The Perfect LDS Church Member


On this the week of the semi-annual General Conference of the LDS church I would like to give an invitation to actually live without an archy over you. If you attend or participate in the LDS church you have two external powers over you. LDSA took pains early on in this blog to explain that anarchy as a societal structure was not the condition of confusion and chaos people have been taught to believe it is. Anarchy simply means that rather than humans having a ruling authority over them they ruled themselves from the light within.

Even now as you read this most people have doubts about the usefulness of living without an external ruling body over them. So they remain where they are. They might be pretty sure the government is not to be trusted. They might feel like they know the church has slid downhill spiritually. But hey the government is still letting me live. And the church is not preventing me from living the gospel. I can still draw closer to God in the church especially because I know what is up.

I saw this Youtube video and it got me to thinking about the reality of being a member of the LDS church.  Please watch it then we will talk about it.

Now you may say what you just saw and heard is an extreme example, that he is a real nut case. I beg to differ. He is simply being open to the actual state of his mind. He is in fact being a perfect Mormon in his political beliefs. Yes you heard me correctly. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you are commanded to have the exact same view as the man in the video.

Do we know world history? Do you know what was done under the laws of the nation of Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s. If you were told to by the government you were by law to get on a train taking you to a death camp. And once there you were, by law, to do whatever they told you to do. It was all legal. And if you were not one of those put on the trains you were by law commanded to help in making sure the individuals who were supposed to get on it were on it and did not escape. If you helped in hiding or protecting any such person you were breaking the law. And as a member of the LDS religion at that time in Germany you were breaking the commandments of the church if you didn’t follow these unconscionable laws of the Third Reich.

The church has not backed away from that stance. President Hinckley said we were commanded by the 12th article of faith to be that way. There is in fact a strengthening the church committee.  The church is spying on you in behalf of the government. The IRS receives a report on how much tithing you pay every year if they ask for it.  There is not one thing in all the facets or benefits you have as a church member that is not under the authority of the government. The work of all the priesthood quorums, Relief Society, Youth groups, home and visiting teaching, fast offerings, temple work , all your covenants and ordinances before God through the LDS church are 100% subject to review and approval by the government you live under. At any time if the government said to stop baptizing, stop sealing, stop meeting the whole church would obey under the direction of the 15 prophets, seers and revelators.

In the fight for liberty many people have become aware that the biggest threat to your liberty is from the government itself. Ezra Taft Benson said many people say they will wait till the church comes up with a program or the prophet gives specific instructions. Then he said, “Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution.”  The reality is the LDS church since at least 1890 will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. And how can I say that? Because the LDS church is completely under the control of the US government and those controlling the government have no intention of saving the principles of the US constitution.

Obama did sign into law the act which gives any US president the power to take anyone’s life. But there are those who say I am going to keep on supporting the church which agrees with obeying such a government. Yes the church which does not speak out against such things but indoctrinates me and my children in obeying the will of the government no matter what that will is. Do we think that supporting even with just our attendance does not have an effect upon our spirit? Karma is real. The law of the harvest is real. It is operative even now.

Why on earth does the LDS church ever need to have people bow down to worship a graven image? Is Satan “the great deceiver” really that stupid to ruin the good thing he has got going now. He can extend his control over people and they think it is the inspired will of God from the mouth of a prophet. I do not think Satan wants anyone to stop attending the LDS church. I think he wants as many people as possible to be in that group.

The Nature of God’s Love


INTRODUCTION

This is a long post but I want to cover a lot of bases so that more people might be helped by the post. I also make no reference to LDSA’s post which has a masterful explanation of God’s love and should be read for a fuller understanding of the scriptural basis for the ideas of this post. So that post is here. And if you don’t take time to read it just keep these ideas in mind, “All are alike unto God” and from the post this paragraph, “There is only one type of charity: God’s charity.  If you don’t have an overwhelming desire and willingness to share everything you have with everyone else, you don’t have charity.”

If as you read this you think you are in complete agreement and are therefore wasting your time reading it (and you might be right) I encourage you to skip to the last section entitled in bold letters THE TRUE NATURE OF LOVE OR THE NATURE OF TRUE LOVE. There was something I learned while researching this which I have not seen expressed elsewhere. I think it is very important to understand.

NEW DOCTRINE

I was recently made aware that there is an official LDS church policy/doctrine/tradition of the brethren stating that God’s love is conditional.

It appears that the church has not always had this as a doctrine/policy/tradition. In 1992 the Church News had a small article talking about God’s love and it quoted F Enzio Busche in a 1982 conference talk where he pretty much said God’s love is unconditional. You can read it yourself here.

In the February 2003 issue of the Ensign there was printed an article attributed to Elder Russell M. Nelson. The article is named Divine Love. You can view it here.

I don’t know how much earlier this was taught, but from this time on the church’s policy is that it does not believe God’s love is unconditional. The thesis statement says:

“While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us—and certain divine blessings stemming from that love—are conditional.”

Now you may wonder what difference it makes whether the church calls God’s love conditional or if we believe it is unconditional?

God is love. If I have a distorted concept of His love then I have a distorted concept of Him. To become like God I must understand what He is like. Give a man the wrong blueprint and the structure will be wrong. And to take if even further I believe the concept that God’s love is variable towards us it will prevent us from obtaining eternal life.

DEFINITIONS

I am speaking of the love of one member of the God family for other members of that family or the love one human has for another human. And this requires that I explain that humans, all of us are children, actual genetic offspring of God and His relatives. In this mortal sphere humans are not yet perfected but there is no fundamental difference between the species of Gods and us anymore than there is a species difference between a 2 year old human child and the adults who procreated his body.

I will define love as this:

The person who loves desires all that is good for the people they love.

Unconditional means it is not subject to conditions. As applied to love it says there are no requirements for the one being loved to meet. This love is given regardless of the actions of the one being loved.

Do we have to define love? Yes we do because there are those who think love is something which in fact it is not. And I think we might see that this subject gets at a deep problem among many humans, especially LDS humans today.

So my definition means a person who has unconditional love “desires all that is good for the people they love” regardless of the developmental state, the mistakes, the choices or actions of the other person. Now God wants to share all that He has with all of us. But if we are not ready to receive it, it would be a detriment to us. I love my 6 month old son with all my heart. But I am not about to put him behind the wheel of an automobile. It would not be good for anyone.

One of my daughters took a religion class at BYU on Isaiah. She told us part of what she learned in that class, The instructor had taught her, “There is nothing you can do which will make God love you any less nor any more than He does right now.” That is not in harmony with the current teachings of the LDS church. But it may have been back when he said it. My daughter took that class in 1999.

The fact that there was a shift in doctrine/policy/tradition of the brethren on such a fundamental principle should give you cause to think about this.

VALENTINE FROM RUSSELL M. NELSON – ENSIGN 2003

Now let’s look closely at that quote from the Ensign. The thesis statement of the article says:

“While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us—and certain divine blessings stemming from that love—are conditional.”

Now I see a major problem with that statement. The problem is that the statement is erroneously trying to conflate God’s love and God’s spiritual blessings. And this problem just gets worse as you read the full article. The thesis statement says that divine blessings stem from God’s love. And later in the article he places God’s love and blessings on the same footing by saying:

“Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly “unconditional” can defend us against common fallacies such as these:…”

Do you see what fundamental concept of the gospel as preached by Joseph Smith is contradicted by this pairing?

AP NEWS FLASH SLC, UTAH This morning the LDS First Presidency announced changes in the wording of certain scriptures to be in harmony with the correlation committee’s doctrine.  Section 130 versus 20 and 21 will now read,

“20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

21 But when we obtain any blessing from God, it is predicated upon how high the level of God’s love is for us.”

How much God loves us does not determine whether we receive the blessings of the gospel. That is what imperfect mortals do. They limit how much they love others and then limit what they are willing to do for them. And when we conceive of God as having a higher or lower level of love for us based upon our actions we make unto ourselves a God who has one of the worst of mortal failings. All are not alike to such a being.

God established the conditions of obtaining exaltation based upon each of His children’s use of their agency. It is not based upon higher or lower levels of love which some believe God feels towards us. If it were then what of our agency?

If we look closely at that thesis statement it is very confusing.  It says:

”On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us… are conditional.”

Okay it says Father and Jesus feel higher levels of love for each of us but it is conditional. That means they don’t feel it for those who don’t meet the conditions. So how can they feel it for each of us? Why was it worded that way?

Elder Nelson quoted several scriptures to back up his doctrine. In none of the scriptures does it say that God will not or does not love people who do wrong or don’t honor Him etc. Here are some quotes from the Ensign article.

“If ye keep my commandments, [then] ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” 

I always thought that when a person quoted a scripture and placed a word in [brackets] that word was different, in fact it might be one word to substitute for a whole phrase, but it in no way changed the meaning. As I write these words it is about the 6th draft of this post and I just searched the scriptures to see what the [then] replaced. I trusted “Elder” Russell M. Nelson that the scripture actually reflected a meaning of “then” or “therefore” or “in that case” or at least some other phrase which he replaced with “[then]”. You know what? I am upset. No, the word is disgusted.

The scripture is found only in the gospel of John chapter 15 verse 10. It has come to us without any words or phrase which the “[then]” would replace. It simply reads as follows:

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

If Russell [Misleader] Nelson was on a debate team and pulled that stunt he would be torn to shreds for false quoting by the other side. If he was testifying in a court of law and pulled that stunt he would be guilty of perjury or lying. This is a blatant case of perverting the word of God. By placing [then] in there Russell [Misleader] Nelson has tried to change its meaning. As the scripture actually reads it indicates that abiding in God’s love is an action on the part of the person, that keeping the commandments is the action of abiding in God’s love. It has nothing to do with God’s love for us changing.

So if I do not abide in a house does that mean the house does not exist? God’s love continues regardless of whether we choose to place ourselves where we can experience it. It is so ego centric and immature to think that we mortals can control whether or not God loves us.

I know that each human and God also has the ability to choose to love a person without any regard to that person’s actions. And this is where I get people saying, “When someone does bad to you why would you want to love them?”

Eternal truth is constantly shining on us. As we respond positively and resonate with it (follow the promptings of that light) we feel peace and we receive more guidance. If we choose to go contrary to it we damage ourselves and diminish in our power and darken in our minds. We can’t ignore the truth that we are humans and that we need love and that love is good for us. So when we refuse to love others we are convicted in our hearts. When you love someone less, you know you are doing wrong.

I lived for years in an abusive marriage. God did not want me to remain in this marriage. But it was not necessary to decrease my love for my wife in order to act upon ending the marriage. She took a lot of things from me. Money, possessions, my good name, my future, 4 of my 5 children, my love of myself, my health, my self respect. All were gone because of her lies and emotional torture. I did get my self respect and my self love back once I stopped listening to her lies. But she never was able to make me stop loving her. And I never had to. Even when I found she was truly insane. Of course you can understand that made me have more compassion for her. But it didn’t change whether I could be around her. Due to the nature of her sickness I was told by a psychologist that barring an outright miracle she would never recover. He also explained she could easily decide to kill me without out any provocation on my part. So he strongly advised as little contact as possible for the rest of my life.

That is an extreme case. But it illustrates the fact that there are times when even, despite our love we can not allow ourselves to be around another human. As humans we are extremely susceptible to being effected by the communications and actions of other humans. So if you are around someone who is constantly telling you lies about yourself or about life or maybe they are tearing you down and destroying your faith you really can’t afford to subject yourself to that barrage of Satan inspired communications.

Which is precisely why I do not attend the LDS church anymore. Sometimes you need to leave the community to allow yourself to progress toward truth. And hopefully you do it before they pass around the poison kool-aid. But even if not there is time to get your head on straight after death. I hear it is harder though. My point is why wait and delay happiness and progression? I am sure God wants us to live and learn rather than allow someone to abuse us.

So although it does not fit the classic look of love, cutting off contact with someone or a group of people can actually be inspired of God. And yet to this day I do not leave my ex wife entirely alone. I still pray for her and at times send priesthood blessings and thought forms over the miles to help her along in her progress. No I am not carrying a torch for her because I don’t believe in limiting my love to one person and that includes women. I love all of them. And it is the same with men. But I also don’t believe it is a correct principle to stop loving a person, any person. That is the way I believe God is also.

There is an eyewitness account of this fact in the book Return From Tomorrow by George Ritchie. He saw a huge place where the spirits of men and women who had died were gathered in a never ending combat of hate and viciousness aimed at each other. Their emotions of  anger, hate, fear and guilt kept them locked in this battle. They needed no food and there was no physical contact being made so the conflict continued non stop. He was being shown these things by Christ who was with him. He asked the Lord why there was no help for these most wretched of souls? He was then made aware of the presence of large bright beings hovering over each of the benighted spirits on the plain. These great and loving spirits were so bright that George had not realized they were there before. He had just perceived them as the bright sky above them.   This is an example of how, although the people in hell seem to be totally cut off from God He is still feeling after them. Is this verified by the scriptures? Who says the scriptures contain all the truth of God? And where would be the justice if God made people suffer even when the price had been paid? I believe where there is suffering there is an opportunity for growth; otherwise God is a sadist.

I have heard the question asked, “Why do we want God to look that way?”, meaning why do I think it is important to believe God’s love is without conditions? As a mortal I have no real idea how close I am to knowing all the truths of God that I will need to understand and live in order to live with Him and be like Him. From my own experience I have seen how I thought I knew how things really are only to find out later that my understanding was so lacking and in some cases down right wrong. So if God’s love for me is conditional upon my actions and choices then what is the real state of it now? Since I don’t know exactly what I still need to change I have no way to measure where I am on the higher level/lower level of God’s love. That is doubt and uncertainty. Faith in God unto eternal life can not be built on such a foundation.

Back to the article.

“If you keep not my commandments, [then] the love of the Father shall not continue with you.”

Again there is no word nor words which [then] replaces in this scripture. It is in there courtesy of Russell [Misleader] Nelson. The phrase “the love of the Father” is not congruent to “God’s love for you” is it? The words “the love of the Father” would actually refer to our love for the Father.  Just as the white fruit in Lehi’s dream which is explained to be “the love of God” can not be equated exclusively to God’s love for His children. And is there anyone reading this who does not realize that it is only when we love a person that we can sense their love for us? And is there anyone who thinks we can cause God to decrease in His love for us? Yes there are plenty who will believe this lie.

Here look at my analogy. My teenage son asks to borrow the car and I say he can. And then I say now if you will do such and such then you will be safe and be blessed. Perhaps I am even inspired and stating a prophecy. This is what God always does when He tells us truths. So if my son does what I tell him he does in fact remain in a blessed state which we can refer as “the love of the Father.” And that accurately describes it because out of love for me he is keeping my sayings. It is a safe and blessed state. But if he disobeys me then it is he that has departed from his love for me. And he surely will think I don’t love him when bad things start happening.

But I am sitting at home waiting to see if my son will chose to trust in my word, perhaps again by a fatherly foreknowledge I already know he is getting into trouble. So when I become aware that he is disobeying me what is my reaction? According to Elder Nelson in such a case God decides to start loving us less.

But I know that is not what happens in my heart. If there is any change in my emotions it will be that  my compassion will increase and my desire for my son’s welfare will increase (more love) as I learn that he has not trusted my word and is in trouble perhaps even the car is wrecked.

It reminds me of Matthew 7:11 when Jesus  said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” If I being a man know how to love then how much more God knows how to love?

Okay another quote from the 2003 article.

“If a man love me, [then] he will keep my words: and my Father will love him.”

This scripture may have been worded so as to work upon our minds as the Lord mentioned in D&C 19. But again we need to see the real scripture and not take big [M]’s word for what it is talking about. It is a misquote from John 14

Here it is:

“21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

The scripture does not say if a man keep not His commandments then God loveth him not. That fact is sufficient to make the point of this post. But this 2003 article was spun so as to pervert the truth of God and yet in the attempt there are a couple of places where the scriptures quoted condemn the 15 seers of the LDS church. And this scripture is one of them.

Okay so lets venture into falseidealand and pretend that God does love us more if we keep His commandments or to use the church’s words, that God has a “higher level of love” for us if we keep His commandments. If that is true please note the even greater problem it creates for the leadership of the LDS church.

On 2 April 1843 in Ramus, Illinios Joseph Smith remarked about that chapter and verse. The remark was recorded in the William Clayton Diary and written also by Willard Richards at the same event. It was also placed in the D&C in section 130, verse 3.

“3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.”

What does such a belief say about the 15 apostles of today? None of which have ever claimed to have been visited in person by God. And there hasn’t been an apostle who did claim such a visit since John W Taylor, son of the 3rd president of the church who was first removed from the quorum because he was in disagreement with the other 11 and then later excommunicated for continuing to practice polygamy after the manifesto.  And yet he claimed openly to have been personally visited by Jesus Christ. Are you thinking of Lorenzo Snow being visited by he Lord? It does not change anything since he was called as an apostle prior to John W Taylor so again the truth remains none of those called as apostles since John W. Taylor have claimed a personal visit of Jesus Christ. Since the first apostles of this dispensation were told their apostolic calling was not complete until they had received a personal visit by Jesus Christ it makes you wonder how the latter ones can claim to be true apostles.

So if Elder Nelson is correct that this scripture proves God’s love is conditional then wouldn’t the facts of the last 100 years prove that God the Father doesn’t love the seers of our day?

I am not saying that. The doctrine of the LDS church as applied to this scripture says it. For my part I believe God does love those 15 men and all of us without condition. When we receive a blessing from God even the greatest of all gifts the gift of Eternal life it is because we love God enough to trust in His Word.  Yes blessings are 100% conditional. But blessings and gifts of God come based upon obedience to law, not based upon the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for us. What that really means is that we are the ones whose choice to love God determines whether we will become like Him.

“I love them that love me; and those that seek me … shall find me.”

But I the Lord don’t love those who don’t love me? What the ?? Don’t we teach young children and teenagers to treat others nice and love them even if the other person is acting mean?  So what is this? We hold God to a lesser standard? He is less loving than a spoiled brat? Even typing the question seems blasphemous.

“God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

But those who do not fear Him He has no respect for? No that would violate the first clause. Again look at the wording “accepted with Him.” Does that mean accepted along with Him? And who accepts God as God? All of His creations with the exception of us, His children. And we are in the process of making our choice whether we will accept God as our God or not. That is the truth of the matter regardless of the way we interpret this scripture. Because God got to be God by His choices. And He has promised us the justice of it being our agency and our choice which will determine whether we are like Him and not the level of his love for us.

Is the problem here that these people don’t know the difference between love and acceptance? Come to think of it my fifth generation LDS ex wife did not know the difference either.  I am not jesting. This is dead serious. There are those who in all sincerity have been raised by parents who never gave love but always controlled their children (and their spouse) by giving or withholding acceptance. They do not actually comprehend true love since they were never given it by their mother. And if you think of it this is exactly what the church does to its members; it controls them by the offer of acceptance and the threat of withdrawing that acceptance.

Back to the article.

“The Lord “loveth those who will have him to be their God.”

Again the fact that He does love group “A” does not prove that He does not love group “B”.

Then we read this in the 2003 article:

“Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly “unconditional” can defend us against common fallacies such as these: “Since God’s love is unconditional, He will love me regardless …”; or “Since ‘God is love,’  He will love me unconditionally, regardless …”

My close friend and I have gone around and around on this. He asked at one point, “If God’s love is unconditional then what would be the motivation for being good?” Now the answer to that question is the real heart of why this doctrine is damning to our souls.

WHY OBEY GOD IF HE LOVES ME NO MATTER WHAT?

There are many possible motivations for obeying God and living a principle of the gospel. Most any motivation will be included in one of these groups.

Fear of punishment

Desire for personal gain or money

Desire for acceptance or praise

Sense of obligation or DUTY (perhaps a higher harmonic of fear)

A good result in your life, good feelings or even blessings (perhaps just a higher harmonic of personal gain here)

Your love for God and others which is one and the same

Which of these groups would enable you to claim the same inheritance as Jesus Christ? Which of the above motivations were involved when Jesus suffered the atonement and death on the cross?

There is no higher love than God the Father giving His Son Jesus to suffer and die for people who are in a sinful state. He acted upon that love before the foundations of the world. Has His love waxed and waned since?

Looking at the various levels of motivation we can see that all contain the element of fear but the last. Even the desire for good results or blessings means we are doing it out of fear that we won’t get these things if we don’t do it.

Can we rationally have faith to obtain His glory if we must be motivated by the threat of losing His love? Was Jesus motivated by the threat of losing God’s love? Or can it be that the greatest motivator possible is the fact that no matter what we do or have done He did and always will love us completely. Then the question of whether we receive His glory is whether we receive and reciprocate His love.

Telling some one that you will love them more if they obey you is what you do when you want to control them. When you use this carrot of love and stick of less love you don’t want an equal with whom you can share all that you have. You want a slave who is controlled by the fear of losing your love.

But if you give your love without price then it is up to the other person to make an unfettered choice to love you back. So by your love they are motivated to be as you are. Love is the greatest power of influence in all existence. If it were not, Satan would win and God would be toppled and cease to be God.

But the idea in the minds of humans that God’s love is variable will force them to resort to the motivation of fear. And that is why Satan wants it to be part of the doctrine of the LDS church.

And why do some people like the doctrine of God’s love being variable? Well I don’t know exactly but think of this. If I believe that God loves me completely no matter what I do, then I know without doubt that if I do not love Him and others in that way I am being unjust. The responsibility to love others as He loves me is then left to my personal choice. It means that when I have less love for one person here than another that I stand convicted in my conscience. But if I accept the belief that God has higher levels of love for some and obviously lower levels of love for others then I can be justified in being the same way.

I said something once to one of my daughters when she was 14 years old. I said, “I am going to tell you something and you can spend the rest of you life thinking about it. When we love some one all we can do is give them our love. That is our choice. And then we hope they will love us in return. That is their choice. If we try to force them to love us it will not make us happy because it is not love. Love is freely given or it is not love.”

Now if we think of how we might go about “forcing” or even pressuring someone to love us we can see that it amounts to the same concept of a God who will apply the threat of not loving us unless we obey Him. There are many who won’t believe me on this, but it doesn’t work. What you get in return is not love. And when you are trying to manipulate you are not giving love. Motivation by pure love is the most powerful of all motivations. Motivation by fear is what Satan has always done.

Injecting fear into our relationship with God destroys our ability to actually obey out of love.

THE TRUE NATURE OF LOVE OR THE NATURE OF TRUE LOVE

In researching for this post I received an inspired understanding of the nature of love, how it should be. I was then able to see how the Babylonian culture has perverted what real love is.

There are 4 words in Greek which mean love. The definitions of these words are all stated in terms of which group of people are loved in this way. The words are:

Agape – This love for your spouse and children. It is seen as unconditional and self sacrificing and compassionate. It can also be applied to all the world of people.

Eros – This is sexual or passionate love. But Plato explained that it can also be without physical contact, still based on the beauty and sexual appeal of the other person but with a respect and admiration of them as a beautiful creation or an ideal to be admired even if there was not partaking. The latter is the actual meaning of platonic love.

Philia – This is termed brotherly love and is viewed as having its main focus on the community. But family is also included. I will show you in a second why all of them overlap.

Storge – This is often not mentioned. It is a love that accepts a person as they are. It is used to maintain a love for the ruler even when he is a pain at times. But also a family member immediate or extended who is well know to be a jerk at times but this love accepts him so we are willing to retain him as a member of the family/community rather than abandon him and cut him off.

As I studied these something suddenly occurred to me. The four types of love do not apply to four different groups. And by viewing it that way we miss the point and meaning of the different types. They apply to 4 types of actions we take towards everyone. We need all 4 types at all times with each person. Eros with our children? Eros is based upon our sexuality but it does not require sexual intercourse. I love my brother and I hug him and even kiss him and admire his manly body (its easier to admire in that way than mine) but I don’t need to have sex with him. Same is true of my sons and daughters and nieces and nephews etc. They are sexual beings. I should admire and be aware of that. But it is of no blessing to them to be intimate with them so out of love I do not.  Love always responds to the needs of the person you love.

Here is an example of how it applies to a spouse. Yes we can see our passion and desire to be intimate with them coming in to play. But we can also in our agape see sacrificing our lives for them if needed. And on a daily basis we serve and act out of kindness in a philia type love for them. But sometimes even the best of spouses can be a jerk. And when that occurs we need to have storge love for them and not cast them out.

But see what we have been taught? How many of us have heard this? “If you ever have sex with another person our marriage will be over.”

Or imagine you and you spouse have some real close friends another married couple. You have known each other for years. You love the guy like your brother or maybe more than your brother. You never want to lose him as a friend. But what would happen if he and your wife fell in love and are intimate with each other? It would be the real common thing to hear someone say. “If he ever had sex with my wife I would want to kill him.” Or maybe you hear the not so cruel, “If he had sex with my wife that would be the end of our friendship.” Your friendship with who, your friend or your wife? And in all sincerity why?

So what happened to your agape, philia and storge love? They are totally wiped out by the over-emphasis on eros love. All types of love are made of zero strength by being made insignificant compared to our worship of eros. This is where eros has been perverted. The S&M and pedophile effects himself and those he directly touches. And there may be millions involved. But there are billions who have perverted love by believing the Babylonian enforced monogamy laws and the popular media’s version of one true love songs which are a denial of actual God given human nature.

And if we are willing to see it for what it can be then ask yourself what about the love which developed between your spouse and the other person? Why is it evil? The only evil is your selfish demand that they deny their love for each other. And what makes your love for your spouse good? A government marriage license? Please don’t insult us all by thinking anything like that. Oh you had an agreement a covenant to not love any other people in that way and you are enforcing that same promise on your spouse. Is this not part of the covenant with death spoken of in the scriptures? Now if your spouse is stopping their love for you that is a different thing. And it should be addressed. But as always if you are trying to force them even with a previous covenant then you are not acting upon love. No in fact it may be you who had stopped loving them first.

But there is nothing in our nature as humans which prevents us from loving fully, in every way, multiple people. And by maintaining all types of love for our spouse we can honor their right to love all others as they honor our right to love all others. And then we both honor the way God made us in His image. And I believe that is what God wants us to do. I believe that is the way God is.

CHI #7


I believe this will be my last article on the LDS Church Handbook of Instructions. I have no desire to waste time trying to sort out all the things wrong with the current LDS Church’s policies and administration. The problems of the LDS Church will not be resolved from within.

I believe in the days ahead the LDS church will be broken up so that there will not be a legal successor to the high priesthood from within it’s ranks. Also prior to the physical gathering to build the Zion of God the Lord will send people inspired and authorized by Him to fulfill that work and those who have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide will not be deceived but will be able to gather with them.

I also believe it will be necessary for each currently active LDS to “detoxify” from the false mindset which now pervades the church, its practices and even its teachings. It has been spoken of by several on this blog how deeply affected we are by Babylonian traditions and that we have been for generations. This Babylonian mindset effects the way things of God are perceived among the members of the LDS church. I am convinced that the very context and intent of the gospel of Christ, even His own words have been perverted within our minds so that after years of being exposed to the teachings from the church it may be impossible to correctly understand His intent.

In order to brainwash a person you must deprogram them first. One of the required elements of the deprogramming is emotional stress. Brainwashers use fear, sleep deprivation and food deprivation to break down the status quo of a person’s mindset.

Cleansing the mind of false traditions can also be a positive thing. I think this is one of the reasons there were so many great and traumatic events prior to Christ’s appearance to the people in the Book of Mormon. I believe the future will bring similar events for a similar purpose worldwide.

I suppose we could cleanse ourselves of Babylon and receive the Spirit’s teachings by deprogramming ourselves through things such as extended fasting, tribal worship, cutting off contact with the Church and its teachings and other healing methods. I know some people who are doing these things. It might make it possible for them to not have to go through the group trauma coming upon the world. They will perhaps already be receptive to the truth that God will surely send and even now is sending. Such people might even be able to help others through the transition.

So much for the comments before the post. In this post I will discuss the portion of the LDS Church Handbook of Instructions regarding taxes.

Section 17.1.23 is in the chapter entitled Church Policies. This section is titled Income Taxes. It is directed at members of the church, what we call the rank and file of the church. But there is another section which speaks of taxes also. Section 14.10.1 is under the chapter called Finances. That section is called Tax-Exempt Status. It is speaking of the Church. Let’s look at these sections.

Section 14.10.1 Tax-Exempt Status

The Church normally is exempt from paying sales, property, income and other taxes because it is a religious organization. Church buildings and other property are to be used for the purposes of worship, religious instruction and other Church-related activities. Stake and Ward leaders ensure that Church facilities are not used for political, business, or investment purposes as outlined in 8.4. To do so would violate laws that permit tax exemption of Church property.
It is important that stake and ward leaders follow these guidelines to preserve the Church’s tax-exempt status. If one stake or ward misuses the Church’s tax-exempt status, other Church units could be affected.

Notice how this section is not talking about the church as the term is used by the Lord, meaning people who follow Him. The word Church is capitalized because it is a proper name. It is the name of a fictional person or what is called a corporation, the making of a body or person out of something that is not a person. The word Church is capitalized because it refers to the corporate (or incorporated) “church”. You, reading this, unless you happen to be as of this date Thomas S. Monson are not a member of the entity referred to as the Church. Your activities in the eyes of the CHI are not tax-exempt. I guess your activities don’t rise to the level of “of worship, religious instruction and other Church-related activities”. No, here is the section which is meant to direct your actions.

Section 17.1.23 Income Taxes

Church members are obligated by the twelfth article of faith to obey the tax laws of the nation where they reside (see also D&C 134:5). Members who disapprove of tax laws may try to have them changed by legislation or constitutional amendment. Members who have well-founded legal objections may challenge tax laws in the courts.
Church members who refuse to file a tax return, pay required income taxes, or comply with a final judgment in a tax case are in direct conflict with the law and with the teachings of the Church. Such members may be ineligible for a recommend and should not be called to positions of principal responsibility in the Church. Members who are convicted of willfully violating tax laws are subject to Church discipline to the extent warranted by the circumstances.

Now if you want to know the truth about the US income tax system I suggest you view this video.

I can sum up this video and several other books and articles written about the US income tax. There is no US law requiring any human to file or pay an income tax. There are tons of regulations which are enforced as if they were lawful but they are not legally binding upon real people. However what most people do not know is that the action of filing a tax return with the IRS has the effect of designating yourself as a “legal person” or in other words a corporation. And then they have a case against you according to their regulations.

But let us stay focused on what the CHI is doing. It holds the Church tm as free from income taxes while telling all us slaves that we better pay our income taxes or the Church will punish us. Is that what Jesus said to Peter when they demanded a tax to enter the temple? No He said it was evil, but He caused a miracle to pay the evil tax. Oh yes He said render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Is your time and labor the property of the government? Why because they say so? Then you are a slave not only physically but mentally also.

In the CHI they have to work hard to justify this little section. I did not know the Articles of Faith were commandments or obligatory in nature. I don’t think they are. And then the CHI says to look at D&C 134:5. Yeah, lets look at that section. They are really grasping at straws here. In fact by citing this scripture they shoot themselves in the foot. Some comments I see seem to think this is a bad section because it strengthens the argument that we are slaves to the government. I say it does no such thing. Even though it was written by men and does not claim to be a direct revelation from Joseph Smith it contains excellent truth. Here is the first sentence from verse 5. It has the part they want you to see.

5 We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments;

Okay the portion prior to the comma is all the CHI and corporate Church wants you to see. But oops there is a stipulation there, “while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments;” Which is to say that when we are not protected in our inalienable rights from God rather than owing obedience to such a government the Declaration of Independence states it is our duty to throw off such government and establish a new one to secure our God given rights. That is clearly the message of D&C134:5 and Alma chapter 60 verses 33.

And I ask, “Have you and I been protected by the US government in our inalienable rights?” Does there remain in the US the right of freedom of religion that congress shall pass no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free practice thereof? And the second amendment that we may own (keep) and carry (bear) on our person a firearm (arms) has that not been infringed upon? Are we free to speak our minds even if it is in opposition to a government leader or policy or must we only do so in certain zones where no one can hear us? The answer to these and hundreds of other examples of the destruction of our liberties is no! Our rights are not being protected by this government.

During times of oppression God fearing men and women support and up hold people who fight against unjust governments and unjust laws. The true followers of God and Christ in the days of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry all honored their actions. They praised them from the pulpits and in public. They supported them and thanked God openly for men willing to risk their lives to stand for truth and liberty.
All true followers of God and Jesus Christ will support those willing to risk their comforts, thier homes and even their lives to fight against tyranny. Therefore anyone who agrees with the words of this section of the CHI is not a true follower of God.

What a joke to say “Members who disapprove of tax laws may try to have them changed by legislation or constitutional amendment”. Even the wording of the sentence is mocking us. You can try all you want to change things, but we know who is in power and we will do the bidding of our masters the international bankers to keep you enslaved to them. We will threaten you with being counted before God as unworthy if you don’t file your tax return.

HOW DARE THEY!? Who do they think they are to take something so sacred and holy as our relationship and standing before God and subject it to an unholy entity known as the IRS, the collection agency of the world wide secret combinations?

Why do they find it necessary to even mention obedience to income tax “laws”? The reason they mention it is because over the years the scriptures and the Spirit of God have lead some people to question the validity of the government’s claim to ownership of our time and labor. And rather than just say we believe in obeying the law, these writers go into a feeding frenzy of enforcing strict and total obedience in order that all might be enslaved.

When liars don’t want you to question them they bring out the biggest verbal threats possible. And so here the CHI writers don’t just mention tax laws it they slam it hard as can be. Look at this sentence.

Church members who refuse to file a tax return, pay required income taxes, or comply with a final judgment in a tax case are in direct conflict with the law and with the teachings of the Church.

That says if you refuse to file a tax return you are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Church. Even the IRS says that not everyone is required to file a return. But this little section goes insane to the point of lying to say that all must file a return. Satan’s plan to coerce all to obey never had a better friend than the CHI. And there you have it.

And what is your tax money going to support, wars, airport strip searches and incarceration without due process and a host of other evils which have the effect to place you deeper and deeper in slavery? You are paying to put stronger and stronger chains on you.

The last note. If I knew someone who had been approached by some mafia thugs and they told him, “If you don’t pay us some protection money we will burn down your business.” I would not find fault with him for paying them money. I see paying the IRS or at least filing a return as protection money for many people. But you might be surprised how you could actually be free from paying them. I can’t guarantee that it would be comfortable for you. Fighting for freedom is rarely comfortable.

‘Round midnight


The title relates to two things. A jazz song by that name which is kind of a mournful blues. The title and the tune bring to mind things that happen at midnight which would not happen during the day.

The other reference of the title comes from the parable of the ten virgins. The bridegroom is said to come at midnight. Midnight during the time of Christ was not our same midnight of 12 am. The counting of hours was based upon the rising and setting of the sun. So midnight was literally the time farthest from the light of the sun in both directions. It was the darkest time of the night.

Just before a great light bursts upon us and we are delivered from the bondage of Babylon the night is going to get very dark. Mercifully the coming of the bridegroom did not wait all the way till the morning returned. The Lord tells us this when He speaks of the coming destructions and how that for yet a little while I hid my face from thee. Here is an example in Isaiah 10:24,25.

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

I understand this use of Zion to be a geographic reference to the American continent and not the coming kingdom of God yet to be established thereon. And this because as He said in D&C 112: 25,26:

25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me,

We are not living at midnight. But I feel we are ‘round midnight. The conference center will likely fall within a few years. When that happens I believe there will be an unleashing of evil like we have never seen. And I am seeing more and more signs of the coming break up of the church right where I live.

But for your consideration I have a true story to relate. I have a personal friend who witnessed the beginning of a terrible series of evil acts perpetrated by a small group of people who were just following their “prophet”. The actions were those of abduction , extortion and then 5 counts of murder. The group was only about 4 or 5 people with just 2 or 3 of them directly doing the crimes and at least one more covering for them. I won’t go into all the details but you can view them here. But the real start of it will never be mentioned in a police blotter or news story or even in any books written about it (unless my friend writes one).

The “prophet” was Taylor Helzer. The crimes occurred in 2000 but had their beginning earlier. Taylor Helzer was an active member of the LDS church and had served a mission. In the late 1980’s my friend was a member of his ward. My friend was coming to the realization that much of what goes on in the church is not scripturally based. In short he realized that the church which Joseph Smith and Parley Pratt were members of was not the same church we see today. He began to question the mantra “just follow the brethren” and began thinking for himself.

Several years before the Helzer began committing the murders my friend was approached by Taylor Helzer at church. Taylor was a strong believer in the “follow the brethren” mindset. Taylor was pressuring my friend and telling him to get with the program and just follow the brethren. My friend then quoted a scripture to him. D&C 64:38,39

38 For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.
39 And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.

Taylor had never processed the idea that there could be false apostles or hypocrites among the “brethren”. My friend watched Taylor’s face and could be seen a total deconstruction of a mindset. A very huge paradigm shift. That was the beginning of Taylor Helzer’s flip from active Latter-day Saint to self appointed prophet willing to murder as directed by an entity whom he called “spirit”. An example of his being directed was given when he talked to the police about two people who were not directly involved in committing the crimes. He had not let them know what he and his brother were doing while the two helpers were providing a cover story for them. He told the police, “Spirit said that I should not let them be in here,”

Taylor Helzer’s purpose in the abduction was to get money to fund a plan to “Transform America,” by ushering in “a state of peace and joy” and defeat Satan. Part of the plan was to train Brazilian youth to kill 15 of the top leaders of the LDS church and then place himself as the rightful prophet and then go on to transform America.

This is a cautionary tale in two ways. One for ourselves personally. Watch yourselves. Be careful which spirit you list to obey. Years before the murders Taylor went into drugs and a lot of sexual sin. If anything in what you feel to do would be cruel or heartless to others it can’t be from God. That which doth not edify is not of God. I beg you to stay away from it.

Secondly it cautions us in that it presents a scenario which may very well be played out on a much larger scale in our days. The mindset which allows a person to turn over their agency to another person or group of people the is the perfect mindset for the devil to carry out his plans. All that is needed is to plant the right person as the one they follow.

These type of followers have no personal moral compass. It is so much easier to just do what you are told than to have to weigh it out in your mind and obtain an answer directly from God and to be sure it is from God. Most people will do anything to avoid having to use the muscle of their brain and heart.

As we look out across the millions of members of the LDS church and think of how many buy into the “just do what the brethren say” mindset and then contemplate how they might react when their paradigm shifts as the seers are covered, I believe we may conclude we are sitting on a powder keg.

How many of them might look to Mitt Romney newly elected US president (in that day) as the answer to the burning question in their minds which will be, “Who do I follow now?” But in more accurate terms is, “To whom shall I give my agency to now?”

Some of you may want to talk about the validity or lack thereof in this possible scenario. But more than that I would like to read your comments on what you are experiencing right now in the church. What do you see as you look out in this time ‘round midnight?

Do you see the portent of the absence of the gifts of the spirit in our meetings and lives? Moroni said this, “ And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one….” (Moroni 10:24,25)

Do you see members so caught up in the love of money so that it caused Moroni to say, “ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted”? Do you see what Moroni prophesied of by saying that “leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches”?

A member of the church told me he had no concern about the future of the US since the Lord always had the prophets warn the people before their nation was to be destroyed and our prophets are not telling us that, so no worries. If you are thinking that way I suggest you read Ether 2:8-10.

It reminds me this from Isaiah chapter 6

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
9  And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

When a patient is sick the doctor take his vital signs, temperature, blood pressure and pulse. What are the vital signs of the membership of the church where you are?

My brothers and sister in God. I have faith in God, that He will send one mighty and strong to lead us to gather to Zion. And until then I think I should continue to do all I can to get out of Babylon and establish what I can of Zion in my own life and those who will join with me. I have had a lot of things that could destroy my trust in God. But after talking them over with Him I have always resolved to increase that trust. Not to trust in men of the arm of flesh and not even in my own wisdom. But in the Father and the Son who is my Redeemer and Savior from all the fiery darts of the adversary.

CHI #6


The focus of this post is to examine the policies established by the CHI for the worthiness interview required for baptism.

Section 16.3.3 covers interviews for convert baptisms. Mission presidents are given the keys for administering baptisms of new members of the church over the age of 8 or for 8 year old children whose parents are not members of the church. The full time mission district or zone leaders are delegated authority by the mission president to perform the worthiness interviews for these baptisms.

Various scriptures mention the need to verify a person is truly repentant prior to being baptized into Christ’s church. The Lord does expect those who are seeking baptism to in someway demonstrate their repentant state. And it is a priesthood function to verify this. The process for this has become the baptismal interview.

This basically places the full time missionaries in the function of a judge “in Israel” or at least at the entrance into Israel. We are taught that certain sins are more grievous than others. Murder specifically has some scriptural precautions attached to it and is treated as a sin which the Lord does not easily forgive.

In my mind there are some real questions about whether the way we are taught about this is the way God views it. In the book of Alma the people of Lamoni were completely forgiven of murderous acts. You might accept that group because perhaps what they did  was done under a “legal” cloak.  I believe it is a very dangerous thing to think that because a thing is legal under an earthly government it is not murder, enslavement or theft before God. I suggest you read Many are Called But Few Are Chosen by H. Verlan Anderson to understand that. But even if that were true what about those Lamanites who came and began slaughtering thousands of Anti Nephi Lehis who were not even armed nor resisting? They seem to have been truly forgiven that very day.

I will only lightly cover that because it is not the focus of this section of the CHI and I do not feel adequate to treat it thoroughly with all scriptural statements taken into account.

Now to help clarify the CHI requirements for a convert baptismal interview I will break the sins listed into 3 classes. Each class requires a different level of approval before the candidate may be baptized. If this sounds to you a little like the instructions for an income tax form then you should ponder the significance of that.  The format here is not from the CHI but the procedures and events listed are.

Class 1 sins are all sins not covered in classes 2 or 3.

Class 1 candidates are approved by the interview of the missionary District or Zone leader.

Class 2 sins are if the candidate :

1. Has submitted to, performed, arranged for, paid for, consented to, or encouraged an abortion.

2. Has been convicted of a serious crime.

3. Has committed a homosexual transgression.

Class 2 events require the mission president to interview or he may on a case by case basis authorize one of his counselors to interview and then the mission president’s approval must be given before the baptism is allowed.

Class 3 requires the mission president himself to conduct the interview and receive approval of the First Presidency before the baptism can take place.

Class 3 sins are if the candidate:

Has committed murder

Has been involved in the practice of plural marriage

Has undergone an elective transsexual operation

Is currently on legal probation or parole

Under murder further instructions are given exempting cases of a police or military killings done in the line of duty. I wonder if that includes CIA employees who torture people or kill them as part of their job. Well surely torture is not murder just a serious crime or no not even a crime since they were obeying the 12th commandment, I mean article of faith because it was done under the laws of the land (What land? Don’t confuse me with details!).

Regarding involvement in plural marriage two more subsections are cited. The first subsection relates to adults who have been involved. The other relates to children whose parents are practicing or did practice plural marriage.

As an adult you have in the eyes of the CHI committed a class 3 sin if you have previously taught, encouraged or practiced plural marriage. Remember this is as a nonmember we are talking about. The mission president must submit a request for approval to the First Presidency and it should include information about the person’s past involvement and his subsequent repentance.

So let me get this straight. A person who learns of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ must repent of having taught what Joseph Smith and every apostle up until 1890 taught and prove repentance for having taught it before he can be baptized? And of course the same applies to having encouraged or practiced it also.

Wow I am sure glad this high standard doesn’t apply to retaining church membership since as someone who has been sealed to two women (both living as if that makes a difference) I am obviously teaching by example and in fact practicing plural marriage. But we will see why I am exempt from any such punishment.

And now let’s look at the class 3 sin of involvement in plural marriage as applied to a child. This occurs when the candidate for baptism is a child of parents who have practiced or are practicing plural marriage contrary to the law. I take that to mean the civil law where the person is living.

The mission president may submit his request for approval to the first presidency when the following requirements are met.

1. The children accept the teachings and doctrines of the church.

Is this not required in the other classes of baptismal approval? (Hey lay off government regulations are notoriously redundant)

2. The children repudiate the teachings upon which their parents based their practice of plural marriage.

So that would be something found in the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants or the journal of discourses? No it could easily be something in Islamic law too! Yeah and as true blue Americans we all know that is all evil especially after 911. Yeah!

3. Minor children are not living in a home where polygamy is being taught or practiced.

Good thing for my children that they were already baptized when I married my second wife in the temple without cancelling the sealing to my first. But obviously that doesn’t matter since it is not against the law of the state. So is that all the CHI is concerned about? You might say no because is says also even if the doctrine is being taught in the home. But in fact this is exactly the language of the Official Declaration 1 which states we aren’t teaching and we aren’t practicing plural marriage.

I think we have to agree that this is all about bowing to the law of man. We can see that the application becomes extreme. Where do the writers of the CHI draw the line regarding teaching the doctrine of plural marriage as an eternal principle? That really doesn’t matter to them because the policy here it is all about bowing to the governments of men.

Now consider this fact. There are only a few nations where sex outside of marriage between adults is a crime. In fact to many people such a law is seen as a “gross human rights violation.” Although I don’t classify Satan as a person (he doesn’t have a body) I am sure he calls laws against extra marital sex as a violation of human rights (see Alma 30:18, 27).

So if a child lives in a home where the parents are not married but simply living together and having sexual relations then there is no restriction on that child being baptized. No letter to the first presidency stating the child repudiates the actions of his parents. And rightfully so. The child’s acceptance of the gospel of Christ is that repudiation.

But I see in this policy an extreme bias against a doctrine which was part of the restoration of all things but which the leadership of the LDS church is now trying to stamp out of existence. And all of this policy is in obedience to governments which outlaw God’s laws and make legal Satan’s laws.

I readily admit there are many things in this policy which could stand some scrutiny and no doubt the comments will explore them. I just picked on a policy which seems to really pick on some innocent little children placing them in the same class with people who have shed innocent blood. And I ask myself and you to what end?

CHI #5


CHI #5

Section 4 deals with missionary service. There are a tremendous amount of procedures and regulations which are used to enable the church to have 50,000 plus full time missionaries serving around the world. I am not going to pick through all of the minutia to try and judge what is scriptural and what is not. The majority of full time missionaries are young men aged 19 to 22. The guidelines address them and their situations especially.

There is something which caught my attention. Section 4.10 is under the heading of temple recommends. This is concerning the issuing of a temple recommend as the missionary is released. The procedure is different for the young missionaries as for senior missionaries. For young missionaries the procedure is when a missionary finishes his 2 year mission the mission president interviews him and takes his temple recommend. He is then given a recommend which is dated to expire in 90 days.

The CHI directs the missionary’s stake president and bishop to interview him, commit him to live his covenants and maintain his standards, get him a calling and monitor his progress at adjusting back to normal life. And then when they are convinced he is doing well, and being righteous they issue him a regular recommend good for two years.

I will give the church leadership total benefit of the doubt that they have good reason for this rule. Obviously there must be a problem in this regard.

Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
I would say if a young man has truly just spent two years serving Jesus Christ he is not going to be at risk of committing transgressions to jeopardize his worthiness. Truly serving Christ is a good tree. It will not bring forth evil fruit.

What is happening? What is the corrupt tree which brings forth this fruit? I won’t try to answer that in detail. But there is obviously a corrupt tree somewhere. And to simply say that ’21 year old men are just that way’ or speaking the judgmental slur more overtly to accuse them of being inherently disposed to do evil, will truly hide the reality of the problem.

I believe there are at least two problems. First the rules missionaries are expected to follow are unnatural and external. Being cowered into obeying a set of restrictive rules by an organization that keeps close tabs on your behavior, I mean in some cases missionaries are required to call their leader every night to report they are in bed, is not righteousness. Righteousness is a choice freely made. Since it is not an exercise of agency it does not produce the blessings of being righteous.

Secondly what do we really think we are doing? God makes men and women a certain way. I believe 18 years of age is the time of maximum levels of sex hormones in a male (in some countries young men can serve missions starting at 18). He is the most fit and most eager to be wed. And we tell him to deny all these God given signals and become a monk while still moving among everyday life for two years. It is a recipe for tragedy. And I don’t mean just the tragedy of committing sexual sin on his mission. When you deny a healthy God given desire you must numb yourself to a sacred part of your soul. That does damage to your heart and mind. You think Satan doesn’t laugh his spiritual hind end off seeing all the damage which may extend for years for hundreds of thousands of young men?

I had never considered this a problem till I began looking at the reality of life. I was like many people in the church trying very hard to repent of being what God had made me to be. I was lucky to have the mission president I had so that my experience was probably much better. Yet it still did a number on my heart and mind.

From talking with other men who have served a mission I have seen that my two year mission was a departure from the norm. Not because I was so good and pure. I think I was as others my age. My mission president however was radically different in his views and actions towards us missionaries. He did not allow the white bible (missionary rulebook) to destroy his role as judge in Israel. On our mission the temperature got hot in the summer. He was asked what was the policy on wearing suit coats; optional after the 1st of May or anytime the temperature was above 90° or what? He said Elder I look at it this way, when it is hot and uncomfortable to have suit coat, take it off. And that was the rule.

We had Saturday as our preparation day. Our mission president was asked what were we allowed to do from Friday night at 9:30 till Saturday at 5 pm. He said Elders you are Melchizedek priesthood holders, you have made covenants with the Lord in His house. I expect you act like it.

That was his attitude toward the white bible and Salt Lake gave him static for it. We were one of the highest baptizing missions in the church and I know of myself pressure tactics and baseball baptisms were not practiced. We were not pressured or taught to have unreasonable goals for the number of discussions or baptisms in a month.

As I said my experience seems to be an exception to the normal missionary’s experience. I invite those with a different experience to comment.

For me adjustment back to non missionary life was nothing. A close friend of our family a few years my senior noted my relaxed attitude just one week after being home. He said, “Aren’t you nervous like you should be doing some missionary work right now?” Nope I wasn’t.

We might do well ask ourselves if it is wise to have a young man, who’s physical creation has prepared him be getting married at 18 or 19, deny those God given desires and become a monk for two years. What damage does it do to force ourselves to be numb to deep and sacred feelings? Is it in accordance with the scriptures? Is there anyone out there who has memories of how this affected them?

In case some may be thinking otherwise I am quite sure there was only one case of a missionary’s having to be sent home from our mission in the three years we had that president. And this was back in the days when we had about 450 missionaries per mission.

CHI #4 Institutional stigmatizing of divorced members


Section 3.5.2 regards marriage in a temple for time only.

To be married for time only in a temple is not required for salvation. It really is just a nice service the church offers. I do not agree with the rules the CHI sets up for allowing or disallowing a couple to receive a for time marriage in the temple. If you see the opportunity as an actual blessing of God associated with this practice then you should be even more bothered about the way the CHI regulates it.

The CHI states that for time marriages can only be performed when all 4 of these requirements are met.
The man and woman must both be sealed to spouses who have died.
They must have valid temple recommends.
Temple marriages are legal marriages in the country where the temple is located and the couple has sold their marriage to the state via the marriage license process (I am paraphrasing here but you get the idea and we have beat that horse pretty good in CHI #3).

I save the best for last.

Neither the man nor the woman has been involved in any divorce while a member of the Church.

I am sure there is a very logical reason why the Church wishes to stigmatize or simply categorically judge all church members who have divorced while church members as unworthy of this little blessing.

And perhaps it could be said that this policy is not a stigma upon divorced people. That it is only so the church doesn’t have to review each case of divorce to meet some special standard. But that makes no sense. All recommend holders are equally worthy right? Worthiness is a threshold principle not a matter of degrees. Maybe they don’t want complaints from former spouses etc. But again why deprive one member for the possible actions of another?

No I don’t think we can escape that this requirement of the CHI is a form of passing a negative judgment upon LDS who divorce. And even if you came up with a reason why you believe that it is not a form of passing negative judgment the reality remains that this rule works an evil. How?

Since there is no explanation whatever given and the policy is to be enforced by the judges in Israel without even a possibility for exceptions, it absolutely places a prejudice in the minds of those brethren. And this prejudice permeates the beliefs of the members of the church.

I think you can see it prevents righteous judgment by these men. Now if you believe that all divorces indicate evil doing on the part of both persons then you probably agree with this CHI rule. And if you are a member of the LDS church you may very well believe that. But can you see that such a belief runs 100% counter to the words of Christ? He said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

As church members we very often believe that the prophets say, “If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on through eternity”. In fact that is a quote from Gordon B Hinckley. It was quoted in “Graduates Receive Challenge from Prophet,” Church News, 6 May 1995, 11. Did I get that wrong or did he say there would not be divorce?

Well that passes belief Gordon B. Hinckley did say that. But I will give President Hinckley some slack on this one and say he was not speaking as a prophet there. I say he was just making some remarks to graduates as a man because in a general conference session he spoke and said something a little different. He said, “If every husband and every wife would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce.” (The Women in Our Lives,” Ensign, Nov 2004, 82–85)

I have heard numerous LDS members quote that phrase as if it said, “there would be no divorce.” But he didn’t say “no divorce.” Good for President Hinckley for saying that even when we do all we can to be righteous, divorce is possible.

But President Hinckley’s carefully worded talk did not change the prevailing belief among LDS which is supported and strengthen by talks and counsel from priesthood leaders. We are taught to believe that if a man “would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his” wife, there would be no divorce. I know I grew up (born in the covenant) thoroughly believing that.

But why did I think that? Well because I have been taught all my life about how special women are that they are just naturally more righteous than men. And so if you married a temple worthy sister and did all in your power to obey God and to please her and treat her well then divorce would not be a part of your life. This is discussed in the book Sex at Dawn as being a very strong Victorian age idea. And we all know it remains entrenched in the teachings of the LDS church. Well I really did believe it and counted on it to be true.

Even if your belief isn’t as extreme as mine was most LDS people still have incorporated in their beliefs a form of prejudice against members who divorce. It ends up in our minds that if there was a divorce both were at fault to some degree. It takes two to tango, we say. So when we see a prejudice against divorced people we feel it is justified. I of my own self know better, now.

Do you think a woman who is beat by her husband and screamed at and called all sorts of foul vicious names by him, a woman who is belittled and falsely accused by him hour upon hour, day after day and accused falsely before her fellow church members and priesthood leaders behind her back and then he lies to her adult children about her and turns them against her, do you think it is a sin for her to divorce him? What if he pulled a knife on her and told her not to come near him because she was so evil? What if he accused her of always praying to the devil and the devil was her best friend whom she loved and she had never ever prayed to God? Do you think she should be denied to be married for time in a temple because she experienced this and then he demanded she divorce him and she trying to please him did get a divorce from him?

I don’t believe she has done any wrong. But apparently the Church does. What do you think of such a woman?

Now what do you think if it was a woman that did those things to her husband? Do you find such a thing harder to believe than it being a man that did those things? It is a good check of your personal sex bias to answer that.

It may seem I have gone off on a tangent. But the point is the CHI has by this rule placed a bias in the minds of the judges of Israel against people who have been divorced. I think it is wrong. I think God thinks it is wrong.