One Rule to Rule Them All


A question was asked, the essence of which is this: if the golden rule implies all requests should be granted, what if a request is made to break the golden rule?

Here are my thoughts on the question.

Such a request should not be granted, since the golden rule itself has a higher priority than any request. That being said, however, there is an exception.

Only God can legitimately ask us to do to someone something we would not want done to ourselves, because God’s purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, making us equal with him in all things. If we have faith in him, then we trust in his purposes, in his benevolence, and in his judgements in these matters. Sometimes, he explains his purposes beforehand, such as when he asked Nephi to slay Laban. Sometimes, he does not explain until afterwards, as when he asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. In both of these cases, it was asked with an eye towards the greater good of all. Knowing what God knows, we would agree to be the victim in such circumstances.

God has given us permission to defend ourselves, individually and collectively, if certain defined conditions are met. Thus we may, if we wish, withdraw and avoid our enemies, slay them, or allow them to abuse us and slay us, as the law permits. Indeed, we read that God established the powers that be, and legitimizes civil government, with its necessary policing and punitive functions.

SecretCombinationsBut there is another concern. What happens if you agree to do whatever a man asks without limitation? Then by entering the agreement you risk being asked to do something that breaks the golden rule, or risk breaking the golden rule by not doing what you agreed to do. Organizations built up on such absolute mutual agreements are termed “secret combinations.” It seems to me that this obvious danger is part of the reason we are warned at least thrice that we are not to put our trust in our fellow man, including once by the Savior himself; that is, not to put ourselves in a position to yield our understanding of, nor obedience to, the law of God to the dictates of men.

I have read that sometimes our armed forces personnel are approached with a question – will you perform any order given, such as killing any target we give you? And I am aware of the similarity between what I have described above, and the oaths of the temple. Yet there are crucial differences – we covenant to obey the law of the Gods and keep the commandments of the Most High. Consecration happens to be for the explicit purpose of building up of the kingdom of God on the earth – which is not equivalent to the Church – and for the establishment of Zion. If the Church isn’t doing her part, we aren’t bound to uphold our end.

What is now of greater import is whether we should consider ourselves bound to do all things whatsoever our priesthood leaders tell us, right or wrong, as we have been traditionally taught with a twinkle in the eye. The idea is they are supposed to be representing God in all things, I suppose. I am aware of Joseph’s and Brigham’s explicit teachings on that specific subject, which were starkly and uniformly negative, but the Church has obviously come a long way in traditional teachings and culture since then, and Elder Nelson’s recent conference address seems to be a directional signpost of the way the Church is going, along with the recent rash of excommunications for what the Church terms apostasy.

I suppose it might come down to whether we may trust them – flesh though they are. And the answer to that issue comes about by revelation. Maybe it is important enough to inquire of God about. I asked about Elder Nelson’s teachings – did you? My answer doesn’t matter to you. Only your answer matters to you. And your answer only matters to you.

And, remember – just because one person can trust the Brethren, it does not imply another must (or even may) trust them; and just because one person knows something, it doesn’t make another a bad person for not knowing – and maybe not even believing when told – that something. And, finally, just because someone claims to know something doesn’t mean they do.

57 Responses

  1. Log,
    This may be the most important post you have put up. Though we have disagreed on some things over the last 3-4 yrs, we agree on the things you have said in this post.

    “Consecration happens to be for the explicit purpose of building up of the kingdom of God on the earth – which is not equivalent to the Church – and for the establishment of Zion. If the Church isn’t doing her part, we aren’t bound to uphold our end.”

    And this: “Elder Nelson’s recent conference address seems to be a directional signpost of the way the Church is going”

    And this: “I asked about Elder Nelson’s teachings – did you?” Yes, I did. The answer gives me great concern since this man is 3rd in line to lead the church.

    Your recent teachings on the Golden Rule are spot on. Thank you.
    Your brother in the Lord,
    James Russell Uhl

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    • JR,

      What the Lord says must of necessity be logically consistent, for he cannot lie, but he will give part to one, and part to another. And what he says is calculated to produce or preclude certain results.

      I don’t worry about the Church nor its leaders. I used to. Now I just mourn.

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  2. The Nehpi example was brought up by a notable writer and speaker.”..righteousness will kick virtue’s *ss any day of the week”. We must trust God; but in whom do we trust in whom we do not know… line upon line, precept upon precept. Experience, following the Spirit and easing the scriptures to liken ouseles to them will sustain our trust in Him.

    Therefore we be not lazy and require explanation from man concerning the things of heaven, unless they come from “thus Sayers the Lord”,and then and only then shall it be confirmed by the Holy Ghost. This is the pattern. Thank you Log for your writing that keeps our thoughts upward to Him in whom we rely

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    • Sfort,

      You needn’t thank me – I’m doing what I want to be doing, what I find pleasure in. I appreciate the sentiment, though.

      What I want would be for anyone to do what I have been talking about – to actually put the principles into practice – and be received of God.

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  3. I don’t believe the Golden Rule implies we need to grant every request made of us. To do so would put us in violation of serving God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength by serving more than one master. The closest scriptural mandate I can find is from King Benjamin to not turn away the beggar, but even this is qualified with our hearts approaching the service as if it were rendered to God. God alone is the true source of relief and good gifts to His children and to put ourselves in His place, or to look to another person with our petitions for relief is idolatry. Our service should always be at His direction, not because we are trying to please men.

    The Golden Rule is not unique to Christianity. It seems to be one of those universal lights, or laws, by which all people who have been taught it will be judged. However, in most sources, it is framed in the negative (to NOT do to others what you would NOT want done to yourself).

    It is interesting that you mentioned both Laban and Abraham in this context because both stories frame this rule from the “being done to” perspective. Laban accused Lehi’s sons of theft and proclaimed them worthy of death. Next he became a thief himself and tried to kill them. Hence, he became his own judge and God’s punishment of death to Laban was simply what he had proclaimed a suitable punishment for his own crime. Not having the inside story of Abraham’s thoughts, we are left to speculate, but it is interesting that Abraham himself was offered on an altar by his father according to the religious practices of the God he worshiped. In addition to foreshadowing the future sacrifice of the Son of God, it may have also been part of Abraham’s personal tutoring and preparation as he sought further understanding of events in his own life.

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    • RaNae,

      I do not recognize the negative formulations as the golden rule.

      The golden rule, as I have and shall use it, is: “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise,” or “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” I am unaware that anyone other than Christ taught this – but even if so, would it make a difference?

      As to whether the golden rule implies that all requests should be granted, that can be answered easily enough – for yourself, of course – by your answer to the following question: If you request something of someone, do you want them to grant your request?

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      • Not necessarily. I don’t usually understand the cost my request may be asking of someone else. I would prefer to be turned down than to add my burden to another person’s load, especially when they feel obligated to accept, rather than joyful. Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light, but trying to carry a load He has not required of me is not healthy or sustainable.

        There was a recent viral video put out by the church about a woman who agrees to all the requests made of her during a day, It made me feel awful to watch her joy crumble as she realized her own plans for the day were lost because she felt a need to save everyone who “needed” her. Not one person she helped understood the true cost of what they were asking of her. Serving others when I am directed by the spirit leaves me with optimism and peace, not the depression and helplessness felt when I feel obligated to agree to everything asked of me.

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        • Nobody needs me to interpret the golden rule for them – that’s between the individual and God. It is, after all, an introspective question.

          If my request is burdensome, I expect they’ll let me know, and I may relent (depending on the severity of my needs), but I have not harmed anyone for asking. However, because I understand that I don’t like granting burdensome requests, I only ask for what I need from people, unless what I’m asking for is something they have plenty of – more than they need – then I can ask for what I want. And from he who has all things, I ask for all things whatsoever I desire.

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  4. Should we only grant requests if God specifically directs us to? It seems to me not.

    D&C 58
    26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

    27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

    28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

    29 But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.

    30 Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments?

    31 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?

    32 I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.

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  5. And, remember – just because one person can trust the Brethren, it does not imply another must (or even may) trust them; and just because one person knows something, it doesn’t make another a bad person for not knowing – and maybe not even believing when told – that something. And, finally, just because someone claims to know something doesn’t mean they do.

    Amen.

    Log,

    Are you stating there is something wrong with the LDS endowment? Because in the endowment it states within the covenant that people indeed ARE covenanting to give everything TO THE CHURCH of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints….. There is no caveat attached in the endowment wherein one is exempt.
    I have had my own spiritual witness in regards to this but I found some statements you made to have some implications on this…

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    • You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the law of consecration as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

      If the Church asks for myself, my time, talents, and everything with which I have been blessed, or may yet be blessed, for any purpose other than building up the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion, then I have no obligation to provide it to her.

      I believe the golden rule obligates me to people as people, not people as representatives of an organization.

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      • That is fine but it says first “to the church…” Then it says “for the building up….”. It does not say “to the church… If it is for the building up”.

        But for all intents and purposes I believe it is evil anyway so I just wanted to get your opinion on the matter. In James 5: 12 and also in a couple of verses wherein Jesus spoke they make it clear to not make oaths and to let our communication be yea yea, nay nay, ANYTHING more or less than this is of evil.

        Plus I have a question for anyone willing to have a conversation about it. When we are baptized do we not covenant to be chaste, obedient, live the gospel, and to consecrate anything and everything TO THE LORD that He might ask? I would love to know your opinion on why I would ever need to repeat this covenant in a different way?

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        • MoO,

          That’s a complicated question with two parts, and I have written much on this first part elsewhere – we make no covenant at baptism; baptism is instead a witness to God and the congregation that we have repented of all our sins and have entered into a covenant of obedience with God and have received a remission of our sins. I’m going to leave it at that, without argument.

          The second part is this – the endowments are simply a ritual reenactment of the general path each exalted soul takes back into the presence of the Father. It is a textbook, a classroom – real life is where the symbols get played out. Or, it is a parable starring you as Adam, and your wife as Eve. Same difference.

          The interpretation of the endowment is given unto men predicated upon their diligence.

          In the ceremony, sealings take place beyond the veil. I take these things very literally. Not everyone does.

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        • Thank you I found your answer intelligent and agreeable.

          So is the endowment even necessary for one to “take out” (whatever that means) or is it just a ritual that may help in one’s learning.

          To be quite open I learned a lot from from the spirit as I went through the temple many times. God really surprised me one of the last times I went and i learned that all that I learned from it could have been learned without all the handshakes and oaths.

          And I agree all real covenants are made between us and God with the spirit bearing witness. This can be done in our bedroom on our knees, and sealing is definitely done on the other side of the veil.

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        • I have affirmative reasons to believe that the answer to your question is “no.”

          edited to remove link.

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        • MinofOne,

          The endowment has become corrupt following the early corruption of the Church in early 1830’s. It does not disqualify revelations after that, but my question to all is…Why would work for the dead incorporate giving all you have, including your whole being to a Church that is only a facilitator on a telestial earth? This is senseless thinking the dead need to covenant this principle. But it seems we just do and ask no questions. Living all things in common help us come upon the Way and increase our progress on earth by avoiding distractions that keep us from the presence of God. The law of consecration helps unlock the chains that bind us to the telestial sphere.

          The covenant of baptism helps us commit ourselves to always remember Him that we may always have his Spirit to be with us through the baptism of fire. The commandments that we vow to keep are to point us to our sins and our inability to keep all of them. That is why the atonement is necessary to bring us out of our fallen state in not keeping the entire law, of which violation of any part denies us being able to have abode with Him. The specifics you related and the lack of repeating these covenants in a different way, go back to what Log spoke on; that is to bear one another’s burdens that they may become light. By doing this we are exemplifying the Savior and thus becoming like Him. The more we become like Him, the more the chastity covenant, the giving all for the church (gathers, assembly), and all the other attributes of perfection actually become second nature.

          I am not preaching, and I know you know these things already. It really does become one eternal round. The perfection does really come when understanding that principle.

          You know as well as I, that asking questions is a great quality and relies on humility to venture therein. Keep the questions coming. I can’t say I am of any help. My knowledge in these things is small.

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        • MinofOne,

          I meant to actually say that the the individual token of baptism as witnessing before all that you have repented of your sins, leads to covenants you enter into later. Sorry for the lack of clarity. My error.

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        • Sfort,

          The work of the dead has been on my mind for quite some time. I personally know some spirits have accompanied people at LDS temples when their work is being done, and once when a spirit wished to reject the work done for them for whatever reason. I am interested to know why they would take such keen interest in this work when I also know it is corrupted. The consecration to a telestial church always confused me since I learned it was done for temple confirmations…

          Log’s comment on baptism not including covenants fits my knowledge of the ordinance. He mentioned other writings on that subject but I don’t remember any. Could anyone help me out? (If your burden is not already too great to bear, 😉 )

          Victor

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        • Hard for disembodied spirits to make covenants of chastity also.

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  6. Thank you i enjoyed your post.

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  7. Victor,

    I found some old comments I made on the subject here. Other places I have commented at would be at justandtrue.com, in200wordsorless.blogspot.com, ldsfreedomforum.com, puremormonism.blogspot.com, and others that i cannot recall or don’t wanna remember.

    But, honestly, what I wrote on the subject doesn’t matter; indeed, what I write even today doesn’t matter. In fact, most of what I have written over the last two years, up to a couple months or even weeks ago, I would either revise significantly or erase altogether.

    Things have changed for me.

    That there is no covenant in baptism is, to me, like The Emperor’s New Clothes. People keep talking about it but when I go to look for it in the scriptures it isn’t there, and what they talk about doesn’t match my experience.

    The list goes on. Keys as exclusive authority. The nature of priesthood. The nature of power. The nature of authority. The nature of the church, and the nature of the Church. The significance of the ordinances. The nature of just judgement. The nature of righteousness. The sacrament. The temple.

    Sigh…

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    • I understand completely your feelings on the matter. The change will continue. But it is the seeker with which all things will be made known. This is a process. I am happy (if that could be said) for your inquisitiveness and seeking all things. You know as I that all things come in waves. Things are made clear over time.

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  8. Victor!

    Hi brother I also know spirits have been doing just that. I hate to create cognitive dissonance but from what I have learned there are churches and disputations and all of the same things we find here also in the spirit world.
    Missionary work is going on with the Jehovah’s witnesses as well as the LDS in the spirit world. Yes many are being convinced in the world of spirits that they need temple work done. Many are going to witness things in the temple. Does this mean they are right any more than they spirits are right here in these tabernacles?
    Deception, priestcraft, false prophets, and all that go along with it are plenty strong on the other side of the veil. Some have a false notion that when we die we will somehow know more or have an easier time deciding what is true and what is not. Not so. We must obtain the Holy Ghost and trust only what we learn by pure revelation, whether on this side of the veil or the next.

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    • Nice. Interesting and provocative.

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    • This corresponds with one of the first teachings of Joseph smith’s I read, which I know to be true by experience and persuades me to believe he was the prophet he claimed to be. Presbyterians all have their spirits too. That is about as much as I remember from that section ToPJS but it made sense to me. You’ve helped me to put two and two together…Thanks!

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  9. Victor,

    See how powerful this is:

    “62. Yea, behold I say unto thee. Because of the covenant wherewith I have received of the fulnes of the Father, I am in the Father and the Father is in me. And it is by the power of the Holy Ghost that the covenant was made. Therefore are We one. I in the Father and the Father in me.
    63. And this shalt thou have for doctrine. For all that I teach thee shall testify of the Father and lead thee to the Father. Wherefore, whoso believeth in me believeth the Father also. Wherefore, the Holy Ghost, by whom We are one, shall enter into the heart of the believer and shall baptize even with fire.
    64. Verily I say unto you. You must be baptized by water and this by immersion. For even so did I to fulfill righteousness and to become an ensample to you. This is the covenant of the body, the beginning of the testament, even the door that opens onto the straight and narrow path which leads unto life eternal. Wherefore, whoso believeth and is baptized by water shall shall begin upon the road that gives onto the Way.
    65. Now, after thou hast baptized them, thou shalt lay thine hands upon them and bless them and sharply exhort them to receive the Holy Ghost. And if they offer unto me a sacrifice mete for repentance, and a contrite and humble spirit, my Father will bestow upon them the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Wherefore, the baptism of water is their declaration of the covenant and the baptism of fire is my Father’s declaration that they shall endure to the finishing of the work and become even as He is.”

    This is not for the faint of heart nor for the entrenched learner only being subject to current finite assemblage of things. Ponder this and if there is no power in the wrods, you may discard. Have a great experience!

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    • sfort,

      Forgive my ignorance, but what source are you citing?

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      • Moroni

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        • You really should say “it’s allegedly Moroni.”

          Is it not the Metinah Papers that you are citing?

          For example, while I would absolutely love for this to be true – “the baptism of fire is my Father’s declaration that they shall endure to the finishing of the work and become even as He is,” it apparently contradicts the Standard Works on the subject. Here are a few citations to ponder.

          1 Nephi 8:24-25, 28
          24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.

          25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.

          28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

          2 Nephi 31:14
          14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

          Alma 39:6
          6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.

          Hebrews 10:26-27
          26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

          27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

          2 Peter 2:20-22
          20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

          21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

          22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

          And also the JST.

          JST Matt 12:37-39
          37 Then came some of the Scribes and said unto him, Master, it is written that, Every sin shall be forgiven; but ye say, Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven. And they asked him, saying, How can these things be?

          38 And he said unto them, When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and findeth none; but when a man speaketh against the Holy Ghost, then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth him empty, swept and garnished; for the good spirit leaveth him unto himself.

          39 Then goeth the evil spirit, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in and dwell there; and the last end of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

          I would have loved to have been able to legitimately consider myself elected to salvation, destined to be exalted, and beyond the power of free will and temptation, once I had repented and been cleansed by fire from heaven. But those who are baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost are among that class of persons who can, if they choose, commit a sin which is unpardonable.

          I say again – beware false prophets.

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        • Hi Log,

          A little chat may be necessary. The littany of scriptures tangled the point. All the scriptures arrive at a general state of many truths. If one needs this many to drive a point, then maybe we forgot the point to begin with. The Savior always made references to certain scriptures when speaking to His subjects, but didn’t need this many.

          First, When the Savior said to the Nephites that there were others He would visit, to whom do you know that He went to? And where did He go? And how would these writings eventually come forth? You only have been taught one way, and that is through a seer stone with the Book of Mormon. I’ll not venture into the others without the use of a seer stone. So we have one way that we know how new scriptures come forth. Does that mean there is only one way for God to reveal in these last days how he will bring us more of the restoration? We are not privy to all of His ways.

          The revealed writings I introduced were of the Savior’s visit to these people in Corianton and of Mentinah. He is consistent throughout. There is a contradiction in the bible even the Mormon church doesn’t realize, with the term, God is a Spirit in John 4:24. We know what Joseph did to change the meaning somewhat. But the Church loves to point this out thinking The Father is corporeal, but Joseph said he was not.

          We must understand that truth is not what we think that is presented sometimes. Concerning the tree of life which I have read of your thoughts on in the past. It is not one thing but many concepts. The Love of God extends beyond one defined term. When the Savior spoke to the Nemenhah and gave them the Holy Ghost as pertaining to becoming as the Father is; does not this apply to the gift which is given by the Father? What is it the Father wants of us? What is it that will help us to know of His will to become just as He is? How will gaining the experiences of the Father give us of His fulness? For we cannot gain of His fulness unless we gain His experiences. And only by and through the Holy Ghost.

          So many things are not known, though we think we know. Do not discount the writings. Remember what I said at the end of that comment…it is the power of the words that are important, not just the phrases. If the words give power unto you, then they are worth reading, not just for intellectual gratuity, but to understand the Great Creator better. If the writings do not bring you closer to God, then they are of no worth. To me they have brought me closer to my Creator than I have ever been. There isn’t a test of doctrinal knowledge that will grant us the next rung of the ladder, only furthur understanding of our Creator and to view things as He does.

          I know I am on another journey than you, but the love of God is all around us, not just in the finite knowledge we have in the current scriptures. At the time the Book of Mormon was laid out, the world was in infancy in understanding God. Are we still there in infancy or is there limits on how and when the Lord will grant us more? Truth that resonates the soul is eternal truth, apocrapha or not (man declares what is scripture or apocrapha) It is the power in the words, not just the literary content to prove a point. I have no points to prove nor do I have anything stopping me from grasping more understanding of who God is. Nemelka left me totally flat. So have other writers; therefore, they are of no worth to me. But these writings are amazing and enlivening. Much of it, not all of it, brings me back to where I want to be, in the everlasting arms of His love. Thank you for the space and your valuable time.

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    • I vote for discard. That writing is total BS.

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  10. What log is referencing is falling from grace. Or denying the Holy Ghost. Very true.

    Technically by the same argument if someone quoted the Book of Mormon where moroni spoke they ought to say “allegedly” as well.

    I am no authority on the Mentinah and have read only part of it but there are some great truths in it. This doesn’t mean there are not also errors and falsehoods.

    No matter who wrote it it should be read just like joseph smith said to read the apocrypha. That is how every book should be read. To say that the mentinah is “false” would be just about as accurate as saying the doctrine and covenants is “false”. But neither could we accurately say either book is “true”.

    If we know that the only prophet we can trust is the Holy Ghost, then we can read anything and not have to worry about false prophets. And if there is something that we shouldn’t read or can discard altogether, the Holy Ghost can tell us beforehand I suppose. Such was the case for me and the Chris nemelkah sealed portion.

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    • Technically by the same argument if someone quoted the Book of Mormon where moroni spoke they ought to say “allegedly” as well.

      To which argument do you refer?

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      • The very one you know I was referring to when you read my comment : ) perhaps I should have called it a “statement” rather than an argument. It all depends on one’s paradigm. If Sfort claims to know that he was sourcing moroni, and another claims to know that the man in the Book of Mormon was moroni and not joseph smith, should I have unequal respect for one or the other’s testimony, even if my own testimony is different?
        Everything should be stated as “allegedly” I guess if we go down this road. Any time quoting the New Testament or Book of Mormon when Jesus spoke we could say Jesus “allegedly” said such and such. By the time it has gotten to us it is all second or third hand.

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        • I accept your acknowledgement of your misstatement. And I accept that you acknowledge that the principle from which I made my judgement of value, from my chair, can be or has been applied consistently.

          When Sfort makes the claim that he knows Moroni wrote what is attributed to him in the Metinah papers, I probably will have something to say. As it stands, whenever Sfort cites the Metinah papers – almost invariably without disclosing his source – almost invariably it consists of apparent falsehoods such as the one I highlight above.

          And why not disclose the source?

          As God cannot lie, if the Metinah papers were from God, I expect the Metinah papers to be entirely consistent with the scriptures which are from God. As it stands, the Metinah papers are consistently inconsistent with them.

          I don’t know about you, MoO, but I don’t like drinking wine mixed with poison, or eating Reubens mixed with poop. If your tastes are so refined as to allow you to enjoy those tinctures, awesome. I, on the other hand, feel to raise a warning voice.

          “Ah, you want someone to preach to you! You want religion, do you? There will be many willing to preach to you the philosophies of men… mingled with scripture.”

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        • Ha ha I really like your comment. So from what you are saying should we toss out the doctrine and covenants and bible, or can you tell me YOU KNOW that all of the changes and additions and mistranslations are this fine wine?

          My belief is we eat and drink only what the spirit confirms, from whatever source, and let the poop rest where it is. To actually place our trust in anything that the spirit has not confirmed is eating the poop. People do it all the time.

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        • Nate, let me tell you what I am saying, what is in my heart.

          I am not in the same place, spiritually, intellectually, educationally, or in wisdom, as the vast majority of those who read this blog. Indeed, I know of no two people who are in precisely the same place.

          Inasmuch as I seek to serve God, I seek to serve his children, by teaching them the commandments of God that they might enter into his rest. I am not trying to show off how smart or spiritual or wise or experienced I am.

          I myself am able to take liberties that those who don’t know as much as I do would consider sin. But in doing so I would harm them.

          Hence, this.

          1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

          2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

          3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

          4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

          5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

          6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

          7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

          8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

          9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

          10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

          11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

          12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

          13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
          1 Corinthians 8:1-13
          http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/8?lang=eng

          Hence, I teach only from the scriptures. I am not here to gratify myself but to serve.

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      • I don’t refer to arguments. Truth is still truth whether one believes it or not. If the heavens work by principles governing them, then the same would apply to us; all in the name of lifting us to a higher level or another rung on the ladder. It is vital that the power of words move us in our experience, because afterall, a God is an assemblage of all experiences and a master of them. Therefore words move us. Playing the rhetoric game does not move us. Only power or words therein unto understanding. In the beginning was the Word. It does trickle down. Moroni had his experiences and wrote them. Whether “allegedly” or not. His words may move you or not. That will be your experience.

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        • Hey, you’re free to accept any writings or no writings at all.

          If you find yourself conversing with the Lord through the veil by following the teachings in the Metinah papers, then I would like to hear about it.

          I, however, will not be joining you on that journey. Things which contradict other things that I know to be true I reject and warn against. I have that responsibility towards others – it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.

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        • “What I know to be true” has been spouted for eons. EVeryone knows this and knows that. I am not an exhibitionist. The pace and struggle to see the Lord’s face is each of our journeys. Words move me and bring greater light. Thankfully I have my own journey and if this intersects someone else then that is wonderful. The Lord’s arms are open and not folded, that I do know.

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  11. That is good I have never questioned your motives or sforts. Service is it’s own reward and gratification. So far the “scriptures” have proven to lead many different people in many different directions.
    The scriptures in and of themselves have no power. It is a bunch of words. The spirit that one can find reading the scriptures is greater than the scriptures. If one can find the same spirit reading the mentinah than it is good. I have received and been taught by the Spirit reading many books.
    When people elevate a book above the spirit that some have found while reading it, (I am not accusing any one person of doing this) or if they elevate a prophet above the spirit that the prophet has spoken with from time to time, it is sin.
    So many people tend to try to settle arguments or doctrinal discussions by quoting a scripture, or a teaching of some past prophet. Often in Mormon circles this happens and people acquiesce to a person because of their “doctrinal knowledge” or use of scripture. This is sin for both the teacher and those who simply believe that some authority exists in a quote or in a verse or two of scripture. The Spirit is the only authority we ought to trust. Period.

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    • The Spirit is the only authority we ought to trust. Period.

      Saying that indicates one of three things: either you are the Spirit, you are unknowingly self-contradictory, or you are knowingly self-contradictory.

      If you are the Spirit, and if it is true that the Spirit is the only authority we ought to trust, then your statement is true and it is you we ought to trust. Of course, that raises all kinds of other questions.

      If you are not the Spirit, then you have no authority wherein we should trust you that the Spirit is the only authority we ought to trust; indeed, by the principle you advance, we ought not to trust your statement.

      Or, if you are not the Spirit, and you speak to convince us to trust you, then you don’t really believe the Spirit is the only authority we ought to trust – you actually believe we ought to trust you, however far you care to take us.

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      • Wrong on every count.

        For who are you writing to in your statement? If the spirit writes or speaks through a man then it is to be trusted. The spirit speaks the truth. Whether it speaks through log, minority of one, or any other being.
        If the words that one speaks are the truth, then it is the spirit that speaks the truth through that person.
        If any person finds fault with truth, no matter the source of truth, it is to their own condemnation, because they reject the spirit of truth which it was spoken by.
        It behooves every person to judge when words are to be trusted, and this judgement can only be given by the spirit with accuracy. Otherwise they trust in themselves, or something else other than the spirit of truth.
        The spirit of truth exists within every human being. You decide when it is Nate or the Spirit that has written or not, and in so doing you also decide what you put your trust in.

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        • My judgement is that truth is not self-contradictory. Indeed, self-contradiction is a sign of, well, not-truth, tautologically, even. When a man therefore contradicts himself, I don’t look to him for truth, for he has proven himself unreliable; if he refuses correction by reference to the truth as contained in the word of God, I avoid him unless he imposes himself upon me.

          Just sayin’.

          Even speaking truth without the Spirit, says God, is not of God. Yes, I know, this statement of his was written in the scriptures. But there it is.

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        • That is good! You should not look to any man for truth. Joseph smith contradicted himself on two occasions that immediately come to mind. He once taught that children who die will remain children for eternity. He reversed this position. Lectures on faith very well contradicts the teaching of the Godhead as it is currently constituted in the doctrine and covenants.
          All men contradict themselves in their progression. You said something to the affect that all of your writings from a point in your past might as well be erased. Men are not to be trusted!

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        • You are contradicting yourself again, Nate. Please drop it unless you wish to hash it out until the end.

          Thanks.

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    • I will here address another error that you have committed.

      So many people tend to try to settle arguments or doctrinal discussions by quoting a scripture, or a teaching of some past prophet. Often in Mormon circles this happens and people acquiesce to a person because of their “doctrinal knowledge” or use of scripture. This is sin for both the teacher and those who simply believe that some authority exists in a quote or in a verse or two of scripture.

      The Golden Rule implies no argument from authority ought to be made.

      Therefore, when, for example, I cite scripture in an attempt to persuade someone to more fully obey the law of God and measure up to the requirements of a priest and king unto the Most High, I am not saying “You should do what I say because God agrees with me.” I am not saying “You should do what I say because the scriptures say so.”

      I am instead arguing that if you love God and accept the scriptures as his word, then you had ought to conform yourself to his teachings therein. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

      Of course, if you do not love God, or if you do not accept the scriptures as his word, then you will find that argument unpersuasive and probably act according to that lack of persuasion.

      An inconsistent man who rejects the authority of the written word of God… well. What should be said of such an one? What can be said to such an one?

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  12. This is a good discussion

    Let me remind you that I have made no accusation against you. The statement made about people doing this was a general statement and it certainly happens all the time. Again I have to reiterate that the scriptures do not have authority in and of themselves. If all the scriptures there ever were no longer existed, the truth would still exist, in and of itself. The word of God is not the scriptures, it is the truth, and the power of the word of God is only manifest when the truth is contained in it.
    When a scripture is used such as “what manner of men ought you to be… Even as I am”, what does that mean? Jesus in His teachings, as well as just about any prophet that comes to mind, went and taught things without quoting from the words of other men very often.
    Jesus spoke parables, (were these stories TRUE?), and taught things that were not contained in previous writings, and He spoke as one having authority.
    If we are to be as Him in a literal sense it could be argued that we do not need to use the scriptures at all. The authority exists independent of the scriptures, and the word of God ought to be within us. Jesus taught that others did not recognize Him, because the truth was not in them.
    The word of God is truth, and can be found in many places other than the bible and the Book of Mormon, many many places. Those who often cite the words “a bible, a bible,” and use them against other people who only believe in the bible, often do not realize that the very words they speak condemn them for not seeking truth outside of those “scriptures” that they have put all of their trust in.

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    • So, why then aren’t you rather teaching men to repent, cry mightily until they have faith in Christ, and obey his commandments?

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      • That is the teaching of every truth ever taught. The truth always leads to exactly those things you mentioned. The golden rule leads to faith in Christ, to repentance, and obedience. So does every other true principle. Jesus Christ is the truth.

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        • You put me in a bind here, Nate. I believe history rather convincingly demonstrates that you are factually incorrect; the Lord said as much to Joseph Smith at his first vision. I believe the Book of Mormon teaches that you are incorrect as well, but you reject the scriptures as a normative tool against which to be judged.

          So, all I can say is go to it, sow as you will, and we shall see what your harvest is.

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        • And I cannot argue against your belief.
          Like you said everyone is in a different state spiritually than everyone else. It is a beautiful mess.
          I have sincerely enjoyed the discussion and always enjoy your thoughts. God bless you brother.

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        • I think you probably mean well, Nate.

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  13. I do not think you could possibly mean well posting anonymously like you do!

    Ha ha THAT IS SARCASM. I think the same of you my friend.

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    • I hear you.

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  14. This kind of reminds me of a rhetoric discussion of Socrates. or the stoic philosphy of Seneca. Nice play between you two. When times completely open up, there will be no opinions but everyone shall know the Lord. In the meantime, the searching mind is a tool of God and will rush forth for good! Thanks for the interplay.

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  15. Thanks for your comments, Log and Minority. The conversations here are so intelligent!

    The conclusion I came to is that the final authority on a potential truth is the result of applying it. Whether it be found in Spirit or scripture. Consistent application of both has allowed me to trust in them. We will and do indeed see the harvest from what is sowed.

    Seems like such a simple answer after such a long discussion for me, but it works and that’s the key.

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