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:

«Oldest   ‹Older   601 – 710 of 710
Alan Rock Waterman said...

FTB,
I'm already a member of this church, and see no need to start or join another. Neither have I, nor Cate, nor anyone here that I know of expressed a desire to "modernize" the church we belong to. We wish only for our church to adhere to the revelations of God.

If you are dissatisfied that members of the Lord's church should wish to see both members and leaders obey the voice of the Master rather than elevating their own policies and opinions to the status of doctrines, perhaps you would be happier starting your own church and leaving the church of Christ to those who would follow Him.

Anonymous said...

Hold on Mr. Waterman.I have a strong conviction of my belief in God. I do not understand why you belong to such an organization. There is quite a number of people like Care, yourself, John Dehlin, Kate Kelly and countless others that are speaking out and are publicizing your strong disagreement and disgust with the church. Since you know in your heart that you are not going to fundamentally change this church, why waste your time spreading your hatred for the way that chruch is when you proclaim your love of Christ. I am trying to understand. Why not start your own church? Worship the way you want to. Spread your message for a true purpose. Because what is the purpose of this. You have the free agency to create your own church. Maybe John and Kate can lead it.

FTB

ftw said...

wow. somebody give this woman the priesthood :-)

Anonymous said...

I was struck by "Cate's" argument that the church only seems to be concerned with helping those with in it's walls and then only superficially. She sited specifically AA meeting and feeding the poor. I'm not sure where she got the idea that the LDS church doesn't do any of that. I personally know of 4 people in my own ward that run a 12 step program twice a week for anyone who wants to come. I know 4 people personally who go in to the jails and prisons and conduct worship services and 12 step programs several times a week. I know of a wonderful couple who are inner city missionaries in the poorest parts of our city. We have been asked several times to contribute to help out by purchasing clothes and things for their people. Our stake does a no money farmers market where people bring their excess harvest to exchange or give away. We also do a clothing market much the same way. We don't ask if they are a member. We even ask to advertise at other churches. I know several couples who have gone on service missions where they are helping people in 3rd world countries build wells, schools and vaccinate their children. So yes the LDS church may have a mall but they also do the things that you claimed only other churches

Gary Hunt said...

Friar Tuck,

You are correct in stating that there are others who use logical fallacies in their arguments. In fact everyone (including me) uses them the to some extent. You just happen to be the one using them most frequently. I have brought them up to others in the past. Just ask LDSDPer. I have even made general statements to everyone reading this blog to go study and understand logical fallacies so that they can improve their argumentation skills.

Rock went and found a free online course, which he has recommended to his reader. His argumentation has improved because of it. All I ask is that you do the same. Here's a quote for you to think about.

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Viktor E. Frankl

The reason he said is that as a society we have be trained to go directly from stimulus to response. Read one of my previous comments in which I quoted from Edward Bernays. In order for us to be free individuals we have to use that space between stimulus and response to take time to do some critical thinking and eliminate logical fallacies before we react.

If a person does not take time to do this then their reactions are based only upon emotions. My only agenda is to help you and others understand this. Please go learn these skills so that when you post a comment you can at least create a good argument.

Because youy feel that I am just picking on you I promise I will not respond to your comments in the future.

Take care Padre.

engaged19times said...

I'm telling y'all u gotta get on reddit. That's where I found out about the emotional manipulation that is Heartsell. I think its possible they train GAs in heartsell techniques.

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

Thanks Mr Waterman

For your response. I would appreciate if you could help me understand in short what my precious post asked.

Why be a part if it?

What makes you want to hold on to this church when you say they don't follow Christ?

I would like to understand your reasoning for this and what you can achieve?

I don't believe those people are going to change there church or do think it is possible?

Why hasn't Christ destroyed them if they are such manipulators?

Why or is it in the works for John and Kate to form their own church? Since most of these Mormon blogs believe the same- that they have become more Christ like and there leaders have gone astray?

I appreciate the conversation.

FTB

LDSDPer said...

In my book apostates are people of integrity. People who stay Mormons have no integrity



Put your energy into your own church. Maybe you can call it the church of the later day rameumptom.








Gary, Rock, anyone who knows how to be civil:


Are these two people, two separate people, I asume, saying the same thing?

There are so many 'unique' voices on this particular blog 'post'--

but sometimes I think they say the same thing--

You know, a close member of my family had a highly dysfunctional family of origin. When he tried to talk about the abuse (and it was horrific), he was cut out of the family--

this seems, somehow, familiar--

tribes like to expel people or threaten people in other tribes--

basically, the greatest human hurt is to be expelled from a tribe; tribes mean safety and security--

What kind of drive causes a human being to do this, either to threaten that a person is in jeopardy for being in a particular tribe or to tell a person who is, ostensibly in *his* tribe who has noted abuse, to leave--

Anyone who can be kind have a real answer for this?

I am finding the dynamics on this blog essay almost as interesting as the original blog essay.

I believe I am learning a lot about my fellow human beings, but I am not exactly certain what.

LDSDPer said...

oh, oops, that first line is absolutely not my quote/words.

It comes from someone who has obviously left the LDS church--

I realize my question is probably a time waster--

and if you don't have a bit of time to throw at the character(s) of members of faith communities, etc.--

then that is all right--

Minerals Liberia said...

To the person who wrote all the lies about the LDS faith, please go back and read JOHN using some intelligence....

Friar Tuck said...

@engaged19times:

You will not endure sound doctrine so you go to soothsayers looking for answers.

Janelle R. said...

I'm not even going to respond to the self-righteous posters telling me to be more Christlike, except to say that using scripture to confound and judge another or use it as a measuring stick for righteousness is the ultimate in arrogance. It is meant to be internalized, not used as a measuring or flogging stick.

I also want to mention something about the characterization made by many about the church being more corporate in nature than spiritual. You need a bit of information, and I have an inside source of info that of like to share with you.

The church has been divesting itself of its businesses for decades to focus on the mission of the church. The church has also been affected by the downturn in the world economy, with fewer tithes and offerings being sent in. They have been streamlining operations at HQ's significantly over the last three years and reorganizing from which pot the departments are funded. This has included layoffs. So, the commercial aspect of the church is crucial to the day-to-day operations of the church.

Many departments are now funded through the commercial, taxable arm of the church, and are not operated on tithing funds. The commercial arm of the church is mostly managed through the Presiding Bishopric, which has different responsibilities and duties as outlined in the Doctrine & Covenants. While some departments are kept under the duties of the Quorum of the Twelve, much of these changes have been made so that the Twelve are freed up to perform their calling as an apostle as outlined in the Doctrine & Covenants. This is to preach to the world of Christ.

Next to the federal government food stamp program, the church is the largest welfare distributer in the nation for members and nonmembers. This is done through the the Presiding Bishopric and local bishops in wards. Not the Twelve. The Twelve do not have the keys to the storehouse, as outlined in the D&C.

Many of the things that we buy for ourselves here in the U.S. such as scriptures and church magazines are actually given to members living in impoverished nations. Things that they would never be able to afford on their incomes. The church highly subsidizes many things in impoverished nations. The humanitarian aid the church sends out is also under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric.

The area around Temple Square was becoming crime riddled and rundown. The downtown was failing. Temple Square is an international attraction, and a big part of our missionary efforts. There have been malls, commerce, and office buildings on these blocks since Salt Lake was founded.

The church purchased the Crossroads Mall because it was in its best interest to protect the area around the Temple, and make it a safe place to live, work, and recreate. Thus, "the mall" that people here are decrying. The property is managed as a joint venture with Taubman, a company that does this for a living. Everyday operations of the mall is Taubman.

The other real estate concerns through different entities, including the real estate management concern operated by the Presiding Bishopric. Which in turn pays for church operations - including those that have a spiritual function.

Hope this bit of information helps provide some clarity to those who have honest and sincere hearts.

PNW_DPer said...

When "Heartsell" got mentioned, I went off on a rant about something that really did bother me about the "Mormon Messages" or whatever it is that my beloved son-in-law sometimes listens to, and how it seems that too much emotional manipulation gets added to it, especially with the added background music.

I think that is how contention often starts; someone complains, perhaps righteously, and every one else jumps in on one side or the other and keeps escalating it. I remember from many years ago Sonia Johnson, she started out with a legitimate complaint about abuse by some of those "called but not chosen" (D&C 121), and then it escalated back and forth until it got out of hand. I don't know much about OW and this Kate Kelly, but it sounds a lot like the same kind of thing, perhaps a legitimate complaint at the start about not being acknowledged, and then "both sides" escalating it back and forth. Shows one of the weaknesses of the "us vs. them" or the "black and white" or the "my tribe/school/nation vs. yours" paradigm.

I think Janelle has a valid point in the first paragraph of her 6:44 post. My belief is that commandments, standards, principles, etc. can be building stones or stumbling blocks; building stones if we use them to measure or test ourselves internally to help us become better and more Christ-like, or stumbling blocks if we use the same commandments, standards, principles,etc. to judge or beat up others.

engaged19times said...

LDSPer, I dont know how to respond to that but I get ur flow about getting kicked out of the tribe.

Janelle R, U sound real nice and corporate and allof that. But I am just a mom, and a heathen one at that, married in a heathen ceremony where we said til death do us part. And if u really think ppl are all bent out of shape about that dumb mall, well they are, but there's a few more issues than that. Start looking at all of it with a bit more skepticism and u wll find that the mormon church scares the bejeezus out of kids with all of the "ur never going to see ur family again" stuff. So one day they pay their tithing to buy their way into heaven.

Personally I have more a problem with mormons' macabre obsession with the dead/temple work and the enormous amount of money spent on those ridonkulous temples whilst every day LIVING CHILDREN and adults starve to death. I have a real problem with that. Can u address my concerns, but hold off on the nothings to good for the lord line?

Minerals Liberia said...

@engaged19times

Complaining about "work for the dead" is like complaining about people that go to school to be educated. Get a grip, and I suppose people shouldn't meet and read scripture either....

So, your worried about hungry people? what have you done lately? The LDS church has donated $100's of million of dollars in aid to people all over the world. I know because I participated in Africa many times on behalf of the Church and its members.

Go live the Gospel for a while before coming on here and complaining or worst, being hyper critical of an organization that has helped so many.

You have a "real problem"

Minerals Liberia said...

UN says 10.8 million Syrians need humanitarian aid

Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press | posted Jun 20th - 8:51pm


The humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening by the day, the number of people needing urgent help has reached 10.8 million — almost half of Syria's population of 22 million, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday.

lets do something folks....donate to the international red cross

Tiffany Thomas said...

I actually really appreciated Elder Holland's talk. This author may not know people who have said what Elder Holland alludes to, but I do. I have had many, many people on my mission and after say to me, "No thank you. I am going to find a church that fits with the lifestyle I already live" or something to that effect. That doesn't mean they're not good people, but they have little or no desire to find out what God wants them to do and instead want to just have someone tell them that what they're doing is just fine. It reminds me of 2 Nephi 28:7-9.

I also have a hard time with her take on the Church's service. Yes, we individually serve each other (RS, for example). But what about Mormon Helping Hands? Each time there has been a natural disaster, the Church is one of the first on the scene. They DO provide food, immunizations, etc. to third-world countries. They just don't brag about it. I don't like her tone of voice of some things. I feel like she's more sarcastic than she claims Elder Holland was in his talk, and I find that hypocritical.

Sorry, I don't mean to bash or be argumentative. I'm also concerned she took this so public. It's one thing to question amongst friends and leaders, and another to openly start criticizing the ordained leaders of our church. THAT'S apostasy, and it's what's gotten some other members brought into a disciplinary council.

There's nothing wrong with questions, doubts, and concerns. And there's nothing wrong with worrying about Church culture and wanting to change some of the negative. But there is a problem with criticizing an Apostle of the Lord.

Here are what some of those same leaders have said about questions:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/the-cost-and-blessings-of-discipleship?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng

Also, we have 80.000+ missionaries who are doing all they can to not only heal spiritually, but also work physically. Many are service missionaries. My mother was one of those.

She may feel there are things she deems more important than what's taught in the 'Friend,' but those are things that the Apostles have deemed important. And they are just as important to those who are struggling individually with sin. The first great commandment is to love God, and THEN it's to love our neighbor. And the way that we love God is to keep the commandments. All of them. Yes, it includes service, but it is by far not the only commandment.

Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now.

Fred Krapsicher said...

Hope this comment doesn't make your comments list too long.

If you think about it, God -the The Father of us all -when it comes to Spirit is really maintaining everything, and it is not by some magic. The LDS Church President and the Apostles have been given the full keys to the Power of the Priesthood, But, God, The Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit have full knowledge of how to use the keys of the Priesthood and we as Human people have only limited ability and even loss of memory so we cannot even comprehend the full scope of the Holy Priesthood, let alone be able to use it fully. No Human therefore can understand total Love.
Sure they may have the keys of the Priesthood, but do they know fully how to use it and help everyone.
All ordained to the Priesthood therefore only have limited ability as they are not capable of fully being God as yet. Mistakes can be made which can be forgiven by God.
If any want to try to use the Priesthood -how about using it to raise someone who has died. Try it and see if it works. If not -just maybe they have not sufficient Knowledge to handle the job.
When it comes to Women, why in the world do they even want Priesthood capabilities. It is an exhausting job -and comes with extreme requirements -like say casting out devils and raising the dead, besides healing. Can Women handle these things, for that matter, how many ordained to the Office of Elder can handle this -even yourself. Do you have enough Faith in and Knowledge of God to do this. Doubtful. Will saying anything against Church Leadership increase this ability to do these things. Even Stronger Faith may be less than a grain of mustard seed.
To Increase that Faith -you may do some things -like realizing who keeps all Temporal things operating. God -in His First Commandment says to look to Him only.
Have you ever taken two magnets and tried to pull them apart?
Is That Magnetic Force held in effect by Magic, Nature, or The Law of God. God says in His First Commandment that all should have no other gods before Him. So what is Magic, Mother Nature, Energy or anything else -other than God? Aren't they just gods before the Supreme God? This means all physical Temporal laws like Magnetism that we can feel, but cannot see are Laws of God made by Jesus Christ using the Power of the Priesthood, because Christ knew how. None of our leaders know how -unless they are given that knowledge by God, do they? We sure do not. -But who would he give that power to first -if he wanted to? Wouldn't it be the leading Church Leaders. Would they continue to remember how? What with Amnesia and Ahlzy abounding? That is Doubtful. Could you, with Ahlzy?
So isn't it just best to let God handle it -instead of personally.
Just think how much you could mess up all the railroad locomotives which use the magnetic Law of God to move. How about Gravity? Or Electricity? Or Even the forces that hold the Chair together that you sit upon? Or keep your shoes together? Or keep your clothes together? Could you then do what God does? Can any Woman? Does she want to take that responsibility on -in Human Form? She may have to if Ordained. That casting out of spirits may be too scary.
Why try to take on the things like these that Christ Commanded of the Apostles? Isn't just staying healthy enough of a job?
Your friend,
Sincerely,
Fred Krapsicher

Tiffany Thomas said...

Fred, you are COMPLETELY out of line in saying that women are less capable than men and that's why they don't have the priesthood.

I don't WANT the priesthood. Not because I can't handle the power, blah blah blah, but because I don't want the responsibility of SERVICE that goes along with it.

Women already do much of the day-to-day work in the Church. We raise families, we run the Primary, YW and RS, and we provide the service for the families in need (meals, etc.). If we had the Priesthood, we'd take over everything and let the men bum around. The Priesthood responsibility helps motivate men. Why are the visiting teaching percentages consistently higher than the home teaching ones?

So I don't want the Priesthood. I already do too much.

This is NOT to say that women are better than men. However, we have different roles and are given the tools we need to accomplish those roles.

And have you been to the temple? Let me just say that the initiatories for women are performed by women. Yes, ALL of it.

Tyler Kimball said...

we need to really look at what we are doing and make sure we are not straining at a gnat and trying to swallow a camel. She makes some really good points.

James said...

@ PNW_DPer


I'm in the RLDS Church, or what's left of it.

I also have a real problem with all these ministers running around, thinking because hands have been laid on them, they now can act with impunity for the Lord God.

As if they're God themselves.

After my ordination to Priest, there was no thunder from heaven, lightening did not strike, bells didn't ring. There was no real miraculous even confirming I had done God's business.

But what did happen, was because I didn't feel really any different than before my ordination, I began to study scripture. D&C specifically.

( we do differently than the LDS, in the RLDS Church you could be a priest for life) (just like in ancient times)


I discovered God calls men to the priesthood. But they are only given power to seal on earth and heaven when they have "magnified their calling".

"many are called, few are chosen".

In other words, many are called, but few men humble themselves, prepare themselves in an acceptable way for the Lord to used them in power.

Joseph Smith didn't go from young country boy to prophet over night. It took years, being educated by God Himself.

So I see what you're saying. And yes, the complain is right on target.

And yes, people to preserve their sense of security,comfort zone, and sense of self righteousness, (that's what church is about) will if necessary, kill their brothers, sisters, and even the Saviour of the world.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

FTB,
You ask why I would want to stay in this church since I see it as having departed from it's scriptural mandates. You ask why I don't just eave and start my own church?

Even though our political leaders and institutions in the united states have long since disassociated themselves from our national scripture, the constitution, I continue to live here. Simply because I recognize the corruption am I expected to go somewhere else and start my own country? Where would I go?

The prophets in the Book of Mormon foretold that in our day the "Holy church of God" would become polluted. I don't see anywhere in scripture where we are expected to throw up our hands, walk away from the church of Christ, and start a new one from scratch. Rather, we are counseled to "awake to [our] awful situation" and repent.

You may see this blog as just some guy complaining. That's not what's going on here. This blog is me repenting.

Ann said...

I am so disheartened that you have experienced such a myopic viewpoint of the Church.

I live in a ward (and almost all of my wards have thus far represented the same) where there are gay and straight. Where there are stay at home moms and dads. Where there are women who are doctors, lawyers, reporters and housewives. I have seen first hand the weekly AA/NA meetings that are held at our church for the entire community, not just Mormons. I watch our ward each week strive to have a positive impact on the community at large, which is not limited to organizing the largest 5k community race to benefit the local food bank but also each week feed the less fortunate in our congregation.

I say this not to toot our horn, but to point out that by grouping the entire church in your disapproving tirade that you are doing exactly what you accuse the church leaders of doing. There is always room for improvement, there is always room for change. We are an imperfect people, and as such an imperfect church, but criticizing from such a myopic viewpoint is not helpful.

I found Elder Holland's talk to be one of the best at conference because he spoke pure religion. We cannot expect to have God change for us. I didn't hear the harshness or cruelty, I just heard pure dogma. Was it slightly uncomfortable? Yes. But I took it as an opportunity to see why it was personally uncomfortable, not as condemnation.

I am so tired of the rants and raves and "my heart is broken by this church." We are starting to sound like two year olds having temper tantrums. Change from within, voice your opinion, but do it appropriately. And above all remember that for every decision you make, there is a consequence, whether good or bad.

Now just in case you think I am one of "them," I am not. I am a minority female physician who thinks of herself as a liberal feminist, but also joys in the fact that I am a wife, mother and member of the Church.

Janelle R. said...

@engaged19times - I just have access to people who know what is really going on in the church. In fact, I called them before I posted my last comment to get some clarification on some details that were fuzzy in my brain. Most members aren't aware of these things. I wouldn't be if I didn't have that relationship.

Also, you should not assume that I don't understand anger and the criticism that I see online. I still struggle with my own frustration and anger issues, but it is more about culture now than the church and doctrine.

I have been across the spectrum with my activity in the church over the last 20 years. And I understand the challenges you face because I have friends that are in your spot. I am a 41 single woman, never married, with no children. I am in an invisible demographic, and sometimes feel like I am in a vacuum in my ward RS at the moment. It used to not be this way, but people move-in-and-out of the ward, and things change. It's all about the mommies and young families now.

I have lost count how many times I've had to work through things to get over or understand something. But I did the due diligence. Sometimes it took a few years to resolve. Being angry to be angry is not constructive. Using that anger to grow and understand is another, and takes work.

Friar Tuck said...

Rock:

Lets be honest...you are not trying to simply right old wrongs in the church, you are also trying to introduce new doctrine.

You want women to have the priesthood because you find nowhere in scripture where it says otherwise. At best female priesthood denial is a sin of omission from the brethren because it does not go against revealed truth. Furthermore, Christ never ordained a single woman to the priesthood, and all his apostles were men so this doctrine lacks precedent. This is just one example.

You repeatedly quote D+D 10:67:

"Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church."

You assert that this alone constitutes the Lord's church and nothing else. This scripture is a metaphor. Just like the sacrament is the flesh and blood of Christ is a metaphor. The church cannot accomplish its mission if comprised of the simplistic organization that D+C 10:67 describes. It would lead to every individual huddling behind his computer, interpreting doctrine to mean what he thinks it to, like you, Kate Kelly, and Denver Snuffer. The Lord's house is a house of order, and he has designated officers to look over the church much as Alma did in the Book of Mormon. The church leader do have authority according to the hierarchy that the Lord himself established in the Doctrine and Covenant. They do have the authority to excommunicate you, again according to the Doctrine and Covenants.

What you do not seem to grasp is that every time God has established his church it has lapsed into apostasy. There was one exception, and that was the city of Enoch. God has locked himself into the structure of the organization he created. He made the calling of general authorities a lifetime position. He has made it difficult to remove the highest leaders of the church. You think you are doing the right thing by accusing the leaders of the church, but you do not know the mind of the Lord. The Lord has allowed things to gravitate in this direction. Do you think the Lord made a mistake? Do you honestly think the Lord did not know that the church would begin to fail over time? The Lord knows all these things, but from your limited perspective you are futility trying to intervene in a situation that is way above your pay-grade.

I have said this over, and over, and over...the best we can do is to operate withing the scaffolding that the Lord has established. Inciting a riot against the church leaders in the court of public opinion will accomplish nothing but anarchy. You have absolutely no idea whatsoever what the ultimate results of your rebellious actions will be. Like I said before, we can take a lesson from the French Revolution. Ironically, for someone like you that believes that war is wrong unless the Lord commands it, you have started and contributed to a war against the church.

Friar Tuck said...

Rock stated:

"You may see this blog as just some guy complaining. That's not what's going on here. This blog is me repenting."

That's interesting Rock, because 99.99% of this blog is you deriding the authorities of the church, apparently in an effort to force them to repent.

Maybe you can show us some specific instances where you have repented.

nobody ever said...

Since when does an organization led by the Lord, require an intelligence gathering arm?.. Not to mention a PR department.

Maybe he could have just signed an intelligence sharing agreement with Santa Clause, he always knows who's been bad or good. I'm sure he would have shared his naughty list.

It's sure a good thing that the Lord approved of his servants spending $240 million on a lavish conference center and then ordered them to build that Billion dollar abomination of a shopping mall just as the economy was tanking (I guess he didn't think that one through) instead of helping all those pesky bums that gather around the temple.

I would assume that a "prophet" would ask his pal, Jesus if it was his will before exercising stewardship over a couple thousand, million dollars.

I'm sure that Jesus is more concerned about presenting an image of success to the world, then feeding starving children.
a few hundred, or a couple thousand, million dollars buys a a hell of a lot of rice and beans.

Did someone forget to consult him first?..

I am sure that I read in the scriptures somewhere that projecting the image of success is more important then actually helping the needy and hungry.

But, I guess it's all the members fault for not doing more, huh?..

I don't think building luxury malls with retracting roofs is what was meant by "building up the kingdom of God".

While it's true, we could all do more, I do not have hundreds of millions of dollars to toss around on speculation. Perhaps we should give our offerings to the Red Cross till we learn to spend more wisely.

In Zion, it is always well.

Friar Tuck said...

@nobody ever said...

We all have our free agency. No one is claiming that the Lord told these men to build shopping Malls.They are allowed by the Lord to exercise discretion in the fulfillment of their duties.

The leaders of the church answer to you every conference when they are put to a sustaining vote? Have you ever voted against these leaders you consider to be wayward?

If you don't like the way the institution is run, why don't you leave? If you want to stay, you have to realize that you don't call the shots. There is little sense in complaining about something that is beyond your control. The most effective course of action for you would be to set your own life in order first, then earnestly pray to god to make changes in the church. God is the one that has the power to make changes, not you.

Brillo said...

I remember hearing a conference talk (can't remember whose) stating that our priorities should be (1) people, (2) principles, and (3) policies. Church policies should never take priority over principles, and neither policies nor principles should ever take priority over people. This was probably in the 1980s. Of course I can't find it now. Does anyone else remember it or know more about it?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ann,
I don't think it's that Cate has a myopic view of the Church so much as that you happen to serve in an extraordinary ward.

It has been my observation that the overwhelming majority of members wait until a specific program is promoted from on high before they embrace it. You and your ward members seem to have taken the initiative. And you're darn lucky you don't have a bishop and stake president who felt it necessary to run these proposals past Salt Lake before they were implemented, because the bureaucratic mindset is always likely to nix a new idea than to approve it.

I'd be interested in learning what part of the country you are from. There may be a handful of wards like yours, but they are an anomaly.

Friar Tuck said...

Wow, Pope Francis just excommunicated the entire Italian Mafia:

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-denounces-mafia-meets-father-slain-boy-165953264.html

somebody said...

OUR POPE DID WHAAAAT?..
Oh wait, it was the other guys pope, oops!

James Brian Marshall said...

@ engaged19times

Yes I'm RLDS. No, my church did not ever have a temple ceremony. Can I say that now? I want to say no. But now there is no guarantee. They have built a temple, and every time I see it, I feel a spirit of abomination and defilement.

The new Temple sets next to the original Temple Lot in Independence MO. Next to where Joseph Smith and the Saints were commanded to build "the temple" which was never built because of the abominations and practices going on at Nauvoo in Joseph Smith's time.

The Temple Lot, is owned by the Church of Christ, (Bickertonites) the third and most minor of the 3 largest splits in the Restoration. There are so few of those church members left, only about 1200 members left. The Reorganized Church was not able to take ownership in the many court battles which happened, between the LDS,RLDS and the Church of Christ, during the late 19th century.

The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ is no longer, excepting for those members like me who have fled, literally for the Wilderness. Zion is ground zero. Literally. It will be absolutely destroyed, because of what the Saints either have done, or because of what they did not do, that they should have.

The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ has pretty much been destroyed from within. By quietly subversive men and women, who have sold out to you know who...

There are bands of RLDS members and branches waiting and watching, and preparing for the Lord to come, to set things right. At least they claim they are.

But few us us are left. Read Matthew 24- a sign of the times.

But to give you a sense of what the RLDS Church used to be in the old days... The RLDS Church was once so strict, I could not be a Priesthood member, or member of the church if I didn't practise the Word of Wisdom without fail. Hense I make it a point to be pretty strict practiser of the WOW.

Also there are still are some (very few) RLDS Priesthood with real power. We still receive real messages from the Lord, not as revelation, but as Words of Counsel/chastisement. from time to time.

The latest one is very real, you can tell by reading it's Jesus Christ speaking, and it's a boots shaker.

Time is short...

Link to read said Word of Counsel is here for your consideration.


Right now, I would try to convert Rock to the RLDS thinking, excepting I'm a believer in integrity first,and evangelizing second. First setting ones own house in order...

Most churches have it backasswards. They think by getting people to show up at church, equates to effort, faith and integrity. If that's the case, Satan has it made.

I have watched a lot of my priesthood peers, neglect their bodies, themselves, their houses and married/ home life, and children, then go out and try to convince people to the join the "RLDS" Church.

Meanwhile they don't realize the common man who listens to them, comes, watches, sees that he himself already does better than these men who claim to have authority and power from God. Because of the incongruence, they leave before they join, (who can blame them?) or they join, then eventually are a non influence.

No joke. Have you ever seen a very obese priesthood member give a talk to a congregation about caring for the Lords Temple, "your body"...

This thing happens and worse...

So while we don't do secret satanic Temple Ceremonies, we have a problem with severe disobedience hypocrisy. While this activity is very overt, the example set can send a man to hell just as secret rituals will.

Which may be what Rock sees, just as I do.

James Brian Marshall said...

So you LDS know what's happening spiritually on the RLDS side of the Restoration Equation in Missouri.

I wrote this in a response to a question, but decided to repost link so you can examine the info to more your convenience.

Jesus Christ gives Word of Counsel and Warning.

http://latterdaysaintsflashlight.blogspot.com/

Friar Tuck said...

Predatory Disbelief
June 21, 2014 By William Hamblin

Despite the rhetorical posturing of many critics of the Church, it does not excommunicate people for asking questions, much less for “thinking.” (Note the equally absurd implication that only critics and dissenters can be Mormon “intellectuals.”) Indeed, the Church was founded by a young boy asking questions. Asking questions is a very important path to greater light and knowledge. Nor does the Church excommunicate people for doubt. Part of the inevitable consequence of the human condition is uncertainty and ambiguity. This makes doubt the inevitable companion of faith: “I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Doubt is not the opposite of faith; disbelief is the opposite of faith–or, as the the scriptures generally describe it, “unbelief.” Disbelief is the rejection of faith-claims of the Church: rejection of God; rejection of the divinity and atonement of Christ; rejection of the prophethood of Joseph Smith; rejection of the authenticity of his scripture; rejection of the authority of LDS priesthood. But the Church doesn’t even excommunicate members for disbelief. Many members of the Church disbelieve one or another of the Church’s claims while continuing in Church activity and membership. The problem that leads to possible excommunication is predatory disbelief–the open and public attempt to convince other members of the Church that they, too, should disbelieve its truth claims. If the Church is true, then predatory disbelief aims to destroy the eternal salvation of Church members. Clearly and publicly identifying predatory disbelievers is an obligation the Church has to its members.

37andholding said...

FT,

You say 'preditory disbelief' like it really means something.
You just made that up. It doesn't make sense. No one can MAKE anyone disbelieve anything. What others share is just information. Then it is up to each individual to decide, with their free agency, whether truth is shared or not. I don't get you, unless you really do work for the corp. :(

And, by the way, Joseph Smith was asking God questions. We get in trouble when we ask questions because some of the leadership of a religious sect doesn't like where it's going.
I ask God and he answers me. No excommunication there.

Brandon Habermeyer said...

Wow! Very impressed. Very challenging, very thought-provoking. I wrote a response here...

https://medium.com/@DonaMajicShow/church-culture-its-price-and-the-paradoxical-christ-e1434e8bb7e0

37andholding said...

FTuck
I should have said that 'he's' making it up. But obviously you think it's real too because you posted it like it means something.
What is going on in the corp. of the president is just BS... er... I mean PR. A corp. that's set up to make money can't afford to have anything happening that runs contrary to that. I believe the guy you quoted was probably set up by them to write that drivel and set up a NEW understanding among so called church members to prime them into believing a falsehood against their brothers and sisters for the protection of the corporation and its interests. I'd say from the description of the made up phrase, 'preditor disbelief', that the corp is the REAL ONE. What a screwy sentiment from Will H. !!! It was a bit humorous too, but I hope others who read it will be willing to discern the truth, or NOT, about it.

LDSDPer said...

@James,

I've enjoyed reading what you have to say.

Engaged and anyone else who cares,

This discussion has been depressing the last few pages. I have been called to repentance so much for "I'm not sure what".

I complain. I speak ill of men I don't know (no; I don't think I have at all; I don't know these men, and I have no desire to speak ill of them, but I have tried to understand what they are saying, and what makes sense to some absolutely does not to me)--

and I feel that, somehow, I am guilty of some sin for having appreciated what Cate had to say.

But I'm not sure what I need to repent of.

I used to be a very powerful defender of all things corporate church.

In reality, I leave it alone. Besides reading about it on here and talking about my concern about:

corporations equal Babylon

in general, and so it's 'scary' to have a corporate church--

I speak to my husband about these things and one child who needs to talk about them--

but a person would think that if a person comes anonymously onto a Mormon blog and expresses concern--

that person is instantly zapped somewhere--

It's one of those situations where the defense quickly becomes an offense.

James said...

@ LDSPer,

Hi! I'm going to respond to your questions. They are valid and I want to respond to them.

That said, I must say my self regulating truth detector, (Holy Spirit) is telling me to keep minding my business and keep making sure my daily bread needs are met with my family.

Truthfully, I could talk church all day...Write about church all day. But that is fake church... I've found I must truly experience life everyday in a real way. Ways which meets peoples needs in real time realities. Such as needs of family, building my business, again to meet the needs of people.

All this life I must experience flavoured by the Holy Spirit guiding and teaching me.

It's what gives me spiritual depth to draw upon when answering peoples questions. It also keeps me honest and real.

I'm not ignoring you. Just keeping up with daily task... You're next in the list to talk to. Hang in there.

37andholding said...

Brandon, I tried accessing the link you posted and it said it was a local file and did not take me to it. Then I tried clicking on your name and it took me there. I have to say, when you posted your comment, I thought it was spam and was not going to look, however, I am very glad I did. It was a pleasure reading your thoughts on the post of "Cate".
I recommend to the other viewers of this post to check you out. ;)
Thank you for commenting in such a way. I appreciated reading.

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

I am LDS. I love God, and I love this church. I take issue with two particular moments of your essay: The first being the choice of words of "your" church merely engaging in "incestuous service". This may be one of the most disgusting terms I have heard in awhile. Who is to say what is in the heart of a woman who brings a meal, albeit a casserole, to a fellow woman in her congregation. Who is to say that because a group activity is "prescribed" and prefabricated that its fruits mean any less to a struggling mother in Haiti? Who is to say it is just not charitable enough to donate money to the humanitarian fund--that it is not God's service unless you are in the trenches? The thought of even broaching the idea of belittling someone's genuine efforts to help another, no matter how small or mundane, leaves the most bitter of tastes in my mouth. I'm afraid that in your attempt to make a point, you've dug a bit of a hole. Is this your church? Are these "your people"? If so, stand by them; help in the journey of encouraging a better, more proactive and more aware people. We all wish we were more Christlike and could do more. That is universal among imperfect Christians with loving hearts.

Secondly, stand by the men and women who have dedicated their lives in the leadership of a very large, very visible church in which they are under constant scrutiny. We don't have the benefit of rubbing shoulders with our church leaders on a daily basis. We don't know them personally. These men (and women) have 15 minutes twice a year to tell us where they stand, how their spiritual convictions and life experiences are unfolding, and how that might relate to us on our own spiritual journeys. These leaders bear a great responsibility of which they are keenly aware. So, we listen in faith, take the bits that speak to us, and do what we are asked by the Lord to do with any other human being--judge not and love them. In regards to Elder Holland, I take his impassioned words as counsel and warning. You questioned who you thought he could possible be speaking to. Why not you? Or me? Or any of us who are weak, frail beings, who are "prone to wander" and whose every breath is a gift from God? While I appreciate your post script, the words were too little to late to my ears, and they don't cancel out the words already spoken. Part of sustaining and loving these dedicated leaders is to not speak ill of them. Period. If you have questions or doubts, take that to the Lord, to close loved ones--of course, explore those and find out for yourself just how you feel about this church. But, a public forum? You refer to this as "your" church. Then defend it. Support it. Uphold it. We are asked to even die for it, if necessary. Strong words? Yes, but so is "incestuous service".

Anonymous said...

Mr. Waterman,

Thank you as always for your response. I would appreciate more of your feelings on why you are a part of the LDS church. What makes you want to hold on to this church when you say they don't follow Christ? And what do you want to achieve with publicly expressing your dislike fo r the leaders/church?

Here is a different analogy than comparing the church to the government, but through that I see another question. Are you a constitutionalist or a socialist? But I digress. The analogy I would pose is suppose there was a bakery and they were given instructions on how to make bread. You believed in the way they make bread, but over time felt that the bakery is not following the instructions. Why would you stand out on front with a big sign and tell everyone what you perceive as faults, but then go in and load up on bread at the end of the day? You have other bakeries or you can in this country for now, create your own.

Thank you,

FTB

Anonymous said...

For someone lamenting judgemental members, she certainly makes broad generalizations and does a lot of judging herself. She has blinders on. Her inability to separate culture and doctrine is exhausting. Yeah, there are definitely things that could change culturally, but that's not the fault of the leadership! She's out of touch. Members of the church did the same thing to Joseph smith, that's why so many, even apostles, fell away because some thought Joseph was too much like a man or some thought he was too much of a self righteous prophet. People just done get it. And let me take a moment to go through the good the church does, since it is obviously missed:
-Largest volunteer missionary force in the world...which is almost entirely service in those countries and states they live and love in for 2 years
-huge volunteer force called helping hands
-massive church welfare program
-deseret industries
-food storage banks used for people needing food
I could go on and on! Not including all the things the church does anonymously. We are not a church to say "look at us and all the good we do". We do things anonymously, but during times of need, our "helping hands" provide the most man hours of service and the most money provided...that is an absolute fact, look it up. And let's talk about the shopping mall. Do you have any idea why they built it? It was to keep the surrounding area of temple square clean. They don't have stores like Victoria's Secret there to advertise their filth. The stores are closed on Sunday. It was the churches way of buying that land and using it so that others couldn't buy it and make the surrounding area around temple square filthy. It was a brilliant use of, not only space around temple square, it invited people who go shopping there to visit temple square, all while keeping it clean and wholesome. Get a clue. They didn't just build a mall for kicks and giggles. It was inspired. You don't know what kind of knowledge they had for other things possibly wanting to be built there.
This entire article...so many things wrong with it, I simply don't have the time to go through it all. I sincerely feel like I wasted a small part of my life.
-CD

Gaybob Spongebath said...

That's funny, CD. Because I feel like I just wasted a small part of MY life reading your comment!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

FTB,
To answer your questions:

"I would appreciate more of your feelings on why you are a part of the LDS church."

I embrace the Book of Mormon, accept Joseph Smith as a prophet, and believe in the restored gospel of Christ.

"What makes you want to hold on to this church when you say they don't follow Christ?"

I believe most of the church does their best to follow Christ. I have been associated with these people all my life as close friends. I would say most Mormons are followers of Christ.

"What would give you the impression they do not?"

What would give YOU the impression they do not?

"And what do you want to achieve with publicly expressing your dislike for the leaders/church?"

I don't believe that what I am expressing is "dislike" for the leaders. I am only saying that the church need not fawn over every utterance that comes from the mouths of these leaders. Only those things that are spoken through revelation are binding on the church. We are not charged with heeding anything else.

If anything, I'm attempting to assist the church to realize that as long as their leaders continue to promote themselves and their opinions as being the true doctrine, they are irrelevant.

"Are you a constitutionalist or a socialist?"

Before I became better known as a blogger on Mormon issues, I was known as an outspoken constitutionalist. My blog is riddled with expressions of my views in this area.

"The analogy I would pose is suppose there was a bakery and they were given instructions on how to make bread. You believed in the way they make bread, but over time felt that the bakery is not following the instructions. Why would you stand out on front with a big sign and tell everyone what you perceive as faults, but then go in and load up on bread at the end of the day?"

I would probably continue to warn others that at one time the product was wholesome and fulfilling, but that the product they are pushing now is tainted and not even close to being the same as the original. I would warn that just because the label looks the same, that brand is not the same as the original. No way would I go into that bakery at the end of the day and buy the crap they're selling now.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Waterman,

I slow to understand your true feelings and motives for publicly criticizing the church of Christ, it's (or if you believe Christ's) leaders of the church and their members. I don't like to write down what I think your motives are. It is not fair to you and not right of me. But I still don't get the real or true reasons. From what I have read I am not sure what you believe about the church. I find it hard to just hear I accept the Book of Mormon and accept Joseph Smith, oh and Christ being the head of it. It seems to me if he was at the head of it and the leaders are pursuing their own evil aspirations then he would start talking to someone else. Maybe that's you,John, Kate or Snuffer. It seems to me there are better more Christ like ways to fundamentally change things. Look at how great and quickly the president of your country is doing it. You say you accept and enthusiastically support the Book Of Mormon. Does it teach to question the prophets? Does it say that Christ is accepts or expects people to argue and fight against his apostles? Does it teach you should reject the prophets? I think Amos had something to say about that. I am sorry...you have expressed your "dislike" for the Mormon leaders and much more by your words. That is why it I so puzzling to me that you said you don't. I still do not know why you are a part of it until they ex you like Kate. There must be something more then the generic answer that keeps you holding on to it. There must be a secret reason you want to lash out at them.

I should have used coffee instead of bread. Are you still drinking the coffee or are you staying outside with the sign and not going in?

FTB

James said...

@ Anonymous you said just recently in a reply to Rock Waterman...

"You say you accept and enthusiastically support the Book Of Mormon.

Does it teach to question the prophets? Does it say that Christ is accepts or expects people to argue and fight against his apostles? Does it teach you should reject the prophets?"


My question is this... I'm pretty handy with my Book of Mormon, but can always learn more...

Where in the Book of Mormon, does the Book of Mormon teach us to "not question the prophets, the apostles?

You sure have me scratching my head!???

Anonymous said...

James

Since you say you are handy with the Book of Mormon, with all due respect, and I have confidence in saying that Mr. Waterman is well versed on scripture...I agree to add that your question is one to be posed.

So where does it say to question the prophets?

FTB

Alan Rock Waterman said...

FTB,
My, you expect me to answer a lot of questions, most of which could be cleared up if you were simply to read the two posts I've recommended previously, "My Testimony of the Church" and "Who You Callin' Apostate?" Here are the links:

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2012/06/who-you-callin-apostate.html

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-testimony-of-church.html

The thing that's troubling about your questions, FTB, is that you assume a lot of facts not in evidence. Nevertheless, I'll try to respond to some of your queries:

"I slow to understand your true feelings and motives for publicly criticizing the church of Christ"

I don't criticize the church of Christ. Never have.

"I don't like to write down what I think your motives are."

That's okay, I've already written them down for you. See the links above.

"I still don't get the real or true reasons. From what I have read I am not sure what you believe about the church."

Keep reading, then. Take your time. It's a big blog. quite a few posts.

"I find it hard to just hear I accept the Book of Mormon and accept Joseph Smith, oh and Christ being the head of it."

I feel those are among the core fundamentals of the faith, don't you?

"It seems to me if he was at the head of it and the leaders are pursuing their own evil aspirations then he would start talking to someone else."

That's a big 'IF' you're presuming, but it makes sense. 'If' your theory has merit. Go on.

"Maybe that's you,John, Kate or Snuffer."

I can't speak for the others, but I haven't received revelations or visions. Why would you expect me to? I'm positive I haven't proposed I'm somehow next in line.

"It seems to me there are better more Christ like ways to fundamentally change things."

Who says I want to change things?

"You say you accept and enthusiastically support the Book Of Mormon. Does it teach to question the prophets?"

I would hope not.

"Does it say that Christ accepts or expects people to argue and fight against his apostles?"

I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

"Does it teach you should reject the prophets?"

Good heavens, no! The Book of Mormon teaches teaches quite the opposite. Goodness, haven't you ever read it?!

"I am sorry...you have expressed your "dislike" for the Mormon leaders and much more by your words."

Well, you should be sorry, because I never said I dislike THEM.

"That is why it I so puzzling to me that you said you don't."

That's probably because you've read just a tiny bit here (mostly in the comment section, and you're making judgments without reading my actual views.

"There must be a secret reason you want to lash out at them."

Yes, my reasons are secret. Very secret. That's why I write so prolifically about the reasons for my views; so no one will ever know.

"Are you still drinking the coffee or are you staying outside with the sign and not going in?"

Am I "STILL" drinking coffee?! I don't drink coffee. I never drank coffee. Haven't you heard of section 89? Hot drinks are not for the body, Kiddo.

I hope that helps. I'd like to invite you to ask anytime, but I'll be away from my computer for the next few days, so I won't be available for questions after this. Sorry.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
my name on the stone said...

i just want to say something to those who are losing faith in the church. remember, this is gods work. the lord bought forth the book of mormon to gather the lost tribes of israel as spoken by the mouth of his servants the prophets. the fulfillment of this work is through the LDS church as an instrument in HIS hands. without the church the fullness of the gospel could not go forth.
the LORD did not restore the gospel through joseph smith only to let it fall in the last days. while it is true that there are tares among the wheat, worry not, the lord is aware of this.
also, if the leaders of this church do not have charity it mattereth not unto the, so long as thou hast charity.

my name on the stone said...

i just want to say something to those who are losing faith in the church. remember, this is gods work. the lord bought forth the book of mormon to gather the lost tribes of israel as spoken by the mouth of his servants the prophets. the fulfillment of this work is through the LDS church as an instrument in HIS hands. without the church the fullness of the gospel could not go forth.
the LORD did not restore the gospel through joseph smith only to let it fall in the last days. while it is true that there are tares among the wheat, worry not, the lord is aware of this.
also, if the leaders of this church do not have charity it mattereth not unto the, so long as thou hast charity.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Waterman,

Thanks. I have read your blogs. Maybe I am just slow in understanding. I admit I am not learned and not eloquent in writing. I just wanted a clearer understanding. Like you have said you tend to run on and on. I deeply appreciate that you, yes you responses to me and we have had a conversation. But I feel an emotion from your last that is one of frustration and lacking charity. I am sad that you want to end it. I feel just brushed off or that you wiped your shoes at my doorstep. WWJD. I have a deep respect for you. I admire your knowledge about your religion and especially your gift of putting finger to keypad. I guess my questions were wrong to ask, not worth asking or maybe they were not easy to answer.

May the Lord bless you with wisdom and understanding. Not wisdom from the philosophies of man, but thru knowledge from His Holy Spirit. May He give you promptings from His Spirit to lead and to guide you thru this probationary state.That you will be told the things you need to do and the things in which are required of you. !at you be blessed to serve Him will all diligence of mind and to obey His will.

FTB

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

@Anonymous Alias-FTB


Hey everybody in general! Some of you are going kinda tough on FTB! Tough is what's needed, but if you're going to be tough, you've got to give FTB a good reason why!

James said...

@Anonymous Alias-FTB.... Ooops!


Sorry FTB, but I accidentally addressed you in a the prior message... It was meant for those who were coming close to being FTB bashers.


Now my question for you?

Have you ever heard the scripture term "false prophet"?

You don't know any scriptures in the Bible, Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants dealing with false prophets?

Are you saying that just because a man is ordained by the Restoration, he cannot be a false prophet?





LDSDPer said...

@James,

Don't worry. You are in the harness; you need answer no questions. You answered them well.


:)

I am a semi-invalid/invalid. I am almost incapacitated, but I have people who depend upon me. My strong and capable child works 12 hour days, and my husband, though in his mid-60s, still works (not full-time, but he is still often away)--

I am responsible for a special needs child who has some physical strength but very limited stamina and endurance and a lot of emotional/developmental handicaps, and I probably have 1/4 of the strength I had 6 months ago (this is a chronic illness, completely unpredictable as to when it will come and how long it will last, and nobody can help me, not professionals)--

and 1/8 of the strength I had 4 years ago.

I hold onto walls and do things I can do, and I am mostly responsible for preparing meals for the workers with some help from our special needs child.

Sometimes I wish I could rest, but God must feel that I need to keep pushing myself, even if it hurts. If I don't push, everyone goes hungry.

I long to be somewhere safe where someone else is cooking and cleaning and making the decisions (my family depends upon me for that kind of thing, my two stronger family members being elsewhere occupied)--

When I become really exhausted and can't move anymore, I resort to this keyboard, and Pure Mormonism has been a safe place for me--

though lately there do seem to be a lot of hostile people--

I appreciate your perspective, James.

I yearn for the life I once had where I could so efficiently take care of my family. I'm only in my 60s, and I am already very limited, which is frightening.

And, no, I can ask for nothing from my ward. I pray always for Jesus to come. I imagine a peaceful place there for people like me--

and healing. :)

I'm afraid I would be the first to 'drop' if there were any fray.
But I have heard about all sorts of horrors that are to happen before He comes. The Book of Mormon (obviously my favorite scripture) focuses less on that and more on repenting from *our* Gentile foolishness, which I have plenty of time to do.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

FTB,
Please accept my sincerest apologies. My last response to you was indeed lacking in charity.

I have mistaken your intent, and beg your forgiveness. As you are doubtless aware, there are some who weigh in here who are do not have a sincere desire to understand, but are only seeking needless confrontation. Such people make it a hobby to misrepresent me and continuously harp on me for things I do not espouse, yet remain stubbornly resistant to any attempt I or anyone else here makes to aid in their understanding. I have grown weary of the constant harping, and had mistakenly assumed from the tone of your comment that you were no different. Hence my impatient and somewhat sarcastic tone in responding.

It would appear that you were asking honest answers and seeking an honest response. My frustrated reply was not the way Jesus would have responded, you are right in that, and so I ask for your forgiveness.

In looking over your previous submissions on this site, it would appear that the sticking point with you is this: How is it that a person who belongs to this church can wish to be a part of it while remaining aloof from its leaders?

I suggested 2 particular posts of mine in answer, But please allow me to expand further.

As Brett Bartel put it in his guest post here, the mere act of giving a man a title of Prophet, Seer, and Revelatory does not make him an actual prophet, seer, and revelator. Those attributes are gifts bestowed by God; they are not automatically present simply because one President of the church dies and the next one in line steps up to take his place.

A growing number of Saints have awakened to the realization that in our day, the so-called Prophets have exhibited no evidence those gifts operate through them. It would seem therefore, that they were not really prophets, only persons assumed to be prophets.

Faithful members are asking, "where are the revelations?" Joseph Smith, the founding prophet provided us many revelations. Those presumed to be his successors have not.

You ask whether the book of Mormon teaches us to ignore the words of the prophets, and I say emphatically not. Those men in the BofM exhibited the fruits of prophets, which was speaking in the name of the Lord, and offering God's direct counsel.

Today we're taught to accept modern leaders as prophets, no different from those in former times, AS IF their words come from the mouth of God.

My position is that members of Christ's church have an obligation to heed the words of a prophet when he is actually speaking the words God has put into his mouth (Deut 18), but they can safely ignore him if he is expressing his own opinions. Especially when those opinions contradict previous revelations.

Our scriptures teach us not to follow blindly, but to seek diligently for the truth of statements made from those who purport to be prophets. We are warned not to trust in the arm of flesh, which means we are not to trust and follow men. We are instructed by God to carefully weigh the counsel of men and not to accept it merely because it comes from someone with high station and impressive titles.

You can call a man a juggler, you can introduce him as a juggler, you can constantly refer to him as "our beloved juggler." But when the juggler never juggles, I'd say one is justified in avoiding future performances, if what you seek is a true juggler.

My dear FTB, I was not washing my feet of you nor claiming I would not spend any more effort on you. I was referring to a brief announcement made earlier that I was resolved to stay offline through the weekend and get some other stuff done.

I got the distinct impression, however, that I ought to pull up my blog, and now I know why I got that prompting. I would have felt awful seeing your letter days later and not knowing until then that I had grossly misunderstood you.

If you will Private Message me on Facebook with your phone number, I would like to speak to you directly.

James said...

@ LDSper,

Yikes! Sounds like you've a tough row to hoe!

Would you like to possibly change your situation?

(nope not selling anything)... I get absolutely nothing out of this except knowing I'm helping someone.

But I don't want to fix you, or be telling you your business.

If you want info you can study at your disposal, email me. I'll send you some links.

jbrianmarshall@gmail.com

James said...

@ FTB

Bottom is the scripture you requested. I haven't worked very long on this.

Please be advised, I'm RLDS, but our Book of Mormon, and Bibles are just nearly the same as our D&C is also. (well not quite)(you guys seem to have 1 extra revelation we RLDS never recieved)

We are not supposed to obey the prophet... That is a smoke screen. We are to obey the Spirit of God which resides within the man, whom is called to the office of Prophet, or Apostle, or Elder, or Priest, or Teacher, or Deacon. Because any who carry the Spirit of God, we must submit to, even our Mother and Father if we honour them.

Then, we obey not the Prophet, but God who resides within the tabernacle of called man.

Scripture gives strict warning to be wary of false prophets. False Prophets are the reason the Restoration exists today.

God cannot badmouth people. God can only give us warnings. we've got to do the work, as you're guided by the Holy Spirits guiding voice.

Listen to your intuition. Not to the noise of the mind, or prophets who speak according to their knowledge, but not according the the Light and Inspiration of Christ.

After all, The Prophets of the Church have much in common with the Pope. They both have declared themselves failure proof. This cannot be, for all men are sinners.

Inspired Version/JST translation

Matthew 7:24 And, again, beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves.


FTB, please note Matthew 24 deals with the Elect church in the last days...

Matthew 24:9 And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:23 For in those days, there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.

Mark 13:12 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another; and many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many;

Mark confirms Matthew 24, Elect to be deceived, and false prophets.

Mark 13:25 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch, that if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you who privily shall bring in abominable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Words of Mormon 1:24 And after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people, and all these having been punished according to their crimes;

3 Nephi 6:32 Warns of False Prophets and how to identify them.

27 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
28 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
29 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
30 A good tree can not bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
31 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
32 Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.

4 Nephi 1:36 Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do all manner of iniquity.

James said...

@ FTB


You should also note the scripture calls the false witnesses to Christ, prophets.

A further indicator, that these offices of priesthood are offices of the Restoration, the ministry to whom the warning prophecy was originally given.

God Bless

Anonymous said...

This was a great sermon and an eye-opening observation on Cate’s part.
I wonder if the Lord ever intended for charitable acts to be done under the osmosis of the "church". I believe the church offers organization and saving ordinances which we need. But the church was never meant to be a substitute for personal higher learning, charity, and developing a personal relationship with God. The Savior went out and did good works as an individual, not under the direction of a home teaching assignment or a stake welfare project. I think that's where the church went really wrong - when its members lost the initiative to search out and perform acts of charity outside of the organization of its structure. I agree with many on this blog that there is far more true charity being done by those of other faiths or no particular faith at all, except that faith which can be defined as simply being a compassionate and caring human being.
The Savior lived in humble and poor circumstances, and to have lived in any other condition would have rendered Him a hypocrite. How can someone living in a mansion or sitting on a gold throne succor those in need without giving of his substance? And I don't mean paying 10% of our income only. I knew a guy who, when he saw a man in a rain storm without a coat, took his off and gave it to him. How many of us do things like that? I'm ashamed to say that I don't do things like that very often, though I have given my last dollar to someone in need - dollars I had been saving for something I wanted. Want dissolved in the face of another's need. Zion can only be built on charity and pure love. I hope the members of the LDS church will wake up before it's too late, and that they'll follow the example of Jesus Christ - going out among the poor, the sick and the downtrodden to heal them and show them that there are those who love them without qualification. WJ

nonamefornow said...

WJ, I think that this page has mostly been forgotten--

but your words were peaceable--

and true.

Thanks.

nonamefornow said...

@James,

If anyone has a problem with your being RLDS, they have serious head problems!!!

I'm reading a non-LDS Book of Mormon right now (my husband copies it off for me; the big LDS quad is too heavy for my joints at the moment)--

from a website; it is not copyrighted by the LDS church--

and I am VERY grateful for it, because it doesn't have all those annoying little letters--

so distracting--

James said...

@ nonamefornow

Nice name! ;)


A very easy to read Book of Mormon is the Restored Covenant Edition. I love mine, and have two of them I use personally.

The RCE is formatted in the poetic Hebraic chiastic form.

It is very easy to read. It's also very much the original Book of Mormon as well.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

No name for now, no page on this blog is ever forgotten or ignored, and ditto on WJ.

James, I wish I had a RCE edition. Never seen one, but read it's worthwhile.

My current favorite is Daymon Smith's version called "Abridging Work"

Anonymous said...

What was and is Mormonism all about? Are we to be just "another Church" that does charitable service for the poor and homeless? Might as well have us just stay Catholic as the Catholics are superior in their "Catholic Services" to the poor and downtrodden. But there was and is another FOCUS that was to bring revolution to this world where "there would be NO poor among them" as Scripture teaches--ZION. We were to establish ZION and we failed to do that. Yet, if we persisted, we could do that and then, the poor and homeless gathering to that place with us, then there would be NO poor among us. No homeless. Service would come to us in a different form. Not feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless. This is the Genius of Mormonism if you can see it. If you cannot see it, then let us be good Catholics and let us humbly serve the poor and let us ever forget that God ever gave us any revelations about ZION.

James said...

Dear Anonymous,

Your comment came to my inbox, I read, lightening struck, thunder rolled from my finger times, and more than 4,096 was needed to respond to your words.

Here is the link.

God Bless.

http://latterdaysaintsflashlight.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html

James said...

4,096 characters that is.

BK said...

If the leadership of the LDS Church were true prophets, they would have established Zion long ago, in Joseph's day, with or without the membership, for they are the one's in control of the tithing.

It would be very easy to create Zion and have no more poor among us. The problem is not the people, they give plenty enough tithes and offerings to cover the poor, it's the leaders who don't use it for the poor, but use it to just grow them empire.

To keep making excuses for the leaders or the church and to continue to give them our money & support, is to go along with evil and work against Zion.

We have to face the fact that Joseph nor any leaders since him were true prophets. That we have just all been duped.

James said...

@BK

In principle I agree with you, but only to the effect not many leaders of the Restoration were "true prophets".

Keep in mind many have the gift of prophecy, indeed we all possess to a certain level the gift of prophecy. Just not to the level of Joseph Smith. But some Elders came very very close.

Of these you've never heard, because the Church as you know it, never mentioned the exact truth. Of course the Church on my side of the coin, isn't being totally honest either. (just playing fair)

However there was and is still to this day, Revelation given through members of the RLDS Church. We have received a warning from Jesus in such power, it's as if Joseph penned the very words. The voice print of Revelation is the same voice. The message is basically repent or die.

If you want to see these words of counsel let me know.

I highly recommend a book called Infallible Proofs. Within that book is true revelation from God, not necessarily from a prophet, but from certain elders who humbled themselves.
Infallible Proofs shine a great light upon what happened to the Restoration, and to whom the Spiritual Authority was given. Not that it made much difference, the RLDS Church Is just nearly as bad as the LDS Church now. Worse actually, (open communion).

As for the people, that's another matter. If the people will not humble themselves, we have a picture as with Moses, where the men of Korah, have Moses face down in the sand to be beheaded. Were it not for the earth swallowing the men of Korah up, Moses career as a Prophet would have been short lived.

Or we have another picture, the Restoration priesthood and membership rebelling against Joseph, (Section 43 LDS. To the point they murder their own prophet.

Is it a coincidence nearly all the men who escaped the Carthage Jail, became LDS Prophets? Yet Joseph and Hyrum both were living ordained Prophets to the Church. Hyrum being ordained 6 months to a year before his death.

People need to seriously think about what happened at Carthage. The story is full of holes. Such as bullets fly straight, yet the story of Carthage leads us to believe direction changing ammo, was used on Hyrum Smith.

Hyrum Smith also was shot in the throat, and as he died, His witnesses said I cried out certain words. How could he?

A bullet coming through a door, hitting Hyrum in the throat, would still impact upon his vocal cords and trachea with over 2000 lbs of force.

How can Hyrum have spoken the many words his witnesses recorded him having spoken with a ripped out throat?

And Joseph Smith had a gun in the Carthage Jail? How does a man surrender to the Law, and they allow him a weapon?

Oh so the Mormons smuggled Joseph a pistol? OK then why does the D&C forbid killing, saying "there is no forgiveness" to those who commit murder, "in this life or in the next"...

Joseph would have known these revelations from the Father inside and out, and would have conducted himself accordingly.

Only men who fear death and do not put their trust in God, carry weapons.

So the LDS story is pretty, and definitely made to romanticise Joseph and Hyrum Smith's murders to generate church membership. But the facts remain.

Brigham Young was a Mason. The men who broke into the jail, also were Masons. As were the witnesses. The symbols of Masonic power abound in Salt Lake City to this day. One only needs Google them, and you know by what power the Church of Salt Lake Utah exists by.

James said...

To Add further comment about the Book infallible proofs.

Within that book, are revelations given through elders of the RLDS Church, the words coming again in such power they are as if Joseph Smith penned them himself by the power of the Lord.

The words leap off the page, and you feel the spiritual impact of them upon your soul.

Among these "revelations" is one, it is the voice of Christ speaking, explaining how His church cannot be members of schrines of the heathen, such as the "Masons". Christ explaining His church will not be honoured by God, when they worship idols and heathen ideologies, taking upon themselves the oaths (of Cain) of secrecy.

This revelation proclaims the Masons will be responsible for the greatest incident of bloodshed the world shall ever see. (great tribulation)

Or as I understand the Revelation, WWW3.

The point being, there are members of the Restoration who receive Revelation from the Lord.

That is the Glory and Power of God, to create a priesthood of checks and balances, that when part of the priesthood apostizes, there is another branch, broken off somewhere, preserved to Him and His purposes.

Don't give up hope. Time is short, the Kingdom Comes.

James said...

Rock,

Sorry about the double posting... Not sure how that happened...? ? ?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Not a problem, James. I've deleted the shorter of the two.

Jonathan Horton said...

Our church is becoming so Rameumptomal. I think everyone in the church thinks the story of Rameumptom is for those other churches. Why would God have a story in there if it wasn't for the people reading it. When I had a hard time paying my bills. I was made to feel unrighteous in the church. It made me feel like the church was only for those in a small socioeconomic group. Kick out the poor and feel more righteous about the brethren and your association to the brethren is the general theme I feel from the church.

MrHFMetz said...

I read Cate's letter. What she wrote -and when we face the facts, we all have to admit that she is aboslutely true- is a perfect picture of a Cult.
Heber C. Kimball once prophesied: There is a test, a test, a TEST coming (yes, three times he used that word). That test is now. The Lord Jesus said it in this manner: the path is straight and the gate is narrow, and there are few that find it. So we really have to ask ourselves what has become of this proud dispensation of the fullness of times and what has become of us, as part of it.

James said...

@ MrHFMetz


My brother I assume because of your title name. Correct me if I'm wrong... Please!

It is my poor humble opinion we start calling the word cult, Occult, at least in the context I feel I've read in your post, to me you seem to be referencing evil men.

A cult according to Websters Dictionary and others as well, could be by definition, the Lions club, a church, any world religion, or any organization whom upholds a particular set of ideals.

But this does not make these organizations particularly evil, and I feel many Christians use the word cult incorrectly.

I hate to be a snob, but if we feel we're dealing with evil, even in our own church, we need to call it like it is. Occult. Let's not mess around.

Because it is the Occult that has as scripturally prophesied, infiltrated our Restoration Cult, or church, and has caused it and us God's people to go off the deep end and commit evil against the Lord God and His people. Pitting the Restoration against itself.

And He, God will repay.

Therefore it behoves any and all Saints who are are able, to come out of Babylon soon as possible, and begin to repent and prepare to live without help in the system of Babylon. For Babylon, the system of civilization as we know it, won't be here much longer.

All who love God, need to study herbs, gardening, and how to beat temporal and spiritual swords into ploughshares. We must study the art of peace, and contend with no man, religious or political in any way.

But to do this, we have to start calling spades spades, picks picks, and cults cults, and then of course there is the dubious occult word.

The times are upon us.

MrHFMetz said...

Hello James, thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. Yes I am a brother, especialy so after reading your testimony. By using the word cult I was not referring at evil people, rather the boy scouts. I agree with you that we have to leave Babylon, if not fysically then at least spiritually, and prepare ourselves for the redemption of Zion. When did you hear about that topic for the last time in church meetings or during conference? Maybe I have made myself more clear this way.
Best regards from the Netherlands.

James said...

MrHFMetz

Your response back hit a hot button. You may read my response directly back to you at the link below.

I seem to be verbally over active, and seemed to exceeded the allowed 4,096 characters allowed by Rock's blog.

God Bless!

http://latterdaysaintsflashlight.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I'm late to this party but was so touched by what Cate wrote that I had to at least attempt to say thank you. A few months ago I was sitting in church, looking around and all the wonderful people I share three hours of my life with each week, hearing the same lessons and comments that also gave birth to my faith and I wondered "Is this what I thought I'd be doing as a member of the church? Is this what I'm going to spend the rest of my life doing? Lessons, visiting teaching, taking meals, Boy Scouts, Mutual nights..." I felt so sad and restless, and for a while, I stopped going, preferring instead to stay home and clean my room while I listened to talks/sermons/devotionals that inspired me. But that didn't feel completely right either. You have given words to the cause of that restlessness and sadness and I am so grateful. Thank you for helping me see why I was so uncomfortable. I feel inspired to do what I am able to do to live up to my decision to be a Christian- to find those feeble knees and heavy hands. I feel so invigorated- my mind has been thinking about what I could do ever since I read this earlier today. I have big plans.

Btw, Elder Holland's talk from last conference has been another source of inspiration for me. "I am my brother's sister" has led me to do more for others than I previously thought I could/should. Maybe that redeems him a little. I love you Cate and wish were in the same ward or circle of friends. We are- just haven't met yet.

Sara

المطور السودانى said...

thnk

Minerals Liberia said...

LDS church support of LGBT laws in the Utah senate are a bit hypercritical since the LDS church (schools and business) are exempt from the law. So, the LDS church forces this on the business owners of their members but they wont be accountable at the same level. You are either hot or cold you can't be warm. I suggest you draw a line in the sand and take a stand! This is becoming comical!!! http://fox13now.com/…/lds-church-to-address-religious-free…/

Lindy said...

I agree Minerals Liberia.

It is not surprising though to find once again, that the Church & it's leaders do not believe in the Golden Rule, nor ever has. Nor does it follow any of Christ's other teachings either for that matter.

It does not want done to it what it does to others.

pamela said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
adam said...

a lot of this talk was solid, really well written....but it has some plot holes

"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."

okay....let's be clear. Gods church is patriarchal...it always has been and God doesnt condone homosexuality either. He calls it a sin. This here and a lot of the points raised in this post are an attempt to throw out scripture because its politically incorrect. thus we take lightly the things of God and bring condemnation to our souls.

"it’s not because we are guilty and hate hard truths"

here is another load of nonsense...people cannot handle hard truths....IT IS THE LAST DAYS...if that is true, then we cannot handle hard truths and we are in fact guilty.

"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."

confusing the entire Job story with her own life....Job was quite literally tested. He did not experience the complexities of life such as children and working and so on....no God saw that he was a good man, and let Satan torment him endlessly as a test of faith. this was not the complexities of living....this was God outright testing Job. unless God has let Satan personally torment your very existence....you do not get to compare yourself to Job. thats very high handed of you

"I know it. I’ve paid it. I pay it every single day"

I sincerely doubt it...why? you compared yourself to Job inapproriately.

adam said...

part 2 sorry would fit in one comment

"I was left to wonder, "Who are these people Elder Holland is referring to?" I don't know them."

the world is burning to the ground and you arrogantly ask "who are these people"?....is this a real question? the world is literally burning to the ground and you sincerely think:

"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"

you honestly think THIS is a majority? have we gone mad? this is a minority... a shrinking minority. the last days do not get compared to the days of noah, do not get condemned in brutal fashion by Nephi and Mormon and Moroni, and the book of revelations did not come into existence because we, the members of the last days, are by and large caring and loving people. no we are selfish, and vain, and prideful and lustful, and generally speaking just evil.

"when manifest through me, is a corrective force needing little, if any, accompanying condemnation."

while this can be true...the fact is the scriptures which are manifestations of men speaking through the power of God do by large and relrentlessly condemn us.

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

here again...complexities of life... I am going to guess this another Job reference...Job was not in a land of gray complexities of life....it was cut and dry. Satan basically said "God, let me torment Job and he will deny You" and God basically said "Okay, but you cannot kill him"....its pretty cut and dry. black and white. there is no grey there.

"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."

heres the thing....God commanded us to have faith, and if we have faith, miracles shall follow such as healing the sick, casting out devils, the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, the blind will see, the dead will be raised, we shall take up poisnous serpants and not be harmed and shall drink poisnous drinks and not be harmed. being Gay is a sin, it is a sexual affliction. It is a result of Satan attacking and making us ill....if we had an ounce of faith, we might see that, and if we had faith sufficient to say to that mountain depart, it would depart...so it is with being gay...if we had faith we would say "I command you evil spirits come out in the name of Jesus Christ" and they would....and the sin of being gay would flee from that person. but instead in your hippy world of accept everyone, in your so called uncomfortable God, that never condemns, that accepts everyone, Gay is a "choice", not a sin.

you raise a lot of great points...but you raise a ton of bad ones too. these are the ones i feel inclined to address.

Minerals Liberia said...


Important to know is that having same sex attraction is not a choice, however knowing how you are going to respond to your same sax attraction is a choice.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/04/14899/

Andrew Kennedy said...

It is sad to me, some of the members of the church that are scared to death of speaking their true feelings on a blog like this. Even while hiding behind an anonymous name tag, they are timid and frightened of the repercussions that would ensue if anyone in their family or local community were to find out... It is so obvious in their tone..

Dear Heavenly Father, if that is not a sign that something is wrong in the Church, I don't know what is..

Andrew Kennedy said...

Oh, and Adam who said this -

""God commanded us to have faith, and if we have faith, miracles shall follow such as healing the sick, casting out devils, the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, the blind will see, the dead will be raised, we shall take up poisnous serpants and not be harmed and shall drink poisnous drinks and not be harmed. being Gay is a sin, it is a sexual affliction. It is a result of Satan attacking and making us ill....if we had an ounce of faith, we might see that, and if we had faith sufficient to say to that mountain depart, it would depart...so it is with being gay...if we had faith we would say "I command you evil spirits come out in the name of Jesus Christ" and they would....and the sin of being gay would flee from that person. but instead in your hippy world of accept everyone, in your so called uncomfortable God, that never condemns, that accepts everyone, Gay is a "choice", not a sin.""

Adam, with all your super human faith, you should go find a gay person right now and make the Sin of being Gay flee from that person, lol.. I would fly across the country to watch that. And honestly, when was the last time you witnessed the Church's leaders performing ANY of those miracles that you mention? But i'll tell you what, i'm about to go drink something that they say is poisonous and I will "not be harmed" as you say, because thats right, I have FAITH.. Cheers!

On another note I'm sure you do not keep the part of the Word of Wisdom that states that Meat should not be consumed, except in times of winter, cold or famine an even then it should be used sparingly.. This I assume because I have never in my whole life met a single member of the Mormon church that keeps it (which also means that I have never met a Mormon that TRUTHFULLY keeps the Word of Wisdom).

With that said, Who is the bigger sinner here? You, the person that contributes to Near, Nay absolute Satanic Cruelty and Misery inflicted on Animals within the Livestock industry all in the name of Excess consumption -OR- The Gay Man that you Love to Hate? Hmmm.. Maybe you should rethink your footing on that pedestal in which you are standing..

As a Footnote: The reason why the Mormon church turns a blind eye to that part of the Word of Wisdom is because they make a profit by members breaking it since, the Mormon Church is the Largest Cow-Calf Producer in the Entire United States..

"We’re in this for a profit," Ramsay says. "We're a taxpaying entity. We pay property taxes and income taxes just like anyone else." -Manager of Deseret Ranch, Chip Ramsay, LA Times 2001.. Link is Below:

http://www.livestockweekly.com/papers/01/01/25/whldeseret.asp

Have a nice day Hero


James said...

@Andrew Kennedy.

When people want the power to overcome their personal lusts, troubles, tribulations, and desired the Lord to bless them in power, they will keep the Word's of Wisdom.

No man, can command the spirits, nor ascend to such mastery, external him or herself, until they have overcome the bastions of bondage and evil within their own self. As Genesis so profoundly points out, Adam and Eve were overcome by Satan, because they chose improper nourishment, according to their lusts, rather than according the Spirit of Peace.

It is written, as it was at the first, so shall it be at the last.

When men begin to come into a preparedness of perfection, men will obey God, as Adam and Eve did not. The beginning of time is the end, the end of time, indeed is the beginning.

The difference is, men at the end will do what God has directed all along-at the end.

No man can ascend to self mastery, until they keep this one spiritual rule. Keeping the Words of Wisdom. The Doctrine and Covenants says the "Lord's will for the Church is to keep the Words of Wisdom". This is written somewhere section 66 of my RLDS D&C. Somewhere different in your LDS D&C.

Spirit and element are inseparable. One does not exist without the other. Both are eternal! What one does in the temporal world, transfers to the spiritual world. No man can become whole, until they are willing to become clean on the merit of their own effort to be so.

As Jesus said before rubbing spit and clay in the man's blind eyes, and others, "be it unto you according to your faith"... Or my paraphrase, be it unto you according to your choice!

I keep the Words of Wisdom enough that I can speak what I have spoken to you. Because of my past health problems, I by almost coincidence keep the wOW. Doing so has allowed me to live, and I have become healed, and more whole as a person.

Now I keep the Word of Wisdom by choice. I keep the temporal law by choice. Doing so has paved the way to greater spiritual understanding for myself.


Andrew Kennedy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Kennedy said...

I do believe in Miracles because I have seen many through the power of unrelenting love as well as complete emptiness/submission to the will of the spirit.

I believe that the Word of Wisdom is a good principle but I do not however believe that swearing an oath to keep it in order to join the church (or any church for that matter) is in any way shape form or fashion mentally healthy or fair to the person that is being literally lured by an ingenious monolithic marketing campaign that barely touches the tip of the iceberg that the potential convert is getting his/herself into (God forbid the spiritual prospector ask any real questions, only to be declared a waste of time via missionary training as missionaries are only looking for people that are satisfied with the pictures hanging on the wall and not the person that truly wants to investigate whether or not the church is or is not corrupt), while at the same time being Coerced by fear (if the prospectors do not swear their life to The Word of Wisdom and join the church they are cursed and If they agree to take this swear, they'd damn well better keep it because the Lords all mighty foot will remove itself from the footstool just long enough to stomp the fresh convert all the way down to the pit of misery and woe (this whole plight bearing a disturbing resemblance to the professional marketing tactic "I just can't live without it")..

At the end of the day Yes!.. The Man/Woman that cannot hold to this swear, was far better off mentally before he/she ever made it!! Because now, nothing good is allowed to happen in this man's mormonized life lest he repent of his evil ways. For the world to him has become Mammon, and his mind sinks deeper and deeper into despair as he prays day and night for the strength to overcome his problems and live up to the image of the happy people that are printed on the cover of the missionary pamphlets, but nothing changes in the eyes of the pure because he is of little faith.. So alas he is fallen! Meanwhile, in the midst of summer, the upright members of the church eat a feast of meat, and they say amongst themselves; Look this man's dress is offensive because he is full of sin and behold he does not even tithe that which he earns, he must be cast off as the scriptures say. It is better that we haste to this the point lest he make a fool of this great Church!

But if the man does not make the swear and become an official member, is he truly doomed from the moment the missionaries dust their feet off, on the way out his door??

Oh, How the Purpose of Life is Happiness!!

Let me go ahead and quote this scripture in my favor before my accuser uses it against me..
"14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

I feel that if the church is true, changing the nature and prescription of the 'Word of Wisdom' by making it a requirement and not only that, saying that its OK to do things that the scripture says not to do (like eating meat all year long) as well as saying NOT to do things that the scripture states the Lord has ordained as being good (drinking Beer), is a blatant perversion of the way that God intended.. All this has done is encourage the church to be an elitist society very much similar to the one that the Lord Himself destroyed in the Book of Mormon.. But, nonetheless I do believe it is good to keep the Word of Wisdom, in its entirety and blessings will come of it..

Andrew Kennedy said...

So I ask the question; Are the modern day missionaries carrying a message of great joy and freedom to all the nations of the world, or are they merely luring people into a mental, physical and spiritual trap?
What is the difference between Lucifer's plan of forcing everyone down a cookie cutter style path, and that of the Modern day Church which forces people to make swears accompanied by a fear of destruction that virtually controls our God Given free agency?
Shouldn't the spirit be our guide and not a type of prescribed guilt?

As Debt and Credit surely are the Mark of the Beast, to swear is to put yourself in bondage also..

By small means the Lord accomplishes great things..
But it is also by small variations to the PURE word of God that the adversary leads men into despair, disrepair and unbelief..

But Who am I to talk about Corporate Policy, I'm just a Carpenter..

Andrew Kennedy said...

Book of Mormon 3 NEPHI 12:33-37

33 And again it is written, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths;

34 But verily, verily, I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;

35 Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair black or white;

37 But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever cometh of more than these is evil.

Andrew Kennedy said...
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Andrew Kennedy said...
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Minerals Liberia said...

Andrew

what a pathetic response..... Mormons don't claim to have a perfect church, perfect prophet, perfect leadership or perfect membership. The Only thing we believe to be perfect is Jesus Christ.

Gamyr Worf said...

You say this as you post this reply under "anonymous"?

Yvonne said...

Late to the party, but I'd like to speak for my limited experience in the Church as an adult, of which 10 of the last 11 years since I have been a returned missionary adult in the Church, I have lived in either Provo or Orem.

When I was a Cub Scout leader in the Provo Bonneville stake, we had quite a few Catholic Hispanic boys in our LDS sponsored unit. One of their mothers told me that she was going to have her younger sons join our unit "so he doesn't get into the gangs". That sounds like serving others not of our faith on a weekly basis. It's too bad so many of the den leaders didn't like Scouting and therefore didn't create a quality program for not only the LDS boys in that socio-economically depressed area of Provo, but also the other neighborhood boys who belonged to our pack. There are MANY economically disadvantaged boys whom we could embrace and serve within our LDS sponsored packs, troops, teams and crews if those BSA units were actually functioning and running effectively.

When I was a Cub Scout leader in Orem, I instituted a yearly tradition where our pack would collect metal in the fall to recycle and then use that money to adopt a patient at the Utah State Hospital in their Forgotten Patient program. We did that for 3 years. Every year I thought of sending in a picture of the boys in my pack to the Friend magazine or Boy's Life, but never did.

I have only been in my new ward since the end of March this year, and yes, I've already made a meal for someone else - for the local soup kitchen. Apparently it is our ward's turn every few months to make casseroles for the soup kitchen here, who would have thought?

When my cousin's baby was at Primary Children's having her brain tumor removed, I went up there that day to offer moral support to her parents. We spent the day waiting in the Ronald McDonald room and since I was there late enough for dinner, I saw how businesses and volunteers REGULARLY bring in meals to families there. I saw the schedule of the next week or so and saw that there was at least one or two LDS congregations who were bringing in meals to the families in the Ronald McDonald room there at the hospital.

When my husband was a missionary serving in Salt Lake City, the Church bought the food and provided the volunteers to make lunches for the homeless, which the Catholic Church then distributed. My husband did that for his weekly service nearly every week he was in that area.

Perhaps it seems as though Mormon congregations don't "do enough service" for the poor is because all of the congregations I've been in as an adult, we are following the Savior's admonition of "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.” (Matt. 6:1, 3.)

Dan Livingstone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Livingstone said...

By their works, ye may know them. Faith without works is dead.

Not that I believe any of the above.

Joanna Dickson said...

Thank you for your rare voice of reason here. This blog post is going viral on Facebook amongst friends and I am so concerned with the influence it is having.

Signs of the times....

JElsie

mush said...

To interpret this talk by Elder Holland out of the context of everything else he has preached from the pulpit is unfortunate. It severely discounts everything else he's preached tirelessly about love and service. The point of that talk was missed by the author of this article, and the talk itself apparently only lead the author to produce this piece of previously constructed grievances against the LDS church. The church is imperfect, but those with ears to hear and eyes to see understand that the organization of the church is mere scaffolding for the discipleship God hopes to engender in each of us. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith through power of the atonement, so let's stop expecting his mortally organized church to finish our faith, and good heavens, may we stop finding fault with it! Talk about condescension! I had a hard time hearing the actual goodness of this message because of the constantly critical tone against the church and its culture. That's why we're counseled not to do the fault finding thing because there will ALWAYS be legit faults to find, and focusing on such is a HUGE distraction to our relationship with the Holy Ghost and our participation in the marvelous work and wonder currently unfolding. Hopefully, though, we are humble enough to allow our service in his church to put us on the path toward a discipleship. This discipleship will be as all inclusive, loving, and understanding as was Jesus himself while at the same time it will be as unflinching in its submission and obedience to God's will as was Christ in Gethsemane.

Stacey said...

Thank you! This was what I wanted to say. I even lived in Europe and it's vastly different there too. I think she's confusing the Utah Mormon Culture with the Church.

Unknown said...

Denver, This kind of program has been in place for over 30 years. We work with other like minded people to feed, clothe and provide for the homeless in our area. We don't need to retrofit our buildings with showers. I have a warm shower available in my home and a warm meal, an open heart and willing hand. It's the people that make up a church. I agree that we could all have greater focus on the Lord's priorities. Thanks!

Alic Benson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Manning said...

it reminds me of a recent experience I had with church. I choose to live in my car for financial reasons and asked the bishop could I park at church cat=r park nxt to the temple because it would feel "safer". He said yes but only informally.

A few weeks later I got a tap on car at 9:30 pm by a man whilst in church carpark. I had never met him before but he knew my name and said he was the church facilities manager and that he had been instructed by stake president to remove me immediately from the car park

Hw waited until I left and it made me feel like I was a criminal.

I saw stake president the next week and he justified his actions by saying he and bishop were far too busy so he did the efficient thing by getting church employee to remove me. You wont be surprised that stake president is a lawyer.

Here is my poem about getting kicked out of church carpark.

Lady Dianella: A Stake To The Heart

the maggot tried to crush me
with righteous indignation
I'd had the sheer audacity
to park at his location

He claimed his time was precious
the Lord's work must be done
so he sent his trusted minion
to leave well unspun

his charm has left me cold
he thinks I've gone astray
but I have a friend in Jesus
who likes me anyway

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