Concluding Testimony at my Disciplinary Council

MartinLuther95ThesesI shared my testimony in our regular monthly testimony meeting this morning. I wanted to make sure the Bishop and a member of the Stake Presidency present – he’s also in our ward – heard me say I sustain the general authorities and local authorities of the church. Of course these words were in addition to sharing comments reflecting my love of my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

Covering All the Bases

Carol asked me afterward if I did that to offset whoever it was that complained about my blog a few months ago. I assured her I was sincere, but yes, I wanted the whole ward to know of my feelings for those who lead this church. I continue to sustain them with my prayers and with my money. Yes, I know my tithing is used to pay their salary. It also helps pay my sister’s salary.

Follow the Bishop’s Counsel

As far as I know, I’m not under any priesthood leader’s watch list for an impending disciplinary council, but a few of my friends and fellow bloggers have been surprised, so I’m being careful. I’m doing my utmost to follow my Bishop’s counsel to keep my headlines non-inflammatory and to keep links to my posts off Facebook. Those links are apparently where I got in trouble before.

It’s Tough to Be a Bishop

I continue to be appreciative of my Bishop’s opening remarks when he called me to talk the first time a few months back. He said our chats – there were two follow-ups – were motivated out of love. I know I’ve shared this before but I believe him. Our bishop is a good man. I love him and appreciate all he does for our ward. It takes a lot of time to manage the largest ward in the stake.

If Ye Are Prepared, Ye Shall Not Fear

Specifically because some of my fellow bloggers were surprised at the rapidity of the course of events surrounding their disciplinary councils, I want to be prepared, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually in case I get surprised. In one case the good brother was notified on Sunday he was to be tried for his membership and was excommunicated 72 hours later on Wednesday evening.

Course of Action Planned in Advance

I’ve written my defense before the High Council in a previous post. Obviously it was imaginary, a defense based on years of observation of disciplinary councils in which I have participated as a High Counselor, a Bishopric Counselor or a clerk. I hope this will never be needed, but in that same spirit, I’d like to have my closing testimony prepared in the event I am allowed to share it.

How I Dislike Disciplinary Councils

In case you don’t know, there’s no guarantee you will get to say anything at your disciplinary council. Seriously. I know what the handbook says. About the only thing they have to let you say is how you answer to the charges – innocent or guilty. Don’t you just hate the whole concept of a disciplinary council? I do. It doesn’t seem right to have such things in the church of Jesus Christ.

Our Decision That You Be Excommunicated

But then, what do I know? I’m just a lowly member, happy to be here, grateful to serve. So with that in mind, and since I use my blog as an auxiliary personal journal, here is what I would like to say if I ever hear the words, “Brother Malone, our decision is that you be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Is there anything you would like to say?”

Shared Desire to Do the Will of the Lord

“Thank you President. I’ll be brief here. Thank you to my brethren of the High Council for their service. And thank you, President, for your thoughtful and prayerful consideration of my case. I know this is painful to you, not because you’re losing a financial clerk, but because I know you are a good man, with a desire to do the will of the Lord. I’m grateful we share that same desire.

Excommunication Difficult on Family Members

“There’s no need to go over the details of my case. The decision has been made and I sustain your action. I suspect the decision was made at a higher level in the church, but that doesn’t matter. I am no longer a member but will continue to attend with my wife for whom I pray night and day. This chain of events has been painful for her and a source of resentment and frustration.

Apostasy – Simply Writing a Few Book Reviews

“I will not be appealing the case. I have never seen it do any good for anyone else. Besides, I have no intention of seeking rebaptism. I was excommunicated for apostasy – for simply reading a book and sharing it with others. I felt led by the Lord in the entire process. I was introduced to the book in the temple. I prayed about the book in the temple and was answered in the temple.

My Issue is With Interpreting Church History

“The book has changed my life. It clarified for me many things I already suspected or believed. I know my path is not for everyone. There are fundamental differences in the way we look at the church. I suspect it will always be so. This is not a personal issue with you, your leadership, or anyone in this room. My issue is with the Brethren in Salt Lake, always has been and will be.

The Priesthood Was Taken From Israel

“I will continue to pray for them, but am no longer allowed to sustain them, meaning they will not accept my tithing. It won’t be missed. I will continue to love them. They are good men who have taught and inspired me. They have done a good job in leading this church. You may think me deceived and naïve, but I feel sorry for them. They are stuck. They cannot escape the past.

Gentiles Shall Reject Fullness of the Gospel

“I don’t want to offend anybody so I won’t say anything more. My reasons are on my blog and will be amplified with greater clarity now that I am free to share more openly. I hope you won’t consider my blog to be anti-Mormon because it’s not. I am not an enemy of this church. I love the church and pray for its success, but believe things about the church that are no longer taught.

Prophecy and Traditional Narrative Differ

“For the record, I refute the charges that I do not sustain the Brethren. Perhaps it’s semantics. I simply disagree with some of their interpretations of history and scripture. I’ve been told I need to repent until my thinking is in line with what the Brethren teach about those certain events in our history. I appreciate the invitation. I know it’s offered with love and concern for my welfare.

Testimony of Church History Not Required

“I’ll conclude with words I wrote privately to a long-time reader who was troubled by my blog: Thank you for your love and concern. My mind is made up. I choose to believe things about our history that are not taught in our church or are taught in a manner that leaves out key elements. The beautiful thing is we don’t have to have a testimony of church history to come unto Christ.

The Purging of the Two Percent

“Let’s focus on what is important – to know Christ. I love this church for the renewed focus we have on the Savior. I have watched it happen in my lifetime. I pray that priesthood leaders will leave good men alone who are striving to come unto Christ but don’t believe some of the history. But recent evidence shared with me privately indicates the purge of men like me is accelerating.

The Truth Will Set You Free

If the church continues on this path, they will alienate and lose the strength and backbone of the priesthood brethren who faithfully pay tithes and administer in wards and stakes in the church. Can the church afford that? Perhaps – perhaps not. God bless us each in our pursuit of the truth. It is the truth that sets us free. When I finally accepted the truth of our history, I indeed felt free.”

This Could Never Possibly Happen

I don’t want to end on a negative note. Other than the interviews with my Bishop and the private correspondence with several bloggers who have recently been excommunicated for apostasy, this is all speculation and supposition. You may say it’s a product of my imagination. “You’ve been under a lot of stress, Tim. Nobody at Church headquarters even knows or cares about your blog.”

Strengthening Church Members Committee

That may be true. I hope the book reviews I write on my blog and what I choose to believe about the contents of those books has nothing to do with the status of my temple worthiness or church membership. Recent evidence from others is contrary. The SCMC is real. They really do determine that certain authors and bloggers are a threat to the church and need to be disciplined. It happens.

We Pay People to Read Member’s Blogs

God bless us all to stay in the good graces of the members of the Strengthening the Church Members Committee. I know I have communicated with a few of them. One is a Facebook friend and a blog follower. He is also a church employee. I have lots of church employees who are friends and read my blog, but this individual is vehemently opposed and vociferous in his opposing comments.

Lo Que Será, Será

I served my mission in Central America. They never used this phrase, but I like to use it. It fits in this case. I do all I can to follow what I believe is the will of the Lord. I know there are consequences of being misunderstood. After I have done all I can to make things clear to those who want to know the truth, all I can do is wait. I used to mock sites that said they had the truth of church history. Now…

As Always, Comments Open

What do you think? Is it possible the church is on the lookout for bloggers like me who write about church history in a way that differs from the standard narrative? Is it possible the church is out to squelch opposing viewpoints from among their own members? Am I a wolf in sheep’s clothing? My patriarchal blessing warns me about such individuals. Do you find my blog offensive? I’d love to read your views.

145 comments
lex
lex

Jesus would not critisize ? What was it He called the Pharasees ? He not only critisized them through the metaphor of referring to them as snakes, He was name calling as well. Why is there so much political correctness that permeates discussions concerning obvious things the Lord Himself would never condone from leaders that are taking place in the Lord's Church ? Simple truth is masked with excuses where excuses are not called for by God or desired. But rather corrective action levied at those actually responsible for violating church laws by the abuse of Priesthood authority being tolerated because of Rank. Is Rank what it's supposed to be about ? Or is Truth what it's supposed to be about ? Rank seems to trump the truth every time when it comes to making excuses for those with Rank and no consideration is given to those of little rank. Why is there a means for disiplining even the President of the church given in the D&C, if we are to excuse every wrong thing a GA does ? They counsel you for exercising correct & righteous principles then excommunicate a person if they fail to agree to being guilty of a crime. Since when is critisizing anything a crime punishable by exile ? Not allowing critical examination on the part of every member, closes the door to truth being discovered or maintained. Since when did Christ make this a standing policy in His Church ? Sounds like the church is moving through every parallel phase of silencing descent that Americans are receiving at the hand of Government. I agree it's the Lord's Church, but when has the Lord ever not allowed leaders or members of any dispensation to make foolish decisions He did not approve of ? He would always allow this up to the point of complete apostasy having set in and then took measures of judging the wicked among His flock and spared the few who remained faithful to God. This has been a never ending pattern since the beginning of time. The wrong decisions made by our leaders are only tolerated by the Lord because we ourselves make excuses for them and deserve what we ask for, like in the days of King Noah or any other unrighteous leader of the Lord's People, whom the people tolerated. Right up unto the time the Lord feels He's had enough of the Covenant People's tolerance of evil and the Lord eventually takes matters into His own hands and causes a division among the righteous and the wicked and destroys the wicked and reestablishes the righteous under new leadership. But until that time arrives, the Lord is content to allow us the exercise of our free agency. It's our God given right to be foolish, blind sheep if this is what we choose. How is what the average American citizen is going through right now with regard to tolerating corrupt political practices any different in concept to what members of the Lord's Church are going through in a very similar manner ? Yet few members would disagree that our political leaders are definately in an apostate condition and yet refuse to believe that our church leaders could possibly be in that same condition. Has it ever happened among the Lord's People before ? A better question might be....When has it not happened before ? Of course it's the Lord's Church. Always has been. But when has He never had to clean things up a bit when things began going the way of men as a result of these men ceasing to inquire of God and began relying on their own wisdom that ultimately fails them and anyone who listens to them ? How long does this go on according to patterns of the past ?....Until it's too late for men to settle matters and God must do it for us, like it should have been happening all along. I think we are pretty close to this now.

sfort
sfort

This pertains to the law of Moses, not to the new covenant.

sfort
sfort

Log, Please don't confuse submissiveness to church leaders as if we are tested by having shakles put upon us. Before truth can enter the soul, unbelief must be cast out. Though the church may be under strong delusion, it doesn't mean we half to submit to any unbelief. This would mean that we keep the chain of unelief front and center. The Catholic priests submit to their Bishops. In the eternal perspective, it means nothing because unbelief follows unbelief. We must identify unbelief and decide how far we want it influencing our lives.

hermanaclark
hermanaclark

If feel like the last person to get up in Fast and Testimony meeting and it's already 20 past the hour. Tim, you have said more than once that you feel admonished by the Lord to stand up for agency and... "It has always been about the right to read "non-approved material" and then write about it." I think your supporters (and we are all your supporters, because we are here) and your detractors, alike, would agree that what you do here is much more than read books and write reviews about them. Those who have learned and been edified by your blog would say you don't give yourself enough credit. Although, we all know you don't do this for the glory of men. Those who believe you are going down the wrong path might agree that by asserting all you are doing on your blog is simply (innocently) reading books and reviewing them is akin to saying, "I didn't inhale." Tim, you minimize the influence you are having, either way, when you say that reading books and reviewing them is all that is happening here.

Log
Log

JST, Luke 6:29–30. Compare Luke 6:29–30 29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 For it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, Your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one into judgment. While we who seek to follow Christ have a duty to suffer injustices from whence they may come, yet the Lord knows the burdens of his people, even when they are caused by those whom the Lord has made rulers in his household. JST, Luke 12:41–57. Compare Luke 12:37–48 41 For, behold, he cometh in the first watch of the night, and he shall also come in the second watch, and again he shall come in the third watch. 42 And verily I say unto you, He hath already come, as it is written of him; and again when he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, blessed are those servants when he cometh, that he shall find so doing; 43 For the Lord of those servants shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 44 And now, verily I say these things unto you, that ye may know this, that the coming of the Lord is as a thief in the night. 45 And it is like unto a man who is an householder, who, if he watcheth not his goods, the thief cometh in an hour of which he is not aware, and taketh his goods, and divideth them among his fellows. 46 And they said among themselves, If the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through and the loss of his goods. 47 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 48 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or unto all? 49 And the Lord said, I speak unto those whom the Lord shall make rulers over his household, to give his children their portion of meat in due season. 50 And they said, Who then is that faithful and wise servant? 51 And the Lord said unto them, It is that servant who watcheth, to impart his portion of meat in due season. 52 Blessed be that servant whom his Lord shall find, when he cometh, so doing. 53 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 54 But the evil servant is he who is not found watching. And if that servant is not found watching, he will say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants, and the maidens, and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken. 55 The Lord of that servant will come in a day he looketh not for, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him down, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 56 And that servant who knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not for his Lord’s coming, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 57 But he that knew not his Lord’s will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom the Lord has committed much, of him will men ask the more. It is no guarantee of righteousness that a man is called, even by God, a servant of the Lord.

superlativereality
superlativereality

"This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, ... for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene, and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence." (TPJS, p. 149.)> The Holy Ghost is pure intelligence (ONLY). Feelings associated with the Holy Ghost are our emotional reaction to it. It does take practice to discern the two. Spiritual progression is slow or halted by not being able to identify and learn from the Holy Ghost correctly. Feelings/emotional response that correlate with the Holy Ghost can be indicators/areas of stumbling blocks. We can learn a lot from the responses we have to the inflow of the Holy Ghost and being vigilante in making it our constant guide. Our salvation is dependent on this.

Shelem
Shelem

By disciplining or excommunicating intellectuals the church is reminding me of the Catholic church back in the dark ages. To some degree your case like many others remind me of the monk Martin Luther. When an institution becomes large like the LDS church unavoidably misses its essence. The church today is not the same church Joseph Smith restored. As an active believing member I no longer believe this institution to be the true and only church of Christ. Something is missing...

Mark
Mark

A whole lot of valid points were made in response to my comments. Some more contentious than others. My statement using the bold letters of "CANNOT falter" were made in the context of what Tim opened the discussion with. Tim writes book reviews and opines on various Church related subjects on this blog. I believe the more Christlike response to potentially over zealous Church leaders threatening excommunication is to submit to their request. They are not asking Tim or any of the others mentioned by Tim to take action such as the examples cited regarding marrying or not marrying somebody, or killing innocent people. They are asking individuals to stop openly criticizing the Church and it's leaders or openly taking a stance on controversial Church subjects. Again, submissiveness is what Christ taught and still teaches. Are the leaders potentially wrong? You bet. I am not suggesting that they are right simply because I believe the response of submission to them is a better course to take. So all of the posts arguing that the Church is wrong over this and that, has nothing to do with whether or not to submit to Priesthood leaders. The point is they are imperfect. Christ asks us to be submissive to not only our Priesthood leaders who my err, but even our enemies that despitefully use us. Does submission have a final ending point? I guess it may only depend upon the covenant made by the individual with the Lord. Nonetheless my comments were written in that context. I was close friends with John Pontius. Some believe he was in poor standing with the Church prior to his death because of the books he wrote. This is simply not true. John never spoke ill of Priesthood leaders or the Church. In fact, he often expressed gratitude and appreciation for the Priesthood leaders. He still wrote books that contained loftier thoughts than those taught in and by the Church and it's leaders. But he never criticized, let alone openly criticized the Church and it's leaders. Why would he? The Church succeeded in bringing him to a personal testimony of Christ. The Church and it's Priesthood leadership, even with all it's flaws, works! Souls are coming to Christ through Church efforts. I know that because of the testimony I have. Yes, there are many flaws, sticking points, and in my opinion way too much emphasis on works over grace, but at the end of the day, I have the Church and it's organization to thank for helping me arrive to a personal relationship with my Savior. From here forward, I know in Whom I trust and to Whom I will rely. I also know that when one openly criticizes the Church and it's leaders, ones spirit tends to drift toward judgement and frustration, then pride creeps in. These are not the fruits of Christ's spirit.

sfort
sfort

With reference to Pahoran and Captain Moroni, communication was the barrier here. Moroni was desparate and there wasn't instant communication. Pahoran knew this and like a wise leader gave him the benefit of the doubt. As far as Denver is concerned, he does not set himself as a light. He avoids it like the plague. Listen to all his talks. Because one teaches, which he desires to do for edification only, a light is automatically set up because of the nature of the platform. The 1st ammendment was inspired and becomes an eternal principle in all phases of life. It should be no different in the church. It is the protecting of the institution (tail), which is wagging our coming to Christ (the dog). The earthly institution should never, I mean never come between you and the Lord, period. Let u all read our scriptures that testify of the divine nature of our being reconciled. The church as it is today cannot do this when grace and mercy take a second fiddle to works and outward appearance. I love my Savior enough to seek him without cudos from our leaders. Isn't it becoming more clear?

Jared
Jared

Well, my friends, let's try not to get all worked up about all this. The church is toast. God is about to hit the reset button. Whether as members in good standing, or as excommunicated cast-offs, we're all in this together. So much of this really doesn't matter anymore. We need to embrace truth, stand for truth, and fully come into the light of truth where stands the Savior with open arms receive us. We need to not care about what man can do, We need to just love, serve, and obey the Lord. I need far more focus on forgiveness and gratitude. All the Brethrenites at church have nothing but my pity. I pray for them as I pray for myself. In the dark or in the know, we all so desperately need the Lord's help in the terrible days of violence and destruction which must surely come. We will all need each other and we will need the Lord. What a marvelous blessing that will be.

Mike
Mike

Essay alert -- you've been warned. Touching first on the subject of building bridges, I don't think finding resolutions to these issues will build one. What I mean is that the bridge won't be built from resolutions. I think the bridge materials will be a willingness for open discussion, and a willingness to accept fully that everyone is entitled to believe according to the dictates of their own conscience, without judgment or harassment. AKA respect of agency. The resolutions will be the traffic over the bridge, once it's been built. I think when Lehi speaks of opposition in all things, he also means ideas. Every idea that a person embraces has evidence to support it, or nobody would embrace it. But we all weigh the evidences differently, which is part of the reason we choose different sides of the fence. We then have a tendency to judge the assessment abilities of others when they weigh the evidences differently than we do. History isn't a simple collection of facts. Unfortunately. It's a subjective illustration fabricated by a collection of varied minds. We say we know things like "history is written by the victors," "historians construct historical narratives they want to project," etc. Historians don't generally write according to the spirit, which means that the influences on them for what to include or neglect and how to summarize things is subject to at best a 50/50 share of light and dark influence. But in application we often fail to include this as a factor in historical studies. We frequently pick and choose what to believe based on what we want to believe. Or which view point is louder or has more voices, because we prefer to think truth will bubble itself to the surface in these ways, making our task easier. It's hard to let evidence influence us against our preferences, perhaps to the point where God doesn't even try to tell us stuff by the spirit if He knows we're unwilling to hear it. But then we have to ask ourselves which evidences should hold more weight? When Mormon and Moroni compiled the Book of Mormon, they said it was probably less than 1% of their history. I wonder how entirely different our view of their history would be if we read the other 99%, especially that portion not kept by prophets. Think about it. What if they had historians who wanted to paint a different picture of their peoples than what was true? We have that in American history, Bancroft for example, who frequently embellished, neglected or fabricated to suit the American narrative he wanted to tell. Abe Lincoln is a current subject of alternative histories, our traditional view of him as a hero now being questioned as a rather villainous man can also emerge from our records. We might reject the Book of Mormon entirely if we had 99% telling us a different story than the 1% (insert Occupy Movement joke here). If we had 99% of the Nephite history telling us 1% was false, how willing would we be to listen to the spirit telling us the opposite? That the preponderance of evidence is unnecessary, irrelevant, too muddy and erroneous to be trusted? Yet apparently it was. I can't help but feel we might be facing that very thing with our own history. The early church membership had a sincere desire to match themselves and their history with a specific narrative. I find it unrealistic to think that this wouldn't paint the way they kept their histories, and there are too many contradictions and inconsistencies in their records to think they were all entirely honest. And why wouldn't the adversary want to muddy up the waters to make our learning and understanding more difficult? Which brings me to the recurring PTHG issue. Believe or disbelieve that his work was divinely inspired, Denver has stated something to the effect that he isn't viewing it through the same historical lens that most people are, he's viewing things through the lens of prophecy. I think we have to take this idea as a factor when reading the book. He is saying he didn't just read the histories and draw conclusions based on reading the histories. He looked first at prophecies in scriptures, then looked for those prophecies to poke their head out of the sands of history. (That is even setting aside the possibility that he has seen the actual unfolding of the events in divine schooling and is using that to help draw his conclusions.) Prophecy is a wildly different beast than history, and this is a wildly different approach than simply reading and drawing conclusions from the histories, perhaps a far better one. Because if the prophecies are true, then that gives us a litmus test for what the histories are saying, something to measure them against. There will certainly be other evidences pointing at things being different, at prophecies not being fulfilled or correct. We will be given the opposition of ideas, and left to choose what we believe. We will all be allowed to see it differently, according to our agency. The only thing the scriptures say that everyone will see will be the great sign in heaven of the coming of the Son of Man. This implies that not only will there be people unwilling to see each and every other thing in existence, but that they also won't see those things because there is something else to see, something which they prefer. Which is why the spirit is so necessary, as the only thing reliable for sorting it all out. I don't feel like digging into the ongoing LDS debates of "I have the spirit and it says this", "nuh-uh cuz I have the spirit and it says this," because that nerve is too sensitive to strike. For some reason we can't seem to handle the possibility that we might be wrong in our interpretation of the spirit speaking to us, a sensitivity I think the adversary imposes upon us. However, I find that when one LDS person has to say "the spirit told me so" to another LDS person, I generally feel their position is weakened. I feel like it belies insecurity about the issue, and the person is trying to convince themselves as well as others that it was the spirit that was responsible for their view, when perhaps it wasn't. I believe that when the spirit ACTUALLY tells somebody something, they don't generally try to use that witness to beef up an argument. They are secure enough in their position to simply state it and let the listeners do what they will with it. (This is a different matter than when a person is telling you the source of a message they've been entrusted to share, I hope you understand and recognize the difference.) But when two people claim the spirit confirms contradicting ideas, I have seen something cropping up in the church recently that troubles me. Specifically, it's the New Age doctrine of "it's true/not true FOR ME/THEM." It shouldn't be hard to see how quickly that Pandora's Box can spin out of control, with truth becoming subjective to the whims of man. The way I see it used is to rationalize "there is a portion of truth which that person simply doesn't need," as opposed to "there is a portion of truth which that person is not ready to accept yet." Is there really any portion of truth that anyone simply doesn't need? Didn't Joseph Smith teach that there is no degree of variableness between saved beings? All are saved the same on the same principles? Which portions of truth did our Father not require in his ascent to becoming who He is? Which portions of truth are unnecessary for Him to currently possess in doing the work He does? Are we not climbing the same ascent He did? If it is correct that such and such is not true for them, or for me, while it is true for another, why aren't we taught that "the truth can be circumscribed into one great whole--except for the detached optional truths A, B and C?" I think it's a misreading of there being truths independent to each of the spheres, and it's a severely damaging one that I think the adversary is finding great success with. But I guess I need to still love the people and respect their agency if they are unwilling to be persuaded. Which brings me to the end. In this world we have only so many divinely approved tools we can use to try and convince others of something. (D&C 121:41-43) The first is persuasion, and I think we have a tendency to get hung up on this one, trying it over and over again. A lesson I am currently being taught the hard way is that this is ineffective, the other tools are listed for a reason. Persuasion doesn't always work. Some people simply cannot be persuaded, at least at a given time on a given thing. So we have to move on to the rest of the list and leave persuasion alone. As funny as it may sound, the Serenity Prayer has been coming to mind a lot with this. I think it is an inspired prayer. End essay.

Sue
Sue

It is my opinion that you CANNOT falter if you submit to your priesthood leaders. That opinion led to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Was Pahoran right and Moroni very wrong? Yes! But Moroni was his leader. Actually since Pahoran was the chief judge and governor (Alma 50:39-40) he would be Moroni's superior.

Mark
Mark

Tim: I for one revere Martin Luther, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Calvin and Huss. The epitome of disciples following the voice of the Lord. Their opponent, however, was not the restored Church of Jesus Christ. To briefly summarize my earlier point, knowledge, understanding, enlightenment and revelation are gifts from God. We have agency to do with them what we want. How can I receive such precious blessings of truth and then be critical of the individuals and institutions that helped, taught and led me to a personal relationship with the giver of all truth, Christ himself? This should invite reverent gratitude, humility and meekness. The Church, it's leaders and programs are imperfect. Enough said. But they function masterfully in bringing people to Christ. The proof of that is in your current personal relationship with Christ Himself. Some leaders will exercise unrighteous dominion. They may absolutely infringe on your agency. If you stated they are incorrect, you would be absolutely justified and speak the truth. However, where much is given much is required. The Book of Mormon illustrates Moroni's grandeur as a man of God. In fact we are told that if all men were like him, hell would have no power. A chapter or two later, this same Moroni, a man of perfect understanding, writes a scathing, short sighted and condemnatory letter to Pahoran. He gave no benefit of the doubt, little patience and a whole lot of accusation. Pahoran's response demonstrated what I consider a most Christ-like demeanor. He meekly submitted, not without explanation, but with an extra dose of humility. Was Pahoran right and Moroni very wrong? Yes! But Moroni was his leader. You either sustain the Church leaders or you don't. It does not mean that you believe they are right and it certainly does not mean that they are right by virtue of the office they hold. Nevertheless, you either sustain them or not. Can you disagree with a leader and still sustain them? Can you even sustain someone who is wrong? Absolutely! But it takes humility and meekness to do so. The Lord was the perfect example of meekness, submissiveness and humility. The most wrongly accused individual to walk the earth, submitted to the most vile contradictions of life. His submission to them led to His overcoming all of them. Shall we shrink or shun the fight? No! So what do you stand up for? What do you fight for? I'm convinced that the Church and it's leaders are worth submitting to. They are the wrong opponent to stand up to and fight against. Yes, even if they are infringing on your agency and even if you know they are wrong. It is my opinion that you CANNOT falter if you submit to your priesthood leaders. You may state, "but I am simply opining on books I have read and they are on the offensive, threatening me with excommunication! How can a Church that teaches agency do such a thing. They are wrong!" You are correct. They are wrong, but maybe the test is whether or not you are willing to submit to it? And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them. A wise friend once taught me something he was taught from an Apostle. The Apostle asked him what the three reasons are for the Lord to call someone as bishop? Instantly my friend responded with, "to bless the ward." The Apostle stated that is correct. My friend then stated "to try the ward members." The Apostle stated that too was correct. After a whole lot of time passed my friend could not think of the third reason. The Apostle asked if he could share the reason. Of course my friend agreed. The Apostle stated that the third reason is that the Lord will call a bishop for the individuals sake as a last effort to either help the individual turn from their ways, or seal the individual to damnation. It is not ours to judge. For with what measure of grace I meet out will I be judged. Only you know, Tim, what the Lord is asking of you. To that end, is it possible you are called by Him to speak, opine and teach the things you speak of on this blog? Who am I to know and question that? The Lord can do whatever He sees fit to do. Who am I to limit that? I sincerely believe you desire to do the will of the Lord and try to do that. Again, who am I to even say that, but my thoughts that I've written come from what little I know about character of Christ. He is willing to share and unfold to anyone willing to receive all of His mysteries, even to the least of us. However, I'm convinced it is not the knowledge of these things that saves or progresses us, but remains to be His love, grace and patience with us that ultimately brings our salvation. This love, grace and gift giving produces the fruits of humility, meekness, service and more love. This is where salvation and Eternal Life is found. Not in my own will but in the Father's.

Sister Friend
Sister Friend

Great comment and insight, Lex. If you pardon the pun, You've hit the nail right on the head. Unrighteous dominion has begun to creep into "The Lord's Church"....let us all seek for truth.

Eric
Eric

"[I]t is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God had to refrain from doing so . . . we have the revelation of Jesus . . . but we lack the physical strength . . . to defend our principles, and we have of necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself" (History of the Church 6:608-9).

Log
Log

See Matthew 23, particularly verse 3.

tomirvine999
tomirvine999

This blog is a much needed catharsis for those of us who have suffered.

shylohw
shylohw

The Gospel, I am finding, is so full of contradictions. It's as if there is a very basic, relative layer of truth. Once faithfulness has been determined and mastered on one level, another layer of truth is revealed. Some things in this layer build on the previous. Other truths directly oppose it. Sometimes, those have to go on 'the shelf' for a while. Meanwhile, continuing to be faithful, the next layer opens, and answers some of the questions and contradicts even more. I think contradictions are necessary, for without them, it would be very difficult to exercise faith. We are to be tried in all things, afterall If you find a contradiction, it just means you've not yet attained the next 'level' of understanding to reconcile it. Truth and knowledge reconciles what we perceive as contradictory principles or commandments. So, is one commandment more important than another? Is it more important to be honest? Or to be chaste? Does it matter if it affects others people versus only ourselves? Who determines that? For instance. We have our scriptures full of commandments. At any given time, perhaps any of them might completely clash with the next in a certain set of circumstance. Consider the garden: "Do you not remember that Father commanded us not to partake of the fruit of that tree?"... "Do you intend to obey all of Father's commandments?.....Do you not remember that Father commanded us to..(also obey this other commandment?)......" Which commandment to obey? Can we indeed obey them all? Is one predicated on the other? So much talk about being commanded to submit to authority. Perhaps there are some scriptures that talk of being submissive to leaders. I can't think of any. I can think of plenty that speak of submitting to God, though. This, I think, is the conundrum many are finding themselves in. "If God asks me to do something, and my leaders (whom I have been taught and conditioned to obey inexplicably all my life) ask me to do something different, whom do I obey? Common sense would tell anyone the answer is to obey God. The problem, I think that a lot of people have, is reconciling that the leaders actually could or would ask of something different than what the Lord might. The leaders speak for the Lord, do they not? It's a delicate balance. It really is a test. Some people have experienced and beheld things they have been commissioned and commanded by the Lord to do and say. They are living in a different layer of truth so to speak. That in itself does not mean such a person is critical, misled, deceived or disgruntled. While I agree, we should always be as Christlike as possible, and especially those who have 'received' more are likely held to a higher standard, we might still need to be bold in our responses. Consider the Savior himself in the temple, turning the tables of the money changers. There was no monkey business, he called the spade a spade. The scripture and command "Stand for truth and righteousness".....Stand as a witness at all times and in all things and in all places.. Standing is not idle. It can happen in a Lion's den, consumed in flames, in a hurricane, in a prison, or even in Sunday School. We simply do not know what the Lord has asked of our neighbors (unless they tell us). We also do not know what the Lord has asked of our leaders (unless they tell us). I don't think we are supposed to remain silent, we are to take a Stand. Take action. But it's all about the spirit in which we go about it...... Sorry this is becoming such a long post, I have one more point. A number of years back, I attended a FAIR conference. During at the Q&A segment of a presentation by Darius Gray and Margaret Young on blacks and the priesthood, Darius talked about meeting with President Hinckley. President Hinckley said of the priesthood ban, that it "Was not imposed by God, but was allowed by God as a test to see how we would treat each other". I think the same applies here. We find essentially 2 groups with varying degrees of differences of opinion. How do we treat each other? How do we be true to the truth the Lord has revealed to each of us without being prideful and esteeming ourselves above our (perhaps less-revealed) neighbor? How do we show charity? How do we emulate those Christlike characteristics? When we raise questions that involve Church leaders, what is the condition of our hearts? Is it of anger, frustration? Or of Godly sorrow and love? What if we're missing the whole boat? What if our test isn't about having the 'correct and most complete version of the truth', but who will treat others as the Savior would regardless of those differences? I don't mean to say that it's all as simple as that, but I do think our interactions towards our fellow men deserve careful consideration, lest we be worthy of condemnation.

Eric
Eric

Does anyone know who said that there is no “spiritual elitism” in the Church? In other words, I think that means that the Church does not necessarily have a hierarchy of increasing spirituality as we go “up the ranks” of leadership. For example, the bishop of a ward is not necessarily the most spiritual, most intelligent, or most friendly male in the ward. Those who think that there is, or should be, spiritual elitism might be more likely to openly find fault with their leaders. Those who expect increasing spirituality “up” the organizational structure will eventually become disappointed. I wonder if this concept is related to Joseph's statement, “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” (TPJS, 156-7).

Sue
Sue

Thank you for clarifying further. Submission to authority in the face of unrighteous dominion is touchy for me because the logic and reasoning too often it leads to even worse abuse. For example, when a missionary rapes and impregnates a young teenage girl and the local Bishop counsels the family to hush things up and not report it to the authorities, it may in the short run "protect the good name of the Church" but in the long run it does far more eternal damage to all involved and to the Church's reputation itself when the truth inevitably comes out. If Joseph was right that when he said that (paraphrasing) priesthood is used to cover sins, gratify our pride, or our vain ambition or to exercise control or dominion in any degree of unrighteousness then it is amen to the priesthood & authority of that man, then we cannot submit to "authority" because in the very act the one seeking to make us submit has forfeited their authority entirely. At that point it is not a question of "submitting" but of how to be most constructively charitable towards a lost soul who has cut themselves off from the powers of heaven. The response of the one sinned against may be interpretable as "submission" by the sinner, certainly, but the difference is one of motive.

Log
Log

Mark has voiced true principles pertaining to submissiveness.

Mark
Mark

I posted similar posts back to back because I thought I lost the first post. I typed it on my phone and thought the post got erased accidentally. My apologies.

Mark
Mark

Wow, I missed alot while I was gone. I wish I could've responded sooner. I find it interesting that every post I read makes valid and good points. Some are softer in their comments than others. What intrigues me is that the percieved tone (because it is written, I give the benefit of the doubt that I may be mis-interpreting) with which some respond, even with truth, is quite "in your face." I'm right you're wrong. The intellect with which some have even responded is astute and well thought out. In fact, the points made in reference to my comments, even the in your face comments have caused me to reflect and stand corrected. So I appreciate the comments. But the fervor with which some seemed to respond portrays a spirit that I think makes my point about submissiveness being a more Christlike reponse. May I better clarify and maybe even redact my bold CANNOT statement? Valid points were raised, so I stand corrected. Again, I wrote what I wrote in the context of blog writings regarding book reviews, as Tim clarified. In this context, I still believe that the CANNOT falter statement still applies. Why? Because the blog posts are opinion, arguments and not action. The leadership request is to not publicly write or make certain statements. The requests aren't actionable commands to do anything other than to stop with certain public open criticism or controversial beliefs. I wholeheartedly agree with everyone that some of the Church leaders are way out of line. Seems funny that when I suggest the better move is to submit regardless, that some continue to point out the error of the Church and it's leaders as if to continue to try and convince of just how wrong they are. I'm not disputing or contending that they are correct by submitting to them. It is my belief that this is simply the wiser more Christlike action. I was good friends with John Pontius. Some believe he was not in good standing with the Church prior to his death. This was not the case in the slightest. Why? Because he followed the counsel of his Priesthood leaders. He submitted to them. He still wrote and published books that caused some loftier thinking than what is taught in Church, but he never bad mouthed the Church nor it's leaders. Ever. He was submissive, meek and full of gratitude toward their service. If you come out in open criticism of the Church and it's leaders, ones spirit tends to turn more judgemental, contentious and bitter. These are not fruits of the Spirit of the Lord. As for Moroni and Pahoran, some raised some very good points which have caused me to review my imerfect (sic) understanding of the specifics written. Thank you for that.

Jared
Jared

There are two Jared commenting on this post. The Jared above is not the Jared who has commented many times on this post. My website can be accessed by clicking my name. My website is ldsaliveinchrist.com. I don't have a picture of myself either. I sustain LDS church leaders as prophets, seers, and revelators.

MarkinPNW
MarkinPNW

Great essay. However, about the 1% vs. the 99%, we Latter-Day-Saints seem to have enough trouble reading, let along actually studying and pondering, the 531 pages we do have of the Nephite record. Imagine if we had an additional 52,569 pages, even if they completely supported and backed up the 1% we do have. No one would even attempt to read anything other than brief extracts, except possibly PHD academics in Theology or Philosophy or Ancient History, and we would still be depending on them to give us the "meat" that we are already too busy/lazy/distracted to study ourselves. Let alone the gold to engrave it on, and the time it would have taken Joseph Smith to translate it. Seems Mormon did a great job of digesting it down to something even I can handle with a little bit of consistent effort. Regarding persuasion, sometimes we have to accept a person right where they are and continue to love them unconditionally, and I am having to learn that often the only time to teach by persuasion is when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and also sometimes the Holy Ghost will teach soneone when they are ready, whether or not we are trying to teach or persuade them.

tomirvine999
tomirvine999

Before my wife and I started dating many years ago, her bishop gave her a solemn instruction that she was to marry a gay (or bi?) man in the ward. I am forever grateful that she disregarded his instruction.

lemuel
lemuel

Beat me to it, Sue.

Mark
Mark

Sue, Thank you for your corrections. The context in which I wrote my comments was more regarding whether to continue writing certain opinions in a blog and not whether to follow an unrighteous priesthood leader into killing innocent people. Maybe I should've clarified. As for Pahoran being Moroni's superior, I stand corrected. Moroni mistakenly, perhaps due to an incomplete picture, accused his superior of treason.

lemuel
lemuel

Pahoran’s response demonstrated what I consider a most Christ-like demeanor. He meekly submitted, not without explanation, but with an extra dose of humility. Was Pahoran right and Moroni very wrong? Yes! But Moroni was his leader. You either sustain the Church leaders or you don’t. It was the other way around--Pahoran was the leader--the chief judge. That's why Cap'n Moroni had to ask Pahoran for the reinforcements he wasn't getting.

lemuel
lemuel

Shall we shrink or shun the fight? No! So what do you stand up for? What do you fight for? I’m convinced that the Church and it’s leaders are worth submitting to. This has the makings of an awesome protest... What do we want? To Submit to Leaders! When do we want it? Now!

Karl
Karl

Mark: I agree with everything you said. It seems unfaithful to claim to receive all the Lord can bestow, and then turn around and criticize the very organization that made that pathway possible. And, as you stated the real fruit of the gospel are all the Christlike traits of meekness, service, charity. I'm an Elder's Quorum instructor, and have a wide-ranging search through church and non-church literature. This has a been a lifelong habit, so I've plowed through a lot of material. There are a ton of historical and doctrinal issues in the church. But, when I teach the direction of the HG to me has always been to be cautious and not provoke discussion that would actually serve as a wrecking ball for someone else's faith. I think those that are blessed with intellectual insight need to be ever vigilant about making sure what they teach is motivated by love, and not the desire to stroke one's own ego. Truth is important, even crucial, but it needs to be spoken with love. Peace.

ryder478
ryder478

The Joseph Smith Translation is particularly interesting. ~Rodney

tomirvine999
tomirvine999

Excellent post! This helps me with my own catharsis.

Sister Friend
Sister Friend

If I read a book by Bro. Snuffer or by John Pontius or The Sealed Portion of The Book of Mormon, and stated that I believed parts of these works to be influenced by the Holy Spirit, would I be likely to be excommunicated? Would that decision be arbitrarily decided by the Stake Presidency or would this directive come from a "higher level"....and is there a possibility my statement might be totally ignored "by the powers that be"?

Mark
Mark

Sue, you bring up very real and significant points that require serious consideration. A blanket statement of "submit to authority" seems to be a short-sighted response. I understand your point. We know there are many varying degrees of justification for various actions. Nephi was told to cutoff Laban's head. Save being commanded of the Lord, and in that particular context, I'd be interested how anyone could justify, with right and wrong arguments, Nephi's actions. On the other hand you have the Anti-Nephi Lehi's willing to die and not defend themselves because of a covenant they made with the Lord. Weren't they justified in killing those that wickedly attacked them? Yet they didn't. Then consider some of the commandments that the Lord gave in the Old Testament, it can easily be argued that the Canaanite massacre where all things living, men, women, children was barbaric and seemingly unjust. Would you have listened to the prophets command to kill every living thing in the city? I guess the bottom line is this...the Lord can do whatever he sees fit to do. My perspective is so limited. I am simply asked to follow Him and His voice. I have found that as I have tried to do that, he Has revealed many glorious truths to me. Knowing these truths at first caused me to wonder why the Church and it's leaders seem to be missing the boat. As I traveled down that road of critique, I found my Spirit drifting into a state of frustration. This frustration turned to criticism. It was then that the Lord reminded me of my own nothingness. What a blessing that is! Who am I to judge another? The Lord clearly asks us to be submissive like a child doth submit to his father in order to overcome the natural man. Can we be justified in many cases to not submit. In other words is it a sin not to submit. I believe it may not be a sin to claim justice in this life. But I also believe that we then may remain neutral in our progression. Do we glory in tribulation or defend ourselves? Do we condemn those who despitefully use us? I believe the Lord isn't so much telling us what to do when it comes to the Law of Moses being fulfilled, ie., "be ye therefore perfect," pray for your enemies, do good to those who despitefully use you etc., but rather inviting us and proclaiming to us that through Him we CAN be perfected, we can sincerely desire good for our enemies, we can love those that despitefully use us. I can't do that on my own. I can fake it, but that is all it is...it's fake. But through Christ, I can really feel those things and become a new creature in Him. As we are submissive, we open the door to Him changing us and molding us into these new creatures in Christ. I believe this may just be the most difficult path in life to walk. It certainly is a painful one, but the blessings will always exceed the pain and difficulty, even a hundred fold. Can someone chose a path of justice and still inherit Salvation? I think so. I think the minimum requirement for Salvation is to be born again. Are there others that will not only be born again, but also receive their calling and election and the Second Comforter in this life and also inherit Salvation with those that did not? I believe so. I just submit to you that potentially the greater path to trod is the same one the Savior Himself trod. He submitted Himself to the will of the Father in all things. Apparently it was the Father's will for Him to submit to the most vile of judgements, scorn, ridicule and unfair contradictions of life. He went as a lamb to the slaughter.

Log
Log

At that point it is not a question of “submitting” but of how to be most constructively charitable towards a lost soul who has cut themselves off from the powers of heaven. I think it is rather always a question of obedience to the precepts of the Lord. 3 Nephi 12 38 And behold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; 39 But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also; 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away. 43 And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy; 44 But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good. 46 Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled. 47 Old things are done away, and all things have become new. 48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. He meant it. 3 Nephi 12:20 20 Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Submission to authority in the face of unrighteous dominion is touchy for me because the logic and reasoning too often it leads to even worse abuse. That is part of the test. JST, Matthew 16:27 27 Break not my commandments for to save your lives; for whosoever will save his life in this world, shall lose it in the world to come. Doctrine and Covenants 136:31 31 My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom. Incidentally, I hear a lot about Zion lately...

shylohw
shylohw

Log, I agree in part. If it be the Lord's will to submit to the leaders you are correct. Perhaps it be the Lord's will that we must learn by our own experience what His voice says to us, and be willing to submit to the conflicts that may arise as a result of that. Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

tomirvine999
tomirvine999

Julie, In the temple, wives covenant to hearken unto their husbands as their husbands hearken unto the Lord. I suggest that we should follow this same pattern in regard to church leaders. D&C 121:37 warns that a leader may lose his priesthood authority by unrighteous dominion. Thus we must be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" even among our own fellow church members. Matthew 10:16

Log
Log

Submissiveness to all is what Christ taught - and one's leaders are a subset of "all."

Julie
Julie

From Mark: "submissiveness is what Christ taught". Can someone give me a citation of where Christ teaches we must submit to our priesthood leaders? Can someone give me any scriptural example of where it was necessary to submit to or obey a priesthood leader, without any concrete evidence or testimony that the priesthood leader had a direct commission from God? We must submit to the Lord--that is clear. I haven't been convinced we are supposed to just submit to our leaders, unless I've misunderstood what you mean by submit. I've also spent some time on LDS.org looking for various combinations of obey/obedience and leader/priesthood, and as far as I can tell, not even the Church teaches explicitly that you must submit to your leaders.

Log
Log

Not being a Brethrenite does not necessarily mean one does not sustain LDS church leaders as prophets, seers, and revelators. Not being a Brethrenite only necessarily means one does not esteem the Brethren above anyone else.

tomirvine999
tomirvine999

Oh and the same bishop warned her against marrying me. We have been happily married for 26 years now.

Mark
Mark

Lemuel? Why not Laman? Interesting choice of screen name. My statement using the bold letters of "CANNOT falter" were made in the context of what Tim opened the discussion with. Tim writes book reviews and opines on various Church related subjects on this blog. I believe the more Christlike response to potentially over zealous Church leaders threatening excommunication is to submit to their request. They are not asking Tim or any of the others mentioned by Tim to take action such as the examples cited regarding marrying or not marrying somebody, or killing innocent people. They are asking individuals to stop openly criticizing the Church and it's leaders or openly taking a stance on controversial Church subjects. Again, submissiveness is what Christ taught and still teaches. Are the leaders potentially wrong? You bet. I am not suggesting that they are right simply because I believe the response of submission to them is a better course to take. So all of the posts arguing that the Church is wrong over this and that, has nothing to do with whether or not to submit to Priesthood leaders. The point is they are imperfect. Christ asks us to be submissive to not only our Priesthood leaders who may err, but even our enemies that despitefully use us and in fact to love them and pray for them. Does submission have a final ending point? I guess it may only depend upon the covenant made by the individual with the Lord. Nonetheless my comments were written in that context.

Sue
Sue

The context in which I wrote my comments was more regarding whether to continue writing certain opinions in a blog and not whether to follow an unrighteous priesthood leader into killing innocent people. Maybe I should’ve clarified. Your statement above was phrased absolutely (using all caps even). I am relieved you wouldn't submit to being part of a premeditated mass-murder if your priesthood leaders instructed you to. Besides murder, what exceptions--I hope there are more--does your "opinion that you CANNOT falter if you submit to your priesthood leaders" have?

shylohw
shylohw

The lesson I think that is applicable with Pahoran and Moroni, is that although Moroni may have erred in his 'hastiness', and accusations, Pahoran didn't remove him. He could have swung the gavel so to speak, and stripped him of his command for daring to question the leadership. Instead, he listened and responded to each of his concerns.

Log
Log

I have seen Hugh Nibley make that same assertion, but the text belies it. First, it was addressed to all the government, and not Pahoran in particular. 1 And it came to pass that he wrote again to the governor of the land, who was Pahoran, and these are the words which he wrote, saying: Behold, I direct mine epistle to Pahoran, in the city of Zarahemla, who is the chief judge and the governor over the land, and also to all those who have been chosen by this people to govern and manage the affairs of this war. Secondly, he does not specifically accuse Pahoran of treason. Alma 60:18 18 But why should I say much concerning this matter? For we know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country. Thirdly, in these things he is doing the will of God. 33 Ye know that ye do transgress the laws of God, and ye do know that ye do trample them under your feet. Behold, the Lord saith unto me: If those whom ye have appointed your governors do not repent of their sins and iniquities, ye shall go up to battle against them.

Eric
Eric

Yes. And until the time that all is revealed, "it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given" (Matthew 13:11).

tomirvine999
tomirvine999

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 ... all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops. Mormon 5:8

Eric
Eric

And in certain cases, "it is not always wise to relate all the truth” (History of the Church 6:608).

Sister Friend
Sister Friend

I have also heard a disgruntled former member state that his former bishop told his newly baptized wife she should divorce him (her husband) because, in his opinion, (the bishop).....her husband wasn't righteous enough...(even though the man and his wife were planning and preparing to go to the Temple within the year). BTW....this young wife, pregnant, did go through with the divorce.

tomirvine999
tomirvine999

We have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve. - President Thomas S. Monson, April 2012 General Conference Come now, and let us reason together . . . Isaiah 1:18