Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Rock Waterman Audio Glut

I don't get around to posting pieces here as often as I would like, but as with home teaching, I do try to get at least one in before the end of the month.

It usually takes me a whole day to hammer out one of these articles, and I had planned to write one today that I think would have been a real doozy. But circumstances in my personal life (don't worry, our marriage is fine) suddenly demand my complete focus, so I'll have to postpone that snarky screed for another time.

As it happens, this month I was asked to participate in three separate Mormon-themed podcasts, and all three are now available, so I'll just offer the links to them and you can go there and have a listen.  That should be more exposure to my thoughts than any sane person would wish to spend.  In fact, my own wife has not yet bothered to listen to all three podcasts, which only goes to show.

Marry Marry, Where You Goin' To?
First up is podcast number 369 on the venerable Mormon Stories series hosted by the inimitable John Dehlin. I was part of a panel that included Jean Bodie, Stephen Wellington, and Walter Van Beek.  We discuss the unnecessary harm being done to the church due to the widely accepted belief that only weddings that are performed in the temple are valid ones.  As Brother Van Beek, a leading LDS scholar reminds us, the temple sealing is not a "wedding" at all. 

Indeed, if we are to follow the rules for marriage laid out by our founding prophet, all weddings in this church should he held in a public place, not privately in the temple. A "sealing" is a priesthood ordinance intended to seal a marriage that had already taken place publicly. It was intended to be a quieter priesthood ordinance that sealed the couple for time and all eternity.  A sealing is not a wedding, but somehow since the mid-twentieth century, we have conflated the two until we have arrived at the belief that those who choose to be married publicly in accordance with our true doctrine are often thought of as morally deficient.

As Jean points out, this policy has actually hurt family relationships by causing unnecessary divisions within a church that claims to value family unity above all else.  Jean further asserts that it is the wrongful imposition of policy, and not doctrine, when a couple is forced to wait a year to have their marriage sealed if they chose to have a civil wedding first. This policy is only imposed in North America, and smacks of a punishment; in most other countries couples routinely have a civil wedding first, then are permitted to go to the temple the next day if they wish.

Brother Wellington relates how his civil marriage to his wife was a consummately spiritual experience felt by all present.  If you have ever had the opportunity to attend a Mormon church wedding, you know what he means. Ironically, most members I have talked to about this subject have admitted that their temple wedding was not as moving and memorable an experience compared to the public wedding celebrations they have attended.

This should not be.  We dilute the sublimity of the sealing experience when it is squeezed in among the wedding day stress and hustle-bustle of receptions and honeymoon plans.  

As an increasing number of faithful Saints are realizing that the hurt feelings their parents and loved ones were forced to endure were unnecessary, some are feeling angry.  You need go no further than the comment section at Mormon Stories to read account after account of regret.

But who is to blame? I don't think Church leaders are any more guilty of subterfuge in this area than the typical Laurel advisor.  This is a sin of ignorance. We have clung to this vain tradition for so long that we have all forgotten the original teaching, which at one time was codified in scripture. By ignoring the doctrine of public weddings and conflating it into a sealing, we have departed from our doctrine and changed the everlasting ordinances. If we are to take seriously the words of Jesus, one sign that apostasy has crept into a church is when "they teach for doctrines the commandments of men."

The Not So Great Apostasy

Which brings us to the next entry, part of a brand new series of Mormon-themed podcasts under the imprint Infants On Thrones. On this podcast, the illimitable Glenn Ostlund brings together a number of people to contribute their ideas on the LDS view of apostasy. About a third of the way through, Mike Ellis and I weigh in with evidence that the prophesied falling away of the restored church is already underway. Ellis, proprietor of the website Zo-ma-rah, has posted a comparative chart showing the parallels between the Great Apostasy and our own.

I find it interesting that while a growing number of latter-day Saints consider the signs of this falling away to be readily apparent, a substantial number of others resist the idea as being impossible. If you happen to be among those who insist "it can't happen here," you might do well to consider President Benson's warning that it is that very kind of institutional pride that can lead to our destruction, both as a church community and as a nation.

Too Much Information
Finally we come to another incipient podcast series, A Thoughtful Faith, wherein the immiscible Micah Nickolaisen conducts a one-on-one interview with Yours Truly, apparently in an effort to find out what it is that makes me tick.

I recently received a very long and very angry email from someone whose cousin had recommended my blog to him. After reading a couple of entries, he made it known to me in no uncertain terms that he was unhappy with my writings and seemed to be of the opinion that if my views were to be seen by the wrong people, it could cause a catastrophic implosion that would result in the complete destruction of the entire universe, as well as the church.

Or words to that effect. I'm paraphrasing.

"What is it you're trying to prove?" he demanded to know.

Well, I hope you good folks know I'm not trying to "prove" anything; I'm just sharing some thoughts. This is just a blog, after all. A Web Log. If I had anything to prove I'd figure out a way to make money doing this.

I hope that guy will listen to this podcast, as in it I explain how one of the reasons I do this is because I see it as part of my process of repentance. I also hope he'll come to a full understanding, as I do, that if everyone in the church will just wise up and faithfully read my blog every month, the moon will finally enter the seventh house, Jupiter will align with Mars, peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars.

So, here is where you can go to hear all three podcasts:
The King of All Media

Mormon Stories: "Exploring LDS Temple Wedding Exclusion And Inclusion"

Infants On Thrones: "Apostasy" 

A Thoughtful Faith: "Rock Waterman And Pure Mormonism"

Thanks for listening!


At the top of this page I mentioned some personal challenges that are facing me and Connie at the moment. I've decided to share them with you in hopes you will send your prayers our way.  We firmly believe in the power of concentrated prayers from a multitude of voices, and Connie could use a bunch of them right now.

Now and then in some of my posts, I've mentioned in passing Connie's deteriorating health. Some readers have emailed me from time to time to ask what specifically is wrong with her.

What's wrong with Connie? Well, for starters she made a poor choice with her selection of a husband. But that's up and done with. No use crying about that. So let's just focus on her health issues, shall we?

Connie has been called an idiopathic medical anomaly, which sounds insulting but in layman's terms just means the doctors don't really know the cause of her problems, or even what to do about them. Some intern at UC Davis Medical Center actually did his doctorate on her, and when her shoulder joint was replaced, they sent a chunk of her bone to Cedar Sinai to study. That's how weird all this is.

One of her ailments is a form of Avascular Necrosis that is usually only seen in some people with a long history of deep sea diving combined with a lifetime of whiskey drinking -and then only in men.  (Note: Connie is neither a deep sea diver, a whiskey drinker, or a man.)

Avascular Necrosis results from slowing of the blood to the various joints, which eventually crumble and atrophy from lack of nourishment. So Connie has had her share of hip and shoulder replacements, and various other stop-gap measures. Anyway, the how and why remain a mystery, but the upshot of it all is Connie has been in constant agony for years, and there's not much that can be done other than to try and palliate her pain. 

Over time, doctors have treated Connie's pain with massive amounts of the usual opiates: Morphine, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, and so on. But here's a cruel irony: A couple of years ago a mysterious pain in her head developed, and these opiates have only exacerbated that.  So she has had to cut back, as now pain medication only made the terrible pain in her head hurt worse.  These days Connie spends most of her time in bed; we don't go many places together except for the almost constant medical appointments.

Recently Connie's case was turned over to a pain specialist in Placerville, about an hour from our home near Sacramento. He determined that Connie may be a candidate for a procedure wherein a device would be implanted under her skin that delivers pain medication directly into her spine throughout the day.  A series of trial injections were successful; Connie could stand, walk, and said she even almost felt like dancing. She felt much better until the injections wore off. We have hope that the permanent implant may result in Connie having a halfway decent life again.

So last Friday we drove up to Placerville for a preliminary meeting with the surgeon who will be performing the incision the following Friday (which now happens to be tomorrow). Placerville is up in the mountains west of us, a former mining town, and that's where we have to go because that's where the hospital is from which these specialists operate. Well, this particular climb was one too many for our ancient jalopy, and it blew a head gasket on the freeway just short of the hospital. Fortunately, I learned years ago to never be without AAA, so we had the car towed to a nearby service garage where it was pronounced dead on arrival.  Too old and worn to be worth fixing. We knew the car didn't have much more life in it, but yikes, what a time and place.

We managed to rent a car to get to the appointment and then home, and now here we are.  Five years ago if something like this had happened to us, I might have spiraled into a depressive funk, but I have since learned that when we allow fear to take us over, the spirit of God is hampered, and it's harder for good things to flow to us.  So, I just decided to see what window God was about to open. 

Our first concern upon returning home that day was how we were going to get Connie back up to the hospital in Placerville the following week. Mirabile dictu, the next day I got an email from a stranger who had heard from someone else about our predicament, and offered us the use of his car for that day.  So that's taken care of. Now all I have to do is find a way to replace our old car at a price we can afford. Our Recently Departed was a salvage job I grabbed for just over a thousand dollars five years ago, and since we are not presently well off financially, I'm hoping for a similar find this time around.

So, I tell you all this by way of asking you, my friends, to send your prayers, light, love and energy to Connie at this time in hopes that this implant will take hold and do the trick.  I would love to have my wife back the way she used to be, alive and kicking.  With your combined prayers, I believe we can see a miracle.

And, just in the off chance that one of you out there has an old clunker you were about to donate to one of those charities, I hope you'll hold the phone and consider me first. I'll take a train or a bus and come pick it up.  Doesn't matter how battered and ugly the car is; if it will get Connie to her appointments, that's all we need.  I can be reached at

Thanks, Everyone!


Anonymous said...


reading and praying--

I wish we had an old car to give you, but we're almost 3,000 miles away--

and we're using our ancient car--

My heart goes out to Connie; we understand rare, inexplicable, untreatable illnesses at our house--

but this pain control technique sounds wonderful--

Anonymous said...

Well, Rock. You managed to do it again! You made me cry, and I'd already put my mascara on for the day. Only the top lashes, because I have a clogged oil gland in my lower lids. So there was less black smudging to clear away with spit and my index finger.

Let me say this about you and Connie. I read from the book of Job this morning. It reminded me, once again, that I really don't have it so bad. I'll never be on the same level as Job in the suffering department (I hope), and yet I complain over the slightest bit of tribulation. What does that say about me? Then, I see people like you and Connie, and I say to myself, "Thank the Lord for people who see the bigger picture and look for the blessing a midst the trial".

If I had a car to give you, I'd drive to California. Since I don't, you can bet I'll be on my knees praying for the miracles you need at this moment. I'll pray for a car for you and for success in Connie's treatment. Maybe she'll be like Job who, after it seemed there was nothing else that could be taken away, the heavens were opened once again. I pray it to be so for you.

Thanks for recapping your podcasts. I do so love reading your blog and hearing your tender voice of faith. Love to you and yours, brother. Winnie

Brett said...

Sending prayers, Rock. I sincerely hope this treatment will work.

I've listened to two of your three September podcasts (MS and A Thoughtful Faith). You were your usual brilliant self in both.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for all the info you continue to put out there. The spirit teaches me much when I'm open to a new way of viewing something and to realizing that I'm drenched in the traditions of men. I appreciate all you write. Praying for you and Connie in your trials right now. God will bless you.

Anonymous said...


just finished #1--

I had never thought of any of this, and I feel that I must have been living in a box--

it wasn't an issue for my husband and me--

he was an orphan, and we met far, FAR away from where any of his remaining family (to whom he was very much not close, except one elderly grandparent who would probably not have been able to attend unless we had gone to her home)--


they knew very little about his life; they were vaguely aware that he had joined the church--

and my parents were there with me, along with a few aunts and uncles and one sibling who was a TR holder--

but I like the idea of this podcast VERY much; I have been interested in what you have written (Rock) about this; I know too many young people who get 'married' in the temple who later divorce--

when my only married child was married/sealed in the temple I had no place of honor; my husband was a witness, but I sat by my child-in-law's brother, and I felt very much as though I were just one of the sardines in a can--

I don't demand honor, but it was very strange--

very strange indeed--

one of my unmarried children has struggled with this, though, I know--

because 'weddings' have always been special to this person--

I have often felt a powerful spirit at weddings, doesn't matter what religion--

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more about weddings. I'm so glad I'm not alone in my opinion. Thank you for speaking out!,!!!!,!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks, Anarchist. I did indeed miss your original answer to me way back when. As you know, I'm going to be quite busy for the next little while, but I will study those links as soon as I am able. Very interested in that stuff.

Anonymous said...

Prayers to you also. I commented before I read the entire post. I know you will see a miracle

Unknown said...


I felt the spirit as I read your post. I know you don't know me, but I feel a kindred spirit from you. I will pray for you and Connie.


Matthew said...

prayers on their way - wish I had a car for you too. :(

Unknown said...

Rock, I feel for you and understand about having a spouse who has chronic pain. Even my wife spend a lot of time in bed/couch but she does have her good days that I encourage her to be out with her friends when she can (I at work during the day). My thoughts and prayers goes for you both. Thanks for sharing. I hope it look you up if and when we go to Sac area. My wife love to do "craft things" that Sac has some stuff she would like to buy.

Anyway, I looking forward of listening to the podcasts (one down and two to go).

Alan Rock Waterman said...

We are very moved by the outpouring of love expressed here. I can't tell you how much I am touched by all this. Thank you all.

Today is the surgery day, so we're preparing to leave soon. The real sad thing is that the device will not be loaded with medication for three weeks, until the incision has time to heal and there are no signs of infection. So Connie will continue to take oral pain killers until then. Not looking forward to the long drive home; I expect she will be in real bad condition.

I was also surprised to learn there won't be any kind of nozzle jutting out from Connie's skin. They'll make an incision, slip the device, which is about 3 inches round, into a pocket they make under the skin, then sew her back up. The entire thing will be embedded inside her, and we go back up twice a month to have the medicine injected into the device through her skin just like you would get any regular shot. There's a round rubbery pad the needle goes into, so I guess the doctor's aim has to be pretty good. Weird stuff. But I ramble.

Anyway, THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRAYERS! I have come to know there is real energy in prayer, and the more prayers, the greater the outcome.

And now I'm off on my trusty bike to go and pick up the car that has been kindly provided us for this day. Thanks, everyone!

Fusion said...

Hi Rock (and Connie),

So sorry to hear your trials, may it soon pass and be just another page turned in the eternities. Prior to '07 I was fit, had never seen the interior of a hospital. Suddenly, in my mid-30's, bam! 3-4 very painful operations in a delicate place (no, not Jerusalem;) a couple of car accidents which left my back and neck in pain, culminating in headaches/migraines 22+ days in the month. Then my kids & Wife got very sick- it seems like ALL we do- deal with sickness and medicines, doctors. Although there are many people far worse off, I know what you are going through- seems I just work so that we can give it all to the medical industry, and I believe everyone at some time in their life has these moments. After all this, I was left to ponder what to do with my music career, which after years of payin' dues was taking off immensely at the time, only to be stalled by an inability to hold my instruments due to my back and neck seemingly caving in, and my head exploding from the volume of the music around me. Composing became so difficult as concentrating expedited the acceleration of brutal head pain. We were left with hardly any money- months of rent overdue (thanks heavens for a kind landlord), electricity cut off etc. Went thru months/years of never having more than $20 plus change in our (only) bank account. I sold some of my instruments due to not having that network anymore in order to even attract students. However, the LORD never left my side. His gorgeous love for His pathetic son (and family) glowed brighter by the day. Somehow, bills got paid. Somehow, with all this pain and in one of the hardest years of my life, I returned to university as a full-time struggling student, with a family who were hit hard, and whilst there finally composed my album- something I always threatened to do but which I simply never had the opportunity to dedicate myself to. Somehow scored highest marks in the university (not that important in the scheme of things). More importantly, the windows opened up in ways that pulled us away from the 'world'- suddenly we had time to be together with our little ones, as I was no longer playing gigs/rehearsing at night. Suddenly, the home was buzzin' with chatter and energy as we were more involved with one another. Sure, the trials of temporal needs remained relentless. But, our Jesus, our Heavenly Father, who views us as in the spirit, and not as we view things and each other, in fleshly terms, put His own rescue plan into action. With love and incredible mercy. The exponentially astonishing Book of Mormon talks about our hearts needing to be broken before we can follow Nephi's path (Denver Snuffer expounds this so well in the Second Comforter) to being true and faithful in order to finally converse with the Lord thru the veil.

Fusion said...

I wouldn't change a single moment of all this, except for the frequent moments of stupidity on my part, of course. I have learned so very much and had my mind, first, then my spirit, opened to things I had never imagined in the scriptures, esp the Book of Mormon. The plan seems so clear and vivid now. The love feels real. The miracles continue. The line of communication is in operation. The desperate hope has turned to faith, the need for quiet and simplicity, almost overwhelming in it's palatability. The revelations, coming more and more frequently, and on the LORD's terms (which I am finally starting to comprehend, IS the way).

Above all, the greatest lesson learned thru all we go thru is that of empathy. I firmly believe that this is the prime reason to come down to this world- that we may learn that which even the Saviour, the greatest of all, needed to experience in the flesh, though according to the spirit He is the all-knowing God. Empathy and compassion, love, mercy and tenderness. Forgiveness and understanding. Can any of this become us if we don't go thru the process to gain each? If it was good enough for Jesus who is our Way, then it puts in perspective how necessary it is for us.

I wish we could send you a car, but it would be a matchbox size at this point! Hang in there Connie, and keep the pain company- hopefully it will get sick of you and leave (Zen saying).

Much love!

Bruce said...

When Joseph Smith and his companions heard of a family that had been burned out of their home by a mob all the brethren were lamenting and expressing how sad they felt. Joseph reached into his pocket and came up with $5.00 and said...I feel bad to the tune of five dollars.

There is a time for prayers and there is a time for $5.00. If you have an extra five bucks why not send them Rock's way.

Just saying.

Matthew said...

I've got 5$ if there is a place to send it.

Bruce said...

Rock would hesitate to give you his address so I will....

Rock Waterman
5800 Fair Oaks Blvd No. 8
Carmichael, Ca 95608-5270

Marcy said...

You and Connie are often in my thoughts and prayers...i look forward to joining with others to pray for success with Connie's pain relief.

Matthew said...

I was actually thinking along the lines of paypal or something. :) I live in Canada, so I don't believe that snail mail would work for this.

Also, (and please don't feel like I am being critical of you, Bruce - I like how you are thinking), I wonder if you could confirm with Rock that having his address up is okay with him? Just wouldn't want to have info given out if he would rather keep it private.

Toni said...

I just finished listening to the interview with you. You taught your view very well. If it saves even one soul, I'm sure it will be worth it.

My prayers are with Connie and yourself.

Leonel D'Ávila said...

Prayers from Brazil for you and Connie. Count with my love and pray. We don't understand why bad things happens with good peoples, but we continued puting our faith in the God that says everything is O.K. (Romans 8:28)

Thomas said...

I've £10 if that would be of any help to you Rock. Least I can do after your website restored my testimony and helped me put a lot of Church History in perspective. BTW I get re-baptised on the 13TH :-)

My love to you and your wife you are in my prayers. I hope everything goes ok.

Abigail said...

Praying for both of you, Rock and Connie.

And so sorry to learn of your car loss. Have you tried Craigslist? A few years ago, I sold a car through that site for $1500 and it was running and in good shape. There were plenty of private sellers desperate to sell their old cars for little to nothing. Just a thought.

Bruce said...

To Matthew above...

Actually a contribution by snail mail would be fine. I don't think time is of the essence in this case. Paypal would be nice but is something that is not available. We will just have to make do with what is available to us.

Regarding his address...

Rock gave it to me because I asked for it. I have already sent him my five bucks. I did not get his permission to share his address. I'm taking it upon myself to share it with his readers because our brother is in need. If 200 of us donate 5 bucks to the cause then the $1000 car is a reality.

I'm afraid too often we think there is nothing we can do in such situations. If we can't fulfill the whole need ourselves (in this case a car) then we do nothing. I just see this as an opportunity as a group of Saints to pool our efforts together. Think of it as an Amish barn raising. The whole community comes together and helps a family out.

Anonymous said...

Rock has his home address posted on his Facebook account, so ALL IS WELL! Winnie

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mercy me.

The past 30 hours have been hectic and exhausting, what with the hospital surgery and all, so I'm just now getting online and reading these comments. I must say, I'm completely bowled over.

I never meant this to be about us. (Well, actually I did mean for the current blog post to be about ME, but what I meant was my participation in these podcasts. I didn't mean for it to be about Connie and me and our silly car troubles.

I only added that postscript because I re-read my mention of having problems in my personal life, and I thought if I didn't clarify things some folks might think awful things about me. Besides, I did feel inspired to ask for your combined prayers for Connie.

Still, I am heartened by your kind and generous responses. And embarrassed. Because I would much rather be seeking ways of giving myself than to be receiving such kindnesses. At the same time, though, I like to think I'm wise enough to recognize God's hand when he is working through others. Because as it turns out, these offers of assistance may very well be the miracle we have been seeking. Let me explain.

I hadn't thought it was going to be any problem coming up with the money to buy a cheap car. The one we recently lost had served us well for five years. It was a blessing and a prize, a real buy that cost us only $1600.00 At that time Connie's father had recently died and a few thousand dollars was divided among all his children. That providentially provided a thousand dollars down on a surprisingly well-kept 1991 Ford, and we paid an additional hundred a month for six months.

The car was a jewel; though it had more than 250,000 miles on it, it needed only minor maintenance. That means we had a really good car that, spread out over half a decade, cost us only $320 dollars a year. A swell deal, and I am confident there is a similar bargain out there again. For this next car, I thought, all I had to do was contact my credit union and borrow about $1500.00. Piece of cake.

Unfortunately -and I just found this out yesterday when I called my bank from the hospital waiting room- no bank or credit union will loan such a small amount, and they certainly won't invest in a high mileage clunker. I can't afford to make payments on the types of loans they'll offer, which is around 6-7,000 dollars. Nor do we need such hoity-toity transportation. A humble set of wheels is all we need, and it's all we realistically can afford.

So that was a setback. For a moment. This morning I found two emails from folks informing me of their impending contributions to our cause, and then I logged on here and see even more readers, people I have never met, are willing to assist us also.

Like I said, I'm not so dumb that I can't recognize the hand of God when he he's trying to get something done for me. So to those offering assistance, I graciously accept. I was expecting a miracle like last time, and this apparently is the method by which our current need will be met.

So no, I don't mind Bruce giving out my address. I'm not one of those writers who don't like to be bothered. Contact me any time. In fact, you can call me, as long as it's a weekend or after 9 pm pacific time, because I am out of weekday minutes. My phone number is 916-606-6452. (Boy I hope I don't regret doing that!) Leave a message, because often I forget to be near my phone and don't always hear it ring.

Alan Rock Waterman said...


When this little disaster hit a week ago and our car went kaput, I regretted not having written the book I have been thinking about writing for the past year. Had the book been ready, I think I could have pushed it right here on this site and perhaps sold a hundred copies. That would have gotten us out of this little scrape. But I didn't, and the world and I are poorer because of it.

So, here's what I want to say to you good people: First, your prayers are more important to me than your money. Really. I have learned the power of prayer is mightier than I ever suspected, particularly the power of many people sending up prayers for the same purpose. There is real energy there. So for your prayers, I thank you most effusively.

Now, for anyone who might be desirous of lending a hand in our current dillema -and if you are not in a position to do so PLEASE DO NOT GIVE IT A SECOND THOUGHT; but if you are, I would feel better about your contribution if you thought of it this way: If something I have written here in the past couple years has touched you or benefited you in some way, maybe you could think of your donation as kind of a quid pro quo.

Think of that piece you read as a magazine article that might have inspired you to maybe go ahead and buy the whole darn magazine to take home. If it would have been worth a couple of bucks to read in a magazine, maybe you'll feel it's worth sending a couple bucks to us just this once. It might not be as cool as holding in your hands an actual book with my picture on the back cover, but hey. At least you'll be helping a nice lady make it to her doctor appointments.

Now, I've already used way too much space talking about me and Connie and our petty little troubles. I don't want you thinking about us. I would rather have you listening to ME on those podcasts, and thinking about ME talking about ME.

And by the way my friends, God bless you all.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I got a chuckle out of this email that arrived in my inbox yesterday:

"I wish I could give you my car. I don't need it. But I bought it back when I was 16 (I'm 24 now) and so my mom's name is also on the title. And she would never give a car to an apostate in need, being the TBM self-sufficient Republican that she is."

Anonymous said...

Rock, an envelope with 2 items inside was mailed today. Should arrive within 2-3 days. It has a yellow sticky note inside. Would you mind just confirming you got it? Maybe just with a reply to this comment.

Bruce said...

Actually, I hope this turns into a "George Bailey" moment...out of It's a wonderful life.

Amy McIntyre said...

Hey Dad!

That picture of Jerry "The King" Lawler looks just like you! Especially the chest hair!

btw people, I'm sure my dad wouldn't mind you knowing that you can contribute to his blog using paypal. Just enter his email address which is

I think all you people are wonderful. Thanks for blessing my mom and dad with your support. They really deserve something nice to happen to them. They are extremely giving people, so it's nice to see karma bubbling back. I remember a scripture somewhere that says "As you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me."

I can't think of anyone who is more "least" than my dear daddy. That didn't exactly sound the way I meant it, but you know what I mean, I hope.

Anon 23 said...

I feel 'grateful' to Rock to the tune of 25.00. It's on it's way. Actually I'm a lot more grateful than just 25., but that is all I can do right now. Which I know is nothing when I consider how Rock has changed by life and perspective so incredibly. I can't even express how his blog and the information he has shared has changed my life and many others I have shared such truths with.

Rock has followed the Lord's command to 'warn his neighbors' since he has been warned, and my life has been changed for the better forever because of him. I may never have awakened to the truth that Joseph Smith never preached or practiced polygamy and other vital truths, which after much study and prayer I now know is true and it makes all the difference in the world.

I cannot thank Rock enough for how he has enlightened me and been the answer to so many searching prayers and questions that I've had for years. I know the Lord often works through others to teach us the things we need to know, if we are open and searching for answers.

I wish I could do more, but I hope my tiny contribution helps. I am so grateful for Rock's continual contributions to my life and his help in trying to make the world a better place by bringing truth to light, with his wonderful gift of writing and sharing his own personal study.

I knew Rock's family from the ward I grew up in in Anaheim and I know he is a wonderful person and so must his wife Connie be. I am so glad to be able to help a little and do something in return for what he has done for me. I'm only sorry I didn't show my gratitude sooner.

Thanks so much Rock, for all your vital warnings and enlightenment that will bless me and mine for eternity.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

My goodness, Anon, that was touching. Thank you. I really had no idea the stuff I write has been having the effect some of you are sharing with me lately. Honestly, no idea.

Matthew said...

done - hope the email shows up soon. :D

The Arkwelder said...

Have you thought about setting up a PayPal account to make it easier for people to donate? Anyone can donate 5, 10, or 20 bucks I figure.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thank you, Arkwelder. Folks can just enter my email address, into the recipient area.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I received two anonymous contributions today, one from Austin Texas, the other from Phoenix, Arizona. Neither contained a sticky note. Would you like to PM me on Facebook to confirm one of them was yours?

Anonymous said...

This is anon from Sept 29th, 2012 8:03pm.

Nope, those weren't them. But glad to hear that others are contributing to a brother in need.

You'll see the yellow post it note.

Sachiko said...

Thank you so much for your words on this! It is a relief to know I am not the only one who feels this way.

My husband and I were married civilly by a bishop and it was a terrible mistake. He went strictly by the book and proceeded to suck all the joy and celebratory feeling out of what should have been a wonderful ceremony for us.

We were not permitted to marry in the chapel; instead he put us in the Young Women's room where there wasn't enough room. During the ceremony itself he suddenly decided not to have vows for us, and instead took out a picture of his grandchildren and proceeded to ramble on about them for awhile. And on, and on. The overall attitude was one of scorn and contempt--after all, we were sinners and didn't deserve a REAL wedding; we were meant to be a public example.

We had invited many non-member friends to the wedding who were appalled and told me later, privately, that they didn't think very much of a church that would treat its members that way.

We were told that we had to be married by a bishop in the church in order to be considered good members; we thought if we obeyed that the Lord would bless us.

The really sad/scary part to me is that these leaders probably think they're being really nice--as nice as second-class members like me and my husband deserve, I suppose. They think this is really ok. And it's not just bishops "being human"-our wedding was appalling to the degree that it was performed in accordance to the Church Handbook! The church has codified this kind of awful non-wedding wedding and expects "good" bishops to inflict it on members!

I want to believe the Brethren don't support poor treatment of the members, but the experiences of our last 13 years of marriage in many different wards have sadly confirmed that leaders actually seem to be expected to mistreat some members in specific ways.

I really wish someone could have told us we didn't HAVE to obey the bishop and submit to having him ruin our wedding.

I wish I could someday SEE this mysterious church handbook that in my whole lifetime in the church I'd never known existed, that apparently has been the rule by which I've been judged. It's not fair to judge members according to rules and standards we've not been informed of. It's like a series of traps. Do they want members to fail? Are they looking for reasons to punish or exclude members? I can't think of a good reason for keeping the handbook as a "secret combination".

I've found the more I try to obey leaders, the worse I feel. My husband and I are trying to raise our 6 kids in the church, but every time they have a lesson on obeying leaders instead of a lesson on finding and obeying the will of the Lord, my motivation to keep dragging my family back to church dies a little. It's hard to keep paying tithing and keep on trying, still feeling treated like a second-class citizen at church.

I don't think my local leaders or the Brethren could care less about us, but don't they see that when others outside the church witness poor treatment of members, that it drives others away? I'm tired of members being blamed for anything a leader does wrong.

Sorry about the length of this comment; I'm just so relieved to not feel alone in these struggles.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Your story is horrifying, Sachiko, but not that surprising. In my experience with LDS church weddings, every effort is taken to keep it from resembling a standard church wedding. At a wedding I participated in, the bishop told the organist she was not permitted to play "Here Comes the Bride." It had to be generic, prelude type music only.

Still, these church weddings seem to be more spiritually satisfying than the average temple sealing. That's probably what irks the Powers That Be.

Anon 23 said...


I'm sorry for how you've been so mistreated through the years and especially at your wedding of all places. But it unfortunately doesn't surprise me for I have also experienced the same mistreatment,(to put it mildly) from most all leaders I've had the last 20 years.

But all our sad experience with Church leaders is good if it awakens us to the awful situation of the Church today, which is a state of complete apostasy I believe. Which is why we see so much disrespect and falsehoods from and taught by most all leaders.

For I believe that the Church went into apostasy after the death of Joseph Smith and many doctrines and teachings were changed or discarded, like Joseph's commandment to have 'public' weddings where all could join in celebration with the couple.

The ancient prophets of the BoM repeatedly warned of a latter day apostasy of the Church of God, where false prophets and false teachers would come into the Church and deceive 'everyone' and cause them to become corrupt, except a rare few.

I believe Brigham Young (and all who supported him) lost any and all Priesthood or Keys (see D&C 121) he may have held and his worthiness to be a leader in the Church, thus becoming a false prophet, because of his preaching and practicing of the whoredom of polygamy, among other serious sins and falsehoods he led the Saints to believe in and commit.

Brigham Young, like most everyone else in Nauvoo, surely knew that Joseph continually warned the Saints that anyone who fell for the evil of polygamy would be damned. Yet BY started preaching and practicing it anyway, even openly, after Joseph died and most of the members fell for his evil and falsehoods and followed him, and completely ignored their recollections of Joseph's constant warnings against such things like polygamy.

Joseph never preached or practiced polygamy, such vile accusations against him are based on lies and hearsay, which isn't surprising that there are so many lies about Joseph since Brigham Young taught the Saints that it was ok to lie if it was for the benefit of the Church.

I would encourage you to do further study of the 'true' history of the Church and the true teachings of Joseph Smith, which Brigham Young cast out of the scriptures and replaced with the philosophies and falsehoods of men.

Such answers and understanding from study and prayer will help you make sense of why church leaders today too, from the top to the bottom, all support, teach and do evil, things 'contrary' to the teachings of Christ and Joseph Smith, while still thinking and acting like they are righteous and right.

We need to come to see things as they really are.

AndEva said...

Oh my, I am so sorry for how you were treated, this is awful but not a surprise.

Anonymous said...


You said this: "It's hard to keep paying tithing and keep on trying, still feeling treated like a second-class citizen at church." and this: "I've found the more I try to obey leaders, the worse I feel."

Have you considered taking "tithing" back into your own stewardship? I have been doing that for a couple of years now, and I must say... it feels good to get out of bondage. The church has its flaxen cords around the necks of the members, with the intent of binding us with strong cords forever.

I'm not saying you should jump into it completely, but try an experiment. Perhaps you can set aside a portion of your tithing... maybe a quarter of it... and use it to assist people directly. Keep your eyes open for someone in need (believe me, you will be presented opportunities), and anonymously as possible, send them the money. See what happens. See if you feel "worse" or better. If you do feel worse, you can go back to paying into the institution and letting them do what they do with the money, and you just wash your hands of it.

But if you feel better, perhaps this becomes a message that God trusts you. He knows your heart and will not condemn you for wanting to express more than a check mark on a tally sheet.


Alan Rock Waterman said...

Bruce, would you private message me please? Either on Facebook or at

Toni said...

Sachiko, I have been to a wedding or two in an LDS church. They *do* like to emphasize getting married in the temple, the "right" way, and so forth. One of those weddings was mine. My spouse was not able to be sealed (which I was grateful for, later, when I was miserable and decided to leave him).

At the time I was married, it did not bother me. Probably because I knew I was not the one preventing the sealing. How's that for blind and proud?

However, after reading many things, including your experience, I think if I ever did marry outside the temple, I would not marry in an LDS church.

One thing I thought of a while ago, that I would like to do (it wouldn't work for someone who has loved ones who want to go to the original wedding, though) is marry in the temple then go to a place I used to live. There, I would rent/find a place and invite my friends and family of all kinds and ages to come to a vow exchange.

I have a friend who is free-spirited enough to be the ... oh, I guess, master of ceremonies, a person to get everyone's attention then explain a little why we are there. Then spouse and I would speak the vows we had written.

It would be informal, a potluck, and it would be in the early autumn. No gifts.

Well, anyway. It's a nice dream.

Wayfaring Fool said...


I really appreciate your post, as always, and my heartfelt prayers and thoughts go to your wife and you as you sort out these trials of the flesh.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Okay, anonymous, I received your very kind gift today. I recognized it as the one with the yellow post-it note.

I am extremely grateful. I wish you would private message me, though so I can thank you properly.

Today's mail brought a dozen wonderful gifts from you friends, and when I say I am without words to express my gratitude to you all, I'm sure you know I'm sincere, as I never seem to be without words.

Thank you all! You are truly the hands of God.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the personal challenges you are going through.

Anonymous said...

You're very welcome.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all who lent us your assistance to get a decent used car to replace the one that broke. We now have exactly the amount needed for a particular car that we believe the Lord directed us to. Everything has worked out perfectly because many of you decided to act as God's hands in this endeavor.

Connie also expresses her love to all of you for your prayers and this huge kindness.

We are now good to go. Perhaps in a future post I will tell the story, but for now, we are just grateful as can be.

God's blessings on you all,


Voluntaryist said...

Fusion, I don't know from personal experience, but maybe Astaxanthan can cure your migraines in the way it did this person?:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That looks like interesting stuff, Voluntaryist. Do you know what plant it is derived from? I didn't see that information.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I guess I should add that now that we have this wonderful car, please, no more donations are necessary. We can never be grateful enough to all who have helped get us out of this awful scrape, and I have personally thanked all of you I was able to. (some funds were mailed anonymously. I wish you would tell me who you are.)

We are absolutely convinced (in fact, we had spiritual confirmation) that this particular automobile was divinely placed here for our use, and you can call it a coincidence if you want, but the donations received through Friday were just enough to cover its cost. If I were to hope or look forward to anything more at this point, I would be guilty of avarice, and I don't want that sin on my head.

I know that those of you who were prompted to assist us did so by inspiration, and it is my experience that when God discerns a need, he gives usually gives just enough. So thank you. We now have sufficient for our need. So please, if you are someone who just came on board here and desire to help out, there are others out there more deserving right now than us. (In fact, I got donations from a at least two of you who I know should not have been sacrificing for our sake when you are facing such difficulties of your own.)

Now, that having been said, I have to share a quick story with you. This car we got is 24 years old, but pristine in appearance and has very low miles. It drives beautifully. I think I can make it last 20 more years.

But during the 70 mile drive home, I noticed the brake pedal was quite soft. I asked a mechanic friend of mine to confirm my concerns , and he agreed the master cylinder appeared to need replacing.

This turns out to be something I'm able to do myself, but in checking with the auto parts store, a replacement part would cost $124.00. That's money I don't have right now.

But...yesterday some kind straggler deposited $25 into my Paypal Account, and today someone else sent $100 more.

Ain't God great?

But seriously, I'm pretty sure that's all we'll need. You can stop now.

Anonymous said...


I listened to all of the audio 'thingies'--

very interesting--

good, I thought.

We had just come up with $5 we could spare--



It sounds as though you are covered; maybe we can find someone else to give the $5 to--

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thank you for your kind offer, LDSDPer. Yes, we are fine now. Please give the money to someone you find deserving.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rocky, do a post about me and all of my awesomeness.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Weston, have you been drinking again?

Tell you what. I won't do a post about you, but I'll post a link to your blog right here, and folks can decide for themselves just how awesome they think you are:

(Readers, please leave all comments about Weston's blog on Weston's blog. It's only good manners.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, you crazy kid;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Rock. I broke your rule. Only because this Weston dude doesn't allow comments on his blog. But this is for all other people who are curious about the link Rock just posted. I looked through Hater's posts. Here's what I would say to you curious folks.... don't bother going there. I think Weston should rename the blog to "OpenMinded-HatersShow."

Go ahead and label me as an anti or whatever, but I attend the LDS church regularly, read the B of M every day and am a card-carrying member.

Rock's agenda is finding the truth. Weston's agenda is to steal from Rock's popularity and insights and then self-promote. Save yourselves multiple slaps to your heads and skip the "awesomeness."

Karl Waterman said...

Not on any one topic, however helps explain why we may have errors in out thoughts and yet still defend them.

Don't believe everything you think!!!!

Anonymous said...

Karl Waterman (this is LDSDPer)--

I found that link and read much of it--

I liked it--

Anonymous said...

Hi Rock. I've been reading your posts for a while now. I was wondering if i can contact you personally. Say through gmail. I have a lot of questions that i hope you can possibly answer. My gmail is by the way.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Sure you can contact me, Zach. I've just sent you an email. But I hope you're not disappointed if I can't answer those questions you have. I'm forever getting emails from folks who have questions about doctrinal issues that are beyond the ability of my tiny dinosaur brain to answer. I've been getting a lot of emails lately that I have to just respond to with "I dunno."

I think some folks have got it in their heads that I'm some kind of gospel scholar. Well, I'm not. A mere ten years ago I was the dumbest guy in my ward, so if you hope to have the mysteries revealed through me, prepare to be disappointed.

(I'm no longer the dumbest guy in my ward only because nine years ago a guy even dumber than me moved in.)

R. Metz said...

Sorry to hear about these problems that the Watermans were in. This was three years ago. I hope they are in better circumstances now. I think I would have donated too. Best regards, and good luck.