Let them grow together


My text for this post is the parable of the wheat and tares. I don’t want to expound the whole thing. My only intention is to bring to light one single, doctrinal point. Nothing more. But to do that, I’m going to have to quote the parable in its entirety.

KJV Matthew 13:24-30 and Inspired Version Matthew 13:22-29

The KJV parable

another parable put he forth unto them | saying |

the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man | which sowed good seed in his field |

but while men slept | his enemy came | and sowed tares among the wheat | and went his way |

but when the blade was sprung up | and brought forth fruit | then appeared the tares also |

so the servants of the householder came | and said unto him |

sir | didst not thou sow good seed in thy field |

from whence | then | hath it tares |

he said unto them |

an enemy hath done this |

the servants said unto him |

wilt thou | then | that we go | and gather them up |

but he said |

nay | lest | while ye gather up the tares | ye root up also the wheat with them |

let both grow together until the harvest |

and in the time of harvest i will say to the reapers |

gather ye together first the tares | and bind them in bundles | to burn them | but gather the wheat into my barn |

The Inspired Version parable

another parable put he forth unto them | saying |

the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man | who sowed good seed in his field |

but while he slept | his enemy came | and sowed tares among the wheat | and went his way |

but when the blade sprung up | and brought forth fruit | then appeared the tares also |

so the servants of the house-holder came | and said unto him |

sir | didst not thou sow good seed in thy field |

whence | then | hath it tares |

he said unto them |

an enemy hath done this |

and the servants said unto him |

wilt thou | then | that we go | and gather them up |

but he said |

nay | lest | while ye gather up the tares | ye root up also the wheat with them |

let both grow together until the harvest |

and in the time of harvest i will say to the reapers |

gather ye together first the wheat into my barn |

and the tares are bound in bundles to be burned |

KJV Matthew 13:36-43 and Inspired Version Matthew 13:35-45

The KJV interpretation

then jesus sent the multitude away | and went into the house |

and his disciples came unto him | saying |

declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field |

he answered | and said unto them |

he | that soweth the good seed | is the son of man |

the field is the world |

the good seed are the children of the kingdom |

but the tares are the children of the wicked one |

the enemy | that sowed them | is the devil |

the harvest is the end of the world |

and the reapers are the angels |

as | therefore | the tares are gathered | and burned in the fire | so shall it be in the end of this world |

the son of man shall send forth his angels | and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend | and them which do iniquity | and shall cast them into a furnace of fire |

there shall be wailing | and gnashing of teeth |

then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun | in the kingdom of their father |

who hath ears to hear | let him hear |

The Inspired Version interpretation

then jesus sent the multitude away | and went into the house |

and his disciples came unto him | saying |

declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field |

he answered | and said unto them |

he | that soweth the good seed | is the son of man |

the field is the world |

the good seed are the children of the kingdom |

but the tares are the children of the wicked |

the enemy | that sowed them | is the devil |

the harvest is the end of the world | or the destruction of the wicked |

the reapers are the angels | or the messengers sent of heaven |

as | therefore | the tares are gathered | and burned in the fire | so shall it be in the end of this world | or the destruction of the wicked |

for in that day | before the son of man shall come | he shall send forth his angels | and messengers of heaven | and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend | and them which do iniquity | and shall cast them out among the wicked |

and there shall be wailing | and gnashing of teeth | for the world shall be burned with fire |

then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun | in the kingdom of their father |

who hath ears to hear | let him hear |

D&C 86:1-7

verily |

thus saith the lord unto you | my servants | concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares |

behold | verily |

i say |

the field was the world | and the apostles were the sowers of the seed | and after they have fallen asleep | the great persecutor of the church | the apostate | the whore | even babylon | that maketh all nations to drink of her cup | in whose hearts the enemy | even satan | sitteth to reign |

behold | he soweth the tares | wherefore | the tares choke the wheat | and drive the church into the wilderness |

but behold | in the last days | even now | while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word | and the blade is springing up | and is yet tender |

behold | verily |

i say unto you |

the angels are crying unto the lord day and night | who are ready | and waiting | to be sent forth | to reap down the fields | but the lord saith unto them |

pluck not up the tares | while the blade is yet tender |

for | verily | your faith is weak |

lest you destroy the wheat also | therefore | let the wheat and the tares grow together | until the harvest is fully ripe |

then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares |

and after the gathering of the wheat |

behold | and lo | the tares are bound in bundles | and the field remaineth to be burned |

D&C 101:63-66

again |

verily |

i say unto you |

i will show unto you wisdom in me | concerning all the churches | inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation | that the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue | that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places | for the time of harvest is come | and my word must needs be fulfilled | therefore | i must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares | that the wheat may be secured in the garners | to possess eternal life | and be crowned with celestial glory | when i shall come in the kingdom of my father | to reward every man | according as his work shall be | while the tares shall be bound in bundles | and their bands made strong | that they may be burned with unquenchable fire |

The wheat must ripen among the tares

There is an idea, held by very many latter-day saints, that they are justified in leaving the church if it is deemed by them to be apostate.

Now, apostasy is kind of a relative term, since the church has been more or less apostate pretty much since its inception. The apostasy of the LDS church, then, is judged by people according to whatever degree of apostasy they are using as their standard. For some, the LDS church is labeled apostate from the time of Joseph’s death. Others take the stance that once they distanced themselves from polygamy, then the church apostatized. Others use the State as the measuring stick, meaning that since the church is becoming the State’s servant, or uniting with it, it must be apostate. And so on and so forth.

All of these rationalizations, although given with the very best of intentions and with the most sincere of hearts, are at variance with what the Lord Himself has stated concerning the prophesied path of His church and how His saints are to be gathered. This idea, which is embraced by these groups and individuals, is not given of God, but comes of the evil one, who tries, at all times, to get people to oppose the purposes of God.

God’s purpose is that all the penitent come into His church. Yes, the very church that all these people believe is too apostate to enter, too apostate to remain within. It is His stated purpose that everyone in the church grow together, both wheat and tare.

The gathering of the elect will not occur outside of the framework of the parable of the wheat and the tares. I have written much on this blog about the tribal model, but I’ve never written that it is Zion, nor that it supplants the church, nor that one should leave the church and just establish his or her own tribe. After I learned about the tribal model, I’ve always promoted both church and tribe.

Those who believe that they can remove themselves from the church and ripen into wheat, in isolation from the tares, are mistaken. It is the design of God that the wheat ripens among the tares, smack dab in the middle of them. There are multiple purposes involved in this process, but one is surely the effect that ripened wheat has upon unripened wheat and tares.

Angels appear when the wheat is ripe

There are many people who think they are wheat, but unless an angel has ministered to them, one cannot know for sure. It is the height of arrogance to think one is wheat without the ministration of an angel. Such people are merely fooling themselves or believing the delusion that the devil is sending their way, for they are still in the gall of iniquity and in the bonds of hell. Anyone who thinks that they are chosen of God without having been chosen of God (through His angel) still has his or her heart locked up in pride and is in need of repentance. The proper gospel attitude of one who has not, yet, been chosen, is not, “Oh, God, I thank thee that I have been chosen of thee to be saved, while my foolish brethren have chosen to perish,” but of, “Oh, God, have mercy on me, a sinner, and on my brethren who also have sinned, and grant us all mercy and faith unto repentance and salvation!”

The appointed sign of wheat is the ministration of an angel. This is how a person knows he or she is wheat, for unripened, earthly wheat and unripened tares are indistinguishable. When the wheat finally ripens, it turns golden. It kind of becomes shiny. People can see with their own two eyes a visible change come over the plant. It becomes plainly obvious that it is not a tare, which never turns golden or shines.

The gospel wheat, then, when it ripens, has some visible manifestation occur, which shines. Light, or fire, is imparted to these wheaty individuals. And having been baptized in this fire and seen the lightning light of the angel, they now can impart this light to others, or let their light so shine that others can give glory to God. So, ripened wheat bears testimony of the witness (or visible manifestation) that has come to them after the trial of their faith.

Prior to that manifestation, unripe wheat and unripe tares pretty much look the same. They may have differences in beliefs, as well as similarities, but belief is not what distinguishes a wheat from a tare. The distinguishing characteristic is primarily the ministration of angels, as well as other gifts manifesting.

This jolt, (the testimony of having been ministered to by angels), in the midst of the congregations of those who profess to know the Lord is what God has designed to occur. When a man is suddenly revealed as wheat, the tares will have a natural reaction to him, as well as all those around who are, as yet, unripened wheat. This helps both the unripe wheat and the unripe tares to fully ripen. This is the division that is prophesied to occur and it must and will occur only after both wheat and tares have grown together.

Until the harvest is fully ripe

Now, those of us in the church should not feel indignant that the wheat and tares are growing together in the church. Jesus told his very angels to let it happen. It is, therefore, in accordance with the will of God. What makes us think we are better or more informed than God or His angels? But one may wonder how long we must grow together, or how will we know when the harvest is fully ripe, or how will we know when it is time to depart from the tares?

Jesus answered this: when the angels are sent. The angels are sent when the harvest is fully ripe. Therefore, the harvest is fully ripe when the angels are sent. It is as simple as that.

There is no justification

There is no justification in telling people to leave the church, nor in telling people not to join her, for the gathering of the Lord’s people must be according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, which calls specifically for the growing together of both wheat and tare. And there is no justification in saying that the harvest time is fully ripe (and thus that it is okay to leave the church), for reapers (angels) will be sent individually (meaning to each individual wheat) when the time comes for the wheat to be gathered out from the tares, and until that time comes, no one is justified to tell unripe wheat to leave the tares.

Again, as I’ve said before on this blog, there may be extenuating circumstances which call for a temporary or extended leave of absence from the body of the church, but these are the exceptions to the general rule.

Will the church get worse? Yes. Will it grow together with the tares even more so? Yes. Will it totally unite with the State? Possibly. Is any of this reason to leave the church or encourage anyone to leave it? No. We are not to encourage anyone to leave the church, ever. Such instructions to leave will come directly to each person from an angel of God, whose duty is to gather the elect from the four quarters of the earth. Our current duty is to encourage all people to join and remain with the church body, to grow together with the tares and to ripen themselves into wheat among the tares.

Then comes the gathering of the wheat from the tares.  And then comes the gathering of the tares from the wheat.  But that is another story.

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From the Right Brain of God and the Left Brain of Mr. S.


I write posts for this blog. And when I do I know and accept the fact that whatever I write can be picked apart and disagreed with right here next to my words. I like that. It isn’t because I like contention. I don’t. I like it because it helps us all to learn. Anything that is true can be seen as truth even when opposing information/ideas are viewed also.

Now you can comprehend and feel the truth of that simple concept. And other people can also. So when I read a blog which deals with spiritual and religious matter and there are no comments I wonder. Then I realize the author does not allow comments. Do they understand what I just wrote? Yes they do. And here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.

This was the experience I had when I visited Denver Snuffer’s blog. I tried to comment and yet nothing is ever allowed to be seen by his audience. Why does he not allow comments?

The writer is like a magician, the modern trickster type not the worker of spiritual powers. The magician literally sets the stage so he can make the audience “see” what he wishes them to see. He spends many hours perfecting his illusion. His audience comes prepared only to receive a show. They have not taken the time to study all the ways the magician can produce effects which seem supernatural.

So it is with a post on religion. The writer has taken the time to build a structure which he presents as inclusive and grounded in truth. He spends time to make it believable. The reader might require hours, days or even weeks to find the flaws in the author’s post. And many readers will never actually see the lies for what they are. But if comments are allowed then there are those who know the scriptures and truth well enough to reveal the deception.

If it was just a magic show no harm is done. If you are speaking of the things of God and putting forth an idea as truth when it is actually deception it is a serious crime against your readers. True followers of God and Jesus do not do such a things.

I have praise for this LDSA site where people feel free and are free to disagree with anything they read here. I like this because I like the truth to be known.

There can be lots of excuses for not allowing the comments on your post be seen. But I believe they are all false. A writer could say, “I don’t want to foster contention.” You mean the way God fosters contention by giving everyone a mind and a mouth? So you believe that preventing others from expressing their ideas is being righteous?

What if I said, “There will be no commenting on this post.”? I think some one would be asking LDSA to revoke my status as contributor. In any case it is prideful. Yes Jesus did take and answer questions. Yes there were times when he challenged them to answer his question first or gave them an answer which defied their understanding. In this way he pointed out that they were not being honest in their questions or with their audience.

So in the spirit of pointing out truth and arming you against being deceived by a trickster posing as a man of God I take exception with a post I read from the desk of Denver Snuffer.
This is the post I read.

It was posted July 1st of 2012 and is entitled The Lord Delights in Chastity. A little background on Denver Snuffer. A web page called Mormon Podcast Stories says of him, “Denver Snuffer – A Progressive, Fundamentalist, Non-Polygamist Mormon Lawyer Who Claims to Have Seen Christ.” Well you can see he is getting some accolades and surely he has a following. He has written a few books about gospel subjects with titles like The Second Comforter: Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil and Passing the Heavenly Gift. I understand he is an active member of the LDS church.

If Mr. Snuffer allowed comments I would have addressed the issue there. But in studying this circumstance I have found a communication to us from the scriptures which I believe will help counter the lies perpetrated by Mr. S. This post maybe faulted as if all I am doing is trying to tear someone down. But if it is a sin to point out a lie when it is seen then I am going to sin. I write this that the truth may be known.

I had read parts of posts by Mr. Snuffer and thought some of what he said made sense. I became aware of this post when it was shared on FB. So when I read it I was stunned.

It is about polygamy. Mr. S quotes scripture and makes reference to historical events. But the scriptures which are left out and the facts of history which are left out create a deception for the readers. After he places this misinformation in the reader’s mind he then demonizes those who practice polygamy. And the icing on the cake is he uses fear to motivate his readers to not even think about acting on the principles of plural marriage. So misinformation, false accusations and fear are the cards played in his post. If you recognize those tactics then you know who the real author of this post is.

I will go over what I am talking about briefly. You can read the post yourself and see if I am telling the truth.

There are only two quotes from the scriptures in the entire post. Both in the first paragraph. And both are from Jacob chapter two. If you talking about polygamy and only quote two scriptures and they are from Jacob 2 you are not trying to communicate the truth. You are trying to lead your audience astray. This is exactly what Mr. S did. He said that Jacob’s sermon condemns taking multiple wives. In any one’s mind the term “taking multiple wives” and “practicing plural marriage” would mean the same thing. How can a prophet of God condemn that which God does not condemn? We could spend a lot of time talking about what Jacob chapter 2 says about polygamy and it has already been done right here on this blog. Justin can get you the reference. Thanks Justin. But suffice it to say the first paragraph is a communication calculated to deceive. So one paragraph one lie.

In the post Mr. S uses the following terms to describe the practice of polygamy by those other than Joseph: promiscuity, indiscriminate breeding, exploitation of women, abomination, whoredom, adultery, fornication, gratification, vanity, and foolishness. Well bashing plural marriage in that way is very popular in the LDS crowds these days. It is also very popular to do this among the famous and well loved of the world. Interesting how the LDS church and Idumea now have the exact same view on this subject. If you want to be in good standing with the governments of the world and well liked by the world you better be against polygamy. And Mr. S is totally against polygamy.

In the second paragraph Mr. S states that David lost his exaltation by offending the law of plural marriage. Really? Wow, how is that possible? The unpardonable sin is clearly defined in section 132:27 and it must include as part of it the shedding of innocent blood. David shed innocent blood when he had Uriah murdered to cover up David’s violation of Uriah’s marriage with Bathsheba. If David had just been intimate with Bathsheba and offended the law of plural marriage he could have repented and not lost his exaltation. Case in point Solomon did offend the law of plural marriage by taking wives which God did not want him to take. And yet the scriptures do not state that Solomon lost his exaltation. Okay paragraph 2 lie number 2. You will find that Mr. S is very consistent in that practice, lying that is.

In the third paragraph Mr. S communicates the idea that very often murders and violence are the fruit of those who live plural marriage. No percentages or numbers used he just states it as if it were common knowledge. Yes there are a few small sects of polygamists where violence and murder occurred. Do I hear you saying those LDS fundamentalist are not small groups? They might be seen as big in Utah but compared to the world population of Muslims, 2.1 billion (Christians in this estimate were 2 billion) the Utah polygamists are miniscule. Even if only 1 Muslim in 1000 practiced polygamy that would be 2 million people. The point is the groups where murder has taken place are by no means representative of people who live polygamy in the world today nor in the past. The words of Mr. S in this paragraph are just sensationalism. This communication is also calculated to deceive so I say he is 3 for 3 so far.

There is one more bit of misinformation that I will mention. Mr. S makes it seem as if Joseph Smith barely even practiced polygamy at all. He said Joseph’s plural wives were  “governmental”. “Governmental”? What is Mr. S alluding to? Perhaps he is trying to make us believe that Joseph Smith was like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt polygamy was allowed but not practiced much by the common folk since in their slave state economy they couldn’t afford more than one wife. However the Pharaohs did have multiple wives as a way of building ties to other kingdoms or ensuring an heir. So what is Mr. S saying? Is it that Joseph was a step above all other converts to the restored gospel, that he was one of the elites like the Pharaohs, designated to build up God’s family on the earth? Well here is the quote. You decide. “For Joseph, the multiple wives were governmental, sealed to him to construct the family of God on earth. Tying together lines of what was to be a single family, with himself as the patriarchal father of a new branch of the Family of Israel.”
I think that is exactly what Mr. S would have us believe, that Joseph viewed himself as one of the elite chosen by God to do things that if other men did it would be “a matter of lust and physical gratification.”
That is arrogant and completely contrary to the ways of God and at odds with the historical record. And I for one want the record to show that I testify that Joseph Smith had no such arrogance nor ever set a hypocritical double standard for himself. Mr. S passes on the lie that plural marriage was supposed to be for just a few select super righteous people. Yeah? So how does this work? Maybe it was just for those who claim to have had a vision of Christ or have written books.

Now you might be thinking that Mr. S did not demonize everyone who practiced polygamy as I said earlier because he didn’t demonize Joseph. Or maybe you were thinking about that strange episode of Teletubbies, hey let it go, they were all strange. But Mr. S did demonize even Joseph’s practice. He knows what he has passed on does not endear anyone to Joseph. It makes Joseph out as a hypocritical elitist. It causes division and malice between people. Surely it is that spirit of superiority which was the cause of murder among those mentioned.

But the truth is God is no respecter of persons. All are alike unto Him. If God commanded Joseph to practice it then He can just as easily inspire any man to practice it. And if it is inspired of God it is just as covenantal and sacral, and would not involve indiscriminate breeding of multiple women. Mr. S is not rehabilitating Joseph or helping him come clean. He is building a perversion of the real Joseph and placing a false concept into his mouth. Did Joseph deny practicing polygamy? You bet he did! If he had not they would have killed him even faster than they did. And there is no doubt that it was because Joseph did teach others his belief in plural marriage even polyandry that he was arrested and then killed while in jail. But what Joseph taught in private and we have to this day in the historical and scriptural records is the opposite of what Mr. S is leading people to believe.

Enough of discussing here what came from the left brain of Mr. S. You can read it yourself and if you are honest about it you will see that after the misinformation comes the accusations and then the fear mongering.

I now will talk about comes to us from the right brain of God and those He inspired to practice plural marriage. This is information which Mr. S did not want his readers to think about.

Many of you know about the split brain concept explained on this blog. It is here.
If you have not read it I suggest you do. You won’t be sorry for the time you invest to learn this concept.

The left mind uses words to communicate. That is it’s forte and its weakness. Language is not real life. It is abstract symbols used to convey meaning. It can not convey full reality. The right brain has no abstract symbols for written or verbal language. The right brain communicates in imagery, emotions and actions. In the scriptures we don’t have the full record of events and scriptures are all written so they are left brain communications.  But what we do have is very significant and by looking not at what was said or written about plural marriage but at the actions of the people who practiced it and God’s reaction to those actions we have a non verbal right brain communication.

Abraham

God spoke to a man and established his covenant with this man, Abraham. Abraham lived plural marriage. The promise of a numberless posterity and all the other promises of God to this man are being fulfilled. And it is not true that all people who have lived have an ever growing posterity. This is demonstrated in the last few paragraphs of the post.

Isaac

We have no record of Isaac, Abraham’s birthright son as having more than one wife. Isaac had born to him twin sons and he favored the older over the younger. And yet Isaac’s wife had revelation that the younger was to be the birthright son. As the years went by the older son did not value God’s ways yet Isaac did not of himself reconsider who should be the birthright son. To his credit after Isaac had been tricked into giving the younger son the birthright blessing Isaac though blind began to see the light.  So on the whole the record supports believing that Isaac may not have listened real closely to what God was saying. Or at a minimum for whatever reason God’s purposes had to be fulfilled through Rebecca, Isaac’s wife rather than Isaac being open to receive the inspiration. Isaac was not condemned but neither has he been highly praised by God. And again we don’t even know for sure that Isaac did not have other wives.

Jacob

God established his covenant with Jacob, Abraham’s grandson. Jacob had 4 wives. Jacob was highly favored of the Lord and all the faithful people of God have been invited into a tribe named for this man, Israel.

Moses

For the next 400 years we have no record of plural marriage as being outlawed by God. Yet we are given the account of a person born in the house of Israel nearly 400 years after Israel finding fault with polygamy. It is noteworthy that she had been born and raised in the state sponsored slavery of Egypt. This person was Miriam, Moses’ sister by birth. She found fault with Moses specifically because he had two wives. He had married an Ethiopian woman and also married Zipporah daughter of Reuel (also known as Jethro Priest of Midian). The Lord stated that he did not like Miriam finding fault with Moses and smote her with leprosy. She was healed after she withdrew the fault finding. Moses was praised by God as being like unto the only begotten. He was given the privilege of not tasting death but being translated and remained in his body to appear to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. God has highly praised Moses ever since.

Children of Israel under the Law given to Moses

Moses’ life in Egypt and among the people of Midian was all done prior to the Lord altering the covenant to be under the law given to Moses. And yet even under that second law given through Moses God did not call polygamy an abomination or a whoredom. The opposite of condemning it God made it a practice that if a man’s brother died he was to take the widowed sister in law as a wife, in addition to his other wife/wives. That established the practice of plural marriage as widespread and not requiring any case by case special dispensation for its practice. The children of Israel for all their folly were loved and succored by God for 1500 years and much like the remnant of the Lamanites (who by the way also practiced and many still practice  plural marriage) the blood descendents of Jacob have been promised to be restored to righteousness in the last days.

Jacob’s in laws and Esau thrown in for good measure

But speaking of not requiring any special dispensation let’s look more closely at Jacob’s experience. Jacob was sent to live among his mother’s family because they were followers of God. This was to help ensure he married in the covenant. Unlike his brother Esau who married women from families who did not follow the ways of God as taught to Abraham. And yet even Esau had three wives (one of the wives might have been from a covenant people family in an attempt to please his parents. I couldn’t be sure and didn’t spend the time to verify it). And even though Esau wept bitterly about not getting the birthright blessing and Isaac said he had no blessing to give, the reality was Esau did get a pretty good blessing and was even promised that he would not be under Jacob’s yoke forever. Yes Esau did get mad and planned to kill Jacob but when the time came he repented and set aside his anger and loved his brother.
Back to Jacob’s experience. Jacob was married to Leah by the act of being intimate with her. If there were even any vows spoken by Jacob prior to the wedding night they were void because Jacob was speaking them in his heart and mind to Rachel. If they had a big party and ceremony it was still all under deception for Jacob. If the ceremony made them married then it would have easily been voided. But the act of being intimate with Leah would not be so easily brushed aside. But we have no record of anyone lodging any complaints about Jacob taking Rachel as a second wife nor any complaints when he took their handmaidens as wives also. So all these people on Jacob’s mother’s side had no problem with polygamy. It is only rational to believe that all those people were at liberty to practice polygamy.  And what is important to us is that God did not complain or condemn these people. He didn’t even condemn Esau who took wives without any hint of heavenly inspiration in the matter. Or was there? God did give Esau the miracle of being able to forgive and by all we know of the gospel that means he too was able to be forgiven which is just what Isaac’s blessing indicated. Esau’s descendents were many and are still among us. And as we all know God blessed Israel above measure.

Ruth

Ruth was married to a man who died due to a real big famine. Her mother in law said to her and the other widowed daughter in law, You girls are young still. Go to your home lands and you can find a husband who will support you. I am too old to marry so save yourselves. Ruth who was not from the tribe of Israel, said no and chose to stay with Naomi. She said your people will be my people. Kind of covenant entering thing huh? Ruth was blessed to become one of Boaz’s wives. Boaz said he would marry her to preserve the name of the dead in the land. This was surely a reference to the requirements of the law and would be a public explanation of why Boaz was taking another wife. A man of Boaz’s wealth in a time of so much famine was surely married and likely had several wives already. He was following the Lord’s law from Moses. Ruth and her mother in law were saved from starvation and Ruth was given the honor no only of having a child but of being one of the ancestors of Jesus. Ruth’s name has become synonymous with faithfulness and devotion.

Many people of the LDS believe that the practice of plural marriage must be done under the direction of a presiding authority. Why would anyone be surprised about this? The LDS believe that all blessings required for salvation must be received under the direction of an external presiding authority. I would say that is the defining characteristic of members of the LDS group. They do not trust themselves to be directed personally by God in matters effecting their salvation. For that reason none of the members of the LDS Church can be as Alma was.

But let us look at the record of events.

In the case of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, the generations of people in Jacobs mother’s family and 1500 years worth of the Lord’s people under the law of Moses who was it that received the revelation that it was approved of God to practice plural marriage?

The individuals who practiced it.

And what were the motivating circumstances? Here is some examples of the motivations which are known from the record.

The motivation is followed by the person’s name:

We want a child/Abraham and Sarah

We want more children/Leah speaking in behalf of herself and her handmaiden

I need a husband/Ruth

She needs a husband/God via the law given to Moses

I love her and she loves me/Jacob and Rachel.

Now we have read Mr. S’s teachings on why Joseph Smith took additional wives. Here is a review. Mr. S says it was “governmental” for the purpose of “Tying together lines of what was to be a single family, with himself as the patriarchal father of a new branch of the Family of Israel.”, very Pharaoh like to be sure. Time for a reality check. I do not tear down Joseph. Rather I lift up as Godlike the common desires of the heart of many righteous men throughout the ages of the world. They are desires placed there by God Himself. And no man under any circumstance should be using pressure or deception to have a woman marry him. Neither should any woman for that matter. I don’t care who did it unless it was a unusual revelation from God to do it (ie Nephi being told to kill Laban) pressure or deception in this thing will need to be repented of. I do not think for a second that Joseph’s was a desire for self aggrandizement or the pride of the Pharaohs and kings of the world. Just the honest love of a man for a woman and the desire to be a husband to her. A desire which God did not limit to just one person in either men or women. A simple and yet pure desire which has been vilified in our minds by all the devil has at his disposal. And yet I believe the historical record shows it was there in Joseph’s pure heart.

Joseph’s first polygamous wife was Fanny Alger. Before Joseph married Fanny she came into the house of Joseph and Emma as a maid at the age of 16. Joseph and Emma were 26. Sometime in her 18th year Fanny was forced to leave the house when Emma found out that Joseph had married her. This information is taken from this website and you can see the sources listed there. Fanny left the house in between 1833 to 1835. It was 5 years before Joseph took another plural wife.
Fanny Alger was not taken as wife by Joseph for “governmental” reasons. I respect the reason which I assign for the marriage. I believe God respects it also. And that is why He answered Joseph’s prayer on how the people in the Old testament were justified in practicing plural marriage. I think Joseph knew he loved Fanny and knew that Fanny loved him. He probably asked what to do about it and wondered if he could be allowed to marry her with God’s approval. So to the motivation list I add:

I love her and she loves me/Joseph and Fanny.

Now if you look at these motivations and see a bunch of people simply justifying themselves in committing whoredoms I am sorry for you. But when you read Mr. S’s post it is crystal clear that he wants his readers to view those who practice polygamy as self justifying men who exploit their wives and treat them like property and are bent on practicing an abomination and reducing their relationships to a whoredom. I am practically quoting him there. And you thought I was rough to call the man a liar? The post wants you to feel that people who choose to practice polygamy are just whoremongers. Mr. S especially wants you to feel that if you want to practice polygamy you are a whorermonger.

I believe Denver Snuffer’s post of July 1, 2012 was designed to have the effect of putting fear into the hearts of people who want to practice plural marriage. I believe without question that is the intent behind his post. I don’t even know if he is aware of it. But the true author of that post is very aware of it.

You might point to Pearl of Great Price Moses chapter 5 verse 3 to validate the idea that monogamy is the standard of God’s people from the beginning. It says, “3 And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.”

No that verse should not be viewed as the ways of God. Why? Because ten verses later the records says of these same people “13 And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”

To be accurate you must say that the people who began “to divide two and two in the land” later “loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”

The scriptures do not support the notion that monogamy has been God’s standard from the beginning. What we have been given in the scriptural record shows over 2,000 years of God giving His blessing to plural marriage among the largest group known of God’s people and Him saying no to one isolated branch which lasted for less than 1,000 years and in fact destroyed themselves by their pride.

Prideful and selfish people can not live the law which requires unselfishness in its deepest form. Pride and Selfishness continued does lead to becoming carnal, sensual and devilish. Selfish people can not even comprehend what the law is about. They accept lies about it and say it was a very limited practice with strict narrow limits. They see it as something which requires a license. A license is a grant from a ruling authority to practice an act which is sinful. Yes in the minds of those who see plural marriage as a sin they see a God who says, “Do not practice plural marriage unless I say so.” But God’s actions in the scriptural record show He allows all people to practice plural marriage unless he has told them not to.

Now would you like a left brain language communication of God proving that monogamy was not the way things started out?

“David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.” (D&C 132:38)

So if you believe that God was speaking there then it is clear that He said it was plural marriage which was from Him from the beginning of creation. That is even before the fall. Funny that Mr. S did not quote that verse.
Mr. S bashed Brigham Young for converting the principle of plural marriage into a mandatory practice for exaltation. He also bashed Brigham for bragging about his ability to get wives. Frankly that is something that can be repented of. But since plural marriage was there from the beginning how could it not be a principle for all people as soon as they will accept it? And is it mandatory? Nothing in all God’s universe is mandatory in terms of Him forcing us. In terms of if you want B you must do A that is the nature of existence itself requiring it. God simply puts it into words so we can receive His blessings if we are willing.
And in that way D&C 132:3 says “Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.” And what are the consequences for not obeying this law once it is revealed to us?  “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—…Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation…And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent…” (D&C 84:54-57). It is a damnation(!), until we repent and then move forward again.

And as we read the left brain communication of the actions of the people and God’s reaction to their actions we see a pattern emerge. We see two different way of acting regarding this principle and two different results.

On the one hand we have people who in one form or another obey the injunction of the Lord in D&C 132: 32 “Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.” They practice some form of polygamy and their posterity remains in the earth growing forever. And many of them have continued to have their societies last for thousands of years.

Then you have people who are prideful and set up laws against polygamy. They set up governments of men none of which last for more than 1000 years because they become filled with secret combinations. The Book of Mormon covers a quite small portion of the earth and tracks three main groups of people. And two of them follow this path of setting up governments and being so prideful that they can not be trusted with any form of plural marriage. The result is that eventually all their descendents are wiped off the face of the earth and their family lines stop.

I do not trust a man who lies, falsely accuses and puts fear in to other people’s hearts.

One final note the name Mr. S does not refer to Denver Snuffer. It refers to Mr. Satan.

More church anarchy: autonomous quorums


Seven, autonomous priesthood quorums

The Lord has organized His priesthood into seven different quorums: a quorum of deacons, teachers, priests, elders, seventies, apostles and high priests. There are also presidencies, some of which also form presiding quorums, such as the first presidency, stake presidencies, high councils and the bishoprics, but I will not delve into these latter quorums.

Each of the seven priesthood quorums is autonomous and most are presided over by a president with two counselors, taken from the quorum itself (see D&C 107:60-63.)  There is no inter-quorum regulation delineated in the Lord’s scriptures. The teachers do not regulate the deacons, the priests do not regulate the teachers and deacons, the elders do not regulate the priests, teachers and deacons, and so on and so forth.

Quorum councils

A quorum convenes as a council. A council is “an assembly of men summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, advice, or agreement upon some concerted action”. When a quorum convenes as a council, it does so to decide amongst themselves how to discharge the priesthood duties that pertain to their particular office and calling.

The seven priesthood quorums have presidents with counselors, and these presidents, or servants, serve the quorum by teaching them the duty of their office as given in the covenants, while they are sitting with them in council.  (See D&C 107:85-89.)

Quorum keys remain with the quorum

No one outside of the quorum has jurisdiction over the quorum. No single person, group or quorum has a right to tell another quorum of the church how to discharge their duties. This is because the keys of the quorum pertain solely to the quorum members.

This shows that each priesthood quorum is autonomous, meaning that they are independent or self-governing. (Joseph Smith’s much quoted saying comes to mind: “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”)  To illustrate this principle, let’s consider the deacons’ quorum.

A deacons’ quorum is to consist of 12 deacons presided over by a presiding deacon (see D&C 107:85.) The duties of this quorum is ”to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and to invite all to come unto Christ” (D&C 20:59) and “to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church” (D&C 84:111.)  When the quorum convenes as a council, they consult one with another, deliberate, give each other advice and come to some agreement as to how they should discharge these duties, meaning how they are going to warn, expound, exhort, teach, invite, watch and minister. They are the ones who make this determination. If assignments are given, they are the ones who make the assignments.

Neither the deacons’ quorum president, nor anyone outside of the quorum, can tell the deacons how they are to discharge their duties, nor can they assign deacons to do this or that. The deacons themselves, operating as individual deacons, or as a quorum convened in council, make all of these decisions, for no one else holds the keys to this office and quorum.  (See D&C 124:143.)

Decentralized power and autonomy

This self-government is designed to decentralize the authority and power in the church, that no ecclesiastical tyrants can start to abuse the Lord’s people. It is yet another check and balance that the Lord has set up to keep his people humble, looking alone to Him as the author and finisher of their faith, and not to any one man, or group of men, with concentrated power and authority.

Mutually beneficial inter-quorum cooperation

In addition to the duties that pertain to specific quorums, the Lord has also allowed certain quorums to be paired up in their duties, so that there may be assistance, if occasion requires. Specifically, if occasion requires, the deacons’ quorum may assist the teachers’ quorum in all their duties, the priests’ quorum may assist the elders’ quorum in most of their duties, and the seventies’ quorum may assist the apostles’ quorum in all their duties.

Such assistance may come individually, as a teacher asking a deacon to help him in his duties, or as a quorum-wide petition, the teachers’ quorum asking the deacons’ quorum to assist them in some duty they must perform.

There is to be no extortion in the church of Christ

None of these petitions for assistance are commandments or obligations. In other words, although it is the duty of a deacon to assist a teacher in all his duties, that duty only devolves upon him “if occasion requires.” And who decides if the occasion requires? The deacon does. The same goes for quorum-wide calls for assistance. The teachers’ quorum has no right to demand assistance from the deacons’ quorum. They can only request it and if the convened deacons’ quorum are agreed that occasion requires it, they are then duty-bound to extend such assistance.

This same principle applies to all of the other priesthood quorums.

Taking back the power

If you are part of a priesthood quorum that is no longer autonomous, there is a solution: simply assert the rights to the priesthood you have been given and take back your quorum’s (and your own) priesthood autonomy. It is, after all, your duty to do so:

Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen. (D&C 107:99-100)

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

WISTB, part two: because the By Common Consent blog banned the LDS Anarchist


On 17 October 2007 I published the Why I started this blog post (WISTB), in which I explained that I was banned by another blog and this made me consider starting my own.  I declined to mention the name of the blog that banned me because I didn’t want to point an accusatory finger at them.

Five years, though, have passed since then and this blog has grown a bit.  I think it is about time to lay it all out, for historical purposes.  Again, this is not to accuse that other blog of any wrongdoing, but just to set the historical record straight, for those who are interested in how and why this blog got started.

To begin, let me quote from the Why I started this blog post:

I entered the LDS blogging scene fairly recently (I guess it is called the bloggernacle?) I started visiting one of the largest of the LDS blogs, if not the largest, and read their posts for several weeks, without commenting on anything myself….I forget exactly what my first post was, but it had the expected result. People were incensed at my words. A post or two later I was labeled a troll and then banned altogether.

September 20th

The first comment I made there was dated September 20, 2007 at 3:39 am and was posted to the Mitt Romney’s Prospects post:

Who cares about Mitt Romney? People should stop voting to usher in the Lord’s Second Coming.

ANARCHISM-APPROVED AND PROPHESIED

The Lord said, “Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, and what can stay my hand?” (D&C 38: 22)

KyleM responded by saying:

166) And I thought people read the WoW selectively. This beats ‘em all by a mile.

My second comment was dated September 20, 2007 at 3:55 am and was posted to the The Limits of Ecclesiastical Authority post:

Concerning the limits to ecclesiastical authority. Well, they are clearly defined:

CHURCH-BOUND BY SCRIPTURES

The Lord said, “And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; for in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock.
• • •
And they are they who are ordained of me to baptize in my name, according to that which is written; and you have that which is written before you; wherefore, you must perform it according to the words which are written.” (D&C 18: 3-4, 29-30)

The Lord said, “Any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.” (D&C 20: 80)

The Lord said, “For, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants. For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith.” (D&C 28: 12-13)

The Lord said, “Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church; and he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned if he so continue.” (D&C 42: 59-60)

The only way to check unrighteous dominion in the church (meaning that the leaders are going beyond what is written or are not abiding by the written word) is through the law of common consent. As the law of common consent, as currently practiced, is nothing but a rubberstamp, the current group of ecclesiastical authorities have no limit on what they can do.

My third comment was dated September 20, 2007 at 4:02 am and was posted to the “old Catholic Church is worth more than all” post:

I went from a Catholic to an LDS. The two have a lot in common. They also seem to be following the same historical patterns, unfortunately.

After that I wrote a fourth comment on September 20, 2007 at 4:28 am on the Dispersed authority: thoughts on the truth-making process in church culture post:

I’d say your hypothesis, Natalie, is spot on. Although actual truth is independent in the sphere the Lord has placed it, according to the scriptures, that which is recognized and accepted as truth is determined by the members of the church. Even our canonized scriptures are determined by the members. If most of the members wanted to add the Book of Harold the Americanite to our canon and a vote was taken in the affirmative, despite the protests of the leadership, guess what would happen? We’d have another canonized book to quote from. The law of common consent works on every level in this church:

LAW OF COMMON CONSENT

“And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:7)

Mosiah said, “Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law-to do your business by the voice of the people.” (Mosiah 29: 26)

The Lord said, “And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.” (D&C 26: 2)

The Lord said, “For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith.” (D&C 28: 13)

The Lord said, “And a commandment I give unto you, that you should fill all these offices and approve of those names which I have mentioned, or else disapprove of them at my general conference;” (D&C 124:144)

Nevertheless, the current practice of the law of common consent is essentially a rubberstamp, so the leaders effectively are in complete control and the robotic members follow them where they are led.

One other thing, concerning your friend who has trouble sustaining (which I’m taking to mean raising a hand in a sustaining vote), what is wrong with that?

The fifth comment I left was dated September 20, 2007 at 11:22 pm and was left on the St. John, the adulteress and me post:

3- So, I should write my daily journal in the dust to emulate Jesus?

My sixth comment was dated September 20, 2007 at 11:39 pm and was left on the What is a Gentile? post:

Uh, Gentile is already defined in the dictionary as a non-Mormon, which of course, includes Jews:

Main Entry: 1gen·tile Listen to the pronunciation of 1gentile
Pronunciation: \?jen-?t?(-?)l\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin gentilis, from Latin gent-, gens nation
Date: 14th century

1 often capitalized : a person of a non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith; especially : a Christian as distinguished from a Jew
2: heathen, pagan
3 often capitalized : a non-Mormon

So, your question:

Does anyone know a living Mormon that calls Jews Gentiles?

is answered by the dictionary. Apparently plenty of people do know living Mormons that call Jews Gentiles, as the dictionary compilers use authentic, actual quotations of educated speech and writing to make their definitions.

Ray responded to this by saying:

No good, #26 – dictionary.com adds something that makes it all-encompassing. Accordingly, all people are Gentiles:

noun
1. a person who does not acknowledge your god [syn: heathen]
2. a person who is not a member of one’s own religion; used in this sense by Mormons and Hindus
3. a Christian as contrasted with a Jew
4. a Christian; “Christians refer to themselves as gentiles”

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

September 21st

My seventh comment was dated September 21, 2007 at 12:23 am and was left right after Ray’s comment:

I used Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary (www.m-w.com). Both the dictionary you cite and the dictionary I cite contain the shade of meaning about which Sam MB is expressing incredulity: that Jews are called Gentiles by Mormons. Merriam Webster says: 3 often capitalized : a non-Mormon and dictionary.com says: 2. a person who is not a member of one’s own religion; used in this sense by Mormons and Hindus. This shade of meaning is educated speech. Your citation even goes so far as to say that the shade of meaning is used by Mormons, so, although I don’t know about dictionary.com’s editorial standards, definitions from good dictionaries come from actual citations. If actual Mormons didn’t use the shade of meaning, I doubt that dictionary.com would state this so categorically. Language isn’t static, so who cares about the addition of shades of meaning to a term as time goes on? It is not a gaffe to use the term Gentile when referring to a non-Mormon Jew, as Sam MB intimates, but educated speech.

I then followed up that comment with this comment, dated September 21, 2007 at 12:31 am:

I might also add that I have heard the term used in this way many times by many people. In fact, I have used this sense of the word myself, as well as the other shades of meaning. But, then, I’m not from Utah. Maybe Utah Mormons’ belief of it being a gaffe has intimidated Utah Mormons so much that they refuse to use it.

My ninth comment was dated September 21, 2007 at 1:29 pm and left on the Your Friday Firestorm #13 post:

I don’t like to deal with this scripture unless quoting it in its entirety (the entire sentence):

CHURCH-DEFINED AS THE PEOPLE

The Lord said, “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually-for I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; and he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (D&C 1: 30-33)

The first thing to do in order to understand the scripture is to define the term “church.” It is obvious, from the entire sentence, that “church” means “people.” “Church” does not mean “the prophet”, or “First Presidency” or “Quorum of the Twelve Apostles” or “First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles” or “Corporation of the President of the Church.” It doesn’t mean “scriptures” or “doctrine” or “priesthood” or “priesthood holders.” So, once that understanding is given (that “church” means “people”) we can look at it again:

The Lord said, “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this [people], and to bring [this people] forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living [people] upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the [people] collectively and not individually-for I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; and he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (D&C 1: 30-33)

So, once “church” is defined as people, we can ask ourselves, in what manner are we, the baptized members, “the only true and living” people upon the face of the whole earth? What, in the gospel, makes us “true” and what, in the gospel, makes us “living?” Or, to be more specific, what is it that makes both a male member “true” and a female member “true” and what is it that makes both a male member “living’ and a female member “living?” How are we, the people, brought forth out of obscurity and out of darkness? These are the questions to ask, imo.

I’d give my own answer to these questions, but this post is too long already.

Steve Evans didn’t like that comment, replying to it with:

Anarchist, that’s a pretty shoddy definition of “Church,” and it’s in keeping with your prior trollish comments where you deliberately misinterpret scriptures to emphasize your own seemingly iconic views.

Three comments later, BrianJ asked me a question:

Anarchist: “So, once that understanding is given (that “church” means “people”) … “…the only true and living [people] upon the face of the whole earth….”

That doesn’t make any sense. The only living people on the earth? Huh?

And then afterward, Jacob M also asked me a question:

Anarchist – Does that man that our friends of other faiths are not true and not living? That would mean this world is “The Matrix”!!! Woooowww! (To borrow from Keanu) 🙂

Steve Evans then followed that up with:

Three strikes against the Anarchist. No more feeding the trolls, people.

When I came back to that blog and saw those questions, I tried to answer them with the information that I have subsequently posted here on the LDS Anarchy blog as, What does the phrase “only true and living church” mean?, but I was prevented from doing so time and time again. They wouldn’t allow me to explain what I meant by what I wrote.  Apparently, though, I wasn’t fully banned, as yet, just that my attempts to comment were being deleted by one of the admins.

September 23, 2007

Later on, in that same post, Mark D. began to write some things that rubbed people the wrong way.  His final comment is this one, dated September 23, 2007 at 12:10 am, which, btw, did not get him banned:

Ray,

You are putting words in my mouth. I said “equally church attending Protestants”. I am just using them as an example of a different educational philosophy.

Clearly Sunday School is more effective for teenagers than for adults. The important test here is not Mormon vs. Protestant but the cost/benefit of our current approach to Sunday School vs. the alternatives, including eliminating it.

Since Latter-day Saints learn gospel doctrines in other places besides Sunday School, it is not as if they are going to grow up radically more ignorant if the institution didn’t exist. Whether they would be significantly worse off as people is an even more important question.

It doesn’t matter that we have a much larger canon, what we do cover is extremely spotty, usually a handful of verses pulled out of context, and often radically re-interpreted by the highest authorities. (Jews are Gentiles?)

In practice, beyond a handful of fundamental doctrines, I do not think Mormonism is fundamentally a scriptural following religion anyway. It is a living authority following religion. Pres. Benson’s talk about the keys to following the living prophets is an excellent example.

The living prophets more or less don’t bother to quote scripture. It is irrelevant. Their words are the scripture of the day. It isn’t canon, can be neglected in a few years, doesn’t need any sort of precision or rigor, doesn’t need to deal with anything more than an inch deep, can be contradicted in six months or six years, and contains everything essential for salvation.

So why should anyone be a scriptorian? In the LDS Church a testimony of the scriptures is far more important than anything they actually say. Nothing they actually say matters one iota in actual practice, compared the the reigning (mis)interpretation of the day. Scriptural evidence simply does not matter.

When I saw that comment, I just had to second his opinion and so wrote a comment that somehow got past the censors, perhaps because it was written early in the morning on September 23, 2007 at 1:41 am.  This was the very comment that got me banned:

As I’ve looked over posts #70-82, I cannot help but see my own experiences stated here. Mark D., your post #82 was a perfect description of what I see in the church today. I actually only attend sacrament meeting and then skip sunday school and return for my priesthood meeting, the only two meetings I’m bound to attend. Sunday school meeting more often than not is a waste of my time. I can learn more just reading the scriptures myself or turning on a Christian talk radio station. Besides, in sunday school, any appeal to the scriptures is shot down. No one cares what the scriptures say, only what their leaders say.

70- I can say that my understanding of “eternal progression” means an increase in knowledge, power and seed (children) after achieving exaltation, but that it does not apply to perfection, which is what occurs when godhood is obtained. What does the Lord say the exalted shall inherit?

“…and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths…and glory in all things, …which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.” (D&C 132: 19)

My understanding is that the “heights and depths” are limitless. I did not know that BY believed in more knowledge after exaltation. I arrived at this conclusion solely from a study of the scriptures. Maybe in another blog post, on this topic of eternal progression, we could get into it.

BANNED: Am I even Mormon?

MCQ was apparently up at that time and posted two comments after I did, which said:

Mark D., we obviously attend very different GD classes. Also, I have heard rumours of the abolishment of SS for many years, but I don’t see it happening.

That goes double for you LDSA. Are you even Mormon?

Ray finally woke up, read our comments and then banned me (but not Mark D., for my comment was doubly ignorant, you see) with a swift stroke, after leaving us a message, dated September 23, 2007 at 7:08 am:

Mark, I second what MCQ has said. I apologize for stating this so bluntly, but the following is one of the most ignorant comments I have heard in this forum in the entire time I have been participating:

“The living prophets more or less don’t bother to quote scripture.”

If you sincerely believe that, then there are only two options: 1) You don’t attend or listen to General Conference or read the Ensign; and/or 2) You aren’t a member of the same Church as I. Actually, there is a third option, but it is so inflammatory that I won’t mention it here.

I am done with this discussion for one simple reason. #82 was a very direct accusation against the Church – that it ignores and cares nothing for the scriptures, that the prophets and apostles misinterpret and intentionally distort the scriptures, that the local organizational structure is not inspired, etc., etc., etc. It is hyperbole of the worst kind, since it is blatantly and demonstrably false and confrontational in tone.

LDSA, your first paragraph in #83 is just as bad. “No one cares what the scriptures say?” You have demonstrated here that none of us agree with your interpretation of the scriptures. Frankly, if I were in a HD class and heard most of what you have said here, I would ignore it and go back to the “boring” class discussion.

Given what the powers that be here on this blog let through and allow to be posted (#82, for example), if your comments are being censored, it might be good to look at content and tone. If you have nothing positive whatsoever to say about the Church – if your only purpose in commenting is to throw hyperbolic insults at those of us who disagree, fine. Just be open about the intent and motivation.

The End

The End and The Beginning

Being banned turned out to be a blessing, as I started to consider starting my own blog, and after much prayer and thought, I made the decision to do it. So, thank you By Common Consent blog, for banning me!

Btw, since being banned I turned by back completely on that blog and, except for the rare occasion that someone has linked to something they wanted me to check out there, I have never gone back to read anything they write nor any of the comments of their visitors.  I have always assumed that I am still banned. Recently, though, I wondered whether this was still the case and decided to do some test postings over there to find out.

Well, it turns out that I’m still banned.  I left three test comments on the The Need for Better Temple Prep post.  The first one was dated October 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm and contained a link.  It went immediately into the moderation queue, so I wasn’t sure whether it was there because of the link or because I was still banned.  Here is what I wrote:

Here is some of the best temple preparation available:

http://www.ldsendowment.org

Today I went back in to see if it had been approved and it was still in moderation, so I left this comment:

I left a comment way above (right after comment #11) which is still in the moderation queue. Is someone going to eventually approve it?

My second comment also went immediately into moderation, showing me that this had nothing to do with the link, but that I was simply banned.  So I left one final comment:

Ah, now I see that my second comment (which comes after #62), which did not contain a link, has also automatically been put into the moderation queue! I see that after 5 years, I am still banned from this site. Good news to know. LMAO.

So, there you have it.  These are all the circumstances that led to the creation of this blog.  For those of you who visit both the LDSA and BCC blogs, since I cannot comment over there, please express to them my heartfelt thanks for banning me, should you feel so inclined.  If it wasn’t for them, LDSA probably would not exist.

Let me close this post in the immortal words of Ray:

The End

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Do we really need a standing army?


I thought I’d try my hand at a short post, for once.  I was looking over Jacob’s sermon in 2 Nephi and was struck by this verse in chapter 10:

And I will fortify this land against all other nations.  (2 Ne. 10:12)

If the Lord has already stated that He Himself will fortify the promised land—which the singular Gentile nation will occupy, and this singular Gentile nation is obviously the United States of America—against all other nations, then why are there latter-day saints who support and promote a standing army?  This seems to me to be a lack of faith in the promises of the Lord.  Surely the U.S. military cannot be the fulfillment of this prophecy of the Lord fortifying the land, for the Lord works by miraculous power, not by the arm of flesh.

Shouldn’t we be living our lives peaceably in this land and simply trust that the Lord will do as He promised to do?  Shouldn’t the Mormon Gentiles be encouraging the other Gentiles on this land to put their trust in the Lord and lay down their weapons of war, unless He commands them to take them, as explained in D&C 98?  And shouldn’t we be preaching against the “support our troops” fervor, since none of these troops have been commanded to go to war by the Lord?  Or am I being naïve?

From my reading of the scriptures, it does not appear that the ancient people of the Lord ever had a standing army.  They only had temporary armies, which were raised from the civilian population only during a war and disbanded once the war was over.  So why aren’t we following this same pattern?

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Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed


Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye. — Jesus Christ

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we read:

The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them; and see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking; and see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty. (D&C 20:53-55)

Cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one of another. (D&C 136:23)

Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. (D&C 42:27)

And in the temple of the Lord, we are put under covenant:

We are required to give unto you the law of the gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon and the Bible; to give unto you, also, a charge to avoid all lightmindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed, the taking of the name of God in vain, and every other unholy and impure practice; and to cause you to receive these by covenant.

Latter-day saints have taken this charge to avoid evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed and perverted it. Here is what evil speaking actually means, from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

EVILSPE’AKING, n. [evil and speak.] Slander; defamation; calumny; censoriousness. 1 Pet.2:1 (“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings”.)

SLA’NDER, n.

1. A false tale or report maliciously uttered. and tending to injure the reputation of another by lessening him in the esteem of his fellow citizens, by exposing min to impeachment and punishment, or by impairing his means of lining; defamation.

Slander, that worst of poisons, ever finds an easy entrance to ignoble minds.

2 Disgrace; reproach; disreputation; ill name.

DEFAMATION, n. The uttering of slanderous words with a view to injure another’s reputation; the malicious uttering of falsehood respecting another which tends to destroy or impair his good name, character or occupation; slander; calumny. To constitute defamation in law, the words must be false and spoken maliciously. Defamatory words written and published are called a libel.

CALUMNY, n. Slander; false accusation of a crime or offense, knowingly or maliciously made or reported, to the injury of another; false representation of facts reproachful to another, made by design, and with knowledge of its falsehood; sometimes followed by on.

Neglected calumny soon expires.

CENSORIOUSNESS, n.

1. Disposition to blame and condemn; the habit of censuring or reproaching.

2. The quality of being censorious.

Evil speaking, then, in the scriptures, is the malicious use of a lie (in the form of a false report, false tale, false accusation or other falsehood) in order to harm the reputation, work or livelihood of another. Not only are such deeds against the law of God, but they are also against the laws of men.

How the LDS pervert this principle

The LDS have twisted the commandment and covenant against “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed” into any spoken saying or written word published that brings the leadership of the church into disrepute, regardless of the truthfulness of the saying or writing. (Since I’m quoting definitions, disrepute is a “lack or decline of good reputation : a state of being held in low esteem.”) Thus the LDS have changed the meaning of both “evil speaking” as well as “the Lord’s anointed.”

To speak the truth about someone is not evil speaking. If such must be labeled, it can only be called good speaking. The saints of God are commanded to always tell the truth and never tell a lie, therefore, they must call a sinner a sinner, even if that sinner is a hypocritical leader, garbed in the priesthood and presiding over them. To understand why saints must do this, we first must review who is authorized to call people to repentance.

Who can make the call to repent

There are two groups of people who need repentance: those who belong to the church of Christ, but aren’t yet sanctified, and those who do not belong to the church of Christ.

External Preaching

In the case of those who do not belong, it appears that all saints are under commandment “to persuade all men to repentance” (2 Ne. 26:27.) Also, all saints who possess the priesthood (except teachers and deacons) are under commandment to preach the gospel to those who do not have it, which includes telling them to repent of their sins.

Internal Regulation

In the case of those who belong to the church, who have not yet been sanctified, it belongs to the high priests of the church to regulate the church, calling them to repentance. But high priests can only do this if they themselves are sanctified, as they are supposed to be. (See Alma 13:12.)

It takes a saint

Only saints, meaning sanctified people, are authorized to call people to repentance. The reason is that sanctified people cannot look upon sin except with abhorrence. In other words, when they see sin, any sin, they shrink with horror, disgust or dislike of it. This means, first, that saints can recognize what is and what is not sin, by this recoiling, shuddering, excessively repugnant reaction they have to it, and secondly, that they will not shut their mouths at the sight of it, but will naturally seek to eradicate it. Saints are like the Lord: they cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.

A non-sanctified person is unable to recognize every sin. Some “very great” (as they suppose) sins may cause non-sanctified people to shiver and bristle at their appearance, but not so with all the so-called smaller sins. They may witness such sins and not experience any extreme detestation to it or they may not even know that what they are witnessing is sin. Or, if they do observe a sin and are able to recognize it as sin, they are capable of just saying, “That is just a minor thing. I will let it slide and leave them to themselves without opening my mouth.” Another thing these people will do is charge someone with transgression when they have not transgressed. This comes from not being able to recognize sin from righteousness, so that the two become confused, righteousness being called sin, and vice versa.

For these reasons, non-sanctified people are useless to the Lord when it comes to calling people to repentance. Only sanctified, purified, justified people (saints) will do for this particular labor.

The general authorities and leaders of the church

Many people are afraid of speaking out against any hypocrisy they see among the general authorities and leaders of the church because of the following scripture:

Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them. But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves.

And those who swear falsely against my servants, that they might bring them into bondage and death—wo unto them; because they have offended my little ones they shall be severed from the ordinances of mine house. Their basket shall not be full, their houses and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them. They shall not have right to the priesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation. It had been better for them that a millstone had been hanged about their necks, and they drowned in the depth of the sea.

Wo unto all those that discomfort my people, and drive, and murder, and testify against them, saith the Lord of Hosts; a generation of vipers shall not escape the damnation of hell.

Behold, mine eyes see and know all their works, and I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof, for them all; for there is a time appointed for every man, according as his works shall be. (D&C 121:16-25)

We are taught by our leaders that speaking evil against the Lord’s anointed is a very grievous sin and that members that do this are in apostasy. Thus, because of this false interpretation of “evil speaking,” even if hypocrisy is perceived in the leadership, the LDS will shut their mouths and leave the matter in the Lord’s hands.

And so the leadership of the church, and more specifically, the general authorities, are given free sway to pretty much do what they want and say what they will, all of it being ascribed as speaking and working by the power of the Holy Ghost, all by virtue of their office and calling as general authorities and the second anointing which they receive in the temple.

Of course, such an interpretation wrests these scriptures, for the Lord was not speaking of any earthly anointing. When the Lord says, “Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed,” and also, “Wo unto them; because they have offended my little ones”, and also, “Wo unto all those that discomfort my people, and drive, and murder, and testify against them,” His anointed and His little ones and His people are all the same group of people, even those who are sanctified, justified and purified, known to us as saints and little children.

In this scripture, the Lord uses the same wording that he used in His warning against offending little children: “It had been better for them that a millstone had been hanged about their necks, and they drowned in the depth of the sea.” The reason the warning is the same is because a saint (a fallen man who has become sanctified) and a little child (who is alive in Christ and thus already sanctified) are both innocent before God. As long as they endure in their sinless, sanctified, and purified state, they will inherit eternal life.

Little children are not anointed in any earthly ordinance, yet these scriptures equally apply to them as much as they apply to adult saints. So, when the Lord says, “mine anointed,” He is not talking about an earthly ordinance, but of a heavenly ordinance, such as the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, which Jesus alone performs. All earthly ordinances must be approved and confirmed by a heavenly manifestation (ordinance) performed by the Father, the Son or the Holy Ghost. So, when we have priesthood conferred upon us, all we get are the rights to the priesthood. The actual priesthood is only bestowed by God Himself, and the same goes with every other ordinance of the gospel, all things requiring a ratification or confirmatory heavenly ordinance to make it eternally binding.

So, mine anointed and my little ones and my people and little children and saints are terms that speak of people who are sinless (guiltless), purified and sanctified, whether from the beginning of their lives or after having received a remission of their sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. In no way, shape or form did the Lord ever mean to say that no one had a right to call hypocrisy when they saw it in someone ordained to His priesthood.

The gospel rule is to assume hypocrisy unless demonstrated otherwise, for all adult men have received the fallen nature:

Trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments. (Mosiah 23:14)

Again, the rule is to trust no one. The exception to that general rule is not “except he be ordained to the priesthood,” as many believe. Instead, the exception is, “except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” Priesthood ordination and calling have nothing to do with it.

Discerning teachers and ministers of God

The assumption that everyone makes about the general authorities is that they are holy men of God, already sanctified, justified and purified. This is assumed because they hold these high and holy callings. The logic goes something like this: “God would not allow men who were not sanctified to hold such callings and offices, therefore, they must be holy men.” But such thinking denies the history of the people of God upon the earth, and all the many times that corruption entered into the very priesthood God had organized on earth. God obviously allowed this corruption to occur, so then it must follow that in our day, corrupt or un-sanctified priests and teachers would also be allowed to rule over us.

The Lord has set up His kingdom with signs whereby one saint can know another. These signs are heavenly manifestations given by God alone. They allow saints and sinners to see where the Lord’s people are, so that they can listen to them, heed the word of God preached by them and gather with them. A preacher or teacher who does not manifest any of the various signs is simply not approved by God.

The prophet Mormon answered the questions, “How do we know if a man is of God, walking in His ways and keeping His commandments? How do we know that he speaks the truth to us and is sent by God?” when he wrote:

And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity— (3 Ne. 8:1)

So this is how we know. If the members of the first presidency, the quorum of 12 apostles and the quorums of seventy (as well as the members of any other leadership quorum), are going around doing all manner of miracles in the name of Jesus among the people, then we know that they are just men of God, even saints. But if they aren’t performing a work of miracles in the name of Jesus among the people, then they are still un-sanctified hypocrites (actors) and are not to be trusted.

Sanctified people point people to Christ

“Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world,” wrote Nephi. Priestcraft is the Pharisaical way, the doctrine of privilege and prestige and taking offense. It says, “Do as I say, not as I do, for you are not authorized to do what I do.” Or, “Look unto us as the Lord’s righteous servants. Follow us. We are obedient and holy. We know better than you. We have the office, calling, power and authority. We enter first, we partake first, we get the best seats. All must rise when we enter. We are the Lord’s anointed, occupying Moses’ seat. No one gets to God except through us.” This is all, of course, hogwash. (I’d use a stronger word but the blog is rated PG.) It doesn’t matter what earthly anointing you have received, if it hasn’t been confirmed by the Lord or His angel, there is no witness (evidence) that you have exercised any faith, whatsoever, and thus that your anointing has been accepted by the Lord and that you are authorized to call anyone to repentance.

The saintly way is different. Although saints are bold, they care not for prestige, honor or privileges. They spurn such things. They do not say, “Follow us,” but, “Follow Christ.” They are completely Christ-centered in both thought, word and deed, pointing all to Jesus. They care not what you call them, whether you use a title or not, nor whether you acknowledge their calling and office.  They abase themselves at every opportunity, for they know and believe the word of Jesus that those who abase themselves will be exalted. They are wise and fun and cheerful and knowledgeable, yet they mourn when they see sin. There is nothing stuffy about a saint. They take no offense at people who reject them, their message or their priesthood, and consider it a privilege to suffer persecution for Jesus’ sake like the prophets of old.

If it walks and talks like a hypocrite, but has the priesthood, it’s…not a hypocrite?

The gospel of Christ is a gospel of truth, for Jesus is full of grace and truth. When the Lord put all those who went to the temple under covenant to not speak evil of His anointed, He was not saying that we had to turn a blind eye to hypocrisy in the leadership and obey them regardless of their hypocrisy. That is not what it means to refrain from “speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed.” The phrase only means that we are not to falsely call someone who is sanctified (a saint) a sinner.

All saints have a duty to God to do right, to heed truth, to expose and to forsake and to fight evil and falsehood and hypocrisy, and to speak the truth at all times. The saints are the bulwarks against Pharisaical tyranny, for saints don’t shut their mouths at sin. They call a duck a duck and a hypocrite a hypocrite, when they see one. They are like the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, except that they speak for the Lord. You simply can’t shut them up when they see sin and error.

No one breaks their covenant of not speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed by pointing out the hypocrisy manifested among the LDS church general and local leadership. If the Lord has not shown His approval of any of these men by His divine miracles and manifestations, no one, not a single person, is bound to follow their sayings, counsels or commandments. In fact, it becomes our duty to God to both speak out against hypocrisy and to ignore its directives. It is through the miracles of God alone that we may know whether a man is approved of God. Ordination is not the appointed sign, nor are the words or actions of that man, for hypocrites are, by nature, actors, acting the part of a righteous person. As we cannot know what truly resides in the heart of any person, the Lord in His mercy has provided the signs for His believers, the saints, that we might recognize who really is one of His people. This is because no one can act the part of a miracle worker, being out of the scope of man-made power.

The saints will judge who is, and who is not, an apostle, prophet or bishop

Behold, I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill, or in a high place, to judge the nations. For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead. (D&C 64:37-40)

The inhabitants of Zion are the saints of God, for no one will inhabit Zion who is not sanctified. This church that the Lord mentions in these verses is the mystical church of God made flesh, who have repented of their sins and come to Christ, receiving the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. Judgment is committed into their hands because they are the only ones qualified to judge between sin and righteousness. Those hypocrites who make claim to priesthood titles alone will be judged by these title-less saints and be uprooted and their names blotted out. The truth of the matter is that all leaders must pass through the judgment of the saints, the Lord’s little ones, before they can get to God, not the other way around. Not even those whose listed priesthood duty is to judge, such as the bishop, will be exempt from the examination made by these alive-in-Christ children and adult saints.

For these reasons, no one has any authority to silence a saint. The authority of a saint supersedes the authority of any priesthood office. And if a saint speaks out against your hypocrisy, Amen to your priesthood. And if anyone speaks out (evilly) against a saint (the Lord’s anointed), they’d be better off drowning themselves in the depth of the sea. Nothing pisses off the Lord more than people who bother His saints.

Now, before I end this post, let me address one more point.

Test them, says Lucifer

In the temple, we hear the following conversation:

PREACHER: Shall we ever have any apostles or prophets?

LUCIFER: No. However, there may be some who will profess revelation or apostleship. If so, just test them by asking that they perform a great miracle, such as cutting off an arm or some other member of the body and restoring it, so that the people may know that they have come with power.

Later on, the conversation goes:

PREACHER: [To Peter.] Do you profess to be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ?

PETER: We do.

PREACHER: This man told me that we should never have any revelation or apostles, but if any should come professing to be apostles, I was to ask them to cut off an arm or some other member of the body and then restore it, so that the people might know that they came with power.

PETER: We do not satisfy men’s curiosity in that manner. It is a wicked and an adulterous generation that seeks for a sign.

There are two extremes of thought, both of them false. On the one hand, claimed credentials (“we profess to be apostles, bearing the priesthood, with valid ordination”) are rejected and a demonstration of power is demanded, otherwise no one will believe. On the other hand, demonstrations of power (“we perform all manner of miracles”) are rejected and a proper priesthood ordination is demanded, otherwise no one will believe.

The first scenario is represented by the temple conversation, which temple patrons are taught to avoid. Unfortunately, they then leave the temple and adopt the second, also extreme way of thinking.

The saints who judge do not require that a professed apostle or servant sent from the Lord perform a miracle in their presence. Nor do they require that all their priesthood papers are in order. They only require that the apostle carries the appointed witness that comes after the trial of one’s faith. All saints have received this witness and so when presented with another saint, bearing the same witness, they can recognize a brother or sister. The witness itself is a miracle, but one that is born record of verbally, for the word is to be first heard, not seen, in order that faith is engendered. These witnesses are like the tokens or signs spoken of in the temple, by which one knows a true messenger from God.

In conclusion

The commandment to refrain from speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed is a true principle, but only encompasses spreading lies about the saints of God. (Although we are also commanded to not speak evil of anyone else, which encompasses the whole human race.) However, this commandment does not muzzle the saints, who are not prohibited from saying the truth about someone who is acting hypocritically, even if they are leaders of the Lord’s church. Thus, the Lord’s admonition to first take the beam out of our eyes before we go around telling people that they have a mote in their own eyes does not apply to saints, because they have neither beams nor motes in their eyes.

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THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS & KIMBALL’S CADILLAC – Pt. 2


Later on Kimball’s spirit would continue the confession. When the following April rolled around, I felt Spencer’s presence return. He drew my mind to some pretty nasty dirt which had been swept under the rug. But the rug was lifted, revealing things from President Kimball’s past life that his higher self was not too pleased with. Apparently, in April of 1977, when Mike and I were both just free flying little orbs of light, not yet fully focused into twinkles in our dads’ eyes, there was some foul business afoot in Salt Lake City, Utah. Spencer W. Kimball found himself involved in a tangled triangle of Church, State, and Free Agents. A white man by the name of Douglas A. Wallace, who had acted on orders from the Holy Spirit to ordain Larry Lester, a non-LDS, black man to the Priesthood, now sought an audience with Kimball. He had been rather relentless in his attempts over the course of two General Conferences of the Church. After a year of legal actions and excommunication by the courts of the Church, this High Priest was just as determined as ever in his mission. The Church President gave counsel to his fears, likely listening to his brethren of little faith, who felt it best to enlist the protective services of the Salt Lake Police Department. The so-called General Authorities contacted “the authorities”, their joint feauxthority folding under paranoia in the presence of true authority. Brother Wallace made it publically known that he came in peace but was, nonetheless, placed under surveillance at the request of the First Presidency of the LDS Church.

In the early morning hours on Sunday, April 3rd, during the second day of the springtime Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in ’77, while on the stakeout, Detective David W. Olson, was accidentally but critically wounded when his partner’s weapon discharged and left Olson paralyzed from a single shot to the neck. Both the Church and the Police Department initially denied that the undercover officer had been keeping surveillance on the Mormon dissident. After a few days the P.D. eventually admitted the truth but the Church remained silent. Detective Olson was very distraught over the matter and would end up committing suicide in 1980. With bitter sarcasm and desperate depression in his voice he stated:

“I would also like to thank Spencer W. Kimball for his incorrect press release concerning the police involvement combined with the LDS church’s efforts to restrict Douglas A. Wallace from the temple grounds, specifically the Tabernacle, on April 3, 1977. “His denial of these actions is wrong. Any man who can take such actions and still call himself a prophet deserves more than I to be confined to this wheelchair.”

But again, I digress. Or should I say, converge? Everything is connected and ‘this’ always ties in with ‘that’. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you some ‘bad fruit’. All of this business with Priests and Police on the morning of April 3, 1977 came as an absolute shock to me when randomly running across the news articles precisely 35 years and 25 days after the fact. But even more shocking were the personal pre-existential memories that came into my heart and mind. There were six cops stationed around the vicinity of that house at 2177 Carriage Lane near 4600 South. We had targeted the big one. Mike and myself, as yet to be born angels, made sure that these occurrences, though swept behind a veil of forgetfulness in the minds of many, would not be completely covered up. In the momentous year of 2012, many are awakening. In my personal reconnecting with former versions of my self, I was shown the role I played in the events of that Salt Lake spring morning, 35 years and 25 days ago, but why?  Mike and I can not be questioned regarding our involvement by any court of the land. Can we? Habeas Corpus is a Latin phrase, which can be literally translated as “(we command) that you have the body”. At the time we did not have bodies. With the N.D.A.A having been enacted one has to be careful how one speaks about the government these days. But Obama promised not to use those abusive powers, only sign them into law. Right? So I guess I can rest easy, until Romney pulls them out to prosecute enemies of the Church & State. Was S.W.K. trying to warn us of Church disciplinary action? Was he trying to point to even shadier levels of conspiracy? At first I felt uneasy and thought I ought to be on guard. But now I know that God protects those whom He calls. Brother Wallace is apparently still kickin’ after all this time. Fear was what had embroiled Spencer in so much trouble. And it was fear that his ghost was advising against. As I resolved in my mind to not sweep this revelation aside as mere crazy thoughts, but to accept the past prophetic whisperings of this kind soul to soul communication, I felt my heart begin to beat like the brave Indian war drum. My heart slowly received witness as the sound built in my chest. I of course realized that Spencer’s soul did not need to get these things off of his chest with me. He had already done so with his maker. So, what was he trying to tell me and why now?

Well, if I said that Mike and I crossed paths in Orem, I was mistaken. To be specific, Orem is where our paths in this life merged. But they had intersected briefly before. After a year of association, Mike and I discovered that we had both been in attendance at the same Hip Hop concert, years before meeting, back in the winter of 2000 at the Bricks Club in Salt Lake City. This was realized as he recounted the anecdotal story of how Chris, his partner in rhyme in those days, had somehow managed to be picked from among those in the front area, to perform on the stage in an impromptu opening act. Chris looked around excitedly and talked into the mic to let Mike know of the situation so he could hop up on stage with him and take advantage of the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of a sizable crowd. But Mike was all the way in the back and up top on the balcony level with some girls and drinks in hand. This was the same area where I was watching the show from with some of my friends. As he described the way he tried in vain to reach his homey on the stage to share in the spotlight that had unexpectedly fallen on him, I suddenly remembered seeing this all play out and realizing that poor fellow up on the balcony with us saying, “Excuse me, let me through.” was the one who the dude on stage was shoutin’ out to. “That was you?!” I exclaimed. “I was like three feet away and off to your right.”

Now my mind was being allowed to discover an even earlier meeting between my brother and I – 35 years and 25 days earlier to be exact. If you take the coordinates for the club in Salt Lake where we came in close contact for the first time in this life and draw a straight line on a map, from there to a point where we came together before this life, nearby the home on Carriage Lane that was being unwarrantably watched. And if you establish the line between these two points as the base of a triangulation, using an angle of 35 degrees for the first and 25 for the second, you will find that the lateral sides converge on a neighborhood not far from the University of Utah campus. 2028 Laird Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah is the spot where stands the house that was home to Spencer W. Kimball from 1947 to 1979, spanning almost the entire time of his presidency, and where he was living at the time of those unfortunate events that brought us all together under such strange circumstances.

I see it as a three sided symbol of the connection between past, present, and future. If it is the past that has made the present what it is and the present will make the future, then the past will always be felt. This is a good thing for us when we speak of the good that we build over time. But there is also much of sorrow and pain in our past. We must let Jesus teach us how to be centered on the gift of the present. He is teaching us how it is only from the present that we may navigate and change for the better, not only our futures, but our past as well. Through the miracle of forgiveness, repentance becomes a personal time travel vehicle. So may our sight be endlessly set upon our dear savior, who on the cross, listened while many in the throng of onlookers and even one of the thieves who was hanged there at His right were hurling abuse at Him. They mocked Him in His present state and talked of His past in a snide way when they said, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” To His left there hung another thief of time who spoke hopefully but unknowingly of the future, saying: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom! But Christ speaks always firmly in the present tense when He says: “Truly I say to you, TODAY you shall be with Me in Paradise.”