Don’t Blame Me, I Just Report the News


ThisIsNotThePlaceEarlier this month, a Facebook event was created entitled, “This is not the place.” It is subtitled, “Mass resignation from the LDS Church,” and is to protest Kate’s excommunication. The event is scheduled to be held at City Creek Park on 24 July 2014 in Salt Lake City, which is Pioneer Day, a holiday in the state of Utah. I’m sure it will be well attended, at least by the news media.

Mass Resignations From the LDS Church

A similar event was held sometime after the Proposition 8 fallout. I knew some of the people who resigned at that time. I have kept in touch with many of them. They are still my friends on Facebook. They seem happy for the most part, but of course, I only know most of them from interactions on my blog over the years. I also have some friends who are resigning on July 24th.

We Are Losing Some of the Best and Brightest

From what I see, these are young people – well, young to me. I am an old guy, although not nearly as wise and experienced as those who lead this church. These young people seem smart. In fact, in my interactions with them, I know they are. They are, for the most part, college grads with good jobs, well-educated, many being returned missionaries, many married in the temple.

A Serious Step to Get Your Message Across

Why, we must ask ourselves, are these young people leaving the church? According to some estimates I have read, they hope to have thousands participate in the mass resignation. They are also encouraging those who are dissatisfied or disaffected by the disciplinary actions against Kate and John and Rock to ask their own priesthood leaders to hold a disciplinary council.

Understanding Why People Leave the Church

I’m just a blogger so don’t get upset with me for reporting the news. It’s not a secret. But I would like to point out another site created by John Dehlin several years ago specifically to help young people stay in the church, in spite of their feelings about being lied to about church history or about the discriminatory practices against blacks and women or other concerns they may have.

Consider the Contributions of John Dehlin

I have long been a fan or follower of John Dehlin’s work. I believe he has done more good to help those who are disaffected reconsider their desires to leave the church. He is an advocate for the LDS LGBT community and outspoken about marriage equality. I’m not saying I agree with his work as an activist but I do agree with his work to promote tolerance, acceptance and love.

You May Learn Some Things New at StayLDS

If you haven’t been to StayLDS lately, I encourage you to visit the site and view the presentation originally created by John. There is other good material on the site to help foster understanding about why people leave the LDS church. I especially enjoyed viewing the “Top Five Myths Why Committed Mormons Leave the LDS Church.” It may be an eye opener if you haven’t seen it.

Imagine Being Asked to Resign From the Church

John has been asked to resign from the church. He later reported he will be meeting with his Stake President in the next week or so. I met with my Bishop and Stake President earlier this week and am pleased to report we are working things out. I have a new appreciation from my dear bishop of just how my posts have affected some people I love and don’t want to hurt.

For the Record From Daymon Smith

In the spirit of Daymon Smith’s “For the record” posted Thursday, I would like to post my own official statement of disclaimers, specifically for those who want to know what my intentions are and why I write as I do. I record this late at night, in St George, on my way to a family reunion this weekend, after driving all day, so it may be a little incoherent, but I want to get it posted.

Question and Answer with Latter-day Commentary

Q. Do you feel you have changed your style or tone over the years?

A. I didn’t think so until a long-time reader pointed out some differences in the way I answered some questions put to me by a reader. I was much more church-centric back when I started.

Q. Can you explain what you mean by “church-centric?”

A. I started blogging in 2007. I specifically wanted to provide standard answers that I could use in answering all the common questions we were and still are getting on the Internet.

Q. Like what?

A. Plural Marriage, Blacks and the Priesthood, Mormons and Masonry, The peep-stone in the hat, Multiple versions of the First Vision, Book of Abraham, Adam-God, Mountain Meadows, Mark Hoffman forgeries, Elder McConkie’s treatment of George Pace, President Benson and Alzheimer’s disease, Kinderhook Plates, DNA evidence of American Indians, and on and on.

Q. So why do you call these “church-centric” issue and answers?

A. I tried to make my responses correlate as close as possible with what I had been taught as a missionary, what I had read in the correlated church handbooks and CES material when I was a seminary teacher and with the answers I found on official church websites.

Q. And now?

A. I am more focused on coming unto Christ.

Q. What do you mean?

A. I guess I’m not so concerned about all the historical issues the church has had. Most people who have studied them have concluded the church did not record them accurately, and in many cases, changed the record to make it look better. The church has acknowledged this and is doing something about it by publishing original documents from the very early days of the church.

Q. So you no longer focus on answering historical questions.

A. That’s correct. A few years ago I read a book that changed my life.

Q. You’re referring to Denver Snuffer’s “Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil.”

A. No, actually, I’m referring to his 2011 book, “Passing the Heavenly Gift.”

Q. You do know that’s the book for which he was excommunicated last year?

A. Of course. But still, it changed my life when I read it.

Q. How so?

A. I could not put it down. I picked it up to give it a quick perusal just before I went to bed one night to see what it was all about. A friend had asked me about it so I bought it and thought I would write a few words about it on my blog.

Q. And…

A. I stayed up all night reading it. It was a spiritual experience for me.

Q. What do you mean?

A. I mean, I had multiple sacred “ah-ha” moments of enlightenment as I was reading, and when I finished, I knelt down and asked the Lord to let me know what He thought about the book.

Q. And He told you?

A. In no uncertain terms.

Q. What did He say?

A. He said I didn’t need to continue my blogging efforts to answer everybody’s objections to the historical difficulties they were having with our church.

Q. Why is that?

A. Because Denver Snuffer had answered them perfectly.

Q. You do know, of course, there are many people who disagree with his conclusions?

A. Of course. But that means nothing when you get an answer from the Lord.

Q. Let’s move on to something else. You said you are more focused on coming unto Christ.

A. Yes.

Q. Can you elaborate?

A. I went back and read all of Denver’s books, including the other one you mentioned.

Q. “Conversing With The Lord Through the Veil?”

A. Yes. I decided the most important thing I could do with the rest of my life would be to live in such a way that I am prepared to receive a visit from the Lord in this life.

Q. And you believe that is possible?

A. Not only do I believe it, but the Lord has promised it in multiple places in the scriptures.

Q. Now, be honest. How many people do you know who claimed to have seen the Lord?

A. Less than a half dozen.

Q. And you believe them?

A. Why should I doubt?

Q. Because when you meet the Lord, you’re not supposed to talk about it.

A. That’s a myth, generated by those who can’t explain why it isn’t happening to more people.

Q. Let’s wrap this up. What are you trying to accomplish with your blog these days?

A. Let me do two things. Let me first state unequivocally what I’m not trying to do and then I’ll answer your question to the best of my ability.

Q. Please. Go ahead.

A. First of all, I am not trying to encourage anyone to leave this church. In fact, I am trying to do the opposite. Stay. We need you. We need your strength. We need your talents and abilities. We need your service, your help, your testimonies and your love of the Savior to share with us.

Next, let’s be clear. I am not the cause of anyone deciding to leave this church. Just because I report on events of the day or I write a book review about a controversial book, it is up to the individual to decide how they will take the news or if they like my opinion of the book.

And finally, I want to make sure everyone who reads this knows I have no doubts that God is our Heavenly Father, that He lives and loves us and answers our prayers. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior, our Lord and Redeemer. He is calling out to each of us to repent and come unto Him. I know Joseph Smith was called of God to translate the Book of Mormon.

He did this through the gift and power of God. It is scripture and we need to spend more time studying it so we can understand God’s will for us in these last days. I know the Lord established His church through Joseph Smith and restored priesthood authority and keys of the kingdom. I sustain the leaders of this church as prophets, seers and revelators and pray for their success.

Q. Thank you. And the last question: What are you trying to accomplish with your blog these days?

A. I am on a journey, a spiritual journey. I have questions I am trying to answer. I am sharing my journey with those who are interested. Sometimes the stuff I write may be mundane and boring. But it is my hope and prayer that something I write can help someone else who has asked the same question and is on the same journey, believing that D&C 93:1 can be fulfilled in mortality.

Q. And that concludes our interview with Latter-day Commentary by blogger Tim Malone since it’s now one o’clock in the morning. We hope to have future interviews and delve deeper into some of the subjects you raised, especially your contention that the scriptures about the Lord coming to visit men and women in this life are meant to be literally fulfilled in a physical way.

A. Thank you. God bless and good night.

62 Responses

  1. Do you have a post debunking this myth about not talking about receiving the second comforter?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting they would pick Pioneer day to resign. The Pioneers came west because that was part of the cursing from God they received, they were driven out of their homes. It was all of their fault that had to endure the hardship of being driven out and coming to Utah. The pioneers were people who were condemn of God Himself, that same condemnation is still on the Saints today. That reason in Pioneer Day celebrations is never remembered. God doesn’t want a condemned people, He wants to have relationships with each of us, He wants true communion with His bride.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The sad part is that excommunicated/resigned members no longer have the right to the ‘gift of the Holy Ghost’. Even the brightest do better when enhanced by the Holy Ghost.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would argue that the wrongfully exed do not lose it, but rather those who cast them out do. The resigned, perhaps? The correctly exed, probably. But I’m not convinced the efficacy of ordinances and blessings is so directly tied to continuing church membership. I don’t advocate leaving, but I don’t think mere membership is the grounds on which God bases granting us the Holy Ghost. The scriptures only ever tie it to having repented and been baptized, and if a person has done those things and received the gift, then its continuance would seem more tied to our relationship with God than with membership.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Once upon a time, in the frozen land of Wisconsin, I was a missionary. I had an investigator who was reluctant to accept anything unless endorsed by “Bible scholars.” As we taught from the Book of Mormon, he would contend and “strain at a gnat” as it were. Finally, he asked us if we were smarter than all those Bible scholars. My companion said a beautiful thing: Yes, because I have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that gives me access to real truth!

    Those who are supporting Kate Kelly over their Savior are losing that resource… and that’s the second great tragedy of this whole thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon: Fellow blogger Bryce Haymond discussed it on one of my early posts about Denver (in fact my first) at this link:

    http://latterdaycommentary.com/2012/02/26/loss-of-the-sealing-power/#comment-184

    I have a lot of respect for Bryce but have to disagree with him from personal experience in asking this question of the Lord many times. I have received several sacred spiritual experiences in my lifetime, what I would consider manifestations of the spirit, although not intimate visits from the Lord. I have specifically asked the Lord for permission to share them. Some He has said yes, others He has said not yet.

    Bryce quoted the Hyrum Page seer-stone incident, which I don’t think is relative to the dialog. What we need in this church is more people willing to come forth to testify of visits from angels, conversations with the Lord and if appropriate, visitations from the Lord. The reason so many young people are leaving the church is because they are not being spiritually fed by hearing of such faith-promoting experiences.

    When we read about or especially hear about such things, we are encouraged to do more in our lives to be worthy of and receive such manifestations of the spirit for ourselves. I must point out that we should not feel the Lord does not love us any less if we can’t say we haven’t received special sacred experiences from the Lord, although everyone should be able to point to something in their life that let them know the Lord loved them and wanted to bless them with something.

    We only receive spiritual manifestations if we ask for them. We don’t usually ask for them if we don’t feel worthy. At the minimum we need to finish the baptism. We MUST receive the baptism of fire. We MUST become born of the spirit and lose all desire for sin. This may come early in our lives or it may come late, but we MUST receive it to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. The only way to do so is to petition the Lord in prayer over and over until He says, “Ye shall receive.”

    God bless us each to seek and receive spiritual experiences with the Lord and with the Powers of heaven in sacred, faithful prayer. Let us not be discouraged because we either haven’t received yet or haven’t felt the Lord loves us enough to bless us in this area. He does and he will. I know this from countless personal experiences, too many to share in these short comments before I continue my journey to Northern Utah this morning. I hope others will pick up the thread and help me out.

    The idea that must not share spiritual experiences, especially when it comes to visits from angels or from the Lord is false. The Lord will tell us if we can or shouldn’t, but only if we ask Him. Please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I know the scriptures that remind us that what we receive from above is sacred and must be spoken with care, but it doesn’t say we must never speak of such experiences. We can also have confidence in being able to detect false spirits and false witnesses from others. The scriptures are replete with instructions in this area.

    Cheers and may God help us each to have the desire to seek His face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We only receive spiritual manifestations if we ask for them.

      Well…

      1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

      2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

      3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

      4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

      5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

      There are other examples as well.

      But we should ask for experiences, visions, prophecy, and so forth. Deny not the gifts of God, but rather seek the best gifts, being diligent in keeping the commandments of God.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I agree 100% with Tim Malone on this one.

      Like

  6. The mass resignation is an example of what is scripturally called dissent. That is apostasy, not this newfangled Gentile practice of recasting mere heretics as apostates by commanding them to shut up about things that aren’t official teachings of the Church anyways.

    I’m curious to see if the dissenters follow through. Each individual is solely responsible for his own actions.

    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 50:8
    8 But the hypocrites shall be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will; and wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alma 3:18
      18 Now the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God when they began to mark themselves in their foreheads; nevertheless they had come out in open rebellion against God; therefore it was expedient that the curse should fall upon them.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The Church is a historical sidenote. It has lost any authority or power it once had. Our only hope is the Lord. He is non denominational. All Churches on the earth today, including the Church of LDS, lack the power of godliness. None are His. But He is setting His hand again to recover His family. Those who don’t idolize man or institution. Those who look to Him only for salvation. He truly is our only hope. Joseph Smith fulfilled his role in bringing scriptures and knowledge to us. Its our turn now to receive and be taught by true messengers so we can be gathered. Don’t be distracted by the Church and all of this current tumult.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How do you know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not acknowledged of God to be his people?

      Or is that speculation?

      Liked by 1 person

    • whether or not this is true, people are still led to join the church, possibly because of the powerful Hope God has that they might read the Book of Mormon.
      Just a book, but so important. The HOPE that someone might read it, if he/she is born into the church or joins.
      This church does have access to the Book of Mormon. From the beginning the book has been tarred and feathered, burned around the edges, had the bible nailed onto it in every possible place, been put into little inspirational quotes, had presidents of the church preach against it–

      or at least prefer to the bible to it–

      that is how important the Book of Mormon is and why Joseph’s mission was so important. It has taken me years of regularly Book of Mormon reading and study (decades, actually) to get to where I realize I have never READ it, not alone, not by itself, not as a book, not without all that stuff tacked onto it. Years. Active my entire life, did all the things active people do and beyond–

      and now, finally, in my 7th decade I am beginning to understand what it means to read the book.

      God HOPES His children who join the church will see that book and pick it up and READ it–

      without the flotsam and jetsam attached–

      such hope is very loving, indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I want to say here that I am increasingly troubled by the rash of disciplinary actions taking place in the church; however, I want to say loudly that I do NOT want to be in any way grouped with several of these people being disciplined just because we both have issues with the church.

    I have serious issues with John Dehlin and Kate Kelly. I question their motives and methods. I do not trust them. I suspect them in using LDS cultural issues to attract attention in the blogosphere and news media to gain notoriety to advance their professional careers.

    I consider the Ordain Woman movement a direct attack on established church doctrine, established by revelation. These actions definitely seem to be to be blatantly antagonistic and apostate. I think the church is right in going after Kate Kelly.

    While I sympathize with John Dehlin in many of his views, I expressly disagree with him on others. I advocate no tolerance for the actual practice of homosexuality, just as I advocate no tolerance for the actual practice of rape, incest, fornication, and adultery. These are blatant violations of the commandments of God. God has commanded that adherents of these sins, who do not repent, be excommunicated. (Mosiah 26:29-32)

    As a student of history I can attest that the cultural acceptance of any form of immorality quickly leads to cultural decay and destruction. There is no room in any society to meddle with these sins; to reinvent morality; or redefine the boundaries.

    I like Rock Waterman. However, I do not actively read his blog anymore because I believe he regularly goes too far in his assertions of evil doing. He has no qualms with attacking the character of anyone. In short, he is offensive when he doesn’t need to be. Based on what I’ve read on his blog, due to the direct attacks he regularly makes on church leaders, I think the church has some valid argument in questioning him. I am not saying I necessarily agree with those arguments. I think they should just leave him alone.

    I like Denver Snuffer. I generally like people that like Denver Snuffer. I relate to Denver Snuffer. I tend to take it a bit personally how Denver Snuffer is treated, or how people who agree with Denver Snuffer are treated. However, I do NOT think that Snuffer-readers or agreeers should be automatically grouped with the likes of Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, or even Rock Waterman. This is apples and oranges.

    For the record, I state my protest. I am very careful of the company I keep. I do not want to be flippantly numbered as one of “them.” I have a right to discrimination. This is a right I intend to activate more and more as the stakes get higher.

    I am sorry if this offends anyone. I just don’t want to be misinterpreted merely by an assumption of association.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dont speak here oft. I read it all with appreciation and thanks for Tim who shares the feelings and desires of many. But.. Jared, of June 27, 2014 at 7:51 am. Please understand and realize that Christ was among those types you just mentioned and would dismiss. They and we are the reason he came.
      Not to condemn but to minister and love. And many hated him for it. With love. David Park..

      Liked by 2 people

      • I am not saying that I or we should not associate with sinners. I am a sinner myself. We should do our best to fellowship one another to encourage faith in Christ and repentance.

        I am saying that people who are unrepentant and unapologetic about immoral desires or behaviors do not belong in the church. Also, those who lobby to change the order of the priesthood in conflict with the established order as specified in revelation, who fight against the church, these are apostates and should be removed from the church.

        I also do not want to be classified with the likes of John Dehlin or Kate Kelly just because I have issues with the church too. There is a big difference between John and Kelly vs. Denver Snuffer or me.

        All these people have separate issues. It is dishonest and deceptive to lump them all together. Just because a dog and a cat both have four legs does not make a dog a cat.

        I hope I’ve now made myself clear. If others choose to misunderstand my comments in a vein effort to incriminate my sentiments–well, I guess they are free do so.

        Like

      • I can’t see anything in Jared’s post that would suggest that he doesn’t love those people. (Sorry for the double negative.)

        I have a right to discrimination.

        Taking his use of the word “discrimination” in context, I assume he’s referring to the “discernment” definition, and not the “prejudice” definition.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I daresay they wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t want to associate with them. *tongue in cheek*

      I think you can safely keep yourself above it all. Also, while you are at it, avoid those who ‘do good'; for all you know they are doing it to promote themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I apologize, Eric and Jared. I had no right/business to say what I did.

        How you feel about people and whether or not you choose to associate with them is strictly your stewardship.

        My words were also more than a little ‘snarky’. This apology is ‘on here'; you can do what you want with it, though if previous people to whom I have apologized are any indication, there will be no response.

        I believe it is because I am a woman. There has been some talk about cyberbullying from men to women–

        maybe ignoring people isn’t ignoring people, but it is disconcerting to be completely left alone here–

        I am a person, too, and I do come on Tim’s blog.

        I ask this without tongue in cheek; is there someone in Mormon men that makes them not want to acknowledge apologies. My own husband doesn’t have that trait, so it is odd to me, but maybe it’s a men and women shouldn’t talk with each other thing. If you could see me, you would realize I am not the kind of woman any man would feel afraid to talk to–

        sort of like talking to your grandmother.

        Which is why I come on these blogs; I have gleaned a bit of experience.

        But, if I feel I have crossed a line, I can say “I’m sorry”, and if nobody acknowledges it, it’s no longer my concern.

        Like

      • I don’t acknowledge thanks, praise, or apologies, for reasons unique to me.

        It’s because the person apologizing is typically doing so because their conscience convicted them for not living up to their own light and knowledge – and, really, what do I have to do with that – who made me a judge over you? ;)

        Like

      • As Brother Brigham said:

        “He who takes offense when offense was not intended is a fool, yet he who takes offense when offense is intended is an even greater fool for he has succumbed to the will of his adversary.”

        Like

      • I don’t acknowledge thanks, praise, or apologies online either. (In person, I’ll probably give a brief 1-2 word response, perhaps more out of a cultural convention to put closure on the matter.)

        All thanks and praise go to God, since I’m nothing compared to Him.

        “[I]t ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else” (David A. Bednar).

        I can kind of understand why you would wish to apologize to Jared, but I’m puzzled why I’m included, since your post was not in response to mine. To respond “Apology accepted” or “I forgive you” feels too . . . condescending to me.

        Sometimes, though, “The biggest challenge is correctly to [sic] interpret and support a man when he isn’t talking. . . . When a man is silent it is easy for a woman to imagine the worst” (John Gray, Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus, 67-8).

        So if a response will help provide understanding and closure, I will say that there is nothing that you or anyone can say that would offend me, so no apology was required.

        Like

  9. Perfunctory disclaimers:
    1. I have never read Denver’s books, although I have viewed his blog.
    2. I have had my own brushes with the COB, and am thus empathetic towards Kate, John, Denver et al, whether I agree with their messages or not.

    Now here are some “thinking out loud” statements. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Denver wrote PTHG. Nobody seems to have refuted his claims. But he was excommunicated anyway.

    Maybe the basis for his excommunication was Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ statement was “It’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true.”

    The LDS Church only wants to publish faith-promoting history. (Insert your favorite relevant BKP quote here).

    If the LDS Church allowed or tolerated publication of its controversial history, then the faith of weak members would be shaken.

    But the whitewashing of history has caused members like Elder Hans H. Mattsson, former Area Authority Seventy in Sweden, to become disaffected. Some have even left the church accordingly.

    President Uchtdorf and Elder Holland have given talks along the lines of “come worship with us anyway even if you have doubts.” But hardline GAs still want to enforce “boundary maintenance” via the SCMC, “training” for local leaders that leads to excommunication, etc.

    Meanwhile, Tim has received personal revelation from the Lord that PTHG is true and that he can publish this on his blog. He is thus in jeopardy of being excommunicated himself for supporting the “apostate” Denver and his teachings.

    And the LDS Church PR department has taken on a prominent and maybe controversial role, well beyond simply publicizing the latest Temple dedication or Taberancle Choir concert.

    Well my normally deep-layered mind is spinning from all of this cognitive dissonance…

    My vote does not count, but I believe that we, and the LDS Church, should lay all of the facts, historical documents, evidence, accounts, etc, on the table. Yes, I realize that this is slowly happening.

    And members should be free to discuss and publicize their viewpoints without fear of retribution. Applying “critical thinking skills” should not be equated with “criticising the Brethren.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • oops,–

      typos–

      ignoring people is not the same as cyberbullying, but I’ve experienced (my loved ones more) a lot of ‘shunning’ in the church, where people pretend not to see you?

      also, that should have been ‘something in Mormon men’–

      And–

      Tom Irvine is a kind, genuine human being; he has spoken Christlike words to me, so he is an exception (oops, YOU, Tom)–

      and Tim has actually responded to me once or twice. I’m older than Tim and his wife, if I can take his years and add them informally, as he’s presented them–

      and his wife is a LOT cuter than I am–

      so he’s in no ‘danger’ from me–

      Sometimes, and I hope this doesn’t offend you, Tim, I think you are blessed to have a wife who balances you as she does.

      I mean, really. I have wanted to say that before. I am not sure she would quite be comfortable with me, but that’s all right–she is good for you, and that is all in the world that matters.

      And she’s adorable! :)

      Like

    • Well said. Whole-heartedly agree.

      Like

  10. This was a very good and interesting essay, Tim. Thank you for it. As for discussing “spiritual” experiences with Diety–

    I didn’t want to shout it to people, because I was afraid they would hurt themselves by not believing me–

    and I was worried for their spiritual well-being; I asked the Lord to guide me in knowing with whom I could share what had happened to me. When I now hear, “people don’t want to talk about it, because they haven’t had it”, it sounds more like a contest.

    It’s a gift to have a personal experience with Diety. It also usually comes about after much personal trial and much heartache, etc. In the case of some people, I believe, it is the blessing that comes after the trial.

    If a person already feels that most people ‘in the church’ don’t take them seriously (perhaps because they are poorer than many or . . . have handicaps)–

    that person is going to be very cautious about telling the richest person in the ward who has openly said, “nobody can know Jesus or even know if He is real”–

    that he/she has had an experience with Jesus. In many of the wards I know (not all) it is those richest people who continually get the leadership callings–

    and are admired. Wealth is admired in this church. The only wealth I have is knowing that God is real. But I dare not speak up, because those strident voices that are ‘active’, but unbelieving . . .

    and also usually very neo-conservative, all about wealth and getting more and hanging out with people “like us”–

    because I don’t want God to be mocked. And I don’t want to bring down condemnation on the heads of those who are ignorant and unbelieving.

    When a person does something openly (from no choice) that is unique but Christlike and is openly persecuted for it by the ward’s wealthiest member who then goes on to talk about the importance of ‘following the commandments”–

    that person is not likely ever to talk about anything spiritual with that ‘leader’–

    Only a handful of people know about what I experienced, and it’s likely to stay that way, as our ward, at least, becomes more worldly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear of your poorly received experience in sharing. There are spaces out there that are more welcoming of such things, and quite inviting and beautiful, actually. If you are looking for some direction, I’m confident there are many here that can point you to some great places where sharing is safe and enjoyable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Jen. I enjoy the Greater Things sub forum on LDSFF as well as the Snuffer Readers group. As I have prayed about sharing online, The Lord helped me to know He is pleased with my efforts to share in an open blog. Yes, it generates lots of discussion and opposition but it also helps encourage people to take a serious look at the message Denver was asked to share. I’ll take the slings and arrows of public debate. I know it pleases The Lord. God bless.

        Like

      • Are both of these on LDSFF? Thanks Tim! Hope you’re enjoying the lecture!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You know, I have shared my experience with a very close loved one (I am a mother)–

        and it has been received very quietly, but I think it has helped as that person has gone through numerous faith crises; this precious ‘young one’ has come to me and does come to me.

        I have shared it with others close to me who need or want it; I even shared it with a ward member, and I have shared with some trusted ward members some experiences some of my children (as young children) had–

        And the person who has struggled with faith (who has much higher intelligence than the average ‘bear’) has not had any such experiences, and I believe it is *their* trial; I know it is.

        So, it is important not to condemn those who have not had these experiences; some won’t in this life, for all their efforts–

        I like what Denver Snuffer said, but I have known people with hearts that are full of integrity who have done ‘everything’ to have contact with God and been denied. I feel that if these people can ‘endure to the end’ (whatever that means for them; it’s not my place to judge) they will be received with a particularly warm embrace.

        I know these things are real (for myself), but not everyone is ‘ready’ to know–

        I am grateful for personal revelation on all of these things–

        we are each a unique child of God.

        Like

  11. in our ward’s case the wealthiest member also admonishes ward members to ‘follow the brethren’–

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim, I believe it is highly probable that God told you “yes” and told me “no”–as to public ‘sharing’.

      I respect that. I hope others will respect my ‘no’. I have watched as the Lord has dealt with me as I am able to accept things. I have continued to return to Him about this issue and continue to be told “no”–

      maybe if you could have a little glimpse into my life you would understand. I am quite sure you would–

      But I also believe it is important for *us* to realize that we don’t all have the same gifts. Some people really do have other/unique gifts–

      I know my loved one who has not had spiritual experiences has some absolutely astounding gifts in wisdom. Mind blowing–

      and other things. :)

      Like

      • and, yes, when I regularly bore my testimony ‘up front’ I always bore my testimony of my ‘knowing’, and I didn’t use those words, but I made it clear that I knew/knew–

        and then the Spirit said, “no more; don’t say this again to these people.”

        But other things I could say and won’t–because it is getting too personal would make it clear that our family has been put into a unique situation–

        but no more on that–

        Like

  12. and several close to ‘him’ speak of reading the scriptures, but don’t put them ahead of conference talks.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jared,
    I certainly respect your passion for your point of view concerning the ex-communication of Kate Kelly and the pending court date of John Dehlin. Let me share an additional viewpoint.

    I recently read a book that was suggested on one of the blogs concerning women asking for the priesthood. It was published in April 2014, and has helped me understand the impetus of why these women were asking to be ordained. It is positive account that includes a discussion about the doctrine. You may find it helpful also. It is called Latter-day Saint Women and the Priesthood of God. – A Believer’s Exploration. It is by Mark Koltko-Rivera and can be found at Amazon.

    It help me understand that new found information was the probably the impetus of why Ordained women ask for the priesthood in the first place.

    My disappointment for them is the fact that the PR department was the messenger rather than any of the brethern directly answering their question. “Will you ask the Lord if women can be ordained to the priesthood?” None of the PR declarations directly answered their questions. Perhaps if it had been answered directly by one of the brethern this situation may not have escalated to this point.

    As far as Rock Waterman’s blog goes… I happen to enjoy his “spicy” presentation. After I laugh… I can look past all the rhetoric to the meat of the issue… which I agree with some of the time…. and some times I don’t. I believe his court is this Sunday and my prayers are with him.

    I don’t know quite what to make of John Dehlin except that he has help to keep my daughter in the faith, when her faith was faltering. For that, I’m very grateful. She is deeply upset at the news that he is facing a court date because he was an anchor in her life when she could not get answers by way of the traditional sources.

    Again… Snuffer has taken the high road. His post on “Women” is excellent. And, as usual.. he teaches and I leave his blog inspired. http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2014/06/women-witnesses.html

    I hate to see people ex’ed that love the gospel and the church and want to be apart of the fellowship despite their concerns. So many are leaving the church with far less concerns than have been expressed by these bloggers and book writers.

    Just my point of view for which I take full responsibility for.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Kathryn, Amen.

      Some of these people (with whom others might disagree) have helped to keep some of my fragile, young loved ones in the church, too. The last few weeks I have seen tears and anger.

      Not everyone has bishops like Tim’s bishop. Or OUR bishop. But our bishop is very mainstream, and we have felt strongly impressed not to talk to him; he’s just a saint.

      But he doesn’t understand our perspective, and that is fine; we don’t really need him to. And he would do whatever our SP said, and our SP is not a gentle or loving man, at all.

      He’s actually quite scary. And a lot of ‘mainstream’ people struggle mightily with him–

      we can sort of forbear with him, becasue we understand that his perspective is very tight and narrow–

      but those who are mainstream are just suffering–

      Like

  14. Jared

    I respect your passion concerning Kate Kelly and others who are facing disciplinary action. However, I would like to express an additional viewpoint.

    I recently read a book that helped me understand perhaps why Ordain Women ask the brethren about women being ordained to the Priesthood. (This book was suggested on one of the blogs.) It is a new book just released April 2014. It is a very positive book that explains many issues including Priesthood doctrine. I think you would enjoy it.

    

Latter-day Saint Women and the Priesthood of God – A Believer’s Exploration by Mark Koltko-Rivera. It can be found at Amazon.

    My disappointment for Ordained Women is that their question, “Will you ask the Lord if women be ordained to the Priesthood” was never answered directly. The PR department was the spokes persons for the brethren who I think should have answered them directly. Perhaps if they had done so, the situation would not have escalated to this point.

    All this cannot being doing the Church any favors in the PR area. I’m sure it has added to the burden of the missionaries who already are faced with hard questions at this time.

    

However, I personally would not have use Ordain Women’s method of getting the attention of the brethren. Marches, no matter how respectful, takes on a “Revolutionary” appearance of the Sixties, which was meant to be subversive.



    I don’t quite know what to think about John Dehlin except for the fact that he has been instrumental in answering questions and keeping my daughter in the church, whose faith was challenged. I will be forever grateful to him. She is broken-hearted along with, I’m sure, thousands of others that he has encourage to “Hang On.” I pray that he will able to continue being a part of the church fellowship.

    As far as Rock Waterman goes, I have to admit I love the spicy treatment of his subject matter. After I laugh, I get down to the meat of the message and sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t… but his messages always gives me food for thought.

    I understand his court appearance is coming up soon and I pray for him. Like you, I wish they would leave him alone. If you want to quiet someone, the last thing that should be done is call attention to him. He says that since all the hoop la, more folks are reading his blog than ever before.

    Snuffer, as usual takes the high road. His post on Women Witnesses is so well done. Instead of getting sucked into the mire on this Priesthood issue, he teaches Christ’s attitude toward women. Such an inspiration.

    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2014/06/women-witnesses.html

    I feel bad that so many people who love Christ, the gospel and the church are being be removed from the membership, especially since there are so many leaving the church voluntarily with less concerns that these folks who blog or write books.

    All this is just my point of view for which I take full responsibility.

    Like

  15. I think the core problem in all of this is that the lay membership of the LDS church desire and would be greatly benefited from a real communication “bridge” between laity and the leadership. By real I mean one the leadership will really take seriously. Mormonism is coming out (I hope) from a 80-year top-down Military model of leadership, where leaders say “jump,” and members say “how high?” This is why when PR says: “we welcome a conversation,” this is disingenuous. It’s like saying: you are welcome to cross the river using a bridge that doesn’t exist. The PR department is another hurdle that the old-guard leadership has placed in the way of honest, two-way communication between the gospel “head” and the “foot.” What I think you are seeing is the last gasp of the standard way business has been conducted since the 1920’s. However, I for one am hopeful: within 10 years it is likely that half the quorum of 12 will turn over. This is a golden opportunity to turn the corner and redefine so much in Mormonism, including how the top brass relates to the common members. And this will be long overdue. Are the leaders of the church accountable to the members? Not according to the current thinking at HQ. But, according to the Law of Common Consent, contained in the D&C, why, yes indeed they are. Furthermore, in my opinion, all they say, do and direct is subject to discernment from the Holy Ghost. In fact it must be discerned to filter out the true stuff from the error. The current teaching that every word falling from the lips of a GA is like the words of God, is clearly false. It takes about 5 minutes of serious study of Mormon history and doctrine to dismiss this utterly silly notion. The D&C clearly indicates that “whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost…shall be scripture.” But the important thing here for a lay member is to realize that when the Brethren speak, the burden of proof shifts to the individual member, to discern the truth, by the Gift of the Holy Ghost which they have. The greatest error that members are making is that they aren’t connected to the Holy Ghost as they can and should. In place of this, then we are contented with faithful renditions of pioneer stories, cliches, homilies, and endless recycling of faith-promoting pablum. One summer in college I read through all the conference reports from the first printed ones (about 1915 I think) through 1980. There were powerful sermons early on, but the doctrinal content and power of the teaching definitely becomes more and more dilute over the decades. Now, I can barely stand to read any conference talks; everything in the teaching has become placid, stale and banal. Still, I do not have any hard feelings towards the Brethren: there is some irony in vocal critics who are upset at the GA’s for not been perfectly charitable to them, when in fact their reaction to the GA’s is far from Christlike and charitable. I think the Brethren are largely stuck in a paradigm that they inherited and thought was as natural as breathing. This military top-down paradigm is the one getting blown up in the face of the internet age. I predict that for about 5 years we will see the current attempt to preserve the old guard worldview by silencing criticism from above. But eventually, they will respond. They can’t silence a million bloggers, and everytime a Snuffer, Dehlin, Kelly, etc are Exed, you will see a growing and mounting backlash. So, pray for the Brethren. Mormonism moves slow, but it does move–it always has and always will. Meantime, be of good cheer: make your own connection with heaven and follow the path, until you obtain all the promises for yourself. Don’t allow this battle between leadership and lay members to cause you to lose your individual grip on the rod or iron. God bless us all. Peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Gay political correctness has overtaken Israel http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/homosexuals-wage-holy-war-on-israeli-village/. In Canada a radio host can be fined and taken off the air if he objects to same-sex marriage publicly. Fascism’s author drives gay activism and is influencing our own zion world. Our wicked committee should stop its work now and be re-purposed for something good and holy. How do I know the committee is wicked? Because of what it does to ordinary members. How can we say we are a Church with hearts knit together in unity (Mosiah 18:21) when we can’t express our fondest and most private opinions about doctrine and faith to one another. Why don’t we just admit we have gone too far. Some say the wicked committee is a reincarnation of the 1838 committee to gather all the facts. Did the Lord want the committee to then spy on the opinions of Joseph’s flock? Some say Joseph formed the Danites to handle internal problems. Hmm…if the Danites were so good, why don’t we talk about them? On the day after the 270th anniversary of the prophet’s murder are sure it was a good idea for him to wreck the printing press of the Nauvoo Expositor? If the SCMC is so good, why are they in the shadows? Some say, “the church is not a democracy!” OK. When the Lord established the one secular government we know about, it turned out to be a representative republic. In a representative republic, it all works best when citizens are informed and active. Closed-door deliberations must be kept to a minimum to avoid rebellions. It seems our beloved Church has been in a constant closed-door session now for 270 years. Moses probably led the one Theocracy we know about. In a theocracy the prophet will listen to righteous Holy-Ghost inspired humble people and if he’s not 100% sure how to answer he’ll go find out what is right from the Lord. Joseph did it in like manner while the church was small enough. Moses came back from the mountain to deliver what the Lord said and the righteous followed him. We apparently didn’t know the full account of Moses and the Israelites until Joseph revealed it to us, but that is another story of how apostasy infects even the written word of God. Therefore, I propose we re-purpose the wicked committee into an earnest sincere listening arm of the Church for the Brethren to know what we are thinking since it is impossible for them to come among us anymore. Tim Malone’s practice of “LIKING” almost every comment is a good pattern. Humble and righteous thinkers of the church should all get a preliminary and charitable LIKE on their blogs from the re-purposed righteous committee. This will show they come in peace as they read your post. Identifiable problems and unique likes should be reviewed like bees dance and deliberate when finding a new home. No one bee can control what happens as the swarm waits patiently for the scouts to do their job. When the decision is made, the bee swarm flies in unison to the new home. In like manner the righteous committee may extend a GOLDLIKE to special nice members. As other members see the GOLDLIKEs they will want one for their own blogforehead. Unique problems and LIKEs will be referred to the Seventy who will deliberate further. The Seventies can then give a special 70sLIKE to all who deserve it. A 70sLIKE would be such an honor and would be cherished. Unique 70sLIKES and problems could then be referred up to the 12 and then to the prophet on super rare occasions. What would it be like to receive a PROPHETsLIKE? Spectacular of course! It would be something to brag about at funerals. And so…the righteous committee could be composed of seasoned high priests who become missionaries for the special calling from all around the world. This will stimulate the called high priests to really study the gospel for themselves. Strict rules of conduct will be proscribed like our full time missionaries and patriarchs receive including daily prayer, daily scripture study and loads of charity. At every level the appropriate teachers will teach. Stake Presidents will be asked to have patience and forbearance and they will teach. They will teach the true doctrines of the Lord. Every sacrament meeting could have a representative of the Stake preaching truth, faith and charity toward all believers. Sensitive discussions will be taken to the third hour adults in Relief Society and the High Priest classes (elders can’t handle it :) ) We are inundated with false doctrine and false remedies which is making the fruit of the olive tree planted in the choice part of the vineyard go wild and good for nothing (Jacob 5). Let’s stop the wicked committee before it’s too late.

    “I admire men and women who have developed the questing spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas as stepping stones to progress. We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent–if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression… This free exchange of ideas is not to be deplored as long as men and women remain humble and teachable. Neither fear of consequence or any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences. … We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it.” — Hugh B. Brown

    “I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.” — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:340

    “If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.” – President J. Reuben Clark

    Like

    • You got it, good brother! The pattern you describe of reporting is the “bridge” that needs to be built so that communication can become an honest and real exchange with the Brethren, in a righteous way. Best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • because Tim was told to do so, because God knows the hearts of Tim’s priesthood leaders–

        I like how you say “A righteous way”, instead of “the” righteous way. My husband and I have been told absolutely to tell our leaders nothing. It would be annhilation, if we did, and the Lord has told us as much.

        But this is very private; we are not trying to ‘teach’ anyone else to do what we do–

        we are not deceiving anyone–

        I was locked off Denver’s blog (due to a computer glitch) for well over a year–

        we went to get our TRs, and I had read none of his blog entries/essays–

        we got our TRs, and then other bloggers I read (AFTER the interview) were being excommunicated. I had nothing to lie about; I had no idea there were excommunications pending–

        We take each, case by case, and ask the Lord if we should continue to be a support to these people–

        we’ve been told ‘yes’–

        I think that matters.

        There ARE righteous people in the church; they are all over; they may not be all in one ward, but there are enough, and Father and Jesus know their hearts–

        He does know the hearts of men in “our own country”–

        (sorry, couldn’t help but ride on what is in the D&C)–
        :)

        Like

  17. @Everyone who responded to me–

    I am loathe to offend anyone, and I often don’t think of the impact of my words until I have left them on a page, where they can’t be edited–

    I understand the personal desire of anyone not to respond to anything: praise, thanks, etc.–

    I am finding though, as life goes by that kind words are sweet, even from strangers–

    it happened yesterday; I received kind words from strangers, and it made my life just that much lighter–

    I believe there are mortal angels ‘out there’–

    I don’t want to dampen anyone, but I do it. I can be sharp.

    So I made the apology broad, because I knew I was not kind–

    I understand, Eric, about how you might be concerned that you would sound condescending. Perhaps I should type more slowly or let something sit in the little box for a while and go over it before clicking that ‘post’ button. But I don’t.

    So I will probably continue to apologize when I think I’ve been unkind. I am trying to find people to lift whenever I am around people–

    because I know what it does for me when others lift me. And “thank you” or “I appreciate that” are not dangerous words to everyone, but I can see that some might consider them dangerous. I am aware that there are those throughout my life who have been annoyed with me, because I am effusive.

    I have known people who believe that anyone who is effusive automatically lacks integrity.

    But when you’ve been very ill and you are not really attractive, because you are past the age when any woman could be considered attractive (yes, I’ve hit that age; my husband loves me, because he’s also hit that age–LOL!)–

    and you make it out of your house and you wear a nice dress and a nice sun hat–

    and you are smiing, and a young man young enough to be your grandson in a store says, “that is a pretty dress; you look really nice”–

    you want to hug him. I thanked him. I smiled and thanked him and thought, “he just made my day”–

    I think it is his personality; I don’t know the young man personally, though I’ve seen him in a store I sometimes visit.

    I am full of stories. I can quote scriptures, too, if it is appropriate, but sometimes I am aware that *I* use them as weapons, and I don’t want that either. I am trying to discourage the warring spirit within me. And I do really like Tim’s essays.

    I have no argument with anyone. That’s the problem. I just want people to be kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • for what it is worth, I don’t take Brigham Young seriously. At all.

      I know that I didn’t know him, and I am all too happy to let God deal with him, whether the man was good or bad or something in between.

      But he said everything, and he often contradicted himself. His words on taking offense, I believe, have probably caused more heartache among LDS since he said them than any set of words said by any man who led anyone. I know quite a few people who have confided in me, and I have felt this myself, that Brigham Young’s words (the ones on offense being no exception) have caused them to have to repent of sudden anger more quickly than anything else.

      Is that why Brigham said such things? I don’t know. I just know that, from his record, I do not respect the man. From his record. He didn’t believe the Book of Mormon was ‘that’ important; he preferred the Bible. I believe that if the time ever comes that I ever meet the man–in some place–

      I will probably not have a desire to speak to him. I can’t imagine any other human being with possible infamous exceptions with whom I would have less in common.

      The results of his words, practices and teachings on some of my ancestors–

      tragic.

      Like

      • I would like to add that I once knew a woman who had come ‘back’ from a very hard life–

        and was once again involved in the ‘church’. This was almost 30 years ago. We were not close friends, but we visit taught together. She was a complicated, difficult person, and I learned to avoid her prickles, so that I could get along with her.

        She mentioned that she was descended from Brigham Young and it had been a trial indeed. She told me that all of his descendants she knew personally had the most ‘messed up’ lives of anyone she had ever known.

        She mentioned that her husband’s ‘people’ had defied polygamy, and that they were good, kind, loving people who had much more healthy lives and descendants.

        Having to say, this very proud woman, that being his descendant was something of which she was not proud, was not easy for her, but I could tell it was part of a healing process. There may be exceptions. She probably has fifth and sixth cousins who are completely normal, but her own family, which included various levels of cousin-hood, was not healthy.

        I respected her for her admissions. It was very eye-opening. I had always had a little pouch of BY quotes. She laughed when I told her that.

        Like

  18. If one despises being marginalized, why would one marginalize others – even if the other is Brigham Young?

    Like

    • @Log, what is your point? How am I marginalizing Brigham Young?

      I think you are picking.

      I apologized to you; you didn’t respond, even just to say, lightly, “hey, sometimes people don’t understand each other very well on blogs; peace”–

      Then I apologized to someone else, but I expected no response, because you tend to ignore.

      And you did the little Brigham Young quote than anyone who has been in the church as long as I have has heard dozens of times. It is feeling like harrassment. Did you just decide I would be an easy mark?

      What on earth have I *done* to you that makes you pick at my name so?

      You don’t use *your* name; I know nobody by the name of “log”.

      I don’t feel safe at all with you, but I can prove that I have been highly marginalized. You won’t get the proof, but don’t push it with trying to make my life more difficult. There is Someone watching.

      Brigham Young is still lauded as a great leader throughout this church by a majority of the members. If I choose to disregard his quaint wisdom, what business is it of yours? You speak of *your own* business. What you said just now has no pertinence to what I wrote–

      Are you trying to get me not to post? It wouldn’t be hard to do. If I start to feel that someone is picking at me, I’ll leave. And you won’t have to see this offensive name anymore. You can continue to hide behind your name and offer picky little comments while I try to share experiences I think might help a person or two.

      I have very little ability to take persecution at this point in my life. Maybe you are enjoying meting it out; if you have that kind of strength; good for you.

      But I don’t appreciate your little ‘picks’–

      Or–

      what on earth do you want from me?

      Well, you’re not going to get it from me, unless it is that I no longer post here.

      Like

  19. @Log, what is your point? How am I marginalizing Brigham Young?

    marginalize or marginalise:
    to relegate to the fringes, out of the mainstream; make seem unimportant: various economic assumptions marginalize women

    VS.

    [F]or what it is worth, I don’t take Brigham Young seriously. At all. [post recounting disdain for B. Y. snipped for brevity]

    I’m not dishing it out, just pointing out that it has been served.

    What do I want?

    Honestly, Sister Marginalized, I want you to do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. No more. No less. What else should one expect of a self-styled disciple of Christ?

    I’ve thought about this some more. The real reason I don’t acknowledge apologies is because I choose to not acknowledge offenses, for Brigham’s counsel is sound – for if I took offense then I would reveal myself as a carnal, foolish hypocrite.

    Like

  20. In the end, I am seeking Zion – a community of saints, those upon whom the Lord has put his spirit, where all are of one heart and of one mind.

    I look for those who have known the Lord, who have been baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost because they repented from all their sins and called upon the Lord until they had unfeigned faith in Christ. I look for honest souls who do not pretend to knowledge they do not possess, and who recognize the limitations of what they actually know, and who are seeking the Lord according to his commandments. I look for those who do not look outward and accuse and condemn, but rather who look inward and repent.

    In Zion, there shall not be found those who make men offenders for (lack of) a word, neither shall there be found those who watch for iniquity and cry others have sinned when they don’t know that they have, in fact, sinned; the scorner shall be cut off. In Zion, there shall not be those who charge others for not doing what they, themselves, have also failed to do – for the same standard they judge others by shall God judge them by.

    Jeremiah 3
    14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

    15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

    If I see a lack of prophets and seers and revelators, if I see a lack of Melchizedek priests, if I see a lack of miracle workers and tongues and healings, if I see a lack of pure knowledge and charity, then riddle me this: who benefits should I then turn and accuse others of not possessing these things, which the Lord God hath offered all mankind if they will but ask of him, with diligence in keeping his commandments? Would it not be the proper course to call upon the name of the Lord until I received the fulness of his Holy Spirit that I might be, and possess, all of these things?

    What manner of fool would I have to be to blame or accuse others for not possessing what I, myself, do not possess! What manner of fool I would have to be to blame or accuse others for not repenting and working righteousness, when by blaming and accusing I would show myself to be a hypocrite, a pretender to the faith of Christ! For if I had faith as a mustard seed, I could move mountains!

    And what manner of fool I would be to imagine the Church stood in my way as I strive to follow the precepts of Christ! What manner of fool I would be to suppose that because the leadership does X, Y, or Z, that that in any way had any effect on whether I, with honor and exactness, obeyed the Savior’s teachings!

    Doctrine and Covenants 42:29
    29 If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.

    JST Matthew 5:50 Ye are therefore commanded to be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

    What does the Church have to do with whether I obey God? How could they possibly interfere? Indeed, when I see a beggar, or, heaven forbid, a heroin addict on the street asking for money, what possible relevance does priesthood or hierarchical authority have to do with whether I honor the precepts of God and give them what they ask for?

    JST Matthew 5:44 Give to him that asketh of thee; and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.

    47 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, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    What does the Church have to do with this – or anything else?

    Oh, how much easier it would be to look outward and condemn instead of inward and repent! Oh how easy it is to mistake the spirit of the accuser for the Spirit of God, because it saith unto us we are righteous, and it is others who need to repent! And how easy it is to deliberately recast reproach as accusation, lest we see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and understand with our heart, and be converted, that we might be cleansed by fire from heaven!

    Proverbs 13:18
    18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    Where is Zion? Where are the saints? Where are those who hew to the line with honor and exactness?

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Log, I agree, its disappointing that it took me so long to accept my reluctance to embrace these truths you have just explained, so much easier to read and talk about, while thinking less of others for not having open minds.

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  22. 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

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

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

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

    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    20 Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.

    20 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.

    21 And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.

    22 And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.

    23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.

    24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

    25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.

    26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.

    27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.

    28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.

    29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

    30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.

    31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.

    32 And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things; for whoso doeth them shall perish.

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

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  23. Log… your well meaning comments feel like attacks even if it comes from a true doctrine. I think everyone’s comments are of value as they bare their understanding of gospel principles or just express their point of view.

    You stated in a previous post: “What does the Church have to do with this – or anything else?” Can the same thing be said of some one who does not like Brigham Young. He’s not one of my favorites either but So what! What does it have to do with anything important.

    Everyone is trying to find their way… and if those who contribute to this blog dialog feel that they are going to be “set straight” or “spanked” every time they post, it shuts commentary for which we may have the opportunity to ponder, think, assess and come to conclusions on our own.

    I actually really enjoy your contributions on all the blogs you follow. I gain a lot… but this recent interchange does not make me feel comfortable.

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  24. Dear Sister Kathryn,

    One of the reasons I simply hold up general principles which all assent to is because I have no desire to accuse – indeed, I have had enough of contention and accusation and pride and arrogance and vain imaginations and condescension and innuendo and speculation and malice and bitterness and evil-speaking to last several lifetimes.

    For the comfort of Tim’s readership, I probably should depart.

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    • Are there any gospel-related blogs out there that contain (little or) no speculation? If so, which?

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      • Denver’s, because he doesn’t allow comments. ;-)
        denversnuffer.blogspot.com

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      • Read recently: “There is a blog with little or no speculation. They don’t update very frequently, though, and the quality of the last couple of posts was sub-par, and the comments are trite and sometimes in error, but the content can’t be beat – the scriptures.”

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  25. Log,
    I, for one, hope you will not.

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  26. Dani… I second your vote. I also do not want Log to depart either.

    Log… What I appreciate about you is your deep, quick recall of scripture and history. You have depth of understanding that most of us here do not. I for one would miss your insight.

    Yes, with your understanding of the scriptures, I can see where you would get impatient. Those disagreeable qualities you mention in your post certainly do reside here on this blog as well as in the general membership of the church. Hopeful, we will get over it soon as we need Zion yesterday.

    I, for one am learning faster with the dialog on this and other blogs than the last 10 years of RS. You are an important part of blog conversation.

    I just thought that your recent interchange was a little too confrontational, and not like your usual self.

    P.S. And… I appreciate the fact you give references of where your information can be found. Sometimes you forget… but mostly the reference is there. I look up the references and read the quote in context of the rest of the chapter etc.

    Hang in there with us…. we need you.

    Like

    • As Bob Marley said,

      “Lord guide and protect us
      When we’re wrong please correct us”

      We should all be okay with correction, even if it comes from some guy on the internet.

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