Sunday, August 31, 2014

What I Left Out Of My Book

Previously: The Drunkards of Ephraim

Late at night on July 22nd, after I had gone over the manuscript of my book one last time (did I mention I wrote a book?), I sent the final draft to the printer and went to bed.  The very next morning I wished I had waited one more day, because Denver Snuffer had written a piece that so encapsulated the entire theme of my book that it just screamed to be included as an afterward.

But I was too late. My book was going to press. And soon I remembered something else I had meant to include in the book, and a week later at the Sunstone Symposium Joe Jensen delivered a paper that would have been perfect in the appendix -if I had thought to include an appendix.

So, what follows in today's post are things I wish I had mentioned or included or linked to, had I not been in such an all-fired hurry to get the book to press. Think of the following bon mots as something like DVD Bonus Extras.

But first, a word from the Mrs.

Maybe I Should Listen To My Wife
Connie was never keen on the title I gave my book, What To Expect When You're Excommunicated: The Believing Mormon's Guide to the Coming Purge.

"People are going to think it's only for people who are facing excommunication," she insisted, "You'll lose most of the people you're hoping to reach."

I disagreed. I thought the title was clever and provocative, and anyone who saw it would be so intrigued they would buy it the minute they read the title. Besides, the only other name I could think of was I Have A Blog So Buy My Book.

I'm beginning to think my wife was onto something. Because the truth is, the book isn't entirely about excommunication. Now, if you happen to be one of the many believers currently facing an unwarranted excommunication from the LDS Church over a bogus charge of "apostasy," then chapter 7 will likely be quite helpful to you.

But the rest of the book is for the average latter-day Saint who is struggling to make sense of  the craziness going on in the Church of late. As a commenter on another blog recently expressed things, "It just feels as though we as LDS who want to follow Jesus Christ are in the middle of a terrible storm right now."

Many faithful Saints are coming to realize that the modern LDS Church bears little resemblance to the one founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. If you've done any reading in church history and wonder why the marvelous gifts of the spirit once abundant in Nauvoo seem to be missing in the church today, this book will provide an overview of how that happened and why.  It compares the revealed word of God to the foolish traditions of men, and will help you sort out one from the other. It asks and answers the pertinent question of the day: how did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which began as a theocracy (government by God) find itself largely transformed into an oligarchy (government by a small group of dominant elites)?

If you are convinced it's impossible for The True Church to ever go astray, this book may not be for you.  But for everyone else it will deconstruct that false teaching, and direct you to where the Book of Mormon prophets -as well as Jesus Christ Himself- predicted just the opposite. In short, this book is for every latter-day Saint concerned with the direction the modern Church appears to be heading, and provides solutions from the word of God as to how we can repent and get ourselves back on track.

But first we're going to have to recognize what we have to repent of.  Which brings us to that piece I mentioned from Denver Snuffer's blog.

After I had written an entire book describing the various causes in which the Christ-centered religion of my youth had been loosed from its moorings, Denver Snuffer comes along and distills it all into one simple truth: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints apparently has only one doctrine left.

Here is the essay I wish I had included in my book as an afterword, presented here with his permission:
 Only One Doctrine Left
"In LDS Mormonism there is really only one doctrine left. Everything else is subordinate and changeable. But this single demand is paramount. If you disbelieve this position, then LDS Mormonism has no place for you. The doctrine:

"We follow a man whom we call a prophet."

"If you disbelieve this, and think you ought to follow Christ first, and the church's 'prophet' is secondary, then you are insubordinate and a threat. Believing that Christ comes first opens the possibility that Christ could tell you the 'prophet' is mistaken. That is intolerable.

"In LDS Mormonism it is allowed for the current 'prophet' to criticize and denigrate a former 'prophet.' This happens frequently. Even editorials now appear on the LDS.org website rejecting Brigham Young's teachings as wrong, even immoral. The new, living leader has the 'keys' and the contradictions are viewed by blinded followers to be 'proof of continuing revelation.'

"Therefore these contradictions are valued by the deceived. An unchanging God has error prone key-holders who can guarantee his contemporaries their salvation. This is even if later key-holders proclaim the earlier leader's mistakes. All of this is only consistent if you believe the central, single doctrine. If you question it, the whole construct begins to look foolish and riddled with error.

"When I joined LDS Mormonism there were many doctrines. None of them put President Spencer W. Kimball into a position of a dictator. Indeed, President Kimball earned our loyalty and respect by his meek example and the content of his sermons. He denounced modern idols, and criticized the war-like nature of our country. But no one demanded a loyalty oath, insisting that veneration of him took precedence over worship of Christ. I believe if President Kimball heard of such a thing being taught he would have vocally and immediately spoken against it. He denounced Ezra Taft Benson's sermon about Fourteen Fundamentals for Following the Prophet. But today these are taught in General Conference!

"LDS Mormonism has changed since I first joined. So much so that I no longer belong in an organization that holds one and only one doctrine as its bedrock. I believe Christ alone is worthy of veneration. I do not believe I must follow a man to be able to follow Christ. I do not believe I should look to the example of some man in order to be able to see Christ.

"This radical and false shift of the religion has happened in my lifetime. I never engaged in this idolatry while among the LDS organization, and I refuse to accept that kind of religion now. It is false. I reject it.

"Insofar as the LDS Church 'believes' in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and the revelations through him, including the D&C and Pearl of Great Price, I honor them. Insofar as they testify of the Book of Mormon and preach from it, I believe and accept it. Therefore I see some considerable merit to the LDS Church. However, their current single fundamental doctrine is false. Utterly false.

"If you extend the fundamental LDS doctrine to its logical conclusion, it is also satanic. It abrogates free will, requires obedience to a man even if he tells you to do something which you know to be wrong (a principle that has been taught in General Conference), and requires you to abandon your own agency. Since I believe everyone will be accountable before God for their choices in the Day of Judgment, the paradigm is false and will not protect you. You may think the 'key holder' will absolve you of your mistakes, but God will judge you. If you are asked to do something wrong, and you do it out of veneration for a 'prophet you will not be spared, but you will be judged and condemned.

"There are many good people in the LDS Church. There is also some considerable good done by the LDS Church. But when adulterers, liars, idolaters and the ignorant who preside in wards, stakes and areas of the church insist their personal unworthiness is excused because they are loyal to a priesthood line of authority, as we presently find in the church, then someone needs to proclaim faith in Christ and repentance. Even if only one voice will speak up, God will vindicate faith in Him in the end.

"The Great Whore will always outnumber the few who are Christ's sheep. But that cannot detract from Christ's affection for those who hear His voice and defend His religion."
The Latter-Day Apostasy
Just days after submitting my manuscript to the publisher, I attended the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City where one particular presentation struck me as something that would have been perfect to include as an appendix to my book if I hadn't already been too late. It was Joe Jensen's presentation titled The Latter-day Apostasy: A Scriptural Perspective.  During the rest of the symposium, and for days afterward, I was still hearing quite a bit of buzz about this one. And for good reason. 

I have recommended Joe's website, Just And True, many times in the past, and the transcript of this talk is available there.  Sunstone has also provided the audio on this site here, so you can listen to it if you wish.  Just scroll down to Session 224, and click on the arrow below the title. You can also purchase it from the Sunstone site on CD. I'd recommend it.

What I really wish is not so much that I had included Joe's presentation in my book, but that I had written the thing myself because it's phenomenal. Joe has performed an invaluable service to all of us by examining the subject of apostasy from every conceivable angle of interest to Mormons, and concludes -no surprise here- that the real iniquity in the LDS Church is always fomented from above (as our founding prophet Joseph Smith lamented in a quote on page 152 of my book).

Brother Jensen presents the correct (and scripturally accurate) definition of apostasy as found on the LDS Church's official website ("When individuals or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel") and then juxtaposes that with the fraudulent definition provided to local leaders in the corporate Church Handbook of Instruction.

"There appears to be one definition of apostasy for public consumption," Brother Jensen writes, "and another private directive to church leadership." It is this latter, completely arbitrary definition that is used today by some in high office who desire to strip faithful believers of their membership in the Lord's church.

One of the things that really caught my attention was Joe's discussion of Nehor, the notorious Book of Mormon apostate.  Among the things Nehor advocated for was that the leaders of the church should enjoy certain perks and privileges, including being supported by the people so they didn't have to hold down normal jobs like everyone else, and being treated like celebrities. 

I have a friend who worked at Church headquarters for several years, meeting frequently and answering directly to two well-known apostles.  Once he was able to find more suitable employment, he resigned, and was glad to be out of there. "These guys," he told me, referring to the apostles, "are treated like rock stars. And they act like they expect it."

I won't name the particular apostles my friend worked under, in the interest of protecting his identity, but he also told me jaw-dropping tales of waste, abuse, and cavalier attitudes toward large amounts of money spent on dubious projects, "because they believe they can do no wrong." And although no one really knows how much our general authorities are compensated for their "labors," based on the lifestyles my friend observed, he believes the sum is quite substantial.

All this in a Church that boasts of having a humble unpaid clergy, as the Book of Mormon requires.  In the first book of Alma, we learn that Nehor loses his temper and kills a guy, so Nehor is executed for committing murder, and that's the end of that.

Except it seems that now the spirit of Nehor -"the only person in the index of the LDS Scriptures to be branded an apostate"- lives on today in the pampered and popular hierarchy of the LDS Church.

Also worth noting is Brother Jensen's reminder that the Lord has insisted that for His church to be legitimately His, it must be "called in my name" which our church certainly was for many decades.  But we now know that the the name of the church was legally changed by Heber J. Grant on November 26, 1923, with the new entity retaining the original name only as a trademark that is now held in reserve by Intellectual Reserve, Inc, the copyright arm of the corporation. This is no matter to be taken lightly, as Jensen submits:
"To be His church, the organization must be called by His name, be built upon His gospel and demonstrate the works of God....The current formal name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This seems to fit the requirement although this is only the trademark. The legal name of the organization is The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the holder of the copyright of my triple combination. Buildings and facilities typically show ownership as the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop or other entities. Does this meet the Lords requirement?
I can't stress how important I feel it is for you to read this entire essay. I don't even care if you stop reading my words right now.  Click on this link and get yourself an education about what it really means to be in apostasy.

Strangers In Zion 
In my newly published book, I discuss how growing numbers of faithful, believing latter-day Saints have gotten fed up with the direction the LDS Church appears headed and have vowed to stop supporting it. Many of these devoted members, though they remain committed to the Restored gospel, are resigning from the institutional Church in protest.

I have never advocated resigning from the Church, for a variety of reasons. In the first place, this is our church. Nowhere in scripture can you find any indication that God has given an elite priest class the authority to own or control His church. In the second place, when you resign from the church, others assume you have lost your testimony of the gospel. You appear to them as just another apostate, a turncoat. Whatever statement you intended to make by leaving is lost on your fellow believers, because they don't want to hear your reasons. Your voice is therefore not heard, and your valiant stand for truth and righteousness is ignored.

So last month a group of believers led by Micah Nicholaisen, one of the lights behind A Thoughtful Faith Podcast series, has come up with an alternative to resigning. They call themselves Strangers In Zion, and they are saying, in effect, "If you're going to hold disciplinary councils on our brothers and sisters over matters that heretofore have never warranted such action, then we insist you hold disciplinary councils on us, too, because we share the same views as those you have targeted."

It's a pretty radical idea, but I like it. No sooner had the website been publicized than over a hundred church members signed on, drafting letters challenging their local leaders to convene Church courts and try them for the "sin" of refusing to kowtow to authority.

On August 18th, Strangers In Zion founder Micah Nicholaisen was disfellowshiped from the Church, and he appears none the worse for the experience. The real oddity about the whole thing is that Micah was disfellowshiped for holding the very same views that Kate Kelly was excommunicated over.

Excommunication is a much harsher punishment, yet this Church insists its women are treated no differently than its men.

Here's a photo of Micah and his family taken today after church. Note that Micah has a beard, is not wearing a tie, and his shirt isn't white. This is proof that he is lost to us forever.

Oh, and his prepubescent daughter is wearing a sleeveless top, so she's lost, too.

As much as I find the idea behind Strangers In Zion strangely endearing, there may be an even better way to work the needed reforms. That would be to hold disciplinary hearings on the real apostates.

Throw The Bums Out?
When I was in Salt Lake City last month I had conversations with a group of concerned Utah Attorneys and professionals who, except for one, are all present and former high council members.

They posed a simple question: why should believing members resign from the church in protest, or fall on their swords like Micah Nicholaisen and others are doing, when the Lord has already provided us with the remedy to this problem?

What they propose sounded intriguing to me, and I'm interested in hearing how things  develop.

In my book I express the belief that the current rash of senseless persecutions we are seeing are not the work of a concerted, unified pogrom instituted by the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. From what we know so far, this craziness is likely the work of one or two rogue apostles, just as it was twenty years ago with the the September Six. They appear to be aided by two or more members of the Quorum of the Seventy who, for various reasons, are overclocked with ambition and zealotry. (I go into greater detail in the book as to why they chose this particular time to tip their hand.)

Since the identities of some of these men are known, all that is necessary to rein them in is to convene a Council of Elders and try them for apostasy.

Easier said than done, you say?  Yeah, could be.

Actually the idea is scripturally sound, but given the climate of the Church today, it might be as Quixotic as trying members of congress for violating their oath of office. Everyone knows they're guilty, but who's going to call them on it?

The remedy does exist for putting things back in order. Doctrine and Covenants section 107 makes it clear that not even the president of the Church himself is immune from prosecution for violation of his office.  And the body of the Saints are qualified to conduct the trial. Where something like this has a chance of making a difference is that the unfavorable publicity that would result from calling out GAs who constantly break the rules might itself be enough to get the other members of the Twelve to finally step up and put a stop to the usurpations of their brethren.

Is there evidence to convict a general authority of apostasy?  Man, is there ever! Finding evidence is not the problem. Some of  these so-called "leaders" violate Church law routinely and openly. You know the adage: "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Human nature is the same whether in politics or religion.

This committee I've spoken with suggests the most appropriate target would be the recreant apostle Boyd K. Packer, because Packer was responsible for a DVD that thoroughly renounced the teachings of Jesus. I wrote something about that video in my post titled Vengeance And The Latter-day Saint and I have seen for myself how Packer has twisted and misquoted both scripture and the modern prophets (in particular the First Presidency back in 1942) in order to present a deliberate distortion of doctrine that suited his own agenda. He'd fit the bill, all right.

So right about now you've decided these guys have lost their minds, right? You think it's a nutty idea to threaten high Mucky-Mucks in the Church to get them to shut up and sit down?  Well what do you think they've been trying to do to us down here at the bottom of the totem?

It doesn't sound any crazier or less effective to me than resigning from the church to try to make a point.  Maybe it's time the members of the body of Christ stood fast and reclaimed their power as members of the church of Christ, and kept a closer watch on those at the top whose personal ambitions have clouded their judgment.

As D&C 20:80 instructs, "any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct."  So the way it would work is two or more witnesses belonging to Boyd Packer's stake would have to come forward and testify that the video he promoted teaches false doctrine.  Frankly, that part would be a cakewalk. The difficult part would be in getting a council of Elders from his stake with the integrity to call out a GA in this day and age when we've all been conditioned to believe these men are beyond reproach.

Anyway, it's something to think about, and it's certainly an intriguing idea whether it's feasible or not.

What I do know is this: we have to put a stop to this divisiveness that's tearing the church apart simply because one person's views don't line up with someone else's. This is not the way to unify the church.  Maybe it is time to rein in those leaders who are letting their thirst for control cloud their judgment.  If they wish to lead, then let them lead, but what we're seeing now isn't leadership. We have enough problems in the church today without everybody making things worse.  Like the title of Lori Burkman's recent post puts it, If It Keeps On Raining, The Levee's Going To Break.

What To Expect When You're Out Of State
People have been asking what's the latest with my situation?  Well, the other thing that happened the day after I sent my book to press was that I finally got the call from my stake president in Sacramento wanting to meet with me for the first time. I had been expecting his call for two months, ever since that meeting with my bishop where I was given the ultimatum to shut up, get out, or get kicked out.  Since I was in Utah when he called, I told him we'd have to get together when I got home.  When I got home I called him and told him I wasn't well, and he said he'd call me back in a couple of weeks.  This is one week later. Maybe I'll call him.

So that's the update. Here's a few more odds & ends and then I'll wrap this up:

A reporter from The Daily Beast did a story on the Sunstone Symposium and quoted me spouting off at the end.

The Blog Nearing Kolob has compiled a chart listing many of those who have been, or are in the process of being brought up on charges of apostasy.  I don't know how current the list is, but it's interesting to look at.

One of my online heroes, Tim Malone, posted a review of my book today.  You can read it here at Latter-day Commentary.

I hope you'll take a look at my book. And better yet, I hope you'll buy it.  In the midst of all this blabbering, did I mention the title? I don't think I did.

It's called What To Expect When You're Excommunicated: The Believing Mormon's Guide To The Coming Purge. You can find it at Amazon, and also at Benchmark Books in Salt Lake City. But be advised that as of yesterday Benchmark Books is down to their last ten copies, so you may want to call first.  By the way, I finally got hold of somebody at the publisher and got them to reduce the price of the book overall, so there's some good news. I never was comfortable with it listing at fifteen dollars.

My thanks to all the wonderful people who reviewed my book on Amazon and said such kind things about it. (Except you, Payton Chalmers.) I greatly appreciate your input and welcome more comments. (Again, Payton Chalmers, I'm talking to everybody but you.)

Updated September 1, 2014, 7:14 AM:  
Whoo-hoo! I just found out I've sold TWO BOOKS already this month! You read that right, my friends. Two. That puts my Amazon Ranking at #63,094.  I only have to sell sixty-three thousand and ninety three more books today and I'll be at number one!

Come on, people, we can do this!


(Psssst! Hey! Click Here!)


Important Note About Posting Comments:
As announced previously, henceforth all comments posting on this blog only as "Anonymous" will be deleted.

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

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140 comments:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I really should stop typing after the first time I fall asleep at the keyboard. I tend to go on too long.

Nobody Ever said...

It was wonderful, please keep them long and humorous!! :)

Veracity said...

Rock,

Let me suggest you record a spoken version of your book and offer it on Audible.com.

Joy L. said...

Love your book, Rock, and all of your writings for that matter! You really do have a way with words. I know what you mean about wishing you could go back and add to what you've written...I did that today when I left my review (with my real name!) on Amazon. I must've edited it for typos and additions a dozen times after my initial post. And I'm still not quite happy with it. There was so much more I wanted to say. You really do have such a way with words, and you make it seem so effortless. Your voice, along with Denver Snuffer's and Tim Malone's have had such a profound impact on my life this past year. More than I'm able to express. You really have changed my life. ;-)

Thanks for this post and for your bravery in saying the hard truths that need to be said. It's comforting to know that I'm not alone in my beliefs.

I've been thinking about when John Dehlin interviewed you earlier this year, when he said that there appeared to be a "movement" afoot that consists of those like us who believe in Christ, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith and believing that the Church(TM) has departed from the early Restoration. He asked what this movement should be called. Progressive, New Fundamentalist, New Order Mormons, etc.

I've been self-identifying lately as an Unaffiliated Christian, or Unorthodox Mormon, Heretic, Reformed, Remnant....trying on a few terms while searching for one that closely describes this leaderless, non-hierarchical movement that is happening....a gathering done by Heaven of those who are willing to "hear" and "see". Now I think that I like the term "Awakened", or the Awake and Arise Movement.

Irregardless of whether we can agree on a term to describe ourselves, I think that we could agree that God's Hand is in this movement and I've marvelled as I've watched it unfold in mine and others' lives in the past 2 years.

God bless you and your sweet wife, Connie. I loved meeting you both at Sunstone and hope you're both recovering and feeling better.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I did plan to do record an audiobook, Veracity, but then the pneumonia hit and has set my voice back. I must resolve to follow through with that.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Joy, I absolutely loved the review you posted on Amazon, and I hereby call on everyone here to do their duty and click the "YES" box below your review.

Anything with a headline that boldly states "Rock Waterman Changed My Life" deserves to go to the head of the stack, as far as I'm concerned.

Linda said...

Dear Rock,

Very interesting essay (as usual).

Many of your essays that I've thus far read indicate that The Church has many of the same problems as the U.S. government. Neither organization was intended to be a top-down authority, but both appear to have turned out to be just that.

The similarities are mind-boggling to so many of us TBM, because we detest the actions of the US government in over-riding our God-given free agency. And realizing that the US Constitution has been gutted-- just as the scriptures of the restored church are being gutted.

Ether 8 appears to warn us about not only the political-civil government, but also about OUR eccleastical church organization. The similarity is astounding to me!

If we are here to learn about how to become more like our Savior, in a realm that is frankly "hellish" (it is, after all, the realm of Satan), autonomy is essential in order for us to exercise fully our free will, and to learn the vital lessons from our individual experiences. To short-circuit that process by relinquishing our free agency, even to 'the prophet' is indeed, the plan of Satan and not the plan of our Savior.

Thank you for focusing on the need to get back on the path our Savior laid out for us to follow.

Linda

Zo-ma-rah said...

On the topic of what do we call ourselves. I've thought about this and for me I choose just to call myself Mormon or Christian. If we are the ones who are following Christ then why should we have to use some extra descriptive term to describe us?

It's like organic food. Why should food grown without chemicals and genetic engineering have to have a special name? It should be the chemical laden "food" that should have to differentiate itself from real food.

Free at last! said...

@Zo-ma-rah

I agree, I still consider myself "Mormon". I have a testimony of The BoM, I just no longer identify with the LDS "church". I no longer recognize their "authority" to judge and exercise unrighteous dominion over me and my family. I am free of the institutional "church". I'm just simply a free-Mormon.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rock,

I enjoy your blog and your ideas. Sometimes, however, I feel that you and Snuffer are perpetuating a double standard.

You guys properly harp on the GAs for being "rock stars" and part of a celebrity culture. But you and Denver have your own bands and group of sycophants! You, Rock Waterman, have become a true "Rock" Star! You have your books, which you shamelessly promote. You shower compliments on reviewers who sing your praises. You have your band of starlets who show up for every blog post to say how great you are! We love you, Rock!

I wonder whether you and Denver enjoy your status a little too much. Sure, you "talk of Christ" - but is that extent of what you really "rejoice" in?

Again, I'm not criticizing your actual ideas here (although you should be humble enough to accept criticism). I love your blog. I am criticizing you for perpetuating a double standard and for beginning to resemble the thing you criticize.

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

"Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?"

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

Nobody is perfect, of course, and I sin with the best of them. As you well know, PRIDE--the absence of humility--is a sin. When I see how harshly you attack some people who cross you, I have to wonder whether this might be an area to think more about, or even post about! Will Carter and Tim Malone have been tremendous examples to me with regard to humility, so I know this principle is compatible with your message...

BK said...

Anonymous 10:39,

I disagree, I do not believe Rock is prideful at all, even though he may have quite a following of listeners, but there is nothing wrong with that. I don't follow Denver because I don't believe in most of his teachings or his life, but Rock is alot different then Denver.

But it is very clear that the leaders of the Church are very prideful and seem to enjoy their Rock Star status, and even encourage and expect it and use it against the members to take advantage of them.

While Rock is a very humble charitable wonderful man who is much different then the men who lead the Church. Rock is willing to see the truth and teach it, while the leaders of the Church would rather promote falsehoods & evil for their own benefit.

And there is no fault in promoting one's book, blog or business (as most of us do) if it can promote truth and help others. There is no fault in even earning a money for one's time in producing a book, blog or business. So I believe your criticism in very unfounded and prideful in and of itself.

Rock is not perfect, but neither are you or I or any other blog host or listener, so if he ever did say anything harsh to someone who was attacking him then it is very rare (& probably justified), for he has proven to be very humble, open-minded and long suffering with us all. But there is a point where even Christ got upset at the vileness of some.

I don't know of a blog out there that is better and teaches more truth and is more respectful of free speech & long suffering of attacks then Rocks. His is #1 in my book and I have visited many a blog.

I don't think we can correctly judge Rock unless we have walked in his boots and done & taught as much good as he has, then maybe we can offer suggestions.

Nobody Cares said...

I have to question people that claim to be familiar with this blog, then call Rocks character into question, seriously.

I don't think anyone can reach his level of understanding by reading it from a book. You must live them.

I have been very impressed with the kind, even cheerful responses and level of restraint he has shown toward some of the comments and accusations that I have seen directed toward him. He has a very small ego and is not easily provoked.

That is not an easy to fake, it reflects the strength of his character.

And I love the "shameless promotion" of his book, I can see you are not familiar with his sense of humor, and I don't think Rock is going to get rich off his book. lol


I wonder how many copies have sold thus far?.. have you reached the 100 mark yet Rock, I'll bet he's already commissioned an architect to design his new dream home. lol

Jonathan Horton said...

I feel like the church has gotten away from sharing from soul to soul. We now have the doctrine of political expediency. If you get excommunicated you wont be excommunicated because what the people believe in that room. It will be because they are acting how they think they should. You can speak from your soul because that's how you communicate. I feel sorry for them that they don't hold up every belief they have to their own inward light of Christ, and they have the audacity to call you apostate.

Nate said...

Also Rock is not above being corrected. He does not claim to be pontificating and the only source of truth like the leaders of the church. He does not claim to be professing the fulness of the gospel. He is seeking further light and knowledge and I guarantee he will actually consider your criticism despite it having no basis.
I have seen him disagree with people in a way that still shows love and respect in a way that I still have to learn. I actually have my own personal witness that Rock is a good soul who is seeking to live by Christs words.
I also believe a couple of the GA's are too but pride has damned them for now.

@ Rock,

Don't you think that Boyd K or any other authorities would just appeal and end up facing the quorum of the 12 and nothing would happen? At least there would be some heads turned and people would think about it so that is something. Section 107 talks about the presiding high council which doesn't really exist. Now the church teaches that the quorum of the 12 is that council... Plus the handbook says that someone can be excommunicated if they have repeated warnings from priesthood leaders about teaching false doctrine and then continue preaching if. I doubt any of Boyd K Packers leaders have warned him so there is really no case to get him on teaching false doctrine. Truthfully they should all be ex-communicated for acting on Gods behalf in spending "tithing" money without revelation and without consent of the church. The only way this crap will stop is if God intervenes like you stated in your last post or if there is a huge call from the general membership... in a way that tithing funds were in jeapordy in a big way.

Jonathan Horton said...

I feel like the church has gotten away from sharing from soul to soul. We now have the doctrine of political expediency. If you get excommunicated you wont be excommunicated because what the people believe in that room. It will be because they are acting how they think they should. You can speak from your soul because that's how you communicate. I feel sorry for them that they don't hold up every belief they have to their own inward light of Christ, and they have the audacity to call you apostate.

Nate said...

I mean seriously. The 15 men claim to be prophets seers revelators and special witnesses of Christ. Only some of them are prophets, and none of them are seers, revelators, or witnesses in anyway greater than any of us ought to be.
They seriously claim that every word they say in conference or write in the ensign is scripture! They claim that all 15 men have to unanimously agree on presenting any new truth to the world and they are the ultimate decision making squad for God on the earth. They teach in a subtle way that people on the earth don't need the Holy Ghost and don't need a personal relationship with God because if we just do what they tell us we will be exalted. I don't know how the membership allowed this to happen except that it was one slow step at a time and the members were lulled into carnal security and pacified by the devil. Any reasonable person should look at this and laugh but people in the church have learned they don't need to think for themselves and they love the security they feel with only having to do what men tell them to do and they will be with their families forever. Ri-freaking- diculous. End of rant

Nate said...

The point of that rant was that Rock cannot be compared to those men and their pride. Not in any rational way anyway.

Anonymous said...

Rock,

Can I make a suggestion? When you link to other web pages, can you make the link open in a new tab/window? That way your site still stays open.

Michael

Diana said...

My brother and I were discussing the possibility of finding anyone who would stand up with us and say that Packer had actually taught false doctrine. I was on active duty when that video was released and I always found the title somewhat disingenuous. It wasn't until today that I figured out that the title was actually a way to assuage my guilt for participating in such an unjust war. Bloody hell!

10:39 AM Anonymous guy said...

I'm the dude who left the critical post about Rock at 10:39 A.M.

Many of you corrected me, and expressed that I misunderstood Rock. I am sorry - I probably did. I tried to make clear that I love the message, but was worried about the messengers being corrupted by their own success. It's an easy trap to fall into unless one is very vigilant.

The messages that people like Rock, Denver, and others are giving are **so** important. Detractors will do anything they can to undermine the message, and if they perceive character flaws, those will be the first things they attack. The message should not be clouded because of any unenforced errors that we could have prevented.

It sounds like my worries about the messengers were unfounded, in which case we should rejoice.

A sincere thanks.

Nate said...

Anonymous

Cool and yes I agree it is important to not place unnecessary stumbling blocks. Like I won't walk into an LDS building with a beer, even though it would be funny because section 89 permits it, but my message would be tainted in their minds so I see your point. Although some of Rocks comments could be taken the wrong way most of the time they are light hearted and humorous and actually self deprecating but anyone can find faults and attack the messenger. We could make a good argument that Jesus was prideful from some of the few words we have that He spoke during His ministry. He is one of the few that could get away with saying that He was "meek and lowly in heart" and yet those who know Him don't find fault with His words.

I. Willet DeVale said...

One thing I have learned in my 30 years on this planet is that when a person with an underdeveloped sense of humor comes up against someone with a highly developed sense of humor, there is no common ground between them.

Any attempt the highly developed person makes at communicating just goes right over the head of the underdeveloped one.

If Mr. Highly Developed Sense of Humor draws attention to himself tongue in cheek, Mr. Underdeveloped interprets that as pride and arrogance. When Mr High Dep engages in some gentle kidding, it's interpreted as "a harsh attack on another person."

People who are comfortable with themselves and who have a sense of the joy of living and who delight in conviviality with others have little in common with those who take themselves and everyone around them seriously. The ones whose sense of humor is underdeveloped simply cannot grasp the concept of "being silly" because to them that's not how grownups behave. So what happens? A silly person says something that is not meant to be taken seriously, and sure enough, the other person takes it seriously. And that's when the other person becomes concerned for the silly person's eternal salvation.

When Rock makes a gentle dig at a Church authority for lording it over the rest of us, "Anonymous" is horrified. Rock is on the attack and out of control! When Rock invites readers to buy his book, and does it in a way that is intended to appear humorously "crass," the humor is lost on the reader, who sees only the crassness of the request. He is concerned for Rock and wants to help because surely Rock is losing touch with reality and and becoming completely full of himself.

Rock can't possibly be kidding around, you see. He must BELIEVE he's actually some super popular rock star.

The only explanation possible then, is that Rock is full of pride.

Believe me when I tell you, there are some people who just won't get it. No sense trying to explain it to them. They don't have it in them. All you can do is have compassion for them because they are missing out on half the fun in life.

10:3AM Anonymous Guy said...

I. Willet,

I hear you, brother! I definitely fall into the "underdeveloped" camp, so it's probably best for people like me to not even try to critique people so much more wise than myself. I should just listen. And yet I see people criticize the "Brethren" without attempting to walk in their shoes, understand their humanity, or give them the benefit of the doubt. Is it possible that some of the Brethren also "delight in conviviality?"

This now has nothing to do with whether Rock is himself prideful. Perhaps he is a Saint. This has to do with the fact that some people are treating Rock and others like celebrities, and that a cult-like following has formed.

- The people who rail against the "Don't criticize the Brethren" mentality now re-direct that to "Don't criticize Rock" (or Denver, etc.)

- The people who criticize hero worship among the GAs now have some new heroes they worship on the blogs.

- The people who criticize GAs for commercialism say that it's ok for their guy to do it, because he's really not making much money off it anyway.

- Analogous with those who defend the Brethren, there are those who will defend Rock and others - saying that we just haven't read their words carefully enough, or given them the proper deference.

- The people who judge the GAs so harshly say not to judge their guy, cuz their guy is the real deal.

So this isn't necessarily about Rock or Suffer. It's about the Rock-ites and the Snuffer-ites... and all starlets who need to worship a hero. Maybe we can all meet up in, say, Phoenix for the upcoming big event, where we might be able to meet Prophet Snuffer himself!

Celebrity corrupts the church leaders, but not Rock or Denver! They're awesome!

The comments I see here aren't about Christ. They're about Rock.

Cult of personality are developing. What will their leader do? Will they stamp it out? Will they tolerate it? Will they encourage it?

We've seen this before, we're seeing this now, and we'll probably see it again.

Nate said...

@ anonymous guy

You are missing some huge factors here. Rock is not professing to be the leader of a church here. He is not professing to be un-paid clergy. He is not professing that any of his words are scripture. He is not professing that God will not allow him to lead people astray.
Plus let's throw the question out there. How many people have put their trust in Rock Waterman? How many would claim that he leads them in their spirituality? I am guessing none.
I don't agree with everything he writes and he doesn't ask me or anyone else too. When he speaks the thinking is not done....
When someone claims to be the voice of God on the earth we better damn well critique their words and scrutinize their teachings before we pledge our allegiance to them like the leaders of the LDS church demand.
I know you are not underdeveloped and you have a sense of humor. I also know that you can see the difference between what Rock is doing and the authorities of the church.
Rock is not claiming to be any more than a human being like the rest of us.

Nate said...

And just to everybody here

The Spirit has told me Denver Snuffer is a prophet... But guess what, the Spirit has told me that at least 10 other people are prophets too and they all are teaching false doctrines from time to time. Just because someone is a prophet (meaning God speaks to them from time to time) that really doesn't mean a whole lot. We must not hearken unto the precepts of men unless they speak by the Holy Ghost. And that means anything that comes out of their mouths we must receive a confirmation of before we trust it. A prophet can speak a truth in one sentence and a falsehood in the next.

Anonymous said...

Rock you should get elder oaks to record your audiobook with his dulcet tones.

Ryan said...

Nate,

Yes, the Spirit told you that Snuffer is a prophet.

Did he bother to tell you which kind of prophet? :D

Nate said...

Ryan

Those are the types of questions I like. Our minds think alike. I have not been told whether he is a false prophet. I do know he saw an angel at one point by the Spirit but that means nothing to me. Like I said even if God tells me someone is a prophet that does not mean I should follow him. I don't believe God has ever told anyone to simply follow another human being with whatever that man says, unless we are talking about the Redeemer. Thank you for the good question. There were prophets of Baal so who knows

BK said...

Well, just for the record Nate, the Spirit told me that Denver is not a prophet, at least not a true one.

So one of us seems to be receiving false revelation from a false Spirit.

So the next step is to compare what the Spirit is telling us with what God has previously declared, which when I do it seems Denver is not preaching or practicing according to God's/Christ's laws, so it would be impossible for him to be a true prophet. That's how we prove all things, especially revelation.

Even Joseph Smith taught that, that if someone preaches or practices contrary to the teachings of Christ and the Book of Mormon, then we can know for sure they are wrong.

I believe this is the only way to know if what we receive from the Spirit is true or not. For feelings are not reliable and can easily deceive us, people in all religions claim the same 'feelings' confirming or teaching 'opposite' things.

Christ taught that we prove all things by watching to see if a person was following his commandments or not and whether they have love or not, things easy to see, for that is the proof of righteousness. For Christ knew how easy it was for everyone to be deceived by what they thought was the Spirit, so he didn't teach to test that way.

But false prophets usually teach us to pray & test our beliefs by the Spirit, by our feelings, for they know that if they speak 'soft' things to people then people will more then likely pray & get 'good' feelings about those soft things (for either their own mind or Satan will give them those good feelings & confirmations), because everyone wants to believe in soft easy things.

Whereas few if any want to believe in God's/Christ's teachings, for they are too hard.

It's impossible to know what source our revelation is coming from unless we have something else to compare it to, like Christ's words.

Only God's/Christ's laws are perfect & concrete enough to judge or prove things by, IF we are righteous ourselves.

So one thing is for sure, both Joseph & Denver can't both be true prophets or both be righteous, for they preach & practice opposite things, but both can be false prophets or wrong.

And neither Joseph or Denver seem to preach or practice in harmony with Christ, so either they are right and Christ is wrong or visa versa.

Nate said...

BK

I know this is a tough thing to describe but could you try and tell me what the experience is like when the Spirit tells you something? What does is feel like? What is the experience? No one likes to talk about this but I would like to know if we are experiencing the same thing
when we talk about the Spirit.
Please try to use your own words as if you have never heard anyone else describe it. If you are not comfortable answering that then I understand

Zo-ma-rah said...

I'm pretty sure you answered this question before. But what specific things did Joseph and Denver preach that were contrary to Christ?

Nate said...

I am going to paste other peoples experiences they have had. Sometimes this is the first time they felt the Holy Ghost. I know this is the Spirit I follow because I felt the Spirit reading these. Keep in mind these people are not LDS.

I wish I could explain this in better detail. Over the last twelve years I've never been able to find the words to communicate the physical and mental experience, which happened after I let go.

Upon letting go, there was a bolt of energy, which began at my toes and rifled upward throughout my body. It exploded out the top of my head like a bolt of lighting. As this "energy" traveled upward it was like every cell in my body was energized. The best I can explain it was like the pins and needles one gets, but this was far from being uncomfortable. The experience lasted probably only a second or two, but after it left my body I was left with this euphoria. Almost feeling like I was floating.

Every pain, every frustration, every mental disparity I had been carrying with me, had been ripped from my being at the singular moment. As I left the church, I had a feeling of clarity, focus, and comfort. All my hate, all my anger, all my desperation was replaced with happiness, love, and sense of hope.

2. I felt huge energy, electricity coming through all my body. It starts from the toes and goes up. I felt tingling and being energized all over my body. This happens in deep prayer when I'm genuinely seeking God with all my heart. It's like saying Yes, I'm with you, I'm present, I hear you and I love you. I feel so much love and care this way. I had before physical pain in my hands for long time. When I experienced Holy Spirit that tingling, energizing feeling didn't left me for 3 days. In that time I didn't felt any physical pain in my hands. I was in prayer constantly. Now I experience it too when I'm praying. It can last for a second.

Nate said...

A couple more

I went in my room and I just cried and wept and apologized to God. I repented of everything in weeping desperation, and confessed that I was scared of where this road would take me, that I had tried to stop doing what I was doing, but that I was powerless... That I needed Him, and only He could save me. At that moment, I felt this warm, loving energy rush over me, and it started in my feet and moved all the way up through the top of my head. As it was moving through me, it was cleansing me of all my shame, darkness, and depression! And when it left the through the top of my head, I only wept with gladness and awe! It was such a beautiful moment, one I can barely describe with words. I absolutely believe it was the Holy Spirit..

4. I had been praying about 45 minutes regarding other situations, before asking God to send the Holy Spirit to intervene. I began praying specifically for this boy, when I suddenly felt a strange, warm, tingling feeling descend on me from the top of my head to every other part of my body; al the way to my feet.


Ok so those are 4 accounts of people feeling the Holy Ghost. It is a literal power that feels almost like magic flowing through you. You can feel exactly where it is at in your body and when it is upon you God could perform any miracle through you He wanted. This for me is the only way God speaks and the only thing I feel I can put my trust in. Some people I have talked to say they have had this once or twice is all so they don't believe that is the only way God speaks... I believe it is.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well now.

I guess I should be flattered that someone thinks I'm important enough that some kind of a "cult of personality" has gown up around me, complete with a "band of starlets who show up for every blog post" to tell me how great I am.

Too bad I can't get these swooning groupies to show up at my front door now and then. It might help me feel better about myself when I'm feeling down in the dumps to have my own group of fans ticking off a list of my amazing accomplishments whenever I need a boost.

So tell me, Anonymous Guy, how do I tap into this giant wave of adoration so that I can get some actual benefit from it the way you imply it compares to the adulation currently enjoyed by those in high station in the Church?

I'm not mocking you for your concerns. If indeed I enjoyed some measurable celebrity status, your warning to not let it go to my head would be good counsel. I'll tuck that advice away in case that ever happens, because yes, pride can indeed sneak up on us and divert us from the true path. Pride is the one sin no one tends to recognize in himself, so it's true we must always be on guard against allowing our ego selves to get control.

Your advice is valid, Anonymous Guy. I just feel that, at this time at least, the concerns you have directed at me are unfounded. Or is that just my pride talking?

I do sincerely wonder where you get the idea that I have worshipful followers? I'm a blogger, for heaven's sake! Do you have any idea how far down that puts me on anyone's radar? I doubt there are five or six people in my own ward who even know about my blog. No one has mentioned it to me, and believe it or not, I'm modest enough in person not to bring it up in conversation. If I'm known for anything in my ward, it's that I'm "the guy who never wears a tie to church."

Seriously. My bishop knows I keep a blog (but he admits to never having read it) and the ward clerk told me he's heard of it. And one of the dentists in the ward who is on the stake High Council, he knows I have a blog but he does not have a high opinion of it.

NO ONE else that I interact with around here seems to have any idea I'm "famous" for anything. I can still walk down the street without being recognized. Nobody ever asks for my autograph. And when I show up at church (admittedly not very often these days) I am treated neither as a celebrity or a pariah. As far as anyone knows, I'm just another member who has not distinguished himself in any way (except for that necktie thing).

Every now and then some reader from out of state will contact me and tell me he's coming through Sacramento and would like to meet me, and so we arrange to get together. When we do, those meetings don't resemble a fan/celebrity relationship. They resemble two people with similar interests having a rewarding visit and stimulating conversation. If either of us is star-struck, it's usually me, as a result of the fascinating things I learn from listening to the other person tell me stuff about my religion I hadn't known or thought about. Plus, I get really excited at the idea of meeting a new friend, because Connie and I are such homebodies.

(Continued Below)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(Continued)

I'm nobody's guru. So I'm wondering where you've gotten this idea that I have a band of followers.

Is it because of that section on the right side of my blog that says "Followers"? Here's what that means: It means someone who has come upon my blog wishes to be notified by email when a new blog post appears. I highly doubt any of these people think of themselves as my actual followers. Certainly after signing up, they don't spend another minute thinking about me and how groovy it is to be a member of my inner circle.

Checking those numbers, I see that I currently have 326 "followers." I guess that seems like a sizable number alright, and I suppose if they really were the adoring kind as you seem to suppose, that might be reason to give me pause and check myself to see how it might be affecting me to know I have over 300 loyal, adoring fans.

But if I ACTUALLY have that many people who actually "follow" me and hang on my every word, how come only a third of that number have even bothered to buy my book?

Would you like to know how many people have bought my books so far? 119.

That's right. Mister Famous Best-Selling Author has sold a whopping total of 119 copies of his amazing, colossal book.

The royalties from those sales have not even begun to cover the expenses we incurred on our trip to Utah to attend the Sunstone Symposium. Not. Even. Begun.

Do you know how many books a person has to sell to make it to the top of Amazon's list of books on Mormonism? I can tell you because I made it to Number One the morning after I announced the book's availability on my blog.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(Continued)
It takes the sale of 32 books to become the Number One Best-selling author.

You don't have to sell a lot of books to get to the top of that list, because books on Mormonism do not sell that briskly (unless it's a book ghost-written for Thomas Monson and heavily promoted at Deseret Book).

After that initial euphoric two day run beginning July 26 in first and second place, sales of my book dropped off immediately to a trickle, and by the first week in August had virtually stopped, except for a few Kindle versions for which I don't earn royalties because people who subscribe to the Kindle program get them for free. After Tim Malone's excellent review came out on August 30th, seven more books were sold. For a brief moment in time, the sale of those 7 books put me in 27th place on the Amazon Mormon list.

(By the way, Anonymous Guy, you accuse me of showering compliments on reviewers "who sing your praises."
I was showering compliments on Tim Malone long before I had any idea he would be reading my book, let alone reviewing it. Take a listen to the audio during my appearance on the Sunstone panel if you want to hear how highly I esteem that guy, and why. My admiration for Tim Malone exists independent of his review of my book. I admire him for his bravery and integrity.)

So if you're worried about how all this fame and wealth is affecting me, my friend, let me assure you it hasn't gone to my head. Not in the least.

At the same time, I'm not bothered that fame and fortune have eluded me so far because -and I know this goes against the opinion you currently hold of me- I am not doing this for fame and fortune.

I'm a blogger. Bloggers don't get paid, and they don't get famous. Several readers have suggested I install a donation bar in the corner of my front page, but the idea seems crass to me. I do what I do because the spirit of God compels and inspires me to. Several other readers over time have suggested that I collect some of my blogs and publish them into a book. I never did that because I didn't think anyone would pay for what they could get online for free.

What I did instead was, I took two or three of my pertinent blog entries, enlarged and expanded them and surrounded them with a bunch of new material I felt was timely, and THAT became my grand publishing enterprise. I had no illusions that it would be a huge deal, but I did think it would be helpful for some people to have at their disposal a book they could hand to their spouse or mother-in-law that would assist them in understanding how and why things have been going sideways in this Church.

And lucky for me I didn't expect it to be a big deal because it would have been a huge disappointment, wouldn't it? But it does seem to be a huge deal for you, Anonymous Guy, because here you are warning me against becoming prideful over getting rich and famous when there is absolutely no indication anywhere that I enjoy either fame or riches.
Connie and I live in what can best be described as a hovel (ask anyone who has visited here) and I expect our situation is not about to improve over the sale of a few measly paperback books.

(Continued Below)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(Continued)

It's a rare person who can make a living writing books. I'm not going to tell you what my royalties are, but I will say this: A woman who lived in my ward until recently (they moved across town)is a very popular novelist of paperbacks that sell for about 7.95 each. She has a big name publisher promoting her line of books, and a very big following of readers who eagerly look forward to her next title. What she earns in royalties is often as little as 34 cents a book.

Fortunately, because she has a large publisher, she does sell a lot of books. Also fortunately, her husband has a job.

Anyway, Anonymous Guy, I don't mean to belittle your concerns about pride getting a foothold. Our egos can be our downfall, so like I said, I'll file away that counsel and keep it in mind in case I ever start getting too big for my britches.

In the meantime, please send me the names and phone numbers of some of those adoring fans of mine you seem to be running into on a regular basis. I could use the occasional pick-me-up.


Rob said...

Well dang, Rock. 110...that makes me feel a little better that I *only* got rid of about 500 copies of "Commanded in All Things." Of course, I give mine away for print cost (and many for free), so if you want an ego boost...

:)

Rob said...

I meant 119...sorry. Just wiped out the gains from Tim's review :P

I can say, having done it a few times, that writing a gospel book without Deserted Book ghost writers is a big undertaking. It is very hard to muster as much time and energy as it takes knowing very few will read your work.

Keep it up, Rock.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Geez Rob, don't short me like that. It's bad enough the number's 119 without you going around telling everyone it's 110.

Sounds like you had a bunch of yours printed up. I'm publishing via Print on Demand, so at least I won't be stuck with an inventory. But yikes, 500! That's a lot alright, if you ended up giving most of them away.

Anyway, go check your stats. You just sold another one.

Rob said...

Mine, too, are print on demand.

Whoops! Don't pay Amazon the print charge unless you (like me) really like reading paper books. You can download free pdf copies of anything I've written and released from the blog (upwardthought.blogspot.com).

Anonymous 10:39 said...

It's Anonymous 10:39 here:

I truly do love your blog, and my snarkiness aside, I appreciate that you've addressed my comments. I feel heard. If my comments were pre-emptive rather than corrective, then so much the better! I commented because I care.

A person could rightly criticize me for hastily passing judgment on someone I don't even know. They would be right. I'll try to avoid too many more slip ups like this. It is a trap I too often fall into.

I have learned a lot from your blogging about Christ, Rock. I appreciate it, and sincerely apologize for the negative spirit I brought to your blog.

God bless.

Janeen Krambule said...

Okay Rock...I will admit to purchasing two of your books. Read it the first day and shared it with a few of my friends. That's why I have two copies. When I find a good book, I buy two so I will always have one available to re-read. All I can say is thank you. I must admit that both you and Denver Snuffer and a few others, have given me much food-for-thought. Sometimes we just need a boost to begin a search for real truth. Christ has changed my life and you and Denver and others have been the catalyst for seeking Him more earnestly. Thank you again...and please keep sharing your thoughts. I have been directed in the paths of truth.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Anonymous Guy,
Thanks for writing! All is forgiven and I'm glad we're friends again.

(How about contacting me privately so I can give you a sincerely felt virtual hug?)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Gee Rob, I try to encourage others to buy your book and then you go and tell them they can get the pdf for free.

Well, I am like you, and do prefer paper copies. I see you're apparently unloading them at cost, but at just under four dollars, I wonder how that's possible. The cut that both the printer and Amazon take out of my books is much larger than that. That's barely covering the cost of shipping. Maybe prices went up since you published yours.

Anyway, my hat is off to you for your generosity. I'm obligated to put the royalties toward paying back the two people who loaned us their credit cards to prepare the car for the trip to Utah, cover the gas, and so on. so I have to continue to be a money-grubber for the time being. But the least I can do for you is buy your book, even if you don't make a cent on it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Janeen, Now you're the kind of reader I like: somebody who buys two books.

I finally had to buy a second one for myself, because in all this time Connie had not had a chance to read it. She got up to page 79 while we were in Utah but no further because I kept having the book on me and not at home when she wanted to read it.

So I ordered a brand new copy of my book just for my wife to call her own. That's what kind of husband I am.

BK said...

Nate,

Those feelings you describe that different people have had are wonderful and maybe are from the Holy Spirit, I wouldn't know, it's impossible to tell, but to be fair they could also be from the Adversary, for he can duplicate any feeling, and give us incredible feelings, healings, miracles, manifestations, visions, etc. also.

I have known so many people (in many different religions or no religion at all) use the same words you did who describe their feelings when talking about their experiences of living even in adultery or supporting great evils. They get those same types of experiences & feelings, so I know that even if the Holy Ghost can produce them so can the Adversary or our own minds.

And even if such feelings were from the Holy Spirit what use is that, other then it makes us feel good for a little bit? What does it mean? How would we know for sure?

If everyone in every church, wicked or righteous, can feel such feelings then what is the truth conveyed? That God loves us all? I'm sure he does. But those feelings certainly don't mean that a person's particular prophet, scripture or church is true or that they themselves are righteous.

I have also felt many such & similar feelings during my life too, and I used to believe they came from the Holy Spirit too (cause we are taught that in this Church), but then many years ago I started receiving revelation a whole different way, through words & thoughts, which teach me knew things I had never considered before or answered my prayers and explained things I never thought possible to know. Truth does much more for us then feelings, no matter how wonderful we may feel.

I now believe the Holy Ghost foremost a teacher of truth, as Christ called him, (The Spirit of Truth), not a giver of vague wonderful feelings, for feelings don't confirm anything, and could come from any source, good or bad. But words, thoughts, ideas, can be proven, can be tested to see if they are true or not and can tell us all things we should do.

I believe the Holy Spirit confirms things to us by teaching us truth, by explaining things to us, just as one person would to another. He can go on for an hour or two just explaining things to us (which we will usually be writing down as fast as we can like one is dictating to us), or at other times he can just tell us one 'enlightening' sentence here and there during the day as we go about our work & errands, but usually in the more quiet moments.

I find revelation doesn't usually happen unless we are quiet, at peace, not stressed and not very busy. Things like TV, some kinds of music, people around us, noise, stress, etc, can inhibit the Spirit from being able to reach us or inhibit us from being able to hear him.

Often the Spirit may awake us in the night or early morning to tell us many things. And it's not a audible voice, though I'm sure it could be if God wanted to talk to us like that, but a voice like a gentle breeze, that if we don't stay quiet & listen carefully we can miss it or stop it's flow.

So to me, I have found that the Spirit teaches me truth, not gives me feelings, though I have had such feelings, but can't be sure from where or why they come. I know how it feels to be enveloped with love, and it may be from God or maybe not, though I know he loves me, but I don't put much store on those feelings for I know now that they could just as easily be a product of my own imagination or from the Adversary, for I see that anyone, righteous or unrighteous can have them, in any religion, with people believing all kinds of opposite, even evil things.

BK said...

Nate, Continued -

Satan can even make wonderful feelings, like love, peace & joy, etc, though of course it's a counterfit love, peace and joy, but I don't believe humans can tell the difference between God's love and Satan's counterfit feelings of love. When people are committing adultery in affairs they feel just as in love and filled with joy as anyone one legitimately married.

I've known many people who abuse and abandon their spouse & children and go off looking for a new life, they often feel a great peace and joy and that the whole world has been lifted off their shoulders and they often attribute it to God and say he told them to do such.

So while the feelings and experiences you convey are wonderful and sometimes might be from God, we probably all feel them, no matter what religion we are, and they don't necessarily mean we or our church or beliefs are righteous, but mostly they can't be proven to have come from God.

Christ's disciples said to prove all things, and you can't prove feelings, but you can prove words and ideas, so now I understand why the Spirit that I believe comes from God, usually whispers to us in pure words not feelings, so we can prove & test them out so we aren't deceived, which can easily happen with vague feelings, no matter how wonderful. Words & truth are what we really need, and what a loving God would give us, to tell us what is right and true in this world and what to do on a daily basis.

Nate said...

BK

Ok no we have begun this conversation. Thank you for responding. I agree it is not just about the "feeling". I am telling you that when people learn the language of the Holy Ghost He will speak in words but it is ALWAYS accompanied by that power. And no, it cannot be produced by our minds and most people have never felt it. I didn't feel the Holy Ghost until I was 19 ( unless as a young child which I have forgotten).
As you can tell from those peoples accounts it blew them away because they had not felt it before. You are right people from all religions can feel the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost confirms truth. The problem is when people feel the Holy Ghost from time to time in a church confirm the existence of God, or the reality of the atonement, or any other truth, they believe then that they must be in the one true church and everything that is taught within that organization is true.
That is why the world is so messed up right now. The philosophies of men are so intermingled with the truth in so many churches and no one has put their trust solely in God. The Protestants mostly believe the Bible is it, yet they all interpret it differently and yet they do learn the truth from the Holy Ghost from time to time so they think they must be in the right place.
BK the adversary cannot duplicate the exact feeling of the Holy Ghost. I have experienced false revelation. When we are watching a scary movie or something like that I have felt the eerie electricity from the adversary. I agree it is similar but it brings fear and confusion. No truth is conveyed. I know a lot of people seek after this and learn to like it. It does not fill the soul with truth or love or peace. People are not lead to pray more and they are not filled with anything but darkness from this. This will always lead people to be very dangerous.
The other encounters I have had with the adversary were attacks from him. They were anything but pleasant.
The problem like I have said before is that people receive a remission of sins, and they take it to mean everything they believe is true, or someone is told that thomas monson is the president of the church, and they think this means he is more than the president of that particular church.
Intellect and reason alone can only take us so far in our search for truth. We have to come to know the voice of truth. The Holy Ghost always speaks with power and will tell us truth line upon line, but if we trust in ANY doctrine or teaching of men that the Holy Ghost has not taught us, we are setting ourselves up to be damned. Some people hold so tightly to their false beliefs that it is painful to consider they might be wrong. The discomfort they feel at even thinking about it leads them to believe it must be false.
If you believe the New Testament and the words of Christ you must believe that there is a Spirit of Truth that will be discernible and understandable. And I would think that if all of us trusted only in this voice instead of numerous other philosophies that we would find unity.

BK said...

Nate,

I'm sorry if I keep repeating myself, but again, I believe the only way we can know that what the Spirit teaches to us is true or not is by comparing it with Christ's teachings, otherwise you get everyone claiming opposite things they supposedly learned from the Holy Ghost.

Most everyone thinks they are getting their revelation (words or feelings) from the Holy Ghost, though it's clear not all are, for the HG would tell everyone the same things.

So only the words of Christ can prove our revelation true or false, no one else in history is smart or righteous enough to discern truth on their own without Christ's guidelines.

No one is so clever or righteous that they can't be deceived by false revelation, words or feelings.

I agree that Satan cannot give us the same feelings as the Holy Ghost, but I believe mortals can't always, or even usually, tell the difference.

Sometimes Satan will use attacks and bad feelings, but as I said above, Satan can also & often make us feel really good, he doesn't just give us bad scary feelings, he can give us wonderful feelings, just like he (and his false prophets) teaches us mostly truth, but then sneaks in just enough falsehood to lead us astray.

Sin often feels really wonderful at 1st, often better then righteousness. Righteousness, in this life, is often very hard and painful, whereas sin can feel freeing, wonderful, exhilarating, joyful and cause us to say we are the happiest we have ever been.

Satan can simulate the feelings of love, peace, joy & happiness, so much so that no mortal can tell they are counterfit feelings, thus why we have to look at actions to see if those feelings are real or not.

We have to look at the circumstance of a couple to know if their love is real and not adultery (meaning, are they married or are they just having an affair or in a remarriage). That is the only way we can tell if we or others are sinning, for the feelings will fool us if we don't know the commandments of God.

Again, we can't just go by what the Spirit teaches us, for we can't be sure what Spirit is telling us those things.

You and I believe opposite things on many issues, but we both believe the Holy Ghost taught us or confirmed those things to us. Who's right? How would either of us know? Why were even prophets deceived by false revelation, false teachings from the wrong Spirit? How can we think we are better then prophets (who saw God) at discerning revelation?

Without Christ's teachings as our rock & foundation to judge all things, everyone would just go around with all kinds of different doctrine they say they learned from the Holy Spirit, as we see happening on every blog, and in and out of the Church and in every church throughout the world.

Nate said...

BK

Ok yes. Many people are claiming revelation when they are not. We both know that. Which prophets are you referring to that received false revelation and what revelation was false that they received.
I disagree that we cannot trust anything the "Spirit" teaches us. But the trick is to learn from God what the Spirit is and how the Spirit communicates. Then we can trust only in that Spirit.
We could recycle this conversation a hundred different ways but that is why I asked you how God speaks to you. You basically stated that it is thoughts you have that come at different times and you know they are true.
That is not my personal experience with the Holy Ghost so we must simply deduce that we are not following the same spirit. So yes that is the question. Which of us (if either) is following the voice of God?
Let's agree to follow God as best each of us knows how. I respect your convictions and I understand your argument. But I have concluded for myself that the only way to know of Chrisf and the reality of His atonement is by the power of the Holy Ghost. And after we have tasted of the Holy Ghost we can then rely on His words and I have concluded He always speaks to our mind (by understanding and clarity) and to our hearts (by this power that is very discernible and cannot be produced by ourselves).
If this is not your take I respect that. And we agree that people are having spiritual experiences in every religion. My opinion is that either people are claiming revelation when it is really not revelation, or they are trusting in other voices as well as the voice of truth so they end up preaching philosophies of men mingled with scripture.

BK said...

Nate,

I think it best to just go one question at a time.

How do you know it's really 'God' teaching you what the 'Spirit is & how it communicates'?

Nate said...

I don't claim to have a perfect knowledge of it. I believe my spirit might have a perfect knowledge of it but my body is not quite there.
But this much I can say with all sincerity. The only times this experience happens is when I am in deep gratitude to God in prayer and sincerely seeking truth, or reading scriptures or other books that contain truth that most would consider self evident. Or when I watch a movie like "the Son of God" and I felt the Spirit. In other words it is when I know my heart is upon God and I realize my nothingness. I have never felt it during anger or depression of anything like that.
And it is so powerful thy to deny something that the Spirit has told me would be like denying my own spirit. Also any dream or visual experience I have had that most would consider a greater form of revelation has always been accompanied by the Holy Ghost.
I love to pray and find that the more I sincerely pray the more I receive the Spirit and the more I receive the Spirit the more I feel to pray. I don't believe that God would continually answer prayers deceptively. Nor would He allow an earnest seeker of God and truth to be continually deceived by the adversary.
But again only I and God know what I have experienced and I know I can't prove it to anyone and I am ok with that. But I do enjoy talking of the gospel and every once in a while I read a comment or article that allows the Spirit to confirm a new truth or re- confirm something I already knew.
So good question. My question to you is how can you claim to "know" that written words in the New Testament are true without a spiritual witness?

BK said...

Nate,

I appreciate you explaining those things and I'm sure you have had those experiences.

But I believe vast amounts of people could say and describe the same experiences, even those who aren't living righteous lives. I have talked with many of them.

But my question was though, how do you know it's really 'God' teaching you these things and giving you these feelings and impressions, and not the Adversary?

For it's very apparent that all those deceived by the Adversary are feeling and experiencing the same things you describe.

I know you or we can't prove it to anyone else, but how do you prove it to yourself? Do you not believe the Adversary can deceive you by the same kinds of feelings, impressions & experiences? He can and he does it all the time with most everyone.

Satan deceived the best of prophets in the scriptures, assuming the Bible stories are true, so why would you think the Adversary couldn't deceive you?

Satan can even appear to us in great and glorious visions, as an angel of light, as Christ, or pretending to even be God himself, with such powerful glory and intensity and miracles & wonderful feelings of awe and seeming love and abounding in new truths that it would be impossible to not be deceived by him unless we could take the things he says and compare them to what God/Christ has already spoken (in the New Testament), to see if they differ or not.

That's the only way. Mortal man is not smart or righteous enough to discern truth by himself, we need Christ's help for that and he gave it, God already told us the way to discern truth from error (Christ's words), whether teachings comes by some Spirit or by an angel of light or some kind of prophet or anyone else.

I have known of so many people who have had these great visions & experiences and have been deceived by the Adversary & yet think they have been visited by Christ and God.

For Satan can appear to us all loving and kind and wonderful and telling us he loves us and teaching us all kinds of wonderful true things, pretending to be God, but he just adds a few falsehoods in that we don't pick up on unless we know Christ's teachings and live them.

Surely if Satan can deceive us in great visions he can deceive us in mere feelings and other less dramatic experiences and impressions.

I think most people greatly underestimate the power of the Adversary and his ability to easily deceive all of us, by feelings, revelation and all kinds of spiritual experiences. I don't know anyone who hasn't been deceived by him, including myself.

I wish God wouldn't allow the Adversary to tempt and deceive us either, but that is the test of this life, to live & understand Christ's teachings so we can discern truth from falsehood, whether it comes by man or spirit.

The way I know that Christ's words are true is that I live them and see the fruits of them. I watch what happens with others live them and don't live them and thus what happens because of it. I prove Christ's words by experimenting on them by common sense, by the Golden Rule, but studying 6000 years of what has worked in society and helped it prosper and what destroys society and families and people. That is how I prove it to myself. I believe Christ's words are true even if it turns out Christ never really lived (though I believe he did), even if someone made them up, they still are the only principles that work to keep a society, family, person or world happy, free and peaceful. It's not hard to prove Christ's teachings correct and superior to all others.

Nate said...

BK

I understand why you think that way. I agree with the basic golden rule being common sense. I try to love by it and have never had a revelation that would lead me to do otherwise. Again though it would have been just as easy for people to make up the words of the New Testament as it would be for anyone to write anything down and call it revelation. We don't need the New Testament to tell us what has worked or not in society.
I promise that Darwinism could make just as much sense to some people as your conclusions do to you.
Let me ask you a question to illustrate my point. If I see a homeless person on the street asking for money, what is the most charitable thing I can do for that person?
I could give the person money, but what if the person is just going to buy drugs or a gun to do violence? I could bring the person home to feed him or her and offer them employment or do any number of things to offer them help but what if they raped one of my children or hurt my wife? What if they stole from me?
Is the most charitable thing to do nothing? I could argue that they need to learn to go get a job and learn for themselves.
That is why true charity can never be separated from revelation. We can actually ask God in such a situation and the Spirit can tell us what is to be done. (By the way I am not advocating praying and waiting to get an answer every time we see a homeless person)
Just acting of our own accord by living what we perceive to be the golden rule may actually be getting all of us nowhere. People logically argue that the existence of humans is detrimental to this planet and we are heavily overpopulated. Should we put contaminates in the drinking water or create diseases to kill people off? These are somewhat extreme views but they are views that some people argue would be the most humane thing to do.
We cannot possibly know how God would have us act without revelation, and again only we can be the judges of the truth of revelation. I think most people know in their hearts if what they received was really from God or the adversary or even just from their own minds.
I just think to separate Christs teachings about behavior and Christs teachings on the Spirit of Truth is something that doesn't make sense. How would Jesus even know what to do on earth without following a higher power? How would He know who to heal? How would He know that He was the Son of God? Even He had to learn in the revelations from His Father...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think that we are lazy little children who think it is easier to follow a church leader or a political leader than to read, study, make a decision, and then pray about it. We get so busy following someone else's directions that we soon find ourselves lost We have no one to blame but ourselves and we will be held accountable for the choices we make. You, Mr. Waterman, have questions that are pertinent to our times and you are seeking answers and reaching out to others who are also seeking. I believe that both our government and the church in fact, all governments and churches are in rebellion against God and we must remain close to Him so that we do not loose? lose? our way. I do enjoy your blog and the comments that are posted. Thank you for your time. Karen

ldsanarchy said...

Denver's post reminded me of this:

JST, Mark 9:40–48.

40 Therefore, if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; or if thy brother offend thee and confess not and forsake not, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell.

41 For it is better for thee to enter into life without thy brother, than for thee and thy brother to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

42 And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off.

43 It is better for thee, to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched.

44 Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another.

45 Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.

46 And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.

47 It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

48 For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother, where their worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched.

LDS Anarchist

Nate said...

Thank you for your comment Karen. Wonderful thought and I agree with your conclusion on government and religion. I have felt that we cannot even conceive of the corruption that surrounds us. So much evil.

BK said...

I don't think the solution to the homeless man is difficult, it's a very easy set standard, we don't need further revelation to know what to do, for God has already told us what to do in the New Testament. Giving him some food at the moment and a job is the best thing we can do for him, almost everyone can do something. If he is truly unable to work then he should be supported by the charity of the people, but even lying in bed a person can still be useful & do productive things.

But back to the original question that I had, which I am disappointed you keep choosing not to answer. I don't believe we should keep going round and round about this if you don't want to answer my questions too.

Most people understand the Golden Rule, though there are always some few who would believe in Darwinism or putting poisons in the water, etc. but only if they don't have to drink the water.

This country was founded on God's laws, on Christ's laws, and their laws of liberty. The farther we get away from those basic principles & truths the closer to destruction people and societies are.

And I believe it's entirely possible for us to know what God would have us do, even without revelation, because he already told us, in the New Testament. You apparently don't believe that Christ is a God, saying the very same things that God would say if we prayed to him. God is not going to give us much more instruction until we at least follow what he already said in the NT.

Even those (and children too) who have never read the NT understand ideas like the Golden Rule, true love, kindness, equality, fairness, liberty, helping the poor, etc. , they just don't always live by what their conscience tells them. We are born with Christ's teachings embedded in our hearts, but we can quickly harden our hearts against what we know is right.

Someone could become righteous if they just followed Christ's words, even if they never had a revelation from God and I'm sure many people are righteous, without ever hearing or reading Christ's words.

God has made it so easy for us, his word is in print for all the world to see, and it's in everyone's heart, no one will be able to say they didn't know how to be good and do what's right. I believe everyone knows deep down when they do wrong, but they just want the perks from evil, that's why they do it, they don't realize what the consequences will be later on.

And yes, I agree that Christ conversed with the Father & received revelation but once He delivered the Father's message, then it is possible for us to follow the Father's message without going back to the Father for the same message, though I don't advocate not praying, for God can give us additional strength and guidance & the comfort of the Spirit, but it's not essential in order to follow and know his written words and the way to Eternal Life, for it's right there before us, any person or child can know God's will for us.

And I disagree that it would have been easy for anyone to write Christ's words in the New Testament, for they would have had to be pretty near perfect to come up with such great principles. They are easy to agree with and see the sense of in hindsight, but who else has ever come up with those principles, let alone lived them, before Christ did? Who ever said we should love our enemies, give all our excess money to the poor, never allow divorce or remarriage, treat women with total respect & equality ... etc.

And I didn't mean to infer we can separate Christ's teachings of behavior from his teachings of the Spirit of Truth, they go together, for the Spirit of Truth would say the same things Christ did, if we are listening to the right Spirit.

Nate said...

BK

I am sure I answered your question on how I know if what I received is from God. I spent a whole comment on it. I started by saying I don't claim a perfect knowledge....
I would suggest reading Laotzis writings or Confucius or Siddhartha. Or check out the teachings of st Issa. In that text it suggests Jesus went and learned from the Hindus and Buddhists in His earlier years. Some of those teachings I know to be true. But I also have a testimony from the Spirit that Jesus went to teach them. And it got twisted a bit.
The point is all of the principles of kindness and selflessness that Jesus taught were already taught on the earth before the life of Jesus. The sermon on the mount principles were all taught. Those were not new. You say that the example of the homeless person was simple.
Ok what is the best treatment for a child with autism? Can that be found in the New Testament? What is the best way to interpret the New Testament?
Jesus taught that He could do nothing without the Father, and that we could do nothing without Him.
He did not teach us to trust in what people wrote about Him, or to trust in what others claimed He said. He taught to trust in Him!
I cannot know Him without the Holy Ghost, and I cannot have the Holy Ghost without revelation. From the New Testament people conclude that Jesus does and does not have a body, that He is literally the Father and that He is separate from Him. That we do and do not need baptism. That we do and do not need a church. That we can and can't have more revelation. That the Holy Ghost or our Father in Heaven were the Father of Jesus, and so on and so on. Jesus taught that the truth will set us free. The truth will never be found independent of revelation.
Again we have to decide ourselves whether God speaks to us, and if we can put our full trust in how He speaks to us. The Spirit I follow passes every given test in the scriptures and has always led me to love and repent. It has been clear and could not be made up or produced by myself. It is not part of the 5 normal senses and is not an emotion or mere feeling.
Can I ask why you left Mormonism? I mean what was the primary motivation?

Too hard to do said...

Christ's teachings are so simple, a child can understand them. But We harden our hearts and become selfish proud and lazy.

That's why we have to humble ourselves, and become as children.
It's not that we don't understand what we must do, we just that deep down, we don't want to make the sacrifices required to live it.

We would rather look for an easier way, so we can have all the ease and comforts of this life and still obtain a reward in heaven. It doesn't work that way, It has to be by choice, the Lord answered quite plainly what was required of those who took upon themselves his name and made the choice to follow him.

Just in case you haven't seen it before: Luke 18:18-25

18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

20 “You know the commandments, ’DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

By the standards of that time (and most of the world) we are ALL exceedingly rich, and Tithes are not charity, neither are taxes no mater how many people live off of it. You won't be receiving credit for those, we are compelled to give them. You have to learn to treat your fellow man as yourself, you must seek to ease the suffering and hardship around you before your own luxuries. But That doesn't go over well within LDS culture we want to have all the success and comforts of this life AND to have an eternal reward. We want to easy words spoken to us.

Nate said...

Thank you BKs friend for proving my point I appreciate it.

The most important thing Jesus told that man was to "come follow me". See all of the other things he did were simply not enough even though he had kept the outward law from his youth. But how can we follow Jesus unless He personally leads us? How can He lead us if we don't hear His voice? His voice certainly is not found by reading other men's writing. Although He can use other men's writings as a medium. But if we just read words and try to behave accordingly then we do the same thing the young man did.
Thank you again I think this sums it up. We must ask God what we can do and He will tell us if we have faith, then we obey. It is very simple.

BK said...

Nate,

I left when I realized that none of the leaders have ever followed Christ, not Brigham not any of them and nor do any today, thus they are all false prophets, taking advantage of and deceiving the people with their many whoredoms & falsehoods, including their false temples.

Joseph was never part of the LDS Church, he started his own church that ended after his death. Brigham started a corrupt breakoff of Joseph's Church, but Brigham preached & practiced completely opposite doctrines then Joseph did. Joseph at least probably didn't preach or practice the whoredom of polygamy, but it seems he lied about his authority & scriptures being divine and from God.

Plus the LDS Church has no authority and never has had such, to represent Christ and his Church. But I don't believe Joseph did either for his church, but at least Joseph's Church was a far better church then Brigham's.

Which brings me to another point, I don't understand how you can think Brigham was an inspired man, let alone a prophet, when he continually committed & taught some of the vilest of evils, which the church still does today.

That Brigham taught a lot of true things is true, like church leaders do today, but false prophets always teach mostly true and wonderful things, to look good and cover for the falsehoods they throw in when the people aren't looking (or thinking).

As far as the answer to my question, you described how you 'feel' and 'when' you feel it but you didn't say how you 'know & prove' that it's God talking to you and not some other Spirit? How can you be so sure you aren't deceived & led astray by false revelation when even Prophets often are?

Is it because you believe you are more in tune with God then even most of the Prophets of the Bible?
For one would have to be to not be deceived by false revelation like they were. Just wondering. Thanks.

Nate said...

BK

I happen to believe Brigham young was evil as well. I never said I thought he was a prophet. I don't know where that came from.
So how did you come to those conclusions about all of those things? The LDS church has all of their arguments about how they are following Christ in every way. I asked why you left Mormonism, not the LDS church.
I know because God told me : ) please refer what prophets in the bible received false revelation and when? That way I can make sense of your question.

jlc said...

Rock,

Just bought your book at Benchmark. Paid full price, my brother. Hope the royalty on my purchase helps with a little gas money.

JLC

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks, JLC! The best thing that buying the book at Benchmark bookstore is increase my street cred with Curt Bench.

I greatly appreciate it.

jlc said...

They love you down there.
really, they even told me that, long hair and all. maybe you're a celiberty after all.

JLC

pete fillmore said...

http://unblogmysoul.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/response-to-kyle/

We gravitate towards and validate emotions we nurture to our souls. What emotions are you nurturing?

Minerals Liberia said...

I don't believe in something called LDS Mormonism; however I do believe in Christ and in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as represented by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints.

Interesting to note; the apostles Peter, Paul and the others were not perfect yet they were chosen by our savoir to lead the believers during the early church- so why is it that you hold modern day Apostles to a higher standard.
The keys to this dispensation are in the hands of the twelve and Lord is at the head. We as members can pontificate all we want but it is up to God to direct His people.

Nate said...

@ Minerals

Who told you that Christ was at the head of the LDS church? Who told you that the 15 men are apostles and hold keys over you? Did God specifically tell you those things?
It sounds like you are pontificating. It isn't about holding anyone to higher standards than anyone else. It is about listening to the doctrine they teach and learning for yourself if the doctrine is true.
Paul and Peter would not teach or act the same way as the modern day self proclaimed seers, revelators and prophets.

Blah! said...

"why is it that you hold modern day Apostles to a higher standard?"

I get so tired of this BS. Its got nothing to do with them being human or, allowing them to make "mistakes". Its about doctrine that is in complete contradiction to prior doctrines. It's about Personal diary's being deliberately altered to change their original meaning to convey the opposite meaning.

And no, I am not going to be baited into the 'prove it to my satisfaction' argument. Examples have been brought up over, and over again.

I have seen your posts here for quite some time, I am sure you are well aware of the issues. I have neither a desire or any hope to ween you from the cool aid.

Just make sure you send that check in so that you can be lifted up at the last day, promise me that and I will be satisfied. lol

I. Willet DeVale said...

I don't know anyone here who holds the modern apostles to any standard at all. Certainly it's clear they can't hold a candle to the spiritual gifts of the early ones. But I can tell you this: Peter, James and John never told the church that their safety lies in following them. They pointed to the Savior, and HIM alone. And when the ancient apostles claimed a personal witness of Jesus Christ, you could count on it being a legitimate personal witness, not some namby-pamby evasiveness we get from those imposters today.

Higher standard? Higher than what? A toadstool?

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ LDS Anarchist

I just came on this morning and saw your JST Mark 9 post and I love it. What post from Denver reminded you of that scripture?

Every time I come across scriptures like these I get all excited, because it more establishes my understandings of where we are in God these days.

Thank you!

Minerals Liberia said...

One person mentions payments (I assume you talking about tithes and offerings)to be "lifted up" another says modern day apostles cant hold a candle to the original twelve and that somehow believing in the restored gospel is akin to drinking coolaid. Therefore one can assume by your own definitions there isn't twelve living apostles and Christ's church has fallen into apostasy. Is it possible that we are all being led astray? well if that's' what you believe then keep on kicking against the pricks...as for me My faith in Christ and the holy scriptures is what keeps me grounded and the holy spirit continues to nourish my soul.

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:30
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Nate said...

Minerals

You failed to answer who told you all of these things? Was it your primary teacher? Read 2 nephi 28. See what God has to say about people in the mainstream church. You quoted New Testament verses but did not quote any verses of apostasy.

Nate said...

Minerals

By the way yes like elder Nelson said in the last conference "50 million people can be lead astray!"

MajJohnButtrick said...

@All,

I hope this isn't taken as SPAM. Some of you may have noticed that neither I, nor a long time cornerstone of this blog community "LDSDPer" AKA "Nonamefornow" have posted for a while. Well, LDSDPer/Nonamefornow is my sister-in-law. Her name is Celia, and she has been diagnosed with widespread stage 4 cancer, and we expect her to pass away within a couple of days. We have been trying to get her to go to the doctor for a while now, and my wife (her sister) flew up there and encouraged certain actions that led to this knowledge. She leaves behind 3 children (2 still at home) and a husband.

She has been a bit cantankerous lately, but this was due to the high calcium levels in her bloodstream that cause mood and behavior disturbances including irritability, anxiety, and depression. The doctors can't do much other than give her a morphine drip at this point, but have also given her medication which reduced those calcium levels, and she has returned to her very sweet self. She wants me to convey to all of you how much she loves you and respects you, as well as to convey any apologies for anyone she may have offended in the past.

I admit, I'm coming to you hat in hand, for my brother-in-law's family is not well off financially...just above the threshold for qualifying for Medicaid, etc. If anyone can find it in their heart to donate to help with medical and/or funeral expenses via PayPal, I've been given permission to share their e-mail address. It is .

Thank you and God bless.

MajJohnButtrick said...

Looks like I left out the most important part. Their e-mail address is cscheinost@charter.net

MajJohnButtrick said...

OK, this time with everything in one place... sorry:

@All,

I hope this isn't taken as SPAM. Some of you may have noticed that neither I, nor a long time cornerstone of this blog community "LDSDPer" AKA "Nonamefornow" have posted for a while. Well, LDSDPer/Nonamefornow is my sister-in-law. Her name is Celia, and she has been diagnosed with widespread stage 4 cancer, and we expect her to pass away within a couple of days. We have been trying to get her to go to the doctor for a while now, and my wife (her sister) flew up there and encouraged certain actions that led to this knowledge. She leaves behind 3 children (2 still at home) and a husband.

She has been a bit cantankerous lately, but this was due to the high calcium levels in her bloodstream that cause mood and behavior disturbances including irritability, anxiety, and depression. The doctors can't do much other than give her a morphine drip at this point, but have also given her medication which reduced those calcium levels, and she has returned to her very sweet self. She wants me to convey to all of you how much she loves you and respects you, as well as to convey any apologies for anyone she may have offended in the past.

I admit, I'm coming to you hat in hand, for my brother-in-law's family is not well off financially...just above the threshold for qualifying for Medicaid, etc. If anyone can find it in their heart to donate to help with medical and/or funeral expenses via PayPal, I've been given permission to share their e-mail address. It is cscheinost@charter.net

Thank you and God bless.

PNW_DPer said...

Major,
Thank you for the update. I was wondering where noname was as she was one of my favorite posters, even though yes, she sometimes was cantankerous and wordy. My prayers are with you and your family. Even at her "worst", she was a lot less offensive than many people, both here and in life generally.

PNW_DPer said...

Hi all you fellow Rock groupies, remember James 2:17-18? Perhaps now is a good time to read and respond to this whole chapter in context in regards to our fellow blogger's condition. Just a thought.

(Actually, Rock is way too flawed to be my, or anyone else's guru; he rants too much, and sometimes has an attitude of "look how smart I am, to see these flaws", but maybe that is so that we can be reminded to follow or fear no man, only God.)

Nobody Ever said...

@ MajJohnButtrick

I am very sorry to hear about her condition, I can relate to her disappointment at what little concern there is within "the one true church" It has caused me great sadness as well. I wish there was more I could do, but we are in a very similar situation. I'm no longer afraid of dying, I'm much more afraid of living. I would never have understood all the hurt we can cause one another, had it not happened to me personally. But, If I'm being honest with myself, I find I can not hold it against them, I was once one of them, I thought and felt the same way.

We must forgive, they really do not know what it is they do. I pray she can find it in her heart to be understanding of the weaknesses that we all have. To forgive those who do stumble and add to her disappointment and pain. "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." I pray she can find it in her heart to let go, so that she can be filled with the peace and comfort she deserves. This world can and must be an awful place, but I know it will be well with her soon. There is pure love on the other side, free of the judgments of man. I know, I have felt it. God truly understands her situation, even if no one else can. I pray that God will bless her family, my prayers are with you all.

Nate said...

No name and family God bless. Nothing but love and respect.

As crazy as this sounds I happen to believe not much will be different in the spirit world for most people. There truly is a ton of missionary work being done by the LDS church on the other side and they are deceiving people over there as well. Contrary to what a lot of people think our spirit isnt just all a sudden exalted in knowledge and glory.
At least we dont have to deal with the frailties of the body and no doubt No Name will be a force for good in helping spirits on the other time prepare for the day of judgement. God bless

Minerals Liberia said...

Nate, You are confusing! everything you post on this board is counter to (anti) the LDS faith..then you say read 2nd Nephi Chapter 28? if you say read then you must be a believer in the Book of Mormon?...."Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord"

Isn't there 1,000's of churches, dominations, and religions in the world saying these exact things?

So what is your point? what Church do you believe, follow and are a member of?

—obviously a troll

Nate said...

Minerals

I am a follower of the church of Christ. I have always proclaimed that I know the Book of Mormon to be true. The Book of Mormon preaches against the LDS church. Have you not read the book or do you just not understand it yet?

Nate said...

Minerals

To simplify it for you verses 4-5, 11-16, 18-21, 24-32 all apply to the LDS church. From what you have been saying I fear verses 21, 24-32 may very well apply to you.

Nate said...

Question for Minerals

Do you really believe that the LDS members are more favored than any other group of people and they are set apart and the ordinances make them better or more susceptible to revelation or truth than any other person or group of people on earth?

I mean honestly and sincerely do you believe that in your heart?

Minerals Liberia said...

@Nate

I believe that those that are the children of God are highly favored by our Father in Heaven, however God loves all his children and has done everything necessary (resurrection and atonement of Jesus Christ)to make a way for us to return and live with him....unfortunately many will choose not follow... to their own condemnation.

Nate said...

Would you say that everyone is a child or God of are you saying only those who are born of Christ "becoming His sons and daughters"?
Are you saying that the atonement and resurrection have something to do with the LDS church? Because from what I have observed the LDS church teaches that in an article of faith that we are saved by..... Wait for it.... Obedience!
This actually contradicts another article of faith stating that the first principle of the gospel is faith...
Ok I don't want to start a whole faith and obedience discussion but I am saying that the idea of obedience to the leaders of the LDS church is first and foremost in the minds of its members.
They equate obedience to men as obedience to Christ, and in reality teach that we receive exaltation by marriage in the temple, the checklist of ordinances and then activity in the church until you are dead.
Really I have concluded that according to LDS belief, I don't ever have to feel the Holy Ghost to be exalted. I just would have to believe the brethren strongly enough that I would do whatever they said. In fact I have heard leaders of the church multiple times teach something to the effect of "don't worry if you haven't had any strong spiritual experiences, it doesn't matter, what is important is being obedient". I have heard multiple leaders teach that obedience brings the spirit, most general authorities talks on forgiveness focus on repentence and rarely mention faith. And they basically teach repentence is just changing our behavior. The LDS church is the epitome of lulling members into a sense of false security. All is well in Zion.
As far back as the time of Orson Pratt (he held the title of apostle btw) he said that God might have to take a group of people separate from the LDS church and start over with them to build up Zion. That was over a hundred years ago.

Nate said...

Minerals

By the way I find it amusing that you got a real kick out of the idea that anything in the Book of Mormon could be prophesying against the LDS church. Ha ha it is hilarious!
Duh! I mean everything in the Book of Mormon SUPPORTS the LDS church. All of those prophecies of all the bad people and all the corrupt churches are about everyone else except the LDS church. The secret combinations and the flaxen cord (interesting correlation with masonic ritual) could not possibly be about the endowment of the blood oaths made in the endowment that James and Jesus warned about. They just couldn't possibly be because we are in a church that gave titles to people like prophet and apostle! And they are all using seer stones and so they are seers!
That is your attitude and you don't even know it yet. You have relied on everyone else's testimony and not sought to learn the truth from God. This is apparent by your lack of response when I kept asking you what told you these things you are teaching. At least you won't lie and say God did. That is better than most who continually bear false witness.

Minerals Liberia said...

@Nate

I feel your characterization of the LDS faith is completely wrong...insomuch that I highly doubt you are a member of this religion. The LDS church teaches that we are "saved" by Grace, or in other words Christ's atonement is sufficient for us to be made perfect (as time is irrelevant to God).

1 Nephi 15:34

34. But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore there must needs be a place of filthiness prepared for that which is filthy.

You can have all the faith, hope and charity in this world, however you will not enter into presence of God with out the merit of the Atonement.

Once the spirit has testified the truth of these things then you will start to see (with spiritual eyes) the way forward unto God (to be like him).

Minerals Liberia said...

@Nate

Unless you can read it in the scripters then according to you it is considered a "False witness"

Please share with us what you "witness" too?

That is what we are all waiting to hear.....

MBA/JD said...

I just finished reading your book. The part about the lack of theologins in the church interested me. Out of curiosity I went to https://www.lds.org/church/leaders?lang=engand
and checked out the bios of a handful (15-20) general authorties. Wow, there was only one person with a non-business/law degree!!! (It was an English major). You are so right, the Corporation aka "the church" is led by business executives and lawyers!! Is it any wonder that it has morphed from an assembly of like minded individuals to a corporation of show me the money and do what I say, not what I do...

Nate said...

Minerals

I only trust in the Holy Ghost and that is all. If you trust in any teaching that men teach, without a witness from the Holy Ghost that that teaching is true you are simply trusting in the arm of flesh.

The LDS church teaches continually we are saved by grace AFTER all we can do and they take it out of context and pervert Nephi's teaching. They teach that we work as hard as we can to be righteous on our own and whatever we lack is made up for by grace. This is a gross perversion of the gospel.
You would be surprised to know that I was an elders quorum president for over three years and asked to be released and eventually resigned from the church.

I did that because I began praying about specific things one by one in the church and receiving witnesses from God that many things in the church are false.

Obedience and trust in the leaders of the church in no way resembles obedience and trust in Christ. The LDS is living lower than the lower law. At least the Israelites were trusting in a true prophet seer and revelator when moses lead them. And they saw fruits of continual revelation and miracles.
Now the 15 men have proven to not be seer (no seer stones) and not revelators (no new scripture) and not apostles (no greater witness than anyone should have, if that).
Some could arguably be called prophets but that even is a stretch. President monson has not even felt comfortable testifying of joseph smith of the Book of Mormon in almost a decade in conference. Because he can't. He is sad. These guys aren't any different than you are. They haven't seen the Savior and yet they claim everything they say or write in conference or the ensign is scripture.

Thomas said...

@MajJohnButtrick

I had noticed that Nonamefornow had not been posting recently and wondered if she was okay. I could tell in her most recent posts that she was not feeling well. I am on this blog about every other day and have missed her. She is one of my favorites. My prayers are with her and her family.

37... said...

Celia, I want you to know that I appreciate your comments and your testimony of the Book of Mormon . I have come to love you. I will miss the writing style you have and your ability to express yourself in such a sweet way. Thank you ;)

Calleen Bataiff said...

I read Denver Snuffers post on the Sunstone Q&A, and now I just listened to the audio on the Sunstone site that Rock put the link to on this months post. It was very interesting to say the least.

I understood that Denver was stating facts that have taken place over the years on church doctrine, while his opponent felt that all these changes that have either already taken place or are about to take place in the church were being directed by God and a good thing. All I can say is there is opposition in all things, and man, those points of view were completely opposite from each other.

I have to say that what is happening in today LDS Church is a good thing in what needs to happen to bring about Zion. This Dan Witherspoon either isn't familiar with scripture, or doesn't believe them.

The first thing that stood out to me and became clearer while listening to him was that in his scenario he couldn't express to others what he claimed to be given by the Holy Ghost. This is exactly opposite of what actually happens when God is communicating with a person. The Holy Ghost is always present in the communication and what God has to say to you a child could understand. It is easy to go to others and express what you were told by God. Now the problem comes into this scenario because it takes the Holy Ghost teaching this person, to understand the truth of it and see it the way God sees it.

Whomever this Dan Witherspoon is listening to is not the Holy Ghost, and another thing that occurred to me is what is this day of probation all about if everything goes? Yes, God loves us all and wants the best for us all and will help us get to the best if we go to Him and ask, however, if we cannot conform ourselves to do His will(not our own, like Jesus Christ did) we can not come back into His presence and be comfortable.

At any rate, the talk was very interesting, especially in the opposition being voiced as a direct contrast to the truth. With that example I can't look to Sunstone with an eye looking for truth, but as a premise for debate on anything that is opposing the current hierarchy of the LDS Church.

What think you?

James Lloyd said...

We enjoyed your book. We feel that you and other bloggers like you are a violent storm as mentioned in Ezekial 13. Using the NIV version, which really makes things clearer, Ezekiel chapter 13 has the Lord, through Ezekiel, prophesy against the prophets of Israel. “Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” [vs. 3] They say, “The Lord declares,” when the Lord has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled. [vs. 6]
Then the Lord says, My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations….Because they lead my people astray, saying “Peace,” when there is no peace. [All is well in Zion] and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash. [vs. 9 – 10. Yep, that is what they have done with Church history, and the goings on at the Church Office Building]
Therefore, tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones, hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” [vs. 11-12. In other words, what about all the things you have been telling us all throughout the years or not telling us!]
Then the Lord says, “In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones, and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.” [vs. 13. Aren’t Denver Snuffer, Michael Quinn, you and others these instruments in the hand of the Lord to tear down their flimsy wall?] “I will tear down thy wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. [vs. 14. That is what is happening – the storm is getting back to the foundation of the Church and destroying the whitewashed flimsy walls] When it falls, you will be destroyed in it, and you will know that I am the Lord.” [They are being “destroyed” by the truth, by exposing the foundation]
So I will spend my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declared the Soverign Lord.” [vs. 15-16]

Nate said...

Calleen

Thank you for this very concise testimony of the reality and the clarity of the Holy Ghost. This is a sensitive topic but I believe it is of the utmost importance.
This is why I continually ask people from day to day when the gospel comes up how they feel the Spirit. Sadly most members of the church describe the light of Christ and don't realize their is a great power available that actually can fill us with knowledge. It is obvious to me you know what I am talking about.
The main thing is that the Holy Ghost does not come to a person because that person is more righteous or acting better, quite the opposite it is when someone is meek. Meekness is when we comprehend our nothingness and we know we do not deserve the Holy Ghost. We know we cannot change ourselves and we need grace and mercy to get us out of our wretched state.
But when people who have not experienced this are confronted with the possibility that they haven't felt the Holy Ghost they feel it is a personal attack and they think that the person who has is arrogant and way overconfident in their position.
Also I learned quite early on that I can be in a room of people talking about the gospel and the Holy Ghost will confirm a truth to me so powerfully that I used to think that everyone else must be feeling something. The Holy Ghost is amazing because no one may realize when someone two feet away is filled to the brim.
But I like something Truman g madsen said (even though I know he taught a lot of crap too) he said that the sheep know the Shepherd, the Shepherd knows His sheep, and the sheep know the other sheep. Edification is real and you used discernment by the Holy Ghost to know which of those two people truly has experienced the Holy Ghost. Others listened and felt nothing from either side of the debate so they agreed with what seemed logical to them in their own minds.
The other thing is to not judge another's words to be false just because you don't feel the Spirit at the moment. Many times we are not ready for a new truth. That is why we must be open to anything. I have enjoyed reading spiritual experiences from people of other faiths that I never would have been open to a year ago.
But the Holy Ghost can also tell us things like "no that is not correct". Still the same feeling and experience only in the negative.
Are these things kind of in line with your own experience?

Calleen Bataiff said...

Here is another thing that I was faced with while listening to the Paul Duane Show. After listening to Rocks interview I listened to the Abi Harrison interview. This LDS woman is gay, but doing what she believed God wanted her to do she married a man, had a child, and is living with a feeling of being incomplete. She said something in her interview that struck me, because I know that it was true. She said that she knows that she is who she is and will be gay in the next life.

While reading in the Pearl of Great Price I came across this:

22 And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?
23 If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him;
24 For from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies; thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world.

(Pearl of Great Price | Moses 5:22 - 24)

The Holy Ghost taught me that all of us are the same person we were before the world was and will be after we die. We are being given a chance to work out our salvation while here on this earth.

So what Abi was saying was true about her being gay after she dies.

The next thing that occurred to me was the verses in the New Testament:

11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

(New Testament | Matthew 19:11 - 12)

We all know that the translation of the Bible is lacking greatly in some areas, and of course we need to be taught by God the meaning of what is actually being said, so with this in mind I was wondering if people with same sex attractions are these eunuchs that are being mentioned throughout the Bible? Of course I can't find anything on this subject in the Book of Mormon.

Does anyone here have any insights to this?

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate

It's nice to meet someone that has been born of the Spirit and has understanding. I too am learning these same things about ppl who are not only not of our faith, but are having major problems in their lives. PPl I thought God could never reach, or were not worthy of God,(yes, I have been very judgmental, but I'm getting over it) who have had the Holy Ghost teaching them.

My eyes have been opened on several different things and my mind is continuing to expand.

Thank you for your comments.

Nate said...

Calleen

Here is a crazy question. What if for me, homosexuality would be a sin, because I am not gay, but what if for some people heterosexuality would be a sin, because they are gay?

Nate said...

But in the case of this woman and many others their sins are on the LDS church because of the evil teachings they have forced on so many.
Kind of like I don't believe that women were sinning in polygamy. I think the sin goes upon the men 100 percent.

Calleen Bataiff said...

@ Nate

Very interesting thought on the homosexual issue. I'll have to think further on that one.

As far as polygamy, I believe that either man or woman can be guilty, but only because of the ulterior motive behind their actions. For instance, Eliza R. Snow was a young woman shamed because she was duped by an insincere man who impregnated her. She then was taken in by Joseph Smith and cared for, but when the opportunity came she used polygamy to her advantage so she could be revered by the LDS public. I'm sure their were a lot of women that sealed themselves to the LDS hierarchy for prestige. Also women are not innocent of lusting after men, however, it usually isn't for sex, but for manipulation of something they desire. These type of women are not innocent.

Brigham Young, as many other men, used polygamy to satisfy their sexual lusts as well as build themselves up in the eyes the LDS public. If a man coerced a woman into polygamy or any other type of marriage, then they would be responsible for that action.

My understanding of sin is not an action, it is a state of being. When Adam and Eve were cast out of the presence of God they became like Satan who was also cast out of Gods presence. When a person has not obtained Gods presence he or she is in a state of sin. Satan would have us knit picking at ourselves, distracting us from the true course, which is once again gaining the presence of God. Yes, there are actions which are not good, but generally it's the intention that is wrong and not necessarily the act. It's kind of like money. Money in itself is not evil, but the love of money, and what we want the money for is where the evil lies.

Nate said...

I agree with everything you just said. The women who were manipulated into it and did not know better were not under sin. I believe that every man knows better and they were way more accountable. The major sin is that men and women trust in themselves or other human beings more than they trust in God and they don't seek counsel from Him before acting on such huge things.
Like when people ask is homosexuality a sin? Dang tough question. I think some people are doing homosexual things and it is definitely sin. You look at military situations and even China where there are many more men than women and there are higher rates of homosexuality. Then you have the married senator (if memory serves) from Idaho that was caught in a bathroom trying to have gay sex and he said something to the effect that it was not romantic.... In other words he just had no self control etc.
I don't think Jesus addressed homosexuality because you cannot say it is a sin or that it isn't. Some people really do choose to be gay and it is sin but I also KNOW there are people born gay and it is not a sin.
That is why we cannot judge people without the Spirit and of course fidelity and fornication and love and all of those things apply to any relationship.

Linda said...


I realize that this is off-topic, and I beg for your patience with me; but being new to the community, I felt like I have a valid question which would be totally ignored if I posted it under an older essay. So please indulge me.

I really enjoyed the lively discussion on 'Why I Don't Care if You are Gay'. I read the article and many of the links. And I read through ALL of the comments.........all 431 comments.
This essay gave me many new things to consider.

I expected, and kept looking for someone to say:

"My my! this places those with SSA in an extremely difficult situation."

But I am unaware of anyone saying this.

As mortals we all have strong feelings of loving and longing to be loved in return, but gays are instructed to remain chaste. As 'straights', we are taught to be chaste until we are properly married, and then remain faithful forever afterwards. So how does that work for gays, when they are denied the ability to marry? (Remain chaste until you are married; oh, and by the way, you may not marry!!)
It sounds like a Catch 22 if ever there was one.

Am I wrong in my thinking?

Help me out here someone, please.

Nate said...

You are not wrong! Absolutely hit it on the head! The world is gonna get some humble pie! I don't care what anyone says gays should have the right to marry. Even if you don't agree with it you have to be the type of person I used to be to think that gays shouldn't have the right to call their relationship of equal importance and validity as anyone else's. Thank you.

Calleen Bataiff said...

OK! Here is my two-cents on marriage.

I have come to understand that ppl can marry each other according to their own will, or according to God's will. Having been married 3 times now, I've come to the understanding that I make really bad decisions and have had to pay the price, because I'm a complete idiot and I can not trust myself or for that matter any one else. So after turning to God and experiencing several things, I've learned that the only person I can trust on everything is God. He directed me to my current hubby (third times a charm) and we are very compatible and life is a dream. I've also learned that when God puts you with a person that is the only marriage that is of worth. No paper is needed, nothing else is required except God's approval which is the only thing of worth anyway.

So if a gay person is directed by God to be with another person, whatever the gender, then that is all that matters. I have no opinion on gays because I'm not gay and I've been put, by the hand of God, with my husband, so everything is good.

Really, I'm not here to judge anybody unless God has given me direction on the issue, which he hasn't. I was wondering about the eunuch thing because of a thought that occurred to me after listening to a radio interview with a gay person.

My beliefs about this whole issue is that it's being forced upon us by political forces to tear down the fabric of this country and it's society. As Rock has pointed out, back in the day, you were looked at as being odd, if you were gay, but it was a none issue. Nobody really cared. It was a live and let live mind set.

If the LDS Church has a problem with ppl being gay, then those ppl along with their families should just leave that institution alone and go their way. Why anyone would try to force themselves or lifestyle on another person or institution doesn't sound God like. Compulsion is of the devil.

If someone doesn't see value in you they won't hire you, or won't want to be around you. If you have a talent someone needs, or a personality that is agreeable, you will be hired or befriended regardless of your lifestyle. It's the same in every situation. Forcing yourself on others doesn't benefit anyone. Things now days are really messed up.

Linda said...

Nate,

Thank you for your kind words. Being new to the community, it means a great deal to have received the validation you just gave me.

God bless you.
Linda

Nate said...

Linda

Thank you for your question. I think if you take the Lord's hand out of the equation (which we can't ever really do) the church is backing itself into a corner on two issues that are not going away. One is gay rights, and the other is their treatment of women, which goes from the temple endowment to priesthood authority. The church is riding a tough line because they will lose members fighting these things and they will lose members when someday they bend to society and condone homosexual relationships or give women the priesthood. In my mind these issues were planned perfectly to come to a head now by our great Creator to help people awake from their slumber. God speed.

greg norton said...

I got your book Rock. Although I haven't read it yet, due to some 'small' project that I have felt the need to begin which is to translate some posts from my favorite bloggers (thats you!) into spanish.

Hoever, my father well into the book and as far as I've heard from him it has been quite enjoyable thus far, even for a long time reader of your blog.

Anyways, I hope you don't mind that I have a desire to translate some of your best posts, well at least in my opinion, into spanish.

I feel like there is a lack of this type of content in Spanish and I know there are those out there who are interested in such content.

Greg Norton

p.s. Those who are interested in sharing such content to interested spanish speakers, or if your interested in aiding me in translating work, come on over and check it out.

BK said...

Nate,

Sorry to take so long to get back to you on your questions. I have been very busy.

In answer to how I concluded that Brigham was a false prophet, he preached and practiced contrary to Christ/God's words in the New Testament. Nor would I personally ever believe such an abusive vile man was righteous, trustworthy or sent by any God I would ever believe in.

You asked why I left 'Mormonism' not just 'the Church', ..because I don't believe Joseph was a true prophet anymore, especially the more I learn about him. I believe he lied about many things, including the origins of the BoA, BoM, D&C, saying they came from God (when I believe it came from Joseph, for they teach far to many falsehoods contrary to Christ to be from God or for God to ever expect us to think they came from him). And Joseph was also too deceived and gullible himself (true prophets are wiser then that), see more below about Joseph.

I only believe in Christ and his teachings now, found in the NT and I believe the God/Spirit of truth confirms to me they are true.

Joseph & the BOM do teach many true things, but they teach too many false things that give them away as being not of God, like the teaching that we should discern things to be either true or false by prayer & the 'Spirit or 'spiritual experiences', which is contrary to God & Christ's former teachings, for everyone is too easily deceived by spiritual experiences or what they think is 'the spirit', to discern truth by the them. We as mortals need something concrete to judge by, which God has given us in the New Testament.

Christ & God taught we discern true prophets, righteous people & truth by whether they live the words of Christ or not, found in the NT. That is a very easy way to judge. But few like what Christ taught so most everyone chooses to instead believe in what some Spirit, vision or feeling might convey to them, which is usually easier & feels better to them.

When people believe in following 'the so-called Spirit' rather then Christ then we get everyone believing different things and eventually all condoning an 'anything goes' scenario.

When people reject Christ's words, as it seems you have, since you think they may not have been translated correctly (which is a convenient excuse that many use, for anyone can prove Christ's words correct if they just live them) then people eventually come to allow just about anything and don't call it sin, for they have no concrete laws to live by and start to claim all kinds of different things they are so sure 'the Spirit/God'told them.

It's interesting that everyone is so sure they are listening to the right Spirit but no one seems willing to keep Christ's commandments, yet they think they & their prophets are righteous.

BK said...

Nate, (Continued -)

As for what prophets were deceived by false revelation and when?

Joseph Smith, seems he was deceived to lie about many things (like where his scriptures came from & his visions), deceived in business dealings, promoting the Book of Mormon and it's falsehoods & calling wicked men to be leaders, misusing tithing, telling men to leave their families and go on long missions, putting Church ahead of Emma's & his children's needs, desires & welfare, building a temple while there are still poor among them, not curtailing polygamous leaders soon enough, not calling female apostles & leaders too & giving them full Priesthood, etc. etc.) and many of his teachings & scriptures are contrary to Christ & he admitted to being deceived at times.

All other LDS general & local leaders since Joseph, were and are deceived to preach & practice contrary to Christ.

BIBLE: DAVID ( fell for polygamy & riches), SOLOMON (polygamy & riches), ABRAHAM (polygamy, riches & followed Adversary's inspiration to sacrifice Issac), JACOB (polygamy), and probably MOSES too (for he taught or at least allowed many things contrary to God/Christ), ESTHER, (God would never tell any woman to commit adultery & marry an abusive married man, even to save her people). Etc. Etc.

BOOK OF MORMON: NEPHI (deceived to kill Laban for false reasons), MORMON, for including the Book of Nephi, MORONI, for teaching to pray & discern truth by the Spirit & feelings, when if he'd been righteous he would have known that's what all false prophets say to do cause that's how people are most easily deceived. He would have instead said to only judge truth & righteousness by Christ's words, not by the Spirit or feelings or spiritual experiences.

Nate said...

BK

That was a beautiful work around of my question. I asked to tell me what prophets in the bible received false revelation. But thank you for answering why you left Mormonism. It is apparent to me that you are seeking to follow Christ and I can only applaude you for that.
In all of your bible examples there was only one you listed where someone actually claimed revelation that you have declared to be false and that was Abraham. There is nowhere recorded anywhere with the others you listed that they actually received revelation (false or otherwise) to do what they did. They simply chose to do those stupid things using their own brains. I do agree Abrahams revelation to sacrifice Isaac raises questions.
My feeling is this. Abram was promised by God that he would have a son that would carry the promised seed from generation to generation. So what happened Is Sarai began to get old and was passed child bearing years. Abram and Sarai knew God had promised them a son and so they (like so many) started using their own brains and Sarai had the idea that Hagaar could be used. She probably thought she was being wise and selfless. Abram without God's consent married hagaar and she had Ishmael.
For this act of stupidity, Abram (exalted father) was demoted to Abraham (father of nations). They admitted this was sin and Abraham probably lost the opportunity to be translated as Melchizedek and Enoch had been before him.
After Abraham and Sarah laughed at how stupid they had been and she had a child in her old age. God saw fit to test Abrahams faith in Gods promises. Abraham had failed before and sought to fulfill Gods promise on his own. So now Abraham had to prove that Gods promise was sure, even when it doesn't make sense. He had learned then that even if he sacrificed Isaac God would raise him up to fulfill His promises. If you believe he received false revelation that is your choice.
As far as following these so called spirits or just doing what Chrisf taught. You seem to think they contradict each other. From my experience the Holy Ghost only confirms the truth of what Christ taught and empowers us to be able to live accordingly. And the awesome thing is it is not a burden or struggle, but it is joyous! A false spirit will cause one to slowly live contrary to God's words, and to not want to pray, and scripture study will be a chore and service will be something to be avoided, unless someone is doing all of these things for the wrong reason. Revelation from God is very real. And when it is found it can be trusted. That doesn't mean anyone should just trust anyone else's claims. This means they are tapped into the Source, and no longer have to trust in anything else.

BK said...

Nate,

Though we may disagree, I believe all those so called 'prophets' thought that they were being inspired of God to live polygamy and that God wanted them to have their wealth and that Joseph was inspired to call those men, write those scriptures and do all he did. If you talk to anyone who is religious, especially those who claim to be prophets, they always say God was leading them to do the things they did and taught.

So yes, I believe they all fell for false revelation from the Adversary or from their own imaginations.

And I believe Abraham lost the Spirit from living polygamy (adultery) (which he and Sarah both knew was very wrong, or Abraham would have practiced it long before since he was so concerned with having a son), and thus without the Holy Spirit he was highly influenced by the Adversary to think God was commanding him to sacrifice his son. But God never contradicts himself and or command anyone to ever do something contrary to his laws, which are eternal and can't be changed even if God wanted to.

Any promises God had made to Abraham while he was righteous were dependent on Abraham's righteousness. I believe God saved Issac for Issac's sake and for God's own purposes, not because of Abraham's worthiness of any former promised blessing, for wickedness causes a loss of all former blessings.

And I believe God never ask or wants us to follow his commandments unless they make sense to us, for common sense is the basis of his commandments and we must prove things to be right 'before' we follow them, not follow blindly when things don't make sense.

That's why God gave us a brain, and we will be accountable for using it, though it is risky to have to make decisions and discernments ourselves, but that's the test of this life, to see who can do so correctly.

While I agree that the right Spirit will tell us the same things that Christ said in the NT, I have never known anyone to say that they have received the same teachings from the Spirit that Christ taught.

Even many of your beliefs seem contrary to Christ in my opinion, (women in polygamy weren't accountable for their part in adultery, same sex marriage is ok, we should discern truth by the Spirit and not be fruits, etc.) but you still believe they came from God.

And while some who follow false spirits stop praying, studying scriptures and doing service, most people who want to look religious keep doing those things even though they are doing evils too, for they just do them for the wrong reasons (in order to look good).

And I agree, revelation from God is very real, but most everyone who is religious thinks they are 'tapped into the source' and that they don't have to trust in anything else, while they are unknowingly deceived to support evil, and so that's the problem, they have no way to know they are being deceived, for they don't compare their revelation with what Christ said.

If you believe in Joseph Smith that is what he taught too - that we can't trust even our own revelation, we must question everything and everyone, on earth or in heaven.

Nate said...

So you said Abraham lost the spirit and practiced polygamy and this was adultery. So did this condemn him in your opinion so that God wouldn't have spoken to him and command him in the future?

Nate said...

Joseph smith in my very humble opinion never was deceived by false revelation. To me it was quite clear he lied about some things but I don't think he was deceived.
Also please tell me how a woman in a polygamous relationship is committing adultery.

BK said...

Do you think Joseph tried to spend donated tithing without God's inspiriation? Or write scripture without claiming it was from God?
Or decide to build a temple without knowing what God wanted? Or call men on lengthy missions without asking God if that was a good idea or not? Or deny women equal Priesthood & position without believing God approved?

Do you believe Joseph Smith called men to be apostles and leaders of the Church, without trying to consider what God thought? And since he obviously called some of the wickedest men around as leaders of the Church, he obviously was deceived by revelation or at least in his character assessment of them.
True prophets can tell the wicked from the righteous as easy as telling the night from the day.

Joseph claimed he translated the BoM 'by the gift & power of God', that would be as close to revelation as any of us can get, yet the BoM is filled with error and falsehoods that lead people astray. ??? If we wasn't deceived and knew of the falsehoods then why did he let them be pubished without warning the people?

Joseph always said that if he preached or practiced anything contrary to Christ then no one should listen to or follow him. It appears that he just didn't realize all the ways he was doing that.

And yes, once Abraham lost the Spirit he was too hard hearted and darkened in his mind to be able to hear the Spirit or and tell it was from God.

While anyone, wicked or righteous, can always easily hear Satan's inspiration, but most think it's from God cause it can sound so right & feel so wonderful.

Joseph Smith and his BoM prophets and even the LDS leaders of the Church today taught and teach that polygamy is adultery.

But most importantly Christ taught that married men can't marry another woman or else they are committing adultery,(that covers polygamy as well as divorce & remarriage) and he taught that no woman can marry a married man or it's adultery for her, whether or not they were divorced or not. (Matt 19:9, etc.)

Thus Christ taught that the marriage bond is eternal and can't be broken, even by man-made divorce laws, so people who are divorced are still really married to the 1st and can't marry another or they commit adultery.

The only women innocent in polygamy were those who were forced to go along with it because their husbands wanted to follow Brigham & live it. They often had no choice because of the controlling nature of their husbands over their children, so they couldn't leave him and take their children.

Those women who voluntarily entered into polygamous relationships knew it was wrong, knew it was adultery, (for they had heard Joseph say so and read the BoM that said so, and had read Christ's teachings that said so too) yet they still wanted to live it for it's perks.



Nate said...

Matthew 19:9 only addresses men committing adultery. I agree the men are committing adultery but I don't see how you can argue the women were. The woman was only sleeping with her husband. That is not adultery. You see, you would actually be hard pressed to find the sin the women might have been committing unless stupidity is a sin. I have never heard it to be a sin to stay married to a spouse that is committing adultery. I don't know why anyone would want to but I don't believe it is a sin.
Also yes. I believe joseph smith did many of those things without receiving revelation (false or legitimate). I don't want to get into this again but I am entirely convinced that moroni was serious when he said joseph smith would be known for good and evil among ALL people. Right now the saints only know him for good. I believe his greed and his lust were the carnal desires that finally overcame him. I think around 1835 was when everything finally fell apart. This is when the fanny alger incident occurred in my opinion.
Before that I think he was convinced he could make money from selling the copright of the BoM and proclaimed a revelation he never received to go sell it. But I don't think he lost the Spirit until around 1835. After that the saints got the boot from Jackson County, the promised endowment of power never came, and Zion never took a step forward.
Ok but as far as people not being accountable for certain things there is plenty of precedence with Christ saying "forgive them, for they know not what they do." Were those mere words?
Also you contradict yourself and you have proven that God does contradict Himself. In answer to my question whether polygamy which we both agree is adultery condemned him, you clearly answered yes. And yet Jesus declared to the woman taken in the very act of adultery "neither do I condemn thee,go thy way and sin no more". So you have proven in your own words that you were wrong about God never contradicting Himself.

Nate said...

That is, unless you retract your statement about Abraham being condemned by polygamy : )
Abraham repented and was not condemned.

Nobody Cares said...

Why don't you guys exchange emails and beat the hell out of this over and over again in private?..

Nate said...

Good point i need to quit commenting so much. Peace and God bless. Thanks Rock and everyone for fighting the good fight. I am gonna lay off the internet for a while and go get Rocks book to read. Love you BK and respect your unique position.

BK said...

Nate,

I take it you don't believe Joseph was a true prophet, I had thought you did, so then now I can understand why you think he would do all those things without caring if he had revelation or not. So we just disagree on whether he believed he was inspired by God.

But it seems you believe Joseph was just out to deceive people on purpose and make money and take advantage of women, so I don't see how he could maintain the Spirit at all, let alone til 1835.

And I don't know why you would believe in the BoM & quote Moroni if you believed Joseph was so evil & adulterous. It would have been impossible for such a man to bring forth true scripture or have the Spirit at all.

But as for being accountable, Jesus was right, they didn't know what they were doing, for they had become past feeling by then, like all wicked people, but at some earlier point in their lives they did know right from wrong and they chose evil, so even though they didn't have a conscience anymore cause they were so evil, they still are accountable for getting to that point and all they did. Christ was just asking the Father to forgive them, for Christ knew they would already have a hard enough time in hell paying for what they had done. God's forgiveness is just a knowledge of his unconditional love for us, it doesn't save us from having to pay the price of our sins.

Even though Jesus didn't condemn the woman taken in adultery, meaning didn't apply a punishment, doesn't mean Christ could give the woman back the Holy Spirit she had lost. He told her to go and repent, and only if she did that could she slowly regain the Spirit. So God did not contradict himself.

Abraham also would have had to repent from his adultery in order to regain the Spirit, which we see he didn't, for he was easily deceived by the Adversary to fall for worse sin in trying to sacrifice Issac and even continued to live more polygamy (adultery) later on the Bible says.

So it seems Abraham never really repented, even though he did send Hagar away, but the way he sent her away was also abusive (showing he wasn't sorry & repentant), he sent her and her son out to die, which a righteous man never would have done, he would have made sure she & the boy were taken care of comfortably for the rest of their life, he owed them that much, even though he didn't see her again.

And back to Christ's teachings on adultery & divorce, when a married man marries another woman, the woman is just as guilty of adultery as the man. I don't know anyone who thinks women in adultery aren't accountable. Affairs are never one sided. The woman knew it was wrong to marry a man who belonged to someone else, she knew she was abusing his 1st wife, and that she was encouraging and participating in the sin of adultery, so by law she is equally accountable.

No such thing as once sided adultery, unless it's rape.

And many of those women in polygamy had been married before, which Christ also covered, saying women who had married before couldn't marry another man (even if she divorced her 1st husband), cause she is still married to her 1st husband in God's eyes. See Matt. 19, Luke 16:18, Mark 10:2-12.

Rock, you have a Trojan said...

So, Now that we've judged the hearts of everyone who ever lived polygamy, as well as most the prophets that ever lived were "Evil", we can move on to a more spiritually productive discussion?..

I believe that polygamy is not of God, and I choose not to participate in it now, or in the future. But, I don't pretend to know what was in the hearts of anyone that lived it. How do I know what they thought or believed?.. How do we know they didn't think they were truly doing what the Lord desired of them?..

I believe that When you take it any further arguing that it just proves they were "EVIL" because they fell for it, you've take it one step too far and we fall into our own folly of judgment.

I believe that there are homosexuals that suffer with same sex attraction and most would give anything not to. I also believe that there are those that just choose it to experience a different type of pleasure.

While I chose not to participate in the practice of that either, I don't see any reason to try to judge what is in the hearts of anyone that lives with it.

I thank GOD that I am not required to judge the intent of anyone!

You can not be judgmental and be happy at the same time. If we judge others, we will judge ourselves. You can not be happy when you are comparing yourself to others.

37... said...

Ryhat, amen to that!

Julianne said...

Sadly because of the title of your book I cannot buy it. My husband would freak out as well as other family members. I'm already walking a fine line having so many DS books around.

BK said...

Unfortunately Christ requires us to try to make righteous judgments in order to discern who are his true disciples, by people's fruits, meaning, whether or not they live Christ's laws.

So it's not that hard to know the hearts of people if we watch their actions. Our actions reveal our hearts.

Most unrighteous people like to believe they are doing the Lord's will, it's just that is so easy do be deceived by the Adversary to do evil when we think we are doing right.

Polygamy is always abusive to women and children, thus it's not hard to know what's in the hearts of men who live it or desire it, for they wouldn't want done to them what they do to women in polygamy.

Alan has a trojan said...

Sorry,I do not believe in judging others.

Scan may not find Trojan said...

"Most unrighteous people like to believe they are doing the Lord's will, it's just that is so easy do be deceived by the Adversary to do evil when we think we are doing right."

But, if you have the gift of the Holy Ghost, which you would have if you were truly righteous. Then it would not be easy to be deceived in to doing whats wrong.

BK said...

Scan,

I agree. But it's rare to find someone that righteous that they aren't deceived. I have never known of anyone who isn't deceived by many wrong things or people.

Nate said...

Scan and BK

The Holy Ghost is what brings righteousness. One of the first and most important truths in the gospel is that no one on earth save little children is worthy of the Holy Ghost. BK please use some reason here and quit misinterpreting the New Testament. We do not get the Holy Ghost by being righteous. We get the Holy Ghost by faith in Christ, knowing that only through Him can we be made righteous. If you think one person on this earth needs the atonement more than you do you have not discovered the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all unworthy creatures and have to rely wholly upon the merits of Jesus Christ. It is through His righteousness and not ours that we are saved. You continually cast judgement on others because of how you perceive their fruits to be but james taught that if we sin in one point of the law we have sinned in them all. One sin damns us to eternal misery without the atonement.
Some people have regrets and they try to make up for their past by behaving nearly perfectly. They are self righteous and love to cast judgement and they put on a smile and deceive almost everyone into thinking they are righteous. They are the typical relief society president or politician and yet they have never truly tasted of forgiveness or the Holy Ghost and yet they believe they are better than everyone else.
The funny thing is that God is willing to forgive the whore as quickly as He is willing to forgive the relief society president regardless of their behavior. They both need the atonement equally and will only be changed and forgiven based on their faith in Christ. It truly is as simple as turning to look to the serpent on the staff. People reject this because it seems too simple, they think they need to earn forgiveness and righteousness but it cannot be earned. Peter did not have the power that he thought he had earned when he denied Christ three times. The grace was not yet given to him to empower him to stand up for Christ. But after he was converted (just like Saul was) for neither of them deserved it, then he could do Gods work. That is why we cannot judge by looking at peoples works. Everyone has sinned and you condemn yourself if you condemn others for their works. Because your works have been just as evil.

BK said...

Nate,

We just have to disagree I guess, for we both think the other is misinterpreting the New Testament.

I understand why you believe as you do, for it's alot easier then what Christ taught, that our 'works' are what gains us the atonement. Most people have false faith, but true faith in Christ is proven by keeping his commandments and that is easy to see and doesn't make one wrong, prideful or evil for identifying those who keep his commandments or not.

I firmly believe that we only gain the Holy Ghost by our righteousness, by living the teachings of Jesus Christ. I have seen this in everyone I know. Few if any seem to have the Spirit, for few live Christ's teachings enough to gain it.

Everyone seems deceived to support and do evil, yet they always feel righteous and often go to church every Sunday. If they had the Holy Ghost they would not fall for so much evil.

I believe it is wishful thinking to think we just get the Spirit so easily, just by having 'faith' in Christ, unless you mean faith in Christ means following his teachings, which would be the fruit of our faith, actions are the proof of righteousness.

Christ said that just because people profess faith in him or call him Lord won't save them, only those who 'keep' his commandments will be saved.

If what you say is true then we would have to all become perfect in this life or else we would be cast into hell in the next. I believe what Christ taught instead, that if we just gain his pure love and keep his commandments then we will be saved in the Kingdom of heaven, even though that is like being near perfect, but at least it gives us a little leeway for small imperfections.

And Paul is not Christ, Paul taught a lot of things that weren't right. Just because someone may have a minor fault doesn't mean they are guilty of the worst of sins. There is a difference between sins, even though we all are unworthy, but those with minor sins but have love, will be saved, while those with greater sins cause they don't have love will not.

I believe only those who work to gain & maintain Christ's 'true love (which is easy to see & thus why Christ said to look for it to be able to tell who his true disciples are) will be able to take advantage of the Atonement, all others will have to pay for their own sins in the next life and loose out on eternal life.

It is not self-righteous to discern who has love or not or who follows Christ or not, it is essential, so we aren't deceived by false prophets, false people and their false doctrines.

Nate said...

BK

This is my last post for today. The New Testament teaches that one sin, one evil thought, one moment of lust or envy condemns us. Not one of us has not sinned that has come of age.
Once we have sinned we are considered spiritually dead. We are cut off. This is gospel 101.
The titles of Jesus say it all Savior, a Redeemer etc. we can do nothing to redeem ourselves, or save ourselves.
Once we sin we become carnal and devilish. No matter how we act or how bad we want to be righteous we are wicked until the atonement changes that. And the atonement is ONLY accessed by faith. The Holy Ghost then heals us. Before this experience we are broken and cannot fix ourselves. This is the whole point of an atonement.
Only then can someone begin works of righteousness. If you trust that our works are what enables us to access the atonement then you will never find the atonement because like you said, no one is perfect. So how perfect must we be to access the atonement? Does a certain percentage have to be good works or what could you possibly be suggesting that our works access the atonement? Everybody's works damn them from the Spirit and from God.
Yes we must be 100 percent free from sin when we are judged. Yes we must be perfect. This simply means we have exercised faith in the atonement and have received forgiveness of all of our sins, and then the Holy Ghost begins to sanctify us through continual faith and repentence. God makes us righteous. We don't have the power to. Why don't you try it out seriously? I mean really try? Ask God sincerely if He can change you through the atonement.

BK said...

Nate,

Do you mean Christ or the New Testament teaches that? For there is a big difference. There's a lot of false doctrine in the New Testament, but none from Christ that I'm aware of.

It seems you are making it much harder then it has to be. Love is a very easy concept, we all understand it, but few want to live it. Christ taught that only those with Christlike love will be saved, all others, which seems to be almost everyone, including me if I don't do better, will have to pay for their own sins and lose eternal life.

We can have love and still not be 100% perfect, yet we are almost there. Otherwise no one would gain eternal life except Christ.

And I have tried your way, I have asked, and God has taught me differently, that no one can be saved on mere thoughts, wishes or any amount of good intentions or even if they prayed 24/7 and claimed all the faith in the world. God does not and cannot sprinkle us with pixie dust and make us righteous or loving, that takes lots of practice & will & determination & sacrifice and lots of time to learn and develop. And we start with our spouse, for if we don't have true love for our spouse we can't have it for anyone else.

Love is a choice, that 'we' have to make. It may seem to come naturally at the beginning of a relationship but it will soon dissipate if we don't do the works of love and 'serve' our spouse and those around us.

Service & sacrifice is what creates love in our hearts, for God or a spouse or anyone else. No amount of faith, prayer or alms can gain us Christlike love, we must develop it slowly within ourselves and then we gain the Holy Spirit, which is just love, for God is love.

We must work out our salvation, it is hard, it is nearly impossible to be so good and righteous, but with God's help he can inspire us to keep working at it until we do gain Christlike love.

I can see why you and most people believe in an easier way but it does not bare convincing fruit, so I disagree that it is Christ's & God's way. But we all have the agency to believe and do as we please.

Jonathan F. Clarke said...
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Jonathan F. Clarke said...
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Nate said...

Jonathan

Where can I read about this community you mentioned? Sounds like they claim no leader but you clearly mentioned a leader. Can I ask who it is? Or are we speaking in code so I am out of the loop?
Why couldn't God raise up a prophet outside of the church if it has happened so many times throughout the scriptures?

Jonathan F. Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nate said...

Jonathan

Thank you. I actually feel very tangibly you do have a way of peace and calm. I am going to read and pray about this. I have not felt there has been any legitimate movement. I think many things are yet to happens but I stand ready and like you said it is hard to not be antsy with the feeling in the air. Thanks for the voice of reason. God bless.

Nate said...

Jonathan continued

This is very interesting and I will have a lot to think about. Thanks for bringing this up. For now I think denver wants to do good and has pointed out some obvious problems but much of his message is still flawed. He makes suggestions but then does not have answers like why would the church have not lost it's authority ages ago for wrongfully excommunicating someone? Plus he seems to suggest that there was no succession in the first place so we might as well have gotten the priesthood from any LDS offshoot. Also the suggestion that Elijah never came to give keys (which I agree with) but that someone things fell apart in nauvoo.
Anyway I would just suggest to anyone to get a very clear witness from God before making your choice on something like this. Especially performing ordinances like baptism and the sacrament etc.
I do believe God is using denver to help wake people up but he also might be mixing in his own agenda with things. Man life is weird. To each his own. Let's follow God the best we can. Make sure to not just follow people because it may seem right or popular though.