Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Drunkards of Ephraim

Previously: What To Expect When You're Excommunicated

I had every intention of posting something new here before this month gave out, but for the time being, my own health has given out (pneumonia), and at the moment I'm too weak to create something of my own. Thankfully, our daughter Amy is looking out for both Connie and me until I get some strength back. Also thankfully, Connie has an oxygen machine which I have hacked into with a length of 'Y' tubing so we can share the air and both sleep the sleep of angels.

Nevertheless, I've been strongly nudged by the spirit to crawl out of my sickbed and draw attention to this chapter from JJ Dewey's "Infallible Authority" which I am re-posting below, because I suspect that even many long time readers of this blog may not have gotten around to reading that work.  These past few weeks I've been seeing the reality of these Isaiah prophecies unfolding plainly before my eyes, and after you read this, I'm sure you'll see why it has been calling to me.  Everything that once seemed completely indecipherable to many of us is now plain as day.

Normally when I post a new piece here on my blog, I announce it through my Facebook page and the various Mormon Facebook groups I frequent, but for now I'm just too weak to advertise myself.  Hard to believe, but the simple acts of cutting and pasting this small chapter and writing this introduction have pretty much taken all the steam out of me, so if any of you who stumble across this feel compelled to share it on Facebook and elsewhere, I would be obliged if you would do so.  I feel very strongly that this has something important to say to us, or I wouldn't have gone to the trouble at this time.

(Oh, and P.S. I'm frail and weak, but not so frail and weak that I'd forget to squeeze in a mention of my new book, which is available on Amazon.)

Anyway, below I've reproduced the piece I got up to urge you to take a look at. It's very insightful and I really hope you'll read it.
Right now I am stuffed with antibiotics, and I've also taken massive amounts of PRO-biotics, so I think I'll go back to bed now and let them fight it out.

 
The Drunkards of Ephraim
by J.J. Dewey
(To read the previous chapter, click here. To start this series at the beginning, click here.)

We shall now comment on one of the fascinating chapters in the scriptures, Isaiah 28:
“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!” (Isa. 28:1)
Before elaborating on this, we must note that even though Isaiah’s prophesies were given to ancient Israel and had meaning for them, most of them also applied to the far future such as the first and second coming of Christ, the Millennium, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

First we must note here that Isaiah is speaking to "the drunkards of Ephraim”. There is no question that the Latter-Day Saints refer to themselves as “Ephraim” and there is no question that the Church teaches that the very next chapter of Isaiah (chapter 29) refers to our day or the coming forth of the Church, and the Book of Mormon. Therefore, it would seem quite logical that Isaiah 28 would also refer to Ephraim of our day.

But wait! It calls Ephraim drunkards and Mormons don’t drink! Therefore, it could not refer to us.

On the contrary, a drunkard in the scriptures does not always refer to one drunk with wine. David explains, “Thou hast showed thy people hard things; thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.” (Psalms 60:3)

Another example: “And I will tread down the people in my anger, and I will make them drunk in my fury....” (Isa. 63:6) “They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of a deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” (Isa. 29:9-10)

Thus we see that the “drunkards of Ephraim” refers to a people who stumble because the little doctrine that the Lord did give them was too much for them to handle and they did stumble as a drunken man.

Concerning the words of Isaiah, Nephi said, “The words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy.” (2 Nephi 25:4)

Where is there an authorized prophet or apostle in the Church that can declare that the words of Isaiah are plain unto him? On the contrary, most of them will admit they do not understand them.

Nephi also says, “In the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled, men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.” (2 Nephi 25:7)

Many of the prophesies referred to here by Nephi are approaching fulfillment and the prophesies of Isaiah are becoming so clear that none will have an excuse to not understand. The same is true of the revelation written by John as Moroni said, “And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of the people. Remember, when ye see these things, we shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.” (Ether 4:16)

The time is verily approaching when all these scriptures will be unfolded in the eyes of the people, but not through “authorized channels.”

Getting back to Isaiah 28, we see that the drunkards of Ephraim are called the “crown of pride.” Being the crown of pride is referred to by Jesus as the day “when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations and above all the people of the whole earth.” (3 Nephi 16: 10) In other words, out of all the pride the peoples of the earth have, the Latter-Day Saints are the crown of it all.

“...Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower... .” The glorious beauty of the cities in the valleys established by our pioneers is becoming a fading flower. The rivers and the atmosphere is now becoming polluted and the beauty that was there is fading, not only physically, but spiritually. The inhabitants are no longer bright with the spirit of God making prophesies, healing by the Spirit and seeking the mysteries.

Unless they turn from the arm of flesh to the Spirit within, they shall be counted as among the foolish virgins.

“Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” (Isa. 28:2)

The mighty and strong one ... that rings a bell doesn’t it? We find reference to it in D&C 85:7-8: “And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by a vivid shaft of lightening.”

I once heard an LDS lecturer declare: “If the authorities knew how many problems this scripture was going to cause them, they would have never let it in the Doctrine and Covenants.” This may be true and the present day authorities would love to rip this section out of the book, but since it would bring criticism from the people, they decided to ignore it instead. Even if it were taken out of the D&C (which may possibly happen in the future), it would still be in Isaiah, and all the Bibles in the world cannot be changed.

The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that the one mighty and strong will set the house of God in order.

How can it be set in order if it is not first out of order?

The authorities say that this scripture has already been fulfilled, but how can this be when we have not yet received our inheritances in Zion? The authorities also say that circumstances did not warrant a complete fulfillment here, but the scripture says a few verses later, “These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He WILL also fulfill. (D&C 85:10)

Not only will this individual set in order the house of God, but his word will cause much turbulence “as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing.” At his presence the power of God will cause much destruction to bring the people to repentance.

He shall “Cast down to the earth with the hand.” What shall be cast down? He shall cast down the crown of pride, or the authorities in the Church.

How will he do this?

There are a number of ways this could happen. Some avant guard LDS students think he will forcibly remove the authorities (by higher power) and install himself and others as the new leaders of the church. Anything is possible, but a more likely scenario is that his works and teachings through the Spirit will be of such high order that many will look up to him and down on the teachings of authorities. This is what happened in the situation of Jesus and some of the prophets. The teachings of the religious leaders were “cast down” because of the light or “ensign” which was lifted up.

And where will they be cast down to? The scripture says “the earth.” What does this mean?
Their original teachings were a revelation from heaven, but because revelation has ceased, the consciousness of the authorities is cast down to the earth, or earthly things – not heavenly things.
“The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under foot.” (Isa. 28:3)

The explanation of this is found in a verse previously explained: “But if the salt shall loose its savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under the foot of men.” (3 Nephi 12:13)

“And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.” (Isa. 28:4)

It is interesting that the Mormons who claim to be from Ephriam have their headquarters in a "fat valley." But the meaning goes beyond this. Many unjust teachers and leaders there are who live in abundance off the people (symbolized by fat valleys). The fat valley also symbolizes the abundance of light that should be theirs, given to them by the sacrifice of past prophets and seers. Unfortunately, all these past teachings have become a "fading flower" through neglect by those who are looked upon as the stewards of light by humanity.

The next phrase continues the story:

"And as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up."

"Hasty fruit" comes from the Hebrew BIKKUWR which literally means "first fruits." The first fruits are considered as the most precious of the harvest - this is one of the reasons that Jesus himself was called this.

Who are these first fruits? They are the original bringers of light in a religion, group or country. For Christianity these would be Jesus and the apostles and prophets. For the protestant Churches this would include Martin Luther and the reformers. For Mormonism, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other founders would be included. For the United States the firstfruits would be the Founding Fathers.

The first fruits usually go through great sacrifice to initiate a new work that will benefit humanity and often garner very little personal benefit from their work in their own lifetime. However, the later stewards who are entrusted to carry on, enhance, and teach the work often live lives of plenty with great adoration from the masses. These teachers who get rich in the fat valleys are threatened when they see they are a fading flower so they seek to devour the first fruits.

How do they do this?

The unjust stewards seek to destroy the firstfruits by using several methods.
(1) Altering their teachings
(2) Destroying or hiding their teachings from the people.
(3) Convincing the masses to ignore their teachings.
(4) Minimizing their work by elevating mediocrity so current caretakers will seem to be as great as the founders.

By using these and other subversive methods the "crown of pride" eats up the first fruits and manages to keep its authority over the people while leaving them in darkness.

Isaiah Continues: "In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate." Isa. 28:5-6)

Even though the majority of the people will be deceived by lazy or false teachers there will be a "residue" who will be a "crown of glory" and a " diadem of beauty." These are they who refuse to be taken in by traditional teachings which are missing the light of the first fruit. These think for themselves and go within and find the beauty of the Spirit of God. These are they who will turn the tide of the spiritual battle and eventually pave the way for the new age of peace and enlightenment.

Isaiah continues: “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” (verse 7) This is written as clear as word can be and needs no explanation.

“For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” (Verse 8) We talked earlier about problems with the current sacrament, but this scripture has meaning on other levels also.
The basic message is that instead of giving their people food which feeds the soul the current teachers feed their flocks with decaying food that has no life - old worn out teachings that need to be discarded or restored and replaced with fresh and living food and drink.

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will be speak to this people.” (verses 9-11)

There has been much written, especially by the Fundamentalists, about the stammering lips and another tongue. Most believe that it refers to an Indian prophet who will preach to the Latter-Day Saints. Even though there will be Indian prophets, this does not necessarily refer to him. The English word “stammering” is translated from the Hebrew "laeg." When one speaks stammering or laeg, he speaks in a sort of repeating baby talk to jokingly irritate his listeners. Joseph Smith sometimes did this to stir up the sectarians and Isaiah himself is using this sort of talk with the Jews when he repeats himself unnecessarily in verse 10. When he speaks of “another tongue”, we must remember that our tongue today is a different one than that used by the Jews.

Then, too, looking at it from a different angle, many of the Lamanites will eventually teach the children of Ephraim who will listen, but many of them will speak English. The scripture mainly indicates that Ephraim will become as a little child again and must be taught with a stammering lip, or repetitive language before they can learn doctrine.

A higher interpretation of what the other tongue is refers to a new way of speaking and teaching to Israelites. Jesus spoke with a different tongue, or manner of speaking, than Moses, and God will speak in new and different ways as the times change in this age. The teachers of the various ages and climes teach so differently (even though it is all one message) that it seems to be "another tongue."

"To whom he said, This is my rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear." (Verse 12)

Here Isaiah identifies the people in the prophecy as those who were promised the rest of the Lord. This promise was made through Moses to the Hebrews that Isaiah was talking to and also through Joseph Smith to the Latter-day Saints in our day. We must bear in mind that even though most of Isaiah deals with the future, he had to write it in such a way so it had meaning to the people in his day.

Concerning the people in the days of Moses, the Lord said, "But they hardened their hearts and could not endure His presence; therefore, the Lord in His wrath, for His anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into His rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of His glory." (D&C 84:24)

Were the Latter-Day Saints given a similar promise? They were:
"Verily, this is the word of the Lord, that the city of New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord which shall fill the house." (D&C 84:4-5)
Just as ancient Israel was unable to obtain the promise of the rest of the Lord, so did modern Israel fail to achieve its rest by establishing the temple and New Jerusalem in Jackson County. The Mormons are one of the groups prophesied of by Isaiah of whom the Lord promised a rest and a refreshing "yet they would not hear."
"But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." (Verse 13)
Here Isaiah again used his "stammering" language for he again uses his repetitive speech. He clearly illustrates how the word of the Lord has been to the resisting religions. He says it is, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept;" the repetition or stammering indicates the manner of presentation of the gospel to the Mormon people (and other religions). That is, the few precepts they have been given are given to them again and again in simple language a child can understand. At nearly every conference, the general authorities say the same things over and over, and the Sunday School manuals teach the same simple lessons over and over. Because they "would not hear," this is the backward manner that the word of the Lord would come to them.

Why is this? So that they "might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."

"Taken" is from the Hebrew LAKAD which signifies being "caught in a trap." The Lord is allowing the Church to follow the backward course it is taking so it will be caught in a trap, and when its bands are made strong the real truth through wise virgins will come forth to reveal the bondage to those who thought they were free. There must be great contrast between light and darkness or the light will not be seen or sought.

Verily the time is at hand when that contrast between the light and the dark, the shadows and the real, the ego and the soul will be seen by those who wait and the choice will be clear. Let us hope that all people of goodwill choose the highest light they see before their eyes.
"Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem". (Today it is Salt Lake and other religious centers) 
"Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." (verses 14-15)
So what is the covenant with death and agreement with hell?

In ancient times Israel made covenants with the Living God and in return they were promised protection from all their enemies as well as peace and prosperity. A covenant with death would be the opposite of this. Instead of making covenants with a living God the spiritual guides of the people make covenants with groups, organizations and governments with a priority above their commitment to God and the people they serve. Any commitment that is not sought through the Spirit is a covenant with death.

An agreement with hell is the opposite of an agreement that brings peace and benefit to all. An agreement with hell is one that takes the group's attention away from freedom, from attention of spiritual progress and causes the organization to center on lower desires and looking good in the eyes of the world at the expense of nurturing the soul in its members.
"And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel; but they receive it not (that is, the "fullness"); for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass away until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land. But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die." (D&C 45:28-32)
Concerning this "overflowing scourge" Isaiah said that the leaders would believe that "it shall not come unto us," but they forget that the Lord said that "upon my house shall it begin." (D&C 112:25)

Mormons are told that the members will be protected by standing in "holy places" and the leaders today say that this means we should make frequent trips to the temple, for the temples are holy places. While it is true that the temples are supposed to be holy places, they are not the ones referred to in this prophecy for they are in no way large enough to provide protection against desolation. A few verses later in that same section, we are told that the holy place is Zion, "a city of refuge, a place of safety for the Saints of the Most High God." (D&C 45:66) We are told that "the wicked will not come unto it." (v.67)

So it certainly cannot be Salt Lake. The holy places or the cities of light are yet to be set up and the great day is waiting at our doors.

We are further told that, "The Lord's scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come." (D&C 97:23) Also, the Lord tells us to keep His commandments, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay." (D&C 84:58-59)

In spite of all this evidence, the authorities say, "it shall not come unto us" for we stand in holy places, and the Lord is with us for behold we are growing and prospering as never before.

"We have made lies our refuge and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." The "lies" refer to various false doctrines now espoused and the "falsehood" refers to the distortions of Church history and the cover-up of many important facts.

"Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste." (Verse 16)
The tried stone is Christ as is evidenced: "I am the good shepherd and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall." (D&C 50:44) In addition to this, the stone is also those who have been tried and found faithful and have the spirit of Christ in their hearts to the extent that they can speak the words of Christ.

"He that believeth shall not make haste." One who is really capable of accepting the Christ, who is the tried stone, will not do so in haste. He will not be converted on the spur of the moment or be saved in a day as with the case of many religious claims. He will be the type of person who will study the teachings out and eventually follow with a true realization of the difficulties involved. He will realize the wisdom in the words of Christ: "Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him." (Luke 14:28-29) Even so, let him who believes in the setting in order count the cost before he decides to serve else his strength give out.

On the other hand, those in illusion are not to make haste in rejecting the revelations of God for behold, many will read a few paragraphs of anything new and reject the whole. Does not the scripture say, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is a folly and shame unto him." (Proverbs 18:13)
"Judgment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet: and hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." (Verse 17)
This refers to two calamities brought by the one Mighty and Strong mentioned in verse 2 - that is hail and flooding. If the religious authorities resist strongly enough a fairly literal fulfillment will happen on the physical plane. If they practice what they preach and show minimal love, tolerance and understanding then these calamities will happen on a higher level.
Instead of literal hail it will be hard truth that cannot be withstood. Instead of literal flooding of water it will be overwhelming evidence of new truths which will sweep the land.
"And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." (Verse 18)
The calamities will cause the present authorities to lose their power and influence, for "in the days that the prophesies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled, men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass." (2 Nephi 25:7)

The spiritual authorities again have a choice for how this prophecy will be fulfilled. Instead of a physical overflowing scourge it could be an emotional one. The emotions and feelings of authorities will be disturbed through the new light and teachings and reach a point of tension. When this point is reached they will definitely go down kicking and screaming on the emotional plane, but if they leave their response on that plane and seek to do no harm, then this prophesy does not have to be fulfilled on the physical.

If reasonable restraint and harmlessness on a physical level is maintained by authorities then the overflowing scourge from God will be one which plagues their belief system and the errors thereof will be "trodden down" by the light.
"From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report." (Verse 19)
If resistance to truth is strong enough the scourge will not only be calamities, but it shall also be a "desolating sickness" (D&C 45:31) It shall be "poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty." (D&C 5:19)

If those who resist the light do not seek to do damage to disciples on the physical plane then the fulfillment will merely be a desolating sickness of outworn organizations and belief systems until the earth is empty of illusion and error and "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:9
"It shall be a vexation only to understand the report."
If authorities remain physically harmless then the vexation will be teachings which will stir their souls rather than a physical plague which will wake them up to the fact that the powers of God are against them as they are against the truths of the soul. As a last resort physical calamities will come to vex the authorities to understand the report just as the plagues of Moses came against he Pharaoh.

"Report" is from the Hebrew SHEMUWAH which implies "an announcement which is fairly startling to people". It is also translated as news, tidings or doctrine. The report shall be teachings setting the tone for the new age which shall give the people light to put an end to the famine for greater knowledge. The greater knowledge which is becoming manifest by thousands of workers of light in varying degrees will create an unstoppable tide for the setting in order of the house of God; and because the established teachers will not listen, the Lord will cause a vexation to get their attention. These leaders may not all accept higher light by a long way, but the Master will certainly have their attention.
"For the bed is shorter than a man can stretch himself on it: the covering narrower than he can wrap himself in it." (Verse 20)
The "bed" refers to the foundations of the church and kingdom as presently constituted. They are not enough to fully satisfy the earnest seeker; therefore, he cannot "stretch himself on it." The "covering" refers to the teachings available. The fullness of revelation is no longer with the church; therefore, the covering is narrower than that a member "can wrap himself in it."

Visualize yourself going to bed in a cold room to take a rest. Your bed is so short that your feet hang over the edge. The covers are so short that they only cover half your body. Would this not be an uncomfortable situation you would want to rectify at the first possible moment?

Yet the foundation teachings, the good, the beautiful and the true, of most religions have been in large part shorted or removed, making the bed of religion too short and a very uncomfortable resting place. Foundation teachings and new revelation have been suppressed so members do not have sufficient light as a covering and shiver inside stone buildings lacking warmth.
"For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." (Verse 21)
Before we can comprehend this scripture, we must understand what it is the Lord did in Perazim and Gibeon.

The story is in the Old Testament: right after David was anointed king over Israel, the Philistines came seeking his life, and David inquired of the Lord as to what to do and was told to go against the Philistines and the Lord would deliver them into his hand.
"And David came to Baal Perazim, and David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth mine enemies as the breach of the waters. Therefore, he called the name of the place Baalperazim. And there they left their images and David and his men burned them." (2 Sam. 5:19-21)
It is important here that we comprehend the full meaning conveyed. Baalperazim comes from the Hebrew word that literally means "master of breaking forth." The name was given in honor of David for he is the one who led the battle. The thought conveyed by the word is the breaking down of a barrier or enemy as the flooding waters will burst a dam. David and his men were compared to the waters and the Philistines were compared to the dam that was broken by the power of God.

The very next verses relate an incident in Gibeon which is translated "Geba" in the King James edition:
"And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: For then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba (Gibeon) until thou come to Gazer." (2 Sam. 5:22-25)
Here David was told to "fetch a compass behind them" or in the Hebrew to surround them from behind and to wait for "the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." This sound that David was to wait for was the sound of the actual army of the Lord, which although unseen, would make a noise going through the trees. He was told "then shall the Lord go out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines."

Most of the fighting was done by an invisible host sent from the Lord and David had an easy victory.
The most famous incident in Gibeon was when Joshua gave the great command: "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon." (Joshua 10:12) On that day, "The Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: and there were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." (Joshua 10:11)

In this case, there was a great slaughter to the enemies of the Lord by the hand of his people, but there was even greater slaughter from God caused by the hailstones.

These incidents are interesting when we consider that the one Mighty and Strong will come "as a tempest of hail (as the Lord sent in the days of Joshua) and a destroying storm (as the invisible hosts of the Lord were in Gibeon), as a flood of mighty waters overflowing...." (Isa. 28:2)

Just as David defeated his enemies in Baalperazim as a flood of mighty waters overflowing a dam, so will God defeat his enemies as a flood of water which breaks down the illusion ands false doctrine which hold back the truth.

Again, these prophesies can be fulfilled either physically or on a higher level. The course is determined by those who have stewardship over the captive students and political realms of the earth. The events to come are more related to the natural law of cause and effect than it is the decision of an angry God.
If the powers that be attempt to physically destroy then they will be destroyed by the effect of divine fire that can no longer be held back after many ages of attacking the workers of light.

On the other hand, if they can restrain their response to the emotional and mental plane and only seek to stop the light with argument, reasoning, and even anger, yet remain harmless physically then that which will be given them will be on the emotional plane and higher, and not the physical.

Their worn out ideas and teachings will be destroyed in place of physical destruction and replaced by higher teachings of light. This will have the effect of being a "destroying storm" on the emotional plane, but that is better than a similar destruction on the physical level. The Lord says He allows this that "He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act." (Isa. 28:21)

Why does He call this work "strange"? It is strange because in the last days He will have to fight against not the Philistines, but those who claim to be His own people. This is a strange, foreign, and repulsive thing for the Master to do, but to establish Zion He has no other choice. This incident is related in prophecy to come forth in the days of the "marred" servant:
"For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard." (3 Nephi 21: 10, 20-21)
Speaking of Israel in the latter days the Lord also said, "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy spirit: therefore, he was turned to be their enemy and fought against them." (Isa. 63:10)

It will indeed be a strange work when the Lord has to fight against people who claim to be his own, those who claim to represent Him, "as upon the heathen" in order to gather a people out of the people who will truly serve Him and seek in their hearts to establish Zion.

The Lord then warns His people: "Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth." (Isa. 28:22)

Here all those who claim to represent God are warned as well as the whole earth. The judgment will begin at the Lord's own house and from there spread over the earth.

Again, I repeat. Remember the message of Jonah. The prophesy does not have to end with calamity on the physical plane. The judgment of God could be a correction from God as the voice of the Spirit is allowed into the heart to speak to the souls of men and change them so the consumption will be a consumption of old outworn teachings and not a consumption of physical calamity.

Isaiah continues, "Give ye ear and hear my voice; hearken and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? Doth he not open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principle wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (verses 23-26)

Here again Isaiah refers to the '"stammering" teachings in a round about way. He asks the question to a backward Israel: "Doth the plowman plow all day to sow?" In other words, Is all the farmer does is plow all day, day after day? No! Sooner or later, if he has any sense at all, "when he hath made plain the face thereof" he will "cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principle wheat and the appointed barley and rye in their place." In other words, when he is finished plowing he will then plant the seeds.

Unfortunately, the churches in these latter days do not have the sense of a simple plowman for all they have been doing is plowing through the same precepts over and over and over for hundreds of years. We forget that "precept must be added upon precept" and the teachers never cast in the principle wheat and consequently never have a harvest, which harvest is the creation of Zion.

The fact that we do not get beyond the plowing stage is no fault of God's, for we are told that "His God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (Verse 26) God has instructed us to do more than the plowing, but we have not heard.

Isaiah continues, "For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen." (Verse 27-28)

We are told that the fitches (probably fennel) are not threshed with a threshing (Hebrew: CHARUTS, which means a heavy sledge-like) instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin. If this type of crop were harvested in this pulverizing manner, it would be destroyed; instead "the fitches are beaten out with a staff (Hebrew: MATTEH, which is a stick), and the cummin with a rod (Hebrew: SHEBET, which is a whip-like stick).

By comparison, today we do not need the same old precepts that we should have mastered years ago hammered into us over and over with a sledge hammer. A light threshing of the simple doctrines is all we need to prepare us for the heavier.

Verse 28 is not a very clear translation and I would like to render it a bit plainer. "Bread corn" is undoubtedly wheat; and the word bruised comes from the Hebrew DAQAQ, which means to crush to powder. The word "because" is from KIY, which is more appropriately rendered "nevertheless". Taking this into consideration, we will render the passage thus:
"Wheat used for bread is ground to powder; nevertheless, he will not ever be threshing it, nor crush it with the wheel of his cart, nor grind it with his horsemen."
In other words, Isaiah here admits that wheat is threshed, broken and ground, but this process is not "stammered" or repeated over and over for it would be a waste of time and damage the grain in the process.

The message in these obscure words of Isaiah is this. The major problem of the church in the latter days will be that the teachers will be like a plower who just plows his field over and over and never plants or harvests his wheat. The authorities are also like the wheat miller who merely grinds the product over and over and never makes any bread. Teachers will go through the motions of beginning the creative process, but never produce fruit or bread. No food for the soul will be grown or given. Only the illusion that they are headed in that direction is projected. They do busy work by plowing and grinding, but no fruit or bread is ever produced - no real progress made. This illusion will create a trap for the teachers so when true food for the soul is offered the contrast between plowing and grinding and a finished spiritual food will be stark and embarrassing.

Isaiah ends with: "This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." (Verse 29) This whole chapter indeed illustrates that the Lord is "wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working."

Thus we conclude one of the greatest chapters in all the scriptures.
Copyright J.J. Dewey, used with permission.

179 comments:

Nate said...

Thank you thank you and amen.

Get well Rock I have felt the pains of pneumonia and it is nothing to mess with. Pure truth in this post. I don't know if the physical scourge can be avoided at this point. (I suppose if everyone repented but this is a longshot)

In Isaiah 48:8 we are called transgressors from the womb. Isaiah and Jeremiah pound this hard that from the very beginning when God reveals truth in the latter days it is corrupted and unaccepted by the people.

This is not a new problem the people of Ephraim rejected the fullness in the time of Joseph Smith and the multiple-generational curse is about to be lifted. We are blessed beyond measure to live in this time and it behooves us to be ready and continually seeking God's face.

There is a reason Nephi chose to throw chapters of Isaiah in his record because they plainly teach that the pastors would lead the people astray.

spiritualchemy said...

God bless you and Connie, Rock. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to have spoken with the both of you at Sunstone about Dewey's work and other subjects of import. Per your recommendation, I will continue on with his 'Immortal' series and see where it leads me spiritually.

I felt an incredible amount of love and acceptance from the both of you and have no doubt that you were both sent here and now for a critical purpose.

I pray for your recovery and that you both have the strength to return to the defense of the Savior's Gospel.

Good work with the book. It was a necessary, albeit difficult, read. It's hard to face these issues (also well highlighted in 'Infallible Authority') without feeling overcome with cynicism. I'm thinking of leaving it on the coffee table as a conversation piece when the Elder's Quorum Presidency and Bishopric visit. heh.

On a side note, I was thinking maybe we could campaign to have the Sunstone Symposium renamed to 'Hugstone' next year. It perfectly reflects my first-year experience there.

Bah Sah Rah!

Anonymous said...

A careful reading of Ezekiel 34 will supplement these verses from Isaiah. He too foretold of leaders growing fat while failing to feed the sheep, and that the Lord Himself would seek out and feed His sheep and lead them to the hills of Zion. We truly live in a time when the teachers (leaders) keep plowing the same furrow over and over and over. Even my 8 and 11 yr old children complain that their lessons are boring because they have heard them every yr for as long as they can remember...much like General Conference.
Hope you feel well soon Rock. My wife and I send our best.
JR

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Spiritualchemy,
I could use a better clue as to who you are, since you say we met at Sunstone. I suppose your closing declaration Bah Sah Rah should mean something to me, but I suppose the drug stupor is preventing my brain from recognizing the meaning of that, either.

Why don't you PM me? A lot of my cognizant powers are in a fog, but my curiousity remains as strong as ever.

Ben said...

Thanks for posting this, Rock. It certainly means something to me, and you're right that I haven't read this article before.

I find it is indeed a strange work to tell those around me that we need to take notice the ship is clearly off course.

For instance, it's a bizarre situation to explain to those around me the word of wisdom is indeed not a commandment and that we have indeed been encouraged to drink beer. It's so weird because I'm the one speaking directly against modern church teachings, but at the same time I'm the one pointing to modern scripture that explains this in beautiful clarity.

Jens said...

There is no escaping the exceptional value Jesus Christ places on Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. That promised value is counter-balanced by the exceptionally dense and obscure reading that Isaiah offers us. I believe seekers of truth will be drawn to Isaiah and taught by insightful teachers like Dewey and by the spirit.

Leaders behaving badly makes me wince--both for them and for us. It reminds me of Ezekiel and Joseph Smith counseling us to seek the Lord directly at the risk of becoming darkened in our minds should we persist in trying to seek the Lord through prophets. Gospel milk drinkers unite--throw off the comfort and blinders of correlated Mormonism! Isaiah refers to the Lord teaching those who have stopped drinking milk, those who are weaned. It's going to take more than showing up to Gospel Doctrine class unprepared or dutifully watching General Conference and believing we're well on the road to enlightenment.

Milo said...

You people! I had not heard of Brother Waterman until this last public relations tempest this spring. I am not reading with sincerity and finding some long suppressed questions coming to mind. Thank you for this post!
Do any of you that are regulars on this site worry that you might have it all wrong? Or sorta wrong? I ask sincerely and not in condemnation in anyway. I am not sure this is a good place for this question, but I am sincerely curious. Again, thanks for this post!

Milo said...

Sorry! I am reading with sincerity! Wish I could edit that post!

Jens said...

An important questions, Milo. Many of us have had the experience of sensing or believing many of the things Rock has written about then discovering his collection of essays on this site. Suddenly we realize that we're not the only ones sensing or believing those things.

Rock claims steadfast allegiance to Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. While he believes the corporate church has wandered from the foundational orthodoxy of Joseph Smith he has no interest in starting his own church, persuading anyone to leave the Mormon church or even trying to tell the top leaders of the Church what to do. As a genuine truth seeker he has a standing invitation to anyone who believes he is in error to show him from scripture where he is wrong. To date not a single soul has come forward. He has been presented with an ultimatum from an Area Seventy (a third-tier administrative official in church leadership) to take down his blog or face excommunication--but not even that individual has offered to correct him.

While he's down hard with pneumonia right now he's happy to dialog with folks directly via email. That said, he favors conversations on the blog here so everyone can benefit from the exchange of ideas. My experience of the folks who frequent this site is one of sharp, well-read truth seekers from a wide spectrum of religious belief prone to respect one another's opinions. If you're inclined, consider studying Rock's work and joining in the conversations as you see fit.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Milo,
To add to what Jens wrote above, if we aren't constantly checking ourselves to see if we may have it wrong, we're falling into the same trap most of us did as active believers in "The Church" rather than have our focus on Christ and his gospel.

The sense of certainty I constantly displayed in my typical testimony ("I know beyond a shadow of a doubt" etc.)did not leave room for the kind of humility necessary to admit error or invite new ideas and concepts. Certainty is what keeps us from learning. Being ever watchful that we may be diverted from the truth is what it means to be in a constant state of repentance.

I'm always open to correction. I never claim to have all truth. Used to. When I was a missionary for instance. I really thought I was out there as God's gift to men and wimmin.

Today I want to learn. Staying open to the possibility of being wrong is the way we allow God to get through to us and get more aligned with Him.

But yes, it is a constant process, and one which requires we constantly check our egos to make sure they are not controlling us. Then cling to that iron rod, and let go of our reliance on earthly "authorities."

Nate said...

Milo,

That is a good question that I think every Latter Day Saint ought to ask as well. And not only ask themselves, but ask God.
I know that God could change my paradigm in an instant by correcting something of adding a new truth that could cause me to look at the gospel in a new way. Because he did this when I was an active member in the church.

I remember promising God that I would listen to anything He told me. It was only about 4 months after that point that I was out of the church. But this is meaningless to everyone else because God is molding you and me in different ways and He may want you in the church.

I know many people in the church are quite spiritual and they are in the right spot for them, but when/if this mighty and strong one comes, the people in the church will have a great trial of faith and the sifting will begin

Jens said...

Nate,

Before discovering Rock's essays I would have felt a twinge of alarm and pity for you parting ways with The Church. Now I believe you're still part of the church of Christ and God simply has another path for you--which is exciting. As Tim Malone is saying, there's an awakening to something larger going on and to the extent we repent and come unto Christ, all are welcome. Good strength to you.

Nate said...

@ Jens

Thanks I appreciate that and same to you. I was serving as EQ in my ward when this all happened and I had to ask to be released and then the talks began with my stake president. Ugh now I am the pariah. People look at me like I am crazy when I tell them my testimony of Christ and the gospel is stronger than ever because they cannot separate the gospel from the church even the slightest. But I get it because I have been there. If anything God has taught me patience and that I can't do His work for Him.

Anyway thank you. A member of my stake presidency (when I was a member) left me a message last night saying he felt impressed to call me and he needs to repent of many things. I don't know what he wants exactly but I am going to talk with him today so add a little faith in our direction and maybe something good will come of it. God speed

nonamefornow said...

WHEW!


Well, I'm all alone here.

Out in the cold.


And there are some powerful minds here, I realize.

Rock, I have never disagreed with you. I have had anything to criticize in YOUR work--


I had read this before. It was before I became more immerse in the book compiled by Mormon.

Because it was written by Dewey, with whom I agree about many things--

if I'm not concerned about the integrity of the claims of the Book of Mormon--

I can't hope that you will put it in your book, because you are so much more clear and concise and easy to understand.

All this Hebrew stuff; goodness, if you're not just a Hebrew scholar, why do *we* need it?

Do you realize that his work here basically contradicts that one things that completely damns us as a people?

That we are Gentiles. Ephraim was not a Gentile. Anyone in his collective would not have been a gentile.

It is our Gentileness that makes Mormon's book real for US.

I know that many believe that *we* who came from Europe, especially the British Isles, are somehow of Ephraim--

but that does us no good. It simply puffs us up, and have I seen it in the church!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some wise person some time ago posted something to this effect:

The ancient American prophet(s) were told to tell us no more, so they used Isaiah to do; I believe it's a reference to Nephi--


So, isn't it interesting that Isaiah 28 is not in the Book of Mormon?

How do you make that leap?

I am Ephraim; I am a Gentile.

That's like saying, "I'm a Levite; I'm a Gentile."

How is it different?

No, Brother Dewey, you are not Rock Waterman, and, Rock, I understand you are probably trying to reach TBMs, but for me, knowing as I do that I am a Gentile and in the sorest need of constant repentance for my arrogance, past and present--

I don't need Dewey.

I don't need the Bible in all its "how do we know how many times it's been tampered with?"--


I have the Book of Mormon to clarify, to make things clear--

but I am finding most of my fellow LDS just can't get away from it; they love their bibles while paying lip service to the Book of Mormon!

I give up. I know my voice isn't respected enough anywhere.



He did use a verse out of 3 Nephi; I appreciated that, after noting, and I DID read it again--


The sorts of things we need you to address, the way you do that reaches the heart . . .


the huge loss of young souls to Godless pits--

because they can't have spiritual experiences--

Oh, my goodness; the 'church' has done a major demolition job on these young people, and they do NOT try to seek them out; it's the same kind of perverse thing that has been done to you, Rock, and others--

they won't try to get you back--

They do NOT want you. You expose the PR system--

oh--

and these young people do, too, because they are not a successful statistic. The 'rules' didn't work for them, so, *covering the ears*, I don't want to hear about it.

nonamefornow said...

SHAME on Denver Snuffer! He goes around telling people they can see Jesus. Well, MAYBE THEY CAN'T! I have had the incredible blessing of seeing Him, and I am hoping someone dear will begin to believe on my words—

I am so tired of religious formulas that are more important than people!

I would be devastated without the numerous miracles and blessings I have received, but have I blessed the lives of others with them or just hoarded them? I have hoarded them!!!!!
Shame on me!!!

One more failure. Oh, sure, he's right about a lot of things, but the hurt he does is also quite apparently, and I, acknowledging the sad humor, realize that is not why the 'church' took him out.

As if they care!!! No, his historical teachings were too much for him.

One some blogs Snuffer has become a holy man; you can't even talk to those people; it's downright scary--

but he's hurting these people who have turned to the darkness, in part, many of them still living 'all the commandments'--

that the 'church' has rejected--

And I've not seen this addressed by anyone but loved ones of such people--

and the stories are heartbreaking--

going from carying my scriptures to church, listening very intently, hearing the leaders extol the youth who are having spiritual experiences, being told to write down their experience with prayer--


and coming up empty, and gradually become anathema, because you don't fit at all--

and then coming home and crying and talking to your parents and saying, "I'm no good"--

It needs to be addressed; these young people need help.

But, to be honest, I know the 'church' doesn't want them, because the 'church' is all about image--

and they aren't good for that image.

So, Rock, when you are strong enough, go where you can help someone, not to something that isn't even in the Book of Mormon.

Oh, it's good allegory for *us*, but it is NOT in the Book of Mormon.

I am very wary of the D&C; some of it I feel good about; some I don't.

But I don't have the strength to sort it out right now--







@Nate,

This is the last thing I am saying to you. I felt your words were cold and cruel and no better than what the 'church' has done to those who have spiritual 'differences'--

If you believe you are correct and that people like my loved one can just be thrown away--

then I can't associate with you.

And, you didn't even respond to me when I told you my concerns.

There is a way these people can be helped; Nate knows; I left the scriptures with him--the references--

but NObody does it in an official way, and those who love are too entrenched to see their own terrible mistake.

We were asleep; we are trying to wake up; this is one way I am trying to wake up.

I know my posts are 'personal'--

I'm sick of complicated explanations for things that will never make sense, and I'm tired of people showing off their knowledge of Hebrew--

nonamefornow said...

sorry for many missing words--
My typing is about 1/3 what it was; I am very weak, and I don't know how much longer I will be able to creep of the stairs. I've been forcing myself, because I'm afraid of losing muscle strength--

I can't walk; I bobble and wobble and hit walls--and my legs just won't go, and I have to have someone step me forward.

My sense of taste is very messed up; most foods (not all thank goodness) taste very bitter or cloyingly sweet)

My two favorite things have always been walking and food--

and those gifts are now gone.

And I have been fighting lung infections all summer--

they aren't fun, and they do sap you of strength--

and in my case mobility.

I can't talk on phones either; my speech is too slurred-

I'll come back when I can.

I'm sure I stepped on a toe or two--

I do feel your pain, and I'm really sorry all that car trouble had to happen; I can imagine, because I've been there a time or two, but in your state, why?

Yes, I'm praying.

Rob said...

Gileadi's Isaiah translation and Isaiah commentary are INDISPENSABLE to understanding the book in a latter-day context. You can buy either on amazon, and you can also get both online for free from his websites. http://isaiahbelievers.com/

Nate said...

@ Noname

I am not sure how to address everything you just said.... But I am very sorry if any of my words hurt you personally. For me this is a forum where we all can express our beliefs openly and be happy to disagree as we all seek to come closer to Christ.

I don't know you personally but I pray your health will increase and you will find increased happiness and joy. If I conveyed anything in a way that seems like a personal attack on you or your character that is my bad and I apologize. Nothing but love and respect

Minerals Liberia said...

Calling the church to repentance Rock?

God's work is marvelous

Now is the time to prepare to meet God....

Jens said...

Minerals,

You staying ahead of the ebola outbreak? It won't be news to you that security forces have cordoned off a slum in Monrovia in an effort to contain the spread of the disease. Stay safe!

In answer to your question, I believe God is calling us all to repentance any way that he can. Rock is just one way, albeit one of the freshest and most endearing. Occasionally Rock reminds me of Mark Twain which is a chuckle because Twain eschewed religion and the Mormon religion in particular. The question is, do we have ears to hear any of these messages and the faith to act?

nonamefornow said...

@Nate,

You completely misunderstood me.

You never attacked me or my beliefs.

Somehow, I think Rock would have understood me, but he can be on here--

your 'belief', which is more of a prejudice than a belief--


just continued the persecution that is being subtly and very quietly directed at people who cannot experience God--in any way--


without even attempting to address what can be done about this problem.

This is so much more crucial than Isaiah 28, which isn't even found in the Book of Mormon, which is the only scripture I will accept as reliable--

I am thinking you can't see this; you are a person who delights in batting about academic knowledge with regards, it appears.

You owe me no personal apology, except for not answering my question on the other blog.

But apparently, you didn't understand the things I was saying--

I believe I asked you what kind of a God you believe in, if you can write off those who can't experience God and haven't been taught early on how to deal with that--

not by the 'church', not by famiies, who have been brainwashed.


But, maybe you don't people the Book of Mormon is the only reliable scripture.

Maybe you don't believe the corporate church and its program have hurt a lot of LDS--

Maybe you believe that we are the church restored from the 'primitive'--

I think Rock still favors that--

Maybe you believe you are Ephraim and still a gentile or not a gentile and we are not really under condemnation--

I do not. I do believe the Book of Mormon is the truest book, so why fuss around in the others, except for some kind of academic ego trip--

why fuss with believing we are Ephraim (and the Gentile church or not?)--

We do disagree basically in our beliefs, but when someone's 'belief' is literally hurtful to others--


those cast out for their not being able to receive any kind of testimony--

and their parents being too stupid to see what was happening--


I need no apology from you, other than that insensitivity to those young people and how easily ignored the problem is--

even by those who want to be pure Mormons!!!


I should not have mentioned my health--

You do seem to mean well, but many LDS do--

as they walk past the dead bodies--

Bill Berrett said...

Thanks for reminding me how stupid I am.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

No Name,
My takeaway from reading Daymon Smith's remarkable research is that the best way to understand the Book of Mormon is to thoroughly separate it from any other teachings, especially from the bible, which we are told has been a stumbling block.

So it would behoove us all, at least for a season, to read the book in its raw form, absent any "helps" from Church manuals or commentaries that have clouded its meaning.

That having been said, I'm not in favor of ignoring all ancient scripture entirely; after all, Nephi did quote extensively from Isaiah, and as has been noted by JR above,
Ezekial has much to say in warning about how the shepards have deserted their duties to the flocks.

So it wouldn't do to abandon all the ancient prophets. It's just not a good idea to read the Book of Mormon as a mere appendage to the bible, which is what we have sold it as for too long.

I also agree with Rob's recommendation to read Giledi's translations of Isaiah, and only wish I knew where my Gileadi books are at this time. I could be wrong, because at the moment I don't even know where my scriptures are, but I seem to recall that there are certain parallels in Chapter 28 of Isaiah (the one under discussion in the post by Dewey) and 2 Nephi chapter 28. Whether those of British descent are actually of the tribe of Ephraim or not (I consider myself both Ephraim and Judah), the lessons of Isaiah 28 are staring us in the face as we as a church ignore the warnings of Isaiah.

Anyway, that's my take. I understand where and why you may differ with my views, and of course I'm always open to correction.

Nate said...

@ Noname,

I am going to try to address your statements plainly. I have read what you have written multiple times attempting to understand what your meaning is and why you have drawn certain conclusions about me and my beliefs. I think you lumped in many of your frustrations of the LDS church, Rock Waterman's article, and anyone that does not only give credence to the Book of Mormon as the only true book that is a source of truth at me, but I will pretend it was all directed at me and respond accordingly.

1. Do i just delight in batting around academic knowledge?

No. This is not my reason for reading and writing the comments here. I like to be edified and often feel the Spirit when I read other's comments and God can teach me through any number of people here. I write to give a different or agreeing view to those other's who have written.

2. Do I believe the LDS church is a restoration of the primitive church?

I believe God set His hand to recover Israel for the first time knowing that people would reject the fullness of the gospel and have to wander in the wilderness for almost 200 years before He would set His hand the 2nd time.

3. Do I believe the Book of Mormon to be the "truest book on earth?"

I don't care if it is. God has told me on multiple occasions that "The Book of Mormon is true" The book of mormon teaches that it was written with the intent that we might believe the bible. The book of mormon is another witness in companion to the bible according to those who wrote it (albeit knowing that the bible would be tampered with and lose many plain and precious truths)

I have no doubt that you had an experience that led you to only focus on the Book of Mormon for a time. Does this mean that everyone else should only read the Book of Mormon? God has never told me (or maybe anyone) that "the Bible is true" but i know the Bible is full of truths. I feel the Spirit confirm truths and teach me new things very often while reading the Bible.

In 2 Nephi 29 the Lord prophecies of those who would cry "a bible, a bible!" I believe certain people can also cry "A Book of Mormon, A Book of Mormon!" and not seek truth where it can be found in countless other sources.

Do I cast off other people who "can't experience God" I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and guess that was just an errant mistype, otherwise your belief that certain people "can't experience God" is terrible and would cause more prejudice than anything else you mentioned.

I know that anyone can experience God and we should not cast off anyone. I love talking to Atheists and Agnostics and empathize with their perspective because if I had never experienced the power of the Holy Ghost I might believe exactly as they do.

The LDS church is hurting countless people and they are beginning to deny the power of the Holy Ghost by teaching that any good feeling or peace is the Spirit confirming something to them. People can have this feeling about anything.

I believe the LDS church has damned it's members by teaching that they have a fullness and that no revelation can be received about anything outside of it's teachings unless the president receives this revelation first. That is a doctrine of the devil and damns anyone from developing past a certain point in their relationship with God.

You said I have "insensitivity with young people" Huh? I don't know where you were going with that and don't feel I need to address it.

You mentioned gentiles and Ephraimites which I have never discussed on this forum so again. Huh?

Please in the future if you disagree with something I write then write back about that particular thing you disagree with so we can have a civil and meaningful dialogue about it. Otherwise you are just making blanket statements that I don't know how to respond to.

Milo Jury said...

Thank you for your comments and advice! I deeply appreciate it. I will continue to delve into this site as often as possible. I have dusted off my scriptures and will delve into Isaiah with a renewed zest for understanding the Savior more than ever. When I read Isaiah, I can see in my mind's eye the theme I think he is trying to report. But my learning is so superficial; I need to repent.

Some of you have left the church. Do you feel any remorse for this? If I had serious unanswered questions about the teachings, then I might have little to no remorse in leaving. My only unhappiness would be in my loss of friendships that would, I think, inevitably suffer with my departure the flock. Do some who question the church at this time stay in good standing to encourage and help others to come back to Christ? Again, I am curious about the realities of such a serious decision.

NoName, hang in there. You seem to be struggling with many things. Our hearts go out to you.

Nate said...

Milo,

The short answer is no. I don't feel remorse, a loss of light, any less frequency of revelation or edification, and only an increase of love and personal relationship with God. But I do admittedly get frustrated with some family members and church members that will not leave me be, and judge me to be deceived and an evil apostate.

When my wife and I, and my brothers and sisters and a couple others all began to pray in earnest about topics that we had never received our own spiritual witnesses to,

For example: polygamy, whether thomas s monson was a seer or revelator, whether any of the 12 were really apostles or special witnesses, blacks and the priesthood etc..

and we were receiving clear answers from the Spirit that were in opposition to LDS doctrine, I really believed that I could share my experience with other's and they would at least pray about any of these things. I have been dumbfounded at the different things people say like,

"I don't need to pray about that." or "If the prophet has said something, that is as good as personal revelation" or "God won't give you an answer or understanding on that subject"

I have even heard from a very faithful member that "if the Holy Ghost told me something, and President Monson told me something different, I would follow President Monson."

It is not an easy road but we must be true to what we know God has given each of us, I believe almost everyone on this site is doing just that, and only seeking to do God's will and seek for further light and knowledge.

Yes, if you ever go down this path you will lose friends, but then you have to ask if they are really your friends if they would abandon you for leaving a church.

I truly believe the more a person sets their heart upon God and comes unto Him, the more that person will realize their spirituality and progress have nothing to do with their particular religion, and everything to do with God's love and grace. (Especially now since I believe strongly the earth is in a state of apostasy as much as ever)

Thank you for your kind words to NoName. I should have not been so abrupt and probably ought to repent. God bless in your journey

Veracity said...

Dear Rock,

Having nearly died from pneumonia myself, I would like to give you a helpful hint: "Megadose Vitamin C" Do some research. You wont regret it.

Sincerely,

Veracity

PNW_DPer said...

In regards to Veracity's comment about Vit.C, also Vitamin D3 (at least 10,000 units a day while sick), and lots of fresh crushed garlic, as much as you can stand (remember your post a few years ago on Swine Flu?).

PNW_DPer said...

Nate,

Your comment, "...if I had never experienced the power of the Holy Ghost I might believe exactly as they do. " is almost exactly my experience. Indeed, it is only what I've experienced from the Holy Ghost myself that keeps me from being pretty much an agnostic myself.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

In reference to Milo's question above, regarding how do we know we might not have it all wrong, I just came across this post, "How Can You
Tell If You've Got It Right":

http://totheremnant.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-can-you-tell-if-youve-got-it-right.html

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Veracity et al,

Rest assured I'm a big user of massive doses of C and D3. My favorite "cure" is Dr John Christopher's "Anti-plague" syrup cobined with Herbal Super Tonic. The latter includes the juice of Cayenne pepper, Horseradish, onion, Habanero Pepper, Garlic, and a couple more ingredients that slip my mind at the moment.

I get these things ready made from WesternBotanicals.com. Normally at the first sign of trouble I ingest them, but I did not act swiftly enough this time, so the infection set in. But it's getting cleaned out, I can assure you all.

nonamefornow said...

Nate,

We'll never understand each other--

What you said about "some people can't believe would be terrible and bring more prejudice" I highly disagree with--


Someday they might, surely, but only if they are given permission to feel what they feel and get help with those verses in the Book of Mormon that speak of 'believing on their words' and are kept close and not pushed away by those who DO reject those who have not had experiences with God--

They need a place; they don't need others to pretend they don't exist, which it would appear you believe is the best reaction; "you don't exist, because you haven't had an experience with God. To say anything else would be terrible and bring persecution on you.


I am hoping eventually, when he is much better that Rock will address this--

I don't believe you know a young person closely who has experienced the heartache of seeking after God, not being able to find Him--


and then being pushed out for not lying about it--

You can't

Well, what *I* want to know on here is how many of you regularly read classical, old stuff, literature--

No, I don't just read the Book of Mormon. I read Rock's book; I am reading Dorothy Sayers' Christian philosophy books at the moment--well, not really, because I'm just listening to my husband read Rock's book at the moment; I have read philosophy.

I read obscure British authors from the 1800s, mid mostly--

I think *we* LDS need bible rehab (you know, like alcohol, drugs, etc.)

I didn't say that because God had told me to read the Book of Mormon exclusively it was for everyone else.

But Daymon is right. You have to dry out. You have to get clean.

It's powerful, and since I stopped reading the bible I can see what a grip that book has on LDS.

The bottom line here, Rock, is not about right and wrong and you needing correction from me, not at all.


I just needed you to know that when I read Rock Waterman, I feel lifted somehow; when I read Dewey, I do not.

Is that criticism of you? Am I correcting you--

or am I in a place where nobody can understand me, anymore.

Thanks, Milo. I cannot enter our church building and haven't for 5 years; our church is highly toxic; two bishops told me they would love to see it in rubble--

I tried time and again and ended up shivering in cold in front of my very nice air filter in the church kitchen and still got zapped by chemicals--

and never saw a soul--except for my husband who came out to take me home after one sacrament meeting.

What a fellowship!

Yes, I'm bitter right now.

I explained to the only friend I have in the ward--

I have chemical sensitive, but only a sister and a sister in law (both of whom have been chemically poisoned) understand. My husband tries.

He gives me everything I need and is moving mountains to make our present home safer for me. Works can be good--

I have learned a lot this summer. I had a huge exposure in May and two small ones in July/August, and I have learned how clueless I have been.

Toxicologists in Canada have validated my genetic (yes, it is now known)weakness to being poisoned, but we have double the cancer rate in our ward; guess maybe in some ways this has been good--

I am hoping my daughters can have healthy children someday when Jesus comes; one is not capable of marrying.

Two men at church told me (one to my face; the other to my husband)--

that this is not real; I am mentally "imbalanced", one said (I am feeling somewhat that way right now, because I am so terribly alone)

I am fighting bitterness and repenting constantly of it--

the other said it was psychosomatic.

One a doctor; the other a chemist.

One said his mother had this, but she was dead now, and that was good (?)

But, you see, I know personally a cardiologist whose wife has this, and he believes, believe me--

He had to restart her heart when she took a 'harmless' drug for headaches--

nonamefornow said...

and he came to my husband and said, "you must listen and take my words seriously, please--your wife has an inoperable genetic heart condition", inoperable then, now it is not, and it would be a quick way to die.

He then said, "I started my wife's heart up manually; I know how to do it; can you? If you let anyone give her drugs, anyone--

you'll have a dead wife.

That was 12 years ago--

The chemical and pharmaceutical companies are working to make MCS non-existent, and after years of trying to educate the 'public' they are succeeding. The come after large websites, so that now people have to talk about MCS under some other blog that has no tag--

The LDS church has been absolutely the most unsafe place emotionally I can be.

Milo, I am staying with the church. I got my TR out in the blowing wind, sitting upwind--

The SP acted highly suspicious, very--

he had more information on me than he could have gotten from anyone, except those two men with whom he works closely, I guess--

but we were suspecting some 'snooping' online, and that is why I took away anything that could identify me.

We have some powerful, wealthy men in the church who are 'up' in chemical companies--

Yes, and I'm not telling all the story, at all--

but, Milo, I asked the one person I thought was my friend why nobody has apologized to me--

and she got that glossed over look--

she's a TBM; my husband and I and our daughter who still claims to be a Mormon--

are the only ones in our area who are not.

and she said, "I wish you could go to church."

I need that. That's what people generally say when someone could go but won't.

Encouragement. The typical LDS pressure on the friends to do more.

I don't need that.

They come to visit and leave when I am able to get there.

I move slowly, if am moving at all--

I won't bother to get ready for them again--

though being welcoming is very important to me.

She couldn't just say, "I'm sorry; I'm sorry we proud people have put new carpets ahead of your health."

MCS illness do not follow the pattern of medically diagnosed diseases, even the same one.

I've had pneumonia (with all the symptoms, but two) all summer with horrific coughing, coughing that has damaged my abs and all my abdominal muscles to the point where I can't eat as much, and I have lost weight, and then my close loved ones chide me for not eating; they do not understand--

but no chest pain (I already have heart pain, so) and not difficulty in breathing, except when I'm choking, which I do a lot, and when I choke I can't hold down food; it's very tricky.

So, I have nothing 'normal'--

I am using propolis, and the coughing is going down drastically, so I AM hopeful--

but I can't walk; it's impossible; I can't keep my balance, and I don't have strength to move forward.

And 80% or more of the foods I used to enjoy taste terrible to me, because my taste buds are messed up (from pneumonia and other lung diseases)--

I used goldenseal but for too long and had to quit--

I will look up the products that have been mentioned.

Nate, we can't talk, because we just don't have the same paradigm, but I guess we both love the Book of Mormon, so, someday, eh?

Oh, the way the SP member looked at me, as though he had to protect himself from me.

:(

I am learning that I am, indeed, pariah--


My writing is so scrambled; words I don't want come out; please be patient; this will finish my computer for today--

nonamefornow said...

not lung disease, lung infections--

now I can go down and sleep; getting down is scarier than coming up; I force myself; sometimes I just stand holding the bannister and cry--

Nate said...

@ noname,

Yes I would love to talk someday and I certainly do love the Book of Mormon and many classics. My favorite book outside the gospel is the full version of Les Miserables. Very powerful with many truths.

Just yesterday I was talking with my brother about someone I know that was engaged and prayed and prayed if he was supposed to marry this girl and he was a return missionary and was preparing to marry in the temple.

This young man just "couldn't get an answer" and he eventually gave up and now he is a gay atheist. He is still a great person and I would never cast him off.

About half of my relatives are either completely non-religious or atheist and I love every one of them and have great relationships with them.

To be quite honest I love talking with anyone about any of their belief or non-belief. At any rate we can agree to get along and thank you for being open with me and I respect people who can tell me frankly when they disagree.

I see what you are saying about your husbands works being good. No doubt they are motivated by pure love for you. We all have thousands of people that love us even if we don't know they exist and they strive to bolster us from the other side.

You must have been given these hardships in life because God saw strength in you to be able to see through it. I have been made a pariah myself but like I told someone the other day, when I was forced out of the church for my testimony nothing changed inside of me, I still loved and respected everyone in my stake, it was all of then who looked at me differently and treated me differently because they have been brought up to believe that if someone is "apostate" then you better not affiliate with them.

I don't blame them for this belief and I consider it a blessing to be on the outside to feel how many other's have felt. This has made it so much easier to reach out and connect with non-members and inactives because I understand then and I find myself in many positions to do better "missionary work" than I could ever do as a member. Anyway I hope you feel better. I do hope we can meet someday.

Calleen Bataiff said...

Rock
Sorry to hear of your ailment. I hope your & Connie's recovery is soon & complete. I really appreciate your effort in re-posting this part of J.J. Deweys article.

Something occurred to me while reading:

7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
8 While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 85:7 - 8)

In this scripture "the one mighty and strong" is referring to a different man than "that man, who was called of God and appointed".

I'm sure that this is obvious to all of you guys, but it was quite enlightening to me.

Notice that, "that man called of God" is not appointed by God, he is just appointed. I may be wrong but the Pres. of the LDS Church fits this description.

What are your thoughts?

Nate said...

My opinion that no one will like is found in section 35:18... Also I like Isaiah 9: 14-16

Has anyone else considered that there was no succession? That at that point God had withdrawn from the people (at least to the point that they had no greater spiritual access than any other group of people on earth) ?

The earth is still in apostasy and we have been given the Book of Mormon to see if we will follow the teachings therein without adding to it with all sorts of philosophies of men and we have been promised that when we reach the point of only trusting in God The Lord will reach down and give His people great power and usher in the coming of Christ.
We have been born into a tough time where so many beliefs and philosophies are intermingled with the truth that we must simply pray for mercy and that God will teach us the truth through pure revelation, otherwise we are in just another offshoot of Latter Day Saints that is relying on the arm of flesh.

Milo Jury said...

@Nate, I have noticed that many on these sites seem to converse with less acrimony and more clarity. There are a few who are just angry with the church and their emotions seem to cloud their judgement. But come one, come all, as long as we strive to edify one another.

@Noname, I actually believe your words. I went to a church building that had a questionable room used as one ward's bishop's office. I heard three (I personally knew two) of the Bishops who served out of that room died untimely deaths from cancer. So I can definitely understand where you are coming from.

@Rock, thanks for that post.I am heading there next. Hope you are feeling better!

I remember hearing a talk from Elder Maxwell lamenting those of us from Ephraim. He commended us on our skills at organization and management. But he chided us for not having the faith of our brethren from the Tribe of Manasseh. I thought then that if it wasn't for the skills of or Ehpramite leaders, the church would not be able to spread the word of God to the four corners of the Earth. That all may be true, but we still need that faith! And I fear (from the words I have read on this page) we still are in the dark in this matter.

Nate said...

Sorry for the repeat message my phone sucks.

Wow I am going to have to look into the chemical and cancer thing going around. Sounds like a chemtrail conspiracy but hey, if the presidents of the LDS church are united with Babylon and throwing Masonic handshakes around left and right among others in the secret combination (look it up if this sounds ridiculous) then they are capable of anything.

Jens said...

Calleen,

You must have some strong kung-fu or be a good conductor of the spirit. As I read your post of August 21 I thought to myself, "These are two different guys." Then you stated your conclusion that they are two different guys. It never made sense that the one mighty and strong would be struck down.

Nate said...

Yes so the question is who tried to "steady the ark"

I love 2 different lines about this man of prophecy. One "and he shall be clothed with light for a covering", and that he shall speak words, "eternal words"

Reminds me of Zephaniah 3 where it speaks of the pure language returning and also that "so powerful was the language of Enoch...."

Are these statements literal or just symbolic?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

NoName,
Personal toxicity to chemicals is indeed a reality. Most of us have bodies that are somewhat resilient, but others like yourself have no defenses.

I have little patience for those who ascribe the real ailments of others as "psychosomatic" or imaginary. That is the diagnosis of the intellectually lazy.

All I can suggest to you is that you strengthen your liver and hope that continues to defend you. Most of us are suffering from chemical poisoning to one degree or another and are merely fortunate that our bodies protect us from the full on bombardment you appear to have trouble defending against.

I'm sure there are some people who would scoff at the idea that an LDS chapel could be toxic because they would think it impossible that God would not protect his Saints from that. But since for decades the Saints have turned their backs on God in favor of following the precepts of men, what obligation does God have in the face of such blatant apostasy?

God withdrew his protection from the Saints when they headed west, though from all the celebrations every pioneer day in Utah, you would think we have completely forgotten that he abandoned us at Nauvoo for our rejection of him.

Nate said...

Thanks rock i think the nauvoo period rejection is an interesting perspective. I am in favor of the kirtland period myself and I don't know if elijah and Elias (which are the same name in Greek and Hebrew which is odd) ever appeared.

Noname you also might want to look into aluminum poisoning because aluminum is everywhere and some are more sensitive. Could benefit from a detox of certain elements like that....

SouthernBelle said...

Ugh. I'm a homeschooling mom to 4 with almost no time to myself. I so want to read this chapter you posted and maybe one day I'll hide out in the bathroom to do so.

BUT...I did read the last paragraph or so of your post and I had the thought...

As I grew up in the church I heard the "rumor" that in the last days we will be forced to have "home church" - for whatever reason, we wouldn't be "going to church" as we know it today.l

Whether this is true or not, I am now looking at it with a new perspective.

We may never be "home bound" with church, but what we may have to do is sincerely focus our efforts inside of our homes on the teachings of the gospel and be the ones who plant the seeds of faith in our families...and not leave it up to the church teachers.
I mean, obviously that is our job first and foremost, but maybe *I* need to ramp up my efforts to help my children really reach for the Savior while they are still young.

Anyway - just a new way to think of it.

Thanks!

Tom Irvine said...

Milo Jury,

You wrote "I remember hearing a talk from Elder Maxwell lamenting those of us from Ephraim."

Do you have the reference for this talk? Would love to read it.

Thank you,
Tom Irvine

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Jen
Don't you just love it when the Spirit reveals these things? Very eye opening and marvelous.

@ Nate
The one that tries to steady the ark is the man of "God" that was appointed. You can look at it this way, if there is someone who has the ability to command the elements and it's making the church look bad, because obviously they don't have those abilities, and it is causing the membership to question the organized church, the ark is not steady, and who would it be that would be trying to steady that ark? That is the appointed man that will be struck down.

Pretty cool, huh? God revealed this long ago and none of us understood.

Benjamin Horton said...

Hope you are feeling well.

I read your book and really enjoyed it. Thank you. Would you mind if a cite quite a few passages from it? I wanted to write a favorable blog regarding your book since it had a significant impact on me? Of course, very few read what I have to write, but I write it for myself mostly.

Sorry, about including another shameful plug, but I could use some feedback on this subject.

I am obsessed with the whole polygamy Brighamite conspiracy issue and have written quite a bit about it.

I was thinking of submitting two polygamy related petitions to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It could get me Ex'd, but I am not sure it matters anymore. The truth is more important to me. If I am wrong, then I want to know.

First, the Petition to Remove Section 132 from the D&C and to reinstitute Section 101 in its original form. Second, the Petition to Change the Name of Brigham Young University to Emma State University as an official apology for the lies and defamation of Emma Smith which originated with Brigham Young and his lascivious cohorts.

I still haven't published the 2nd article (waiting a couple of weeks). But here's the 1st one:

http://www.confessionsofanelder.blogspot.com/

I could use some intelligent feedback since this matter is very important to me.

Thanks.

-Benjamin

Nate said...

@ calleen

Yes that is cool. One thought is that the reference from the Old Testament was from a man that was helping to transport the ark of the covenant. I believe his name was Uzzah and I may be wrong but I am too lazy to look it up.

What happened is the group of people stumbled and the ark looked like it was about to fall over. This man instinctively pressed his hand against the ark and was then struck down by God for doing so.

Think about that. This man had good intentions and NATURALLY put his hand out to steady the ark. His intentions though also revealed that a deep trust and faith in God has perhaps not been rooted deep in his heart. He had been commanded to never touch the ark under any circumstances. Perhaps a man or woman who would have been filled with the Spirit would have instinctively stepped away from the ark to avoid offending God.... Uzzah (if my memory is right may have been an awesome guy and I hope he is just fine but we can learn from this, especially since God used this reference in section 85.

The man setting his hand in our time to "steady the ark" may appear to be a great guy and have wonderful intentions. Perhaps he won't have done anything that will seem like that big of deal so no one would imagine that he is the guy that is referenced in section 85 that will fall as a shaft of lightning. This is why we all must beware of the pacifying of the devil and the idea that all is well in Zion.

We can only trust in God and must prove all things by His word from His own mouth.

Nate said...

Benjamin

Excellent idea. I agree with all of those things and they should definitely be done. This would prove that the lds church is not true though so they would never do it.

If they did this they would have to admit wilford woodruff was a liar, brigham young and anyone else who practiced polygamy and claimed to be the one man on earth God was using to lead His people were nothing but frauds. It would prove that the presidents of the church can lead the people astray, even to the point of pontificating things purportedly from God that He never said...
But if you did that then how would you know if section 89 was supposed to be there? How about blacks and the priesthood in one way or the other? How about the obvious elephant in the room that the book of Abraham presents?

Can a sustaining vote actually change what is or isn't true? Did everyone decision by ancient prophets have to be ratified by the 12? If Joseph smith admittedly received a revelation of man or the devil at one point, how can we trust anything else that was said by him?
He taught false doctrines on more than one occasion such as the eternal state of children remaining children if they died young that had to be corrected... How would we know what to keep or toss out? The only logical things members could conclude is that the LDS church is as messed up as any Christian church and only under more condemnation because they actually were given the Book of Mormon to warn them...

If the majority of the church actually did what you are suggesting and learned the truth of every single purported revelation and then lived accordingly God would pour out His Spirit in such great abundance that we would become the next city of Enoch and greater truths would be added upon our heads from day to day.

I hope we all can envision the day. It starts with the actual belief that God will answer every prayer we pray in faith. It can not just be lip service that "yes we believe in continuing revelation" but God won't reveal such and such to me...

Anyway I would love if every member saw this petition even if only to get them thinking.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your feedback. Could you elaborate on the Section 89 issue?

-Benjamin

Nate said...

Benjamin

I actually just threw that out arbitrarily because I have studied the evolution of the interpretations of the church and right now they are not following the section at all so it was the first section that came to mind but you could bring up the high council of the church in section 107 that no longer exists, consecration, tithing, pretty much anything from the beginning of the church and just simply petition for it to be removed or modified and you would have another version of the RLDS church where everything is so flexible that truth has almost become relative in their minds.

But as for the word of wisdom (assuming it was from God)

1. It was not given by way of commandment so no one should be punished by the church in any way for not living according to it.

2. Either you have to allow coffee and tea or you have to take the rigid view on hot drinks and disallow hot cocoa, herbal tea, hot gasoline or water....

3. Meat should be abstained from except for times of famine etc.

4. Beer and ale should be permitted as mild drinks made from barley (check rock's wonderful post on this if you haven't already)

5. A completely separate revelation would have to be given for narcotics, etc etc etc.

6. If section 89 is true than we do not need to follow it according to God at this point (except for practicality and our own choice to be healthy and wise) and the LDS church is not following it.

I was mostly pointing out that you could argue anything in the church should not be there. How about the temple endowment? Is that from God or someone else? If polygamy was not commanded (which it wasnt) then has every temple been desecrated by the polygamous sealings that have been done in all of them?

Have any temples been commanded of God to be built that are operating now? If so where are the revelations on this? And if not then is there a temple of God on the earth?

You see you could go any number of routes on this and they would all lead to the same conclusion... The LDS church is not the church of God.

If one teaching is false then the whole thing crumbles. Most people don't want to admit that because they are scared of the truth but at least more and more are beginning to see that some of the doctrines are not adding up.

BK said...

Benjamin,

It's wonderful how you are awaking to the truth of all the falsehoods and false prophets in the Church and how wrong polygamy and so many others things are and were.

But if you keep studying I don't think you are going to be able to stop at Joseph and Emma, for Joseph has just as many, though maybe not as severe, of problems as Brigham and the rest of his gang.

The Book of Mormon, D&C, BoA, and Joseph's teachings and testimony and history all present just as huge of elephants in the room as Brigham's polygamy. Even though I believe Joseph didn't live or believe in polygamy.

The Book of Mormon has far too many contradictions to Christ's teachings for God to ever expect a reasonable person to think it divine or from Him or that a true prophet would ever produce it, even though it does teach many wonderful truths, but so do so many other books written by men.

Just look at how much truth and wonderful things the Church puts out today, despite that it's an unrighteous false Church filled with and started by false prophets.

But it's a wonderful thing how you are searching for the truth. But as the LDS Church surprisingly says, "Only those who are unafraid of the truth will find it."

If we are too attached to the idea there must be a true Church today or the idea of Joseph Smith being a prophet or that the Book of Mormon had to have been from God, then we won't be able to look at and see these things with the same clarity as we do Brigham & his whoredoms.

Christ's teachings are the only way to judge whether Joseph was a true prophet or whether the Book of Mormon was written by true prophets, etc. Which I believe Christ proves they weren't.

For as Nate said, if the Book of Mormon teaches one falsehood, especially a big one, (and I believe it teaches many huge falsehoods) then it proves it isn't from God, which would mean Joseph wasn't a true prophet either. Though the BoM is only one of numerous reasons why Joseph fails the true prophet test. So in answer to Nate's question, sadly I don't believe there is a 'temple of God' on earth today or a true prophet, at least none that I have ever heard about.

But then why would that be a concern if there wasn't? For we have the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ still before us in the NT, and we can and should all become Prophets, even if there are none around us.

No one needs a church or prophet to become one.

Nate said...

BK

Good to hear from you. The more I read from you the more I have come to believe that only one thing separated my testimony from yours, although that one thing pushes each of us in different directions so we are quite far apart.

You know now that I claim to know from God that the Book of Mormon is true, and you also said teachings in the Book of Mormon are not in harmony with the New Testament.

Please tell me what the Book of Mormon teaches (please use either verses or clear words from the BoM that are not taken out of context or twisted) that is different from anything Christ taught because I don't believe that to be true.

Even though I agree that someone just using human logic would not believe the Book of Mormon to be from God (DNA evidence, seer stone in a hat that sounds like 19th century folk magic, 116 pages unable to be retranslated, and so on), I also know that anyone who has received revelation from God on the subject has not been told that it is not true....

So again I challenge you to definitively point out a teaching from the Book of Mormon that is not in harmony with the New Testament...

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate

Good point! You're right on the money with that one. The man of God, that is appointed will have the appearance of a godly individual without faith.
Good point!

@ Benjamin

Wow! I've had questions about the 3 Nephi reference for such a long time and the minute I read that quote suddenly the whole thing came to light.

I love it, when that happens. Thanks so much for your post and paper.

Nate said...

@ Benjamin (or anyone else)

I read your paper and agree on the evils of polygamy. I do not agree that Joseph Smith did not practice polygamy.

Please read section 132:51 and explain this to me. Then please read item 2 on this Mormon think site and tell me if William law and jane law made this up or what you make of it if section 132 was not from joseph... Also please explain how so many women testified that joseph practiced it (especially those who did not follow brigham to salt lake) and explain why women claimed he proposed it to them in nauvoo and they left the church, and if they all were lying then why do we not have record of any of them admitting ever in their lives that they were lying?

This would be such a stretch for anyone to believe that he didn't practice polygamy but I am not trying to rehash something we have already discussed but I just want a reasonable explanation... It is just so much more logical that he did practice polygamy and followed after lust and simply goofed up then to believe this stretch that brigham young somehow conned thousands of people including most of the leaders into believing joseph was practicing polygamy if he wasn't.

http://mormonthink.com/grant7.htm

Milo Jury said...

@Tom Irvine, I'm looking! I'm looking! I know I heard it! I hate pushing faith-promoting stories!

Benjamin Horton said...

@ Nate.

I'll try to go more in depth once I have a chance to ruminate on your statement and the link you provided regarding William Law.

For starters, Joseph declared:

“Another indictment has been got up against me [the polygamy indictment]. It appears a holy prophet [William Law] has arisen up, and he has testified against me [causing the polygamy indictment to be brought forth] . . . . God knows, then, that the charges against me are false.

I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives. I mean to live and proclaim the truth as long as I can.

This new holy prophet [William Law] has gone to Carthage and swore that I had told him that I was guilty of adultery. This spiritual wifeism! Why, a man dares not speak or wink, for fear of being accused of this . . . . William Law . . . swears that I have committed adultery. I wish the grand jury would tell me who they [the alleged wives] are—whether it will be a curse or blessing to me . . . .

A man asked me whether the commandment [revelation] was given that a man may have seven wives; and now the new prophet has charged me with adultery . . . . Wilson Law [William’s brother] also swears that I told him I was guilty of adultery . . . . I have rattled chains before in a dungeon for truth’s sake. I am innocent of all these charges, and you can bear witness of my innocence, for you know me yourselves . . . . What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.

I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago [when charged with polygamy shortly after his marriage to Emma Hale]; and I can prove them all perjurers.” LDS History of the Church, 6:410–411 (emphasis added).

Along with Dr. Bennett, Higbee, and Brigham Young, William Law was instrumental in fabricating the polygamy lie. However, Joseph fought William Law at every step and in court.

Of course, one can reasonably consider whether Bennett, Law, and Young were all telling the truth. However, there are two primary reasons I believe that pushes the evidence strongly in favor of Joseph: (1) Not one child as been found through DNA to be a child of Joseph's polygamous relationships, and (2) Joseph's wife Emma, and Joseph III (11 1/2) at Joseph's death, denied there was any sort of polygamous relationships with Hyrum or Joseph.

The statements you referred to regarding D&C 132:51 were written in 1885 and 1887, long after Joseph's death. Supposedly, Law's journal 1844 journal entry claims Joseph wanted Law's wife, but do we have any proof that the journal entry was actually written contemporaneously. Not that I can find. Most of the other journal entries supporting polygamy have been proven to have been written many years after Joseph's death.

It is my belief that Law was a liar and simply continued the lies against Joseph without any opposition from SLC and even built on the lies contributed by Young in Section 132. However, I will continue to investigate the issue. I suggest you do the same.

http://restorationbookstore.org/articles/nopoligamy/jsfp-visionarticles/williamlaw.htm

Nate said...

Benjamin,

Thank you I have read Joseph's denials. How do you think a judge in court considers the defendants denials? Are they seriously considered by an objective person? Just about every adulterer in the world would make a great speech (while there was any chance they could still get out of it) about how they have never committed adultery.

Joseph smith had to continually deny it because it was against the law. Joseph's word in the matter really means nothing. Did he ever lie?

Why would William law change his journal? He had no reason to help brigham young or anyone else in the matter.

We continue to slander the names of good men like David whitmer and oliver cowdery and countless others who we have all been brainwashed into thinking "fell away".

William law was not guilty of anything other than being on the other side of the fight. Joseph smiths rhetoric was just as bad as anyone else's and both sides were threatening killing one another. The only reason people defend joseph is the same reason the Catholics defend the crusades and that is because they believe God was on his side.

Will you also say that William marks was a liar when he said that Joseph Smith came to him and said he needed to repent of polygamy? (Thanks john for pointing us to that)

So many of these people are being accused of being liars and bad people. I would just say let's be sure to not bear false witness against them unless you are sure by the Spirit that it is warranted.

I would think any unbiased person would have to think it was way more likely that one man who the people almost worshipped either was deceived or simply pretended a revelation that his followers believed, than that thousands of people in and outside of the church corroborated and deceived so many without any ever admitting it was all made up later in life.

I know it is popular right now to believe joseph never practiced polygamy but is that the truth? Yes it may very well have been introduced by the pratts and brigham young to Joseph, but that doesn't mean Joseph didn't jump right in...

As far as his family is concerned there is plenty of evidence that something happened with fanny alger and Emma kicked her A$& out and that Emma had an intense rivalry with Eliza snow etc. I believe she tried to shelter her kids but when they found out the truth in Salt Lake City it devastated them.

I just want to testify here that david whitmer NEVER fell away from the gospel of Christ. He saw Jesus Christ in the days before his death. I agree with you that Emma has been slandered. She was a better human being than Joseph Smith and he put her through hell. Countless people were ex-communicated and slandered and are still being mis-judged. Justice will prevail and the world will know soon enough.

Benjamin Horton said...


@ Nate.

Personally, I have no stake in this discussion, other than I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the issue. I only want to know the truth - that is my religion. If it turn out that Joseph was a polygamist, then so be it.

However, I believe the evidence heavily weighs in favor of Joseph Smith being innocent of polygamy.

First, there is a lot of evidence out there proving Eliza Snow, et al. are lying.

http://restorationbookstore.org/articles/nopoligamy/jsfp-visionarticles/williamlaw.htm

However, you are correct in that Eliza, Bennett, Young, Law, the gruesome 7 Apostles, Higbee, et al. could all have been telling the truth about Joseph. Joseph may have been a man that had 33+ wives, which included a 14-year old girl and his informally adopted 16-year old daughter.

However, if Joseph had 33+ wives, he would have had some offspring since that was the alleged purpose of polygamy. But the answer is that Joseph had no child through his polygamous relationships. Not even one. Did Joseph's supposed wives say that Joseph did his best to not conceive (wouldn't that have been an interesting fact to add)? Again, the answer is no.

On the other hand, Joseph's family vehemently denied Joseph's participation in polygamous affairs. Emma's testimony is very credible. How could Joseph keep it secret from her?

Joseph was running around for his life, in jail, in court, and trying to lead a church. When did Joseph have the time to marry dozens of women, none of which who mentioned the fact in their contemporaneous journals. It's insane.
Unfortunately, Joseph was surrounded by polygamous conspirators, including seven Apostles (Young, Willard Richards, John Taylor, Parley P. Pratt, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, and Orson Hyde). This muddied the waters because these Apostles were out preaching that Joseph secretly taught polygamy while at the same time denying under oath that Joseph taught polygamy. Without a doubt, they have been proven liars.

It is interesting what Sidney Rigdon said, "It is a fact, so well known, that the Twelve and their adherents have endeavored to carry on this spiritual wife business in secret... and have gone to the most shameful and desperate lengths, to keep it from the public...."

Benjamin Horton said...

@ Nate - continued.

Was William Law a liar? Absolutely. In 1842, Law, along many others, including Law's wife and Eliza Snow, submitted affidavits stating that polygamy was not being practiced and exposed Bennett for his crimes. Like the Apostles, either Law lied in 1842 or in 1844. How are proven liars treated in court?

When William Law (previously Joseph's counselor), who had formed and headed another church (we have motive), first caused charges to be brought against Joseph, Joseph said he could prove the charges false. Unfortunately, Joseph was murdered and all of Joseph's records were taken to Salt Lake City with the polygamous Apostles.

Without question, the SLC Church changed Joseph's records to reflect Joseph's polygamy. Rock Waterman has a great entry on that matter quoting Van Wagoner.

It is apparent that you have not read the Price's book and articles on the subject, yet still seem interested in proving that Joseph was guilty of polygamy. Why?

Respectfully, does it suit your belief system that Joseph was guilty of polygamy? An objective truth seeker will read both sides carefully, and you have not done so at this time.

My sister is a vociferous anti-Mormon (I used to be on her side). Accordingly, for her, she can't find out whether Joseph was innocent of polygamy because it doesn't fit her anti-Mormon belief system. She refuses to investigate the matter or read the Price's book. It feels better for her to just say that Joseph was preying on young women and had 33+ wives - it fits her paradigm.

Similarly, I have VERY Mormon siblings and family who claim to "know" that Joseph had plural wives as taught by the LDS Church and that deplorable Section 132 was God's revelation. They also refuse to investigate the matter since to find out otherwise would shake their belief system that is based on Brigham Young - it fits their paradigm.

It is strange how the Mormons and anti-Mormons are on the same side with respect to Joseph. This has also muddied the scholarship on the issue.

I can only ask that you don't fall into the dichotomy of Mormon v. anti-Mormon. If the polygamy issue interests you, then you must read every word of Richard and Pamela Price on the matter to make a fair judgment.

Nate said...

Benjamin

Thank you for this. You and I both equally want to know the truth. First of all I know joseph smith was a prophet. I know the first vision happened and the Book of Mormon was true. I also know that joseph smith after the fanny alger debacle (which is documented by many varied sources including most importantly oliver cowdery who should have never been ex-communicated) Joseph Smith lost the Spirit and became like David of old and Saul. His mind was frenzied. You sourced church history. Also found in church history is the talk where Joseph taught that he had more to boast of than any man on earth and did something Jesus couldn't do in holding the church together. I am sure you will say that really didn't happen. Everything that would put Joseph in a bad light just was simply made up by others. Is that it?

Have you considered the testimonies that joseph and hyrum were passing around birth control pills? Your explanation for him not having children is not the only explanation. Many say (with credible evidence) that Orson Hyde's wife may have been carrying Joseph's baby when he returned from Palestine.

I am not anti-Mormon. I am simply looking at all of the evidence and I have read the arguments. There are plenty of testimonies suggesting Emma new about it to a degree. Evidence suggests the affair between Joseph and Fanny but it is so easy to say everyone was lying except Joseph.

Do you think Joseph lied when he said he received revelation about selling the copyright of the Book of Mormon in Canada? If not you would have to believe he received false revelation therefore everything has to be questioned. Did he lie in his revelation about riches in Salem? Did he lie about the saints not being able to fulfill a commandment because of their enemies in section 124? This is blatant false doctrine and totally contradictory to 1nephi 3:7 or 1nephi 17:3.

How about the letter from joseph to one of his wives that you are claiming wasn't his wife where he asked her to come "comfort" him because Emma wasn't around. Basically your argument is that anyone who lived in Utah was a liar because of their agenda, anyone who testified against joseph outside of Utah was evil, anyone who left the church and said joseph smith had fallen or committed adultery were deceived or liars. Isn't that an adequate summation of your argument?

The truth is that Joseph's kids were too young to know either way and Emma smith was one of the best moms ever and did not want their kids traumatized by having to deal with all of this. Her kids learned the truth later in life from what I have gathered.

Let's agree to disagree. I am not an anti-Mormon in the least. I am a seeker of truth like yourself and trust when something is confirmed by the Spirit. I know that the. LDS church is either the best or worst church on earth depending on how you look at it. Brigham young had to argue to the saints that joseph smith lost the spirit before he died and didn't have "one particle of light in him" because credible witnesses claimed joseph felt remorse and was trying to abandon polygamy before he died. Dont base all of your claims from the Price's book because they leave out quite a bit of testimony that is tough to explain...

Benjamin Horton said...

@ Nate.

I certainly don't mind a disagreement. I believe you are sincere, but personal prejudices do get in the way.

Personally, I am not willing to say that Joseph was a Prophet of God. In fact, I am not willing to even say that I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I certainly agree with its denouncements of polygamy in Jacob 2 and 3. The fact that the Book of Mormon predicted "secret abominations" (3 Nephi 16:10) and the parallels between Jacob 2 and evil Section 132 are very prophetic. I also find Ether 8 a great summary of our dire situation in America.

In short, some parts of the Book of Mormon are amazing and seem impossible to fake (e.g., the chiasmi of Alma 36), other parts have signs of forgery (word for word quotations of the Bible).

Official American historical evidence doesn't support the Book of Mormon, but I think much evidence has been covered up and I never trust official anything - they have their agenda. I certainly don't believe that the Pearl of Great Price was a translated record of ancient papyri.

However, I have studied the polygamy issue of Joseph quite thoroughly and both sides. I have read quite a few books and articles on the subject. I'm no expert, but I'm getting there.

However, you keep raising issues that have been thoroughly discussed and well debunked by the Prices. This clearly indicates to me that you have not read their book except maybe a few pages. I don't want to keep debating subjects that the Price's dedicated well researched chapters to. I keep citing the Prices because they are the only researchers who actually sought to determine whether Joseph practiced polygamy - all other researchers only assumed the allegation was true (not denied by the LDS Church).

In addition to the Prices, I highly recommend the following website that has skillfully addressed many of the other questions you raised.

http://www.defendingjoseph.com/

If after studying these materials, you still believe that Joseph was a vile polygamist, I will certainly respect that.

However, these to me are the key facts: (1) Joseph had no polygamous children (that is a huge fact), (2) Joseph always preached openly against polygamy, (3) Brigham Young is a proven liar and significantly altered church history and Joseph's journal to support the polygamous lie (why would he do that if Joseph was truly not innocent of polygamy), (4) almost all of the key people who said Joseph was a polygamist also previously swore under oath that he wasn't, (5) Brigham Young's story of the origins of Section 132 is laughable, (6) Emma and Joseph III maintained until their deaths that Joseph was innocent (if he was guilty of polygamy, I am convinced that Emma would have exposed it once she remarried), (7) Bennett and others that were guilty of polygamy openly confessed that Joseph never taught the doctrine, and (8) Joseph sued Chauncey Higbee (a lawyer) for defamation related to Higbee's claim that Joseph was a polygamist.

Benjamin Horton said...

@ Nate.

I do have one question for you. I don't think I ever read the testimonies that Joseph and Hyrum were passing around birth control pills and I don't think the Prices addressed that issue.

Do you have a source for me to look at?

Thanks.

Nate said...

Benjamin,

I will paste two links that address many issues you have brought up. To say that the prices didn't have an agenda I think is not accurate. Again you didn't address William marks, why William law would corroborate with brigham young, why no one would recant their lies at some point in their lives if they indeed did lie...

Joseph smith the 3rd near the end of his life admitted that his father may have practiced polygamy but said it was still a false doctrine regardless.

By your own admission you think joseph smith was a documented liar as well as brigham young because you have admitted that the book of Abraham was not a direct translation. (Which I agree). Joseph plainly stated that it was.

The main point of the discussion that we began was that if you admit that section 132 is false then the whole LDS church is logically false as well. Do you agree with that statement? Yes I admit I have not read all of prices book because it seemed repetitive and I had already read the different perspectives and analysis from the RLDS arguments to the temple lot arguments to the LDS arguments.

To break free of this discussion can I ask you why you bother with this stuff if you don't have a testimony of something as foundational as the Book of Mormon?

Regarding these sites I am not saying I agree with everything I was simply pointing out that there are plenty of arguments and evidences that the prices ignore. Why would 2 apostles who testified that joseph smith taught the doctrine of polygamy in the nauvoo council stick by this testimony when they were not members of the church?

http://rationalfaiths.com/10620/

http://mormoncurtain.com/topic_josephsmithpolyandrypolygamy_section1.html

Nate said...

@ BK

I like discussions on the gospel that are leaning more toward the gospel of Christ instead of historical opinions. I am waiting for you to show me any teaching in the Book of Mormon that is contradictory to the bible. You also never showed where Christ teaches us to HOW to obtain charity.... Do you still stand by your statement that the Book of Mormon teaches "many" things that are not in harmony with Christ's teachings?

37... said...

Nonamefornow ,
Glutathione is very helpful to take for helping clear out toxins from the body. The liver usually makes and utilizes this but when it can't because of overload or damage, it helps to take it orally.

Calleen Bataiff said...

Wow! Did you read about what happened with the venue in Phoenix for Denver Snuffer's last talk? I wonder what the LDS membership there is so afraid of? They say they believe in the agency of man, except if it something that doesn't fit their ways of thinking. What a bunch of hypocrites, and may I add low life losers. They are disgusting.

I would be disappointed in them except this is par for the course with the whole mess of them. You can't tell me that Satan isn't at the head of that organization, stifling, and micro-managing the whole lot of them.

The tables have now turned, the once persecuted have now become the persecutors:

But behold, the time cometh, saith the Lord, that when ye shall cast out the righteous from among you, then shall ye be ripe for destruction. . .
Helaman 13:14

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Benjamin Horton,

I like the way you think.
Petitioning to change the name of BYU to honor Emma should engender some much needed discussion regarding why that usurper ever deserved to be honored, and reinstalling section 101 to the D&C would clear up a lot of false teachings.

(That section was voted in by the membership at large, and removed without ever consulting the church, so Brigham's decision to remove it was an act of usurpation. One of many, as we now know.)

I'm adding your blog to my blogroll, though for some reason the system seems hung up.

You may indeed quote extensively from my book for purposes of review. Have at it, my friend. The more exposure to these things that gets out there, the better for all of us in the church. No permission is needed.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Calleen,
I think it's telling that at those times when virulent anti-Mormon lecturers have appeared in Phoenix in the past (Ed Decker and the phony "Professor" Dee Jay Nelson come immediately to mind) LDS Church leaders did not raise a voice in protest. At most they advised their members to ignore those frauds.

But when a believer like Denver Snuffer secures a venue with the express purpose of encouraging the Saints to follow the teachings of their own scriptures, a phone tree goes into effect and no effort is spared to threaten the owner of the venue with loss of revenue if they follow through with their agreement to let him speak.

Arizona Mormons are an odd bunch. They'll ignore blatant liars when they come to town. But someone who holds the scepter of truth is too big a threat for them to allow into the area.


Of course, the only effect this will have will be to provide the local media with more opportunity to ask the question, "What is it about Mormon scripture that Mormon leaders are so desperate to protect their people from hearing?"

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Rock
When you're right, you're right. Let's just hope the media will pick up on it.

Nate said...

Has anyone looked into the dream mine in Salem Utah? Thoughts on John Koyle? Prophet or cuckoo?

Yesterday was the first time I had heard about it. Either way I feel bad for the guy....

Nobody Ever said...

"their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people"

They have put our weakness on display and now “it is given” to us “to know the good from the evil

"the only way that we could come out of captivity of the “Great and Abominable Church” (is) to see our weakness, and then reject it"

Nate said...

@ nobody

Totally agree. I thank God every day for His mercy and for pruning me back and removing false beliefs one after the other. I believe we must be pruned individually before we can become the pruners that Jacob 5 mentions.

Don't be surprised if members of the LDS church at some point seek the lives of true followers of Christ in the future. The strange act will turn the world upside down and as Isaiah states "only a remnant will return".

Jens said...

Nate,

Bishop Koyle is among those driven out of the Church by members of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles exercising executive privilege instead of by divine pattern set forth in the D&C. It irritated several of the apostles including Mark Petersen that Koyle claimed foreknowledge of many things that came to pass. Although these rogue apostles didn't produce any prophecy themselves, they apparently believed that they were somehow the arbiters and gatekeepers of foreknowledge. An interesting tale if there ever was. Here are a couple of collections of material on Koyle:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58102128/Bishop-John-H-Koyle-The-Prophecies

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58560328/John-H-Koyle-s-Relief-Mine

Jens said...

Calleen,

The Phoenix campaign to fence Denver Snuffer out reminds me of the Prop 8 days. One Sunday years ago our High Council rep came into our High Priest group meeting and gave us a spirited pitch on doing our duty to man the phones against Prop 8. I had the crawliest feeling then that I recognize now as cognitive dissonance. We were being encouraged to participate in something that felt decidedly unChristlike and on the wrong side of history. I've read bits and pieces about how the Church spent a wad of money fighting Prop 8 then went to great lengths to downplay that misguided investment of our tithing dollars. In the end no one from my ward ended up going to pester our friends in California. What a relief.

Nate said...

Jens,

Thank you I agree with everything you stated. Sometimes I really think that as someone climbs the ladder in the Church they most often lose the Spirit more and more as they focus all of their energy on their acts that they deem from God and on following those who are above them in the hierarchy.
By the time they are promoted to the quorum of the 12 revelation has been replaced by obedience to the president. They have received their 2nd anointing so they believe their exaltation is assured and they must be more righteous than anyone who hasn't received it, even when God has not promised them exaltation by His own word.

So of course they think that if someone receives revelation that they haven't than that person is being deceived because they are not as righteous and thus the church remains in ever tightening bonds of damnation. I pray we will be led out of bondage soon.

Tiani said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Rock. It's difficult to explain how much this means to me. Isaiah has been plain as day to me on certain occasions, but the last few weeks or so have to some degree been weeks of general darkness for me, and reading this has brought back much light and clarity. It's not so much the commentary (though I don't take so much issue with it); but primarily, it's the Spirit, through Isaiah, bringing me back to Light, Truth, and righteous Power. Re-kindling my Spirit with prophecy, the words of Christ. Again, I thank you.

Bob said...

Hi Rock,
Thanks for all this.

What do you think of the idea that basically everything printed by the Times and Seasons paper in Nauvoo beginning in 1842 was actually produced by the new editors, John Taylor/Wilford Woodruff/other polygamists?

Do you think it possible the current Book of Abraham was produced not primarily by Joseph but by the polygamist apostle editors of the paper that published it first?

Calleen Bataiff said...

Question:
I can only find one reference to baptisms for the dead in the whole of the Bible, absolutely none in the Book of Mormon, and only a few in the D&C (which I don't trust completely), & none in the Pearl of Great Price.

Joseph Smith taught about it, but I don't want to completely rely on him either. Does anyone know the Hebrew translation of what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians? Or have any insights they would like to share on the subject?

Bob said...

@Calleen

My 2 cents: I think the Book of Mormon does explicitly mention baptism for the dead. Moroni 8:23 calls it a "mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works."

Nate said...

@ Bob

Hi brother I interpret moroni 8:23 differently based off of verse 22. I believe he is teaching that children do not have need of baptism because they are ALIVE in Christ already and so it availeth nothing....

@ Calleen

Wonderful question. Through my own prayer and study I have found a conclusion for myself but everyone is entitled to their own opinions and must search and pray until the Spirit confirms their own answer. Perhaps you could share your take and whatever you learn about this...

I believe that 1 Corinthians 15 is all about the resurrection. He is writing to a group of people who only believe in the life of the soul after death. They believe the body is discarded because the body is corruption and evil and having a body equates to spiritually death. (We can probably empathize with this view knowing our own carnal weaknesses).
Paul is teaching that the body can be sanctified and final obtain the victory through resurrection. He testifies that Christ was seen with a body and states resurrection is taking our body which was sown in corruption (death) and raised in incorruption.

My take is that Paul is saying why would we baptize the dead (our carnal corruptible bodies) if the dead (our bodies) raise not at all. Staying in line with his whole sermon on resurrection.
He was really teaching that the reason we came to get these bodies was so we could sanctify them through faith in Christ so they could be raised up into incorruption. Hope this makes sense.

I believe the LDS baptisms for the dead are nonsense. The LDS church teaches that the reason there were no baptisms for the dead before the time of Christ is because Christ had not risen from the dead and therefore no one could have been baptised in the spirit world and crossed from spirit prison to paradise....

This argument is ridiculous. If men and women could look forward with faith in the atonement "as if if had already happened" to obtain a remission of sins before Christ was born, why couldn't spirits in the spirit world do the same thing? Did faith not work the same way for them?

Anyway that is my take on it. Brilliant question. Question everything.

Gary Hunt said...

nonamefornow,

We are a bit concerned about you. I hope situations are improving for you and your family. Our prayers are with you.

I have been studying the exchange of comments between you and Nate. I wanted you to know that you are not alone. I have problems with some of the things he is saying. He uses numerous logical fallacies. :)It is obvious from Nate’s comments that he does not understand what you are saying. But you know he doesn’t need to understand because he is one of the exclusive few who are in-there-real tight with God and the Holy Ghost. :) Let me share a few experiences I and my wife have had which may relate to what you shared with Nate.

Something I know is rampant throughout the stakes of the church is all these youth camps. They have different names. For the young men it might be called “Aaron’s Camp” or “Sons of Helaman”. For the young women it might be called “Daughters of Light”. For both sexes it’s called “Trek”, where they travel up to Martin’s Cove and reenact the experiences of the handcart pioneers. We didn’t allow our children to go to these
”inspired”, faith promoting activities. We took our objections all the way up to our stake president at the time but he didn’t get it. He did tell us the source of these programs. They came from the professors at BYU’s Sociology Department.

My wife experienced one of these youth camps as a young women leader. She went through the program just the same as the youth did. When she arrived back home she explained her experiences to me. She felt she had been emotionally violated. In fact she and all the youth were emotionally violated. It is called social engineering (coercive persuasion or brainwashing) in which they use emotional manipulation techniques to try and convince the youth that they are having a spiritual experience, when in reality what they are feeling is just emotions. I have seen numerous youth (especially the ones with weak testimonies of the gospel) not only walk away from the church, and/or belief in God, but run the opposite direction (as fast as they can) when they come to realize that they have had their emotions manipulated. The results are feelings of anger and betrayal, as well as feeling of inferiority when they are treated poorly by their peers and leaders because “they can’t feel the spirit!”

We hope you get well soon.

Nate said...

@ Gary

Thank you for bringing this up. I don't think I am "in real tight with God". Unfortunately I don't think anyone is. I don't base any of my beliefs off of logic, only what I call the Spirit.
This is why I don't like how no one is comfortable talking about the Spirit. When I experience the Holy Ghost it is like a powerful energy flowing through my body that is like electricity and tingly and it has nothing to do with emotions although it brings the fruits of the Spirit.
I don't agree with people who say the Spirit is just when you feel good because I think it is exactly what you are talking about when you say they manipulate people's emotions.
Can I ask what the Holy Ghost feels like to you? If you think I am lying about this feeling that's alright all I can do is say what my own experience is. I would love to hear what you disagree on.
Wouldn't it bug you if people just kept saying things like "I disagree with some things you say" or that some of the things you say make me uncomfortable? Well why? That statement is like me saying that Martin Luther King makes me uncomfortable. That could mean a million things and only conveys my dislike.

pete fillmore said...

"occasionally a few defectors or dissidents may try to vex us as they hyperventilate over their particular concerns, but it is the engulfing effects of that deteriorating world on Church members which is the “clear and present danger.” “Evils and designs” really do operate through “conspiring [individuals] in the last days.” (D&C 89:4.) The Lord has even announced, “Behold, the enemy is combined.” (D&C 38:12.)....

With the enemy combined, it is so vital to keep “in the right way.” (Moro. 6:4.) Orthodoxy in thought and behavior brings safety and felicity as the storms come, including “every wind of doctrine.” (See Eph. 4:14.) Happily, amid such winds the Holy Ghost not only helps us to recognize plain truth but also plain nonsense!

Orthodoxy ensures balance between the gospel’s powerful and correct principles. In the body of gospel doctrine, not only are justice and mercy “fitly joined together [for] effectual working,” but so is everything else! (Eph. 4:16.) But the gospel’s principles do require synchronization. When pulled apart from each other or isolated, men’s interpretations and implementations of these doctrines may be wild....'In a “wheat and tares” world, how unusually blessed faithful members are to have the precious and constant gift of the Holy Ghost with reminders of what is right and of the covenants we have made. “For behold, … the Holy Ghost … will show unto you all things what ye should do.” (2 Ne. 32:5.) Whatever the decibels of decadence,these need not overwhelm the still, small voice! Some of the best sermons we will ever hear will be thus prompted from the pulpit of memory—to an audience of one!' Neal A Maxwell behold the enemy is combined"

Nate said...

Pete

How do you know if the orthodoxy is true? I think any religion has orthodoxy or dogma. What do you make of the statement by a true apostle to "prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good?"

The Catholic Church had it's origins with the church of Christ. Neil a maxwell could have been giving his talk about any church's orthodoxy and it would mean the same thing to the members of that church.

Nate said...

@ everyone

Please look up "notwithstanding my weakness" by neil maxwell. The first paragraph proves who called him and he gives the credit where it is deserved. So out of touch with God and so in touch with the magisterium. He loved to show how intelligent he was by trying to confuse people without actually teaching anything new

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Bob, from what I know of the Times and Seasons, Joseph Smith was the original editor, but over time others, principally John Taylor increasingly took over the responsibilities. Joseph was busy with many other things and could not be expected to oversee everything that was produced by that paper. Still, I frequently see statements attributed to Joseph Smith that were not written or spoken by him, but by Taylor and others.

As to how much is Joseph's and how much is someone else's words, I have not delved deeply enough into the subject to know.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well Dang, Calleen, as if I don't already have a lot of doctrines to question, now you have to point out something I'd never considered before: that baptism for the dead may not have come to us through revelation.

That honestly hadn't occurred to me before, though our temples are so defiled with other uses that it wouldn't surprise me to learn that's just one more useless practice. I'm going to have to ponder that for awhile.

Daniel said...

@ Nate and everyone else

I have been following these comments for quite some time now without making a comment of my own. I want to finally jump in and say I agree with almost everything Nate has said. I love how almost every comment he writes involves what he feels is the Holy Ghost. This is all we can do is trust in what God has given us.
I have prayed about a lot of the things that are being discussed here and have received my answers from what I firmly believe is the spirit. I know the more that I follow and recognize the spirit, the more God is willing to give to me seeing that I trust its from God. I had been a member for 27 years and thought that I had felt the spirit many times. I went on a mission and had many callings in the church. I came to find out that I had never felt the spirit once! It wasn't till I started loving the gospel and praying earnestly that I felt what I believe is the Holy Ghost. When I felt it for the first time I was blown away and it brought me to tears. It was not just a feeling. It was a substance of glory that flowed through me from head to toe. I felt that it was a huge wave of new life and love. It definetley brought the fruits of the spirit.
I remember promising god that I would only trust that on any principle and never trust in the arm of flesh. I went to church and started praying about everything and looked for that spirit because I loved it and wanted to know the truth about each thing for myself. I got a lot of answers about the book of mormon and the atonement.things were good until I couldn't get answers about thomas monson and other things. It was weird transition but following that spirit lead me out of thechurch and I still feel that same spirit.I've learned that polygamy was never commanded and I have learned a ton of others things that are dead wrong with the church, such as baptisms for the dead, tithing, temple covenants and many other things.
All I can say is I am still follwing that spirit and will always trust in it. I believe that you ( Nate ) are doing the same thing and I thank you. We need to trust in God and pray if we truly want an answer and not just trust in logic or study. I suggest you you all pray if you want to know.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Pete Fillmore,
I couldn't agree with you more. Following the orthodox doctrines is the only sure way to know we're on the correct path.

Sadly, these days the definition of "orthodox" seems to be shifting at the whims of those in Church management. It used to be that the only orthodox beliefs we considered binding were those things that had been revealed by God through revelation, or those things revealed to us by the prophets in the Book of Mormon.

Today the definition of "Orthodox" has come to mean "whatever we say it means." That's why the Church Handbook of Instruction has a new definition of "apostasy." Apostasy from the LDS church does not consist of turning from Christ, but of turning TO Christ even if it means ignoring the leaders.

I prefer the orthodox way, taught by Lehi in his dream: Clinging to the word of God, and ignoring the prattlings of men who would have us let go the rod and cling to them instead.

I like the orthodoxy of the apostle Peter who declared "we ought to obey God rather than men." I like to think of myself as an orthodox Mormon. It seems a smart place to be when the sands are shifting as they are.

Nate said...

@ Rock,

I have the utmost respect for you and you have done so much good for so many in helping them wake up. I would argue respectfully that the meaning of the "word of God" is not what the LDS church teaches. They would teach that it is the scriptures or the current leaders, (scriptures meaning what they consider the standard works).
I think that Nephi and Lehi intended it to mean that the word of God (the iron rod) is nothing except what God tells you by the Holy Ghost or by angelic ministration in which they also speak by the Holy Ghost.
This is why nephi stressed to hearken not unto the precepts of men save they shall speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. Also he taught that the Holy Ghost shall show you all things that you should do and THIS is the doctrine of Christ.
The problem was that people really believes that a prophet speaking meant that it was like God Himself speaking and they stopped seeking their own confirmation for every new commandment or practice given and then all sorts of false teachings crept in.
The problem isn't that the LDS church isn't following what they have been given well enough, it's that they will not stop trusting that the orthodoxy is all true. They have put their trust in false teachings for decades and that is why God is going to have to take a people and start over.
Does it not make sense that we don't know if something is true or false until the Spirit tells us one way or the other? If we trust and follow any teaching without first having a confirmation from God then we run the risk of following a false teaching.

Nate said...

@ Daniel

Almost missed your comment. Thank you brother I loved your description of the feeling of the Holy Ghost. I remember the first time I felt it as well I was blown away because I thought I was feeling the Holy Ghost every time I felt the light of Christ in a meeting or something.
I would love to learn more about your experience. Also I remember the first time I learned something by the Holy Ghost that was not in harmony with the church. Those are tough times but now I have learned that I have to ask God and receive an answer on anything and I try to remain completely open to any idea until I know of myself if it is true or false. Anyway thanks for your faith. I think God is preparing a lot of people right now.0

Nate said...

By the way,

I do not advocate believing anything I ever write. Do not believe anything anyone says without your own confirmation. Don't believe thomas monson, don't believe denver snuffer, don't believe written words just because a lot of people might call them scriptures. Until god tells you something is true you simply don't know if it's true or false.

Daniel said...

I couldn't agree more. I have been humbled many times in the last year thinking I knew certain doctrines because of the many studies I have done over the years but we really know nothing at all until we learn it from God, whether it's as simple as knowing that God loves me and all of his children or something as complex as reincarnation or baptisms for the dead being false in the lds church. If some one doesn't know that the earth is round by the power of the Holy ghost or the spirit of God then they don't truly know. As stupid as that may sound, I trust only in God. I try to be as open as possible to anything that I hear. If I haven't learned something by the spirit, then I will always be open to any ideas. I have many opinions but am happy to throw them out if i learn they are wrng.Like you say though, you can not trust any person unless they speak by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I have felt the spirit many times reading these blogs and I thank you for taking the time to write them. I had many strong beliefs before as a member but this is one of the sites that has helped open my mind so I am grateful for it.

Veracity said...

@Daniel

How do you know your feeling is from God? How do you know your feeling is the way to discern truth from falsehood? I sincerely want to know. At this point, I trust my senses more and trust my feelings much less so hearing your explanation might enlighten me.

Daniel said...

@ veracity
That is a great question and its kind of hard to explain but I will try my best.. first of all, I wouldn't describe it as a feeling. If I based anything off of feeling a certain way then I would probably still be a member of the church. I had feelings of serenity and peace in the temple and was often times happy going to church, neither of which I believe are true. I can choose to be happy, peaceful, confident or whatever but with what I believe to be the spirit or the Holy Ghost I can not choose to feel it. I have never been able to force the confermation of pure truth. If I could force the spirit then I would still be a member. I prayed for weeks to know if Thomas Monson was a prophet and got nothing. I prayed about a tons of things and believed everything in the church was true and I sincerley thought it made sense.

As for how the spirit feels..... I like what nate said about it feeling like electricity striking me. I will hear a voice that isn,t audible, Then the spirit will literally enter my body and sweep through me. Some times stronger than others but it always leaves me with no doubts. It has always brought new life and energy to me litterally. It does bring all the great feelings along with it as well. Every time I feel it I am wanting to follow Christ and love everyone that much more.

Daniel said...

@ Veracity

I know that it is impossible for me to explain something that i have experienced and have some one fully understand and I don't blame anyone for not understanding.

Ever since I felt the holy ghost for the first time, it has caused me to love god more, pray more, read and study the bible, the book of mormon and many other books. I have had more love for every one and have been way way less judgmental towards people. I never knew how judgemental I was until this started happening.. I love to feel and experience what I believe to be the spirit and I think there is nothing greater so if I am following a wrong spirit or my own some how then so be it.
I will continue to follow it till I die no matter how nutsthe revelation seems because it brings me real joy and happiness.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Nate,
If I gave the impression that I believe "the word of God" emanates from the mouths of the Church leaders, I was not being very clear.

I agree with you completely that the word of God comes to us through confirmation of the Holy Ghost. We LDS have come to rely too heavily on the standard works as though they are infallible. We are like the Evangelicals who declare that "every word of the bible is true."

Not so. Much that is in the bible is false, and much else is cautionary, not to be followed religiously. Even many of the lessons of the Book of Mormon were not put there so we would emulate them, but so we would beware of certain pitfalls.

When I speak of the revealed word of God as given through Joseph Smith, I'm referring to those revelations that are unmistakably prefaced as "Hear the word of the Lord your God" or "thus saith the Lord." There is a world of difference between a clear revelation as defined in Deuteronomy 18 where God has put his words into the mouth of the prophet, and an ordinary conference talk read from a teleprompter in general conference.

And even when we are reading a clear revelation, we are STILL required to receive confirmation from the Holy Ghost that it is so. Not everything in the D&C is a revelation. Even some of the revelations have been tampered with and added to. (D&C 27 comes to mind, which is only partly a revelation, and mostly added on by Oliver Cowdery afterwards.)

The Articles of Faith are not the Word of God, for instance. D&C 20, though declared to be a revelation in the preface written by McConkie is a mishmash of probably six different people, and nowhere in it do we find the word of the Lord. Is it worthwhile instruction? Some of it, sure. But it is instructions given by men, not by God.

Probably the most insidious teaching in the Church today is the false teaching that we should follow the Brethren to keep from going astray. You will find that everywhere in the teaching of the leaders, but you won't find it in any actual statement made by God through a prophet. It is contradicted everywhere by the word of God and the teachings of the ancient prophets in the Book of Mormon.

And simply because something was spoken by Joseph Smith does not make it the word of God, either. It may be valid and of worth, but that does not make his every utterance the same as if God himself had spoken it.

So when I speak of the iron rod being the word of God, I usually go to great pains to point out that even though many members mistakenly think it means clinging to the words of the leaders, Lehi is very clear that it means letting go of the words of the leaders and clinging instead to the words of God.

Remember the first person Lehi encountered in his dream? It was a man who appeared to be a holy man who bade Lehi to follow him. When Lehi did as the man commanded, he became hopelessly lost for hours.

Lehi remained in a state of confusion until he called on God directly.

That, I think, is a key part of what we should learn from Lehi's dream, and the one part that no one seems to remember.

The word of God will lead us to God's love. Depending upon men to lead us there is the surest way to get us lost. The word of men is not the word of God.

Hope I'm clear on that. I go into greater detail about the differences between the word of God and the false teachings we were often raised to believe in the Church in chapter two of my book.

So when I speak of "orthodoxy" I refer only to those things that were revealed by God unmistakably. The orthodoxy of men will leave us in a ditch, and keep us from God. The fastest way to distance ourselves from Christ is to follow men who claim they know the way. Jesus Said follow ME. He did not say follow this guy or that guy and he'll lead you to me.

Jesus said "I AM the way." He is the gatekeeper, and he employs no servant there. His word is sure. Man's word is iffy.

Nate said...

Rock

Thank you for that clarification. I agree with everything you just said. That is why it behooves us to question everything. For instance Calleens question is wonderful. Yes it is painful to consider but has anyone actually received a witness from the Holy Ghost that baptisms for the dead were actually commanded in this dispensation?

That is why I like to ask everybody. What revelation have you received? We can spin anything in the scriptures a hundred ways but a spiritual confirmation is between us and God and only we can gauge the veracity of a spiritual experience because it is personal.

I agree if anyone says to "follow me" they are probably nothing but trouble. A believe a true prophet would say to pray and receive a confirmation on every single teaching and don't follow anything unless God reveals it to be true.
That's why orthodoxy is a tough word because your orthodoxy is different than most members and mine is different than yours but we will all be judged according to the desires of our hearts.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Everyone

Thank you guys for all of your comments and especially on Moroni 8:23. Wow!!! I had to read that about 3 times to make sure I was reading it correctly. It's amazing to me how I can just read over things I don't understand and apply what has been drummed into my head all of my life, being born and raised in the church.

I follow Denver Snuffers blog and value his insights, but when it comes to blindly following the guy, I won't do it. The Holy Ghost is my guide on everything. My struggle is overcoming the brain washing thing since birth with false doctrine and practices.

Once again THANK YOU!!!

Nate said...

Calleen,

Thank you for the discussion. I like how you said brainwashing because it is so true.

Two new scriptures that I noticed for the first time that are awesome. One is 1 nephi 10:22.

Nephi clearly states his authority came from the Holy Ghost. He doesn't mention keys or office, simply that God spoke the truth to him.

The other is genesis 22. My wife pointed out to me that God called Isaac Abrahams "only son" three different times in this chapter. Just one more evidence that God never commanded Abraham to practice polygamy and his polygamy was a mistake that he made to try to fulfill God's promises in his own way.

Benjamin Horton said...

@ Everyone

If you are interested in signing the petition to remove Section 132 from the Doctrine and Covenants, please use the following website address:


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/844/781/640/

Nate said...

@ Benjamin

Just signed. Gonna get a few others quickly. Thanks for being active on this. I am gonna try to get the emails from everyone on my old stake to send this around.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate

I agree with you about Isaac. I've come to that understand as well.

Here is another question:
My understanding of keys is the knowledge of God, or the knowledge of the principals of God.(of course one principal at a time)

I am having problems with having keys ordained on a person by the mere laying on of hands. This doesn't make sense. I understand that the authority of God comes to a person via the Holy Ghost from God, and can not be given to another, even if that person may have the knowledge or the keys of a godly principal given them by the Holy Ghost, except through the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

What say you on this subject? I'm looking for the definition of keys and scriptural references associated about it.

I sure appreciate all insights.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Benjamin

Man, I appreciate all of the very hard work you put into that petition, and I agree with everything you said, But(and I'm sorry for this) aren't you beating a dead horse?

27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.

(Pearl of Great Price | JS-Matthew 1:27)

The carcass is the dead church that is without spirit. The eagles are the elect of God that are feeding off the truths left in this dead horse and will group together in the Spirit of God. This is where the gathering will take place to preserve these elect, before the cleansing of the wicked.

I do understand that the Mormon Church is purging the righteous out from among them and maybe this petition is part of God's way of helping them along in this. Surely with all the names given on this petition will give them a good place to continue the purge.

I guess my hope for you in this endeavor is for you not expect any kind of change to happen within the ranks of the Mormon Church, and I hope you are not disappointed in what will come of it, because I don't think it's going to be very pretty.

I can tell you now, that the Mormon Church is not interested in what their membership thinks or wants. They are only interested in the old drum beat of "Follow the Prophet" and don't think for yourself, and keep giving us your money.

BK said...

Amen Calleen.

While I support and agree that D&C 132 should be removed from the D&C and that it is a wonderful goal, it would only be a drop in the bucket of all the things the Church has to change and repent of to become a righteous, trustworthy or Christian church.

I don't believe church leaders have any intention on repenting and giving up their perks, power or falsehoods, including their 'perk of polygamy, which many leaders seem to be hoping for in the next life.

If they took D&C 132 out, what would the remarried church leaders & men tell their 2nd wives?

The Church leaders are clearly are far more interested in money, power, control & multiple wives, then in repentance, righteousness, truth or following Christ who taught 1 wife only for life & eternity.

Nate said...

Calleen,

Again this is a wonderful question. Like denver snuffer teaches I believe that the mere laying on of hands does nothing as far as priesthood is concerned.

People may disagree with what I am going to say but I will throw it out there because you asked.
I believe simply that the keys of the priesthood are inherent in the priesthood. I do believe john gave joseph and oliver the aaronic priesthood and when he did he stated that the Aaronic priesthood holds the KEY of the gospel of repentence and the KEY of ministration of angels etc.

I believe we have access to these keys as we grow in our spiritual progression and God adds grace upon us. Peter was given the keys of the kingdom but did that limit anyone else from getting them? I believe it is false doctrine that only one person can have the sealing keys at a time.
The beauty of the city of Enoch is that one man obtained access to great keys and then many followed suit as Enoch shared the fact that anyone could gain these powers and blessings.
The LDS church's view is damning and destructive and they contradict their teaching in the 2nd anointing. The access to many of these things may start with us hearing the voice of The Lord calling us by name like in the case of Samuel.
I have known of individuals who The Lord asks to "come up hither" each time they are invited up to a new level of spirituality. I don't know if this all works the same for men and women but I do know that women have a priesthood. My wife has felt the Holy Spirit multiple times asking her to "Come unto me"
At any rate God invites and beckons us and there is always more to be given and another key to receive...
What is your insight or opinion on the subject?

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate

I agree. I believe that a key to something is the key knowledge of something. When john gave joseph and oliver the keys of the aaronic priesthood, he basically opened up the heavens to them that they could receive that knowledge, because upon their baptism & receiving the aaronic priesthood the scriptures opened up to them and they began to understand them through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.

I'm telling you there is no magical authority given because someone laid their hands on your head. There is much more involved. Denver Snuffer relied the thought that priesthood is nothing more than an association. The Melchizedek priesthood is a close association with beings in heaven that have a higher understanding and knowledge of things. That makes sense.

Another thought is if that is the case, then women have access to this knowledge as well:

23 And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 32:23)

What I'm looking for and can't quite find is either a teaching by Joseph Smith or scriptures that plainly state that keys are the knowledge of God given to man, and the authority of God to act upon those keys is given to individuals by the Holy Ghost.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Calleen,
I've just been catching up with Denver's posts from the past few weeks, and in the one titled "Pantomime" he does a pretty effective job of dismissing all this nonsensical bragging the leaders give us about their imaginary keys.

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2014/08/pantomime.html

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I've also signed the petition. To those who wonder what good it will do since the Magisterium will never make the appropriate changes, I'll say this.

The true intent of such petitions is to awaken the membership to a problem they might not have known about, and to engender discussion.

The petition at bycommonconsent.org, the one calling for the leaders to obey the Lord in providing financial transparency will never succeed in convincing the leaders they should change their ways. But it is having a very big effect among the membership, many of who never had any idea that the Church leader used to abide by the law set down by the Lord.

They were always taught that when they tithed, the money was the Lord's and it was none of their business how the leaders spent it. Now, as a result of that petition circulating, a growing number of the Saints are realizing that their leaders, the very ones demanding obedience from the members, are the ones who are disobeying God's clear commandment to them.

At the recent Sunstone Symposium, Ron Madson and others spoke about this issue of financial transparency to a packed room. This will become the hot-button issue that will awaken a sufficient number of the members. It's an issue they can relate to.

As is any controversy that would dare declare section 132 to be a fraud. That will get people's attention. But it only happens as the petitions circulate and the number of signatures climbs to the point that everyone in the church at least is aware there is a controversy.

Eventually those attempting to wield power unrighteously will lose their power, not by the church being reformed, but simply because a sufficient number of the church will stop giving power to the leaders. This will happen as the people simply learn to realize they do not speak for God, and come to ignore them.

Nate said...

Yes I totally agree. Awesome.
A couple of things that relate that might be of interest.... Joseph smith at one point taught about the power of words (key words).
If you read the account of Nephi when he is talking about Moses he keeps repeating that " by the power of his word" he parted the Red Sea, smite the rock, etc.
In doctrine and covenants 19 it is made clear that it is important to know for apostles that one of the names of Christ is "Endless". Multiple prophets in vision were given books to ingest. John the revelator, Ezekiel, and others. Joseph smith vaguely called this an ordinance...
The scriptures are replete with references to prophets who have partaken of the word of God and have the name of God "in them".
If you study the New Testament carefully it seems the reason they loved the gift of speaking in tongues was because they were seeking for certain words.
Christ is called "The Word"...
Already referenced was the fact that the mighty and strong one would speak "eternal words".
I strongly believe key words go right along with keys and the beauty of it is that they can only be ontained by revelation.

BK said...

Rock,

Thank you for elaborating on the good effect that such petitions are having upon many members. I hadn't realized that they were doing so much good.

So it seems such petitions are a very good thing to support in order to awaken good people to the evils that are really going on, even if most of the leaders are past feeling to it all.

Thank you for the enlightenment.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Rock

Thank you for the insight I've signed the petition.

@ Nate

I never thought of eternal words as keys. Very interesting! I'm going to have to spend some time studying and praying on it. It does seem like it may be correct. Thank you for your insight.

Jens said...

Calleen,

Your thoughtful question about vicarious temple work for the dead would probably find a receptive audience at 'Questions for the Brethren' Facebook page. Mike and Kipp Farr are compiling quite a list of similar questions about some of our most basic gospel assumptions. Depending on your interest they have both open and closed groups. More good folks to get to know. https://www.facebook.com/QuestionsBrethren

Calleen Bataiff said...

Denver Snuffer's article "Pantomime" was very interesting and reflects something that occurred to me in Sac. Meeting last Sunday. While getting ready for the sacrament to get ready to be passed,we, of course, are singing a funeral dirge,and I'm reflecting on something I was taught by the Spirit, when I asked, "how am I suppose to feel about the sacrament?" I was taught that it should be joyous because of what Christ willingly did to save our souls if we come to Him and repent. So while remembering this, while watching what was going on, the thought came to me that the way the sacrament was being handled each time they do this is a mockery before God, a vain oblation that is devoid of God's Spirit.

Thank you for turning me on to that.

Calleen Bataiff said...

Thank you, Jen

It looks interesting!

Nate said...

A dream from a young woman in my old ward... Somehow everyone in the ward thinks this is inspired but they miss the point...

She saw people in the salt lake scurrying about trying to collect food and clothing before they could evacuate.
They had been warned of a volcano that was about to erupt. The Spirit told her and her family to flee immediately and head up a mountain (not the volcano).
They got part way up the mountain and ran into a bunch of the LDS church leaders who were all smiling and seemed very comfortable and proud they had made it up in time. The Spirit told the girl and her family to go higher up the mountain immediately.

She told the leaders that they needed to go higher and the leaders just shook their heads and laughed. She encouraged them to come with but they wouldn't budge and thought she was being silly.
When her family got up to the top of the peak there were few people up there. She had a great view of the valley below as the volcano erupted. All those who were gathering clothes and food in the valley were almost instantly killed at the great magma flow.
Then to her astonishment the lava filled the valley so quickly and went right up the mountain and consumed the leaders of the church and all those who had stayed with them. Her family and a few others were all that were left remaining...

I will leave the interpretation (seems pretty straightforward) up to you.

Benjamin Horton said...

@ Calleen

Thank you. I really don't expect any change to occur any time soon. However, the truth has a way of spreading despite the efforts of those who conceal and bully. Maybe we are only working towards a future generation, but that is worth it to me.

I think that every reasonable person, who has really looked at the origins of Section 132, has to conclude that the "scripture" is a horrible fraud. It's an interesting question, what impact did Section 132 have on women and their position in the LDS Church? Are those effects still felt today?

I'm about to start the petition to change the name from BYU to ESU (Emma State University). For some reason, I believe that this one could spread even further. That is why I am putting a little bit of care into it.

I just want a few people to start asking why we honor such a despicable man as Brigham Young and why we have such evil "scriptures" like Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Maybe a few good men will even take off those silly hats with the big "Y" on them once they begin to think about whom they are honoring.

Change is coming, but it is slow.

Benjamin Horton said...

@ Nate.

I appreciate your willingness to recognize that notwithstanding our disagreement regarding the origins of polygamy in the LDS Church, that Section 132 is an awful "scripture" that must be removed.

Personally, I am convinced that Joseph was innocent of polygamy. Maybe he was guilty of other things, but I believe polygamy was not one of them and he deserves to have his reputation repaired of that vile sin if that is the case.

Because Young and his co-conspirators falsified so many of records and journals, the LDS historical record is a confusing mess as many scholars like Van Wagoner recognize.

Unfortunately, at the end of his life, Joseph was not in a position to effectively fight the various conspiracies against him, especially the one led by Brigham and the polygamous apostles. Joseph gave several speeches against polygamy and even told women to not trust any leader who said otherwise. But he lost the battle.

However, if I don't believe Joseph was the perfect man, why do I do it?

Let's assume that what I claim is true (it may not be).

It would mean that Brigham Young and the other gruesome seven apostles were utmost despicable liars who forever stemmed the growth of the faith. Where would the church be today if it wasn't for polygamy and all of the other craziness of Brigham Young? I am not sure about this fact, but wasn't Brigham Young the one that took away the priesthood from the blacks?

It would mean that the lies of Brigham Young and his converted Cochranites partially led to the murder of Joseph Smith.

It would mean Mormons today honor a vile and wicked man that maliciously defamed Joseph and his honorable wife, and faked revelations from God, all in order to protect Young's kingdom of power and wickedness. Sounds like King Noah in the Book of Mormon.

It would mean that the LDS Church today is covering up the truth in order to protect their own kingdom built on the lies of the Brighamites. Why else would Hinckley say that polygamy is not "doctrinal"?

It would mean that other practices instituted by Young (including temple ordinances), should also be called into question.

I believe in standing for truth no matter what. The Book of Mormon is a great book and I am grateful to Joseph for what he did.

If I am wrong, then the LDS Church should be able to easily prove me wrong. Let the open debate commence. My guess is that they will only ignore the argument and sweep me under the rug as they do with so many.

Nate said...

Benjamin

Thanks a million. I am grateful for what you are doing. Despite out differences of opinion we agree on the evil of polygamy and the state of sleep people are in currently. We are on the same side and no doubt both of us are seeking for more truth and light.
I agree that even if it is for future generations we have to sacrifice our own comfort so that the work of truth will continue. Thanks

Gary Hunt said...

Nate,

On August 18, 2014 you posted comments at 11:59am and 2:27pm. At 4:02pm Noname responds to your comments saying “… some things you have said are not comfortable to me-“. Then after exchanging a pleasantry with you she says “I can’t answer right now”. Your response to her at 4:47pm is quite discourteous and contains a number of other problems as I have listed below.

1. You create your “straw-man” argument in which every word you say is a misrepresentation of her position. This fact is self-evident because she has not, as of yet, explained her position to you. This is similar to the idea of Preemptive War, where country “A” attacks country “B” because country “B” might attack country “A”. This is an extremely defensive stance to take.

2. Many of the statements you make can be true when framed in the proper context. However, the context, in which you frame your ideas, is not valid for this situation. This is a propaganda tactic (intentional or not).

3. Some of the ideas you present are false. For instance “God never speaks through feelings of discomfort…” Apparently you have not been chastised by the Lord or warned by the Lord not to go somewhere or do a particular thing. God does speak through feelings of discomfort at times and perhaps Noname was being warned by the Lord that there are some things wrong with the things this guy is saying.

4. There is an overall problem here in which you transfer all the blame for these uncomfortable feelings to her and conveniently none to yourself. You did not present any other options to her. This is logical fallacy called the false dilemma. These tactics, whether intentional or not, are tools of a propagandist.

5. In your final paragraph you challenge her to prove you wrong (by revelation from God). Then you go on and present another false dilemma to her.

“Otherwise you are only trusting yourself and I can't give your objections any weight at all because your discomfort at come from indoctrination that you do not want to let go of.”

Then you come back with another comment exactly 15 minutes later and try to analyze, or should I say psychoanalyze, potential reasons why you think Noname is so troubled. All these words and attacks based upon her saying… she felt uncomfortable about some of the things you said? And you wonder how you might have offended her?

To be continued… (When I have some more time)

Nate said...

Gary,

I have had many chastisement a from The Lord. They all feel the same as any other time the Holy Ghost speaks. Please show me a scripture that says the Spirit ever makes us feel dark or uncomfortable.
My opinion that seems to be backed up by scripture is that darkness or discomfort comes from us either offending the Spirit or being attacked by the adversary.
The opposition loves to make us feel like something is wrong by attacking us when a new truth is presented. This in my opinion is "the evil spirit which teachers not a man to pray".
We think God has answered us because we feel uncomfortable when in reality He hasn't spoken a word. Cognitive dissonance will occur for anyone when a strongly held belief is challenged whether that belief is true or false.
I am not asking anyone to prove me wrong, I am trying to suggest that you do not know I am wrong unless the Holy Ghost tells you that I am, neither should you believe that I am right.
Thank you for telling me that you believe the Comforter sometimes speaks by making us feel discomfort. I am telling you there is not one bit of scriptural evidence to back this up.
LDS church leaders try to shame us into feeling like we need to step it up and they love using fear tactics and discomfort but to my knowledge the Holy Ghost never operates like this.

Nate said...

@ Gary

Just about every mainstream member will instantly get uncomfortable if I suggest that polygamy was a sin, or that thomas monson might not be a seer or revelator. Should they trust that feeling of discomfort to mean that I am speaking something false?

On the other hand most people of different religions would become instantly uncomfortable with the idea that polygamy was commanded to joseph smith. Should they trust that feeling of discomfort? Many people are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of a virgin birth of any type of revelation. God does not speak this way.

Daniel said...

@ gary

It is strange that you feel you need to jump in and defend some one on this blog (noname) and look to argue for no reason at all. It makes me feel very UNCOMFORTABLE and disturbing. Does this mean that God it talking to me and warning me? Is God telling me you are dead wrong and I should harden my heart and not listen to you? Is God telling me to be defensive and argue with you?

Gary Hunt said...

Nate,

Thank you for your response. Let's go back to what Noname actually said.

“… some things you have said are not comfortable to me-“.

Note that she did not say that your words caused her discomfort or feelings of darkness. You introduced these terms and concepts and ran with it.

Let me tell you a little experience which happened to me several years ago. I was travel home late one night. I had stopped for a red light on a road (a road I had traveled hundreds of times) which intersects a major highway. I didn't notice any other vehicles on either road. The light turned green so I started out into the intersection when all of a sudden I got this very discomforting feeling. I pulled my foot of the gas pedal and applied the brake. An instant later I heard this big semitrailer horn blast. I turned my head and saw the semi speeding into the intersection. If I had not headed this feeling of discomfort I would have been right in the middle of the path of that semi and not be here today pestering you. :)

There have been numerous other times when the Holy Ghost has sent me discomforting feelings. Let me give you a few examples. You have heard the phrase... "I've got a bad vibe about this." Or... "something is not right." When I have heeded these feelings I have avoided trouble. The times I ignored them, I suffered.

This is the type of discomfort I am talking about. Not the evil and dark variety.

Nobody Ever said...

@Daniel

Your being "UNCOMFORTABLE" at others being uncomfortable, because someone was made to feel uncomfortable, makes me uncomfortable and is most disturbing to me! Is God telling me to be defensive and argue with you?.. lol

Why do we allow ourselves to take offense at the ideas, personal beliefs and opinions of others, and stray so far from the original topic?..

These comments turn into unfruitful and personal debate and quickly loses its direction.

I think we should direct our comments more towards Rock, for further discussion and deeper insight about the original topic.

He is filled with information and his ability to honestly seek out truth without personal bias, using sound reasoning and to relate concepts so easily that even I can understand them, is why I keep re-reading his blog over and over.

If people really want to debate and contend with each other, why doesn't someone start another LDS discussion site on FarceBook ?..

The comment section reminds me of a grade school classroom after the teacher has stepped out for too long. lol


Gary Hunt said...

Daniel,

Read your first line and see if you get the irony.

I consider Noname a friend. What kind of friend would I be if I did not come to their defense?

As to your last question, "Is God telling me to be defensive and argue with you?" I do0n't know, is He?

Nate said...

Gary,

Thanks for clarifying. I have heard of these types of experiences. But there is still no scriptural backing for this and in the list of the fruits of the spirit there is nothing in the list describing discomfort, apprehension, fear etc. I think you are describing more of what people call "gut feelings" of instincts. I wouldn't call this revelation because even from what you described you did not say that anything was specifically communicated. You just acted upon an instinct from what it seems. Perhaps in your peripherally vision you saw the semi but it had not registered on the conscious level but subconsciously you knew what to do. I don't know. Perhaps an angel slapped you in the face. I don't claim to know.
All I know is that when a doctrine is presented the only way that I personally know if it is true is when the Holy Ghost tells me one way or the other. So many people are uncomfortable with the idea of even talking about God let alone the idea of God talking to us...
You said God could have been warning no name that something wasn't right about what I was saying. That is a possibility but you and Noname will not know for sure unless God tells you that is what if was.
I am ok with you pestering me and perhaps I deserve it. I have thought over what you said and yes I was not courteous. I jumped to defense instead of hearing her out. I have no doubt Noname and you are wonderful people. Like everyone in disagreement I say things for effect. I am not writing an essay of trying to win a debate through methodology. I probably have used plenty of logical fallacies but I am open to hearing contrary views, especially if there is scripture or some type of experience (like the one you shared) to back it up.
When I have received a warning it always felt the same. Like my soul was flooded with light and God spoke word for word the truth He wanted to convey... I do not doubt that The Lord was protecting you though in your experience I just wouldn't call that a revelation...
I hope you can get what I am saying about how new ideas will make anyone uncomfortable if they clash with something that they have believed strongly in for a long time. That is why I said sometimes discomfort could possibly be us holding on to something that we have been indoctrinated with. Cult victims often have to deal with this. Deprogramming is very real.

Gary Hunt said...

Nobody Ever,

Let me ask you a question. Do we just sweep this issue under the carpet or do we hold each other accountable for our words and behaviors? The first way is what our Mormon culture has taught us.

Nate said...

@ Gary

Like i said I would love to discuss any disagreement. I truly am sorry again for anybody's feelings I have hurt. You are standing up for your friend and I get that. I hope that any issue that Noname has with me can be forgiven and we can start fresh. Same to you.
I believe it is Rock's decision to censor this site and delete comments etc. and while he has probably wished I would quit commenting and has considered me a pain in the a@$ he has yet to delete a comment of mine or warn me or give me the boot so you may want to take it up with him.
I will sincerely try to post comments with more kindness and sensitivity to others and stick to the topic.

Gary Hunt said...

Nate,

Thank you. I hope we can move forward now.



Linda said...

Dear Rock,

I'm new to your blog. I am learning so much.

Thank you for your well-researched essays. I'm trying to read back through them to get all the information that you have offered.

I've just finished reading "Why Don't They Like Us?"

I, too, lived in Orem and was introduced to a couple who were KIM & KIM. They were quick to tell everyone that they shared the same first name. They were very bubbly, seemed like typical "molly mormons".

I've since met many mormons who are into the MLM sales and they quickly "plug into" whatever is currently the next great thing, because they can always take their downlines with them and everyone profits quickly when you have a built-in downline.

It is just not for me.

Sounds like maybe we were in Orem at about the same time frame; I live nowhere near Utah now.

And I'm just now discovering your blog, but reading everything I can spare the time to read.

My eyes are being opened.

Thank you,

Linda

Linda said...

PS.

Dear Rock,

After have read a dozen or so of your fascinating essays, I've ordered 2 of your books from Amazon. One for me and one to loan out.

I really want to know more, and be able to share my newly discovered truths with others!

May you and Connie be greatly blessed.

Linda

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thank you, Linda! And welcome.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Rock
I'm curious about something and thought you may have come across info on this subject.

Last night my hubby and I met with a group of like thinkers that we are long acquainted with and trust. There was a new couple there for the first time, who said they were acquainted with Denver Snuffer and that he had represented them in some case or another.

Ok, this is me being paranoid, something just didn't seem right about them. I could have been that they are shy and not quite comfortable with the group, however, the thought occurred to me that these guys might be plants, on a mission with the "Strengthening the Members of the Church" committee placed in certain areas to weed out the church. When it comes down to it, it really would matter if this was the case and we were ousted. My question is, have you heard of any such things happening or am I just being paranoid?

Calleen Bataiff said...

typo! It really wouldn't matter if we were ousted from the church. They are in error, and have no authority from God, so where is the loss?

Nobody Ever said...

@calleen

I know they are monitoring Rocks site, so I'm sure your cover has been blown, unless of course your name is not REALLY Colleen. The thought police are on to you, Oh NOES! lol

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nobody Ever Said

Yes, my name is Calleen, and it's too hard to go around hiding from ppl when I really have nothing to hide. My goal is God, not the LDS Church or the world in general. I know God and I know that the only institution that has worth is The Church of the Firstborn which is not of this earth. I also know that there isn't an organization on the earth at this time that has value according to God, and this is by the mouth of God.

Monitor away Mr. LDS, it's nothing to me, but the grief you'll experience when it all comes down to it, won't be something you are going to look happily upon, and I'll bet you may have a great amount of lasting regret.

Nate said...

Calleen,

I would guess your gut feeling was more about the dissonance between your spirits. It could have been that they were not as believing and still work back and forth in their minds and you could sense it but either way it is an opportunity for God to work through you and testify of the truth. No doubt God's plan involved them being there even if they do rat you out.
And you are right that it doesn't matter if you get the boot from the church. That will only be another opportunity to testify.
I know of an ex Mormon group that meets at coffee shops on Sundays and they have had people come in quickly snap pictures at them and leave. They do try to monitor things but I have never heard of plants.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Calleen, I haven't heard of those kinds of plants specifically, but it wouldn't surprise me.

The current favored method of the STMC is to troll the internet searching for negative statements being made about the leaders. Someone once sent me a transcript of someone "reporting" to the Brethren something I had said about the leaders on LDS Freedom Forum that was less than complimentary. It was really quite amusing, because it read like some East German low-level flunky with an inflated view of his own self importance ratting out a traitor to the State.

What the STMC does not realize is that no one cares what they think of us. We will continue to be loyal to Christ, and they can Seig Heil to each other to their heart's content all the way to the Second Coming.

The Remnant is growing. We're already too big for them to control. As someone recently pointed out, although the Church claims a membership numbering 15 million, only 4.5 million or so are active. That means the TBMs are outnumbered by the rest of us 2 to 1.

Are we really going to be concerned about how they feel about us? Nearly every one in the Church hierarchy right now has children or grandchildren who are leaving the church or slipping into inactivity to one degree or another. That's how fast their control is slipping. These guys can't even keep their own families in tow. I

Hiding from the STMC said...

The STMC, I laugh every time I hear that. why don't they just call themselves the righteousness police. I'll bet there's a never ending line of "Latter-Day Saints" (what kind of arrogant douche bags refer to themselves as "saints") in this "church" more then willing to assist in the judgment process and weeding out of those less righteous of their fellow "saints". LOL

"Brother Jones,We do not like what you said about our leader, so we are cutting you off from your family, revoking your salvation and casting you into an eternal hell. But we want you to know that we love you. Not a cult my ass!!! LOL

Nate said...

@ Calleen and Rock

Do you have any insight on how it came to be that we were taught to use olive oil for blessings? I know the symbolism of the olive oil and that it has been used since Old Testament times for many things but to my knowledge the scriptures do not specify this for blessings. (I could be wrong)
I recently read exodus 23 I think where instructions were given for anointing oil (cinnamon, calamus, cassia, myrrh, olive oil) and I was impressed while reading this by the Spirit.
This is one thing that is not being used at all by the LDS church. And it is warned strongly to not be used without direction from God.
Also I am intrigued by the Book of Mormon verbiage where nephi CONSECRATED his brothers to different positions and functions in the Priesthood. Is being consecrated different than an ordination? Can we be completely consecrated unto God? Just some questions and thoughts that maybe you have some insight on.

secret tare said...

"But we could NEVER leave the "church", we know that all of our friends would desert us and our family would disown us to us again." ...Think about that for a minute.

If that doesn't sound like a cult, you may be too drunk on the cool-aid.




Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate & Rock

Thank you for your responses. I'll let you know what happens one way or another.

I know the Mormons call couples on missions that are other than proselyting, ie. taking care of church properties, so this would not be surprising if this was happening. I kind of feel sorry for the leaders, although they have been bring this upon themselves for a long time now. It's kind of like watching the Titanic go down. There are a lot of innocent souls that don't realize that the ship is sinking and they are getting caught up in it.

Nate said...

Secret tare

I agree completely. That is why I resigned my membership

double agent Tare said...

The Gestapo, I mean the STMC, RUN!

http://www.leblogamax.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/gestapo.jpg

lol

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Nate,
All I know about the use of oil is that the word "annoint" means to smear, presumably with oil.

As to why olive oil, I don't know, but you ask intriguing questions. Seems I read long ago that we're doing it all wrong when we dab a little tiny drop of oil out of a small vial on the person's head. Apparently we're supposed to POUR the oil over their head. I don't know how much, but I'd guess a half a cup or so at least, poured from a small vase.

This would suggest that in ancient times these kinds of blessings were not done every day.

Natalie said...

Rock,

Your comment about the families of church leaders reminded me of the interview with Terryl and Fiona Givens over at Mormon Stories. Terryl tells the story of being invited to teach the lesson for a High Priests group in a ward he was visiting near Salt Lake. He began by asking, "How many of you are going through a faith crisis or have friends or family members who are going through a faith crisis?" In a room of 40 or 50 men, including former bishops, stake president and mission presidents, every hand went up. Published by Deseret Book, The Givens' book, 'The Crucible of Doubt', is perhaps the frankest public admission by the Church that that thousands of members are wondering just what their faith means to them. Like with their previous book, 'The God Who Weeps', the Givens generously include quotes from thoughtful human beings of all persuasions in making their arguments. Regardless if you agree with their conclusions or not they are delightful folks.

http://mormonstories.org/fiona-and-terryl-givens-and-the-crucible-of-doubt/

Tim Malone's excellent blog post reviewing your book arrived in my email this morning. I can imagine the post inviting more good folks to your book. Curiously, his blog site is not up right now. Clicking on the URL to his blog goes nowhere right now. Hopefully all is well with him and the blog.

http://latterdaycommentary.com/2014/08/30/what-to-expect-when-youre-excommunicated/

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Natalie,
Thanks for alerting me to Tim's review. I've been looking forward to his opinion, so I'll go over there now and take a look and see what he says.

Also, you have given me the nudge necessary to finally give the Given's interview a listen, which I have intended to do, but hadn't yet gotten around to. It sounds like their book is going to be very timely.

Thanks for those heads ups!

BK said...

As for fear of excommunication, I believe we will lose our salvation by staying 'in' the Church, not from being exed from it.

And as far as the 4.5 million 'active' members, I believe that half or more of them are on their way out & not true believers anymore, that they only continue to attend church for the time being because of social & family reasons, and most probably see the problems & falsehoods in the Church.

So it seems very few of those 15 million members still totally believe in the church anymore and even most of them don't live the religion or follow Christ's teachings, especially not the leaders.

The truth is out of the bag now and no amount of church discipline will stop the spread of it and keep the church from disintegrating.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate

It starts in Exodus 29 and goes from there. Very interesting, I have to look more into that. It does specify olive oil for anointing, but as I read further it does mention other spices and then talks of incense.

I'll look further into this. Thank you!

Nate said...

@ Calleen

Yes sorry I referenced the wrong chapter. In exodus 30:23-24 it specifies that the olive oil is actually supposed to be mixed in with calamus cinnamon etc. never have I read in the scriptures where olive oil is supposed to be used alone. When it talks about the "anointing oil" or to anoint their heads with oil etc I really believe the oil is talking about this mixture of all of these spices together. But we have always assumed when if says "oil" it just meant olive oil

Nate said...

@ BK

I kind of agree with your statement but simply because there will be no LDS church on the earth soon enough. Nephi prophecied of a church in the last days "the church of the lamb of God" where is that church? Like Calleen said there is only one church that we need to be worried about and that is the Church of the Firstborn.
Ask anyone including the leaders of the LDS church (even Joseph Smith spoke on this) if the church is the same organization as the Church of the Firstborn. They will say no it isn't.
Then we must conclude that the LDS church is part of the great and abominable church. Because "there are save two churches only"
Many who hear the voice of the Good Shepherd are being prepared to enter the Church of the Lamb of God that Nephi prophesied of which church is synonymous with the Church of the Firstborn. All other churches will be swept off the earth.
The vision of nephi will be literal when all people on earth will be at war with the true saints of God.
Imagine a man like Moses first performing healings and translating scripture, (not to mention the others given power to perform miracles as well), then these people prophesying of plagues and warning the Pharisaic leaders of impending destruction. People will be in confusion because the LDS church leaders (among others) will say that the true prophets are the Anti-Christ and the Beast spoken of in revelations.
This will cause war, or the people who trust in science will say these men and women who have power to perform miracles are mutants and are dangerous or some other nonsense. The whole world will be in an uproar and despite the miracles most will only see the destruction as a threat and they will not repent.
This is why only a remnant will remain. The day is coming. Can you feel it? Anyone with half an eye open is aware of the change in the air. We must wake up and pray for guidance and repent of our idolatry and our trust in ourselves and men. It is coming. It is real. And we are all being warned. This article by Rock is not just a whimsical opinion that Rock is now using because he is ticked at the church. It is the truth.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ double agent Tare

Good one!!!! LOL!

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate

I think your right on the oil. It's going to be a good investigation.

BK said...

Nate,

Thank you for your comments, I appreciate hearing them. But I don't believe in Nephi, that he really lived or was a true prophet (true prophets don't kill drunken men who don't pose them any harm, because they think God told them to, they know God would never tell them to do that, nor would true prophets blame it on needing the plates for the scriptures they contained, for true prophets would almost have those scriptures memorized or be able to easily get them re-revealed by God. No need to get the plates from Laban.

Thus, I don't believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet anymore either. They just didn't live up to what I believe true prophets are like, they didn't seem to follow Christ, even if they did and taught many true and wonderful things, for so do most false prophets, even the one's today in the Church.

So I don't believe in a 'Church of the Firstborn', etc. I believe as Rock does, as Christ taught, that those who truly follow Christ's teachings are part of his 'spiritual church', which is not an organized earthly church at the moment.

But I don't think I even know anyone who I believe qualifies to be in that church, for no one I know truly follows Christ, though I'm sure there are some few somewhere who do, it would be nice to meet one.


Drunkard of Ephraim said...

I thought that "Church of the Firstborn" and
"church of the lamb" were terms referring to the same Church within the institutional "church", that only the true, sincere followers of Christ discover.

Nate said...

BK

I love reading what you write. It is refreshing and I enjoy your honesty. I know you don't believe in the Book of Mormon and if I hadn't experienced what I believe to be a satisfactory witness of it's truthfulness then I wouldn't either.
I agree it is odd about Laban but I believe it was odd in the New Testament that God would kill a couple of people for withholding some of their property from consecration but he did it.
Also do you have a problem with Christs teaching that at the 2nd coming the tares would be gathered to be burned? Do you believe revelations where death and destruction are prophesied? If God is fine striking people down I really could believe that He could command one of His servants to do so.
I believe Christ came in the Meridian of time ONLY to spread love. He taught that the time of judgement was not then but that it would undoubtedly come. And He even said that His angels would be the ones to pluck the tares from the wheat.
I appreciate your testimony and think your message of Charity is of the utmost importance. Thank you

Have you studied the words and life of Ghandi or maybe Mother Theresa? You may find they exhibited pure love. Or I would highly recommend the book "the hiding place" about Corroe ten Boom. The love of God is still found.

BK said...

Nate,

Thank you.

God only expects us to believe people are his true disciples/prophets if they prove it by their actions (whether they follow his teachings or not and have love, not by what they preach or claim.
So I don't believe God would or could ever expect us to believe Nephi was a true prophet, for he wasn't Christlike.

And I wouldn't put too much store in stories from the Bible, especially that sound fishy like God killing people for withholding, sounds like misinterpretation by bystanders to me or a completely false story. I don't believe God would do such a thing, for neither would Christ.

Thinking God would telling a person to kill someone is alot different then God deciding himself when time is up for a person or the earth and it's people.

As far as 'tares to be burned' that is probably more figuritive then real, probably meaning they will have to finally come to terms with what they did during their life and it will bring a suffering like unto burning. (Which God has no control over, it's just fate that everyone has to eventually painfully confront what they did wrong during their lives)

So no, I don't believe God can or would command his servants to kill, God alone controls life & death, for it would be contrary to his former commands and he doesn't ever command opposite what he said. Prophets don't have a different standard then the rest of us, they are in fact more loving, patient and kind then most of us, not less.

I have not studied the words or lives of Ghandi or Mother Theresa well enough to know for sure if they exhibited pure love, though it sounds like Mother Theresa did. I enjoyed "The Hiding Place", it was really good and gives us a great perspective and understanding of evil.

I also believe the love of God is still found, it's just very rare to find people with it, though most people are good and honorable, just deceived to support evil cause it's easier then following Christ.







Nate said...

BK

Where did God command us not to kill? Ha ha I know that one is kind of a common sense commandment but it was commanded in the Old Testament.

Since you have accurately described the state of mankind and acknowledge that the pure love of Christ is really nowhere to be found, do you think God would watch without calling a prophet to intervene?
And just a personal question to you. Do you believe that God could reveal something to you in such a way that you really knew, and I mean that you really knew whatever it was that was revealed? In other words is there any revelation at all that could be given to you personally that you could put your full faith and trust in?

BK said...

Nate,

God/Christ actually taught in the New Testament: "Thou shalt do no murder" Matt. 19:18

Christ/God also commanded us to love one another, including our enemies and do good to them.

Christ/God also taught the Golden Rule.

These and many other of Christ's teachings teach against killing.

Yes, I think God would have no choice but to watch us in our state, for if no one is worthy to be a prophet how can he call one? I don't know anyone worthy to be a prophet today or anyone in the past that I've read about.

Even if God could find someone so righteous, if people refuse to follow a prophet or if they cast him out or worse, then what is God to do but let the people live out their lives without such guidance?

As I said, I don't know anyone who even follows Christ, so why would they follow a true prophet who came along teachings Christ's same words? I don't know anyone who would.

And why do we need a prophet anyway?Everyone knows basic right from wrong, everyone understands the Golden Rule and Karma.

And no one in Christianity needs a prophet to remind them of the 10 commandments or Christ's teachings.

We have all the truth we need to gain eternal life, at our fingertips in the New Testament.

So, no, I don't believe God will give us a prophet if we won't even study God's words we already have in the New Testament and follow Christ and live their laws.

I'm not sure if God could reveal something that I would know 100% is true. I have known so many people say they have seen God and/or Christ etc, and yet they do not live righteous lives or even believe in Christ's teachings, yet they are sure they have been promised Eternal Life.

So it seems so easy to be deceived by false revelation & false visitations, dreams, visions, etc. that I don't know how I would know for sure it was
God, even if he appeared to me.

Even the scriptures are filled with supposed 'prophets' falling for false revelation and doing evil.

But that said, I believe God has revealed many truths to me, for they are in harmony with the words of Christ and I have lived and tested them out and proved them to be true for myself, but I would have to say I just 'believe those revelations' and haven't found any truths that work better, but I don't have 100% proof that they are true or came from God, though I believe they did, especially the more I study.

Faith is just a hope, not a pure knowledge. A hope that what we believe is true. I have never known anyone I believe really knows for sure of anything, though many will say they do, but I watch what people do, not what they say.

The best we can do is 'hope' we are right and living righteously, while continually rechecking our beliefs and actions.

BK said...

Thus why I don't believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, though he may have meant well and was very wise about a lot of things and taught and did much good.

But the people in the church even in Joseph's day were not following Christ, so why would God give them a true prophet? I believe God let false prophets from Joseph to Monson, come and deceive the people because that is what they preferred rather then the truth, which is much harder than anything Joseph taught.

Nate said...

I agree God allows people to use their agency and I agree with you on what happened from Joseph to Thomas Monson.

The problem I have with what you are saying is that it seems that you are equating righteousness with works. This is the opposite of what Christ taught. You can watch and analyze someone's behavior and that cannot tell you what is in their heart. Righteousness according to the New Testament is given by grace. No one can make themselves righteous by simply doing things.
Therefore I believe that God could take you, BK, assuming you have good desires and a good spirit at your core, and transform you into a prophet, and mold you into a person that could teach others to do the same.
Do you believe Peter was a better human than you before the day of Pentecost? I don't think so, but God knew in Peter's heart he had righteous desires and God chose to do a work through him. Jesus taught that we could do nothing of ourselves and He will abide in us and He can work through us.

That is why I don't agree with your statement that no one is righteous enough to become a prophet. The truth is that no one can become righteous without God making them righteous. And the only thing keeping people from being changed by God is the desires of their hearts.

BK said...

Nate,

Actually, from my studies I believe Christ teaches us to discern others by their works, their fruit, meaning whether or not they keep his commandments, and whether or not they have love. For Christ said that the way we will know his true disciples is by their love, which is very easy to see and discern.

Actions are the only proof we have if we or someone else is righteous or not, for anyone can preach or claim the right things, everyone can feel they are righteous, but it's what we or other actually 'do' that reveals who we/they really are, not what we/they feel, say or claim.

I believe our 'actions' show what the true desires of our hearts are, whether we really believe in Christ or not.

A righteous person is easy to discern, because they are Christlike and have love. Unrighteous people, though they may be good & wonderful people are easily deceived to support evil and it's easy to see that. But a person with love and who keeps Christ's commandments is not easily deceived or at least not much and not for long, before they see their error, and they are also easy to awake to their error and not upset if they find they were deceived or wrong, but grateful to have been shown where they were deceived. They are very teachable and humble.

I don't know what scriptures you mean that teach righteousness is by grace, for as I read Christ's words, he is continually teaching us how to righteously judge others by their fruits and how we are only righteous IF we keep his commandments. It's a very easy 2 + 2 = 4.

Doing the right things does change our hearts & makes us righteous (for no one can make us righteous for us, we must do it by our deliberate actions & sacrifices), for actions create feelings and feelings create thoughts & visa versa.

I don't believe God has the power to make anyone righteous, let alone a prophet, even if he wanted to. If he could there would have been no reason to come down to this earth or at least stay for long. For God could have just make us all righteous while still in heaven, but even there he couldn't make us choose the right.

Everyone must choose for themselves to do what it takes to become righteous and to make the sacrifices and follow the commandments to become righteous. God can never do that for us, and if he tried he would cease to be God.

But God can influence us with encouragement by his promptings to do right, but it is us who must choose to listen to those promptings and choose to follow his/Christ's commandments. And it's very hard too, not an easy thing, actually almost impossible.

If God could make people righteous then everyone would just blame God for not helping them more. Millions would wonder why God does not change the hearts of evil people so the world would be a better place. But the fact is, God can't change us, we must change ourselves.

I don't know where you got that idea but you are right we disagree on that point. How easy it would be if we just had to ask God to change us. I believe he can help us and give us strength and remembrance of our desire to change and inspiration as to why to change, but we must do the actual work, and work it is, very hard work and sacrifice to actually become righteous, it's a very delibrate daily act and the person knows it.

And of course no one can change on their own, we do need God's help and guidance to change and become righteous, but most of the effort we must do ourselves by the many choices we make each day.

BK said...

Nate, Continued-

Perhaps our disagreement is just in the amount of help God gives us in order to become righteous, I believe it is mostly our determination to become righteous, as we seek God's help to do so, that allows us to do it.

But we are the ones who make very conscious choices each day and every hour to choose the right. God cannot do that for us, often times we must choose the right when we aren't sure there is even a God, or when we think God has abandoned us, etc, like Christ felt on the Cross, yet he still continued to do what he knew was right.

We can't become righteous without God's help, but God can't make us righteous, that is each of our choice & test here on earth. Even in hell we will still have to make up our own minds and choose to finally learn, change and repent and make amends at some point.

As far as the Day of Pentecost, we don't know if the story is completely true as told, we have seen how stories like Brigham turning into Joseph or Joseph being threatened by an Angel or Joseph seeing angels/Christ/God, etc, can be told, passed along, written in scripture and believed by millions even though there is no proof.

But what we do know is that miracles, speaking in tongues, healings, etc. etc, doesn't mean the person is righteous or a true prophet or won't lead people astray. The Apostles had to contend with many false prophets of their day going around doing miracles to get people to believe them and not in the Apostles of Christ.

And just look at how many falsehoods Paul went on to teach to the people and believe in himself. The Apostles were still very fallible men, no matter what happened that day. People can be blessed with the Holy Spirit at times when especially intune, when at other times they lose that Spirit because of unrighteousness. The Spirit can come & go. So maybe the Apostles were all very receptive at that time, but it doesn't mean they where righteous.

I have had strong experiences with the Spirit too, especially on my mission and can relate a little to what happened to the Apostles, but that didn't mean I was more righteous because of the experience.

God just has the power to speak through us, righteous or not, if he wants, but if he does use us it doesn't mean he made us righteous, for we are still the same person we were the day before.

Righteousness is not proven by speaking in tongues or by being able to heal people or by miracles, or giving inspiring sermons, or by seeing angels, etc, for even the wicked can do those things.

True righteousness is proven by our pure love one towards another, and by our keeping the commandments of God/Christ, which takes a firm daily decided determination to do so.

Nate said...

BK

I understand a lot more of your viewpoint from your last two comments. Thank you for sharing that. Yes we absolutely disagree 100 percent. I believe the New Testament teaches that we have to rely on Jesus Christ 100 percent to change us. The Book of Mormon teaches the same thing. This is called GRACE. You are right it is our decision that is why I said God blessed us according to the desires of our hearts. He cannot force grace upon us but the only thing we have to do it turn and look to Christ. This is what every prophet (including Christ) had ever taught.
We CANNOT change one bit by simply acting like we are changed. Do you not think that he Pharisees were keeping the law? Their actions that everyone observed to be righteous revealed nothing about their hearts. I know some people who seem to keep all of the commandments outwardly but have not received a change of heart or had revelation (by their own admission) because they believe obedience is the key to their salvation.
If our actions brought a change of heart or charity or righteousness THEN we would not need the atonement. God is the ONLY way we become righteous through faith in the atonement.
The letter killers, the law never justifies, the law leads to death. Etc etc. Christ is the true vine and we can do NOTHING without Him. There are countless verses in the New Testament alone that teach this. Try everything from Acts to Hebrews to verify this and many of Christs own words. By our works we are not justified etc etc.
This line of thinking that obedience and works brings a change of heart is what is keeping so many LDS people from being born again. They believe they are acting well enough that they don't need the atonement. And this they never do the work of God because they are not allowing grace to work in them or through them. If you claim to believe in the New Testament you believe in it in a very curious way. But that is your choice and I respect it

BK said...

Nate,

As I said before, I agree that we need to rely on God/Christ in order to change/repent and gain Eternal Life, but we also have to do alot more than just ask God to change us, we have to make hard choices every day and every hour to actually live the commandments and have love, that is the part that God cannot do for us.

Faith and works are both vital in order to access the Atonement.

Everyone I know of who says they have turned & looked to Christ to be changed and have been born again have not really been, they don't really have pure love, they still support and do evil & they don't keep all the commandments, even though they claim to be born again.

The proof is in the love, not in claiming to have turned to Christ, anyone can say that but doing it is another thing.

I have never heard of anyone who has kept all of Christ's commandments (the law), including the Pharisees, they only keep an outward appearance of the law, never really taking care of the poor, living the Golden Rule, loving their enemies or having pure love. I don't know anyone who really does or did these things or has pure love, so I don't know who you are talking about, past or present, who keep all the commandments but don't have a change of heart, for no one I have heard of keeps all the commandments, so of course they wouldn't have a change of heart.

But if we did keep all the commandments and choose to have pure love, which is a choice, then of course we would be Christlike and have the Holy Spirit as our guide and be worthy of Eternal Life and the Atonement, and of course our hearts would be changed.

All the praying in the world and asking Christ for his grace will not do a thing for us until we make the choice to have pure love and actually love and serve those around us.

Pure love cannot be faked, we either have it or we don't, and if we do we are righteous and have the Holy Spirit. It's very simple, but not very easy, for it's hard to be so selfless. God cannot sprinkle us with pixie dust and have it change our hearts, our hearts are only changed because we 'choose' to follow God and actively love & serve others like Christ asked us to.

We love those we serve. If we start to take care of the poor and start to serve those around us we will naturally start to feel love for them. I have put this to the test and know it to be true, sincere actions do change our hearts, often quickly, I have experienced it many times.

I think you are referring to people who don't really have pure love and don't really keep all the commandments yet they may claim to, so that is why you don't think it works. If you think the Pharisees were keeping the commandments then that is the problem, they weren't & they didn't have an ounce of pure love.

But Christ said we will know the righteous (his true disciples) by the fact that they serve others with pure love, so that is the simple test to tell the righteous from the wicked. That's the proof of being 'born again'.

And having pure love is again a total choice, something we have to make a conscious effort at every hour of the day, for it's not easy to love those who don't love us & serve, sacrifice & give all our excess money to the poor.

BK said...

Nate, Continued -

People say & claim a lot of things, but people's actions reveal their hearts, for you can't fake real true love. It's easy to see if someone is righteous or not. And the Pharisees weren't. That's why Christ said look for the 'love', that's the real proof that someone is righteous.

So we can ask God to change us all we want, but if we don't choose to have charity, the pure love of Christ, we are nothing and we never possess it. But if we work to gain this pure love we will be saved, for we will be like Christ, for it means we keep his other commandments too.

Faith without works is dead faith, and works without faith are dead works. It takes both.

The only real question is do you or I have pure love, that is the proof of our righteousness and that we interpret the scriptures correctly. If we or anyone else doesn't have it, we/they are nothing and don't really understand Christ & God.

Nate said...

BK

See I think we are very close in our understanding. Perhaps you can sense when someone has love but many people can't. If we only look at people's actions to gauge whether they have love we cannot discern whether they do or not. Without faith in Christ no one can gain love.
Yes I agree faith without works is dead because real faith will produce works. But works can never produce faith. Faith comes from our hearts and God drawing us to Him. Then comes forgiveness and the Spirit which then brings the works of God.
When people try to do this out of order you have the LDS church. Every talk I have recently read by general authorities stresses repentence as the medium of change. I believe they are deliberately leaving out the fact that repentence can never come without faith. Because if only our actions change, then we are just as wicked as ever.
I believe when Christ taught that we cannot add one cubit to our stature by ourselves, this can be applied to our spiritual growth as well. We can't just act differently and expect a change of heart. This comes only through faith in the atonement, then and only then are we given love from God.
I really think if we talked we would be in agreement on this. Because like you expressed our works are an expression of our faith and love, but even more important than the works, is the motivation behind the works, and that is something that can only be discerned by the Spirit.
Thank God for the atonement or none of us could ever become righteous. No one can earn spiritual growth because none of us deserve it. Maybe we are expressing the same thing in different ways I don't know. I like when Paul stated that if we have the Spirit we are no longer under the law, because if we are filled with love and the Spirit it comes naturally to follow the commandments. It is no longer a struggle because our hearts have been changed. I agree with you though that most people who claim to have been born again have not, and we need to be born again and again anyway.

BK said...

Nate,

I agree, we 1st need faith in God before we are going to do his works. For having pure love is ridiculous to those who don't believe in God and an afterlife, for it's too hard and often the reward of our service, sacrifice and pure love doesn't come til the next life, so if one didn't believe in God then they wouldn't be willing to sacrifice and have pure love, for it would be foolish to them.

So yes, I think we do agree, that only by faith (hope in God & an afterlife) can we have the strength and will to do what God commands us to. So yes, faith produces works.

It would be rare for one to keep the commandments if they didn't have faith in God, for it's so hard.

As I talk to those who don't believe in God they think it's foolish to have pure love & sacrifice that much if there is no reward for it in this life. They are good and wonderful people but they are only willing to sacrifice so far as it makes sense to them.

Many of Christ's teachings seem foolish to the natural man, to those who don't believe in God.

I also agree that if we are filled with love we naturally follow the commandments.

But I do know that it is possible that if someone will experiment upon the words of Christ and live them, even if they may not believe in God, then the actions can have an effect on their feelings and then their feelings can effect their thoughts so that they can gain faith in God.

But it is rare that works produce faith because so few people are willing to sacrifice that much if they don't already believe in God. But it can happen.

If we start to serve someone we will start to feel love for them, no matter if we believe in God or not, thus our hearts are changed and softened and we can then begin to understand God more and start to believe in him.

But this is very rare and most people just do works to look righteous or check it off their list and don't do them sincerely and thus the works (praying, scripture study, service) have no effect on their hearts.

And I agree it takes pure love to discern pure love in others. For as you said above, few can recognize if someone has love or not, that's because they don't have pure love themselves.

Thus why most everyone easily falls for false prophets who look and sound so good, for they are easily deceived by false love, not knowing what pure love looks like.

Milo Jury said...

We are loving this discussion! Please keep going!
I might say that both of you are two frayed cords of the same woven rope. We need someone to help tie these frayed ends together.
I have thought that faith and hope are two different things. It is our hope in Christ that changes our attitude, our thinking, or desires. It is faith that propels ourselves into action, the experimenting on the words of Christ. Works are the actions, whether completed, in progress, or mere wishes (the spirit is willing, etc.) There is value in our desires, but we cannot get to heaven on our wishes alone.

BK said...

Thanks for you comments Milo.

You are probably right that faith and hope and even love, are different things, but I have come to believe that all any of us have is just a 'hope' that our faith & beliefs are true and right and will be rewarded.

For who knows for 100% sure, for everyone seems so sure they know for sure yet we all believe differently.

Everyone claims to have have got their version of truth from God or the Spirit, but it just can't be all from the same God or Spirit, for God doesn't tell everyone different things, he teaches the same things to everyone. Obviously some or all of us are being deceived by false revelation we only 'think' comes from God, just as so many prophets were too.

And who has seen and talked with God so they can say they know for sure? And how do we or they know it was really God they saw and talked to? For even those who say they have seen God (including Joseph Smith) aren't convincing because they don't live God's laws, before or after their vision. So it appears they have just been deceived by false Christ's and false Angels of Light as Christ warned that many would be.

So to me, faith & hope are so close they could almost be the same thing, though faith is probably hope put into action. And when we put our hope & faith into action it produces love, which is the greatest of all.

Milo Jury said...

I look forward to Nate's response. But I will comment on whether we all really KNOW this, that, or the other. I may feel the spirit so strongly that I cannot deny with conviction what I just felt. But I still do not know for a surety. You may tell me China exists. You may have visited the place and strongly assure me it exists. People from China might bear testimony that it exists. But until I go there and receive a testimony stronger than faith, I must accept your word for it. We say "I know" way too often in testimony meetings. People have seen the fruits of the gospel in the lives and actions of their friends (although that is in dispute). People have claimed to have felt the spirit regarding this or that. But until they have the second comforter or even a visit from God or Christ, they really, really, do not know. But their belief has been bolstered to such a degree by the spirit and by experience that they truly feel that they "know".

Nate said...

Milo

Thanks for jumping in. Yes the more BK and I talk the more I realize we are very close in what we are saying. Desires plus faith produce the Spirit and love which always brings the works of God.
I believe the only way works without faith brings faith is if people realize at some point that their works are not bringing them happiness or progress internally. Eventually God brings them to the point where they realize that nothing they can do of themselves changes them and they have to truly turn to Christ and exercise faith for the first time so they can begin receiving His grace.
My take on hope is that you have to have faith first. When you have faith you will receive the Holy Ghost, which will reveal things to you. Then you can have hope in the things the Holy Ghost reveals.
For instance if the Holy Ghost has told me that I have the gift to be healed, I can hope in that but I will not have a sure knowledge of it until I actually exercise the gift and then I am healed.
If God promises me by the Holy Ghost that I will be exalted. I have hope in that promise but it is not perfected until I actually receive exaltation.
I really do not believe in the worlds view of hope because we can't just hope in things that are not true or that is just wishful thinking. But once God has told us something then we can hope in that thing until Gods word is ratified.
But yes revelation is something that is personal and we ourselves have to judge the veracity of the revelation given to is personally. Most people who claim revelation I truly believe are talking to themselves in their own heads and they are following after their own spirit. They feel the light of Christ in a church meeting and think that everything said in that meeting was true when in all reality they didn't experience a confirmation by the Holy Ghost about anything. Usually a confirmation only lasts a second or two. It is not just feeling good or feeling peace. It is a tangible and clear experience. And even then it is easy to add on to the communication and think it means more than it did...

Jonathan F. Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrHFMetz said...

This website, that I came across just recently, looks like a goldmine for people who are interested in and searching after the truth, also the comments are interesting. For many years I have been using the internet to study about the things that you don't hear in the church nor learn from the textbooks used in the meetings. It has become quite clear to me that the LDS church has apostatised from the restored Gospel and that it is in a deep crisis right now and that this crisis will only deepen and become more manifest to an increasing number of people, especially in the developed countries where internet is more available.
I did'nt investigate this site very thoroughly as yet, but I get to understand that topics like the Kingdom of God (which is not the Church), the 1978 manifesto and the question as to who has the keys of the Prieshood at this moment are not dealt with very much. But so far this site seems very promising for my study of church history and gospel principles. Interesting to experience your critical position against plural marriage. I have similar opinions on that subject, as I consider it merely as a cultural principle and not as a religious law that puts the Gods on high, and I wonder how this thing came incorporated in church teachings at all. But I'll find that out one day.
The forum ended abruptly; I wonder why; was a new item posted? I really liked the comments. I have to come back here; regards from the Netherlands, and forgive my language errors (if any).

Alan Rock Waterman said...

MR HMFMets,

You'll find the reasons why plural marriage became so deeply incorporated into church teaching by reading Denver Snuffer's piece, "Cutting Down the Tree of Life to Make a Wooden Bridge."

It's a real eye-opener.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/235706812/Cutting-Down-the-Tree-of-Life

scott said...

I believe ...even though error certainly exists in the Church of Jesus Christ due to certain lofty ones taking power unto themselves and overcoming the Root and bringing forth certain commandments and doctrines of men and devils...nevertheless; these things will be and are being exposed by certain called and a opportunity of repentance does exist. ..But if those in error or those found to be teaching or clinging to falsehoods or those found to be liars and hypocrites...If these blind ones... after having their eyes opened by the plain and unadulterated Word given unto those sent to correct them... if those in error still yet refuse to repent and obey that Word sent of God through the Holy Ghost by those raised Jewels sent to speak so...then those rebellious souls will bye and bye be cut off and others grafted in the stead thereof. The state of error the Church is to be in in this the end of the Times of the Fullness of the Gentiles is plainly warned of in scripture and those found faithfully watching shall clearly see it. Let us pray that all false leaders within the Church will repent when they are proven as well as those who blindly follow them. Our goal is their repentance and a return to only that which the Holy Ghost bears witness. May we pray for them earnestly in hopes of recovering them that their souls and lives might be spared from the judgements in store for those who attempt to steady the ark yet not according to the conditions and directions of the Holy Ghost. The salvation of all man is our hope...nevertheless...All are free agents to choose according to their own desires and understandings or lack thereof. With love and hope, Scott

scott said...

Also...Prophets and Apostles and even seere are men like unto all other men....that is: All have weakness of the flesh and are capable of error from time to time. The Church as a whole can be compared to a single soul in that the pathway to perfection is a process brought about like unto ...line upon line...precept upon precept. In other words: Just as a single soul is allowed by the mercies and grace of God to grow here a little...there a little.....In like manner: The Church of Jesus Christ is alloted that mercies and grace also. SO THEN.....LET US NOT LOSE HOPE FOR THOSE IN ERROR...even those in gross error. Repentance may come when the blind ones do hear that which they never considered. This is part of the work of that Mighty and Strong One. But if they repent not after having their eyes and ears opened....Woe unto any such... for such shall be sealed up by Power of Word unto condemnation... and the judgements thereof according to their various offenses. May all choose righteousness. With Love and a great hope for the salvation and restoration of all. Nevertheless...free agency is at play and sadly enough...history teaches that men don't always choose that which bringeth eternal glory....For some love darkness greater than that Light.