Prop 8: A WARNING FROM OUR PAST


Recent political events have focused considerable negative attention on the LDS church, designating Mormons as the primary opponents to same-sex marriage initiatives across the country. Battle lines were drawn in California’s ballot initiative, Proposition 8, restricting the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman, effectively eliminating the right to same-sex marriage.

Due to the church’s stand for traditional marriage in that contest, it has since come under attack by the gay and lesbian community. Since the election, rancorous protests and demonstrations have singled out Mormons. Some of our temples and chapels have been defaced, individual Latter-day Saints have been accosted and the church has been demonized in the media by elements of the secular progressive movement.

Because we are in the forefront of the struggle to prohibit same-sex marriages, the gay community has used that as a rallying point against Mormons, declaring us bigoted and “unfair.” Political pressures are likely to escalate as the gay movement in the country continues to gather allies and strength in its push to achieve legitimacy and legal status.

Reflecting upon these recent events, Latter-day Saints would be well advised to recall another time, in the early days of the church, when such political opposition caused us great harm.

Look at our Nauvoo period. From the outset, the Saints had been well received by Illinois residents. Politicians, especially, were eager to court the Mormon vote, as they have been in our recent history.

The new city soon experienced exceptional growth as the highly successful missionary work in England sent converts by the boatload to the small Illinois settlement. The influx of converts overwhelmed the burgeoning frontier city. Joseph Smith and the Brethren were hard put to find room for all of them. Nauvoo eventually became more populous than Chicago.

Exceptional growth has also been a hallmark of the modern church since the early 1960s when Pres. David O McKay articulated the “every member a missionary” program. Since then, our numbers have grown dramatically from just over 1 million in 1961 to over 13 million or more today.

In 1992, a book entitled The American Religion by Harold Bloom, a literary and religion critic, examined Mormonism’s rapid growth. He wrote:

“The nation will not always be only two percent Mormon. The Saints outlive the rest of us, have more children than all but a few American groups, and convert on a grand scale, both here and abroad. I do not know what figures they project for their increase, in the next generation, but my own guess is that by the year 2020 (when I will not be here), they could well form at least ten percent of our population, and probably rather more than that. Their future is immense … Salt Lake City may yet become the religious capital of the United States.” (The American Religion, p.113.)

As Nauvoo, the beautiful city by the Mississippi, grew, so did tensions between the Saints and their neighbors. History repeated itself. Every time the Prophet and his people established roots—New York, Kirtland, Jackson County and now Nauvoo—they were ultimately despised and rejected by their neighbors.

Of course, every Mormon knows the tragedy at the heart of this story. The tide turned once again. The eventual outcome was the expulsion of the Saints from Illinois.

Could we experience a similar outcome today?

As with the Nauvoo Saints, today’s church has more political influence in the nation than its burgeoning membership would seem to indicate. Bloom recognized that reality. “Mormon financial and political power is exerted in Washington to a degree far beyond what one would expect from one voter in fifty.”

Our current political and financial power, brought to bear in the Prop 8 battle, is partly responsible for our present predicament. By affirming our belief in traditional marriage and putting our financial and political clout behind that doctrinal stance, we’ve once again made ourselves a target.

Like our predecessors in Nauvoo, remarkable growth coupled with our unique doctrinal views has thrust us into the political spotlight. Doctrinal issues certainly played a part in the Mormon expulsion from Nauvoo and would likely have a role in any future clash between Mormons and their neighbors. (An ironic correspondence: The doctrinal flashpoint in the Nauvoo period was polygamy; today, it is the sanctity of traditional marriage.)

Already other rival religious groups in America have labeled Mormonism a “cult,” thus downgrading our status in the eyes of their membership such that persecution of Mormons and our religion becomes more acceptable—even a sacred duty. Thus, Mormons are beneath contempt.

Thus far, sectarian abuse is only verbal and intellectual, but it could easily escalate. Add the in-your-face tactics of the gay community, which is infamous for its confrontational methods, and you have a volatile combination.

Today’s activist factions have taken lessons from the anti-war protestors and civil rights demonstrators of the 1960s and 70s. They’ve carefully observed the success the environmental extremists have had using the courts, beginning in the 1980s. Today’s gay rights activists employ all those lessons learned.

They will not go away, they will persist. The trend is already gaining momentum, in spite of noble opposition. In due time, Americans will be cowed and coerced by these tactics, if history is any indicator. Thus, the time will certainly come when same sex marriage will be given legal status in one state after another, until it becomes accepted nationwide.

What then? Those who oppose them will be branded as bigots and homophobes for wanting to deny civil rights to a segment of the populace. The tide will have turned. Once again, the Saints will see an emboldened movement rise up against us, empowered by law and the crushing authority of the state. It will then be forced upon us, and we will certainly be made to suffer, as did our forebears.

There will certainly be dissentions within the church. Out of fear of persecution, personal harm and reprisals for their beliefs, many will deny the faith. Those who stand firm will see themselves disenfranchised.

This eventuality has menacing implications and stunning echoes of the Nauvoo tragedy. Religious intolerance in that instance went hand-in-hand with political and social intolerance. Indeed, our stance today could consolidate otherwise disparate elements of American society to create an unholy alliance that would then present a united front against us.
Such a confrontation would take the shape and form it took in the Nauvoo period, pitting the church against other American institutions, the Mormons against their fellow Americans.

According to the statements in his book, Bloom believes “the twenty-first century will mark a full-scale return to the wars of religion.” Of course, that is what happened first in Jackson County and then in Nauvoo—a war of religion that cost Mormons dearly.

There are those who might say that such a thing could not happen in a time when such obvious prejudice and bigotry are nearly nonexistent, that the law cannot be perverted as it was over a century ago on the American frontier. But those who so believe ignore the lessons of history, and are thus doomed to repeat its mistakes.

This is the heart of the issue at hand. Today’s members could find themselves faced with a similar predicament to that of the early Saints in Nauvoo. The commonalities between the Nauvoo experience and the present are too significant to be ignored.

© Anthony E. Larson, 2008

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31 Comments

  1. When the LDS (Mormon) church chose to enter the political sphere, the fact that they are a religious institution became irrelevant. They led non-Mormons in their political campaign, and they exhorted everyone – regardless of their religious affiliation — to vote “yes” on Prop. 8, which affected Mormons and non-Mormons alike. Mormon leaders were acting in their role as citizens in the democratic process.

    But as citizens leading a political campaign, they cannot escape public accountability for their public actions. After all that, the leadership of the LDS cannot suddenly change roles, toss up their hands and say, “You can’t criticize us! We’re a religion!” They forfeited that right when they threw themselves enthusiastically into a non-religious, political campaign.

    This is not bigotry or discrimination against a religion. They are politicians now, and they deserve the same scrutiny and criticism due to any other political leader or movement.

  2. It seems to me that the idea and fear that Mormonism is “fanaticism,” dreaded by all those who persecuted the early saints, is still found in those who surround us today. They fear that we vote and act as a block, taking orders from our prophet.

    The triple whammy of bad press that occurred during 2008 (FLDS raid, Mitt Romney, Prop 8 ) seems to have brought the old feelings of Mormon fanaticism to the forefront of people’s minds, almost as a preparation for 2009, so that if something truly out of the ordinary presents itself as “very Mormon,” this fear of fanaticism may ignite in much the same way as it did to those who expelled the early saints, resulting in persecutions and perhaps even government involvement against the saints again.

  3. “Once again, the Saints will see an emboldened movement rise up against us, empowered by law and the crushing authority of the state. It will then be forced upon us, and we will certainly be made to suffer, as did our forebears.”

    And are not the ‘Saints’ using the law and the crushing authority of the state to make the gays suffer? Instead should not real Saints be trying to reduce the law and authority of the state?

    John picks up a club and strikes Jim with it. And then John cries ‘foul’ when Jim uses the club to swing at John? Why doesn’t John destroy the club when he has a chance?

  4. ed42, are you an anarchist?

  5. I agree with ed42. In the Book of Mormon the lamanites preached the gospel to the band of Gadiantons and wiped them out by the preaching of the word. In another place, it says that the preaching of the word had an enormous effect, over anything. Why not over using that club that ed42 writes about? It is not government mandates that are going to establish the order the Lord wants, it is preaching the word, and only preaching the word, except maybe destruction when one’s cup is full. Effective preaching of the word will empty a cup more effectively than anything the government can provide!

  6. I try to be an anarchist (which I define as one who adheres to non-aggression principle). I was brought up (brainwashed?) to obey the church and the state, so I sometimes slip.

  7. “Recent political events have focused considerable negative attention on the LDS church… Like our predecessors in Nauvoo, remarkable growth coupled with our unique doctrinal views has thrust us into the political spotlight. Doctrinal issues certainly played a part in the Mormon expulsion from Nauvoo and would likely have a role in any future clash between Mormons and their neighbors. (An ironic correspondence: The doctrinal flashpoint in the Nauvoo period was polygamy; today, it is the sanctity of traditional marriage.)

    Already other rival religious groups in America have labeled Mormonism a “cult,” thus downgrading our status in the eyes of their membership such that persecution of Mormons and our religion becomes more acceptable—even a sacred duty. Thus, Mormons are beneath contempt”

    In light of the above observations that Larson makes, I found it interesting that three anti-mormon posts made it into the top 51 posts on a very popular social news website on which users can post links to content on the web. Other users may then vote the posted links up or down… the rating system is largely based on level of interest, popularity and agreement of the cumulative readership…

    Listed below are the number 9, 37 & 51 rankings when I viewed it this AM… pretty sobering:

    9 Mormon founder Joseph Smith broke down and admitted being a fraud; Used con artist technique called “money digging” along with a “magical” stone, leading to his “discovery” of golden plates

    37 Woman says she left the Mormon church/cult because “LDS leaders covered for molester of my children”

    51 Blacks were not accepted in to the Mormon Church because they were considered to have the “mark of Cain” (dark skin)… until a “revelation” came in 1978 (packham.n4m.org)

    Does it seem to you that there is significantly more negative stuff making it’s way to high profile sites since the Romney Campaign and the Prop 8 issue?

    Is this the tip of the Iceberg as far as the coming hatred and persecution of the Church is concerned…

  8. As I read this, I was reminded of the how fast conditions can change, both within the church and externally.

    In Helaman 3:24, we read that “so great was the properity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out ujpon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure.” This certainly points to a time of great success and material wealth that was extended to the members of the church at that time (the forty-ninth year of the reign of the judges)

    Perhaps, as can be expected, two years later, “pride…began to enter into the church, even to the persecution of many of their brethren which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great presecutions…” (Helaman 3:33) We read here of a division within the church which came shortly after the affluence was enjoyed by the members.

    By the fifty-fourth year, ‘there were many dissensions in the church and… much bloodshed. (Helaman 4:1) Here, within 6 years of receiving both spiritual and material blessings, the church was ‘ripped’ apart by greed ans dissension. This could be drawn as an example of what we may face in the church. The amazing prosperity of these least years sets that stage for fracturing of the faith.

    Are we able to see this type of apostasy as it grows within our spiritual community?

  9. Reply to ed42-it was a public voter referendum that established the protection of traditional marriage in california last year. Gays, other opponents were free to vote on it as well.
    My understanding is it’s a stand against the creeping legal warefare being waged to use the term ‘marriage’ as a legal weapon to establish worldly teachings throughout society (schools, legal code, etc.), with the power of the state behind it, to punish anyone who speaks out or disagrees with it, including disagreement based on religious beliefs.
    NOT speaking out or not being involved in the referendum was not a choice. Churches are allowed to make stands on moral issues.
    I never expected opponents to NOT criticize us for a stand; I’ve seen church representatives marching in other protests and rallies welcomed by liberals. I guess as long as religion obeys the liberal agenda, they are welcome. But if we don’t agree, and exercise free speech, suddenly, a host of falsehoods, vandalism, threats, intimidating investigations, and false premises are projected upon us. This, to me, demonstrates that some of the arguments against the church involvement in moral issues, are really only about silencing ANY opposition to a POLITICAL agenda, where the law was already being changed and the church felt it HAD to draw a line in defense of marriage.

    EVEN IF WE FAIL…I firmly believe its an opportunity for society to choose which side its on and reap the eternal consequence.

  10. In our history, effective preaching of the word has only angered opponents., not molified them. These are not modern Gadianton robbers we’re dealing with here. The analogy is flawed since the comparisons are invalid. Again, history is a good teacher. We just need to be certain we’re reading the right lessons and applying them to the right situation.

  11. I think your analogy gets it just backward. Jim was the first to pick up a club and assault John. John is just trying to protect himself and his values. He picks up no club. But the act of defending himself is portrayed by Jim as an act of overt aggression. My kids used to use this same, silly logic: “He hit me first!!!”

  12. I am a lifelong Church member, raised in a traditional Mormon family, served a mission, went to BYU, married in the temple, active all my life. And Anthony, while I certainly respect your right to voice your views, I also have to say that they reach levels of paranoia which I find troubling, and all the more so because this same perspective seems to be increasing in the Church.

    Like it or not, it is a fact that LDS Church members’ money and organizational muscle is responsible for taking away an existing constitutional right from a specifically targeted group of Californians. Investigative journalism has since shown that this was only one chapter of a decade-plus long political effort by the Church to try to stop any changes to laws across the country which discriminated against people because of sexual orientation. This doesn’t look like one-shot inspiration to me; it’s part of a long-term political agenda.

    Try as I might, I can see no consistency when a church which a century ago defended its own “non-traditional marriage” practices to the point of near destruction as an institution now pushes to write into secular law and thus impose on unwilling others its own religiously-based definition of “traditional marriage.” It is hugely ironic at best and many have, with some justification, called it stunningly hypocritical.

    No doubt you will see this in much more apocalyptic terms. Fine. I look at experience and evidence. So far, I see none from jurisdictions which allow same-sex marriage which would support the doomsday scenarios that the Church tacitly promoted in the Prop 8 campaign.

    So I’m sure you will enjoy spinning the what if’s of a new wave of anticipated persecution. I know as well as you do that Mormons thrive on their collective martyr complex and that they welcome the world’s criticisms as evidence that they are right. Even if the evidence points the other way. Even if the Church has a history of receiving conveniently timed revelation when outside pressure becomes too much to withstand. Don’t think it can never happen again. We actually know precious little about how the eternities really work, and if you really believe the 9th Article of Faith and are honest, and if you really do believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, the same Joseph Smith who said even the apostles would try to kill him if they knew what he knew, then you must admit that we could be in for some shocking surprises in future. So don’t get too comfortable in your cultural cocoon.

  13. D&C 101 is very clear that the Lord hand a direct hand in creating the United States of America and also directed through inspiration the construction of the Constitution. I think all discussions of what constitutes “rights” (a HIGHLY MISUNDERSTOOD and DISTORTED concept in the 21st century) should refer back to the intentions of the framers, especially Madison, and most importantly to the intentions of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I assure you, friends, the Lord’s intentions do not include the protection of “rights” that are really demands for the egos of Man to be pleased with himself and “happy”. The Standard Works tell us what leads to fulfillment and joy, and it is not what American society at large now condones and promotes.

    The United States of America has become a sick culture oriented around false “self-realization” and “progressiveness”. I am not a Luddite, or a Neandrathal. I am a Libertarian. I say, let every man do what he wants. However, the Church, and it’s Auntorities, being the closest thing to a government of Kingdom of God on Earth, has the right and the obligation to “interfere” where it pleases, in whatever way it pleases.

    There is an assumption, which I deplore, that the Church is wrong is denouncing same-sex marriage because it is judging other people’s values. No, it is good the Church does that. It saves souls. It brings people back to the gospel. There are gay people who hear what the Church says, and follows, and are filled with gratitude and comfort that SOMEONE CRIED OUT REPENTANCE to the people of America.

    There are people, who are being saved by the Church’s clear and strong messages. I thank God for that personally. I thank God.

    There is a Plan of Salvation, it is clear. It supercedes all other civil and secular concerns. The Church will never have or even want the power to compel citizens to be “good”. But I do think the Church has a right to preach to the people, to talk directly to governors, presidents, magistrates, princes and the body politic, chastising them and preaching repentance. We see this over and over in the scriptures. It is vanity to think that our contemporary situation IS ANY DIFFERENT than the past. The human condition is a constant, it’s struggles are persistent.

    I support the Church’s efforts with Prop 8. And another thing, you’d be surprised how disingenuous much of the hoo-hah about “marriage” is in the gay community. I could tell you stories, that are not uncommon” about what many gays consider to be a “marriage” contract. It mocks the institution.

  14. It appears the churches problems may only be beginning.

    Mormons admit larger role in Prop 8

  15. A little history might be in order concerning marriage in the U.S. Marriage for thousands of years was understood to be a religiious institution and not part of the the governments jurisdiction after all we have seperation of church and state correct?But in the late 1800’s to stop the Mormons from living plural marriage congress passed a series of laws culminating with the Edmund Tuckers act which the Church finally accepted. This gave the government unconstitutionall control over marriage declaring marriage as a civil right overseered by the U.S. Government. Because the Church believes in living the “laws of the land” whether they be constitutional or not they have painted themselves into a corner that soon they will not be able to get out of! Thomas Monson has publicliy stated that the church may be forced into sanctioning same sex marriage! The Lord speaking of the consttution said any thing more or less than this cometh of evil! and now we can see the wisdom of not comprimising with evil. I predict that you will see this comeing to ahead this year, one can only hope that ” The one mighty and strong” is soon to be on the horizon to set the church in order D&C 85. Tou don;t have to look to hard or far to see that something is a miss!

  16. Another point of interest is this had not the government gotten authority over marriage Ithe church would not have gotten so involved with prop 8, the church leaders know the precarious position that they and the church are in. The church is a corporation and subject to corporate laws (big mistake) those corporate doctrines (D&C) say nothing of same sex marriage, once the table is set you will see lawsuits for same sex marriage in the Lords Temple! Is this the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Danniel in the last days?There are bible scholars that maintain the first Abomination Of Desolation was a homosexual act in Herods Temple by homo sexual romans. I don’t neccesarily belive that but it is something to consider. Either way the church is between a rock and a hard spot on ths one!

  17. Brand Thornton,

    Can you tell me where you read that President Monson said the church “may be forced into sanctioning same sex marriage”?

  18. For just Peachy, sorriy I just got back to checking for responses. There was a two week series in the Review Journal (news paper)here in Las Vegas last summer, one of the articles was speaking of a church leader who refused to meet with a coialition of gay Mormons telling his superiors that after he had fufilled his responsibilities that they coud send some one else. The very next week there was an article quoteing Thomas Monsons that if prop 8 was not successful that the church would be forced to sanction same sex marriage. It should not be hard to pull off the internet, it was during the time that Calif. was getting ready to vote on bill, I hope that helps you. I was some one what surprised to see it my self, and I shared the article with my oldest son. When you find it relay the info. back to me if you would please several of my out of state friends would like to see it also mean while I also will go back to find it if I do I will give the info. Sincerely Brand. I really shoud have kept it!

  19. Same sex marriage is an oxymoron in other words there is no such thing no matter how hard the government trys to make it so! What some call marriage is nothing more than pervertion! Every one has their tests, If had my way I would have ten wives but as it is I have not even one, I have remained single and celebit for four years, I don’t indulge in porn or masturbate. I am extremely attracted to the female gender and have raised five children, four which were my own. So what is the point? I know as Paul said that the lust of the flesh is in opposit to the spirit of God, so to remain spiritual I have elected to live a chase life, as Christ said some became eunechs for the kingdom of God. I know how lonely it can be after all I had a mate for many years and then had to endure loss and isolation never the less chasity is far better than any type of sexual pervertion. So gay or homosexual attractions is just another test, sorry but thats just the way it is, take up your cross and bear it you will find what you are truly looking for eventually. True marriage is a God given insttution to bring spirits into the world and provide a phyisical body for them , raise them in righteousness with a mother and father and for the parents to love one another thats it nothing else will suffice! I hope this works for any one interested, God said I never said it would be easy only that It would be worh it find your talents and magnify them, God bless!

  20. I look at these types of contoversies of Man and thier solutions in the Light of what would the Lord do? Soon He will be introducing us to a NEW way of looking at all things including these types of things that seem so unresolveable to us.

    These things will exisit at the time of this transition to a Higher understanding of the reality of God. And I think we will find that reality based solely on His Love for us and what’s best according to not only to what He knows is right and best for us, but more importantly HOW to bring that HIGHER understanding to our way of it’s exceptance in our HEARTS.

    I believe, inspite of the collective Doctrinal understanding that the truely wise pocess, what is lacking,in my own life, and in the Spirit of the wonderful Doctrinal insi ghts I read on these post, is that of fully understanding the NATURE and DEPTH of God’s Love for us.

    When the Lord compared even the best of us to sleeping Virgins, ( And that includes even those who are really aware of what’s going on), What He is infering to inregard to our SLEEPINESS, is that there is a lack of FULLY understanding that DEPTH and BREDTH of Love I was talking about.

    I think that this understanding of that Love of God that we need IS the PRIMARY awakening element that the Lords Servant will bring to us and that our perception and approach to solving these delimas of Man will take on a whole NEW perspective.

    II belive this GREATER and PERFECT understanding of the ROOT causes of deep Spiritual disconnects is the solution and power to bring all those who are desiring to change, the opportunity to do that. This would be the way to meet the demands of justice while at the same time extend mercy and healing to those who desired to be healed.

    If Christ can raise the dead, heal any physical abnormality, create Worlds without number, and a long list of other things…Then why not have the power of understanding and Love to help someone with the faith and desire, to reorient thier understanding of who they truely are. We simply lack having someone with the KEYS to uderstanding these things to present them to us. Therefore even the wise still slumber.

    God has placed certain weaknesses within each of us from Birth according to His Love and understanding of us as individuals and what is most benificial to our Eternal Progression.

    Our efforts or lack of efforts to struggle with these God given trials in life will determine whether or not we see them as a challenge to conquer within us or to accept them as who we are. God gives us the right to make those choices as to how we will deal with these personal paradoxes we are challenged with in this Life.

    I believe this particular challenge and Paradox is one the toughest challenges that God can place upon us for those who would not have wanted this for themselves in Life. And what about the Phenominon of being born both sexes? But even these are NOT the toughest by any means. Ther is still far Greaer things one can suffer in this Life that tends to go unoticed by those not effected by it.

    This is True of any trial we don’t personally suffer. It’s impossible to have first hand knowledge and EMPATHY of anything we do not experience for ourselves, We can have COMPASSIO but not EMPATHY.

    All these things are beyond the control of the innocents who would wish they would rather be dead than to face these challenges and struggle with it every moment of thier Lives.

    The Apostle Paul may have suffered these same struggles.

    For those wanting change but not knowing how to innact it beyond just struggling with not consumating it or just wanting to have it go away…This I feel, will be the most Loving and wonderful act of mercy granted those who just want to find true Eternal peace and happiness and recieve the Eternal Largest Blessing of God defined by the Abrahamic Covenant …To experience and recieve Eternal Joy and Fulfillment in having Eternal increase of posterity. For this is HOW the GREATEST Blessings of Heaven are perpetuated through all ETERNITY. What TRUE LOVE goes around…must have a WAY of coming around. And God defines and grants us that WAY.

    I Love my God with all my HEART but know I fall short of meeting the requirements of experiencing that FULL JOY He has ro offer us, but I have the faith to believe that someone empowered with the ability to innact these Miraculas changes through a Perfect understanding of these GREAT trials, ( ment to ultimately bring us to Eternal Bliss when we conquere them through the Love and understanding of God’s understanding and Love), we will ALL come to better understand our own trials and what God intended for them to be for us…To raise us as HIGH as we as individual children of His, can possibly go, according to His wisdom of what that would take and then Bless us with our individual needs (weaknesses/challenges) and send us on our way here.

    None of this can be solved from a legislative approach and only serves to reveal the Spiritual disconnect that our Leaders have in this approach and then turning right around and admitting that we may have to surcome to Political pressures of Man.

    I don’t feel our Eternal Father would use this approach .

    This is why we need to be seperated from the entombment of Mans best efforts to enforce change on us through Mans Laws of a Telestial World… and have the Lord establish His more excellent way of ennacting the changes we need through a Higher reality of dealing with lifes challenges through A PERFECT LOVE based perspective of Eternal Life.

    Afterall…Isn’t this Zion”s purpose and where it will take us when even the truely wise among us become FULLY awakened ?

    Our Father in Heaven Loves us and He understands the necessity of chosing a certain Man who is Fanmilar with EVERY DEEP CHALLENGE that life can pose
    in order that that Man will have the EMPATHY,experience and understanding of what and HOW to help those seeking to understand thier own challenges and place them in the place in thier Hearts and Minds as God intended them to be. TO LIFT US AS HIGH AS WE CAN GO ONCE THE CHALLENGE IS UNDERSTOOD AND MET and we are ABLE to meet the requirements of CELESTIAL LAW and find the TRUE HAPPINESS and ETERNAL PURPOSE that brings that.

    May the Man with the understanding to LIFT us ALL up, hurry up and overcome every challenge of His MARRED LIFE so that he can be Lifted and called of God to show us how He did that . To me, the Mysyery of this GREAT WORK and move into a HIGHER state of God like awareness is TRUELY a Miracle but it’s requirement to become innacted through a Special Agent of God is not Religious Rocket Science.

    That knowlege is aquired through the school of hard knocks that Joseph Smith nor any one else with the exception of Christ who aquired a portion of that same knowledge by a different approach in life, has ever aquired.

    This is why according to the sacrifice of TWO GOATS, God saw this as THE requirement to bring about the Miracle of SALVATION by the use of BOTH HIS HANDS.
    Our Father is very smart but He is not arrogant. He dose not bring about COMPLETE SALVATION with one HAND tied behind His back…

    The silent partner in that COVENANT between THREE to save us all who will come to THEM, IS that MAN MARRED in LiFE BEYOND that of ANY OTHER Man and will at some point in the near future, Find Himself as He who overcame ALL by becoming an innocent yet willing SACRIFICE to travel with us throgh this SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS….That poor Goat… who many think to be Satan. What a BUMB RAP !

    Yes, I think even the wise in TRUE KNOWLEDGE , will be somewhat suprised at who God has chosen to perform the second Greatest Work to the ETONEMENT as we percieve that Work according to our PRESENT PERSPETIVE.

    That Perspective I think ,is soon to CHANGE when we come to realize that the COMPLETE ATONEMENT for mans sins has always been a Work ascribed to TWO ETERNAL Brothers who are the LEFT AND RIGHT HANDS OF GOD performing distinctively seperate yet equaly important tasks to bring about the purposes of our Father and Mother of Heaven.

    Little Brothers coming will bring us to that approaching REALITY and the debate over the various approaches to solving these seemingly insokvable proplems will ALL BLOW AWAY…and LITTLE Bothers role as being the Left Hand of God is also going to stretch and BREAK THROUGH our current understanding of GOD”S LOVE ( God as in one Man who speaks also for the HIGHEST PORTION of realizing the COMPLETE nature of HEAVENY LOVE that transends the LOVE of only one PARTNER OR THE OTHER).

    So my thoughts are really simple…We need a Man who simply KNOWS ! And it’s obvious that even the wisest among us need HiIS HELP.

    Lets all PRAY that we soon get ti. I sure need it…

  21. I reread my remarks in the previous comment several times before submitting it to find my spelling and grammar errors. I can now see after reading them again, that I didn’t do such a hot job. I am very sorry to make them so hard to decipher. I droped out of High School many years ago and I still have a hard time getting things right and it takes me forever to type these thoughts. But I Love you Guys and want to share some of the things I’ve learned about our Father and Brother. I have come to know them REALLY WELL…

  22. I find it interesting that (our) LDS church, with a presumed “inspired” leadership, takes so much umbrage with civil marriage. Civil marriage involves three parties: the state, the husband and the wife. The marriage is actually a contract, with the state at the top, first in line for any assets created from this contract (children), the husband is in the middle, above the wife and the wife is at the bottom, below both the state and husband. This is why the state can declare unilaterally that parents are unfit and take away the children because the power is not divided equally amongst the three parties. God does not have any place or standing in this contract. The state gives you a license to be married.

    Marriage is a God-given Right. If the LDS church were still a First Amendment protected church, its members would not need to go to the state to ask permission to marry, nor would they need a marriage license. The LDS church became a 501c3 non-profit corporation in the early 1970’s. I have my suspicions as to why they left the protection of the First Amendment and lowered themselves to the jurisdiction of the IRS but I won’t expound on them now.

    The only marriage that LDS members should be interested in is that of First Amendment protected marriages. What gays and lesbians do is really irrelavent, as their marriages would still only be contracts with the state (not with God), having nothing to do with God’s Holy institution of marriage.

    I find this whole argument/movement to be one great big red herring. I believe the church is grabbing this movement’s coattails as a way to keep members from questioning why the church is no longer a First Amendment protected church, but is instead, a 501c3, under the jurisdiction of the IRS. I’d like the leadership to explain why they did this (back in the early 1970’s)

    http://hushmoney.org/MarriageLicense-5.htm

    http://hushmoney.org/

  23. My wife and I were reading an article called “The Peacemaker”, purported to be written by Utney Jacobs (do a search typing in “a little known discourse” and Utney Jacobs to find it) I have suspicions it was actually written by Joseph Smith because the language sounds like his, and also something that John Lee said about it also. Anyway, while reading this article, My wife and I had the distinct impression that she and our children had been given to the state in the temple where we were married because I was required by the church to get a state license before I could get married in the Temple. It was a similar experience of the marriage of Wallace and his wife that happened in the movie “Braveheart”, where the British lords had first night with all the wives before the husbands could hold them. In fact it felt much worse than that, I didn’t just give my wife away just for the first night, but for the duration of our lives. They would always have first dibs, and I would have what is left over, and it really gave me a sour taste for what I had done in the temple. I felt like I had sold my wife to the state in the most holy of places where the state should have no jurisdiction. I felt, when I learned all this, that I had unknowingly, in the temple of God sacrificed my children and wife on the alter of the state. I felt that a most heinous sin was being committed in our temples, that not anyone I knew were aware of. The temple feels so desecrated since I have thought this. I don’t want to go back

  24. The original post for this was in Late 2008. The first comment was Jan 2009. Now 18 months have past. Having read other more recent posts here and incorporated their truths in my reasoning and analysis I believe there will not be widespread persecution of the mainstream LDS. When you combine the information from “Mormonism the coming state religion” and “Does SSM violate the current law of Chastity” especially in light of Dallin Oaks’ answers to the CBS interview and the ideas of the “Alternate view of the Keys” and the fact that the church membership has for so many years has been willing to give up doctrinal beliefs to avoid persecution the you have the perfect setting for the unthinkable to occur; that the mainstream LDS will be converted by the world to accept SSM in their temples. Then in keeping with Heber C Kimball’s prophecy all “true” members would be persecuted and that even by the “priesthood” leaders of the LDS church as prophesied by Moroni. This would be as easy as falling off a log if the seers were already covered and we had a US president who had dual membership in the LDS church and the CFR. I should add Mitt has already shown his spineless appeasement of SSM as a governor in Mass. All the elements seem in place. I will prepare myself to either suffer excommunication for refusing to accept SSM in the temples or lead a branch or stake out of apostasy as Alma the elder did.

  25. Monster:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings regarding temple marriage. I have not yet entered into the temple marriage covenant with my wife, one reason being this state/civil marriage license requirement; but, I believe as you do, that a “heinous sin was (is) being committed in our temples”.

    My wife and I are considering dissolving the state marriage license that we have (divorce) and instead, getting married in a First Amendment protected church (FAPC), being married as God intended, without the encumbrances of the state government.

    We have located a FAPC near where we live; it’s now just a matter of doing the deed. My wife is concerned that the First Amendment Protected Marriage (FAPM) won’t be recognized by my place of employment for benefits purposes (health insurance, etc.). Once we conquer this hurdle (and we openly welcome any advise, suggestions, experienses that others have had with doing a FAPC) I believe the path will be clear for us.

    As an aside, my non-conformist personality would just love to see the Stake President’s face and reaction when I tell him that my wife and I do not have a state marriage license, but that we want to be married and sealed in the temple as a religious act, not a contractual obligation via the marriage license to the state. 🙂

  26. My wife and I have talked about divorcing, but staying married with out temple marriage. I don’t think the church would approve, but I don’t have to tell them. Have you looked into divorce? Also my opinion about the church has changed by reading “One who is Watching’s” blog. I am waiting for Joseph Smith and his associates to come back and set the church in order. Meanwhile, I am not being active in the church, but I still study as I did before.

  27. Monster

    My wife and I are looking into being married in God’s Law, in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, and ending the state/civil marriage license. If this means that we will be prohibited by our unrighteous church leaders from being sealed in the temple during our mortal existence, then we’ll get sealed after the 2nd Coming.

    I have major problems with the church being a 501c3 non-profit corporation, and as such, Jesus is NO longer the head of the church; the IRS is. So, we as members are not being accurate anymore when we lay claim that Jesus is the head. Our leadership removed him from that position in the 1970’s. I think this also explains why we no longer have prophets, prophecies or revelations, since we are denying Jesus his Rightful spot as the Head of our church. The so-called revelation of 1978 was not a bona fide revelation. It was a consensus with dubious inspiration behind it.

    If I can borrow a line from “I Love Lucy”, the church presidency has “a lot of ‘splaining to do!”

  28. I think Jesus was taken away from the head when the law of consecration was rejected, and traded in for a banking system. It was down hill from then on. When the church rejected the Lord’s protection, we had to have protection from some place and that place came from the government. Sounds a lot like what happened to the primitive church.

  29. I’m not so sure that Jesus was removed from His rightful place as Head of the church after the practicing of Law of Consecration was ended by the saints. He told the saints back then that they weren’t ready for it, but through common consent, they voiced that they wanted to live under it and the Lord then permitted it. When it ultimately failed, as Jesus indicated it would, the next natural event was to end its practice. From my point-of-view, the saints didn’t bring in any secondary authority or consent to be put under or in any government agency’s jurisdiction.

    I believe that we see the first, very visible sign of Jesus being removed as Head when the church leadership ended the practice of poligyny. From my reading and studying of that event, the leadership had ulterior motives behind this decision, ranging from not wanting to spend time in a jail cell to putting the potential commercial gains (lust of money) from becoming a state in the union. Jesus may have retained just a titular standing as Head, but I think by the 1890’s, apostacy had a firm grip on this church and had begun leading members and leadership down the ill-gotten path. I believe this is one of the early events whereby our church leaders put the jurisdiction of a non-religious entity above that of God’s.

    I also believe that the 501c3 is the de facto official ending of Jesus as being the head of this church. As the BoM states, He will bring his church back in line and regain His rightful place within it. They’ll be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth from the remaining church leaders who will be in government and business. Good times for the righteous to witness 8*)

  30. What’s up with the inconsistencies of Leadership in the Church ? First we DON’T get officially involved with politics…Then we DO….Kind of…

    This whole thing smells like the pressures of the World & Membership upon our Leaders to make a stand, rather than actually giving concern for the issue at hand.

    It seems inconsistent for our Leaders to say they don’t get involved with politics to the extent of not telling us WHO to vote for, but WILL become involved when it comes to WHAT is being voted on….But in a SKIDDISH & COWARDLY WAY.

    Don’t those who RUN for office REPRESENT these various THINGS we have to decide on ? How do you SEPERATE the two ?

    The “wrangling” of words & the situation, to remain Politically Correct & trying to dodge the Bullet of Persection, gets pretty sickening sometimes.

    I understand the virtues of protecting our free agency to choose for ourselves, but does that SUPERCEED our Leaders standing UP and OUTWARDLY proclaiming the RIGHT THING ? I mean WHAT THE HECK ARE LEADERS FOR ?….To MAYBE show us the WAY & HOW it’s done ? Instead of HIDING behind the membership ?

    Some how, if we were standing with Jesus in His Day and the question arose as to asking Him….”Hey, what do you think of Herod & those Pharasies” ? Do you think His answer would be….”Gee, I don’t think I should say. Just go study it out for yourself “.

    What was John The Baptist’s oppinion of those people ? Did he keep HIS remarks & thoughts to himself ? Did Elijah ? Jeremiah ? Lehi ?

    I mean … WHAT THE HECK !!! Does ANY OFFICAL in the Church, have the gutts to OPENLY speak the TRUTH ?

    When they do do it, it is cloaked in “WRANGLING” the members to arms, as if to aviod FLACK for THEMSELVES, while proclaiming the members to have a Sacred Duty to uphold God’s Laws ! And let THEM take the Fack !

    And I certainly feel they are ONLY doing what they do, because they feel the PRESSURE to SAY something…

    What a BUNCH OF SCARED COWARDS.

    These guys are like the TYPICAL Corporate Business Thugs that they are. Only they manage to do their thing with such SWEET FINESS, using the MEMBERS to do their bidding in Public….Unlike an Enron Exec would do, by just slitting your throat.

    I have Greater Respect for the Enron Guy.

    Our Guys use GOD as a pretext to to the way they do business. At LEAST you KNOW what you are getting in the REAL WORLD of Bussiness, that opperates as a GODLESS enterprise and makes no BONES about it.

    Our Guys look like such Weasally Slugs.

    Sorry for the burst of outrage…On second thought… ___NO, I’m not sorry for saying this !

  31. Bring back John The Baptist ! HE would know how to Boldly stand before us & ALL people…To caress the inocent & STOMP on wickedness, with words of TRUTH.

    And it would be such a nice change of venue to see a Prophet dressed in Jeans, as opposed to those 3 peace Corporate suites….Instead of trying to make ALL OF US, look like little Corporate Robots, by DRESSING us in 3 piece suites…. How bout putting on some jeans and be LIKE US….Like John the Baptist and all those guys who dressed like average people do.

    Why are we trying to immulate the Dress of Babylon ?

    And why do we make new comers FEEL they need to be working their way toward better clothes ? Is THAT the mark of Spirituality that God is seeking in us ? I don’t care WHAT you TELL them in regard to them seeing every member in a suite but don’t feel intimidated because YOU don’t have one.

    It’s SO TRANSPARENT ! And it makes me SICK !

    Just don’t show up to Church in a pair of underclothing that has Brown Steaks on it ! I think we can ALL manage to do that….

    And I have ALWAYS kept my hair faily short but it would be NICE to see a few guys wearing it a little longer without being ridiculed.

    If I idn’t have such messed up hair, I would like to look more like those guys back in Jesus’ Day.

    So here is my advice to ourLeaders…Chuck the Suites & let your Hair grow out a little. And do that while STILL maintaining Strict Spiritual Parameters. But LIGHTEN UP your APPROACH to life. It’s MORE than Starch & a White Shirt.

    In ANY dispensation of time….Where in the record is it found that everybody went around wearing WHITE SHIRTS ? Is this possibly an OUTWARD BADGE of our Righteousness for ALL TO SEE & ADMIRE ?

    It is supposed to be FAMILY FUN before Bussiness. And stupid endless Programs to teach us how to be ourselves… Bussiness is to SUPPORT having fun in life. And NOT the other way around…

    Man, if I were in charge, and who knows…. maybe some day I WILL, I would be STRUNG UP on the nearest pole, by most members of the Church.

    Life & the Gospel are SUPPOSED TO BE FUN & JOYFUL…Like is says in the Book of Moses.

    It doesn’t take PROGRAMS & A THREE PIECE SUITE FULL OF STARCH, to understand the Meaning of the Gospel…It only REQUIRES COMMITMENT to COMMON SENSE & a True Love for God.

    All these SUPERLATIVES that are added to our lives to “ADJUST” our Spiritual Behaviour, is like trying to LEGESLATE this Crap in Prop. 8 with the stroke of a Pen.

    HOW STUPID CAN THAT BE ?

    People, we have to get passed the OUTSIDE shell of Reality & view it from the INSIDE…Within our HEARTS. And NOT at the end of a Legislative Pen. Ain’t we got ENOUGH Laws for 10,000 Worlds, already ?

    Lets just go back to the Original “10”…. Only a FEW, are a lot easier to keep track of and comply with.

    I say VOTE FOR ZACK as the next Church Pesident !…OOPS…I forgot that God may have something to say about that. But AT LEAST I hope God elects someone that doesn’t own ONE DARN WHITE SHIRT & has hair down to his — And REALLY knows how to have some FUN in Life.


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