Babylon and Money, Sacred Symbols and Secret Combinations


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Over the course of a few years study, I have come to a knowledge of a few things that fundamentally changed my lifestyle.  I won’t go into all the details for the sake of brevity, but suffice it to say that over the course of this fundamental consciousness shift I have been impressed upon by the spirit to share some of the many aspects of the things I have come to believe.  This is the purpose of this post, to somehow start to satisfy the promptings I have been receiving, in the hopes that another of my brothers or sisters out there may have the opportunity to find some truth, and in finding said truth come to a peace and contentment that only the truth can bring.  I ask the reader to give honest diligence to the things that I write, and to prove my conclusions through prayer and personal study.  This topics covered in this post have been covered by others, and so I have decided to stay light on the theory and show more in factual substance the descent into a full on Babylon culture.

The most fundamental tenant of Babylon is competition.  This competition is used by the adversary to place us in a false paradigm, one in which we cannot see reality as it truly faces us.  Through the competition illusion, we do not see our brothers as ourselves.  We cannot view the group as one unit, but rather we see ourselves as individuals striving to maintain our own desires and needs.  Clearly this is in opposition to the plan of God, in which he states clearly “If you are not one, you are not mine.”  While Babylon works to change our perceptions of ourselves and our brothers and sisters, Money becomes the key tool to separate us.  Money has the unique ability to represent, at first glance, a variety of things.  It can represent food, stability, affluence, transportation, housing, and most importantly, time.  As our brother Lucifer taught us, “you can buy anything in this world for money”, and in that simple phrase is a great lesson.  Money, at its most basic, is time.  It is an exchange of your LIVED EVENTS, YOUR MORTAL EXPERIENCE, your effort and breath and heartbeat from moment to moment, for something else entirely.  Over the course of human history, money has come in various forms.  This currency, while it changes from culture to culture, is always representative of this fundamental exchange of our time, given us as a gift of God, for the ability to buy something.  Now, with this tool of deception firmly in place in Babylon, few people realize that they are trading their God given gift of life for their new car or home or basket full of groceries.  As a society draws further and further away from  the knowledge that they are trading their time for material wealth, they are more and more easily deceived. This pattern can be seen in the scriptures time and time again.  Costly apparel, education from one of Babylon’s many universities of higher learning, and many other things cause class distinctions, which are a representation that we have left the oneness that we experience when we are reconciled to God through Christ.  Now, these things are not new to this blog.  What I want to delve into is the symbols that follow this descent into Babylonian idolatry, what they represent, and how they show us, as a great prophet once said, how to “awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you”.  I believe that our first Prophet of this dispensation gave us a means to cleanse ourselves from the blood and sins of this generation.  This is my life long goal, to cleanse myself and my family from the wickedness of Babylon.  We cannot leave Babylon and build Zion until we have been able to recognize the symbols of Babylon, and of the secret combination that always rules Babylon.

We know that symbolism is a powerful tool in both God’s and Satan’s hands.  We have hopefully been taught some of the sacred symbols which God uses to bring us into an awareness of him.  As with all aspects of the Gospel, it should be no surprise that Satan pollutes the sacred symbols of God in an effort to deceive.  When Satan hijacks or perverts otherwise holy symbols, what is the result?  Confusion, misunderstanding, illusion, deceit.  If we are not vigilant in understanding the sacred symbols of God, and their perversions by the secret combination among us, we will be lead away as sheep to an awful destruction.   Luckily, with the spirit of the one true God guiding us, it is really not that difficult to see, feel, and know which things draw us to him, and which lead us away.  For starters, The holy symbols of God in their purity ARE NEVER used by the secret occult societies of the world.  As we study, say, the skull and bones, bohemian grove, the Illuminati, masonry, the knights Templar, etc, we find symbol upon symbol being used.  Christ’s words are powerful.  “By their fruits ye shall know them”.  Thus, when you study the history and actions of these societies, and you see they are evil and in competition with God and their fellow man, you can then know that the symbols they use are bastardizations of the holy symbols of God.  To see the destruction and chaos that the secret society among us is perpetrating, you need only follow the money.  Remember, Money is the root of all evil.  It divides us, it helps us justify our sin, it gives us a false sense of security by providing material comforts.

As I began to study and understand these topics, in a depth we have not even scratched here, it lead my brother and I to make some simple decisions.  These decisions were easy for us to make, yet seemed pretty crazy to most people we spoke to about them.  We saw symbols, patterns, and witnesses to the state of awful wickedness that had developed in our society.  This lead us to conclude that usury and its effects are evil, and that we could not join ourselves in any way with any institution or corporation that had joined itself with the principles of usury, exemplified in all their false glory by the Big Banks more than any other institutions.  So, we closed all our accounts.  We decided that it would be our goal to totally get out, to run from any organization that seemed to support these banks and the principles behind them.  This goal has grown larger and larger in scope for us, and the more we strive to get away, the more our minds are opened to the pervasive nature of these secret societies, and how they have fully taken over our world.  The people that run the banks, own the food supply, the oil companies, the big retailers.  You cannot buy food, drive a car, even turn on the lights in your house, without inadvertently supporting the secret combination.  Luckily, with faith and perseverance and dedication, and especially repentance, you can get out.  Along the way, you will be able to see clearer and clearer the symbols of dominance and control and competition that are being employed by “The combination” to show us exactly what they are doing.  With this knowledge, we can know the truth, live free of deception, and eventually come into total oneness with God, nature, and Christ, once we are living totally free of Babylon and Babylonian influence.

The symbol on the top of the page is on the cashiers check we paid our rent with today.  It is a inverted pentagram, like the one Joseph put on the Nauvoo temple, but its inside a pyramid, with hands clasping to make another pentagram within the pentagram.  The hands clasping are no coincidence.  The secret combination uses these symbols which all of us who have been endowed should be familiar with.  This symbol is clear.  The pyramid in which it is all focused is another clear symbol.  Be ye not deceived, see these things all around you.  Our apartment complex wont let us pay rent with cash, but even that is covered in the same symbols!  We hope and pray that we, as well as any and all who read this, can be free of this iniquity, and SOON.  We have it as our goal to provide all our own energy, food, transportation, and clothing.  This is our goal because we cannot find a system to trade our time for money, and then money for those things, that is worthy of that trade, and that is not corrupted by this secret combination.  It is had among all people’s, and it bringeth pass our destruction if we cannot recognize it, and leave it.  For our own benefit, and for the benefit of our posterity.  Lets get the hell out of this babylonian insanity!  HURRAH FOR ZION!!!!!!

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WHAT MAKES THE BOOK OF MORMON A L.I.T.M.U.S. TEST?–Pt. 1


THE STRANGE THREE-STAGE ACT OF THE THREE STOOGES

This post is inspired by a post by LDSA which was entitled: The Book of Mormon is a Litmus Test. In it LDSA identifies a three-stage process to which all churches without exception are subject. The cosmic church of Christ is not an institution of man and not a church in the traditional sense of the word. But as far as all literal churches go there are three stages through which they all pass. According to LDSA those stages are:

1st The works of the Father

2nd The works of men

3rd The works of the Devil.

We will discuss these three stages in more detail and examine the Book of Mormon in a far wider context than it has likely ever been treated at any time since it was published.

This three-stage process is not only observable over the decadent course of decades, but is in fact playing out from moment to moment. A careful student will see the three stages summarized in scriptural accounts, and in spite of the student’s carefulness, a certain degree of whiplash is bound to set in upon the reader’s stiff neck until what is being witnessed is fully realized as a back and forth tennis match between “God” and “Devil” with Man’s head as the ball. Once you have seen the many matches that the holy prophets of all ages have covered like Wimbledon commentators whispering loudly from the dust, you will then be required to acknowledge your part or place in the continuing cycle of violence or be condemned by the words you have read. God does not want us to serve as stooges for a corrupt system. He does not expect you to keep your head in that game. He hopes you will soften your heart and pull your hard head out of the game, out of the sand box that is the Matrix, and into the greater reality that is Zion.

An understanding of the three-stage process invites us to put away childish things like the apostle Paul said and did. The progression of the three stages, from ministering angels on the right to tempting devils on the left hand, places the responsibility firmly on the shoulders of the individual who is endowed with his/her very own crown, a crystal radio receiver which may be tuned to Christ as his/her Head. In the West Afrikan tradition and throughout its various spiritual lineages, The Orisha are spirits and deities who are among the oldest in the expansive divine family of gods who have dealings with this earth. Orisha is a Yoruba word meaning “owners of heads”. There is an old Yoruba proverb that says: “Spirit can not give what head refuses”. This saying reflects the responsibility that each of God’s children bears as a free agent to act for his or herself.

Afrika today is slowly lifting herself out of spiritual darkness into which she fell a long time ago with the rest of the world following suit later, like Jack and Jill, Adam and Eve. But before the really wild fruit began to show up in the world, Afrikan cosmology promoted a much more balanced cosmology which invited men to do good continually and walk peaceably with one another so that they would not be found guilty as harbingers of evil. This ancient cosmology did not include anywhere in their stories of the Orisha, any character quite as despicable as the modern concept of Christ’s evil brother Lucifer. There was only a Heavenly Uncle who was a trickster teacher. His name was Eshu. I would like to share a story about Eshu which illustrates the three-stage downfall of churches/congregations of men as they digress from the works of the Father, to works of Man, and finally to works of the Devil.

Two farm boys, who grew up together and were best of friends, reached the age of puberty and went for a divination ceremony. This is similar to two Mormon buddies going to the Stake Patriarch to receive their Patriarchal Blessings. The Spirit spoke through the Elder and said that the two boys must live on adjacent farms because their abundance would depend on mutual cooperation. No problem there, for as stated earlier the two adolescents were best friends, brothers in the faith. The Spirit said that they needed to make regular offerings to Eshu, in order to ensure that their feelings of brotherhood were never broken.

The two young men could not imagine being separated, they could not imagine being enemies, and they could not imagine living to old age in poverty. There seemed to them no need to appease the spirit of Eshu. One day Eshu came to their joint farm which had by now grown into a huge successful co-op that blessed the lives of many friends and family members. The farmland was separated by a narrow path that went right down the middle. As Eshu walked down the path all the farmhands and every member of this mini-zion, as they supposed, all the men, women, and children stopped what they were doing and stared at this stranger passing by. Eshu, did indeed appear a strange sight to them all, for he had painted one side of his face red and the other black.

When he had passed through one of the young men said “Who in the world was that strange fellow with the red face?” The other responded, “No, your wrong. He had a black face.” The two men got into a heated argument that ended up drawing in the whole community which, up until that day, had always felt comforted by the fact that they were of one mind. The contention even reached the point of physical violence and after that, the friendship, as well as the community, was broken up and ruined.

This age-old Afrikan tale illustrates the three stages in the apostasy cycle that LDSA pointed out. In the first stage the Spirit speaks, the works of the Father are manifest and everyone is happy. The second stage starts out happy enough, but man thinks that his ways are better or at least sufficient and trouble eventually ensues. Finally, in the third stage the Devil shows up and makes short work of what seemed for all the world to be a perfectly secure community of nice and industrious people. eshu the trickster with his red and black hat

The parable also shows how the trait or state of like-mindedness, which is so sought after in today’s world, is quite overrated. This concept of being one in mind will be crucial to an expanded understanding and appreciation of the importance of the Book of Mormon which we will endeavor to achieve later on in this piece, so let’s look at it analytically shall we? As Mormons we have been counseled specifically by the Divine to be of one heart and one mind. But in the thralls of an advanced second stage as we are, we are trying desperately to fool the Lord into accepting our pseudo-zion. In fast & testimony meetings across the U.S. you can hear superficial and stereo-typical tourists give travelogue testi-phonies, talking about how grateful they are that the Church is the same everywhere you go. The streamlined assembly-line Gospel of the Gringos is of course they’re own creation, and at this stage they are oh so proud of it.

When it comes to mentality, diversity of view-points is the whole point of gathering in Zion, that “all truth may be circumscribed into one great whole,” as we are reminded in the temple. There is already one Universal Mind, a Zionistic Ethernet, to which every one of God’s children are entitled unlimited access. The only rule is that the more you share the greater your personal bandwidth will be. But, as society sinks deeper into the second stage of our collective straying from God, we see the three colluded institutions of ®eligion, $tate, and $cience want us all as their stooges hooked up to their RSS feed. In the field of science Nikola Tesla tapped into the spirit of invention and prophesy. And he discovered ways of providing homes throughout the land with free electrical energy, just as it was in the most ancient kingdoms of Egypt, back when Egypt was still in the first stage, working more closely with the Father. Tesla has been lauded as one of the greatest minds of modern times, but he was humble because he knew how things worked. Said he:

“My brain is only a receiver. In the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”

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The vast majority of scientists are false priests in white robes working for the gods of the State. The secret-combination system to which they belong, demands that all research and scientific scripture be peer-reviewed. By this system of controls they desire to rip away those protective veils which the Lord puts in place for the sake of his true servants and subject any findings to the peering eyes of wizards, who peep, and mutter, and censor information which could be of great value to the children of men. True prophets do not necessarily receive approval from their peers and that is not needed. External validation and worldly ex-perience is not superior to what we might call in-peerience, or peering within to divine the Mind of the Divine. Meditation is a helpful, purifying, and rejuvenating practice for the mind because it is tuning into OUR energy; not one’s own limited level or private reserve, but the unlimited and consecrated mental capacity of ALL OF US.

Now, in the field of religion we have three notable stooges known as the First Presidency. Most people who act as if they know the mind of God fully are also full of wild and fanciful ideas about the devil. Nothing could be worse than withdrawal of support, displeasure, and discipline from Heavenly Parents to selfish children who do not trust the Father when he says, “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good” (D&C 90:24) But whatever our attitudes and personal relationship with God the Father, he certainly seems to have a very, trusting, and respectful relationship with the Devil. LDSA points out that: “the Lord only gathers His own and will not rob the devil of that which pertains to him.” after which he refers us to Mosiah 5:14.

“And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called.”

Ok so the conditions described here obviously do not amount to a very Zion-like scenario. Sounds like the type of CONditions set up by CON-men who say “Oh, look! What have we here? Let us put your New World in Order properly.” And we, like dumb asses, go along with their monopoly game of NWO-OWNership. These would-be owners of our heads are no Orisha because they do not serve humanity; they do not answer the prayer of the meek. So how exactly does one secure one’s position in Christ’s flock? The secret to the flock’s firmness is that they are free-range. Esoterically they are fixed, like the stoic spirit of a stone. However, exoterically they are a band of uncontrollable gypsies who take orders from no man, an artful moving target that follows the flow of spirit to the bewilderment of all predators. Let’s break down verse 15 while we’re at it.

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable,

[not swayable to one side of the paradigm or the other but balanced and Christ-centered. Standing anywhere but with the Mediator of All Mankind would be only an illusion]

always abounding in good works,

[Work is a functional reality that is only possible through duality. Good works indicates a smoothly functioning, or at any rate, enjoyable relationship between the two basic opposing forces of the universe]

that Christ,

[It is important to note that the term Christ does not merely refer to Jesus, but to his entire flock by extension, and more importantly to the pre-existing and eternal spirit-substance which Jesus embodied, and which always has and always will fill the universe]

the Lord God Omnipotent,

[the prefix ‘omni’, means all, and the word ‘potent’ speaks of power. Thus, just as ‘omnivorous’ describes a creature which partakes freely from all forms of sustenance available to it, ‘omnipotent’ describes a god who makes use of all forms of power, not just those powers we say he does.]

may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all.

[as well as in and below all]

Amen.

[Amen – the name of the All-in-One Godevil of Is-Ra-El who men try desperately to slice in half, or even furiously hack to psychotic pieces, but who remains indivisible – can also be compared to the surname by which the united family of gods pertaining to this earth are called.]

Examples of the three-stage process can be seen everywhere in the Book of Mormon, even and especially in the fault-line cracks of commentary that riddle the record, purposely placed like wounds on the resurrected Christ, to display his power over death. It is like the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold, called kintsugi (gold joinery), which finds beauty in the broken. kintsugi2Words contain living energy, but they freeze as soon as they hit the page, or plate in the case of the Book of Mormon. Like Han Solo in a four-sided metallic bed, the words of ancient Nephite scribes lay frozen until Joseph Smith resurrected the dead characters from the Golden Plates.  With spiritual forensics we can examine a mummified Moroni who departs frequently from the summary of the writings he has been tasked with compiling. Sometimes he shared insights received via the spirit and then promptly proceeded to apply either deductive or inductive reasoning based more on personal life-experience. Moroni was no less susceptible than any of us to following this three-stages/three-stooges process all the way through from Moe to Curly. Everybody plays the fool sometimes, and the man who will not admit this, ends up playing the fool more often than not. As abridger of the record, Moroni can be found depositing and defending the whole range from eternal truths of God, to philosophies of men, to doctrines of devils like racism and violence. Gods are, after all, only men realizing their fullest potential, and devils are only men realizing their lowest natures.

THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY & REVELATION – THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST

Interpolation of man’s ideas, and often man’s interpretation of God’s thoughts can, if we are not careful, cause an interruption in the flow of spirit. It is said that the words of the Book of Mormon were recorded by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. If the words of The Book of Mormon were originally recorded by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, and later translated by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, then they can only be fully understood when reading by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. It should be noted that nothing about the phrase “spirit of prophecy and revelation” connotes rigidly imposed order or external regulation. Spirit is not a controlled substance. Neither does the word ‘prophecy’ confine itself to any one particular person or group’s agenda. And revelation does not work for us only by set guidelines. Control, restriction, and structure, like that which all life-forms possess to one extent or another, are useful, but life-forms are never stronger than life itself. Churches and bodies of all types are tools; spirit is the power by which they may operate. Churches are life-forms but Christ is the Life. There are no rules or commandments by which infinite spirit is bound to operate. It is only out of love and free will that spirit will go along with our games for a season. As soon as love or freedom is violated the spirit begins to withdraw. The word ‘body’ is instantly singular and plural as it is one, but made up of many parts. If a body forgets to honor this duality from instant to instant, and instead insists on struggling against itself, indeed “any-body” which thinks it can gain and maintain the Holy Spirit as an outward badge or a trophy, will ultimately be afflicted with atrophy.

In the case of the Golden Plates, they could not be grasped nor held, not physically, not intellectually, not even tenuously, except as a sacred document. As such, the Golden Plates did not rely entirely on the material composition of the electrically conducive gold, nor upon polished or flowery language meticulously engraved thereon. All of these factors played a role, and the special treatment of the plates continued after Joseph unearthed them. Yet, it was not these actions toward them any more than their physical attributes from whence their sacredness sprang. Sacredness flows through and fills all things but is not limited to any one vehicle or vessel. The fact that Joseph kept the Golden Plates sealed closed and wrapped up in linen, even during much of the translation process, shows how he honored and preserved the sacred electrical charge coming through them and not just the engravings themselves.

To maintain a spiritual charge, temporal triggers must be kept in their proper perspective. The mystical can not be made completely technical and the technical looses relevancy and efficiency if it is not allowed to contrast and serve the mystical. True mysticism is the appropriate equilibrium between spirit and flesh. If it aint mystic it’s a mistake. When LDSA lists the three stages, he has established a trigger point with the powerful energy of the Holy Tri-nity. The advent of the Son is what graduates man and woman to the level of Father and Mother. The Son is the Christ, The First, The Mediator who comes in the Meridian of Time, so it should come as no surprise that as Christians we find ourselves perpetually in the 2nd stage, partaking from two sides of nature which both teach us equally by reflecting the thoughts and emotions we bring to them. Light and Dark, Revelation and Truth, Urim and Thummim function together to provide inquiring minds with Prohibitions and Commands, Doctrine and Covenants, answers of ‘No’ or ‘Yes’.  White and Black divination stones may be set in silver bows and fastened to a breastplate, but this does not mean that the will of God may be set in stone. We may memorize lines and verses which contain lux and veritas, but that does not give us the right to tyrannically take of those scriptures and make rote responses to loyal seekers in varied situations.

Nephi says we must liken the scriptures unto ourselves, but this must be done on a case by case basis. We have to guard against every impulse to pervert that which is spiritual into spiritless social constructs. Dogma is deadly; Holy Scriptures must only ever be used as divination tools to serve the individual in his or her personal life story. Recourse to any collective schema can only be valid if the schema is taken as a descriptive process for indicating potentialities as they uniquely replicate themselves in each and every individual case. In the LDS Church people speak of two types of revelation, institutional and personal. But in truth all revelation is personal revelation. But LDS Inc. says that personal revelation must fall in line with institutional revelation. Such a thing can never be possible without building a lie because the collective is only as strong as its individual members. LDS audiences seem to adore comedian Brian Regan. If they desire to shake off the spiritual schizophrenia that weakens them and stand up in true and instantaneous solidarity, hearts and minds individually as well as collectively in sync, the LDS people should take a note from one of Brian Regan’s stand-up routines, so they can say to each other, and together as brothers and sisters, “Hey, I have that exact same one, only different.” Personal revelation is the key. That’s why even though Nephi expressly stated in the spirit and to his personal Christ-Spirit guide that he desired to see what his father had seen, still he was shown much more. And even those images which Nephi through faith was able to view the same as in the vision his father had beheld, yet the experience was different based on the one experiencing it. You will recall that Nephi noticed the filthiness of the river of water whereas Lehi did not. (1 Nephi 15:26-27)

When Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book we have to remember that he was speaking to a specific target audience. And we should also understand the word correct in its true spiritual sense. To be correct means to be right in line with the core. A man’s or woman’s core is their heart. Men and women are wired to be able to communicate with Spirit but this ability depends on a proper alignment between head and heart. Heart in Spanish is Corazon. The word ‘co-razon’ signifies co-reason, or the reasoning together of heart and mind in which Isaiah 1:18 invites us to participate. This alignment is made or broken in the spine at the place where the neck meets the head. This location is designated with the letter Qof in ancient Hebrew and is the reason why in modern English the letter ‘Q’ still resembles a neck connecting at the base of a head. That is why the afore-mentioned Eshu, the Afrikan cosmological concept of “The Devil,” is described as living at the crossroads. It is the crossroads between mind and emotion or head and heart. When the crossroads is blocked as a result of unexpressed emotion the feeling in the body is experienced as a pain in the neck.

This condition of stiffneckedness is a manifestation of Eshu which is mentioned over and over again in the Book of Mormon, even more than in the Bible. The true vision of Zion is veiled and can not be accurately received by Latter-Day gentiles, the main target audience of the Book of Mormon, and Zion can not be implemented by them in physical form without first doing some serious spiritual chiropractic work. LDSA has discussed at length the veil of unbelief and the chains of hell which the devil attaches at the nape of the neck. He has also spoken of “fear and trembling” as a scriptural prescription for freeing one’s soul from the influence of the devil. He says that the formula of fear and trembling is not a mental process alone, but also a physical one. In Voodoo, when one wants to finally get free from whatever hex Eshu has laid upon the initiate, there is a lot of therapeutic shaking involved. When a man truly accepts Christ to be his ever-living Head, the loftiest languishing branches of his brain get grafted into the ever-loving Heart. In this way the Tree of Life is revived. But when we undertake to separate the grey matter with which our heads are stuffed, into black and white texts to be brashly branded onto the trusting flock of the Good Shepherd, we only succeed in scrambling our own brains into a liturgical lobotomy of confusion.

There is a tree planted in a certain spot of ground which perfectly illustrates this reality and the illusion which imitates and hides truth in a blinding blaze of Luciferian light. The tree stands in a park, right against a fence, on the other side of which, stands an LDS chapel. The tree naturally wanted to branch out from its base in two directions. But it was robbed of this natural tendency towards balance and beauty by the cruel saw of a city worker. Why did this particular tree suffer such an awful and severe truncating at its trunk, while others nearby only receive harmless and even helpful pruning of branches? The reasoning behind this action was to preserve the American Illusion (A.I.) of separation of Church & State. The City-State wanted to publicly respect the private property of the Church-State, so they cut off one half of the tree, right where the trunk first started to split. The result has been a lopsided tree whose leaning foliage just so happened to bloom in the basic shape of the human brain. One can see the graceful curve of the cerebellum resembled in the branches where the natural center of the tree lies. These are lush and green. But the parts which would correspond to the prefrontal cortex and the frontal lobe respectively go from sparse yellow leaves to completely barren branches.

The anterior region of the brain is the thinking area, but it is precisely our thinking that can get us in trouble. If you think you know the mind of God from book reading without specifically asking, then think again. The ancients were exhaustive and tireless in their use of sticks, and stones, tea leaves, and entrails for purposes of divination. But once mankind forgets the proper place of these temporal triggers, an Artificial  Intelligence (A.I.) takes over, and the casting of lots of yarrow stalks turns to a hay-wire trusting in technology that casts a lot of shadows of doubt over the Light of Infinite Intelligence. In Moroni 7:14-15, Moroni tells us:

“Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.”

In script-sure-real language the term “perfect knowledge” implies perfect intimacy between two things breaching the ledge of knowing and unknowing. When Moroni employs the stark metaphor of daylight and dark night, it must be understood in spiritual terms, or else we run the risk of relying on the arm of flesh. If this happens we will assume that we know what is right and wrong by default of our belief systems without need of the spirit. In Man of Light, by Henri Corbin, we read:

“The divine and the satanic remain ambiguous so long as consciousness is unable to distinguish between what is its Day and what is its Night. There is an exoteric Daylight: so long as its conditions prevail, the “midnight sun” which is the initiatic light cannot show itself. This Day and this Night are unaware of one another and nevertheless are accomplices; the soul lives in this Daylight only because the Night is in itself.”

The perfectly faithful, despised and crucified Jesus warned us about the light within that is really a great darkness. It is a shadow that shines out of our eyes and projects onto the wall’s of Plato’s Cave (P.C.) captivating and conning our senses into a con-sensus of Political Correctness (P.C.). In We Are The Weather – Pt. 2, I speculate that the majority of humankind may be operating with their physical bodies at an angle of 90 degrees difference (indifference) to their spirit-body (man of light) – the latter generally waking and “getting up” when the former is sleeping or “laying down”, and visa-versa. And so, the Book of Mormon testifies that we are guilty of trampling the Holy One of Israel underfoot. (Helaman 12:2, 1 Nephi 19:7, Alma 5:53)

In the LDS Temple Endowment Ceremony, immediately following his assembly, the two-part creation of the gods – firstly in spirit as Michael, secondly as Adam in the flesh – is put under a deep sleep from which he is commanded to “awake and arise.” The extremely faithful, twice excommunicated mystic, Brother Max Skousen pointed out that it is the Elohim character who tells Adam to, “awake and arise.” Next we hear a voice tell the brethren to arise, but it is not the voice of God. Furthermore Brother Skousen points out that to arise does not necessarily mean to awaken. The verb “awake” is conspicuously missing from the narrator’s command to all male patrons. We stand up, but do we really wake up? The entire endowment ceremony is patterned in such a way to show to our minds that we are the living dead sleepwalkers. And it is meant to instruct us in the art of “Coming Forth by Day” like the original title of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, fragments of which found on ancient papyri served as the temporal trigger for the retrospective revelation known as the Book of Abraham.

Speaking of the Christ Spirit, Moroni 7:16-18 continues:

“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.”

You will notice Moroni says that the Spirit of Christ is something which has been given to every individual personally and its function is to invite to do good. To in-vite is to put vitality into, and this process is only completed by the outward placing of temporal triggers to in turn solicit the Spirit of the Lord from its hiding place. The eternal order of events goes: first spiritually, second temporally, then temporally again, and lastly spiritually – repeat ad infinitum. (D&C 29:32) This is how Nephi could be so sure that God “giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7) The Book of Mormon is a temporal trigger, and just like it says in D&C 84:57, we remain under condemnation if we only say and do not do whatever the spirit prompts us to do according to what we have read therein. In other words, to exercise faith is to work out our spirit-light-body, work it out from within the denser flesh-truth-body by bringing Urim and Thummim into alignment. What we need is coordinated action of simultaneous and spontaneous combustion to propel us away from the sleepy norm and into the invigorating life of true service to our personal Lord.

Divination is the blanket term for any number of techniques which may provide a secure connection for communication between God The Father and His Children instead of the pitiful perversion of prayer taught in churches today which is easily hacked by the watchers from the fallen hosts of those Nephilim Siring Angels (NSA). It is secure because it transpires between an individual and his or her Higher Self. Divination is designed to be fool-proof. When properly understood it is a sure method for the establishment of Zion. This is what gave Enoch and his people such success as the world has never known. Enoch is known as Hermes in other disciplines. Hermes is the later Greek name for the Hellenistic Thoth, which comes from the Egyptian god named Tehuti, who is a deification or Higher Self of Enoch. Long before gathering the faithful and establishing the City of Enoch he preached and was well known in the antediluvian city-states of Atlantis and Egypt. But before all that he was just a common man living somewhere near present-day Ethiopia.

tehuti

Legend says that one day Enoch was drawing pictures in the dirt near the side of the road when a stranger happened along. The stranger asked Enoch if he knew the significance of the figures he was drawing. Enoch replied that they were merely doodles, but the stranger insisted that they were spiritual memories from his subconscious, and began to expound unto Enoch the meaning of each image. Enoch was greatly astonished and asked the man how it was that he could recall long-forgotten memories from Enoch’s own mind. The stranger then revealed his true identity as Tehuti, Enoch’s personal Christ Spirit. Then he transformed into an ibis and flew away. The 78 ideograms that Enoch then introduced to the world served to awaken the minds of many people to lost truths and gather them back into the Universal Mind which had begun to be scattered because of wickedness. These symbols were God’s gift to the world through his servant Enoch and they survived to form the basis for many hieroglyphic systems in many mystery schools/religions which arose after the flood waters had subsided. There were other great cataclysms which afflicted the earth once Zion, like the ibis in Enoch’s first of many angelic encounters, had already departed flying into the heavens.

HISTORICAL RE-VISIONS – SACRED SITES & SACRED SIGHTS

From that day when Enoch sat drawing figures in the dust by the side of the road to that day when Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground – language in general, and written language specifically, have had a powerful effect on the hearts and minds of men. But syllables are silly when spoken with no understanding. Punctuation is pointless with no feeling behind it. Documents are dead that are not infused with divine design. Words without wisdom never do humanity any good. The Word of God descends in purity and simplicity and in a few short years we find Him doing the Work of the Father, confounding the teachers of religion. But so free in His association with sinners is He, that the teachers of religion feel the need to nail the Word down. They think the whole purpose of the Word is to nail ‘it’ down to a crossed ‘t’ and dotted ‘i’. Strictly observing the letter(s) of the law always spells D-E-A-T-H.

In the presence of those accusatory Rabbanim who rabidly sought to justify by their law the murder of a woman taken in adultery and also Jesus himself, the simple Son of God spoke the powerful words: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  But it was not that configuration of words alone that caused those wicked elders of the church to go out “one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last” (John 8:6-9). The very fact that they left in such a manner shows that they were completely controlled by the protocols of their religious law (just like the G.A.s). Mere words would not have been enough to stop those murderous men dead in their tracks. They had the law on their side, a law conceived from generations of culturally inculcated hate. Indeed the practice of stoning women accused of adultery did not even originate with Moses, who these Jewish Judges cite, but had been boiling for millennia ever since the edicts of King Urukagina, ruler of the city-state Lagash in Mesopotamia. And now this cruel sexism raged in their prideful hearts. Armed with socially sanctioned custom, and in the heat of the moment, it would take something more miraculous than religious rhetoric to stop those mad men.

Notice what Jesus does first. He stoops down and begins to write with his finger on the ground as if he doesn’t even hear them. Jesus_writingWhen the aggravated prosecutors pushed him for an answer, he stood up and uttered the by now familiar and famous scolding. But then he went right back to writing on the ground. Writing actually played a very important role in this situation and the double edged sword of the written word was illustrated by the fact that the middle-eastern custom since circa 24th century BC had been to make polyandry punishable by stoning with rocks upon which the woman’s “crime” was written. So those miserable men had already done some writing of their own. What was Jesus writing there in the dust? The words Jesus spoke did not simply spring from his brain. He brought them forth with deep emotion and thought from the Universal Heart and Mind and they served to highlight the words which he wrote on the ground before the woman’s accusers. In tune with Divine Mind as he was, Jesus was able to discover the dark deeds and desires of those perverted priesthood leaders, and he wrote them out to their shock and shame. Jesus was not blackmailing them for selfish intentions; he was merely doing what was necessary to deliver the victim from their clutches. As with the leadership of today, fear of public disclosure was the only thing that could work upon their blackened hearts.

By contrast, the hearts of the Nephites and Lamanites who Jesus visited personally in the Americas were sufficiently pure to be able to not only hear the powerful spirit in Jesus’ voice, but to actually see the glorious geometric shapes and splendid thought forms that generated in the air along with his speech.

“And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak” (3 Nephi 17:17)

Jesus Christ’s prayer was no doubt extremely striking and moving, however, he is by no means the only the only person whose thoughts and words result in some kind of visual display on the astral plane. This goes on every time we speak. The imagery and colors are brighter and more or less spectacular depending on the level of spirit with which the words are imbued. In many times and places on this planet people were able to see and comprehend the mental and intuitive images and sounds. But as civilizations gradually lost this ability, the written word was created as a salvific substitution. What we consider the dawn of history is the point where several major civilizations began to make use of the written word. Many of the writing systems devised during that most ancient period known as the “first time” were greatly superior to the alphabets of later languages. Moroni is impressed with the advanced accuracy and deep capacity for conveying meaning in the characters of the Jaredite writing system. And he makes especial mention of its efficiency for purposes of record keeping. In lamenting out loud to God the limitations of Reformed Egyptian, Moroni describes the Jaredite writings as, “mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.” (Ether 12:24)

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. But if those 78 ideograms which served as the basis for the Tarot and virtually all religions from that day forward, were God’s gift to the world through his servant Enoch, then they were also God’s test for the world. The Torah, the Book of Mormon, and the Bible are tools to judge divergent branches. The Jewish, Christian and Mormon religions come from these scrolls and plates and are beholden to them. But we can clearly see that the religions now have twisted things around to pervert the word of God in them and make the books to represent the religions as quaint decorations at best, and venerated but completely inverted symbols of power at worst.  And so we see, according to the Stick of Judah and the Stick of Ephraim, any and all who do not take their diplomas in hand and walk away, any who fail to GRADUATE from the religions, coming forth out of the Church and touching not her unclean things, but becoming again People of the Book, Yea I say that all such are set to fail the test with a big fat ‘F’!

The Word is a two-edged (S)word. Like the legendary Sword of Laban, it has power “to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow,” and that is the exact wording used 5 times over as an injunction to give heed to the revelations of the Doctrine & Covenants. What is interesting is how in 4 out of the 5 sections it is listed as verse number 2, emphasizing the principle of duality and division at play in those verses. Only in section 33 does the same wording appear in verse 1 to indicate the power of God’s Word to join two into one. The spoken, and to a less powerful extent in modern times, the written word, provide man with a link to the spiritual world. Or, they can just as easily be abused, and seal up the gates against the blasphemer. Writing is a tricky tool. Sometimes we can hear a conglomerate of sound-bites and know that it is a Golem who addresses us and not a human soul speaking from the depths of the heart. When it comes to writing there may or may not be a high dosage of Holy Spirit behind the words, but because of the nature of letters and words jointed into paragraphs to bear ideas, it is easy to find fault with the messenger and ignore the message.

If knit-picking about grammar or lack of citation, etc. does not deter the messenger, who comes back to us like Abinadi in disguise among the people of King Noah, then we will try to ambush and ensnare the messenger. If none of these tactics work we can actually kill the messenger or spirit behind the words and hijack the body of writing to dress up our own perverted, personalized message. All words are essentially composed of letters or characters which break down to lines. All written language comes from graven images. Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Mormons have all been explicitly commanded to not worship graven images, but they all too often do worship their scriptures. The Ten Commandments which evangelists rant and rave about come from proto-Hebrew pictograms engraved upon stone tablets. We Mormons congratulate ourselves on having graduated from Holy Cows made of gold to Holy Writings made on gold plates. And the scary or most dangerous quality of written language is not that it can be ripped off of the inner-heart of living language, but the fact that lines of letters will not long remain unfilled by some spirit or another. And if the Holy Spirit has been chased off, the vehicle of written language is promptly inhabited by a vain and lying spirit.

Deified documents from the King James Version Bible to the U.S. Constitution have, by this point, been used to do more damage than good. Static interpretation of law leads to memorized statutes and eventually mesmerized worshippers at the feet of stone-cold statues. Ideology is idolatry in its most extreme form. You cannot say, that ideology is not ideolotry until it passes some specific threshold, you cannot say this; because when you and your contemporaries are brought to that awful state of so-called “literal” idolatry it is still the same spirit which possesses the “letter” that composes your “body” of laws. Scripture can have the effect of making us mentally lazy. Failure to recognize the spirit behind the words has caused us to lose the astral-mental capacities that we once had before and also following the time of the great cataclysms. As the lyrics of the spirit-stirring Mormon hymn say: “The visions and blessing of old are returning.” When the Spirit of God, manifest in fiery orations, is again seen in its full light, then latter-day glory begins to come forth. Our job is to not reject it. But if man’s spiritual vision is to fully re-turn to him, it will require some serious re-vision of what we commonly call historical fact.

There is a time in all histories of ancient date, whether oral or written, which testifies to great cosmic cataclysms. There were widespread destructions in the forms of flooding, earthquakes, wind storms, and fires. One thing is clear, when we compile all these various accounts we get a picture of a planet shaken by successive upheavals. The people of the world had already gone willingly into confusion when in the days of Adam and Eve they decided to dispense with the teachings of the first parents. It is said that the first parents “made all things known” unto the rising generations, but they “loved Satan more than God.” (Moses 5:12-13) As this willful confusion grew to an involuntary habitual death-style it naturally led to increasingly more physical effects in what we would call the literal levels of reality. Chaos in the minds of men, and through their words then deeds, finally erupted in the cataclysmic chaos which plunged the people of that time period into a deeper dimension.

That time period in many very real ways has extended to the current time. The more things change the more the essential spirit remains the same. Individually there have been many throughout the ages who have transcended time and space and lifted themselves into a higher dimension where lost knowledge, lost cities, and lost tribes are rediscovered. But, collectively speaking, the grand majority of the earth’s people have remained deeply buried under spiritual sedimentary strata, like seeds which do not sprout until the forest floor has been again completely purged by fire, ensuring that nothing of the past order remains. Some of those few pockets of survivors of the great “deluge” were very tall, classified as giants even. They stubbornly managed to keep their “deluge-in-all” heads above the spiritual waters which were intended to be a cleansing baptism for the lost souls in need of salvation in the days of Noah.

They/we inherited an earth whose geodesic grid-system had been thrown off. The natural harmony had been devalued and had to be slowly ushered back in with humans showing signs of respect for that which they had so carelessly taken for granted before. Simple interventions to stabilize the geodesic currents were no longer successful. As Father Adam had taken action by building an altar after the first major earth transition, so the children of men at this time began to build, or rebuild, physical structures to mark the geodesic currents. Temples of stone appeared again, dotting the land and creating focus-points for the interchange of spiritual energies. The emanations of planet Earth’s spiritual skeleton were canalized to correspond with these cosmic centers. The emanations of the planets and of the Sun, Moon and stars were hallowed and harnessed within geometric structures, master-minded to correspond with the main traits and qualities of the universal flow of spirit.

But take note, and be aware, that as soon as these stone structures are in place and the first words of prayer are uttered from those dedicated grounds; that is the precise moment when Satan steps on the scene. Even though this crafty character had extensive dialogue with both Adam and Eve as Lucifer in previous scenes of the LDS Temple Drama, oddly enough he is not recognized upon his entrance in the opening of this new act of man and his hand-made temples of stone. You would think Adam remembers him, but he asks: “Who are you?” to which Satan responds: “I am the god of this world.” While Adam is crying out to the sky for God to hear the words of his mouth, he is not fully remembering that the temple he has constructed is merely an echo or reflection of the temple which the Lord made to house His Holy Spirit already in the opening scenes of creation. Satan seizes upon any degree of forgetfulness as a chance to commandeer a role as Stone Temple Pilot. This brings him one step closer to his goal of possessing the True Temples of the Lord, becoming not just “the god of this world” but the personal god of Adams and Eves everywhere, “throughout all generations of time”.

Not only do Adam and Eve not recognize Satan, but Peter, James, and John, the very messengers whom they seek, appear to their eyes as strangers. Brigham Young prophesied that:

“By-and-by Zion will be built up; temples are going to be reared, and the holy Priesthood is going to take effect and rule… About the time that the Temples of the Lord will be built and Zion is established—pretty nigh this time, you will see, those who are faithful enough, the first you know, there will be strangers in your midst, walking with you, talking with you; they will enter into your houses and eat and drink with you, go to meeting with you, and begin to open your minds… About the time the Temples are ready, the strangers will be along and will converse with you, and will inquire of you, probably, if you understand the resurrection of the dead… they will then open your minds and tell you the principles of the resurrection of the dead and how to save your friends…They will expound the Scriptures to you, and open your minds, and teach you of the resurrection of the just and the unjust, of the doctrine of salvation: they will use the keys of the holy Priesthood, and unlock the door of knowledge, to let you look into the palace of truth. You will exclaim – THAT IS ALL PLAIN: WHY DID I NOT UNDERSTAND IT BEFORE?” (Journal of Discourses Vol. 6 p. 294-5)

Over time Synagogues, Mosques, Cathedrals, and Temples have come to dot the land once again. However they are not always dotting the ley-lines of Mother Earth’s spiritual body. And even when they are strategically located according to unseen energy currents, they are most affected by the unseen energy of currency, filthy lucre which has corrupted them. Both the previously discussed exchanges – between Jesus and the Jews at Jerusalem, and Jesus with the Nephites in the New World – took place at or on the grounds of temples. Imagine our older Brother Jesus in a Bishop’s or Stake President’s interview for a Temple Recommend – preposterous! Now whip yourself into shape, overturn the money changer’s desk, and imagine yourself out of such blasphemous dealings so that you may rid you and your family’s garments of the Latter-Day Stains. Jesus prophesied the utter destruction of Church owned and operated temples. (Matt. 24) He references the times of Noah and tells us that, as it was in the beginning so shall it be in the end. If we truly consider ourselves Saints of the Latter-Days then we must realize that we are cycling back around once again from a temple-constructing craze, through Jesus’ prophecies of man-made temples being totally leveled, razed, in order to make way for the Son of Man raised in glory. But before the resurrection glory of the coming of the Lord, will come the trampling of the grapes of wrath and the gory fullness of the time of the gentiles, when, as per the three-stage cycle that LDSA has expounded, works of the Devil shall abound, and LDS Temples will become temples of doom.

A true understanding of temples, both the god-given and man-made types, is vital to the discussion of scripture because we are talking about what has been the long-range goal of redemption and restoration across multiple dimensions and multiple times. We often overlook the obvious connection between the word temple and time. Whether we follow the word back to its Proto Indo-European root “temp”, meaning “to stretch,” or the Latin word “tempus” – “time”, we find a history that spans the association between time and body. Whether speaking of stone or skin, Temples or temples – we are made mindful of the fact that both are essentially “timely places” for a “mortal blow,” whether with deadly steel or livening spirit. From inscriptions on the now invisible walls of the Temple of Re-Atum to encryptions within human DNA and RNA, if a man’s spiritual vision is to be fully re-stored to him, it will require some serious re-vision of what we commonly call historical fact. What will we see when spiritual and spatial vision is restored? We will see both living and dead in holy temples together, re-deemed and re-surrected.

Walls of falsehood must come tumbling down. They are as frivolous as passing fashions that superficially separate one dispensation or time period from the next with nothing more than frilly veils between them like the mannequin in H.G. Wells’ classic – The Time Machine. All the veils of the temples shall be rent. Scripture like the Book of Mormon plays a special role in this sacred process. If, as Brother Joseph says, “the Book of Mormon is the key-stone of our religion” then we can infer that it is through subtle manipulation of this sacred text that the Corporate Church has injected poison into the life-stream of the spiritual structure of the real church of Christ. If the Book of Mormon is the key-stone of a real Temple de la Raison, then it also stands to reason that the Book of Mormon would be the wrecking-ball for demolition of the false belief structures (B.S.) which have been set up by Satan to obstruct our multi-dimensional, multi-gene-rational view.

Book of Mormon Stories for Mature Minds

The doctrine against dissent


I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. (D&C 38:27)

Unity is required of the saints

We are commanded to “be one” (D&C 51:9) in Christ, even “as [Jesus is] one in the Father” (D&C 35:2), for the gospel principle of unity is patterned after the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, “which is one Eternal God” (Alma 11:44). The required oneness is to “be perfect” (2 Cor. 13:11), the saints being commanded to be “of one mind” (1 Pet. 3:8), “of one heart and of one soul” (Acts 4:32), “of one accord” (Philip. 2:2), of “one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity” (Mosiah 18:21), as “one body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5), being “united in all things” (2 Ne. 1:21) and “united in mighty prayer and fasting” (3 Ne. 27:1).

The “one body in Christ” refers to the church of God, meaning that the saints have a “duty to unite with the true church” (D&C 23:7), to worship as a group and “agree upon [God’s] word” (D&C 41:2). This is a physical gathering of saints in which they are to “meet together often” (D&C 20:55,75).

Just as the resurrection of the dead will dress the naked spirits again, restoring the body “unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy” (D&C 138:17), so the physically gathered church, or corporate body of the church, is designed to never be divided into schisms, so that it becomes “a whole and complete and perfect union” (D&C 128:18).

Such unity is only to be of like things, thus the saints have been taught by Paul “that a believer should not be united to an unbeliever” (D&C 74:5) and every man of the church has been commanded by the Lord to “be alike among this people, and receive alike” (D&C 51:9).

The commandment to be one makes dissenting behavior a sin

There are nine instances of the word dissent in the scriptures, all of which occur in the Book of Mormon. The word never appears as a noun, only as a verb. It is also always portrayed as a sin.

For the modern reader, using modern dictionaries, the idea of dissenting behavior being a sin makes no sense, whatsoever. A review of the modern definitions and the definitions at the time of the publication of the Book of Mormon (taken from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) will quickly show why there is so much confusion on this issue.

According to the modern definition of the intransitive verb to dissent, it means “to withhold assent” or “to differ in opinion.” (Assent means “an act of agreeing to something especially after thoughtful consideration : an act of assenting : acquiescence, agreement”.) The verb has no religious connotation, however if we look at the noun dissent, we find that although it can be used generally to mean a “difference of opinion”, it also can be used more specifically to mean either “religious nonconformity,” “a justice’s nonconcurrence with a decision of the majority,” or “political opposition to a government or its policies.”

The current religious meaning (“religious nonconformity”) is a nonspecific version of what the word used to mean during the times of Joseph Smith. In Joseph’s time, to religiously dissent specifically meant “to differ from an established church, in regard to doctrines, rites or government.”

So, for example, if all the men who attend my ward dress in white shirts and ties (not because of church doctrines, rites or government, but just because that is the customary attire) and I attend wearing a blue shirt with no tie, I am guilty of nonconformity (and some might call it religious nonconformity since it is nonconformity to a custom that occurs in a religious setting), but not guilty of differing from the established doctrines, rites or government of my ward, for none of that gives a dress code for attending the ward. Dissent in the modern sense could be any religious nonconformity, regardless of how insignificant it is, whereas dissenting behavior in Joseph’s time specifically meant nonconformity to the doctrines, rites or government of an established church.

No one can righteously dissent from the true church of God

The scriptures brought forth by Joseph Smith teach that dissenting behavior is a sin, but this must be understood by the definition used in Joseph’s time. Here are all nine instances in which the word dissent is used in the scriptures, all of which are found only in the Book of Mormon:

And the people of Ammon did give unto the Nephites a large portion of their substance to support their armies; and thus the Nephites were compelled, alone, to withstand against the Lamanites, who were a compound of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, and all those who had dissented from the Nephites, who were Amalekites and Zoramites, and the descendants of the priests of Noah. (Alma 43:13)

And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord. (Alma 46:7)

And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ.

And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissensions, and gathered together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites. (Alma 46:27-28)

Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites. (Alma 48:24)

Behold, can you suppose that the Lord will spare you and come out in judgment against the Lamanites, when it is the tradition of their fathers that has caused their hatred, yea, and it has been redoubled by those who have dissented from us, while your iniquity is for the cause of your love of glory and the vain things of the world? (Alma 60:32)

And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.

And now it came to pass when Lachoneus received this epistle he was exceedingly astonished, because of the boldness of Giddianhi demanding the possession of the land of the Nephites, and also of threatening the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no wrong, save it were they had wronged themselves by dissenting away unto those wicked and abominable robbers. (3 Ne. 3:10-11)

Now there was one among them who was a Nephite by birth, who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented from them. (Hel. 5:35)

All dissenters from the true church of God are sinners

According to our modern dictionaries, a dissenter is “one that dissents”, and since we know what it means to religiously dissent, that means that a religious dissenter is one that does not religiously conform. But in the time of Joseph Smith, a dissenter was “one who separates from the service and worship of any established church.”

The words dissent and dissenters, as found in the standard works, carry the meanings the words had during the time of Joseph Smith. So, when we read in the Book of Mormon that there were people in the church who dissented, it doesn’t mean that there was a difference of opinion or general religious nonconformity, but that those who dissented were advocating a change in the church’s doctrines, rites or government. And when we read of dissenters from the church in the same record, it does not mean that they were just people who had a difference of opinion, but that they were people who had separated from the church and had begun performing worship services that were different from those of the church.

Unbelief is the cause of dissenting behavior

Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers. They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.

And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened. And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God. (Mosiah 26:1-4)

Although the above scripture speaks of non-members who never ended up joining the church, the dissenting process is the same for members of God’s church. Any believing member who chooses to begin to doubt the word of God will begin to dissent in his heart, meaning that he will begin to desire that the doctrines, rites and/or government of the church of God be changed (in conformity with his new belief system). This state of heart, in which the man spiritually separates himself from those who choose to not doubt the word of God, can lead to contention and disputations, and if not resolved by a restoration of belief (through repentance), ultimately will end in the member becoming a dissenter, so that he now physically separates from the body of the church and engages in worship services of another church or belief system. The Zoramites present a prime example of this process:

And it came to pass that as he [Korihor] went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram—and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead. (Alma 30:59)

Now it came to pass that after the end of Korihor, Alma having received tidings that the Zoramites were perverting the ways of the Lord, and that Zoram, who was their leader, was leading the hearts of the people to bow down to dumb idols, his heart again began to sicken because of the iniquity of the people. (Alma 31:1)

Now the Zoramites were dissenters from the Nephites; therefore they had had the word of God preached unto them. But they had fallen into great errors, for they would not observe to keep the commandments of God, and his statutes, according to the law of Moses. Neither would they observe the performances of the church, to continue in prayer and supplication to God daily, that they might not enter into temptation. Yea, in fine, they did pervert the ways of the Lord in very many instances; therefore, for this cause, Alma and his brethren went into the land to preach the word unto them. (Alma 31:8-11)

We see from this that Zoramite dissenters had separated themselves from both the church of God and also the Nephite nation itself, creating a new religion which rejected the established doctrines, rites and government of God. This separation occurred because they stopped believing in the things of God, as taught and practiced by God’s church:

Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ. (Alma 31:16)

All dissenters from the church of God make the same claim: that the church of God is apostate and thus its doctrines, rites or government must be modified in order to bring it back into God’s good graces. This claim may be made because the church does not sufficiently change with the times or it may be made because the church has made a change that the dissenters feel was not authorized by God. When the saints of God inevitably refuse to permit the dissenters from altering God’s current callings, laws and ordinances to conform to a more modern philosophy or to a more ancient or earlier practice, the dissenters separate and do their own thing, becoming a law unto themselves.

Now, from the perspective of the church body, to dissent is to advocate heresy and thus a dissenter is an apostate heretic (someone who advocates heresy and has separated from the church), whereas from the perspective of the dissenter, the church is too corrupt (apostate) to improve and thus must be abandoned and perhaps even actively criticized and fought.

We see from this that both sides make, essentially, the same claim: that the other party is in error and refuses to be corrected.

Unrepentant dissenters must be silenced and cut off

Unbelief is an infectious plague, that if left unchecked will affect the entire church body, causing both spiritual and temporal destruction to come upon the church. Spiritual destruction happens because unbelief and dissenting behavior are sins, thus subjecting the man to the devil’s power and captivation. And temporal destruction happens because the church body no longer qualifies for temporal deliverance from the Lord, which requires unity.

Because of these real dangers to the church, when a dissenting voice is heard among the church, it must be silenced as soon as possible. Thus we read,

And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and their mouths had been shut, and they punished according to their crimes; and after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people, and all these having been punished according to their crimes (WoM 1:15-16)

False Christs, false prophets, false preachers and false teachers cause people to doubt the word of God, creating dissenting behavior, which could grow into church schisms, in which people become dissenters, separating from the church of God. There are three valid (authorized) ways that men of God use to silence dissenting voices.

And there were no contentions, save it were a few that began to preach, endeavoring to prove by the scriptures that it was no more expedient to observe the law of Moses. Now in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures. But it came to pass that they soon became converted, and were convinced of the error which they were in, for it was made known unto them that the law was not yet fulfilled, and that it must be fulfilled in every whit; yea, the word came unto them that it must be fulfilled; yea, that one jot or tittle should not pass away till it should all be fulfilled; therefore in this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults. (3 Nephi 1:24-25)

So, the first way to silence false ideas and teachings is to have the high priests correct the errors, showing them their faults, so that such people repent of their sins and turn from their errors and become, again, converted to the true faith and doctrines and rites and government of God, confessing their faults. This first step allows people who made honest, doctrinal mistakes to self-correct and remain in safety with the body of the saints.

If, however, the false teachers do not repent, but persist in their dissenting behavior, endeavoring to preach and teach the same errors (heresies) to other members of the church, the high priests are required to shut their mouths by cutting them off from the church. Although the now non-member is free to preach as he sees fit to the members, excommunication removes his legitimacy in the eyes of the body, so that they may more readily see that the false teacher is in error, and thus should not be listened to.

Repentance, disfellowship or excommunication

In the modern church of God, the saints have been give three ways to deal with dissenting behavior: the leadership can correct the errors and those who dissent can repent and be restored to full fellowship, or, if the dissenter needs more time to repent and come to a proper understanding of the word of God, he may be disfellowshipped, so that he is not permitted to teach false doctrine to the church, until such time as he fully repents and becomes, again, a believer in God’s word, understanding it by the Spirit. Disfellowship really is for those who are still confused over the word of God, but who desire to come to an understanding that allows them to remain with the church. The last way is excommunication, which is for dissenters who refuse to repent or even acknowledge that they have done anything wrong.

The door is left open to return to the flock

Jesus told His twelve disciples, concerning the member of the church that was unworthy of partaking of the sacrament, because of transgression,

But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. Therefore, keep these sayings which I have commanded you that ye come not under condemnation; for wo unto him whom the Father condemneth. (3 Nephi 18:31-33)

Excommunication, then, is a true principle of the gospel, one which must be performed on all those church members who do not repent of their sins after they have been admonished of them. Following this commandment keeps those who are in charge of regulating the church justified before the Lord, and also keeps the flock safer from the effects of false teachings and bad examples, which effects or fruit is spiritual and temporal destruction. The commandment to excommunicate unrepentant sinners was also given to the modern church, with the same promise of justification for the leadership if they obey the same.

And him that repenteth not of his sins, and confesseth them not, ye shall bring before the church, and do with him as the scripture saith unto you, either by commandment or by revelation. And this ye shall do that God may be glorified—not because ye forgive not, having not compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not offend him who is your lawgiver—verily I say, for this cause ye shall do these things. (D&C 64:12-14)

So, even if the judges (who are charged to judge whether the sinner will remain in the church) forgive the man who refuses to repent of his sins, and would rather release him without any discipline applied, doing so would break the commandment given to the leadership, of excommunicating (cutting off) unrepentant sinners. The only way to remain justified before the Lord is to obey the commandment and cut off all those who refuse to repent, regardless of what the sin is.

Nevertheless, after being cut off, they (the leadership) must keep an open door policy, allowing the dissenters who repent of their sins to come back into the fold.

A difference of opinion does not constitute dissenting behavior

Scriptural dissenting behavior deals only with church doctrines, rites and government. Some people, though, cannot differentiate between scriptural dissenting behavior and the modern, generic definition of dissent, which merely means “a difference of opinion.” So any censuring they see, of any kind, is viewed as morally wrong, a violation of one’s right to free speech, as put down in the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The problem with that view, is that a church is not a public institution, but a private one, and like all private institutions, it has certain rules which its membership is expected to obey.

We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship. (D&C 134:10)

A case in point: Korihor

In December of 2011, I wrote on the Times and Seasons blog the following:

Korihor was not a religious freedom advocate battling an oppressive central government.

Korihor was a liar couching his lies under the guise of belief. He did this because liars were punished, it being against the law to lie (see Alma 1:16-17.) So, he pretended to preach according to his belief. Everyone who heard him preach, knew he was lying, for he told blatant lies (see Alma 30:35) but pretended it was merely his belief. He was repeatedly bound and taken before the authorities because it was obvious to everyone that he was breaking the law by lying, but no one knew what to do with him because of his stubbornness in always couching it in belief, for the law had no hold upon anyone for their belief. In other words, atheists had freedom in their society, but not pretended atheists, only people who truly believed that there was no God. Korihor, though, from his speech, revealed himself to be a liar and showed that his intention was to merely deceive the people.

Now the text clearly shows that this was Korihor’s crime: lies. Repeatedly when questioned by Alma, the topic of lies is brought up. He is on trial for lying, or intentionally deceiving people, which was a punishable crime among them. The people of Ammon, who first bound him, “were more wise” (Alma 30:20) than those at Zarahemla because they were more righteous. The Nephites at Zarahemla could see that he was a liar and deceiver, but they just let him go about breaking the law and deceiving the people. Not so with the Lamanite people of Ammon.

Again, Korihor was bound and sent up to the authorities with testimony of his lies, for there must be witnesses. Nevertheless, they couldn’t do anything to him because he pretended he was entitled to his own beliefs, therefore, he was, each time, set free, outside of the lands that he preached among, until he finally came to Alma, who, through the power of God, put a stop to his destructive work of lies.

I could have worded that a bit better than I did, but it’s good enough for the point I am trying to make, which is that once you break the laws of a society, whether it is a public society like the Nephites or a private society like the church of God, you become subject to whatever penalty is attached to that broken law. In the case of religious dissenting behavior and dissenters, freedom of speech or of the press is allowed only insofar as you do not transgress the laws of God by your speech or writings. Once you are found promoting wickedness or falsehoods by your spoken or written words, the church has jurisdiction over you and also a responsibility to censure you (to shut your mouth) in the prescribed, scriptural manner (correction and repentance, disfellowship or excommunication). In public society, freedom of speech or of the press does not grant you the right to commit slander or libel.

What saints do when unrepentant sinners are around

We are free, then, to use our agency to do good, but when we use it to commit evil by our speech and the words we write, we come under condemnation of God and it is every saint’s duty to denounce and resist all the evils that are observed by them. This is why the witnesses came forth during the first trial of the original Mormon church:

And now in the reign of Mosiah they [the unbelievers] were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous.

For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church.

And it came to pass that they were brought before the priests, and delivered up unto the priests by the teachers; and the priests brought them before Alma, who was the high priest.

Now king Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church.

And it came to pass that Alma did not know concerning them; but there were many witnesses against them; yea, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance. (Mosiah 26:5-9)

Now, I will unfold this saintly duty and peculiarity a little farther down in this post, as it cannot be overemphasized.

Pahoran wrote:

Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God. (Alma 61:14)

But Jesus commanded:

But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (3 Ne. 12:39)

Which instructions are the saints of God supposed to obey? Both. (I only mention this in case some commenter says, “But Jesus said to not resist evil! So Pahoran was wrong!”) I will not explain this seeming contradiction as that is not the topic of this post. Just suffice it to say that a saint typically does not shut his mouth at iniquity, unless the Holy Ghost constrains him not to speak.

The following instructions were given to saints:

And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled.

And if he or she confess not thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not to the members, but to the elders. And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world.

And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastened before many.

And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed. And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God.

If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things. (D&C 42:88-93)

Who does the chastening? Who does the rebuking? Who determines who has offended publicly or in secret? Who delivers the unrepentant sinners to the law of God? The saints do. More on this later.

Re: those who learn and obey the whats only if the whys suit them

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them (Abr. 3:25)

Doing all things that the Lord commands includes bridling the tongue (see James 3), which means that the spoken and written word must likewise be put under gospel constraints. Intentionally false (heretical) teachings, then, break the commandments.

Some people in the church say that mortality is a school to learn the things of God, as if it were knowledge that saved us. They emphasize that we ought not to be blindly obedient, but ought to obey rationally, with understanding of why we are commanded to do whatever it is we are commanded to do. They are more concerned with the why than with the what.

Such people, if they cannot understand the reason behind a commandment or doctrine, may end up openly questioning its divinity. In other words, they may start to propose a theory that the doctrine or commandment has a non-divine source and begin to teach it among the people. If confronted by a saint and told that the alternate teaching is heretical, the proponent may do as Korihor and say it is merely a belief or a hypothesis which may or may not be true, and that there is no harm in questioning things which may be false. In other words, he or she will claim, like Korihor, that this is not a teaching, but just an interesting idea: to consider that a doctrine or commandment or teaching of the church is man-made and not divinely given.

Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true….And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ…I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe. (Alma 30:24,26,48)

Such heresies come from putting knowledge before faith and requiring that one know and understand something before one will believe it to be true.

Although it is true that man is here to learn, he is only here to learn obedience to God.

And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer. (D&C 105:6)

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered (Heb. 5:8)

Separating goats from sheep is a gospel principle based on obedience

Obedience to the whats, not knowledge of the whys, is the deciding factor in determining where we go.

and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate (Abr. 3:26)

So God separates those who keep His commandments from those who don’t, and puts them into separate kingdoms. This is why the church is charged with excommunicating all those who do not repent of their sins. This separation, or division, is based upon the heavenly pattern. Just as there was a separation in heaven between the 1/3 and the 2/3, and the 1/3 were cast out, so here on earth more separation is commanded to occur, for those who transgress the law of God and do not repent.

But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted (Alma 42:22)

Once you break the law, the punishment is not immediately inflicted, but you are granted a space to repent, resulting in two sets of commandments. The first commandment is to keep the law, which, if you disobey, you then get a second commandment, which is to repent. Only when you refuse to take advantage of repentance and the atonement, does the law require that you be cut off from the church by excommunication.

Cutting off the people by excommunication furthers the work of division that the Savior spoke of.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. 10:34)

Jesus gathers his elect into one body and then uses his sword to divide the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the tares, pruning the body from time to time as fruit withers upon the branch, showing its true nature. In other words, the gospel net draws all sorts of fish into the church, and then it gets sorted, according to what type of fish it shows itself to be. If a man appears to be a sheep, or wheat, or good fish or fruit, he is to remain with the saints, but if he shows himself as a goat, a tare, rotten fruit or spoiled fish, he is to be cast out. The test of goathood, or tarehood, or rottenness is two-fold: does the man obey the commandments? If yes, he stays. If no, does he repent of his sins? If yes, he stays. If no, he must be cast off.

Pruning (excommunication) is to take place on an as needed basis, in order that the gospel tree does not perish.

Church trials

Before anyone can be excommunicated in this church, they must first be tried for their membership. As everyone is considered innocent before being proven guilty, the Lord has given in His scriptures the divine pattern of church trials and courts.

There are three types of church courts or trials that the scriptures speak of, and six types of judges.  The pattern is designed around checks and balances, in order that power is not concentrated in the hands of any one person or group and so that everyone who is accused has a fair, balanced trial, in which everyone’s rights are upheld.

The six types of judges

The witnesses

Two or three (or more) church members in good standing become judges when they act as witnesses. This is the law of witnesses and it is based upon the righteousness and holiness of a saint. It is the saints who will judge the nations and all things pertaining to Zion, for they are sanctified (holy) and are duly qualified to determine whether someone has transgressed.

The bishop

The bishop judges the good standing of the membership, and thus the saints, because a bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship.

The two elders

The two elders judge the case laid before them by the two or three (or more) saintly witnesses, the bishop attesting to their good standing. If there are sufficient witnesses, the two elders judge whether the accused has confessed and repented. If the accused refuses, then the elders pass judgment upon the accused, as required by the scriptures.

The church congregation

After the two elders come to a guilty verdict, they must lay the case before the congregation, which then must take a vote to sustain the action or oppose it. If the majority agrees, the decision is ratified and valid and the accused is excommunicated. If the majority disagrees, no action is taken. The congregation, then, judges the decision of the two elders, and decides whether it was correct or not.

The stake president

The stake president, like the two elders, judges the case laid before him by the witnesses and makes a decision concerning which party is right or whether both are wrong.

The high council

The twelve high council members vote to ratify (make valid) the decision of the president. If a majority does not agree with his decision, it does not go through.

The three types of church courts or councils

Bishop’s court or council

The bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship and is to know who is consecrating properties and moneys, or donating funds as tithing or fast offerings, etc., to the Lord. This gives him a unique perspective into who is and is not a wise and just steward. Nevertheless, his judgment and jurisdiction are not independent but only activate with just testimony.

And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children; and to judge his people by the testimony of the just, and by the assistance of his counselors, according to the laws of the kingdom which are given by the prophets of God. (D&C 58:17-18)

And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church (D&C 42:32)

And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church. (D&C 107:72)

Because of this, a sinner who confesses to a bishop cannot be tried by the bishop, nor his testimony used against him, because the testimony is of a sinner, not a saint. In other words, only the testimony of the just (someone who hasn’t broken the laws) can be used in trials. Nevertheless, with just testimony, the bishop and bishopric are authorized to judge only whether someone is in good standing or not, and is contributing to the upkeep of the poor and the kingdom. In other words, the bishop’s jurisdiction deals primarily in temporal matters.

Elder’s court or council

The elders’ jurisdiction to judge is activated by witnesses coming forth and testifying of the wickedness of some member. The bishop, if available, is required to be present that he may attest to the good standing of the witnesses. If two witnesses in good standing testify against a member, that is sufficient to condemn. If there is no confession and repentance afterward, the elders must lay it before the members, to ratify the excommunication. The elder’s council is designed to be used for matters of transgression only, to try a person for his or her membership.

High priests’ court or council

This court, known as a high council, is to settle difficult and important matters, and like the other courts, only receives jurisdiction when two or more saints testify as witnesses. For example, if there is a property dispute, one saying that his property line extends 15 feet down the hill and his neighbor saying that it only extends 10 feet, the high council can be used to address these matters, if there are sufficient witnesses.

Scriptural patterns are no longer followed

The above are the scriptural patterns, which are no longer precisely followed. For example, the elder’s council has been completely done away with. Instead, the high council now tries the men of the church who have had Melchizedek priesthood conferred on them, and the bishopric tries everyone else, for membership. Nothing outside of transgression is brought to trial anymore. You can’t take a property dispute to the church courts and receive a judgment. Instead, everyone is told to settle the matter amongst themselves, or to use the man-made court system.

The checks and balances that were present in the three-court pattern have been removed and power has been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Many of the rights guaranteed to all the members have been weakened or altogether removed. If we compare the scripturally revealed pattern of church courts with today’s current practice, it can plainly be seen that today’s practice and procedure makes the word of God, as written in the scriptures, of none effect, effectively removing the justice that was inherent in the original pattern. In other words, the current church court system is no longer based upon just principles, but is corrupt.

Church courts and the rights of a member

Disfellowship and excommunication is to occur in the church according to prescribed laws given of God in the scriptures. The procedure itself is divine and designed to preserve the rights of every accused member in the church, that justice prevail at all times. As I explained in another post, the Bill of Rights may be used in a church setting to protect one’s rights:

Because the Lord has approved of, or justified, the Bill of Rights, latter-day saints are fully authorized to include it as part of their scriptural canon. This is not to say that it is scripture, for it was not written by the power of the Holy Ghost, nor does it contain the revealed words of God, nevertheless, as an inspired and approved writing, it may be used to defend or safeguard one’s rights in a church setting.

The Fifth Amendment says,

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The twelve high councilors are, essentially, a type of grand jury, charged with investigating the merits of any accusations, witnesses and evidence. Their duty is to judge whatever is presented to them according to the canonized word of God. Church courts, then, were intended by God to incorporate this principle.

An accused latter-day saint cannot be a witness against himself because according to the law of God, only church members in good standing can act as witnesses. A confession, then, is insufficient to convict. Church courts, as detailed in the scriptures, cannot use someone’s confessed testimony as evidence against them, yet that is exactly what is done today by the church bishops, and also for high councils (disciplinary councils), if the accused allows the testimony into evidence. Such practices are completely at odds with the word of God.

The Wikipedia says this about due process:

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Typically, “Due process” means 1) NOTICE, generally written, but some courts have determined, in rare circumstances, other types of notice suffice. Notice should provide sufficient detail to fully inform the individual of the decision or activity that will have an effect on his/her rights or property or person. 2) right to GRIEVE (that being the right to complain or to disagree with the governmental actor/entity which has decision making authority) and 3) the right to APPEAL if not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance procedure. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.

The church court system is supposed to incorporate the principals of due process, requiring notice, granting a right to grieve and also to appeal. Current practice has kept these safeguards more or less intact. Now let’s turn to the Sixth Amendment.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

All of these principles are supposed to be incorporated into church courts. The trials are supposed to be speedy and are supposed to be public (when they are presented to the church congregation for a sustaining or opposing vote, which no longer happens). The jury, which is the 12 high councilors, are supposed to be impartial, which is often no longer the case. The accused is to be tried locally, in his branch, ward or stake, where the sins were allegedly committed. (Trials are still local, but accusations may come from outside of the branch, ward or stake, such as from Salt Lake.) The accused is to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. (This still happens.) The witnesses are to testify in front of the accused during the trial. (The law of witnesses, to my knowledge, has been almost completely phased out.) The accused has the right to call witnesses in his favor. (This is still allowed.) And lastly, one half of the high councilors that speak are to be the advocates of the accused. (This no longer happens.)

There is also the Seventh Amendment:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

All high councils were designed to be, in fact, trials by jury, requiring a ratification vote by the high councilors to validate the president’s decision. This is no longer the case. In current practice, the stake president can convict regardless of what the other men say about the case. Therefore, the right to trial by jury has been denied to the saints. But this right is found in the scriptural pattern, like the others listed above.

So, we see from this that the church court system, as detailed in the revelations, incorporates many of the same principles found in the Bill of Rights.

D&C 42 and D&C 102

The patterns of the two main court (trial) systems, the elders’ council and the high council, are given in D&C 42 and 102.

D&C 42:78-93

Section 42 gives the pattern for the elders’ council, which dealt specifically with transgression, beginning with verse 78 through verse 93.

Verse 78 states that every church member must obey the church commandments and keep their church covenants.

And again, every person who belongeth to this church of Christ, shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church.  (D&C 42:78)

Now, that is the standard (obeying commandments and keeping covenants). But what does the church do if it transgresses? The previous section (41) said the following, but did not give the procedure for how one should be cast out or judged unworthy:

He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you; for it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearls to be cast before swine. (D&C 41:5-6)

So, the rest of section 42 gives instructions on what the church should do when someone transgresses, or how to go about casting him or her off. We learn in verses 80-82 that when there is transgression in the church, the transgressors are to be tried in a church court trial before two elders of the church, and that if there are two church witnesses, that the accused shall be (not may be) condemned, and that after condemnation the congregation is to be informed of the case and of the decision and they are to vote on the matter by the raising of their hands, the Lord expecting them to uphold the decision and testimony of the witnesses:

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. And if it can be, it is necessary that the bishop be present also.  (D&C 42:80-82)

We also learn that the bishop needs to be present, if possible.

The next verse (83) basically says that verses 80-82 is the pattern for all church trials for membership.

And thus ye shall do in all cases which shall come before you.  (D&C 42:83)

Verses 79-87 give the pattern for dealing with transgression in the church as follows: if a man breaks a law of the land, he is to be delivered up unto the law of the land, and if he breaks the law of God, he is to be tried in a church court.

Verses 88-89 explain that no member is to be tried in a church court unless he has offended someone and been confronted and rebuked and has refused to confess, repent and be reconciled. Also, that the first part of the trial is to take place in a private meeting with the elders, so that the accused has an opportunity to confess, repent and seek reconciliation, avoiding any judgment and embarrassment in front of the congregation. The second part of the trial (in front of the congregation) only takes place if the accused refuses to repent.

Verses 90-92 explain that public or open offenses require public or open rebuking, while secret offenses require secret rebuking.

Lastly, verse 93 says that this is the pattern in all things for behavior concerning rebuking, chastisement, offenses, confession, repenting, reconciliation, and church trials.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things.  (D&C 42:93)

D&C 102

Trials for membership due to transgression were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the local elders and congregation, since they would have much more knowledge about the individuals involved (accused and accusers) than would the high councilors and stake president, who potentially could live elsewhere, in another part of the stake. On the other hand, trials about other matters, such as property disputes and other similar matters, were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the high council because they would not have intimate knowledge of the details of the local disputes, and therefore would be more likely to be impartial judges, the outcomes not affecting them one way or another.

That said, let’s examine section 102. The heading to Doctrine and Covenants section 102 reads:

Minutes of the organization of the first high council of the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 17, 1834. The original minutes were recorded by Elders Oliver Cowdery and Orson Hyde. The Prophet revised the minutes the following day, and the next day the corrected minutes were unanimously accepted by the high council as “a form and constitution of the high council” of the Church. Verses 30 through 32, having to do with the Council of the Twelve Apostles, were added in 1835 under Joseph Smith’s direction when this section was prepared for publication in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Although D&C 102 is not a revelation, it contains the information on how the first high council was organized and operated, which organization came of revelation, and which operation was given by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. So, although we don’t have the pattern dictated directly by the Spirit, we do have a recording of the pattern (the minutes) as witnessed by two men who were present when the pattern was shown. The minutes were later corrected by Joseph, so we can be sure they are reliable.

As I said before, the modern procedures for how church disciplinary councils are operated render the word of God of none effect, making modern courts fundamentally unjust. The error comes from a misreading of section 102, which gives the “form and constitution of the high council”, to be followed by all high councils.

Okay, so let me unfold the errors.

Modern church disciplinary councils operate under color of law

The following document,

Church Disciplinary Councils

gives the current procedures used in these courts. Here are a couple of quotes which manifest the errors:

“In a stake disciplinary council, the stake president is assisted by twelve high councilors. Their role is easily misunderstood. Uninformed persons are tempted to liken the high council to a jury. In view of the not well understood instructions in section 102 of the Doctrine and Covenants, there is also a tendency to view individual high councilors as prosecutors or defenders. Neither of these comparisons is appropriate. Members of the high council are present to “stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice’ (Doc. & Cov 102:17). In other words, they are to give added assurance that the evidence is examined in its true light and that the procedures and treatment of the accused are consistent with equity and justice. Their roles are illumination and persuasion, not advocacy or decision.” (Dallin H. Oaks)

“After hearing any additional comments from the high council, the stake presidency withdraws from the council room to confer in private. After consultation and prayer, the stake president makes the decision and invites his counselors to sustain it. The stake presidency then returns and announces the decision to the high council. The stake president asks the high councilors as a group to sustain his decision. The high council cannot veto the decision; it is binding even if it is not sustained unanimously.” (Church Handbook of Instructions)

Neither of these quotes is correct. Or, in other words, they are correct in that the modern church procedure operates as they state it does, but they are not correct in that the procedure they use is entirely at odds with the written word of God.

Here is what the section actually says,

Whenever a high council of the church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve councilors to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commencing with number one and so in succession to number twelve.

Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve councilors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the councilors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written.

But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six; but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak. (D&C 102:12-14)

So everybody picks a number out of a hat, from one to twelve. If the case is easy, just two men speak; if difficult, four men speak; and if really difficult, six speak. The rest do not speak, but just listen.

The accused, in all cases, has a right to one-half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice.

And the councilors appointed to speak before the council are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice.

Those councilors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice. (D&C 102:15-17)

In behalf of

Now, here is where brother Dallin gets it wrong (and shame on him!, since he’s supposed to be a lawyer). The expression “to stand up in behalf of the accused” means “to stand up as an advocate of the accused.”

BEHALF, n. behaf. [See Behoof.]

1. Favor; advantage; convenience, profit; support, defense, vindication. The advocate pleads in behalf of the prisoner. The patriot suffers in behalf of his country.
2. Part; side; noting substitution, or the act of taking the part of another; as, the agent appeared in behalf of his constituents, and entered a claim.

AD’VOCATE, n. [L. advocatus, from advoco, to call for, to plead for; of ad and voco, to call. See Vocal.]

1. Advocate, in its primary sense, signifies, one who pleads the cause of another in a court of civil law. Hence,
2. One who pleads the cause of another before any tribunal or judicial court, as a barrister in the English courts. We say, a man is a learned lawyer and an able advocate.
3. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses a cause, by argument; one who is friendly to; as, an advocate for peace, or for the oppressed.

AD’VOCATE, v.t. To plead in favor of; to defend by argument, before a tribunal; to support or vindicate.

All of that is from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, showing that this is the very meaning of the phrase, contrary to what brother Dallin would have us believe.

The reason why brother Dallin and the other church leaders feel the need to wrest this scripture into saying something it isn’t saying is because they have transfigured the high council into something it was never intended to be: a church court dealing with transgression and trials for church membership. So, they cannot conceive of a righteous man advocating the cause of someone who could be an unrepentant sinner, like the lawyers do. (Jesus is our advocate with the Father only if we are penitent, for the impenitent do not have Him as their advocate.)  The thought of advocating impenitence, then, is understandably repulsive to them, so they simply interpret the scripture another way, to make it work according to their procedure. But the very words themselves do not fit.

High councilors could advocate the cause of the accused because these were not meant to be matters dealing with transgression, but merely “important difficulties.” In other words, disputes over this and that private matter. In such cases, the accused may be right, or may be wrong. The high councilors who were chosen by lot to speak, could put themselves in the place of the accused, for they weren’t attempting to excuse sin, but to show a private matter from the perspective of the accused.

Veto power

The CHI says that the high council cannot veto the stake president’s decision, but that is flat out wrong.

After the evidences are heard, the councilors, accuser and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve councilors to sanction the same by their vote.

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing.

And if, after a careful re-hearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly.

But in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same. (D&C 102:19-22)

Here is the meaning of the word sanction, from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

SANC’TION, v.t. To ratify; to confirm; to give validity or authority to.

Thus, the twelve high councilors vote to ratify, confirm, give validity or authority to the stake president’s decision. Without such validation, the president’s decision is non-binding. That is what ratification is all about.

Unanimity is not required for ratification, only a majority vote. In other words, the majority of the council has power to determine whether the first decision shall stand, as well as whether there is no additional light given. The reason for the re-hearing is not because some councilors disagree, or even that one councilor disagrees, with the president’s decision, but because one or more of them think there may have been an error, meaning that the stake president overlooked something. This is why the section talks about additional light.

Impartiality

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing. (D&C 102:20)

IMP`ARTIAL, a. [in and partial, from part, L. pars.]

1. Not partial; not biased in favor of one party more than another; indifferent; unprejudiced; disinterested; as an impartial judge or arbitrator.
2. Not favoring one party more than another; equitable; just; as an impartial judgment or decision; an impartial opinion.

Current church practice in church courts creates a conflict of interest. The witnesses who present evidence or who make accusations and bear testimony, are biased, but the high council and stake presidency is supposed to be unbiased and impartial. That requires that none of them can act as witnesses, nor make accusations. Any church court that has any of the councilors or any of the stake presidency acting as a witness or making accusations, in any degree of bias, cannot be called impartial and thus is nothing but a farce.

Guilty until proven penitent is a bastardization of the law

Another practice in the church court system is the assumption of guilt upon the accused. In the Lord’s law, every saint is innocent until proven guilty, but the modern church court procedure assumes the accused is guilty and thus that the accused, in order to be in God’s good graces, must confess his sin and show penitence before the council, otherwise the council will see him as an impenitent sinner, instead of as a penitent sinner, and will have to apply the penalty the Lord’s law requires. This practice makes all those who say they are innocent of any charges appear impenitent, even if they really are innocent.

Evidence alone is not enough

It is called the law of witnesses for a reason. Evidence of wrongdoing, without an eyewitness testifying, is insufficient. The witnesses are the saints and it takes a saint to condemn anyone. Also, every word must be established by two or three witnesses. So if someone in the church, for example, publishes some literature or book, but none of the saints are offended by it or bring up accusations against the author, the high council has no jurisdiction to lay charges against the author, nor does the stake presidency, nor the bishopric. Charges or accusations can only come from a saint’s testimony and it requires two saints’ testimonies for any of these men to obtain jurisdiction to bring a judgment against a member. The Lord made it this way because it is the jurisdiction of His saints to have the first and final word, judging both the nations of the earth and also Zion.

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 saints are given free reign to judge all things, both inside and outside the church, including all the leaders from top (apostles and prophets) to the bottom (bishops). The word of two or more saints against any man, woman or child of age in this church condemns that person, regardless of his or her office.

Excommunication is supposed to be a congregational affair

Excommunication (cutting off a person from the church) is in similitude to the cutting off from the presence of the Lord which will happen to all the sons of perdition at the last day. Since that last act of cutting off is, in actuality, a spiritual death, even a second death, cutting off is representative of death. In other words, excommunication represents the death penalty, or capital punishment. Only those who do not repent receive this penalty.

The authority to inflict (the similitude of) death upon a sinner was never meant or designed by God to be in the hands of one man (a stake president) nor three men (the stake presidency), nor twelve men (the high council). The final decision was meant to be in the hands of the saints who make up the congregation.

But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:81)

Without such congregational ratification, we end up with secret trials like those of the Gadianton robbers.

Now there were many of those who testified of the things pertaining to Christ who testified boldly, who were taken and put to death secretly by the judges, that the knowledge of their death came not unto the governor of the land until after their death. (3 Ne. 6:23)

Let the saints do their duty

It is the duty of a saint to lay charges, make accusations and bear witness against all wickedness they see. If they see (scripturally-defined) dissenting behavior, they will resist it and seek to silence it. They are the Lord’s anointed and the only ones authorized to condemn; not the bishop, or high council or stake presidency. (See Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.)

And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ. (Moroni 6:7)

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:80-81)

It is right and proper for them to prune the church and bear witness against unrepentant sinners. They would be remiss in their duty if they shut their mouths at the sight of wickedness. So do not harp on them or put obstacles in the way of their duty, otherwise they will end up condemning you.

The purpose of this post

I wrote this post to show that, according to the scriptural definition, there is no such thing as a sinless dissenter; that the church is commanded to be one; that dissenters should be silenced; and that excommunication is a divine principle. I never expected to get into the unrighteousness of current church court procedure. I never expected or intended to judge the courts and find them “wanting in the balance” (see Dan. 5:27). But I did and that’s that. Nevertheless, despite the courts being corrupt because they do not conform to the divine pattern, to dissent is still a sin, all dissenters still should be silenced, unrepentant sinners still must be cut off from the church and excommunication of unrepentant sinners is still a righteous thing to do.

The question that remains, then, is what do we do about the courts? How can they be reclaimed and made right and just again, according to God’s revealed pattern? What steps must be taken by saints, working in unison (as one in Christ) within the stakes and acting on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, to administer “judicial reform” and bring the courts back into conformity with God’s laws? I don’t, as yet, have an answer to these questions. But there is one thing that I am certain of: although the institutionalization of the current church court procedures, in defiance of the written word, poses an obstacle to change, God’s saints have power through faith to rebuke anything they deem offensive, and correct anything they deem incorrect, whether within or without the church, for it is their duty and prerogative to judge all things. So I guess it just comes down to this: will they also judge the church courts and find them wanting?

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