Crown of Pride

"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." (3 Nephi 16:10)

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"Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ...should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him—for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God.  For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their God.  But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified." (2 Nephi 10:3-5)

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"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!" (Isaiah 28:1)

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"Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!" (2 Nephi 28:26)

"Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!" (2 Nephi 28:27)

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"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...wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!" (2 Nephi 28:21, 24-25)

Look, we have a hundred temples, we multiply ward, stake buildings and members, all is well!  We are the mightiest, most free, most righteous nation on earth; none dare to molest or make afraid!

"And behold, we are strong, we shall not come into bondage, or be taken captive by our enemies; yea, and thou hast prospered in the land, and thou shalt also prosper." (The wicked priests of King Noah justify themselves with the same arguments we hear today, Mosiah 12:15)

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"And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall." (2 Nephi 28:27)

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What were Laman and Lemuel's sins?

They did not believe their Father or Nephi could be a prophet. (1)

They did not believe they could receive revelation as Nephi claimed. (2)

They believed all was well in Zion, that the people of the church were a righteous people.(3)

They were slothful because they had no vision.  Who among us would put forth a great effort when the propriety of the course of action was in doubt?

They reject the testimony of Nephi; he was not a bona fide source of truth because he held no office, position or rank. (4)

Anger caused by pride and, no doubt, a feeling of righteous indignation led them to believe they were justified in killing Nephi and Lehi.

To Laman and Lemuel, Nephi was a wild man.

 

1. "Now, he says that the Lord has talked with him, and also that angels have ministered unto him. But behold, we know that he lies unto us; and he tells us these things, and he worketh many things by his cunning arts, that he may deceive our eyes..." (1 Nephi 16:38)

2. "And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?  And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us. Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?" (1 Nephi 15:8-10)

3. "And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his words; yea, and our brother is like unto him." (1 Nephi 2:12)

4. "And Laman said unto Lemuel and also unto the sons of Ishmael: Behold, let us slay our father, and also our brother Nephi, who has taken it upon him to be our ruler and our teacher, who are his elder brethren.

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"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)

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How futile the effort to please the world will prove to be.  Saints are not welcome here.  They are always unwelcome strangers on the earth; always a "peculiar people" who fail to conform to prevailing cultural norms.  The Saints hope to welcome the Lord into their presence, in the Millennial reign of peace.  About such people, however, the Lord says such people will "confess...they [are] strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (D&C 45:13)

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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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"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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"Christ came to end the Mosaic Dispensation and begin new forms of worship. The religious leaders of His day were so steeped in their form of religious observances they viewed Christ as a threat to the order of things. These were not irreligious people. Quite the opposite was true. They were devoted to the faith they practiced. It was their security, their tradition, their identity. Through it, their place in the world was established. The entire Roman Empire knew of the Jews. Their religious peculiarities were well known. Their synagogues were spread from Jerusalem to Antioch, from Alexandria to Rome. Paul's later missionary efforts would use the local synagogues throughout the Mediterranean as places to preach. The Jewish faith was the seedbed from which Christianity sprouted. The leaders of this faith were justifiably proud of their religion's successes. However, whatever light may have been possible to gain under this religion, the leaders were so opposed to Christ they conspired to have Him killed.

"The religion established through a prophet of God became the superstructure used to kill the Lord who first revealed it to Moses. As these devoted followers of Moses' law were killing Christ, they were satisfied their judgment was more than justified by their religion. Religion and the religious were the ones who opposed the Lord. The sinners and irreligious were His followers." (Denver Snuffer, Eighteen Verses, p. 191-192)

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"Religious movements begin with an individual soul gaining enlightenment. Some person profoundly connects with God and changes the course of history. "Religion" follows in the wake of personal or individual enlightenment as others are taught by the enlightened visionary. It is not easy to transfer a connection to God from one person to another, and religion is the unavoidable result of enlightenment as the transfer is attempted.

"It is impossible to institutionalize enlightenment. Although that is the object of every religious movement at the start, none of them able to reach that goal. What is institutionalized is an echo of the enlightenment experience. It is always left to the individual participant to find the experience for themselves.

"Moses' experience on Sinai resulted in a new Dispensation, because the heavens had opened and God had spoken. From this original contact with the ineffable, a religious construct was organized. It involved organization, priestly officiators, ordinances, rites, rituals, laws, social order and a body of teachings. The purpose of it all was to allow those who followed Moses and believed God had revealed Himself to Moses to worship in a form which would bring them into harmony with God. However, as the Old Testament account shows, those who followed in these religious observances would be at times cruel, mischievous, perverse, hard-hearted, vain and rule-ridden. Often, the whole of the Old Testament is viewed as a time of darkness and ignorance. The whole of the Mosaic Law is viewed by the Christian world as inferior to what was to come.

"The Mosaic Dispensation was a time of religious importance, however. It lasted for more than a millennium and is still remembered for its religious rites and observances. This epoch was dominated by religion. There may have been seasons when there was precious little enlightenment for a time, but throughout the era the people are still remembered for being religious. As the New Testament unfolds, we find just how entirely possible it was to be devoted to the religion, and yet so unenlightened to the truth that people would reject God. This gulf between religious people and their God highlighted Christ's ministry. Christ's teachings attempted to bring people back to God by focusing on what was truly important." (Denver Snuffer, Eighteen Verses, p. 189-191)

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"In the Church, there are many men whose devotion to Church leaders goes beyond hero-worship. They make themselves "ladies in waiting" hoping to secure for themselves favorable attention from Church leaders who can "call" them to positions which they covet. Their slavish focus on Church leaders, and desire to get noticed, makes them fit decidedly within the Telestial description given here. It is no wonder such people are only capable of handling Telestial glory, for they have failed to face the fearsome responsibility of acting before God as an agent for themselves. Agency has done them little good, since they have surrendered it in favor of following men to their damnation." (Denver Snuffer, Eighteen Verses, p. 29)

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"And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world; For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas. These are they who say they are some of one and some of another--some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant." (D&C 76:98-101)

"All those named (Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ, John, Moses, Ellas, Esaias, Isaiah and Enoch) were true messengers or authorized prophets of God. In the list is the Son of God Himself. These claims are not being made by those who were following Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Zarathustra, Vishnu or Krishna. They are being made by Saints, who thought themselves justified because of their belief in authorized messengers sent from God." (Denver Snuffer)

Receiving the testimony of Jesus is more than believing in Jesus. "Eternal life", Jesus said was to "know God", and knowing God is more than knowing about him. Receiving the testimony of Joseph Smith, without going on do that which Joseph taught, that is having our own face-to-face visitation, which is a fulness of the Gospel, wherein we receive the actual Everlasting Covenant, and not just it's symbolic version which we receive in the temple.

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"The coming change at the Lord's return is going to alter the Telestial condition of the world to a Terrestrial condition. To the extent any church tries to convert you to follow men, as I read you just a few moments ago, if you are of Paul, or of Peter, or of Spencer, or Ezra, or Howard, or Gordon, or Thomas; if you're of them, you will not survive the Lord's return. You will not survive the Lord's return, period. A revelation was given to Joseph Smith informing you of that. I am not, I never have been, and I never will be “of Thomas,” or of any of those who will follow him and sit in that same chair. I would recommend you hesitate also.

"I have to tell you though, and this is one of the ironies of the Second Coming. The Lord is big on irony. If you look at the description of those in the Terrestrial condition, from Doctrine and Covenants 76: 72, 'Behold, these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh; These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness.'

"So if you're in the world and blinded by the preaching of false ministers, but you live honorably according to that - but you don't follow them, you don't worship them, you simply do the best you can - you will survive the Lord's coming. If you are instead worshipping a man as your leader, to whom you look for your salvation, who holds 'keys' to take you away from death and hell and put you on a throne somewhere in heaven - that group of people have gotten too close to the truth to be excused for their error. They are idolaters, blinded by the craftiness of men. Without idolatry, they are simply confused about the nature of God, which is different from approaching nigh unto it, and then following and idolizing a man. I don't know if you can create idolatry outside of a religion claiming 'keys.' That limits it to the Catholics and the Mormons. And various off-shoots of Mormonism." (Denver Snuffer, 40 Years in Mormonism, Zion)

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"And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor." (2 Nephi 26:20)

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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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"Who is Nephi describing? Is it possible it could apply to us along with all other organized faiths?

"I have often heard my fellow-Saint speak of the sense of pride the Conference Center gives them. It is a great, spacious and technologically advanced center. I've thought the ceiling of that building looks somewhat like that very successful evangelist Joel Osteen's amazing church. I've wondered if the architectural firm took hints from other successful mega-churches when designing the Conference Center.  Have you noticed how the dimmed lights and the magnified images, magnified voices and focus upon the great pulpit is designed to use all the modern audio-visual technology to create heroic images within the building for the audience? It is a technical marvel. Really state of the art. It is hard for me not to take some pride in it all. Anyone who wonders if our church is respectable, successful, powerful or advanced, who visits the facility will no doubt leave with the conclusion that, despite our humble origins, we certainly have made a success in the world for ourselves. It is a story of overcoming and prospering.

"If those whose bloodstained footprints covered our westward migration could see what we've become, I wonder what delight (or disappointment) they would feel. Would they have any mixed emotions at seeing this monument in granite, glass, brass and walnut? The third-of-a-billion dollars we spent on it produced a landmark of splendor for the ages.  Poor Joseph had only an open air bowery to use. Adam, too, used the open plains of Adam-Ondi-Ahman to meet. We are, of course, blessed with more resources to use as part of our 'worship.'" (Denver Snuffer, 2 Nephi 28:10-12)

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"And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?" (Jacob 5:48)

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"Truly it may be said of us: Never have so many done so little with so much. In our desperate attempt to purchase the praise of the world, we have sold our tokens for money, our birthright for a mess of pottage." (Paul Toscano, Sanctity of Dissent)

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Hymns

The Spirit of God (#2)
"Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion and Jesus descends with his chariot of fire."
"The visions and blessings of old are returning and angels are coming to visit the earth"
"The Lord is extending the Saints understanding"
"The knowledge and power of God are expanding"

We identify with Ephraim and these great blessings.

Now Let Us Rejoice (#3)
"Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation. No longer as strangers on earth need we roam."
"Shortly the hour of redemption will come"
"When all that was promised the Saints will be given"
"Christ and his people will ever be one"

We identify as "Saints", and "Christ's people".

Truth Eternal (#4)
"Truth eternal, truth divine, In thine ancient fulness shine! Burst the fetters of the mind From the millions of mankind!"
We understand that we have truth and prophets and its those other people that the missionaries need to convert so they can be in our position.

High on the Mountain Top (#5)
"High on the mountain top A banner is unfurled. Ye nations, now look up; It waves to all the world. In Deseret's sweet, peaceful land, On Zion's mount behold it stand!"
We are in possession of Zion and the kingdom of God! Come and get it with us!

Redeemer of Israel (#6)
"As children of Zion, Good tidings for us. The tokens already appear. Fear not, and be just,For the kingdom is ours. The hour of redemption is near."

Israel, Israel, God is Calling (#7)
"Israel, Israel, God is speaking. Hear your great Deliv'rer's voice! Now a glorious morn is breaking For the people of his choice."
"Come to Zion, come to Zion!"

We are his chosen people. We are peculiar. We are Zion. Come get what we have!

Awake and Arise (#8)
"Oh, lift up your voices in song and in story. Let banners of peace in all lands be unfurled, For truth, heaven-born, in its beauty and glory Is marching triumphantly over the world."
We have the truth, temples, coventants prophets! The beauty of the blessedness which we posess is marching triumphantly! We have Mitt Romney, he has what we've got too! You should elect him!

Come, Sing to the Lord (#10)
"The keys of the priesthood of our Lord To us in fulness are restored, Their blessings to bestow, And pow'rs divine are manifest. Come, sing to the Lord, his name be blessed!"
We have all the keys! The Lord has given his power to men, and we pass down even sealing power to each other!

We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet (#19)
Our minds are darkened so save us O man we designate as "prophet"! Joseph warned us not to depend on thee, but we will depend on thee for everything! Tell us charming stories! Tell us how choice we are! Tell us how broad and safe the way is! For all we have to do is sing to thee! We are Zion, we are your chosen people! If anyone fights against us they will be destroyed! No one can know happiness like us!

They the Builders of the Nation (#36)
"Blessed, honored Pioneer!"
The pioneers are blessed! They did not experience "cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments!" We have everything the Lord wanted to give us through Joseph! We didn't lose one drop!

 

Jeffery R. Holland:

What a terrific time to be alive!

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most certain, the most secure, the most reliable, and the most rewarding truth on earth and in heaven, in time and in eternity. Nothing—not anything, not anyone, not any influence—will keep this Church from fulfilling its mission and realizing its destiny declared from before the foundation of the world. Ours is that fail-safe, inexorable, indestructible dispensation of the fulness of the gospel. There is no need to be afraid or tentative about the future.

Unlike every other era before us, this dispensation will not experience an institutional apostasy; it will not see a loss of priesthood keys; it will not suffer a cessation of revelation from the voice of Almighty God. Individuals will apostatize or turn a deaf ear to heaven, but never again will the dispensation collectively do so. What a secure thought! What a day in which to live!

If there are some bumps along the way while waiting to see every promise kept and every prophecy fulfilled, so be it. If you haven’t noticed, I am bullish about the latter days. In nothing could I have more faith than I have in God the Eternal Father, in Jesus Christ His Son, in Their redeeming gospel, and in their divinely-guided Church. Believe. Rise up. Be faithful. And make the most of the remarkable day in which we live!

The wild exuberance of our position and state before God knows no bound.

 

Compare this to these scriptural statements:

"Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed." (Moses 1:10)

"And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth." (Mosiah 4:2)

"I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants." (Mosiah 2:17)

"For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—" (Mosiah 4:5)

"And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true." (Mosiah 4:11-12)

"O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth." (Helaman 12:7)

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." (Alma 26:12)

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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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"Indeed, God has given us a test worthy of a God. And only those worthy of becoming among the gods will be able to solve the riddle.  Because only they will humble themselves, come with a contrite spirit and broken heart to offer upon the altar a sacrifice worthy of being accepted. Others will proceed in ignorance and arrogance to proudly proclaim: "I know my culture is true!" "I know all is well in Zion!" "I follow a broad and safe mainstream into a great and spacious building where there is peace, pride, success, prosperity and assurance that I am saved while all around me there are those who will be cast down to hell!" Or similar such nonsense... Warmed over Evangelical gibberish, with a vague Mormonesque vocabulary applied to it. Having a form of godliness, but without power. This new form of ungodliness will not be lacking in body, parts and passions, for the image of the idol raised will be the very image of the person looking in the mirror. They will think themselves destined to rule and reign over principalities, dominions, heights, depths and others. They are their own idols! What irony it all invokes! It must make the devil look up to heaven and laugh still. (Moses 7: 26.) Perhaps we ought to see some humor in it as well.  ...Or, since we're speaking of the loss of men's souls, maybe it can never be humorous.  Only tragedy. Only disappointment. Only foolishness.

"Where is the hope? Is there none? Yes, in repentance! Changing our course! Remembering God again! Restoring what has been lost! Returning and repenting! That's right! And Nephi has invited us to do just that." (Denver Snuffer, 2 Nephi 31:16)

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