CHI #3 Whose marriage is this anyway?


Since the CHI deals with LDS church doctrine and in places draws from the scriptures there are many good things said in this handbook. The problem is that the way it is treated is as though it is the gospel. We are expected and many members and leaders do take it to be 100% authoritative as if it is the voice of the Lord to us.

So as I discuss these points if they run counter to the truth we know then they are wrong regardless of who signed the book.

3.5.1 under the subheading of special meeting for guests who do not have temple recommends the CHI explains a couple arrange with their bishop to have a special meeting for relatives and friends who do no have temple recommends. It can have a prayer and special music followed by a talk by a priesthood leader.
It says no ceremony is performed, and no vows are exchanged.

Then a short paragraph saying:

No other marriage ceremony should be performed following a temple marriage.

Well why does the CHI say that? In fact I think I violated this one without knowing it. You know your government sanctioned marriage may not be recognized in another country. What then? Since the church says you need a government issued license to be married then obviously if you don’t have one for the country you are living in you are not married there. You might think twice before having sex with who you think is your spouse while visiting a foreign country. I mean maybe you committed adultery without knowing it.  But on the other hand if you get a new marriage in the new country you are violating the church rules here stated.

How now brown cow? Please Mr. Church what do I do? How can I be subject to kings and rulers etc and still follow you? What do I do?

Hey stop whining the answer to that was given long ago and is right in the Doctrine and Covenants. Well at least part of it, the OF1. Don’t look at the rest of the Lord’s words as found in say section 98 or 101 or 42 where He says you should obey Him and His law above the laws of man. Just follow Wilford Woodruff’s example and his strong prophetic “advice” and put the law of God subservient to the law of the government.

Sure do it. It works every time. The church won’t bug you and this will muffle your conscience. Of course it may decrease your portion of the Holy Ghost but hey you will still have temple recommend which we all know is required to return to the presence of God. By this rational the soldiers who fought for Germany in world war 2 were all blessed even if they were working at a concentration camp turning on the gas, they were just obeying the law. Same as any God given right violating members serving in the military, FBI, CIA, IRS, or TSA. They are all following the law and just doing their jobs.

Now please as you read this don’t take an excerpt from the above two paragraphs and explain that it is wrong. Of course it is wrong. It is all sarcasm.

You may think this is all foolishness. I could not agree with you more. To think that a man and woman need to have permission from other people (with the exception of their spouse) to be married is total foolishness. Governments and churches are people. They both administer their ordinances. And when a church which has authority from Gd to perform ordinances which will be recognized by Him they had better be damn careful to not run afoul of His laws of agency in doing so.

The whole mess comes about when we start putting any law of man, governmental body or church body above the law of God. Only we ourselves personally can insure that we are not guilty of this. It should be obvious by the posts on the CHI that the present LDS church is not going to be of any help in this regard. The doctrine of the marriage covenant stated on this blog is correct. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. Why is that correct? Because it is what God said it.

So what pray tell does the CHI think it is doing in forbidding people to have other marriage ceremonies?

Maybe someone is afraid that members might awake to the realization that they never needed government approval or church approval to have a God recognized marriage in the first place.

I don’t really care what they think. I can see what it does. It places the corporate church as the dispenser and controller of God’s blessings to its members. It inserts said church between God and His children thereby depriving them of rights and freedoms which God has given them.

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Seeking the Good of Others


Meat Sacrificed to Idols:

One of the issues in the first-century church that was addressed in writing by Paul concerned meat that had been sacrificed to idols.  Debates over what to eat might seem strange within a church established by a man who said:

Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

However, as formerly pagan/Roman converts began joining congregations of the church of Jesus Christ, an issue arose concerning the eating of meat.

Pleasing the Romans gods thru animal sacrifice resulted in temples having more meat than their priests and priestesses could eat.  So, as a source of income, the temples would sell the extra meat to vendors — who would in turn sell that meat in the marketplace for general consumption.  Thus, it was common for meat sold in the marketplace to have been previously consecrated as a sacrifice to a Roman god.  The Jews stayed away from such meat because they were wary of the chances encountering the “unclean” food-handling practices and they believed that to partake of consecrated meat was to give second-hand approval of idol worship.  The Gentiles did not believe that meat could be tainted by a sacrifice they did not participate in.  Both parties brought these preconceived cultural views on the subject with them into the church of Jesus Christ — thereby making the matter a point of contention within the church.

The council recorded in Acts 15 urged Gentile converts to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols.  In essence, the council sought to assure that at the next church sacramental meal a formerly-Jewish believer could eat meat he was served with confidence — knowing it had never been part of a sacrificial cow, and a formerly-Roman believer could not be accused of participating in idol worship.

Applying the Matter to Ourselves:

Whenever I read Paul’s writings on the subject of members of the church of Jesus Christ eating meat that had was considered “unclean” by some — I can’t help but think of the current LDS views on things like meat, caffeinated drinks, beer, and wine.  So last week, I read thru 1 Corinthians 8-10, imagining that Paul was writing to church members today on the subject of the Word of Wisdom.

Paul’s Law of Offense = Seek the good of others instead of being concerned for your own good:

The following was taken from 1 Corinthians 8-10.

Some people might think that all things are lawful for them because of justification by faith or because of all the knowledge they have on the issue.  While the freedom in Christ or the knowledge you obtain may make you feel important, it is love that strengthens the church of God.  If you claim to know all the answers, then you don’t really know very much.  However, the person who loves God – the same is known by Him.

Whether or not everything is lawful for you – not everything is expedient or constructive.

You may be able to consume any food or drink without raising questions of moral conscience within yourself because you understand that everything from the earth comes from the Lord.  Why should your freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?  If you are capable of enjoying all things that come from God, then why should you be condemned for it?  We can’t win God’s approval by what we eat – you won’t lose anything if you abstain, and you won’t gain anything if you partake.  So whether you eat or drink – whatever you do – do it all to glorify God.

However, not all believers understand this.  Some are accustomed to thinking that words of wisdom concerning diet are commandments – and their weak consciences will be offended.

Should a non-member ask you over to his or her house, by all means go if you want to and eat whatever is offered to you, out of respect for their hospitality.  But then should a member there point out that the food or drink served ought to be considered morally objectionable to you because of your religion – don’t consume it out of consideration for the one who told you.  For you must be careful that your freedom doesn’t cause another of a weaker conscience to stumble.

If your superior knowledge on a subject were to encourage a believer to do something they believe is wrong, then you would be sinning against Christ because he died for that person too.

If my dietary choices would cause another believer to sin, then may I never break the “commandments” outlined in any words of wisdom concerning diet so long as I live.  I do not desire another believer to stumble.  Don’t give offense to Jews, Gentiles, or the church of God.  Try to please everyone in what you do.  Don’t just do what is best for yourself – do what is best for others, so that many may be saved.

When you are with those who are weak, you should share their weakness because you have a desire to bring the weak to Christ.  It is best to try and find common ground with people, doing everything you can that you might save some.

Even though you are a free person, with no earthly slave master, you must become a servant to all people to bring them to Christ.  When you are with Jews, live like a Jew to bring them to Christ.  When you are with members who strictly adhere to Church™ teachings, live under that law – even though you are not subject to that law, do so in order to bring Christ to them.  When you are with Gentiles who are without the law, then also live apart from that law for the purpose of bringing them to Christ.  But you must not ignore the law of God – always obey the law of Christ.

Questions:

  • Is my characterization of Paul’s teaching on offense accurate?
  • What lessons can be drawn from his teaching?
  • Is my connection of his teaching on eating pagan meat with the Word of Wisdom™ fair?
  • Is this teaching consistent with the rest of the Scriptures?
  • How can we balance Paul’s law of offense with spicing up your church experience, rebelling against body modesty, or cheerfully doing all things?

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Priesthood Offices in a Tribal Setting


Church ordinations

During the time of Christ, one of the qualifications for priesthood was that men had to be married.  (See 1 Tim. 3: 2, 12 and Titus 1: 6.)  During the time of Joseph Smith, adult men were ordained to both Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods.  Later, during brother Brigham’s time the Aaronic priesthood began to be conferred upon young men.

Currently, in the modern church, if men and boys are worthy and are sustained by the congregation, they are ordained to these offices in the following way: deacons are ordained when 12 years old, teachers when 14, priests when 16 and boys become eligible for the office of an elder when they turn 18 (prospective elders.)  The Aaronic priesthood is now, essentially, a youth program, to prepare boys to receive the Melchizedek priesthood.

Grown men entering the priesthood may be given the office of a priest, becoming a prospective elder and then later ordained an elder, or may merely be ordained an elder from the start.

The following are the duties of an elder, priest, teacher and deacon in the church.  (E=Elder; P=Priest; T=Teacher; and D=Deacon.)

Duties of the Priesthood (for the church)

.P..          Preach
EP..         Baptize
E…          Confirm baptized church members by the laying on of hands
E…          Administer the sacrament
.P..          Administer the sacrament (when no elder is present)
E…          Take the lead in all church meetings
.P..         Take the lead in church meetings (when no elder is present)
..T.         Take the lead in church meetings (in the absence of the elder or priest)
E…          Conduct church meetings as led by the Holy Ghost
.P..          Assist elder (if occasion requires)
E…          Ordain elders
EP..        Ordain priests
EP..        Ordain teachers
EP..        Ordain deacons
EPTD      Teach
EPTD      Expound
EPTD      Exhort
E.TD       Watch over the church
.P..         Visit the house of each church member (exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties)
..T.         Be with and strengthen church
..T.        See that there is no iniquity in the church
..T.        See that there is no hardness in the church with each other
..T.        See that there is no lying in the church
..T.        See that there is backbiting in the church
..T.        See that there is no evil speaking in the church
..T.        See that all the church members do their duty
..T.        See that the church meet together often
..TD      Warn
..TD      Invite all to come to Christ
..TD      Be a standing minister to the church
…D       Assist teachers in their duties (if occasion requires)

Now let’s look at these same duties and offices of the priesthood in a tribal setting.

Duties of the Priesthood (for the tribe)

.P..          Preach
EP..         Baptize
E…          Confirm baptized tribal members by the laying on of hands
E…          Administer the sacrament
.P..          Administer the sacrament (when no elder is present)
E…          Take the lead in all tribal gatherings
.P..         Take the lead in tribal gatherings (when no elder is present)
..T.         Take the lead in tribal gatherings (in the absence of the elder or priest)
E…          Conduct tribal gatherings as led by the Holy Ghost
.P..          Assist elder (if occasion requires)
E…          Ordain elders
EP..        Ordain priests
EP..        Ordain teachers
EP..        Ordain deacons
EPTD      Teach
EPTD      Expound
EPTD      Exhort
E.TD       Watch over the tribe
.P..         Visit the house of each tribal member (exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties)
..T.         Be with and strengthen tribe
..T.        See that there is no iniquity in the tribe
..T.        See that there is no hardness in the tribe with each other
..T.        See that there is no lying in the tribe
..T.        See that there is backbiting in the tribe
..T.        See that there is no evil speaking in the tribe
..T.        See that all the tribal members do their duty
..T.        See that the tribe gather together often
..TD      Warn
..TD      Invite all to come to Christ
..TD      Be a standing minister to the tribe
…D       Assist teachers in their duties (if occasion requires)

Tribal ordinations

Obviously, a tribe can do what it wants, meaning it can organize itself using the priesthood however it wants.  So, a tribe can opt to duplicate the modern church model and ordain boys to the Aaronic priesthood.  But it can also follow the New Testament/Early Mormonism models and ordain only married men to either priesthood.

Let me give an example of how a tribe can develop its own “priesthood qualifications” for ordination to its tribal priesthoods.

According to how connected one is to the tribe, by the number of covenants

Ordaining to the offices of the priesthood in a tribal setting can depend upon the man’s connectedness to the tribe.  Connectedness can be determined by the number of wives he has and the combined number of husbands his wives have.  Once the required number of wives/husbands is reached, he can be eligible for ordination if the tribe consents to it.  Here is one way to do it:

  • Deacon – Monogamy (1 wife and 1 husband)
  • Teacher – Multi-spouse System (husband has 2 wives and his wives have a combined total of 2 distinct husbands)
  • Priest – Multi-spouse System (husband has 4 wives and his wives have a combined total of 4 distinct husbands)
  • Elder – Multi-spouse System (husband has 8 wives and his wives have a combined total of 8 distinct husbands)

These numbers are, of course, arbitrary.  A tribe can decide how many covenantal connections a man and his wives must have for the man to be ordained to an office of the priesthood.  The principle, though, is that with more connections a man has to the tribe, he has that much more vested interest in it.  Also, as men take on more wives (and their wives covenant with more husbands), they enter into more marriage/family/clan/tribal responsibilities, therefore, their priesthood office should reflect a corresponding increase in duties and responsibility.

Another reason to link the priesthood to marriage is because the Lord has set the husband at the head of the wife, regardless of whether he has the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods.  Because of this relationship, priesthood is useful to keep a husband in his proper place, for entrance into the priesthood is designed to be entrance into lifelong service.  All husbands, therefore, should be priesthood servants.

For the other priesthood offices, such as high priest, bishop, seventy, apostle, etc., inter-husband covenants—meaning that two or more husbands enter into a united order for the establishment of Zion by covenanting with each other—can be added as eligibility requirements to the qualifications of an elder.  For the office of high priest, it can follow the scriptural pattern of having it confirmed by the voice of God out of the heavens, etc.

Manner of tribal ordinations

There are three valid methods of priesthood ordination.  The first method comes from the Book of Mormon:

In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest, (or, if he be a teacher) I ordain you to be a teacher, to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.  (Moroni 3: 3)

The second one is the method used during the time of Joseph Smith:

By authority of the Holy Priesthood and by the laying on of hands, I ordain you an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and confer upon you all the rights, powers, keys and authority pertaining to this office and calling, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The final method is that used from 1919 onward, including today:

To perform a priesthood ordination, one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the priesthood holder who performs the ordination:

1. Calls the person by his full name.

2. States the authority by which the ordination is performed (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood).

3. Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood unless it has already been conferred.

4. Ordains the person to an office in the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood and bestows the rights, powers and authority of that office. (Priesthood keys are not bestowed in conferring the priesthood or ordaining to one of these offices.)

5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Of the three methods, I would recommend that a tribe use only the first two because the third method creates the perception that priesthood keys are not passed on, even though they are.  This, of course, is a control mechanism to center power in priesthood “leaders” who “hold keys.”  Also, when using the second method, one would not ordain to an office in the church, but to an office in the tribe.

Priesthood re-ordinations

A man that comes into a tribe who has already been ordained an elder in the church may be ordained to an office of the tribal priesthood according to the tribe’s eligibility requirements.  So, let’s say the man is in a monogamous marriage when he enters the tribe and the tribe allows monogamous men to be only ordained tribal deacons.  In this case, the man would be ordained a tribal deacon, despite being an elder of the church.  The tribe then recognizes his priesthood office as that of a deacon, whereas the church recognizes his priesthood office as that of an elder.  The tribe can continue to utilize and recognize validly ordained church elders until such time when the tribe has ordained tribal elders according to its eligibility requirements.  Then it may use the tribal elders (and priests) exclusively to ordain all other tribal offices.

For example, in cases of taking the lead in tribal gatherings, if there are four men in the tribe who are ordained elders in the church but three are tribal deacons and one is a tribal teacher, the tribal teacher would take the lead in the tribal gatherings, for in a tribal setting, tribal priesthood takes precedence over church priesthood.  Nevertheless, if someone needs to be baptized (requiring the office of a priest or elder), any of these four men could do it using church priesthood authorized by the tribe.  At some point, one of these tribal men will hold the tribal office of elder, at which point church priesthood no longer need be relied upon. 

Tribal records

While a tribe is still in its infancy and consists of but few persons, ordinances can be performed without witnesses or record-keeping.  However, when there is finally a sufficient number of tribal members, the tribe may gather and formally establish itself according to the gospel laws.  The gathered tribe, using its tribal keys and the law of common consent, can then authorize the performing of all the tribal ordinances once more for each of the tribal members, but this time with two or three tribal witnesses (the law of witnesses) and with a tribal recorder appointed among their number to record all the names, dates, ordinances, convenants entered into (including marriage covenants) and ordinations performed, as well as recording the names and certifications of the witnesses, etc., all on a tribal record or book.  Doing this utilizes the priesthood sealing power so that the tribal record becomes “a law on earth and in heaven, [that can] not be annulled”.  This tribal record is all important so that when the time comes for the tribe to be assimilated into the larger tribes of Israel, these tribal ordinances will be accepted as valid and binding both on earth and in heaven.

Working in this way, using the priesthood sealing power to formally establish a tribe, sets the tribe up for permanency both here and in the afterlife.

A mere example

Please don’t take these words as being the only way to organize a tribal priesthood.  I merely write this to get people thinking tribally, to help them conceive of the options available to them and to provide an example of one way to organize a tribal priesthood in righteousness so that Lord will be pleased and pour down His blessings and the tribe’s actions will be justified.  But there are undoubtedly other, valid ways to go about this.

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Mormon.org profiles: enhanced membership tracking?


Someone communicated to me that this past Sunday in their elders quorum, the elders quorum president said that next week (which would be tomorrow) there would be a digital camera ready to take everyone’s picture so that all the elders of his ward could have their own profile on Mormon.org. The elders quorum president said that each member of the quorum would need to fill out some paperwork and permission forms and that the camera and forms would be available over a period of weeks, so that those members who come less regularly could get their profile online when they showed up for church. I asked this person whether this was just for his ward or stake or for the entire church. He said he was under the impression that it was a church-wide program. He also stated that he saw a leadership list (he being in several callings and having access to certain leadership materials) in which the men listed had not only their name, telephone and address on it, but also their picture.

I knew, of course, of the Mormon.org profiles, in which any member can voluntarily participate by going to that web site. But this was the first time I’d heard of elders quorum members being approached in church and asked to submit profiles in such a direct way, with camera and forms ready and waiting. Can anyone confirm that this is a church-wide program?

This may be important because of a certain theory I have heard. It goes something like this: the church has been infiltrated by the Fabian Society (the wolves in sheep’s clothing).  As the priesthood of God is the only thing that can stand in the way of Satan, it may be necessary to take them out at some point. Currently, the strategy is to keep the priesthood “sleeping,” (a sleeping giant). But if it ever were to start to wake up and use its power, that would be an unacceptable situation and a danger to the devil, so the priesthood must be tracked. In this way, if it is necessary, the coercive forces at the devil’s fingertips (such as the powers of the state) can be brought to bear upon every male member of the church who holds the priesthood.

In my mind, if this is, indeed, a church-wide program, and the leaders are amassing a database of priesthood holders with images of the men, this might lend some credence to the above theory. However, maybe I got bad information. Maybe this is just a local program initiated by some overzealous bishop or stake president, with nothing, whatsoever, to do with the entire church.

If anybody has information on this, please speak up.

Previous Secret Combinations article: Opening old wounds

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The faith of God, part thirteen: How charity fits in


Continued from part twelve.

Charity on a series about faith?

On December 20, 2007, I wrote the following on this blog:

Mormon also talked about faith (and hope and charity) in Moroni 7. Like Ether and Helaman, quoted in the previous part, Mormon explains that faith precedes hope. (See Moroni 7: 41-42 “…ye shall have hope…because of your faith…” and “…without faith there cannot be any hope…”) In fact, the order of these three grand principles is always given as “faith, hope and charity” because faith precedes hope, or allows hope to be engendered and then faith and hope allow charity to be engendered. (This is a topic for a different post and will not be covered here. I mention it merely to show that faith is different than hope and charity and required in order to obtain the other two necessary principles.) (The faith of God, part three bold type added.)

I had originally intended to address charity in a post separate from the faith of God series, but as I’ve researched the topic, I see now that it belongs here.

Paul’s definition of charity

Paul gives the universal definition of charity, used by all the Christian world, including us, found in the entire 13th chapter of Corinthians:

Paul said, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Cor. 13)

Mormon’s definition of charity

Mormon also gives his definition of charity, which is nearly identical to that of Paul, except that Mormon expounds upon the principle a bit more, taking up the entire chapter of Moroni 7:

Mormon said, “And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moro. 7: 45-47; see also the entirety of chapter 7)

Charity encompasses all good things

All principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are found within charity. Using Paul and Mormon’s words, we find: patience (“suffereth long”), kindness (is kind), slowness to anger (“is not easily provoked”), joy in truth (“rejoiceth in the truth”), strength (“beareth all things”), belief (“believeth all things”), hope (“hopeth all things”), and endurance (“endureth all things”).

Charity has none of the evil gifts or principles. There is no envy (“envieth not”), boasting (“vaunteth not itself”), vanity and pride (“is not puffed up”), bad behavior (“does not behave itself unseemly”), stinginess (“seeketh not her own”), quick anger (“is not easily provoked”), evil thoughts (“thinketh no evil”) or joy in iniquity (“rejoiceth not in iniquity”).

In all cases, the principles encompassed by charity are in their fulness: “all things” not just some things. This means that charity is not given in portions (in one sense of that word), as are other gifts of the Spirit. You either have charity, or you don’t.

Charity is not the sum total

The gifts and principles of the gospel which are found within those who have charity do not equate to charity. In other words, merely possessing these gifts and principles in their fulness does not mean you automatically have charity. Charity, then, are these gifts plus something more. It is not the sum total of the gifts alone. This is why Paul says you can have a fulness of (name of principle or gift), but if you don’t have charity, you are nothing.

Mormon’s progression to charity

In chapter 7 of Moroni, Mormon gives a progression from faith to charity. He declares that “no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have” and then he lists 5 necessary principles: 1st, faith; 2nd, hope; 3rd, meekness and lowliness of heart; 4th, confession by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ; and 5th, charity. He demonstrates by his progression that it is impossible to have faith without the word of God, and that it is faith that allows one to lay hold on every good thing (see Moro. 7: 21-25; see also The faith of God, part four: the word of God), or, in other words, it is through faith (see the following note) that every good gift (which is “sent forth by the power and gift of Christ”—see Moro. 7: 16) is obtained from God, including the greatest of all the gifts of God, which is charity.

(Note: Mormon taught that the way to obtain charity is to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7: 48.) Christ said, “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you” (Moroni 7: 26.) This shows that charity is obtained by the prayer of faith.)

Salvation = Charity and Charity = Salvation

Some may take issue with my statement that charity is the greatest of the gifts. They may bring up the following scripture:

The Lord said, “If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.” (D&C 6: 13)

For most LDS, the interpretation of the word “salvation” in this verse means “exaltation,” which all understand to be the greatest gift of all. Nevertheless, Mormon clearly states that charity “is the greatest of all.” (See Moro. 7: 46.) Paul also states the same in 1 Cor. 13: 13. There is no contradiction in these scriptures between Mormon, Paul and the Lord because charity and salvation are the same gift. I will explain why this is so later on.

Charity and Perfectness

Paul, Moroni and the Lord all aligned charity with perfectness:

Paul said, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” (Col. 3: 14)

Moroni said, “And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.” (Moro. 8: 17)

The Lord said, “And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.” (D&C 88: 125)

These scriptures indicate that charity is not your average love.

No inheritance without charity

Ether chapter 12 also talks of charity. Moroni in this chapter said the following:

And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. (Ether 12: 35)

Moroni makes it clear that charity is a prerequisite to salvation. No charity? No salvation. Have charity? Have salvation. This is why Mormon states in Moro. 7: 47 that “whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” In other words, if you possess charity at the day of judgment, you are guaranteed salvation because charity is all you need. You may possess anything else, in fact, you may possess all other things (gifts) possible to possess, but if you don’t possess charity, you don’t get saved. In other words, the possession of charity is the only thing that saves.

In the final chapter of the Book of Mormon, Moroni reiterates this point:

And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God. (Moro. 10: 21)

The Nothing and things of naught

One of the more curious aspects of charity is that without it we are “nothing.” Paul said, “Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13: 2). Mormon said, “If [a man] have not charity, he is nothing” (Moro. 7: 44). Nephi said, “Except [men] should have charity they were nothing” (2 Ne. 26: 30). The Lord said, “And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing” (D&C 18: 19).

Keep in mind that Lehi also spoke of “a thing of naught” which has no power, purpose or even existence. (See 2 Ne. 2: 11-13. This is a bit deeper doctrine than I will discuss here but if the reader wants more information, you can read the Deep Waters category articles, Lehi’s model of the universe and Creatio ex nihilo, creatio ex materia and creatio ex deo are all true doctrines.)

Weak things and strong things

Charity is associated with strength and makes weak things become strong or all-powerful. Said the Lord to Moroni:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness. (Ether 12: 27-28)

Moroni then goes on to explain that the Lord “hast prepared a place for man…among the mansions of [His] Father” and that the whole purpose of the Lord’s atonement and resurrection was “to prepare a place for the children of men” so that they could “inherit that place which [He] hast prepared in the mansions of [His] Father” through men having charity. (See Ether 12: 32-34.) Thus, those who possess charity stay in the kingdom of God (see Moro. 10: 21), become strong and inherit a prepared place, while those who do not possess charity “must go down to hell” (Moro. 8: 14). These latter people lose all power and become nothing.

The pure love of Christ

When asked, “What is charity?” LDS will typically quote Moroni 7: 47 and say, “Charity is the pure love of Christ.” Obviously, this is a correct and scriptural answer, but it doesn’t exactly explain what charity is. Yes, it is love. Yes, it is the type of love that Christ demonstrated and possessed. But what the heck is it? And why is it so all important that its possession makes us saved beings?

All are alike

Moroni, in the above quote, when explaining that he possessed charity, made a point to state that “all children are alike unto [him].” For most of us, love comes in degrees and is prioritized. We love our wives more than anyone. We love our wives and children more than our own brothers and their wives and children. We love our brothers and sisters more than our in-laws, and more than our friends. We love our friends more than our acquaintances. We love our neighbors more than strangers. We love our fellow citizen more than foreigners. In other words, “all are not alike” unto us. This demonstrates that most, if not all, of the love that we manifest is not charity.

The opposite of charity

If you look at past and present history, and review the brutal murders, genocides and other atrocities committed by mankind, you will find that one of the ways these men, women and even children justified their actions against their fellow men was to view their victims as aliens. They viewed them as less than human, as animals even, as vermin, as alien invaders to be fought and exterminated at all costs. In other words, they viewed them not as “alike unto them,” but as completely different and even opposite in all things. This hatred, inspired by Satan, is the opposite principle of charity. It views others as altogether different and seeks to destroy such different “things.” Charity, on the other hand, views all things as part of the family and creation of God, and alike unto ourselves, and seeks to edify, save and exalt all things.

Between charity and hatred

The prioritized love that we feel towards those whom we consider worthy of our love, known to us as our “loved ones,” is not exactly charity and not exactly hatred. It is a mix. It has conditions. “As long as you don’t hurt me, I’ll love you.” Etc. But the moment one of our loved ones hurts us real badly, then the love we feel evaporates to be replaced sometimes by hatred. So, when circumstances are going good, the love we feel can manifest great pleasure and happiness, but when times are tough or people around us are making agency choices that hurt us, often that same loving feeling can disappear in an instant and cause us great emotional pain and anger, even hate.

Satan, who knows that the principal of hate allows him to control people, also knows that it is okay for a person to possess love, as it can easily be turned into hate, by simply changing the circumstances of the person from good to bad. It is only charity—which remains constant, or perfect, regardless of the circumstances—which altogether removes Satan’s hold upon men.

What charity really is: the LDS Anarchist definition

Charity is an over-whelming desire and willingness to share all that you have with everyone else.

In the beginning

A visitor named Doug once asked me,

This brings up the point, why is God all powerful? It’s because the intelligences TRUST him, because he never lies. Trust + a healthy dose of smarts is the key to Godliness. The intelligences not only trust God, but they adore him and do whatever he asks.

To which I answered,

All you write here is very true, but there is another, prime reason that precedes these other reasons as to why all things trust and obey God. I’m currently writing another article on this other reason. I’ll link this comment to that future post (if I remember to do so.)

God is motivated by charity and charity alone.  In fact, our current scriptural translations go even farther by saying that God is love, (or God is charity.)  Charity is the divine motivation behind both the atonement and plan of salvation and also the creation of all things.  God desires to bring the nothing into existence (or creation) so that all the many created things can share in everything He has.  It’s like a rich man in a mansion, opening his doors and saying aloud to all in the streets,

“Come in, one and all, and partake of all these riches!  Sit with me, dine with me, walk with me, learn of me and enjoy all the wealth and pleasures I have!  What is mine is yours if you but come!”

Everything He does is to facilitate the gathering of all things around Him, into His mansions, so that they can share in His treasures with others.  This is charity.  God, therefore, is the personification of charity.  In other words, God literally is love.

Man is also motivated by charity, God’s charity.  In fact, all things obey God because God has charity.   We, in the beginning, being on the outside of the mansion, in the streets (in outer darkness), entered into the kingdom of God, or came into existence, because of the offer He made of sharing all He has with us.  Who in their right mind would turn down the offer to enter into a rich man’s mansion and live there in wealth and prosperity for the rest of eternity?  And not just living there, but partaking of all of the riches as if you were the rich man, meaning unbridled sharing of all there is, with no stinginess, whatsoever.  Who would turn such an offer down?  None of us did.  No one ever does.  It is not in our nature.

Charity brought us into existence

When God first gave us awareness of the inner sphere of light, it wasn’t His intelligence or His trustworthiness or any of His many other qualities that caused us to leave outer darkness and enter into our existence in the inner sphere of light (the kingdom of God). It was that noble offer of His, His charity, His desire and willingness to share all He had with us, that caused us to enter His created mansion.  This is how created things get created, or are brought into existence.  God has a two-fold mission, one directed at the already created things which exist within the bounds of the kingdom (sphere) of light and one directed at the nothing found in outer darkness.  To the created universe, He works to facilitate their obtainment of all that He has through the atonement and plan of salvation.  To the nothing, he extends the offer of entering His sphere of light and partaking of everything He has.

The creation is ongoing because the nothing cannot resist the charitable offer.  And so the Universe expands.

All things love God

Why?  Because God loves all things.  He demonstrates that love by desiring to, being willing to, offering to, and working to give us everything He has.  This is what God is all about.  Giving.  Not selling.  Not having things earned (a meritocracy.)  But an unearned gift.  This is charity.  He likes to give gifts to all that like to receive them.  As long as we enjoy receiving, He’ll keep on giving.  He is willing to give us everything there is, without any degree of selfishness.  Not giving us a replica of what He has, but the very things He has, we becoming joint-owners of His things, or as the scriptures say, joint-heirs.  This is the greatest love there is.  There is nothing greater than God’s love, called charity.  Thus, it is the most powerful motivator, in all cases.  It motivates God and it is designed, or it is His design that charity be our motivation, also.  For all the created Universe, it is also their motivation.  They obey Him in all things because they love Him for His love for them, which defies all comprehension, for once it is even remotely understood just how much God has and is willing to give to us, all things are humbled by the magnanimity of God and all things bow the knee and bend the head in humble reverence and worship of the divine Lover of all things.

There are no two ways about it

There is only one type of charity: God’s charity.  If you don’t have an overwhelming desire and willingness to share everything you have with everyone else, you don’t have charity.  (See the Deep Waters post,  How many wives?  How many husbands?, for how charity works in divine relationships).  Any degree of stinginess gets you kicked out of the kingdom.  The law of heaven is having all things common, or sharing all things with everyone else.

Sharing.  We learn this as children in the nuclear family.  Share your toys, our mothers teach us.  This is, in fact, a sure-fire way to make quick friends.  The more open and sharing you are with others, the more friends you’ll end up having.  The minute you say, “No, it’s mine!  I’m not sharing!” suddenly even close friends don’t want anything to do with you.

As adults, we learn to share with our spouses and children.  Parents provide for their children their necessities: food, clothing, shelter, nurture, protection, education.  We do this freely, as gifts.  The family is designed to be a gift society, so that we can better inculcate charity, which saves us.  The more generous and charitable we are, the more importance we put on people and the less we put on things.  Charity is the only lesson we need to learn here on earth.  Those who learn it qualify themselves for entering into the charitable society that exists in heaven.  They also prepare themselves to establish that society here on earth, otherwise known as Zion.

What charity is not

Charity is not giving of your surplus to a church, the poor or the needy.  It is not fast offerings or tithing.  Those things are important, but they are not what is charity.  We call them charitable donations because they mimic the work that charity does.  Nevertheless, unless a person has “an overwhelming desire and willingness to share everything” he or she has with everyone else, what they have is something less than charity.  The love of a mother or father for his or her children is close to charity.  A parent will give everything, even their own life, for their children, and will share all that they have with them.  But until they have the desire and are willing to do the same for everyone, they don’t possess charity.

In the absence of charity

Without charity, men go through various stages of selfishness and stinginess.  Babylon thrives in the absence of charity.  When charity enters the hearts of men, Babylon disappears and Zion becomes established.  In Zion’s absence, men have power to do all manner of wickedness and can be partially or totally controlled by the devil.  Once charity becomes the motivating impulse in men, Satan loses all power and God rules on earth in their hearts.  This is because charity is 100% divine.  It is not a human concept, principle or emotion.  It comes only from God.  As charity overwhelms with desire, its possession makes men relinquish all the less than perfect human emotions and allows them to embrace the divine nature.

Charity can only be obtained, as Mormon explained above, through faith, hope, meekness, etc.  So, as a strategy, the devil does all in his power to destroy faith, hope, etc.  Faith, in and of itself, is useless against Satan.  So is hope.  None of these principles can stop him. Only charity can.

“Let all men have faith, hope and the rest of the gifts of the Spirit,” says the evil one.  “As long as they possess no charity, these things are powerless to save them and can be a useful means of deception.”

The fastest way to obtain the gifts

As it is through faith that all other gifts are obtained, including charity, and as charity encompasses every other gift, it may be tempting to use one’s faith to seek all other gifts first and when one has fully developed them, to seek for charity. This is actually the slowest way to obtain the gifts because it puts the one seeking the gifts within Satan’s grasp.

It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D&C 49: 20)

This principle applies equally to the gifts of God. When we possess more gifts of God than our fellowman, or gifts which we believe are better than the one’s our neighbor has, Satan can lead us to sin in our thoughts by tempting us to think we are the better, or more righteous, man. Such thoughts can lead to sinful behavior and attitudes, which will end up damning us, despite our gifts.

The antidote is to first seek for charity and then, once it is obtained, to seek for the other gifts. This nullifies the devil’s power and facilitates and expedites the receipt of all the other gifts, for the Lord readily bestows His gifts upon possessors of charity because He knows already that they will use them to bless His other children.

The rewards in heaven will be based upon how close we came to charity

Those who enter into their exaltation are those whose lives on earth were denoted by this divine desire and willingness to share everything with everyone.  These men and women who actually obtained the divine gift of charity will receive everything God possesses and will become gods and goddesses themselves.

All others will receive according to how close they came to charity.  In the day of judgment, we will be assessed only by charity or our lack thereof.  Did we possess the desire but not the willingness to carry out the desire?  When presented with the opportunity, did we share all, most, a lot, a little or none at all?  Did we play favorites, sharing with him, her and them but not with those?  Or were we totally selfish, sharing nothing with no one and with an unwillingness and no desire to bless those around us with the good things of life?  Did we discard charity altogether and seek for its opposite, desiring and willing that others receive nothing but evil from our own hands or the hands of others?

Locations in heaven will be based upon charity or its lack

Those who receive the reward of exaltation (the ones who possessed charity in mortality) will reside in the midst of all things, like God Himself, at the center of the sphere of light (the created Universe or the kingdom of God).  Like God, they will receive all power (agency) from all things and all things will look to them (the center) and obey them for they have the same desire, willingness and now power to share everything they possess (which is everything) with all.

Persons who were less charitable in mortality will receive inheritances in other mansions or kingdoms (planets) which are located more towards the edges of the sphere of light.  These will possess less power (agency) than those who reside more towards the center of the Universe.

Repentance brings salvation (charity)

Obviously, almost all mankind will be saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which means that just about everyone will eventually repent of their sins and go through Mormon’s steps, acquiring faith, hope, meekness, lowliness of heart and confessing by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ.  This means that they will finally obtain charity and become saved in the kingdom of God.  With this charity they will share all of what they have with everyone around them.  In the case of those exalted, “all of what they have” is everything there is to possess, even all that the Father has.  For everyone else, “all of what they have” is of a limited nature, but still everything that they were willing to receive, they not wanting or desiring to receive any more than the reward or gift which they obtained.

Only the sons of perdition lose out entirely, as they remain firm in their impenitence, refusing to receive charity, and being cast back into outer darkness.

Charity is not based upon a church

Baptism into a church is not what qualifies a person for the reception of the gift of charity.  It is one’s desires and willingness to share all with all.  Anyone who uproots the selfish spirit from their soul through Jesus’ words and the Holy Ghost’s actions, humbling him or herself before God, whether they are members of the baptized, covenant people of the Lord or not, can and will receive this gift and if so, they will receive the corresponding reward in heaven.  There will be many charitable “heathens” who will enter into greater rewards than uncharitable church members, regardless of how much tithing, fast offerings, service projects, temple work, meetings or callings they accept, attend or contribute.

The goal is charity

It may seem weird to bring up charity in the faith of God series, but I felt it was important to give an understanding of how charity fits in to God’s faith.  The faith of God is not the end of the matter.  It is merely a means to an end.  Through faith God obtains and maintains all things, granting Him possession of all things.  But possession is not the end all and be all.  The things possessed are to be used for a divine purpose.  Why get all if not to give all?  Underlying all that immense, godly power, knowledge and holiness is the divine motivation, which precedes both our own faith as well as God’s, for God works by faith in order to be able to share all that He has with everyone.  Charity, then, is God’s goal for both Himself and mankind.  Charity is both the first and the last principle.  It brought us into existence, it keeps us in existence, and using it, it can bring others into existence.  It is the reason for the happiness that is existence, the sharing of all things with all.  Charity is the Zion principle.

Everything that leads to charity is to be motivated by charity, thus, the Savior’s command of “freely ye have received, freely give” is according to the principle of charity and is to apply to all the gifts of God.  We are to use all that God gives us to benefit all His children and creations, freely, generously and openly, without reservation or respect to persons.  All are to be alike to us.

Next Faith of God article: The faith of God, part fourteen: God is a miracle worker, not a scientist

Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part twelve: Truth

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Questions Regarding the CHI #2


This is number two in a series. I add here the preface to each of these posts on the CHI.

Since the CHI deals with LDS church doctrine and in places draws from the scriptures there are many good things said in this handbook. In fact so far the vast majority is either administrative policies which are neutral in their spiritual application and the rest are just good true principles. But, there are some things that raise questions. And that is all I will be bringing out for discussion.

Section 3 deals with temples and marriage.

3.4.3 This is about making temple and ceremonial clothing.

It says members may make their own temple aprons only if they use the approved apron embroidery and sewing kit. The kit is available from church distribution services. Other temple ceremonial may not be made nor may temple garments be made.

I was shocked. I still am. Can anyone doubt that the members in years past were all allowed to make their own garments and ceremonial clothing? D&C 42:40 And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands;

You can say that doesn’t refer to temple garments because the endowment hadn’t been given yet. Our God is named Jesus Christ. It was He that spoke those words. It was He that knew in a short time the endowment with the principles and practices would be given to us. It is hard to take the revelation as applying to all clothing we as members would wear in our lives. But can easily be understood to apply to the garments which are a symbol of the covenant He has made with us.

You know what I want? I want to live the full gospel of Jesus Christ. It came to all at the cost of the blood and suffering of the Son of God. It came to me and you in this dispensation at the cost of the blood of Joseph and Hyrum Smith among others.

What did I do to become unworthy of having this gospel? I don’t recall a trial. Who witnesses against me and you to condemn us and take from us the right to live the gospel as restored to the prophet Joseph Smith?

I am sure it was allowed as short ago as 1970 for members to make their own priesthood garments. What is this all about? Surely it has nothing to do with protecting the sacredness of the garment since a purchased garment can just as easily be misused. In fact if we had to make them the likelihood of them being more protected would be much higher.

I won’t accuse anyone of simply wanting to insure that beehive clothing mills makes a better profit.

All I know is there was a right which was given me by God and now someone has decided I don’t have that right any more. “Oh but it is such a trivial thing.” I can hear someone say. Have we not all seen that it is bit by bit that the people in the US are being deprived of one right and then another? And who is the author of this erosion of rights and liberties? Who was the founder of our liberty?

Whose side are you on?

Section 3.5 The sub heading is marriage.

Paragraph 2 says a couple who are planning to be married must obtain a legal marriage license that is valid in the place where the marriage is to be performed.

The common definition of license is: Official or legal permission to do or own a specified thing. But the license from the state is a legal question and so a more applicable definition is in Black Law dictionary which says: The permission by competent authority to do an act which without such permission, would be illegal.”

By obtaining a state (any government) issued marriage license you give jurisdiction over the marriage to that state. They have the legal power to regulate your marriage just as they do any business to which they grant a license. I suggest you check out one or all of the links below to learn more. You should know the history of this practice.
A great sermon by Pastor Matt Trewhella, Should Christians get a marriage license by David J. Stewart and Marriage License Truth very informative.

Can you find any place in scripture in which the Lord says we need to get permission of a government to be married? It is a fact that in the US there are common law marriages which means a man and a woman who live as a married couple are considered married without any license at all.

The Lord in D&C 132 speaks of marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. And so it is. And if they want that marriage to be valid in and after the resurrection it must be sealed by His law. And never did He say anything about state approval. Why does the church?

If the previous question about the personal making of temple and priesthood garments was a little thing this is surely a big, profound and fundamental destruction of the God given rights of the members of the church. In order to receive a temple sealing you must be sold into bondage to the state.

The argument will surely be made that marriage is and should be a legally enforceable contract and therefore we need to submit to the laws of the state to solemnize a marriage. The first part is true. Marriage is a legal contract. The violation of marriage laws should be dealt with the same as any other contract violation. But the therefore clause is a non sequitur, because any couple living together even without a marriage license can bring their de facto spouse to a court and sue for violation of the contract stated or implied. Millions of dollars have changed hands over just such arrangements.

This is a big one. This is a bad one. Where was the revelation stating it should be so? Did we as members of the church have an informed vote on it? Were we made aware of what we were and are being forced to do in order to have the sealing power made available to us and our posterity? Do you think God is pleased with this added requirement? Do you think the devil is pleased? Are you pleased with it?

Well there are at least 4 more questions before we get through section 3. They will be the subject of other posts.

P.S. I had some fear in starting these posts. I thought of possible excommunication, anger of others even family members and rejection by many etc. But then I thought of what LDSA had said about William Tyndale, the man who was killed for breaking the law. He distributed and smuggled bibles which were written in English. I decided to nail my colors to the mast and do what I feel is right without fear of the consequences. What a difference that made in my life. It has given me courage to do things I have never done before. This and surely the prayers of those who love me have given me courage take the lead in my family life. I am at peace and can feel a new power I have never had before. It feels like a great amplification of the power of the priesthood in my life. I highly recommend it.

Questions Regarding the CHI #1


This is the first in a series of posts.

I have decided how I will proceed with bringing to light some of the hidden things of the Church Handbook of Instructions.

I know of no prohibition regarding sharing this information. The Lord is very open. The only things of God that are hidden are hidden by our unbelief. As Nephi said, “For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.” (2 Nephi 26:23)

And how strange when you think of it why should we not know every single word of a book which is used to judge us as members of the church? A government who wants people to obey the law publishes and openly teaches that law.

There are many people with more access to background information and who are more knowledgeable than I. So I believe it is best to just get the information out for discussion. Then the knowledge and ideas of all can be brought to bear on the questions raised.

Since it is such a large book and it covers so many topics I will just put out some parts as I encounter them rather than them all in one post.

I will say as a preface since it deals with LDS church doctrine and in places draws from the scriptures there are many good things said in this handbook. In fact so far the vast majority is either administrative policies which are neutral in their spiritual application and the rest are just good true principles.

But, there are some things that raise questions. And that is all I will be bringing out for discussion. So here we go.

Section 1 covers the duties of the stake president. 1.1.3 Under the subheading of priesthood says in part:
Members of the stake presidency preside over the Melchizedek Priesthood in the stake. …
The stake president is the stake high priests quorum president. He and his councilors comprise the presidency of the stake high priests quorum. The stake presidency also oversees elders quorums.

In section 1.1.6, Callings and Releases subparagraph 4 says:
Elders quorum presidents. The stake president calls and sets apart elders quorum presidents because he is the person who is authorized to bestow the priesthood keys associated with their callings.

Section 2 is the duties of the bishop. 2.1.3 Has the Sub heading of Priesthood and says:
The bishop and his counselors direct the work of the elders quorum president and the high priest group leader in watching over quorum and group members and their families, building strength in the quorum and group, and ensuring that the work of the priesthood is accomplished. The bishop also directs the elders quorum president and high priests group leader in overseeing home teaching.
The bishop’s Aaronic Priesthood responsibilities are outlined in 2.2.

Why? I see nothing in the scriptures (D&C 20 or 107) which would account for this. The stake president has the keys of the higher priesthood and its blessings but the president of the Aaronic priesthood quorums is the one who directs the work of the Melchizedek priesthood quorums.

It is surely a fact that the bishop has charge of the temporal affairs of the ward and doing what he should for the welfare of the ward members in temporal things. This is a fulltime job. So when he is in charge of directing the two higher priesthood quorums then might we not end up with the work of the higher priesthood being skewed to temporal matters and a lack of focus on spiritual matters?

Even if the bishop is able to pursue both aspects of the work as an EQP or HPGL you are left to ask, “Now, who is my boss? The man who empowered me has left me in the charge of another.”

There was an article written about a branch in the early church where it was questioned who was in charge overall the bishop or the Elders quorum president. The scriptures say elders are to conduct the meetings. Surely the meetings on Sunday are the spiritual (at least should be) aspect of our church experience. So shouldn’t the higher priesthood quorum leader be in charge and ease the burden of the president of the Aaronic priesthood?

I think our Babylonian culture needs to see a straight line authority, one guy at the top, give us a king model. But it doesn’t appear even from what is in the CHI that the Lord intended that. Even in the US constitution which the Lord says He established provided for a division of power and a system of checks and balances.

But as in the culture so in the church. The US president acts like a king and the bishop too.