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, 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.

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,, or

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.


«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 424   Newer›   Newest»
LDSDPer said...

thank you, 37--

Elder Oaks said...

Video about ME!

Friar Tuck said...

@ Gaybob Spongebath:

You stated:

"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."

I wonder how many books Jesus read?

"man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God".

I wish Gary Hunt and Veracity would read your post and see that I was minding my own business, but "I" am the trouble causer.

engaged19times said...

Well folks, I've pulled back more of the curtain. Those temple names just depend on what day of the month you got your endowments on.

[Temple Name Oracle](

engaged19times said...

Hey Y'all! IDK how to post that link, but it would be interesting if everyone could see if their temple name matches with that list of dates! Google up Temple Name Oracle.

engaged19times said...

Y'all it's called Name Of The Day. A former temple worker on reddit confirms this.

Unknown said...

I wonder if the new recommend questions will weed out those of us libertarians who believe the government has no business regulating drugs, pornography and prostitution. All things that most members want the government to get involved in.

If you hang out with libertarians, say bye bye to a recommend? Interesting to think about.

Not exactly the self government Joseph Smith talked about either.......or worshiping and thinking according to the dictates of your own conscience either.

ferro rocher said...


That was another thing I was going to add to my temple comments- these new names- earlier last week but got so unwell and although a bit better I have a lot of work to catch up on.

In the next coming couple of months please look out for my new blog which will contain all this and more stuff to help with your insomnia!

Meanwhile, folks check this out...there is something in this!

37andholding said...




Veracity said...

I wonder if anyone being contentious on this forum is working for the Corporation?

nobody ever said...


That or they really need to get of the internet and get a life.

Gaybob Spongebath said...

Friar Tuck,
Jesus didn't need to read books in order to understand the mysteries, but you don't have the advantage he did.

Good Will said...

Wow, Rock! Where have I been? I'm definitely coming "late" to the party!

Excellent...most EXCELLENT PERFECTLY you have captured my sentiments and, I image, all those so negatively affected by the failure of those in charge to follow the revealed word.

God bless you, my friend.

Dale B said...

This morning on the way to work I listened to the Jack Stockwell show. On Fridays he often has his friend Paul Toscano on and calls it "Philosophical Friday". Today, the Kate Kelly excommunication was the springboard for Paul to talk about a number of doctrines which I had never heard of before.

He talks about the idea that Mary's washing and anointing of Christ was a necessary ordinance which must be performed by a woman to a man. He discusses a very different idea of polygamy - that there is some sort of open sexual relationships among the angels and that Joseph was trying to emulate that on Earth.

I can't say that I necessarily agree with his take, but it is certainly worth a listen. Generally the show is posted on the archive under the date of the show immediately after the show airs (after 9:00 am).

Dr. Shades said...

Hi Rock,

Will you please post a link to the video of the Ally Isom interview? Thanks to your description, I'd like to watch it.

Thank you!

nonamefornow said...

I'm not Rock, but he asked for a few days reprieve, so he could get some actual work done.

He said that on here.

You will have to cut and paste.

Stanton said...

Mormon apostasy officially defined: "Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine." --Office of the First Presidency

Be kind to them when they come for you, Rock.

JonP said...


As usual, your article has opened my eyes. The recent media attention has been interesting to say the least. Thank you for taking the time to ask questions, and seek answers and share your thoughts. Like you, I have a testimony of this Gospel but find the corporate institution of the church to be out of line.


37andholding said...

Stanton, that definition of apostasy is sure 'loaded'. It depends on what is meant by "church" and "faithful leaders". It looks clear as mud to me. That's BS.. Or PR lingo. Got it covered from every angle. ;)

Funny that 'they' really don't come FOR ya. It appears they come against ya!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I'll be both kind and loving.

Of course, that is not the definition of apostasy by any definition other than the one put forward in the CHI. It bears absolutely no bearing on apostasy as understood in the early LDS church, any other church, dictionary definitions, historical understandings, or pretty much anywhere outside the corporate Church.

But it does provide further evidence that the institutional LDS Church is not an actual church but a corporation, for any private corporation can define the reasons for termination any way it wants, and as 37andHolding observes, that one's a dozy.

As I continue to say, they can throw me out of the corporation doing business as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that's their outfit. But they have no power to remove me from the church of Jesus Christ. So none of it means anything but quasi-religious theater.

Geraldine said...

37andholding and Rock,

This definition of apostasy reminds me of the Authorization for Use of Military Force used as legal justification for America's recent wars in the Middle East, both declared and undeclared. Sufficiently fuzzy yet sufficiently broad to let them claim that they're being legal about it. Hopefully the Office of the First Presidency isn't declaring war on anyone.

With all due respect to Paul Toscano, this new definition of apostasy smells of lawyers. Instead of wordsmiths and legal samurai, the definition should be the result of revelation. The mind and will of God--now there's a force to be reckoned with and embraced with humility and thanksgiving.

Here are the 60 words that have served as the key to America spending trillions of dollars that we cannot repay and killing hundreds of thousands of human beings that we'll never know or love:

"That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

The story of the AUMF is chilling and well told at Radiolab:

BK said...

Interesting how the Church fails to mention in it's definition of 'apostasy', anything about 'Christ', who is the true test of any real Christian apostasy.

But instead they lift up their high & mighty supposedly infallible leaders as the test of apostasy.

Probably because the Church leaders know very well that they themselves would be called 'apostates' if they used Christ's teachings as the test to determine apostasy.

What a circus this is becoming.

Unknown said...

Geraldine makes a great point.

Expanding on that idea, think about all of the people who say, "we just need to get back to the constitution", or, "we need less government". This simply will not and cannot work. There is a reason that Jacob 5 is contained in the Book of it. The Lord talks about His method. For the sake of time i'm not going to go into detail about my opinion on the subject, but just touch on it.

When the United States was born, it wasn't a corrected, rehabilitated, or reformed government of another country. It was new. It was a new idea according to the consensus, or "norms" of the day. It wasn't perfect, no earthly organization is. It had infiltrators like Hamilton and other Federalists who deceived Madison and outflanked Patrick Henry and other sincere well meaning "founders".

Because of dishonest, cunning and evil men, the country was corrupted(much like the vineyard in Jacob 5)from the beginning. But the Lord works with imperfections, seemingly for a very long time, to bring about his purposes. At some point, the Lord stops working with corruption. He removes what's good; then destroys the rest. The "good" then has a season where they start anew. A revolution.

That, in my opinion is how it always worked and always will work. That is why the country will not be saved by reformation. That is why the Lord didn't have Joseph reform any existing church. That is why the Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the "one mighty and strong" coming and setting the church in order. "The church", much like the country, had infiltrators from the beginning. It won't work for a few people to recognize that things aren't kosher. There must be a revolution. The one mighty and strong will obviously not come quietly. He will likely be viewed with contempt by many in "the church". But, the good will be uprooted and preserved(some good will die during the course of events)and the vineyard will be burned. The cycle will start over again. The gospel will again be taught in its fullness and a non-corporate, loose organization called a church will once again be on the earth to bring people the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Only a free society can have the un-corrupted gospel, so it stands to reason that the country where the gospel is restored and emanates from must have a revolution, where the free market of ideas can flow unfettered by government thugs and goons. Only a free people can practice the true gospel. The true gospel can only be taught in a free society.

These aren't all of my thought and opinions on the subject, but a short summary of them.

Thanks for sharing your ideas Geraldine. You got my mind churning. That is the good result of blogs. Causing us to think and share ideas and thoughts.

BK said...

Irven Hill,

By your logic the Catholic Church must be God's Church then that he will one day cleanse, or at least the RLDS and all the other break offs from Joseph's original Church must also be God's churches, along with most any Christian Church today, if you are going to consider Brigham's small apostate group as God's chosen church.

For it appears that no matter how evil or contrary to Christ Churches are, or how false leaders and members are, you believe God will still use their church and someday cleanse it, instead of rejecting it like he said he would.

I believe Christ will say to the LDS Church he 'never knew them'.

I believe Christ established his Church 'once and for all' when he was on the earth, and he left his Gospel for all to search out and follow.

There was no need for a restoration for there was nothing lost.

Since Christ's day I'm sure there have always been some obscure righteous people and prophets throughout the world who probably didn't know of each other. Same as today, they exist but probably don't know each other for they are so rare. Just because Christ's original apostles and members were scattered and died doesn't mean no more prophets existed.

Prophets are just righteous people who actually live Christ's teachings. All truly righteous persons are prophets.

But there was no truth, priesthood power, no rites, no nothing lost that had to be restored by someone like Joseph. Anyone could or can at anytime live Christ's teachings and receive all the blessings and Priesthood to be had, straight from God, no matter if they go to a church or not.

If we find some rare righteous souls who claim to be prophets that's great, but they would not try to do what Christ already did. True prophets today or since Christ would 'not' try to establish Christ's church, build temples or create new scripture. They would just teach and be an example of Christ's simple and few teachings, for that is how they 'prove' they are really true prophets, 'not' that they write more scriptures or build temples.

The only true 'mighty and strong' one who will come will be Christ, who will gather in the few righteous from across the earth, and probably few if any will be from the LDS Church, for righteous souls can see how corrupt it is and thus are too repulsed by it and it's false prophets to have anything to do with it or them.

Unknown said...

BK said,
"By your logic the Catholic Church must be God's Church then that he will one day cleanse, or at least the RLDS and all the other break offs from Joseph's original Church must also be God's churches, along with most any Christian Church today, if you are going to consider Brigham's small apostate group as God's chosen church."

"For it appears that no matter how evil or contrary to Christ Churches are, or how false leaders and members are, you believe God will still use their church and someday cleanse it, instead of rejecting it like he said he would."

No. I didn't say anything like that. What I believe is that the good will be uprooted from the corrupt church, so to speak. Just like people were uprooted from other churches and were baptized because of their belief that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true. Just like good men were uprooted from England and started a new country attempting to follow the rules of self governing. It didn't work because of infiltrators and imperfections of men. Just as the church was infiltrated and corrupted from the beginning by infiltrators and the imperfections of men.

Your idea that I think that God will use "their church" and cleanse it is not what I said. He will start new. That's what I said.

Just because He starts new, doesn't mean there won't be any of the good people who were uprooted from the corrupted "vineyard" involved in it.

nonamefornow said...


wow, good thoughts/ideas!

I've been trying to connect Ether 8 with its obvious implications for a corrupt government with the corruption of the LDS corporation--

and you did it.

BK said...

Irven Hill,

Thanks for clarifying that. So we appear to believe the same, that the Lord will glean out the righteous from whatever church or religion they may be in and restore his church anew in Zion.

I'm glad to see you don't think the LDS Church is any different or any more true then any other Church or religion out there, all being false churches, though maybe with a few righteous in them.

Unknown said...


Yes. The Book of Mormon nails EVERY single church on this issue, including the "holy church of God".
Even the righteous are misled because the corruption blinds them from the truth; to paraphrase it.

37andholding said...

Geraldine, I think the ground IS laid for war among the corporate leaders who are totally vested in the cause. It's ALL about money. As all wars are. Stand in their way and get shot down before you can do much financial damage. They can't afford to live and let live. We all seem to be disposable at the right cost.

That quote about the cloudy political justification of our goverment thieves is really telling. Cover yourself literally at all costs.

Anonymous said...


Sound's like your bishop was telling you the truth, then decided to take it back after realizing that a. he should not of told you about the area 70, b. someone told him to take it back. or c. he's and idiot and did actually make it up.

tbh, c. sounds ridiculous, I suspect lying for the lord is likely what occurred.

Anonymous said...

I have been LDS my entire life. I LOVE so many of the teachings of the church, but have had so many questions and doubts. I love reading blogs like this. I am what so many lovingly dub a "Lib-mo." I have always looked at things a little differently and have been struggling to understand why. I love to know that other people think outside the lines drawn by the modern Church like I do. I have begun to think a lot about how in the scriptures we see so many patterns of the Church going in cycles of good and evil and the Lord continually hitting the refresh button in a way. I have felt we are in the middle of a "Refresh" period, and that at some point things are going to get better. With these latest excommunications I fear we are reaching our darkest period. It has never been so obvious to me how scared the church is of being seen as less than perfect and of one mind. The Church Leaders do everything they can to silence anyone who does not blindly follow the herd. Since when was it a bad thing to ask questions, to seek additional answers and to think independently? I always remind myself that Joseph Smith sought out the answers and asked the hard questions, that is what brought around the church in the first place. Why would I be discouraged from taking the same path? It has always bothered me that I am supposed to take the current Church for its word and never seek or question the practices in place. Thank you for confirming there are more of us out there, and thank you for your courage to share these thoughts. I wish I could be as brave and bold in this spiritual revival.


Mother of 2

Zoe said...

Mother of 2,

Anyone who is willing and able to hold their own thoughts and views in the face of monolithic groupthink qualifies as brave and bold in my book. You're in some amazing company by the way. Fellow heretic, John Dehlin, has a great collection of quotes from some of the best minds and heart of Mormonism, starting with Joseph Smith, on how seeking and questioning are not simply acceptable but are vital to becoming like our Heavenly Father.

Anonymous said...

"I will give you one of the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man [or woman] who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent will apostatize as God lives." -Joseph Smith

nonamefornow said...

@anonymous, 7:13--

that quote is deliberately vague--

does the 'man' refer to a leader and the 'church' the members--

or the 'man' refer to a lone member and the 'church' refer to the leaders--

Another vaguery. Rock and others on here suggest that this is a warning to someone in the magesterium--

from Joseph Smith, who particularly feared a top-down trend.

BK said...

Anonymous 7:13,

People keep repeating that quote and saying that Joseph said it when there is no proof he actually did say it, in fact it goes against all Joseph taught and did, for he constantly taught how even he could fall and that we were to always test, question, study, judge and make sure he and all leaders were really teaching truth and on the right path.

Joseph himself knew how many errors the Church had and how evil so many of even the apostles of his day were. Joseph even identified many himself. He of course knew that many righteous members would rightly call them on it.

Joseph would be calling himself an apostate if this quote were true.

Joseph of all people understood how easy it was for the church or any leader (even himself) to go into apostasy or to teach wrong things, so of course he wouldn't have said such a thing.

No church, leader or prophet (except Christ) has ever been even near perfect, even in Christ's day, so to say that if a person finds fault than they are wrong is completely ridiculous and just what Satan would have us think.

Even Christ commanded us to watch for faults in the Church and especially in those who claim to be prophets or leaders of the Church and to watch out for falling for such false prophets and their false doctrines & churches.

I believe that oft repeated quote is really by Brigham Young or one of his many supporters, who just tagged Joseph's name to it like they did so many other quotes, doctrines, practices and beliefs.

It sounds just like the blind obedience that those false prophets who took some members out west, wanted the people to give them so they could continue their evils, and then call anyone 'apostate' who called them on it.

BK said...

It's just like today, the Church's apostate leaders call everyone an 'apostate' who identifies and discerns the church's and it's leader's apostasy.

Clever, but false prophets have always said things like the quote above, that is only 'claimed' to be from Joseph.

nonamefornow said...

@BK, your points are, indeed, valid--

but would you please go back and read what "nonamefornow" said about this quote--

You are assuming, as everyone usually does, that this is a criticism of 'members' for being troubled over things 'the church' is doing,

whereas, it could be exactly the opposite;

just go back and read it; it puts an entirely different slant on it.

Thank you.

nonamefornow said...

in other words, when I listened diligently to conference I felt constantly criticized by 'the brethren', felt that I could never do enough or be good enough--

when they were subtle, it was worse and felt even more condemning--

I grew weary of hearing about all the things I could do better and wasn't doing enough of or had been doing wrong--

when all I wanted was to hear of Jesus.

this statement of Joseph's (if it is his) could have been his warning for church leaders not to do that to members--

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

To Anonymous, July 1, 2014 @ 7:13 AM

It is possible this is a quote from Joseph. But what exactly was he saying?

I think when considering this quote, context is everything.

Could this have been rhetoric? After all, it is not in the cannon. Joseph did say some pretty stupid off the cuff things now and again. He didn't walk around transmitting the word of God like a radio receiver.

This quote is from July of 1839. The church was reeling from the Apostasy of the three Witness, several members of the Twelve, most of the Eight Witness and other significant members of the Church. Joseph had not been long out of Liberty Jail. Many of the good men of the church that apostatized had ample reason in retrospect.

If your exposure to the late 1830s apostasy is colored by stories such as President Marsh and the missing cream -- then you should look deeper into why all of these men -- stalwarts of the restoration -- left. It wasn't over cow drippings.

I think more than likely, this journal entry is a knee jerk reaction to the devastation of the Kirtland apostasy. Those men who left would claim, and with reason, that Joseph was a fallen prophet. I believe that is the frame of reference Joseph is speaking from. Is it possible that he was? Hey at least a fallen prophet was once a true prophet, right? That is for each to decide for himself.

But considering the time, I wouldn't take that phrase for true doctrine anymore that I would take Sidney Rigdon's salt sermon for doctrine, given 1 year earlier under the same circumstances.

If you do believe this invalidates Lehi's mission, Abinadi's message, Samuel the Lamanite's Message and most of all Christ's message to HIS PEOPLE AND HIS CHURCH IN THE MERIDIAN OF TIME. This type of rhetoric, I am sure was spilled by the Jewish leaders of Christ's day.

Food for thought...

Seeking to be Astonished....

mtman318 said...

I hope I'm not double-posting, but my first isn't showing up. I put this as a comment on the YouTube video with Elder Oaks and I figured I'd put it here also:

I am a Mormon, and I do NOT approve of this message. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says or does it. (I understand that context is important--but some things, one of which is "not criticizing despite being right," will always be wrong no matter the context.)

Some may say "you shouldn't speak evil of the Lord's anointed" as an excuse, but we should define "evil speaking" first (not to mention "Lord's anointed"). Synonyms include defamation, calumny, slander, libel--meaning communication of a false statement for the intent of harming ones reputation. That's NOT criticism--or at least it certainly doesn't apply when the criticism is true, since evil speaking is false by definition. Even if one takes a broader definition of evil speaking, such as "making statements with the intent of causing pain," that's still not criticism. Criticism is correction. Pain can be a side effect, but it's not the intent.

I know I speak for many of us when I say we are sick of all the crap--the City Creek Centers, the ecclesiastical abuse (both on the global and local levels), the blatant disobedience to our own scriptures (such as encouraging overpaying on tithing and the refusal to make how it is spent public, among many other things), the historical (and current) dishonesty, the unjust discipline and excommunications, the unjustified claims (such as having continuous revelation yet failing to produce a single declared revelation in the past 36 years AT LEAST), the hiding behind PR departments, the intellectual and spiritual stifling via curricula and policy correlation, the fact that missionary work (both among members and full-time missionaries) is managed like Avon--and that's just speaking in generals, barely scratching the surface. Yet if we dare speak up, we're either ignored, disfellowshipped, or excommunicated. It's like the Pharisees of old: "Howbeit no man spake openly...for fear of the Jews (leaders)." (John 7:13)

mtman318 said...

Actually, I think I'll change my line from "not criticizing despite being right" to "never criticizing." Otherwise, it sounds like I'm saying that we should ALWAYS criticize about everything with which we are (or think we are) right, which is definitely not what I'm trying to say.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I confess to growing weary of seeing people offer that quote of the prophet warning the Brethren not to find fault with the church, as if he was telling the church they were on the road to apostasy if they found fault with the leaders.

Joseph Smith did say that alright, but it would be pretty arrogant of him if he was referring to himself and the other leaders as being beyond criticism.

Unlike many members today, Joseph Smith KNEW what the word CHURCH meant. He always used it the same way the Lord used that word in D&C 10:67. He NEVER used it in the corrupt terms we have come to use it today.

To Joseph Smith, "church" meant the members, the general community. "church" IS NOT THE LEADERS. "The church" is ALL of us.

That statement was part of a speech the prophet delivered that goes on for 8 pages in The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and if it is to be understood, it should be read in context. He was giving parting warnings to a very small group consisting of new members of the Twelve who were about to embark on missions, and a handful of Seventies, warning them to be humble and not think themselves above the common members simply because they now held positions of prominence.

Normally I would sustain my firm rule and delete the post at 7:13 that was left only by someone who chose to call himself "Anonymous," but because there have been several responses to that post already, and because this statement of the Prophet's is frequently trotted out and presented without any context to the rest of his speech whatsoever, I have left it here so that I could respond to it. Too bad that commenter didn't leave his real name because he or she deserves to be humiliated for misquoting the prophet of God.

If you want to read that quote properly, you must disabuse yourself of the modern interpretation of "the church" as being the leaders of the church, and read it the way the prophet intended his words.

Substitute either the word "members" or "community" where Joseph has used the word "church" and you'll have the proper meaning of what he is saying.

"That man [among you, the Twelve Apostles] who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the MEMBERS, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly that man is in the high road to apostasy, and if he does not repent, WILL apostatize, as God lives."

Joseph Smith did indeed say those words, and he did give that warning to the church hierarchy. I believe his words. That warning to the Twelve is further evidence to me that Joseph Smith was a prophet, for he accurately described the hubris that would operate among our present crop of leaders.

I am witnessing the truth of the prophet's words being fulfilled before my eyes.

Good Will said...

Great comment, Rock! That comment is worthy of a post in itself!

Unknown said...

Great point Rock.

There is possibly only one quote used out of context more than that, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesars" and only because it isn't only lds who quote that, but blind tyrant followers the world over who believe in governmental racket.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Right you are, Irven. The reason the pharisees were so irate when Jesus gave that clever answer was because the people chafing under Caesar's rule understood that NOTHING belonged to Caesar, but that everything on the earth was God's.

They had hoped to entrap him by forcing him to denounce loyalty to the emperor, but his answer was perfectly attuned so that those who had ears to hear got the message.

Today, few latter-day Saints have ears to hear, and assume Jesus is telling us we owe allegiance to government and must obey its representatives, no matter how corrupt.

Concerned member said...

I really would like to read the blog that was linked here called The Latter Day Saint's Flashlight, but the font on that blog is so difficult to read, for my eyes, that I can't do it. I would like to politely request a change of font. More people could read the information if it was more readable.

nonamefornow said...

@concerned member,

you might go back to the discussion on "Uncomfortable God" and find the blogmaster there--

he left his e-mail address there--

nonamefornow said...

@anyone who cares--

this is why I always double check everything against the Book of Mormon.

I find it almost amusing that as so many "Mormons" run away from the Book of Mormon (I don't know if it's historically accurate, etc., etc.)--

and towards the Bible--

and the New Testament has to have been through much more muddling than the Book of Mormon ever could be, and how does anyone not know the Bible wasn't made up (the O.T. somewhat follows Jewish history, but the N.T. is not as secure in having that historical measure)--

I find it to be a matter for head-shaking--

I am not even sure Jesus ever said that, and how do *we* not know (the render unto Caesar saying)--

it wasn't one of the plain and precious things that was muddled.

Even those of us who are coming to appreciate the Book of Mormon are still shackled by decades and decades (many of us) of having the New Testament thrown at us--

or, if handed the Book of Mormon, having it handed to us with the N.T. pasted all over it.

When I found out that Brigham Young preferred the N.T. that was enough for me!!! LOL!

I question it constantly.

There is nothing in the Book of Mormon that says anything about rendering to Casesar--

hmmm, fancy that!!!


And while I'm at it--

I wish I could design a blog chant for the next time someone puts out the quote by Brigham Young about being offended.

Brigham said what appealed to him and what he could get away with, which was anything and everything--

and often contradicted himself.

If I were in a debate with BY (it would be hot, and both of us would be stripped of any worldly honors, which would probably leave us pretty much equal)--

I would throw back at him--

"all right, Brigham, here you are:

this is from the book you preferred to the Book of Mormon:

2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Luke 17:2"--

And then I would add, "put that verse in your opera gloves and look at it a while"--

nonamefornow said...

yes, I know there was no knowledge of Caesar in the Book of Mormon; they were too busy combining secrets and plotting for the death of righteous or semi-righteous people at the same time in the Book of Mormon--

but the point could have been, and it wasn't--

BK said...

I think the reason Brigham Young didn't like to use the Book of Mormon was because it condemned him, and his polygamy and being financially supported by the church, etc.

It wasn't until later that some polygamous man started twisting Jacob 2:30 to seem like it condoned polygamy in certain circumstances. But BY knew from Joseph that the BoM didn't ever condone polygamy.

While the Old Testament seemed more supportive of his polygamy, so BY like the Bible much more, especially the Old Testament, though it is riddled with false teachings, evil laws and fallen prophets that were contrary to the commandments of God & Christ.

The only scriptures we can truly trust to be correct are Christ's words found in the New Testament and thus judge all other scripture or teachings or prophets by his words.

And we prove Christ's words to be true by living them.

Vince said...


If you accept that government is a racket to one degree or another you might enjoy a recent essay by retired MIT professor, Noam Chomsky: "America’s corporate doctrine of power a grave threat to humanity - The United States' foreign policy is increasingly guided by the concerns of the few, at a terrible cost to us all" Blindly following such leaders of government is no better than blindly following religious leaders inspired by their own minds.


nonamefornow said...


No, we can't trust the New Testament. There have been almost 2,000 years for it to be muddled.

Since you continue to say the same thing again and again--

so will I:

no, the New Testament cannot be trusted.

I know you don't like Paul, but he said something about a bishop only having one wife; it's obvious that even in the N.T. people, even Christians, were still practicing polygamy.

It's right there, along with the degrees of glory and baptism for the dead, two things not found in the Book of Mormon--

also the instant death of a Christian couple for withholding their money--

You will continue to believe it, while I will continue to hold up the Book of Mormon and say that until the Bible has been stripped from it--

and it has been read as it was intended, the history of a people with warnings for various groups (including the silly and abominating gentle church, which certainly probably includes chiefly the LDS church)--

people who cared enough to devote their lives to seeing that *we* got that record.

You continue to repeat, in almost every post, that those of *us* who 'remain' (whatever that means; *you* don't know the faith or hope or private works of anyone else, certainly not on here)--

are in terrible danger and certainly will be visiting h#ll.

Well, I tell you that you can strip away all the LDS churches (all of them; I think there are 5 or 7)--

and go back to the Book of Mormon, the basic, pure truths of which lead to Jesus Christ--

without the Bible glued on--

and find the pure words of Jesus Christ there as well.

And read about people who loved Him and served Him.

But you have become a born-again Christian and repudiate Mormonism--

it's your choice, and I will not tell you you are going to h#ll, because I don't believe it, but I think you ought to stop telling people on here-- . . .


that *we* who continue to associate with the LDS church, in spite of all its grievous problems--

maybe even because it has all been foretold in the Book of Mormon--

and we are meant to watch--

and be wise, if we can be--

and those of *us* who have found Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon and for whom the Bible (even the N.T.) rung dull--

not true.

I would love to believe the things the N.T. says about Jesus--

but, 2,000 years, BK.

2,000 years. Years during which evil religionists, using Christianity, destroyed and bullied Europe and even other parts of the world--

the N.T. hasn't been able to counter-act that.

I won't tell you that you are being foolish to reject the Book of Mormon--

I will continue to tell as many people as I can that BY preferred the bible, not just the O.T.

Are you in 'peril' because you read a book preferred by BY? About as much as I am by continuing to associate (however loosely) with the LDS church, accepting about 1% of what I hear and following the Spirit about how I live, whom I serve, etc.

So, let's call a truce, BK.


It's getting ridiculous.

You stop telling *us* how evil we are, and I won't mention the 2,000 years the N.T. was under the complete domination and control of men who rode off to the holy land and killed Christian Arabs.

Unless, of course, you approve of their having done that. Too many 'born again Christians' I know do approve of the 11 years of warmongering in the middle east, because they are, after all, heathens. Not Christians.

I don't want that brand of Christianity any more than I want BY's brand.

nonamefornow said...


Someone close to me wants to read that out of the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, if you could give me the page numbers or however it is numerated--

or the name of the transcript of the talk--

whatever works.

Thank you.

Unknown said...


Thanks for the info. It is interesting to see Chomsky's take on it......But my issue with Chomsky is that he loves the welfare state, while picking on the warfare state. The racket is the welfare/warfare state. Chomsky could do so much good, but at the end of the day he's a "lesser of two evils" guy and supported Obama.

Veracity said...

Like many of you, I am undergoing a transformation. I am less concerned about the historical accuracy of any scripture, or its origins, and more concerned about the truth of the message. I want to know about the usefulness of the message in my life right now. I want to know things that will make us happy.

I believe I can recognize what is true and godly when it comes to how to be nice to people.

I believe in the power of faith to bring about what is good for me and my family. I believe the spirit will guide me to learn what I need to know out of the scripture and out of the best books.

I feel less inclined to defend or attach something and more inclined to talk about what I support and want.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

The page numbers you seek are 155-162 in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I've been meaning to do a post about that oft misquoted statement of the prophet's but now I don't have to because Will Carter just posted that comment I wrote in its entirety on his blog, "In 200 Words Or Less", which I really appreciate him doing because now when that old chestnut gets brought up I can just send people to his blog to the explanation.

The comments following are pretty informative also. Here's the link:

BK said...


I think you misunderstand me, I never said I trusted the whole New Testament, only that I trust Christ's words which are found in the NT, which we can test to see if they are true or not, by living them. I believe they have proven true.

The rest of the New Testament was written by fallible men, and I agree that it is muddled by the last 2000 years and filled with many errors, just like the Old Testament and just like even the Book of Mormon is muddled with errors and falsehoods because of the errors of it's so-called prophets who were also very fallible men, if they even existed.

We can see the errors in the OT, NT & BoM by comparing what they say & teach to Christ's words.

The only way we/you know what Christ really said or taught is because we have the New Testament. If we didn't have the New Testament we wouldn't have the BoM or know what parts of it are true or not, for we wouldn't have the New Testament story of Christ and his teachings to test the BoM truthfulness.

I believe Joseph copied Christ's teachings from the New Testament and put them into the BoM and used them to teach many good principles in the Book of Mormon.

So as I have said before, I like much of the Book of Mormon. If Joseph did write it he did a good job of writing a great book that teaches us alot of wonderful truths.

But there are also alot of false things in the BoM, that teach things contrary to Christ and lead people to be deceived easily by false prophets (things like praying to 'feel' if something is true. For feelings and revelation can often be wrong and very deceptive)

We prove truth by concrete means, by comparing something or someone with what Christ taught, not by a feeling or inspiration.

So we can't hold the Book of Mormon up as better then the New Testament for it's riddled with error also, and may not even be a true book, meaning none of it may really have happened, just made up by Joseph, etc, and it's probably just a product of the New Testament.

At least most all scholars now agree that the New Testament's basic story almost surely happened, even if time and people have muddied the doctrines of Christ.

But I myself find a much clearer and more complete version of Christ's Gospel in the New Testament then in the Book of Mormon. Joseph seemed to leave out some very important points in the BoM that Christ taught in the NT.

But my belief and concern is the same as Christ's and even Joseph Smith's, that we should 'beware of false prophets' (like those who lead the LDS Church) and not let ourselves be deceived to follow false or support them and their churches, I think they were very clear about that.

I myself believe in their warnings and I believe they warned us about having anything to do with churches like the LDS Church today. But I realize not everyone sees how evil the Church and it's leaders are, for it can take a long time to come to realize that.

But it appears that Joseph Smith pitied and felt sorry for anyone who might be deceived to follow Brigham Young and join his group/church.

I do too now, and I regret all the time and service I gave to false leaders and a corrupt church who led me and my family astray, when my time, money and efforts could have gone to far better use and we could have grown in a knowledge of the Gospel much faster had we never been a member of the Church and just studied Christ on our own.

I agree with Joseph and Christ, and since you believe in Joseph's Book of Mormon I would think you would too, for it also warns us to beware of and stay away from false prophets and their churches.

nonamefornow said...


I'm sorry. BK and I have been going the 'rounds' for months, if not years!!! LOL!

I know I sound defensive, and I'm sorry.

You are right about not defending, and I feel it keenly.

Have you read Daymon Smith? He takes the blinders off with regards to how the Book of Mormon was sabotaged from the minute it was off the presses--

by pasting the bible in it--

BK knows that I don't agree that the Book of Mormon is as full of errors as the bible--

I simply repudiate the bible at this point in my life, because I feel I've lost so many years--

of having the bible pushed at me and the Book of Mormon held under a weight too large for me to remove.

I knew some people who believed this 50 years ago who tried to talk to me about it; they were considered radical.

So, Daymon isn't alone in his philosophy--

he's worth reading; he is.

and BK and I will probably go on talking about this, though I had not intended to.

BK, I know your heart is good, and at this point that is all that really matters--

Veracity, I would love to believe the stories of Jesus in the New Testament are true, but there's so much 'stuff' in there, mixed in with it, and I'm weary of sorting it out--

the Book of Mormon is more correct; it is more pure--

and BK and I will go the 'rounds' some more--

I'll take a holiday break; how is that?


I can promise you this; IF you read the Book of Mormon, entirely on its own--

I recommend you get a copy that has no topical guide 'doo-whackies' in it--

no headings by former general authorities--

just the book; this is the one I recommend; I print it off; I love it:

I print each book off at a time, and at the moment I am considering doing it on very nice, strong paper--

SO easy to read--

no 'stuff'--

Nobody claims this, nor is a copyright found on it--

it could be any of the 7 churches, the "Mormon" churches--

the one the church puts out online is absolutely stuffed with little letters--

enough to make a person's head swim while reading.

Daymon Smith's books are online--

It is better if you start at the beginning; we are on volume 4 now--

so I am not sure how to advise you; he takes them off after a few weeks--

but there was a very real 'conspiracy' or scheme or, well, satan was very clever, to cover that book up as soon as possible, while still touting it as 'the book'--

very clever, kind of scary--

nonamefornow said...

oh, and Veracity--

as far as those people who have thrown the Book of Mormon away because it's not 'historically accurate', Daymon Smith has some interesting things to say about that--

he's a cultural anthropologist (originally hired by the church and allowed access to many early documents, which he uses to prove his point that the Book of Mormon has been heavily hijacked)--

Alan Rock Waterman said...

There is some fascinating input in the comment section of "In 200 Words or Less" from Adrian Larsen regarding the Joseph Smith apostasy quote. He has convinced me that entire statement was a forgery, and his reasoning is solid.

I provide additional comments below his for why I am newly inclined to accept his position that the entire paragraph is a likely fraud.

nonamefornow said...


(this is pretty funny; two conversations going at once)--

Who were the ones who sabotaged the Book of Mormon, and how did they get away with it?

They were 'smart' enough not to totally destroy it. They kept it ostensibly intact--

they held it up and said, "see, here, the Book of Mormon, proof of the miracle of the restoration"--

and then they turned to the Bible--

the earliest apostles who were not excommunicated--

men like Parley P. Pratt and Brigham Young, etc.--

they went around the world and brought people into the church using the Bible. *arg*

Preached from the bible, totally ignored the Book of Mormon, while saying, "see here; we have this Book of Mormon; isn't it nice?"--

When it began to appear that a few people might be waking up (poor old Orson Pratt got blasted openly in general conferences for years by Young, because he continued to try to convince people the Book of Mormon had merit, and Young, having the power and authority he was unafraid to use, put him down over and over again and even made sure he was demoted in the twelve, so that he would never be the president of the church)--

when it became apparent to the same sort of conduit/person for the importance of devaluing the Book of Mormon and neutralizing it--

probably more than one or two people--

that people might actually be wanting to begin to READ the Book of Mormon--

they had to do a variety of things:

--stick "another testament of Christ" on it

--fill it with TG guide references to make sure nobody ever read it on its own

--put it in combination with other scriptures

Fascinating how slippery satan is and how this all fulfilled prophecy about the follies and abominations of the Gentile church--

so, a few people wake up now--

and even those who wake up want to continue to lean on the bible--

It's tempting after many years--

Look at the hymns, look at LDS artwork, look at classes (all designed to dilute the Book of Mormon)--

The Book of Mormon will be shown at some future date to have been the book that could have led people to Christ, but it got covered up, ignored, squabbled over (dna, words used that don't 'fit' in the book, oh, MY, how terrible!)--

and there will be much, I believe, sorrow.

The power I have felt reading the book without the bible, D&C and P of GP has been amazing--

with no little footnotes and little letters stuck in there.

It makes a much bigger difference than I ever dreamed--

and the book is full of Jesus--

testifying of Jesus, prophesying of Jesus, calling people to repent and come unto Jesus--

and even His own words--

Read Daymon Smith and you'll understand.

There is a reason that the Book of Mormon mentions early in the book that the book that had messed up most of the world and was a huge stumblingblock (I believe the bible)--

well, is.

nonamefornow said...

I'll look for the verses later, but there is very much a warning about the bible in the Book of Mormon, but Mormons (even those who are still very involved in the church) can't put the bible down--

it's a habit, tradition of the fathers, surely--

it would be blasphemy for anyone not to use the bible, correct? Not to refer to it constantly?

But ignoring the book of Mormon, fussing over dna and who the Lamanites are or aren't, etc.--

is all right.

It doesn't matter how much a person says that the Bible has been messed up, it doesn't seem to affect people's reading and using it--

but say a little about dna or words that "should not" be found in the Book of Mormon (Daymon Smith has an easy anthropological explanation for that)--

and you put the book down and never pick it up again--

and BK, bless her heart, calling the Book of Mormon "Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon"--

what is the New Testament--

which monks had a wild game and party while switching things around in there?

Nobody knows; too many years--

but the Book of Mormon is "Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon"--

anyone is free to criticize it, tack anything on to it, repudiate it, lose a testimony over its lack of historicity, etc.--

but don't touch the bible--

nonamefornow said...

Thanks, Rock. That works well.

Now the same person is going to want to go read Will's blog--


Me? I've been batted back and forth like a tennis ball for so long over what Joseph did or didn't say that I am not sure my head is on straight--


nonamefornow said...

@Anyone who cares about what I've been saying about the Book of Mormon, especially Veracity, who seemed interested--


Please understand that I have come to 'see' that this phenomenon of the gentile church rejecting the Book of Mormon is prophesied in the book--

(of Mormon)--

I'm usually so careful about scripture references--

but the foolishness and abominations of the Gentiles is listed repeatedly, as are things such as the 'traditions of the fathers', as is the fact that the book that will come from the "Jews" will be a stumblingblock.

I don't want you to thing, even though I can't feign terrible fondness for Parley P. Pratt and certainly not for Brigham Young--

that I believe any of those men (they were not the only ones at all, but they were probably chief) sabotaged the Book of Mormon on purpose--

no, ignorance and close-mindedness is probably more easily used by satan than deliberate intent to deceive (though, of course, that does happen, and I would suspect it in the case of Brigham--poor, old Brigham; I've been rebuked all over the bloggernacle for thinking the man less than a saint)--

No, they were used, because of the 'traditions of the fathers'--

because of centuries/millennia of Catholic and Protestant Christianity--

the idea of having a Book of Mormon church never occurred to anyone, though I doubt anyone would have known what to do with it--


But I do not point my finger at these men and say, "they did this on purpose"--

no; I don't believe it.

I believe that when the church began there were enough foolish Gentiles (with some abominable behavior thrown in) for both God to use (for his unknowable purposes) and for satan to use--

some were my ancestors--

*we all* love to think *our* group is good, but it's simply not, ever, true--

there are no good groups in a telestial world; there are more than likely good people in every kind of group (religion, ethnic, geographic, linguistic, etc.)--

but never a good group, all good, or a bad group all bad--

I met a woman who was good and Christlike who was in an absolutely horrific religious organization--

so . . .

using those generalizations are never helpful, and they just bump up the pride of people like LDS--

In D&C 84 there is a verse (did Joseph say it by revelation or not; who knows, but the point is that it is there, and all LDS should feel convicted by it)--


54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—

55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

Darkened minds are what we silly Gentiles (and that does not just include LDS, by the way, but all Euro-Christian Americans and probably many Euro-Christians)--

struggle with, and breaking out of that darkness if painful and isolating--

sometimes with dire consequences--

but the light of truth will burst in--

and it's so worth it--

thank you, anyone who read this--

Rock, sorry I went off on my own Book of Mormon tangent--

just have it in me; got to say it.

It's terribly inconvenient and sometimes embarrassing.

But I mean to hurt nobody.

Veracity said...


I accept you the way you are. No need to apologize from my point of view.

You have and interesting perspective.

Have you ever read "The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text" edited by Prof. Royal Skousen?

nonamefornow said...


No, but I appreciate hearing about it.


Pointy said...


You are a seeker, my friend. Thanks for sharing your insights. What has been your biggest takeaway from reading Smith's A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon? Have you ever tried his presentation of the Book of Mormon?

nonamefornow said...


I am not sure there is just one thing I have learned from Smith. I'm reading it with my closest loved one, who finds it all shocking, but very believable. I don't find it shocking, but affirming.

I think the one thing that anthropologists really have an ability to do (or just studying anthropology, though someone who is training to help others is really a blessing for many of us)--

is to show how locked inside *our* cultures *we* all are. Absolutely locked tight and often unable to see 'out'.

and *our* cultures (whether LDS or any other religion or non-religion or American or European or ANY culture) are so very antithetical to God's Culture.

He sees everyone the same; He doesn't prefer one culture or one language or one way of doing anything; He just likes it when people are righteous and love Him. For obvious reasons. Generally, if people are righteous and loving Him, they aren't killing each other--

though there are American Mormons who might dispute that with me.

The fact that *we* are all asleep (which I believe), the fact that for so many decades *we* have believed as LDS that we are so 'special', so chosen--

is abhorrent to me now in a way that it wasn't as much before, even though I had often had serious concerns about it.

There is no superior culture or religion in this world; there are just hearts that do seek God--

And to see how vitally the Book of Mormon points out and prophesied (accurately) of all these things and how so many LDS continue to sleepily leaf through their bibles, while the Book of Mormon might help *them* to wake up (I include myself in the *them*)--

I find it almost laughable to have people talking about how the Book of Mormon isn't, quite, everything it ought to be, when it nails Mormons and other Christians (especially Mormons, though, I think, all of *us* gentiles)--

and then I realize that everyone is fast asleep--

and what can *I* expect. So I struggle to rise, to wake up--

and I find the world around me absolutely ridiculous. And very sad.

And I want to stand up and say, "hey, stop killing and starving those babies in other countries; just stop it now! Stop worrying about priesthood power and the foolish things in which *you* are caught up; let's do something about these hungry children, people! NOW!"--

But those who are asleep are apparently not aware there are hungry children who probably know "I am a Child of God" in 10 or 12 different languages (I mean, not each child knowing 10 or 12 different languages, but there are LDS children on three continents who are going hungry and even dying from malnutrition, and *we* want to make sure everything is read at the stake center for the visiting general authority--

you know?

Maybe that defines it, but it took a lot of time to say it--

Most of all I realize only Jesus can clean it all up--

and He is the point--

37andholding said...

YES! amen!
Understanding those points you expressed was an easy thing for me to get several years coming, but, discarding all the "sacred" dogma I was culturally influenced by, was incredibly difficult. 'Knowing' the truth truly does set one free but it feels like shedding heavy clothing and puts one in a vulnerable place until getting use to the free feeling!
For awhile, I kept thinking that I NEEDED some kind of coat. But I don't now. It is, in my opinion too, that:

"There is no superior culture or religion in this world; there are just hearts that do seek God--

I, also, appreciate Daymon Smith's writing and understandings.

Pointy said...


What is awakening us? Rock describes hundreds of people telling him that he's saying what they've been feeling for a long time. That goes for me as well. It doesn't make much sense to the magisterium who believe he is spreading mistruths and, to their condemnation, are attempting to weed him out.

While someone on the STMC will probably get the gold star of unrighteous dominion on his excommunication day the fact will remain that many who haven't even heard of him are awakening, aware within their own souls that all is not well in Zion. In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' Marcellus astutely observes that Denmark is festering with moral and political corruption and utters the famous line, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Perhaps it is our spiritual noses that are waking us up.

BK said...


Yes, the Church's leaky dam has now completely disintegrated and hidden knowledge & truth is coming out with tremendous speed, because of the open discussion and knowledge available now on the internet.

No one needs to study anti-mormon literature, for LDS manuals and publications contain all the anti-mormon doctrine one needs to realize the Church is not true and never has been.

Soon the only one's left in the Church will be those who refuse to wake up or stand for the right because it's easier to stay and continue to follow or support blindly, to get the social aspect of it all.

Those who truly believe in and follow Christ will see that the LDS Church was never his Church and does not follow him but just the opposite, it's anti Christ.

The Church is just the blind leading the blind.

Knowledge wakes people up and convinces them of truth. Wicked leaders have always tried to suppress knowledge so the people don't realize their errors and evil.

Knowledge of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ is finally come out. And people now realize no man or prophet is infallible, in fact far from. Thus they are finally thinking and reasoning for themselves.

Only those who are unafraid of the truth will find it.

nonamefornow said...

BK continues to say:

Soon the only one's left in the Church will be those who refuse to wake up or stand for the right because it's easier to stay and continue to follow or support blindly, to get the social aspect of it all.

Yes, BK, you keep saying what you keep saying; I will say what I keep saying--

The U.S. is corrupt, correct? Then leave. If you don't, you have no integrity, correct? Some of *us* believe it's gone too far into roguery and can't be fixed--

so leave, correct?

Where are you going?

BK, it is not your call as to whether people remain 'in' the church or not. Some may leave; they may be told to leave, or they may be pushed right out, even violently--

others may be told to stay.

It's astounding to me how you always work things around to leave that little dig about those who stay in the church are lacking in righteousness, etc.--

amazing how you do that--

I don't think you will ever 'get' that being in an organization really means very little to those who have the truth, in it or out of it--

but having someone who comes along to say the same tired, old things--

You are what you belong to? Yes, then *we* all who have integrity had better get out of the US soon or it's all over for us.

And IF we are here, we will be zapped. No, I don't believe that. We can't all leave, of course.

What's the point of leaving the church?

A person may be told to do so, and that is his/her private/personal choice, hopefully inspired.

But if someone stays, you're heaping coals on his/her head.

I've never done that to you for leaving. Stop doing it to those of *us* who stay.

Harder to stay 'in' knowing the truth than to leave and talk interminably about how terrible it is for anyone to stay.

I believe.

If you don't stop, I won't stop.

Clarissa said...


I agree that there have been way too many blind leaders leading way too many blind followers in the Church™. My Gospel Doctrine lesson next week will be on King Solomon--one of our best examples of leaders believing their own press releases and behaving badly. A surprising twist, however, comes in that many members are resonating to what Rock is saying yet are still inclined to stay. Perhaps we can be a quiet force for change from within.

BK said...


I believe we are 'what we voluntarily support', not what we are forced to go along with.

And it mattered a lot to Christ and Joseph Smith what church one belonged to and supported, and thus they kept saying the same tired old things too. But I believe them.

Would you ask them to stop saying what they say if they were here?

The point of leaving the Church would be to follow what Christ and Joseph told us to do, to not follow or support false prophets or join their churches.

I have been on both sides and my experience has been that it is a much harder thing to 'leave' then 'to stay', for then you lose many of your friends, family and associations/opportunities. They fear associating with you like you have the plague or something.

It has never been easy to stand for the right. It was much easier staying in the Church and silently going along with false things and corrupt leaders but having people think well of you, until my conscience couldn't take it anymore. It's much harder to have most everyone you care about look down on you and consider you in error and apostate and afraid to talk to you or let their children be around you.

I understand how you feel for I do not like that people encourage others to stay 'in' the Church, but it would be wrong of me to tell them to stop voicing their opinions just because I don't agree or like it.

I respect your right to have & discuss your own opinions, even if I may not agree with all of them and I would appreciate the same.

You have a right to voice your contrary opinions to mine, but we must realize that if we are wrong we will be accountable for leading people astray. So I really try to continually recheck my opinions and I realize that I can be, as we all can be, easily deceived by what I think is personal revelation, yet feel sure we are right or justified or that God is telling us to do something, when it's not him at all, but our own mind and will or the Adverary.

I really appreciate Rock's courage and respect of free speech on this site, for most other discussion sites try to silence or cast out those with opposing views.

I know how hard it can be to respect and hear beliefs or opinions that we don't agree with, but if we really believe we are right then other's opinions won't bother us much.

I believe Joseph Smith and Christ had the same opinions as me about those who stay in the Church. Are you also upset with what they constantly said? I am just repeating them, why do you not take issue with their words?

I say what I say to help awaken and warn others about staying in the Church, because I believe in what Christ and Joseph Smith taught, that we will lose our salvation if we are deceived to stay in and support the Church.

I don't believe God tells some to stay and some to leave, for that would be utter confusion. I believe he tells everyone the same things. The only exception I see is when it's impossible to leave the church because it would destroy our marriage, like if our spouse would leave us. Then I believe God would want us to protect our children and stay, for I believe divorce would be worse. If you have children and your spouse is demanding that you attend a corrupt church or they will leave you, then I believe God will not hold you accountable, for we must weight what is worse on children.

I am just trying to follow Christ and awaken people to their awful situation of being deceived, for I feel bad for those duped, taken advantage of, led astray and hurt by LDS leaders.

And I am very saddened when people encourage others to stay in the Church.

BK said...

nonamefornow, Continued -

But being a U.S. citizen today is different then being a member of a church. No one needs to be in any church at all, but we do have to choose a country to live in.

But there is no need to stay in any corrupt church, unless again, your spouse would leave you.

But government is different then churches, church is voluntary while government is not. We don't have any other country to move to to find freedom today, we are kinda stuck, they are all corrupt, and we may not even be able to afford to move, and it might not be even right to do and leave our families even if it were possible.

God does not hold us accountable for being in a corrupt country if there is no place to go and if we didn't vote and help it become corrupted. If we are doing all we can to support freedom then we aren't accountable for what government leaders are doing.

Just because people are in bondage by their government and Gadiantons (as we all are) doesn't mean they did anything wrong or that they willingly support their government or those Gadiantons.

Sadly, most all people do support and vote for government Gadiantons today, especially LDS, as well as supporting religious Gadiantons like in the Church.

People are forced to support the governments in all nations today, and they will not be held accountable for it by God if they were force to, no more than a bank teller being held up in a robbery would be accountable for going along with the robber and giving him the money he asks for.

But I don't believe it's ok to voluntarily give support and money (especially sacred tithing meant for the poor what will never get where it should) to a corrupt church so we can look good to our friends and family and maintain our social status.

I just missed my son's temple wedding, not because I wasn't worthy, but because I knew I had to stand for the right, as hard as that was, and I know some day it will pay off. It has caused many people already to awake and take notice and talk about how wrong it was of the Church to not allow a mother to see her son's wedding. It has made people think, even though it was a hard price to pay. It would have been a lot easier to attend, pretend and pay to get a recommend.

37andholding said...

I want to interject my opinion here. I too have been on both sides, active and now, not. I believe wholeheartedly that those who stay to try to do something to help those on the inside are doing a great service. I think it is much easier to leave. I was active for over 50 years! It's much easier for me now than when I was active at church. For those who know more truth, and then to attend the meetings and interact with those who choose to be asleep and even many of those are overzelots, would be such a grind and maybe, just maybe, God has chosen them out to try to be the change that needs to happen. Frankly, your aproach to discouraging people from attending isn't even going to touch those within the walls of the church houses because they won't listen to people like you. But they might be inclined to hear tidbits of truth from those whom they trust as 'active members'.
Your constant 'nagging' is turning a deaf ear to you. You are speaking out but it really is out of place. Listen to the spirit of God and speak when prompted. He doesn't blast everyone he comes in contact with. That's not His way. Love is the answer. ;)

37andholding said...

...and, by the way, I also was worthy to attend the temple wedding of one of my children a few years ago but opted out because of creating hard feelings between people who were in attendance. I was hard to miss that, but a wedding, especially with the belief about a temple wedding, is not the place for having negative feelings.
There were repercussions but I don't feel that it's okay to blame anyone or organizations. It's just about each person making the best choice at the time and move forward with happiness and not look backwards.
Nobody really need be a martyr.

nonamefornow said...


Thank you.


I want the 'quotes' from Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith on that. You say general things, but you never give quotes.

Jesus was a Jew. He worked from within the framework of an incredibly rotten 'church'--

did he commission disciples/apostles to go preach of Him?


Did He organize a church?

We only have the word of the authors of the New Testament for that.

12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! (Moroni 8)

God doesn't respect persons. I think that is even in the New Testament--

why would He dam# someone for the building they enter.

By your 'logic', anyone in any untrue group is dam#ed.

I am grateful His Ways are not our ways--

I am grateful He sees into the heart.

We've gone around this for months, if not years. You are in a place I cannot understand, though I have associated extensively with born-again Christians. For years I apologized for the Book of Mormon, was told that I was a very "Godly" person but was going to h#ll--

I'm really beyond that now. There is a minister's wife in my community of whom I am very fond with whom I associate fairly regularly.

She is 'afraid' of me. I won't talk to her about religion, but when I approach her, she begins to shake.


there has to be another way. My "own people" find me a radical--and I have to keep my head down and stay under the radar, and, believe me, it is not hard; I am constantly being suspected, as are my family members--

we regularly sit together and cry and draw comfort from each other and from prayer.

And then there are those who are "Christians" who shake when I come near.

Oh, and I once did some rather heavy work to help out a distressed minister's wife (again evangelical and very worried for my soul)--

and my reward was her husband's abuse heaped on my head that sent my then 7 year old daughter into tears (he abused her, too)--

Sorry; I'm done with that kind of "Christianity".

There are some Mormons/LDS who are very active in our ward who are exceptionally kind and loving to our family. We do not talk to them about anything controversial, but I KNOW they have been sent as angels to our family.

They are quite old.

They will be blessed.

I got too personal, but, goodness, BK, you press a person.

I did not grow up around Mormons; I grew up around evangelicals--

and spent most of my life around them--

my husband's family were evangelical preachers--

nonamefornow said...

oh and BK--

I said in the last post that it wasn't hard; it IS hard, very hard.

Our elderly friends in the ward will talk to us happily about Jesus and the Book of Mormon.

They are close to the end, and the other stuff doesn't concern them much--

Yes, you are free to continue to say what you do.

I'm weary of it, and I will go back to ignoring you.

I apologize for any hurt feelings--

I became aware years ago that my 'born again' Christian "friends" were much more concerned about my soul (whatever that is) than they were about my heart--

and certainly not my feelings.

I'm finished with that battle.

nonamefornow said...


I need to take your advice, too.

I have no justification, but (bad word, I know) I have always been loving and supportive of friends and family who have left the church--

I am aware that there are many young people (some within my family circle, not immediate, but still within the circle)--

who are very extreme. It's all or nothing for them.

I feel that one of the things I can do on here, as an older person, is encourage young people not to be hasty.

There is a big difference between the safety of an older person not having 'church connections' and that of a young person. The 'world' is brutal. And I've seen some sad things, such as young people just throwing it all away--

I mean--all of it: chastity, God, avoiding dangerous drugs, you name it--

I want to be a voice of reason.

Also, in the Book of Mormon I find the word 'soul' deals with emotions, but my evangelical friends always referred to my soul as something that needed to be saved--

I don't know what the New Testament or Old Testament say about "soul".

I do need to stick with testifying of Jesus Christ--

and the Book of Mormon. I won't apologize for that.

But your words helped me, 37.

What people say on here really matters to me.

Kind of wish it didn't. :)

Attended the temple wedding of a very close person (child)--

and it was a complete fiasco--

we sacrificed heavily in every way and felt very used by the 'other side', and after that it was just a downhill slide--

there was just no justice--

so, yes, these things are difficult, no matter whether you are there or here and nowhere--

we were there, and at times I truly regret it, for the humiliation we experienced and the disappointment of our younger, not-yet-cynical children. It was all a negative experience.

Now, however, we are closer to that child. No longer in the church, but this child knows how deeply we love him. He knows we are absolutely not worried about him.

I hadn't wanted to get this personal. But I hope the point helps the other points.

Did we do the right thing or the wrong thing to make huge sacrifices to be at a temple so very far away?

I think we did the right thing; I think we would have paid a heavy price the other way, too.

BK said...


I appreciate your view, even if I don't agree. I also tried to have an effect for good on others when I was still active, thinking they would listen to me more cause I was 'in good standing', but I believe my effect is much greater now that I have made the move to leave the Church.

It's like all the press & publicity that people like Rock, Kate Kelly, John Dehlin and Denver Snuffer, etc are getting, is making much more of a difference in awakening people then they ever did while still a quite part of the Church.

When the best and the brightest leave it causes thinking people to consider things even more.

If people refuse to take notice of good people leaving the church and refuse to consider their reasons, then they probably wouldn't have listened to their ideas and opinions even if they would have stayed active either.

Those who are 'on the fence and questioning' are the only one's to focus on, for they are the one's willing to consider other views & maybe wake up and those type will listen & be effected even more to someone who has left the Church for good reason, then to an active member.

I don't believe it's possible to change the church or it's leaders much or save it, I see it like the Titanic and we can only save people from it.

It's like the Church of King Noah, where the righteous had to flee it. I believe the unrighteous LDS leaders will not allow the righteous to voice their concerns, opinions and contrary beliefs and awaken people to the truth enough to make a real difference, they will be booted out 1st.

But from 'outside' the Church the righteous can say what they want and it will ring true to those with 'ears to hear', all others would not awaken anyway.

Not to mention how staying just further leads our own families and children to believe in false traditions and doctrines and to support evil.

Stanton said...

Sounds to me like there are some exceptional souls here working out their salvation as best they can. I'd be proud to claim any of you as friends--I know Jesus does--he's already saved our souls. If we were all together physically I'd propose we go over to Rock's house and have a barbecue. In the spirit of Rock's commitment to alms and caring we would want to invite any down-and-out folks we know. Heck, if the spirit moved, we'd no doubt invite a few total strangers that could use some friendship.

nonamefornow, I'd love to see if I'd end up shakin' were I to meet you in person!

nonamefornow said...

LOL, Stanton!!!

I doubt it.

The situation with this woman is complicated by the circumstances of the life of one of my/our children. I have complicated children--

too personal again--


Perhaps you have noticed that Rock doesn't want to be the instrument for people leaving the church. In fact, he has tried to track down people who claim he has destroyed faith, and none of them has shown that he led anyone out of the church. Whatever the church is.

Rock does know the true meaning of 'the church', of course, but he doesn't ask or want anyone to leave the corporate church either, though he would never judge anyone who did, I believe.

As for the disciples/apostles in the time when Jesus was on the earth in the middle east--

Yes, indeed, he did have them, according to the Book of Mormon. I just need to find out, for myself, if He talked about establishing His "church"--

the same "church" Rock always refers to as the one in D&C 10--

Because I want to be consistent with the beliefs of the blog owner, I don't really want to go against what he wishes.

I don't think he has encouraged any of his readers to encourage anyone to leave the church.

I really do want those 'quotes' from Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ, BK.

But, if you don't want to give them, that's all right, too.

I just can't take what you say seriously, if you don't back it with fact.

BK said...


I didn't think this was a 'battle', I just hoped we could reason together and have an honest respectful discussion.

Clearly the so called 'Christians' you spoke of were not true Christians, which are rare in any church. But there are people like you mentioned in every church and religion, especially in the LDS Church.

Half my family are non-members of varying churches or no church, and most of them have always been much more 'Christian' and easier and willing to talk to about religion and Christ and support good and unafraid of truth, then my LDS friends and family have been.

My non-LDS Christian relatives and friends are rightly shocked by the horrible evils that the LDS blindly support and believe and go along with and can't even see, things that their church would never support.

One for example is my wonderful kind male older cousin about 75 yrs old, who was a respected and very successful airline pilot but who has always been a non-member. He has always been shocked how the LDS don't follow Christ and how horrible they treat women and wives, even LDS men who are really wonderful husbands but who don't realize how the Church has taught them to treat and view women. It's really something to hear an outsider talk about the blind and subtle effect the Church has on it's members.

My non-member relatives & friends used to be shocked at me too and what I believed and went along with, but now they are relieved that I woke up, as am I.

Not that they are perfect either, but most of them are far more awake and better Christians then most LDS I know.

The LDS can't say anything about other Christian churches, for most of them are far more Christian then the LDS Church is.

I now see LDS members just the same as I do members of FLDS Churches, sadly not realizing what they support and that they are usually unwilling or afraid to discuss religion with those with different beliefs or who are 'outsiders'.

I of course understand their thinking for I used to be the same. The LDS and FLDS both believe in and support things like polygamy (in various forms), and disrespect of women, etc. Things which destroy families and societies.

It seems you might be labeling me as a 'born-again' Christian, which I'm not even sure what that means. But no matter. The important thing is I do believe in Christ and him only.

I don't believe we can believe in both LDS leaders and Christ, for they preach and practice opposite to each other.

And if you would like quotes/scriptures I can provide some, but I have learned from much past experience in providing requested 'quotes & scriptures' that it usually doesn't help anything, for I doubt they will sway your views, for you seem pretty set in your beliefs and I'm sure you've probably heard most of them before anyway, and we tend to believe what we want to believe no matter what Christ or what scripture/prophet said what.

And most importantly, people's opinions either ring true to us or they don't, no matter what scriptures they might use to back up their thinking.

People aren't convinced by scriptures or quotes, for it's not what the scriptures say, for 1000's of different churches have the very same scriptures, it's what's in our hearts that determines what a person believes and how they interpret the scriptures.

But I wish you well on your journey for the truth. For what I say or think doesn't even matter, it's only what Christ says that matters.

BK said...


Actually in my case, though I saw huge red flags and already knew most LDS leaders were corrupt, it was Rock who woke me up to how completely corrupt and false the Church was, starting with his article on how vile Brigham was and how he was the one who really instigated polygamy, among many other false & evil doctrines.

And I have also learned so much through Rock's posts on this site about how corrupted our present LDS leaders are, even if that wasn't his intention.

Things like asking for too much 'tithing', to 'lavishly paid ministry', to not 'caring for the poor' as they should, to leaders 'lying' and falsely changing, deleting or adding to Joseph's words and scriptures to teach just the opposite of what Joseph intended, to leaders encouraging members to support evil wars and many other falsehoods, etc.

So I don't see how anyone can expect people to want or think it right or even reasonable to stay in a false Church led by such wicked men and founded by leaders who were worse then Warren Jeffs.

Would you really encourage someone or think it's ok with God for them to join or stay in Warren Jeff's Church? I hopefully doubt it. It's the same with the LDS church.

I agree with Rock that the real Church of Christ is a spiritual church and anyone in any religion can join it by accepting and following Christ, but it would just cause them to see the errors in this or their particular church and leaders even more.

I think even Rock realizes that Christ's real Church and the LDS Church today have nothing to do with each other.

So though few may acknowledge it, Rock helped to open up my eyes, and the eyes of other's I personally know, to how corrupted the Church and it's past & present leaders are and see why I/we should leave it, even though that may not have been his intent.

For again, once having come to a knowledge of more and more truth, as Rock has generously shared in most of his articles, 'how could or why would' I or anyone stay in or support and be more influenced and led astray by such a false and corrupt church with the most unrighteous leaders and founders of almost any Christian Church out there?

From what I have studied, Joseph Smith and Christ sure wouldn't have supported staying in the LDS Church or any false Church.

That doesn't mean we can't assist churches or specific leaders in various churches who truly are serving the poor as Rock says he does, which is always a great thing to do.

I will post a few scriptures and quotes for you that might be of interest to you.

Roy said...

Friar Tuck,

Are you one of those less-active members for whom defending the church in online blogs is part of your own penance process? Do you think it somehow compensates for a potential lack of "faithfulness" in other things? Or perhaps it's a way of calming your own doubts and concerns about the church?
The last guy I encountered online, who thought similarly to you (and with the same passion) was in exactly that situation. Could be wrong, but I can't help analysing online behaviour sometimes. Apologies in advance if I'm wrong, but as you operate only under a pseudonym, it's not like I'm accusing someone real, right? :)


Roy said...


You article is excellent, as usual. I like the way you think. Your conclusions are very logical.

For me, I followed a path that led me back to the basics of the restored gospel and Joseph Smith also. But unfortunately, Rough Stone Rolling finally tipped me over the edge as I started to realise that, even though Joseph would receive "revelations" regularly, they often were either wrong of self-serving and I started to conclude very seriously that he was making them up. :(

Mormonism, though, is in my DNA, so I remain fascinated with church history, doctrine, culture, etc. Thank you for your contribution to the literature of Mormonism.


nonamefornow said...


I don't know why this is such a big 'mountain'--

'reasonable discussion'; I don't think so, ever.

I know one thing. You won't to tell as many people as possible that you believe anyone with any degree of 'good heart' will absolutely leave the LDS church--

I'm not demanding anyone stay. I hate to see young people go completely off the rails--

and some do. I've seen it, when there is nobody there to help them transition. I have been supportive of my friends and family who leave.

That is the BIG difference between us, BK--

and why we can't even talk.

Why it is silly for us to talk.

You can't extend the same support and respect to those who stay.

You come very close to being insulting.

I can be kind to those who leave, care about them, not judge them--

you can't do that for those who stay.

That's it.

You won't acknowledge that Rock has not tried to get anyone to leave and has helped a lot of people stay and reconcile the things they feel--

and continue to have, however flawed, a faith community, because it is built up of people--

You refuse to believe (and imply that those who have been told in prayer to 'stay' are deceived) that anyone could stay in the church by God's request.

You have one line and one line only--

and you will put words in God's mouth, because He never told anyone to leave.

What happened with Alma was different, and people leave situations like that all the time. And he was led by God (something you can't believe happens to anyone, apparently, because everyone is deceived if they pray, you have said many times)

For you to tell others they are being deceived in prayer; for you to tell others they stay, because they are whatever degree of 'evil'--

or are supporting it--

that's your only line. And it's harsh and unkind.

Those of *us* who stay and are supportive of those who leave--

how on earth can *we* talk to someone who has only one line:

anyone who stays in the LDS church is evil, period.


You're evil, but I'll continue to try to get you to leave, so you won't be evil anymore. You must do what I've done; I've done the right thing, the one right thing.

As I've said before, it's ridiculous that I even continue to try to talk to you--

but it seems that as soon as anyone comes on here who is new you tell them the same thing--

leave or be evil--

you may couch it a little, but it's the same thing--

I don't think that that is the intent of Rock's blog, but you seem to think it is.

I don't think you can blame your leaving the church on him.

nonamefornow said...

I know people he has helped to stay.

Doesn't mean it is easy, but they have chosen to stay.

And I thank him for that.

You thank him for helping you leave.

I think you need to set up your own blog and invite people there who believe as you do, that anyone who stays in the LDS church is evil--

but I sense that you feel there is potential here for you to get people to leave.

We're not talking about FLDS. And how do you know how many of them will be judged?

You don't.

I know I don't know 'it all'. I admit it. I have strong feelings about some things.

You, BK, think you have all the answers--

for everyone.

Yes, it's been a battle. And I'm laying down my sword. I can't keep this up--

Go ahead and be right. But the God I believe in is not the same One you believe in. The God I believe in actually loves His Children.

And gives them more than one chance. And He doesn't spend all His Time, in spite of the horrific corruption in the world and in all churches--

telling people to leave anything (except Babylon, and that's a lot bigger than any church, however much a part of it churches might be)--

and how many people can leave (flee) Babylon? I haven't met any yet. It's a thing that must happen in the heart--
just as truth can be in the heart whatever building a person does or does not enter.

He tells people to come unto Him.

That's what I'm trying to do, but as long as I have a temple recommend, you won't accept that I could ever come unto Jesus.

You always call Him "Christ". That's a title, not a name.

He has a Name. I think it's actually Jeshua. But it's Jesus in the Book of Mormon, and that's good enough for me. Christ as the 'surname'.

He asks all of us to follow Him. I'm trying.

BK, there is a big difference between us. I began this 'journey' (as you call it) to understanding what is happening in the world and in the church--

decades ago, absolutely decades ago. It hasn't been sudden for me at all--

Years ago I had serious concerns about BY, for example. I did when I attended school there.

There have been a few little wake-ups I hadn't expected here and there, but nothing has truly shocked me.

We can't relate. I'm not going to try anymore.

Anyone reading this who cares, if I ever respond to BK again, would you please tell me not to be an idiot; I don't ever learn.

Stanton said...

If the spirit prompted you to reach out to BK would you do it? :-)

BK said...


I am sorry we don't agree on things. But I also do think it best we don't continue to discuss things, for I don't believe it would do much good, we are both very set in what we believe, and you are right, we don't believe in the same of God or the same doctrines it seems.

Jesus' teachings were never easy or pleasant to hear, even his apostles didn't like them and had a hard time living them. I find them practically impossible to live. So I understand why you also find what I say hard, for I believe the Gospel is hard to hear, accept and live, but it is the only way.

I would like the idea of a second chance too, for it's a nice thought, but it is not what Jesus taught, even the prophets in the Book of Mormon warned that the Adversary tries to get us to think we have more chances then this life, and that "God will beat us with a few stripes but that all will be saved in heaven".

It would be nice if that were true, but then who would take this life very serious if that were so? I don't believe it is, that is why it's so vital that we make sure we aren't being deceived in this life to follow or support evil and evil men and their churches.

For as I'm sure you have read, Joseph warned us in D&C 45 & 76, that if we allow ourselves to be deceived by the craftiness of men to support or do evil, then we will lose our salvation, even though we may be kind, wonderful honest people.

That is why I try to help people see what the Church is really about, and how I was and many are, being deceived by the craftiness of unrighteous leaders, past and present, in the Church.

It is out of concern for their spiritual welfare that I give my opinions and even a commandment that we are to try to awaken others, according to Joseph Smith and Christ, (who most people on this blog say they believe in). If I am wrong and Joseph Smith & his scriptures were wrong and it's actually much easier to get to heaven then I/he think and that most people will have a 2nd chance, even though they were deceived to support false prophets and false churches during their lives, then I think then that will be great. But better safe then sorry I believe.

If you do not believe Joseph warnings he gave then I understand why you disagree with my beliefs, but you haven't shown any scriptural basis for your own beliefs so I need to stay with what Joseph or Jesus taught.

I believe in Jesus Christ and in those who agree with him, not those who preach the same as the world believes that is doesn't matter what church we belong to or follow.

I don't believe it is loving to encourage people to join or stay in a church which will lead them astray to support or do evil. And I don't believe Joseph or Jesus thought so either.

Jesus Christ knew his Gospel would not be well received, that very few would find it and accept & live it, and that most everyone else would not like it and reject it and Him. But He still loves us even when we don't believe his words, but that doesn't mean we will gain eternal life unless we follow what he said.

I try to take Jesus' words seriously, but if he or his recorded words were wrong and we really do have a 2nd chance then that will be just great, for I will probably need it.

Gary Hunt said...


I'm forwarning you. Do not respond to BK. :)

She makes numerous declarative statements about what she believes to be true and says that Christ and "true prophets" have said so!As you know she refuses to provide any documentation to back up her claims and comes up with poor excuses for not providing valid evidence. I gave up on trying to reason with her a long time ago when she was wrtiting under the name Anon23.

From her writings she said that she has gone through severe trama related to the subjects she keeps repeating. I may be wrong, but it appears to me that she has created her own doctrine which comforts her and reads more into scriptures and words of "true prophets" than is in reality there. It would be simple and easy to back up what she says with a scripture or quote of a true prophet, but she chooses not to.

BK said...

Gary Hunt,

I have never refused to provide documentation. And I don't understand why you would say such things.

I would have supplied nonamefornow quotes and scriptures, but she does not want to discuss things any further, (which I think is a good idea) so it wouldn't help or make a difference anyway, for such quotes would need to be discussed. But it would be useless to discuss anything further seeing how far apart she & I are in our beliefs, and the same for you and I.

Most posters on here, including you and her, do not provide documentation and footnotes for your/their beliefs and opinions, and I don't even ask you/them to because I know how to do my own homework and I understand that it's my responsibility to take the time to do so.

The only reason to ask for a particular reference would be if I or someone can't find a particular quote or scripture, but most of us have all read the same exact scriptures over and over and it's just a matter of interpreting them correctly, which depends on if we possess or understand charity or not.

For it's the Spirit that really teaches us the truth of all things, even if we never see proof of documentation, so no one really needs scriptures or quotes to know if something is true or not.

And Christ's doctrine is not comforting or easy, it's very hard and not fun. No one would just come up with his high principles on their own, for no one wants to have to live them. Which is the whole point and why so few believe in or fully live the teachings of Christ, cause they are too hard and require too much sacrifice. I surely don't take comfort in them and I wish there was another way, a much easier way.

But Christ said what he said and even a 6 year old can understand it. In fact a 6 year old can often teach us the Gospel without even studying it. It's just we adults often refuse to accept what Christ said, for we don't like it.

And I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to create a whole footnote of scriptures and quotes at the bottom of each post of mine just because people don't want to do their own study. For again, no one else does that, and it usually doesn't make a difference anyway, for again, quotes and scripture rarely convert people or change their mind.

Things either ring true to us or they don't, which could be because either it's not true or we aren't in tune.

If you or anyone has a specific question about a doctrine I believe in and you can't find the answer on your own then I would be glad to provide where I believe it is taught if I have the reference.

But no one can do our study for us and no amount of footnotes are going to change anyone's heart, only the Spirit can do that, if people are righteous.

Gary Hunt said...

BK (Anon 23),

If you will go back to Rock's post entitled "My Testimony of the Church" and look at our exchange of comments between August 19, 2013 and August 21, 2013 you will see how you refused to provide any documentation for your claims. I even gave you the opportunity to provide documentation for four specific claims you made. You never did. You gave the same excuses then as you do now.

In your comment below, I will point out a couple of logical fallacies you use. You stated...

"And I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to create a whole footnote of scriptures and quotes at the bottom of each post of mine just because people don't want to do their own study."

The first is that you are using a "strawman argument" in that I have not asked you to document and footnote everything you post. I have asked you to document specific claims.

The second logical fallacy is called the "false dilema". You seem to think that you have to document everything you say or nothing at all. There are other alternatives such as just document some of you more bold claims, as I have asked.

I'm still waiting for you to respond and provide documentation for four of your more bold claims. To make it easy for you it is my comment dated August 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM.

Gary Hunt said...

BK (Anon 23),

By the way, I went back and read many of my posts and I provide documentation on a regular basis for what I post so your following statement puzzle me.

"Most posters on here, including you and her, do not provide documentation and footnotes for your/their beliefs and opinions,"

Nate k said...


Thank you I have recently stumbled on your blogs and I don't know if you read old comments but I hope this might reach you. I have felt the spirit in many of your postings and many of the comments by those who truly have faith in Christ. I recently had to either resign my membership or be excommunicated because I would not back down from a revelation I received that the 15 men who preside are not seers, revelators, or apostles. I know from the same spirit that Jesus is the savior and has atoned for my sins and that the Book of Mormon is true. I chose to resign and just a couple of weeks ago the stake presidency warned people in our ward and stake to be careful about speaking with us. It is causing some waves (which I think is wonderful) among ward and stake members. Slowly people are waking up and I think are being brought out from underneath a curse. I prayed and received a confirmation that I would not lose my priesthood or the gift of the Holy Ghost (or any other blessing) if I left the church or was ex-communicated.
While I have read a lot of your blogs (not all of them yet) I have noted your sound arguments and doctrinal assertations and have felt the spirit of your testimony of Christ and the restoration. I am wondering if you have received revelation upon some of these subjects that people label as anti-Mormon etc? I have and I have then asked friends and family to pray until they get an answer upon some things and those who have not given up because of the cognitive dissonance have all received the very same answers.
One of my brothers and his wife thought I was evil, apostate, blah blah blah and was about to cut me out of his life. Fortunately he kept praying to receive an answer so he could testify against me and god gave him a powerful confirmation of some of the problems with the lds church.
I just want to testify that each of us can go directly to The Lord and don't need to rely on evidence. Don't settle for the answer from god that thomas s. Monson is the "president of the church". This means nothing. If you pray about it the Holy Ghost will reveal the truth that Barack Obama is the president of the country but that does not mean I should follow him or take his words to be true. Also the argument that authorites and missionaries have used that "if the Book of Mormon is true then everything else from joseph smith to now is true..." Is a load of crap. I would love a forum where people could be asked to pray about a topic such as "is thomas monson a prophet seer and revelator" and then we could discuss the revelations received.. Granted most people don't know what the Holy Ghost feels like because of the other pernicious teaching that if you feel good you are feeling the spirit. Anyway I am rambling but some things are either true or they are false and god will give the faithful the same answer if they are seeking in humility. Anyway thanks for the part you all play in gods plan. Great and marvelous things are coming and I know it.

nonamefornow said...

@Stanton @11:32

That's what I had been doing, but I'm going through a rough spot health-wise right now, and I'm not going to do it anymore. I can't; I was losing peace.

I really care about BK. I mean, really. If I were to explain everything about *my* life it would make perfect sense to everyone, and there would be 'ah, ha!' moments, but I can't, and I won't--

and so, suffice it to say, that I have tried to be a light on here, and my light is growing weak. Doesn't really matter if the spirit is strong sometimes, the body does have a certain amount to say about things--

nonamefornow said...

@Gary Hunt,

Thank you. I appreciate your caring. Trauma does happen and does change people's lives; I know. LOL! (that's sort of an uneasy laugh, there--:))

And it's all good in the end, but I have such powerful feelings (more than feelings, but English is so imperfect, and many of *us* use it even more imperfectly)--

about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. Finding Him there--

I was a regular Book of Mormon student from my mid-teens; I did all the institute classes and all the BYU classes, and every morning on my mission (oops, getting too personal here, but oh well)--

our district would sit and read the Book of Mormon for an hour together.

And then study it personally for an hour at another scheduled time of day.

When I married I made a resolution not to let a day go by without reading the Book of Mormon.

And I meant it, and with the exception of the occasional emergency, no day went by--

And after almost 4 decades--I hadn't even begun to understand it.

You know, I don't think I am not incapable for understanding a book; I've read many classics and some books that are really difficult--

so WHAT happened? Three years ago just feeling I should I announced to my husband that I would be reading only the Book of Mormon, no Bible, no D&C, no P of GP--

and he looked at me and said, "I've had the same thoughts"--

and we did. We had read no blogs about it--

it was just a feeling *we* had.

And we did. Still not much, though--

I think I began to understand.

And then I got rid of my quad (not rid, just I couldn't use it for health reasons anyway)--

and began taking a book of Mormon offline--

and printing it; no TG, no headings, just the book--

I have no idea which "Mormon church" has sponsored it; one family member said, "what if it is the FLDS?", and I said, "if the FLDS had done it, it would be filled with misspellings and bad grammar"--

I tried to help them politically in Texas--

and everything they put out was outrageously done for quality--

I have no sympathy with them religiously, at all, no tolerance, but I thought it was wrong for the Texas authorities to come and take babies away--

very wrong.

Then they send out this 'thing' to all political office holders in the U.S., and THAT is full of grammatical defects. *not laughing; it's really very sad*

We have a close friend who is an office holder in our county, and he's shown them to us, including poor spelling and bad grammar--

but whoever has done it, I thank them--

and I am beginning, finally, in my 7th decade, to understand the Book of Mormon.

That is why I try, so strenuously, to get people to focus on it--

Yes, I have been reading Daymon Smith, too--

but our focusing on the Book of Mormon came before reading him, and he never said anything about changing scripts/texts--

(well, except he has worked on one himself)--


I can say that this book's being ignored has been possibly one of the chief reasons so many people who are LDS have been losing faith--

that and the slaughtering of Joseph Smith's character (even though I acknowledge the man had to have made mistakes)--

by mainstream Mormons in their effort to justify polygamy and the continuance of 'priesthood power'--


I have this urgency to try to get people to see what I've come so late to--

That book has significance. Yes, *we* find out we the stupidest people (we Mormons) referred to in the book, more than likely. LOL!

But, still--

most of my mainstream LDS 'friends' barely read the book; they focus on almost any scripture but the Book of Mormon--

*shaking my head*

So, I'll go where, hopefully, people will listen to me, even if I'm not logical--

Thanks again, Gary--

PNW_DPer said...


I love all of the scriptures, even with all of their flaws, but have always felt a certain primacy in regard to the Book of Mormon, possibly because Joseph Smith described it as the "most correct book". I still like to read and study from other scriptures as well, but if you have been told to concentrate and read only that book at this time, it might certainly be the right thing for you to do.

Kevin said...


Ever run across Grant Hardy's 'The Book of Mormon, A Reader's Edition'? Hardy lays out the BoM in paragraphs instead of verses, adds subheadings and some excellent charts and reference material in the back.

There's nothing sacred about the versification used in the current edition of the BoM. Wanting to make the BoM look more like a bible, a non-member publisher in the 1800's recast the BoM with verses. Many readers experience the BoM without verses in a whole new light. That was my experience as well.

Nate K said...

Gary and BK

Thanks for all of your thoughts. My never so humble opinion is that God is using people in all religions and right now for whatever reason He wants me outside of the LDS church while on the other hand the Spirit told a good friend of mine that his place was in the church even though there are many problems etc. I believe a great restoration is in the works and many people here are forerunners to the 2nd great work the angel told David Whitmer about when the man like unto Moses or the mighty and strong one is raised up. The most important thing is to gain a testimony and foundation of Jesus Christ and then as we will be filled with His love we will love to read the Book of Mormon and other truths. I love the words of Nephi that the words which he wrote were not of the world and that they are the things of god and for those who are not of the world. (1nephi 6:5) in lds edition. So many people in the Mormon system focus on studying for so much time a day or like it's a checklist and the truth is that anywhere that we can feel the Holy Ghost is wonderful. My initial conversion to the gospel was when I was studying the New Testament but then I fell in love with the Book of Mormon because it contains the words of Christ. Anyway I feel that those involved in the conversation each had unique and real testimonies of the Savior and He is the only sure foundation. Thanks for your comments - Nate

MajJohnButtrick said...


It's been 17 days since your post. I've been checking every day to see what has happened/will happen with your disposition with regard to the church. Can you tell us if you've been asked or have promised to not add any new blog posts until such time as your Stake President gets back to you? Do you think they might be doing this to just let things calm down or "de-escalate" as Bro. Dehlin's Stake President said, and then take whatever action they will? It's likely you cannot respond to either of my questions, but I thought I would throw those out there anyway. Love you, Brother.

MajJohnButtrick said...

nonamefornow, etc. I have this version of the BOM which one can get on ebay, ABE books, etc. It is the Sesquicentennial Year Edition put out by the church, but in paragraph form, no headers, footnotes, etc. It is a joy to read. By the way nonamefornow; I know you :), though we both recently changed names. This ought to give you enough clues as to my identity.

nonamefornow said...

easy as pie, Major--



nonamefornow said...

@Nate K--

I remember almost the exact moment when I had the same realization you had--

(in other words, if you can't tell, I agree with you :) )

When it hit me that there ARE people in the world who are meant to be in different religions, and possibly some meant to be in none at all--

and that the respect we can have for such choices is almost as important as the choices themselves--


There are those, however, who do not agree.

I think I said on here a while back that some good, elderly friends of ours who were serving a couple mission had a close friend who was a Catholic priest--

who loved the Book of Mormon and wanted it in his life--

but had chosen not to join the church--

and our friend told my 'better half'--

"it was so hard to have to tell him he couldn't have the Book of Mormon if he didn't join the church."

I have a feeling that 'leaders up the line' have given that ultimatum--

but can you imagine?

I felt somewhat horrified.

WHY? Why can't a Catholic priest read, use, and love the Book of Mormon?

Why ever not?

I was reminded of the Italian minister who had the Book of Mormon and read it for so many years, never knowing it was associated with the "Mormon" church, because its covers had been torn off. I imagine all the good he did with it, but he didn't even join the church until he was elderly, and he had that book for many decades--

That sort of rigid, 'inside the box' thinking--

I can't imagine it pleases God.

So, thank you, Nate K--

There is a story 'out there' of a minister who teaches from the Book of Mormon, and his congregation accepts it--

he says, "I'm not asking you to become Mormons, but this book has something."


Nate K said...


Thanks. Those are inspiring stories. I met a man a couple years back who grew up in a Muslim family and they taught their children from the Book of Mormon. I have heard the same thing about some Hindus that love the Book of Mormon.
What does everyone think about the church claiming the Book of Mormon containing the fulness of the gospel? I personally believe that the only way in which it does is that it teaches that by the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things. I am quite certain that the "church" does not teach the fulness and in fact now there are so many false doctrines being taught that I wonder if more damage comes then good from some of the leaders teaching. The latest annoyance is the idea that "God is dependent on us" said by TSM. And that we can hasten the work. Don't know if every other stake is teaching that every week? A seventy came and spoke to our stake and said each time we pass anyone anywhere we go and do not talk about the gospel we have failed The Lord. Wow....
Wish people would teach what the scriptures teach of our utter dependence to god and our nothingness. We can't change the times and seasons. Love to all of you guys- Nate

nonamefornow said...


even more inspiring stories there--

I love other religions; I really do.

Or at least the people who practice them--

I am sure there are bad guys and nut cases out there, but I have a feeling there are no more than there are among Mormons. LOL!

My big fear about anyone saying that a person is not righteous for being in a particular religion is that in doing so that person is marginalizing--

something done so successfully before and during the pre-emptive wars of the last 11 years that many thousands of innocent people are now dead--

that's why, ironically, in my desire to spread peace, I try to reason with those who say such things--

and yet the reasoning falls flat, and I end up not spreading peace at all--

Oh, dear; that is a lot of false doctrine--

God is dependent upon us?

Heaven forbid!!!

I won't blather anymore about this, but it's exciting to hear even more stories about the Book of Mormon.

The LDS church absolutely does NOT own the Book of Mormon, but there are those who would have *us* think they do.

*sad sigh*

Nate K said...

Absolutely true

I think the Book of Mormon prophets would look at the lds church for 5 minutes and scratch there heads, wondering why most members claim to follow the teachings in the Book of Mormon. In fact no, they would probably say "yep, these are the people we were trying to warn about trusting in the arm of flesh" etc.
But like you said. Spreading peace is a great cause and in my opinion spreading truth (in God's way) will always lead to peace for the sheep who hear the voice of the Shepherd. But sadly truth also can enrage others. Interesting life we live in. Hope rock is alright and everything works out. (I know it will)

nonamefornow said...

Yes, I think most of us are thinking of the blogmaster and hoping he is all right. I am sure there are those who know, though; I am confident he is staying in touch with some who can be a real support to him; I am without words, other than hope; I am afraid this is one area in which I have had to battle anger towards those who are oppressing (at least it appears that way to me), so I don't think my attitude is really all that helpful--

the best we can do is pray--

37andholding said...

Wuih all the quiet right now, I would like to share something that could be of great value concerning our actions and desires to change our environment and in helping ourselves and others return to, or come into the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A thin book(let) called "Prayer: the art of Believing" by Neville Goddard. It's easily obtainable online for a free read and is also for sale on Amazon for under 5 dollars.
I was astonished at the understanding and results of what I read!

nonamefornow said...

thank you, 37--

I wish we could, somehow, keep a kindly and gentle discussion going, but--

I keep thinking of this link, this odd old, old song--

because the man who did it was brilliant; he was an incredible actor, but he couldn't go to the preview of this film, because of segregation in the south--

and *it* shows such a light-hearted feeling, but you know the pain that was underneath that; I notice things, such as that the little black boy always stays behind the two white kids--

but this man had a VOICE, and he had a hard life (died of heart problems in his 40s)--

so gifted, and yet he was oppressed--

it has happened since the beginning of time:

so many 'institutions' have covered up human pain--

and yet the human spirit can not be covered up, not permanently--

James Baskett--

amazing theatrical actor who got little opportunity for using his gifts; I am sure he is using them now!!!!!!!

Friar Tuck said...

Just got back from a lengthy trip...went to Kirtland and Nauvoo, among many, many other places. I sat in the Kirtland temple and meditated. Funny, the Kirtland temple is the only temple you don't need a recommend to get into.

The new Nauvoo temple is is surrounded on the upper outside by what the church calls "inverted stars", but I call pentagrams.

No offense, but the RLDS people are just plain weird. They remind me of Harri Krishnas at the airport. The RLDS guide at the Kirtland temple was a 400 pound Tahitian guy named Emile, that sweated profusely and talked in a very high voice.

Anyway, I decided to walk the walk and do some field research to help me process my feelings for the church. The two most powerful places I went were the Carthage jail and Newell Whitney's store.

I don't care what the haters say, the church is true. I have walked in Joseph Smith's footsteps at many different places.

MajJohnButtrick said...

Wm. H. Homer returning from a mission in 1869:

“I first saw Martin Harris in Kirtland, Ohio, about the last of December, 1869. On my return from a mission in England I stopped to visit some of my relatives in Pennsylvannia. On resuming my journey, one of my cousins, James A. Crockett, who was not a member of the Church, came as far as Kirtland, Ohio, with me. We remained in Kirtland over night and the next morning after breakfast, we asked the landlord who was custodian of the Mormon Temple at Kirtland and he informed us that Martin Harris was custodian, and pointed out to us where we could find the old gentleman. Accordingly we went to the door and knocked. In answer to our knock there came to the door of the cottage a poorly clad, emaciated little man, on whom the winter of life was weighing heavily. It was Martin Harris…

“’In his face might be read the story of his life. There were the marks of spiritual upliftment. There were the marks of keen disappointment. There was the hunger strain for the peace, the contentment, the divine calm that it seemed could come no more into his life. It was a pathetic figure, and yet it was a figure of strength. For with it all there was something about the little man which revealed the fact that he had lived richly, that into his life had entered such noble experiences as come to the lives of but few…

“’I introduced myself modestly as a brother-in-law of Martin Harris, Jr.-as he had married my eldest sister-and as an Elder of the Church who was returning from a foreign mission….

MajJohnButtrick said...

“’The effect of the introduction was electric[al]. The fact of relationship was overwhelmed by the fact of Utah citizenship. The old man bristled with vindictiveness. 'One of those Brighamite Mormons, are you?' he snapped. Then he railed impatiently against Utah and the founder of the 'Mormon' commonwealth. It was in vain that I tried to turn the old man's attention to his family. Martin Harris seemed to be obsessed. He would not understand that there stood before him a man who knew his wife and children, who had followed the Church to Utah…

“’After some time, however, the old man said, 'You want to see the Temple, do you?' 'Yes, indeed,' I exclaimed, 'if we may.' 'Well, I'll get the key.' From that moment, Martin Harris, in spite of occasional outbursts, radiated with interest. He led us through the rooms of the Temple and explained how they were used. He pointed out the place of the School of Prophets. He showed where the Temple curtain had at one time hung. He related thrilling experiences in connection with the history of the sacred building…

“’Harris was moved to speak against the Utah 'Mormons'. An injustice, a gross injustice had been done to him. He should have been chosen President of the Church….

“’What about your testimony to the Book of Mormon? Do you still believe that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet?' Again the effect was electric[al]. A changed old man stood before me. It was no longer a man with an imagined grievance. It was a man with a message, a man with a noble conviction in his heart, a man inspired of God and endowed with divine knowledge. Through the broken window of the Temple shone the winter sun, clear and radiant.

“’Young man,’ answered Martin Harris with impressiveness, 'Do I believe it! Do I see the sun shining! Just as surely as the sun is shining on us and gives us light, and the … [moon] and stars give us light by night, just as surely as the breath of life sustains us, so surely do I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, chosen of God to open the last dispensation of the fulness of times; so surely do I know that the Book of Mormon was divinely translated. I saw the plates; I saw the Angel; I heard the voice of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God. I might as well doubt my own existence as to doubt the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon or the divine calling of Joseph Smith.' It was a sublime moment. It was a wonderful testimony. We were thrilled to the very roots of our hair. The shabby, emaciated little man before us was transformed as he stood with hand outstretched toward the sun of heaven. A halo seemed to encircle him. A divine fire glowed in his eyes. His voice throbbed with the sincerity and the conviction of his message. It was the real Martin Harris whose burning testimony no power on earth could quench. It was the most thrilling moment of my life."

“’I asked Martin Harris how he could bear so wonderful a testimony after having left the Church. He said, ‘Young man, I never did leave the Church the Church left me.’” (selected excerpts from The Case of the Book of Mormon Witnesses by Eldin Ricks, pp. 17-18)

Friar Tuck said...

@ MajJohnButtrick:

I stood in the upper rooms of Newell K. Whitney's store where Joseph Smith received many sections of the D+C, and beheld visions of the savior. The sister missionaries bore their testimonies and I received a strong witness of the truth.

I stood in the room in the Carthage jail where Joseph and Hyrum were killed; the bullet holes still in the door. Again, a sister missionary bore her testimony and I received a strong witness of the truth.

I encourage some of the doubters here to get out from behing their computers and go in to the real world and gain a testimony. Maybe some already have.

nonamefornow said...

No offense, but the RLDS people are just plain weird. They remind me of Harri Krishnas at the airport. The RLDS guide at the Kirtland temple was a 400 pound Tahitian guy named Emile, that sweated profusely and talked in a very high voice.

How rude.

This statement (above) reveals more about yourself than about anyone you might be describing.

nonamefornow said...


good old Eldin.

Not very many people really knew him, I think.

1 said...

Never attended an LDS baptism yet where anybody was baptized a member of the LDS church. Confirmed a member yes, but not baptized. Important distinction I think. No mention in the Bible or Book of Mormon about needing to be confirmed a member of any church.

37andholding said...

I found that witness story of Martin Harris inspirational. Thank you for posting.

FTuck, a church can't be true or false. I'm amazed at how many times the subject comes up and real definitions are completely ignored in favor of taught dogma. :(
Why do you choose ignorance?

I tried to watch the sweet looking guy sing but it wouldn't load for me. But I started singing anyway!
Zip a dee do dah! Thanks for that too.

And Greg, I agree! Baptisms are not confirmations. Now the question arises about how one is to be baptized with water by one with authority without being coerced into joining a religious sect. Or is the commandment to be baptized a figurative requirement needing only the heart to come unto Jesus?

Friar Tuck said...


Interesting that you chose to focus on semantics instead of the substance of my comments. Who says a church cannot be true or false? I don't care if someone calls it the gospel or the church or whatever, we all know what is meant.

MajJohnButtrick said...

@37andholding, @Greg S:

I believe a covenantal relationship (and in particular baptism) is extremely important and a key differentiator. The more I read in the scriptures, the more this becomes clear to me - and especially so in the words of King Benjamin. There are only two "Covenant people of the Lord": Latter-Day Saints (unless there is a breakaway sect that still holds the priesthood from the 1800's), and the original covenant people of the Lord, the Children of Israel - of which the tribe of Judah, the Jews, are still represented. 3NE 16:11 "And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them." 2NE 29:5 "O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people." Having that covenant is I think, absolutely necessary. It's an astute obervation that the covenant we make isn't to belong to the earthly organization called "the church", but rather to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, etc. It's becoming one of the covenant people of the Lord, not the body politic of the earthly church.

ma said...

@ Friar Tuck:

I have also been to Carthage, Liberty Jail and Nauvoo. Most recently last year. I don't know why exactly, as I tend to like the church pre 1836 better, but Nauvoo always feels very sacred to me. I'm still trying to work it all out. I had a revelation given to me the summer of 1998 in Nauvoo. My family and I were the only ones there at the temple site. It was late in the day and hot. We were looking through the wrought iron fence at the cornerstones and where the well was for the baptismal font. Someone from the visitors center (I think) asked us if we want to go in there. I was surprised, and asked "Can we?", they said "sure, it's not busy at all today", and opened the gate. I walked out there with my family. Around the spot of the well, I had an overwhelming feeling and was told something in my mind as clear as a bell. I turned to my wife and excitedly said "They are going to rebuild it! They are going to rebuild the Temple! It will look as it did before on the outside, and they will announce it within a year!" Ever since then especially, Nauvoo has been a sacred place for me. The differentiator that 37andholding is trying to get across, is that there is a difference between the Church and the Gospel. I agree with Elder Ronald E. Poleman's original remarks (see ). I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. Notwithstanding all of the buzz about "The Late War", "First Book of Napoleon" and "View of the Hebrews," etc., I can say I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. After that, I'm not sure any more. I'm of the current opinion (not entrenched), that the Gospel is true, but the Church is in serious trouble. I think at best it is under condemnation (see ), and at worst, could be a corruption that Christ will find unacceptable. The church is not the "Kingdom of God", and never was. The Kingdom of God is future when Christ shall reign. I am conflicted by the teachings of the philosophies of men mingled with scriptures, and the false notion that our leaders are infallible. We have painted ourselves into a corner over the last 170 years or so. Oh sure, we don't come out and say that our leaders are infallible, but that is the inference. Http:// I think it's great that we are making an effort to be more transparent as to our history, but we're still not being fully open, and our doctrine has become in places murky and somewhat rabbinical, with ideas, statements and world views of men taken for doctrine. The membership has become somewhat pharisaical - practicing or advocating strict observance of external forms and ceremonies of religion or conduct without regard to the spirit; self-righteous; hypocritical, talking about how they know the "Church is true" and lauding the "Leaders" with less focus on the Savior and the Gospel. Like I said, I'm still trying to work it all out, but I do think there are some in the leadership who might have their Calling and Election sure - Elder Eyering, Elder Hales, Elder Uchtdorf, possibly Elder Holland, whom I have talked at length with - though I was very disturbed at his last conference talk (I agree with Cate's assessment from ). 37andholding is not quibbling with semantics, he/she is trying to make an essential point. Anyway, we're all trying to find our way. Ignoring one's concerns just plants seeds of doubt that will sprout later. At least for me, discussions like this can only enrich and deepen one's faith. The trick is not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

MajJohnButtrick said...

Sorry, that one that says it's from "ma" above was supposed to be MajJohnButtrick. I hit enter prematurely.

nobody ever said...

@ MajJohnButtrick

I like you, post more comments! :)

Candace said...

ma (Major)

Thought we had us a wise new mom, there. :-)

Every chance I get I point my Gospel Doctrine lessons to Mormon's warning to us, the Gentiles, to turn away from our arrogance, materialism, wickedness, and rejection of the fullness of the gospel. Many of us are so busy following our leaders' lead in patting ourselves on the back that we struggle to apply Mormon's warning to ourselves. I believe there is room for all sorts of believers but the bottom line for me is a sure loyalty to Jesus Christ and his servant, Joseph Smith. I think God will use anyone who is willing to be taught and then to act to further his work.

Nate K said...

Faith in Jesus Christ is the only principle of the gospel one needs to lay hold of to receive eternal life. Faith leads to repentence, knowledge and sanctification from the Holy Ghost, and direction to do anything our Father in heaven would have us do.
So many people feel the spirit a handful of times, or not at all, as a member of a particular religion and they assume the religion must be "true". How many of you have prayed and received an answer from the Holy Ghost to know if polygamy was really commanded to joseph smith or any other latter day prophet?
Doctrine and covenants 132 clearly contradicts Jacob 2. Either Solomon and David's wives and concubines were an abomination like jacob said, or they were given to them from god like joseph smith said. Why didn't joseph smith get consent from Emma on each additional wife like doctrine and covenants clearly states is necessary?
Why did the 3 witnesses, Sidney rigdon, and many others testify that joseph smith fell? Have you prayed and received an answer from God that Joseph did not fall? Have any of you prayed to know if the temple endowment is from God or if it is in contradiction to James 5:12 and whether it was just a borrowed ritual of masonic blood oaths?
Many of you admit that there are warnings for the Gentiles but you don't acknowledge that it was prophecied that every church in our time would be polluted and corrupted. Those who would receive the Book of Mormon would "transfigured the word of God" and if you would realize the prophecies against the lds movement by Isaiah you would be very disturbed of the situation with the lds church.

Nate K said...

David whitmer was probably the most faithful of men in the early days of restoration. He was rewarded with visions of Jesus Christ before his death while men like brigham young called out the name of their god as they died. "Joseph, Joseph, Joseph..." Well has the lds placed a golden man on top of their edifices. This typifies their idolatry and their confederacy with Babylon.
If the church were anywhere close to the state that the sustained leaders claim it is, we would be a people of daily revelations, visions, and miracles. People would be translated and mountains would be moved. Instead we wait for a restoration and the "mighty and strong one" to be raised up by God. Not gonna happen within the LDS movement.
Now they literally teach that strong spiritual experiences can't happen very often and that if you haven't had an undeniable witness it's ok, you can just keep going through the routine and some point you will just wake up with a perfect knowledge. (See bednars talk on revelation and statements by packer and others). They deny the power of the Holy Ghost. They have perverted so many doctrines and hardly teach anything that resembles the Book of Mormon. They now admit joseph smith didn't translate the writings of the papyrus even though he clearly stated it was a direct translation (that for some reason took him 7 years).
David whitmer claimed joseph gave him and oliver and Martin the seer stone after finishing the translation of the BoM and stated clearly that the work god had for him to do in this life was complete. And so on and so on. 4000 changes to BoM. Countless changes and blatant additions with no revelation to the doctrine and covenants. Multiple changes to the so called "perfect ordinance of the endowment" an addition in 1876 of section 132. Huh? While removing a section that clearly states a man should have only one wife.
Please any of you who have faith to receive revelation beyond just feeling good, pray to know if monson is a seer, revelator, apostle, or prophet. God will NEVER tell you more than he is the right man for the position or he is the president of the church. Nothing but love to you all. When you hear of miracles outside of the church in the future please don't bury your heads and just trust the lds leaders. Investigate for yourselves. The gospel is true. The lds church teaches a portion of it.

nonamefornow said...

@general readers of the PM blog--

I want to point out that there is a very fine, intelligent, and spiritually awake young man on this blog--

who has posted but hasn't been here for a while--

who is RLDS.

A person who recently visited the old 'headquarters' made some unseemly comments about RLDS--

and I apologize to J. for them--

even though I had nothing to do with them--

that such a thing would be tolerated on here--

Rock hasn't visited a while, but when he does I believe he may see those unnecessary and inappropriate comments--

Friar Tuck said...

Dear LDSDper, er, I mean nonamefornow:

At least I have an informed opinion of the RLDS. I didn't mention anyone by name, other than Emile, so I guess I don't see a problem. Funny how it is OK to drag every general authority of the church through the mud, but don't you dare insult an RLDS.

Get real.

37andholding said...

Friar, you exaggerate! And you are a hypocrite!

Candace said...

Nate K.,

In my most recent Gospel Doctrine lesson I used Jacob's insight into seeking wisdom instead of riches to put Solomon's lust for wealth into perspective. I missed the obvious opportunity to question polygamy by using Jacob's indictment of the practice by David and Solomon.

The word, 'abomination' doesn't come up often but do we find it in 1 Kings describing the pagan cults of Milcom, Moloch and Chemosh observed by some of Solomon's wives. These are different names for the same unbelievable practice of parents offering their kids as sacrifice by being burned. Jacob uses the same word to characterize David's and Solomon's addiction to female flesh. I'm inclined to vote for Jacob over D&C 132.

Friar Tuck said...

Just listened to the latest Mormon Stories podcast where John Dehlin interviewed non-Mormon author Alex Beam about his book "American Crucifixion". The book is about Joseph Smith. John Dehlin repeatedly tries to get Alex Beam to trash on Joseph Smith, but beam just laughs at him at refuses to do it. Dehlin gets mad at him.

I gotta say, I admire Alex Beam...he is a very fair and grounded author.

nonamefornow said...

@Candace and Nate K., I am reading and appreciating this--

a lot.

I have an odd thing to say about polygamy--

Today the "church" focuses on telling the young men to avoid pornography, and yet polygamy was just ancient pornography; it basically had the same objectives--

The irony is classic.

I do NOT like pornography; I don't believe it's a victimless crime at all--

and I am sad to see that it is pervasive--

but until *we* completely repudiate plural marriage/polygamy, which I think President Hinckley was on the road to doing--

*we* (as a collective) share in the hypocrisy.

MajJohnButtrick said...

You say you think President Hinkley was on the road to completely repudiate polygamy. Is that based on his comment to Larry King "I don't think it's doctrinal"? Or, is there more background to that belief (that he was on the road to completely repudiate it)? I don't think they can ever do that until the Savior comes again, because as I said before, we have painted ourselves into a corner with the belief (despite misquotes, quotes out of context and loads of evidence to the contrary)that when our leaders speak something from the pulpit, they cannot lead us astray. To repudiate polygamy outright is to lead to a more open, questioning and less autocratic faith. To think that the Brethren are that "in touch" and forward thinking in order to get the church back on track is, I am sad to say, wishful thinking. Even with smaller things such as Blacks and the Priesthood, Mountain Meadows, etc., there is still a hint of whitewash, and tentative steps. The recent essays online on go a long way, but are still buried on the website, and most members don't even know about them. I doubt very much this will work its way into the correlated pablum, er... I mean lessons to the membership anytime soon. Not that it makes me an expert, but I work for a company with a tens of billions in net worth, and I am in charge of a main problem solving group that looks at issues from the big picture perspective. From my perspective, the real problem here is that we've taught the members (perhaps inadvertently)not to think, but to follow no matter what. The net result being we are currently an "unwise virgin" factory - churning out people who will not have their own oil when the bridegroom cometh. It will take a major "mea kulpa" from the President himself and call to repentance of the membership in order to change the cultural mindset of the people. It is a pervasive cultural problem now within the church, brought to you by our good friends at the Correlation committee, as well as the STCMC committee - dumbing down the doctrine for more than 40 years in the making.

MajJohnButtrick said...

Scratch "in the making" above. It should read "Dumbing down the doctrine for more than 40 years."

MajJohnButtrick said...

Of course, the above is based on the assumption that Plural Marriage is not a correct doctrine. I'm more and more convinced that this is the case. It's either that, or it is a test for the church. I don't want to open that can of worms right now. My comments were merely about the cultural issues within the church leadership and membership.

nobody ever said...

@ MajJohnButtrick

"we are currently an unwise virgin factory"

lol, I'm stealing that

The net effect of this latest round of purging, is that they boot out anyone that is still capable of thinking for themselves (thanks Rock), while they retain those most deluded into worshiping the management of the factory. This is how they "strengthen" the organization. This is why they are losing "the best and brightest", they don't want them, they're too much trouble and threaten the whole order. They only want the tithe paying sheep. After all they can't have those nosy kids walking around asking questions they don't have answers for, it might awaken people's minds.

I remember being warned as a child about an apostasy to come, about many being deceived. I always assumed it would be people being led away from the "one true church", it never occurred to me then, that it would be the other way around.
I had assumed that the "Tares" would be cast out from amongst us Wheat. But, I wondered how they would be able to discern exactly who was a "tare". Would it be through an interview process Like a recommend? But tares lie, its why they're tares.

But "wheat" do not use things people fear to control and intimidate them. The "wheat" (being disciples of Christ) would not persecute and cast out members of his flock for their opinions (We have indeed come full circle Rock) It is the very organization itself (like our goverment) that has become corrupted by the ideas of men. Just like every other time in the past.

BK said...


I agree that the Church won't ever confess that polygamy was wrong and repent of it, until Christ comes and they have to, for I believe all church leaders (including Pres. Hinckley who totally supported serial polygamy as Pres.) believe in it, condone it, promote it, promise it, and probably are hoping they can live it in the next life. Many churhc leaders are even living serial polygamy here and now.

'Serial' polygamy is alive and well and very encouraged in the LDS Church, it's a great selling point for the Church.

If the Church didn't allow men to dump and abandon their 1st wife and family and marry a new wife the Church would probably lose most of it's men.

For Christ's doctrine against divorce, remarriage and polygamy is very unpopular, practically unheard of and almost never accepted or lived today, let alone upholded by any significant church.

I agree that most LDS will find themselves without oil and Christ will not know them, despite that they are virgins (good honest kind people).

For Satan is very cunning, he convinces people to support & follow their leaders blindly and obediently and feel secure that their leaders 'can't' lead them astray and then it's the easiest thing in the world for him to lead them all carefully down to H. and to support evils like polygamy, or any of the other many evils practiced in the church today, while the church looks good on the surface and does and teaches alot of good things, to hide the bad, and not enough to really save or wake up anyone to the real truth, yet all the while it's members are sure they are righteous and in the only true Church.

If there is one thing that Joseph 'supposedly' saw and said that I agree with is that the saddest thing in the next life will be when people who thought they were going to heaven realize that they aren't, but just the opposite.

I am continually finding out wrong things the Church deceived me to believe or go along with. It takes years or probably a lifetime or more to truly awaken to the truth and shake off all the falsehoods taught by the LDS Church or any church.

I believe everyone is deceived by so many false and evil things and people and all churches, that the wise thing is to just accept that fact and spend our time trying to figure out 'how' & 'where' we are deceived and constantly be correcting our thinking and behavior.

Yet few ever think they could be wrong or deceived, but that's Satan's biggest trap, that he uses in most major religions, especially in the LDS Church.

Nate K said...

Thank for your comments

There is another way that the church will repudiate polygamy before the savior comes. It will be when God raises up an Abinadi or Jeremiah. Or more accurately a Moses who will lead the people out of bondage and set God's house on order. His house is not limited to any one church it is all of His/Her children. Have you ever wondered if we as a people have been cursed to not learn anything about our Mother because of the blatant disrespect for women?
I would encourage people to read the teaching of st. Issa. Whether it all historically accurate the Spirit taught me when Jesus spoke about the power of women and said Woman is the "Creator of the universe" and we must defend and cherish women and that "man should submit to women". And we must do all of these things for the Holy Spirit.
Jacob 6 speaks of the Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit in the same verse as if they are not the same thing. All I know is that once I was brought outside of the box of the orthodox teaching of any one church my spirit was opened to learning from anything and I personally believe we ought to "prove all things and hold fast to that which is good". Ever wondered if the voice from heaven at the mount of transfiguration was from the Mother? The cloud appeared which always symbolized the Shekinah in the Old Testament. Look up the meaning of Shekinah it was a female!
Ha ha totally a tangent but anyway from what the Holy Ghost has told me a great restoration is coming and there is not one group of people that won't be blown away when all of the truth comes out. There is not one religion on earth that hasn't been corrupted and the LDS will have a hard time hearing that they have been lead astray and Christians of any faith will have to deal with continuing revelation and the Book of Mormon. Who knows we may have to deal with truths from eastern religion we haven't considered.
I recently read the Tao Te Ching and felt the spirit many times. The problem is that we have been indoctrinated since we were young and therefore our hearts and minds are shut off to even asking God if certain things could be true that haven't been considered by our church. When will we become like little children and learn only to trust in God and not the doctrines of men? So many people want to appear intelligent by using "Sunday school answers" but God has never told them that what they are saying is true. This is how an Elder holland can pulpit pound and say he knows he knows he knows and yet there is an absolute void of the spirit. Yet if you openly listen to elder Nelson talk on religion "tying us to God" he only said what he knew and didn't even mention the Latter Day Saints in his whole talk.
So many people I know think if they feel the spirit in a talk that the whole talk must be true. Nope. Don't believe ANYTHING unless it is confirmed specifically by the Spirit. That's why doctrine and covenants is so tough to read. It has a ton of truth but it is at least as gunked up as the Bible with the mistranslations. Anyway I felt the spirit in the comment that the church is losing it's best and brightest. That is a literal truth. Thank you all for loving the gospel and The Lord enough to search. I am hungry for answers to so many questions and I know so little but I know what I know.

MajJohnButtrick said...

@Nate K

Your comments reminded me of the following scriptures and quotes:

2NE 29:
"7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it."

MajJohnButtrick said...

@Nate K continued:

From Joseph Smith:

“Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth: consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft. …

“… Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.” [Letter from Joseph Smith to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri, published in Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp. 53–54; spelling and grammar modernized.]

In January 1843, Joseph Smith had a conversation with some people who were not members of the Church: “I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints … are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time.” [History of the Church, 5:215; from “History of the Church” (manuscript), book D-1, p. 1433, Church Archives]

“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes [limits], and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further’ [Job 38:11]; which I cannot subscribe to.” [History of the Church, 6:57; punctuation modernized; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Oct. 15, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Willard Richards.]

Oh how we've changed.

@nobody ever:

The Tares are the Church (TM), Wheat are the seeking analogy really opened my mind.

MajJohnButtrick said...

@nobody ever:

At my job, we know we're in trouble when we believe our own press releases. In other words, PR press releases are to paint the rosiest possible picture, airbrushed or photoshopped. You issue your press releases, but know what you have to work on within your organization. It's when you are in denial of your own issues that you have the real problem. Your comment that "while they retain those most deluded into worshiping the management of the factory" made me laugh. It is so true. We have "jumped the shark" when we are insular to the issues in the church, and so busy high fiving each other all the time about how great we are while we miss the inequity of what we are not doing for the poor, etc. I know that we are all coming at things from different paradigms. I am not trying to convince anyone of my paradigm, and am not interested in being persuaded to believe someone else's paradigm. I hope that the keys are still here, and that it can be turned around.

@Nate K

I'm inclined to believe more and more the "one mighty and strong" thing ala Gileadi, not to mention that every time in history when God's people's org (I state it that way very intentionally) strays, he raises up a John the Baptist, and Abinadai, an Alma the Elder, a Samuel the Lamanite, etc. to shake things up. The trick is not being deceived.

MajJohnButtrick said...


Speaking of everyone having a different belief paradigm, I thought I would cobble together a quick 8 question survey. Respondent data is anonymous. No respondent IP addresses will be stored in the survey results.

Forgive me if I'm not asking the right questions. There are opportunities for free form comments.

Nate K said...


Yes! I love the quote that Mormonism is "all truth" and I totally agree that we should never push our beliefs with the intention that others just believe. All we can do is testify of what God has told each of us specifically and let others choose for themselves and love them no matter what they choose. The thing that becomes more apparent to me all of the time is that so many people (including myself so often in the past) testify of things that they claim to know just because they heard this or that leader say it when in reality the source of the quote or teaching was uninspired. We all know how much damage the idea that "a prophet cannot lead the church astray" had done. I love to hear testimonies of people that admit they "just believe" and don't know. Sincerity is powerful and false claims cause confusion.
So many Mormon sects love to say that the stone has been cut out of the mountain but to my knowledge this statement is not found in scripture nor has the spirit testified that it is true so I have to conclude that the church established in 1830 was just as susceptible to apostasy as any church ever was. In fact this is one thing I have a spiritual witness of that the earth is in a full state of apostasy. But I also have a witness that thomas a monson is a good man and has had to confront a lot of things that have hurt him deeply after becoming president of the church.
I believe that he probably thought he would see the Savior and would receive a great mantle but was disappointed etc. It seems that the apostles are at different levels of understanding and faith. Some just seem so innocent that I really think they believe everything is great while others seem to enjoy the power and know they are making false claims. Don't know much about them but this is my perception.
One thing I like to ask others and if anyone reads this I would love to have a chance to read how you experience revelation? To me it is a literal power that sweeps through me usually starting at my head or chest and moving downward. It can be in different parts of my body and feels like electricity spreading a wonderful tingly feeling that infuses knowledge and understanding and always brings the fruits of the spirit.
I am trying to learn if all people who are truly receiving revelation receive it the same way or if it truly is different for others? Any thoughts would be appreciated. All of the people I have truly been edified with seem to feel and experience it like this but maybe that is because we are "in tune" with this way of receiving it. I just can't buy that someone could truly know something by simply feeling peace or light or some other emotion. Anyway I am going to do that survey. Thanks

MajJohnButtrick said...

I want to reassure everyone that the survey is 100% anonymous, I, nor anyone else, can track you if they wanted to (and I certainly don't want to). The link is 128 bit encryption, the IP addresses are not stored at all, it is open to anyone that can hit the link, no names, ID's, nothing is collected. I created it with an abstracted encrypted e-mail address based in Holland where the laws preclude them from even supplying it to the N S A (separated it that way just in case :) LOL ). Take that STCMC!

MajJohnButtrick said...


So far there are 5 respondents. I will share the data with everyone when we hit 10.

nobody ever said...

@ MajJohnButtrick

I don't see the LDS church as anything but a support group for the proud and stiff necked.

A place to pat each other on the back and reassure each other of our superior righteousness.

They call themselves "saints", please! lol

Nate K said...


I can totally see why you would say that but I would have to think even you would call that a sweeping generalization. First of all, I would think that there are a lot of people in the LDS church who are blinded by the craftiness of men, who are only members for the culture, or who have simply accepted it all as true because they have felt the spirit about quite a few of the doctrines, and have yet to learn anything from God contrary to anything the church teaches , so they have no reason to question at this point.
Plus in Isaiah he prophecies that God will place delusions on people and I truly believe the church and in fact the earth has been under a curse and we all have a ton to learn.
But yeah, there is a strong argument that the church is actually the great and spacious building, especially when it comes to the "elite" who actually are getting paychecks. But I truly believe God is working with people of all faiths that are seeking greater truth.
The same thing about the prideful and stiffnecked could be said about almost any organization. That's probably why Jesus taught that few there be that find it. What boggles me though is how members can't see the pride and hypocrisy that exists.

nobody ever said...

@Nate K
I agree

MajJohnButtrick said...

We're up to 7.

ItalianSC said...

Rock, I want to thank you for everything you have done. Most of all for the guts you demonstrate and the fairness you exhibit. Unlike John Dehlin who moderates out the tough comments that expose him for what he is. I want to post my comment here he deleted, after his anti-Joseph Smith rhetoric with author Alex Beam:

As a longtime listener, I think John Dehlin was shameless. That was the most despicable interview I have ever seen,

John seems so bloodthirsty in his approach to Joseph Smith. I am highly embarassed to say I have enjoyed being a listener. After hearing his leading questions, putting words in Beam's mouth, I have to say his true agenda is starting to come out.

I will agree with Charlie 110%, though I am no longer a member of the LDS corp.

John, if you do not believe in anything, including God and Jesus, much less in Joseph's mission and the Book of Mormon, then what the &$*# are you doing pretending you so sincerely want to be in the Church and 'help' folks?!!! This is the quintessential definition of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

John, you want to help Mormons/LDS? Then how about putting some guests on that are NOT in conflict with the Book of Mormon?

How about someone with something incredible to say like Wayne May- and the astonishing amounts of artifacts and archeological evidence he has about how the Book of Mormon DEFINITELY took place, and right here in the Great Lakes/Niagra area, lining up with the Hopewell and Adena cultures?! The stuff Wayne has come out with about the Jaredites for example, is mindblowing.

There are some other amazing people like Wayne out there...who are the opposite to those ridiculous LDS-Corp scholars who have brought so much humiliation to the Book of mormon by promoting the pathetic far-fetched nonsense, like the Meso-American theory of the Book of Mormon geography. No wonder the Book of Mormon has not much left to it's credentials when it's supposed 'defenders' are trying to explain directions in the city of London all the while pointing to a map of Bombay!

The Book of Mormon did not happen in Central America, it is the very abbreviated history of the very lands Joseph Smith and the early saints walked not far from- in North America!

The Book of Mormon happened in Western New York. Check out Phyllis Carol Olive's work on the book of Mormon history taking place in New York. Where are all these folks on your podcasts instead of bringing on people who will promote your agenda to destroy Smith??

MANY people are talking about this latest interview John, and all these are people who have supported you but our eyes are opening. Your true colours are getting brighter. For all of you who have made John your arm-of-flesh, please don't give me that heart-wrenching nonsense about how he is a 5th gen. Mormon and it's all so hard for him. I am a 5th generation (ex)Catholic- when I found out Catholicism was knee deep in BS, I was more than thrilled to get as far away as possible from it- to heck with starting a website and getting money from those who I have fooled with my Wolf's clothing, to support my PHD. There is a whole world to discover if the restoration Gospel is not for you- but you seem intent to become a martyr. Sad. I have yet to hear you teach from the Book of Mormon- you don't believe it, so move onto the rest of the huge world yet left undiscovered by you!

What John is doing is akin to a former alcoholic still wanting to hang out with his drinking buddies 24/7 and complain about how bad they and their behaviours are!

The one thing John did help me with is exposing me to Alex Beam's objective defense of JS. I have far more respect for JS after this interview than I ever thought I possibly could.

And far less respect for John Dehlin than I ever hoped I would.

You've lost one loyal listener here.

BK said...

Nobody ever,

I agree with your last comments at 7:14.

Pride is a choice and it keeps us from seeing the truth.

I believe all members and leaders know deep down that the Church is not true and that the leaders are not righteous, because of all their unrighteous teachings, scriptures and practices, past & present, that are contrary to the Gospel of Christ.

Like polygamy for example, I believe everyone knows deep down that polygamy is wrong, the same with countless other evils the Church does, teaches and supports, past & present.

For all LDS, even the whole world, understands the Golden Rule. LDS Church leaders, past & present, would not want done to them what they do to others.

nonamefornow said...

Nate K. said:

Some just seem so innocent that I really think they believe everything is great while others seem to enjoy the power and know they are making false claims. Don't know much about them but this is my perception.

I always 'sensed' that Hinckley was a 'golden boy' who was very naive; I think he was kept in a bubble--

at the end of his life somewhere he said something (sorry to be so vague; I know it's wrong, but I can't help it; I have no documentation) that he let the experts deal with the financial aspects of things.

The man was very basic. He was smart; he cared about knowledge, and he built his own home and installed his own furnace. He was very child-like in many ways, which is why the Hoffmans bamboozled him--


for years he was intent on talking about Joseph Smith in a way that seemed very focused.

I didn't know until after his death (and I disagreed with him politically and about the wars, etc., but again I think he felt powerless; I do)--

that he had hired Daymon Smith to seek out the history, open the archives, etc.

I have not had access to those archives, other than what Smith has published.

But if people like me (and BK-- :) ) and Rock Waterman and the Prices can begin to say about polygamy, "hey, what's going on here; why are we blaming Joseph Smith; none of the evidence is firsthand; it's all second hand and mostly after he died and . . .


Then so can Gordon (B) Hinckley. So can he.

He saw the information on the Cochranites, something that was withheld from the 'church'.

Daymon Smith doesn't want to change anything; he just wants to strip the garbage off the Book of Mormon and let it BE!

And show those original documents as proof of the major hijack that took place.

He's careful, but you can tell he believes there was something special about Joseph Smith. (no relation)

And you can tell that he believes there was something close to diabolical--

about Brigham Young.

What a dilemma for someone like Hinckley, to get in there, see that stuff--

having already announced the SLC 'fix up'--

being naive about money--

and seeing that. If I had had that experience, I would want to put on a song and dance about Joseph Smith--

but what do you do with Brigham?

nonamefornow said...

You are afraid of hurting all those people who aren't ready to think--

who will immediately say, "but, hey, you all told us for decades that the authority continued from Joseph to Brigham; what's going on NOW?"--

so he kept his mouth shut and put on the song and dance about Joseph Smith and hoped there wouldn't be too much damage?

My guess.

Yes, I think he had determined that polygamy wasn't doctrine (what he said to Larry King) by then--

that it was not Joseph's doctrine anyway--

I don't want to turn this into polygamy pros and cons--

But I do believe it was Brigham (and Heber's, etc.) mistake--

I don't think it was Joseph's. I think Joseph got into sealings and that was used.

EVERYthing was used against Joseph Smith--

and I think he knew it and allowed it; he had a very interesting mission--

So, yes--

I think Hinckley was waking up. He was an old man, and it hurt, but I think he was beginning to wake up--

possibly because of Daymon Smith and those historical records.

It is to the benefit of those who would destroy the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith to continue the, "it started with Joseph" garbage--

because that is ultimately what destroys faith.

Mainstream LDS historians keep repeating the same old stuff--

and according to Smith (Daymon) none of them, including the rough stone rolling guy--

have done original research.

So, the gig is up, and Hinckley saw a little tiny bit of the corner of that--

and it probably really shook him, but he had the courage to say, "it's not doctrine" to Larry King and the entire world.

This is already too long--

I knew it would be.

I'll be glad to know all the truth someday, but in the meantime I am tearing all that confetti off the Book of Mormon and liking what I'm finding underneath--

nonamefornow said...

Major, sir--


And done.

nonamefornow said...

I should elucidate--

destroying faith happens to those weak in faith, mostly--

or very young and untested--

if a person can destroy a young person's belief that Joseph Smith had a mission, then that person will automatically throw away the Book of Mormon--

most become atheists.

But I believe mainstream "people" who think of themselves as scholars have been doing this for a long time--

in the process of trying to make polygamy 'all right'--

the sacrifice they are making of other spiritual lives is not theirs to make, and they will be held accountable--

Nate K said...

@ Noname

I see everyone's points about brigham young perhaps introducing polygamy especially with documentation of joseph smith denying the practice repeatedly. But my question is this, why did he have to deny polygamy repeatedly? There is still evidence of joseph smith preaching the doctrine to the high council in Nauvoo not to mention the countless women (in and out of the church in salt lake) that claimed joseph tried to seduce them. What happened with fanny alger?
Anyway to me it is a moot point because my faith does not rest on joseph smith any more than brigham young. If joseph smith was vile and evil at one point it does not follow that everything else he did must have been false. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Mormon teaches faith in Christ.
In no way does my salvation depend on faith in joseph smith. I may have to have faith in some truths that were revealed through him but that is all. Even if joseph smith ended up being a son of perdition so what?
Anyway that is why the church is in a tough spot because even if any leaders learned truths from the past it would cause all of the members who are weak in faith to question everything and chaos would ensue. This in fact is what is going to happen in my mind when a restoration begins outside of the church with healings and miracles and a similar claim to joseph smith that the heavens have opened and authority from God has been restored. Peoples heads will be spinning and they will be drunk and not with wine like Isaiah prophecied. Anyway that's my two cents. Thanks

MajJohnButtrick said...

I agree with what ItalianSC said re: John Dehlin. I fall on the other side of the spectrum from John, but have always respected him. I was embarrassed to be LDS when listening to that interview with Alex Beam. Alex was trying hard to be objective and truthful. I thought it odd that John had apparently never heard such things re: Joseph Smith before, or perhaps he was just being provocative for the benefit of those in his audience that had never heard those things, I don't know. Everybody has a bad day now and again. This has led me to consider what "nonamefornow", Nate K, "nobody ever" and others have said:

I think the people who are in the most trouble are cultural Mormons who have never asked questions, never read anything other than correlated materials, etc. They feel betrayed and lied to. I feel much as Martin Harris did, that the Church has left me. Meaning, the doctrine has been dumbed down, the ugly spots hidden, and the beautiful aspects of the gospel have been too neatly packaged and trimmed.

m said...

@nonamefornow, It sounds like you are saying that after President Hinkley got fooled by Mark Hoffman, he hired Daymon Smith to uncover our history, our own ethnography and be more open generally, but then it either got too uncomfortable, too complex (locked in the conundrum of what it will do to the weaker testimonied Saints), was overruled by others, or President Hinkley died before much could come of it. It sounds like you espouse (no pun intended) the Richard and Pamela Price (husband and wife, get it?) view that Joseph Smith fought polygamy, and that after his death, those that followed the Cochranite idea of spiritual wifery as it was called, created an elaborate ruse to legitimize their dalliances by making it look like Joseph Smith secretly practiced it, including statements from women in Utah, etc. This may seem ridiculous to some, but it’s amazing how many people have an axe to grind against Joseph throughout history, and are quick to pick up and repeat anything that would tear him down. It’s true (and he admits it freely) that Alex Beam did not do original research. However, he is going by what other reputed historians have said. I don’t know one way or the other yet, but given the fact that a lot of things back in the 19th century were done with smoke and mirrors, and destroying reputations, it wouldn’t surprise me. For example… Brigham Young’s “miraculous” taking on the personage of Joseph Smith.

From Alex Beam’s book: “One disaffected listener, S.S. Thornton, wrote to his father-in-law that ”Mr. Young had tried to mimic Joseph for several years… and on his return from Boston after (Joseph’s) martyrdom even went out to get a dentist to take out a tooth on the same side that Joseph lost one, to make myself appear as much like him as possible.” This is of course, the broken tooth sheared off in Dennison’s botched murder attempt. It also gave Joseph a very characteristic sound when speaking. Brigham dressed like Joseph when they had the big debate with Rigdon. Apostle Hyde wrote of one of Brigham’s two wives “one of them said “It is the voice of Joseph! It is Joseph Smith!” in the crowd. Young had just alluded to the Bible passage John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me”. The big epiphany didn’t appear in any contemporary accounts of Brigham’s talk – only later. Even Brigham’s own diary for that day and Nauvoo’s two newspapers didn’t mention it. Those of the Brigham Young faction later wrote how it was this big miracle, and voila! It is history. I reserve judgment on Joseph Smith until the Lord will reveal the truth. I almost left the church over this polygamy and polyandry a couple of years ago, but after fasting and praying for several days I got the revelation that said that no man except Jesus has ever walked this earth that was perfect, and that Joseph did what He asked him to do. Any mistakes he made were between God and him, and I was not to worry about that particular thing anymore. The truth would be revealed some day. That’s my starting point for rebuilding my testimony.

ma said...

Oops... again... "m" above is MajJohnButtrick... too fast on the "Enter" key.

MajJohnButtrick said...

OK, the results are in for the survey! At least for the first 14 respondents, and I think it paints an interesting picture:
Q1: Do you believe in continuing revelation from God? 13 responded, 1 skipped. 100% Yes
Added comments: “to individuals, yes –“; “This is available to everyone.”; “Yes, anyone who truly follows Christ and has Charity can receive all the revelation they need to gain eternal life, even if they never read any book of scripture, for they can write their own, which will have the very same principles in it.”; “Personal revelation”

Q2: Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet? 36% said he “was a prophet, is a prophet, did not stray”; 21% said he “was a prophet, is a prophet, but made some serious mistakes (between him and God)”; 14% said he “was a prophet, became a ‘fallen’ (invalid) prophet”, No one said he “was a fraud and a huckster”. However, 29% added other comments as follows:
“Yes, but I think he let himself be led to condemn others, by God's command—“
“I believe he was a prophet but I am not sure if he fell or not.”
“I used to, but now I do not. He taught a lot of good things and probably was a nice man but far too weak, gullible and contrary to Christ to be a true prophet that God would expect any righteous person to believe in. The Book of Mormon & D&C are full of teachings contrary to Christ for example and no true prophet would have wrote it (Nephi), compiled it (Moroni) or published it (Joseph S.) for they would have known it was false and would led people astray.”

MajJohnButtrick said...

Q3: Do you believe that the Book of Mormon is the revealed word of God? 79% Yes; 7% For the most part; No one said “no”. The following comments were left:
“I believe it is a valid, ancient record of God's dealings with an ancient people in some part of America; that God is there, yes; that He is behind the book, yes—“, and
“It teaches many good things and some teachings of Christ, but it also teaches many false things that totally lead people astray to not follow Christ. So i'ts like any uninspired book, part truth and part falsehood, but it proves Joseph was a false prophet.”

Q4: Do you believe the current LDS church is “THE” restored church as currently constituted? (more than one answer acceptable). One person skipped it. 46% said “Yes, it is, but has become corrupted over time, is still redeemable”, The same number of people (31%) said “Unsure” as “The church strayed during/after Nauvoo and lost its right to claim to be the restored church.” One person said “Unequivocally”, and one person said “No”. The comments were:
“ha, ha, ha--I think God works through all the religions; I believe that any religion that has the Book of Mormon He has tried to preserve, because the book is that important—“, and
“The current LDS Church is just Brigham's apostate group he led out west, totally corrupt and preaches and practices completely contrary to the Gospel of Christ, though it does some good things and teaches some truth just too cover for it's evil. I believe all church leaders know the church is corrupt deep down, for they see too much evil behind closed doors to keep their conscience pure.”, and
“I believe the spirit is now being withdrawn. God works with all churches of faith”

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with what Boyd K. Packer once said, that not all history is useful.

I have seen many folks on here that read endless books, do endless research, and engage in endless conversations trying to come to what I suppose you could call "a perfect knowledge of the truth". I, personally, feel that such people are those that the scriptures say "are ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth". For example, I could not care less what anyone has to negatively say about Joseph Smith armed with their supposed "smoking guns". I have walked in Joseph's footsteps. I know that he was and is a prophet. The spirit has born witness to me of this. We all forget that the spirit is the key to finding what we are looking for.

I admit that I am intellectually lazy. I would rather talk about my feelings for the church than recite all the books I have read, or studies that I have perused. I think people like Rock and John Dehlin started off with great intentions and full purpose of heart, but have become corrupted by their insistence that knowledge only comes from books and what is written down, and not from intangible sources like the spirit.

I go back in my mind to the great apostasy and wonder what those early people did as the church founded by Jesus slowly lapsed into apostasy. As the decades slipped by, more and more of the philosophies of men crept into the spiritual lexicon of worship, yet what were these people to do? Surely some of them could see what was happening, and fought the trend. Did fighting the trend make it go away? Maybe those people should have concentrated on supporting good leaders and trying to delay the inevitable collapse of the church.

I know that I have stepped on a lot of toes, but I do not apologize. Actually, I have apologized a number of times for various things, but I feel that casting aspersions against the church is wrong. Those that are criticizing the church probably think they are doing the right thing, but they need to understand the ramifications of their actions in a historical context. Apostasy has happened before and in each instance it destroyed the church.

Those among us who have blogs and a very public following need to ask themselves what will bring the greatest good to the gospel. Should we give Mormonism a black eye by criticizing the leaders and undermining public confidence or should we do everything we can to help our leaders be better people?

I understand the tremendous urge that some of us have to set the Lord's house in order, but the Lord knew long ago that things would come to this and said as much in the D+C. So I have a hard time understanding why some of us, who cannot see the end from the beginning like the Lord can, Take it upon ourselves to set the Lord's house in order. Complaining against the leaders will accomplish nothing positive and will not produce any changes. There are some of us that believe that we do not need a church structure, that the scriptures are all we need. This, also is a lie and a false doctrine. We need the temple ordinances that the church structure provides us. The only way to access the temple is through the hierarchy. The Lord has made it very clear just how important temples are.

So this is my two cents. I am happy in my life, because I know I am doing what I have power to do. I don't waste my time trying to change an organization that I cannot change. I know the church is doing a good work, are there are honest and hardworking people that are serving to make the church a better place. Are they ignorant? I don't know...maybe some of them have decided that they will thrust in their sickle and do the Lord's work instead of complaining.


nonamefornow said...

Nate's words:

evidence of joseph smith preaching the doctrine to the high council in Nauvoo not to mention the countless women (in and out of the church in salt lake) that claimed joseph tried to seduce them. What happened with fanny alger?


Nate K.

I don't think the evidence is final or irrefuteable, because he died so soon after that, and I believe most of those people lied--
in order to maintain the things they had done, so they could be sane--

As for Fanny Alger, too many things up in the air, as with all the others.

Nate's words:

In no way does my salvation depend on faith in joseph smith. I may have to have faith in some truths that were revealed through him but that is all. Even if joseph smith ended up being a son of perdition so what?

I completely agree with that. I believe Joseph was a prophet for the Book of Mormon; beyond that, I am not sure. But, you are correct. HOWever, because the 'church' has made such a big deal about everything resting on Joseph, that is why so many young people, disillusioned, swing to atheism--

that is my chief concern--

Basically, I don't think any of the evidence is of any value except what we KNOW the saints were doing from copy (pamphlets, news articles, etc.)--

that aren't controversial but that say SO much more about the incredibly hijack that was going on.

I think we are on the same page, though--

MajJohnButtrick said...

Q5: Do you believe that the restored priesthood “keys” are still on the earth? More than one answer is acceptable, so the percentages don’t add up to 100. It’s a 3 way tie between “Yes, but in trouble, the Lord will still use those channels”, “Yes, but all bets are off in terms of how the Lord will correct the current church direction”, and “Unknown”, each at 29%. 21% said “No, they were here, but we lost them within the current Church”; 14% said “Yes, in great health”, and one said “no, it is a sham” (7%).
Comments were:
“it's hard to know what "keys" mean; the word isn't found in the Book of Mormon, except pertaining to Laban's keys--the treasury keys—“
“The were restored for a short time, but the fulness was taken away pertaining to priesthood,keys,and establising zion.”
“Actually, in reasonably good health - but this was the nearest option”
“No, Joseph never had any keys to begin with. For the Priesthood and the Gospel was never lost. Anyone can access the whole Gospel by reading the New Test. and they (both men & women) can gain all the Priesthood and keys they need directly from God if they are truly righteous and have charity, but such a person is very rare today or ever and certainly wouldn't be or stay in a church as corrupt as the LDS Church.”

Q6: Do you think the Church will correct itself, or require a divine outside influence? No one said there is no need for correction. One person said it will correct itself, two said it would correct itself with new revelation, 50% (7) said “it will probably require divine outside influence (think one or more like Samuel the Lamanite or "prophet" ouitside the hierarchy)”, and 29% said “Other” – their comments below:

“I think that D&C 112 is valid here; "upon my house it will begin"--not even sure what that means, but Babylon will fall, and the 'church' corporation is part of Babylon—“
“No, the Church leaders will never repent, except for maybe a few like Alma who had to flee King Noah's corrupt Church, which is just like the LDS Church today. God will have nothing to do with the LDS Church, for he never knew it, it was never his Church and it's leaders were never righteous. He will establish his Church in Zion and the LDS will be some of the last to know about it for they are so blinded and corrupt they won't even recognize the Savior or accept him when he comes.”
“Will require divine assistance, will be destroyed or incorporated into church of the lamb Nephi prophecied of”
I think it's only on an individual basis.

MajJohnButtrick said...

Q7: Do you believe the "Marvelous Work and A Wonder" is a future event, or an unfolding current event? 43% said it is an “Unfolding current event”, 29% said they believe it is a “Future event”, 7% (one person) said they believe it is a “Past event”, and 21% said Other, and their responses are here:
“I honestly don't know; I liked LeGrand Richards, but I think his book was way off—“
“Zion will be a marvelous work and a wonder but the church won't have anything to do with it.”
“Some has begun, but the most powerful and earth changing work is about to begin”

Q8 (last question): Given that everyone has a unique belief paradigm and these questions can't adequately capture everyone's views, is there anything else you'd like to anonymously say? 6 out of 14 responded:
“I think God will bend over backwards and backwards and backwards to bring on soul to Christ-- even if it means keeping the LDS church programs going, as many LDS condemn themselves by not really wanting to have anything to do with God—“
“Please read "Lectures on Faith" and from Neville Goddard's writings and extract the truth from them. This is an important part of what Joseph Smith was teaching us. Mormonism is all truth. We have the Devine gift to discern truth from error. We must imagine how it feels to know we can easily know what is true and what is error.”
“Everyone who is righteous and has Charity and truly follows Christ has the same paradigm, or very closely and with a little reasoning easily comes to the same conclusions. But such people are very rare, for it's almost impossible to find anyone who truly follows Christ's teachings today, let alone has true Charity or even believes in it, though everyone thinks they do.”
“Gods church subsists of all of His sheep/ or elect that have been planted all over the earth in all religions. The church of the lamb is yet to be revealed in all of it's power and glory but I believe God is stirring people of many faiths and the people are hungry for truth and the coming forth of a seed and revelator even if they don't know it. Thanks for the survey”
“It's the best we have. The Priesthood is still valid. We need to use the Book of Mormon more. We need to take care of the poor.”
“God is good. Is caring and loving. We have much given to learn.”

MajJohnButtrick said...

@Friar Tuck (assuming that is FT)
With all due respect, you are worried about criticizing the church. I worry about being right with the Lord.
I'm sure you are too. You and I do it in different ways, that is all. I choose not to put my trust in the arm of flesh. That IS a key message of the Book of Mormon.

Sybil_Ludington said...

@Friar Tuck
I understand what you are trying to say. I fear you may be missing the larger point. I have always referred to the whole name of the church when I am asked about my faith. I have always considered myself to be a follower of Christ and refer to myself after introducing the church by it's full name as a Christian. I have always understood the need to understand the doctrine to have a testimony of my own, that is unattached to any other person. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and redeemer of all mankind that choose to follow Him. I know the Book of Mormon to be true. I took His name upon me what I chose to be baptized. What if good people like Martin Luther or John Huss didn't say anything against the church they belonged too? What if Tyndale and Cramner and others didn't speak for the need of people to have scriptures they can read themselves? What if Nephi hadn't protected and preserved the records so we could have them today. The church is going to evolve and change, the doctrine will not change unless God chooses for it to do so. The only things that will remain to us in the eons of time ahead will be the principles and doctrines that are eternal. The church itself is really only here temporarily like everything else, the ordinances, the priesthood, and the true doctrines will remain. There will be a point where we won't need prophets as we know them on this planet...The Priesthood, the knowledge of the mysteries of God and the doctrines surrounding the Atonement of Christ are the only things that will remain. I my humble opinion nothing else matters. Follow Christ or not. That is the only choice.

nonamefornow said...

Sybil's words:

Follow Christ or not. That is the only choice.



Yes, I have been impressed with the work of the Prices, but then I am a conspiracy theorist.

My personal "feelings" towards Joseph Smith are 'tender'. Whether or not he fell, I honestly don't care. What I do care about, so passionately that I probably offend at every turn, is the Book of Mormon.

And Jesus Christ, of course.

Years ago I worked with a woman in a ward who was very open about her opinions with regards to the 'testimonies' that people with whom she worked had or didn't have.

One woman she had decided did not have a testimony.

It seemed she spent most of her time saying, "this one has to go; no testimony; this one we can keep; testimony"

But HER idea of what a testimony was was very narrow--

and years later in another ward far away from that ward I met woman #2 who had been ousted from a calling, because she "didn't have a testimony".

I have no idea where woman #1 is--

or what happened to her, but I can tell you that that experience woman #2 had was acutely painful to her and when I saw her 20 years plus later I was very impressed with her grace and her gentle spirit, and, by golly, she was still in the church, in spite of the inquisitor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Enough exclamation points?)

I believe in conspiracies; I always have, since I was very young. I knew something was rotten when JFK was killed. I knew WWII was not right when I was a child, and my heart used to scream in silence when all my relatives supported Viet Nam, and I, alone, said, "something is wrong here; these kids are being sent into danger for nefarious reasons"--

but if I had spoken up, even my closest loved ones would have regaled me with shame and vitriol.

So, I believe there was a rich and intense and deep conspiracy not only to blacken Joseph's name after his death but to kill him in the first place with ALL his brothers--

Hyrum, Samuel and Joseph all killed within two months (maybe less)--


Come on; who is THAT naive? And William handily excommunicated in the middle of it all?

There are those who do not believe in conspiracies, and generally they are the, "I've decided you don't have the kind of testimony I like"

people whose testimonies are sort of one vague thing, maybe?

I don't know, because I don't want to grade anyone's testimony; it's not my business--

But I can tell anyone who cares that there are people on this blog (including Rock) who are here, because they have testimonies so powerful that they can't be held inside--

and mostly of Diety--

things that obviously cannot be denied--

so they come on here and have people who have very simple beliefs throw rotten stuff at them--

because those people do not understand that some of *us* (being careful with the collectivization here, apologies)--

want so desperately to reach people with Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon (knowing that to be the purest way, if a person has access to that remarkable book)--

Call me a "Jesus Freak" (after a Mormon persuasion) and I'll grin--

Major, men who were considered to have integrity during Viet Nam lied and lied and lied, and when they were dying cried and cried and cried--

why can't religionists use that ploy?

Sad; really sad.

After all, where we "are" with God matters more than any words we can say, but sometimes words can be powerful, too--

UP with the Book of Mormon!

DOWN with the practice of 'grading' the testimonies of others--

nonamefornow said...

when I say 'very simple beliefs', I note that most of the time those who come on with indignation over "criticizing church leaders" or "criticizing the church" don't mention Jesus Christ.

It's just an observation, but, again, I need to be careful not to generalize.

That's what I meant--

Honestly, the only person I have ever been openly critical of is Brigham Young, and it is based on things that can be proven that he did and said--

As for Elder Holland, I just pointed out that some of his scriptures didn't 'match', and my observation at the time was that the man was under a tremendous amount of pressure or stress and hadn't even had time to correct his talk--

as in having things fit or be accurate--

as to his spirit, he was agitated when he spoke, and I felt very sad for him--

It wasn't criticism.

It was concern.

Nate K said...

@ Sybil

I happen to agree with you that following Christ is all that matters. For me Christ had lead me to a knowledge of serious problems with the LDS church. I know that the scripture exhorting us to "prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good" is a doctrine of Christ. Trust me when I say it is time consuming and a matter of constant prayer and faith, but we truly can gain a witness of each doctrine line upon line.
You are right that we should not go about trying to fix anything ourselves. We can't possibly do it. Soon we will see that God has all power to fulfill all of His words and does not need any of us to go about as "His hands" when He has never commissioned us to be His hands. I don't "worry" about things I don't know or the things that the "leaders" of the church don't talk about. I simply seek the truth. The truth never comes through simply being an intellectual it comes through I witness of the Holy Ghost.
The funny thing is that even if you have a witness of Joseph Smith being a prophet that does not mean anything about the current state of any church. I happen to know by the Holy Ghost that joseph smith was a prophet but I also happen to know by the Holy Ghost that God is withdrawing His spirit from the Latter Day Saints. God is willing to work with people of all faiths equally if the people seek Him.
If you search diligently you will find that people are receiving the Holy Ghost in other Christian faiths and there are many people outside of the LDS church with greater faith than 99 percent of the "mormons". It is easy to hear quotes about how if we stay in the mainstream of the church we will be fine and that the majority of apostles will never be wrong etc etc. but the Spirit will not bear witness of these things to me.
I have lived faithfully to "the church" and served a mission blah blah blah and I follow the same spirit now as I did back then only since I have put my trust fully in Christ and not the arm of flesh (the so called leaders who have so called greater authority) God has blessed me with the Spirit to a greater degree and seems happy to answer these questions that others say I just can't know about for now.
That is one thing I would recommend anyone to pray about as a member "can I receive revelation that latter day prophets have not revealed". Yes! God will happily tell you that you can if you ask in faith. Don't take my word for it. If any of us lacks wisdom, we can ask in faith and receive. That will never change. Sometimes I wonder what revelations Hiram page was receiving. I would like to read them to seek a witness for myself whether they were from God.
Anyway I do respect your position but please ponder the words of Nephi to "hearken not unto the counsels of men, save they are taught by the Holy Ghost". Much love and I wish you well on your personal journey with God. He is the author and finisher of our faith on an individual basis and has a perfect plan for each one of us to progress to the fullest of our potentials.

nonamefornow said...


I agree with your last post--

I also want to make a point that the Book of Mormon (it's so obvious) speaks of many secret combinations, and yet LDS are the first to laugh at *you* if you think things aren't always what they appear to be, anywhere (world/nation/church, etc.)--

But as for doing everything the 'right' way it usually leads to this--

to dissatisfaction, because you want a richer, deeper experience with Diety--

and you can't have that in a typical LDS Sunday School class--

at that point you can give up on religion or realize that God is leading you away from the 'standard' things you were fed from childhood--

towards things other LDS will not understand--

such as . . .

Zion. Other Christians waking up. The true mess the world is in.

Most LDS believe that Zion is something the 'church' will bring, that other Christians are spiritually deprived and inferior (ARG!) and that the only thing wrong with the world is "O"--

the naivete--

and, no, I don't like "O".

I'm just making a point about how deep most go or don't go--

nonamefornow said...

speaking of which, and then I will not be on the computer anymore for today--

I would strongly encourage everyone to watch Martin Luther, a film made in 1953; you can get it on netflix.

It's really excellent.

Friar Tuck said...


It is not only about following Christ, but also becoming Zion. Some people think they can bolt from the church and do their own thing...they do not understand Zion. The church is a community of believers, whose goal, the Lord himself has stated, is to build Zion. We don't build Zion by running away from the church, we build Zion by embracing the church.

Zion is built on the principles of consecration (which we do not now live). Zion is people taking care of each other. We can take care of each other without waiting for the Lord to command us.

It takes cooperation to build Zion. It takes money, and temples, and brotherhood. We have not failed until we have stopped trying. If we condemn the church and it's leaders and walk away, we have forsaken the idea of Zion.

Everyone in this world is spiritually connected. That is why genealogy is so important. We are here on Earth to learn to live together in a community. We are not here to simply follow a book of instructions. Following Christ is important, but there are millions of followers of Christ in hundreds of denominations, each with specific beliefs. These people have not learned to come together, and neither have most Mormons.

Unknown said...

@Nate K

I really appreciated your comments.

You mentioned the physical sensations that come when you receive revelations. For most of my life I would feel peace and emotion related with spiritual things. After I received the baptism of fire I experienced a change to my body that enabled me to feel the spirit physically. Now when I feel the spirit it comes from the crown of my head, down my neck and into my chest, like my chest is filling with power. When the spirit is present I will have these physical sensations before I ever feel emotional.

There are many examples of this power in the scriptures.

Doctrine and Covenants 85:6
6 Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest...

Mosiah 13
5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.

1 Nephi 17
47 Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is pained; I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am full of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength.

I just wanted to be a second witness to the physical power of the spirit.

Nate K said...

@Friar Tuck

I actually respect what you are saying. I do not believe in abandoning any group or religion, but the first commandment is to love god and then next your fellow men. If the members of the church are abandoning God we must remain with God even if from their perspective we are abandoning the religion. All I can say is be sure you have a witness from God on where He wants you to be. If He leads you to remain faithful to the magisterium then no doubt you should do that.
We all must live according to the word of God the best we know how and I believe most people reading these things are seeking to do just that. I remain faithful to all of my brothers and sisters but in no way feel obligated to practice religion in the same way any of them do unless I receive a confirmation that I should.
There is no doubt that everyone perceived the sons of Zadok to be abandoning their religion. Jesus himself said the Pharisees sat in the seat of Moses and yet he vehemently opposed their methods of worship.
The other thought is that I am almost gathering that you believe we as human beings have the power in us to build up Zion. That somehow if we get together and we treat each other in a certain way, that someone Zion will magically appear. Maybe that is not exactly what you are saying but sometimes members of the LDS faith do have a misconception that if we behave the right way, that means we are spiritual or righteous.
We all know that most people think if they are reading the scriptures and saying their prayers and having family night etc then they are righteous. Too bad we have so many talks on obedience to the priesthood, and how faith is equated to how we act, instead of teaching of our nothingness and relying wholly upon the merits of Christ.
I am sorry but we as a people have absolutely no power to build up Zion. We can work and work as hard as we can but Zion will be built up when God plans for it to built up in His perfect plan and not a second sooner.
Reminds me of all of the people in all levels of the church who set goals for baptisms etc and think if they just work and pray hard enough then God will honor their goals.

Candace said...

Beautiful examples, Adam. My next Gospel Doctrine lesson explores that most remarkable of men, Elijah. One of the thrusts of the lesson is the marvelous passage where we're told that God came in a still small voice instead of a mighty wind, an earthquake or a fire. Your quotes will be useful to me. Thanks.

MajJohnButtrick said...


We have 16 that have taken the short 8 question survey to see where people's belief paradigms are. I figured out a way I could share the results to everyone via web link instead of pasting it all here like before. I encourage you to take the survey if you haven't already. It is excellent fodder for discussion. I probably showed bias in the choice of questions and answers, but you can select more than one answer or put in comments in most of the questions. The survey is here:
Or, you can click on my nom de guerre above. Thanks.

MajJohnButtrick said...


Here is the link to view the responses to the survey above: can also click on my name above to hit the responses.

MajJohnButtrick said...

There are little "Comments" and "Responses" links in the survey results you need to click on where open ended responses were given.

Unknown said...

@Nate K,

I'm really fascinated by the timing of some of your comments. Some of the things you've mentioned are the very things the spirit has been teaching recently.

I'm wondering if I can email you about some things? You can contact me at


Nate K said...


I shot you an email. Hope it reaches you and I would love to hear from you. If for some reason you don't get my email reach me at
Look forward to the correspondence

nonamefornow said...


Thank you; you've done a great job on that survey.

@Nate K.

I haven't responded much to your ideas about a restoration coming--

I have become wary of the word 'restoration', because it seems to mean anything and everything.

I think more of an awakening? A turning to God by all people everywhere, but those who are evil becoming even more so?

Because there are evil people. I have had the unhappy experience of meeting some truly evil Mormons. Who have no compassion and hard hearts, but who do a good job of smiling and can shower warmth on those they esteem.

These are the scariest kind of people--

because they do 'everything right'--

but they haven't understood the most basic things.

Will they be tagged with those who usually consider the evil and conspiring 'men' who play games with the lives of people in farflung nations and have 'fun' with weaponry? Who traffic in human lives?

I don't know, but the ones I have met about whom it has been revealed to me that they are not safe people for me to be near--

invest a lot of money; these are wealthy people; I can't help but think some of that money comes from those war 'games' and the playing with 'little brown people' (from the onion many years ago, an article that devastated me with its accuracy as to the ethnocentricity of Americans and Mormons)--

That article, while being satire made a huge point of the fact that to most Americans (and I believe many Mormons)--

people who are brown and speak a different language are not as valuable as people who are white and 'speak American English'--

it went on to say, brutally, but with so much effect that I couldn't think about anything the same way again--

that most Americans would trade 10 of their lives for 1 of *ours*.

9/11 was an example. It took how many hundreds of thousands of lives of completely innocent "brown" people in the middle east to, somehow, "atone" for the 2 or 3 thousand lost in New York on 9/11?

What a condemning fact!

And yet many people continue to justify that and Hiroshima/Nagasaki, etc.

So, yes, I believe people are waking up all over the world, but I also believe many of them are 'brown'.

I use that word for a reason; I want to make it clear that I believe the gentiles, the gentile church (*we* who look white at any rate)--

are completely mired in wrongness--

some of us may be trying to break free, but only with God's help can we do much of anything--

But an awakening--

a coming of new life; a coming of hope--

which I believe will be Jesus' coming and the time leading up to it--

and many who will be there waiting won't even be "Christians".

So, I agree with you, but I can't use the word 'restoration', because it's becoming fuzzy to me--

Nate K said...

@ Noname

I kind of like your choice of words. I will probably use the word awakening more often and I think we are close in our understanding of what it means.
I believe that the true "restoration" or restitution is finding who we truly are. Being restored to the pure child of God within ourselves through the grace of God. It doesn't have much to do at all with "keys" and position that just bring narcissism and aspirations. True authority only comes from the truth.
Jesus spoke as one having authority because the truth was in Him. Knowing the truth brings more authority than any amount of keys or position could ever give because no one can speak by the Spirit when they are uttering falsehoods. This is why at times we can hear such eloquent talks about supposed doctrines and wonder why there was no power (other than admiration by people who worship the leader speaking) in their words.
At the same time the truth must be woven into us line upon line. Just because I write or speak words of truth means nothing if the principle upon which I am speaking has not been woven into my heart by the Holy Ghost.
So a true restoration or awakening is when God's children learn the truth from God. I totally agree by the way about dark and evil people and I know there are way more evil people that are dark at their core than often realized. After all there is a perfect opposition in all things. Thank you I like the word choice of "awakening"

Anonymous said...


nonamefornow said...

Well, to anyone, but Nate K. especially--

Just a few minutes ago I was reading the end of Alma 4 and the first part of Alma 5--

guess I'd better look it up-- :)

It's Alma 5:15--

where he asks: do you view this mortal body raised in immortality?

and this corruption raised in incorruption?


I mean, it's always been there, but it jumped out at me. If I am wanting what the Book of Mormon calls restoration (body and spirit being reunited and without blemish) I have to look forward to it, think about it, desire it.

Don't know why I never saw that before, but that is the only way 'restoraton' (to my knowledge) is used in the Book of Mormon. It refers to resurrection!!!

SO much in that book, but then everyone knows I am a Book of Mormon 'nut'--

the restoration comes after the spiritual awakening (with repentance, etc.)

You are welcome. I will always talk about the Book of Mormon, but my perspective is definitely different from the 'norm' (whatever that is)--


Nate K said...

@ Noname

That is awesome! Then couple that with what Paul taught in Corinthians 15 telling us that some of us will not sleep and we read about being changed in the twinkling of an eye and we see the power of a restitution.
I like to think of Enoch and his people being prepared for translation and it is neat to think about how the exact thing must be done again only this time it will be done on a global scale and the tares will be burned. So much coming and it really is exciting.
At best I have opened one eye half way but I am grateful God is waking a few of His children up to prepare for what is coming.

37andholding said...

The last two comments filled my heart and mind with the spirit of truth so strong. Thank you nonamefornow and Nate.

Anonymous said...

I lost what little respect I had for Waterman when he collectively called the church leaders in Salt Lake City "clowns" and "dunces" on Facebook. No class whatsoever.


Anonymous said...

Waterman does not sound like a humble and teachable man to me. He sounds like a proud and boastful man that does not want to improve the church, but to tear it down.

He has become a celebrity and an attention whore.


MajJohnButtrick said...

I disagree with you, but am under no delusions that I will change your vitriolic attitude. However, consider that you are using an ad hominem attack. In other words, you are using irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument in order to discredit him, as opposed to looking at the substance of his claims. I'm sure you will now attack me.

Nate K said...


Consider that others from different paradigms perceive leaders of the LDS church to be boastful and arrogant etc. If you have received a particular revelation on a subject contrary to something implied here please share what God has told you exactly. For instance have you ever been told that the president of the church cannot lead the church astray? Please share.

Thanks for your added testimony. So odd that sometimes within church membership speaking of receiving revelation is taboo. Often I have noticed members are uncomfortable talking about the gospel (especially when it comes to feeling the Holy Ghost) outside of a church setting. Sad.

Anonymous said...

@ MajJohnButtrick:

What do you call it when Waterman refers to church leaders as "clowns" and "dunces"? A lot of substance there...BTW it is also an ad hominem attack.

None of the general authorities campaigned for their positions. Most of them seem like honorable men that do their best. It is OK to disagree with them, but to call them clowns? Get real. But then you don't care what slanderous terms Waterman uses as long as it serves your agenda, do you?


Anonymous said...

@ Nate K:

What do you mean when you ask if I have had a revelation? No one I know of since Brigham Young has had a revelation. Why are people so hard on the general authorities? Waterman criticizes them for not having authentic revelations, but they do not have seer stones or a Urim and Thummim like Joseph Smith did. Most of Joseph's revelations were received through these means.


MajJohnButtrick said...


I'm not going to waste everyone's time arguing with you. However, I will say this: You say "as long as it serves (my) agenda". What agenda is that exactly? You presume too much. I don't agree with Rock's use of the terms "clowns" and "dunces", but I was pointing out your hypocricy in calling him an "attention whore". At least he has salient arguments. Calling him an "attention whore" is uncharitable, and a poor example of the believers. And by the way... when it's written, it's libel, not slander. Better luck next time.

confused said...

"Most of Joseph's revelations were received through these means."

I thought those were how he translated, not received revelation?..

And the only "revelation I believe BY ever "received" was section 132

nonamefornow said...

for what it is worth, a family member of mine has FB--

and is a friend of Waterman; by that I mean, a FB friend--

There were some things that a few people said a few weeks ago (one person, I believe) that Rock was saying on his FB--

ugly things--

So I asked permission to go over the FB page--

and I did so.

I couldn't find it. Not anywhere. Possibly I didn't get into every little tiny thing, but I went as far as I could get and saw nothing of what Rock was being accused of saying or writing.

I had to conclude at that point, or surmise anyway--

that it was a false accusation.

So it could be again--

His FB is open; it can be searched--

I'm probably not very good at it. I asked my family member to look as well, and there was nothing found--

I do visit a few Mormon blogs, and those I visit are maintained by people who want to be members of the church and love Jesus Christ--

on another blog recently a person came on saying all sorts of vitriolic things about the very mild-mannered person who masters the blog.

I think there are people 'out there' who are hurting and find some release in hurting others.

It is sad; they need help, but they won't get it by attacking other people anonymously on Mormon blogs--

you can pray for people anonymously, though--

and I do.

No, Brigham Young never received any revelations and admitted it, so whoever is speaking this latest 'spew'--

doesn't have accurate information.

There is some evidence that he was behind 132, yes.

But revelation? I don't know; he claimed never to have gotten any, so 132 was just Brigham--

Brigham says--

Decades ago a group from Nauvoo put out a very cute program with a musical number in it called, "Brother Brigham says"--

The man said a lot of things--

Nate K said...

@ anonymous

Through your admission that you have never received revelation I am surprised that you have any interest to be on any type of gospel website. I wasn't asking for a revelation for the world as you know. I was asking if you have had the Holy Ghost tell you anything contrary to what Rock has been saying, otherwise, you have no grounds whatsoever to doubt anything Rock has said.
Anyway this conversation is frivolous. I hope everyone knows that just because a revelation is not written down and presented to the world it doesn't mean it was not a revelation. It just means it was a personal revelation and not binding upon anyone but the individual.

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 400 of 424   Newer› Newest»