Sunday, June 22, 2014

Who Is Changing The Doctrine?

Previously: Uncomfortable God

I guess my bishop must have been lying to me.

Last month he asked to see me, and when I met with him in his office he told me he had been tasked with delivering an ultimatum from an Area Seventy. According to the message conveyed through my bishop from this Church bigwig, I was to be presented with  three options: 1. Stop blogging,  2. Resign from the church voluntarily, or 3. Face excommunication.

I admire and respect my bishop very much. And I like this guy. I like him a lot. Which is why I'm disappointed to have to conclude that he made up that whole story about the Seventy handing down orders to remove myself from the church.  My bishop's story was very convincing, right down to the name of the actual Seventy supposedly involved. He told me that even though he (the bishop) had never read my blog except for the first few paragraphs of the one on weddings, he explained that this seventy had looked it over thoroughly, and decided I had to go.

This is a difficult position I find myself in because I want to believe my bishop was telling me the truth. But if I buy his story, I have to reject the following declarations delivered by official Church Spokespersons out of Salt Lake the past few days:
"There is no coordinated effort to tell local leaders to keep their members from blogging or discussing their questions online. On the contrary, church leaders have encouraged civil online dialogue and recognize that today it’s just part of how the world works."-Michael Otterson, Managing Director, LDS Church Public Affairs, quoted in the New York Times June 18th.
 "Decisions [to discipline members] are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters."-Official Church News Press Release June 11th.
"There is no effort to tell local leaders to keep members from blogging or discussing questions online. On the contrary, church leaders have encouraged civil online dialogue, and recognize that today it’s how we communicate and discuss ideas with one another." -Jessica Moody, Church Spokeswoman quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune June 19th.

 "While senior leaders do provide training, these decisions are made by local leaders and are not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters." LDS Church Public Affairs Office, quoted on KUTV Salt Lake City June 17th

Church leaders are not asking members not to blog, and they are not attacking the rights of honest explorers of faith to have these conversations in the so-called Bloggernacle." Church Spokeswoman Ally Isom on KUER radio, June 16th
Okay, so these are Church spokespersons saying these things, but they're not the real Church Spokesperson, right? Only the President of the Church can actually speak for the Church. So where is he? Why is Church leadership at the top leaving my poor bishop to twist slowly in the wind?

All this wild scrambling to assure the public that Church discipline is never instituted from the top down was triggered by the publicity garnered when two prominent latter-day Saints revealed they had been issued letters informing them they faced imminent excommunication.

And the reason every available person in the Church PR department weighed in so emphatically is because it is a violation of scripture and Church law for discipline to originate anywhere other than on the local level. In fact, it isn't even bishops or stake presidents who are permitted to initiate such actions. The accused member must be first accused by another member of the congregation before proceedings are permitted to take place. That's according to scripture.  Of course, no one follows the prescribed method these days, because why should our leaders follow scripture when they have the Church Handbook of Instruction?

Those two prominent members of the church who were surprised to receive those threatening letters were Kate Kelly and John Dehlin.

Now I'll admit to not having heard of Kate Kelly before this. That's because the movement she is credited with (or in the words of some, "accused of") heading is called "Ordain Women" and the Ordain Women movement simply was not on my radar. It isn't one of my hot buttons, so you'll have to excuse me for not being up to speed on all of this.

I suppose that's because I see no reason for women to petition for something they already hold, which is the priesthood of God. During the Nauvoo period it was common for women to anoint each other and give blessings of healing, same as they had the power and authority to do for their own children.  Our founding prophet Joseph Smith approved, and acknowledged that there were sisters who were ordained to heal the sick and it was their privilege to do so.

So in my mind, what's the big deal?

Well, here's the big deal. Kate Kelly and others want to know what the heck happened to this privilege? And what's most disturbing is that they have been portrayed by Church spokespersons as a gaggle of gals noisily marching on Temple Square with signs and placards, screeching their demands and insisting they get their way.

The reality is a bit less strident. That so-called "march" was more of a quiet stroll. They didn't yell, they didn't demand, they didn't insist, they weren't holding up signs or being unruly. They just reverently showed up at temple square and...well, they just stood around mostly, because no one in authority showed up to meet them. I believe someone led them in singing a hymn.

These sisters are accused of demanding that the Church change its doctrine to suit them.  But what doctrine would that be, exactly? Doug Fabrizio, who interviewed Ally Isom of the Church Public Relations arm asked where the doctrine could be found that states women are prohibited from holding the priesthood. It must be written down somewhere, right?

Ally Isom was the former press spokesman for a Utah politician, and boy is this chick smooth. Throughout the interview she was nonplussed, slick and evasive on questions she wanted to avoid, cleverly putting her own spin on the issue. But this question seemed to catch her off guard. No sooner had Fabrizio asked her where the doctrine is written, than she halted and started stammering. Whatever the word "nonplussed" means, Ally instantly turned into the opposite. She was suddenly extremely plussed, and plussed in spades. As Fabrizio continued to press her on where the doctrine is written down, she finally had to admit "it isn't."

That's right, there is no actual doctrine prohibiting women from being ordained to the priesthood. If there was, we should be able to point to where God provided that revelation. The idea that the priesthood of God is for men only is not a doctrine, it's a tradition. One of those "traditions of men" the scriptures constantly warn us to be on the lookout for.

So what are we Mormons taught to do when we lack wisdom and desire clarification? We do what Kate Kelly has been trying to do. Far from angrily demanding that the Brethren change the doctrine to suit their tastes, the ladies in the Ordain Women movement are only making one small, reasonable request: would the prophet please take this question to the Lord for an answer?

After all, isn't that what a prophet is for? To obtain revelation from God concerning doctrines we don't fully have answers to? So why is it, do you suppose, the Guardians of the Church won't allow any of those women to even pose the question to them? Why would anyone in authority so much as hint about excommunicating a member of the church for following proper Church protocol?

Beats me. Some people are saying Dallin Oaks put this controversy to bed in his address last conference. But what he failed to do in that talk was quote the will of the Lord on the topic. You want to talk about membership in The Not Even Once Club, try getting a General Authority to mention the will of God on the hard doctrinal questions. You won't hear them do it.  Not...Even...Once.

But the GAs will quote each other in circles until Sunday's closing session, you can count on that.

Gim Isom O' Dat
To many of those who knew the truth of what the Ordain Women group actually stood for, listening to Ally Isom misrepresent their motives and intent was extremely frustrating. But not to me. I found Sister Isom's pas de deux to be highly entertaining. She's been working in Church Public Relations for only six months, and her former position as spin doctor for a politician didn't come close to preparing her to be adept at what Brigham Young and his contemporaries used to call "lying for the Lord." She did pretty good, though. But she also said too much if her intent was to protect the corporate brand from additional criticism. And among her collection of inadvertent fluffs were statements that will  provide me with a bulletproof defense if The Boys Downtown do decide to move ahead with their plan to take me out.

I've enjoyed listening to Ally's interview four times already, and it gets better each time.

Ally Isom, Defender of Truth
Who needs Comedy Central when you have Ally Isom on your portable device? For that matter, what do we need with a prophet of God when we can heed the words of someone whose name appears on the corporate flow chart in the box right under "Marketing Dept."?

Which brings us back to that question: where the heck was the prophet while this controversy has been brewing? Why has he pushed a bunch of PR hacks up front as a buffer to protect him from having to do his job?

I like what Paul Toscano had to say about Sister Ally:
"When Ally Isom repeatedly stated; 'I am not able to speculate,' or 'I am not able to answer that question' I would like to have asked her: 'Why are you here answering questions you can't answer? Why isn't one of the apostles here who can? St. Paul faced Festus; he faced his accusers in Rome. Jesus remonstrated directly with the Pharisees and Sadducees. He did not send PR people. Why are the apostles not responsive? Why do top church leaders take the benefits of their offices and avoid the burdens?'

"When Ally Isom refused to take questions from listeners, I would like to have asked her: 'What makes you and your leaders better than Jesus, who answered the questions of his critics directly?'

"Ally Isom is a token woman put forward by leaders to give them plausible deniability. She is a tool of propaganda. I hope she finds another job, soon. This one is likely to eventually destroy her."
I dunno. I'm kind of rooting for Ally. I know the scriptures say the liar shall be thrust into hell, but I hope the devil goes easy on her. Sure, she lies; there's not much question about that. But she's so doggone cute when she does it.

The Packer Defense
Speaking of Paul Toscano, old timers may recall that when the first round of purges took place twenty years ago, Paul Toscano was chief among those on the chopping block. Known collectively as "The September Six," it was later revealed that none other than apostle Boyd K. Packer had been behind the excommunications of near every one of them, acting in direct violation of Church law. Packer had been best buds with Toscano's stake president Kerry Heinz back in their Church Institute days, and had no trouble getting Heinz to pull the switch on Toscano without even a pretense of probable cause.

In the case of Mormon Hebrew Scholar Avraham Gileadi, Packer actually got Gileadi's non-compliant stake president released, then put in a replacement who would be more malleable to Packer's wishes. Packer should have been demoted from the Quorum of the Twelve for this series of calumnies and then excommunicated himself, but instead he wound up with a cushy gig as acting head of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Any bishop or stake president who finds himself enticed to commit what amounts to ecclesiastical perjury would do well to remember the Packer debacle and tell that area authority to take a hike. Because you will be found out. As those in the top echelon of the Church continue to enlist their myrmidons to deny executive involvement in this fiasco, good people like my bishop may find themselves abandoned on the field. It is a serious thing for the Brethren to be caught trying to influence local affairs, because they have absolutely no jurisdiction there. Those who have put their foot in it so far will continue to vehemently deny having done so in order to save face.

Here's an excerpt from a fascinating new book regarding a warning Joseph Smith gave to the Twelve:
"The Twelve will have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes and there undertake to regulate the affairs thereof where there is a standing High Council. But it is their duty to go abroad and regulate all matters relative to the different branches of the church." (William Shepard and H. Michael Marquardt, Lost Apostles: Forgotten Members of Mormonism's Original Quorum of the Twelve, pg 85-86)
The repeated denials from Church PR that no one in the hierarchy has had anything to do with this current string of actions is palpably, laughably false on its face, and pretty much everyone knows it. Just today Denver Snuffer published a detailed account of the constant interference that took place in his case and how his stake president complained about the frequent "pressure from apostles" to hold a disciplinary court on him.  Blogger Will Carter is just trying to get a straight answer as to what he did that warranted his excommunication, because his own bishop will not tell him. Brent Larsen is even now preparing a transcript that reveals high level interference in his case (I will post an update to the link once it's up).

And then there's John Dehlin.

Stay LDS...Hold On There John, We Didn't Mean You!
Going after John Dehlin was the dumbest mistake the Magisterium has made since pouring billions in Church funds to build a shopping center. John has made it his life's work helping people stay in the church who might have otherwise thrown up their hands in frustration and left.

I have personally received hundreds of communications from believing members thanking me for helping reconcile their problems with the faith. John Dehlin has helped thousands. Likely tens of thousands.  He is the co-founder of the website StayLDS.com, which should tell you something about where he has been coming from, and he is the guy behind Mormon Stories Podcasts and its faith-promoting offshoot A Thoughtful Faith Podcasts. I won't spend much more time talking about his accomplishments, but check out those sites and decide for yourself if John Dehlin is a valuable asset to this church.  Then ask yourself, "why would anyone want to excommunicate this guy, of all people?"

Answer that, and you may have discovered the key to what's gone wrong with the institutional LDS Church today.

What's Going On Here, Anyway?
What's going on here is a mutiny of sorts, and it's taking place in the top echelons of the Church, not down here at the bottom among us alleged "apostates." It's worth noting that the September Six excommunications occurred at a time when the president of the church, Ezra Taft Benson, was incapacitated; he was all but brain dead. Whatever Benson was doing in that hospital bed, he was not running the Church from it.

The acting First Presidency lied publicly about the seriousness of Benson's condition, assuring members as well as the press that he
If you got a mission call signed by the prophet in 1993, surprise! No you didn't.
was fully in control, while not permitting anyone but family to see him. They forged his signature several times a day using a device called an Autopen, perfectly legal for corporate officers, but disturbing to those who thought this thing they were members of was an actual church with a living prophet at its head.

Today we are hearing reports of President Monson experiencing increasingly frequent bouts of dementia. He is still himself most of the time, but it would be an easy thing for those with agendas to operate outside his purview, and justify their actions under the belief they are acting for the good of the Church. That's what some of us think is the reason we're suddenly seeing this absolutely insane targeting of devout believers going on all at once. We have resolved to follow Christ, and Him alone.  That makes us a threat to the status quo, which demands obedience to Church authority over all else.

It's a popular myth that the Twelve Apostles are unified. As documented in Lost Apostles, there has always been infighting, jealousies, corporate climbing, and backstabbing in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Jesus had to put up with it in his day, and so did Brother Joseph in his.  The Twelve have historically been about as unified as a bag of cats. But the image of unity is conveyed to the members in order to protect the image that "the Church is true." 

This recent scandal has blown up big. After word started getting around about John and Kate, I was contacted by reporters from  Reuters, Buzzfeed, the Salt Lake Tribune, KUTV, and the New York Times .  (Check out that groovy photo of me in the Times!) They all wanted to get my take on what was at stake, and to relate what I knew about other devoted members who had been similarly harassed.

As a result of this avalanche of publicity, my readership, which usually hovers at around 50,000 readers a month, has skyrocketed to well over 121,000 in less than a week. So much for silencing my voice, huh?

But I'll tell you what's at stake. There's going to be a lot of fallout resulting from this needless debacle. And absolutely none of it is going to benefit the church.

Already countless members on the fence have declared this nonsense to be the last straw for them, and they're throwing in the towel. I've come to know a number of these people; two former bishops, several bishopric members, Relief Society presidents, counselors, ward clerks, stake High Council members, one former stake president, a stake patriarch, you name it -all of them believers in the gospel of the Restoration, and all of them have had their fill of the shenanigans the structural Church has been up to in recent years. This final malfeasance has done them in. They embrace the gospel, but they tell me this is it; they're done supporting the corporate Church.

And those are the devout believers. A whole lot more members who are not so devoted, but whose testimonies of the gospel have been shaken by the Magisterium's transparent hypocrisy, have weighed in online declaring their intentions to resign. These people number in the tens of thousands.

Let's not even talk about the public relations disaster all this is becoming for the Church. If you have a son or daughter on a mission stateside, don't ask them about how many baptisms they're getting. It will only depress them further.

Excommunication: A Divine Law 
Some who are regular readers to this blog may be surprised to learn I favor excommunication. I do. It is a divine law, and necessary if the church is to maintain its purity.  But the law of excommunication only holds in specific types of cases. It cannot be abused, and it can never be used vindictively to cleanse the church of those who promote the cause of Christ. God will not recognize an excommunication conducted for the wrong reasons.

As pointed out in the excellent analysis The Doctrine Against Dissent, there exist legitimate and necessary reasons for excommunicating a member. One primary reason is dissent. But the word "dissent" in Joseph Smith's day did not mean a mere difference of opinion the way we think of it today. The word appears nine times in the Book of Mormon, and it always refers to someone who viciously turns his back on Christ and His gospel, and is actively fighting against God.

I've got a surprise for you; we don't have to excommunicate many of those people; they're already gone. Unbelievers don't tend to hang around in a religion based upon faith and belief.  They've left on their own accord because...well, mainly because they don't want to be here.

Disciplinary abuse occurs in two ways. First is when church leaders decide to use the process to punish people like me who believe in the core fundamentals of the faith but have found no scriptural imperative to pledge our allegiance to the leaders.  In case you are new to this site and know nothing about me, I openly embrace the Book of Mormon, accept Joseph Smith as a prophet, and believe in the Restored gospel of Christ.  If  you're wondering where I'm coming from doctrinally, I would suggest two posts that encapsulate my views, "Who You Callin' Apostate?" and "My Testimony of the Church."

There is no conceivable justification for kicking a believer out of the church of Christ unless he has committed an egregious sin, or the person advocating his removal has motives that are less than pure.

The second way abuse occurs is in not following the rules laid out by God by which a person is properly removed. This abuse occurs almost every time in the modern Church, because the scriptural procedure is almost never followed. It has been usurped by conflicting rules published in the Church Handbook of Instruction. Elevating the CHI over scripture is a violation of the law, part of which reads,  "Any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct." (D&C 20:80) 

See? Nothing in there about going by the corporate handbook.

What the scriptures direct in a case where there is actual apostasy is that the accusation be made by a member of the local ward or branch; it is not permitted that a bishop or stake president initiate it.  If a fellow Saint has no accuser there can be no disciplinary action against the person. According to scripture, the bishop's job in the proceeding is to affirm that the accuser is a member in good standing, and not some enemy of the church. That's the only reason for the bishop to be present.

When two or more accusers come forward to testify against a transgressor, they are to testify before the Council of Elders. Things are never done this way anymore, even though our doctrine requires it. That's because the Council of Elders no longer exists; it has been replaced by the Stake High Council, which was originally intended to settle different types of matters; never apostasy.

After the Elder's Court tries the accused, if the accused person is condemned, there is still one more important step. The proposal for the person's excommunication is presented to the entire congregation for a vote. This is necessary because though the accusing witnesses may have a motive, the members of the congregation may believe the person innocent of apostasy, and the conviction will be nullified.

Nowadays excommunication proceedings are kept very confidential, and this is a good thing in cases where sexual impropriety is the charge. In these cases an announcement is made in the general ward priesthood meeting that so-and-so has been excommunicated, and that is that.

But in a case of open apostasy, confidentiality would not be protected. And it should not be, as apostasy is a public offense. According to D&C 42 90-91, "if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed."  The reason a conviction for apostasy is a matter for the entire congregation to decide is because it's not likely the ward members would be unaware there is an apostate in their midst. Conversely, ward members would likely be well enough acquainted with the accused that they would vote against conviction if they believed the accusation to be false.

The sections of the Doctrine & Covenants that contain the complete instructions regarding excommunication are sections 42, 102, and 107. (For a thorough analysis of this topic see The Doctrine Against Dissent.)

But rather than linger any longer on the law of excommunication, let's take a look at what our favorite Church spokeslady, Ally Isom, had to say about the charges being leveled against John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, and myself.  The charge is apostasy, and lucky for us, Sister Isom was all too willing to define apostasy for us in that interview on KUER. Here is what Sister Isom had to say:

"We define it as when our members turn away from the principles of the gospel, or corrupt principles of the gospel, or make unauthorized changes in Church organizations or priesthood ordinances. It's one thing to make one's views known; it's quite another to actively draw others away from clear doctrine. And it causes concern because ultimately other's lives can be dramatically influenced.
Well, I have no argument with that, and I daresay neither do John or Kate. None of us have any desire to change any doctrines. Certainly I don't. This blog is all about encouraging both members and leaders to adhere to the doctrines we have already been given through revelation, and eschew the frequent tendency some have to elevate policies created by men to the level of doctrine.

Only God can establish the doctrines of this church. Those doctrines come to us either from the Book of Mormon or through direct revelations written down and accepted as were those received by Joseph Smith.  We also accept certain teachings of Joseph Smith as being doctrinal.

It is not enough to consider an inspired statement by one of the Brethren to be doctrinal; it is only doctrinal when revealed through revelation.  Recall that the only thing Kate Kelly is asking for is that the prophet take the matter before the Lord and get an answer through revelation.  Who knows? Maybe the Lord will respond by saying he wants things to stay as they are. Then fine. At least the question will have been asked and answered. I don't know about you, but I'd kind of like to get clarification on a few things. For instance, although we know that sisters in the early days gave healing blessings to one another, can a woman give a blessing to a man? Can a woman anoint and bless her own husband? I'd kinda like the Lord's view on that.

Ally continues:
"I think President Hinckley probably said it best. He said that he's spoken before about the importance of keeping Church doctrine pure and seeing that it's taught in all the meetings. And he conveyed that he worried about this; this is something that weighs on his mind as a steward of the doctrine and as the prophet of the Church. And he said 'small aberrations in doctrinal teaching can lead to large and evil falsehoods.' So it's something to which we want to be sensitive, that the doctrine, pure and clear and undefiled, is the essence of the gospel. And it is the responsibility of our leaders to insure it is kept in alignment with the father's will."
Who's going to argue with that? Don't those words encapsulate the very spirit of what I am attempting to do on virtually ever page of this blog? Hinckley was right: it is small aberrations in doctrinal teaching that have led to large and very evil falsehoods in this church; falsehoods that continue to be embraced by the majority no matter how often we are taught to beware of false teachings.
"Elder Oaks was clear in last April's general conference when he stated categorically that the leaders of the Church don't have the authority to change things. "
Isn't that what I've been saying? You can pull up pretty much any one of my blog posts, and you'll find me saying essentially the same thing: "the leaders of the Church don't have the authority to change things." Only God does, and he makes those changes known only through revelation.

And yet these very leaders continue to change the doctrines of God without exhibiting any irony, and without consulting with God about it at all. They also seem to take pleasure in making new doctrines up. Here's an example I presented last month of Dallin Oaks himself making up a new doctrine he expects you and me to obey:


You would think Elder Oaks, of all people, should be able to recognize a falsehood when he speaks it. He is, after all, a lawyer.

These are sorry times to be a Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the institution, the structural organization, has lost its integrity.  Whichever rogue apostles are behind this current purge, the other ten or eleven, having rushed to rally in a show of unity, have exposed the hypocrisy of the institution to the entire world. Don't believe me? Then you're not following the news.

When Salt Lake City television station KUTV Channel 2 set out to investigate the Church's Strengthening The Members Committee, reporter Brian Mullahy couldn't find a Church leader willing to talk about the mysterious committee on the record. "likely not the favorite subject of LDS Church officials," Mullahy reported, "this committee's role, it would seem, is to collect and then share information about perceived trouble from within the church.

Originally discovered operating within the Church Office Building in the 1980s, the STMC was rumored to have been disbanded after embarrassing comparisons to the East German spy agency STASI. But now apparently the committee has been revived and is back in service, this time headed by apostle Russell Nelson. By threatening to excommunicate some of its most faithful members, the LDS Church has managed to notify the world that we have our own Mormon Secret Police. Smooth move, guys.

"The Mormon Moment Is Finally (Really) Over" blared the headline on Buzzfeed, trumpeting the end of the public's short lived feel-good fascination with Mormonism, the one-time fortunate confluence of "a string of public relations coups, rosy profiles, and rising interest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." All that's over now, as the boneheads at Church headquarters have managed to slingshot the public image of Mormonism right back to a 19th century caricature.

(Joanna Brooks, author of the bestseller Book of Mormon Girl took a different angle, affirming that this may be the real Mormon Moment because these scandals are forcing us to take a good hard look at what our Church is turning into.)

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?
Quite frequently this past week, as online friends have learned about my pending discipline, they have expressed condolences for the distress they feel I must be going through. But why?  This isn't a problem for me, this is a problem for my persecutors. If this pending excommunication were legitimate, it would be akin to spiritual death. That's what excommunication represents; being cut off from the church and being cut off from God. If this was real I would be fearing for my very soul.

But these earthly usurpers don't have the power to do that. Christ himself defines His church as "all who repent and come unto me" and I have it on good authority that my membership in His church remains in good standing.

Sure, they can boot me out of the corporate Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but that "Church", the one reorganized by Heber J. Grant in November of 1923, is an organization I never belonged to anyway.

If it comes to a disciplinary court held on me, good. I look forward to any opportunity to bear witness of Christ, so a court of love would be a great opportunity to offer hugs and camaraderie to a dozen guys who, like me, are mainly trying their best to be good disciples of Christ. But it would also be an opportunity to remind them that we deserve to get away from this idea that there is a priestly class in Salt Lake City that is above reproach when they do or say things that are disingenuous and harmful to the rest of the community.

In 2 Nephi 26:27 we are charged with persuading all men to repent, and so although I try to do so with love and a bit of jocularity on this blog, sometimes it is necessary to speak with plainness. I confess to showing a bit less patience with those who claim authority over the rest of us than I do for my fellow Saint who is often struggling in the dark as much as I am.

Twenty years ago, at the time Church leadership used excommunication as a heavy club to bully the September Six (all devoted believers),  excommunication carried a terrible stigma. That stigma no longer exists.

But I'm not sure Church leadership realizes that yet. Few members are scared of their big bad threats anymore. They have no power to "unbaptize" anyone (baptism has nothing to do with membership in this particular denomination); and the victims of these inquisitions no longer believe the Magisterium's rejection condemns them to Outer Darkness and the buffetings of Satan. They're not likely to cravenly beg their way back into the leader's good graces as was expected in the past.

Every year fewer and fewer members want anything to do with the institutional LDS church anyway, so being put out on the porch just means they're free to roam the neighborhood without supervision. If voluntarily leaving the Church is liberating for some, excommunication for what they call "apostasy" is even better, because it means the corporate Church's hypocrisy is openly exposed for all to see.

This is what happened when the national press picked up the story of the September Six. Reporters were all over that one. "Didn't the people you just kicked out advocate obedience to Christ?" "Well yes, but you see, they refused to bow the knee to us."

Excommunication today is a hollow threat. It merely means you're not part of the club that long ago discarded what made membership in it meaningful, and replaced it with a counterfeit church-like imitation structure filled to overflowing with lawyers, executives, and corporate yes-men.

The faithful latter-day Saint who is devoted to God rather than men knows his membership in the church of Christ remains intact despite the empty pomp of some official drumming-out ceremony. The qualifications for membership in Christ's church, as defined in D&C 10:67 ("all who repent and come unto me, the same IS my church") puts him in a safer place than those who have usurped Christ's authority and demand obeisance unto themselves, which makes the very next verse damningly prophetic ("Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is NOT of my church").

I think I'd rather stay in the church that Jesus is still in charge of, and not worry about whether I'm "good enough" to continue to associate with the boys in the Executive Suite. I'm not as concerned about being in good with those guys as I used to be.







Update:
I was remiss earlier in not crediting my friend Jonathan Streeter for superimposing my face on master Obi-Wan above. Pretty cool, huh?

Update June 22:
There is a petition circulating calling for President Monson to allow more transparency in the Church. Since transparency is required in our doctrine, I think this petition is worth signing and circulating.
Click here.

Update June 23: I was the guest on the Paul Duane Show for two hours today on Salt Lake City's K-Talk Radio AM 630. You can access the recording by clicking here.

Update June 23:
I failed to offer a link to Paul Toscano's account of his excommunication as a member of the September Six, which can be found in his recently published memoir, "Road To Exile." (At only $4.49 for the kindlle edition, I can't think of a great read at a better deal.)  It's also worth noting that Paul was not the original target of these proceedings; it was his wife Margaret. But when Paul (at the time Senior Editor of the Ensign Magazine) refused to comply with Church leader's requests that he, as the priesthood holder in the home should " rein in his wife", it was decided they would go after him because of his high profile.  Margaret appeared in the PBS Two-part special on The Mormons, the full interview which is available here. Margaret was finally ex'd some years later, so she is considered an important asterisk to any discussion of the September Six, because had they dealt with her that September, we would be talking about the September Seven.

Update June 24: In my mention of Brent Larsen, I promised to post the transcript of his meeting with an Area Seventy regarding his appeal from his excommunication. That transcript is now available here on the LDS Freedom Forum.

Update June 25: The interview I did the other day on Mormon Expositor is available now.   Click here.


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

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

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

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

That having been said, please join the conversation below.

424 comments:

1 – 200 of 424   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I thoughtfully read your excellent narrative. Jesus Christ himself gave a beatitude for you. "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you for My sake."

Frederick said...

Rock,

This article was absolutely fantastic. You are right on so many points. I am quite eager to see how things play out in the next few weeks.

God bless you. And the first person who commented had it right, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you.... for My sake."

I've been reading Paul Toscano's book recently. I can't believe how similar times are now to what happened twenty years ago.

Paul's essay on the sanctity of dissent is as appropriate for today as it was twenty years ago.

Great job Rock!

37andholding said...

God is blessing you Rock! I am happy for you. I am happy your mission is getting the notice that the world needs. Funny how great things come in weird packages. The people in the corporation think they are saving themselves all the while are losing big time. Karma is at work!!!

Anonymous said...

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matt. 25:40)

"Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord:
And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord." (D&C 112:24-25)

"Behold, this is my doctrine--whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me the same is my church.
Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church." (D&C 10:67-68)

I am very happy I do not hold a leadership position in the church. What is coming will not be pretty…

JR

LDSDPer said...

@JR,

That's an interesting way to look at things. My husband just got released from a leadership calling and has not been extended another calling--

I have not had a leadership calling for decades, though I do have a calling. It's minor, and I like that.

This entire situation has left me feeling almost as though someone came and knocked the wind out of me.

The last blog essay discussion/posts--

became so vitriolic against those of us who just want to be peaceable followers of Christ and don't want to be blamed for the waste and the overlooking of the poor--

as one old Book of Mormon prophet said (and my brain isn't processing which one at the moment) he wanted his garments cleansed of the blood of those whom he was responsible to teach--

I have people who depend upon me for truth--

people who will listen to me (my children)--

and I don't want to lead them astray. I want them to focus on Jesus Christ, and I am encouraging them, as heartily as I can, without being annoying, to let the Book of Mormon lead them to Jesus Christ.

This is my obsession, I realize.

But when I tried to explain to people who were 'up in arms' at anyone 'criticizing' the church (whatever the church means at this point)--

I was called names, mocked, told that I was an apostate--

I guess I should be used to this. My life's situation has been unique--

and there are things I have no said on here about persecution and rejection which are very real and very final.

So, seeking a place where I could discuss righteous principles and find ways to serve (I have, on here, by the way)--

to, somehow, counteract, the blatant materialism that is promoted by the church culture--

I have come under attack, again.

As I had before in 'real life'.

It doesn't end. But Jesus is still there, loving all of us, even those who persecute and reject.

God bless us all.


LDSDPer said...

@Rock,


I know you are just speaking of the increased numbers of people who have been 'hitting' your blog, but it seems that an increasing number of those people are . . .

well, hard-hearted. Not sure what their agenda is other than to ridicule anyone who has concerns about supporting a questionable church culture.

They seem to be 'here to stay'--

to nip at the heels of those of us who are trying to graze peaceably and avoid the poisonous weeds--

Ultimately, if we have faith in Jesus Christ, nobody can hurt us, right?

They can destroy *our* bodies, but not our spirits--

as for your situation, you do have a very unique way of dealing with it.

Instead of sitting down and crying, you just keep walking?

Keep walking. Keep walking.

Friar Tuck said...

@Rock:

It's interesting and very telling that you take to the airwaves and printed page to spread your "message of love". I can see that you are absolutely giddy about all the attention you are getting from this media circus. Would Christ take the approach you are taking? The New York Times is one of the most liberal papers in the country and no friend to Mormonism. Same with the Salt Lake Tribune. Just look at some of the comments after your article in the Trib. You are giving a platform to all those that hate Mormonism to spread their hate and vitriol.

You are not interested in correcting those in church leadership that you consider to be wrong. If you were you would vote against them in conference or go to them personally and voice your concerns. You are interested in embarrassing them and destroying them.

Yet here you are, one man, that thinks he has all the answers. All the millions of faithful members are wrong, and you with your fellow mutineers are the ones that really see the light. Has it ever occurred to you that you may be wrong on a number of levels? You are so drunk and giddy with the media attention you are getting, you have embarked on a hateful campaign to substitute your will for the will of church leaders. You claim that the scriptures demand it.

Good luck, Rock...you are going to need it. Revolutions have a way of getting out of control very quickly. I in no way believe that you can predict the ultimate outcome. I hope you are comfortable living with the consequence of your actions, even though you are not like Christ and do not know what all eventual outcomes will be.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Friar Tuck said...

@37andholding:

This is not a contest. And Rock has a mission now?

The leaders of the church will do what they have to to maintain the sanctity of the doctrine. If the church fails, the leaders will have done their job in spite of defeat.

If the church fails, then what? Are you clairvoyant enough to know what will come next, or are you so focused on your own pride in proving leaders wrong that you do not care about collateral damage?

The fact that anyone believes that Rock has a mission confirms my belief that he is just another false prophet that is developing quite a little following.

Friar Tuck said...

@LDSDPer:

You live in a dream world, don't you?

"I know you are just speaking of the increased numbers of people who have been 'hitting' your blog, but it seems that an increasing number of those people are . . .

well, hard-hearted. Not sure what their agenda is other than to ridicule anyone who has concerns about supporting a questionable church culture.

They seem to be 'here to stay'--

to nip at the heels of those of us who are trying to graze peaceably and avoid the poisonous weeds--

Seriously? I suggest you look at Rock's Facebook page to see what he is morphing in to. This blog is just a stepping stone he has used to catapult himself into the national spotlight. There is nothing peaceful about his little messages. He is going to war lady; wake up.

Toby said...

Rock,
I stand with you as an honest seeker of the *truth*. There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with questioning the direction and/or leadership of this institution of TheChurchTM. We have our free agency last time I checked. I feel those of us who have been led on this path of soul searching to reconcile our questions are totally justified in our approach. I think I have seen the light and it is LED, pure white.
You are doing a good work and I appreciate the cross you bear. CHRIST is the keeper of the gate. No middle man needed, respectfully, you sitting in those huge chairs.
The Institution has no right to my soul. My love for the LDS church is fleeting; my love for Christ and his message grows daily.
Note to friar tuck: see Book of Mormon for factual apostasy of modern church. "ALL have gone astray..."
Sincerely,
TSTriptow

Lance said...

Rock, you hit the big time with the NY Times article. I loved it.
Great essay here as well. Count me as another lifelong member who is absolutely done with supporting the corporate church.

Friar Tuck said...

@Toby:

A couple of things:

1. The leaders of the church have legitimate authority. If you have no respect for that authority, that says a lot about you.
2. If you have a problem with the general authorities, do as the scriptures say. Vote against them in conference.Trial by media is not in the scriptures.
3. Helaman 4:4 But it came to pass in the fifty and sixth year of the reign of the judges, there were dissenters who went up from the Nephites unto the Lamanites; and they succeeded with those others in stirring them up to anger against the Nephites; and they were all that year preparing for war.
4. Helaman 5:17 And it came to pass that they did preach with great power, insomuch that they did confound many of those dissenters who had gone over from the Nephites, insomuch that they came forth and did confess their sins and were baptized unto repentance, and immediately returned to the Nephites to endeavor to repair unto them the wrongs which they had done.
5. Alma 47:36 Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God.

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that your blog has been very helpful to me personally and helped me think things through when I was having a very hard time with certain things I was being taught. So, whatever happens, I will always appreciate the things you've said on this blog. I just wanted you to know that.

Heart!
Kristin

Anonymous said...

Excellent article Rock! Just one question -- where do you get the figure that tens of thousands are resigning? I am pretty sure the ChurchTM is not ever going to admit how many may be leaving. I'd also be interested in how many have quit paying tithes to the Corporation, but instead pay them where they feel inspired by the Lord, but that info will also not be forthcoming.

KAL

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

Rock, God bless you dear brother for bringing that which is dark into the light for all to see!!

Thank you for this wonderful, brilliant article, your words are filled with truth and wisdom and you can be so darn funny!

Again thank you for all you do! Again bless you dear brother!

Margo Elders

Tim Fuller said...

Well I would have to venture a guess that you actually think these apostles are getting 'revelations' from God to sort out these issues, but even then I'm curious about something. Why is it that God doesn't make these revelations to women? The Mormon version of imaginary Jeebus must be more than a wee bit misogynistic. Enjoy.

Tim Fuller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Hunt said...

Rock,

Great article!

Our good friend, “Friar Tuck”, posted comments by a person named William Hamblin entitled “Predatory Disbelief”. Here’s the link as well as the full comments below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2014/06/21/predatory-disbelief/

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.

You know how I am about logical fallacies. I will list some committed here by Brother Hamblin. First, the entire post is a “straw-man argument”. Secondly, he is using the pejorative term “Predatory Disbelief”, which is an “ad hominem attack” to demonize “critics of the Church”.

Brother Hamblin apparently doesn’t know the correct definition and etymology of some of the words he uses. Another possibility is that he is intentionally twisting the meaning of these words to fit his agenda. Lets look at some.

predator (n.)
1862, from Latin praedator "plunderer," from praedari "to rob" (see predation).

As 37andholding pointed out , “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.” In other words belief is something, which cannot be plundered or robbed.

unbelief (n.) (disbelief is a Latin-Germanic hybrid)
mid-12c., "absence or lack of religious belief; disbelief of the truth of the Gospel," from un- (1) "not" or un- (2) "opposite of" + belief.

These “critics of the Church” do not demonstrate disbelief. They are just asking questions or disagree with certain interpretation of particular ideas being taught in the church.

faith (n.)
mid-13c., "duty of fulfilling one's trust," from Old French feid, foi "faith, belief, trust, confidence, pledge," from Latin fides "trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief," from root of fidere "to trust," from PIE root *bheidh- (source also of Greek pistis; see bid).

These “critics of the Church” are not putting their "trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief," in the arm of flesh. They see inconsistencies in what is and has been taught by different leaders over time and want to find answers.

If we go by Hamblin’s definition of the word predator then the entire missionary force for the church, as well as member missionaries, would be considered predators.

Zach Collier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach Collier said...

Does no one else recognize what is going on here? Have we forgotten Kirtland? Have we forgotten the bloodshed and misery that followed the saints because of transgression and evil speaking against the Lord's anointed? I will not debate or respond to comments after this post, because I speak the truth, and I lie not. And it will stand.

The prophets speak that they do know, yet ye receive not their witness. If you do not believe them with regards to earthly things, how would you believe them if they tell you of heavenly things?

I give you the words of Isaiah, quoted by Nephi, as a witness:

"Wo unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope; That say: Let him make speed, hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it. Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Wo unto the wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight!" (2 Nephi 15:18-21)

And again, the warnings and promises of Christ, unto all you Gentiles - you who are grafted into the true branch and liable to be cut off:

"Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them. But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves." (D&C 121:16-17)

You are not building Zion. You are tearing it down. And as you tear down the work of The Lord, so will he tear you down, and your posterity will dwindle in unbelief, and lest you repent, you will find yourself at the last day accountable for the sins of those you misled, and those you offended, and those yet unborn who will be born without the promises of the Almighty.

My witness is sure. I have the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and I stand with the brethren as the Priests of Levi stood with Moses.

If you want to follow this modern Korah, by all means, the choice is yours. But I warn you, in the name of Christ, and with all the energy of my soul, against this man. Thus I withdraw. To those who disagree, prowl around my comment as you apostates would prowl around the blood of the Lamb.

To quote brother Brigham, who you apparently don't believe was a prophet either: "I defy any man on earth to point out the path a Prophet of God should walk in, or point out his duty, and just how far he must go, in dictating temporal or spiritual things. Temporal and spiritual things are inseparably connected, and ever will be.” (Journal of Discourses, 10:363–64.)

And again:
"“I rose up, and in a plain and forcible manner told them that Joseph was a Prophet, and I knew it, and they might rail and slander him as much as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the Prophet of God, they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread that bound them to the Prophet and to God and sink themselves to hell."

Good luck.

Calleen Bataiff said...

Way to go Rock!!! You have a gift for hitting the nail on the head. If there is anything I can do to help you, let me know, and God be with you. I know He is!!!

Irven Hill said...

@Friar Tuck

Why does everyone have to follow the scriptural protocol in their dissent, while the corporate church sends out p.r. people? You claim everyone else should follow the scriptures, but you are obviously fine with the corporation not following them at all.

The church courts have become like the this countries courts. The church courts operate outside of the purview of the D&C, just like the countries courts operate outside of the purview of the constitution. In both cases the emperor has no clothes. In both cases there are those who blindly defend it as correct and true, like yourself. Then there are those who call things into question.

Why do you not apply the same rules of engagement to both parties equally, Friar?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

KAL,
To tell you the truth, I don't remember, but it was some church sponsored graph that showed the number of reductions in members that had been on the rolls but were no longer. It wasn't counting deaths, those were exclude. Looks like deliberate resignation, and the number was in the tens of thousands.


We are easily losing 10-14 thousand every year from attrition and resignations.

Gary Hunt said...

Zach Collier,

You said...

"The prophets speak that they do know, yet ye receive not their witness. If you do not believe them with regards to earthly things, how would you believe them if they tell you of heavenly things?"

I have an answer from Moroni. He told us it is by the power of the Holy Ghost you can know the truth of all things. Why do so many people forget his advice?

Calleen Bataiff said...

One other thing I would like to point out. Just because someone calls a man a prophet, or just because he has climb a corp. latter, just because a bunch of men heading a church, even if that church claims to hold the authority of God, doesn't make that man a prophet. Only God makes that distinction.

It's the lack of a personal relationship with God, and the laziness of people to get one is the underlying problem.

Only a prophet can recognize a prophet, everyone else is an idol worshiper.

Inspire said...

@Zach Collier:
Last I checked, the Lord "anointed" those who were sick and afflicted, using spit and dirt.

magnus said...

@Alan Rock Waterman

Great read. I truly enjoyed it and found myself nodding in agreement with pretty much every one of your points. I will say though, the tone of the post is defiance with more than a tinge of arrogance.

@Friar Tuck

Inretesting points you make, really reflects and encapsulates the "the Church is the Gospel" position nicely.

This quote struck me...

"You are not interested in correcting those in church leadership that you consider to be wrong. If you were you would vote against them in conference or go to them personally and voice your concerns. You are interested in embarrassing them and destroying them."

You are absolutely right here. For all of Alan's talk of the right way to excommunicate, the right way to disagree was not discussed (though changes in "common concent" doctrine only further supports his points). It has been far too long since the members of the church collectively exercised their right to dissent, and if what rock says about believers who are leaving is true, there probably had never been a better time than now to steamy up and be counted, as the Lord had appointed, add those who OPPOSE.

Friar Tuck said...

@Zach Collier:

Amen.

Many people are following the mutineers of the church in their misguided work. If they would sit back and listen to themselves they would realize that they are motivated by anger and not love. Anger is of Satan. If these people were truly motivated by a Christlike love they would go to the brethren in love and express their concerns. They would do everything in their power to support the leaders and improve the quality of the church leadership. Instead they condemn in a very vocal way. And now others are following them out of the church and they have become a law unto themselves. This is the same thing that happened in Kirkland. The people thought Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet and began criticizing him.Instead of being long suffering, they defied him, and mocked him and criticized him. I'm sure they thought they were doing the right thing too. Funny how these apostates cannot see themselves as the bad guys. They always think it to be someone else. They always think they know a better way. Lets judge these people by their fruits. Has Rock Waterman increased the testimonies of people? Not from what I see. He has merely fed into the doubt and and antagonism that people already had. He has led the villagers with their pitchforks and torches to lynch and condemn the church leaders.

Isaiah 29:18 ¶And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

Jean said...

This is an answer to Anonymous comment asking about the thousands leaving the church.

http://www.fileswap.com/dl/5iKOuShH9D/ElderJensenQandAInterlacedEdited.mp3

Not since the days of the Kirtland Apostasy, has it been this bad. There are only about 1/3 active members out of the 15 million the church touts as the membership stats.

Rock on Rock. Your version of the church is the one I thought I was joining.

magnus said...

Stupid auto correct.

Last line of my previous post should read...

...there probably has never been a better time than now to stand up and be counted, as the Lord has appointed, and OPPOSE.

Friar Tuck said...

@Gary Hunt quoted:

"The prophets speak that they do know, yet ye receive not their witness. If you do not believe them with regards to earthly things, how would you believe them if they tell you of heavenly things?"

I have an answer from Moroni. He told us it is by the power of the Holy Ghost you can know the truth of all things. Why do so many people forget his advice?

So Gary, what happens when a member receives a different confirmation from the spirit than the prophet does?

Irven Hill said...

"If these people were truly motivated by a Christlike love they would go to the brethren in love and express their concerns."

Have you ever tried that Friar? Obviously not. You can't get close to the brethren. The letters sent out by yesmen in the church office building tell you that. They will be returned to your local leaders and they will answer you. When they can't, you're out of luck. You'd know this if you had ever tried to do what you are telling others to do.

Margo Elders said...

Arrogance:

1. stop blogging
2. resign from the church
3. face excommunication

So wonderful the lds church has climbed into bed with the gesapo, Babylonian government, in telling a person what to do and how to go about doing it or else! Shame on the church that bears the name of our Savior, what a mockery. Do you want flattering words or do you want the plain truth in my opinion as spoken here about what is going on.

Cling to Jesus Christ, he is our only hope. Become a member of His true living church, The Church of the Firstborn. This lds church is a deck of cards bringing with it false illusions and it is falling down very fast. Margo Elders

Margo Elders said...

that is gestapo government.

Friar Tuck said...

@Irven Hill stated:

"If these people were truly motivated by a Christlike love they would go to the brethren in love and express their concerns."

Have you ever tried that Friar? Obviously not. You can't get close to the brethren. The letters sent out by yesmen in the church office building tell you that. They will be returned to your local leaders and they will answer you. When they can't, you're out of luck. You'd know this if you had ever tried to do what you are telling others to do.

What do you expect, the church is getting huge. If the leaders have delegated responsibility to others to answer for them, I see nothing wrong with that. It seems to me you don't like the answers you are getting. Sounds like a personal problem.

nobody ever said...

"Sister Isom was all too willing to define apostasy for us"

"We define it as when our members (or leadership?) turn away from the principles of the gospel, or corrupt principles of the gospel, or make unauthorized changes in Church organizations or priesthood ordinances. It's one thing to make one's views known; it's quite another to actively draw others away from clear doctrine. And it causes concern because ultimately others lives can be dramatically influenced.

Rock, have you been making unauthorized changes in Church organizations and changing the priesthood ordinances and again?..

This sounds more like the "church" then it's members.

Irven Hill said...

@Friar

I never received an answer to anything when I asked. Not from headquarters, not from the office building, not from any local leader.

You just proved my point. The people at the top answer to no one on anything. You are fine with it.

That's how huge corporations run. That's how the church runs. When you start operating like General Motors, you'll have the same problems as General Motors. But the church doesn't have the president of the U.S. to give them a bailout.

Friar Tuck said...

@Irven Hill:

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

magnus said...

@Friar Tuck

"Don't let the door hit you on the way out."


See, this is what I can't fathom. There is no part of the Church or the Gospel that makes that kind of flippant dismissal of a brother or sister of God. You just invalidated everything else you said, because it's now plainly obvious that you have no good motive here.

Friar Tuck said...

@Magnus:

I'm sorry, but I do not suffer fools very well. What am I supposed to say to someone that is merely looking for an excuse to justify his behavior? The Lord has given us a scriptural guide to handle disputes in the church. Everyone cries that the methods don't work. The Lord set the ground rules, not I. If someone can't abide sound doctrine established by the Lord himself, then adios, because that person does not have a future in the church and is being disingenuous.

magnus said...

@Friar Tuck

Two things here,

1) what behavior is being justified? You don't know anybody here from Adam as far as I can tell, and the only behavior you know they are engaging in is having questions about the Church.

2) one of the major points of this thesis was that church policy often runs counter to the Scriptures. So how do we reconcile when or church leaders set policy that is not in line with the Scriptures without specifically invoking direct revelation?

Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry, but I do not suffer fools very well." - FT

3 Nephi 12:22 - "But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." - Jesus.

Tired of Tuck

Friar Tuck said...

Magnus stated "what behavior is being justified"?

Irven Hills behavior of circumventing the leaders is being justified by himself. In spite of the right way the Lord has taught us to handle difficulties, you can plainly see that Irven Hill dismissed these approaches as being futile. Hence he feels that he is therefore justified in attacking the leaders in any manner that he sees as expedient.

Friar Tuck said...

Anon @2:47

If you think I have sinned, bring me before a council of the church. I will gladly go to answer for my crimes. I admit that I am a sinner. But let he who is without sin cast the first stone...is that you?

Irven Hill said...

@Friar

I'm not going anywhere. I'm not trying to justify any kind of behavior.

The questions I had were according to the official position of the church up to the 1970's on a subject that completely dissipated in the 2000's and are actually encouraged rather than discouraged now days. How am I a fool, when you are the one who jumps to conclusions and makes claims about someone when they know nothing about the circumstances? How am I the fool, when you are the one who holds individuals to a scriptural standard, but holds the corporation to no such standard other than what they decide in the CHI, which has no basis in scripture. Furthermore, how are we to hold anyone accountable by the doctrine of common consent, when the church no longer operates by common consent? How are individuals supposed to operate by ground rules that don't apply to the corporation?

You're the kind of person who claims his neighbor deserves to go to jail because he couldn't defend himself from the IRS invoking constitutional grounds. You would defend the IRS in using their tax codes against the defendant, while claiming the defendant must use the constitution--which conveniently for the IRS doesn't apply in the current court. So it is with your attitude of how the church operates. To you it is fine for them to operate outside of the scriptures, but individuals must follow them, in a situation where the corporation won't apply them.

Who's the fool?

magnus said...

@Friar Tuck

"Attacking" is needlessly hyperbolic, but it it not right, and even some cases duty, to do so? Are we not ALL taught by the Scriptures to circumvent man and take our questions directly to God? Are we not grant that our relationship with him should be unconditionally personal? If a prophet will not answer to the Followers of God then what use is he to them or God?

Friar Tuck said...

@magnus:

Are you aware of the Kirkland apostasy? :

Warren Parrish said,

“Joseph and Sidney lie by revelation, swindle by revelation, cheat and defraud by revelation, run away by revelation, and if they don’t mend their ways, I fear they will at last be damned by revelation.”

Warren Cowdery accused the Prophet of “Making himself a monarch, absolute and despotic, and ourselves objects, slaves or phoning sycophants” (self-seeking flatterers).

Parley P. Pratt charged the Prophet with “covetousness, and taking advantage of his brothers by undue religious influence.”

Parley approached his convert – John Taylor on the street and complained bitterly about Joseph Smith. John Taylor said, “Why Parley, I’m surprised at you, when you came to Canada you told me Joseph was a prophet of God and the Holy Ghost had borne witness to you of that truth. Therefore, I suggest that you repent!”

There are only two members of the Twelve who are not out of harmony with the Prophet and they are Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. Even David W. Patten was out of harmony for a short time. When David Patten returned from his mission he was in the home of Warren Parrish and was soured against the Prophet. He then went to the home of Joseph and complained that Joseph was “abusive.”

Without warning Joseph reared back and slapped him (David W. Patton) as hard as he could. He then kicked him out of his house and sent him down the path to the gate.

David later said it was the best thing that had ever happened to him (Thanks, I needed that).

Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson, both apostles, charged the Prophet with lying and misrepresentation, extortion and for speaking disrespectfully about Orson’s brother behind his back.

In 1837 Joseph was involved in 18 different lawsuits.

Persecution got so bad that in January 1838 he had to flee.

In one of the lawsuits he was tried for murder.

Nothing was ever proven against Joseph.

Now tell me how things are different now then they were in Kirkland.

thirstingforknowledge said...

Rock,
I applaud your courage. As you are well aware the corporate church is not led by God. It doesn’t take much to come to that conclusion. Anyone who knows anything about the book of mormon can easily see that the current lds church looks nothing like the church in the book of mormon or the Bible. I have two issues I want you to really ponder.
1. The true Church of Christ was built on the foundation of Prophets and Apostles. That foundation was laid with no need to rebuild a foundation. When the apostle Paul set up the various churches he did not ordain any other apostles. He set apart Bishops to lead the specific Church they were over. In his letter to Timothy Paul instructed him to rely on what had been written. He never told him to look to future apostles for revelation. The Gospel had already been laid out.
2. Temples are essential for Eternal Life in Mormon Theology. They are claimed to have always been apart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If this is the case then why don’t we find any mention of Temples in the Church of Christ in the Bible or the Book of Mormon? We only find temples for the purpose of ordinances and ceremonies that were apart of the Mosaic law. Never a single mention of a temple being part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The early Church fathers that were apart of the churches that the apostles set up never mentioned not once a temple. We have plenty of their writings. The majority of these guys knew the apostles personally. Again there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that temples were apart of the Church of Christ. Actually when you examine the historical evidence it becomes absolutely laughable to think that temples could have been apart of the gospel of Jesus Christ and yet the remains of none of these exist (in the old world or the new world) and no one ever wrote about them.
The real problem here is that Mormonism has shaken your confidence in the Bible. I urge you to research the textual support we have for the Bible. I spent a considerable amount of time doing this. Once I realized I could trust the Bible, I then began to read it like a child with no preconceived notions. I stopped looking at the Bible through the lense of mormonism and started looking at mormonism through the lense of the Bible. I soon realized that I did not know the real Gospel of Jesus Christ. The book of Galatians really sealed the deal for me. I learned how we receive the blessings of Abraham (it has nothing to do with temples, marriage or polygamy like D&C 132 suggests). My advice for any mormon is to get to know the New Testament. You are going to feel awful ashamed at the final judgment when you stand before God and make excuses when you had his word right in front of you all along. Satan’s playground is feelings and emotions. He can imitate and manipulate that. What he can't manipulate is the word of God as found in the Bible. God promised his word would last and so did Jesus. You have to stop letting your feelings be your measure of truth and start looking to God’s word as found in the bible as your measure of truth. Feelings are important, but they come secondary to the word of God.

Friar Tuck said...

More delightful happenings at Kirkland:

In August of 1837 the “Parish Gang” was organized. They claimed that the Church was out of harmony by adding the title “of Latter-day Saints.” They formulated “The Church of Christ” and tried to take over the temple by force and violence.

John F. Boynton (one of the twelve) and others in the gang rushed onto the floor armed with bowie knives and pistols. Women were screaming and John said, “any man that touches me I will blow his brains out!”

Between the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in the spring of 1836 until the prophet fled Kirtland in early 1838, only two brief revelations were recorded. From then until the end of his life, only twenty more were added to the canon. His speeches are known only from notes by listeners. On the large issues of the next eight years — plural marriage, the temple endowment, the plans for the Kingdom of God — we hear virtually nothing from Joseph himself. He moved behind a screen of other minds: those of clerks who wrote his diaries, hearers who took notes on his sermons, enemies who charged him with dire crimes, official letters written by others, sensational reports by newspaper editors, and later remembrances of loyal old comrades and embittered former friends.

Meanwhile, Joseph’s enemies attacked. The bank episode not only hurt the Saints financially, it tried their faith. Widespread apostasy resulted. The stalwarts Parley and Orson Pratt faltered for a few months. David Patton, a leading apostle, raised so many insulting questions Joseph “slapped him in the face and kicked him out of the yard.” Joseph’s counselor Frederick G. Williams was alienated and removed from office. One of the Prophet’s favorites, his clerk Warren Parrish, tried to dispose him.

Heber C. Kimball claimed that by June 1837 not twenty men in Kirtland believed Joseph was a prophet.

In June 1837, Joseph called Heber C. Kimball to lead a band of seven to England. On June 13, they set out to begin a work that over the next fifteen years would yield 51,000 converts. Three weeks later, 1,500 Saints in Far West broke ground for a new temple in Missouri. During the conference, 109 elders accepted calls to serve missions.

In late December, twenty-eight men were cut off from the church, bringing the total to more than forty that year. But excommunication did not silence the group. The “old standard” faction was determined to hold their meetings in the temple even “if it is by the shedding of blood.” They claimed to be the legitimate Church, making Joseph the apostate. They called themselves the Church of Christ, the Church’s first name.

BK said...

thirstingforknowledge,

Great post.

I totally agree that it's not hard to see that the LDS Church is not led by God, nor ever has been. But just a product of false prophets who are good at deceiving people into blind obedience, cause it's easier.

There was never a need to restore anything for nothing was lost. The entire 'Gospel' has been here all along in the New Testament, it's just no one is following it.

No one needs a church or even a prophet to live righteously and achieve Exaltation, they just need to read and follow the words of Christ.

And I agree we must look at Mormonism (and the BoM, D&C & BoA) through the eyes of the New Testament, especially the words of Christ, then we can easily see how completely opposite the Church is from the things that Christ actually taught.

The problem is that when we also compare the Old Testament to the words of Christ, much or most of it and it's stories & prophets prove to be false or teaching or doing wrong things.

We must even be careful about what New Testament Apostles taught, for they often taught things contrary to Christ also.

And I agree that we can't automatically trust our feelings or even our personal inspiration or revelation, for Satan can and does easily deceive us by such things. Thus why Satan and his false prophets promote 'measuring truth by feelings, revelation and warm fuzzies', so he can easily deceive people into thinking something is right when it's really wrong and contrary to Christ.

We can only 'prove all things' by the concrete 'words of Christ', found in the New Testament. He gave us the fullness of the Gospel and left nothing out, but the Church has 'added' all kinds of new doctrines, policies and precepts, (like the temple, polygamy, etc.) that 'cometh from evil' as the scriptures say.

Anna Maria Junus said...

Wonderful beautiful post. I'm glad you pointed out that this church doesn't have the authority to "unbaptize".

Anonymous said...

I didn't "cast" any "stones" Christ did. I just noted Him doing it. And pretty sure He cast a warning, not a stone. Sorry if this confuses you.

I'm not interested in calling you a sinner or convening a court against you, I'm just weary of your caustic, hypocritical and authoritarian words. The 90% vitriol you spew sucks to sift through for the 10% quality offerings you post. And it tends to poison the rest of the well as contention takes over. Granted your words and attacks are as amusing to watch as any other drama, but I don't come here in search of entertainment, and I doubt most readers do. Your increasing hostility is clearly turning many off, even though you'd likely argue it's the truths you offer or some such nonsense. (Except now that I noted that, the rebuttal will be changed to accusing me of falsely claiming to know your heart.) It's the rudeness which your words exhibit, which is frowned upon in scripture (2 Nephi 2:1), that bores and frustrates me and indeed serves the wrong master. You express only a lack of compassion for struggles you do not endure, and compound it with self-righteous condemnation. But piety before the brethren was an attribute of the Sadduccees and Pharisees, in spades, and a fat lot of good it did them when they crucified Truth. It's a false principle as you present it. Your words are indeed tiresome, please refocus yourself to only the valuable ones. You do offer them occasionally, but man, all the rest of them...

Tired of Tuck

Gary Hunt said...

Friar Tuck,

I thought you didn't like me picking on you. I promised that I wouldn't respond to your comments any more. Now you are asking me to respond to you. I will make this one exception.

You asked me the following question:

"So Gary, what happens when a member receives a different confirmation from the spirit than the prophet does?"

By "the spirit" I am assuming you mean the Holy Ghost. In my opinion I do not believe the Holy Ghost would give "different confirmation" on a particular point of doctrine. Now if you really meant that the "member" and the "prophet" believed that they received confirmation of their position, that would make sense. This illustrates the importance of proper grammar to express what you really mean. A missing word or two can alter the meaning significantly.

Now as to the question which I believe you were trying to ask.

Most members would probably say the "prophet" is correct and the member is wrong and has been listening to another spirit. Those who believe this would be committing two logical fallacies. The first being the "appeal to authority" and the second being the "appeal to tradition". Some may believe that the member is correct and the prophet is incorrect. That it is an either/or situation. This is a logical fallacy called the false dilemma. The other possibility is that both may be wrong.

How do we know truth? We all have the same tools to discover truth. We have the scriptures, words of the Lord's messengers, our brains (logic), prayer and the Holy Ghost. It's between each individual and God.

Iakobus Iustus said...

@Friar Tuck

I, too, do not suffer fools gladly (which is, btw, the accurate quote) and as such, I find it mind-blowingly ridiculous that you should tell someone that has tried the correct channels that they should not use any other means in their disposal to get their position heard.

Perhaps you would have liked to offer your opinion to Joseph Smith, who found no way to resolve his question through the "proper" channels by asking those of "authority" in the various denominations...

Or to the American colonists, whose only "proper" recourse was to petition their Crown-appointed governors...

Or to Jesus himself, since the only "proper" way for him to get his message out was to go through the Roman-appointed High Priest...

But in an even more recent vintage, tell me how effective it was for those members that were present when "The Manifesto", which, btw, was NOT a revelation but a press release, was read for a sustaining vote and they voted for the "All opposed by the same sign", when the Conference Report for Oct. 1890, as well as the comments to Official Declaration - 1 state "The vote to sustain the forgoing motion was unanimous"

Irven Hill and a multitude of others have had valid questions that they have addressed via the proper channels only to have those questions rebuffed. Does that mean that, even if they have done their due diligence of study and prayer, they are to remain silent and, as my mother always told me, "to put those questions on a shelf since there are things we don't have the ability to know until the next life"?

If so, then they can only have an invalid faith, and I mean invalid in both uses. IN-val-id because such a faith is damaged, incomplete, weak and relies too heavily on the faith of others. In-VAL-id because, while no "faith" can be complete (since that is now "Knowledge"), any faith that relies too heavily on others, is weak, damaged or has too many lingering unanswered questions will most likely prove to be false.

Just as faith can grow from a mustard seed into a tree, so too can unanswered, seemingly insignificant, questions grow from the shelf that they are put on into a great tree that will destroy that shelf, knocking all the other unanswered questions loose at the same time.

And keep in mind, that anything said via a "spokesperson" is not definitive because they don't have any authority and so their statements hold absolutely NO value. It is only statements from the "Prophets, Seers, and Revelevators" or more specifically THE "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" that truly matter.

So you tell me, would it not be more prudent for these questions to be addressed in a kind, loving, gentle manner via the proper channels, to let them know that their concerns have been heard, then to allow them through neglect, indifference, or silence to grow until that person has no choice, for their own peace of mind, to resort to seeking assistance via alternate channels?

Christian A. Finke said...

Hi Everybody ,

i´m reading Rocks Blog now for about 2 years. and i enjoy it ,even though i don´t agree with somethings he says , it never , ever changed a bid of my testimony to the bad . I recieved my answer about 36 years ago after the missionaries taught me that i can ask God , and thats the thing i miss here , it´s talked about questions , concerns , doubt´s , but i seldom read anything about ANSWERS , like ,,the Lord told me ... ,, or ,, the Holy Ghost told me ..... ? I learned to ask Heavenly Father , as a young kid , some may say i was naive ánd to young to see the the whole thing , but guess what! That answer i got , changed my whole live to the the best , not the easiest , but like Joseph said , I CAN NOT DENY IT ! So why not go back to the Basics and ask HIM.

I never was and will be a big scripture basher and my english is not perfect , so please forgive my poor writing , but what impressed me the most as a young Seminary Student was , D&C 1:30 and Moroni 10:3-5 ,for it was a revalation to me , to know that LORD is pleased with his CHURCH , but not necessarily we us and that i did right , as a ten year old to read , ponder and pray .

So, i think it´s time to get personal REVALATION ,getting the answers we need,from the SOURCE , like James told us. ( James 1:2-8).

I dont care , if someboby says , i dont KNOW , but i say and stick with it,this is HIS Church and i KNOW it , i didn´t see any angles nor the LORD , but i felt the Holy Ghost strongly many times ,as he confirmed the truth to me and i´m looking forward and strive for it , to receive more .

How about taking it to the LORD ?

NOBODY will question his answer !

Gary Gibson said...

Rock,

I'm a little disappointed that you left 'K.' in the name. Boyd Packer sounds better. I bow the knee to no man.

Why can't they ask and get simple answers? It sure seems like there is no revelation coming through the pipe. If they received it, I would rejoice. Alas, only the deafening sound of an empty echo can be heard.

I will bow the knee only to my Lord and King, Jesus Christ. To Him I prostrate my body, my heart, my mind, my will and my whole soul.

Any falsehood will eventually fall. Isaiah saw one particular fall. I will leave it to the reader to determine who Shebna is and what association could be with the nail being dislodged and the burden thereof being cutoff. The test remains the same in every generation. The mysteries are never known by the popular, lifted up and proud. Expect to find truth in unexpected spots.

Isaiah 22 (Gileadi translation)

15: Thus said my Lord, Jehovah of Hosts:
Go and see that steward, Shebna,
overseer of the palace.

16: Say to him, What are you up to?
Who do you think you are,
that you have hewn yourself a tomb here,
like those who hew their sepulchres up high,
carving out graves for themselves in the rock?

17: Jehovah will hurl you away
as an athlete hurls a missile;
he will make you soar like a dart.

18: He will bind you tightly about
and send you spinning like a top
into an open country.
There shall you die,
and your inglorious conveyance there
shall be a disgrace to your master's house.
19: I will thrust you out of office;
you will be expelled from your post.

20: In that day I will commission my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: ...

21 I will clothe him with your robe and bind your girdle on him; I will appoint him your jurisdiction. And he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. ...

22 I will invest him with the keys of the house of David: when he opens none shall shut, when he shuts none shall open.

23 I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place, and he will be a throne of glory to the house of his father. ...

24 ... Upon him shall be hung all the glory of his father's house: his descendants and posterity, including all the lesser vessels, from ordinary bowls to the most common containers.

25 In that day, says Jehovah of Hosts, the nail that was fastened in a sure place shall be removed. It shall be dislodged and fall, and the burden hanging on it cut off. Jehovah has spoken it.

Gary Gibson

Brett said...

WHY THESE ARE NOT COURTS OF LOVE

Another sad thing is, I think that sometimes, when done right, a disciplinary council can be a court of love. This mocks that idea.

They are transparently not "courts of love." If they were courts of love, they would be concerned with saving the individuals, they would be concerned about their salvation and teaching them. Repentance is not just blindly following orders, it's gaining knowledge and living according to that knowledge.

In the case of Will Carter, this did not happen. They were unable to identify what he had done that was apostate. They were unable to teach him anything.

In the case of Kate, how can they teach her and correct her if she is not there.

If they loved them, they would teach them. This is discipline, this is shutting them up, pure and simple.

One who wonders said...

Rock,

My prayers are with you. I have personally dealt with the challenge of members of my family being excommunicated without just cause.

Just before my wife and I got married she confided in me that a close family member would be unable to attend because he was excommunicated. She feared revealing this to me because she felt it might influence my decision to marry her. I remember responding "That's OK, everyone makes mistakes. He can repent." She then confided that he had been excommunicated for attending a meeting where he and some friends were merely discussing the meat of the gospel. The accusation was apostacy. In his trial, he asked the stake president what he could do to "repent" for going to that meeting. He was told "we don't know" and spent over two decades without formal membership. The excommunication was later rescinded.

My rose colored glasses were cracked. Excommunication for apostacy without just cause? How could it be? I was invited to a meeting with him, his stake president, my fiancée and I. I learned it was true and that it had originated from church headquarters.

But there was something striking about his response about how he had been affected all those years. He said never once did he go without any of the spiritual gifts and blessings Heavenly Father conferred on him. Never once did he lose his priesthood power even though he no longer had legal standing to use it in the corporate church. Indeed, he grew stronger and was much more capable of seeing things as they really are after being kicked out of "the matrix"

You seem to have his same courage. I know you will be fine if you just keep the same positive attitude you now have. I appreciate all your postings. I love your heart and agree with much of what you write. More importantly, I believe in your right to believe and share whatever you believe is true. It would be refreshing if the corporate church actually followed the eleventh article of faith.

Keep up the wonderful blog. You are making a positive difference in the world. One last thought, people of integrity expect to be believed and when they are not, they let time prove them right.

-One who wonders

Friar Tuck said...

@lakobus lustus:

I guess I simply don't understand your philosophy of fighting the brethren if they do not provide the answers that members want from them. I don't really see the point. All the doctrine in the church has been settled for a long time.

Take Kate Kelly, for example. Do you honestly thing the brethren are going to back peddle on ordaining women? They can't and they wont. To do so would be to admit that somewhere along the line someone made a mistake. For the sake of continuity things must continue as they are. Now if you think the brethren are wrong for taking this stance, you simply do not understand politics. I am fine with what the GAs do. If I wasn't fine I would leave the church. If you can't get satisfactory answers maybe you need to leave the church, its that simple. I'm not being mean, I'm being practical.

Things will not be this way for eternity my friend. I personally feel no need to destroy the church because the leaders say some things I don't agree with. The rich and powerful have ruled this planet since day one. That's politics. Even the American Revolution was fought by poor farmers while the rich slumbered in their feather beds. The poor were tempted with promises of land that they never got.

I am a pragmatic person. There are things in life that I can change and things I cannot change and I try to have the wisdom to know the difference. Why do people think they need to change what they perceive to be a broken system? The Lord requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He never told us it was our personal responsibility to square away his kingdom. It is much like a ship...there can only be one captain, and unless the captain commits a horrible atrocity, he cannot be replaced while the ship is under sail; that is called mutiny. There are laws against mutiny and for good reason. A ship at sea without a clear leader and a mutinous crew is an absolute disaster. Someday a bad captain may have to answer to charges for his conduct at sea. Meanwhile, he is in charge.

Earth is a temporary proving ground. What Thomas Monson does with the church has absolutely no effect on the eternal reward that I will receive. Countless millions have lived on this Earth when the gospel was absent, yet they will be judged according to their works and hearts and receive a commensurate reward. The church is a tool for you to use for your personal perfection, yet your personal perfection does not depend on the church. The church offers sacred ordinance that enable us to gain the Celestial kingdom, and that is really the most important and only indispensable function the church serves.

Friar Tuck said...

@Christian A. Finke:

I admire your strong faith, and your story is compelling and simple. The gospel is not complicated, is it?

Melody said...

Wow. Well said. And goin' down guns blazing, I suppose. You're a rare and wonderful thing, brother Waterman. God bless.

Mike in DC said...

I am not LDS, or any other kind of Mormon, but as a fellow Christian I applaud your commitment to the truth.

Jacob said...

@Friar T:

President Hinckley gave a fascinating interview to the Australian Broadcasting Company in which he said he would need to receive a revelation from God on ordaining women but that women would need to agitate for it first for him to ask. It's noteworthy that President Hinckley asserted that no one had agitated for that revelation because they were happy like his wife.

http://www.mormoninfographics.com/2014/06/gordon-b-hinckley-claims-agitation-is.html

Over and over the pattern that unfolds in the D&C is for Joseph to have questions, concerns and explorations which in turn connect him through his gift of revelation to visions and revelations. I think Kate Kelly is remarkably restrained and astute in her pursuing a chance to ask President Monson to ask the Lord about ordaining women to the priesthood.

Jake G. said...

@rock Thank you for your cathartic words, I feel like reading them on paper makes me feel better about similar unsaid feelings in my heart.

I love these comments as well, well thought out messages from supporters of multiple sides. Lots to think about.

I'm wondering if you could link/refer to a reference for this paragraph? Maybe it came from the book Lost Apostles? "In the case of Mormon Hebrew Scholar Avraham Gileadi, Packer actually got Gileadi's non-compliant stake president released, then put in a replacement who would be more malleable to Packer's wishes."

John Cox said...

You say that your Bishop claimed not to have read your blog and was acting under the direction of a Seventy. This would be concerning if you didn't spend the rest of your article undermining your credulity by rushing to defend the good standing of people you've either done no research on or can easily see are in strong opposition to the Church and it's teachings.
John Dehlin says this on his Mormon Stories Profile:
"I have deep love for the LDS church, for its members, and for its former members. At present, I consider myself to be an unorthodox, unorthoprax Mormon. I believe in many of the central, non-distinctive moral teachings within Mormonism (e.g., love, kindness, charity, forgiveness, faith, hope), but either have serious doubts about, or no longer believe many of the fundamental LDS church truth claims (e.g., anthropomorphic God, “one true church with exclusive authority,” that the current LDS church prophet receives privileged communications from God, that The Book of Mormon and The Book of Abraham are translations, polygamy, racist teachings in the Book of Mormon, that ordinances are required for salvation, proxy work for the dead).

I do not believe that anyone has any idea what God and/or the afterlife are really like (if these things, indeed, exist at all)."
This clearly agnostic clearly apostate man, also shared the letter he received from his local leadership. A letter which referenced his own request to be removed from the church.
What a conspiracy it must be if this rogue Apostle managed to convince John Dehlin to start his own excommunication.
As for Ordain Women and Kate Kelly; Sister Kelly is not just credited with or accused of founding and leading the organization she actively and undisputedly claims it herself.
You may not have paid close attention, but I've been keeping an eye on the organization since it sprung up. Initially I was excited, I know the day will come when the priesthood will be extended towards women. As you say there is no scripture against it. However, there is neither a scripture for it. And that is how the priesthood works, by invitation, by calling. That there is no scripture calling women to the priesthood is the only justification needed for women not having the priesthood.
"No man taketh this honor unto himself except he who was called of God as was Aaron."
I would have gladly joined the movement if not for the demanding and confrontational tone they have exhibited throughout. They started with protests assuming injustice had been done.

So there are two conclusions I can come to here. Either you have an axe to grind with the church and feel like playing the victim is the best way to make the church look bad. In which case, I pity the frustration you'll have in smashing against the rock rolling forth.

Or you are misled, and have let your pride get in the way of your judgement. You are hurt, you feel wrongly accused and you look for solace in those who you hope to be wrongly accused with you. In which case, I invite you to stop, pray for charity towards those Apostles you deem your enemy. Even if you are right and they are apostates rather than Apostles, you are commanded to love them. And when you love them, ask Christ in faith if He is leading them, or if they have gone astray.
If He is leading them, than trust them, and forgive their imperfections. If He is not leading them, don't wait to be excommunicated leave with all haste. And sound the trumpet as you go.
This is my advice, in love,
John Cox

Friar Tuck said...

@Jacob;

I really can't understand Kate Kelly. She has a career, a husband, a child, and she wants more responsibility?

A woman does not need the priesthood to be equal to a man. Women are such incredible creatures. My wife has such a nurturing spirit and love and care for children, it is amazing to watch. I will never be my wife's equal in this regard, especially since I cannot have children.

I personally feel that men and women make decisions together in a righteous atmosphere. Only one person can be the head of a family and the ultimate decision maker, and men often are because women often care for children. Motherhood is not a second class job. Motherhood is the most amazing thing there is.

BK said...

John Cox,

Just what is John Dehlin (or Rock) 'apostate' from? The Church leaders and their doctrines? Why is that bad? Why should they listen to church leaders over Christ?

It is usually a compliment these days to call someone an apostate from the Church, since church leaders are clearly apostate from Christ's teachings and have been since it's beginnings.

Where is John Dehlin or Rock apostate from Christ's teachings? It mattereth not that they don't blindly bow to church leaders and their contrary philosophies & doctrines, for God only requires and wants us to follow Christ and not any false prophets like those who lead the Church who teach falsehoods to lead us astray.

And I would bet that John and Rock have already prayed, numerous times about their beliefs and actions, and have received their own answers from God, which seem to be consistent with what Christ has taught.

Whereas the Church leaders are not consistent with Christ, in fact they teach and act opposite to his teachings. So it seems they are the ones who need to do some more praying and studying.

I think it would do you well to also take your own advice and pray about and more especially 'study' & live the words of Christ, so you can discern between truth & error better and more able to tell true apostates from humble followers of Christ, lest you continue to be led astray.

Sharon Murphy said...

I am truly amazed all of this is happening. One would think after all the blow back from Prop 8, that things like this would not come to light to make it to the national news. I read your blog all the time and it does not influence how I feel about the church. Your writings are your own opinion, and your opinion only. It does not change my opinion. It is interesting to see what others think. Everyone has a different experience with their religion. I do have a problem with busy-buddy Mormons who think they are entitled to come into my own home and tell me how I should be running my home. I did not vote for Mitt and I thought he was not the person for me to vote for. I really love it when others tell me that I don't follow the Prophet. I ask them who died and left them in charge.......

Ally Isom left the frying pan and jumped into the fire. After working for our Utah governor, she probably learned how to spin things for the propose of the Righteous Right. I hope she enjoys her new job.....

BK said...

Having the 'Priesthood' does not give women more 'responsibility' then they have now, it only gives them more 'power', God's power, to do their current responsibilities more effectively.

If a woman was a 'Co-Bishop' over the women of a ward while her husband was a Co-Bishop over the men, then that would be no more responsibility then a Relief Society President already has, but it would give her alot more power and voice over how to help those women, then having to submit and listen to a male leader's decisions and judgment that often is not in touch with women's issues.

But righteous women already have all the Priesthood power that men have and also totally equal station with men in all things like church leadership (if a true church was even on the earth), but especially in the home, where both husband and wife are equal 'heads' of the home and make all decisions together. In the event of an impasse, a righteous man would go with what his wife feels is best, not with what he wants. So there is no problem with even impasses.

It has only been the false teachings of prideful church leaders like BY on, who have taught that men are the leaders and presiders of the home, when clearly God gives women the calling of 'head of the home & presider' 1st and foremost. Men are only allowed to be presiders and 'Co-heads of the home' along with the wife, if he is righteous and loves & respects his wife as he vowed he would. If not, women just have to preside over their children and make decisions alone with God's help.

The Church leaders have no authority or Priesthood themselves, to give or deny women anyway, let alone give men any.

Only God gives his Priesthood power out, to both women & men who are worthy, no matter what religion they might be.

Kate has a righteous desire to want Priesthood power and equal positions with men in the Church, but she is unfortunately asking the wrong people for such blessings, for the Church leaders have no such power or authority to give it even if they repented of their unrighteous dominion against women and ordained her and all women to the Priesthood. For Brigham Young never had any Priesthood keys or authority to begin with, wicked men can't maintain or pass on Priesthood or keys.

Edwin Wilde said...

Rock,
Can you point out where it is specifically stated in LDS scripture that discipline is only suppose to come at the local level? I've been trying to find and have come up short. I have read Sections 42, 102 and 107, yet nothing seems to isolate that thought...at least that I can find.
Just wondering if you can help.
Great post by the way!

the_mormonion said...

Friar Tuck,

You said: "What Thomas Monson does with the church has absolutely no effect on the eternal reward that I will receive. Countless millions have lived on this Earth when the gospel was absent, yet they will be judged according to their works and hearts and receive a commensurate reward. The church is a tool for you to use for your personal perfection, yet your personal perfection does not depend on the church. The church offers sacred ordinance that enable us to gain the Celestial kingdom, and that is really the most important and only indispensable function the church serves."

This attitude is EXACTLY what's driving people from the Church. It's all about me-me-me and MY righteousness and MY salvation. "What Thomas Monson does with the church has absolutely no effect on the eternal reward that I will receive." Are you serious? This we'll-sort-it-out-when-we-get-to-heaven mindset of self preservation does nothing to establish Zion in the here and now, something that is considered an essential doctrine in the restored Church--or used to be, at least.

So you can bet the bank that when Thomas Monson does things to affect the church, anybody who gives a damn about the current state of affairs on this fragile planet is going to be closely evaluating his words and deeds. And when those words and deeds go contrary to the word of the Lord--such as the rejection of the immutable covenant on war revealed in D&C 98 in lieu of tacit and sometimes explicit support of American aggression overseas, it is our duty to speak out against that. To say nothing, hiding under the comfortable manmade doctrine of "Follow the Prophet," indeed does affect our eternal state, good sir. We will be held accountable for following men over God. And it affects the lives of people inside and outside the church in momentous ways. From the LDS marine killed in a pointless war given the green light by the brethren to the Iraqi mother killed by the LDS marine's stray bullet because she was a little too close to his target, what the brethren say and do matters. Especially as long as so many people follow what these men say to the letter.

Keep up the good fight, Rock. (By the way, loved the Star Wars meme. You can definitely pull off the Alec Guinness vibe.)

Amber said...

Nice post. Your posts have definitely helped me on my journey. It was so confusing when I ran into the corporate church attitude with the Handbook as gospel and the attitude of "do what I say, I don't care what you think and if you don't do what I say then you are evil" attitude. It was so relieving to realize that the church and the gospel are 2 very separate things, your blog helped me solidify that truth in my mind and I thank you! God comes first, corporate church comes close to the bottom of my priority list and excommunication doesn't mean much to me, so I will continue reading your posts and hope you continue to post!

Martin Harris Luther said...

Rock,

I've had a powerful life experience this last weekend. Having read most of your blog, and having read Toscano's "The Sanctity of Dissent", I decided to be honest with a church leader about my disagreements with things that were going on in my Stake. I was very careful, though, in how I said it. I believe that there are two things that are essential in our communication with others: one, we should be honest, and two, we should be kind. That's a really hard thing to do sometimes, but I think honesty with kindness is the balm that our world is most in need of right now. I received a lot of input from loved ones who reviewed my letter to my church leader, and they helped me strike that balance between honesty and kindness. I think I really achieved it.

And do you know what? My church leader really took it to heart. He was so humble when we met to speak about it. If I thought I was afraid of that meeting, he seemed even more so. In our conversation, he didn't push back against anything I said, and he made a safe place for me to be authentic without fear. It was a life changing experience for me.

I don't know if all church leaders would have reacted the way he did, but there is one thing I have come to believe more deeply after this past weekend: people often rise or fall to meet our expectations of them. Expecting the best in my church leader, that is what I found there.

Your situation is different than mine (obviously), and I make no judgement of how you choose to frame your interactions with church leaders should you be called in for a disciplinary council. But I would just offer this as something to consider: Give equal weight to kindness that you give to honesty.

God bless,

Martin

Anonymous said...

Rock, you and John Dehlin have been the ones to help me through my crisis of faith. I had a friend lead me to your website when I mentioned things I was struggling with. Your blog posts have helped strengthen my testimony of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, you have helped me to understand that it is OK that I feel bored and uninspired in church meetings and that I am not an apostate for feeling as such. And you explained clearly why.
You have helped my marriage in a way I cannot express. My wife and I had never communicated in such a deep personal level about gospel topics and church related issues. Conversations we can have today we couldn't have before. And it is because you have helped us understand topics that we ourselves could not reconcile as rank and file members of the LDS church.
I am executive secretary to my bishop and I have struggled these last few weeks when I read of the upcoming disciplinary councils. But I have realized my own mission in the church is to try and be a voice of reason and understanding in the "leadership" meetings I attend. I will continue to do what I can to bring reason and accountability to these meetings as long as they can tolerate me in my position. I am tired of members of the church being treated as something less because they have struggles in their faith or heaven forbid they skip Sunday School to go home and have Diet Coke.
And there is Kate Kelly. I, same as you, did not know much about her until recently. But this whole undertaking to rid the church of "dissenters" led me right to her website. I had to know what she was "guilty" of. And she is a good woman. And she is asking GOOD questions. And I have since struggled to understand why the church PR department members are the only ones answering any of her questions. And they aren't even answering, the better word would be deflecting. I have asked several times in the last two weeks, where are the 15 men that are allowed to answer these questions? Why do they remain silent? Do they not realize by them not addressing the questions directly themselves that there appears to be no mouthpiece for The Lord? Now granted I cannot say that they are not addressing these issues with The Lord in earnest supplication. But why can't they just say that they have taken up the matters in prayer? And why can't The Lord give them the answers? Whether or not it is in favor of Ordain Women?
Thank you again for your courage. Thank you again for helping me stay in the church (even the corporate church). And thank you for helping me understand the difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and "the church".

J A D

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Jake G,
Regarding the replacing of Avraham Gileadi's Stake President: I had read about this some years ago, but before I published, I confirmed that on Saturday by phone with Paul Toscano.

There was a piece either in Sunstone or Dialogue titled "The September Six: 10 Years After" or something similar if you can find that. Much of what I know of these folks has been obtained first hand from them.

Denver Snuffer's Stake President also refused to cooperate with Downtown, but since his cycle was nearly over, they waited until his regular release time. The SP, knowing of the pressure the next SP would doubtless be put under, renewed Denver's temple recommend so that at least Denver would have that for the next two years and wouldn't have to face unnecessary questioning.

There is a lot more Denver told me in confidence. Some of what I have learned about Gileadi is in confidence also. He never did care for the notoriety all this brought.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Edwin Wilde,
The specific scriptures you're looking for can all be found in the piece linked to "The Doctrine Against Dissent." That piece is an excellent walk-through regarding how things are supposed to be done, and if I could have (meaning if my piece wasn't already overly long) I would have simply reposted his entire article, it's that thorough.

For the sake of time, I took the shortcut and just referred the reader to those sections of the D&C, but it's important to know those sections pertain to other matters in addition to church courts.

LDSDPer said...

John Cox said this:



John Dehlin says this on his Mormon Stories Profile:
"I have deep love for the LDS church, for its members, and for its former members. At present, I consider myself to be an unorthodox, unorthoprax Mormon. I believe in many of the central, non-distinctive moral teachings within Mormonism (e.g., love, kindness, charity, forgiveness, faith, hope), but either have serious doubts about, or no longer believe many of the fundamental LDS church truth claims (e.g., anthropomorphic God, “one true church with exclusive authority,” that the current LDS church prophet receives privileged communications from God, that The Book of Mormon and The Book of Abraham are translations, polygamy, racist teachings in the


Book of Mormon, that ordinances are required for salvation, proxy work for the dead).

I do not believe that anyone has any idea what God and/or the afterlife are really like (if these things, indeed, exist at all)."



But most especially John Cox said this:

This clearly agnostic clearly apostate man,


This man is being honest. Many "Mormons" who base their membership in the church on the Book of Mormon (and Jesus Christ) also do not have answers to many of these questions, and if they claim to have answers, they are not being honest.

But you have stated, as a regular member, I assume, that this man is 'clearly' an agnostic/apostate, as though those two words have anything to do with each other.

There are a number of issues he mentioned with which I also have issue, and I have a clear and certain testimony of Jesus Christ and I believe the Book of Mormon is the only truly valid scripture *we* have, though I base that on its unequivocal witness for Jesus Christ.

I do believe Joseph Smith had prophetic gifts; I don't know how far they went. I am not sure anyone does, because all of that happened almost 200 years ago, and there were serpents thrown into the fray.

I am writing these words to John Cox, because of what he/you said, but I am hoping that those who believe in Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon will read them.

I have serious doubts about: historical racial 'mistakes' (Brigham Young never received a revelation to take the priesthood away from black men, and he depended upon the bible for his information; he preferred the bible to the Book of Mormon) made in the church and even more serious doubts about the legitimacy, ever, of polygamy.

I believe the book of Abraham was just that and not really more accurate than most of the Old Testament. That doesn't make Joseph Smith a charlatan at all; it just was what it was and nothing more. And "Mormons" grabbed it, continuing to ignore the Book of Mormon, which had been Joseph's chief mission, and said, "ah, another scripture, and this one lets us put down people of color--YAY!"

As for temple work, I am uncertain, because of the condemnation the church was put under nearly 200 years ago. How valid is the work that *we* do? And I have done plenty of it.

John Dehlin is something most Mormons have not met. An honest man.

So, am I asking to be removed from the church? No, indeed. I remain and try to bear my witness of Jesus Christ and encourage people to use that which has made *us* unique (The Book of Mormon, not the bible)--

to come unto Him.

I have a feeling, however, that I am the sort of person being targeted. There has certainly been plenty of hatred leveled at me on this blog--

LDSDPer said...

@thirstingforknowledge,

Much of what you say has real validity, and certainly your heartfelt beliefs are sacred, as are those of anyone.

I just want you to know that The Book of Mormon had the bible nailed all over it from the very beginning.

There is nothing in the Book of Mormon that justifies polygamy, for example, and nothing that justified racism, although it is very clear that the Nephites, most of them, were definitely racist. That's part of the beauty of the book; it shows the people as they were, and those who loved Jesus Christ more were more loving towards those who were not like them.

It's kind of amusing that you use the bible to support your belief in Jesus Christ. So did Brigham Young. He argued against the Book of Mormon and for the Bible.

Because I believe he was not a prophet, never a prophet and was used as a trial for the saints, if he was used at all by God (corrupt and bad men are often used by God all over the world and in every time to test the humble)--

I would be reluctant to use the scripture he preferred.

Very few "modern" LDS have even read the Book of Mormon without the Bible being interjected into it.

The bible does talk about 'degrees of glory' and even baptism for the dead, which, you are very correct, the Book of Mormon does not.

I am not certain what kind of 'temple' was in the Land Bountiful, but there are those who believe Joseph Smith's first idea for temples was as a gathering place, not a place for any kind of ceremony that was to be kept from the 'public'.

As for current temple rites, and I am very uncertain, because I believe that the LDS lost their right to Zion and 'power' almost 2 centuries ago and have certainly not gained it back.

I applaud you in your spiritual journey, inasmuch as it is Christ-centered, but you do need to understand that some of *us* had to leave the Bible, completely--

and the Book of Mormon without:

the D&C, the P of GP, and the Bible tacked onto it--

is a very unique, very pure book that leads to Jesus Christ.

I don't read it in the LDS format. All those little topical guide interruptions and the 'manmade' headings--

but the Book of Mormon gives me great hope in Christ and has reaffirmed my deep faith (and more) in Him.

I had to 'drop' the Bible to get there. The Bible was really messing with my mind with its support for racism, polygamy and 'godly' or 'holy' wars--

(which I do not believe can exist)--

I realize there are many things in the New Testament that are very Christ-centered, but I couldn't pull those books apart, and it was hurting me spiritually.

Take out all the 'stuff' that has been surrounding the Book of Mormon almost since it first came off the presses (the early Mormon missionaries used the Bible exclusively; few ever read the Book of Mormon, and Brigham Young angrily denounced Orson Pratt for preaching that Mormons should center on the Book of Mormon)--

and you will find an interesting book--

that does center on Jesus Christ, in spite of those within the book who did terrible things--

those who remain (the non-terrible people) testified of Jesus Christ, rejoiced in Jesus Christ and taught of him tirelessly.

In the meantime, whatever I have said, the important thing is to come unto Christ. However you find Him, and I believe the Creator of Heaven and Earth provides a way for each person to do so--

wherever he/she is in the world or whatever books they know.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I've added an update at the end of the original post to include links to Paul Toscano's memoir, "Road to Exile" and also to an interview PBS did with Paul's wife Margaret regarding her ordeal.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

A reminder for any who would like to hear more detail regarding my story and my views: Today, Monday June 23 from 1-3 pm Mountain Time, I'll be the guest on the Paul Duane Show on KTKK(K-Talk) radio, 630 on the AM dial.

For those who wish to participate, the call in number is 801-254-5855.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Gary Gibson,
I don't know why I used Boyd Packer's corporate name. That doesn't sound like me, does it?

Must have been the life-long conditioning.

Tim said...

Nice Job, Rock. I hope they Ex you so a million people will read this!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Martin Harris Luther,
Excellent advice. I have learned that love is the most powerful force in the universe. Kindness works miracles.

Mark Barker said...

Excellent post, Rock.

The leadership of LDS Inc. should be ashamed.

If anyone should be excommunicated, it should be the top 15 for their lies, cover up of history, and manipulation.

I've come to know the top 15 now as nothing more than a group of liars and charlatans.

They are no more prophets, seers, revelators, or Special Witnesses of Christ than Ronald Mc Donald is.

I have lost all respect for them.

Mark Barker

[P.S. Strengthening Church Membership Committee: Feel free to forward this post to my Bishop. Unlike the top 15, I do not hide behind a Public Relations Representative, and frankly I am fed up with the Church's despicable leadership.]

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I concur with LDSDPer in her response to John Cox. Cox labels John Dehlin and agnostic and an apostate.

Agnostic literally means "not known" so when Dehlin expresses his opinion that some of the truth claims of the church have been beyond his ability to accept for certain, I find nothing wrong with his continuing search to find out.

But "not knowing" is a far cry from apostasy. In my book, an apostate is someone who has turned away from religious beliefs and wants nothing to do with them, not someone who is trying, as John Dehlin is, to reconcile facts with his belief system.

John C. Bennett was an apostate, because he vowed to take vengeance on his former friend Joseph Smith and to destroy the nascent LDS church.

John Dehlin has no such ambitions. He has devoted his life to assisting others to better understand their religion, mostly by holding interviews with other Mormons who have learned that it's possible to embrace the religion in spite of the actions of current leaders who do not appear to respect the doctrines.

John Dehlin's life work is encapsulated in the title of the website he helped maintain: StayLDS.com. His desire is to stay in the church, and President Uchdorff, in his recent conference talk has assured those members who still have doubt that there is room for them here.

So how does wanting to stay LDS make John Dehlin an apostate?

Unknown said...

This shocking news just in: the Church is dishonest.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

On the question of whether John Dehlin's uncertainty on certain questions makes him a candidate for excommunication, David O. McKay was more uncertain than John Dehlin has EVER been, yet they made him an apostle, and later he was president of the Church.

Here's Hugh Nibley describing a talk David O. Mckay gave regarding his own doubts:

"His whole talk was about how skeptical he had always been about the gospel. He said he had never believed it for most of his life and was very skeptical. And of course, he was made an apostle, and he was an apostle at that time. He did believe it, we assumed. He showed a side of skepticism, at least different from all the others. I don't think the others had ever been as skeptical as he was...When he was made an apostle, a lot of people were shocked. 'David Mckay, an Apostle?' Because he had been quite open and honest in expressing his doubts about things."
-From David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, pg 7

CaptainParker1775 said...

Rock,

Count me among the new thousands that have read your blog in the last week or so. I have been an active member of the Church for 40+ years, and many consider me pretty sharp as far as doctrine and church history go. I have read your blog much over the last week, and I can say I have found NOTHING in your writings I disagree with. In fact, I often found myself laughing and saying "I wish I had written that". Your blog has given me hope and has strengthened my testimony of the Gospel. If I were a Jew at the time of Christ's birth, I would still be in the covenant relationship with God, but would be looking at an ecclesiastical leadership taken over by the Idumeans. They arguably still held the keys, but had strayed from the intent. I think we are in a similar situation as we approach the Second Coming. It is absurd to believe in the false doctrine that our leaders are infallible. Yet, if you take Friar Tuck's arguments to their logical conclusion, that is essentially what he is saying. I applaud you for your courage, and thank you personally for strengthening my testimony.

--CaptainParker1775

LDSDPer said...

@anyone about David O. McKay--

I feel cautious saying this, because I don't want to reveal too much--

but the same grandparents who completely disavowed polygamy (with both their sets of parents)--

knew David O. McKay very well--

two generations, both (as the one still living when I was a young girl)--

openly proclaimed polygamy had never been intended by God--

I am finding this interesting, because I know that my grandmother (much older than I, born in the 1880s), while she put forth the Book of Mormon as THE Mormon scripture--

had many, many doubts about the accepted orthodoxy of the times--

The love these people had for David O. McKay was also quite genuine.

The friendship between these people did not last to the third generation, so my parents' generation had no personal acquaintance with Brother McKay--

it was only my unique (and intellectual) grandmother and her parents, especially, though my grandfather agreed about the polygamy and certainly the Book of Mormon, who had been real friends with him.

I don't know more; I only know the stories my grandmother told, and I don't want to go into detail on here--

Friar Tuck said...

@the_mormonion:

I believe in Zion as you do. Joseph Smith did not establish Zion, and neither will Thomas Monson:

D+C103:13 Behold, this is the blessing which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of your brethren—your redemption, and the redemption of your brethren, even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established, no more to be thrown down.

14 Nevertheless, if they pollute their inheritances they shall be thrown down; for I will not spare them if they pollute their inheritances.

15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;

16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.

17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.

18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.

So there is nothing hypocritical about what I wrote. In the mean time we live our lives as best we can. Blogs like this are certainly not contributing to the formation of Zion; they are splitting the church apart. The man like Moses will bring the church together.

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

After some time in hospital, I'm back. For the few of you that offered prayers for me in the comments section of the last blog post, thank you so much.

I must say that reading this piece, i am stunned at Friar Tuck (and the rather amusing Zach Collier). Since you guys seem to have the authority and knowledge down to a tee, instead of me making claims, I would like your answers to a few things:

First, to Zach do you think Brigham's truthfulness in prophecy did not relate to Brigham himself when he said this?-

"I don’t profess to be such a Prophet as were Joseph Smith and Daniel; but I am a Yankee guesser'

Brigham Young, Sermon, July 26, 1857, JD 5:77.

Secondly, do you think that the Church REJECTING outright the Law of Consecration, which was part and parcel of the baptismal convenant, and then rejecting the name of Jesus Christ by taking His divine out of the official name of the church, WITHOUT revelation, but instead in a conference by vote in 1834, was in any way connected to the cursings in Kirtland? Considering the book of Mormon specifically mentioned that consecration was Jesus' commandment which the 4 Nephi folks were so incredibly blessed by following, I'd love to understand why you think the modern corporation of the President of CoJCoLDS still has all the rights, privileges and authority of the church restored to the earth by Jesus through Joseph in 1830?

Thirdly, if you believe we DO have the authority and fulness of the Priesthood, which strangely does not seem to be remotely similar to the one that heals instantly and raises the dead (no reports of these have I ever heard in my almost 20 years as an LDS), then do you think that maybe the Lord got it wrong when He told us in D&C 124:28 in 1841, 11 years after the priesthood was given in 1830-31, that:

28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and RESTORE AGAIN THAT WHICH WAS LOST UNTO YOU, or which HE HATH TAKEN AWAY, even the FULNESS of the priesthood.

...perhaps because:

48 For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord.

Therefore, could you please direct me to where I may take peace in knowing when the Lord, who has stated in 1841 that He took away the fulness of the Priesthood, actually came back and restored AGAIN this Priesthood? Thanks, I'd really love to know.

(to be continued)

Robin Hood said...

Someone accused the church of misleading people when they confirmed that they (Church HQ) don't get involved in disciplinary situations, but that they are left to local church leadership. It has been stated here that there is evidence that an Area Seventy has been involved in some way in disciplinary concerns.

An Area Seventy is not a general authority and is, in fact, a local church leader. Perhaps not as local as some would like, but that is by the by. He is certainly not "Church HQ".

Just thought I would point this out.

I. Willet DeVale said...

Friar Tuck, you provided a scripture, then stated a conclusion that was not found in that scripture:"The man like Moses will bring the church together."

How will this man bring the church together? While it is true the church is presently experiencing a schism, that schism has been been brought about because large numbers of members are deciding to follow Christ rather than the leaders, fulfilling the words of Christ who said "I come not to bring peace, but a sword."

That sword is a metaphor for dividing His followers from those who merely draw near to Him with their lips.

Anonymous said...

@ Friar Tuck

You sure have a lot to say about your conviction about the church and how right you believe you are, however I find it rather interesting that you aren't willing to do it under your true identity. So much for standing for something. I guess in your case it is anonymously standing for something. You critique Rock, however you lack the courage he has to at least speak his mind for the world to see and hear. Let me tell you this, it takes more courage to say you don't know when you are supposed to know and put your name behind it than to sit and profess your beliefs from behind the curtain. You have zero courage.

Craig Johnson

Ordain 'em anyway said...

Some people don't need the Corporate Church to interpret what's right and wrong for them. It's just obvious:

http://bit.ly/1qEJNiA

Thanks.

Ferro Rocher said...

Fourthly, in all our manuals we speak officially of having two priesthoods- Aaronic and Melchizidek. However, if you read Joseph's actual words, in his final sermons in Nauvoo, he stated that there were THREE:

“1st Levitical which was never able to administer a Blessing but Only to bind heavy burdens which neither they nor their father able to bear

2 Abrahams Patriarchal power WHICH IS THE GRESTEST YET EXPERIENCED IN THIS (Nauvoo, obviously) CHURCH

3d That of Melchisedec who had still greater power even power of an endless life" (More on this priesthood in a moment)

Further, he stated which Priesthood would be needed for the Temple to be built:

“2d Priesthood, patriarchal authority, finish that temple and god Will fill it with power.”

Now, could you deduce which Priesthood is missing of the three if we only have two? Perhaps a look at the definition of Melchizekdek in JST Genesis 14 will help you to help me:



27 ...an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;

29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;

31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.

32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

So, this power to do all things, which comes DIRECTLY from the voice of God, NOT by man laying hands, nor by lineage of father/mother, and to be able to divide seas and break mountains...you have this? OR, perhaps this is what God confirms in D&C 124:28 that He took away and needs to restore AGAIN (that means a 2nd time)? The two priesthoods that I received were both by laying on of hands, and I did NOT hear the VOICE OF GOD directly calling me. Perhaps, you did??

(to be continued)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
Area Seventies are considered to have substantially more pull than the average local leaders. Isn't it true that the Area Seventy's role is to act as a conduit, providing instructions from Salt Lake City to the area leaders?

Given the many documented instances where members of the Twelve directly pressured stake presidents (Denver Snuffer, Paul Toscano, and others), I'm inclined to believe my Area Seventy did not proceed on his own accord, particularly since this call came within two days of my publicly challenging a statement made by Dallin Oaks which I declared to be false doctrine.

My blog is watched closely by the Strengthening The Members Committee, and even if Oaks was not apprised of my "impudence," apostle Russell Nelson certain was.

Friar Tuck said...

@Craig Johnson:

My friend, the majority of posters here do so anonymously or just using a first name. Nice try.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Daymon Smith reminds us a woman was ordained in D&C 25:

http://daymonsmith.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/new-doctrine-thou-shalt-be-ordained-my-daughter/

PNW_DPer said...

I know of a few miraculous healings. There was a group of YM/Scout leaders backpacking into deep wilderness when one of them suffered a serious accident scrambling on some rocks, and so badly injured he could not walk, or even move. After a priesthood blessing, he was able to walk out on his own. Also, a woman who had been a very rebellious chain-smoking jack-mormon all her life, about the time she finally prepared to go to get sealed to her husband and still active children, got diagnosed with an advanced case of lung cancer. On a follow up visit, after a priesthood blessing, the doctors could not find any sign of the cancer. Both of these cases, however, were many years ago. The backpacker in the 1960's, the chain-smoker in the early 70's (I knew both of these people personally, the woman was my grandmother.)

The sad part is, these stories sound extremely implausible to me now in spite of my personal acquaintance with both of these people, due to the extreme rarity of such signs in the church in the in the 21st century.

Friar Tuck said...


@ I. Willet DeVale :

D+C 85:7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;

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

This man is the same man that the Lord called a Moses. We know this because he arranges the inheritances of the saints (in Zion.) Zion is the land, it is a sacred land, a holy place, and all that dwell there are held to a higher standard.

You are mistaken if you believe that there is anyone in the church that can heal the divide. The divide will be healed by the Lord himself, by his representative (the man like Moses). This is what I have been saying all along. Yet people continue to fight against a church hierarchy that will come to naught anyway.

I. Willet DeVale said...

Friar Tuck,
But Craig Johnson does. So does Rock Waterman and many others who valiantly proclaim the truth, which is what you purport to be doing. So why not you? Why would you, so certain in all your declarations, hide under a pseudonym? And not just ONE pseudonym, but several.

It's not like we don't know who you are. You are the same person who has variously gone by AW and Little Rock.

So what are YOU hiding from? Some who go by usernames here feel it is necessary given the current climate of persecution in the church. But you are the guy carrying the water for the "follow the leader" crowd. Why are you hiding YOUR identity?

Ferro Rocher said...

As for Friar Tuck, I have no idea who you are, but something smells very fishy about you.

You are CONSTANTLY on Rock's blog ripping him apart for standing up against the modern day Gadiantons- the Gadiantons looked and acted like true believers in church and government, and according to the Book of Mormon...

38 the (LDS?) Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had SEDUCED the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them...

Considering there are photos online of Gordon Hinckley, Monson and Romney sharing Temple (Masonic) handshakes with Bush, Cheney etc (Google this if you haven;t yet seen the pics) perhaps there is a possibility that Nephi was right- perhaps we 'should liken the scriptures unto ourselves', because it seems that...

39 ...thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.

Building monstrous malls instead of feeding the poor, giving low-interest loans to the faithful low income folk (instead of to the GA's) who are STRUGGLING from paying between 50-70% of income as tax to these Masonic handshake sharing gentlemen as IRS tax and Tithing/Fast Offerings, when Book of Mormon states that 20%, or one fifth, is abominable enough (see king Noah). Or am I wrong here?

Friar, what authority are you suggesting the 'Brethren' have? They do not have the fulness of the priesthood as I have explained above; they have never, unlike Joseph, but just like your two Masonic buddies Brigham and Heber, NEVER declared they have seen an angel or the Lord, which is a pre-requisite to EVERY prophet in the Book of Mormon who then boldly went forth and stated this happened in their testimony.

Any reason you use Brig and Heber lack of face-to-face contact with God as the new standard for being a prophet, in addition to not a single one of them adding so much as a line of scripture to the canon since Joseph? Or Pres Grant, who, without revelation, took out the book of scripture 'Lectures on Faith' which was put into the 1835 D&C by Joseph smith and by the church's common consent, in 1921, WITHOUT revelation to do so, nor by common consent of the church? Do you think Moroni might have been talking about us when he talks about the 'Gentiles...transfiguring the Word of God'??

Friar, for a guy who has almost made commenting on Rock's blog a full-time job, I'm almost wondering if you are working for the church. Surely, you cannot be ignorant of the facts I have presented and still blindly follow the board of directors, lawyers and businessmen, a.k.a. Modern Day Gadiantons, who all keep have an amazing network to profit from by keeping it all in the family.

Why would anyone be afraid of these fake fakirs? I have stated before-

No healings? No raising the dead? No miracles like giving the deaf their hearing and the blind their sight, like Jesus' apostles did? No new revelation like Joseph Smith? Then it is simple- no priesthood. And if there is no priesthood, then there is no authority. And if you have a problem with that, consult once again D&C 124:28 and take it up with the Lord.

But for goodness sake, stop calling this Babylonian empire 'Zion'. Zion can NOT be moved out of it's place. It is not SLC, not any stakes outside of where it should be- Missouri. Read the scritpures and stop being seduced by the Gadiantons who have you cupped in their hand, about to circumcise your complete free agency to stand up and question.

Ferro

Friar Tuck said...

Rock stated:

"Daymon Smith reminds us a woman was ordained in D&C 25"


Daymon Smith stated:

"Of course, she was not “given” the Priesthood by this ordination, because “the Priesthood” didn’t yet exist as something one could pass around to other folks, not yet, anyway."

Friar Tuck said...

@Ferro:

I know you have been away for a while, but I have covered just about everything you are talking about and I am not going to rehash it.

You never even responded to the post I made to you about temple endowments. That is back when you said you were interested in knowing my opinions on a variety of subjects.

Friar Tuck said...

@ I. Willet DeVale:

One reason I don't use my real name here is that I don't want the church to contact me. I know the church monitors this blog.

I made some comments on Rock's Facebook page a while back, and with 2 days the church came to my doorstep. I have lived in this house for three years and have never been to my local ward. There is no way they could possibly know that I was here.

But as usual, you and Johnson think that there is only one possible explanation for any given circumstance given your limited perspectives.

Ferro Rocher said...

Friar,

i wasn't aware you had posted that.

I will eagerly check it out and respond.

From what i have thus read of yours in that last post, i never saw anything covering what i am talking about.

Since i may be a bit slow to understand, and considering my efforts to undertake writing a rebuttal to you, why don't you be charitable and rebutt my rebuttal in a summary so all those in this blog post can see you have answers for my claims that the Church of Jesus Christ is no longer on the earth today.

(to be continued)

Ferro Rocher said...

For the benefit of those who haven't read anything of my historical research yet:

I believe the Church was the true and living church between 1830-1834, known as 'The Church of Christ/Jesus Christ', which was its original name, and lasted only about a three and a half year period, when it was true to the Book of Mormon, and to the law of the church as contained in section 20 and 42, including consecration, thus being corroborated by visits of angels and Jesus to the saints, and of folks getting their calling and election being made sure.

I believe the church screwed up then, lost authority and power, but were given a chance to repent and in 1838 Joseph got the revelation to put the name of Jesus back into the church and for the first time ever the name was 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' which was mainly comprised of the saints from Europe, new blood, new chance.

Masonry, firmly condemned by the BoM, took root thanks to two very solid Masons, Brigham and Heber Kimball, who were Masons much before they joined the church in the mid-1820's, strangely took over the church when Joseph, Hyrum got murdered, by who else, Masons. A month later, their brother Samuel mysteriously dies having been administered a white powder. Most of th Smith family believed Brigham, a.k.a. Mr Blood-Atonement himself, had something to do with this.

Since the two Masons took over, neither they nor ANY succeeding president has ever done what the one and only prophet, Joseph, has done- testified of seeing Jesus face to face, being ministered to by angels, healing folks, raising Sidney Rigdon's daughter from the dead, translating ancient scripture, giving new revelations that are part of standard works...the list goes on.

The church of Jesus Christ is not on the earth today, and is not true nor living. We don't have the 3 priesthoods, and there are ZERO manifestations of power. All we have is a shadow and type of King Noah's era- build buildings etc.

What we do need is an Alma amongst the 12/15, and an Abinadi. An we need, like King Mosiah's people, to COLLECTIVELY get on our knees and pray and repent of our Babylonian ways together with one voice. The pattern is there in the Book of Mormon!

The fakirs in SLC, the fake Zion, can just get lost to be honest. Less and less of the believers in the BoM and the mission of Joseph Smith have any faith in these shadow and types of King Noah's priests who sit in their seats above the congregation and encourage everyone to testify at the Rameumpton how amazing King Noah is (presently that shadow rests on Tommy Monson) and how the growth of the church is obvious by the number of great and spacious buildings built (and getting emptier by the month, I may add).

Forget this idol/idle worship of the arms of flesh in the 15 at SLC. Their all have seduced the starving, thirsty faithful. Turn to Jesus of the Book of Mormon, like Enos did!! Just like Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Moroni, and all the others- they knew their
established church was corrupt and turned DIRECTLY to Jesus, their creator, the God who created and loved them, and loves us who also turn to Him directly, and bypass the arm of flesh!

Brigham did NOT have the mantle of Joseph on him- it is a lie. He did not follow the protocol for a new leader as put forth by the Lord in section 43, which would have had Sidney Rigdon at the head, or, as being the only surviving person of the First Pres. to ordain a new First Presidency.

(to be continued)

Ferro Rocher said...

Brigham was a Mason, connected to the Jesuits (a whole story to be uncovered there, believe me) and usurped he church leadership from Sidney, who incidentally is the ONLY modern guy to be mentioned in the Book of Mormon, if Joseph Smith is too:

17 And the Lord hath said: I will raise up a Moses; and I will give power unto him in a rod; and I will give judgment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue, that he shall speak much, for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will write unto him my law, by the finger of mine own hand; and I will make a SPOKESMAN for him.

18 And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the SPOKESMAN of thy loins shall declare it.

Brigham didn't even use the Book of Mormon, and therefore followed practically NOTHING from it.

Don;t be seduced by this whole charade! The Book of Mormon is the real deal- the rest of it to be seriously investigated historically. Our return as a body of Jesus' followers must be directly to Him and Him only.

His 'anointed' are NOT on the earth today. But the real servants will return! Read Jacob 5 and section 101...will we heed them?!!

Melissa said...

@Jake G:

If we weren't going through a similar scenario today, you'd read the account of the September Six and think it was something out of the Dark Ages.
https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/092-65-79.pdf

LDSDPer said...

@CaptainParker1775--

hear, hear!

:)

Other LDS scholars (I never made a connection until I read several here and there on various Mormon blogs, I think one or two even on Rock's blog) have made that 'apostasy in the time of Jesus' parallel--

Interesting how, while pointing out their blatant hypocrisy, he left them alone to do their administrative work--

and their dirty work. :(

LDSDPer said...

@Ferro,

Glad you are out of the hospital. I hope the effects of what happened to you are not lasting. Or . . . well, speedy healing to you.

I have a feeling you were enjoying nature which makes the entire experience even more difficult.

:(

You can type at least!!! :)

Some of us (well, me) are barely moving, but we can still type--

:)

That's my cue. :)

37andholding said...

Very precise info you've shared Ferro. Thank you!
It's helping me see better. I'm glad you are back and like LDSDPER said, I hope the best for you and your health. I enjoy reading your comments.

CaptainParker1775 said...

Sorry to go up 10,000 feet...I don't mean to be "Captain Obvious" here... but in the book reserved for our day, the Book of Mormon(2 Ne 28), there were three groups you don't want to be in:

20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

Specific to verse 21, we are not warned that we will be disaffected from our righteous leadership, but rather generally we who are affiliated with the church will be full of apathy and say "all is well in Zion" when clearly all is not well. Do we not believe the Book of Mormon (which the Nephites and Lamanites never had - was brought forth for us)to be the word of God?

Isn't it clear what is going on? This is prophecy being fulfilled. I just hope the Second Coming of the Savior will be in my lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Kate Kelly has been excommunicated. I congratulate the church leaders on their swift and decisive decision against apostasy.

TM

Anonymous said...

Next is Dehlin, then Waterman. Can you say "hat trick"?

James

Robin Hood said...

Rock,
I disagree with you regarding the status of area seventy's. They may have more pull, as you say, but that does not make them GA's; and your previous ascertion was that the church hierachy (HQ) were involved. It appears you are mistaken on this point. The area seventy answers to the area presidency and does not take orders directly from the Twelve. Area seventy's are local church leaders and are quite autonomous in my experience.

I would also like to point out something else which has concerned me for a while Rock. You have quoted D&C 10:67 on a number of occasions "Behold, this is my doctrine - whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church." But what do you regard the instruction to "come unto me" to mean? Is it just saying a prayer? Being really sorry for something? Believing in Jesus? Trying hard to live a good life? Or perhaps it includes receiving the Priesthood, going to the temple, magnifying our callings etc. The weight of scripture would suggest so.
It's always important to ask the next question Rock.

On a more general note I have to say I am very alarmed and disappointed at the way this blog has developed, and in such a short time! It is no longer edifying or a pleasant place to be, and has morphed into some kind of "village moan-in" (to paraphrase Elder Holland). There appears to be a very unfortunate undertone here which betrays a meaness of spirit at best, and downright confrontation at worst.
Friar Tuck's observation about the spirit of Kirtland is right on the money in my view.

I have a testimony of the gospel of Christ. I once went to the Lord with 3 questions.
1. Is the Book of Mormon what it claims to be?
2. Was Joseph a prophet 'til the day he died?
3. Is the LDS Church recognised by God as the only true and living church.
The Lord answered me in the affirmative on all three counts through an up-close and personal encounter with the Holy Ghost and I have never forgotten it.
There have been times when I wished it wasn't true, even pretended it wasn't (I spent many years away from the church), but I knew I was deceiving myself.
Do I have questions? Of course I do. Do some of the things in the church seem a little odd at times? Yes of course they do. But I know it's true and that now is the time to stand up and be counted.
"Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise" (Martin Luther).

So I believe the time has come for me to part company with this blog. I wish each and every one of you all the very best for the future. God bless you all.
Robin Hood

Alan Rock Waterman said...

My friend Mark seems to have gotten to the nub of the matter:

"Kate Kelly is dangerous because she is publicly asking the "prophets, seers, and revelators" to petition the Lord on a matter of significance. To seek REVELATION. And in doing so she threatened to reveal to the world and church members a very dangerous truth: revelation does not exist."

CaptainParker1775 said...

Kate Kelly has been excommunicated. I disagree with her stance and her tactics, but I also disagree with the way it was handled by Church leadership. @James and @TM, you almost seem giddy with the news. Does this seem Christlike to you? On the other side of the coin, and spectrum, what has Rock done that warrants excommunication? He is simply seeking truth, not actively building his own army of disenfranchised followers, or seeking to build up his own church. All is not well in Zion.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
I believe when the Lord uses the words "repent and come unto me," it would include being baptized and devoting oneself to following Him and doing His will. As He said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Friar Tuck said...

@Robin Hood:

In June of 1837 Joseph was in the Kirtland Temple when he leaned over to Heber C. Kimball and told him that it was time for him to go on a mission to England.

Heber asked him why? Joseph’s answer was to “save this Church.”

This shows how important England was in the early days of the church. Thousands of converts joined, and brought stability to an organization racked with apostasy.

CaptainParker1775 said...

@Friar Tuck
And yet with a 47% increase in missionaries during the current surge, we are only having a 4% increase in baptisms. I don't see where the parallel of today to Kirtland is in prophecy either anciently (BOM) or in the words of the leaders of the church in this dispensation. Yet, we do have a prophecy stating that when all is not well in Zion, we who are affiliated with Zion (who else would use those words) will say "all is well", and are warned against that.

I. Willet DeVale said...

Friar Tuck,
You say to me "You are mistaken if you believe that there is anyone in the church that can heal the divide."

No, I said nothing of the sort, so I am not mistaken if I believe that. Because I don't, and I never said I did.

What I said was that you quoted a scripture, to support your position when nowhere in that scripture did it say what you said it said.

It's one thing to misrepresent scripture; that seems to be your thing, and we've all become accustomed to it. But when you misrepresent me, whoa, buddy, you've crossed the line!

Friar Tuck said...

@Robin Hood:

I heartily agree with you...D+C 10:67 is a metaphor, and it is ridiculous to build the definition of "the church" around a single sentence. The Lord literally caused Joseph Smith to write volumes in fleshing out what the church actually was, how it was to be administered, and what its purpose was. Of course it is convenient for Rock to vastly oversimplify the true definition of the church to fit his worldview.

Friar Tuck said...

@ I. Willet DeVale:

First of all, I gave you a second scripture that supported the first scripture I gave you. I did not misrepresent scripture, I clarified it at your request. I assumed you were familiar with the "Moses man" but it seems you are not. That is OK.earxspa

Secondly, I said "if you believe", I did not say that you believed.

Friar Tuck said...

@ CaptainParker1775:

The only person I have ever heard utter the words "all is well in Zion" is Gordon B. Hinckley.

As far as what Kirtland has to do with us today...are you kidding me?

Look at all the close friends and associates of Joseph Smith that turned on him and condemned him and claimed that he was a fallen prophet. Isn't that what is happening on this blog at this very minute? Come on Captain. You are not that slow on the pickup, are you?

Joseph Smith is widely acknowledged by the vast majority of people that comment here as a real and true prophet, but Kirtland illustrates how the members thought they were doing the right thing by condemning him as an apostate, while it was they who were in apostasy.

I really have not heard anyone on this blog say all is well in Zion.

Friar Tuck said...

@@ CaptainParker1775:

I should clarify that the members today are condemning our current leaders and not Joseph Smith. I am also sure many will say that Monson was never their friend.

WhereAreThey? said...

While I don't agree with many of the tactics of OW, according to their official statements on their website, basically they are saying:

1. We think women should be ordained.
2. There isn't a scriptural reason we can find to restrict women.
3. We sustain a prophet and would like that prophet to take this question to the Lord.

I'm not sure where the noncommunicable offense is in that. Accusations that they are trying to change church doctrine in spite of what the Lord said is just dishonest.

Basically they are asking for a revelation, but so far all they have gotten is bureaucratic PR.

(I realize that individual members of OW may go beyond the above, but that is their official position according to the website.)

WhereAreThey? said...

noncommunicable should be excommunicable in the above comment

Friar Tuck said...

@Rock:

Your friend Mark says that revelation does not exist. That is really an incomplete statement.

First of all, many of Joseph Smith's revelations came through the Urim and Thummim, which are no longer on the Earth. The church is said to have some of Joseph's "seer stones" but from what Joseph said, there is a seer stone for every person on Earth, so it is debatable whether or not the stones of Joseph would work for anyone else.

So right away the major tools that Joseph used for revelations are not longer available. This leaves the holy ghost. Undoubtedly church leader receive "inspiration" through the holy ghost to help them in their callings. Is the information garnered the same bulk and quality as that received from the Urim and Thummim? I doubt it. But why does your friend criticize church leaders for lack of the same tools that Joseph had? Is it their fault? They do the best they can with what they have. Are they lying to people when they say they have received revelation? I don't know, I have no way of knowing. Did they pray about women holding the priesthood? I don't know.

Gary Hunt said...

Robin Hood,

Your comments reveal a great deal about you. You said...

"On a more general note I have to say I am very alarmed and disappointed at the way this blog has developed, and in such a short time! It is no longer edifying or a pleasant place to be, and has morphed into some kind of "village moan-in" (to paraphrase Elder Holland). There appears to be a very unfortunate undertone here which betrays a meaness of spirit at best, and downright confrontation at worst."

Then you go and quote "Friar Tuck" as if he was a great and wise person. If you were being honest with yourself you would see that "Friar Tuck" has been the one stirring up what you call "meaness of spirit" and "downright confrontation". But what else should I expect from a fake "Robin Hood" and his fake "associate "Friar Tuck".





Friar Tuck said...

Wow Gary Hunt,

Letting the logical fallacies fly I see.

37andholding said...

I'm going to repost the link to James' blog in hopes that EVERYONE will read through the inspired words (I believe, revelations) of the man from whom they came through. Please go read!!!

http://latterdaysaintsflashlight.blogspot.com

BK said...

Mark Barker,

Amen, Amen and Amen.

I totally agree that if anyone should be excommunicated it is the top 15 and probably most all leaders of the church on down for their completely apostate behavior, teachings and coverups.

But they already are 'spiritually' excommunicated from God, they just don't know it.

BK said...

Kate Kelly is only asking for what is right and what God has already given all righteous women, though she doesn't realize it yet and most women don't even want it yet.

She is just going to the wrong people for what she wants, for the 'Good Ol' Boys Club' will never share their power & position with women, unless forced to, but even if they did, they never had any real Priesthood to give or deny anyway.

Friar Tuck said...

@BK:

Why do you spend so much of your time condemning what you claim to be a fake church?

Friar Tuck said...

BK:

If you could wave a magic wand, what changes would you like to see in the church?

Veracity said...

I have a time saving strategy. I don't ready anything from or to Friar Tuck or Robin Hood. If I find anyone else to be contentious, I will do the same with them.

I will read posts by anyone with any opinion if they are not contentious. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

ferro rocher said...

Just a quick one-

For the record, about kate kelly and dehlin's situation:

I see no scriptural precedence for women holding the priesthood, nor any historical record of Joseph Smith giving the priesthood to any woman when the true and living church was on the earth for the brief period between 1830-34. Anything that follows that period of rejection of consecration and taking Jesus' name out the church in 1834 is pure confusion and serious cognitive dissonance.

For proof of my statement above, it is no coincidence that joseph received over 100 revelations upto 1836 but only less than a dismal 20 revelations in the last 7 years!! The Nauvoo period was almost revelation-free. Reasons?
Rejection of consecration and instead a greedy embrace of secret society freemasonry as condemned in book of Mormon so to get gain.
This includes failure to build Nauvoo temple in the appointed time so that the Lord could return and restore the highest melchizedek priesthood he took away as in d&c 124:28.
It is clear the Lord led joseph like the pied piper of Hamlin to lead the saints to exactly where their hearts desired- far away from the tree of life as they refused to hold on to the iron rod. No coincidence that nauvoo was the largest hotbed of freemasonry in all of the USA at that time.

Kate kelly is wrongly excommunicated for asking the fake leaders to ask the Lord for a revelation as happened previously with blacks. She asked for revelation from the church, she didnt claim revelation for the church!!

As for john dehlin, I'm sorry but if you dont believe in God or that the book of mormon is true, then I see NOTHING in his agenda as honest and a believing saint. Give kate kelly that- at least she believes. Passionately, it seems.

John dehlin has been a wolf in sheeps clothing, much the same as I woukd be if I still remained active in the catholic church once I realised that they were fake and used the bible as their claim to being the true and living church much as the lds fake leaders do with the book of mormon.

Kate, I strongly disagree with you but you dont deserve to be exed for aeking the 'living' prophets to get a revelation in something that you question due to the confusion from nauvoo's historic records. The truth is you have put the brethren in a difficult position - these lawyers and businessmen have no clue how to approach the Lord and receive revelation and are annoyed at you as it exposes their ridiculous claims.

John dehlin- how you can stay and encourage others to stay I something you dont believe at ALL is ridiculous. You barely ever interview folks who make the strongest case FOR the gospel as contained in the book of Mormon like Phyllis Carol Olive and Wayne May for example whose research that the BoM DID happen in norh america is astounding at the very least. Yet you interview sandra tanner!! Your choice of interviewees and your suggestive leading questions are completely fake. You are not for the gospel andas an atheist why you would encourage folks to stay in the church you dont beleive in and yet continue to pay tithing, is insane!! You are devouring the innocence of those who believe. And your agenda is extremely suspect. For once, the brethren will get it right if they do ex you.

Friar Tuck said...

@ ferro rocher:

Oddly I agree with most of your post. I feel sorry for Kate Kelly. She seems to be a sincere and kindhearted woman. That being said, she organized resistance to the policies of the church in direct opposition to the leaders. She was given many chance to back off but decided to become a martyr. Whether excommunication was justified, I cannot say.


Great post!

Friar Tuck said...

@Veracity:

Look, I'm sorry you feel the way you do. I appreciate the feedback because it is pretty easy to get carried away on the net. If you want to disown me fine, but I can't see where Robin Hood has gone far wrong.

I see some pretty serious attacks against the church and it makes me feel like I need to strongly oppose them. This stems from the fact that I see the church in a much different light than most people. If you have read much of my writings you may understand.

Anyway, I am sorry if I have offended you, I have a strong relationship with Jesus and I know he is not pleased with me when I am harsh.

nobody ever said...

FT is not an honest and sincere individual seeking to gain deeper understanding. He deliberately misinterprets peoples comments and accuses them of his imaginary intentions.

I believe it is an attempt to stir everyone up to contention and put us all on the defensive to deflect from the questions he and those he's trying to defend have no answers for.

It is futile to continue trying to reason with someone who is not open to considering any other point of view.

It is nothing but a distraction.

I do hope he is at least getting paid for his efforts. Because If I were Rock, I'd start charging him rent.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

NEWS FLASH!!

I just heard that Kate Kelly took off her bra in church and waved it wildly around her head in protest!!

No, wait a sec, I may have got that wrong. Yep. I'm being told that all she did was ask the prophet if he would kindly seek a revelation from God clarifying doctrine.

Which is his job, by the way.

(My mistake. Go on about your business.)

Gary Hunt said...

nobody ever said,

Amen!

37andholding said...

GOOD ONE ROCK!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I've added another update to the original post containing a link to my appearance earlier today on the Paul Duane Show, Salt Lake City's K-Talk Radio Am 630. For those who care to listen, here is that link:

http://www.paulduane.net/2014/06/rock-waterman-of-pure-mormonism-stop-resign-or-be-exed/

the_mormonion said...

Friar Tuck,

You acknowledged the topic of Zion (and we agree it's never been truly established in this dispensation), but completely avoided the point I was trying to get across. Let me put it as simply as I can:

We should oppose any entity that contributes to unnecessary emotional, physical, or spiritual harm of its followers.

That's it. That's why we're "moaning" about things. Because people's lives are affected by certain policies of the corporate church--questions never answered, families torn apart, ignorant souls and innocent souls literally DYING because they've followed the false teachings of LDS Incorporated.

Surely you can't be opposed to preventing needless death. That's why I brought up the war example--the approval the brethren have given to recent American engagements overseas have directly resulted in LDS men and women dying for their crony government under false pretenses, and innocent people in foreign countries being killed by LDS men and women.

BECAUSE the brethren gave the green light to war and BECAUSE members of the Church believe in following the prophet, there are people--many people--whose lives have tragically been cut short. If the brethren had spoken the word of the Lord on the matter, more Mormons, Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese, and Koreans would be alive today. That is a fact.

When evil like this occurs, it is our DUTY to speak up. To excuse the Church in this matter as "doing the best they can with what they have" when they are CLEARLY ignoring the doctrine that's been revealed about war is absolutely intolerable.

Veracity said...

Perhaps I was too hasty to take Robin Hood off my Reading list.

Is an Area Seventy paid?

ferro rocher said...

Mormonion-

You wrote pretty much what I was going to. But much better than I could so thumbs up.

I'll add my voice once again that I am standing up against the modern day gadiantons who have pretended to be living oracles and led the faithful into abhorrent wars, STRICTLY CONDEMNED in the book of Mormon unless it's in immediate DEFENSE of lands and family, rights and freedoms, at which point it is an obligation and an honor.

Since Brighams time, these pretenders have led the saints astray and into destruction: wars, polygamy, masonry, anti zion anti consecration, taking out scriptures from the canon sneakily 80years after they were put there by Joseph the prophet- Lectures on faith taught in a Binitarian nature of god, the Father a spirit strictly & the Son being of flesh and bone, & the Holy Ghost simply the spirit, mind and will that they both shared and which is promised to the faithful to share- however, this beautiful teaching contradicted Brigham's blasphemous statement that God the father had actual intercourse with His precious daughter Mary...and so to avoid dissonance, the Lectures on Faith wad removed without revelation. A god who changes His mind like this is not the one I feel in the BoM...not to mention changing His very nature from spirit personage to sexually active incestuous dude with a six-pack. This is so contrary to the BoM and extremely offensive to Our Father in heaven.

These fake leaders also led the faithful into blood atonement and the astonishingly gross teaching that killing a black man (who may be a saint, & a pure one at that) is not only a pardonable action if he is marrying a white woman, but that you are doing him the greatest service of charity by helping him atone for his audacity of marrying a white woman! ! And you would thus guarantee both him and you, the murderer, a place in the kingdom! ! Its in the journal of miscourses...um, discourses...read it!

Now, if these leaders are the roots of the rotting tree then the branches who are today's leaders are just as rotten. They are fattened by babylon and it shall fall. And if the Lord commands us as in section 101, to go and throw down with tjose in charge of the 'towers, (wonder who that might be), then I will be there without question.

These guys are fooling you with their pretended piety. They are gadiantons. How they let a man like the corrupt harry reid be a first ballot hall of famer for the lds and excommunicate a Snuffer, Toscano, Kelly etc is so clear that it is bright enough to blind the majority who are seduced.

They are not leafing me astray. I can do a decent job of that myself, thank you very much!

ferro rocher said...

Mormonion-

You wrote pretty much what I was going to. But much better than I could so thumbs up.

I'll add my voice once again that I am standing up against the modern day gadiantons who have pretended to be living oracles and led the faithful into abhorrent wars, STRICTLY CONDEMNED in the book of Mormon unless it's in immediate DEFENSE of lands and family, rights and freedoms, at which point it is an obligation and an honor.

Since Brighams time, these pretenders have led the saints astray and into destruction: wars, polygamy, masonry, anti zion anti consecration, taking out scriptures from the canon sneakily 80years after they were put there by Joseph the prophet- Lectures on faith taught in a Binitarian nature of god, the Father a spirit strictly & the Son being of flesh and bone, & the Holy Ghost simply the spirit, mind and will that they both shared and which is promised to the faithful to share- however, this beautiful teaching contradicted Brigham's blasphemous statement that God the father had actual intercourse with His precious daughter Mary...and so to avoid dissonance, the Lectures on Faith wad removed without revelation. A god who changes His mind like this is not the one I feel in the BoM...not to mention changing His very nature from spirit personage to sexually active incestuous dude with a six-pack. This is so contrary to the BoM and extremely offensive to Our Father in heaven.

These fake leaders also led the faithful into blood atonement and the astonishingly gross teaching that killing a black man (who may be a saint, & a pure one at that) is not only a pardonable action if he is marrying a white woman, but that you are doing him the greatest service of charity by helping him atone for his audacity of marrying a white woman! ! And you would thus guarantee both him and you, the murderer, a place in the kingdom! ! Its in the journal of miscourses...um, discourses...read it!

Now, if these leaders are the roots of the rotting tree then the branches who are today's leaders are just as rotten. They are fattened by babylon and it shall fall. And if the Lord commands us as in section 101, to go and throw down with tjose in charge of the 'towers, (wonder who that might be), then I will be there without question.

These guys are fooling you with their pretended piety. They are gadiantons. How they let a man like the corrupt harry reid be a first ballot hall of famer for the lds and excommunicate a Snuffer, Toscano, Kelly etc is so clear that it is bright enough to blind the majority who are seduced.



They are not leafing me astray. I can do a decent job of that myself, thank you very much!

CaptainParker1775 said...

@Friar Tuck

With regard to:

"The only person I have ever heard utter the words "all is well in Zion" is Gordon B. Hinckley.
As far as what Kirtland has to do with us today...are you kidding me? Look at all the close friends and associates of Joseph Smith that turned on him and condemned him and claimed that he was a fallen prophet. Isn't that what is happening on this blog at this very minute? Come on Captain. You are not that slow on the pickup, are you?"

I think you misunderstand my meaning on my previous post. Yes, I see the parallels with Kirtland. What I am saying however is that I don't see a prophecy in either the Book of Mormon or by any of the prophets of this dispensation that frames the current "crisis" within the church (if you agree there's a crisis) as the membership falsly accusing their leaders of complacency and pharisaism ala Kirtland. What I do see very clearly is a Book of Mormon warning directly to us that says "And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell."

One doesn't need to say the very words "All is well in Zion", but rather the attitude that everything is well within the church when all is NOT well within the church. This attitude that all is well in Zion leads to folks looking to the Church for their salvation rather than looking specifically to Christ, and doing the things that He has asked us to do (looking after the poor, etc.). I interpret this in that we need to look to our own relationship with God vs. our relationship with the Church.

I don't feel that the 15 are "fallen" prophets, but rather my view is they hold the keys, but have strayed from the proper principles of governance, going to a more corporate and pragmatic approach vs. spiritual approach, and implying that the leaders never err. This false doctrine of infallibility as well as lack of transparency with our history. I think the Lord will eventually straighten it out.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Veracity,
Unlike those who hold rank just above them, the Seventies in Salt Lake, Area Seventies do not receive a salary, but their expenses are covered. Barely.

Hans Mattson, to date the highest ranking member of the church to become disaffected in modern times, was area Seventy over a good chunk of Europe. He tells of inquiring of those GAs directly above him to help reconcile questions that members in Europe were having. GAs came to meet, but they were nto very good at responding to the problelms. Here's Hans' interview with John Dehlin:

http://mormonstories.org/hans-mattsson/

Friar Tuck said...

@CaptainParker1775;

Yes Captain, I agree with your post. You are one of the very few people here that has presented a balanced view of the church. I agree with everything you said.

Alfa said...

"For instance, although we know that sisters in the early days gave healing blessings to one another, can a woman give a blessing to a man? Can a woman anoint and bless her own husband? I'd kinda like the Lord's view on that."

I've got an answer for you Rock: yes she can. Once we tried it out my wife and I found it's the most natural thing in the world to have a wife administer to a husband, and for a couple to administer to their children. Since the thought police (SCMC) read this blog, I've not given my real name, but respond and we can continue this discussion in private.

karl waterman said...

Whew, What a relief to know, after reading this great blog: That I was Excommunicated for cause. Now brother come to my side.

Anonymous said...

To say you believe in something and not practice it, is false. What you are doing is wrong, you deserve to be excommunicated. Your changing the Doctrine by what you say and do. You don't belong in a faith if your changing what it stands for, your only benefiting yourself and being selfish. Don't lead others astray because of your selfish pride.You need to look deep inside you and decide if this is the faith you want or go find another that conforms to your ideas and beliefs. What you have been doing is not honest and you know it.

Anonymous said...

After listening to the Paul Duane show where Rock states that we are in error to follow the leaders of the church, that we should follow Christ I would like to honestly pose a few questions:

1.Who is going to run the temples?
2.Who is going to decide how the funds of the church are spent?
3. Who is going to oversee the missionary program of the church?

These are just a few questions. Lets just say that what people are saying here is true, and the leaders are all corrupt. Who is going to administer these programs of the church that the Lord himself implemented through Joseph Smith? Hint: the Lord is not going to do it in person.

So I would just like everyone to set aside their differences for a minute and honestly answers these questions because there has been much talk about what is wrong with the church, but I have yet to see anyone other than "Ron" actually propose a solution.

FT

Alan Rock Waterman said...

To answer your questions, FT, the people who will do those things are the same people who are supposed to be doing them now.

Did you hear anyone advocate for revolution, where the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, and the Seventy are taken to the guillotine? Has anyone here advocated the law of the Church be done away with?

Of course not. There are legitimate needs to be met, services to be performed, and roles to be filled in the church. Nobody is advocating throwing the bums out. We only want the bums to do their jobs as the Lord outlined them, and not go off getting sidetracked with their own pet projects.

I simply want those who have been privileged to serve in these sacred offices to comply with the word of God and not, for instance, take money out of the treasury without receiving the common consent of the church, to name one example where the leaders are currently disobeying the commandments of God.

BK said...

FT,

If the Church leaders were to really repent, then they would do away with the temple, at least as it is now used. For until their are no more poor among us, no Christlike person would use money on a building even to meet for Sunday services in, instead of giving their money to the fatherless.

There is no real need for Churches or temples in a true church, people can easily meet with a small group of likeminded friends and family in homes, like they did in Christ's day.

Christ may build a temple in Zion to teach congregations in, but only 'after' all the poor among them are taken care of.

And Christ never taught about or sanctioned the things that go on in LDS temples and there is no proof Joseph did either, only hearsay by those who have no credibility.

I believe Brigham made it all up and temple ordinances, teachings and rituals are all completely untrue and false. So no need to keep manning the temples.

As far as who will decide where church funds should go, if the church repented there wouldn't be any church funds to manage. No leader from Prophets on down should receive a dime for their time. Everyone should serve for free and support themselves. And people should just keep their tithes and offerings and distribute them directly to the poor themselves, so they are sure it really gets to them.

Where is there any church leader today who would be trustworthy to help the poor with our money more than ourselves? All Church leaders have certainly proved they are not worthy of trust with our money, for they pocket it themselves and use it on countless things never intended by the Lord or by the people that gave the money.

And as far as missionary work, that too would be done personally, and not needed to be controlled or funded by the Church. Everyone should just be a missionary to their own friends, family and communities where they live or travel.

And if the Church really preached and practiced the true Gospel of Jesus Christ then people would flock to the Church in hoards, the Church wouldn't have to go try to convince people to join it.

A true church and true prophets look and act completely different then what the LDS Church & it's leaders look and act like.

LDSDPer said...

@Ferro,

I have known a few people like John Dehlin. A person can either see *them* as fence sitters or as people who want to believe, someday, but have things to work out. He does see things of value in the church. I have known several really Christ-like people like him. The only person I ever heard interviewed on his 'show' was Rock--

so I can't speak to that. I think he knows there are others like him who don't want to leave but have a lot of questions. His honesty is impressive.

I know that many have really intense feelings against him, because he 'doesn't believe in Jesus Christ', but it's hard to say why people will say that. I know of some very honest, good people who have never received a witness of any kind--

what can these people do but try to stay when they don't want to leave?

Unfortunately, most of them leave because of the pressure to say what they don't know is true or--

because they feel dishonest staying. I think Dehlin's approach has been to say, "these are the things I am unsure about; I'm being 'upfront' about it; please let me stay."

As for interviewing Sandra Tanner, I've never read anything by her; I've heard she is a notorious anti-Mormon, but then I've heard things about people and then come to find out they were mostly just humans struggling--

so I can't say. I don't have to agree with Dehlin to respect his desire to stay in the church--

and if there are those who were struggling who heard Rock on his show, then maybe what he has done has been worth it?

Also, if he has done harm, I think that, perhaps, sometimes in wards (I can think of one specifically) where people design to do harm (a bishop who cared about our family and about whom we cared very much admitted to us that several people in the ward had schemed to hurt some innocent people in our ward in a very mean-spirited, unChristlike way; the bishop did not intervene but apologized, with great shame, to us--nobody was ever excommunicated, but there has been heavy fallout)

I'm sure people who believe in Jesus Christ and profess it hurt others all the time; it's what repentance is all about--



@mormonion--

thank you; this is a very key issue and one that made a difference between whether nations were destroyed (or not) in the Book of Mormon, and yet most of *us* LDS ignore it. Even those of *us* who believe that *our* government (U.S.) is hugely out of control, rogue and doing a very good job of destroying much of the rest of the world (especially if it is more innocent than *we* are)--

don't speak up enough--

how do *you* speak up, however, when most of *your* fellow LDS believe the warmongering is just fine--

this is certainly a sign of apostasy--

and yet . . .

I can't do anything about anyone in SLC, certainly. I think they don't know I exist, which is fine with me. There may be things some of them say, now and again, that I appreciate--

just as I often appreciate what Rock says--

@Robin,

I am sorry to see you go, but it is your choice and one I will defend. Don't the 70 sit on the stand, unless they are assigned somewhere exotic and far away? I have always heard them called 'general authorities'--

I believe the 70 were always seen as general authorities when I was a girl, which was a VERY long time ago-- :)

But then, when I was a girl the apostles came to stake conference.

I am so grateful that *we all* have the agency to choose what *we* read and don't read.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Although it is my fixed rule to immediately delete any comment posted only as "Anonymous" with no further identifying handle (see the prominent note at the end of the OP), I can't resist leaving up this one that just came in at 7:35 AM, because it is both entertaining, and it typifies the hollow objections we sometimes hear from those who are convinced I and those like me MUST BE DOING SOMETHING WRONG, though they just can't put their finger on what it is. I'll respond to that commenter point by point below, and hope the writer returns and clarifies his or her true objections.


Anonymous said...

"To say you believe in something and not practice it, is false."

I agree. It would be not only false, but hypocritical to state a belief in something and not practice it. Kindly explain what you feel I believe that I am not practicing.

"What you are doing is wrong"

Please tell me what I am doing that is wrong, and why it's wrong, and I'll stop doing it.

"You deserve to be excommunicated."

Why? On what grounds? There has to be a reason for excommunication. D&C sections 42, 102, and 107 contain both private and public offenses that warrant excommunication from the church. What particular offense do you feel I am guilty of?

"You're changing the Doctrine by what you say and do."

Okay, that would be a reason. But I don't have authority to change any doctrine, and I doubt anyone would listen to me if I did. I am not in a position of leadership. Only the First Presidency has authority to declare doctrine, and that must be done by revelation. I am not a member of that body, and I don't claim revelation. Besides, who would follow me? Even if I did 'change the doctrine,' who would obey my voice? No one. I'm an insignificant nobody, and a no threat to the truth.

"You don't belong in a faith if your changing what it stands for"

I'd say that's probably a true statement. If I was guilty of changing what the faith stands for, I don't belong. That's obvious on its face.

"You're only benefiting yourself and being selfish."

You got me there. I'm rolling in dough from the billions in tithing funds coming my way.

"Don't lead others astray because of your selfish pride."

Okay, I won't.

"You need to look deep inside you and decide if this is the faith you want or go find another that conforms to your ideas and beliefs."

I have looked deep inside and this IS the faith that conforms to my ideas and beliefs.

"What you have been doing is not honest"

Examples, please.

"and you know it."

No, I really don't. But I would sincerely welcome having you explain it to me so I can better understand.

Ferro Rocher said...

FT-

I have a better one for you:

Has there EVER been a revelation to build those 100+ temples?

You know, not Kirtland. Nor Far West, Independence or Nauvoo, none of which were actually built though there are actually revelations in the D&C for them.

Concerning all these temples that have been commanded to be built WITHOUT revelation, from Salt lake onwards, can you show me a revelation in the D&C that shows Joseph Smith actually received and taught this very fake endowment for which we have absolutely no record today, and is taught to be the pinnacle of our religion?

The temples are REAL ESTATE, period. They are aqquired as an excuse to obtain gain, in accumulating wealth.

Then they are used as a golden carrot, dangling in front of members wanting the very 'highest' blessings- and the poor faithful pay their tithing and fast offering as an entry fee, which then pays off the many, non-commanded buildings we have been seduced into believing are actually Temples.

They are not temples- they are collateral. And the corporate church is losing a lot of tithing lately because of this huge fallout, the biggest since Kirtland, says Elder Marlin Jensen. Imagine for a moment, all the McDonald's restaurants in the world suddenly having a fallout of customers to upkeep their real estate, because the hungry have found out McDonald's may look pristine and neat and clean, but the food is fake. There is an obvious parallel.

Strange to me that the actual temples that were commannded by revelation to be built, weren't. Interestingly, the Temples, especially in Kirtland when the church was actually truly living the gospel, including consecration, and receiving angels and the Lord was visiting the saints in person- these Temples never had a telestial, celestial and terrestrial room! No such thing existed until Brigham fooled the poor faithful.

If Joseph taught the masonic endowment to Brig, it was probably to lead Brigham and his masonic cronies right where they belonged, into the mouth of hell.

Ironically, Joseph taught consecration and was a financial failure. Brigham on the other hand, was by far the richest man in Utah, and one of the richest in the US at the time of his death, worth over 2 million dollars in the 19th century...any idea how much that is worth in today's money?!

Brig mustn't have read where the Lord says it isn't right for one man to have more than another. He skipped that part just like he did with Jacob condemning polygamy in the BoM.

Sell the temples and the real estate, and give the money to the poor and the widows. Give struggling families zero or 1% home loans so that they don't have to live in bondage. And finish building the temples the church was actually commanded to! That's my solution...

ferro Rocher said...

BK-

guess we both listening to the same Spirit at the same time :)

God bless you

BK said...

You can build anything in this world with money, in order to 'look' good, even temples.

But using the money for the fatherless & needy is the only way to 'be' good.

LDSDPer said...

@anyone who cares--

I have sensed for a very long time, though I certainly can't prove it--

that the importance of the Ether chapters, to some extent, of course there is more there--

is that there were righteous kings 'in captivity'--

sometimes they weren't righteous, and I can think of a few LDS leaders from the past who might fit this 'bill' (ahem, that 'beloved' lion of the Lord)--

but they were still, somehow, 'leaders' and their presence was tolerated by the God, as a test for them and for those whom they 'led'.

A huge test in the case of Brigham Young--

and a few others, possibly--

The church became a corporation for a reason. There is absolutely no doubt; it can be found in mainstream newspapers from that era, that Wilford Woodfruff went to San Francisco a few days before his death to meet with some 'men' (I think it was openly said that they were bankers) at the Bohemian Club.

In San Francisco. A place known to 'attrack' the big bankers even back in the late 1800s--

and after the meeting, the next morning, he died in his hotel room-

I do NOT know the significance of this, but it did happen, as I have said. The original newspaper clippings and reports can be found everywhere; this isn't 'fringe' stuff--

Why did he go? I don't know.

But I know that the church was heavily in debt. Even the mainstream, sanitized histories tell *us* this much.

Captivity. Is there any better word for it?

What if some of these men are personally righteous, and they are manning a ship that is being directed by someone else?

I believe it's true. I think it would be a terrible place to be. They can either go ahead and say 'yes' and do their best, or they can leave it to worse men than themselves. How horrible! What a dilemma!

And sometimes a foul one gets in, somehow whose power goes to his head--

and he does cause damage--

it's always been that way--

but some of them are righteous men, even though the 'ship' they are manning is not truly being navigated by them.

God, of course, sees it all, is over it all.

And allows it to happen. Why? Well, why did he let the early Mormons do such foolish things? He did allow it, didn't He? They had their warnings.

And we have those same warnings now, and mostly in the Book of Mormon, and Ether is more than about Shiz and Coriantumr--

it's about captivity. Mormon saw our day, true? Oh dear, am I senile today--or was it Moroni? I thought it was Mormon, but someone can come and say, with a 'ah, I got you' that it was not--

Captivity. Nothing brings a nation, a company, a people into captivity more quickly than debt, being bought out and incorporating. It has done so to the Lord's church, and He has allowed it.

Why? I think for His own purposes. He has warned us:

55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. (section 84)

25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; (section 112)

32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God. (section 124)

TBC

LDSDPer said...

These are a few that show that many times God has been displeased with the people who saw/heard/accepted the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's prophetic vision.

One has not been removed, and another is ominous. The other is perhaps uncertain.

But, we LDS are very prideful people, being gentiles, very, very prideful people.

We WANT to think we are better than the rest of the world and that *we* are 'blessed', above that of the rest of the world. We want *our* cake and eat it, too.

We want the blessings that can be seen coming down on us, without pouring our hearts and minds over the Book of Mormon and giving up our sins to Jesus Christ.

This pride is legendary. It is palpable.

But I feel very, very sorry for this men who have agreed to this double-edged calling--

as apostles in a church that is being swept away in the storms--

IF they are good at heart, they have choices to make.

Always. Walking a tightrope. Juggling. Living in fear (to some extent, I think some do; others are probably just fast asleep)--

What do the 'owners' tell them they can say and do? And what do the 'members' deserve. Are *we* any better?

No, not indeed. But not acknowledging the truth will not help us awaken from our deep sleep and feel the horror of this culture we accept daily which is so Godless--

hungry children (even in the church)

warmongering and destroying other nations (those of us who are Americans)

What are *we* supporting? And does keeping silent help anyone?

Oh, I pray for those men.

What are they "allowed" to talk about?

I think that before the church became so heavily involved in PR (another terrible captivity), even though it was bank-owned and controlled--

there was more leeway, and prophets could even call people to repentance and tell them to read the Book of Mormon--

does anyone do that now?

Oh, now, satan is glib.

And since the Book of Mormon has had a stinky dishrag wrapped around it from its earliest days--

talking about reading the Book of Mormon might almost get someone into trouble with those who are being told that the church needs to stay asleep, at all costs--

the members--

Captivity is real, and if anyone can point out to me any other significant reason why those awful Ether chapters were left it, please do so.

Yes, power, greed, etc. But some of those kings in captivity were righteous.

And, yes, kings--

and didn't someone on here say that kings would not be tolerated here in America (according to the Book of Mormon)

and yet . . . oh, we have had them--


Sorry so long; didn't mean to contribute to the sleepiness--

(ha, pun!)

but I never know when someone might be reading who needs it--

just in case--

:)

BK said...

I believe the LDS Church is just as corrupt and vile as the Church King Noah led. Both preached and practiced whoredoms, both led by Gadiantons.

If any church leader, from Bishop to Prophet, was truly righteous I believe he would leave the Church as Alma did, and take all those he could awaken with him.

Just because God gives people and churches (LDS, Catholic, FLDS, etc.) and leaders agency to stay in power and lead people astray, doesn't mean he supports or wants it to be happening.

The LDS Church is no different or no more special or sanctioned by God, then any other apostate Church in this world, no matter how good though deceived some of it's members might be.

CaptainParker1775 said...

@LDSDPer, @BK,

I am well acquainted with the NWO, etc. - studied it for over 25 years. I feel the church leadership is (knowingly or unknowingly - you would think it has to be knowingly) in bed with the Gadiantons, but I don't feel at this point that they are being controlled by the Gadiantons. However, I'm open to anything. What LDSDPer just said about Bohemian Grove is the best argument I've heard so far for being controlled by the Gadiantons. And LDSDPer, of course the Ether chapters are in there for a reason (as you know), especially Ether 8 ;).

PNW_DPer said...

I once read somewhere that when ETB (Ezra Taft Benson) went from talking about Gadiantons in Russia and China (the Communists) to talking about Gadiantons in the US, he was told that the Church was in a precarious position, and to stop "tweaking the tail of the Beast". By the time he became Church President, he had stopped talking about politics, but really emphasized the Book of Mormon, which has all the teachings that LDSDPer refers to about Gadiantons and Captivity.

Anonymous said...
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nobody ever said...

"Anonymous said...

when Joseph was here he said he was imperfect and sinful, and claimed to have spoken with God face to face, and to speak for him. Now we have men who do not claim to have seen God,but do claim infalability. D and C 52: 14 I show a pattern in all things that you be not deceived"

June 24, 2014 at 1:34 PM



He also taught his followers to pray for confirmation of everything he taught and not to blindly follow any man, no matter what his position or calling, even if he were president of the church.

This has been replaced by the assurance that our safety is in following our living "prophet" for he can not lead us astray.
That God would never allow it.


LDSDPer said...

aye, aye, cap'n! :)


Yes, when I think of Wilford Woodruff, whom I have heard was a gentle, non-confrontational man--

dying alone in a hotel room in San Francisco--

not at all young--

I just feel sick at heart.

I know he made some rather wild claims (the Lord won't allow "president of the church/prophet, etc. to lead the people astray")

And yet, he also said that the time would come when no one person would be able to stand without having *his* own light, couldn't depend upon anyone else for light--

that had a real impact on me when I was a teen--

Oops, Parker wasn't a sea captain--

ah well; it sounded good. :)

LDSDPer said...

PNW_DPer--


That is unique about ETB.

He is the one who woke me up to the Book of Mormon. If he had continued being so politically-centered, he might not have given that powerful talk about the entire church being under condemnation (which had not been removed); he simply used a D&C verse or two--

but it hit me right between the eyes, and I realized I HAD to focus on the Book of Mormon. But I did it the typical way, with all the TG scriptures, etc.

It wasn't until about 3-5 years ago that both my husband and I felt impressed to put down the other scriptures (which we had read and read and read quite enough)

and focus on the Book of Mormon.

I thank ETB for that.

And I don't doubt he got a 'warning'.

BK said...

Yes, the scriptures teach that 'false prophets' always do teach and do many wonderful and true things, to make the masses think they are righteous and true.

But it is one of the tests of life to see if we can see through their 'sheep skin'.

Even Joseph Smith said that 'false' prophets seem just like 'true' prophets in what they do and say that most everyone falls for them.

It is often impossible to tell the difference between the 2, unless we have true charity.

A false prophet will always teach many true things like 'stand for freedom', or 'follow Christ' or that 'we must have our own light and can't stand on borrowed light, etc.

But it's the false things they sneak in (like 'God will never let them lead us astray), that really matters and reveals them, and is what really leads people astray.

I think that 1 little idea 'that prophets can't lead the church astray' is what has done the most damage in the last 100 years to keep people following blindly and unquestioningly.

We can see how the Church is disciplining and casting out those who won't follow blindly or who question them, something Christ and his Prophets would never do.

While 'true prophets' always warn us 'not' to follow them, for they are often wrong, but to only follow Christ.

Once people realize Prophets can and do fall easily and lead people astray, then people start to think, study, question and prove for themselves & look closer at what so-called Prophets are doing and saying to see if they are true or false.

Which is what is finally causing this mass exodus of the 'best and brightest' from the Church, for they are finally seeing through the 'sheep skin'.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Attention Readers:
The events of the past few days have caused me to fall behind in other work, so I have resolved to remain off the computer from now through the weekend while I catch up with other stuff. Hopefully by Monday I'll be back and the first thing I'll do is catch up on your comments here.

Attention Burglars:
I'm not going anywhere. I will still be home. So don't try any funny stuff.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

One thing I forgot, an update to the link leading to Brent Larsen's interview discussing the appeal from his excommunication. It's up now at the end of the OP, and also here:

http://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=34073

Anonymous said...
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LDSDPer said...

Read the transcript. Is it legal?

I mean, is everyone who reads it going to get excommunicated.

Chilling.

The use of the word *we* was very telling.

Dale B said...

I am tremendously saddened by these excommunications and what appears to be heavy handed church disciplinary action.

The Church appears to be acting in much the same way that the Catholic church once did, although the LDS Church does not have the ability to torture and kill those who disagree with it as the Catholics did.

Ordinary jews at the time of Christ had been taught by tradition and doctrinally not to question the authority of church leaders. They were expected to overlook personal weakness and follow their counsel. This is the same mindset encouraged today in the Church ("follow the prophet"). But when Christ came among them he challenged the leadership to practice the true message contained in the scriptures and he challenged the jews to see beyond the trappings of authority.

If the trappings of authority were sufficient to insure salvation, we should all be Catholics.

We have been taught that there would be many false prophets in the last days. But, because there would also be true prophets, the Lord gave us a key to recognize them; "by their fruits ye shall know them".

I recognize Joseph as a true prophet because I have tasted the "fruit" of the Book of Mormon and found it to be good. I am not certain that he remained a prophet to his death, but am trying to discover that for myself.

But what is the "fruit" offered by modern apostles and prophets? To say that the exodus to Utah is one of those fruits is tempting, but ultimately unsatisfying. Even then, the modern leadership can only point to the growth of the Church as their fruit. The fact that an organization has grown seems insufficient. Again, if that were the case, we should all be Catholics.

When the Lord was on the Earth, miracles attended his ministrations and those of his apostles. These were undeniable fruits of the goodness of God, performed without fanfare but in public, for all to see. Where are such evidences today?

The Church today does not seem to resemble the ancient church of Christ in any but the most superficial sense. Having Apostles, which are "special witnesses of Christ", but which claim no special witness, is not enough. The FLDS church also makes this claim. Where is the church with all things being held in common? The New Testament and Book of Mormon both speak of this as one of the hallmarks of Christ's Church.

As I recall, King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, though he was a king and a prophet, worked for a living and did not depend on the people for his living. Can modern prophets say the same?

LDSDPer said...

in listening to the interview between Rock and Paul, I am feeling heartsick for these bishops.

Bishops are TOO busy. I would never take time from my bishop; his family is needy; he has a very demanding job, and there are always those in a ward who 'use' bishops and wear them out.

I am as indignant about what these bishops are being put through, almost, as I am about what has happened to those who are being excommunicated.

Dale, good to hear from you again.

I agree.

BK said...

Dale,

Great comments about the 'trappings of authority' that the LDS have fallen into, like the Jews & Catholics did.

Satan wants us all to be lemmings to false churches and false prophets.

Christ wants us to only follow him, not any man who says they speak for him. For Christ said it all and doesn't need anyone to speak more or less for him, he just needs people to repeat his exact words and be an example of them.

And False Prophets can bring forth much 'good' fruit also, to fool the masses.

That is why Christ said that the 'fruit' he wanted us to look for was 'charity', for no one can fake charity, it's too hard and only the pure & righteous would or can maintain it.

False prophets do not believe in charity and preach against it, like LDS leaders do.

While the Book of Mormon can seem like 'good' fruit, for it does have alot of wonderful teachings in it and it does teach of Christ, that doesn't prove it's a true book of scripture (for all false books usually have much good in them) or it doesn't prove that Joseph was a true prophet, for the Book of Mormon also teaches alot of falsehoods, things contrary to Christ, that lead people astray.

If the Book of Mormon would have been written, compiled, or translated by true prophets it wouldn't teach things contrary to Christ in it, for those true prophets (having charity) would have caught those falsehoods and taken them out.

So it's not the 'good' things that prove the BoM true or false, it's the 'false' things.

Joseph was probably a good man, assuming he told the truth & didn't really fall for polygamy, but the more you study him and his actions, words & works of scripture the more it seems he made is all up and taught and did so many things wrong and contrary to Christ, that it doesn't seem like he could have been a true prophet.

And I agree with you that true prophets would work to support themselves, not let the people support them, let alone 'butt in line' for a handout in front of the fatherless or use money meant for the poor on large & spacious buildings, projects & businesses instead.

We must be careful about miracles also, for even false prophets can perform miracles and did so so much in the days after Christ that Christ's apostles had a hard time convincing the people that those who were going around doing miracles weren't true prophets. Christ's apostles said to look for Charity as they true proof of discipleship, not miracles or claims to have seen God or produced books of scripture or by the number of followers they could get.

'Charity' is the only proof we can trust and I don't know anyone with that trait today, especially not in the Church.


Alan Rock Waterman said...

The interview I did with Heather Clarkson of Mormon Expositor is up now and available for downloading:

http://mormonexpositor.com/73-rock-waterman-pure-mormonism/

LDSDPer said...

almost done with the Paul Duane interview--

must go and take care of people--

:)

I'll check out the other one tomorrow--

I thought it was a good interview, but getting those phones to work must be a huge challenge for radio interviewers.

It was somewhat annoying to have it interrupted with media 'gossip'. It almost seemed sensational.

nobody ever said...

"The interview I did with Heather Clarkson of Mormon Expositor is up now and available for downloading"

Wow,I think that was the best one I've heard yet, very thorough, and your phone didn't poop out not even once.

Thank you Rock!

thedeathstar said...

What a straw man. Is the problem really that this technicality is being violated (based on hearsay from you, I might add)?

Please decide if these conclusions are correct from what you said:

"But the GAs will quote each other in circles until Sunday's closing session, you can count on that."
General Authorities don't teach doctrine. Are they inspired?

"Packer had been best buds with Toscano's stake president Kerry Heinz back in their Church Institute days, and had no trouble getting Heinz to pull the switch on Toscano without even a pretense of probable cause. "
People that we sustain in the church as prophets, seers, and revelators are using their positions to empower their own corruption. I do remember a line in another post I saw where you call the church leaders "pious poobah".

"You would think Elder Oaks, of all people, should be able to recognize a falsehood when he speaks it. He is, after all, a lawyer."
General Authorities are teaching false doctrine.

You and your army of the persecuted can go on forever with your specious platitudes about being cracked down on for just having an opinion. If you think the church needs you more than you need the church, excommunication means nothing because you don't have the spirit with you to begin with.

"I have personally received hundreds of communications from believing members thanking me for helping reconcile their problems with the faith."

Congratulation

LDSDPer said...

@Deathstar--


If I could distil (this is not based upon logic, Gary; maybe you could fix it for me) the comments from those who are being critical of Rock and those who read his blog and appreciate his essays--

it would be, from a perspective of awareness of positive/negative messages--

one of hostility, sarcasm, disdain, scorn, mockery.

Why? How is that Christlike? Those who are trying to 'shame' those of *us* who love 'pure' Mormonism (The Book of Mormon, Joseph's mission and Jesus Christ)--

do you have any idea how you come across? How you reflect on 'the church'? If mainstream members of the church who rely mostly on church leaders can be so filled with vitriol, what has happened to 'the church'?

Growing up, I was taught that I had to be an 'example' of a member of the church, and I had to watch every step I took to make sure that I shined.

In terms of 'example', do you have any idea what spirit or example you display?

I have read, on this essay, dozens like yourself, deathstar, who sound like the type of person I would be afraid to meet. If you need help, I would give it to you, but I wouldn't feel safe in a space with you.

Not a good example for "Mormonism"--if you consider yourself a Mormon. If you don't, why are you so negative towards the readers and owner of this blog?

LDSDPer said...

@Rock,

good interview with Heather.

Minerals Liberia said...

Rock for President!!!

Seriously, calling the brethren to repentance is not a sin, only breaking the lord's commandments.

I am curios if your Bishop would be willing to meet with you, so he could tell you who the name of the "Seventy" which is reviewing your blog is.... You should have a right to know.

Don't loose faith my friend and seek God's love in all that you do....
https://www.facebook.com/disturbreality?fref=nf

Minerals Liberia said...

That's right, there is no actual doctrine prohibiting women from being ordained to the priesthood. If there was, we should be able to point to where God provided that revelation. The idea that the priesthood of God is for men only is not a doctrine, it's a tradition. One of those "traditions of men" the scriptures constantly warn us to be on the lookout for.


A 10,000 year "tradition" is probably doctrine....

and since the scriptures also teach that Jesus and God the father were also Men.....that should set a precedence, maybe Rock we should question that too.

I think that you are grasping at straws....

ferro rocher said...

I cannot personally see any precedence in a woman holding the priesthood as all Jesus' apostles were men on both continents.

The problem though is in this- considering what the 'priesthood' is defined as today, why would anyone want to share in the vanity of sitting in meetings and telling those below you what to do as you pass it on from those above you in the hierarchy!

There's no healings nor raisings of the dead nor any priesthood power amongst us Gentiles today apart from possibly the responsibility to take the 'knowledge' of the Gospel to all the world, in preparation for the'greater' portion of the Book of Mormon and the real record of John, which will come forth. Period.

It is highly probable that the 'words that have already have gone forth amongst them' that need convincing by the future records is the Book of Mormon itself.

I am hoping it happens in my lifetime- I'm craving and expecting Jesus' second coming, but to be fair so has EVERY other generation... as far back as Christian records exist obviously.

BK-
I'm curious to hear a definition of what charity actually is. If the Book of Mormon is fiction as you suggest, then its definition of charity is probably void.

What we hear of the charity needed to discern prophets is usually vague.

I'd love to hear your succinct version honestly. I doubt I possess it either way!

Celeste said...

The interview with Heather may be your best ever, Rock. Not a single talk radio caller to muddle the conversation with near-sighted confusions! Heather's admission that she finds your ideas persuasive even now that she's parted ways with the Church™ is telling.

Your irrepressible sense of humor would probably resonate to Stephanie Lauritzen's take on Kate Kelly being excommunicated--as interpreted through animated GIFs of 'Mean Girls'. The whole affair has inspired snarky genius every bit as creative as Ally Isom's little dog and pony show on the radio.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-lauritzen/mean-girls_1_b_5530529.html?1403733762

I'd agree with you, LDSDPer, Brent Larsen's conversation with his 'reviewer' from the Seventy is a spooky bit of doing. Echoes of Ally Isom as the reviewer bobbed and hopped about in his words. I think faulting Isom and the reviewer misses the point, however. They're attempting to defend and protect something that is mighty nebulous to begin with. When they come for you Rock--and they will--do share whatever seems appropriate. Knowing more seems better than knowing less about these courts of the hopping marsupial variety.

Friar Tuck said...

@Minerals Liberia:

If god the father and "heavenly mother" are co-priesthood holders, I sure have never heard anything about it.

argumentum ad ignorantiam is a logical fallacy. The absence of evidence against ordination of women is not proof that is is legitimate.

Gaybob Spongebath said...

Friar Tuck,
You say you "certainly never heard" of Father and Mother in heaven holding joint priesthood, as though your ignorance of the teaching invalidates it those who bring it up.

Yet you have boasted previously that you read almost nothing outside the standard works. We are therefore not surprised at the constant ignorance you display regarding the deeper mysteries.

LDSDPer said...

Ferro Rocher said:



The problem though is in this- considering what the 'priesthood' is defined as today, why would anyone want to share in the vanity of sitting in meetings and telling those below you what to do as you pass it on from those above you in the hierarchy!


amen.

I have begun to understand by speaking with those who are struggling with this that it has little to do with priesthood and more to do with how LDS men treat LDS women.

I don't know how that can change; there are a number of ill-concealed and openly admired men in our ward who behave like 'swine' towards women they deem to be, somehow, not worthy of their regard, generally because those same women do not fawn over them.

It happens too much, with young men, middle-aged men, and older men--

and all ages of women generally, though usually men are kinder to older women, I have noted, just out of pity, I suppose.

IF those men were not Christlike to begin with; there are a number of those, and they are priceless; THEY are not the problem in *our* wards.

LDSDPer said...

I have noted how men on this board have treated *me*, since I have openly declared I am female. LOL!

I don't respond to those who behave badly.

Most are good; some need to go back and be spanked by their mothers or . . . made to do hard kitchen duty. *grin*

(the dirty work)

--until they learn to show respect.

Oh, and don't think you've been respectful if I haven't responded to you; sometimes I just agree without feeling I need to say something--

37andholding said...

Denver Snuffer has a short post about women and Jesus'
actions involving some. Dated last Monday the 23rd. LDSDPer, you might like what he said.

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/?m=1

Anonymous said...

When someone close to me was recently interviewed for her temple recommend, the stake presidency counselor who interviewed her informed her that the question about affiliating with apostates is going to be changed in the next couple months, to become more "specific" and "in-depth"... I don't know if the new question is merely supposed to correct the abysmal wording of the current question, or as "in-depth" implies, if it is meant to begin culling out all the non-correlated membership...

MH

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