Sunday, March 12, 2017

Evil Speaking Of The Lord's Anointed

Previously: Misquoting God

There are numerous places in scripture where evil speaking is declared sinful.  Here are just a handful of verses I culled from the LDS topical guide regarding evil speaking. Maybe you can identify the common denominator in all of them that would indicate why evil speaking is considered such a serious trespass:

Psalms 34:13; 1Peter 3:10Proverbs 16:27; Matthew 5:11; 3 Nephi 12:11; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21; Acts 23:5; Ephesians 4:31; James 4:11; D&C 20:54.

In a revelation given in 1831, the Lord commands His saints not to speak evil of their neighbors or do them any harm. And in case you missed the lesson in Luke chapter ten, "your neighbor" means everybody. Everyone on the planet is your neighborSo when we engage in evil speaking of anyone at all, we are breaking a direct commandment given to us by Jesus Christ Himself.

Yet as bad as breaking that commandment can be, the scriptures suggest we could do far worse. A more egregious sin than speaking evil of our neighbor would be to speak evil of those whom God has anointed to His work. "Evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" turns out to be a sin so serious that it comes with its own set of curses on the heads of those who commit it. And those curses fall not only on the heads of the original perpetrators, but on the heads of their descendants as well, "from generation to generation." These miscreants "shall not escape the damnation of hell," the Lord assured Joseph Smith, for "I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof for them all."  (D&;C 121: 16-21)

Yikes. Sucks to be those guys.

This is why I have always been very careful to never engage in evil speaking of the Lord's anointed.

That's not to say I haven't been accused of that very thing on more than one occasion. But such accusations are usually lobbed at me by people who don't know how to look up words.

Some of my fellow Mormons think "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" has something to do with saying things about church leaders that, though possibly true, are uncomfortable to hear. But that's not even close to what it means. So before we go any further, let's look up the meaning of this phrase, shall we?  Because if we're going to examine a sin as deservedly denounced as evil speaking of the Lord's anointed, we'd first better understand the actual definition. So let's break it down into its two pertinent parts and define each one in turn:

First, what is "evil speaking"?
Secondly, who are "the Lord's anointed"?

Because the term "evil speaking" shows up in the bible so often, Noah Webster defined it in his biblically influenced American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828. This dictionary defines the meaning of words in use by Americans at the time Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon and publishing the revelations he received from God. So whenever we come across a word or phrase in scripture that isn't perfectly familiar to us today, we should avoid assuming it means something we think it means, and instead look up the meaning of the word as understood by the people who wrote it down and used it.

I've come across a fair number of fellow Mormons who think evil speaking is synonymous with gossiping, backbiting, and unwarranted criticism. And although gossiping and backbiting are specifically warned against in scripture because they can be harmful, they don't come close to being as palpably harmful as evil speaking.

Backbiting is talking negatively about someone who is not present to defend himself. A Gossip is defined by Noah Webster as "One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler."

Some gossip, though not very nice, might not necessarily be false. If, for instance, I said to the woman who lives next door, "I heard Mary is pregnant;" it might be none of my business, and certainly not my place to announce the news without Mary's permission. But that gossip might not do harm to Mary's reputation, especially if Mary is happily married and planning to tell everyone herself. My gossip would have ruined Mary's surprise, but it wouldn't have ruined Mary.

But if I told the woman next door that "Mary is a slut and she's pregnant and it's your husband's baby," then I would be engaging in evil speaking.

Webster defines evil speaking using these synonyms: "slander; defamation; calumny; censouriousness."

I don't mean to minimize the harm that can be caused by idle gossip. But let's face it: slander, defamation, and calumny can be a lot more damaging than gossip for the single reason those words all denote a deliberate intent to do harm to another. That word "evil" in evil speaking should have been our first clue. In the immortal words of Michael Jackson, it's "really, really bad."

Let's look at that first synonym, slander. When you slander someone, you're speaking untruths with the intent to defame. "Defamation" can cause serious harm to others, so no wonder the Lord categorizes evil speaking as a sin. Defamation is not just immoral, it's punishable by law. Defamation is defined as,
"Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person." (West's Encyclopedia of American Law.) 
Note the qualifying word in that sentence: "false." You can't slander a person by saying something about him that's true. You can only slander him by defaming him, and in order to defame him, you have to lie about him. That is the common denominator in the scripture verses I referenced above. Evil speaking means intentionally lying.

Today if you damage another's reputation by lying about him, or, as Jesus put it, "speaking evil of your neighbor," you can expect to be sued. You would probably lose and have to pay damages, and that would be that.

But back in the day when the common law ruled, you might have to do more than just fork over some cash; you would also be publicly shamed. The magistrate could require you to go to the parish of the guy you defamed where you would have to stand before the congregation, publicly pronounce the words you had used against him, admit those words were not true, and confess that you had knowingly defamed him. And then you would be required to "beg pardon, first, of God, and then of the party defamed, for uttering such words." (Clerk's Assist. 225; 3 Burn's Eccl. Law, Defamation, pl. 14; 2 Chit. Pr. 471 Cooke on Defamation, cited in Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 edition.)

I was accused of slander myself just three months ago, but the accusation was hollow. Someone who appeared unfamiliar with this blog had stumbled across a post I wrote a while ago titled "How We Know Thomas S. Monson Is A Prophet, Seer, And Revelator." This person or persons (hard to tell which, since he/she goes by two first names, "ericnsabrina"), either didn't understand what was being said when I quoted the words of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Harold B. Lee, and others, or they were confused at the things Gordon Hinckley had said to some reporters. At any rate, I was caught up short when I saw this comment show up:
"This blog is horrible! The only up side to it is that if you're being unkind and slandering the people that are members of Tha Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is that y'all don't have time to go after and slander anyone else. We'll take the hit, we are strong enough to survive it. Good luck to all you Haters! You're going to need it! I will pray for all of you. Negativity begets Negativity...There is nothing positive here. Nothing uplifting and certainly nothing of value."
Well, that was harsh. I didn't recall saying anything slanderous about "the people that are members of Tha Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" when I wrote that post.  But then I wrote it a good year and a half ago. Maybe I did slander the members, and just forgot I had. Or maybe I'm just schizo.

Slander, let's remember, is a synonym for evil speaking. I figured I'd better go back and read that post again.

So I re-read it, but I still couldn't find any falsehoods in the piece. It seemed to me I was accurate with all my quotes, and hadn't made any doctrinal or theological errors. Maybe I'm just so close to the thing that I can't see my own faults. I certainly don't want to be teaching falsehoods on this blog, so I replied with the following comment to ericnsabrina, hoping they would return and show me where they felt I had acted dishonestly:
Ericnsabrina Gaskins,
If you would be kind enough to point out any specific examples of slander in this piece, I will happily go back and make corrections.
Later that day ericnsabrina posted this reply:
I will not get into anything that is going to feed your vendetta against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I leave that in the Lord's hands. This is not my fight or anger issues against His Church. My job is to declare the truth not to prove it. However, if you can release your anger for little while, long enough to pray and ask your Heavenly Father what is true. I know that if you're sincere, He will answer you. I will not argue these points, ask of God. I stand by my previous comment.
I'll be honest with you; I'm not sure ericnsabrina have any idea what slander is. Still, I take these accusations seriously. After all, one day I will have to stand before the judgment bar, and I'd hate to find out at the last minute that I had been guilty of evil speaking of anyone, member of the church or not.  So here was my response:
No one is asking you to "prove" slander, EricnSabrina; merely to point it out so it can be corrected. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 18 that if a brother sins, go and point out his sin, and if he hears you, you have gained a brother. 
Slander is defined as speaking falsehoods or untruths that result in harm or defamation. As a devout believer in the gospel as restored through Joseph Smith, I certainly don't wish to publish untruths. If I am in the wrong, I want to have it pointed out to me so I can immediately correct that wrong. 
You have accused me of sin, and I'm willing to have you point that sin out to me. Yet when I ask for correction, you are content not to answer, but only to "stand by" your accusation. You wrote, "my job is to declare the truth" and "I stand by my previous comment." Yet in throwing out a wild accusation and then letting it just hang there, you are refusing to either declare the truth or to stand by your comment.

That, my friend, is slander. And if you are unwilling to back up your accusation, you are guilty of engaging in the very act you accuse me of.

I would refer you to Jesus' warning about such accusations in Matthew 7:5, and why he calls it hypocrisy. 
If you are unwilling to point out even one example where you have found evidence of slander on this blog, I can only conclude you are motivated by a spirit of contention.
I haven't heard anything from ericnsabrina since I invited him/her to help me correct my errors.

But this sort of thing happens now and then. Someone will come on here and accuse me of all kinds of malfeasance, and when I ask them to show me where I've gone wrong, they are never heard from again. The most common allegation I get is that I'm an anti-Mormon. I don't know how to respond to that other than to point to the title of my blog, which is, after all, called Pure Mormonism. I would think "pure" Mormonism would be the near opposite of "anti" Mormonism.  But maybe not everybody gets that.

There are plenty of places on this blog where you'll find my fervent testimony of the restored gospel, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and our founding principles, but I guess people will see what they want to see. In the immortal words of ericnsabrina, "good luck to all you haters!"

Which Brings Us To Censorious Calumny
Censoriousness is another synonym Noah Webster uses to define evil speaking. He describes a censorious person as one who is always finding fault. In Webster's words, this person is addicted to censuring others, finding them ill-mannered, ill-natured, and uncharitable. In short, the censorious person fathers onto everyone else all of his own shortcomings, yet doesn't seem able to recognize those flaws in himself. Not a fun guy to be around, I'd imagine. Lacks introspection.

 "Calumny" is a word we don't hear very much these days, but if you're looking for a one-word definition of evil speaking, calumny is that word with bells and frills. More intensely malicious than slander, defamation, and censorious all rolled into onecalumny represents the act of lying with deliberate, scheming intent to utterly ruin and destroy the targeted person. No accidental slip of the tongue, no inadvertent gossip, calumny implies deliberate, wicked intent to destroy another's good name and reputation.  Calumny is the knockout blow, the sockdolager of evil speaking. It is a majorly wicked act. Here's how Noah Webster defines calumny:
False accusation of a crime or offense, knowingly or maliciously made or reported, to the injury of another; false representation of facts reproachful to another, made by design, and with knowledge of its falsehood.
If slander is lying with the intent to defame, calumny is lying with intent to destroy.

You can see why the Lord commands us to avoid evil speaking. Idle gossip is bad enough. Unwarranted criticism is bothersome.  But evil speaking has the potential to destroy a person's life. You do not want to be found guilty of that sin at the judgment day.

Who Are The Lord's Anointed?
This brings us to the second half of our question. If the Lord doesn't like it when we tell lies about our neighbor with the intent to defame him, we shouldn't wonder why he hates it when we tell lies about those he has personally anointed to carry out his work.

So who are these people, anyway?

Well, just as the clue for recognizing the meaning of evil speaking was contained within the phrase itself, it should be easy enough for us to identify the meaning of  "the Lord's anointed." Let's put on our thinking caps. Are you ready? Here we go:

"The Lord's anointed" refers to someone who has been anointed by the Lord.

That was easy enough, wasn't it? Well, it should have been easy, I'll grant you that. After all, we know from numerous examples in scripture that the apostles of the primitive Christian church were personally anointed by God to their missions. Even Paul, who was not present among the original Twelve and had not met Jesus during his mortal ministry, informed the church at Corinth that he and Timothy had both been personally anointed by the Lord:
"Now he which established us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."(2 Corinthians 1:21)
A great majority of those still active in the church today seem to think "the Lord's anointed" refers to anyone in the Church hierarchy with the title "Elder" or "President" in front of his name. But is that really the proper meaning of the term? Are all those guys at the top of the corporate flow chart the ones God is referring to in scripture when he speaks specifically of "mine anointed"? If so, it makes you wonder what they all did to deserve such a singular honor.

Strictly speaking, the word "anoint" means "to smear with oil." If you've been through the temple and had your washings and anointings, you have been anointed unto the Lord. I myself am one of the anointed ones, and that's no small privilege.

But did you catch that little qualifier?  I was anointed unto the Lord; I was never anointed of the Lord or by the Lord. So although you and I and everyone else who has been through the temple are indeed counted among the anointed, I don't think that suddenly makes us "the Lord's anointed" the way that term is used in scripture. There is a difference.

If we have read the Doctrine and Covenants and are somewhat familiar with church history, we will recall that only a handful of people called to leadership positions in this church were ever actually anointed of the Lord. And they seem to have died off long before the sun rose on the 20th century. We have no record of any modern church leader being anointed of the Lord, although our traditions hold that all of them have been.

Well, I'll grant the men governing the Church today have probably been anointed by somebody, just as a majority of the saints in the early church were, and just as I have been. But we're interested here in separating those who have been anointed by their fellow humans, from those actually anointed by the Lord. So let's examine what that difference might be.

In May of 1842 Joseph Smith assembled a group of nine men in the room above his red brick store where he and his brother Hyrum then administered to them the washing and anointing ceremony that would later be reserved for the temple. This group, which came to be known as "The Quorum of the Anointed," expanded during Joseph Smith's lifetime to include thirty-seven men and twenty-nine women.  Aside from washings and anointings, what else did these people do when they convened together? They took part in the true order of prayer for very long stretches at a time, and between prayers they sat and visited and discussed spiritual matters.

The one thing this quorum did not do was govern the church.

When Is A Quorum Not A Quorum? 
In this church, when we hear the word "quorum" bruited about, we tend to think it refers to a governing body, because that's what the word generally means.  A quorum is defined in most dictionaries as the minimum number of people required to be present at a proceeding before its proceedings are to be regarded as valid.

If you were to look at a list of the names of those present at the meetings of the Quorum of the Anointed, you might be forgiven for thinking this was an important governing body of the church. After all, both the president of the church and the patriarch were usually present, as well as the president of the high council of the church. All three of those men actually had been anointed of the Lord at one time or another, and all three officers together properly constituted the governing heads of the church. (Brigham Young, president of the Twelve Apostles, was present also, but as has been established elsewhere, he and the members of the quorum he presided over were specifically denied authority to exercise governing authority within the church.)

Most of the other men and women in the quorum had been anointed by Joseph and Hyrum. They had been anointed with oil, but were not, strictly speaking, "the Lord's anointed;" at least not in the sense that term is bandied about in the Church today.

As regards the Quorum of the anointed, "Quorum" is a bit of a misnomer for a couple of reasons. First, no minimum attendance was required when the Quorum of the Anointed got together; there were no rules regarding how many people were needed for the meeting to go forward. Whoever managed to make it there, made it there.

Secondly, no legislative or administrative business took place in those meetings.  Today we are liable to look back on that quorum through the distorted lens of history and assume that, because of the name, these were some sort of leadership meetings. They were anything but.

The purpose of the quorum of the anointed was to have a place for select members to gather as friends, hold prayer circles, and engage in theological discussion. Historian Michael Quinn points out that these meetings were the first time in church history that men and women together discussed theocratic issues. (The Mormon Hierarchy, Origins of Power pg 116.)

As Mormon historian Devery Anderson has written, "The quorum should be recognized for its comforting and invigorating spiritual power, acting as a body separate from those governing the Church administratively." (The Anointed Quorum In Nauvoo, 1842-45, Journal of Mormon History Vol. 29, No. 2, 2003, pg 157.)*
*Since Brother Anderson wrote the essay above, he and Gary Bergera have compiled a book documenting the minutes, activities, and discussions that took place during those gatherings: Joseph Smith's Quorum Of The Anointed, A Documentary History.

Identifying The Lord's Anointed
The Lord does not expect us to have to guess whether someone in his distinct service has been specially anointed or not; he'll come right out and tell us. Hence, we have some pretty clear evidence that Joseph Smith was chosen and anointed by God for a specific purpose, because we can read the oracles Jesus conveyed through Joseph that say so unequivocally. I listed a half dozen of them in this post back in December, so I won't repeat them here. I think it's undeniably clear that Joseph Smith was one of the Lord's anointed. So was his brother Hyrum. (See D&C 124, D&C 107, et al.)

Remember those cursings I mentioned at the beginning of this piece? Those are from a revelation given to the prophet while he, Hyrum, Sydney Rigdon, and others were unjustly imprisoned for nine months in a jail with a ceiling so low that none of them could stand erect the whole time. When they stood they had to stand hunched forward and head down, with the ceiling cramping the back of their necks. I spent a night in Liberty jail some 40-odd years ago, and I can tell you, trying to walk from one corner of that tiny room to another about drove me nuts. Those guys had to endure it for the better part of a year.

Here is what the Lord said about those who persecuted Joseph and Hyrum and put them in that hellhole:
"Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them." (D&C 121:16)
Why did God promise to curse Joseph and Hyrum's enemies? Because they wanted to do them physical harm ("lift up the heel against") and they lied about them, "saying they had sinned when they had not sinned." The Lord goes on to condemn those who accuse his special servants of transgression when they have committed no transgressions, evil men who swore falsely against them with the deliberate aim of getting them imprisoned and hopefully killed. (Verses 17-18)

You get the gist of it. Lying about anyone in hopes of getting them killed or imprisoned is an evil act in itself. But telling those lies about the Lord's anointed is so much more egregious that it would be better for the perpetrators "that a millstone had been hanged about their necks, and they drowned in the depth of the sea." (Verse 22.)

I wouldn't argue with that assessment one bit. The problem arises, however, when we take the words the Lord said about Joseph and Hyrum and apply them to members of the modern Church hierarchy. Should we speak evil of them? Of course we shouldn't. Evil speaking is evil no matter who the speech is directed against. But neither should we assume they have been anointed of the Lord when we can find no evidence such an assumption is based on fact.

For instance, most active members of the church believe Thomas Monson is God's anointed, same as Joseph Smith was almost two centuries ago. Yet can anyone name the date when President Monson's anointing took place?

So okay, maybe he wasn't actually anointed; perhaps he was just appointed by the Lord. At the very least he should have been ordained, right?

Okay then, why can't any of us find the date that important event-whatever you choose to call it- took place? How about the date Gordon Hinckley was anointed, appointed, or ordained by God?  Do we know that one? Why do we just assume some sort of anointing took place, while no one seems the least bit interested enough about it to want to know when exactly that monumental event occurred? This is supposedly the holy ordination of a prophet of God to the whole world, is it not? So why such disinterest?

We know from our scriptures that Joseph Smith was ordained of God, and Joseph informs us that all the prophets before him also "were ordained by God himself." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 180.) It stands to reason then that any prophets succeeding Joseph Smith and claiming to have inherited Joseph's mantle would also have been ordained of God, for that is the very claim put forth: that Joseph's successors hold all the keys, gifts, priesthood, abilities, and responsibilities that Joseph Smith held, and they also have been (according to tradition) ordained as was Joseph Smith and all the ancient prophets who existed before Joseph Smith.

But when did those ordinations take place? When exactly was Thomas Monson "ordained by God Himself"? We have extensive written histories in this church, so it shouldn't be much trouble to do the research and find out.

So suppose you do some digging. Can you find the date when Brigham Young was ordained by God? Or John Taylor, or Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, or any of the presidents of the church all the way forward to Thomas Monson? Why is it no one can ever cite the date, describe the process, or testify to witnessing any of these sacred ordinations?  For that matter, when has any president of the Church since Joseph Smith ever so much as hinted about his anointing, whether from the pulpit, in a revelation, or in a private journal?

Why is it that when the president of the church is presented at conference for a sustaining vote, the words we hear are "it is proposed that we sustain President Thomas S. Monson as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" without anything ever being said about the president having first been called, or appointed, or anointed, or ordained, or at the very least "set apart" to that calling by the Lord Himself sometime prior to conference weekend?  Is it proper for us to give a sustaining vote to affirm an ordination we can't even claim we know for certain ever took place?

This tradition goes all the way back to our assumptions about Brigham Young. Those familiar with the history of the church are aware that three years after the prophet and his brother were murdered, Brigham Young persuaded the Twelve to nominate him to be president of the church, then asked for a sustaining vote from the congregation. Brigham never claimed to be anything but the president, and he never claimed to have been either anointed or appointed to that office by God. He was careful never to promote himself as being the new prophet seer, and revelator. Yet, over time we have developed a tradition that says he somehow was exactly that.

Some members get uncomfortable when they learn that no president of the church since Joseph Smith has ever been appointed by God to fill the position of prophet, seer, and revelator. They are afraid this information could hurt their testimonies.

But why? Why should any of this news negate the reality of the Restoration?  Does the fact that Brigham Young took over Joseph Smith's administrative duties without having been called of God somehow prove the gospel is no longer true? Why would it? After Joseph's assassination, Brigham himself told the saints, "Heretofore you have had a prophet as the mouthpiece of the Lord to speak to you. But he has sealed his testimony with his blood, and now, for the first time, are you called to walk by faith, and not by sight." (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, 1844, pg 20)

The restored gospel, and the history, and the theology we collectively refer to as "Mormonism" remains true and valid no matter what has or has not occurred within the administrative halls of the Church Office Building. The only effect this information should have on any of us is to remind us that we must depend more than ever on Jesus Christ for our salvation, and not look to mere mortals for direction.

Why should it damage your testimony of the restored gospel just because you discover the corporate Church is running on fumes? If you have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel, what does it matter if the so-called "line of authority" has ceased to exist on the earth for a season? Does that mean the heavens are closed to you now and that God is no longer on His throne?

Or do you depend for your testimony on the authority claims of men? If claims to authority are the criteria upon which we are to base our testimonies, why are we not honoring Caiaphas today instead of Jesus Christ?

It may surprise some members to learn that aside from the fact Brigham Young was not anointed by God when he was elected to the presidency of the Church, he wasn't even set apart or ordained by his fellow apostles! Brigham maintained that the apostolic church president and counselors needed no setting apart or ordination. All that was necessary, in his view, was a sustaining vote of the congregation. I disagree with him, but so what? Brigham is long gone anyway, so what does it matter so long as the gospel remains pure? Which is more valid -doctrine or tradition?

Starting with president number five, Lorenzo Snow, Church presidents began to be "set apart" to the office by their brethren in the Quorum, but they were still deliberately not ordained to it by their fellow general authorities. And throughout the pioneer period they were certainly never recognized as being prophets, seers, and revelators. There were two reasons for that: first, those abilities were considered gifts that only God could bestow on a person, and second, the succeeding four presidents of the church had been alive when Joseph Smith was. They knew him, and they knew his prophecies. They understood that there would not be another prophet to lead the church until that prophesied day when the Lord would send one mighty and strong to set His house in order (D&C 85). At that future time, it was believed, The Lord would set his hand a second time to recover his covenant people (2 Nephi 29). In the pioneer LDS Church post-Joseph, the idea that the president of the church was also a prophet was not widely held.

In an 1899 meeting of the First Presidency and apostles, Joseph F. Smith explained that it was proper for the First Presidency to be set apart, but "not ordained." In 1916 Joseph F. Smith, the Quorum of Twelve's president, emphatically instructed the senior president of the Seventy that "the president was set apart and not ordained." (See Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy:Origins of Power, pg 252-253.) But years later the protocol was adjusted:
"On 12 April 1951 David O. McKay became the first LDS church president to be 'ordained' since the founding prophet. Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith 'ordained and set apart' President McKay. At seventy-four, Apostle Smith may have forgotten his own father's restriction against ordaining presidents of the LDS church." (Quinn, ibid.)
So now over a hundred years after the death of Joseph Smith, we finally have a president of the church who got ordained. But who ordained him? Was it the Lord? No, it was one of the apostles.

Did this apostle anoint him? No, he merely "ordained" him, something that could be done for anyone called to serve in any office in the church. So by the middle of the 20th century we have a president of the church who has been ordained by another man to the office of president, but we're still waiting to hear if this president has been anointed by the Lord.

And did that apostle ordain President McKay to be the new prophet? Nope. Just the president. Even as recently as the mid-nineteen fifties, every one in the church understood that only God could bestow the gifts of prophet, seer and revelator.

Here's something else to think about: The current general authorities will tell you their line of authority goes all the way back to Joseph Smith, because, they believe, every one of the presidents was ordained of God the same as Joseph Smith was. But here's the thing: we can actually track the ordination of Joseph Smith, because he was personally called and ordained by God to the work in D&C 5:6 and elsewhere. While he was still alive, Joseph passed on his authority to his brother Hyrum. Joseph was the only one authorized by the Lord to do so, because he was the only one on the earth who possessed it all.

After Joseph and Hyrum departed this sphere, the historical record shows us that line of ordinations abruptly stopped. But then it somehow resumes in 1951. Assuming for the moment that George Albert Smith actually had any authority, the difficulty in passing it on to David O. McKay in 1951 is that by this time George Albert was dead. So instead, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, who did not have the keys, gifts, or authority of a prophet, seer, and revelator, performed the ordination on David O. McKay.

Even if said apostle did somehow hold the "keys" and pass them on, wouldn't it be a stretch for the current leaders to claim they have a continuous, unbroken line of authority from God going back to Joseph Smith, since that line was broken at the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum and only just recently resumed in 1951?

The salient question is this: if Brigham Young had no authority to act as prophet, seer, and revelator, where did Thomas Monson get his? 

And if Monson does have those gifts, why has he never used them?

Here is something else to consider: have you ever heard Thomas Monson, or Gordon Hinckley, or any president of the Church in your lifetime, ever make the claim that he was the mouthpiece of the Lord? Have you ever heard any of them personally claim to be a prophet? For that matter, have you ever heard any president of the Church in your lifetime deliver a message that he said had been given to him by God?

Eight men have been elected president of the Church in my lifetime, and I've never once heard any of them so much as pretend to be the mouthpiece of the Lord.  That endorsement always seems to come from those below the president in rank. The only president of the Church to openly make the claim of being a prophet, seer, and revelator was the first one, Joseph Smith, and he left behind plenty of evidence to back up that claim.

Let that sink in for a moment. With the sole exception of Joseph Smith, no president of the Church whom the members sustain as a prophet, seer, and revelator has ever declared himself to be a prophet, a seer, or a revelator.

Don't you find that strange?

Well, I don't find it as strange as the fact that during every conference session I watch, the president of the Church sits quietly in his comfy chair on the stand while those around him step up to the microphone to shower him with accolades, describing him as "our beloved prophet," when the object of their affection sits there knowing he has never exhibited the gifts of a prophet, nor has he been anointed by God to that position. What I find most remarkable of all is that never has a president of the Church told his obsequious underlings to knock it off and focus their praises on Christ Jesus instead of on him.

What About Honest Criticism?
One of the disadvantages of not having a living prophet on the earth who actually conveys the word of God directly to the people, is that sooner or later someone in Church government will start making things up on his own.  This is what happened a few years back when Dallin Oaks, ostensibly an apostle of the Lord, declared an opinion the Lord Himself never advocated.

If, as Oaks insists, "it's wrong to criticize leaders of the Church even if the criticism is true," then we may as well throw out all the scriptural admonitions that say otherwise. Dallin Oaks holds the same high office in our day as Caiaphas and Annas held in theirs, positions that assert the words of Church leaders outrank the teachings of the Messiah.

Several years ago Elder Oaks gave a talk to a congregation of young adults wherein he equated honest criticism of Church leaders with "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed." (Why is it that whenever some rogue G.A. sets out to promote a truly malodorous false doctrine, they always seem to try it out on the young people first?)

Dallin's talk promoted the idea that it was forbidden for members of the Church to even remotely suggest Church leaders might be capable of error. So yeah, you guessed it: I am going to criticize Oaks for saying that. But first, a quick story regarding an episode from my mission where a president of the Church was right and I was dead wrong.

"One Of Our Biggest Dangers Of Today"
I was twenty-one years old in 1973 when I entered the MTC, which in those days was located not in Provo, but in Salt Lake City. One day all us missionaries were herded through the underground tunnel to the Salt Lake temple, where we were told we would have the opportunity to meet with President Harold B. Lee in the upper room. We could ask the prophet any questions we wanted. That sounded incredible! I was really looking forward to learning the deeper doctrines first hand from a real live prophet of the Lord.

Well, I didn't have any questions for President Lee myself, but many of the others in my group did. And some of the questions they asked seemed like tough ones to me.  But every time a question was posed, President Lee would quickly thumb through the set of scriptures that sat on the podium before him, and read aloud the answer the scriptures gave.

It was really impressive watching him because he instantly knew just where to find the answer to every question, flipping through the pages of his quad with lightning speed -fwip, fwip, fwip- and then reading the answer to each question directly from the page. I'd never seen anyone with such a thorough mastery of the scriptures. Doctrinal mysteries that would have stumped any normal person were quickly dispensed with by Lee's reading aloud from the word of God.

But impressive as it was, afterward I felt a bit cheated. I had gone to that meeting with every expectation of hearing rare and profound words of wisdom from the mouth of a true prophet, and all the guy did the whole time was just stand there and read from the standard works.

My heck, I thought, I could have done that! Maybe not as quickly as he did, but I bet I could have eventually found those same passages if given enough time. He never said anything earth shattering at all. He just read to us. I expected something profound, but I came away profoundly disappointed.

What I realized years later was that Harold B. Lee knew something I hadn't known. Two things, actually: First, even if he was a prophet, why would anyone want to hear what he personally had to say? A prophet is never a font of wisdom on his own. As Joseph Smith succinctly stated, a prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as a prophet. And a prophet is only acting as a prophet when he is directly quoting words God puts in his mouth.

I had expected to hear President Lee deliver some world-shattering profundities to our group that day, but I hadn't realized that's not what a prophet is supposed to do. A prophet doesn't come up with sagacious outpourings on his own. He receives the words he is given from the mouth of the Lord, then repeats those words to the people verbatim, either orally or in writing. That is the only thing a prophet is authorized to do: accurately convey the message God gives him to deliver, exactly as it was received, and with no editorializing or additional commentary.

Even though I missed the opportunity to hear Harold B. Lee deliver a rip-roaring revelation that day, I later learned from him what I think is the most valuable lesson I've ever gleaned from any modern Church leader, when years later I came across a statement President Lee had published in the Ensign just a year before I saw him in person. This cautionary statement has become the template by which everything I write on this blog is measured:
"I say we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures. If only each of us would be wise enough to say that we aren't able to answer any question unless we can find a doctrinal answer in the scriptures! And if we hear someone teaching something that is contrary to what is in the scriptures, each of us may know whether the things spoken are false -it is as simple as that...I think therein is one of our biggest dangers of today." (First Presidency Message, Ensign, December 1972.)
President Lee seems to have echoed a sterner warning attributed to Joseph Smith two months before he was killed:
"If any man preaches to you doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine & Covenants, set him down as an imposter...Try them by the principles contained in the acknowledged word of God; if they preach, or teach, or practice contrary to that, disfellowship them; cut them off from among you as useless and dangerous branches, and if they are belonging to any of the quorums of the church, report them to the president of the quorum to which they belong." (Times & Seasons, 5:490-491, April, 1, 1844, emphasis in the original.)
Taking as our paradigm the statements of Harold B. Lee and Joseph Smith, let's examine that teaching of Dallin Oaks and see whether it measures up doctrinally. Because when Oaks came up with that doozy about it being wrong to criticize the leaders even if the criticism is true, he was not teaching anything remotely consistent with the scriptures. He just pulled it out of his butt.

A Useless And Dangerous Branch
When we read Elder Oaks' talk on criticism, the first thing we notice is that at first he is teaching obvious truisms. It is wrong to be needlessly critical of others, to engage in backbiting and faultfinding without cause. But before long Brother Dallin is equating evil speaking -which means lying- with the act of telling the truth. He sprinkles his talk with off-point scripture verses and immaterial quotes from other general authorities, and the next thing you know he is comparing himself and his fellows in the hierarchy as being equal to Moses.

It's a pretty neat rhetorical trick. But it's dishonest as hell.

Moses, you'll recall, is proven by the scriptures to have been the Lord's anointed, while Dallin Oaks and his cohorts have not. Oaks relates how the early Israelites in the wilderness -tired, hungry, and afraid- were complaining against Moses and Aaron, because of the situation they were now in. Moses responded by reminding them that he and Aaron did not bring them out here into the desert. They came here following the Lord.

What are we, that ye murmur against us?” Moses asked them. “The Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.”

Moses, you see, had merely been acting as a conduit between God and the people. The Lord was advising Moses directly, and the only reason the Israelites found themselves in the desert was because Moses had been relaying God's instructions to the people through Moses. It wasn't Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt, it was God.

Dallin Oaks uses that story to infer that when a member of the church expresses concerns about the actions of some Church leaders, that member is murmuring against the Lord Himself.  Because what Oaks is saying, you see, is that he and his pals are the Lord's anointed, and like, you know, you guys aren't supposed to be, like saying bad stuff about us and stuff because, y'know, when you do, you're actually saying mean things about God.

Someone ought to take Brother Oaks gently aside and explain to him that thousands of faithful, believing latter-day saints have some legitimate concerns about the way their leaders are taking the Church down paths that are inconsistent with the instructions God gave in the scriptures for the governing of His church.  He gets to understand that these members' desires to voice those concerns has nothing to do with lying, defamation, or calumny. Quite the opposite, I'd say. Dallin Oaks appears blind to his own shortcomings. He can spot the speck in a church member's eye from forty paces, but he is oblivious to the beam in his own.

"It's wrong to criticize the leaders of the Church even if the criticism is true."

That is an astonishingly stupid statement to come from the mouth of a man who carries so much influence. Yet in all the years since Dallin Oaks recorded that statement, he has made absolutely no effort to meet with his therapist. And he completely ignores the numerous places in scripture that command all of us to speak truth, to teach truth, to preach truth, to proclaim truth, to know truth, to love truth, and to testify of truth, all without qualification; which is to say authority figures are not exempt from hearing things about themselves they may not like hearing. The Book of Mormon is replete with lessons on the importance of speaking truth to power, especially when we detect iniquity taking root within the Church itself.

That's what the scriptures teach. Dallin Oaks, on the other hand, finds the truth hard to take. (2 Nephi 16:2)  He would have truth silenced if he could, and those advocating for truth cut off. Abinadi criticized the leaders of the Church in his day, and those criticisms were true. If Dallin Oaks had been a high priest in the court of King Noah, he likely would have sided with the other Church leaders in calling for Abinadi to be burned at the stake. (Mosiah 17)

The Duty Of The Faithful Latter-day Saint
I submit that the only time criticism of Church leadership is warranted is when the criticism is true. Otherwise it's not criticism, it's backbiting. Telling the truth is not evil speaking; telling falsehoods is.

Is it wrong, for instance, for Mormons to be concerned when the First Presidency of their Church turns out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of a multi-billion dollar shopping center? These men have been commanded to preach nothing but repentance, yet there they are on camera admonishing the saints to go shopping and spend their money in some of the most wastefully extravagant stores in the state.

I get why Monson, Uchtdorff, and Eyring made fools of themselves in public that day. They were understandably concerned with the possibility of losing their investments in an obvious boondoggle when the national economy had tanked while the project was still under construction. But that raises the question of why the leaders of Christ's church should be foolishly investing Church money in a shopping center in the first place. And it raises a further question: if Jesus Christ is truly the head of this Church and directs the leaders in what they do, why did he command them to build an elaborate shopping mall scheduled to open just when America would be going through its greatest financial crisis since 1929, when few would have money to spend on the ridiculously overpriced goods offered at that mall?

Or is it "evil speaking" to wonder about that?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to ask the leaders why they abruptly stopped providing church members with an annual accounting of Church spending after 1958? Is it evil speaking to remind them that Church funds under their control belong to the entire membership of the church, and do not exist as some giant slush fund for those in the hierarchy to spend on their own pet projects? Is it evil speaking to remind them that the Lord commands they give an accounting so the members can exercise their vote of common consent over these expenditures?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to bring attention to the fact that the only official doctrine on marriage in this church was canonized in scripture by a vote of the members, and that that doctrine states that weddings are to take place in public where all can witness them, and not in secret where they are attended only by a select few deemed "worthy"? Is it also evil speaking to want to know why that doctrine on marriage was quietly removed from the Doctrine & Covenants absent a revelation from God and without being submitted to the members for a vote?

What about the many untruths that have been promoted by Church leadership for years distorting and changing the Lord's law of tithing?  Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to suggest we should look to the law itself rather than rely on specious interpretations that contradict that law?  When Jeffrey Holland stood at the pulpit in general conference and read from a pamphlet written years earlier by apostle James Talmage regarding what is required of the tithepayer and what is not, was Holland not being demonstrably dishonest when he left out pertinent sections of Talmage's words while inserting his own opinions without telling his listeners? Is it evil speaking to draw attention to Holland's fully documented perfidy?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to question the way Church leaders repeatedly misquote and misinterpret scripture in order to try to convince the unwary that they have special authority over the members that God never gave them?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to remark on the fact that the necessary oracles are absent in a Church that claims continuous revelation? How about the way in which the meaning of oracles has been changed? When both Joseph and Jesus spoke of oracles, they were referring to the communications that came from the mouth of God through his prophets. Today's Church manuals define the leaders themselves as the oracles. Is it evil speaking to draw attention to that obvious fallacy?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to suggest that Church leaders today don't seem to have the foggiest idea what they're talking about when they discuss the concept of priesthood keys?

When older men in Church leadership deliberately distort the tenets of our religion by telling young Mormon men that they are "doing the Lord's work" when they violate His commandment in D&C 98:33, then flatter them by calling them "mighty men of valor," is it wrong to criticize them for promoting completely unscriptural falsehoods that could lead to those young men's deaths or disfigurement? Or is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to suggest that in matters of life and death we ought to be following scripture rather than allow ourselves to be "carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness"?

Is it "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" to wonder why Church management in 1921 excised the first 73 pages of the Doctrine and Covenants, a chunk of scripture which Joseph Smith felt was of utmost importance? These essential passages were removed from our scriptures without any explanation given, without a vote of the membership, and absent a revelation from God instructing the leaders to take it out.  Most members today (and a good number of leaders, I would wager) have never heard of the ample section of the D&C the prophet called "The Doctrine of the Church." What we have left is the section known as "Covenants and Commandments of The Lord," which is of great worth by itself, but it is far from being the complete doctrine and covenants that was canonized in 1835.

I could go on and on, and you're probably worried I will. But I'll stop now. I have written something in the neighborhood of two hundred blog posts documenting the way false traditions have edged out the true doctrines of the church -the ones easily available to us if we would only follow the counsel of Joseph Smith and Harold B. Lee and look to the scriptures for our doctrines instead of to those who seek to control the narrative. My friend Rob Smith has documented plenty of examples in his book, Teaching For Doctrines The Commandments Of Men, which you can either buy on Amazon or download here for free.

Rob's book contains nothing but truth. Page after page of truth. Would you care to guess what the self-described "Lord's Anointed" did to Brother Smith within days of his publishing that book? You guessed it -they expelled him from their church.

They expelled me, too, but I guess I should have seen it coming. After all, I'm the guy who accused one of their own of pulling dogmas out of his butt.

Update, July 15, 2017:
I came across this apropo meme at the Mormon Skeptics Facebook Group:

Update March 14th, 2018:
Fellow blogger "Thinker of Thoughts" just put out this excellent 10 minute video:


Steak Presedent said...

Hey Rock. I'll read the full post, but I just want to pick out something you said near the beginning. You said that the Lord punishes the descendants of those who speak evil of the Lord's anointed. I know we can read in the Book of Mormon that the Lamanites were cursed and it appears it was due to the decisions of their ancestors to rebel against God, but the curse was due to their own behaviour, it's just that their ancestors caused that they would not know about God and were taught incorrect traditions and to hate the Nephites.

But if an individual speaks evil of the Lord's anointed, then their children are not punished for it. They may grow up doing the same thing, being taught to do this sin. However, if they don't they're not under any condemnation. I know "unto the third and fourth generation" gets understood to mean God punishes several generations for an ancestor's actions, but it means God will do the same thing to the following generations who also break his commandments.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ah! An excellent point, Miguel. That is a way of looking at it that I had not contemplated. Thanks for your input.

jstcommentary said...


Great job as usual. The irony is to me is that modern active Mormons speak evil of Joseph by blaming him for plural marriage, and they speak evil of Hyrum by never recognizing he has also had the sealing power. Bt active Mormons also believe that if you or I or anyone else points of the flaws of the men who sit in the chief seats and fare sumptuously, we are speaking evil of the Lord's anointed.

Keep up your excellent work,

John Scott Peterson

Unknown said...

You covered some points that needed to be addressed. The trouble with the orthodox church view is that any statement one makes that runs contrary to the Prophet’s view is seen as being worthy of perdition or worse. I was excommunicated for just that even hough I broke no rule in the church. Keep up the good fight - the light is slowly shining through the crumbling rafters.

Kendal Anderson said...

Great point John. Funny that an organization that claims authority from Joseph accuses him of polygamy, polyandry, lying, and sleeping with a 14 yr old. Not only this, but they have changed his doctrines, corrupted his teachings, omitted certain revelations (Lectures on Faith), and base their administrative policies on church leaders that came after him. Yet they accuse guys like Rock of "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed." Makes no sense.

David said...

Great post Rock, and I was even able to catch most of it, even with my ADD and etc.

You hit is spot on, anyone who has read Denver Snuffers new works, by John the Beloved. Page 14, comment by the Jewish leaders to Christ; "You are the product of extramarital fornication involving and unknown number of men, and we are not sure. We have one Father, even God."

I did not catch that the first read time I read it, they just called the Lord a Bastard and his mother a whore. No wonder he did not mince words with them, and even called them a bunch of Vipers, as noted by Denver Snuffer, in his works.

Steve said...

Just wondering about the jump you make from "the Lord's annointed" to "annointed by the Lord." Could it be that "Lord's" is possessive, meaning "belonging to the Lord?" With this interpretation your original allusion to the annointing portion of the endowment ceremony holds true. Every person who has been endowed in the temple and is faithful in keeping their covenants (a judgement not left to us, therefore we must act as if every endowed member is faithful) qualifies as "the Lord's annointed." Just a little food for thought...

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dang it, Kendal, I meant to include a mention of the removal of the Lecture on faith in that list of crimes near the end, but I forgot. Maybe I'll slip it in anyway; I'm always amending and adding little things to my post the first few days after I write them.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Unknown, I think you may be onto something. It's very likely anyone who is anointed unto the Lord in the temple COULD be considered the Lord's anointed, as long as they continue to be strictly faithful to the Lord in keeping His commandments without fail. But those in leadership positions who have betrayed the Lord by corrupting the church, changing the doctrines, etc can hardly lay claim to the title they think they have.

I think the same goes for those in the hierarchy who haven't had any direct role in taking the Church down the slippery slope. The fact that they stand by quietly and watch The Good Ship Zion plunge beneath the waves without ever saying anything makes them culpable, and would nullify any claim.

Jared Livesey said...

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" can also be translated "You shall not tell lies about other people."

It is unfortunate we don't know, and cannot know, what portions of the endowment, if any, came from Joseph, and what portions, if any, came from Brigham Young. It strikes me as odd, on its face, that evilspeaking is specifically enjoined against only one class of people - or, perhaps, one person - and not all, for God, as it is written, is not partial, nor a respecter of men, but all are equal before him.

Incidentally, Rock, methinks D&C 43 makes the subject and scope of Hyrum's authority to be... problematic.

dx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jared Livesey said...

Matt 11
28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

DX, I'd be interested in your providing me some details regarding the actual, uncompensated service these men have, as you put it, "devoted their lives to."

iterry said...

BS DX, These leaders have strayed from the commandments of God. Rock is holding them accountable for their actions even though absolutely nothing can be done to change the course of the Church. Only God can change it now which He will soon do. Rock is pointing out to you that these leaders have usurped the titles reserved for only the truly anointed of the Lord which these leaders are not.

But how do we tell they aren’t anointed. Well, for one thing there is no revelation given to the Church today. You never hear Verily Thus Saith the Lord to Monson. Joseph Smith was the only prophet of the Church who received revelation from God. It ended with him as prophesied in the parable of the Nobleman D&C 101:43-62.

The reason they aren’t acceptable to God is they do not keep the commandments of God. Let me give you a short list of those commandments they do not keep or have caused to be changed. 1. The Lord warns us against idolatry. The Christus is an idol of God the Son. This is forbidden under the second commandment. 2. There was no revelation given to Kimball to give the blacks the priesthood. The Church continues to lie to the members about this by saying that Joseph ordained blacks. He did not and this commandment to keep the blacks from the priesthood is given in Abraham chapter 1 and Moses chapter 7. This has resulted in the end of the high priesthood. 3. Common consent is no longer found in the Church. There is no voting and every decision is forced on the saints through a sustaining vote which is not scriptural. 4. They accept Roe V Wade abortion in the Church as well as homosexuality contrary to the commandments of God thou shalt not commit murder etc. There are many more commandments that they break and cause the members to commit sin which will result in them being condemned as it says in 2 Nephi 28.

The members have deified these leaders which is more akin to what the Catholic Church does than what was found in the Lord’s Church. Frankly I’m glad there are people like Rock who expose these leaders for who they are. Wolves-in-sheeps- clothing. They appear to be gentle lambs but instead feed upon the flocks as a bunch of wolves. They are apostates that are running and ruining the Church today. Soon however the lord will correct the situation and cleanse the Church and remove these leaders as prophesied in Ezekiel 13. Can’t wait for that day.

Greg said...

God has no issues with anyone partaking of his goodness. Man seems to have all kinds of rules and issues denying others of God's goodness.

2 Nephi 26:33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

Iterry said...

Are you referring to blacks holding the priesthood Greg? Have you read Abraham 1? Apparently they have been cursed as to receiving the priesthood. That prohibition has not been lifted. There is no revelation where God changed his mind.

Jared Livesey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jared Livesey said...

There's no revelation which says God cursed blacks as to receiving the priesthood, either - I checked Abraham 1 before posting this comment to be sure the phrase "receiving the priesthood" does not occur therein, nor any unambiguous synonyms thereof.

Thus there is no known prohibition on blacks receiving the priesthood to be lifted, and thus God may not need to change his mind on this potentially non-existent prohibition on blacks receiving the priesthood.

Iterry said...

Log go read the revelation again. It says they cannot have the priesthood because of their race. It's right there in chapter one of Abraham. Show me where it says they can have it.

Jared Livesey said...

No matter how many times I read Abraham 1, it never says "receiving the priesthood" in Abraham 1.

You can either acknowledge your position cannot be unambiguously established from the scriptures and drop the matter from henceforth, or you can contend and dispute despite the fact that your position cannot be unambiguously established from the scriptures, and despite the fact that contention and disputation are contrary to the commandments of God.

iterry said...

Log Lets go through what it says then so that you understand. The prohibition is against a race. The race is those who descend from Ham through Canaanite known as Canaanites BY BIRTH.

Abraham 1:21 Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.

24 ... and thus, frrom HAM, sprang that RACE which preserved THE CURSE in the land

Log that's pretty clear isn't it. They are cursed

26... Pharaoh being a Righteous man (Log it doesn't have to do with righteousness its all about race)... NOah his father, who blessed him with blessings of the earth BUT CURSED him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

vs 27 Now, Pharaoh being of that LINEAGE by which he COULD NOT HAVE the RIGHT OF PRIESTHOOD.

Now Log - This is pretty darn clear. Joseph Smith when asked if they can have the priesthood said NO the spirit whispers that they cannot. Eldred G. Smith went to the Lord after the phony revelation and asked the Lord if there was a revelation giving them the priesthood. The answer was NO there was none and he told the apostate leaders that. He was thrown out as a result.

But beside all that I held the priesthood before 1978 and I knew I had it and I knew when it was taken along with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The gifts are not found in the Church today as they once were so from that I know of a surety that the priesthood was taken because it was given to the blacks.

There are other scriptures prohibiting them from going to the temple as well see Zechariah 14:21.

iterry said...

Log I should add one more and that is Moses 7:8 ...and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all the people.

Again this curse is the black skin and the are prohibited from the priesthood. These are not my words but the Lords to Moses who was actually a prophet.

AndEva said...

Rock and Connie, you know we love you, your family to us.

While I do agree that the church is wrong to do what they are doing and we too, have received discipline from the church.
I wonder, if I were in the high position of church leadership, if I, stood to loose so much power.... Would I not do the same to protect the infallible church? I do not justify their actions, but if I was like unto them, would I not do the same?
I know I have a mountain of my own dry bones, am I much different?

Questions: Does the church still have authority? If not... Why still fight against it? Where is the authority wrested to now? What did Joseph Smith say about when you can find an Authorized minister? Is there a greater burden now laid upon us but one that has Eternal significance?

I saw a picture in my mind, a great beast. Everyone is surrounding the beast, everyone has their sword in hand, everyone is poking at the beast and riling it up. The beast bites some and they run to the frenzied crowds crying "It bit me, it bit me!" This makes the crowd all the more intent to kill the beast.
The people point out all the obvious flaws of the beast...thinking this is the sacrifice required of them. To lay down their lives killing the beast or being bitten. I wonder if we wear the bite marks as tokens of bravery?
Still the people cry out...obvious to everyone
"Look at its huge teeth, look at its huge claws... Look how it sits in the way...."
Eventually the beast will be so angry, it may begin to kill.
What will become of the people's bravery then? Will they have strength left to complete the course?

Are we laboring and sacrificing a sacrifice and fighting a battle we are not authorized to walk in?

Do any of us have a fullness of Light? Are any of us Son and Daughters in the correct meaning?

What we might not see is the true sacrifice required of us as found in the Book of Mormon, the only sacrifice that will save our souls and the souls of our neighbours. We need to labor in the Way as as the Lord has commanded us, When we eventually are bit by those flying serpents that are coming... We might be able to stand in that day.
Do not provoke a beast.
Have no accusation against another.
Walk a Melchizedek, the higher way rather than the Aaronic which is pointing out everyone else's flaws.
Focus of the Commandments which are saving and labor to bring others in the way.

Please forgive me of my weakness in writing. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone specific, in fact... Most of this is for myself as I remain unredeemed and still in hell trapped and chained down by my sins.

Imagine if all our blogs and words we shared online were full of Light and Truth. Imagine if all we wrote about was the invitation to come and Repent, be Baptized and get more Holy Ghost.

Eva Gore

Unknown said...

iterry, you should check this out.

iterry said...

janae, I looked at it but didn't bother to listen since I know what will be said. What is your point anyway? The scriptures are clear on this subject that the descendants of Canaan cannot hold the priesthood period. It caused the removal of the priesthood from the Church. There are no healings in the Church, the gift of the Holy Ghost is gone and other miracles are now missing as a result. I realize what the Church has said about this issue and they are lying to the members about it. Joseph Smith may have ordained one 1/8 black man by the name of Elijah Abel. He withdrew his position in the quorum after he found out he was black.

Being called a racist is the most terrifying charge in the US today. But the scriptures are clear about their status. In D&C 87 it says that they will vex the gentiles with a sore vexation. This has absolutely been fulfilled (D&C 87:5). So don't be fooled by all this the leaders caved in on this issue. It won't go back to the restriction so don't worry about that. God will have to step in now and correct the situation because that prohibition has not been lifted.

So again - what is your point?

Jared Livesey said...


You have to change the words of the scriptures, either adding to or subtracting from them, to get your reading out of the scriptures, which means you are without unambiguous scriptural support for your position - that the scriptures forbid blacks from being made members of the priesthood.

Now, for those who are reading along, do you wish people would try to contend and dispute with you to get you to agree with positions that aren't known to be true and that they can't prove to be true?

If not, then what does the golden rule imply about trying to contend and dispute with people to get them to agree with positions that aren't known to be true and that you can't prove to be true?

iterry said...

Log, I guess you therefore agree that the scriptures mean what they say they do that they are a cursed race as to the priesthood.

This isn't about the Golden rule. This is about the priesthood of God and who can and can't have it. It is very clear in Abraham that they are cursed from holding the priesthood. This has always been known in the Church. And I do not care one wit if anybody agrees with me. The genie is already out of the bottle and cannot be put back in until God corrects the situation which he will do as prophesied in Zechariah 14 as I mentioned to you. Another scripture you ignored bTW.

The reason I'm pointing this out is because of a couple of things. This ended the high priesthood in the Church. This was a result of apostasy. There was no revelation on the blacks. EG Smith was removed from his office because of it. Jimmy Carter is responsible for threatening the Church with the hammer of the Federal Government if they did not comply. Kimball being the liberal coward that he was caved in instead of relying on God to defend him and the Church. To bad, because it meant the end of the priesthood. It will be restored however when the time comes. So that is the reason I point this out. Whether you believe it or not - don't care.

Jared Livesey said...

I look in Abraham for a very clear statement - of any kind - that "they are cursed from holding the priesthood" and cannot find it; the reason I cannot find it in Abraham is because that's your spin on the scriptures, and it is not what the scriptures unambiguously say.

Your position cannot be proven from the scriptures as they are written and your position is therefore not known to be true and is without unambiguous scriptural foundation.

Do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Let your communication be yea, yea, or nay, nay, please.

iterry said...

For crying out loud Log I quoted the scriptures to you. Where does it say in Abraham 1 that they can hold the prieshood. Here is the offending scripture for you again.


Again Log is says very clearly that because of Lineage he cannot hold the priesthood. The lineage was Black as I pointed out.

What part of the word NOT can't you understanding?

Jared Livesey said...

"He cannot hold the priesthood" is not what it says. What it does say is ambiguous. The fact that you have to add to or subtract from what it does say to make it say "he cannot hold the priesthood" is simply to admit and demonstrate that I am correct in that you cannot prove your case.

I will repeat: Do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...

Log, I found this for you to examine since you obviously do not want to believe scripture. It is clear that Joseph did not want them to hold the priesthood. He may have have ordained one Elijah Abel but that is in dispute. he later removed him from the quorum. There were only a handful of Canaanites in the Church at the time of Joseph Smith, but here are two statements about the blacks and the priesthood. This conforms to Abraham 1. Your interpretation DOES NOT.

1) Saturday, May 31st, 1879, at the house of President A. O. Smoot, Provo City, Utah, Utah County, at 5 o’clock p.m. President John Taylor, Elders Brigham Young, Abraham O. Smoot, Zebedee Coltrin and L. John Nuttall met, and the subject of ordaining Negroes to the Priesthood was presented.

Brother Coltrin: The spring that we went up in Zion’s Camp in 1834, Brother Joseph sent Brother J. P. Green and me out south to gather up means to assist in gathering out the Saints from Jackson County, Missouri. On our return home we got in conversation about the Negro having a right to the Priesthood, and I took up the side he had no right. Brother Green argued that he had. The subject got so warm between us that he said he would report me to Brother Joseph when we got home for preaching false doctrine, which doctrine that I advocated was that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood. “All right” said I “I hope you will.” And when we got to Kirtland, we both went to Brother Joseph’s office together to make our returns, and Brother Green was as good as his word and reported to Brother Joseph that I said that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood. Brother Joseph kind of dropped his head and rested it on his hand for a minute, and then said, “Brother Zebedee is right, for the spirit of the Lord saith the Negro has no right nor cannot hold the Priesthood.” He made no reference to Scripture at all, but such was his decision. I don’t recollect ever having any conversation with him afterwards on this subject. But I have heard him say in public that no person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood.

2) Abraham O. Smoot also gave further testimony to Priesthood restriction from the Negro race:
Brother A. O. Smoot said W. W. Patten, Warren Parrish and Thomas B. Marsh were laboring in the Southern States in 1835 and 1836. There were Negroes who made application for baptism. And the question arose with them whether Negroes were entitled to hold the Priesthood. And by those brethren it was decided they would not confer the Priesthood until they had consulted the Prophet Joseph, and subsequently they communicated with him. His decision, as I understood was, they were not entitled to the Priesthood, nor yet to be baptized without the consent of their Masters.

In after years when I became acquainted with Joseph myself in the Far West, about the year 1838, I received from Brother Joseph substantially the same instructions. It was on my application to him, what should be done with the Negro in the South, as I was preaching to them. He said I could baptize them by consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon them. (The Church and the Negroid People, as quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, p. 11)

iterry said...

Again - Log the scripture in Abraham 1:27 says they do not have right of Priesthood and that proves my case. Joseph Smith said that they cannot hold it and that proves my case. Your case is not proved if you cannot produce a scripture that says otherwise that they can hold the priesthood. You have not proved your case as far as I'm concerned and you have not produced a scripture yet that proves it. Show me where it says they can hold the priesthood. Abraham 1 says they cannot

Jared Livesey said...

Because of course Coltrin and Smoot's very late (1879) and unsupported and unattested reminisces are relevant to the question I asked you to respond to with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

And of course Smoot and Coltrin could not possibly have been motivated to lie in their very late and unsupported and unattested reminisces in order to be seen to advance Brigham Young's preferred narratives pertaining to this very issue.

I will ask yet again: do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...

I have proved my case Log. The scriptures say very clearly they cannot hold the priesthood. The history of the Church shows that they cannot hold the priesthood and Joseph Said they cannot hold the priesthood. So i will ask you to show me a scriputre they can hold it because Abraham 1:27 clearly says they cannot.

Jared Livesey said...

There is no contemporary evidence Joseph said any such thing.

I have no case to prove. It suffices to note you cannot prove yours.

iterry said...

Log I have proven my case by Abraham 1:27. You have not proved your case as I mentioned many times. The scriptures are clear and Joseph Smith as reported by others said that they cannot hold the priesthood. The priesthood was removed then and that is clear. My case is proved yours is not.

Jared Livesey said...

Abraham 1:27 does not say they cannot be made members of the priesthood. Abraham 1:27 does not say they cannot "hold" the priesthood.

For both of those readings require additions to, or subtractions from, Abraham 1:27.

I will ask yet again: do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...


This clearly says he cannot hold the priesthood. Holding is the same thing as having Right of Priesthood. The scriptures are clear that the blacks cannot hold the priesthood. So repeat it again that you do not understand this scripture. It is very clear that they are a cursed race and cannot have right of Priesthood. My case if proved yours is not.

Jared Livesey said...

"Could not have the right of priesthood" is not the same as "cannot hold the priesthood." The phrases are different, even if both phrases involve the words "the" and "not" and "priesthood." And it is not clear that they mean the same thing. Hence, "ambiguous."

I will ask yet again: do you acknowledge that you cannot, without adding to or subtracting from the scriptures, prove your case that the scriptures teach blacks cannot be made members of the priesthood?

Please respond with a simple "yes" or a simple "no."

iterry said...

Log - those are the same thing they mean they cannot have the priesthood. No it is not ambiguous This entire chapter made the case that they are the Cursed race and cannot have right to the priesthood meaning they cannot hold it. I'm made my case and the scripture is clear. You tell me its ambiguous but it is not. It says NOT and NOT MEANS they cannot hold the priesthood. It's very clear they cannot hold it in this scripture

Jared Livesey said...

Incidentally, the phrase "hold the priesthood" or any variant thereof does not seem to exist in the scriptures. I find that significant.

iterry said...

Log, this came from Joseph Smith through revelation. Do you even believe Joseph was prophet?

Jared Livesey said...

"Log - those are the same thing"

That is unclear to me.

"they mean they cannot have the priesthood."

It's clear that ONE of those phrases means that - but not the phrase used in the scriptures.

"No it is not ambiguous"

But it is ambiguous, or this conversation would not only not be happening, but also be impossible.

"This entire chapter made the case that they are the Cursed race and cannot have right to the priesthood"

That's not what it says.

"meaning they cannot hold it."

Which is also not what it says.

"I'm made my case and the scripture is clear."

Then you have no case because you clearly are not going by what the scriptures say but adding to them or subtracting from them to get your case out of them.

"You tell me its ambiguous but it is not."

Yes, we call this phenomenon "cognitive dissonance," or, scripturally, "blindness."

"It says NOT and NOT MEANS they cannot hold the priesthood."

If only it said "can not hold the priesthood." Did you know "hold the priesthood" is not a phrase that occurs in scripture?

"It's very clear they cannot hold it in this scripture[.]"

It's unclear anyone can "hold" the priesthood in any scripture; and your position on the blacks being forbidden from being made members of the priesthood is not clearly based on anything the scripture actually says.

I don't know why you don't simply acknowledge you can't prove your case when you clearly cannot prove your case; I also don't understand what stops you from simply saying "yes" or "no" to my question.

Jared Livesey said...

"Log, this came from Joseph Smith through revelation. Do you even believe Joseph was prophet?"

Your additions or subtractions to the book of Abraham are at issue, not the book of Abraham itself.

iterry said...

Log, It is clear that they cannot hold the priesthood and this scripture tell us that very fact. Also as I mentioned the history of the Church supports this view YOURS does not. If the Church gave the blacks the priesthood from the beginning then you might have a point. They did not and they did understand this scripture. You are making in ambiguous because of political correctness and not wanting to be called a racist. There is no other explanation. I mentioned to the other lady above that the Blacks vex the gentiles with a sore vexation according to D&C 87. This is clear and you must be afraid to stand up for the truth in this matter.

You did not answer my question as to whether you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet or not. I'm assuming that you do not believe he was based on your argument.

Jared Livesey said...

There is an explanation for my observation that the scriptures do not unambiguously support your anti-black priesthood position aside from my political correctness: the scripture does not say what you say it says. The words in the scripture do not match your words, and the meanings you ascribe to the words in the scripture are not clearly what the words in the scripture means.

I find it interesting that you would make noticing the difference between what Abraham 1:27 actually says and what you say Abraham 1:27 says equivalent to rejecting Joseph as a prophet.

For I make no argument. I simply note you are adding to or subtracting from the scriptures to make your anti-black priesthood case. You deny, but then demonstrate what you deny, because I am correct in my observation that the words as they stand do not unambiguously say what you say they say - that's why you have to add to them or subtract from them, and have done so in full view of every observer here.

iterry said...

Log, That's all hogwash. It is not ambiguous and says exactly what it says that the blacks cannot hold the priesthood. You must be politically correct. Maybe you are starting a new church and need that tithing money. Whatever the reason you either accept Joseph Smith as a prophet or you don't. The prohibition came from the days of Joseph Smith not later as I pointed in by members WHO WERE THERE. You weren't there and you don't know so we have to rely on their words and more importantly the scriptures.

YOU have not made your case that the blacks can hold the priesthood, have right to the priesthood, are not of the cursed race. Joseph Smith said all these things because they were given to him from God. It's that simple.

Jared Livesey said...

I made no case at all, other than to observe that you are adding to the scriptures or subtracting from the scriptures to make your anti-black priesthood case, since the scriptures don't unambiguously say what you say they say, which is why you have to add to them or subtract from them.

And you, while loudly denying that I am correct, proceeded to do exactly what I said you were doing by adding to or subtracting from the scripture to make your anti-black priesthood doctrine appear there.

And you tried to use very late reminisces from men other than Joseph to stuff your anti-black priesthood doctrine in Joseph's mouth, where it is not only not found, but he himself ordained a black, as you admit but try to minimize the fatal wound it inflicts upon your doctrine.

If your anti-black priesthood doctrine were unambiguously found in the scripture, we'd not be having this pleasant chat.

iterry said...

Log the reason we are having this discussion is for one reason only and that is Kimball's phony revelation.

Jared Livesey said...

Or we could possibly be having this conversation because Brigham banned blacks from ordination on his own authority. That really can't be ruled out on the scriptural evidence without adding to the scriptures or subtracting from them, can it?

And since God denies none - neither black nor white - who come unto him as it is written in the Book of Mormon, and since Abraham 1:27 doesn't unambiguously forbid blacks from being ordained to the priesthood, and since Joseph never said otherwise that we can prove, and since Joseph ordained at least one black to the priesthood, we seem to have reason to consider that possibility.

iterry said...

Log the Church was keeping this commandment in Abraham 1:27 not to give the priesthood to the blacks until 1978. Joseph Smith may have given the priesthood to Elijah Abel but he is was a very light colored person being 1/8 black and so if so he was fooled. he later corrected the situation. Other than him there was none ordained and others said that they were not to be ordained as Joseph Smith Said. So this all conforms to the scripture in Abraham 1. It is not ambiguous because the Church followed that doctrine until Kimball. That false prophet faked a revelation giving the priesthood to the blacks. He was forced to have that revelation by Jimmy Carter.

That's the truth of the matter and it's very clear in the scriptures. I'm still waiting for your denial of Joseph as a prophet of God. I think the day will come when the Church will take out the PofGP and declare that it isn't scripture because of this unambiguous scripture about the blacks.

You still need to make the case that the word NOT does NOT mean NOT.

Jared Livesey said...

Two more facts - the Book of Abraham was published in 1835, and Joseph ordained Elijah Abel in 1836; six months later he was made a Seventy.

That's extremely problematic for the truth of Coltrin's statement concerning Joseph's alleged statements on this matter. I'd go as far as to say it proves Coltrin a liar.

Jared Livesey said...

It's also extremely problematic for your anti-black priesthood doctrine, which you have apparently inherited not from Joseph nor the scriptures, but from Brigham.

iterry said...

Log, I just quoted a number of early members who reported what Joseph Said so yes we can unequivocally say that this ban did not happen with Brigham Young. It came from Joseph Smith. You still ignore Zechariah 14: 21 where it says that the day will come when the Canaanite will not be allowed in the house of the Lord. This is a prophesy about us. By giving them the priesthood they are allowed into His house. The day will come when they will not be allowed in. AGAIN, this scripture is supported in Abraham 1:27 and the reports of what Joseph Smith said. The Church is lying about Brigham Young being the one who instituted this. It was not and I've proved it by scripture and by reports of the members.

iterry said...

Log - not at all I get the doctrine from the Pearl of Great Price and from Zechariah. I didn't inherit anything from Brigham Young. I don't consider him a prophet regardless - only a president of the Church and nothing more.

Jared Livesey said...

You can unequivocally say whatever you wish, apparently, except answer my question with an unequivocal "yes" or an unequivocal "no."

We have no actual firsthand contemporary witness that can lay this on Joseph. Both alleged reminisces come from 1879, and Coltrin's "testimony" is contradicted fully by Joseph ordaining Elijah Abel.

It does not arise from Abraham 1:27.

Brigham was the first to pronounce any such ban that we have actual evidence of, and he seems to have been aware of being the first.

"any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ... in him cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know it."

Jared Livesey said...

And what of Walker Lewis? The tangled webs we weave...

iterry said...

Well no that isn't true at all because the ban existed at the time of Joseph Smith as told to us by those witnesses so no I do not agree with you. Show me an ordination by Joseph Smith in 1844 if you please. Is there one? I don't know of any.

Also you do admit that according to the Pearl of Great price the blacks are a cursed race. You do admit that do you not? I mean it's not ambiguous at all where it says that vs 24... sprang that race which preserved the CURSE in the land. Do you ignore that scripture as well?

iterry said...

Log, Not tangled at all - the scriptures are clear. It is you who is tangling the web by denying the scriptures due to political correctness. You have heard of the curse of Cain right? You do know that he was cursed. That curse was carried through the flood and that is the meaning of Abraham 1:24. Anyway you look at it the blacks are a cursed race. They are denied the priesthood because of that. They are called cursed in the scriptures and the scriptures spell out very clearly who they are.

The only question that you should ask is why the prohibition to them holding the priesthood. And the answer to that obviously stems from the pre-existence. They did something there that brought on this curse. The Lamanites did something and they were cursed with a skin of blackness as well. But the descendants of Canaan are specifically mentioned as cursed to the priesthood. But why? Why are they black Log? Do you even understand or have ever heard of the curse of Cain? Can you explain to me this cursing as it says in the book of Abraham.

Jared Livesey said...

The "witnesses" are unsupported by Joseph's words as we have them from Joseph, they are unsupported - Coltrin is contradicted - by Joseph's actions as we have proof he ordained Elijah Abel as well, and the "witnesses" are very late - 1879. Therefore, we have no contemporary evidence the anti-black priesthood ban started with Joseph, we have contemporary evidence that it did not start with Joseph, and we have firsthand contemporary evidence that it started with Brigham Young. If it had started with Joseph, we would undoubtedly have heard Brigham appealing to Joseph's anti-black priesthood ban to support his own; nay, if it had started with Joseph, and if there were evidence of it starting with Joseph, Brigham would not have had reason to say "if no other prophet ever spake it before I will say it now...."

I acknowledge that the scriptures say what the scriptures say, and only what they say. Since the Pearl of Great Price does not say "the blacks are a cursed race," I do not acknowledge that the Pearl of Great Price says "the blacks are a cursed race," just as I do not acknowledge your other adulterations of the text.

Jared Livesey said...

If you understood the cursing as it says in the book of Abraham, you would not be asking me to explain it to you - so you're admitting by your actions, even if you should continue to deny with your words, that I was correct when I said your position is not known to be true and cannot be proven to be true.

iterry said...

Log, What part of the word CURSED can't you understand? This is real baffling to me. It says very clearly in verse 24 they are cursed. Moses 5 and 7 talk about the cursing of the black race. Why are they black? You haven't answered that question. Why? It is a cursing is it not? They are human you know and it is curse to be black is it not? This is also found in Genesis about the cursing of Cain. A mark was set upon him. So you can't get around this only by denying what the scriptures say and that is what you are doing.

But why do you deny the scriptures. Is it you don't want to be called a racist? Is it because of political correctness? Are you afraid of these things being labeled as such? That's my only conclusion in your case is you are afraid to acknowledge what the scriptures say. I've quoted them again and again and it's written in very plan English that they are cursed and they cannot hold the priesthood. Simple as that

Jared Livesey said...

I haven't answered your question because I haven't taken any position EXCEPT that your dogmatic anti-black priesthood doctrine is just that - dogma, unsupported by scripture and unsupported by actual evidence. Thus far, you keep saying I'm wrong and simultaneously demonstrating that I'm right.

In other words: you have no actual knowledge about what you're saying. You are spouting dogma.

If the scriptures, as actually written and not as adulterated by yourself, said in very plain English that "they are cursed and they cannot HOLD the priesthood," we'd not be having this chit-chat. It is precisely because the scriptures do not say "they are cursed and they cannot HOLD the priesthood," nor anything unambiguously synonymous with that, that this chit-chat is occurring.

iterry said...

Log, Nonsense. I understand completely what the cursing of Cain and of the descendants of Canaan is. You have not explained what it is because you can't explain it from your point of view. It is clear in the scriptures what that cursing is and your denial is very revealing. My conclusion still stands - you are afraid of being called a racist because of political correctness. Maybe you are setting up a new church and need the money and don't want to offend anybody. Fine! I can understand that. But to sit there and deny what the scriptures say and then tell me they don't say what they clearly say is absurd! This doctrine has been understood from the beginning. It's only since 1978 has it been screwed up. All this because of D&C 87 which you fail to even acknowledge that the blacks will vex the gentiles. That prophecy has been fulfilled in you.

Jared Livesey said...

In other words, I don't have to prove you wrong. All I have to do is point out that you haven't been proven right, and also that you cannot be proven right on the text and evidence we have before us.

And to do that, I don't need to take any position at all; all I have to do is point out the scriptures do not say what you say they say.

I don't need to prove, nor even have, an alternative theory to point out an existing theory is unproven and unprovable.

iterry said...

Log it says very clearly in Abraham 1 verse 24 that the curse comes through Ham. This so-called dogma comes from the scriptures and has been understood by millions of Christians until the Blacks found it objectionable and because to vex the gentiles. That's the real reason for your denial. It's nothing more than that. You have to comply with the dogma that Black is okay in order to not be called a racist or whatever. The LDS Church had it right before 1978 Joseph Smith had it right because it came by revelation and you haven't made any case using scripture or any other testimony otherwise. It is you who have twisted the scriptures. The day will come when they will be put out of the temple as it says in Zechariah which is another scripture you deny.

Jared Livesey said...

What curse? What does "the curse" mean? What is the scope, what is the effect?

The text doesn't say.

If only the scriptures ever said "the descendants of Ham cannot be ordained to the priesthood, oh, and by the way, all blacks are descendants of Ham and so all blacks cannot be ordained to the priesthood" we'd not be having this conversation. It is precisely because the scriptures cannot unambiguously be made to say this that this conversation can even be happening. And your refusal to acknowledge that your case cannot be proven without adulterating the text is simply telling me that you're not particularly concerned with what the text actually says.

When you adulterate the text by adding to or subtracting from it in order to make this "doctrine" appear therein, you are simply demonstrating what I said at the beginning. And when you deny that's what you're doing, even as you do it, well, I don't really know what you think you're accomplishing thereby. Proving me wrong, maybe?

iterry said...

Log, So far this has been a very easy debate for me because you haven't had a leg to stand on. The scriptures are clear that Cain was cursed because of his murder of Abel. The curse was passed on down to his descendants which made it through the flood of Noah and that curse was preserved in the land. The Curse was the black skin as it says in Abraham 1:24. later in verse 27 it says they cannot hold the priesthood and that is also clear. You have not made the case that there is no curse that the blacks are not cursed.

You still have not explained any of these scriptures. You've said they are ambiguous which means to me that you don't understand them. But I think you do Log. I think you know full well what they mean. You just can't acknowledge it because it means your priesthood is long gone. If you were to do so it would mean you are a racist just as Abraham, Moses and Christ are all racists. That is where the doctrine comes from direct from heaven and that is the meaning of it all.

I've proved you wrong over and over again. Prove to me that the black race are not cursed as it says. Prove to me that Cain was not cursed. Prove to me that you still have the priesthood. Prove to me that Joseph did not prohibit the priesthood being given to blacks. Explain to me these scriptures which you deny. Tell me why the blacks will be thrown out of the temple in the last days according to Zechariah. Until you can explain it instead of simply denying the scriptures then you've lost the argument. It's as simple as that. Good try though. I've seen a much better defense than yours. Just simply saying I can't understand them doesn't mean much to me. It's been fun nevertheless. Thanks

Jared Livesey said...

I have made no case at all.

The scriptures do not say "blacks cannot hold the priesthood." If the scriptures unambiguously said that, all you'd have to do is cite them and there'd have been no conversation. But what you cite does not unambiguously mean "blacks cannot hold the priesthood." So you have to alter the text to read that dogma out of it, but that's what I said you were doing at the beginning.

The scriptures never even use the phrase "hold the priesthood." Just an FYI.

I don't know why you think you've proved me wrong "over and over again" when it's not clear you comprehend that all I'm saying is that the scriptures do not unambiguously say what you say they say, and that you have to alter the text to read your dogma out of the text. Thus far, you have in fact altered the text to read your dogma out of it, and you do that precisely because the scriptures do not say what you say they say.

In other words, you are doing exactly what I said you are doing, and for exactly the reasons I said you are doing it.

I don't have to prove Joseph did not prohibit the priesthood being given to blacks because I have taken no position on whether he did or not. You're the one who's taking the position that he did, and without any actual foundation, as it turns out. There's no contemporary firsthand evidence that he did so, and there is contemporary firsthand evidence that he ordained at least one black to the priesthood. That's your problem to explain away because it fatally undercuts your position. The benefit of not taking a position is not needing to defend one.

I don't have to prove that I am a member of the priesthood, since my observation - that you are perverting the scriptures because the scriptures don't say what you say they say - has nothing to do with my association with heaven; my observation that you are perverting the scriptures only has to do with observing that the text of the scriptures doesn't match your claims about what they say.

I have nothing to explain, you see, and no position to defend. I don't have to have a position opposed to yours to note that your position is not, and cannot be, proven on the text and contemporary evidence before us.

Jared Livesey said...

Maybe Rock can explain to you what it means to have "no case to answer," since Rock is the legal scholar. The thrust of it is that when the prosecution has not, or cannot, prove their case, the defendant need not mount any defense, but move for dismissal, since there is nothing to rebut.

Likewise, in your fog of words concerning the scriptures barring blacks from being ordained to the priesthood, you have presented no case to answer. All we have to do is look at the words of the scriptures and compare them with your words to see they do not match.

So there is no need to answer you, even if I were to take a position opposed to yours.

iterry said...

Log, Odd very odd statements. The scriptures are clear that the Blacks are cursed and they cannot hold the priesthood. You can't explain it and you have no case to make. So that means you can't understand these scriptures they must be a mystery to you. Okay - well - that's fine.

My case is this - the Church departed from the faith and the apostasy was complete in 1978. They violated these scriptures by giving the blacks the priesthood or attempting to do so. Since that day the Church has been in a downward spiral deeper and deeper into apostasy.

The result of their action was the changing of the temple ordinances. The removal of the patriarchal priesthood. That ended with the removal of EG Smith. This action has caused great confusion in the Church. The members today don't understand the meaning of the House of Israel anyway. So Lucifer has won a great victory in dumbing down the saints and getting them to accept this false doctrine in the Church today.

It can't be changed of course but someday it will be as prophesied in Zechariah 14 and in Isaiah where it tells the Church to put on its strength which is the priesthood again. This is something that is lost now.

So I can see why you have no case to make Log. You have no explanation to give for a number of chapters in the Genesis, Moses, and Abraham where the history of the black race is discussed in great detail. Thanks for the discussion though.

Jared Livesey said...

Well, iterry, as I said - you are not particularly interested in what the scriptures actually say, you have to pervert them to get them to say what you wish they said, and you pervert them to get them to say what you wish they said because they don't say what you wish they said.

You're trying to sell us something that is not known to be true and cannot be proven true on the text and evidence before us.

That's why the Golden Rule is relevant.

Mosiah 23:14
14 And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.

Dox said...

Sorry, iterry, Log has you completely and utterly beat on this one, it is hilarious as an outside observer to watch you not able to see that he's knocked all of your assumptions right out from under you.

It is like you are a cartoon character who just walked off a cliff, but is hanging for a few moments in the air, not knowing he has nothing beneath him until he looks down.

iterry said...

Log, on the contrary I am very interested as to what the scriptures actually say. They say very clearly the things that I've told you they say. The Church for over 150 years followed what those scriptures said. The members reported what Joseph Smith said about this subject. But what you are doing is twisting the scriptures to say something that isn't there. I don't know your justification. Maybe what you believe is that what I've said is hate speech. That certainly is a possibility. Today of course the Church would be greatly persecuted for adhering to what these scriptures say. They would be very restricted in what they could do as a result. That is unless God intervened and brought judgment against this nation.

Take Christ for example. Most love to quote scripture that talk about His dialogue with the harlot and other sinners. I don't remember him calling them names. But what did He say to the Canaanite women? He called her a dog (Matthew 15:26). For the Lord Jesus Christ to do that would be very disturbing in your view based on your interpretation. Why would He do that? Do you have an answer or is this another scripture that you want to sweep under the rug and ignore. Other than calling the Pharisees hypocrites and calling Peter Lucifer I don't remember Christ ever calling anybody such a derogatory name, do you? Why would He do such a thing? He is obviously a racist as I've mentioned before. And yet it fits perfectly with Abraham 1, Moses 7, Genesis, Zechariah, and the like. So The preponderance of scripture on this subject all point in one direction and that is why when you tell me that these scriptures that I've quoted you are ambiguous the answer is no they aren't. They fit into a very clear pattern. And that pattern was established by the Lord and revealed to the prophets of God. You can go around and tell your story that somehow I've misinterpreted them or it doesn't say what it says but in every single case when it comes to the subject of the descendants of Cain, Ham, and Canaan it is always the same whether it is from the prophets of God both modern (Joseph Smith) or from the Lord or from the other prophets. If you can give me an example that shows this is in error I would love to see it. Thanks

iterry said...

Dox - really? So tell me your conclusion of all this. We have beat it all to death that's for sure. But where have I erred? Have you read all the scriptures I've quoted?
Can you tell me why Christ called the Canaanite a dog? I know I'm all alone on this one. Most people of my generation are alone of this and other issues in the Church today. This is because of the apostasy. Who was it that said first they will abhor it, then accept, then embrace. This has happened with many of the doctrines that have been destroyed during the apostasy. At some point the Lord has to do what He has always done and that is wipe out all the apostates and start over again. He has done that multiple times throughout the ages and this time it will be the same again. Thanks for your observation Dox and I'm well aware that I stand alone on this issue.

Dox said...

Simple, iterry, really it is amazing you can't see it.

"27 Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry;"

the plain text of the scripture hinges on the words "could not have the right of priesthood."

You want it to say "could not hold the priesthood."

It is not at all self-evident that the English words "right of" means exactly the same thing as "hold the." You want to interpret "right of" to mean "hold the," but that is not what the scripture text actually says.

Make your arguments based on exactly what the text of the scriptures say.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dagnabbit, iterry, look what you've done again!

I appreciate the words you spoke in defense of this blog, and I know this is a hot-button issue for you, but the last time you brought it up the comment section here was buried under an avalance of back and forth between you and others that caused a digression for a good couple of weeks. Can we all agree that this is a topic we aren't going to settle here, and try to steer the conversation back around to the subject of the post?

I would be a lot happier, and rather than wade through these arguments, my time would be freed up for things more important to my eternal salvation, such as watching TV.

Iterry said...

Lol well okay Rock we'll give it a rest. You are correct it won't be settled here. I only bring it up to show the depths of the apostasy and how the Church has departed from there. Enough said. Thanks.

Craig Morris said...

D&C 68

16 And if they be literal descendants of Aaron they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron;

17 For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.

18 No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron.

19 But, as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power, under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Clearly there is a difference between rights in the Priesthood and being ordained to the Priesthood.

Ryan Nickel said...

I've noticed over the last several weeks and months that the LDS church has shifted from focusing on Thomas Monson to Russell Nelson.

The media arm of the church is doing a swell the job preparing the hearts and minds of its people to accept Russell Nelson as its next prophet.

For example, Russell and his wife spoke to the youth at a devotional in January. They then spoke at a genealogy conference and now they have him featured on their blog.

I wonder what this really is telling us about the current condition and health of Thomas Monson.

Not yet dead and yet he is. We hear nothing of him. He's silent.

matt lohrke said...

After Brother Russell's comments about "oath-like indications" and "no one was ever elected as president of the church," I'm a little (a lot) leery of a President Nelson administration. Should be a good time!

SmithFamily said...

For what it is worth. Reading this post just now is like a 2nd witness of things the Lord has already told us plainly in our own home-church, personal clear revelation, and family as prophet and prophetess of our own home and temple :). Even my 11 year old gets it.

The irony gets bigger when you realize that Joseph and Hyrum were innocent of polygamy, God condemns polygamy in all scripture, yet the LDS church ignorantly in broad daylight lifts it's heel against the Lord's anointed directly through that lie published in the essays on polygamy.

Talk about a lie, and slandering one's name - just look at the LDS church's man-scholar opinion of Joseph, the greatest deception the adversary could have brought upon the saints through man-history, to deceive so many of the very elect, in exceeding fine dress, pointing the finger of scorn from the great and spacious conference center.

I do not mean to point at them, but lament how blind I was, but rejoice that God kept me aloof from it all, for decades feeling like hell going to that big conference center, or even just sitting in priesthood sessions, esp. when meeting Elder Oaks in person... the spirit said, run like hell! Took me almost 30 years to finally realize Christ's voice was there the entire time doing face palms each time I was mislead by blind leaders and men-doctrine...

God is faithful. Be deceived or follow the voice of Christ. The key now for us is to do exactly as Lehi's vision states - Cleave to the Iron Rod (aka Christ) and He alone will bring you to the Tree of Life (God's love) while learning as Lehi did, that MEN IN WHITE ROBES lead us to dark and dreary wastes, including men who teach that Jacob 2 teaches the opposite of what the Lord teaches us in it.

The church will never progress until it repents of lifting it's heel against the Lord's anointed. That I know for sure.

PureMormonismCommenter said...

Your post made me wonder if actually applying this scripture would be evil speaking of the Lord's anointed.

JST Mark 9:44-48

44 Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another.

45 Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.

46 And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.

47 It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

48 For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother, where their worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched.

The Doctor said...

Hi, Rock

I have been following and reading your blog for quiet some time, and have enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thank you for your efforts to promote pure Mormonism.

Question: What are your views on the topic that "we", that is "each one of us", is the "Holy Ghost?" Are you familiar at all with this teaching? It seems to be promoted be Denver Snuffer. I am very curious about this. For more information see this site:

I would love to see you post an essay on this, if you think it is true doctrine? I have never quiet understood how the Holy Ghost could be our "constant companion." This just might explain that.

Jared Livesey said...

Back to the post,

"Who are the Lord's anointed?"

I find this verse suggestive.

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

It suggests to me that the Lord's anointed are they who are likewise anointed with the Holy Ghost, of which John says this.

1 John 2:20, 27
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Would it not be ironic if it should chance to be that they who blaspheme against Rock (or others whom they deem to be false prophets) are by so doing evil-speaking of the Lord's anointed?

Mayhap that we should be very cautious who we deign to condemn as false prophets while holding ourselves out to be upon the Lord's errand, if he has not directly directed us to do so.

Jared Livesey said...
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Jared Livesey said...

And how could I not follow that up with this?

2 Nephi 31
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.

5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?

7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.

8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.

9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.

10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

Again, this is quite suggestive, in combination with the aforementioned verses. May I suggest that those who have yet to receive the Holy Ghost like unto Jesus Christ had ought to very carefully consider their choices to contend against and dipute with those whom they deem to be out of the way, lest they themselves should be found to fight against God, speaking evil of his anointed?

The Doctor said...


You have made mention of the Holy Ghost in your above posts. Do you have anything to say about my above post concerning the Holy Ghost, (who he is)? You will need to read my above post. Do you know anything about this? Is it false doctrine?

Jenny Harrison said...

I wanted to chime in for a moment. The blacks holding the priesthood thing is a mute point. The book of Abraham is a proven falsehood. Joseph was under an evil spirit when he 'translated' it. see I am a baptized mormon, (at the age of 8), was very devout for 40 years. Now I see the light. Believe in Jesus, God and his Holy spirit and the book of Mormon. Have had the miraculous change of heart towards all my fellowmen, and have never felt more free to love and care for all people in all my life. The church organization is wrong and has been since Joseph died.

May God bless you all,

Jared Livesey said...

@The Doctor,

1 Nephi 15:11 Do ye not remember the thing which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.

Then you will know for yourself if the teaching is true or if it be false.

lee said...

Love your blog Rock! Thanks for this post. I too wish that people would stick to the subject of the post and not go off on various tangents. We all need to keep thinking, learning, and drawing closer to Christ so we can hear His voice. Sure appreciate your research and your humor in your writings! Thanks again!

Robin Hood said...

Not a bad post Rock.
Coming from me, that is praise indeed.

Anonymous said...

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and a small, loosely-knit fellowship of believers who have been continually seeking Christ in this rapidly declining world. Those in my fellowship have maintained ties and associations with other groups gathering towards what we have believed is a common goal. We’ve enjoyed the felicity shared with these groups and have been greatly blessed by these associations.

We have all read and benefitted by the works of those vocal in this movement; namely that of Denver Snuffer. Obviously, against all of his initial pleadings otherwise, he seems to stand as the ensign or model figure in the awakening of those in and out of the Latter-day Saint community, re-centering our worship on Christ and none else.

A core of his shared message revolves around the need to remove any semblance of a “strong-man” organization, the need of diffused fellowships without any central control, and the woes and stumblings of the LDS church; namely their erred transition to a correlated structure over the past ½ century. We all agree with his observations and recognize both the failings of the LDS church as well as our need to put it and all other worldly organizations into proper perspective; centering our minds, hearts, and souls on Christ, leaving these secondary organizations in the periphery.

Anonymous said...

Yet the topics and grand announcement of a restoration scripture project made during this past weekend’s conference has raised a flag of warning and concern, as we perceived a great shift in Denver’s message and that of the collective conference. As he recounted the experience of how the project came to be it felt more like a retelling of an LDS church correlation committee meeting than one of a divinely inspired project of which we all are a part. Scriptures attaching meaning and fulfillment were all applied in hindsight while the committee's process became glorified in the re-telling.

The process reminded me personally of a quote made by Elder Russell M. Nelson when talking to BYU Hawaii students regarding the children of same-sex Mormon couples desiring baptism. This quote comes from the Salt Lake Tribune:

"Each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation," Nelson, next in line for the Mormon presidency, told the faith's young adults in the first official explanation of the hotly debated policy's origins. "It was our privilege as apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson."

Nelson explained that revelation from the Lord to his servants is a sacred process.

"The [three-member] First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counsel together and share all the Lord has directed us to understand and to feel, individually and collectively," he said. "And then, we watch the Lord move upon the president of the church to proclaim the Lord's will."

He said that protocol was followed when Monson, in 2012, announced lower minimum ages for full-time Mormon missionary service and again late last year with the new policy on same-sex couples and their children.

Another similar quote by the late Gordon B. Hinckley in 1994, wherein he talked about the process used when major action is taken by the church:

“I add by way of personal testimony that during the twenty years I served as a member of the Council of the Twelve and during the nearly thirteen years that I have served in the First Presidency, there has never been a major action taken where this procedure was not observed. I have seen differences of opinion presented in these deliberations. Out of this very process of men speaking their minds has come a sifting and winnowing of ideas and concepts. But I have never observed serious discord or personal enmity among my Brethren. I have, rather, observed a beautiful and remarkable thing—the coming together, under the directing influence of the Holy Spirit and under the power of revelation, of divergent views until there is total harmony and full agreement. Only then is implementation made. That, I testify, represents the spirit of revelation manifested again and again in directing this the Lord’s work” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 74–75; or Ensign, May 1994, 54, 59; emphasis added).

Anonymous said...

Much of Denver’s talk echoed this type of mindset and described model followed by the current LDS church. Here are some quotes from his talk, "Things to keep us awake at night” (transcribed from the audio). The bold words emphasize the similarity of the correlation committees process:

"As it turns out each group had faced essentially the same group of questions but they'd reached slightly different conclusions for good and sufficient reasons to them. But as they reasoned group had concluded that the catechisms, the questions and answers ought to be eliminated gave voice to the argument .....he found value in as a consequence of that discussion group was aware ....and the other group was unaware of that...and therefore they reached agreement that was the way it ought be done."

We don’t disagree on the premise of the scripture project. We are humbled and grateful for the hours of work each of those on the respective committees have donated to this great cause. Our concern lies in the following:

1) The committee members. We do not want to condemn or judge. Plainly said, we are concerned by the reputation of some of the members associated with the project from personal experience with them. It brings to mind the words of Alma to his son, when he said, “O my son, how great iniquity ye brought… for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.” (Alma 39:11). We have discussed this and feel to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” However, if this project had been undertaken with common consent, we feel it would have started with the election of a committee instead of having a group of individuals take it upon themselves to work it out.

2) Denver concludes by saying: “Sustaining is planned to happen at the next conference after a chance has happened of a review of the material. This is necessary for the gentiles to claim they have accepted a covenant and a law (2 Ne. 30). Everyone is free to vote when we have reached the end of the line. And they're free to reject it. But if there is some small group who are willing to enter into that covenant, whatever that number is, that will be sufficient. And I hope those who remain opposed will allow those willing to enter into a covenant to depart in peace. Because we've allowed the LDS church or any of the other various sects of Mormonism to depart in peace. I hope that those willing to vote are likewise given the opportunity to depart in peace.”

This quote says that we have a vote, but alludes that to voice disagreement with the process demonstrates opposition and a lack of desire to enter into a covenant. Which is not the case. It feels like those who have concerns with the process aren’t being persuaded (D&C 121), but rather cornered into accepting things as they transpired as totally and wholly inspired. A brief paraphrase of the message is, “we’ve done this work. Accept it and be saved. Reject it at your own peril.” That doesn’t sit right with us.

Our group patiently waits upon the Lord, while filling our time with doing good and helping those around us. We are excited by the prospects presented in the conference and have petitioned the Lord for guidance in this matter. The result of that petition is this letter.

It is not our intent to criticize or complain; but to highlight some incongruities with the way it came about in direct contrast to many of the principles taught by Denver during his 40 Years in Mormonism lecture series, along with others who have been sharing similar concerns.

If you would like specifics on places wherein contradictory comments have been made, we would gladly work on compiling such. However, we felt it shouldn’t be necessary as all of those involved on the committees are most likely aware of these comments themselves.

Thank you for hearing us out as we all strive to come to a unity of the faith.


-A fellowship of believers

Jared Livesey said...

There is much to think about.

matt lohrke said...

Rob made some interesting comments on this over at

I tend to agree with his point of view.

Robin Hood said...

Notwithstanding my previous comment, I would draw your attention to a couple of inconsistencies in your article.
The first is where you state "If I am in the wrong, I want to have it pointed out to me so that I can immediately correct that wrong".
This is very far from my experience with you Rock. I know you don't like to be reminded of it, but your behaviour regarding your Area Seventy = general authority claim clearly demonstrates that statement to be more pretended than real. It is a false statement. And that is not slanderous because it is true.

You also accuse your contributors (ericnsabrina) of slander against you ("That, my friend, is slander") when it clearly wasn't, based on the definition you gave a couple of paragraphs earlier. You claimed that slander is "untruths with the intent to defame". Clearly, ericnsabrina did not do that.

Just sayin......

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Anonymous said...

Here is a letter we sent to Adrian in the comment section of the restoration scriptures post. We have had some back and forth with him and this letter is the result of those conversations:

Dear Adrian,

We want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Please accept our apology for the anonymity. It is not out of cowardice but to protect some of those involved and if it weakens our points, it must remain.

Please know with 100% assurance that we want to do right in the sight of the Lord. Since the scripture announcement the covenant has been on our minds, in our fasting, and in our continual prayers day and night. We don't take this lightly. Typing leaves out the expression of our voice and the feeling of our motives. Our desire is the Lord. Our intent is to make sure we don't become what many of us have left behind - the corporate LDS Church. And when we see things that remind us of that past life, familiar feelings return and we come to a screeching halt and question inconsistencies which may appear faithless to some.

We can see that we have not yet been able to articulate our main issue. We have come up with an analogy that is incredibly poor but the very best we could illustrate with. Here it is:

Let's say that the Lord tells you to go to McDonalds and place an order (covenant). Through the scriptures He tells you that one day you will need to order the hamburger with everything on it (the fullness of the scriptures aka the full revision of the Bible by Joseph Smith). You will also need to get a water (the covenant of the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 21).

You go to McDonalds and a group of men who own the eatery (scripture committee) stand and your conversation goes like this:

You: I'd like a hamburger with everything on it and a water please.

The group of men: Sure - no problem. Here's your happy meal.

You: The Lord told me that I needed a hamburger with everything on it and a water ONLY. I don't need the happy meal.

The group of men: Yes, okay. This is how you have to take the hamburger and water. We have spent a long time working on the happy meal concept and the french fries, toy, and sliced apples complete the meal.

You: Can you show me where the Lord directed that there should be a combo-happy meal? All I can see is He said "hamburger with everything on it and a water". I LOVE all this extra stuff. But it's not what the Lord is asking of me. You will lose my business if you force me to accept MORE than what the Lord counseled me to order.

The group of men: You must take it all or face peril. It was from the Lord.

You: Can you show me where the Lord declared I must have the Happy Meal for my salvation?

The group of men: We obtained it. Go and pray about it and receive your own confirmation.

You: Sure. Okay, can you show me BY the scriptures? All I can find is that He wanted 1. A Hamburger with everything on it, and 2. A water. If you can prove to me, using the scriptures, that the Lord wants me to order the Hamburger and Water WITH the combo-Happy Meal. I will do it.

The group of men: .......

As you can see, that example was very inadequate. But we are seeking to align all things with the scriptures. This is why we left the LDS church. Things don't align with scripture. PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: When the Happy Meal Combo aligns with scripture - You.Will.Have.Consensus. En masse. This issue SHOULD NOT be sifting people. What sifts people is when there is no foundation in the scriptures to support the command. WE WANT TO COVENANT. WE WANT TO BE THE LORD'S PEOPLE. Prove it with the scriptures. PLEASE.

Sincerest thanks for your time.

-a fellowship of believers

Jarodious Badger said...

I would like to preface this writing by stating clearly that I do not know whether or not Denver Snuffer Jr. is truly the messenger of the Lord he claims to be. I am on the fence about it. I am convinced that he is sincere, but perhaps deceived. I am deeply grateful for the research and writing he has done on a multiplicity of topics. The trouble I am having is that as I compare him with Joseph Smith Jr. and other biblical prophets, I see several discrepancies, just as I see several discrepancies between LDS apostolic leaders and the scriptural precedents which have been set.

First of all, let’s take a close look at Joseph Smith Jr.’s prophetic legacy.
1. When Joseph was called as a prophet he received several visitations and visions which he described in detail. He did not hesitate to witness of the things he experienced as his own experiences.

2. He publically accepted the titles of prophet, seer, revelator, translator, apostle, high priest, and president.

3. His testimony was repeatedly sealed with great personal sacrifice from beginning to end.

4. He translated The Book of Mormon and published it by faith and great sacrifice.

5. He received direct revelations from Jesus Christ which he shared and published in the Doctrine and Covenants.

6. He received priesthood from heavenly messengers (John the Baptist, and others) by the laying on of hands which was shared and witnessed by another man, Oliver Cowdery.

7. He was commanded to ordain others as teachers and priests.

8. He organized a church after the pattern outlined in the Book of Mormon.

9. He received keys and authority in the form of teachings and commandments which he published to the church in the Doctrine and Covenants. These teachings and commandments harmonized with the Bible but were revolutionary principles to the Christian community at large.

10. He performed many miracles, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, and speaking in tongues.

11. Joseph was sustained by his wife and family throughout his life. His parents and siblings were baptized and received callings in the church. With a few exceptions, they stood by him to the end and were fiercely loyal to him.

12. Joseph had success helping others to ascend spiritually. The three witnesses received angelic visitations. Sidney Rigdon beheld with Joseph the vision of the three degrees of glory. Joseph’s father and brother Hyrum were ordained patriarchs and manifested great spiritual gifts, most especially the gift of prophecy. We have testimonies of great spiritual manifestations experienced in connection with the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Of course, Joseph was in the end summarily rejected by the church, so we never got to see the fruition of the blessings the Lord promised via his Servant Joseph.

Jarodious Badger said...

Now let’s compare Joseph Smith Jr. with Denver Snuffer Jr.
1. Denver claims to have received several visitations and visions, some of which he now claims to be encapsulated in his book, Come, Let Us Adore Him. He seemed rather hesitant to state that what he describes in this book was seen by him in vision. Beyond that, I am not aware of Denver describing in detail any of his visitations or visions; certainly he has not described anything of that nature that was singular or unique or new. He claims that he could reveal many great and marvelous mysteries, but he never does.

2. Denver takes the titles and authority of messenger and teacher. As far as I know he has not directly or publically claimed any other titles; although he implies constantly that the associated spiritual gifts and authorities of many of the ancient prophets and patriarchs are his. Indeed, he now claims to have received a new dispensation as a legal administrator for a future covenant. Unlike Joseph, he is not open or direct about these things, but he constantly implies.

3. Denver is a successful attorney. We presume that he makes a comfortable living. He has personally financed the printing of his books and has traveled about the country giving lectures at his own expense, refusing the monetary offerings of others to help defray costs. He can easily afford to do this. He has suffered rejection, humiliation, and excommunication within his LDS community. So far he has not been imprisoned, tarred and feathered, run out of town, bankrupted, or ruined at the hands of traitors or mobs. I guess there is still time for that, though I certainly do not wish any of these things upon him. I just point out that, historically, most prophets have had to suffer these kinds of things. Part of what makes them called and loved of the Lord is their willingness to do this. I presume Denver would be willing to make any sacrifice the Lord required of him; I just haven’t seen any evidence of that yet. Denver keeps claiming grand spiritual experiences and unique favor with God; I just can’t get the question out of my head as to what did he do to merit all that?

4. Denver has produced what he calls the Book of John. As far as I know he has offered no statements as to how this book came into being. Is it a translation, revelation, inspired interpolation? The document offers no explanation! Those sections which he originated have phraseology, syntax, and doctrine which are inconsistent with the other samplings we have of John’s writings; they are very consistent with Denver’s writings; they have Denver written all over them. Another oddity is that we have received no witnesses as to the book's divine origins, as were offered with the Book of Mormon. Denver has not been upfront about this book, which bothers me. Otherwise, Denver has not translated anything or produced any ancient scriptures as a sampling of his prophetic ability.

5. Denver has not published or made available any revelations like Joseph did. How am I to judge the product on whether or not it is scripture if there is no product to judge? All of Denver’s new revelatory announcements have been original to Denver and entirely inconsistent with scripture. That there be no church organization, that the sustaining of seven women be required for this and that, that there be no teachers or priests ordained, etc.—all of this is inconsistent with the patterns the Lord has previously established.

Jarodious Badger said...

6. Denver indirectly claims to have received priesthood from both Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father; but without any witnesses or corollary revelatory pronouncements where the Lord vouches for him. Anytime anyone else publically states they have had visitations or visions, Denver has to always one-up them and say things to reestablish his preeminence as the new dispensation head. Like most gurus, he decries all other would-be gurus.

7. As far as I know, Denver has not ordained any teachers or priests or created any organization other than a loose affiliation of fellowships that he claims must follow his instructions from the Lord in order to be legit.

8. Denver goes through all the actions of a High Priest and prophet but claims no title and no church. This is an ingenious way of maintaining unshared dominion and authority over the restorationist movement within his sway. There are no other organizational leaders to compete with him. Denver’s unorganized church organization is contrary to the pattern established in the Book of Mormon. This is not an example of how to say and do as written in the Book of Mormon.

9. Denver has done an excellent job researching doctrine and historical topics and writing about it. He is a master researcher and writer. But I don’t see any doctrine or scripture that sheds further light upon the gospel more than what is already found in the scriptures. Again, there is no sampling of new revelation from which to judge whether or not he really is a true messenger. His inconsistencies and contradictions, however, suggest that he is not.

10. I am not aware of Denver ever performing any miracles at all. Again, by what outward manifestations am I to judge? I admit he is a brilliant scholar and writer. But what of it? That does not prove he is a true messenger or prophet.

11. I must say I find it very odd that Denver still attends LDS Sacrament Meeting with his wife every Sunday. I also find it odd that neither his wife nor any of his children or immediate family have been rebaptized as he has prescribed should be done by all true believers. Joseph’s wife and family were very devoted to him as a servant of the Lord. I don’t see that with Denver at all. Denver also has other long-time friends who do not buy his story. Those who know him best don’t seem to believe him. Sorry, but that seems very fishy to me.

12. To Denver’s credit, I have heard of several individuals who have been edified by Denver’s teachings, myself included. I have heard testimonies of visions and manifestations experienced by those who have been edified by Denver’s teachings; but I have not witnessed or heard of any sanctifying experiences comparable with those recorded in the Book of Mormon or New Testament. The product of Denver’s ministry thus far has been anti-climactic. Of course, maybe as things unfold time will tell a different story. If the new covenant Denver is hoping to offer this September bears any good fruit then I will certainly be willing to revisit the possibility that his authority and divine commission is legit; until I see anything of this sort, I must remain skeptical.

Jarodious Badger said...

I must say I do not enjoy writing any of this. I have great respect, good feelings, and deep gratitude for Denver. He has been kind to me. I consider him a friend. But the gravity of what we are dealing with here compels me to speak my mind.

The Denver phenomenon appears to me to be just another cult of personality, showing many signs and wonders that, if it were possible, will deceive even the very elect, according to the covenant. He is polished at walking the walk and talking the talk, aside from a few spontaneous bursts of profanity—which in itself is rather unsettling coming out of the mouth of one who claims to frequent the society of Gods and angels.

Do the math. Thing’s just don’t add up.

Sorry again for being so blunt. I don't like being this way. But truth matters. Let the light of truth shine where it matters most. I do not claim to have arrived at truth; these are just my observations, but I think they are logical and truthful from my own perspective.

If not Denver, who? If not now, when? If not this, how?

What we need most is more love and prayers.

I believe that very soon the Lord will begin preaching His own sermons by the judgments He will pour out. Then we will learn how to love and pray ever so much more! Then maybe we will be ready for the heavens to truly open.

With love in Christ,


Adrian Larsen said...

Hey Jared,

I think your criticisms are misplaced; you’re missing the mark.

You open by saying you truly don’t know and you’re on the fence, but you then present your case against Denver and close with the assertion that the math just doesn’t add up. It’s clear your statement of “on the fence” is merely a ruse to sound even handed and fair when you start with a foregone conclusion. It isn’t fooling anyone.

You have already distributed a letter affirming that Denver is deceived and a false messenger. Why pretend to be on the fence? Why not just state what you think and prove your case?

Further, you accuse this “movement” of being a cult of personality, and yet your whole piece consisted of nothing but comparing two messengers—in other words, focusing on the personalities, rather than the message. That’s the very definition of cult of personality.

And if you want to follow that route, you could spend all night finding differences between messengers. Joseph was a farmer, Denver isn’t. Joseph had leg surgery, Denver didn’t. Joseph’s father held the office of patriarch, Denver’s didn’t. Joseph ministered as a young man, Denver ministers as an older man. And so on.

And so what?

It’s the message, not the messenger. Christ said to judge by the fruits, not the lifestyle, family, vocabulary, practices, origins, church attendance, or habits of the messenger.

You could play this same unfruitful game by comparing any two true messengers. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, but Christ lived in a town. John’s father was a legitimate priest in a priestly line, Christ’s earthly father was an unrecognized descended of a defunct kingly line. And so on.

And so what?

In the end, you have not provided anything to prove your case that the Lord did not send Denver as an authorized messenger, bearing the Lord’s message. You can speak of titles, occupations, priesthood, privacy, family, scholarship, etc., all you want. But it never addresses the question before us.

Every messenger is different from every other messenger. So what?

In every age of the world, people have always rejected current prophets by holding up prior prophets. People rejected Christ based on their understanding of Moses. You reject Denver based on your thoughts about Joseph Smith. Is that the right approach?

It’s the message, not the messenger. The more you focus on the messenger, the more you are caught up in the cult of personality and ignoring Christ’s command to judge by fruits.

As for me, I frankly don’t much care about any of the items you’ve pointed out. I’ve spent years evaluating the message, and have found it filled with light and truth. The Lord has confirmed this to me. And that’s what matters, at least to me. Denver, whoever he is, speaks the words of Christ.

Jarodious Badger said...


You make me sad. If you are trying to be misunderstanding and judgmental you are doing a great job. You think you can see right into my mind and heart by judging evil of me. This is not productive; it is just hurtful.

Last night as I said my prayers and continued to pray as I fell asleep, I prayed that the Lord would somehow make it known to me whether or not Denver was legit. I believe I was sincere.

For me the math does not add up, but I posted my concerns because I doubt my own logic. I had hoped that those fully persuaded by Denver would be able to help me see things logically from their perspective. All you have managed to do is tell me that comparing Denver to Joseph doesn't matter and that you don't care about the questions or concerns I posed. At least, that is what I got out of it.

I was sincere when I said I was on the fence. Right now the facts that I see do not point to Denver being a true messenger; but I defer final judgement because I'm humble enough to know that I see so little. If you see more, please share.

I loved Denver's books. I loved his lectures, except for the 0.1 percent which seemed to contradict scripture. I love Denver. I consider him a friend. I hate not being able to immediately raise my hand to the square to sustain him as you seem to. I feel really really bad saying to his face that my current thought is that he is mistaken and deceived in some things. Doing such a thing was never in my heart.

On the whole I am willing to accept anyone's testimony who testifies of Christ, admonishes faith and repentance, and makes a stand for established scripture. But when someone starts claiming the authority of a dispensation head and mediator of a new covenant then it seems critical that I look much deeper; after all, my eternal salvation is on the line! Part of looking deeper is that I make appropriate comparisons, not the silly comparisons you have unwittingly contrived, but logical comparisons by which one can identify patterns denoting truth.

Prior dispensation heads have manifest the power of God. They reveal things anew. They manifest a prophetic product which is fresh and which adds new light. Right now, I just don't see that with Denver. He has produced thousands of pages of truth-filled commentary, and maybe that should be sufficient by itself, but right now I just don't see it that way.

By their fruits ye shall know them. So far, I have not seen much in the way of good fruit from Denver's preserve the restoration movement. Mostly I've seen lots of fighting and self-righteous behavior by lots of people who can't stand a differing opinion. This hardly seems honest.

So for now I must watch, wait and pray.

When I can see something, anything, shining in the distance that even remotely looks like Zion, you can be assured I will make my way there as quickly as possible. If I do and if you have already found your way their first, I hope you will be willing to welcome me with love, forgiveness, and friendship. For my part, I still love you and consider you a friend.


Adrian Larsen said...

Hi Jared,

I appreciate your kind response.

If your mind is not made up and you are indeed struggling, as you have said, then such a struggle is obviously a personal one between you and the Lord. The fact that you have already proclaimed Denver deceived, combined with your obvious desire to bring public notice to your viewpoint by publishing a lengthy list of your problems with Denver, all makes it seem that rather than trying to sort out the issue yourself, you are instead trying to persuade others that Denver is a false messenger.

In other words, it’s one thing to struggle internally and seek answers. It’s quite another to publicly post your objections in an obvious attempt to dissuade others from believing. No, I am not trying to be misunderstanding and judgmental. I have only applied the evidence you have shared and used your own statements. You clearly have reached your conclusion and intend to persuade others that Denver is deceived. And you are attempting to do it by analyzing everything but Denver’s actual message. This is misguided.

You’ll notice I have not made any response to the things you sent out privately. But when you post publicly, you can expect to have your arguments scrutinized and counterpoints made publicly. This is not intended to be unkind or to make you sad, as you have said. It is designed to provide another point of view so that those who actually are still struggling to find answers won’t be misled by your approach.

If you really aren’t sure whether Denver is a faithful messenger, you really should stop trying to convince others he is not.

I, too, hope we both find ourselves in Zion and can embrace as brothers. Until then, I recommend extreme caution in attacking what the Lord currently has underway. Your efforts to persuade others, should they prove erroneous, may yet have permanent consequences.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I confess to not being up to speed on the present controversy regarding the new scriptures, etc, due it illness, so I'm not qualified to join in the discussion. I have not even read most of the comments that have come in the past week to ten days. So I bet your indulgence. I am feeling somewhat better now, and will read them all within the next few days.

Shortly after I posted this piece, "Evil Speaking of the Lord's Annointed," I began to notice a growth on my left neck under my jaw, which continued to grow and get ever more painful until eventually I took myself to the emergency room. Turns out I have come down with Acute Lymphatic Something-Something, so I was given a boatload of antibiotics, sent home, and instructed to come back if it gets worse (it did, but I didn't go back, and now it's receding).

Anyway, this isn't going to kill me (darn it!) and I'm gradually recovering, but that's all by way of apologizing for not keeping up here and especially only being vaguely aware of what everyone on this comment section seems to be talking about right now. I'm not qualified to weigh in myself, because I'm not sufficiently informed. Sorry, but I was just in so much pain I didn't feel like reading.

I have been made aware, however, that this morning Denver Snuffer posted a statement and explanation that I would assume should allay some concerns people have expressed here and elsewhere. You can find it in the download section of his website. Scroll down to the bottom of the pdf section. Or simply cut and paste this into your browser:

I've received emails asking my opinion, and since I don't have one, I will refer instead to Denver's further exegesis on the matter.


Underdog2 said...

PART 1 of 3 (or 4):

Since, the topic is evil speaking of the Lord's anointed, and since Rob Smith publicly responded to the recent St. George Conference with criticism (in his post called "We Follow a Man Whom We Call a Prophet"), I wanted to share my response to several of Rob's comments.

Let me say that I've read Rob's book "Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men", and I find value and truth in many of his blog posts.

But I learned something important about Rob, and that is that he's very confused. I marvel at how this could be; because he's given such good and often inspired insights. I also learned that he's very annoyed that HE isn't as widely received as Denver. That REALLY bothers him. I didn't know this about Rob until he exposed himself with that post.

My commentary (Rob's statements in quotation marks; mine without quotation marks):

“We should not look for true messengers, or disqualify messengers as false.”

What?! Did he just say that?

I think we SHOULD look for or be on the lookout for true messengers, as Adam demonstrates in the temple. After all, faith does come from hearing the word of God from chosen vessels. (Moroni 7).

“We should not listen more to people (ministers, spiritual giants, popes, priests) we assume are righteous. We should not listen less to people we assume are wicked. Instead, we ought to try all things and hold fast to what is true.”

I don’t have unlimited time. So I must not waste my time. Therefore I will listen less to people I perceive as false or wicked, as Rob says. But I will still acknowledge that wicked people may say truth, and that a true messenger is fallible. Consequently I will read less of Rob now, and more of Denver, and as BOTH correctly advise, I will strive to draw closer to God by trying to hear His voice more.

“I write to draw your attention to the fact that you are based on the same LDS doctrine that you have claimed to reject: "We follow a man whom we call a prophet.""

Yes, Rob, we are giving heed to a man we regard as a true prophet... or "messenger" or "servant" seems to be the word of choice these days. And there is plenty of precedent that heeding the words of a true servant is a good thing, if the messenger is true. Nephi “followed” Lehi out of Jerusalem. Others heeded Nephi’s warnings to leave the land of Nephi. Yet others gave heed to Mosiah’s dreams and visions and fled their homeland (Omni 1:12), and in Moses’ day, many “followed” him, etc. The key is whether or not they are a true messenger. I think Rob’s upset that he doesn’t have as big a “following” as Denver. It’s ironic that Rob’s even worried about having following in the first place, when Denver has publicly stated he’d rather be doing something else, and not have the responsibilities that have been placed upon him.

“The consideration of Denver Snuffer's revelations and opinions as the supreme authority in doctrine, the requirement of having 7 supporting women to baptize, the organization of "fellowships", paying of tithing into fellowships, saving money for a temple, and the creation of new scriptures. Which of these tenets are authorized by "the doctrine of Christ" verse?”

Bad question at the end. What is he even talking about with that question? Very confused.

“Where is the care for the poor (external to the hand-picked fellowships)?”

Does Rob honestly think people aren't using their tithing to help folks outside of fellowships? Where would he get that notion? There's ZERO doubt many people are taking care of poor outside fellowships, but Rob should know that even IN Zion there’s no mandate to care for poor OUTSIDE Zion. The fact he's asking this question demonstrates he's not thinking clearly.

Underdog2 said...

Part 2 of 3 (or 4):

“You have swallowed a camel but omitted the weightier matters.”

What weightier matters? He's the wise one who must illuminate us? Putting together scriptures qualifies as pretty weighty in my humble opinion. As does trying, or even contemplating establishing Zion. What about the Temple? What about preparing to receive a covenant, the terms of which the Lord is about ready to reveal? That's pretty weighty stuff, but Rob wants to criticize those beneath him.

“Which of you regularly entertains the Lord and his angels? Which of you walks with the power to heal the sick? Which of you ranges the earth to bless to Lord's children temporally and spiritually?”

His point? Though some are seeing miracles, it is true we are in an awful state (Ether 8 and Moro 7:38). God help our unbelief.

“The strength of a godly movement is its contribution in breaking down false traditions, not its construction of new ones.”

What false traditions does he allege are being constructed? The seven women deal (which I feel is fair and reasonable and done in the spirit of preventing corruption)? Fellowships? Using tithing as directed by the Lord?

“Isn't is odd that those who focus the most on doctrines purportedly revealed by Joseph later in his life have failed to achieve the experiences he had as a young man without any of those?”

This is a very judgmental, snide thing to say. That’s not gentleness, meekness, kindness, love unfeigned. I have heard contrary reports from Denver, but whatever the case, obviously we all need to repent and turn towards God.

“Why put new wine in old bottles?”

He’s so very confused still. He doesn’t appear to view the LDS Church as the “old bottles.” Denver is choosing to not reform the LDS Church since it has rejected him, i.e., Denver is not putting new wine in old bottles. That's the whole point of this movement. He's confused.

“Are you seeking God, and evaluating each message from every purported messenger for his voice, or are you wholesale swallowing everything that comes from Denver Snuffer?”

He is correct here -- FINALLY. He sounds like Denver here. He sounds wise. But the counsel I've heard OVER and OVER is we that DON’T and SHOULD NEVER wholesale swallow anything. Here he exposes himself as one who belittles those who have a different viewpoint from him.

“Do you accept Denver's teaching because the Spirit witnesses of their truth, or because you are impressed by his claims of heavenly visitations?”

This is a good question! EVERYBODY should be asking this question!

“If you can't recognize someone claiming to be a prophet, why would you bother to determine if what they say is true or false?”

What? Very confused. He’s arguing to not examine the teachings (fruits) of a man, which is how you determine if the man is a true prophet or not. “By their fruits ye may know them.” But he ridicules the principle of how to judge, which is to examine the teachings.

Underdog2 said...

Part 3 of 3 (or 4):

“Are you aware that men are constantly lured from the straight and narrow path by soothing messages and the drive for community (THIS IS TRUE!), and that those on the true path will always be lonely outcasts who have successively left the consensus position?”

“Lonely outcasts”? He apparently believes Denver is hugely popular, and is the “consensus position”! When the reality is that DENVER is the outcast and NOT the consensus position. Rob holds himself up as a light, and casts HIMSELF as the lonely outcast! His perception of reality is confused. I feel bad for the guy, because Jacob (Chapter 4) explains that the Spirit “speaketh of things as they really are,” and yet Rob Smith doesn't grasp reality. He’s in some alternate reality and sincerely believes his perception is truth. That’s a very dangerous place to be in.

His last quote above is the most damning. It exposes what he really feels deep in his heart. Rob truly believes Denver is a fraud and is popular (having the “consensus position”) when Denver is the one who’s been shunned and excommunicated and ridiculed, or as the BoM says, has been "cast out" and "stoned" figuratively. Denver is the one saying he’s nothing special and he wants to be left alone and that everybody should keep their eye on Christ, and that everybody should rise up and be a prophet him/herself, just as Moses exclaimed.

“I'm not really sure why people in this movement are so intent on insisting that they don't have a prophet and they aren't a church.”

Rob, we DO say he is a prophet, or “messenger” or “servant”. And the remnant movement (that I’m aware of) isn’t and won’t ever be an incorporated institution (church). So what is Rob talking about? Very confused he is!

“They certainly regard one man (and only one man's) connection with God as superior to anyone else's.”

Sour grapes! Really, his name is Rob “Sour Grapes” Smith. It's painful to watch himself unravel in full view because I HAD held him in high esteem. Would Rob also be critical of Lehi, Nephi, Alma and his son and Helaman and his son, in short, any and all true prophets?

He seems to just be jealous of Denver. He reminds me of Satan throwing a temper tantrum when Moses wouldn’t worship him (Moses 1:19). The Scripture says Satan obnoxiously whined and ranted and pleaded to have Moses worship him. This is EXACTLY how Rob Smith is unwittingly acting, by going public with his criticism (evil speaking) and holding himself up as a light. He wants glory and attention and the praise of man. I guess he is jealous because he THINKS Denver is vainly soaking up the praise of man, not understanding that Denver is obeying the Lord’s command, and would prefer to not have the burden placed upon him.

“That is correlation. If you don't like calling yourself a church, fine, but it doesn't change what you are doing.”

What on earth is Rob talking about? In the LDS Church, the CCC (Church Correlation Committee) decides everything from the manuals being published, to what’s being taught when, to what’s being said in General Conference, etc. The CCC micromanages in such a top-down manner that would delight any totalitarian dictator in history or modern times. Rob is truly confused by alleging the Scripture project or anything done in the remnant movement is remotely analogous to the CCC’s correlation.

I gotta believe Rob is sincere, but if he is, then he's just confused and infected with great pride. He reminds me of that 1981 Packer BYU training where Elder Packer instructs historians and teachers to cover up unfavorable Church history. Only a man who is sure of the justness of his cause would ever attempt to give such an evil, public dictate, but the man would also have to be completely oblivious that he was exposing himself publicly as a tyrant inflicting great harm on the minds and faith of the people.

Underdog2 said...

Part 4 of 4:

After all the disparaging comments/ tone he left above, Rob then tries to play nice with Denver by saying Denver has been nice to him, and that he believes he’s sincere, and then announces the target of his criticism are people like Adrian Larsen (whom he had named earlier): Rob says, “It seems that what is wrong with this movement comes from his sycophants and not [Denver]”.

At St. George, Denver said, and I paraphrase, that impostors will increasingly expose themselves. He said this is a good thing, because they need to be exposed. It's better that happens now than later. I can see the wisdom in announcing an upcoming vote. There is opposition in all things, and this announcement of the purpose of the Sept 2017 Conference has already triggered opposition in a major way. Rob is just one voice who opposes. There will be many. Rob attempts to deflect criticism from Denver, but his critical tone is unmistakable, and his post (which is the object of my commentary) truly manifests what Rob believes.

Like Denver says, I hope non believers would just allow believers to depart and live in peace. Sadly, like in Joseph's last vision, the spirit of the devil doesn't allow for departing in peace. A knife fight broke out, but Joseph managed to slip out of the barn.

It's not hard to predict. Knife fights (violence) will be a part of our future and our faith is that God will step in as he did with Pharaoh's army. Denver even mentioned this aspect of our future, in his post a couple days ago: "[The Lord] has at His disposal lightning, pestilence, famine and earthquakes. (D&C 43:25.) He has warned of a coming time when there is burning, desolation and lamentation. (D&C 112:24.) He has always planned to have covenant people survive that with His protection."

Rob said...

Hi Everyone,
1. The hatred in Underdog's comments are, regrettably, the most common "fruit" of this movement. That is not Denver's, Adrian's, or anyone else's fault. It's still very sad to see.

2. I have many friends in the movement that are active or prominent. Issues, doctrines, and policies can be discussed without bringing into question the character of people like Denver, Adrian, or many others. When you love someone, and you believe they are operating in a way that reduces their interaction with God, you try to help them even if it endangers your friendship with them, and even if it gives space for the devil to act through people like Underdog.

3. On Denver's comment about imposters exposing themselves. You'll find that quote in Denver's reply to me which I posted on my blog. He wrote that to me in reference to my saying that some close to him are doing to his movement what John C. Bennett, Oliver Cowdery, and Sydney Rigdon did to Joseph's. I deleted that part of the email because I didn't feel (and don't feel) it was charitable to name names. If these people don't know who they are already, my naming them won't help them repent.

I won't be back to this post, so replies to me here will be limited to venting your frustrations.

Rock, I'm sad to hear your health has taken a hit again. I hope you get better soon.

Underdog2 said...


Ouch! Of the devil I am? I'm sorry I offended you so. Was there no truth in anything I mentioned? Was there just devilish hatred? If no truth and no love, I do apologize. And I do forgive you for the malice you've expressed. After all, we may be living together some day.

Btw, I liked your post today. Much better in tone! You focused on specific teachings rather than name calling, and did a much better job of avoiding a condescending, prideful tone which overshadowed the post I took issue with. I liked your book too, which I've read with profit.

It's ironic that you call what I said inspired by hatred and then immediately demean (express hatred and condescending impatience toward) "the movement" as you are prone to do. Could you be mistaking disagreement with your attitude as "hatred"? Maybe you're not as holy and right as you think you are? Could you have an elitist attitude that you might want to reconsider?

Perhaps you don't like being called out after you call out the "sycophants"? 1 Nephi 16:2 says the "guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center."

You said, "When you love someone, and you believe they are operating in a way that reduces their interaction with God, you try to help them even if it endangers your friendship with them, and even if it gives space for the devil to act through people like Underdog."

You just provided yet another example of vicious name calling. That's very jarring, contentious, and offensive, don't you think? Have you been moved upon by the Holy Ghost to make that judgment (DC 121:43)?

You say you're trying to help people you "love" who are "operating in a way that reduces their interaction with God," like Denver or his "sycophants." That's pretty bold. What I would suggest to you is to stay in harmony with the Lord's teachings in DC 121 because no influence ought to be maintained except ..."by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy."

Denver's letter to you showed Christ-like love to you. He was so kind, and his kindness was a stark contrast to what you offered originally. It's night and day. That is fruit worth noting, on both sides.

I still didn't see the slightest spirit of concession anywhere from you, i.e., humility. That's alright. It's a journey. And I quickly forgive because I got a beam in my own eye.

I like much of what you share, and hope to persuade you to be more loving, less judgmental, less "holier than thou", and less condescending towards those you disagree with. I bet you've heard this feedback before. What I'm saying is not hatred, my brother (1 Nep 16:2).

In Christ,

The Underdog

C nior said...

^^^^ you've expressed the thoughts I have been having. Thank you, Underdog.

mormons son said...

May I offer MY humble opinion of this matter as I have read Rock comments and read some of the others?(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 5:10)
********** 10 But this generation shall have my word through you[Joseph] *********** I have read many comments relating to scriptures and what they say and what we surely "MUST DO" when compared to what others have said [leaders]?
I do not say your wrong or right but "ALL I ASK" is that allow wisdom to come first, for we do not know all things and all things are not present with us? Yes! Br Oaks made an utterly STUPID comment,by saying do not criticize EVEN if they are wrong but are we not all fallible? (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 1:38)
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or >>>>>> by the voice of my servants,<<<<<<<< it is the same....Denoting more than 1?

I also have stated to my friends, we should ONLY accept NEW doctrine, IF, Thus sayeth the Lord. BUT doesn't Nephi say, liken all scriptures to ourselves? Yes we can judge a person by their words and actions but judge them in righteousness and meekness and humility and grace,just in case you [we] are wrong?

I have also said to my brethren, we are in the Latter Days, and there is much prophecy concerning NOT ONLY us but our future generations which are yet to ripen and mature to either destruction or redemption. The Lord is shifting the wheat from the tares, the harvest has started, the reaping is yet to come?

We are counseled by the Lord to seek his advice and counsel in matters of "great" importance to us and our families for it is they we are entrusted with and the "leaders" are entrusted for all of us,parable of the laborers and talents?
Look I can ramble on and on as scriptural passages are flooding my mind, even now, as Rock said, do not be tossed on every wind of doctrine coming from men. WE HAVE the scriptures in front of us, use them?

Liberty Ghost said...

Nice post Rock! I hope you are feeling better.

I too am not as yet convinced that Denver is a prophet. I don't have as many well laid out arguments as those that have posted, but that's where I'm at. I attended a meeting of one of the remnant groups this week, where they were all caught up in trying to understand their obligations relating to this new body of scripture. It seemed very mechanical to me and less about the Glory of God.

I like many of Denver's teachings, but I don't claim to understand what his role is supposed to be. Sometimes I get the feeling that, contrary to his claims, that he feels it really is about him. For example, when he says that the Church was finally abandoned by God following his (Denver's) excommunication. As one of the September Six said to me; "why pick that time? what was so different about it than our excommunications?"

I wish him and those who are traveling with him well. They all seem to be sincere seekers of truth and wonderfully kind and gentle people. I feel much more akin to them than I do with those who are sleepwalking through the Gospel in my LDS congregation.

I guess the reason that I remain unconvinced is that it feels like a good and sincere person is doing the best he can to reform the church, like Martin Luther, but ultimately it feels like it is directed by a man rather than by direction and commandment of God.

What are the fruits that we should be looking for? The only clear statement about true prophets in the Latter Days is that we would know them by their fruits. The davidic servant will be an ensign, he will gather the 12 tribes, he will preside over the construction of the temple in Jerusalem, he will lead a remnant of believers into the wilderness and will succor them through miracles before defeating their enemies. I believe his advent will be soon and I hope I am humble enough to recognize him.

There will be other prophets as well, such as the two prophets in Jerusalem during the Tribulation. True christians can be known because of the miraculous healings and gifts that always accompany them. As yet I am not aware of anyone that displays these gifts in abundance. Perhaps that is due to my lack of faith, rather than a lack of true christian believers.

Dale B.

R. Metz said...

To Dale B.: you made some good observations. We have to beware. The cult that the LDS church has become is only capable of bringing forth more of the same, it seems. But I don't believe that the Lord has abandoned the organisation, as you put it. Like He said to the woman at the well, that salvation is of the Jews (John 4: 22), and we know how corrupt their church had become at that time. Also He sent people that were healed by Him to go to the priests and report their becoming sound again, as was the rule. So He still respected the organisation as such. Likewise we still have to be focused on this church – in a critical manner – because it was once established by Him and because He has promised to send one mighty and strong to set His house in order again.
I did'nt see that person as yet though. For the time being we should be focused on the Lord instead of people. Good luck. Also my best wishes to Brother Rock.

mormons son said...
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mormons son said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mormons son said...

UPDATE from my last post...please read below.[last time to edit, i hope]

An important meeting occurred in the spring of 1844 when Joseph gathered the Apostles to receive their last charge from the Prophet.[57] Years later, President Wilford Woodruff recalled:

I, Wilford Woodruff, being the last man living in the flesh who was present upon that occasion feel it a duty I owe to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to the House of Israel, and to the whole world to bear this my last testimony to all nations, that in the winter of 1843–4, Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, called the Twelve Apostles together in the City of Nauvoo, and spent many days with us in giving us our endowments, and teaching us those glorious principles which God had revealed to him. And upon one occasion he stood upon his feet in our midst for nearly three hours declaring unto us the great and last dispensation which God had set His hand to perform upon the earth in these last days. The room was filled as if with consuming fire; the Prophet was clothed upon with much of the power of God, and his face shone and was transparently clear, and he closed that speech, never-to-be-forgotten in time or in eternity, with the following language:

“Brethren, I have had great sorrow of heart for fear that I might be taken from the earth with the keys of the Kingdom of God upon me, without sealing them upon the heads of other men. God has sealed upon my head all the keys of the Kingdom of God necessary for organizing and building up of the Church, Zion, and Kingdom of God upon the earth, and to prepare the Saints for the coming of the Son of Man. Now, brethren, I thank God I have lived to see the day that I have been enabled to give you your endowments, and I have now sealed upon your heads all the powers of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods and Apostleship, with all the keys and powers thereof, which God has sealed upon me; and I now roll off all the labor, burden and care of this Church and Kingdom of God upon your shoulders, and I now command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to round up your shoulders, and bear off this Church and Kingdom of God before heaven and earth, and before God, angels and men; and if you don’t do it you will be damned.”

And the same spirit that filled the room at that time burns in my bosom while I record this testimony, and the Prophet of God appointed no one else but the Twelve Apostles to stand at the head of the Church and direct its affairs.[58]
I have listed this as I was guided by the spirit not to condemn anyone but to show you [ an ] error in assumption on your part...I posted, we do not know all, what is lost, to us, in history is not lost to God. Be patient and do not lose faith.

Hinkle's Corner said...

In ‘The Diaries of Heber J. Grant’ he was told the following as part of his ordination as an Apostle:”[October 16, 1882] We ordain thee to be a Prophet, a Seer, and a Revelator, to have every key of authority connected with this holy Apostleship-it embodying all the power and all the authority that God ever vouchsafed to His children upon the earth.” Does anybody know when this started among those called as "Apostles" versus Harold B. Lee's and Spencer W. Kimball's setting apart to the presidency, where they seem to be the first since Joseph to be ordained as such? If they were always ordained that way it may explain why it wasn't part of their blessings at the time of becoming the president of the church. JTH

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mormons Son,
I'm thinking that an appropriate response to your comment will likely require an entire blog post of its own, and it's looking like I might be required to write one in the not-too-distant future, because that quote of Woodruff's and others like it still pop up from time to time.

This statement of Wilford Woodruff's is one of three I'm aware of where he describes that event, and each time he told the story he embellished it further. The problem with it is he is the only person who ever had those recollections; you'll note that in this one, he mentions he's the only man left living who remembers that event. Joseph Smith is either glowing bright like an angel whose light fills the whole room, or his face shown like amber as he spoke.

Yet even while the other apostles were alive, none of them spoke or wrote of the event Woodruff tells of. You would think an event so glorious would have been in their journals at the time. Yet Woodruff doesn't give us so much as a date when it supposedly took place. The most glaring impropriety of it is his concluding statement, "the Prophet of God appointed no one else but the Twelve Apostles to stand at the head of the Church and direct its affairs."

The problem with that statement is that Joseph HAD appointed someone else: his brother Hyrum. And when Hyrum died with Joseph, it was recalled by many of the Saints that he had appointed his son, Joseph III, to carry the mantle when he came of age. No one ever recalled Joseph appointing the Twelve Apostles to stand at the head of the church and direct its affairs. That's why there was such a panic following the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum; no one knew who was supposed to be in charge, including any of the Twelve.

Woodruff's statement flies in the face of Joseph's repeated warnings to the Twelve that they were not to intervene in the affairs of the church, but be satisfied with their roles as traveling missionaries. Even Brigham Young denied any such ordination took place, or that Joseph appointed the Twelve to take charge of the church. While it's true that Brigham Young suggested to the congregation on August 8th, 1844 that the Twelve would be best suited to take charge temporarily to direct the exodus from Nauvoo, he denied any such authority had been given to the Twelve by Joseph Smith at any time during the prophet's life.

Somehow, after Brigham was gone, some succeeding members fell prey to the idea that Joseph had always intended the Twelve to be in charge. Let's remember that Woodruff's lengthy word-for-word quoting of Joseph Smith is told something like 47 years AFTER the prophet's death. Yet Woodruff seems to be able to recall every word verbatim.

Woodruff, like many by the end of the 19th century, is already confusing "The church" with "The Kingdom," which Joseph Smith told them were distinct from each other. The reality is, Joseph Smith did not give much mind to the church near the end of his life. He was interested in seeing the Kingdom of God built up, and to that regard he gathered a collection of men, which included most of the Twelve apostles, AND an assortment of non-members with the aim of establishing a form of government which would protect the rights of all, regardless of their religion. This was intended to address the shortcomings of the U.S. Constitution, which most Americans at the time of the founding recognized was flawed in regards to actually protecting people in their persons and property.

Brigham Young, who actually understood the purpose of the Kingdom of God, spoke extensively about the way it was intended to work, and that method was nothing like how he, the church patriarch, and the church High Council (the only authorized governing offices) directed the affairs of the church. You can read about it in this post:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mormons Son (Continued)

Wilford Woodruff clearly confused his memory of the time when Joseph spoke to the Council of Fifty, which was the governing body of the Kingdom of God. During that meeting, it is reported that Joseph DID "roll of onto their shoulders" the responsibility of seeing that program launched. Sadly, men like Wilford Woodruff focused his attention on directing the church (where he had no authority) instead of fulfilling his responsibilities in running the Kingdom, where Joseph HAD instructed him to put his energies.

I explained this in a response to a reader named "Salty" a few months back in the comment section of my post "Did The Lord Choose Not To Anoint 'The Lord's Anointed?'" Rather than go over some of that same ground again, I'll simply cut and paste that explanation here. It's in more than one part, so I'll continue it below.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Salty Said, "I'm still confused as to why O. Hyde was talking about the supposed ordination of the Twelve at all?"

I understand the confusion, because today most of us still can't seem to separate in our minds the two entities "The Church" and "the Kingdom of God." The early brethren often made reference to both in the same sentence, i.e. "the church and kingdom of God" and we grew up believing they were one and the same.

It helps to understand that if Joseph were giving instruction to the Twelve, he would do so at a meeting of the Twelve. If he were giving instruction intended for the Council of Fifty, he would do so at a meeting of the Council of Fifty. Which, as you'll note in Denver's comments which I quoted, he probably may have done at a meeting of the latter.

So, to your question regarding What Orson Hyde wanted from the attendees. As Milo Jury points out above, It appears that Hyde was already trying to discredit any other people who might have cause to claim authority over the leadership of the church. The Twelve felt they should be the ones governing the church. Hyde was preparing a pamphlet "A Farewell to Rigdonism" in which he was attempting once and for all to show that Rigdon's religious philosophy fell short. It wasn't just Rigdon's claim to the right of leadership that rubbed some the wrong way, it was also some of his religious views. Hyde's pamphlet apparently was an argument against "Rigdonism."

So why was Hyde attempting to get signatures from members of the Council of Fifty to affirm Joseph had given his authority to the Twelve? Because it was remembered that three months before he died, he had given instruction to the Council of Fifty to the effect that he was no longer going to run that program alone. Which program? The kingdom of Heaven; the civil and political program.

In this subsequent meeting of the Fifty a year after Joseph's death (the one Hyde is asking for signatures at), Joseph was remembered as having said something three months PRIOR to his death to the effect that he was rolling responsibility for that project off his shoulders and onto the council of fifty. Whatever it was he said, it was similar to the Mayor of a city going before the city council and saying, "Look, you're expecting me to do all the work here. If this thing is going to get off the ground, you're going to have to be the ones to make it happen. I'm rolling the responsibility for that off my shoulders and onto yours."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Salty, (Continued)
It's helpful to remind ourselves of the purpose of the kingdom of heaven, and that this kingdom was being formed by a group that included both members and non-members. It was not a church program. I included a lengthy description by Brigham in my post "Where Did the Oracles Go?" from which I'll excerpt a brief part here:

"When the Kingdom of God is fully set up and established on the face of the earth, and takes the pre-eminence over all other nations and kingdoms, it will protect the people in the enjoyment of all their rights, no matter what they believe, what they profess, or what they worship. If they wish to worship a god of their own workmanship, instead of the true and living God, all right, if they will mind their own business and let other people alone."

"And further, though a man may not even believe in any religion, it would be perfectly right, when necessary, to give him the privilege of holding a seat among that body which will make laws to govern all the nations of the earth and control those who make no profession of religion at all; for that body would be governed, controlled, and dictated to acknowledge others in those rights which they wish to enjoy themselves. Then the Latter-day Saints would be protected, if a kingdom of this kind was on the earth, the same as all other people."

So now, at this meeting a year after Joseph apparently told the Fifty they had to take full responsibility to make this thing happen, Orson Hyde brings up something that is not the concern of the Fifty (which, again, is a civil body, not a religious one). Hyde wants to affirm that Joseph gave authority to the Twelve. (Some members of the Council of Fifty were also members of the Quorum of the Twelve, hence the opportunity for confusion.) Hyde comes to a meeting of the Fifty wanting to gather signatures to include in his pamphlet against Rigdon.

Brigham Young, the Chairman, tells Hyde in effect that what he is asking for (acknowledgment of the authority of the Twelve to preside over the church) is not a matter of concern for this body they are meeting in at this time, the council of Fifty. He tells Hyde to leave the Twelve alone, or put another way, leave the Twelve out of it. He reminds Hyde that "it was this council of fifty which had to bear the responsibility of establishing the kingdom in all the world." Hyde was off on a different tangent. He was looking for evidence that the Twelve had to bear responsibility for running the church. Different body, different responsibility.

You'll remember that the other Orson, Orson Pratt, is recorded in the minutes as saying to Orson Hyde that if we promote the view that the Twelve got their authority from Joseph at that meeting of the Council of Fifty in 1844, folks might think that was the first time Joseph had given them any authority, and it was not.

In Summary, the Twelve wanted to be recognized for having authority to preside over the church in the interim following Joseph's death. The Fifty likely HAD been given responsibility for putting into operation a non-religious society for the purpose of protecting civil rights. Brigham was correct in telling Hyde that Joseph Smith had given the council responsibility for establishing that civil kingdom. Whatever the duties of the Twelve in the religious sphere, that was not appropriate to bring up at a meeting of the Council of Fifty, which was a non-church program.

December 12, 2016 at 3:28 AM

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Hinkle's Corner,
As you can probably see from my response above, Heber Grant, if he was telling the truth about the words used at his ordination, still has a problem. No one who did not have the gifts or abilities of a prophet, seer, and revelator had the authority to pass those gifts on to him. Not to mention he never issued a prophecy or a revelation in his life, so what good did that claim do for either himself or the church?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

It's time for us all to get out from under the vain traditions we grew up with, and awaken to the reality that those men who make the loudest claims about having authority, never seem to exhibit the gifts the Lord tells us would be recognizable from those making such claims.

matt lohrke said...

In unrelated news, it seems Hatch and Chaffetz are applauding 59 tomahawk missiles launched into a foreign country...

We've learned nothing.

Buckle up. The end is nigh.

Maliana Wolfgramm Tupou said...
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R. Metz said...

Hello House of Lehi; thanks for your comment.
I believe your story about the Tongan prophet. There have been more cases reported of people coming back from the dead after being ministered by the Mormon elders. Both Lorenzo Snow and Wilford Woodruff raised family members from the dead. Also during the migration to the Salt Lake valley this happened several times.
I agree with your ideas concerning the LDS leadership and its authority. Indeed I believe they lost their priesthood authority definitely after the machinations by Heber Grant and his associates.
But this is still the Lord's church, so we must not abandon it and wait for the House of the Lord to be set in order again; as was promised, and prepare ourselves more fully in the meantime.
Come back again to this forum, please, you have a good story to tell.

Dave P. said...

"But this is still the Lord's church-"

Are you referring to Christ's definition of church in the D&C or to "The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?"

Having been through California several times in my life, the thought hit me when hearing the news that Thomas Monson was hospitalized. While he has since gone home, I realized the first thing he and any other corporate LDS president will be asked upon dying:

"Any fruits to declare?"

R. Metz said...

Definitely not the corporation of . . . ; that is a one man corporation and has nothing to do with the church of Jesus Christ; after carefully reading my above comment you should have known better. Are you a Snufferite perhaps?

Maliana Wolfgramm Tupou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Rock Waterman said...

Good one, Dave P!

As House of Lehi points out, we hear of many people today who have the gifts of the spirit, yet do not come through the so-called "line of authority" we have been taught is required. Meantime, those holding office in the church never do quite seem able to demonstrate why specifically we should look to them, since they do little other than quote each other indefinitely.

R. Metz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This is from Denver:

Namely, “It is not possible for an individual, nor a collection of individuals, to remain static. They are either involved with restoring truth or in apostasy from it; never merely “preserving” it. Those who claim to merely preserve the truth given them are concealing the fact of their apostasy. They are soothing their conscience. Caretakers simply cannot exist.”

Um, "Preserving the Restoration" anyone? LoL! What the heck?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Tana, I think if you'll read the entire book you'll better understand that choice of title.

mormons son said...

Alan Rock Waterman what you said...was fair enough I have no problems with your comments. I am by far, NO historian [though I should try to learn more]. I "see" the point your are trying to make, but, I have reservations? I do not disclaim the "church" is in-dire perplexing situation on some issue's and actions but { again } I state as I do not know all, I judge not!
I listen and hear [though not all things] are right from people in - out of the church but yet as it was stated [ by you maybe] this is the kingdom of the restoration and though men may,wander off, yet the foundations are secure? We still have the Holy Spirit [ i hope we do] to guide us in these troubled latter days and I believe God will not forsake us but continue to guide us to the light of Christ.

Robin Hood said...

@ Tana
Denver Snuffer is a mere whispy vapour which will soon dissipate without trace.

Dave P. said...

No, I'm not a Snufferite. I have read a few things of his and both agree and disagree with what I've read, but he's still just another man.

Same with Rob Smith, as I'm currently reading his "Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Man" book. In the first chapter he talks about making sure to talk about WHAT is right vs. WHO is right, and there are several points he's made I disagree with as well.

But, rather than cling to the words of a fallible man, I do my best to follow Christ. No man, regardless of what good things he's teaching can ever say, "Come, follow me," but instead should always be saying, "Go, follow Him."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mormons Son,
Absolutely the Lord continues to guide us as individuals. I hope I have never given the impression that I believe the Lord has abandoned those who believe in him. He is ever conscious of his church, those he defines in D&C 10:67 as all who repent and come unto him.

But does Jesus Christ guide and direct the institutional LDS Church? That is a different question.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dave P and MRHFMETZ,
Well, I would hope you don't call yourself a Snufferite. I don't know how many times Denver has to declare that anyone calling himself a Snufferite is a damn fool, and I don't know anyone who does, but I still hear that "accusation" bruited about now and then.

Denver Snuffer teaches one thing and one thing only, and he does so loud and clear: NO ONE should ever follow ANY man, but only follow Christ. And yet somehow that clear message is often ignored as people debate whether or not they should follow Denver.

I swear I don't know why discussions like this even take place. I guess it's the result of our upbringing, that results in the thinking that if we reject one person as our leader, we must necessarily adopt someone else to be in charge of us.

We claim membership in the church of Jesus Christ. That should be enough to settle the matter that we look to Him and no other.

Jarodious Badger said...

I think that the Lord does guide and direct the institutional LDS Church as much as the institutional leaders allow Him to do; which is yes on some things, no on other things.

Jarodious Badger said...

As the war in heaven continues here on earth, we so often try to designate who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. It's not that simple. Almost everyone has some degree of light and truth in them. It takes discernment to judge righteously. There is much good still in the LDS church; what is good I'll take, the rest I reject. There is much good in Denver Snuffer; what is good I'll take, the rest I reject. There is much good in Avraham Gileadi, Rob Smith, Anthony Larsen, and other public figures and writers; what is good, just, and true I gratefully receive, the rest I simply note and move on without.

Right now I remain within the institution of the LDS church because right now this is the right thing for me to do. I do so both in agony and with rejoicing. Such is the joy and also the awful doom of life.

Underdog2 said...

And yet, Rock, is it so cut and dried as just "looking to Jesus and no other"? In fact, the very act of God commanding a man to speak a message leads to potential idolatry of that man, does it not?

Those who didn't "follow" Lehi perished in Jerusalem, even the sons/ daughters-in law who went kicking and screaming the whole way. Same with the Mulekites circa 600 BC. Those who didn't "follow" Nephi would have been assimilated with the Lamanites who became a wild and ferocious and blood thirsty people full of all manner of idolatry and idleness, etc. Also, those who didn't "follow" Mosiah would have perished in the land of Nephi (see Omni 1:12). I say "follow" in quotations because as v. 12 says, it's actually "as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness."

In the case of those "following" Nephi (see 2 Nephi 5:6), Nephi states, "all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and revelations of God; wherefore they did hearken unto my words".

There are other examples I could quote, like the people "following" Moses.

The point is, our temporal and spiritual salvation depends entirely on discerning whether the messenger is true or not. If he is, then "following" him into the wilderness, or deciding whether we get in the car and driving up the mountain while an oncoming train crashes in our view, is a life-impacting decision.

We have to continually remind ourselves that we are not "following" a man, per se. But that we accept and believe that the Lord is speaking through him. "Whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same..."

I DO like the way Amaleki phrased it in Omni 1:12. He very carefully chose his words, as Denver does too. You could say Nephi in 2 Nephi 5 wasn't so careful in his words, as he said, they "hearkened unto [Nephi's] words. Amaleki was careful to say the people didn't follow HIS words, but rather those who "followed" Mosiah "hearkened unto the voice of the Lord", which is different from how Nephi recorded it. I think Denver would prefer Amaleki's choice of wording.

Nephi in 1 Nephi 2 had to discern if the messenger (Lehi) he was following was true or not. He said in v. 16 that the Lord "did soften [his] heart that [he] believed" the words of his father and didn't rebel, like his brothers did. Nephi testified to Sam who then believed on Nephi's testimony. Laman and Lemuel didn't believe.

I feel like I'm Sam with regard to Denver. I believe. I haven't been literally "visited" (v. 16) as Nephi possibly was at that point in the story, but my heart is softened, and I believe that the message of Denver seems true and of Christ.

If a gun was held at my head, and I was forced to choose, I'd say that Denver is a true messenger, so by hearkening to him, I would be hearkening to the Lord. The danger though, is to slip into idolatry immediately. To avoid idolatry and being led astray, we must be vigilant and mindful to "prove all things" and depend on no man for salvation, but instead we must truly "hearken unto the voice of the Lord", as Amaleki teaches.

Anonymous said...

To anyone who feels they have some thoughts to share:

I'm putting this out there because I don't know where else to say it. I don't belong to a social media group and I'm too removed from people to have a fellowship. I've been navigating this movement pretty much on my own for the last five years. Denver is the voice that woke me from my deep slumber. PTHG was my first book. I have given up so much to be where I am at right now.

And so with this new scripture announcement it was a no-brainer. Except somehow it didn't feel right for me. And so I fasted and prayed and prayed and prayed. I studied and pondered. It's only been about three weeks since the announcement - but I feel the answer so clearly that I am not part of this movement anymore. And I feel like this crazy person because, well, how can this happen? I'm going to be damned if I don't do this. And I struggle and I fight to see what everyone else is seeing. And the answer keeps coming back that my journey with this movement ends here. And I feel like I am stepping back and watching everyone else go on and they whisper that I don't have eyes to see and ears to hear as they pass me by. And they're glad the 'fearful, the doubtful and the skeptic's" are dropping out. And it all feels so unpersuasive and confusing. And I feel heartbroken. I feel depressed at the loss of something. And now it's just me and the Lord to work out my salvation. But this group says it's this covenant. That individual salvation is one thing, but not being a covenant people status means peril for my family....or as Denver says, "...lightning, pestilence, famine and earthquakes. (D&C 43:25.) He has warned of a coming time when there is burning, desolation and lamentation. (D&C 112:24.) He has always planned to have covenant people survive that with His protection."

So I guess I'm putting this out there because I feel broken. I have my answer and it brings me peace but it doesn't make it easy mentally for me. I talk myself in circles like some gay person trying to talk themselves into being straight but they just know it'll never happen. That's what it feels like (or what I imagine it would feel like). Do you know what I mean? Does anyone know what I mean? Please don't be mean to me. I am just looking for people to relate to what I am saying because I feel pretty alone right now.

Maliana Wolfgramm Tupou said...

Wow, I truly feel for you. Especially because I was in the same place just a week ago. The best I can do is share my experience with you. Fortunately for me I associate with a group of people who have a lot respect for Denver, and the things he's done but they've decided not to participate in the new covenant. That being said I didn't receive an answer on this new covenant until after I was willing to cast aside the opinions of everyone around me. I had to be willing to accept whatever answer I received from the Lord even if it meant losing my friends. I struggled for weeks to receive a clear answer while in the meantime driving myself crazy thinking I was going to damn myself and my family if I made the wrong choice. So when I finally got to a place where I would accept whatever answer I was given. The Lord showed me that I was to continue with the work he has asked me to do, and not to participate in the new covenant. The Lord sending me an a different path than those who are following Snuffer doesn't mean that their wrong and I'm right. I truly believe He is guiding many in that movement as well. I just believe The Lord works through us all differently to accomplish His work. I'll admit, it was pretty terrifying at first. But since I've accepted the answer I was given and continued in the path The Lord has shown me. I have felt an abundance of the spirit return to me and a great sense of overall peace. Hang in there. If you believe The Lord is asking you to do something differently than everyone else. Then go with that and observe the fruits that follow your decision. If something feels off and you don't feel the spirit or at peace with your choice. Then return to The Lord and ask for further guidance. In the meantime continue seeking The Lord and making your eye single to His Glory, and take comfort in the fact that He knows your heart. Take care!

Jarodious Badger said...


You may feel alone, but you are not alone. There are many that feel and think the same way you do, myself included.

I don't live in the midst of any group. And I feel persuaded by the Spirit to not participate in this new covenant that Denver is offering. I am hopeful that this new covenant will help people move closer to the Lord and to repent; I also feel, though, that the Lord has appointed many different paths for different people to follow.

Keep your chin up and keep a smile on your face. The Lord knows your heart and will bless you for your faithfulness to Him.


Dave P. said...

A man of wealth prepared a great feast and told his servants, "Bring all of those who will come to sit at my table where they may fully eat and I will answer their questions should they ask me directly."

The servants went forth and brought all who would come to sit at the table.

Some said, "This food tastes different from what we are used to. We will not eat."

Others said, "This food is bitter and hard to swallow. Though it nourishes us, we cannot continue to eat."

Still others said, "This food nourishes us greatly. Let us continue along the table so that we may greet the master and bed fed more."

As the feast continued and many of the servants retired to rest, other men appeared and said, "We are servants of the master, but we have brought our green jell-o casseroles prepared by our own hands rather than the master. Eat of our food and be nourished."

At first, many at the table said, "Your food is not the master's."

"But we are his servants, you can trust that our food is enough."

"I am not so sure, I shall go and ask the master."

"We are his servants. While he has not told us directly, we can say that we know he is sitting at the head of the table. Be fed just a little at a time, for you cannot handle such a great feast. Come, taste our jell-o."

Several of the people did taste, and find that the food of the proclaimed servants was easy to eat and digest and thus they did not care that it brought no nourishment. Before long, more people at the table began flocking towards the proclaimed servants.

Upon seeing this, those who ate the food provided by the master said, "You have stagnated. Come and enjoy the food the master has given us directly and we will soon meet him."

The proclaimed servants said, "You are no longer invited to this feast. Either eat what we provide or begone entirely, lest people stop listening to us and we lose our power."

And so, some ignored the servants and continued to eat the food provided by the master while others departed the feast entirely.

R. Metz said...

House of Lehi, I want to thank you for the web page you mentioned by the name of “Visions and tribulation”, with the visions and warnings of Iohani Wolfgramm. Important stuff, I should say.
Also on this site I found the name of “Spencer”. The text goes as follows:
The vision of 'Spencer' is an account of one mans's near-death experiences and subsequent visions of the days leading up the the millennium. The book was co-authored and written by John Pontius, a well known published LDS author. If you have not had a chance to read the book I highly recommend it.
I found this book on Amazon “Visions of glory; one man's astonishing account of the last days” and ordered the Kindle edition (just7$) and I am reading it right now. It is an astounding report.
The visions described are quite similar to those of Bishop John Koyle, that I have read a little about, and the book seems a reliable document to me. It's remarkable though that Bishop Koyle is not mentioned in the book, as far as I was able to check, also not in the appendix.

Robin Hood said...

@ MrHFMetz
Visions of Glory is an interesting read. It is also a book inspired either by human mischief or a false spirit..
I have read it and was astonished at the level of false doctrine (intertwined with truth) and the number of glaring contradictions.
Bishop Koyle's visionary predictions have now been pretty well discredited in my view. Again I suspect false spirits at work, although Koyle was trying to get people to invest in his ridiculous gold mine; so who knows?

However, Iohani Wolfgramm is much more compelling in my view.

Robin Hood said...

@ Dave P.
Rob Smith's book is truly dreadful.
It is by far and away one of the worst books I have ever read.
Even Snuffer's efforts were better, and that's saying something!

R. Metz said...

Just your opinions; come with your arguments.

Maliana Wolfgramm Tupou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin Hood said...

@ MrHFMetz,
No argument necessary mate.
Just read the book and see for yourself.
It isn't rocket science.

Jarodious Badger said...

Robin Hood, that is such a cough out! Get real.

I've read the book. I thought it was very inspiring. Spencer said his vision was only a vision of possibilities intended to inspire faith. I see no reason to denigrate it. If you have arguments, then share them; otherwise, don't expect anyone to take you seriously.

Robin Hood said...

@ Jarodious Badger,
I care not one iota whether anyone takes me seriously.
But in my view anyone who reads Visions of Glory and fails to see the glaring contradictions and the doctrinal errors is, quite frankly, not worth discussing it with. Like I said previously, it isn't rocket science.

There are numerous online forums, many of which I have participated in, which have done this book to death. It's weaknesses have been vigorously examined, investigated, and exposed for all to see. I honestly can't be bothered to go into it all again. Suffice to say, in the final analysis it really is a very poor book.

Jarodious Badger said...

Well, I guess I'm just a worthless person then. I wouldn't want to importune your holiness with my worthlessness.

Jarodious Badger said...

Well folks, it looks like I've been sucked in again into the online forum vortex of doom. I've been provoked and now I am back-biting like a prissy sister. For several months now I have tried to keep to myself aloof from online forums, but then somehow I got snookered into making posts on this thread. I apologize for being unkind and bickery. I am sorry Robin Hood for my comments directed at you; they were uncalled for.


MC said...


I can completely relate to how you feel. I too have observed all of the discrepancies with Denver Snuffer you laid out in your list. THe things you discovered that are off with Denver should tell you something. He's a false prophet. The scriptures warn of false prophets in the last days who appear outwardly to be sheep, but inwardly are raviness wolves. If I were you I would forget about Denver and move on.

Having said that I can totally relate to you having come to the conclusion that he is a false prophet based on the fruits you have observed, but still being on the fence about him. I had the exact same experience when I investigated Denver's claims. At first I was really impressed with him and his teachings, but then I started noticing all of these red flags. I came to the conclusion that he was a false prophet, but then I revisited his teachings a handful of times afterwords, with a sincere heart and open mind. I prayed fervently to know if Denver was a true messenger many times, and each time I got nothing.

The problem with Denver is that he is so sincere (or at least appears to be). There is also so much good and truth in his teachings. He preaches Christ. What more wonderful message can there be? Yet as you have observed something is off, actually a lot of things are off.

Another major draw to the Denver, at least for me, was the idea of joining a fellowship and being rebaptized. That really appeals to me. But if those in the remnant don't have the authority to baptize let alone build a temple or establish Zion (which they don't), then what good is it to join them?

The truth is that there are many preachers out there preaching Christ. Just tune into God TV or the dozens of other religious channels. The central message is always Christ. Of course I think we can all agree that those TV preachers are not sent by God. The fact that Denver points to Christ doesn't mean jack squat if he's also teaching false doctrine and twisting what the scriptures say to fit his unique doctrinal views.

At the end of the day Denver's fruits clearly don't hold up compared to the prophets in the scriptures or to Joseph Smith. Of course the Snufferites themselves are divided as to if he is a prophet or not. That's the nature of Denver's wishy washy claims I guess. Speaking of those who claim to be prophets or act like them in the last days, the scriptures say "by their fruits ye shall know them." The scriptures don't say if you pray enough or read their stuff until you brain wash yourself you will know them. It is by their fruits. Like I said being sincere and preaching Christ are not enough. Lots of folks preach Christ and seem completely sincere, including the Jehovah's witnesses. That is not the only fruit one has to look at. It's all of the other things that matter, the things you described in your list.

I can also relate to getting sucked into online debates with people. I've been there quite a few times. It's east to get carried away, especially when you're passionate about something.

I've also chatted with Adrian Larson privately as well. I have no quarrel with him. In my opinion he is completely sincere. He believes he has found the truth and that the Lord is setting his hand again to redeem His people through His servant Denver Snuffer. At the same time it does blow my mind that someone who appears to be so well versed in the scriptures and sincerely trying to follow Christ, can't see the problems with Denver for what they are. The scriptures do say that if it were possible that even the very elect would be deceived by false prophets in the last days. I honestly hope that the humble followers of Christ who have been sucked into the Denver vortex will one day see the light before it is too late.

Anyway sorry for the long response, but I really enjoyed your breakdown of the problems with Denver. It's great to see someone willing to call a spade a spade.


Jared Livesey said...

1 Ne 15:11
Do ye not remember the thing which the Lord hath said?
If ye will not harden your hearts, [ie, be believing]
and ask me in faith,
believing that ye shall receive,
with diligence in keeping my commandments,
surely these things shall be made known unto you.

If you are not giving to every man that asks,
if you are not lending to all comers hoping to not be paid back,
if you are not blessing and doing good to your enemies,
if you are not praying for them who despitefully use you and persecute you,
if you are not turning the other cheek when struck rather than reviling again,
if you are not laying up treasure in heaven by distributing your substance above your immediate needs to the poor,
if you are laying up treasure for yourself upon earth by [for example] hiding your substance in bank / retirement accounts or food storage,
if you are judging,
if you are condemning,
if you are not being answered by God yet leading others,
if you are "helping" others with the imperfections in their perspectives but not fixing your disobedience to the commandments of Christ,
you are a hypocrite - a pretender to the faith of Jesus Christ,
you are not building upon the rock of Christ,
but upon a sandy foundation,
and the gates of hell stand open to receive you,
and whoever heeds you instead of Christ,
when the floods come.

With wisdom we are counseled:

Mosiah 23:14
And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister,
except he be a man of God,
walking in his ways
and keeping his commandments.

Jacob 4:8
And no man knoweth of his ways save they be revealed unto him.

Robin Hood said...

@ Jarodious Badger

My apologies too.

mormons son said...

I have some of Devner Snuff writings AND like Robin Hood say its not rocket science. But we are warned that false spirits and prophets shall rise by the Lord, I am amazed at HOW QUICKLY people for get? Is all welll in Zion "some" are asleep?

D+C 50:2-3 Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world. And also Satan hath sought to deceive you, that he might overthrow you.

I also give my caution to all who seek and not look,having itchy ears and not listening. Be careful out there,many in and out of the church want our destruction.

Dave P. said...

Yes, the people are asleep. They do not want to be eternally vigilant as required. They will find a man to latch on to and think he will do all the hard work for them so long as they do what he says and they take it easy.

One thing that drove Joseph Smith crazy was how people would go to inquire of him over everything even if he had nothing to do with the situation. His constant reminder was to tell people to stop latching onto him and take their inquiries to the Lord.

Jared Livesey said...

All anyone has to do to wake up is do exactly what Jesus said to do in Luke 6:20-49, Matthew chapters 5 through 7, and 3 Nephi chapters 12 through 14 (see also 3 Nephi 15:1), and to do it always, without fail.

Unknown said...

Could a black man receive and hold the priesthood without having the same "right" to it that a white man (or a white man who was of a particular lineage-like maybe a direct descendent of Aaron) might have? And could that be why log keeps saying that the passages you cite are ambiguous, and that you have to add to scripture to get it to say what you want it to. I'm not sure why he doesn't say so himself, but I think he's trying to point out that the words "receive" and "hold" aren't used in the passages you cite.
Could he have a point?
Could you be reading something into them without realizing it?

Bob Sonntag said...

The "useless and dangerous branch quote.." is from a letter written by John Taylor. It was first "attributed to Joseph Smith" by people who wanted to make it seem more authoritative, and the attribution is only repeated by people who don't bother to trace it back to the source.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Bob Sontagg,
I very much appreciate your attempt to give that quote proper attribution. More than one quote attributed to Joseph Smith turns out to have been written by someone else, and some of our best LDS scholars such as Truman Madsen, have falsely attributed "famous" quotes from Joseph that Joseph never said. I try to be on the lookout for these things, but I have been fooled before.

Having said that, I'm still not convinced the quote came from John Taylor, although I concede that it could have. I can't seem to find in that link you provide to the Documentary History of the Church where it is attributed to John Taylor, though I concede it could have been his. So I looked it up in the Times & Seasons (Vol 5, No. 7; April 1, 1844) and still can't find a byline for it.

Though Joseph Smith is often listed as editor, and his byline appears even under articles Joseph himself did not write, no one's name is listed as author of that particular piece, which is titled, "To The Elders Abroad." Do you have any further evidence for attribution to John Taylor? We know Taylor also wrote and edited the Times & Seasons, but we cannot automatically attribute the statement to him for that reason only, as he was not the only one besides Joseph Smith contributing articles. It was also a common practice for Joseph to "assign" writers to respond to certain topics (he actually wrote very little of his own journals, instead dictating them to scribes), so it's possible that if the piece was written by Taylor or someone else, Joseph gave the author a pretty good idea of what he wanted said.

Probably the only at-length treatise on the topic of who wrote what in the church newspapers is the book by Jonathan Neville, "The Editors: Joseph, William, and Don Carlos Smith" an exhaustively researched book that attempts to sort it all out. Skimming through that book, I can't find anything regarding the article in question; I'm afraid I may have to read it cover to cover just to find that one nugget. So I would be very grateful, Bob, if you were to provide me with a little more evidence, because I can't find the definitive answer to this one.

Bob Sonntag said...

Hi Rock,
The link in my comment works for me, but may not show up clearly for anyone else. The book linked is the History of the Church by Joseph Smith III (Reorganized Church). Here is a transcription:

On page 732 it says


"In the issue for April 1, 1844, the editor of the Times and Seasons, John Taylor, of the Twelve Apostles, states 'we very frequently receive letters from elders and individuals abroad, inquiring of us whether certain statements that they hear, and have written to them, are true: some pertaining to John C. Bennett's spiritual wife system; others in regard to immoral conduct, practiced by individuals, and sanctioned by the church; and as it is impossible for us to answer all of them, we take this opportunity of answering them all, once for all.'

"...In his reply to these questions he expresses his surprise that anyone acquainted with Nauvoo would ask such questions, and closes with a strong disapproval of any man who will teach what is not found in the standard books of the church, denounces him as an impostor, and advises that he be disfellowshipped.3

3 'If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an impostor. You need not write to us to know what you are to do with such me....' "


By tradition newspaper editorials carry no byline. They are written in the name of the paper by a member of the editorial staff. For a big paper like the NYT or Washington Post, that could be any one of a dozen people, as editorial topics are assigned to the staff by the editor in chief ( For the Times and Seasons in 1844, the editorial staff was John Taylor, with some possible assistance from Wilford Woodruff. Hence Joseph Smith III's (and my) attributing that editorial to John Taylor.

The Neville book you mention only covers 1842, because that is the only period during which Joseph was even nominally the editor of the Times and Seasons, and therefore the only time period Joseph was a candidate to have written any of the editorials with no byline. Neville seems to make the case that even then Joseph's involvement was much smaller than people suppose. I've never heard anyone try to claim that he wrote any of the unascribed editorials during times when he wasn't the editor, so I would be interested to hear if you have.

Here is Wikipedia's description of the running of the print shop for the Times and Seasons (look there for source notes): "Joseph acted as director of the print shop (beginning in 1842) and was listed as editor in the Times and Seasons, but operation was actually run by John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff. In November 1842, Taylor became the principal editor, but was still assisted by Woodruff. The printing office was eventually sold to Taylor directly in January 1844."

Since Joseph was not on the editorial staff in 1844, it would require some other evidence to allow us to ascribe authorship to him. In the absence of that evidence, assuming an editorial was written by the editor or a member of his staff (which means either Taylor or possibly Woodruff) is both reasonable and standard.

I'm having trouble thinking of any examples of Joseph assigning a topic to someone to write an editorial about during a time in which Joseph was not the editor of the paper. Am I understanding your comment correctly that there are examples of Joseph doing this?

EternalWarfare4Souls said...

I know that this post is older and the discussion in these comments have probably been forgotten. If, however, you stumble upon these comments and have reached the end thereof, I would like to offer my humble testimony.

6 years ago, I was introduced to the first two talks given by Denver Snuffer. One of the things that stood out to me was that he was not asking anyone to follow him. Who he was, as he put it, was not important. The message he was giving was eternally significant. He challenged those listening to the message to ask God about what he was presenting and "leave me out of it".

Many times since I have read testimony after testimony of people praying to God and asking if Denver Snuffer Jr. is His messenger or His chosen Prophet. There are, of course, three different answers that each one receives. Either he is not God's chosen prophet, he is God's chosen prophet, or no answer at all. To me, they have all missed the mark and are asking God if they should follow another leader.

I made no such petition to the Lord. As I drove around listening to the message given through Denver, I paused the recording. I prayed to God and asked him "Is what Denver is saying true"? Like a bolt of thunder from the heavens, my mind nearly yelled the answer YES! and my body shook to its very frame. This answer meant that I would have to confront the sins of our LDS past and seek to restore the knowledge that would save my soul and the souls of those I love. Instead of questioning this answer, I moved forward in faith.

In the following years I grew closer the Savior and received revelations for myself and my family. My life has was blessed as I tried to follow the example of the Savior and look forward to a day when I would be found worthy to receive the Second Comforter. I was re-baptized. That day was filled with both an out pouring of the spirit and signs and wonders. One day, if I ever have the courage, I may share my experience with others.

This wonderfully new spiritual life took a sad turn. I grew prideful, arrogant, and hateful to my fellow Latter-Day Saints. As this pride grew, my light diminished until at last it was all but snuffed out (no pun intended). I find myself in deep need of repentance and regret my hard heart. I am filled with sorrow that I have failed my Savior.

Though I find myself in the gall of bitterness for my sins, I must boldly testify that the Lord witnessed unto me that the message given through Denver Snuffer Jr. is one that came from the Lord. If you seek another Moses, you will fall as surely as the Israelites. If you seek the face of the Lord, you must look to no man but rather look to the Lord for guidance. Let love be your life. Let the Lord guide you. Follow the Spirit of the Lord and find truth where ever you can.

I bear this humble testimony in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and expect to stand witness for it in the day of judgement.