Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Book Of Mormon Cultural History Reading Project

Previously: Why I Don't Care If You're Gay
I had planned at this time to write a sort of follow-up to last month's controversial post, but yesterday I came across this announcement on Daymon Smith's website, Mormonism Uncorrelated, and felt it was worth dropping everything to bring this to the attention of as many people as possible.

My apologies to those to whom I promised something else; I still hope to put together my intended post up here by next month. But when you see what Daymon is proposing, I'm sure you'll agree with me that his unprecedented free offer deserves priority attention. I'll quote Daymon's words from his blog below, then follow with my own thoughts as to why this is one of the most important things that thinking latter-day Saints can do for themselves right now. Here's Daymon:

"I am starting this month The Book of Mormon Cultural History Reading Project. It will run for eight months.
"For the Reading Project, I will offer for download a PDF of every book in the series, on a monthly, rotating basis.
 "Every Tuesday for the next eight months, I will provide, for that week, a link to download 1/4 of the entire book. That quarter of the book will be removed and the next quarter posted for the next week, until the entire book has been posted. The PDFs will be removed from my blog, so that other websites don’t mistakenly believe it is their PDF to post or to sell.
"(All PDFs posted in this Reading Project remain under copyright of this author, but you are encouraged to share the PDFs with whomever you like. I just don’t want some robot selling complete copies of the series on Amazon or Scribd.)"
          "The schedule looks like this:
February: Volume One
March: Volume Two A
April: Volume Two B
May: Volume Three Beta
June: Volume Three Delta
July: Volume Four A
August: Volume Four B
September: Volume Five
 "I will also be available to answer questions on the Facebook page for the Cultural History, as well as on the comments section of the post for that week. Not every day, but a few times a week I’ll check in to see if questions want answering.
"The hope is that those who cannot afford the series can access it here, while others would share it with friends who may be reluctant to jump into a series of this length. (Volumes Four and Five will be available soon, on Amazon, too.)
 "In addition, the list price of the book for that month, and for the following month, will be reduced to $17.50. Thus, for February, Volume One and Volume Two A will be reduced in price; for March, it’ll be Two A and Two B. And so on.
 "In March I will also be releasing a “unified” Volume Two (with A and B), for sale at the list price of $27.50. It’ll be a big book. Volumes Three and Four will follow, as I finish the reformatting.
 "Finally, The Book of Mammon and The Abridging Works will be reduced to $17.50 for the entire run of the Reading Project. The Abridging Works, in particular, I believe is an excellent way to begin re-reading the Book of Mormon from a different perspective. It’s where I started, anyway."
Why It's Important For All Thinking Mormons To Participate
The salient theme of this blog, Pure Mormonism, and others like it, is that there is something off-kilter about the modern LDS Church. Back in 1986, Ezra Taft Benson clued us in as to the cause of our drift back in 1986 when he addressed the Saints in his first general conference as the new President of the church. He told us that the whole church was currently under condemnation, and had been since 1833 when the Lord announced through Joseph Smith:
"This condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written.”
President Benson reminded us at that time that the Lord's condemnation had never been lifted. It was still in effect.

To me, that was an astonishing revelation. President Benson was telling us in no uncertain terms that this church was in deep, deep trouble.

Yet how many of our fellow Saints today go merrily about declaring all is well in Zion? How many blindly assume that this Church continues to be directed from on high by a satisfied deity who happily approves of every word and action of those holding high office within it?

When a house is condemned, that usually means it is not fit for the owner to live in. What then does it mean when the Lord tells us his own house has been condemned, and has been almost from the beginning? Is He really still directing the organization that bears His name?

I say the answer to that can be found by simply looking around. Where are the gifts of the spirit once found in abundance among the latter-day Saints? Where is the evidence of God's hand in this institution? In short, where are the fruits that bear witness of His will being implemented?

I asserted previously my belief that Daymon Smith's Cultural History of the Book of Mormon is one of the most important works of LDS scholarship in recent years. He traces the entire history of our misuse of that sacred scripture, beginning with the nascent misinterpretation of what that book meant by its use of the word restoration. Some of our earliest and most prominent converts took things in a direction entirely different from that called for in the scripture itself. And for decades after, the body of the Saints as a whole pretty much ignored that sacred book entirely.

The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Illiterate-Day Saints
When I was younger, I set out to read through the 26 volume Journal of Discourses, and I made it most of the way through. Yet until Daymon Smith brought it up, I hadn't noticed that in pioneer Utah, the Book of Mormon was almost never preached from the pulpit, and rarely talked about or read by the Saints. When stories from that book eventually found their way into Church publications late in the 19th century, they were geared toward children in the form of fables that predictably got a lot of things wrong. Those children's stories later formed the basis for teacher's manuals in the Church Educational System, and were eventually codified in our Sunday School lessons.

Today it is entirely possible for you to discover something marvelous and revealing in the Book of Mormon while engaged in your private scripture study at home, then go to church and be taught something completely contradictory to what you just read in the scriptures themselves.

The Book of Mormon is often called "the foundation of our faith" and "the cornerstone of our religion." Daymon Smith reminds us that if we are to take those slogans seriously, maybe we ought to start reading the Book of Mormon unfiltered by the dross and detritus that has built up around it by well-meaning leaders, teachers, and parents. We deserve to examine and reflect upon the teachings promulgated in the Book of Mormon in the pure form they are presented within the book itself, rather than infuse them with meanings and dogmas of our choosing.

The thing that makes Daymon Smith's Cultural History of the Book of Mormon so valuable is that in these five volumes he tracks the misuse, misinterpretations, and misapplication of the Book of Mormon within the church from the very beginning, up through pioneer days, then to the present time. It is an astonishingly jaw-dropping history, and if you are not following this, you will be left behind as the most important conversation in the church today takes place around you.

The first step toward getting the church of Christ back on its true mission is by learning how things got diverted in the first place. Daymon Smith's masterful history ought to be priority reading for the Remnant. The first 1/4 of Volume One is available right now for free. It will only be up for six more days, and then the next section will take its place. If you miss a section, don't worry; you can always buy the book at a reduced price during this limited time.

I assume you can tell that I think the study of how and where this people got off the tracks is extremely important. It's certainly important to God, as he has told us so.  I also hope that, in addition to reading these excerpts free online, you'll support Brother Smith in his work by purchasing the hard copy editions of these books, or the Nook and Kindle editions. I personally am one of those troglodytes who prefers to own and read books in book form rather than digital, and you can bet these books are given a prominent place in my library.

If you are not aware of The Abridging Works: The Epic And Historic Book Of Mormon Arranged In Sequence Of Composition , I'd encourage you to obtain a copy of that as well. This has become my favorite reading copy of the Book of Mormon. Like the original 1830 edition, it is laid out in narrative form, which makes it a much easier read, plus when characters are quoted, their words are in italics to distinguish from the narrative text.  As the synopsis on Amazon puts it, "happily, the text has been freed from the constraints of column and verse, and oriented to the epic and historic genres more appropriate for its wingspan and tragic grandeur, for appreciating the complexity of its composition."

 You really haven't read the Book of Mormon until you've read it the way the Prophet Mormon would have intended it to be read. Also included is an appendix with Essays by Smith explaining the sequencing.

And one more thing: since Daymon will make himself available on the Cultural History Facebook Site for questions, comments, and discussion, maybe someone will ask him to explain his eccentric choice of cover art on those books. I don't get 'em.

I hope you'll join me in this amazing reading adventure.

You can download the first part of volume one right now by clicking here.

Important Announcement
Since I expect the conversation about this post will take place mostly on the Cultural History Facebook page or at Mormonism Uncorrelated rather than in the comment section below, this announcement here may be premature, but please note: henceforth all commenters posting on my blog only as "Anonymous" will be deleted just as fast as I come across them.

I respect all reader's wishes to post anonymously, and you may continue to do so as long as at the beginning and end of your comment you use some type of unique identifier so that others can tell you from the hundreds of others posting as "Anonymous." With so many commenting under the name "Anonymous," the conversations are becoming increasingly difficult to follow.  It has also become obvious that some of those posting anonymously are often among the most uncivil; rather than engage in intelligent arguments, some of these people tend to get quarrelsome.  A civil argument advances the dialogue; petty and immature attacks on other's views do not.

Please note that if you are concerned about your privacy, the drop-down feature that reads "Name/URL" already keeps you completely anonymous; when you post using that feature, I don't have the ability to track who you are (not that I would want to) and neither does anyone else. So it makes sense to use that feature if you wish to keep your true identity hidden. All you have to do is place whatever username you wish to go by in the "Name" box and ignore the URL part. Of course, if you want to further mislead others, you can put any link in the URL box you choose, such as,, or

Those with Google, Yahoo, Wordpress, and other accounts can choose to post under those accounts, which helps to lead others to your own blogs. But seriously, enough with all these people calling themselves "Anonymous." It's getting to be too much.


Aw said...


I find it interesting that you believe that every "prophet" since Joseph Smith is fallen, yet you quote ETB like his words have some validity because his statements support your point of view on fallen Mormonism.

Toni said...

Thanks, Rock. I appreciate you passing on this information.

me said...

Rock, i so appreciate your generosity in passing important information along. I, like you, have Damons books thus far, on my bookshelf. I also love his book of mormon layout. It is a beautiful read.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I don't know what you mean by every prophet since Joseph Smith is "fallen" since I don't think I've ever made that assertion.

I have noted, however, that none of them appear to have received or conveyed revelations directly from God, and I have questioned their claim to having "keys" of authority over the church.

President Benson may not have been a prophet in the commonly understood sense, but he was capable of reading the Doctrine and Covenants and quoting from it.

And he was aware, as the rest of us are, that the Lord has never issued a revelation rescinding the condemnation.

Therefore it doesn't require believing that Benson was acting as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to recognize that he was onto something when he reminded us what the Lord said regarding the whole church being under condemnation, and then noting that the condemnation had not been lifted.

Some things don't require a prophet to tell us. Sometimes all we have to do is read what the Lord has already said. And that's what Benson was doing in April conference 1986.

Inspire said...

Are you saying that every word from the prophets is from God? Because your same logic would hold you to the words they have spoken which are clearly untrue. If Rock can't pick and choose, neither can you.

Perhaps it's a simpler explanation, which is that men speak the words of Christ when they are influenced by the Holy Ghost. And the way is given to us to judge if they are or not.

I can't speak for Rock, but discussion over if one is sitting on the high seat or fallen from it really is a waste of time. We have a way to know and then decide. What are the fruits? What does experience tell us about the words?

Language can be a silly game. We have to stick labels on things and each other then force them to act like or prove/disprove they fit the tags we made up and stuck on them. Keeps us moving, for sure, but we don't get anywhere. There is no reconciliation or at-one-ment this way.

Anonymous said...

As always (so far!) I appreciate your thoughts. I have purchases Daymon Smith's books, but to be honest I find them a very hard read. I just can't get past his stilted word usage and constructions which, to me, make him sound enormously arrogant. Perhaps if you talk with him you could just ask him to use normal words and tone down the frothy language a bit?
Thank you.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Some readers have said it was a bit of a trudge to get through the first part of volume I. After all, quite a bit of it was a history of Restorationist thought going back to the 1600s.

But that exposition was necessary in a work that purports to show the roots of how we got from there to here.

My advice for those having difficulty with that section is to simply skim the first four chapters of the book in order to get a feel for things, then jump in beginning with chapter 5, where we begin to see the influence of Parley Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, and others from the Campbellite camp folding the Book of Mormon into their preconceived notions of a restoration of the New Testament Church.

Before I began reading volume II, I heard from others who had read it who told me it was a much smoother read, and I agree. Things really begin to take off in volume II once all the exposition is covered.

So I recommend getting a feel for volume I, then you'll find that once the Church was well underway and we see how the members treated (or ignored) the Book of Mormon, it's fascinating reading.

I don't wish to downplay the importance of volume I, but it may have more interest to scholars than the layman. If you have trouble with it, then rather than abandon the effort, jump right in with volume II. That volume has a pretty good recap in the introduction of what was covered before.

The main thing is not to deprive yourself of the basic information.

Annalea said...

Ohhhh . . . "stoked" doesn't even begin to cover how I feel about the reading project! :-))

And Rock, what you write just makes me happy. (Yeah, I'm gushy today. Enjoy it. lol)

Off to download part one . . . (I own the hard copy, but it's easier to read here & there one my phone . . . )

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rock, I admit the first part of vol 1 is what I had in mind. Didn't get any further because it "put me off". I will do as you suggest and start w/ chap. 5.
Again, thank you.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the heads up on Damon's offer, Rock. What a remarkable gesture of sharing a radically new perspective on who we are or who we think we are. Great insights into the pace of the first volume. Very much looking forward to the whole series.

JLC said...


The link you posted to show how President Benson reminded the Church that they were still under condemnation was not correct. The correct link is

The one you posted did have him quote section 84:54 but did not have him quoting our continued curse. Not a big deal but I thought I would bring it up.

A'm really getting into the books. I hated the first half of book one but have enjoyed the rest of the volumes.I would say that he is still a hard read but the subject is so interesting that it keeps me reading

LDSDPer said...

I'm going to have to have my husband help me with this (*blushing for my computer illiteracy*); I know what a pdf is (he's drilled that into me! LOL!)

But I'm not sure how to go about it; I think he wants to read it, too, though, so we'll figure something out.

Oh, and can they be copied? The only benefit my husband's work offers him is free printing, so we could do that; neither of us have enough computer time to read off the screen.

I really am not very conversant about these things--

Ah! I'll send him the link, and he can figure it out there--

--on his break.

I am really interested in this.

Chuck said...

@LDSDPer, per Daymon's post, Reading Project 1.1:

"All PDFs posted in this Reading Project remain under copyright of this author, but you are encouraged to share the PDFs with whomever you like. I just don’t want some robot selling complete copies of the series on Amazon or Scribd." (emphasis added)

Anonymous said...

I bought all these books when you first recommended them. Looking forward to this project! Good stuff!!


Unknown said...

Aw, I think you're conflating revelation with the priesthood. Just because someone has a legitimate priesthood calling doesn't mean they do a good job. This is one of the most fallacious arguments made about the president of the church, people falsely assume that everything he does or says is inspired simply by virtue of his calling. When you're given a calling, you are given the responsibility to act. How you act is up to you. You can kneel down and seek guidance, or you can just act like a business executive and make decisions. In the church I've seen a lot of inspiration and also a profound lack of inspiration. The church being "under condemnation" doesn't mean that the priesthood has lost its legitimacy. I guess this is something we could debate, but to me that's not what it means. Where is the line in the sand when priesthood authority is removed? To me it just means we're left to wander in the wilderness for a while. ETB may have been speaking 100% from the spirit when he gave that talk. Even under condemnation this doesn't mean the president of the church, along with any other leaders all the way down to a nursery worker, aren't receiving personal revelation. It could however mean that nothing substantial or new is going to be received until we collectively get our act together. It could mean that we as a body get what we deserve. I personally am of the opinion that it's not possible for unrighteous people to be led by righteous people. You get what you ask for. If the church is under condemnation then this surely applies to the leadership as well.

Unknown said...

LDSDPer, I'd recommend you get your hands on an Android tablet if you don't have one. Get Aldiko Book Reader, it's free. You can pull the PDF in there and read it like a Kindle book, a lot more pleasant. You can read PDF on Kindle too, but it's a bit more work.

LDSDPer said...

@everyone (especially Rock)--

you don't have to answer my question about printing onto paper. My husband and I already read 1/4 of it tonight--

together. We are having a hard time stopping. :)

Amazing stuff. I am finding it easy to read, as is my husband, but as I've been told that my writing style is disjointed and that Smith's is disjointed, maybe that goes without saying. LOL!

GOOD stuff!

My husband came home with a little gidget that he had put it on (there's a computerese word for it that he knows)--

and he just put it in the computer, and we read; it's in large print, too, since we both like that.

This is amazing stuff, Rock. I was skeptical, because I prefer to read the Book of Mormon without commentary. But this is a different 'animal' altogether and fascinating for those of us who appreciate the study of culture. WOW!

Thanks, Arch; we'll have to check that out; we'll see how it goes the way we are doing it now. So far, so good.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Re your comment at 4:39,

Well said!

Aw said...

@Arch Stanton;

You completely misunderstood what I was saying. I never said that the "prophet" was infallible. What Rock has repeatedly stated here (in so many words) is that every prophet since Joseph Smith has made grave errors in doctrine and judgment. When it serves his purpose, Rock points to ETB as some sort of authoritative source of wisdom. This is a logical fallacy; it is called appeal to authority. The rest of the time Rock takes what the general authorities have to say with a grain of salt. So I am going to say to you what Rock has already said to you, and suggest you brush up on your logical fallacies.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an excellent opportunity to really examine my beliefs on the BoM. I've been kind of up in the air as to whether I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet or not, so this seems like a bit of fortunate coincidence to help with that.


Gary Hunt said...


I think you are mistaking Rock for someone else who regularly comments on this blog. There is a person who regularly uses the phrase "every prophet since Joseph Smith is fallen...". In addition Rock was quoting Ezra Taft Benson, who in turn was quoting the Lord in D&C 84:55-58. I would suggest you go back and read what the logical fallacy of "appeal to authority" actually means. I think you will find that in the context that Rock used it, it is not a logical fallacy.

Gary Hunt said...


I agree with Rock on your comments regarding priesthood and revelation. Well said. I would suggest everyone read D&C 121. It confirms what you are saying.

Aw said...

Gary Hunt,

IT IS a logical fallacy in that Rock appealed to the authority of ETB as having made the statement, which seemed to lend credibility to Rock's point. Otherwise Rock would have simply quoted the D+C as ETB did. Sorry, but you are wrong fallacy guru.

Aw said...

Off topic, but interesting for those that are not alarmed by same-sex marriage:

Gary Hunt said...


You are very funny when you said,"but you are wrong fallacy guru". That is a good one.

You better go back and read what Rock actually said and re-evaluate your position. The only mistakes I think he made were first the year was 1832 and not 1833, and secondly he could have labeled the scripture he quoted as being D&C 84:57.

Gary Hunt said...


Give new meaning to the term "animal husbandry".

Alan Rock Waterman said...

You accuse me of engaging in a logical fallacy by quoting President Benson in my post, and suggest that Arch Stanton should brush up on his logical fallacies. Might I gently suggest you do a bit of brushing up yourself?

I did indeed appeal to an authority to make my point, but my authority was the Lord himself speaking through Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants. Although these authorities would not score points in an argument with those not of our faith, for purposes of a discussion intended for believers in the restored gospel, either Joseph Smith or the Lord are acceptable sources to appeal to.

I did not appeal to Ezra Taft Benson as final authority. I quoted President Benson quoting Joseph Smith quoting the Lord Himself.

An appeal to authority as a logical fallacy is thus: the fallacy that X is true ONLY because Y Says so.

Now, I will cop to the admission that X should be accepted as true when the authority is the LORD Himself. I admit to that weakness in my argument. The appeal to that authority would not have scored points in a discussion with atheists. But then, this blog is not called "Pure Atheism." Within the parameters of my belief system and that of my audience here, God is considered an acceptable authority to appeal to.

What I said was that President Benson clued us in on the reason why it may be that the Church is no longer run by direct revelation. I did not say that Benson was speaking through revelation. Indeed, all he was doing was citing a previous revelation, one that is universally accepted by most latter-day Saints, and has been canonized in our scripture.

I could have just as well quoted any other member of the church, and the statement would still be no less true, nor would it be a logical fallacy. It only SEEMS like an appeal to authority to those who only think of President Benson as an authority figure.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

AW, (Continued)

You also wrote "When it serves his purpose, Rock points to ETB as some sort of authoritative source of wisdom."

Absolutely true. I do believe Benson was an authoritative source of wisdom on many topics. As a former member of Eisenhower's cabinet, he witnessed first hand how governments are often used to deprive people of their rights and liberties, and warned us against the machinations of government insiders.

(I similarly frequently quote President Eisenhower's warning of the growth of the Military-Industrial Complex. As both a former Army General and President of the United States, he was an authority on that threat because he witnessed the threat developing.)

As a general authority, Benso was also privy to the machinations going on within the highest levels of the Church, and warned us against those he called wolves in sheep's clothing within the hierarchy. He was also a source of scriptural wisdom, especially regarding the Book of Mormon. So yes, I'll quote someone who is an expert in his field who knows what he's talking about. That sort of thing is not illogical.

As much as I admired Ezra Benson, I disagreed with him when he spoke at BYU regarding "The Fourteen Fundamentals of Following the Prophet." In that talk, Benson quotes various authorities on what he considered the importance of following the prophet. He repeatedly used the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority in that talk, because the conclusions he reached were that we should follow the prophet because those in authority said we should. But he neglected to quote God or scripture to bolster his argument, which is why those appeals to authority failed, in my view.

The gist of that talk was that members should unquestioningly follow the prophet in all things solely because he and others in authority said they should. That is where the logical fallacy comes in.

Your accusation of my use of Benson could have been construed as a logical fallacy had I argued that Benson's position as president of the church placed his opinion beyond reproach. But I didn't cite him because he was an authority; I cited him because I happen to agree with what he had to say.

It's a perfectly acceptable rule of argument to quote someone in authority who has something to say which is conducive to the point being made. I think Benson was right on the money when he reminded the Saints what the Lord had to say about the church being under condemnation, and that's why I quoted him.

I could have quoted Joe Sixpack citing D&C 84, but it wouldn't have nearly the impact as quoting a general authority. But the act of quoting an authority in itself is not a logical fallacy; What makes quoting an authority a logical fallacy is when you APPEAL to that position of authority by itself as the sole reason your argument must be accepted.

I didn't do that. I didn't assert that "Hey, Benson said it, and he was the prophet, so that's all the reason I have to give and you have to believe me because the prophet said so."

THAT would have been a logical fallacy.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I do so hope you realize that piece about the state of California recognizing a marriage between a man and his dog was satire.

There is no "book of California’s State Laws and Regulations." Out here we call it the California State Code, and it consists of 29 volumes. You'd have a hard time doing a search for article 155 paragraph 10 because the code isn't laid out that way.

No state will EVER recognize a marriage between a man and a dog for the simple reason that an animal is incompetent to engage in a contract.

P.S. to Gary: "Animal Husbandry." Good one.

JRSG in Arizona said...

Thanks to Rock for letting us know about Daymon Smith's generous offer, and Thanks to Daymon Smith for allowing people access to his book!

There have been various leaders through out the years who have said the church was off course, and the longer it strays off course without correction, the more difficult it is, and will become, to get the church back on the right track.

Gary Hunt said...


I told you should reconsider your position.

BK said...


I agree the Church is off track (since Joseph died), but it's as impossible to get the LDS Church on track as it is to get any other Church out there on track, because they are not Christ's Church, not true Churches, not lead by true followers or true disciples/prophets of Christ.

We or even the leaders of the Church can't do anything to become a true Church again, Christ must establish his Church all over again himself, probably in Zion.

All we can do is live worthy to be a member of Zion and that Church someday.

Anonymous said...

There are times that it seems we continually squabble over the scraps left over in the landfill. If we truly were willing to listen to the inner voice in each of us, that beckoning call of the Master to each of us individually, we would not be seeking validation of our journey here on earth through another man. There is no other gate keeper other than the Holy One of Israel. He employeth no servant there. In D&C 10:64-59 The Lord has declared that he has established His Church among us.

64 Therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery;

65 For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;

66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.

67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and unto me, the same is my church.

68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

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.

His Church is comprised of those who repent and come unto Him. Nothing more. Nothing Less.
It is only when men will not engage the Lord to be their Master, and seek for a "king" does the Lord submit to our desires and we are given a man to lead. There is nothing that a man can give us, that he will not provide to us himself. We need to hear His cry, and His pleading to come and partake of the feast that He and only He can provide. The scraps of the landfill just are not that appealing any more.


Fusion said...

Hi Rock,

Awesome to have this new era of interest in the very thing that brought me to Jesus and to the Restoration by Joseph. I will state that I have a different opinion, a much higher one than Daymon, of Sidney Rigdon, which becomes obvious the more one reads into who Sidney really was- it is astonishing to see him written out of church history when he was the only man to see the vision in D&C 76 and thus one of the two who said 'the last testimony which WE give...'. In addition, he was the other half of the terrible night when Joseph and him got that awful beating, and he was dragged by his heels on the rock and ice, and suffered immensely. Although he and Joseph had a falling out, he NEVER wavered from his testimony, even after Brigham so rudely, and against scriptural protocol in D&C 43 dismissed Sidney as the only one who had the power to ordain a new president of the church- there are those in our day who have lost their faith for far less, and none of the modern leaders ever went through a fraction of these things. There is far more to Sidney than we have been led to believe, and Brigham and those that followed him did a terrible job of vilifying him, a character assassination if there ever was one. It is my opinion through my research over the years that Brigham and his peers did likewise a character assassination to Joseph as well as Emma. But that is another story, there is much to talk about Brigham, a man who never saw an angel, nor the Lord, never had a vision, never received pure revelation that was canonised, and yet had so much to say and dictate.

Anyhow, I have a question for you Rock- who do you identify as the Remnant: the LDS people/the saints in general who are identified with the Book or Mormon movement, or, the Remnant of Jacob who are the Lamanites today??

Thank you,

BK said...


I agree with you that Brigham Young (a false or fallen prophet) vilify Joseph, Emma and Signey, and many others, to make himself look good. I believe BY was a very wicked man, who was so cunning he was able to led so many astray to do very wicked things, like live polygamy. But those people had previously refused to believe in Joseph and Christ's teachings, so they were ripe for iniquity and easily fell for the likes of Brigham Young, as so many still do today.

The righteous are repulsed by things Brigham taught, especially polygamy, and they can see that Brigham was anti-Christ and anti-Joseph Smith and anti-Book of Mormon, etc.

I believe 'the remnant' will be mostly non-lds and non-flds and non Rlds, it will be the righteous who can see through all the falsehoods and false prophets that surround the coming of the Book of Mormon, it will be those who follow Joseph and Christ's pure teachings.

For as Joseph taught, there are always 'false' prophets around 'true' prophets, that deceived most everyone into believing them, for they look and sound almost the very same as true prophets.

I believe that this huge exodus from the LDS Church is because the righteous once given a little bit of truth that is now becoming so available on the internet, can now clearly see the errors and falsehoods and false prophets of the LDS Church, though they probably saw wrongs all the way along and had questions long before these truths were shown them.

Aw said...

BK @ 2-8-11:18

The church today is in the same conundrum as the church after the death of Christ. It is in a state of apostasy - we all seem to agree on that - but what we don't seem to agree on is how to proceed.

There are many here that think it harmless to point out all glaring faults they find. There are those (like Daymon Smith, and Denver Snuffer) that cry lo here, and lo there. These men are not inspired and cannot possibly imagine just what effect their activities will have on things in the long run. They are surviving on their wits...what Korihor called "prospering according to their genius". I'm sure many of the early brotheren that criticized Brother Joseph felt the same way. They felt that they were on the right tract, every one of them. Yet all their posturing came to naught.

What I don't understand is why we have to do anything? On one hand, people here claim that the Lord is silent on certain matters, yet at the next moment they want to upset the apple cart because they see things amiss. Yet when they saw things amiss did the Lord tell them to fix it? No, he was silent at that moment as well.

How is this all going to play out? No one has given serious though to how these attacks (although possibly warranted in some way) against the leaders will end up. For instance, how are we to continue functioning in a system that we deplore? Are we going to write on this blog on Friday, go to church on Sunday and get our temple recommend, and go to the temple on Tuesday? There is literally no place for this rebellion to go.

Are there those among us that vainly believe that we can reform the church and return it to its previous glory?

Now I'm sure many of you will disagree with what I have said, but the church, or our belief and fellowship (however you want to characterize it) is literally all we have. Taking these rebellious activities to the next level will only result in excommunications, heartbreak, more offshoots from Mormonism, more confused people...I think many of you will have difficulty recognizing that you are not acting in the interest of the Lord, but of Satan. It is Satan that wants to tear down and destroy.

So before you presume to know what the Lord wants, or presume to believe that you know another that knows what the Lord wants, I would do some real soul-searching and figure out what your long term exit strategy is going to be. Otherwise, there is a strong possibility that some of you will end up like Denver Snuffer, still kicking against the pricks.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I suppose the meaning of "The Remnant" is open to interpretation, but when I refer to the Remnant, I usually have this famous essay by Albert Jay Nock in mind:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I think you are proceeding from a false assumption.

However one chooses to define "Mormonism," it is a belief system that exists independent of the structural LDS Church. One can be a devout "Mormon" while bearing no allegiance to those currently in management positions within the organization. The degree to which one follows or obeys the purported counsel of the leaders may be a measure of one's devotion to "the Church"(TM), but it is not an accurate measurement of one's devotion to the faith.

As Giddeon reminds us above, Christ's church does not depend upon the current management structure; His church includes ALL who repent and come unto HIM.

That's why I see your concerns as silly and imaginary. Nobody here is talking about starting his own church. We already have a church.(See again D&C 10:67 re Giddeon's comment above.)

Further, had you made yourself familiar with the writings of Denver Snuffer and Daymon Smith, you would see how ridiculous it looks for you to compare them to the early American Sectarians urging "lo here and lo there."

Neither of these men want followers. They are repulsed by the idea of anyone looking to them for leadership. Everything they write about is intended to remove our focus away from spiritual gurus and back to Christ where it belongs.

Like many of us raised in the church, I am afraid your conditioning infuses your thinking, so that when you read discussions about reforming "the church," you see it in terms of reforming the institution itself. This is evident in your warnings against "rebellion" and a concern with members forming "offshoots."

Few of us here concern ourselves with reforming the present institution. God tells us he will take care of that himself in due time. We need only work on reforming ourselves, and that would include turning to Christ, seeking the spirit, and resist falling into the trap of placing our trust in the arm of flesh.

Aw said...


I'm sorry, but I see no constructive purpose that is being served by sitting around and commenting on the misdeeds of church leaders. In the end, it is up to the individual to decide for himself what is right and wrong. Denver Snuffer, Daymon Smith, and you, for that matter, are actively trying to influence the thinking of others. To suggest otherwise is foolish and imaginary on your part. You think yourself wise like so many others that have fallen by the wayside. Do you have some kind of mandate from god to set in order his kingdom?

Aw said...


So if someone comes up to you and wants to know more about Mormonism, what do you tell them? Do you tell them the "corporate church" is false, but the "church" you believe in is true so they should listen to you? Do you even recommend someone take the missionary lessons? I suppose you could "straighten them out" later. Better yet, you could point people to the missionaries, invite them to listen to the spirit, and let them decide for themselves. I suppose you think the millions of members of the church have all gone astray, and only your thinking is correct?

BK said...


I don't believe the Lord would have us support false prophets and imposters, especially by giving them our precious time and money, that can be used much more wisely in other places.

If we spent half the time directly serving the widows and single mothers around us, (and I guarantee they have a long list of needs around their house), as the Savior commanded, than we do at church and all it's other meetings, I believe our neighborhoods & communities would change dramatically for the better, not to mention our spirituality.

If we gave our sacred tithes & offerings directly to the fatherless (single mothers) around us that we know personally, so that 100% of it went where it should, rather than give it to church leaders who will use on themselves or their business ventures or false temples and churches instead of to the poor like Christ said it should go, then I believe we would find our prayers answered alot more and our minds enlightened by much more truth, just like the scriptures teach will happen when we relieve the sufferings of the fatherless and poor.

I believe we will be held accountable for giving money to churches that don't give 100% of it to the fatherless as Christ instructed, until there are 'no more poor among us'.

We have a responsibility to 'follow the money' and make sure it gets where it should go, and make sure it doesn't pay rich men's salaries who should be supporting themselves and serving for free like everyone else and not expecting the fatherless to support them of all things.

Joseph warned us that we would lose our salvation if we fell for or supported false prophets and those who taught contrary to the scriptures.

We do not need 'a church' to attend on Sunday, we can worship, study and learn in our own homes with family and friends, just like people did in Christ's original Church when he was alive or just like the righteous did after Joseph was taken and they didn't have a true church anymore to attend. We have the scriptures that Joseph and Christ gave to us and we can live worthy of all the personal revelation that we need to be righteous and teach our families ourselves in our own homes and protect them against false doctrine and false prophets.

the_mormonion said...

"I see no constructive purpose that is being served by sitting around and commenting on the misdeeds of church leaders." -Aw

I would reply to this by quoting Joseph Smith, who said:

“Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth. Consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft...The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.”

That, my friend, is Mormonism in its purity. We as Mormons have not only the obligation, but the RIGHT to embrace every item of truth. If that truth happens to lead to a discussion of the church's misdeeds, then so be it. We as believers in this gospel have a right to know them. So if it can be demonstrably proven that we as a church are shackled to the chains of priestcraft, then we must be willing to face that truth. If Rock has put forth something that is untrue on this blog, then by all means, let us know. But if your qualm with him simply his pointing out truths with no "endgame" in plan, I would simply remind you that truth sure sounds like, at least according to Joseph, an endgame in and of itself.

"Denver Snuffer, Daymon Smith, and you, for that matter, are actively trying to influence the thinking of others." -Aw

As are the leaders of the LDS Church. Much of what they say is valuable and even true, but again, if Daymon, Denver, or Rock can point to something demonstrably fallacious about their teachings then I say, God bless them in their journey to uncover and discuss the truth. That's all I'm interested in.

To conclude with Joseph, "A man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge."

Aw said...


What I am saying (in so many words) is that someone in Rock's place, for example, cannot receive the exalting ordinances of the temple. How can one attend the temple if one does not tithe? How can one get a recommend if one speaks against the leaders of the church? Rock has probably already been to the temple and does not care of such things.

I believe Rock has taken a foolhardy and ill-advised position that may be OK for an older member of the church, but complete suicide for younger up-and-coming members.

Everyone that comes into the Lord's kingdom does so by entering through the gate. You can say what you want to justify your position, but the Lord's house is a house of order, and he does not allow 12 million members to decide what church doctrine is on their own. So if you want to cut yourself off from the exalting ordinances of the church because of your behavior, then go ahead. Hold sacrament meeting in your living room. My question is, what purpose will it serve? You are only hurting yourself. The Lord will clean his own house in due time.

Aw said...


You might want to read some of the early history of the church and see what happened to the people that started criticizing Joseph. Long story short, Satan got a terrible hold on them. Notwithstanding the miracles that were happening before their eyes, the people began to apostatize, commit adultery, and fall prey to every sin imaginable.

Now you can take an idealistic statement made by young Joseph and try to hang your hat on that, but the bottom line is obedience. I'm sure Joseph would back me up on this one.

I'm not saying to worship the general authorities, what I am saying is that neither you nor I can change the course of things. All we can do is live the gospel. Complaining about things will change nothing, it will only make the church look bad in the eyes of the world, and that is exactly what Satan wants.

Satan has always been a part of the equation from the beginning, yet the church has prospered and grown over the decades. If some of the early people had succeeding in stopping the church because of it's perceived evils, you probably would not have the gospel in your life right now.

W said...

Bk and Momonion,
you guys are right on the nuts!

The members are waiting for the leaders to build up and bring forth the "Kingdom of Zion" but we can not establish a Zion 'till there are no poor among us. Until we all learn individually, what true charity is and become disciples of Christ regardless of what we name our "church".

But that just isn't going to happen with this business model.

If you think you are getting into the celestial kingdom because you've pledged yourself to god in a ceremony and do not fully live the teachings of Christ (not just to say, but to do)and just pay your 10% to a church that uses it to invest (Lend) in the construction of extravagant shopping malls, I have news for ya!

When we do that, we are grinding the faces of the poor, and you can just forget the secret handshakes it's empty ritual, they are not getting you into anything without you becoming like Christ. He will not excuse you for not doing what we all know we need to do.

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.

Exaltation is not as sure as many believe. Did Jesus lend tithes to build malls?.."So is it: "All is well in Zion" or, Wo wo wo unto us?..

LDSDPer said...

Arch Stanton at 4:39

I like what you wrote.

Fusion at 6:58

This is not publicly acknowledged church history (what I am going to write), but is anecdotal, based upon things I have been told by members of my present ward:

Apparently Sidney Rigdon either received a blessing about his posterity or gave a blessing to his living children concerning their future. One ward member met a person in a faraway state during the time that she (the ward member) was taking the missionary discussions. This person saw a copy of the Book of Mormon that my ward friend had taken to work and said, "my ancestor was involved with that book"; the ward member, "who was your ancestor?"--
The co-worker replied, "Sidney Rigdon; there is some kind of blessing that came to him and our family; could you tell me where I could get that book?"

My ward friend didn't even know who Sidney Rigdon was, but she made arrangements to get a copy of the Book of Mormon to the co-worker who read it and asked to be baptized.

Second example:

Sidney Rigdon moved around a lot, and his descendants seem to be all over the country. (possibly the world--:))
Our former bishop found himself in a newpaper office of a community that is within our ward boundaries (something that had to do with his work), and as he was talking to the editor, our bishop's being a Mormon came up. The editor said, "my ancestor had dealings with your early church", and again he named Sidney Rigdon.
He then said (the editor), "there was a blessing given to him and our family that has to do with future things; I don't want to be a member at this time, but I like to keep an eye on your church."


LDSDPer said...


In other words, there may be more to Sidney Rigdon than many of *us* realize. I think that there is some concern with the fact that he seems to have been connected with the Campbellites who probably hijacked the original Mormon movement.

Aw at 3:26

I'm sure that anyone can find whatever he/she wants on any blog, whether religious or not. Whether Mormon or not.

I can assure you that many young people struggle terribly with the modern LDS 'society' (culture), and some find help through blogs like Rock's.

Young people, if they don't find sympathetic older people who can say, "yes, this is a problem; let's see if I can share my own experiences that are positive with Mormonism, and perhaps you can steer around some of this other stuff"--
often simply become atheistic; I have known of entirely too many who do.

There is always a risk with knowledge.
I have often wondered what this means:

Alma 33 and Matthew 11--

"my burden is light"

Sometimes I think that light and knowledge ARE a burden.
Questioning human beings is not the same thing as rejecting God.
I know a few young people who have been helped by Rock's blog--

I supposed it evens out. It's a risk any of *us* take whenever a word comes out of our mouths.

Questioning Brigham Young's . . . um . . . character is not the same thing as believing that God didn't use him (as God uses everyone for some purpose or another)--
and family members of mine who are now dead certainly questioned many of the things he did and they didn't 'leave the church'; nor were they apostates. In fact, they were some of those who lit the way for me to ask questions that have led me to a place where I have begun to understand what really matters, having a testimony of and a relationship with God/Jesus Christ.
Those who placed their trust in human leaders (as the scriptures warn *us* not to do) didn't do as much for me spiritually. Those who questioned and pointed out human weaknesses are those who helped kindle a testimony in me.
But, perhaps your experience has been different.
There are different ways of teaching and reaching human beings; some things work for some people and not for others.

People I know who have told their young people, "behave; don't analyze anything or anyone" often 'lose' their young people to the church.

LDSDPer said...

oops alert!:

often 'lose' their young people to the church.

That could be misunderstood; what I meant by that is that often those young people simply walk away from the church. Letting young people know that it is all right to question is important; many parents are too insecure in their own faith to allow that, I believe.

But faith is a very personal thing.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I can't improve on the responses given by BK, Mormonion, and W to your concerns above. But I was struck, while reading their comments that their focus was on defending the gospel, while your intent appears to be to defend the structural Church against criticism. This position is typified by your assertion that "Complaining about things will change nothing, it will only make the church look bad in the eyes of the world..."

Well, who cares? The Church at Jerusalem at the time of Jesus deserved to look bad in the eyes of the world, as did the Holy Roman Church once it had veered from its mission. Both organizations had originally been founded by God, and both had gone astray. Tell me again how important it is that we look good to the world.

The biggest mistake I made on my mission was that I did not realize my purpose had been to bring people to Christ. I thought my job was to get people to join our particular denomination, and so my efforts were in the wrong direction.

You warn us that we "might want to read some of the early history of the church and see what happened to the people that started criticizing Joseph. Long story short, Satan got a terrible hold on them."

I take it that in your view the current crop of leaders are on an equal footing with the founder of our faith. It's no wonder then that we're having trouble communicating. I don't think there is any comparison.

Those members who had known Joseph Smith NEVER considered Brigham Young, John Taylor, or any of the subsequent presidents to be prophets as was Joseph Smith. So why do we think those who came later deserve that honorarium? What evidence do we have to confirm they possessed gifts even close to those Brother Joseph demonstrated?

It doesn't seem to occur to you that Satan could have possibly got ahold of those who claim the mantle of Joseph, does it? Is it only those who recognize that this Church has veered substantially from its mission who are susceptible to the wiles of the devil?

My reading of the scriptures tell me that ALL are capable of being deceived, "even the very elect."

If the very elect can be deceived, then even I must constantly be on my guard against the influence of the evil one. I do not, as you accuse me, think myself wise, or believe I "have some kind of mandate from god to set in order his kingdom"

The only thing I attempt to do is share some of the things I have learned in my search for truth. If you have found something I've shared here that you find in error or doctrinally incorrect, please let me know, and I will correct it. The very reason I founded this blog in the first place was that I had come to recognize I had been wrong in the past and I expect to be wrong in the future.

This isn't about, as you flippantly put it, "sitting around and commenting on the misdeeds of church leaders." It's about recognizing that these leaders are irrelevant.

To the honest seeker of truth, the last place to find answers would be among prophets, seers, and revelators who issue no prophecies, and receive no revelations.

Those who consistently act contrary to the revealed word of God have no right to insist that others obey their counsel or follow in their folly.

BK said...

Amen W!


I do not believe the temple ordinances exalt us but just the opposite.

Joseph's statement that was posted above is correct, 'We are saved no faster than we get knowledge.'

When we search into the origins of the temple ceremonies and church history and the real teachings of Joseph Smith that he actually published and signed his name to while he was alive, instead of believing all the hearsay about him, then we quickly learn that he probably knew nothing about nor ever intended for the temple to be used for the ordinances and endowments and sealings that Brigham used it for. It appears Joseph used the temple for completely different purposes, like Sunday meetings, town meetings, classes, even dances, etc, for all, including children and non-members.

No one needs to go to church or pay tithing to get a recommend because such is not needed in Christ's true church. From all I have studied about Joseph and Christ, I believe the temple ceremonies are falsehoods, made up by Brigham Young to help validate his whoredoms and false doctrines about marriage, polygamy, women's submission, and getting members to feel obligated to pay, support and follow very imperfect men and leaders.

By studying Christ and Joseph Smith we can learn that all 1st marriages are eternal and there is no such thing or necessity as sealings or endowments. All families of the earth are eternal. No one has to buy that blessing, Christ gave it freely because of his love for us.

I would encourage you to gain more knowledge about these things, by studying and believing Joseph's own published words, not what other's said he said. We cannot risk our salvation on hearsay. I believe God would consider that very foolish, for he commanded us to seek light and knowledge straight from Christ and prove all things and persons and prophets before putting faith or trust in them, by comparing what they say and do with what Christ taught.

Brigham and all leaders who followed him til today preach and practice contrary to Christ, thus according to Joseph we are to consider them imposters and not have anything to do with them.

Studying as a family or group of like-minded friends in our own living rooms will serve the purpose of helping us not be deceived by false prophets who demand our money and unquestioning blind obedience for salvation.

It will cause us to seek and live worthy of our own personal revelation to learn the truth all things from the words of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

For it isn't the Church that has given us the Gospel, it is Christ who gave it, it's all in the New Testament, it was never lost. Anyone can come unto Christ by just reading and following his words in the New Testament. The Book of Mormon is another testament of the New Testament and Christ's words.

The LDS Church has actually led me and everyone else I know in the Church, astray, to believe in just the opposite of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But as I have sought light and knowledge on my own, in my own living room, I have come to see the many errors I've been taught by false prophets in the LDS Church and thus do not aline myself with that Church anymore, but I await the true Church to be reestablished by Joseph and Christ again soon one day in Zion. And there will be a temple there but it will be a holy house of learning for all ages, and not a corrupted house of secret rites, false doctrine, empty vows and vile whoredoms.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Add LDS DPer to that short list of commenters who consistently defend the gospel over the corporate Church. Her well-reasoned response appeared while I was writing my last response.

Aw said...

So Rock:

Since you did not answer half the questions I posed to you...I just wanted to make sure. You are saying we don't need any temple ordinances at the present time (endowment, sealings), and they are of no value?

Because one cannot get these ordinances at the present time without obedience to the "system". I know how much you hate the system, but if I know what is right, and wrong what harm does it do to play along with the system to get the ordinances I need to eventually be exalted?

"W" said...

I have pondered that if one wasn't sure weather or not the endowment was truly a required, but wanted to be safe and do it anyway, they could "play along" as you put it. But what if one were denied a recommend for not following the WoW, and was bared from temple admittance and receiving their endowment. Since the WoW was not given as a commandment from God, but was later made a requirement by the opinion of men, Would this not violate their free agency?.. If someone unjustly withheld your ability to receive a required ordnance such as a baptism or your endowment, Would the responsibility then not rest on their head?.. Or, are we required to submit to their "authority" to change and re-interpret the commandments given by God?..

LDSDPer said...


as for the temple, that is a 'tough' one. But I think it's a more personal issue than others do, I know.
As for tithing, that is a personal choice, and the 1970 first presidency message made it clear that it is up to an individual whether or not to declare him/herself a 'full' tithe payer. There have been over 40 years of agency with regards to that, and many don't realize it.
We do go to the temple, but, and I have to be careful what I say here, neither of us has ever had any kind of uplifting spiritual experience with regards to one part of the temple. The part that does disturb a lot of people.
We've done MUCH family history, and we've had some really profound experiences with baptisms and sealings, especially.
We've asked all the troublesome questions and feel that we need to continue to attend the temple, but we see a lot of unnecessary 'trappings'.

Because of some things that happened to a member family in our ward, of which my husband was aware (unrighteous dominion concerning tithing), we pay our "tithes" directly to Salt Lake. The bishop knows about those things (confidentiality issues with clerks) and has stated that the things that happened were wrong. He sympathizes with my husband and knows we pay directly to Salt Lake. But I make a point here that it is nobody's business but the payer of tithes what that person deems is a 'full' tithing.

As for young people, each one needs to make a decision whether or not he/she wants the temple experience, and some have little choice anyway. Going to the temple is a personal thing, whether anyone does it or not; it should not be a 'social' thing, and there are some 'out here' who think that the stake/ward temple trip movement is not always as good as it sounds.
A young person making a choice about what is right for him or her in regards to temple 'worship' or involvement is, in my mind, better than walking away from any kind of belief in God altogether, simply because he/she doesn't fit the image (look at the Ensign for image). I know of too many young people who simply become atheists, because they can't accept "it all".
As for being an 'all or nothing' Mormon--
there are many people who, for various reasons, simply cannot. Health especially. I know people with health problems so unique that literally nobody else has that issue. Rock and Connie can tell anyone who wants to know about that.

LDSDPer said...

Continued; sorry so long--

I know at least one couple who regularly works in the temple whose treatment of the poor is horrific. And verified.
It just is. A person who knows these people doesn't have to be judgemental to know that.
So, I would say that it is a very personal thing here as with everything else. God knows what is in each one of our hearts, and we can't hide it from Him.
Perhaps this is why some of *us* who are considerably older discuss these things, in hopes that we can help those who are young who are struggling.
If *we* are 'playing along', it is because we feel that some of our ancestors want to have sealing ordinances. And baptism. The other things don't seem to matter as much to them, but it's a package, so we do it! If that sounds flippant, I'm sorry.
Some of *us* 'stay in' the church to do as much good as *we* can; many of us straddle an abyss.
But then so does everyone else. There is no magic that works on a person the minute he/she passes through the chapel doors.
There are times when going to church brings heartache and disappointment. And yet, there is need to continue for some of *us*. Maybe some of *us* are being called to be witnesses of what is happening there.
Maybe others are 'released' from that necessity. But, in the meantime, God is over all. And He's not a respecter of persons. (Acts/Moroni/D&C)
I know other Christians who know that being 'right' with God is more important than anything; Mormons tend to forget that, because we get caught up in outward things.

Thanks, Rock. It's what I want to be, a witness of Jesus Christ. I say too much, as usual. :)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Aw, the reason I did not answer your specific question was, as I already intimated, I felt BK and W's responses to you were sufficient. (I will often refrain from adding my own two cents worth when other's comments would make any additional comment on my part redundant.) You might want to also consider W's last response to you at 8:46.

By the way, what makes you think I am not temple worthy? If it's something I wrote on this site that you feel has made me unworthy before God, please let me know so I can correct it.

Aw said...


So we have finally come to where the rubber meets the road. You will not come out and say that the temple ordinances are not worth seeking or invalid. You also will not stipulate that to receive the temple ordinances in the current environment one must show a modicum of obedience to the "system". This sums up why I think you are dishonest, and your philosophy has nowhere to go.

The Lord told us that it is his work and his glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. This cannot happen without temple ordinances. To say otherwise is to not be a Mormon or Latter-Day Saint or to believe in the most basic doctrine of the gospel.

I have never said that you are not temple worthy. What I have said is that someone that holds the views you do cannot honestly obtain a temple recommend. You probably already have your temple work done, so it is a moot point to you. As I mentioned earlier, however, young people may or may not have their temple ordinances done, and if they do not, and they follow your path, they are damning themselves.

Some of the commenters have stated that temple work is not necessary. If this is true, then there really is no need at all for a church structure. If it is false, temples are an indispensable part of our religion.

You have to decide where you stand, Rock. You need to quit playing games. You are either part of the body that believes in temple work and some obedience to established authority, or you really don't need anything from the church at all. But you can't be naive enough to believe that all you have to do is hold sacrament meeting in your living room and read the scripture and you are good. Joseph Smith told us over and over of the importance of temples.

Gary Hunt said...


In an earlier comment you said that certain persons were "kicking against the pricks". I think if you would go back and read the applicable scriptures (Acts9:5, Acts 26:14 and D&C 121:38)you will see they apply to authority figures practicing unrighteous dominion over subordinates. The context you frame it in not correct.

Please provide scriptural documentation for the Lord requiring obedience to church leaders, or as you put it "the system", or "established authorities".

Aw said...

Gary Hunt:

Seriously? You cant follow the conversation?

I don't care if you follow the authorities or not. What I am saying is, try and get a temple recommend if you don't.

And kicking against the pricks is rebelling against authority, but I don't really care what you think.

"W" said...

Really, Aw?..
Trying to box Rock in with your argument is profitless, vain and foolish pursuit that can only be motivated by your own pride and a need to out be right.
Do you not now what happens to those who are motivated by pride?.."Long story short, Satan got a terrible hold on them. Notwithstanding the miracles that were happening before their eyes, the people began to apostatize, commit adultery, and fall prey to every sin imaginable."

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you (intentionaly or not), in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

What is the "Fruit" of a "prophet/revalator"?..

20 Wherefore by their fruits (or lack of) ye shall know them.

I have not see much of this "fruit" since the passing of Joseph Smith.

"Solomon says, in Proverbs, chap. 29: ver. 18, that where no vision is, the people perish. But in direct opposition to this, the people of this generation say,
that where no vision is, there truth reigns and prevails; and where vision is there error and delusion abounds; but whether we should believe God or man, judge ye.”

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

What is the will of our Father in heaven?..

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

To become a Zion people. To reach total (spiritual & temperal) equality, that there be none among you raised one above another, that we become not "puffed up" in our hearts with pride and taking more unto ourselves.

To love and treat everyone as we would ourselves wish to be treated?..

" Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

"Wherefore my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all,
for all things must fail--But (true) charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."

Why is the focus of this religin always rooted in the salvation promised by the temple?..

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (even baptisims and covenants and given 10%?..)

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings (gospel) of mine, (not just to agree with, but to..) doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

"W" said...


We will never get to the Celestial Kingdom by doing the minimum, and following the herd. We are to become a Zion people individually, we can not have true charity through compulsion, we must exercise our agency and chose it, to take upon ourselves the "yoke" and live the gospel of the lord and follow him (by actually doing) what he taught and not excusing ourselves, no matter how inconvienent it may be. This is how you "follow" his will. focusing too closly upon the what may be the opinions and precepts (and ordinances) of men, will only make doing what we have clearly been taught, a stumbling block. Anyone that does not first seek to follow and become as Christ was, and places a priority upon the ordinances of the temple to reach exaltation, Is missing the whole purpose of the gospel which is to come to unto him in our hearts. To find him, by making the sacrifices required to live as he taught. This is not the life to seek out our own pleasure and comfort. The next life is where we will find a full measure of eternal joy. But, we will not reach it if we hold back and have regrets. Why do we say Lo the lord is here, and your salvation is found within this temple, come and find him. When we will "find" him by becoming like him, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?..

Alan Rock Waterman said...

So Aw, now I'm responsible for people damning themselves by following my path?

Why would anyone want to follow my path? My journey has been strewn with error, and I expect it to remain so strewn with the passage of time. My life history is a history of one screw-up after another. Anyone contemplating following me as his guide is a damn fool.

You are confusing me with someone who has declared that he has found "the way," and that others should follow his example. Anyone looking to me for righteous leadership will probably wind up in the ditch along with me. It would be better for others to cling to the iron rod than follow a fellow blind man.

Again, you confuse those seeking to work our their OWN salvation with those in the present Church hierarchy who frequently admonish the members that "our safety lies in following the Brethren."

I understand your mindset. Having been raised in the church myself, I was conditioned to think this way because of a system that teaches there has to be some person or group of persons in authority above me.

Authority must be, according to this way of thinking, either with us, or with the Catholics; either with us, or the Reorgs, either with us, or the Fundamentalists. It has to be either THIS Church structure, or else some other Church structure. As a missionary I was always teaching we were the ones who had the "Authority," and not the other guys. It never occurred to me that asking who had the proper "authority" was dwelling on the wrong question.

If I find our current leaders lacking, then I must, in your opinion, be seeking to replace them with other leaders, perhaps even by replacing them with myself.

How about replacing them with Nobody? I don't believe God put us on this planet and then assigned religious leaders to rule over us. Did you not notice the message of the scriptures is that Jesus Christ is to be our ONLY guide?

I advocate following no one but Christ. So when I say the current Church leadership is irrelevant to me, that's exactly what I mean. Absent any modern revelation from God through a prophet, I don't see what those men have to offer me that I can't get through the scriptures and through the influence of the Holy Ghost. I am rarely edified by the empty messages they deliver.

On the contrary, I notice frequent perversions of the gospel message promulgated by members of the hierarchy, such as this despicable fear-based presentation recently demonstrated by a smugly confident David Bednar:

IF this church was indeed (as is our frequent boast)guided by continuous revelation from God, I would be the first to perk up and give heed.

Alan Rock Waterman said...


You further accuse me of being dishonest about my feelings regarding the temple, when I just got done telling you that others had already summed up my view. So how is that dishonest?

Do I have more to say on the subject? Most definitely. But that will be saved for a future post. At that time I'll lay out my feelings about the temple and then after reading that, you can judge my worthiness to remain a member.

Meanshile, here's a spoiler alert: I agree with you on what Joseph Smith said regarding the importance of the temple. I'm just not completely convinced that Brigham Young properly instituted Joseph's vision.

Exhibit A: Our first temple, the one in Kirtland, was operated in ways entirely different from the use subsequent temples were put to by Brigham Young. (Again, see the comments above.)

Exhibit B: After Joseph was murdered, Brigham Young changed the architectural plans of the Nauvoo Temple from those laid out by the Prophet. Where did he get authority to do that?

Exhibit C: Brigham said he got the temple endowment word for word from Joseph Smith. Possible, but not probable,in my view.

I must have gone through the temple eighty times or more, and I still can't remember it word for word.

But that's not the only reason for my doubting Brigham Young on that count. After Joseph's death, Brigham was fond of selling the Saints on the idea that he had been Joseph Smith's BFF back in the day. But in actuality Brigham and Joseph didn't have that much time to spend palling around together. Unlike today, the Twelve Apostles did not stay around Nauvoo helping to run the church. The Church was run by the First Presidency and the quorum of Seventy while the Twelve fulfilled their duties as Traveling Elders -missionaries in the field. Brigham Young was almost always out of town, and often overseas.

So I wonder: when, exactly, did Joseph Smith teach Brigham to memorize that endowment word for word?

I'm inclined to suspect instead that Brigham Young,a man known to be unnaturally fond of Masonic ritual, borrowed like crazy from that tradition to fill the gaps in his knowledge of whatever it was Joseph Smith meant to be conveyed.

I'm not sure I agree with your position that the temple endowment is "the most basic doctrine of the gospel."

We are told that the fulness of the gospel is contained within the Book of Mormon. There may be more for us to learn, but I don't feel we'll find any of the basics located outside of that book.

When we do finally resume proper temple worship, I think we'll find that a grounding in the theology found in the Book of Mormon will be essential to our understanding of it. Meanwhile, I'm not inclined to take my primary instruction in the gospel from a ritual handed down to us from a man who,judging from his sermons and public statements, had little use for the Book of Mormon, but insisted, as you do, to substitute "another gospel" in its stead.

Aw said...


I appreciate the fact that you took the time to respond to me, but frankly you do not understand myself, my mindset, or anything I have tried to explain to you.

I don't really care what you think or what you believe, because now I know that you are a fake and a dishonest person...not because we think differently, and not because you will not "toe the line", but because under point blank questioning you don't have the courage to come out and say exactly what it is you believe in with regards to the temple without making vague reference to what others have written.

"W" said...

I don't know how anyone could judge someone as "fake" or "dishonest" because they would not cave in through a clear attempt at manipulation to force them (through argument)into making a statement about what they believe, in a way they choose not to do.

P.S. I think you would make a fine bishop, you could ferret out all the dishonest people that just want a free lunch. And that would defile the temple by not giving up their sinful habit of drinking Coffee. Clearly with such a penetrating gift of discernment, you might truly help them come to Christ!

If anyone could read all of material that Rock has posted on his Blog, and think he is a "fake" I don't know what anyone could say to convince them.

"W" said...

No one is forced to accept truth. It is all out there, and anyone can find it for themselves. But it is nice to have so much of it in one place. I would just like to say I deeply appreciate all your insights and the light you have cast upon the Truth.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Gee, AW, I hope you don't think me fake and dishonest for saying so, but once again W's response to your last comment pretty much crystallized my own thoughts on the subject.

So you'll have to be satisfied with that, because as I said previously, to add to what he and the others have said about modern day temple ritual would be redundant.

Isaac said...

Pretty sure Smith's choice of cover art is deeply symbolic, both in the obvious content of the image (for example, tentacles in the background of a site called Mormonism Uncorrelated) as well as the reflection of postmodernism in the layout. And it probably conveys his own personal aesthetic.

Aw said...


Yes, it is extremely disingenuous of me to expect the owner of this blog to go on the record about something as basic as temple beliefs.But if the truth is nothing to be feared, then you have just made yourself a hypocrite.

Of course Rock would make a good politician, with you as his press secretary.

I. Willet deVale said...

I have to wonder if this AW character is one of those Internet Missionaries whose pride will not allow him to give up no matter how much egg winds up on his face?

Rock's testimony and beliefs are all over this blog, AW but you will have to look for yourself. No one is going to read it to you.

I thought he was very clear about his temple beliefs above, and he has also assured you he will write a more complete essay in a future post. It seems you are demanding he write a long essay right here and now just for you.

I say you learn to wait in line like the rest of us if you want to find out what else he has to say. You aren't anyone special.

Aw said...

I. Willet deVale:

Why does everyone feel the need to answer for Rock? Let Rock answer his own questions, or continue being dishonest, either way.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Frankly AW, I prefer to let others answer for me. I'm skeered of you and your questions, AW! Skeered, ya hear me?!

Aw said...


Come on now, son. Don't be afraid of the truth. You said (through others of course) that the truth is something we should all strive for and not be afraid of. Funny thing is, you seem to have a problem with being truthful yourself, so I'm afraid that not only are you skeered, but you are a hypocrite as well.

Its a funny big game, isnt it...I mean you playing with people's emotions.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well, I'll admit it is a bit of a kick playing with yours.

Inspire said...

Seems like every blog post you submit has at least one "accuser." Always pointing fingers, challenging, calling names, (not-so) slyly insulting, etc. Maybe they're assigned to your blog from the STM Committee, who knows.

It is quite easy to see whose side these folks are playing for (if you believe the Book of Mormon, that is).

"O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you, and he list to obey the evil spirit, which was spoken of by my father Mosiah. For behold, there is a wo pronounced upon him who listeth to obey that spirit."


"...there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”

The way to convince the pure in heart (those who are truly seeking for answers, and don't care to prove that their paradigm is "right") is through kindness, long-suffering, persuasion, gentleness and meekness, etc. It helps, I'm sure, to have "pure knowledge" too, but for some of us who are not there yet in that regard really do appreciate a forum where we don't have to put on pretenses and can openly share experiences and ideas. While there may be some who want to exercise control and compulsion or pursue vain ambitions, I think most here are wanting to consider all sides. Thanks for not playing the game of the distractors, (well, at least not too much, anyway).

Gary Hunt said...


You are correct, in a generic sense, when you said that "kicking against the pricks" is rebelling against authority. However, this term is only mention under two circumstances in the scriptures. In both instances Christ is using it to chastize authorities who are practising what is called ecclesiastical abuse.

The church is not the kingdom of God, because ultimately "the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)

By the way, I have been following the posts, but I have been sick since last Wednesday night and not in the mood to respond much. I'm feeling a lot better now.

What I have noticed is that you are a very rude and arrogant person who has to rely on poor argumentation techniques (sorry, logical fallacies) to try and make your points when you do not have a valid response. Here are five basic ones you are using.

1. Ad Hominem
2. False Dilema
3. Loaded Question
4. Begging the Question
5. Straw Man

I will continue commenting on your comments later.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Oh, you is in trouble now, AW! The Fallacy Guru is back!

Glad you're feeling better, Gary.

Inspire, I know it isn't nice of me to tease these poor internet missionaries. On the plus side, though, if we can keep them engaged in their assignments, now and then we might manage to convince one or two of them to cease proselyting for the corporation and spend their missions instead laboring for the Lord.

"W" said...

It wasn't my intention to "answer for" anyone. I simply wished to point out that, even someone (like me) with a grade school education could recognize an attempt at manipulation.

Whether or not Rock has any reason(s) for not stating his personal belief "point blank" as you put it.

It is a natural (and proper)instinct to resist being controlled by one who would attempt to impose their will upon another.

It's called exercising free agency.I believe he is right to not answer you on that(eternal) principal alone.

If one is not open to considering new information or a different
perspective, It ceases to be an exercise in free thought.

Ones pride becomes involved and It becomes a contentious argument. which can quickly degrade to the point of name calling attacking someones character.

Ones motives become clear and he begins to lose credibility in the minds of those who,up to that point may have been willing to consider his argument.

Rock is only offering information for people to consider with their own minds. Although I have seen him accused of it,I have yet to discover anywhere, that he has tried to impose his personal belief's upon the weak in faith, or to destroy their testimonies or lure anyone away from the "church".

These are just my personal opinions from my current level of understanding. I have no interest whether or not anyone in this world agrees with me.

And do not try to convince anyone that my opinions are correct. I am on my own personal path to discovering truth and gaining a deeper understanding in all things.

I welcome and any and all points of view for consideration.

However, I hope that you choose not to take offense when I (or anyone else, choose not to agree with you on any matter.

I have come to a deeper understand of things then I have in the past. And understand that,I may change my current opinions at a future time, as more truth and deeper understanding are revealed to me through my continuing experiences in this life.

If you choose to engage in a productive conversation, and offer you opinions for all to consider, then I would love to hear your point of view.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I get the octopus and tentacles on Daymon's website, but that renaissance-looking character on the cover of volume I is what's got me puzzled.

Where is that art from, and what does it mean? Eventually I'll ask him myself, but I'm wondering if I'm the only one who isn't getting it.

W said...

I would really be interested in reading more discussion or opinions on Daymon's material if anyone would like to comment on it.

I'm still new to his work and I admit, I find his writing style difficult to follow at times.

I might even call it the opposite end of the readability spectrum from Rock's material. It could use some dumbing down for my short attention span.

I do really like the artwork. :)

Serragon said...

Love the Blog Rock.. except your last post :).

The Lord never intended that an institution be inserted between you and Him.

He never intended that you obey others simply because they have a title.

When he did call such "authorities", his instructions were to serve, not rule.

BK said...

Very good point Serragon. I think true prophets like Joseph know just how fallible and wrong they often are and would hesitate to ask anyone to follow what they say. They know they themselves are still learning and don't understand all things yet and could easily lead people astray.

Thus true prophets tell people to not trust them, but to search, ponder and pray and prove all things for themselves, especially things a prophet might say, even things the scriptures say, for sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong.

Prophets serve, they don't rule or lead, they teach what they 'think' is true and let us be the judge. True prophets know they can learn and be corrected by anyone in the Church and they welcome it.

It will be so nice to finally know a true prophet some day and see the difference between true prophets and all the false one's we have been deceived by for so long.

Aw said...

Gary Hunt:

It is obvious where your bias lies, otherwise you would question Rock's argument tactic of "I'm skeered".

You're hilarious. You are just another one of Rock's groupies that shield him like a Secret service agent.

The bottom line is I asked Rock a question about his temple beliefs, which he refused to answer. The question is completely germane to the conversation here. I suspect that Rock will eventually say that he doubts the validity of any temple ceremonies. If this is the case, then that, coupled with everything else Rock has said, shows that Rock believes that there is nothing of value left in the church. If this is the case, I strongly disagree with that stance. As I stated earlier, if some early church members (who happened to think like Rock does) had had their way, the church would have collapsed long ago, and the messages of Mormonism would have ceased to exist.

Now I know that Rock does not believe in "the church", but the Lord organized "the church" to be a repository of ordinances and blessings. People can't go out and perform their own sealings. So if Rock says what I think he will say, then the millions of Mormons that go to church and to the temple each week are living a lie.

So you see, I think my argument holds a great deal of water. I think it arrogant of Rock to believe he is right where millions of others are wrong. THIS is the reason Rock will not come out with it.

Fusion said...

Aw, I am just wondering what your explanation is of D&C 124:28 where the Lord in no uncertain terms tells us, 10+ years after the priesthood was restored, that the priesthood in 1840's was no longer on the earth, and that it was He who had taken it away. In the same revelation the Lord states it is by the follies and abominations and murders that He has condemned the Church.

Further, the Lord states in that verse that He would need to come to the earth and re-restore the fulness of the priesthood- however, this event never took place as we have no documentation of this happening, and no documentation of ANY LDS president having had this restoration of the lost priesthood.

Thus as the scriptures are true, including the D&C, and if the priesthood IS authority, then the authority is lost. The church is condemned. President Benson reiterated this fact to remind us of it- and perhaps he was also explaining in a subtle way why he himself has never been able to testify that he saw the Lord- simply because since Joseph Smith, it has never happened.

You may want to read JST Genesis 14:25-40 which explains clearly what the Fullness of the Priesthood actually is- it is NOT simply authority; a reading of 4th Nephi and Enoch's account will are futher witnesses of the Genesis account above.

Now, in all earnestness, have we ever seen anyone have the actual Fulness of the Priesthood as described in the JST? Priesthood is more than authority, it is POWER. And power is evident.

Now, I ask if the 1st Pres. and 12 have this power, and why they have never done anything with it. Why Zion has never been restored and consecration become our way of life. Why Masonry and secret signs and tokens have replaced the pure and simple love and grace of our Lord Jesus? Why suddenly the Lord 'employeth' servants at the gates, sentinels and guards, when the Book of Mormon says He IS the only keeper of the gate and employeth none?

if authority doesn't really exist (except in the Levitical sense, but that is another story) then who authorised the scriptures that Joseph presented and received by common consent, in the 1835 D&C- the Lectures on Faith- who had the authority to be remove them WITHOUT revelation and WITHOUT common consent?

Why do we still teach from the KJV Bible when in the D&C the Lord stated specifically that we are not allowed to teach from any Bible but the JST/Inspired Version? And we have been doing so since Brigham went off to be king.

The fake endowment we have today cannot be justified or explained in any of the Standard Works. And yet, we use that as the standard to make sure folks pay their money to be able to worship. All contrary to the Book of Mormon.

Love to hear back

Fusion said...

By the way, has anyone seen this rather incredulous proceeding about Thomas S. Monson:


BK said...


I believe it is not hard at all to accept and see that 'millions go to the LDS Church and temple and are living a lie', for as Joseph warned, most people easily fall for false prophets and false doctrines.

I can't hardly find anyone willing to believe in or live the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is just too hard, and requires too much. Satan offers many much easier counterfeit religions that make people 'feel' righteous without really having to 'be' righteous.

Just look around at all the different religions out there where 'millions' go to church and are living a lie.

I don't know why that is so hard to realize how possible it is for most everyone to be deceived. The scriptures constantly show how only 'very few' will find the truth, while most everyone else falls for lies.

If you look into church history you will find that Brigham had as much 'authority' to continue the true church as the pope does, or the FLDS or RLDS, or Martin Luther, etc, yet they all got 'millions' to follow them.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Aw,you adorable creature you,

You say,"I suspect that Rock will eventually say that he doubts the validity of any temple ceremonies."

Well, not quite. But I did make it clear that I question the validity of SOME of the endowment ceremony.

Your concern was addressed in my comment of February 10th at 1:25 pm above. I don't know how you missed it.

And by the way, Gary Hunt is not one of my groupies. You got it backwards. I'm one of Gary's groupies.

He is the Fallacy Guru, and we, his fans, are legion.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Brilliant analysis of the problems we are facing in this church.

Brilliant Analysis of the problems we are facing in this church.

Please note that my feelings about the problems we are facing in this church echo precisely the words written by Fusion and BK in their last two comments. I trust there will be no further confusion on your part as to where I stand on these things.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I'm only the slightest bit interested in that legal sideshow going on in the UK accusing Thomas Monson of fraud. I don't believe prosecuting religion or religious figures is a legitimate role for a government to take.

People enter into religious beliefs with the understanding that the world at large will assume some of their beliefs are kooky and bogus. But unlike governments, religions are easy to extricate one's self from once the acolyte no longer believes in the power of the group. In other words, the fraud can continue only as long as the participant gives his consent.

Conversely, once one discovers the government he has been living under is fraudulent, it is much more difficult to get out from under that fraud.

Anyway, I don't see a case for fraud, but then I don't know much about how they reckon the law in England. Religions have been accusing each other of fraud for centuries. Governments are the biggest frauds of all, so this looks to me like just one religion calling fraud on another.

And the beat goes on.

Guy said...

Besides being used for pretty much every kind of function, do we know exactly what "ordinances" temples were used for PRIOR to the death of THE Prophet?..

LDSDPer said...

Is the new segement up?

My husband went to Daymon's site, and it's still the first portion--

I just wondered if you knew. I don't know him; I've never been on his blog, so--

I am uncomfortable 'nagging' him about this--

Just wondered if anyone else has tried downloading the new segment and hasn't had success--

Gary Hunt said...


The only bias I have is towards the truth. We all have the responsibility, as individuals, to come to a knowledge and understanding of the truth. In fact you are acting more like a groupie by "playing along" with the powers-that-be in order to get your ordinances so you can get into heaven.

By the way, I think how each of us responds to the two great laws Christ gave us (love God and love our neighbor as ourself) will carry more weight in determining our eternal destination than any ordinance.

As far as your questioning of Rock is concerned, you framed them as "loaded questions" or as some say "complex questions". You did this, most likely, with the expectation of a simple yes or no/ black and white answer (false alternative). This technique was used by the pharisees and scribes trying to trap Christ in His words. Lawyers also use this technique to trap people in their words.

You said Rock "refused to answer". This is incorrect. It would be correct to say that he gave you a complex answer, which is valid for a "complex question", when you wanted a simple black and white answer. In other words he didn't play into your trap.

I'm going to add a couple of logical fallacies to my list above which you commited in your last comments to me.

6. Appeal to Popularity
7. Slippery Slope

Finally, Rock's use of the phrase "I'm skeered" was intended as sarcasm not as an argument.

LDSDPer said...

And do not try to convince anyone that my opinions are correct. I am on my own personal path to discovering truth and gaining a deeper understanding in all things.

This is "W", I believe, and I really relate to these words; just in case anyone cares. LOL!

@anyone who cares:

--I think that some of *us* might feel a bit defensive of Rock, because he has given *us* a safe place to ask questions and look, together, for answers.

But, to "Aw"

--I think you might be young, because I can remember being more 'dogmatic' (not sure that is the correct word, really)--or adamant or 'black and white' when I was young.

Often when people get older they soften up a little and see more sides to things. When people are young they often see things in 'sides', and there are usually just two 'sides'.

But as you get older you see there are, sometimes and often, more than two 'sides' to everything.

Being 'either/or' or 'black and white' is very comfortable for most people, but it has a downside of discouraging people from trying again or getting up after they have fallen or . . . trying to do better, think better.

--Collectivism. There is only one group, and everyone within that group feels the same way, has the same priorities, feelings, gifts, talents, resources, etc.

I believe collectivism is a lie.

emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity

is the definition of collectivism, and it is such a huge part of our current culture/society that most people don't question it.

I had a discussion with someone last week who said that the 'family' is the 'foundation' of 'society' (all those words are up for grabs, in my opinion), and I disagreed, and then *we* both discovered that our political philosophies were so different we couldn't even talk. He just didn't come back, and I tried to apologetically tell him we couldn't discuss anything.

If you accept that everyone in a group has to do exactly the same things and have exactly the same feelings, and there are no individuals, then you are probably correct that we should all 'goose step'--

but not everyone believes that, and I don't think God operates on that principles. I believe He values each of His children as individuals.

Since *our* definitions are different, it is hard to talk about things unless we agree to at least similar definitions.

Also, one of the reasons some of *us* like to come on this blog is that Rock--

--admits he isn't perfect
--has a sense of humor

I often find that those who come on here to 'duke it out' with Rock show that they believe they really ARE right (i.e. 'perfect'--LOL!, though we know nobody is)

and . . .

are somewhat lacking in a sense of humor.

Therefore, Aw--

I wish that I could get *you* to understand that at least *I* only take one 'thing' seriously, and that is God.

Everything else is up for grabs--

And, if the temple is necessary for exaltation (and I also believe that some parts of it truly are)--

what about proxy work? Most of the people who have been to this earth are now gone, and many who are now here don't know about and will never know about temples, and God is, supremely, a God of Love--


each person does his/her best, if he/she is being honest--

and then depends upon others, if the foundation crumbles (*picturing a rotted floor in an old house*)

(if you end up on the basement floor you are always glad someone is up above)


LDSDPer said...


Yikes! That youtube of David Bednar and the child--

He should have stopped--

but he kept going (David Bednar)--

yes, the child was nervous or terrified, one or the other--

probably both.

Still, it was a very uncomfortable feeling. I don't suppose the man was trying to terrorize the boy, but still--

he should have stopped.


I remember when someone I loved dearly (who is no longer with us) was young and so very ill that he/she could seldom attend church. Being in the hospital all of the time was not a substitute in the minds of too many of his/her fellow church members for church attendance--

and the heartsick feeling such a talk as this would have given this beloved child, now safely with Jesus.

AND, it's interesting (if Rock did this, sorry, I can't remember)--

that I have become aware recently of a number of young people with great integrity who refuse to serve missions until they communicate to parents, especially, that they will only represent Jesus Christ and serve; they refuse to get caught up in all the other 'stuff'--

one actually decided to go ahead and go, very reluctantly, and is doing well working with really humble people--

so, yes, there ARE LDS young people who serve missions with the stipulation of: "I must testify of Jesus Christ and serve in His Name; nothing else qualifies."

Again, this is anecdotal, and these are the kinds of situations where names are not, ever, named.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That is encouraging news about the young people determined to only go on missions to serve Christ.

Daymon has indeed just posted part two of his book. Here it is:

You'll find it on that page labeled (something)ProjectEast.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

By the way, I suspect that poor kid Bednar used in the video was assigned in advance to ask that question. So not only is the topic rigged, but the audience was planted.

We are expected to assume the tears in that kid's eyes were a result of him feeling the spirit, but that was not my takeaway.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for this derailment, but has anyone read Royal Skousen's The Earliest Text BoM? I am admittedly a man of very shaky faith in regards to the whole LDS belief system right now (spent my whole life in the church), but I am rather intrigued with reading the best possible source material once again to really establish my opinion.

I had kind of given up on Mormonism, but I've read the first 1/4 of Daymon's book and I find it to be excellent. I'm actually holding back on tearing through the second portion until the weekend so that I won't have as long to wait between that and the third lol


Alan Rock Waterman said...


I wish I had Royal Skousen's Book of Mormon. I'd like to read that version myself. I hear good things about it.

Aw said...

I think the entire point of "Pure Mormonism" has been skipped over here:

What I think "Pure Mormonism" is:

The missionaries meet a man in the highlands of Ecuador. They teach the man the gospel. The man is baptized. This man has no internet, no computer, he has never heard that Thomas Monson spent $2 billion on a shopping mall. If he is lucky, at a single occasion in his life he will be able to go to the temple and be sealed to his family. He doesn't know any of the general authorities by name, and frankly he doesn't need to. He relies entirely on the Holy Ghost to know the truth of the gospel and temple work. he accepts his place in the church.

Then we have member x:

Member x has beliefs that are subject to change based on the depth of research he finds on the internet. His testimony is based on documentation. He admires people like Denver Snuffer and Daymon Smith that have written exhaustive articles on Mormonism.
Everythin must be proved to brother x. Brother x does not have a childlike faith, but the skepticism of a doubting Thomas. And brothe x is quite sophticated in his arguments and tries to persuade others that his estimations of the truth are correct, instead of telling people to rely entirely on the Holy Ghost for everything.

Now you have to ask yourself the question, why would the Lord give one man a computer, and not another man? Are our beliefs and testimonies based on reading dissertations and computer research? If this is the case, then the brother in Ecuador has gotten screwed by the Lord. Or maybe none of what we think we have learned about the church on the internet means a hill of beans. You see, the man from Ecuador id happy because he believes, but brother x is tortured because his life is filled with doubts and he is constantly looking to a future point when things will be as he expects them to be.

me said...

As, there is a difference between nescience and ignorance.

me said...

Aw, or As, as I just addressed you. There are save two churches only; the church of God and the church of the devil. The first consists of those who come unto Jesus Christ and are baptized and live the gospel as is outlined in 3rd Nephi, recorded in Jesus' own words, and the other consists of all others to varying degrees. One aspect of the church of the devil is contention one with another. You are trying to stir up contention. Where does that leave you?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

"A man can be saved no faster than he gains knowledge." -Joseph Smith

Aw, your argument presents two types of members: one who "accepts his place in the church," yet so ignorant about the church that he doesn't even know the names of any of those who manage it; the other well read in the history and theology of the religion he has chosen to embrace.

What you have left out of your analogy is the common, mainstream, rank-and-file Mormon whose knowledge of his religion only consists of that which he has received through the approved narrative provided him by the Church.

It is this third category that is most likely to be, as you put it, "tortured because his life is filled with doubts and he is constantly looking to a future point when things will be as he expects them to be."

It is not the person who relies on the word of God who is tortured and confused today. It is the average member who diligently seeks the word AND the spirit, and yet has begun to feel uneasy about the actions and teachings of the leadership that appear to contradict what he learns through scripture and feels through the Holy Ghost.

These are the people who write me private messages and emails thanking me for helping them find balance in their religion, to see that there is much more to Mormonism than relying on the arm of flesh.

They are neither ignorant bushmen nor academics. They are among the core membership of the church, and they are troubled because they have dwelt in the wilderness of ignorance, an ignorance that has been deliberately foisted upon them by the Church leadership since the 1970s by means of that insidious program known as "Correlation," designed to place controls on what members of the Lord's church should or should not know about their own religion.

Your argument suggests that only those ignorant enough to be able to blindly accept what they are told are the types that make the best Mormons. But I agree with our founding prophet that we must be continually growing in knowledge, particularly as concerns the things of God. "We must embrace ALL truth," said the prophet, "Or we shall never become true Mormons."

The Church itself encourages continuous education. That is why there are so many scholars in this church who are familiar with its history -and even the seeming contradictions in its theology -yet still manage to believe in the fundamentals of the faith.

Historically, our church would not encourage that ignorant convert from the third world country to remain in his ignorance. They would have encouraged him to get an education and improve his understanding of the religion he has adopted.

There was a time before the internet when converts still managed to educate themselves. Most of what I learned about the history and theology of Mormonism was from reading books. In fact, most of the things I share on this blog regarding the history of this church were learned long before I had access to a computer. So that third world convert you cite as your example should be able to educate himself even if he doesn't have a computer.

AW, you may remain in darkness regarding the things of God if you wish, but your constant desire to see others remain where you are is disturbing. Members like you live out their lives in the church happy and content, and I'm fine with that. From what I can see, most are decent people who do a lot of good. I feel bad that many of them have never sought nor experienced the baptism of fire, but that appears to be the fault of a Church that teaches them it is not necessary.

As for me, I prefer to obtain further light and knowledge. This religion fascinates me, and I want to know everything about it. I expect to be edified by my faith, and by putting forth a bit more effort than some, I am indeed edified. Just because you have not been gifted with curiosity about all the wonderful things this religion has to offer is no reason to denigrate those who have.

Gary Hunt said...


I'm sorry to say this but your arguments are getting worse. It reflects your ignorance of the scriptures and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I agree with "me". You're just trying to stir up contention.

Anonymous said...

Rock, I believe ignorance is willful ignoring the truth. I don't accept people's ignorance as okay anymore. I use to feel that was fine and their own choice but now I believe that IGNORANCE IS PRIDE, and I feel intolerant of it. I will accept people in varying degrees of understanding of truth but if the ignorance (pride) keeps them from opening their minds and eyes then I'll have nothing to do with them.

me said...

me said,
I put my name in the previous comment but published as anonymous. It's me

Inspire said...

Keep talking, this is a great exercise. I believe that right before our eyes we are seeing a fulfillment of Ether 12:28:

Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.

It's hard to add to the excellent comments, but here's my two cents. You speak of faith (using the word "testimony") as if it means following something a person tells you even though you have no evidence for it, as in "I have faith that the Church is true. I have faith that if I obey my leaders then I'll be blessed. I have faith in the Gospel (whatever that means). I don't know these things, but through the Holy Ghost I have faith." (Mind you, I'm not inserting your words here, just using a common application of "faith" in our culture). The thing is, the Holy Ghost gives knowledge and light, so saying, "I have faith through the Holy Ghost that ...." is a paradoxical statement. If you have received something (light and knowledge) from the Holy Ghost, then your faith is dormant in that thing.

The way that I view "exercising my faith" is that it is simply an effort to conform what I suspect to be true. Thus, "trial of my faith" brings on a whole different meaning. I am now "proving God herewith" to determine if what the Holy Ghost has taught me is indeed true ("trying" it out). These "experiments on the word" as Alma calls them, are no more than a verification of the "seed of hope" which has been planted in my heart. If I don't throw it away, then God (through the Holy Ghost) will show me the truth of "all things."

But how can I even exercise this sort of faith through ignorance? If the Holy Ghost has taught me something, then not only is it important to confirm it, for our own confidence it is NECESSARY to research and prove it. Otherwise, some man or demon could tell me some lie which would put me in bondage, and I'd happily conform to their wishes because I "have faith" that it was true.

The God spoken of in the Book of Mormon encourages us over and over to search, ponder, study, and especially "change our beliefs," becoming as a little child again, eager to discover His nature and how Heaven operates. Our unbelief comes not in rejecting or challenging what man has told us through an institution, but ignoring the many evidences God shows us about our "weakness." If Rock or Daymon or Denver can help us to see those things, then it seems more trustworthy (according to Ether 12) than a voice from the Corporation saying "Listen to me. All is well in Zion!"

If your guy in Ecuador indeed does "find his place" in the church and settles for that, then indeed he is in captivity, because he has just given his agency away.

W said...

To anon @ 3:10 PM

I agree 100% pride is the opposite of humility, and it manifests as contention. Especially when there is an audience. it is pride that makes us want to be seen by others as wise or correct.

"Humility allows someone to be taught. We are all ignorant, but not all are willing to let in new understanding. We must be taught about the things we do not yet know for us to be saved. Without humility we cannot be taught, and therefore we cannot gain light. Humility is so fundamental a requirement for gaining further light and truth that without it we cannot grow. The two are so intimately linked together they form a near equivalency."

W said...

Humility removes the stumbling block of pride and allow us to be open to a deeper learning.

God must humble us before he can give us any light. When we allow ourselves to trust in God and be humbled through our adversities, the light as understanding, will flow almost faster then you can process it in your mind.

But to those who resist humbling, wander off on their own path relying upon their own or borrowed understanding.

BK said...

How is the man in Equador going to be able to tell if it's the Holy Ghost giving him revelation or the Adversary?

For there is no way to tell if you are receiving confirmation and truth from the 'Holy Spirit' VS. 'the Adversary' unless you have the scriptures, the words of Christ to prove that what the Spirit is telling you is true or not.

We are all easily deceived at times by the wrong Spirit, often most of the time. Even prophets are often deceived too, by false revelation, etc.

Thus, as Rock mentioned above, we need both the words of Christ AND the Spirit in order to make sure all teachings, persons or prophets are true or not. (Assuming we are righteous enough to be in tune with the HG)

It is a commandment to 'prove all things' and not just rely on or blindly accept what even prophets say, for the prophets teach that blind obedience is one of the fastest & surest ways to be deceived and led astray.

Fusion said...


I believe you have gone AWOL. Your criticisms of the questioning on bogs such as these, where folks SINCERELY love the Gospel of Jesus and believe its every word including that of not trusting the arm of flesh, is AWOL and has pretty much collapsed.

Your answers to my questions, which I believe to hold merit in each case, has been completely ignored- typical LDS mentality, I declare. And THAT is exactly why people are leaving!!

Instead of a sincere inspired attempt to help me and others, you have come back with an analogy that I would interpret as:

'Alma, you should put your faith in President Noah and the Brethren, instead of listening to are in apostasy, bro'

'Nephi is the prophet of the church at the time, and the only one authorised to receive messages from the Lord, how can you guys listen to Samuel...this, this ummm guy Samuel that 'inspired policy' has shown cannot possibly hold the priesthood for he is a Lamanite and not one of the Brethren!'

'Nephi, you listened to your faither instead of the church leaders in Jerusalem?! Man, you are a fool! Your father thinks he can override the Brethren?! He should just stick with his home's not like he is a great and noble one...'

Since you haven't, or rather, simply cannot answer my questions which are based PURELY on the scriptures and nothing else, then there is no point in wasting anymore time. Go ahead- you have the freedom to give your money to the folks who exchange secret signs, even those who ask you to not reveal them:

The Brethren & the Government should not be cut from the same cloth yet on different sides of the fence.

It is sad you read the Book of Mormon but do not believe its prophecies that the modern day Gadiantons have done/will do to this people what their former mentors did to the Nephite church and government.

Be a real man (or woman if that is who you are) and answer the questions :)

Much love,

LDSDPer said...

@anyone and Aw, if he/she will read:

The brother in Ecuador has hungry babies. :(

His babies might not grow up, because of malnutrition.

My husband and I got to the point where, after SO many Sundays of coming home and hearing the tears of our children--

from the things that were said to them at church, etc.--

and hearing about how, yes, if we just had faith we could be rich, and since we weren't rich, we hadn't shown faith, etc.--

and God loved those in the ward who had money more than those who worked nights for minimum wage--

(something that happened to us for a time, not now)

based on testimonies and comments in classes, etc.--

and we had to come home and pray to have good feelings and forgive and pick ourselves up and go on--

my husband and I began to feel drawn so powerfully to the Book of Mormon. It became our guide and our 'rod'--

and I had never heard of Rock or of Daymon Smith--

I hadn't read history; I had NO idea about all the 'stuff' that happened in and after Nauvoo--

except my ancestors' journals, which now make a LOT of sense to me--


I didn't need the internet to learn that the Book of Mormon was the written standard I could trust.

But I was glad to find others who felt/feel the same way.

I don't NEED the internet, but I like to share my love of the Book of Mormon and, yes, my passion for the kernal of the gospel of Jesus Christ--

and my deep faith in Jesus Christ.

I like sharing that, but I suppose I am a freak of some kind.

Anonymous said...


God bless you sister, may the Lord you and your family as much as possible. Your love for Jesus, the real one in the Book of Mormon, is something I can feel from thousands of miles away everytime I have read one of your posts.


Alan Rock Waterman said...

Amen to what Fusion just said, LDSDPer.

I've been meaning to ask you about your ancestor's journals. Have they been published?

I'd really like to know some of the things about their distrust of Brigham Young, and how far reaching that was at the time among other members. We have been given examples of many who left the Church and even Utah, going so far as to return to the states, accusing Brigham of trying to build a personal autocracy; and so I wonder what your ancestors had to say about him.

Jane said...

So being an anonymous jerk online is fine and the temple is going to save you? That pretty much sums up religion.

LDSDPer said...


No; they haven't been published, and I'm not sure I have the resources to do it--

I know that they are here and there, though, some of them.

Brigham Young? I'm not so sure it was open distrust, as much as that he simply didn't exist!!!

Joseph Smith was 'the man'--

he was the prophet; it's so obvious from what they say. And then there is just a huge gap; I don't think they cared who the leader(s) was/were, because they were just trying to survive.

A few accepted calls from Brigham Young, but often with dire results--

if there was respect, there wasn't love. I guess it's what wasn't said as much as what was--

and, yes, they left Utah as soon as they could--

there were those who strongly opposed polygamy, but they were very quiet about it.

And there was one who opposed polygamy but felt that it was his duty to make money as much as the 'leaders' did; it was a crazy time--

he wasn't successful--


I guess that I was just surprised, when I was younger, that they left him out of the narrative, since he was supposed to be so wonderful (thanks to books I read in seminary, the 'official' history books)--

and now I see why.

One ancestor expressed admiration for Lorenzo Snow's brother Erastus, even though he was a polygamist, and the ancestor wasn't.

I need to go back and read some more, too--

Thanks, fusion--


77 39825645 said...

Hi! :)

Is there anyone here? Anyone else can't stop reading Smith's book?

My husband and I can't stop; I even discovered an ancestor in there.

(won't say whom; it's too embarrassing, but it's not Rigdon or obviously Joseph Smith or even Cowdery)

I never thought much about Rigdon, but I always thought Cowdery was a good guy--

and I just wonder what everyone else is thinking--

we are about 44 pages from the end of the third 'installment'.

LDSDPer said...

the above post belong(s,ed) to LDSDPer, for some reason the numbers I entered to post came out as my 'name'.


Still curious as to what others thing of Daymon Smith's book, thus far.

It fits with the feelings I've gotten from my ancestor's experiences--

my ancestors who joined the church were drawn by the Book of Mormon and by Joseph Smith; the fact that *we* have gone back and reorganized history to fit with modern events and times is part of why I think so many Mormons are so confused.
Frankly, most of my ancestors were just trying to survive, quite literally; communication was completely different in the 1830s; there just can't a comparison; modern LDS historians who aren't scrupulously careful can get things really messed up just on that basis alone. Sad, but true, none of the early members of the church had the 'luxury' of regular paychecks (to be gotten by confirming modern assumptions).

RuthD said...

You pay tithing because the Lord asks it of you, not because the church does. (Genesis 28:22; and several others in OT; Mal 3:8; Luke 18:12 and others in NT; Alma 13:15; 3 NE 24:8; 3 Ne 24:10). You are being faithful to the Lord by doing so and fulfilling your obligation to Him.
What the Church does with the money is their responsibility. They must answer for any errors of judgement in the use of those funds that are tithed. Any equivocation or deception is their responsibility and on their heads. Are the details mentioned in this article disappointing, most likely yes.
However, our responsibility is to follow what the Lord asks of us. We are blessed for our obedience to God. This is part of working out our own salvation.
Also, you are not promised to be blessed financially for paying tithing, although that does often occur. You are promised that the "windows of heaven" will be opened and "pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." It could be blessings of family, understanding of the gospel and its mysteries, friends, gifts of the Spirit, any number of things the Lord would see fit to bless you with.
You tithe to the Lord, the Church is just the medium you do that through.

BK said...


It would be nice if all we had to do was pay tithing and forget about it and not worry about what it was used for, or if the men we gave it to were righteous or not or really called of God as they claim.

But Joseph Smith warned that we will lose our salvation if we let ourselves be deceived to support falsehoods, false prophets and false churches. And he taught that most everyone in the Church is deceived by false prophets and doesn't know it.

So it's vital for 'our' eternal welfare too that we prove all things, including where our tithing is going.

If we give our sacred tithing, which is meant for the poor, to men & leaders who use it on themselves or to make more money or build big & spacious church buildings, and they don't use 100% of it for the poor, then we will be held partly accountable for the suffering of the poor, even though we may have paid tithing all our lives. For we didn't make sure our money got where it should go.

Blind obedience and blind tithing paying won't save anyone, for we must do our own homework and make sure we are right, leaders are right and our tithing gets to the right place.

And since we know that it is the disposition of almost all men & leaders and even prophets, to immediately start doing wrong things in their callings and using their authority unrighteously, we can't trust any man, Bishop or Prophet to be righteous enough to distribute our tithing for us to the poor, thus we must give it directly to the poor & fatherless ourselves, if we want to receive blessings for it and be considered righteous and not be deceived to support evil.

I believe the righteous are so concerned about ending the suffering of the poor & fatherless that they make sure all their tithing gets where it is needed and not in rich leaders pockets & projects.

Gary Hunt said...


I would like to bring several pieces of information to your attention, in hopes this information will be of some value to you.

First, I think you are posting your comments under the wrong article. This article isn't about tithing.

Second, Bro. Waterman has not said in any of his articles that we should not pay tithing. His arguments deal with the way tithing is figured and the member's responsibility regarding the disposition of the tithing funds. It would be a good idea for you to read and understand what is actually being said. Then you can form arguments which make sense.