Sunday, March 12, 2017

Evil Speaking Of The Lord's Anointed

Previously: Misquoting God

There are numerous places in scripture where evil speaking is declared sinful.  Here are just a handful of verses I culled from the LDS topical guide regarding evil speaking. Maybe you can identify the common denominator in all of them that would indicate why evil speaking is considered such a serious trespass:

Psalms 34:13; 1Peter 3:10Proverbs 16:27; Matthew 5:11; 3 Nephi 12:11; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21; Acts 23:5; Ephesians 4:31; James 4:11; D&C 20:54.

In a revelation given in 1831, the Lord commands His saints not to speak evil of their neighbors or do them any harm. And in case you missed the lesson in Luke chapter ten, "your neighbor" means everybody. Everyone on the planet is your neighborSo when we engage in evil speaking of anyone at all, we are breaking a direct commandment given to us by Jesus Christ Himself.

Yet as bad as breaking that commandment can be, the scriptures suggest we could do far worse. A more egregious sin than speaking evil of our neighbor would be to speak evil of those whom God has anointed to His work. "Evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" turns out to be a sin so serious that it comes with its own set of curses on the heads of those who commit it. And those curses fall not only on the heads of the original perpetrators, but on the heads of their descendants as well, "from generation to generation." These miscreants "shall not escape the damnation of hell," the Lord assured Joseph Smith, for "I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof for them all."  (D&;C 121: 16-21)

Yikes. Sucks to be those guys.

This is why I have always been very careful to never engage in evil speaking of the Lord's anointed.

That's not to say I haven't been accused of that very thing on more than one occasion. But such accusations are usually lobbed at me by people who don't know how to look up words.

Some of my fellow Mormons think "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" has something to do with saying things about church leaders that, though possibly true, are uncomfortable to hear. But that's not even close to what it means. So before we go any further, let's look up the meaning of this phrase, shall we?  Because if we're going to examine a sin as deservedly denounced as evil speaking of the Lord's anointed, we'd first better understand the actual definition. So let's break it down into its two pertinent parts and define each one in turn:

First, what is "evil speaking"?
Secondly, who are "the Lord's anointed"?

Because the term "evil speaking" shows up in the bible so often, Noah Webster defined it in his biblically influenced American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828. This dictionary defines the meaning of words in use by Americans at the time Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon and publishing the revelations he received from God. So whenever we come across a word or phrase in scripture that isn't perfectly familiar to us today, we should avoid assuming it means something we think it means, and instead look up the meaning of the word as understood by the people who wrote it down and used it.

I've come across a fair number of fellow Mormons who think evil speaking is synonymous with gossiping, backbiting, and unwarranted criticism. And although gossiping and backbiting are specifically warned against in scripture because they can be harmful, they don't come close to being as palpably harmful as evil speaking.

Backbiting is talking negatively about someone who is not present to defend himself. A Gossip is defined by Noah Webster as "One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler."

Some gossip, though not very nice, might not necessarily be false. If, for instance, I said to the woman who lives next door, "I heard Mary is pregnant;" it might be none of my business, and certainly not my place to announce the news without Mary's permission. But that gossip might not do harm to Mary's reputation, especially if Mary is happily married and planning to tell everyone herself. My gossip would have ruined Mary's surprise, but it wouldn't have ruined Mary.

But if I told the woman next door that "Mary is a slut and she's pregnant and it's your husband's baby," then I would be engaging in evil speaking.

Webster defines evil speaking using these synonyms: "slander; defamation; calumny; censouriousness."

I don't mean to minimize the harm that can be caused by idle gossip. But let's face it: slander, defamation, and calumny can be a lot more damaging than gossip for the single reason those words all denote a deliberate intent to do harm to another. That word "evil" in evil speaking should have been our first clue. In the immortal words of Michael Jackson, it's "really, really bad."

Let's look at that first synonym, slander. When you slander someone, you're speaking untruths with the intent to defame. "Defamation" can cause serious harm to others, so no wonder the Lord categorizes evil speaking as a sin. Defamation is not just immoral, it's punishable by law. Defamation is defined as,
"Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person." (West's Encyclopedia of American Law.) 
Note the qualifying word in that sentence: "false." You can't slander a person by saying something about him that's true. You can only slander him by defaming him, and in order to defame him, you have to lie about him. That is the common denominator in the scripture verses I referenced above. Evil speaking means intentionally lying.

Today if you damage another's reputation by lying about him, or, as Jesus put it, "speaking evil of your neighbor," you can expect to be sued. You would probably lose and have to pay damages, and that would be that.

But back in the day when the common law ruled, you might have to do more than just fork over some cash; you would also be publicly shamed. The magistrate could require you to go to the parish of the guy you defamed where you would have to stand before the congregation, publicly pronounce the words you had used against him, admit those words were not true, and confess that you had knowingly defamed him. And then you would be required to "beg pardon, first, of God, and then of the party defamed, for uttering such words." (Clerk's Assist. 225; 3 Burn's Eccl. Law, Defamation, pl. 14; 2 Chit. Pr. 471 Cooke on Defamation, cited in Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 edition.)

I was accused of slander myself just three months ago, but the accusation was hollow. Someone who appeared unfamiliar with this blog had stumbled across a post I wrote a while ago titled "How We Know Thomas S. Monson Is A Prophet, Seer, And Revelator." This person or persons (hard to tell which, since he/she goes by two first names, "ericnsabrina"), either didn't understand what was being said when I quoted the words of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Harold B. Lee, and others, or they were confused at the things Gordon Hinckley had said to some reporters. At any rate, I was caught up short when I saw this comment show up:
"This blog is horrible! The only up side to it is that if you're being unkind and slandering the people that are members of Tha Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is that y'all don't have time to go after and slander anyone else. We'll take the hit, we are strong enough to survive it. Good luck to all you Haters! You're going to need it! I will pray for all of you. Negativity begets Negativity...There is nothing positive here. Nothing uplifting and certainly nothing of value."
Gee, that was kinda harsh. I didn't recall saying anything slanderous about "the people that are members of Tha Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" when I wrote that post.  But then I wrote it a good year and a half ago. Maybe I did slander the members, and just forgot I had. Or maybe I'm just schizo.

Slander, let's remember, is a synonym for evil speaking. I figured I'd better go back and read that post again.

So I re-read it, but I still couldn't find any falsehoods in the piece. It seemed to me I was accurate with all my quotes, and hadn't made any doctrinal or theological errors. Maybe I'm just so close to the thing that I can't see my own faults. I certainly don't want to be teaching falsehoods on this blog, so I replied with the following comment to ericnsabrina, hoping they would return and show me where they felt I had acted dishonestly:
Ericnsabrina Gaskins,
If you would be kind enough to point out any specific examples of slander in this piece, I will happily go back and make corrections.
Later that day ericnsabrina posted this reply:
I will not get into anything that is going to feed your vendetta against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I leave that in the Lord's hands. This is not my fight or anger issues against His Church. My job is to declare the truth not to prove it. However, if you can release your anger for little while, long enough to pray and ask your Heavenly Father what is true. I know that if you're sincere, He will answer you. I will not argue these points, ask of God. I stand by my previous comment.
I'll be honest with you; I'm not sure ericnsabrina have any idea what slander is. Still, I take these accusations seriously. After all, one day I will have to stand before the judgment bar, and I'd hate to find out at the last minute that I had been guilty of evil speaking of anyone, member of the church or not.  So here was my response:
No one is asking you to "prove" slander, EricnSabrina; merely to point it out so it can be corrected. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 18 that if a brother sins, go and point out his sin, and if he hears you, you have gained a brother. 
Slander is defined as speaking falsehoods or untruths that result in harm or defamation. As a devout believer in the gospel as restored through Joseph Smith, I certainly don't wish to publish untruths. If I am in the wrong, I want to have it pointed out to me so I can immediately correct that wrong. 
You have accused me of sin, and I'm willing to have you point that sin out to me. Yet when I ask for correction, you are content not to answer, but only to "stand by" your accusation. You wrote, "my job is to declare the truth" and "I stand by my previous comment." Yet in throwing out a wild accusation and then letting it just hang there, you are refusing to either declare the truth or to stand by your comment.

That, my friend, is slander. And if you are unwilling to back up your accusation, you are guilty of engaging in the very act you accuse me of.

I would refer you to Jesus' warning about such accusations in Matthew 7:5, and why he calls it hypocrisy. 
If you are unwilling to point out even one example where you have found evidence of slander on this blog, I can only conclude you are motivated by a spirit of contention.
I haven't heard anything from ericnsabrina since I invited him/her to help me correct my errors.

But this sort of thing happens now and then. Someone will come on here and accuse me of all kinds of malfeasance, and when I ask them to show me where I've gone wrong, they are never heard from again. The most common allegation I get is that I'm an anti-Mormon. I don't know how to respond to that other than to point to the title of my blog, which is, after all, called Pure Mormonism. I would think "pure" Mormonism would be the near opposite of "anti" Mormonism.  But maybe I'm the only one who thinks so.

There are plenty of places on this blog where you'll find my fervent testimony of the restored gospel, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc, but I guess people will see what they want to see. In the immortal words of ericnsabrina, "good luck to all you haters!"

Which Brings Us To Censorious Calumny
Censoriousness is another synonym Noah Webster uses to define evil speaking. He describes a censorious person as one who is always finding fault. In Webster's words, this person is addicted to censuring others, finding them ill-mannered, ill-natured, and uncharitable. In short, the censorious person fathers onto everyone else all of his own shortcomings, yet doesn't seem able to recognize those flaws in himself. Not a fun guy to be around, I'd imagine. Lacks introspection.

 "Calumny" is a word we don't hear very much these days, but if you're looking for a one-word definition of evil speaking, calumny is that word with bells and frills. More intensely malicious than slander, defamation, and censorious all rolled into onecalumny represents the act of lying with deliberate, scheming intent to utterly ruin and destroy the targeted person. No accidental slip of the tongue, no inadvertent gossip, calumny implies deliberate, wicked intent to destroy another's good name and reputation.  Calumny is the knockout blow, the sockdolager of evil speaking. It is a majorly wicked act. Here's how Noah Webster defines calumny:
False accusation of a crime or offense, knowingly or maliciously made or reported, to the injury of another; false representation of facts reproachful to another, made by design, and with knowledge of its falsehood.
If slander is lying with the intent to defame, calumny is lying with intent to destroy.

You can see why the Lord commands us to avoid evil speaking. Idle gossip is bad enough. Unwarranted criticism is bothersome.  But evil speaking has the potential to destroy a person's entire life. You do not want to be found guilty of that sin at the judgment day.

Who Are The Lord's Anointed?
This brings us to the second half of our question. If the Lord doesn't like it when we tell lies about our neighbor with the intent to defame him, we shouldn't wonder why he hates it when we tell lies about those he has personally anointed to carry out his work.

So who are these people, anyway?

Well, just as the clue for recognizing the meaning of evil speaking was contained within the phrase itself, it should be easy enough for us to identify the meaning of  "the Lord's anointed." Let's put on our thinking caps. Are you ready? Here we go:

"The Lord's anointed" refers to someone who has been anointed by the Lord.

That was easy enough, wasn't it? Well, it should have been easy, I'll grant you that. After all, we know from numerous examples in scripture that the apostles of the primitive Christian church were personally anointed by God to their missions. Even Paul, who was not present among the original Twelve and had not met Jesus during his mortal ministry, informed the church at Corinth that he and Timothy had both been personally anointed by the Lord:
"Now he which established us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."(2 Corinthians 1:21)
A great majority of those still active in the church today seem to think "the Lord's anointed" refers to anyone in the Church hierarchy with the title "Elder" or "President" in front of his name. But is that really the proper meaning of the term? Are all those guys at the top of the corporate flow chart the ones God is referring to in scripture when he speaks specifically of "mine anointed"? If so, it makes you wonder what they all did to deserve such a singular honor.

Strictly speaking, the word "anoint" means "to smear with oil." If you've been through the temple and had your washings and anointings, you have been anointed unto the Lord. I myself am one of the anointed ones, and that's no small privilege.

But did you catch that little qualifier?  I was anointed unto the Lord; I was never anointed of the Lord or by the Lord. So although you and I and everyone else who has been through the temple are indeed counted among the anointed, I don't think that suddenly makes us "the Lord's anointed" the way that term is used in scripture. There is a difference.

If we have read the Doctrine and Covenants and are somewhat familiar with church history, we will recall that only a handful of people called to leadership positions in the church were ever actually anointed of the Lord. And they all seem to have died off by the time the sun rose on the 20th century. We have no record of any modern church leader being anointed of the Lord, although our traditions hold that all of them have been.

Well, I'll grant the men governing the Church today have probably been anointed by somebody, just as a majority of the saints in the early church were, and just as I have been. But we're interested here in separating those who have been anointed by their fellow humans, from those actually anointed by the Lord. So let's examine what that difference might be.

In May of 1842, Joseph Smith assembled a group of nine men in the room above his red brick store where he and his brother Hyrum then administered to them the washing and anointing ceremony that would later be reserved for the temple. This group, which came to be known as "The Quorum of the Anointed," expanded during Joseph Smith's lifetime to include thirty-seven men and twenty-nine women.  Aside from washings and anointings, what else did these people do when they convened together? They took part in the true order of prayer for very long stretches at a time, and between prayers they sat and visited and discussed spiritual matters.

The one thing this quorum did not do was govern the church.

When Is A Quorum Not A Quorum? 
In this church, when we hear the word "quorum" bruited about, we tend to think it refers to a governing body, because that's what the word generally means.  A quorum is defined in most dictionaries as the minimum number of people required to be present at a proceeding before its proceedings are to be regarded as valid.

If you were to look at a list of the names of those present at the meetings of the Quorum of the Anointed, you might be forgiven for thinking this was an important governing body of the church. After all, both the president of the church and the patriarch were usually present, as well as the president of the high council of the church. All three of those men actually had been anointed of the Lord at one time or another, and all three officers together properly constituted the governing heads of the church. (The president of the Twelve Apostles was present also, but as has been established elsewhere, neither he nor the quorum he presided over had any authority to govern within the church.)

Most of the other men and women in the quorum had been anointed by Joseph and Hyrum. They had been anointed with oil, but were not, strictly speaking, "the Lord's anointed;" at least not in the sense that term is bandied about in the Church today.

As regards the Quorum of the anointed, "Quorum" is a bit of a misnomer for a couple of reasons. First, no minimum attendance was required when the Quorum of the Anointed got together; there were no rules regarding how many people were needed for the meeting to go forward. Whoever managed to make it there, made it there.

Secondly, no legislative or administrative business took place in those meetings.  Today we are liable to look back on that quorum through the distorted lens of history and assume that, because of the name, these were some sort of leadership meetings. They were anything but.

The purpose of the quorum of the anointed was to have a place for select members to gather as friends, hold prayer circles, and engage in theological discussion. Historian Michael Quinn points out that these meetings were the first time in church history that men and women together discussed theocratic issues. (The Mormon Hierarchy, Origins of Power pg 116.)

As Mormon historian Devery Anderson has written, "The quorum should be recognized for its comforting and invigorating spiritual power, acting as a body separate from those governing the Church administratively." (The Anointed Quorum In Nauvoo, 1842-45, Journal of Mormon History Vol. 29, No. 2, 2003, pg 157.)*
*Since Brother Anderson wrote the essay above, he and David James Bergera have compiled a book documenting the minutes, activities, and discussions that took place during those gatherings: Joseph Smith's Quorum Of The Anointed, A Documentary History.

Identifying The Lord's Anointed
The Lord does not expect us to have to guess whether someone in his distinct service has been specially anointed or not; he'll come right out and tell us. Hence, we have some pretty clear clues that Joseph Smith was chosen and anointed by God for a specific purpose, because we can read the oracles Jesus conveyed through Joseph that say as much. I listed a half dozen of them in this post back in December, so I won't repeat them here. I think it's undeniably clear that Joseph Smith was one of the Lord's anointed. His brother, Hyrum, was too. (See D&C 124, D&C 107, et al.)

Remember those cursings I mentioned at the beginning of this piece? Those are from a revelation given to the prophet while he, Hyrum, Sydney Rigdon, and others were unjustly imprisoned for nine months in a jail with a ceiling so low that none of them could stand erect the whole time. When they stood they had to stand hunched forward and head down, with the ceiling cramping the back of their necks. I spent a night in Liberty jail some 40-odd years ago, and I can tell you, trying to walk from one corner of that tiny room to another about drove me nuts. Those guys had to endure it for the better part of a year.

Here is what the Lord said about those who persecuted Joseph and Hyrum and put them in that hell-hole:
"Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them." (D&C 121:16)
Why did God promise to curse Joseph and Hyrum's enemies? Because they wanted to do them physical harm ("lift up the heel against") and they lied about them, "saying they had sinned when they had not sinned." The Lord goes on to condemn those who accuse his special servants of transgression when they have committed no transgressions, evil men who swore falsely against them with the deliberate aim of getting them imprisoned and hopefully killed. (Verses 17-18)

You get the gist of it. Lying about anyone in hopes of getting them killed or imprisoned is an evil act in itself. But telling those lies about the Lord's anointed is so much more egregious that it would be better for the perpetrators "that a millstone had been hanged about their necks, and they drowned in the depth of the sea." (Verse 22.)

I wouldn't argue with that assessment one bit. The problem arises, however, when we take the words the Lord said about Joseph and Hyrum and apply them to members of the modern Church hierarchy. Should we speak evil of them? Of course we shouldn't. Evil speaking is evil no matter who the speech is directed against. But neither should we assume they have been anointed of the Lord when there is no evidence to suggest that assumption is based on fact.

For instance, most active members of the church believe Thomas Monson is God's anointed, same as Joseph Smith was almost two centuries ago. Yet can anyone name the date of President Monson's anointing?

So okay, maybe he wasn't actually anointed; perhaps he was just appointed by the Lord. At the very least he should have been ordained, right?

Okay then, why can't any of us find the date that important event-whatever you choose to call it- took place? How about the date Gordon Hinckley was anointed, appointed, or ordained by God?  Do we know that one? Why do we just assume some sort of anointing took place, while no one seems the least bit interested enough about it to want to know when exactly that monumental event occurred? This is supposedly the holy ordination of a prophet of God to the whole world, is it not? So why such disinterest?

Why is it that when the president of the church is presented at conference for a sustaining vote, the words we hear are "it is proposed that we sustain President Thomas S. Monson as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" without anything ever being said about the president having first been called, or appointed, or anointed, or ordained, or whatever to that calling by the Lord Himself prior to conference weekend?  Is it proper to give a sustaining vote to affirm an ordination we can't even claim we know for certain has taken place?

This tradition goes all the way back to our assumptions about Brigham Young. Those familiar with the history of the church are aware that three years after the prophet was murdered, Brigham Young persuaded the Twelve to nominate him to be president of the church, then asked for a sustaining vote from the congregation. Brigham was never appointed to that office by God, but at least he was wise enough not to promote himself as being the new prophet seer, and revelator. Yet, over time we have developed a tradition that says he somehow was exactly that.

Some members get uncomfortable when they learn that no president of the church since Joseph Smith has ever been appointed by God to fill the position of prophet, seer, and revelator. They are afraid this information could hurt their testimonies.

But why? Why should any of this news negate the reality of the Restoration?  Does the fact that Brigham Young took over Joseph Smith's administrative duties without having been called of God somehow prove the gospel is no longer true? Why would it? After Joseph's assassination, Brigham himself told the saints, "Heretofore you have had a prophet as the mouthpiece of the Lord to speak to you. But he has sealed his testimony with his blood, and now, for the first time, are you called to walk by faith, and not by sight." (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, 1844, pg 20)

The restored gospel, and the history, and the theology we collectively refer to as "Mormonism" remains true and valid no matter what has or has not occurred within the administrative halls of the Church. The only effect this information should have on any of us is to remind us that we must depend more than ever on Jesus Christ for our salvation, and not look to mere mortals for direction.

Why should it harm your testimony to discover the corporate Church is running on fumes? If you have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel, what does it matter if the so-called "line of authority" ceased to exist on the earth for a season? Does that mean the heavens are closed to you now and that God is no longer on His throne?

Or do you depend for your testimony on men?

It may surprise some members to learn that aside from the fact Brigham Young was not anointed by God when he was elected to the presidency of the Church, he wasn't even set apart or ordained by his fellow apostles! Brigham maintained that the apostolic church president and counselors needed no setting apart or ordination. All that was necessary, in his view, was a sustaining vote of the congregation. I disagree with him, but so what? Brigham is long gone anyway, so what does it matter so long as the theology remains intact?

Starting with president number five, Lorenzo Snow, Church presidents began to be "set apart" to the office, but they were still deliberately not ordained to it by their fellow general authorities. And they were certainly never recognized as being prophets, seers, and revelators. There were two reasons for that: first, those abilities were considered gifts that only God could bestow on a person, and second, the succeeding four presidents of the church had been alive when Joseph Smith was. They knew him, and they knew his prophecies. They understood that there would not be another prophet to lead the church until that prophesied day when the Lord would send one mighty and strong to set His house in order(D&C 85). At that future time, it was believed, The Lord would set his hand a second time to recover his covenant people (2 Nephi 29). In the pioneer LDS Church post-Joseph Smith, the idea that the president of the church was also a prophet was not widely held.

In an 1899 meeting of the First Presidency and apostles, Joseph F. Smith explained that it was proper for the First Presidency to be set apart, but "not ordained." In 1916 Joseph F. Smith, the Quorum of Twelve's president, emphatically instructed the senior president of the Seventy that "the president was set apart and not ordained." (See Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, pg 252-253.) But years later the protocol was adjusted:
"On 12 April 1951 David O. McKay became the first LDS church president to be 'ordained' since the founding prophet. Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith 'ordained and set apart' President McKay. At seventy-four, Apostle Smith may have forgotten his own father's restriction against ordaining presidents of the LDS church." (Quinn, ibid.)
Here's something to think about: The current general authorities will tell you their line of authority goes all the way back to Joseph Smith, because, they believe, every one of the presidents was ordained of God the same as Joseph Smith was. But here's the thing: we can actually track the ordination of Joseph Smith, because he was personally called and ordained by God to the work in D&C 5:6 and elsewhere. While he was still alive, Joseph passed on his authority to his brother Hyrum. Joseph was the only one authorized by the Lord to do so, because he was the only one on the earth who possessed it all.

After Joseph and Hyrum departed this sphere, the historical record shows us that line of ordinations abruptly stopped. But then it somehow resumes in 1951. Assuming for the moment that George Albert Smith actually had any authority, the difficulty in passing it on to David O. McKay in 1951 is that by this time George Albert was dead. So instead, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, who did not have the keys, gifts, or authority of a prophet, seer, and revelator, performed the ordination on David O. McKay.

Even if said apostle did somehow hold the "keys" and pass them on, wouldn't it be a stretch for the current leaders to claim they have a continuous, unbroken line of authority going back to Joseph Smith, since that line was broken at the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum and only just recently resumed in 1951?

The salient question is this: if Brigham Young had no authority to act as prophet, seer, and revelator, where did Thomas Monson get his? 

And if Monson does have those gifts, why has he never used them?

Here is something else to consider: have you ever heard Thomas Monson, or Gordon Hinckley, or any president of the Church in your lifetime, ever make the claim that he was God's anointed? For that matter, have you ever heard any of them claim to be a prophet?  Have you ever heard any president of the Church deliver a message that he claimed was spoken to him by God?

Eight men have been elected president of the Church in my lifetime, and I've never once heard any of them so much as pretend to be the mouthpiece of the Lord.  That endorsement always seems to come from those below the president in rank. The only president of the Church to openly make the claim of being a prophet, seer, and revelator was the first one, Joseph Smith, and he left behind plenty of evidence to back up that claim.

Let that sink in for a moment. With the sole exception of Joseph Smith, no president of the Church whom the members sustain as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator has ever declared himself to be a prophet, a seer, or a revelator.

Don't you find that strange?

Well, I don't find it as strange as the fact that during every conference session I watch, the president of the Church sits quietly in his comfy chair on the stand while those around him step up to the microphone to shower him with accolades, describing him as "our beloved prophet," when the object of their affection sits there knowing he has not the gifts of a prophet, nor has he been anointed by God to that position. What I find most remarkable of all is that never has a president of the Church told his obsequious underlings to knock it off and focus their praises on Christ Jesus instead of on him.

What About Honest Criticism?
One of the disadvantages of not having a living prophet on the earth who actually conveys the word of God directly to the people, is that sooner or later someone in Church government will start making things up on his own.  This is what happened a few years back when Dallin Oaks, ostensibly an apostle of the Lord, declared an opinion the Lord Himself never advocated.

If, as Oaks insists, "it's wrong to criticize leaders of the Church even if the criticism is true," then the scriptural lessons that contradict that statement have no meaning.

Several years ago Elder Oaks gave a talk to a congregation of young adults wherein he equated honest criticism of Church leaders with "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed." (Why is it that whenever some rogue G.A. sets out to promote a truly malodorous false doctrine, they always seem to try it out on the young people first?)

Dallin's talk promoted the idea that it was forbidden for members of the Church to even remotely suggest Church leaders might be capable of error. So yeah, you guessed it: I am going to criticize Oaks for saying that. But first, a quick story regarding an episode from my mission where a president of the Church was right and I was dead wrong.

"One Of Our Biggest Dangers Of Today"
I was twenty-one years old in 1973 when I entered the MTC, which in those days was located not in Provo, but in Salt Lake City. One day all us missionaries were herded through the underground tunnel to the Salt Lake temple, where we were told we would have the opportunity to meet with President Harold B. Lee in the upper room. We could ask the prophet any questions we wanted. That sounded incredible! I was really looking forward to learning the deeper doctrines first hand from a real live prophet of the Lord.

Well, I didn't have any questions for President Lee myself, but many of the others in my group did. And some of the questions they asked seemed like tough ones to me.  But every time a question was posed, President Lee would quickly thumb through the set of scriptures that sat on the podium before him, and read aloud the answer the scriptures gave.

It was really impressive watching him because he instantly knew just where to find the answer to every question, flipping through the pages of his quad with lightning speed -fwip, fwip, fwip- and then reading the answer to each question directly from the page. I'd never seen anyone with such a thorough mastery of the scriptures. Doctrinal mysteries that would have stumped any normal person were quickly dispensed with by Lee's reading aloud from the word of God.

But impressive as it was, afterward I felt a bit cheated. I had gone to that meeting with every expectation of hearing rare and profound words of wisdom from the mouth of a true prophet, and all the guy did the whole time was just stand there and read from the standard works.

My heck, I thought, I could have done that! Maybe not as quickly as he did, but I bet I could have eventually found those same passages if given enough time. He never said anything earth shattering at all. He just read to us. I expected something profound, but I came away profoundly disappointed.

What I realized years later was that Harold B. Lee knew something I hadn't known. Two things, actually: First, even if he was a prophet, why would anyone want to hear what he personally had to say? A prophet is never a font of wisdom on his own. As Joseph Smith succinctly stated, a prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as a prophet. And a prophet is only acting as a prophet when he is directly quoting words God puts in his mouth.

I had expected to hear President Lee deliver some world-shattering profundities to our group that day, but I hadn't realized that's not what a prophet is supposed to do. A prophet doesn't come up with sagacious outpourings on his own. He receives the words he is given from the mouth of the Lord, then repeats those words to the people verbatim, either orally or in writing. That is the only thing a prophet is authorized to do: accurately convey the message God gives him to deliver, exactly as it was received, and with no editorializing or additional commentary.

Even though I missed the opportunity to hear Harold B. Lee deliver a rip-roaring revelation that day, I later learned from him what I think is the most valuable lesson I've ever gleaned from any modern Church leader, when years later I came across a statement President Lee had published in the Ensign just a year before I saw him in person. This cautionary statement has become the template by which everything I write on this blog is measured:
"I say we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures. If only each of us would be wise enough to say that we aren't able to answer any question unless we can find a doctrinal answer in the scriptures! And if we hear someone teaching something that is contrary to what is in the scriptures, each of us may know whether the things spoken are false -it is as simple as that...I think therein is one of our biggest dangers of today." (First Presidency Message, Ensign, December 1972.)
President Lee seems to have echoed a sterner warning attributed to Joseph Smith two months before he was killed:
"If any man preaches to you doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine & Covenants, set him down as an imposter...Try them by the principles contained in the acknowledged word of God; if they preach, or teach, or practice contrary to that, disfellowship them; cut them off from among you as useless and dangerous branches, and if they are belonging to any of the quorums of the church, report them to the president of the quorum to which they belong." (Times & Seasons, 5:490-491, April, 1, 1844, emphasis in the original.)
Taking as our paradigm the statements of Harold B. Lee and Joseph Smith, let's examine that teaching of Dallin Oaks and see whether it measures up doctrinally. Because when Oaks came up with that doozy about it being wrong to criticize the leaders even if the criticism is true, he was not teaching anything he got from the scriptures. It wasn't even remotely consistent with the scriptures. He just pulled it out of his butt.

A Useless And Dangerous Branch
When we read Elder Oaks' talk on criticism, the first thing we notice is that at first he is teaching obvious truisms. It is wrong to be needlessly critical of others, to engage in backbiting and faultfinding without cause. But before long Brother Dallin is equating evil speaking -which means lying- with the act of telling the truth. He sprinkles his talk with off-point scripture verses and immaterial quotes from general authorities, and the next thing you know he is comparing himself and his fellows in the hierarchy as being equal to Moses. It's a pretty neat rhetorical trick, the way he pulls it off. But it's dishonest as hell.

Moses, you'll recall, is proven by the scriptures to have been the Lord's anointed, while Dallin Oaks and his cohorts have not. Oaks relates how the early Israelites in the wilderness, tired, hungry, and afraid, were complaining against Moses and Aaron, because of the situation they were now in. Moses responded by reminding them that he and Aaron did not bring them out here into the desert. They came here following the Lord.

What are we, that ye murmur against us?” Moses asked them. “The Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.”

Moses, you see, had merely been acting as a conduit between God and the people. The Lord was advising Moses directly, and the only reason the Israelites found themselves in the desert was because Moses had been relaying God's instructions to the people through Moses. It wasn't Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt, it was God.

Dallin Oaks uses that story to infer that when a member of the church expresses concerns about the actions of some Church leaders, that member is murmuring against the Lord Himself.  Because what Oaks is saying, you see, is that he and his pals are the Lord's anointed, and like, you know, you guys aren't supposed to be, like saying bad stuff about us and stuff because, like, when you do, y'know, you're actually saying mean things to God.

Someone ought to take Brother Oaks gently aside and explain to him that thousands of faithful, believing latter-day saints have some legitimate concerns about the way their leaders are taking the Church down paths that are inconsistent with the instructions God gave in the scriptures for the governing of His church.  He gets to understand that these members' desires to voice those concerns has nothing to do with lying, defamation, or calumny. Quite the opposite, I'd say. Dallin Oaks appears blind to his own shortcomings. He can spot the speck in a church member's eye from forty paces, but he is oblivious to the beam in his own.

"It's wrong to criticize the leaders of the Church even if the criticism is true."
That is an astonishingly stupid thing to hear come from the mouth of a person who carries so much influence. Yet in the ten years since Dallin Oaks recorded that statement, he has made absolutely no effort to meet with his therapist. He seems completely unaware that the scriptures command everyone to teach truth, to preach truth, to proclaim truth, and to testify of truth, all without qualification; which is to say authority figures are not exempt from hearing things about themselves they may not like hearing. The Book of Mormon is replete with lessons on the importance of speaking truth to power, especially when we detect iniquity taking root within the Church itself.

That's what the scriptures teach. Dallin Oaks, on the other hand, finds truth hard to take. He would have truth silenced if he could, and those advocating for truth cut off. Abinadi criticized the leaders of the Church in his day, and those criticisms were true. If Dallin Oaks had been a high priest of the Church in the court of King Noah, he likely would have sided with the others in calling for Abinadi to be burned at the stake.

The Duty Of The Faithful Latter-day Saint
I submit that the only time criticism of Church leadership is warranted is when the criticism is true. Otherwise it's not criticism, it's backbiting. Telling the truth is not evil speaking; telling falsehoods is.

Is it wrong, for instance, for Mormons to be concerned when the First Presidency of their Church turns out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of a multi-billion dollar shopping center? These men have been commanded to preach nothing but repentance, yet there they are on camera admonishing the saints to go shopping and spend their money in some of the most wastefully extravagant stores in the state.

I get why Monson, Uchtdorff, and Eyring made fools of themselves in public that day. They were understandably concerned with the possibility of losing their investments in an obvious boondoggle when the national economy had tanked while the project was still under construction. But that raises the question of why the leaders of Christ's church should be foolishly investing Church money in a shopping center in the first place. And it raises a further question: if Jesus Christ is truly the head of this Church and directs the leaders in what they do, why did he command them to build an elaborate shopping mall scheduled to open just when America would be going through its greatest financial crisis since 1929, when few would have money to spend on the ridiculously overpriced goods offered at that mall?

Or is it "evil speaking" to wonder about that?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to ask the leaders why they abruptly stopped providing church members with an annual accounting of Church spending after 1958? Is it evil speaking to remind them that Church funds under their control belong to the entire membership of the church and should not be seen as some gigantic slush fund for those in the hierarchy to spend on their own pet projects? Is it evil speaking to remind them that the Lord commands they give an accounting so the members can exercise their vote of common consent over these expenditures?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to bring attention to the fact that the only official doctrine on marriage in this church was canonized in scripture by a vote of the members, and that that doctrine states that weddings are to take place in public where all can witness them, and not in secret where they are attended only by a select few deemed "worthy"? Is it also evil speaking to want to know why that doctrine on marriage was quietly removed from the Doctrine & Covenants absent a revelation from God and without being submitted to the members for a vote?

What about the many untruths that have been promoted by Church leadership for years distorting and changing the Lord's law of tithing?  Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to suggest we should look to the law itself rather than rely on specious interpretations that contradict that law?  When Jeffrey Holland stood at the pulpit in general conference and read from a pamphlet written years earlier by apostle James Talmage regarding what is required of the tithe-payer and what is not, was Holland not being demonstrably dishonest when he left out pertinent sections of Talmage's words while inserting his own opinions without telling his listeners? Is it evil speaking to draw attention to Holland's fully documented perfidy?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to question the way Church leaders repeatedly misquote and misinterpret scripture in order to try to convince the unwary that they have special authority over the members that God never gave them?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to remark on the fact that the necessary oracles are absent in a Church that claims continuous revelation? How about the way in which the meaning of oracles has been changed? When both Joseph and Jesus spoke of oracles, they were referring to the communications that came from the mouth of God through his prophets. Today's Church manuals define the leaders themselves as the oracles. Is it evil speaking to draw attention to that obvious fallacy?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to suggest that Church leaders today don't seem to have the foggiest idea what they're talking about when they discuss the concept of priesthood keys?

When older men in Church leadership deliberately distort the tenets of our religion by telling young Mormon men that they are "doing the Lord's work" when they violate His commandment in D&C 98:33, then flatter them by calling them "mighty men of valor," is it wrong to criticize them for promoting completely unscriptural falsehoods that could lead to those young men's deaths or disfigurement? Or is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to suggest that in matters of life and death we ought to be following scripture rather than allow ourselves to be "carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness"?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to wonder why Church management in 1921 excised the first 73 pages of the Doctrine and Covenants, a chunk of scripture which Joseph Smith felt was of utmost importance? These important passages were removed from our scriptures without any explanation given, without a vote of the membership, and absent a revelation from God instructing the leaders to take it out.  Most members today (and a good number of leaders, I would wager) have never heard of the ample section of the D&C the prophet called "The Doctrine of the Church." What we have left is the section known as "Covenants and Commandments of The Lord," which is of great worth by itself, but it is far from being the complete doctrine and covenants that was canonized in 1835.

I could go on and on, and you're probably worried I will. But I'll stop now. I have written something in the neighborhood of two hundred blog posts documenting the way false traditions have edged out the true doctrines of the church -the ones easily available to us if we would only follow the counsel of Joseph Smith and Harold B. Lee and look to the scriptures for our doctrines instead of to those who seek to control the narrative. My friend Rob Smith has documented plenty of examples in his book, Teaching For Doctrines The Commandments Of Men, which you can either buy on Amazon or download here for free.

Rob's book contains nothing but truth. Page after page of truth. Do you care to guess what the self-described "Lord's Anointed" did to Brother Smith within days of his publishing that book? You guessed it -they expelled him from the church.

They expelled me, too, but I guess I should have seen it coming. After all, I'm the guy who accused one of their own of pulling doctrines out of his butt.


Miguel Aveiro said...

Hey Rock. I'll read the full post, but I just want to pick out something you said near the beginning. You said that the Lord punishes the descendants of those who speak evil of the Lord's anointed. I know we can read in the Book of Mormon that the Lamanites were cursed and it appears it was due to the decisions of their ancestors to rebel against God, but the curse was due to their own behaviour, it's just that their ancestors caused that they would not know about God and were taught incorrect traditions and to hate the Nephites.

But if an individual speaks evil of the Lord's anointed, then their children are not punished for it. They may grow up doing the same thing, being taught to do this sin. However, if they don't they're not under any condemnation. I know "unto the third and fourth generation" gets understood to mean God punishes several generations for an ancestor's actions, but it means God will do the same thing to the following generations who also break his commandments.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ah! An excellent point, Miguel. That is a way of looking at it that I had not contemplated. Thanks for your input.

John Scott Peterson said...


Great job as usual. The irony is to me is that modern active Mormons speak evil of Joseph by blaming him for plural marriage, and they speak evil of Hyrum by never recognizing he has also had the sealing power. Bt active Mormons also believe that if you or I or anyone else points of the flaws of the men who sit in the chief seats and fare sumptuously, we are speaking evil of the Lord's anointed.

Keep up your excellent work,

John Scott Peterson

Unknown said...

You covered some points that needed to be addressed. The trouble with the orthodox church view is that any statement one makes that runs contrary to the Prophet’s view is seen as being worthy of perdition or worse. I was excommunicated for just that even hough I broke no rule in the church. Keep up the good fight - the light is slowly shining through the crumbling rafters.

Kendal Anderson said...

Great point John. Funny that an organization that claims authority from Joseph accuses him of polygamy, polyandry, lying, and sleeping with a 14 yr old. Not only this, but they have changed his doctrines, corrupted his teachings, omitted certain revelations (Lectures on Faith), and base their administrative policies on church leaders that came after him. Yet they accuse guys like Rock of "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed." Makes no sense.

David said...

Great post Rock, and I was even able to catch most of it, even with my ADD and etc.

You hit is spot on, anyone who has read Denver Snuffers new works, by John the Beloved. Page 14, comment by the Jewish leaders to Christ; "You are the product of extramarital fornication involving and unknown number of men, and we are not sure. We have one Father, even God."

I did not catch that the first read time I read it, they just called the Lord a Bastard and his mother a whore. No wonder he did not mince words with them, and even called them a bunch of Vipers, as noted by Denver Snuffer, in his works.

Unknown said...

Just wondering about the jump you make from "the Lord's annointed" to "annointed by the Lord." Could it be that "Lord's" is possessive, meaning "belonging to the Lord?" With this interpretation your original allusion to the annointing portion of the endowment ceremony holds true. Every person who has been endowed in the temple and is faithful in keeping their covenants (a judgement not left to us, therefore we must act as if every endowed member is faithful) qualifies as "the Lord's annointed." Just a little food for thought...

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dang it, Kendal, I meant to include a mention of the removal of the Lecture on faith in that list of crimes near the end, but I forgot. Maybe I'll slip it in anyway; I'm always amending and adding little things to my post the first few days after I write them.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Unknown, I think you may be onto something. It's very likely anyone who is anointed unto the Lord in the temple COULD be considered the Lord's anointed, as long as they continue to be strictly faithful to the Lord in keeping His commandments without fail. But those in leadership positions who have betrayed the Lord by corrupting the church, changing the doctrines, etc can hardly lay claim to the title they think they have.

I think the same goes for those in the hierarchy who haven't had any direct role in taking the Church down the slippery slope. The fact that they stand by quietly and watch The Good Ship Zion plunge beneath the waves without ever saying anything makes them culpable, and would nullify any claim.

Log said...

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" can also be translated "You shall not tell lies about other people."

It is unfortunate we don't know, and cannot know, what portions of the endowment, if any, came from Joseph, and what portions, if any, came from Brigham Young. It strikes me as odd, on its face, that evilspeaking is specifically enjoined against only one class of people - or, perhaps, one person - and not all, for God, as it is written, is not partial, nor a respecter of men, but all are equal before him.

Incidentally, Rock, methinks D&C 43 makes the subject and scope of Hyrum's authority to be... problematic.

dx said...

Show at least a little respect for the burden these positions of leadership place on the shoulders of these gentlemen. Their task is not easy at all. They have so many people looking to cause them to stumble outside and within. They have so many people with needs to attend to. They have devoted their lives to service. Let's see you do better. It's so easy to pick at and criticize. Take a moment to empathize. Put yourself in their shoes. Not just the "power" part that you perceive, but the service part and strain of preaching a message to a non-receptive and hostile world. I think there to too much projection of ill will onto these people. That is not right.

Log said...

Matt 11
28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

DX, I'd be interested in your providing me some details regarding the actual, uncompensated service these men have, as you put it, "devoted their lives to."

iterry said...

BS DX, These leaders have strayed from the commandments of God. Rock is holding them accountable for their actions even though absolutely nothing can be done to change the course of the Church. Only God can change it now which He will soon do. Rock is pointing out to you that these leaders have usurped the titles reserved for only the truly anointed of the Lord which these leaders are not.

But how do we tell they aren’t anointed. Well, for one thing there is no revelation given to the Church today. You never hear Verily Thus Saith the Lord to Monson. Joseph Smith was the only prophet of the Church who received revelation from God. It ended with him as prophesied in the parable of the Nobleman D&C 101:43-62.

The reason they aren’t acceptable to God is they do not keep the commandments of God. Let me give you a short list of those commandments they do not keep or have caused to be changed. 1. The Lord warns us against idolatry. The Christus is an idol of God the Son. This is forbidden under the second commandment. 2. There was no revelation given to Kimball to give the blacks the priesthood. The Church continues to lie to the members about this by saying that Joseph ordained blacks. He did not and this commandment to keep the blacks from the priesthood is given in Abraham chapter 1 and Moses chapter 7. This has resulted in the end of the high priesthood. 3. Common consent is no longer found in the Church. There is no voting and every decision is forced on the saints through a sustaining vote which is not scriptural. 4. They accept Roe V Wade abortion in the Church as well as homosexuality contrary to the commandments of God thou shalt not commit murder etc. There are many more commandments that they break and cause the members to commit sin which will result in them being condemned as it says in 2 Nephi 28.

The members have deified these leaders which is more akin to what the Catholic Church does than what was found in the Lord’s Church. Frankly I’m glad there are people like Rock who expose these leaders for who they are. Wolves-in-sheeps- clothing. They appear to be gentle lambs but instead feed upon the flocks as a bunch of wolves. They are apostates that are running and ruining the Church today. Soon however the lord will correct the situation and cleanse the Church and remove these leaders as prophesied in Ezekiel 13. Can’t wait for that day.

Greg Jackson said...

God has no issues with anyone partaking of his goodness. Man seems to have all kinds of rules and issues denying others of God's goodness.

2 Nephi 26:33 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.

Iterry said...

Are you referring to blacks holding the priesthood Greg? Have you read Abraham 1? Apparently they have been cursed as to receiving the priesthood. That prohibition has not been lifted. There is no revelation where God changed his mind.

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

There's no revelation which says God cursed blacks as to receiving the priesthood, either - I checked Abraham 1 before posting this comment to be sure the phrase "receiving the priesthood" does not occur therein, nor any unambiguous synonyms thereof.

Thus there is no known prohibition on blacks receiving the priesthood to be lifted, and thus God may not need to change his mind on this potentially non-existent prohibition on blacks receiving the priesthood.

Iterry said...

Log go read the revelation again. It says they cannot have the priesthood because of their race. It's right there in chapter one of Abraham. Show me where it says they can have it.

Log said...

No matter how many times I read Abraham 1, it never says "receiving the priesthood" in Abraham 1.

You can either acknowledge your position cannot be unambiguously established from the scriptures and drop the matter from henceforth, or you can contend and dispute despite the fact that your position cannot be unambiguously established from the scriptures, and despite the fact that contention and disputation are contrary to the commandments of God.

iterry said...

Log Lets go through what it says then so that you understand. The prohibition is against a race. The race is those who descend from Ham through Canaanite known as Canaanites BY BIRTH.

Abraham 1:21 Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.

24 ... and thus, frrom HAM, sprang that RACE which preserved THE CURSE in the land

Log that's pretty clear isn't it. They are cursed

26... Pharaoh being a Righteous man (Log it doesn't have to do with righteousness its all about race)... NOah his father, who blessed him with blessings of the earth BUT CURSED him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

vs 27 Now, Pharaoh being of that LINEAGE by which he COULD NOT HAVE the RIGHT OF PRIESTHOOD.

Now Log - This is pretty darn clear. Joseph Smith when asked if they can have the priesthood said NO the spirit whispers that they cannot. Eldred G. Smith went to the Lord after the phony revelation and asked the Lord if there was a revelation giving them the priesthood. The answer was NO there was none and he told the apostate leaders that. He was thrown out as a result.

But beside all that I held the priesthood before 1978 and I knew I had it and I knew when it was taken along with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The gifts are not found in the Church today as they once were so from that I know of a surety that the priesthood was taken because it was given to the blacks.

There are other scriptures prohibiting them from going to the temple as well see Zechariah 14:21.

iterry said...

Log I should add one more and that is Moses 7:8 ...and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all the people.

Again this curse is the black skin and the are prohibited from the priesthood. These are not my words but the Lords to Moses who was actually a prophet.

A and E said...

Rock and Connie, you know we love you, your family to us.

While I do agree that the church is wrong to do what they are doing and we too, have received discipline from the church.
I wonder, if I were in the high position of church leadership, if I, stood to loose so much power.... Would I not do the same to protect the infallible church? I do not justify their actions, but if I was like unto them, would I not do the same?
I know I have a mountain of my own dry bones, am I much different?

Questions: Does the church still have authority? If not... Why still fight against it? Where is the authority wrested to now? What did Joseph Smith say about when you can find an Authorized minister? Is there a greater burden now laid upon us but one that has Eternal significance?

I saw a picture in my mind, a great beast. Everyone is surrounding the beast, everyone has their sword in hand, everyone is poking at the beast and riling it up. The beast bites some and they run to the frenzied crowds crying "It bit me, it bit me!" This makes the crowd all the more intent to kill the beast.
The people point out all the obvious flaws of the beast...thinking this is the sacrifice required of them. To lay down their lives killing the beast or being bitten. I wonder if we wear the bite marks as tokens of bravery?
Still the people cry out...obvious to everyone
"Look at its huge teeth, look at its huge claws... Look how it sits in the way...."
Eventually the beast will be so angry, it may begin to kill.
What will become of the people's bravery then? Will they have strength left to complete the course?

Are we laboring and sacrificing a sacrifice and fighting a battle we are not authorized to walk in?

Do any of us have a fullness of Light? Are any of us Son and Daughters in the correct meaning?

What we might not see is the true sacrifice required of us as found in the Book of Mormon, the only sacrifice that will save our souls and the souls of our neighbours. We need to labor in the Way as as the Lord has commanded us, When we eventually are bit by those flying serpents that are coming... We might be able to stand in that day.
Do not provoke a beast.
Have no accusation against another.
Walk a Melchizedek, the higher way rather than the Aaronic which is pointing out everyone else's flaws.
Focus of the Commandments which are saving and labor to bring others in the way.

Please forgive me of my weakness in writing. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone specific, in fact... Most of this is for myself as I remain unredeemed and still in hell trapped and chained down by my sins.

Imagine if all our blogs and words we shared online were full of Light and Truth. Imagine if all we wrote about was the invitation to come and Repent, be Baptized and get more Holy Ghost.

Eva Gore

Janae White said...

iterry, you should check this out.

iterry said...

janae, I looked at it but didn't bother to listen since I know what will be said. What is your point anyway? The scriptures are clear on this subject that the descendants of Canaan cannot hold the priesthood period. It caused the removal of the priesthood from the Church. There are no healings in the Church, the gift of the Holy Ghost is gone and other miracles are now missing as a result. I realize what the Church has said about this issue and they are lying to the members about it. Joseph Smith may have ordained one 1/8 black man by the name of Elijah Abel. He withdrew his position in the quorum after he found out he was black.

Being called a racist is the most terrifying charge in the US today. But the scriptures are clear about their status. In D&C 87 it says that they will vex the gentiles with a sore vexation. This has absolutely been fulfilled (D&C 87:5). So don't be fooled by all this the leaders caved in on this issue. It won't go back to the restriction so don't worry about that. God will have to step in now and correct the situation because that prohibition has not been lifted.

So again - what is your point?

Log said...


You have to change the words of the scriptures, either adding to or subtracting from them, to get your reading out of the scriptures, which means you are without unambiguous scriptural support for your position - that the scriptures forbid blacks from being made members of the priesthood.

Now, for those who are reading along, do you wish people would try to contend and dispute with you to get you to agree with positions that aren't known to be true and that they can't prove to be true?

If not, then what does the golden rule imply about trying to contend and dispute with people to get them to agree with positions that aren't known to be true and that you can't prove to be true?

iterry said...

Log, I guess you therefore agree that the scriptures mean what they say they do that they are a cursed race as to the priesthood.

This isn't about the Golden rule. This is about the priesthood of God and who can and can't have it. It is very clear in Abraham that they are cursed from holding the priesthood. This has always been known in the Church. And I do not care one wit if anybody agrees with me. The genie is already out of the bottle and cannot be put back in until God corrects the situation which he will do as prophesied in Zechariah 14 as I mentioned to you. Another scripture you ignored bTW.

The reason I'm pointing this out is because of a couple of things. This ended the high priesthood in the Church. This was a result of apostasy. There was no revelation on the blacks. EG Smith was removed from his office because of it. Jimmy Carter is responsible for threatening the Church with the hammer of the Federal Government if they did not comply. Kimball being the liberal coward that he was caved in instead of relying on God to defend him and the Church. To bad, because it meant the end of the priesthood. It will be restored however when the time comes. So that is the reason I point this out. Whether you believe it or not - don't care.

Log said...

I look in Abraham for a very clear statement - of any kind - that "they are cursed from holding the priesthood" and cannot find it; the reason I cannot find it in Abraham is because that's your spin on the scriptures, and it is not what the scriptures unambiguously say.

Your position cannot be proven from the scriptures as they are written and your position is therefore not known to be true and is without unambiguous scriptural foundation.

Do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Let your communication be yea, yea, or nay, nay, please.

iterry said...

For crying out loud Log I quoted the scriptures to you. Where does it say in Abraham 1 that they can hold the prieshood. Here is the offending scripture for you again.


Again Log is says very clearly that because of Lineage he cannot hold the priesthood. The lineage was Black as I pointed out.

What part of the word NOT can't you understanding?

Log said...

"He cannot hold the priesthood" is not what it says. What it does say is ambiguous. The fact that you have to add to or subtract from what it does say to make it say "he cannot hold the priesthood" is simply to admit and demonstrate that I am correct in that you cannot prove your case.

I will repeat: Do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...

Log, I found this for you to examine since you obviously do not want to believe scripture. It is clear that Joseph did not want them to hold the priesthood. He may have have ordained one Elijah Abel but that is in dispute. he later removed him from the quorum. There were only a handful of Canaanites in the Church at the time of Joseph Smith, but here are two statements about the blacks and the priesthood. This conforms to Abraham 1. Your interpretation DOES NOT.

1) Saturday, May 31st, 1879, at the house of President A. O. Smoot, Provo City, Utah, Utah County, at 5 o’clock p.m. President John Taylor, Elders Brigham Young, Abraham O. Smoot, Zebedee Coltrin and L. John Nuttall met, and the subject of ordaining Negroes to the Priesthood was presented.

Brother Coltrin: The spring that we went up in Zion’s Camp in 1834, Brother Joseph sent Brother J. P. Green and me out south to gather up means to assist in gathering out the Saints from Jackson County, Missouri. On our return home we got in conversation about the Negro having a right to the Priesthood, and I took up the side he had no right. Brother Green argued that he had. The subject got so warm between us that he said he would report me to Brother Joseph when we got home for preaching false doctrine, which doctrine that I advocated was that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood. “All right” said I “I hope you will.” And when we got to Kirtland, we both went to Brother Joseph’s office together to make our returns, and Brother Green was as good as his word and reported to Brother Joseph that I said that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood. Brother Joseph kind of dropped his head and rested it on his hand for a minute, and then said, “Brother Zebedee is right, for the spirit of the Lord saith the Negro has no right nor cannot hold the Priesthood.” He made no reference to Scripture at all, but such was his decision. I don’t recollect ever having any conversation with him afterwards on this subject. But I have heard him say in public that no person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood.

2) Abraham O. Smoot also gave further testimony to Priesthood restriction from the Negro race:
Brother A. O. Smoot said W. W. Patten, Warren Parrish and Thomas B. Marsh were laboring in the Southern States in 1835 and 1836. There were Negroes who made application for baptism. And the question arose with them whether Negroes were entitled to hold the Priesthood. And by those brethren it was decided they would not confer the Priesthood until they had consulted the Prophet Joseph, and subsequently they communicated with him. His decision, as I understood was, they were not entitled to the Priesthood, nor yet to be baptized without the consent of their Masters.

In after years when I became acquainted with Joseph myself in the Far West, about the year 1838, I received from Brother Joseph substantially the same instructions. It was on my application to him, what should be done with the Negro in the South, as I was preaching to them. He said I could baptize them by consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon them. (The Church and the Negroid People, as quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, p. 11)

iterry said...

Again - Log the scripture in Abraham 1:27 says they do not have right of Priesthood and that proves my case. Joseph Smith said that they cannot hold it and that proves my case. Your case is not proved if you cannot produce a scripture that says otherwise that they can hold the priesthood. You have not proved your case as far as I'm concerned and you have not produced a scripture yet that proves it. Show me where it says they can hold the priesthood. Abraham 1 says they cannot

Log said...

Because of course Coltrin and Smoot's very late (1879) and unsupported and unattested reminisces are relevant to the question I asked you to respond to with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

And of course Smoot and Coltrin could not possibly have been motivated to lie in their very late and unsupported and unattested reminisces in order to be seen to advance Brigham Young's preferred narratives pertaining to this very issue.

I will ask yet again: do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...

I have proved my case Log. The scriptures say very clearly they cannot hold the priesthood. The history of the Church shows that they cannot hold the priesthood and Joseph Said they cannot hold the priesthood. So i will ask you to show me a scriputre they can hold it because Abraham 1:27 clearly says they cannot.

Log said...

There is no contemporary evidence Joseph said any such thing.

I have no case to prove. It suffices to note you cannot prove yours.

iterry said...

Log I have proven my case by Abraham 1:27. You have not proved your case as I mentioned many times. The scriptures are clear and Joseph Smith as reported by others said that they cannot hold the priesthood. The priesthood was removed then and that is clear. My case is proved yours is not.

Log said...

Abraham 1:27 does not say they cannot be made members of the priesthood. Abraham 1:27 does not say they cannot "hold" the priesthood.

For both of those readings require additions to, or subtractions from, Abraham 1:27.

I will ask yet again: do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...


This clearly says he cannot hold the priesthood. Holding is the same thing as having Right of Priesthood. The scriptures are clear that the blacks cannot hold the priesthood. So repeat it again that you do not understand this scripture. It is very clear that they are a cursed race and cannot have right of Priesthood. My case if proved yours is not.

Log said...

"Could not have the right of priesthood" is not the same as "cannot hold the priesthood." The phrases are different, even if both phrases involve the words "the" and "not" and "priesthood." And it is not clear that they mean the same thing. Hence, "ambiguous."

I will ask yet again: do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...

Log - those are the same thing they mean they cannot have the priesthood. No it is not ambiguous This entire chapter made the case that they are the Cursed race and cannot have right to the priesthood meaning they cannot hold it. I'm made my case and the scripture is clear. You tell me its ambiguous but it is not. It says NOT and NOT MEANS they cannot hold the priesthood. It's very clear they cannot hold it in this scripture

Log said...

Incidentally, the phrase "hold the priesthood" or any variant thereof does not seem to exist in the scriptures. I find that significant.

iterry said...

Log, this came from Joseph Smith through revelation. Do you even believe Joseph was prophet?

Log said...

"Log - those are the same thing"

That is unclear to me.

"they mean they cannot have the priesthood."

It's clear that ONE of those phrases means that - but not the phrase used in the scriptures.

"No it is not ambiguous"

But it is ambiguous, or this conversation would not only not be happening, but also be impossible.

"This entire chapter made the case that they are the Cursed race and cannot have right to the priesthood"

That's not what it says.

"meaning they cannot hold it."

Which is also not what it says.

"I'm made my case and the scripture is clear."

Then you have no case because you clearly are not going by what the scriptures say but adding to them or subtracting from them to get your case out of them.

"You tell me its ambiguous but it is not."

Yes, we call this phenomenon "cognitive dissonance," or, scripturally, "blindness."

"It says NOT and NOT MEANS they cannot hold the priesthood."

If only it said "can not hold the priesthood." Did you know "hold the priesthood" is not a phrase that occurs in scripture?

"It's very clear they cannot hold it in this scripture[.]"

It's unclear anyone can "hold" the priesthood in any scripture; and your position on the blacks being forbidden from being made members of the priesthood is not clearly based on anything the scripture actually says.

I don't know why you don't simply acknowledge you can't prove your case when you clearly cannot prove your case; I also don't understand what stops you from simply saying "yes" or "no" to my question.

Log said...

"Log, this came from Joseph Smith through revelation. Do you even believe Joseph was prophet?"

Your additions or subtractions to the book of Abraham are at issue, not the book of Abraham itself.

iterry said...

Log, It is clear that they cannot hold the priesthood and this scripture tell us that very fact. Also as I mentioned the history of the Church supports this view YOURS does not. If the Church gave the blacks the priesthood from the beginning then you might have a point. They did not and they did understand this scripture. You are making in ambiguous because of political correctness and not wanting to be called a racist. There is no other explanation. I mentioned to the other lady above that the Blacks vex the gentiles with a sore vexation according to D&C 87. This is clear and you must be afraid to stand up for the truth in this matter.

You did not answer my question as to whether you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet or not. I'm assuming that you do not believe he was based on your argument.

Log said...

There is an explanation for my observation that the scriptures do not unambiguously support your anti-black priesthood position aside from my political correctness: the scripture does not say what you say it says. The words in the scripture do not match your words, and the meanings you ascribe to the words in the scripture are not clearly what the words in the scripture means.

I find it interesting that you would make noticing the difference between what Abraham 1:27 actually says and what you say Abraham 1:27 says equivalent to rejecting Joseph as a prophet.

For I make no argument. I simply note you are adding to or subtracting from the scriptures to make your anti-black priesthood case. You deny, but then demonstrate what you deny, because I am correct in my observation that the words as they stand do not unambiguously say what you say they say - that's why you have to add to them or subtract from them, and have done so in full view of every observer here.

iterry said...

Log, That's all hogwash. It is not ambiguous and says exactly what it says that the blacks cannot hold the priesthood. You must be politically correct. Maybe you are starting a new church and need that tithing money. Whatever the reason you either accept Joseph Smith as a prophet or you don't. The prohibition came from the days of Joseph Smith not later as I pointed in by members WHO WERE THERE. You weren't there and you don't know so we have to rely on their words and more importantly the scriptures.

YOU have not made your case that the blacks can hold the priesthood, have right to the priesthood, are not of the cursed race. Joseph Smith said all these things because they were given to him from God. It's that simple.

Log said...

I made no case at all, other than to observe that you are adding to the scriptures or subtracting from the scriptures to make your anti-black priesthood case, since the scriptures don't unambiguously say what you say they say, which is why you have to add to them or subtract from them.

And you, while loudly denying that I am correct, proceeded to do exactly what I said you were doing by adding to or subtracting from the scripture to make your anti-black priesthood doctrine appear there.

And you tried to use very late reminisces from men other than Joseph to stuff your anti-black priesthood doctrine in Joseph's mouth, where it is not only not found, but he himself ordained a black, as you admit but try to minimize the fatal wound it inflicts upon your doctrine.

If your anti-black priesthood doctrine were unambiguously found in the scripture, we'd not be having this pleasant chat.

iterry said...

Log the reason we are having this discussion is for one reason only and that is Kimball's phony revelation.

Log said...

Or we could possibly be having this conversation because Brigham banned blacks from ordination on his own authority. That really can't be ruled out on the scriptural evidence without adding to the scriptures or subtracting from them, can it?

And since God denies none - neither black nor white - who come unto him as it is written in the Book of Mormon, and since Abraham 1:27 doesn't unambiguously forbid blacks from being ordained to the priesthood, and since Joseph never said otherwise that we can prove, and since Joseph ordained at least one black to the priesthood, we seem to have reason to consider that possibility.

iterry said...

Log the Church was keeping this commandment in Abraham 1:27 not to give the priesthood to the blacks until 1978. Joseph Smith may have given the priesthood to Elijah Abel but he is was a very light colored person being 1/8 black and so if so he was fooled. he later corrected the situation. Other than him there was none ordained and others said that they were not to be ordained as Joseph Smith Said. So this all conforms to the scripture in Abraham 1. It is not ambiguous because the Church followed that doctrine until Kimball. That false prophet faked a revelation giving the priesthood to the blacks. He was forced to have that revelation by Jimmy Carter.

That's the truth of the matter and it's very clear in the scriptures. I'm still waiting for your denial of Joseph as a prophet of God. I think the day will come when the Church will take out the PofGP and declare that it isn't scripture because of this unambiguous scripture about the blacks.

You still need to make the case that the word NOT does NOT mean NOT.

Log said...

Two more facts - the Book of Abraham was published in 1835, and Joseph ordained Elijah Abel in 1836; six months later he was made a Seventy.

That's extremely problematic for the truth of Coltrin's statement concerning Joseph's alleged statements on this matter. I'd go as far as to say it proves Coltrin a liar.

Log said...

It's also extremely problematic for your anti-black priesthood doctrine, which you have apparently inherited not from Joseph nor the scriptures, but from Brigham.

iterry said...

Log, I just quoted a number of early members who reported what Joseph Said so yes we can unequivocally say that this ban did not happen with Brigham Young. It came from Joseph Smith. You still ignore Zechariah 14: 21 where it says that the day will come when the Canaanite will not be allowed in the house of the Lord. This is a prophesy about us. By giving them the priesthood they are allowed into His house. The day will come when they will not be allowed in. AGAIN, this scripture is supported in Abraham 1:27 and the reports of what Joseph Smith said. The Church is lying about Brigham Young being the one who instituted this. It was not and I've proved it by scripture and by reports of the members.

iterry said...

Log - not at all I get the doctrine from the Pearl of Great Price and from Zechariah. I didn't inherit anything from Brigham Young. I don't consider him a prophet regardless - only a president of the Church and nothing more.

Log said...

You can unequivocally say whatever you wish, apparently, except answer my question with an unequivocal "yes" or an unequivocal "no."

We have no actual firsthand contemporary witness that can lay this on Joseph. Both alleged reminisces come from 1879, and Coltrin's "testimony" is contradicted fully by Joseph ordaining Elijah Abel.

It does not arise from Abraham 1:27.

Brigham was the first to pronounce any such ban that we have actual evidence of, and he seems to have been aware of being the first.

"any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ... in him cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know it."

Log said...

And what of Walker Lewis? The tangled webs we weave...

iterry said...

Well no that isn't true at all because the ban existed at the time of Joseph Smith as told to us by those witnesses so no I do not agree with you. Show me an ordination by Joseph Smith in 1844 if you please. Is there one? I don't know of any.

Also you do admit that according to the Pearl of Great price the blacks are a cursed race. You do admit that do you not? I mean it's not ambiguous at all where it says that vs 24... sprang that race which preserved the CURSE in the land. Do you ignore that scripture as well?

iterry said...

Log, Not tangled at all - the scriptures are clear. It is you who is tangling the web by denying the scriptures due to political correctness. You have heard of the curse of Cain right? You do know that he was cursed. That curse was carried through the flood and that is the meaning of Abraham 1:24. Anyway you look at it the blacks are a cursed race. They are denied the priesthood because of that. They are called cursed in the scriptures and the scriptures spell out very clearly who they are.

The only question that you should ask is why the prohibition to them holding the priesthood. And the answer to that obviously stems from the pre-existence. They did something there that brought on this curse. The Lamanites did something and they were cursed with a skin of blackness as well. But the descendants of Canaan are specifically mentioned as cursed to the priesthood. But why? Why are they black Log? Do you even understand or have ever heard of the curse of Cain? Can you explain to me this cursing as it says in the book of Abraham.

Log said...

The "witnesses" are unsupported by Joseph's words as we have them from Joseph, they are unsupported - Coltrin is contradicted - by Joseph's actions as we have proof he ordained Elijah Abel as well, and the "witnesses" are very late - 1879. Therefore, we have no contemporary evidence the anti-black priesthood ban started with Joseph, we have contemporary evidence that it did not start with Joseph, and we have firsthand contemporary evidence that it started with Brigham Young. If it had started with Joseph, we would undoubtedly have heard Brigham appealing to Joseph's anti-black priesthood ban to support his own; nay, if it had started with Joseph, and if there were evidence of it starting with Joseph, Brigham would not have had reason to say "if no other prophet ever spake it before I will say it now...."

I acknowledge that the scriptures say what the scriptures say, and only what they say. Since the Pearl of Great Price does not say "the blacks are a cursed race," I do not acknowledge that the Pearl of Great Price says "the blacks are a cursed race," just as I do not acknowledge your other adulterations of the text.

Log said...

If you understood the cursing as it says in the book of Abraham, you would not be asking me to explain it to you - so you're admitting by your actions, even if you should continue to deny with your words, that I was correct when I said your position is not known to be true and cannot be proven to be true.

iterry said...

Log, What part of the word CURSED can't you understand? This is real baffling to me. It says very clearly in verse 24 they are cursed. Moses 5 and 7 talk about the cursing of the black race. Why are they black? You haven't answered that question. Why? It is a cursing is it not? They are human you know and it is curse to be black is it not? This is also found in Genesis about the cursing of Cain. A mark was set upon him. So you can't get around this only by denying what the scriptures say and that is what you are doing.

But why do you deny the scriptures. Is it you don't want to be called a racist? Is it because of political correctness? Are you afraid of these things being labeled as such? That's my only conclusion in your case is you are afraid to acknowledge what the scriptures say. I've quoted them again and again and it's written in very plan English that they are cursed and they cannot hold the priesthood. Simple as that

Log said...

I haven't answered your question because I haven't taken any position EXCEPT that your dogmatic anti-black priesthood doctrine is just that - dogma, unsupported by scripture and unsupported by actual evidence. Thus far, you keep saying I'm wrong and simultaneously demonstrating that I'm right.

In other words: you have no actual knowledge about what you're saying. You are spouting dogma.

If the scriptures, as actually written and not as adulterated by yourself, said in very plain English that "they are cursed and they cannot HOLD the priesthood," we'd not be having this chit-chat. It is precisely because the scriptures do not say "they are cursed and they cannot HOLD the priesthood," nor anything unambiguously synonymous with that, that this chit-chat is occurring.

iterry said...

Log, Nonsense. I understand completely what the cursing of Cain and of the descendants of Canaan is. You have not explained what it is because you can't explain it from your point of view. It is clear in the scriptures what that cursing is and your denial is very revealing. My conclusion still stands - you are afraid of being called a racist because of political correctness. Maybe you are setting up a new church and need the money and don't want to offend anybody. Fine! I can understand that. But to sit there and deny what the scriptures say and then tell me they don't say what they clearly say is absurd! This doctrine has been understood from the beginning. It's only since 1978 has it been screwed up. All this because of D&C 87 which you fail to even acknowledge that the blacks will vex the gentiles. That prophecy has been fulfilled in you.

Log said...

In other words, I don't have to prove you wrong. All I have to do is point out that you haven't been proven right, and also that you cannot be proven right on the text and evidence we have before us.

And to do that, I don't need to take any position at all; all I have to do is point out the scriptures do not say what you say they say.

I don't need to prove, nor even have, an alternative theory to point out an existing theory is unproven and unprovable.

iterry said...

Log it says very clearly in Abraham 1 verse 24 that the curse comes through Ham. This so-called dogma comes from the scriptures and has been understood by millions of Christians until the Blacks found it objectionable and because to vex the gentiles. That's the real reason for your denial. It's nothing more than that. You have to comply with the dogma that Black is okay in order to not be called a racist or whatever. The LDS Church had it right before 1978 Joseph Smith had it right because it came by revelation and you haven't made any case using scripture or any other testimony otherwise. It is you who have twisted the scriptures. The day will come when they will be put out of the temple as it says in Zechariah which is another scripture you deny.

Log said...

What curse? What does "the curse" mean? What is the scope, what is the effect?

The text doesn't say.

If only the scriptures ever said "the descendants of Ham cannot be ordained to the priesthood, oh, and by the way, all blacks are descendants of Ham and so all blacks cannot be ordained to the priesthood" we'd not be having this conversation. It is precisely because the scriptures cannot unambiguously be made to say this that this conversation can even be happening. And your refusal to acknowledge that your case cannot be proven without adulterating the text is simply telling me that you're not particularly concerned with what the text actually says.

When you adulterate the text by adding to or subtracting from it in order to make this "doctrine" appear therein, you are simply demonstrating what I said at the beginning. And when you deny that's what you're doing, even as you do it, well, I don't really know what you think you're accomplishing thereby. Proving me wrong, maybe?

iterry said...

Log, So far this has been a very easy debate for me because you haven't had a leg to stand on. The scriptures are clear that Cain was cursed because of his murder of Abel. The curse was passed on down to his descendants which made it through the flood of Noah and that curse was preserved in the land. The Curse was the black skin as it says in Abraham 1:24. later in verse 27 it says they cannot hold the priesthood and that is also clear. You have not made the case that there is no curse that the blacks are not cursed.

You still have not explained any of these scriptures. You've said they are ambiguous which means to me that you don't understand them. But I think you do Log. I think you know full well what they mean. You just can't acknowledge it because it means your priesthood is long gone. If you were to do so it would mean you are a racist just as Abraham, Moses and Christ are all racists. That is where the doctrine comes from direct from heaven and that is the meaning of it all.

I've proved you wrong over and over again. Prove to me that the black race are not cursed as it says. Prove to me that Cain was not cursed. Prove to me that you still have the priesthood. Prove to me that Joseph did not prohibit the priesthood being given to blacks. Explain to me these scriptures which you deny. Tell me why the blacks will be thrown out of the temple in the last days according to Zechariah. Until you can explain it instead of simply denying the scriptures then you've lost the argument. It's as simple as that. Good try though. I've seen a much better defense than yours. Just simply saying I can't understand them doesn't mean much to me. It's been fun nevertheless. Thanks

Log said...

I have made no case at all.

The scriptures do not say "blacks cannot hold the priesthood." If the scriptures unambiguously said that, all you'd have to do is cite them and there'd have been no conversation. But what you cite does not unambiguously mean "blacks cannot hold the priesthood." So you have to alter the text to read that dogma out of it, but that's what I said you were doing at the beginning.

The scriptures never even use the phrase "hold the priesthood." Just an FYI.

I don't know why you think you've proved me wrong "over and over again" when it's not clear you comprehend that all I'm saying is that the scriptures do not unambiguously say what you say they say, and that you have to alter the text to read your dogma out of the text. Thus far, you have in fact altered the text to read your dogma out of it, and you do that precisely because the scriptures do not say what you say they say.

In other words, you are doing exactly what I said you are doing, and for exactly the reasons I said you are doing it.

I don't have to prove Joseph did not prohibit the priesthood being given to blacks because I have taken no position on whether he did or not. You're the one who's taking the position that he did, and without any actual foundation, as it turns out. There's no contemporary firsthand evidence that he did so, and there is contemporary firsthand evidence that he ordained at least one black to the priesthood. That's your problem to explain away because it fatally undercuts your position. The benefit of not taking a position is not needing to defend one.

I don't have to prove that I am a member of the priesthood, since my observation - that you are perverting the scriptures because the scriptures don't say what you say they say - has nothing to do with my association with heaven; my observation that you are perverting the scriptures only has to do with observing that the text of the scriptures doesn't match your claims about what they say.

I have nothing to explain, you see, and no position to defend. I don't have to have a position opposed to yours to note that your position is not, and cannot be, proven on the text and contemporary evidence before us.

Log said...

Maybe Rock can explain to you what it means to have "no case to answer," since Rock is the legal scholar. The thrust of it is that when the prosecution has not, or cannot, prove their case, the defendant need not mount any defense, but move for dismissal, since there is nothing to rebut.

Likewise, in your fog of words concerning the scriptures barring blacks from being ordained to the priesthood, you have presented no case to answer. All we have to do is look at the words of the scriptures and compare them with your words to see they do not match.

So there is no need to answer you, even if I were to take a position opposed to yours.

iterry said...

Log, Odd very odd statements. The scriptures are clear that the Blacks are cursed and they cannot hold the priesthood. You can't explain it and you have no case to make. So that means you can't understand these scriptures they must be a mystery to you. Okay - well - that's fine.

My case is this - the Church departed from the faith and the apostasy was complete in 1978. They violated these scriptures by giving the blacks the priesthood or attempting to do so. Since that day the Church has been in a downward spiral deeper and deeper into apostasy.

The result of their action was the changing of the temple ordinances. The removal of the patriarchal priesthood. That ended with the removal of EG Smith. This action has caused great confusion in the Church. The members today don't understand the meaning of the House of Israel anyway. So Lucifer has won a great victory in dumbing down the saints and getting them to accept this false doctrine in the Church today.

It can't be changed of course but someday it will be as prophesied in Zechariah 14 and in Isaiah where it tells the Church to put on its strength which is the priesthood again. This is something that is lost now.

So I can see why you have no case to make Log. You have no explanation to give for a number of chapters in the Genesis, Moses, and Abraham where the history of the black race is discussed in great detail. Thanks for the discussion though.

Log said...

Well, iterry, as I said - you are not particularly interested in what the scriptures actually say, you have to pervert them to get them to say what you wish they said, and you pervert them to get them to say what you wish they said because they don't say what you wish they said.

You're trying to sell us something that is not known to be true and cannot be proven true on the text and evidence before us.

That's why the Golden Rule is relevant.

Mosiah 23:14
14 And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.

Dox said...

Sorry, iterry, Log has you completely and utterly beat on this one, it is hilarious as an outside observer to watch you not able to see that he's knocked all of your assumptions right out from under you.

It is like you are a cartoon character who just walked off a cliff, but is hanging for a few moments in the air, not knowing he has nothing beneath him until he looks down.

iterry said...

Log, on the contrary I am very interested as to what the scriptures actually say. They say very clearly the things that I've told you they say. The Church for over 150 years followed what those scriptures said. The members reported what Joseph Smith said about this subject. But what you are doing is twisting the scriptures to say something that isn't there. I don't know your justification. Maybe what you believe is that what I've said is hate speech. That certainly is a possibility. Today of course the Church would be greatly persecuted for adhering to what these scriptures say. They would be very restricted in what they could do as a result. That is unless God intervened and brought judgment against this nation.

Take Christ for example. Most love to quote scripture that talk about His dialogue with the harlot and other sinners. I don't remember him calling them names. But what did He say to the Canaanite women? He called her a dog (Matthew 15:26). For the Lord Jesus Christ to do that would be very disturbing in your view based on your interpretation. Why would He do that? Do you have an answer or is this another scripture that you want to sweep under the rug and ignore. Other than calling the Pharisees hypocrites and calling Peter Lucifer I don't remember Christ ever calling anybody such a derogatory name, do you? Why would He do such a thing? He is obviously a racist as I've mentioned before. And yet it fits perfectly with Abraham 1, Moses 7, Genesis, Zechariah, and the like. So The preponderance of scripture on this subject all point in one direction and that is why when you tell me that these scriptures that I've quoted you are ambiguous the answer is no they aren't. They fit into a very clear pattern. And that pattern was established by the Lord and revealed to the prophets of God. You can go around and tell your story that somehow I've misinterpreted them or it doesn't say what it says but in every single case when it comes to the subject of the descendants of Cain, Ham, and Canaan it is always the same whether it is from the prophets of God both modern (Joseph Smith) or from the Lord or from the other prophets. If you can give me an example that shows this is in error I would love to see it. Thanks

iterry said...

Dox - really? So tell me your conclusion of all this. We have beat it all to death that's for sure. But where have I erred? Have you read all the scriptures I've quoted?
Can you tell me why Christ called the Canaanite a dog? I know I'm all alone on this one. Most people of my generation are alone of this and other issues in the Church today. This is because of the apostasy. Who was it that said first they will abhor it, then accept, then embrace. This has happened with many of the doctrines that have been destroyed during the apostasy. At some point the Lord has to do what He has always done and that is wipe out all the apostates and start over again. He has done that multiple times throughout the ages and this time it will be the same again. Thanks for your observation Dox and I'm well aware that I stand alone on this issue.

Dox said...

Simple, iterry, really it is amazing you can't see it.

"27 Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry;"

the plain text of the scripture hinges on the words "could not have the right of priesthood."

You want it to say "could not hold the priesthood."

It is not at all self-evident that the English words "right of" means exactly the same thing as "hold the." You want to interpret "right of" to mean "hold the," but that is not what the scripture text actually says.

Make your arguments based on exactly what the text of the scriptures say.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dagnabbit, iterry, look what you've done again!

I appreciate the words you spoke in defense of this blog, and I know this is a hot-button issue for you, but the last time you brought it up the comment section here was buried under an avalance of back and forth between you and others that caused a digression for a good couple of weeks. Can we all agree that this is a topic we aren't going to settle here, and try to steer the conversation back around to the subject of the post?

I would be a lot happier, and rather than wade through these arguments, my time would be freed up for things more important to my eternal salvation, such as watching TV.

Iterry said...

Lol well okay Rock we'll give it a rest. You are correct it won't be settled here. I only bring it up to show the depths of the apostasy and how the Church has departed from there. Enough said. Thanks.

DarkMatter said...

D&C 68

16 And if they be literal descendants of Aaron they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron;

17 For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.

18 No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron.

19 But, as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power, under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Clearly there is a difference between rights in the Priesthood and being ordained to the Priesthood.

Ryan Nickel said...

I've noticed over the last several weeks and months that the LDS church has shifted from focusing on Thomas Monson to Russell Nelson.

The media arm of the church is doing a swell the job preparing the hearts and minds of its people to accept Russell Nelson as its next prophet.

For example, Russell and his wife spoke to the youth at a devotional in January. They then spoke at a genealogy conference and now they have him featured on their blog.

I wonder what this really is telling us about the current condition and health of Thomas Monson.

Not yet dead and yet he is. We hear nothing of him. He's silent.

matt lohrke said...

After Brother Russell's comments about "oath-like indications" and "no one was ever elected as president of the church," I'm a little (a lot) leery of a President Nelson administration. Should be a good time!

SmithFamily said...

For what it is worth. Reading this post just now is like a 2nd witness of things the Lord has already told us plainly in our own home-church, personal clear revelation, and family as prophet and prophetess of our own home and temple :). Even my 11 year old gets it.

The irony gets bigger when you realize that Joseph and Hyrum were innocent of polygamy, God condemns polygamy in all scripture, yet the LDS church ignorantly in broad daylight lifts it's heel against the Lord's anointed directly through that lie published in the essays on polygamy.

Talk about a lie, and slandering one's name - just look at the LDS church's man-scholar opinion of Joseph, the greatest deception the adversary could have brought upon the saints through man-history, to deceive so many of the very elect, in exceeding fine dress, pointing the finger of scorn from the great and spacious conference center.

I do not mean to point at them, but lament how blind I was, but rejoice that God kept me aloof from it all, for decades feeling like hell going to that big conference center, or even just sitting in priesthood sessions, esp. when meeting Elder Oaks in person... the spirit said, run like hell! Took me almost 30 years to finally realize Christ's voice was there the entire time doing face palms each time I was mislead by blind leaders and men-doctrine...

God is faithful. Be deceived or follow the voice of Christ. The key now for us is to do exactly as Lehi's vision states - Cleave to the Iron Rod (aka Christ) and He alone will bring you to the Tree of Life (God's love) while learning as Lehi did, that MEN IN WHITE ROBES lead us to dark and dreary wastes, including men who teach that Jacob 2 teaches the opposite of what the Lord teaches us in it.

The church will never progress until it repents of lifting it's heel against the Lord's anointed. That I know for sure.

PureMormonismCommenter said...

Your post made me wonder if actually applying this scripture would be evil speaking of the Lord's anointed.

JST Mark 9:44-48

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

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

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

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

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

The Doctor said...

Hi, Rock

I have been following and reading your blog for quiet some time, and have enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thank you for your efforts to promote pure Mormonism.

Question: What are your views on the topic that "we", that is "each one of us", is the "Holy Ghost?" Are you familiar at all with this teaching? It seems to be promoted be Denver Snuffer. I am very curious about this. For more information see this site:

I would love to see you post an essay on this, if you think it is true doctrine? I have never quiet understood how the Holy Ghost could be our "constant companion." This just might explain that.

Log said...

Back to the post,

"Who are the Lord's anointed?"

I find this verse suggestive.

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

It suggests to me that the Lord's anointed are they who are likewise anointed with the Holy Ghost, of which John says this.

1 John 2:20, 27
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Would it not be ironic if it should chance to be that they who blaspheme against Rock (or others whom they deem to be false prophets) are by so doing evil-speaking of the Lord's anointed?

Mayhap that we should be very cautious who we deign to condemn as false prophets while holding ourselves out to be upon the Lord's errand, if he has not directly directed us to do so.

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

And how could I not follow that up with this?

2 Nephi 31
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.

5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?

7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.

8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.

9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.

10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

Again, this is quite suggestive, in combination with the aforementioned verses. May I suggest that those who have yet to receive the Holy Ghost like unto Jesus Christ had ought to very carefully consider their choices to contend against and dipute with those whom they deem to be out of the way, lest they themselves should be found to fight against God, speaking evil of his anointed?

The Doctor said...


You have made mention of the Holy Ghost in your above posts. Do you have anything to say about my above post concerning the Holy Ghost, (who he is)? You will need to read my above post. Do you know anything about this? Is it false doctrine?

Jenny Harrison said...

I wanted to chime in for a moment. The blacks holding the priesthood thing is a mute point. The book of Abraham is a proven falsehood. Joseph was under an evil spirit when he 'translated' it. see I am a baptized mormon, (at the age of 8), was very devout for 40 years. Now I see the light. Believe in Jesus, God and his Holy spirit and the book of Mormon. Have had the miraculous change of heart towards all my fellowmen, and have never felt more free to love and care for all people in all my life. The church organization is wrong and has been since Joseph died.

May God bless you all,

Log said...

@The Doctor,

1 Nephi 15:11 Do ye not remember the thing which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.

Then you will know for yourself if the teaching is true or if it be false.

lee said...

Love your blog Rock! Thanks for this post. I too wish that people would stick to the subject of the post and not go off on various tangents. We all need to keep thinking, learning, and drawing closer to Christ so we can hear His voice. Sure appreciate your research and your humor in your writings! Thanks again!

Robin Hood said...

Not a bad post Rock.
Coming from me, that is praise indeed.

Fellowship said...

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and a small, loosely-knit fellowship of believers who have been continually seeking Christ in this rapidly declining world. Those in my fellowship have maintained ties and associations with other groups gathering towards what we have believed is a common goal. We’ve enjoyed the felicity shared with these groups and have been greatly blessed by these associations.

We have all read and benefitted by the works of those vocal in this movement; namely that of Denver Snuffer. Obviously, against all of his initial pleadings otherwise, he seems to stand as the ensign or model figure in the awakening of those in and out of the Latter-day Saint community, re-centering our worship on Christ and none else.

A core of his shared message revolves around the need to remove any semblance of a “strong-man” organization, the need of diffused fellowships without any central control, and the woes and stumblings of the LDS church; namely their erred transition to a correlated structure over the past ½ century. We all agree with his observations and recognize both the failings of the LDS church as well as our need to put it and all other worldly organizations into proper perspective; centering our minds, hearts, and souls on Christ, leaving these secondary organizations in the periphery.

Fellowship said...

Yet the topics and grand announcement of a restoration scripture project made during this past weekend’s conference has raised a flag of warning and concern, as we perceived a great shift in Denver’s message and that of the collective conference. As he recounted the experience of how the project came to be it felt more like a retelling of an LDS church correlation committee meeting than one of a divinely inspired project of which we all are a part. Scriptures attaching meaning and fulfillment were all applied in hindsight while the committee's process became glorified in the re-telling.

The process reminded me personally of a quote made by Elder Russell M. Nelson when talking to BYU Hawaii students regarding the children of same-sex Mormon couples desiring baptism. This quote comes from the Salt Lake Tribune:

"Each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation," Nelson, next in line for the Mormon presidency, told the faith's young adults in the first official explanation of the hotly debated policy's origins. "It was our privilege as apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson."

Nelson explained that revelation from the Lord to his servants is a sacred process.

"The [three-member] First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counsel together and share all the Lord has directed us to understand and to feel, individually and collectively," he said. "And then, we watch the Lord move upon the president of the church to proclaim the Lord's will."

He said that protocol was followed when Monson, in 2012, announced lower minimum ages for full-time Mormon missionary service and again late last year with the new policy on same-sex couples and their children.

Another similar quote by the late Gordon B. Hinckley in 1994, wherein he talked about the process used when major action is taken by the church:

“I add by way of personal testimony that during the twenty years I served as a member of the Council of the Twelve and during the nearly thirteen years that I have served in the First Presidency, there has never been a major action taken where this procedure was not observed. I have seen differences of opinion presented in these deliberations. Out of this very process of men speaking their minds has come a sifting and winnowing of ideas and concepts. But I have never observed serious discord or personal enmity among my Brethren. I have, rather, observed a beautiful and remarkable thing—the coming together, under the directing influence of the Holy Spirit and under the power of revelation, of divergent views until there is total harmony and full agreement. Only then is implementation made. That, I testify, represents the spirit of revelation manifested again and again in directing this the Lord’s work” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 74–75; or Ensign, May 1994, 54, 59; emphasis added).

Fellowship said...

Much of Denver’s talk echoed this type of mindset and described model followed by the current LDS church. Here are some quotes from his talk, "Things to keep us awake at night” (transcribed from the audio). The bold words emphasize the similarity of the correlation committees process:

"As it turns out each group had faced essentially the same group of questions but they'd reached slightly different conclusions for good and sufficient reasons to them. But as they reasoned group had concluded that the catechisms, the questions and answers ought to be eliminated gave voice to the argument .....he found value in as a consequence of that discussion group was aware ....and the other group was unaware of that...and therefore they reached agreement that was the way it ought be done."

We don’t disagree on the premise of the scripture project. We are humbled and grateful for the hours of work each of those on the respective committees have donated to this great cause. Our concern lies in the following:

1) The committee members. We do not want to condemn or judge. Plainly said, we are concerned by the reputation of some of the members associated with the project from personal experience with them. It brings to mind the words of Alma to his son, when he said, “O my son, how great iniquity ye brought… for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.” (Alma 39:11). We have discussed this and feel to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” However, if this project had been undertaken with common consent, we feel it would have started with the election of a committee instead of having a group of individuals take it upon themselves to work it out.

2) Denver concludes by saying: “Sustaining is planned to happen at the next conference after a chance has happened of a review of the material. This is necessary for the gentiles to claim they have accepted a covenant and a law (2 Ne. 30). Everyone is free to vote when we have reached the end of the line. And they're free to reject it. But if there is some small group who are willing to enter into that covenant, whatever that number is, that will be sufficient. And I hope those who remain opposed will allow those willing to enter into a covenant to depart in peace. Because we've allowed the LDS church or any of the other various sects of Mormonism to depart in peace. I hope that those willing to vote are likewise given the opportunity to depart in peace.”

This quote says that we have a vote, but alludes that to voice disagreement with the process demonstrates opposition and a lack of desire to enter into a covenant. Which is not the case. It feels like those who have concerns with the process aren’t being persuaded (D&C 121), but rather cornered into accepting things as they transpired as totally and wholly inspired. A brief paraphrase of the message is, “we’ve done this work. Accept it and be saved. Reject it at your own peril.” That doesn’t sit right with us.

Our group patiently waits upon the Lord, while filling our time with doing good and helping those around us. We are excited by the prospects presented in the conference and have petitioned the Lord for guidance in this matter. The result of that petition is this letter.

It is not our intent to criticize or complain; but to highlight some incongruities with the way it came about in direct contrast to many of the principles taught by Denver during his 40 Years in Mormonism lecture series, along with others who have been sharing similar concerns.

If you would like specifics on places wherein contradictory comments have been made, we would gladly work on compiling such. However, we felt it shouldn’t be necessary as all of those involved on the committees are most likely aware of these comments themselves.

Thank you for hearing us out as we all strive to come to a unity of the faith.


-A fellowship of believers

Log said...

There is much to think about.