Thomas S. Monson: A Seer, a Revelator, a Translator, and a Prophet


Soon after President Thomas S. Monson became the President of the Church there was a broadcast that I attended. My parents and siblings went to our Stake Center and watched this broadcast where President Monson spoke for the first time as President of the Church. I had the most unique experience. As I watched him speaking he looked somehow different. There was something very different about him than when he was an Apostle. My father said it was the “prophetic mantle.” Call it what you will it was a very unique and special experience for me.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is lead by men who are sustained as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. It is their calling to receive revelation for the Church. In this post I would like to examine the wonderful nature of having living Prophets. I would also like to look at the ways in which President Monson fulfills these roles on a daily basis.

First before, going into detail, I would like to define some terms. We as Latter-day Saints often throw around the terms, prophet, revelation, prophecy, etc. But what do they really mean. The best way to define them is by looking in the scriptures. The Word of God holds the key to knowing what these things really mean.

Doctrine and Covenants 107:92

92 Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.

This verse describes what gifts the President of the Church has. He is a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a Prophet.

A Translator

Joseph Smith, Jr. used this gift to translate the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Book of Abraham. Since Joseph Smith, no other church leader has used this gift. But we know that someday the Brass Plates, and the Sealed portion will come forth and this gift will soon be used.

What is a translator? This is probably the simplest to define. A translator is someone who, through revelation, receives a translation for a document or record written in another language. The important thing is that this is an inspired translation. As in the case of the Book of Abraham it was not a literal translation of the Egyptian Language. The JST Bible was not a translation of ancient records but it filled in information.

The fruits of a translator are, of course, translations.

A Revelator

A revelator is someone who receives messages from God. Usually these messages speak of current matters rather than the past or the future.

The Fruits of a Revelator

The fruits of a Revelator are of course revelations. However in the Church the word “revelation” has many different shades of meaning, i.e. inspiration, personal revelation, etc. In the broadest sense revelation is any communication from God to His children. However this cannot be confused with other types of revelation. For example if a member prays to know the Book of Mormon it is revelation, but not like the revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants. So for this article we will call this personal type of revelation, inspiration. And the revelation that directs the church we will call revelation.

The very nature of the word revelation implies that something is revealed, or uncovered. It means that something previously unknown was made known.

While researching for a previous article I was able to search the Doctrine and Covenants and I identified some basic principles of what constitutes a revelation. They are these(Remember this is for governing the church not personal revelation/inspiration):

- Spirit of Revelation comes when the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and our minds. (D&C 8:2,3)

- Revelation can only come by one who has been appointed by the person who held this power to reveal. (D&C 43:1-4)

- Revelations are distinct from general teachings. (D&C 43:5)

- Revelations must be published. (D&C 1:6; 72:21; 104:58; 118:2; 124:89)

Some additional qualifications can be known by observing how revelation was given through the first revelator of this dispensation.

- 82% of the sections in Doctrine and Covenants are given as if the Lord was speaking in the first person. From this we can assume that most revelations will be given in the first person, i.e. “I the Lord speak unto you…”

- Joseph Smith wrote his revelations down, or had them written down.

- Joseph Smith received revelations sometimes with and sometimes without an external aid such as an angel or seer stone.

- Joseph Smith taught that a newer revelation will not contradict a previous revelation.

So from this we can deduce some rules that will almost always apply to revelations for church governance. Granted, there may be some times when some of these rules do not apply.

A revelation:

- is communication from God.

- reveals previously unknown information.

- comes from the Spirit.

- is given directly to the mind or through an external source.

- comes through one appointed.

- is given in the first person as the Lord.

- is written down and published.

- will not contradict a previous revelation.

We can use these criteria to study modern revelation from our church leaders today.

A Prophet

The term “prophet” seems to be fairly ubiquitous for members of the Church and even in the scriptures. We generally apply the term prophet to a person without really looking at what a prophet does. What I mean is that usually the people we call prophets are also seers. And the gift of a seer include the gifts of a prophet. So I think when we say “prophet” we actually mean “seer”.

The Bible Dictionary tells us that, “as a rule a prophet was a forthteller rather than a foreteller.”

But seeing as the Bible Dictionary is not scripture we may dismiss it. And that is precisely what I will do. This entry was the opinion of some scholar, probably Bruce R. McConckie. And it does not fit with the scriptural examples of prophets. It does fit with seers though, which further supports the seer/prophet conflation.

By using the scriptures we can see that a prophet is not just a messenger, but is someone who delivers messages about the future. Keep in mind many of the people we reference in the scriptures were seers which means they were also revelators(as I will discuss later). So it is important to distinguish when “prophet”(meaning seer) is speaking as a prophet or a revelator. We cannot just assume that any message delivered by a seer is a prophecy, because that message may actually be a revelation rather than prophecy.

A great example of a prophet in action is Helaman 9:25-37.

The Fruits of a Prophet

As discussed in the preceding paragraph the fruits of a prophet are prophecies. So what exactly are prophecies?

The Testimony of Christ is the Spirit of Prophecy(Rev 19:10). Note this is the Spirit of Prophecy not the actual prophecy itself. What this means is the prophecies will always testify of Christ. Whether the prophecy concerns the life of Christ, the destruction of a city or whatever, it will always relate to the work of God through Christ.

Here I will include some scriptural references, by reading them we can understand what qualities a prophecy will have. You may ask how can we determine what a prophecy is when it is not specifically defined. Well, by looking at the qualities of phrases and writings that have been identified as prophecy we can determine what qualities a true prophecy will have.

1st Nephi 1:4 – Many prophets prophesied that the Jews must repent or Jerusalem will be destroyed. The was a warning about a future event(the destruction of Jerusalem)

1 Nephi 5:17-19 -  Lehi prophesied. This prophecy talked about the future of the brass plates.

2 Nephi 1:6 – Lehi prophesied that, “there shall[(future tense)] none come into this land

save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.”

2 Nephi 25:7 – Prophecies of Isaiah “shall be fulfilled”. This means that Isaiah’s prophecies concern the future and will be fulfilled in the future.

D&C 101:19 – The prophets will be fulfilled. Meaning the prophets spoke about something that was not fulfilled at their time.

D&C 130:12 – Joseph Smith prophecies about a war that will happen in the future.

D&C 133:64 – Malachi wrote concerning the future and they will be fulfilled in the future

Even though these verses are but a small sampling we can see a clear trend. This is, that prophecies do in fact concern the future. Which means that when a prophet speaks it will be about the future. This may sometimes be a warning to the people.

A Seer

Mosiah tells us a lot about what a seer is and does.

Mosiah 8:15-16

15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.

16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.

Here we learn that a seer is a revelator AND a prophet. This is where a lot of confusion comes from. When we read the scriptures and a person we label as a prophet speaks, we assume those are the things a prophet speaks. But in reality a Seer speaks both the things of a prophet, a revelator, and even a translator. So we have to be careful to distinguish these. But we can know if a person is a seer because they will speak both prophecy and revelation not just prophecy alone or revelation alone.

Mosiah 8:13

13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.

A seer can translate. And a many times a seer can “see” a thing through the aid of physical objects. In this verse it is talking about the Nephite interpreters. The Nephite interpreters were described by Joseph Smith:

“Also, that there were two stones in silver bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted Seers in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.”

Joseph Smith also used such objects for receiving revelations and translations. Joseph Smith translated part of the Gold plates using these same Nephite interpreters. He then used Seer stones to translate the Book of Mormon and receive many revelations. I know, I know, I’m talking crazy talk here. We’ve all seen the pictures of Joseph Smith pondering over the plates and dictating the translation. But this is not how it happened. Witnesses at the time show us that Joseph Smith looked into his seer stones and saw the translation for the Book of Mormon.

Mosiah 8:17

17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.

This scripture tells us what a seers gifts are. And they contain all elements of a seer, a revelator and a prophet.

So what are the fruits of a seer? The fruits of a seer are visions, revelation, translations, and prophecies. You can tell a seer because he will be able to do all these things not just one or two of them.

But there is something we need to watch out for. Joseph Smith taught that revelations(including prophecies and visions) can come from God, man, or Satan. A prophecy of man will not be accurate. A prophecy from the devil will have power, but not progress the work of God. A prophecy of God will come to pass and manifest God’s power. The same thing applies to visions and revelations.

By Their Fruits

Many people reject President Monson as a prophet, seer, and revelator because they don’t even bother to look at what he does. They just outright dismiss any possibility that such a man could exist today. But the scriptures tell us that we cannot simply dismiss these things. We have to examine the fruit of the leaders of the Church. And as members we should invite those not of our faith to examine the fruits of our leaders so they too can know that they are called of God.

Matthew 7:15-20

15 ¶Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

While this verse specifically speaks of false prophets(seers, revelators, translators) it applies equally as well to true prophets(seers, revelator, translators). A true prophet will bring forth prophecies. A true revelator will bring forth revelations. Just like an apple tree will bear apples, not bananas, a true prophet will bring forth prophecies and not some other work.

This article is already getting long but I think the rest of what I have to say will be of worth. For the rest of this article I would like to examine the fruits of the President of the Church, Thomas Monson. If you have friends, family, or coworkers who are interested in the Church, I invite you to share this article with them. It may help them to understand and value the need for revelation from God in the past and also modern revelation through Seers today.

Prophecies of President Monson

One of the greatest thing we have in the church is that we are lead by a prophet. So here in this section we will examine some of President Monson’s prophecies. In researching for this section the first place I turned to was of course the Ensign. For those of you who don’t know, the Ensign is a monthly magazine published by the Church. It contains the latest words from the leaders of our church. I thought the best place to start researching would be in the latest conference ensign. The words contained therein can provide us with powerful insights.

Now as I read the conference talks by President Monson I noticed that there was nothing in them that really qualifies as prophecy. Now keep in mind we are just talking prophecy here, not revelations. It is understandable the President Monson wouldn’t give many prophecies during conference since we’ve already had many prophecies over the years. You can’t expect some amazing new prophecy every General Conference.

So the next place I turned was to the Church’s website, LDS.org. After searching on LDS.org I still could not find anything said by President Monson that qualifies as, or even purports to be, a prophecy. At this point in my research I was kind of wondering, has President Monson given any prophecies. If he has, you would think they would be readily available to read.

My next move was to turn to handy old google. If I searched “Prophecies of Joseph Smith,” I could find a plethora of links that contain his prophecies. Yet when I searched, “Prophecies of Thomas S. Monson” there was not a single website that had a list. Not on mormon.org, thomassmonson.com, followtheprophet.net, nothing. Not a single tiny inkling of a prophecy.

The closest I came to finding a prophecy was on a blog where the author listed what he thought were prophecies from a General Conference in 2009.

The entry was here: http://scriptoriumblogorium.blogspot.com/2009/04/prophecy-visions-and-revelation.html

The prophecies were these:

- The Lord is with us and will stand by us (be of good cheer).

- Those who endure in faith, enduring the crosses of the world, will inherit eternal life.

- The future is as bright as our faith.

Now while these statements do discuss the future they certainly do not go very far as being a prophecy. They read more like generic statements that any random person could give. I don’t know if the actual words are more detailed and these are just this person’s vague notes. But these words lack the power of a true prophecy.

As far as I can tell President Monson has never given a prophecy. What does this mean? Well, if we look at the example earlier if I look at a tree and it has apples hanging from its branches, not bananas, I’m probably going to assume it is an apple tree and not a banana tree. Likewise if President Monson has not brought forth any prophecies, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that he is not a prophet. But do not dismiss him. Because if he can still meet the qualifications of a Seer or a Revelator. And we sustain him as a prophet, SEER, and REVELATOR. So we can’t just focus on prophecies, especially when we have so many already. Next let’s look at the modern revelation that the Lord gives President Monson to guide us.

Revelations of President Monson

While researching for prophecies in President Monson’s conference talks I kept my eye out for revelations. When I was done what I found was wonderfully written talks which contained a complete lack of revelation. Now remember we are talking about revelation for the church, not inspiration.

So once again I searched lds.org for revelations of President Monson. And once again my searches came back void of anything Thomas S. Monson has given that qualifies as revelation according to the scriptural definition.

I turned again to google and again still nothing! Thomassmonson.org and followtheprophet.net, two websites dedicated to following this man and his teaching are completely devoid of ANYTHING that qualifies as, or even claims to be, a revelation from God.

The best I could find came, again, from the opinions of some bloggers.

http://mormonmatters.org/2009/02/03/president-thomas-s-monson-first-year-in-review/

They stated that the calling of new Apostles counted as revelation.

One poster claimed that there are doctrinal and administrative revelation. And that while doctrinal revelation is “scant,” administrative revelation is “on-going”

I will admit that while the modern calling of new apostles may have basis in inspiration, it cannot be called revelation. Primarily because it was not published. A common misconception among members is that the Doctrine and Covenants only contains those revelations that were profound. But when we look at Sections 18 and 118 we can see that they are about nothing more profound than the calling of apostles and filling of vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve. So if historically it has been shown that even the revelations calling Apostles were published, shouldn’t that still apply today?

Another poster included what he termed “the most important and significant Revelation Monson had.” And this revelation was apparently “what’s contained in that letter to support prop 8.”

However this cannot be considered revelation either. While it was published, it does not contain the Word of the Lord. Rather it is written from the perspective of the First Presidency. It does not even claim to have the Lord’s support.

So again, as with prophecies, we are confronted with an utter dearth of revelation from Thomas Monson.

Seership of President Monson

Seership contains not only prophecy and revelation, but also visions. I have searched high and low and have not found a published vision from President Monson.

Do I even need to talk about translations? Even though he is not sustained as a translator, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be a translator, according to scripture.

He is completely lacking in the fruits of a Seer and a translator.

I mentioned earlier that Prophets, Seers, and Revelators can receive revelations from God, man, and Satan. However as we look at the prophecies, revelations, visions, and translations of President Thomas Spencer Monson it is surprising to see that, he has not only not given us prophecies, revelations, visions, and translations from God; but also he has not given us any prophecies, revelations, visions, and translations from man or Satan. It is shocking to discover that he has not given us ANY prophecies, revelations, visions, and translations whatsoever. If a man claims, or is claimed by others, to be a Prophet, Seer, and/or Revelator that person should at least have given some kind of revelation, even if it is just from man or Satan.

But Wait…

Now I want you to keep in mind, all I am examining here is Thomas Monson’s public words and actions. I have no idea as to what happen’s behind closed doors. Maybe the Lord delivers revelations(not speaking of inspiration) to President Monson and they just aren’t made public. Maybe they just concern administrative matters.

The problem with this is that the Lord has commanded in at least five places in the Doctrine and Covenants that revelations need to be published. There has not been one revelation given that prohibits all revelations from being published. So you would think that from 1890 to 2011 at least one teensy-weensy revelation would have been published. Not even the revelations that are supposedly behind such major changes as Official Declarations 1 and 2 have been published.

What’s more is that every time a prophet or seer has been called by God they have been called to relay God’s warnings or messages to a people. They have never been called to keep the revelations to themselves and give their own advice to the people instead.

The argument the revelation today happens, but behind closed doors, is not only weak, but preposterous.

I’m sure that some of you reading this will be saying to yourselves, “I know President Monson is a Prophet. I know it. I just know it.” But I want you to truly examine what you believe. How did you gain this knowledge? If you have prayed about it or feel good that is great. I had a special experience too. But it is not enough to have a singular witness of something. Have you forgotten the Law of Witnesses? Doctrine and Covenants 6:28 tells us that the word will be established by two or more witnesses. You’re spiritual witness must be confirmed by another witness. For example, a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon must be confirmed by seeing the prophecies, contained therein, fulfilled. A spiritual witness that a man is a prophet must be confirmed by that man actually bearing the fruit of a prophet(Matthew 7:15-20).

Examine President Monson’s words and actions. Do they match what the scriptures describe a true prophet should say, do, and be? It’s your journey. It’s up to you to decide what and who you believe in.

A true prophet will not hide his fruits in the darkness of administrative offices, leaving the people to have faith that he is a prophet. You can have faith in Christ but you cannot have faith in a prophet. A prophet cannot save us(Ezekiel 14).

 

Some Other Things

Before I finish up this already long post, here are some other things to consider when examining Thomas Monson’s claim to be a prophet, seer, and revelator.

Article of Faith 5

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

However if we look at the calling of Thomas Monson we can see that we was not in fact, called by prophecy. He appointment was laid out in the Charter of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Fourth: The title of the person making these articles of incorporation is “President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” He and his successor in office shall be deemed and are hereby created a body politic and corporation sole with perpetual succession, having all the powers and rights and authority in these articles specified or provided for by law. But in the event of death or resignation from office of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or in the event of a vacancy in that office from any cause, the President or Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of said Church, or one of the members of said Quorum thereunto designated by that Quorum, shall, pending the installation of a successor President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, be the corporation sole under these articles, and the laws pursuant to which they are made, and shall be and is authorized in his official capacity to execute in the name of the corporation all documents or other writings necessary to the carrying on of its purposes, business and objects, and to do all things in the name of the corporation which the original signer of the articles of incorporation might do; it being the purpose of these articles that there shall be no failure in succession in the office of such corporation sole.

His appointment was not given by prophecy rather he was appointed by a legal document filed with the government of the United States of America. So in essence we could say that his appointment came from the United States government.

Additionally apostles are only supposed to become apostles if they have seen Christ. However, today, Apostles the requirement has largely fallen by the wayside, without a revelation saying that this requirement no longer applies. One person recalls attending a meeting back in 1997 where, then Apostle, “[Thomas Monson] told us that he has NEVER PERSONALLY HAD ANY VISIONS but that he receives a witness of things through the spirit.” As far as I’m aware, since then, President Monson has never said that he has seen Christ. If he has, then it is his responsibility to tell everyone about it. That is why he is a special witness of Christ. If he has not seen Christ, then his claim as being an apostle was not valid. And he was/is not a special witness of Christ. What most of us don’t understand is that “special witness of Christ” doesn’t mean “witness of Christ whom God has guided to a leadership position.” It means a unique witness of Christ. Unique in the fact that the person has seen Him.

If we look at the history of humanity it is a rare thing that a church will remain righteous long enough to have a hierarchy of prophets and seers. What often happens is that the people reject the true prophets and seers and follow after false ones. Then the Lord must call prophets and seers from outside the prevailing church hierarchy. For example, Lehi, Abinadi, Samuel the Lamanite, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith. It is inevitable that at some point in the future of the church, that the Lord’s true prophets and seers will come from outside the church hierarchy, not from the Quorum of the Twelve.

Most true prophets and seers are not successful or great men in the world. And if they are, they give up all they have to serve God.

True prophets are despised and hated of the world. If you click here you can see many of the praises and awards Thomas Monson has received from the world.

The things they teach are hard to do. Even for those who hearken to them. Additionally they often preach about the iniquity of the people.

I want to compare some images of President Monson with some artistic representations of past Seers. Let’s se how President Monson’s calling as a prophet, seer, and revelator compares.

Reception by the World

 

 

Here President Monson meets with then President Bush. Notice the friendly handshake. ;)

Now look at Abinadi whose meeting with government leaders resulted in bondage and death by fire.

Here is President Monson meeting with President Obama.

Now look at Joseph Smith whose interactions with the government led to many a prison sentence.

Here President Monson has a friendly encounter with a popular celebrity of the world.

But the world sought fit to crucify Peter upside down.

Material Things

President Monson looks nice in a suit and tie.

Job was left without anything.

President Monson gets a donated plane.

Joseph Smith gets tarred and feathered.

Behaviour

Who would you think is the true prophet?

 

The friendly man telling a story about birds?

Or that crazy wacko out baptising people in the muddy river?

This is the conundrum of our leaders today, including President Monson. They, and he, do not fit the scripturally established model of true prophets, seers, and revelators.

A Good Man

I hope that what you have read so far has not been condemning or negative towards Thomas Monson as a man, and child of God. I do not mean to attack him or belittle him. Rather I only want to confront the claim that he is a prophet, seer, and revelator. As such I just want to make sure everyone reading this knows, that from what I know of him, he is not a bad man. He seems to be a very thoughtful and kind person. He listens to promptings of the Spirit. He helps those who stand in need of help. He is a great comfort to many people.

In my previous ward, the ward mission leader and Gospel Essentials class teacher was one of President Monson’s young men, back when Brother Thomas was a bishop. So I have heard a great many stories from this man who knows President Monson on a personal level. They talk to each other frequently as if they are best friends. From the stories I have heard, I believe Thomas Monson to be a good an honorable man. But being a good and honorable man is not enough to qualify one as a Seer of the Lord. One must have special gifts. Gifts which inevitably result in certain fruits. And these fruits are lacking in President Thomas S. Monson. I love him as a fellow follower of Christ and child of God. I support him in his spiritual journey. But should I sustain a man as a prophet who does not have the fruits of a prophet?

What This Means to Me

My views concerning this situation echo Adam after coming out from the Garden, “I am looking for messengers from my father.” Thomas Monson is a nice and kind man. He undoubtedly receives inspiration just like any other person on earth. But the claim that he is a seer, revelator, and prophet fall incredibly short. He does not exhibit a single fruit that a seer would exhibit. So even though many times throughout the year the members of the Church raise their hands and sustain him as a prophet, seer, and revelator this does not change his nature. You cannot vote someone to have gifts.

I hope you will forgive me for channeling Boyd Packer, but you can no more vote to decide the gender of a cat, than you can vote to determine the prophethood or seership of a man. Thomas Monson is an effective leader, but from the fruits we have available to review, he is no prophet, seer, or revelator.

Yet every conference we continue to raise our hands to sustain him in gifts he does not possess. I truly wonder if the words of Samuel the Lamanite can apply to us today.

Helaman 13:24

24 Yea, wo unto this people, because of this time which has arrived, that ye do cast out the  prophets, and do mock them, and cast stones at them, and do slay them, and do all manner of iniquity unto them, even as they did of old time.

Do we today reject true messengers and messages from God simply because they come from outside the Church hierarchy? Do we deny the principles, practices, and teachings that previous prophets taught(Law of Consecration, Literal Gathering of Israel, Building the City of Zion)?

Helaman 13:25

25 And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.

Do we look back at the time of Christ and think that we would have accepted him? Do we think we would have listened to the Words of Samuel the Lamanite or Abinadi if we were living back then?

Helaman 13:26

26 Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.

We as a people hate those who talk of our sins. If someone shows through the scriptures that we are under condemnation, we hate them and don’t listen to them. If someone critically examines our leaders we reject them and throw out their words. We hate people who tell us that we are not living how we should.

Helaman 13:27

27 But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth–and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet.

But if we have a leader who tells us that we are on the right track we love him. If a leader says we don’t have to live the Law of Consecration, there’s no problem with this, we think it’s great. If we have leaders who tell us we are the chosen people and we can never be led astray, we listen to his words. It is these people we call prophets. People who support what we already believe, are those we love.

Helaman 13:28

28 Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him.

We pay 10% of our income to the church contrary to the scriptures. The investment income that comes from this money goes to make people rich.

I pray that we will take the following questions seriously.

Helaman 13:29

29 O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?

Conclusion

In preparing for and researching this post it took me in some surprising directions. What I didn’t expect was to find a complete lack of fruits. I supposed I had known this all along but didn’t realize it. I imagine somewhere deep inside, all church members have known this all along. It is just a scary thing to admit to oneself that a man who you want to be a prophet is not. But this fear is allayed in Jesus Christ. Because as we research in the scriptures we can see that it is has been prophesied that our leaders will not be seers, revelators, translators, and prophets. God is in control, he will save the righteous. Our righteousness and obedience to God is not dependant on the prophethood of our leaders. rather it is dependant upon our own prophethood. Seek the guidance of the Spirit, even if it doesn’t fit with what you’ve always been taught.

In closing, there are some questions I want you to ask yourselves if you haven’t already. Can a man be a seer, revelator, translator, and prophet who does not exhibit the fruits of those gifts? If yes, how does that explain the scriptures which tell us that fruits can be used to determine who is a true seer, revelator, translator, and prophet? If no, why do you continue to sustain a man as a prophet who is not one?

Some may loudly proclaim that examining the claims or our leaders is speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed, and the start down the road of Apostasy. But it is not. Rather it is obeying the scriptural mandate to determine who really is the Lord’s anointed. But please don’t think that I think I have all the answers. I truly don’t, all I have are my own experiences and observations. If you think my conclusions are wrong please share with me why. Just comment below this post. I keep censoring to a minimum. I only delete spam. So don’t think that just because you disagree with me your comment wont get approved. It will(if it gets cued at all). Please bring President Monson’s works, words, and writings, so that we may examine them. I’m not afraid to be wrong. I’ve been wrong many times before. It’s part of learning. But I hope that you, likewise, will not be afraid to be wrong.

I want to leave you with my own imperfect witness of the Saviour Jesus Christ. The time of the gentiles(that’s us) is coming to a close and He will remember his covenant with Israel. We are sinning against the Gospel and soon it will be taken from us and given back to Israel. God loves us so much that he will not allow our wicked state to continue forever. He will send the one mighty and strong to bring order to the church. I pray that we will be examining the fruits of anyone claiming to be a seer. Because the one mighty and strong will not come from the church hierarchy, he will not come through official channels. May God bless you in your spiritual journey, and that includes you too, Brother Thomas Monson.

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282 Responses to Thomas S. Monson: A Seer, a Revelator, a Translator, and a Prophet

  1. C says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with you about this, but I do want to commend you for the charitable way in which you discussed the topic. The absence of sarcasm and self-serving humor was refreshing, as many blogs seem to be going in that direction…

    • It seems to me that in these dangerous times in which we are living, especially after the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Ceenter, the first time in our nations history that we have ever suffered an attack on our own soil. amd pir pwmgpomg war agaomst terrpros,. plus the fact Mother Nature’s many types of storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, earthquakes, tsnamis, etc, that are now more violent and catastrophic than ever before, causing much more destruction in property and lives, as well as the wicked men and women who have managed to deceive us by being elected in our governing offices and even president such as the one we have now, that our prophet would be receiving revelations from heavenly Father for his Church on earth,as he did with the prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I believe that Thomas Monson is a good and righteous man, but that he is not a prophet. We need a prophet “with the voice of Elijah, especially in this day and time. Perhaps if Thomas Monson went to God in prayer and asked him about these things, the truth and what it all means, as did the Prophet Joseph Smith many times, he would receive revelations about these dangerous times to be prepared for what befalls us.and what if anything we should do

  2. zo-ma-rah says:

    Thanks. Sometimes I tend to put a lot of the sacrasm and self serving humor in my posts. But this was a topic I though needed to be approached more maturely.

    I would be interested in hearing more about why you don’t agree.

    • London Girl says:

      A little bit late to the party, but I’d say you’ve got a mouthful of revelation in the last two years….. First, you’ve got the revelation of the lowering of the age of missionaries for both men and women as a VERY big revelation coming from the mouth of our prophet. And second, if you lived outside I’d the USA, you’d hear constant revelation given in direction to area authorities of the church that filters down to stake and ward levels. We hear letters from the First Presidency under area authorities all the time in our ward council and from the pulpit in sacrament meeting. You really need to leave your American bubble and visit the church throughout the world before writing things like this. And lest we forget, last week they announced international Auxiliary leadership changes in Relief Society. I believe that’s some more revelation for the whole of the church as the church prepares for massive growth outside the US.

      • zo-ma-rah says:

        Thank you for those examples. I do think you could make an argument for those things to qualify as revelation. However my question is where is the revelation? All we see from our perspective is the resultant policy change from the supposed revelation. However, we don’t ever actually see/hear/read the revelation itself. So unless we can actually see the revelation how do we know it exists? We can only assume it does or doesn’t exist based on our beliefs. But assumptions of members is not enough to make someone a prophet, seer, and revelator. Now I’m not saying there isn’t some for of inspiration going on. But there is a difference between inspiration and institutional revelation.

      • Paul says:

        Good response. People who criticize the prophet and revelation that they recieve do not have a testimony of the gospel. They need to repent and pray for the same revelations.

      • whereiszion says:

        Interestingly, I for one have prayed as you suggest, and the personal revelations I have received, quite clearly, have told me that President Monson and other of the Church leaders “have gone far afield and are proud men that minster their own agendas.”  Quote, unquote.  Naturally this has been heartbreaking for me to hear this news from the Lord; because I have loved these men, and honored their offices, for more than seven decades.  But what is one to do?  The Lord does not lie about such matters.  Of course, we are both (He and I) forced to deal with the dilemma (each in his own way) of your apparent unwillingness to listen to this important message (as stated in your objection to it—those and those children of God like you).  This failure to listen, and to hear, is an interesting and unfortunate disconnect that has troubled proud men from the beginning…made notably manifest, for instance, in the messages the Heavens delivered to Joseph in the 1800s.  Today, nothing is different.  There are none so deaf as those that will not hear, none so blind as those that don their blinders every morning and head out into the world to shape up all the missbelievers in support of the LDS Church’s Missionary program.

          “Tell me all the reasons why you can, not why you can’t” Now isn’t that a great motto?

      • Heber Frank says:

        Hi Paul: The church accepts Joseph Smith as a true prophet. Does TSM bring forth written “Word of the Lord” revelation in the same pattern as did Joseph? You realize that Presidents Young, Taylor and Woodruff did, do you not? But for over 120 years no church President has. I would agree that the lack of such oracles does not “prove” the loss of the gift of revelation restored to the Prophet Joseph, but can agree that it is an evidence of the loss of that gift? Before you answer, please remember that 2 Nephi 28 clearly warns against being pacified in Zion in our time. In D&C 43:8-10 it warns that if the Priesthood does not diligently study and live by the revelations they have been given, then the Lord would TAKE things from them. Since the D&C is full of instructions the church does not live, and has not lived for all these years, is there not a possibility that things, such as the gift of oracles Joseph had, has been taken from the church? Being seemingly successful as an organization simply does not guarantee a church is being guided by revelation from God.

      • Paul says:

        NO. I can’t agree because personal revelation tells me otherwise. You can believe what you want, but you take responsibity for your own actions. When you are learned you think you are wise, and hearken not unto the counsel of God.

      • whereiszion says:

        Missionary Church growth within the U.S. has slowed to a snail’s crawl—much as the growth, for instance, of NuSkin. NuSkin made the logical move some years ago to prepare to grow their company outside the U.S., where their message was new and unfettered with conflicts and disagreements about product quality, value, and such. Now the LDS Church is following this same logical path in terms of its brand and “product.” The only difference is, it didn’t take a revelation for NuSkin to do this; but the Church says it took a “revelation” for it to do likewise.

        It seems to me that common sense might have prevailed with the Church, just as with NuSkin and other businesses, and they wouldn’t have needed to defer to the Lord to reveal to them that this is a logical thing to do. (Moral: The Church and friends often play fast and loose with the word “revelation” to give credibility to what they’re doing, when they really don’t need to at all—and when it probably doesn’t even apply, truth be told.)

      • London Girl,
        You people in the UK appear to have better access to these revelations than those of us in the states. Here in the U.S., all the president of the Church does is announce policy changes, he never provides the actual written revelation to us, while you good Saints overseas actually get to read the revelations these policy changes were based on. I wonder why that is?

        Though I constantly seek evidence of modern revelation from God through His prophets, I personally haven’t seen the words the Lord has put into the mouth of a prophet, other than what I have been able to find in the Doctrine and Covenants, and those were given some hundred and fifty years ago. I wonder why it is you people get to see modern revelations, read them, pray about them, receive a witness that what you read really was an actual written revelation from God, then vote upon their canonization while all we get are announcements here and there about a change in policy.

      • Tachikoma says:

        as the endless fight over what the deal with the GA’s is Ill add this. I am a seer so I tend to when I am not being alltogether a complete and total rebel have the heavens opened on a fairly regular basis. one such time was concerning this topic and I didnt really want to believe it. I echo whoever in the comments said “Interestingly, I for one have prayed as you suggest, and the personal revelations I have received, quite clearly, have told me that President Monson and other of the Church leaders “have gone far afield and are proud men that minster their own agendas.” Quote, unquote.”

        back in I think August of 2010. I had this dream. I thought at first it wasnt a vision but just a dream of the imagination. I dont know why other than perhaps it was so disturbing that I wanted to deny it. I denied at perhaps the cost of stunting and delaying my own spiritual growth. I thought I had written it down somewhere before but I cant find it so oh well.

        I did dream and an angel did come to me and took me to SLC, Utah at temple square. The angel showed me the great battle commencing between the armies of heaven and the armies of hell. I saw that the armies of hell did surround the temple square but were prevented from entering the actual square part where the angels of heaven did have dominion. I saw the great church headquarters building and the leaders of the church, the 15 general authorities in a meeting at the way top of the building. Over time I did see the armies of hell push back the armies of heaven upwards and did overtake the bottom area of the temple square. The angel pointed again and I looked. I also saw that the general authorties were still busy in their meetings. I also saw the armies of hell did again do battle with the angels of heaven and push them back further upward that they did consume even half the church headquarters building. The angel pointed for me to look again and I saw that the general authorities were again busy in their meetings.

        I saw as the armies of hell drew closer and closer to the top they were chomping at the bit like a snake waiting to strike at its prey. I did see they were lieing(laying?) in wait of the general authorities and the church. I see the angels of heaven look anxiously on at the general authorities who still were busy in their meetings. the angels of heaven seemed sadden and concerned by this and the armies of hell, even Satan that great devil and serpent was chomping at the bits waiting to devour them as he inched ever closer. The look on the face of the fighting angels of heaven was one of sadness and great concern constantly looking back at the general authorities seemingly hoping they would notice them. it almost in a way seemed like the angels were waiting for further direction and orders as if The Lord had told them “here, guard them and do what they say” but the general authorities were not delievering any orders leaving soliders without a general. the angels truly had a very concerned look on their faces.

        before the angel let me return I was left with one prevailing question….were the general authorties oblivious to Satan waiting to devour them right outside their door?

        it is perhaps with this that i eventually embarked in the answer to this question. the answer to this question has taken me in some shocking places and unexpected twists and turns but I believe I have the answer. The general authorties are entirely oblivious to the spiritual war that is going on before them. they are unaware that the Devil doth wait outside their doors waiting to devour them and it is only the angels of heaven that do protect them but their power is fading as they and the church become more and more corrupt. as they disobey more and more of God’s laws. I do see this now. they are true prophets seers revelators and translators as theyve been sustained as such. they hold those titles in name only but lack the spiritual gifts to use them. they do lead this people astray and they will be forced to answer to that and their condemnation will be on their heads. the people too will have to answer for trusting in the arm of flesh and not The Lord their God. Satan will truly devour them and they wont even see it. Thus saith The Lord Thy God. Amen.

        another prayer on the matter and The Lord basically said to paraphrase because I don’t always write these things down like I should. “Monson isn’t a bad guy, but he isn’t My first choice but the people sustain so I will stand by him for the moment.” I also got the general impression that God wasn’t really pleased with the choice Monson either but He never actually condemned Monson either and even called him a Good man. truthfully Ive never prayed about the other 14 GA’s like I should probably but at least when it comes to Monson I think he is a good guy just not the right guy. so Monson probably isnt one of the traitors whos intentionally screwing things up

  3. Justin says:

    Though I agree with the fruit points: i.e. that given that most members can only point to Monson giving “good talks” or doing “charitable things” as the testaments to his prophetic calling — that makes him no different than a pope or Billy Graham or something.

    However, I found the fact that Monson’s calling [though incorrectly outlined in a corporate charter] was voted for in the affirmative by a majority of baptized Mormons [regardless of which sect they belong to] — who hold the keys of the church.

    To what degree would you say that our affirmative vote for him [as holders of the keys of the church] overrides the lack of spiritual gifts manifesting by him [calling into question his possession of priesthood keys]?

    • Sadly I think it has no bearing whatsoever. we can all be wrong together. If the mere recognition by a large group of people that a man is the legitimate head of God’s church, would give him any authority, and legitimacy in the eyes of heaven then we must conclude that Mormonism is false because it has never been anything other than a minority religion. If a centralized recognition in a head of the church had any meaning at all then the only legitimate claimant to this authority would be the pope. Sadly even this depends on the time period, and who’s vote “counts” etc. If your argument that any majority vote or sustaining grants legitimacy, even if you limit this vote to members of the church, then you still have a big scriptural problem. If we accept that any person in the scriptures was under the same principle we are faced with a history where many if not all true prophets were rejected by the majority vote of the church of their time. The most pertinent example of which is Jesus Christ himself, who was rejected by the majority of the people, excommunicated by the president of the church (Caiaphas) and ended his ministry with a majority vote of the members of the church to “crucify him!”

  4. I have to admit, Zomarah, that at the beginning of this piece you had me wondering where you were going with it.

    A very nice, thorough piece of research. You said absolutely everything that needed to be said on the subject, and you said it humbly. I could learn a thing or two from you.

    • gratefullybygrace says:

      I also LOVE the pic of Monson doing the Masonic handshake w Bush… classic.

      • AT says:

        I noticed that as well. Although, it might be that Bush was doing the handshake with him? There’s a picture of Cheney giving Hinckley the same treatment (when BYU bestowed upon Cheney the honorary doctorate)

  5. C,
    I too am interested in seeing precisely what you disagree with here. Do you have any further light and knowledge that would demonstrate that Monson is a prophet, seer, and revelator, or do you disagree simply because you desperately want to believe he has those gifts? It is not helpful to those who doubt for you to keep your evidences to yourself. If you know something, please share it.

  6. zo-ma-rah says:

    Justn, as far as the church keys are concerned I believe they do what I’ve kind of discussed. Yes the church can sustain Monson as a prophet. But that still cannot grant him a prophetic gift. Instead it will do what the scriptures have prophesied. That is, set up blind seers. The church will be electing to be lead by men who cannot see.

    Rock, thanks. I tried to write it so that initially it would be more comfortable for a member of the church to read. So maybe they would give the article a chance. I tried to slim the thing down but it couldn’t get much smaller. I’m also hoping this will be the start of another series where I can examine the prophetic claims of many other people.

    I honestly hope C comes back and shares some more. It was just not possible to research every thing Monson has said. That’s why I invited everyone who reads it to share their experience and knowledge. If everyone brings in what they have we can examine President Monson’s prophetic claim on a much wider scale. And this is an examination not a condemnation. We’re not here to condemn what he has done as not-prophetic, we are to see if what he has done is or is not prophetic.

    • It was explained to me the procedure for appointing a new prophetm which is the way it was done in the early Christian Church, Those who hold the priesthood keys cast their votes for the one they believe is the one to succeed, and the amazing thing about this, is they all vote for the same individual! This would seem proof enough, this is the one God has chosen to be his prophet. I wonder if this has always been the case…that every time a new prophet is appointed, they all vote for the same man? Does anyone know for a fact that this is true?

  7. Dave P. says:

    Excellent observation overall. I have a few points I’d like to add as well (hopefully without repeating too many things).

    * Where are the calls to repentance not just to the church but also to the world? Most especially those to call them to renounce war and proclaim peace?
    * Where are the reminders from Monson telling people to stop looking to him and to look to Christ? Far too many people in the church seem to think that they can’t get close to the Savior without having to look to Monson for guidance. The fact that no one rebutted the blatant false doctrine in “14 Fundamentals of Following the Prophet” in the last conference only confirms that.
    * As mentioned above, where are the written revelations? Where are God’s words for changes to be made kept and why aren’t we hearing about them? More importantly, where are God’s rebukes of not only Monson, but for every “prophet” from Brigham Young on? The D&C is full of instances where the Lord reminds Joseph Smith of her personal shortcomings and helps to correct him when he makes a mistake, thus showing that even true prophets need to learn line-by-line, precept-by-precept.
    * And of course, the most basic question that anyone could ask of the “prophet” and “apostles” today: Have you seen the Savior face-to-face in order to be a special witness of Him? And none of this “It’s too sacred to talk about,” crap. I want a yes or no answer because Joseph Smith, the Nephites, and everyone else who saw Him did not hesitate to answer in the affirmative.

  8. Bruce says:

    There is the gospel and then there is the Church. We should not confuse the two. It is sad…very sad that we as a Church will be rejected. Your article is just a statement as to WHY we will be rejected….we teach for doctrine the commandments of men. Thanks for the courage to speak the truth….as painful as it is.

  9. Kevin M. says:

    Wow. Well written and thanks for the research. I am more agnostic than you about God and prophets in general, but from my still very Mormon viewpoint, this is still shocking to look at in depth. I have often thought the general ideas in this article, but never took the time to research my suspicions. Thanks for doing it.

  10. brett says:

    great post. you put it in a way that most should be able to see. you bring up some very valid points that i have seen before as well.

    a couple of comments:
    1. this discussion has came up between myself and parents, wife, siblings and so on and every time it is discussed, it never gets far or gains traction because many feel that being critical of the brethern is viewed as apostasy. it’s hard for many to see these things. they live in a way as if the church is the gospel and it is perfect. that the talks in general conferences are great and wonderful and inspiring. to me, they are like “bedtime stories”. no one wants to be called to repentence. nobody wants to hear that we are sinning or living their life incorrectly. everybody wants to feel good. everybody wants to get those warm fuzzy’s that you have mentioned earlier. everybody just wants to live their life, watch their sitcoms, get fat and work like their is no concern for tomorrow.

    2. last year, april i believe it was, i was watching general conference, trying to really focus on what the bretheren were saying. i had an open heart, and was telling myself not to be too critical, but to be open, so that the Spirit could bear witness to me. i went through 3 or 4 talks and they all felt good. i remember feeling the spirit during those talks, that is until elder cook and pres monson spoke. that spirit was not there. i noticed that change, and prayed for confirmation. i prayed to not be too critical, but there was no Spirit felt. even when it got to TSM, it was the same. that day has caused me to reflect. i figure that either i was not prepared to feel the Spirit or to be taught or to understand or they weren’t.

    3. during the larry king talks with hinkley, king asked, per my memory, he asked if, as a prophet, if he speaks or communicates with God, and hinkley described it as a feeling. when i read that, i thought either he misunderstood the question at hand or has never had more than a feeling. i have had a feeling. lots of feelings. but visions or dreams or being a special witness is more than a feeling. we can all be special witnesses. if we seek for just that then we will recieve. instead of focusing on their inherent lack of witnesses, lets seek that witness ourselves. that is what we can do. that needs to be our expectation. if can be open to it, and desire it, and seek those kind of experiences, than that is possible. denver snuffler wrote a great book on that.

    • Dave P. says:

      brett,

      To add clarity to your third point, Hinckley described the feeling of receiving revelation as “An intuitive hunch,” completely disregarding the many ways in which Joseph Smith received and recorded revelations, most notably being through the seer stones or just being touched by the Holy Ghost and speaking for the Lord with the appropriate preface of “Thus saith the Lord” or “Hearken to the voice of God,” etc.

      What’s also appropriate to add to this is the nature of spiritual confirmations as the Lord tells Oliver Cowdery that he’d receive a witness in both the mind and the heart. Why both? Because good/warm/fuzzy feelings or thoughts in one or the other can easily be counterfeit by our own selves or by Satan. Thus the “intuitive hunch” sounds quite a bit like a counterfeit witness only to the mind because Lord knows that a lot of us have acted on hunched and haven’t always been correct.

      And from what I’ve learned lately in my research and discussions with fellow truthseekers, while Monson isn’t entirely harmless or innocent, I just pray that he outlives Boyd K. Packer.

  11. Dan says:

    Well thought out. Like Rock, I was caught off guard by your candid manner of posting this. You had me going that you were going to present ‘fruits’ that I have never been able to find.

    Thats the thing about fruits. We need TWO witnesses. The Lord gave us what they should be (3 Nehpi 14)… The FIRST was the fruits, as you’ve outlined here.

    you’ve done well in doing this. The addtions I would make to the fruits is that a Prophet cannot serve God and Mammon. Yet, our leadership and church hae deep roots in babylonian idea, ways of life and economic strutcures as an administration and individually. To me, this is the most poignant telling fruit about where their allegiances lie. We vote wiht our lives.

    The Second point to find out his position before the Lord, that the Lord made in 3 nephi 14, was that HE knows them. Thus, by talking to God we will know whether “I profess unto them: I never bknew you; cdepart from me” OR “”it was founded upon a rock.”
    Another point for this lecture (3 Ne 14) is that the WOLVES are wearing the clothing of the sheep, and vice versa. There are one and the same flock.

    funny how to really know their status we too have to be prophets, since thats who he reveals his secrets too!

    This part of the corporations paper you posted I found interesting…
    “pending the installation of a successor President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.

    Is this implying a loophole that a puppet leader can be installed to lead, without the knowldege of the people? It being corporate sole, this happens essentially anyway. I however found it interesting.

    Thanks for the post.

    • gratefullybygrace says:

      Great post! Monson has always given me the creeps. I just did not know exactly how to express it, and now I know how to put it into words. I plan on sharing a bit of this info w people when discussing the church. Again, love the article.thanks for putting so much effort into it.

  12. zo-ma-rah says:

    Thanks everyone for the great additions so far. There is just so much to this topic that I couldn’t fit it all in and keep the post a reasonable length. Not to mention the stuff you guys have brought up that I didn’t know.

    • whereiszion says:

      If there were but world enough and time…and blank pages enough…or bytes enough on all the computers in the world…the implications of what you are saying so well would never be fully addressed…never be fully assessed or evaluated or realized. As Hinckley said, it is the world’s ultimate “hoax” in its implication to one who would be Mormon.

  13. John Ellis says:

    I’ve been reading your posts, but have been too busy recently to really comment much. Very well written! If you don’t hear from me for awhile, I’m still out hear reading every word. God Bless!

  14. Richard says:

    Hi Zomorah,

    You and others here are welcome to consider the revelations in the Second Book of Commandments. (2BC) http://www.2bc.info

    early Sections: http://www.2bc.info/pdf/2bc-fi39.pdf

    These revelations have been given, in my faith, through the identical gift of writing Word of the Lord oracle revelations that church Presidents Joseph, Brigham, John and Wilford also had. It has now been over 120 years since any church president has brought forth Word of the Lord revelations.

    The revelations are very self explanatory. The 2BC contains, in my faith, some of the greatest revelations ever given to mankind.

    If you question that the Lord would call a prophet independent of His Gentile church leadership, you can consider this article:

    http://www.lds-awakening.info/Publications/Issue3.pdf

    Richard

  15. Paolo says:

    Good reading, and I tend to agree that Bro. Monson is a very good man, but not clear if he really qualifies as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator. I kind of struggled with this in my last recommend interview, but decided that he did hold the keys of the office and could say yes.

    My question to you that I believe needs research is: When did the concept that the 12 Apostles and the Patriarch were also prophets, seers and revelators? Is this fairly recent? I’m not sure the scriptural references that indicate that the 12 and the patriarch are such. Just honestly asking, since none of the 12 have also never prophesied, saw, or revealed anything.

    Another question: Do the apostles actually need to have a vision, dream, or other manifestation of the Savior in order to actually be a “witness” of Jesus? In a court of law, a witness must be able to verify an event, person or place by having actually seen or heard, or perceived through physical senses that they have actual knowledge. Except for the fact that they have been called into the corporate office and having hands laid on their heads, there is no difference between my testimony and theirs in terms of being able to say “I know…”, as we have both had “feeelings” that we interpret as the Spirit bearing witness of the truth.

    • John C says:

      Sidney Rigdon wrote an article, and it was published in the Messenger and Advocate in either 1834 or 1835. He said that you cannot be a witness for something that you have not witnessed. He said in order to be a witness for God or Christ, you must actually see them.

      In 1835, when Oliver Cowdery gave his charge to the Twelve, he said their calling and ordination was not complete until the Savior laid his hands personally upon their heads, and that they must not cease striving until they have seen Christ face to face.

      In the early 1900s, or late 1800s, when Reed Smoot was to be ordained an apostle, one of the other apostles told him to seek for the experience of seeing Christ, so that he could indeed be a special witness of Christ.

      If you need references for these 3 things, I can get them for you.

  16. John Ellis says:

    From my understanding of the Bible and particularly in Acts where they were replacing Judas and in Regards to Paul (Saul), and Apostle is one that has literally seen the resurrected Christ. Just my perspective.

  17. James says:

    Great article! The photo you posted with President and Monson, using a special hand shake that should only be used in the temple, is explained more fully at this short youTube video. It also shows this same handshake being exchanged between Dick Cheney and President Hinckley.

    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, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord. (D&C 112: 25-26)

    • Dave P. says:

      I’m still looking for another source to fully verify this, but I’ve also heard that Hinckley took Bill Clinton through the SLC temple.

      But in regards to the handshakes, the temple signs and tokens that are to be kept “sacred” did not originate within the church. They’re all Masonic in origin.

      • John C says:

        The photo with Monson shaking hands with Bush was taken by Eric Draper, who was a staff member of the Bush Administration. I personally contacted him about this photo via telephone, and he told me where I could get the original, full-resolution digital camera image. After paying someone for the photo, I was given the original, and the resolution is very high, and you can see up-close that Bush is touching Monson’s wrist, and that Monson is also touching Bush’s wrist. All other fingers, however, are completely normal, including the pinky fingers. This handshake may partially resemble something sacred, but it’s still not the same thing. Bush shook everyone’s hand this way. I have pictures of Bush giving this “secret handshake” to baseball players and kids. I don’t have any explanation for why Monson did it in return.

        I have also heard that Hinckley took Clinton through the Salt Lake Temple. I believe the source for that claim is Robert Hender Jr. (search for him on google or yahoo). He anonymously published some pamphlets claiming not only this, but that Hinckley and Monson have also participated in human sacrifices in the Salt Lake Temple. He also claims that Hartman Rector Jr. said he saw Cain in the Salt Lake Temple. I knocked on Hartman’s door at his house in Provo, and asked him myself if this is true, and Hartman said that he did NOT see Cain in the temple, and that it was a false story. So I don’t know how trustworthy Robert Hender is.

  18. brett says:

    there was an early challenge given to the twelve, i am not sure where it originates, but i have heard that it is said no longer. “never stop until you the face of Christ” was the challenge given. maybe one of you knows where this came from.

    • John C says:

      Oliver Cowdery’s charge to the twelve in 1835. It was published in the 7 volume “History of the Church,” edited by B. H. Roberts.

      Never cease striving until you have seen Christ face to face, is the wording I think. It’s been a while since I’ve read it.

  19. brett says:

    i should proof read next time. “never stop until you see the face of Christ”.

  20. Debatable says:

    Brett

    There are two things I can think of that you might be thinking of.

    One is the following promise Joseph Smith gave to the elders before they entered the Kirtland Temple for the solemn assembly-

    “”I feel disposed to speak a few words more to you, my brethren, concerning the endowment. All who are prepared, and are sufficiently pure to abide the presence of the Savior, will see Him in the solemn assembly.”

    Of course Joseph was reiterating the promise from God in section 88:

    67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
    68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him… Tarry ye, tarry ye in this place, and call a solemn assembly, even of those who are the first laborers in this last kingdom.

    As I recall, very few of the brethren actually did see Christ in that solemn assembly. I remember reading in one of BY’s journals how disappointed he was that nothing supernatural took place for him.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that when the three witnesses called and ordained the 12 apostles, Joseph Smith told them that their calling as apostles would not be complete until the Savior appeared to them and personally ordained them as such.

  21. Maas says:

    Brett:

    What you’re looking for is nicely detailed in one of Quinn’s books (Extensions of Power). Here are the primers:

    (1) The original call of the apostles included this admonition:

    “It is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. … That is more than the testimony of an angel. … Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face.” – Oliver Cowder, 1835

    Quinn continues:

    “… it was not necessary to see Jesus to be chose as an apostle. However, once ordained each man had a lifelong obligation to seek this charismatic experience: a vision of deity.” (p. 1)

    This practice continued through the late 1800s – Abraham Cannon reported in 1889 that his charge included “the privileges of having the ministration of angels, and of seeing the Savior Himself; of hearing the voice of God as audibly as we hear a man’s voice… .” (p. 2). Lorenzo Snow reported in 1890 that the apostles “should, if we sought it, live to see the Savior in the flesh.”

    It was a consistent teaching until 1900. Then, a number of apostles started to fee “inadequate” (Orson Pratt, Heber J. Grant) because they hadn’t witnessed those things. Then in 1900 Reed Smoot was called as an apostle. Smoot, Quinn relates, was regarded as “reliable in business, but [he] has little or no faith.” With his call, Lorenzo Snow blessed him to “receive the light of the Holy Ghost” so that he could bear testimony of Christ and Joseph Smith. In 1903, George Albert Smith spoke of the responsibilities of the apostles to attend quorum meetings, sustain the first presidency and the twelve, to express their views “boldly” in quorum meetings and to lead an exemplary life – but no longer was the admonition to search for, expect or yearn for visions.

    In 1907, Francis M. Lyman instructed the newly ordained Anthony W. Ivins:

    “The Twelve are Special witnesses of Jesus Christ & should be able to testify that he lives even as if he had been seen by them.” (p. 2)

    It’s this “as if” approach that we see prevalent today. Modern LDS apostles have “no obligation to seek a visionary witness of Jesus Christ. In place of the instruction to seek a vision of Deity is a lengthy charge for modern apostles to be submissive to the majority of the Twelve.” (p. 3).

    In 1942, Heber J. Grant reported that he had “never prayed to see the Savior. … I know of no instance where the Lord has appeared to an individual since His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith. … I have seen so many men fall because of some great manifestations to them.” So, instead of seeking for a vision, HjG reports that such a vision makes one vulnerable to apostasy.

    In 1958 Hugh B. Brown reports this:

    “[My] charge included a commitment to give all that one has, both as to time and means, to the building of the Kingdom of God; to keep himself pure and unspotted from the sins of the world; to be obedient to the authorities of the church; and to subjugate his own thoughts and accept the majority opinion – not only to vote for it but to act as though it were his own original opinion after it has been approved by the majority of the Council of the Twelve and the First Presidency.” (p. 3)

    Later, Joseph Fielding Smith (“the church’s apostolic theologian” according to Quinn) officially changed the charge to this:

    “Every member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles should have, and I feel sure have had, the knowledge of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This does not have to come by direct visitation of the Savior, but it does come from the testimony of the Holy Ghost. … The testimony of the Holy Ghost is the strongest testimony that can be given. It is better than a person visit” (emphasis is in the original – Doctrines of Salvation, 3:153)

    That’s a brief (very brief) history of the changes. I’d recommend the book for much more information, footnotes to the original material, etc.

  22. earl r says:

    The jewish leaders rejected Jesus because they had Moses, The Christian leaders rejected Joseph Smith because They had Jesus, You reject Thomas S. Monson because you have Joseph Smith. Do you see a pattern? The Idea that one prophet should be rejected because his life expirences is not a mirror Image of a previous prophets is kinda silly

    • Rocky says:

      “The Christian leaders rejected Joseph Smith because they had Jesus”. Are you really saying that Joseph Smith is on the same level as Jesus? That they shouldn’t have rejected Smith just because they had Jesus. The point of Jesus’ life was to be the savior of the world. He ended religion and the old law from the old testament. He brought the gospel, the good news, to everyone. He is the truth, the way, and the light. Thats it, thats the simplicity of the gospel. Follow him or follow the laws and covenants of men. Anyone who tries to tell you to follow anyone but Jesus is selling something; anyone who tells you that they or their organization hold the keys to heaven is selling something; anyone who asks for 10% of your income in order for you to live with God is selling something; don’t buy it.

    • Rob says:

      The issue that the Jews had with Jesus was regarding what he was saying. They were insulted or thought it was blasphemy. The same thing with what Joseph said. My issue with Monson is not in what he says, but his lack of saying anything. He says the same things I can read in self help books or at many other City Churches. I am not offended by what he says or think it’s blasphemy. Hinckley before him mainly deflected any opportunities to say something.

  23. jew1967 says:

    Excellent post!

  24. zo-ma-rah says:

    earl r: Thank you for your comment. You do bring up an interesting pattern. However the real issue as to why I reject Thomas Monson as a prophet is because his fruits to not follow the scriptural examples of what a prophet’s fruits should be. Now mind you I’m not making an absolute claim, my claim is always subject to review pending additional information. So if you have knowledge of any prophecies, revelations, or other fruits that show President Monson to be a seer, revelator, translator or prophet, please share them. This is not a confrontational demand. But I am genuinely interested in this information. I couldn’t research everything so if you have anything more please share it.

    I don’t expect every prophet to do and live exactly the same way. But there are certain patterns and fruits that we are commanded to look for. God has said the we can know true prophets by their fruits. So should we not then examine the fruits of those claiming to be prophets to see if they are true. That also means that there must be some standard of measurement the we can compare them against. That standard is the scriptures.

    Harold B Lee said:
    “We ought to choose our texts from the scriptures, and wherever you have an illustration in the scriptures or a revelation in the Book of Mormon, use it, and do not draw from other sources where you can find it here in these books. We call these the standard Church works because they are standard. If you want to measure truth, measure it by the four standard Church works. … If it is not in the standard works, you may well assume that it is speculation. It is man’s own personal opinion, to put it another way; and if it contradicts what is in the scriptures, you may know by that same token that it is not true. This is the standard by which you measure all truth. But if you do not know the standards, you have no adequate measure of truth.”

    I accept the righteous teachings of any person, Whether it is Alma, Joseph Smith, Thomas Monson, or the guy down the street. So while I don’t believe Thomas Monson is a prophet that does not mean I reject those righteous things that he teaches.

    About patterns I would be interested in hearing your views about this pattern:

    The Jews rejected Lehi because he came from outside their leadership. Same thing with Abinadi.

    The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus because he cam from outside their authority. The leaders claimed they were the children of Abraham. But John the Baptist told them that it didn’t matter since God could raise a children of Abraham from these “stones.”

    The Nephites rejected Samuel the Lamanite because he came from outside their authority. Christ had to personally tell them to include Samuels words in their records.

    The Christian leaders rejected Joseph Smith because he came from outside their authority.

    Constantly without fail God has called leaders from outside the hierarchy of existing churches. So pretend some guy dressing in grubby clothes was walking around town prophesying and speaking things by saying, “Thus saith the Lord…” Would you accept him or reject him?

    I know I personally would have a hard time accepting someone like that. But I would have to examine his words and compare them with the scriptures and pray about them.

    Again thank you for replying. I hope you will share more here.

  25. Duerma says:

    Interesting post. I’d be curious to see a similar analysis for our last few Church Presidents.

  26. andrew says:

    when i was young and ignorant (a missionary) i erroneously assumed that all the brethren had seen god. it is sad to know that is not the case (i’ve had suspicions far before i read this). i’m think i am going to strive to become an apostle in my own right, and see if i can’t beat some of them to the punch. call me crazy, hehe

  27. dyc4557 says:

    Well I don’t have hidden mic in your house but this is probably the straw that broke the camels back.

    Earl P your pattern has an awful flaw in it. The questioning of Thomas Monson as a seer is the opposite of rejecting Joseph or Jesus. I the day of Christ the prevailing shall we say ”mainstream of the church” professed a belief in Moses but in fact their works were contrary to what Moses had taught. The belief of the mainstream church leaders of Joseph’s day likewise were not in harmony with the teachings and example of Christ.
    Moses had revelations and miracles and visions in his ministry. Jesus had revelations and visions and miracles in His ministry. Joseph had revelations and visions and miracles in his ministry. Anyone who truly believed in Moses in the year 28 AD didn’t need to hear of a new prophet to realize the Jewish church’s earthly head wasn’t doing God’s will and the church was at that time without a true prophet. Same with the days of Joseph Smith. there were many who knew there were no true apostles and prophets leading the Christian churches of the day.
    There is your actual pattern.
    And here is a statement of principle by Jesus Christ. I like this one it is so broad but rings so true. And maybe I should apologize before hand for the perhaps harsh language, or perhaps I should never apologize for the words of Jesus and rather thank God they are so harsh and stand up for them myself and defend then with a clear voice before all the world. I think the latter course will lead me to eternal life I don’t trust the former. And perhaps we can learn something from them that they may awake us from our awful slumber.
    Speaking to the Pharisees Jesus said ”Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. ” Luke 16:15 When in all the history of the world were true prophets highly esteemed by the world?

  28. zo-ma-rah says:

    Yes, dyc. Members of the church tend to think(well at least I did) that a prophet not being highly esteemed by the world was fulfilled in people not joining or liking the church. But in actuality many, if not all, of the recent leaders of the church have been highly accepted in the world of business. A true prophet would be seen being escort by police out of any business meeting.

    But of course we know that God calls experienced and professional men today to lead the church, in this complex modern age.

    • Dave P. says:

      Yes, it’s quite interesting how a lot of the general authorities, especially apostles, are known and called for their large sums of money and worldly recognition rather than, you know, their pure heart and special witness of actually having seen Jesus Christ face-to-face. Ask any one of them if they’ve seen Him and the reply will either be a dodge or a break in eye contact with the reply of, “That’s too sacred to talk about.”

  29. Dave P. -
    that is what I have actually been wanting to organize for some time now…I don’t know if you or Zomarah are familiar with the concept behind the group known as We Are Change….but if you look into it…I am interested in starting a similar group…maybe call it We Are Zion. Please let me know what you think. I am very serious about this and have felt motivated in the spirit to seek a group who would help me to carry it out.

    Zo’ -
    I always appreciate the images you seem to carefully choose to illustrate the points and bring it home for the reader…like the personal illustrations you included in the Love Your Wife With All Your Heart post…but HERE you really helped to make it very clear to the mind …they say a picture is worth A MILLION words….well then these are some inspired selections my friend….they really do confront our prideful minds and hearts with the stark reality of TRUTH. I liked it so much and found it so instructive that I had to make a youtube to share your susinct breakdown here. Check it out.

  30. Toni says:

    I am thinking that we sustain him as prophet, seer, and revelator because of the potential. We don’t really know everything about him, nor how God views him. I’m inclined to sustain him and the twelve because they are our leaders. Denver Snuffer has said quite a bit about these kinds of things and I tend to agree that the church needs the people who know that the church is not perfect, and it needs people who will not blindly follow/worship their leaders.

    By sustain, I mean pray for, respect, listen to – but the burden is on us as to whether they are speaking the words of the Spirit. We need to make sure our own hearts and behavior are what Christ would want. DS addresses that, also. (I don’t hold DS on a pedestal, but he has said many things that have really opened my eyes – in a spiritually healthy way.)

  31. Richard says:

    Hi Toni,

    If you choose to sustain President Monson I have this question for you.

    What about a member who chooses to NOT sustain him, and to not reject the evidences he or she is concerned about, and to claim the right to resolve the controversy before sustaining him? Do you believe such a member should be automatically excommunicated?

    In other words, is “common consent” voting just a way that members prove their allegiance to the leadership? Or is “common consent” voting part of a balance of power that gives everyone the power and responsibility to seek God’s truth and will being done in the church?

    In all coercive bully systems those in power require those under them to regularly prove their allegiance to them. Russian communists had “elections” with only one communist on the ballot. The church is not a democracy, but neither is it a dictatorship. It is to be a government by law, and the D&C is to be that law– according to the D&C.

    D&C law provides for a special trial (D&C 107:81-84) to resolve a “controversy” over the President of the High Priesthood or one of his counselors. Every member (JST Mark 9:40-48) has the right and responsibility to not be bullied, band wagoned or big-brothered into accepting the church President if they spiritually find a significant problem.

    But, apparently those who want to keep the President of the church above possible controversy want the right to judge the church leaders automatically righteous against any evidence– teaching that it is a “done deal” that the Lord will never allow church Presidents to make serious mistakes. And they want the right to speak evil of anyone who does not accept their right to make such judgments.

    Would you support having a trial to settle serious controversies over the President of the church? If not, are there any scriptures that support keeping the church President above controversy?

    • As an example I can give you the fact that my Father was excommunicated in 2010 because he went to general conference and voted opposed to Thomas S. Monson as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, for reasons that are eloquently expressed above. His stake president was notified that the president of the church wanted to be able to truthfully say the voting was unanimous in the affirmative and that as such my father who still regularly attends conference) must be “dealt with.” here is my letter to the church court in his defense: (redacted)

      Dear Brethren,
      I am writing this testimony on behalf of my father, _____________, who is being brought before you today for “Inappropriate conduct for a member of the Church.” I would like you to consider my testimony before reaching any decision. Please allow someone to read my remarks aloud during the proceedings. I would have come to testify in person if it was possible, but I live too far to come on such short notice.
      I am as intimately acquainted with my father as anyone, and familiar with his character and opinions. The man that stands before you is the man to whom I am sealed in all the generations back to Father Adam. He is the man who baptized me, ordained me to the priesthood, witnessed my Temple marriage, and taught me the Gospel from my infancy. He is a man who has sent his sons on missions throughout the world, stood as a savior on Mount Zion to many thousands of souls in his service in the Temple, both as a worker and as a very frequent patron for many decades. He is a High Priest who has honorably fulfilled every calling he has received during his 50 years as a member of the church. He is a man of unimpeachable moral fiber, grounded in his faith in Jesus Christ and the restored Gospel. He has been an inspiring example to all those who know him.
      He is brought before you today because his is accused of nothing more than exercising his moral duty. All church members are afforded the privilege of sustaining church leaders as our conscience directs. This provides us the opportunity to witness before God our acceptance of their decisions or our concerns. This is a very personal act of moral agency. The Doctrine and Covenants clearly states that this privilege is afforded to all members of the church and that they have this privilege free from coercion or influence. (D&C 26:2 & 121:41) While unanimity is the ideal, the privilege of making an opposing vote is an important process. Those who make opposing votes are given the opportunity to make their concerns known to their priesthood leaders. These concerns can then be taken by priesthood leaders to the Lord. This often serves the crucial purpose of bringing to light problems that priesthood leaders may not have been aware of.
      The entire system of common consent in the sustaining votes of the church depends on the free will opportunity to make a vote either to sustain or to oppose. This is the reason why it is essential that each time a sustaining vote is taken an opposing vote is offered. If however any opposing vote is to be met with immediate and violent persecution, the severing of eternal family ties and the denial of priesthood, there can be no more common consent, only autocracy enforced by fear. The principles of agency and common consent requite that agency be free from unrighteous dominion. Whenever such dominion is exercised to suppress personal matters of conscience the priesthood of those who do so is in serious jeopardy unless they repent.
      The concerns that my Father has expressed in his recent opposing vote are of serious concern. I understand perfectly if this council has convened in order to counsel with him in love in order to address those concerns. If however this court chooses to excommunicate him in order to deny him his moral rights it will be a matter for which you will need to defend yourselves before the bar of God. Those who deny others their rights as members of God’s church, and those who sustain such actions, will one day answer to God who will judge them with the same judgments. For by what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38)
      I would like to leave you with my testimony that the principles the Lord has given us in the Doctrine and Covenants are true. I believe that if you will approach my father’s concerns in a spirit if love you will come to respect him even if you do not all immediately agree with him. My father has held his current views for a long time, even while he served as Sunday school President, and he has never taught anything contrary to the policies and teachings of the current Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.
      I request that this court either take no action against my father or place him on formal probation, so that he can be excused from any teaching positions where he may feel a moral conflict. Then in a spirit of love continue to counsel together so that the Holy Spirit can bear witness to all, only then can you truly see eye to eye and rejoice together. (Isa. 52:8, D&C 50:22)
      I seal this testimony with the words of the Lord found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 121:
      41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
      42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
      43 reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
      44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
      45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
      46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
      Remember these principles, and show my father that your “faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death”, and that you will not “exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon [his] soul… in any degree of unrighteousness,” Or I also bear witness that these scriptures will be fulfilled to your everlasting condemnation for “behold, the heavens [will] withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. Behold, [before you are even] aware, [you will be] left unto [your]self, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen.” (D&C 121:37-38)
      Let us all beware of this admonition, and serve one another in love. I leave you this testimony of my faith in the revealed words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, AMEN
      Your Brother,

      • Toni says:

        You know, reading this, I am reminded of the “voting” in some countries where armed guards stand at the polls to make sure the people vote for the acceptable candidate. I had never had that image before, even though I know that if you vote against the wrong person (and the higher in the hierarchy the more sever the punishment, it seems) you can get in serious trouble.

        So, why is there a “vote” at all?

        I hope your father was not punished for exercising his God-given, scriptural right to vote “no” if his conscience required it.

      • Toni says:

        “severe” not sever. Ugh.

  32. Toni says:

    “What about a member who chooses to NOT sustain him, and to not reject the evidences he or she is concerned about, and to claim the right to resolve the controversy before sustaining him? Do you believe such a member should be automatically excommunicated?”

    Absolutely not! I believe one should NEVER be automatically excommunicated for such things. In fact, I wonder if one should ever be excommunicated for what one thinks of the leaders on any level of the church. I think freedom of conscience is the ultimate freedom and should be protected.

    My opinion of common consent voting is that it is rare that people even think about what they are doing when they raise their hand to sustain someone. When I raise my hand to sustain the leaders of the church, it means to me that I am willing to pray for them and to respect them as human beings. It does not mean that I am promising to blindly follow them, nor does it mean that I believe they are infallible. (Someone else may think of sustaining differently.) Common consent is not real voting, anyway. I think your words “regularly prove their allegiance to them” hits the nail on the head.

    I read that scripture recently, about the president of the high priesthood. I was looking for any proof that the president is always a Prophet (capital “P”). I came across only one (lower case “p”) and that’s when I thought we sustain him for his potential. Also, I have learned that the early presidents of the church didn’t consider themselves prophets.

    As for myself, I do not worship the prophet. Over the last decade, I went from one who feared the authority above me/was intimidated to someone who has realized that they are men. They may be inspired in what they do, but they also make mistakes. According to Denver Snuffer, they’ve gone a bit off the right way. I won’t repeat what DS says here because I wouldn’t remember it all and he can say it better. (I would recommend perusing his blog.) He makes more sense than anyone I have come across in regards to the humanness of the leaders, yet keeping the fact that the church (in spite of all of its imperfections) does have the authority for such needed things as baptism. Also, the fact that the church needs people like us who know the general leaders are not perfect. If all of those people leave, only the blind are left.

    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/

    In answer to your last questions, I would say no man is above sin. The D&C obviously pointed that out. I would also say that respect has turned to worship – and it has also turned into a mass opinion that the office of president of the church automatically confers infallibility. A trial to settle serious controversies? Perhaps. It would depend. A trial for a president of an institution should only be held if he was suspected of being guilty for a crime as defined by that institution. I don’t know what controversies you are thinking of. I do know there are some around. There are always controversies, it seems.

    Leaving that subject, I just want to say that I see a need to balance open eyes with mercy. No man but Jesus was perfect. I don’t know the sincerity of Pres Monson’s heart. I did see the “mantle” fall upon him in the conference mentioned. To me, that was God’s witness that God approves of him as the president of the church. Whether he will become an actual Prophet, I do not know.

    And, I do agree with your inferences about fear. There needs to be less fear: “I’ll get in trouble if I don’t view the leaders as perfect.” “I’ll get in trouble if I meet with a few friends and the subject is religion/spiritual things.” And so on. That’s nonsense. God is not the author of fear, so when people are taught to fear their leaders’ wrath/opinion, something is definitely not right.

  33. Toni says:

    I found this talk at the link below, by President Ezra Taft Benson. I thought the quote below was pertinent to this discussion.

    “As Moroni counseled, we must cleanse the inner vessel, beginning first with ourselves, then with our families, and finally with the Church.”

    http://www.moroni10.com/General_Conference/Ezra_Benson_first_talk.html

  34. Toni says:

    I came across this quote: “All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself (TPJS, pp. 180-81).” That has to mean that if any of the presidents of the church from Joseph Smith up to and including Thomas Monson have not seen Jesus Christ, they are not true prophets. I wonder how many of them have seen Him?

  35. Elder Chantdown says:

    But Toni, even though you or I or anyone else says to ourselves that we will think of “praying for and respecting as human beings” when we “sustain” them…the sustaining ceremony asks us to sustain them as “prophets, seers and revelators”. I mean really…would we need a formal raising of the right hand to sustain them as human beings? You are right, most do not even think when they raise their hand….and others “think” something else in order to maintain some idea of personal integrity. Could it be that those who are actually thinking and acting conciously refrain from the group mentality inspite of the potential for public embarassment and keep their hand down…thus maintaining their integrity before God?

  36. Elder Chantdown says:

    It is hereby proposed that we sustain Brother Zomarah as a human being who we will respect and pray for. All in favor please manifest it by the raising of the right hand….(raises hand high) ….any opposed may manifest by the same sign. Brothers and Sisters the voting has been unanimous in the affirmative.

    ok all kidding aside…WE LOVE YOU ZO’…and I do pray for and respect all my brothers and sisters online who are searching for Truth….keep seeking Christ and hopefully we will all see eachother face to face one beautiful day.

    • Justin says:

      In re: to “But the church referred to is not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that exists in all those who have repented and come unto Christ. Rather it is referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint which exists as a legal corporation in many nations. So I’ll say yes they do receive some forms of revelation on behalf of the Church(TM). But that ends where the corporation ends.

      Last week [I missed the meeting] apparently our EQ president announced that the Bishop would be printing out the first three sections of the CHI and we were to hand them out to hometeaching families. Apparently he also mentioned that we were to tell the families to plan an FHE lesson based on these CHI sections.

      This week, the EQ president had to recant himself. According to the CHI [the section that we were asked to "challenge" the families to teach in FHE],

      Family home evening is sacred, private family time under the direction of the parents. Priesthood leaders should not give directions as to what families should do during this time.

      The ChurchTM and the tribe are indeed two seperate entities. Neither one has jurisdiction over the other.

      I sustain Thomas in his role over the ChurchTM — no problem.

  37. zo-ma-rah says:

    Hahaha. Thanks. I’ve had some interesting inspiration concerning this topic. Leaders of the Church can and do receive inspiration(so I suppose you can call it revelation) for the church. According to Ezekiel 14, such inspiration is given according to the idols of the people.

    In the temple recommend questions in addition to the prophet, seer, and revelator, thing we are asked to sustain them as the only people authorized to receive revelation for the church. But the church referred to is not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that exists in all those who have repented and come unto Christ. Rather it is referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint which exists as a legal corporation in many nations. So I’ll say yes they do receive some forms of revelation on behalf of the Church(TM). But that ends where the corporation ends. And the corporation does not include all those who are part of the church.

    About the Ezra Benson quote. I agree. Since the church is other people then we must obviously cleanse ourselves first(mote, beam, and all that jazz). However there will be many times that cleansing ourselves and our families brings us into conflict with the Church(TM). For example if someone is inspired to cleanse their family by practicing the principle of Plural Marriage.

  38. Toni says:

    Elder Chantdown, you made me laugh. Touche.

    I think Justin and zo-ma-rah said it perfectly. We sustain them in accordance with their positions at the head of the TM church. Well said, gentlemen.

  39. Toni says:

    I just came across this scripture. It sounds like there will be a time when there won’t be any prophets, apostles, other ga’s, stake presidents, bishops, etc. Am I the only one seeing this here? Jer. 31:31-34 and D&C 84:98. It looks like it will be after the destructions that sweep the wicked away (I hope to not be one of the wicked – that’s what I’m working toward, anyway.).

    • Dan says:

      I’m sorry Toni, but I don’t see anything in these scriptures that seems to support what you’re suggesting with regard to there no longer being any priesthood leadership. In fact, they don’t mention priesthood leaders at all. To me these scripture passages seem to simply refer to the fact that there will eventually come a day that we will no longer need to proselytise, because everyone will already know the Lord. This would be in keeping with the scriptures which tell us that at the Lord’s second coming in glory “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God” Mosiah 27:31 (see also Romans 14:11; D&C 76:10; D&C 88:104).

  40. Dave P. says:

    Well with conference coming up let’s see just how many “prophets, seers, and revelators” condemn the actions of those who supported and initiated the bombing of Libya. That’ll be a good litmus test.

  41. Jose says:

    Dave:

    I doubt much will be said about it, to be honest. Nor do I think many (if any) will condemn the acts of Ghaddafi in attacking the protesters. Too much of the “we believe in obeying, honoring and sustaining” the law mindset.

  42. D&D for Truth says:

    A very interesting thread. Thanks zo-ma-rah for your research and willingness to put your head on the chopping block to state what you have found and believe.

    It has been my finding lately that many are waking up to things that just do not smell right. All is not well in Zion. It has been amazing to me that so many church members jump at the opportunity and begin to point fingers at and call others apostate simply because those others have the guts to ask tough questions and call a spade a spade. Asking questions is an ex communicational offense. Don’t you know? The Prophet will never be allowed to lead the church astray. Can’t find that one anywhere in scripture but that is what we are increasingly being told and taught. When and why did it become “Follow the Prophet” instead of “Follow the Savior”?

    Some other interesting information can be found here. http://www.yeshallknowthetruth.com It’s free and you can download the volumes for printing or you can just read it right there on the web page.

    I think things are getting ready to change real soon.

  43. John Peterson says:

    This was an interesting read. I have to admit I wasn’t sure where you were going with this one, but that’s what kept me reading to the end. Good job on the head fake :) And now for my comments…

    How many years has the Church been led by “blind seers”? D&C 138 might be the last recorded revelation which can really be considered a revelation. It was given to Joseph F. Smith in 1918. The preface reads:

    “A vision given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 3 October 1918. In his opening address at the 89th Semiannual General Conference of the Church, on 4 October 1918, President Smith declared that he had received several divine communications during the previous months. One of these, concerning the Savior’s visit to the spirits of the dead while his body was in the tomb, President Smith had received the previous day. It was written immediately following the close of the conference. On 31 October 1918, it was submitted to the counselors in the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Patriarch, and it was unanimously accepted by them.”

    We could assume revelation ceased after Joseph F. Smith, but then we have to ask ourselves, “Why is it that no other prophets before Joseph F. Smith (since Joseph Smith, Jr.) received any revelations?” My argument would be that many have received revelations, but when (if) they were submitted to “the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Patriarch” they were not accepted. God doesn’t act in vain. He won’t speak to a people who refuse to listen to him. If God has stopped speaking, it’s because the people stopped listening, many many years ago from the looks of it :/

    • John Peterson says:

      Also, I read all of your references for your argument that “Revelations must be published”. While those references show that revelations were published or commanded to be published, none of them show that all revelations given by God to his prophets must be published. If the revelations are to his Church, you would expect that they would be made available to them. However, I see no problem in God revealing directions to the Church authorities without those revelations being published. As for Manifesto 1 and 2… I’d kind of expect such doctrine changing revelations to be published. Since they aren’t, I take these documents to be addressed to the world and not the the Church. History shows us that this is the stance the Church leadership took towards Manifesto 1. Just look at a photo of Joseph F. Smith’s family and you know he didn’t stop living plural marriage after 1890.

      • John Peterson says:

        “I know that in my traveling and preaching, many a time I have stopped by beautiful streams of clear, pure water, and have said to myself, “How delightful it would be to me to go into this, to be baptized for the remission of my sins.” When I got home, Joseph told me it was my privilege. At this time, came a revelation, that the Saints could be baptized and rebaptized when they chose… “(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, p. 241)

        This is just one example of a revelation Joseph Smith had which isn’t recorded in the D&C. I’m sure there are many others as well.

    • Dave P. says:

      One that I learned about recently is one from John Taylor wherein he declared polygamy to be instituted of God. The 12 ended up rejecting it but those who were still in support of it fled to Mexico.

      John Taylor also never made a single public appearance during his ministry as president of the church as there was an arrest warrant out for him the entire time.

  44. Jon Peterson, et al,
    There are a couple of volumes edited, I think, by Fred C. Collier (I have them around here somewhere) titled “Unpublished Revelations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Volume one in particular consists of the revelations of John Taylor, Cannon, Woodruff, and others on how polygamy absolutely, positively, will never be allowed to discontinue. And then suddenly, out comes Woodruff with his big, never mind, but don’t worry, the prophet will never lead the people astray thing. The contrast is startling. I mean, these guys were POSITIVE about it.

    It was from reading this book some years ago that I became convinced the church went into apostasy by not continuing the practice. Since then, however, I have been convinced that the practice did NOT originate with Joseph Smith, but was an aberration introduced by Brigham Young. So the way I feel about it now is that the church didn’t go into apostasy by ending polygamy; it entered into apostasy from the time it started that practice.

    I realize, Zomarah, that we differ on this, but anyway, “Unpublished Revelations” Volumes I and II is the place to look for everything that claims to be a revelation but is scattered all over in different places.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Rock,

      I am convinced that the Lord took away plural marriage from His Gentile church because of many problems. But I believe D&C 132 as it is written is true revelation.

      Do you believe that D&C 136 is a true revelation? It was written by President Brigham Young. If BY was a true prophet, even if he made mistakes as all men do, there is no reason to believe he was deceptive about D&C 132 and all the plural marriages that occurred in Nauvoo under the direction of Joseph.

      John Taylor received several important revelations AFTER the time of President Young. Here are John Taylor’s known revelations:

      http://www.2bc.info/pdf/JTaylor.pdf

      And here are Wilford Woodruff’s revelations, which also fail to condemn BY and also support the principle of plural marriage:

      http://www.2bc.info/pdf/WWoodruff.pdf

      None of these Word of the Lord revelations after BY accuse him of deception, but rather support the concept that plural marriage is a necessary part of the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage in at least two instances:

      1. When directly commanded by revelation to raise up seed,
      or
      2. When a woman in the covenant loses her husband to death or apostasy and must remarry in the covenant to keep her covenants. This may necessitate plural marriage. D&C 132:44 directly COMMANDS this.

      A people cannot say they are going to live by the law of marriage in D&C 132 and then say they will never live any plural marriages– they just contradicted themselves, or they are saying that they only serve Caesar (the US Government).

      D&C 132 requires it in at least the two instances I gave, and no one can say the Lord cannot at any time give specific revelation for someone to live it, or that D&C 132:44 may necessitate it.

      Richard

      • Dave P. says:

        Richard,

        The one major problem with all of this is that it completely contradicts what is taught in the Book of Mormon. Jacob does not hold back when he tells the Nephites that plural marriage in any form is an abomination before a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. This was also the first time wherein the Nephites were ripe for destruction and they hadn’t even lived in the promised land for 100 years. How would it have felt to be told that the Lamanites were more righteous than you, and they didn’t even have the law?

        Your point 1 there is also a gross misinterpretation of Jacob 2:30 for two reasons. First, the Lord will give commandments to raise up seed, but only with one wife. Second, the Lord wanted to raise a righteous seed up in the Nephites and thus gave them the commandment to remain righteous, otherwise they would hearken unto their own desires (polygamy in that case).

        Next, yes there are examples of Abraham, David and Solomon taking multiple wives, but that doesn’t mean the Lord approved of it. However he let them do so because of free agency and the feud between Sarah and Hagoth is the perfect example of the consequence Abraham had to face. One of Brigham Young’s plural wives, Ann Eliza Young, divorced him and wrote a book titled “The 19th Wife” to reveal what living under polygamy was really like: hellish for women and “worse than negro slavery.” The book is public domain and can be read online.

        Looking at the history of Section 132 makes it dubious at best, especially given two points: Joseph Smith burned his copy and told the brethren to stop practicing polygamy before he died, and the section itself (Joseph’s secretary still had a copy) wasn’t added to the D&C until long after Joseph’s death.

        The dubious history of Section 132 of course also conflicts with your 2nd point. Not only that, but the resurrected Savior taught the Nephites that the only saving ordinance is baptism for a remission of sins and anything more or less than that comes of evil. This of course opens up discussion for the difference between “salvation” and “exaltation,” but when Section 101 originally included the declaration that marriage consists of one husband and one wife (later removed) makes the point moot since Joseph Smith taught that a true revelation will never contradict a previous one (no matter how many times modern leaders try to claim that the current prophet’s words may “trump” the scriptures).

        Also, Brigham Young himself never claimed to be a prophet, and he certainly never acted like one. As records from that era record, BY was a tyrant. He excommunicated apostle William Smith over BY’s unauthorized changing of the temple endowment (Section 124:47-48) and even his own secretary (my greatx5 grandfather) over a salary dispute. Do a little digging and you’ll find a lot more.

        I also mentioned the Quorum of the 12′s rejecting John Taylor’s revelation on polygamy in another comment. The details don’t need to be repeated here.

        Also, looking at this from a logical standpoint, why weren’t Adam or Noah ever commanded to take multiple wives? Surely there were never more imperative times to “raise up seed.” Who was the first person in scriptural history to practice plural marriage? The second person who embraced secret combinations: Lamech, the descendant of Cain and who assumed Cain’s “new name” of Mahan.

        The reference I cited of Section 124:47-48 talks about the church’s “follies and abominations” for which the church is cursed and needs to repent of. I’m convinced that these include plural marriage, altering the temple ordinances to turn the endowment into a masonic blood oath (see the pre-1990 wording), and treating lightly the Book of Mormon. Thus the advice I can give is to search, ponder and pray because the Lord speaks to all those who are pure in heart.

      • John Peterson says:

        This is a response to Dave P.

        In Joseph’s letter to Nancy Rigdon he states:

        “…So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.”

        Joseph does not seem to be condemning Solomon here, in fact he seems to be commending him. Solomon was righteous in taking many of his wives (as D&C 132 alludes to). It’s when he started taking wives that the Lord did not command him to take that his works turned into abominations. This is all Jacob 5 tells us. If you take things unto yourself that the Lord has not authorized (as detailed in D&C 132) you are stealing from him and committing abominations. This applies just as much to the first wife as to the last. Revelation is required for all God-sanctioned marriages. Strong doctrine, I know, but it came from the Prophet’s own pen.

      • Dave P. says:

        John,

        What you failed to mention is that Solomon was a wise and powerful ruler in the beginning as he did see God and was blessed with wisdom. However, it was his forays into plural marriage that turned him to idolatry and caused him to fall.

        Read Section 3:1-11 wherein Joseph Smith is warned that he would fall if he succumbed to his own carnal will and desires. How many times was Joseph reprimanded in the D&C? After the Kirtland temple dedication in 1836, Joseph did indeed allow his ego and his carnal mind to take over. The Lord allowed this to exemplify how Joseph would be delivered up to the buffetings of satan and that he wasn’t infallible. Read and compare Joseph’s teachings in Kirtland vs. Nauvoo and you’ll find several contradictions. Joseph is an excellent parallel with King David: chosen for his pure heart but gave in to his carnal lusts. Sadly, Joseph did not flee to the Rockies to complete his repentance before setting the church back in order. As a result he lost the protection of the Lord and was killed.

        Here’s what’s said in Jacob 2:

        23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

        24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

        25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

        26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. <– “These things” in verse 30 relate back to this!

        27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; <– “brethren” refers to both the men in his audience as well as us in our day.

        28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

        I see nothing in there about plural marriage ever being authorized by God. Jacob lays it out clearly that the practice, no matter who does it, is abominable.

      • John Peterson says:

        D&C 132 lays out pretty clearly what the law is and what God finds abominable. This revelation was purportedly received in 1831. Joseph took Fanny Alger to be a wife in 1833. So you can’t really say this was something Joseph did later in his ministry. The church was only three years old when he first became a polygamist. If you’d like to believe Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet for most of his ministry, that’s your choice. I refuse to do so. We have recorded in history many examples of righteous men who were also polygamists. Abraham, Jacob, and Moses were all men of God. All three spoke with God face to face while at the same time living in what you call an “abominable” state. If any of these men were unrighteous they would have burned up in the presence of God, yet they did not. If this were such an abominable state, you’d think that God would have chastised them, but he did not. King David was chastised and rightly so, for he had a man killed to please his lusts. This was not the case with these other righteous men. The abuses recorded in the book of Jacob were so severe that God took the law away from those people, because they were indeed abusing their wives by taking wives and concubines to satisfy their lusts. If they did things according to God’s law he wouldn’t have had to take the law (and the attached blessings) away from them.

        Please read D&C 121 and tell me these words didn’t come from God? I find them to be some of the most inspired words in all scriptural canon and yet they were received while Joseph was in Liberty Jail in 1839. He married Lucinda Pendleton Morgan Harris in 1838, just a year before. You might say God was punishing Joseph, but if that’s the case, he didn’t learn very well, because he married Louisa Beaman in 1841 and a host of other women over the next few years.

      • I have done a turnaround on this, Richard. I used to firmly believe in the revelations of Young, et al, on plural marriage and felt that abandoning the practice was the reason the Lord condemned the church.

        But here we have Brigham Young admitting that “I am not a prophet like Brother Joseph or Daniel. I’m a Yankee Guesser.” No one at the time ever referred to BY as a prophet, that term was used frequently, but only in reference to the late Joseph Smith.

        I believe that Taylor, Woodruff, et al truly believed in the principle with all their hearts, but I am skeptical about whether those revelations truly came from God, or were rather the result of their own firm convictions.

  45. zo-ma-rah says:

    Yeah, I downloaded Volume 1 I think from somewhere online, I think it was scribd. I haven’t gotten arround to reading much of it yet.

    I’ll agree with you that a step towards apostasy was in Brigham Young requiring polygamy for exaltation. And in the blanket condemnation today. But as far as allowing an individual/couple to consult with the Lord to determine if Plural Marriage is correct for them, I wouldn’t consider that apostasy.

    Judging by the history of monogamy, polygyny in the Bible, my studies in the Book of Mormon, and personal revelation, I can’t come to the conclusion that Plural Marriage in itself is wicked. However, if it is used as an excuse for acting out ones lust, or if it is forced on other people, then I consider that wicked.

    Joseph Smith may well have completely opposed polygamy, and Brigham Young most likely wrote(or heavily modified) what became section 132. But it doesn’t really matter to me. I have to go with what the Spirit is teaching me currently.

  46. Zomarah,
    I absolutely, 100 percent agree with everything you just said.

    It is was the Brigham Young et al requirement of plural marriage I object to, but as you know I have always completely supported those who choose this method of marriage, I might have done so myself at one time, and if my wife were to pass away, I wouldn’t completely rule it out for myself. Depends on the situation I may find myself in one day. (Although at the age I find myself in, a plural marriage with me may result in a passel of disappointed women.)

  47. Jon Shurtleff says:

    My question would be that if Monson is not a prophet of God then who is? If no one is, are we waiting for one? If one comes that is in the model of the scriptures and Joseph Smith are you prepared to suffer as those who followed then did? Times change.

    • John Peterson says:

      Jon, God has stated in the D&C that his kingdom would not be taken again from the earth, so we must assume that either he’s already raised up a leader from within the inside of the Church who now guides a people outside of the recognized body of the Church (as he did in the days of Lehi and Alma) or that he intends to do so very soon. How much longer can the earth’s economic/political system last before Armageddon is upon us? Only God knows, although every one of us can know if we humble ourselves before our Creator and ask him as a young boy once did in the back hills of New York.

    • AV says:

      Jon,

      Joseph Smith taught that as long as at least one righteous man with the Priesthood is on the earth, who can receive personal revelation and direction from God, then the Kingdom of God remains on the earth. It needn’t be a Prophet or leaders of the Church, it can be just one lone man.

      I believe there were many righteous men who didn’t follow Brigham Young out west, but instead kept the true Church and Kingdom of God going by just remaining true to the teachings of Christ and Joseph Smith and the BoM (which don’t include polygamy).

      I believe soon we will see true prophets again come among us, but those who have been deceived by polygamy and false Prophets like BY and those who lead the Church today, will probably not recognize true prophets when they do come.

      I wonder though if one or two of the twelve today will awake like Alma did, and repent and follow true prophets instead of remaining a part of an apostate church.

      • I wonder if there came among us miracle workers healing the sick, raising the dead and doing all manner of miracles, as the ancients did, yet were themselves practicing and preaching polygamy, if you would reconsider your views? I’m just curious if you would question such firm beliefs if one came among us doing the works of Jesus and his apostles.

      • AV says:

        No, I would not follow or believe in anyone who preached or practiced polygamy, for I believe Christ preached against it, the same as many of his true prophets, like Joseph Smith, did. I believe it’s impossible for a true prophet or disciple of Christ to ever preach or practice polygamy. For Joseph Smith and the Apostle Paul warned about following anyone who preached ‘contrary’ to what Christ & the scriptures say. For if they do, that’s how we know they are preaching falsehoods.

        The Adversary has power to do miracles & heal the sick too, so I would judge a person by if they lived the teachings of Christ and possessed true Christlike love, I wouldn’t be swayed by any miracles that they did.

  48. John Peterson says:

    If you take even a cursory view of Mormon history in regards to plural marriage, you will see that the First Presidency of the Church spoke out of two sides of their mouth from 1890 to around 1920. It all depended on who they were talking to on what they said. They had to do this to evade government authorities and thus keep the temple in Church hands. This is no different than Abraham “lying” to King Abimelech, to save his own life (I believe in the Book of Jasher Abraham was commanded by God to lie). You’ve got to remember, the commandment is to not bear false witness AGAINST your neighbor. Under questioning during the Reed-Smoot hearings, you could tell Joseph F. Smith used all sorts of white lies to evade questions. Was he improper for doing so? No, it was not the State’s right to know, no more than it would be their right to know the temple ceremony details.

    God oftentimes does not reveal the full truth to us. The fact that he does not appear to every individual is evidence of this. We simply could not endure his presence and so it is oftentimes that we can’t endure the truth in its fulness. This is what a good parent or teacher does: they only reveal the amount of truth a child or student is ready for. This is why you also see Joseph Smith speaking out of two sides of his mouth in regards to plural marriage. The Saints as a whole weren’t ready for such a strong doctrine. Thus you see him bemoaning the state of the Saints, over this and other doctrines:

    “I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen.” (History of the Church, 6:184–85)

    He himself personally obviously believed it was a principle of God, as he was marrying wives up until his death. I’ve heard of no report that these marriage contracts were ever annulled. It’s quite obvious these marriages weren’t to fulfill his lusts, otherwise we’d have biological evidence of the unions. Not one child from Joseph Smith’s plural marriages has been proven via DNA tests (although I personally believe he had a few). If he had been sleeping around willy nilly, as some would have us to believe, you know there would be several offspring to verify this. Joseph was not infertile, as he had several children from Emma. The only other possibility that I can see would be that he coerced all of these these women to abort their pregnancies (pretty much the only form of birth control in that day), but I don’t think any of us are willing to consider that notion given our testimonies of his prophetic calling. I suggest a careful reading of this letter from Joseph to Nancy Rigdon. http://www.mormon-polygamy.org/nancy_rigdon_polygamy. This letter makes it clear that this was not a doctrine cooked up by Brigham and later apostles, but that Joseph truly believed it was a doctrine of God. This letter was written in 1842, the Nauvoo era.

    Joseph had an inner circle (the “Anointed Quorum”) whom he could trust and he revealed many of the higher doctrines to them. The rest of the Saints were fed the milk of the gospel, until they were ready for the meat. Obviously the Saints weren’t any more ready for it in Brigham’s day (seems only 3% of the Church ever practiced it), but I suppose God figured it was time to test the Saints at that time. It certainly was a “divide the sheep from the goats” issue.

    If you realize that plural marriage is one of God’s means of taking care of the widows and the poor, you’ll see the lack of it does a huge injustice to the poor. Who is more poor than a single mother trying to be both the bread winner and educator of her children? I grew up in such a household and if it weren’t for a particuarly hard-working mother, I would have most certainly fallen through the cracks and become more of a menace to society than I’ve turned out to be. What better way to get men to take care of women than have them marry them? The man is then obligated by scripture to take care of each wife (and her children) equally and thus there will be no rich or poor among them. Maybe no rich or poor, but I’d say society as a whole would be made a whole lot richer by such a principle.

    • Jon,
      The letter to Nancy Rigdon you refer to most assuredly was not written in Joseph’s own pen, as you declare in your response to Dave P above. At least no one at the time believed it was except the guy who tried to pass the forgery off so as to pin a scandal on Joseph Smith. If you’ll allow me to quote an excerpt from my research on the story:

      “Nancy Rigdon was the pretty nineteen year old daughter of First Councilor Sidney Rigdon, and the way the story is often told, Joseph Smith made advances toward her in a letter and she rejected him.

      “In volume II of “Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy”, the Prices examine this story in depth and document all the juicy details. You can read the complete analysis there. I’ll give you the short version.

      “A letter was delivered to Miss Rigdon which she was told was from Joseph Smith. The letter did not contain Joseph’s signature, and Miss Rigdon rejected it because she knew where it had come from. She suspected it was the work of John C. Bennett, who held incriminating knowledge about her seduction by Chauncey Higbee and hoped for her cooperation in entrapping Joseph. What ended up happening to the poor girl was that her affair with Higbee was made public, causing her no end of humiliation.

      “Wouldn’t you know it, Bennett somehow had a copy of the letter to Nancy Rigdon of his own, which he published in the Sangamo Journal, and later in his book, claiming it was written by Joseph Smith to Nancy Rigdon. Gee, I wonder how he got that copy?

      “Joseph Smith made affidavit denying authorship of the letter, and Nancy Rigdon herself affirmed it had not come from Smith, “nor in his hand writing, but by another person, and in another person’s hand writing.” Nancy’s father didn’t believe the letter was from Joseph either. Neither copy of the notorious letter has been found to this day. All we know of it is from what Bennett published.”

      None of that stopped Brigham Young from directing that this forgery be included in what most members were made to understand was Joseph’s personal History. One of the editors of the DHC, Charles W. Wandell, was aghast at how much doctoring was going on to alter the dead prophet’s journals in order to bring them into line with the current doctrine.

      You can find the link to that within my piece here:

      http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-mormon-history-is-not-what-they-say.html

      Which itself is a follow-up to my examination of the origins of Mormon polygamy here:

      http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-im-abandoning-polygamy.html

      The real story of how Joseph Smith vigorously opposed polygamy, which was taking hold in Nauvoo, and how he vowed to stamp it out before it led to “the destruction of the church” is quite interesting. It has taught me that any document that claims to have come from Joseph Smith which contradicts his public declarations will have to be in his own handwriting before I accept it. The very suspicious provenance -or more accurately, lack of provenance- of section 132 should be enough to convince the dispassionate historian that it is very possibly a fraud also.

      Before we accept any of these stories of Joseph’s many wives, or of the minutes of Nauvoo, or of Hyrum’s acceptance of the practice, I say show me the contemporary documents from the time. I won’t accept hearsay written decades later as “proof” of Joseph’s many marriages. I’m still waiting to see something written in the diary of Helen Mar Kimball AT THE TIME she claims her father gave Joseph her hand in marriage. If it was so traumatic, why did she not mention it in her diaries when it occurred? And why do we find nothing in the journals of the other many wives regarding such a portentous occasion as their secret marriage to the prophet of God?

      The answer is that they never happened. Joseph Smith vigorously and constantly opposed polygamy, and there are MANY examples from his speeches and writings to prove it. And nothing in his hand to suggest otherwise.

      • John Peterson says:

        There is a decent amount of historical evidence showing that Joseph Smith proposed to Nancy and was rejected. Afterwhich he dictated this letter to his secretary Willard Richards and had Willard deliver it to Nancy a few days after the rejection (“A Portrait of Religious Excess”, Richard S. Van Wagoner, p 295).

        Of course Joseph denied being the author of the letter. He didn’t want to give Bennett and Higbee any possible support in their spiritual wifery movement.

        All Nancy said was that she didn’t think Joseph was the author and that it wasn’t written in his handwriting (indeed it wasn’t since it was Richards who wrote it). However, her brother and father both believed it was from Joseph and got in a heated family feud over it, which her brother wrote about in his memoirs.

        If this letter is a forgery, it’s a good one. If it is, it’s very unlikely that Bennett was the forger given his temperament; it’s unlikely he could have controlled his passions well enough to write such a tame letter. I’m not the only one to believe this way, as these sentiments were related in the Wasp newspaper shortly after the Bennett’s expose on Joseph was released.

        There is plenty of historical evidence that Joseph Smith was married to multiple women concurrently (temple sealings, letters, diaries, biographies, etc. Please see http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=10&num=2&id=290), so it doesn’t seem out of character that he would write such a letter. I find it more likely that he did than that he didn’t. The weight of evidence certainly leans that way.

      • LDS Apostasy says:

        Hyrum read D&C 132 to the Nauvoo High council. It’s in the high council minutes, and several high ranking members of the Church made reference to it when telling why they left the Church.

        William Clayton’s diary tells of Joseph having sex with one of his plural wives, and Emma catching them in a bedroom together.

        These are both contemporary sources.

      • I’ve heard of these council minutes and the Clayton diary entries, but I’ve never been able to find any photocopies to verify. Perhaps you can locate them?

  49. zo-ma-rah says:

    As far as Jacob 2 Nephites and King Noah’s polygynous relationships you’ll see they were both directly tied to whoredoms. The Nephites weren’t just marrying many women. They were marrying them so they could give in to their lusts. There is a HUGE difference between Plural Marriage for righteous purposes and polygny for sex and lust. In the case of David and Solomon their wives lead their hearts away to other Gods. Again it wasn’t the polygyny it was the idolatry.

  50. John, that doesn’t sound like any evidence at all; quite the contrary. Willard Richards is fingered as Brigham’s greatest lackey in doctoring the DHC, and if the letter was in Richard’s hand, it shouldn’t surprise since he was clearly one of those “at the very highest ranks in this city” that Joseph threatened to root out for the practice. It’s a shame that no one has seen either copy of Bennett’s letter, because that would at least be something.

    Sidney vigorously denied that Joseph had anything to do with the letter, and joined Nancy and Joseph in denouncing it. Since Joseph smith swore a legal affidavit denying authorship, we would have to consider himself a first class cad for being so willing to perjur himself. Why do we have no other instances of Joseph Smith making proposistions by letter? Isn”t that a rather stupid move for the biggest celebrity in the city? Would it not have been better to go to her privately with his intentions? All these inconsistencies point to something fishy.

    I’m aware, of course, to your link to he Maxwell Institute piece, but again, follow the footnotes and see where they lead. Records of the temple sealings of Joseph’s “wives” mean nothing, as those sealings took place decades after Joseph’s death in the Salt Lake Temple in order to put those sealings on record. Joseph was not present at any of those sealings to say “I do.” His name was used to promote a practice that his successors desperately wanted to believe was legitimate.

    Again, find me a contemporary, undoctored piece of evidence and I will gladly change my mind. I don’t have a dog in this race. I’m not trying to prove a point or object to anyone’s practice of polygamy or even to rehabilitate Joseph’s reputation. I’d really just like to get to the truth, and no one seems to be able to provide me with anything that would have held up in court.

    • John Peterson says:

      Rock, have you read “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith”, by Todd Compton? I’ve been meaning to read it myself, but haven’t yet done so. From what I hear it has reference upon reference of diary entries and letters by these wives of Joseph and the emotional struggles they endured. I’m going to get my hands on a copy and if I find something of note, I’ll let you know.

      I’m curious what your take is on Oliver Cowdery’s letter to his brother Warren in which he’s quoted as saying in 1838, “A dirty, nasty, filthy affair of his and Fanny Alger’s was talked over in which I strictly declared that I had never deserted from the truth in the matter, and as I supposed was admitted by himself.” It’s purported to have been one of the main reasons for Oliver’s apostasy.

      There were so many rumors of Joseph getting involved with other women, even early on in his ministry, that I think it builds up a good deal of circumstantial evidence that something was going on. However, you are right, that wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict him in a court of law. However, as a Mormon (which I presume you still are) you must admit that we do end up taking lots of stuff on faith. For instance, the Book of Mormon, the foundation of Mormonism. We have three witnesses that testified until their deaths that they had seen the golden plates. However, neither you nor I have seen the plates and even if we had seen, without some sort of Rosetta Stone, we could have no way of knowing that the Book of Mormon was anything close to a correct translation of them. Do you believe the Book of Mormon is an inspired work of God?

      • John,

        I am indeed familiar with Compton’s book, and have not found reference in it to any journal or diary entry written at the time these co-called “wives” were asked to marry Joseph. Rather, the documents were written decades later by women who had long been plural wives of the Utah Hierarchy. Don’t you think it odd that When Helen Mar Kimball relates the story of how her father bid her, at fourteen, to marry the prophet, she writes in order to confirm how we must never question Church authority? She writes to CONFIRM her belief in the principle, and she wrote it when she was nearly fifty. Why not show us a journal entry when she was fourteen? Why don’t we see ANY mention of marriages to Joseph Smith by anyone at the time they were supposed to have taken place?

        I have attempted unsuccessfully to find the full quote of Oliver Cowdery. What exactly was he referring to when he called it a shameful business? Was it Joseph’s rumored tryst with Fanny Alger, or was he calling the unsubstantiated gossip about it “shameful”? Was it even in reference to the Fanny Alger incident? We don’t know. Show it to me if you find the full document.

        If Joseph was indeed caught with his pants down with Fanny Alger, Cowdery would not have been present. The only actors on the scene would have been Joseph, Emma, and Alger. Joseph and Emma denied the incident ever took place, and Alger is silent.

        Indeed, the Fanny Alger Urban Legend is one of the hardest to nail down, as apostate Eliza Webb said she had merely heard it rumored about, and she is our primary source for the story. Eliza Webb wrote an expose as a former wife of Brigham, and made her living on a speaking tour of the east relating horror stories of the devil Mormons to audiences hungry for such scandals. Not exactly an unimpeachable source.

        In answer to your final question, yes, I do believe the Book of Mormon to be an inspired work of God, but that witness came to me only after reading it. I did not depend upon unsubstantiated rumors about the Book of Mormon for my testimony of it’s truthfulness.

      • John Peterson says:

        You wrote:
        “I do believe the Book of Mormon to be an inspired work of God, but that witness came to me only after reading it. I did not depend upon unsubstantiated rumors about the Book of Mormon for my testimony of it’s truthfulness.”

        I say the same about the Nancy Rigdon letter. I’ve read it in its entirety and my belief in its truth is based on its content rather than on its purported sources.

    • John Peterson says:

      For me personally, my belief that the Nancy Rigdon letter was written by Joseph Smith relies more on the content of the letter than on its history. History is nice, but I prefer to use it to confirm what the Spirit has told me to be true, rather than prove something to be true before I’ll believe it.

      Joseph Smith said something which I’ve always felt to be true:

      “I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief.”

      Now I can’t prove that these words were actually spoken by Joseph Smith. No one can, unless you were there to hear them uttered or were there to watch him pen them. That’s what the Spirit is for. In the end we all have to humble ourselves before our Maker and ask for the guidance of his holy hand. If we be guided astray, it will no doubt be due to our own follies and passions, and not His lack of love or care.

  51. John Peterson says:

    This link has some prophecies given by Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Orson Pratt (and others, both Mormon and non-Mormon):

    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/profecias/esp_profecia01h3.htm

    • John Peterson says:

      I believe this could be considered a revelation by Brigham Young:

      “I told the people in Nauvoo . . . that if they were not Saints at that critical juncture, they ought to repent of their sins, and get the Holy Ghost, and not live another twenty-four hours without the Spirit of revelation within themselves, for who knows but what you are the elect; and you know that false prophets were to arise in the last days, and, if possible, deceive the very elect, and that many false shepherds would come and pretend to be the true shepherds. Now, be sure to get the spirit of revelation, so that you can tell when you hear the true Shepherd’s voice, and know him from a false one; for if you are the elect, it would be a great pity to have you led astray to destruction.”
      (Brigham Young, November 15, 1857. Journal of Discourses 6:45)

  52. John,
    Quoting you, “my belief that the Nancy Rigdon letter was written by Joseph Smith relies more on the content of the letter than on its history.”

    Well, of course it’s content would be convincing. It was meant to be. John Bennett, the true author, and formerly best friend and second in command, wanted it to sound as though Joseph may have written it. His declared vow was to bring the prophet down to disgrace. The letter would have to be believable.

    It is ironic, however, that principles that Joseph publicly decried, including all the contents of this letter, were later included in Joseph’s history AS IF HE HIMSELF HAD actually written them. My question: Since Joseph swore out a legal affidavit denying the words were his, why would his “friend” Brigham later have that letter entered into Joseph’s history? More importantly, why would you insist on believing words Joseph smith has already swore were not his own?

    The other words you quoted, about Joseph believing everything God has ever revealed, not only sounds like Joseph, but Joseph never denied having said it. But he did deny the Rigdon letter. Why then would you insist, against his own emphatic denial, that you will continue to believe the fraud anyway?

    Quoting you again: “I prefer to use it to confirm what the Spirit has told me to be true, rather than prove something to be true before I’ll believe it.”

    But do not the scriptures teach us to “Prove (investigate) all things” BEFORE we ask for spiritual confirmation? Would it not benefit you to read the evidence against the letter that has been provided by Richard and Pamela Price before you decide the spirit has confirmed it to be true, before you have weighed the likelihood that it is not?

    When has it been the practice of latter-day Saints to accept anything as true before we hear it? We aren’t even asked to believe in the book of Mormon before “receiving” it.

    I realize it is easy to dismiss some of the things I have offered here, because I haven’t done much more than suggest probabilities. But others have investigated, and presented the evidence; evidence that has yet to be refuted. Why not check this out:

    http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm

    Scroll down to Volume II, chapter 33 “Bennett’s Sixth Letter, The Essay on Happiness” for the full story on Bennett’s evil deception regarding the Nancy Rigdon Letter, or what has come to be known as Joseph Smith’s letter on “Happiness..” Look at the facts, then I’ll be happy to continue this discussion with you.

    • John Peterson says:

      Rock, I DID read the reference you just gave before posting my comments. I certainly wasn’t advocating judging something before you’ve read it. I don’t know how you can state “John Bennett, the true author” with such conviction. It’s obvious from the Prices’ writings that this was a speculation on their part. Motive is never enough to convict anyone. It’s a good starting point, but it’s still speculation without further evidence. Joseph signing an affidavit denying the letter to be of his authorship holds no more weight in my mind than him publicly stating such. It’s always been my contention that he publicly stated things to the general public that supported the milk doctrines, because few were ready for the meat doctrines. There is certainly historical evidence that this was the case. Take for instance Fanny Alger. The following page shows a good number of historical sources that support the case that Joseph was involved with her on more than a platonic level.

      http://www.josephsmithspolygamy.com/FannyAlger/JS-FAMarriageOrAdultery.html

      This is the evidence for only one of the thirty something wives he’s reported to have had relations with. Like I said, I’ll have to read Compton’s “In Sacred Loneliness” before I can really dig into the details on these relationships, but I’m quite confident that many of them where quite substantial. I really can’t see how there could be all this smoke around Joseph, without their being a hidden fire going on.

  53. Point well taken, John. We can’t know for certain that Bennett was behind the letter.

    But the presumption of guilt pointing toward Bennett is based on more than mere speculation from the Prices. Many contemporaries strongly believed that this nasty piece of work had Bennett’s fingerprints all over it. It is from contemporary accounts that we surmise Bennett was the culprit.

    The link you provide is typical of the “proof” provided by those who claim practiced polygamy. Again, where do the footnotes lead? They all date decades after the alleged event, and all are claims made by practitioners who have a desperate, vested interest in showing that it all started with Joseph. These people were accused of inventing the doctrine and attaching Joseph’s name to it. They responded by claiming, “Oh no, it was Joseph. He told us about it way back when.”

    When you have so many people offering testimonies as to how and where the practice started, you’re sure to come up with a load of contradictions, and that is what we see here. Keep in mind, the very existence of this people was being threatened from the outside. It became imperative that the leaders reassure the membership that this doctrine was organic to Joseph Smith.

    I reject the assumption that Joseph lied about polygamy because few were ready for the meat. He NEVER received a revelation that he did not immediately put forth. “I have taught all the strong doctrines publicly, and always taught stronger doctrines in public than in private.”

    It’s why he was so hated. He didn’t mince words. If polygamy was something he had received from the Lord, he would not have held back. I don’t understand this inclination some have to ignore all of Joseph’s public declamations against polygamy and accept the feeble reasons so often put forth. Was Joseph Smith a prophet, or a fraud? Those who claim he received this business from God but then decided to keep it secret are implying that he must have been a fraud.

    • John Peterson says:

      Given the space of time and that we now get our information all through 2nd or 3rd hand sources, we will never know for certainty what to believe about Joseph. There are intelligent men on all sides of this debate. Brute intelligence will not teach us the things of godliness. As Joseph said,

      “Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject” (TPJS, p. 324; cf. HC 6:50)

      We believe him to be one who gazed into the heavens. He encouraged us to do the same. May God aid each of us in this journey.

  54. Elder Chantdown says:

    Rock,

    How are you gonna say “investigate, investigate” and then say “others have investigated”….and what? You have read the investigations of others….You have publicly stated your reasons for not believing that plural marriage is an eternal principle or was never commanded of the Lord or whatever….So why try to act like you have or need any other reasons to disbelieve it? I don’t understand….You can’t just pray about it and say “This is what God told me so….”?

  55. Well, Chantdown, I’m still open about it. I have not definitely concluded anything.

    Here’s the situation: Joseph Smith vigorously opposed polygamy. Many times. That’s on the record. A number of people assert that he practiced it in secret anyway, and everything I’ve seen offered as proof of his duplicity evaporates under examination. So what I’m waiting for is to see the smoking gun. Any evidence of a contemporary nature that shows that Joseph was lying, actually practicing a “doctrine” that he was publicly denouncing.

    If I’ve given the impression I’m trying to change anyone’s mind, then I have left the wrong impression. I’m trying to get at the truth, and I ask others to investigate the question at least as much as I have before coming to a definite conclusion.

    It’s true that in my opinion the evidence is weighted against Joseph “practicing it, but keeping it secret,” but I’m ready to change my mind. Show me why I should.

  56. Elder Chantdown says:

    Rock,

    Mmmm. That makes sense…yeah I don’t typically get even an impression from you of trying to change others…not at all in fact. So I guess that is why I made that last comment cause for a moment it did seem that this was your intention. But no I understand exactly what you mean when it comes to questing for the truth. I guess I just don’t trust external clues or give them the same weight in my mind/heart as communication from the spirit while examining what is presented us as “facts” (could be true could be fake) with a completely open mind. Well that probably sounds strange and I might be able to construct and express my thoughts more clearly….but I feel like you know what I mean anyway. So just as long as you understand I am not trying to knock you in any way. I was just wondering why it appeared that you were so anxious in some of those earlier comments. I always enjoy your words….but as I have read more and more of them I become aware that what I really like is your spirit. (Your writing is fine and obviously reflects much of your spirit as possible, I mean that is the point right?) However, I find myself wanting to hear more sometimes in the way of spiritual conviction ….if that makes any sense. Anyhow….Love ya man!

    Elder Chantdown

    • Thanks, Chantdown, love you too.

      It’s true that I am more in my mind than in my heart most of the time, though I’m working on a better balance. I FEEL the spirit a LOT, but I’m not as good at communicating those feelings as I’d like to be. And I do get exasperated at times when I perceive people aren’t interested enough in the truth to dig for it, which I experience a lot regarding this question of “did Joseph Smith fight polygamy?”

      I have been confronted often with the retort that everybody knows he practiced it, and I just want to say, “I don’t know!” I guess I start to scream sometimes, because, you know, give me some facts.

      Thanks for your kind words. Sorry if it seemed I was screaming at you.

  57. Steve says:

    I came across this discussion late.

    EC said:
    I don’t understand….You can’t just pray about it and say “This is what God told me so….”?

    I’ve wondered that myself about the discussions I’ve seen. Hardly anyone ever says that. Does that mean they have not prayed and gotten an answer? Do they not think others would believe their testimony? Is it so hard for everyone to get such an answer?

    Steve

    • In my experience, a great many members (myself included) never actually prayed to ask if the current president of the Church is actually a prophet or not. When I was called on my mission, the president was Joseph Fielding Smith. A year out, he died and was replaced by Harold B. Lee, then he died and Spencer Kimball took his place. With all three men I allowed myself to merely assume all three were prophets. So, to the best of my understanding, did all of my companions. We never took the question to God. We were taught that the gifts were automatic to the office of president.

      Inherent in the missionary lessons I was teaching was the statement, “ever since Joseph Smith, God has always had a prophet upon the earth to teach us and guide us.” The inference was that if you accept Joseph Smith, every president subsequent is an automatic given. It would not have occurred to any of us to ask God for confirmation, and we were the freakin’ ambassadors!

      After all, aren’t we taught “it’s either ALL true or it’s ALL false”? Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, ergo so was the next guy, and the next. Why bother asking the obvious?

  58. zo-ma-rah says:

    Those are great questions Steve. For me personnly i tend to only say God told me something if it is a strong experience. When discussing my experiences of hearinga voice I would say the God told me. However if it is a medium to light inspiration I think I tend to just say that “it was an inspiration” or “I felt this way.” Whether that is the correct way to go about it or not I don’t know.

  59. Katherine says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve come across your blog whilst researching into the prophet and mormonism. I’m a non-denominational Christian and I’ve recently been speaking with some of your missionaries. I’ve been praying about it all and have read some of the book of Mormon.

    It has been really interesting reading your article and the comments afterwards. What has struck me is how there is dispute over scripture and the validity of prophets when the reason the church came into being was to ‘clear these matters up’ as it were. To create one church where there is just one interpretation of scripture.

    What there does seem to be is a conformity of belief in Jesus as the son of God, who died for us so that we could have an amazing relationship with our Creator. Jesus was perfect, as someone said earlier, the prophet is not (if he is??) so why do we need someone else to give us revelation/prophecies when we have the teaching before us in the Bible and the holy spirit to guide us?

    I’m sorry if this sounds like I am attacking you, but I am concerned that the introduction of a prophet and book maybe acting more as distraction to your relationship with Jesus than supporting it.

    Jesus didn’t come to build a church, he came to reunite us with our Father.

    God Bless

    • I think it makes some sense to see what the role of a prophet in days past has been. I will quote a few excerpts from the Wikipedia about various Biblical prophets.

      MOSES

      “God sends Moses to request the release of the Israelites. After the Ten Plagues, Moses leads the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they base themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses receives the Ten Commandments. ”

      SAMUEL

      “Samuel, who had gained national prominence as a prophet, summoned the people to Mizpah (one of the highest hills in the land), where he organized them into an army, and led them against the Philistines. The Philistines, having marched to Mizpah to attack the newly amassed Israelite army, were soundly defeated and fled in terror.”

      “At Ramah, Samuel secretly anoints Saul, after having met him for the first time…”

      “A prophet [Samuel], based at Shiloh, who went throughout the land, from place to place, with unwearied zeal, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the people to repentance. In this role, Samuel acted as a (biblical) judge, publicly advising the nation, and also giving private advice to individuals.”

      “The Book(s) of Samuel variously describe Samuel as having carried out sacrifices at sanctuaries, and having constructed and sanctified altars.”

      “In 1 Samuel 12, just before his retirement, Samuel gathers the people to an assembly at Gilgal, and gives them a farewell speech, in which he emphasises how prophets and judges were more important than kings, how kings should be held to account, and how the people should not fall into idol worship, or worship of Asherah or of Baal; Samuel threatens that God would subject the people to foreign invaders should they disobey. ”

      “In the passage concerning Saul’s visit to the Witch of Endor … Samuel is temporarily raised from the dead so that he can tell Saul his future.”

      NATHAN

      “[Nathan] came to David to reprimand him over his committing adultery with Bathsheba…”
      “…it is Nathan who tells the dying David of the plot of Adonijah to become king, resulting in Solomon being proclaimed king instead.”

      ELIJAH

      “[Elijah] warns Ahab that there will be years of catastrophic drought so severe that not even dew will fall, because Ahab and his queen stand at the end of a line of kings of Israel who are said to have ‘done evil in the sight of the Lord.’”

      “…[When] the widow’s son dies, and the widow cried, ‘Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?’ Moved by a faith like that of Abraham … Elijah prays that God might restore her son so that the veracity and trustworthiness of God’s word might be demonstrated.”

      “After more than three years of drought and famine, God tells Elijah to return to Ahab and announce the end of the drought: not occasioned by repentance in Israel but by the command of the Lord, who had determined to reveal himself again to his people.”

      “Elijah now orders that the altar of Yahweh be drenched with water from ‘four large jars’ poured three times… He asks God to accept the sacrifice. Fire falls from the sky, igniting the sacrifice. Elijah seizes the moment and orders the death of the prophets of Baal. Elijah prays earnestly for rain to fall again on the land. Then the rains begin, signaling the end of the famine.”

      God initially used his prophet Moses to give the Israelites the law. Subsequent prophets have been used to remind them of the consequences of breaking those laws and free them from the bondage caused by their idolatry. The Israelites need these type of men today just as much as they needed them in days past.

  60. zo-ma-rah says:

    Actually it doesn’t sound like you are attacking. Your questions are very valid. Have you read my “Prophecy and Paradigm” post? The role of prophets is not to come between us and God but to act as an additional conduit of messages from God. As evidenced through scriptures for some reason God doesn’t choose to reveal all things to one person. Rather he reveals unique messages to different people. We should then allow prophets to work in our lives as a way to receive further light and knowledge that not has come to us specifically.

    As Moses said, God would that all his people were prophets. If we were all prophets we would be working together to help each other receive further light and knowledge. So while Thomas Monson may not have the fruits of the gifts of Prophecy, revelation, and seership, we should not reject those good things he teaches. But that also applies to any person in the world. We should not reject the good teachings of any person. And when a true prophet comes along we should not place them between us and Christ but we should listen to their message as another resources for coming to know God’s will.

    I hope that makes sense.

  61. irishfan5619 says:

    I doubt Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I agree with many of the written statements in the post and the comments. Excellent topic, position taken and commentary.

    My conclusion is that Mr. Monson is a life-long member of the LDS Church and for 60 years has been involved in leadership positions. Once a committed man or woman

  62. … become heavily invested in “the church” they put aside their ability to reason simply because they are taught NOT to exercise it. Like a language not spoken or a muscle not utilized, reason, if not exercised leaves the mind.

    I can no longer state that the president of the LDS Church is a prophet, seer or anything else. He is a man who wants to believe everything that he has been taught since childhood is true.

    I’m sorry Thomas (great name), you may be a good man, but you are nothing more than a child of God.

    DT

  63. Hea of Shiz says:

    EXCELLENT post. Thank you for taking hte time to write about something that has long been a thorn in my side. Nice work!

  64. Head of Shiz says:

    Ugh! next time I read the comments before hitting post…sorry for the bad spelling

  65. mike says:

    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez0tvBeiaRA&feature=related at the 8 minute 45 second mark. This could arguably be a legitimate prophecy.

    • zo-ma-rah says:

      Interesting. That could be regarded as a legitimate prophecy. Have you read my Prophecy and Paradigm piece? President Monson at the time of that visit was an Apostle. So his prophecy would not have been given while in the Office of president of the Church. It’s not that big of a deal but just something of note.

      It will be interesting to look into it more.

  66. Kristie says:

    Hey this is Kristie I would like to know if u see my life turning around and if not what i need to do to fix it im having a really hard. I do believe and I would like to know how to survive in these last days

    • Kristie, I don’t know your specific situation, but these verses from scripture seem apropos.

      “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;”
      (3 Nephi 27:20-21)

      “But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs.”
      (Doctrine and Covenants 56:18)

      Jesus said, “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” It all starts with faith in God; faith that he exists, faith that he cares, and faith that he has the power to fix your life and make you complete. Then comes repentance. Recognize all the things that you are doing that offend God and then resolve to stop doing them. It is in this repentance process that your heart will be broken. You will think of all your failed attempts at doing things on your own and realize your need for a higher power, your need for a loving Heavenly Father. It is then when you are most teachable and when the Holy Spirit will guide you. There is an old proverb that goes something like, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This is exactly what happens with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the teacher and it waits for you to humble yourself and repent of the things you know you’re doing wrong. Once you’re in the right frame of mind it will begin to make itself known to you.

      Keep working on making yourself righteous and it will lead you where you need to go to get baptized. Once baptized all your old sins will be removed and you’ll be able to progress faster without the guilt of all your past sins weighing on you. The scriptures will start opening up to you in ways you never realized. The mysteries of the kingdom will unfold to you line upon line, precept upon precept. Best of all, you will find peace, a peace you’ve rarely ever felt or known. Despite what happens around you, you will come to know that your Father truly is there every step of the way and that he richly rewards those who put their trust in him and have the patience to wait on him.

  67. John, I do believe “Kristie” is Robo Spam.

    • zo-ma-rah says:

      Hey, I have a free speech policy here. Robots can say whatever they want.

      Haha. Yeah, I was kind of wondering about that one.

    • What causes you to think she is a bot?

      • rockwaterman1 says:

        I’ve seen a lot of these types of generic messages before; they show up particularly at my blog on EfoodsDirect.com. This one seemed geared toward spamming religious sites. They usually manifest some type of praise for the blog with a mention of how glad they are that they discovered you, then a question inviting a response. The intent is to see if their comment generates a real response, but I don’t recall what the spammer does with that information.

        Of course, I could be wrong. Just a thought. Just the same, John, your counsel was very good, so if Kristie is a real person you did some good for her. Not knocking your efforts at all.

      • It appears you were right. It’s just surprising to me how good the bots are getting these days. Maybe we really are on the verge of true artificial intelligence :)

  68. Rob says:

    Over at the seerstone blog, there was a post about this topic and it mentions a few verses
    in Numbers 12:6-8.

    The post says that basically there are two types and the one that the President of the Church is, is that like Moses. In D&C it does that comparison too. The blog distinguishes between the more general prophets (the testimony of Jesus ones) and the ones that he speaks mouth to mouth with:

    “My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.”

    “With him will I speak mouth to mouth”

    So in that case, to be the prophet like Moses that I even taught as a missionary, he would need to “speak mouth to mouth” with the Lord. If that happened, we’d know about it. Even with all the it’s too sacred to share stuff.

    • I just ran into this scripture from another blog and thought it seemed quite apropos.

      “For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.”
      (2 Nephi 27:5)

      It’s probably not because that it’s too sacred to share, it’s more likely that Monson doesn’t receive revelation. If this scripture is accurate, God stops talking to the prophets when the people become too wicked. It seems to me the faucet of revelation has been slowly been turned off over the years as the membership as a whole has waxed stronger in its iniquity.

  69. Rob says:

    Ya, the too sacred thing is an excuse to act as if everything is good when it isn’t. If such experiences are too sacred to share, then we shouldn’t repeat the first vision or read the stories of such sacred experiences in the scriptures.

    Moroni, Nephi and others saw our day and warned us. We read the scriptures, at least most do in Sunday School and we know it is for our day and our benefit, yet somehow we don’t apply it to ourselves even though Moroni specifically says it is about us.

    Moroni 8:35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

    36 And I know that ye do awalk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not blift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of cvery fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

    Going with the verse in Nephi you put up, “your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.” Not just the Catholics or Baptists, but every one. That includes the LDS and all the other Mormon churches. How can a Seer see clearly through the pollution?

    • “How can a Seer see clearly through the pollution?”

      Hehe, good question. I take comfort in this statement, “there are none SAVE A FEW ONLY who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts.” So even though all churches are affected by this pride, “a few” members are holding tightly to the iron rod and keeping themselves clean from the iniquity growing around them on all sides. I aspire to be one of those individuals. May the like minded unite with God and each other, because the times ahead will be anything but easy for this minority.

    • I also like your statement, “we know it is for our day and our benefit, yet somehow we don’t apply it to ourselves even though Moroni specifically says it is about us.”

      One thing that is made quite plain from reading the Book of Mormon is that the writers were being very selective about the things they included. Their writing method was difficult and so they had to be selective. Also, I’m sure they wanted the words they did write to be of the greatest worth to us in the latter days (their intended audience). Thus it is than when Nephi quotes large sections from Isaiah, it’s not just because Nephi likes Isaiah that he does this; It’s because he really thought these verses applied to us in our day. He also goes to great lengths to expound on many of the quoted chapters. It’s surprising to me that more emphasis isn’t put on the books of Isaiah in gospel doctrine classes, etc. Especially given that this is the book prophesying about our times. I’m continually puzzled about the lack of interest in prophecy amongst the members of a church founded on prophecy and claiming to be led by a prophet.

  70. Joseph Smith did not appoint any successor, which means that the Church is in complete Apostasy since his death. President Monson has been chosen by men, as all his previous fellows. What has this to do with Joseph Smith’s Revelations? There is no actual Prophet, and there is no Real Priesthood. LDS Church is nothing but a Multi-National Corporation that has gone afar the original Covenant and is making deal with the world and the ways of the world, which menas, it is doing business with Satan, not with God the Father or Jeusus Christ the Son

  71. AV says:

    Not only did Joseph Smith not appoint a successor, nor was BY chosen by revelation & called by God, but rather the voice of the people, which is not the way the Lord chooses Prophets to lead his Church, nor does the majority vote ‘mean’ or let alone, ‘guarantee’ that someone is righteous & right for the position. The majority of any group or church is almost always deceived to vote for wolves in sheep’s clothing. Righteous people have always been very few in number & rare & the ‘minority’ of almost any religious group, including the Church in Joseph’s day, even according to Joseph.

    But the greatest indication about the apostasy of BY & those who followed him & today’s LDS Church is that they were all founded on the adulterous abomination & whoredom of polygamy, which is a most vile evil & extremely abusive to women & children. Joseph Smith warned the Saints over & over against falling for this great evil or the rumors that he practiced & preached it secretly. The scriptures & Christ clearly teach against polygamy, yet so many of the early saints so easily fell for it because they had become unrighteous, as Joseph warned them they were. They had rejected the teachings of Christ & Joseph Smith & instead desired whoredoms & thus God let them do the evil they wanted, even to their own condemnation.

    Ancient Prophets warned over & over about the many false prophets in the last days, (Joseph’s day) who would seem so wonderful & righteous that they would deceive almost everyone, even the majority of the most righteous. Even today most all of the members of the church continually vote for wolves in sheeps clothing politically, thus how can we believe they would be able to ever tell a false prophet from a true one or false doctrine from true doctrine.

    The apostasy surely has happened, & it started back in Joseph’s day. One need only look around in the Church today to see how 2 Nephi 28, along with others similar scriptures, as been fulfilled & the Church that Joseph Smith restored has become completely corrupted & everyone is deceived to support & do evil & believe in the philosophies of men & devils, like the adulterous abominations of divorce & remarriage that is so rampant & accepted in the Church, & even polygamy, which the Church today still preaches & practices but in a serial & future way, sealing men to multiple wives after the death or divorce of their wife.Thus encouraging men to divorce & abandon their wives for they are allowed to so easily marry & be sealed to another, as often as they want to divorce & be sealed to another. I know a man who was allowed to be sealed in the temple to his 12th wife, after divorcing & abandoning all the others. Such abominations as these, which Christ taught against, are completely encouraged, rewarded & out of control in the Church.

    It is very rare to find anyone in the Church today who believes in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is amazing how only a few can see through polygamy or divorce & remarriage & can’t see how evil it all is & study the history of the Church to see how early Church leaders abused & disrespected their wives & children by it all.

    Everyone just blindly accepts that they don’t have to think & study & pray for themselves to know if a Prophet or leader or doctrine is true, believing that Heavenly Father will never allow the Church to go astray. How can they not see that the Church of Jesus Christ has gone astray every other time in history it was established & can & is prophesied to go astray again in the last days, except a rare few followers of Christ, in & out of the Church who remain true to Christ’s Gospel & the teachings of Joseph Smith until Christ returns.

    • Justin says:

      AV:

      By virtue of what are you making this claim:

      but rather the voice of the people, which is not the way the Lord chooses Prophets to lead his Church

      Aren’t the affairs of the church to be governed in all things by the voice of the people?

      The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by revelation, and acknowledged in his administration by the voice of the church.

      And now, I give unto the church in these parts a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church;

      No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church;

      etc.

      As is also seen with Samuel:

      And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee…

      Even if one would be willing to grant that Brigham Young was not appointed by revelation, what else would the Lord do expect consent to the voice of the governed in all that they say?

      • AV says:

        Justin,

        There is no proof nor revelation, that Brigham Young was called of God (which is vital) to be the next President of the Church. He was voted in by the voice of the people, which is a necessary thing, but even if the majority agrees to a certain Pres. that does not assure he is a true Prophet or righteous person or is who God wants as the Pres. The voice of the majority in any group or church are usually wrong. It is usually rare throughout history to find more than a few truly righteous people even in a true church, they are usually in the minority.

        So unless a man is called of God ‘by revelation’ to be the next President of the Church, the consenting vote of the people doesn’t mean much nor prove he is a correct choice. God is the one who should have chosen who the next Pres. was to be after Joseph, & then the people were to vote to consent to go along with God’s choice. That did not happen. Thus no serious minded person can assume that the majority of the people in Nauvoo choose the right man. That would have been a rarity & even if they had, it still was not done properly by 1st getting the revelation from God that he was the right one.

        So clearly proper procedure was not followed.

        The Lord’s direction to Samuel appears to be telling him to give the people what they want, whether good or bad. For that’s what God does, he lets us have what we want, truth or falsehoods & heaven or hell. The Lord 1st chose Samuel as the Prophet & then told him to serve the people’s desires. But in any case, I do not believe that verse about Samuel is even referring to the same issue about choosing a new Pres. of the Church after Joseph. So I’m not sure why you posted it.

        Thanks for your comments though, for I agree, God always gets our vote, our consent, to see if we are willing to follow who ‘he’ has already chosen.

      • Justin says:

        The voice of the majority in any group or church are usually wrong.

        Seems contrary to King Mosiah saying, “Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right…”

        But in any case, I do not believe that verse about Samuel is even referring to the same issue about choosing a new Pres. of the Church after Joseph. So I’m not sure why you posted it.

        Because the Lord does not act contrary to the voice of the people. It’s contrary to His will that the will of the people be subverted. So — as a hypothetical example — let’s say the Lord spoke through a revelation to appoint Willard Richards as the next presiding high priest of the church. The voice of the church manifests in favor of Brigham Young.

        Which way does the Lord go? With the calling or with the election?

        This is why I posted Samuel — because in that story, the Lord says, “Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee…”

        The principle is that the servants [priesthood holders] must hearken to their masters [the church], whom they serve. If the people say RIGHT and the spirit of prophecy says LEFT, and then a prophet forces a LEFT on the people — then he transgresses because the Lord will only uphold [sustain] a prophet if there is common consent among the people.

        If the church withdraws its consent at any point, the Lord ceases to uphold His servants in that matter. Even if the servant has been obedient to the Lord in all things and is righteous, and it is the church that is wicked [which is the reverse of how it normally is] — if the priesthood-holder attempts to assert authority over them, he transgresses.

  72. AV says:

    The Priesthood was also immediately lost by BY & all those who followed him out west. For if a man supports or does evil, like polygamy or divorce & remarriage, etc, even unknowingly, he loses the Priesthood & his exaltation. Thus, the Church would not possess any Priesthood power, for almost everyone in the Church supports & goes along with these whoredoms, even serial polygamy & teaching that men will have more than one wife in eternity if he was married to more than one while on earth.

    The reality is there is no polygamy in heaven. As Christ & his early Apostles clearly taught, we are commanded to have ‘unconditional true love’ for our 1st spouse & remain true & faithful to them & never date or remarry even after their death of if they divorce us, & just faithfully wait til they repent in this life or the next, or til they can be reunited with their deceased spouse in heaven.

    Truly righteous individuals would automatically possess God’s power, because of their personal righteousness, & thus could heal & bless & receive all the revelation needed from the Holy Spirit, until Jesus Christ & Joseph Smith again return to restore, cleanse & set things right once more.

    Righteous individuals would be able to easily see through the adulterous abominations that the current LDS Church believes in & allows & supports. They would be able to discern true Prophets from false ones & true doctrine from false doctrine & would understand the truth about Church History & how Joseph never preached or practiced polygamy.

    • Diddicult tu understand why you are bringing up the Polygamy issue…In waht way the actual LDS Church approves Polygamy? Anyone that is caught in such a situation is immediately excommunicated…And just for the record, you must check again your Scriptures, because it was precisely Prophet Joseph Smith the one that, without doubt whatsoever, brought the Revelataion about Plural marriage. Perhaps you are in the same vein of Boyd Packer, who said that “some truths are not useful,…” And therefore better left unsaid…

    • The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus, Chapter 20. Curiously we find this in the very next chapter:

      “If [a man] take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.”
      (Exodus 21:10)

      If polygamy was such an abomination as you say, why would God make provisions in his laws for it, rather than outright outlaw it? He certainly didn’t beat around the bush with any other laws.

      • AV says:

        We must understand that the BIble, especially the Old Test., is a very incomplete record, translated over & over by most likely unrighteous & uninspired men & it almost surely has many errors, deletions, false additions so that the precious & pure gospel has been mostly taken out. We must take anything the BIble says with a huge grain of salt that it may be completely false or wrong. until we can know the real stories & truths about what it’s saying. Thus, the importance of the Book of Mormon & the D&C to dispell any doubts on doctrine that the Bible may give us. The doctrines of the BoM & D&C trump anything said or taught in the Bible.

        Also, we must realize that Moses was leading & teaching a very wicked people, who mostly lived at a Telestial level ,committing many telestial sins & abominations. James E. Talmage talked about this. Thus, Moses had to allow them the agency to commit the sins of polygamy & divorce & remarriage, etc., because the majority of people wanted to do such sins. If he hadn’t allowed it, then the people would have done much worse than just divorce or live polygamy.

        Thus, as all righteous leaders do when they see women & children being abused by something like polygamy, even if the women choose to go along with it, Moses set up at least some rules or laws about polygamy, as much as the people would accept, as damage control, to help protect the women as best he could who were being deceived & caught up in polygamy.

        Just because he had rules about polygamy does not mean polygamy was a righteous thing or that he or God wanted it to occur in any way. God never commanded or wanted anyone to live polygamy. Moses, as any protective man or leader would in the middle of a wicked society, was just trying to make a bad thing a little less destructive if he could.

        Moses couldn’t just give them the high law & keep telling them that they were committing adultery, anymore than the Church leaders of today can or will stand up anymore & tell the members in Gen. Conf. that those who divorce & remarry are committing adultery. It’s too late, the vast majority now desire to divorce remarry or at least want the option open to them. The membership has rejected the higher laws taught to them for generations in the past, & thus they now will just be allowed to do the evil they desire. The Prophets will not bother them with the higher laws anymore, they are free to sin to their hearts content until it is everlastingly too late.

        The people in Moses’s day & the members today were warned long ago about living the Celestial laws & they rejected it & like the Holy Ghost, the Prophet (& God) doesn’t keep warning them of their evil for long he eventually grows silent & gives them what they want, if even to their condemnation.

        The righteous still know that divorce & polygamy are abominations & don’t have to have a Prophet keep telling them they are. The Scriptures & the Spirit will tell everyone the truth of all things, no matter what the Prophet can or can’t say anymore to the masses.

      • I cannot find anyone at the LDS Church that accepts anything else but monogamy.Any other variation is subject to strong reprimand, including excommunion in some cases. Why insist on this issue? Fundamentalist groups that accept/practice polygamy are excluded from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints. I do not know of any general Authority today at the LDS Church that say otherwise. please, if you have some, point it out. And besides everything else, Prophets are still men.They can fall and stand up as many times as the Lord wants.Any other point of view is just childish, irrealistic and non-functional. Pornography is a sin, a very serious one.Adultery is also a very serious sin. Polygamy enters into adultery in the actual LDS Church.

  73. AV says:

    The Church still preaches & believes in polygamy, teaching that it will be lived in the next life & men will have all the wives in the next life that they were sealed to on earth, like 2nd & 3rd marriages after the death or divorce of their wife. The Church also still practices ‘serial polygamy’, by allowing a man to divorce his wife, for any reason without any consequences for the abandonment, & be married & sealed to a 2nd, 3rd, or even 12th wife etc. They keep all the sealings in tact with the prior wives unless the ex wives want the sealing broken because she is going to be sealed to someone else. Thus they starkly teach by example that the man is still married to & sealed to all his ex wives & might, if the ex wives don’t remarry in this life, have some or all of his ex wives in heaven.

    The scriptures warn that we are to judge a prophet or person by what they ‘do & support’, not by what they ‘say or teach’, in order to know if someone is a true prophet or false prophet. Most wicked people appear & talk so wonderful & righteous, while doing & supporting great evil.

    Thus, Church leaders teach mainly by ‘example & their deeds’, what they allow to go on & what they support, far more than by what they say. They totally support & reward serial polygamy. Most divorced men I have known who are still sealed to their previous wife along with their present wife, assume that the sealing will probably hold in the next life & they may have both if the 1st ex wife still wants to be with him.

    Thus the Church’s example, allowance & support greatly encourages men to divorce their wives & live serial polygamy. The Church still teaches in subtle but serious ways, ‘the false & abusive philosophy of men’ that men preside over women & women are to submit to & listen to men (in marriage & in Church leadership), but that men are not required to submit to women & that women do not have the Priesthood nor do they preside over the man also nor do they have equal authority in positions in the LDS Church or marriage. This evil philosophy was born in Nauvoo by what Joseph taught was a very evil document going around called ‘The Peacemaker’. BY & many others Aposltes & members in Nauvoo at the time ‘liked & accepted’ it’s abusive philosophies & incorporated it in the doctrine of new Church that he lead out west.

    The current LDS Church also clearly shows they still believe in & support ‘polygamy’ by still believing & promoting that the early Church leaders were prophets & righteous men, despite how they practiced such abusive evil as polygamy, among many other very evil & false doctrines practiced & taught.

    The real truth is that women & men are completely equal in the eyes of God & women receive any & all blessings, authority, powers, positions, & privileges that men do. Women & men preside over each other equally & women have an equal voice & veto power in the Church, home & society.

    Also, there is no proof that Joseph wrote D&C 132. In fact, there is far more proof that he didn’t ever even know about it. Emma Smith also left her testimony that she had never heard about it until many years after it was presented to the Utah members. It was presented to the Church & added years later after Joseph died & BY had brought his followers out west & after the people had accepted polygamy.

    There is much more solid fact that Joseph Smith never preached or practiced polygamy & that it was pinned on him as an excuse for men & women who wanted to live polygamy. Anyone who understands what kind of love & faithfulness to a wife, that it takes for a man to be a true Prophet of God, would quickly realize that Joseph could have never done those things to Emma & remained a true Prophet, things like running around in front of her or let alone, ‘behind her back’ with other women & collecting wives & torturing Emma with polygamy.

    Section 132 goes completely against what the scriptures teach & everything Joseph ever taught, thus it proves itself completely false. Even Abraham & those ancient Prophets were never commanded to live polygamy by God, but like most men & women back then, fell for it because of a lack of faith. God instructed Abraham to repent of polygamy by casting out Hagar.

    Even Joseph constantly taught the Church that if anyone, even an Apostle, comes teaching any doctrine that is contrary to what the scriptures say or what he has taught or different than monogamy, then you will know for sure they are an impostor. Joseph constantly taught that polygamy was the vilest of evils & warned the Saints to not fall for it or for the rumors spread by evil men that he was preaching & practicing it secretly. He excommunicated anyone he found living it.

    The Book of Mormon never condones polygamy. The verse that many have used to try to justify polygamy – about God ‘raising up a righteous seed’, is a complete misinterpretation to what it’s really saying. The Prophet Jacob was saying that if God does not command (teach) his people (to keep the commandments) then they will hearken to these whoredoms like polygamy, as people always do & have done throughout history. It doesn’t even make any sense to interpret it the way BY & others did, thinking it allows polygamy in certain instances, for polygamy is not a way to raise up a righteous people, & history & statistics prove that polygamy greatly slows down the birthrate. Women in monogamous marriages generally produce far more children than women in plural marriages do.

    And even more important is that the Prophet Jacob taught about the destructive effects of polygamy on women & children. Abused & neglected & depressed unhappy mothers & controlling, abusive & disrespectful fathers do not raise up a righteous posterity, especially with children who have lost confidence in their fathers for how they so abusively treat their mothers by living polygamy.

    Monogamy is the ‘fastest & only’ way to raise up a righteous, strong & happy seed or people. Thus, Joseph Smith left his published & proven testimony for the Saints then & now, that monogamy is God’s only law of marriage & that polygamy was, as he & the scriptures teach, an adulterous abomination & whoredom, which history proves most all men fall for, because it is the carnal disposition of nearly all men to use unrighteous dominion over women & want more than one wife or woman.

    • Dr.Manuel Gerardo Monasterio says:

      The mixture of concepts give rose to the suspiscion that your opinion may be biased by some personal issue here. But the facts are that Prophet Joseph Smith did bring Plural Marriage as a Revelation, as it is indeed stated in so many places that is senseless to explain it again, just for the record I left the following links: http://fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_polygamy/Purpose_of_plural_marriage
      and this one
      http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=9887ec6f164b2110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

      Either one accepts the Revelation and the Prophet, or one does not, there is no further discussion possible about it. The abuse that women still endure is part of the carnal nature of things under the Devil’s dominion. Each man and woman is going to answer for his/her deeds to the Lord. When you bitterly complain about men remarrying, etc, you seem to be forgetting that in all and everyone of this potentially evil matters there is always another woman involved obliterating the pain she is doing to another one of her gender…Therefore, it is not a question of “evil men” vs. “nice, poor women”, it is much more complex than that.

  74. rockwaterman says:

    Dr. Monasterio,
    It doesn’t matter how many sources “show” that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy if all of those sources rely on rumor and hearsay and none provide hard evidence.

    Here is a different look at the subject:
    http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-im-abandoning-polygamy.html

    And don’t miss the follow up piece here:
    http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-mormon-history-is-not-what-they-say.html

  75. AV says:

    I do not understand why you believe that it is a ‘fact’ that Joseph Smith instigated plural marriage or was the author of D&C 132. There is no evidence besides hearsay that he preached or practiced polygamy. But it is a fact & we have alot of proven evidence published by Joseph himself, that he taught the Church over & over that he never did preach or practice polygamy or plural marriage.

    Why would we not believe Joseph Smith own testimony that he was innocent of polygamy?

    Why would we believe those who say Joseph lived such a vile & evil thing as polygamy? Especially when Joseph himself said polygamy was so vile & evil & warned us never to fall for it?

    To believe Joseph Smith practiced polygamy is to also believe he lied to the Church his whole life & lead the Church astray, so that when Brigham started preaching polygamy after Joseph died, many, if not most, members would not believe in it or follow him out west.

    How could Joseph have ever expected the Saints to ever believe in polygamy after preaching how evil it was his whole life? That would be like our next President of the Church getting up & preaching that pornography was now a good thing & we should all watch it.

    Except polygamy is a much worse sin than pornography.

    Prophets or Apostles can fall & many have throughout history. Most of the Apostles in Joseph Smith’s day apostatized, so it is not too hard to believe that Brigham could have also fell & was able to get many to follow him.

    No matter who declares they are a Prophet, it is the test of life to have the Holy Spirit to be able to discern whether someone is a true Prophet or a false one. For we are warned there will be many false Prophets & Apostles in these last days, even in the Church. We can’t just assume every Prophet who becomes President of the Church is a true one, any of them can fall at any time & we would only know it by the Spirit, for they would continue to look & sound wonderful & righteous to all.

  76. AV says:

    Dr.

    To answer your questions about why to focus on this issue of polygamy. Because even though LDS members today do not currently live polygamy as it was lived in the early days of the Church, most LDS still believe in polygamy because the Church & leaders still teach it & encourage it, especially serial polygamy.

    The Church leaders still teach that polygamy was a righteous thing in the past & that it will be again lived in the future, especially in the next life & that ‘serial polygamy’ is still allowed & encouraged, where a man can collect wives & be sealed to them after the death or divorce of a former wife. There is probably no end to the number of women a man today can still be sealed to serially, as long as it’s one at a time & the others are either divorced from him or deceased. But the Church still teaches he is sealed to all of them & will likely have them in the next life.

    Thus, polygamy is still a huge issue that currently affects most all LDS people & something everyone must come to terms with & discern whether it’s right or wrong. Most LDS are either living ‘serial polygamy’ because of divorce or death & remarriage, or they support their friends & family in their serial polygamy & remarriages.

    For most importantly, Joseph Smith & many other ancient Prophets taught that we must not allow ourselves to be deceived to ‘support’ or commit any evil, whether polygamy or any other abomination. For we will be held accountable for supporting or doing evil, even unknowingly & lose our promise of Exaltation.

  77. AV says:

    Justin,

    I don’t know why but there was no ‘reply’ button under your last comment so I have to reply here.

    I agree that the Lord will give the people what they want, but if the Prophet they voted for isn’t the one the Lord chose, then God lets them have the false & wrong prophet they wanted. It’s impossible for a prophet or Pres. to be a true one if he wasn’t called & chosen by God for that position, no matter how many people vote for him.

    The voice of the people, no matter how unanimous, can never make someone a true & righteous prophet. True Prophets are only chosen by God & then the people get to decide if they are going to go with God’s choice or not. God of course will let them have the one they voted for & wanted, whether right or wrong.

    I do not believe that BY was chosen by God, there is nothing that indicates that, though he was chosen by the people, but that does not & can not make him a true prophet. Even if everyone in the whole world votes for someone, it can’t make them them righteous or worthy of a position, especially to lead a Church as a Prophet.

    But I agree, God will let the people have what they want, good or bad, to their condemnation or blessing, whether false prophets or true prophets, we get to decide.

    There were many who wouldn’t support & follow BY because they knew he wasn’t chosen by God, he was only chosen by those who liked him or ‘fell’ for him, which doesn’t say or mean much to those who only want to do God’ will & only follow those who God chooses.

    Brigham’s church had lost the Priesthood & keys & revelation because they didn’t follow God & let God choose the leader. So Brigham & his followers were no longer any more inspired or led by a true Prophet, than any other Catholic or Baptist etc. church back then, where the congregations chose the preachers they wanted to follow.

    The Church & people lost their ‘true’ prophet when Joseph died & since then everyone has just dispersed & dwindled in unbelief, except a few humble follower of Christ here & there in the world, who have been able to maintain the Holy Spirit as their guide & be prophets unto themselves & their families & live the Gospel on their own, until Christ & Joseph return & set things in order once again.

    The latter day apostasy foretold by ancient prophets happened in Joseph’s day & can still be seen in full effect throughout the Church today, where everyone, except a rare few, are completely deceived & blinded to support & do evil, while still believing themselves to be righteous. It seems very rare to find someone who believes in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    And about King Mosiah’s quote. I realize he said that, but it hasn’t seemed to play out in history that way. I don’t know of many groups of people who have been righteous enough to usually choose righteous leaders & laws. Lets take our own country for example the last 200 years. I don’t believe that hardly any of the presidents of our country have been truly righteous men worthy of that position.

    Even in utah, on a state or even city level, it seems that almost everyone, especially in the church, is easily deceived to vote for unrighteous laws & leaders. It’s very difficult for a truly righteous person who stands for freedom & righteousness to get elected.

    It seems King Mosiah may have been talking about his own rare righteous society & the good track record they might have had during his day, because it sure doesn’t seem to be true in the real world or even in the Church since Joseph’s day, where most all members have been easily deceived to support evil & unrighteous men & doctrines.

    And neither has King Mosiah’s idea proved true throughout history, where there have been very few righteous leaders chosen or very few societies that have upheld righteous laws & freedom.

    • Brigham addressed his “haters” this way:

      “My name is had for good and evil upon the whole earth, as promised to me. Thirty years ago Brother Joseph, in a lecture to the Twelve, said to me, “Your name shall be known for good and evil throughout the world;” and it is so. The good love me, weak and humble as I am, and the wicked hate me; but there is no individual on the earth but what I would lead to salvation, if he would let me; I would take him by the hand, like a child, and lead him like a father in the way that would bring him to salvation.”
      (Journal of Discourses 11:109)

      Just like Joseph, you’ll either revere him or hate him. I happen to be in the former camp and I don’t intend to try to convert you over, because I frankly think it’s impossible. You condemn him for polygamy (and probably a host of other things) and thus you’re mind is shut off from any good the man may have done or any calling he may have received from God. It’s just as futile to try to prove to you the authenticity of his calling as it is to prove the existence of God to a hardened atheist.

  78. Justin says:

    And about King Mosiah’s quote. I realize he said that, but it hasn’t seemed to play out in history that way.

    Is it your belief that Mosiah possessed the spirit of prophecy and revelation or no? Would you say that he wrote the word of God as a prophet or that he wrote his personal observations as a man?

  79. AV says:

    Prophets aren’t perfect, they can be wrong, make errors in judgment & action & even be deceived by wicked people for a time & still be true Prophets, as even Joseph Smith demonstrated in all those ways at times in his life, until he learned more light & knowledge about certain things.

    Not every word spoken or written by Prophets is true & inspired & revelation from God. We have to have the Spirit to tell us if what they say is true or not. The Book of Mormon is the most correct book but not a perfect book.

    We’d have to totally ignore the proof of most all of history, even church history, to insist that King Mosiah was right.

  80. Justin says:

    AV — I think the issue on the Mosiah quote is that you see the Book of Mormon differently than I do.

    Whenever a man expresses an opinion by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, that opinion ceases to be “an opinion” and becomes a prophecy [if it pertains to the future] or a revelation [if it pertains to the present or past].

    The Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth because it was entirely spoken, written, complied, and translated by the spirit of prophecy and revelation and has therefore been the least touched by the works and the wisdom of men — as have other books that have been sent forth by God, such as the Bible.

    So, if Mosiah was a prophet and he was speaking by the spirit of prophecy and revelation when he said: “Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right…“, and Moroni was acting under the direction of the Holy Spirit when he compiled that portion of the record, and Joseph Smith possessed the spirit of prophecy and revelation to translate that record into the English words I just quoted —

    then, it can’t be Mosiah’s unique personal observation — something he just thought to be the case, but actually isn’t the case — etc.

    • AV says:

      If it was a true prophecy, then why has history proved he was wrong? Aren’t true prophecy’s supposed to come true?

      If you believe his prophecy has come true somehow & history has shown he was right, then I guess we see the world & the church, again, completely differently.

      • Justin says:

        So — Is it your belief that Mosiah possessed the spirit of prophecy and revelation or no? Would you say that he spoke the discourse in Mosiah 29 as a prophet or did he speak it as his personal observations as a man?

  81. Justin says:

    And back to the issue that brought all of this up:

    If the church manifested in favor of Brigham Young as the presiding high priest of the church — then that’s exactly who the Lord sustains as holding that office. Even if it’s “wrong” [which I'd admit you can make a fair case for].

    I think you are trying to make the point that God didn’t send some revelation that declared Brigham to be Joseph’s successor. That may or may not be true. You make a fair case for that being true — but the matter is largely irrelevant to me at this point.

    The keys of the church [or consent] have remained with the LDS church — therefore, their priesthood keys are still authorized by the Lord.

    Now, whether church leaders have used their priesthood keys in an acceptable manner to further the work of the Lord — or if they’ve used them to damn themselves by turning the order of the priesthood into an honor of men, operating by the works of men instead of the miraculous works of the Father, etc. — well that’s a separate issue entirely.

    • Rob says:

      I’m not disagreeing with you Justin, but then that makes a pretty good case for the Catholic Church as well and Pope Benedict. Where is the difference?

      • Justin says:

        The people of the Lord’s church have been given the kingdom, which is defined as the keys of the church [see D&C 45:1 and 42:69]. The keys of the church are a second set of keys [beside the keys of the priesthood] that are given to every single baptized member of the church, whether they possess priesthood or not.

        Unrighteous dominion is dominion without the consent of the governed. If the Lord attempts to assert dominion without the consent of the governed, then He engages in unrighteous dominion. The same applies to the servants of the Lord — because the Lord’s authority is only legitimate with the consent of the governed. The instant that consent is ignored or withdrawn, the Lord no longer has authority nor power over those people, nor do His servants.

        Any legitimate church of Christ [a true church, not necessarily a living church] must possess both sets of keys: priesthood and consent. When looking for the double-set of keys, one can make a quick discernment among the various Christian churches.

        Rob brought up Roman Catholicism, which claims to possess priesthood keys from Peter, nevertheless, they possess no keys of the church, for their priesthood does not operate by the common consent of their members — but is based on the Divine Right of Kings doctrine, or Papal Infallibility. Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is not a true church of Christ and has not been legitimate for more than a thousand years, possessing a false priesthood.

        The breakaways from Catholicism [Protestants], although restoring the keys of the church by operating according to the law of common consent, lack the keys of the priesthood.

        In the case of Mormon churches, only the main body [the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] possesses [as of this day], both sets of keys. All of the splinter groups that have broken off from the main body since the days of Joseph Smith to now have been a minority of members, meaning that they did not constitute “the voice of the people.” The keys of the church are only found with “the voice of the people,” therefore, all splinter groups are false churches because they lack one set of keys [in this case, the keys of the church]. Even though some of these groups have been properly ordained, their priesthood is not valid without the authorization of the keys of the church.

        So, although LDS claim that our ordinations have been correctly performed and that the keys of the priesthood have been transferred in an unbroken line, if the keys of the church are ever lost to the our church, meaning that there is no more majority voice [but many, minority Gentile LDS churches], then the keys of our priesthoods won’t work either.

        Nevertheless, while a majority voice still exists in the church, through the law of common consent, even if the ordinations stray from the “right” pattern, as long as the keys of the church continue to sustain those ordinations and ordinances as valid or legitimate, then the Lord recognizes them as valid or legitimate.

        It’s as simple as that. So, the LDS church is very safe from losing its two sets of keys, as long as the church keys are continually employed.

    • AV says:

      I agree with Rob. If God upheld BY then God would have upheld the Catholic Church too.

      I believe Joseph never lived polygamy, as he publically testified over & over. I believe that Joseph was a true Prophet & that he knew for sure that polygamy was an evil.

      But we know BY lived polygamy, which the scriptures teach, especially the Book of Mormon, which trumps all other scriptures, that polygamy is an abomination & whoredom in every case in history.

      So that would mean that BY lost his Priesthood & keys as did all the Apostles & people who followed him or lived polygamy. For those who do or support evil it means ‘amen’ to their Priesthood power, authority & keys. So I believe that not only was BY not called of God to lead the Church, but he fell for the evils of polygamy & many other false doctrines & led many others astray to do & believe the same.

      I’m sorry, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

      • Justin says:

        I agree with Rob. If God upheld BY then God would have upheld the Catholic Church too.

        See my response to Rob above. The Catholic church set-up their priesthood as an honor of men that was operated according to the “Divine Right” to rule doctrines of Gentile kings. So it’s apples and oranges [as they'd say].

        the Book of Mormon, which trumps all other scriptures, that polygamy is an abomination & whoredom in every case in history.

        Unless your cliche “agree to disagree” means that you will no longer respond — I’d like to hear your exposition on your claim that the Book of Mormon teaches a universal prohibition on the doctrine of taking plural spouses [presumably using Jacob 2 as your bread and butter].

        You can find an exposition stating essentially the opposite of what you claimed in Plural Marriage in the Scriptures section of the Multihusband-Multiwife chapter of the GEMTAM book.

      • zo-ma-rah says:

        I think I’m going to have to disagree with: “especially the Book of Mormon, which trumps all other scriptures,”

        2 Nephi 3:12
        12 Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.

        Only when the Book of Mormon and the Bible together teach something does it trump. But the Book of Mormon alone does not trump anything, neither does the Bible alone trump anything.

      • Justin says:

        Yes zomarah,

        which trumps all other scriptures

        was about as weakly of a supported claim as,

        polygamy is an abomination & whoredom in every case in history.

        was.

        I don’t know if AV read the link to the GEMTAM chapter on Multihusband-Multiwife or not — but it would surely clear things up for him.

  82. AV says:

    I believe the Lord was very clear in the Book of Mormon that he did not believe in polygamy in any form or in any age of time. He taught that the ancient practice of polygamy among the Jews & the current practice among the Nephites were both abominations.

    The Lord even taught that the Lamanites were spared total destruction, despite their wickedness, because they had kept their marriage vows & this one commandment, to love their spouse & not live polygamy. I assume you know the scriptures I’m referring to, if not I will list the references if you’d like.

    I also believe Christ very clearly taught against polygamy when he was teaching about divorce, explaining that a spouse who marries anyone else while their spouse is alive, commits adultery, even if they divorce their spouse 1st, for the divorce does not dissolve the marriage, the marriage is indissovable. Even after divorce they are still husband & wife & thus commit adultery if they remarry anyone else. Thus, even if a couple doesn’t divorce they of course would still commit adultery if either marries another.

    Also, Christ’s Aposltes taught that if a man is to be considered righteous & worthy of a calling in the Church, like Deacon, Elder or Bishop, he must be the husband of only one wife. Again, if you want those references I have them.

    I do not find anywhere in the scriptures where God condones polygamy. I do not believe that D&C 132 is scripture. It goes against all other scriptures on marriage & polygamy & thus I believe it proves itself false, as any ‘contrary’ teaching would.

    I do not believe that even Moses condoned polygamy, if he was a true prophet he easily knew it was wrong. The people he presided over were a weak & wicked people & insisted on living polygamy along with other abominations like divorce & remarriage & thus Moses set us laws to try to regulate divorce, remarriage & polygamy as best he could, so the women & children caught up in it were protected & treated as fairly as possible.

  83. Rob says:

    Justin-
    italic
    The people of the Lord’s church have been given the kingdom, which is defined as the keys of the church [see D&C 45:1 and 42:69]. The keys of the church are a second set of keys [beside the keys of the priesthood] that are given to every single baptized member of the church, whether they possess priesthood or not.
    italic
    You well informed Latter-Day Saints know that there are two powers which God has restored in these last days. One is the church of God, the other the kingdom of God. A man may belong to the kingdom of God and yet not be a member of the church of God. – George Q. Cannon
    italic
    Any legitimate church of Christ [a true church, not necessarily a living church] must possess both sets of keys: priesthood and consent. When looking for the double-set of keys, one can make a quick discernment among the various Christian churches.
    Rob brought up Roman Catholicism, which claims to possess priesthood keys from Peter, nevertheless, they possess no keys of the church, for their priesthood does not operate by the common consent of their members — but is based on the Divine Right of Kings doctrine, or Papal Infallibility. Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is not a true church of Christ and has not been legitimate for more than a thousand years, possessing a false priesthood.
    italic

    That makes sense, that’s why I said I didn’t say I disagreed, I guessed you had put some thought into it.

    italic
    In the case of Mormon churches, only the main body [the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] possesses [as of this day],both sets of keys. All of the splinter groups that have broken off from the main body since the days of Joseph Smith to now have been a minority of members, meaning that they did not constitute “the voice of the people.” The keys of the church are only found with “the voice of the people,” therefore, all splinter groups are false churches because they lack one set of keys [in this case, the keys of the church]. Even though some of these groups have been properly ordained, their priesthood is not valid without the authorization of the keys of the church.
    italic

    Two points…
    1) So how did it work with the Church in Jerusalem right after Christ’s resurrection when He had two sets of twelve apostles, the other being in America. How does the voice of the people work? Does it mean the voice of “a people” or tribe or land or something else?
    2) What about Alma leaving the Church of King Noah? So did he not start a new church but did as D&C 10:67 “Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.”

    italic
    So, although LDS claim that our ordinations have been correctly performed and that the keys of the priesthood have been transferred in an unbroken line, if the keys of the church are ever lost to the our church, meaning that there is no more majority voice [but many, minority Gentile LDS churches], then the keys of our priesthoods won’t work either.
    italic

    So who has the keys, the church as a whole or an individual leader? How does that work?

    italic
    Nevertheless, while a majority voice still exists in the church, through the law of common consent, even if the ordinations stray from the “right” pattern, as long as the keys of the church continue to sustain those ordinations and ordinances as valid or legitimate, then the Lord recognizes them as valid or legitimate.
    italic
    So could people be giving second anointings and those would be valid? Even in a corrupt church with corrupt people giving those to wicked people?

    • Rob says:

      crap, i tried to put in italics, but it didn’t work. how do you do that Justin?

    • Justin says:

      So who has the keys, the church as a whole or an individual leader? How does that work?

      All priesthood keys are given to every person who receives the priesthood, albeit in an unactivated/unauthorized state. The authorization to perform this or that work for the Lord is received by vote of the church to which that priesthood holder belongs. When we say that the presiding high priest “holds all the keys” — it means all of his priesthood keys are in an activated state. Whereas, some of my keys sit in a suspended state.

      The priesthood is an order of servants. They must hearken to the will of their masters in all things — or else they are coming to be ministered to, instead of coming to minister.

      The keys of the church belong [commonly] to every baptized member of the church of Christ. They authorize the priesthood to act by sustaining those keys according to the principle of common consent [or voice of the majority].

      A priesthood servant acting contrary to the voice of the people is serves [the concerns of his stewardship] brings damnation on him. Satan’s rebellion was not in him having another idea — it was in him persisting against the voice of the 2/3rd majority once their vote had been cast.

      • Rob says:


        The people of the Lord’s church have been given the kingdom, which is defined as the keys of the church [see D&C 45:1 and 42:69]. The keys of the church are a second set of keys [beside the keys of the priesthood] that are given to every single baptized member of the church, whether they possess priesthood or not.

        “You well informed Latter-Day Saints know that there are two powers which God has restored in these last days. One is the church of God, the other the kingdom of God. A man may belong to the kingdom of God and yet not be a member of the church of God.” – George Q. Cannon


        In the case of Mormon churches, only the main body [the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] possesses [as of this day],both sets of keys. All of the splinter groups that have broken off from the main body since the days of Joseph Smith to now have been a minority of members, meaning that they did not constitute “the voice of the people.” The keys of the church are only found with “the voice of the people,” therefore, all splinter groups are false churches because they lack one set of keys [in this case, the keys of the church]. Even though some of these groups have been properly ordained, their priesthood is not valid without the authorization of the keys of the church.

        Two points…
        1) So how did it work with the Church in Jerusalem right after Christ’s resurrection when He had two sets of twelve apostles, the other being in America. How does the voice of the people work? Does it mean the voice of “a people” or tribe or land or something else?
        2) What about Alma leaving the Church of King Noah? So did he not start a new church but did as D&C 10:67 “Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.”

  84. Justin says:

    Rob — you can work your way through the alternate view of the keys post by LDSA. It’s a bit long, but I think it even goes through the Alma/King Noah dynamic you asked about.

    Also, tribal worship services shows how the tribe and the church both have a set of consent keys that pertain only to their respective spheres of jurisdiction.

  85. AV says:

    So are you saying Justin, that if part, minority or majority of the Church vote for a wicked man to lead them & be their President, then God will sustain him & be ok with him leading the people astray?

    Also, the group that followed BY was only one of many groups that formed after the main church became disorganized after Joseph’s death. What about the other groups of people who voted for different men to be the Pres. of what they also considered to be the real continuation of the Church Joseph started? Especially the RLDS, who’s Pres. was later Joseph’s son, who Joseph is said to have said, more than once, that he should be the next Pres.?

    Were all these different chruch’s legitamate in the Lord’s eyes & all retained their Priesthood & Keys & could choose many different Presidents of the Church?

  86. AV says:

    I have heard that the majority did not follow Brigham Young because he believed in polygamy, ‘maybe’ the majority in Nauvoo, but not necessarily the majority of the Church, when you consider all the members in the world at the time. I have read that it was a small minority that actually followed Brigham Young.

    And again, how does even the ‘majority’ if in fact it was, automatically make a wicked man righteous? Are you saying God will sustain a wicked man who leads the Church astray?

    For I have read that Joseph & Emma believed that Brigham Young was a wicked man & Joseph pitied the people who might follow him after Joseph’s death.

    • Justin says:

      I think I’ve stated my position succinctly enough in the comments — and provided enough links to more thorough expositions if you seek anything more than is here.

    • You are correct AV. Joseph Smith made a few public stated (documented historically) that Brigham Young would lead the church to hell. He also reprimanded BY for stealing the tithing money! Here’s a post that I posted at this site on the page about the One Mighty and Strong: Kind of long, but we have divine truth confirmed by the law of Witnesses in our new book, “The Great and Most Abominable: the Prophetic Cleansing of the Mormon Church” (*Three Greats that perverted truth: 1) early Christian Church, 2) Catholic Church 3) Mormon Church! Now reread 1 Ne 13 with spiritual eyes wide open! Get it at http://www.mormonstruth.org for now!

      :Hi Zack,, AV, and others,
      We have just printed our prophetic book, “The Great and Most Abominable: The Prophetic Cleansing of the Mormon Church”, which will answer all of your questions and speculations with precision. ,Dave P. lent his co-authorship with myself and another former employee of the church. This book presents irrefutable knowledge, including Daniel’s Timeline based on accurate scriptural documentation. The saying that “no man knows the hour”, for instance, refers to a 48 hour time period in Hebrew knowledge for the moon to reappear. This knowledge, plus the fact that scriptures encourage us to figure it out, makes it imperative that we do so. Our knowledge comes from a profound near death experience of a ten year old boy, preceded by his mother’s three prophetic dreams/visions. This person had 78 hours face to face with God after being greeted by Moroni.. The precedence of this experience comes with the life of sinner Saul/Paul and sinner Alma the Younger and King Lamoni. This time it happened to a pure-hearted 10 year old. God gave him and his future wife (who has had spiritual experiences throughout her life) a mission to restore the original Book of Mormon and to cleanse the condemned LDS Church of its “follies and abominations”.
      Thank you AV for your comments since women do hold the priesthood and did so in the early years of “Pure Mormonism” and do today, despite their dishonor by men and ignorant women who ignore their responsibility to assume the “power of God” upon simple baptism..

      What are the follies and abominations as stated in D&C 124? Abomination: Jacob 2:23-24, 35, Jacob 2, Jacob 3 = 1) POLYGAMY! 2) Masonry aka Secret Combinations as seen with the Masonic oath required in all LDS Temples. Did not Christ teach us to “never swear an oath as it comes of evil and will condemn you”? 3) Women not honoring their priesthood (a huge folly) Jesus Christ did designate Mary the Magdalene (his wife) as the lead apostle (“Apostle to the Apostles”) due to her higher spirituality and Peter’s actions, which caused Christ to rebuke him “get behind me Satan”. 4) Idolatry of the statue of Moroni on every temple – The temple of God is the human body of a pure-hearted person. How’s that for simplicity without a need for “great and spacious buildings, which depicts the LDS Church today.

      All “Moneychangers” aka LDS apostles and prophets (type and shadow of King Noah and his 12 high priests) have sworn serious blood oaths which is why :The 10 Kings without a country” die suddenly when they try to repent (Harold B. Lee). We then have three others (Kimball, Benson, Hunter) subdued by a fourth aka the anti-Christ (GBH ~ now dead!)
      We know the identity of the ONE Mighty and Strong, the anti-Christ (“who steadied the Ark” doing it his way with smoke and mirrors, lies, public relation campaign), the true identity of God as given in the original Book of Mormon prior to its over 3,000 significant alterations, which changed the identity of God. The anti-Christ who steadied the Ark looked at himself as the reincarnated Jesus Christ and presented himself as such in the Manti Temple in a secret ceremony. Our book gives the date and the witness of this event with Boyd K stating that the “east gate of the Manti Temple have opened for Gordon B. Hinckley”. Understandably, it went over the “saints” heads to the frustration of GBH who then planned to stage a spectacular hologram to proclaim himself as the Christ! (Blue beam project). His efforts to manhandle spiritual events where thwarted by exposure (steadying the ark). …
      Get our book, 442 pages, at http://www.mormonstruth.org and you will learn the irrefutable truth for the “convincing of the Jew and the Gentile” and as prophesied: 1 Nephi 13:40 1830 BoM: “And the angel spake, saying: These last records…shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world” The phrase of “these last books” refers to our book and the original book of Mormon, which restores “the plain and precious truths” of the identity of God. Mosiah 15:1-5 states “that God himself shall come to this earth as a man”.
      So God came to this earth as Jesus Christ while His Spirit remained in Heaven as God the Eternal Father! We all come to this earth with a separation from our spirits, which remain in heaven, thus we have the veil between us and our spirits as we incarnate with our soul and intelligence. .(Cheribum and the Flaming Sword parable).
      This book provides exposure of extreme corruption of the Lord’s House and reveals divine truths. D&C 112:24-25 As a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord. (first among those among you who have blasphemed my name in the midst of my house aka the Moneychanges who make MILLIONS serving on bank boards, insurance boards, business boards, etc. and make money on their books, etc.!

      Nostradamus wrote two quatrains (one DATED) about this spiritual event (Whirlwind hit downtown SLC on 8/11/199 and the Spirit of God told me to “Pay ATTENTION THIS IS IMPORTANT”) Yes, I’ve had spiritual experiences all my life. So thank you for your honor to prophetesses, although I don’t call myself that. Many of these spiritual events were witnessed by others! I’ve seen the Savior three times – as a Thief in the Night – twice witnessed by others. And it is important to tell the truth and to not hide your light under a bush! Unlike the dictates of the false liars, hypocrites, prophets, apostles, Bishops and their counselors. (D&C 64) who tell people to never talk about their spiritual experiences! (They forgot to tell that to all the Prophets of the Bible and BoM!)
      Read Alma 11:23-40, Ether 3:14, Mosiah 15:1-5, D&C 3:1-11, D&C 64, 112, 124, 2 Ne 28, 2 Ne 3, etc. Good Luck! We are in the 7 years of Tribulation…good job Zack (timing a bit off, but you were correct about many things that you wrote about) Proud of YOU!

      • Per Nordin says:

        OK, even if you are so Hmmm… I wont say the word, to believe that planetary positions in any way can influence individuals, quoting a 3rd rate astrologer as Nostradamus (debunked already by his own contemporary pears, and since by many other astrologers, that his astronomical calculations where simply ridiculously wrong and thus his astrological conclusions vastly out of court) is just so far out of any rational discussion that you should be totally embarrassed to submit it as any type of argument.
        Sorry.

        I am a former LDS, and do not in any way defend the LDS doctrine. But I must sadly say that what you write is far more idiotic anything what the LDS church claims.

      • Just shows how far off a student of scripture can get when they read with a bias.

  87. LDS Apostasy says:

    Hyrum read D&C 132 to the Nauvoo High council. It’s in the high council minutes, and several high ranking members of the Church made reference to it when telling why they left the Church.

    William Clayton’s diary tells of Joseph having sex with one of his plural wives, and Emma catching them in a bedroom together.

    These are both contemporary sources.

    • I’ve heard of these high council minutes and the Clayton diary entries, but have never been able to locate them. A great deal of the so-called smoking guns that purport to prove Joseph’s polygamy from contemporary sources end up being nothing but rumor. Perhaps you can locate some photocopies for me?

      • If the High Council minutes do, in fact, show that the revelation was read to them, would that be enough to sway you in a different direction, Rock? Also, do the authors of that Joseph-Never-Practiced-Polygamy book address these minutes, or refute its existence?

      • As for the first question, it would depend upon what was said. Is it vague, such as the purported Oliver Cowdery letter to his brother?
        As to your second question, I don’t know; I’ve not yet read volume II.

        What I do know is that no historian who holds the position that Joseph Smith was a polygamist has addressed or refuted the solid evidence against that the Prices have laid out. Those questions must be addressed if we are ever to get answers.

  88. AV says:

    I also wonder ‘which’ high council members claimed that Hyrum read D&C 132, for many that left the Church were not trustworthy men in my opinion & thus could have easily lied. Just because many who left the Church claimed Joseph & Hyrum believed in polygamy, doesn’t mean it was true.

    It still all comes down to believing either Joseph & Hyrum or all these other claims, mostly from those who had incentives to lie.

    Also, those ‘minutes’ could have easily been tampered with after Joseph’s death by BY & others.

    I also don’t consider William Clayton a righteous or trustworthy source either, so I wouldn’t consider his writings or claims to be credible.

    All these men had to ‘prove’ their righteousness to us, before any of them could expect to be believed. Joseph & Hyrum proved their righteousness by bringing forth the Book of Mormon & D&C & by always preaching against polygamy, among many other things. I haven’t seen any proof that any of these other men who claimed opposite things, were righteous themselves.

    • I find it interesting how easily you discount nearly every man close to Joseph Smith, thinking them all to be a pack of liars and whore-mongers. If the old proverb is true that, “a man is known by the company he keeps,” we must conclude that Joseph was of similar character. Not choosing to believe this is true, I personally have come to conclude that while a few of Joseph’s friends proved themselves to be dishonest and corrupt, they were a minority amongst a group of generally good, upstanding and noble persons. I’m curious, which of Joseph’s friends do you approve of?

      • …besides Hyrum. Of those who survived.

        I’ve written an article which contains a list of those in positions of authority at Joseph’s death, those who you would assume to be his friends):

        http://noblenarcissist.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/a-question-of-succession/

        Which of these men do you find trustworthy AV?

      • AV says:

        For starters, I don’t believe any man or woman was righteous or had the Spirit, who willingly followed BY out west, or who believed in or practiced polygamy, & thus, everything they said or claimed is highly suspect.

        I believe that, following BY back then, would be the same as someone following any polygamous group leader today.

        I believe righteous people back then would have remembered & heeded Joseph’s warnings, (& many did) about shunning those who preached or practiced polygamy.

        Joseph Smith condemned polygamy much more strongly back then, then even prophets preach against it today. Joseph considered polygamy a much greater crime in the early church, then LDS leaders consider polygamy today, for members who are found preaching or living it.

        Today it appears all LDS leaders still preach & believe in & allow certain forms of polygamy, like ‘future’ polygamy in the Millennium & ‘serial’ polygamy after the death or divorce of a spouse & that a man can still be sealed to multiple ‘living’ wives, he just can’t be living with them concurrently. I believe as Jacob & Christ did, that such beliefs & actions by church leaders & members (divorce & remarriage & multiple sealings) is emotional, mental & physical adultery & a whoredom.

        I believe in the BoM teachings of Christ & Jacob & Mormon in regards to polygamy. Anyone who teaches or believes contrary to them I do not trust or listen to. Joseph said the same & I believe he lived according to he word & did not lie.

        And I do not believe in the twisted version of Jacob 2:30 that many say condones polygamy in certain circumstances. I believe it is saying just the opposite, that if God does not command his people ‘to keep his commandments’ then they will hearken unto these ‘whoredoms’ like polygamy, as all wicked societies always do.

        It all boils down to how evil you realize polygamy is, in every case in history. Most people cannot see how evil it is & thus they excuse & rationalize it & twist scriptures & easily fall for men who preach or practice it.

        Even if it came out that Joseph Smith lived polygamy, (though I firmly believe he did not) that would only prove that he himself was a fallen prophet, for even Joseph couldn’t teach anything contrary to what Christ taught, no one can, & expect to be considered a true prophet.

      • erichard111 says:

        I have a question for AV. What is your conviction about patriarchy?

        Even the New Testament teaches that the man is the head of the woman even as Christ is the head of the man. We realize that Christ-centered Patriarchy is not a “women are chattel” patriarchy. But it still requires wives to accept their husband as the ruler of the family as long as he does not mess up too bad. He cannot abuse her or the children in any way, but they are required to accept his government living by the laws given to him by Christ.

        Patriarchy thus gives men the responsibility to support, care for and defend his wife. Since she is very vulnerable in pregnancy and with small children, she needs a provider and protector to perform her work as a mother. This is a very serious responsibility, and a man must be supported in the law to perform this responsibility. Giving the man the right of government over his wife is reasonable and fair.

        Both the husband and wife are irreplaceable in the bond of marriage necessary to bring forth new children– and thus are equals. But they do not have identical rights and responsibilities.

        The scriptures support the conviction that when Christ sets up His government over His people that that government will be patriarchal– the family will be a level of government, and the head of the family will be the husband. His wife will be subject to his government, but he will not be subject to her government. Those who play down patriarchy as old fashioned and unnecessary today are clearly “anti-Christ”.

        Do you agree?

        Patriarchal plural marriage clearly supports the principle of Patriarchy– in fact it is a direct consequence of it. I remain convinced that Abraham, Issac and Jacob had plural wives, and that God was not upset at them over this but rather fully supported it.

      • AV says:

        erichard111,

        The real truth about women’s true station in marriage & in the Church & in society, has rarely been taught or understood, let alone honored, in any age of time.

        The philosophies you mentioned, about men ruling over women, are in my view, completely false & considered unrighteous dominion & abuse by the Lord. There was a book circulated in Nauvoo, written by a man called the “Peacemaker”. It said basically what you just said, & Joseph condemned it as evil, & warned the Saints against listening to such false doctrine.

        God has never given men authority or power over women in any way. Men have been placed on the earth to protect women & serve their every need & wish, so women can fulfill their important & vital callings. Men were never to rule, govern or dictate to women in any way. Women are completely equal to men in every way & entitled to every blessing, right, power, authority, position or privilege that men are given. Husbands & wives preside over the family together, equally, as co-presiders & co-presidents. Neither has the final say & neither can make any decisions without the complete consent of the other.

        God actually requires men to prove their righteousness by 1st fully submitting to & listening to & being subject to the government of his wife & fulfilling her every wish, before God ever asks a wife to do the same for her husband in return. The ideal marriage is when both submit to each other’s wishes. Both submit completely to each other, but men are required to submit 1st, because the woman only married him because of his promise to submit to her so she could feel safe to become vulnerable to him, or she wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) have married him. He must continually prove his true love & unconditional service & submission to her every need & wish, so she will feel it is safe to remain with him & have children with him & then she will hopefully give the same submission & service to him in return.

        Christ’s early apostles were still learning about the true nature of women’s equal position in marriage & in the Church & in society. They weren’t used to the idea of women being totally equal in all things & authority. They had probably never seen or heard of the ideal marriage or church or society, where women rule equally alongside men. They had only seen or heard of men ruling over women. Their society did not honor women’s equality.

        Women were severely abused in every way in Christ’s day & it was seen by most people as normal & ok. The apostles seemed to have a difficult time accepting Christ’s teachings about how men should honor women, especially when it came to Christ’s teaching of ‘no divorce & remarriage’. The apostles wondered if a man should then never marry, if he had to stay with the same woman his whole life. Christ was the greatest defender of women’s full equality & equal authority & power in all things.

        Paul especially, seemed to have & teach a lot of incorrect opinions about women’s equality & other doctrines, as do many apostles even today in the Church. Plus, the New Testament is not always translated correctly, so it may be that Paul was not even quoted correctly. But the scripture you mentioned about man being the ‘head’, is an example of such misunderstanding of the true relationship between a husband & wife, for the man is in no way the head of the woman or the home. They are co-heads, co-leaders, co-presiders of each other & the home, the wife leads & saves the husband just as much if not far more, then a husband usually leads & saves his wife.

        When it comes to God’s power & authority, women have already received this power & authority to act in God’s name, in the Pre-Existence, whereas men must prove worthy of God’s power & authority here on this earth. Women are given, usually 1st, every power, authority, position, privilege, blessing or gift that men are.

        I believe there have been far more Prophetesses who have walked the earth than Prophets, & it wasn’t God who quieted them & didn’t let them lead & teach the masses. Few men have been willing to accept the true equality of women in all things. I believe that far more wives on this earth will be worthy of God’s power to save & exalt their errant husbands & children, then men will for their errant wives & children.

        I believe that Abraham repented of polygamy (at the command of God to send Hagar away). He was not strong enough to teach his wife to have more faith in God’s promises, so they together learned the hard way, of how wrong polygamy was.

        Same with Jacob, he fell for polygamy because of the dishonesty of his father-in-law, at a time of great vulnerability because he loved Rachel so much. He also succumbed to the weakness of his wives who pressured him to live even more polygamy. Jacob eventually repented of polygamy if he became a prophet in his later years.

        It seems Issac never lived polygamy, he probably had learned how wrong it was by his parent’s sad experience with it.

        In the Millennium, Patriarchy & Matriarchy will finally for the 1st time work completely together equally, 2 co-presidents presiding over the family, neither one over the other, both with complete veto power & equal authority & leadership. Women will also hold equal positions in the Church as men, we will have Prophets & Prophetesses that lead & direct the Church & women will hold just as much leadership authority as men at every level. A Bishop & his wife will govern a ward together, both with equal power & authority & voice over the ward, her over the women & him over the men. etc., if we even have wards.

        Most all men throughout history have never been willing to honor & respect & understand nor accept women’s true & equal position, power & authority in the home, church & society. Women have been subordinated by men & her power & authority stripped, since the beginning of time.

        Adam & Eve understood what women’s true equality looked like, for God instructed them about it in the Garden. God honored & praised Eve for the natural ‘true love’ she would feel towards her husband (men usually have to work harder at gaining such love for their wife). Thus, God promised & reassured Eve that Adam would respect & protect her & ‘rule with’ her (not the incorrect translation of ‘rule over her’) & that Adam would serve her every need & wish above all else, especially above his own needs or wishes, so she would be able to fulfill the highest & most Christlike calling of all, Motherhood. Eve of course, would also serve Adam’s every need & wish above her own.

        Whoever has the most ‘true love’ rules, or in other words, leads & saves.

      • When you decide that the gospel must conform to your own views and not that you need to conform your views to the gospel, you get a gospel like what AV describes here, which frankly is nothing more than the opinions of a man. Such a man has to continually be saying that things are mistranslated or misunderstood or that men in days of old didn’t understand things as they are. That they had irrational prejudices and biases which tainted their teaching of the gospel. I would say that is the case with AV, but then he’s not a prophet as far as I’m aware (although he may think of himself as such). The scriptures are pretty consistent, even despite some mistranslations and if someone consistently speaks in opposition to them, you can write that man down as an impostor. Please read the scriptures, learn how to get the Spirit, and follow its teachings rather than the teachings of a man.

        On this topic of men having authority to rule their wives, I’ll only quote from sources that Joseph Smith translated.

        “Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
        (Moses 4:22; Genesis 3:16)

        “And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.”
        (2 Nephi 13:12; Isaiah 3:12)

        If a man is truly ruled by God, a woman should have no problem being subject to him. It’s men who are not ruled by God that women need to fear and steer clear of.

      • AV says:

        As I said, very few men in the history of the world have been willing to accept the true & total equality of women in all things. For it is the disposition of nearly all men to immediately feel they are better or have higher authority than women & thus they abuse women & ignore & disrespect women’s true position, power & authority.

        Only a rare righteous man will understand & honor his wife’s true equality in all things & realize his obligation to submit to her 1st in complete love & service, if he ever wants to prove worthy of her love & submission in return.

        If you look into the true ancient translation of the meaning of ‘rule over’ you realize it really means ‘rule with’.

        Also, as I explained above, “Her desire shall be to her husband” was God praising & explaining Eve’s natural Christlike true love for her husband, something women usually have naturally, which Joseph Smith also confirmed, whereas men usually have to work harder to gain such love for their wife.

        The ‘sorrow’ God was talking about was also a good thing, because it meant that Eve (women) was strong & valiant enough to be allowed to make the huge Christlike sacrifice of bearing & nurturing children on this earth.

        Of course not all women stay valiant in this life. Many women lose their divine love for their husband & their strength also & thus many resist making these Christlike sacrifices.

        But women in general proved worthy & strong enough in the Pre-Existence to be blessed with the greatest calling & privilege mankind can have, (except for the Savior’s sacrifice), that of Motherhood, bringing God’s children into this world. Men are placed on the earth to protect & provide for women & support them in their high calling. Men are commanded to be righteous & loving & safe enough so the women can accept his help & presence to rule & preside ‘with her’ over the children God gives to her.

        A man earns his right to preside with the woman over the children, by if he loves & serves her in all things & respect her equal power & authority.

        God gives every woman 9 months to make sure her husband is worthy & safe enough to remain with her & be a part of her child’s life. If the man is not worthy or safe, then the woman can separate & she will just preside over that child by herself, with God’s help, & raise the child righteously by herself. God gives women the right & obligation to decide if her husband is worthy or not to stay with her & the children, but often throughout history unrighteous men have taken that divine decision & right away from women & thus force & control her so she is not able to protect & raise her child as God would want her to.

        Only when men possess true unconditional love for their wife & thus possess the Holy Spirit, can they come to understand & respect women’s true equality & their command from God to protect & serve her 24/7, above himself & all else in life. All righteous men know he is to listen to & obey his wife in all things, before he can ever expect the same from her.

      • You wrote:
        “As I said, very few men in the history of the world have been willing to accept the true & total equality of women in all things. For it is the disposition of nearly all men to immediately feel they are better or have higher authority than women & thus they abuse women & ignore & disrespect women’s true position, power & authority.”

        Just because most men abuse women with the power of their position doesn’t mean that their position of authority over women shouldn’t exist. It just means that abusive men shouldn’t be allowed to retain the position of husband. In the same way, just because a President of a country is a tyrant, doesn’t mean that the position of President should be dissolved. It just means we should refuse to be ruled by tyrants and elect only good men for that position. I agree women in general are morally better than men, which is a great argument for the need for polygamy, since there are far more righteous women than righteous men and God tells us that that men and women shouldn’t be unequally yoked. It’s abusive to women to force them to marry men of unequal spiritual caliber.

        You wrote:
        “If you look into the true ancient translation of the meaning of ‘rule over’ you realize it really means ‘rule with’.”

        If God meant “rule with” he would have instructed Joseph to write “rule with,” but he didn’t so we can safely assume God meant what he said.

      • AV says:

        John,

        I once again invite you to look up on the web & read the pamphlet called the “Peacemaker” written by Udney H. Jacob, which teaches about the same things that you seem to believe. This Mr. Jacob had a couple chapters of the “Peachmaker” published in the ‘Times & Seasons’ publication in Nauvoo in the fall of 1842. When Joseph Smith found out about it he sharply denounced such ideas as “nonsense, folly & trash”.

        But it seems that Brigham Young & other apostles really liked many of the ideas written by Mr. Jacob in that pamphlet & thus these leaders taught those ideas to the Church & wrote them into the things taught in the temple. Thus, after Joseph died, such falsehoods were commonly preached by many leaders in the Church for over 100 years.

        So I know where you got your ideas from, I’m only surprised that you still believe them. For many more recent church leaders today have denounced many of those ideas – ‘that men rule over women’ or that men have more authority in the home, or that men don’t also have to submit to women.

        Many leaders today understand that many false things have been taught in the Church about the position of women in the home & church & society. Most leaders & men in the Church seem to understand this today. So I am surprised when I hear of a few men like you who still believe in those things.

        I have personally talked to many men in the church about these things & the total equality of women & they all have agreed with what I have written. I personally do not know a man in the Church who believes the things you do anymore. All the men around me understand women’s true & full equality & they do not believe what you believe. Those myths you still hold to have been put down long ago in the Church.

        As far as Joseph changing the wording of ‘rule over’ to ‘rule with’, he probably wanted to change many things like that in the scriptures & even give the Saints lots more revelation & scriptures, but he could not, for as he said many times, the members, especially the men were not ready or willing to accept higher & greater knowledge, let alone about women’s equality. It would be almost 100 years in the future before men could accept women’s equality in society & let them have equal say with elections, let alone equal authority & voice & veto power in the home & then the Church.

        Joseph had his hands full just trying to keep men from abusing & collecting women by polygamy, he almost surely knew that men in those days would not be ready to accept women as their true equals in leadership & in all things. He knew that most men back then did not have or believe in having ‘true love & respect’ for their wives, for they were falling like flies for whoredoms like polygamy, which is one of the most abusive forms of spouse abuse to women. Clearly men were not ready to accept women’s true equality, just like many men couldn’t accept their black brothers as equals either yet.

        But today, most men in the Church have come to accept & understand women’s complete equality better & her equal authority & power in the home & marriage. Even Elder Perry taught it in Gen. Conf. a few years back & talked about women being Co-Presiders & Co-Presidents. Wives are not like a counselor in a Bishopric, but a husband & wife are like 2 equal Bishops or Prophets, where they must learn to lead equally together, each submitting to the other, each having equal authority & power in any & all decisions.

        In fact, most all members I know, realize that the attitude & things you are describing are just the typical male wife abuse, control, unrighteous dominion & false doctrines that men have tried to subordinate women with throughout history.

        I encourage you to look up & read the “Peacemaker”, to see where yours & BY’s ideas about women originated from & realize Joseph condemned such ideas.

      • John Peterson wrote:

        I agree women in general are morally better than men…since there are far more righteous women than righteous men

        There is no evidence, whatsoever, that 1) women are, in general, morally better than men and 2) there are far more righteous women than righteous men.

        The devil’s chains of hell work as effectively on women as they do on men. However, because of the differences between the sexes, if I had to pick one sex that is more easily captivated by the devil, it would be women. This is because woman, by nature, vacillate, whereas men, by nature, are fixed. And the gospel requires that we be fixed.

        Now, because of the nature of men, it is both harder and easier for a man to repent than for a woman. For a man, who is already fixated in sin, must dislodge himself from his fixation (an unnatural and difficult task) and fixate himself on the atonement, which new fixation comes naturally, as he is accostomed to fixation. The woman, however, being a creature of vacillation, may dislodge herself from her vacillations in sin through repentance (an easier and more natural task than men have), and attempt to fixate on the atonement, a labor that is unnatural for her, for fixation is not a natural state for a woman. Although fixated on the atonement, she is still completely vulnerable to the temptations of the devil, which will appeal to her vacillating nature, more easily leading her back into sin through vacillation. It is for this reason that women are given in marriage to men, that the fixed nature of the man might counter her own vacillating nature, and keep her on the path of righteousness, despite the temptations of the devil.

        Now, everyone still has theire agency, regardless of nature, thus penitent men may still choose to sin afterward and penitent women may still choose to remain fixed on the atonement and not sin, but the natures of men and women are such that it is easier for a man, than for a woman, to perform the required labor of the gospel.

        (I suppose I could take up this topic in depth on my own blog, but since I’ve already started writing here, and since going off topic has already occurred, I guess I’ll just continue here a little bit…)

        Some temptations appeal more to women than to men; for example, Korihor’s doctrine led “away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms.” The implication of the text being that more women than men were led away to wickedness by Korihor’s doctrine. On the other hand, some temptations appeal more to men than to women. For example, Nehor’s doctrine seems to have had men as its primary target.

        If you look at the data on MK-Ultra and Monarch trauma-based mind control programming, which has a scientific foundation, it shows that women are more susceptible to mind control than men are. They more easily dissociate than men and are more easily led. This is a weakness in women which is exploited by the adversary.

        Again, marriage to a righteous man who is fixated on the atonement serves as a protection or guard, so that the woman’s weakness can be less exploited by the devil. The man literally serves as a shield, between her and many of the temptations of the devil, if she cleaves to him, which is according to her nature. In such a matrimony, in which the man is fixated and the woman cleaves to him, the adverary must take out the man to get to the woman. However, if she does not cleave to him, the woman can serve to distract the man from his fixation, therefore, disunity between the sexes destroys both the man and the woman and if disunity can be obtained, that is an easier task for the devil than attacking a united matrimony, which is why rebellion and the war between the sexes is fostered by the devil on society. So, the way in which God has placed both women and men, in the marriage relationship, is designed to protect them both from adversarial temptations and destruction.

        Regardless of however you view the situation, though, how many living men or women that we know of have exercised faith unto repentance and had an angel come down and minister to him or her in the midst of a pillar of fire? Using that as the standard for repentance–which is the actual standard, based upon the Nephite model and also the revealed model given to the Gentiles, as demonstrated by Joseph Smith, for, as the scripture says:

        after it was truly manifested unto this first elder | that he had received a remission of his sins | he was entangled again in the vanities of the world | but after repenting and humbling himself sincerely | through faith | god ministered unto him by an holy angel | whose countenance was as lightning | and whose garments were pure and white | above all other whiteness

        which plainly shows that the manifestation that one has received a remission of sins is the baptism of fire and the ministration of an angel, for this is what the First Vision was–can we really say that one gender is morally better than the other given that neither gender manifests that they have received a remission of sins, as Joseph Smith and the ancient Nephite saints did?

        Finally, the scriptures which speak of the “sons of perdition” cannot be taken as evidence that more women than men will be saved, or that women are more righteous than men, or that there are no “daughters of perdition.” The word son, in the 1828 dictionary, has a shade of meaning that actually applies to the expression “sons of perdition.” Shade number 9, which reads:

        9. Son of pride, sons of light, son of Belial. These are Hebraisms, which denote that persons possess the qualities of pride, of light, or of Belial, as children inherit the qualities of their ancestors.

        Thus, “sons of perdition” is a Hebraism, and it doesn’t indicate that only males will inherit the reward of Perdition. The term applies to both genders. Also, the one-third of the hosts of heaven likely consisted of at least 50% women, as leading women down to destruction is Lucifer’s speciality, Lucifer presenting himself as the strong alpha male, who would make sure that not one soul would be lost. All you have to do is give him your agency and you would be safe, secure, etc. Such doctrines have a natural appeal to women.

      • AV, I’m a little confused. At first you invite me to read the Peacemaker and then you say you suspect that’s where I am getting my ideas on male/female relationships. I’ll clear up your confusion about me. I have heard of the Peacemaker, but haven’t read it. I think the scriptures written by the hand of Joseph Smith that I cited above give solid enough proof that men are given to rule over women in righteousness. Personally I feel the need to look no further for proof of this doctrine. Any other proof that supports it are nice and all, but this is all that is necessary for a foundation in that doctrine. As surprised as you may be that I believe the scriptures to be the word of God, I’m equally surprised that you don’t.

        You wrote:
        “I have personally talked to many men in the church about these things & the total equality of women & they all have agreed with what I have written. I personally do not know a man in the Church who believes the things you do anymore.”

        I could care less about the opinions of men in the church or out of it. It’s the opinion of God I care about and that is found in his holy scriptures, given through the hands of his holy prophets.

        You wrote:
        “As far as Joseph changing the wording of ‘rule over’ to ‘rule with’, he probably wanted to change many things like that in the scriptures & even give the Saints lots more revelation & scriptures, but he could not, for as he said many times, the members, especially the men were not ready or willing to accept higher & greater knowledge, let alone about women’s equality.”

        This belief of yours gives me the conviction that I need to stop conversing with you altogether, since it basically allows you to take out whatever Joseph said and change the wording to believe just about anything you want to believe. It is heresy and of the devil and I’ll not waste my time discussing the gospel anymore with a man as possessed as you are.

      • LDS Anarchist please do post a blog on this topic. I’ll follow you over there, because the topic is off-topic for this post, but a very interesting topic to discuss.

      • AV says:

        No matter what anyone’s opinions & philosophies are about men & women & marriage, the proof is in the pudding.

        Who can find a virtuous & righteous man or woman? For they are very rare.

        Christ said that the real proof of his true disciples would be their preaching, practicing & possessing ‘unconditional perfect true love’, especially for one’s spouse, for our spouse is the one God has commanded men & women to love & serve, 1st & foremost in life, above all else.

        But I don’t think I have ever known a truly righteous man in my life, who proves it by having this ‘unconditional true love’, especially for a wicked adulterous abusive abandoning wife, insomuch that he does not break his marriage covenants as she has, but he stays faithful to her & does not divorce, or if he is forced into a divorce, he does not date or remarry, even if she remarries or becomes deceased. He will continue to love & serve her every chance he gets, to help her return to him & repent, even if it isn’t until the next life. For he knows that she eventually must return to him & repent & make it all up to him. And he is willing to wait faithfully. But again, I don’t think I have ever known of a man willing to do this.

        Many men like the idea of such perfect love, but I have never known a man strong enough to actually make the sacrifices necessary to possess & prove such love for his wife.

        I’m sure that there may be righteous men out there with righteous wives who feel they have such perfect love for her & would stay faithful to her in the event of her death or wickedness or abandonment. But I just have never seen a man who actually proves such perfect love for a wicked wife.

        But, on the other hand, I have known many wives who have been willing to stay faithful to their wicked adulterous abusive husband & not divorce or date or remarry (if he divorces them). They have chosen to have unconditional Christlike true love, (as HF & Joseph both said comes naturally to women) & wait til he returns & repents, which usually isn’t until the next life. They don’t even remarry if he dies but instead they have true & faithful perfect love for him.

        I believe that such Christlike submission to & unconditional true love for a spouse is the only real proof of true righteousness.

        I believe men who desire or live polygamy reveal that they don’t have any such love for their wife. For I believe that truly righteous men are totally faithful to ‘one’ woman for all eternity & they never marry or desire anyone else, even if their wife dies.

        Those men & women who possess such Christlike love, have no other desire than to submit fully to their spouse & fulfill their spouse’s every wish all day long for eternity.

        Only a spouse with this kind of ‘perfect love’ earns the power to save & exalt their wicked spouse, after that wicked spouse fully repents someday. Thus one of the purposes of marriage is to save & exalt a wicked spouse, that normally would not have made it to the Cel. Kingdom without their spouse’s valiant saving sacrifice & love.

        Though I’m sure there are men who do this for their wife, so far I have only been able to find women who are strong & valiant enough to have this kind of faithful true love.

        But I would love to know of a man that has this kind of perfect love for his wicked wife.

        Of course today, hardly anyone even believes in such true love anymore, let alone possesses it, for it requires far more sacrifice, service, submission & love than most anyone wants to have to give, especially for a wicked undeserving spouse.

        But Christ is our example of such perfect faithful eternal love for his wicked undeserving wife (the church or the world),

        I believe that possessing such perfect love for our ‘one & only spouse’ is the only thing that assures us Exaltation & Eternal Marriage.

      • AV, something you said struck a chord with me. I may have misjudged you. I’d like to talk with you privately. Please find my email address at the bottom of this page and send me a message about your personal experience with the Mormon church.

        http://noblenarcissist.wordpress.com/about-3/

      • John Peterson,

        I don’t think I’ll be writing a blog on that topic, so don’t look for it appearing at my site. The topic could be expounded upon further, though, if you feel inclined to do so on your own blog.

        Also, you’ve called AV a man several times on this thread. I suspect, though, that AV is, in fact, a woman. (AV can correct me on that if I’m wrong.)

        Lastly, I’ve read the Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy book and instead of convincing me in the direction given by the authors, it actually further convinced me that D&C 132 was a revelation from God to Joseph. I have heard that that book comes from a Restoration church, meaning a church that is a break-away from the RLDS church (now called Community of Christ.) The CoC has always denied Joseph’s involvement with polygamy (always claiming BY introduced the revelation) but now they are beginning to admit that there does appear to be evidence of him having practiced it. So, this Restoration branch seeks to affirm the original view of the CoC (RLDS.) I, personally, am glad those two authors wrote the book, as it has fortified my testimony of the revelation found in D&C 132.

      • It’s a shame you won’t be writing a blog on the topic. Hopefully I can get around to writing one. If I do, I’ll put a link here to alert you to it.

        Thanks for the heads up about AV. I’m a little slow. I guess I’ve just always assumed that only older men participate in blogs like these My assumption is officially disproven :)

        It’s good to know someone from the Mormon intellectual community still believes Joseph lived polygamy. I’m not alone :)

  89. rockwaterman1 says:

    If the place we find those Nauvoo Minutes of the High Council is in the Documentary History of the Church, then those minutes are indeed suspect, for we know that that history was doctored under the direction of Brigham Young. One of the editors (his name escapes me at the moment), rather than cooperate with this subterfuge, quit the project, then quit Brigham’s Church. Here is an excerpt from my piece, “Why I’m Abandoning Polygamy.: I begin by quoting from historian Sterling Van Wagoner:

    “The Prophet’s most pointed denial of plural marriage occurred on 5 October 1843 in instructions pronounced publicly in the streets of Nauvoo. Willard Richards wrote in Smith’s diary that Joseph ‘gave instructions to try those who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives…Joseph forbids it and the practice thereof. No man shall have but one wife.’”

    “When incorporating Smith’s journal into the History of the Church, church leaders, under Brigham Young’s direction, deleted ten key words from this significant passage and added forty-nine others so that it now reads:

    “Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives; for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.”

    It is not commonly known that the seven volume History of the Church, which purports to have been written by Joseph Smith himself, was substantially added to and edited after the Prophet’s death. After all, Joseph Smith did leave great gaps in the narrative, and if his history was to be complete, the account required additional input from subsequent church historians. Editions of the massive work were still being tweaked by B.H. Roberts as late as 1912.

    Still, it struck me that the passage above had been substantially doctored so as to completely change its meaning. It put words into the Prophet’s mouth that he simply had not spoken, words that in fact contradicted what he had said. The added words could incline the reader to conclude that Joseph equivocated on the subject, but it’s clear from his original words that he did not. Missing entirely from Joseph’s statement in the official history is the primary imperative, “Joseph forbids it and the practice thereof.”

    This is not editing for clarification. This is prevarication, a lie; a calculated attempt to change church history.

    • I found a contemporary source that reveals Joseph Smith’s involvement in polygamy:

      “Told about Wm. [William] Law—wished to be married to his wife for eternity. Mr. [Joseph] Smith would inquire of the Lord, answered no because Law was a adulterous person. Mrs. Law wanted to know why she could not be married to Mr. Law. Mr. [Joseph Smith] S. said [he] would not wound her feelings be telling her. Some days after, Mr. [Joseph] Smith going toward his office. Mrs. Law stood in the door, beckoned to him the once did not know whether she beckoned to him, went across to inquire. Yes, please to walk in, no one but herself in the house, she drawing her arms around him, if you won’t seal me to my husband seal myself unto you, he said, stand away and pushing her gently aside giving her a denial and going out. When Mr. [William] Law came home he inquired who had been in his absence, she said no one but Br. Joseph, he then demanded what had passed. Mrs. L. [Law] then told Joseph wanted her to married to him—”
      (May 24, 1844, Alexander Neibaur, Diary, LDS Archives, Pg. 15)
      http://www.neibaur.org/journals/alex.html

      If the date on this journal entry is accurate, then it was written about one month before Joseph Smith was martyred. Alexander Neibaur was a close friend of Joseph’s and eventually moved west to be with Brigham Young.

      • rockwaterman1 says:

        Even assuming the dates on this journal were accurate, this is not the kind of contemporary evidence I’m asking for. Joseph was forever battling these kinds of rumors during his lifetime, and vigorously denying there was any truth to them. This is merely someone repeating gossip. It is not evidence. Minutes of the High Council wherein Joseph and/or Hyrum were openly advocating the secret practice of polygamy; now that would be evidence. People repeating what they’ve heard about Joseph Smith, particularly in the face of his disgusted responses, is not evidence.

      • Ok, I admit this reference is a bit vague, but it does provide evidence that Joseph had a married woman pursue him. It also paints an interesting picture of what may have happened with William Law. If Jane Law did pursue Joseph like this and then was rejected, it’s an understandable human reaction that she would then tell her husband that it was Joseph who was pursuing her, in an effort to retaliate (ironically the same story as Joseph of Egypt with Potiphar’s wife). Also the fact that a married woman would pursue a married man, expecting him to accept her offer is a little odd, especially if she took him to be a holy man, unless… she knew he had other wives and believed that plural marriage was accepted by God.

      • My next reference is from the diary of William Clayton (a primary source of the Documentary History of the Church compiled by B. H. Roberts). This is a more obvious contemporary source and it baffles me why any serious student of Mormon history would disregard it. Why would the Prophet Joseph employ a scribe who follow him around daily and write libelous things behind his back? Don’t you think Joseph was a better judge of character than that?

        During this period the Prophet Joseph frequently visited my house in my company, and became well acquainted with my wife Ruth, to whom I had been married five years. On day in the month of February, 1843, date not remembered, 22 the Prophet invited me to walk with him. During our walk, he said he had learned that there was a sister back in England, to whom I was very much attached. I replied there was, but nothing further than an attachment such as a brother and sister in the Church might rightfully entertain for each other. He then said, “Why don’t you send for her?” I replied, “In the first place, I have no authority to send for her, and if I had, I have not the means to pay expenses.” To this he answered, “I give you authority to send for her, and I will furnish you with means,” which he did. This was the first time the Prophet Joseph talked with me on the subject of plural marriage. He informed me that the doctrine and principle was right in the sight of our Heavenly Father, and that it was a doctrine which pertained to celestial order and glory. After giving me lengthy instructions and information concerning the doctrine of celestial or plural marriage, he concluded his remarks by the words, “It is your privilege to have all the wives you want.” 23 After this introduction, our conversations on the subject of plural marriage were very frequent, and he appeared to take particular pains to inform and instruct me in respect to the principle. He also informed me that he had other wives living besides his first wife Emma, and in particular gave me to understand that Eliza R. Snow, Louisa Beman, Desdemona W. Fullmer and others were his lawful wives in the sight of Heaven.”
        (William Clayton’s Nauvoo Diaries; March 9, 1843)
        http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/clayton-diaries

    • zo-ma-rah says:

      Rock, do you have a complete version of the “‘gave instructions to try those who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives…Joseph forbids it and the practice thereof. No man shall have but one wife.’” quote? The original not the doctored one.

      • rockwaterman1 says:

        From Van Wagoner’s biography of Sidney Rigdon:

        “The Prophet’s most pointed denial of plural marriage occurred on 5 October 1843 in instructions pronounced publicly in the streets of Nauvoo. Willard Richards wrote in Smith’s diary that Joseph ‘gave instructions to try those who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives…Joseph forbids it and the practice thereof. No man shall have but one wife.’”

  90. Toni says:

    Rock, is there any way possible to get a copy of Joseph’s original journals?

    • This apparently is the book being used for the “Joseph forbids it” quote from Joseph Smith’s journal:

      I have not read it, so I don’t have an opinion of it as of yet.

      • rockwaterman1 says:

        I would think the book John Peterson links to MIGHT be an accurate source. I have some hopes that the Joseph Smith Papers, as I think they include photo recreations of source documents, would be dependable.

        I don’t know if the DHC was ever published prior to Joseph’s death, or if the only copies extant were those edited under Brigham Young’s direction, but if they do they would probably available through Herald House publishing. Obviously, Van Wagoner had access to the original source, but I’d have to look that up and I can’t right now. I link to the source in my piece at Pure Mormonism; it was a footnote in his biography of Sidney Rigdon.

      • Rock do you know of any LDS historians or historian assistants (those who had access to the Church archives) who believe that Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy?

    • zo-ma-rah says:

      Josephsmithpapers.org

  91. rockwaterman1 says:

    John,
    No, I don’t. From reading the standard histories, it’s clear that the conventional wisdom has been accepted without question. One historian merely repeats what another has written. After all, if the presidents of the Church from Brigham through Woodruff attested to it, it must have been factual.

    • So all the historians from Brigham to now are a bunch of sheep, willing to follow the status quo without question? I’m afraid I don’t believe that statement for a minute. Michael Quinn is an example of one historian who definitely goes against the grain and isn’t worried about ruffling feathers. In fact he rather seems to enjoy it. Randy Bott is another such historian. While I don’t agree with these men on all their views, I certainly value their insights, because they have seen more of church archives than any one of us probably have or ever will. If not even one of them believes Joseph Smith was a monogamist, that is quite an indicator to my mind at least.

      • rockwaterman1 says:

        John,
        You have to understand the mindset of those who followed Brigham Young. They came to really, sincerely believe in the principal. Those who stretched the truth to confirm the principle, such as the alleged wives, did so believing that Joseph actually did practice it with others, so their own fudging of the facts to strengthen others wasn’t doing any harm in their minds.

        I share your admiration for the research of Michael Quinn. But check the footnotes on the references to plural marriage. He is merely repeating the hearsay of others; there is nothing that traces back to the words of Joseph Smith.

        I don’t think anyone back in the day set out to deliberately fabricate lies. They believed the principle was true, and their little individual efforts to assist others in seeing the truth did no harm in their eyes.For some example of how fudging the facts could so easily get out of hand, see my discussion of the many obviously false “testimonies” of the saints regarding the transmogrification of Brigham Young here:

        http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-mormon-history-is-not-what-they-say.html

  92. rockwaterman1 says:

    John, regarding the Documentary History of the Church, you state, “it baffles me why any serious student of Mormon history would disregard it.”

    As stated previously, we HAVE to disregard anything in the DHC that claims Joseph practiced polygamy, because we know those volumes were doctored AFTER the original journal entries were made. Clayton later became a committed polygamist and was instrumental in promoting it. Unless we can Clayton’s original journals and prove they were not pre-dated, we still must remain skeptical. The DHC was being tweaked and doctored clear up until 1912 edition when BH Roberts became editor. It simply is not a reliable history. It is “faithful history.”

    • I don’t see why William Clayton’s journal entries would have any more potential for doctoring than any of your other sources. Sure you’ve got to be careful about what sources you trust, but at the same time I think you can take an overly skeptical view of things to where no source is valid and which point why study history at all?

      Here I’ll list the top circumstantial evidence to support that Joseph Smith lived polygamy:

      1) A prophecy was given to Joseph commanding the brethren to marry Native American wives. These were all married men. The “Ohio Star” relates that Mormon elders were expected to “form a matrimonial alliance with the Natives”, so we have pretty solid evidence that this revelation existed. Unless God expected these men to divorce their existing wives, this was a veiled command to live polygamy.
      2) Nine of Joseph’s Quorum of the Twelve followed Brigham Young west and lived polygamy on a grand scale. Amasa Lyman of his First Presidency also followed Brigham Young and lived polygamy on a grand scale.
      3) Everyone who was living polygamy during Joseph Smith’s time (and even years later) were secretive about practicing polygamy and would even lie that they were living it.
      4) There are affidavits after affidavits of men and women who testified in the late 1800s that Joseph Smith did live polygamy.
      5) Oliver Cowdery’s letter to his brother referring to Joseph’s dirty affair with Fanny Alger. The 2nd charge of Oliver Cowdery’s excommunication was that he was accused Joseph of adultery.
      6) Even as early as 1831-2, allegations were being made that Mormons were practicing polygamy which caused the Mormons to repeatedly have to make public denials of such practices.
      7) John C. Bennett and William Law accused him of it and printed a newspaper with their evidences to that effect. I list this last, because it is true that as apostates they had a strong bias against Joseph, which certainly affected their writing style and probably the content of their writing.

      • AV says:

        I find it absolutely amazing that anyone could actually believe that a true Prophet of God, with true Christlike love in his heart, especially for his wife, could do the things many accuse Joseph of doing.

        Such as, running around after teenagers, (let alone 70 year old leaders later on doing it) behind his wife’s back, or in front of, lying constantly, threatening his wife to go along with it or else, marrying women he could never afford to take care of or meet all the needs of, thus subjecting women to a life of abuse, neglect, constant pain & loneliness.

        And most telling of all, he would never want done to him (let alone would he put up with) what he was doing to & asking of these women, if the tables were turned.

        I don’t believe for a minute that Christ or his true prophets or disciples would do such horrific things to women & children. If God ever commanded such things he would cease to be God.

        What righteous woman with an ounce of self-respect would believe in or listen to or accept such a man who would do or even suggest such disgusting abusive things.

        One things for sure, Satan’s prophets would definitely do all the above to women & he would encourage all men to do the same. Satan loves polygamy & has been trying to get all men & women to live it since the beginning of time

        Since when are God & Satan on the same team?

      • rockwaterman1 says:

        I’m beginning to realize, John, that you have not delved very deeply into this topic, as the claims you put forth as evidence have long ago been asked and answered and you appear unaware of it. I don’t think it fruitful for us to continue to hijack this thread since it’s apparent you are not aware of the research and findings presented in Richard and Pamela Prices’ two volume work “Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy.” Until you are ready to confront the things presented there, this dialogue between us will go unresolved.

        You contend, for instance that because men close to the prophet practiced polygamy, that proves he did also. But are you aware of his public announcement that he knew that men close to him were secretly practicing it, and of his vow to rout them out? And funny thing about this “prophecy given to Joseph commanding the brethren to marry Native American wives”; no one seems to have actually seen that prophecy.

        Joseph brought John Bennett up on charges of teaching and practicing Spiritual Wifery, resulting in this second most prominent man in Nauvoo kicked out of the church and leaving the city in disgrace, yet you consider this man’s ranting “expose” credible source material? As Doctor Robert D. Foster said of Bennett, “He tried to father all his own iniquity upon Joseph Smith.”

        I have seen a photo reproduction of the Cowdery letter. I suppose taken out of context, those few words might lead someone who had not read the letter to believe Oliver Cowdery was commenting on something he had first hand knowledge of. It proves no such thing.

        You state, “Everyone who was living polygamy during Joseph Smith’s time (and even years later) were secretive about practicing polygamy and would even lie that they were living it.” Exactly. That was what Joseph Smith was so worked up about. This cancer, introduced by a faction of converts who had been practicing it before they joined, had taken root in the City of the Saints, and the prophet made vigorous denunciations of it and vowed to eradicate it. It might benefit you to read the many public renunciations of polygamy made by Joseph Smith himself, rather than depending upon the rumors, hearsay, and gossip of those determined to attach his name to it in order to give legitimacy to their own crimes.

        And now I hope we can get this thread back on topic.

    • Rock,

      Yes it appears we have hijacked the thread and for that I apologize and this will be my last post on the topic here.

      It is true that I have not read “Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy.” Just because I haven’t read every book on a topic does not mean I haven’t studied the topic. I have studied it, although admittedly I’ve studied it as if it were a true doctrine taught by Joseph Smith. This idea that Joseph Smith didn’t practice polygamy is rather new to me, although I had been aware that Emma and the RLDS church believed he didn’t live it. I had just written that off as Emma trying to protect her sons from the perceived injustices of the polygamy that she herself endured.

      You wrote:
      “You contend, for instance that because men close to the prophet practiced polygamy, that proves he did also. But are you aware of his public announcement that he knew that men close to him were secretly practicing it, and of his vow to rout them out? And funny thing about this “prophecy given to Joseph commanding the brethren to marry Native American wives”; no one seems to have actually seen that prophecy.”

      Note that I did not say I was providing proof. I was providing circumstantial evidence. I understand that circumstantial evidence isn’t enough to convict a man, but hopefully it is enough to get a case opened or re-opened.

      You wrote:
      “I have seen a photo reproduction of the Cowdery letter. I suppose taken out of context, those few words might lead someone who had not read the letter to believe Oliver Cowdery was commenting on something he had first hand knowledge of. It proves no such thing.”

      It appears you have found at least one legitimate contemporary source.

      You wrote:
      “It might benefit you to read the many public renunciations of polygamy made by Joseph Smith himself, rather than depending upon the rumors, hearsay, and gossip of those determined to attach his name to it in order to give legitimacy to their own crimes.”

      I don’t think I’d personally benefit from that since I’ve already seen many of Joseph’s public denunciations of polygamy. It is what I would expect. If I was commanded by God to live a lifestyle which the society that surrounded me detested and thought was of the devil, I too would lie to protect myself, my family, and my church and I would see no sin in doing so. We see through a glass darkly and we certainly don’t know everything God commanded Joseph to do. The only way we ever will is if we get the Holy Ghost and endure to the end.

      I think the fulness of the gospel is very much like what John the Revelator described:
      “And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.”
      (Revelation 10:10)

      When you first learn about truth it is sweet, but eventually you have to come to grips with implementing it in your life. That’s the digestion of the truth. It can be very bitter, but it is for our good, so we must endure it if we are to be crowned valiant.

      And now back to your regularly scheduled program…

  93. Kael says:

    Seems the topic of the prophetic has veered into a discussion about polygamy, and understandably so given the history of the LDS church. Hopefully, you won’t mind too much if I kinda bring the topic back around to President Monson and whether he has a prophetic gift and can be called a prophet..
    What I see that concerns me, with those in the LDS church, especially out in Utah, is the closed-mindedness towards those with prophetic gifts, and healing gifts. My experience, having lived in Utah and in various states along the east coast, is that where members have to “defend” their faith in Christ -as they understand from scripture (including the BofM) – the stronger they are in their faith and understanding, and their compassion for all people. The eastern members tended to recognize and welcome spiritual discussions about gifts. Those in Utah feared them as if they’d become castrated (or at least excommunicated) for admitting that there are others outside of their own faith that have prophetic gifts (or any of the spiritual gifts mentioned in scripture).
    Here’s an example of what I mean: Take a look at some of the prophetic words of Rick Joyner, or the incredible mission of Heidi and Roland Baker! There are many other people like Rick and the Bakers in the world, what of them? Tell me- if you are a member in Utah what you think: Are they not as anointed or as much a prophet (or more) as Thomas Monson? Now ask the same question of a member that lives east of the Mississippi.
    Perhaps I’m being overly judgmental of Utah members, so forgive me of my perspective. I would love to have it corrected, and not just about Utah LDS, but about what members think in general about daily spiritual healing and prophetic word.

  94. AV says:

    Kael,

    I agree with you. I believe there is far more ‘true revelation from God’ coming from those ‘outside’ the Church then ‘inside’ it.

    Especially since it appears that the Church has been in apostasy since the days of Joseph, & it’s Priesthood leaders have lost the keys & their Priesthood for preaching & practicing whoredoms & abominations.

    Only a few righteous individuals today, in & out of the Church, posses Priesthood power, which comes because of a person’s personal righteousness. The Priesthood is God’s power of pure love. But the ‘authority’ to do certain things with that ‘power’, may have to be restored when Christ returns.

    I have always noticed that religious ‘non-members’ love to discuss the Gospel outside of church as they go about their daily lives, far more than most LDS seem to want to.

    • rockwaterman1 says:

      Getting back on Topic, I agree with Kael. Members of the church, seeing absolutely no evidence of the gifts within the Church, still somehow vigorously deny the possibility that the spirit could be working outside of our little club. So complete is the conditioning that we are the only ones with “the truth”, that even when our prophet produces no revelations whatsoever, the majority of our members are convinced that he is receiving revelations every day. The arrogance of the latter-day Saints is astounding.

  95. rockwaterman1 says:

    Zomarah, the book John Peterson linked to above, Scott Faulring’s “The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith” is the source of the quote from Van Wagoner I provided above, and which is in my piece on polygamy at Pure Mormonism.. I don’t own that book, but you’ll notice Van Wagoner uses ellipses within the quote. Hopefully Faulring fills in whatever was in those blanks, if pertinent.

  96. I FINALLY FOUND WHAT WE HAVE ALL BEEN LOOKING FOR!!
    Here is evidence of Thomas Monson prophesying long before he was made president of the C-hurt-ch and without even being aware that he was doing it.
    This little clip is simultaneously prophetic and pathetic….and it therefore teaches volumes!

    Listen as Thomas pledges his life to be what other people want him to be.
    Check it out and let me know what yall feel and think.

  97. Deg says:

    Very good article! If you are honest with yourself, you will have your own witness.

    I’ve received a personal witness regarding Christ, the Book of Mormon, and the organization of the Church. The President is a Prophet because we as members of the Church sustain him in this capacity. Hence we as member of the Church have appointed the President and the Apostles, and we are to pray to God to allow him to be our Channel of communication with Christ.

    Therefore we should pray to God to allow him to have such fruits for the benefit of the Church and for the whole world to know that there is a true Prophet on the face of the earth.

  98. Is it just me or does this blog post show up as the first Google search result for the search “thomas s monson prophecies”?

    My 2nd and 3rd results are:

    Prophecy of LDS (Mormon) Prophet Thomas S. Monson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u1_LQYFT9Q

    Beware The Failing Dollar – Prophecy Fulfilled?

    I don’t find much prophecy in either. Maybe somebody who does could point it out.

    • Toni says:

      Yep. This post/thread, followed by two videos.

    • Gotta admit, that’s a pretty good line Monson got in there. But a prophecy? No. That’s what one calls a humerus observation.

      • Given the popularity of this post, I’m kind of surprised there aren’t many more like it… at least with any sizable audience. I don’t know why this defining feature of the LDS church isn’t questioned more. It’s as if modern Israelites have become as the Israelites of old. They tell Moses to go and speak with God face to face because they are too unworthy (i.e. unwilling to do the hard work to make themselves worthy). The only problem is, they assume their Moses actually speaks to God. Not knowing God for themselves, they can’t do anything but assume.

  99. jon says:

    We pay 10% of our income to the church contrary to the scriptures. The investment income that comes from this money goes to make people rich.

    What are you talking about here?

    The book “Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression” is a great book in the sense that it brings back the matter to ourselves, whose to blame? Me. Who should I focus on fixing? Me. How do I help others? By being a good example and sharing what others are willing to hear. Should we do more than that? Sure, but until those first things are done we do not have liberty since we wouldn’t be taking responsibility of ourselves.

  100. While I differ with Gileadi in some respect in his interpretations of earlier verses of Isaiah 10, his analysis of verses 7-10 are quite eye opening.

    He says of verse 8:
    “Tables, also in the book of Isaiah is a rhetorical link to tablets, which is the same word in Hebrew. The tablets allude to the word of God. One learns truth through writing on tablets. This alludes to the idea that what the people are getting to eat, spiritually, is vomit. It’s something that’s partly digested and vomited up for consumption. It’s not pure unadulterated truth; it’s just superficially digested stuff. I think of some inspirational reading in that light. Some of it is so superficial and doesn’t really get to the heart of anything. And people think that that’s it. That is alluded to here, that in fact they aren’t getting revelation, instruction from the Lord directly, they’re getting it from material that other people have vomited up. Their version, their half-digested material.”

    Does this sound like any talks you’ve heard lately?

    http://isaiahexplained.com/Lessons/Isa-28/player.html

  101. Today they are grooming him for the sacrifice…Fattening up his ego for his 85th birthday…focussing millions on his ‘Golden Days’…so that while Thomas and his adoring fans are caught in a nostalgic trance…they may take advantage of a New (Black) Moon to lend power to their ends and bring Monson like a lamb, steadily to the slaughter. They are calling it ‘Golden Days’ – ‘A Celebration of Life’….BUT…Retrospect for Life ….is not necessarily Respect for Life….

    Eyes to See and Ears to Hear will percieve the intentions behind the deceptive title….Its more like Fri. Aug. 17th 2012 – Dark Nights – A Preparation for Death.

    http://www.lds.org/church/events/golden-days-event-to-celebrate-president-monsons-85th-birthday?lang=eng
    They are very shrewd and you know that they stand to make money off of this production in the future. Just like with Gordon B. Hinckley – Man of Integrity….or the aptly titled ‘ThIS IS It!’ (notice the word ISIS veiled between the two TTowers) video of Michael Jackson…or more recently with this ‘Sparkle’ movie featuring Whitney Houston.

    The Hunger Games ….a movie that foreshadows the Secret Combination’s plans for Monson and the Mormon people…is also set to release on dvd already….at midnight, a few hours after the president praising ceremonies end….the movie hit theatres the day after Monson performed the opening ceremonies for the huge City Creek Center Mall funded by The Church.

  102. I’ve heard from several sources that Elder Russell M. Nelson has announced to a number of Stake Presidents that President Thomas M. Monson has received a revelation that will affect every man, woman, and child in the church. This revelation is supposed to be announced in the upcoming general conference.

    (Denver Snuffer, Sunday, September 23, 2012, Upcoming General Conference

    • Toni says:

      You beat me to it, LDSA. I’ve heard from 3 or 4 different sources, now.

      So, Zomarah, you may soon have the revelation you asked for.

      Or it could be a policy change.

      This weekend, we will know. Hopefully, it will be said in plain terms, aka, plainly stated that this is a revelation from God.

      I don’t recall a revelation ever being touted in this manner. But, what do I know?

  103. Toni says:

    Well, there was an announcement, all right, but I did not hear the word “revelation” anywhere. It worked in other countries so they (apparently prayerfully) decided to make it church-wide. Worthy young men go on missions at age 18, if they have graduated from high school. Young women can go at age 19.

    I think this is great! I really do. What I don’t see is where it was a “revelation” though it may fall under “inspiration”. Still, they did it because it worked in other countries. Maybe not a “pilot program” but had the same effect.

  104. The follow-up by Denver Snuffer:

    General conference is now over. I listened with interest to the many talks and the few announcements. Here is what I noticed:

    The word “revelation” was not used to describe the change to missionary age requirements during the conference.

    Immediately following the Saturday morning session where President Monson made the announcement, there was a press conference. The press conference was conducted by Elder Holland and Elder Nelson. In the conference the words used, if my memory is correct, were “revelatory process.”

    The only other speaker that I recall mentioning the process was Elder Cook. The word he used was either “inspired” or “inspiration.” Again, I am just going from memory.

    As a result of the foregoing, the conclusion I find the most interesting is that Elder Nelson was willing to use the word “revelation” in meetings with stake presidents and mission presidents, but did not use that word in the press conference. It is interesting to me that a much stronger word would be used in private meetings.

  105. Sadly this is clearly a policy change, and not a revelation. As Zo-Ma-Rah has so eloquently stated above, a revelation is when God actually speaks to someone, and then they write down the Lord’s actual words. In this case a type of pilot program was found practical and the president of a corporation approved the finding of a committee that changing a corporate policy would have a beneficial effect. I applaud the change, and I think it will cut back on Dear John letters to hapless elders in a dramatic way. It will also create a surge of troops into the missionary program, but to call it a revelation is to conflate the definitions of inspiration, prompting, “felt good about it”, reasonable, approved and a host of other words into the word “Revelation” simply because we have a tradition that the one making this announcement is supposed to be able to receive revelations. Such a vain tradition being used to subvert the plain meaning of a word is silly at best, evidence of apostasy and conspiracy at worst. Here is a simple “gut check” test you can use on any purported revelation:
    1: does it claim to be quoting God?
    2: would it be called a revelation regardless of who said it? for example:
    3: would it be a false revelation if it were not true, but still something you would use the word “revelation” for such as the claims to divine revelation made by Jim Jones?

    If I couldn’t have walked up to you before conference and said the same thing “The policy should be changed so that women can serve missions at a younger age.” and you would not have said: “Praise the Lord, you are a true prophet, when did you receive this revelation?” then it should not be regarded differently just because the person saying it has a different calling in the church than I do. Besides, to know something is called inspiration, to quote or reveal, the actual words of God is called a revelation. These two should be distinct to anyone who has read the article above, or a dictionary for that matter.

  106. Per Nordin says:

    Thank you Sir, for your very well researched and well written piece.
    I have only one observational question, which you do touch upon, but do not expand on:
    Is not what you write true of all presidents of the church after Joseph Smith?
    Has any president of the church since Joseph Smith 1) openly and publicly claimed himself to be an actual prophet of god? Gordon B Hinkley was asked in some news interviews “Are you a prophet?” and never once answered “Yes”, but avoided the answer by replying “I have been sustained as such” When the interviewer asked “But are you an actual prophet?” he again gave the same reply. Is that the reply of someone called by God to proclaim the restored gospel to the world? And 2) Has anyone (save – I think it was – Joseph Fielding Smith) came with any prophesy (JFS’s being that man will never set foot on the moon)?

    • The heading of D&C Section 136 reads:
      “The word and will of the Lord, given through President Brigham Young at Winter Quarters, the camp of Israel, Omaha Nation, on the west bank of the Missouri River, near Council Bluffs, Iowa (see Journal History of the Church, 14 Jan. 1847).”

      The heading of D&C Section 138 reads:
      “A vision given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 3 October 1918. In his opening address at the 89th Semiannual General Conference of the Church, on 4 October 1918, President Smith declared that he had received several divine communications during the previous months. …”

      This makes Joseph F. Smith the last canonized prophet.

    • Of course if you’re just looking for someone who claimed to be the Prophet since Joseph Smith, there are many. A few of the early ones: Sidney Rigdon, James Strang, Joseph Smith III, and Benjamin F. Johnson.

  107. The Prophet says:

    If Thomas Monson is a false Prophet and Denver Snuffer is supposedly in the arms of Christ then why don’t all of the Snufferites grow a pair and proclaim their man as the true Prophet of God. Surely if Mr Snuffer is having private audiences with The Lord, he could ask what Christ would like him to do with regard to organizing a Church and revealing the word of The Lord to the people.

    • Denver Snuffer is probably a shill, paid by President Monson. He’s lke Glenn Beck: He’s right MOST of the time, but VERY WRONG on a few things (those few things being of MAJOR IMPORTANCE). Paid opposition. Controlled opposition.

      • Toni says:

        John Colttharp, you are a really strange puppy. Which side of your imagination did you pull that out of, I wonder? (Don’t bother to answer. I won’t understand your great and deeply intelligent reply.)

    • Toni says:

      Denver Snuffer was not asked by Jesus to start a church. Neither were most scriptural prophets.

      Brother Snuffer has some parameters around him and in stays within those parameters. He neither has a right to, nor a desire for being a leader of a church. His prophetic call is simply to cry repentance, to point to Christ, and to warn that we are about to lose what we think we have.

      If you want to fight against/argue with the parameters that the great Jehovah has set around Brother Snuffer, take it up with Him, yourself, instead of making snide comments about people and things you know very little (if not nothing) about.

  108. Read our book, “The Great and Most Abominable: The Prophetic Cleansing of the Mormon Church” at http://www.mormonstruth.org to learn about the “liars, hypocrites, prophets, apostles and bishops and their counselors (D&C 64) who have much need for repentance!

  109. Miguelito says:

    Bizarre article.

    As one who struggles with his “testimony” I find this truly unhelpful.

    Do you say these kinds of things in your priesthood meetings?

    Couldn’t these things be said of almost every president of the church since Joseph Smith?

  110. Jen says:

    I really like this post. Wish I had more time to read all of them. I appreciate your sincere and loving approach.

  111. Tachikoma says:

    GREAT article. I’ve long since struggled with this but i am just now close to 30 trying to reconcile this. It has bothered me greatly that most “prophets” since Joseph Smith have more or less completely failed to do anything prophet like. you see thanks to God i have many spiritual gifts that grant me access to the supernatural spiritual world and combined with a sure-fire knowledge that Christ is real i take quite literally the ability to see and do things that are very much like the priesthood should operate. see angels, perform miracles and other such things. so it appalls me that

    1. our prophets since Joseph Smith really just seem to token prophets. they really don’t fulfill the role
    2. the priesthood(Gods Divine Power) seems to relegated to blessing the sacrament(incorrectly i might add which thanks to a link in the comments here i discovered apparently we are all supposed to kneel while blessing and taking the sacrament which was just shocking to hear it says this in TWO places in scripture) and giving blessings of comfort or setting people apart. its really sad what the priesthood has been reduced to.

    this has bothered me greatly. quite frankly i am sad to say you likely right. the current 15 general authorities appear to be nothing more than a sham although i dont think they are all in on it and are all bad i suspect some truly are trying to follow Christ but simply cant live up to their “special witness” status and i’d suspect the rest are merely Judas in disguise. I have prayed about that and seems to my general thought on the matter that God is just going along with it because we are a stubborn people and he promised Joseph that He’d keep the priesthood and church around. that being said this church is Gods church and He will do with has He sees fit. however its still rather hard to make attendance to a church that is lead by false prophets a priority.

    honestly I will say it is rather difficult to reconcile this. being taught this my whole life and to really see the church barenaked is quite an alarming thing. honestly if it wasn’t for my previous sure fire knowledge Christ is real i would said screw it and be done with it.

    all that said the one parallel i hadn’t thought of drawing was you are right on the money with this. prophets are usually despised, hanged, cast out, tortured and everything else yet this lot in power now are LOVED by everyone which has always been a sign of False prophets. i’d call one exception to that….the 200-300 years that the nephites in third or fourth(cant remember which) Nephi were peaceful and followed The Lord. that being said that is the most striking comparison(cant figure out why i never noticed that? mormon church brain washing i suspect) that not only do these guys fail to act like prophets they arent even hated like prophets are 99% of the time. i suppose i confused them being hated with the church being hated. it seems they are loved but the church is hated and i suspect people confuse that i know being mormon carries a stigma to it.

    such a shame the truth is corrupted and we follow a blind “seer”. maybe one day we’ll wake up. we shall see i suppose.

  112. Richard says:

    @John Peterson

    I decided I should tell you that I appreciated how good your March 25, 2012 reply was to AV after I asked him about Patriarchy.

    His attempt to turn the scriptures into supporting his anti-patriarchal ideas is amazing. The next step down that road is to rewrite the scriptures to reject Christarchy– there is not one Savior and King over us.

    He seems to fear the Peace Maker pamphlet, which Joseph did condemn in print. Others said that Joseph actually wrote the Peace Maker. I don’t know, but I would bet Joseph only condemned it because many outside the Anointed Quorum could not accept it, and he did not want to set up a stumbling block for them by pushing it before they were prepared for such “meat”.

    Overall, the “Peace Maker” simply expounds Bible marriage laws. So rejecting it is really just rejecting the Bible. Parts of it are not well written, but it does have some really impressive parts.

    The only original thing it says is that the Fornication that justifies Divorce is fornication against the “government” of the husband. In other words, the “alienation” of a wife from the government of her husband.

    Since she comes under his government in marriage, if she truly is fully alienated from his government, then she should have the right to leave the marriage. It is not fair to keep her in a government she hates. Thus divorce is justified in that case. But if the husband stops liking her, that is NOT a justifiable cause for divorce.

    Read the Peace Maker to understand this better.

    Here is a link to it:
    http://www.2bc.info/pdf/PeaceMaker.pdf

    If you want a version with verse numbers here it is:
    http://www.2bc.info/pdf/Peace%20Maker%20Part%20and%20Verse.pdf

    • AV says:

      Richard,

      I decided to just end the discussion back then because I could tell you firmly believed in your ideas about ‘men ruling over women’ and no amount of discussion would make a difference. So I decided it was best to just agree to disagree.

      And as I suspected, you do like the ideas in ‘The Peacemaker’. But again, we disagree on whether Joseph believed in it or not.

      I know that true prophets and Christ do not believe in ‘the Peacemaker’ ideas, or polygamy or the idea that men rule over women in any way. I know that Christ believes in women’s full equality and power and authority in all things, and that he even put his own wife, a woman, as the ‘head’ Apostle, which the Apostles didn’t like either.

    • AV says:

      I mean’t to say that I knew ‘John’ believed in the Peacemaker, as I see you do too, and that’s why I ended my discussion with him. For once a man believes such things, I have never found it possible to convert them otherwise.

  113. Paul Bobo says:

    As per the article, we can clearly state that Jesus Christ was not a prophet, Seer or Revelator. There is absolutely no evidence that Christ ever published ANY of his teachings, prophecies or revelations during his lifetime. In fact, the gospels in the bible (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John), were written and distributed many years after his crucifixion, and do not claim to quote him directly, but are merely paraphrases of what the authors think they remember (which is why the books don’t align or match precisely). Being called to be a prophet sometimes only means that you have the capacity to receive revelation if and only if God so desires. Since, for example, there was a prophet from Lehi to Moroni,continuously, why isn’t every prophecy and revelation recorded and published? Maybe The Lord wants his people to follow the already revealed prophecies before giving more. The author needs to check his p’s and q’s.

    • jenheadjen says:

      Of all the follow-up comments I’ve received in my inbox since I commented months ago, this is the most bizarre and the most arrogant, enough that I feel inclined to comment. The article shows you the Jesus was not a prophet, seer or revelator? Where is the evidence within that you speak of, or are you implying that Jesus should have likewise written on metal plates or some other substance that would last perfectly for 2,000 years? And because we, two millenia later, don’t have HIS published books that it didn’t happen? And because the prophecies of each prophet from Lehi to Moroni aren’t printed in our current copies of the Book of Mormon, that they weren’t written at all? It sounds like you’re judging history from an awful short viewpoint of your lifetime. I agree – if more people studied revealed prophecies we might actually have more. But in the 180ish years since Joseph received the condemnation of the saints not adequately studying the Book of Mormon, we have yet to have someone given the remainder of the plates, among other writings of lost peoples. Why are our conferences not spent in diving into the Book of Mormon in a way that reveals mysteries of heaven? Why are we not encouraged to live the law of consecration? Why are we told to seek Zion where we are, when it was to be a gathering? Just odd questions that I hope a living prophet will answer someday, but I don’t expect it in General Conference. But I will sit obediently at my tv waiting upon every word to hear it.

      Anyone who reads more than one post on this site will know that Zomarah is a seeker of truth, as we all should be. While he may point out that what we are receiving from Salt Lake does not appear to him to be what many think it is, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. What if he’s right? What if you’re worshiping a prophet so much that it offends you that a fellow saint would point out that what he’s seeing is not in conformity with scripture? And many will say, “A Bible, A Bible, we have got a Bible and need no more Bible!” Sounds like you’ve got a Bible too, and you need no more Bible. But that’s just my p’s and q’s. I doubt Zomarah will take the time to answer, but if you humble yourself as much as he has, you might find that he just might be right.

      • Paul Bobo says:

        As your reply clearly shows, you do agree with me. Just because we have no evidence that Christ, or any other prophet, DID record their prophecies, does not conclusively prove that he did not have revelations and prophecies. That many of said prophecies are recorded, and published, does not require that all of them are recorded and published.

        Since all true blue members of the church (including those that are not yet members) MUST receive revelation(s) from God (see Moroni 10:3-5), we are all prophets. Recording and publishing each and every one of them is not done, yet does not change the status nor the importance of the revealed truth.

        Molly Mormons who never “question” the directions of our inspired leaders, and fail to get on their knees and ask our Father in Heaven for the same revelation are spiritually negligent in their priesthood and spiritual responsibilities (too many scriptural references to quote in this very brief response). Only in this way can we truly support and sustain our called leaders. Following blindly is not showing faith, asking questions of God and receiving revelation from him is the sure sign of faith and obedience.

        I thoroughly enjoy the thoughtful article(s) on this blog. However we all, including me, need to mind our p’s & q’s. (from mathematical logic–if p, then q).

        Thank you.

        Paul C. Bobo

        Sent from my iPad

      • Richard says:

        quote “Molly Mormons who never “question” the directions of our inspired leaders, and fail to get on their knees and ask our Father in Heaven for the same revelation are spiritually negligent in their priesthood and spiritual responsibilities…”

        Not everyone in the church agrees with you Paul. In a Patriarchal Blessing I have seen it is taught that the Prophet is to never be questioned:

        http://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28392&p=397633#p397633

      • Paul Bobo says:

        Semantics.

        Asking a question, or receiving spiritual confirmation is entirely different than doubting, or refusing to believe because you are learned and think you are wise. No TRUE believer would ever promote Blind faith.

        Sent from my iPad

      • AV says:

        Richard,

        You seem to be assuming that ‘patriarchal blessings’ can’t be wrong, or that church leaders can’t be wrong or that the Church can’t be wrong or untrue. If I were you I would reconsider those ideas and follow true prophets who say “prove all things’ by study & prayer, before you put them in them, especially those who call themselves prophets.

        Mere Church & world history prove that prophets can fall and have fallen and led people & churches astray and still do today, even in the Church. Prophets have the same agency to sin & lead people astray as anyone else. It’s our test in this life to see if we will ourselves be deceived & led astray by falsehoods or false prophets, or if we will study & pray and be Christlike enough to maintain the Spirit so we aren’t led astray and can discern truth from error on our own, as easy as telling the night from the day.

        Of course false prophets will say they ‘can’t lead you or the Church astray’, they teach that falsehood in most major religions, what would we expect them to say?

        But true prophets like Joseph & Moroni, say ‘Don’t just listen to me, for I could be wrong, go study & pray about Christ’s teachings on your own & compare them with what I say, to see if what I say is true or not.” When we do this we easily see who are true or false prophets.

        But most people don’t want to have to do their own homework. Blind obedience and believing the idea ‘that prophets can’t lead us astray’ sounds so much easier, that’s why most people fall for it.

  114. Richard says:

    It is NOT semantics in this Patriarchal Blessing. It is clearly advocating for an idolatrous worship of the Church President. Did you follow the link and read it?

    • Paul Bobo says:

      Which link? I read the article about President Monson, found it very interesting and thought provoking, and merely questioned some of the authors basic premises. If his premises were correct, then his learned logic is good and at the least worthy of discussion and honest and forthright prayer and personal revelation. In a later blog, the author admitted that we are all prophets, which then negates some (not all) of his premises. Regardless, I applaud his thoughtful commentary and leave my final answers to the spirit of revelation according to my faith and testimony in Jesus Christ as the final authority of truth and understanding.

      In this original article, there was no reference, nor link to anyone’s Patriarchal Blessing. Hence, I can give no opinion of any statement regarding or alluding to idolatry of any man. Even if I did see a supposed blessing stating such, how would one prove its accuracy and/or truthfulness. Anyone can say anything on the Internet, or do you really believe the “blonde” in the commercial is dating a “French Model?”

      Get real

      Base your comments on scriptures, like the author of the article in question.

      Paul C. Bobo

      Sent from my iPad

  115. dallon j says:

    i know this is late, but that seer stone you have next to the picture of joseph looking at the plates translating is actually the peyote stone he had. we dont know if he ever received any revelations through it, but it is clearly in the shape of a peyote button, and he recieved it from a lamanite.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/70399796/Restoration-and-the-Sacred-Mushroom

  116. Leila says:

    I enjoy reeading a post that will make men and women think.
    Also, thank you for allowing for mme to comment!

  117. JRSG says:

    My eyes were opened during my mission. The church definately no longer follows (or operates) the way it was set up by the revelations given to Joseph Smith. Examples: voting our conscious, church courts, disclosure, tithing, seeking truth and much more.
    I do believe this is still Christ’s church but not all is well.

    • whereiszion says:

      Sadly Christ never did start a “Church.” Not anciently, not in Modern times. He set the pattern (in the myth) by withdrawing from the dominant religion in his neighborhood—was effectively excommunicated because of his counter-culture actions and stance. He also made it pretty clear (again in the myth) that he encouraged going directly to the source, rather than dealing with middle men. Of course, he did encourage helping people, as well…and he supported fairness and honesty and really got pissed off at cheats. There are too many antithetical, contradictory notions in the so-called scripture for them to be God-authored…or for them to be anything but the ravings of often well meaning, but sadly impotent, and sometimes evil, cruel men. God, on the other hand, can actually deal quite effectively and convincingly with men and women, boys and girls, when they are left to His devices…rather than getting them mixed up with some man-made “church.” I can’t help but wonder, though, how Adam and Eve (according to the myth) would have made out they had had a church to go to in the Garden of Eden…instead of dealing directly with Satan and God.

      • Heber Frank says:

        You do have to throw out the scriptures to say Christ never started a church. Matthew 16:18 says: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” D&C 1:30 says: “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this CHURCH, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, …” I do not find the scriptures to be like you describe them. I find them incomplete, but very very consistent and meaningful in what they do say.

      • whereiszion says:

        Yup. I regard scripture as “incomplete” remembrances of subjective experiences, at best, or outright fabrications, at worst. When I was a younger man I actually believed a lot of what people told me; when it became clear that nobody knew a freaking thing about much of anything that mattered, I put away childish things and got more involved with the source of reliable information—God. These days, I reckon that the historical, doctrinal, and practical inconsistencies of so-called scripture are so blatant that any attempt to rely on them as being authoritative defines a person as a fairytale character in a fairytale world. Don’t get me wrong; there is great value in fiction IMHO. I love the storyteller’s art. But fiction IS fiction, and one should not get confused. The curious fiction that Jesus actually started a church anciently suffers from its almost immediate inadequacies and failures; and the latter-day fiction doesn’t fair any better. The God of nature tells far better stories, with far greater integrity, than do men and women as they attempt to tell you about the Big Dark. And to suppose that one needs a church any more than one needs a Bridge club or a circle of friends is downright dangerous (consider the sordid history of the terrible things that have been done, and are being done, in the name of “church.”) And to also suppose that God needs to speak to one man so that he can speak to others on the former’s behalf is pure poppycock and merely serves to aggrandize or flatter the man in the middle and mess up everybody else. Any God worth His salt wouldn’t want you to worship Him in the first place (I mean, who would want to worship a God that would want you to worship Him?) And any god that is God is certainly capable of addressing directly (should He so desire) any creature He has so intricately and amazingly defined and fashioned from the elements and energies of His own private universe. So, no, the testament of the scriptures is nothing but a historical curiosity to me; listening to the voice of God speaking directly to me in conversation, and so forth, in the various ways God has chosen daily to speak, is a much better choice…and bespeaks the efficiency in communication I have come to associate with my best and dearest friend.

  118. AV says:

    whereiszion,

    Great comments! Whether Christ intended to set up a Church or not, really doesn’t matter at this point, for if their ever was a ‘true’ church in his day or in Joseph Smith’s day, it definitely doesn’t exist today. The LDS Church is as corrupt as any Church ever was.

    The LDS teaching that ‘prophets can’t lead us astray’ just produces blind unthinking followers, who would do anything they were told to do, even if it was contrary what Christ taught, which it often is, yet they still do it. Amazing. Hardly anyone looks to see if the Church leaders are contradicting Christ, which they frequently do, yet few seem to care. They should at least change the name of the Church to ‘The Church of Brigham Young’ or ‘The Church or Thomas S. Monson’.

    Few ‘prove all things and persons’ anymore as Christ commanded. Thus they don’t realize that past prophets like Joseph Smith and Christ’s ancient Apostles taught that we must compare the teachings of any church leader or prophet or person to what Christ taught, to see if they are an imposter or not. Today few even think it’s possible for an imposter to get into Church leadership, let alone be led by false prophets. Sadly, thinking it’s all impossible is the worst blind obedience of all, but just what the Adversary ordered.

    But one thing is certain, Christ taught that we all could and should be a disciple or prophet of Christ. No one needs a Church or church leader to do that. They can read, study, pray and live the words of Christ themselves.

    And Christ even told us how to tell a true disciple/prophet from a false one, (though very few ever bother to) by whether or not they had/have perfect unconditional Christlike love or not, especially for their spouse. It seems almost impossible to find anyone with such love today, especially in the LDS Church where they preach and practice so contrary to Christ’s teachings.

  119. Jerry Noble says:

    Well done. Great read. I’m curious, have you subjected your own priesthood power to the same scrutiny? If so, I’d love to hear what you were able to do, as a priesthood holder, that an individual without such power could not.

  120. whereiszion says:

    I’ve deliberately forgotten what the word “priesthood” means. It seems to me that it is no more than a vestige word, left over from more superstitious times when men and women still thought it was better that one man tell another man what God wanted him and all the women to do. Which, of course, it poppy-cock to an extreme degree,knowing now that God can and will speak directly to whomever (He) (She) (It) wants.

  121. Kevin says:

    An excellent, charitable exploration of the question of modern prophethood, Zo-ma-rah. President Monson failing the test of the fruits is not unique to him. When I prepared last year’s Gospel Doctrine Lesson 42 on continuing revelation I came to realize that few if any of Joseph Smith’s successors left us accounts of revelations or visions. I was astonished that the lesson manual spent a great deal of effort touting Correlation as an example of continuing revelation. Having listened to LDS anthropologist, Damon Smith, describing the history of Correlation I’m inclined not to believe the program is anything other than a comprehensive management strategy. That President McKay and his counselors were vehemently opposed to it only strengthens my belief in it’s human origins.

    For my lesson I sidestepped the questionable premise of an abundance of continuing revelation and focussed on the joy of revelation in general. We explored the spectrum of revelatory communication and Elder Benar’s classic discourse on revelation, mulling over Oliver Cowdery’s apparent revelations that he wasn’t even aware of and what that implies for us and church leaders. I finished up with a statement that probably startled some in the class but didn’t get me kicked out of the calling: “Revelation is a gift to all of us, not just our church leaders. Unless they receive a special gift like Joseph Smith did, the leaders of the church experience revelation and inspiration the same way we do. Like the story of Nephi struggling to get the brass plates, for instance, President Kimball struggled for years trying to resolve the issue of the blacks receiving the priesthood.”

  122. Kay Dee says:

    Bosh to the notion that the current LDS leaders receive revelation. The Lord views them all as “Money Changers” since the days of Brigham Young. Award-winning LDS historian, D. Michael Quinn documents that Joseph Smith began his repentance and repented of polygamy (“accursed false revelation”) as he admitted that he had followed his “own will and carnal desires” (D&C 3:1-11). He told President Marks to excommunicate anyone that continued to practice this false revelation (“some revelation comes from God, some comes from man, and some revelations come from Lucifer” as taught by Joseph Smith). He also instructed the Seventies to “remove their Masonic garments” (Quinn, Origins ~ many confirming reports on this). Joseph did not wear any garments when he was shot, but top Mason and cousin to Brigham Young, Willard Richard did wear his garments and a heavy coat (to hide his gun) in the hot/humid summer months in the jail. Richard’s later became the church historian and altered documents and fabricated the other versions of Joseph’s First Vision, the story of the mantle descending upon Brigham (put out by Willard’s wife!, etc.) Why did Joseph jump out of a window and cry for help from the non-Mormon Masons?
    Who benefited from the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith (designated next-in-line leader). Answer: top Mason Brigham Young, who communicated with top British Mason and founder of the KKK, Albert Pike. In Pike’s book, he declares that he communicates daily with Lucifer! (Morals and Dogma).
    At the same time as the take-over occurred in the Carthage jail, Hosea Stout, another “Danite Warrior” for Brigham was acting as a nurse for Samuel Smith, another contender for leadership. He died stating that he had been poisoned! Another Smith family member was also receiving nursing care from Brigham’s assassin, Hosea Stout. This man and his wife threw the “medicine” in the fire and did not die! (Do the research: “The Great and Most Abominable: The Prophetic Cleansing of the Mormon Church” purchased by the Brigham Young University library ~ they are that fearful of the documented truth coming forth!)
    The point is that the LDS so-called “Prophets” who act and declare themselves as Kings as Brigham (and repentant Joseph) did historically, beginning with Brigham do qualify as the “Ten Kings without a country with three others subdued by a fourth” as foretold regarding “the Lord’s House” by the true prophet Daniel in reference to the “prophets who lead the saints astray”.Hinckley took over command from three of the prophets who were subdued! President/King Benson gave his famous Pride talk telling the members “we are a condemned church” and then was never heard from again? He had been “subdued” behind the scenes as Hinckley who only received “hunches” and not revelation did not want the blindly-obedient sheep to wake up to the truth! (D&C 124 documents the church’s condemnation in the eyes of God for its “follies and abominations, which ye do practice before me”)

    1 Nephi 13 talk about three, not one, “Great” Christian movement that all became “abominable”, The Mormon church was given much, including the restoration of the Gospel with only the baptism ordinance and the Book of the Lamb aka now-altered Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was commanded to do “none else, but what the Lord commands”. Joseph failed to become an apostle, but instead puffed himself up as the King/Prophet, etc. This violated the pattern set by Jesus Christ. The LDS Church was pure in the beginning with women and Blacks holding the priesthood without elitism, racism, or genderism and fulfilled the “Most abominable” due to all that we were given in the Pure years of the church.

    The Book of Mormon is a second witness of God aka Jesus who visited America. Only Joseph’s hand-written first Vision account tells the truth that only the “Lord” visited him with subsequent versions proclaiming the Masonic lie of multiple Gods, which fulfills 1 Ne 13 with the removal of the “plain and precious truth” from the Book of the Lamb.

    Time is running out, actually so “seek truth” as Christ commanded and recall all of the teachings of Christ as He is the only “Way”…1) sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman 2) no marriage in heaven as thought by men who “do not understand the scriptures or heaven” 3) never swear any oath…as it is evil…and will condemn you as required in all LDS Temples, 4) Christ taught baptism, but no ordination into any church “no church in heaven” 5) He valued purity like a child aka teachable and not perfection, which comes with judgment and control 6) Christ never built any temples (used for blood sacrifices of infants by the Jews as recorded in Jeremiah with the worship of Baal and “queen of heaven” wen the Jews lost their inheritance and designation as the “chosen people”) or church buildings for that matter. Any teaching which violates the teachings of Jesus Christ are not of God, but of Lucifer.

    The “Lord’s House” needs cleansing, which began officially by God on 8/11/99 with the whirlwind that hit down town SLC, UT in fulfillment of D&C 112 regarding the cleansing with begin as a “whirlwind first among ye who have blasphemed my name in the midst of my House”. The people are the church of God and our bodies are the temples. Nostradamus’ only dated quatrain also confirms this heavenly event (change his dating from Julian to Gregorian) along with a third witness of another quatrain of an eclipse that occur on 8/11/1999.

    Read the words of the witnesses whose truth “cry from the dust”: Fanny Stenhouse, Ann Eliza Young, Bill Hickman, John D. Lee, Mary Ettie Smith about the murders and thefts by Brigham Young as seen with his ordered Mountain Meadow Massacre. Furthermore, all LDS Masonic temples, with their required blood oaths “suffer your lives to be taken” with a covenant given to give to the church and not to God “all your time, talents, and all that you do possess”, prove idolatrous with their statues of Moroni…

    Pure Mormonism is the pure “Gospel of Christ aka God, the Eternal Father. The Bible has hundreds of scriptures, confirmed by Alma 11:23-40, Ether 3:14, Mosiah 15:1-5 and the original BoM, which declare “God is a Spirit, God is man, Jesus is God, Only one God!

    • Tachikoma says:

      I can’t help but feel people like you fundamentally do not understand the scriptures.

      you go on about there being only one God….this is true we are to serve only Heavenly Father yet the reality is Christ too is a God meaning there are at a minimum 2 Gods….if we factor in a heavenly Mother we have 4….factor in the Holy Ghost and we have 5 and His wife we have 6. factor in all those that gain exahaltation and eternal life and we have multiple gods. so you cannot just say there is only one God…..in our eyes as far as we are concerned there is only One God and that is Heavenly Father who even Jesus Christ bows His head to. and as far as we are concerned we only deal with One God or in reality One Godhead.

      while it is possible our temples are doomed because they’ve fallen so far I would concede that point….the cold hard reality is God’s people have been building temples forever for a variety of reasons. just because Jesus while alive did not instruct any buildings of temples does not mean all temples are bad.

      also without revelation on the matter you can’t call the LDS presidents of the church the 10 kings….and given you have failed in the rest of your argument I will say you fail here too…

      you state no plural marriage….yet the reality is this was a way of life for quite some time and I have a hard time thinking the Lord is going to condemn abraham for it.

      you are right pure mormonism is the pure Gospel of Christ….but Christ is not THE Eternal Father…there is a Heavenly Father. Christ however will do nothing contrary to Heavenly Father’s will so they are one and the same but two seperate beings. the scriptures explain this plainly as does the fact Christ is recorded as praying to The Father and even asks why He has forsaken Him.

      the problem with your line of thinking is you have so deeply found fault in the current church(and I’d even agree with a lot of your complaints) is that you think your way no matter what it is because it is so different from the fault current church must be 100% accurate which leads you down many rabbit holes. some of these holes tell you there is no Godhead. some put a huge emphasis on Christ but totally overlook Heavenly Father. others condemn polygamny to hell and back and think all those that practice it are going to hell….and worse still you take a black and white approach to the scriptures things are always either this way or that way never inbetween.

      the reality is the scriptures are full of in between. God commands us not to kill yet orders us to go to war. God says do not lie yet tells Abraham to lie and asks prophets to keep secrets. Jesus while alive acts like a totally different Lord than He does when He is not alive. God is a God of Love yet brings on noah’s flood. when you can reconcile all of these things and oh so much more you will get the point until you are still in the rabbit hole of “the church is wrong in all that it does so everything else must be correct” mindset.

  123. DV says:

    Peter was crucified upside down…. not Paul.

  124. Brandon says:

    Excellent analysis. I just have to point out one (likely typographical) error.

    In your caption of the upside-down-crucified St. Peter you state that it is St. Paul. Paul was a Roman citizen and therefore would not have been crucified. St. Peter was crucified upside down. St. Paul was beheaded.

    Otherwise, stellar piece!

  125. MB says:

    Hi, I don’t know if anyone is still reading the discussion on this article, or will even see my comment, but I felt like I should say something. I remember, when all I knew about the church was what I had learned in Sunday School, I wondered about the “false prophets” that we were guaranteed in the Last Days. Surely they would come, I thought. Some Anti-Christ will rise up and deceive people but we Mormons will know better and stick to our true prophet. I became uneasy as I realized something. The only people who claim to be prophets come from our very own Church. I have never heard of anyone, Except maybe in a textbook or something, claim to be a prophet. I wondered, guiltily, if maybe our prophets were the false prophets we were promised. Guilt for even thinking that thought made me force myself not to think about it anymore, but now, after doing a lot of reading, I am not afraid to examine my beliefs anymore. I do sustain Monson as a prophet, seer, and revelator. We have been taught that ‘sustain’ means to support. I will support him as a prophet, seer, and revelator. He just hasn’t acted like a prophet, seer, or revelator yet. I am not one to dictate what a prophet should look like, or how he should act, God does. And he has not as of yet acted like God says a true prophet, seer, or revelator should. So when he finally does, I will sustain him. I can’t sustain a prophet who is not a prophet, and Joseph Smith said that a prophet is only a prophet when he speaks as a prophet (speaking revelation and so forth) If Monson ever gives us revelation, I will cheer from the rooftops and tell everyone I know that The Lord has directly spoken to us in our time through His mouthpiece.

    • Sadly it is very unlikely that President Monson ever will prophesy, see, or reveal. The scriptures are full of prophecies of apostasy in our dispensation, and no where does it say that the church as a whole will do an about face and repent. Only that a remnant will repent and build Zion. My hope is that we will individually follow the dictates of the spirit, and build Zion as best we can. If you are waiting for the church or the leaders to suddenly restore the spirit of revelation in the church you will be disappointed.

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