If the Head is Sick

"I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives. The principle is as correct as the one that Jesus put forth in saying that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person; and that principle is eternal, undeviating, and firm as the pillars of heaven; for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man." (Joseph Smith, HC, ch 26, p. 385.)

So the man is to be the priesthood head over the wife and the wife is only expected to follow him as he follows God. If the man goes off course, would not he want, and would it not be appropriate to have the persuasion of his wife? In this case, I don't think it's correct to label the wife as being an apostate. However, if she were to accuse, not truly seeking her husband's welfare then it would seem this is what Joseph was referring to. What if the man would not hear? It would then be the duty of the wife to either continue in her humble course, or get a writing of divorcement, but in no case would it be following the Law of Christ for her to manipulate, nag, verbally abuse, or lay-in-wait for her husband. Did not Jethro find fault with Moses; not for fault's sake, but to be of service to him? Was Jethro on the high-road to apostasy? John the Baptist rose up to condemn his priesthood leaders and found fault with them saying they were out of the way, indeed a generation of vipers. The only difference I can detect between John and Joseph's statement, is that John said Christ was righteous, not himself, he not even being worthy to loose His shoes; though, he was a righteous man of whom Christ said "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." Even the Savior himself who denounced the priesthood leaders, deferred and said, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

"Let not any man publish his own righteousness, for others can see that for him; sooner let him confess his sins, and then he will be forgiven, and he will bring forth more fruit." (Joseph Smith, HC 4:28)

What prophet in the time of the Levites was there, that did not rise up finding fault and condemn the leaders of the church? These prophets whom we are informed had the Melchizedek priesthood and the Second Comforter, could not have gotten their authority to condemn the church from the Aaronic church.

If the head cannot go wrong, then why are we commanded to pluck out the eye which is appointed to see for us; and how could we pluck him out, save we had the privilege of laying out his crimes, or in other words, finding fault and condemning him? (Mark 9:46-48, Inspired Version)

I think the conclusion we must draw from this, is that man who sees faults, must work for the welfare of Zion and not exercise priestcraft and attempt to set himself up for a light, but instead points men to the Savior.

What do you think?

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The head should have all gifts

"That unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby." (Doctrine and Covenants 46:29)

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It is the Presidents duty to have all gifts:

"And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses—Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church." (D&C 107:91-92)

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Speaking about members of the body of Christ:

"Therefore, if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; or if thy brother offend thee and confess not and forsake not, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell. For it is better for thee to enter into life without thy brother, than for thee and thy brother to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

"And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee, to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched.

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

"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.

"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.  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.

"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.

"For if the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewith will ye season it? (the sacrifice) Therefore it must needs be that ye have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." (Mark 9:40-50, Ins. Version)

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"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23)

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"They who are not apostles and prophets shall be known." (D&C 64:39)

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"And again: Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel." (1 Nephi 21:1)

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New doctrine promulgated by Wilford Woodruff which contradicts the teachings of Joseph

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme." (Wilford Woodruff, General Conference, October 6, 1890)

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"'In time of war or stress, we have no hesitancy in following the flag,' he added in an interview. 'You won't find any more patriotic group.'--

"'Once the United Nations took its action and President Bush took his stand, we were behind our leader,' President Monson said, noting that Congress also ratified the U.N. action. 'That's all that was needed.'

"'Interestingly, in our church, it is assumed and understood that when the leadership of our nation lines up behind a particular policy in a crisis, we support and sustain it,' he said.

"'You rarely find any Latter-day Saints in the role of conscientious objector,' President Monson said. 'We don't believe in marches and protests and carrying placards.'

"'You have to be careful what you ask a Mormon to do, he'll do it,' President Monson chuckled." (President Monson, Deseret News, While Others Flagged, Mormons Backed Gulf War from Outset, 3/10/1991, George W. Cornell, Associated Press)

 

"There is one thing more I wish to speak about, and that is political economy. It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make poplar that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. 'Tis right, politically, for a man who has influence to use it, as well as for a man who has no influence to use his. From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get. In relation to politics, I will speak as a man; but in relation to religion I will speak in authority. If a man lifts a dagger to kill me, I will lift my tongue." (Joseph Smith, HC 5:15)

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“I have never prayed to see the Savior. I know of men – Apostles – who have seen the Savior more than once. I have prayed to the Lord for the inspiration of His Spirit to guide me, and I have told Him that I have seen so many men fall because of some great manifestation to them, they felt their importance, their greatness.” (Heber J. Grant, The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, p. 468, probably referring to Matthias F. Cowley and John W. Taylor)

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"Many [members] assume the language 'special witnesses of Christ' to mean continuing visitations by Jesus Christ, angels and visions....It is the gap between the misconception held by many Latter-day Saints of Christ's regular appearances to church leaders, and the reality of His absence that creates distress." (Denver Snuffer, Passing the Heavenly Gift)

“I know of no instance where the Lord has appeared to an individual since His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith.” (Heber J. Grant, Letter to Mrs. Claud Peery)

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"I have a consciousness as I have thought through this responsibility [as prophet] and have been close enough to the Brethren over the years, that one in this position is under the constant surveillance of Him in whose service we are. Never would He permit one in this position to lead this church astray. You can be sure of that." (Harold B. Lee, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, ch. 9)

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“I remember years ago when I was a bishop I had President Heber J. Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home … Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: ‘My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.’ Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, ‘But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.’” (Heber J. Grant speaking to Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, October 1960)

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"I am going on in my progress for eternal life....Oh! I beseech you to go forward, go forward and make your calling and your election sure; and if any man preach any other Gospel than that which I have preached, he shall be cursed; and some of you who now hear me shall see it, and know that I testify the truth concerning them." (Joseph Smith, HC 6:17)

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"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 imposter." (Joseph Smith, Times & Seasons, April 1, 1844)

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"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan, it is God's plan." (June 1945 Ward Teaching Lesson)

Though this teaching was disavowed by George Albert Smith (in a personal letter), church presidents and other leaders continues to teach in General Conference perfect fidelity to priesthood leaders at all levels.

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Catholic Papal infallibility doctrine:

The Pope cannot err 'when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church'" (First Vatican Council, "First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church", chapter 4, 9)

Mormon president infallibility doctrine after Joseph Smith:

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme." (Wilford Woodruff, General Conference, October 6, 1890)

 

It appears that the new Mormon infallibility doctrine is more comprehensive than Catholic infallibility, since Pope's are only infallible when defining doctrine or morals.

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Isaiah 28

(v. 1) Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

The fat valley upon which Ephraim resides refers to the modern church.  The head of the valley refers to church headquarters, or the leadership of the church.

Christs prophecy to the Nephites predicts the same for the latter-day church, that they would be lifted up in pride above the whole earth.

And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.

But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel. And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father.

But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel. (Christ, 3 Nephi 16:10-15, Emphasis added)

The salt which has lost its savor refers to a people who were once favored of God, but have lost faith and the Gifts that go along with it. The savor of the people of God is always the works of faith: Prophecy, visions, revelations, dreams, speaking in tongues, conversing with angels, etc.

The glorious beauty refers to receiving the fullness of Gospel. Joseph was trying, as did Moses, to prepare a people to receive a fullness of the Gospel as he had.  It was his meat and drink to get the saints to comprehend and know God and to bring them into the presence of the Father and the Son, not only to behold them, as some did, but to minister unto them. For as Christ said, if we would receive and follow the First Comforter, we would receive the Second, which having the person of Christ to personally minister and further lead that individual to the fulness of all that the Father hath.

The children of Israel would not receive what was offered through Moses, and seems likely, contrary to all protestations, that the modern saints did not receive what was offered either.  The children of Israel followed Moses, just as the saints sacrificed and followed Joseph, but they would not come all the way up to the mark.

When a man is drunk, he stumbles and is foolish.  Pride is the intoxication which causes this loss, which leads to other poor decisions Isaiah describes later on as a "covenant with death".  Pride is the opposite of dependence on God and instead relies on the arm of flesh.  This results in the attitude that did not begin with Wilford Woodruff when he stated, "follow me; I and my successors will never lead you astray."

The Lord commanded us through Nephi that we were not to rely on man at all.  We could listen, but unless God sanctioned what those men had to say we were cursed for heeding them.

"Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost." (2 Ne 28:31)

The Lord reveled in his preface to the Doctrine and Covenants that the purpose of those revelations were that the day may come when "that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh" (D&C 1:18-19)

The fading flower is the loss of this glorious beauty which began.

(v. 2-3) Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

This language is identical to the revelation given to Joseph about one who would yet come and be filled with truth and light and would put God's house in order:

Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying: And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.

And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth.  These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfil. (D&C 85:6-10)

It is important to note regarding Ark Steadying, that men, including kings, presidents, bishops, etc, need steadying. The Ark of the Covenant does not represent church leadership, it represents the Law of God; specifically the one given to Moses, but more generally, any revelation of God.  When men's knees buckle and quake, they need to be steadied, and the revelations outline the way to deal with leadership who have gone out of the way or who have become offenders.

The tempest, hail, destroying storm and flood of mighty waters most likely represents the truth of God, and that anyone who rejects or fights against truth, whether it is because they are inspired by the devil, or because the devil deceives them by their traditions, which the Lord tells us is the very mainspring of corruption.  The flood of truth will lift some, it will cut off others.

Hands in scripture usually represent authority.  When the children of Israel failed to receive the fulness that was offered, they often had prophets who did have the fulness or higher priesthood. These prophets, Joseph informs us, received the fulness of the priesthood at the hand of God himself.  Joseph taught that if a man has the priesthood on the earth, that God will not interfere with ordinations, however, when a man does not have sufficient authority, God himself ordains those who come to Him.  This is how a fulness of the priesthood is always transmitted.  Moses described Melchizedek and how he obtained this power:

"Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

"For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.

"And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.

"And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world; And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire.

"And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace." (Genesis 14:26-36, Inspired Version)

If the fulness is not here, then one with authority will come whose bowels are a fountain of truth and has light for a covering.

(v. 4) And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

The fading flower is paralleled with early fruit.  These both burn brightly, but have been quickly consumed and no new fruit comes forth.  Fruit is meant to be consumed by those who find and eat it, the works of faith are meant for those who have faith, but cannot be transmitted or saved or stored up. Joseph was the first fruit in the spring of 1820.  He ministered until his death at the beginning of the summer solstice 1844.

(v. 5-6) ¶ In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

In future day, Lord's beauty will be a crown instead of pride.  While the proud are cut off, they will likely remain on the earth, and continue laboring under the same delusions they are under.  "Unto the residue of his people..." a residue denotes a very small amount that are left after the main contents are poured out.

The battle, is the ongoing war for the souls of men.  The Lord will give each person the greatest degree of salvation they were willing to receive, just as the devil is working to deceive us to the greatest degree we will allow him.  Joseph warned us that "False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones." (Joseph Smith, HC 6:17, p. 364).  The devil will always oppose true prophets, whether living or dead until the truth becomes of no effect.  There must not always be a true prophet in the world for false prophets to rise and oppose him.

There is a reason that these two statements are together; first that the Lord will be the crown of men's glory, and second that they will turn the battle to the gate.  It is the gate at which men receive the glory of God.  This gate is manned by the Lord himself and he employs no servant there.  This is the gate that the Brother of Jared went through and was redeemed from the fall and brought back into the presence of God.  It is the same gate we must all go though if we desire anything from the Lord. It is a shame that this teaching must be dug out, rather than taught as the only aim of every church member.

 “The way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the Keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name. And whoso knocketh to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches - yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, He will not open unto them.” (2 Nephi 9:41-42)

Those that turn the battle to the gate are not the leadership of Ephraim. Isaiah declares that it is the leaders, the priest and the prophet who err.  Isaiah later declares "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21)  The juxtaposition of the voice may add significance to these verses.

(v. 7-8) ¶But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.  For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

Isaiah is affirming again, in different poetic language through his use of "the priest and the prophet" that he is speaking of the leadership of the Lord's church.

Nephi, who had a penchant for quoting Isaiah, also used his words to describe the vision he saw of the last days. He specified that it was the leaders who caused the errors:

"O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths." (2 Nephi 13:12, quoting Isaiah 3:12)

"...they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2 Nephi 28:14)

Tables are where you eat.  The table of the Lord is where you feast on the word of God.  What happens when there is no new revelation is that the food must be regurgitated and eaten again. The scriptures, including the inspired words if Joseph are of no private interpretation.  Joseph was only able to understand scripture in its true meaning as he had the power and gift of the Holy Ghost with him.  It was a matter between a man and his God.  The scriptures and Joseph's words can be understood in no other way today.  No matter how many times they are regurgitated.  The problem with continuing to feast on regurgitation, is that the nutrients once in abundance gradually diminish to nothing and become unhealthy, and only the strong fetters and chains of tradition can keep people from seeing the obvious and keep the fraud going.

(v. 9) ¶Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

Spiritual attainment in this state of the church, and arguably in any state, is the responsibility of the individual.  When Joseph began teaching the Book of Mormon and the fulness of the gospel, it was not easier for those early followers to believe, even though they had a great prophet in their midst, and his words were affirmed by the power of the Holy Ghost.  These early members were tried probably harder than anyone else because they had to abandon their false traditions to even believe that Joseph was God's servant.  They did not have hundreds of years of precedents to believe his teachings, and they did not have thirteen million members who believed him.  In every age, men must seek God and sacrifice everything to obtain the faith necessary to please him.  These who are weaned and drawn rely upon the Lord and his strong reasoning.

(v. 10-13) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

It is true, that truth is given line upon line, precept on precept, but notice here the repetition: Line upon line, Line upon line, precept on precept, precept on precept, and then to make the point clearer, Isaiah says "with stammering lips" the people are taught.  Then the word-play is repeated again with the same monotonous repetition.  They are taught the same things over and over and over, and all this that they might fall, be broken, snared and taken in their idolatry, or their worship of men and authority.  We will see this same principal later with a different analogy of a farmer plowing his field.

The cry of the day to the unlearned lawyers is "follow the prophet!" The problem is that this statement makes a big assumption, that we have a prophet on earth speaking by the power of God.  The second problem is that God speaks through prophets but says follow me, not man.  This may seem like splitting hairs, but it is very important.  Joseph had this same problem with the early saints.

"President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves...." (Joseph Smith, TPJS, Section Five 1842-43, p.237)

He says the attitude of "follow the prophet," even a true prophet is mistaken, and will lead to a darkened mind.

Ezekiel 14 is worth a careful reading.  It talks about how people who come to the prophets will receive deceptions from the Lord according to their idols.  It also talks about how the prophets who think they are speaking the word of the Lord, yet are deceived they will be cut off the same as those who seek from that prophet.

On another occasion Joseph said those who follow their leaders even if they knew they were wrong did not deserve a place among intelligent beings.

These verses are entirely an echo of Ezekiel 14.

Because the saints were not willing to receive the Lord's offered rest and refreshing at the gate, they stumble around in their own foolishness.

(v. 14-15) ¶Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Mormon describes the process the Nephites went through in building up the Gadianton robbers and murderers.

"And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations." (Helaman 6:38)

Seduce means to employ the arts of flattery, falsehood and deception.  The "righteous" were "seduced" or to some degree tricked into supporting these combinations and as a result partaking in their spoils.  It is like the buyer who wonders somewhere within himself if the seller is selling stolen goods, but just doesn't ask detailed enough questions to find out because the price benefits him

Satan has many methods to thwart the work of God.  One of the primary methods he does this is through fear.  Mortals, not willing to sacrifice their lives, capitulate to the beast who makes war upon the saints, thinking these inroads from Babylon are worth the price to spread the teachings of a chosen people.  It was done with Rome, it is done now.  This is the "covenant with death" made by the priest and prophet who "rule", and supported by the flock.

The cry of the fearful is "who can make war with the beast" because the beast is fearful and has terrifying, horrifying, and sickening means of compulsion at its disposal. Nothing but faith in the power of God and obedience to His revelations, commandments and ordinances can protect us from the beast as young David knew.  For all the planned ways of escape will come to nothing as the desolation is first poured out upon the Lord's house (D&C 112:23-26).

"'In time of war or stress, we have no hesitancy in following the flag,' he added in an interview. 'You won't find any more patriotic group.'--

"'Once the United Nations took its action and President Bush took his stand, we were behind our leader,' President Monson said, noting that Congress also ratified the U.N. action. 'That's all that was needed.'

"'Interestingly, in our church, it is assumed and understood that when the leadership of our nation lines up behind a particular policy in a crisis, we support and sustain it,' he said.

"'You rarely find any Latter-day Saints in the role of conscientious objector,' President Monson said. 'We don't believe in marches and protests and carrying placards.'

"'You have to be careful what you ask a Mormon to do, he'll do it,' President Monson chuckled." (President Monson, Deseret News, While Others Flagged, Mormons Backed Gulf War from Outset, 3/10/1991, George W. Cornell, Associated Press)

See also President Hinckley's talk War and Peace where he walked both sides of the line, yet strongly on the side of going to, what turned out to be a pre-planned war of aggression against the people of Iraq, which has resulted in the killing of over a million Iraqi soldiers and civilians, not to mention the untold, yet future horror caused by the use of massive amounts of depleted uranium in the conflict.

Others he bribes with the possessions of others like Cain and others with apathy.  All of these he lulls carefully into a state of carnal security and apathy who then cry "All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well!" (2 Nephi 28:21)

(v. 16) ¶Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,  Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?  Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:28-33)

(v. 17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

A line and plummet, or plumb bob, along with other tools such as a level and square are used to ensure correctness in building a structure.  Here the Lord is saying he will set his house in order, truth will be re-enthroned and falsehoods, false traditions and misinterpretation will be able to be corrected.  This can only be done as individuals reconnect with God.

Here again we see a reference to hail, and this time more directly tied to the symbology of truth.  Lies are told because they provide a refuge, a hiding place, but the truth will remove out all such coverings.

(v. 18) ¶And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

See comments on v. 14-15

(v. 20) For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.

Doctrines, such as the doctrines of keys, the Holy Ghost, understanding mysteries and other Gifts of the Spirit, achieving salvation taught today are not correct.  When a man hears these castrated doctrines they provide him no incentive, no goal, no where to go.  When it is taught that the Temple and Temple Marriage is the goal instead of the beginning and after achieving this beginning the rest of our work is to the end, enduring in such a miserable set of conditions is unbearable and is all the rest of the Christian world has to offer.  It is not a bed or covering a man can be comfortable in, but always finds wanting.

The Peacemaker (Udney Hay Jacob), who's authorship has been disputed goes into a very detailed explanation this verse.

(v. 21) For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

In Mount Perazim (2 Samuel 5, 1 Chronicles 14) the Lord gave power to David to smite the Philistines as a "breach of waters" and he routed them and burnt their idols. When the Philistines came again the Lord told David to surround his enemies and the Lord fought himself with his army as the sound went forth above the mulberry trees.  In Gibeon (Joshua 10), five nations with mighty men rose up to fight against God's people. The Lord told Joshua to fear not and delivered them into his hands. Many were killed by mighty hailstones. Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still until his enemies were slain.

What the Lord showed in these lessons is that he is able to do his own work, able to fight his own battles.  The question is will we have faith like Joshua and David to trust the Lord?

The world viewed Enoch with curiosity, they said of him "we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us."  Strange is something out off the ordinary; something to which people are unaccustomed.  Wild refers to the seeming absence of structure and established authority.  When the Lord has cleansed his people and washed the filth from the daughters of Zion he will have a residue prepared to accept him.

(v. 22) Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.

...

(v. 23-28) ¶Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.  Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?  When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.  Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.

At first these verses appear disjointed and out of place, they fit very well into the theme Isaiah is pursuing.  I will leave the explanation of these verses to another man:

"Isaiah continues, 'For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.'

"We are told that the fitches (probably fennel) are not threshed with a threshing (Hebrew: CHARUTS, which means a heavy sledge-like) instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin. If this type of crop were harvested in this pulverizing manner, it would be destroyed; instead "the fitches are beaten out with a staff (Hebrew: MATTEH, which is a stick), and the cummin with a rod (Hebrew: SHEBET, which is a whip-like stick).

"By comparison, today we do not need the same old precepts that we should have mastered years ago hammered into us over and over with a sledge hammer. A light threshing of the simple doctrines is all we need to prepare us for the heavier.

"Verse 28 is not a very clear translation and I would like to render it a bit plainer. 'Bread corn' is undoubtedly wheat; and the word bruised comes from the Hebrew DAQAQ, which means to crush to powder. The word 'because' is from KIY, which is more appropriately rendered 'nevertheless'. Taking this into consideration, we will render the passage thus: 'Wheat used for bread is ground to powder; nevertheless, he will not ever be threshing it, nor crush it with the wheel of his cart, nor grind it with his horsemen.'

"In other words, Isaiah here admits that wheat is threshed, broken and ground, but this process is not 'stammered' or repeated over and over for it would be a waste of time and damage the grain in the process.

"The message in these obscure words of Isaiah is this. The major problem of the church in the latter days will be that the teachers will be like a plower who just plows his field over and over and never plants or harvests his wheat. The authorities are also like the wheat miller who merely grinds the product over and over and never makes any bread. Teachers will go through the motions of beginning the creative process, but never produce fruit or bread. No food for the soul will be grown or given. Only the illusion that they are headed in that direction is projected. They do busy work by plowing and grinding, but no fruit or bread is ever produced - no real progress made. This illusion will create a trap for the teachers so when true food for the soul is offered the contrast between plowing and grinding and a finished spiritual food will be stark and embarrassing."

(v. 29) This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.

When one works for the Lord, there is joy, rejoicing, trust in the process. When one labors under the commandments of men there is emptiness, hollowness and drudgery.

 

Conclusion

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.  Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord." (D&C 112:23-26)

This verse very likely coincides with the problems Isaiah describes among the leaders of Ephraim.  The desolation will first be poured out upon the Lord's house.  There will be some who profess to know the Lord, His "special witnesses" but "have not known me".  It will be these blasphemers who will receive the front of the storm.  These false prophets who teach false doctrine, who agree with the beast and offer him little or no opposition and drink in with the tradition of Gadianton robbers.  But the day will come when "They who are not apostles and prophets shall be known." (D&C 64:39)  That day can be at any time when a man rises up, dusts himself off and takes the Holy Spirit for his guide.

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"Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying: And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfil." (D&C 85:6-10)

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"God's house is a house of order, but that does not mean what you think it means. God follows patterns. He establishes and ordains things according to one pattern, and then He takes them down again according to another pattern, and He does not vary. There is no guarantee, when He establishes a house in one instance, that that house cannot rebel, reject Him, and be rejected by Him at another. Just because God undertakes one work does not mean that He cannot undertake yet another. Just because He ordains one system at one time it does not mean that, when that system becomes abusive, He will not deal with the system He ordained according to its own standards in order to bring about the result He warned about. He follows a pattern and therein is the house of order. 

"When Christ came the first time, God took down a previously established hierarchy using an orderly process, informing us about His house of order. He ordained John to bring it to an end, which put him on a collision course with the hierarchy. John the Baptist was 'ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord…' Joseph Smith elaborated, 'The son of Zacharias wrested the keys, the kingdom, the power, the glory from the Jews, by the holy anointing and decree of heaven.'

"For His return, we should expect something similar to His first coming. That is, an orderly take down of a competing hierarchy using someone ordained to accomplish that end that is put by God on a collision course with the targeted power structure. John’s mission required them to reject the truth and testimony he offered. It was orderly, public and required a conflict followed by rejection. In any modern take down of the LDS hierarchy the Lord will allow those involved to act freely. The hierarchy must voluntarily and clearly violate God’s standard. It must be orderly, public and the result of a conflict ordained by God’s will. This is how a house of order operates anciently and again today. 

"The Book of Mormon is more prophecy than history. Before the Lord’s appearance to the Nephites, society broke down into tribes consisting of family and friends. Immediately before the Lord’s return we should expect something similar. Therefore, part of the preparation by God’s house for coming social chaos is likely to include some preliminary preparations by families and friends to fellowship with one another in local gatherings, perhaps completely apart from control by the LDS hierarchy. Only by independently functioning can they hope to prepare for social chaos prophesied to accompany Zion and precede the Lord’s return.  There will also be indigenous prophet-led people coming through God’s assistance to Zion.

"Joseph Smith cautioned the saints about violating God’s trust. As Joseph put it: 'His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath. We should expect God’s house to be ordered around only one principle: repentance. When the pride of a great organization replaces repentance, the heavens withdraw, and when they do, 'Amen' to that portion of God’s house. But the restoration through Joseph will always remain, even if God chooses to order it differently before His return. It is His to do with as He determines best....

"His house is a house of order, but since the days of Abraham God’s house has included things about which we have very little knowledge.

"Because of apostasy by the overwhelming majority of Adam’s posterity, Abraham was born into apostasy. Abraham’s struggle to overcome an apostate world qualified him to be the father of the righteous. His struggle to return and reclaim faith is the model mankind would see, with very few exceptions, forever after. He was the prototype of 'everyman' in a post-deluge world, cut off from God, the Patriarchs and the Garden.

"Abraham’s chosen son, with whom the covenant would continue, was Isaac. God renewed the covenant with Isaac, and again with Jacob, and again with Joseph. But Abraham married after the death of Sarah. His wife, Keturah, bore him sons also. Among these was Midian. Generations later, the chosen line was devoid of priesthood, but through Midian a descendant named Jethro was still a 'priest' whose line of authority reckoned back generations. This priest who had seven daughters, ordained Moses to the very priesthood that allowed him to enter God’s presence. From this we know the 'house of God' extended beyond the Biblical narrative involving Abraham’s lineage. God’s house included generations of righteous, priesthood empowered, independently functioning families lost to the scriptural record and our memory. 

"Even if only the chosen line from Abraham is God’s house, the Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom removed ten tribes from the Bible’s account. The apocryphal book of Esdraus records they were led away to the north by God, at which point they vanished from our record. While absent from our Bible, these missing people remained prophet-led. They kept a sacred record we have yet to have revealed to us. Christ following His resurrection visited them, like the Nephites. God’s house of order spread in all directions and vanished from view.

"At approximately 600 B.C., a party of believers were prophet-led to abandon Jerusalem and flee to the Americas. Their record is the Book of Mormon. They, along with the missing ten tribes, remained part of God’s house of order, although we knew nothing concerning them until the Book of Mormon publication in 1830.

"Despite being widely separated, Christ considered them all 'one fold.' He was their 'one shepherd.' 

"Moses founded a religious establishment headed by descendants of Aaron and assisted by male members of the Tribe of Levi. This hierarchy, however, never controlled the Old Testament prophets, who were outsiders frequently condemning the religious establishment. God ordained them directly, outside Israel’s religious hierarchy. One of these independently ordained prophets declared: 'I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit. And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.' Called only by God, they functioned outside of man’s authority and control. The house of order God establishes and watches over has frequently refused to obey Him. Prophets roundly condemned Israel’s priests and false prophets for failing to follow His path and respect His commandments. All of this is God’s house of order.

"The Book of Mormon follows a splinter group led by Zeniff into the land of Lehi-Nephi. His kingdom was conferred on his son, King Noah, who was wicked. His wickedness included an aggressive building program, while neglecting the needs of his people. He released all his father’s priests and called new ones 'such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.' Among these was the priest Alma. 

"When Noah’s people departed from God’s path, a single man entered the scene. He was unconnected from any known genealogy. Only he bears the name 'Abinadi' in the book, and therefore we cannot know for certain if he was Nephite, Lamanite, Jaredite, or something other. The lone witness, Abinadi, condemned King Noah, his court and his people. The established authorities were incredulous. King Noah declared: 'Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?' The house of order, as far as the king and his priests could tell, could not include such an outsider.

"Joseph Smith explained John the Beloved was still here, laboring with the lost tribes of Israel. There were three Nephite disciples who similarly 'never taste of death' and remain here. LDS scripture also mention there are yet others 'ye know not of' who are likewise here with no account given us.

"Many more examples could be given, but this is enough to show the house of order established by God is beyond man’s will and never fully disclosed. Although an orderly process fills offices in His house, God can, has and will still speak up through whomever He chooses. Just because He says something to one, we should not conclude He is prevented from speaking with another." (Denver Snuffer, 40 Years in Mormonism, Preserving the Restoration, 9/9/2014)

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"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

"O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.

"Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God.

"¶Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar: Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.

"Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

"Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord God." (Ezekiel 13:1-16)

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"Apostasy is...persisting...in teaching false doctrine."

Does this definition apply to leadership? By the law of restoration, if a leader judges that a member is worthy of excommunication for persisting in teaching false doctrine, will that leader himself be judged unworthy of the association of the Savior in eternity? For the those that wrote this statement are surely guilty of what they accuse others.

First Presidency Letter

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We have had generations of yes-men leadership in the church who defer and suspend all of their own judgement to the authority just higher than themselves, up to the president, that we now have presidents who really have no idea what's going on who were groomed in those ranks. Alma 12:9-11 is fulfilled in them.

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The shepherds of Israel have truly lost their mind. We as members have a duty to remove all assent. You will not want this done in your name, with your right hand.

Rock Waterman: Vengeance and the Latter-Day Saint

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Joseph Smith, a true prophet said he wished he had 40 days and nights, uninterrupted by poverty and worldly concerns to explain the gospel and unfold the mysteries of heaven, that rolled before him like an overflowing surge.

The men today we are supposed to sustain today as prophets can't come up with 30 minutes or less of material without repeating what each other has said and not only that, but repeating what's been said by themselves in previous conferences over and over ad-infinitum.

Well did Isaiah prophecy that our tables would be full of regurgitated, malnourishing food.

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Our country is falling apart, we're in the middle of World War III murdering millions for gain, destroying the widow and fatherless, converting their lives to money through inflation drinking in with the traditions and partaking of the spoils of Gadiantons and countless other horrors, and the topic? Somehow I don't think Isaiah would be talking about Home Teaching.

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"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed; but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd; and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill; yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

"Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore, for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where thy have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

"And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be; there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

"And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.

"And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen anymore. Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God." (Ezekiel 34)

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As relevant today as when it was uttered.

"All men are liars who say they are of the true Church without the revelations of Jesus Christ and the Priesthood of Melchisedek, which is after the order of the Son of God.

"It is in the order of heavenly things that God should always send a new dispensation into the world when men have apostatized from the truth and lost the priesthood; but when men come out and build upon other men's foundations, they do it on their own responsibility, without authority from God; and when the floods come and the winds blow, their foundations will be found to be sand, and their whole fabric will crumble to dust." (Joseph Smith, HC v. 6)

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"After nearly a millennium-and-a-half, there was a great gulf between God’s last revelation and Catholic doctrines. When Gutenberg’s 1439 press and an increasingly literate population made it impossible for the Roman hierarchy to control information, Catholicism fractured. The Internet is to LDS Mormonism what Gutenberg’s press was to Catholicism. It is no longer possible for an institution to control the narrative." (Denver Snuffer, "Cutting Down the Tree of Life to Build a Wooden Bridge")

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The LDS church is not a friend of religious freedom, notwithstanding they have come out with a few videos about it. Take for example all the concessions the Church willingly makes in oppressive countries in order to gain a foothold there. Why is the church allowed in China? Because it makes good, obedient citizens. Take the encouragement the church gave to Utah lawmakers to force businesses to hire homosexual workers against conscience, yet make an exemption for themselves. Count the number of times you hear the Twelfth Article of Faith misused in General Conference to cause members to submit to anti-religious tyranny. Count the number of sincere members who want to have an open dialog and publish material about the real or their perceived history of the church who are excommunicated. Take the violation of their own scriptural commands that excommunication be handled locally and not directed from the top by the anti-religious-freedom "Strengthening Church Members Committee" and then tell me the LDS church is for religious freedom.

Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-a are the actual supporters of religious freedom.

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I've found more genuine spiritual revelation, knowledge and insight in a small book than I have in decades of General Conference.

They make broad their titles of prophet, seers and revelators and enlarge the borders of their authority.

"They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof; from such turn away."

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Mormons and Gays

Originally posted here: http://anonymousbishop.com/

The church now teaches it's okay to be gay as long as you are straight. Que?

 

The church now teaches it’s okay to be gay as long as you are straight. Que? Click on the link above to visit the site.

Since I mentioned this issue in my last post, I thought I would further address here. I am including a letter written by a bishop in the church to his stake president. I think the content is good. My belief is that the best way to “sustain the brethren” is to tell them precisely how we feel about important issues and hopefully to persuade them to the truth. I include this private letter with permission from this bishop. It was written in 2012, before the church cast its vote in favor of including gay scouts in BSA. I personally believe that the church is making a huge mistake by trying to tweak its “doctrines” to help change the church’s image. Enjoy.

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Dear President XXXXXX:

I wish to respectfully share my concerns over the Church’s recent “Mormons and gays” website and the message, in my opinion, it will send to some.

On the website under the heading “Where the Church stands” it states:

The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

I agree with much of this statement and believe wholeheartedly that the Church and all its members should reach out to anyone who is struggling with sin.

As a bishop in the Church I frequently counsel ward members struggling with sexual sin. Like many other bishops I have discovered how important our thoughts are in this process. What we spend our time thinking about often determines what we do, who we are, and what we become. (Proverbs 23:7). What we think about ourselves and more importantly what we think about Christ will determine whether or not we overcome our sins.

The concept now advanced on the website that “the attraction itself is not a sin” appears to challenge the importance of containing our thoughts, appetites, and passions within the bounds the Lord has prescribed. After all many people are attracted to the opposite sex because they have entertained those thoughts. We teach our young men, for example, that their attraction to women is natural, that God made us this way to fulfill his divine procreative plan. I believe that this attraction in and of itself is not a sin, IF one’s thoughts, appetites, and passions (one might also say attractions) are pure and not allowed to dwell upon that which is carnal. This rationale becomes less logical when we take the same example of this natural attraction and apply it to a married person. Would we tell a married man, for example, that his attraction for another man’s wife is not a sin? When we expand this logic to same-sex attraction I think the argument loses its integrity entirely. The obligation exists as one of the most foundational parts of our faith that our “desires, appetites and passions” are to be confined to what “the Lord prescribes.” This is not confined to actions or deeds, but includes “desires” as well. Yet this website appears to now contradict that obligation and welcome desires, appetites and passions which are not prescribed by the Lord. Indeed, they are condemned by the Lord as an abomination.

Same sex attraction does not come from God. The Church teaches that homosexuality and other grievous sexual sins are next to murder in gravity. If one is attracted to this sin, then they are being enticed and tempted by the enemy of all righteousness, even the devil. Moroni explained that “…whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil is of the devil ” (Moroni 7:17). The very definition of the word attraction is intertwined in meaning with words such as persuade and entice.

To suggest that the attraction itself is not a sin, I believe, is far too broad a statement and could cause some struggling with same sex attraction to not be alarmed by what they think and feel. Or, alternatively, to dismiss it as normal and God-given. Would it not be better to say that “the attraction itself is not always a sin (especially when someone has been exposed to homosexuality before the age of accountability), but that the attraction itself is not from God and like any propensity or genetic disposition, we beseech Christ as our Healer and thank the Lord that men are not leopards and can thus change their spots.”

I also think it is overly broad and misleading to suggest that “individuals do not choose to have such attractions.” This may be true in some cases, but even many social and medical scientists would disagree with this broad statement. Some individuals may not have chosen these attractions, but many have. Others have these attractions as a result of being abused as a child or youth. As a bishop I have seen how pornography and “thought sins” as President Kimball called them, lead people down forbidden paths of immorality.

This statement also seems to indicate that “God makes people this way,” a common theme in society and amongst those telling their story on the Church’s new website. In fact those who are “Mormon and gay” by their own admission, and who are celibate, seem to celebrate having accepted themselves as they are. Is this the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world? To accept who you are and embrace it? Or is the message of the Gospel to never stop petitioning the Lord to help you overcome your thoughts and your tendencies and your attractions and your vices and anything and everything that keeps you from Him?

I am very concerned that these videos will be shown in church meetinghouses to both the young and old and will put unnecessary ideas into the heads of younger members already struggling with their identity. In three of the videos that I watched, all three candidates being interviewed admitted to “experimenting” with same sex attraction, in one case to the point of “infatuation.” In other words, all three of these individuals had gay sexual relations. And by the grace of God each of these three people have, for the time being, seemingly overcome their urges and are now either married (Ty) or celibate (Suzanne and Ted). How many who “experiment” with homosexuality are able to live to tell their story in a video sponsored by the Church? I don’t know the answer, but I feel very uncomfortable with my own children and the youth of our ward being exposed to these types of “success stories” that may give the wrong impression that it’s not a sin to entertain such attractions and that anything they might do or try will turn out okay for them in the end. Furthermore, the overwhelming impression left by Ted and Suzanne is that their lot in life is to never marry, that God made them this way, and rather than fight it, they have embraced it. Is that the message we want to leave with members? That our brokenness cannot be repaired by Christ?

In a recent training for bishops and stake presidents, Elder David A. Bednar counseled us to preach that men must learn to “act for themselves and not to be acted upon.” (2 Nephi 2:26). Teaching people that same sex attraction is not a sin and that it is not by choice that people are same sex attracted, seems to suggest that it’s okay to be acted upon. I know that the Church does not intend this, but I fear it will be the natural conclusion drawn by many. Wouldn’t it be better to teach people that if they are not acting on same sex attractions, that they are not gay? They may have same sex attraction, but they have chosen to act for themselves and not be acted upon by not limiting or defining themselves to a title or as a victim of a condition of nature.

I am also concerned over the way the Church now seems to be treating this particular abomination differently than other sins which are equally abominable before God. The Church’s new policy, for example, is that BYU students are allowed to “be gay” as long as they do not act out on it. Will this same standard be applied to aspiring young missionaries? Will the Church allow young men to serve who are gay, but who are currently chaste? Am I to recommend a young man for service who says he is attracted to other young men sexually? As a parent I would be very concerned about my own son or daughter’s safety if I knew his/her companion was sexually attracted to him/her. Are we to assume that these young men and young women will not falter or give in to their sexual urges while companions day and night with someone they are sexually attracted to? If a gay person’s urges are the same or stronger than a heterosexual’s urges, then we may as well allow young men and young women to be companions with the opposite sex, if in fact the church allows a gay person to serve a mission with a companion of the same sex.

I hope that the answer is that we will not allow anyone who believes they are gay to serve a mission. I am not suggesting that someone cannot successfully struggle with same sex attraction and resist sins of commission. I am suggesting that everyone should go through the normal repentance process and prove they can be trusted in the Lord’s service.

In my opinion, a person cannot be both gay and completely chaste. Chaste being defined as holy, or whole. Being gay is a sexual orientation which is abominable to the Lord. In other words, gay people are oriented to having or wanting to have sexual relations with someone of the same sex. The Church should teach that anyone who feels they are gay should and can work to overcome it. And that if such a person succeeds in not acting out on it and allows the Lord to change their hearts, they will not be left disappointed and will certainly not still be gay.

Will the BYU standard apply to those wanting to serve in Boy Scouts or with the youth? BSA’s own policy is to “not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals” without making exception for whether those individuals abstain from sexual activity. Our Church policy seems to now conflict with BSA’s policy as we are allowing openly gay members to serve, I assume, in any and all positions in the Church, if they are “worthy.” This concerns me greatly.

The Boy Scouts also state that:

Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. The vast majority of parents we serve value this right and do not sign their children up for Scouting for it to introduce or discuss, in any way, these topics.

The BSA is a voluntary, private organization that sets policies that are best for the organization. The BSA welcomes all who share its beliefs but does not criticize or condemn those who wish to follow a different path.

As a parent I would feel much more comfortable abiding by this policy within the Church. I agree that a setting must exist for those struggling with same sex attraction and other vices. I am told that less than 5% (some say 1%) struggle with SSA amongst Latter-day Saints. But I do not believe addressing this topic universally with the 95-99% should be incorporated into our mainstream daily Church organization. We appease the complaining small minority at the expense of alienating the greater majority who fear spread of this behavior. I do not want my kids exposed to such topics in any church setting in a way that may cause more questions than answers as I think these videos on Mormonsandgays.org do.

Will we offer the same deference to other types of sins or struggles? Is it correct to say that it is not a sin to want to kill someone as long as one does not act out on it? Or that it’s natural to be suicidal? Will we send someone on a mission who has suicidal tendencies or who admits to being tempted to murder someone? Do we say it is not a sin to be attracted sexually to animals or to little children? Would we ever in a million years place a calling to someone to serve in the nursery or in cub scouts who admits that they have a sexual attraction or orientation to little children, whether they have ever acted out on it or not?

In conclusion, I firmly agree with the general assertion that the Church should teach the world God loves all His children and members should try to emulate the same. I agree we should reach out to people who struggle with same sex or any inappropriate attraction by teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I agree members need to be generally more loving, forgiving and tolerant of all sinners. I agree bishops may need more counsel on how to sensitively deal with those who struggle with SSA.

But, I disagree the Church should accept that it’s okay to be gay or it should convey to any member these attractions are normal, God-given, and not sinful. I also do not believe the Church should have a website titled Mormonsandgays.org. I think the title alone is “racy” and sends the wrong message. Would we do the same with those who struggle with other pernicious sins? Mormons and pedophiles? Bestiality, adultery, or even kleptomaniacs? I do not think we should have videos with Church music in the background showing gays going on dates (as is depicted in Ty’s story). Nor should we allow someone, especially repentant, to refer to those experiences any more than we would want or allow a speaker in church or at a youth fireside or in a missionary discussion to mention their previous sexual sins.

I fully sustain the leadership of this wonderful Church. I pray for those who are tasked with grappling with these complex issues for the entire Church. I pray my confidential feedback is helpful. We love the Brethren and pray for the Lord to sustain them in these wicked and perilous times.

Respectfully,

Bishop XXXXXX

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Mistaking false for true prophets

"But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth—and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet. Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him." (Helaman 13:27-28)

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In a talk that should be titled "I testify of ourselves, never worry or fear, you can place your faith in us." (October 5, 2014) Dominican Elder Nelson proclaimed the following views:

"We thank you for your faith and devotion."  This was said in relation to sustaining the authorities of the church.

"...We thank the O God for a Prophet. Do you and I really understand what that means? ...Imagine the privilege...  His counsel will be untainted, unvarnished, unmotivated by any person aspiration, and utterly true."

I waited for a qualification, a clarification, that we cannot expect this, that he is a man and fallible.  It never came.  Truly he has thanked us for our "faith" and "devotion" to themselves.

"...we sustain [the prophet] in deed and in truth."  This is a description in the scriptures of how we worship God.

"Prophets in every sense of the word"  I still await any prophecy, seeing or revelation.

"no prophet has ever been elected" (5:30)  Gerontocracy is how God manifests his chosen servant in our day.  And yes, Brigham Young was elected.

"Perhaps it may make some of you stumble, were I to ask you a question—Does a man's being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, no! A man may be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the President of the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the President of the Church, as long as he lived: the people chose to have it so. He always filled that responsible station, by the voice of the people. Can you find any revelation appointing him the President of the Church? The keys of the Priesthood were committed to Joseph, to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity; but when he was called to preside over the Church, it was by the voice of the people; though he held the keys of the Priesthood, independent of their voice." (Brigham Young, JD 1:133)

"Our sustaining is an oath-like indication that we recognize their calling as a prophet to be legitimate and binding upon us."

"we know what the will of the Lord is when unanimity is reached" In other words when we agree, that's how we know it's the Lord's will. (9:00)

"'We serve to the best of our ability, I assure you the church is in good hands. The system setup...assures us that it will always be in good hands, and come what may, there is no need to worry or fear.' (P. Hinckley)" (13:37)

"O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him." (Mormon 9:27)

"And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." (2 Nephi 28:21)

"President Monson we thank you for those truths. And we thank you for your lifetime of exemplary and dedicated service. May I presume to speak for the members of the church throughout the world in our united an sincere expression of grattitude for you.  We honor you, we love you, we sustain you; not only with uplifted hands, but with all our hearts and consecrated effors, humbly and fervently." (14:30)

Unbelieveable.  Its no wonder our bishop had such devotional and omnicient things to say about the prophet: "He knows my needs, he knows your needs. He knows each of us. I hope I can follow the prophet."

And this from Seventy William Walker: "As we follow President Monson and try to be more like him, we will inevitably succeed in being more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ." (CES Devotional, Ensign, April 2014.)

The talk warrants church discipline for an act of apostasy and openly teaching others his pernicious views.  It will never come, because apostasy is not defined by the church as apostasizing from Christ and his gospel, but from the established church leaders.

"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. 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." (Mark 9:46-47, Inspired Version)

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Seventy Lynn Robbins (10/4/2014)

He opened his talk telling this story where Boyd K. Packer asked him "Which way do you face?" Elder Packer explained; "A seventy does not represent the people to the prophet, but the prophet to the people. Never forget which way you face."

"Between 3 Nephi chapter 11 and 28 the Savior used the title Father at least 163 times. Making it very clear to the Nephites that he was there representing his Father. And from John chapters 14 thru 17 the Savior refers the the father at least 50 times. In every way possible he was His Father's perfect disciple...He flawlessly knew which way he faced."

Elder Robbins turns this on its head, he turns it into name dropping. He turns the humility of Christ into pride. The Savior testified of the Father, because in humility, he testified of someone greater than himself. He wanted all glory for the Father. He set his face like a flint not doing his own will, but suffered greatly the will of the Father in all things. He was not some representative telling the Nephites they better listen to him becuase "hey, I'm next in line to the Father!"

It's such a self serving line. We are all supposed to be facing the Savior and supporting each other in that, not mirroring a Gentile corporation. He that is greatest is the servant of all. The church is supposed to be run by common consent, not by "shit flows down stream."

From Anonymous Bishop:

I remember in a leadership training meeting where Elder Bednar told the story of how he was asked the following question: “How are you guys (referring to the brethren) so in tune with the Lord?” Elder Bednar’s response was interesting. “First of all,” he said “we are not ‘guys’. We are prophets, seers, and revelators. We are special witnesses. Don’t refer to us as guys.”

"Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up." (2 Nephi 28:12)

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Seventy Lynn Robbins inadvertently prophesies against the church:

"Many of the churches among the Nephites...began to dumb down the doctrine. Look for parallels in this passage for our day."

"And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness." (4 Nephi 1:27)

"Deja Vu in the latter days." (General Conference 10/4/2014)

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"If any man in that position [referring to the Church President], should become unfaithful, God would remove him out of his place. I testify in the name of Israel's God, that he will not suffer the head of the Church, whom he has chosen to stand at the head, to transgress His laws and apostatize. The moment he should take a course that would in time lead to it, God would take him away." (Joseph F. Smith Gospel Doctrine, p. 44)

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Nephi specifies that it's the leaders that cause the people to err:

"O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths." (2 Nephi 13:12, quoting Isaiah 3:12)

"...they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2 Nephi 28:14)

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"Some of the functions in the celestial body will not appear in the terrestrial body, neither in the telestial body, and the power of procreation will be removed. I take it that men and women will, in these kingdoms, be just what the so-called Christian world expects us all to be t neither man nor woman, merely immortal beings having received the resurrection. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, Doc of Salv 2:287-288; emphasis added)

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"All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

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"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." (D&C 84:85)

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New, Improved Mormonism

Lots of excitement arises from the statement by the church denouncing past practices and teachings in its editorial on its website titled “Race and the Priesthood.” Lots of buzz on the Internet and in news outlets. The thesis of the editorial is that the church, which today is headquartered in a nation with a black president, has overcome racism, which was a sin, and now can denounce it (and past president's of the church) with passion, like others in modern society.

The LDS position is that the church leaders can never lead its members astray, except in the past - and then it can correct it - in the here and now. When corrected, the LDS church can then consign its past leaders to condemnation for their sins. Sort of ex post facto “we’re still not going to lead you astray” as long as you are living when we fix it... or something like that. It’s really hard to keep up with the “we’re not going to lead you astray” component of modern Mormonism with all the dramatic changes and strong denouncements of past errors and sins and mistakes by racist, sexist, polygamous church presidents. But, trust them, they’re somehow not going to lead you astray.

The minions in the faceless editorial composition unit (I envision them as little yellow chaps who are constantly engaged in slapstick shenanigans) need to move forward now to continue their fix of the LDS position. I’d like to point out for their revisionism some more editing now needed:

The new editorial explained: “According to one view, which had been promulgated in the United States from at least the 1730s, blacks descended from the same lineage as the biblical Cain, who slew his brother Abel. Those who accepted this view believed that God’s ‘curse’ on Cain was the mark of a dark skin.” This view was based on a verse in Genesis. But they can leave Genesis 4: 15 alone, because the “mark” put upon Cain is not defined there. It is only in LDS scripture the mark is clarified. It was blackness: “And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.” (Moses 7: 22.) This uniquely LDS scripture clarifies what Genesis does not make clear. For the Christians “in the United States from at least 1730's” this idea of blacks descending from Cain was merely a theory. But for Latter-day Saints it was a matter of actual canonized scripture. So the purging of the LDS sins is only partial. They need to condemn Enoch as yet another past, false leader who subscribed to a now discredited view.

The editorial continues, describing “Black servitude was sometimes viewed as a second curse placed upon Noah’s grandson Canaan as a result of Ham’s indiscretion toward his father.” This is derived from the account in Genesis 9 where Noah curses Canaan with these words: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” (Moses 7: 22.) These Biblical words have been used to justify slavery. This raises two issues: first, slavery, and second, a cursed lineage. These are two altogether different topics.

As to the first, slavery was practiced throughout the Old and New Testaments. Further, if you look at the specific curse of Noah’s, it did not relate to Ham. Nor to all of Ham’s descendants. Ham married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain. However, the curse of servitude Noah pronounced did not target Ham, nor Ham’s sons Cush, Mizraim, or Phut. (Gen. 10: 6.) The curse of servitude was only on his grandson Canaan, the youngest son of Ham. Examples of servitude in scripture are too numerous to list, but the Law of Moses adopted rules governing how to treat slaves because slavery was permitted. Even Christ presumed slavery, using slaves in His parables. Most telling of all, however, is the unique future LDS heaven which envisions servitude for the unworthy. (See, e.g., D&C 132: 16-17.) So there’s some work left to do for the editorialists in conforming LDS scripture to the newly enlightened position. We will need for them to condemn past leaders like Moses, Christ, Joseph Smith and the God of the future LDS heaven for their errant positions if they expect to make full recompense for LDS past errors.

On the second idea of a cursed lineage, there’s more work to be done with LDS scriptures as well. In Abraham we read of the “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.” (Abr. 1: 27.) This makes it plain enough there was a “cursed lineage”– an idea which survives in LDS scripture despite the editorial.

The editorial continues: “Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse,” Stopping just there, we need to have the following language taken from the Book of Mormon: “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” (2 Ne. 5: 21. There’s also mention in 2 Ne. 26: 33 and 3 Ne. 2: 15) This was designed by God to prevent intermarriage (“that they might not be enticing unto my people”). In the LDS scriptures the word “enticing” is footnoted to the Topical Guide subject “Marriage, Temporal.”

Then there is the editorial remark denouncing “that mixed-race marriages are a sin.” This brushes up against the verse in 2 Ne. 5: 21 as well as Abraham’s commandment concerning his chosen son, Isaac. For that son and the chosen lineage Abraham commanded: “I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.” (Gen. 24: 3.) Strong, even racist language from father Abraham. He refused intermarriage for his son. The editorialists announce that “Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.” The word “unequivocally” means without any hesitation or limit. So we now have the editorialists speaking for the “Church leaders today” denouncing Abraham. It was a racist demand imposed by Abraham, while swearing by the God of heaven and earth, that his son must not marry a Canaanite.

I’m impressed with the LDS leader’s bold, historic, revolutionary break with their past, their scriptures and their future heaven as well. This is courage and drama on a scale seldom seen in religion. We are witnessing revolutionaries in the very act of overthrowing their past beliefs.

There’s a lot of the LDS past now denounced, unequivocally, by the “Church leaders today.” They’ve judged and dismissed God, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Joseph Smith, along with past church presidents Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Councilor J. Reuben Clark, and even President Spencer W. Kimball who made the change in 1978 (because he denounced interracial marriage).

I was excommunicated after being accused of among other things "denigrating every church president since Joseph Smith." I don't think the accusation was true. In fact, I merely quoted them or their diaries. But even if you accept the accusation against me, I managed to stop short of denigrating Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Christ and Joseph Smith along with "every church president since Joseph Smith." The "Church leaders today" have raised their game to a whole new level. I know when I've been outdone. I'm an underachiever by comparison. These "Church leaders today" will even take on God in their denigration of past leaders!

The trouble I see the LDS church editorial writers now making for the church is conflating racism (which everyone should recognize as bad) with priesthood. They ought to have stopped short of this overreaching effort to fix their public reputation. One (racism) is decidedly bad. The other (priesthood) is not at all related to racism. Racism which results in afflictions visited by one group upon another merely based upon their racial status is invidious. That should be something all mankind can overcome at some point.

But priesthood is something quite different. It is so narrowly distributed that even the lesser priesthood was limited to one tribe (Levi) and even then could not be given to a man with a withered limb, or some other physical defect. Higher priesthood was yet more restrictive, almost never given to anyone, in any age. It is extraordinarily limited in numbers. God controls that Himself, directly.

For mankind to complain about God's control over His own power is beyond arrogant. The LDS church asserts it has some control over God's priesthood (a position that is increasingly dubious with each act of rebellion against God, and usurping power and control over the conscience of its members). On the assumption the LDS' claim is true, then they are merely stewards. They have no right to tinker with something God alone controls.

Fortunately, the highest form of priesthood requires a visit from God, who alone confers it. Therefore, no policy change, or enlightened new political position, will ever have an effect on who receives such an ordination. When (if) it reappears on the earth, it will have only one purpose: To bring about Zion and enable God's promises to be fulfilled. It won't be for empowering priestcraft and enabling multi-billion dollar purchases of land and buildings by an elite group who fare sumptuously while the poor are left begging

This is a great moment - and another example of the LDS church’s “continuing revelation,” because it surely is revealing.

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2013/12/new-improved-mormonism.html

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