Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Plea Unto Every Latter-Day Saint



I was recently contacted by a good brother who identified himself  as "a faithful latter-day Saint." He told me he had been given a clear and unmistak-able prompting from the Lord to write a  letter to his fellow brothers and sisters in the church. Under the direction of the Lord, he told me, he sat down and wrote out the words the spirit prompted him to write. 

The reason he contacted me was that he had just come upon my two recent blog posts (you can find them here and here) and was inspired to reach out to me because he needed advice. He told me the Lord had instructed him to get his letter out on the 15th day of March. The date was firm, although he had no idea why the Lord insisted on that particular day.

Most curiously, this good brother confessed to having not the slightest idea how to go about disseminating such a letter. He had no blog, no forum, no platform. He didn't even have a Facebook presence.  He told me he was prompted by the spirit to reach out to me to see if I had any idea how a person could go about getting such a letter out into circulation. Frankly, I didn't give a lot of thought to his story, but I invited him to go ahead and send the letter to me so I could have a look at it. After reading it, I found myself in agreement with this man; that letter was indeed inspired of the Lord. I asked him if I could publish it here on my blog, and so here it is.

I hope everyone who reads this will be inspired to share it with others so it gets the wide attention it deserves:

A Plea Unto Every Latter Day Saint


2018 General Conference   

The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another - as the Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.

"How well Your Majesty's new clothes look. Aren't they becoming!" He heard on all sides, "That pattern, so perfect! Those colors, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit." Then the minister of public processions announced: "Your Majesty's canopy is waiting outside."

"Well, I'm supposed to be ready," the Emperor said, and turned again for one last look in the mirror. "It is a remarkable fit, isn't it?"

He seemed to regard his costume with the greatest interest. The noblemen who were to carry his train stooped low and reached for the floor as if they were picking up his mantle. Then they pretended to lift and hold it high. They didn't dare admit they had nothing to hold. So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy.

Everyone in the streets and the windows said, "Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes!"

"Don't they fit him to perfection?"

"And see his long train!"

Nobody would confess that they couldn't see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.


"But," said a little child in the crowd, "He hasn't got anything on!"

"Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?" said the child's father.

But soon one person whispered to another what the child had said: "He hasn't anything on."


"A child says he hasn't anything on."

"But he hasn't got anything on!" the whole town cried out at last.

The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all.

Do you believe Jesus Christ, Moroni, and President Benson?
As Latter Day Saints, we have this funny thing we do about the church. When we hear something we feel might be true but which makes us uncomfortable or requires us to change, we assume it must be of the devil! Even if what is being shared is scripturally accurate, and even if God is willing to confirm the truth of it by the power of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:5), most of us tend to cling to our assumptions more than we love the Truth.

One of the great things about President Ezra Taft Benson is that he told us the truth, even when it was difficult to hear. During his ministry he reminded us that the church was still under the Lord's condemnation (D&C 84:54-57), and that the way out from under that condemnation was through repentance and coming unto Christ through the Book of Mormon. He also warned,
“It is important to realize that while the Church is made up of mortals, no mortal is the Church. Judas, for a period of time, was a member of the Church-in fact, one of its apostles-but the Church was not Judas…”(To the Humble Followers of Christ, Conference Report April 1969) 
The Great Deception
My own family began to realize the church was in trouble back in 2003. That’s when Elder Russell M. Nelson published that article in the ensign titled "Divine Love." Have you read it and prayed about the things Elder Nelson believes about God? His views were very disconcereting. "Heretical" is the word that came to our minds.

When my wife and I read Nelson's teaching, we felt sick inside and very conflicted. It entirely contradicted the Lord's teachings found in our scriptures. Naturally we all know that blessings, salvation, and exaltation are conditional upon our repentance, but to see Elder Nelson teach that God’s love was conditional was quite a shock. We realized right then that God really does respect free agency, both on a personal level and within the Church as a whole. (Mosiah 27:13) 

A lot of our friends have been reading church history and comparing scripture to what the church now teaches, and then coming to understand things are not right. It reminds us of the reality that history really does cycle, and that what Joseph Smith saw taking place in the church in his day is happening again in ours:
“No quorum in the Church was entirely exempt from the influence of those false spirits who are striving against me for the mastery; even some of the Twelve were so far lost to their high and responsible calling as to begin to take sides secretly with the enemy.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol 2, pg 488)
Satan knows that the most effective way to destroy the church is from the inside. And just as God allows Satan to attack America and the divinely inspired Constitution, He also does not stand in the way when latter-day saints allow "spiritual wickedness in high places" to infect the church. (Ephesians 6:12). Despite what you have been told, God will not violate the eternal law of agency.  Joseph taught that if God's people insisted on clinging to idols (in particular their penchant for depending on the prophet) God would not stop them. But make no mistake: if they persist, He will cut them off. (Ezekial 14)

Today, the Lord requires each of us to discern good from evil. (Moroni 7:16-17) Sometimes the Holy Ghost will confirm a truth that seems to contradict a teaching we may have learned in church.  We may be surprised by the contradiction, but when the promptings we receive from the Holy Ghost are in conflict with any other teaching, we are instructed to abide by the spirit if those promptings are in harmony with the scriptures as well.

Let it be known:

The great deception in the church today is to dismiss truth and label it as "apostasy." (2 Nephi 28:14)

There is a significant difference between speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed and realizing a particular person never actually was anointed. (D&C 121:34-37, D&C 107:81-84,)

Each of us is required to take the essential step in our growth from idolizing men, to having an “eye single” to His glory, that our “bodies shall be filled with light.” (D&C 88:67).

For surely, there is a fundamental difference between “follow the prophet,” and “come unto Christ.” (John 17:3).

Whatever happened to following Christ and His Word?

Didn’t you find it odd that just recently the twelve decided to randomly sustain Elder Nelson as the President of the Church? Those who believe in the Doctrine and Covenants could only wonder what happened to the Lord’s directive that “all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith.” (D&C 26:2). This example, and many other unscriptural actions by the Church reminds us why Joseph Smith taught:

“If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, or Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an impostor.”(Times and Seasons Vol 5 April 1st 1844, Pg 490-491) 

The Lord himself warned in Matthew 24:24:
 "…there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Today the world is swarming with “false christs,” and “false prophets,” who invent stories, dreams, and false precepts to mislead those who could have been elect. Elder Nelson has done this before, and he will likely do it again. Most of us just accept whatever the church enacts because we have been taught we can never be led astray. (Please review Wilford Woodruff’s promise in context and then compare it to the church statement on Race and the Priesthood for a more accurate interpretation).

Today, “having keys” is used to imply that every decision made by the brethren is of God, even when our church history is full of leadership error - and even when the Lord makes it abundantly clear we are to follow Him and not trust in the arm of flesh. (2 Nephi 4:34).


Follow the Savior
“Jesus Christ is the only beacon on which we can rely. The message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that there is but one guiding hand in the universe, only one truly infallible light, one unfailing beacon to the world. That light is Jesus Christ, the light and life of the world, the light which one Book of Mormon prophet described as “a light that is endless, that can never be darkened. (Mosiah 16:9).” (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, pg 42)
The Real Test


Please understand: Joseph Smith worked for years to help the Saints correct error and receive the Fulness being offered by God. He mourned, “It is often the case that young members in this church, for want of better information, carry along with them their old notions of things, and sometimes fall into egregious errors.” (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 242)

When Joseph and Hyrum were tragically martyred, not all of the false beliefs the new members brought with them had been eradicated from the church. These incomplete understandings then became the “traditions of the fathers” that were passed down by the church during the last 185 years. (D&C 43:9-11)

Having a fuller understanding of our complicated church history, and the doctrinal digression that has occurred since the death of Joseph, is important so we can repent and personally reclaim the light that has been lost. (D&C 84:26-27).

In relation to you and the Lord, and the salvation of your family, our latter-day situation is not really about the Church and the Brethren at all. In reality, the upcoming choice of whether to sustain Elder Nelson or not is representative of the greater issues involving God and being faithful to the cause of Christ. This moment is actually about our personal accountability before God. Our willingness to stand for Christ and our personal integrity in relation to truth.

Elder Nelson will come and go. Choosing Jesus Christ is forever.

Historically, this is the same test the Jews faced when they rejected Jesus in favor of what the Pharisees were teaching. It is the same test which occurred during the time of King Noah, when a true prophet came among the hierarchy. And it is the same test the early Saints faced during the time of Joseph Smith, when they failed to receive the fulness of the Gospel.

Our chance to receive the Fulness
"And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel; But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. "
"And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (D&C 45:28-30 
There is a pattern one must follow in order to please God and reclaim the fulness of the gospel. It requires a person to be in tune with God and His holy Spirit to the degree that they can differentiate between truth and tradition. Trusting in men and their rhetoric about "keys" will damn you.  (2 Nephi 28:21) Trusting in Christ and His Word will save you. (3 Nephi 11:35-41)

There are, of course, no other churches to join, and no other men to follow. But there are essential decisions for you to accomplish privately with the Lord.

Will You?

Will you come unto Jesus Christ in a deeper way than ever before-by ending your idolatry towards men and putting GOD above all things? (Exodus 20:3-5)

Will you remain loyal to Jesus Christ, Scripture, and the teachings of Joseph Smith, even when the LDS Church does not? (Acts 5:26-29)

Will you study church history and realize that what you have been taught about “keys” and “authority“ is inaccurate and empty? (D&C 124:28, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Moroni 6:9)

Are you willing to compare what the Lord teaches in His Holy Word and receive the truth about our latter-day situation? (Mormon 8:35-41, Isaiah 28, 2 Nephi 28, D&C 86:1-4,)

Today every Latter Day Saint must choose: truth or tradition, God or man, Zion or Babylon?

On our face before the Lord

Perhaps instead of raising our hand to support a particular man, we should be falling down before the Lord, pleading with Him that He will forgive us of our many sins. (Alma 38:14).

The Mormon mainstream will soon sustain Elder Nelson as a prophet, seer, and revelator, trusting in him to know the way. If you choose to support this, you will be fulfilling all of the assumptions, habits, and false traditions each of us have been taught since the days of Brigham Young.

But within the church there are also thousands of Saints having a hard time doing this, because in their souls they know something just isn’t right. And it is to YOU, to whom we make this plea:

Right now, reading this letter, you could listen to that part of you that already knows what is true. You could make the painful and necessary step of casting off the false traditions you have been handed, and instead come into the peace of pleasing Jesus Christ. You could individually choose to preserve the Restoration.

Let us all fall before the Mighty Christ and trust our salvation to no man! (John 14:6)
"Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor." (D&C 88:81)
The choice is real. This warning is not a deception.


262 comments:

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Alan Rock Waterman said...

Joe, I agree with a lot of what you say. Clearly the leaders feel they bear responsibility for the testimonies of the members. Boyd Packer seemed to think the members must be shielded from the truth at all costs because "the truth is not always helpful."

They therefore foolishly protect the image of the Church at all costs, not realizing that as their efforts to save face and coverup those things that might damage a testimony, they are actually causing more members to falter. This, of course, is the result of a lifetime of endorsing the Church as being true, rather than making clear the difference between the fallible Church and the inerrant gospel of Christ.

But here's where I part ways with your view: If you've read my post "Did Russell Nelson Take The Lord's Name In Vain?" you'll see indisputable evidence that Nelson will go to any lengths to blame God for a change in policy that the Brethren created but were unable to justify. To claim he was present and "watched" Monson get a revelation that effectively reversed one of Christ's main Commandments, is nothing short of insidious. Where is that revelation? Why have the members not been given the opportunity to read the Lord's own words so they could pray for a witness about it? Russell somehow felt that simply claiming that it was a revelation would be sufficient to mollify the members of the church.

"Oh, this was Jesus's idea? Okay, then. that's fine."

Throughout the past few decades, apostles were often asked during personal appearances about their personal experiences in seeing the face of Christ and receiving His counsel. (I suspect that a good explanation why they have virtually ceased taking questions is from a need to avoid that query.)

In every instance, the apostle would give an evasive answer, one often intended to give the impression that he had seen Jesus when in fact he had not. A favorite response might be, "Young man, you look me in the eye and tell me if you don't think I'm a prophet!"

Many of us on this side of the Church were not surprised at Russell Nelson's solemn claim that "I know them." In my view, that statement was a deliberate attempt to confirm in the minds of the faithful that he has indeed seen Jesus Christ and the Father, and therefore is qualified to be the prophet and no one should question those qualifications.

I frankly expect him to come right out and lie about it at some future date, therefore erasing all doubt in the minds of his listeners. A bald-faced lie about such a sacred experience would damn him, of course, but I think Damnation Alley is a road Russell Nelson has already been traveling for quite some time.

Janeen said...

Joe,
Thanks for your perspective and comments.My husband has a similar perspective.

Eric Kuntz said...

Actually these men are far worse than wolfs in sheep's clothing, they are anti-Christs.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. (Moro 7:17)

matt lohrke said...

I found Russell's comment about "knowing" God and Jesus interesting. I believe he believes he knows them. I have no idea what the means to him, though.

I can't find any instance of the Father appearing to anyone, ever. All scriptural theophanies involve only Jesus. The only account of the First Vision to include Joseph's handwriting mentions "The Lord," not two personages. It was Jesus who appeared to Nephi as "the angel of the Lord." Jacob saw a vision of Jesus while still in his youth. Jesus appeared to Mormon and Moroni. Lamoni saw Jesus. Emer saw Jesus. The Brother of Jared saw Jesus. Never any mention of The Father.

At the transfiguration only the voice of the The Father was heard, same as at Bountiful.

We have John's statements that no one has beheld The Father.

So, if anyone claims to have "seen the Father," or "knows the Father," can we set that person down as an imposter? I honestly don't know. Just throwing it out there.

Underdog2 said...

Acts 7 has witness of one who's seen the Father ("God"), standing to the left of the Son (of Man).

John 14 has some interesting dialogue recorded too:

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.



About "knowing", and Nelson's use of the term, as in "I know the Lord," or "I know Them" (referring to the Father and Son), I just can't justify such language as ignorant usage.

I'm nobody special, but for years I've understood that "knowing" somebody, Biblically speaking, means you have carnal knowledge of them. You've been around them physically. When the Scripture says Joseph didn't "know" Mary till after she delivered the child, that means something (though this may be false statement added by the great and abominable Church, assuming Mary and Joseph never had carnal relations because she was married to God the Father, meaning Mary was a condescended Heavenly Mother).

My point is, I have personally NEVER in all my years felt comfortable and never have said "I know Jesus" because "know" means something. Let's not kid ourselves, it means what we all know it means.

So, forgive me for calling bull stool on Nelson and any other apostle or GA who says they "know" Jesus or the Father. If I'm not ignorant of the meaning of "know," then they aren't. Give me a break.

I HAVE said, "I know God lives." I've had the Holy Ghost communicate this truth to me, but that's not the same as "knowing" God. Eternal life is "knowing" the Father, and the Son whom God hath sent. Knowing the idea They exist is true isn't the same as knowing Them.

The definition of "knowing" is quite fundamental and elementary.

Therefore, for Nelson to use the term as he did back at his unauthorized, self-proclaimed coronation back in January's press conference, he had to have (and does have) intent to deceive. Unless you believe he actually "knows" them and yet hasn't given one revelation in his entire career as a GA.

Call him an anti-Christ or a wolf in sheep's clothing, it doesn't matter. What defense can he possibly offer if he doesn't really "know" the Lord but asserts he does? Would any of you really buy his defense, "Well, I 'know' Him, just like any other LDS 'knows' Him who has a 'testimony of Jesus', so I'm justified in saying I 'know' Him. Get off my back."

matt lohrke said...

Underdog - are you referring to Stephen? We had a long conversation here about that a few weeks ago. I'm of the view that "the right hand of God" is a figure of speech, denoting Christ's all-encompassing power, authority and glory.

Underdog2 said...

Yes I was. I don't know what truly he saw.

MC said...
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MC said...
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Dave P. said...

"2 And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

3 And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us."

MC said...
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Bro. B said...

Perhaps they are worse than wolves in sheep's clothing. Are we any better? Or, do we stand with rock ready to stone the "women taken in adultry"?

Mormon's words are plain. The examples in the Book of Mormon who were labeled "anti-christ" demonstrated these traits (I.e Nehor, Korihor). They blatantly denied that Christ would exist and actively taught the same. They went about teaching the words Satan had given them, to persuade men that there was no Christ.

While the church leadership errs in many things and practice a form of priestcraft, they have yet begun to teach that there is no Christ. Nor have they denied Him. Each of the top 15 leaders closed their conference talks in His name.

Brigham Young said something to the effect that he felt the spirit the same as any good Methodist or Lutheran.

To lump LDS leaders into the category of "anti-christ" be default places any other ecclesiastical leader who may have false traditions or preaches/practices errant understandings, but doesn't deny Christ or his power, into the same group.

Words have meaning. Ours should minister grace to the hearer. We should give reasons for the hope within us which has been given us by Christ. If we truly desire to follow Christ we should be careful of standing in the position of Accuser. That is a title of Satan and his followers.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

MC is being dishonest. He has not been, as he puts it, "banned from commenting" in this forum. He is welcome to comment here all he wants as long as he uses his real name.

MC wonders why no one has challenged Eric Koontz, as he often posts provacative and contentious comments.

As stated above in my clarification of policy, provacative and contentious comments are welcome, but if a person insists on being consistently contentious, they have lost the right to remain anonymous on this platform.

Brother Koontz does not post here anonymously. He can say whatever he wants.

Underdog2 said...

Part 1

Br.B makes some carefully measured points. I tend to agree in tone. But since words do mean things, let's look at the words of the BoM (and Bible) and see if we can find a standard to determine if someone is antiChrist or not.

Nehor in Alma 1 declared that the Brethren "ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people."

The Brethren check off on this one! They don't deny it, and it's commonly known they draw a significant salary and get heavy perks.

Nehor "testified unto [active members of the Mormon Church] that all [temple-going, active LDS] should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life."

Check! "Stay in the mainstream," is what LDS leaders teach. And "in the end", even almost all of those of lesser glories will attain the telestial glory and avoid the hell of outer darkness. Nehor's teachings are very similar.

After Nehor slew Gideon, Alma said, "Behold, this is the first time that priestcraft has been introduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction."

"Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion." (2 Nephi 26:29).

Being that Christ is the Light of the world, a leader is anti Christ when he supplants Christ as the light. A leader should never set themselves up for a light. Do the LDS GA's "set themselves up as a light"? Do they enjoy financial gain? Do they receive praise from their membership? Do they endeavor to enforce their authority by force (censorship and threats of excommunication)? Isn't the answer to all four questions an unchallenged "yes"?

As for Korihor, he "was Anti-Christ, for he began to preach unto the people against the prophecies which had been spoken by the prophets, concerning the coming of Christ."

Alma 30:12 says Korihor began "to preach unto the people that there should be no Christ." Is this what an "antiChrist" is? Doubtful. Let's look at the Scriptures. The TG actually has a good list of references, which I've studied. 1 and 2 John give much insight into the meaning of an antiChrist. We all would agree an antiChrist is one who deceives. So that means an antiChrist must LOOK LIKE the real thing, but not BE the real thing, for how else could he successfully deceive? He must teach what APPEARS TO BE the doctrine of Christ, but is IN REALITY not the doctrine. He must feign teach how to be saved, but the result of following his teaching must be of no effect. His teachings must not produce the power of salvation, must not bring unto power the Redeemer.

Underdog2 said...

Part 2 of 3

Do modern LDS leaders preach against the coming of Christ? They certainly teach and believe in the "Second Coming of Christ." Korihor lived before the first coming of Christ, so Korihor wasn't talking about the second coming of Christ. It's reasonable to believe he was talking about the first coming, or about ANY "coming" of Christ. The "coming of Christ" could aptly be regarded as the doctrine of "the Second Comforter" too, agreed? So...do the current LDS leaders encourage members to seek after their calling and election? Do they encourage members to seek the "other comforter"? Do they tend to shy away from the second comforter (i.e., "coming of Christ") or do they embrace the "coming of Christ." Just a few days ago, Elder Eyring quotes the famous Second Comforter chapter in John 14 and teaches the key Second Comforter verses as referring to the Holy Ghost. So was Elder Eyring teaching for or against "the coming of Christ"? I heard that the word "second comforter" has only been used twice EVER in conference, once in 1906 by William McLachlan and once in 1963 by S. Dilworth Young, but I've not personally confirmed this. According to my memory, over the last 30 years of me listening to General Conference, I do not recall even one talk on the Second Comforter ("the coming of Christ"). Could this be reasonable evidence that the Brethren are against "the coming of Christ"?

2 John 1:7 seems to expose the Brethren as impostors. It says: "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (emphasis added). John said an antiChrist is one who doesn't "confess" (teach, expound, exhort?) "that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh."

Do the Brethren confess or confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? This is a straightforward question.

The answer too is straightforward and cannot be debated. A TBM may choose to believe the Brethren (or the apostles, or at least the president of the Church) see and meet Christ in the flesh, but when do the Brethren SAY that they do? They do not. It's funny that it's always members who testify they do, but the actual Brethren themselves do not testify of such. And unfortunately when somebody comes along and says they HAVE seen Christ face to face, what happens to that "prophet", that one who claims to have received "the testimony of Jesus"? That person -- and it's no secret who that person is -- is persecuted and excommunicated (thus enforcing priestcraft by the sword, which Alma says leads to "destruction"!).

So by the Brethren's own admission or lack thereof, they do not "confess that Jesus is come in the flesh."

Underdog2 said...

Part 3 of 3

Reading further in 2 John 1 is eyeopening and applies to our discussion. I'm stunned at John's plainness of speech as I read his words with new eyes to see:

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought , but that we receive a full reward.

9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.


To me, this is saying that, integral to the doctrine of Christ is receiving the Second Comforter, and "knowing" the Father and the Son. John then says if people who "bring not this doctrine", that we should not receive them into our homes; and he speaks harshly against pretenders (antiChrists) who do not teach this doctrine, by saying that if you bid such impostors God speed, that we partake of their evil deeds! Is this John's way of saying we should not lift our hands to sustain such teachers who deny "the coming of Christ" by casting out members who testify of their experiences?

Let's also not forget about Sherem in Jacob 7,

2 And it came to pass that he began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ."

Again, a true deceiver cannot deceive a Christian by saying point blank "there is no Christ". What Christian would believe that? Rather, he mimics the doctrine of Christ by watering it down so that the dilution has the effect of being non salvific! An antiChrist seeks to overthrow the doctrine of Christ, as Sherem did.

"Anti" means "opposing". A good way to look at antiChrist is as a "mirror image" of Christ. That makes sense. A reflected image sure looks like the real thing, but actually isn't! Korihor, Sherem, and Nehor aren't reflecting back NO image of Christ, but a close imitator, His mirror image.

BTW, Happy Birthday to Jesus today!

The Underdog

MC said...
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MC said...
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Brett Reynolds said...

MC you're being a little overdramatic don't you think?

Underdog2 said...

MC,

No doubt I err. When I do please kindly point it out.

You do seem irritated. I actually appreciate much of your comments, even with some disagreement.

I wish you the best.

MC said...
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Underdog2 said...

Thanks I appreciate the concern! I think you're sincere too. But to continue posting here, per Rock's guidelines, just list your name and continue posting. Or are you worried about the Church excommunicating you?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Underdog2,
I think excommunication is the last thing MC is worried about. More likely, using his real name would expose him as being one of the full-time missionaries in the employ of the Strengthening the Members Committee, who spend their time trolling online forums for the purpose of defending the corporate Church against criticism.

MC said...
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MC said...
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matt lohrke said...

I believe the LDS leaders believe in Christ. I don't think anyone seriously denies that.

But, can one believe in Christ while denying his doctrine?

When I was in Spain on my mission, I ran into people every single day who believed in the Bible, but they didn't believe what was in the Bible. I know many LDS people who believe in the BOM, but don't believe what's in the BOM.

Maybe it's reaching, but the Lord did say that whosoever preaches more than the His doctrine and establishes it as doctrine, the same is against Him.

The Word of Wisdom was given neither by commandment nor constraint, but it's now "The Lord's Law of Health."

Mormon taught that atonement covered all those who died without the law, yet the LDS church teaches baptism for the dead. Amulek taught no labor can be performed after this mortal probation, yet we teach a secondary chance for salvation.

The BOM emphatically teaches against polygamy, yet the church still includes D&C 132 in the standard works.

We teach the endowment is the pinnacle of the LDS experience and required for salvation, yet the BOM makes no mention whatsoever of any such ordinances.

"Anti-Christ" is a loaded term. But at it's most basic, being against Him is anti-Christ. If the church denies the mercies of Christ (which it does), is it anti-Christ, in strictly technical terms? We all believe in Christ, but do we believe on the name of Christ? Is there a difference between "in" and "on?" The BOM prophets usually write "on." (I don't know the answer to this question).

Do we believe in Christ or believe Christ?

"And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust."

I think "know" could be interpreted as "understand" or "comprehend."

Have we made God in our image, or do we make ourselves in His image?


Alan Rock Waterman said...

Matt Lorhke,
Excellent questions all.

I recall a comment posted online by a fellow believer who quoted at length what Joseph Smith, who has seen God and declared as much, taught the kind of faith necessary to be a true believer in Christ (from his Lectures on faith). This writer then said,
"And then we have Russell M Nelson, who has not claimed any of those experiences, saying the exact opposite. And what do we call someone who teaches doctrine designed to keep you from having faith in Jesus? We call that man an Anti-Christ."

Eric Kuntz said...

"Each of the top 15 leaders closed their conference talks in His name."

I believe Rock has an excellent post on taking the Lords name in vain.

Bro. B said...

Along with many other topics, Rock has composed material worth considering on taking the Lord’s name in vain.

There has been some very good discussion about what defines one who is antichrist or possessed of an antichrist spirit. In the scriptures there is one man referenced by name as Anti-Christ.

There are many scriptures that discuss the spirit of antichrist, as John calls it. Korihor, however is point blank called Anti-Christ twice. What we find out about him is:

· Preached against the prophecies concerning the coming of Christ

· Preached that there should be no Christ saying:

O ye that are bound down under a foolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can know of anything which is to come. Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers. How do ye know of their surety? Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see; therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ. Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so. And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.

· Lead away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness.

· Lead away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms

· Taught that there would be no Christ and spoke against all the prophecies of the holy prophets.

· He did rise up in great swelling words

· Revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.

· When asked if he believed that there is a God he answered “Nay”.

· He desired to be proven wrong through signs and wonders “If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words”

Is priestcraft alive and well within the church? Yes, from the bottom to the top!

Are there those that deny the full reality of Christ among us? Yes, both inside and outside the LDS denomination.

matt lohrke said...

Good summation, brother B. Perhaps the "spirit of Antichrist" is more appropriate in describing our current situation.

Some time last fall someone asked me what I was doing to "redeem my dead." I didn't think much of it at the time, but lately I've been thinking about it a lot.

It all came home to me when I read this passage in Mormon 9:

"...and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man. And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death."

The redemption of mankind is already completed. It's a free gift from our Savior. How foolish, prideful and arrogant are we to think we mere mortals can effectuate any sort of redemption, proxy or otherwise? In my view this is a complete rejection of Christ's supernal sacrifice on our behalf, or as Brother B put it, "the full reality of Christ."

It's the spirit of Antichrist.

Bro. B said...

When LDS are called out for believing in a different Jesus they often become defiant and angry. Socially, and spiritually, we have defined Jesus as a bridge maker who stands at the gap to ferry us across once we have valiantly earned our reward.

A key word search using “merits” highlights scriptures that address what our efforts are really worth.

When questioning Sherem, Jacob asked if he believed the scriptures. He responded that he did. Jacob then states “Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.”

Most believers would say the believe the scriptures, yet they do not appear to understand them. While we all err, there are two pernicious doctrines of man that are taught within the LDS denomination that will damn us if we don’t overcome them; follow the prophet and salvation based on our efforts.

These two doctrines appear to be at the root of many of our current issues. They allow us to believe we are on the straight and narrow while we trudge along the high road to hell, all the while proclaiming we are the bearers of truth and the light.

How foolish, prideful, and arrogant we are indeed.

DeeLyn said...

Matt,

The BoM and Joseph Smith do preach against and condemn polygamy, so why do you think they both then uphold Abraham (and Jacob), for he lived polygamy and had concubines, if not worse things etc?

matt lohrke said...

Brother B - that is the sum of the thing: we believe we our ordinances will save us, and that only we can offer or perform those special ordinances. When other denominations accuse us of not being Christians, they have a point. I believe it was King Benjamin who said, in essence, no matter what we do, no matter our good works, we're still in debt. We can never repay the debt. It's our default standing before God. We simply can't do it on our own.

DeeLyn - this is my opinion, so feel free to take it or leave it. I think the sin with Abraham and Sarai was adultery and lacking faith in the Lord. It was Sarai who offered Hagar. Abraham sinned when he accepted. After Sarai passed he married Keturah, so he only had 1 concubine. Jacob was deceived by Laban just prior of his wedding. He could've rejected Leah, but went ahead with it. Rachel was his true love and had to work another seven years for her. Then he took Leah's and Rachel's handmaidens (2 legal wives, 2 concubines). Jacob was still wrong, but his sins are somewhat mitigated (or not) because of the deception. We also know that Jacob went through a mighty repentance during his wrestle with God. I assume Abraham did as well. They never claimed the Lord commanded them to do it. Long story short, there were extenuating circumstances--it was still wrong, but there were reasons it happened. To me those stories offer hope that even though they made huge mistakes, they found favor with the Lord.

The early saints, in my opinion, seemed to be more motivated by carnal desires. There was no reason to take on 5, 10, or 50+ wives. And for them to suggest they were commanded by the Almighty God to engage in it, well...

dx said...

Bro. B:

(1) The LDS faith does NOT teach works-based salvation. Works are merely an expression of belief in Christ. The belief is sufficient. However, "belief" without works is not belief at all. True belief manifests in one's actions. The pernicious doctrine is the idea that belief that leads to no works can be considered as true and saving belief. That is the false doctrine of too many so-called Christian faiths.

(2) Following the prophet as he follows the Lord is exactly what has been required by the Lord in all of the recorded history. Worshiping the prophet is wrong, but following a true prophet is testified of throughout scripture.

You err greatly.

dx said...

Deelyn:

Abram and Jacob practiced polygamy.

Abraham and Israel did not. Their names were changed by the Lord after the made covenant with him. They did not enter into any polygamous relations after that time.

Isaac never practiced polygamy and did not get a name change although he made the same covenant.

Underdog2 said...

DX,

Thanks for offering a logical explanation.

Perhaps the mystery has been solved!

I hadn't considered that before. Thank you.

Bro. B said...

Works are a result of belief. They flow out of us because of our gratitude to the Lord. Our works are as a result of our love for our Savior.

100% agree that belief that leads to no works is not true belief. It rings of “for they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”.

The official doctrine may be as you say, however for the last 30 years it has not been delivered as such. I have opportunity to speak with young men at annual Aaronic Priesthood Encampments. When asked 90% of the young men, and many of the leaders, believe that Christ’s atonement is only activated “after all we can do”.

The key to the prophet issue is to follow the Lord. In scriptures the role of prophet was to point to the Lord. Many times they came from outside and rarely had followings. There are exceptions, but overwhelmingly prophets were despised and rejected.

There are few instances where God’s servants said “follow me”. Paul was the exception and he stated “follow me... as I follow the Lord”

The Lord required the people to follow Moses and the law he delivered because when given the opportunity the people rejected their opportunity to rise up. Moses said that he wished to God that all men were prophets.

matt lohrke said...

"Following the prophet as he follows the Lord is exactly what has been required by the Lord in all of the recorded history."

I'm going to go ahead and respectfully disagree with this statement.

Nephi wrote that once we've entered through the gate, the Holy Spirit will show all things that we should do.

Jacob wrote that Jesus is the keeper of the gate and he employs no servant there.

There are many more dozens of examples.

In D&C 45 we read who will qualify to abide the day of His coming:

1 - Those who have taken the Holy Spirit as their guide
2 - Those who have been wise and accepted Truth
3 - Those who have not been deceived

2 and 3 are natural extensions of 1. No mention of following a prophet.

Joseph Smith, as we all know, worried that the people were losing light because they were relying on him too much. Moses wanted all the children of Israel to be their own prophet, as Brother B correctly points out.

I once read somewhere a commentary about the "universality of revelation," meaning that the same revelation applies to everyone. This person disagreed with that notion, and I agree with that person. I think when God talks about "keeping his commandments," he's talking about not only the Sermon on the Mount, but commandments specific to each of us indvidually. Nephi writes that Lehi was commanded to flee Jerusalem, send his boys back for the plates and then back again for Ishmael. When Ishmael joined the caravan, Lehi had fulfilled the Lord's commandments. His work was done.

If we want to walk with God, we need to learn his will for us and do what he requires and stop waiting for instruction from LDSHQ--being proactive instead of reactive.

DeeLyn said...

Matt & DX,

It appears that Abraham had concubines after he married Keturah. But even if he didn't Joseph Smith (like Christ) said that anyone who falls for polygamy or polygamous prophets will lose their salvation, even if it was him who later might preach polygamy. So Joseph didn't seem to realize that even himself falling for Abraham and Jacob would mean a loss
of his salvation.

Even if Abraham repented of taking Hagar or may not have had concubines, what about his trying to sacrifice his son Issac? God could/would never go against natural law/Golden Rule and his other commandments to inspire such a thing, it was obviously a false spirit he fell for since he lost the spirit by living polygamy, etc. So why would anyone think such an imperfect Abraham proves to be a true prophet that people should put faith in and accept him as such? If you had never heard of the Bible before and were just handed it there would be no reason to think him a prophet. Why would we think the Bible is mostly true?

And why would Joseph hold up Abraham or Jacob as true prophets or righteous men, given their history, for Joseph didn't give other polygamous prophets a pass, and we don't know if Abraham repented or not, the Bible again could easily be wrong that he was a true prophet, just like it appears to be wrong about Moses, who also did many wrong things no true prophet would ever do. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, etc would have to prove they are true prophets (by keeping the commandments), before we should just believe what is written about them.

Otherwise if we just accept they are prophets because someone or some ancient book says so than there are many other so called prophets in other religions and old books we should also accept, just because they claim so.

A righteous man, let alone a true prophet, would know that polygamy is always wrong and thus would not fall for it and would have returned Leah to her father as soon as he found the deception so she could marry someone else who loved her, it's not loving to keep Leah tied to someone who didn't want or love her and who marries another wife he likes more (Rachel). And look at all the trouble it caused that led to more sin for Jacob. Jacob may have repented, (but where does it prove he did and left all his wives except Rachel?) but even so I don't see where he was someone to hold up as a prophet either.

These verses below talk about Abraham's multiple concubines, when we only know of one, Hagar. So it seems he never repented from polygamy or trying to sacrifice Issac (and it'd be rare for someone to repent of such sins) and thus likely took other concubines later in life after Keturah.

And thus Joseph Smith, if he had been a true prophet, would not have fallen for Abraham as one.

Hagar

Genesis 16:3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Keturah

Genesis 25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.


Concubines

Genesis 25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

dx said...

Abraham married Keturah after Sarah died, when it is lawful and ethical to do so.

"Sons of the concubines" were from previous concubines, not new ones.

Abraham knew that God would provide a scapegoat for Isaac.

DeeLyn said...

dx,

What do you mean by 'previous concubines', who were they? And previous or not it still was against the commandments of God.

Where does it say Abraham thought God would provide a scapegoat? And even still, a righteous loving father, let alone a true prophet would never do such a thing. Would you? But the adversary would inspire such things. We have to liken the scriptures unto us, and the commandments to see if they are true or not.

dx said...

Abraham had children with concubines from before he made the covenant with God. That was wrong. But, he was still their father. He did not take any more concubines. He did remarry. That is all.

God's justice demanded that Abraham must obey His command to sacrifice Isaac. However Abraham also knew that God was merciful. God's mercy allowed a substitute to take place. That substitute was the ram. The ram died in Isaac's place, which allowed Isaac to go free. The parallels to the Day of Atonement are clear: Isaac = scapegoat and ram = Lord's goat. Abraha, had faith that God would provide the ram.

matt lohrke said...

DX - can the terms 'wife' and 'concubine' be used interchangeably? Evidence seem to suggest so. It also appears that 'concubine' had a different significance in Abraham's day compared to David's.

Perhaps "sons of the concubines" refer to Hagar and Keturah's children, who held sort of a secondary status compared to Isaac?

I found this explanation interesting. I don't know how accurate it is, but it makes sense:

https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=804

But yes, Isaac is a Christ-type, a similitude of the Father sacrificing the Son. These are vivid images and lessons foreshadowing Jesus Christ.



DeeLyn said...

dx,

Do you know the reference that says Abraham had concubines before he made a covenant with God? But how do we know he truly repented of it? Perhaps he did but there is no way for us to know for sure, to be worth assuming he did and hold him up as a true prophet on the hopes he did repent, nor would it matter to us whether he did or not. For Abraham has nothing to do with our salvation. But usually both the unrighteous and the righteous believe they are right with God and inspired by him and covenanted with him etc.

For me, I do not believe God can or would command anything contrary to Christ's commandments (the Golden Rule), for then it would be impossible to tell right from wrong or truth from error, if truth and right can change and God and Satan can command or inspire the same things. Even Joseph Smith understood that truth and right are constant and eternal and Christ's commandments are eternal laws to discern all things by.

So if we receive revelation to do something contrary to Christ's commandments, like Abraham did, I believe God would expect us not to heed it and to assume it was from the Adversary or our own mind. Even Joseph taught that. For otherwise God would be a God of confusion.

Matt,

That is a possibility but the Bible referred to Keturah as a 'wife', not as a concubine and seemed to know the difference.

matt lohrke said...

Deelyn - I honestly don't know. It makes sense, but a lot of things that make sense that aren't true.

I don't know if this would help or not, but here's some information on the Abrahamic Covenant that was useful/helpful to me. This info comes from my NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, which I highly recommend.

So, there are a couple of covenants the Lord makes with people: Royal Grants and Suzerain-Vassal agreements.

Royal Grants are unconditional. God's promise to Noah (Noahic covenant) to never destroy all life via natural catastrophe is a Royal Grant. The Davidic Covenant is another Royal Grant - an unconditional promise to establish and maintain the Davidic Dynasty on the throne of Israel.

Suzerain-Vassal covenants are conditional: this is "A covenant regulating the relationship between a great king (suzerain/God) and one of his subject kings (vassal/Abraham). The great king claimed absolute right of sovereignty, demanded total loyalty and service (the vassal must "love" his suzerain) and pledged protection of the subject's realm and dynasty, conditional on the vassal's faithfulness and loyalty to him. (I think this is how we can know Abraham repented). The vassal pledged absolute loyalty to his suzerain--whatever service his suzerain demanded--and exclusive reliance on the suzerain's protection. Participants called each other "Lord" and "servant" or "father" and "son."

There are two Abrahamic Covenants. The first if the Royal Land Grant (Genesis 15:9-21), which was "made with Abram and his descendants (before the mess with Hagar). The covenant was "an unconditional divine promise to fulfil the grand of the land; a self-maledictory oath symbolic enacted it (Gen. 15:17). The true Judahites, currently dispersed, will return to Jerusalem, but only after they accept Christ. That's the covenant.

Lehi received a similar covenant that his seed would forever inherit America (I believe this is specifically the New England area). See 2 Nephi 1:1-12. They are displaced now, but it's their land via Royal Decree. They'll be back.

The second is the Suzerain-Vassal covenant found in Genesis 17. This covenant was made with Abraham as patriarchal head of his household. It was "A conditional divine pledge to be Abraham's God and the God of his descendants. The condition is total consecration to the Lord as symbolized by circumcision." That the Abrahamic Covenant was still in effect during the time of Nephites I believe suggests that Abraham had repented and served God the remainder of his days.

The Siniatic Covenant of Exodus 19-24 appears to be an extension, or a new offer, of a Suzerain-Vassal covenant.

The Book of Mormon is full of Suzerain-Vassal covenants. "Follow God's commandments and you shall prosper in the land." As long as the Jaredites and Nephites were righteous, they were protected. When they became ripe with iniquity, they lost that divine protection and were wiped out. The Nephites replaced the Jaredites and the Gentiles (that's us) replaced the Nephites. That same covenant, and it's conditions, extends to us. For this reason Moroni interjects into the Jaredite record to explain the covenant Jesus made with the Brother of Jared and write, "This comes to you, o ye Gentiles, that ye might know the decree of God (concerning this land, America)..." See Ether 2:9-12. The more secular we become, the more ripe with iniquity we become.

This covenant is deadly serious (literally) and completely ignored by the Church. We're too busy enforcing the Word of Wisdom to read and understand the Book of Mormon as God as asked of us.

It's only a matter of time until we're wiped out by Lehi's descendants when they come reclaim their land. Only those Gentiles who repent (turn to God, not sit in a bishop's chair and confess all their peccadillos) will be spared. Plan accordingly.

DeeLyn said...

Matt,

I appreciate your response and sharing that information. Personally though, I now don't believe God has ever really worked that way with man, and made promises etc, nor do I believe some of those men were righteous who say they received those promises, which makes the claims even more questionable.

Did Christ ever teach such ideas in the NT? Or were those ideas all from other men?

I don't believe God or Christ believe in things like patriarchy, circumcision, consecration, or the idea that those who keep the commandments will always prosper, etc, for the Lamanites were not righteous either, yet they survived (assuming they were not fictitious, as I now believe they are). And history shows that righteousness does not assure prosperity in this world.

I believe God works by natural law, and he gave us our conscience to lead us, not men who claim promises or revelation for others, etc. God may inspire us personally to do right but I have never heard of anyone since Christ or before him, who seems righteous enough to really converse with God, nor do I think God works that way with man even if they were righteous.

It seems God works with us individually, not by a prophet or leader who gets revelation or promises for a group, for where would God find a perfect person to use that wouldn't unknowingly lead people astray? Thus why Christ taught to not trust any mortal to lead us or get revelation or promises for us, for all are fallible. We can only go on our own relationship with God and by our own conscience.

Why would I believe Abraham? Or in a story about Noah that I don't know is true, or in any mortal who says he has promises or revelation from God? Why would I believe any of the Bible (or BoM, D&C, etc) written by mortals, where so much, if not most of it, goes against conscience, or what Christ taught and the Golden Rule and natural law?

We can't even know if Christ really existed, but we can discern if what he taught makes sense and proves true and our own conscience can confirm and teach us the same things.

To me it simply doesn't matter what Abraham, Moses, Noah, or anyone, claimed or did, for we have no way to know if it's true or if they repented or were righteous or if some of them really existed or whether they really received such promises or not. And God would know that we could never know that, so he would not make it necessary to know or wonder about.

In fact, that those men would claim such a promise would lead me to doubt and distrust them even more, for as Christ taught, God would not want us to be deceived by putting trust in any mortal, no matter what they say or claim.

So we can hope that Abraham repented but we will never know for sure and thus I don't see the wisdom in putting trust in him or anything he claimed, or in anyone, for who is perfect, that we should follow them over conscience? God gave us all a conscience and his light within, if we don't dim it. So no one needs anyone to lead them, not even Christ, we have everything inside us to find truth and righteousness on our own, even if we have never heard of Christ or if we were the only person who ever lived.

So I still wonder why Joseph Smith gave Abraham a pass but not any other polygamist prophets, for Joseph couldn't have known if Abraham repented either, anymore than we know if Joseph really told the truth about his not living polygamy. But his belief and faith in a polygamist prophet, let alone in a mortal, makes his own claims even more doubtful.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I have spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with the person who has commented here in the past under the name "MC," and I'm satisfied that I was mistaken in attributing to him malicious intent. I believe his reasons for not wanting to use his full name are valid and I am now lifting the ban. I was wrong. He is welcome to post here whenever he wishes.

Steve said...

Rock: What scripture changes in the 80's?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Not sure what you're asking about, Steve. Is there a reference in the OP about scripture changes? Or somewhere in a comment? The only thing that comes to mind is when the church overhauled the scriptures in 1981, adding footnotes and making some minor changes. What am I missing?

Underdog2 said...

Rock said above, "I have spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with the person who has commented here in the past under the name "MC," and I'm satisfied that I was mistaken in attributing to him malicious intent. I believe his reasons for not wanting to use his full name are valid and I am now lifting the ban. I was wrong. He is welcome to post here whenever he wishes."

"I was wrong."

The words of a humble man.

I want to shout for joy at the public self-confession of this man. If such "become as a little child" humility was publicly practiced by the Brethren, what a different culture we'd have in the LDS Church!!

But when nobody EVER admits wrongdoing, when error is never confessed, and cover-up is the name of the game, it means priestcraft has taken full bloom, and destruction awaits. The BoM pride cycle shows/ proves destruction is nigh at hand.

matt lohrke said...

Deelyn - I understand where you're coming from. Its hard to wrap one's head around it. Its taken my years to even begin to understand it -- assuming I understand it correctly at all. I could just be reading into things that are even there...

My understanding is that those individuals who received a promise were extremely righteous and humble before God - Adam, Enoch, Joseph of Egypt, Lehi, etc. I believe God is perfectly within his rights to grant such covenants to men or women who demonstrate the necessary faith or righteousness. My view is: why wouldn't he? All those covenants are made for our benefit.

I don't know that just because God made a covenant with Abraham -- that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed - means we're supposed to trust in Abraham. But I believe we can trust in the promises and covenants. I think all covenants are meant and made for us to return to him.

But ultimately, that's for you to work through. ;) It can be a thorny path, but I do believe we can know. I've experienced it. I sincerely hope you can find some peace on the matter (if you're troubled by it).

Rock - that's a magnanimous gesture. I hope the kindness was reciprocated.

MC said...

I was mistaken about Rock as well. I thought he was being disingenuous, but I was wrong. I got carried away and I was quite contentious. That was wrong and I'm sorry for that.

Those of us who are seeking to forsake false traditions and turn are hurts more fully to Christ ought to not contend with one another. We're all on a learning curve and should be careful how we judge others. In my recent conversations with Rock, I have been reminded of that.

It was never my intent to belittle or personally attack anyone. My apologies to those of you I may have unjustly contended with.


MC said...

Oops, I meant turn our hearts to Christ

Anonymous said...

When I was banned from the whatsapp group of former missionaries, I created another one and invited all who desired to join on open debate on gospel topics. There was a guy last-named Crisanto (I knew him personally) who was questioning everything I wrote. His pseudonim: "MC".

MC said...

Jared,

Over the years I have noticed a couple of other "MC"s out on the web myself.
The initials MC are apparently fairly common. It sounds like I might want to consider switching my username at some point to eliminate any confusion.

I'm not the Crisanto fellow you refer to and I've never even heard of a whatsapp group until you mentioned it.

I think we can safely put the idea to bed that there is an army of church trolls online posting under the name MC. If there is I would certainly change me username immediately because I don't want to be associated with that.

I'm just a random LDS guy who discovered the church is in apostasy and has been searching for the truth and a solution to the problems in the church today.

Along the way I have seriously studied a number of viewpoints on our current situation.

I strive to follow Paul's admonition to prove all things and keep the good.

From what I have observed, no one out there has all the answers. Collectively there are just as many holes and contradictions among those who are critical of the church as within the church itself. The holes may be different, but they are there.

There isn't one group out there for a person to go to once they have discovered the problems in the church that follows the original teachings and organization of Christ's church.

So this leads me to conclude that either the LDS church is still the Lord's church in spite of the many serious problems, or Christ's church is completely gone again and will need to be restored once more.

I believe that the LDS church is still the Lord's church and that we still have at least the aaronic priesthood.

It is for this reason that I stick up for the church at times, not because I believe all is well in Zion or because I'm an apologist.

At the end of the day I wonder what the value is to continuing to endlessly hurl insults and accusations against the church and the brethren.

Aren't we being hypocrites if we are all united in attacking the church for every perceived flaw, while giving each other the benefit of the doubt in regards to the difference in our own views and practices?

Anyways, that's where I'm coming from.

Curtis Bacon said...

I noticed that home teaching (which I don't believe was ever directed by the Savior to institute) was not done away by common consent. I also noticed that one of the seventies (I can't remember the talk) left out "Broken the Everlasting Covenant" from a verse he was quoting to emphasis the church's commitment to the ordinances. This was an unmistakable act of priestcraft. This is happening more and more.

matt lohrke said...

You're right. When was the last time we were consulted about anything?

It's interesting that if you google "Law of Consent" the top result (after D&C 26) is a BYU publication which states (hooray for SEO):

"It is clear that the principle of common consent distinctly defines the practice and procedures of participation within Church government. Limited to “the voice of the church,” or members of the Church of Jesus Christ (D&C 38:34; 41:9; 51:4; 58:49; 102:9), practice of the law of common consent is a privilege given to every member of the Church in good standing. This privilege of voting is more an act of ratifying leadership callings and decisions rather than actually making those decisions. Such decisions are left to the Lord and His anointed servants.

"When we become more familiar with the law of common consent, we understand the uncommon blessing it is in Church government and in our lives. We become more like Christ through common consent because it affords us the opportunity to recognize Christ as the sovereign King, make our will like His, sustain our fellow Saints, bind ourselves to Him through solemn covenants, and exercise our agency by choosing as He would choose. Elder Boyd K. Packer taught that “there is an obedience that comes from a knowledge of the truth that transcends any external form of control. We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.” As Saints exercise common consent, they are in a better position to see as Christ sees."

See, plebs, you have no part in the decision-making process. You get to "choose as Jesus would choose" by only voting affirmatively.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

MC said...

Curtis,

I've noticed that it has become pretty standard practice for the church to leave out parts of passages that are in any way uncomfortable. You almost never here the words hell or damnation anymore. In fact I don't think you ever hear it anymore, even though the scriptures warn over and over again that we will be damned and suffer in hell if we don't repent and keep all of God's commandments.

I'd be really curious to see the context for this seventy leaving "they have broken the new and everlasting covenant" out of a scripture he quoted.

Is there any chance you can provide us with the source and perhaps the quote?

Bro. B said...

Warning

Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days, “the earth also is defiled … because they have … changed the ordinance” (Isaiah 24:5; see also D&C 1:15).

A related warning, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, was that some “draw near to [the Lord] with their lips, … [and] they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (Joseph Smith—History 1:19).

Paul also warned that many would have “a form of godliness, but [deny] the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5). I repeat, from such turn away.

The many distractions and temptations of life are like “ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). It is the true shepherd who will prepare, protect, and warn the sheep and the flock when these wolves are approaching (see John 10:11–12). As undershepherds who seek to emulate the perfect life of the Good Shepherd, aren’t we shepherds of our own soul as well as of others? With the counsel of prophets, seers, and revelators, whom we just sustained, and with the power and gift of the Holy Ghost, we can see the wolves coming if we are watchful and prepared. In contrast, when we are casual shepherds of our own soul and others’ souls, casualties are likely. Casualness leads to casualties. I invite each of us to be a faithful shepherd.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/saving-ordinances-will-bring-us-marvelous-light?lang=eng

matt lohrke said...

Beware of ellipses.

Hutch Vogl said...

@JR

"Billy Graham went out among the people and spoke to them, shook their hands. The Salt Lake City leaders never, never ever walk among the members to speak to them and shake their hands. Neither do the Apostles, the Seventies, etc. NEVER!!!!"

During my mission in Sierra Leone, John Dickson (now an 'emeritus seventy) came to speak to us. After the conference, he met with every missionary in a personal interview. We all got to shake his hand, and had 1 on 1 time with us.

I can't speak for every other missionaries interview, but mine was a little off. We sat down, and we both stared at each other. After this window of silence, while he was looking into my eyes he said, "So here is a young man who loves the Lord."

I said, "Yes, I do"

Then there was another minute or two of silence until he ended the 'interview'

Granted, he was the only GA who took the time to do this that came out, and I never saw him do it again.

Clipping Solutions said...

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