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.


208 comments:

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Liberty Ghost said...

Rico
The Jews at the time of Christ had the truth of the gospel, but failed to understand it and applied it in a way that granted to them power over their fellow Jews. When Christ came he pointed up the flaws in their arguments. He showed that although they professed to live the law of Moses, in reality they were far from it.

When I look at the Catholic Church, I see many of the same conceits which afflicted the Jewish church at the time of Christ as well as modern Mormonism. Although you choose to see the Catholic church as the direct descendant of the church that Christ set up, only a believing Catholic would seriously believe that.

It is difficult to compare the Catholic church and the Church described in the New Testament and come to the conclusion that they are at all the same. Christ sought poor and humble men to become his apostles; he emphasized that His leaders would be humble servants. While it is true that over the years many Catholics, including, probably, some popes, shared those traits, it is also true that many did not. If Christ described the Pharisees and Sadduces of his day as unworthy to enter the Kingdom of God, why are we to think that popes who exhibited those same hypocritical tendencies were any better? The point of this blog is that although the Mormon hierarchy portrays themselves as humble, pious men, they, in fact, act just as the pharisees did, and are not worthy to follow.

It is much easier to see the Catholic church as an extension of the Roman Empire than the Lord's true Church, which certainly makes it's history more understandable. The Empire co-opted the fragmentary remains of the church to bolster it's own position and hold on the people, replacing pantheism with a religion of local saints and relics, under an umbrella of central authority, so that it would be easily accepted by pagans.

In the writings of the prophets, there are many places where the Lord condemns those who say they are his shepherds or his mouthpiece (Ezek 34). He says repeatedly that NONE of them speak for him. I have yet to find a single prophetic reference that indicates that when he comes again, he will meet with ANY shepherds that have remained true and will assume leadership of their well-prepared flock. I believe that when He or his servant comes, He will dismiss those shepherds as He said He would. I think that only those who are humble enough and in tune enough will recognize His true servant and follow him out of Babylon and into the wilderness. Most will be deceived by popes and prophets who pretend to speak for the Lord.

As for the whole transubstantiation argument, you strain at a gnat to swallow a camel. The bread and wine are symbols of his flesh and blood, just as the sacrifices in the temple were symbolic of his flesh and blood which were to come. Do you believe that those sacrifices became the actual blood and flesh of Christ as they were consumed? Do you believe that at the last supper they became His actual flesh and blood? For every fine point which one can make a hard doctrinal point in favor of Catholicism, one can easily find those which point in the other direction. The Jews, were famous for such "doctrines", but they were really the doctrines of men.

Dale B.

funakoshi said...

Posting novels on a blog seems a bit cumbersome to me. I think all you guys need to get in an online chat room and just debate this stuff, call each other names, and cut-n-paste scripture all you want. Bless your little hearts.

John said...

Hey Rock, I found something about the discontinuation of re-baptism. It seems the practice was effectively banned during the October 1897 General Conference. George Q. Cannon's words in part:

"We hear a good deal of talk about re-baptism, and the First Presidency and Twelve have felt that so much re-baptism ought to be stopped." (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1897, p. 68)

It has taken me a long time to find a good lead on the subject, and I figure it might be useful to you :) After all, it seems almost no one nowadays knows that re-baptism used to be a very popular practice among the Latter-Day Saints, much less why or when it was discontinued.

Here's a link to an article discussing baptism and re-baptism at length, if you are interested: http://ogdenkraut.com/?page_id=179

As always I hope you are well, and appreciate reading your articles. God bless.

John

Advoc8 said...

Rob Smith - Burned at the Stake (Center)...

Alex Chester said...

Sir

Every point you make is based on perception and opinion. Because you say that something is so does not mean it is. Every single point you make has a rock solid answer taken from scripture that we would all agree on. Every single scripture can also be rebuffed again. The bottom line is, does God exist? Does He love his children? Does He answer prayers? Are we willing to ask in faith and then act. Are we willing to trust Him and those He appoints? (if as you say he appoints them) Your points have some base and relativity if one is of the belief thatthe church is not lead by a Prophet of God. If it is every point you make has no value. Surely the Lord God will do "nothing" except through His prophet. Including changing things. As He always has changed things from the beginning and always will.. The church will continue to grow. Since the day Joseph walked out of the grove he was told it will never be believed. Forget it. Talk no more of it. Every year since there has been another "blog" like yours. Its all old news.
It will continue to grow and others will continue to do what they can to pull it down. This my friend is one of the only facts worthy of discussion here.

I know that Russell Nelson is a Prophet of God because I have opened my heart and listened to the only source of truth this world has "ever" known. The Holy Ghost bears witness that something is true or not. There is nothing in this world or this church that could ever occur that can contradict that.

A Chester

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Alex Chester,
I find little to disagree with you on. You write, "Because you say that something is so does not mean it is. Every single point you make has a rock solid answer taken from scripture that we would all agree on."

So what do the scriptures say about your assertion? I think it's important that we don't read into scriptures anything that is not there. Amos 3:7, which you cite, reads, "surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his SECRETS unto His servants the prophets." That word "prophets" is key, as is the word "secrets" which implies something not heretofore known or understood. There is nothing unknown or secret when the Church undergoes changes in policies such as lowering the missionary ages or changing the name of Home and Visiting Teaching. Most importantly, that scripture says nothing about whether or not The Lord will reveal anything to the president of the Church. He's talking about his servants the prophets, not any president.

So the first thing we want to do is find out if the president of the Church today is a prophet. We know Joseph Smith was the president and he was ALSO a prophet, because the Lord personally anointed him. I went into some detail about the clear evidence that Joseph smith was both anointed and appointed by the Lord in this blog post here:

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2016/12/did-lord-choose-not-to-anoint-lords.html

The evidence is overwhelming that the Lord chose and anointed Joseph Smith according to scripture, of which this is only one:

"And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants WHOM I HAVE APPOINTED to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place. But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men WHOM I HAVE APPOINTED, they shall not be blest." ( D&C 124:45-46.)

So the question you must ask is, when did the Lord appoint Russell Nelson as His prophet? Nelson went into great detail explaining to the Saints everything that occurred surrounding his selection, which entailed his being ordained by the members of the Quorum of the Twelve. When, then, did the Lord Himself appoint him to be his prophet? There must be a date we can point to, wouldn't you think?

Joseph Smith declared that ALL the prophets "were ordained by God HIMSELF."
Who ordained Joseph Smith? Was it other men, or was it, as he declared, God Himself?

I don't question the Lord's ability to choose whom He will. But in order for someone to be considered HIS servant or HIS prophet, HE will be the one making it clear that He chose that person; it will not be left to tradition in the Church. Throughout history, that was never the method; otherwise we would still be singing praises to the high priests Annas and Caiaphas.

I appreciate that you are convinced that Russell M. Nelson is God's modern prophet. But as you said yourself, "just because you say something is so, doesn't mean it is."


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Doctrine Matters said...

This blog is indispensable for those studying the current status of Mormonism. I really appreciate the honest insight. As an Evangelical, I believe that many in the Mormon cult are seeking what we call "a personal relationship" with the Jesus of the Bible, and this is, of course, not found in an organization that considers Jesus and the Devil to be equals and brothers. Jesus is God in the flesh; the Bible is not a "Catholic book," as the poster above states, but God's Word to His Church. In the end, it's words will triumph over Mormonism which has disparaged Christianity since its inception. God's Word goes out and does not return void.

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