Thursday, June 4, 2015

Yerrrrr OUT!


Previously: Conduct Unbecoming A Member Of The Church

A few hours ago I was excommunicated from the church for apostasy.

"What sins am I guilty of?"
"Apostasy."
"No, apostasy is your judgment.  What sins have I committed that make up this apostasy?"
"Apostasy is the sin."

One truth has come home to me with laser clarity: there are two religions operating side by side in the LDS church today, both vying for dominance. The first is the religion founded through Joseph Smith, which emphasizes dependence on Christ.  The other religion requires allegiance to Church leaders above all else.  If your devotion to Jesus is stronger than your fealty to the Church hierarchy, you are a threat to their system.

It doesn't matter how forcefully you bear testimony of Christ and His gospel; the Brethren-ite religion has but one focus: replace the organic religion with the counterfeit one, all the while convincing followers nothing has changed.

In the video below, you can hear my wife and I give a report on the hearing and its immediate aftermath. To watch the Mormon Stories interview from the day prior to the disciplinary hearing, Click Here.



(You can find an even more in-dept interview Dr. Gina Colvin conducted with me by clicking on the links in the post that follows this one, Interview With The Apostate.)

Here are links to the blog posts referred to during the interview above:

My Testimony Of The Church

Not Quite The Same

Who You Callin' Apostate? 

Go Ahead And Skip That Temple Wedding 

Are We Paying Too Much Tithing?

When Tithing Settlement Goes Horribly Wrong

How To Calculate What You Owe In Tithing

Too Bad I Don't Like Beer


[The header illustration above featuring the Angry Stake President is used courtesy Jonathan Streeter and his groovy blog.]

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
Brent Allen said...

Not surprised. Condolences. Remember the Church has no saving power only Christ holds that.

Edwin Wilde said...

I'm saddened that you had to experience that Rock. But God bless you for it!

Bill McGee said...

The idea that any group of humans has the power to bind God's hands and forcibly remove His blessings is, of course, preposterous.

teabelly said...

as more evidence that it is actually the leadership of the Church and the Church itself that are in a state of apostasy. why would Christ every eject anyone? and for trying to know truth-seeking? it's really pathetic, but in a way just proves the side those who did this to you stand on. i'm with you Rock! I am a devotee of Christ. i still have all the confidence in the world that peace and love will reign.

Milo Jury said...

I look forward to the podcast. But I want to know what you have done recently that is different from what you have been doing all along? If there is a difference, please illuminate our understanding. But if there is no difference, then why weren't you excommunicated back with Kelly or Dehlin? The differences in timing between these three (because of their publicity) makes these actions seem more political than compassionate. Plus, if there is no difference in your actions that result in a judgement of apostasy, then why did they allow you to proceed for so long, to wallow in your sins, and to help keep you from added damnation?
Dehlin was working with the LGBT community for a long time. Some believe this is the reason for his excommunication. But his views on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon IMO led to his forcible exit from the church. Okay. But have you made similar statements? You seem to have diminished faith in the brethren, but not in God nor in His Son. It might appear you were ex'ed not for apostasy but for rebellion. That is concerning.

Nancy said...

If my husband and I hadn't gone through the unrighteous dominion of being forced to obey men (leadership/handbook) rather than Christ (and the scriptures - which we covenanted to do -- obey the law of the gospel as outlined in holy scripture) or be exed by church leadership recently, I wouldn't believe it possible they would do this to you. They are doing this to many people who LOVE to gospel of Christ, the Book of Mormon and believe in the restoration (as we do). You are a great tool for good. You have blessed so many lives, including our family's. We so enjoyed meeting you and Connie recently. You need no advice or consoling regarding the things of the corporation or your standing before God. Stand strong. On this occasion your name couldn't be more appropriate.

jenheadjen said...

My heart just sank, reading this. I'm so sorry Rock - and Connie.

To answer Milo's question (and without knowing much), I'd suppose it was because you dared teach publicly at a family reunion. It seems the rest of the blogging was borderline, but how dare you speak in public about your faith, outside of a building. I'd suppose the verdict was already in before the hearing began.

mindy said...

I'm sorry, Rock. This is just not right.

Brand Thornton said...

Getting booted out is the best that could happen to you Rock. In a few years you will wonder why you just didn't walk away from it along time ago. You will grow spiritually by leaps and bounds now that the shackles have been taken off!

William N. Grigg said...

Rock, your experience perfectly validates something you wrote with respect to the expulsion of Denver Snuffer:

The Magisterium's mantra appears to be that we should be cultivating a testimony of them.

This is the way of all fleshly institutions -- whether religious, political, or of any other description. It is the nature and disposition of all men in positions of "authority" to make obedience to them the first law of whatever heaven they are promising -- and to make perceived rebellion against them a sin akin to witchcraft.

Of course, the only One who actually has authority, and the right to use it, spent his mortal ministry inviting people to come to Him, rather than seeking for excuses to cast them out. That contrast is instructive and offers a very useful way of determining whether any individual or institution actually speaks on His behalf.

God bless you, Rock.

Bryant said...

Did they give you specific examples of what you had said or blogged about that are incorrect? I'm hoping to find out in the Mormon Stories interview.

Ken Jensen said...

I am glad you did not just walk away some time in the past. It is our duty to teach and to preach and to exhort and to baptize...
You have done a great and faithful job of doing that over the years. I appreciate your "Goofy" style and humor.
if they "cast [you] out of the synagogue"--for doing good things--then it only helps you appreciate what the Savior did for us-- being completely blameless.

Sam Adams said...

Rock on.

Jason Bunting said...

I'm sorry to hear it - I hope you and yours are able to find peace in the coming months.

B_Daylight said...

Yo Rock!

I see all these messages of condolence, but I wonder if maybe there is a bigger picture at stake and it's being missed.

As I have read your blog and listened to your interview with John Dehlin, I find your arguments to be totally based on scripture, not on emotion. You are crystal clear in your thoughts and arguments, and you are far more scripturally astute than 99.9 percent of LDS people I know. It's a wonder how the members of the council can disregard your arguments. But then . . . maybe they didn't.

As concise as you are in articulating your arguments, do you think it's possible that those guys could go home last night and NOT consider your thoughts? Is it possible that they awoke this morning (or did they even sleep last night?) confused and pondering deeply what you had to say? No matter what they think and no matter if they are touched by you or not, they are members of the council and as such they were under great peer pressure to to vote with the council, else they might be seen as weak and be removed from that coveted place on the high council.

What I am suggesting then, is that maybe you have touched the lives of these people, even to the point of beginning to wake up. It might take some time for them to really begin to comprehend the power of your message, but if it touches even one person on that council, then it may be worth being ousted.

Do not be sad for your ex-communication. Instead REJOICE! You are making a difference in this world by assisting people in waking from a very deep sleep. How can that be anything less than great? I remember when someone just beat the crap out of you in Men's Training. I mean you really got beat up (verbally and emotionally) and you stood your ground. Period. Most of us would have caved in, but not you. You just took it all and stood there like a . . . ROCK!

Last night they beat you up, but they cannot silence you. Once again you stood your ground. You are the voice in the wilderness, do you get that?

Yeah, there might be a much bigger picture here than any of us can imagine.

I hope today is the best day you've ever had. I love you my friend.

My best to you and Connie.

Jonas

Robert Sinclair said...

The heads of Ephraim have joined with the Mother of Harlots and whore of all the earth, of not being equal in their temporal things and this not grudgingly, for houses and lands, food and raiment, from the store house treasury of the Lord. But commit robbery of God, keeping his treasure away from the poor among them. Wait with paitient hope, until they return, away from their backsliding, and whoredoms, and they may receive you back freely.

Let them be as the Harlot and the Whore no more. Be equal, be one, or they are not his, the Lord has had written. So it is written, so let it be done.♡

Robert Sinclair said...

The heads of Ephraim have joined with the Mother of Harlots and whore of all the earth, of not being equal in their temporal things and this not grudgingly, for houses and lands, food and raiment, from the store house treasury of the Lord. But commit robbery of God, keeping his treasure away from the poor among them. Wait with paitient hope, until they return, away from their backsliding, and whoredoms, and they may receive you back freely.

Let them be as the Harlot and the Whore no more. Be equal, be one, or they are not his, the Lord has had written. So it is written, so let it be done.♡

Clean Cut said...

As a mutual friend expressed, this is exactly how I feel:

"Another excommunication for speaking one's mind publicly. So disheartening. It's interesting because Rock Waterman's perspective is often different than mine. And yet he has undoubtedly enhanced my Mormon experience. Isn't that the point to spiritual journeys? That we are going to have different ones? That we are going to learn from one another even when we don't agree? I think Mormonism is a lot bigger than how it's currently acting. I was a young...college student in the days of leaders such as Elaine Jack and Chieko Okazaki - where progress was felt every time I heard them speak. I never imagined then that our church would actually take steps backwards instead of forward."

Wisdom from Lavina Fielding Anderson seems applicable:

"God doesn't plant lawns. He plants meadows. But we belong to a church that, currently, values lawns--their sameness, their conformity, the ease with which they can all be cut to the same height, watered on schedule, and replaced by new turf if necessary. (And against which it is easy to spot dandelions.) All organizations are limited in their ability to handle diversity, but our church seems particularly limited right now in it's ability to cherish and nurture individuals as individuals--as wild geraniums, catnip, western coneflowers, or yarrow--not as identical blades of grass in a uniformly green lawn...Patience is hard, but I plan to still be here when the Church stops experimenting with lawns and refocuses on the garden which the Lord hath planted."

https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/079-24-27.pdf

Lester said...

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. (The Book of Abraham, Chapter 3)

Well done, Rock. Given the Lord's command not to trust the arm of flesh, I see your standing true to his doctrine and church (D&C 10:67-68) as evidence of your delight in doing what we all agreed to in the grand council in heaven.

Christian Viewmont said...

Your story is so reminiscent to what happened to Grant Palmer, the retired CES director who had the audacity to publish a book critical of LDS truth-claims ("An Insiders View of Mormon Origins"), and which the brethren wanted him to disassociate from. During Grant's church court, the high priests never bothered to offer him specifics which parts or claims in his book weren't true. He was simply told that this book was deemed "damaging to the faith" - regardless of the merits/truthfulness of the material presented. So, Rock, you're quite right. This isn't at all about what is "true" or about being honest. This whole exercise is about maintaining the orthodoxy of church claims and if you happen to disagree, be damned.

Sam said...

Sorry Rock, truly. I think your heart was always in the right place but one thing that SLC headquarters is big on is in being supportive. Re-iterating in your post here that there is a duality in the church, is apostate, and confirms their decision. It just does. That being said, the Lord does support his servants and does allow them to remove blessings. Doctrine and Covenants 1:8 says "And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;" You would argue, as is your style that this scripture is out of context and was specifically relating to the early missions of the church, but if you don't believe your leaders have the ability to receive inspiration, it makes no difference to split hairs here. Point being, there is no duality. They have been given this power. Certainly mistakes can and have been made in excommunication courts, but the Lord clearly has given them the power to do what they did to you. For you, I think this is a good thing. I have read across the internet where wavering saints found your site to be the justification to finally let go. I apologize for not having a link but it was on exmo.

Continuing D&C 1:32-33

32 Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;

33 And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Rock, it doesn't matter how historically correct you are. Nor does it matter how scripturally correct you are, you are not supportive of the Lord's servants, who are called to serve Him and ordained through His Priesthood. My goodness, in your last podcast you basically said that the stories Thomas S. Monson related to about money in his pocket were "nice" but not worthy of Joseph Smith standards. You felt he needed to produce bigger revelations to be considered a prophet. Did it ever occur to you that the reason this generation is getting spoonfed doctrine is because of the spirit of apostasy is running rampant among the saints? Why should there be any big revelations now to titillate and excite borderline saints now? Revelations are a inordinately stupid thing to base your testimony on. They are the guide posts of a testimony, not the heart. You know the Book of Mormon is rife with periods of people looking for signs during periods of spiritual drought right?
I sincerely hope that you fully embrace the gravity of what has happened. I hope you find a supportive voice. If they have made a mistake you have the right to appeal it. Either way I hope you find happiness.

Jared Smith said...

Rock, now do the world a favor, being exed, would you bear witness to the facts that indeed nothing has changed, you still have the gift of the Hg, priesthood power, etc and no man can take them from you excepting such a man has that sealing power directly from God, which is nobody that lives today that we know of. We were not surprised to have nothing change but an increase of love, spirit, and closeness to God when we left, and a great new insight to the blindness caused by man-worship. May the Lord bless you for the integrity of your heart and may he set in order his own house so we can actually start building things away from the economy of Babylon and our servitude to her.

Shai Hadassah said...

Your covenants are between you and the KING who bought and paid for you with HIS blood. The organization did not create your covenants. They did not and do not save you by their blood. Only Jesus did by his Word, His blood and His power (priesthood). Always stand faithful to the KING. You have been and you are.

If you are ex'd over this, then it is only a matter of time before I am as well, even being a new member. I joked with the missionaries "It will be 6 months and they will ex me." They laughed. I said, "Ok 7 months." It's been 7 months since I've been a member.

I'm sitting here shaking my head and feeling sad at the state of things. Disappointed and angry. Yet, like B_Daylight said, maybe you've reached just one. All things work out for the Good of those who Love Him (Romans). There is a purpose in it.

This journey will remain interesting.

Joshua Tolley said...

I, too, am grateful you were willing to go through the process rather than just resign. To resign would deprive your local leaders of the opportunity to fulfill their calling, and this action was as much a test of their faithfulness to the Lord as it was of yours. If you choose to appeal, and are willing to share details of that process, I imagine I'm not the only one that would be interested.

In your last blog post you floated the idea that this might all stem from obscene material someone has emailed or posted in your name, and without your consent. Was your council sufficiently detailed to determine whether that material was part of your alleged misconduct?

Donna Banta said...

Thanks for sharing your journey so far. Best wishes for an even brighter future.

Cam said...

I should be ashamed to live in this generation and not be a heretic.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

7mormonquestions said...

My thoughts and best wishes are with you.

I would have to agree that loyalty to the arm of man appears to be the coin of the realm in the mormon kingdom today. I think you are spot on in this observation.

Best wishes.

It is nice to know that men really don't have any more power in this world than that which we choose to give to them.

Jerry Johnson said...

I am saddened by the out come of your trial but not surprised. Thank you for all the wonderful, thoughtful information you put on your posts and I hope you will continue to post. You have helped innumerable people gain a stronger testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and of the Prophet Joseph Smith, so just know that there are many out here in "cyber space" that look forward to your blog posts. Our prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
Jerry


Truth Seeker said...

Replying to Sam:

According to D&C 124 the fullness of the priesthood (that which has the power to seal on Earth and in Heaven) was taken away from the church. The Nauvoo temple was supposed to be the place in which the Lord would personally restore it to the church but that never happened. Also, in order to believe that those high councilmen have the sealing power you'd have to believe that they received it from the voice of God himself (Helaman 10:6-7).

Miguel Aveiro said...

Sam,

I understand where you're coming from, but I have to ask you something: Do you think it fair that God would remove someone's blessings and close the gate ot their eternal life because his servants unrighteously took them away and excommunicated them? If yes, then that would make a very unfair God, who is a respecter of persons. They could have been under the authority of someone else and kept those blessings, but because their leaders were unjust, God will be bound by their unjust exercise of authority which he gave them.

Sorry, but that makes no sense. Yes, he can appeal, but does that mean the higher authorities, whom he appeals to, can give back what the others have taken away by the exercising of their authority? Now, what if the higher authorities unrighteously deny the appeal? Is God left with no choice but to abide by the unjust decisions of his servants? Or would it be impossible for the higher auhorities do be unjust?

wyethwheelers said...

Not surprised with the councils verdict. I have wondered why those on trial even bother going to the defrocking. Maybe, to make the council hear your thoughts. They say this is in the spirit of love and "on your behalf". Really now! But, they have their handbooks to follow with out skipping a letter! There are no real thoughts just a script! It seems to me that everyone from Sunday School teacher to General authorities have a handbook of what to do, say or not say! What a crock!!
Nevertheless, I wish you happiness. I lookforward to hearing what you have to say.

Jason Bunting said...

Replying to "wyethwheelers"

"I have wondered why those on trial even bother going to the defrocking"

If nothing else, perhaps to fill the role as Abinadi, in a sense - to testify of one's self and one's own personal witness, regardless of whether those in attendance are wicked or righteous.

J-Leav said...

I can't believe they did this...I really can't. I read everyone else's comments who were unsurprised, but I am actually shocked! It's not right that the church doesn't offer an explanation or even an overview of their own history, but will ex people who develop their own conclusions about events and decisions the church made. If it's so critical to our salvation to tow the party line, then why don't I know what that is? They leave me an essay telling me Joseph Smith was a polygamist and then tell me in that same essay it was for the purpose of raising a righteous seed and for caring of the widows, all without offering an explanation then to the obvious question of why was it necessary to marry already married women or exceedingly young women with many prospects? But if I started a blog and asked these questions vocally, I'd get tossed. But they won't answer, my local leadership won't answer, and the general feeling is because I have the question in the first place I am without faith.

I just can't believe they tossed you for answering your own questions. And if it's for your construction/opinion on tithing, isn't that a slippery slope? Telling us it's between us and the Lord, but cracking down on someone who feels like less than "net" is acceptable makes no sense. How is arguing for "surplus" any different for arguing for gross vs. net (which I have sat through on a Sunday a MILLION times)? It's all just conjecture on what the law of tithing means. Are we going to toss the "net" people next?

Is it because of your opinion on prophets since Brigham Young? Yet, they tell us prophets speak for God in the same breath they tell us Brigham Young let his opinion act as church policy for over 100 years, even though that opinion was delivered at a pulpit. They won't explain him, but they'll excommunicate those of us who try to build a framework for our faith in the church in spite of his craziness- all while refusing to answer any question about him or acknowledging the many things said by these era prophets that are now against church policy. They act like they didn't happen and anyone bringing it up is a subversive anti.

I'm so angry and I don't know what to do with it.

...and I'm so sorry. I know you're at a different place than me, where this excommunication doesn't affect your faith, but I would be so lost. My community of friends is largely Mormon. It would hurt me so bad, and because of that, I just keep silent and keep showing up. I feel lost.

Doubting Thomas said...

God speed Rock. Keep doing what you can to shed light on men stealing what many people used to consider good and the center of their spiritual experience and communion with deity.

Thank you for reminding us that Jesus Christ intends for us to have a personal relationship with him and no man gets to come in between that relationship.

Thanks for clearing up all of the man-made doctrine and helping people understand why what they feel is fair and right really does align with a loving God. "Something doesn't seem the same." "Things have changed." I hear this EVERY week as I talk with members in my ward and others online.

When a member is excommunicated who believes in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, The Holy Ghost, the Restoration and the prophet Joseph Smith is excommunicated for apostasy–indeed, "things have changed."

I don't quote the Doctrine and Covenants any more because I don't believe it is what the church claims, but it has some truths in it. Here's the quote of the day: D&C 123 12-14.

"12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—

14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.

TBM's this is YOUR church leadership. Rock you are fulfilling verse 14. It's time to go to the mattresses brother!

Al Christensen said...

You should have understood, long before things got to this point, that the brethren don't really care what you believe to be the Gospel as long as you are obedient to them and loyal to the institution. Of course they were going to smack you down for (rightfully) questioning their motives, ethics and authority.

Log said...

Hey, it's like I say: "Excommunicate them all, and let God sort 'em out!"

Miguel Aveiro said...

Rock,

My condolences for you and Connie and I wish you all the best for the future. The church records in my ward show people being excommunicated in the early days for simply not going to church. But if those persons lived today, they would just be called less active or inactive. Yeah, like that's fair! God is the same yesterday, today and forever and doesn't change with the whims of different men.

Peter said, "we must obey God rather than men."

Now, I'm gonna try and make sense of all this. Shah, this may be of use to you, but don't take my word for it.

Jesus Christ came to Earth and taught his gospel and established his church. He also performed the atonement so that everyone can be forgiven as long as they repent, accept His atonement and endure to the end. To do this they need to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by one holding the priesthood authority.

The church went into apostasy and lost the priesthood authority, as well as having made changes to the doctrine.

Joseph Smith is called of God to re-establish the doctrines of the gospel and the priesthood authority, and set up His church.

Sometime after Joseph Smith's death, changes were made to the doctrine and ordinances and how the church is run. Thus what we have today is not the same as what we had in the time of Joseph Smith.

However, people are still guided by the Lord to the church (like I was and many others) and are baptized and given the gift of the Holy Ghost and the priesthood.

So the priesthood is still on the Earth and it and all the ordinances performed with it is under the control of the leaders of the church.

If one points out the errors in the church, they may be excommunicated by the leaders. As this is misusing God's power and authority, they aren't really excommunicated from his church according to D&C 10:67 and are thus still a part of it. However, they cannot partake of the blessings the church leaders, with their authority can give like the sacrament and access to the temple. I know Rock says he'll continue partaking of the sacrament, but bear with me.

So members who have become aware of the errors are to either ignore them and fall in line with the leaders, or else not take part in them and not share these concerns with others. But for those like Rock who do, they could be excommunicated.

So, what then? People are to be baptized etc. and then get excommunicated? What if that member then shares the gospel with a friend and that friend wants to come unto Christ? Does the member refer them to the missionaries who teach them, baptize them, so that later they can find errors, point them out and then get excommunicated? What if the member shares the errors as well as the gospel. Should that investigator still join the church?

The work of the Lord still has to continue. If these "uncorrelated Mormons" have the priesthood, but have either been excommunicated or just don't want to give friends over to the corporate church, then they, or some other group the Lord chooses will have to continue with the work.

As well as praying to understand all this, I'm gonna pray to know what's to be done about this dilemma. I have friends and family who do not have the gospel and I want them to have them. I don't know if I can ignore the problems and just invite them into the LDS church and drink of all its water, both pure and impure. I want them to just have the pure. Might I suggest we all pray to the Lord to sort this out. It will be in his own timing. I know people say we still have our own personal revelation which is great, but I still believe the Lord will direct all his sheep and lead them. In other words, He will give a revelation to all of us.

Sorry for the long post. Please feel free to point out holes or errors in my theory.

mark moe said...

Sam and Al,

Your idea of obedience and blind trust in authority can be summed up with one word: apostasy.

Think of this: if you had deemed a prophet, seer and revalator such as Wlliam Law and Sidney Rigdon were and in their cases: 1. The chief prophet Joseph Smith wants polyandry with your wife, which as a marriage you reject. Who is on the side of God's law? Even if polygamy was dictated by God, the Mormon doctrine in D&C 132 is clear. The plural wife was to be a forging and the first wife should approve (or not ) sine this "revalation" kind has it both ways on the second part. So either you have many authority figures in the church denying the gospel, or D&C simply isn't correct or both. So what do you think, at first believe JS's complete denial of plural wives, that the D&C is not correct... Would you let the Prophet marry your wife?

In the second case, since Law was excommunicated and I guess by LDS doctrine he was no longer a prophet, seer and revalator-- now down to three of those, Hyrum Smith had this status too... And the Smith's were killed. That left Rigdon. So how come he didn't now lead the church?

Do you have any answers? That Brigham took the form of JS... Well good documentation of that episode right here on this blog.

Anyway, Rock...

Couple days ago I wrote that this would happen. I hope this doesn't tear you up, but rather, sets you free. The truth only hurts if it should and those that have abused their leadership excommunicating you should be in a world of hurt, not you.

Unfortunately, many people can't allow even a glimmer of doubt enter their mind allowing them to be mislead easily. Good reason so few stood up again the black priesthood ban. Either ther morals were questionable, simply a racist or blind to their personal revalation. Same thing is going on now just the subject matter has changed.

mark moe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrHFMetz said...

This was to be expected; I just wonder why it took so long after the first warning had been issued.
I read somewhere, the other day (maybe in your book that I read lately) that an excommunication should be considered an ordinance, that in order to be valid must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and if not nothing has really happened, and did you only lose your membership but not your Priesthood. That can only be lost by grievous sin but not by this kind of show (the Church has lost its power -i.e. the keys of the Priesthood- long ago anyhow). Besides that Priesthood can exist outside and above the Church.
Both Joseph Smith and John Taylor prophecied that the time would come that some of the true followers of Christ would be cast out by their brethren, but "woe unto those who should bring these troubles upon you". We would rather be you and supposedly be out of the Church, than to be one of those who handled you and supposedly be in the Church.

mark moe said...

Sorry in my post above I meant the plural wife should be a virgin D&C 132... Don't see an edit function.

MrHFMetz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca C. said...

Everyone that is where Rock is now, was where you are once. Develop a testimony and relationship of Christ independent of church. Also start to understand that the way Christ does things can look very different from the way the church does things. In otherwise, be open minded. I hope you find yourself soon. ☺

Ricky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ricky said...

From lds.org:

"When individuals or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel, they are in a state of apostasy."

Yet they didn't elucidate the principles of the gospel you turned away from? Not doing so seems either subversive or dishonest.

Makes me think of D&C 112:23-26:

23 Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.

24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.

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

26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.

The Mormon Curse of Cain Doctrine said...

Waterman,

Had you impregnated your own daughter, yet remained loyal..i.e. never criticized...Church leaders, you would have NEVER be exed. They would have slapped you on the wrist, put you on probation, maybe, but not exed you. But...you publicly criticized Church leaders. BIG NO NO, as you found out. I'm surprised they didn't ex you sooner. The Church really teaches this: "Look, we DO NOT CARE what you believe. Just keep your mouth shut, give us your money, and all is well in zion". I was told that, in so many words, many times. WHY I LEFT THE MORMON CHURCH and BECAME A DAHESHIST: http://daheshism.webs.com/DARRICK.htm

Benjamin Cook said...

Sam,

2 Nephi 28:

24 - Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!

25 - Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!

26 - Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!

27 - Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!

28 - And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.

--- I believe, as did Nephi, that the real apostates are the ones who base salvation on "hearkening unto the precepts of men" (supporting the servants) and idolizing "the arm of flesh" over the words of the Lord and the power of the Holy Ghost.

Real apostates are the ones who go through the complacent motions of an "obedient" church member and cry "All is well in Zion!" while refusing to acknowledge the uncomfortable truths in front of them.

Real apostates are the ones who gloat about people like Rock's excommunications because they "tremble, and are angry" at the things these people say and would rather stand upon a sandy foundation than take the courage to "receive [the hard truths] with gladness."

Real apostates are the ones who are perfectly comfortable with the fact that our sustained Prophets, Seers and Revelators "spoonfeed" us and give us anecdotes instead of revelations; the ones who say "we have received, and we need no more!"

Sam, you may not ever face a court of love and the prospect of excommunication because of your compliance and obedience to the Brethren, but ask yourself this: Is all well in Zion?

Christian Stocker said...

I am sorry. I am very sorry. men can't stand in the way of your personal relationship with Deity.

Gungrand said...

There is no god, so I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

Unknown said...

I would hope that your diligent work will aid faithful Mormons in realizing just how apostate the great and spacious building has become in Salt Lake City. Let's also hope it is an impetus for moving towards a true Christian reformation inside of the organization. I wish you the best. Welcome to the world of "Apostates."

Elizabeth said...

Lame. Been thinking of you and Connie a lot. Thanks for bringing to light the things you have.

Greg Jackson said...

It's a shame that there's no real justice or mercy in these so called "courts of love". You're a good man, hang in there. I hope you continue in your search for truth. And please continue to share it with us on your blog.

Regards

grindael said...

Best wishes going forward Rock. I ran afoul of this in the 1980's over Adam-God when I sought answers and was told to shut up and listen to the CURRENT "authorities". I resigned and saved them the trouble.

grindael said...

Best wishes going forward Rock. I ran afoul of this in the 1980's over Adam-God when I sought answers and was told to shut up and listen to the CURRENT "authorities". I resigned and saved them the trouble.

Tom Goldrup said...

My brother Jim and I are sorry to hear of this unfair judgment and action. Our thoughts are with you.

Oppositional Defiant said...

Guess you shouldn't have "abandoned" polygamy. I give it 5 years before it's back.

dx said...

None of us know what's in your heart. Perhaps you have not been willfully subverting the truth and only doing so inadvertently in some rhetorical device meant to seek dialog regarding your doubts and confusions. Again, we don't know what's in your heart.

What is clear, however, is that much of what you have asserted and argued is subversive. An attitude of disregard for the consequences can be observationally equivalent to willful subversion. So, then it becomes a matter of trying to ascertain your intent (is it willful or unwitting) and trying to ascertain how much influence you wield on others.

It's unfortunate because I believe you have had many valuable insights that have illuminated hidden truths. At the same time, however, it's puzzling how you seem to be so obtuse on many other points. I guess the practical problem then is how to filter out the valuable from the nonsense without any oversight. Many are strong enough in their faith that they can extract the value from among the nonsense you advocate. But many others are not to that point yet, and can be led astray.

Again, we don't know what's in your heart. If you were trying to undermine people's faith, then I celebrate your demise. If you were sincerely trying to seek the truth and do God's will, then I have no doubt you will continue to be blessed with more insights to share with others.

God speed.

The Arkwelder said...

That's unfortunate...for the Church. Rock will be fine. He knows where the true power lies.

Suzie's Views said...

Hugs to you and Connie. I can only hope that there is an Alma who will come forth, because his heart was pricked from your testimony of Christ during your court excommunication.

The church handbook which the brethren follow religiously is nothing more than the arm of flesh. Written by the “hand” of man (namely church lawyers) to protect the corporate church. And if the corporate church feels threatened and wants to maintain control it will eat it’s own flock, one sheep at a time.

Catherine said...

I left as a believer because I realized that being a Mormon was bad for me and my sons. After I cut my tethers, I tumbled through space but eventually landed on planet sanity.

Shai Hadassah said...

Responding to Miguel Aveiro

Miguel:

Your explanation and your concerns are correct. You said, " I have friends and family who do not have the gospel and I want them to have them. I don't know if I can ignore the problems and just invite them into the LDS church and drink of all its water, both pure and impure. I want them to just have the pure. Might I suggest we all pray to the Lord to sort this out. It will be in his own timing."

Here is how I keep my view straight:
Jesus paid the price. He is my savior. Bible and BofM back me up on keeping the relationship just between me and Him. Period. Talk about intimate! He will always be more supreme in my mind than any member of the current, past or future organization of the church. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I stand before God to give an account one day --alone--not with my Bishop, a member of the quorum of the 12, or with any current man with the title of Prophet. Good as they may be to have, they did and do not save me. ONLY HE DOES.

Here is what I would do:
1. You want your friends and family to have the gospel. Give them gospel. Give them HIM, Jesus Christ. If they feel more comfortable starting with a bible, so be it. This is all I had until I accepted the Book of Mormon. I wasn't ready for the Book of Mormon until 7 months ago. I'm almost 39 years old.

2. If your investigator asks questions, do your best to answer them honestly. No sugar coating.

Let them ask questions at their pace. Discuss church stuff with them as they bring it up, not the other way around. Keep loving them. Keep being their friend. Let them SEE it truly is OK to go at their own pace.

3. If they are worried that someone will pressure them to "become Mormon," like I was, answer the way my old roommate said to me: "Even if you believe the Book of the Mormon is true, you do not have to join the organization. You don't even have to tell anybody. It is between you and God. You can always go at your own pace. Always."

I took that to heart. And I did. What I found out is that when I did discover truth (for me), I wanted to join the organization despite its misgivings. Why? I was able to separate out the "modern organization" from "the gospel." The organization is NOT PERFECT. It is made up of NOT PERFECT people trying to administer something that is PERFECT. The GOSPEL is perfect. So if they join the organization, are they joining to be part of the organization or are they joining because they feel impressed to do so in obedience to the Gospel that has been personally revealed/confirmed to them?

I joined because I felt it was my next step in walk with Jesus: line upon line...I had a relationship with Him before. It's only been enhanced by me joining the church, not because of the organization. No. But because I'm hungrier for the things I knew not before and I seek it out every chance I get!

There is a difference. But I also knew before joining the church, the fact that I held close to this difference, it will one day get me into "trouble" with the "modern organization", no matter how much any Stake President says how much of a breath of fresh air I am. I know in my heart however, I will not be "in trouble" with "the Gospel."


Summary
Give them Gospel. Give them HIM. Be there to answer their questions, good, bad and ugly and all. Help them to go at their own pace. And by meeting them where THEY are in their search for truth, you are giving them Christ. God is the one who works upon each heart and it is Him who brings forth that fruit and revelation of this gospel in the heart. Not you. Not the organization. Just Him. Your job is to just help water it- yeah?

Hope that helps. :) Sorry for the length.

watermeloncrew2 said...

Sorry, Rock...the institution is losing someone worthy to be called a true follower of Christ. It's like they're shooting themselves in the foot with an shotgun....it can only go downhill from there. This Orwellian 'double speak' of professing one thing and doing something else entirely different will do nothing more than encourage more free thinking followers of Christ that they should stand a little taller and keep moving forward in the gospel - not relying on the arm of flesh.

I'm sad but can't bring myself to be too sad.

Thanks for being you, my brother from another mother!

Brandon Bishop said...

Rock, I was at the dinner and proceedings with you last night. This verdict does not seem just. Will you be appealing the verdict?

DeeLyn said...

You're over the rainbow now Rock, skies are blue, and the dreams that you have dared to dream really can come true!

Bob Westover said...

Sorry to hear about your DC. If you ever find yourself in SLC with nothing to do, look us up. Bob & Linda Westover

JSDefender said...

"It doesn't matter how forcefully you bear testimony of Christ and His gospel; the Brethren-ite religion has but one focus: replace the organic religion with the counterfeit one, all the while convincing followers nothing has changed."

Rock, this is exactly what the RLDS hierarchy did to my church in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s until they morphed into the Community of Christ. You are not in apostasy, they are.

God bless. Our prayers continue to be with you and Connie.

Mormon Heretic said...

Sorry to hear the news Rock, but just Rock On!!!

Jared Mata said...

Few days ago I had a discussion with my parents because they don't understand how is it that I'm an average mormon no more. They are worried for my lack of confidence in the brethren and my radical beliefs. I know they are sincere, they have asked me to pray for a testimony and to repent. I am sad since that day and wished God would never opened my eyes so I could keep being of one mind with them. I try to find comfort in others' similar experiences, and now I find this post and feel a bit better. May the Lord fulfill His promise to us " And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age"

Ron Knight said...

The cruelty for those folks, is that the system they have created is really Animal Farm, and they know it. And deeper down they all know they are Painting the Roses Red... but the politics if their Own deprivation of Godliness has nothing to do with those who know and live with consciousness. Some in that line, all of them, are hustling to get and store more paint. And they know that too.

Ron Knight said...

The cruelty for those folks, is that the system they have created is really Animal Farm, and they know it. And deeper down they all know they are Painting the Roses Red... but the politics if their Own deprivation of Godliness has nothing to do with those who know and live with consciousness. Some in that line, all of them, are hustling to get and store more paint. And they know that too.

Ron Knight said...

The cruelty for those folks, is that the system they have created is really Animal Farm, and they know it. And deeper down they all know they are Painting the Roses Red... but the politics if their Own deprivation of Godliness has nothing to do with those who know and live with consciousness. Some in that line, all of them, are hustling to get and store more paint. And they know that too.

miamiexile said...

Rock--Just finished watching the MS interview. Even though I was only a member of the LDS Church for a little under 2 years before returning to my native Catholicism, it was your blog that helped me stay for so long. It was you blog where I was able to fully appreciate Joseph Smith (and I still do, even as a Catholic) and the grandness of Mormonism.

I'm reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

You are a great brother in Christ. Prayers for you and Connie

Sam said...

Just watched the video with you and your wife Rock. At first, I agreed with what you said about what was said regarding your blog posts. Those posts were taken out of context and shouldn't be used against you anymore than a historian should be kicked out of a library, however I stand by what I said with regards to your doubts about the leadership in the church.
Look at all the posts here brimming with veiled hatred towards the LDS faith. You want to know who your readers are Rock? They ain't the ones going back to church because of your blog!
I was talking to my wife about this, and she pointed it out quite succinctly, she said "You wouldn't want an excommunication to happen to anyone would you?" I said no, she said, "That's right, Rock left the church a long time ago and either didn't realize it or has known it all along." I have to agree. That you could shed tears over an old infraction and the subsequent court of love you experienced and not shed one for losing your membership and subsequent blessings shows you've been checked out for a long time. I feel for you. I feel for your wife. I mean this sincerely, I hope that your love of Christ nourishes your soul and keeps you. You are correct on one point, he does work with all. God bless.

Marcus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carl said...

I have stayed and are brought closer to both Christ and his church due to Rock and "Pure Mormonism". And I know of many that feel the same.

Thank you Rock,

- Carl

DeeLyn said...

Sam,

If the Church & it's leaders are not following Christ & keeping his commandments, and they are not, then why would Rock care about his membership to it? Why would anyone support or follow men who don't follow Christ?

Christ said to not believe in prophets who don't keep his commandments or teach his laws, for they prove to be false prophets.

And Christ never taught us to attend any church or to trust men or give them our money for the poor (to pocket themselves), he only said to join his 'spiritual' church by being baptized, in His day there was no official church, people studied & followed Christ/God in their homes as he meant' them to.

Building & attending churches & temples was man's idea not Christ's/God's, instead of using the money for the poor, for churches are a way to make money and control the people. And it works, for most people like the thinking done for them, and don't care what kind of leaders they are supporting.

S said...

I don't see how this is sad for Rock. If you believe the prophets have fallen, then why would you stay in the church? If I didn't believe prophets led the church, I'd leave. If I didn't believe Jesus was at the helm of this work, choosing prophets to represent Him, I'd leave, and happily so. It's a dead church if you don't believe God is at the helm. Do you know how much "freedom" there is in leaving? Hang out at home on Sunday. Go to sporting events. Find another church, great! Go for it! Volunteer with homeless people. So many opportunities that align with your beliefs. You must be getting more out of hanging on than you would having to forget your "cause" of this blog and moving on to help people.

Tammy said...

Hi Rock and Connie,
I just finished watching your interview with John. I enjoyed hearing you both and what you went through last night. My thoughts and prayers were with you. But now hearing what you went through, I am reminded again how difficult it is to have the spirit of God in an area where there is the spirit of the devil present. It certainly doesn't diminish the good spirit within you but it sure makes it hard to spread it in the darkness that surrounds.
I had thought that I would just resign if I were presented with the ultimatum and I felt like my choice would be the wimpy way but after hearing what went on with you both last night, I think it is the wisest choice. Those men are NOT conduits of the right spirit during a time like that.
You and I were both part of a church long ago that was loving and kind and helpful. Different church altogether now. Im sad for that, but happy that now it is vital to choose between them and God. I choose God and am so grateful for my journey towards Him and thankful for your part in my journey. Like I said once before, I was on the side of a mountain on a trail and as I started to learn, the ground under me was crumbling and I had to start running or I would fall with it. I feel more stable now but only because I realize that I'm coming to God.

Unknown said...

Thou Shalt not commit apostasy! It is the 431st commandment given by revelation to some unknown prophet between 1844-2015, never written down, no angelic source cited, never uttered from the scripture making general conference pulpit, or put inside the canon of Ensign Scripture--more of a policy revelation, kind of like the major temple ordinance changes, policy and procedure revelations not written down and made known to the general membership-- the only way to find out about the policy revelations is to commit the Apostasy sin or go to the Temple and bamm, its right there, not to read, but to really experience the revelation first hand.

James Schaefermeyer said...

Cry me a river Rock. You chose to contend with the true church of God; it didn't throw you out, you did it to yourself. I hope you stop blogging and find more productive things to do as you wallow in misery as a servant of the devil.

Scott Shepherd said...

I have been thinking often about something related to what you share with us on your blog Rock. It is something that God told Joseph was the reason he should not join any church because all their creeds were an abomination to Him. How many of these creeds of the LDS church are now an abomination to Him? We are no different. We should be looking at ourselves in the mirror and trying to understand what we hold dear and true because of tradition that in actuality is an abomination to God. IMHO: Excommunicating someone for trying to find the truth and speaking out for what they believe is truth is an abomination to Him; but I do not claim to speak for Him, it just makes sense that if there are creeds that were abominable to Him then, then we better damn well be sure that our creeds are not abominable to Him either.

mark moe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Klarity said...

Rock, you changed my life for the better when you demonstrated that Tithing is to be paid on surplus. I am disabled and very poor. The church told me to pay a full tithing according to their formulas and go to the bishop for welfare. Never again!

Jason Bunting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J-Leav said...

I'm a card carrying, BYU graduated, young woman medallion, sleeping next to a return missionary/eagle scout, with my temple marriage certificate hanging on the wall kind of Mormon. I'm just putting this out there so those who have been so cruel in their comments will not write me off as some "servant of the devil" as well.

Here's the problem with excommunicating Rock and others like him- REGARDLESS of what you think of his opinions...

The church has now made the decision to be more transparent with its history. However, even a cursory reading of the church sanctioned essays leaves a reader with many more questions. There are MANY members asking basic follow up questions from church sanctioned materials without even looking outside of lds.org. The church does not clear up how a man's opinion on race ended up being policy for the church for over 100 years. They don't clear up the times others repeated that policy as if it were doctrine. They don't clear up if it happened once, could it happen again? The church doesn't clear up why Joseph uses a seer stone but why they choose to portray him to the saints as conducting a direct translation by candlelight. They admit to polygamy for our founding prophet, offering the reasons of "righteous seed" and "carrying for widows" but then don't explain why marry women who were already married or exceedingly young.

These are some of the questions that arise from simply reading church sanctioned materials. These are the questions my friends and I talk about every day on our play dates, dinner parties, etc. If the church does not provide answers to these naturally arising questions, which it hasn't, then I don't think it is allowed to excommunicate those who arrive on their own conclusions. If we preach personal revelation, we should allow personal revelation, especially if there is nothing definitive on the matter.

Let's take Rock's tithing for example. Whether you agree with him or not, he's made a decision of what "interest" means to him after praying, studying and experimenting. His answer is conjecture. Well, so are people arguing net or gross. Two sides of the same coin- an interpretation of a law. Same arguments as what constitutes keeping the Sabbath, hemlines, meat and the word of wisdom, etc. If we have so many varying opinions on these issues, which we do, we cannot ex those who don't agree.

To not completely agree with the brethren is completely ok. Because they don't always agree with themselves. McConkie told us of polygamy in the last days, and Hinckley says it's not doctrinal. Kimball said delaying children for a woman's education is a sin, Monson strongly encourages female education. Joseph Smith welcomed African American saints, Brigham Young pushed them aside. Not agreeing is not the same as not sustaining! Especially since you can go on to the church's website RIGHT now and find an essay detailing the time a prophet's opinion disenfranchised black saints and kept them from saving ordinances. I was wrong to ever repeat the lame explanations I grew up with to anyone who asked regarding blacks in the church. I'm not going to make that mistake again. If someone asks me about gay marriage I simply answer I don't know- because I don't. And I still raise my arm to the square every general conference.

...continued...

J-Leav said...

Lastly, if we're going to be kicking people out for opinion and not for lack of testimony, then let's think back to the last testimony meeting you attended that every testimony was completely, 100%, by-the-book, ready for the Ensign. I bet you can't think of one because neither can I. At church I have heard so much worse than I have read on Rock's blog. For example:

1.) Small families are a sign of the selfishness prophesied in the last days.
2.) CNN won't cover the second coming of Christ because it is too liberal.
3.) If a gay person walked into church, we should all walk out.
4.) I'm from Las Vegas. When I was in the temple, Harry Reid (a democratic senator) walked in. People left the temple in droves, saying awful, hateful things.
5.) A couple weeks ago, the entire elder's quorum lesson was on the dangers of Bruce Jenner.
6.) At BYU Joseph Fielding McConkie taught God was a polygamist. When I said that felt wrong to me, he told me once polygamy was back I'd have a testimony- it only felt wrong to me because it wasn't currently practiced.

My list can be so much longer and I know yours can too. I know in a 3 hour block on a Sunday you hear as much opinion as I do. Do I have a problem with that? No. Lay ministry is going to let some nuts into the brownies- and I have no desire to excommunicate them for their opinions!! We excommunicated those who first talked about the history of the church, and now the church is attempting to embrace its own history. We have made hypocritical choices and I'm ashamed and embarrassed for us.

Last note....my daughter is 8. Her Primary teacher is a man who had his 4th DUI this week, is in criminal court on charges of domestic violence and owes considerable back child support. I don't mind he is my daughter's teacher. I mind he can be fellowshipped, helped and loved on his path back to our heavenly father and Rock can't. Rock doesn't actually DRINK the beer my daughter's teacher does, he's just not sure what the history says about it! It blows my mind we would witch hunt like this, when we all unequivocally know that the policy and opinions of the leadership of the church have evolved and changed throughout the years.

I know this post is long, but please keep in mind...Jesus wasn't Mormon. He was Jewish. None of the original apostles were Mormon, they were the early Catholics. But I imagine when I return home to my Heavenly Father, I will find them there, despite their lack of food storage and general conference. And when I get home to my Heavenly Father, I will find everyone else who lives up to the laws of Heaven the best way they know how, using the grace of the atonement to fill in the gaps they missed. And I am 100%, absolutely, completely sure that will include Alan Rock Waterman.

Jason Bunting said...

Wow - J-Leav, that was beautifully articulated.

mark moe said...

J-leav

May God bless you and yours!

Lester said...

Well said, J-Leav. Your post was as long as it needed to be and I enjoyed every word.

Besides studying the word of God in the scriptures, consider studying Rock's essays, the essays of Adrian Larsen, Anonymous Bishop and Denver Snuffer. All of these folks teach of Christ and him alone as our redeemer. If you see the corporate foolishness and sanctimonious pride in Rock being cast out of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you probably are ready to learn more. All in due time, though. As you learn truth for yourself, be a light in teaching it and testifying of it. There's no need to rail against those responsible for Rock's removal. Teach of Christ, rejoice in Christ and let him empower you to live more abundantly.

Shelama said...

On the other hand, the counterfeit religion of Christianity and the Christ myth replaced the "Kingdom of God" religion of Jesus the apocalyptic Jew.

And nothing Joseph Smith did repaired it, much less the modern Mormon church.

Sam said...

J-Leave, you said:

"I know this post is long, but please keep in mind...Jesus wasn't Mormon. He was Jewish. None of the original apostles were Mormon, they were the early Catholics."

Please, Jesus was not "Jewish" he was the Holy Son of God who came into this world through the house of Judah. If anything his ministry taught us is that he most definitely was not "Jewish" in the cultural sense. You remember, he got killed for it.

Secondly, the original apostles were in no way, shape or form, "early Catholics." Tell that to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Sorry to nitpik but if you are going to make a point, please have it backed up with some solid study. At least Rock does that.

J-Leav said...

Fair enough ;) I'm not going to argue with you about who belongs to what creed because it wasn't my point. My point was those of us in the church on some precarious ground kicking to the curb those who disagree with the main stream or who have opinions on the gospel that the church doesn't firmly address in scripture. It's great to know where you think you'd find Peter on a Sunday, but what's your real response to what I really said?

Lena Hansen said...

J-Leav,
Your comments were pure awesomeness!! I would that more LDS had the common sense you possess. Perhaps you will find answers reading this post written by Rock:
http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-im-abandoning-polygamy.html

For me, all the scattered odds and ends pieces to a complicated historical church puzzle flew into their proper places after understand what really happened in Nauvoo. Having said that, Rock Waterman's posts have strengthened my testimony in the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith's role as a true prophet of God.

Good luck in your journey!
Lena Hansen

Mark said...

Rock, Thanks for your courage to stand up for what you believe in. We've not met but I really appreciate your blog. It has helped me understand our religion and what has happened to our religion much better. Keep up the good work!

Brandon H. said...

Joseph Smith's comments on the councils of men judging other men are very applicable to the "councils of love" today.

TPJS 69
"And I continued and said, no man is capable of judging a matter, in council, unless his own heart is pure; and that we frequently are so filled with prejudice, or have a beam in our own eye, that we are not capable of passing right decisions.
But to return to the subject of order; in ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the Spirit, was obtained, which has not been observed in this Church to the present time. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council, another could; and if the president could spend his time, the members could also; but in our councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not; one’s mind on the business of the council, and another thinking on something else."

DeeLyn said...

J-Leav,

You made so many great points! I hope you post more.

It seems to be a pre-requisite for leaders in the Church to be prideful and arrogant and believe they can't be wrong about anything and that they are righteous enough to judge others, when in fact they all support or do just as bad or worse things as anyone sitting before them, but their pride blinds them to that fact.

And I agree with what you pointed out - that it's astonishingly hypocritical of the Church to cast out those with differing opinions, considering how every LDS prophet and leader since Joseph has had many differing or opposing views on many vital & moral things, even beliefs and teachings and practices completely contrary to the teachings of Christ. So no leader high or low has any room to talk or judge. But of course they never cast themselves out for their differing opinions or unChristlike behavior & teachings.

Everyone in the Church, high or low, is right about some things and wrong about many other things that they don't realize yet. The Church should be more of a sharing of ideas about Christ rather then a place where false prophets & false leaders pretend to be more righteous, wise & right then everyone else.

Shai Hadassah said...

J-Leav,

Well said. I cut and paste your comments into a document so I can explain to my temple worthy priesthood boyfriend what it is I'm trying to say. Except for the "Catholic" part, I get what you're saying. I know that wasn't your point.

Everyone,
Thank you so much for all your comments on this! Very enlightening. Way better than Saturday morning cartoons (it's Saturday morning now....)

S said...

Is anyone going to recognize this blog as a "I follow dead prophets, not living ones!"? Or am I way off?

Log said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Log said...

S,

Which living prophet advocates your approach to Rock?

S said...

Log, regarding your first comment, which has now been deleted, when did I revile, mock, or scorn? How am I not following a living prophet by asking questions?

Robert Horning said...

Rock,

Your description of this event really breaks my heart so far as you seem to be a sincere fellow believer in Christ, find amazement in the words of His servant, Joseph Smith, and have a sincere testimony of the restored gospel of the Savior.

The only thing that I can find in your words on your blog is that you have some doubts and questions as to why The Brethren have been changing doctrines based upon the whims of the times and opinions of people outside of the Church... especially the general American Republic and its citizens as a whole.

I cam to this blog as somebody who has been having some pretty severe doubts not to the veracity of the Gospel, but rather to the church. I have done the whole Mormon story of being the good little Mormon kid growing up attending Primary, Seminary, Boy Scouts, and going on a mission on my own dime sacrificing two years voluntarily on a dedicated quest to serve the Lord full time. I married my eternal mate in the temple and should be living the Mormon dream.

BTW, I lived in the church of Southern California (Inglewood Stake, Morningside Park Ward) and can relate with your experiences of what life was like back elsewhen. Your descriptions of what it was like bring back some really good and incredibly spiritual experiences that I had back then.

I know you have touched on it, but your description of high council disciplinary meetings seems to be in stark contrast to what I know they should be doing if they were following scripture, namely the procedures for such councils in the Doctrine & Covenants. If anything, that disturbs me more that they are following the Church Handbook over scripture. I bet you would not have been able to identify who the six men (of the council itself... not witnesses) were that were required BY THE LORD to stand in your defense in such a hearing. As such procedures, as revealed by Joseph Smith from the Savior (and still a part of the official LDS cannon) were not followed, I fail to see how this can even remotely be considered a valid excommunication in the first place. If anything, I would at least offer to suggest that as a possible item to mention in your appeal... not that I think that would matter when your appeal is written but it is further condemnation upon those who did this thing to you.

You have very nearly motivated me to start my own blog describing my own spiritual journey for the truth, as I'm not afraid of the actions of men any more. God is watching these events unfold, and He will be the ultimate judge of what has happened to you and to other blog writers. Thank you for your courage in the face of fire, and standing up for your beliefs. Keep your blog going, as it is still a source of inspiration to the true believers.

Log said...

S,

You ask, "when did I revile, mock, or scorn?"

You said, previously: "You must be getting more out of hanging on than you would having to forget your "cause" of this blog and moving on to help people."

You said, previously: "Is anyone going to recognize this blog as a "I follow dead prophets, not living ones!"?"

I consider these to be reviling, mockery, or scorn, as well as judgement and accusation. Even should you deny this, it is clear that these are not attempts to persuade Rock of anything.

I notice you do not treat the rest of my now-deleted comment, where I asked why don't you try to persuade Rock to follow living prophets, as the now-dead prophet Joseph Smith said we had ought in D&C 121:41-46, and I notice you do not treat my now-existing comment in which I asked a straightforward question: which of the living prophets advocates your approach to Rock?

I cited a living prophet, President Uchtdorf, whose teachings seem to preclude your approach to Rock:

Stop It!

When we feel hurt, angry, or envious, it is quite easy to judge people. This topic could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

We have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters.

Is this difficult to do? Yes. How is it done? Through the love of God.

• Let us be kind.
• Let us forgive.
• Let us talk peacefully with each other.
• Let the love of God fill our hearts.
• “Let us do good unto all men” (Galatians 6:10).

Jesus said it is easy to love those who love us. But Jesus Christ taught a higher law. His words are meant for us today. They are meant for you and me: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

When our hearts are filled with the love of God, we become “kind one to another” (Ephesians 4:32). The merciful obtain mercy. Of this I testify. - President Uchtdorf

So, I ask again, S, why aren't you seeking to persuade Rock to follow living prophets, if you feel he is in error? Why do you instead mock, scorn, revile, judge, and accuse?

Log said...

If any feel Rock is in error: show him you have something better; see if you can do it without malice, reviling, scorn, mockery, judgement, threats, or accusations.

As for me, I am content to be his friend, even if I may not necessarily agree with his approach to the Church.

S said...

I made a deduction: why would he continue hanging on? Because he must be getting more out of staying than leaving.

It makes sense to me, you can call it a judgment of his actions but I don't call Rock a bad person or a piece of garbage or anything.-.

I don't feel the need to convince him of following living prophets. He has the same information I have. You haven't answered my question. Isn't this a blog about following dead prophets, not living ones?

Log said...

And to preclude another argument: in the mouths of two or three witnesses shall the truth of every word be established.

I believe the disciplinary council went as Rock and Connie have described, they being two witnesses to the event. Their account matches the substance of reports of recent disciplinary councils held on similar accusations towards others. Therefore the argument "we only have one side of the story" doesn't quite wash here. There are multiple witnesses and they're all singing the same song.

The Church is not, to my knowledge, under any legal requirement, scriptural or otherwise, to remain silent about these things. If Rock has taught false doctrine, the Church might profitably publicly demonstrate his errors of understanding, and thus reclaim wandering sheep. But whether she does or not, that's up to her. I don't seek to counsel her.

And I don't have a problem with the Church performing doctrinal boundary maintenance. If the Church doesn't want certain people among her numbers, then by golly, excommunicate them all, and let God sort 'em out.

This isn't Joseph Smith's church anymore. The sooner this is recognized, the easier the cognitive transition will be.

Log said...

"You haven't answered my question. Isn't this a blog about following dead prophets, not living ones?"

Unlike you - as evidenced by your asking this question - I have read enough of Rock's writing to know what he believes. Hell, even watching the podcasts would have answered your question. Why do you comment when you haven't bothered to take Rock seriously enough to do him the honor of finding out what the hell he actually believes by reading what he's written, or by watching the videos he's helpfully linked to in the post?

"I don't feel the need to convince him of following living prophets."

That's apparent, and doesn't really answer the fundamental question I'm asking you: why don't you feel the need to convince him to follow living prophets? Is it because you feel it's not important to follow living prophets, or is it because you don't have love for Rock, and are thus not your brother's keeper? Or is it some other third thing?

Good Will said...

dx,

I would love to hear from you what "nonsense" Rock has advocated.

S said...

I've read all of his top posts. I don't go around convincing people to follow prophets unless they are interested in hearing a why.

Good Will said...

J-Leav,

I have to add my "congrats" and "thanks" to you here. Absolutely wonderful comment. I'd re-post every word verbatim on my own blog if it didn't violate the 8th commandment! ;o)

DeeLyn said...

S,

Why should anyone follow 'living' prophets over dead ones, unless the dead ones were teaching falsehoods? Just because they tell you to? How safe & smart is that?

Or more importantly why would anyone follow any prophet over Christ? You apparently believe either past LDS prophets were leading the Church astray or you believe in a changeable God who calls evil good sometimes and good evil at other times. If prophets could change doctrine then it would be impossible to know truth from error since the standards & doctrines would keep changing with each new prophets who comes along. How would you know if they were just following the world versus following God?

Do you test prophets 1st before believing they are true? For Christ warned us about falling for false ones. Christ said to prove prophets by whether they keep 'all' of his commandments or not, to know if they are true or false. That would mean they can't make any changes or create new doctrines that would be contrary to Christ or Christ said we should consider them to be false prophets.

According to Christ and his standards, there are very few prophets throughout history that have proved to be actual 'true' prophets and none have in the LDS Church.

Log said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Zang (The Zang Family) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Zang (The Zang Family) said...

Following dead prophets over living ones is a misnomer. The origin comes from Christ’s rebuke of the lawyers in his day, saying: “Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres” (Luke 11:47). Playing the telephone game, we Mormons have “one upped” the Jews. Since Christ exposed the insincerity of the lawyers’ pretend honor of the prophets of the past, we have condemned any honoring of past prophets in modern LDS culture altogether. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!

Christ did not condemn the prophets, he fulfilled and honored them correctly (Matthew 5:17). He only condemned the hypocrites who never truly listened to the past prophets’ messages in the first place, but made a show of building shrines to them. But since Christ says that to know Him is eternal life (John 17:3), and Abinadi said that Christ shall see His seed, which are all the prophets who have not fallen into transgression (Mosiah 15:10-13), then the living prophets are Joseph Smith and those before him who truly knew Christ. You have to pass away before it can be said you didn’t fall into transgression, or else Balaam with the talking donkey would be considered a prophet, and Caiaphas the high priest in Jesus’ day, who both spake true prophecies at some point.

Those modern pretenders who have never known Christ, even if they have done many wonderful works (3 Nephi 14:21-23), are dead even now among the living…spiritually dead (Matthew 23:27). So no, this blog is not about “following” dead prophets. Quite the contrary. It is about “hearkening” to the prophets who have abided in the true vine, who are alive in Christ, who have properly shared the words of Christ. And Elijah shall at some point turn again the hearts of the children to these living fathers…Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith, Lehi, Ephraim, Joseph of Egypt, Jacob who was Israel, Isaac, Abraham, Shem, Noah, Lamech, Methuselah, Enoch, Jared, Mahalaleel, Cainan, Enos, Seth, Adam…

saintsfan1111 said...

I'm sorry they chose to do this. To Rock's detractors in the church, which I attend, I'm still gonna read Rock's blog.

Greg Jackson said...

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

andrew said...

ah the articles of faith, sentenced, it seems, to become nothing more than busy work for the primary to eat up more of that hour.

I read that several times, I mean really pondered the entire sentence; it is astonishing, dumbfounding even, to think that those words seem worthless, meaningless, to this organization. has it really, truly been diminished to just follow the prophet? (but don't try and ask him to do prophetic things...)

Homo Kayakus said...

The "Apostasy is the sin" charge reminds me of the recent case of the man who was "arrested for resisting arrest".

Linda Gale said...

The 'shadow' church and the 'shadow government' seem to have much in common.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Sam,
Regarding your comment on June 4th at 7:50 a.m.: I wonder if you realize how sweetly condescending you come off in that comment?

I find it's always a good thing, when quoting from a revelation of God, that you make yourself familiar with the entire revelation, and not just a tiny snippet that would appear to support your position.

Your assertion that the men in the high council room who condemned me did so because they somehow had authority from God to seal whatever they chose to seal "on earth as in heaven" and therefore their condemnation was binding on God.

That scripture references a select group of men at a specific time, performing a sacred mission they were called to perform. How do you come to extrapolate those words to apply to all supposed "servants" some time in the far future? |What keys of authority does that verse reference that would give today's Church leaders, either local or general, the ability to command God to obey their will?

I would recommend you read my post "Not Quite The Same" which can be found on the list below the video on the original post above. Then please come back here and explain to us how any of the verses you quoted from D&C 1 obtain anything near the interpretation you ascribe to them.

The men in that room expelled me from their society for one salient reason: I would not admit to a sure knowledge that the men they idolize have inherited the gifts of prophet, seer, and revelator. In order to accept that premise, I would have to accept two additional premises:

1. That those men have exhibited the gifts that come with being prophets, seers, and revelators; i.e. they must have at some time prophesied something, translated something, and revealed something through the voice of God.

2. I should be able to find evidence they received those gifts going back through a line of presidents that leads through Brigham Young. Yet Brigham Young was never ordained of God to be a prophet, seer, and revelator, so on what basis can they claim to have received these gifts through him?

If you are to insist the men in that room have the power to command heaven to bind on earth their will and whim, I would ask you two questions:

1. I assume you believe as I do that Joseph Smith was ordained a prophet, seer, and revelator. So on what date did Brigham Young receive that same ordination?

2. Who performed the ordination?

I think it's helpful when we aim to quote God, that we make every effort to understand what he is really saying, and not make assumptions based only on a portion of His word that supports something we WANT to believe is true. To do otherwise is putting words in God's mouth that he neither said nor intended to convey. The ancient Hebrews called that "taking the name of the Lord in vain."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Christian Viewmont,
Though I appreciate the comparison to the way Grant Palmer was treated in his high council hearing with the way I was similarly railroaded, I hasten to point out that Grant Palmer and I are poles apart in our views regarding the teachings of Mormonism. As I understand him, Grant rejects many of the core fundamentals of the faith that I embrace, such as the divine calling of Joseph Smith and the historicity of the Book of Mormon. So though yes, his reasons for believing the way he did were suppressed as were mine, it's worth noting that Grant Palmer and I differ widely in our respective views.

This might be a good time to point out that John Dehlin and I are also miles apart theologically. But so what? Does God require any of us to associate only with those whose views comport with our own? I find it interesting that John Dehlin, ostensibly now an unbeliever, would give me a more patient and honest hearing than the men who presented themselves as judges over me.

The stake president completely misrepresented my views to the rest of the council, and when it was my turn to speak, he limited my ability to properly defend my views. He also went to ridiculous lengths to insist the council be conducted in secret, clearly to hide his calumny. Meanwhile, John Dehlin carefully and patiently gave me a public hearing, along with the time necessary to respond to the accusations that had been thrown at me.

The stake high council insisted I did not even have the right to discuss what was said in those star chambers under the ridiculous guise that the hearing was "sacred and confidential." John Dehlin, who probably disagrees with me on every point I made, nevertheless provided me a forum in which my defense could be witnessed by anyone who cared to see and hear it.

At one time, John Dehlin and I shared very much the same beliefs. Today, his beliefs differ quite a bit from my own, but at least he is not prepared to jettison our friendship over differences of opinion. Compare his behavior to the men in the stake high council. I had much more in common with those men theologically than I do with John Dehlin, yet they could not wait to expel me from their society because my beliefs differed from theirs in only one or two matters.

Whose friendship do you think I treasure more, theirs or his?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

S,
You wonder why I would want to remain a member of the church if I don't believe Jesus is at the helm. You wonder why I don't just stay home; why I continue to hang on.

You appear to have a different view of the church of Christ than I do. I do believe Jesus Christ is at the head of His church. I just don't believe he runs the Corporation of the President, as we are asked to affirm today. Jesus has defined his church in D&C 10:67 as "all who repent and come unto me."

In the next verse he warns that any definition of His church other than the one he just gave is fraudulent: "Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church."

It is this latter "Church" you wonder why I continue to hang on to. I don't. They have changed the doctrines, so I find it more beneficial to stay home and study the word of God, rather than subject myself to being bombarded by the philosophies of men mingled with scripture.

In spite of what the stake high council attempted to do to me Wednesday night, I remain a member of the church of Jesus Christ. They have neither the power nor the authority to affect my membership therein.

They can, however, expel me from their society if they so wish, but what does that matter? I have not held steady association with that society for several years now.

You misunderstand my position, S. I do not "hang on" to membership in a Church that requires its acolytes to swear an oath of fealty to their false idols. In the words of the prophet Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

S,
You ask, "Is anyone going to recognize this blog as a "I follow dead prophets, not living ones!"? Or am I way off?"

I'd say you're way off. Way, WAY off.

If you were familiar with this blog, you would know I "follow" NO prophets. I follow Jesus Christ and him only.

I do, however, HEED the words of God's prophets, whether living or dead. I can find nowhere in the words God has spoken where he tells us to "follow" any man. The word "heed" means "to give consideration to," and in the case of one prophet and one prophet only in these latter days, we have been commanded to "give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them."

Did you catch that qualifier? We are to give heed to his words AS HE RECEIVETH THEM.

That does not say we are to give heed to every word Joseph Smith speaks, but only to those he speaks AS HE RECEIVES THEM FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.

Our Doctrine and Covenants is chock full of words Joseph has conveyed to us in the voice of the Lord. Those are the only words of Joseph Smith's we are commanded to heed.

Church leaders today would have us believe that whatever words they utter are to be considered the will of the Lord and the mind of the Lord. Poppycock! Show me where the Lord himself ever gave us that instruction regarding them.

Your question infers that those given titles as living "Prophets, seers, and revelators" automatically infuses them with magic powers. Well if you think so, why don't you follow them? But first I would ask what specific revelations they purport to have received from God that you intend to "follow"?

Because I can't find any.

Miguel Aveiro said...

When I joined the church and heard the Prophet (Gordon B Hinckley at the time) speak, I thought he was vonceying a message from God. He, like others before him, did not seem to be reading a talk they prepared. Though I knew about teleprompters, the way they talked and looked around gave me the impression they were speaking like the prophets and apostles of old. Sometimes somebody would read something that was right under their nose, which would be odd if they could just read it from the teleprompters in front of them. It may sound naive, but I was still pretty new to religion as a whole and their public speakers, not just mormons.

I suppose after hearing the Brethren, including the Prophet, quote Shakespeare and CS Lewis, I figured they were speaking in their own words. I don't recall exactly what I thought, but I think I remember it sounding odd. Why would an apostle quote Shakespeare? I asked people about conference and learnt that the speakers have prepared talks. Okay, but God can give the prophet His message and then He can put it in his own words. Right? Sounds good to me.

Therefore, I thought they were receiving revelations and recounting them. I hadn't really read D&C yet, but I did begin to wonder why those words weren't counted as scripture. Then I heard that they were, but they were not the "standard works", which by the way, were paramount in the religion. Yet, every word of a prophet was to be followed, or you weren't following the prophet. It was even taught that we shouldn't continue dating someone who wasn't following the prophet, by not following the commandment (or "counsel"?) to wear only one pair of earings.

And yet they taught God is not the author of confusion!!

Miguel Aveiro said...

*conveying, not vonceying, which is not a word.

Anyway, Rock, what stood out to me from the video with you and your wife, was the lack of love, or even respect and consideration of the Stake President and his henchmen, excuse me, High Counsellors. It wasn't so much the difference in opinion with the temple or the word of wisdom. Even if they were right about not drinking beer, they should have tried to counsel with you at a prior time and not summon you to a kangaroo court, I mean court of love, before you received help and warnings.

I don't get why the SP decided to speak for a whole 15 mins, lecturing you about the importance of the temple and the word of wisdom. It was a waste of time if he was trying to find out the truth of the matter, because much of what he would say would not be relevant if you were innocent of the charges. He should have just presented the charge against you and asked you to give your side. Hmmm, it sounds to me like they just wanted to get rid of you.

I love that you added the picture of the Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright. Funny! It's also funny because, as I understand his character, he tries to find the truth and defend someone who has charges against them, unlike the guy who excommunicated you.

Shai, thanks for your reply. I don't mind that it was long, it was good and my question rambled to an exceedingly great length anyway.

Jared Mata said...

Miguel Aveiro:

I also remember an article in Liahona about a guy that ended his relation with his girlfriend because she didn't quit wearing more than a pair of earings after the "Prophet" had talked against it. The intention of that article was to promote loyalty and sacrifice but actually it taught that fanaticism and intolerance predominate over love. I also remember an article about the Word of Wisdom: there was a family home evening in which some cakes were prepared for dinner but they were very sweetened; when the family was about to finish they asked the mother to make the closing prayer and she said she didn't feel as if she could do it because she ate many cakes. In other words she didn't feel worthy. "Breaking" the WoW incapacitates you to pray to your Heavenly Father. Has anyone else read those articles?

Sam said...

Part 1.

Rock,

You felt I came across as "sweetly condescending"? That’s your filter. Tone is a difficult thing to measure through text, as we all well know. I did not mean it that way.

I concede that the scriptures I quoted were taken out of historical context, but I do believe that the spirit of Priesthood line of authority is the real jist of what I was trying to convey.

I appreciate your response it helps me understand your position. What I believe you are saying when you doubt that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet is that his Priesthood is invalid.

You say you believe in Joseph Smith as a prophet, yet, who ordained him? Peter James and John. So is the requisite for future prophets be that they affirm they have been given the keys of the office of Prophet by angelic beings as was Joseph? Where is that scripture?

From LDS.org:

"President Brigham Young was ordained as one of the original Twelve Apostles in this dispensation. As part of the blessing given him in his ordination, he was told that “the Holy Priesthood [was] conferred on him, that he may do wonders in the name of Jesus; that he may cast out devils, heal the sick, raise the dead, open the eyes of the blind, go forth from land to land and from sea to sea” (HC, 2:188–89"

To further answer your question regarding who ordained Brigham Young:

BRIGHAM YOUNG was ordained an Apostle on February 14, 1835 under the hands of the
Three Witnesses, Oliver Cowdrey, David Whitmer and Martin Harris.

THE THREE WITNESSES were called by revelation to choose the Twelve Apostles and on
February 14, 1835 were “blessed by the laying on of hands of the Presidency,”
Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, to ordain the
Twelve Apostles. (History of the Church, Volume 2, pp. 187-188.)

JOSEPH SMITH, JR. and OLIVER COWDREY received the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1829
under the hands of Peter, James and John.

PETER, JAMES and JOHN were ordained Apostles by the Lord Jesus Christ.) (John 15:16)

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

My question for you is, do you believe in the Priesthood you had was valid? Do you have Brigham Young in your Line of Authority or did it come another way? You would be in the minority if you didn't have Brigham Young at the top of your LOA!

God can call any Elder he wants as a Prophet, a Seer or Revelator. We see evidences of this even in the Old Testament:

Numbers 11: 23-29

23 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

24 ¶And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.

25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.

28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.

29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

Going back to Brigham Young I find it interesting that his visions of the promised land, his bringing the Saints west, his city planning, the SLC temple project, etc etc don't equate to being a prophet.

I do though. I can affirm that by "their fruits ye shall know them" and Brigham produced fruits worthy of a President and Prophet.

Likewise the life long service of Thomas S. Monson, his dedication to the Lord, his ability to fulfill his roll as President the church would suggest the same. Think of the responsibility and the sheer enormity of that task. Also, I'm not going to limit the Lord's ability to call down the spirit and have him prophesy, reveal or see into the future. If it is HIS will to do such things, when HE wishes, HE can do it whenever HE wants.

mark moe said...

Sam,

Again! One prophet seer and revalator remained when JS and Hyrum were killed. Sidney Rigdon. So why did he not become the leader?

Brigham was a great politician, taking control of the church and 2-3 years later became the Prophet. Morphed into it. He also did not live the words of wisdom, what is in D&C 132 and not honest in his dealings with his fellow men. Temple questions-- you and I have right? (JS also had problems on temple questions). Prophets lied about so many things how can you be 100% on anything? 1890 proclamation, no polygamy, yes polygamy with virgins, no polyandry, blacks and priesthood, finances, 1905 Reed Smoot, finances again, McKonkey definitions, Slamamder letters, finances again, reasons why the September six were kicked out, prop 8, stuff I've seen time and time again when in Ward council... And how about Waterman's hearing? Did he have defense as proscribed?

Big stuff: Brigham had Adam-God, complete racism and other MAJOR issues. So does the restoration need a reformation or is another restoration necessary? IMO if I look the other way on a ton of things the BOM is above board. I don't dig-- family reasons. But come on, even the published amount of charity of $1.4 billion over 25 years is disgraceful. What do we stand for? Idealized white shirt and no beard, running away from Christ teachings corporate "church"? I hope for a direct change, soon. Let's start with coming clean on history and allowing us to follow the money. Pres. Hinckley lied about tithe payers getting to see where the money goes... Why?

But as my search for the truth moves forward, I see that the lies, omissions and subterfuge by the church is substantial. I will not run away from the truth. This would be judged against me if I understand the important parts of being a Christian.

My name is Mark Moe my email is anothermoeman@gmail.com I stand my own ground. For better or worst.

BTW I also have the strength to post under my own name. I would never go unspecified in these matters. I teach my kid that one must be honest, compassionate and not a wimp. I live by the words I teach. Out.

Sam said...

Mark Moe,

Moses was slow of speech, Jonah refused the call, Thomas didn't fully believe till he saw for himself, and Peter denied Christ 3 times, and on and on.

So there are wrinkles in the doctrine, mistakes made along the way. You can't expect perfection to come from any source but from God himself.

No restoration or reformation necessary IMO. But a lot of work is needed for inactives and apostates that's for sure.

Ricky said...

I agree with what's been said here regarding whom we follow. We follow the Savior, period. The prophets, dead or living, should testify of Christ, helping us come closer to Him. And as the Savior warned us in the Sermon on the Mount, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits." (Matt 7:15-16) And I think the Savior has a pretty high standard for prophets, i.e., this means more than simply being nice and telling compelling stories.

What fruits should we expect of a prophet, then? I don't think it's too far of a stretch to expect prophecy, seership, and revelation. I'm willing to heed the words of any prophet, dead or alive, who exercises those gifts and relays to us the words of God. Note that this isn't sign-seeking. Jesus told us to keep our guard up and to make sure we only follow prophets who pass the fruitiness test.

But wait! Are these gifts limited to prophets only? Of course not! Just check out Moroni 10:8-19. Anyone can have the gift of prophecy. In fact, many of the prophets in the Book of Mormon seemed to be normal people who came out of nowhere to start prophesying. Think of Abinadi and Samuel (the Lamanite). In the latter days are we sufficiently humble that we would heed the words of a "nobody" (i.e., not from within the standard church hierarchy) from another land who started telling us about all our problems? Yet that's exactly what the Book of Mormon teaches us to do. Why have we stopped?

Guess what? It's a lot harder to listen to multiple, diverse sources of information and then decide for ourselves who and what to follow. It takes a lot less effort to simply blindly follow whatever we're told. The former strategy is what the Savior teaches us, and will always result in spiritual growth. The latter is the philosophy and plan of Satan, and will always result in stalled spiritual growth.

Your choice.

Robert Horning said...

It is interesting that the idea conveyed about the ordination of the original Quorum of the Twelve in the modern dispensation was something so clean an neat. There are two ways to think it could have happened:

1) Jesus himself came to a group of decent and spiritual people and selected them one by one calling them to the position as apostles.... just as you see in the New Testament and in 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Such apostles would indeed have the power and authority of God as special witnesses of Jesus.

2) Joseph Smith, as the head of the LDS Church, sent out a request for honorable men to fill the position as apostles asking for candidates. Like is done for most other callings in the current LDS Church (when done properly), consideration of each candidate is done in humble prayer before the Lord and asking HIM if these candidates are worthy of the position they are going to be offered. After careful consideration, pondering, and prayer, a group of men were offered to become apostles and were then subsequently ordained to this high office.

The truth is, the actual process that Brigham Young, Thomas Marsh (who was actually senior to Brother Brigham) and others into that august body was quite messy, and then hand of Joseph Smith in the selection process was almost non-existent. There is a good reason why there was even a question as to if that body even had authority of any kind to direct the saints at all, and definitely not within any organized Stake of Zion. Those men called to this quorum weren't even formally ordained for months, sometimes years, while even serving in that capacity while Joseph Smith was alive.

Don't trust the whitewashed narrative about what happened to get Brigham Young into the position as the most senior apostle in the quorum. There is a whole lot more lurking beneath all of that very casually mentioned ordination, and presumptions about the process used to get them into that position in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I happen to think that Brigham Young was a man called of God to lead the Saints to the Rocky Mountains and did a whole lot of things that were very important to the building of the Kingdom of God. He wasn't perfect, and he did a bunch of things that needed to be corrected by his successors (IMHO in some cases much sooner than actually did happen). Still, for me, I bear witness that he did have the hand of God in his actions and for good or ill has also made a permanent impression upon the world as a whole and set the course for the restored gospel after the death of Joseph Smith.... including in all "splinter groups" that tried to find their own course after 1850. I can name a number of things Brigham Young did right, which made it possible for future generations to know about Joseph Smith that otherwise wouldn't have happened.

Just realize they were merely men thrust into a position where there was a leadership vacuum, and made the best of the bad situation that they could. Men with access to precious truths about God, which is fortunate that at least some of that knowledge has been passed down to the current day.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Sam,
You appear to have been confused by my question.

I asked you to provide the date when Brigham Young was ordained a prophet, seer, and revelator, and you bring me information on his ordination as an apostle. Perhaps you were unaware that neither Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, or Martin Harris held the keys of prophet, seer, and revelator, and were therefore incapable of passing them to Brigham.

Joseph Smith was ordained of God as prophet, seer, and revelator. Likewise God appointed Hyrum Smith a prophet, seer, and revelator per D&C 124: 94-96). This was in January of 1841. On June first of that year the Times & Seasons announced that Sidney Rigdon had also been ordained a prophet, seer, and revelator, as Mark Moe pointed out to you above. (Rigdon was accounted by the Lord in section 90, verse 6 as being equal to Joseph Smith in holding the keys of the kingdom.)

Brigham Young had proposed that the Quorum of the Twelve AS A BODY should direct the exodus of the church, and act as placeholders until Joseph Smith's son came of age and could take the reigns. A slim majority of the Saints felt that was a reasonable compromise, and elected the Twelve to act as managers of the church and get them headed for the Rockies.

Three years later, Brigham Young asked the people (those who deigned to follow him, since some of the apostles refused to go along) to elect him president of the Church. He was ELECTED by the people; never anointed by the Lord.

There is a vast difference, but at least that was consistent with the way we understand things to be today. When President Hinckley was asked by religion reporter Don Lattin of the San Francisco Chronicle if he was a prophet, seer, and revelator, he answered, "I am so sustained, yes."

So we see where the president gets the right to call himself a prophet, seer, and revelator: because the members say that's what he is. Just as with Brigham Young, no anointing by the Lord is necessary.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Sam,
You were kind enough to provide a short list of Brigham Young's accomplishments as evidence that, in your view, he qualifies as a prophet of God: "his visions of the promised land, his bringing the Saints west, his city planning, the SLC temple project, etc etc."

If we judged a man's qualifications for prophethood based on the things he accomplished for the Saints, then John C. Bennett must have been a prophet. When Bennett arrived on the scene in Nauvoo, he brought with him Quinine to cure the malaria most of the Saints were suffering from; he directed the draining of the swamps; drew up the blueprints and laid out the plots for the city of Nauvoo; served as Postmaster General and then Mayor of that city, brought Masonry to the city and directed the building of the Masonic temple; and served as Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church. He was a medical doctor, former dean of one university and president of another, and a nationally recognized botanist.

Yet John C. Bennet turned out to be the greatest traitor Joseph Smith had ever known. He was Benedict Arnold to Joseph's George Washington. His perfidy led directly to the death of the prophet. Still, his accomplishments, according to your criteria, should have made him the next prophet, seer, and revelator.

I agree with you on one thing: It's up to the Lord when and if he will decide to speak through his prophets. But until he does, those so-called "prophets" are prophets in name only, not in any actual gifts or abilities.

DeeLyn said...

Sam,

When a man claims to be a prophet of God and asks people to trust & follow him, let alone give him all their tithing money, then he better be practically perfect if he expects wise people to believe him, especially people who know what Christ said, that true prophets keep 'all' of the commandments.

Moses, Jonah, Thomas or Peter, didn't have a right to ask anyone to believe in them as prophets until they repented and proved they were worthy of that position. So there can't be unrepented of 'mistakes along the way' or any 'wrinkles in doctrine, or Christ said to not trust or listen to them.

I don't believe even 1 prophet or leader in the LDS Church has ever kept Christ's commandments & proved to be a true prophet worthy of our notice or trust.

And by 'fruits', Christ taught that he mean't whether or not a person keeps his commandments or not, not whether they have visions, or can lead people places, plan a city or build a temple. Anyone can do those kinds of things, especially when they can get lots of people to give them money.

The real question Christ said to ask is 'if BY kept 'all' the commandments', which I can't think of a single commandment of Christ's that Brigham Young kept. That is his real fruit. The fruit of a false prophet, who would have lost every ounce of Priesthood he had, if he ever had any, which I doubt. For even back in Nauvoo he was running around after women behind his wife's back. Which it appears Joseph was about to excommunicate him for. Christ warned us about falling for prophets like that.

True prophets actually keep all of Christ's commandments and don't cheat on & abuse their wives by things like polygamy (which Christ condemned), or use sacred tithes for temples instead of for the poor, or take & live off the widows mite.

Lester said...

A great synopsis, Rock, of Brigham finessing himself into the presidency of the Church™. Like the Catholics claiming authority through Peter, Mormons claiming prophethood, seership and revelator status for their presidents through Brigham is an aspirational wish and a prayer obscured by tradition. Now you can state that in your plain, cheerful manner without the nagging thought that someone will pull an old Catholic move on you and excommunicate you! Life is good.

Brian Zang (The Zang Family) said...

I don’t see any reason why Brigham’s accomplishments in outward achievements can’t be seen as some minimal power in the Aaronic Priesthood, and early on he may have had dalliances in Melchizedek Priesthood minimal powers with some visions and dreams, but there is abundant evidence that, no matter what he understood personally about God, he was powerless to teach it in plainness, witnessed by the Adam-God parts of the temple and the blood Atonement debacle, showing his tendencies to even change ideas with his own conjecture. So, like King Noah, some Priesthood authority was able to be passed along, and a future “Alma” down the Priesthood line of authority could certainly repent and enliven what dead ministers have passed on to them.

When Joseph Smith knew that D&C 124 strictly required the temple to be finished for the Lord to restore “that which had been lost”, why is it not conceivable that Joseph limited what he shared in the Red Brick Store? There is more than one way to limit what is given then to just withhold the capstone “fulness” ideas. Sometimes the capstones are introduced as a primer for what the overall goal is, but if you punch out parts of the middle that only God and angels can fill in, well then, you have a limited gospel just like what Moses left the children of Israel nonetheless. Consider it taking out the "heart" as opposed to the "head", kind of like removing the central part of a Hebraic chiasm.

If that is the case, I call it brilliant on Joseph’s part, doubtless aided by heaven, as Joseph knew his time might be short and his mission limited to the role of an Elias. He therefore did what King David and King Solomon never could accomplish. I would think these things are worth searching into in the scriptures. A minister of Christ knows that you cannot share pearls with swine, or that which is holy with the dogs. Joseph said he could keep a secret until doomsday.

alotlikelaman said...

RIP Rock. I'm so sad.
https://alotlikelaman.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/rip-rock-waterman-apostate-or-abinidi/

mark moe said...

This is a tangent but relevant: missionaries at my house for dinner (we do this fairly often)... One stated we don't have any paid clergy. I politely asked what was President Monson's last job out side of the church. Nothing... He had no idea...

The moving the age back younger for a mission has only served to in a short run increase the boots on the street and the long run decreased the actual knowledge. Sad.

If the Church always serious about honest, informed conversions why not make it a requirement to have graduated for BYU (of any of the three sites I know).?

I had an institute director whom I looked WAY up to, he simply lied to me about questions in my conversion (mostly centers around Blacks and priesthood. Bummer , I thought no way a person in his position would lie to me. He did. I can't believe a paid theologian, (he also was a professor from a non-LDS private univ) could be that ignorant.

I do expect religious leader to be a cut above. Shouldn't I?? Should the Bishop in my ward as of about 6 months ago have read the LDS site's essays (he said no). Shouldn't the person whom served a a Patriarch, who was directed to me for answers have know the definition of polyandry, not know how the Prophet have went from JS to BY. . Shouldn't the second person I was directed to help me in my search (by Bishop) at have read the book Rough rolling stone (Bushman, asked him about it months later)? Shouldn't the Elder quorum Pres. And high priest leader at least know Brigham was indirectly the new prophet? The High Priest leader know that the D&C say virgins are requirements for polygamy! Either one of them or my Bishop have any idea (or honest enough to say anything) about Young's Adam-God doctrine?

Wow... These people would be great at sustaining back in the day: slavery, nazis, commies etc... They never looked for theirselves or when another sought guidance was honest. Take your pick.

Pres. Monson has not been controversial from what I know. But recently, Pres. Hincley has been recorded lying on video interviews, showing zero divine inspiration in the Hoffman debacle, tithing, polygamy etc. and he was the "media" president.

Brigham Young was so off the charts; I don't know where to go... Like my former religion's Pope's declaring the earth is flat, a type of sad direction. The LDS church, if it has merit, needs a reformation of the "reformation". This is being kind to early church and wierd doctrinal errors such as King James Version errors in the book of Morman, the crazy revisions to the Book of Abraham, the D&C clear lack of convergence on how polygamy played out, D&C predictions that were not accurate (many!!), Pearl of great price inconsistencies, Prophets in complete disagreement, hiding the $ since the late 50's, I could go on and on.

Yes, in my ward many quality people doing things for others because they understand Christ's teaching. This is what keeps me hanging on. I will help others, clean the building, teach when asked and give money. That's me. Nothing special.

Alan has voiced much of the above. He is man enough to write under his name... To me this shows integrity. Could he or I be wrong! Absolutely!! And we don't agree across the board. But for the wimps that can't even give a list of points leading to ones excommunication (this is the Internet age folks)., they are now outliers. People whom can't cite a reason in a "court", whom won't provide the defense proscribed and have just shot the truth in the foot.

Yes, Alan has posted strong opinions contrary to church teachings. Now, demonstrste, prove what was wrong. Now where in any scripture has I read anything about lying for the Lord. If, for example polygamy was from God and JS believed it I'd think he'd go the route of 459 priests of Baal and have a fire fight. If blacks are so uncouth, and could be so up to Mc Konkey the same.

Own up it it...

Log said...

"I do expect religious leader to be a cut above. Shouldn't I??"

The golden rule answers this question. "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them; for this is the law and the prophets."

Therefore, do you wish men to hold you to expectations of their own choosing?

Of course, the answer to that question only matters if keeping the golden rule matters.

mark moe said...

Log... Whatever your name is... Wimpy you can't even post under your true name.., why?

Yes, I look up to the law of Jesus and true prophets! If I can replace Jesus on a pedestal and not find something Devine than he was just a man. Get it?

Why do every prep het of God stand against packs of false priests, rulers, crowds etc and lying for the Lord be a tenant of the LDS faith? Did JS denay polygamy or was this lie added later?

Why did Pres, Hinckley state that tithe payers could see crunch finances? (When we can't).

Either one can choose the path of truth or not. What is your choice? To not even state your name for the record??

mark moe said...

Sorry about the typos, iPad and on a Tarmac to take off... But you'll get the above...

Log said...

Have I done you wrong, friend, that you have chosen to revile me?

Engify said...

Rock, thank you for your blog. It was your blog that first roused me from my deep slumber. Sorry you had to be reviled by men that should be your friend. God bless.

DeeLyn said...

Mark Moe,

Yes, As Christ taught, all church leaders from Bishops on up need to 1st prove to everyone in their ward, stake, church, that they are truly righteous and keeping Christ's commandments 'as much or more then us' and that they have Christlike love & are humble, teachable & can admit they can be wrong or fall, even & especially the prophet, or we should never listen to or trust them to be true followers of Christ.

But more importantly, where did Christ ever say to trust men to be our leaders in the 1st place, & that they have any authority to judge if others are righteous or not or command people to confess their sins to them?

Where did Christ ever say to let men receive revelation for us? Or to do the thinking & discerning for us? Or to tell us wrong from right? Or that we should give them our money for the poor?

Men claiming to speak for God or Christ is not God speaking and holds no weight or reason for us to believe them. For Christ never said to follow prophets or man. All false prophet claim to speak for God, but only God & Christ can speak for themselves. Christ told his disciples to only to teach his exact words as he said them, & not add their own additional doctrines.

There is no need for more scripture then Christ's few words in the NT, in fact that is the only true scripture the world has, until Christ returns one day and gives us more himself.

As the Golden Rule teaches, if we are going to follow leaders, we need to expect them to prove they actually keep the commandments as much as we know 'we' would have to, if we claimed the right to receive revelation for others, or to lead them correctly or be a prophet.

But best to only let Christ and the Holy Spirit lead us, so we aren't deceived by men, no matter how good they or their intentions may be. For as we see over & over in the Bible, even true prophets can often be wrong and lead people astray unknowingly at times, and fall for false revelation or even fall & thus take many with them who won't follow Christ on their own.

Robin Hood said...

It is no surprise to me that Rock has been excommunicated. I don't think it is a surprise to him either - he even wrote a book about it a while back.
I wasn't present at the DC and neither was anyone else apart from the 17 High Priests (High Council, Stake Presidency, Stake Clerk and Stake Executive Secretary) and Rock himself. So we will never get a balanced report on what transpired - nor should we, because the HP's will never speak of it again. But I am confident they wouldn't have ex'ed him if the charge could not be proved.
In spite of a number of people posting on this blog that his articles have kept them in the church etc; unfortunately I have personal experience of the opposite being true.
I became personally suspicious of Rock a while back when he refused to admit he was wrong on a point that was proven beyond any doubt. He twisted and turned and tried every which way to avoid admitting he had got something wrong, even after claiming he always corrected any faulty information he was responsible for. This was quite distressing to witness and Rock emerged from this episode with very little credit.
This alerted me to a side of Rock that wasn't particularly evident in his articles and I have kept my distance ever since.
That episode left a very nasty taste in the mouth and I realized that all was not as it seemed with Rock.
It will be interesting to see how he conducts himself going forward. Will he be another Snuffer/Kelly? Or a Gileadi?

Miguel Aveiro said...

I'm not sure if suspicious is the right word, but we shouldn't idolise anyone who teaches or gives their point of view on anything religious. They can all go wrong with something. The Pharisees were trying to find fault with Jesus but couldn't find any. They may have thought they did, but they were wrong.

Rock, I have a question. So, the Lord defines His church as all those who repent and come unto Him. So when He condemned the church for not following His words in the Book of Mormon, He condemned those who repent and come unto Him. He therefore wasn't talking about condemning an insitituion or the "corporation" we have today. Of course, those who do keep His commandments won't stand condemned. What do you say about this?

Summer Hopkins said...


D&C 10:67-68:
"Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church."

Brent Allen said...

Read this again and wondered: Is there two churches OR 1 church and 1 cult of personality?

Marcelo Theodoro Moreira said...

Couldn't have said that better, Mark. James, you should aim that hatred of yours on you own biased, sinful and merciless pseudo-judgement. May the Lord have mercy on you, even though you show no mercy for a fellow man. Now, step down from the Rameumpton before a lightning strikes.
Rock, if you ever come to Brazil, I'll be glad to have you over for a chat. You have done more for the strengthening of my testimony than all the three ht visits I had my entire life. Full-time missionary in Utah, bishop, high councilor, só I guess I know what a court of love is all about...judge ye not, that ye may nota be judged...

Log said...

Well, one upside of being ex'd - no more is it an unctuous "my dear [deluded] friend, I am sorry for you," but rather a more forthright "good riddance, and don't let the door hit ya where the sun don't shine!"

Drewbin said...

Rock, you are the man. I am sorry that this happened, not out of sympathy for you but out of pure righteous anger at the fact that the church I love is tarnished by these witch hunters. Let me just add my voice to the hundreds of others that can say you put to words my doubts about the church and showed that there were answers to the difficult questions I had, found in the scriptures and teachings of the prophets. Your blog has helped me reaffirm my faith in Christ and turned my heart to Him even though I struggle with sin daily. Thank you, keep up the good fight, I don't need the church to name you a member for me to call you brother. Much love.

-Drew

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
I'm disappointed that you would smear me as you have done, after the lengthy conversation we had on these pages that showed I was NOT wrong in my assertions.

The question centered around the responsibilities of the Seventy. I provided scads of links showing that it has become impossible to understand the nature of that office, given how often the Church has twisted, misapplied, and changed it from what it had originally been intended for.

Readers can read for themselves our discussion, as well as the arguments affirming how confused and nebulous the office of Seventy has become since its original inception. I seem to recall declaring the argument between us to be a stalemate, because it was no longer possible to prove your position right, and neither was it possible to prove mine. Nevertheless, you continue to insist you "won" and argument that is unwinnable, given the muddied history of that office.

Second, you write, "I am confident they wouldn't have ex'ed him if the charge could not be proved."

I maintain the charge was not proven. Not even close. In fact, the stake president failed to so much as delineate any actual sin to the charges. I came out of that room STILL wondering what my transgression was, because the charges amounted to my having written things the stake president didn't care for, when what he should have done was point out the specific divine law I had violated.

You have said before that you are disappointed in me, my friend. Well, I'm disappointed in you.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Miquel,
You ask about the Lord condemning the church, which of course is the members, the body of Christ. The word "condemned" when applied to a house means the house is unfit to be lived in. Although the Lord continues to abide with individual members, I don't see evidence of him abiding in the "house" or the church speaking collectively.

If we were to truly repent and come unto him, we would keep his commandment and search the Book of Mormon and abide by his precepts. This church in 1833 was chock full of people who enjoyed the associations of the community, but only a minority could be said to be actually following God. Most of the Saints were following each other.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Marcelo,
I would be honored to meet you if I ever were to have the chance to come to Brazil.

Eo Te Amo, my brother!

dx said...

Dissecting doctrine in a controversial way in order to draw attention to oneself is probably not pleasing to the Lord.

Mike H said...

dx said:

"Dissecting doctrine in a controversial way in order to draw attention to oneself is probably not pleasing to the Lord."

LOL, you mean like Jesus? Read the New Testament much?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Changing the doctrines and inventing new ones in order to draw attention to themselves so the people will follow them is not pleasing to the Lord either.

Mungagungadin said...

aw, darn it, Rock.

You have been a lifeline of sanity in the Mormon roiling pot of shadowy self-awareness. You are still my favorite online Mormon.

best,

Marni Z

Frederickson said...

The best way the high council and president's two counselors can "sustain" their stake president is to provide thoughtful, unbiased, insightful counsel that is informed, if possible, by the strivings of the Holy Spirit. Anything less is not sustaining. The false notion that sustaining a leader means merely to agree with him leads many to an abrogation of their sacred duties. As a leader, I NEVER wanted a counselor to sustain me by agreeing with me when I was wrong (which was frequent), nor my wife to sustain me by supporting me in a wrong decision. Such sustaining would compound my errors, and add to my condemnation, because it would allow me to implement a wrong-headed decision. I need a counselor and high council to help me make correct decisions. We all “see through a glass darkly.” That is why it’s important to share our portion of whatever light leaks through that dark glass so that thereby our collective light will be a little clearer. God has granted you much light, and a skillful pen. Thank you for sharing and adding it to our repository.

I was once in a stake where the leader was a wonderful, very humble man. He subscribed to the Daily Universe and read about BYU grooming standards. He learned that BYU did not (at that time) sell Coca Cola in their cafeterias or vending machines. He read a talk by Hartman Rector who advocated saving your first kiss for over the Temple altar. He wanted his stake to aspire to what he considered these "higher" standards. Therefore, he proposed that nobody would be allowed to serve as a home teacher or serve the sacrament unless he a missionary haircut, that members would not be granted temple recommends if they drank Coke or Pepsi. He even proposed that a recommend for sealing should be withheld if the couple had already kissed. All of these proposals were made with the (mis)understanding that he was seeking a higher standard for his stake, not distinguishing between "higher" and "stricter." He received unanimous sustaining by his counselors and high council.

I was a ward leader then and asked to get a witness that these standards were inspired. I couldn’t. I spoke to some high counselors about how such a policy came to be, which I was now commissioned (and ordered) to implement in our ward. Four high counselors said that they were very opposed to these stricter standards, yet they all said that they voted to sustain them. "Why?" They responded that that this was how they were supposed to sustain their leader. I wrote to Spencer Kimball, who was presiding at that time. He sent Bruce McConkie to our stake who spoke to all of the bishoprics and high counselors, and in an indirect way, mentioned that he knew of a stake that was imposing standards for priesthood service that were outside of and inconsistent with the bounds that the church has set. He then gave as examples stakes that imposed BYU grooming standards and no caffeine soft drinks. The four high counselors sunk in their chairs. Yet the stake continued to impose these standards. About six months later, Boyd Packer came to the same stake and met with the same leaders. He was even more forceful in speaking sarcastically about a stake he knew of that imposed BYU grooming standards for priesthood service and no cola drinks for temple attendance. Then, he said with a theatric smile, "you won't even believe this next aberration. They started limiting temple recommends for marriage/sealing to those who had not yet kissed." Then he threw up his arms and said, "Where do they get such ideas? They don’t get them from us!" He then left the high counselors all sinking in their chairs. One week later, these "higher" standards were dropped by the stake. That stake president was doing his best to implement what he felt would be most pleasing to the Lord. I have no criticism of that wonderful man. But his counselors and high council did him a disservice by not giving him their best independent judgment, and voting to approve the policies.

Brian Zang (The Zang Family) said...

Miguel and Rock, here are some scriptures that might help as well:

D&C 10:67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

D&C 84:55 "Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation."

Compare the Lord's use of the words "my church" versus "the church". Could He be talking about two different churches at this point? Can a church be at one moment, "His church", and in the very next breath be "some other church" depending on their behavior?

For an answer to that, see:

3 Nephi 27:8 "And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

EXCELLENT observation, Brian. Definitely a difference I hadn't noticed before.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

As we know, this entity that purports to be the church of Jesus Christ is no longer officially and legally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is instead THE CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDENT of the Church of Jesus Christ. That is the name it is now called after. It is no longer called in His name, but in someone else's name.

mark moe said...

Sure would be interesting if a tally of members whom know the name of the church, as above... Wonder what percentage would get that right?

Any guesses? I'm thinking about 25% complete guess....

Mike H said...

1%

Mike H said...

But, I don't think that we are members of that church. If there are board members for that church they are the twelve, and or the first presidency. They are the members who know and vote on the money and policies of the church. That church probably follows most of the rules laid out for the church in D&C but it's only a membership of 1, 3, 12, or 15. We haven't had anything to do with the leadership or control of the church since it was incorporated or since the name of the church became the intellectual property of the church. See Wikipedia on the incorporation of the church.

The church we belong to is an appendage to that church, it's the the intellectual property of that church (the name). Which is not to say anything bad per se. It could be said we belong to the spiritual church only just as easily.

andrew said...

if determining the responsibility of the office of the 70 has become the source of contention, then perhaps that office isn't of the Lord at all, and thus needs no further argument. time to let it go by the wayside

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Agreed, Andrew.
The First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, Quorum of the Seventy, and Stake High Councils originally all held equal standing, none was superior to another. It was how government of the church maintained checks and balances.

With the Seventy today a mere appendage of the Twelve, from whom they are given direction, and local Seventies Quorums no longer even in existence, it's difficult to argue their purpose and duties one way or the other. The history of the Seventy is buried in layers of mud and unauthorized changes so complex that numerous LDS scholars have been left scratching their heads. Far be it from me to try and settle the question.

I eventually gave up arguing the topic because there was no "right" answer to be found regarding their proper purpose and duties. I therefore leave my friend Robin Hood alone on the field to claim the victory if he so chooses.

Irven Hill said...

Maynard Keenan has some insight which sums up my opinion on the area authority/seventy argument that Robin Hood feels justifies his disingenuous attitude: "liar lawyer mirror for ya, whats the difference"?

dx said...

Both the Lord and his church stand ready with open arms to welcome back all who stray. You will find open arms to receive you and willing hands to assist you. Come back and feast at the table of the Lord, and taste again the sweet and satisfying fruits of fellowship with the Saints.

Log said...

DX: Kneel before us, kiss the sceptre of our authority, acknowledge our rightful and ancient claims, and we will deign to fellowship you?

I'm not sure, if I were not already a member of the Church, I would find that offer appealing. Indeed, it reminded me forcefully of the "offer" of Giddianhi.

3 Nephi 3: 2 Lachoneus, most noble and chief governor of the land, behold, I write this epistle unto you, and do give unto you exceedingly great praise because of your firmness, and also the firmness of your people, in maintaining that which ye suppose to be your right and liberty; yea, ye do stand well, as if ye were supported by the hand of a god, in the defence of your liberty, and your property, and your country, or that which ye do call so.

3 And it seemeth a pity unto me, most noble Lachoneus, that ye should be so foolish and vain as to suppose that ye can stand against so many brave men who are at my command, who do now at this time stand in their arms, and do await with great anxiety for the word—Go down upon the Nephites and destroy them.

4 And I, knowing of their unconquerable spirit, having proved them in the field of battle, and knowing of their everlasting hatred towards you because of the many wrongs which ye have done unto them, therefore if they should come down against you they would visit you with utter destruction. [Excommunication!]

5 Therefore I have written this epistle, sealing it with mine own hand, feeling for your welfare, because of your firmness in that which ye believe to be right, and your noble spirit in the field of battle.

6 Therefore I write unto you, desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people, your cities, your lands, and your possessions, rather than that they should visit you with the sword and that destruction should come upon you.

7 Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.

8 And behold, I swear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall become extinct. [Excommunication!]

9 And behold, I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor of this the secret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be good; and they are of ancient date and they have been handed down unto us.

10 And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.

Log said...

All of this only has significance if the Church has the power to bind in heaven that which it binds on earth. If it has this power, the same power which the Catholics claim, then Rock's excommunication is indeed to be mourned. If the Church has not this power, then the Church - particularly the Brethrenite faction - is literally in the position of Giddianhi's robbers, which may be why it is in the Book of Mormon in the first place.

Does the Church have this power? Well, she appeals to D&C 132, and an historical chain of imposition of hands to prove it, but the other things which ought to accompany the power to bind in heaven what is bound on earth - revelation, seership, translation, prophecy, miracles, ministrations of angels, entering the presence of God and his Christ - are not on public display, but are solely a matter of private rumors.

Indeed, the Saints, who are supposed to model their master, now cast people out while pretending they have left of their own volition - see DX for an example of this posturing.

Or that there was some other sin involved that the Church just isn't talking about, or evidence they have that we don't. Robin Hood is the Church's white knight on that end - but his position as Bishop kind of requires it.

No, it is as simple as this - we, like the Muslims, now have a creed to which all the Church must assent, or be kicked out of our society. That creed may be summed up as "There is no God but God, and the current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His Prophet, and we swear with an oath to obey him as though he were God." To fail to assent to this creed is what constitutes apostasy. This creed is enforced with excommunication only upon those who make the leadership look bad, for it is really the Church's public image - her claims to authority and infallibility, which is being protected - like the golden statue Nebuchadnezzar set up that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refused to worship, for the which they were cast into an oven. [Excommunication!]

Rock is guilty of not worshipping the image of the Church, and encouraging others to do likewise. That is apostasy today.

Log said...

Citation from Nibley, on point to those with eyes to see it.

The gospel goes its own way: it may never commit itself wholly to one faction or another. Once it does, endowing that faction or party with religious sanction and moral supremacy, infinite mischief is done. Let us see what happened in the ancient church: I have written a good deal on the subject and will cash in on it now. But first an important background note, showing how men in every age have been decoyed away from the real contest, a sad and miserable sideshow that is ever engaging the energies and emotions of mankind in the sort of futile contention which is Satan's masterpiece. We give here the official formulas of royal power for ancient rulers from Pharaoh to the Byzantine emperors, the kings of France, the khans of Asia, popes, caliphs, etc., and conclude:

It is clear and unequivocal in each case: (1) the monarch rules over all men; (2) it is God who has ordered him to do so and, significantly, none claims authority as originating with himself, but even the proudest claims to be but the humble instrument of heaven; (3) it is thus his sacred duty and mission in the world to extend his dominion over the whole earth, and all his wars are holy wars; and (4) to resist him is a crime and sacrilege deserving no other fate than extermination. The most obvious corollary of this doctrine is that there can be only one true ruler on earth. "The eternal command of God is this," wrote Mangu Khan to Louis IX, "in heaven there is but one eternal God; on earth, there is no other master than Chingis Khan, the Son of God."3

This is the world's answer to John 14, 15, and 17: a hierarchy of fear and compulsion. This political imperative polarizes human society.4

Log said...

Continuing citation from Nibley:

Highly characteristic of the hierocentric doctrine [of the old sacral state] is an utter abhorrence of all that lies outside the system. The world inevitably falls into two parts, the heavenly kingdom and the outer darkness, a world of monsters and abortions. Whoever is not of the frithr is a nithung, without rights and without humanity. All who do not willingly submit to Alexander or Constantine are, according to Dio Chrysostom and Eusebius, mad beasts to be hunted down and exterminated. For the Roman, all the world is either ager pacatus or ager hosticus, says Varro,5 the only alternative to submission being outrageous rebellion. Anyone who resents the Roman yoke is a guilty slave, says Claudian, who should be consumed by remorse of conscience.6 For the Moslem, all the world is either Dār-al-Islām or Dār-al-Ḥarb, the latter being any spot in the world that has refused to pay tribute and thereby made itself guilty of rebellion, because everything in the world without exception is the legitimate property of the Moslems.7 We have already noted the claim of the khans that whoever resisted them were guilty of crime against God. To Attila, those who resisted his yoke were runaway slaves,8 and the Assyrian kings constantly declare that whoever will not take and keep an oath to them must needs be exterminated as "wicked people" and "rebels." In a word, "the world without the 'Kingdom' remains in its state of primordial rebellion," and all who do not recognize the divine king are truly "children of destruction."9

Thus the whole world has been engaged in a counterfeit version of the combat between good and evil in which Shiz and Coriantumr, Lamanites and Nephites destroy each other in the illusion that it is good guys fighting bad guys. This is a constant tendency in politics, against which Elder Wallace F. Bennett warns us in a forceful statement in the Ensign, discussing the necessity of compromise, a thing which many Latter-day Saints consider a threat to their integrity.10 But see what effect that hypnotic polarization had on the ancient church, completing its ruin in the fourth century:

The Church Fathers, diligently reconstructing history in retrospect, made it appear that the church and Rome had always been one. . . . "One Empire was set up over all the earth, and all men became brothers, having one Father—God, and one Mother—true piety."11

Log said...

Continuing citation from Nibley (the last paragraph in the previous comment should have been italicized, BTW):

The cultural background or national heritage had such a strong attraction that the Christians identified themselves wholly with their culture.12

Thus Western Civilization was nursed in the schools on a legend of Western Goodness: Hic est Ausonia, the Western World of clean, fresh, simple, unspoiled pioneers. This fiction became the very cornerstone of the official Vergilian doctrine of Romanitas—Rome was great because Rome was good.13 The emperors who after the second century took the names of Pius and Felix were giving expression "to the old Roman belief in the close association between piety and good fortune,"14 while indulging in the ingrained Roman vice, blatantly paraded throughout the whole of Latin literature, of dwelling with a kind of morbid fascination on one's own simple goodness. School boys have been told for centuries that the Romans were a simple, severe, and virtuous folk, with a near monopoly on pietas and fides, because, forsooth, the Romans themselves always said so, though almost every page of the record contradicts the claim.15 What better demonstration for the effectiveness of the official propaganda? Teachers and orators drilled the essentials of Western goodness into their pupils and auditors until, by the fourth century, when hardly a speck of ancient virtue remained, men could talk of nothing but that virtue.16 They go right on sinning, Salvian reports, in the sublime conviction that no matter how vilely they may act, or how nobly the barbarians behave, God must necessarily bless them and curse the barbarians for being what they are. Yet Salvian himself shows how well the lesson has been taught when he stoutly affirms that, after all, no barbarian can be really virtuous!17

Log said...

Continuing citation from Nibley:

In this view it is always the others who are the bad guys.

Just as all obedient subjects are embraced in a single shining community, so all outsiders are necessarily members of a single conspiracy of evil, a pestilential congregation of vapors of such uniform defilement that none can be ever so slightly tinged with its complexion without being wholly involved in it corruption.18 A favorite passage with the churchmen of the period was that which declared that to err in the slightest point of the law is to break the whole law.19

Note from Log: can you fail to see yourselves in these things?

Log said...

Continuing citation from Nibley:

It must be our side or nothing:

All virtue is comprised in the fact of membership in Our Group; all vice consists in not belonging.20 It can be shown by a most convenient syllogism that since God is on our side we cannot show any degree of toleration for any opposition without incurring infinite guilt.21 In the fourth century everybody was officiously rushing to the defense of God;22 but John Chrysostom's pious declaration that we must avenge insults to God while patiently bearing insults to ourselves is put in its proper rhetorical light by the assumption of Hilary that an insult to himself is an insult to God.23 Therein lies the great usefulness of the doctrine of guilt and innocence by association that became so popular in the fourth century: one does not need to quibble; there is no such thing as being partly wrong or merely mistaken; the painful virtue of forbearance and the labor of investigation no longer embarrass the champions of one-package loyalty. No matter how nobly and austerely heretics may live, for Augustine they are still Antichrist—all of them, equally and indiscriminately;24 their virtues are really vices, their virginity carnality, their reason unreason, their patience in persecution mere insolence; any cruelty shown them is not really cruelty but kindness.25 Chrysostom goes even further: the most grossly immoral atheist is actually better off than an upright believer who slips up on one point, since though both go to hell, the atheist has at least the satisfaction of having gratified his lust on earth. Why not? Is not heresy in any degree a crime against God? And is not any crime against God an infinite sin?26

Log said...

Continuing citation from Nibley:

The insidious thing about such immoral conclusions is that they are quite logical. The cruelty of the times, says Alföldi, "cannot fully be explained by the corruption of the age; . . . the spirit of the fourth century has its part to play. The victory of abstract ways of thinking, the universal triumph of theory, knows no half-measures; punishment, like everything else, must be a hundred percent, but even this seems inadequate."27 Compromise is now out of the question: God, who once let his sun shine upon the just and the unjust, and let the wheat and tares grow together, now insists that the unjust should cease to exist, that only wheat should grow in the earth, and that only sheep should inhabit it.28 In all seriousness the Emperor Justinian announced to the churchmen his intention of forcing the devil himself to join the true church, and thus achieving in the world that perfect unity "which Pythagoras and Plato taught."29

We have just noted the use of absolutes in clerical polemic. The results were what might have been expected, but the ferocity of party conflict within the church as described by the writers of the fourth and fifth centuries exceeds the wildest imaginings. Even those men, St. Basil reports, who had fought the uphill fight for decency and striven conscientiously through the years to be just and fair with others, in the end found themselves forced to surrender and become just like the rest, who were all engaged in a frantic game of testing each other's loyalty.30 The result, he says, is that the Church is entirely leaderless, everyone wants to give orders, but no one will take them; the self-appointed have grabbed what they could and broken up the church in a spirit of such savage, unbridled hatred and universal mistrust that the only remaining principle of unity anywhere is a common desire to do harm: men will cooperate only where cooperation is the most effective means of doing injury to others.31 It was characteristic of the Age of Constantine, says Burckhardt, "that a man could be intensely devout and at the same time grossly immoral." [There was nothing contradictory in that—men had simply discarded personal integrity for a much easier group loyalty.] "Who can swim against the tide of custom?" cries Augustine.32

Log said...

Continuing citation from Nibley:

You can swim in the river, but how long can you resist the current? And how do you achieve unity in such a system? Not by persuasion, but simply by winning:

The emperor's formula for establishing perfect unity and loyalty in the church and the Empire was that plan which the clergy themselves constantly urged upon him and his successors, importunately demanding that he proscribe, banish, and anathematize whoever withheld allegiance from their particular parties. The Vita Constantini tells how the Emperor attempted to end each crisis by outlawing all opposition, thereby inevitably sowing the seeds of the next crisis. But how could one expect a simple soldier to question the proposition that compulsory loyalty is the secret of universal peace, when it was being pressed upon him by all the cleverest men of the age? "The barbarians reverence God, because they fear my power," he had declared, and everyone had applauded his doctrine of compulsory reverence.33

But it didn't work. No sooner had Constantine removed his last civil and military opponents than the issue between his Christian and pagan subjects became acute. No sooner had he "given profound peace and security to the Church" by restraining her pagan opponents than the churchmen started accusing each other of heresy with a wild abandon that surpassed—as the Emperor himself observed—any performance of the heathen.34 No sooner had his successors removed the last heretic and received the undying thanks of the church, than the true believers were at each others' throats. St. Ambrose notes that it is harder to make orthodox Christians live together in peace than it is to eliminate heretics.35 The problem was never solved, for the doctrine of absolute, one-package loyalty would allow no compromise.36


Note from Log: Nibley is using the past as a parable for the present, and our future.

Irven Hill said...

It's interesting that Robin Hood brought up Gileadi. He seemed to just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. What were his "apostate" teachings? Was his error knowing and understanding Isaiah, and articulating his views on it better than a prophet, seer, and revelator? The world may never know. The church just called it apostasy. How convenient. Why was Gileadi's excommunication "expunged" while all others remain "noted" on their "papers"?

Log said...

In fact, we may have affirmative reason to suppose the Church has lacked, from a very early time, the power to bind in heaven that done on earth with specific regards to excommunication, by the Church's own admission. Gileadi was a more recent case in point.

God is therefore apparently not bound by the actions of the Church, as a matter of the Church's own historical record. But that doesn't matter to those who know nothing of the things of God, and who suppose that being "off the team" means one is a child of destruction. As Nibley points out, to them, all good consists of being on our "side," and all error consists of being not on our "side."

Sometimes, lacking understanding in the things of God, those seeking to establish their power, and their greatness and glory, publish things they suppose support their position, but in reality fundamentally undermine it.

I recall Greg Smith, in his execrable review of Passing the Heavenly Gift in The Mormon Interpreter, citing President Harold B. Lee against Snuffer to this effect: "I bear witness to you that those who hold the apostolic calling may, and do, know of the reality of the mission of the Lord. To know is to be born and quickened in the inner man." [Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1974), 64–65.]

The Church uses this quote in her manuals, but omits "To know is to be born and quickened in the inner man." Why would they omit that?

Because, properly understood, President Lee is saying nothing more than that the modern Apostles, qua Apostles, merely may have been born again, and that merely being born again constitutes knowledge of the mission of the Lord, and, by implication, being born again constitutes their "special" witness. And if they haven't been born again?

And all that only has meaning to one who has been born again.

Log said...

So if the Church has demonstrably lacked power in heaven to make her earthly excommunications stick, by her own admission, has she likewise lacked power to make her other earthly ordinances stick?

Indeed, which of the powers she claims does she actually have? And how can we know? Apparently not by having her leadership declare it to us, as demonstrated by excommunications they admit were not honored by Heaven.

What if our temple rites are likewise not honored in Heaven? How can we know if they are, if our excommunications are admittedly not? What of our baptisms, our sacraments?

Indeed, does this not call into question every aspect of what we are taught from the chief seats and lecterns?

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.

Log said...

JST Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

14 And the Pharisees also who were covetous, heard all these things; and they derided him.

15 And he said unto them, Ye are they who justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men, is an abomination in the sight of God.

16 And they said unto him, We have the law, and the prophets; but as for this man we will not receive him to be our ruler; for he maketh himself to be a judge over us.

17 Then said Jesus unto them, The law and the prophets testify of me; yea, and all the prophets who have written, even until John, have foretold of these days.

18 Since that time, the kingdom of God is preached, and every man who seeketh truth presseth into it.

19 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fail.

20 And why teach ye the law, and deny that which is written; and condemn him whom the Father hath sent to fulfill the law, that ye might all be redeemed?

21 O fools! for you have said in your hearts, There is no God. And you pervert the right way; and the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence of you; and you persecute the meek; and in your violence you seek to destroy the kingdom; and ye take the children of the kingdom by force. Woe unto you, ye adulterers!

Mike H said...



Log said:


DX: Kneel before us, kiss the sceptre of our authority, acknowledge our rightful and ancient claims, and we will deign to fellowship you?

I'm not sure, if I were not already a member of the Church, I would find that offer appealing. Indeed, it reminded me forcefully of the "offer" of Giddianhi.

All of this only has significance if the Church has the power to bind in heaven that which it binds on earth. If it has this power, the same power which the Catholics claim, then Rock's excommunication is indeed to be mourned. If the Church has not this power, then the Church - particularly the Brethrenite faction - is literally in the position of Giddianhi's robbers, which may be why it is in the Book of Mormon in the first place.

Does the Church have this power? Well, she appeals to D&C 132, and an historical chain of imposition of hands to prove it, but the other things which ought to accompany the power to bind in heaven what is bound on earth - revelation, seership, translation, prophecy, miracles, ministrations of angels, entering the presence of God and his Christ - are not on public display, but are solely a matter of private rumors.

Indeed, the Saints, who are supposed to model their master, now cast people out while pretending they have left of their own volition - see DX for an example of this posturing.

Or that there was some other sin involved that the Church just isn't talking about, or evidence they have that we don't. Robin Hood is the Church's white knight on that end - but his position as Bishop kind of requires it.

No, it is as simple as this - we, like the Muslims, now have a creed to which all the Church must assent, or be kicked out of our society. That creed may be summed up as "There is no God but God, and the current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His Prophet, and we swear with an oath to obey him as though he were God." To fail to assent to this creed is what constitutes apostasy. This creed is enforced with excommunication only upon those who make the leadership look bad, for it is really the Church's public image - her claims to authority and infallibility, which is being protected - like the golden statue Nebuchadnezzar set up that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refused to worship, for the which they were cast into an oven. [Excommunication!]

Rock is guilty of not worshipping the image of the Church, and encouraging others to do likewise. That is apostasy today.

In fact, we may have affirmative reason to suppose the Church has lacked, from a very early time, the power to bind in heaven that done on earth with specific regards to excommunication, by the Church's own admission. Gileadi was a more recent case in point.

So if the Church has demonstrably lacked power in heaven to make her earthly excommunications stick, by her own admission, has she likewise lacked power to make her other earthly ordinances stick?

Indeed, which of the powers she claims does she actually have? And how can we know? Apparently not by having her leadership declare it to us, as demonstrated by excommunications they admit were not honored by Heaven.

What if our temple rites are likewise not honored in Heaven? How can we know if they are, if our excommunications are admittedly not? What of our baptisms, our sacraments?

Indeed, does this not call into question every aspect of what we are taught from the chief seats and lecterns?

And why teach ye the law, and deny that which is written

And why teach ye the law, and deny that which is written

And why teach ye the law, and deny that which is written




Log I don't think I have ever heard you write with such decided opinion. Is this the same Log I have chided from time to time for long boring pontification??? Wow, well done. Not because you take a position for or against but because of the witness of truth I received from your words.

Log said...
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Log said...
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Log said...

I bring these things up simply to point out that, though I am a member of the Church in good standing, I am not blind. These things do not make me happy, and I don't go looking for them - I simply notice them as I run across them (and I've run across more than I've mentioned). I don't bring them up in classes. I haven't taught them to my children.

And I have no problem obeying the presiding authorities in the Church. Why not? It's not like they're telling me to sin. And if God calls them prophets, seers, revelators, and apostles, then that's good enough for me to be able to call them likewise. And if in the Church priesthood is governing authority and keys are licenses to use that authority, then they have all they claim to have. Unless you count Elder Oaks, citing President Kimball, in saying there exist priesthood keys they don't have, such as those of the power of resurrection. (So the correct answer to the "keys" question in the TR interview would be "no.")

No reason to make a scene. What good would it do anyways? If our business is to save souls, it seems to me there is quite enough to practice, teach, expound, and exhort right in the scriptures. Particularly in the commandments of the Lord.

Joshua Tolley said...

Thanks for that reference, Log, to Oaks quoting Kimball quoting Brigham Young about how we don't have all the keys that exist. I've been looking for that.

Log said...

When in 1865 John Henry Newman was consulted by a friend regarding the founding of a Catholic historical review he replied: "Nothing would be better—but who would bear it? Unless one doctored all one's facts, one would be thought a bad Catholic."98 At the same time Duchesne was protesting in vain to his fellow church historians "that it was contrary to a sound historical method to insist on twisting the texts to make them talk like Athanasius," that is, to control the earlier texts in support of later theology.99 In opposing this Duchesne was bucking the established practice of centuries. According to De Wulf, when St. Thomas Aquinas wants to disagree with St. Augustine, his unfailing guide and mentor, "he does not contradict him; he does not consider him suspect . . . instead he transforms the meaning of his statements, sometimes by slight corrections, sometimes by violent interpretations which do violence to the text." Von Hertling has listed some 250 citations from Augustine, a good portion of them deliberately falsified.100 - Cite

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

MrHFMetz said...

About keys we have and have not; it meay be interesting to have the quote from Brigham in full below. Here it is:
It is supposed by this people (the Latter-day Saints) that we have all the ordinances in our possession for life and salvation and exaltation, and that we are administering in these ordinances. This is not the case. We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world.
I know you would ask what they are. I will mention one. We have not, neither can we
receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection.
We hold the authority to dispose of, alter and change the elements; but we have not received authority to organize native element to even make a spear of grass grow.
Another item: We have not the power in the flesh to create and bring forth or produce a
spirit; but we have the power to produce a temporal body. The germ of this, God has placed within us. And when our spirits receive our bodies, and through our faithfulness we are worthy to be crowned, we will then receive authority to produce both spirit and body. But the keys we cannot receive in the flesh.
Herein, brethren, you can perceive that we have not finished, and cannot finish our work, while we live here, no more than Jesus did while he was in the flesh.
We cannot receive, while in the flesh, the keys to form and fashion kingdoms and to organize matter, for they are beyond our capacity and calling, beyond this world.
In the resurrection, men who have been faithful and diligent in all things in the flesh, have kept their first and second estate, and worthy to be crowned Gods, even the sons of God, will be ordained to organize matter. (JD 15:137)
Btw I found it in Mysteries of creation by Ogden Kraut, available on the web; interesting read.

Robin Hood said...

If I have disappointed you Rock, I can only assume it's because I have said what I think instead of the usual sycophantic nonsense served up by many of your merry band of followers.
You know full well that I was right and you were wrong about the status of an Area Seventy, but you wouldn't concede the point. Well, not until it became obvious you had to. When you finally did it was done with so many caveats that to say it was a grudging admission would be a significant understatement.

My point in raising this was to simply demonstrate that if you displayed the same attitude in the DC you were on a hiding to nothing. These men were not going to waste their time arguing semantics with you.

And to claim that the charge against you was not explained is, frankly, ridiculous. I don't think anyone believes that for a moment. The making of the charge is part and parcel of the DC procedure and would certainly have been done. The fact that you didn't agree with the charge or their interpretation of it is an entirely different matter Rock, so stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

But of course you can say anything you like about the DC because you know those 17 men are not going to publicly contradict you.
It's called dignity Rock.
Give it a try sometime.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
I have no motive nor need to "win" our silly spat regarding the true role of the Seventy versus the historical muddying that took place since the prophet Joseph's death. What benefit would there be in it for me? There is none.

What I find telling is your inability to let go of the matter once I suggested the matter is virtually unknowable, as are many historical questions.

Still, if you have a need to come out on top, I'll concede you the victory. Even if we had some way of knowing what the answer is, it's a minor thing. Doesn't matter to me. So I hereby declare you are right and I am wrong. (About what, exactly, I have frankly forgotten.)

You are correct about another thing: I can say anything I like about what happened in the disciplinary hearing because that body refused to record it or permit any recording by any participant. I can make myself look as good as I wish, and make them look like fools. I can make up anything I like about it, but only because they failed in their duty. They could have set the record themselves by abiding by scriptural imperatives, which REQUIRE a public offense to be conducted publicly as per D&C 42:91, not in a secret Star Chamber hearing of the kind they deliberately conducted under cover of darkness. Who benefits from such secrecy? Not me. The men who do not wish their calumny exposed to the light of public opinion are the only ones who hoped to benefit.

Unlike many who are subject to such proceedings, I have a public forum with which I can make known not only the bogus charges that were presented, but also the convoluted reasoning used to discredit me. They must have known I would tell my side of the story; they had every opportunity to record theirs, but declined to do so. In preparation of my appeal my attorney is preparing to subpoena all notes and minutes, including all quoted and documents from church handbooks, manuals, and statements of general authorities that were used by the stake president to charge me and to argue against me. So in the near future I will release that record so you can compare it to what you already assume those records reveal.

In the meantime, I have my notes, my memory, the memories of my witnesses, and my own recording which I may or may not make public depending on how necessary I deem it to be.

I "lost" this case, and the other side won, which I presume is the only thing that matters to the other side. Still, in this case the victor won't be the one writing the history. I will.

Log said...

Rock,

Robin Hood's position is clearly correct. As long as one agrees with the leaders, one cannot be wrong. So even if an "Area Seventy" is called and sustained in General Conference, and not selected and sustained locally, they are "local authorities."

Likewise, if the leaders call a tail a leg, Robin Hood would be correct in affirming a dog has 5 legs. He cannot be led astray - unless, by chance, the leaders affirm holy matrimony is between consenting adults, regardless of sex - or so he has said in the past.

I'm not sure why that particular issue would suffice to divide him from the infallible leadership, while seemingly nothing short of it would, but he's indicated a potential willingness to go rogue over it. Would they cease being infallible at that time? And that time is predictably coming - especially with the change in BSA policies and the upcoming almost-certain Supreme Court case which is nigh-unto-inevitably going to legalize homogamy.

Robin Hood said...


Just listen to yourself Rock. Lawyers and subpoena's - good grief!

This is what you should have done:
Start a blog.
Get a following.
Begin to express views which seem popular with a certain crowd.
Build on the fame.
Be critical of the church.
Take stances against the church.
For purposes of credibility, be an "active" member.
For even more credibility be a former missionary/bishop/stake president.
Build up more of a following.
Wait for the consequences.
Get excommunicated.
Communicate the discipline on the blog.
Appeal(even more publicity).
Continue with more followers.

This approach seems to work every time.
Oh wait......

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Good idea, Robin Hood.
THAT'S what I should have done!

What was I thinking -forgetting to become a bishop and stake president along the way?

Robin Hood said...

I forget things to.
Don't worry about it Rock, it happens to all of us.

Joehammer79 said...

Props for the Phoenix Wright picture. That made me chuckle quite a bit! :)

Nephi Ephraim said...

STAR CHAMBER COURT. There is no justice here. Just a rubber stamp and an image that must be maintained that we are pious people who uphold Church Policy. I was excommunicated in August of 1993 and I lost my wife and NINE children because of it. I laugh at the ridiculous hypocrisy as the BEST kept secret in the Church today is THE GOSPEL. Embrace The Gospel and out you go. Gotta be fat, dumb and happy and then you can be a FAITHFUL member.... LOL. Rock is still a Church member as am I. No harm no foul. Just more nonsense in an apostate Church

Arlo's Daughter said...

Rock and Connie,

Only the most righteous seem to be the most persecuted! If you weren't a threat to the Bretheren, you wouldn't have been called to court. You've opened the eyes of a goodly number of righteous saints.. What I did not hear in your interview was the one glaring and obviously missing component of any church proceeding of any worth: PRAYER. Why did the 17 men (17, are you kidding me?? Talk about intimidation tactics!!) not engage in prayerful consideration at the beginning of the proceeding? Why didn't they say, "Brother and Sister Waterman, we would like to get down on our knees with you and offer up a prayer to Heavenly Father exhorting his help in ensuring the Spirit is with us, and we are guided in finding the truth of all things pertinent to this proceeding? Where was the humble demeanor and God-like concern and love for you as children of our Father in Heaven? And were they in prayerful consideration and contemplation (again on their knees) during the 30 minutes you awaited the "Lord's decision?" Did they tell you that the Lord instructed them in their course of action? What happened to the humble servant who would be so fearful of denying a Brother the Confirmation of the Holy Ghost, that the servant would never take that away from you without the Lord's guidance lest he likewise be judged and condemned? Why didn't they vote with silent ballot so that chances might have been, that at least one humble servant, who otherwise felt coerced, might have had a chance to express his true feelings without the fear of reprisal? These questions have, of course, all been answered ad infinitum by many gospel-loving and TBMs who post on your blog.

Been there, done that with the ex-court. Where was the prayer, the humility, the love? It was replaced with coldness, arrogance, and smirks of self-importance. This is what I heard from my Bishop.... "Look at me!! Look at my power!! Look what I can do to you. Look at me showing off in front of my two new counselors." I can promise you that there was no prayer, fasting, or asking for the Spirit to be with us in that court. Nonetheless, it was a very sad day for me, and a hard row to hoe ahead, when I felt an actual physical lack of the presence of the Holy Ghost.

Although I am once again a member in good standing, I feel more empowered, more buoyed up, and have a stronger testimony than ever before from reading your blog than from sitting in a sacrament meeting listening to the same stories (sometimes with a different-time, different-place twist to them) that I have heard for the last 50+ years.

I pray for you both that the Lord will still bless you with the Holy Spirit and guide you in your seeking of the truth in these latter days. I also pray that you both will be buoyed up by those seeking to help you in your quest, and who are pouring forth their love to you that we no longer feel from the leaders of the church. Count me as one of your sisters in the "True Gospel."

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