out of the church's name in 1834...yes, all the way back in 1834! Don't believe me? Google the 1835 D&C front cover as well as the official name on the Kirtland Temple- on both it states the name of the church as 'The church of Latter Day Saints' without Jesus' name to be seen anywhere, after the members rejected our Lord's words in 3 Nephiand called a special conference where they voted Jesus' beloved name out of the church name!

This coincided exactly with the period we became arrogant enough to say 'the hell with consecration' and refused to share all things in common, and Zion fell by the wayside.

THAT way the beginning of the troubles and the beginning of the end of the church, not now! Upon Joseph and Oliver's pleading, the Lord 4 years later by REVELATION gave the church one more chance and gave the church, which was now composed of saints which had immigrated from UK and Europe to build Zion again, and thus Nauvoo and Far West were introduced, and ultimately they failed again- this time because of the refusal to finish building the Temple, and for embracing Masonry- how Nauvoo, a city supposedly built on the Book of Mormon, which was know as the 'Anti-Masonic Bible'- became the hotbed for that very secret society thing where they all build each other up like the Gadiantons, never ceases to amaze me.

No wonder Nauvoo got destroyed. No wonder the saints suffered in their trek and received cursings instead of blessings as the Lord solemnly stated they would in D&C 124- read it, it is all there.

Does anybody REALLY think that after the church REJECTED the simple Gospel of Jesus as outlined in the Book of mormon, and that Joseph (according to the 'victor' Brigham- perhaps the most ridiculously anti-Christ mormon right before our noses) would now get 'higher' teachings as represented in those fake endowments in the Temple?? When the church lived the Gospel and consecration from about 1830-34, there were angelic manifestations, healings, tongues, caring for the poor, CONSECRATION, and no ridiculous Temple endowments ceremony as was later taught in the Nauvoo years. From what I see, according to Ezekiel 14, the Lord used Joseph before his death to give the abominable Masonic-embracing 'saints' exactly what they wanted 'a FALSEHOOD' that lead them to the hell they and we have and are experiencing.

That is the plain truth as to why we have NOT received any revelations since Joseph was taken. The modern so-called apostles have fooled all of us, and are at the point of the story where the Emperor parades his new clothes.

Wake up people. It is as plain as day, and getting brighter.
F Rocher

engaged19times said...

Ferero Rocher, So WHO came up with those ridonkulous temple rituals??

Ferro Rocher said...

engaged,

i have been researching the topic for years: i have yet to see ANY contemporary documentation on the endowment from Joseph's personal writing or anyone from that contemporary era. It is a very shady and disgusting Masonic thing. The earliest one I have seen is of a woman who wrote it in 1846, 2 years after Joseph died, and she said it made her sick to see what Brigham had done.

I will ask you, have you EVER seen anything about the endowment, documentation or even in the Book of Mormon? If you have, my friend, send me a link!!

However, the usual drowning is more like this:

1. One receives the Book of Mormon
2. Upon reading and praying the truth of it is manifested
3. with joy we accept it as the Word of the Lord
4. Missionaries invite you to be baptized
5. Suddenly with acceptance of the text, the very text that you know now to be of the Lord, you get baptised and lo and behold, you now are told you have to also accept other non-book-of-Mormon things
6. confused, you are brainwashed by those 'in the know' that 'if the Book of Mormon is true then the Temples, endowments, garments must be true...and oh, the 15 Brethren in SLC are thus also living prophets!
7. the confusion is so rotten that you accept
8. Upon enetering the Temple a year later, you are shocked that the whole thing is completely against the Book of Mormon text
9. once again, those in the know seduce you with 'if A is true, then surely B is true! Welcome to our club! Now, don't tell anyone, whatever you do...'

My goodness, Mormoni said the fulness of the Gospel was contained in the Book of Mormon. The Temple in Kirtland was VERY different than the ones from Nauvoo onwards. Question this! No documentation, no revelation on endowments exist.

And yet, like sheep, we believe the fake Emperors...

It is strange to me that two Masons, Brigham was one in 1827 (and incidentally NEVER got ordained as a high priest and testified he never saw the Lord, now an angel), and Heber C Kimball, a Mason since 1827, would join the 'Anti-Masonic Church. Stranger yet is that these two who had meetings with the Jesuit soldier Joh Pierre de Smet (a whole 'nother story), would go on become the leaders of the 'Anti-Masonic' church.

Draw your conclusions. I know I have. D&C 124 gives me plenty to go by. The temples were the issue, the fake endowments were not, and have never been necessary, and thus now revelation nor historical documentation exists.

F Rocher

Ferro Rocher said...

I meant:

-'Moroni' not Mormoni

- 'nor an angel'

-'John Pierre de Smet'

...writing from a cell phone is shaky

F Rocher

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Rock Waterman said...

Very well said, Ferro. Rather than boast of our good fortune in belonging to "the only true Church," we should get down on our knees every day and thank God that AT LEAST he allowed us to retain the Book of Mormon so we could be apprised of our almost total rejection of the gospel, and begin to repent and change.

But no. We follow every wind of doctrine that was introduced without the benefit of revelation.

We're a church of very stupid, arrogant, prideful people. And we wonder why the gifts of the spirit once prominent in the church are now nowhere to be found.

Ferro Rocher said...

anonymous @ 7:31am-

I agree about the Spirit testifying to the heart of truth...of the Book of Mormon.

Just because the book of Mormon is true and you get the answer that it is, does NOT automatically mean that everything else that surrounds it is true. Moroni asked us (actually, specifically the Lamanites) to pray about the Book of Mormon, only...did he also include the other false non-Book of Mormon teachings?? No.

I agree about the 'voice of my servants' being the voice of Jesus. What I am saying is that from 1834 on, the saints did NOT listen to the voice of the Servant Joseph- read my comment above.

Likewise, just because Joseph was Jesus' Servant, like Isaiah, Enoch etc, does NOT automatically mean Brigham or Heber J Grant of Hinckley or Monson are His servants too.

That logic is so idolatrous.

For one, Joseph brought forth pure, undefiled book of scripture in the Book of Mormon and real written down revelations which are canonised in the D&C (and Book of Commandments), like Isaiah and other genuine prophets did in the Bible- where is Brigham's scripture? Or Hinckley or Monson?

Problem with the Mormons is how blind we stubbornly are. And all because we cannot let the simple concept go- if the Book of Mormon is true, it does NOT mean everything else that attaches along with it over the years a.k.a 'the traditions of men/our fathers', is automatically genuine and true too.

We automatically assume Monson sees Jesus, which is strange as he has NEVER said it. No one has said it since Joseph...yet, we blindly want to believe it so bad.

Get back to the book of Mormon and the genuine parts of the D&C...that's what we need to do. The corporate church is pulling the Gadianton wool over our eyes. Read Helaman 6 and 3 Nephi 6 and 7, and like Nephi said, like the scriptures to us. We are the blind Nephites who the Gadiantons seduced to support themselves getting rich and taking over church and government.

engaged19times said...

Ferrero, I am trying to mull thru daymon smiths 2b book to get answers to this question about who is responsible for that macabre temple ceremony. Ur reply gives me more to go on. Thx. Also, I understand phone-ese, cuz i type from mine too;

Rock, Yes, mormons are arrogant. Hey, u heard about them giving members free access to ancestry.com? I am thinking it is to drum up baptisms,like dangling a carrot. Let us baptize u and u can have free access to ancestry.com!

Kevin said...

Anonymous @ 11:55 pm,

I agree that it sounds odd and rather disrespectful to associate our spiritual tradition and our spiritual life with something as man-made and profit-centered as a corporation. When you learn, however, that the leaders of the Church in the early 1900s decided to adopt a legal definition for our spiritual tradition called a 'corporation sole'--that feeling of disrespect may give way to a feeling of disbelief.

Rock's post on the subject is well worth the time to read and ponder the question, "What does it mean that a corporation owns the trademark of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? and a group of interlocking corporations administers the affairs of the kingdom of God?" I like Rock's background on corporations in general and the corporation sole variety in particular.

We know that corporations exist to make money and to do whatever it takes for them to stay in existence. Even at a glance this sounds like an odd way to promote the word of God and the way of God. Rock backs up our theoretical doubts on the matter with the observations of a Mormon anthropologist, Daymon Smith, who worked at the Church Office Building. Smith observed the employees of the corporation running the matters of our Mormon spiritual tradition and using our tithing donations, well, like a corporation--complete with self-promotion, butt-kissing and strategic campaigns to steal work, money and glory from competing departments.

Cate has dialed into the frustration of a corporation that officially controls our spiritual tradition spending relatively little energy or means given its estimated several billion dollars of income each year to help the poor and needy--then getting in the way of individual members doing more to help the poor and needy. Do the poor and needy deserve our help? I'll let Mitt Romney thumb-wrestle Jesus Christ over that question.

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-corporatism-has-undermined-and.html

Mike Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You said "Mormoni(Moroni) said the fulness of the Gospel was contained in the Book of Mormon."

Could you please site where Moroni said that. And to what "Book of Mormon" was he referring to anyways? The entire Gold Plates themselves? The dictated version given by Joseph? The Original copy of what Joseph dictated? The Printers Manuscript? the 1830 edition? Does the "Book of Mormon" have to include the portion with the 116 pages and how about the sealed portion? I'm just thinking out loud but can the gospel be reduced to writings in a book? Assume the 2013 edition, or any edition for that matter, contains the "fulness" of the gospel. And so does that mean we have "it" because a dusty book sits somewhere on a shelf?

I believe there are records describing a process that can lead to the "fulness" recorded by those who have actually lived and received of Christ's fulness in the Book of Mormon. However, a book can't save anyone, not even the Book of Mormon, but it can act as a guide and describe the underlying existing concepts and lead us to know The Savior who does save. The Book of Mormon can serve as a tremendous guide to verify the revelations we receive and help us to understand the processes and events that are part of the gospel.

We as a collective never received the fullness of the gospel because we rejected the offering made by the Lord and now only have "much of it" to read about (1 Nephi 13:34.) I believe the "fulness" is still being offered but we first need to rise up individually like Joseph to even begin to think about living the "fulness" collectively. I believe Nephi lamented at not being able to teach us more and taught that "there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh." 2 Nephi 32:6.

Anyways, I enjoyed your comments but to me nothing is a substitute to having actually experienced the fulness.

Greg

Mike Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Rock Waterman said...

Greg, Joseph relates that Moroni told him the fulness of the gospel was to be found on the plates:


“He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants” (JSH 1:34).

I suppose we could niggle about whether everything that existed on those plates has been revealed to us, but I'm disinclined to believe that any of the stuff we're presented with in general conference contains whatever is missing.

Ferro Rocher said...

Hi Greg-

Moroni apparently said it here:

He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants” (JSH 1:34).

And according to the Lord in D&C:


“…And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also;” (D&C 20:8-9)

In addition, one cannot reject the fulness if one never has it right? let's see what it says in the BoM of the Gentiles:

“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.” – 3 Nephi 16:10 (emphasis added.)

I say the above prophecy about the Gentiles rejecting the fulness of the Gospel in the Book of Mormon, was fulfilled in the mid-1830's. In addition to other things I related above, have you read the record of the day the Kirtland Temple got defiled when the saints started a massive fight in that holy place, with guns and bowie knives, women and children jumping out of the upper floors?

I agree, that perhaps not everything to do with the word 'fulness' is in the book of Mormon as suggested here, but perhaps all we need, as in the word 'much':

12 And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.

In saying that, we cannot just fill in blanks by ourselves by assuming we know what the missing things are, which are not mentioned in the scriptures, for example masonic endowment ceremonies etc.

Of course, the 1830 Book of Mormon is the obvious, according to the D&C (which was given after the BoM was published with the missing 116 pages) answer to your q above.

Now, brother, are you telling me that you have personally received of the fulness from Jesus Himself? Of course, you can only testify for yourself, like Denver does. If you haven't, and I certainly haven't had any of that visitation from Jesus or an angel whatsoever, then I'd say the Book of Mormon is the closest you and I have come, until the Lord decides otherwise, for us personally. No matter if Denver and others testifies, it also means nothing, as we, unlike Sidney Rigdon sitting next to Joseph in D&C 76, cannot be witnesses to anyone else's claims.

For all the talk of establishing Zion, the Lord said in section 105:

13 Therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion.

We cannot just go ahead and establish Zion without an actual revelation and with that 'Servant/Servants' of the Vineyard coming in person to do so.

let's pray that it will happen soon. I'm getting very tired.

Thanks for your communication, greg.
Ferro

LDSDPer said...

@anyone who cares--

I had stopped posting, out of discouragement--

I was trying to respond to every innocent-sounding TBM to point out that many people who accept the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith--

understood exactly what Cate was saying.

I have decided no longer to respond to anyone who thinks that Cate's essay is anti-Mormon. Such a person has not yet awakened enough to understand even simpler things than what Cate is discussing.


Ferro, you pretty much state what my husband I believe.

We have even become someone head-scratchingly uncertain what the 'restoration' is--

but we are convinced that the Book of Mormon was sabotaged almost from the beginning.

It was SO well-orchestrated that it proves to me that the Book of Mormon is the most significant thing about all of "this" (this Mormon business)--

and that it was Joseph Smith's most important mission--

and that Joseph has been lied about and slandered more by 'active' LDS and present TBMs--

than even by his 'enemies' (besides the ones who were secret and may have become later 'leaders')--

why was the entire male Smith family destroyed almost in two months?

The one who was not killed (or died; the truth about Samuel Smith is up in the air; his wife and William believe he may have been poisoned, but such stories are so lurid; even if they are true, what can we know now? We can only realize that things were not 'well' in "Zion" back then)

William, was excommunicated by Brigham Young shortly after his brothers' deaths.

It's all so obviously the same kind of design the Book of Mormon constantly warns about.

I appreciate Daymon Smith more than words can express.

Almost as much as Rock (*waving at Rock from not quite 2500 miles away*)

He has shown that, in spite of a lot of effort, some things can be concluded from the records that the church kept--

and many of them do NOT show the Utah leaders in good light.

In fact, Brigham Young was always arguing with Orson Pratt over the Book of Mormon. He insisted that the Bible was all we needed; the Book of Mormon was "fine, etc. and Joseph was a good boy to give it to us, but everything we REALLY need is in the Bible"--

I read his talks, where he argued that with Pratt and put Pratt down in general conferences. What an ego!!!

Yes, Brigham needed the Bible, so he could feel like a patriarch and a king--

since the Book of Mormon wouldn't give that to a polygamist.

Oh, well, I'm going into too much detail--

I finally read Holland's talk.

Line by line.

With my husband.

We agreed that it is very vague and only makes sense if the reader/listener has a neo-conservative/legislate morality mindset--

so those in the church who believe that one of the greatest signs of righteousness is in pushing for the legislation of morality (even though the courts are now so plugged that nothing is going either way)--

and that the ritualized speaking on it is part of our religion--

there is usually at least one conference talk dedicated to 'fighting' evil through the courts, but nothing ever gets anywhere, though there are lawyers making money from it--

and a good Mormon says, "yes, we MUST legislate morality" without realizing that nothing is getting anywhere--

and that there are people who need to say those things, so they feel they have a purpose. While LDS children are going hungry.

It's really very sad.

Ferro Rocher said...

I meant:

-'without those Servant/Servants' of the vineyard coming...'

sorry

Ferro Rocher said...

LDSDPer-

I've read your words about you and your husband for years now, I wish I could meet you guys. But we will someday, on the Lord's terms. God bless you.

Everything you said is common sense and accurate.

The rejection of the Gospel was from the mid-1830's, not the last 10 years. Brigham and the others were very much part of the whole conspiracy. And, if you dig deep enough in the right places, you WILL see connections to the Jesuits. of this I am certain.

The pre-eminent, pro-LDS Terryl Givens has stated that in his research the Bible was used 40 times to every one time the Book of Mormon was used in the early church sermons. No wonder the Lord said we take/took it too lightly. I won't argue with Him.

God bless LDSPer, from my wife and myself.

LDSDPer said...

The point of the Book of Mormon is that it can help lead a person to Christ—
It can, if a person diligently reads it. It gives an honest person a desire to seek out Jesus.
It doesn’t have all the ‘muddling’ the New Testament has. Why would anyone not want the clarity of a book that has not been tampered with for centuries--
why would anyone not want a book that leads anyone with a heart who wants God to seek that God?

And that book (the Book of Mormon) CAN do that, and satan doesn't want that, so he has designed quads and triples--
*sigh*
and the TG system, which makes the Book of Mormon just one part of a huge set of muddled scriptures--
I think some parts of the D&C may be untampered with, but I am not sure which ones--
I'd like 121 about unrighteous dominion to be real. *grin*



Holland's talk focused mostly on the New Testament and Jesus' teachings from it; the verses he used seemed vaguely to imply that not enough LDS were getting rid of their offending eyes or other body parts--

but they were not cohesive or in context.

And none of the scriptures he used are also found in the Book of Mormon.


He said that the people asked Jesus to leave their area (depart from all their coasts?) because of His teachings, but He was asked, because He sent the evil spirits into their swine, and they weren't Jews, and He was not there to teach them--

not because of what He taught--

I thought that was a sad thing for a former university president who wanted to make BYU the ‘Harvard of the West; with some kind of doctor's degree, and I felt profoundly sorry for him.

He then jumped from how King Noah treated Abinidi to implying that 'some people' were not treating 'patriarchs' and the 'elderly' with respect, because the things they said were hard to do, not ‘comfortable’ enough--

It was actually quite a confusing talk, but I meant to understand it.

After getting at least the idea that he hadn't been consistent in his logic within the talk--

we both felt just very sad, and now I know why I was told by the Spirit to ignore his talk in conference.

I feel very strongly that I need to uphold the Book of Mormon--

and take all the trappings that don't belong to it off of it-

My health right now is such that I can't hold up my huge, large-print quad to read (have to have large-print, old eyes)--

so my husband has gone online and found the Book of Mormon without TG references or any little interruptions (though it does have verses)--

or even headings--

and has printed it off for me. I happen to be working on Mosiah at the moment (NO other scriptures are used in my study; NO other books; I just read and study that book, plain and simple)--

he'll get me each book as I need it--


and I can lift it and read it. It's wonderful.

People who are trapped in a system that is out control, even if they have testimonies of the Book of Mormon that led them to positions of 'leadership'--

might become angry and frustrated and uncertain what to do. Some will go to the darkness, I fear; some to the light.

I wish those people would read that book. It's the best; it's all *we* have, and it's more than anyone else in the world has.

And such a gift to take lightly.

I just can't respond to anyone anymore who makes light of the Book of Mormon or who calls those of *us* who are heartbroken and who have had huge wake-up calls--

anti-Mormon.

Huh, a term used for who knows what--

that would really be someone who is against the prophet Mormon.

Huh--LOL!

How funny is that?

But not funny.

LDSDPer said...

There are many who have responded on here with knee-jerk, defend-the-church comments who, I am afraid, are not certain what they are defending. They are using the catechism that the ‘church’ in Utah used for well over a century that made certain young people did not think (or, heaven forbid, read the Book of Mormon too much and especially not without the Bible to make it ‘legitimate’), but had all the ‘right’ answers.

I have been in deep mourning for several days over those latest excommunications, and I am mourning as much for the trapped men who have either turned to darkness . . .—or have some kind of deep fear--

as I am for the innocent, good LDS whose memberships are being ripped away from them.

Rock knows he will always be a member of Jesus' church.

But what a fiasco. And not without deep sorrow.

I haven't met Rock, though I've been on the phone with his wife, and I haven't met the other two (or more?)--

but I feel deep, deep grieving over this--

and I've prayed a lot, and I'm getting some VERY interesting answers, but they are personal revelation and not for me to share.

Those who are not awake enough to read Cate's essay and feel 'something'--

I hope they wake up before it's too late, and by that, I mean, before the world is in complete chaos, and they have not turned to God/Jesus and the Book of Mormon enough to know how to do it.

Ferro Rocher said...

...one more thing, Brigham with all his 'king' BS obviously couldn't stand the fact that the Lord warns us in the Book of Mormon to not have any kings!

of course, according to early journals, most saints didn;t even own a copy of the Book of Mormon (and the 1833 Book of Commandments, and 1835 D&C) to begin with, so they couldnt read much. All they could do was listen to Brigham and his buddies preach false truths that the poor, uneducated saints trusted was the word of God.

In our day, with the access to internet and books, we don't have that excuse. Yet, the Gadiantons have seduced us...and we keep supporting them.

Everyone should take their almost 20% (didn't the BoM say that 1/5th or 20% to pay church and state taxes is a burden too grievous to bear? Yet, we give to church and government to the tune of around 50% or more. Weird, when you find out that church and government are part of one complicated package in the world of finance and investment folios) that we pay, and give it to the Lord directly by giving to 'the least of our brethren' all around us.

Let the tithing to the corporation stop! Let's see what the authority they keep boasting about is going to do in the obvious absence of actual priesthood power as described in JST Genesis 14-25-40. Priesthood is a power, not a vain authority.

No healings? No revelation? No new scripture? Well, sorry- then the leaders don;t have the Priesthood. Period.

FR

LDSDPer said...

Well, thank you, Ferro!!!


We can use blessings right now.

Yes, we will all meet someday, after all the 'stuff' is over.

:)

Blessings on you two, too!!!

:)

LDSDPer said...

I was blessed to have a grandmother (born in the 1880s to non-polygamous parents)

who preached (quietly) against polygamy; said it had never been from the Lord--

and who, with her deceased husband, had the goal of making certain each grandchild had a copy of the Book of Mormon.

She taught me a lot of very interesting things--

she was not a TBM, but she kept a temple recommend, because she believed it was her 'right' as a member--

my mother (her daughter) did not approve of the things she told me, and many of her descendants now would be shocked (the TBMs) if I told them what our grandmother told me.

*hee, hee*

Brigham, ah--

poor, old Brigham. I am not even sure I want to find out what happens to him, either way.

I feel sorry for people who do really stupid, bad things in this life.

The Jesuit connection; now THAT is interesting--

Yes, did Wilford Woodruff go to meet with some 'bankers' at the Bohemian Club the day before he died (in San Francisco)--

he must have been in some serious bondage, poor man.

And then Charles Nibley made certain the church was incorporated.

Well, I've said enough--

but I am quite sure this church corporation is owned by some of the worst and hardest, and at times I think they may be holding against these oddly naive/very shrewd Utah church leaders.

My heart really does go out to them, because they are 'playing' with big boys and trying, still, to be good Mormon 'boys'.

Like Romney and his not drinking at parties and people making such a big deal out of it, while he contributes to the deaths of tens of thousands of Indian farmers with his ideas about GMO that were first introduced by Monsanto (when he was their consultant)--

in India.

Very deep (and sad) things--

Gary Hunt said...

Ferro Rocher and Everyone,

The following figures are based upon, official, 2011 statistics taken from each government’s website in the jurisdictions I live in.

U.S. Per Capita Income (2011) = $26,780.00 +

City & County Spending (2011) = $ 2,149.00 -
State Spending (2011) = $ 4,236.00 -
U.S. Government Spending (2011) = $11,593.00 -

Total Per Capita Gov’t Spending (2011) = $17,978.00 (67.13%)

Net per capita income remaining = $ 8,802.00 (32.87%)

That leaves 32.87% for us to live on. I guess until total government spending gets to 100% we are not paying enough taxes.

Now I know there are some out there who say we don’t pay that much. Well, that’s where government debt comes in. Some may say, what about the taxes businesses pay? I would ask, where do businesses get their money? I know some will say, what about the taxes the rich pay? The income of the rich is included in the per capita income listed above.

Ferro Rocher said...

Bob Marley once wrote a line in a song of his:

'Don't let them fool ya,
Or even try to school ya! Oh, no!
We've got a mind of our own,
So go to hell if what you're thinking is not right!
Love would never leave us alone,
In the darkness there must come out the light.'

Don't let the leaders and Romney fool ya- these guys have ALL been shrewd bankers and business and have survived that world with flying colours because they know exactly what they are doing. They are not naive.

The Gadiantons looked like the Nephites, smelt the Nephites, prayed like them...and fooled 'em and schooled 'em.

And the modern-day Gadiantons in SLC are foolin' and schoolin', and robbing the blind silly.

There is an obvious reason why EVERY single General Authority is a rich man, and many of them Masons in this day. Someone wake me up when when a poor, humble carpenter gets to be President of the church...and the Twelve are fisherman who can barely feed their families...

FR

Gary Hunt said...

Everyone,

If you take 10% of your gross out that leaves you just 22.87%.

Ferro Rocher said...

Gary-

that is an amazing and very revealing set of numbers.

It is a pity no mere mortal can talk face to face with the 15 in SLC and put this to them- they hide behind lawyers and church office yes-men, for a reason. And come out of hibernation twice a year at that sleight of hand Vegas show they call General Conference.

Should call it General Anisthetic instead...

engaged19times said...

Ferero, Whats the scoop on GAs being freemasons?? Maybe they really have cut a deal with the devil. I still think those silly temple rituals conjure up black magick. So it isnt a stretch to think the GAs participate in rituals that bring them wealth in this world.

engaged19times said...

Yes, they have found a black magick ritual that brings them wealth and prosperity in this life. The unwitting masses of brainwashed mormons pay to participate in it. Im simultaneously sickened and amazed at the evilness of it all.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cate said...

Others are seeing in the possible excommunication of John Dehlin and Kate Kelly, what I heard in a brief section of Elder Holland's talk.

http://bycommonconsent.com/2014/06/13/this-will-have-no-effect-on-internet-mormonism-its-much-worse-than-that/

We have so much of our Father's business to be about. I continue to pray we will not let small-mindedness and small things interfere with the real work of loving God and loving our neighbors.

LDSDPer said...

@anonymous--

12:14


Please use a name.

When I was a child . . .

1 Cor. 13:11 (I don't like to use the bible, but many people who post their upsetness with the regular visitors to Pure Mormonism are more comfortable with the Bible than with the Book of Mormon, so I am using it for your sake)


I remember when I got good feelings from things said at conference. I believe that was Spirit trying to keep me 'safe', trying to keep me where I could marry a good man (for me; I'm speaking just for me), etc.--

where my testimony could grow to where what men said, even GOOD men, would not mean very much to me, if it wasn't about Jesus. Or Jesus' Words.

Yes, the Book of Mormon is the most important thing, but it had been so masked by all my leaders (and some of my family) for me that I couldn't see why it was that important.

As a child and a youth and even a young married I NEEDED a faith community, very much.

Most humans do, and those who do not have one often feel a lot of pain. I know, because health issues have made my faith community not a real thing anymore, at all.

But that's beside the point, and yet it isn't.

I needed to stay in the church. By and large, in spite of the huge boil at the base of the corporation (or the corporation itself being a huge boil)--

the men who led the church when I was a child were much more naive and more scholarly than they are now. They weren't business leaders, particularly. They may have been Utah 'golden boys'--

but there was a very big difference.

I don't know where I heard it, and I can't document it, but President Hinckley once told someone, frankly, that he didn't understand the church finances and 'trusted those who were called to do that' to take care of things.

There probably are young people who are not, yet, humble enough, haven't had 'enough trials' (that sounds arrogant; many young people have terrible trials, but infrequently do young Mormons fall to their knees to seek their Savior; they aren't taught that; they are told to listen to their leaders, keep 'the standards' and somehow Jesus Christ is thrown in there as an afterthought)--

maturity and horrific trials can level people; I know--

and then *we* seek, out of necessity (I'm admitting I am not on the higher level; Alma says it is better to do this out of desire, not out of need)--

God/Jesus Christ.

And, yes, we Mormons tend to be confused about what to call God/Jesus Christ. Is He The Father; does He have a Father?

These people need milk--

But more and more young people are seeing that the church and the corporation that owns it are . . . not conforming to a higher spiritual need they have--

they are sophisticated; they are highly educated; they see the discrepancies, and they leave. Some have honest hearts; some don't.

The young generation is a very intelligent one; I know I have one, and blogs like this one have helped a LOT.

These young people see hypocrisy and call it what they see it is; they don't cloak it in warm fuzzies (not unless they aren't very honest).

So, yes, warm fuzzies are a place to start, for some; they were for me, because I was a doofus.

(still am)

But I put away childish things.

I have NO desire to hurt any of these men or see them hurt. And I do not know their hearts individually, but I know that their talks no longer feed me, and I used to be where you are now, anonymous.

Now I pour over the Book of Mormon and pray 20 times more than I did when I was young (and I prayed a lot; I was a young TBM, determined never to sin)--

and I have found Jesus. I have. He is real, and I feel very saddened when young people leave the church and decide Jesus doesn't exist.

Because I know He does. And He's bigger than the corporation or than those men, however good (or not) they may be.

LDSDPer said...

Why do we hear about President Monson's good works? We shouldn't.

Elder Holland spent more time praising President Monson in that talk I finally had to read after it was mentioned in Cate's essay--

than he did testifying of Jesus Christ (Mormons like to call Him "the Lord" or "the Savior"; we seem to be afraid to use His Name)--

in fact, he didn't bear a witness of Jesus Christ, but he talked about how much he loved President Monson and how much good he did--and that his calling was sacred; I think he may have closed 'in the sacred name of'--so at least Jesus got as much praise for His Being as TPOTC did for his calling.

Why don't these men talk about the good Jesus did on earth and is doing now?

The only things I have heard that President Monson has done is go to the hospital and bless people, or stop and cheer someone up or visit an old person.

LDSDPer said...

To my knowledge, he has not, personally, gone and worked in an orphanage, and I don't believe he started a foundation to feed hungry LDS children, but other LDS have. He talked about people going and working in orphanages (that's another story for another time)

I very much fear he is getting his reward here. :(

Instead of worrying that those of *us* who are concerned that not enough young people who are LDS understand how important the Book of Mormon is and are urging that it be read MORE and ON ITS OWN--

that we are, somehow, destroying faith, by encouragint that it be read and read and read and read some more (and leave the Bible alone for a while; you don't need it)

why don't YOU turn to the Book of Mormon and find Jesus. He is there. You don't need to look for President Monson. He is right there, in his red velvet chair, every six months.

And Jesus has done so much more for the world than President Monson has done.

Don't follow a man. Follow Jesus. He asked you to follow Him.

A woman wrote a song that said, "follow the prophet" in it, and an entire culture turned.

And that is now a sacred edict.

You should be very concerned about that--

not about those of *us* on Pure Mormonism who are urging young people who have given up on God to give the Book of Mormon another chance.

Or trying to help TBMs see that it IS important to feed the sick and hungry--

One last thing--

for anyone:

IF you were a faithful LDS father or mother in one of the nations of the world where LDS children are highly malnourished--

would you say the brethren were doing the right thing to spend money on a mall?

I doubt very much those people know about the mall, etc.--

but I daresay that most people who come on this blog have never been truly hungry--

really hungry--

or have watched their child be hungry, heard him/her cry from hunger.

Would you still say the 'brethren' were doing a Godly thing to build that mall?

I don't think so.

I have someone extremely near and dear to me who almost died of malnutrition in a country where there was no food to eat.

I can tell you that the perspectives are very different here.

I've said enough about that on other posts--

I have no desire to judge those men.

And I believe Father in Heaven or Jesus Christ wanted me to stay in the church, because HOPEfully I would read the Book of Mormon and that would be my pathway to Him.

He has infinite hope for his hopeless children, some of the most hopeless of which are LDS.



And Rob mentioned how the stake and ward leaders in Zimbabwe could "mop the floor with the pious hypocrisy" of the Americans who visited them--

and that they are ashamed of their poverty.

That part shamed me the most.

They have seen those men in their red chairs and heard them praised for their 'good works' (by each other mostly) by translation into their own languages and believe they should be like them and feel guilty that they aren't; they have done something wrong, in their own eyes.

How tragic!!!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

To the person who keeps posting as "Anonymous":

Please follow the rules of this forum and use some kind of username so I don't have to keep being a jerk and deleting your comments.

(Refer to the note about comments at the bottom of the original post.)

Robin Hood said...

Rock,
Many thanks for your response.
I understand that Cate's use of Elder Holland's sermon was catalystic in nature, but I suppose we're going to have to agree to disagree on some of the conclusions she draws.

I still feel many are trying to have it both ways. We acknowledge that the gospel and the Church Inc. are not the same thing. We also acknowledge that the Church Inc. and the church are not the same thing either. But we seem to believe that all our problems are caused by the Church Inc, when in fact we are the church and all we seem to do is point the finger at those we perceive as the culprits.
Maybe the culprits are just filling a vacuum.

Evil triumphs when good man do nothing. I don't go along with your assessment of our (the church) inability to take the initiative. We don't have to pursuade the Church Inc to organise a programme to achieve this, we need to organise ourselves. Sometimes our individual selves - we need to get our own house in order. After all, we are called to be the leaven, not the loaf.

I thought your comments regarding the "I'm A Mormon" campaign were interesting, but where did you get this information? What were the objections of the leadership? Were they concerned with the content or the ability to deliver?
And, of course, it ought to be pointed out that, despite these concerns, the campaign did go ahead and was a success.
It, perhaps, was not the best example to use Rock.

hdtv said...

Cate is so confused. She's seems to have no understanding of God or the scriptures.

Friar Tuck said...

Interesting response to the Kate Kelly situation by a female Mormon blogger:

http://wellbehavedmormonwoman.blogspot.com/2014/06/ordain-women-founder-kate-kelly-apostasy.html#.U5vYikAzJtg

Friar Tuck said...

An even better article from Meridian Magazine about Kate Kelly:

http://ldsmag.com/article/1/13363

Gilbert Gripe said...

LDS Inc. get billions in offerings each year, it has millions of willing volunteers who wish to do good works.

What would Christ's church accomplish with such resources?

Anonymous said...

Some of the things "Cate"has said I have said for over thirty years. Now that the Internet exists it is nice to find like minded people.
I would be outspoken in the wards we lived in over the years and since I was never really welcomed into those wards anyway I did not have a problem telling it like it is.
There is much that that needs to change within the church (the culture and folklore drives me crazy, as well as the class divides and holier than thou members) and how it does some things. Too bad some members can not be given an attitude adjustment! Lol

Now that I am older and wiser I do not take any c#*p off members anymore.
EG

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add leaders. I do not take abuse from leaders anymore. I call them out. Yes, I have been called on the carpet for it.
EG

Anonymous said...

Can anyone answer this?
When I was a kid in the 1970s/1980s the church leaders emphasized not joining the Masons and other organizations like it, saying these type of organizations were not good. Today the leaders do not say a word about this subject.
Anyone have any ideas why the change? Thanks
EG

Anonymous said...

I have so many nightmare and sad stories from my previous ward, I could write a book.
The Bishop in my previous ward told his wife everything. The wife was the biggest gossip, which is how we knew the Bishop told her everything. And the auxiliary leaders were told some things also. That was the worse ward I had ever been in. It did not do any good to go to the Stake President because the Bishop and SP were brothers-in-law.
EG

engaged19times said...

EG, FWIW, I think that if this alleged Jesus/God thing is all real, and ever come down to save us all, most mormons will be surprised to find themselves among the tares. Just a feeling!

Calleen Bataiff said...

Cate, It sounds as if you may be waking up from the strong delusion of those that believe a lie, as spoken of in 2 Thessalonians. You, like many others have been giving "The Church" to much credit, for knowing truth. We give our leaders to much power to sway our minds. We are told over and over again in scripture never to rely on the arm of flesh, but just because a man is put into the office of the Pres. of a Corp. that is called, "The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints", we immediately rever him as a prophet. That also applies to others that occupy "church callings". We no longer look to God, having won a personal relationship with him, but look to a man that the organization calls infallible, and this is nothing new, it's been going on since the church was organized. Joseph Smith fought against it. Brigham Young repeatedly said that he didn't have access to heavenly personages. In fact with the exception of Lorenzo Snow, who won one visit from our Lord, Jesus Christ, was told he would not visit. Of course this is not published except for a few who happen to have his diary.
This church and it's members, with the exception of a few, have become idol worshipers, and those in the hierarchy are practicing priest craft. If you read the Joseph Smith translation of Matthew, you will find a verse talking about the eagles feeding on the carcass. There is no life of spirit in the dead animal they are feeding on, but still there is truth there to be had by those elect of God. Seek for the truth, and rely only upon God, and if a man comes along and claims to be a prophet, you'd better find out from God whether he is or not and then ask what type of relationship you should have with him. I'm assuming you know what type of spirit the Holy Ghost is. If comfort, love, strength of confidence, and joy does not accompany your answer, continue to pray until you get an answer that does.
I have found that God's definitions and ways are freeing. I encourage you to seek His voice and understandings. He will never lead you astray and He is the only one that won't. It baffles me how someone that holds the position of Pres. of this church, can come right out and say that the heavens are like brass over his head and still revere him as a prophet of God, as in Heber J. Grants accounts. Others have said the same thing up until David O. McKay, but we choose to follow a man instead of trusting in God. I have to say I was caught in that same delusion, so I'm not innocent and pointing fingers, however, if a person will open their eyes and minds to truth, they will stop giving excuses for the failing within the church and turn to God.
Good luck in your journey, Cate.

Erica said...

To those who have become disillusioned with the church and it's leaders-- why not break off and start your own? Find another prophet. I mean, if you don't like, trust or believe that our prophet and general authorities are called of God and speak on His behalf, then isn't it time to do something? You are in the wrong church! Because the problem is that there are FAR more people in the church that love the prophet and who trust their Heavely Father when he says to "heed the words of his servants". You will NOT stop the church from growing!
I think it was a blessing for me that my father was a Branch President for many years when I was young. As his daughter I knew my father wasn't perfect! But I saw him trying hard to be better so that he could help others in the branch--which he did! I saw him praying for the members and giving so many hours of his time. My point is, knowing that your local leaders aren't perfect is such a BASIC principle. You sometimes need a little faith and patience. And the Prophet nor the General Authorities are perfect, either! But if you cannot listen to their conference talks and feel within you and they are called of God and speak in His behalf then maybe it's time! Time to find something different or time to pray a little harder. Because fault finding and blasting it on the Internet is rather self righteous and is only hurtful for the church. And if hurting the church is your goal, why not just start the perfect church? Put your energy into something positive. Stop complaining. You aren't going to tear it down so build something new, exactly how you think it's supposed to be.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Erica,
Most of us have no desire to break off and find a new prophet, because this church already has one. His name was Joseph Smith.

The only other person so ordained was his brother, Hyrum. Even Brigham Young declared that he was not a prophet, seer, and revelator as was Joseph; that tradition developed in this church in the mid twentieth century, not by actual calling, but merely by title.

You chide us for not following the modern prophets and apostles who speak in God's behalf. But can you find me an example where any of these modern leaders have ever spoken in His behalf as Joseph Smith did?

I've been looking for a written revelation for almost a decade now. Perhaps you can be the one who provides one for me.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Friar Tuck, I appreciate your links to those two articles suggesting that Kate Kelly has been going about it all wrong in her attempts to get women ordained to the priesthood.

Someone else who thinks she's mistaken in her approach is Tom Phillips, who has this intriguing suggestion:

"Maybe her argument should be "why are some women given the priesthood and others denied it?" Without this put to them the brethren merely say it is "God's will" that the priesthood is only for men.

"However, they are at the same time conferring the priesthood on women in their secret ordinance "The Second Anointing".

"Whereas, in the endowment, women are blessed to become "Queens and Priestesses" in the Second Anointing they are actually ordained Queens and Priestesses for TIME and all eternity.

"After this priesthood was conferred on my wife, during our Second Anointing (see here http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon508.htm ) an apostle (Elder Ballard) directed her to wash my feet and pronounce a blessing upon me by laying her hands on my head.

"We are all familiar with female temple workers performing priesthood ordinances in the temple, but my wife was given added authority and note it was for TIME and all eternity, it is for the NOW.

"So, are the brethren discriminating among the sisters of the church? Of course they are, just as they discriminated within males until 1978. The ultimate discrimination, of course, is the Second Anointing. Given to relatively few members and kept secret from the rest.

"Maybe Kate's defence could be, I only want for all 'worthy' sisters that which is conferred on a selective secret 'elite'."

Friar Tuck said...

@Erica:

I sympathize with you. Consider the United States. This country is nothing like it was when it was founded by wise men. Corruption has filled the government, yet we still have the Constitution to guide us and we plod along. Endless partisan fighting over government policies has created an atmosphere of hate and distrust in this country, and no one political faction had been able to maintain power. All the criticizing and name calling against the government has accomplished little or nothing. The wisest thing we can do is support good people that are trying to make a difference.

nobody said...

"Because the problem is that there are FAR more people in the church that love the prophet and who trust their Heavenly Father when he says to "heed the words of his servants"

Is everyone who cries out LORD! LORD! a true follower of Christ?..
So how are we to discern those who are his true servants?

"You will NOT stop the church from growing!"

I agree, I believe that only the "church" and it's actions will stop the "church" from growing. When 2/3 of it's claimed membership does not even bother to attend, I do NOT see it "growing".

"why not just start the perfect church? Put your energy into something positive. Stop complaining. You aren't going to tear it down so build something new, exactly how you think it's supposed to be."

I agree, I do not believe anyone can change this "church", but When we turn from our sins and turn to God in humility, and follow his teachings, we ARE building a "perfect church".

And it is not required of any institution for that, we have the Book of Mormon and the Saviors teachings in the NT. I do not recall the Lord teaching that we should only love our neighbors that are LDS. And that we should withhold charity towards our fellow man unless he is "active".

(see Luke 10:25-37)

"then isn't it time to do something? You are in the wrong church! "

If this organization does not follow the teachings of the Savior and contradicts the teachings of Prophets that have come before, this may indeed be truth.

Friar Tuck said...

@Rock:

Wow, you are quoting accounts taken from an anti-Mormon website as bona-fide, factual, and real? Show me some written proof, not just anecdotal evidence.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Friar Tuck,
Tom Phillips was a well known High ranking member of the Church in Great Britain who, with his wife, was invited to partake of the Second Anointing in the Salt Lake Temple. He has since left the Church, primarily over the things he found unsavory after being invited into the upper ranks of the elite.

I shouldn't be surprised that you never heard of him, or that you instantly dismiss anyone's story as not being worthy of consideration simply because it does not comport with your narrow worldview, or because his story is linked to on an ex-Mormon site.

I learned a lot about Hitler from reading Mein Kampf, but that doesn't mean I endorse the book. You can learn a lot about the history of Mormonism by looking further than the approved offerings at Deseret Book.

The Second Anointing was a ritual introduced by Joseph Smith, and since grossly abused by modern leaders, effectively giving them absolution of any sin they may commit in the future. That was never the original intent of the ceremony, but like I said, it is abused today, and without any of the authority it held under Joseph Smith.

There are goings-in within the hierarchy of the Church that you are not privy to, Friar Tuck. That does not diminish the fact that certain events do take place whether you are aware of them or not.

Friar Tuck said...

@Rock:

Actually I don't read anything from Deseret books at all. I limit my reading to the scriptures themselves, and scriptural commentaries, such as those of Avraham Gileadi who did a marvelous translation of Isaiah, was excommunicated from the church, and later repented and was re-baptised.

I have studied all the scriptures in depth, and I don't care about the political intrigues surrounding the church.

I can learn a lot about American History by studying Benedict Arnold, but who cares what he has said? Mein Kampf is words in black and white written by a man. The account you linked to is an anecdotal account of a man's supposed experience. Forgive me if my standards of proof are somewhat rigorous. Anyone can make up a story.

Rock, if you go on a quest looking for smoking guns, you are going to find them. What anyone else does has no effect on you and your testimony. The world is full of useless facts. Why don't you go study Islam, Buddhism, Shinto, and every other religion to make sure they are not true?

If the gospel is true, then embrace it. If it is true you do not need to go on an endless quest searching for falsehoods. You are focused on what other men have done to "the church". What they have done has absolutely nothing to do with you whatsoever. I suggest you learn how to live, and quit wasting your time trying to prove others wrong.

There are many in the world that are wrong, in fact most people are wrong about most things.

If your heart is troubled then just lay your burden at the feet of the Lord and let him take care of his own church. No one is converted (permanently) to a cause by any mountain of proof as you have supposed. People are converted to the truth by a witness of the Holy Ghost and the still small voice. The Holy Ghost is offended by controversy and bickering. The only way to change the world is not through intellectualism, or coercion, but by humility, long suffering, patience, meekness and love unfeigned. If you wish to convert people to your line of thinking you need to adopt these characteristics.

nobody said...

@ Friar Tuck

When has Rock ever coerced, or tried to "convert" people to (his) line of thinking?

I have heard him express his opinions and what he believes, but I have NEVER seen him try to control the thoughts or behavior of anyone.


If you want to see fear and intimidation used to coerce people to follow and keep others inline, I could point you to an organization (I believe you may be familiar with), that does it quite regularly.

I see him presenting information on HIS BLOG and allowing people to decide for themselves what to believe.

"humility, long suffering, patience, meekness and love unfeigned. ...you need to adopt these characteristics."

I have witnessed these qualities in abundance from Rock.

"If the gospel is true, then embrace it. If it is true you do not need to go on an endless quest searching for falsehoods"

"There are many in the world that are wrong, in fact most people are wrong about most things."

This is why It is each of our individual responsibility to discern truth from falsehood. There are many opinions and false traditions that are accepted and taught as "the gospel".

Judge wisely

Alan Rock Waterman said...

And what is this "line of thinking" I'm attempting to convert people to, Friar Tuck?

I have invited you previously to point out any errors of doctrine you may have discovered in my writings, yet you have not yet done so. But never mind. As is your usual wont, your response entirely misses the point.


You sniffingly dismissed the testimony of a formerly high ranking member of the Church because you did not approve of the source it was linked to, and when I informed you that his experience is famously well known and not questioned, you simply dismiss it again as somehow made up. Then you cover you ignorance by proudly declaring you don't want to know anything you don't already know.

Every time I read something you post, Friar Tuck, I swear I hear a collective sigh from the other readers here.

You are so misinformed that you even defame the great scholar Avraham Gileadi while believing you are paying him a compliment.

Gileadi did not have to repent to have his membership restored because he had nothing to repent of. It was later acknowledged that the Church's action was in error and that his excommunication was a huge mistake. He was reinstated with apologies.

The men who had some repenting to do were those leaders who had defamed him in the first place. You could learn a lesson yourself from that.

Irven Hill said...

@ Friar Tuck

"I limit my reading to the scriptures themselves, and scriptural commentaries, such as those of Avraham Gileadi who did a marvelous translation of Isaiah, was excommunicated from the church, and later repented and was re-baptised."

What did Avraham Gileadi repent of? His ecommunication was expunged. He never refuted anything he wrote, so again, what did he repent of?

Gileadi does call out "the church" just as the Book of Mormon does. He was excommunicated for it. Later he was reinstated, but what exactly did he repent of, since you seem to know. I am anxiously awaiting your response.

Friar Tuck said...

@Rock:

Here is an article from the Deseret news in which Gileadi, in his own words, declares that he will repent for what he did wrong.

I'm sorry that you continue to be un-Christlike. Yours is a search for falsehoods, and not a search for truth. You desire to find and expose any dirty laundry against the church leaders you can find. You already have the truth, or so you claim, why do you seek that which is false (at least false according to you)?

Continue to mount evidence, Rock. Yours is a cause of creating discontent by pointing out the wrongdoing of others. The spirit does not attend people like you.

As far as doctrine, where shall I begin? I believe you have insinuated that women can give priesthood blessings(Australian couple). You seem to be OK with women being ordained to the priesthood(show me historically where this has happened on a widespread basis). You believe that blacks can hold the priesthood (In spite of scriptural references I have given you in the POGP which say otherwise).

I no longer wish to contend with you, Rock. I am not my brothers keeper. I know I don't have the wonderful writing skills you possess (in spite of your disingenuous claim to be the "dumbest person in the room"). If I cannot have any positive effect on your life, then arguing with you is a waste of my time, and unfruitful.

I wish you the best of luck and may you strive to have the Holy Ghost with you always.

LDSDPer said...

@Friar,

Those of *us* who are seeking to find truth in Mormonism and its roots--

are often invited by those whom I would say are content with things as they are and blame all the government's problems on 'liberals'.

I really don't feel like labelling today.

But I looked at your two links, and I saw 'liberal' within reading a short distance on one (I am neither liberal/progressive nor conservative/neo-conservative, which means the political parties do me little good)

and Meridian magazine is known as being the voice of Mormon neo-conservative (those who blame everything on liberals, want to legislate morality and believe that pre-emptive wars overseas and meddling with foreign governments is acceptable)--

Friar, *we* have been there and done that. Perhaps *we* are older than you are and have been worn down; I don't know.

But I daresay that IF you are reading anything I am saying--

you are reading it through those neo-conservative lenses. Some people may have lost their great love for Glen Beck in the past few years, but in my ward he is still hugely popular with 95% of the members (or more), and Romney was the candidate of choice for at least that many--

(prominent or wealthy Mormons need to be supported by faithful Mormons, goes the conventional thinking, I suppose)

You invite Rock (and I assume you invite others, also) to investigate Bhuddism.

Another person with similar attitudes just said:

"start your own church".

Why are you asking *us* to leave?

Are *we* asking you to leave? Are *we* asking you to go anywhere?

No, I have worn out my fingers (ha, ha!) trying to encourage anyone who may read what I have to say to:


READ THE BOOK OF MORMON


Let it lead you to Jesus Christ.

Accept His Atonement.

Follow Him.

Don't just read the Book of Mormon along with the other scriptures. Read it alone, by itself; skip over the headings (added by Bruce R. McConkie?)--

just read it; read it again; read it until you begin to see that it is what makes Mormonism unique and that it is ALL *we* have that is really unique.

I do believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I believe his central mission was to deliver the Book of Mormon (however he did it)--

and I believe he did receive other revelations, but it's all been so muddled that I just concentrate on the Book of Mormon.

LDSDPer said...

It's interesting how *you* come here in your "I'm a good Mormon" costume and invite those of *us* who are reaching out to Jesus and reading the Book of Mormon and trying to help those who are seeking do the same thing--

to leave.

I don't ask you to leave. I don't ask you to go anywhere.

I ask you to read the Book of Mormon.

And read it alone. And read it again. Without all the 'stuff'.

But I daresay you didn't get this far.

*I* do not have the resources to feed all the hungry children who are LDS in the world. But I do believe the 'church' does, and it has not applied those resources to that sad little task.

This is a source of serious concern to me, and I fear I will be held accountable, in part--

because I am part of the 'church'.

This is why I come on here and talk about this--

but you do appear to be a neo-conservative, since you read Meridian, so I fear anything I say will just neatly go over your head.

Read the Book of Mormon, Friar.

Don't say, "I do, everyday"--

because if you read it, alone, every day, and a lot of it, I don't think you would be on here telling those of *us* who love that book that *we* ought to leave the church, because we are afraid we will be partly to blame for the hunger of those African, Peruvian, Guatemalan, Philipino, etc.--

children.

There are those on here who have left, because they don't want the blame. Some of us do not want to. We don't want to be pushed out. We want to stay with what we perceive as, however in apostasy it may be (as the Book of Mormon foretold) the original church that--

presented the world with the Book of Mormon.

Don't tell me to leave, please.

It's not nice.

And you suggested (and at least one other person) that Rock and others who were unhappy leave . . .

it's not nice at all, but if you were reading the Book of Mormon as much as you need to, you wouldn't say such an unChristlike thing--

Friar Tuck said...

Sorry, here is the article:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/476161/SCHOLAR-REBAPTIZED-INTO-LDS-CHURCH.html?pg=all

LDSDPer said...

@Friar,

OH, I FOUND IT!!!

Why you won't listen!!!

You STILL believe blacks should not hold the priesthood!!!!!

You naughty person!!!

You have NOT read the Book of Mormon.

Are you the one who argued this with me months and months ago?

And said I was leaning on you?

Oh, MY!!!

You are a white supremacist!!!

Oh, my, oh, my--

I've found you out!!!

No, you won't focus on the Book of Mormon, and I've wasted my words to you, but maybe someone else will read them.

The Book of Mormon says, Friar:

2 Nephi 26:33


I believe there may have been something to the P of GP--

but Joseph never said it was the most correct book for a reason--

I think it was something he translated from back in the days of Abraham, and it was corrupted to divide the world into castes/classes--

corrupt, indeed. Most of the first part of the O.T. is the same, completely corrupted--

But then, if you read it, the Book of Mormon would warn you about that--

A white supremacist!!!

You almost had me fooled into thinking you were just a regular neo-conservative, TBM--

Can't do anything with you guys--

You base your worth upon skin color which is so sad and so . . .

well, can't do anything with you.

Friar Tuck said...

@LDSDPer:

Why won't you respond to my statement about church grievances being settled according to D+C 107? If you accepted that section you would realize that going to the leaders of the church is the way to handle problems, and not in cyberspace. Go ahead and cherry pick your doctrines.

And I forgive you for calling me a white suprmacist, simply because I have identified scriptures which teach us about the black situation.

LDSDPer said...

ha, ha--


Ladies:

Friar Tuck probably won't respond to you as though you are intelligent; you are a woman, and to him, men are superior.

He's a white supremacist!!!

You said it yourself, Friar.

LOL!


Friar, I know faitful TBM women who have given blessings to their children in the absence of their husbands and never told anyone they did not absolutely trust--

That's why you will NEVER know who they are.

I have never done that. I've got too heavy TBM roots, and I think the priesthood is vastly over-rated, so I don't know why women would want it.

I think it does exist in the heavens, oh, yes, but I don't think most LDS are righteous enough to use it--

I cannot relate to women who worry about whether or not they have power when children are going hungry, but maybe they haven't heard starving children cry.

Perhaps they should, and then they would not worry about priesthood so much--

But I realize another thing about many of these women. They have been badly treated by men and have seen too much of that in the church, and they don't like it, and this is their way of trying to change that.

I don't sympathize, but I will never condemn them or ridicule them.

The well behaved Mormon woman is a very self-righteous woman--

not sure what her agenda is, but she's anonymous, so I can say that about her.

Friar Tuck said...

@LDSDPer:

I forgive you for being a crazy old woman. May gods peace be upon you.

nobody said...

@friar

"Here is an article from the Deseret news in which Gileadi, in his own words, declares that he will repent for what he did wrong."

What he actually said was:

"I will repent of whatever was wrong with me and forgive whoever wronged me,"

Did you get that second part?

"...and forgive whoever wronged me"

also,

"In my heart I've never felt like I've had an apostate spirit,"


Gileadi said a church regional authority told him to discontinue lecturing, "which I did." The decision to excommunicate Gileadi followed.

After reading your recent comments directed toward Rock, I would suggest that you pray and continue to seek for the spirit, because I believe:

"The spirit does not attend people like you."

37andholding said...

FTuck,
"I will repent of whatever was wrong with me and forgive whoever wronged me," he decided. "Excommunicated or not, everyone needs to repent - and forgive."

That's the quite from the article you linked to about Avraham Giliadi and his 'repenting' and being reinstated. I think your interpretation of that admission is really stretching it.
How about you just let us be. You have shown to be a disappointingly limited thinker as well as prideful. I hope you can get over it. Truly, God bless you! Let Him!

Friar Tuck said...

37andholding:

The entire Gileadi episode has little to do with the context of the conversation. Rock accused me of somehow defaming Gileadi because I happened to mention that he had "repented" which was actually just a side note to begin with. I think that I have demonstrated that he did repent, which was my original claim. Beyond that, his repentance has nothing to do with the conversation beyond the fact that Rock used it as an accusation against me.

I would like to know why you consider me a limited thinker. Is it because I think it is a complete waste of time to accuse the GAs of wrong doing?

I have suggest to Rock that he has found the truth, and he can be happy with that. What kind of sane person spends his time revealing falsehoods to expose the wrongdoing of others? Doesn't sound Christlike to me.

LDSDPer said...

@Friar,

I know too many people for whom D&C 107 has backfired terribly.

30 The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long-suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity;

right from D&C 107. I think this is rare now. The 'church' has been under condemnation for undervaluing the Book of Mormon since . . . sometime in the 1830s or 1840s--

(I could find the verse, but I'm tired)

You believe the Pearl of Great Price is more 'pure' when Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon is?

You didn't respond to my posting of the verse in the Book of Mormon (2nd Nephi) about all being alike unto God, black and white--

(etc.)

"black situation"--

what a couple of words to use--

now, what on earth does that mean, and how does it relate to anything? People are a 'situation' now?

You obviously believe Brigham Young was a prophet, and Joseph Smith not, because Joseph "allowed' the blacks to have the priesthood--

and don't go hunting for that obscure thing about some 'guy' who said Joseph regretted it. It's at least as edgy as anything Rock has said from obscure church history.

You believe what you want to believe--

but I didn't ask you to forgive me, and I don't want your forgiveness.

If you decide to repent of being a white supremacist, however, I think it might do your soul good.

What an arrogant man you are!!!

You go around tossing out forgiveness as though it is a papal blessing--

as though *everyone* knows those you 'forgive' are sinners.

Truly audacious!

I tried to laugh through the white supremacist business--

and then you forgave me. I am going to have to go repent for the anger I am feeling right now towards an unknown white supremacist in 'who knows where'--

DARN!

Oh well; it's my trial.

And I'd rather be a crazy, old woman than a person who believes skin color defines righteousness. Or worth.

LDSDPer said...

oh, and Friar--

*shudder*

I don't want your 'blessing'.

*still toddling off to repent of my anger*

Friar Tuck said...

LDSDPer:

Who said am white? As Rock is very fond of stating "it has not been entered into evidence yet". I know you are an old lady because you have stated that many times. So keep looking into your crystal ball and think you know what is what. You have judged me without even knowing my race. YOU ARE RACIST.

37andholding said...

FTuck,
You say it doesn't sound Christlike to you to reveal falsehoods to expose the wrongdoings of others. I'm not sure of what you are saying. Jesus revealed Judas' intentions of wrong doing at the last supper. What in Rocks revealing information was false?

As far as what makes me say you are a limited thinker is that you are basing all your responses from a limited premise. There is a lot more info. out there than you could possibly put a handle on and you reveal your 'limitedness' by staying with your premise. Just shift your position a degree it two and see what visuals change.

Isaac said...

Rock, I saw that you're in the new September Six (you guys need your own name, maybe you could do some brainstorming on it). I'm sure you're completely nonplussed, and now you'll have to stop writing, delete your entire blog, and beg for mercy. I've been wondering if there's some kind of algorithm they use to determine the detrimentality of a particular blog. Is there a viewer threshold that has to be reached in order to attract attention? If so, then I'm safe! But anyway, I think it's ridiculous that this is all happening, so I wrote my own declaration. http://thestanfielddoctrine.blogspot.com/2014/06/declaration-of-apostasy.html

Irven Hill said...

@Robin Hood
Still waiting. I'm not tying to be a jerk, but I'd ,love to hear what you have to say a bout Giliadei. Since you know. Seeems everyone but Robin has chimed in.

Irven Hill said...

sorry. seems not seeems

Friar Tuck said...

It seems Tom Phillips' motives are less than pure...a UK judge saw right through this charlatan:

"The Deseret News is reporting that a British judge has rejected Tom Phillips’ lawsuit against the Church, and called the lawsuit “an abuse of the process of the court.” Tom’s lawsuit alleged that the Church committed fraud because it lies about its origins in order to obtain tithing receipts.

“I am satisfied that the process of the court is being manipulated to provide a high-profile forum to attack the religious beliefs of others,” Westminster Magistrates’ Court Senior District Judge Howard Riddle said in a written ruling. “It is an abuse of the process of the court.”

Gaybob Spongebath said...

Well, Whaddya know? Friar Tuck is only just now finding out who Tom Phillips is and telling the rest of us what we already know about his lawsuit.

Nice to see you're on top of things, Brother Tuck.

Gaybob Spongebath said...

I'm still trying to get your point, though. Are you saying that because Tom Phillips sued the Church unsuccessfully, that means he did not actually receive the Second Anointing and made all that up? Or is that the General Authorities who invited him to have his Calling and Election Made Sure were simply poor judges of character?

Gaybob Spongebath said...

Ya gotta wonder where that vaunted mantle of prophecy was when apostles and prophets willingly gave the Second Anointing to a guy who later turns around and sues them.

These are the guys you consider the very oracles of God, Friar Tuck. How do you suppose they managed not to notice they were giving the Second Anointing to a charlatan?

That's a very serious ritual, given only to the very elect. What do you suppose happened to their celebrated spirit of discernment that they ended up selecting a complete huckster for the ordinance?

Just goes to show, "prophet, seer and revelator" these days isn't a gift, it's just a useless title that means nothing.

Friar Tuck said...

gaybobsponge bath:

A man is a bishop, stake president, and member of the church for decades and then decides that he better have a closer look at things after a so-called "second anointing"? First of all, show me some real proof that he had said anointing, and second of all, why is his divorced wife still a believer, while he is a bitter exmo?

Even if he had this ceremony, I do not trust a man that agrees to accept something in confidence, and later betrays it.

Friar Tuck said...

gaybobspongebath:

Maybe the GAs aren't oracles but they have a better claim to the authority and leadership of the church than you do.

Until Jesus Christ tells me something different, I'm not going to mutiny against a religion that he personally founded through Joseph Smith.

Now tell me I am going to hell by being a member of the church and doing my best to live the gospel as it has been explained to me. I think that the people that are in a precarious position are people that take it upon themselves to set in order the Lord's church, as if the Lord himself cannot handle the job.

I am a laborer in the vineyard. The Lord told me to work here until his return. He didn't tell me to reorganize the vineyard as I see fit. I don't claim to have any authority at all to make any decisions, let alone criticize the general authorities that never campaigned for their positions.

So tell me, how am I harming myself by being obedient to what I believe the Lord expects from me?

nobody ever said...

"Maybe the GAs aren't oracles but they have a better claim to the authority and leadership of the church than you do."

Who here has claimed to have authority to lead the church?

"Until Jesus Christ tells me something different, I'm not going to mutiny against a religion that he personally founded through Joseph Smith."

Who has asked you to leave the church?

"Now tell me I am going to hell by being a member of the church and doing my best to live the gospel as it has been explained to me."

21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

"I think that the people that are in a precarious position are people that take it upon themselves to set in order the Lord's church, as if the Lord himself cannot handle the job."

Who is trying to "set in order the Lord's church"?..

"I am a laborer in the vineyard. The Lord told me to work here until his return. He didn't tell me to reorganize the vineyard as I see fit. I don't claim to have any authority at all to make any decisions"

Then don't

So tell me, how am I harming myself by being obedient to what I believe the Lord expects from me?

They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.

A. R. Vapor said...

I just heard about the talk called 'The Gospel and the Church' by Elder Poelman and how it had been rewritten and rerecorded for publication. I think that what he addressed in his original talk is exactly the thing this church has a problem with: there is a fundamental difference between the church and the gospel. We learn about the fundamental principles of the gospel, and once we have them in our hearts, we will have no real need of the church. But this church has become more like a corporation, and we have become its employees. If we break any of the rules and prioritize one thing above another, then we are ostracized and perhaps cut off. For example, if we want to teach our fellow members to accept gays into our communities, we are no longer wanted. We put so much emphasis on 'rules' and 'policies' of this corporation that we have forgotten what the gospel is really about.

I think 'Cate' said it beautifully. I also normally love Elder Holland's talks, but this one did indeed feel condescending. I'm sure many of the youth, many of whom are becoming more and more accepting of what we would call sin, the people he was addressing, felt the same.

engaged19times said...

Mornin Ya'll. Been following comments here and have discovered reddit. So many like friar tuck and robin hood are truly in the dark! As 37holding said it will shift ur view and degree and u will see things diferently. Not that I dont already assume the worst about the mormon church. I hope someonecan get a hidden camera in for the 2nd annointing. Sounds juicy! I still think these silly temple ordinances are really black magick rituals that strike deals with the devil. This 2nd annointing thing may be a higher up black magick ritual.

engaged19times said...

Also, I LOVED Calleen Batlaff's comment.gonna frame that one in my old frame i used to have the family proclamation framed in.

LDSDPer said...


Friar Tuck said to Rock:

You believe that blacks can hold the priesthood (In spite of scriptural references I have given you in the POGP which say otherwise).


Friar Tuck, I really don't want to talk to you anymore. You told me (in caps) last night that I am a racist, and how do I know you aren't black--

You make it quite obvious in many ways, Friar, but--

You have been harrassing a number of people on here about 'criticizing' general authorities, because of how the corporate church seems 'out of control' to many of *us*.

I pointed out that Joseph Smith did not limit the priesthood to white men, but under his direction, it was given to freed slaves.

Do you or do you not believe that President Spencer W. Kimball and the entire quorum of the 12 received this as revelation?

As shown in Official Declaration 2?

I believe he was definitely inspired; I believe all those men were inspired. I believe it was a restoration, because in the beginning it was intended for all, and a mistake was made by men 'in between' Joseph Smith and Spencer W. Kimball, although David O. McKay was not comfortable that black men did not have the priesthood.

Here you have been ranting that *we* do not respect the brethren.

What sort of exception do you claim for President Kimball? Or for Brigham Young?

You show your true colors here, Friar.

I wish you well.

LDSDPer said...

Just thought I'd share this link; Rock already has it on his blog page, which I peruse now and again--

http://themormonworker.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/when-it-really-matters/

Friar Tuck said...

@LDSDPer:

Rock himself believes that the revelation to Kimball is false. He believes that the blacks are entitled to the priesthood for some other reason.

Friar Tuck said...

@Unknown

1 Nephi 22:19 For behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off.

2 Nephi 6:13 Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet; and the people of the Lord shall not be ashamed. For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah.

Friar Tuck said...

excuse me, that should be "nobody"

Friar Tuck said...

@LDSDPer:

I don't think the general authorities are perfect, I have never said that. I believe that it is wrong to openly criticize them. As I have repeatedly pointed out, D+C 107 tells us how to handle disputes in the church, yet you ignore that scripture because you do not want to heed it. The Lord tells us his house is a house of order.

You can dig a pit for your neighbor (general authorities) but the Lord tells us that if we dig a pit we will fall into it ourselves.

You are always preaching to people what they should and should not do...so here is some advice. Live your life and forget what the church authorities do. You cannot change them, and they will not bend to political pressure in the media. You are trying to be your brothers keeper. Let them have their free agency. They will answer to god for it, and you will answer to god for every idle word you say, as will I.

PS, I did not say I was black either. Why are you so racist to continue to make assumptions about my color?

Friar Tuck said...

engaged19times:

Interesting that you claim that I am in the dark, yet you cannot decide what you actually believe in.

There is a difference between being in the dark, and having a grasp of the serenity prayer well enough to know that there are things I simply cannot change. Part of the serenity prayer is accepting that which one cannot change:


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

nobody ever said...

@FT

So, you believe that we have reached the status of a zion people, And the Lord has called this people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwell in righteousness; and there are no poor among us?..

And when did this occur, I was not aware. lol

I forgive you for being a crazy old woman. May gods peace be upon you.

Friar Tuck said...

@ nobody ever said:

It seems that you are trying to use scripture to imply that I am a wicked person. I wonder, do you consider yourself a righteous person?

Friar Tuck said...

@ nobody ever said...


1 Nephi 14:10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.

So tell us, my friend, is the Mormon church the church of the lamb, or the church of the devil? If it is the church of the devil, then where is the church of the lamb?

Friar Tuck said...

@nobody ever said...

1 Nephi 14:10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.

BK said...

Friar Tuck,

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but the scriptures are also just "black & white words written by men". All the scriptures we have are riddled with error and falsehoods, things contrary to the teachings of Christ, just like any other book written by men.

All of our scriptures, were written/translated by very fallible men and scribes, many probably not even righteous, let alone true prophets.

And if you really have 'studied the scriptures in depth' as you say then you would know it's not unChristlike to look for and point out falsehoods in churches or in those who claim to be prophets.

Christ (and Joseph Smith) warned us over and over to be very wary of anyone claiming to be a prophet or a true church of his. That we were to watch what they do and say to know if they are true disciples of his or not.

And if they aren't, we are to warn others of their falsehoods so they aren't deceived to fall for them.

If one thinks that the LDS Church is the same church that Joseph Smith started or Christ's Church, is to also believe that the RLDS and FLDS churches are also the Church that Joseph or Christ started. For they were all continued by apostles and members of the original church, none with any more authority then the other.

If we are to compare, then the RLDS Church at least is a far closer church to Joseph's or Christ's original church then the LDS Church ever was. They followed
Joseph's teachings whereas Brigham's Church taught the opposite of what Joseph or Christ taught.

So to think Brigham's break off was the 'true church' has no foundation and makes no sense at all.

Friar Tuck said...

This guy sums up my feelings on the church in a way that I lack the capacity to. It is a good read (short) if anyone is interested.

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