Sunday, January 25, 2015

Know Your Religion

Previously: Correct Me If I'm Wrong

You want a challenge? Try getting a decent handle on Mormon theology today. The gospel of Christ is supposed to be simple enough for any of us to understand as long as we are willing to put in a bit of effort. Why then do we have such trouble separating the pure teachings of our religion (those that come from the revealed word of God) from later collections of rumors, myths, opinions, and speculation? 

Author Adam S. Miller acknowledged how convoluted the search for religious knowledge has become when he aptly titled his book on Mormon theology Rube Goldberg Machines:
"Doing theology is like building a comically circuitous
Rube Goldberg machine: you spend your time tinkering together an unnecessarily complicated, impractical, and ingenious apparatus for doing things that are, in themselves, simple...Engaged in this work, theology has only one definitive strength: it can make simple things difficult." (Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays In Mormon Theology)
As it happens, in recent weeks two remarkable books have been published that will serve to make the difficult things simple again, and it's these books I wish to write about today.  The first is Paul Toscano's The Serpent and the Dove: Messianic Mysteries of the Mormon Temple 

This is a thin volume consisting of only three short chapters and an epilogue. It takes up all of 178 pages, yet it's packed with more valuable information than anything in memory.  A book this short I could usually finish in an hour or two, but I kept finding myself stopping to think long and hard about what I was learning.  This is the kind of book that will have you exclaiming, "Whoa, Dude!" and staring off into space while you let what you just learned try to wrap itself around your brain. I was only part way through the first chapter when I realized this was the most amazing book on Mormon theology I had ever read in my life. And I am not exaggerating. 

One area of LDS teaching that has long confused me is the Book of Mormon's description of the attributes of God.  In numerous places the Book of Mormon makes it quite clear that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but he is also the Eternal Father as well. At least that's the way it reads throughout the original 1830 edition. Here are some examples taken just from First Nephi:
"And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh." (verse 11:18)
"And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father! " (verse 11:21)
". . . And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Everlasting God, was judged of the world..." (verse 11:32)
"...and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world . . . " (verse 13:40)
I was 21 years old before I bothered to read the Book of Mormon straight through (I went on my mission when I was nearly 22), and I think the only reason I was finally getting around to it then was because I found an 1830 replica edition at Deseret Book for 30 dollars and thought it looked and felt kinda cool. So I started in reading, and found that narrative version more readable than my modern seminary edition that was all broken up by verse. But you can imagine my confusion when the original translation seemed to contradict what I had learned growing up in the church. God the Father did not sacrifice himself, I had been taught. He sent his son Jesus to perform that mission.

So I stuck with what I had been taught by my teachers, especially after being told Joseph Smith obviously had translated those verses incorrectly.  Seemed a bit unlikely that the prophet would inadvertently make mistakes like that one after the other, but I accepted that explanation.  After all, Church committees hard at work since then have updated our modern editions and set it all right by inserting the words "son of" every place they rightly belonged. Here's how those verses read in my modern Triple Com:
"And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh."
"And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! . . . "
" . . . And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world . . . "
 " . . . and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the World..."
Problem solved!

Or was it?

I wasn't certain, because Abinadi delivered a very lengthy dissertation on the topic so involved that it could not so easily be explained away, beginning with this statement:
"I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people." (Mosiah 15:1, emphasis mine)
I continued to believe what I was taught at church, though it didn't sit well with me, and not just because my teachers contradicted the scriptures.  It didn't sit well with me because it didn't seem to me like much of a sacrifice for an all-powerful God to send his Son (who, let's be honest, we consider to be a personage of lesser rank than the father) to be killed in his place, even if the Son was willing.

Well, as it happens, it was not a lesser God who takes the hit. It actually is God the Father who sacrifices himself. As Toscano writes:
It is the Eternal God, not some lesser deity, who does the work of salvation. The dual nature of this God is then revealed and explained:
"And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—and they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth." (Mosiah 15:2-4)
Toscano continues:
"On the nature of God there is, perhaps, no more concise or confusing statement in the Mormon canon.  These verses present Jesus Christ as God, a single being who is both the Father and Son -the Son because of the flesh and the Father because he was 'conceived by the power of God.'  If the phrase 'conceived by the power of God' means only that Christ was conceived in the flesh by and with godly powers, it does not explain how Christ is the Father.  If, however, the phrase means that Christ as the Father was conceived by no power outside his own, then this verse tells us that Christ as Father had no progenitor, but was the uncreated and pre-existed creation as the self-existent divine Supreme Being."
Are you lost yet?  Don't be. Toscano provides a complete explanation of how and why this seeming dichotomy can exist and still make sense. And he doesn't just pull the explanation out of thin air, either. Joseph Smith tried to teach these things to the people in the months prior to his death, and we have numerous instances where he lamented the Saint's inability to comprehend such wonderful concepts. Toscano provides us with the prophet's own words as he tried get the Saints to understand the mysteries of godliness.

Such truths may, on the surface, seem incredible, but they are not incomprehensible. They can be understood. It does, however, take some personal effort in order to gain understanding of the greater things. Apparently it was easier for Joseph Smith's contemporaries to simply assume the prophet himself was confused. It was whispered about in some quarters by this time that Brother Joseph had become a fallen prophet, so it was easier to ignore his ramblings than to pray and ask for a witness. And so rather than embrace the wondrous doctrines, they dismissed them and wished them away. As Toscano puts it,
"Joseph Smith's godhead statements, which by his death achieved the intricacy of an invention by J.S. Bach, were reduced by the 20th century LDS Church to the simplicity of a Lawrence Welk polka."
The Mysteries Of Godliness
More important than the how of the condescension of God, is the why. This is covered in chapters two and three of Toscano's book, where the endowment ceremony is discussed and explained in detail. I should note here that many members feel that a discussion of any part of the temple ceremony outside those walls is strictly forbidden, but that isn't so. It is only in three short places that we covenant to secrecy at all, and as will be shown below, it is quite doubtful that Joseph Smith ever intended for any of the ritual to be so secret. It's unfortunate that so many assume nothing at all is up for discussion. Perhaps this reluctance to talk about the meaning of this important ordinance is the very reason we understand so little about the things God would have us know.

Nevertheless, I'm not going to go into any of that, except to point out that the overriding message of the temple is that the Eternal God, (Jesus Christ, Jehovah, the Supreme Being), being so filled with infinite love for his creations,chose not to remain on his throne and lord it over the rest of us, but instead to join us, to become one with us, to make us all His equals. 
"The endowment presents the Garden of Eden as the symbolic place where the Gods descend into mortality. This condescension is referred to in 1 Nephi 11 of the Book of Mormon, where the text presents an angel who asks Nephi, "knowest thou the condescension of God?" When Nephi answers no, the angel opens to him a vision of the virgin Mary, the mortal portal through which the male aspect of Jehovah is incarnated as the mortal Jesus."
"The condescension of Jehovah is not a show or sham. It is not temporary. It is permanent. God becomes one with the angels, and the angels become one with God."
The endowment, when properly performed and understood, is symbolic of God's infinite, unrestricted, and unconditional love for his children.

But it doesn't appear that way today, largely because the ritual has been twisted and corrupted into an instrument of control. Whatever Joseph Smith originally intended for the temple ritual, the Messianic interpretation was subverted and obscured following the prophet's untimely death. Toscano writes:
"It is subverted by competing similar rituals of both Masonry and Wicca. It is obscured by the temple narrative itself.  It is distorted by placing women in subjugation to their husbands, by allowing a husband to play the Lord to his wife prior to their being sealed in marriage. It is distorted by the relentless emphasis on obedience, by the oaths of secrecy, by the former connection of the penalties with threats of punishment and revenge. These distortions resulted in part from Brigham Young's narrative of retribution, his desire to punish apostates, his insistence on avenging the murders of the prophet and patriarch, and his objective of preventing with threats further betrayals of the Saints by members of the LDS Church."
The Church of Jesus Christ was never intended by its founder to be governed by an all-male hierarchy. An essential element of the temple ceremony was the Quorum of the Anointed, which already consisted of both males and females acting in equal authority. These quorums, to be spread among the various stakes and branches, would come together during general conference to govern and conduct the affairs of the church.  But look what happened just a year after Joseph's death:
"In December of 1845, the meetings of the Quorum of the Anointed were suspended and thenceforth women were prohibited from participation in the theocratic activities of the church.  This act constituted the first death blow to Joseph Smith's revelation of Messianic priesthood fullness."
"The Second blow to priesthood fulness and the Holy Order also occurred in December of 1845, when the language of the second anointing was changed so that women were no longer anointed 'priestesses unto God,' but rather 'priestesses unto their husbands.'  During Joseph Smith's lifetime, beginning with the second anointing of the first female, women had been anointed priestesses and men had been anointed priests unto God."
"The Third blow to priesthood fulness and the priesthood order was dealt by Brigham Young when he suspended for 23 years the meetings and operation of the Relief Society, an institution intended by Joseph Smith to serve as a female priesthood organization, a 'kingdom of priestesses.' Eventually, the Relief Society was reconstituted, but not as an organization of female priests. It was organized as an independent women's organization.
It's worth remembering that Brigham Young had never been ordained of God. He had no authority to change the everlasting ordinances that the prophet Joseph had put in place.  He did not even claim the mantle of the Prophet, but saw himself as placeholder until Joseph's son came of age to take the reins of the church.  Still, it didn't seem to bother him to undo Joseph's sacred work.

As depressing as it is to see how bad things have gotten, I'm convinced it's not too late to repent.  Near the end of the third and final chapter of his book, Brother Toscano provides "a blueprint for Zion." For those of us who still hold out hope, this plan follows the requirements the Lord would have us follow.  Whatever you want to call the growing awakening taking place within the church today, Toscano must certainly be considered the grandfather of the movement. As former Associate Editor at the Ensign magazine, Paul Toscano was the first prominent church member back in the early '90s to recognize things were slipping.  (Paul is probably best known for his influential essay entitled All Is Not Well In Zion: False Teachings of the True Church, which you can read for free here.)  We would all do well to consider his proposals as to what we as individuals can do to bring about Zion in our own lives without waiting for the institutional Church to come around.  Remember, Zion is not a Church; it isn't necessarily even a place. Zion is "the pure in heart."  We need not wait around for official instructions. We already have them in our scriptures.

The Serpent and the Dove is essential reading. I don't usually insist this adamantly that my readers buy a specific book (unless it's mine, of course!), but believe me when I tell you, you need to get this book, and you need to get it now.

O Say, What Is Truth?
While Paul Toscano's book is the size of a small handbook at a mere .3 of an inch thick, Bret Corbridge's 77 Truths has the heft of a big city White Pages. For those seeking a comprehensive guide to the essential doctrines of our faith, this is the absolute best one volume reference I know of (and I own a lot of Church reference books). Most importantly, it will walk you through the steps necessary to contribute to a Zion society.  Laid out under 77 key principles of the gospel, this book contains all the scriptures and statements of the prophets you will ever need to assist you in following the Savior's will.  It's divided into 77 separate sections, each section with its own header statement outlining a single doctrinal principal or "truth."  This is followed in each instance by several pages of scriptures, analysis, and quotations to back up and thoroughly explain that principle.

This book has already become my chief gospel reference of late; when I'm looking for a needed scripture or quotation, this is now the source I now go to first.  But a reference book is not even its intended first use. This book is designed to be used as a sort of "Gospel Textbook," starting at the front and working your way through one principle at a time. It's ideal for family night teaching, or daily or weekly devotionals, or even as a couple's study. And if you're like me and slept through all four years of Seminary, this book is your second chance to get that Gospel G.E.D.

I'll go further than that. This book, along with Paul Toscano's The Serpent and the Dove, will provide you with your Master's Degree in Mormon Theology. If I had to go live out my days on a desert Island and was forced to pack light, I'd take these two books and my scriptures, and I could make do.*

*However, the edition of the Book of Mormon I would want to bring with me would be Daymon Smith's The Abridging Works: The Epic and Historic Book of Mormon Arranged in Sequence of Composition, which is far superior to the one in my Triple Combination. 

Mormons And War 
At the beginning of this piece I said I was going to recommend two books on Mormon Theology, but a third book has just crossed my desk which begs to be included here, since it covers the doctrine surrounding a topic that a great majority of latter-day Saints are woefully ignorant about. The book is War: A Book Of Mormon Perspective, by Kendal Anderson.

I have spent only a few minutes skimming through the pages thus far, but it looks like a very promising read, and a much needed antidote to the false teachings so prevalent throughout the church today. Long-time readers may recall that last Memorial day I nearly gave myself an aneurism after watching an official Church video that completely misrepresented the Lord's teachings on war, and had this book been available then, I might have shut up and just told you to read this book.

War: A Book of Mormon Perspective is not the first book to address this important topic, but it is the most comprehensive. Three years ago,  War and Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives was favorably reviewed by me here, and although I recommend it, this recent publication seems to hold the promise of providing more accurate and comprehensive theology on the topic overall. The final third of the book contains two sections of apendices, and like Corbridge and Toscano's books, this one is heavily footnoted.

As Anderson reminds us in his chapter on the misunderstood Captain Moroni, Warfare is the number two theme in the entire Book of Mormon, and since it is both the most important and the most ignored doctrinal issue of our day, it would behoove us to make certain we are on the Lord's side on this before we thoughtlessly jump into battle.

So now you have three books as your assigned reading. If you still have some of that Christmas money grandma gave you last month, head on over to Amazon and start spending it, quick. Here are the links:

The Serpent and the Dove: Messianic Mysteries of the Mormon Temple by Paul Toscano

77 Truths by Bret L. Corbridge

War: A Book of Mormon Perspective by Kendal Anderson

As first announced last month, plans are being made for a Remnant Family Reunion to be held in May on Colorado's Grand Mesa, about a five hour drive from Salt Lake City.  This will be a FREE opportunity to gather and get to know like-minded latter-day Saints. I'm happy to announce that the venues have been obtained and all details have been hammered out, so if the Lord inspires you to come join us, I hope you will. I'm very excited to meet many of you in person.  If you are at all considering joining us, please hie over to Adrian Larsen's website, To The Remnant right now, and click on the flyer to download the pdf file where you'll find the schedule, maps, information, and places you can buy your groceries for the potluck meal.

And remember, this event is FREE.  I hope to see you there!

Rules For Commening: I again remind those who wish to comment that posting only as "Anonymous" has not been working for us. You do not have to use your real name, but if you insist on choosing "Anonymous" from the drop-down menu, you must invent a username and place that either at the top or bottom of your comment so that readers can tell you apart from the many others who for some reason keep choosing to post under the "anonymous" option.   If you have a Google registration, use that one, otherwise it's best if you check the box that says "Name/URL", place your preferred username in in the "name" box, and ignore the box that asks for a URL. That way you can still remain anonymous if you so wish, but then other readers have a handle to address you with when responding. Comments missing any kind of identifying moniker are at risk of being deleted. I have to be strict about this because too many people posting as "anonymous" has resulted in chaos in the past.


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Janine Freese said...

Hi Rock, referring to Paul Toscano's book - you guys are saying that Elohim and Jehovah are the same being? How were they represented in the original endowment? And what's going on at Christ's baptism, if 3 members of the Godhead are present? Dazed and confused.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well, that's the thing, Janine. I could either retype Paul's entire book and answer all the questions readers might have about it, or I could offer a taste so readers could be intrigued enough to read it for themselves.

Believe me when I tell you, the answers to your questions exist, as puzzling as the whole thing may appear, given how conditioned we've all been to the conventional teachings.

This is why Joseph Smith referred to them as the "mysteries of Godliness." They are questions not easily answered without laying the foundation step by step and line upon line. All I could offer was a taste of what is possible.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

However, I don't think Elohim is the same being as Jehovah.
"Elohim" is plural for Gods, or in other words the council of Gods. The name may include Jehovah/Jesus, as well as several others such as Michael/Adam.

But don't quote me; I'm still working at sorting it all out myself.

Kendal Anderson said...

The lectures on faith refer to the Father as a personage of spirit, and the Son as a personage of tabernacle, not sure what is all means.

Irven said...

None of us know everything. No matter how much we learn, we likely won't know everything. But the one thing we can do is look at the Book of Mormon. It gets things right, every time. Mormon told us in the title page: If there are errors, they are the errors of men. The teachings and doctrines contained in it are a much better gauge than an institution of men, no matter how inspired an institution may be. The book of Mormon isn't an institution. It isn't a creation of men. It is a compilation of what God revealed and wanted us to know. Like the "invisible hand" that Adam Smith references, the book of Mormon came about in much the same way the market works. The "invisible(most of the time)hand" of God put the work together.

The reason Kendal is right in his book, is because he is using the book of Mormon. The reason that people who oppose aggressive warfare, even when they know nothing about the Book of Mormon perspective are right, is because their position fits with the Book of Mormon. If your view fits the Book of Mormon perspective, you aren't wrong.

If the 1830 book says something different than what a committee decided would clarify things for everyone, you're better off sticking to what the original said. Why would you trust an organized committee of men, over the anarchic melding of principles from on high? I'll never take a committee on that one.

The truth always rings true. The tough part is tuning yourself in, so that you can hear the 'ring'.

Anonymous said...

"War: A Book Of Mormon Perspective" is a fantastic book. It truly captures the horrors of war as well as who is behind all wars. I only wish everyone would take the time to read and understand what this book is teaching.

What a shame it is for us as people of this nation to support the "powers that be" in their destructive wars around the world.


Steak Presedent said...

Hi there. First off, the first half of this comment should have gone under the previous post "Correct Me If I'm Wrong", but by the time I got round to answering, this new post came out.

Thank you Log and Rock for your replies. They gave me a much better idea of what your stance is on that topic and I like learning that I don't disagree with someone as much as I did before!

Okay about this post: I don't believe that God the Father and Jesus are the same being. Why would Jesus talk about His Father so much, as if He was a different being, if He wasn't. He said He was sent by the Father and prayed to the Father. Was He sent by himself and prayed to himself? Paul Toscano says that Adam is our heavenly father and Eve is the Holy Ghost. But Nephi saw the Holy Ghost as a man. I wouldn't have a problem with the Holy Ghost being female, but I believe the fact of the matter is that the Holy Ghost is male. Nephi records two separate voices speaking to him: the Father and the Son. Also, Joseph Smith taught that the Father and Son are two distinct personages (although it's hard to go by quotes by Joseph Smith because some contradict each other).

I agree with Paul's other views though, that abuse of members (or anyone) can come from a twisting of doctrine and about how we shouldn't follow wrong teachings from leaders (which I always thought was "duh" obvious, but apparently it isn't.)

Tiani said...

Interesting post, Rock. Interesting, too, that you and Daymon both talk about different views of "the Father" in your most recent posts. I can't say that your posts clearly ring true to me, but I can say that for about 6 months or so, I've been feeling like the "standard answer" isn't quite right, and that I need to get more truth and light on the subject. I've been trying to better understand the nature of God and/or the Godhead. Who is Elohim? Who is Jehovah? Who is Christ? Who is Jesus? Who is Adam? Who is Michael? Who is the Holy Ghost? Who is Eve? Who is Mary? Etc. Who is Lucifer? Who am I? It's been hard to get a clear answer; perhaps in part because it's not even clear who I'm praying to. For some reason, I hadn't really given it much thought, but isn't it interesting in 3 Nephi 19, where the people pray to Jesus because he's there with them? I also had an interesting, yet disconcerting experience at the temple, which I haven't known exactly what to make of it, except to say that I felt like I got clear revelation that the ceremony has been completely corrupted and used for evil. I finally found some solace in the Celestial room, as the Spirit seemed to whisper to me that Jesus Christ had had a similar experience in the temple. But I had always used the temple ceremony as help in understanding the Godhead, but I don't feel like I can trust it now. Do we have clear documentation anywhere as to exactly how and when each thing has changed? I can't say I'm even certain it was revealed purely in the first place. But I do know that there are some deep truths there, but the smallest deviations from truth can have huge negative impacts.

David said...

I like Amulek'so testimony of Christ. He is "the Father of heaven and earth and all things that in them are." Being the Creator of this world, that makes Christ the Father over our physical beings. It is our physical selves that cause the fall, and it is the fall of man that requires the sacrifice. Through the Atonement he purchased us with his blood. Think of it like an adoption of sorts. Father over our physical being and He becomes Father over the souls of men when we accept the Atonement and allow him to save us.

Jared Livesey said...

How can books on Mormon theology, or doctrinal commentaries, be anything other than the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture?

After all, if their contents were scriptural, well, they'd be the scriptures, and if their contents are not scriptural, well, why bother?

Is not doctrinal commentary essentially how Mormonism became impure?

Why not rather instead press forward with diligence in keeping the sayings of the Lord and mighty prayer to be received into his presence and thus find out for oneself how things really are?

AT said...

Rock (or anyone),

Are you aware of anyone who has made an attempt to represent what we know about the temple ceremonies as instituted by Joseph Smith? What was it like originally?

Jared Livesey said...

I found this - The Development of the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony.

A response from FARMS on a book the author published on the same subject.

There is, to my eye, clearly some ire in the FARMS response.

R. Metz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R. Metz said...

The formerly called Reorganised church (now Community of Christ) despised Brigham Young. The LDS do too, more and more, I get to understand. Or is it that they don't understand him very much?Is it true that Brigham Young had never been ordained of God, as you write?
Let's consider his position. He was the senior member of the Council of Friends and of the Councel of the Twelve. Parley Pratt witnessed the prophet ordaining Young as his successor, stating: “He proceeded to confer on elder Young, the President of the Twelve, the keys of the sealing power . . . This last key of the priesthood is the most sacred of all” (Millennial Star, 5:151, PPP). And in JD 8:234 we can read “The voice of God came from on high, and spake to the Council. . . . What did it say to us? Let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding Priesthood in my Church and Kingdom”. What more do we want?
Your blog on Vengeance is real good, and good enough for me, so I'm not going to buy “War; a book of Mormon perspective”. The other two you mention are on my wish list (Santa Claus was not so generous this time).
About Zion; this is first of all a real fysical thing, not just spiritual. It is a people and a nation, and a place, how else would the word of the Lord go out from Jerusalem and the law from Zion? The D. and C. makes this very clear. Interesting in this regard is a book that I would like to recommend: Zion's Redemption, by Francis M. Darter, whose writing is quite informative on the subject – for which he was even excommunuicated. So you see, this cutting off people for speaking the truth is of all times, but this redemption idea as well, it just is getting new impulses by the information that is coming to us through the internet, and I hope it is here to stay, because that is what the Gospel is all about, though we did'nt here much about it lately during Conference.

Steak Presedent said...

The word 'Zion' has different meanings. So does the word 'God'. It can refer to Jesus, Heavenly Father or the Holy Ghost (the Spirit of God). I think God uses words a little differently than we do. They may be both nouns and adjectives. If you replace 'Zion' with 'good', you get "the city of 'Good'; "we must become a 'good' society"; "'good' is the pure in heart."

If you think of the word 'God' as being an adjective, you have "Jesus is 'God'" and "Heavenly Father is God". So "God" is like a quality, but it also is the name given to a being that embodies this quality. Likewise Zion, is a quality as well as the place that has this quality as its characteristic feature. The city of Zion, personifies Zion, if you will.

I haven't prayed about this yet to know if it's true, so please don't take it as gospel truth. There's also the question of whether I'm authorised to teach anybody out of my sphere of stewardship, even if I did receive revelation on it.

Tiani said...

Wow! I just read "All is Not Well in Zion!" And to think it was written in 1993! I certainly wasn't ready for it then, but it profoundly resonates now. Can't say for certain that I know this view of Father, Son, Adam, Eve, etc. is true, but I can say that the Spirit has penetrated my core on the overall message of this essay, and I'm starting to have hope again that this can come together. Just today I had a talk with my fellow presidency members of the deep concern I had about the "Which way do you Face?" talk from the Oct. general conference, and Paul Toscano covers those very same lines in this essay. My feelings exactly! Anyway, thank you, Rock. I appreciate your in-tune-ness so often.

Curious enough said...

I don't know what Paul Toscanos says but if you understand the nature of a soul you will understand that a soul can divide. God could take a small sliver of His light and inhabit a body with that light. The Mother could as well. Jesus Christ is from the same soul as Adam, and also others who have come. Mary Magdalene was His wife.
Is this what Paul teaches by chance? Of so I would really like to see this book.

This does not mean Jesus doesn't have a Father though that is even higher, but the question is who is OUR FATHER? Jesus literally has spirit children on this earth. Perhaps not all though...

Btw just because the endowment (which is 90 percent an adaptation of freemasonry, which has TONS of truth) has a lot of truth and great symbolism, doesn't mean it was instituted by God. Although rituals of all kinds can be wonderful The Lord warned us very specifically about the dangers of making oaths. There are better ways to learn than by the grips of freemasonry with blood oaths.... Just some thoughts.

Curious enough said...


To clarify the word "Father" has not always meant the same thing. Jesus praying to His Father could very well mean praying to that portion of His soul that remained in heaven.
Soul splitting is not limited to just God. No one brings all of themselves into a body. The doctrine is so beautiful when tied in with multiple lives and many other things. It is also crucial to understand what being "sealed" really means. Anyway just some thoughts. Maybe this isn't Paul's understanding at all...

AT said...


Thanks for the reference. I read much of the article. Apparently the author, Buerger, wrote _The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship_ that goes into more detail. ($13 used on Amazon)

mtman318 said...

The verses in 1 Nephi were changed in the 1837 edition of The Book of Mormon (and they were retained in the 1840 edition as far as I know). They weren't changed by some modern Apostles committee; Joseph Smith did it himself (or if it was done by a committee at that time, and they were in error, then he would have had plenty of time to change it back).

Anonymous said...

I really want to get these books including The Second Comforter, but I don't live in USA and the sending cost is very expensive. Do you know a site where I could download them?

Jared Livesey said...

Anonymous said...

Yes I know I could get them from Amazon, but the sending price to Mexico would perhaps double the original one or be even more.

Jared Livesey said...

Try the kindle versions.

Kendal Anderson said...

Jared, email me at and I'll send you a pdf of my book for free. (War: A Book of Mormon Perspective)

Kendal Anderson said...

That goes for anyone else.

Kendal Anderson said...

That goes for anyone else.

Kendal Anderson said...

For anyone who wants a free pdf of my book I just remembered it's on my blog:

Tamsyn Spackman said...

I have major reservations about referencing Wicca rights in relation to the temple. Even the Masons do not put the ceremony's symbols in the proper context as the temple ceremony does. Joseph Smith restored the original ceremony, as well as its meaning. Anthony Larson's research is a good source for this.

Julie said...

I am very interested in the Toscano book, but live outside the US--does he have electronic copies available anywhere?

Morgan Deane said...

Its always interesting to see another book on Warfare in the Book of Mormon. Mine book, Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents, been out for a bit now and directly answers some of the points brought up in Anderson's book.

For example the final chapter of my book discusses preemptive war directly, and actually defends the practice. Its not a popular notion in places like this, but given current U.S. policy its a timely topic that should be discussed from every angle. My second book actually looks at some of the negative consequences from the great war and provides a strong note of caution. You can see a very rough summary of it here:

The introduction also has high praise for Reuben Clark, which I caution against:

I haven't had a chance to read much more than the introduction. I did see a chapter on false flags, which is a subject I also discussed on my blog.

But this looks like a book that will at least initiate more conversations about warfare in the BoM, which is great in my mind. I once had somebody claim that I was too passionate in discussing war, and he couldn't discuss it with me, which I thought was odd. As Sunzi said in his first line: "Warfare is the way to life and death, and must be thoroughly analyzed." With literally thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands or millions of lives at stake, it should be an issue discussed more often. I just got a research grant, on top of my full teaching load, so I don't know how much time I'll have to read the rest of this. But its on my list.

Steven Lester said...

Concerning the ability of Jesus to pray to Himself, please remember that Time is not as it is here on Earth or this Universe when it is viewed while within the Otherside. Because Time, when it was created at the same moment that Space was created, would be a part of all three dimensions of that Space, it would include every moment that passed as a part of that Space everywhere and every moment from the beginning to the end. This is how God can know the ending from the beginning, and why the accurate future can be told to people that always comes to pass. As hard as it is to comprehend on this side, everything happens at once when viewed from the Otherside. And so, it would be as easy as pie for The Father to pray to Himself on the Otherside as He existed before our year of His 33rd birthday, and how He could exist seemingly in two places at once. He, totally there and He, totally here at the same time. The same being praying to Himself.

This is also why Heaven can know our future, even as we create it during the ever-fleeting present.

This all makes sense to me, but it is very hard to explain.

Robin Hood said...

Well said. I find myself agreeing with most of your comments.

Speaking generally, I think it is very risky to give much regard to Paul Tuscano's ideas. I have read his Sunstone article "All is not well in Zion" and can only state with any certainty that it appears to be the ramblings of a very troubled soul.
His ideas about Adam/God, the role of the two Mary's, and even of Eve, are just, well, bizarre to say the least!
Needless to say I won't be reading his latest book, despite Rock's glowing endorsement.

C Brown said...

LOVED Paul's book. I'm still so unsure on the explanation of who God/Adam/Jehovah/Mary/Christ Sophia...etc (I feel like I need a diagram) are. If anyone has a solid grasp on that, I'd love some sort of visual aid. What I felt so compelling and important was the temple section. The temple had become so off putting to me; but with his book, I at least feel like I want to go again and notice all of the wonderful symbolism he pointed out (instead of just feeling like it's a place where I go to make sure I know where to fall in line in the rank and order of things).

I do have 77 Truths, but alas, it is still just sitting there, intimidating me with it's gargantuaness (autocorrect is insisting that that is not a word, but it seems an accurate description).

Thanks again Rock for all of your insights!

Gary Hunt said...

Morgan Deane,

If we are going to start a discussion on Mormonism and war we need to have terms defined. Would you please provide us your definitions of the following terms.

1. Preemptive War.
2. Preventive War.
3. Precautionary War.

I know what these terms mean, however I think most people may not have a very good understanding of their definitions. It can be very frustrating trying to have a discussion when each party has their own definitions for words.

Curious enough said...

Steven Lester

Yes that is absolutely true. It is perfectly accurate and truthful to say that Jesus Christ is in the garden suffering right now. If we step outside of this realm we can see the whole time line as one thing. If we receive the revelations of the brother of Jared and others we literally can do that and comprehend the whole earth and all of it's inhabitants.
Sounds like Paul's book would be an interesting read. Regarding the temple being a restoration of previous practices it could very well be true but it is a restoration to the lower law found in the Old Testament which is even more damning evidence against the saints.
Again I don't know what Paul said but Mary Magdalene was Jesus wife. Paul may make it seem like Jesus does not have a Father (a literal spiritual Father) but that wouldn't be accurate either. Mary the Mother of Jesus was literally a portion of His spirit Mother. It was not His wife.

It can all be very simply explained and if Paul's book seems confusing there might be an explanation.

Adam and Lilith were Jesus and Mary Magdalene. (Same souls anyway) who fell intentionally to bring about the plan. In the Kabbalah they became Eve (name Adam gave Lilith after the fall) and samael who then need redemption.
If you get a chance to read the joseph and asenath text it's awesome! Shows Mary Magdalene as the high tower and the bride of Jesus very plainly.
The truth is that many of the prophets and leaders who came to the earth at various times were gods before coming here. The apostles were with Jesus since the beginning. Could they have been his spiritual sibling even though others are his children here? We need to keep our minds open to new things and not allow long held beliefs to damn us from more truth.

Anonymous said...

Wow, reading that excerpt from Toscano made me want to jump out of my seat and do a little dance, especially the part about the temple changes. Especially the parts about the relief society and being subjugated to husbands. I love my husband and I want to be equal together with him, not under him. Oh Brigham, how could you? Insteading of buying that line about Brigham being good for the church because he was an organizer, I'm starting to think he did more harm tham good.
I put all the books on my to buy list including Kendal's. I am looking for truth where ever I can get it!
-Rebecca C.

Good Will said...

The pdf version is more digestible on your phone. Read it at stop lights, during lunch at Costco, anywhere! Bret's book is a marvel, just as Rock says. I thoroughly endorse it. (You can get a copy of it from me. Just email me at or ask for it at my blog:

Steve Brown said...

As others have mentioned, my biggest problem with God being Adam or Christ is that he would then be praying to himself and glorifying himself or waiting for further light and knowledge from himself, etc.

My biggest disagreement with Paul Toscano though is the idea that the sacrifice of the son is inferior to personal sacrifice. On the contrary I think it is greater. Of anyone who has children, who thinks it would be easier to watch your innocent child suffer and die at the hands of wicked men than to sacrifice yourself instead? To withdraw himself from protecting his beloved son, I think, is the greatest sacrifice an omnipotent father could make.

Just something to think about...

Anonymous said...

These are all very enlightening books. I especially like the 77 truths as a way to cut though falsehood and see the gospel in its glory and simplicity, But the idea of faithful dissent has been transformative in my life. This is a concept that few people in the church seem to truly understand.

Anonymous said...

The Adam-God Doctrine is not what many think it is. It is really encapsulated best in the song "I am a Child of God" But if you want to explore the ramifications you can read my article on the subject here:

Ahuizotl said...

This has been taught before. How the Father is in the Son and how the Son is in the Father.

Another blog that I read and follow by One Who Is Watching calls them composite beings.

You can read more about it here:

Annalea said...

I have very few disagreements with Paul . . . I love the way he & Margaret champion equality, and decry the injustices and abuses in the church.

I don't see how the Book of Mormon verses could possibly be understood in a trinitarian way, though, with this example of Joseph Smith's teaching:

From the sermon in the grove: " ...I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preach on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.

I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods." -Joseph Smith

That's pretty straightforward . . .

I think I feel a blog post coming on. :-) There's too much to put into a comment.

Rodney said...

The Serpent and the Dove is only ten dollars at Barnes and Noble, which more than half of what Amazon is asking for it.

Jared Livesey said...

I'm confused. Why would I pay to read someone else's speculative theology when I can write my own and sell it?

Plausible deniability said...

I don't know log have you ever read nibley or gilead? Ever read visions of glory? Ever read denver snuffers books? Is there any speculative theology in any of those?

Jared Livesey said...

PD - I will assume, for courtesy's sake, that your questions are serious.

1. Nibley didn't do speculative theology. He was opposed to it.

A top-ranking savant from the East recently made the observation to this speaker, that the unique thing about Mormonism is that it is a nonspeculative religion in a world of purely speculative religions. That remarkable characteristic establishes at once the identity or kinship of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the original, primitive Christian church, which in ancient times also had the unique distinction of being a nonspeculative religion in a world completely "sold" on philosophy.

2. No. Until I see a valid reason to pay to read someone else's speculations, I see no valid reason to pay to read someone else's speculations.

3. Yes, unfortunately, because someone recommended it to me. I was not, and remain today, disimpressed by it, as can be seen from my review, linked to above. However, by its own claims, it is not speculative theology.

4. I have read a couple of Snuffer's books. He is not doing speculative theology, accepting his own claims for himself.

So, I ask again - and this time, rather than attempt a lame tu quoque, maybe try giving me a real reason - why would I pay to read someone else's speculative theology when I can write my own and sell it?

Irven said...

"It is tempting and easy to say you are anti war. With the horrors of death and a humanistic concern for the individual welfare, not to mention the often naked use of power we see around the world, it is understandable. But many anti war advocates don’t consider the logical outcomes of their actions. Thus somebody who was anti war during WWII, inevitably became pro Nazi."-Morgan Deane

I don't want to hijack this thread, or Rocks blog, but I have been reading some of the things that Morgan pasted in his post. The above is one sample.

This statement from Morgan is THE definition of Straw Man.

Does Morgan also believe that if you oppose drunk driving laws, you are inevitably pro drunk driving? If you oppose public education, you are inevitably pro ignorance?

Just because someone quotes a person-J. Reuben, in Kendal's instance-doesn't mean that the merit's of Kendal's argument live or die by J. Reuben.

I can't stand Abraham Lincoln. His body of work and his life story is filled with atrocities, lies and total war. He lacked mercy and was no humanitarian-as president. But, as a congressman he gave an excellent anti-wsr speech in Jan of 1848 in the house of representatives. Which I love to tell people about, because they can't believe that Lincoln would be anti war.

Should I throw away anything anti- war that came out of Lincolns mouth, since he was such a scoundrel? Was Lysander Spooner inevitably pro slavery, since he opposed the war between the states?

Another thing that caught my eye from reading Morgan's blog is that he uses much conjecture to conclude that Moroni engaged in preemptive war, rather than just taking what the text itself says at face value. Taking it by what it says, seems to conclude that Moroni was opposed to preemptive war.

Jared Livesey said...

And here is another relevant citation from Nibley on speculation and knowledge.

How someone could get the idea Nibley either perpetrated, or approved of, speculative theology would be an interesting question to have answered.

So what justification is there for speculative theology - particularly paid speculative theology?

Jared Livesey said...

And in case anyone cared what I thought about Visions of Glory and did not locate my review in the 3rd to last comment on the thread I linked to above, this summed it up.

This book seemed to me to be, for the most part, spiritual voyeurism; even if the account were true, it brings none to Christ, but rather seems calculated to appeal to our hunger for the visions and blessings of old to return, and angels descending upon the earth; it seems less a testament to what it portrays, and more a sign of our spiritual starvation.

Rock... maybe you should defend the theoretical worth of speculative theology as an enterprise, since you commend its products.

Kendal Anderson said...

Morgan Deane's blog is interesting. His assumptions that someone who opposed American intervention in WWII was inevitably supporting Nazism is logically problematic. All because you oppose the actions of one state does not mean that you support those of another.

He claims that J. Reuben Clark was a Nazi sympathizer and a political flip flopper. I honestly don't know that much about him except that he was a constitutional lawyer and was opposed to dropping the atomic bombs on Japan. In conference of 1946 he stated that the "crowning savagery" of the war was the dropping of the nukes. He also called it "fiendish butchery." Regardless of Clark's earlier political views or alleged Nazi sympathizing, I can get behind these statements. Killing 200,000 innocent Japanese is exactly what he called it, "fiendish butchery." That is why I quoted him in my book. He called a duck, a duck, he called mass murder, mass murder.

I don't usually appeal to church authority but since it's rare to find anti-war speaking and writing among church leaders (especially nowadays), I though it would be good to include in the book.

As far as Deane's statement that Moroni supported preemptive war, I really don't see how the text supports that premise. Moroni never took the battle into Lamanite lands and under his command war was a last resort to drive the Lamanites out of Nephite Lands. He did threaten Ammoron that he would follow him into Lamanite lands and exterminate his people but he never followed through on this. This exchange was in response to Ammoron's stubbornness over the exchange of prisoners. Moroni was angry, and it makes sense to make such threats under those conditions, but the reality of it is that he never actually did it.

The Book of Mormon condemns preemptive war repeatedly throughout the war chapters and in 3 Nephi and Mormon. The Nephites were taught to "never give an offense," and "never raise the sword against an enemy save it were to preserve their lives." And they were very reluctant to go to war.

The most compelling evidence comes n 3 Nephi 3 when Gidgidonni tells his people that the Lord forbids going into the wilderness to destroy the robbers in their own lands, and that if they waited for the robbers to attack them, then the Lord would deliver the robbers into their hands. (vs 20-21)

Also, the fact that Mormon stepped down as military commander when his people decided to preemptively attack the Lamanites in their lands seeking blood and vengeance is evidence that aggressive warfare is forbidden. In chapter 4 Mormon concludes that it was only because the Nephites crossed the border and attacked the Lamanites that they began to be smitten and destroyed, "were it not for that, the Lamanites could have no power over them."

Not to mention what section 98 has to say on the subject. I certainly don't remember the Lord commanding us to go to war during the last 200 years. I'd like to see how Deane defends his viewpoint that the Book of Mormon defends preemptive war.

Irven said...

Another flaw of Morgan's logic is on his post: "More than a second look; A rebuttal to Rock Waterman".

He selectively quotes parts of verses of the BoM. He appeals to the "a careful reading of the verse" which indicates he is using conjecture to interpret what the verses say, rather than what they actually say. A common tactic of the gun control propagandists on the second amendment. They talk about comma placement and the fact that it brings up the militia in the same breath, along with nonsense, like "a careful reading" of the second amendment indicates this.

Isn't it better to read something as it actually is, rather than twisting the words?

What we have, in my opinion with Morgan Deane, is someone devoting much of his life in the defense of his former craft(military). Rather than looking at principles and the book of Mormon as a litmus test, he looks at the U.S. Military as the litmus test. Then attempts to make the book conform to his "careful reading of it".

In essence, if you don't "carefully"(a very subjective term)read the book of Mormon, you will draw the wrong conclusion's, needing the highly educated to interpret it for you.

"Blessed be the peace makers, for they shall inherit the earth". By my nature, I'm an aggressive person. I could try to "carefully" analyze that statement and try to justify the natural man that I am prone to be and claim that that statement shouldn't be taken at face value. But, instead, I try to recognize my flaw and work on it. I fail often, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm wrong when I fail and succumb to anger and aggression.

BK said...

I believe the Book of Mormon is wrong, in that it can be the will of God that we go against another country's government in order to preserve the lives and liberties of it's citizens, if we determine that such citizens want our help in delivering them from evil, assuming we have the resources and support to do so from our own country.

God commanded that we 'love our neighbor as ourselves', that includes helping to protect our neighbor from 'their' enemies also, not just protecting ourselves from our enemies.

But in doing so we should always 1st try to use peaceful measures in doing so. Often time evil leaders can be bribed to stop abusing their citizens or to allow them to leave the country if they want to and move elsewhere for more safety. And we could give aid to those people to help them leave or escape their abusive country.

But we of course would have to 1st have a righteous country & government ourselves in order to help others very much, which we don't.

For those who don't even prize, maintain or stand up for freedom for themselves can't help others gain it either.

Jared Livesey said...

Mormon 8:20
20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

I. Willet deVale said...

Toscano's book is only ten dollars at Amazon same as B&N, and has been that price ever since I bought mine when it first came out.

There are several books with identical titles to "Serpent and Dove" listed on Amazon. Is it possible your eyes landed on one of those? That may explain why you thought Amazon's price was higher than B&N.

Even cheaper in Kindle, btw.

R. Metz said...

There is much confusion in regard to names, offices and callings etc. concerning the Godhead, especially outside but also inside the LDS church. Personally I have found the works of Ogden Kraut - whose mission it was to detect and preserve true konowledge - very informative on the topic at hand, in particular his book called "Mysteries of creation".
Most of his writings are available not only at but also on the internet under

Morgan Deane said...

Sorry for the delay in responding. I was a travelling a bit.

Actually the supposed Straw Man quoted is a summary of my argument. My actual argument borrowed a great deal from George Orwell who wrote in the early stages of the war:
“In so far as it hampers the British war effort, British pacifism is on the side of the Nazis and German pacifism, if it exists, is on the side of Britain and the USSR. Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro Nazi.”

He also said:
“Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other; nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me.”

I liked the quote in particular because his last line echoes a phrase for which many attacked George Bush. Yet I think Orwell’s case is logically sound. If you hamper the effort on one side you help the effort of the other. But that’s not the only reason I called Reuben Clark pro fascist. In fact, members who heard him speak said he was the Butchers (German’s) Apostle. Before the war he actively suppressed material (suppressed wasn’t even my own language but Quinn’s) that described concentration camps, during the war he advocated a negotiated peace that would have left Germany in control of much of Europe, and allowed them to completed their final solution. In all of his writings he didn’t have one negative thing to say about the Holocaust, but did find time to attack America. So there is a great deal more that made him pro Nazi than opposing the war.

I discussed this material in my link and then summarized it in the final paragraph. While I think my summarizing statement could have more broadly summarized all the material above, based on the Orwell quote that its still accurate.

Morgan Deane said...

(second post due to length.) As far as preemptive war goes, my essay published in two places. Its in War and Peace in Our Times: Mormon Perspectives, reviewed by Rock already. And the same chapter is in my personal volume, Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon. I’m not a big fan of summarizing what is already written in blog comments. That’s like providing a reheated chunk of meat loaf when you can get a 50 ounce T-bone from the kitchen. I also don’t want to thread jack Rock’s post. He is gracious enough to let me post and provide a good number of links, so I don’t want to abuse that privilege.
Though, if he’ll indulge me, I’ve written preliminary versions of my argument in several places on my blog.

You can start here:

I also defend myself against criticisms, and in particular I discuss those supposedly clear cut verses against preemptive war here: Though again, you are getting snippets of a ten page argument, so if you really want to see I would get a hold of the printed books. If you do wish to comment further, I ask you to comment there, so people can see what you are writing in relation to my arguments, and not in relation to whatever cherry picked quotes you wish to include.

As a general conclusion I’ll add that there seems to be a mistaken belief that I’ve seen many times from Rock but also in the comments, that if you don’t read the scriptures and come to the same conclusion than you must be “twisting” the verses. I discuss the power of language in the second chapter of my book, where I show how the term robber has been used throughout late Roman and Chinese period of disunion. But twisting has a negative connotation that is unwarranted, wrong, and frankly offensive. As I showed in my rebuttal to Rock, I often provide a more detailed, and comprehensive readings of the scriptures based on more verses than every critic I’ve seen thus far.

I don’t think studying the BoM in depth, and maybe even challenging our assumptions of the text, from chariots to warfare, is a bad thing. I’ve always believed that we should dive as deep as we can into the text. That means reading, struggling, asking questions, looking at things from different angles, noticing how seemingly disparate verses interact, looking at unseen consequences, and in short, diving so deep that you feel like a 19th century prospector. There's a reason why superficial has the same root as face value.

This is the kind of digging that Anderson mentioned in his introduction; when he spent several months reading the war chapters. Well I’ve read the BoM dozens of times since I was 12, the war chapters had particularly poignancy when I was 18 in Marine Corps Boot camps, and I’ve been reading them using my academic training since grad school. On the one hand, Anderson’s research is praised because it fits the views of libertarians. Though since I disagree, all of my digging is accused of of being too scholarly, biased because I used to be in the military, and twisting the text.

I think I’ll leave it there. As it says on my blog: I’m just a guy that loves to study the BoM. I use all the tools at my disposable to come to the best conclusions possible. That might disagree with many, but I’m not worried. In fact, I have follow up research for my next book that looks at how four innovations of Moroni: armor, fortifications, preemption, and seizing land, had disastrous consequences seen in the book of Helaman and Third Nephi.

Thanks for the discussion.

Anonymous said...

You've peaked my interest enough to purchase Toscano's book from Amazon. I'll let you know what I think. Blessings to you and Connie. Winnie

Gary Hunt said...

Morgan Deane,

You have not responded to my request to define your terms. I am not expecting an extensive thesis on each concept. Only a basic definition for the concepts of preemptive war, preventive war and precautionary war. It only takes a sentence or two.

Who said anything about pacifism?

Jared Livesey said...

I believe the anti-pacifists would do well to ponder the significance and clearly laudatory description of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in Alma 24.

The Anti-Nephi-Lehies perfectly exemplified the Golden Rule, in the same manner as the Savior.

Gary Hunt said...

Morgan Deane,

The quote you use from Orwell is the perfect example of a logical fallacy called the false dilemma or false alternative. It was similar to the logical fallacy George W. Bush used when he said, to the effect, the same thing "that you are either with us or you're with the enemy."

George Orwell was an avowed socialist. At the time he made his comments he was working for the British Government as a propagandist. So Orwell's case really isn't "logically sound" as you claim.

As for Bush and his push for war against Iraq was all based upon lies. Nine hundred and thirty-five lies to be precise which were told by Bush and his top seven officials. Here's the link to the documentation.

Don't worry, this isn't a "radical libertarian" website what ever "radical libertarian" means.

Jared Livesey said...

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Curious enough said...


I am trying to understand how the anti nephi lehies were exercising the highest form of the golden rule... Maybe I am missing your point though.
This is how I interpret your comment and I know this is probably not what you meant so help me where I am confused.

The lamanites felt in their hearts for whatever reason that the anti nephi lehies ought to be killed. In order for the anti nephi lehies to exercise the highest form of the golden rule they granted the request at the hands of the lamanites and bent the knee as they were slaughtered.

Ok so that is what I think you were getting at but I might be way off.

Here is why I think that interpretation is way oversimplified and quite frankly wrong.

If my dad went out to war I would desire and request that he do all in his power to stay alive to be able to provide for me and my siblings and well, be alive in this realm. I would request the same thing if an aggressor came at my dad thinking to harm him. I would request that he defend himself to stay alive.

In the construct of the golden rule (which is actually a lower law "the law and the prophets" ) I would think the request of a family member ought to take precedence over an enemy of the family, or anyone outside the family.

Of course the golden rule is set aside when one gains the Holy Ghost and then the law becomes "and the Holy Ghost will show you all things that ye should do,"

Gods word guided the anti nephi lehies and I conclude they did the right thing despite the golden rule. I believe captain moroni executing people is much closer to the golden rule than the anti nephi lehies laying down to grant the evil request of the lamanites.

Morgan Deane said...

I'm sorry, I don't care about your questions Gary. If you want to make an argument based on what I published, or at least their preliminary forms on my blog you know where to find them. Best wishes.

Irven said...

Morgan Deane,

How can someone make an argument against undefined terms? In your first sentence of your latest link recommendation, you used the term "Isolationist" in reference to people who oppose war. Many people who are anti war are not isolationists, but rather non-interventionist. There's a difference. If you don't believe it, look it up.

If you aren't willing to do a small amount of clarification of your terms and address some of your logical fallacies as they are posted on your blog, why would anyone want go to the effort of reading your your whole book(s)? If your blog and papers contain logical fallacies and lack clarification of the points, why would anyone think your books don't do likewise?

A straw man is a straw man. It doesn't matter if you used it in a "summary" or a 1000 page book.

Gary didn't even ask you for an official definition of any term. He asked for your definition of the terms. Once you define them, I'm sure he'd be glad to make an argument. So far, you have done nothing but suggest people read your book, that--seemingly--we should believe is void of all the logical fallacies that fill your non-book writings.

As far as the book of Mormon goes, I find no verse in the whole book that justifies interventionist war, or going into other lands to destroy people so as to avoid them coming to destroy you. I only find condemnation of the idea. Doctrine and covenants section 98 also only condemns the practice.

I'd love for you to share any verses promoting the practice of "the Bush doctrine". I love learning. I was pro war, preemptive warfare, kill them before they kill us until about 2003-04. My mind was changed, not only by the Book of Mormon, but by a few dozen people. With some compelling evidence, persuasive ideas and no issues when I take the idea to it's logical conclusion, I could change my mind again.......until then.

Jared Livesey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jared Livesey said...

@Curious enough,

Your stated intent - that you desired clarification - is belied by the fact that you asked no clarifying questions, and you engaged in a monologue, the substance of which is "you're wrong, Log."

Also, are you the poster called "MinorityOfOne" on I ask because your talking points are, in detail (both form and content), the exact same as his. If you are not him, I suggest you look him up.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone aware of a list of the similarities between lds temple and Wicca rituals? I am very familiar with the similarities between masonry and lds rituals. My dad joined the masons years ago and showed all off us the similarities, but the Wiccan ones I wasn't aware of? Any ideas out there?
Homeschool Mom

Curious enough said...

No I have read some from Minorityofone and some from many others. My talking points are the same as many people including you at times believe if or not. I have recognized truth in a lot of your writing and that is why I thought a lot about your comment.

Please forgive any offense I would still like to know if you have an explanation for your comment. You made a strong suggestion that I put a lot of thought into as you can see.
I stated that I may not have understood your logic and then stated why I considered your statement to be false. It was not an ad hominem attack it was simply stating my case against the validity of your comment. If you have a different explanation that would shed light on your statement I would love to hear it and will gladly consider it and maybe even accept it. I could very well be wrong in what I said.

Jared Livesey said...

I stated that I may not have understood your logic and then stated why I considered your statement to be false.

I understood that, and I believe that's exactly what I said you said. So why did you not ask questions rather than making assumptions? (Even now, ironically.)

It was not an ad hominem attack it was simply stating my case against the validity of your comment.

I understood you were attacking the validity of what I said - without addressing the text of Alma 24, I might add.

If you have a different explanation that would shed light on your statement I would love to hear it and will gladly consider it and maybe even accept it. I could very well be wrong in what I said.

Why don't I just point you towards Alma 24, and the example of the Sons of Helaman, (presumably) the children of those who were slain, and let you come to your own conclusions?

Jared Livesey said...

In case I'm not being clear - I'm not here to persuade anyone that I'm necessarily correct. I don't have a need to defend my views.

Indeed, defensiveness, to me, is a sign of pride, arrogance, and ignorance.

We normally get defensive when someone hits us where we're weak. If we are trying to pass off belief, faith, superstition, reports, or rumors as knowledge, we get defensive when someone questions our claims lest our pretensions be shattered.

Only a few weeks ago, for example, I would have agreed - in fact, did agree - that there ought to be a hierarchy of precedence in granting requests - but I now believe it is not so. The Golden Rule does not divide between family and enemies. And that is a key to the justice of God - everyone gets what they ask for. If it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished, who then punishes the innocent, or children? And if one is placed in the power of one's enemies, are not one's enemies also in the power of their enemies? If you want your pound of flesh from your offenders, well, they'll get theirs out of you, too.

All are alike to God. Why did Jesus grant the demonic legion's request to enter into the pigs? Because they asked.

Curious enough said...

Ok I just got done reading alma 24. I have read and pondered the sons of Helaman. I still see no reason to conclude that the anti nephi lehies perfectly exemplified the golden rule in what they did. Perhaps I am dense.
Log, will you please explain how they perfectly exemplified the golden rule by laying down their weapons and suffering death at the hands of their enemies?

Jared Livesey said...

On a related topic...

There is a question I have asked that I think would be profitably answered publicly, and I invite anyone to give it a real go - what is the merit to speculative theology?

If no knowledge can be had by reading books - as Joseph said, if you could gaze into heaven, you would know more than you could by reading every book ever written on the subject - and, as D&C 76:114-119 says, the mysteries of the kingdom are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Spirit which God bestows upon them who love him and purify themselves before him - then what good purpose does speculative theology serve?

Does declaring "Adam is God, yo!," persuade any to believe in Christ and do good works? Or does the declaration rather engender strife, lead some to disbelieve in Christ, and to do evil? I ask because I strongly suspect it has had, as a historical matter, the latter effect, while I can see no principled path to the former.

So the question really deserves answering - whence speculative theology? What's it good for? Why? And why incentivize it by paying for it?

Why not rather instead divest oneself of all the philosophies of men and stick to the scriptures, mighty prayer, and the good works the Savior commanded?

Jared Livesey said...


Come to your own conclusions. You don't have to agree with me.

Neither must you disagree with me.

Neither must you defend me if you agree.

Neither must you try to disprove me if you disagree with me.

Neither do you have to praise me if you agree with me.

Neither do you have to denigrate me if you disagree with me.

We can agree or disagree and live and let live.

Tiani said...

I get what you're saying about speculative theology, and certainly agree that truth and light truly and ultimately lie in Christ, "scriptures, mighty prayer, and good works."
But then I have to ask, "Why do you comment here so frequently, and write and post on other blogs, if we should be wholly unconcerned with the philosophies of men?
I involve myself in the bloggernacle partially out of weakness, but also because it's nice to feel connected to others who see things differently than traditional and to keep myself in check from becoming too certain for my own good. Sometimes I'm made aware of things I've never seen, known, or thought about, but perhaps more powerful, is when something I've learned through deep personal struggle and inspiration/revelation is further confirmed by another's expounding, words or testimony.
I'll admit to there being irony in Toscano's claim that a great form of idolatry is found in the beliefs we've accepted as so certain, and then he opens a new way of looking at things, as though he is certain. (though I imagine he would say that he hasn't yet found anything more satisfying, but remains open to new light).
I do think there's something powerful, though, to what Toscano is saying. He's saying that so many of the Church's ills stem from a false theology. I agree with that (though I'm not sure I'd define it exactly as he has, I understand and appreciate to a large degree, his point). There is a danger in then developing a new theology because theology, universalized and made concrete, in itself is false. Christ wasn't as much about theology as good works. But sometimes it helps to look at an alternative theology to break free of the old, false theology. We just have to be careful not to start worshipping the alternative, as we did the old. Sometimes our minds are too darkened by old traditional constructs to receive enlightenment for growth, and by getting new perspectives, we might open ourselves to receiving further light from the Spirit of Truth.

Jared Livesey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jared Livesey said...

"Why do you comment here so frequently, and write and post on other blogs, if we should be wholly unconcerned with the philosophies of men?"

Maybe - just maybe - I comment here and elsewhere to remind everyone of this one clear lesson from the temple, and the scriptures, and our lives - as we seek further light and knowledge, the supervisor of our religious education sends us many willing to preach to us the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture, and that the correct course is to believe none of them and wait for messengers from on high while being true to the signs and tokens delivered us when we were born again.

And maybe I comment elsewhere to help those who have yet to be born again find the gate that they must pass through - which gate is repentance and baptism by water, after which cometh a remission of sins by fire and the Holy Ghost, administered by the Savior.

Baptism by water we have down pat. Repentance, however, continues to be misunderstood.

"I'll admit to there being irony in Toscano's claim that a great form of idolatry is found in the beliefs we've accepted as so certain, and then he opens a new way of looking at things, as though he is certain."

Yes, that is indeed ironic.

"But sometimes it helps to look at an alternative theology to break free of the old, false theology."

So, two (potentially) false theologies help someone find a (surely) true theology? I'm being facetious - but the number of wrong answers is literally infinite, and the number of right ones are very few, and they are very strait and narrow. But on this claim, I would ask to see results - even one pure and holy being who arrived at that state by obeying the teachings of the alternative theology - but of course, if the alternative could provide that, it'd not be speculative, but prophetic. After all, isn't that the goal of any true theology - to give us sufficient knowledge to enter into the presence of God? Otherwise, what good does the enterprise of speculative theology do in the first place? Replacing one fairy tale with another, or one myth with another, seems ineffective, whatever one's goals are, except as entertainment (Acts 17:21).

The troof said...


I will seek to answer your question and "give it a real go."In the doctrine and covenants it mentions seeking learning out of the "best books"
If you believe that we ought to do that, then you must live and let live. If you say that any of the books that Rock recommended are not among those of the "best books," I would call that speculative, and therefore you would be a hypocrite. So now, will you daresay that the books that Rock has recommended are not among the "best books" that we should seek learning from?
You said in your comment "if no knowledge can be had by reading books..." Now it seems to me that the doctrine and covenants has something to say against your comment. Why would doctrine and covenants suggest to seek learning from the best books if no knowledge could be had from reading books?

Jared Livesey said...

@Troof - by asking a question and saying it deserves answering, I am somehow not living and letting live? Do you believe that my participation in a public conversation on speculative theology is an example of not living and letting live? What of your own participation in this conversation, when judged by the same standard you are attempting to crucify me against?

Troof, are you claiming my hypothetical - directly supported by both Joseph and the D&C, which you decline to address - is something the D&C says anything against? Is the reason you cannot cite scripture for your view because no such scripture exists?

Isn't it interesting the D&C suggests seeking learning - not knowledge - from the best books? What is your explanation of that perplexing situation?

(To be fair, there is this - " 53 And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should hasten to translate my scriptures, and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen." So it's not knowledge of heavenly things that is gotten through reading, but history, countries, and kingdoms - laws of God and man, and these for the salvation of Zion. The mysteries of the kingdom are, as they ever were, beyond the capacity of books to bring us, as Joseph and the D&C both show, as history shows [see Nibley in The World and the Prophets, as well as Mormonism and Early Christianity for a thorough treatment of the issue] as well.)

The principle that the reports (or speculations) of men may be taken as knowledge is not sound, and the Lord through the Holy Prophets and his own voice in mortality spoke against trusting in men.

But you are free to trust in men, just as I am free to point out that such a course is unsound.

You may then impugn my motives, as though my dark and blackened heart were relevant to the position I've taken and the arguments and evidence I've marshalled, but in doing so you simply publicly establish that truth is not your goal - winning is.

So... cut out the middleman and ignore me rather than argue against me. Go read the books, take them as truth, and if you manage to enter into the presence of God while obeying speculative teachings, then come back and report as a prophet. Because then you will have not supposition, rumor, superstition, and reports, but knowledge!, the true golden coin of the realm that is so rare we now actively seek out and commend the counterfeits.

Your attempted answer, Troof, is another lame tu quoque.

The troof said...

" 7 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith;"

Please answer the question log. Are the books that Rock recommended among the "best books" mentioned in the doctrine and covenants?

Tiani said...


I don't feel like you kept my words in the spirit I conveyed them.
Wasn't it clear that I did not suggest we adopt an alternative theology to replace the old theology? I said "look at;" that's different from "accept" or "adopt."
I speak from personal experience. Like others here, before ever coming to this blog or others like it, or associating with any of these people, I had an experience wherein the Spirit of Truth completely opened the scriptures to me and taught them to me; the Book of Mormon, and even parts of the Bible, took on a new, powerful meaning of love and hope I had never seen before, but also a meaning that quite radically changed the way I viewed the Church. That was a little over a year ago. Prior to that, the Book of Mormon had been a powerful influence in my life, and the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost, had certainly taught me through it, and changed my heart. But that time, it was more than a change of heart, more than an enlightenment that further confirmed my loyalty to the institutional Church, more than a deeper understanding of gospel principles. It was a complete paradigm shift.
Having had that experience, I assure you that I know what it means to only accept truth from true messengers. And when not taught by that Spirit, I take what I hear and read with a grain of salt.
But I also know that many experiences I've had in my life, including exposure I had to different perspectives of those I consider to be "purely motivated" prepared me to be open enough and capable mentally to comprehend what the Spirit was teaching. Had I just kept reading the BoM without ever taking actions that pushed some traditional boundaries (referring to questioning authority, rather than "staying in line,"), and had I not loved others with opposing viewpoints enough to sincerely respect and consider their perspective), the Spirit would have never been able to teach me what It did. I simply would have been unable to comprehend. So yes, we should seek learning from good people, and good books, and walk in meekness . . . ultimately relying on the Lord to be taught pure truth, line upon line.

Jared Livesey said...

Troof pesters me: "Are the books that Rock recommended among the "best books" mentioned in the doctrine and covenants?"

To which I reply "Ask of God whether he included Rock's recommended reading list when he spoke those words to the Prophet."

If it's trooth you're after, then God will give it to you. If you're seeking to win (the more likely situation given you refuse to answer a single one of my questions) then my answer is besides the point for reasons I've already given. Just declare yourself the winner and be happy in your victory!

Gary Hunt said...

Morgan Deane,

Your refusal to define these terms is quite interesting, because you are the person defending what you call "preemptive" war. All I did was ask you to define this term and two closely related concepts, which are preventive war and precautionary war. Since you refuse to define these terms I will define them.

The following definition comes from monograph by Colin S. Gray entitled "The Implications of Preemptive and Preventive Wart Doctrines: a Reconsideration"

1."Preemption refers to the first use of military force when an enemy attack already is underway or, at the least, is very credibly imminent."

Another definition comes from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

" 3. Mil. Of an offensive strategy or action: intended to forestall an enemy attack; freq. in pre-emptive strike (now freq. fig.).In technical use sometimes more narrowly defined: see quot. 1966.

1966 U. Schwarz & L. Hadik Strategic Terminol. 108 Pre-emptive strike, armed attack motivated by the conviction that an enemy attack is under way or is irreversibly imminent. Also called ‘forestalling blow’ or ‘anticipatory attack’, the pre-emptive strike differs from a so-called ‘preventive’ strike or war in that [etc.]. A strike or preventive if the enemy still has the option of desisting from his planned aggression."

2. Here is the OED's definition for preventive war.

preventive war n. a war initiated by one state, faction, etc., in anticipation of (suspected) hostile intentions on the part of another.

3. Precautionary war is defined by Dr. Gray as follows.

"a precautionary war is a preventive war
waged not on the basis of any noteworthy evidence of
ill intent or dangerous capabilities, but rather because
those unwelcome phenomena might appear in the

It is obvious from these definitions that the term "preemptive" is being misused by Mr. Bush in what is called "The Bush Doctrine", and your defense of this doctrine. It is also being misused by those who disagree with Bush on this subject.

Technically what Bush was talking about would be in the category of preventive war, and it could be argued that it could be classified as precautionary war.

It would be a good idea to look up and read Dr. Gray's monograph. It's only 70 pages long including the title and forward. In it he does an excellent job of defining and differentiating these three concepts and explaining the potential consequences of each course of action. We are witnessing some of these consequences over in Iraq at this time.

In a nutshell I have two problems with your defense of "The Bush Doctrine".

1. Your use of the term preemptive.

2. Your continued defense of Mr. Bush's and his top 7 officials drive to war in Iraq which has been more than adequately proven to be based upon lies. Again 935 intentional lies told by the Bush administration between September 2001 and September 2003. The documentation is listed one of my previous comments.

The entire premise of your argument falls apart because it is based upon you believing lies.

Gary Hunt said...

Morgan Deane,

By the way, your ad hominem attack on J. Rueben Clark is a violation of "Godwin's Law", which is of course a straw-man argument. It would be a good idea to go study about what logical fallacies are and try to avoid using them.

Morgan Deane said...

The issue is not the length of the required response, or how easy or hard it would be to provide it, but in demanding that I submit to a pop quiz before talking to me. (The clincher in the case of Gary was his committing a fallacy even as he played fallacy cop.) For example, I’ve often seen isolationists try to play word games. The problem is that I’ve read, with my own eyes, from the congressional records, the same exact arguments from isolationists in the summer and fall of 1950, that I’ve seen from libertarians and other isolationists today. So I’m not impressed with people trying to play definition or fallacy games. I’m especially unimpressed, with fallacy cops that commit them, and people that demand I take a quiz before they’ll talk to me.

As I said in my first post, I’m already limited on time. Factor into account the demand I take a pop quiz, the lack of academic tone and tenor from posters, and this being a thread jack of Rock’s post, then I have even less reason to engage. Moreover, most internet comment threads die out several days after the last post anyway, and only a few people fanatically invested in them really care. The ironic thing is, it wouldn’t matter to those fanatic people if I posted a thousand times, and they wouldn’t be convinced and will continue to play games and insult my intelligence, even after I posted thousand times. In short, no matter what I post, for those people it will be read as, “blah, blah, blah, fallacy, blah, blah, strawmen, I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

The great thing, though, about being secure in who you are, based on my record of achievement, is that you don’t feel the need to defend yourself against every random attack; or accept homework assignments for that matter. If you guys claim to be serious students of warfare in the BoM, then you now know where to find my research and respond. And Gary, while you’re so busy telling people what to study, you might be interested in the word “pedantic.” ;)

Thanks for letting me post Rock. Best wishes to all.

Amy Waterman said...

This is Rock's Daughter. My dad was worried that you guys would think he was being rude because he has not been back here on his blog to read the comments. So he asked me to leave this note He is going back into the hospital over pneumonia. It is very serious He was in the hospital last week then he came home and could not sleep so he stayed up all night and wrote this blog but has not improved there seems to be some kind of blockage in his lungs because he is not improving. so they told him to go back to the hspital and will have to monitor him and give him continuous treatments because the mist from his nebulizer machine is not penetrating his bronchial tubes the way it should have helped. It is just not getting through and he can't hardlyh breathe at all.

This looks bad. Please pray for my daddy and ask your friends on facebook to pray for him too becaucse he already has bad weak lungs and CPOD but it never got this bad before. I'm looking after my mom here at their apartment so she will be okay but Dad needs your prayers. Thank you It's bad this time. I never have seen him this sick.
That is all I know for now. Sorry. But please pray hard for my Daddy thank you.

Irven said...

For a guy who's "limited on time", that was a pretty lengthy response that could be summed up this way:

Because I'm credentialed, I don't respond people lesser credentialed than myself. I only call names, such as isolationist, pacifist, fanatic, radical libertarian and so on. I don't take questions, because I have already answered every disagreement in my book.
If you disagree with anything I have written, read my book.

For anyone interested, I responded to Morgan Deanes position he has here:

My response is here:

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Amy. We will definitely be praying for your dad, mom and for you. I am sure this is hard on all of you. Also, for wisdom for the doctors treating your dad.
Please give us updates as you have time!
Homeschool Mom

LJn said...

Amy, I prayed and will pray again. Let him know that we care about him and your mom. Give them both a hug. (( ))

Interesting post. And more comments than I could read in one sitting.

My take on it is that it is better to read and ponder the scriptures, praying for understanding than to study others' books about how they understand scripture.

Heavenly Mother cannot be the Holy Ghost because Joseph said that the Holy Ghost was in a probation now (that leads some to believe that Joseph was the Holy Ghost). As Denver said, who is it that inhabits your body? Who is it that you are trying to be other than another member of the godhead? (Paraphrased. From one of his lectures, if I'm remembering correctly.) Is it not our own "ghost" that we wish to become holy?

Interesting about women: once being priestesses to God instead of men and so forth. The more I learn, the more I see how far off the rails we have come since Joseph's time. In fact, it seems to have begun in his day, and he used persuasion and long-suffering and let people do what they pleased. I wish we had less "hearsay" and journal entries of people hearing him and more of his own words (recordings existing in those days would have been great!).

Gary Hunt said...

Morgan Deane,

Your response is the response of a sophist. You are more interested in you own accomplishments than reasoned debate.

By the way, I believe that preemptive war is justified when the correct definition of the term is used. Again go read Colin S. Gray's monogram. I think that even with our differences you would enjoy it.

I will not bother you any more.

Gary Hunt said...


Sorry to hear about Rock. We are praying for him.

Kendal Anderson said...

you're in our prayers

Tiani said...

Very sorry to hear about Rock, Amy. He and your family are in my prayers. Peace and love to you all.

Jared Livesey said...


Which hospital is your father in?

M said...

Get better Rock, we still need you!

Mike H said...

Get Better Rock, We still need you!!

Jared Livesey said...

@Curious - The children of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies did not beg their fathers to stay alive. These were the Sons of Helaman, who all were preserved by faith through the wars. These were they who were too young to take the oath. Would such, do you believe, have besought their fathers to break their oath to God? Would their mothers have besought their husbands to do so?

That possibility seems to me contrary to the perfect faith they displayed afterward. The first step in your hypothetical syllogism remains uninstantiated.

If you read Alma 24, you surely had to have seen verse 18, which outlines the motive the Anti-Nephi-Lehies had in their hearts for offering up their lives to their enemies.

Moreover, they had no fear of death, as evidenced by their actions - they had charity, or perfect love, which casts out all fear, and the golden rule was written upon their hearts. They truly loved their enemies and had no attachment to this world; they gave rather than took away.

For the Savior said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Now, words cannot communicate this fully because, like all things spiritual, it is only to be understood by the Spirit.

The golden rule, incidentally, comes AFTER one is baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost (see where it occurs in 3 Nephi 12). Before then, it is merely nonsense, like all other things spiritual, and may remain so for a while afterwards.

Jared Livesey said...

Consider this explicit golden rule analysis - if you were trying to kill someone, would you prefer they lay down and die or put up a fight?

Lay down and die, obviously.

Well, then, do unto others. QED.

Of course, just because one course in one situation perfectly exemplifies the golden rule, it does not mean that in slightly different situations, other courses may not perfectly exemplify the golden rule.

Jared Livesey said...

Incidentally, nobody ought feel obligated to agree with what I have written.

Galen said...

Thanks for the heads up on your dad, Amy. Prayers and good energy are with him and your family. For me and many other truth seekers your dad is an important, friendly voice.

Linda said...

Dear Amy,

Thank you for informing us about your dad's health. We couldn't have known he was in dire circumstances without your note here.

Rock is a voice of reason and sanity in a sea of conflicting opinions. My life has taken on more joy and confidence as I have supped at the Pure Mormonism table.

I pray, and will continue to pray, for his return to health. I pray for your mom as well. I know this stressful time cannot be easy for you, so I pray for you also.

May our Loving Heavenly Father bless and sustain each of you is my prayer.


Lance said...

My prayers for you. Get well soon!


Gary Hunt said...

Irven Hill,

I think Rock would not want us to stop commenting. Let's all keep praying and commenting.

I just went over to Mr. Deane's blog

He has a new post where he mentions you by name. In fact you are the star. He does mention me in a significantly lesser roll, however when you read it you might notice what some might call a Freudian slip. Another thing you might notice that he is obviously a very humble person.(this is what a sarcastic ad hominem attack looks like)

He accused me of being a hypocrite
by saying that I used logical fallacies to while accusing him of using logical fallacies. I went back and carefully read and analyzed all my comments and could not find any logical fallacies. Here on pure Mormonism he never identified which fallacy or fallacies I committed. However, on his blog he said I used the fallacy of the ad hominem attack. I challenge Mr. Deane to show me where I attacked him as a person. I can show him numerous places where he has attacked me and others he disagrees with. Here is the definition of ad hominem from the Oxford English Dictionary.

"ad hominem, adv. and adj

By attempting to disprove an argument or proposition by attacking the beliefs or character of the person proposing it (cf. argumentum ad hominem at argument n. 3c). Subsequently also in extended use: with respect to a particular person or group, rather than the matter in hand. Opposed to ad rem."

Everyone can go back and read Mr. Deane's comments as well as mine and determine for themselves who is correct.

Mr. Deane accuses me of giving him a pop quiz when all I did was to ask him to define his terms.

Voltaire said: "If you wish to converse with me, define your terms"

This is standard practice in argumentation or debate. And as you pointed out in your comments, which exposed his fallacious think, as only being logical. Since he not only failed but refused to do so I defined the terms in hopes of moving the debate along.

I would ask everyone following these comments to go over to Deane's blog and read what he says about his experience over here at Rock's blog. Then I ask that you go back and read the exchange of comments between Mr. Deane and Irven Hill and myself and make you own judgments regarding this debate.

Anonymous said...

Gary Hunt(Hill)hahaha

I am quite the star in his post. I didn't read the whole article, but it appears that Deane is so intellectually dishonest, that he responded to my response posted at my blog. He failed to cite where he read my response to his writings. Instead choosing to pretend it was here where I wrote it.

I quoted him verbatim in my response to his point's. I also provided a direct link to his writing of his material I argued against.

He then suggests that I'm making arguments that I didn't make, among many other pathetic things.

Anyway, I suggest everyone read my response to his writing at his blog and mine at

Irven Hill

Aaron said...

Dearest Rock. We love you. Hundreds if not thousands are praying for you right now. Amy and Connie and family, you too are being prayed for. May God's love continue to descend upon you. And may God heal this good man we humbly pray in Jesus' holy name.

Veracity said...


I hope you get better soon! May the Lord bless you. Suggested reading while you recover: "The Power of Awareness" by Neville Goddard
I am sure you will like it if you have not already read it.

My faith is directed toward you with health and well being.


Irven said...

Correction, Mr. Deane does have a link to my response accompanying his response. I couldn't see it on my phone earlier today.

Here is my response to that for anyone interested.

Is there any news on Rock? Best wishes to him and our prayers and thoughts go out to you Rock.

As Gary said, I'm sure you want us to keep posting, but I feel like a bit of a pig in doing so. My wife would substantiate that claim and my feelings on it.

Anonymous said...

To Rock's Family:
My family has your family, and Rock of course, in our prayers.

Jared Livesey said...

Oh, no no no! In honor of Rock, the show must go on!

I find it most fascinating to watch people preemptively fight over preemptively fighting.

I'm not sure why D&C 98:33-38 is not the only text taken for that subject.

33 And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.

34 And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of peace unto that people, nation, or tongue;

35 And if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord;

36 Then I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people.

37 And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.

38 Behold, this is an ensample unto all people, saith the Lord your God, for justification before me.

After all, this was spoken to us, directly, right? Or is someone going to take the position that D&C 98 is not a revelation and is therefore nonbinding even though canonized - like D&C 134 (and the original "Rules for Marriage")?

That would be an interesting way to respond. Any LDS takers?

Irven said...


I actually take that as pretty authoritative on the subject. It also fits in to the book of Mormon theme insofar as I read and understand the BoM.

Morgan Deane would likely disagree. His position seems to be that pacifism is evil, specifically during a war. He feels, incorrectly that I'm a pacifist and an isolationist.

I harbor no bitterness toward the pacifist, nor does Jesus. I hold them in high regard actually. But I am not one by the definition of it. I will hit back. I have to watch my natural nature and make sure that I keep my urge of hitting first in check. That is difficult for me to do.

I wonder if Deane believes D&C 98 to be isolationist, since he "rejects the notion that they (isolationism and non-interventionism) are different".

Jared Livesey said...

What is the principled problem with isolationism?

Isolationism, for this conversation, is just this: "a policy of remaining apart from the affairs or interests of other groups, especially the political affairs of other countries."

Do you like it when people meddle in your affairs or interests?

What does the Golden Rule imply about meddling in the affairs or interests of others?

Does not the Golden Rule apply to nations?

Does not a policy of meddling in the affairs of others cause, by nature of human motivations, blowback?

Blowback: "an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions."

In fact, is not a policy of meddling in the affairs of others simply the age-old game of empire-building ever played by the rich and powerful, but denied to the poor and powerless?

Who do you - who support interventionism - think the tyrants who destroy and reign with blood and horror upon this earth are? Only the ones you depose?

If what you support doing to others were done to you, would your perspective change?

Does this scripture not apply to you?

Mormon 8:20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

Does not that scripture in conjunction with D&C 98:33-38 end all pretensions to "benevolent interference," and "American Exceptionalism?"

Principles are all fine and dandy until you actually have to take damage from obeying them? Then you have no integrity.

"Don't we have to act to prevent or stop atrocities?"

No, we DON'T have to intervene to prevent or avenge atrocities.

10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.

11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

"But surely we get to punish wrongdoing!"

Mormon 4:5
5 But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.

Tyrants who destroy and reign with blood and horror on the earth always come in the guise of reformers, liberators, freedom-fighters, nation-builders, and so forth. It would appear even they must appease their consciences.

BK said...

I for one do not believe the D&C or BoM to be true revelations from God, though there is of course some truth in them along with falsehoods, like in most any book written by man.

I believe we should 1st prove (as Christ commanded us to) that the D&C, BoM and especially Joseph Smith was even a true and a true prophet (by seeing if he kept Christ's commandments and had love or not), before spending any time discussing that he or anyone else said or wrote.

Why do we not start with Christ's teachings on war 1st? No one's opinion holds any weight if if is contrary to Christ's anyway. For we all know that anyone else ancient or modern could be wrong in their opinions, whether true prophets or not.

And Christ taught that "He who lives by the sword will die by the sword." So how would he handle war? Of course it would start with loving our enemies, but what does that mean and what would that look like?

Jared Livesey said...

Tyrants who destroy and reign with blood and horror on the earth always come in the guise of reformers, liberators, freedom-fighters, nation-builders, and so forth. It would appear even they must appease their consciences.

... or, at least, the consciences of the public, so as to motivate the willing sacrifice of their blood and treasure for the glory of the tyrant, his flag, or the glorious Empire of Peace on Earth and Democracy For All Just So Long As We Approve Of The Election Results.

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

Gary Hunt said...


I think you are going to have a difficult time getting anyone to challenge D&C 98:33-38. BK would, but then she is no longer LDS. I used this same scripture in my comments on one of Rock’s previous articles about war. In fact I have used it numerous times when discussing the legitimacy of these current wars with members of the church and their only response is “duh…we’ll…the brethren support it.” To me it is the Lord’s latest words on the subject and is pretty clear cut what His requirements are.

I read the article by Mr. Deane regarding J. Rueben Clark entitled “The Butchers' Apostle: Context for the Anti War Quotes of J. Reuben Clark”. All or some of what he says about Bro. Clark may be true. I have not had enough time to go and research the footnotes. However, Mr. Deane’s whole premise is flawed because the entire article is attacking Clark and not his message (specifically his comments regarding the US dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki). This is a classic ad hominem attack. I will have to write up a citation for that.:) 

As I have mentioned before we all use logical fallacies at times. Most of the time people use them unintentionally. However, when someone intentionally uses logical fallacies to convince their audience of something they are being dishonest. They are trying to deceive others into following their position. Ultimately, when someone is lying to you they are trying to control you. It is my opinion that this is the case with Mr. Deane. Perhaps Mr. Deane justifies his lies as being in the category of the noble lie. This is a major tenant of what is called neoconservatism. Here’s a link for those who are not aware of what this philosophy entails.

See I told you BK, would disagree with you. I was just about to post this comment and I saw that BK had beat me to the punch.:)

BK said...

Whether I am LDS or not does not take away from the logic and wisdom of Christ's teachings, if anyone claims to be 'Christian'.

I used to think the Church was true, until I started thinking and studying for myself and following Christ's commandments to discern true prophets from false ones and true scripture from false scripture.

Now I believe it is impossible to think that Joseph was ever a true prophet, using Christ's standards, and that's even considering him innocent of polygamy.

If Joseph really did live polygamy or treated women and his wife like most all say he did, then he is not even worthy of consideration, for the Golden Rule alone reveals what he was.

But like attracts like.

Jared Livesey said...

Oh, hey, I forgot one.

Ether 8:19
19 For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man.

Anonymous said...


My prayers are with you and your family. I don't comment much, but I read every post. You have such a way of understanding and communicating that is so helpful to your readers. I really hope you feel better soon.

Your friend in Bountiful, UT

Irven said...

Deane is not likely to come and speak to anyone here. In sort of a temper tantrum on his blog, he removed myself(posting of link only)and Connor Boyack. He then chose to cherry pick quote Connor, so we only know the part of his argument that Deane wanted us to know.

He doesn't like appeals to Homer Simpson(although not an actual appeal)nor to Wikipedia. Not that wikipedia is the authority on everything, but it surely has more credence than Deane's sole view, accompanied by a refusal to define anything, even by his own terms.

Interestinlgy, through much of this Deane mentioned "hyperventilating" and "echo chambers". Of course, not speaking about himself, the guy who erased every comment on his blog post except his own and one person who praised him.

I'm not going to pretend I wasn't rude bringing up Homer Simpson style reasoning and hypothetical arguments that Deane could have with himself. But I didn't mention him sitting by himself often because the conversation is better. He brought that up in his own "humble" response.

Gary Hunt said...


Yes, I noticed that he did that. Apparently he believes we are all rude jerks to him. I went back and read my comments and can't find anything that would be considered rude in the real world. I have read Connor's articles which Deane commented on. He did the same thing then as he is doing now. I guess all we can do is just wish the good professor well on his journey through life.

Gary Hunt said...


Here's an excellent video entitled "The Future of Freedom: A Featured Interview with NSA Whistleblower William Binney".

"A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command."

It will be well worth your time.

Jared Livesey said...

You know what I want more than my own personalized Priesthood Line of Authority?

I want this.

18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—

19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.

You know, if I had that, I wouldn't have a use for a Greg Olsen painting.

I wonder what the coupon code for this stuff is, and which store I can use it in.

Anonymous said...

You should click on the link, Log. The irony is almost too much. One of the pictures is the one of Christ looking over Jerusalem saying" O often would I have gathered your children together." The priesthood lineage is superimposed over Jerusalem and the effect given is that Christ is gazing on the priesthood lineage and saying" O ye who think they have the priesthood, how often I would have gathered your children" You'd think someone in the editing department would have noticed. But what possible rebalance could the Pharisees and Jews in the bible possibly have to do with us?

Anonymous said...

That was supposed to be "resemblance" and not rebalance!

Anonymous said...

Aaaak! Don't delete me, Rock! I keep forgetting to sign off ! Those were my comments above! Homeschool Mom

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks a lot!

Quotes About Love of GOD

Mike H said...

Amy, is Rock getting better?

Linda said...

Dear Amy,,

We are starting to get really concerned since we haven't heard any more about Rock's condition for nearly a week.

Are things so bad that you are too busy to check the blog?

Help me keep my sanity by keeping us updated on Rock's condition.

We love him for the awesome contribution he makes by educating our spiritual lives.

Please let us know something.

Praying for the health of your family,


Amy Waterman said...

Hi Everyone. This is Rock's daughter, Amy. I am so sorry that I left all of you worrying this long. I have been juggling quite a bit this past week, but am getting the hang of things enough to spend a moment updating my dad's readers.

So, Dad spent 2 days at the hospital, and although he is home now, his health is not improved much. My father's COPD has progressed dramatically for the worse. A cold virus he recently caught has weakened his lungs so badly, that he is now barely able to walk. His nebulizer breathing treatments are not providing relief, even with additional asthma medications he's been prescribed.

My father's devotion to his blog and readers have always been one of his top priorities. His body is so weak right now that he's unable to even sit at the computer so he has not read any of these comments since the day after he wrote the blog. He is completely in the dark as to your concerns, so I apologize for that. He is just too weak to read anything and especially unable to type for now. So he has had to ignore the phone and all online concerns.

Rest assured,I am here to care for my parents, which I am very grateful to do.
These circumstances stink, but I appreciate this chance to witness firsthand the love you all possess for my dad. It's very moving, to both my parents and myself.

He is not dying, at least not anymore, but he sure looks like it sometimes as he struggles for breath. Even TV is not a distraction because it is so uncomfortable for him just to exist right now. Every breath is shallow and a struggle. He has been stuffed with antibiotics and steroids and eventually we hope the bronchial tubes will open. Right now the biggest problem is the mist from the nebulizer is not penetrating his bronchial tubes, so there is little difference after he has a treatment. It's just a matter of time when they may begin to take effect and give him some relief.

Please continue to pray for my father. He is the "Rock" in our family. This illness has taken a spark of hope from my Daddy's heart, so please, continue to send encouraging words his way. His personality is not the usual joyful one we know. This has taken him out of himself and been quite discouraging, but no one can blame him for feeling the way he does. He's just trying to stay alive. That sounds melodramatic, but that is kind of where we are right now.

At some point, I will read the comments aloud to him as he rests.

Thank You and God Bless! -Amy

Anonymous said...

I just finished Devery Anderson's book Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000. It is an excellent compilation of documents that show timing and reasoning behind many changes Brigham Young on. It doesn't have all the answers but is fascinating. It also covers garment changes and second anointing.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for all you guys are going through. We will be continuing to pray for you all. Especially for your dad's bronchial tubes to open up and allow the medicine to work. Please tell your dad for me that I have found from experience that when we are at our lowest is when we find Jesus the closest. Jesus never said blessed are the those who never mourn and have it altogether. He said the opposite: blessed are those who are broken and mourn for that is when we realize our inability to do it on our own. That is when we feel His presence so strongly. I will be praying that all of you will feel sweetness of our Savior' s presence as you go through this trail. God' s blessings...Homeschool Mom

Veracity said...

Amy Waterman,

I just sent an e-mail, to your dads e-mail address, containing some information that may be helpful for your dad's condition. Please find my e-mail and seriously consider the information. I would love to see Rock get better soon.

My prayers are with you and your family,


Anonymous said...

Along with Veracity's comments I would REALLY recommend a castor pack over your dad's chest. It can really work wonders to breakup congestion. We use it for my husbands asthma frequently. Maybe it would cause enough improvement to allow the nebulizer to work. I know your hands are very full but I have seen castor packs work wonders on pneumonia and asthma attacks. I don't know if it would be contraindicated with all the other things yo it dad is doing, but I just wanted to mention it. Sorry to give unsolicited advice! Homeschool Mom

Anonymous said...

That is a castor oil pack...dumb auto correct!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update, Amy. We love your dad very much. He's a good man who has done an amazing work with this blog. God bless him and your whole family.


Your friends in Bountiful, UT

Mike H said...

Thanks for the update Amy, I hope Rock gets better soon and that your family is doing well. Getting sick can be expensive, and I hope that if Rock and your family need anything at this time, that you know you have willing friends here. If you need anything, you will let us know, yes?

Tammy said...

I believe there are many concerned prayers going out on Rock's behalf right now and I feel a desire to fast for extra help for him. If there are others of you who would like to join in, I believe there is strength in numbers.

E. D. Malone said...

I am praying for you, Rock, and for your family. I don't think I've ever left a comment on your blog but I've been reading your posts for a few years now and have learned much and have been inspired by your faithful advocacy of genuine Mormonism. Though I've never met you or even communicated with you, I consider you a kindred spirit. May the Lord bless you with restored health and bring peace and comfort into your life.

Anonymous said...

Say hi to Celia, Rock

Frankie Haphne said...

Nice article.. Must try this also warwick associates boiler room

Jared Livesey said...

Say hi to Celia, Rock

What's the point of saying that?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. We'll continue to pray.
-Rebecca C.

Anonymous said...

Does Rock and family have medical insurance? It would be nice if all who read and/or comment, if they can, contribute a little something to help Rock. I know his daughter Amy is sooo busy, but maybe she can set up an account where people can contribute.
Just a thought. If anyone knows how to set up an account on PayPal, or at a bank, could guide Amy on how to set up a charitable account. I do not know. Just seen it done by others on other blogs. Or get an address where one can mail a check. Strength in numbers in prayer and contributions.

Jared Livesey said...

Why don't we simply let Rock and his family request donations if they are in need? That way, people can donate if there is a need, and people can do it without broadcasting their intent or their actions, thus obeying the Lord's injunction to do our alms in secret.

After all, it kinda sucks to be like "Oh, gee, I guess I better contribute or else other people will think I'm a cad." That's a sure way to begrudge the recipient of a gift, and be counted evil before God (Moroni 7:8).

Incidentally, that is the general problem with applying pressure, peer or otherwise, on people to "do the right thing." It creates resentment. That's why everyone* hates doing their visiting / home teaching.

Just a thought.

*clearly hyperbole.

Tammy said...

Log, if you're worried about what other people might think of you it's best that you don't contribute. There are always needs and people who want to help, that was what I got from the request of help from the commenter. I'm sure that Rock's family can use the help. Any who wish to help can find a way. Rock's email and Paypal acct info has been shared on other post comments prior.

Jared Livesey said...

Log, if you're worried about what other people might think of you it's best that you don't contribute.

Yes, I think that is at least some of what I said: if anyone cares what others might think of one, then it is best if one doesn't contribute.

I'm curious; why did you change the subject of my general statement about general principles to me as an individual?

Tammy said...

Most people can express 'generally' because they feel it first hand.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rock,

Hope God heals you so you can continue to bash his church...wait, that doesn't sound right.

Jared Livesey said...


Let me see if I understand. You accused me because you thought I was expressing specific and personal resentment at the prospect of being peer-pressured into contributing to Rock's financial needs, if he has any, and was expressing myself passive-aggressively - do I have this correct?

Jared Livesey said...

If the answer is "yes," my next question is "Why didn't you simply take what I said at face value?"

Tammy said...

I'm not a great debater and I don't have a complete handle on the English language but I think you are funny and entertaining to watch when you are looking for one.(debate)

Jared Livesey said...

So, asking you why you accused me instead of taking me at face value is too hard for you to answer, and to ask such a question constitutes looking for a debate.


Sandy said...

It looks like Rock's old nemeses Friar Tuck/Little Rock is back. He is the same person who wrote to our mutual friend Celia as she was dying in her bed to demand "Why don't you just die, old lady?"

So here he is again saying dickish things to someone who he knows is too weak to even read his own blog comments at this time. The strange thing about
Friar Tuck is that he sees himself as the great defender of the Church, and Rock and the rest of us are somehow enemies to God. If the Church wants to purify itself, it would move immediately to expel filth like him instead of persecuting followers of Christ. Friar Tuck is not doing the the image of the LDS Church any favors by defending it the way he does. But of course, he hides behind anonymity, so no one can point him out, so he will never be called to account for persecuting the humble followers of Christ.

This person is the only reader in history that Rock has banned from posting here because he is so offensive to the other readers and an overwhelming number of readers asked him to keep this guy out. I have been praying for Rock's recovery for a week now, but I am praying even harder now that he gets better FAST just so he will come back on here and delete the words of that piece of filth who sneaked back in.

Rock is more civil and forgiving than I am, so I will just come right out and say it. No one wants you here, Friar Tuck. Pack up your neuroses and hate-filled snark and go find another corner of the internet to crap in. Don't bring your stink in here. The adults are trying to have a conversation.

Anonymous said...


Please provide proof and quotations to back up what you are asserting in your post.

I'm afraid that since Gary Hunt isn't jumping on this one that I must point out that you are employing a number of logical fallacies in your post, including ad hominen attacks. If you cannot be civil, please leave this forum.

Gary Hunt Jr.

Sandy said...

Regarding the questions being raised about whether Rock and Connie can use a bit of financial assistance at this time. I was a member of one of the wards in Sacramento the Watermans attended for a couple of years in South Sacramento. I am the age of his children, so I knew them better than him. This was around 2003 or so. I reconnected with Rock and Connie when I ran into them at an X-ray place while Connie was getting an MRI. I was with my mother who was getting a CT-scan.

I have been trying to reach Amy but her phone has been shut off. her two brothers live in Oregon now so she is all they have. This thing with her phone being shut off happens now and then as she is struggling herself to stay afloat. She has to wait until she gets some money to turn it back on. Her dad helps her sometimes when she can, but she would rather work it out herself than keep depending on them. Rock's phone was also shut off she told me, but it is back on now. But I talked to Amy not long ago. Most of what she told me she also wrote here or got posted on Anonymous Bishop's blog, so I can't give you much news other than that. Rock is not answering his phone and I know why because it must be impossible to try to talk and breathe at the same time. When I can get ahold of Amy again I'll get more information but I am not going to go and disturb Rock at his apartment because I know they need to be left alone at this time. (Connie posted an update on Rock's Facebook page last night for those who want to understand what is going on. He did almost die from this but it looks like he is going to pull through.)

I was in touch with Amy when her dad was in the hospital and I can tell you that he was near death and it was very serious even though Rock tends to underplay the seriousness of it. You can tell he is in really bad shape because he has not been online at all and has not responded to any facebook chat requests I have made.

Sandy said...

To answer the question, Rock and Connie can always use a bit of help. They live on social security disability, and even then Rock often gives away more of their money than he should. He once told me he that the rent money is sacred and must always be paid, but everything else is God's if he needs it. The funny thing is that when I knew the family he was not like this, but now if he comes across someone in need, he will give away the utility money and half the grocery money if necessary, then he just trusts God to help them find a way to put things back in balance. Often he has to roll over the utilities over several months to catch up, but where most of us would be afraid the electicity and heat will be shut off, he just trusts God to work things out. I happen to know that last month he gave away 132.00 so that someone who had nowhere to go could spend a few weeks in transitional housing. This was money he does not have to spare. I was able to give Amy 20.00 myself, but I can't do as much as they do probably because I'm scared of what might happen to me if I am short of money.
Amy also told me that her Dad had to pay 78.00 for herbs and tinctures for his lungs, and that usually these teas and tinctures do the trick but that even they are not having any effect on his lungs at this time.

So to answer the question some one brought up the answer is yes, Rock and Connie have had to shell out some money they can not really spare at this time, and I can also tell you that the last thing Rock would do is make a general announcement on here to say "hey, please send me money." So I'll say it for him in his absence. For those who can spare a few dollars, by all means this would be a good time. Amy told me she has never seen her dad discouraged like this. His personality is just not there. I will bet that a little encouragement would help.

I don't usually post comments and I'm not sure Rock will even appreciate that I did, but when I saw some of you wondering if there was anything you could do to help this family out at this time, I couldn't help but speak up and say "Yes there is."

You can donate to Rock using Paypal at his email address

Or his home address:

Shelfield No. 8
5800 Fair Oaks Blvd
Carmichael, CA 95608.

There is one thing I know about Rock Waterman. If you send him more than he needs, he will take only what they need and give the rest to someone who needs it more than them. He is more Christlike than anyone I know, even though like I said when he was in my ward I didn't think there was anything especially great about him. Something about him has changed since then. He is really something now. I credit him with helping me stay in the church, among other things he has done for me.

His ward won't help him with storehouse food or anything and of course he won't ask. The sister missionaries stopped by a few months ago and they had a real nice visit. They were new and had tracked them ouit and didn't know anyting about Rock or his blog. They set up an appointment to come back, but never did. When Rock called to set up another visit, they made some lame excuses, so it looked to Rock like they were told to stay away. Too bad.

Well, that's all I have to say. If you feel inspired to send along even one or two dollars, I say why not? Don't wait to be asked, because Rock won't ask. He's too busy trying to figure out how he can help other people.

Mike H said...

Thanks for the info Tammy If anyone feels it was a little tacky for me to bring up money, I can understand, and I hope Rock will not be offended.

Mike H said...

Correction: Thank you Sandy, not Tammy..

Anonymous said...

I guess when those book royalties start coming in, everything will be OK, right?

Gary Hunt said...


I think you are misapplying the Lord's principle of help those in need. There is nothing wrong with someone requesting that we help a brother or sister in need. The anonymity is still in place. Anyone can donate money to help Rock and his family and the only persons who know who donated and how much is Rock and his family. Christ was specifically talking about those who sound the trumpet before themselves so that everyone could see not only that they are donating, but the amount they are giving.

By the way Tammy's question is a valid one for the fact that you are the one who is overly concerned about the situation. If someone had come and said " Rock needs help. I'm going to donate a thousand dollars to help him and his family"... that would be inappropriate and violate the Lord's principle. Think about it.

Gary Hunt said...

Anonymous, Friar Tuck, Little Rock, Gary Jr.,

I see you critical thinking skills have not improved. Your accusation that Sandy is committing logical fallacies is incorrect. She just stating obvious facts. If you want verification of what Sandy has said, all you need to do is go back and remember your own words. You have condemned yourself. Those who have been following this blog long enough can confirm this as fact.

By the way, Sandy did provide evidence that you are a person of low moral character by quoting what you said to Celia. Here are your words again...

"Why don't you just die, old lady?"

One final question. Do you know what the words psychopath and sociopath mean?

Jared Livesey said...


Tammy didn't ask any questions. Seriously, if you read her posts, you will note, as I have noted, a lack of question marks; she made an accusation, and I have asked her directly why she accused me, and she has refused to answer. But I perceive, reading between the lines, that you agree with her accusation.

Is it because that is what you would feel if you said what I said? Is it possible, in your opinion, that I might feel differently than you would? Is it possible that the accusation is inaccurate? Have I been convicted without evidence yet again?

And I don't agree that I am misapplying anything. But we are free to disagree on that.

You said: If someone had come and said " Rock needs help. I'm going to donate a thousand dollars to help him and his family"... that would be inappropriate and violate the Lord's principle. Think about it.

Oddly, upon thinking about it, I recall an account of Joseph doing exactly that.

Word came to Nauvoo on one occasion of a poor man who had lost his house by fire. Nearly all the brethren said they were sorry for the man. The Prophet Joseph Smith put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a five-dollar gold piece and said, “I feel sorry for this brother to the amount of five dollars. How much do you feel sorry?”

I wonder if that apocryphal account is historical. It gets sourced back to "They Knew the Prophet," which itself seems to source it to Journal of Discourses vol. 17, page 92, and I can't find it there, which makes it suspect in my eyes.


Gary Hunt said...


You are correct. She didn't ask a question. She made a statement. Here it is.

"Log, if you're worried about what other people might think of you it's best that you don't contribute."

She did not make an accusation either. Note the word "if".

Here's the scripture regarding the giving of alms.

Matt. 6:1-4"

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Tell me, where does it says that a person needing help needs to ask for it? Also, explain how does the suggested method of helping Rock violate this scripture?

Gary Hunt said...

Friar Tuck et al.,

Your comments gave me quite a chuckle.

I apologize for misquoting you. I made the mistake of quoting a quote. Perhaps you can give us the entire quote since I believe Rock deleted it. I seem to remember you used the term "old lady" somewhere.

It was well known at the time (of your quote) that Cilia was very frail and sick. You may not have know that she had cancer and was on her death bed, however I do not recall you (or him)apologizing.

These last comments show your true colors.

I tell you what. I promise not to pick on you if you promise not to make rude comments. Do we have a deal?

Jared Livesey said...


The issue of whether Tammy accused me - remember, I, too, speak Passive-Aggressive fluently, just as you do - was settled to my satisfaction when she admitted as much. The only remaining question on the table is "why?"

But, on to the more interesting question - why do those in need need to ask for their needs to be met? Otherwise, how can we know they are in need, unless they or their authorized agent indicates as much?

The relevant scripture is this:
Alma 7:23
23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

People don't ask me what I'm talking about, but in this case, I thought I was pretty clear.

People hate to be pressured. If you want to create resentment, pressure someone to do something. If you want to end good works on the earth, apply pressure on people to do them. Then, whatever they do, they do with resentment, and thus the works they do are accounted as though they had not done them, thus they are accounted evil before God.

Take tolerance, for example, which is a virtue - how do you undermine it? By enforcing it. Thus tolerance becomes a matter of outward form, while festering in resentment inwardly.

Moreover the pressure principle produces opportunities to be seen as virtuous by leading an aid drive - or prosecuting a war in foreign lands for the purposes of "liberating" some oppressed people.

So it's the pressure principle I am speaking against. And I used an example I thought most, if not all, of us would be familiar with - home / visiting teaching. Which of us likes to be pressured into visiting, or being visited?

So, when you feel pressured into giving to Rock, will you give more, or less?

Therefore, let us not pressure one another into doing good. That's all I'm saying.

Gaybob Spongebath said...

I can confirm that it well known that Celia (known at that time by her username LDSDPER)was very sick unto death at the very time Friar Tuck mercilessly attacked her. She begged Friar Tuck to be more civil, mentioned how she could no longer walk to the kitchen, how her husband had to read the Book of Mormon to her because she could not hold it in her hands, and much more. We all knew that she was, if not on her deathbed, definitely confined to her bed sick and weak.

It was because Celia had the audacity to address him directly that Friar Tuck took her on and began to attack her viciously, as he did with anyone who dared to suggest that he try being nicer, which was all she really asked of him. He not only demanded to know why she wasn't dead yet, this is the guy who told Celia to "F____ off!" (except he spelled out the whole word.)

I remember that especially, because he wrote it a time when Rock and Connie were returning from Utah and it took them two days to get home due to the car breaking down in the desert and he had not had access to his blog during that whole time. That expletive stayed up here in the comment section for more than 24 hours until Rock got home and discovered and deleted it. I can still recall Celia's reply to that particular insult, "Such Language!" to which Friar Tuck just let her know she deserved it. You could almost hear the devilish cackle in his voice.

The man is despicable. He lacks the ability most of us have to recognize when we are behaving poorly. He is incapable of introspection. Instead of asking himself why he had so much difficulty getting along with even one person here, he assumes there is just something wrong with everyone else, while he remains God's last remaining valiant warrior.

Psychopath and sociopath are too gentle of words to describe this awful excuse for a human being. I know the moment Rock hears this angry piece of filth has taken advantage of his illness to sneak back on, he will rise from his own deathbed and delete those comments it it's the very last thing he does.

Attention Amy! Please check your dad's blog! You-know-who is back here spreading his poison.

Anonymous said...

Gary Hunt:

It might do you well to do a little research before you go off on your witch hunts. Celia called me a "racist" on several occasions, and she did not even know the color of my skin. Where were people like you when I objected to her unfounded "racist" attacks against me over and over? Was I harsh with her? You bet I was, because I was tired of her calling me a racist and no one on this blog called her on it. But she was perceived as a poor little old sickly lady and given a free pass.

Bottom line...many people here believe what they want to believe without foundational proof, and with a great deal of jumping to conclusions.

I have seen Irven Hill be very, very rude to people, and I seldom see anyone call him on it. I have seen people make unsubstantiated claims, and heard you tell the objector to look up references himself. I'm sorry, Gary, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Either everyone is held to the same standard, or there are no standards. Those that are perceived as friends of Rock seem to be given preferential treatment, while those who object to him are ganged up on, not in a scholarly sense, but in ad hominem attacks.

No, you won't make me cry uncle, and no I will not reach a truce with you or anybody else until you agree to some rules that we can all be bound by and not rules that are randomly applied.

I have given you and Rock plenty of examples of what I am talking about and you both have ignored them, or dismissed them as the rantings of a madman. For example, I pointed out to you that in the very first paragraph of Rock's book he made a huge, unsubstantiated claim, and you would not acknowledge it at all, is spite of its truth.

A primary concern on this blog is that people have to complain here because the church leaders will not hear their grievances, yet many here wish to practice censorship themselves. They cite crude and coarse language as a pretext, yet they say cleverly couched words to insult people and belittle them without actually saying curse words.

Come on, Gary...we both know what is going on here. We are all sinners in the eyes of god, yet there are some that just can't resist thinking they are morally superior to others. What did Sandy write, something like she is a true follower of Christ, and I am not? What makes you, or her, or Rock think that Jesus loves you any more than he loves anyone else?

I consider fighting against the church like fighting against Saddam Hussein. Many thought that Iraq's problems, and those of the middle east, would be lessened if Saddam were deposed. Look what happened. Saddam was a maniac, but he kept order. Now Iraqis are killed each other en mass. The fate of the church is similar. Many think that our problems will be over if we can just depose Monson, or make him bend to the will of the members. This is a dangerous and unpredictable sentiment. Criticizing and,hence, weakening and ultimately precipitating the downfall of the church will only lead to chaos and another spiritual dark age. I do not believe the church is infallible, but I believe it belongs to the Lord, and he is in charge, and he will make changes as he sees fit. I will vigorously fight against anyone that tries to undermine the church structure that the Lord installed. To take upon ourselves the healing of the church is to deny the power of God, and that his hand is in everything.

Anonymous said...


Putin is threatening the sovereignty of the Ukraine, ISIS is burning people alive, North Korea is making nuclear bombs, and millions of people are starving the world over. Yet you focus on me as the darkest force on the planet that must be silenced.

You are a sad, shallow person. You think that someone that thinks differently than you must be silenced. It is not me that is guilty of a lack of introspection, is is everyone on this blog. You make me a "offender for a word" and cry for me to be cyber-crucified. Look at your own word, they are full of hate and violence, yet you feel justified in using violence against me because you think I deserve it. Well, maybe I think some of you deserve it. Celia was not a babe in the woods. I questioned her about lying about getting her temple recommend and calling me a racist even though I am Black. Her words made me furious, but in her righteous indignation she thought I deserved, somehow, the title of racist.

Watch the movie Selma, and then talk to me about self control.

Gaybob Spongebath said...

I should also mention that this is not the first time Friar Tuck has exhibited jealousy that Rock wrote a book and had the audacity to try to make some money from the sale of his own book (as many of us had been encouraging him to do, by the way). Friar Tuck made comments then and now that reflect an assumption that Rock was getting rich off his book, and Rock took that opportunity to clarify that months after its publication, total sales had come to less than 150 copies, of which Rock got a royalty of 3 or 4 dollars a copy. He told how the Book had been a Bestseller on Amazon's list of "Books on Mormonism" for its first day, which Rock dryly noted reflected the sale of a whole 30 copies. After the first month, sales dropped off, and what I remember was that Rock had hoped the sales would have been enough to cover the cost of gas to and from Utah for the Sunstone conference, but they never covered those costs, especially after factoring in what they had to put out to get the car back on the road after it broke down in Nevada. (The way the trip was financed in the first place, as he explained on his Facebook page, was that a friend loaned them a credit card with the understanding that the book royalties would be used to repay the debt because Rock and Connie could not have afforded to make that trip without help. No one was more surprised than Rock when proceeds from the book were not enough to cover costs of the trip.)

What happened was most people read the book for free under the Kindle membership plan, so Rock got no royalties for any of those. And he sent Celia a pdf file of his book for free. I'm sure she was not the only one he was generous with. She could not afford the book and he knew it, so he just gave her one. I remember her writing about how she could only hold up one page at a time as her husband printed it off for her and she read it holding it in her hands from bed.

Most people know you can't get rich writing books. Not Friar Tuck. He thinks Rock is rich and famous and pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.

You can add the word "fool" to the list of words that adequately describe Friar Tuck.

Make that "jealous fool."

Jared Livesey said...

Brother Tuck,

Are you behaving consistently with your understanding of the Golden Rule?

Jared Livesey said...

I ask, Brother Tuck, because from what you have said, you appear to be following a different rule - "Do Unto Others What Has Been Done Unto You."

Anonymous said...


I really don't give a tinker's damn about Rocks book. It only appeals to simpletons like you. Anyone expecting scholarly rigor should run, not walk, elsewhere.

Anonymous said...


"Are you behaving consistently with your understanding of the Golden Rule?

I ask, Brother Tuck, because from what you have said, you appear to be following a different rule - "Do Unto Others What Has Been Done Unto You."

Everyday I become more and more convinced that religion in general is a joke, because I am honest, even blunt, about my opinions and others are clever and sneaky with their words to make themselves appear to be sacrosanct. This is the exact behavior that was displayed by the Pharisees and Jesus called them vipers, so I guess that I am just doing what Jesus did.

Gaybob Spongebath said...

Here he goes again! Neither Rock nor anyone else I have ever read on here has any desire to "depose Monson", change the Church, fix the church, replace the leadership, or any other such thing. Aside from pointing out when the leadership of the corporate Church is in blatant violation of the commandments of God, Rock does not care what they do on their own time. Some of us consider ourselves members of Christ's church as defined in D&C 10:67, others prefer to remain loyal to the corporation. To each his own. Rock has repeatedly corrected your misconceptions on this, yet you still don't seem to get it.

I don't wish to answer for Rock once again, but I think it is safe to say that what Rock believes is that only when the president of the Church is delivering a direct revelation from God are we commanded to heed his words.

That's it. You want to follow Thomas Monson? Go ahead. But God doesn't demand the rest of us blindly follow the leaders just because they have titles and important positions in the corporation.

So enough about Rock trying to change the Church. Every time you drag that old chestnut out after you have been corrected again and again, you only look like more of a fool.

And yes, that was an ad hominem attack on you. File it away in that tiny brain of yours and remember why I made it: because you are incredibly, amazingly slow to understand the simplest of concepts when they are patiently explained to you again and again.

Anonymous said...


I know what Rock says about the church, but what Rock says and what his demonstrated beliefs are end up being two different things.

Consider anti-mormons that have left the church but cannot leave the church alone. People like Steve Benson claim to hate the church, but they make post after post dragging the church through the mud to what end? Is it because they don't care about the church? No, it is because they see the church as a threat, and they continually want to discredit it in the eyes of their peers.

Rock (and others) display this same sort of behavior. They want everyone to know what is wrong with the church, even though they profess to be indifferent to it. It is because of this behavior that I question Rock's sincerity. I perfectly well understand what he is doing. He is being willful, and is not content to let the Lord prune his own vineyard, and has taken it upon himself to set the Lord's house in order (to one degree or another).

Like it or not, the church is a repository of all the saving ordinances necessary for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. If someone tells you you do not need the church, they are cheating your soul and denying you the blessings of eternity.

That tired old scripture that you and Rock keep trotting out (D+C 10:67)is a metaphor or parable if you will that Christ uses to specify his church. In reality, the church is all the things that god revealed to Joseph Smith in all the many revelations. To say a single scripture encapsulates the gospel is simplistic and absurd, and Rock actually stole this concept from another blogger and made it his own.

I suggest you open your eyes, brother. Come down off your high horse before you fall off. Understand that the end is near, and all the little nuances that Rock takes issue with mean nothing in the big scheme. The important thing is that people hear the gospel message and continue to learn on their own. Saying that there is a beam in Monson's eye is a ridiculous and futile waste of time. And yes, Rock's harsh criticisms of church leaders contributes to the failure of the church. I have vigorously preached against Rock for not knowing what will happen if the church is destabilized. Yes, Rock is hurting the church and not help it, I don't care what clever language he uses to camouflage this fact.

Jared Livesey said...

Brother Tuck,

You said: "Everyday I become more and more convinced that religion in general is a joke, because I am honest, even blunt, about my opinions and others are clever and sneaky with their words to make themselves appear to be sacrosanct."

You and I appreciate the rhetorical power of the ad hominem - tu quoque, because you and I both know nobody's a Vulcan. Someone's hypocrisy on a point bears no logical relation to the validity of the point, of course, but it does arouse fears of being abused and being taken for a sucker.

I, too, sometimes say things to provoke people into revealing their true intentions and characters - because I think the beginning of wisdom is to admit who and what we are. But you're aiming too low, here. If you want to play the dialectic game with the big boys, head on over to - there be lawyers and scholars. But have a care - they will ban you if you use vulgarity, or produce a counterexample using a sufficiently strong analogy to something they despise.

I. Willet deVale said...

That's some religion Friar Tuck seems to belong to pursuant to his response to Gaybob Spongebath. Unfortunately the religion he describes bears little resemblance to the one founded through Joseph Smith, and governed by God through revelation.

The priesthood was restored long before the LDS Church was ever organized, and it continues to exist today independent of the structural Church, which Bro. Tuck seems to think is necessary for anyone to receive the saving ordinances.

I would be interested in seeing where the Lord has taught we need an organized priest class to administer those ordinances, since neither the First Presidency nor the 12 apostles even existed for some two years AFTER that priesthood power was restored. The authority to perform the ordinances is not held by those at the top, then dispensed to the membership at the whim of the hierarchy, as Brother Tuck appears to insist. Once the priesthood was restored, it was spread among the members and has been passed down from one generation to another through individual members of the church (you know, "the church" as defined by Jesus in D&C 10:67, which Friar Tuck has decided in his wisdom is nothing but a parable).

Well, everyone is entitled to their own religion. The gospel of the Restoration is one. Friar Tuck embraces another. Who are we to give him grief over his? Lots of people twist LDS theology to fit their own beliefs. I've heard of weirder interpretations than the ones he espouses.

We ought not be hard on the poor guy despite his angry outbursts and attempts to lecture those better informed. We need only recognize that there are some people who lack the capacity to comprehend.

The proper response when Friar Tuck attempts to lecture the rest of us on Mormon theology is not to laugh in his face (which I admit is a temptation), but to just nod our heads and smile approvingly, then turn back to the grownups in the room and continue the conversation we were having before he interrupted. To react in any other manner would be unkind.

Anonymous said...

@ I. Willet deVale ;

Wow, that is some clever writing my friend. You have only proved what I wrote about sly insults and pharisitical behavior. Anyway, tell me my friend, when are you going to start performing sealings, marriages, and endowments? If you read the scriptures you would understand a few things:

D+C 81:2 Unto whom I have given the keys of the kingdom, which belong always unto the Presidency of the High Priesthood

D+C 132:7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

Jared Livesey said...

Brother Tuck,

Do the scriptures admit of only one obvious, true, and correct interpretation, with failure to assent thereto constituting sin, darkness of mind, and apostasy?

Or can there be multiple possible interpretations with every man free to read and understand for himself?

Joseph, historically, affirmed the latter position, but what do you say?

Anonymous said...


Log said...

Brother Tuck,

Do the scriptures admit of only one obvious, true, and correct interpretation, with failure to assent thereto constituting sin, darkness of mind, and apostasy?

Or can there be multiple possible interpretations with every man free to read and understand for himself?

Joseph, historically, affirmed the latter position, but what do you say?

Why are you asking me? Why don't you ask I. Willet deVale?

It is blogs like these that are breaking away from mainstream Mormonism. You do the math.

I. Willet deVale said...

Friar Tuck quotes section 132 as if it was an actual revelation disseminated to the church through Joseph Smith, and not the obvious fraud magically produced in Utah by Brigham Young 8 years after Joseph's death to justify Brigham's own sinful lifestyle.

Nevertheless, there is indeed more than one place where the Lord through revelation bestows certain authority on Joseph Smith and Joseph Smith alone. But he never once said those same "keys" were to automatically be inherited by future presidents of the Church. This is an assumption commonly made by those who do not read what the scriptures actually say.

None of the revelations give this power to future presidents of the Church. Rather they say, in every instance, "unto my servant Joseph Smith." It's quite a stretch to take a set of promises made to one specifically named individual and then extrapolate them onto a whole bunch of others who were never ordained at the hand of God. Brigham Young, you will remember, obtained the reins of the church through popular election after giving a better speech than Sidney Rigdon. He was never ordained of God to be prophet, seer, and revelator, and he admitted as much. This idea that every president of the Church is equal to Joseph Smith began to creep into Church teachings by the turn of the 20th century. If you want to know if it's true or not, just study all the revelations God gave through the presidents who followed after Joseph Smith.


Like I said, Friar Tuck embraces a different religion than that which was restored and documented in our canon. His religion includes the belief that the rolling forth of the Kingdom of God is dependent on input from Thomas Monson. If that's his firmly held belief, I have no will to take it from him. To each his own. Just don't come on here and try to lecture the rest of us that your religion is something we are required to join you in because you say so. We have a religion that forms around the worship of Jesus Christ, not a cultish corporate counterfeit run by men with titles who insist we follow them.

Go, my friend, and worship your gods of flesh in peace. But really, leave us be as we discuss our own faith and stop interrupting like a two-year-old child demanding attention. Any adult who can read the words of Jesus when he says "All who come unto me, the same is my church" and then dismisses those words by saying Jesus was talking in parables is a moron. There is simply no other conclusion that can be made.

Jared Livesey said...

So what should be our attitude towards one another? What should be our purposes towards one another?

Who is right, if any are? If any are, how shall it be known? Does alignment with tradition mean one is right? Does disalignment with tradition mean one is wrong?

I recall a youngster who asked such questions.

10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

11 While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

12 Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

13 At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.

14 So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

I wonder what would happen should someone try this today?

BK said...

I believe many have tried what Joseph supposedly tried. They have asked God what Church is right and God has told them 'none of them', especially not the LDS Church.

So it's possible that Joseph really did pray and get that answer, when he was younger, but as he grew up he obviously didn't continue to follow the Lord & his teachings.

I believe the best we can do if there is no true Church on earth, is to follow the Golden Rule, and more specifically, follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament. Anyone can read and discern them for themselves. There is no need for a church or prophet if one is sincere and willing to follow the Golden Rule.

No one needs a middle man to God.

I have never heard of anyone who ever lived who came up with wiser, kinder & more successful teachings to live by then Christ did.

So until someone can prove they have a better way, I believe Christ is the only way.

Unknown said...

I know it's wishful thinking, but seriously - just ignore the troll and he'll go away. Internet 101.

Jared Livesey said...

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.

12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.

13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!

14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Jared Livesey said...

As we progress farther into the mysteries of godliness, we find out that it's very hard to tell people they're wrong.


People believe what they believe mostly based on what they feel, and feelings are not choices - they just are what they are. And who can say this or that person is wrong to feel what they feel when they can't choose to feel differently?

God is the architect of the human heart.

What should our intentions be towards others? To build them up in the ways of righteousness.

How do we accomplish this goal?

41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

That's how. Pure knowledge is the key to it all. Not opinion, supposition, inference, deduction, rumor, superstition, tradition, nor anything like unto it.

This is the power by which we undermine kingdoms, thrones, principalities, and powers. It's not exciting, I suppose, and it certainly doesn't gratify the ego, but over time it is effective.

Our goal is to bring all together as one, voluntarily, without compulsory or coercive means. Where direct persuasion fails, indirect methods are deployed - long suffering, kindness, meekness, mildness, always remembering Christ's example, and keeping his great command - whatever you want people to do to you, do it to them.

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Irven said...


I have been rude to people. You, mostly. Morgan Deane, after made poor arguments, then basically cried: boo hoo, your all meanheads and I'm the nice guy, just wanting good discussion. Then he goes and erases all dissenting views--even links to dissenting views--from his. I have been slightly rude to Log.

I should be nicer. I use sarcasm and snarky comments toward those I feel are complete pricks, such as yourself. I've never approached the rudeness and sarcasm with anyone, more than I have with you. I like to say that sometimes I give in to my weakness and follow the silver rule. In your case, I don't even do that.

There's an ode to L. Ron Hubbard by a guy named Maynard Keenan. It's called Eulogy. It fits my perception of you very well, being the martyr that you want so bad to be.

No, that wasn't nice. But I haven't mocked a frail woman who was to sick to even move around the house. I also haven't made excuses for being rude to people.

I guess I thought an educated guy like yourself with "friends" who have 4 or 5 degrees or whatever it was, could handle himself. Obviously not.....That was rude to bring that up too. There's so much more, but I won't waste my time going back and reading it. Most of it was so ridiculous it was erased.

One question: How does one who picks on sick people get to the point where they feel like they're being victimized and picked on? It's baffling.

Mike H said...

I hope Log keeps talking to him, maybe he can bore him to death!
:D :D

Anonymous said...
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Jared Livesey said...

This exchange makes me sad.

Are the Muslims right? Should we revile, cast out, stone, and slay the misbelievers? Is that what heaven is like - everyone agrees but only because all the people who have even the slightest bit of erroneous beliefs or views are roasting in hell?

Are we, in the end, to be compelled to agree or else die eternally? Did Satan really win the war?

Jared Livesey said...

It is by the wicked that the wicked are punished. That is the nature of justice.

Those who call for vengeance dish it out - and have it dished out to them again - in a prison without walls or guards. Everyone gets their pound of flesh.

Shinedown - Enemies

Dani said...

Under the Atonement, peace exists now, and that's the only place we'll ever find it. There is no offense past, present, or future that is stronger than the power of Christ unto repentance, mercy, and forgiveness. "No man can serve two masters"; if we can look to the Lord only, then all past and present perceived offenses cease to exist.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Gee Whiz, can't I even spend a couple weeks near death without Friar Tuck sneaking back on in my absence?

I guess now I know why Providence spared my life. Someone has to be here to press "delete."

Linda said...

Hooray! Rock is still among the living.

Welcome back Rock. You have been sorely missed.

Thanks to each and every prayer that was sent up in Rock's behalf. But don't stop now, for prayers of faith are POWERFUL. And each of us needs to be on the receiving end of the collective prayers as well, because we are each battling our own dragons.

Blessing on each one who contributed to the prayers for Rock's well-being.


Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thank you, Linda.
Ditto on the prayers. It was all the collective prayers sent on my behalf that have brought me to where I am now.

I am still tied to this nebulizer every three hours. (The last comment I made was because I was up doing this, and here I am again. Still not getting the rest I need because of the difficulty, but I am slowly improving.

I don't know when I will catch up to reading the comments here. Maybe never. The whole idea seems daunting right now, and it's still difficult to type because my hands are like palsy from the adrenaline from the meds.

So you all will please forgive me if I don't respond to earlier comments. It's just that the thought of wading through them for the time being is daunting. I'll have to let them go for future reading.

Thank you all again for your prayers. I posted a short update on my facebook wall. Please pray for Connie, she is not well.

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Jared Livesey said...

Brother Tuck,

Where in the scripture is it written that disciples of Christ should make themselves unpleasant to others, rejoicing in their sorrows, and pointing the finger of mockery and scorn at their enemies?

If you shall cite Elijah vs. the priests of Baal, I will, of course, ask if you are speaking words delivered from you from the mouth of God, and not on your own errand or judgement.

If you shall cite Christ saying the scribes and pharisees were hypocrites, I will likewise ask if you are breaking the Savior's commandments and thus demonstrating hypocrisy.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

And again:

13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.

And again:

21 Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, and it is also written before you, that thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of God;

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

23 Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee—

24 Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.

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