*****Nothing is more unrighteous, more unholy, more un-Godly than man-declared mass slaughter of his fellowman for an unrighteous cause...We can look with no degree of allowance upon the sin of unholy war, and a war to make conquest or to keep conquest already made is such a war.
We in America are now deliberately searching out and developing the most savage, murderous means of exterminating peoples that Satan can plant in our minds. We do it not only shamelessly, but with a boast. God will not forgive us for this.-Apostle J. Reuben Clark
"We're going to have to pursue our interests around the world...We go anywhere they are, and we kill 'em."-Mitt Romney
One of the few times I ever heard my sweet angel mother use uncharacteristically crude language was just after I had borne my testimony in church.
It was that kind of typically fervid but empty testimony you often hear from LDS teenagers, a maudlin expression of appreciation for the church and all of my friends in the church and so on, and so on, with of course nary a mention of Jesus Christ.
For reasons I can no longer recall, I singled out for special mention one grownup in the ward, a man I had come to admire a great deal. This member -I'll call him Brother Attaboy- was gregarious and affable, one of those stalwarts who was always present and in the thick of things at every meeting, function, and ward activity. He could be found in the kitchen at every pancake breakfast, and was instrumental in helping us launch every roadshow. We kids liked him a lot. Sometimes Brother Attaboy would substitute teach Sunday School to us 15-16 year olds, and on those days no one ditched class.
Brother Attaboy was not only very active in the church, he was successful in his job, having amassed a comfortable living doing -well, I didn't really understand what the heck he did for a living, come to think of it. No matter. If you were to visit our ward, he would have greeted you warmly and you would have thought of him as the quintessential Mormon, the kind of man the rest of us are are proud to put out there as representing the best among us.
Dad was in the bishopric and had to stay after church as usual, and the rest of my siblings rode home with the oldest, Elsa. So it was just me and my mother and my learner's permit driving home from church that afternoon in Mom's green VW. That's when she set me straight about Brother Attaboy. Apparently not everyone in the ward shared my giddy admiration for the man.
It seems a number of ward members, my parents included, had been suckered by Brother Attaboy into investing substantial sums of money with him, and all had come out losers except the good brother himself. At that age I did not really understand the ins and outs of the scheme as she described it, but it was clear from my mother's telling that Brother Attaboy knew up front that a lot of money would flow out of the pockets of his fellow ward members and directly into his, and he felt no remorse over any of their losses. Further, whatever it was Brother Attaboy had done to these people was not strictly illegal, so the members had no standing to sue him for the return of their funds.
"Some of us tried to get a Bishop's Court convened on him," Mom said, "But the bishop felt that might sully Brother Attaboy's good name. The bishop is like you, Alan. He thinks Brother Attaboy is just wonderful." She spoke the last two words with sing-songy sarcasm.
"A Bishop's Court?" I was stunned. "Did he commit adultery?"
"Well, that's the problem these days," Mom said. "You hear about a Bishop's Court getting held every time some young man gets caught playing patty-cake with his girlfriend, but in the old days Bishop's Courts were used to settle disputes when one member of the church had been wronged by another."
I was relieved to hear at least that Brother Attaboy was morally clean, but frankly I had a hard time believing the story my mother was telling me. After all, Brother Attaboy was the sterling product of Mormonism in a three piece suit, and she was just my mother. What did she know?
"You think of Brother Attaboy as the ideal member of the church, don't you," my mother asked me. "Why is that?"
I thought a moment. "Well, he's very active, and he's very successful."
"Would you describe him as Christlike?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, for instance, does Brother Attaboy radiate love and kindness?"
Radiate? I had to think about this one. Like radiating warmth? He did seem to have a quality that could perhaps be mistaken for warmth, but I had to admit that "love and kindness" were not words that automatically came to mind. And although Brother Attaboy was quite popular and extremely capable, I didn't think I could describe him as particularly Christlike.
"Well," Mom asked, "Isn't being Christlike the one quality you'd think we would first notice in someone we held up as the perfect member of Christ's church? Isn't that the ideal?"
"The strange thing is, out in the real world most people know Brother Attaboy as a glad-handing cheat and a scoundrel, and they mostly steer clear of him. But in the church he has a lot of the members fooled because he puts off the right image."
"The truth about Brother Attaboy," my mother concluded, "is that he's a piss-poor excuse for a Mormon."
I was shocked. "Mom! I've never heard you talk like that."
"Well," she said, "I got it from your father."
The Quintessential Latter-Day Saint
My mother's description of Brother Attaboy comes to mind whenever I hear some fellow member of the church giddily exclaiming about the prospect of our own Mitt Romney becoming the actual President of the United States! Won't it be wonderful to have a member of the church standing as an example to the world, leading our country forward and closer to Zion? Won't that do wonders for the missionary efforts?
Well, no. It won't.
I find it curious that a great number of evangelical Christians oppose Mitt Romney on the grounds that he is a Mormon, yet what truly distinguishes him in my eyes is his clear rejection of Mormon fundamentals. In truth, Mitt Romney has much more in common with those so-called "Christians" who advocate a religion of blood and thunder than he does with the founder of his own faith.
A Romney presidency would be no different than the presidencies of Clinton, Bush, and Obama -except of course far worse. And in contradistinction to those starry-eyed members who think Romney's rise will "do wonders for the missionary effort," Mitt Romney in the White House would be a public relations disaster for the Church, undoing the decades of delicate rehab performed by Gordon B. Hinckley.
I know this because I have watched Mitt Romney speak and I listen to what he says. Having watched all nineteen of this season's Republican debates, and most of his appearances from the 2008 campaign, it is clear as glass that in nearly all his public utterances, Willard Mitt Romney stands in open defiance of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and repeatedly disparages many of the core teachings of Mormonism.
But how can this possibly be? Isn't Mitt Romney the flawless Mormon archetype? It would seem so on the surface. He certainly has all the right credentials. He served a mission, attended BYU, married in the temple, did lengthy stints as both bishop and stake president, and has been active in the church all his life. His success as a leader and administrator, both within and without the church, is unquestioned.
But therein, I think, lies the problem. I do not begrudge worldly success; I had a little of it myself for awhile there. But if you track the upward trajectory of the way Mitt Romney spent his time, you might conclude that all those years achieving and managing and administrating left little time for the actual study of gospel principles. And, judging from his clear lack of understanding of the basic tenets of his faith, you would be right.
It may have begun as early as his mission, where Romney was called to be an Assistant to the Mission President. That meant he and his companion were the hands-on leaders over all the other young men serving in that mission. Those of us who have been on missions understand what type of person is usually called to be A.P. It takes a certain kind to be successful at it, one with the innate ability to supervise and motivate others. But most of all, the job of Assistant to the President is a job of herding cats, and it swallows up a lot of a young missionary's time that would otherwise be used for gospel study.
In every mission, there are maybe one or two missionaries who are amazingly well-informed scriptorians. They really know the gospel inside and out, and can effectively expound on the tenets of the faith. These often bookish types are rarely the ones who are called as Assistants, or Zone Leaders, or District Leaders. In my experience, APs in particular simply never had time to read their scriptures and reflect. It was not in the job description.They were too busy leading.
You may know leaders in your local ward or stake who are wonderful persons and very good administrators, but who have never gotten around to reading -to give one example- something as basic as The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. They are simply too busy running the church to have had much time to read many church books. I'm not implying that these are bad men, because you sure don't have to be a gospel scholar to live the gospel. But it does demonstrate that just because a man has attained leadership and status in the church, it does not follow that he has a better grasp on the doctrines than you do.
Apostle N. Eldon Tanner had phenomenal leadership skills which helped him amass incredible wealth and success, skills which he turned around and applied to get the LDS Church out of its financial troubles in the 1960s. But Tanner admitted to not really knowing much about the scriptures, and could not give a talk expounding on his own religion that wasn't ghost written for him by his staff. Truth be told, most of us know only what we picked up in Sunday School and Seminary, and even as missionaries we didn't attain anything close to a mastery of God's word. On my mission I was trained to prove from the bible several things: the great apostasy, the prophesied coming forth of additional scripture, the need for a prophet as in ancient times, and so on -all necessary for explaining to others the need and importance of the restoration of truth that I was there to share with them.
But as for an understanding of many of those actual truths themselves? Well, I hadn't been taught a whole lot about that. That kind of deep understanding comes only from reading and re-reading the scriptures, by taking time to ponder and reflect on the messages contained within them. Like Mitt Romney, I was not only too busy on my mission to absorb the deeper gospel message, I got too busy with life afterward to spend much time on it, either.
So it was that for most of my life within the church, I completely missed some of those same essential tenets of my religion that Mitt Romney continues to be ignorant of. Those messages include a thorough appreciation for the Golden Rule; God's clear instruction that we are prohibited from invading or occupying the countries of other people; and that the Law of the Land always trumps the laws of governments.
The Most Misquoted Phrase In The Church
There are an endless number of reasons to oppose the candidacy of Mitt Romney for purely political reasons, but I don't intend this to be a political screed. My primary reason for opposing Mitt Romney is for betraying, without apology, everything that is good, fine, pure, and most of all important about my religion, which happens to be the religion he, too, espouses. Mitt Romney may be quite capable as a politician, but to borrow a phrase from my dear departed mother, Mitt Romney is a piss-poor excuse for a Mormon.
Rather than list all the numerous ways Mitt Romney consistently spits on the faith of his fathers, I intend to focus on just one area, and that is his open and repeated disdain for the law of the land.
We hear this phrase, "The Law of the Land" batted about quite a bit within the church, often by members who shrug in resignation over some legislation they disagree with, saying, "What can we do? It's the law of the land now, so we are commanded by God to obey it."
Most members who believe that way usually can't even reference the scripture. Here is the pertinent part in Doctrine & Covenants 58: 19-21:
19. For verily I say unto you, my law shall be kept on this land... 21. Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land. (Emphasis mine.)So what does this mean? Could it really be that every statute, act, ordinance, rule, and regulation passed by the legislature represents "the law of the land," and therefore the law of God which must be obeyed?
Not hardly. When Joseph Smith wrote down that revelation, he was well aware that the phrase "laws of the land" (also rendered in the singular as "law of the land") had a specific meaning which everyone living at that time fully understood. Sadly, it is a meaning not one person in a thousand is aware of today, least of all a good many of those members of the church who are so fond of bringing it up.
As far back as Runymede, the phrase "law of the land" had a very specific meaning under the common law which everyone understood. Joseph Smith was familiar with it, as were our founding fathers and everyone who lived in their day. To follow the laws of the land did not mean obedience to all the laws that operated within a particular country. Quite the contrary. Derived from the latin Rex Terrae, "The law of the land" might be more accurately rendered as "the designation of laws that operate to protect a person living on the land." The law of the land came to represent, according to The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, "that body of fundamental law to which appeal was made against any oppression by the sovereign."
And if, after spending a lifetime of carrying around in your head a mistaken idea about what is actually meant by "the law of the land" and you're having a tough time wrapping your head around that simple definition, it may be instructive to examine the opposite meaning of the phrase.
What is the opposite of the law of the land? That would be the law of the sea, of course.
Welcome Aboard, Matey! Just Stow Yer Rights At The Dock
If you were an English freeman in the 17th and 18th centuries and decided to sign on as a shipmate to sail the seven seas, you would have understood that you were signing away your rights as a free man upon the land. Once at sea you could no longer claim any of the basic rights that naturally accrued to you as a citizen of the crown. And there were some very sensible reasons for why that was.
A rickety wooden ship in the middle of the ocean is a very dangerous place to be, so there was little room for careful legal deliberations when neglect occurred. One unfortunate slip-up could put the entire crew in deadly peril. The Captain's close supervision and precise execution of every detail was what was meant by "running a tight ship." All hands were assigned specific duties that had to be performed with precision, often down to the second, and if your job was to hoist the mainsail or batten down the hatches, and by some fluke you managed to inadvertently raise the mizzenmast and lower the boom on some other poor sailor, your punishment was swift and harsh. There was no due process shipboard guaranteeing you a trial by jury of your sailor peers. Whatever went wrong may not have even been your fault, but someone had to be punished, and out there at sea, one bloke was as good as another. On the high seas, there was no shared "common" law. The Captain was the law.
To take an example from Captain Queeg, suppose someone had stolen strawberries from the ship's galley. Under the system of law that operated on the land, an attempt might be made to find the actual culprit and carefully and methodically bring the thief to justice. But under the law of the high seas, justice wasn't expedient; what was important was that someone be punished for the crime immediately, if for no other reason than to set an example. It could be the guilty party who gets punished, or it could be pretty much anyone else. Sometimes the whole crew would be punished for the crime of one man, a system of law I call My Father's Law, who often announced to us kids, "I guess I'll just have to spank all of you just so I know I got the right one."
What mattered most at sea was that someone was made an example of so that everyone else would think twice before helping themselves to the strawberries. Actual guilt or innocence was not the prime directive at sea; what was important was that the captain ran a tight ship.
Punishment at sea was often more extreme than punishment for crimes committed on land. They almost never matched the crime, which was a requirement of the common law on land. If you were lucky, you would just be thrown in the brig. But most likely you would be tied to the mast and flogged with a Cat o' Nine Tails, a whip with sharp pieces of bone ebedded in the ends which would tear the flesh off your back in tiny chunks. Although a ship's captain had almost complete carte blanche under the law of the sea, rarely was he permitted to summarily execute men under his command. But if he wanted, he could punish a man by having him keelhauled, a torturous ordeal that nearly always resulted in the agonizing death of the victim.
Truth be told, although the safety of his crew was important to the Captain, the safety of the crew paled in importance to the safety of the ship itself and all its cargo. A ship's captain had a fiduciary responsibility to the company of investors for whom he answered, and there was absolutely nothing of more paramount importance to the captain of any ship than to return that ship and its cargo safely to port. If he were to lose his ship, he could be thrown in irons, his personal estates taken as recompense as well as the property of his mother, father, brother, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins throughout the land, after which they might also be put in irons, too.
This is why you've heard the saying "the captain always goes down with the ship." It had nothing to do with the captain being brave and heroic. If a ship ran aground or crashed on the rocks, the rest of the crew might escape in the lifeboats, but every British captain knew that drowning at sea was far preferable to returning to England and trying to explain to the board of the East India Company how he managed to return to England while his ship and its cargo did not.
So that's why the captain was the first and final word at sea, and his word was law. It was self protection over everything else. And you may have guessed that it was the moneyed interests behind the crown such as the East India Company who supported this system -which the people on the land would not have stood still for- in order to protect their own commercial interests.
This law of the sea was known, under various permutations, as the law of Admiralty, Maritime, Military law, commercial law, or a variety of other names, but what it came down to was expediency. Justice was not the object, expediency was. Whereas on land the object is that before you exact punishment on a man you want to carefully make very sure you got the right guy, on the high seas there was no such compunction. A guess was as good as a a mile.
On the high seas you had no right to face your accusers and challenge their testimony, no right to counsel, no right to examine evidence against you, no jury of your peers. Under Admiralty Law the aim was to punish without proof, as that was simpler and more expedient for the governing body to deal with.
Which is why kings and tyrannical governments have, since ancient times, constantly tried to sneak Admiralty Law back up onto the shore. It's way more convenient than having to abide by that pesky law of the land.
The Perfect Law of Liberty
Here is how Law of the Land is defined in Bouvier's law dictionary, the first dictionary of American law, and the only law dictionary given official weight by an act of congress. Bouvier's definition is pertinent because it was first published in 1839, during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. If you wish to have an understanding of what "Law of the Land" meant to those living in Joseph Smith's day, Bouvier's is the place to look:
Law of the Land. The general law; A law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgment only after trial. The meaning is that every citizen shall hold his life, liberty, and property and immunities under the protection of the general rules which govern society.When attempting to ascertain the meaning of words and phrases in common use during a certain period, it's always best to refer to sources close to that period. Thus, if we wish to know what the founders meant by their use of the phrase "law of the land," a good authority would be Lord Edward Coke, a 17th century English barrister whose works were a major influence on the men who drafted our constitution. Coke defined "law of the land" as synonymous with "due process of law" and further clarified that due process was the divine, god-given right of all men everywhere, not just those living in England.
This is consistent with what the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith in 1833 when he affirmed the "law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me." -D&C 98:5 (Emphasis mine.)
This declaration from the Lord stands in stark contrast to the flimsy opinion of Mitt Romney, who insists that only American citizens are entitled to due process, and therefore our government is justified in locking away foreign nationals indefinitely in torture dungeons such as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Of course, if Romney has an aversion to looking up scripture, he could have instead consulted the fifth amendment to the constitution, which agrees with God that NO PERSON, not just American citizens, shall be deprived of their liberty without due process of law.
But sadly, Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he also has an aversion to the constitution as well as to scripture. Debate Moderator Chris Matthews asked Romney, a graduate of the Harvard School of Law, if, as president, he felt he would need to go to congress to get authorization to take military action.
As every schoolboy knows, the correct answer to this question is a simple "yes." But Romney's response was a long, convoluted stumble about handing the issue off to his attorneys, rambling on as if he was Miss Teen South Carolina making a guest appearance on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"
|Mitt Romney at the Republican National Debate.|
And like such as South Africa, and the Iraq, and everywhere like, such as, and maps.
When it was finally Ron Paul's turn to speak, he asked Romney in exasperation "Why don't you just open up the constitution and read it?"
Hey Mister Moderator, I have a question for the candidate! How much dumber than a fifth grader do you have to be to get a degree from Harvard Law?
Over time as the debates progressed, Romney's ignorance of the constitution was becoming so obvious to everyone that when he found himself unable to answer a simple question about privacy and state's rights, Romney laughingly joked, "We can ask our constitutionalist here," motioning to Ron Paul.
Ha ha ha.
To members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Constitution of the United States is as important to us as scripture. That's because we believe God not only inspired the founders to create that document, He tells us the whole thing was His idea to begin with: "I established the constitution of this land," the Lord informs us, "by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose." (D&C 101:80)
Apostle J. Reuben Clark expressed the sentiments shared by every believing latter-day saint when he declared,
"I have said to you before, brethren, that to me the Constitution is a part of my religion. In its place it is just as much a part of my religion as any other part. It is a part of my religion because it is one of those institutions which God has set up for His own purposes."So here's a question. If Mitt Romney claims a place among the saints, why isn't the constitution a part of his religion? Why does he defer to lawyers and others to "sort it out" whenever a question about this key part of his religion comes up?
Suppose Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were participating in a religious forum and Romney was asked the simple question, "Do you believe that baptism should be done by immersion?"
Now, Ron Paul happens to be a baptist and would be perfectly qualified to answer that question. But the question was directed to Mitt Romney, and since baptism by immersion is a pertinent part of Romney's own religion, would we expect him to look over at the baptist and suggest that the baptist is more of an expert on baptism than he is? No. We would expect Brother Romney to respond simply that baptism is immersion, and either you perform a baptism the right way or you don't.
That is essentially the answer Ron Paul gives to any question on the constitution: either you follow it or you don't. There's no reason in the world Mitt Romney should not be every bit the champion of the constitution that Ron Paul is. He doesn't even have to be as well-read on the subject as Dr. Paul. All Mitt has to do is believe in it. Then every question has an easy answer: either you follow it, or you don't.
The Law Of The Sea On The Land
The American colonists at the time of the revolution did not envision themselves as some new breed of persons called Americans. They thought of themselves as Englishmen living on the American continent, and as Englishmen, they were entitled to the same treatment under the law as anyone who actually lived in England.
But King George did not treat the colonists as Englishmen on the land. He treated the thirteen colonies as if they were thirteen ships anchored somewhere far across the sea. In the mind of the king, the people in the colonies existed to serve England, to provide her people with raw materials such as lumber, cotton, silk, sugar, and tobacco. Were they not originally chartered for these purposes by the king's predecessors? Then they should just tote that barge, lift that bale, shut the hell up and obey their captain.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he structured it as a legal Complaint, listing the numerous ways in which the king had, in effect, been applying the law of Admiralty on the land where it didn't belong. The Declaration of Independence was the colonist's demand for their rights to the law of the land under English common law, not this strange hybrid of Roman/Babylonian/Clipper ship bullcrap the king was using to rule them with.
The Constitution was created to embrace, embody, and codify the law of the land, its primary purpose being the protection of the rights of the individual against the encroachment of government. The constitution even included within itself a clause that identified it as the supreme law of the land. That meant that any subsequent ruling proposed by government would be required to undergo the process of being measured against that document. No longer would kings and tyrants be able to shove the law of Admiralty up onto the land. The supreme law of the land forbade that from ever happening again.
But would-be tyrants do not police themselves. "The price of liberty," as the saying goes, "is eternal vigilance."
Which brings us back to Mitt Romney.
God tells our national leaders to respect the law of the land, which he instituted to protect his people from unnecessary persecution. Mitt Romney looks God squarely in the face and says no, he will do it his way. Watch here how Mitt Romney blows off a dying cripple:
Notice this man is not asking Brother Romney if his administration would supply him with free medicine. All he wants to know is this: If Mitt Romney becomes president, "will you arrest me and my doctors if I get medical marijuana?"
Romney turns his back on this embarrassing gimp as fast as he can, while the man in the wheelchair asks again "will you have me arrested?" Others in the crowd demand that Romney answer the man's quite reasonable question, but Romney blows them all off because it's much more important to glad-hand a bunch of other supporters than to give a man an honest answer.
The truth is, Romney did answer the man's question. By turning his back on that man, Romney was telling him in so many words that even though God has provided the very medicine this man requires, in such abundance that it could be grown in the man's own backyard; and that Romney's own religion affirms God provided that plant for his use ("All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man"), Mitt Romney has a better idea. His friends in the pharmaceutical industry have figured out a way to artificially synthesize this wholesome herb, while making it utterly inferior to God's original prototype. The best part: Big Pharma gets to charge the man in the wheelchair a lot of money for their recipe, money they would not receive if he was permitted to depend on God's grace instead of on them.
Who do you think has been lobbying for decades to keep this natural medicine unavailable?
By turning away from this young man's urgent query and choosing instead to glad-hand with his fans, Romney was tacitly admitting that yes, his administration would indeed work tirelessly to arrest this young man and his compassionate caregivers. These days that usually means a violent midnight raid by a swat team in full riot gear, followed by a lengthy prison sentence where adequate medical care for the terminally ill man would be seriously curtailed.
There is one more element missing from this equation: due process. The blanket prohibition disallowing free Americans from owning their own marijuana plant violates the law of the land, because the plant was made illegal absent any kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings. Americans simply woke up on August 3rd, 1937 to learn a crop that had been farmed since the time of George Washington was now arbitrarily declared malum in se. The legislature had acted on rumors that this newly labeled "devil weed" was a favorite of Mexican wetbacks and jazz-dancing Jigaboos, and that was all they really needed to know.
If anything is calculated to set off alarm bells among members of the church of Jesus Christ, you would think it would be Mitt's enthusiasm for getting rid of the law of the land once and for all. And not just in America; Romney wants to see the law of the land eradicated across the entire planet. Take a look at these three short videos, each lasting less than seven minutes each, and then think about whether you, as a latter-day saint, can support a fellow Mormon who advocates treason against God and country.
The Lord tells us in section 98, verse 7 that any law of man that is inconsistent with the constitution "cometh of evil." This National Defense Authorization Act that Mitt Romney so enthusiastically endorses is unquestioningly inconsistent with the constitution and unquestioningly born of evil intent. Through his words and actions, Mitt Romney has proven time and again that he holds no respect for the word of God or for God's law, no matter how often he draws near to the constitution with his lips.
President David O. McKay reminded us that "next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than upholding and defending the constitution of the United States." Did you catch that? Nothing in this world should be more important to us. Why? because the constitution embraces and codifies the law of the land. God is a god of justice, but without due process there can be no justice.
Yet our own Mitt Romney embraces legislation that effectively abolishes that which his own religion deems to be absolutely essential to the freedom and progress of all mankind. To Brother Romney, nothing in the world is less important than honoring, obeying, and sustaining the law. And we still have members in this Church of Jesus Christ who wish to see this man placed into a position of power? King Noah would be green with envy.
In ordinary times, a man advocating treasonous views such as those Mitt Romney puts forth wouldn't even be considered for public office. In ordinary times, a man who claimed membership in the church of Christ yet advocated views antithetical to the commandments of Christ would have had the hand of fellowship withdrawn from him years ago. But these are not ordinary times. These are the times foretold by Isaiah when good would be called evil, and evil would be called good.
In April 1949, Mitt Romney had just turned two years old, but Apostle J. Reuben Clark gave a talk at that month's general conference that was eerily prescient:
"We live in an age of deceit... Even within the Church we have been warned that the ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood."Elder Clark added this ominous warning: "We should be careful of them."
[A note about leaving comments: Many readers have posted as "Anonymous" even though they don't wish to, only because they see no other option. If you don't have a Google, Wordpress, or other username among those listed, you can enter a username in the dropdown box that reads "Name/URL." Put your name in the "Name" box, ignore the request for a URL, and you should be good to go.
I have a pretty firm policy of never censoring or deleting comments. If your comment does not immediately appear, it probably means it is being held in the spam filter, which seems to lock in arbitrarily on some posts for reasons unknown. If you have submitted a comment and it doesn't immediately show up, give me a nudge at RockWaterman@gmail.com and I'll knock it loose. -Rock]
Extremely well done. Thank you for taking the time to write this out so beautifully and logically. I can't tell you how many times at church I've had to vigorously defend and explain these same principles to dozens of people who, no matter how logical or doctrinal the argument, just don't WANT to get it. They refuse to comprehend that the war in heaven (based upon protecting freedom) is right before us again here, on earth, even in this very election.
I really appreciate all of your posts, and especially this one. May the LDS "awake and arise" before it's too late.
Thank you, Ginger. I hope this gets shared far and wide to members who deserve to be awakened from their slumber.
The good news is that there is a HUGE exodus of members from the Romney camp and they are turning into Ron Paul supporters. There is an awakening, and people really are beginning to ask, "Hey, shouldn't we be supporting the one who seems more like he lives the gospel and not this guy who keeps sounding like George Bush and Barack Obama rolled into one?"
Mormons voting for Mitt Romney because he LOOKS like a Mormon is not gonna fly much longer. The transfer of loyalties is well under way.
Believe me, PRESIDENT Obama is just waiting for when Romney buys his way into the nomination. There are a million clips of Romney acting toward others just as he did toward the terminal patient, and a million heartless phrases that he has uttered artlessly across the country over the years, and PRESIDENT Obama's campaign people are happily collecting them by the day and hour for use against him. When Mr. Blowhard (The Ex-Speaker) won over Romney he went to his friends at NBC and got old narratives of Brocoff commenting on the Speaker's fall to use in negative campaigns against him. Romney hasn't seen the least of what President Obama has waiting for him. Romney is the worst politician I have ever seen working the national stage. He is as bad as I would be, I think, and that is incomparably bad. (Plus, he likes to fire people, don't you know.)
One other thing crossed my mind a moment ago: Brother Attaboy is in good company, namely, Joseph Smith himself. Didn't Joseph start up a bank into which a whole lot of members put their money, only to have the bank later fail back in the days when deposit insurance didn't exist? I'm pretty sure he did, which means that Joseph is a piss-poor excuse for a Mormon as well. I'm just saying...
However we want to attribute blame for the failures of the Kirtland Safety Society(and many people put the blame for the failure on Rigdon and others who actually ran the bank while Joseph Smith was busy with the church) the prophet's failures pale in comparison to the conscious and deliberate efforts of Mitt Romney who attended Harvard just so that he could learn how to be an effective corporate raider, sucking millions of dollars out of struggling companies and leaving the employees jobless.
Rock, well done as usual. Just yesterday I told my son (Josh M) that I was going to a post on Romney with the Mormon Worker (why I will never support him nor should anyone else) and viola here is your post. Great minds (or deranged as some may say) must be on the same channel :). Anyway, I will do my negative advertising soon and link your article from mine. Ron Paul 2012! Even if as a third party.
I have spent the last month reading your entire blog and all the comments and needed to add my voice with others. You are inspired and and definatley a choice spirit sent down in the last day to help many Mormons who are and will struggle in these last days.
A brief introduction
I am a South African 4th generation Mormon, I did it all, deacons quorum president , teachers quorum president, 1st assistant to bishop. Then a mission, and afterwards I worked for the church area office as an accountant for a number of years. It was working at the church that I saw soooo many things that could never be reconciled to the true Gosple of Jesus Christ. As much as I tried to find a way too marry my beliefs and what I was seeIng it would not work, to the point I left church employment for the sake of my testimony.
This did not work as I was disillusioned and unable to return to my former days of "all is well in Zion I belong to the only true church. " Yet I was still very much under the influence of the cool aid, as I would not read anything other than approved church cannon to get answers. As you can imagine this left me less fulfilled and even more frustrated, yet it still did not even cross my mind that reading non official sources would offer any light as that was if the devil.
Well after years of feeling the it was all me I must be evil if I cannot just get up and be the perfect Mormon I would like to say that a few weeks ago I underwent an amazing re awakening. It started one Sunday afternoon. While my wife and I were having watching TV ( I know TV on Sunday, hell awaits). There was a 1 hour documentary on Mark Hoffman This was not an anti Mormon production just a purely factual documentary that showed, our prophets seers and revelators had made some major bad judgments. Well this opened the flood gates and the more I learned the angrier I got the stupider I felt about my entire 34 years of indoctrination. My world fell apart and no one in the church could offer any help that was not patronizing and frankly naive.
I felt that removing my name from the records was my only option and maybe try peace together a knew life without the church. This is where my miracle began I went to church to appease my wife who although going through the same questions I did was level far more level headed than me. A young missionary serving in my ward asked what was the matter, now I was angry, but was not going to ruin a pure innocent missionaries testimony so i said I can't talk about it. Well he pushed and I said I have just discovered things about the church that are effecting my testimony. Well to my surprise this missionary had been going through the same things for years now, and had found further light and knowledge that helped him better understand the gospel.
Well he suggested I read some blogs and I stumbled upon your blog and have been addicted to every word as it really helps me learn and understand the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I have felt he spirit more in the last few weeks reading your blog than years of face to face meetings in church employment and church devotionals with apostles and GA's. Continued........
There have been so many things that have been miracles that have happened since this new spiritual rediscovery here is just one I would like to share. My wife is 34 and has terminal cancer and the effects of chemotherapy are worse than the disease, we were told to look at marijuana as a relief of symptoms of nausea and appetite as well as many other cancer fighting properties.my wife was for it, but her on,y problem was how can we as it is against Joseph Smiths " law of the land"
Imagine how we felt when today we both read your blog and found that you had written certain parts directly for us. Thank you so much your discourse was inspired and perfect for us.
Ps I am coming to the US in April will be delighted if I could meet you
Hey, Rock! I had deactivated my Utah Bar license for over 10 years. It took one Brother Attaboy & a convert--widow from Mexico to get me to reactivate my Utah license. Somebody had to sue the b - - - - - d! But at LEAST my Bro. Attaboy just robbed my client & didn't "lust after her."
Romney is a terrible. He is , imo, as bad if not worse then Harry Reid. If he wins the primary Obama will more then likely be re-elected and I expect that 2016 will be the year that the United States becomes a monarchy.
Honestly, either way you slice it we are doomed. There is basically no hope. Ron Paul won't get elected, and even if he did, it isn't like the president controls the country. Even if Ron Paul served 2 terms and we got 8 years out of him all that would happen is the delaying of the inevitable, which is the only reason one has to hope that Paul will get elected. Maybe if he can reverse enough damage we might be able to limp on till I die. Then I won't have to worry about this bull-shit, being constantly in the dark, having no communication,protection or help from GOD, since all of that violates the concepts of liberty and agency that I hold so dear anyways.
The secret combinations are so entrenched and in control and all of us are so blind to their actions that it doesn't matter what we do. You know I've thought about this a lot. The BoM is lauded by most of us as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ", but honestly I don't think that is its purpose at all. If you even believe it to true, what is it that the book of mormon contains that the bible doesn't? A clear demonstration of the existence of secret combinations and the destruction to societies that occurs from those secret combinations.
There is nothing in the book of mormon that cannot, with sufficient study and use of logic, be extrapolated from the bible except for the existence and danger to society from secret combinations.
Furthermore, the BoM is another clear demonstration of the failure of good to triumph over evil. Its very disheartening actually. We always tell ourselves that our spirtual development and salvation is a personal journey and yet the BoM and the Bible both indicate otherwise. The Nephites spiral into wickedness and the good people of the time have to suffer for it, regardless of how good they are and in the end they are all completely destroyed from the face of the earth. I know of no historically founded history in which a tipping point of wickedness was reached that didn't ultimately end in misery. Its always, always pissed me off to no end. The concept of group punishment. You'll know what I'm talking about if you ever played sports in school. One person makes a mistake or does something wrong and the entire team gets punished for it. The purpose of this is of course to create a peer pressure for the greater good. But I hate it, I hate the idea of it. It seems to me, that it is God's method as well. Though to be fair it isn't. God's method is different in that he simple doesn't do anything... after all he really can't or he violates the whole plan (at least that's my opinion).
We past the apex of the righteousness of america some time ago I expect, the question is when do we get destroyed and how bad will it be for ME personally before that happens and what can I do to mitigate that misery for me and my family.
Yes, Joseph Smith encouraged people to put money into this quasi-bank, but had absolutely no idea what he was doing. It seems like an abuse of his position to me.
The criticisms of Romney as a corporate raider, I think, are foolish. A lot of companies really do need someone to come and restructure them, which is a lot of what Romney did. The other option is to have them go out of business and have everyone lose their jobs. In addition, Bain Capital invested huge amounts of money into some firms that ended up becoming very successful because of that investment.
Very interesting. I think America would be a much greater nation if the invisible tentacles of an overbearing government were cut, which is what Ron Paul wants to do. However, I have been disheartened by opinion polls, which seem to show that most voters really can be bought by government money. Every time I see a problem and an obvious solution, it becomes obvious that the problem won't actually be solved because some politically important group is benefiting from the status quo. So I am heartened by the support for Ron Paul, but there is pretty clearly no hope that he is going to win, and I see little hope that any problems will be solved. My goodness, even a problem that everyone agrees on, the power of the banking sector to wring favors out of various government agencies, cannot be dealt with despite the fact that this very problem just contributed to a major financial crisis and is setting us up for an even bigger one in the future.
However, I applaud you for doing what you are doing. What I am doing, namely cursing my impotence, is far less admirable.
Nice work Rock. I am very happy you mentioned the constitution and lawyer exchange between Paul and Romney. Support of Romney and those like him, is upholding secret combinations of which we are warned so extensively in the good book. Mormons cannot say they were not warned.
Completely off topic, here is an interesting article about the "apostacy" that is taking place apparently in the Catholic church as well as the LDS church...
Your story is a familiar one, but I was particularly moved to read that something I wrote has been a particular benefit to you and your wife. Thank you for sharing.
My own wife is seriously ill, but unfortunately for her, marijuana exacerbates the chronic pain in her head. Sometimes, however, she will take a bit of wine with her otherwise inadequate painkillers, which helps a bit to boost their effectiveness.
By the way, I never have been able to abide the taste of beer, though I've tried on three separate occasions. So I guess I'm never going to be able to live the full Word of Wisdom to the extent Joseph Smith and others did.
Well, don't lose hope, Kong. There is an awakening in the land, both spiritually and politically, and Ron Paul is gathering the remnant to the cause of liberty. We don't have to awaken everyone, that isn't possible. But as Samuel Adams said, it doesn't take a majority. but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.
The American revolution was accomplished with only three percent of Americans taking the side for liberty; most were Tories with their allegiance to the status quo, and the rest were clueless as to what was going on around them. Pretty much like today.
So hang in there, continue to discuss the ideas of liberty with those who are ready to "awake to their awful situation" as Moroni put it, and batten down the hatches and be ready, because things WILL most likely get worse before they get better.
But in the end, God's people win.
And you're right about the book of Mormon's purpose. It exists primarily as a warning. It's a warning most members completely overlook, because all those war chapters are there to let us know that although we have a duty to defend our own shores, if we take the battle inside the borders of another country, God will withdraw his blessings from our nation.
Pretty clear to me that's already happened.
It could be we are in for quite a surprise by the time the convention rolls around, Carl. The Republican party is committing suicide by not getting behind the only candidate that the national polls show would come in at a tie RIGHT NOW against Obama. They instead prefer to put their hopes in Romney, who came in a poor second behind McCain, who himself had a LOT of trouble gaining the support of a lot of members of his own party because he was as much a warmonger as Romney.
We are seeing a perfect storm develop. As the public watches Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum expose each others failures, more and more people are deciding to give Ron Paul a serious look. When they do, they never look back. Ron Paul's numbers are on a steady climb, despite attempts by the establishment to rig the primaries.
We could actually win this thing, and even if we don't, there is a tireless, growing army freshly converted to the cause of liberty, and they will not be satisfied to go back to the way things were. As Oliver Wendell Holmes expressed it, the mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.
Thank you for this great article! Now if I could get my dad to read & believe it...
(Just wish you didn't have the link to Denver Snuffer's blog).
Interesting link, Shawn. The days of infallible authority are waning everywhere.
What's wrong with Denver Snuffer?
I actually don't know that much about him other than some readers here recommend him so I've read about a dozen of his pieces He seems pretty astute to me. Is it your dad who has a problem with him for some reason? I'm guessing you're referring to the link under "Blogs I Think Are Worth A Look." I don't recall linking to him in any of my pieces.
I just today began listening to the Mormon Stories podcast interview with Brother Snuffer (Man, what a cool name!) while I washed some dishes, but I'm only about 10 minutes in. I'll start again when I get back to more housework.
I mean to get his latest book some day, but I'm backed up. Here's the link to John Dehlin's interview with Denver Snuffer:
Bravo, Brother! It amazes me that so many LDS attribute to Mitt all of the glowing expectations they might have for someone like a young Ezra Taft Benson upon being elected POTUS. I have never witnessed such a display of misplaced trust and naivety, unless it was the blacks who voted for Obama with hope for help with the rent and gas. LDS GOP fondly proclaim that Mitt will restore the Constitution. Now maybe that's what they'd do in his position, but he's an entirely different kettle of fish. He's a bishop and a stake president who didn't know that abortion is wrong. Huh? How did he feel about the Word of Wisdom? The Law of Chastity? They're optional, too, if your bishop finds the opposite compelling? I can't recall ever meeting a bishop who had so much trouble grasping the basics. And as far as his comprehension of agency, and the role overreaching socialist governments have in destroying it, well I don't know what to think. Was he asleep on the last row for the past fifty years? Did he hear a thing Ezra Taft Benson or J. Reuben Clark ever said? I find it mortifyingly embarrassing that we are such a bunch of easily duped chumps. I'm posting a link to your blog on my FB page, and if any of my Mitt Romney supporting idiot-friends are still speaking to me, perhaps it will make a dent.
No, the issue of my dad is that tends to believe/behave that the US military is a sacred institution, and it can never be manipulated/used for unrighteous ends - that an American president/gov't would NEVER lie to the people and start a war.
For the record, I grew up around the military (San Diego) - idolizing it, and only the fall of the USSR prevented me from joining...from steady GOP household, but a avid reader of Cleon Skousen and a devout Constitutionalist who now is registered Constitution Party, a big Ron Paul supporter, life-long LDS - but raised outside of Utah.
As for Denver Snuffer, my issue is that while some of his early books may be good, he has taken a position that any faults the LDS people/Church have is the fault of the Church as an institution, rather than people being human and unready/unwilling to repent/leave the world behind, truly be Christ-like.
He tends to build his whole case around only Joseph Smith was a "prophet", no later prophet/President (administrators) can ever reverse anything Joseph Smith said (apparently not recognizing that the same God who commanded polygamy could also revoke it through a later prophet, for whatsoever ever reason that he chooses); and that the LDS Church has lost the gift of being guided by Heavenly prophetic revelation due to abandoning polygamy, Adam-God theory/doctrine, United Order, etc...
He bashes on the Church from David O. McKay's time as being focused on numbers, marketing, etc. (which ultimately is a direct slap at Gordon B. Hinckley and his PR forts on behalf of the Church. He very begrudgingly states that he accepts the current First Presidency & Twelve as prophets, seers, revelators - but makes it known that he is upset with them (Boyd K. Packer particularly) because they are not (among other things) openly telling the world that they have seen Christ.
Maybe you'll see things differently - to each his own I guess...
Again - thank you for your great article.
Well Gosh, Breit, it sound like about half of what Denver Snuffer advocates would fit snugly inside my own belief system!
Well said, Old Paint. It would truly give me hours of amusement to hear these members argue that Mitt Romney would restore the constitution if such naivety wasn't so gosh-darned depressing.
I am truly sorry about your wife, she sounds like an awe inspiring human being.
Your blog has been a massive help through our transition from blinded Mormons to striving for Purity.
Interestingly it was your blog post on Beer that led me to your website as I was trying to understand the churches true word of wisdom doctrine. I am fortunate to have had a misspent youth and absolutely love the taste of beer, some I have no problem incorporating barly drinks into my life.
I have just been called to young men's president in church, but I find it increasingly more difficult not teach these poor young men true doctrines. They are facing tough times in the outside world, and when they succumb to peer pressure the guilt that the church heaps on them is unhealthy.i will see how long I can stay in the position for the sake of the young men.
On mitt Romney, boy oh boy I share your thoughts exactly, I have been following Ron pauls rise for the last few months and hope and pray that he can come into power, it will,give your country and the world a fighting chance for the last days.
So in the Book of Moses it talks about Satan with a chain in his hand that veiled the whole earth. To me, there are several things that chain us to Satan/Babylon. One of those is the Law of the Land thing as the LDS church Presidents and other materials teach it. I've been talking to so many people about topics you have covered such as wars and others such as Zion contrasting with the US gov't and it's establishment.
One huge issue people bring up as a trump card and stop any further discussion is the law of the land. This is sooooo golden. If people understood this, then they would be able to open up any discussion and understanding of true principles. I don't know why I didn't think of it before! Thank you for posting about it. Now I'm just gonna look into it more and get a thorough background because I think that is a huge chain that people willfully hang onto.
I was shown a few years ago that ~1/3 of the BofM covers 70 years and most of it is about war. I was taught that it was so important because it was a lesson for us about the war with Satan. While there are some lessons to be learned from that, the major lesson is the obvious one...war is so destructive. How come it is so hard to not see what is right there? We're not all idiots. I don't get it. Also, the role the Gadianton Robbers play as @Kong has pointed out.
@Kong, there is one other valuable lesson from the BofM that the Bible doesn't contain, it is the importance of Reconciliation between the Nephites and the Lamanites. The only time a people were good, was when there were Nephites and Lamanites who united and became one. Each group had it's faults, with the Lamanites being unbelieving and the Nephites being a screwed up society that prospered the Gadianton robbers. Just like today and the only solution is that which the BofM shows us... Reconciliation.
The definitions of "Law of the Land" I included in my piece above were necessarily short, but a fairly lengthy essay under that heading can be found in Leonard Levy, ed. "Encyclopedia of the American Constitution." The problem is that according to Amazon, it now costs $892.00! It consists of 6 heavy volumes, but come on! I know I didn't pay a lot for my set back when they first came out, and I bought mine new. I could not find the text of it anywhere online, and I don't know if all law libraries would have it.
Other good sources are Bouvier's; both the 1856 one volume and the more expansive two volume 1914 edition (it was by now called a Dictionary and Encyclopedia) are excellent sources for both "law of the Land" and due process. The important thing about Bouvier's is that the common law was still in effect in the old days in America so definitions of all legal terms are more reliable before Equity and Admiralty began to creep into American jurisprudence.
I have every edition of Black's Law Dictionary except the first (yes, I'm bragging), and I would love to see how the term is handled in that one. The definition of "law of the land" becomes more expansive beginning around the sixth and seventh editions as it reflects more modern (and improper) usage. What counts is what the term meant during the hundreds of year that English common law was being hammered out, and what it meant to the founders and the 19th century Mormons when our scriptures using those terms originally appeared.
I haven't even looked in American Jurisprudence because although I have a complete set of Am Jur I, it's boxed up in storage. I'm certain Am Jur I would be more reliable than Am Jur II for a more pure discussion of law of the land. I don't know what Corpus Juris says about it either, but it's probably loaded with great cites.
All counties have a law library open to the public, usually at or near the courthouse where you can always find Am Jur and Corpus Juris. Go in and ask to see a set of books called "Words and Phrases," that should be a good source, too.
Several states included the term "law of the land" in their constitutions, but over time "Due Process" began to be the favored term for the same thing. If you look up "Due Process" in any of the sources I cited above, you'll have a very good grasp of the concept, as the explanations are quite thorough and often go on for pages.
Arm yourself with the facts, my friend, and go get 'em!
Hey Alan, I follow your blog, and I've found a few interesting things over here. I usually don't comment, but just listen to what other people have to say. I like listening, pondering, praying, and arriving to my own conclusions with the help of the divine, which help is not as easy to get as the mainstream idea of the Holy Ghost that is held at Church...you really have to work for it, you really have to demonstrate God that you will sacrifice anything for His guidance, and will be willing to follow any commandment given by His voice, even if it goes again mainstream though.
Anyways, the reason because I decided to comment here specifically, is because it stroke me that you were only somewhat familiar with Denver Snuffer. By the nature of your posts, I would have guessed you were best friends! hehe. But, I'm learning that Denver is not as well known as he should be. There is no need to know his persona, I don't think, but there is a great need to know about his words. With all due respect, the person who commented here, "DBreit", is either not familiar at all with Denver's words, and has just heard the rumors of what Denver is trying to say, or if he is familiar with his words, then obviously the Spirit is not with him. Whatever Denver is trying to say, it is not wise to dismiss or ridicule the message for how different it sounds, but instead we ought to ask God with real intent what He thinks about it.
I must admit, I read "The Second Comforter" first and really enjoyed it. But the second book I read of Denver Snuffer was "Passing the Heavenly Gift", which is his last one (he has written eight books total so far). While reading it, I wanted to grab a stone and throw it at him. It was throwing away all I had been taught throughout my life. It went against all I though reasonable within the Church. However, after much prayer, pondering, and answers from the Lord, I must say, Denver Snuffer is very nice towards the Church state compare to where we are at. Denver Snuffer is a prophet of God, since he has received the Testimony of Jesus, and he has been chosen to help us understand what God is expecting of us today, which is the same He's expected of all His children throughout the history of the Earth since the beginning: To come unto Christ, to receive the Lord on this life. We ought to be faithful to receive the ministration of the Holy Ghost (including the ministration of angels who speak by the power of the Holy Ghost) to receive the ministration of Jesus Christ, who will prepare us to receive the ministration of the Father.
Please, don't give an opinion of Denver Snuffer unless you have read all his words. And if you have, please ask the Lord, because it might well be possible that the Lord will show you something different to what you had believed all your life. By the way, I think Denver's books are the most important you could read after the Book of Mormon and a handful of other books.
My gosh, Rock. You are so smart. The depth of your knowledge is so deep. This is why your blog is my favorite. All true.
Aw, shucks, Steven, I'm really dumb as a post. I just happen to have remembered some things I've read over the years, that's all.
It is interesting, however, that little bits of trivia I've picked up over time just happen to come in handy for topics I end up addressing here, like this law of the land business. I just decided one day to look it up. When I saw that the definition for "law of the land" was nothing more than "Due process," it was the biggest moment of cognitive dissonance in my life. I really didn't get it at first. The commonly held assumption was so ingrained in me that the actual definition didn't make any sense.
Many thanks for your great article Alan. As has been said "We live in an age of deceit... Even within the Church we have been warned that the ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood."
I think few really understand how pervasive such is. It can be very disheartening to have a person of high position in the church rob your family of hundreds of thousands then commit burglary at your fasmilies residence to remove incriminating evidence of such before presentation to the begging for such District Attorney's Office. I truly believe in the LDS church and all it stands for. But as my father once said "whereas a belief may be perfect it is only as perfect as those that are it's members" therein lies the problem. Like my siblings, my wife and I are very religious, to us it's personal thing, we don't attend services, therefore we aren't sickened at those that wear the white cloak of religion and high office but are no different than a hustler on the street.
Well, I'm glad I stumbled onto this blog post. My feelings are so very consonant with many expressed here, but I must say it fills me with sadness too, because I know many naive members of the Church are being led away into forbidden paths and many more will be, because they are ashamed of the mocking coming from the great building across the way from the tree of life.
Most of us can take the mocking of uninformed non-LDS Christians, but when we are mocked for following the servants of the Lord who obviously have fallen asleep and who clearly became "very slothful" and "hearkened not unto the commandments of their Lord," in certain important respects, it is much more difficult for us to justify our faith in the worthy admonition to always "follow the brethren."
But how can we partake of the fruit of that tree and not feel compassion and love for those who must bear the burdens placed upon their shoulders by their high callings in these perilous times? My bishop laughs heartily at the explanations of the chem trails I've pointed out to him, and adamantly opposes my efforts to turn his attention to Moroni's words in Ether, as crucial teaching for our time. At the same time, the thinking of my stake president is very closely aligned with that of my bishop.
When I suggested to a long time friend of mine, who has been the Stake President of two stakes, that he help me hand out copies of Alex Jones' "The Obama Deception," after sharing the building 7 videos with him, his reply was, "When I see members of the Twelve handing them out, then I will."
Needless to say, it's disheartening and difficult to face the fact that many of the Lord's servants have fallen asleep, but shall we not love them still? The enemy is upon us, has broken down the hedge protecting the vineyard (the constitution) and soon the servants of the Lord shall arise, being "affrighted," and will flee. Rest assured that the enemy will destroy their works and break down the twelve olive trees, but brethren, be not dismayed, for though the Lord will chastise his servants for their neglect, in building the tower they should have built, the life of his servant is in his hands and they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of the unbelief of the Gentiles.
Yet, the Lord shall heal his servant, for he will show unto the children of men that his wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil, and though we be called to wade through much suffering and woe, even unto the loss of our freedom and being brought down into captivity, which seems is the lot of Joseph, yet we shall be delivered, for the Breaker of Bozrah will be sent by the Lord to gather the strength of his house, his young men and his middle-aged men, which are his warriors, to march to the land of Zion and redeem his vineyard in the choice land, for it his, he bought it with money, and he commands his warriors to get into his land, break down the walls of the enemy, throw down their towers and scatter their watchmen, and inasmuch as the enemies of the Lord gather together against his warriors, he commands them to avenge him of his enemies.
And thus, the servant of the Lord will redeem the land and the forces of the Gentiles will be consecrated unto the house of Israel, and those that are numbered among his people, because of their belief in the Son of God and their faith unto repentance and obedience to laws and ordinances of the his gospel, shall assist his people in building the holy city, the New Jerusalem, that his people may gird up their loins, looking forth for his coming in great glory and mighty Majesty in the great and dreadful day of the Lord, when they that come shall burn the wicked, leaving them with neither root nor branch.
There is so much more to say, but I must forbear - let me just echo the great words of Joseph, "Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing..."
@goingtozion - only possible if both sides reconcile and in the end (in the BoM case) the reconciliation was temporary. I find the anti-war sentiment unrealistic, I'm not suggesting that war is good. War is the result of a complex set of social/cultural differences it requires a degree of compromise and understanding that most PEOPLE CAN'T EVEN ACHIEVE IN THERE MARRIAGES. I won't go into detail because I already know your position and I don't feel like discussing it right now.
@Rock - I've just accepted reality Rock. Once the "awakening" actual appears to have a real world result perhaps I'll agree with you (that its happening on a larger scale then just this forum :P). As far as God's people winning... well again, that isn't what happened in the BoM or the Bible, so honestly that isn't very encouraging, and ultimately not necessary, because God's people are already WINNING. They advance out of this shitty telestial state.
In fact from a logical perspective God's people can never "win"(en mass) until all the people on the earth are of a spiritual state of growth nearing godliness, thus no longer telestial in nature(if that is even what it currently is). At which point the Earth would no longer be a telestial, not because God did something, but because all the people here have advanced out of the telestial state. Actually if you think about it, God solves this problem for himself very neatly. Telestial,Terrestrial and Celestial(tier 1 and 2) beings AREN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO INHABIT THE SAME WORLD AS HIM.
God has given us liberty and agency. He has proclaimed those of the utmost worth and value. Through the exercising of our agency we learn consequence and responsibility. For God to directly interfere would be a violation of agency. Thus God can only interfere through influence/request and one could even argue that may be too much. As a result, we are left to wander and explore on our own. Because there are infinite numbers of souls and there is no end of time, and the advancement of souls takes them out of the telestial world, it seems to me, that this Earth and the many places like it, sole purpose is to create an place where the struggle between good and evil is constant, but because of the nature of good(ie allowance of liberty and agency) if there is but 1 evil man, he can, under the protection of liberty and agency begin to corrupt the system of good men and eventually ruin it all (I suppose you could pull off a city of Enoch, but I'm not sure how many of us are really ready for that, I certainly don't think I am). As is the pattern constantly shown us. He doesn't really suffer the wrath of God, he simple doesn't progress much and thanks to him perhaps, someone else progresses a lot.
Perhaps I sounded hopeless, I didn't mean to, I meant to say. The world we live in is reality, and it won't end, it is all for our experience and growth and that means that bad stuff HAS to happen. We have to be exposed to the evil and wickedness, living in peace and harmony would not really be all that great for our GROWTH, I would enjoy it while it lasted and try to preserve it(which is what I'm doing) but its inevitable that wickedness will rise up again, though I recongize that its only through experience, trial and tribulation that I grow, I'd still rather avoid it.
I am not consistent at reading and studying the scriptures, but what reading, studying, and pondering I have done over the years, especially 3 Nephi 3, Mormon 4 and D&C 98 and 101, brought me to the same conclusion long before I ever discovered your blog. However, you are much more active and eloquent in speaking up, and in backing up your conclusions with other sources and research. I hope to use your blog to enlighten others such as friends at church, and my nephew, who, unable to find employment to support his young growing family in this economy, finally signed up for the military. The one benefit of his choice is he now lives in my neighborhood (I live in a military town and he is assigned to the local base) so I have family locally now, and also perhaps an opportunity to enlighten him (he is a naive Romney supporter) if he is willing to listen. Keep up the good work (I don't always agree with everything you say, but on this subject you are spot on!) I especially appreciate your explanation of the "Law of the Land", it certainly clears up some apparent inconsistencies in D&C 98, as well with the 12th Article of Faith if Brother Joseph meant the "Law of the Land" in "...obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law".
My father worked for the church in SLC for several years, and his comment was that working for the church is not how to get a testimony (he had some serious faults and shortcomings, but he always had a testimony of the gospel).
I was in too much of a hurry, next time I'll try to use better sentence and paragraph structure to make my replies more readable.
Sorry, the part in the above post, which reads "but brethren, be not dismayed, for though the Lord will chastise his servants for their neglect, in building the tower they should have built..." should read "...in NOT building the tower they should have built..."
The tower referred to is, of course, that which the servants laid the foundation for in D&C 101 parable, the same section describing for us the inspiration and origin of the constitution.
The parable of the vineyard in that section was given to us so that we might understand the mind of the Lord regarding the redemption of Zion.
Many have wondered what the tower was that the servants of the Lord failed to finish that was the cause of the great evil that falls upon his servants, but it is clear that the tower was the Council of the Fifty that was discontinued in the days of President John Taylor, because it appeared to be just "a debating school," and seemed to be hardly worth the effort on the frontier with so much practical need that required the attention and resources of the brethren.
"What need hath my Lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace," they asserted.
Needless to say now, however, "a debating school," headed by the Prophet, as its standing president, including the august body of the Council of the Twelve, as well as others of lesser responsibility, is just what is needed in the "infowar," such as that now raging.
I can see how such a secret school would have enabled the saints to see and understand the efforts of the global elite long before the deceptive events of 1913 and 1916 set the stage for the corruption and terror of the banksters that eventually took hold decades later.
The saints would have been able to make ready and not be deceived by the efforts of the evil cabal of elitists to establish their hegemony in politics, economics, education and international relations, as they have now managed to do, so that they can carry on their work to overthrow the freedom of the world and bring to pass the destruction of all people, through their eugenics programs.
Now, it's too late - we will suffer - be marred as it were - but the Lord will heal us and deliver us out of the captivity we are rapidly descending into.
Alfred, I forgot to respond to your mention of your coming trip to America. If you can possibly get out this way, by all means, I would love to meet you. When that time draws near, email me at Rockwaterman@gmail.com
I'm with you, Kong. I realize it's the experiences, trials, and tribulations that have enabled my growth, but frankly I've had enough already.
Angel, I keep hearing amazing things about "Passing the Heavenly Gift" and from what I have heard so far on the podcast, Denver seems like someone who has something we can learn from. I agree with you that other's ideas should not be dismissed out of hand.
Sometimes the things that shake us up are the things we really need to hear. Your telling of how you got so upset with Denver Snuffer at one point you wanted to throw a rock at him resonates. When Connie was reading JJ Dewey's "The Immortal," she came across something that so upset her she just threw the book across the room. The spirit convinced her to go pick it back up and continue reading, and after that is when she recommended it to me.
Yep, that's exactly what Joseph Smith meant. Any other interpretation would be inconsistent with the rest of his teachings. We are not to obey, honor, and obey any old law our rulers throw our way to weigh down and oppress us, we are to sustain THE Law, "the perfect law of liberty."
Ah, no, He won't. He will let us stew for a long time in our own juices, as it were. The general tenor of this blog is that the Church, led by corrupt and ambitious men "even the August body of the Council of the Twelve" is very much a part of "the evil cabal of elitists" to which you refer. Unless you were writing all the above in facetiousness, it is way too hopeful considering the actual situation we are all in right now. Mormons are among the most captive, in almost every way that you can list. Once, I was there myself, but I now am free of it and can see the truth from the outside, looking into the prison. God knows, I am glad to have had my chains removed. The burden was not light, never from even the very beginning.
First, Rock, great post again. you are doing much good! There are strains of marijuana that are grown especially for "migraines" or lock jaw, pressure, etc... and otehr that will numb the receptors that cause the sesitivity to light/sound etc.. like beer, not all strains are the same or perform similar. Huge variety. while most increase blood flow to the brain, which is usually a good thing, for healing, relaxing, etc... but in your case not so much. try indica strains; off the top of my head, especially Ice, Lollipop, Bonzo, and lemon Chemo. Also, edibles are generally better for those with chronic head pain, though they ususally don't feel like eating.
Incredible to read your response here! and I love hearing that my supposedly apostate brother is doing some actual good out there... :-) Hope to hear from you again.
@Kong, You are correct, it takes both sides. It also isn’t a huge movement as many people think. It’s more possible than we think, but we have these preconceived ideas that are false that set up this idea of what is supposed to happen and that never will. So many believe there will be millions of LDS on board that will do it, but that’s not what has happened in the past nor what has been prophesied. It will be few. It also won’t need to be for very long. If the prophecies about Jesus returning are true, then it will only be a short period after the reconciliation occurs that Christ will return. Looking at the book of Helaman, it was only a handful of years before Christ came.
I’m very open Kong, trust me, peace, it’s not an easy idea. But that is why a few individuals who are pacifists, alone, will almost be futile. Only in Zion will that be possible.
Also, I think they can’t achieve it because our marriages are in a system that is set up for failure. What is the point and goals of our marriages? Raise our kids to be educated, well mannered, hard working. Go to college, get a well paying job, have kids. Then we work hard for ourselves so we can retire and enjoy life, a nice house, cars, vacations. But that isn’t how it is supposed to be. It is hollow. It is pleasurable and fun but…I believe our marriages would be different if we worked hard together as a couple living a Christ like life. Serving and becoming one with the poor. Loving and healing the outcasts of society. Our marriages would be more important and would be a strength to the couple to work through such powerful and important issues. Our marriages don’t work because we are set up for failure in Babylon, but if we free ourselves from it by following Christ, then we can achieve it. So many of the issues within our marriages will be gone as our focus changes.
I also agree with your perspective on God’s intervention. Even though listening to a fast and testimony meeting you’ll find that the Christians in general do not agree with us.
It does sound hopeless with only a faint spark of hope. That’s why Zion was so important. It is different than the rest of the world. Ya, you and I aren’t ready for it, but if we work for it, that will be the refiner’s fire that will prepare us for it.
Well, no one can say how long the scourge lasts, but we do know that the light that has broken forth among the Gentiles, who sit in darkness, is the fullness of his gospel, and though a man declares it unto them, they receive it not, for they perceive not the light, and for this reason they harden their hearts and turn away from him, preferring instead the precepts of men.
When the Gentiles turn their hearts from God, after he has sent down righteousness from heaven and after he has sent forth truth from the earth, bearing witness of the resurrection of his Only Begotten Son and the resurrection of all men, that is when the times of the Gentiles is up.
It looks like that time is now and there are men standing in this generation, that shall not pass away until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.
And then their covenant with death shall be disannulled, and their agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then they shall be trodden down by it.
From the time that it goeth forth it shall take them: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
This quote should be attributed to David O. McKay:
"next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than upholding and defending the constitution of the United States."
Thank you, you are right, of course. I was reading it from a talk in which President Benson was quoting President McKay, and I got sloppy. Correction made.
That's helpful information on Marijuana, Dan. I was aware of the variety of names, but never imagined that some strains were more effective for various aliments than others.
I have a nebulizer in which liquid meds are placed for the treatment of asthma. I wonder if there is a way to make a proper tincture from marijuana to put in there and shoot the mist directly into Connie's lungs?
I agree that we are 'not' obligated to obey any unjust, unrighteous or unconstitutional law or dictate that any leader, civil or religious creates or declares. but only those things that are truly righteous & constitutional.
God has never required anyone on earth to obey a unrighteous leader or law.
In fact, while most members think we should obey & follow our leaders, even when we think they could be wrong or can't be wrong, we are actually blinded by such blind obedience & it is actually a 'sin' to obey unrighteous leaders who are wrong & who teach falsehoods, in or out of the Church.
It is often even a sin to support or follow civil leaders in their wrong doing & unconstitutional dictates, especially if we don't also do all we can to undo their unrighteous laws & replace wicked leaders with righteous leaders.
Oh, I must give you your props. You are excellent in writing scripture, even as good as Joseph was, himself. Very smooth. Always dramatic and inclusive. Truly, a second Isaiah! Fun stuff.
I think I learned something new in every paragraph of this post. One of them being Keelhauling. Thank goodness I finally have some ammo against the "obey the Laws of the Land" tripe that TBMs always reference.
I linked to this post on facebook but I don't know if it got any views. The people who really need to read this post might be put of by the title.
Also Rock I wish you could put the comments back in the linear mode. I can never find the new comments without having to reread EVERY conversation. Before I could just scroll to the bottom. But anyway its your blog.
Sorry, that all caps "EVERY" reads like I'm actually upset.
dang it! just wrote a whole, beautiful essay that got erased when i tried to submit it. ahhh! :)
oh well, maybe it was too wordy and this will help me simplify my thoughts.
i love ron paul. i love his message. i love his personality. i love his strength and conviction. i love his humility. i am a true believe in his message. now that i understand it- i want to share it with everybody! especially my fellow latter-day saints who i feel, more than anyone, have reason to give heed to his words.
i am not a fan of mitt romney as a politician. this surprises people and is often a good conversation starter- what? a mormon who isn't for mitt? my job is to judge mitt the politician because i have to vote. but i don't have to judge mitt the father- mitt the son- mitt the husband- mitt the bishop- mitt the mormon, etc. that's not my job. he is my brother. he has strengths and weaknesses as we all do. i'm sure if people were video taping me all the time, they'd have plenty of evidence that i'm a piss poor mormon. :) but i'm not- though there have been plenty of times the adversary tried to convince me i am. i'm just another person, doing the best i can, with what i have and what i understand. learning to live the gospel is hard and it's a life long endeavor. we all find some aspects of it easier than others. we all have different gifts, strengths, and weaknesses, not to mention experiences.
yes- we bear ron paul's message of liberty. let's bear it well. we also bear the Savior's message of love and patient teaching. not to mention humility. the Savior is so humble and he is the Greatest among us. let's bear that message well, too.
there are many ways to teach people to recognize the truth that is in ron paul's message. the better we are at teaching it- the better off we all will be. our job IS to teach it so that others can embrace it, too. let's not forget the biggest part of teaching truth- the Spirit. we can teach it in other ways- but it's not of God and it won't bring about good. we can teach it with love and respect and still point out the important truths without giving in to satan's desire that we be disrespectful, unkind, unloving- in short doing all the things that will prevent the message from being heard.
all the knowledge in the world is as a tinkling cymbal if it isn't filled with charity. it doesn't matter what we know about liberty and truth- it's empty if we don't have love to go with it. people respond to love and respect and if that's how we carry our message- it will be heard. heard and received- i have no doubt.
so let's carry it well, brothers and sisters! :) this is a message that will unite us not divide us.
Connie wasn't keen on the title herself, Zamorah, but I figured who could resist checking it out to see what the heck the article was about, right?
As for the linear mode in comments, I'm not that keen on it myself. I just woke up one morning and the whole blog had transformed the comments section into this format. I assumed it was something the good folks who created Blogspot had done to us uniformly, but it's possible I unwittingly pushed a button somewhere and made it happen. I'll have to do some digging around in the Blogspot help department, but I haven't ever had a lot of luck finding what I was looking for there before, so wish me luck.
What this comment section really needs is a "like" button.
What can you do? There's no way to italicize.
I am not a Mormon. For a long time, I debated with Mormons, and tried to convince them they were misguided non-Christians. Eventually, my sister married into a wonderful family of polite, knowledgeable people. They were Mormon. I couldn't condemn them, I couldn't despise them. I realized that although I might not agree with someone else's ideology, they had the right to believe their religion - as I had the right to believe in mine.
I want to thank you for your article. I have heard many people say that the main reason they don't want to vote for Romney is because he is a Mormon.
Your article made me realize that this man, his ideals, his probable choice of actions, will not only make his legacy a shameful one. Considering that this man will be the first introduction to many to a latter-day saint, he will make all Mormons look bad.
Once again, I am not a Mormon, and I do not share your beliefs. For the sake of a family and a faith that I have learned to respect, I fear this man will make the wrong sort of international statement about latter-day saints.
Wonderful post. I'm now an ex-Mormon but enjoy reading your blog from time to time. This one was very meaningful to me. Though I no longer share your belief in the LDS gospel, I remember the idealistic view of it I held (pure mormonism, as it were), and Brother Romney definitely does not compute as a good example of Mormonism.
I'll echo Dan's remarks on medical marijuana. Different strains really do have different effects. However, getting accurate information is not a given, as a lot of the naming process of strains is all about marketing to the street culture. (You may have noticed!) I don't know where you live, but if you're in a state that allows medical cannabis, try to find a doctor experienced in recommending it. At this point, most doctors are learning from their patients. You might find a patients' collective with experienced members who can give advice. Make sure your BS meter is operating; sadly, this field is rampant with charlatans, but there are good people, too. An AIDS organization that serves patients may be able to direct you to someone who can advise you.
As well, different methods of delivery have different effects. Edibles go through the digestive system and so are slower but give a powerful, long-lasting wallop; it is difficult to titrate dosage without considerable experimentation. Smoking (in glass pipes or cigarettes) is very fast-acting, and the quality of the medicine determines how long the effects last. (That is, you don't want to have to smoke a lot to get the desired effect.) Vaporizing is a very popular method for those who don't like to smoke or can't get the hang of the mechanics (like me!). I think the nebulizer sounds like a good idea. I've never made tincture, but the instructions are on the Web. I personally prefer "canna butter," and don't cook other edibles with it, I just take a small spoonful before bed for help with insomnia. (I have a doctors recommendation and I live in California, if anyone wonders.) Taking an excessive dose can be distressing (but causes no lasting damage), so start slowly and work up. (You wife, that is.) I hope she can sort it out so she can get some relief. Best wishes!
I try to write in terms of scripture, because I see that's what the prophets themselves did. In the case of this blog post, the subject is the work of the Lord in America in the context of religious freedom protected by the constitution, which the Lord "suffered" to be established.
That subject is very topical, given the recent actions of the government and the upcoming election, and at the same time it is at the center of so many core scriptures.
However, it leads to the discussion of corruption in the churches, and even of pollution of the holy Church of God. My point is that this fact does not negate the truth of the restoration, but confirms it, for, even though the LDS are mostly unaware of it, the scriptures make it plain that the redemption of Zion must be preceded by a cleansing of the church of the Lamb of God. I especially like this one:
In that day thou shalt come, O Lord; and I will put my trust in thee. Thou shalt say unto thy people, for mine ear hath heard thy voice; thou shalt say unto every soul, Flee unto my mountain; and the righteous shall flee like a bird that is let go from the snare of the fowler.
For the wicked bend their bow; lo, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart, to destroy their foundation.
But the foundations of the wicked shall be destroyed, and what can they do?
For the Lord, when he shall come into his holy temple, sitting upon God’s throne in heaven, his eyes shall pierce the wicked.
Behold his eyelids shall try the children of men, and he shall redeem the righteous, and they shall be tried. The Lord loveth the righteous, but the wicked, and him that loveth violence, his soul hateth.
You can italicize words by placing them between brackets like this "<"em">"word to be italicized"<"/em">" without the quotes.
Your point about having charity for those we disagree with is well taken, Erin, and readers of this website will recall that is a message I frequently promote. I would not think of insisting those whose opinions differ from mine are unworthy of being included in the community.
We are not concerned here with doctrinal disagreements any of us might have with Mitt Romney. Romney is a man who "wears the habiliments of the priesthood," who wishes us to see him as one of our own, exhibiting the pretense of being a humble follower of Christ all the while seeking to attain an office that would give him great power over others.
There is certainly nothing wrong with a latter-day saint seeking political office; Joseph Smith announced his own candidacy for president of the united states. But Joseph sought the office for reasons that had nothing to do with attaining power.
If Mitt Romney were to achieve the presidency, he would unquestioningly exercise that power unrighteously. He makes no secret of his enthusiasm for putting God's protective law under foot in his desire to become ruler over a nation where no person who earns the disfavor of the "king" is safe from persecution.
The law allowing the president unfettered power has already been passed, and rather than work to repeal it as the prophet would have done, Romney endorses and celebrates that treasonous act.
When the Saints of God discover such a man in their midst, it is their duty to call him out.
Speaking of this blogs features... Is there a way to get an email notice when someone adds a new comment to any of the past posts in your archive? It would sure be easier than having to recheck the comments of former post's to see if anyone has added additional comments.
If not, no worries.
For this blog is by far my favorite blog to visit anyway. I have learned more vital things here, that have enriched my life greatly, than any other blog I have ever visited.
I really appreciated your posts awaking us to new things to consider about Church history & the Price's book & the truth that Joseph Smith taught against polygamy. That is certainly information that should not nor cannot be ignored nor dismissed. It changes everything, no matter if you believe Joseph publicly told the truth while he was alive or not.
I also so enjoy the incredible amount of 'freedom of speech' that you allow on this site. I have been on many other LDS related sites & have never known of another site like this one, that allows such freedom of ideas & discussion & respect for others differing opinions, even if it is contrary to the status quo of what most LDS have always accepted as true.
Such freedom of speech leads to the most truth being able to be taught & allowing those visiting the site to assume their rightful responsibility to discern truth from falsehoods for themselves instead of moderators treating them like children, making that decision for them.
Usually most LDS related sites & blogs are heavily moderated & the only ideas, opinions & beliefs that are allowed are those which the moderators or owners of the site agree with. They of course usually assume they are gospel scholars & can discern all truth from falsehoods & thus, they quickly delete or ban any comments or people that they think aren't truthful or that teach different then the way they see the Gospel & church doctrine.
Such heavy moderating & banning & pride & fear of different opinions & beliefs then their own, causes them to throw out much more truth then they allow to stay, (which they will be held accountable for), while they also allow much false doctrine to be taught & discussed that they assume is truth. Most sites & blogs allow little discussion past the level of truth that the moderators or owners like to hear or want to learn or believe.
But you Alan, seem confident enough in yourself & your beliefs, knowledge & your own inspiration, that you don't fear opposite opinions, but you instead have an open mind & a willingness & desire to give new ideas a consideration. Thus you can allow such great freedom of discussion, even when you may not agree with what is being said.
I am very grateful for that & believe it is highly commendable of you & shows a greatness of spirit & character & a rare humility of mind & heart. I believe you will be blessed for your courage & willingness to respect & honor such freedom.
Thanks so much for this blog & all your efforts to share your knowledge & insights with us.
Thanks, Food Farm! We live in California (Sacramento area)so we can get it if we want. Though we are not users ourselves (yet), we are heavily involved in opposing Obama's Storm Troopers from interfering with the rights of people within our state to heal themselves.
One of the co-ops sounds like the best source of accurate info. Too bad about the street names, it does perpetuate the image of medicine as hippie good time party plaything.
Thanks for that, Unknown! I always feel I have to capitalize in order to emphasize something.
Now, do you know how to put in a "like" button, or get this thing back to a linear comments section?
Rock, yes you can turn it into an oil... but it would have to be used in a fatty substance. Water, alcohol, etc.. aren't effective means for making it bioavailable, so a nebulizer isn't effective. We tried. Oils, butter, milk. You'd be far batter off with even a cheap vaporizer. IT only heats the herbs as much as necessary, it never burns. My wife uses hers here in her moms house, with no odor or anything. In fact our vaporizer fits in a small pocket. Incredible ready to go medicine.
Another great post! I will share this with friends and family as these thoughts mirror mine, but are stated far more articulately than I could do. Thank you.
Ok, tell you what. I will help you out with those things and in return you give me some thoughtful feedback on my comment about the section 101 parable above, especially on the meaning of the hedge (constitution) and the tower (Council of Fifty).
Here's a URL that explains how to add the like button:
Add Like Button
As for viewing the comments, each visitor can choose how to view the comments for himself by adding "/view/option" to your URL.
The possible options are explained here: View Options
This is good, but to just change it back to the way it was, follow the 6 steps found here:
Steps To Remove Threaded Comments
So my brother and I were discussing this post. He brought up the 12th Article of Faith.
That might seem to contradict what you have posted here and going with how almost every LDS interprets it, it goes against what you have written.
But this post explains it very well...
"Instead, the Twelfth Article of Faith reads: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” Without the coordinating conjunction the belief of being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, is qualified in this single clause by their obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Our belief in being subject to these leaders only goes so far as they obey, honor, and sustain the law. Without the coordinating conjunction, the qualifying “obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” is applied to the leaders, and not to the people themselves."
Thanks, Unknown. That looks like a lot of work I'll have to go through tomorrow or when I next have some energy to put this back to linear mode.
Still, the "like" button only applies to the blog itself, doesn't it? I'm looking for a way for readers to Like individual comments.
I like knowing there's an easy way for readers to share this on facebook. This piece on Romney seems to be having pretty good legs in that regard, and it would make me happy to see this one in particular get wide distribution.
Meanwhile, the way I've chosen to find all new comments I may have missed is to do a "find" for the current date (I use Mowzilla), and that seems to work.
As to your section 101 parable, I liked it and thought it was quite astute. I hope everyone here benefitted from your analysis. I did.
That's bummer news that marijuana is not extractable into a tincture, Dan. Butter does not sound very appetizing. I intend to look into making butter, though I have yet to pull up any YouTube instructional videos on that. My understanding about vaporizers were that they were not cheap, but you give me hope so I'll have to go to a store here in Sacramento and check around.
Thank YOU, Michael. It would please me greatly if this article in particular was shared fire and wide.
Right you are. Any interpretation calling for obeying, honoring, and sustaining rulers no matter what they do would be antithetical to the gospel, scripture, qne all other teachings of Joseph Smith. Yet that is the interpretation too many members give to that article.
Ok, thanks, but I was hoping you would bring to bear your substantial skills of articulation to point out a few things that should be of great interest to your readers.
For example, given that the parable is a revelation of the mind of the Lord, concerning the redemption of Zion, the breaking down of the constitution and the protection of the religious liberty it affords probably leads inevitably to the scattering of the Lord's servants in the COB, right?
Certainly it means the end of the Corporation of the President, I would think, and since the twelve trees must represent the Council of the Twelve, the fact that they are broken down in the parable and their works are destroyed is good news for those who lament the evolution of the Church into the Corporation, don’t you think?
This would seem to be especially so given that, after this "great evil," the Lord sends his servant to gather the strength of his house and begin a military march under his leadership to redeem the vineyard.
Once Zion is redeemed, the Saints will establish a government and temple worship and assist his ancients to build the holy city, as described in the revelations and even hinted at in the traditions of the Rabbis.
One question that occurs to me, though, is how this idea of the tithing of the Church of common consent versus the full consecration of the Church of the Corporation might play out there. It seems that the future theocracy that rules in the city, where men must consecrate all that they have to the Church and then receive back a portion of that as a stewardship, for which they are accountable to the Bishop, is much more like the Corporation we see today than a loose collection of local churches that some think is the real church.
Just wondering what you think.
Note how in, "and sustaining the law" 'law' has a footnote reference to the law of the land scripture. Therefor we can demonstrate that the law in the 12th article of faith is the law of the land in the D&C which is 'due process.' Therefore “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, IN obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law[of the land]."
So we will be subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates in obey honor and sustain the law of the land, (which is due process). If they break the law of the land we have no justification in being subject to them.
As far as I get it, Zion is going to be something different than we can imagine with our Babylonian mindset. Every attempt to establish Zion has failed because it is not in us Gentiles to establish it. The way is written in the hearts of descendants of the Lamanites.
As Denver Snuffer put it,Our “Zion” would be a commercial enterprise, with private ownership and capitalist competition to form an economic basis from which to build a strictly regimented and highly controlled people. Something so foreign to what Zion was meant to be that I rather think it would draw tornadoes in a proportion greater than trailer parks currently do in Mississippi.
The Native Americans will redeem Zion, with a few others who they will ask to help.
I'm not sure exactly how it will work, but There won't be any system of obligation to share, everyone will be one and will have all things in common because everyone will treat each other as if it were there own spouse and children. They will care as much for the next person as their own family.
There's a lot about how it works given here: Fishing River Revelation.
Thanks for writing this excellent piece. Especially on what you said about the laws of the land, and of the sea, and of captains going down with their ships. There is a lot of good stuff here that made me really think.
I have just been called to young men's president in church, but I find it increasingly more difficult not teach these poor young men true doctrines.
Then teach them true doctrines. That is how it should always be. Don't do to them what was done to you. It's not like you'll be teaching anything complicated that you don't understand. If you teach what you understand, then it should be very simple to explain.
There is an apocryphal story that I once heard that is related to the success of Zion, but which is its greatest weakness as well, considering how people think and feel.
One day at a Sacrament Meeting the Stake President was due to visit. This was a large Stake and so he didn't appear very often, so people were excited to see him. This was during the era when love was actually being talked about and so somebody had put a sign up just outside of the chapel that said, "The great power of the gospel is love". Well, how cool, you know.
When the Stake President came in to attend and share with the Saints the Sacrament, he stopped for a moment to read the sign and then took it down and carried it in with him as he greeted everybody and sat down upon the seat of authority, so to speak, the Bishop on his right hand and the High Priest Leader on his left.
Well, when it was his time to speak, he got up and began by taking the sign he had just removed from the board outside and referring to it, took a marks-a-lot and erased the "love" from the sentiment, and then put in large letters so everybody could see it the word "Obedience". The rest of the talk, which was quite normal, went on that theme. And so forth.
As I read D&C 105, it struck my mind that it was doomed to failure as described, just like the first time in early Utah. Why? Because it is based entirely upon obedience, and not on the principles of love and family.
The Native Americans already know this. Sadly, we white folks that make up the Church, even outside America, don't, in general. Obey, obey, obey, the "Lord" says. "Why should I?" says the man in return. "Because I am Lord.", He says. Never, "because I love you.". So, the man turns and walks away, because all he wants is to be loved, not ordered about as a slave.
This is not the kind of god that the NDE describes. That God actually rules only through love and is, in turn, loved back fully, and obedience by all is granted naturally totally. So different from the God who speaks just above.
Sadly, Joseph's God seems both powerless and cruel, and generally a total failure, if the historical record is anything to judge Him by. Such a God will never rule for very long in Zion, except upon the principles of fear and more fear. Zion will be doomed before it even begins.
A good story, Steven, and excellent points. Rule by obedience is to rule with fear, which is the opposite of love. God rejects those who rule with fear.
William Blake wrote to the great "NoboDaddy," as he labeled the God of Israel in the Old Testament:
Why art thou silent & invisible
Father of jealousy
Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every searching Eye
Why darkness & obscurity
In all thy words & laws
That none dare eat the fruit but from
The wily serpents jaws
Or is it because Secresy
gains females loud applause
Blake regarded the God of the New Testament, who he believed was a being of love, but not the God of the Old Testament, who he believed was a being of law, above all else. Just as you, he saw the law as something opposed to love.
However, if Blake had had access to the Book of Mormon, he would have seen that obedience to law is the highest act of love, and, conversely, disobedience is ultimately a failure to love.
The key to understanding, or the beginning of knowledge, is the fear of God, not because God desires the adoration of slaves, but because we come to know God by obedience to his laws and ordinances, and to know him is to love him.
Thus to obey is better than to sacrifice, because through obedience we submit to the will of the Father, sacrificing our own will, which must be sacrificed before anything else can be and have any meaning in the context of worship. In other words, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
I'll do what you did. Make sweeping and broad generalizations about a person whom I've never met and feel good about myself while doing it. This type of actions speaks volumes to ones character.
@Steve Joseph's God seems both powerless and cruel
See that is the issue with Joseph, he had such a connection with God and was given insight to true principles such as sealing people to each other, not each other but then from his background, he would try to do things as best he could figure out. That's how principles discovered by love, were replaced with Dogmas. He tried to do things that weren't his place to do. I can't blame him, when you see such great things, it's hard not to try and get them. Unfortunately like you said, it's the privilege and way of the Native Americans, the Lamanites to redeem Zion. All we can hope for is somehow finding the Mighty and Strong one and maybe be lucky enough to get an invite to Zion.
Zion won't work because people are in positions or have standards or a system. It will work because of the love that people have for God and their siblings. Unfortunately our Gentile love is with Babylon and riches, food, clothing and other entertainment.
Have you ever met Mr. Romney? Or spoken with him for more than 30 seconds during the obligatory hand pump? If so, please tell us about the REAL Mr. Romney, so that we may be corrected in our error. Otherwise, well, you know.
It would appear that "Anonymous" is unable to tell "sweeping generalizations" from a precise and specific analysis. Far from being someone we have never met, Mitt Romney has made a conscious and deliberate effort for the past seven years to have us know everything possible about him.
For "Anonymous" to suggest by his statement that Mormons should sit quietly and not examine the motives of a man who seeks power over others, speaks volumes about HIS character.
You think I was harsh on Brother Mitt? Paul Drockton pulls no punches and says the kind of things the rest of us are only thinking in "Mitt Romney vs Joseph Smith":
We are commanded in the scriptures to use righteous judgment (by holding them up to God's standards) when trying to discern if someone in or out of the Church, is righteous & trustworthy or not, especially if they are requesting our trust & support in a position of power. Even if we have never met them personally.
It is vital that we are able to discern & judge whether church members & especially leaders & Prophets are righteous & trustworthy & leading us correctly or not, & even more so politicians, for politicians have much more power over our lives & freedoms then church leaders do.
We are to judge a person by their 'fruits', their past & present actions, beliefs, past voting record, etc. to see if they act, vote or speak contrary to God's standards.
I myself would never vote for, support or trust Mitt, as a LDS member or leader or politician.
Let me duck the coming onslaught from the marijuana-advocacy crowd, but might I suggest that cannabis use is not as benign as they tend to believe? A variety of studies have indicated that long-term marijuana use may cause frontal lobe dysfunction. The frontal lobes are related to motivation, attention, long-term planning and inhibitions. This part of the brain is what allows us to recognize future consequences of present actions. I'll refer to a few studies here to show that I'm not just making this up:
T Lundqvist, S Jonnson, S Warkentin, Frontal lobe dysfunction in long-term cannabis users, Neurotoxicology and Teratology 23 (2001) 437-443.
D S O'Leary, R I Block, et al, Acute marijuana effects on rCBF and cognition: a PET study, NeuroReport 11 (2000) 3835-3840.
R T Loeber, D A Yurgelun-Todd, Human Neuroimaging of Acute and Chronic Marijuana Use: Implications for Frontocerebellar Dysfunction, Human Psychopharmacology 14 (1999) 291-304.
D S O'Leary, R I Block, et al, Effects of Smoking Marijuana on Brain Perfusion and Cognition, Neuropsychopharmacology 26 (2006) 802-816.
The above papers indicate increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the frontal lobes is an immediate effect of marijuana use, but decreased frontal lobe activity is a result of long-term use. Note that a lot of the studies I have seen discuss the effects of chronic use on brain function after a short period of non-use, so it almost appears that the regular marijuana user becomes dependent on the drug for the frontal lobe to function normally.
R I Block, D S O'Leary, et al, Effects of frequent marijuana use on brain tissue volume and composition, NeuroReport 11 (2000) 491-496.
Interestingly, this paper found no effect of frequent marijuana use on brain tissue volume, nor did it find any MRI abnormalities after use. Compared with the other studies, it would seem that cerebral blood flow and metabolism are affected by marijuana use, but that actual physical tissue is not. This might be a good sign for the marijuana-advocacy crowd.
I Mateo, A Pinedo, et al, Recurrent stroke associated with cannabis use, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry with Practical Neurology 75 (2005) 435-437.
The above is simply a case study, so not good science in and of itself, reviewed the case of a patient who had a stroke on three separate occasions shortly after hashish use. Cannabis' cardiovascular effects may have played a role here. It is possible (since hashish is illegal in the patient's country) that the product he purchased was "doped" with other substances that might have caused the stroke. However, other cases have been reported in which ischaemic stroke has been temporally related to marijuana use.
Krista Lisdahl Medina, Karen L Hanson, et al, Neuropsychological functioning in adolescent marijuana users: Subtle deficits detectable after a month of abstinence, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 13 (2007) 807-820.
This is similar to the other studies in that the cognitive dysfunctions appeared after marijuana use ceased. However, this particular study focused on adolescents, whose brains are still undergoing maturation, and so that these effects appeared is particularly concerning with respect to marijuana use by youth.
P A Fried, A M Smith, A literature review of the consequences of prenatal marihuana exposure: An emerging theme of a deficiency in aspects of executive function, Neurotoxicology and Teratology 23 (2001) 1-11.
Pregnant women who smoke marijuana seem to give their children the same effects that occur in long-term users, but at a time when their brains are developing. Negative effects occur in executive function (attention, suppression of socially unacceptable behavior, problem-solving), just like in adult users, but possibly to a greater degree. Some negative effects don't show up until years later.
Nevertheless, I'm in favor of marijuana legalization. Too many people get brutally murdered over the issue of illegal production, transit, and sale. Additionally, the negative effects may be worthwhile to an individual suffering chronic pain, and indeed may be an improvement over the effects of other medications they've been prescribed. We shouldn't hide the risks, though: patients deserve to be fully educated about whatever drug is being pushed on them.
I concur, Jeremiah. Merely because God provides certain medicines for our use, does not make that medicine a plaything. Like anything else, God's medicines should be used in moderation, and as needed.
As you also suggest, the fact that misuse of anything can be detrimental doesn't give governments the right to prohibit citizens from owning or using whatever they deem right for themselves. Freedom means being free to know the pros and cons of anything, weigh them, and move forward to pursue one's own happiness.
I just read the closing remarks by Elder Clark, spoken in 1949. Can you imagine some bigwig saying that today? He'd be called to the carpet as soon as the Session was ended and the tape and the talk would have been cleaned by the beginning of the next one, just as the one by Elder Bednar was so famously. Indeed, today, when every word has been approved beforehand, such a talk would have to have been given completely extemporaneously, as the Spririt dictated, but even that source would have been ignored and cut by today's leadership, no matter what they may say otherwise. Glaring proof of everything Rock has been declaring about the Church from Day One.
I thought it was Poleman who had his talk famously changed? I am unfamiliar with Bednars changes? More recently Packer had some back pedling, any others I am missing?
For someone who is an, I think, atheist? agnostic? you seem to spend a lot of time here being angry about things you don't believe in anyway? I am simply curious what your situation is?
At least Benson quoted that warning from J. Reuben in at least one conference talk. He didn't care what the others thought about him. But you're right; no one in the First Presidency since then would stick his neck out to speak the truth; it's more important to the GA's today to put forth an image of unity than to expose false teachings.
Yeah Steven, I'm not familiar with a Bednar "correction" either. What have I missed?
Wrong name, sorry. It was Poleman, then.
My situation? I believe in the several doctrines that thousands of Near Death Experiences have dictated as true. These include but are not limited to: unconditional love is the only important emotion overall; while there is a life review for everybody, the judgement comes from us, not God Who is NOTHING BUT THIS KIND OF LOVE; the more we hurt other people, the more of their hurt we will feel during that review, the reverse is also true (since learning that I have yelled and screamed at lots of people, but outside of their hearing, hence, their pain will not be mine to bear); all communication on the Otherside is telepathic and thusly completely true in every way; everybody goes to Heaven (so-called) and Hell does not exist; Reincarnation either exists or it doesn't or it is for some and not for everybody; Time as we know it does not exist on the Otherside; all of us are intimate with God and Jesus and that relationship never ceases; the pain and agony of every type that we know here on this Earth means nothing to those within the Otherside; all religions are merely tools to achieve spirituality, and there is no "true" religion on this planet in any form or structure.
I know all of this and more from a rational and scientific stance. There is no faith involved. Based upon the reports that jive closely from people who have had many different types of death at different times and places and who were of different ages and sexes, and who EXPERIENCED THESE NDE's SINGULARLY WITHOUT EVER HAVING HAD COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OF THOSE WHO HAD SIMILAR EXPERIENCES proves to me that all of this is true. Once again I say, there is no faith involved.
That is my situation. I am not an atheist nor an agnostic. I am the exact opposite.
Thanks for responding.
But there is a little more.
I am still a member of the Church and I was a member for more than 30 years. That is a lot of inculturation. It is still inside of me. I might no longer accept that Joseph Smith was really a Prophet, or that everything he said is or was true, but the Doctrine still lives inside of me, and probably always will. I don't hate it. I admire it's broad inclusiveness of explanation from a sociological standpoint, but I don't think it's all true or even mostly true. So, when I write in this blog, as I will continue to do so, whether Mr. Cloward thinks I should or not, I am writing to all of the inculturation inside of me. Yes, I am angry at being deceived, and at myself for being deceived.
In short, I will say whatever I feel like saying. Period. End of comment.
Ever since the gospel has existed one of Satan's tools has been to convince some followers that they are the only ones that see the truth. That even their leaders are wrong. This dispensation is replete with stories of followers that decided church leaders had lost their way. Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, the Whitmers, etc etc. Many declared Joseph Smith a fallen prophet when they disagreed with him. The common denominator among almost all apostates is that they are the last ones to recognize that they are apostatizing. They almost universally sincerely believe they are correct and it's the church leaders that have drifted from the truth. Some even had little black stones to tell them so.
Pretty sloppy of the Lord to allow that, huh?
Why don't you just remove your name from the records and get the inevitable over with?
Right you are, Scott. This church has always been home to those who are convinced "they are the only ones who see the truth," and the pride of knowing they are right while others are in error often can lead to apostasy. Fortunately for us, the scriptures of the Restoration have provided a way for discerning truth from error.
Lehi had a dream in which he saw that those who clung to the iron rod were prevented from straying from the path as long as they clung to that rod alone. Nephi learned that the interpretation of that dream showed the iron rod to represent the scriptures, or the word of God. Nephi also taught that it is the role of the Holy Ghost to tell us ALL that we should do (2 Nephi 32:5). Those who depend upon the arm of flesh, on the other hand, are in danger of falling into the ditch and going astray.
Happily, we can tell the true followers of Christ from apostates by whether they cling to the word of God and take their instruction from the Holy Ghost, or whether they put their trust in earthly "authorities" to tell them what they should do.
It's a good thing that nowhere in scripture are we told to put our faith in Church leaders, or that those leaders are incapable of leading us astray. It would be pretty sloppy of the Lord to allow that, wouldn't it?
If I understand correctly, one of those who said Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet was Brigham Young before and during the succession crisis. A lot of interesting history during that time.
The Book of Mormon (written for us of course) has plenty of examples of those who stood alone or with very few with the truth while the majority, sometimes even most of the church, sided with Babylon.
There are many folks that could take the easy way out and just remove their names from the records and get the "inevitable over with", and many do just that. However, there are also many that love the Gospel and love the Church for what it is supposed to be, and at the same time, resent our Church for what it has become. As members, we should continue to voice the truth to all that will listen. IMHO.
@Scott, that's exactly a major theme in the Book of Mormon. Most don't catch it, probably proof that God was correct in putting the LD-S church under condemnation. D&C 84:57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new acovenant, even the bBook of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written
Lehi, left Jerusalem because the church leaders were wrong and he saw the truth. Was that Satan's influence? If so, the BofM is off to a bad start. I don't think it is, I think it was very wise to end up in the beginning.
It happened again with Alma, King Noah, the high priest and the other church leaders (of which Alma was) were all corrupt, they didn't believe Abinadi who was convinced, "that they are the only ones that see the truth. That even their leaders are wrong." So they killed him for it.
Alma left those leaders, not convinced by Satan but by the Holy Ghost that "their leaders are wrong."
Are we really on Lehi's side or Laman's? 1 Nephi 17:22
22 And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his words; yea, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
You point to individual scriptures, make claims that you're following the Spirit, and conclude that you're interpretation is solid and you get what the Lord and the Spirit have let slip right by church leaders. What you call clinging to the rod I call clinging to YOUR version of the rod. Which may well be counterfeit.
I see your very arguments as evidence thay you've been led astray for the purpose of sowing dischord in the church. The fact that you're absolutely convinced you're correct is, to me, merely of symptom of that. In other words, every word you write digs your hole deeper.
In this final dispensation I don't believe the Lord will allow church leaders to lead the collective church astray. Not on things that matter to Him or to our salvation. It's too easy for Him to remove anyone that would. You would call that blindly following earthly leaders, I call it the plan Father uses to keep His kingdom organized and unified. "If you are not one you are not mine". See, I can cherrypick scriptures too.
So let's look at the fruits that could come from your work. Do you really believe the Lord or the Spirit is behind a work such as yours that manages only to sow disharmony within in the church and give credibility to its enemies? What do you really believe could be the outcome of this work on which you spend so much time if not to lead members away, solidify misconceptions of nonmembers, or weaken the testimonies of the wavering? Does the Lord really work in this way? To sow confusion and sedition? "By your fruits ye shall know them", is that correct or not?
Of course you'll say that you're fruits are to share "the truth" with earnest followers of the true faith. And the absurdity of the idea that you are the vessel that the Lord would choose to use for that, reaching virtually dozens of people, while simply allowing the global church He has built to drift away with 14 million honest seekers and the priesthood infrustructure, will be be lost on you.
Because only YOU really understand the Lord's mind.
Good luck with all that.
PS to Shawn: There were many of Joseph's close friends that turned on him, but Brigham was never one of them.
But, Scott, your same argument that the Lord would never allow the church leaders to lead the collective church astray belies the validity of the LDS Church itself. The LDS Church came into being because the Lord said that all other sects were wrong and so he was abandoning them hence forth in order to start a new church. Especially, the Catholic Church, which was the first LDS Church, so to speak. Way aren't you a Catholic then; the Lord would never allow those Church leaders to lead the collective church astray, after all. (All the other sects haven't any Priesthood, so they hardly matter at all.) Using your argument, Joseph Smith was just sowing disharmony within that Church and giving credibility to its enemies (the Prostestants). I can only conclude that the Lord does sow confusion and sedition when apostasy arrives in his creation by children who retain their free agency and a Satan who does everything in his power to destroy what the Lord has created.
History itself makes your argument a false one.
I like the way you think Scott. You've thought some things through.
I will take exception to saying that Brigham Young never said Joseph was a fallen prophet, as I believe he did. Michael Quinn provides a good deal of evidence of such right at the end Joseph's life and afterwords when Brigham was looking for votes to succeed Joseph. It was a pretty crazy time.
On that note, Denver Snuffer writes a really interesting post about related topic...
@ Steven - the big difference is that the Great Apostasy was prophesied back to Old Testament times. In this dispensation the Lord stated that wouldn't happen again. This is the time prophesied in the Bible and Book of Mormon both. "The Standard of Truth has been erected, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing...........till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."
Are you REALLY comparing Joseph Smith, who was visited by God the Father and the Savior personally, tutored by Moroni, translated the Book of Mormon, restored the priesthood to the earth, brought forth volumes of revelation, instituted celestial marriage, spent his life in service, finally sealing his testimony with his own blood, with the author of this blog? REALLY?
You can't pick and choose the revelations that suit your mood. If you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet then you have to believe what he prophesied. If you believe God would build this kind of infrastructure I the last days only to see it drift away, taking with it 14 million souls that crave truth and accept modern revelation, rather than simply keeping it on course, then try to fix it through a self-indulgent blogger with a Ron Paul fetish, whose MO is to sow confusion on a website that is as anti-Mormon as any on the web, lending aid to those that would destroy our missionary efforts, then you believe a God that lies and isn't too bright.
Shawn, I'll take exception right back. Brigham Young was never one that accused Joseph of having fallen. Quite the opposite. He was always a fierce defender of Joseph. Perhaps you're thinking of Parley Pratt. That was the one that I think is surprising.
Well, thanks for pointing that out. I got my information from Quinn's Mormon Heiarchy, Shadows of Power book. It is pretty extensively researched. I suppose anything is left up to the individuals biases and speculations. I do suggest you check it out. Have a good one.
I'll have to take issue with you on a number of claims you assert about me that I feel are groundless.
1. I have never claimed that I am "absolutely convinced (I'm) correct" about anything.
2. Neither do I claim to be "the vessel that the Lord would choose" for anything. I'm just a guy sharing some things I've learned over time, freely admitting to past mistakes I've made in believing fallacies that were not in harmony with the gospel. Owning up to our mistaken beliefs, forsaking them, and moving forward is part of what the scriptures call "repenting."
3. I have never been told that anything I have written here has "weaken(ed) the testimonies of the wavering," but I have heard from a number of readers who have told me their testimonies have been strengthened by something they have read here. Some of these people have been on the verge of leaving the church and credit me with helping them decide to stay. I don't mention this to boast, but only to counter your charge that I am sowing some kind of "confusion and sedition," or offering my fellow members poison fruit.
4. I have never claimed to "understand the Lord's mind." I do, however, think that aspiring to become one with Christ is a good direction for us all to be heading.
Accusing me of being an apostate who has been "led astray for the purpose of sowing discord in the church," without offering anything specific as evidence of that apostasy neither assists me in understanding your particular objections, nor advances the dialogue.
To my knowledge, I have never promoted a position inconsistent with scripture or the teachings of Joseph Smith. If you are aware of something I have written on this site that is out of harmony with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, please make specific reference to it and I will correct it.
Please direct me to where I can find Steven Lester comparing me to Joseph Smith. That would indeed by ludicrous, but I can't find anything remotely suggestive of your claim.
I would also be interested in learning how you interpret a blog that is titled "Pure Mormonism," and contains within it arguments in favor of Mormon teachings, to be "as anti Mormon as any on the web." If I have spread untruths anywhere on this site, I wish to know about them so I can make corrections.
Further, I'd be pleased if you would show me evidence that, as you say, my method of operating is "to sow confusion." I realize that something I have written here has clearly confused YOU, but what I'm looking for are examples that might be considered confusing to the average person.
Finally, I would be interested in knowing how it is that a website that promotes the doctrines of the Restoration as revealed through Joseph Smith could possibly be construed as "lending aid to those that would destroy our missionary efforts." Are not our missionaries engaged in sharing these same pure teachings?
First of all, Scott, calling people negative names will never get them to change anything about themselves. You only create enemies that way.
But you are right about one thing about me. I no longer believe in the Joseph Smith story, as you have so well described it. I believe that he faked the Book of Mormon in the same way that "Unknown" above wrote scripture to put forth his own points, and because he did the same thing so well later on when he took a papyrus and said that he translated it into the Pearl of Great Price, even though we know today that that papyrus was actually a book of Egyptian spells that was a shortened version of the Book of The Dead. Something that was nearly always buried with mummies in the first century A.D. Joseph was super-talented and I like much of his theology, but his claims about angels and Gods visiting him are completely unproved, except for his own word. We don't even have the plates anymore, because they were "taken" up by an angel. OOOOkAAAAY...
When I wrote the words in the above post as "Joseph Smith" I meant "Joseph Smith", the historical figure. Not Rock, although I know that Rock can certainly write every bit as well, and is way more concerned about proof and cause.
Certainly I can pick and choose the revelations that suit my mood, since I count them as creatures of convenience for the time and situation that got them to be created...and edited afterward...more than one time, in fact. Anybody can create a revelation. Several very nice revelations are now apart of the Community of Christ (used to be the Reorganites) and given by the head honcho that are filled with love and positive energy, nothing like the gloom and doom and threats and various damnations that are contained in Joseph's. And if you think that our Church is the first human institution that has grown really fast with lots of visitations and then, over the years, run out of steam or been taken over by powerful men who demand obedience over all other things, then you don't know much about human history. It is a tale told over and over and over, all around the world, in every society, from the beginning of humanity itself.
And as far as Rock leading good little Mormons astray with his wily words, you really need to read some of the other things he has written, wherein he proves everything scripturally, if he can. If he can't, then he gives his opinion and states that it is his opinion. And the Church's missionary efforts? Those boys and girls have spunk, I will agree, but they use the same sales techniques that might be found in any high-volume technology store, like Future Shop or Comp USA. (I only deal with Apple myself.)
Please be happy with being a Mormon, Scott, but when you "get to heaven" you will find out that there are no Mormons there, just brothers and sisters who love everything in sight because they are surrounded by love themselves. You will see, Scott, and you will love it there. So will I.
Ok Rock, let me take these one at a time. This will be my last comment here, and likely my last visit. I realize I've fallen into the trap of debating the gospel on a rhetorical basis rather than simply acknowledging that I feel a void of the Spirit in your postings. But here are the answers to your questions of me.
Steven did try to compare you to Joseph Smith. Or maybe more accurately compared Joseph Smith to you, when he said the following in response to my contention that you are sowing dischord by condemning current church leaders.
"Using your argument, Joseph Smith was just sowing disharmony within that Church and giving credibility to its enemies (the Prostestants)."
I agree it is a lucicrous comparison, but there it is.
Regardless of the title of your blog, your contention that it is in favor of Mormon teachings is absurd on its face. This entire blog is dedicated to the mission of discrediting current Mormon teachings. Just because you try to frame your criticisms as a disgruntled church member doesn't make it any less anti than if the attacks come from outside. They are possibly even more harmful for the unfortunate presumption of credibility.
Sowing confusion is an age old tool of the Adversary. Look at how many people have been kept from truth because of conflicting interpretations of scripture. How many versions and interpretations of the Bible and how many different sects result from them are there? I believe that you likely mean well, though I'm not firmly convinced of it, but that you have fallen into the same pattern. Offering contradictory interpretations of the scriptures, and using them to make people question their beliefs is by definition sowing confusion.
"Finally, I would be interested in knowing how it is that a website that promotes the doctrines of the Restoration as revealed through Joseph Smith could possibly be construed as "lending aid to those that would destroy our missionary efforts." Are not our missionaries engaged in sharing these same pure teachings?"
This is laughable, yet sad if you really don't see it. You and this blog are cited and quoted on many, many websites by anti-mormons and ex-mormons that are exclusively devoted to either disuading people from joining the church or convincing members to leave it. Whether or not this is your intent, you can't simply shrug away the real effects of what you do. I know that you know you are featured on these anti-mormon websites because you personally participate in some of their blogs. Not by disputing them, but by accepting their accolades for "exposing" the current church leaders. And since you are ostensibly inside the church it lends credibility it doesn't merit.
It is true that the Book of Mormon speaks of the saints in the last days being led astray. It never says that they won't be well-meaning at the time. You think it's by the leaders of the church. I think it refers more to people like yourselves and those that believe you.
I should add that I only learned of your blog last week. That was when one of your postings was cited to me by an acquaintance that is trying to save me from the perils of being Mormon. That's what your work is being used for.
@Scott, you quoted, “"The Standard of Truth has been erected, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing...........till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."
“You can't pick and choose the revelations that suit your mood. If you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet then you have to believe what he prophesied…then you believe a God that lies and isn't too bright.”
“If Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, HE WILL SEEK ANOTHER PEOPLE; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath.” –Joseph Smith
So it will go on, but it doesn’t mean it has to be with this people. You are the one who is sowing sedition by twisting Joseph’s words. As you said, “You can't pick and choose the revelations that suit your mood. If you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet then you have to believe what he prophesied.”
I asked for specifics, and you reply with more generalities.
Since you admit to having just recently discovered my blog, I believe you do yourself a disservice by judging my opinions without having taken the time to familiarize yourself with what my opinions actually are. So, someone who does not believe as we do sent you here? So what? Do you mean to judge me based on someone else's beliefs?
Your argument seems to come down to this: some facts about the institutional Church that you would prefer remain hidden, have been shared on the internet. Welcome to the 21st Century. That genie is out of the bottle.
That contingent of anti-Mormons and former Mormons you decry is made up in large numbers by people who felt betrayed by Church "leaders" who lied, distorted, and covered up unpleasant truths they felt were not the province of the lowly members to know about. I was not involved in any of these coverups, nor was I the one who brought them to light on the internet. All that stuff occurred long before I came on the scene. All I have done is discuss some of these controversies, while asking my readers to remember that the church is not the same as the gospel.
As I have pointed out to my readers, rejecting the pure truths of the restoration because of the sins of the gatekeepers is like rejecting the Constitution of the United States as unworkable merely because some of our presidents have tended to ignore it. As Mormons, we can look to the persecutions heaped on us by governors Ford and Boggs and conclude that freedom does not work in America; or we can recognize that those particular individuals were poor administrators who abused their power. We don't judge our system of government by the acts of those who misuse it. Neither should we condemn the church of Christ based on the actions of some of the authorities within it.
Perhaps you and I should define our terms. I understand "the church" to be the community of believers as defined by the Lord in D&C 10:67. Your loyalty appears to lie with the management of the corporate institution that currently holds the trademark to the name of my church, and you seem intent on protecting the image of that body.
So long as you see this church in terms of Leaders vs. Members, we may have difficulty seeing eye to eye. The Church of Jesus Christ consists of the members of His church, also called by Him "the body of Christ." On the other hand, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is a trademark held by Intellectual Reserve, Inc., which in turn is a subsidiary of The Corporation of the President. The corporation may be sometimes known as "The Church(TM)," but it is not the "church" as defined by the Lord who is its head.
I will continue to define my personal religion from the scriptures, the Holy Ghost, and the teachings of this religion's founder. So far as the actions and opinions of the current managers of the corporation do not contradict the teachings of scripture or our founder, I have no quarrel. When they teach or act contrary to scripture, contrary to those things Joseph Smith taught, and contrary to the spirit, I will call them on it, as it is the duty of all members of the Lord's church to do so.
You are the church. I am the church. We have responsibilities that go far beyond attempting damage control.
Speaking about those who sow discord in the church...
There is SOLID PROOF that Joseph Smith did not teach nor promote polygamy. This was demonstrated in a legal US court where lawyers were able to present their best arguments favoring and disputing the issue. A competent judge examined these arguments and evidences, and based on them, declared that JS did not teach polygamy.
Polygamy is one thorny issue that has divided and disunited the LDS church. Emma Smith rejected Brigham Young's prophethood on this issue. It continues to divide us today.
It is possible to teach the gospel as found in the Book of Mormon without promoting the practice of polygamy. Emma Smith and the rest of the Mormons who rejected polygamy have proven this. So who is sowing discord in the church? It's not them.
Whose ideology on marriage has caused the weakening and falling away of many loyal LDS members, an apostasy that continues unabated today? It's not Emma.
It's that Cochranite Brigham Young and his fellow Cochranites who have perverted the message.
Rico, I wonder how many members even know about this decision? It was known as the Temple Lot case, and all available evidence was brought into court to prove that, although Joseph Smith vigorously denounced polygamy as a cancer that would destroy the church, he secretly practiced it anyway. It turned out there was no evidence; just rumor and hearsay drummed up decades after his death.
Our friend Scott above decries my appearances on ex-Mormon forums, without pointing out that my "participation" on these boards usually consists of my challenging a discussion going on there about Joseph Smith marrying 14 year old girls. I want to know what evidence this assertion is based on, and am usually challenging others there to provide a credible source for this alleged "fact."
But I suppose that is the kind of thing that irks Brother Scott, because to question Joseph's polygamy is to doubt the authority of Brigham Young; and to wonder about the fitness of Brigham Young as successor leads to questioning the authority of the current hierarchy; and to suggest the current leaders may be something less than demigods is apparently something Scott cannot permit.
I (I'm inclined to say the rest of us, but I certainly don't speak for anyone else) definitely don't "feel a void of the Spirit in your postings." So what if anti-Mormons send people to your blog? Let them do what they want (personally, if I wanted to turn someone off to the Church, I'd use other materials, e.g. a certain pamphlet by Elder Packer, but to each his own). Obviously I don't send just anyone your way -- some people, like Scott, just aren't ready to hear that the corporation isn't perfect -- but I have sent some disillusioned members to your blog as a way to help them keep the faith. In my experience, it's been quite successful. Quite a far cry from Scott's ascertainment of your purpose, so I thought I'd mention it...
I was a very active member of the church for 30 years... went on a mission, married in the temple, served in bishoprics and stake quorums, etc. I stopped attending church over 10 years ago when the internet was still unknown to me. I first learned that Joseph Smith didn't practice polygamy through your blog. And that was only last year. So I have no one to thank for that knowledge but you...:-)
Anyway, it is such an irony of life that those like me learn more of the true nature of this church AFTER WE HAVE LEFT IT than when we were immersed in it.
There's no truth to the claim that Brigham Young was Joseph Smith's greatest defender. Just like many of us, Joseph was Brigham Young's victim, if not his greatest. Outwardly, like a wolf in sheep's clothing, he appeared to defend him, while inwardly he was busily attaching the eternal shame and stigma of polygamy to Joseph's name.
So yes, Joseph was assassinated twice: first by his enemies, and then by his so-called "friends".
At one time or another in our church life, don't we all feel like having been stabbed in the back? If these Cochranites can do it to Joseph, well, we can rest assured they won't mind doing it to lesser beings like us. And that is why the Temple Lot Case really matters, even to those of us who have left the church.
It should because truth matters. One should pursue the truth wherever it leads you. And if I have been blaming Joseph Smith for polygamy, I should stop doing so when the indisputable truth compels me to stop.
After all, thou shalt not bear false witness is still a valid commandment. It doesn't matter a bit whether you're Mormon or not.
As for Bro. Scott, it will probably take him an eternity to realize that it is Brigham Young who by his perversion of Smith's message, caused the greatest schism in Mormonism. It's really a shame that while he accuses ex-Mormons or this blog of fomenting disunity in the church, he does not see polygamy as "the mother of all schisms" in the church.
Jesus had a description for it: Straining at gnats while swallowing camels.
Am I too late in saying, "Not true?" to this: "and that the LDS Church has lost the gift of being guided by Heavenly prophetic revelation due to abandoning polygamy, Adam-God theory/doctrine, United Order, etc.."
Denver Snuffer said that polygamy was entered into far too freely, said nothing about the Adam-God theory that I can find, nor the united order. Not sure where DBreit1 got this information.
Angel M. Cicero said, "With all due respect, the person who commented here, "DBreit", is either not familiar at all with Denver's words, and has just heard the rumors of what Denver is trying to say, or if he is familiar with his words, then obviously the Spirit is not with him. Whatever Denver is trying to say, it is not wise to dismiss or ridicule the message for how different it sounds, but instead we ought to ask God with real intent what He thinks about it."
"Please, don't give an opinion of Denver Snuffer unless you have read all his words. And if you have, please ask the Lord, because it might well be possible that the Lord will show you something different to what you had believed all your life. By the way, I think Denver's books are the most important you could read after the Book of Mormon and a handful of other books."
I second this, after having read all of his books except the one based on his blog, and after praying about his words.
I think you'd find DS's last book very enlightening, Rock. The first part is tough to get through; it says some very ugly things. I think some people stop there and content themselves with throwing stones at DS. Those of us who persevere through the ugly and read the whole book come out with a little different paradigm than we may have had before.
Excellent, Going to Zion, excellent.
After attending our recent caucus meeting, I felt to write the following post: http://peace-in-paradise.blogspot.com/2012/03/america-is-on-trial.html
We the People of the United States are on trial. Watch these two videos. What kind of president do you want?
Nice blog very good information in this blog.I like this information thanks for sharing
Your last quote is perhaps the most do damning.
"We live in an age of deceit... Even within the Church we have been warned that the ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood."
Could this also not be applied to you? To this blog?
Sorry this was done on my phone. Ignore the "do" above.
Of course it could apply to me and this blog. It could apply to any of us. That's why it's important as members of the body of Christ to engage in private circumspection and do our best to see that our positions are not in opposition to the word of God.
It's also why I have an open invitation to the readers here to inform me of any positions I espouse that are not in harmony with scripture or the teachings of our founding prophet so that I can make any necessary corrections.
I'm Mormon, find myself disagreeing with a number of conclusions you reach, and yet find myself very respectful of the attitudes you take toward comments from others on your blog. I appreciate that, and wish you all the best.
That was where I was going to stop my comment, but I realized I do want to ask (and hope you haven't addressed this elsewhere) about your comments and quotations cited regarding treating the Constitution at a level comparable to scripture. I suppose I've reached the conclusion that when the Lord said he established the Constitution, that doesn't necessarily indicate that the document, as it stood at the founding of our nation, was scriptural in its weight. Part of the genius of the document was in it's creation as a product of compromise, the kind of compromise that has made it possible for such an immense diversity of races, creeds, genders, and cultures to participate at some level in our government.
However, I don't see the document as perfect in its inception. The fact that slavery was permitted under the constitution is something I find repugnant and against the spirit of the Gospel of Christ (though perfectly understandable as a product of the times and the compromises necessary to shape a government out of the disparate states with their differing concerns and self-interests). Also, the document, by (I would very willingly concede) inspiration, makes provision within itself for change and amendment. This is what gave room for the Bill of Rights, principles that many felt should have been included in the Constitution initially.
So I ask, at what point would you regard the Constitution as becoming comparable to scripture? In it's initial form, with clauses and compromises that are both marvelous and repugnant? After the initial 10 amendments? After the 14th? I'm not trying to ask these questions to be argumentative, but I'm afraid they're coming out that way, because I truly don't understand the conclusion that the Constitution has scriptural weight. I find it an inspired document, and feel that the United States, taken as a whole, even when it was still these United States, have been an astonishing success in offering more freedom to more diverse groups than any other government I've had opportunity to study.
If you find this comment, since I'm so late to the party, I would be very interested in your answer.
Well of course I agree with you, Andrew, that the constitution is not perfect. However much of a hand God had in inspiring those men, it is, after all, the handiwork of flawed men. It is apparent from a reading of the record of the debates that whatever influence God had on those sometimes incredibly obstinate men, he must have had a frustrating time getting through to them at times. But I think the finished product ended up pretty good. By all means not perfect. But then, if we consider the constitution like unto scripture, we also have to remember that a lot of other things we call scripture came down to us over time filtered through the minds of men. Very little of it dropped down in a pristine state.
So I think it could have been better. I think had the arguments of the anti-federalists been heeded more closely, some of the tricks that tyrants have used to chip away at the constitution over time might have been prevented. In the end the founders did their best but they could not foresee everything, and if there is anything history teaches us, it is to not underestimate the insidiousness of those who seek power over others. They seem to always find a loophole.
As you are doubtless aware, there were vigorous arguments as early as the first continental congress addressing the hypocrisy of demanding freedom from Britain while at the same time keeping other men in chains. But those most adamant over abolishing slavery ultimately realized they would have to put first things first, for unless compromises were made, there would be no independence for any of the colonists, and that meant the hope to eventually see all men free would die stillborn. They were able to obtain a compromise that all slave trade would cease twenty years hence, and that was something. The hope was to work from there to abolish slavery entirely.
So yes, had there been no compromises, there would have been no constitution.
I have always taken the view that God's approval of the constitution included the organic Bill of Rights. Those were compromises placed into the document as insisted upon by the Anti-federalists, and thank heaven for that. It is within the Bill of Rights that we see codification of the Law of the Land, after all. I'm not sure God would have felt the constitution was whole without those amendments. So when I think "constitution" I'm thinking the constitution with at least the first ten amendments, as I think most people do, since that was the way it was ratified.
I don't see the constitution as precisely equal to scripture as we have in the Doctrine and Covenants, where God is speaking in the first person. But it's pretty close, particularly since God, when speaking in the first person, references the constitution as being his idea. Also, if we are to consider the constitution as part of our scripture, it is only valid as long as there is no deviation from it. As God said in D&C 98:7, "whatsoever is more or less than [the constitution] cometh of evil." So to deviate from the constitution would be to deviate from the will of God(scripture)as established by him (his words)in that document.
Of course, that doesn't mean the constitution can not be amended, if that's what you are asking me, as provision for amending the constitution is inherent in the document itself. An amendment would not constitute a deviation, since amendments are authorized. I certainly don't think God expected it to remain static.
But He does expect governments to strictly abide by it, because its purpose is to restrain the natural inclination of men to wield unrighteous power over others. The freedom of men to act in their own self interest is unlimited so long as they don't infringe on others; while governments are to be kept on a very short leash. Governments do not have unlimited freedom to act; only individuals do.
I believe that is what God means in verse 7: Any attempt by government to do more or less than it is permitted by the constitution, or any attempt to curtail or restrict men in their pursuit of free agency, is rooted in evil. For this reason we revere the constitution as like unto scripture, because it guarantees the freedom of the individual, which as David O. Mckay said, is fundamental next to life itself.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I suppose one place where we differ on this is our understanding of those verses.
It seems to me that the starting point of God's instruction regarding the law is in verse 4: "And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them." Our ultimate guidance for behavior is God's command.
From that initial premise, He then goes on to say that the constitutional law that supports "that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges" is justifiable. I understand that to mean not that the Constitution is divine, or even really the standard for judging the worth of laws, but rather that inasmuch as the constitutional law supports the rights and privileges compatible with allowing man the opportunity to obey God, then it is justifiable before God.
He then goes on to say that (as I read it) with this initial premise in mind, the members of His church are justified in befriending the Constitution inasmuch as it grants us the freedom to obey God, and that any law that does more (seeks to compel obedience to religious principle?) or less (takes away freedom and rights compatible with willing obedience?) comes from evil.
It also seems important to see the context of this scripture. The saints were under great persecution in Missouri at the time, and were faced with a very reasonable question: Do we rely on the laws of the land to protect us in our rights, or do we seek revenge? The counsel as I read it is to renounce war, proclaim peace, and seek primarily legal methods to address grievances, since the Constitutional government of the United States has principles established within it that allow for the protection of rights and freedoms.
I'm struck by the fact that the Lord uses the term "befriend," and that we befriend the constitutional law because it supports the rights and freedoms of agency. But where the laws of man do not support maintaining the rights and privileges of willing obedience to God, THEN it comes of evil. Since I read this entire passage as centering on that initial discussion of obedience to God in verse 4, I don't see deviation from the Constitution as being rooted in evil.
Again, thank you for your explanation.
I find little to disagree with you about, Andrew, except for what I perceive to be your belief -and correct me if I misunderstand you here- that the purpose of free agency is so that we will choose to obey God.
It is certainly the will of God, and the hope of God, that we choose to obey him and walk on the right path. But God expects us to sometimes make choices inimical to our own happiness. It does not surprise him. Screwing things up for ourselves is the only way most of us learn, and to learn, after all, is why we have come here in the first place. The freedom to choose includes the freedom to make wrong choices as well as right ones.
This idea that free agency exists only to allow us to choose obedience is a relatively new doctrine that has begun to creep into the Church in the past few years, and one that I reject. God respects our free agency to choose our own direction in life. Right or wrong, happy or unhappy, WE are allowed to decide how our own lives will be lived.
That is not to say that God is okay with our treating others unkindly; there will be consequences for our actions toward others. But if someone makes choices that lead to a life of dissolution, God will stand ready to lift him up when he is ready to make a course correction (repent), but He does not demand obedience.
The constitution was created to restrain human nature, it being human nature that men with authority tend to exercise unrighteous dominion over others. The constitution is intended to restrain this proclivity. For that reason, I believe, any penchant our "rulers" -those whose place it is to obey the rules set up by God- have for deviating either to the right or to the left of the constitution, cometh of evil.
Did he do it knowing the bank would fail? Did he profit from his friends then leave them to suffer at his success? Do you know the intent of his heart? Were you there as the mother who had friends scammed by brother Attaboy? I was married to a Brother Attaboy for 25 years. They are sneaky, dishonest and arrogant...just saying
Dan- not anonymous-I just finished reading this post and all it's comments. I have had many ups and downs in feelings of yes that's true and I feel my mind expanding with important understanding, and then I perceive a strong feeling of caution and careful exploring as other controversial Ideas (to me) are expressed or celebrated.
(continued)dan- not anonymous-So let me express gratitude first for many posts with exceptional thought provoking ideas. Many hrs of study and time devoted by many into presenting comments and ideas that I feel I have benefited.
On the flip side, I have had some definite low points , of which I cannot dismiss as careful considerations to explore but am feeling a bell go off as dangerous. What does this mean? To me and I speak only for myself, that even though we should "question with boldness" the very existence of God (Thomas Jefferson) and all things for pure truth, that there are many times 3 things happen.
1: That we question with boldness and with the spirit of God to enlighten our understanding, we find truth. In whatever form it is. Sometimes that truth is we have cancer. We thought we had a toothache. Now we now the truth. Truth is truth. Sometimes truth is not toothache. Sometimes it's cancer. Truth is truth...good and bad.
2: we question with boldness and at times ask the spirit To help us understand, and then become stupid by doing things that remove us from His influence and are left to kick against the pricks of our shallow and misguided understanding of a lie cleverly labeled as a truth.
3: We robustly question with boldness before we are ready to understand Truth, and when we learn of some of the cancer in our beliefs that we thought were healthy or just minor toothaches, we send our mind to the bar to numb our senses because the truth is too hard to handle, and we kick ourselves for believing we were "tricked" into believing we were healthy and happy.
I have often heard the phrase " tell me nine truths to convince me of one lie"
I believe there is addictive destructive poisonous ideas that once in a persons mind are very difficult to remove (many examples given in the book of Mormon of false prophets who were given ideas from "angels of light" aka satanic imposter using truth to convince trust and and then twisting the truth once a person embraces.
(continued) dan-not anonymous-
Having said that, the bell that has been ringing at some points of studying this blog and its posts, has been a bell of warning to me as I read some carefully worded ideas that are designed to instill doubt and a hunger to question already answered problems in my life. A warning to be VERY carefull in what I CHOOSE to allow to enter my mind. (God is a champion of individual choice as many have expressed and understood here)
As much as I admire Thomas Jefferson's challenge to question with boldness, I feel he might have also wanted to add "but don't question everything for too long, or you may believe in nothing"
Human nature is full of sin a failure. Expect to see and find lots of it in some of the most sacred of places. It does not mean it not sacred, but that it should be treated differently because the truth it contains is more important than other truth. The more important the truth, the more Satan will surely try to demean its value. This can easily be done by convincing a person something is not sacred because a person full of sin was involved at its core.
Example: I recieved the priesthood when I was 12 from my father. He was in the bishopric, and laid his hands on my head and conferred the sacred powers authority as well as ordaining me a deacon.
Years later It was found out that my father was seeing prostitutes and living very "unworthy" according to gospel principles and his covenants he had made when he had given me the priesthood. (does that mean that I didn't get the priesthood since he was an unworthy vessel to practice priesthood authority? Were all his priesthood actions amen? No. I felt that sacred experience and know it happened. His bad behavior does not change the truth of that day, nor the sacred experience of it. If I want I can CHOOSE to be bitter, I can CHOOSE to remember it as a day of lies and deceit. Something's I don't have to question further or deeper because I was given a simple truthful answer so I wouldn't have to delve into the depths of comparing what is legitimate in my dads actions, and my own authority and past actions with that authority. Some questions I recieved simple answers to long ago.
Such as if the mormon church is true, or if it is lead by a true prophet today. I feel and know that it is, but only because of prayerful spiritual revelation and by obeying thier teachings. Do they make mistakes? Sure. Ask thier wives, kids or family members. Quite human I'm sure.
(continued) dan-not anonymous-
Are you ok with God appointing a human with mortal weakness to speak for Him and lead His church? If yes...Then Joseph Smith can be a true prophet. (not a perfect one) So could Brigham young, all the way up to Thomas S monson. Can a prophet lead his sheep astray? Of course! Will the Lord allow him to purposefully lead his sheep astray? I don't believe He would allow an outright rebellion, but God might allow a misspoken comment, or minor sin to be viewed to allow us to question our relationship with Him and always remember that all humans are weak. After all...we don't worship the prophet, we just follow what he says because he is the only one taking direction from God for the whole church. Does that mean we just blindly obey? I believe I have to come to know each prophet that is called is a true prophet by personal revelation. And once God confirms that to me, I can follow that prophet in FAITH. I didn't follow Joseph Smith, Brigham Young or David o McKay. They were all dead and gone when I was born. Is it important to know if Joseph Smith was a TRUE prophet? Absolutely. Is it important that I know that the current prophet is called of God? Absolutely! Should you spend hrs and days and weeks and years questioning with boldness every prophet and every mistake and controversial thing that ever happened in the church's history that was not perfect and upstanding in every way? If you want to, but I feel it's a waste of time if the spirit can confirm to me that each prophet is called at a specific time and that group was challenged with what they needed to go through at that time. (I call it weeding out the faithful, not the blind followers) any one can follow blindly when life is good. But when God takes everything from you, your family, your health, your wealth or ability to function, most men's hearts fail them and they will curse God and die. Very few Men like Job out there. It's when the prophet asks you to do something hard... Or controversial to mainstream understanding.
So I ask this question boldly. Are you happy? Do you have a relationship with God? Has he confirmed to you that he has a prophet leading HIS church? Are you willing to give up EVERYTHING to know and follow if he tells you? What if EVERYTHING also includes having issues with Brigham Young or church being a corporation etc and giving all that questionable human error to him? Can you give up EVERYTHING for the truth and then walk in enduring faith? If not...sometimes it easier to live with a toothache.
As for Mitt Romney, He has some serious issues for being able to run this country. I like Ron poll and his conviction to doing changes that mean something. But the author of this blog using the clip of the poor wheelchair dude asking about weed is a shallow example for reaming Romney. Its a very controversial stimulant, and regardless of how it came under illegal status and the shady history it may have, its a stereotypical setup of a loaded question that has little helpful effect on any change in this country. Is it an important issue? sure...why is a herb banned from being privately grown for medicinal purposes? Is that a great argument to use for attacking Romney on not following the constitution? its a rediculous one when there are far better ones to use that dont involve mass teenagers going out and growing and smoking weed because romney made it legal by following the constitution.
I have used natural herbs for healing all my life, and my mother was a naturalist specialist I guess, and I have eaten and drank some of the nastiest concoctions known to man. But if you want to get people behind you to support changing laws about peoples rights to grow herbs and medicne, Lets not talk about weed and crack pipes...there are thousands of other herbs that are far less controversial and harmful if "innocently" abused.
The authors history on law of the land on the other hand...Superb! Great insight and well written.
WELL- There are several issues being broadcast here- might we take them one at a time.
Not allowing ourselves to be deceived for long periods of item...(we all do some of the time)
The Lord said: "we will prove them herewith...in ALL things... what soever [we] shall command them"
Elder Neal Maxwell taught: "The very nature of a test says it has to be unfair:"
Apostle Paul taught: There hath not temptation taken you ...such is common to man." To the Romans he said: "For who can separate us [me-you] from the love of God? ... shall tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness...For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things, present, nor things to come, Nor height, etc ...shall be able to separate us for the love of God, which in in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Where are you my brother? I have observed that unrequited sins tend to take us away from the love and light of Christ (I might say it us usually sexual sins- self, porno, thoughts, what ever---we have not faith in Christ he will heal US that we might walk the walk and when we personally fail THEN everything becomes an issue.
Walking humbly in the grace of Christ does not allow for any criticism of any other man/leader or doctrine--sorry about that!
NOW the MITT issue:
Those who criticize Mitt expose themselves as having never run for office with intent to really win and once in office there make that difference. Sorry folks but this kind of ignorance can only be overcome by your running with intent for a public office--then come and criticize. (Ron Paul is nearly the only exception and he will never make the Presidency-though I donate to his campaign.
Remember when Mitt's national hero father used the word "Brain washed" and his long stong political career was killed by the press over night?--and young Mitt said to himself: "Ohhhhh, so those are the rules of the political game--well, I can play that game:" [Had he opposed the 90% population's will and the court's decision to legalize same sex marriage he would be ZERO today. Instead he did, even as Captain Moroni did, and consented to lead the wicked army forward doing more good than if he retired to his cave and slept.
I think it wisdom to not urinate on and castigate the name of a High Priest who has kept his covenants, to wife, children, and church and served beyond the call of duty, his fellowman--all without pay.
Until you can match it in a like manner _ _ _ _.
The primary reason I have taken such a strong stand against Mitt Romney is that his claim to being a devout Mormon while taking public stands that are inimical to LDS teachings has had two unfortunate consequenses:
1. The great majority of non-Mormons look at his positions and conclude they are consistent with LDS teachings when in fact they stand diametrically opposed to our core doctrines.
2. I am finding that a great many members of the Church are ignorant of some of the the basic teachings of their own religion as revealed through the prophets, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. It is apparently possible to be an active, church attending latter-day Saint in these times while holding only the sketchiest idea of what Mormonism stands for. These uninformed latter-day Saints look at Mitt Romney to be a stellar product of Mormonism, and in turn assume that his positions (which are by any definition anti-Christ and anti-Christian) are supported by the religion they hold dear, and they tend to echo such positions as being consistent with Mormon teachings when they are far from it.
If Mitt Romney did not personify Mormonism in the minds of many, both member and non-member, I would not have written about him in this forum. If I were merely interested in declaiming against Mitt Romney over his politics, I would have picked on him on a different forum. But this is a forum for discussing Mormonism and the ways in which many of us have drifted from the core tenets of our faith.
An argument could certainly be made that Mitt Romney has apostatized from conservative principles while still maintaining a claim to being a conservative. But that is not my focus here. My focus here is on how Mitt Romney has apostatized from Mormonism while still managing to give off the public impression to both members and non-members alike, that he is the quintessential Latter-day Saint.
It is all well and good to criticize me for calling out one of our own, but it would move the dialogue along if someone would make the attempt to show me where I am wrong. Is Mitt Romney actually a true and devoted follower of Christ and the prophets? Show me.
Were you saying that young Mitt decided then that he would do anything in order to get power? Has Mitt Romney been warmongering and brainwashing people into the New World Order propaganda only because he's trying to gain power? Aren't these the same tactics Gadianton Robbers used in order to gain power? And once Mitt gets more power, how is he going to "undo" all the damage he's done? Or is he going to continue to compromise with evil so that he would keep the power?
Captain Moroni wasn't bartering liberties away under false cloak of security. He wasn't giving hollow promises and fluttering people with words they wanted to hear. He was telling people the truth. He was educating people about freedom and liberty and was leading them against king-men. That's exactly what Ron Paul is doing today. If Mitt Romney is truly concerned about freedom, he should drop out of the race and get out of Ron Paul's way.
"Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—These should then be attended to with great earnestness. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things." (D.&C. 123:13-15)
"... In the political world, critical evaluation inevitably accompanies any knowledgeable exercise of the cherished freedoms of speech and of the press... " - Elder Dallin H. Oaks ("Criticism")
"Our tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs does not cause us to abandon our commitment to the truths we understand and the covenants we have made... We are cast as combatants in the war between truth and error. There is no middle ground. We must stand up for truth, even while we practice tolerance and respect for beliefs and ideas different from our own and for the people who hold them." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks ("TRUTH AND TOLERANCE", CES Fireside, September 11, 2011)
"There is a conspiracy of evil. The source of it all is Satan and his hosts. He has a great power over men to 'lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken' to the voice of the Lord (Moses 4:4). His evil influence may be manifest through governments; through false educational, political, economic, religious, and social philosophies; through secret societies and organizations; and through myriads of other forms. His power and influence are so great that, if possible, he would deceive the very elect." - Ezra Taft Benson (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg 404)
"Sometimes from behind the pulpit, in our classrooms, in our council meetings, and in our Church publications, we hear, read or witness things that do not square with the truth. This is especially true where freedom is involved. Now do not let this serve as an excuse for your own wrongdoing. The Lord is letting the wheat and the tares mature before he fully purges the Church. He is also testing you to see if you will be misled. The devil is trying to deceive the very elect." - Ezra Taft Benson ("En Enemy Hath Done This" pgs 313-317)
"We need the constant guidance of that Spirit. We live in an age of deceit. 'O my people,' said Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, 'they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.' (2 Ne. 13:12.) Even within the Church we have been warned that 'the ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood.' (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., CR, April 1949, p. 163.) The Lord holds us accountable if we are not wise and are deceived. 'For they that are wise,' he said, 'and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.' (D&C 45:57.) And so four great civic standards for the faithful Saints are, first, the Constitution ordained by God through wise men; second, the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon; third, the inspired counsel of the prophets, especially the living president, and fourth, the guidance of the Holy Spirit." - Ezra Taft Benson ("Civic Standards For The Faithful Saints")
I generally find this blog to be interesting, thought provoking, and inspiring. However, I found this post to be quite amateur. It's fine to disagree with someone's policies, but to call him a "piss poor" member of the church is a low blow indeed. This post seems completely political in nature; I fail to see how it fits in with the overall theme of the blog. Definitively not impressed, Rock.
It fits perfectly within the theme of this blog, Sam. Mormonism in its purity would produce people who embrace the gospel of the restoration, not guys like Mitt Romney who reject the teachings of Christ at almost every turn.
Mitt Romney is celebrated in the Church because he has held positions as bishop and stake president. He is held up as a paragon, though his public utterances betray him.
I would vote for Joseph Smith as president. Joseph Smith announced his candidacy for president with the publication of the pamphlet "Views of the Government." A simple reading of that document compared with the positions Mitt Romney espouses will prove the two men have nothing whatsoever in common. Mitt may call himself a candidate for office, but to call himself a Mormon seems a bit of a stretch.
I came across searching for some items about Romney. I agree with your views on his character and frankly, I am a bit worried about the gains he has made with the public at large. Your post is a must see.
Being a business type and a believer in Christ (not with the L.D.S. though), I have seen two types of people. A boss and a leader. A boss runs the show. Recycles old ideas and does not do well with change. A leader sees the world beyond the office and makes decisions that change the operation. Sometimes there are failures but failing is part of life. Romney is a boss. When a man faces challenges such as oil dependency and his only solution is to build a pipeline through a neighboring country...he is not seeing the big picture.
Thanks for showcasing his moral character. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake. If you do, just say you are wrong. When he reverse-engineered his taxes to meet a number he threw out instead of just saying he was wrong...that showed me what kind of person he is.
I hope many see what you wrote.
Kong, there is one other way that God can interfere and that is how He is working among us now. That is if we ask Him to interfere. Then we give Him permission to do what He knows is right even if it's not exactly what we want at the moment.
I am glad to know there are members who did not (do not) like Romney. I thought I was alone, at least where I live I am the lone Mormon who does not like Romney. Sen. Harry Reid was blasted for what he said about Romney, but I agreed with him. Soooooo many in the church were sooooo upset Romney lost and lamented on other sites how awful for the church and for America that he lost. I am not against people making money and having money, but how they make their money and what they do with it matters to me. Were they honest in making their money? Are they generous with charity work, etc with their money? Romney does not pass on either of these. On another site I was personally attacked for not supporting Romney. I did not support Obama either. I hate the people in government as they are all corrupt, all for lining their pockets at the expense of people like me, upper poor (40-50 years ago I would be upper middle class).
As Mormons we are supposed to hold ourselves to a higher standard which very few do today. Where I live the so called good Mormons think they are not doing anything bad or wrong because everyone else in the church does it and has done it for years and years and they honestly think their behavior and actions are within the gospel teachings. As an outsider it is easy to see this behavior in a small, 45% Mormon town. So this way of thinking and behaving is passed down from generation to generation. My husband's family is a prime example. Culture, culture, culture.
I am utterly appalled if this blog is truly written by actual worthy Mormons. I am a true Mormon, who is active and in good standing with the church. I see no rebuttals by those who say they are LDS, when non-Mormons attack the faith or Joseph so, I am a little suspicious of this blogs true agenda! My first choice was Newt. That being said, I would have voted for anyone, before Obama. I fail to see how a LDS member in good standing could vote for Obama or anyone that supports the Democratic party platform and remain true to their faith. If Romney was a bad member, then Obama is a demon of hell!!! No, Mitt Romney is not my first choice but, he would be light years better than Obama, whom I consider the worst president ever elected to office,(If indeed he actually was honestly voted in). I would very much like to see your footnotes, proving all the things you blame Romney for. I question the accuracy of some of your assertions. Mitt is a fallible man, woman like the rest of us. But I do not question the content of his heart nor, the conviction of his faith. Anyone questioning the veracity of another's conviction of his faith, most assuredly needs to re-examine their own walk with Christ. How many early Christians questioned Peter or Paul's faith, after their epic fail's, during Christ's cruxifiction? How many were proved to be utterly wrong in their assertions? Look at the beam in thine own eye brother. For any LDS member to claim that Obama would be a better president than Mitt, not only makes me question their faith but, also their patriotism!! Better check yourself before, you wreck yourself. CookieMonsta
I fail to see how a member in good standing could vote for Romney. I don't believe any true disciple of Christ would. I believe he would do most of the same things Obama is doing. I believe they are on the same team behind the curtain.
Christ commanded us to question & judge Romney (or anyone, especially prophets) by his actions, his fruits in order to know him and what is in his heart. It isn't that hard. He appears to support evil (socialism & other evils).
I wonder how you can believe in Brigham Young & the other church leaders who followed him, for they preached & practiced completely contrary to Joseph Smith, Christ and ancient Prophets.
How can you support a Church or leaders who accuse Joseph Smith of the very whoredoms & abuse he preached so strongly against his whole life?
My disdain for Obama is and always has been just as strong as my opposition to Mitt Romney. I wonder where you got the idea that I favored an Obama presidency? If you actually read my piece, you would see that my primary objection to Romney for president is that his stated goals mirrored those of our current president. By his own admission, Romney would not have ruled in righteousness, nor adhered to the constitution any more than Obama currently does. Can you not see that Romney was as favored by the Secret Combinations as Obama? Both men are wicked, and as the Lord warns us, "when the wicked rule, the people mourn."
You criticize me for pointing out Romney's failings, yet a key teaching of our religion is "by their fruits ye shall know them." Those who would ignore the stated goals of a man who wishes to rule over them deserve the government they get, just as those who elected Obama to office are now saddled with the oppression they are facing.
God does not expect us to support tyranny, even if the tyrant claims membership in our own church. We are expected to be guided by the word of God. You say you wonder about this blog's true agenda? My agenda is to separate LDS myths -the kind you appear to hold in high esteem- from the actual teachings and revelations from God. It is the teachings of the Lord we are commanded to follow, not the urban legends that have grown up around Mormon culture.
I would advise you to take your own advice and "check yourself before you wreck yourself." You do that by examining how closely you hold to the Iron Rod yourself, and not measuring others up to your standard of devotion to politicians.
You write, " I would very much like to see your footnotes, proving all the things you blame Romney for."
Most of my sources can be found by clicking on the phrases highlighted in blue within the piece. They will take you to Romney's own words. If you watch the videos included you will also witness first hand Romney's rejection of the constitution which, had he won, he would have sworn a duty to defend and protect. Not to mention that honoring the constitution is a duty God himself demands of all of us.
I remain baffled by your contention that those of us who follow the teachings of Christ are somehow "anti-Mormon, while you yourself are a devoted disciple.
Did you actually read the article?
Dear Anonimous (March 1, 2013 at 2:16PM),
You state in your comments, "I am utterly appalled if this blog is truly written by actual worthy Mormons. I am a true Mormon, who is active and in good standing with the church."
If you are "a member in good standing" why are you bearing false witness against your neighbor? And why are you not being honest in your dealings with your fellow men?
It is obvious from your comments that either you didn't read the article, you have very poor comprehension skills or you were so blinded by emotions, because the article was critical of "Bro. Romney", that all you saw was, against Romney (which is true) for Obama (false).
It would be good for you to go back and read the article. Apologize to the author of the article for bearing false witness against him. Then if you still disagree with what is said you will be in a better position to make comments which are actually relavent to the article.
Really nice article thanks for shearing it with us.
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Interesting post, especially the explanation of the "law of the land" spoken of in D&C 98 and its implication for our religion, trying to follow the Lord's teachings.
The videos about Romney were enlightening as well; also the other videos on youtube. At home we enjoyed the picture at the end of the post showing Romney as a used cars salesman.
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I am already having difficulty sleeping, and you've just made things more fun. Now that I know the difference between "the law of the land" and "the law of the sea", I am starting to put two and two together and feel sick to my stomach for it. Since the Church seems to be bringing back the Old Ship Zion analogy. In case you don't know what that is, here's all I could find on it. I think I'm gonna go puke now.
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Let me make it clear that I am disappointed in Mitt as my elected representative in the US Senate. I hope I have a different "conservative" choice next election. I was disappointed with his impeachment vote.
BUT I was not privy to the answer to his prayer -- though I personally think his answer may have been hijacked by his own hurt feelings.
Sorry, but I actually didn't finish the article because it started to sound like the democrats' argument for impeachment just pulled inside out -- but I felt the same biased judgments and cheap rhetoric.
Speaking/writing fast and loose with metaphors and hyperbole doesn't really prove one's point -- not in the House and not on a blog.
Are you sure that you or I are in a position to judge or question when any man is "called of God"...?
BTW, when I was an LDS missionary David Bednar was one of our AP's. I raise my hand high twice a year to declare my sustaining support
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