Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Church Ain't The Kingdom

Previously: The Most Important Mission Of The Modern Mormon Church
Among the many things we Mormons have been getting wrong about our own religion is this idea that the LDS Church and the Kingdom of God are "one and the same."

Those happen to be the very words Bruce McConkie used in his definitive treatise on all things Mormon: "The Church and kingdom are one and the same."

It's little wonder McConkie's magnum opus, Mormon Doctrine has come to be considered not very reliable, since whenever it suits him, McConkie contradicts both scripture and the clear teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith. In case you think I may be quoting Brother Bruce out of context, I assure you I am not. He does indeed want you to believe that the LDS Church and the kingdom of God are the exact same thing:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as it is now constituted is the kingdom of God on earth. Nothing more needs to be done to establish the kingdom. The kingdom is here, and it is the same kingdom which Daniel said would be set up in the last days." (Mormon Doctrine, 2d edition, pg 415. Italics in the original.)
Elder McConkie had a reputation for being one of  the foremost Church scholars of the 20th century, so one wonders why he didn't do more research on this topic. The prophet Joseph Smith says something quite different from what Bruce McConkie so authoritatively asserts:
"There is a distinction between the Church of God and the kingdom of God.  The laws of the kingdom are not designed to affect our salvation hereafter. It is an entire, distinct and separate government." (Joseph Smith Papers Administrative Records, pg 128.)  
I couldn't tell you if McConkie alone is responsible for promoting the idea that the Church and the kingdom are the same thing, but I can tell you this: that particular heresy is running rampant in the Church today. If you do an internet search using the words  "LDS.org The Church and the Kingdom," the first thing that pops up on your feed will be this:
"The kingdom of God on earth is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 65). The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to live forever in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of heaven. However, the scriptures sometimes call the Church the kingdom of heaven, meaning that the Church is the kingdom of heaven on earth."
No, the scriptures do not sometimes call the Church the kingdom of heaven. In fact, the scriptures never call the Church the kingdom of heaven -especially not in D&C 65, which is the scripture conveniently linked to that paragraph. Nice of them to provide that link, so you can check it out for yourself.

Section 65 is only 6 short verses, and what is happening in those verses is that God's people are encouraged to call upon the Lord, that His kingdom may go forth upon the earth. (The kingdom had not yet gone forth when that revelation was given, even though the Church had been established a year and a half earlier.) The kingdom referenced in that section is the kingdom (not a church) foretold by the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament, a kingdom that, once established, would stand forever, and break up and consume all the other kingdoms of the earth.  The word "church" is neither found in the text of section 65, nor inferred anywhere within it.

It would appear that someone wants you to think the scriptures say what they clearly do not say. Maybe they don't think you will research this topic and see for yourself. Pull out your Doctrine & Covenants concordance and see if there are any revelations in which the Lord identifies the kingdom of God with the LDS Church. You will see that whether the kingdom is referred to in the words of the Lord, or in the sermons given by Joseph Smith where he discusses the kingdom, both the Lord and the prophet are talking about something perceptually distinct from the LDS Church. Or any church, for that matter.

Why do you suppose they are so intent on pulling the wool over your eyes regarding such a seemingly innocuous topic? Well, they do have their reasons, which I'll get into ultimately.

Meawhile, go ahead and read section 65. If you want it to say what you want it to say, I suppose you could talk yourself into believing it says what you want it to say. But you'd be fooling yourself.

Here's a short list of statements by general authorities in our day who are fooling themselves (or trying to fool with the rest of us), beginning with Bruce McConkie's father-in-law, who really ought to have known better:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in literal reality the kingdom of God on earth."
 -Joseph Fielding Smith
"It should be recognized that this church is not a social club. This is the kingdom of God in the earth." -Gordon B. Hinckley
"We represent and speak today for a worldwide church, the organized and established kingdom of God on earth" -Howard W. Hunter
"The Church is, after all, the kingdom of God on the earth."  
-Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Well, no, it isn't, D. Todd. But it's more than a little disconcerting that so many leaders in positions like yours are teaching such palpable falsehoods

If it seems like I'm picking on D. Todd Christofferson a bit more than the others, it's because D. Todd is still alive, and maybe someone will show D. Todd his error so he can correct himself, and because D. Todd is an apostle who really shouldn't be so careless with his false teachings, and because it was a stupid thing for D. Todd to say in the first place, and because I just like saying "Dee Tahd" over and over.

The Bigger Picture
Growing up in the Church, I believed the Lord had raised up Joseph Smith for the purpose of setting up and organizing "the one true church," but like most members, I wasn't seeing the grander purpose of the Restoration. Starting up a religious denomination was small potatoes compared to the real mission the Lord had in mind for His servant. Joseph certainly realized that the Church was merely step one, and a minor step compared to what was to come:
"I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel, by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world." (The Words of Joseph Smith, Ehat and Cook, eds.pg 367.)
The prophet made that statement in a discourse given on May 12th, 1844. So if you happen to be, oh, let's say, D. Todd Christofferson (to pull a name at random), and you firmly believe that "the Church is, after all, the kingdom of God on the earth," then you're in for some mental gymnastics trying to reconcile what Joseph Smith is saying in that statement. Because if you're reading that statement of intent to mean Joseph has some plans to lay the foundation of a church that will revolutionize the whole world, you're going to have to admit he's getting a late start on the project, because six and a half weeks from the date Joseph Smith made that declaration, he will be dead.  Was Joseph Smith, on the very eve of his death, thinking about laying the foundation for the very religious society he had already established fourteen years earlier?

Of course not. He was referring to laying the foundation for something bigger and exclusive of the Church. And although Joseph was killed just weeks after making that statement, he had by that time already laid the foundation for that kingdom and had every reason to believe the project would continue on course with or without him. For more than three months prior to his death, the prophet had been laboring with at least fifty other men, charging them with the responsibility for implementing his vision. Sadly, every one of them ultimately abandoned the task entrusted to them. Most found it more to their liking to simply focus their energies on managing the Church. After all, that entity was already here, and it was up and running. Now that Joseph and Hyrum were gone, all they had to do was take it over.

This is the real tragedy of the history of this Church. Had those who followed after Joseph actually stepped into his shoes and followed through with their commissions, you and I might have been born into an environment of true freedom where men of all faiths respected each other enough to live in peace in spite of their differing views. The bad news is that the kingdom of heaven has been postponed.

The good news is, it's not dead yet.

So before we go any further, let's talk about just exactly what this thing is we call "the kingdom of God."

Not Of This World
The reason Jesus found himself one day standing before Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, was that the high priests in Jerusalem had breathlessly notified Pilate that he had a radical revolutionary on his hands who was an immediate threat to Tiberius Julius Caesar, Pilate's boss back in Rome. In reality, Jesus was an immediate threat only to those religious leaders who were running to the governor to tell on him. He was a threat to their power, not Caesar's. But if the high priests wanted Jesus dead and out of the way, they knew they were going to have to get Pilate to do the dirty work for them. Caiaphas and Annas were, after all, the religious leaders of the country and could not allow the people to perceive them as the bad guys.

But let's back up a bit.

In spite of what many believe, Rome had not invaded and conquered Judea. The Romans had been invited into the country around 66 B.C. because there was a civil war going on between two brothers, Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, over which of them should be king of Judea. One brother got the idea of inviting the Roman politician and military leader Pompey in to settle the dispute.

So Pompey showed up with his legions of soldiers and settled the dispute, accepting a large payment for his troubles. But guess what? The Romans never left. They decided they were still needed in Judea to keep the peace and "normalize" the political environment. Not to mention there was that nifty benefit the Romans exacted from the Jews in the form of a hefty ongoing tribute. This was the kind of protection racket the Romans came to be known for. They would occupy a foreign country either by invitation or by force, then Caesar would plant one of his own in the province to "govern" the land, which mostly meant keeping that tribute money flowing back to Rome.

At the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the particular Caesar who held the throne at Rome was a rascal by the name of Augustus Caesar. Augustus not only claimed the title of Emperor, but also declared himself to be the literal son of God. Caesar Augustus demanded his subjects worship him, and the citizens of Rome complied with the greatest enthusiasm because it was either that or wind up with your head on a pike. Museums today are filled with statues, coins, and other artifacts celebrating the venerable Emperor Augustus Caesar as being the very son of God in the flesh.

You can see where this is going. With a phony son of God in Rome and the real one growing up near Jerusalem, eventually there's bound to be a kerfuffle.

By the time Pontius Pilate was assigned the governorship of Judea, Augustus Caesar had died and been replaced by his stepson, Tiberius Julius Caesar. Tiberius does not appear to have insisted his people worship him as adamantly as his predecessor had, but neither did he dissuade the citizens from doing so.

"We may be certain that Julius had little need to command deification," writes historian Alexander Del Mar, "his crime was that he permitted and accepted it." (Del Mar, The Worship of Augustus Caesar.)

So here is the situation Pilate finds himself in when Jesus is brought before him: Tiberius Caesar was known to be a reclusive ruler who really hadn't wanted to be emperor anyway, so Pilate is likely wondering how bothered this guy will be if he finds out there's another son of God way out here in Pilate's neck of the woods. After all, it was the other Caesar who claimed to be the son of God. Would Tiberius even care? And if he does care, what would the ramifications be for Pontius Pilate?

The reason this would have been a dilemma at all was because whenever a Roman Prelate was forced to intervene in local matters, it was customary to settle disputes according to the laws and customs of the countries they were occupying. They tried not to interfere with the subject country's religion or politics. They usually allowed the people to have their titular king. (In Judea's case, their king was not only entirely corrupt, he wasn't even Jewish; Herrod was an Arab on both sides of his family.)

The Romans learned to avoid imposing Roman law on these foreigners because that would be a quick way to incite open rebellion, and rebellion was something they would rather avoid if possible. Keep the peace and funnel the money back to the emperor -those were the two prime directives.

But now the Jewish high priests have forced Pilate into a corner, and he has to weigh whether he wants to risk trouble here in Judea, or risk trouble with the emperor. We learn in John 19 that when the Jewish authorities told Pilate that Jesus ought to die because he claimed to be the son of God, Pilate became very afraid. If the conniving high priests sent word back to Rome that someone claiming to be the son of God was given a pass by the local Roman governor, Pilate could wind up hanging from a cross himself. He would have to manage this thing carefully.

Pilate asked Jesus if he was, indeed, the king of the Jews, and Jesus answered, "are you asking that question for yourself, or did someone else put you up to it?"

Pilate responded by saying, "Look, I'm not a Jew. Your own countrymen and the chief priests have delivered you to me. So what is your crime?"

If Jesus was a threat to the emperor, Pilate needed to know. And that's when Jesus gave Pilate the answer that should have satisfied him that Jesus was not a threat to the Roman Empire: "My kingdom is not of this world."

What The What?
So what did Jesus mean by that? Did he mean to say his kingdom is not of this planet?
Of course not. The scriptures teach that the kingdom of God has been on the earth from generation to generation (Daniel 4:34; Lamentations 5:19). Freedom under God had been preached by Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, Gideon, Moses and others, not to mention the prophets in the Book of Mormon. All sought to teach men the way of liberty under God on this earth.

The kingdom of God was never intended to be understood as some invisible, spiritual, ephemeral kingdom forever out of reach, as some have insisted. This kingdom is intended to be the order under which men and women live in the here and now. The fact that the kingdom has long seemed elusive and out of reach is not because God hasn't wanted us to live under His perfect law of liberty. It's our fault for not seeking for it in our transactions with one another.

There are many places in the bible where we find the word, "world" but in this instance, where Jesus is saying his kingdom is not of this world, "world" comes from the Greek word, "Cosmos."

That clears it up, right? We all know that cosmos means outer space, so clearly Jesus is saying his kingdom is not of this universe.

No. That's not it either. Of course Jesus isn't saying that. "Cosmos" may have attained a meaning similar to "universe" in modern times, but way back in the old days, "cosmos"  meant order, orderly arrangement, or system.  You can see how that word would eventually come to apply to the universe, because the universe is, after all, an orderly system. But what Jesus was saying to Pilate was this: "My kingdom has no resemblance to the order you are a part of. It has nothing to do with your system of government, a system of coercion where a ruler at the top issues demands to his subjects below. My kingdom does not operate like that. My kingdom operates under an order where every man is his own king, and every woman a queen, to do, say, and believe as best suits them; and no person or group of persons has authority to impede them or pressure them to do that which they do not wish to do."

That's the order of God's kingdom. It is based not only on liberty, but on the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25).

How The Kingdom Of God Would Operate On The Earth
Although Joseph Smith did not live to see his dream of the kingdom implemented, Brigham Young was present during the deliberations, and he has left us with an apt description of how the whole thing was intended to work. Next week I'll follow up here with part two of this discussion, focusing on how and why the Church failed to act on the opportunity the Lord had given them, and the consequences that are being felt in the Church for that failure even today.

For now, I'll close with an excerpt from Brigham Young's description of Joseph Smith's great hope for humanity, and why being a part of the kingdom of heaven has virtually nothing to do with whether or not you are a Mormon. Here's Brother Brigham:
"When the Kingdom of Heaven spreads over the whole earth, do you expect that all the people composing the different nations will become Latter-day Saints? If you do, you will be much mistaken. Do you expect that every person will be destroyed from the face of the earth, but the Latter-day Saints? If you do, you will be mistaken." 
"Jesus taught his disciples to pray that the kingdom of heaven might come upon the earth, and when it does come, you will find that it will be very different from what many people are imagining or expecting it will be. Its spirit will be to preserve their individual rights sacred to the inhabitants of the earth." 
"As observed by one of the speakers this morning, that kingdom grows out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it is not the church, for a man may be a legislator in that body which will issue laws to sustain the inhabitants of the earth in their individual rights, and still not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ at all." 
"The order of society will be as it is when Christ comes to reign a thousand years; there will be every sort of sect and party, and every individual following what he supposes to be the best in religion, and in everything else, similar to what it is now." 
"When the Kingdom of God is fully set up and established on the face of the earth, and takes the pre-eminence over all other nations and kingdoms, it will protect the people in the enjoyment of all their rights, no matter what they believe, what they profess, or what they worship. If they wish to worship a god of their own workmanship, instead of the true and living God, all right, if they will mind their own business and let other people alone." 
"And further, though a man may not even believe in any religion, it would be perfectly right, when necessary, to give him the privilege of holding a seat among that body which will make laws to govern all the nations of the earth and control those who make no profession of religion at all; for that body would be governed, controlled, and dictated to acknowledge others in those rights which they wish to enjoy themselves. Then the Latter-day Saints would be protected, if a kingdom of this kind was on the earth, the same as all other people." 
"It will be asked, 'What do you want to do, ye strangers from afar?' 'We want to live our own religion.' 'Will you bow the knee before God with us?' 'O yes, we would as soon do it as not;' and at that time every knee shall bow, and every tongue acknowledge that God who is the framer and maker of all things, the governor and controller of the universe. They will have to bow the knee and confess that He is God, and that Jesus Christ, who suffered for the sins of the world, is actually its Redeemer; that by the shedding of his blood he has redeemed men, women, children, beasts, birds, fish, the earth itself, and everything that John saw and heard praising in heaven. 
"They will ask, 'If I bow the knee and confess that he is that Savior, the Christ, to the glory of the Father, will you let me go home and be a Presbyterian?' 
'Yes.' 
'And not persecute me?' 
'Never.' 
'Won't you let me go home and belong to the Greek Church?' 
'Yes.' 
'Will you allow me to be a Friend Quaker, or a Shaking Quaker?' 
'O yes, anything you wish to be, but remember that you must not persecute your neighbors, but must mind your own business, and let your neighbors alone, and let them worship the sun, moon, a white dog, or anything else they please, being mindful that every knee has got to bow and every tongue confess. When you have paid this tribute to the Most High, who created you and preserves you, you may then go and worship what you please, or do what you please, if you do not infringe upon your neighbors.' " 
"Under the influence and power of the Kingdom of God, the Church of God will rest secure and dwell in safety, without taking the trouble of governing and controlling the whole earth. The Kingdom of God will do this; it will control the kingdoms of the world." (Brigham Young, "The Kingdom of God," Journal of Discourses Vol 2, pg 309-317.)
                                                               *****
For Part Two of The Church Ain't The Kingdom, CLICK HERE



88 comments:

Ben Jiles said...

Hi Alan. Thank you so much for this blog. It's the subject I was wrestling with for the past few weeks. I knew internally and out of intuition that the Church is not the end in and of itself, but merely the mean to a greater end, a stepping stone -- to the Kingdom of God. So thank you for clarifying this. I could never reconcile the words that the Church is the Kingdom of God on Earth when the Church is meddling in the politics of men -- thus stooping to regimes (like Hitler's) or using coercion and force on the local Utah level to legislate morality. Thank you for the sources. However, where does the last quote come from? I will search for it on my own, but if you could let me know too that'd be great.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for those kind words, Ben. I'm glad I was able to be of assistance.

As for the citation for Brigham Young's talk on the Kingdom of God, another reader just PM'd me and I realized I had not provided the link as intended. It's there now. I only posted a small part of it, the rest is worth reading.

Miguel Aveiro said...

I was looking forward to this post since you mentioned a while back you were going to do this one.

To be fair, the LDS Church says that the church today is the ecclesiastical part of the kingdom of God with the political part (if you can call it that) being another.

I wasn't sure if it was a literal kingdom or a spiritual, ephemeral thing. But I think I read somewhere that the Council of Fifty was established by Joseph to prepare for the Millenial reign of Jesus, or in other words the Kingdom of God. How much could the Kingdom be established in our day? Could we have it in the midst of all the different governments and nations of the world, or do they all need to cleared away first?

Unknown said...

That is how I understand it. To go along with this I have found the book "The End of All Evil" to be a very succinct in principle of how the Kingdom of God will work.
http://www.mensenrechten.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/EndofallEvil1.pdf

Peter Brown said...

Brother Brigham was certainly an enigma. Too bad he didn’t practice what he preached.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I will be writing about the Council of Fifty in my follow-up piece, Miguel. The information we now have on this previously hidden part of our history is the stuff I find the most fascinating. As for what you are saying about leaders defining an ecclesiastical and a political side to the kingdom, that's a new one on me. Everything I read from them seems to be that the church is the flat-out kingdom of God, with no room for nuance. Maybe there's some backpeddling taking place.

Thanks for the link to "The End of All Evil" Unknown. I'll look it over. Sure glad there's a free pdf available because the going rate for that book on Amazon right now is $1,249.00. Gonna have to pass that one up.

Peter Brown, Enigma is right. I can find places where Brigham Young stands for different things at different times, and directly contradicts himself all over the place. An evil man, that one, but he sometimes told the truth.

Dave P. said...

Oddly enough the "Previously on" link at the top of today's piece is very broken.

James Lloyd said...

Remarkably, I had just finished listening to Timothy Keller's sermon, "Tale of Two Cities" where he explains what the city of God is like - and it is not a separate city, but a group of people devoted not to themselves, but to the service of others and the glorification of God. You seem to imply that Joseph was saying a similiar thing. Thanks again for another great write-up, Rock. This is a well worth listen by Keller:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jYhGSFzFJA

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for that heads up, Dave P, the link is now fixed.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for the link, James Lloyd. Sounds interesting.

Connie Waterman said...

Rock,great post! All of them are. I have been reading your blog from the very beginning...obviously, I am your wife. I truly loved this piece, because it taught me and reminded me of some things I had learned long ago. I also am grateful that you put it into more than one part.

Because for me personally, there must be a place to leave behind what is not working and move on to a better way of life. I long for The Kingdom of God. We all long for peace and let's face it, we haven't been very good at it.

matt lohrke said...

Very insightful, as always.

Maybe I'm just getting too pessimistic and cynical, but I honestly don't know how much I trust the D&C anymore. We know the record has been significantly altered. According to the Joseph Smith Papers website, the original manuscript for 65 is no longer extant. What we have are two copies. The original scribe is unknown, as is the location of where the revelation was given. As with many revelations, what we have are a lot of "may have's."

http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/revelation-30-october-1831-dc-65/1#historical-intro

I don't know how it was decided which revelations went into the Book of Commandments, but this revelation, dated 1831 and given before the BOC was published, was not included. That may be completely insignificant or irrelevant.

How does Luke 17 fit in?

"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (KJV)

"Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (NIV)

Or Romans 4?

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit..." (NIV)

Or the Book of Mormon:

"Wherefore, if they should die in their wickedness they must be cast off also, as to the things which are spiritual, which are pertaining to righteousness; wherefore, they must be brought to stand before God, to be judged of their works; and if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God; if so, the kingdom of God must be filthy also. But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore there must needs be a place of filthiness prepared for that which is filthy. And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken, and the devil is the preparator of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out because of that justice of which I have spoken. (1 Nephi 15)

There are roughly 4 dozen references to the Kingdom of God in the BOM, but I don't find any that reference a political kingdom, if I understand the premise of this post correctly.

No finger pointing or accusations of any sort, just seeking to understand...(I also drove from Portland to SLC today, and I'm borderline delusional, so it's very possible I missed something)


Julene Humes said...

Eureka, again, Rock! Your voice is so important. I, too, felt the conflict to read Brigham Young's stirring words while remembering other words he said and other things he did that were so problematic. I think I find one flaw, though, in his illustration of the millennial kingdom. I do not believe that people, to be a part of the kingdom, will be asked by an earthly agent to certify to their acceptance of the Savior. I think that when the scripture says, "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess," it is referring to a future day when it will be inevitable that all those of good will, all those who renounce war and proclaim peace, all those who extend freedom to their fellowmen, will be compelled to so declare, and not because it is some test administered by an earthly authority to belong to the kingdom. BY's illustration looks too much like the temple recommend interview. If there is room in the kingdom for Presbyterians, or Shakers, or whatever, then there is room for Buddhists and Hindus.

Robert Horning said...

I found it interesting that you mention "The Kingdom of God", yet missed an important term that describes what Joseph Smith was trying to accomplish:

Zion

I know that this term is full of all sorts of meanings, particularly among Jews, Arabs, and Latter-day Saints. It is derided and reviled as well as beloved. Still, it is a part of LDS culture and something that even shows up among Utah institutions like ZCMI (Zion's Commercial Mercantile Institution) and Zion's Bank. ZCMI in particular has an incredible and fascinating history and certainly isn't the perversion of a department store it became. It also became something of a major contention that resulted in the disincorporation of the church and the seizing of the Salt Lake Temple by itself, so there is a much deeper history of the corporate church and the U.S. federal government in that whole story.

The idea of a Zion people, as taught by Joseph Smith and even at one time referenced in the Articles of Faith directly (instead of the substantially rewritten version currently in the current version of the Pearl of Great Price.... that was not merely an editorial rewrite), is to have a community of people who are literally at one with God and a place where revelation flows routinely. A society who is so righteous and in tune with God that He literally dwells with them. THAT is the Kingdom of God on the Earth, not the Church.

The Church was supposed to be the institution through which Zion could be established... eventually. Unfortunately those in charge have mixed up the notion that the purpose and goal of the church was to get that accomplished. The idea of Zion is not something, unfortunately, that can be forced or created with a 10 step program... because if it were then it would have happened already.

Robert Horning said...

(continued)
In times past, you could still find church leaders talking about how we need to strive to become a Zion people. This means actually paying attention to scripture (and no the Chruch Handbook), and more importantly learning to know Christ and his teachings on more than simply a cursory level. It means becoming genuinely Christian by really understanding Jesus on a gut level so that if you actually met Him in person you would not be acting any differently... and that you would recognize Him if he was standing next to you in a crowd. Frankly I doubt most people who claim to be LDS would even recognize Jesus as anything but a crazy anti-social nutjob.... because Jesus certainly would (and did) condemn institutions that they would hold dear.

BTW, Zion is a place where there is room for other religious views... where not only can you be a Presbyterian or Shaker, but also Muslim, Pagan, Wiccan, or anything else. Making Zion happen is the sign of a true prophet, and every genuine prophet of every dispensation has always tried to make something like Zion happen.

Zion isn't Utah (although it could have been). Zion wasn't Nauvoo, although Joseph Smith certainly tried to make it into Zion. Jackson County, Missouri was also an experiment to make Zion that failed as well.

The Council of Fifty was charged with bringing about Zion, and it was to that end they received their commission. That what resulted is a perversion of the idea of Zion and created dehumanizing institutions where pretentious people even turn away from Christ and become hypocrites wrapped with the name of God but denying Him at the same time. The keys Brigham Young received wasn't authority to govern and rule over the LDS people, but a requirement and oath to make Zion actually happened... and arguably failed almost from the beginning.

I'd personally love to live in Zion for a number of reasons. I'm doubting I'm worthy of such a place, so a part of me knows that I have some repenting to do simply to be permitted to be near the gate of such a location much less to be a citizen of such a place. A place so righteous that God dwells among them sounds appealing. Perhaps a utopian dream that will never be realized but it is certainly something to strive toward and for people in all areas and backgrounds to at least try to understand the words that Jesus of Nazareth taught.

Radio Free Mormon said...

Great job, Rock!

A couple of things jumped out at me while reading the quote from Brigham Young.

He states:

"And further, though a man may not even believe in any religion, it would be perfectly right, when necessary, to give him the privilege of holding a seat among that body which will make laws to govern all the nations of the earth and control those who make no profession of religion at all; FOR THAT BODY WOULD BE GOVERNED, CONTROLLED, AND DICTATED TO ACKNOWLEDGE OTHERS IN THOSE RIGHTS WHICH THEY WISH TO ENJOY THEMSELVES. Then the Latter-day Saints would be protected, if a kingdom of this kind was on the earth, the same as all other people."

Who is going to be governing, controlling and dictating to "that body"?

Brigham Young goes on:

"It will be asked, 'What do you want to do, ye strangers from afar?' 'We want to live our own religion.' 'Will you bow the knee before God with us?' 'O yes, we would as soon do it as not;' and at that time every knee shall bow, and every tongue acknowledge that God who is the framer and maker of all things, the governor and controller of the universe. THEY WILL HAVE TO BOW THE KNEE AND CONFESS THAT HE IS GOD, AND THAT JESUS CHRIST, WHO SUFFERED FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD, IS ACTUALLY ITS REDEEMER; that by the shedding of his blood he has redeemed men, women, children, beasts, birds, fish, the earth itself, and everything that John saw and heard praising in heaven.

So it sounds here like Brigham Young is saying everybody in the Kingdom of God must be a Christian.

And yet, he also says in the same quote that members of the ruling body don't even have to believe in God; and that the inhabitants of the kingdom can worship "the sun, moon, a white dog, or anything else they please."

It seems from the context that Brigham Young is saying you don't have to believe in God, so long as you believe in God.

It seems like Brigham Young is saying you can worship anything you please so long as you worship Christ and acknowledge him as the Redeemer.

It sounds like Brigham Young is trying to have it both ways here.

Unless he is suggesting a system such as existed in ancient Rome where the citizens of the empire were free to worship anything they wanted so long as they first acknowledged the emperor as God.

What do you think?

Joe said...

Hi Rock,

Excellent post overall. Just one point of disagreement, with regard to the following:

"Why do you suppose they are so intent on pulling the wool over your eyes regarding such a seemingly innocuous topic? Well, they do have their reasons..."

I would suggest that there is no malicious intent on the part of the incumbent officers to mislead people in the absolute sense. They genuinely believe that the previous leaders were mistaken, and that the currently accepted definitions are inspired, and that salvation will be the outcome if the members will serve the church and it's incumbent officers with full purpose of heart.

They believe that as time progresses, the church is getting better and better, and the doctrine is getting purer and purer; that past misunderstandings are replaced with greater light and truth, "line upon line".

They are indeed misguided and prideful (blinded by their own self-importance), but this is a very different sin than intentional deception and witting malice.

Pulling wool over someone's eyes implies malicious intent to do harm, as if they are witting servants of the devil, and they are knowingly trading their salvation for some kind of earthly reward.

Can we agree that they are merely deceived, but are still operating according to good intentions? Or are you really arguing that they are witting servants of evil? It seems to me that sometimes you are implicitly accusing them of some kind of unified conspiracy to mislead the membership. Am I misreading you in that regard?

In your defense, you do express hope that someone will "show them their error so [they] can correct [themselves]". This implies that you believe they are acting in ignorance, rather than engaging in an intentional effort to mislead us. So from that perspective, we do seem to agree, but I'm not entirely sure, because your language regarding intent is sometimes quite assertive and sharp.

Would you be wiling to clarify your position on this point?

The reason I think it's important is as follows: if we consider them to be witting liars and knowing agents of the devil, and they really aren't, then our attempts to help them repent (along with those who idolize them) will be less effective than if our characterization of them is more accurate.

Along those lines, I suggest the following experiment: in your next post, make it an open letter to the incumbent 15 top officers, or an open letter addressed directly to one specific officer.

Taking this approach, I think it might focus your message in a powerful and useful way, and it would be more along the lines of the golden rule, because people generally prefer to be spoken to, rather than being spoken about.

Additionally, your open letter could be used by members in the following way:

They could print it out and mail it to HQ and local leaders, and request answers and responses to the valid points that are always in your posts. And because the letter will be addressed to a specific person or council, this creates an expectation of a response, and will potentially put more effective pressure on those who are in need of repentance.

Imagine if Elder Christofferson were to personally receive several hundred letters from concerned members, or even thousands of letters, asking him why he is teaching against Joseph Smith and teaching against the scriptures on various points. This might be what is necessary to help him see the error of his ways.

Taking this approach, each of your posts from this point forward could be like an Epistle of Paul, targeted to specific persons or groups, and this might be a more effective way of communicating.

In any case, thank you for all your hard work and efforts on this blog. I love reading your posts, and I've learned many good things from you.

Regards,
-Joe

LJn said...

Rock,
I found a pdf link for the Caesar book by Del Mar that you and your readers might be interested in. It looks like a photocopy of the original book (the blurb on Amazon tells me the original is an out of print book).

https://ia800203.us.archive.org/18/items/worshipofaugustu00delmuoft/worshipofaugustu00delmuoft.pdf

Toni

matt lohrke said...

Good find, LJn. Thanks.

Eric Kuntz said...

"there is no malicious intent." BS. If you don't think that these men know exactly what are are doing, you are either a fool or a liar. There is zero percent chance that these men are just stupid patsies and don't know the levels of corruption, greed and evil doctrines that make up the LDS Church. Wake-up and cast off the chains of hell

O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe. 2 Nephi 1:13

Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them. Alma 5:7

And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. Alma 12:11

The BOM is a warning to the Mormons, no one else. No one else reads the BOM, hell, most Mormons don't even read it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Matt Lohrke,
You bring up a lot of good questions, but if I were to respond to them I'd have to jump the gun on my follow=up piece (which I am hoping to write by this Sunday, but in all likelihood it will be put off until first Sunday in June).

The short answer to the Book of Mormon scripture is that it is referring to the kingdom of God as it exists in heaven. The terms "Kingdom of God" and Kingdom of Heaven" have been used interchangeably throughout the history of the Church, but according to my research, strictly speaking, the Kingdom of Heaven is the one in the firmament and the kingdom of God is an earthly kingdom intended to emulate the way heaven is governed, which is pretty much a guarantee that all are free to think, speak, and act as they please as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others.

You'll notice that Brigham Young referred to the earthly kingdom as the kingdom of heaven, but I believe he was mistaken. Anyway, from what I have read, the effort to establish a kingdom of God on earth involves God and angels in heaven reaching down to meet us as we attempt to rise to the standard of that kingdom and establish it on earth.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Julene Humes and Radio Free Mormon,

I'll respond to you both in this reply, as your concerns were similar. Yes, I do agree with you, Julene. Brigham didn't get it quite right. He does seem to assume that every knee will be required to bow in order to be allowed into the kingdom, and yet at the same time he seems to insist that they can go ahead and worship someone of something other than Christ.

I think he may be getting his timeline a bit out of order. I think that when the time comes that "every knee will bow and every tongue confess," it will come voluntarily from all people when they see Jesus and realize that He is, indeed, the Christ. I don't think there will be an interview process to live among those in the kingdom as Brigham Young seems to infer.

In the meantime, the projected kingdom of God on earth was anticipated to be a place where all men of whatever faith can come and live together in peace, everyone recognizing their neighbor has the right to believe as he wishes, and allow him to do so in peace. As for the "governing body" referred to in RFM's question to me, that was part of the role of the Council of Fifty, and the very reason its membership was made up of non-Mormons as well as Mormons. Because every place the Mormons tried to settle, there already seemed to be people already living there who were opposed to them, Joseph sought a place where a free commonwealth could be established where ALL could be protected in their beliefs, and that governing body, rather than becoming a ruling party, would be charged with making certain no one's rights were infringed. There would be no requirement other than a willingness to let each other alone, and I believe it would have worked because those who did not want to respect the rights of others would not be drawn to live among them. Those with bossy dispositions wouldn't feel comfortable living there.

Let's remember that the Council of Fifty, of which Brigham was a member, was only in existence for three months before Joseph was killed, and although the records indicate he taught them well, over time they seem to have lost the vision. Joseph said that where there are no oracles (direct messages or revelations from the Divine King) there can be no kingdom, and I think we see what happened. Brigham and the Twelve apostles chose to usurp the High Council's authority to govern the Church, choosing to take it over themselves, resulting in God cutting them off from receiving revelations. They could claim the mantle of the prophet all they wanted, but they stopped receiving communications from their king, thus no longer able to have the kingdom. I feel that's what Joseph Smith meant when he said where there are no oracles, there is no kingdom.

Makes sense to me, because if you're going to have a kingdom, there has to be a king, and if the king was not yet living among the peple, we should at least expect communications from him. Without those communications, you really don't have a kingdom.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robert Horning,
I pretty much agree with what you're saying about Zion, and I could be wrong, but the plans to secure a place where the saints could establish a free commonwealth was intended to show their willingness to live as a Zion people. But it would not quite be Zion, because the Lord says He would be the one to establish that. Meantime, if the Saints and others could learn to live together in peace with respect to each other's rights, that would be big step toward proving to the Lord that they were worthy to have Him come and live among them.

We really only have two sources from which to learn the thoughts and intents that went in to establishing said commonwealth, one a documentary history and the other containing the minutes of the Council. I'll be discussing both in my next post, but I admit I have not yet read every word in either book. So I'm not an expert by any means; I do have a general idea of Joseph's intent. We do have plain evidence that even some members of the Twelve who were also members of the Council of Fifty got it wrong as time went on, because their later statements contradict the clear meaning of Joseph's words. Anyway, I'll save that for the next post. And I hope it doesn't stretch into a three parter, because there is a lot of interesting stuff to talk about.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Joe, you were right to call me out on my assertion that the Church leaders are acting maliciously. Sometimes I get so frustrated with those rascals that I just can't help but believe they know better.

My actual belief is that some of them do know better, and others are deceived. But doggone it, the reason they remain blind to their shortcomings is because of their pride. They simply cannot conceive of the possibility that they might not be guided by God in all they say and do. Just as Jonathan Streeter pointed out in the Youtube video I posted as part of my blog last month, whatever idea comes into their heads is presumed to be revelation from God, simply by dint of the fact that they are convinced they are his appointed servants. They can't possibly be wrong, because God would not permit His servants to err.

If they gave much thought to it, they might have noticed that God had never personally anointed them (Joseph declared that ALL the prophets had been personally anointed by God Himself), but they seem to lack the quality of introspection.

So yes, I admit that I often vacillate between being irritated at those guys, and at other times feeling a LOT of compassion for them, because it doesn't seem very likely to me that they will feel the need to repent. They are just too prideful. So I think they are in for a world of hurt in the next life.

I am reminded of the story of Bruce McConkie, who expressed to someone present at his deathbed that he was afraid to meet the savior, because he knew he had been dishonest with the things he taught the church. (Perhaps someone reading this can provide a link to that incident. I don't recall who it was who was present, whether it was a family member or someone else.)

I'm almost certain that Boyd Packer felt his deceptions were a way to protect the members' testimonies, but in the end, when the lies are exposed, it resulted in many members losing their testimonies instead of having them strengthened.

Anyway, Joe, I appreciate your reminding me that sometimes I just get too snarky, and there is room for improvement. I suppose adamantly maintaining they fully intend to pull the wool over our eyes was a little strong. I believe some of them are motivated by good intentions, but then, we all know that's what the road to hell is paved with. I do believe, as Eric Koontz, that at least some in Church leadership are well aware that they have betrayed the Lord's trust. I can't help but think that Russell Nelson and Dallin Oaks know what they're doing, especially the latter, because I can recall the time when Oaks was scrupulously honest and and capable of pure reason and logic. I see someone else inhabiting his body today. Russell Nelson, I just plain have no respect for, because he KNOWS he was not anointed by the Lord. Ditto David Bednar. I think that guy is just plain dangerous.

Anyway, those are my opinions, and I could be wrong. At least I CAN try to be nicer, and give some the benefit of the doubt. I'm resolved to begin practicing that any day now.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ljn, thanks for finding that link. I was looking for one, because I hoped a copy might be available on pdf, but I was unable to come across it. Good on you for finding it!

Some reprints from the original 1900 edition are available on Amazon, but I have no idea how good the reprints are. It's a fascinating book I first learned about from a Christian Pastor speaking in Redding, California sometime in the 1980's. I had no idea about Augustus Caesar's claims to be the son of God, as that really puts the inevitable clash of empires in a new light. After his talk this pastor provided me with a few pages of excerpts from Del Mar's book, and back in those pre-internet days I was able to find and purchase a hardcover version that was printed in 1973. I'm sure I paid a lot less for it than these softcover reprints are asking on Amazon. It's proven to be one of the most informative books I've read about Caesar and Christ (and that includes Will Durant's book "Caesar and Christ.") I would encourage everyone to look it over, so I'm very glad you were able to dig up that link.

The book copied on that pdf appears to be the very same hardcover edition I own. For those interested, the quote I used came from page 311.

Eric Kuntz said...

"At least I CAN try to be nicer, and give some the benefit of the doubt." Don't do it Rock. It will just muddy the waters for those souls that are waking up to the truth of the situation.

Ultimately the real message of the LDS Church is 'Follow the profits'

matt lohrke said...

Rock - I look forward to part 2.

What's interesting to me is that the covenant the Lord made with the Brother of Jared and similarly with Lehi, was that anyone who inhabits the Promised Land MUST serve the one true God of the land who is Jesus Christ. It's non-negotiable and "an everlasting decree."

Moroni interjected into the Jaredite record to tell us ("This comes to you, o ye Gentiles") that the same conditions apply to us. And that if we failed, we would fall just as the Jaredites and Nephites. This is all in Ether 2.

Granted, this applies the Promised Land, but if Christ expects that sort of fealty now, why would His Kingdom be different? I admit I'm pretty dense, but I can't wrap my head around it.

Jared Mata said...

I don't believe Brigham Young was right in his assertions. To me, for the people to live in the kingdom of God, they ought to worship the one true God (Exodus 20:3-5), and do it in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Although right here and now we must make our best effort to live in peace among people from different religions, when established, the kingdom of God should not be less exclusive as the Church is, as it is born from the Church (JST Revelation 12:7).

Jared Mata said...

I meant "less esxclusive THAN the church"

MrHFMetz said...

Dr.Hyrum L Andrus was inspired to investigate the subject of the Kingdom of God way back in the 50's of the former century. He wrote a book called "Joseph Smith and world governement". Amazon has is for $40 or so which is tooo much. Though Brother Andrus has passed away long ago there is website under the link http://www.hyrumandrus.com/books.html
The book can be bought there for $2. I don't know if it is an E-book, probably. The payment method is PayPall, which is not my favourite, anyway you could check it out. It is a wonderful book, not too big, some 120 pages and full of information on this subject. Good luck and best regards.

DeeLyn said...

It's impossible to have a Zion or 'Kingdom of God' without everyone following the Golden Rule and all the commandments of Christ.

BY's statement seems to be filled with falsehoods that I doubt came from JS.

matt lohrke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
matt lohrke said...

Some additional information I found interesting about this statement:

"I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel, by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world."

This comes from an account of Joseph's speech written by Thomas Bullock, church clerk at the time. He was also assistant to notorious fibbers Willard Richards and Brigham Young, who, of course, went about editing Joseph's history to suit "the new order of things."

Bullock also reports that Joseph said of the kingdom that "all nations will be under the necessity of obeying the Gospel." Which strikes me as a contradiction of BY's understanding.

Bullock also reports that Joseph spoke of baptism for the dead, a doctrine the Book of Mormon flatly and utterly rejects many times over.

It was also Bullock who in 1846 wrote the infamous, dubious account of Joseph "passing the keys" to the 12 in the "Last Charge" and all of it's "maybe's" "might have's" "possibly's."

Bullock was also a polygamist who married William Clayton's sister and had 23 children.

How reliable is his account of what Joseph allegedly said? It could be perfectly reliable, but I remain skeptical at best given the track record of those he worked for. It should be noted there are a few other accounts that Joseph spoke of "the kingdom," but lack the details of Bullock's.

The traditional understanding, as I understand it, is that the kingdom Daniel saw in vision was the advent of Christ and his ministry. The overwhelming majority of commentaries I've read on this vision fall on the side of Christ's ministry.

I'm probably in the minority here, but I've done a lot of reassessing of Joseph Smith. I have no doubt he saw the Lord, had angelic encounters and brought forth the Book of Mormon. But in my view, that was the extent of his calling. Both Nephi and Moroni tell us that we will be judged by what it was written in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 25:21-22 and Moroni 10:27). Oliver Cowdery was required to the write the Articles of Church of Christ based on what was written in the Book of Mormon.

Here we are nearly 200 years after it was published and we still haven't gotten the hint.

Liberty Ghost said...

Terrific post, as usual, Rock. You are a ray of sunshine in a dark and dreary world of pseudo doctrine. Once again, I have to commend the commenters, as this has really been a very uplifting comments section (so far). I feel very much as Robert Horning, that I will be begging for alms outside the gates, just to thrill at being that close to Zion. Joe, I thought your criticisms were positively Christian!

I hope you will take the time in your next installment to paint a clearer picture of the Kingdom of God than the quote by Brigham. It feels like Brigham is doing his best to describe what he learned, but only got a few of the concepts because he carries so much mental baggage that it is difficult to understand new concepts. But, at least we get some of the flavor of the kingdom.

It really sounds like the Kingdom of God is similar to the ideals which the Founding Fathers had for this country. It appears that we'll have to wait until we have a righteous king (the Davidic Servant) to provide the Justice that men seem unable to provide on their own. Although the laws will be declared from Zion, I suspect that there will actually be very few of them. The key, I think, will be to judge righteously. That, combined with holding all things in common, I think, will comprise much of the structure of the kingdom.

If you read through the D&C, it is amazing how much of it is devoted to the practical necessities of how to hold all things in common as a church. This, it seems should be the real focus of church administration. I think this was what Joseph was trying to attain, but obviously, it completely escaped the leadership that was left behind, who could only see that ruling over others was the important thing, instead of performing the callings which they had, which was, for the twelve, to be traveling missionaries, not the twelve non-traveling tyrants. It is a human tendency to see what someone else is doing and think "I can do that...maybe even better than he does", without really understanding what is going on.

Dale B.

MC said...

Rock,

I believe this is the Bruce R. McConkie death bed confession link you are looking for:

https://youtu.be/qI4nsngvcGw

According to Kevin Kraut, his father Ogden told him that George P. Lee told Ogden that he (George) visited Bruce R. McConkie in the hospital shortly before his death and Bruce told him he was afraid to die because he and the other apostles were not completely honest with the church.

The story could very well be true, but it is a third hand account told more than 20 years after the fact, which means it could be folklore, too.

MC said...

Eric,

Referring to the top leadership of the church you said, "If you don't think that these men know exactly what they are are doing, you are either a fool or a liar. There is zero percent chance that these men are just stupid patsies and don't know the levels of corruption, greed and evil doctrines that make up the LDS Church."

That's a pretty bold claim and one that can't be supported by the scriptures. In fact the scriptures say just the opposite.

You probably got that one from the greatandmarvelouswork website, where you seem to get all of your false ideas. Here I'll help you see the truth.

2 Nephi 27

5 For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.

Isaiah 28

7 ¶ But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

Ezekiel 13

1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord;

3 Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

What does it all mean you might ask?

The leadership of the church is every bit as blind and asleep as the general membership. They do not know "exactly what they're doing" as you say. The Lord says that because of our iniquities our rulers and the seers have been covered. These men are blind.

Isaiah says they err through strong drink, as do the rest of the members. In this case strong drink does not refer to alcohol, but to the wine of Babylon or worldliness. They are so caught up in Babylon that the err, they don't see clearly.

Ezekiel says they are foolish and follow their own spirit. Again implying that they believe they are inspired by the Holy Spirit, but are really only following their own spirit.

It is the blind leading the blind, just like the Pharisees in Christ's day. It's really bad, and naturally the brethren are guilty of some degree of deception, but to say that they know exactly what they are doing can not be supported by the scriptures.

Seriously man, stop reading that nonsense at the greatandmarvelouswork.com.

Eric Kuntz said...

Hey MC here is a bit a truth for you. The earth is flat. Betcha didn't know that one.

MC said...

Eric,

Seriously, the earth is flat? Ha ha you're kidding right?

Yeah and I've got ocean front property in Arizona.

And I suppose Magellan's crew never circumnavigated the globe and Columbus sailed off edge of the earth.

There also are no satelites in space either which have taken pictures of the earth showing it to be round.

Unbelievable.

Eric Kuntz said...

you and I are nothing alike. you want to win debates. I could care less. I am a truth seeker and have no agenda except for the truth. your arguments bore me.

MC said...

Eric,

The earth is round. This has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. To say otherwise is to reject the truth which you claim to seek.

I believe that you honestly believe that you are seeking the truth and that you've found it over there at the greatandmarvelouswork.com.

The problem is that they have an agenda over there. Their claims are not only illogical but can be easily disproved through the scriptures.

What they do is they take a chunk of scriptures and frame them to mean something they don't, or to attack something that those verses are not actually directed towards.

Now of course there is a certain level of truth to be found there, all false teachers teach some level of truth, otherwise no one would be deceived by them.

False teachers are working under the influence of false spirits. In many cases they are quite sincere and truly believe what they are teaching is the truth from God, when in fact it is from a false spirit. Those who follow these false teachers then come under the influence of that same spirit.

In your case you clearly have the false spirit of the greatandmarvelouswork bloggers. This is blinding you and you will never be able to recognize the truth no matter how sincerely you might seek it until you cast those false teachers aside.

They have caused you to be full of anger and hate towards the LDS church and it's members. There does not appear to be any charity in your heart towards your fellow man in the LDS church. They have become your enemies, though many of them sincerely strive to follow Christ and strive to serve and love their fellow man with all their hearts.

Obviously they are sadly blinded to varying degrees by the precepts of men, but they still walk more uprightly before God than most of the world, including most so called Christians.

The scriptures warn that the church will be destroyed and led captive over their worldliness and blindness one day, but some will be preserved.

I know I've been contentious with you, but what other means should I use to defend the truth than to use the scriptures and clear reason.

Eric Kuntz said...

Try opening your mind just a little, you might learn something new.

Eric Kuntz said...

The earth may be round, (don't know I have't seen it) but it ain't a ball, that's for sure.

The ball earth hasn't been proven at all. In fact there is zero evidence for a ball earth. Believe in a baal earth is actually, just that a beLIEf. I don't believe in a flat earth, I KNOW the earth is flat. End of story.

Stop with your Baal worship.

MC said...

I'm not as close minded as you might think.

It has been proven by scientists, including avid Christian scientists who believe the bible, that the earth rotates around the sun and spins on an axis. The earth is also tilted slightly. This is what creates night and day, the seasons, and a majority of the climates.

There's a reason why it is hotter and more tropical around the equator. There's a reason why the seasons are opposite of each other on both sides of the equator.

There is also a reason why it takes planes longer or shorter to fly the same distance at the same speed depending on if they're travelling with or against the rotation of the earth.

There are many things that scientists claim that are either not true or have not been definitively verified, but the shape, rotation, and orbit of the earth are extremely well established.

People have circumnavigated the earth. This alone proves that the earth is round and not flat.

The shape, size, rotation, orbit, etc of the earth can be verified through observation, natural law, mathematical equations and so forth. And on top of that we've taken pictures of the earth from outer space. All reliable evidence points to a round earth. Now perhaps the earth is not in the perfect shape of a ball, but it certainly is not flat.

Since you're so sure that everyone except the flat earthers has it wrong, go ahead and explain the cause of night and day, the different climates, the seasons, the orbits of the planets in our solar system, the cycles of the moon, etc with a flat earth. I'm all ears please explain to me the evidence that shows the earth is not round but is actually flat.

Eric Kuntz said...

If your sincere I'll engage with you, I can't tell if you are. But again pick one question at a time, no shot gun approach. Fire away with your best question you think you have and I'll destroy the globe myth.

MC said...

Eric let's talk about it. I'll try to be as open minded as possible and give you a fair chance to present your case.

Let's start with a question about climate and seasons.

Along the equator the climate is generally hot and humid year round with very minimal change for seasons like the rest of the earth.

At the same time areas farther away from the equator generally have very distinct seasons. Not only that but the Northern and southern hemispheres have opposite seasons. In South America and Australia it is summer when it is winter in North America and Europe for example.

How do you explain this without the earth being a globe tilted on an axis?

Eric Kuntz said...

Before you can start to comprehend how things might work on our flat plane you need to understand some things about how things really are.

You, along with everyone else (myself included) has been programmed since childhood to beLIEve that we live on a ball spinning at 1,000 MPH, which is racing around the sun at 66,600 MPH and the whole solar system is hurtling through infinite space at 500,000 MPH around the milky way. We have been not only programmed to beLIEve that, but also we have been programmed to automatically defend it almost with a knee jerk reaction. This is by design. I tell you this so you try to break free of the programming and consider a different model completely.

You have to understand you have been lied to about everything. Space has you know it does not exist. The whole concept of space is a creation of Disney and Hollywood. The only thing NASA has spent to space is your imagination. The Sun is not 93 million miles away. The moon is not a place anybody can go to. Black holes, dark matter , dark energy, gravity is all BS.

To understand how seasons work on the flat plane, I first have to give you a picture of the model. Picture a dinner plate. North pole is at the center and Antarctica is a ring of ice around the edge of the plate. Google the UN Flag, they know it's flat. The equator is a ring around the middle of the plate.

The Sun is local and much smaller than you think. It rotates above the 'plate' and moves in and out making the different seasons. When it is circling closer to the north pole it's summer in the north, when it moves out below the equator its winter in the north.

MC said...

So it sounds like you are saying that the earth is flat in the shape of a plate and as the sun rotates around this plate it moves back and forth from north to south. When it is farther north it is summer in the north and winter in the south and vice versa as it moves to the south.

This would mean that when the sun is more or less directly over the equator it is spring and fall in the northern and southern hemispheres depending on the time of year.

Interesting explanation. I can see the logic in that. I'm curious if there is observable evidence to validate this path of the sun.

So why doesn't the ice wall around the edge of the plate ever melt from the heat of the sun if it exists in both hemispheres? I suppose high elevation could explain this.

Also, is there evidence that someone has actually been to this ice wall? Has someone tried to sail or fly around it, but has been unable to do so?

Quite a few people claim to have circumnavigated the continent of Antarctica and have mapped it out. At one point there was a famous race to be the first to get the south pole. Are you suggesting all of this part of an elaborate hoax?

Now perhaps I don't understand your model correctly, but it sounds like you are suggesting that the sun is below the earth/plate at night and above it during the day. Please correct me if I misunderstand your model.

If the sun moves in and out (above and below) the plate, why is it night in the US and day in China at the exact same time? Shouldn't they both be night at the same time? Also why does the sun seem to slowly disappear below the horizon in different places throughout the world? If the earth is flat then the sun would be visible everywhere on earth until it disappears over the edge of the plate. This does not in any way follow the known observable patterns of night and day. Any explanation?

I have my own misgivings about NASA, but I don't believe that even they could pull off a hoax as elaborate as you are suggesting. Surely someone in NASA would have spilled the beans on their deathbed or something. The Soviets would also surely have called us out on our hoax. The Russians also have photos of the earth from space. Are you suggesting a combined conspiracy?

matt lohrke said...

Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;

15 And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.


--Helaman 12

Indeed, dark matter, black holes, gravity and such are rubbish (the universe is electric), the earth does rotate around the sun.

MC said...

Great reference Matt Lohrke.

I totally understand the perspective of the flat earthers. As a society we have been lied to continually so it is hard not to question everything we are told. There are passages in the bible and even the BOM which can be interpreted as pointing to a flat earth.

However as you pointed out Helaman 12:14-15 alone makes it clear that the earth revolves around the sun, while the flat earthers have the sun revolving around the earth.

As far as I'm aware the flat earthers don't have an answer to the cycles of the moon or eclipses. These all clearly point to the moon revolving around the earth as the earth revolves around the sun.

Eric do you have an answer to Helaman 12, the cycles of the moon, and eclipses?

Eric Kuntz said...

So you have the 'plate' pictured correctly, but not how the Sun and moon work. The Sun & moon move over the plate in large circles, they don't go under the 'plate'. Search "Quantum Levitation" on youtube for a idea on how it might work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyOtIsnG71U

The Sun does not light up the whole earth because the Sun is small and close to the earth. Probably a few thousand miles away. Imagine shining a flashlight on a large desk, it will only light up the area of the desk directly in the beam of light.

Antarctica doesn't melt because the Sun does not go that far south to cause it to melt.

"I'm curious if there is observable evidence to validate this path of the sun." Yes there is actually. The Sun travels faster in the southern skies when it's winter in the North. Science says it's because if the elliptical path of the earth around the Sun, but of course the real reason is because the earth is flat and the path of the Sun is longer in the south, but still needs to make (1) revolution in 24 hours.

You need to understand that "flat earthers" don't have all the answers. We just became aware that the globe is a large hoax and we are trying to piece together the truth the best we can. We don't have the budgets of NASA and the people who have created the globe hoax in the first place.

"The Russians also have photos of the earth from space. Are you suggesting a combined conspiracy?" All governments and their "space programs" are working together (whether it be the US, European, Chinese, Russian or any other)

You said "Are you suggesting all of this part of an elaborate hoax?" Listen, I know how hard this is to believe. I was for me also. But the short answer is yes.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. -Rev 12

Satan has indeed deceived the whole world. The whole world means the whole world.

Robin Hood said...

I am interested in this subject.
I live on the coast and have conducted my own experiments. I can confirm that a ship disappears over the horizon because of perspective, not curvature.
This doesn't mean the earth is flat, but it does mean that one of the oft cited observable evidences of curvature is nothing of the sort.

I am of the opinion the earth is spherical, but NASA have been making stuff up for years. Their pictures are all cgi composites and their spacewalk footage is clearly questionable. I don't trust them.

MC said...

Eric,

So I've checked out a few websites and youtube videos from the flat earthers and I think I understand the model a little better now.

So another follow up question then.

If the sun and moon are both simultaneously circling the earth and are only large and bright enough to light up half of the earth at time shouldn't dusk and dawn be a lot longer?

If the earth is round then in the evening the light begins to disappear as soon as the sun begins to fade over the horizon. On a flat earth and a smaller sun one would think that dusk would begin shortly after noon as the light source is moving away. One would also think that there would be areas along the edges of the half of the earth that the sun is currently on that would be less bright than others.

Also how do you explain the cycles of the moon and eclipses?

Any thoughts on the verse from Helaman quoted above?

MC said...

Robin Hood,

I'm curious, how did you arrive at the conclusion that ships heading out to sea disappear over the horizon due to perspective not curvature?

I live in a very flat valley surrounded by mountains on nearly every side. I can see the mountains that are 45 miles away, but I can't see the sky scrapers that are in the same direction only 25 miles away. Does this not point to a round earth? The Mountains are so tall that I can see them in spite of the curvature of the earth, but the shorter sky scrapers are hidden from view beyond the horizon.

I suppose one could attribute this to the smog of dust and pollution that is ever present hiding lower landmarks in the distance from view, where the mountains may rise above much of the smog.

Perhaps my perspective and certain angles and obstacles may be blocking my view as well.

Another interesting thing is that most of the valley were I live is set up in a giant grid pattern. Most of the roads run directly north/south or east/west.

It is so flat that nearly all of the roads are completely straight. However every few miles a road has a slight curve, always in the same direction. I have always attributed this to a curved earth which makes it impossible to have a true grid pattern. Every so often a road has to be curved in order to adjust for the curvature of the earth and reestablish the grid pattern.

I could be wrong of course.

matt lohrke said...

I gotta say, it's really something to see LDS-believing people put down the power of God, saying the flood was local, that we don't know how long the creative periods were, etc. God need only speak and the elements obey his command.

"O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.

For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.

Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.

And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.

Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake;

Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.

Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.

Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;

And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.

And behold, also, if he say unto the waters of the great deep—Be thou dried up—it is done.

Behold, if he say unto this mountain—Be thou raised up, and come over and fall upon that city, that it be buried up—behold it is done." (Helaman 12)

I know many Mormons who believe in evolution. I had one old missionary friend tell me that he believes God stirred up some primordial ooze until he "got it right." When I said, "what about the scriptures that say God created man in his image?" he said, "well..." and just kind of shrugged it off.

"All the answers are in the scriptures, but the LDS people do not read the scriptures." -- Hugh Nibley.




MC said...

Yeah Matt it is crazy that so many LDS folks deny the flood and believe in evolution.

Exhibit A is BYU, the academic institution owned by the church. They deny the flood and teach evolutio rather than creationism.

The folks over at fair mormon deny the flood, too, at least two of the guys I got into it with over the pre flood Canaanites and posterity of Cain who had black skin mentioned in Abraham and Moses. They told me it was all a myth from Abraham and Moses world view, just like the flood is a myth. I was shocked. The apostasy of the church is truly astounding. That the church's own schools and apologists would blatantly deny the word of God in the scriptures is unbelievable. Sadly this is how it is.

matt lohrke said...

MC - FAIR is a complete joke. I was visiting with an old missionary companion on Saturday (he's a religion professor at BYU) and even he said he doesn't know what's going on with FAIR. His statement was: "How can they defend the indefensible?"

Strange times, indeed.

Eric Kuntz said...

Helaman 12 part 1 of 2

Yes, the universe is electric, but the earth is also flat and motionless.

Helaman 12

You have to read all of Mormon's words in chapter 12 to understand the message Mormon is telling us. When you read just one verse you don't get the complete picture and can be deceived.

1 And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.

2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One--yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.

3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

Mormon wants humans should be subservient to their Creator, although often they are not. Particularly when they are rich and prosperous. (Like the LDS along the Wasatch Front)

4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!

5 Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom's paths!

6 Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.

7 O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.

8 For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.

Mormon says these wealthy LDS are "less than the dust of the earth,” for “the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God”

Eric Kuntz said...

Helaman 12 part 2 of 2

9 Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.

10 And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.

11 Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake;

12 Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.

13 Yea, and if he say unto the earth--Move--it is moved.

14 Yea, if he say unto the earth--Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours--it is done;

15 And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.

16 And behold, also, if he say unto the waters of the great deep--Be thou dried up--it is done.

“If God say unto the earth: Move!—it is moved.” This is conditional language suggesting that the earth’s motion is, like that of dust storms and earthquakes, episodic or intermittent rather than constant and periodic. There is no hint here that the earth is moving by default. Rather it moves if and when God commands it to move, and it ceases to move if and when that is God’s will.

So when if God would command the earth to 'goeth back' it would and the Sun would appear to stand still because now both would be moving at the same speed. The default condition is the earth is motionless, unless God commands otherwise.

The message throughout this passage is that the various elements of nature (whether dust, mountains, earth, water, and so on) all move according to God’s word. In Mormon’s example, it is the earth that moves and the sun not only appears to stand still, but indeed, says Mormon, the sun does stand still, all “according to his word.” But Mormon is referencing just one instance. At another time, God might conceivably have occasion to command the sun to move in a different direction, and it would so move. Furthermore, the fact that God commands the earth to move implies that it was not previously moving, and so this is not a description of the regular motion of the earth, but something extraordinary.

Eric Kuntz said...

"how do you explain the cycles of the moon and eclipses?"

Quickly on this...

The moon is just a light in the sky.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Gen 1

The moon is it's own light. It is not reflected light from the Sun.

As such, it makes its own cycles and eclipses. Something like a computer program I suspect.

Robin Hood said...

MC,
I have stood and watched a ship sail away and completely disappear over the horizon. It can no longer be seen. This we are told, is due to the curvature of the earth.

However, when I looked through my binoculars the ship is seen clearly. It hasn't disappeared from sight due to curvature (unless my binoculars can see around corners!) but perspective. Since then I have noticed a number of youtube videos demonstrating the same thing.

Like I said, this doesn't prove the earth is flat, but it does indicate that we have been fobbed off by lazy science. Back in the 19th century the Bedford Levels experiment was conducted over a 6 mile distance and concluded that there was no curvature. Over 6 miles there should have been. Last year it was repeated using laser technology. Again, no curvature detected.

None of this means the earth is flat, but I think we have our mathematics wrong. I would even be open to the idea that the earth is much larger than we think it is. But then, what do I know.....

Eric Kuntz said...

Robin Hood, nice explanation! Don't discount your experiences, you just debunked one of the top "proofs" of the globe. I also have done similar experiments. I have been to the Bonneville Salt Flats and viewed objects that should be hidden by earth's curve, yet they are not hidden.

BTW, anybody here know the formula for earth's supposed curative? (without googling it)

Eric Kuntz said...

"If the sun and moon are both simultaneously circling the earth and are only large and bright enough to light up half of the earth at time shouldn't dusk and dawn be a lot longer?"

A lot longer than what? Is this a subjective question.

I have heard that dusk is quite a bit shorter south of the equator than in the north. But I really have no idea how long or short dusk is or should. How would you measure it anyway?

MC said...

I guess what I'm getting at is if the sun is smaller than the earth and only bright enough to light one half of the earth at a time it would have to have an incredibly sophisticated light beam being projected from it in order to create day and night as we know it.

If I was to take a flat plate and put it into a completely dark room with two light bulbs, one the equivalent of the brightness of the sun and the other the moon, I would not be able to duplicate anything similar to what happens in the daily light cycle on earth.

The way night and day is explained in the flat earth model doesn't appear logical to me.

Now I suppose that the sun and the moon could have carefully constructed beams of light (similar to a flood light) that are programmed to cover exactly half of the earth at a time.

If this were to be the case, then why is the moon clearly observable as being a round? If you look at the phases of the moon it is clear that the moon is round, at least a round plate. How would the moon be able to appear as it does in the sky, with its various phases, while still projecting this lesser light over an entire half of the earth in some sort of high tech spotlight beam of light?

I don't know if that makes sense.

As for the eclipses. According to the flat earth model I have seen the moon and the sun are always on opposite sides of the earth from each other. Yet we know that at times the moon is in fact in front of the sun. We had such an eclipse in the middle of the day this past year. I saw it with my own two eyes. How do you explain that?

Eric Kuntz said...

Interesting comments.

I am not sure I understand your thinking about the sunlight and the moonlight but I imagine that it is indeed a "incredibly sophisticated light beam". After all it's part of Gods creation, and we can't understand God's ways yet.

I have reason to believe that what we see in the sky and call the Sun is actually just a focal point of light, kind of like what a magnifying glass does to light outside in the sun on the sidewalk. I think the 'source' of the light is outside of our reality.

eclipses. Yes I witnessed the same eclipse last year also. It's just part of the 'computer program' of the moon and sun, it's part of the light show that they do.

A light show with a purpose...

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: Gen 1

"Yet we know that at times the moon is in fact in front of the sun."

Actually you know no such thing. True, you have been told by 'science' that the moon moves in front of the Sun. But there is no proof that, that is what actually happens in reality.

I watched the eclipse last year every carefully, and saw no moon. I did see the sun disappear and then reappear, but to say the moon caused that is not based in any evidence, just speculation and conjecture.

MC said...

If the moon passing in front of the sun is merely "speculation and conjecture" then why were scientists able to tell us exactly when and where it would happen?

I only had a chance to see the eclipse for a few minutes because I was busy at work, but I was able to see a round object in front of the sun partially obstructing it, but not completely.

Back in the 90s when I was in grade school I didn't actually look at that eclipse, but I used a hole in paper and could see the round object in front of the sun being projected onto another white sheet of paper.

I might also add that I have very clearly seen the moon during the day many times. How do you rectify that with the moon only being out at night on the opposite side of the earth as the sun?

Eric Kuntz said...
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Eric Kuntz said...

"If the moon passing in front of the sun is merely "speculation and conjecture" then why were scientists able to tell us exactly when and where it would happen? "

I don't know for sure, but I suspect they are using the flat earth model to forecast everything. The globe model doesn't actually work for anything, if you think about it critically.

All cultures and all peoples knew the world was flat up into a few hundred years ago, the globe model is not that old. I know you might say "THE GREEKS KNEW IT WAS A GLOBE!" No they didn't. Maybe a few pointy headed Freemasons said it was a globe but the vast majority of people knew it was flat.

Always remember this: Flat earthers have a trump card. Curvature.

Without curvature you can't have a sphere, therefore you can't have a globe earth. No curvature has been found yet, I don't think it ever will be. So all these questions about daylight, the moon & sun are very interesting don't get me wrong, but at the end of the day all I have to do is say is...curvature...and the debate is over.

"How do you rectify that with the moon only being out at night on the opposite side of the earth as the sun?" I don't think there is anything to rectify here. There is over lap in the cycles.

A few questions for you.
What caused the towers on 9-11 to come down?
How many kids died at Sandy Hook?
Do you vote?

MC said...

Actually the curvature of the earth has been shown through mathematical equations and multiple observations and experiments.

Now I understand that flat earthers dispute this and that there are some unanswered questions, but this does not end the debate.

We must weigh all of the evidence.

Collectively the evidence overwhelmingly points to a spherical earth that orbits the sun every 365 days, rotates on an axis every 24 hrs, and is orbited by the spherical moon every 27 days.

Shadows, the horizon, seasons, consistant climate around the equator, the cycles of the moon, eclipses, the moon being visible at day, etc all point to a spherical earth that orbits the sun.

You can believe the earth is flat if you like, but you have not and will not be able to "destroy the globe myth" as you confidently promised earlier.

The flat earth model shows the sun and moon always on opposite sides of a plate, yet anyone who looks at the sky can see that this is not the case as the moon is constantly changing its position in the sky as well as the shape of the light being projected. The sun also appears and disappears from over the horizon in a circular way. Everyone with 2 eyeballs can see this.

Flat earthers tell us to trust our senses that tell us the surface we live on is flat, but then to ignore our senses (vision) that show otherwise.

There are also blood moons, which could be attributed to God as being signs that the second coming is near (which is my belief), however just like eclipses, scientists told us exactly when they would happen, showing that there are natural laws that govern this phenomenon and it is not God merely snapping his fingers and poof the moon turns red.

I might also add that I accept the Book of Abraham as authentic and from that book it is clear that the planet we live on is round and rotates creating days, months, and years. (Abraham 3)

As for 9-11, Sandy hook, Kennedy assassination, etc the government (CIA etc) was likely involved to one degree or another. How deep the conspiracies run is hard to say. We know there are secret combinations in high places, and we see evidence of foul play and cover ups, but we don't know the details or really what is actually going on. They are secret combinations after all.

This is why there are some many different conspiracy theories regarding the same events. No one knows the whole truth and we won't until all things are made manifest and shouted from the roof tops in the due time of the Lord.

MC said...

You also asked if I vote. I have voted fairly regularly before I woke up to the apostasy in the church and the fact that the world is on the brink of destruction.

I had decided not to vote anymore, because I don't care to vote between evil and evil and trying to determine which is the lesser of two evils.

I made an exception in the last US presidential election and voted for Trump because in my mind he was considerably less evil than Hilary Clinton. Also the historically conservative state I live in was expected to be very close and Hilary was expected to have a chance of winning. I decided I couldn't sit back and let that evil satanic woman become president without voting against her.

Now perhaps Trump is every bit as evil and I was wrong. Either way I did what I thought was right. I may even vote more in the future who knows.

What about you? Do you vote? What's your version of 9-11 and other conspiracy theories?

matt lohrke said...

No question the CIA/FBI had a hand in JFK, 9/11, OK City, Sandy Hook (I think Columbine was the only "actual" shooting), etc. We overthrow governments, terrorize innocents, run the opium trade. America is the biggest terrorist in the world.

In my mind 9/11 was a cooperative Mossad/Israel/NeoCon (I realize those three are essentially the same thing). It's all about the "Greater Israel Project." Watch some Chistopher Bollyn videos on YouTube. He'll tell exactly how it went down. The funny thing is that "Jews" (a word that doesn't exist before 1600) aren't even genetic Israel. They can't be because the BOM tell us Judea won't be restored to the Promised Land until they've accepted Christ and that hasn't happened. (Approximately half of worldwide Jewry resides in the UN-created "Israel.")

Are you awake enough to see the Holohoax for what it really is, or rather, what it isn't? Give me thirty minutes and I'll prove to you it didn't happen. It's an extortion racket. Jews were lamenting "6 million" decades before the outbreak of WW2.

If anyone doubts MK Ultra is real, just look at your facebook feed. I have many friends, other reasonable people, who get so bent out of shape over fake news stories. I've long since stopped trying to wake people up because they'd rather be angry over lies and virtue signal their righteous indignation than confront the Truth. We are under mass hypnosis.

Anyone who finds this shocking only need research Operation Mockingbird, Operation Northwoods, The Venona Papers (McCarthy was right!), etc. The barbarians made it through the gate a very long time ago. The watchmen on the tower (LDS leadership) have been asleep at the wheel since Ezra. They rub elbows with important and powerful people instead of calling them to repentance as true prophets do.

As MC correctly stated, the BOM makes is perfectly clear that secret combinations run rampant and that they are "among all people." Their desire is to overthrow human freedom and set themselves up as kings. Once America falls, and it'll fall, it's over.

Why do you think they go after Trump so hard, all day, every day? And who drives the attacks? Answer that question and you'll find the source of the vast majority of our problems.


Ok, gotta go put my foil hat back on. Carry on.

Eric Kuntz said...

yep, your right on Matt.
oh and Columbine was a hoax also and Trump is no hero. He is just a puppet also.

Eric Kuntz said...
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Eric Kuntz said...
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Eric Kuntz said...

A flat earth poem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxsEqOyl8rc

Whenever they told you the sky was the limit
What they really meant was there's a dome and your in it
You have been lied to by the men behind curtains
If only you'd open your eyes you'd be certain
Man has never stepped foot on the moon
It's not solid and it's inside the dome too
The sun they say is 93 million miles away
But if that were the case we would not see angled rays
Water has never been seen with a curve
So to think that we live on a ball is absurd
I know it sounds crazy to say the earths flat
But the curve can't be found and that's a plane fact
It's simple and easy to see if you try
That the model they taught you in school was a lie
The reason they told you we live on a ball
Was to hide our creator and his love for us all
I know that it's easier to just stay asleep
But to know that I'm special is worth it to me
See they want us to think we don't matter at all
That we're just some dumb monkeys stuck on a ball
That we happened by chance and evolved from nothing
But the people that told you that are all buffing
I could tell you the facts till I'm blue in the face
But the globe isn't real, and neither is space
Do your own research and I promise you'll find
Everything you thought you knew is a lie

Eric Kuntz said...

uh-oh, Ryan McKnight just pulled down the pants of the Church's 'investment arm'. Looks like the Church may own more Apple stock than Tim Cook. 400-500 Billion invested in the stock market ain't too shabby.

MC said...

Eric,

Interesting poem. I don't know if you are aware, but a belief in evolution and a belief in space or in no way connected.

The only possible connection is that scientists believe both.

Scientists also believe that exercising is healthy and eating too much red meat is unhealthy so I suppose those must be a satanic lie, too.

You should check out the institute for creation research website. You might learn a thing or two about the difference between actual science and the false science of secular scientism without all of the hooky flat earth stuff which has no basis in actual science whatsoever.

MC said...

Matt,

I was more or less with you until you started denying the holocaust. Now perhaps the numbers weren't 6 million. I don't know for sure. It's only an estimate anyways. But I do know quite a bit about WWII and especially the eastern front. I'm absolutely certain that there was mass murder of Jews behind the front lines in the east. The German people including most of the common soldiers really didn't have any idea to what extent the mass murder by the SS was being perpetrated, but at the end of the war the deception was revealed. What's more the allies in the west and the Soviets liberated the death camps. The holocaust is no conspiracy.

I think you're mixed up with what has really been going on in Israel post WWII. First off the plan to create the state of Israel goes back to WWI. Secondly the way in which Israel has withstood one Arab attack after another is nothing short of miraculous. The hand of God is in it.

And to top it off your Trump is fully behind Israel. In fact the major world powers hate him for this.

Eric Kuntz said...

"I don't know if you are aware, but a belief in evolution and a belief in space or in no way connected. "

They are absolutely connected. If you really had a open mind like you claim you might learn something, unfortunately the cognitive dissonance has set in hard apparently.

"Scientists also believe that exercising is healthy and eating too much red meat is unhealthy so I suppose those must be a satanic lie, too."

Your one for one on this one. Eating any kind of meat or animal products is unhealthy. I guess you haven't done any research into that either.

"You should check out the institute for creation research website."

What you beLIEve (spinning ball) is called scientism. It's a faith based religion. It's a beLIEf in something with no evidence.

matt lohrke said...

MC -

Remember, history is written by the victor. After everything we've learned about church history the last few years, it should be manifestly obvious that history is rarely, if ever, what we've been taught. I don't deny death, labor camps, and suffering. I deny "homicidal gas chambers" because they're incapable of carrying out that kind of death. It's a logistical impossibility. The amount of wood alone required to keep the crematoria running is astronomical. It would require massive deforestation and there's no evidence for that.

It makes no sense for the German, famous for their engineering, to take the least effective, costly, most time-consuming method of mass murder. Why not just dig a giant hole and shoot everyone? Faster and more cost-effective. But also, why kill off your labor force when you're fighting a war on two fronts? It makes no sense whatsoever.

Let's briefly discuss "mass murder:"

22,000 Poles killed by the Russia NKVD at Katyn forest - Originally blamed on Germany
80,000+ Japanese killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
25,000 - 200,000 killed in Dresden firebombings in one weekend alone. No one knows the true number because many people were liquified.

That's just off the top of my head. I've spent years on this.

And since you're familiar with the Eastern Front, you'll know that upwards of 2,000,000 German women and girls "from 8 to 80" were systematically raped and murdered by the advancing Red Army.

The Red Cross, who was on-site at Auschwitz put the death count at 285,000, mostly from starvation and typhus resulting from the Allied destruction of infrastructure at the end of the war. They never saw or heard this industrial-scale mass killing of Jews. The Germans must've have pretty sneaky.

The death count at Majdanek, according to the plaque on-site, has mysterious dropped from 1.5 million at Nuremburg to 87,000.

The death count, according to plaque placed at Auschwitz, has dropped from 4.5 million to 1.5 million. You can google photos.

Yet the 6 million number persists.

Churchill wrote a six-volume set of book on WW2, didn't mention "homicidal gas chambers" one single time. Neither did Eisenhower, Stalin or DeGaul in their respective post-war memoirs. Really makes you think.

The US Army planned to release a statement about mass killings of Jews before entering the war, but retracted it citing no evidence for mass killings.

I could spend the next hour citing sources, references, but you need to search out the information yourself. But if you really want them, I'll give them to you. (cont'd)

Eric Kuntz said...

"I'm absolutely certain that there was mass murder of Jews behind the front lines in the east. "

Ok prove it.

"Secondly the way in which Israel has withstood one Arab attack after another is nothing short of miraculous. The hand of God is in it."

If you think the Modern state of Israel is in any way the connected to the ancient Israelites in the bible, you really don't have a clue, I'm sorry but you should really do some research. Your just regurgitating what you have been indoctrinated to beLIEve.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Rev 3:9

You might want to start with the Synagogue of Satan by Stanislaw Przybyszewski you can find it on Amazon.

matt lohrke said...

In the mean time, riddle me this:

If the "holocaust" is a true historical event, why is questioning it illegal in Europe? If it is manifestly true, then there's no harm or danger in asking questions or presenting alternative ideas, because it will withstand all investigation. Jews should welcome investigation and study, as it will prove the claims true. They should allow chemists and scientists to take samples from the walls and test for Zyklon-B, but they won't. They should explain how wooden doors were sealed to prevent gas from escaping into the camps, but they won't. They know it won't withstand investigation, so it's the only historical event written into law, punishable by jail (even if you're an 88 year-old Grandma named Ursula Haverbeck).

Like the wise man said, the truth fears no investigation.

As J. Reuben Clark said: "If we have truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not truth, it ought to be harmed."

The church uses the same tactic. How do you silence critics? Threaten them with excommunication and loss of salvation, priesthood, and temple ordinances.

The only reason Israel has been able to defend itself is because it gets the dumb goyim to send their boys off to die in Middle East wars for "muh freedom" and "muh democracy," instead of sending their own. It's because NeoCon Zionists own congress and swindle $10 million dollars in American Taxpayer money every single day without a single thank you. Did God inspire future Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the Irgun to murder 91 people at the King David Hotel? Or the Israeli Air Force to shoot up the USS Liberty? Or to push Palestinians off their land? Of course not. The reason the world is upset with Trump is because everyone except the dumb Americans who've been propagandized into supporting all things Israel (thanks, John Hagee!) are the only ones who can't see Israel for it is: a terrorist state.

I would simply encourage you to have an open mind on the subject. Believe me, I didn't want to deal with it. It terrified me. I had gone through JFK, 9/11, OK City, moon landings, Waco, Ruby Ridge, all of it. I kept getting YouTube recommendations about WW2. I put it off for months. It was too much. But finally I did. I forced myself to. The "Holocaust" broke me, literally. Learning to deal with that helped me deal with my own faith crisis several months later, as odd as that may sound. It was essential to my growth.

MC said...

Matt,

If you have a list of sources I'd be happy to check them out.

Yes I'm well aware of the mass rape and murder by the Red Army on German women, children, and elderly. They mass raped and murdered there own citizens, too. That's why so many people from Eastern Europe, including Russians, fled west along with the German army in the last year of the war. It was disgusting. The Soviet War crimes were 10 times what the Germans were, and the Germans did some pretty brutal things at times.

The US troops murdered and raped their way through the Pacific, too. There's a reason why the Japanese on Okinawa held out to the last man and suffered over 100,000 casualties while the US lost I believe 6,000. They were protecting the civilian population from falling into US hands.

As far as the gas chambers go, I have heard that this has been disputed. Again I'd be happy to check out any sources you have on this.

My current understanding is that Hitler believed bullets were too expensive to waste on Jews, but I haven't personally done a cost comparison between bullets and gas chambers.

Also as far as I know the Jews who were fit for work were spared the gas chambers while the weaker one's were gassed, so the work force was maintained.

I've read a lot of memoirs, journals, and letters of German soldiers on the eastern front and some clearly knew about mass murder of Jews via firing squad, explosion, and pushing off of cliffs behind the front lines by the SS. One soldier by the name of Hans Roth witnessed it for himself when he heard a rumor it was going and didn't believe what he was hearing. He went and checked it out. He was so disgusted that he just turned and ran away.

But you're right that it is very strange that it is illegal in Europe to question the holocaust.

MC said...

Eric,

I don't have to prove anything to you.

That's the funny thing with you conspiracy theorists and anti-Mormons, you expect others to prove their views beyond any doubt and you refuse to do the same.

Show I'm wrong. Prove to me that the sun does not disappear beyond the horizon. Prove to me that the moon is not round and reflecting light from the sun. Prove to me that the Jews in Israel aren't really Jews. Sure some of them aren't, but prove to me that the verse in Revelation you just quoted is referring to all of the Jews in present day Palestine. Once you do that I'll be happy to prove to you that mass murder of Jews happened behind the front lines on the eastern front of WWII.

Sometimes you're little games really piss me off and I wonder why I even bother trying to discuss anything with you.

As for the meat thing, you are wrong yet again. It is not unhealthy to eat meat in moderation. It was allowed under the law of Moses.

I know you love to quote scriptures especially to try and accuse me of things so here's one for you.

1 Timothy 4

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

Now I don't know if you have anything against marriage but the rest of that passage seems to fit you pretty well.

Dave P. said...

"To learn who your true rulers are, find out who you're not allowed to criticize."

Quoted by Pastor Chuck Baldwin in one of his recent columns.

Eric Kuntz said...

I won't get into a whole big thing about eating a plant-based diet, just to say that I know for sure that eating a plant-based diet for my own self is the best way to go for me.

Eric Kuntz said...

You already know the earth is flat, you are just having an internal struggle trying to deal with it. Debating the flat earth is like debating if your breathing of not. It just is.

MC said...

You're wrong Eric. I already know the earth is round, but I was willing to hear you out. The last several days I thoroughly checked out the flat earth model online, too.

The flat earth model just doesn't hold water.

The phases of the moon alone completely destroys the flat earth model. It is clear to anyone who looks at the sky that the moon is a sphere and is reflecting light from different angles. The only explanation for how the moon behaves is that it is a sphere orbiting a spherical earth and reflecting light from the sun. There is no other logical explanation.

You can say that it's all part of some complex computer program to make the moon appear to be a sphere reflecting light, but that is neither true science nor reasonable in any way shape or form. If it were you could explain to me how it works. Show me the math and the science behind it. You can't.

Apparently you and I are in deed polar opposites. You see nothing but bad in the world. I see good and bad.

To you nothing is as it seems. Nevermind that you can't prove that nothing is as it seems, that doesn't matter to you. You just go around chasing after one conspiracy after another, believing each one hook line and sink. Nevermind that many of the conspiracy theories you apparently believe have been disproven many many times. Still you cry "show me the proof." It's insane.

You accuse me of being blind and merely repeating what I've been taught. You think you are enlightened, but this is not the case.

You are basically choosing to put your head in a hole and only follow what you read at greatandmarvelouswork.com or what you read or watch from the latest conspiracy theorists. You believe every word they tell you. It's like a drug to you. You're not alone, plenty of gullible people out there are just like you.

When/if you are willing to discuss things like a reasonable sane person let me know. I'm tired of you asking me for proof and then rejecting it once I provide it. The ball's in your court. If you want to keep discussing our current state and the scriptures you have to accept evidence when I provide it and not keep screaming for proof and insisting that I'm a blind fool and you are enlightened. Enough is enough.

Eric Kuntz said...

The Flat Earth is Truth and all truth will be revealed.

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools