Sunday, February 21, 2016

How Much Longer Before The Church Collapses?

Previously: These Gold Plates Are Not Real

Back in the late pioneer era, a bishop in the Salem, Utah area by the name of John Hyrum Koyle began to relate visions he had seen of future events. He continued to have these visions and prophecies throughout his lifetime.

In a day when automobiles had barely been invented and trucks were nonexistent, this Mormon Nostradamus reported visions of what looked to him like railroad boxcars with giant white eyes speeding down broad roads.  Koyle accurately predicted the Great Depression, the start of World War I and the end of World War II, as well as literally dozens of other fatidic pronouncements that have since come true. When the Church announced its next temple would be built in Mexico, Bishop Koyle said, "No it won't." Soon after that, the Mexican Revolution destabilized things in that country, and plans for the Mexican temple were scrapped.  Koyle even foresaw that one day banks would buy up worthless mortgage defaults and then be bailed out by American taxpayers.

So what do I think, you wonder? Was Bishop John Koyle a true mouthpiece of the Lord?

I would not presume to guess.

Bishop Koyle is best known for his prediction that in the day when America is hit with a full-blown economic catastrophe, treasure will be mined from deep within a mountain near the Salem, Utah area and that treasure will provide support for the faithful living along the Wasatch Front. But since the prophecies also say that the mine will not "come in" until that time, there's no way to know if there's anything to those prophecies. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.[1]
____________________________________
[1]You'll have to wait and see.  I'm not planning to be anywhere near that mountain when the Last Days kerfuffle starts up, because I've read of another visionary predicting massive earthquakes along the I-15 corridor. So you can fill me in later.

I will admit to being intrigued about one particular prediction the good bishop recorded, and it's this one:
"Near the time of the end, many of the General Authorities will become quite old. Troubles will start when three leaders will die in close proximity to one another. The new replacements will not be able to hold the Church together."

I find it interesting that we're already watching the outward edges of the Corporation of the President begin to crumble. But let me be clear about something: Mormonism -or what might more accurately be referred to as "the gospel of the Restoration"- is alive and well, and thriving in ways a lot of Mormons haven't even noticed yet.

Ironically enough, the place where the church (the one defined in D&C 10:67) is growing strongest right now is outside the institutional LDS "Church." Meanwhile that Church is coming apart at the seams. (D&C 10:68)

You may recall that Elder L. Tom Perry passed away on May 30th of last year, followed by Boyd K. Packer a mere 34 days later. Eleven weeks after that, Richard G. Scott left the planet. That's three apostles returning to the bosom of Abraham in such quick succession that all of them were gone before their ghostwriters had a chance to start on their next conference talks. There hasn't been that many vacancies in the quorum all at once since 1906.

Now, I don't think Bishop Koyle thought the passing of these three GAs would have had anything to do with why the wheels are coming off the Church bus at this particular time. And neither do I. That gradual deterioration has been a long time in coming, and it's mere coincidence that the fall is just now accelerating.  I find it kind of interesting, though, that bigger failures have been occurring in the months since those three leaders passed on, as the remaining pharisees in Church leadership stumble all over themselves like the Keystone Kops trying to find a way out of the PR disasters they've created for themselves.

It's no secret that in recent years Church growth has stagnated, not only in terms of converts, but in the amount of tithes brought in, now that the cat is officially out of the bag regarding what a tiny amount of one's wages a person is actually required to tithe.   But that isn't what's currently giving the hierarchy the fantods. If it were only turncoats and unbelievers jumping ship, no one would be surprised.  Dissenters and inactives have always been just one of the costs of doing business for LDS, Incorporated. What the hierarchy is finding most disconcerting these days is that a growing number of the most devout and faithful are finding they can still be good Mormons without ever feeling the need to set foot in an LDS chapel or kiss the ring of Church authority.  This, more than anything else, has the leadership all a-tizzy trying to come up with a fix for it.  But with every bone-headed move they make, they just end up making things worse.

Whose Church Is It, Anyway?
Anyone still wondering if Jesus Christ remains the head of this Church need only take note of how those in administrative positions within the Church are treating His humble followers. In a day when thousands of the formerly faithful have chosen to resign from the church after ceasing to believe altogether, you would think those in management would seek for ways to keep the remaining faithful happily within the fold.  But no. Take the recent example of a stalwart sister in a Cedar City, Utah ward.  She recently stood up in testimony meeting and happened to mention that in recent months she has become closer to Christ.

Well, them's fightin' words. Because it turns out that Church headquarters invited a bunch of bishops and stake presidents to attend a Southwest Regional Conference where these local leaders were instructed to listen for members using "code words and phrases" such as those uttered by that good sister about becoming closer to Christ.  Following the instructions he was given from Salt Lake, this woman's bishop called her in and asked her if she had recently been rebaptized.  She told him yes, she had.

And now a disciplinary court has been set for her excommunication.

Now just think about this for a minute. Pretty much everything in scripture teaches us to become closer to Christ. And as we become closer to Christ, Jesus Himself often lays it on our hearts to commit to him again in baptism.  Most of us were baptized when we were eight years old, hardly able to comprehend the significance of the ordinance. So it's perfectly reasonable to want to recommit ourselves to the Master when we come to a fuller understanding.

My wife is now on the Church's Enemies List.
This idea Church leadership currently clings to that there should be only one baptism per lifetime is actually a quite recent development. In pioneer days it was common for members to recommit their lives to Christ through baptism as many times as they felt necessary.  It was a common practice to be re-baptized prior to going on a mission, for instance; or before taking out one's temple endowment; or for healing from sickness; or...well, just because.

Here is where you can read a number of excerpts from the diaries and journals of our Mormon pioneer ancestors relating how, and why, and how often they would submit to being re-baptized for no other reason than because baptism was what they desired in their hearts.

The experience of this sister from Cedar City is not an isolated case, nor is it at all rare in the Church today. These days the quickest way to get yourself expelled from what is purportedly the Church of Jesus Christ is to make a public commitment to follow Him.

Loyalty To Jesus = Apostasy To The Church
If you thought that story about the Cedar City sister was appalling, this one will slack your jaw:

Regular readers of this blog will recall that back in January I discussed a book by Rob Smith entitled Teaching For Doctrines The Commandments of Men, which was subtitled Tradition In Modern Mormonism.  I guess it was inevitable that Brother Smith's church membership would be on the chopping block for that one, because the book demonstrated conclusively that the modern Church hierarchy has been making stuff up for years and passing it off as gospel truth.

As far as I'm aware, this is the second time that the only reason given a member for his expulsion from the Church is that he wrote a book. The other instance was Denver Snuffer's Passing The Heavenly Gift, a book that showed conclusively from diaries and Church documents that no real authority to act in God's name had been passed from Joseph Smith to any other person than his brother Hyrum. Brother Hyrum somehow never did get around to ordaining Brigham Young to be the next Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, although Joseph did once assign Brigham Young to be one of the Travelling Elders. This role of being just another background extra seems not to have been enough for Brother Brigham, because what he really wanted to do was direct.

It's worth noting that like me and countless others, both Denver Snuffer and Rob Smith are devout believers in the gospel of the Restoration, and both have written books which prove the leaders of the Church have been betraying the membership for decades in their assertion that they have actual authority from God that allows them to corrupt His sacred teachings in service to themselves.

Rob Smith was given only one day's notice to attend his own excommunication, and if you haven't read his account of that proceeding, you'll probably find it hard to believe they kicked him out in spite of his fiery testimony.  If there is a modern-day travesty comparable to that of Abinadi before King Noah, this would be it.  Here's an excerpt from Rob's fascinating account:
"One exchange that occurred that I thought was of note: I declared that I had not apostatized from Christ or from the gospel.  A high councilor said, 'none of us think that you have. You are here for apostasy against the Church and its leaders.' "
Let that sink in for a minute. Because that, brothers and sisters, is an astonishing admission.  Given the way the Church often operates today, it's easy to forget that the leaders still claim that Jesus Christ Himself is head of this Church and that He directs its every operation.  Yet here we have a man of high rank and station, a high priest of the Church who claims to be in the employ of the divine head of that Church, actually admitting they are expelling Rob Smith from a society that now openly purports to be a church of, by, and for a group of men, and not the actual church directed by Jesus Christ!

This shameful Pharisee is, in effect, admitting to Rob that no one in that room is acting as a representative of Jesus Christ, because after all, none of them believe for one minute that Rob is in apostasy against the head of the true Church. Rather, Rob stands accused of being in apostasy against a different Church, a Church directed by a group of mere mortals operating out of Salt Lake City without any input at all from Jesus.

The prophet Mormon prophesied about this very thing when he warned that in the last days men would begin to build up churches unto themselves, and begin to deny the true people of Christ. (4 Nephi 1:26)

And we wonder why they call us a cult.

The First Major Crack In The Wall
If we were to give credence to Bishop Koyle's intriguing prediction that the leaders of the Church would one day have trouble holding the Church together, the first major shot over the bow would have to have been the recent policy banning the offspring of certain people from being allowed to be baptized.  There were, of course, many smaller offenses that preceded this one, but for the Church to introduce a policy change that blatantly stands in contradiction to the will of God...well, this one beats them all.

And the discovery of that policy remained the shot heard 'round the Church, at least until Russell M. Nelson, Most Senior High Apostle, lied to the whole church and claimed the policy came about through a revelation from God.

In that previous post, I fudged a bit on the question of whether Russell Nelson had actually lied about this incident, preferring to use the word "prevarication" to describe the bald-faced perfidy committed by Elder Nelson.  Those able to read between the lines could, of course, deduce that prevaricating is the worst kind of lying there is. So now let's not mince words: Of course Russell Nelson was lying!

Elder Russell M. Nelson Addresses The Saints.

What makes Brother Nelson's lie particularly noteworthy is that up until now (at least in my lifetime) no general authority has lied so blatantly, so baldly, or so egregiously as Nelson did at this time.  In the past, Church leaders were careful not to come right out and claim having received revelation when no revelation had been forthcoming.  It's true that our scriptures teach us that the main requirement of an apostle of the Lord, in order to call himself an apostle, is that he should have seen the Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face.  That is the first prerequisite for the job. That's what it means in this church to be a witness for Christ.

In the past, on those rare occasions when one of these apostles was asked directly if he has had such a personal witness, the apostle being asked has managed to avoid a direct answer by hemming and hawing and mumbling something about the experience being too sacred and too personal to talk about.  Never mind that the job of an apostle, once he gains that witness, is to boldly tell everyone he encounters about it.  That was what the apostles in the primitive Christian Church went forth to do, and that's also what the Twelve were sent forth to witness of during the Kirtland/Missouri/Nauvoo period.

Can you imagine Joseph Smith declining to tell of his experience in the grove on the grounds that the experience was "too sacred"?  And yet for too long we have accepted this vacillating response that was carefully crafted to leave the listener with the impression that a given apostle had, indeed, seen Christ face-to-face when in reality he had not.

At least they used to sidestep that question. They weren't known to lie outright.  But now we have the man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency of the Church completely prepared to utter falsehoods in hopes it will quiet the membership from demanding further explanations as to why he promotes a policy that directly contradicts the revealed word of God.

No wonder believers are leaving. It is more important to some Church leaders that members look to them for instruction than it is that the members look to Christ.

The Authority Myth
What this church needs before it collapses completely is leaders willing to level with the members about the limits to their powers and abilities. Since at least the 1950s we have been encouraged to believe that every member of the First Presidency, and every member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, holds all the gifts that were given to Joseph Smith, even though not one of them has exhibited anything remotely close to Joseph's divine attributes in over a hundred years.

We were never taught that the Saints who followed Brigham Young did not assume he was Joseph Smith's spiritual successor, and that he didn't claim to be. We also weren't told that only about half the Church membership at the time went west with Brigham Young. The other half did not presume there was anything wrong with choosing to stay behind on the plains, where they continued to meet together informally and see themselves as legitimate branches of the church.

Those who followed Brigham did not do so because they felt he was a prophet like Joseph; they followed him primarily because they saw him as a capable frontiersman who could guide them to another location. Yet over time a myth has grown up that maintains that every president since Brigham Young has been God's spokesman on the earth, even when we never see examples of God speaking through any of them. Joseph Smith was entirely unique among the presidents of the Church, but we have been slow to recognize that reality.

On February 16th, The Salt Lake Tribune sponsored a panel of Mormon scholars to discuss The New Mormon Faith Crisis. This is a real crisis for a growing number of believers, yet the leadership of the Church, rather than address the problems honestly and forthrightly, seem to prefer the Russell Nelson approach: lie about your supposed authority, and keep lying in hopes that you'll eventually be respected for the title you hold.

One of the panelists on the Tribune forum was Fiona Givens, who co-authored two books with her husband aimed at persuading Mormons in crisis to recognize what is good and valid about our religion, in hopes they would choose to stay with it. Here are her comments concerning the widespread belief that there is a person on the earth who is getting divine intervention on a regular basis:
"I think that’s actually one of the cultural fallacies we have. There
are a number of ecclesiastical leaders who say that 'no, there is no red phone to God actually, we stumble through these decisions on our own. We hope for light.'...So they are ordinary men and they have their own prejudices and every now and again something
radiates through. So if we stop looking at our ecclesiastical leaders as though they were mini-gods, we would do so much better. At the end of the day we are the Church of Christ. We should only follow Christ. Our allegiance and loyalty should only be to Christ, not to intermediaries. Christ was quite firm when he said 'do not put your faith in the arm of flesh.' Any flesh. And that includes our ecclesiastical leaders. We’ve gone a little bit wonky from where Christ is. I feel like Christ has been sidelined somewhat and unless we bring him back to the center in our collective life and in our individual lives, this isn’t going to go very well for us." 
I don't know if there is anything to Bishop John Koyle's prophecies about a Dream Mine. I'd like to think there is. Who wouldn't?  All I can say is that in my opinion Bishop Koyle got at least one thing right, and that is that this Church is in trouble. Deep, deep trouble. And the other thing Koyle got right is that the leaders are already discovering how difficult it is to hold this thing together.  This Church is now in Humpty Dumpty mode. Nothing and no one can put it back together other than The Holy One of Israel, and he appears to have moved on and left the Church's clumsy managers to trip over each other in the dark.

Wheat And Tares
The title of this piece is "How Much Longer Before The Church Collapses?"  In an attempt to answer that question, perhaps we should rephrase it as "how much time does the Church have left as a religious society?"

The Church is now a world-wide conglomerate of mostly financial interests, of which religion is only one of its many subsidiaries. Given the amount of time the various quorums of Apostles and Seventies spend managing the Church's properties and investments, I'd say the Church could last a very long time indeed -or at least until the economy comes crashing down, which I believe it soon will.  Whether that entity can survive as an actual church is another question entirely, one which will depend on whether the loyal band of myrmidons who continue to support it choose to remain in, or whether they get out.

It's no secret that the LDS Church grossly exaggerates its customer base. Of the 15 million "members of record" listed on the master tally sheet, only around four million ever show up for meetings on Sunday. That means more than two thirds of the members that the Church boasts of in its press releases are already long gone. They have voted with their feet, never to return.  Those numbers continue to shrink at a rate that is creating a panic in the board room at 47 East South Temple Street, as evidenced by the laughable "Boise Rescue" that had Dallin Oaks and Richard Turley hold a Tri-Stake emergency meeting in Idaho to try and stem the flow of persons who believed, like the apostle Peter, that they ought to obey God rather than men.  In light of the failure of Oaks and Turley to make an impression, Church leaders have come up with a temporary solution: keep doctoring those membership numbers.

In the past, along with convert baptisms, the Church would add an annual count of those eight-year-old children in member families who had been baptized the previous year.  Recently they have also begun counting newborn babies as "members" even though those babies have been neither baptized nor confirmed actual members of the Church.  That's how desperate the corporation is to pretend its customer base isn't shrinking.

But even with all this shooting of feathers, real membership numbers are shrinking. Convert baptisms are as rare as a stuffed pig at a Jewish wedding.  If you want to see a missionary despondently hang his head, ask him how many baptisms he's had so far. On those rare occasions when they do get one in the water, the retention rate is abysmal. The average convert attends our meetings a mere nine months before disappearing forever.

Not to worry, though. The Church keeps those converts' names in the Church records forever so they continue to be counted as being present.

Who can blame our converts for failing to stick around? The dullest of dunderheads can't help but sense the abessive character of our Sunday meetings. Whatever spirit of joy and awakening the convert experienced while visiting with the missionaries, that feeling is completely absent once they begin attending our lackluster meetings. If Jesus Christ does direct this Church, you'd think he'd lend his spirit to the meetings once in a while. His absence is particularly acute to those converts who came from a denomination that actually held worship services where joy and celebration were palpably present.

There's a widespread belief that this Church cannot fail; that it is somehow destined to spread and grow and roll forth until it fills every corner of the world.  But no such prediction was made about the earthly Church.  The prophet Joseph often referenced the Book of Daniel in that phrase, where Daniel had a vision of a stone cut out of a mountain, which rolled forth until it had filled the whole earth. Joseph interpreted that metaphor on various occasions, predicting that "the truth of God will go forth," the "gospel" shall "roll forth," "the Kingdom of God" is predicted "to roll forth," and "the latter-day glory" may, if God chooses and the Saints are united in one common cause, "roll forward." None of those statements reference the corporate, institutional Church with its hierarchical structure and its adulterous relationship with mammon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sublunary society; an earth-bound terrestrial organization. That structure is not celestial; it dies when the world dies -if not before.

Eventually a good many of our brothers and sisters in the faith will awaken to their awful situation and realize they have been following the wrong shepherds.  When they recognize that the Brethren cannot fulfill the promises they made to save them, they will turn instead to Christ. But when they first awaken, they will feel lost; they will feel scared and abandoned; and they will feel betrayed by those they trusted to look after them.

These good people are going to need a place to land where the gospel of Jesus Christ is alive and well and fully operational.  Let's be there for them.

                                                                *****

Afterword
One of the perks of writing this blog is that every now and then someone will contact me with inside information. So I recently got a phone call from someone who was able to explain the real reason the Church has chosen not to allow children of certain parents to be baptized.

As many of you know, there was a time when the teenage sons and daughters of fundamentalist Mormons were permitted to attend our meetings and befriend our sons and daughters.  But a problem soon arose. Their teenagers tended to introduce our teenagers to statements by Brigham Young, John Taylor, et al that our teens had never read or heard of before, "proving" that plural marriage had been declared by the early prophets to be an eternal principle. Unless one entered into plural marriage, it was impossible to enter into celestial glory.

Next thing you know, some of our good Mormon boys and girls had been recruited into the fundamentalist lifestyle, so the LDS Church initiated a policy barring children born of polygamous marriages from joining our Church, since the objective of the FLDS crowd was clearly to infiltrate our church and recruit our children.

After the Supreme Court announced gay marriage to be A-OK, some of these fundamentalist leaders approached the leaders of our Church and said, "Hey, you guys are hypocrites! You won't let our children into your wards because you disapprove of the marital arrangements of their parents.  You also disapprove of gay marriage, yet you don't seem to have any problem allowing their children in.  What gives with the double standard?"

This question made sense to some of our leaders, who immediately sent confidential notices to bishops throughout the Church that no child should be baptized in this Church who had a parent in a same-sex marriage or relationship.

Anyone with any sense can see there is no comparing the children of gay parents with the children of polygamists.  While the teenage children of polygamists are likely to share the gospel of fundamentalism with their fellow Mormons, the offspring of gay parents are rarely homosexual themselves.  It's absurd to think they would have an incentive to try and recruit Mormon youth into the gay lifestyle.

Church leaders at the top seem to still be of the opinion that there is some kind of gay cootie that can be spread from person to person via casual contact. And that is the reason our Church has adopted a completely unscriptural and un-Christlike rule not to allow kids to join our church who could possibly pick up the gay cootie at home and bring it with them to church.  And that's why Elder Russell Nelson felt it necessary to feed the Saints a whopper about Jesus Christ himself reversing his doctrine by way of an esoteric revelation to Thomas Monson.

Maybe it really is time we parted ways with these clowns.


204 comments:

1 – 200 of 204   Newer›   Newest»
Rebecca C. said...

The thing is, many complacent people in the church do not follow the internet and therefore don't even know Nelson held a regional fireside somewhere, let alone what he said and why what he said was a problem. There is a disconnect, almost generational. I have seen a lot of adults bash "millennials" as being silly youth and not knowing what they're talking about, having no life experience. Yet, as a friend pointed out, it's ok for 8 year olds to be baptized, 14 year olds to have visions (well, only Joseph Smith apparently), and 18 year olds to go on missions. By its not ok for young people to use the full faculty they were blessed with by God to find the truth. I see young people being much more savvy than the older ones in the church. Unfortunately I don't see this gap being bridged anytime soon. The church will collapse eventually, just like social security. The youth can't shoulder the burdens the old people are putting in them any longer. It is dying. I'm somewhere in the middle generation myself. But I have had scales fall from my eyes and I am thankful for it.

funakoshi said...

Whereas members were once more compliant, now they are much more bold and open about challenging the leadership. That, to me, is the biggest sign of things to come.

Seems to me that every time the LDS church excommunicates a member or makes any kind of public statement things go south in a hurry. All the reactive follow-up statements and clarifications make the leadership seem chaotic and unsure of itself.

For example, on LGBT baptism we had a policy, then a clarification, then a revelation... and nobody has published the words our Lord spoke to Mr. Monson on this matter.

And don't forget Jeremy Runnells of 'Letter to a CES Director' fame. His court of love is coming in a month or so. That should be interesting...

Rebecca C. said...

They wouldn't dare give him one day notice since he is well known on the internet.

MrHFMetz said...

The Berlin wall came down; nobody expected it, but it did. Communism came down; nobody expected, but it did. How much longer before this church collapses . . . , well it already did, some time ago, with us standing by, perhaps most of us not really even realising what was going on. Thanks to the internet and the creativity, the intelligence, and the concern for others, of some among us (authors, bloggers) things have been made more visible; disturbing for some maybe, but exciting and emancipating for others, like me. A new world of information is opening up, finally. Should'nt we all be desperately be searching for the truth, untill we all come to a unity of the faith? Should'nt we be anxiously engaged in this good cause, as Joseph Smith and his associates would say.

Unknown said...

Excellent piece, as usual. Prophecy and predictions are a dangerous business, with a lot of faulty tries (See World, The end of), but I have to agree with your assessment that the Church is growing weaker and that the larger economy is unsustainable in its present form even without such pressures as global warming, and so on. There will be some significant change in the our collective future.

Oddly enough, the idea that one can be Mormon apart from the institutional church is something that gives me hope. I know that there are small groups of Mormons routed or repelled from their spiritual home, who meet for spiritual support and fellowship. It is a trend I hope to see expand and continue.

After finding a spiritual home in the Episcopal church, I also now see how utterly dry and dull Mormon meetings really are. It's just awful, to say nothing of the horrid adult education curriculum. The members deserve so much better.

But that's beside the point. One thought that occurs to me is that Mormonism does have some truly remarkable and positive things to say to the world. It produces a lot of really fine people who are so good that they have become too good for the church that made them.

Another thought is that perhaps the best thing that can happen to the world at large is the dissolution of the church, prompting all those wonderful ideas and equally wonderful people out into the world to share that spiritual and intellectual heritage with the rest of the world. I do think that when the hard times come, we will need people who can help create and maintain zones of spirituality and intelligence alongside others of good will and character.

In fact, perhaps it's time to start encouraging disaffected and disenchanted (or simply bored) Mormons to more deliberately set up their own congregations regardless of what the GAs may think, avoid the rush.

Sheldon Greaves

Janis Hutchinson said...

How do I subscribe to your posts? The notice at the bottom of your page doesn't work for this.

Thanks!
Janis Hutchinson
janishutchinson@comcast.net

erichard said...

Hi. You make some good points. Since you accept the Word of the Lord revelations received by the Prophet Joseph, do you also accept those written in the identical pattern by the prophets Brigham, John, Wilford and Lorenzo? Among the myriad of claimed Word of the Lord revelations today, do you accept any as being the true continuation of the gift restored to earth with the Prophet Joseph? Or do you believe that gift has been taken from the earth after having been restored? Many of us are more interested in reading the revelations --what the Lord actually reveals through His servants the prophets in the pattern given-- than what students of scripture figure out in their blogs.

erichard said...

http://2bc.info/pdf/4books.pdf

Log said...

The view that prevarication is a sin condemns God.

But one is free to take that perspective.

======

The view that Nelson lied is a judgement call.

That the Bredderen have authoritah is a claim that might be seen to be plausible once one considers the Q12 had equal authority to the FP under Joseph.

These issues aren't objectively settled in the negative against the Bredderen.

I think they're not intended to be objectively settleable.

=====

On another topic, I recall hearing somewhere a statement by Jeffrey Holland, I believe, in which he said something to the effect that he's a smart guy and hasn't been following a fraud all these years, that the Church was of course true. Anyone remember anything like that, and where I can get a primary source if so?

funakoshi said...

@log
Wasn't there a BBC interview w/ Mr. Holland where he said something like I'm not a dodo. Of course the Church is true. Is that it?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wST_N0u9BiY

funakoshi said...

Around 8:24 he says "I'm not an idiot. I've read a couple of books and I've been to a pretty good school, and I have chosen to be in this church."

Log said...

@funakoshi - sounds close to what I seem to recall. Thanks.

It is interesting that the interviewer said former members call the Church a cult, like Scientology, but smarter, and Holland's response was to deny it is a cult and also to tout his own intelligence and education in defense of that claim.

I guess it's not a cult because he's smarter. Or something.

Gary Gibson said...

Rock,

It is interesting to me to note that it appears that the destruction of the church has already been written in the architecture of the church office building.

It has the same facade as the World Trade Center and if you look at the North side, two sections with the facade are separated by a center section.

Gary

Unknown said...

Please substantiate your claim that newborns are counted as members. This is the first I've heard of it.

Unknown said...

My name wasn't included in the previous comment. Chris Hamill

Unknown said...

My name wasn't included in the previous comment. Chris Hamill

funakoshi said...

"A membership record is created for children who receive this blessing: they are counted as members of the church and described as "children of record". They remain on the church rolls unless they reach adulthood without being baptized or a request for name removal is received from their legal guardians."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_and_blessing_of_children

Vickie said...

My favorite disconnect was the excommunication of women wanting the priesthood. We were taught many people approached Joseph Smith with questions. He took these to the Lord & received answers. Did any prophet even say the Lord was approached in that question? Or any other modern questions? You cannot change what hits the internet. It is a major headache since records are no longer fluid.

Linda Gale said...

It seems that Elder Nelson is not the only one who used words that do not illuminiate, but actually disguise their true meaning. And that's too bad, because I like these grandfatherly men, and have met a couple of them in places outside general conference.

From LRC:

Gore Vidal elaborated on that insight, saying, “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate.”

Sam said...

Rock, None of the three apostles who died were in the First Presidency, all were in the Quorum of Twelve only. You may wan to to correct that in your post.

Rebecca C. said...

Isn't that quoted in Rob's book? I'll flip through it a bit later and update if I find it.

Rebecca C. said...

http://indiemormon.com/index.php/jeffrey-r-holland/ this seems to be it. I didn't see it in the above mentioned book.

DeeLyn said...

Thanks for that great post!

Yes, I think the Church is going to soon only have mostly 'older' members attending, for the younger generation seems open, eager & willing to study and accept the real truth about the Church's history and it's past & present demeaning & unChristlike practices.

I also like your idea about having a place to go to for those who leave but still believe in Christ. For I believe Christ's teachings are the wisest Gospel ever spoken, by anyone either before or since Christ.


Alan Rock Waterman said...

Sam, thanks for that correction. I made that same mistake a couple years back, thinking Boyd Packer was in the First Presidency, and here I've gone and done it again. Correction made.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Janis Hutchinson, I don't know how to subscribe to my own blog!

Well, actually, I do, having clicked on the subscribe button when I first started the thing. But my own wife hasn't been able to subscribe from her account, even when trying on the same computer I used. It just doesn't seem to work when she tried it.

Maybe try subscribing using a friend's computer? Sorry I don't know the answer to that dilemma.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

ERichard,
Thanks for the link. I have Fred Collier's two volumes of Unpublished Revelations and read them some thirty years ago, so I'm aware that Taylor, Woodruff, and others claimed revelations. At the time I was convinced that the Church had lost its way because it rejected polygamy, but I reject that notion now.

Most of those purported revelations, if memory serves, are warnings to the leaders not to abandon the practice at any cost, and that the Lord would fight their battles, and so on. So what to think of them?

Well, they are either from the Lord, or they represent wishful thinking. I'm inclined today to that latter view; if we're not careful we can convince ourselves that our desires are the Lord's desires.

The main clue to the validity of those revelations, of course, is in the title of the books: "Unpublished." I look at these revelations as being, at best, personal revelation. They were addressed to the individual, they were not presented to the body of the church for inclusion in the canon, and they are therefore not revelation for the church nor binding on the church.

Anyway, thanks for that link. I haven't seen an online source for any of these things until this.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Funakoshi,
Thanks for providing that source. Someone else on Facebook asked for the citation and I couldn't recall where I had seen that information. Now I have something to direct him to.

Kind of surprised to find CHI entries on Wikipedia! I hadn't thought to look there.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Log,
Not to continue to belabor the point, but although God condemns lying, he did condone it two or three times in the Old Testament-even advised Abraham to lie outright to the pharoah, as I pointed out in the previous month's comment section.

Now it's always possible these instances are mistranslations or errors in the OT, but I have no problem with God condoning lying to bad people if that lie prevents the good person or his loved ones from being murdered by the bad guys, which was the case in the instances I know of.

God condemns killing too, but apparently he made an exception regarding Laban.

Although I would agree that God cannot lie, I don't see why he can't tell others to hide the truth from their enemies when the situation calls for it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Vickie,
I agree that Church leadership dropped the ball on the Ordain Women opportunity. They not only dropped the ball, but they missed an opportunity.

In the mission statement on the Ordain Women website, the OW people say something to the effect that "We ask Church leaders to take this question to the Lord for an answer."

Rather than do what a prophet is supposed to do, i.e. take the question to the Lord for an answer, Church leadership ignored the question and attacked the questioner, and Kate Kelly was not only excommunicated, but she was smeared and misrepresented as someone who was "trying to change the doctrine."

It was laughable that the same men who change the doctrines to suit themselves whenever they want to, accused someone with no power to inject her views into Church publications or decree anything from the pulpit could have any such effect anyway.

The only ones who have the power to influence doctrine are those running things at the top. And they change doctrine all the time. If Kate Kelly had decreed that children of gay parents were not to be baptized, her statement would not change anything. But when the hierarchy makes the same announcement, that's how doctrines get changed.

Log said...

Rock,

Your response now, as then, does not suffice to resolve the conflict between your standard of judgement and God's actions.

32 And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things; for whoso doeth them shall perish.

33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.


God condemns murder and lying. Killing may well be sometimes necessary.

God prevaricates as a matter of historical record. Abraham did not lie to Pharaoh. He prevaricated, at God's instruction, in precisely the manner you condemn Nelson for.

Now, you are free to say prevarication is worse than lying, but then you are saying God does worse than lie. A standard of judgement which condemns God would seem to be unrighteous judgement on its face. If you aren't willing to condemn God for prevarication, then it is inconsistent to condemn Nelson for prevarication. There is one standard of judgement for all, including God, or else we are respecters of men, which is again contrary to righteousness.

Accusing Nelson of lying is also problematic due to lack of evidence. Now, if you want to make a claim against them on due process grounds, go for it, but I don't think there is scripture that says revelation must come in such-and-such a manner. Just because it always DID come in such-and-such a manner for Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God, doesn't mean that it doesn't come in other ways for the United 15 Apostles, peace be upon them, such as perhaps the process Nelson describes.

It all comes down to whether you believe them.

Do me a favor, though. Please don't just stick to your guns - the prevarication issue is actually simply resolved, even if it doesn't end where you want it to contra Nelson. Prevarication is a necessary part of doing business, and God does prevaricate (even Jesus did during his lifetime). If you can prove Nelson, et al, lied, that would be the strongest possible position to take.

SB said...

Rock, RE: lying:

Even Jesus suggests that it may not always to be wise to be straight with people:

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Sometimes we just let things roll because it's not worth the time, trouble, consequences. Agreeing with your adversary even though you vehemently disagree may be a wiser approach. Of course the Holy Ghost may direct otherwise.

SB said...

Hi Log, thanks for bringing the idea of prevarication into this. Not a word I've really thought about. Is that what Jesus was getting at in the quote I posted above from the Sermon on the Mount?

But isn't it kind of a distinction without a difference? Like soft porn vs hard porn? Idk.

Though I kind of intuitively get it. I hate paying the taxman, and will rail against it year 'round but when it comes to paying I agree to pay, because my life is best served out of jail than in. Just thinking out loud here.

Miguel Aveiro said...

Great post, Rock. I had no idea there was a Mormon Nostradamus. I guess he's just not very well known, because members like to share stories of remarkable members. Maybe it's cos he was a bit doom and gloomy when it came to the future of the church. But if you're a Mormon Nostradamus, you have to be. Nobody will take you seriously if you only say that good things will happen. I like the picture with your wife being baptized. Did you get re-baptized too?

The story with the Cedar Creek woman was shocking. I mean, seriously, she said she had felt closer to Christ and that's a cause for alarm!? And it's some sort of 'code word' for leaders to look out for!? Haha. Oh my, like they wouldn't think maybe people are just getting better at following Jesus Christ through the teachings of the LDS church, in the church meetings and General Conferences, or the recent emphasis on keeping the Sabbath Day holy? It's almost like they don't expect people to report on how much better they're doing after a recent teaching they have grasped. I could understand other 'code words' like "I read on a blog..." or "I've been studying church history and I now think differently about some things." But something like "I feel closer to Christ" is something one should expect from a member of His church.

Log said...

There is a difference.

Everything the prevaricator says can be (and, in God's case, is) true. Due to prejudices, lusts, desires, and other corruptions of heart, the hearer fills in the holes in what the prevaricator says with whatever they wish or suspect to be the case. Hence, Pharaoh concluded that if Sarai was Abram's sister, then Sarai was not Abram's wife - the state of affairs Pharaoh wanted to be true. Normally, being one's sister precludes a woman from being one's wife, but the two relationships are not necessarily mutually exclusive, thus nobody lied, and an incorrect inference was drawn. And drawing that incorrect inference was the point of saying what was said.

To me, the claim that prevarication is wrong is a subclass of the claim that failing to tell the whole truth at all times is wrong. But that position entails that every time someone opened their mouth to make any assertion, they'd have to give forth everything they know to be true, or else be condemned for giving a "partial truth." But nobody takes that position seriously (it would certainly complicate teaching kindergardners mathematics, for example), thus we may detect that this type of claim is a bogus attempt at manipulating someone into saying more than justice requires.

Gentile virtues are not always in accordance with the truth.

So, we get really good at noting holes in what people are saying. Nelson's carefully worded description of the process by which more innocent children who believe in Christ are excluded from what parades itself to be Christ's society on earth has holes. Whatever fills those holes for each person comes down to what is in each person.

Miguel Aveiro said...

I want to ask something though, Rock. Sorry if it sounds like a political journalist interview question, it's just that I want to know if you've changed your mind on something.


I re-read your post, "Danger Is My Middle Name" and in it you say that people accuse you of leading others out of the church, but you declare that you weren't aware of anyone who left because of things you've said and shared the email of someone who was encouraged to stay in the LDS church due to your blog. This person said that she and her husband can remain in the LDS church despite of the bad stuff that's in it (that's my awful paraphrasing) and that you explained that one can remain LDS. However, at the end of this latest blog, you said "Maybe it really is time we parted ways with these clowns." Now, I'm not accusing you either of leading others out of the church. But do you now have different intentions for this blog? Has this change come about due to the recent activities of church leaders and it's the last straw to break the camel's back?

Log said...

Agreeing with one's adversaries is as simple as telling the cop who just pulled you over for "speeding" "Ok, Officer."

funakoshi said...

@log
Yep. I learned it as a conflict resolution technique in school. It's called "fogging". :-)

DeeLyn said...

If only 'lying' was the worst thing Nelson, Abraham or Nephi ever did.

Aqua Fortis said...

Ha, ha, lol! The Church's policy about children of homosexuals is to be blamed on the Fundamentalists!

Liberty Ghost said...

Miguel
I don't think Bishop Koyle was necessarily a doom and gloom guy. You can google his name and come up with quite a few of his prophetic statements. The problem that he seems to have run into is that his prophetic statements were more accurate than that of the Brethren, which was embarrassing to the Church. Eventually, under threat of excommunication, they convinced him to recant. They promised that they would keep his signed statement private, but then immediately published it and then excommunicated him a short time later anyway after he'd been bishop for something like 25 years. I doubt they tried to convince anyone that the excommunication was from a local complaint.

The Church also seemed to be upset that his dream mine wasn't able to produce gold at that time, even though he told everyone it would only 'produce' in the future. The Church preferred mines which were discovered by means of dreams and visions, but which actually produced gold immediately, so they could benefit. A contemporary of Koyle found a mine by vision and the gold it produced bailed the Church out of debt and financed BYU. They prefer those kinds of visions.

The Church claimed that he was duping people into investing into the mine; that he was a fraud. People still value the mining shares to the dream mine and many are convinced that it will eventually come in.

Dale B.

Liberty Ghost said...

Rock

Great post as usual! It does seem as though the wheels are coming off the bus. When I read Ezekiel or Jeremiah or Isaiah about our days, I never seem to be able to find accounts where the Messiah meets up with the group of prophets (and/or apostles) who've remained true, thanks them for their service and then takes over leadership of their flocks during the second coming. Instead, I find condemnation after condemnation of the shepherds of Israel for not feeding the sheep and for fleecing them (the flocks) for their own gain. I believe that the Lord says he will dismiss those shepherds upon his arrival.

At least having been awakened and aroused we will be in a better position to be able to recognize the master's voice when he comes to lead His Church into the wilderness, and less confused by claims from current Church leadership that that new guy baptizing out by Jordan is a fraud.

Dale B.

f4c28fd0-1cee-11e5-9af8-130f4ed08ad3 said...

While googling Bishop Koyle I came across some "thus saith the Lord" revelations that were quite interesting. Apparently a day is coming where the leaders in Salt Lake will be dismissed, in some sort of "cleanse/restoration" and new ones called to take their place. Wow, if true, that will certainly generate some interesting water cooler talk!

http://www.reliefmine.com/articles/koyle/218-revelations

DeeLyn said...

Didn't Koyle believe in polygamy? If so then his idea of a 'restoration' or 'change in the Church' would mean bringing polygamy back, which is what I believe the Church will do, along with allowing SSM, once polygamy is legal and popular, which probably isn't far off, for that is where the world and membership is heading fast and the Church would only gain numbers by allowing those things, for it seems most members already believe in and support polygamy in doctrine and especially ongoing serial polygamy in the Church now.

Perceval said...

As long as there is 100 Billion dollars in assets, there will be a church. Look at the Catholic church, it has been around for 2,000 years. The Mormon Church will adapt and morph to a form that is palatable to a core that will keep it going. Catholic church activity rates are probably in the 10% range, and yet it keeps on going. I understand that the demographics are different, but tradition and large amounts of money have a lot of power.

Miguel Aveiro said...

Perceval,

Tradition with the LDS church is different, as from my experience, even children of less actives don't consider themselves Mormon, much less grandchildren of less actives. With the Catholics, as I think everyone knows, people say they're Catholics even though neither they nor their parents attend regularly, if at all.

Liberty Ghost,

I was saying the doom and gloom thing in jest. It's just that everyone who predicts things, always end up predicting something bad will happen.

I didn't know about these 'dream mines.' So the church authorities are okay with people dreaming of finding gold mines? I understand why they have a problem with someone prophesying about the future of the church, as only the prophet can do that. They would reference the scripture in D&C about this guy in Joseph Smith's day prophesying stuff and the Lord revealed how only the prophet can do that. It's interesting how the Lord revealed all sorts of things in answer to questions and concerns, but no one reports Him doing that today, for the issues of today. I believe He can, of course, but He hasn't.

Has no one leading the church asked Him and got a revelation? I believe some apostles have asked the Lord for clarification on things and even further knowledge in certain areas, but they never became authorised revelations for the whole church. Richard G Scott revealed things about the spirit world, both in General Conference and during a broadcast with a couple of wards, including my ward. Did anyone catch the rumour that he was doubting and wanted to resign as possible. It's interesting that someone who may have revealed further light and knowledge would be one wishing to resign as an apostle. That's just a possible theory, I don't know what to believe about that.

Robin Hood said...

When Thomas S. Monson was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve, I think you'll find three others were too; making a total of four. So your 1906 statistic is inaccurate Rock.
Just sayin.

Robert Bridgstock said...

Love this blog - thanks

Anonymous said...

Speaking of collapsing. Anonymous Bishop did a post last Thursday that had a YouTube video put out recently by Ron Karren(ex son-in-law of an emeritus GA) regarding the molestation of his daughter at 6 yrs old by this GA? He really is very blunt about what happened with that and it involved at least one former apostle. Unfortunately all of them were made aware and chose to try and cover it up. It's a must watch video.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0A97odud60o
AB's blog has been taken offline for 'personal reasons'. Did anyone see that post before it was abruptly taken down?
It seems fishy to me. I think the church is scrambling again.

MrHFMetz said...

There seems to be some misunderstanding about the person of Bishop John Koyle and his mission. Ogden Kraut wrote two interesting book about Bishop Koyle, called Relief Mine and Relief Mine II, and there is also an interview with Ogden (who worked for two years with Bishop Koyle in the mine); both the books and the interview are worth the time. The linkf for the interview is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI-dPJc2dPI
Anyway most of Ogden books are milestones, especially on the Priesthood and on the kingdom of God. They are all free available on the ninternet; click on Ogdenkraut.com A new world may be opening up. Just be reminded that he was a true believer in what we call plural marriage, (but who cares nowadays) though he was not afilliated at any particular group as far as I Know; he liked to be an ïndependent"

Robin Hood said...

Koyle claimed to have a vision about buried riches and then sold stock in the mine for money. Lot's of people lost their money.
I'm surprised Rock has used this man as an example of anything.
The words "barrel" and "scraping" come to mind.

funakoshi said...

Almost as fraudulent as glass looking, right?

Anna said...

Anonymous, not only is Anonymous Bishop's site down, Bare Record of Truth is suddenly by invitation only. Fishy indeed. The video you referenced is indeed disturbing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI-dPJc2dP

Worth the watch.

Miguel Aveiro said...

"This video does not exist."

That's what came up when I put that URL in.

Unknown said...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0A97odud60o

this link worked for me

Jake said...

by the way the video has a lot of waggling eyebrows suggestively and gestures furtively while mouthing "look over there"... but nothing solid is presented by anyone but the "defendant"... I don't care about what team wins, I just want all available info so I can judge for myself.

Throwaway Account said...

Hey Rock (or anyone else), do you have the source for the story about the Cedar City sister and the Regional Conference training on "code words?" If it's as you characterize, it's really disconcerting, and I'd like to read more about it.

Insightful Nana said...

I'm sad that Anonymous Bishop is down... Hope all is well with him. Also Bare Record of Truth is invitation only but there is no information about how to be invited. Anyone have any answers on how to be invited to his blog?

Bishop John Koyle's mine is also called the "Dream Mine" and it is on the side of the mountain about 10 miles away from where I live. The mine which is visible on the side of the mountain, over looks the Payson temple. My next door neighbor's dead aunt had considerable stock in the mine at one time.

From what I gather from information that floats around here is that Koyle closed the mine originally by the
request of the Lord and the mine will eventually be opened, in the Lord's due time.

There are still stock certificates around and folks hold on to them in hopes of cashing in.






Gary Hunt said...

Rock,

Robin is incorrect. Thomas S. Monson was the only apostles sustained on October 4, 1963. Prior to Monson, N. Eldon Tanner was sustained on October 11, 1962. The next apostle sustained after him was Boyd K. Packer. Packer was sustained on April 6, 1970, which was approximately 6 ½ years later.

Just sayin.


Thanks,

Gary Hunt

Gregory Hemsley said...

Log said: "Prevarication is a necessary part of doing business, and God does prevaricate (even Jesus did during his lifetime). If you can prove Nelson, et al, lied, that would be the strongest possible position to take."

Interesting that you make God and Jesus out to be liars. I would counter that God does not lie nor does he need to. People lie for all kinds of reasons, some valid some are not. But it's still deceit and God forbid that. Why would God need to lie anyway? He is omnipotent. You think he needs to sneak around and whisper in dark corners to do business? You think he appeared to Joseph and did "wink wink" at Jesus in the grove? God is truth, light and knowledge...or he isn't. Justifying any behavior because "God does it" is illogical. Here's the deal, scriptures are written by men. Conference talks and church manuals are written by men. Men lie. All the time.

If God lies he is not better than the other liar. It's all moral relativism which means their is no ultimate truth, its just choosing sides...and both sides would be wrong.

Log said...

Gregory,

You are yourself a liar for stating that I make God and Jesus out to be liars.

funakoshi said...

@Log

Flashback to Star Trek "I, Mudd" episode.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wlMegqgGORY

Gregory Hemsley said...

Log: your quote your post. I don't know how else to take it considering the definition of prevaricate is to mislead, lie, muddy the waters, let wrong assumptions lie, avoid telling the truth, deliberately mislead.... The root of the word from latin means: "crookedly deviated" In this case deviated from truth. That is the definition of a lie/liar.

If God has to "prevaricate" in order to get business done, that is a sad state of affairs for our universe.

Gregory Hemsley said...

And log, of course I lie. I just posted that all men lie, including you. Men lie, Scriptures are written by men. I don't put my faith and trust in men. Ironically the scriptures tell us not to do so. And isn't that the entire point of this blog?

Miguel Aveiro said...

I think Log was referring to the act of not revealing everything. Withholding truth is not lying. Deliberately hiding truth in order to mislead somebody is prevaricating. One can prevaricate by saying something false; but that's usually called a lie. One definition for it is when someone evades a question, like what politicians do a lot.

funakoshi said...

Exactly. Like "milk before meat", "lying for the Lord", and "some truths are not helpful". Right?

Miguel Aveiro said...

I saw the video. It's very disturbing if it is all true. There are some odd things in there. Why did the guy go to the apostles with the allegation and not straight to the police? I wouldn't have even bothered with them. Who can excommunicate a seventy anyway, shouldn't it be his bishop and stake president? I've heard of apostles removing people from their callings, but that's a different action, and since they gave them the calling, they can remove it. But the weirdest thing, is the grandmother telling the guy that the children are no longer allowed to visit because they were "being promiscuous" with their grandad. What the!? First of all, I've never heard that term applied in such a manner. Secondly, why on Earth would they say that? I'm guessing that grandpa told grandma, so that she wouldn't find out what's really going on. If a child for whatever reason would touch someone's private parts, a stern telling off would stop them. I can't imagine a child ever doing that and especially continuously. Errgghhh I don't like writing about this. But I needed to get it off my chest, cos it's so bizarre and disturbing.

funakoshi said...

With no other context, I treat it as "a video on the Internet". Nothing more, nothing less. I, myself, think nothing of it. My advice is to think nothing of it.

Gregory Hemsley said...

Miguel, no offense but that is misinterpreting log's orignal post on the the subject. He can speak for himself. Prevaricating is not just withholding truth, it is intentionally doing so with the express purpose to mislead, confuse, muddy the waters or to protect yourself or gain an advantage over someone else. It is not passive, it's not the fault of teh hearer, foloower, member. it is an active, purposeful process.

Why do people prevaricate? because their actions are not alligning with their beliefs (many Mormons prevaricate about "knowing" so they "fake it until they make it". I've heard this as a teaching tool for new members. You get a testimony in the bearing of it. So by saying it's true over and over and over, you come to believe it's true. That is nothing more than a brainwashing technique. people prevaricate to hide insecurities, to take advantage of someone else, to prevent someone else taking advantage of them, to save face, to get along with your social counterparts at church or work or your family.... All of these are reasons, and not one of them would I ascribe to God or Christ. Men lie. God would never have to. I would like to hear someone defend that God and Christ are prevaricators, because if that's true, they might as well be wizards behind the big green curtain.

funakoshi said...

I'll play devil's advocate (get it?) just for fun. Personally, I'm happy to let professional theologians and philosophers tackle this. :-)

So, there are cases in the Bible where God does not lie directly, but causes others to lie via lying demons, causing delusions, and so forth. See 1 Kings 22:23, Ezekiel 14:9-10, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

While God doesn't lie directly, I personally think it's equivalent.

Suppose I wreck my car and tell the passenger to switch seats with me and say "I was driving." If I remain silent, then I am not telling a lie, but I am still lying by proxy.

Most would say God never lies, but I personally disagree in these kinds of cases.

That's all I got... :-) I didn't say it was a strong argument.

Log said...

Prevaricating is not just withholding truth, it is intentionally doing so with the express purpose to mislead, confuse, muddy the waters or to protect yourself or gain an advantage over someone else.

Thus we see Gregory contradicting himself. Remember - he said I made God and Christ out to be liars. When I pointed out he was lying by so asserting, he then proffered an equivocated definition of prevarication which included the word lie, which his current definition rightfully omits. Even if we pretend he somehow didn't read my previous comments on this thread where prevarication is defined and described in detail, he can't plausibly claim ignorance of the definition of prevarication we all have been working with, since Rock defined it in his last post on this topic and ... let me check ... yup, Gregory participated in that conversation.

It is not passive, it's not the fault of teh hearer, foloower, member. it is an active, purposeful process.

Even after I explained how, exactly, the faulty inference was precisely the fault of the hearer. No data on a point is no data on a point. If you draw an inference in ignorance, that's on you.

There's nothing else for me to talk about with Gregory. He lacks the integrity for meaningful conversation. Truth is not his goal, but winning is.

So, Gregory, you win all conversations, including this one.

Log said...

Dingleberries dingle; that's just what they do.
Not interested in truth, just playing in doo-doo.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Miguel,
I'll try to briefly respond to your several questions.

The reason Church leaders have been alerted to be on the lookout for such codewords as "becoming closer to Christ" is because there has been a lot of concern over loss of control over a large chunk of the membership. Many members have chosen, for instance, to partake of the sacrament at home, and for some reason the leaders freak out over this. They insist the sacrament can only be partaken when a bishop is there to supervise. Scripture does not agree with that.

The Church Handbook, which as you are aware is extra-scriptural, decrees that a sign that a member is apostatizing is if that member joins another church -a reasonable assumption. However, these people who choose rebaptism are not joining another denomination any more than our pioneer ancestors joined another denomination when they were rebaptized. I suppose the problem stems from the misunderstanding that baptism has something to do with "joining the church" which it does not. I show in my previous post (Did Russell M. Nelson Take the Lord's name in vain) that baptism has nothing to do with joining the church, but is an ordinance separate from that.

I don't think Church leadership is capable of telling the difference, so when they hear of someone being rebaptized, they interpret it as abandoning their faith when in reality they are recommitting to the faith.

It all comes down to Church leadership feeling as though they were losing control over the members; that's what motivated the ridiculous Boise Rescue, to try and persuade members that the members need the leaders. Jesus never said we needed them. He warned us to avoid trusting in the arm of flesh.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Miguel,
As to whether I have changed my views on whether people should leave or stay in the corporate Church:

My view for some time was that the faithful should remain with church -by which I did not mean holding allegiance to the corporation, but that I felt it best to remain in the society of the congregation. My view was that if they wanted a believer to leave, they should be the ones to MAKE him leave. That's what they did with me. I gave them every opportunity to repent of the wrong they were committing in casting out a believer from their midst, which is a violation of scripture and church law. (See D&C 46)

Even though I advocated for staying in unless they were forced out, many believers were prompted by the spirit that they should leave before discipline was threatened. I came to the realization that what the Lord directed me to do was not necessarily the same thing he laid on others' hearts, and if he prompted them to go, then that was what they should do.

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that there are two "Mormon" churches running side by side, the one defined in D&C 10:67, and the one defined in verse 68, a counterfeit desperately vying for control over over the people of Christ. Things are getting so crazy that maybe it IS time for all who will not be controlled by the arm of flesh to abandon the corporation and seek the Lord on their own terms.

I respect those who choose to stay and try and make a go of it, but I respect those who choose to move on as well.

Either way, it should be noted that no one I know of is interested in starting some new church. They desire only to follow Christ, nothing more. If they can do so unmolested within the current atmosphere in their LDS wards, so much the better.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Log,
I don't wish to belabor this discussion on whether the Lord condones lying, other than to point out that the incident I had in mind when you started this thread was the case of the Hebrew Midwives in Exodus one. The Pharoah had commanded the midwives to kill all the newborn Israelite males, but they wouldn't do it. Instead they assisted in the births of the children as always.

When the Pharoah demanded an accounting, the midwives lied and told him that the Hebrew women were so vigorous that the babies were quickly born before the midwives had a chance to arrive. The scripture tells us that the Lord blessed them. So it sure looks to me as though there are some instances where the Lord condones lying, particularly when His people are threatened by those who would do them evil.

Of course, as I conceded earlier, this could have been a mistranslation and God actually punished those women for lying to the Pharoah. But I kinda doubt it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I also recall the Book of Mormon records spies operating for the Nephites during wartime. It would seem to me that spying involves a degree of dishonesty, if not outright lying, and I don't recall God condemning them.

Log said...

Rock,

The issue that you and I are discussing has nothing whatever to do with the Lord condoning lying; that's a red herring on your part. The issue is the Lord himself directing Abraham to prevaricate in precisely the manner you are condemning Nelson for.

As I said, this issue is easily resolved, but the resolution doesn't end with Nelson being condemnable for prevarication; that can't be done without condemning God.

And also see D&C 19 for more of the Lord's prevarication.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Throway Account,
The account by the sister in Cedar City was related by her on local fellowship group; Because many of the members of that group use their real names, and because the Churh appears to be on a witch hunt, the group is closed so those members can maintain their anonymity.

I am personally aware of MANY similar incidents; I used that one only because it was the most recent. Bishops calling members in for a talk lately don't seem to have been shy about telling those members about the instructions they received at the Southwest Regional Conference, as several cited that as their source.

Faithful members found partaking of the sacrament at home with family -which any family patriarch has authority to perform- are subject to varying degrees of discipline, including -amusingly- being put on probation for a time and not being allowed to take the sacrament at church.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Perceval,
I agree that the "Church" (i.e. the Corporation of the President) has enough assets to last a very long time. Whether it bears any resemblance to the religious society founded by Joseph Smith in fifty years is the question. It's already becoming way too involved in investments and acquisitions to be considered a mere "church", but then it is doing what any smart corporation would do if it wishes to survive into the future: it diversifies and expands its interests.

The problem as I see it is this level of diversification does not seem appropriate for a church, let alone the one church that claims to be guided by Jesus Christ.

But if the goal is for the corporation to perpetuate itself, it's on the right track. As long as fate doesn't interfere in the form of an economic catastrophe. In that event both the Corporate Sole of the Pope AND the Corporate Sole of the President will likely not be around very long at all.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Deelyn,
I know very little about Bishop Koyle, so I couldn't tell you if he believed in polygamy or not. At any rate, I did not see any references to the practice in the lists of predictions I've read.

You may be thinking of Ogden Kraut, who wrote about Koyle and chronicled some of the bishop's predictions. Kraut was a polygamist, and as someone above pointed out, an incredible source of little-known church history and doctrines. Although I don't share Kraut's Fundamentalist beliefs, he is a very credible regarding what Church leaders such as Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, et al taught and believed. His book "The gospel and the Church" was a seminal influence on my first recognizing that the two have been artificially conflated in the false narrative I was taught growing up.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood said,
"When Thomas S. Monson was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve, I think you'll find three others were too; making a total of four. So your 1906 statistic is inaccurate Rock."

My 1906 statistic, which I got from information provided to KUTV from a Church spokesperson, referred to three apostles dying in close proximity to one another and leaving three vacancies, I did make reference to the sustaining of three others. Here is the text of that release:

“Salt Lake City — (KUTV) Elder Richard G. Scott is the third member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to die in the last few months. Elder L. Tom Perry passed away at the end of May and then just a short time later President Boyd K. Packer - died.

That means there are three vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve which has not happened since 1906 according to a church spokesman.”

Even still, When Monson was sustained, no others were sustained any time close to the same time he was, as you assert. As Gary Hunt points out above, "Thomas S. Monson was the only apostle sustained on October 4, 1963. Prior to Monson, N. Eldon Tanner was sustained on October 11, 1962. The next apostle sustained after him was Boyd K. Packer. Packer was sustained on April 6, 1970, which was approximately 6 ½ years later."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Correction: The sentence above should read "I did NOT make reference to the sustaining of three others."

Kai Gorbahn said...

DeeLynn,

My name is Kai Gorbahn.

I am 25 years old, and a month ago I returned from serving a mission in San Jose, California.

I've followed your comments for years now. From blog to blog they've popped out at me and resonated like none else. Usually you've posted under 'Anonymous', or Anon23, or Lilli, or LK. I could always tell it was you.

I want to thank you for your testimony of the true gospel & teachings of Jesus Christ. I honestly feel that you have periodically changed my life, and helped me learn the lessons I was desperately seeking to figure out. I believe in true love... the kind of love that's unconditional and everlasting. The pure Christ-like love. All I want is to be possessed of it. One day I hope to love my future spouse completely & unconditionally, a seemingly impossible task when you look at the world around us. But we know that with God all things are possible.

Thank you for all your many words. None went to waste. Of course, they weren't your words, but the things Christ taught. But the scriptures are so big and vast. It's easy to get lost in them. So thank you for magnifying what the gospel truly is.

Another like you,
kaigorbahn@gmail.com

funakoshi said...

@kaigorbahn
www.mormonhookup.com

Robin Hood said...

Rock,
I stand corrected.... I think.
There is a clip on Youtube which clearly shows all four being sustained to the Quorum at the same time. Not sure of the context though so I will defer to your view at this point.

Lester said...

I don't know if it's evidence of the Church collapsing but a recent policy change at BYU-I suggests a continuing love of official dominion and compulsion. This from the Bare Record of Truth blog: Henceforth, students who fail to attend at least three Sunday worship services per semester will be expelled from the university! It would be one thing if LDS worship services were more than the colorless, lumpy pablum of recycled conference talks that often side-step the actual gospel taught in the scriptures, but forcing kids to Sunday meetings in order to continue their studies seems like one more misstep in the folly of the gentiles.

http://barerecord.blogspot.com/

funakoshi said...

@Lester
How would they keep track of attendance? I guess you swipe your TR card at the door? What if you don't hold a TR? What if you attend *gasp* a Catholic service? What if you watch Creflo Dollar on TV? Anyway... this will be fun to watch.

Lester said...

Like in the ancient Jewish church, @funakoshi, BYU-I will come to fixate pathologically on the outward observances. Your question exposes a policy close to impossible to enforce.

funakoshi said...

@Lester
It will be a hoot the first time BYU-I tries to kick a kid out for missing services. 1. The letter already has loopholes for extenuating circumstances. 2. According to the letter, the kids only agreed in writing to attend church, not to attend regularly. 3. There's no foolproof way for anybody to keep track that can't be challenged. 4. It's just a scare tactic; it has no teeth.

Lester said...

Clark Gilbert, the new president of BYU-I, has successfully served as the dean of the Harvard Business School for 10 years but how will he do herding cats as the kids in Rexburg look for ways to beat the requirement to attend Sunday services at least three times a semester?

funakoshi said...

That's why God made laptops. So you can do your homework during sacrament meeting. Multi-tasking for the Lord!

trunktales said...

I would bet the policy change about baptism has a whole more to do with the church not wanting two dads on the baptismal record than trying to save face with Warren Jeffs.

Colt H. said...

I still maintain that one of the reasons is of not wanting the children of Homosexual parents is that the church won't be able to control the narrative that gay marriage destroys families. But if the church allowed children of Homosexual parents to become members and attend when they grow up they'd see that the children are good moral kids, and that they do have loving homes being taught morals. In effect I know that it would cause members to either question or accept homosexuals and homosexual marriage as easily as one would accept interracial marriages.

Jared Mata said...

There's no such a thing as personal revelation. There are two kinds of revelation: those which provide doctrinal information and the will of God for the benefit of His children and those which especifically provide church goverment information. Everyone (including the president of the church) can receive revelations of the first kind but only the president of the church can receive revelations of the second kind and this only in times of rightousness for in times of apostasy, a prophet (from inside or outside church hierarchy) would be sent with revelation calling the church to repentance. So in my opinion there's no personal revelation (the term isn't even mentioned in scriptures).

funakoshi said...

@Jared

"There is no personal revelation..."

Apparently, the LDS Church disagrees with you.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1994/10/personal-revelation-the-gift-the-test-and-the-promise?lang=eng

funakoshi said...

Hey Rock,

What would be the theological, procedural, ceremonial, role, etc. implications if LDS temple sealings were applied to same sex couples.

For example, if the male half of the sketch must be a priesthood holder, and two women were sealed, this would be an issue. Traditionally the male is the "head" of the house in LDS culture. If the male has to call his wife through the veil, and there were two men or two women. Stuff like that. At the very least, it seems a lot of stuff would need to be re-cast for gender neutrality.

Maybe the church could use the "genderless pronoun" trick a gay friend told me about: Instead of "she's coming for the weekend" say "they're coming for the weekend".

I suppose theological issues might be that when the two males or two females started their own planet, they'd need some way of producing spirit babies. Maybe they will have surrogate mothers and artificial insemination in heaven.

This is an amusing exercise, but when I think how LDS stuff hinges on gender roles, I think this might be yet another reason for LDS resistance to same sex marriages.

The LDS church is kind of unique in its idea that marriage continues in heaven, people continue to have sex in heaven, people give birth in heaven, and so forth. Other denominations say there's no marriage in heaven and no sex since we'll all be angels. That view certainly avoids a lot of difficult questions.

Enjoy your blog,
funakoshi


Log said...

There is a rational basis for resistance to homogamy.

funakoshi said...

@log

I meant as an intellectual exercise only, not arguments for or against.

If same sex temple sealings were allowed (hypothetically) what would be the effect, changes needed, etc.

Jared Mata said...

No, just their leaders and members of the correlation comitee

Robin Hood said...

Rock,
I have checked it out and you were right and I was wrong.
This has never happened before.
I'm stunned.

Jake said...

I may or may not agree with you Jared. For something something something. For the stuff and bla bla bla. For if you this and that, bla bla bla. For something and bla... and more bla. For you will bla and something stuff.

Everyone on all of these blogs, please stop starting sentences with the word "For" unless its "For example," You sound like butt-hats trying to wax scriptural. For your point surely is made without it, I can see it in my minds-eye, and with every fiber of my being.

Jake said...

I am aware I would fail HS English, but that word and those stupid phrases that everyone uses sound silly and you wont be take seriously.

thanks.

funakoshi said...

Congratulations on your pointless rant!

For he's a jolly good fellow,
For he's a jolly good fellow,
For he's a jolly good fellow,
Which nobody can deny.
Which nobody can deny,
Which nobody can deny,
For he's a jolly good fellow,
Which nobody can deny.

Jake said...

Well played funakoshi!

For this has just been building up and I had to say something.

Jared Mata said...

No hay tal cosa como revelación personal. Hay dos tipos de revelación: aquellas que proveen informacion doctrinal así como la voluntad de Dios para el beneficio de Sus hijos, y aquellas que específicamente proveen información sobre el gobierno de la iglesia. Todos (incluyendo el presidente de la iglesia) podemos recibir revelaciones del primer tipo pero solo el presidente de la iglesia puede recibir revelaciones del segundo tipo y esto solo en tiempos de rectitud pues en tiempos de apostasía un profeta (de dentro o fuera de la jerarquía de la iglesia) seria enviado con una revelación llamando a la iglesia al arrepentimiento. De modo que en mi opinión no existe la revelación personal (el término ni siquiera es mencionado en las escrituras).

Espero que en español te sea mas entendible mi comentario.

funakoshi said...

@jared
Your comment in Spanish is exactly the same as it was in English. I'll repeat what I said before: there are numerous entries on www.lds.org claiming that personal revelation is an official teaching of the LDS Church. Of course, it's your right to disagree with the official stance of the LDS Church.

Jared Mata said...

Lo decía por el chico For.

I said it for the For guy.

Dox said...

@Jared

I actually disagree 180 degrees. I think there is ONLY "personal" revelation. Yes, personal is not used in the scriptures, but it accurately describes the kinds of revelatory events described throughout the pages. Institutions don't get revelation, people do.

Joseph Smith describes the ultimate revelation, and I'm not sure there IS anything more "personal" ( Relating to an individual; affecting individuals; peculiar or proper to him or her, or to private actions or character.)

Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions--Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn.

Jake said...

@Jared

Typically those using "For" at the beginning of a sentence on all of these blogs are senior citizens (a bit of ageism here) attempting to make their statement sound more dramatic or authoritative (think conference speak). While it is more than acceptable to start a sentence with a conjunction, it's distracting to "For guy." Why? (no one cares right?) Well someone is making a good point, then it starts to sound like they are typing something out of an Ensign from the 1970's... if they were a thing then.

Tracking?

I still heart you.

That's all.

Jake said...

If your a senior citizen... then I guess im just a jerk, sorry.

Jared Mata said...

Of course the most important revelations we can have are the ones that provide the will of God for ourselves, Joseph Smith said that reading other's revelations is not sufficient to save us. But there is a reason why we are part of a church or, as Paul says, members of one body: so that we can benefit others with our revelations. Suppose God sends a prophet to call the LDS church to repentance: obviously it would be far more important for that prophet to know the will of God about him (or her), but his (her) message to us would be independant of that and we would never start our path to get the second comforter if we don't receive it.

Jared Mata said...

The term personal revelation is used by GA's to mantain the idea that no individual besides them can receive revelation beyond his/her affairs. So acording to them the most you can receive rom God besides your testimony of the church is what career you should study, if you should go on a mission, who you should marry, etc. I think there is no scriptural support for this limitation.
Rock mentioned the term when referring to the Unpublished revelations (obviously in a different meaning) so I wanted to propose a little analysis about ir.

Miguel Aveiro said...

Thanks for your reply Rock.

I still think it's strange, not to mention dumb, to have "coming closer to Christ" as a code word; as this can happen for lots of reasons.

Colt H. said...

So can children just receive a blessing without a record being opened? Or is it an all or nothing?

The reason I ask is that my family are still members, as is my fiancée's, although we are not. We wouldn't have that much of a problem with it if our families wanted to give any child if we had one the blessing, however I will forbid it if they do open up a record.

Robin Hood said...

Of course they will open a record.
That is one of the stated purposes - to give the child a name by which he/she will be known upon the records of the church.

Log said...

Ah. Elder Holland hasn't devoted his life to a fairy tale; he's not stupid.

I wish there was video of this one; I'd like to know what the contextual precursor was.

ldsawakening said...

Rock,

Two thoughts to consider:

1. Joseph Smith either lied, prevaricated, or both in regards to his secret practice of plural marriage, while publicly denying it and even fighting it. Even if his polygamous sealings were nonsexual, he was still misleading the saints with his public denials.

2. The brethren are only in the wrong in expelling people who have been rebaptized and joined a fellowship if Denver Snuffer is a true prophet. If he's a false prophet they have every right (and even the responsibility) to erradicate his followers and teachings from among the saints.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Jared Mata,
That was news to me that the term "personal revelation" is not found in our scriptures. In pioneer days, what we now call "personal revelation" was referred to as "continuing revelation" which has caused no small amount of confusion, because in modern times "continuing revelation" or "continuous revelation" is normally thought of as those things that come from the mouth of the president of the Church.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood,
I am stunned myself that you would admit to having made an error. I'll have to even things up between us by admitting an error of my own -if I ever make any.

Glad we're still friends,

Rock

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Miguel said,
"I still think it's strange, not to mention dumb, to have "coming closer to Christ" as a code word; as this can happen for lots of reasons."

Yep. Just more evidence of how utterly paranoid some of the leaders are becoming at the thought of losing control over the members. Members aren't allowed to "come unto Christ" without doing it through them as the middlemen any more than they are allowed to partake of the sacrament absent supervision by their bishop. And heaven forbid anyone recommit to Christ through baptism without first getting an interview with their bishop!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Colt, You can always give your baby a blessing at home with family present. That's the proper way anyway. It's a patriarchal, family affair. I'm not sure when people started bringing that ordinance into the church meetings, but is sure isn't the traditional method. Babies can be blessed however and whenever you want to. It's not a "church" thing, it's a family thing.

I wonder when we'll start having the whole ward present during the birthing process.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

If you want to have your child's name on the records of the church, all you have to do is walk up to the ward clerk and tell him, "We just had a baby. His name is Mahonri Moriancumr. Will you please put him into the computer?"

(And by the way, never name your baby Mahonri Coriantumr. Even if your last name is Coriantumr.)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDS Awakening,

1. As you may be aware, I completely reject the notion that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. My position is based on the fact that no contemporary evidence has ever been produced to suggest his involvement. What he did teach, repeatedly and vigorously, was that if anyone, even a prophet preached such a damnable heresy, you could put that person down as a demon from the fiery pit.

2. No one who is rebaptized has "joined" any fellowships, or anything remotely resembling a church or religious society. What we call fellowships are simply informal gatherings among friends of like-mind. There are no leaders at these gatherings, nor are any led by any prophet, least of all Denver Snuffer. No one conducts any sort of meeting, and no one stands at a pulpit and preaches.

You may as well say that people who get together on occasion with friends for a barbecue or family reunion have started a church. If you've ever shown up at one of these Very informal parties, you would think it nonsensical that such a gathering of friends constitutes apostasy from the church.

For as long as I've been aware, the Church has been suspicious of members getting together in each other's homes and allowing the discussion to wander onto gospel topics. They have tried to discourage such gatherings. The need to control others practicing their right to assemble is telling indeed. How dare they discuss religion without an authorized member of the bishopric present!

zomarah said...

"I wonder when we'll start having the whole ward present during the birthing process."

You have to make sure the entire baby came out. If not, they will need to be birthed again.

Colt H. said...

Imagine the scene.

"Brother Bill, the lord has seen fit to bless your wife with lovely...assets."
"Bishop, what the lord gives, the lord takes."

Liberty Ghost said...

Rock
Maybe the reason the Church doesn't want you to attend these gatherings is because they tend to do the sacrament according to the scriptures, with wine and using the actual prayer. You should know that no-one except pharisees are allowed to re-modify the sacrament prayer and ordinances without revelation. I'm pretty sure it says so in the Holy Handbook.

Dale B.

Allisa Mint said...

I think I may need some divine revelation to help me figure out who is talking to whom and replying to what in this labyrinth of blog comments. So I'll just say that I totally agree with whatever Mr Waterman says and vehemently disagree with everyone else. So what if I'm kissing up a bit here, does that make me so wrong?

I was just over at Walmart shopping and people watching. If it turns out that we have a total US financial collapse later this year (say October) then it's my guesstimate that 70% of the people I saw will be dead within 90 days thereafter. Of course, I'm in Saint George, so...

DrabMatter said...

Rock,

Blessing children in front of the congregation probably comes from this:

D&C 20:70 Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name.

ldsanarchy said...

How Much Longer Before The Church Collapses?

It will only happen through an earthquake, so...I don't expect it to happen any time soon.

LDS Anarchist

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Drabmatter,
Thank you for that clarification from D&C 20:70.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Alisa Mint,
The spirit witnesseth to me that it is entirely appropriate for you to agree with whatever I say, and to vehemently disagree with everyone else.

(I'm still waiting for the spirit to provide a similar witness to my wife.)

ldsawakening said...

Rock,

1. I am aware that you fully reject the notion that Joseph Smith ever practiced plural marriage. If I'm not mistaken your position is largely based on the work of Richard and Pamela Price in their multiple volume series entitled "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy". I've actually read all of those volumes myself. The Prices certainly do a good job of documenting the lengths Joseph went to to publicly condemn the practice of spiritual wivery or polygamy. They make a decent case for the fact that Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy and I commend them for their efforts to uphold the good name of Joseph Smith.

Having said that their position is quite flawed. It depends on multiple conspiracies. The biggest being that Brigham Young and other members of the quorum of the 12 piggybacked spiritual wivery from John C Bennett, secretly spread it in Nauvoo, and then pinned the origin of it on Joseph Smith following his death. That's a pretty crazy proposition, especially when one looks at all of the evidence available (and not just what the Prices put forth). Even if that crazy conspiracy theory were actually true, there are quite a few other people (who had no affiliation with Brigham Young or the Utah saints) who testified that Joseph was involved with and even behind the practice of polygamy in Nauvoo. Though contemporary sources that tie Joseph to plural marriage are sparse, they're not nonexistent as you claim. William Clayton clearly documented Joseph's secret practice and teaching of plural marriage in his journal. Also William Law and others made the same claim in the Nauvoo Expositor. Then of course there's always the infamous John C. Bennett, who can't be completely ignored either.

2. Your comparison to the fellowships that have been formed under the instruction of Denver Snuffer to like-minded individuals getting together for a BBQ is kind of silly. Obviously there's more involved with these fellowships than people innocently getting together to discuss the gospel. These fellowships were formed under the direction of Denver Snuffer (who claims that the direction comes from the Lord). Even though Denver does not personally lead these fellowships he's behind them. Also if one has been rebaptized by the authority of the priesthood derived from the Denver proclaimed 7 women sustaining a man in the priesthood, then Denver is once again involved. All of these things are all fine and well if Denver is what claims to be, and is in fact a true prophet. If however he is a false prophet, then one being rebaptized and meeting regularly in one of the fellowships is a cause for concern and even action by the leadership of the church in order. It all comes down to whether or not Denver is a true prophet. If he is, it's all good. If he isn't there's a big problem. It appears that the brethren consider him a false prophet.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDS Awakening,

1. The last thing I want to do here is get into a lengthy back-and-forth on the polygamy question. That debate has proven to be a black hole, and only those who have thoroughly and honestly explored the question of contemporary evidence can have a grasp on it.

There remains absolutely NO evidence while Joseph was living that he practiced what he repeatedly referred to as an "abomination", though of course the practice of it by Brigham and the Cochranite converts was an open secret. Joseph denounced the practice repeatedly and vowed to stamp it out; unfortunately he was dead three weeks after he made that vow.

Your effort at citing journals and diaries of Joseph's contemporaries on the topic is meaningless, because those people did not keep daily journals as we think of them. They often made those entries years and even decades AFTER the event they are describing, and they had motivation to fabricate and stretch the truth. )(Jeff Riggenbach's excellent historical analysis shows that fabricating history was rampant in 19th century America, so Mormon pioneers were not alone in this practice.) Almost everything we think we know about Joseph Smith and polygamy, such as the ridiculous story of an angel appearing to Joseph and threatening him with a flaming sword, appeared up to forty years AFTER Joseph's death, much too late for him to comment about. These stories are nothing but hearsay, repeated endlessly, and non-Mormon historians would scoff at our readiness to buy into such unsubstantiated nonsense. I say we should go by what Joseph actually taught, not by the words of those who had much to gain by lying. Our doctrines are not developed in the dark.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDS Awakening, (Continued)

2. What we have come to call "Fellowships" were not developed "under the direction of Denver Snuffer" as you put it, but he did suggest that like-minded people gather together for the purpose of preserving the Restoration, as the Corporate Church has abandoned the idea of Zion communities. However, you appear to suffer under the same misunderstanding of what a "prophet" is as the leaders of the LDS Church do, thinking that because a man may be a prophet, he is therefore some kind of leader of a movement. It's an understandable mistake, as every time someone like Warren Jeffs appears on the scene, he announces himself as the "true" leader whom everyone should follow. Denver Snuffer rejects the idea that anyone should follow him or look to him for instruction. In fact, if anything gets his goat, its people like you insisting he is running things when managing others is the last thing he wants to do. Denver Snuffer gave a series of 10 lectures, and during the last lecture he offered suggestions that listeners were free to implement on their own, or not. He is not involved, as he recently explained in an interview with Jana Reiss:

"The “movement” (if it can be called that) is not owned by me. The participants are independently motivated, and I exert no control over anyone.

"No one sustains me, or accepts me as their leader. I don’t ask or expect them to, and I don’t believe that I am above criticism or that what I say can’t be challenged. Everyone is free to believe according to the dictates of their own conscience. Our common ground only has to be a belief in Christ, in baptism, in receiving the Holy Ghost, and the need for repentance. Everything else is open for discussion."

- See more at: http://janariess.religionnews.com/2016/01/26/8-questions-for-denver-snuffer-excommunicated-mormon-explains-growth-of-new-movement/#sthash.rMq6k4wR.dpuf



Our own scripture dictionary describes a prophet as one who has the testimony of Christ. I believe Denver Snuffer has demonstrated that testimony. That does not mean I or anyone else deigns to follow him. We follow Jesus Christ as revealed in scripture. Denver continues to blog and express opinions, but he is no more leader of a movement than I am. Indeed, anyone who tries to "take charge" of any of these gatherings by insisting, for instance, that "we have to do it this way or that way" is either ignored or reminded that they are free to conduct themselves as they wish, and govern their own family as they wish, but they cannot impose their rules on others.

In the first century, Christians gathered together in each other's homes as confraternities of like-minded people. The same informal system was in place during the early LDS period -when do you hear of Sunday chapel meetings taking place in Nauvoo? You don't, because whatever we think of today as "church" was represented in those days as small groups of neighbors simply gathering together to worship, sing, pray, or just hang out.

As with the primitive Christian churches, gatherings of neighbors in Missouri and Nauvoo and pioneer Utah would get together to socialize, partake of the sacrament, discuss doctrines, sing, pray -whatever. I've been to a fellowship meeting in Utah, and I've begun attending one off and on here in California, and I can tell you they bear no resemblance to the structured meetings I was raised on, yet these gatherings are much more edifying, instructive, and fun to be part of. And if you were to wander into one of these get-to-gethers (and yes, like any social gathering people come and go as they please; or wander into another room to join a different conversation), you would realize that no one in this "movement" has any desire to start any kind of "church" whatsoever. Members of Christ's church are already defined in D&C 10:67; no one sees any need to improve on what already is, nor to organize something that requires no organizing.

Log said...

... Or they wander into other rooms to avoid conversations.

This is all nonsense to the "awakening" [sic] TBM. All they care about is who's running the show down here, just as their spiritual forbearers, the Pharisees, in ancient Judea. And someone has to be running the show, you see. Nature abhors a power vaccuum. All this idealistic talk about egalitarian faiths is just so much air - and to them, you're obviously lying, Rock, as is Snuffer. Do you not know religion is all about compliance with authority? And do you not know the whole point of being "prophet" is to boss people around? And do you not know a testimony of Jesus is reserved for those in the chief seats?

Sheesh. It's like you know nothing about the principle of leadership, Rock - there must always be a leader, and those who follow him who aren't, and just can never be, as competent or as knowledgeable as he is. That's just how the Kingdom of God rolls.

Closet atheists. To them, God, if he's "believed" in, is considered much as we consider the sun - far away, impersonal, unrelatable, and unresponsive. All they know about God is the Leadership of the Church, which is to say they know nothing.

Log said...

Obvious sarcasm was obvious, I hope.

Inequality marks the kingdom of the devil, where it is all about who controls whom, and who is in control. That's why members of his kindgom care so mightily about power and authority and claims thereto.

Allisa Mint said...

Mr Waterman,

I have a few months of contract work in Sacramento this June. I'm gonna make a point of driving over and sitting down with you and Mrs Waterman (even without an authorized member of the bishopric present =-O ) for a face to face discussion about how we can save the world. We will shine! Just look down after answering your door as I'm kind of a short stack but you won't miss the electric neon hair.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Alisa,
It will be great to meet you in person! Please contact me privately on Facebook chat, or email me at Rockwaterman@gmail.com.

Allisa Mint said...

Log,

great comment. And I'm still laughing about the comparison you made with Puzzle, a while back.

I see the devil's kingdom as a pyramidal hierarchal shape in which the top 1% keeps the power, wealth and information for themselves and their minions while keeping the lower 99% in fear, darkness, poverty and desperately trying to comply with the endless regulations.

In contrast, Zion seems shaped like a sphere:
Therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free and partakers of the heavenly gift. 4 Nephi 1:3

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Log, I did indeed get the sarcasm.
Those of us who grew up in the Church have been conditioned to believe that a prophet HAS TO be in charge of everybody, or as you put it, the whole point of being a prophet in this church is to "boss people around."

Until a latter-day Saint has experienced a true awakening, they don't seem able to think of a prophet as anything other than the authority figure. In this skewed view we were raised to buy into, someone HAS to be in charge, otherwise you don't have a church.

Well, someone IS in charge of His church, and anybody else who tries to get between us and the Master is a usurper, plain and simple. The Corporation of the President may require a president at its head, but the rest of us do not need some mortal "presiding" over us to make certain we're worshiping God in the approved manner.

ldsawakening said...

Rock,

1. Yes debating polygamy can be a black whole when people have opposite views and are unwavering in their positions towards Joseph Smith's involvement in it. I personally haven't made my mind up as to what I believe went down in Nauvoo, but the evidence certainly points to Joseph having practiced plural marriage (regardless if those unions included the possibility of sexual relations or not). It's a concrete fact that he was sealed to women besides Emma, and as far as we know he never clarified those sealings as anything other than marriages. Even if they were not intended to be marriages (even if just in the next life), he was not open about what he was doing. By merely denying having more than wife, instead of clarifying what he was doing he was intentionally misleading the saints.

2. I can see that you (and apparently your buddy Log) think I somehow have this idea that Denver Snuffer is ruling over or controlling members of the "movement". I'm fully aware that he repeatedly denys trying to lead anything and that he largely takes a hands off approach. Unlike what Log's obnoxious sarcasm was implying ( that I only view true prophets as have to lead or control people), I understand that isn't the role of a prophet. A prophet's role is to speak for God and deliver His message and to do whatever else the Lord requires of him.

Having said that Denver has boldly declared that anyone who rejects him as a true messenger (aka prophet) of the Lord will be damned. That is placing himself in between people and the Lord.

I do see many wonderful benefits to the fellowship. I see nothing wrong the concept and practice of it. But do you honestly believe that these fellowships would have formed all over the place without Denver Snuffer? Do you honestly think that all these people would have gotten rebaptized if not for Denver Snuffer? Come on now, you're trying to minimize his role in the movement. He's big part of it and you know it.

ldsawakening said...

Log,

I saw your comments before you deleted them. You were wise to remove them. It's not kind to falsely accuse someone of being a lier.

Log said...

The accusation was not, and is not, false. You are a liar. You first accused Snuffer of directing the formation of fellowships, and then you walked that accusation back to claim Snuffer as simply an influence on the formation of fellowships rescue yourself from the charge of lying about Snuffer directing the formation of fellowships. That is part of the liar's art, known as shifting grounds, or moving the goalposts.

If you claim the Leadership of the Church is comprised of prophets, then you are also lying about your "understanding" of the role of prophets not being to lead or control people, since you asserted they have the responsibility to eradicate Snuffer's followers and teachings from among the saints, which thing is leading or controlling people.

That's two lies from you just here and now, if you claim the Leadership of the Church is comprised of prophets, and at least one lie if you do not so claim.

I won't bother repeating my questions about Ordain Women, nor the plight of children who the Leadership of the Church have barred from baptism because of having the wrong lineage. You read the questions and wisely did not answer them.

I deleted the comments because I, quite frankly, tire of talking to liars such as yourself.

ldsawakening said...

Log,

Seriously? You're calling me liar? Grow up!

I didn't lie and I'm not back peddling. For the record I never even once accused Denver of being a false prophet.

My point was and still is that he claims to be a prophet who speaks for the Lord. He has declared himself to be the Lord's messenger and that those who do not accept him as such will be damned. He is the one who started the movement by giving his 40 years in mormonism lecture series, advising people to form fellowships, and telling them that the Lord requires people to get rebaptized through the priesthood authority that he has rested from the church. He has claimed to quote the Lord personally when he issued the direction for the requirement that 7 women sustain a man in the priesthood (which by the way can't be justified from the scriptures).

Based on these actions and the claims he makes to have been ministered to by many angles and had multiple audiences with Christ (and even with the Father) he is either a true prophet or a false one.

Yes he claims he's not leading anyone and yes he doesn't personally take the lead when he attends various fellowships (at least from what I hear), but he's still leading the movement in a similar way that Moses lead the children of Israel or that Joseph Smith led the early saints. How is he leading you might ask? Well he claims to speak for Christ (at least he has on several occasions). He claims the lectures were given to him by Christ in person. If all of these claims he makes are true only a fool would dismiss what he has to say. He's new fool, he knows that. Many people have been rebaptized and many meet in fellowships. Clearly these people are following the words of Denver Snuffer because they believe those words come from Christ.

So once more I will try to explain the significance of Denver Snuffer. If Denver Snuffer is a true prophet then the leadership of the church is in big, big trouble for casting him out and those that have followed his council to be rebaptized and form fellowships. If however Denver is a false prophet their actions are justified (at the very least much more justified).

It doesn't matter whether or not the brethren exhibit the fruits of being prophets, seers, and revelators. That's irrelevant to whether or not Denver Snuffer is a prophet. You're trying to point at the brethren and make assumptions about my views towards them in order to avoid addressing the very logical issue with Denver Snuffer and the movement that I've put forth.

Perhaps its easier for you to resort to name calling and changing the subject than to come out and disprove my position. If you can't be civil then the least you can do is stay out of my conversation with Rock.

Log said...

I didn't lie and I'm not back peddling.

I cited you doing both. And here you are doubling down - you lied, and you backpedaled, and now you are compounding it by lying again.

For the record I never even once accused Denver of being a false prophet.

Another tool from the liar's art - the red herring, or changing the subject in the hopes the original one will be dropped. Denver's being a false prophet has not heretofore been an issue I have raised or addressed. The rest of your comment follows the red herring.

And I'm not pointing at the Leadership of the Church for any other reason than to say that you have lied about your "understanding" concerning the role of prophets if you acknowledge the Leadership of the Church is comprised of prophets, as I have before mentioned. You, and the rest of the audience, may note this has no reference to the Leadership of the Church exhibiting fruits of any kind, but solely has reference to the categories they may be placed into - in this case, the category of "prophets". So you're offering another red herring by altering the subject away from their categorization as prophets, and towards their exhibiting of fruits; again, you're applying the liar's art.

As I said, I tire of talking to lying liars that lie, such as yourself.

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

As Joseph was reputed to have said: "No one can ever enter the celestial kingdom unless he is strictly honest."

ldsawakening said...

Log,

I'm sorry you feel the way you do. I'm not a liar, everything I've said is the truth to the best of my knowledge. Just for your information I have not made up my mind one way or the other about Denver Snuffer and I'm still trying to figure out what the deal is with the brethren. You can call me a liar all you want, but that doesn't make it true. I honestly don't know why you feel the need to tear me down. Maybe it's because you feel threatened by what I say. It doesn't really matter. I'm not going to participate in your little game of cat and mouse any more. I'm done talking to you until you treat me with some common decency. So feel free to wrip me a new one and have the last word, because I'm done playing your little game.

Log said...

"I'm sorry you feel the way you do" is a condescending non-apology - it means "I'm right, and you're irrational, and I'm trying to make you go away." I think it is fair to characterize a non-apology as a lie, for it is clear you aren't sorry in the slightest.

You are indeed a liar, for the reasons I have explicitly explained, and which you won't address, and wisely: you can't.

I don't feel any need to tear you down; I simply dislike lies, and have an interest in educating people on how to spot lies and the lying liars who lie them. You have helpfully provided examples, both of lying, and lying attempts at self-justification.

If you would cease playing "my" game, it's simple: stop lying.

Speaking of common decency, the Nephites punished liars (Alma 1:17). If I were Rock, I would ban liars once it was shown they were lying. And it appears God isn't too fond of liars, either.

JST Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.

Log said...

When I see someone lying, I start checking all their assertions, inasmuch as I have power - and if I don't have power to check, I simply ignore everything they assert.

So, I noted this assertion: "For the record I never even once accused Denver of being a false prophet."

I gotta ask, is this character "MC" you, "ldsawakening"? Because when I click on MC's Gravatar, it shows up under "ldsawakening." Whoever MC is, he acts like he's the proprietor of your blog, thanking people for commenting and the like.

And look what MC says.

It’s interesting that the watcher was the first one to comment on the loss of the fulness verified in D&C 124. Denver Snuffer basically ripped him off and has taken all the credit for it. It’s one of the many fruits of Denver Snuffer that show that he is not the true messenger he and his followers claim he is. I could rattle off a lot of other evidences as well.... It’s not until one really investigates his teachings and personal conduct that one can see the holes.

I think it's like saying "I'm not calling you a murderer, but you just intentionally killed someone without justification." But that's precisely what is meant by "murderer," isn't it? What else does "false prophet" mean if it doesn't mean "not [a] true messenger he ... claim[s] he is"?

Log said...

Please note, folks, the issue isn't whether Snuffer is a true prophet, a false prophet, or some other third kind of prophet, but whether ldsawakening is a liar.

ldsawakening said...

Log,

I really wish I could just put your childish game behind me, but since you insist on more personal attacks I will try to set the record straight.

Yes I am the same person who also goes by MC and has a blog set up called ldsawakening. There was no deception intended with my not using my typical screen name to comment on Rock's blog. Other blogs allow me to manually enter in my screen name as MC when I put in my wordpress username to comment. Rock's blog does not. So I would have had to create a new account to use the screen name MC. I reiterate there was no deception intended. I would have used my usual screen name if I could have.

Yes I have made comments in other places about Denver Snuffer appearing to me to be a false prophet based on my examination of his fruits. I have been back and forth about my position on him and am at this point still very much undecided about whether I think he's a false prophet or a true one. If being indecisive and leaning towards him being a false prophet based on what I know about his fruits makes me a liar then so be it. Again there was no deception intended.

Please stop trying to tear me down. Your behavior towards me is not at all Christlike. If this is the fruit of someone who accepts Denver as a prophet, then he certainly is failing in his attempts to bring people to Christ.

Log said...

Let us see what Christlike behavior towards liars is.

JST John 8

43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot bear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.


and

54 Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing; it is my father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God;

55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him; and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you; but I know him, and keep his saying.


Seems it is kosher, pardon the pun, to call liars liars.

Again: I'm simply pointing out you are a liar. If you wish to not be called a liar for lying, stop lying. It's really that simple. Once you stop lying, then you won't have to worry about getting caught for lying, and you wouldn't have to lie by saying it's unChristlike to call attention to your lying, neither would you feel to seek to manipulate by whining (in essense) "if you don't stawp calling me a liar I won't believe in Denver Snuffer!"

Lying liars lie - and manipulate. That's just what they do.

Log said...

For the record, claiming to have never accused Snuffer of being a false prophet while having accused Snuffer of being a false prophet is lying - the intent of lying, of course, is to deceive.

It is not a personal attack to note a lying liar is telling lies, and it is not a personal attack to illustrate the fact that the liar is lying by reference to the liar's lies.

A personal attack would be "your breath is bad therefore your argument is invalid."

And because you are a liar, it would probably be wise for any assertion you make to be checked. You simply cannot be trusted.

That's the price of telling lies.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Holy Smokes, you two! How about we take the volume down a bit?

Steven Lester said...

Religious doctrine can justify any kind of behavior, Christian or otherwise. It's so convenient that way.

Log said...

Does the truth offend you, Lester? Shall everyone be compelled to walk on eggshells lest you deride them?

What doctrine justifies you, if it isn't religious? Whose will are you doing, and why?

Randy and Julie said...

How about dropping it altogether? Agree to disagree and move on. This finger pointing and name calling is childish and nobody but you two seems to care. If you can't be civil, don't post. Argument (or better yet, pissing contest) over and we can all go merrily on our ways.

Log said...

Calling people childish and pointing fingers at them while chiding them paternalistically for "name calling" and "pointing fingers" is interesting and revealing.

What do you think? Would you willingly live forever with liars, the passive-aggressive, or those that hypocritically try to shame you into conforming with their will?

If the answer is no, then why would you do it here? Wouldn't that be uncivil? What is civility if it isn't the rules by which civilization can endure?

mark moe said...

Rock, simple question.. Fanny Alger-- adultery in your mind?

(Since you state JS dined the practice polygamy).

Just curious... Not setting up a trap...

funakoshi said...

Thirded. Why don't you two exchange email and take it offline? If you want to argue about Rock's article, fine. Don't just go back and forth insulting each other.

Log said...

If someone finds it insulting to be called a liar for lying, the cure lies in not lying.

Those who don't want to read an exchange can simply not read the exchange.

Simple solutions to simple problems.

mormons son said...

I am amused and astounded at the lack of memory of some people, were "we not" warned not only by Joseph and Christ and the old apostles and prophets of our days, yet they oil-less brides are screaming I am not lost, for the moment just blind here in the darkness! Allow me to post something very apt in our days of trial and tribulation concerning the faith of some of us?...(New Testament | 1 Timothy 4:1)
NOW the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils
and
(Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 31:20)
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Rico said...

Alan,

The idea that the Church established by Jesus had apostatized from and collapsed is a strand of Protestant philosophy. Not all Protestants subscribe to this, and it is to their credit that they don't. Whoever believes in the so-called "great apostasy" of the Church eventually ends up shooting his own foot. Let me explain:

If the so-called great apostasy was true, how do we know that whatever church is formed afterwards to replace the apostate church is not itself in apostasy? How do we know that the restored church is not a perversion of the original? The answer is: we will never know. We have no way of knowing. We can try and reconstruct it based on our imagination, but that is no guarantee.

Back in January, in commenting about Robert Smith's book ("Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men") you said:

Oh, and if you didn't get the ramifications of the cover illustration, just think it through a bit. You may have heard of the painting of Christ on the wall of a church in Spain. (See the header illustration at the top of this page.) Over the decades the paint had been flaking off that painting, so the painting was "restored" by a woman whose tragic lack of ability was not recognized until it was too late. She did such a gosh-awful job of restoring the painting that photos of her abominable work circulated all over the internet, to both laughter and dismay.

So how does that woman's horrid attempt at retouching a classic artwork relate to tradition in Mormon thought? It has to do with what happens when some people think they know better than the artist, and set out to try and "fix" the original. Through the limits of the window of experience, along with willful ignorance of scripture and history, our Church leaders see flaking paint and decide to "fix" the doctrines, turning the church into a grotesque, comical caricature of the original.

Since none of us have actually seen the Church as it was established by Jesus in the first century, how do we know how the original is supposed to look like? Can the Bible help us firgure this out? As the Protestant experience will tell us, there as many different versions of the original church as there are Protestant sects and denominations out there.

If God allowed his Church to die out and disappear in the first century, neither the restoration by Joseph Smith nor the restoration of the restoration by Denver Snuffer will assure us that what we see is the original Church. Without the true Church to judge their works, they alone set themselves up as their own judges.

To deny that the Church fell away and apostatized is to deny Christ. For it was Christ himself who promised that when he builds his Church, the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). If the Church of Jesus died, we should not believe the claims of Christ. There's no point believing a false messiah. Let's all look for another savior.

Log said...

The only way to know one is a member of a church that is not in apostasy is to not be in apostasy from God oneself.

And the way to not being in apostasy from God is to be keeping all the commandments of Jesus.

Anyone who says differently is selling something - such as organizational or institutional snake oil.

Warren said...

“Religious history testifies that, with the single exception of the inhabitants of the City of Enoch, no people to whom the gospel has been given have remained faithful to their covenants for more than a few generations. Time after time the Lord has established his Church among a group who have lived his commandments for a few years and then fallen away thus bringing upon themselves his judgments.

This cycle of human folly which so many prophets have noted, has repeated itself with such consistent regularity, that any group which finds itself to be the favored recipients of the gospel would do well to assume that their own apostasy is certain and the only question about it is how long it will take.

. . . The fact that the Lord has found it necessary to restore his gospel so many times is in itself evidence of the regularity with which apostasy has occurred because the only thing which will cause the destruction of his Church is the wickedness of its members. . . . The prophet, Mormon, whose labors as a historian gave him an opportunity to observe the frequency of the righteousness-wickedness-punishment cycle, spoke of it as though it were a law of life which operates as a certain consequence of universal human weakness.

. . . The Church is in deep trouble because seldom, if ever, has any group been as prosperous as it is today. . . . After 140 years of growth, membership numbers in the millions, persecution has largely vanished, and instead of ostracism, members are, for the most part accepted and respected. . . . To fail to consider the possibility that the members of the church are again ‘falling away’ would be to ignore one of the most thoroughly documented lessons of history.”

(The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil [Published by H. Verlan Andersen, ©1972], pp. 178, 179, 180; paragraphing omitted.)

Allisa Mint said...

The current LDS church will collapse with the collapse of the central banking system because the two have become so deeply integrated. Most of the current crop of "red seats" will be gone then as will be our shiny idols that we intently worship all day long. The gospel will remain unchanged as it has since at least the time of Adam. The immortals such as the 3 Nephites, John and many holy men reserved unto the Lord will continue their work upon the earth. An organization of willing workers will quickly form to meet the severe needs, but it will be an organization far less top-down and more decentralized than we are presently experiencing.

funakoshi said...

"shiny idols that we intently worship all day long"

iPhones? :-)

Inspire said...

Log, you said,

"And the way to not being in apostasy from God is to be keeping all the commandments of Jesus" and then linked to your blog, stating that the commandments of Jesus include blessing one's enemy, doing good to those who use you, etc. I agree with this approach and glad you are declaring it.

But what of this "commandment" given by Jesus:

"Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee, and thou shalt be cast into prison. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost senine. And while ye are in prison can ye pay even one senine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, Nay."

Is this the payment that you refer to on your blog that is easier to pay here and apparently impossible to pay beyond this world? If so, please help me understand your approach of calling others liars (whether they are or not) and how that is considered walking a mile with someone and agreeing with them. This, of course, is assuming that you practice what you preach.

Thanks in advance.


PS - I'm not accusing you of anything here, just asking a question and trying to understand.

Log said...

Inspire,

When you can explain why you do not question Jesus's self-consistency for calling people liars and hypocrites, while you simultaneously question how I am consistent with Jesus's teaching in demonstrating the lies of others, then maybe I can help explain the point of your confusion.

Log said...

15 Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any; for thou regardest not the person of men.

17 Tell us, therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Ye hypocrites! why tempt ye me? Show me the tribute money.

19 And they brought unto him a penny.

20 He said unto them, Whose image is this, and superscription?

21 They said unto him, Caesar's. Then said he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar, the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's.


Please note - they weren't accusing him of anything here, just asking questions and trying to understand. Let him with ears to hear, hear.

Log said...

Incidentally, it is a curious thing to see that y'all seem quite incensed with calling a demonstrated liar a liar, but don't seem to care about liars telling lies.

It's like the label, and not the content, is what y'all care about.

What accounts for this interesting state of affairs?

Inspire said...

Log, if the implication is that I'm trying to entangle you in something, then you are free to go down that road, but I think those with true motives of wanting to understand are allowed to ask the question. You yourself on your blog said that the fictitious Answerer didn't know if you practice what you preach, and thereby asked. Hopefully one isn't condemned for being curious. Jesus says to ask and to knock. How else am I to understand?

So, to as to why I don't "question Jesus's self-consistency..." maybe I do, or at least have in the past. But here is my answer: Christ had the gift of discernment ("perceived their wickedness"). He knew who was coming to Him as Caesar and who was coming as a true seeker. He rendered to them the answer which belonged to them, which the best I can explain is the answer that belongs to Justice, since Mercy could not claim them (as they did not claim her).

Had one of Christ's true disciples asked the same question, perhaps He would have answered differently, or at least not called them hypocrites, for he would have known their true intent.

But in regards to you calling others liars, of course you are free to render to them according to whose image you perceive is on the coin. But Jesus is the only one I trust to know my heart, and to perceive if I am asking a question to ensnare or whatnot. He employs no servant or gatekeeper to do that, for He cannot be deceived. Apparently I can, and you can, and any other person standing near the gate.

So I get that you want to follow what Christ did, and thereby are Justified in your actions. In answering your question I have answered my own, so no need to continue if you don't want. Thanks for the exercise. It has been useful.

Log said...

We come to understanding by doing the commandments.

And the gifts of the Spirit come thereby as well.

D&C 46:8-9
8 Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;

9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.

Log said...

One of those gifts is discernment.

Look - so many words are expended on whether this or that person is or is not a true servant, or has had whatever experiences.

None of it matters if one is not oneself a true servant.

There is no other way to be a true servant than to serve - to do what has been asked.

And all we were asked to do is right there in the sayings of Jesus. Anything more than that will be told us directly by God, IF we will willingly bind ourselves voluntarily into obedience to his sayings, without excusing ourselves in the least thing, whatever men may think.

There is no other way nor means spoken of - just faith, repentance, and walking in the commandments until the end.

And there is no way to argue someone into it, for a man convinced against his will is of his original opinion still.

And if the truth isn't good enough for someone, then that's the end.

There is no point to discussing religion; we either do what God has asked, or we do not, and there is no known third way.

And if we don't believe in God, that's the end.

What else is there to say?

Either we believe and do, or we disbelieve and talk.

Allisa Mint said...

Log,

Would you please list all his commandments so I can check that I haven't missed any?

Log said...

As you wish.

All of them are included in "As ye would men should do to you, do ye also unto them likewise."

Zarel Revo said...

Same as it ever was.
D&C 101

2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;

3 Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.

4 Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son.

5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.

6 Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.

7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.

8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.

9 Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards them. I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.

Rico said...

Log said: "The only way to know one is a member of a church that is not in apostasy is to not be in apostasy from God oneself.

And the way to not being in apostasy from God is to be keeping all the commandments of Jesus.

Anyone who says differently is selling something - such as organizational or institutional snake oil."

=============

One of the commandments Jesus gave to his apostles before he ascended to his Father in heaven is the authority to forgive and absolve sins:

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:21-23)

When Jesus exercised this power to forgive sins, the Pharisees accused him of blasphemy saying "only God can forgive sins" (Mark 2:7). They were right about God's prerogative on forgiveness. But they were wrong on the accusation of blasphemy since God indeed sent Jesus, and gave him all power whether in heaven or on earth (Matthew 28:18). That power included the power to forgive sins.

So God sent Jesus, and Jesus sent his apostles. The power to forgive sins was also delegated by Jesus to them. After all, what's the use of giving them the keys of binding and loosing on earth as it is in heaven if those keys of the kingdom exclude the power to forgive sins (Matthew 18:18)? What's the point of preaching forgiveness through Jesus if his apostles cannot forgive sins? Jesus is no longer on earth. We have no visible sign from heaven to confirm that he has forgiven us.

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27) Yet how does one keep himself unspotted from the world? Baptism washes away sins (Acts 22:16). Unfortunately, after baptism, we fall into sin again. We commit things we know we shouldn't do (Romans 7:18-20). We are like dogs that lick its own vomit or pigs that return to the mud (2 Peter 2:22). How can these post- baptismal sins to be forgiven and remitted?

Well... How else but through those whom Christ bestowed the power to forgive sins?

As far as I know, Joseph Smith never possessed this power. Neither his Book of Mormon nor the rest of his writings ever indicate that he possessed and exercised this power. Joseph Smith was a product of the Protestants in his day, and Protestants deny the power to forgive sins. Just as he copied the errors of the KJV into his Book of Mormon, he also copied many of the errors of Protestantism.

Log, you are right that an apostate is one who does not follow Jesus' commandments. Unfortunately, if none of the leaders in your church have the power to forgive sins, then you are in apostasy. Most likely, you are still deeply submerged in unforgiven sins.

And everything you have claimed above is nothing but useless snake oil...

DeeLyn said...

Rico,

I agree that those who don't keep Christ's commandments are in apostasy, and thus that would include the leaders of the Church, past & present, including Joseph Smith, even if, as evidence suggests, that he was innocent of polygamy and only had 1 wife, Emma.

But we must remember that the so called 'words of Christ' were written down by very fallible men, many years after Christ had come and gone, and probably weren't even written by his Apostles. And when we see that even some of Christ's words contradict each other it even further suggests that the 'words of Christ' were tampered with, so as to put them all in doubt.

So the best we can do is just experiment upon those teachings and see which ones prove to be true and of worth. Fortunately Christ's commandments are merely 'science' and can be found to be the only way society can maintain love, freedom, peace and prosperity.

Thus we must also be very skeptical to think or believe that Christ gave power to forgive sin, to a few very fallible mortal men for a few short years. For it does not make sense or even sound like what a logical, fair and loving God would do. For what would be the reason God would give a few mortals the chance to be forgiven of their sins when all the rest of His children who ever lived would not have or need that forgiveness?

It is more logical and loving to think that Christ merely taught and 'reminded' us all of a few basic 'truths of the universe' for how to gain forgiveness ourselves straight from God by repentance and by living righteously, according to our conscience, meaning -the Golden Rule, which we all were born with inside our minds and hearts.

And it is to be expected that men would add to or try to use Christ's teachings for power, gain or control, by saying that Christ wanted to start a 'Church', when we know that according to Christ, and the Golden Rule, it's impossible for there to be any extra money to fund a 'Church', for 'all' our excess $ should go straight to the poor, not to those who want to preach to us. Any such preaching of the Gospel should be free and people allowed to gather at will with like-minded friends as is their natural inclination, not be confined to a particular group or church who's leaders almost never, if ever, live the commandments themselves.

Surely Christ understood how even any 'true church', founded on just His teachings, would quickly become corrupted by even well-meaning people/leaders even before it could have it's 1st gathering, simply because of the frailty and pride of the human mind to think it's right or righteous when it's often just the opposite.

What Church or leader or even Prophet in the history of the world has ever preached the pure and few teachings of Jesus Christ, without adding in his own precepts of men?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is within us all, within everyone who has ever lived. Not even Christ or God ever wrote down & perfectly preserved their teachings, for no scriptures, prophet or even knowledge of Christ is necessary for people to know right from wrong deep down, and arrive back to the presence of God and have a fair accounting of how they listened to their own conscience that they were born with.

Rico said...

DeeLyn,

You say: "Thus we must also be very skeptical to think or believe that Christ gave power to forgive sin, to a few very fallible mortal men for a few short years. For it does not make sense or even sound like what a logical, fair and loving God would do. For what would be the reason God would give a few mortals the chance to be forgiven of their sins when all the rest of His children who ever lived would not have or need that forgiveness?"

In that case, your problem is not the forgiveness of sins, but God himself. When God revealed his commandments to Israel, he did not reveal them to other natiins. These nations all lived and died not knowing the true God. They were denied the chance to offer atonement for their sins. Now, if these are the sorts of issues you have, then you have a problem with God. This is how atheists these days reason against God. I will be surprised if you are not yet an atheist.

You say: "It is more logical and loving to think that Christ merely taught and 'reminded' us all of a few basic 'truths of the universe' for how to gain forgiveness ourselves straight from God by repentance and by living righteously, according to our conscience, meaning -the Golden Rule, which we all were born with inside our minds and hearts. "

If that is what Jesus intended to do, then his torture and death on the cross under the brutal Romans is meaningless. What's the point of that suffering? He could have died a peaceful death like the Buddha and still be a great moral teacher. Or he could have been like the great philosopher Schopenhauer who can philosophize about suffering while enjoying parties, drinking wine, and eating really good food. Dying on the cross naked and humiliated does not make sense if you only see Jesus as a mere teacher of an ethical system. In fact, your understanding of Jesus betrays a gross misunderstanding of the man. The Jesus you believe is a product of your wishful thinking, adjusted to modern tastes, and not the one witnessed by the Carholic Church for the last 2,000 years.

You say: "Surely Christ understood how even any 'true church', founded on just His teachings, would quickly become corrupted by even well-meaning people/leaders even before it could have it's 1st gathering, simply because of the frailty and pride of the human mind to think it's right or righteous when it's often just the opposite. "

If this is your Christ, then we are not talking of the same person. Jesus perfectly understood human nature, and yet decided to establish a Church by which he can gather those who believe that they are in dire need of forgiveness. What I read from you is a person who does not need the forgiveness of sins. Read the New Testament. Jesus knows not everyone thinks they need his forgiveness, and he knows the kind of silly excuses they justify themselves.

Rico said...

---- continued -------

You say: "The Gospel of Jesus Christ is within us all, within everyone who has ever lived. Not even Christ or God ever wrote down & perfectly preserved their teachings, for no scriptures, prophet or even knowledge of Christ is necessary for people to know right from wrong deep down, and arrive back to the presence of God and have a fair accounting of how they listened to their own conscience that they were born with."

This is again wishful thinking. This is nothing but emotional sentiments you ardently desire to be true. Men have always been trying to create God according to their image and likeness. But when God revealed himself, it wasn't anything like any man could imagine. God revealed himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person is God. Yet the three are One God. The Catholic Church could have saved itself a lot of trouble and humiliation by teaching that there are three Gods because, hey, isn't that logical? But God is beyond human logic.

If you want to become logical, follow Joseph Smith, who believed in One God in the Book of Mormon, and three Gods in the Book of Abraham. That is where human logic will lead you.

Log said...

Remember, Rico's offering a religion of rites and rote, popes and priests, visible men visibly acting, and by these visible agents claiming to do invisible things, like remit sins. Rico requires a visible agent to do this because Rico doesn't believe that the invisible God will hear him and he has no assurance apart from visible signs. He has no faith in God, which accounts for his sign-seeking. Thus Rico is himself apostate from God, and thus no matter his organizational affiliation is not part of the true church, even while declaring himself such.

Catholicism is just a 2000-year old version of LDS Mormonism. They operate on the same principle - you must obey them and pay them or they shall seal heaven against you. By this principle do paid priests and ministers glut themselves on the substance of those seeking God and obtain compliance with their teachings.

Log said...

It's interesting, too - why do people with no faith in God, who are really functionally closet atheists, like to argue about religion so much?

It's probably because their economic status isn't where they'd like it to be, and religion offers an alternative social hierarchy to jockey for position in, and the pyrite of hypocrisy generally passes for the gold of genuine coin since extremely few actually know anything about God, therefore the field is wide open to establish oneself as the big dog among pups.

Or, in sum: closet atheists like religion because making money is hard; making religious shit up is easy; and sometimes, you can make money by making religious shit up; in either case, religion offers an easier bid for status than actually working.

When the real deal is put in front of them, they recoil.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mark Moe,
I have seen no evidence that Joseph Smith engaged in carnal relations with Fanny Alger, though a misreading of the account has led some to believe something untoward took place. Brigham and his cohorts misrepresented the sealing ordinance as having to do with marriage, thus their view of "sealing" was forever tainted by the view that a sealing and a marriage were similar. Too bad Joseph hadn't lived long enough to explain it to the guy who took charge.

Have you read or Denver Snuffer's essay titled "Plural Marriage"? This would appear to be the best explanation so far, and if memory serves, he addresses the Fanny Alger situation.

http://denversnuffer.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Plural-Marriage.pdf

So to answer your question, no, I do not believe Joseph Smith was guilty of adultery. There would have had to have been a sexual relationship with someone other than Emma for that charge to stick.

mark moe said...

Thanks, Rock.

My idea is Oliver gave evidence and multiple quotes from Emma. But again, roll you roll is not my agenda.

Keep it up!

Appreciate you...

Rico said...

Log,

You said earlier that the only way one can know the Church has not gone apostate is to not be an apostate yourselff. You said one must obey the commandments of Jesus. But Jesus gave his apostles power to forgive sins, and now you deny that these men received that power. If so, then how do you know God has forgiven your own sins? Do you have proof?

When a man is baptized in water by someone properly authorized by the Church, that man can show proof he obeyed God by submitting himself to the waters of baptism. He has a visible sign, a sacrament, as evidence of his obedience. But how do you show you have been forgivenen for sins you just committed yesterday or last week? Do you have a visible proof?

Let me guess: you prayed and then imagined that you received forgiveness? That's it right?

Well, if men can obtain forgiveness by imagining that they did, then why did Jesus bother with commanding baptism at all? Why did he give his apostles the power to forgive sins? What's all it for if personal private prayer and wishful thinking were sufficient to produce forgiveness?

Your best response here is to just follow DeeLyn... deny the whole Bible! When you deny one aspect of Jesus commandments, you are most likely to deny all of it. That's the only way you can ignore what Jesus actually taught. So don't ever tell anyone you know how to obey his commandments because it's rather clear you don't.

Forgiveness demands humility, and if it means going to a Catholic priest on your knees to do that, you have nothing to lose but foolish pride.

Steven Lester said...

Log doesn't know humility. He is so puffed up with and by his knowledge that he feels justified to attack other people personally because he's better than they are by virtue of his good memory. "I'm smart, therefore obey me, puny human."

Log said...

Rico,

If you think your sins are remitted because some man says so, and not because you received a witness from heaven, you are an apostate. No witness from heaven = no power with heaven.

You admit the charge that you have no faith by requiring visible assurance from men of something invisible from God.

Steven,

You don't know me. What you are doing is admitting that if you were to say what I say you would be puffed up and prideful and attacking because you think you are better than others. That's what's in your heart, and why you abound in passive-aggressive snark. I explained how Rico has admitted the charge, but you don't seem to care about truth, just like him. Indeed, by accusing me of seeking obedience to myself, you show yourself to be a liar.

It's ok. I can see Rock's readership is not so much interested in truth as they are interested in seeing him tear down your common enemies, as you suppose.

Have fun with that.

Rico said...

Log,

The things you assert just come from own mouth. You have set yourself up as some kind of authority on things you have zero knowledge about. It really shows. That is why none of the assertions you claim are grounded on facts. Even a kid in a high school debate team can reason better than you do just by using evidence.

So you think only man invented the power to forgive sins? If so, then your problem then is not forgiveness of sins itself, but Jesus. You have a Jesus problem just as the Pharisees had a Jesus problem. Remember, they were the first to criticise him because he forgave sins. In other words, you have company.

The evidence in John 20:21-23 clearly shows that Jesus gave that power to his apostles. In the face of such evidence, what's your response? Oh, you only repeated your assertion... as if claiming again what you ought to be proving in the first place is not a terrible way to reason.

Why don't you just say that something is awfully wrong with the Bible since that seems to be what's really on your mind? After all, you seem to be so full of authority, might as well exercise it and condemn the Bible.

If you want to assert that forgiveness of sins is man-made, here's my challenge: Prove it. Open your Bible and show me that Jesus did NOT teach it. Nothing short of a scriptural evidence can overturn the evidence contradicting your silly claim. If you need help, go to the nearest baptist who specializes in anti-Catholic propaganda and ask him to help you.

You really need help... you just don't know it.

Log said...

So God sent Jesus, and Jesus sent his apostles. The power to forgive sins was also delegated by Jesus to them. After all, what's the use of giving them the keys of binding and loosing on earth as it is in heaven if those keys of the kingdom exclude the power to forgive sins (Matthew 18:18)? What's the point of preaching forgiveness through Jesus if his apostles cannot forgive sins? Jesus is no longer on earth. We have no visible sign from heaven to confirm that he has forgiven us.

You, Rico, require visible signs. Thus you, Rico, have no faith in God. Thus you, Rico, are an apostate. QED.

That is why an evil and adulterous generation seeks signs - they are faithless towards the Lord, who with their lips they do proclaim to love, but in their hearts they are fornicating with mammon - the visible stuff in which they have confidence, such as money, men, and so on.

Jeremiah 17:5
5 ¶Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

DeeLyn said...

Rico,

I do not have a problem with God but with Moses. God did not reveal his words to Isreal, 'Moses' did and only said 'they were God's word'. That is a big difference and the age old problem we have today where people just blindly believe the claims of religious leaders without wise reservation and doing what Christ told us to and looking at if the live the Golden Rule and preach & keep His commandments, not whether they just claim to 'speak for God'.

And based on Christ's standards to discern a 'true' prophet, how could I believe that Moses' words really came from God, for Moses didn't have a good track record of laws that were in harmony with Christ's laws. Christ only put his stamp of approval on those few of the 10 commandments.

Also, if we are to believe Christ meant to set up a physical Church or organization led by men, then where are mortals ever going to find leaders who pass Christ's test of true prophets/disciples? For He warned us not to believe anyone is his true follower if they don't keep all his commandments. I don't think I have every known anyone, let alone heard of anyone, past or present, who is able to do that or has done that. Thus there would be no one we could or should trust to led such a Church even if Christ established one.

Thus why any Church that Christ talked about was a 'spiritual' church, one we join spiritually by keeping his commandments. His apostles and all of us were only asked to 'share' Christ's message, not start our own churches, that almost always are used for gain and glory, not Christ's teachings. For the commandments don't sell, few if any would show up for Church if you really preached them.

But God can see who follows the Golden Rule by just watching how everyone in the world acts, despite where they live or what they've been taught. I instictively knew at an early age that I was being taught falsehoods in the church I was raised in, so we aren't just a product of where or how we were raised. God planted the true gospel within all of our hearts and that is all we need to live righteously.

If Christ did come to atone for our sins then he also was just reviewing the Gospel we all already knew. And those who followed that Gospel in their hearts 'knew instictively' that Christ was speaking the truth and thus followed him. Those who did not or do not listen to their conscience did not like or accept what he taught.

I also did not say I don't believe Christ gave an atonement for our sins. I said it's doubtful that He gave 'the power to forgive sins to mortals'. For even if He atoned for our sins there is no need for mortals to do the 'forgiving', if by the very rare chance they kept all the commandments themselves in order to retain such power, especially since those Apostles themselves wondered if they could even abide by Christ's high and hard laws, which Christ said 'all true prophets/disciples' do.

The fact and idea that we all need 'forgiving of sins' does not mean we need a 'Church' to get forgiven by or even be taught by, such would even be impossible for all the inhabitants of the earth if even necessary, thus not fair, and God is always fair.

For we all know the Golden Rule, it's the basis for all major religions ever founded, thus we see that everyone in the world instinctively understands it. So everyone can just repent themselves and be forgiven by God directly, if they are willing to listen to their conscience. No church or prophet needed to do that for them.

Rico said...

Log,

Actually, it's not me who requires signs, but God. Jesus said, by their fruits ye shall know them. Fruits are signs that tell us what tree that bears them. God gave us commandments so we can show the sign of our humility and obedience.

How I wish I didn't have to show by my actions what God expects of me. Life would be a lot easier. But this is not about me. It's about God. He commands men to repent and be baptized, that they may have their sins remitted. God expects to see the signs of our obedience. So you are terribly mistaken to think that it is me who demands it.

So far, you have miserably failed to show that Jesus did not delegate to his apostles the power to forgive sins. And I know why. You church is in apostasy that's why it denies what Jesus clearly taught. Let me show another sign of your apostasy:

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." (John 6:53-57)

Does your church give you the flesh and blood of Jesus to eat and drink? I don't think so. Yet God demands that sign from you. This is a sign to tell you that you're in the wrong church.

Go see your baptist friend. You really need help.

Log said...

Rico,

If you seek signs, you are a sign-seeker, with all that implies and entails.

Nothing else you have to say matters. You don't know what you're talking about.

Rico said...

DeeLyn,

Here is what Jesus said regarding his mission and the role of Moses in that mission:

"Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:29-31)

In this text, Jesus tells the parable of the poor man Lazarus, and the rich man who ignored his sufferings. The rich man ended up in the fires of hell, and from a distance, he saw Lazarus in Father Abraham's bosom, resting in peace. So he asked Abraham to send Lazarus over to his side and relieve his torment. Abraham told him this was impossible. His next request was to have Lazarus return to life and warn his brothers about the reality of hell. And you know the answer he got from the text above.

Jesus clearly points out that his mission is validated through Moses' writings. Moses validates Jesus. To doubt Moses is to doubt Jesus. Here's another:

"Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47)

You have to realize this: once someone tries to say that Moses is fiction, he does not attack Moses only. He also attacks Christ himself because Moses validates Christ.

However, Moses is not the only validation. When Nicodemus the Pharisee approached Jesus to ask questions about his message, this is what Nicodemus said:

"Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:2). Nicodemus realized that Jesus is from God, not through the scriptures, but through his miracles. The miracles of Jesus were SIGNS that authenticate his calling. Later, towards the end of his Gospel, the Apostle John would say this:

"And many other SIGNS truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:30-31)

God himself gives us unmistakeable signs so that we will not be misled. This demonstrates the utter silliness of Log who thinks that God never gives signs to those who look for them. God perfectly understands how humans think, and we understand abstract concepts better through signs, symbols, parables, or analogy. God is Spirit, and we are spirits inside fleshly matter. There's a large chasm dividing us and God. So God works through matter in order to touch our spirits.

Rico said...

====== continued =======

Speaking of God's mercy: Recall how He called Moses to deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt. To free them, He killed the Egyptians after afflicting them with plagues after plagues. Once they escaped, God killed the Israelites who kept whining and complaining against Moses by making them travel the desert for 40 years, and scattering it with their dead bodies. And when they arrived at the Promised Land, God commanded them to kill all the pagan inhabitants in that land so they can live there.

In other words, this God killed a lot people just to bring about his purposes for Israel. And this is the same God Jesus spoke about in his message. That is why the message of Jesus contains more references about hell and God's judgment than about heaven. Hell exists. The brutal torturing of Jesus on the cross is the price God himself paid to make sure you do not go there.

But God is merciful. That is why he built the Catholic Church so that He can save you when you humble yourself to the priests he appointed to forgive your sins. Without the forgiveness of sins, you cannot eat and drink the flesh and blood of Jesus. And if you do not eat and drink his flesh and blood, you will die and go to Hell. His flesh and blood is only made available from the Catholic Church.

This is why the so-called "great apostasy" of the Church of Jesus is a false doctrine. The Catholic Church has existed continuously for 2,000 years. It is the oldest human institution on the planet. That fact alone is a SIGN of its divine nature. No one ever thought of that silly great apostasy until the Protestants appeared 500 years ago. One can identify the founders of each Protestant sect, but no one can identify who started the Catholic Church unless it was Jesus himself.

Therefore, your idea of God's fairness is just your own wishful thinking about God. Men everywhere have always been trying to create a God that will satisfy their tastes. If you persist in this, you will be no different than the pagans of India and elsewhere who believe in an assortment of strange and curious gods. Or take your cue from Brigham Young who taught that God must be a polygamist.

But God knows better by sending Jesus to make sure everyone understand who He really is. And Jesus is God's final word on the subject.

Rico said...

Log,

It seems that you have quickly run out of intellectual ammunition. All you have left is nothing but empty accusation after empty accusation. Do it some more and you will be rightly called "the accuser"....

By the word of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. So far I have laid before you two evidences that you seem unable to contest:

1. That your apostate church has no power to forgive sins even though John 20:21-23 clearly testifies that Jesus gave that power to his apostles.
2. That your apostate church has no power to feed the flock of God with the body and blood of Jesus even though John 6:53-57 clearly shows that believers in Jesus must do this to have eternal life.

Let me add more to your miserable failures:

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)

As the son of Joseph the carpenter, Jesus possessed a sound knowledge of how to build houses. A wise carpenter is known by his fruits: he builds houses that do not collapse when storms rage and beat upon it.

As a wise builder himself, Jesus built his Church on the foundation of rock so that it will not collapse: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, by building upon a rock, Jesus shows himself a wise builder whose clear purpose is to ensure his work will never collapse.

But what do apostates falsely accuse Jesus? They claim that his Church fell away and was utterly destroyed immediately after the apostles died. Therefore, by such false teachings, they imply that Jesus is a foolish builder.

That is the Jesus of the apostates, and you Log, by clinging to an apostate church that teach this "great apostasy" nonsense, believe in a false Christ.

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven..." (Matthew 7:21)

"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets..." (Matthew 24:23-24).

Log said...

Rico,

I can't fail at something I never set out to do. I have succeeded at that which I intended. Those who have eyes to see can, through your words and conduct, observe the fruits of Catholicism.

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh a sign, and they are cursed who trust in flesh. What can be said of a Church that produces a wicked and adulterous generation that proudly advocates trusting in flesh?

DeeLyn said...

Rico,

I appreciate your responses and the discussion but I think we will just have to agree to disagree. For if you believe the Catholic Church or it's Priests are of God or are righteous enough to forgive sins, then we are too apart in belief to justify more discussion.

And if you think that Satan and false prophets can't also produce miracles then we also are too apart in beliefs.

And if you think Moses or any other religious leader in the OT couldn't have got some things right and some things wrong, then we again won't be able to agree.

And last but actually most important, some of those verses from the NT you mentioned are actually some of the verses that show how the so-called 'words of Christ' 'contradict' each other, and so it's impossible that Christ would have said some of those things and also preached his commandments as the only way to know for sure who are his 'true followers, disciples & prophets.

And it appears that Moses or other prophets in the OT did not keep Christ's commandments, so Christ taught us to 'not' believe they were his true followers or prophets, no matter what they claimed or how many people believed in or followed them or how long their churches or religions lasted. For falsehoods are usually popular and false churches usually last a long time.

So either Christ was not who he said he was and thus contradicted himself and preached chaos unknowingly (which I highly doubt), OR his words were remembered incorrectly or tampered with or added to by men according to what they wanted people to 'think' Christ taught (which is far more likely and common).

You may want to study the teachings of Christ more closely and compare them with the teachings and laws of Moses and see how often they are totally are opposite, which Christ taught would be impossible for a true prophet to do.

The reality is, ancient or modern 'false prophets' usually preach mostly 'true' things, even about Christ. It's the few false things they slip in that gives them away, and the fact that they don't live Christ's commandments.

So if Christ mentioned how people didn't follow the 'true' things that Moses taught, then he was right that they wouldn't follow Him either. But that does not mean that Christ was saying that everything Moses taught or did was right or that he was even a true prophet.

Thank you for the discussion though.

Rico said...

Log,

Apostates will do what apostates do best. They just keep on apostatizing....

When Jesus revealed himself to the Jews in Palestine, they just could not accept the things he was teaching them. For example, when he said that he will give them his body and blood to eat and drink, their reaction was not, "Oh please, give us this food so that we don't die... Have mercy on us!"

On the contrary, they said silly things like:

"The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" (John 6:41-42)

"The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52)

"Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?" (John 6:60-61)

The interesting part about this doctrine was that it OFFENDED EVEN HIS OWN DISCIPLES. And what happened after they got offended with the teaching?

"From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:66)

Here we see exactly the Jews demonstrate kind of attitude you have, Log. Apostates will apostatize even if Jesus himself were teaching them. They just don't get him... And Jesus knew who those people are.

"The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him." (John 6:63-64)

There are those who will never accept what Jesus teaches. And you, Log, must face the fact that as of now, you are one of them. You contradict your own ideas so badly. You just don't see it. Didn't you say that one can know he is not in apostasy BY OBEYING THE COMMANDMENTS. I pointed to you the commandments of Jesus, and you refuse to believe.

Jesus knew that there will be false Christs and they will teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The Jesus you believe is a foolish builder who does not know how to build a church that will not disintegrate in a storm. That is a false Jesus. And that is why when the true teachings of the real Jesus are shown to you, you reject them.

Continue to cling stubbornly to your foolish pride, and you will see Hell.

Rico said...

DeeLyn,

Many of the things you say are unsubstantiated claims against Jesus and Moses, so it's hard to take your word for it. You have to put down evidence on the table. Only then shall we all see proof that there is contradiction.

When you read the Bible, you have to remember one important thing: the Bible is a Catholic book written by Catholic saints for the Catholic Church. In the hands of an apostate like Log, it will never show its true meaning. How much more in the hands of atheists and skeptics.

All throughout your response is a confused belief about God. In fact, I sense an atheist in you. If so be honest up front, do you believe in God? There are many out there who teach silly things about God, I will not be surprised if you have been deceived by them.

But going back to the Bible, as I've said, it is a Catholic book. The Catholic Church produced it, and created something greater than its individual parts. At the time the Bible was formed, many Christians have already started to distort the Christian message. These apostate Christians spread their false teachings through false writings, ie , by using false authorship. It is among these false scripture that the Catholic Church sifted the wheat from the tares.

The history of the Catholic Church is a history of struggle against false teachings. Look at our world today where babies are aborted by the millions. This is no different than the human sacrifices done by pagans long ago. Both evils are accomplished through the spread false ideas. Protestants have long ago bowed down to the wishes of secular forces to murder babies. It is only the Catholic Church that is fighting this battle.

You cannot understand the Bible unless you understand the Catholic Church first.

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