The Boise Rescue

Boise Rescue

Some of you are aware that Elder Oaks and church historian Richard Turley made a special trip this weekend to Boise, Idaho to try to resolve questions of faith apparently prevalent in that area.  You can listen to the presentation made by Elder Oaks and Brother Turley by clicking here.

I’ve listened to the presentation in its entirety and will just summarize some of the main arguments made which I’ve paraphrased or quoted below.  I make some comments in parentheses following the emboldened points:

  • For apostates “It’s always, ‘I have a better way than the current leaders.'”  (Apparently Abinadi, Lehi, Alma , John the Baptist, and Jesus were apostates by this definition because they disagreed with church leadership.  Thank God Jesus believed He was “the Way” and was willing to show us His better way.  Did Joseph Smith seek to provide a better way than the churches of his day?)
  • Some people say that Brigham Young didn’t hold keys to have authority over the church? ‘Answer – Well then who had them!? If he didn’t then there was no authority on earth.’  (I don’t find this answer very satisfying – it’s as if to say “Because we claim authority, then we must have it.  This shows me the church is unwilling to consider another narrative even though other possibilities may be more accurate and might just help us better understand God’s plan for us.  I wish Elder Oaks had addressed the controversies surrounding the succession in more detail.  If the argument is Brigham had the keys all along then why take 3 1/2 years to make Brigham President?  If Brigham always had the keys then why did he say “We’ve lost the keys…” when he heard Joseph was killed, followed with “Oh wait, the 12 have the keys”?  If the 12 had the keys, then why didn’t they transfer them to Brigham, or ordain him?  If the 12 had the keys, wouldn’t it be important that the 12 unanimously sustain BY?  And then ordain him?  John Taylor and other apostles opposed BY succeeding Joseph.  Does that matter?  Addressing the authenticity of section 110 added many years after Joseph’s death, addressing why Emma and Lucy didn’t believe BY to be fit to succeed Joseph, discussing how BY in the beginning argued the succession belonged to Joseph III and that anyone coming in as president would do so as caretaker until Joseph III was old enough…  So much more that should have been discussed in my opinion.  This is a really important issue for people struggling with their testimonies as it pertains to keys.)
  • The idea that the current prophet has strayed and needs to be replaced is a tool that Satan has always used.  (And yet it is Jesus who teaches us to beware of false prophets and to judge whether a prophet is true or false by his fruits.  When Apostle Lyman committed adultery/bigamy as a “prophet” for 18 years before being caught and excommunicated and Spencer Kimball replaced him in 1943, were those who replaced this prophet using a tool of Satan?  The church now conveniently disparages Brigham Young regarding his views on race.  Is the church using a tool of Satan by suggesting BY strayed on this issue?  To argue that a “prophet” is infallible is an issue for many people in and out of the church, myself included.)
  • It’s okay to not see the Savior in this life.  Those who teach otherwise are using a common technique deployed by apostates.  It’s great to want to see the Savior, but it’s not necessary.  (I wish Elder Oaks had used a single scripture here to justify his statement.  The Book of Mormon seems to strongly disagree.  How is this desire apostate?  Doesn’t such a question deserve more attention rather than just saying this is an apostate technique.)
  • Modern apostles are called to witness of the name of Christ. Not a personal witness. Witness His name is to witness of the plan of Christ.  (A little confusing.)
  • Of course Apostles are also witnesses of Christ as are all members of the church because we have the Holy Ghost.  (So how is their witness any different than most members if at all?)
  • Today we are counseled to not tell people that we have witnessed Christ. Otherwise people can put it on the Internet and that will violate Savior’s commandment to not cast pearls before swine.  (One of my biggest issues with the church is this endless back and forth, double speak…  Have you seen the Savior or not?  If you have, and don’t want to have sacred things mocked, I respect that.  But if you have NOT seen the Lord and yet clearly lead us to believe you have by providing these kinds of responses, then when members read LDS history and find that LDS prophets generally aren’t seeing the Lord, this becomes a significant stumbling block.  Frankly it makes people feel like they’ve been lied to.  It seems fair to say that likely not all the 12 and 70 have seen the Lord.  So why don’t more of them tell us they have not rather than lead people to believe they have?)
  • Following someone other than Lord’s servants is a sign of apostasy.  (Why not following someone other than the Lord is apostasy?  Again, provide some scriptures here please.)
  • When you follow false prophets; when you are on the road to apostasy, you are on the wrong side.  “I know about being on the wrong side. One time I sat on the wrong side of the cow when I was milking it.”  — Elder Oaks
  • If we stay with and follow the current leaders of the church we will receive salvation and eternal life.
  • The number of our latter-day temples is a sign of the truthfulness of the church.
  • “Reasonable questions are okay, doubts are darkness.”
  • Apostasy is chaos.  The example of the pharisees of Jesus’ day was used to suggest that these apostate leaders pointed to Abraham as their father.  (I think a better example would be to say that Jesus’ apostasy from the Jewish Church was viewed as dark and chaotic by the wicked men who did not realize they were apostate).
  • “They are not to teach their own doctrines. They are to teach from the scriptures…further they are to teach church articles.”  (I’m not sure what Elder Oaks intends here, but if it is to say that we should teach the General Conference edition of The Ensign or The Handbook of Instructions, over the Scriptures,  I’d have to disagree.)
  • The Lord’s principle of order is… church led by prophets, authority comes from prophets, prophet voted for and sustained by members, teach what prophets tell you, come in by gate known to prophets, not some secret gate.  (The only gate I’m aware of that matters is the one where He employs no servant.)

I’ll be interested to see what others’ thoughts are on this special Boise meeting and the contents of the presentation.  I find it interesting that the efforts of the church do not seem to be to reclaim those they consider apostate, but rather only seem intent on preventing others from leaving.  If the effort was to reclaim those they’ve lost they would do so with patience and persuasion without calling them preposterous and apostate and other names while not addressing their sincere concerns.  I know many good people who do have faith in the Restoration, in Joseph Smith’s mission, in The Book of Mormon and The Pearl of Great Price, who are looking for reasons to stay in the church.  I think not digging deep to make more compelling arguments is short-sighted.

 

 

88 thoughts on “The Boise Rescue

  1. rockwaterman1

    You nailed it, Bishop. Elder Oaks travels all that way, and instead of addressing the member’s legitimate concerns, all he does is dismiss them?

    I recall Harold B. Lee patiently taking questions, then leafing through his scriptures to provide the answers. These guys have become nothing but a traveling circus showing up to remind the sheeple to give their loyalty to them. I wonder if they even brought their scriptures along. They certainly never referred to them.

    That so-called “rescue” did nothing to rescue anyone who desired assistance or answers to the concerns facing them. What a disgrace it was. And a waste of everyone’s time.

    Reply
  2. Lilli

    So conning widows, fatherless & poor out of their last dollar so the church can get rich & build lots of big & spacious temples means it’s a true church? Incredible. What ever happened to ‘sell all the you have and give it to the poor”?

    Apostates often do have a ‘better way’ since all church leaders are very fallible men who preach & practice some things contrary to Christ.

    One reason why Brigham Young did not have any keys to pass on to anyone in the LDS church is because he was not righteous and did not keep the commandments of Christ, nor have any leaders since him. Amen to their priesthood & keys.

    But there were some righteous men back in Nauvoo who didn’t follow BY west (because of his adulteries) & who could very well have maintained & passed on priesthood & keys in other groups.

    The idea that the current prophet could have strayed is not an apostate idea, but taught in the Book of Mormon and warned about by Christ. False prophets never think they have strayed.

    Christ said that following prophets or anyone, other then ‘THE LORD’ is a sign of apostasy.

    Christ said only if we follow HIM will we receive ‘salvation & Eternal Life, not follow prophets.

    Christ said all questions are good to ask about prophets & churches, to see if they are truly keeping all Christ’s commandments or not

    Doubting Doubts is darkness, for doubts are often the Holy Ghost trying to warn us.

    Christ is the only authority and his words the only ones we should listen to.

    Reply
      1. steve leonard

        Elii, you get His words by reading the bible. Not the Book of Mormon, D&C etc. The bible is the original word of God.

        Reply
        1. Lilli

          We only find Christ’s words in the 4 Gospels of the New Testament, those teachings & commandments that came straight from him are the only true scripture we have or should follow.

          All other so called scripture is just the opinions, stories and laws of very fallible men, many, if not most, of which preached and practiced contrary to Christ.

          Christ taught that we should not listen to anyone but him. And especially not listen to anyone who preaches or practices contrary to the things he taught, which is just about everyone.

          Reply
          1. Steve

            Lilli – What is the basis for your statement to only follow the teachings and commandments from the 4 Gospels in the NT?

          2. Lilli

            Steve,

            That is what Christ taught us to do, to only follow His teachings that he gave while he as here. He sent his disciples out to teach His words only and they weren’t to add to or take away from them or put in their own opinions or revelations, though some did, because men can be wrong but Christ’s teachings were perfect.

            The same holds for any man or prophet who ever lived, to only preach Christ’s words and nothing more.

            The greatest commandment is to only follow God & Christ and none else and put no one before them.

            That leaves us with just the few commandments that Christ gave us, which are simple but completely sufficient to gain Eternal Life.

            All other scriptures and teachings in the Old & New Testaments, or even the BoM, D&C or any other religious books written by men of different religions, are just a mixture of truth and error or fiction, fables or false or fallen prophets.

      2. Audrey

        Elii – the Lord Jesus will speak to you. You do not have to be a “prophet or apostle” to hear from the Lord Jesus. As you pray and as you study the Bible, you will grow in discernment. Listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to your spirit. As you grow in your knowledge of the nature of God – who He is, how He moves, how He works in the lives of the faithful – you will hear His words for your life. Spend your time building an authentic relationship with the Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Come to Jesus as a child approaches a loving parent – He will embrace you. Bless you as you seek HIm.

        Reply
  3. scootd28

    Hogwash! That’s what I think. Hogwash! Sophistry! Seriously (oh, wait – that WAS serious.), we shouldn’t be surprised, but this was such obvious hornswaggling (like that one?), such obvious manipulation…I lost all respect for Dallin H. Oaks. It was a con job in the first degree. It was like we could suddenly see the emperor without his clothes – in all his glory.

    Reply
  4. Frederick

    Excellent summary of the Boise conference. I also thought the conference seemed extremely scripted and rehearsed. Especially the question and answer section. Frankly, I find it incredible that they can so boldly use logical fallacies in presenting a conference such as this. Appeal to authority, circular reasoning, i.e. begging the question, etc… It totally exposes their fears and weaknesses.

    Frankly, if this is the best the church can do, the church as it stands now will not last long. No matter how hard they try to limit their audience (apparently only people of certain stakes could attend), these conferences will be broadcast to the world. Their weakness will be made known in short order.

    It’s like what Princess Leia said, “The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

    But in this case, it’ll be the members of the church, which will rapidly become former members of the LDS church either by choice or excommunication. And the more they forcefully remove members who sincerely believe in the restoration of the gospel, the faster they will fall.

    Reply
    1. Audrey

      @Frederick – I spoke today with a friend whose stake was invited to “The Rescue.” According to my friend, her bishop instructed the members that they were not to invite friends or family members – the event, touted as a family history/genealogy event, was only for certain designated stakes.

      Reply
  5. John H.

    [“If we stay with and follow the current leaders of the church we will receive salvation and eternal life.”]

    We receive salvation and eternal life because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is HIM we are to follow …. NOT THE ARM OF FLESH.

    It is the leaders of the Church who have apostatized from the truth.

    Reply
    1. Lilli

      So true John. Christ commanded us to only follow Him, not anyone else, not even prophets, for even they are often wrong and can lead us astray. God said the greatest commandment was to only follow him and not put anyone before him. Church leaders would have you break that commandment by following them before God or Christ.

      No one needs a middle man to follow Christ & God & gain Eternal Life. Christ is the only one we should be following, he came and gave us all of God’s words for us necessary for salvation. His words in the 4 Gospels are the only true scripture and commandments we have or need.

      The truth is actually just the ‘opposite’ of what LDS leaders say, following anyone, even prophets, other than Christ greatly jeopardizes our salvation, for they will always teach some wrong things that will lead us astray.

      Church leaders just want your money, so they try to make you think you need them in order to understand or follow God. When God/Christ actually commanded us to give all our money directly to the poor, not to church leaders, who pocket some themselves and use it on things other than the poor.

      Funny how LDS leaders never mention or teach those words of Christ.

      Reply
  6. BeStill&Know

    I listened to the talk and I am truly stunned.

    Here are a couple of direct quotes from Elder Oaks:

    “Of course all of the righteous desire to see the face of our Savior, but the suggestion that this must happen in mortality is a familiar tactic of the adversary: to identify a worthy goal, such as to achieve exaltation, and then use the desirability of that goal and people’s enthusiasm for it to obscure the new means the adversary suggests to achieve it. The means are important, even vital. As the Lord said in another setting, “It must needs be done in mine own way.”

    And this…

    “Modern apostles are called to be witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world (D&C 107:23) This is not to witness of a personal manifestation…Of course apostles are also witnesses of Christ just like all members of the church who have the gift of the Holy Ghost…while some early apostles and other members of the church have had the sublime spiritual experience of seeing the Savior, and some have made a public record of this, in the circumstances of today, we are counseled not to speak of our most sacred spiritual experiences. Otherwise, with modern technology that can broadcast something all over the world, a remark made in a sacred and private setting can be sent abroad in violation of the Savior’s commandment not to cast our pearls before swine.”

    Plain and precious? Or Orwellian double speak?

    Now, as I’ve been thinking about some Elder Oak’s rather lawyered statements, I am really struck by how significant I think they are. I believe this may be the first time any apostle has ever admitted that it is the RULE that modern apostles don’t see the Lord. Can you think of any other instance where that has been admitted? It’s almost like Elder Oaks (and the church by extension) are ceding the ground on the issue and turning it on it’s head.

    Here’s my interpretation of what he said, in and between the lines:

    “Brother’s and sister’s, because of reports of a wild man who has come among us–he who shall not be named, though his name rhymes with fluffer–proclaiming doctrine’s of devils and stirring up all kinds of trouble for us and causing some unnecessary consternation among you good saints, we must make some things crystal clear. What you may have heard and what you think you may have read, from the scriptures, purportedly from Joseph Smith, or on that pernicious internet, are simply not as you think they are. No matter what the words or “historical facts” you’ve read are, they are not as you think they are. Trust me. In my office and with the keys I hold, I will tell you what to think. You understand what will happen to you if you don’t agree do you not? Ready?

    Where does it say that we need to actually SEE the Lord? Where? It doesn’t say that anywhere does it? I know that there are a few examples in scripture and early Mormonism of people who did, but they didn’t have airplanes, toasters or nano technology did they? The industrial and tech revolutions have changed all that. Once and for all, I will tell you, it’s not our calling to see him. And you can’t prove that it is, regardless of what Oliver Cowdery may have said back in 1835 or so. We are not required to see him and neither are you. That’s what the Holy Ghost is for. You see, the Comforter makes us feel comfortable with ourselves so we needn’t worry about such things. God has done his personal work already. He laid the foundation of the church and has given his power to us!

    Now, those of us who MAY have seen him, and we won’t say either way just to be clear, are now COUNSELED (by whom we will not say) to not share the experience, because unlike Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Nephi, Moroni, Joseph Smith and Ezra Taft Benson, we have a little thing called the internet–which God invented by the way to do missionary work and mass market the gospel to flood the earth with tender memes and supernal soundbites–a technology filled to overflowing with swine who are not worthy of our literal witnesses of the Lord (this is not to be read as an admission of such, and correction, we are not confirming, nor denying that President Benson did or did not see the risen Lord). The barbaric, hedonistic Romans and apostate Hebrews may have merited hearing the literal witness of Jesus from the ancient apostles and prophets, but not the inhabitants of the world in these latter days. No sir, too many swine. Our calling is to keep those things sacred, not only from the pigs, but even the hogs, or rather, the members of our own church because they can’t keep a secret. True, we didn’t tell them before the internet, before the television, and before the radio, but that’s no matter–quit looking behind the curtain and keep your eyes focused squarely on us! So for now, until God tells us otherwise we will only bear witness of the NAME of Christ. After all we wouldn’t want to sully the cozy relationship we are building with the world leaders, the Pope and Joel Osteen. Since that’s out of the way you can quit asking. Got it!? Good. Bless you for your faithfulness.

    Now, to clarify further: We are just like you. We love you and can relate so well to you . Our testimony is the same as yours, good members. Let me say AGAIN, neither you nor we are required to see the Lord in the flesh. Revelation to us comes in the way it comes to you, through the still small voice and through united council. So what makes us different from you you may ask? Well, we are different because to be frank we control your salvation, we collect indulgences from you (did I say that, I meant tithing), derive our income and lavish lifestyle from you, and can spiritually execute you at our whim. But always remember, we only do these things because we love you and we love the Lord.

    In summary: It is not necessary to have the heavens literally open to claim revelation. When you read your scriptures (along with the conference Esigns) you should infer the following: the testimony of Jesus comes by the Holy Ghost, not by the Lord in person; The Holy Spirit of Promise is the ratifying of the Holy Ghost, not the Lord’s direct promise of eternal life; Calling and election and the fulness of the priesthood are not necessary to your salvation, and if you are blessed to receive those things, we apostles will administer them to you; The Second Comforter, we admit is a real blessing, but only on rare occasions for those whom the Lord chooses, but is not a requirement for your exaltation; and finally, the Gentiles are anyone and everyone EXCEPT the Lord’s covenant people–this is a grand key that I give you in the name of the Lord to help you understand the Book of Mormon and Isaiah. Never forget, the scriptures mean what we say they mean, and when we say we will cast you out if you disagree, we mean it! Be not afraid, but be believing. The Lord is well pleased with you, the righteous who follow our counsel. All is well.”

    I think of course that most members will disagree just slightly with my interpretation and hear only his smooth, polished delivery and feel satisfied they’ve heard God’s word. This will also prove to be so comforting to members of the church, because they will finally have official, codified, unambiguous sanction to not worry about their exaltation–no need to work out one’s salvation with fear and trembling. It has been hinted at before, but never put (so far as I can tell) so plainly–that they DO not need to pay attention to D&C 93:1, John 14; D&C 88, 67, Alma 13, the book of Hebrews, the examples of all the holy prophets and the entire Book of Mormon. The saints can eat as much as they want, drink (so long as it’s not boozy), and be merry (just enjoy the journey brothers and sisters) and God may beat them with a few stripes (after all, we can’t be perfect right?), but in the end, so long as they have their temple recommends, they will be saved in the kingdom of God. Carnal security indeed.

    On a personal note, I have been teaching the EXACT opposite in church and to my home teaching families for some time now. This coming Sunday I’ll be teaching about temples to my HP group, and will focus on the endowment being a teaching tool to point us back to the presence of God, and how we must actually do as Adam and Eve did: obeying God and making sacrifices until we receive true messengers, further light and knowledge and are able to converse with the Lord through the veil. Just this last Sunday, with my son, we taught one of our home teaching families about eternal covenants coming directly from God and the necessity of receiving our own covenant from God personally in the flesh–as Joseph Smith repeatedly explained to the early saints. The family is really starting to get it, especially the kids, and they are receiving the word eagerly and with gladness. And yet, as soon as they hear the priestcraft peddled by Elder Oaks (yes I said priestcraft: 1. is he not setting himself up for a light to us? and 2. where does he derive his income?), and other General Authorities (because I’m certain that this will be taught more and more openly to counteract the scriptural and Joseph Smith’s urging to enter into the rest of the Lord–see Alma 13; Hebrews 4; D&C 84:24) that what I’ve been teaching them is a “familiar tool of the adversary”, chances are most, if not all, will side with the apostles. Very sad indeed.

    We are seeing evil being called good and good being called evil right before our very eyes–and not just on the news feeds every day, but from our own pulpits. God help us all.

    Bless you AB for your continued efforts to teach the gospel in purity and point out the fruits of false prophets. It pains me to write that last phrase.

    Reply
    1. BeStill&Know

      I wanted to add, for the benefit of any who may have read what I wrote above and are sincere believers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who regard the Apostles as the Lord’s anointed: I am a faithful, life long member of the church. I continue to be. I hold a temple recommend. I serve faithfully in my callings. I served a faithful mission and have given my life to the church. When I err, I confess my sin and repent and strive to come closer to Christ.

      I used to be of the same opinion as the majority of current active saints that the LDS Church, as an institution, was perfectly constructed and guided by direct inspiration from heaven, and that it’s leaders, especially it’s presidents, were directly led by God and that these worthy men were all continuation of the divine calling of Joseph Smith, holding all the same keys in this last dispensation of the fulness of times. I used to believe we possessed the fulness of the gospel and that the temple provided the highest of God’s blessings on earth and that so long as I honestly maintained my temple recommend, served faithfully in the church which I felt sure constituted enduring to the end, that I would be saved, sealed and exalted with my wife, family and kindred dead for whom I have done vicarious work in the Lord’s house. I used to believe it was evil to criticize the leaders of the church, who I believed to be the Lord’s anointed. I now feel differently on all these points.

      What happened you asked? How could I have given way that the evil one could have place in my heart to deceive me? Well, you can think what you may, but after many, many years (really since my mission–so for over 20 years) of intense study, prayer, fasting, service, repentance, and seeking to know God’s will for me and to provide me with further light and knowledge (as the temple directs us to seek for), I have discovered that there are IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES between the restoration brought forth by Joseph Smith and the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They are NOT THE SAME CHURCH in many fundamental ways. This was a very painful discovery for me.

      It is very difficult, I believe frankly impossible, to earnestly and honestly study the words and works of Joseph Smith–which must include the Lectures on Faith, the Words of Joseph Smith, and even the Joseph Smith papers–and conclude that there have not been core fundamental changes to what he established: from the temple endowment, to the sacrament, to tithing, the the word of wisdom, to church governance and priesthood function and understanding, to the nature of revelation, to the definition of salvation and exaltation, to the Doctrine and Covenants, among many others, wrought by subsequent leaders, at their whim, without revelation. I have studied the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, Christ, and Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Doctrine and Covenants and conclude that they are a stern warning, over and over to US, the people and especially the LEADERS of the LDS Church and that they prophesy of our eventual rejection of the fulness of the gospel–from the TOP DOWN. I believe that God is the same yesterday today and forever, that He is no respector of persons. I believe that we are as prone to the pride cycle as all past dispensations, and that though the priesthood will never again be taken from the earth and that this time the Lord’s kingdom will go forth and fill the whole earth, NOWHERE in scripture does it state that the LDS Church will prevail and continue. The scriptures warn of just the opposite.

      I have taken the Lord’s admonition to study the fruits of those who claim to be “prophets” today and have sought honestly and prayerfully to know if those who have led the LDS Church are indeed prophets, seers and revelators and by their fruits and by the witness of the Spirit I believe that, as well intentioned as they are and may be, as good as their counsel is and may be, they cannot be said to be by any appreciable measure to be issuers of PROPHECY, as their has been none since Joseph Smith. They are not revelators as there has be NO REVELATION TO THE CHURCH since Joseph Smith, and no section 138 was not a REVELATION TO THE CHURCH. It was a personal experience, told the first presidency at the time but never given to the Church until 1976. If the declaration made by the church in 1978 on priesthood were “revelation” where is it? Where is it written? Should we not be able to read it? There has been no SEERSHIP exercised since Joseph Smith and no translation of ancient records even though we are promised that we will have the sealed portion, the fulness of the record of the Jaredites, the fulness of the record of John, the record of the lost tribes, among others.

      More than that, sadly the top leaders of the LDS Church today practice things forbidden in scripture. They receive generous financial gain for their ministry (it is NOT a meager stipend, but a generous compensation by ANY measure), a practice condemned in no uncertain terms in the Book of Mormon and the D&C. They build lavish shopping malls and apartment complexes and businesses with the sacred tithes of the people. They encourage the people to pay tithing in a manner contrary to the will of the Lord expressly laid out in scripture. Indeed by this, they grind the faces of the poor. The church as a whole has given only small fraction of it’s proceeds to humanitarian efforts. By some reasonable estimates, since 1985, the church has given less than 1% of it’s revenue to help the poor and the needy–one of its PRIMARY mandates. Instead, the church has focused on building fine sanctuaries, large universities, extensive business and real estate holdings, to the exclusion of helping the poor, the widows and the fatherless. This is abomination to the Lord. I encourage you to do your own homework on this. Nephi, Mormon, Moroni and Christ all have spoken and prophesied we would do this. The leaders of the church have hidden crucial facts about our history and are yet reluctant to be fully forth coming. They will not open up the financials of the church, contrary to scripture. They have changed the sacred ordinances in many fundamental ways, a practice condemned by Isaiah and Joseph Smith with dire warnings if we do so. They govern the church by the non-scriptural Handbook of Instructions over the written revelations. They seek to exercise control over behavior, speech and thought in the church contrary to D&C 121. They encourage adoration of themselves by allowing us to stand when the enter, by sitting in the chief seats, by demanding we not call them brother (as the Lord commanded) but by their titles, by allowing lavish parties to be given in their honor, and other means. They quote themselves more than they quote revealed scripture and they mingle their own philosophies with scripture, proclaiming they can NEVER LEAD US ASTRAY! They do not testify of Him as all other true prophets have, nor do they teach others that they must enter the rest of the Lord, which is the fulness of His Glory (see Alma 13, Hebrews 4, and D&C 84). Indeed they have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.

      And now, they finally are admitting that they do NOT NEED TO BE ACTUAL WITNESSES OF THE RESURRECTED LORD. They do NOT NEED TO HAVE OPEN VISIONS. They do NOT NEED TO HAVE CONTACT WITH HEAVEN in any way different than you or I. This is the admission of Elder Oaks. All they need is to be sustained in their office and they have ALL KEYS necessary for your and my salvation!!! We must stay in the boat and keep our eyes firmly fixed on THEM!

      Joseph Smith’s example in word and deed was a far cry from the leaders behavior today. I believe he would not recognize the church today, would not be welcome in it and that his final dream recorded in the TPJS is a prophecy to that end. Indeed, study the lives and works of all of the Lord’s holy prophets and the life and works of the Lord Himself (most of whom, including Jesus, were NOT part of the LEADERSHIP of the church in their day and DID NOT hold any office or even hold PRIESTHOOD given them by man–study it out and you will see that this is true) and ask yourself honestly, do the leaders of our church today fit the model of these former wild men, crying repentance, who were persecuted, hated, reviled, even tortured and killed for their testimony of Christ?

      Are you angry because my words? If you are, ask yourself why? Is the Spirit causing you to be angry? Or is it possible that there is truth in my words and that the truth (not my words) is cutting like two edged sword and that it hurts? Remember what Nephi said about what the truth does to people.

      Let me end by saying this, through great difficulty, tragedy and intense personal sacrifice, I maintain my belief in the restoration. I believe that Joseph Smith was true messenger sent from the presence of Almighty God. I have tested his fruits and they have indeed born fruit in my life and have brought me closer to my Lord and birthed a desire in me to know Him personally and to have him say to me personally, in the flesh, “my son, you are clean and will be saved in My Kingdom, and because you know this you are redeemed from the fall”. I eagerly await the establishment of Zion, and earnestly and am humbly trying to prepare myself and my family for it. I am no one of consequence. My words don’t matter in the least. But if you’ve made it this far through my words without throwing up your hands in exasperation and anger, I would urge you to prayerfully seek the Lord and have Him tell you if what I have written is truth or error. Have Him tell you if the church is all it claims to be. Have Him tell you who are his true messengers, his servants, his prophets, today, and study them by their fruits. . Ask yourself how he sent his prophets in the past. Would he do it differently today? As Moroni, said, be careful how you judge! I have asked myself these hard questions. And I now believe there is at least one true messenger, like Joseph Smith, in our day, sent from the presence of God. His name is Denver Snuffer. In the name of Jesus Christ I urge you to petition the Lord to know the truth for yourself and not reject my words because of my weakness, or the words of his servant today because of any weakness he bears. May we all awake to our awful situation, repent and embrace the fulness of the gospel that we may be numbered with the House of Israel and not cast off as salt that has lost its savor (See 3 Nephi 16). Amen.

      Reply
      1. Craig Pixton

        Dear BeStill&Know,

        I was deeply impressed with all you wrote and the thought that went into it. I am quite puzzled though, as to how you have been able to come to all the conclusions that you have (and rightly so) and yet have not made that last final step in recognizing that Joseph was simply a very ingenious con man! As you study the time line of the organization under Josephs’ leadership, it is unmistakable to miss the evolution of “his” thinking. There are so many glaring holes in his theology, his timely revelations (polygamy after being caught with Fanny in the barn), his egotistical presumption of righteousness on his part, etc, etc, etc. I don’t know of a single “true prophet” who would do what he did to the reputation of those women who rejected his horny advancements. I acknowledge the fact that prophets are just men, with faults and weaknesses, but Joseph went way beyond that point!

        The Father that Jesus taught was totally different from the God of the Old Testiment, the Book of Mormon, or the D&C. Those three volumes are all coming from the old, superstitious thinking that prevailed in the earliest histories of man’s developement. We must be forced to act a certain way or we forfeit our salvation. That is all mankind could understand generally back in that far distant past. Why would the Lord go to all the trouble of preserving an outdated, wrong concept by having a modern prophet bring back the old, outdated junk thinking? One final thought, I love deeply certain parts of the D&C–those parts that point the way to the promise of the Second Comforter, the rest is just fluff for the con.

        Jesus came to show by example, what the “Truth” is, and how to make it functional in our own lifes. Contrary to popular christian belief, Jesus did not die for our sins, to pay for our sins, to save us from a ficticious damnation. Only we can do that for ourselves. We are our own saviours. We work out our own salvation! Not in fear and trembling–that is not part of Fathers play–but in Love and Peace and Joy. We overcome, and wipe out sin, and it’s effects, simply by learning the truth and living it. Father doesn’t judge or condemn us, we do that all by ourselves.f All scripture is written of three levels, Jesus is the example of the true, inner HIGHEST meaning. Everything is symbolic, it all happens on the inside. There is nothing out there, out there. It is an INSIDE job. The old hindu saying: “If God wanted to hide, He would chose man to hide inside.” The reason for that is because that is the last place man would look, thanks to organized religion–the WHORE OF ALL THE EARTH.

        All my life I lived so that the promise given to us in D&C 93: 1. (1-6, 12-22 are so precious) could be fulfilled, a promise that I was given me at five years of age. I was promised that if I lived for it, I would have that promise fulfilled in my life. My patriarchal blessing promised me “that I would be able to do what others said was impossible.” The “great promise” given to us by Jesus in John 14: 1-14 has been my deepest motivation. In 1971, on the Isle of Man, while on my mission, that promise was fulfilled. I had been fasting for days leading up the the baptism of Joy, a choice daughter of our Father. I was concerned about the weather, being February, and having the baptism outside in a stream. The entire branch was going to turn out to witness what had taken years to accomplish. I was concerned with the comforts of the members, and didn’t want the weather to spoil the moment. An hour before the baptism, it started to rain, and if you know anything about the British Isles, or Ireland, you know what that means. As I knelt in fervent prayer, concerned for the comfort of those coming, I had the sacred experience of having the afore mentioned promises fulfilled. There, in the privacy of my bedroom, after days of fasting and kneeling in prayer, pouring my heart out to the Lord, that sacred of all sacred experiences occured, lifelong promises fulfilled, sacred instruction received. As I knelt by my bed, the vail was parted, and Christ gave me instuctions that would forever change the course of my life. He didn’t tell me to follow the brethren, sustain the leaders of the Corporation as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, attend the temple, never turn down a calling, etc, etc, in part, what I was instructed to do was “Seek more for the Spirit.”

        I have longed my whole life to hear just one of our supposed “Prophets, Seers, Revelators” come out and confirm that their calling, as given by Oliver Cowdrey to the original 12, had been received. That they had also stood in the presence of Christ and had their callings comfirmed. Not once in my lifetime have I heard that, and now along with Packers pathetic excuse in the April, 1971 General Conference, of why we have no right to ask them if they have, now we have Oaks taking it one step beyond the rediculous and telling us that they don’t have to! What exactly do they mean by the term witnesses? Oaks is an ex attorney, he knows exactly what that term means! How much more evidence does the membership need to see the joke that is the church and its leadership? Isaiah was spot on when he talked about the dogs returning to their own vomit!

        This whole conference was a JOKE! They are running scared. The internet is exposing them for what they are, paid businessmen, running a multi-billion dollar enterprise, that has nothing to do with Christ, salvation, Love, Light or Truth.

        Run for your Life! Have the courage to truly investigate the orgins of the church, the path the leaders followed and then ask yourself if that is what the Lord truly needed. And if he needed that, why didn’t he do it during his time on earth? He never wrote a book, organized a church, professed to be anything other than what He was, the Way, the Truth, and the Life! That is enough for me!! I had my name removed from the records of the Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I am now humbly trying to follow the WAY!

        God bless you and every other serious seeker of Truth and Light with an outpouring of the Divine Spirit of Truth. Only as you come to understand the damnable doctrine of separatation as taught by organized religion, will you make your calling and election sure. When Jesus testified that “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me, and the Father and I are ONE” and then prayed later that all might come to understand that and become ONE in Him also, He gave us the ultimate key to our salvation. The biggest problem that I see in christians (whatever that saying means–it wasn’t coined until centuries after the crucifixion, and then by a pagen, Roman emperor) is that they are all so willing to believe in Jesus (let him do all the work of saving us), they just don’t believe Him (what he actually said). He told us exactly what to do and how to do it to become just like Him! We have eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear!

        Thank God for organized religion! It has relieved us any responsibility and turned us into a herd of mindless, thoughtless sheeple. And to think that all we had to do was give up our own power and money in return for a hollow promise of things to come after we die! What a great plan, who has ever come back and debunked their plan? Case in point, as if all those that preceed were not enough, we just buried an apostle (and more to follow soon), and I can’t help but wonder what Jesus had in mind when he told us that the last great enemy to be overcome was “death”, and in light of the Oath and Covenent of the Melchizedek Priesthood as outlined in D&C 84, that we can renew our bodies (vs. 33). What happened???? By their fruits ye shall know them. The church claims to have the “Priesthood of God-His authority” so why is that priesthood so impotent (vs. 64-72)? Do we even talk about “translation” anymore? Do we even speak in whispered tones about calling and election, the second comforter, seeing God face to face as Moses tried to do with the grumbling hordes? No worries mate, “All is well in Zion” if it wasn’t, his chosen servants would surely tell us…wouldn’t they?

        We have received our marching orders and they are: Blindly follow the Brethren!!

        God help us all…

        Reply
        1. Ahuizotl

          Craig,

          I’m not sure what to think about your post. In one part you call Joseph Smith a con man and then the other seek to know the Lord as described in D&C 93 (a scripture that a con man revealed).

          You then state that you’ve seen the Lord and were taught by him while fasting to perform the priesthood ordinance of baptism. The same priesthood that gave you your patriarchal blessing. The same priesthood revealed to Joseph Smith the con man.

          Am I missing something in your post or do you denounce Joseph as being a prophet but lay hold to the blessings he revealed?

          As for me, Joseph was a prophet of God. He saw God, translated the Book of Mormon and faltered toward the end of his life as the Lord’s prophet. All of this was foretold and explained in the Old Testament under what is known as the scapegoat doctrine.

          You can read more about it here:

          https://onewhoiswatching.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/atonement-statute-final-63.pdf

          Reply
  7. Nathan Lynes

    There are so many points here, and I think you did well to highlight the major issues. There are a few more quotes that I think are worthy also to share:

    Dallin H. Oaks: “For most Mormons, the key question of ‘who’s on the Lord’s side’, is how they feel about the church’s current prophetic leadership. If those feelings are sufficiently negative, they take members into what we call apostasy.”

    Apostasy, then, is not turning away from the Lord, but turning from the church leaders.

    Later, in addressing the doubts that Brigham Young received the keys of the priesthood and the 1844 succession crisis, Richard E. Turley says the members of the church voted overwhelmingly for Brigham to lead them. He says,
    “To me, that suggests that the Spirit spoke strongly on this occasion, and that the saints that voted overwhelmingly for Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles knew where the keys lay, and in fact, that is where, historically, we know that they lay because those are the brethren who had the keys, and had the right to perform the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation.”

    There are many points here.
    First, votes of members of a church under condemnation do not create a prophet (and Brigham did not claim to be a prophet, but a caretaker as you pointed out). The current leadership cannot imagine their ancestors being anything but holy saints, but their desire to be led by a lion is how we know Brigham had the keys?
    Second: there is no mention here by the historian of Brigham’s voice and face appearing like Joseph’s, because it is an historically inaccurate falsehood. For generations this story was our succession crutch, and it now appears to be broken.
    Third: He is circularly saying “we know he had keys because that’s who we know had them”.

    I personally don’t think the keys of priesthood can be passed from man to man, but only from God to man, and there is nothing in Brigham’s life that suggests he received the fullness of the Melchizedek priesthood, sealing keys, or was anything other than a temporal caretaker.

    Deciding which prophet is true, and which is false is the greatest question of our time, and has been the subject of my thoughts and prayers for over a year now. This talk tips me further away from the corporate church instead of towards it. We are swine to them.

    Reply
    1. Lilli

      Nathan,

      Christ made it easy to discern true prophets from false ones. Just go down his ‘check list’ of commandments in the 4 Gospels that he said all true prophets much keep, and the wolves in sheep’s clothing will quickly become apparent.

      Reply
      1. Nathan Lynes

        Lilli,
        Thanks for your encouragement. My heart is open to the whisperings of the Spirit, and the Holy Ghost testifies to me truth when I read Denver Snuffer’s words. I do feel that his message to us is from God.

        I would hesitate to call it easy for a few reasons: first, we know many will be deceived. Matthew 24:23-24 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” I take this seriously. We should be on constant vigilance against this. The deceived never think they are the ones who are wrong. I want to gather as much information as possible with personal spiritual confirmation before making eternity-defining decisions. There soon will come a day that will necessitate hastening that decision, but I think the Lord is giving us a little time to decide, but not much.

        Second, I have previously received the same spirit of truth while listening to talks by Presidents Uchtdorf and Eyring, and Elders Scott, Holland, and others. Their words have enlightened and enriched my life as well, yet both groups claim damnation upon the other. Denver for being apostate and correcting the Lord’s anointed, and the twelve for hedging up the way to Christ and for priestcraft. I feel the LDS apostles and prophets are mostly very good men, and give insightful and important messages. I don’t deny that they can receive inspiration while operating within a corrupt system, but what bothers me is how quickly and soundly they reject the truth taught by Denver, after having seen their previous virtues. I don’t think they are all worried about money and power, as some generalize about them, but those things have their effects. The Spirit will touch one of them, as it did to Alma in the court of King Noah, and they will agree with Denver. The question is, what will they then choose to do? What will we choose to do?

        Thanks again.

        Reply
        1. Lilli

          Nathan,

          I really appreciate your response and I respect your views & feelings. But I am sorry that I cannot share them. I do agree that most people in the Church and many leaders are very good people but, as you said, just don’t realize how easy it is to be deceived to believe or support evil.

          I believe Denver is deceived also and I don’t believe he is a true follower of Christ, but I do appreciate all the truths of church history that he is bringing to light.

          I believe that people are deceived by ‘the spirit’ or revelations, visitations or visions, etc, even more then by man’s teachings, for we tend to automatically believe whatever feelings, impressions or revelation we may receive, without stopping to realize that through the spirit is how the Adversary works the most.

          False prophets generally know this and so they teach people to ‘pray’ about their teachings, to see if it’s true or not. They know that most people will assume any good feeling is from God, not Satan, who can make us feel really good about wrong things and really bad about true things.

          Christ taught something completely different. Though he taught that we can indeed learn truth from the Holy Spirit, we must take all ideas & impressions & teachings that come to our minds and compare them with His teachings, in order to know if they came from the right spirit or not.

          False prophets & teachers teach mostly true & good things, it’s just they add in a few falsehoods here & there and people don’t usually catch them, unless they compare everything to Christ’s teachings, which I don’t know hardly anyone who does.

          Christ taught that no matter how convincing the Spirit is or an angel or a prophet or a person seems, if they don’t keep all his commandments then they are not true disciples of his.

          So yes, it is easy to tell truth from error & false prophets from true ones, IF we compare what they do & say to Christ’s words, but if we don’t, and Christ said most won’t, then it’s very easy to be deceived and never know it and still feel so sure we are right and that God has confirmed it.

          Reply
          1. Ahuizotl

            Lili,

            You are right. There are so very few who will actually take the time to study what Denver has said and taught and compare it against the word of God.

            There are several inaccuracies. I don’t have time to relay them all here. However, this man did a great job summing them up with scriptural background and support.

            Here’s the doctrinal exposé on Denver’s Passing the Heavenly Gift done by a guy name One Who Is Watching.

            https://onewhoiswatching.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/a-controversy-in-zion-part-one-and-two-and-three-and-four-final-10.pdf

    2. BeStill&Know

      A couple more points on Brigham Young–since all current claims to keys rest on his shoulders. Brigham Young NEVER claimed to be the equal of Joseph Smith. Yes, he claimed to hold keys, but never demonstrated any of the gifts of required as the duty of his office of the President (See D&C 107). He said of himself “I am a Yankee guesser.” He said “Joseph was called of God, I am called of Joseph” and at least twice publicly he admitted to have NEVER entertained angles, visions, or had a manifestation of God. Many others, including Orson Pratt, Heber J. Grant, Joseph F. Smith (with the exception of section 138 late in his life–which was a vision, not a personal visitation of the Lord), have admitted to having received no open vision or manifestation. It is not until now with Elder Oaks statements that we can draw a line from Brigham to today and conclude that as the great general rule, the are NOT receiving revelation from heaven, but are bound to be guided, just as the rest of us in the church, and frankly the rest of Christianity and the religious world, by mere inspiration of the Spirit.

      Reply
      1. David Alvord

        “mere inspiration of the spirit”. That’s where you err. Peter saw Christ in person but was not converted until he had the Spirit.

        I have seen apostles in action and in the Spirit know things that could not have otherwise been known.

        And there have been other accounts of seeing Christ since Joseph.

        Reply
        1. BeStill&Know

          Peter converted when he received the Holy Ghost. Respectfully, I submit that there is a substantive and profound difference between inspiration of the Spirit and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

          Reply
          1. BeStill&Know

            Also, the reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost is accompanied by outpourings of the Spirit, manifestations and gifts, that go far beyond “mere inspiration”. These “signs” are those that follow them that believe and are part of the fruits of true discipleship and are a measurement of correct faith. They are part of the process of regaining the presence of God.

      2. Jalden

        I’m very interested in seeing references for your statement that Brigham Young, “twice publicly he admitted to have NEVER entertained angles, visions, or had a manifestation of God.”

        Reply
  8. Pingback: Reorganizing the Family of God | Latter-day Commentary

  9. Steve Henderson

    Why won’t they take questions from the audience? Why will they NEVER do this? Because there is fear in their hearts that they don’t have the answers. They don’t believe in the power of God or in themselves. They don’t believe that if they open their mouths that God will fill them with prophetic answers that will confound the wise and make the wicked tremble. They lack faith in what they are trying to sell, which is that they know the mind and will of God. They don’t really believe that God speaks through them to His people. Instead every word must be checked carefully by committee before they feel comfortable saying it. I would love to see an Alma vs. Zeezrom style debate. But they wouldn’t. Because they are afraid.

    Reply
    1. Average Joe

      All three times I have been present in meetings with Elder Holland, Elder Bednar and Elder Ballard (each in individual meetings) they opened up the meeting to questions from the congregation. No script, no committee. They answered honestly and with scripture references.

      Reply
      1. Bishop Anon Post author

        I’d guess those meetings were not recorded. The Brethren knew this one would be on the Internet that night…. I’ve also been in meetings with those two men. In one in particular, Elder Bednar asked us to not record it – and yes it was much better than this one in real Q&A.

        Reply
  10. Jeffrey

    The moment someone begins to teach me something along the lines of “follow us, we can’t lead you astray”… they’ve already began to lead me astray.

    Reply
    1. Lilli

      So very true Jeffrey! People are led astray because they want to be, it’s just easier then having to think for yourself.

      So they choose to believe prophets who say they can’t lead them astray.

      It would be wonderful though if life really was that easy & prophets were that perfect! But no one is, except Christ.

      Reply
  11. orangganjil

    One of the most striking things to me in all of this was the insinuation throughout Elder Oaks’ comments that spiritual promptings cannot be trusted because they can be hijacked or counterfeited by Satan. Since those promptings cannot be trusted to be authentic, we should trust and obey the leaders of the church to take us to eternal glory.

    Did I misinterpret that point? Did anyone else get that underlying tone in the meeting?

    I was also very disappointed by the weak defense of the Book of Mormon. There are so many stronger arguments that can be made in defense of the Book of Mormon than the idea that Joseph was an uneducated hick who couldn’t write a sentence in his journal so thus wasn’t capable of dictating a complex story over 90 days (easily proven longer if we include the three years of waiting to obtain the plates and the long delay after the 116 pages were lost). I love the Book of Mormon and was sad that a more spirited defense was not mounted by these men.

    Reply
  12. Lilli

    If they really had the truth they would be willing to & want to have an honest open debate, as well as hold numerous long & honest Q & A sessions throughout all the Stakes.

    Reply
    1. Elii Flores

      Debate?? I didnt know that the laws and commandments of the lord could be on a debate FOLLOW THE PROPHET who is the man to debate the word of God??? Do you have better ideas than God? Do you have more experience than the Lord? Come on!! This is and old mistake and we dont learn? Apostasy ! Excuse my english please this is not my original language .

      Reply
      1. Lilli

        Elii,

        You seem to be assuming that the Church leaders are preaching & practicin the laws and commandments of God & not their own, and/or can’t be wrong or lead us astray.

        I believe they can and have led us completely astray and they are not preaching and practicing the laws and commandments of God.

        That is why a debate with a true followers of Christ would help people see where the leaders are in error and how they are not following God & Christ.

        I believe in Christ and His ideas, which are far better than what the Church is preaching and practicing.

        But they would never have such a debate for it would be too easy for people to see they are not following Christ.

        Reply
  13. Ben

    I’m trying my best not to be offended by Mr. Oaks’ talk. His words are poison, chosen only to instill loyalty and obedience to LDS leadership. Loyalty to anyone other than god a path to hell.

    I pray to god that the misled-but-faithful members of the church will not reject the real, truthful teachings from the restoration as they witness the titanic they’re currently on sinking.

    One final thing, it’s heartbreaking for me personally to watch Oaks and Holland being confounded, falling for the snares they’re surrounded by, and blindly leading the blind. These two men especially have been important people in my life, helping me at times by inspired words in the past.

    Reply
  14. mxhudso

    I agree with most of the comments presented here. I too believe Denver is a true messenger. However, I have not been able to get some answers on another issue. I have some serious questions about apparent racism in LDS Doctrine, including statements from Joseph Smith. I found a very interesting series of blog posts about this topic and I would really like some answers/opinions about whether or not this was truly of God or man’s fallible mind?

    Please read the articles below and let me know your thoughts? I’m really struggling with this. Do we chalk this up as one of those things that Joseph was just wrong about and that he was still a fallible human being? Or is there a true doctrine here that I just don’t understand yet? How could an inspired Prophet think this way? Or do you really believe that blacks were cursed from the pre-existence and that all of those early teachings and the priesthood ban was actually from God? Or were those just the mistakes of the common thinking in the 19th Century as the modern LDS Church has suggested in it’s recent articles disavowing earlier teachings? Below this link are two other pieces that are worth considering as a background to this whole race question:

    http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/joseph-smith-vs-the-abolitionsts/

    Other articles that should not be ignored:
    http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/racism-in-the-book-of-mormon/

    In the article above, someone in the comments section posted a video from Blacks in the Scriptures which produced an apologetic piece which provides a plausible explanation to the supposedly racist ideas promoted in the Book of Mormon. It’s a long video but very interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BATew0wqRs

    Do you buy that explanation?

    Below is a follow up article that challenges the Blacks in the Scriptures group and that video they put out on you tube. This is presented in the form of a Cartoon scenario slide show just to try and create a real life conversation that could be had among black investigators…

    http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/blacks-scriptures-from-apologetics-to-apology/

    Following is another thought-provoking and concerning article that was posted after these – adding onto the other one’s which I mentioned above. Denver Snuffer tried to briefly explain this by saying that “blood lines matter” but that it’s more complicated. But what if I was black? I can understanding writing off the positions of later LDS leaders like Delbert Stapley and even Brigham Young, but this is not a good look for Joseph and I really want to understand why he was right about what he said and how we are supposed to view these stances in relation to God not being a respecter of persons?

    http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/george-romney-and-the-delbert-stapley-letter/

    How would you explain Joseph’s position against abolishing slavery and his sympathy towards slave owners and the apparent 19th century racist ideas in the Book of Mormon in addition to the clearly racist stances of later Church leaders all the way up until 1978?

    Reply
    1. Rob Smith

      Here’s my advice on racism and the Book of Mormon: Ask God to help you answer that question, then re-read the entire Book of Mormon. I anticipate that you’ll find that those posts pulled verses out of context and that the whole story paints a different picture. I think the Book of Mormon is very anti-racist, and if you and I could sit down I bet I could prove it to you. Take a shot and see what happens.

      As far as Joseph’s quotes, that is a more complex issue that takes a lot of time and effort to parse out. What is certain is that you cannot assume that modern sensibilities are universally correct, just as we can clearly point out errors in past sensibilities.

      Reply
    2. Ahuizotl

      It’s interesting to know that as of the New Testament times there was no longer any more need to keep others from the priesthood, blacks included.

      You’ll find an interesting read on it here:

      https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/notable-emails-15-it-would-be-so-hard-to-do-if-we-didnt-have-the-word-crunching-software-available-to-us-to-use-now-i-can-see-why-so-many-are-deceived/

      You’ll have to scroll about halfway down to where it says…

      “Because the comments were closed”

      Hope that helps,

      Ahuizotl

      Reply
    3. Lilli

      Mxhudso,

      The answer about Joseph is simple but not easily accepted, for most members have a need to believe him to be a true prophet, and thus it’s hard to have objective reasoning. It is the same with people in all religions, no matter how wrong their religion may be they are sure it and their leaders are right.

      But if you study Christ’s words in the Gospels, he makes it clear that it’s impossible for a true prophet to believe in things like slavery, polygamy, lying, paid prophets, taking people’s tithing, writing scripture or teaching things that are contrary to Christ (BoM, D&C, BoA, etc.)

      So no, just on Joseph’s beliefs on slavery alone, it proves he was not a true prophet. There were many righteous people living back then who understood right from wrong on the slavery issue, it would have been easy for a true prophet to see too.

      Study Christ’s words in the 4 Gospels, to detect the false prophet he warned us about.

      Reply
      1. Justin

        Matt 8. Christ tells a man to follow and obey the law of Moses. Moses, a man who gave a law that included a form of slavery. In the same Chapter Abraham is used as an example of a righteous man in heaven’s kingdom.Abraham, a man who practiced polygamy. It would appear to me that your moral bias is out of sync with Christ’s, so who are you claim Joseph Smith’s was?

        Reply
        1. Lilli

          Christ commanded us to follow him and him only. The greatest commandment is to not follow anyone before God or Christ.

          Most of Moses’s laws were contrary to Christ’s, They were laws Moses came up with to rule a wicked people, probably the best he could do. But they were not the laws of God?Christ. So there is no way Christ could say to follow Moses’s laws for that would be complete chaos and he would contradict himself. The only laws of Moses Christ commanded were some of the 10 commandments, those we can trust to be approved of Christ.

          We must remember that just because Christ used examples from the law of Moses or mentioned some of Moses’s laws, which was the law people in that day believed in, doesn’t mean Christ agreed with it, he clearly didn’t in many instances. He was obviously just many of those laws as a reference point for him to teach from. And thus teach how His laws were often different then Moses’s.

          Christ said that we will know true prophets by the fact that they keep ‘all’ his commandments. That leaves no room for any other laws or contrary behavior.

          Either the Bible is wrong about the things Abraham really did (for the Bible is clearly filled with countless errors & falsehoods made up by men) OR Abraham repented before he died, OR it’s possible Christ didn’t say those words exactly, but the transcribers didn’t get his exact words correct sometimes, for it would have been a miracle if they had. We have to expect at least some errors.

          For the mention of Abraham contradicts Christ’s other teachings, so both can’t be true. The New Testament is riddled with error too, but it seems most of Christ’s teachings prove to be true, consistent & right, meaning they are the wisest precepts ever known to man to achieve peace, happiness & prosperity. But even Christ would expect us to still take His words and test them to see if they are true or not. We can’t believe anything blindly.

          When you study & live Christ’s teachings you know that there is no way a true prophet, or righteous man would ever live polygamy or so many of the other things Joseph and other so called prophets did back then or do today.

          Reply
          1. Justin

            Starting from the bottom. First of all, I have honestly and sincerely studied Christ’s life and teachings and I don’t believe there to be anything wrong with polygamy. If you would like to actually share some quote of Chirst’s to defend your argument feel free but I get the impression you prefer demanding that others accept your perspective on the virtue of you said so and because of insinuated insults, such as implying that If I disagree it is because I haven’t studied enough.

            As far as Abraham, I find it convenient that when presented with an idea contrary to your desired beliefs you are willing to accept multiple alternatives no matter how speculative, but you are completely unwilling to entertain the possibility that your perspective could be wrong. Based off of my own studies I believe Christ himself was a polygamist, but if someone presented evidence to the contrary I would be happy to weight that in on my evaluation. That is because I’m more interested in knowing the truth than proving myself to be right about everything I’ve ever believed.

            And finally, as for the law of Moses, I’m guessing your not familiar with the difference between the actual laws of Moses, and the ordinances and customs derived from them, and the cultural laws of Moses that didn’t come from the Torah, but that the Jews made up afterwards. I say that because you claim Christ’s laws contradict most of the law’s of Moses, when in fact the majority of the laws of Moses are neutral to Christ’s laws and the most important ones are encompassed and enhanced by laws of Moses. Don’t believe me? “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” That is what Christ himself had to say about it. I also get the impression you don’t know know the Torah well because it seems you missed that Christ telling the healed leper to “But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” was more than just having him show off Christ’s healing ability, it was demanded by law’s of Moses and Christ was telling the man to obey it.

            Frankly though, I find this discussion pointless. You are demanding acceptance of your worldview without presenting any evidence to support it. And when presented with contrary evidence you invent baseless explanations or insist otherwise on the sole virtue that you said so. Feel free to take the “last word” because this isn’t worth my time.

        2. audreydalley

          Today, we are not called to obey the Law of Moses. That has been fulfilled in Christ (Matthew 5:17). We are to obey the “law of Christ,” which is a law of love (Galatians 6:2; John 13:34). Jesus stated the greatest commands of all: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36–40).

          Reply
  15. OnlyThoughts

    Fascinating!
    A couple of years back I met and spoke with a guy that was a follower of Denver Snuffer. Because of my disaffection with the Church, he was willing to talk openly about his beliefs concerning the current Church – more specifically the current leadership – and how it has fallen astray from its original foundation. And this person was in his Stake’s presidency at the time of our conversation.
    Now I’m wondering if there is a large contingency of Snuffer followers in the Treasure Valley; large enough to warrant this kind of meeting.

    My personal thought… I got tired of feeling like a child in the Church, where leadership very carefully teach us how think, how to act, how to believe. The Boise Rescue only confirms to me that the leadership still see the membership as a whole as children; to be taught and led with very carefully scripted dialogue.

    Reply
  16. Angela C

    I wasn’t in the meeting, but given the location, I suspect that the motivation for most of the remarks you’ve noted here was to discredit Denver Snuffer specifically by casting him as a “false prophet.” Denver’s claim that he has received the second comforter, been visited by Christ, that the church is off track, and the large following of fairly conservative people he’s gained, all these seem to be what Oaks is defending against.

    BRM also smacked down George W. Pace for encouraging members to seek the second comforter, as I recall from my BYU days. Administrative leaders don’t like charismatic ones and vice-versa.

    I’m really not sure how big a threat Snuffer is or how many in that city are perceived to be his potential acolytes, but the points you listed are like a defensive playbook for his Passing the Heavenly Gift, which I thought was relatively obscure among mainstream members, and yet maybe it’s not there.

    Reply
  17. AB2

    Is this the same Elder Oaks, who in 1985 commented on the “White Salamander Letter” to sure up the church about how this letter could be reconciled with Joseph Smith’s statement describing the appearance of the Angel Moroni. When the letter first came out, he thought the document was authentic and was trying to rationalize how it could fit into Church teachings. Here is his explanation given at the 1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium:

    “One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of ‘salamander,’ which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s…. That meaning… is ‘a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.’…

    “A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:… the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.” 1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium,” pages 22-23

    If the Church was under continuous revelation, instead of intellectual evaluation or “a good approximation”, then Elder Oaks might have prayed and received an answer concerning Mark Hoffman’s forgery, but as history has pointed out, this was a charade and when the document was proven to be a fraud, Elder Oaks made the following statement trying to clarify himself.

    “Some have asked how Mark Hoffman was able to deceive Church leaders? In order to perform their personal ministries, Church leaders cannot be suspicious and questioning of each of the hundreds of people they meet each year. Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love.”

    “In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counseling, comforting, and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a Church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious.”
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Forgeries/Mark_Hofmann/Church_reaction_to_forgeries/Dallin_H._Oaks_6_August_1987_remarks_on_Hofmann

    Wow, what a statement, I didn’t know that Elder Oaks had personally met Mark Hoffman. When elder Oaks was called into the Quorum of the Twelve it was purportedly to help write the Church Handbook with emphasis on discipline. I wonder if a section on “How to Detect a Deceiver” would have been in order? Maybe an insertion of Moroni’s promise in the Handbook could have saved the Church’s face.

    Now to the part of the Boise Recue Speech where Elder Oaks states:

    “For most Mormons, the key question of ‘who’s on the Lord’s side’, is how they feel about the church’s current prophetic leadership. If those feelings are sufficiently negative, they take members into what we call apostasy.” https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByxPAzWvheErZTZ3SlRWSmJkM2s/view

    Contrast this statement with Elder Uchtdorf’s October 2013 Conference talk “Come Join With Us”:

    “To those who have separated themselves from the Church, I say, my dear friends, there is yet a place for you here. Come and add your talents, gifts, and energies to ours. We will all become better as a result.”

    “Some might ask, “But what about my doubts?” It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.”
    https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/come-join-with-us?lang=eng

    Still scratching my head with this; which one of the Apostle’s should I follow on this one? Guess I’ll ponder this advice from President Brigham Young.

    “What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire of themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they will settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal security in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus Christ, that they are led in the right way.” JD 9:149-50

    But it’s the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith that gives me the greatest comfort in times such as this.

    “The greatest achievement that can be reached in our lives is to be under the complete influence of the Holy Ghost. Then God can teach us what is really good and necessary to do to gain his presence.” – Joseph Smith

    Keep up the good work Anonymous Bishop; truth matters, it saves!

    AB2

    Reply
  18. Matt

    Men are not perfect but the church is. I served as a missionary for two years preaching this great doctrine and defending it and I will still defend it. I paid to serve as a missionary and I’m happy. I’ve followed the counsels from the leaders of the church and my life has been awesome. I’ve had ups and downs just like everyone else but I’m happy and that is what God wants. 2 Nephi 2:25 “Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy.” I know that as we follow the leaders of this church that we will be helped on our way to salvation and eternal life. It’s through Jesus Christ that we are saved but His servants are the ones who help us follow His teachings by reminding us that we must repent and become more like Him and I believe that was Elder Oaks’ goal. Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” We need prophets. It has been the pattern since the beginning of time. Adam was the first prophet and he was not perfect. By darn he ate the forbidden fruit and we are meant to live this life. If we did not have prophets we would all be lost just like Joseph Smith. If you have doubts about the leaders of the church then pray and read the scriptures and ponder in your heart and you’ll know that they love us. Their best interests are our best interests. The Lord will bless you as you seek Him and seek counsel but He won’t answer you unless you’re willing to do something about it. No man on earth is perfect except Jesus Christ. I know this church to be God’s church and I will stand by it until Christ comes again. I have asked and I have received my own revelation about this church and that is to live by the doctrines that it teaches and follow my leaders. I sustain them at church and I always will. I love the Bible and the Book of Mormon and I hold them as testaments of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and He has chosen President Thomas S. Monson as the prophet to lead us in these latter days. If you seek God then you will find Him. I found Him.

    Reply
    1. BeStill&Know

      I appreciate your kind testimony. I humbly offer some thoughts for you to consider:

      The Lord is perfect. The gospel, in it’s fulness, is perfect. The Church of the First Born is the only church that will persist into eternity. Do you believe the LDS Church = the Church of the First Born? I humbly submit they are not they same thing. Indeed, many of the Lord’s parables, like the fish in the net, the ten virgins, the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares, draw the distinction.

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is an earthly institution, a corporation to be more accurate. It has functioned in the 20th century and into the 21st as a corporation, from organization, to management, to expanding it’s holdings, to employment practices (I’ve worked for the church for 20 years), to marketing, to focus grouping and polling, etc.

      You learned the pride cycle in seminary presumably. I humbly ask you…are we immune as a church to the pride cycle? The Jews were not. The Nephites were not. The ten tribes were not. The Jaredites were not. Can you point to SCRIPTURE that indicates that the church, the legal entity LDS Church, will not fail? Can you point to anything in the revealed word of God (that is not a statement from a leader post Joseph Smith) that would buttress the idea that the LDS Church is perfect, is divinely appointed to persist and never fail? The scriptures and statements by the Prophet Joseph (and even Brigham Young) are replete with warnings and prophecy about the eventual failure of the LDS Church (see all of Isaiah, especially chapters 3-4; Ezekiel 34; All of Nephi’s Isaiah chapters–written to be likened by US because they are about US; 2 Nephi 28 which is about US the Gentile Church; Jacob 5; 3 Nephi 16, 20, 21; Mormon 8; Moroni 7; Moroni 10; D&C 101, the parable of the vineyard; D&C 85 about the one mighty and strong; D&C 112:25; D&C 124:27-53; D&C 84:54-61…among many others–all of these are PROPHECY and WARNING to US!) Joseph Smith warned the early saints repeatedly that if we did not humble ourselves and repent, the Lord would seek “ANOTHER PEOPLE”. One of the great keys in understanding the Book of Mormon is to realize it is speaking directly to US the members of the LDS Church. The Gentiles mentioned throughout the book are primarily referencing US (yes I know the arguments that the gentiles are only those nasty non-mormons, but read 3 Nephi 16, 20, and 20 and ask yourself, who else is CHRIST talking about? He is warning US! 3 Nephi 16 says unmistakably that the fulness of the Gospel WILL be rejected by the first Gentiles to receive it–and who RECEIVED the fulness of the gospel in these latter days, but Joseph Smith and the early saints. D&C 84 declares we were under condemnation in 1832 (never been lifted). D&C 124 says, if we wouldn’t repent and build the temple as the Lord directed (which the early saints didn’t do) we would be rejected as a church. When the prophet was slain, there’s a good reason that there was a succession “crisis”, because NONE of the saints, including Brigham, knew what to do…because the heavens were closed to them. And just as D&C 124 predicted, they had to suffer the consequences of disobedience to God.

      Now, undoubtedly this surely seems like craziness to anyone who is thoroughly convinced the LDS Church is still God’s kingdom on earth today, but ask yourself, what are the true fruits of the church since Joseph Smith:

      1. It’s published the revelations. Yes. Good.
      2. It’s taught members to obey and serve God. Good. Is this different from any other sincere believing Christian group?
      3. It preaches the gospel as it understands it. Yes. Good. But is this different from other Christian groups?
      4. Do the gifts of prophecy, revelation, healing, visions, tongues, visitations abound in the church today? Have they since the death of Joseph?
      5. Do angels minister regularly to members of the church? What do Mormon and Moroni say about this and what it says about our faith?
      6. Do the people have all things in common as mandated by scripture?
      7. Are we still under condemnation as President Benson declared in 1986?
      8. Do the apostles and general authorities labor with their own hands for their support as mandated by the BoM and D&C? Or do they receive ANY compensation (Alma insisted he had never received ONE SENINE for his ministry) for their ministries? Is it possible that they receive very generous compensation as a result of their offices? Do they pay tithing on their compensation from the tithes of people? The early apostles after Joseph died, voted to exempt themselves from paying tithing. Has that ever changed? Mission presidents do not pay tithing on their compensation while in the mission field–that is is the Handbook.
      9. Have they changed any of the ordinances? Is the sacrament the same as revealed through Joseph? Answer, no. Is the endowment the same as revealed by Joseph? Answer, not even close. What did Isaiah and Joseph say about changing ordinances instituted by God. Yes the church has changed the ordinances drastically. who authorized them to do that? Where is the revelation? Does the church govern itself strictly according to the revelations as commanded by the Lord in the D&C, or does the church put the Handbook of Instructions above the scriptures?
      10. Do our leaders prophecy? Do they receive revelations (not personal revelation, but revelation for the church–which MUST be written down and published for the church to read, accept and sustain as the scriptures dictate)? Do they exercise seership? Do they testify that they have seen the LORD and KNOW him as Nephi, Isaiah, Moroni, and Joseph? Oliver Cowdery told the original apostles they MUST see the face of God and have HIM ordain them for their apostleship to be complete. Brigham admitted he never saw God or received angels. Many others have said the same. Elder Oaks just admitted that they don’t NEED to have direct contact with heaven…that’s not their calling. Well, if that’s not their calling, then what makes them different from the Pope, or from Billy Graham?
      10. Was the church perfect when it preached that if it EVER gave blacks the priesthood, the church would LOSE ALL PRIESTHOOD? This was the church’s OFFICIAL position until 1978. This never came from Joseph, but from Brigham onward.
      11. Was the church perfect when it said that one MUST be a polygamist in order to be exalted, and now that doctrine is rejected. Were they right then, or are they right now?
      12. Was the church perfect by engaging in the worlds business activities by taking the tithes of the people and using it to get gain? Is the City Creek Mall, a mult-billion dollar venture, divinely inspired? That was built off of the tithes of the people.
      13. Where does it say in scripture that the Lord’s leaders, even the prophet, can NEVER LEAD US ASTRAY?
      14. Does any of this make you angry, or are you willing to ask God if my words are true or not?

      These are only a very few points to consider. I love the church. I have dedicated my life to it. But it has in many ways failed to do as the Lord requires. We must repent of our iniquity and awake to our awful situation. The Lord is calling to each of us to come unto Him, not to offer an oath to sustain men.

      Reply
      1. bellamy brown

        A small correction .The COJCOLDS is NOT an institution. It is NOT a church. It is NOT a legal entity. It is a legally registered trademark which is owned by the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter day Saints. That corporation in turn is a corporation sole meaning it has a sole owner who is Thomas b Monson. He personally owns the whole shooting match. That corporations articles are on file with the Utah Sec of States office and are a matter of public record .I have personally reviewed them. I don’t not understand how anybody can believe a trademark is true. Some clarity of speech and in the use of legal terms may bring understanding of what we should be developing a testimony of. I don’t mean to be critical but until we understand that we have no need to fear the truth we will continue to walk in darkness

        Reply
    2. stockoneder

      The vast majority of God’s children who attain eternal life in the celestial kingdom do so without being a member of any church, paying in any money, attending any meetings, keeping any rules, wearing any special clothes, following any “prophets” or going to any temple.
      And how does this happen? They simply die before they turn 8. Well over a billion souls have attained eternal salvation simply by dying young. Far, far more than have ever been saved by being LDS. God doesn’t need men or their organizations to save His children.

      Reply
  19. David Root

    I’m reading a lot of comments – most of them – that sound like the gnashing of teeth. I believe in Christ, but I have not seen Him. It’s apparent that neither have any of you. Why criticize Elder Oaks?

    What I am witnessing here is the modern day equivalent of the stoning of prophets. We are told by prophecy that, in our times, many of the elect would be deceived. The separating of the wheat from the tares has begun.

    Reply
    1. BeStill&Know

      Was Abinadi gnashing teeth when he preached against the leaders of the Church of His day? Was Ezekiel, was Isaiah, was Amos, was Lehi, was John the Baptist? None of those were ordained leaders of their churches. They were ordained by God (or an angel, in the case of John) and were called to preach repentance to the CHURCHES of their day…to call the people and specifically the LEADERS to repent because they had all changed the ordinance and broken the everlasting covenant. We have done the same today.

      Caiaphas sat in Moses seat. He was the presiding high priest of his day. Was it wrong for Christ to call him and his associates out on their pride and priestcraft? Christ after all was an outsider, not a priest, in fact, had NOT RECEIVED AUTHORITY FROM HIS LEADERS IN THE CHURCH. No man had ordained him to his High Priesthood. See Hebrews.

      Thomas S. Monson sits in Joseph’s seat. Is it wrong to point out that he speaks more of himself and his own works (and allows others to do the same) than he does of Christ? Is it wrong to point out that he presided over the building of a multi-billion dollar shopping mall with the tithes of the people? Is it wrong to point out that he has NOT TESTIFIED of Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon in over 9 years? Is it wrong to point out that he has not prophesied, revealed or exercises seership? Is it wrong to do as Brigham urged, to ask God if Thomas is a true or false prophet?

      I love the church. The church has so many wonderful, humble followers of Christ within it. But so also does portions of the Catholic and Evangelical churches. I am deeply saddened by the state of the LDS Church today it’s ever ripening wild fruit.

      Reply
    2. BeStill&Know

      One more thing. Words spoken honestly in search of truth and understanding equal stoning? Curious observation. Yes indeed, the sifting of the wheat and the tares has begun. One thing to remember, D&C 76 tells us plainly that the first category of tares assigned to the Telestial kingdom are those who followed the prophets and did not receive Christ and their calling and election in the flesh.

      Reply
    3. Craig Pixton

      Baaa, Baaa, Baaa. Do I detect a serious voice coming from the “herd? ” NO worries mate, all is well in Zion. And I should know, because the Brethren would have told me if it wasn’t–wouldn’t they? They don’t have any hidden agendas–do they…million dollar bullet proof limo’s, 1/2 to 1 million dollar homes, huge incomes from their non paying jobs, the hero whorship of literally millions of adoring fans round the world, the utter humiliation if they were to admit that they know this is all a farce, etc, etc.

      I take offense to your third sentence! Some of us may have! But that isn’t important here, what is important is their calling! I suggest you do some research on the original qualifications of a “special witness.” Oliver Cowdrey, under the direction of the prophet Joseph, gave the original twelve very specific requirements that had to be met in order to truly qualify as a “special witness” for Christ. NONE of them have qualified as per instructions!!! I personally may have had that sacred experience, but it is not required of me to tell a soul, but then I am not called and set apart to be an apostle–a “special witness”. What makes them “special” is the fact that they are supposed to have qualified just as the apostles of old did. i.e. felt the wounds in His hands and feet, felt the wound in his side where they pierced Him with a spear, been eye witnesses of his resurrected body! Eye witnesses to the fact that the last enemy to be overcome is “death”! It never fails to surpise me the lenghts that clowns (someone who pretends to be something that he isn’t) will go to to keep up the cherade.

      Do you actually want me to sit here an believe that Dallon H. Oaks, a former attorney at law, doesn’t know the meaning of “witness?” And the different between simply a witness and a “special witness” as defined by the church, i.e. prophet, seer, revelator? Give me a break!
      Baaa, Baaa, Baaa. I respect your right to believe as you do, but may I humbly suggest that you just don’t be so blind in your faith. The church is a wonderful social program, social gathering place, so full of warm fuzzies, uplifting in so many ways, but it is NOT the Kingdom of God, never has been, never will be.

      Reply
  20. aredesuyo

    Today Brother Snuffer posted a link to a KUTV piece where they interviewed him about the so-called “Boise Rescue” meeting. At about 1:15 in the news video, the Church spokesman says something that makes it seem as if the decision to have this “rescue” meeting was more last-minute than it probably really was, and that it was not organized as a response to rebaptisms, formation of fellowships, blogging, etc. The reason I doubt the accuracy of the spokesman’s statement is that I have reason to believe that Elder Oaks had already been formulating responses to the issues cited in the meeting for quite some time before this meeting. At the beginning of May I attended a bishopric training meeting at our stake (I’m a ward clerk) where we watched some training videos that were made at the time of April general conference, and it was in this training program that they introduced us to the new emphasis on sabbath-day/sacrament meeting. In the short segment that featured Elder Oaks, he talked about the idea of being a witness of the “name” of Christ and how that means being a witness of the work of Christ (or something). I took notes and tried hard to get my head around that idea, but to be honest, it wasn’t enlightening to me at all, and I still feel a bit lost whenever I try to figure it out. At the time, I sort of got the impression that this was an idea he had been cooking up on his own for awhile, as if it were sort of a side project of his, but then I didn’t really think anything more of it. Fast-forward to the Boise rescue meeting. When Elder Oaks claimed that modern apostles are called to be witnesses of the “name” of Christ and not a personal witness, I immediately recognized this “name” idea that he had been putting forth at the bishopric training meeting. Maybe I’m full of it, but it’s clear to me that there’s a whole lot of fishy stuff going on lately, and being a clerk has given me a bit of a window on some of it.

    Reply
    1. Bishop Anon Post author

      I think you’re exactly right. Even elder oaks said in his presentation that he had been preparing his remarks with brother turley for several weeks. Surely they would have set a date prior to that and would have chosen a location. Seems obvious they want to downplay the location. Why not Salt Lake and broadcast it to the world rather than only do an in state Boise transmission with no recording offered or even news of it on their own news outlets. For me, just feels dishonest, again.

      Reply
  21. keith

    I have been contemplating recent how the life of Joseph Smith is a prophetic example for the Church. Near the end of his life, he ran for president as we have most recently had a prominent Mormon run for that high office. Before the prophets martyrdom members bel8eved he was a fallen prophet …There are now members who think that the brethren have fallen…just one of the signs of the times. It was sad that fallen members led the martyrdom party at Carthage. It is sad that some members mow are beating that same drum. History does repeat itself

    As for me and my house we will follow the Lord, the first presidency and the prophet, and the Twelve

    Reply
    1. aredesuyo

      Just be sure that you’re following those entities in the order you stated. Then, when inconsistencies arise, you’ll already be on the right track.

      Reply
  22. keith

    One premise: the LDS Church leadership has Devine authority and is directing the church under revelation from Jesus Christ
    Alternate premise: they had it but are fallen … and the Lord God will raise up another in its stead
    Another Premise: they never had it – the church is a false church etc etc.

    The arguments depend upon which premise you have. I will contain my remarks to only the first 2 premises…

    If you believe that Jesus Christ restored the church thru Joseph Smith and his successors and He leads the church and the church has the authority for salvation, then you repent and follow their counsel…you will support and sustain them. If they do wrong you will accept the fallen nature of men, the mistake of man and continue to follow them as this is the Lord’s church and not man’s church…
    If you believe that they err in one thing or another , you can either address it quietly with them or openly … I believe that the Lord would prefer the former as opposed to the latter to prevent the stumbling of the self and others…and if the quiet method does not present itself to lay it aside…until it does or make quiet efforts to meet with them.

    If you believe they are fallen then you do not believe their counsel, rise against them and wait for another prophet to take their place. .. Maybe even you believe that you are that prophet…have received a visit or vision yourself of God almighty and will establish the true church once again upon the earth.

    To those who believe the first premise – those who claim the second premise are the false prophets – and the leaders of the church…general, stake and home teachers speak of following the prophet and ignoring those naysayers.

    To those that believe the second premise… it is the leaders who have fallen and your opinions are voiced to gather likewise minded people tearing down the leaders and those who believe the first.

    Those who believe either premise cite scriptures to reaffirm their points. … and accept or reject the converse at your own peril .

    For those who believe the first premise, they might cite Alma the younger and tbe sons of mosiah in their rebellion against their parents and the church before their miraculous conversion…

    For those who believe the second premise, you might cite changes in dispensation when the old dispensation falls into apostasy and is replaced by a new…with a new first prophet… a new Elias. .. and a new Christ.

    It seems like the former premise for me is more logical, more in the spirit of Christ than the latter.
    However, for others the belief in the second premise more follows their belief.

    Either the LDS church is true, or its not. Either the prophet Joseph Smith was true, or he wasn’t. Either the apostolic keys have been passed down to President Monson and he holds them, and will be passed to his successor or they weren’t, and won’t be.

    Make your choice. Choose which side you stand on. Build it up or teat it down. Make you choice. Live with the consequences…it is a matter of eternal life and death.

    As for me, I will stand with the prophet, the first presidency, tbe twelve and the general and local leaders. I will allow you your beliefs, but this is where my testimony lies. I believe that Christ leads the LDS Church through his prophet, Thomas S. Monson.

    My points are from that premise, my arguments are from that premise…it seems more logical and in accord with the revealed word of God in the tome period of which we live than the other premises.

    Reply
    1. Maynard

      Good luck getting that quet meeting with them. Maybe we should all take our problems-quetly-to politicians. That works well.

      Reply
  23. Ramman

    I think it would have been great if they had allowed questions from the audience; wonder how the scripted answers would have worked on unscripted questions!! Then again, I doubt the congregation numbered any sincere seekers of truth!!

    Reply
  24. Elii Flores

    It is so easy my friend if you are nit agree with the leaders get out! GET OUT AND BE HAPPY if you dont get out you have personal problems because this life is for joy and you are wasting it talking about people you think they are wrong,come on you know you will die right?? Come one get out dont waste your life

    Reply
    1. Dan

      Great comments from everyone on this issue. I enjoy seeing all the different points of view and seeing where people stand. I believe that everyone of us is searching for the exact same thing. We are each having to approach it from a completely different angle. The middle ground that each of us have stood on at some point in our lives concerning the gospel is being taken away whether we realize it or not. And so we are left to choose for ourselves who we will follow.
      And hopefully we choose in a way that will lead us to more light and truth.
      Its really quite an amazing journey when we stop to ananlyze it, especially when we realize that everything about this journy through life is controlled by our faith that we have attained to and any progression that we will recieve in this life will come as a direct result of us “acting” in accordance to true doctrine and principles associated with that doctorine.

      I farm for a living and with that occupation comes alot of long hours to be able think about life. If i may offer any advice to someone on either side of this issue it is simply this. As we all endevour to drink of the waters of life freely, never drink downstream of the herd. And as we cultivate our soil to plant seeds of truth ” if ” you find a stump in your field, i have found it is much easier to simply plow around the stump. Just make sure that this stump was not once a tree that had been cut down to make a simple wooden bridge.

      Reply
      1. Missy

        I have been struggling with the church for a long time. It is not the same church that it was when I was growing, or even when I was busy raising my family. I just can’t really put my finger on what it is. It no longer makes me happy, and when I go I no longer get that burning feeling that I used to feel. The church seems to be less loving about people who struggle or no longer attend. The repetition drives me insane. I am bored to death when I do attend and I absolutely hate attending church! I live in Utah County and I swear there is a different church there. The church seems to be moving to the far extreme right when it comes to politics, which they claim they do not get involved in. I have a teenage granddaughter that is half black. She hates the church. Young Women has all but ruined her. I feel lost! Who is going to come to my rescue ? Nobody in my ward. I am a liberal…..

        Reply
        1. Jamison

          I’d agree, Missy, that the Church has morphed into something less passionate while at the same time more dogmatic than I remember growing up with. I’m sorry it’s become a sour experience for you and your family.

          To hear Denver Snuffer tell it, the Lord has been struggling with the Church for a long time as well but is moving again to complete the restoration started by Joseph Smith. If you’re interested in Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon you might find Snuffer’s message interesting.

          Reply
    2. Justin

      Elii, You are so right! This life is about joy. All is well in Zion; Yea Zion prospereth. they should either eat, drink and be merry with us or leave.

      But Elli, what are you doing here criticizing these people for? Why haven’t you “gotten out”? I thought only someone with a personal problem would criticizing others instead of just leaving? You don’t have to read this or respond to any of this. Why are you wasting your life criticizing others beliefs and telling them to leave the Gods Church?

      Oh wait I know, It must be this scripture here
      Oaks 18:32 “Apply this to yourself and share with everyone you meet. Obey or GTFO”

      Keep up the good work missionary.

      Reply
  25. Justin

    I think that this straw-man argument of “You’re apostate if you disagree BECAUSE you’re following false prophets” is going to backfire.

    I’m sure there are some who are “following” Denver Snuffer as if he was a prophet. However, I have been studying the changes in the church longer than snuffer’s books. Frankly, I disagree with Snuffer’s perspectives on many things and I personally doubt his claims of visitation. I hope and believe that those who do agree with Snuffer are not “following him” but are following the scriptures and their own inspiration.

    Because I’m not following Snuffer, that would mean If I am following a false prophet into apostasy for believing the current leadership is out of order, then that would make Joseph Smith the false prophet. That would mean Nephi and Isaiah were also false prophets. That would even mean Christ visiting the Nephites was a false prophet.

    But what can the current leadership do? Making Snuffer a boogieman to stay away from isn’t going to reconcile the flagrant inconsistencies between the handbook of instructions and D&C. So tell members to stop reading D&C? It’s not going to change the detailed cultural practices of an apostate church taught of, and historically documented by, prophets in the Book of Mormon, which match our current church with uncanny accuracy. So tell members to stop reading the Book of Mormon?

    I would hope that the leaders would admit we have lost our connection to heaven, and repent with us and seek to put things right and gain the Lord’s direction again. It seems instead, energy is being directed into covering up sins and demanding allegiance on virtue of priesthood authority alone.

    Reply
  26. Lisa Petersen

    It is wonderful that so many people are waking up to the truth — that we don’t need men in Salt Lake City to lead us to God. That time has passed, and we are awakening to our own divine connections. This is part of the “great division.” I was a true believing Mormon who was led out of the church when I believed the Book of Mormon and sought to have a mighty change of heart. I know I did the right thing for my kids and me, despite the terror it causes in my extended family, ward members and friends.

    I applaud the Boise families and all others who are sincerely questioning the traditions of Mormonism and the party lines given to deflect accountability by church leaders. It may seem scary, the thought of leaving your whole culture, but don’t be afraid! After 20 years of not going to church or the temple, my peace and understanding in God are ever-growing, and — big shock to the relatives — my kids turned out great. They thank me often for having the courage to leave, so they can freely find God and Truth without the burden of all that guilt and judgement. It is beautiful on the other side, despite what the church wants you to believe. Blessings to all of you!

    Reply
  27. brotherjr

    BeStill&Know,
    You have pretty much stated my own conclusions and feelings in your rather eloquent posts. Thank you! So many are waking up, so many are searching for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It is miraculous! Just a few years ago the church was dead boring, dead to the Spirit and going slowly nowhere. It has become apparent to me that those who insist on clinging to the tired dogmas and downright lies of the church are heading somewhere other than where they have been told they are going! What pushed me over the edge was the LIES told by the church and the leaders. LIES clear back to the days of BY, LIES told in the days of polygamy, LIES told to cover deception after deception for generations! Even LIES told in Boise, they “just happened” to drive to Boise because they just happened to “have a free weekend>” LIES upon LIES upon Lies! How can that be the Lord’s “true church”?. There are many good people in the church who do not know the truth only because they do not know where to find it and because they are deceived by the craftiness of man who lie in wait to deceive. The same may be said of every church. NONE of them are the Church of the FirstBorn, and as Nephi stated so clearly, there are ONLY TWO churches, the church of the devil and the Church of the Lamb of God. I received a burning testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the Savior and the Father nearly 50 years ago. That testimony has been an anchor to my soul thru hard times, crises and personal failures. That testimony has delivered me from the depths of hell where I found myself because of my personal failings. My Savior has delivered my soul and I will praise Him forever!
    Let no man deceive you, there must come a falling away first before the Son of Man is revealed. He is coming. Look to HIM and live and let no man deceive you that there is salvation in following any mortal man. It just is not so and the scriptures testify that it is not so.
    James Russell Uhl

    Reply
  28. Pingback: A Wild Man Hath Come Among Us | Latter-day Commentary

  29. Morgan

    What’s this stuff about Elder Oaks saying that modern Apostles are called to witness of the name of Christ and His plan, but not have give their personal witness? Is this not a sure sign of the banality of our heirarchy?

    I tried to listen to his address, I thought it rather plain and over-simple. I guess I didn’t catch this part. Did he really say something so banal and spiritually evasive as what you highlighted and paraphrased above?

    Reply
  30. R Harold

    Denver could not have said it better but unfortunately he was preempted by revelation through the Lord’s appointed servant Elder Dallin H Oaks in the October 2010 General Conference.

    Reply
  31. KJC

    I’m new at this blogging thing and these blogs. So forgive me if I don’t sound as well read as most of you. Anyway, I’m on my own journey through all this new (to me anyway) information regarding our history in the LDS church. What I can’t quite grasp is this attitude by the GA’s of excommunicating all these new “apostates”. Many of them, like me, are just looking for transparency and answers to questions. If you have nothing to hide why lie about this stuff? This is America. Don’t we have the right to ask questions and expect answers instead of vaccilations?Also, what about “leaving the 90 and 9 and going after the one”? That’s what the Savior would have done. Aren’t these GA’s representatives of the Savior? This seems to me to be a very scary time in the history of our religion. One good thing that has come out of this journey for me is my desire to rekindle my relationship with Christ and our Father. I have to say I’m grateful for that. God bless us all.

    Reply
  32. Pingback: Moroni on the Island of Patmos | TRUTH ACCESSES THE HEAVENS

  33. OutOfTheBlue

    Over the last couple of weeks, I have read all of your posts – and many of the comments. I thank you for reasonably and respectfully sharing your thoughts. In my book, your humility and intellectual honesty give a great deal of credibility to your words. Which is why I leave my comment on this particular post.

    The arguments of this tag-team of attorneys (principles of order and hallmarks of apostasy) all start with the bedrock premise that the brethren are not now, and never have been, wrong in any meaningful way and that the Lord stands behind all of their words and actions: Anyone that thinks otherwise is misled or on the road to apostasy. They further assume that all of the fruits of the brethren are good just because the Church has been financial successfully and a lot of people seem to like it.

    While I’ve always been thoughtful and have come to my own conclusions and have not been shy about sharing them, something exploded in my brain and heart with the November 2015 policy announcement on children of same-sex unions. The logic and righteousness of creating a new, marginalized class of innocents completely escaped me. Their “clarifications” and further illumination only deepened my concern – and confusion.

    Frankly, I was shocked that I could be at such odds with something associated with the Church. For months I wrestled with it. One day, after many months of wresting, my prayer/plea was “Father, I don’t want to be out of step with the Brethren.”

    His question to me: “What would you do if Xxxx (my youngest daughter) came out?”

    Me: “I would not bring her to Church because it’s a hostile environment.”

    Him: “You are accountable to ME. Counsel with your wife. Teach your children.”

    Academically, that was nothing new. But in that moment the burden of pleasing men was lifted – and the tremendously thrilling responsibility/opportunity of charting my own and my family’s salvation filled my being.

    Thank you, Anonymous Bishop and the rest of you Saints, for helping provide a community that fosters those seeking true discipleship of Christ.

    Reply
  34. Salty

    I know this is old news, but I’m just stumbling upon it for the first time. Is there a transcript of Elder Oaks’ words anywhere? There’s a lot of excellent points that I feel are worth sharing, and it is easier to do so with the text versus just the audio. I did a brief and very lazy search and came up with nothing so I thought I’d ask if anyone here knows of a transcript before taking on that task myself.

    Reply
  35. Matt

    Over the summer I read a book called “Salamander,” written by the SL Tribune reporters who covered the Mark Hofmann case. It was an incredible read. Very, very fair – almost to a fault – in its representations of the Church, beliefs, members, etc.

    The one thing that struck me is, “how did this con man manage to deceive the entire hierarchy?” At any point did anyone in leadership take these documents to the Lord and confirm their authenticity? Hofmann is responsible for his own actions, but would the story have turned out differently if this con job had been nipped in the bud? Kathy Sheets and Steve Christiansen might still be with us. They were both great people.

    Had Hofmann not killed two people and nearly killed himself, would we now be teaching that the angel Nephi appeared to Joseph as a white salamander?

    Conversely, the authors relate the story of a woman in Hofmann’s ward who went to visit him as he recovering from the bomb blast. I don’t recall if he was a suspect at the time, but when she left the house, she turned to her husband and said, “Oh, he absolutely did it. There’s darkness in him.”

    So who has the spirit of prophesy and revelation?

    Can the leaders lead us astray? Absolutely they can.

    Reply
  36. Pingback: Truth and The Angel Nephi – BOOK OF MORMONISM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *