As a child of the '50s, one of my heroes was The Lone Ranger, portrayed on TV by Clayton Moore. Later as an adult, I carried on a brief correspondence with Moore, by then long retired and living in Calabasas, California in the hills above Malibu. One of the things I wondered about was how he managed to afford to live in such an expensive neighborhood? Surely by now the money he earned playing The Lone Ranger had long ago run out.
That was how I first learned that the smart people in Hollywood invested most of their earnings in stocks and real estate, because they know that fame is fleeting and few are able to depend upon their movie or sitcom earnings to carry them into old age. You might be surprised to learn how many strip malls, rental properties, and grocery stores are owned behind the scenes by some of your favorite actors, writers, directors, and even rock stars. The monthly income many retired and semi-retired actors receive from their varied investments allows them to continue to live a comfortable middle-to-upperclass existence, even if they never happen to work in movies or television again.
But even the rich and famous are not immune to a disturbance in the force. Since September 2008, when the stock market tanked and the bottom fell out of the housing market, a lot of famous people's investments dried up along with those of everyone else. Just as in 1929, most of the wealth they thought they owned actually existed only on paper. In the fall of 2008, those who were lucky only lost half their net worth. Those not so lucky lost it all. House rentals dropped off when home sales went south. Stores went out of business, and those rents stopped coming in, as well as lease payments from all those companies that had to shut down as the dominoes fell. That's one reason you may be watching TV and see celebrities you haven't thought about in decades suddenly showing up in commercials or popping up in guest roles.
The reality is, many of them need the money. The comfy nest egg they expected would see them through retirement just up and vanished like Keyser Soze.
It's an open secret in Hollywood that even top stars are no longer able to command the million dollar salaries they did in the past, because the entire industry is skittish. And despite the proclivity of the Glitterati to put on appearances, this is a time when even the seemingly affluent are concerned about the future. Privately, many are counting their nickels.
So, were you to suggest at a time like this that anyone in the city of Los Angeles ought to sink upwards of five billion dollars into a brand new shopping mall full of high-end stores intended to cater to the upper classes, the first question you might be asked would be "where would we find enough customers?"
Yet Salt Lake City now boasts just such a high-end retail establishment, taking up 80 square acres opposite Temple Square. Were you to read the roster of tenants, you might mistake it for a list of boutiques lining Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. And predictably, two months shy of a year after opening, the owners of these stores are still asking the question they asked the first week of operation: "Where are the customers?"
There is plenty of foot traffic, to be sure. By all reports, this mall is a must-see, with indoor waterfalls, dancing waters, a trout-filled creek running through the center, and a gigantic retractable glass ceiling to keep out the snow and rain. And of course there are those dozens of hoity-toity high-priced retail stores, many of which the residents of the state have never been in before, or even heard of. So everyone living up and down the Wasatch Front of course has to go and have a look.
But what people are not doing at this mall is spending sufficient money to keep most of these stores in business for the long term. I live in Sacramento, California, so I haven't been there myself, but I have spoken to many people who have. And executives who lease office space at City Creek Center have told me in confidence that things are going about as well for the merchants at City Creek as they are at the malls in my own city.
Which is to say, not well at all.
Already one clothing store has pulled out, and a restaurant is gone. By all reports, the Food Court is doing quite well overall, because even tourists have to eat. But tourists don't have to buy ninety dollar shirts and three hundred dollar gym bags.
Christmas Bells Aren't Blinging
In the world of retail, it is often said that the way to tell if a new store is destined to make it is to see how it weathers its first Christmas season. December sales reports for the stores at City Creek Center have not been encouraging.
entirely funded by our own Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through its development arm, using billions of dollars culled from prior investments. And what makes this particular project a questionable use of Church money is that anyone who has ever lived and worked in Utah, as I did for more than a decade, knows that there aren't enough high earners living there who make anywhere near the kind of money, even in flush times, to support the calibre of stores that have taken up residence in this mall. The Church will never see a return on this investment. For the corporate arm of LDS, Inc to carelessly pour that much money into this extravagant boondoggle during a time of economic uncertainty is nothing short of boneheaded.
But it would be unfair to blame Church leaders for this misfire. They approved this project way back in 2006, two years before the start of the recession, when everything was still looking quite rosy. They had no way of knowing the economy would go sour. We can't expect these men to be prophets and oracles, now can we?
Yet, other members have reacted defensively to this criticism, accusing those who dare question the wisdom of our leaders in this matter as being tantamount to attacking The Lord's True Church. Some have even applauded this renovation of downtown Salt Lake City as a sign that God's anointed servants are actively building up Zion. So if you openly question the wisdom of the Corporate Church's involvement in this project, prepare for some of your fellow Saints to label you Anti-Mormon.
To these misguided True Believers, I simply wish to say this:
Brothers and sisters, stand down. You do not have to defend this. City Creek is not our religion. It has nothing to do with "Mormonism" by any definition. The City Creek shopping center has nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom of Heaven will neither rise nor fall with the fortunes of City Creek Center. If you are defending, excusing, and rationalizing this project on the basis of a belief that City Creek must be inspired for the Church to be true, I urge you to rethink your assumptions.
Men at the forefront of this Church have made boneheaded decisions in the past, and they will probably make boneheaded decisions in the future, yet the gospel message will advance and the Kingdom of God will roll forth. Neither the Kingdom nor the gospel are dependent on the 'truthfulness' of any church for their existence; not even this one. They stand independent of any earthly institution. Your testimony should not be dependent upon trusting in the arm of flesh. So please, knock it off.Whether or not you consider the City Creek project to have been a boneheaded move, it is indisputably a wrongheaded one for a church to engage in. Ours is not the first Christian denomination to entangle itself with Mammon, but we do claim to be the very incarnation of the first century church of Christ, so you'd think we might have been more careful. How we got to the point we are today is a fascinating story of a series of seemingly innocuous compromises which eventually resulted in the unintended consequences we now see blowing up in our faces.
How We Came To This
For those wishing to explore how the once spiritually based, egalitarian community founded by Joseph Smith was gradually transformed into a top-down corporate behemoth that is now heavily entangled in the global economy, I recommend two excellent sources: Thomas G. Alexander's Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints 1890-1930, and Daymon Smith's The Book of Mammon: A Book About a Book About the Corporation That Owns the Mormons. Both authors, one a historian and the other a cultural anthropologist, are believing latter-day Saints who trace the transition as having begun in 1890, when the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a legal entity, was formally dissolved and the church Joseph Smith founded was replaced with something structured a bit differently than the one the Prophet had envisioned.
Two years before City Creek Center opened to considerable fanfare, Andrew Ainsworth conducted an interview with Daymon Smith about Smith's recently published book. The interview is available free online in four parts beginning here, but the fourth part (Mormon Stories Podcast Episode 152) concerns itself with how the financial functions of the Church changed direction since the 20th century to where we now find ourselves, as it were, attempting to serve two masters. This change in dynamics was in play by the early 1900s, after Church leaders decreed that the long accepted practice of paying tithes and offerings in useable commodities such as wheat, corn, apples, chickens, eggs, and milk was no longer acceptable, and that henceforth the members were to tender their donations in cash.
I highly recommend listening to this entire series, and of course reading the book, in order to get the full picture of how these changes came about. But for now, I have abridged and transcribed one section of the interview Smith gave from episode 152 in order to offer an overview of how we seem to have gotten to where we are today. Here is the way Daymon Smith explains it:
"When you monetize tithing, you change the dynamics dramatically. So what you have here is a kind of, at the turn of the century, sort of move from a sort of spiritual economy of tithing and fast offerings, which was very minimal as to what they could actually bring in, but it was also clearly tied to our physical bodies and to the natural cycles of the earth..."
"The main impulse to monetize it was that Lorenzo Snow tried to pass bonds to Eastern bankers in order to get the Church out of its debt that it created with the Salt Lake temple -literally selling the Church into bondage. This strategy wasn't terribly successful, but what they could get done [was] they could get the members to sort of pour in liquid capital. And that's exactly what they did. They changed what tithing was and said well, it's gotta be money. This is what we need in order to pay off our debts. And the windows of heaven indeed opened and massive amounts of capital poured in so that the Church was out of debt very quickly.
"But then the question is, now we've got a kind of problem of having too much money; what are we going to do with all this money? And you know, back then they started sugar companies, and railroad companies, and electric companies -sort of social services you might say with the money to modernize the west and to really increase the quality of life among everybody out here, Mormons or non-Mormons.
"Now in the 1960s they had a real struggle and eventually one side won which was they decided they could indeed invest tithing money. And once you begin to invest tithing money, you create an entirely different dynamic with respect to what decisions are going to be made at the Church headquarters."
"What this does is it changes the dynamic in terms of what the Church is up to. And rather than sort of continually fund things like a sugar operation so that we can get sugar here, and even though we have to continually subsidize the sugar operation, which is what happened in the early 1900s and prior to that, what you have going on now is decisions being made of 'how can we get the expenses down that are tied to the corporation and always keep the revenue up?' Which is to say, we're not going to invest in operations that are losing money. We're not going to fund a hospital that is going to be a continual loser in terms of its money.
"Now of course they fund things like welfare farms and other operations that are designed to be charitable works. But you can see the transition just if you go into Deseret Industries where of course they receive all their merchandise as a donation. But as a part of this transition in the 1980s and 1990s toward more of a 'finance sensitive' corporation, Deseret Industries is a real moneymaker as I understand it; and of course it's justified because the profits that accrue from Deseret Industries are to be put toward funding other good works.
"But what we have here is actually a division between the charitable side of things, which, if you actually look at the amount of capital that is donated to humanitarian aid with respect to the amount of money that is brought in through the donation streams of fast offerings and tithings, you see that it's really a surprisingly small amount of money that actually goes towards humanitarian aid; and that increasingly, the day-to-day operations of the corporation are being funded by volunteers. Which makes sense, of course, if you have a corporation. Why put all your money into payroll when you could just have "missionaries" doing data entry?
"So again, in the 1980s they began to move toward a volunteer based model of running the operations of the corporate side of things and of course this is drawing on the church side to make it so the corporate side doesn't have the expenses that it used to have. Now the problem is of course they're not doing this because they don't have any money. They're doing it because it makes sense financially to free up more and more capital.
"And so the question now is, 'what is going on with all this money?' If the expenses of the day-to-day operation are continually being driven down, then what is really going on with the rest of the money?
"It is being invested. For the most part, in real estate throughout the 1990s and the previous decade which was part of the building spree of the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop. But also in Wells Fargo mortgage backed securities and CitiBank and many other major funds which I document in the book. You're talking about a lot of money that is being invested in things which, again, it makes sense if you're a business to do this kind of thing, of course. And it makes sense maybe for an individual to invest in these funds that are going to be bringing back a lot of money.
"But the question that I really want to put forward in the book is, does it make sense for a religion to be doing this kind of stuff? And of course a lot of the listeners will say, 'yeah, of course,' and a lot of the listeners maybe will say, 'well, maybe it doesn't make a lot of sense.'
"In the book, I try to sort of put forward an argument as to why it doesn't necessarily make sense from a metaphysical perspective, from a cultural perspective, and even from an economic perspective."
"This is a difficult dilemma; it's one of these Faustian bargains....It's a question of a sort of means to an end. Is it acceptable for the Kingdom of God to do this dance with people who are not necessarily -who may not seem like they're directly opposed to us. Of course they're not bringing in the cannons like they did in 1857 and rolling them into Salt Lake City and keeping them pointed at the city...The exercises of power in the modern world are much gentler than they used to be. The way that Mammon works is to make it seem like it makes perfect sense to play along, and that we can do it to our advantage; that we can make a deal with, as it were, the devil.
"And I'm not saying that rich people are the devil or that Citibank is the devil. But the things that are not -that don't have an interest in building up the Kingdom of God, I believe are, of course, building up another kind of kingdom. And so the question for me is whether we can actually make these kinds of deals, and in fact whether we need to be making these kinds of deals.
"If Jesus tells us to consider the Lilies of the field, maybe we ought to be considering the lilies of the field rather than investing our funds in a sort of lily-gilding operation that is going to yield an 8% profit for the next fifty years.
"In other words, is it right to build a foundation of security that is tied to the global economy? Or should we be trying to do something which is a little more in line with what I read Joseph Smith was trying to do, which is create an order of people who are independent as much as possible from the operations of the world because the world is fallen? It's in a state of sin, and for us to try to profit from the sin is a very dangerous proposition from my perspective."
The Full interview is available at Mormon Stories Podcast.*****"If there is sort of a run on sand, I guess you could build your house on sand and hope that you can flip it to the next guy before the sand really falls out from under you. But if 2008 is any kind of indicator, [the Church] didn't move from the sand quite fast enough and I think they lost a pile of cash in the stock market as apparently a lot of people did.
"So again, if we were to invest strictly in things like humans, and provide for the needs of the poor rather than, say, building a high-end retail establishment in downtown Salt Lake City, is that a bad financial decision? Well, who can say one way or the other? Is [providing for the needs of the poor] a good spiritual decision? I'd say yes.
"Is it a good spiritual decision to build a multi-billion dollar mall? I'd sort of leave that up to the readers to try to see where Jesus raised that kind of capital in order to build a mall in downtown Jerusalem so that he could have a foundation for building up his church."
Below is a short video I came across on Youtube. I don't know who is responsible for creating this video, but if he or she will step forward I will happily give credit:
Next entry: "Bad Science, Weird Science, and Strange Mormon Prophecy."
[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. If that still doesn't work for you, please sign your comment with a username so others can properly respond without confusing you with some other "Anonymous."
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 I can't fathom. 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]
245 comments:1 – 200 of 245 Newer› Newest»
Rock, that video was the perfect capper!
I have such a crush on Daymon Smith
Thanks for another blog that solidifies my own personal feelings on the state of the anti-church of Christ. These verses just prior to the closing ones on the video speak what is in my heart.
24 Now when Alma saw this his heart was grieved; for he saw that they were a wicked and a perverse people; yea, he saw that their hearts were set upon gold, and upon silver, and upon all manner of fine goods.
25 Yea, and he also saw that their hearts were lifted up unto great boasting, in their pride.
26 And he lifted up his voice to heaven, and cried, saying: O, how long, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that thy servants shall dwell here below in the flesh, to behold such gross wickedness among the children of men?
27 Behold, O God, they cry unto thee, and yet their hearts are swallowed up in their pride. Behold, O God, they cry unto thee with their mouths, while they are puffed up, even to greatness, with the vain things of the world.
I stopped by the City Creek Mall while visiting my sister in SLC. It's a very impressive complex. I couldn't afford to buy anything there; and even if I could, I wouldn't.
Having been born and raised in the Church, I really feel sad that we have become this way. Some might say, 'Hey, it's just a mall. The Church built it to keep downtown from looking trashy. Chill out.' Well, I know a lot of poor people who could benefit from the billions of dollars the church spent on the mall. And I can't imagine the Savior of the world advising or approving his Apostles to build something like this with Church money. It doesn't matter if 'Tithing' money wasn't used. Any money the Church has came from donations made by members. Therefore it is sacred and should only be used to take care of the Church's basic needs and the rest should be spent on the poor and needy. Period.
I think we have fallen away somewhat from the Savior and his basic teaching to love one another. Call it apostasy or whatever title you want to throw at it. What it comes down to is greed and self-image. That's what the Church prizes today above brotherly love.
Thanks Rock for another great post. I literally check every day for a new one and I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I saw you had written something new.
Anyone want to put odds on when Rock gets busted for his rabble-rousing?
I do not believe for one moment that Christ would care more about how areas around a temple look, than about the sufferings of the widows, fatherless, poor and afflicted.
But I believe the leaders of the Church care more about money, malls and appearance than they do about the sufferings of the widows & fatherless in their own ranks, who they are obligated to protect and provide for before all else.
All the struggling widows and fatherless that I know seem to be ignored, if not persecuted, by the Church, rather than protected and provided for.
Thanks for another great article Rock. That video and it's scriptures say it all.
The ancient prophets of the Book of Mormon saw our day and how the Holy Church of God would become corrupted and go into apostasy, they warned us about these things, but who's listening and can see it?
"They have all become corrupted. They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.
They will say: All is well in Zion, yea Zion prospereth, all is well; and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell."
2 Nephi 28: 11-13,21.
“There are none, save a few only, who do not lift themselves up in pride and persecution and all manner of iniquities. Every one of your churches has become polluted because of pride.
Why have ye polluted the Holy Church of God? Why do you build up your secret abominations to get gain and cause that widows should mourn and also orphans to mourn?
The same thing has happened to the Mormon Church that happened to the Roman Catholic Church. An apocryphal tale says that a celebrity was touring the Vatican, and being shown all the priceless valuables it was furnished with. The person giving the tour was supposed to be a high ranking member of the Catholic hierarchy equivalent to the duty of such a lofty celebrity visitor. The guide said, "As you can see, we can no longer say, 'Silver and gold have I none." The visitor commented, "And you can't say 'Rise up and walk!' either."
If we ever were the "true church", we sure as hell aren't now.
I can't believe there are any members left. Are they all completely blind?
Does "Satan" need to show up during conference, pat ol Tommy on the back and say "that's my boy" in front of everyone? At this point the masses are so damned brainwashed they still wouldn't get it.
It's gotten past pathetic and I can't make excuses for the church anymore....not even to myself.
The days when I could say that the "church" does more good than harm are far past.
I remember seeing anti-mormons demonstrating back-in-the-day and thinking "those poor souls, they just don't know what I know".....now older, and a little wiser, I realize that they were the ones that were correct.
Sad to waste so many years believing pure BS....but sadder still to waste another day.
Great to see a new post, Rock. I hope that you are your family are well.
This is an issue that troubles me. Did the Lord really tell Pres. Monson to spend this much money on a mall? Maybe he did, although I find it hard to believe that he would. Wouldn't the Lord rather that money be better used to help someone who needs it? Maybe he doesn't, although I find that hard to believe too.
Another issue that you mention briefly is that the Church allows businesses to operate in the mall that are at variance with Church teachings. By allowing these vices on their property (even if they don't fully own it - although you state that they do), the church intends to profit from them. I think that this is wrong. A similar case is the Marriott hotel chain selling pay-per-view pornography (whether they still do I don't know). I don't know how much influence active Mormons have in the company, but if they have any deciding say in the matter, it is wrong from a moral and church standpoint. I think the same issue occurs in the City Creek Mall.
I have no issue with the Church investing in business, nor even making a profit from it (if, as the Book of Mormon states your intent is to bless others). But the type of business the Church is involved with is important. Paul (I think) said to avoid even the appearance of evil. The Church appears to be close to violating that.
I agree Bruce. It's amazing how so few are willing to acknowledge the truth. But everyone can sense right from wrong, even if they don't want to acknowledge it. But truth means responsibility (to love, serve & repent) and thus it is not usually desired by most.
Blindness is usually a choice, that's why we will be held accountable & lose our Exaltation if we allow ourselves to be deceived by the falsehoods & false prophets that abound around us today in the Church.
I agree also that the Church does far more harm than good & leads people so astray that few of them can ever be reclaimed or waken up.
I believe the LDS Church is one of the most destructive churches there are today, with all their abusive doctrines and their support & teachings of adulterous whoredoms & abominations.
So many other Christian Churches teach so much closer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ even though they don't have the BoM to guide them.
I believe we are at the point where Alma & Joseph Smith found themselves, when they awoke to the corruption and apostasy of their churches, and thus they had to worship, teach & study the Gospel in their own homes instead of attending corrupt churches, and just use the scriptures that they had, together with just family & like minded friends.
Soon Christ will return and restore his true Church & even Zion upon the earth.
It is said though, that Joseph Smith said that the Kingdom of God remains on the earth as long as one righteous man can receive personal revelation from God. I believe such men are rare but there are some who keep the Kingdom of God alive today. I also believe that there must be true prophets somewhere on the earth today, but where are they?
How wonderful it would be to know of a true prophet today. He would be so opposite from the church leaders we have known and he would preach a completely opposite doctrine from them, one finally based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Anonymous, I'm curious about this statement of yours: "I believe the LDS Church is one of the most destructive churches there are today, with all their abusive doctrines and their support & teachings of adulterous whoredoms & abominations."
Can you point out a few abusive doctrines and support of whoredoms? I see the problem as not enough discussion in church of actual doctrines and too many feel good lessons. Are you conflating Utah/LDS culture with the actual doctrines of the church, or are you thinking of church policies?
I'm not trying to start a fight or prove you wrong, I'm just curious about what you mean.
I can not begin to tell you how many times I have read a new post on my husbands' blog and said, "Well Rock, if they haven't ex'd you by now, they certainly will this time!"
What I have long ago come to believe is that Rock's voice has become too powerful. I believe that it would backfire. Secondly, Rock is a believer and uses the scriptures and what the Brethren have said and done to prove his valid points. Most importantly, I am privy to the inspired process of how each post comes to be.
And yes. I am a humble reader and fan of Rock and this inspired blog.
City Creek named best mall in the Americas
Nevertheless, I have jammed a chair back under the front doorknob as a barricade.
The Church has finally done something that has garnered the approval of the world.
Your post reminded me of something I read several years ago, where Brigham Young had prophesied that SLC would be like Babylon. So, I spent all day and night looking and at 4:00am I finally found it, enjoy: Babylon and Brigham Young
The President [Brigham Young] stopped with us. He
sat at the head of the table and had me sit down at
his right. The President, when everything was ready,
asked a blessing, then all began to eat. He asked for
some buttermilk, then crumbled some bread in it and
began to eat. He conversed freely on the situation of
the Saints in the mountains, and said that he dreaded
the time when the Saints would become popular with the
world; for he had seen in sorrow, in a dream, or in
dreams, this people clothed in the fashions of
Babylon, and drinking in the spirit of Babylon until
one could hardly tell a Saint from  a black-leg.
And he felt like shouting, `To your tents, Oh Israel!'
because it was the only thing that could keep this
Many of this people for the sake of riches and
popularity, will sell themselves for that which will
canker their souls and lead them down to misery and
despair. It would be better for them to dwell in
wigwams among the Indians than to dwell with the
gentiles and miss the glories which God wishes them to
obtain. I wish my families would see the point and
come forth before it is too late. For oh, I can see
the tendency in my families to hug the moth eaten
customs of Babylon to their bosoms. This is far more
hurtful to them than the deadly viper; for the poisons
of the viper can be healed by the power of God. but
the customs of Babylon will be hard to get rid of.
(Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 47-48)
Been to "The Mall" once. Do not plan to ever visit again. "Fetchin' Offensive" pretty much describes it.
Rounded a corner near Deseret Book and saw the Salt Lake Temple thru the windows, right up close.
I thought, "Wow, they've put up a 3 ring circus right next door to the Temple!"
It will be interesting to see how "The Mall" fares over the next few years if high end stores leave when they can't make a profit.
Sad time for a church with so much going for it.
Good post Rock, as usual. Keep that chair under the doorknob!
The September Six: Lynne Kanavel Whitesides, Avraham Gileadi, Paul Toscano, Maxine Hanks, Lavina Fielding Anderson, and D. Michael Quinn.
There is little hope if the Church leadership (especially Boyd K. Packer) hasn’t learned from the terrible mistake of excommunicating these people. Yes they are all flawed. But excommunication?? Rock asks honest questions and points out ways the Church can improve and move closer to the teachings of the Savior and further from the ways of the world. There is no justification for disciplining him in any way.
Questioning Church leadership and Church teachings when they don’t align with the Gospel is every members right and duty. The fifteen leaders of the Church are men who make mistakes. Most of them honest I think. The City Creek Mall is one of them. Pure and simple.
How did we come to this? The church no longer has checks and balances against the oligarchy that are the big 15. Our vote at meetings means nothing anymore. Common consent has been abolished. The doctrine of papal infallibility has found it's way into Mormonism. The church has been sensitive to criticism since the days of Joseph Smith. Common consent was replaced by a dictatorship to stem the criticism. Without checks and balances that the Lord originally built into the system, the leaders are running amok and becoming drunk with power.
Watch the movie "The man who would be King" with Michael Caine and Sean Connery. It is a case study of what happens when a man is suddenly thrust into power and given godlike status, and the ultimate consequences of such behavior. I disagree with you. The general authorities are not good men and are not honest. Good honest men lay down their very lives for what is right and true, and are not blinded by the craftiness of other men. Those that are blinded by the craftiness of others are not Celestial.
I loved the Lone Ranger lead in. It was one of my favorite shows when I was little. However, I watched it in reruns. Also, bringing up the Lone Ranger reminded me of a Bill Cosby routine where he does the Lone Ranger and Tonto. It's really funny.
Everyone, here's some graphic representations, in $100.00 bills, showing the space taken up by different amounts of money. When you get to the billion dollars picture you can double that and get an idea how much the Curch spent on the City Creek Mall. When someone says they spent tons of cash on it you can take it literaly.
Long before City Creek the Church did the Conference Center. Thats when I started getting unconfortable with what the leadership was doing. I wondered ,"what's wrong with the tabernacle?"
I am in a proffesion which deals with construction costs on a daily basis, so at the time I did some rough estimates as to what it would cost to build such a building. I think my estimate for the cost of the Conference Center started off, before con struction, at about $170,000,000.00 and by the time it was completed I think I had estimated a little over $300,000,000.00. Again these were my estimates.
A couple of years after the C.C.(Conference Center) was complteted I was on a business trip with a couple of people who were involved with it's construction. We were involved with "shop talk" when they brought up their experiences working on the C.C. I couldn't resist asking them the question, "how much did it cost?" They said that they knew but could not share this information with me because it was confidential. I said that I thought it probably cost between $300-325,000,000.00. The look on their faces was priceless. They asked me how did I know and I explained to them that it was my own estimate based upon similar types of construction.
As I said earlier, the Church spending large amounts of money on the C.C. really bothered me. I studied about tithing, how much I should pay and what it should be used for. I tried as best I could to justify what the Church was doing. After several years of struggle and sincrer prayer I finally got an answer. The answer was "the Church has too much money". This answer hit be like a ton of $100.00 bills.
Thanks for the article Rock!
Polygamy for one, which is one of the worst adulterous & abusive abominations in this world for women. And one which the Church still preaches, promises and practices on a certain level with 'serial' polygamy & sealing men to multiple 'living' women after death or divorce. I know so many men who are sealed to multiple women and many believe they will probably have some or all of them in the next life. The doctrine of polygamy cause many men to be mentally unfaithful to their wife by desiring and looking forward to future new wives.
Divorce and Remarriage, which Christ clearly teaches is adultery, is completely accepted, encouraged and even rewarded in the Church and men are supported in abandoning their wife & children and marrying another woman with no questions asked or consequences applied for doing so. This is another abominable whoredom completely accepted by the Church and taught that it is ok and not a sin anymore.
The Church allows men who abandon & divorce their families or who are abusive & cause a divorce, to dump their male responsibility on to the single mother so she has to go get a job and support the family now, except for the usually small amount the court requires. While he is free to spend his money on other women and whatever, while his wife is forced to shoulder his responsibilities and hers. If that's not an abomination I don't know what is. The Lord calls such men worse than an infidel. And Joseph Smith said that Church leaders who allow men to abandon their wife & family will be damned along with the man who does such.
The Church teaches that women are subordinate to men and must obey their husbands and let them rule & preside over them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Women are totally equal to men in all things, in the home, church and society, yet the Church teaches they can't hold the Priesthood (when in reality women have held it all along) or hold high positions of leadership in the Church or have an equal voice in the Church. Which is totally false and against what God really intended for women, which is that women are entitled to every right, power, position, authority and blessing that men can receive.
Tithing is another abomination the way it is taught, Christ never intended that people support the poor, let alone rich church leaders, before their own families needs. Yet the Church teaches members, even the poor and single mothers to pay tithing and support paid ministry (which is another evil) even if it means their suffering family doesn't have enough $ for food. And even with all the money the Church collects widows & the fatherless are still ignored and made to suffer and not supported financially as they should be by the Church.
Abortion, Birth Control, Socialism, are all supported by the leaders of the Church.
The Church still teaches the falsehood that 'Prophets can't lead the Church astray' or fall, (just to keep the members blind and unquestioning to the church's errors), when we have many prophets who have fallen & lead many astray and Christ & Joseph Smith, etc. warned us continually to beware of false prophets in the Church who could lead us astray.
The many falsehoods taught in the temple, along with the sealings, endowments & ordinances that I believe Brigham Young made up and that Joseph Smith never intended the temple to be used for. Joseph taught that marriage should be a public ceremony for all to join in the celebration, not some secret restrictive cruel thing that loving parents & family & friends who aren't members can't be apart of. Which I believe is just another abomination in God's eyes.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Oh Bruce, don't you know that Mormon 8:35-39 is speaking to all other churches? It can't be talking to our church. My gosh man what's wrong with you.
Bruce, you already know that when you replace the Savior with a man made organization such as "the church" and have people recite the mantra "I know the church is true" over and over again since primary that there is going to be problems. I've already warned my kids about investing (excuse the corporate talk) their belief and faith in the arm of the flesh. I've told them that no institution or person can stand in between them and the Savior and that it's ludicrous to think so. So much of what I hear in testimony meetings and classes is that church = Savior.
All of us have been blinded at one time or another by the craftiness of men. I don't know any of the 15 leaders of the Church personally. Perhaps you do.
I suppose I can’t really say if they are honest or dishonest. But the optimist in me likes to believe that for the most part, they are good people. Are they wrong? Sure they are. But I don’t think all of them know it.
My Grandfather died a few years ago and Elder Holland walked in the chapel in the middle of the funeral. When the Bishop finished his talk he invited Elder Holland to speak. Elder Holland gave a nice, short devotional to my Grandfather and then left. It touched us as a family to have him take time out of his busy schedule to comfort us. Is he an apostle of the Lord? Eh, I really don’t know. A part of me says no, probably not. But is he a bad dude? No, I don’t think so. Just another lost soul who thinks he has found the right Church. I can’t really blame him for that. Now Bruce R. McConkie…that’s another story.
Ah yes, the mall. The room addition to the large and spacious building. If anyone remembers the old Shake & Bake commercial where the mother is standing in the kitchen with the daughter, and after the mother touts the simplicity of Shake & Bake, the daughter says, "and I helped" in a cute southern accent.
Well guys, I guess that's what can be said about our tithes and building the mall. "And I helped." Yes, a little sarcasm, but really. I've listened to Daymon Smiths podcast on Mormon stories and have studied a lot about tithing and I ask the question, where does it stop? The last tithe I payed during 2012, I circled the fast offering and wrote on the slip, "I want all of this going to our fast fund" or something like that. They probably looked at it and said, "oh you know, there goes that crazy Bryan again ha ha ha". I was serious, despite the disclaimer that's on the tithing slip.
If any of you have not listened to the Daymon Smith podcast, I would encourage you to do it. He's a better speaker than a writer. If you read his book you might think he's a pompous ass, but he's not really. A friend of mine used the excuse that the church has a lot invested in Utah and was helping out in cleaning up the city. Love my friend, but com'on. Lets just call a spade a spade.
In reading Gary's response to this post, I have come to the same conclusions. When I see the guys at church walking around taking attendance, it is all about numbers. A lot of members have put in a lot of time and their life and money into the church because they thought church = Christ.
If anyone is interested I have a document entitled, "The Tithing Dilemma". I bring this up in this post because this subject is closely tied to Decembers subject of tithing. If anyone wants the PDF copy, I can email it to them, as I was the one who created it from the website.
How can I get a copy of that PDF file without putting my email address on this blog?
For $300-325 million they should have asked for something that wasn't cold and butt ugly on the outside, had some daylight in the inside and acoustics that would at least begin to support the Tabernacle Choir's reputation. This building lacks inspiration except for one very important (to them) thing; it put 21,000 adoring pair of eyes per session on the man behind the pulpit.
Daymon Smith, who I quoted at length in the second half of my post, has just posted a presentation he recently gave at the Brazilian Mormon Studies Conference. As always, the information Daymon presents is very thought provoking, and I highly recommend it:
I too would like a copy without giving out my email publicly. I’m really interested in your thoughts regarding tithing.
They like us! They really really like us!
Bryan, I'm interested in that PDF as well.
Let me know how to get the PDF...
By the way, you said Daymon Smith is not a "pompous ass"...you should change your review on Amazon...hehe.
Oh Angel...I feel like such a schmuck now. I forgot about that. I had ordered the kindle edition of the book and luckily was able to return it. Seriously, it's almost as though he's trying to impress the reader that he has a Ph.d. I even had to look up where to put the period in Ph.d. But if you listen to his podcast, it's like a different person. Hey, we all can't be everything to everybody right?
I'm sharing the paper from my google drive. Here is the link to the pdf.
Try this link. As I mentioned to Angel, this is my google drive. I've only done this one other time and that was with my friends email address, but I found a way to share to all who have the link.
Keep in mind that this document is showing a history of tithe and showing clearly what it was used for. the contention is, is that in New Testament times, the tithe went away because it was under the old law and that freewill offerings are what started to be done. You have to read it to really get the jist of it and if at all possible, use something like the NIV, NET or ESV of the bible and chuck the KJV. Let me know what you think. If you can't download it, email me and I'll attach it and send it to you.
I'm already smacking my lips. Thanks Rock.
Is this a church that has a corporation, or a corporation that has a church?
I was not able to download from this blog. I looked for your email by clicking your name but did not find it there. Do you mind posting it here?
I have several different versions of the Bible and love reading them, so your suggestion really interests me.
LDS Inc should plan on holding the Saturday conference sessions at the new great and spacious mall.
It would be epic. Granted most mormons cannot afford to shop there, but hey it will jack up the patron numbers to make it look like the Utards give a damn!
I see they have the Tea shop. Do they serve Brigham's Tea?
Also, can I buy a new set of jesus jammies there?
Thanks, Bryan. I appreciate you sharing this.
Anonymous, I could not download it the first time I tried, but I tried again and it worked fine.
Also, in case you or others don't know: when a link does not appear to be active, like the one above, highlight the link, right click and when the list pops up, click on "open link" or "open link in new tab." At least this is the way it is on the Firefox browser. Not sure about Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or others.
THIS IS FROM SHEPARDESS!! You guys are standing on rocky ground! Do no suppose that these comments will not go un-noticed, as the God of Heaven will not look upon what you say about his anointed with distain, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!
What is the stone that Daniel saw that was cut out of the mountain without hands and that would become a great mountain and would fill the whole earth? Speaking of the First Vision and the restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:
"After centuries of darkness and pain and struggle, the time was ripe for the restoration of the gospel. Ancient prophets had spoken of this long-awaited day.
"All of the history of the past had pointed to this season. The centuries with all of their suffering and all their hope had come and gone. The Almighty Judge of the nations, the Living God, determined that the times of which the prophets had spoken had arrived. Daniel had foreseen a stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands and which became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
" 'And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever' (Dan. 2:44)" ("At the Summit of the Ages," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 73).
Once established upon the earth, it will not be destroyed either from within nor without. Do not be caught on the outside, just when the going get rough. Repent of your foolishness! Do not talk with distain about the Prophet of God, for if he if false, then our Heavenly Father will take him out from his place. But for me, I have witnessed him in the flesh and I can tell you that there is not guile in him.
It's nice for you defend the Lord's "anointed" and all, but if you're going to proof text your point, then you need to go all the way. Please show us in the scriptures anywhere that justifies this 5 billion dollar commercial venture. Also, where are we informed that the Lord doesn't allow an ecclesiastical leader (like, say... King Noah) to stay in his place if he is "false." Where are we told that we cannot question the decisions of those who have stewardship over our precious tithing funds?
The problem is that the words don't match up with the fruit. You could say that they taught us TOO well, because having read the Book of Mormon, as encouraged by Pres. Benson, we can see that all is not well. For those of us with inquisitive minds, what are we to do besides blindly follow and obey? Perhaps you will tell us to ask God ourselves. I would wager that most here have, and most here probably see the same thing that Rock does.
So rather than pointing a finger of judgment at us and telling us our rebellion won't go unnoticed, could you please inform us specifically how to resolve the questions that the mall brings up. Inquiring minds want to know.
I have to say that I love the pod cast with Damon Smith. For one thing I could understand him when he is speaking. I think the guy is brilliant. However, in saying that, I think his book, the Book of Mammon, is by far, the most difficult book I have ever read and unless you have a PHD in literature and a total understanding of every word in the dictionary I wouldn't recommend his book to anyone. I couldn't understand half of what he was saying. I tried hard to like it but couldn't. I guess he wrote it the way he did to make it a sealed book. It's too bad because he has such good things to say. I guess I need to get me a pair of my own Urim and Thummim to understand some of these great minds.
Great post as always, Rock.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I think the reasons why Angel could download is because both of us are part of the google+ circle. Just email me and I'll attach the document and you'll get it that way.
When I went to see the Conference Center a year after it opened, I was surprised to see some very sinister foundational cracks running across the floor of the lobby. Metaphorical? One has to wonder...
Dr. Shades, it is a corporation masquerading as a church.
Rock, I got through reading the presentation and I think we've had conversations on this very subject before. If anyone has ever had the chance to listen to Daymon's podcasts entitled, "Cultural History of the Book of Mormon", it can be found at the following link. You have to click on the links and it takes you to a site to download them.
I have them already downloaded, but again, they are on my google drive. I have to find a way to make them available to everyone who wants to download them.
One thing that I believe really threw a wrench in the whole scripture study is the quad. People are underthe impression that you can melt all the scriptures together and understand what they mean. Something that Charles Harrell said in his book, "This Is My Doctrine" is,
"...there is also a tendency among many Latter-day Saints to view them as being uniformly consistent in the doctrines they teach. LDS religious scholar Philip Barlow notes that most Saints assume that "inconsequential details aside, all Bible theology is perfectly compatible with itself and with twentieth-century LDS conceptions." pg. 5
I grew up reading the Bible and I love the fact that we have scholars who are unearthing older manuscripts that have shed light on the scriptures. But, I have to agree that the Book of Mormon has become contaminated with biblical overtones.
'SHEPARDESS', this is Chief Shepherd speaking, come in 'SHEPARDESS'...
Since when did I tell you you could speak in My name?
Who said you could tell who was an abomination?
(that's My job!)
...and with such a shrill self righteous voice?
Don't you remember when I told my prophets (you know, the real ones...)
that even the very elect will be deceived? Well this is it babe...
So, when you go shopping for your stomachers and crisping pins,
remember what I got them to write in your scriptures about the
abomination of riches... and about pride...
I think I'll tell that Monson guy who's running the corporate arm of
my earthly operation to make sure to send your son on a mission
to Ghana just to give you a sense of proportion.
So lighten up 'SHEPERDESS', don't judge, and be nice to each other...
PS Oh, and you may want to change your name,
'SHEPARDESS', your spelling is abominable.
For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.
And liars and hypocrites shall be proven by them and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.
And evenm the bishop and his councilors if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned and others shall be planted in their stead.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I would like to raise a warning voice for you too. It is a complete falsehood, 'that Prophets can't lead the Church astray', which was started by Wilford Woodruff so members wouldn't question his decision to end polygamy since so many were giving him a hard time and many left the Church over it.
But Joseph Smith and even Brigham Young knew & warned that even Prophets could lead the people astray and continually warned the Saints to beware of false prophets that would arise in the Church, as they always have before throughout history.
Joseph even saw such a thing happening while he was still alive, he saw most of the Apostles falling for evil & immorality (polygamy) and tried to stop them, but he didn't live long enough to excommunicate them. So after he died Brigham Young, as a fallen or false prophet, took over the Church and lead most of the members astray, because they refused to listen to Joseph's warnings against polygamy and other whoredoms & abominations, thus they were easily led astray.
Book of Mormon Prophets saw all this and our day and warned us of the great latter day apostasy of the Holy Church of God, where everyone would be led astray & become corrupt, except a few.
But that doesn't mean that the Kingdom of God isn't still on the earth, it is. Joseph Smith said that if there is still one righteous man on the earth who can receive personal revelation from God, then the Kingdom of God is still here. It doesn't take a Prophet or a Church to keep the Kingdom here on earth. I believe there are many righteous men who keep it going, yet they probably aren't members of the LDS Church and they are definitely hard to find.
Please follow Christ's command to 'prove all things' & not just follow leaders blindly, despite the extra effort that requires, for if we are deceived by the craftiness of false prophets we will lose our Exaltation, as Joseph Smith taught in D&C 76.
Compare the Holy Scriptures, especially the BoM, with what the church leaders are preaching and practicing today and since BY. For that is how Joseph Smith said you tell true prophets from false ones, for false prophets will preach 'contrary' to Christ's scriptures, which is what all the general church leaders do today.
Thus it is easy to see they are not true prophets, but false prophets who are leading the whole church astray, except a few who don't follow blindly and who truly believe in Christ and study his teachings and use them as a test for all other voices.
But please remember that Thomas Monson is not really the approving figure in the building of the mall. We have to blame Gordon (all is well in Zion) Hinckley for that. By the time that Tom got the scepter all the contracts had been signed and the work begun. I know the legal department of the Church is good, but even they would have been pressed to find a way to back out of the project after Gordon croaked.
Brigham wasn't always a blackguard. He has left many clues that he had for himself an NDE during the time just before he entered the Valley while he was bed-riddened with Rocky Mtn Fever. He has spoken authoritatively about what the spirit world is like on the other side. Perhaps he was granted a look at our time as well. Perhaps he saw and spoke with Joseph. I wouldn't be surprised. Reportedly, Joseph was the last word he spoke on his death bed.
Again, the CC was another legacy of King Gordon. If anyone doubts that this man had more influence over the modern Church as it exists today than any other man during the last 30 years, than just read his biography sometime. We are still living in it today, with King Thomas merely the holder of the keys until a more dynamic personality takes ownership of the Church. I pray daily that it won't be Parker. That man is just plain mean.
Thanks for sharing "The Tithing Dilemma" with us. It was very familiar to me. I probably run across it years ago when I did my research on tithing.
By the way I had no problem downloading it. I used my wife's iMac.
It would appear the Shephardess has confused the Church with the Kingdom. As the scriptures and the early prophets have taught us, they are two very different entities. The Kingdom of God will roll forth. There is no such promise regarding the earthly Church.
Yes it is as you say, "butt ugly". However you know, they did use very expensive materials. This building reminds me of a Federal government building. Very cold and institutional.
Another thing that bothers me about the building is the water fall. It seems like the water is moving too fast, and being pushed or forced along it's path. I've seen many fountains and waterfalls in my time but the C.C. one really is uncomfortable to watch. Maybe it's an optical illusion. Has anyone else noticed this?
Hey Rock Water Guy :) its the Starbucks Mom. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your courage in speaking out against the abuse and misuse of $ in the church. I agree w/ what so many have said. Here is my take. Say Jesus were to return today. He would laugh at this church that claims to be his, and spend his time and efforts among the poor, destitute, and broken hearted. He would eat with drug abusers, prostitutes, and aids victims. He would hold starving children in Africa and Latin America and weep. And if asked to take a tour of SLC church headquarters, if he even did, he would simply ask how they dared do this in his sacred name??? And he would proceed to call the 15 to repentance and give a long parable/ lecture about how they should be directing their funds.
@ StarbucksMom -
I'm willing to go out on a limb and argue that the brethren in Salt Lake wouldn't be able to recognize the Savior if he showed up today. I'd guess they would expect someone in a suit, white shirt, and a tie...oh, and clean-shaven.
Most likely, they'd have him arrested and thrown in jail. Can't have any of these "robe wearing freaks" invading the inner sanctum of church headquarters.
Wow, sounds like SHEPARDESS uses fear-mongering to push their point. SHEPARDESS is still in the Matrix.
Where do you draw the line between agency and surrendering? I'm over the 50 line so I've been around for a while and I do understand that no one, and I mean no one is perfect except for our Savior. I found the following in, of course, a correlated piece of material.
President Wilford Woodruff declared that we can have full confidence in the direction the prophet is leading the Church: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty” [Teachings of The Living Prophets Student Manual, Religion 333 pg. 20]
So what this tells me is that, all is well, it's okay, you can let down your guard because your safe and we will protect you. Just listen to us and you will never go astray.
To me, I see a lot of pacifying going on and if you say anything that isn't positive, there's the threat of being escorted outside the walls of the fortress. It's like I said in the last post in December. We wonder why our country has gone so far off course and complain about the politicians. Is it no wonder when the people don't know how to differentiate between what the right course is from the wrong, because they neglected to learn the constitution of the United States? The same goes for the scriptures.
Funny StarbucksMom. I love the picture that Rock used for his post on "How Corporatism Has Undermined and Subverted The Church of Jesus Christ". I showed it to a friend who knows about the church and he just laughed because its true.
Funny that Woodruff made that remark.If it is impossible for the prophet to lead the church astray, then why is there provisions in the D+C for removing him from office if necessary? Woodruff forgot about free agency...God will not interfere with our free agency, even though the church routinely grabs at ours.
I think at some point the church decided that their reach could be expanded by owning not only the temple, but the Great and Spacious Building too. Why bother choosing sides? Own both and you can make money from everyone. I pray more eyes will be opened every day to the true nature of the church.
Not to mention that we already have proof that a prophet has led many in the Church astray, for we know that either Joseph Smith led many astray if he lied that polygamy was evil (causing many to not follow BY) or Brigham Young led many astray by saying that polygamy was ok, causing many to commit adultery.
We know for sure that one of those 2 led many in the Church astray, or even led the Church into complete apostasy.
So W.W.'s idea is proven completely false, but who checks up on what church leaders say, let alone studies church history. Blind obedience is so much easier.
I don't know if God commanded the church to spend $3bn on a mall. There is the possibility that he did with some reason known only to him. In lieu of any such explanation, this line sums it up for me:
"Is it a good spiritual decision to build a multi-billion dollar mall? I'd sort of leave that up to the readers to try to see where Jesus raised that kind of capital in order to build a mall in downtown Jerusalem so that he could have a foundation for building up his church."
If Joseph Smith were to show up today, the best he could hope for would be assistant scoutmaster. He was a penniless, itinerant farm boy. To be a general authority nowadays you have to be a captain of industry. Yeah, old Joe would be the laughing stock of his ward. His upward mobility would be severely curtailed. Funny that when the Lord handpicks servants he picks the weak, uneducated, yet humble creatures of the Earth.
Great Article Rock and always await for your latest blog each time. I find them very informative and other reader's comments as well.
So that's why I'm the assistant scoutmaster. Dang.
Very good article and something that has been on the minds of many who are awake.
While I am not a conspiracy theorist, I tend to think that the so-called Illuminati has its hand on everything these days and church businessmen are not immune to their grasp, all in the constructon of the NWO.
I became suspicious a few years ago when I saw the church befriending other churches, especially the Catholic church and trying to be 'friends to all' as if the world was one big happy family. Obviously if that were ever true Jesus wouldn't have come to overcome and save the world. We would have just befriended one another and got along on our own.
There is probably a great deal of secret combinations behind closed doors. The Book Of Mormons warns us against such secret combinations.
I think we now just use Jesus's name as a front to justity Mammon, business entreprises and we worship Him with our lips but our hearts are from from Him and closer to our wallets, investments, empire-building, etc.
D&C advises the faithful to put up with the Church until Christ comes. Part of me tends to believe that the men in black suits can't help but mingle with the rich and powerful and, as a consequence, they get talked into or yield to Mammon, which likely produced this mall.
The posters at City Creek do remind me of illuminati themes. Pay attention and research.
Read D&C 10:69. It tells to to deal with it until Christ comes and cleans it all up and puts the Church where it should have been years ago.
10:69 And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and **endureth of** my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
"Let's go shopping!"
That sounds like something Abinadi would say, doesn't it? Good grief. What has this world has come to?.
My guess is that when the Big Earthquake long due in Utah hits, that area will be completely wiped out, even the temple. Let's wait and see what happens. The Lord shall not be mocked. I believe that to be true.
The hardest thing for Mormons, from years and years of believing that their leaders are doing the right thing, is to admit to themselves that maybe they're aren't seeing, revealing or predicint jack. To admit that would be equal to say that the Church has fallen - again.
On the other hand, what's the Church supposed to do with $2-$3 billion dollars? Help the poor and needy or something? Nah, just enough to say it's done but not enough to say it made a big difference, especially if it takes too much money from investment funds, right?
I don't suggest anyone loses their faith over this but let's stick with what Christ said and taught rather than rely on the words of men.
The exterior is rough granite slab so the architecture is simple, dull and monotonous. I was a mistake to make the grounds of rough granite too, almost nothing living on them! Varying levels of roughness, smoothness and polished granite would have brought more visual interest and a sense of texture to the otherwise lifeless walls and grounds. The water fall is the most interesting feature of the building as viewed from the outside. I'm not sure what you are referring to about the waterfall but I didn't have the sense of either peace or awe that I experience with natural falls.
Where is the natural light inside? It is almost totally missing. "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." Are we to receive God's light in a cave with just a tiny skylight? What kind of symbolism is this where celebrities walk underground and take their seats on stage in an man made cave?
Stand at the podium of the tabernacle and drop a pin or rip a sheet of paper without a mic, amp or speakers. Who can say that building was not inspired? Now do the same in the Conference Center and what do you have? Certainly not the natural acoustic mixing chamber of the Tabernacle! You have an acoustically dampened forum that requires a lot of audio power to overcome the carpet, seats and people with a resulting loss of harmonics. Inspired? By whom? Probably not by the choir director.
What they should do for GC is to put the choir back in the Tabernacle and pipe the sound into the CC already mixed and televise the choir to the CC audience. That way the harmonics of the tabernacle would already be present in the signal they are boosting to overcome the acoustically dead CC.
Well, I've been thinking about this for a long time. My husband is more worried about it than I am.
I don't like the mall. I wouldn't/couldn't 'support' it. I am glad we don't live anywhere near it.
I don't know, for sure, what is happening with the 'leaders of the church'. I feel that I need to be cautious about judging anyone, including them--
But I do know that reading the Book of Mormon has opened my eyes WIDE about the latter-day church, and I am quite sure that apostasy is widespread and found at every possible level.
I think that there must be some among the leadership of the church who "know" that something is not right.
I think it was on your blog, Rock, where I read the statement the First Presidency put out in 1970 about tithing; basically it was left up to the individual, then, to decide what constituted 'tithing'--
interesting. It seems to me that staying under the radar is what some should do and warning others is what some should do. I think you are being 'harmless as a dove', Rock. And my husband and I (and other family members and friends) appreciate what you have to say.
I know this isn't Zion (what is happening in SLC); Zion has to be found within; it's got to start from within.
But that old mammon; it's like the camel getting his nose in the tent and then taking over the tent.
As for us and our house we are now sending our 'tithing' (whatever we feel inspired it is to be for us) directly to church headquarters, because an overly zealous ward clerk has been telling the bishop in early morning Sunday mornings that my husband was attending for his calling--
who he thinks isn't paying enough.
The bishop got really quiet when this man began talking about it, with names!
One of his counselors (kind of a materialistic doughhead type) got all excited about how it was a good idea--
My husband spoke privately to the bishop about it later, and the bishop said, "that is just so wrong; I'm not going to do that"--
but, still, it was brought up that the ____________ family wasn't paying enough tithing and needed to be talked to--
I'm glad the bishop is holding the line, but my husband said, "I'm sending my tithing directly into SLC from now on; I don't want Brother ____________ and your counselor to be discussing my family's finances."
Bishop said, "good idea"--
*We* are out here--
*We* are not all following blindly. Some of *us* are searching, pondering, and praying--
and thanks, Rock, for giving *us* a place to bat these ideas around--
The Kingdom of God is alive and growing stronger, I believe. I'm glad you have good feelings about Thomas Monson; I am glad there are some who have actually met some of these men. YEARS ago I knew some of the general authorities, actually spent time with some of them. But as the church has grown and become more and more impersonal, I know longer know any of them--
My old mission president was once a general authority, as was my husband's mission president, but, sadly, now we know none of them.
The impersonality of the church is scary. I can believe, truly, that the keys continue without believing that the man who heads the corporation is regularly prophesying. What he does is between him and God, as far as I am concerned. But what *I* do is also between God and me, and so I have to watch my actions, not his.
Are some of them apostate? Possibly, but I don't know. I do know they are just men, and I know that Christ is the Head of the church--
Back in 1970 a religion instructor at a major institute of religion at a Utah university taught us that the kingdom of God took its members from all the churches in the world and all the people in the world, that the church only comprised part of the kingdom of God and that some in the church actually were part of the kingdom of satan.
Nobody questioned him; this was standard fare in a Book of Mormon class; he was a wonderful teacher.
Now, however, if an institute teacher tried to say that, I am afraid students would be offended and leave.
So, you see, many in the church have been falling asleep in the last few decades.
IF you read the Book of Mormon you will know this.
But I don't really know what your words have to do with talking about this mall in Salt Lake. Find a scripture that commands *us* to build and shop in malls. Please. I'm waiting.
Any fool who isn't living in denial can see that the church has overstepped its mandate with City Creek. It reminds me of Joseph Smith's venture with the Kirtland Safety Society. He and the Church took a bath on that one; they'll take a bath on this one, too.
And as is my wont, a brief glimpse down the road tells me how this will all turn out: When the economy takes another dive in the second half of this year, the Church will be left holding the bag when all the other big stores pull out - contracts or no contracts. It will be common knowledge, then, that the Church has lost gobs of tithing money. Those with shallow testimonies will head for greener pastures, saying that such losses shouldn't happen if the brethren were truly guided by inspiration. Thousands will leave the Church. The trickle of exiting church members today will become a torrent.
Adding to that will be a number of other societal issues, all contributing to a significant membership loss that will feed on itself. After all, who wants to join a church full of losers? Who knows what other issues all that will bring to the fore? My evidence for all this comes precisely from the problems of the Kirtland era of church history.
My thoughts on this are thus:
The Church has $5 Billion in spare cash over and above its normal operating costs in the back to spend on this project.
It isn't financially viable, every anecdotal report I've heard from anyone who visits the place says it busy but no one is buying anything.
The prospect is then raised that the Church may very well end up pumping money into this thing to keep it afloat and save face, or that it will fail as a mall and another boatload of money will be spent converting it to a new BYU campus or COB etc.
I have no issue with the Church operating for profit businesses and making money from them, provided they are in line with the Churches moral position (The mall ain't, hunting lodges are questionable as well imo).
The money raised could surely be put to better use reducing or eliminating the tithing load on members. Any remaining profits could be split 50/50 between further ventures and humanitarian projects in the poorest areas of the world.
Done completely openly and transparently for all to the see the Church could become a model of how things should be done and a powerful force for good in the world.
As it stands I read an ensign article telling the poor families in the ward to pay 10% of gross before they pay rent or eat. I pray for the families and individuals who are foolish enough to comply.
I like the Church and I genuinely believe there is something to it but I cannot be a part of such a corrupt instituion that worships money, fine material goods, corporate image and wants to be adored by man first.
I now follow a bhuddist path, trying to be compassionate to all, taking no more than I need to live and being mindful or how our actions affect everyone. This is more in line with my own moral beliefs.
I pray for a revolution in the Church before its too late.
I am afraid you are correct. The only thing that will save *us* will be to center our lives and our living on Jesus Christ.
I'm afraid *we* haven't seen anything yet--
I definitely feel the Kingdom of God is big enough for Bhuddists--
and possibly even a few LDS. LOL!
When he was being lucid and not power-hungry, Brigham Young commented that the church was more "catholic" than the Catholics, which means, I believe, "universal"--
covers all truth--
Bhuddists are fine people--
Sure there are cases of abuse but for many who comply with a living prophet’s guidance, (to pay a full tithe on ones total income), and still fall short on essential living expenses, there is a discreet Bishop who makes up the difference quietly, respectfully, and with dignity. No fanfare, just relief to those who faithfully follow.
Obedience to simple commandments can change lives eternally. Let the spirit guide.
and by 'church' . . . it really should be 'kingdom of God'--
I keep forgetting that the church was somewhat obliterated by the corporation, even after Brigham died--
I see in the Deseret News that the church is going to lay off a bunch of employees soon, due to "shifting priorities in a worldwide church." I wonder if this is due to the soaring costs of keeping City Creek solvent? Like the American membership, their tithing income must be declining as well.
I know that Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ are aware of us, always, as we do everything in our power to be faithful.
But sometimes we get nudged to a higher level of understanding, and then *we* are required to adjust our behaviors to that higher level of understanding.
SO many times for so many years we 'sweated' as it came down to the wire--
there were no bishops to rescue us; we sweated, and we are purely worn out. But my greater concern is for saints in far corners of the world who have so much less than we do, here in the U.S., some of us--
though sometimes I wonder what real poverty is. Sometimes I think some of the poor saints in other countries may have better balance than we do.
I've hard the word 'sacrifice' my entire life; there is never enough sacrifice; it brings forth the blessings of heaven, after all--
but sometimes I wonder if it is our vanity we need to sacrifice, as much as 'goods'--
just throwing it out there. I respect what you have to say--
I've seen miracles, and I want to see more--
The problem is many believe the Church is still true, despite all the proof against that. Thus the false hope that the leaders can be convinced to change.
But they are false prophets doing exactly what false prophets do and will thus continue to do.
Why let is all frustrate us & try to change it? We will find great peace when we finally come to see things as they really are and accept it and move on, like Alma did when he learned his church was corrupt.
We might as well be praying that the FLDS Church will repent or the Catholics or Baptists, then for the LDS Church to do so.
Christ will never use the present LDS Church and leaders as 'his' church, even if they do repent. He will use his true prophets that he has elsewhere in the coming days that have nothing to do with the present LDS Church.
OR, we can obey God and not follow leaders blindly and instead 'prove all things & persons' and not follow leaders when they do and say things which are contrary to Christ and his Gospel.
It's easy to see how the leaders of the Church are doing evil today, in many different aspects, not just tithing. And if we allow ourselves to be deceived by them then Joseph Smith warned we will lose our Exaltation (D&C 76) no matter how sincere and good we may have been.
For as Joseph said, most good and honorable people are easily deceived by false prophets, thinking them to be true prophets.
It appears the Church is doing what the Government is doing, making people give them their last dollar so the people become dependent on the Church and thus the Church can control them better.
Why would I give my last 100 dollars for food, to the Church, to only have the Bishop give me lesser quality food at the 'Bishop's Storehouse' to choose from, 'if' they even give me back a 100 dollars worth?
This is not what Christ taught about tithing, but who bothers to read his outdated words.
But as for me and my family, we listen only to Christ and not to those leaders who are 'anti-Christ' and thus preach and practice contrary to him.
I think the Church still as more money than they know what to do with.
But, like all cunning leaders, I believe they are just getting their lemmings to do for free, as 'service missions', what they used to have to pay for.
I think they are being crafty smart not desperate.
For those who contacted me about the document "The Tithing Dilemma", I'm not sure where the author was going in Chapter 12 and Chapter 13, but all and all the first part was good and what really jumped out is how and why tithing came around in the first place. Just look what it's morphed into up to today. The tithing that our church and other churches are engaged in today, resemble nothing of what it was started for, or how it was done.
Sometimes I think that the church really just took the practices of the existing churches of the time because that's all they knew.
I think it is unfortunate that many in the Church believe they just have to “comply with a living prophet’s guidance”, and everything will be okay. Many also believe that when the scriptures say we should give “heed” to their words it means obey. The word, “heed”, means to “pay attention to”. Consider the following quote:
JOSEPH SMITH: Millennial Star, Vol. 14, Number 38, pages
593-595. [(Apostle Samuel Richards on Nov. 13, 1852, recorded
in the Millennial Star, 14:393-395.)]
“We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would
do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them [even]
if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly
to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly
degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until
he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in
the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such
obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told
[to] do by their presidents they should do it without any questions. When
Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience
as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their
hearts to do wrong themselves.”
Just obeying the guidance of a president or other leader is spiritual laziness. If we abandon our responsibility to study the scriptures, study things out in our mind and ask God to confirm if what they say to us is true or not, and fail to receive confirmation through the Holy Ghost, then there certainly will be eternal consequences. In other words we can’t outsource our thinking and prayers.
My comments above are in response to Anonymous 7:51 am today.
Gary, I totally agree with you, it is our responsibility to not let ourselves be deceived, even by prophets, whether they are true or false.
Even Joseph Smith was wrong about many things and as time went on he learned better, like with slavery for example. And of course he was very deceived to call multiple evil men to be apostles.
So even with true prophets we must realize they are very human. Look at how David, Solomon, Abraham, Jacob, and so many other prophets or men highly favored of God, eventually fell for immorality and other sins.
I believe the lie that 'prophets can't lead us astray' is the biggest thing keeping the members asleep and so easily deceived today.
Of course though, it is 'a choice' to believe that lie, for most 'want' to believe it, for it's much easier to let the Prophet do the thinking for us. But we forfeit our Exaltation is we choose to fall for such falsehoods and support such false prophets.
Here are some quotes which show the devolution of doctrine.
In the book, "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith", Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, on pages 237-238 we read:
ADDRESS OF THE PROPHET TO THE RELIEF SOCIETY
Beware of Excessive Zeal
"President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy."
President Joseph F. Smith said:
"We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the First Presidency require it? No, never. What do they desire? That we may comprehend all true principles for ourselves;" Journal of Discources (JD) 16:248
Brigham Young said:
"What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually." JD 9:15
"How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves. That is your privilege." JD 4:368
Brigham Young said:
"The Lord Almighty leads this church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother's arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth."
(Journal of Discourses 9:289)
What happened to Brigham? At least he left in the statement "if you are found doing your duty".
President Wilford Woodruff:
"I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, as He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty."
(Oct. 6, 1890; General Conference of the Church)
President Woodruff left off the part "if you are found doing your duty".
Elder Marion G. Romney recalled an experience with President Heber J. Grant:
"I remember years ago when I was a bishop I had President Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting, I drove him home ... When we got to his home I got out of the car and went up on the porch with him. Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: 'My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.' Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said: 'But you don't need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.'"
(Conference Report, Oct. 1960, pg. 78)
Now we are being blessed for doing wrong? What happened to "We believe a man will be punished for our own sins and not Adam's transgression"?
2 Nephi 9:31-32
31 And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish.
32 Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also.
The will of the people, in general, is the problem.
Yes, it is interesting to see where the Church has come since Joseph Smith taught that we will be damned if we follow even Prophets who teach us to do wrong (and he mentioned polygamy as one of the evils to watch out for) or anything contrary to Christ and the scriptures.
Men who are living in sin or adultery like BY & WW were, don't want to be judged, questioned, so they of course teach 'all is well', blind obedience & that they are always right.
Whereas, true prophets & Christ teach just the opposite, they let us know how easy it is to be deceived by false prophets, especially in the Church & to always beware of such, and that if we allow ourselves to be deceived to do evil we will lose our Exaltation.
Excellent article! Many people have said what I feel, that this mall was wrong and what were the Brethren thinking. On another site I was trying to make a point (but didn't do a good job of it) by telling of an incident with my child at a church function. I told of my displeasure with leadership at all levels, due to how the leaders handled the incident with my child, mentioned other problems with the church, including "The Mall" and how attitudes trickle down, and bam, my testimony and loyalty were attacked and questioned, and there was no concern shown for my child. My testimony is very strong and isn't dependent on what SLC does.
I believe that many sayings and teachings have been twisted and perverted - for example, when a good, friendly debate is going on in a class at church and someone says "contention is of the devil" so then everyone gets quiet. Sheesh! If there is anyone that needs to be studied in depth it is the Prophet Joseph Smith. He restored the church, he suffered for it, he was taught truths we can't imagine because the members were not ready. I feel the church has moved very far away from what it was supposed to be when Joseph Smith was in charge. Yes he made mistakes and we should have learned from them.
I understand the principle of teaching a man to fish, but the money that was used for the mall could have been used to help members who need help with medical and dental problems, help with going to college, etc. maybe by giving low interest loans, like to fix things needed to live and work, etc. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but since losing my job and having no insurance my family is suffering medically, and sometimes food is short. We have gone to the church for help and will not do it again. Just found out yesterday my son has to have a MRI to check for a brain tumor. It never ends, and I know my family is not the only one. So yes I am upset by how my money is used and that the membership is no longer allowed to give approval, and that we are not given full financial disclosure. I have been vocal for years about problems creeping into the church and the complacency of members and have paid a price. Where I live there are many Mormons who own businesses that sell alcohol and tobacco and open on Sunday.
So I keep quiet, pay my tithing, and study doctrine on my own to learn all I can so that I can strive to live the gospel of Christ to the best of my ability. When Christ comes again He will have a lot to deal with in His church.
This strange idea we hear these days in the church that disagreements are on a level with contention is certainly a puzzle. The reason the Lord tells us that Satan is the father of contention is that "contention" implies an angry struggle that often leads to blows. I don't see how discussing doctrinal issues in Sunday School has any relationship to actual contention, but those who are unable to counter true doctrine when they hear it tend to use that trick to put a stop to ideas they disagree with.
In Jude 3 we are admonished to "contend for the faith," so it's clear that taking a vigorous side in religious matters is not something we should shy away from. But I don't think the King James scholars who used that word intended for us to believe the apostle was saying we should come to blows if someone doesn't see things our way. Anyone who pulls out the "contention is of the devil" card is simply someone who is so certain of his own correctness that he is unwilling to learn.
I'll tell you what else Satan is the father of. He is the father of getting people who are trying to promote the true doctrines of Christ to sit still, shut up, and just do as they're told. That's the devil's way.
Whenever I have heard these statements, I always see the image of Hitler in my mind, and the figure of 6 million jews. Certainly, some of the worst of mankind's self-destruction, which God allowed to happen via allowing Hitler to remain alive, when with a single thought of His mind Hitler would have gone into the ground dead before any of that could have occurred. But then, I think God views death a little differently than do we. To Him, it must be somewhat of a homecoming, don't you think? Who cares about the method of attainment. "Look at the children play!"
What happened to Wilford Woodruff, though?
I found this on ancestor.com:
He died suddenly in San Francisco.
Does anyone know why he was there?
I've heard rumors, but I can substantiate or document anything--
that he was trying to get the church out of the grasp of the "Eastern" bankers (I believe that was what the ancestors of GoldmanSachs were called in the 1800s)--
and suddenly died.
IF President Woodruff was doing something that pleased Father in Heaven but displeased the 'powers that be', was he assassinated?
OR . . .
were his prophetic words about the Lord removing any prophet who led the people astray being fulfilled, IF he was continuing association with those same evil men?
Does anyone know?
Either way, it was a strange place for an old man who lived in Utah . . . to die.
Was he a victim or a martyr? Nobody expects a church president to be perfect; certainly I don't--
but I think it's something to think about either way.
I should have put that under "add comment"; I am not responding to the person who talks about contention--
I am responding to the comments about Wilford Woodruff's words on the prophet not leading anyone astray--
maybe WHEN the president is a prophet he wouldn't lead anyone astray, but are prophets ALWAYS prophets, and are presidents always prophets?
More questions than answers here--
Unfortunately, it will be very difficult for anyone to know that the mall is doing poorly, because the church can afford to run the mall at a loss for a long, long, time if needs be. Pride and PR won't allow them to ever admit they made a mistake on this, and most of the members are full of the same pride, and would never admit their inspired leaders have made a big, expensive mistake.
If we haven't been told why or how he died, then it was probably fishy.
According to Christ's & Joseph Smith's teachings, W.W. was committing whoreish adultery & abuse by living polygamy, among other evils. So I believe we know that much is true about him.
For either Joseph lied about polygamy or BY & W.W. & many other leaders lied about Joseph. Take your pick.
Either way it proves that W.W.'s statement that 'prophets can't lead us astray' couldn't possibly be true, for prophets have lead their people astray before throughout history and also Joseph or Brigham did too, depending on who you believe was lying. For one of them had to be lying.
And while we don't expect Presidents & Prophets to be absolutely perfect, they have to be 'almost perfect' to achieve Prophet status and be able to receive daily revelation from God, let alone see him face to face.
I know I wouldn't follow anyone, let alone a prophet, who didn't prove he was near perfect, with pure charity (as Christ said to look for in his disciples) and had to especially be alot better person than I am for me to give him any consideration.
I'm puzzled why you believe W.W. over Joseph Smith? For they taught completely opposite religions. Joseph followed Christ and W.W. followed BY.
Hey, given the mall is owned by the church, does that mean that the store owners have to clean the mall each week?
Heh heh, just one of my pet peeves. I can't believe my tithing doesn't take care of cleaning the chapel. At least I know it will take care of the mall! ;)
WW did die in SF. His biography (by Susan Staker) tells of some of the stories, but all of the evidence points to the fact that he was NOT trying to get away from the bankers, but rather get to them. He was actively seeking funds, loans, money from the power brokers there in SF at the time, and he became good friends with several of them and would routinely stay with them when he visited SF.
He was invited to speak at the Bohemian Club, the predecessor for today's Bohemian Grove and relished the opportunity ... and that was only one thing he did. His frequent trips to SF during the last decade of his life was done in order to finance the church and find access to capital because of the financial issues the church was facing at the time.
And, these aren't rumors. They are all readily verifiable in WW's own journals (if you take the time to read the volumes of journals he wrote) and in newspaper articles from that time. Just do the research and you'll find what's out there.
AV: "If we haven't been told why or how he died, then it was probably fishy."
Be careful not to ascribe to "fishy" motives simply because someone hasn't told you how or why someone died. The newspapers at the time do state - very plainly, I might say - his exact cause of death. Whether you believe those words is another matter entirely.
Is the Mall actually owned by the Corporation? I know that they own the land and have since the beginning, but do they actually own what they financed to be built? The reason I ask this is that the program of the big wig opening ceremonies, where booze was served and beautiful woman were everywhere, showed absolutely NO named affiliation to or with the Church Itself. Several New York companies were listed as either owners or builders instead. Could it be that the Church only loaned these companies the funds for construction, at whatever rate of return, with the mortgages as security, so that when the companies go bankrupt, as everybody is predicting, the Church will burned in that way, instead. You and I will never know for sure, of course. There are no stockholder meetings in our Corporation, and never a chance to vote the bums out.
A commenter by the name of The Mighty Builder has this to say about Taubman, the man the Church hired to develop the mall:
"Taubman was sought out by the Mormon Corporation to manage the Mormon Bastard Jesus Money Pit Mall. The project is owned and run by Taubman Centers, on a long-term lease and revenue-sharing agreement with the LDS Church. Taubman was required to pay 72 Million as partnership money, but ARE GUARANTEED a 12% Annual return on Investment, PLUS Expenses. The Mormon Corporation told Taubman to expect 50,000 people per day foot traffic and annual visitors of up to 12 Million."
"My visit yesterday saw maybe 600 people in the project during my 3 hour visit. Not very promising"
If true, that means that no matter how badly the mall does, the Church will continue to reimburse Taubman for many years to come. Again, he is guaranteed a 12 percent profit every year. That means the Church has promised to pay him millions every year. It's likely the retailers have a similar promise in order to keep them from pulling out early and exposing the failure.
I hope those who still sacrifice every month to make their tithing payments appreciate where it will all be going.
You can see that discussion here:
I don't know where you got the idea that I 'preferred' WW over Joseph Smith.
I certainly do not. I think he did a good thing to issue the Manifesto, however.
I do believe the keys are 'here', in the church, corporation though it be.
Keys do not do much good, sadly, if the people are not righteous. As for prophetic powers, I do believe those can ebb and flow, according as each man lives righteously--
who holds the keys. Every man who has been President of the Church has not necessarily lived up to the prophet powers which could be his--
I have this little theory about Ether being important, because the 'modern' church is in captivity, true captivity, though--
but that's a digression. I'm curious. What did I say that made it appear that I thought Wilford Woodruff more of a prophet than Joseph Smith?
I have been studying and praying and feeling for some time now that Joseph Smith was the prophet and that he was, possibly, murdered by evil men--not by the Missourians or the government as most of us LDS have been led to believe.
The man I really question is Brigham Young. The men who came after him may or may not have been culpable--
but Wilford Woodruff's activities with regards to the bankers and the Bohemian Club are alarming/disturbing.
Thank you, Tom.
I've been making so many typos lately, and I can't find where to edit--
that's "prophetIC powers" above, or should be--
Hey Bryan, you might find the following series interesting. It is a case study on fast offerings and how they are used/distributed. https://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Dialogue_V35N04_105.pdf
Remember, as you fill out that donation slip -- the small print at the bottom gives the Corporation the legal right to use your donation in whatever manner they want to. As long as they think the Mall is for the betterment of the Church (and they have said as much) then they can spend any and all donations keeping it afloat.
Thank you for replying to my post.
Sorry if I misunderstood you. It just seemed like you put faith in things W.W. said & did, or thought he was a legitimate leader supported by God. While it was true he issued the Manifesto, I believe he only did so because he was forced to, and it appears he really didn't intend on living by it, at least not until the 15 years later when the Gov. insisted on it. It doesn't appear that he repented from polygamy in any way, nor did the Church, for even today they still preach & promise it in the future and practice it with 'serial' polygamy by sealing multiple living wives to men who divorce & remarry.
I agree though it was a good thing that polygamy was ended, I just wish they had really repented of it, but I doubt that will never happen until those men get to Spirit Prison.
I'm curious though, why you believe that the Priesthood Keys remain with the Church today, unless you believe BY was righteous and justified in his polygamy.
If you don't think he was righteous and you instead believe Joseph Smith taught the truth about how polygamy is a vile evil, then why would you think the Priesthood would follow in wicked men? For all the leaders that followed BY lived polygamy or at least totally went along with that abuse and adultery of women.
For as Joseph Smith taught, if a man/leader is unrighteous, especially adulterous or abusive, than it is 'Amen' to his Priesthood and authority and right to even function in a calling, let alone as a church leader. So it would be impossible for a wicked man to pass on the Priesthood or use it for anyone else.
Even if men are righteous they don't automatically gain the Priesthood. Remember the wicked Priest Alma who repented after being woken up by Abinadi, even he knew he didn't have any Priesthood authority, for it had been lost for him and his corrupt church. We today are in that same situation, even if men are righteous they don't have the Priesthood for it's been lost, unless they have had a direct line of righteous men who have passed it on to them.
Do you then believe that the RLDS & FLDS also have the Priesthood? For most likely righteous apostles and even Joseph's son & brother (who was an apostle) supported and led the RLDS Church. So why would they not also have the Priesthood Keys too? Maybe you think they do.
Do you also believe the FLDS Church does and if not, then why could BY maintain the Keys but not Warren Jeffs?
Plus there were many other break off Churches started after Joseph died and many were started by probably righteous men who possessed the Priesthood, so would they also have the Priesthood keys?
Just trying to understand why you think the LDS Church could have such keys and or be led by God, when it did and still does commit such whoredoms and abominations and thus is one of the most destructive Churches today.
What would a Church or person have to do to 'lose' those keys? Why do you think the Keys were lost in the early Church in Christ's time?
Joseph also warned us that if we, our those leaders who followed BY, allow ourselves to be deceived by the craftiness of men or false prophets, (as those leaders were deceived) then we lose the Priesthood & authority and our Exaltation.
So I just don't see how the Church today, especially any of the leaders who all support the vilest of evils today, could have an ounce of Priesthood, for God does not double speak and he is not a God of confusion. They clearly have lost their authority and the Spirit because of what they support and are deceived by.
Just wondering your thoughts. Thanks.
12 Nevertheless, I hath jammed a chair back beneath the door knob. For such shall be a barricade.
Thanks for that link, Rob!
Even prophets aren't prefect and can fall, as many have in the past, as we have seen so many times in the scriptures.
Thus prophets can lead the people who listen to them astray, if they are wrong about something or if they completely fall for evil.
Just as Abraham fell for adulterous polygamy and probably led his grandson Jacob to weaken & do the same, and probably many others in his day too. Abraham's polygamy still leads many these days to fall for or desire polygamy and thus commit adultery and abuse women.
That's why it's so important to listen most of all to the Holy Spirit and to Christ and not follow any man or men blindly, even prophets.
I just went to that link and read most of it.
I am utterly disgusted to think that the Church is not doing what it should & could to help the poor in those countries.
I am even more sickened when I think about the Church using all that money to instead build a mall or new conference center or even temples or nice chapels.
What is a pretty temple or church worth if you do opposite what Christ taught & turn your back on those who suffer?
I am so grateful I was woken up by the help of people like Rock. So glad to not be throwing my tithes & offerings away on useless buildings or a church anymore, let alone to pay a salary to rich church leaders who don't even follow Christ's teachings.
I am totally disgusted. The more I learn about the Church the worse it gets.
I will forever more give all my tithes & offerings straight to the poor.
Two things. First, I've pointed out the small print to members of the church. The initial look on their face is, "what the..." and then you see the wheels of rationalization turning and within seconds you get a response of defense justifying such things. Secondly, I've shown this disclaimer, policy or whatever it's called to people who are not members of the church. Their initial response is, "WHAT THE #*@$*&" and then, "that's just not right". I have a tendency to go with the second group. It's almost like the small minuscule legalese font that you find on a credit card bill.
I love the following as to "why" they did this from the SL Tribune,
"The reason for the change?
"We feel a sacred obligation to make sure that tithing and other donations made to the church are used prudently and wisely," church spokesman Scott Trotter said. "The new language on the donation slips simply gives some flexibility to meet the changing needs of a growing, global faith as circumstances require." "
AV, I'd be interested in learning about Abraham's fall. Also, I explained to my son who is 14 years old on how it was Brigham who said that you will go to hell if you don't embrace polygamy, but oh...wait a minute, we don't say that anymore do we. My My My, how times have changed. I love the consistency don't you?
I really would like to hear about what you mean about Abraham falling.
I re-read D&C 120 this weekend in a different light. Here you have a revelation soliciting investment for the Nauvoo House...In the end, that didn't quite work out either....Failed businesses that touch church leadership, a hallmark of Mormon tradition...
Sorry D&C 124
We all have to choose who we are going to listen to, BY or Joseph Smith, for JS taught just the opposite, that we will go to hell if we 'do' fall for polygamy.
Which is exactly my point with Abraham, even he can't live polygamy and it not be adultery. Truth is truth through all ages of time. None of us get a free pass to sin.
It appears clear that Abraham and his wife started to lose faith in God's promise of posterity, for they were getting so old and it would take a 'miracle' at that point, something they of course didn't expect.
So Abraham went along with Sarah's desperate request for him to start living polygamy, for Abraham desperately wanted posterity too. After Sarah decided polygamy wasn't the great idea she thought it was, she wanted Abraham to send Hagar away, which God agreed with and Abraham did. I believe Abraham, especially in his younger years understood very clearly how wrong polygamy was, he had to, being a prophet and all the knowledge he was given. For if he had thought Pol. was ok then he would have surely lived it long before, since he wanted posterity more than almost anything. But Abraham went nearly 100 years before he finally rationalized polygamy because of Sarah's insistence.
As with all people who fall into adultery, they lose the spirit and usually never repent fully from their fall. It appears from what the Bible says, that Abraham took on even more polygamous wives later on in his life and also concubines. Thus showing that he never came back from his fall. Hopefully the Bible is wrong and he didn't really live polygamy in those later years, but instead repented fully.
But even the story of tying to sacrifice Issac appears to tell on Abraham. If he had not regained the Spirit after his polygamy with Hagar, then he would have easily fell for false revelation, as everyone does who loses the Spirit. And only 'thought' it was 'God' who told him to sacrifice Issac, when it actually came from the Adversary. For God can't tempt us or command us to sin, for then he would cease to be God. And we definitely can't sin and get away with it, even if God does tell us to.
Joseph & the ancient apostles taught this idea, that even if an angel from God came and asked you to do wrong, it would only prove that he was a bad angel and we shouldn't follow it. That's why the story about the angel with the sword trying to force Joseph to live polygamy is so ridiculous, for Joseph knew how to tell false angels and would never have fallen for such a request, IF he was still righteous, as I believe he was.
So I believe, if the story is correct, (which is highly suspect since it has been translated & probably twisted and added to falsely thoughout history by many unrighteous men with their own agendas) that Abraham fell for either false revelation, or he should have said 'No' to God and his request for him to do evil to his son, something he knew was wrong. But even in Abraham's error, God saved Issac just in time.
We tend to 'hero worship' prophets, especially one's from long ago, and think they can't fall. When they were actually very human and fallible men. We are also repeatedly told falsehoods today in the Church how prophets can't lead us astray or fall.
Just look at how Joseph Smith was deceived so many times to believe errors and choose evil men to be apostles and church leaders. Yet he was still a true prophet and still learning line upon line as we all do & was still learning how to discern truth from error & devils from saints, which takes the best of us probably a lifetime to learn.
If we are righteous we will have the Holy Spirit as our guide & we will feel something is not right, when we are deceived about something or someone and we will catch ourselves and study more or repent or make changes as needed.
It should be very sobering to us though, to see how easy it was for even the best of men throughout the scriptures to fall, usually because of immorality, (often polygamy), which was so rampant among most societies.
It seems that there is a tendency for everyone, even prophets, to weaken the older we/they get, no matter how favored of the Lord we or they may have been in our younger days, if we don't guard against falling on a daily basis.
This is corporate speak for saying "we don't care what you earmarked your donation for, WE are more 'prudent and wise' than you, and we will decide how your money will be spent.
This gives the corporation carte blanche to use donation money to bail out failing enterprises like they did when they transferred Church funds to Beneficial Life Insurance to keep it solvent. They are apparently obligated to keep City Creek going in perpetuity even if the stores sell no merchandise.
When you donate to the Church today, they are exempt from legal challenge because the warning was placed right there on the slip when you made the donation. You therefore gave a corporate entity that has already proven itself to be irresponsible with other people's money MORE money to do with as it pleases.
One day the general membership may wake up and realize that the Corporation of the President is NOT the Church of Jesus Christ, and then there will be hell to pay.
Rob, I will look into it. Many thanks.
Rob, I downloaded it and will be reading it. Also, I noticed that there is a Part II with the title of, "Spreading Zion Southward, Part II: Sharing Our Loaves and Fishes". It looks like Part II is addressing the educational opportunities like the Perpetual Education Fund and missionary time and resources. I've provided the link. Thanks for the heads up on this Rob.
Back in July I believe when Rock had his piece on the mall and tithing, someone brought up that very thing as if to justify the mall. Someone answered that person back with "and do you remember what happened?" Some people get the idea that if it's in the scriptures, it's okay to do and not taking into account what were the results of those actions.
I'm not sure if you are familiar with a book called Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy (http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm) that Rock introduced to me. I've read it and it makes sense because my question was, how come all we hear about Joseph Smith and polygamy is after he was dead? The poor guy was never there to defend himself and yet he, all of his life publicly denounced polygamy as a sin. The Articles of Marriage, Section 101 were replaced by Section 132 in 1876.
WOW! That was 33 years after it was supposed to have been given by Joseph Smith and 32 years after his death. How convenient, a year before he dies he is supposed to be saying that polygamy was part of the eternal order of things. The book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon speaks out against many wives which I've always found this to make that part about polygamy in Section 132 strange.
Now, I thought polygamy was more of a matter of culture rather than a sin or not a sin. Don't get me wrong, let me just say that I'd have to say "sorry brother Brigham, I guess I'll see you in hell because I can only handle one wife and looks like you enjoy it a little too much."
Love this blog. I am glad to have found members who feel and think the way I do regarding the running of the church. I don't have a problem with the Bible. Book of Mormon, D & C, and Pearl of Great Price. I have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. I love the doctrine and believe it.
Having said that, I do know the church gives our enemies valid ammunition to attack us. Our claim of non paid clergy is one about which the church brags about. I did not know where to go to ask this question - would you Mr. Waterman, be willing to look at another site, anti Mormon, and look at their article about mission presidents and what the church pays them? I would like to know someone else' opinion on this information. I am confused. It appears the church is asking mission pres. to be deceitful. It is on Mormon Coffee. I go to that site to help me with arguments on doctrine as pro Mormons who blog there are very knowledgeable. But when the anti's come up with stuff on finances I wonder about SLC. Just a suggestion. Might be a good blog article to address these issues about our paid clergy. It is hard to counter our critics on these issues. I served a mission and the mission pres. was wealthy in his own right. The missionaries struggle financially as do their families (as I did financially on my mission) and mission pres. get a lot of money. Why? It seems a double standard. Thank you for this site. I learn a lot. JR
I assume you're referring to the Mission President's Handbook. I have seen it, but not on the site you refer to. It's been floating around quite a lot.
Yes, we really must stop boasting about having a church that doesn't have a paid ministry. Bishops and Stake Presidents may be sacrificing their time, but those at the top are living quite high on the hog.
This is what happens when a spoiled generation with parents that took care of the political and communital affairs their whole lives take over...they don't have anything else on their minds other than their looks and garage width. Do you see alot of WWII vets selling their children out for plastic surgery and materials? And look at how it trickled down into generation X...now millenials, soon Z. Priorities never lie, neither does action. Say what you wish, you can't say it isn't true.
Rock, thank-you for your blog and analysis of these matters.
I must admit that I feel strange not paying tithes on my income, even after that is exactly what I decided after reading your last post. I now feel that it is more correct to pay on my interest as it states in the D&C. But, all truth be told, that is not what I covenanted to do when I made my covenants.
I don't really count baptism, as that covenant was made long before I could have understood these matters. But the Endowment covenant, that I made as an adult, demands that I give my time/talents/blessings to the COJCOLDS for the building up of that particular kingdom.
Now just because that entity isn't "establishing Zion" as I would have it, does that free me from paying what they say? I certainly do not want to support the Corporation in its attempt at keeping an expensive mall solvent (or any other capital endeavor, honestly). I want the poor to be fed. I want them to drop 3 billion in Africa and India setting up schools and libraries and feeding people who are routinely wiped out by droughts and famine. But does that desire, and the fact of the mall, void the covenants I have made?
If memory serves, we covenant to give our time, talents, and substance for the building up of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God and the Church are two separate entities; the Church is only preparatory to the Kingdom.
So if the Church (TM) is not focused on building the Kingdom, I don't see why you should keep contributing. You have not broken the everlasting covenant, they did.
"You and each of you do covenant to consecrate yourselves, time, talents and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth, and for the establishment of Zion."
I don't post that to offend, but to point out that the covenant clearly stated that you are consecrating to the LDS Church FOR the purpose of building up the kingdom of God.
Problem is that I don't see the LDS church as doing that...at least not in its current form.
Another way to look at that is as a sequence, not all-inclusive. We start off with the Church until we realize that it is different than the Kingdom of God. Whether or not we stick with the Church when we make that realization is a personal decision. Once we come to understand how the Kingdom of God operates, then we seek to establish Zion. And for us Gentiles, that involves some very specific things. But again, the Church and Zion are NOT the same thing (not even close), and it is quite obvious that the Church has no intention of seeking the Remnant of Lehi and assisting them in building Zion. Nope, we LDS are sticking with the Babylonian MO of growth, money and numbers.
Thrones, I think you may have missed part of the point. You said,"…does that free me from paying what they say?" It's pretty clear that paying 10% of everything off the top is a tradition rather than a doctrine, and you really couldn't even say it's a policy. You can't find any official statement from Salt Lake that says anything other than 10% of interest annually. Not gross, not net, not anything other than interest. Too many of these guys are lawyers for them to make a mistake like that. Everything is carefully worded so that when someone like Rock challenges the status quo they can say they never said anything to the contrary. Kind of like the reasons for withholding the priesthood from black people. There were no reasons, and they recently said they never said there were any reasons. Everyone was just allowed to believe what they wanted to believe.
So, first define tithing, then decide if you are keeping your covenant.
No one is under any obligation to keep a covenant they made while deceived or covenants they made in a false church or temple.
If I were you I would be more concerned with studying how the 'temple covenants & endowments' came to be & if it's really all true, which was written by BY, and study Brigham Young very carefully.
After finding out so much truth now, I do not believe in the temple, Brigham Young or the current LDS Church anymore. I only believe those things that I know for sure that Joseph Smith taught & published during his lifetime, which concur with what Christ taught.
I only follow Christ & those who preach the exact gospel he preached, not any man or men who preach anti to Christ like the Church leaders do today since BY's day.
Great points, Inspire!
Mr. Gaybob have you read that document that I recommended? The first part on what tithing actually was will help to clarify what you're talking about. I thought it interesting that you said what you said.
Well, I got to thinking back to my formative years and thought of a song that Elton John sang & Bernie Taupin wrote. It had great effects on a young man of 12 to 13 years old. The song was, "Burn Down the Mission". Now, I'm probably either going to get people who don't remember, don't understand or wonder why I'm writing this. First let me say this, I am not advising that we burn anything okay? But this song has been "burning" a hole in my brain since focusing on the subject and studying about it. I've provided the lyrics below.
You tell me there's an angel in your tree
Did he say he'd come to call on me
For things are getting desperate in our home
Living in the parish of the restless folks I know
Everybody now, bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It's time we put the flame torch to their keep
Burn down the mission
If we're gonna stay alive
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
See the red flame light the sky
Burn down the mission
Burn it down to stay alive
It's our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside
Deep in the woods the squirrels are out today
My wife cried when they came to take me away
But what more could I do just to keep her warm
Than burn, burn, burn, burn down the mission walls
Now everybody, now bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It's time we put the flame torch to their keep
Burn down the mission
If we're gonna stay alive
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
See the red flame light the sky
Burn down the mission
Burn it down to stay alive
It's our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside
I have been thinking a lot about Rock's original question, "City Creek: How Did We Come To This?". I wish I could give a simple answer, but I think it requires a study into the nature of institutions. Years ago I discovered a book entitled, "Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival" by Butler D. Shaffer. It explores the nature of institutions and the reasons institutions mess up our lives.
Since then I have read it three times and have started reading it again. Mr. Shaffer paints an excellent overall picture of the answer to Rock's question. His writing style is easy to understand and entertaining. His thinking is crystal clear. As I read this book the pieces (one by one) fell into place. I understood the reasons how and why we came to this.
Thank you, I will.
Thanks to all for responding. I will study the history of the endowment and of tithing. I guess I'm a little bit in denial that the Church has broken the Everlasting Covenant... I'm still waking up from the matrix.
But there are things in the church that are authentic to me. The Book of Mormon and many of the sections of the D&C strike me as legitimate. Its the policies and general demeanor of the church that seem far from Christ. But these things are so woven together with my sense of culture and belonging that I'm not sure how to sort it out.
I thought the ordinances covenanted me to Christ. Instead I have been made into the agent of a brand. I feel betrayed and unmoored.
Be of good cheer, Thrones. YOU are the church (D&C 10:67). No one is "in charge" of it. Our religion belongs to us, the believers. No men or group of men have been assigned by God to be YOUR leaders.
The gospel exists independent of the institutional Church. Simply reclaim your religion and realize you can embrace the truth and practice your religion without supervision.
Thrones, I agree with Rock, the Gospel is independent of the Church, especially the current LDS Church. The Gospel is true, even if the Church isn't anymore. I believe Joseph was a true prophet that brought forth the Book of Mormon and gave us the original D&C. But after he died I believe the Church went into apostasy and lost it's authority, though the Priesthood could still be had and passed on by individual righteous men, but not by those who supported whoredoms like polygmany, which I do not believe Joseph was ever involved with, as he always testified he wasn't.
Find the truth and follow it on your own. Christ is our master, and we shouldn't listen to anyone who preaches or practices contrary to what he taught, so his words are paramount for me. Joseph appeared to teach the words of Christ, that is why I believe in him too.
responding to Thrones at 10:36 PM--
I wonder how the poor Zoramites felt; I think they might have felt something as you do now (and as many have felt, even today)--
When I began to feel that something was not right in "Zion" I turned to the Book of Mormon and found immense comfort, companionship and relief--
and then I had a spiritual experience with Jesus Christ that cemented the fact that I was where He wanted me to be, even to the point where I had come through all the cultural Mormon 'stuff', etc.--
It was my training; I had training wheels, and then I had them taken off.
It is possible (though NOT easy) to be 'active' in the church and attend the temple and honor the Kingdom of God and see the difference, and more and more and more people are waking up all the time--
Several people in our ward are waking up--but you have to be VERY careful whom you talk to about what--
I just know that there are people in our ward (old friends) who have mentioned that they think something 'odd' happened between Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
Nor is Brigham Young a complete 'bad guy', not at all. He got people to Utah, because the Mormons weren't obedient and needed a place to hang out until they could become more obedient, which may or may not have happened, depending upon the individual--
Entirely too many LDS, when they begin to sense something is wrong with the corporation/church throw that baby out with the bath and want to walk away, burning all the scrapbooks--
I would not advise you to do that.
Imperfect as it is, I believe the temple is still valid, imperfect as it is. I don't think it is what Joseph Smith envisioned, but I do know that there are ancestors that we have who want to be baptized and sealed--!
Yes, there are. So we keep doing that. The endowment is a training session, basically, but it's imperfect--
Some of us believe the keys are still here, even if the corporation has run off and left the 'church', which is basically what has happened, left it in the wilderness, which is a scriptural symbol--
All right; I'm babbling now--
The Book of Mormon means so much more to me now that I have seen the emperor without clothes--
And, yes, there are some pearls in the D&C--
For some bizarre reason I've never gotten much into the Pearl of Great Price, and I don't know why--
whether or not it is inspired scripture, I can't really say--but I believe with all my being that the Book of Mormon is--
and I think these things have happened over and over again--sorry for all the repeats--
in fact, the Book of Mormon does prophesy of these apostasies--
and that is where I first started thinking of it--
I do believe there have been Godly men between Joseph and now--
there are a few who fought the good fight--
yes, the culture is just that, culture. It's best to let it slip away, because when Jesus does come, He will take the best parts of every culture that has ever existed and present them to us (I believe), and we will honestly not want the green jello anymore--(just symbolic)--
Embrace Jesus Christ and keep a low profile (being wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove); in other words, do not talk about this in Gospel Doctrine--
There are a few people who can talk about this and help others; Rock is one--
but for the most part most of us end up just burning our bridges if we are not careful--
I almost did that a few years ago when I had an 'encounter' with a very narrow-minded, unconverted to Jesus Christ bishopric member--
I told him I felt he was demonstrating unrighteous dominion, and I started talking about the scriptures, and the men blew a gasket--and began talking to me about how I needed to see the bishop, because I was bordering on apostasy--
I had my husband with me, and my husband broke in and calmed him down--
but I realized, then, that many people just don't have a clue what the 'gospel' is really all about; they are cultural Mormons, and they are scary people--
since then I have been very cautious; I keep my mouth shut--
because I tend to spout too much--
You don't have to break your covenants, and the church makes no covenants--
it never did; it never has; it never will--
the church as we now know it will be long gone when Jesus returns--
but in the meantime, training wheels--
take them off, but don't brag about not needing them anymore--
sit and smile and nod--
and then spend your 'spare' time in the Book of Mormon and on your knees--
Rock is right; you ARE the church; WE are the church--
it says so in the D&C, doesn't it?
I also believe there are righteous men even at the 'top', and I think it's got to be a very hard place to be--
Do I think they are all righteous? Unfortunately, no, I don't--
but that is my opinion/personal revelation, and I don't share which ones I feel that way (by the spirit) about--
I don't believe there are any righteous men at the top, for righteous men & women don't support evil in any way, once they awake to it. If any leader woke up to the awful situation of the Church, like Alma did, when Abinadi woke him to how wicked the Church was in his day, he wouldn't stay and support such wickedness that is going on today in the Church.
It would have been impossible for Alma to have stayed, (even if they would have let him) and go along with all the evil, yet still repent and be righteous. I believe the same holds true today for leaders and members.
Righteous people don't stay and support corrupt leaders & churches, let alone does God.
God has nothing to do with this Church, anymore than he does with any other church out there today. I believe they are all wrong in his eyes.
But I believe there are alot more churches out there which are far more 'christian' that God would rather we be a part of than the LDS Church, which I don't believe is really a 'Christian' church anyway, for it teaches so contrary and opposite to Christ's teachings. So many teachings in the LDS Church are 'anti' Christ.
And silence is support. If we silently go along with something or someone, let along a Chruch, and don't speak out about what's wrong, it is support for it and we will be held accountable for supporting evil and error and helping to quietly lead others astray by our appearance of support.
Also, I do not believe that God 'wanted' BY to bring people out west at all and make them suffer so, even though God did allowed them to be deceived to do so because they refused to listen to Joseph Smith's warnings against things like polygamy and men who preach it.
God never wants anyone to follow wicked people like Brigham Young and be further abused and led astray.
No matter how much good BY may have done, it doesn't out-weight the evil he did. Wicked people usually do alot of good things, in order to look good and get people to like them & believe in them, but it doesn't save them from their sins, only complete repentance does.
It's clear from the comments I read that there are so many of you, my brothers and sisters, out there who are feeling and thinking the way I am. It's of enormous comfort to have Rock's blog bringing us together. That may sound cheesy, but over the past couple years
I've been on the border of having an anxiety attack trying to figure out if all my years if church training are correct or what my mind are heart are feeling now is correct. I don't even know what can be done about it either. Some say "stay quiet and on the down low" and some say "pack your bags and get outta there". I feel like the poster above who said not to throw the baby out with the bath water. In fact I've used that phrase with my wife numerous times when she frustratedly and nervously, I'm sure, asks me why if I have so many beefs with the church I still go...
I don't know what to do, but it makes me feel better knowing there are others out there who also maybe don't know what to do either.
Didn't alma meet in secret with small groups of believing Christians? I feel like that's what I need to do. I will make a veggie tray if anyone wants to meet at my house.
You are not alone sister. I know of others who have come to same conclusions. The Church still does have some good in it, but you have to be perceptive and search carefully to find it.
Temple is worthwhile, sealing ancestors is too. Cultural mormonism is an abomination. Doing geneology and sealing ancestors is very, very important, we neglect this duty at our own extreme peril. I too spoke out and found myself very quickly marginalized. Do what the Spirit guides you to do. That is all the Gospel is about, doing what the Spirit guides you to do.
The Book of Mormon is TRUE. It clearly foretells of this latter day apostasy. We are living thru it RIGHT NOW. Seek the Spirit and learn to live by the Spirit and never mind the foolish teachings of men which are being promulgated in the church from the top down.
Much love to you and all who are honest seekers of truth and light.
anonymous @4.44 pm--
I respect your right to believe as you do and to follow whatever promptings of the spirit your receive--
I've read my ancestors' journals, and I know there were those who were dubious, but they honestly had no other place to go.
None of us is perfect, and I still maintain there are those who are staying with the system; perhaps they have been told to do so; perhaps you have been told to leave. It's a very personal choice.
I remember that John the Baptist's father worked from within the system; there were righteous men who were among the Pharisees, though they were sparse; at least one (Nichodemus) came to Jesus at night; another (Joseph of Arimathea) provided the tomb for Jesus--
It is important that we not judge each other (in or out of the church or out of the church uneasily or in the church uneasily) for where we each stand--
I know BY was a 'piece of work', but I had ancestors who saw through him (yes, I did) and who raised righteous families, some even without polygamy--
I had ancestors who quietly did what they knew was right--and still survived--
If you wish to leave the church, that is your choice, but I don't think Rock is encouraging people to leave the church, and Thrones sounds a lot like I did a few years ago, and I have not left the church, and I am glad I have not.
On the other hand, I don't always get much out of general conference anymore, but I have increased my study of the Book of Mormon to a new level of intensity--
I don't believe silence is support. That is where we have to agree to disagree. I can agree to disagree with you; can you agree to disagree with me?
well, thank you, JR.
Yes, and referring to anonymous 4:44--
Alma had become personally unrighteous; King Noah was indulging in whoredoms that were openly disgusting--
Alma was retaught by Abinadi, and when King Noah determined to destroy Abinadi, that was the tiebreaker for Alma--
The church's present leaders have been pulled into Babylon, but most of them are personally righteous; they are involved heavily in Babylon, but as for whoredoms--
and trying to kill people--
no; not there (yet, hopefully never)--
the apostasy is glaring, but when the church was put under condemnation (from which ETB said it had not recovered) it was made clear that that was general, not specific--
Also, I know that these kinds of issues are found in all religions--
there are wolves in sheeps' clothing in all churches--
we have non-LDS Christian family members who are very good who go from church to church, after they find corruptions in one--
hoping the next has fewer--
this is a universal problem--
You know, it isn't a true 'doctrine' that people are 'all or nothing', ever. There's a tendency for people in the church to have that mindset, but there is nothing scriptural or spiritual about it, at all.
We are all in various stages of progression and growth, and the idea that, "if you don't accept everything, get out" is as erroneous with regards to the church as it is to the nation.
Those who protested aggressive, pre-emptive wars ten years ago were told, "love America or leave it", and that is exactly the mindset that has gotten America to a point of almost no-return (possibly)--the idea that if you love something, you accept everything about it without any thought--
Anyway, I am not a prophet(ess), but I do believe in standing as a witness (thank you, Mosiah) and bearing others burdens within the church, so I will say that perhaps you need to teach your wife, kindly and gently and without unrighteous dominion, that that is not a true principle, the idea that you accept something completely or not at all--
People tend to do that with citizenship, with church membership and with marriage; a spouse has a problem, well, then leave them--
No, that's not true--it's not Godly or Christlike--
Anyway, I'm the poster above who said not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I am extremely blessed that my spouse (I'm the wife) believes as I do and is on my page with regards to where our church and our nation is--
we read the Book of Mormon together, and one of the highlights of our daily living together is to share our 'insights' on a daily basis--
honestly, it's one of the best things in our lives! LOL!
BUT, on the other hand, we both respond differently to the stresses that come from feeling the cognitive dissonance within the church. My husband is more visibly active (his callings are more visible than mine; I have a very quiet calling that nobody ever thinks about), and he tends to speak up more and get into 'trouble' more--and sometimes he just gets really MAD--
and I will say, "wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove"--
I can hit the nail on the head about things as much as he does, but he struggles more on an emotional level, more openly--
I would suggest that you focus on the Book of Mormon with your wife--
get her as deeply involved with it as you are--
If she resists, remind her that prophets have urged *us* to read it--
and study it, daily, intensely--
God bless you--
You are not alone either--
and the believing wife or husband strengthens the unbelieving--
that is a true principle and scriptural. Your wife may have the kind of pride that comes from 'fitting in' to the church and think she is the true believer, but if you sense that the church has left Jesus Christ behind (and sometimes it feels that way very much), then you are the believer and need to strengthen her in Christ.
It's one of those last day things, the good being called bad and the bad being called good.
But in the meantime, I honestly believe there are many honest souls still within the church, probably suffering as much as many of those who make *our* way to Rock's blog--
The way Krogstadt disappears for weeks, then suddenly shows up again here with a string of vulgar insults, suggests Bi-Polar Syndrome with a touch of Tourette's.
We missed you, Weston! Please don't go back on your meds!
I am the anonymous 4:44 you replied to and I appreciate your replies.
But I don't believe your comparison with the LDS Church and America or the ancient Jewish Church (that JohnTB's father was a part of) are accurate examples, for they were basically the only or major choice the people had to work with. Whereas the LDS Church is not our only choice to be a part of or for God to work with, we have many different churches, even many different LDS religions today. We or God does not even need any church at all today in order to further righteousness.
By your thinking, it appears you would accept the FLDS or RLDS Churches to also be true churches that the Lord would work through and accept or that people should 'stay in' and support. For they are just as legit as the LDS Church is, especially the RLDS Church, for it was also started by apostles from Nauvoo who actually were probably righteous, unlike BY & his group, because they didn't believe in polygamy and kept the same teachings and gospel going that Joseph Smith taught, until the RLDS Church also was later corrupted.
I also have ancestors who followed BY and supported polygamy and others who didn't, but I don't deny that they were wrong in doing so and very deceived and I hope they repented before they died, for Joseph Smith made it very clear that all those who fell for prophets or leaders or churches who preached things like polygamy would be damned.
Why would I teach my children to further fall for a church or leaders who teach such whoredoms when Joseph said I and my children would be damned if we did?
That is why I believe it's vital to leave the Church, so we aren't accountable & damned for supporting such evils, that continue on into today.
Members of the Church do not need to 'suffer' because of the Church, they can and I know many who have come away from the apostate church and received great light & joy from following the Spirit on their own, like Alma did in his day.
And I believe Alma would never for a moment have stayed with his corrupt church, even if they hadn't chased him out. Like many before him in similar circumstances he knew he had to leave it all in order to gather a righteous people together.
Righteous people don't stay with a church who preach & practice contrary to Christ's Gospel and the scriptures, if only to protect their own children from falling for all the falsehoods and false prophets.
I agree there are many good and honorable people in the LDS Church, like with all churches, but as Joseph Smith said they have allowed themselves to be deceived by the craftiness of men and false prophets, so if they don't awake and stop supporting leaders who do evil and an apostate Church, then they will lose their Exaltation, according to Joseph.
I am sorry that you cannot or do not want to see or believe
that all the church leaders are preaching, practicing & supporting whoredoms today, and have since Brigham Young. It is very easy to see that they are, IF you read & believe the words of Christ and Joseph Smith. But I understand how most members don't want to admit it and don't want to have to stand for what's right.
But, as Joseph Smith taught, it is vital that we do 'judge' members and leaders & the Church, but that we are to use 'righteous judgement', meaning 'use the scriptures to judge with', only then can protect ourselves from being deceived to support evil teachings or leaders, and help those who are asleep and deceived, so they may have a chance to wake up and realize their awful situation by being associated with an apostate Church or fall for apostate teachings.
Would you really say the same things you said and 'stay' if you had been born into the FLDS Church? For that Church is no different than the present LDS Church, even though the LDS Church doesn't practice full out vile polygamy anymore it still teaches it and allows 'serial polygamy', and even worse it encourages and allows men to abandon wives & children to collect even more wives, one after the other. Which is far worse than regular polygamy is, for at least with adulterous polygamy the man doesn't completely abandon his wife & children.
We can of course agree to disagree, but I thought I would present my views too, so others might not be led astray thinking it's ok to stay in & support a corrupt church who's leaders support some of the vilest of whoredoms. There is no excuse for that.
For Joseph Smith taught that we will be damned if we fall for church leaders or churches who teach whoredoms like polygamy in any form, or abandonment of spouse & family, as the LDS still does today, along with it's numerous other whoredoms that you don't seem to want to acknowledge and deal with.
I'm aware of all of those problems which exist in the church. The difference is that I have prayed and asked Heavenly Father, and I have been told to stay in the church.
Religion, if not personal, is meaningless.
The difference between us, as I see, is that you are proselyting for people to leave the corporate LDS church, and I am suggesting that people hang tight, 'perfect' the inner vessel and do the most good they can do within an apostate church until Jesus returns.
I believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ. I believe the word 'damn' means that progression will be slowed down, not that anyone who isn't perfect will go to h#ll.
The bottom line is that there are bad people within all religions, even the supposedly 'pure' church that you recommend people form by leaving the LDS corporate church or the church you seem to think exists that is 'perfect' or 'pure'--
Only Jesus Christ is perfect; we can be perfected in Him. But I believe the atonement can even cover those who remain in the LDS church. I believe the kingdom of God is the pure in heart (as is Zion), and there are those who are pure in heart in every possible religion. There are pure-hearted: Bhuddists, Catholics, Hindus, Jews, Lutherns, Muslims, and yes, even Mormons--
Jesus knows His sheep; He knows who loves Him. That is the bottom line. It always has been, and it always will be--
I do not believe that He gets hung up about labels. Because I believe in Him I can see the flaws in the Babylonian-turned restored church of Jesus Christ and still remain, trusting in Jesus Christ, not in prophets (presidents) or bishops or any 'arm of flesh'--
I can worship with LDS who don't yet have the 'vision' that the only 'thing' that matters is faith in Christ--
and encourage them and teach them--
I can do that very well in the LDS church. If you have chosen to do otherwise, then, fine for you. I don't encourage you to 'come back'; that is the difference between us. I can respect that you used your will and agency to follow a different course than mine. I hope you can respect my will and agency in the same way. I'm not on this board to proselyte anyone to Mormonism; I am on here to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ (which I try to do wherever I am)--
and to 'comfort' those who find themselves in a difficult place, like myself.
Some of the most righteous people I have ever met who love Jesus Christ are Catholics. The Catholic church certainly is also in apostasy. Am I worried about the states of the souls of my Catholic friends whom I admire.
No, I am not.
I don't believe Jesus Christ is calling me to repentance for being a member of the LDS church; I believe He is calling me to repentance for:
not following the spirit, etc.--
not for being LDS--
but that is where we differ, as I said.
And as I said before--
I had mentioned to one of the posters above, Shawn, that one of the things I see as being a weakness in the thinking processes of some people is a 'all or nothing' attitude--
those who say, "either accept everything about the church and embrace the culture and rejoice in the corporation/materialism or leave"--
and those who say, "if you remain in the church you are damned"--
are cut from the same cloth--
Alma did not create a new church; he simply lived what the original church taught and left the apostates behind; it is possible for *us* to do that.
I don't support serial monogamy; I don't support polygamy in any of its forms--
I support the things that Joseph Smith taught, and I measure everything I claim to believe against what he taught--
so . . .
that's where I stand.
that is LuthEran--
how could I be so daft?
LDSDPer, thank you for your thoughtful posts. They mean a lot to me.
After reflecting this week, I feel that I truly do believe in the Book of Mormon and in Joseph Smith's prophecies. I agree that the Book of Mormon prophesied about our day, and that Lehi's principle of opposition must extend to _all_ things, even to my experience of the church. It makes sense to me that such would be part of the test in the last days, so I don't think I will be leaving.
I think it is far more important for me to be honest and frank about the skeletons in the church's closet while I am active than to simply leave and then talk sh!t about the church on the internet all day from behind a screen. I'm not interested in being an accuser. I'm interested in Jesus Christ who forgave sinners and dispersed mobs by reminding them of their own individual imperfection before God.
Is all polygamy mere whoredom? I don't know. I haven't had such a witness as others may have had. I've never lived it or been asked to live it. But I'm not for a second going to believe that I am "supporting whoredoms" just by remaining in the church. Jesus can see my heart, and the fact of the matter is polygamy was unleashed upon our religious culture long before any of us were around. I'm not going to forfeit the ordinances, and especially sacrament, just because some Mormons with hierarchical authority may have behaved poorly.
My perceptions of the church have changed much in the last several months. But it seems as though departing would cause more harm than good.
I do not believe Heavenly Father tells people to do opposite things, like some should stay in the Church & some should leave, for the prophets have said that he is the same yesterday, today & forever and that they Holy Spirit will tell everyone the same thing, that truth is always in harmony with itself. If people get different answers then it means at least one is wrong, for they cannot both be right.
Also, we can't just assume our revelation comes from God, as Joseph Smith taught we must realize that the adversary also gives us much revelation (usually things we want to hear & that are easier), and we also get ideas from our own mind, so we must 'test & prove' that our revelation is really from God by comparing what we feel or hear to what the scriptures & Christ say. If it is different, than that means our revelation is wrong.
You may have your own definition of the word 'damn' but I believe it's clear that Christ & Joseph Smith meant that the person would have to go to hell for at least a period of time and also would forever lose their chance at exaltation.
I believe in the Atonement too, but I also believe in the scriptures and how they teach that the Atonement is only for those who aren't deceived to support false prophets & false churches. Those who are deceived to support falsehoods and false prophets and false churches will have to atone for their own sins.
As the prophets have taught, deception is what will damn us for eternity, being deceived to support evil. You say you realize how evil the Church is yet you still want to support it. I don't understand why a person would ever do that.
Would you stay in and support the FLDS too if you had been born into it? They are no worse than the LDS Church, in fact the LDS is probably much worse.
I do not believe that every church supports evil, even if they aren't perfect. But I do believe the LDS Church supports many of the vilest of evils, far more than most all other Christian Churches today. That is why it is so vital to awake to the kind of Church the LDS Church is and the kind of men that Brigham Young and his supporter were.
And I do not want to start a new Church, I do not believe a true church exists anymore, we can only do the best we can on our own like Alma did, with family & friends until Christ returns to restore his Church to the earth in Zion.
Most people say they believe in Christ but yet their actions reveal their true beliefs, for they support people & Churches who teach and act anti to Christ. They are in Churches who lead people away from Christ, like the LDS Church does.
God told Joseph Smith to not join any of the Churches in his day, for they were all wrong. The same stands for us today, if Joseph's true Church was lost. God would tell us the same thing, to join 'none' of them, not even the LDS Church, for it preaches and practices so opposite to his Gospel. If we get revelation contrary to what Joseph was told, "to join (or be a part of) none of them", then I believe we better ask again.
Christ & Joseph Smith and all other true Prophets, accused people of their evil deeds to try to wake them up and to warn others about them. He expects us to also make righteous judgments and warn others about evil.
It all depends on our motives. If we are trying keep the commandment 'to warn others' of the evil they are supporting and the awful situation their Church is in, then we are trying to save souls and it isn't wrong to point out errors and evil in a Church, but the righteous thing to do.
When we encourage ourselves & our family & friends to attend a Church that preaches & practices some of the vilest of evils (even if it does some good), & we give our money, our time and energy to a Church who does evil, we then totally support evil, whether we want to admit it or not. Whatever we go along with we support.
Satan doesn't care what we think about the LDS Church, if it's true or not or right or wrong, he just wants us to keep going to it and supporting it by our attendance, money and service & he wants us to encourage others to continue to go to it. That's all he needs from us and he can do the rest.
The war in heaven was black & white and if we were deceived to be on the wrong side there, then we forever lost our chance to progress. It is the same in this life, it's very black & white.
Joseph Smith taught that the test of this life is to see who can be deceived here to support evil & falsehoods or not.
Joseph taught that even if we are good, kind & honorable people we cannot achieve the Celestial Kingdom if we are deceived to support falsehoods because of the craftiness of men & Churches. (D&C 45 & 76)
Anon, you said: "...if Joseph's true Church was lost. God would tell us the same thing, to join 'none' of them, not even the LDS Church, for it preaches and practices so opposite to his Gospel."
I would recommend you read a recent post from Daymon Smith found here.
A little excerpt: "When the Christian tradition of Restoration was taken by Rigdon and the Family into the Church of Christ formed by Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith, the entire reading of the Book of Mormon became determined by the very tradition two personages had described as “All Wrong,” full of Creeds declared abominations by God."
In other words, the Church was born out of the very creeds and dogmas that the Personages declared "all wrong." There was never a "restoration" of truth (especially in the sense that the B of M describes that word), only a venue for Sydney to pass on the dogmas that HE and others felt were true (which came out of their Campbellite/Calvinite tradition). We were given, however, "much of [his] gospel, to try our faith, in the form of the Book of Mormon and some revelations.
But the Lord allowed the Church to be formed anyway, and here we are four generations after Joseph's death. Why did it happen in this manner? So that we see the writing on the wall. "The gift" was taken away from the Saints in Joseph's day and given to another group who would "have more abundantly" (the Gentiles in OUR day). Now that the "wild fruit" has had time to ripen, we can taste it for ourselves (mmmmm, tastes like Godiva Chocolates at City Creek). The Lord is showing us our folly and abominations. Once we realize our weakness (which Moroni describes as lack of charity for the House of Israel), we will have the chance to make a different choice. Then He will show us that faith, hope and charity lead to the fountain of all righteousness.
Whether we stay in or out of the Church, IMO, is just a personal decision. The question is, have we been shaken up to anger or to repentance?
Anon: question.... do you really think that we "achieve" the Celestial Kingdom? Is it like the Grand Merit Badge in the Sky based on doing good deeds or passing a test?
I thought that we were to rely solely on the merits of Christ. I thought that his grace was sufficient for those who believe on his name and who repent. I thought that WE were to be the ones conducting the tests and the experiments on the word to prove God, not that we were being tested. I thought that Christ taught us that more important than "how" we do things, is that we avoid fighting and contending with each other... that we agree with our adversary while we are with him, lest we be cast us into prison and we have no "money" to pay to get out.
Guess I've been reading a different Book of Mormon than you.
I believe you know as well as I do that we cannot sit back and expect to be exalted just because of the merits of Christ. Of course it is all because of Him that we can receive such a blessing, but we at least have to prove ourselves worthy of that blessing, by passing the test that the scriptures talk about, for God has said he will 'test us & prove us, to see if we will do all things he asks of us'
We of course must test & prove everything we hear or read also, to see if it's true or not, from any source, especially things men who claim to be prophets may say, for Christ warns us about the many false prophets that will try to deceive us & lead us astray.
But anyone who teaches truth is usually contending, for it is rarely accepted by anyone. Christ and every true prophet that ever walked the earth were contentious by just the words they spoke.
Ever hear of a guy named Nephi who tried to teach his brother right from wrong? How well did that go over? Was Nephi being contentious or were Laman & Lemuel the contentious ones? I believe it depends on our motive and what's in our hearts, some people like to be contentious & stir things up, some just want to share the truth in love to try to save souls, even if it's not accepted as love.
Those who don't want to hear the truth will always consider the person contentious, while those who love truth will be filled with joy because of it.
Nephi didn't agree with his adversary Laman & Lamuel the last time I read the BoM. Nor did Christ when he taught his gospel, which most rejected. Nor did Moses, Joseph S. or Moroni.
We of course won't continue to endlessly talk about truths if people don't want to discuss or accept them, but we will at least try to share what we believe to wake people up.
Agreeing with your adversary is for when you have already tried and you know they aren't going to hear you, then you just end the conversation and let it be.
@anonymous 8:58 p.m.--
and if this anonymous is the same as 6:24 a.m.--
This is a personal question not meant to be answered--
I'm asking this of anyone who wants to read my post--
in D&C 133 there are two verses that refer to going out from Babylon--
These are commandments.
Do you, anonymous, use any product that is made by any corporation? Do you use money? Do you 'support' any corporation?
If you are entirely self-sufficient, living only upon the blessings of the Lord and the labors of your own hands, entirely--
if you do not buy clothing, food, equipment (you're on the computer, so I think I know the answer there)--
from any corporation, then you have fled babylon, and you certainly are on the 'white' side in the battle.
When you acknowledge (as most of *us* who remain in the church who are discussing these issues) that the church has become a corporation or has been taken captive by a corporation--
and suggest that to give tithes to that corporation (in whatever form you deem by the Spirit tithes are to be given) and that that makes you impure enough to be cast out and lose your exaltation--
then the same thing applies to any corporation. Unless you are entirely self-sufficient, you are already condemned by supporting any aspect of Babylon--
Yes, we all are deceived; even the very elect will be deceived. Are you aware of every possible deception?
I remain in America, even while knowing that America is one of the most corrupt empires that has ever existed, even while knowing that America has contributed to genocide, etc. I remain in America; am I, therefore, complicit?
I don't believe in collectivism; I believe in individual choice.
I believe in personal revelation. Don't restrict your criticism of the evils of corporations (which I know at least as much about as you do, more than likely) to the corporation of the 'church'--
Don't go easy on yourself. You are condemned, along with all the rest of us--
I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in His Atonement. I have accepted Him as my Lord and my Savior.
Joseph Smith and other true prophets have taught truths, but they were also not perfect; they teach truths, and each human who heeds does his/her best--
we can only be perfect in Jesus Christ.
So. If you live in America and pay taxes (perhaps you don't; I know there are LDS who do not) or support any evil in any way, you're already sunk.
I guess you need a Savior.
But I don't believe it works that way. Those evil leaders who have used tax money to do terrible things will be accountable for what they do. I will not be accountable for what they do, or the article of faith (#1) that Joseph Smith taught and wrote would be invalid.
I will not be held accountable for Adam's transgression; nor am I accountable for what the leaders of America do with my tax money--
and even if you don't pay income taxes, there are taxes you pay somewhere, somehow, if you're using a computer, that end up going for evil purposes--
if you use a computer--
or are you just putting this out over cyber space without a computer? :)
The same thing is true for the corporation of the church--
What decisions are made by others I do not have to account for--
and you mentioned, if you are the same person as 4:44, in another post that we are not to "associate" with those who do these foul deeds--
Well, Jesus associated with publicans and sinners and even with Pharisees--
So I'm not too worried. I will let each man/woman account for his/her heart--
and worry about my own.
You have your own interpretations of things, and that's fine.
Apparently, you do have a collectivist perspective, and because of that associations are very important to you--
I'm glad I can hang out with sinners and not be rejected by Jesus Christ--
because I know plenty of them, and I have to hang out with myself, too, and I, too, have fallen short and sin--
Nobody is arguing with you (I am not, certainly) that Nephi agreed with his brothers; I don't think anyone said that. I don't have to agree with the mall in Salt Lake--
On the other hand, I want to make it clear that I believe, again, that there are righteous people in every religion.
I have had nothing to do with polygamy, ever. I've never met one, which is unusual considering that I have been a Mormon for well over 60 years--
I even spent a few years in Utah; I should have run into one or two then, but I didn't.
I believe it is possible that there are righteous people in the FLDS--
there are some who don't even live polygamy.
We could argue about how culture is so powerful that Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ take it into account--
it is our responsibility to 'fight' evil culture within our own hearts, not to change others. We can teach others, but that individual agency is a powerful, sacred thing--
People who are evil at heart and follow after whoredoms will do it wherever they are; there may even be a few in whatever 'organization' or non-organization you belong to--if you do . . .
there may be a few who have left the church for 'righteous' reasons who are following after whoredoms. How do you know you are not supporting them?
You can't know what is in the heart of every man, and you could just get to the point where you are entirely alone, afraid to "associate" with anyone, including a spouse or a child.
Jesus does not ask us to leave unrighteous spouses, does He? The last time I read the scripture--
D&C 74, I didn't read that--
So, we're all in this evil hole (the world) together, and we accept and follow the Savior and do our best and seek the truth and try to be kind--
I served a foreign mission long, long ago, and I tried to teach kindly, not arrogantly, because how was I to know that someone I was teaching might not have had a better heart than I? I wanted to share my love of Jesus Christ with people in another land, and I did--
but I was always aware that I might be teaching someone whose heart was more pure than mine--
Rock, if you are reading, which, if you are smart, you probably aren't--
I'll stop now--
if this anonymous says anything else, I will be quiet--
whew; that's a promise. Can I keep it? LOL!
When we finally come to see & become 'outraged' enough at what the church & false prophets have done and are doing, then yes, we will repent of our support of it and any sins we have been enticed to commit because of it all.
I believe the Church that Joseph (a true prophet) tried to start was approved of God at the 1st, (and thus was ok to join) but it just quickly went south, (as the true church always does in history), because most members & leaders would not live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, as Joseph Smith tried to teach them.
Rock, have you considered doing a post on the influence the Campbelite/Calvinism has had on Mormonism. I have read Daymon's stuff, but I still am lacking a nuts and bolts simple approach to identify the false creeds of these ideas. I need a 'dumbed downed' version for my wee little brain. I have been in serious indoctrination of Rigdonite/Campbelite/Calvinite for 47 years and it is difficult to weed them out. Maybe Inspire could help he/she has had great comments on here. Thanks, Suzie
I would suggest you take a really close look at Abraham 3 where you are pulling your "we will prove them herewith" theology. Ask yourself these questions... Is the one who is "like unto God" really Jesus Christ? Couldn't that also mean "one who imitates or copies"? If it is Christ, why is he so worried about "estates" (aka, property and possession) if he is the same being who is the creator of the heavens and the earth and all things that are in them? Why is he so worried about having glory added upon his head? Why is he so concerned about obedience to his rules? Is Christ really a task-master like is depicted here? And we all believe that Lucifer was the one who was cast out, but why did that happen? If it turns out that HE was indeed the one who was mimicking God, and then got mad because he wasn't chosen as the one to come to this world to be the Lord our God, then based on his own rules, he would have been cast out, and would have lost his "first estate." Basically, it ended for him like it ends for all those who have contentious hearts: he was cast into the pit that he dug for others.
You are contradicting yourself. Do we rely WHOLLY on Christ's merits or not? Is it through his mercy that we return to him or the grades we get from "passing the test?" And what is mercy, anyway? If someone told me, "I will be merciful to you if you pass a test," then that doesn't sound like mercy to me, it sounds like justice. Mercy is granting us something IN SPITE OF our weakness and "worthiness."
Lastly, just because we are told the story of Nephi (from his own perspective), doesn't mean that it is the "right way" to behave. It could be that we are allowed to judge for ourselves. The whole Nephite civilization was started with violence (a lopped off head). We have the benefit of seeing how it ended. The Nephites are extinct. While the Lamanites dwindled in unbelief, they are still around (and someday, the Gentiles will look for them). You can say what you want about Nephi, but the fact is that he killed a man to get the records, and his people were ultimately destroyed. We all get to decide if there is a connection.
There is a huge difference between being forced to support something we don't agree with (like the current state of America & taxes, etc.) and knowingly & voluntarily supporting something we know is evil or isn't using the money we give it correctly. We can't really get away from America, for there is no other place to go anymore & we are forced to pay taxes, etc.
We aren't accountable if we are forced to go along with evil, like a teller giving money to a bank robber, he is forcing the teller to do it, unless the teller wants worse to happen.
No adult is being forced to go along with the Church's evil. We can easily choose to worship God on our own.
We are not accountable for Adam's transgressions, but we are for our own transgressions for knowingly supporting evil.
Of course no one is perfect, (though I believe have to get to a point where we are pretty close in this life, if we want to gain the Spirit & eventually be exalted).
Joseph Smith taught that there are different levels of sinners, Celestial level sinners who's sins are small and thus they are allowed to still finish repenting in the next life & still gain Exaltation. (I believe Joseph Smith was in this group)
Then there are the Terrestrial sinners, good & honorable people who didn't live worthy of the Spirit & thus were easily deceived to go along with or who chose to support evil & unrighteous people & false prophets, etc. Joseph Smith says these people will lose their right to Exaltation, even after they repent in the next life.
Then there are the Telestial sinners, who will not make it either. They actually committed serious sins, not just supported them.
So we all fall in one of those categories. Even Joseph Smith was not perfect and made mistakes, but the scriptures say that the humble followers of Christ will at times be deceived but no for long, since they have the 'Spirit' they will catch themselves and repent before it's too late, or if they find out they are supporting evil they quickly stop, for they are continually trying to beware of any evil they may be supporting.
When we have the Spirit we eventually come to see how we are being deceived, so God knows that if we had enough time on this earth we would have overcome all things. But we don't usually have that much time to find out about everything and everyone, so God gives us a pass as long as we are trying hard not to support or do any evil.
But the Terrestrial level, those good people who don't have the Spirit, are also deceived but they are not living at a level to ever 'see' their deception or aren't 'willing' to stop supporting it if they do see it, they don't want to give up the 'perks' that supporting evil corporations & churches gives them.
That is a big difference between Celestial sinners and Terrestrial sinners, both can be deceived at times but only one has the Spirit and will do something about it to correct the situation as far as possible.
I don't think I used the word 'associate' I used the word 'support' and there is a huge difference between those 2 words.
We can love & associate with family & friends who do evil, as we try to help them repent, but we don't have to go along with their evil, we can & should have a line of what we will tolerate. I doubt we would choose to live with someone who does serious evil, even a spouse, for they could have a bad influence on us in time.
Christ associated with wicked people long enough to try help teach them to repent, he didn't live with them. He chose a righteous wife to live with & some of the best men he could find, his apostles, & his followers who wanted to repent, to spend most of his time with.
When we 'support' or go along with things or people, even if we don't agree with them, it gives others around us the impression that all is well and we agree with all that is going on & thus we encourage others to support unrighteous things or people too.
I agree there are righteous people in every religion (those who have the Spirit), but I just believe that they soon wake up because they are righteous and become disgusted with & leave their false religion, in order to worship God in purity & truth on their own if need be.
I don't necessarily see it this way. Once we are "stirred up to anger," there are only two routes to take. We can either allow the Lord to heal us of our anger and bitterness (aka, repentance) or we can perish. What you call repenting "of our support" of the Church is really just a manifestation of bitterness. What about the ones we love who are good people and remain in the Church? Do we just abandon them? Perhaps some may do this, because being in church makes them angry, and they want to get away from that. Others may stick around, knowing the state of the Church, yet wanting to associate with their loved ones. Sounds like a charitable thing to me.
True repentance is simply seeing that there is another way--Jesus Christ--and turning to face him. All that is required is for us to ask for mercy and then believe that we have received it. Having received him, the desires of our hearts change. We no longer have to be "commanded" what to do, but follow our greatest wishes. This is light and easy and natural. It brings us joy, not because we are "achieving" something, but because it is a fulfillment of our deepest desires (which are aligned with Christ). For some it will be to stick around, for others it will be to leave. There can't be a carte blanche approach to this. That would impose on our agency, and the God I worship does not do that. He respects it above all else.
You say you have nothing to do with polygamy? I believe it's impossible to be a 'honest' member of the Church and not totally support polygamy, past, present & future.
For if you confess to your leaders you do not believe in polygamy (which means you don't think BY was right or current leaders today are right for sealing multiple women to men today), then you would not be sustaining your leaders, past or present, and you would most likely be disciplined, if not exed.
So the only way you can 'not' support the whoredom of polygamy (or any other evil being done by the Church today) is to be honest with your leaders, which will probably lose your membership.
If we truly stand for right & for Christ, we must be honest & be willing to lose our membership in this Church that preaches, practices & sustains things so completely contrary to Christ.
If you do not want to further discuss these things I'm fine with that. I think we understand each other well enough now.
Christ does grant us mercy, even if don't pass the test.
For even those who don't 'pass the test' will be rewarded with a certain level of glory in the next life, just because we were willing to come to earth. Christ gives everyone that free gift, though we do have to fully repent in Spirit Prison (hell) 1st before we get our prize, but we will 'want' to do that it isn't something anyone will force.
But even Christ cannot gain anyone 'Exaltation', that is something we must merit on our own, but is impossible without Heavenly Father's help through the companionship of the Holy Spirit to keep us strong & not deceived.
Christ can only get us over death & at least to the Telestial Kingdom, we decide how high of kingdom we want be worthy of.
I wouldn't be surprised if Daymon Smith was working on something like that. From what I've read, he is very thorough and does great research.
The approach I have taken isn't to identify what false creeds were brought in by the Campbellites. Sadly, almost ALL of what we hold to as Mormons has been polluted. Things like weekly sacrament meeting (and testimony meeting), three levels of priesthood, "the restoration," our claim to being Israel, the "ordinances," dispensations, our view of the Godhead, and much more are all a product of an Irish sect of Protestantism, with our own twists and takes on a few things.
Fortunately, there is an approach which I have found very useful, albeit difficult at first... and that was to toss EVERYTHING I thought I knew into the rubbish bin. From there, I "reset the table," so to speak, with only the B of M. I wanted to hear the message of the Book of Mormon without a corrupted influence, so I set the Bible aside. Anything that comes from there, I discount or take with a grain of salt. After all, the Book of Mormon tells us that the Bible is a tool of the devil, meant to bind us down and bring us into captivity.
I have come to see a different picture painted based on this approach. Believing that I am a Gentile, not of the House of Israel, I have looked to see how the B of M is addressing me. Make no mistake about it, we are being told something, but the message is "hid up because of unbelief." Because we assume we are mighty Ephraim, we overlook the commission given to us.
The exciting thing is that we are beginning to wake up to all of this. And the B of M tells us something about what will happen when we do this. It is very good news.
Anyway, that is an approach that has worked for me, for what it's worth.
You use "pass the test" and "reward" and "prize" and "merit on our own" along side with "mercy" and "free gift." Which is it... a reward for passing a test, or a free gift given mercifully through no merit of our own?
You say that there are conditions to receiving mercy, (passing a test or doing our time in hell) when the very definition of mercy means UNCONDITIONAL. You are implying that we have to prove our worthiness to receive mercy, but Christ tells us that his grace is sufficient, we need only believe (See Moroni 10:32-33).
This is a perfect example of how the plain and precious truths have been corrupted in our day. We have convoluted something as pure as what Christ offers us... that we may come and partake of the bread and water of life freely... into a complex machine called The Atonement, which requires our obedience to "pay the price" to some unknown entity in the universe that demands justice. Does the Father really require a pound of flesh from his Son to pay off the ransom of his wrath? If this is a requirement to "achieve the Celestial Kingdom," then I'll stay in hell, thank you. Because what you espouse isn't mercy. Climbing some ladder to the "top" sounds more like a corporation of man than the kingdom of God. But what you are saying is that after we are beaten with a few stripes, at last we will be rewarded with the Telestial consolation prize in the kingdom of God.
Seems like a weird way to look at mercy. As for me, I'll believe it at face value.
Thank you Inspire,
Two years ago I met someone who recommended I read the BoM in the context that I and the Latter-day church are the gentiles. It was hard at first and sometimes confusing but now it seems natural.
I think you are right--I need to throw out everything I "think" I know and read the BoM with new eyes once again. I hadn't considered until recently (thanks to Daymon) that the Bible is a huge stumbling block and that the early saints really messed things up by trying to think of the BoM as a restoration of the ancient Biblical church. Sometimes I give a heavy sigh in exasperation and feel I really don't understand anything any more. I will keep trying to rid myself of unbelief.
I guess I was just hoping for a simple key to help me identify and understand where I have gone wrong because of these Biblical teachings, but I suspect that would be a long list. Thanks again, Suzie
Also add to that list of inherited creeds:
From documentary research of a Dr. Robinson, principal of Overdale College, Birmingham, England:
"In the Furness District of Lancashire in N.W. England there existed in 1669, during the reign of Charles II, a group of eight churches of Christ. Most of them are not now in existence. An old minute book has been found of the year 1669 and it shows that they called themselves by the name church of Christ, practiced baptism by immersion (for the remission of sins), celebrated the Lord's Supper each Lord's Day (sacrament meeting), and had elders and deacons (as well as priests and teachers). There was also a church of Christ in Dungannon, Ireland in 1804 and in Allington, Denbeighshire. In 1735, John Davis, a young preacher in the Fife District of Scotland was preaching New Testament Christianity (the "restoration") twenty-five years before Thomas Campbell (Alexander Campbell's father) was born."
3 Ne 20:41 - "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her..."
I do indeed read every comment written on this blog, LDSDPer, and I am learning quite a bit from this conversation. I see valid points being made on both sides,and I'm happy to see that the discussion, though vigorous, remains civil.
I wonder if part of the difference of opinion on the current topic is not due partly to differing ideas of what constitutes the "church." I look at it as defined by the Lord in D&C 10:67, as a community of believers whose desire, more or less, is to follow God's will. My view of the first century gatherings of the Saints were similar to family get-togethers, with no one person or group in charge of things. In time, of course, the church developed a hierarchy, and the result was the apostasy as typified by the medieval Catholic Church.
I like the idea of a family gathering type platform, and I see benefits in remaining in that church primarily for the associations. It may seem strange to distill the reason for attending church down to a social function, but I believe that it the primary purpose of "church."
As for the modern Corporate LDS Church, I have little use for that. I find it irrelevant to my life. I do not support it, and I do not sustain it's self-appointed leaders, and I would not accept a leadership position within that counterfeit church (not that anyone is likely to offer me one).
I think it is possible to remain a part of the community without having to sustain the corporate leaders. The Church of Christ and the Corporation of the President are separate entities. The average member may have confused and conflated them, but those who are awake do not.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I find no harm in congregating with my "family," but neither do I attribute attendance at Sunday services as a barometer of my devotion to God. So, as with any social event, I show up when I feel like going, and stay home when I don't.
(This attitude would have shocked the Me of several years ago, who believed that Church attendance was of the utmost importance. Indeed, I suspect that most members continue to attend each week not out of a sincere drive, but because we have been conditioned to believe we must make a showing.)
It is a process for sure. And not only do we need to discard the creeds, but also redefine the things we think we know, such as "the atonement," "commandments," "repentance," "priesthood," "mercy," and a hundred other things. We also have to beware of the pollution already in our Book of Mormon (headers, footers, splitting the text into little devotional nuggets that take it out of context, etc.) For example, in Alma 39, the header (written by Bruce R.) starts with, "Sexual sin is an abomination..." Where does it say that in the text? Here's the answer: it doesn't. The great sin of Corianton is that he did "forsake the ministry." Understanding this changes the doctrine. We are taught that sexual sin is next only to murder in seriousness. Really? So hell is going to be filled with horny adolescents, along with murderers? In fact, the whole aversion to sex was brought into the Christian tradition in order to have a way to keep us in bondage and guilt (as witnessed to the extreme with the Puritans). We see that today in how the Church uses pornography to manipulate our youth and keep them in the chains of guilt. We are never told that Corianton engaged in sex with Isabel, just that he went to her because apparently, she was pretty popular. The fact that he was called to preach (and knew and believed what he was teaching) then left it all is why Alma was chewing him out.
I have found that the anecdotal nature of the Book of Mormon, also brings to life the doctrines being taught. For instance, we are given several conversion stories, and I have not read any where an individual had to feel guilty for a period of time, beat himself up, go to an ecclesiastical leader and confess, go on "probation," and jump through a million hoops to be absolved. The pattern I see is that they first desired to know, they asked for mercy and then believed in Christ, that it had been given to them. At that point, their guilt was gone.
Anyway, there are lots of discoveries like that to be found. If you can open your mind to any possibilities, and not restrict it with what you call years of indoctrination, then you will be thrilled to see what we are really being told. There is a reason it is such "good news."
I am not qualified to address the issue of how much the Campbellite doctrine has infiltrated LDS teachings, as Daymon Smith's recent presentation on the topic has caused me to re-examine many of my own dearly held beliefs. I'm still busy trying to shake myself awake after learning about this.
There is much for us latter-day Saints to consider about how much of our religion we get from the Book of Mormon vs. how much of it was imported from the corrupt protestant movements of the early 19th century, and I'm only now beginning to sort it all out. It's mind boggling to think that much of what I have believed most of my life required me to dismiss the Book of Mormon and instead embrace something else. Inspire above has already demonstrated just a part of the problem. For the time being, I would refer any questions to the work of Daymon Smith, who is the expert in these matters. Inspire is himself a colleague and friend of Smith's, and as you can see, he is much better informed than I am.
For those wondering what we are talking about here, I would refer you to Daymon Smith's eye-opening presentation at the Brazilian Mormon Studies Conference, which you can read here:
Oh well...X me. I've already made my opinion made to those of my ward. Does that count?
I believe that the "as far as translated correctly" is being challenged today. In fact, I get a little worried when the bishop names off all the scriptures we should be reading and leaves out the Bible. The advances in translation methods, technology and also, the finding of older manuscripts have moved us ahead in a clearer understanding of the Bible. I find that those Mormons who don't really read the Bible use the "as far as translated correctly" mantra. One of the reasons the church doesn't move away from the KJV is because it would destroy all of the Bible references used in the missionary discussions.
Hey, I'd be thrilled if they left off the Bible from the list they give us. But it doesn't matter. We use the Book of Mormon the same way we use the Bible.... just take a little snippet and apply it to some challenge in our daily life, completely out of context.
As for me, I'm holding out for the Book of the Lamb in its purity. Until then, the B of M is good enough.
Man, I understand where you are coming from Inspire. I heard and understand where Daymon is coming from, but whether he likes it or not, he was raised by the Morg, sold for the Morg and personally, I'm not sure too many Mormons read the Bible, yet we say its part of our standard works. That's a lie. It's the very thing people accuse of of. Telling lies. Don't get me wrong Inspire, I'm not pounding on you, I just find that people are fine with just quoting general conference talks and don't refer to the scriptures.
Funny thing. Several years ago they had a stake wide "read the Book of Mormon in a year" program. Every week, you were supposed to turn in to the bishop a slip of paper with what you read. At the end of the year, you would get a nifty certificate of completion. I resisted because I felt that this is just the type of thing used by organizations who think of their employees or members as little children. Don't ask me why, but I caved in and read and completed it. I did not know this was going to happen, but in front of the sacrament audience they called the people up who had completed it and gave out the certificate. I was not only embarrassed, but it all came back to me at that moment as to why I thought this was silly. Turning scripture reading into a primary program event. That's what it's like. Keep the members at a primary level of understanding and be careful. Don't read any of that non-correlated material.
I agree that very few members actually study the Bible, or more importantly the New Testament. So few even study the BoM, let alone believe what it says.
Most LDS I talk to have no idea about many of the teachings of Christ, and when confronted with his teachings they don't believe them.
I can't find anyone who believes in all of Christ's teachings, most everyone seems to think that much of what he said is not even valid anymore.
All the members I know, except maybe 1 or 2, believe the Gospel of Thomas Monson or the Gospel of Brigham Young, etc. trumps the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And that's fine if they want to believe that and teach contrary to Christ but why don't they at least be honest about it & change the name of the Church to 'The Church of Thomas S. Monson of Latter-Day Saints'.
We've all been "sold for the Morg," myself included. But if you look at the Bible, it was sold out long before we or the Church were born. What started out as the original Book of the Lamb has had centuries of being dissected, programmed, stripped of truth, manipulated, and used for evil purposes. We can't trust the stories (which is what most of them are.... hundreds of years of stories passed down orally, until they were written down. Do you think stories don't change over time? Just look at our own history and you'll see that has happened... and we have pretty good records!)
You are not going to find me quoting General Conference talks, as they are just spewing over and over and over the same tripe. I get that you respect Scripture. I do too. But the Book of Mormon and the Bible are not compatible. The Church has relegated the B of M as just "another testament" of Christ... as if they come around all the time. "A testament, a testament.... we have got a testament, and don't mess with the Bible, because it the the Mother of all Testaments! The B of M is here just to supplement the other Testaments, so we can prove to the world that we are better than the Catholics and the Protestants. Of course, we believe the Bible is the word of God, as long as it is translated the way we say it should be."
But the thing is, the Book of Mormon condemns the Bible. It condemns the Gentiles (us) for not seeking to recover Israel. But why bother to recover Israel... because WE are mighty Israel, and WE are planting the stakes of Zion around the world. Who needs those guys anyway? The Prophet (TM) aka, The Church (TM) will tell us when it is time to go get Israel. Until then.... all is well. All is well.
pasti, Siapa saja ingin menempatkan peluang pada saat Batu akan ditangkap karena rakyat jelata meriahnya?
Rock, thanks for your candor on not writing about the early 19th century corruption of Mormon doctrine. I am willing to be patient and read the B o M and let it speak for itself.
Inspire, feel free to make lots of comments of what you have learned in this area. Your comments always seem to "Inspire" me to keep up the search for truth.
There have been some very interesting conversations going on the last few days. All of this has really got my mind going.
"To be (a member of the Church), or not to be (a member of the Church): that is the question:"
Let's use the analogy of a ship sailing in the ocean, and this ship is full of crew and passengers. They have been told, by the manufacturer of the ship, that it's "unsinkable!" Part way through the journey, the ship hits an iceberg and starts to take on water. Some of the crew and passengers are not concerned because the ship is "unsinkable." Some are concerned because experience teaches them, nothing is perfect and the ship has the potential to sink. What do you do as a passenger or member of the crew in this situation?
The first thing, don't panic! The next would be to put on your own life preserver, then you can help others realize the potential danger and advise them to put on theirs.
Some people might need to man the pumps; some direct others to the life boats; some to man the life boats by rowing them to safety; some to leave the ship to get help. Maybe the Captain has not yet ordered the ship to be totally abandoned.
The Captain is Jesus Christ; the people are His Church; the ship is the corporate church; the life preservers and lifeboats, the Gospel. Each individual must follow what they believe The Lord is guiding them to do. We may not understand why some feel impressed to get in the lifeboats and some man the pumps or help others with their life preservers. That is where our faith and preparation come in to play.
Peace, love and green jello salad!
Here is another example of what I'm talking about... how we can find amazing things if we strip out the junk.
It has been ingrained in us that to "obey a commandment" is akin to obeying a law... like driving the speed limit. If we do it, then great. If we don't, then there is a punishment if we are caught (and because God is always "watching," then ultimately we have to pay for every broken commandment. In this regard, a commandment is compulsory. "Do it or else." You could call them "demandments," at least in the way we have been taught.
But if you look at Book of Mormon, it is telling us a different story. We need to know 1) what a commandment really is, and 2) what the commandments for us are.
What we view as commandments, the B of M refers to as "the law." It is defined as "the Law of Moses" or "the performances and ordinances of God." Up until the coming of Christ, the Nephites "obeyed the law." They did all the performances and ordinances and followed the "Ten Commandments," yet we are told that it was "dead" to them. Ironically, where they followed the law and looked forward to the new commandments which Christ would give at the time of His coming, in our day we adhere to the law, the performances and ordinances (which have already been fulfilled in Christ) and don't pay much attention to the new commandments (or what He has commended/bestowed upon us).
So what does the B of M tell us these commandments are? Here is what I have found:
• Repent and be baptized, come unto Christ (that the Holy Ghost will sanctify us)
• Partake of the Sacrament in the manner given (using bread and wine, eating and drinking until filled)
• Do not allow “these things” (lust, anger, pride) to enter our hearts
• Call upon the Lord, that from Him we may receive according to the desires of our hearts
• Search Isaiah diligently (because they speak to the Gentiles regarding the House of Israel)
That's about all I could find. Nowhere did I see an ordinance (except baptism... if you want to call that an ordinance), or something like paying tithing associated with the new commandments; rather, they were part of "the law" and were fulfilled at the time of the Lord's coming.
You can interpret this discovery anyway you would like, of course, but it is interesting to me to see what happens when we filter out all our assumptions and let the text of the Book of Mormon speak for itself.
I'm responding to Inspire at 10:14 a.m. (2/8/13)--
thank you; this is what I believe, but you say it better--
Once a person REALLY accepts Jesus Christ everything changes. The "Mormon" church I was raised in and often got discouraged in (as a very sincere and earnest youth) always talked about works--
and frankly there were times when I wanted to give up entirely--
just jump off a cliff, because I could never be good enough--
I went through decades of HARD WORK in the church before I had an experience with Jesus Christ, and it all changed; now I am pretty mellow--and I look for people who love Jesus, even if they don't know, yet, who He is--
for rebuffing the ladders, etc.--
for revealing all of that 'hooey' as just more social darwinism--
I wonder how many honest souls have left the church for that--
and, you know, since I accepted Jesus I think I actually am a better person; it's funny how that has happened--
I see those who are still in the 'work hard enough; you might make it to the terrestial kingdom' mode and I want to share my experiences with them, but I get the 'deer in the headlights' look--
I don't feel shaken so much by that, because I, like Inspire, have sort of left it all behind for the Book of Mormon (the other dogmas--the 'doctrine' that smacks of Protestantism)--
but then I had abandoned Joseph Smith (quietly) for a few decades while still hanging on to the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ--
there are other things I could say, but they are so bizarre that I might identify myself, and I am not comfortable doing that.
I got Joseph Smith back only recently--and I'm glad to be able to consider him again--
I have not spoken in person or in cyber space to anyone like Inspire--
but I have also thrown everything off but the Book of Mormon; now and again I quote someone who was a bit of a rogue like James--
("pure religion and undefiled . . .")--
I did study the Bible for many years, but I am convinced that a lot of it is simply wrong--especially in the Old Testament; I exclude Isaiah and Jeremiah--
Rock, my husband wants to e-mail you--
With this blog do you get to have a 'life' of your own, or are you constantly fielding the questions of 'fellow saints'--?
(I'm sure you'll welcome his e-mail; he's been reading you, but never responding)--
Oh, dear, anonymous, 8:58 a.m.; I just feel that I've said enough/too much--
I don't want people to groan when they see my name--
I don't think it's my business to tell someone who has divorced a spouse and gotten a breaking of a temple sealing and married another one that I think he/she is wrong--
it's my business not to do that myself--
I've seen plenty of that, and I don't agree with it; I do believe it is wrong, but I am also very concerned about not being self-righteous--
but I don't want to offend you by having you think that I don't want to 'talk' to you again--
I say too much on here. I have at least one close family member who gets a good chuckle out of how much I say on here--
and I am blushing at my verbosity.
in Alma 39:3-9 . . .
yes, I agree that McConkie and others who did the 'headers' put their own spin on it--
but Alma makes it quite clear that IF Corianton had not left his ministry, he would have been protected from--
and this word is used in verse 9: "lust"--
that he was to 'cross himself'--
Having read Jacob and what he has to say about the whoredoms of the Nephites, I don't think that the Book of Mormon prophets were calling for a s#xual revolution--
*tongue in cheek*
Yes, I believe that there is too much emphasis on immorality among modern LDS--
and there needs to be more of an emphasis on repentance and the atonement--
and I agree with you about ecclesiastical involvement in these processes, that it often makes things worse and isn't scriptural (even biblical)--
I have studied the bible extensively, and I have found many things to question about it, but I don't let the bible discredit or contradict the Book of Mormon; I always put the Book of Mormon first, while still being aware of the bible--
in a family like mine where there are people of many different religions, that is important--
Without Bruce's input, most diligent readers of the Book of Mormon would realize that there is a strong warning from Alma for young people to 'cross themselves'--
I agree, however, that there is too much emphasis on p#rn in the church--
it's become 'out there'--
ah, Gary Hunt--
peace to you--
and enjoy your green jello salad--
I stepped on a toe--
I always say too much, because I am not good at saying what I want to say the first time, so please excuse me--
I believe that Jacob covered very well the adulteries of the parents--
and Alma was working on keeping his son (married or not, who knows?)--
but I do think that you (and others) are right in believing that the present church situation calls upon the pre-married to be pure while allowing the post-married to sin--
with divorce and remarriage--
so I don't want to come across as stating that I believe Alma was picking on the 'youth'--
I'll be quiet now--
I appreciate your insights--
each of *us*, according to his/her history, spiritual and ecclesiastical and cultural, will receive from the Book of Mormon what *we* need; that is the beauty of the book--
I certainly don't condone free promiscuity, and Corianton may very well have been rolling in the hay with Isabel. I also can attest that adultery can destroy families and is very serious. If my spouse cheated on me, I would feel like I was murdered.
My point is, though, is that as readers, we don't get to decide what the text is telling us because someone with "authority" imposes that upon us. You may very well have a different and more accurate interpretation of this story, but if it is anything other than "se-ual sin is an abomination" then you are a heretic and a rebel, and on the road to apostasy ... All of these are convenient label manufactured by the Church to keep us bound by the flaxen cords.
I do enjoy reading your comments. I learn a lot from them.
It's great to hear you realize that most divorce & remarriage is adultery, as Christ plainly taught, for most members & leaders today don't want to think so anymore.
I agree that it's incredible how church leaders expect youth to keep the law of chastity & have respect for marriage, when parents & the leaders themselves don't honor their own vows & thus support or commit abuse & adultery in divorce, dating & remarriage.
Kids usually see through that hypocrisy real quick, even if the parents don't want to admit their adultery from breaking their marriage covenants.
It's disgusting how leaders, even at the highest levels, act so righteous yet are condoning and rolling out the red carpet for people to even enter their temples and commit some of the vilest of evils, like 'serial polygamy' & adultery in remarriage.
I think it's about time the leaders 'confess' to the membership.
Inspire and LDSDPer,
I really appreciate both of your comments. I think the Church's emphasis has been that of the Pharisees, Puritans and Victorians. They take the simple moral ideas of the Gospel and push them to the extreme, going way beyond the mark.
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Oh no! There's that four letter word "LOVE" again!
A number of years ago I read an article which detailed the results of a study. The study was about what motivates us to do what we do. I was surprised by one of the results which said, many people would do something "wrong" just because an authority figure told them not to do it. Otherwise they wouldn't.
Love or fear? I choose to cut those "flaxen chords" of fear and use the freeing power of love.
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