Suspending Judgment


moroni-manti-templeI’ve decided to go to the Remnant Family Retreat in a couple of weeks. A reader invited me to visit the Dream Mine next weekend for a rare tour. I’ve read a lot about it over the years but not being from Utah, have never been to see it. It’s also known as John Koyle’s Relief Mine. The story is quite fascinating and a bit heartbreaking, ending in yet another LDS excommunication.

Because there is a week between the Dream Mine tour next Saturday – sorry, not open to the public – and the Remnant Family Retreat on the 15th, I’ve asked a few Utah folks for interviews. These are all interesting people, each involved in writing and publishing. I’m grateful Carol will be joining me on some of the interviews. I hope to post something to the blog after each one.

Keep Thinking – Keep Learning

I’ve always been attracted to critical thinkers and writers, meaning I enjoy considering differing points of views on subjects. I appreciate a persuasive argument written by those who have taken the time to study both sides and have come to a careful, thoughtful conclusion. I have discovered I’m persuaded by folks who invest themselves in their positions, who practice what they preach.

Holding onto an idea or a belief as being inviolate simply because that’s the way you’ve always believed, or the way your family has always believed doesn’t cut it with me. We are here on this earth to discover for ourselves what we think and what we believe about important issues. I am convinced we can only do this by continuing to think, study and learn long after school is over.

Openly Consider Opposing Views

RemnantFamilyReunionFrom the day we agreed as a team of bloggers to announce it, the pros and cons of the planned gathering have been discussed on this blog and elsewhere. There have been some hard questions asked, apologies offered and in general, people have divided into two camps. One group seems convinced this is “rushing into the pass,” while the other seeks a spiritual worship experience.

I have thought about it, pondered it, prayed about it and still have not felt it is a bad thing. I had originally planned to not go, mainly because of the travel expense and because I didn’t want to add any more stress to my marriage. My resignation from the LDS Church has not been easy on Carol. I think getting away from our daily routine for a couple of weeks will be good for us both.

Asking Questions is a Good Thing

I offer my thanks to all those who participated in the dialog here and elsewhere. I don’t always join in but I always read and consider every comment. I think we should have to struggle with the implications of questions when they are raised. I appreciated Lynne’s posts, as well as those from Adrian and Bret. I think we should also deal with fears raised no matter who raises them.

I suppose fear is the greatest impediment to agreement. One side is afraid of something. It could be based on past experience, observation, or private knowledge not openly shared. I don’t know anything about sacred dance, but there are plenty of people who do. I willingly consider what they have to say. If I am fearful of being deceived, I close myself off to learning opportunities.

Long-Suffering, Gentleness and Meekness

7-elevations-of-wholenessOne of my readers opened my eyes recently to an unpleasant reality. She could read fear in my writing. She shared it with me. I reacted badly. Her response was so filled with love I could not help but be persuaded by what she wrote. I went back and reconsidered my judgement. I found I was wrong. Fear was crippling me. She recognized it and pointed it out. I didn’t want to face it.

I am grateful for her courage and her loving response. She is one of the people Carol and I are going to meet with in that week between the Dream Mine tour and the Remnant Retreat. My point is this: she expressed an observation out of love. I reacted out of fear. She responded with kind words. I was persuaded by her gentleness and meekness. I now have a new friend and am very grateful.

Keep Fear Out Of The Conversation

Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? Isn’t that what dialog is all about? I watched some of the discussion about the Remnant Retreat go poorly because of fear. I suppose if there’s anything I want to get across in this post it is this: Fear will kill faith every time if you let it. Fear will keep us from learning and growing. Fear will cause us to judge. When we judge, darkness follows.

My personal experience with fear and the pain it has brought into my life has taught me more about myself than I wanted to know. It was not pretty. I know why some of my long-standing prayers haven’t been answered. I have discovered I still carry fear from years past that cripples me. I have wasted too many years listening to this fear. Ask yourself: do you carry any fears?

Faith and Fear Cannot Coexist

Casting Away Satan by Carl BlochFear prevents us from opening the heavens. Fear allows the adversary to keep us in the dark. Fear keeps our minds closed and causes them to shrivel. Fear prevents us from reaching for the things we desire most in life. Fear is irrational. It is based on a lie. Fear has only the power we give it. Fear causes us to judge without having all the facts. Fear keeps us from agreement.

Faith is a risky business. It requires us to step outside our comfort zone. It requires us to reach out in ways we have never done before. Faith is blessed of heaven and always will be. Any act of faith is encouraged by the angels. It takes courage. It takes a willingness to go beyond previous exertions. Faith is always rewarded. Faith can be its own reward. It brings confidence and light.

May God Bless Our Fellowship

I look forward to meeting many of you at the Remnant Retreat in two weeks. Carol won’t be there. She will be at the LDS Story Makers writer’s conference in Provo. I am so pleased with the amazing growth Carol has made in developing her writing talent over the past few years. I have watched her turn criticism into triumph. She amazes me. I’m so glad she still loves me.

I look forward to praying with you. I look forward to hearing from the speakers. I look forward to seeing so many of you again. Please forgive me if I don’t remember you right away. I met so many people at the lectures last year. May God bless those who come to the retreat with a desire to learn, to grow, to fellowship and to find comfort in shared meaningful worship experiences.

 

77 Responses

  1. Some rumors surrounding people who claim special spiritual vision can be written off as waste of life. We should be concentrated on serving others and encouraging everyone to become truly dedicated disciples of Christ rather than following intrigue into empty holes.

    “Hansen calculates the major economic collapse will take place in October 2007, and he theorizes that the mine will begin paying its first dividends in December of that year.”

    The mine in question is shuttered, and nothing major has happened there since the 1930s. Actually, other than a whole lot of work, nothing has ever happened there. This is nothing like the success of Jesse Knight in blessing the lives of Latter-day Saints through his mining and his generosity.

    http://utahvalley360.com/2005/01/01/dream-mine-or-nightmare/

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    • Thanks Steve. Good to know. It is a sad chapter in Utah history unfamiliar to me until lately. It seems more like a tourist attraction now more than anything else. Cheers.

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  2. What a beautiful post! I am excited that you get to go to the retreat. Normally, I go to the Storymaker’s conference also, but this year, due to health, I am missing out on everything! Sad, but I have other things going on in my life to fill my time, I guess. I’ll be missing you guys and thinking about you all!

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  3. 1 John 4:18
    18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

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  4. “Because there is a week between the Dream Mine tour next Saturday – by the way, you’re all invited – and the Remnant Family Retreat on the 15th, I’ve asked a few Utah folks for interviews. ”

    Can you clarify if the above statement is inviting everyone to attend the dream mine tour, or the remnant retreat?

    If people are invited to tour the dream mine, can you give the specific details of when this will take place?

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    • Hi Outcast. I have changed the post to clarify. The public is not invited to the Dream Mine tour. Sorry.

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      • Every year in Spanish Fork on the 2nd Monday there is a stockholders meeting at 2:00 PM. You’ll want to be in your seat well before 2:00 PM at the Veterans Memorial Building. The 2nd Monday also means there are several who will congregate at the Spanish Fork Library Park to have a jolly picnic and talk about things beforehand at about 10:00 AM. If the curious were to show up with something to eat and share (at say…9:30 to be sure), they will most likely be gathered up to the mine for a brief tour with the rest. Ask lots of questions and be pleasant and you’ll get what you want. The mine still has 1,000s of stockholders and no one seems to want to cast off their stocks (even to sell them off for a profit), so tell me what that’s all about because I would like to know myself. Should I buy stock? What? It goes for as much as $50 per share which is insane if Steve is right, because Jesse Knight’s enterprise has long since morphed into something different while the Dream Mine soldiers on.

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        • Great observations. I enjoyed reading more about Jesse Knight. I love LDS history. Those who have studied it and written about it are always in my must read list, especially D. Michael Quinn. Say what you want about Mike, he got to the archives and did research nobody else dreamed of.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Knight

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  5. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and truth about fear. I have been learning so much about the topic of fear this last year or so. Because of fear, I was deceived and learned some incredibly hard but rewarding lessons in the process. Im not afraid of deception anymore because even in those moments, I learned some incredible things, some incredible lessons that I couldn’t have learned had it not been for those exact experiences. Again, thank you for this beautiful post.

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  6. I recently had an experience where I took up a friend’s challenge to pray about a specific topic. I had resisted because I didn’t think I really needed to know the answer to that particular question but I felt the Spirit nudging me to do so and so I did. The first thing I did was ask the Lord if I needed to know and he indicated that I did and I’d been resisting because I instinctively knew the answer would be hard to take. He was right. The answer rocked my world and left me a different person from before.

    I was afterwards more troubled by my resistance to asking than the painful answer. I don’t want to fear anything or have any sort of resistance to the word of the Lord. I had thought I was past that but I guess I am not.

    We can all learn to be more open and accepting. In the end, we are all dependent upon the Lord for his mercy. This world teaches us to be afraid. We must continually go outside our comfort zone to learn more. The comfort zone we are currently in may be bigger than the one we had before, but it is still a box. We need eternity, not a box.

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  7. Was this paternalistic challenge to find out if Joseph was an adulterer?

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  8. Why would I, I ask myself, “challenge” someone to do something? Is it not an appeal to their pride? Do I do to someone else what I wish done to me if, or when, I “challenge” them to do something?

    Not really.

    And do I wish to increase or decrease in pride?

    Decrease.

    Therefore, “challenge declined.”

    I know, I know: “Chicken.”

    Sticks and stones, don’tcha know.

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  9. Hi Tim, I am in Utah. Can you let me know when the mine tour is please? I have been wanting to see it for some time. Greatly appreciate your courage in blogging!!!

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    • Hi Ali. So sorry. The dream mine tour is not open to the public. The remnant retreat is. What I have called a tour is probably nothing more than a sit-down lecture. Sorry I don’t have all the details but I simply don’t know.

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  10. Confronting fears is a good thing. Great truth doesn’t seem to come without a willingness to get uncomfortable.

    Why not start asking questions that seem scary? Did God ever command tithing through joseph smith? Well the Mormon persuasion would simply point to a “scripture” and say yes God did right there. Guess what, if you decide you want to pray to know whether God commanded tithing to Joseph (or the LDS church at all) the answer might be another great surprise.

    How about the word of wisdom? Sure many people know that the LDS church is not following section 89 of the doctrine and covenants. But wait, have you ever prayed and received an answer on whether section 89 was ever given by God in the first place? Again one of those things that might just blow your mind if you pray about it. We have missionaries in the LDS church challenging people to pray about the Book of Mormon all the time as if it’s “truthfulness” in some way validates everything else in the church.
    It doesn’t. Not by a longshot. So many things went haywire and it wasn’t just brigham young adding things that were never commanded. It started long before Joseph’s death. But to even pray about some things is scary, it is uncomfortable, it is challenging, and it causes cognitive dissonance because of the untruths that we have allowed to be pounded into us.
    I do not seek to impose anything and frankly if people don’t pray and receive answers about some things that is fine I accept people and enjoy different views and opinions. There are an infinite amount of things to learn and no two people will ever be on the same page completely so we better learn to love and get along no matter the difference of belief or opinion. As long as we all continue to seek more light, knowledge, love and glory we will continue to find it. People choose to focus their learning and growth in different areas in different times and that is fine. God is love.

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    • Those are each great questions, Nate. I think we all should ask them of the Lord. I think especially our cultural interpretation of tithing and the Word of Wisdom are two good examples of where men or an institution have imposed their will on people.

      One is a commandment and one is not. How we interpret the commandment is between us and the Lord. The LDS Church has it’s own interpretation even to the point of imposing state community property laws that tithing on non-member income should be paid by a member spouse.

      By the way, we miss your posts. Several people have ask me privately if you will be posting more. Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. There has been a lot of good discussion on this blog and you helped stimulate much of that dialog.

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      • Tim

        Absolutely nothing to forgive my friend I have enjoyed our association and have always appreciated your insights and kindness. Thanks brother.

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  11. Why suggest people ask for things they may not care about? Why seek to influence them to care about what you want them to care about?

    Why not let people decide for themselves what they care about without paternalistically “suggesting” (imposing ideas) what to care about? (And always these “ideas” are in opposition to the Church or Joseph, it seems; where did Jesus “suggest” to his disciples all manner of crap to pray about?)

    Why not, in other words, NOT MEDDLE with people’s beliefs beyond what we have been asked – which is limited to persuading people to repent and believe in Jesus? From thence, he himself leads the disciple according to their desires.

    I understand the desire to not be alone in one’s beliefs, but that’s not a sufficient reason to impose upon others. I find it irritating, Nate.

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    • Why did you believe you should write that comment? Was it to influence me in some way? The fact that you allow me to irritate you suggests something about you and not the other way around.
      Ask moroni why he exhorted people to do so much and why he thought they should pray about certain things in moroni 10. Why does anyone share anything? I don’t mind how many people believe the same things as me, if I did I would just join up with the church of the most members. Please everyone if you don’t want to pray about anything I bring up then don’t. Just to be clear. I don’t care if you do or don’t.

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      • But you do care, because that’s what you keep hinting / suggesting / asking / challenging people to do. That was the paternalistic core of your version of Zion, if I recall correctly.

        And when I said your paternalistic hinting / suggesting / asking / challenging of others to pray over your supposed mysteries and revelations irritates ME, of course I’m talking about ME. Who else would I be talking about? Your behavior is unpleasant to ME.

        But if others feel the same way – say, even yourself, as I have observed (for example, why else say “… if you get a different answer then me, THEN I will pray about it again …;” why not just get knowledge the first time and then you wouldn’t have to disclaim?) – then maybe you might give more thought to reconsidering your present approach?

        This is actionable, constructive criticism. Paternalism sucks, bro. I’d rather avoid it.

        Here’s how the Savior handled mysteries, if anyone cares.

        “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also must I go to, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

        That’s how he honored agency.

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        • He didn’t tell them “go pray about this(, and if you get a different answer then I will pray about it again)…” etc.

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        • He left it up to them to do what they would with what he said.

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        • I’m sorry; I just realized that the point behind “… pray about what I said, and if you get a different answer, THEN I will pray about it again…” may not be obvious; it is that you’re hinting / suggesting / asking / challenging people to do something that you are yourself indicating a reluctance to do, or you’d have done it from the outset and be speaking from knowledge, not belief or faith, and there’d be no “if… then…” about it.

          So why not simply not?

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    • I will accord with Log on this. It is irritating to have bloggers take a superior spiritual stance to others. Further, where does the deconstruction end? If an individual is their own judge and jury as to what constitutes legitimate revelation, then where does the controversy end? If two individuals each pray and each claim revelation on 2 opposing positions, then at least one is deceived. Joseph Smith never leaves it open to us to accept part of his revelations, but if you find others to be inconvenient, to trash them. If you find Sec 132 objectionable, no problem: toss it out. And on and on and on.

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  12. I am speaking from knowledge. That doesn’t mean I will not pray about a proclaimed revelation from someone else, even if it seems contradictory to what I have received on the outset. The interesting thing is that still no one has claimed to receive anything contrary to what I have.
    Would you mind telling me who I have forced to do anything, or believe anything? Since you keep bringing up paternalism can you give one example of it? I don’t believe you could find one person who would say I have forced, or coerced in anything. Are you ragging on Denver snuffer for asking people to pray about things or giving them directions or teaching things contrary to what the LDS church is teaching? If not then why not?

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    • Actually others have claimed to receive things contrary to you MOO. I don’t believe it’s my place to post the words of another without their permission, but the contradictory answer someone else received actually plainly mentioned it to you on March 24th on another site. This was in regard to Joseph Smith

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      • Elvis

        To clarify, I have not found anyone who is willing to share a revelation from The Lord opposing what I have shared. I indeed have come across people who claim to know I am wrong. And one person I remember said The Lord told them something about joseph smith that contradicted what I shared, but the person as I recall was unwilling to share what The Lord had told them exactly. So what I am saying is from all the people who vehemently oppose what I have shared, not one verbatim revelation has been quoted that contradicts anything I have shared. Of course I could go to a testimony meeting and hear people saying “I know such and such…” But that is not the same as saying “I know such and such because The Lord told me this, and then state the revelation they received.” So if someone has quoted a revelation from The Lord that opposes something I have said, I sincerely haven’t seen it, unless we are talking about the words in the doctrine and covenants or something equivalent.

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    • Why would I rag on Denver? Is Denver here paternalistically pressuring people into praying over or accepting his revelations or whatever like you are?

      No? People have to go to him to hear what he says? He lets people take what he says how they may and applies no pressure at all?

      Maybe that’s why I don’t rag on Denver. He doesn’t act paternalistically – he honors the rule. You don’t.

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    • You are not speaking from knowledge, or you wouldn’t hedge your bets. You are speaking from belief, or faith, at best.

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    • I, myself, have seen you apply pressure to get others to pray whether Joseph was an adulterer. That’s paternalism.

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  13. Once upon a time there was a woman with a group of her friends who was approached by a conman. The conman said, “hey I just spoke to your mother who is very sick, and your mother asked me to tell you that she needs money. In fact, she needs 10 percent of your income for the rest of her life. I will come by to collect it every month.”
    The woman, in her naïveté did not think to ask her mother, but rather trusted this nice looking gentleman who seemed very sincere. She started giving him 10 percent of her income every month dutifully and felt great about it thinking she was helping her sick mother, all the while of course the conman was doing whatever he thought was appropriate with the money and had never even spoken with the mother concerning it.
    Well one of the friends who was present during the discussion with the conman happened to run into the mother of the woman that was conned one day. The friend asked the mother “did you ask a nice looking gentleman to start collecting money from your daughter each month for financial help?” The mother emphatically replied “no, this never happened. That is simply not true. If my daughter would call or visit I would tell her the same thing. I am saddened she is giving money to a conman.”

    Well immediately the friend went to the daughter and said “hey I just spoke with your mother, she said she is not getting money and never asked anyone to start collecting money from you.”

    Was the friend practicing paternalism for telling the daughter or was the friend simply being a good friend? What say ye?

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    • How odd. You honestly don’t recognize busybodyism and paternalism.

      Of course, class, he intends the conman to represent whichever of either Joseph or the Brethren, and the “friend” to represent himself, the daughter whoever is paying tithes to the Church, and the woman being, probably, the poor.

      Why he doesn’t state it outright is a question I’d like to see him answer. What say ye, Nate?

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  14. Tim, at one point in time, you said the Lord expects thus-and-thus. In fact, he doesn’t.

    The Lord has no agenda, as tough as this might be to conceive. He expects nothing, but requires everything IF what he is offering is to be received.

    Paternalists, on the other hand, have an agenda. They pressure for results. They meddle in others’ affairs and interfere with their choices or outcomes. They do this for selfish reasons, in the end.

    Satan was the original paternalist. The very nature of his proposal marked him as being unsuitable as the messiah.

    I’m writing a post on this right now.

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  15. Indeed if members of the LDS movement simply pay tithing without getting a confirmation from the Lord that tithing was commanded in our time, they are acting just as the daughter did in this parable. Yes the parable was straight forward and easy to be understood. To answer your question, I used the parable to show that if you are unwilling to say the friend in the parable was practicing paternalism, being a busybody, and imposing his beliefs on the daughter, then you are not being consistent. That simple. So was the friend out of line in telling the daughter what he had learned from the mother or not?

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    • And you see I am consistent – as if it mattered whether I was consistent. “Out of line” implies a value judgement I won’t make for you – by your lights and your agenda, she was in-line.

      And that’s the point: you are a paternalist and a busybody. If paternalism and busybodying are what you value, then keep on keeping on.

      I happen to not like it. But you don’t have to worry about what I like or dislike – that’s the beauty of agency.

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      • You believe I am a paternalistic, meddling, busybody bringer of light. Lol ok that is duly noted and I am always entertained by your unique opinions.

        Interestingly the golden rule works differently for me than you. I love hearing others revelations. I love when others proclaim openly when The Lord has shared something with them. Many of my friends and family share revelations and they say it how it is and I have not felt that they were being imposing or practicing paternalism at all. It is actually pretty awesome and very Zion like from my perspective. I actually enjoy hearing others revelations much more than I like to share my own. Anyway thanks for sharing your opinions I like to try to understand your mindset and why you think the way you do. It is fascinating.

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        • My next post might help you understand my “mindset” and “why I think the way I do” better.

          It is actually an ideology that I follow.

          I personally don’t mind hearing other’s revelations. I begin to mind when people foist them on others, unbidden, and pressure them to accept them. I grow to be positively disenchanted with those who accuse others of gross sin based on so-called revelatory witness, pressure others to violate the golden rule in joining them in becoming accusers of the brethren (I use the word as Joseph used the word), and I begin sounding a warning when such accusers reject the common ground of the community and contrast the community’s sins, as they are styled, against the righteousness of the accusers – say, for “idolatry” or “trusting in men.”

          Etc.

          You get my drift, right, Nate? You are either equal with us, or you are not. You are either helping to build up others, or you are helping to build yourself up.

          As for me, I feel to quote Moroni: I seek not for power, but to pull it down.

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        • Just to help you understand my mindset. I agree wholeheartedly with the quote you used from moroni. “I seek not for power, but to pull it down.”

          Certain people are unknowingly seeking to build up and support doctrines and practices that were never given by God, and are completely out of harmony with the kingdom of Jesus Christ. That is the power and darkness that will be pulled down. The things that are not from God contained in the doctrine and covenants, or any church, are from another source, and are part of the great and abominable church. That is the truth, and it does matter. All things which oppose Jesus Christ and His kingdom will be broken to pieces.

          I trust in God, and in His grace I have been accepted into His kingdom and no power on earth will change that. If you want to be in the kingdom of the Almighty God and of Jesus Christ then you will have to put up with me there because I have found it and continually feast at the table of Jesus Christ. You are always welcome. For some reason Jesus Christ calls me His friend. I am a member of His kingdom and body. All who go to His kingdom will see me there. They certainly don’t have to trust in me or any other human being, but he reality is that I have already been accepted into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. I am just as amazed as anyone at His forgiveness, mercy and love, and that He would atone for me and forgive me and accept me and speak to me from day to day. It is very cool. Hope you will choose His kingdom even if it not the LDS kingdom.

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        • Certain people are unknowingly seeking to build up and support doctrines and practices that were never given by God, and are completely out of harmony with the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

          Like who?

          And as for the rest, pfft.

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  16. As an aside, do you know why there is no commandment against trusting in men?

    It’s because it doesn’t break the golden rule to trust in men. Or flesh. Or fleshy men. Or men’s flesh. Or zombies, for that matter, or vampires, or werewolves, or even phytoplankton. Or women.

    Just sayin’.

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  17. “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” 2 Ne 4:34

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    • Where’s the commandment?

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    • And here’s the other strong statement, which also falls short of a commandment.

      Jeremiah 17:5
      5 ¶Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

      Note the “and”s. Tim, as a programmer, what does that mean to you?

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  18. “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?” Isa 2:22 or 2 Ne 12:22

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    • Gileadi translates that as follows.

      22 Desist from the things of man,
      in whose nostrils is but breath!
      For of what consideration is he?

      NIV

      Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?

      Notice it’s a value proposition and not a commandment, consistent with the rest of the OT.

      Psalms 146:3
      3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

      Proverbs 29:25
      25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

      Psalms 118:8
      8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

      Again, it is advice, counsel, or a value proposition, not a commandment.

      Because, again, it doesn’t violate the law of God.

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  19. (Log is on a roll)

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    • Or I’m getting rolled on, trodden under foot of men. 😉

      It was Nate’s overbearing insistence on condemning trusting in men that got me thinking I could feel something off in his teachings, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

      Then it hit me.

      Mandating that only God should be trusted

      1. Is self-contradictory unless the one saying it is God, and such a message would not come from God because

      2. It denies one’s absolute freedom of self-determination, or agency, and

      3. It violates the Golden Rule, whereas trusting others does not violate the Golden Rule.

      4. It is nowhere commanded.

      5. It implies a person is or ought to be immune to change through dialogue or interaction with other humans and therefore

      6. It undercuts and undermines the process of experience by which we gain wisdom and knowledge.

      7. Explicit permission to trust others in certain circumstances is given in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 23:14).

      8. Explicit permission to trust others may well be given by direct revelation without contradicting any scripture.

      I have in the past counseled my children that they should believe nothing except the Spirit bears witness to it. I have had to clarify that this evening by saying that was my counsel, and that they are free to believe what or whom they will.

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      • Now I have a name for what I felt: paternalism.

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  20. How about the whole thou shalt not have any gods before me. I don’t care how cool a human or phytoplankton or vampire is, or what title people have given them, if they teach something to be a truth from God, and it isn’t, and we accept it as something from God, without a confirmation from God, we are breaking the commandment to not put gods before God. We have started following something else, and have put it before God.

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    • Trusting someone == idolatry, to you.

      Yes, I quite got that the first time. I disagree, but you can have and hold whatever opinions appeal to you.

      Do you trust your wife?

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      • I don’t trust my wife when it comes to spiritual truth or the word of The Lord and she does not trust in my revelations from God either. We share everything with each other and verify with God in all things and it is a beautiful marriage where we both trust in The Lord and find The Lord is more than willing to tell us the same things so we don’t have to put our trust in each other.
        Now if you are talking about a worldly sense of trust, like do I trust she is being loyal and do I trust her with out kids etc then yes. That is a different type of trust. Do I trust her to be able to pontificate and accept that she is the mouthpiece of God… No. Nor do I accept any other human being as such. That would be ridiculous. Human beings are frail, ignorant, and not worthy of trust when it comes to truth and the word of The Lord. That is why God’s plan involved the Holy Ghost. In His mercy He did not leave us with only human intelligence to trust in. We would all be lost if that was the case.

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        • “Let your communications be yea, yea, nay, nay, for whatsoever cometh of more or less than this is of evil.”

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        • Translation: I asked you a “yes” or “no” question. If yes, then you’re inconsistent; if no, you’re probably lying. Alone. No nookie for you.

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  21. Seriously,

    That is how you interpret the yea, yea, nay, nay scripture?

    Log seriously let’s get real here. Again one of your standards (if you believe that interpretation) condemns Jesus, many prophets, and yourself when answer to questions were given differently than a simple yes or no. I am going to assume you were using humor and I didn’t get it. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars…”

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  22. Btw I am sure everyone already gets this, but the scripture “let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay….” Matches up perfectly with this scripture.

    12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. (New Testament, James, James 5)

    Oaths are big time no no’s.

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  23. You and I can’t get real, Nate. You’re inconsistent and you don’t listen. You won’t even answer a simple “yes” or “no” question with a simple “yes” or “no,” and you’re not Jesus.

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  24. Your “yes” wasn’t even a “yes.” Trust is trust.

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  25. Well when it comes to revelation and instruction from God, the answer is NO. I do not trust my wife in that regard. Is that plain enough? I trust humans in some things, but when it comes to spirituality I don’t trust anyone but God. How about you who do you put your trust in when it comes to how to get back to God?

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  26. No, it’s not plain enough. Trust is trust. It’s either yes, or it’s no.

    Also, I accept the JST where it “contradicts” the Book of Mormon.

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    • Pfft:) ha ha good night brother. I suggest you be happy and be filled with joy beyond anything you have previously experienced. Is that too paternalistic and imposing for you? I challenge you to be happy and free and good and be filled with love and to live the golden rule. See you in the kingdom of our Lord:)

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  27. And I trust Joseph, and I trust the Brethren, and I trust God, and I trust Jesus, and I trust my children, and I trust you – to be a butthead, and you don’t disappoint on that end – and I trust Tim, and I trust Good Will, and I trust Rock, and I trust JRU, and I trust … well, just about everyone.

    After all, charity believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, &c., so what do I have to lose?

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    • Indeed, distrust, like paternalism, is a sign of fear, not perfect love.

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  28. Love you Tim. I wish Log and Minority of One would stop monopolizing every thread. It’s boring, self-centered, and just plain boring. Grow up boys.

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  29. Instead of trying to censure and silence others, Mary Jane, you could always try contributing to the thread. Tim is hosting an open forum, here, essentially.

    Let’s see, Ruth claimed I was making her giggle out loud, if I recall correctly, as an attempt to shut me up (you see, if I wanted to not provide her with “entertainment” I would shut up [her underlying assumption was that I was hostile]) – now you come and say I am boring, self-centered, and just plain boring. Clearly I’m not entertaining enough, and I need to try harder!

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    • I wonder, if I am self-centered, what exactly do I get out of this? “Attention! You get attention!” Yes, I suppose I do. I get yelled at, cursed at, stalked, have one wench tell me I’m too funny, have another tell me I’m too boring, have others tell me I’m wrong, have others tell me to shut up, have others ban me from their forums, etc, etc.

      Not that I mind. That’s the way the world treats the truth. But it’s hardly a positive incentive.

      Also, I’ve made a policy decision to confront passive-aggression – if you want me to be quiet, best not to talk to me, or about me where I can hear you.

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      • Also probably best not to contradict the principles I advance, either, because I will defend them, thus demonstrating more self-centered, boring, funny, just plain boring, wrong, idolatrous, blasphemous speech.

        Or something. Sigh. “Intolerance: it’s what’s for dinner.”

        Or is that “Intolerance: the other white meat?”

        It’s like I said, Tim – they prefer you because you do not challenge them. They’re really saying “Bring back the Tim show! I love Tim! He doesn’t make me feel like I should be doing something other than what I am doing!”

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  30. D&C 121:41 – No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

    MEE’KNESS, noun Softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations.

    1. In an evangelical sense, humility; resignation; submission to the divine will, without murmuring or peevishness; opposed to pride, arrogance and refractoriness. Galatians 5:23.

    I beseech you by the meekness of Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1.

    Meekness is a grace which Jesus alone inculcated, and which no ancient philosopher seems to have understood or recommended.

    Source: http://webstersdictionary1828.com/

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  31. Okay, be sure to turn your humor buttons to “On”:

    Regarding “trust” (or “inconceivable”, take your pick):

    Come on, MJ, just get some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy the show! 😉 This thread had nowhere to go anyway. Who wants to talk about “suspending” judgment, when we can cast judgment instead? Technically, Log is monopolizing and hijacking, which I’m totally okay with. Or, it’s duopolizing at best, if you count Nate/MinorityOfOne. And it’s really not their fault – it’s actually our fault for just being bystanders and not speaking up to make it more of a discussion. It’s a blog, people, not a train wreck! Stop gawking and start typing. I’m totally kidding, of course. MJ, you’re point-of-view is totally valid and I validate it and you. 🙂

    So I’ll chime in and take the bait. Log is guilty of contention (gavel dropping)! He is obviously guilty of baiting, accusing, and name-calling: he has called Nate a “Lightbringer”, which means “Lucifer” – a more offensive name there could not be called in such an enlightened crowd as this – and now, to put the profane pudding on the cake, he has invoked the ultimate moniker of spurn and repudiation, “butthead.” He has broken all the rules of decorum, decency, propriety, good taste, correctness, respectability, acceptability, and all synonymous terms, etc. I hereby pass judgment and sentence him to be cast out and to live by/with himself, alone, in the dreary world, and apart from good and holy folks like us and our heavenly society!!!

    And wait, that’s inequitable (iniquity) to just cast Log out, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to cast out Nate/MoO too. Nate’s guilty of something to do with the golden rule and imposing on people (I would say “paternalism” but I haven’t read Log’s piece yet and I’m sure the Wikipedia article is inconceivably incompetent), or maybe just asking too many questions. Yes, too many questions! Be gone, Questioner! Abiectio! (with Harry Potter wand flick and swish!) I cast you out – to a different place than Log, since he obviously can’t tolerate you and you would make his hell even more infernal – or maybe being by himself is his heaven, in which case you would make it a living hell – so, in any case, to a different timeout corner for you!

    Oh wait, hold that! LDSFF already did this to Log (and Nate, too – he got kicked out of the Approaching the Heavenly Gift, by special invitation in and by special invitation out) and I almost forgot: we’re not holy (except for the holy ones among us we know not of). We’ve all already been cast out of heaven, into this fallen world (perhaps some chose to descend, but we’re all down here, doing dirt). This isn’t ZION – what, wait a second (looking around, jaw dropping, looking shocked)?! – I think this is hell…

    Maybe we just need to love each other, including Log and Nate, and learn to get along. Which means Log gets to be a wise-crack, know-it-all jerk (who I assume has a pure heart) who doesn’t observe rules of decorum, and really gets under people’s skin (maybe even on purpose!). Am I going to cast him out or withhold my hand? Nope. I will learn to love and hug this porcupine. And I hope he does the same for me. And Nate gets to share his revelations and encourage others to ask the Lord all kinds of questions (which I have taken him up on, I might add, and am grateful for it), and make whatever challenges he wants (and he has a pure heart, too). And everyone loves me and lets me be me, even though I have some loose screws and some unsightly skin rashes (just kidding, I’ve gone too far, the lepers really do have to be separated – don’t they? Come on! We have to draw the line somewhere people). I choose not to be offended or irritated or cast anyone out, but rather have compassion. You don’t scare me, Log. Come here you (big bear hug – oh, you don’t like to be touched? – okay, fine, smile and wave – I want to hug somebody – Nate will give me a hug)!

    Or maybe the Lord is about to drop the hammer (I mean sword) and burn the whole damned vineyard (reset the game). I guess we’ll find out if we live long enough, or we’ll die and find out stuff anyway.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading Log’s next piece on paternalism and how it’s the root of all evil. I’d love to hear him explain how, in painful detail, he actually lives the golden rule, because on the outside it looks kinda freaky (i.e. I’m not totally getting it). 🙂

    Love and Peace (and I really mean it).

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  32. “. . . those who have not been enclosed in the walls of a prison without cause or provocation, can have but little idea how sweet the voice of a friend is; one token of friendship from any source whatever awakens and calls into action every sympathetic feeling; it brings up in an instant everything that is passed; it seizes the present with the avidity of lightening; it grasps after the future with the fierceness of a tiger; it moves the mind backward and forward, from one thing to another, until finally all enmity, malice and hatred, and past differences, misunderstandings and mismanagements are slain victorious at the feet of hope; and when the heart is sufficiently contrite, then the voice of inspiration steals along and whispers—” (TPJS, Section Three 1838-39, p. 134.).

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  33. Log… You commented:

    “It’s like I said, Tim – they prefer you because you do not challenge them. They’re really saying “Bring back the Tim show! I love Tim! He doesn’t make me feel like I should be doing something other than what I am doing!”

    This judgement is in error. Please don’t speak for me. You would not like someone speaking for you. Remember the Golden Rule?

    Actually, I’m quite concerned about you. You started picking a fight with the question you ask Meili and it went from bad to totally out of control very quickly. Your expression does not speak well of what you profess to believe or teach. You have so much to offer yet you shoot yourself in the foot by using ugly words and name calling.

    One should feel safe among friends to express their point of view and experiences even if we do not see eye to eye. Good discussion and learning can come from disagreement. Sometimes correction may need to be made, but civility should always be a priority.

    I hope you continue to share and I trust that you will take a look at how you present your counsel so it is more acceptable to those to dislike vehement discord, abusive correction and contention.

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    • Kathryn,

      Where did I attempt to speak for you?

      Did I attempt to pick a fight with Meili? Or did I ask a question? Am I not allowed to ask questions?

      And what expression do you speak of? “Butthead?”

      And “ugly words?” Did not even Jesus go around calling people “fool” and “fox”? Did not John the Baptist use the epithet “sons of vipers?”

      Have you likewise censured them? No? Whence the double standard?

      Am I punishable for your offended sense of decorum? Is your offense my fault, or are you seeking to modify my behavior by appealing to consequences?

      Whom have I corrected? Whom have I abused? Who have I even told they were wrong?

      And if I have done none of these things, whence cometh your judgements of me?

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      • And, I must say – please notice that running around nude for 3 years publicly is consistent with the law of God. Isaiah did it.

        Using vulgar and explicitly sexual language is consistent with the law of God. The Lord himself used such language with Ezekiel, which the King James translators diligently effaced to preserve the sensibilities of the wilting, fragile flowers of their society. Read it in the New International Version (NIV).

        Cursing, using epithets, drinking, drugs, and tattoos do not break the golden rule. Therefore, they may well be found in Zion, being consistent with the law of God.

        If Zion is the goal, perhaps decorum and “right appearances” ought not be valued quite so highly. Zion may be quite a bit more lively, rambunctious, and joyous than our low, vulgar, and condescending Church meetings may lead us to believe.

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        • Log’s fine, very misunderstood at times, but fine.

          Joseph said when speaking of someone like Log,

          “I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm yet deals justice to his neighbors and mercifully deals his substance to the poor, than the long, smooth-faced hypocrite.”

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        • It might be a little overused, but it’s a great quote and it’s still true – Nibley said this in 1973:

          [blockquote]
          “The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism… the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances.” (Hugh Nibley Approaching Zion. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol 9. Deseret Book Co. 1998. ISBN 0875792529. Page 54, 57.)
          [/blockquote]

          We are trained, and too many of us have bought into it, similarly in LDS/Mormondom. So many of us are blind to our own hypocrisy, which is the worst sin (because while we are blind we see no need for repentance). Many of the standards we were taught to piously stare down our noses at are things of the outward appearance, the “whited sepulchre” (painted tomb): dress & grooming, white shirts & ties, long sleeves, suit coats, language, Word of Wisdom, tithing, “member” vs “non-member”, “temple worthy”, etc. This is how many of us measure/judge people. It is using standards of decorum and good form, forms of godliness. The priest blessing the sacrament can look like a picture-perfect pre-missionary but he is a lying, pretending fornicator. And he wouldn’t even be the worst hypocrite.

          Give me a pure heart and clean hands and the power of godliness. Give me an honest person who drops the f-bomb every other word while he helps me change my tire over the well-suited pharisee who smiles to my face but counsels against me behind my back and doesn’t even notice my distress as he drives to his high seat in his expensive house of worship. Which one would I rather be? Which one would I rather live and associate with? Which is going to be able to stand when the Lord appears? Who are the sheep and who are the goats?

          The examples Log cited are poignant and relevant. And they’re actually on the topic of suspending judgment. 🙂

          I am going to repent (again).

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  34. And speaking of “feel[ing] safe among friends,” is it the act of a friend to inquire after someone’s sins, and act as a talebearer in reporting them publicly? What if someone had no actual evidence, neither were firsthand witnesses, but “the spirit” told them you are an adulteress, therefore they spread that report abroad about you, and encouraged others to inquire about, accept, or act upon their report, too?

    How friendly would that seem, truly, to you?

    What kind of defense from such a charge can there be? Remember the Salem witch trials?

    Remember: heaven isn’t a distant place. It is here, now.

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    • Good question.

      Joseph accused many people of being adulterers and perpetuated the idea it was sin to “accuse the prophet of adultery.” How many were wrongfully excommunicated for adultery when perhaps it was not those ex communicated that were committing adultery? Do you believe joseph was wrong in his accusations? What about all of those who say david whitmer “fell away?” I get what you are saying about not seeking fault or inquiring after others sins but the golden rule implies that God would vindicate those who were falsely accused and that the liars and hypocrites would be known. The words in the doctrine and covenants say as much. Well how can they be known? How would God do such a thing with so many muddled testimonies and witnesses. Does it break the golden rule to ask God whether section 132 was revelation from God? Because if God says “no that is not revelation and not truth.” Then that necessarily is pointing out someone sinned while writing it. Is it breaking the golden rule to ask God if Joseph authored the contents of section 132? God is revealing others sins left and right every day. Is it wise to pray to know whether the Book of Mormon is the word of God? Does it break the golden rule? Well if the Book of Mormon was not true it reveals joseph and many others are either liars, deluded, or deceived and someone sinned big time in it’s creation. Does it break the golden rule to ask God whether oliver cowderys testimony against joseph was true? If so then it must be sin for a lawyer or judge to procure even any earthly evidence to suggest anyone is guilty of anything. It is sin to even notice fault if it is staring you in the face. Should we all turn our heads and wink at all manner of sin and never ask God if sin exists in the lives of anyone? How about “should I go through such and such ritual?” And then from God “no it is evil.” Whoa wait just a darn minute here God you can’t say something is evil or it reveals the sins of those who are doing something evil. Your reasoning for NOT PRAYING about certain things has no basis in truth and is simply in line with a spirit that teaches people not to pray about things. YOUR PERSONAL INTERPRETATION and understanding of the golden rule is exactly that, and it seems you think it ought to be applied to others. Your logic and intelligence are just as weak, ignorant, and fallen as anyone else’s on the earth, and that is the reality of anyone’s opinion, instruction or understanding that is not rooted in revelation from God. The wisdom of God is foolishness to men and we have been warned of those who are wise in their own eyes, supposing they know of themselves, teaching things God has never spoken to them and borrowing other men’s revelations as if they held some authority when God never has spoken it to the one quoting it. Now we see people saying how it will be in Zion, how do you know how it will be in Zion? Is it because you logically conclude what it will be like because of your masterful powers of reasoning and deduction? Will people truly be running around naked in Zion or are you drawing that from your own observation because of what it says in a book. It is all philosophies and wisdom of men. Why should we ever imagine any argument or philosophy holds any weight if the person sharing it can’t even claim it was given from The Lord? That is what has lead to all of the fallen sects and denominations. Philosophies of men mingled with scripture and Mormonism is not any better than any other religion when it comes to truths mixed with falsehoods and it is continually perpetuated by people every day thinking they teach truth and Gods word when God has never said it. Gross darkness covers the minds of the people and strong delusion has it’s grips everywhere. People think themselves exalted when the receive revelation from time to time and encompass themselves with sparks as Isaiah prophesied. Do we think the Pharisees had not enjoyed revelation and spiritual experience from time to time? They were sure in their position because God had spoken truth to their spirits from time to time. Yet never did they consider that only some of their teachings were true and others were from the adversary. They were so sure that their books of scripture and their religion had the fulness and it was all true. It is ridiculous to see supposed Christians doing the same thing today in every religion including Mormonism. It is actually disgusting. Anyway I am out and may God bless all of us as He always does and blesses us each according to the desires of our hearts.

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      • Thank you for explicating your views, Nate, and levelling your accusation without, I note, answering the questions I asked. I hope others find your views as interesting and enlightening as I do.

        At a subsequent period a Shaker spirit was on the point of being introduced, and at another time the Methodist and Presbyterian falling down power, but the spirit was rebuked and put down, and those who would not submit to rule and good order were disfellowshiped. We have also had brethren and sisters who have had the gift of tongues falsely; they would speak in a muttering, unnatural voice, and their bodies be distorted like the Irvingites before alluded to; whereas, there is nothing unnatural in the Spirit of God. A circumstance of this kind took place in Upper Canada, but was rebuked by the presiding Elder; another, a woman near the same place, professed to have the discerning spirits, and began to accuse another sister of things that she was not guilty of, which she said she knew was so by the spirit, but was afterwards proven to be false; she placed herself in the capacity of the “accuser of the brethren,” and no person through the discerning of spirits can bring a charge against another, they must be proven guilty by positive evidence, or they stand clear.

        That sounds both just and fair to me.

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