The Church has a history of wanting to be seen as en vogue when it comes to popular political causes. The most recent example of this is Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s speech at BYU this week where he proclaims, “Black lives matter an eternal truth all reasonable people should support.”
Of course, Elder Oaks issues a few caveats that the Church doesn’t condone violence and the tearing down of statues, but to be sure that he is not just borrowing popular words to teach a different sermon, Oaks makes sure to include his disgust for the “shocking police-produceddeath of George Floyd in Minnesota.”
With such an extensive legal background, Elder Oaks should realize the dangers of making such bold statements, especially while the case against the police officers is still being adjudicated.
As tragic as was his death, Floyd has become a false hero in a false propaganda war intent on inciting the overthrow of our government. His death has been hijacked. His name is now being exploited for devilish purposes.
We’ve learned some things since the tragic death of Goerge Floyd that were not known at the time or withheld. None of this is intended to justify or exonerate anyone, but surely all of us should want the facts to come to light before making final judgments.
George Floyd had fatal, lethal levels of fentanyl in his system (one of the reasons he was unable to breathe).
Floyd said he couldn’t breathe way before he was on the ground.
Floyd, who was high on drugs, asked to be put on the ground, saying he couldn’t breathe and wanted to lie down on the street.
The police officers called the ambulance because they were concerned about Floyd’s mental and physical health.
Floyd had a long history of violence and crime and recent arrests.
The full video of the altercation with Floyd and other crucial facts to the case were intentionally kept from public view by the media.
Charges against the police officers involved are being dropped or lessened because of the evidence being examined.
For these reasons and many others, Elder Oaks and the Church are unwise to condemn men who still await their day in Court. Instead of throwing fuel on the fire, the Church should be calling for law and order and justice through the normal judicial processes.
Instead, they court the Black Lives Matter banner, which as we’ve already pointed out, represents a host of evil ideas, principles, and activities that they or any “reasonable person” should want to disassociate themselves from.
The Church could instead be taking the opportunity to fight against good words being used to now mean evil things rather than legitimizing the new, reckless definitions.
Why not pick up the banner of ALL LIVES mattering? Why not use their pulpit to make this a focus on baby lives mattering? It’s a great opportunity that counters the false narrative and shows good people that we still stand up for truth, even when it’s unpopular. Of course, black lives matter — everyone knows that and should believe it. But, Black Lives Matter doesn’t value black lives, that’s for sure. Not conservative ones. Not black police officers. Not black babies. Not black youth being killed in America’s cities largely by other blacks.
What if the same logic was being used for other misleading causes? “Being pro-choice is an eternal principle. All reasonable people should support being pro-choice.” An argument could certainly be made that members of the Church believe in the freedom to choose. But, does this send a mixed message? Might this confuse people into believing that the Church is pro-abortion? Or that choice has no consequences. Add to that, the marching in pro-choice parades by the likes of prominent Church members such as Mitt Romney and statements that seemed to take the side of the wrong team, and might that send a mixed message.
How about marriage equality? “Marriage equality is an eternal principle. All reasonable people should support marriage equality.” Sure sounds nice. But again, what message does that send? Marriage equality is code for gay marriage. Another example of nice words being twisted to mean something different.
Mormons building bridges? Is this also an eternal principle? Should we join in parades where sex toys and vagina hats are part and parcel? Is everything an eternal principle if you squint at it long enough? If we legalize it?
My vote is for the Church to counter the message of the world and stop trying to appeal to everyone. The gospel message is for everyone, true, but let’s not water down our message in order to appease people who frankly hate faith in God and want to destroy the nuclear family.
Utah Senator Mike Lee compared President Donald Trump to Captain Moroni in a recent Trump-Pence campaign event in Arizona, which has a very large LDS population, and which has become a swing state. The Salt Lake Tribune covers the story, which I include below. Because Lee has received a lot of criticism for his comments from LDS and non-LDS people alike, I want to take a moment to weigh in.
Senator, thank you for your courage and for being willing to speak the truth. You realize, unlike some members of our Church, that President Trump, love him or hate him, is the last man standing between freedom and tyranny in this the United States of America. I wish Mitt Romney had 1/10 of your courage and humility.
Your humility is especially refreshing as most of us remember that you were a never-Trumper with Mitt 4 years ago. But, you, like many of us, have seen the results of this President, who has lowered taxes, reduced regulations, been unabashedly pro-life, nominated 3 conservative Justices to the Supreme Court, funded our military while bringing troops home, supported law enforcement, supported Israel, supported governors and states during times of crisis, and much more… And now, realize that this is a man who is doing all that he promised and more.
I fully support your leadership in our State and Nation and love your comparison between President Trump and Captain Moroni. Honest people know and appreciate the message being conveyed and I think it’s quite apt and timely. Thank you, Senator Lee!
Americans may have called President Donald Trump just about everything possible this year, good and bad. But standing by his side at an Arizona rally on Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee called him something new to urge Latter-day Saints to vote for him: “Captain Moroni.”
“To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends,” Lee, R-Utah, said as he pointed to Trump standing by his side, “think of him as Captain Moroni. He seeks not power, but to pull it down.”
Lee added, “He seeks not the praise of the world or the ‘fake news,’ but he seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people.”
He then asked a crowd with many cheering Latter-day Saints — which a video shows had many sitting close together without masks — “Are you willing to stand with me and millions and millions of others who want four more years?” A loud cheer followed.
Lee, an Arizona native, campaigned at numerous rallies in that swing state on Tuesday and Wednesday, including one sponsored by Latter-day Saints for Trump. The president’s campaign spokesperson Samantha Zager said earlier that was part of a “concerted effort with our outreach to the LDS community in Arizona and Nevada, seeking to expand President Trump’s base of support.”
Polling has showed former Vice President Joe Biden having a narrow lead over Trump in the swing state.
Lee comparing Trump and Captain Moroni — who is a different character than the prophet and later angel Moroni whose statue tops many of the faith’s temples — quickly brought attacks on social media and elsewhere.
“These are the moves of a desperate campaign, one that fails to understand that governing from the extreme right does not work for our United States,” Rob Taber, president of Latter-day Saints for Biden Harris, wrote in a news release.
Taber complained that it was another example of how “Latter-day Saints for Trump, who never signed Mormon Women for Ethical Government’s pledge, have time and again exploited our shared faith. They have willfully used sacred symbols, including the temple multiple times, in their propaganda.”
Social media also erupted over Lee’s comments, from humorous to condemning.
Sam Houston State historian Benjamin Park tweeted, “I didn’t think I’d have to say this, and I don’t feel like writing a whole op-ed about it, but let me be clear: Donald Trump is not a Captain Moroni.”
@hmdoppelganger tweeted, “@SenMikeLee you humiliate your state and your religion. And Captain Moroni.”
Instead of describing Trump as Captain Moroni, Barbara Jones Brown tweeted that Lee should have realized “King Noah is more like it.” He was an evil ruler in the Book of Mormon who overtaxed his people to support harlots, and who burned a prophet at the stake for criticizing him.
@reluctanteng tweeted, “@SenMikeLee, I knew Captain Moroni. Captain Moroni was a friend of mine. @realDonaldTrump, you’re no Captain Moroni.”
After the backlash, Lee posted a statement on Facebook to explain his remarks.
“Some people found that comparison upsetting, blasphemous, and otherwise wrong,” he noted. “I respect their right to feel that way, and realize that my impromptu comments may not have been the best forum for drawing a novel analogy from scripture.”
Lee went on to say that he never meant to suggest that Trump was a prophet or “should [b]e revered as a religious leader.”
Instead, Lee said he meant to convey that he sees Trump differently than he once did and illustrate parallels between Captain Moroni and Trump. Where Captain Moroni “s[ought] not for power, but to pull it down,” Trump has tried to “drain the swamp,” Lee said.
“In short,” Lee wrote about the comparison, “Donald Trump has far exceeded my expectations by sticking to his effort to reform the federal government even when it’s hard and unpopular.”
During that same rally Wednesday, Lee also sought to appeal to evangelicals and Protestants.
“To my Protestant and evangelical friends, we have to remember that it is by the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we’ve had four years of prosperity and peace,” he said as he urged them to vote for Trump.
Reporter Paighten Harkins contributed to this article.
I love Israel. I love the nation, the land, the history, and generally the people. Sadly, many Jews have come to America and have strayed from their faith. But many have also returned home and found it again. Israel means “wrestles with God.” One thing is certain for me, God has a covenant with Israel and although it may seem impossible, He will honor that covenant.
I grew up in a city with many Jewish people. I also work with many in my current profession. Even my Jewish friends who are not religious at all, like me, seem to believe that Israel is special, that it has a unique and unparalleled place in history, and that there is a Spirit there that is palpable.
I can tell you from my own experience, that the Jews are a persecuted people. They are hated by many people and many nations. It was common for the mostly Jewish high school basketball team in my county, for example, to have bagels thrown at them while shooting free throws and at other times during the game, whether on their home court or on ours. And I mean 100s of them, all at once. Along with cream cheese containers, while screaming racial obscenities. It was the 80s of course, which meant it didn’t even make the news and no one ever got into trouble. We never had such issues erupt at our school when the visiting teams were all black. These amazing Jewish students never retaliated. They were accustomed to such treatment sadly. As for the Jewish kids in our own school, they too were incredibly gracious and forgiving during such occurrences. I’m amazed and ashamed in looking back, at the actions of our student body.
In the 90s I traveled to Lebanon. When I realized how close I was to Israel I decided to go into a travel agency and inquire about the best way to get there. When I inquired, the travel agent became immediately frazzled. She said, “We do not have service to that place.” I pressed, “But it’s so close, how do I get there?” She pushed a button behind the counter and several soldiers walked in with their fingers casually next to the triggers of their automatic weapons. When I told them I wanted to go to Israel, they nicely shushed me and said, “Please we do not speak of the neighbors to the South.” They must have liked me as they were very polite and I assume saw me as a young and naive American. “Can I just walk or take a bus there?” I asked. They chuckled and replied “no” not unless I wanted to get killed by Hezbollah.
I was so astonished that I was literally within a few miles of Israel and not only could I not get there, but I couldn’t even say the word Israel! And this was in a nation that seemed at the time, so incredibly civil, with a huge Christian population. Most of my Lebanese friends were Christian and even many of them naturally disliked Israel, even while “loving” Jesus. Lebanon was at the time a very Western nation (still is in many ways), boasted as the Switzerland of the Middle East because of its international banking and business, coupled with beautiful Mediterranean beaches and its incredible mountains close by.
Sadly I could not get into Israel on that trip. The next time I found myself in the Middle East I was more deliberate. I took a flight from UAE into Jordan (there were no direct flights at the time from UAE into Israel — that was against their laws) and traveled to the border in Amman. We stood in line with an American Christian missionary serving in Syria and he coached us on what to tell the Israeli border patrol. He told us to make sure to ask them nicely to NOT stamp our passports or we may not be able to return to other Middle Eastern nations. If Syria for example, sees that your passport has a stamp showing that you even once traveled to Israel, they will NOT let you in their country. The same for Lebanon and many other Middle Eastern countries.
Just as we were approaching the counter, the border agent quickly stamped the passport of our new Christian friend. The woman did not listen to him or hear him apparently as he asked her not to. The man broke down into tears. He had been serving a mission in Syria for some time and was scheduled to stay much longer and now he was stuck. He could not go back to Syria and would have to go through a lot of trouble in going back to the US, getting a new passport and a new Visa. I was extremely careful after watching what happened to him.
My LDS friend in UAE, whose father was Iraqi and also a converted member of the LDS Church, did not especially like Israel and dared not travel there.
The Book of Mormon warns us gentiles to not hate or curse the Jews:
O ye gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay, but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads, for I the Lord hath not forgotten my people.
Those who have and believe in the Book of Mormon, of all people, should not despise the Jews but should seek rather to recover them.
As I spent a couple of days in Israel, I was overcome with the spirit I felt there. The water in the River Jordan spoke to me. The garden of Gethsemane was overwhelming. The Via Dolorosa. The amazing Old City. The Dead Sea. Somehow in my heart, I knew that the most important history of the world had its foundations there. I felt a strangely deep connection as if I had been there before.
One night we followed a rush of people heading somewhere in the Old City. They seemed to be running late. I saw Orthodox Jews with their young sons. It seemed to be a men-only meeting they were hastening to. Curious, I followed. It led me through a metal detector and into a well lit open-air place. It was the famous Wailing Wall. Hundreds of men, brothers it seemed, gathered to commemorate the day Moses came down from the mountain with the Law. Being in awe and naive, I was filming the whole thing. Then a man approached me with a kind smile on his face who said, “Shalom my brother.” I replied, “Hello!” He then, with all the kindness and meekness in the world, informed me that they don’t generally allow filming or pictures. His gentle rebuke was in no way unkind or awkward. As I put my camera away, he was kind to visit with me and ask me where I was from. He also took the time to tell me why all these men (brothers) were gathered. I marveled as I looked at all these men fellowshipping together. The feeling was very reverential but also celebratory and excited. People seemed to be delighted to see each other and to visit with one another. I had never felt or seen such a brotherhood in my life. It spoke to me. There was a power there. As an active LDS person, I was very humbled by this experience. It was clear to me that these people had something I didn’t. Or at least, they too had something that was sacred and unique, which I had not before supposed possible.
As the day of the Lord approaches, I think we will see more Jews convert to Christianity. I hope we do. I’ve been enjoying listening to one of my favorite songs sung in Hebrew by a Messianic Jew named Joshua Aaron. It’s truly inspiring. I include it here and hope you love it as much as I do.
The words of this song are found in the Old Testament and are words that have been sung by faithful Israelites for hundreds of years.
May God bless Israel. May we be counted worthy to be counted among them. I worry that the Lord’s words will be fulfilled that all these things will be returned upon our own heads, for I the Lord hath not forgotten my people. What does that mean? Here’s a related scripture that is worth pondering.
Behold, I say unto you that the house of Israel was compared unto an olive tree by the spirit of the Lord which was in our father. And behold, are we not broken off from the house of Israel? And are we not a branch of the house of Israel? And now the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fullness of the gentiles is that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief — yea, for the space of many years and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men — then shall the fullness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the gentiles, and from the gentiles unto the remnant of our seed. And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel and that they are the covenant people of the Lord. And then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him. Wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved. And then at that day, will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock, and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God? Behold, I say unto you, yea, they shall be numbered again among the house of Israel; they shall be grafted in, being a natural branch of the olive tree, into the true olive tree; and this is what our father meaneth. And he meaneth that it will not come to pass until after they are scattered by the gentiles. And he meaneth that it shall come by way of the gentiles, that the Lord may shew his power unto the gentiles for the very cause that he shall be rejected of the Jews, or of the house of Israel. Wherefore, our father hath not spoken of our seed alone, but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter days, which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying, In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
What does it mean that “it shall come by way of the gentiles, that the Lord may shew his power unto the gentiles, for the very cause that he shall be rejected of the Jews?” Is it possible that it means that because we the gentiles (including if not directly referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all Mormon denominations and all American and non-American Christian gentile people and nations) have rejected the Fulness of the Gospel (or are rejecting it), God will then show us by His power, that we, just like the Jews did, shall also stumble, look past the mark, and be cursed, for our unbelief? Thus having all these things returned upon our heads because we have forgotten God’s covenant with Israel and have mocked His people rather than seeking to recover them?
Can we say we have NOT rejected the Fulness of the Gospel? Can we say we are better than the Jews who have not yet come unto Christ? What is this fulness anyway?
Now, this, Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God,but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence. Therefore, the Lord, in his wrath (for his anger was kindled against them) swore that they should not enter into his rest — which rest is the fullness of his glory — while in the wilderness. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also. And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holds the key of the ministering of angels, and the preparatory gospel, which gospel is the gospel of repentance, and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron, among the children of Israel, until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the holy ghost from his mother’s womb. For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power: to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power.
Could it not also be said that Joseph, like Moses, also sought to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God? Is it possible that the early saints hardened their hearts and thus could not endure His presence? Whatever one chooses to believe, the result of whatever the early Nauvoo saints received or did, was Joseph and Hyrum being taken from their midst.
The only way to demonstrate that we have received His Fullness and are thus redeemed by Him, is to do as the Lord proclaims in the Book of Ether:
And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord shewed himself unto him and said, Because thou knowest these things, ye are redeemed from the Fall.Therefore, ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I shew myself unto you. Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life; and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name. And they shall become my sons and my daughters. And to none of those now living whom I created have I appeared, for none have believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image. Behold, this body which ye now behold is the body of my spirit. And man have I created after the body of my spirit. And even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.
We don’t speak much anymore of this kind of thing. In fact, sadly some of today’s Church leaders warn against teaching this doctrine of Calling and Election or “Redemption” calling it a trick of the devil. Yet, for Joseph, like for Moses, this teaching was the very purpose of the Gospel being restored:
“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, is baptized for the remission of his sins, and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness and living by every word of God. The Lord will soon say unto him, ‘Son, thou shalt be exalted.’ When the Lord has thoroughly proved him and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John [KJV], in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses” (TPJS, 150; WJS, 5; see John 9:7–9). “I’ve not said much about Calling and Election. I think focusing on that topic is a mistake. It will take care of itself if you can get the Second Comforter.”1 Joseph Smith said: “1st key: Knowledge is the power of salvation. 2nd key: Make your calling and election sure. 3rd key: It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom.”2 Nephi speaks again with the Father’s words: Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life (2 Nephi 13:4). This is the purpose of receiving the Second Comforter. Christ’s objective, as a tutor, is to bring His followers to the Father. It is the voice of the Father which finally declares to His children they are assured Eternal life.3 When the Lord promises a blessing, it is always tied to faithfulness and obedience.4 Even when promises are unconditional, such as in having one’s calling and election made sure, years of faithfulness precede the promise. The promise is premised on the continuation of faithfulness. And no one is relieved of the necessity of enduring to the end, even when their calling and election is made sure.5 The highest form of acceptance and redemption is to have one’s calling and election made sure, to be washed and cleansed from sin every whit.6
I believe and I testify that we become Israel after we wrestle with God and work out our salvation through the merits of Christ. We will know we are His when He shows Himself unto us and says “Son (or daughter), thou shalt be exalted.” We then are redeemed from the Fall and have accepted the Fulness of His Gospel. Until then, we are damned and are stuck here in this Telestial Kingdom, worlds without number.
The miracle of the recent treaties between certain Middle Eastern countries and Israel is both unbelievable and a sign that God is moving His Hand upon Israel. He always keeps His Promises.
BYU American Heritage icon Frank Fox, spoke out recently against the President of the United States and made the bold claim that he would “bet his eternal salvation” that the Brethren were not quietly supporting President Trump, as Mike Pence is alleged to have said recently in Arizona.
Mr. Fox begins his letter by reminding readers of his bonafides and noting that he’s worked directly with the First Presidency on many important matters over the years. Fox sets the stage so as to say that “he would know,” if the Brethren were voting for and supporting President Trump or not. And he’s so confident that they’re not, that he’s willing to wager his soul on the question.
One final comment. It was recently reported that Vice President Pence, in visiting Arizona, intimated that the General Authorities of the LDS Church were quietly supporting the President. I will bet my eternal salvation against that. The values of patriotism, truthfulness, justice, honor, decency and respect for the law are deeply ingrained in LDS culture. Few church members in full possession of the facts would condone what I have described above. (My emphasis added)
IF this is true, the Brethren wouldn’t be the only prominent members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “unable and unwilling” to support Trump. Jeff Flake, former Senator of Arizona, is so anti-Trump, that he’s joined a coalition of like-minded Republicans, whose sole focus is to make sure Biden beats Trump this November. Flake also voted against Conservative Justice Kavanaugh and threatened other political tricks to show his disdain for the President as he was leaving his senatorial seat.
Evan McMullin, failed presidential candidate in 2016, whose sole purpose in running for president, was with the hopes that LDS people all over (especially in Utah) would vote their “consciences” as the Brethren were signaling, and thus create a brokered convention, where the Republican Party would choose a candidate other than Trump to run against Hillary, is another die hard LDS never Trumper. The posturing was all pointing to Mitt Romney to save the election just like he “saved the Olympics” — after all, he was leading the charge against Trump, “the phony, the fraud, the film flam man,” as Romney openly name called him. This was his and McMullin’s and maybe the Church’s plan to get Romney in instead of Trump. Now it would seem that Romney’s only goal in the Senate today is to “protect the world from Trump.“ He made history as the only Republican Senator to vote to impeach and remove Trump from the Office of President and yesterday announced proudly that he had voted in Utah and NOT for Trump. This, despite Trump’s many endorsements and support of Romney over the decades.
Are we, as members of the Church, to believe that this anti-Trump sentiment also exists among the 15 top leaders of the Church and that they too will NOT be voting for President Trump? The Brethren do not ever signal that they disagree with Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake, Evan McMullin, Frank Fox and other LDS public figures. They’ve not said otherwise. Is it possible that these LDS political voices are simply a reflection of private conversations with LDS Church leaders? I sure hope not.
Let me tell you why I believe the Brethren and every member of the Church SHOULD be voting for President Trump this November. (Assuming we believe Gospel principles matter).
First of all, let’s establish one important reality: NOT voting for Trump, IS a vote for Biden.And a vote for Biden IS a vote for a long list of things that should offend freedom loving religious people of all faiths.
Liberal Supreme Court Justices
The abolishment of the Electoral College
The continued advancement of Transgender “laws”
The advancement of pedophilia
The continued legalization of drugs
More Federal regulations
Adding DC and Puerto Rico as States making it impossible for conservatives to win the Senate or the Presidency or the House.
Orwellian News Control (see Facebook and Twitter as 2 examples of many)
Using the IRS to punish conservatives (see what Obama did D’Souza and many others)
The end of Conservatism as we know it
Closed down economies for “pandemics”
Closing down Churches for our “public safety”
Defunding the military
Green New Deal
The destruction of our economy
The punishment of anyone not complying of supporting
And much more…
Now, for any who believe my list is exaggerated, I would cite you to research each of the topics listed above. It’s all out there. From liberal media outlets such as Netflix who are in legal and criminal jeopardy for their movie “Cuties” that glamorizes child sexuality — to today’s news that Joe Biden will appoint a commission to “review the Supreme Court’s number of seats” — to Facebook and Twitter being subpoenaed for playing news gods. This list IS what today’s Liberal leftists are pushing for.
If the Brethren are in fact in favor of anyone but Trump, as Professor Fox suggests in his open letter, and are voting accordingly, then here is my open letter to them:
You have spent your entire lives teaching us members of the Church to uphold and sustain righteousness and to discern between truth and error. You have preached against such evils as abortion and homosexuality and have spent millions of tithing dollars in the fight against gay marriage. And we finally have a President who is nominating conservative Supreme Court Justices and hundreds of other conservative Federal Judges across this nation, thus setting the stage to overturn Roe v. Wade, gay marriage, Obamacare, and who knows, maybe even Federal Income tax AND YOUR consciences won’t let you support the man responsible for all this? With all due respect, what on earth are you thinking?
You who call yourselves Prophets and Apostles should be able to see that good is coming from President Trump’s presidency.
Have you forgotten Israel? Has Israel ever had a better ally than President Trump? Look at the peace he and his administration are negotiating in the Middle East! Is this of no value? This is Biblically historic! Obama, Biden, Bushes, Clinton and Hillary did the opposite in the Middle East. They promoted war and desolation. Trump should be given a dozen Nobel Peace prizes for what he’s doing. Instead, he’s given no credit and he’s treated like a buffoon. Under Hillary and Biden and Obama, we got Benghazi. Which, once they unitedly decided to let a US Ambassador and several other American soldiers die, they then fabricated a lie that the attack on the US Embassy in Libya was caused by a video that offended Islam. They are liars and they are murderers. One of my best and dearest childhood friends was killed in Afghanistan. How many more souls will be lost fighting wars, that if they ever had a moral foundation, are immediately politicized by traitors and cowards — most often Democrat politicians and the liberal media. NO President has done more in the last 20 years than President Trump in bringing soldiers home from unending global wars. We should be praising God for that.
Has anyone done more than Trump to uphold the rule of law by nominating more than 200 Federal Judges? Numerous prominent people have argued that President Trump’s actions to appoint conservative Judges throughout the nation will positively impact and reshape our country in ways impossible until now for issues such as gun control, voting rights, abortion, immigration, the environment, etc. Do you no longer believe such issues are important?
Is it true, as it is for Romney and Flake and others that somehow Trump’s personality or his morality offends you too deeply and won’t let you vote for him?
And yet, let’s talk about morality. Senators Flake and Romney, who were so offended by the weak accusations of Christine Ford, against Justice Kavanaugh — 30 years ago — where she “thinks,” she “remembers” the said accused being at a party where bad things were happening. She “thinks” he was there. You holier than thou fools who joined the chorus of idiots screaming that “every woman should be believed!” Jeff, who I know from playing Church ball 30 years ago, you looked so concerned as those women accosted you in the elevator. Their voices invoked deep and solemn, contemplative emotion that YES, you needed to do something. So, you convicted a man, his family, his character — on the foundation of the hearsay testimony of a democratic activist that “thought” she may have seen Kavanaugh at a party 30 years ago!? Are you truly so self-righteous and so foolish? Brethren, did you support Senator Flake in his display of sanctimony? Did you call him to offer your support for his courage?
And yet now, Mr. Flake, you openly endorse Joe Biden, who is being accused by at least one very credible source, of being raped while she was an intern for him in D.C. Unlike, Dr. Ford’s testimony, her’s is corroborated by those she reported the incident to WHEN IT HAPPENED. And she told many witnesses. She wasn’t drunk at some party, Mr. Flake and Senator Romney (and the Brethren, if you agree with them), she was walking the halls of Congress as a sweet and naive young volunteer when she alleges that Joe Biden forced her against a wall, forced himself on her, and pinning her there, “fingered her” and said he wanted to “F— “ her. For a list of many other credible X rated accusations against Biden from other victims, you can read here.
It is worth noting that NONE of these victims are Trump supporters. They deserve to be believed and be heard and be given the same level of concern that you Jeff Flake and you Mitt Romney GAVE Dr. Ford. Not believing Tara Reed and others, after what you did to Justice Kavanaugh, is an utter disgrace.
Now Brethren, let’s talk about another issue that should offend your consciences. And I begin with a question: Did you support or instruct Senator Romney to vote to remove our President from Office? If so, shame on you. Especially given now that we have the facts.
Fact one, President Trump simply asked the new president of Ukraine to look into the many allegations of corruption related to American political figures such as Joe Biden, who admitted on video that he forced Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating his son Hunter Biden, or he would make sure Ukraine did not get 1 Billion Dollars in aid that had been promised. Fact two, the prosecutor WAS fired and their case against Hunter and other felons was dropped. Fact three, it turns out now we KNOW, that the “Big Guy” (aka Joe Biden) had reason to be concerned about this investigation because the money trail went up to him. Fact four, this is only the beginning. 30,000 or more pictures of crack pipes and child porn are on Hunter’s computer and witnesses are already testifying against Joe and Hunter for the damning evidence on the device confirming illegal activities including money laundering and who knows what else. Fact five, Joe Biden is a truly compromised man. He sold his office and President Obama’s Office to the highest bidders. Does this not offend you? What else will we discover Mitt, about Hunter and Joe? Are you concerned about your own son who also makes money in the Ukrainian Energy sector? Or your top adviser, Joseph Black, who served alongside Hunter Biden on the Board of Burisma? (See here)
It appears that Romney, Kerry, Biden, McCain, Pelosi, Clinton, Mueller and Schiff all have ties to Ukrainian firms. VP Biden bragged on camera that he was able to force the former Ukraine President to fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, Hunter, by threatening to withhold $1 BILLION in US loans from Ukraine – all with approval from Obama!
It’s also alleged, “Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, Robert, a close friend of Jeffrey Epstein, helped Mitt Romney build his fortune at Bain…” (Source) This ought to give anyone concern given what we know about Maxwell and Epstein.
Mitt, is your disdain for Trump due to the fact that he has dirt on you too? Are you worried that Trump will uncover something in Ukraine that incriminates your family? Your relationship with Joe and Hunter Biden and Jeffrey Epstein?
Brethren, you of all people, should want darkness to come to light as it pertains to all these vital moral and ethical issues. And now, you know for a fact, that Senator Mitt Romney was wrong in his vote to remove our President from Office. Senator Romney should be apologizing right now for having cast his vote and should be repenting of his actions by asking President Trump for forgiveness and acknowledging his error and foolishness before the world. Instead, Romney is doubling down. Do you agree with him?
Do you quietly sustain Senator Romney? Are you secretly voting for Joe Biden or are you writing in some other candidate to assuage your consciences? If yes, I would sure like to know. Just in case your tenures in office have caused you to forget what real LDS conservatives think and feel, let me help you.
We LDS conservatives still revere leaders like President Ezra Taft Benson. He understood the threats we now see taking over our government. We love our country and recognize the current threat and reality that our nation and our freedoms are hanging in the balance. Benson, like Captain Moroni, would take Black Lives Matter at their word, that they are avowed and trained Marxists, and he sure AS HELL would NOT march with them as did Mitt Romney. Brethren, are you not concerned about the message that Church member Mitt Romney’s sympathy for a violent Marxist group sends? President Benson would NOT sustain Senator Romney and like the current Pope who disavows Joe Biden as a Catholic, I guarantee you that President Benson would disavow Romney as a member of the Church and call him an enemy of the State.
Brethren, are you comfortable with the recent statement from the Kremlin that endorses Joe Biden and the Democrat Party?
The Democratic Party, he said, is “traditionally closer to liberal values, it is close to the ideas of social democracy,” and these positions could help build contacts with Russia. Mr. Putin noted that he was for 18 years a member of the Soviet Communist Party. “Ever since, I have liked many of the leftist values,” he said.
Do you really not think it’s important to teach members in a way that makes it more clear as to what form of government we should sustain? You certainly made it clear how you felt about Prop 8. Why so silent today when the stakes are so high? Do you really think we will ever establish Zion if we abandon our love of freedom and knowledge of good government?
Would President Benson NOT vote for Trump, knowing the alternative is the continued road to Socialism and Communism? I think President Benson would be ashamed of Brother Romney and Brother Flake and Brother McMullin and anyone else who doesn’t vote for the obvious less evil candidate we have to choose from, including any of you Leaders of the Church.
Brethren, we conservative members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, join the rest of the country in seeing Mitt Romney as a self-righteous, pompous, snake. He epitomizes hypocrisy. He makes our Church look bad. Just like Harry Reed, Mitt Romney puts the Church in a very bad light. And as a friendly bit of advice, I think many members are starting to wonder if Flake, Romney, McMullin, and even Reed, may actually be an extension of you and your beliefs.
I personally know the daughter of a prominent general authority who most people know was a Democrat. This woman openly supports Black Lives Matter and is voting for Joe Biden, as an active and devout LDS member. She’s one of many LDS people I now see who think it’s “OK” to support such groups, who OPENLY teach things CONTRARY to what THE CHURCH SAYS IT BELIEVES.
I find it ironic that if I associate with a group that you see as a wrongful association, i.e. I choose to read a book that focuses on Christ (The Second Comforter), you threatened my Church membership, BUT you don’t seem to have any issue with members OPENLY supporting and AFFILIATING with Communist, Marxist, Transgenders inciting violence, murder, and mayhem.
And recently President Nelson, you made a statement in General Conference that I think reinforces my concern. You said,
“I grieve that our Black brothers and sisters the world over are enduring the pains of racism and prejudice. Today I call upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children.”
Such a statement may cause members to wonder if you too would have marched with Mitt Romney in a #BLM parade. At a minimum, this statement shows you, as the leader of our Church, adding credibility to the idea that there is systemic racism in our country. If we conservative LDS people are being honest, this feels very much like what the Church has done on all major political issues of late — i.e. jump on the bandwagon. If you truly believe that our nation suffers from systemic racism, then you, like Joe Biden, have perhaps been in office too long.
Most of us LOVE our country. We LOVE its people — of all colors! WE don’t think America is racist! And most of us conservative members LOVE President Trump! Despite any moral failings he has, HE has done more to uphold our Freedoms and our Constitution than any of you or any other President in the last 40 years. YOU should sustain him. YOU should be more supportive. And it should concern YOU that so many LDS people are supporting Biden… I think, following your examples.
Are we to believe that you also side with Lebron James? Stephen Colbert? Madonna? The cast of the West Wing? Oprah Winfrey and Ellen? The NBA and NFL players who last I checked are morally bankrupt? Are you joining hands with Hollywood? It sure feels like it. Google? Facebook? Twitter? Netflix? Amazon? Do you not see that these are the enemies of America and of Religion? As a side note — look at what #BLM is doing to professional sports. The LDS Church risks the same outcome by jumping on this bandwagon. The bandwagon of Babylon.
President Nelson, your words play into a false narrative that incites division and violence. Can you not see that? You apparently wanted to be on record siding with the progressives. The same progressives who are literally destroying our states and our cities.
The contrast and the choice are clear. That form of government leads to cities being overtaken by anarchists who kill and destroy. It leads to law enforcement being disregarded and/or assaulted and killed. It leads to racism ironically. Anger towards a white privilege that doesn’t exist. All these cities And states are run by Biden-supporting leaders. President Nelson, do you support this kind of leadership? Your words and your silence both seem to indicate it. Flake and Romney and Fox, do you also believe that the Democratic leadership that is now on display, aligns with LDS Gospel principles? No rule of law? Anarchy? Soft on crime? Two tiered justice? Ballot tampering and election fraud? Statues destroyed? Destruction of life and property? Allowing graffiti everywhere? Allowing cars to be set on fire? Businesses and homes to be burned down? Allowing (encouraging) murder? Homeless people everywhere? Defecating and doing drugs in the streets?
Honestly I cannot say it any other way and I’m not trying to be offensive, but, what in the hell is wrong with you Frank Fox?
How about JUST the issue of abortion alone! Biden and his Judges WILL lead to many many more abortions. They not only admit it — they celebrate it! Look at the liberal states in our country. They see the destruction of innocent human life as a civil rights issue, even partial birth abortion. Trump and Pence proudly fright against it. They support LIFE. They protect children. THE MOST VULNERABLE. That issue alone should NOT allow you to vote for Biden or any pro-abortion candidate. Your support of Biden, is a vote for the murder of children. Shame on you Frank Fox. May God damn your efforts to stop a candidate and his running mate from being elected. You expose yourself as a fraud and a fool. You are no conservative, that’s for sure.
I call on you Brethren, to OPENLY avow or disavow Professor Frank Fox’s statement that YOU do NOT support our President. He’s wagering his salvation on it. The least you can do is set the record straight. If it’s true, I want to know. If he’s right and you hate our President as much as he does and if you are quietly supporting Joe Biden over Donald Trump, I will resign from this Church today and will renounce you as blind fools and false prophets. That’s a promise.
The likes of Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake undoubtedly view themselves as the Elders who are meant to save the Constitution hanging by a thread. And yet, surprisingly to many observers, these Constitution Savers now endorse Joe Biden, who vows to take our Nation further down the road of Socialism. It’s as if Flake and Romney and many other so-called conservatives (Colin Powell, Tom Ridge, Bushes, Kasich, McCains, Dwayne Johnson, etc.) are so fixated on the current president’s personality, that abortion, gay marriage, taxes, and freedom all take a back seat. Joe Biden, he’s our man! Even if he is the exact opposite of conservatism, at least he’s not Trump. Oh and by the way, we’re going to save the Constitution, because we have the Priesthood.
The White Horse Prophecy is not completely verifiable although it’s attributed to Joseph Smith by Edwin Rushton in the year 1900. He was “said” to have made this prophecy in 1843. The substance, which is embellished at each telling of it, of the Prophecy, is:
In 1855, Brigham Young reportedly wrote that “when the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the ‘Mormon’ Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.”
In 1858, Orson Hyde, another contemporary of Smith, wrote that Smith believed “the time would come when the Constitution and the country would be in danger of an overthrow; and… if the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the elders of [the LDS] Church.”
In 1922, the LDS Church’s fifth presiding bishop, Charles W. Nibley, stated that “the day would come when there would be so much of disorder, of secret combinations taking the law into their own hands, tramping upon Constitutional rights and the liberties of the people, that the Constitution would hang as by a thread. Yes, but it will still hang, and there will be enough of good people, many who may not belong to our Church at all, people who have respect for law and for order, and for Constitutional rights, who will rally around with us and save the Constitution.”
In 1928, the LDS apostleMelvin J. Ballard remarked that “the prophet Joseph Smith said the time will come when, through secret organizations taking the law into their own hands… the Constitution of the United States would be so torn and rent asunder, and life and property and peace and security would be held of so little value, that the Constitution would, as it were, hang by a thread. This Constitution will be preserved, but it will be preserved very largely in consequence of what the Lord has revealed and what [the Mormons], through listening to the Lord and being obedient, will help to bring about, to stabilize and give permanency and effect to the Constitution itself. That also is our mission.”
In 1942, J. Reuben Clark, an LDS apostle and a member of the church’s First Presidency, said that “You and I have heard all our lives that the time may come when the Constitution may hang by a thread…. I do know that whether it shall live or die is now in the balance.” On the Constitution, Clark went on to cite its “free institutions,” separation of powers, and the Bill of Rights. He added that “if we are to live as a Church, and progress, and have the right to worship… we must have the great guarantees that are set up by our Constitution.”
In a 1986 Brigham Young University speech, LDS president Ezra Taft Benson stated, “I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church – men and women who will subscribe to and abide by the principles of the Constitution.”
In 2010, Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke at a Constitution Day Celebration and warned about the importance of preserving the US Constitution. To that end, he claimed that “all citizens—whatever their religious or philosophical persuasion” should maintain several responsibilities regarding the Constitution: understand it, support the law, practice civic virtue, maintain civility in political discourse, and promote patriotism.
The greatest irony of all? It just may be that Mormon Elder Harry Reid ends up saving the Constitution hanging by a thread. How so, you ask? Because in 2013, Mormon Senator Harry Reid led the charge to change the rules from a 60 vote majority rule to a 51 vote majority rule for Federal Judicial appointments. This was intended, it is assumed, to help Obama and other Democrats get their Federal Court Nominees through when the seats in the Senate are so very close (i.e. upend built-in checks and balances). This has led to President Trump getting 3 Justices on the Bench (including Amy Barrett) and potentially 2-3 more in the next 4 years if he is re-elected. Assuming they are all true conservatives (not likely but maybe), this ALONE could help save the fragile Constitution now hanging by a thread for a bit longer.
In the meantime, Elder Harry Reid, not Mitt Romney or Jeff Flake, may have saved the Constitution. And Mitt and Jeff and other great Mormons are voting in favor of abortion and Black Lives Matter and Antifa instead of riding on White Horses.
A friend of mine sent me a link to The Chosen a year or so ago. We watched the first and only season and instantly fell in love with it. It’s a very well done series about the Savior’s ministry and although it takes quite a bit of artistic license in its telling of the story, it’s done so very well and is incredibly uplifting.
I have since shared the link with many friends and have contributed to the producer’s efforts to raise money for Season 2. For Season 1, they raised over $10M. More than any other crowdfunded film project in GoFundMe history. They hope to do 8 or more seasons and will need about $10M per season. I highly recommend The Chosen to anyone who has yet to see it. You can click on the link below to watch the first episode and season for free:
I think the reason The Chosen has been such a huge success is because of how real the characters are made to feel. Jesus, for example, says things like, “Hey good to see you boys!” He belly laughs and smiles ear to ear on more than one occasion. He feels real. Authentic. Relatable. Approachable. Human, although God-like. He speaks and acts like you might imagine a real person in real life would, even if the Son of God.
Of course, the actors and director know full well, they are not perfectly depicting the characters they are trying to portray, but without question, they have brought a tremendous amount of real-life personality to these seminal figures. Capturing and portraying authenticity is no easy task in the world of cinema, especially when depicting the Savior and other old world prophets.
Authenticity in real life is an even more refreshing thing to witness. Most people want real. Especially from the preachers of religion. Those who are stiff and scripted and speak fancifully in a way that is not relatable may indeed be loved and may even be revered, but they are not going to be very effective, in my opinion. They can control meetings and membership and tempo and curriculum and hierarchy, but they will not truly convert souls unto Christ. Not when approaching the effort in a superficial, scripted way. And certainly not when being dishonest or unwilling to address people’s real-life concerns and questions.
The news of how the Brethren receive revelation may be disappointing for those who still believe they “see the Lord” (as did Joseph) or hear His Voice. Their process is the same as for anyone trying to be inspired but clearly is NOT prophetic by the standards of Scripture. Yet, somehow their way is viewed as better than our own.
Elder Rasband teases in this particular Face to Face that he was grateful that a “couple of his words” made it into the final cut and that when they had all written their drafts, they gave them to the Prophet for him to put it all together. In other words, although all 15 men are prophets, seers, and revelators–the newer the prophet you are, the less important and less respected and less inspired you are by your peers (and possibly by the membership too). None of it feels “genuine” or authentic. It feels mechanical and scripted. I.e. NOT prophetic.
As I tuned in I was very surprised to see that the Church filmed this episode of Face to Face on their Goshen, Utah film set. Apparently, they had planned on filming the event from the Sacred Grove in upstate New York but changed their plans officially on August 10, 2020.
It would be at about that same time that the filmmakers and supporters of The Chosen were fasting and praying to find a location where they could film their second season. And It was at about this same time that the Church agreed to let them “use” the Goshen location. (I don’t know if it’s being donated or rented out). The director of The Chosen made the announcement of the new film location on August 19th, only 9 days after the Church announced its change of venue. Surely, negotiations to use the Goshen location would have been ongoing for weeks if not months before officially securing it. The Chosen view the location as a miracle from God and an answer to their prayers.
But, one may ask, why did the Church change venues at the last minute for its Face to Face to the new set of Season 2 for The Chosen? Why Goshen? I don’t know the answer but, I find it strange that the Church would just happen to move their big event to a location it had just rented out to the amazingly popular Christian series as if wanting to associate itself with the success of the production. The timing is suspect at best and the location for this type of event I believe is unprecedented. It feels very much like the Church is trying to benefit from the popularity of The Chosen, which for me, is a very superficial and shallow thing to do. The least they can do is FUND several seasons! At least then, they can say they helped the cause, instead of surreptitiously trying to promote themselves.
In watching the Face to Face with Elder Rasband, I was struck at how unauthentic it all was. The entire event is supposed to be homey. I think it’s meant to be a modern-day “fireside chat with one of the 15 prophets.” In-person and up close are meant to carry the day. Not scripted and stiff, and evasive.
In this event, every question from the LDS youth of the world is handpicked and responses are all planned in advance. The setting feels extremely stiff with all of the handpicked audience sitting 6 feet apart and all donning the politically correct masks, even though outside on a desert film set. The message seems to be all about exactness. Exactly 6 feet apart. Exactly obedient. Exactly scripted. Exactly in line with the Men who lead the Church.
The first two questions to Elder Rasband are truth claims questions. One from a young Latter-day Saint man named Harry who is considering leaving the Church. Elder and Sister Rasband’s response is effectively, “Don’t you dare leave! If you do, your life will be ruined!” They then turn the audience to a film about a young man who was going to commit suicide, because he was not a member of the Church. The story was nice enough, but I had to wonder how Harry must have felt. “If you leave Harry, your life will be meaningless and you too will likely want to commit suicide. It’s the Church or it’s eternal Misery!”
What people like Harry and Harriet (the other truth claims questioner) want, is someone to be real with them. In my opinion, they just want authenticity. They crave real answers to real questions. And what they get is the inauthenticity of a geriatric version of High School Musical. Lots of theatrics and nice music. So much “niceness” and so many smiles, but no real answers.
Here a just a few of the comments online from those who sympathize with Harry and Harriet:
Why do we need to shelf these items? If these are truly men of god, why can’t they answer the questions? Instead they dodge it and say “just shelf it” well I’ve shelfed it for 36 years and my shelf is broken because of the weight.
Same here. They can’t answer the questions, because if they do, they admit to being wrong.
The thing is……many of us HAVE opened up and sought truth from the Holy Ghost when the leaders of the church were unwilling or unable to provide it. The truths we have found from the Lord speaking through his spirit are that the church and its leaders are not what they claim to be. While this is inconvenient for the church and its truth claims, what we have learned is, nonetheless, true. There is no need to shelve these items. The Lord will answer your prayer. The truth, the knowledge, the answers may not be what you WANT them to be, they may not affirm what you have believed your entire life, but they are real. I am so glad that the Lord has made me aware of this and that I have found a deeper, richer spiritual experience in a different church.
The music felt a little American Idol for me.
Really disappointing to hear people come with genuine questions and then hear a leader say “don’t worry about it, just follow my Twitter”
The thing that got me was hearing elder and sister Rasband respond to a question from a member wondering if they should resign from the church with a video about an individual struggling with mental illness and suicide…. How are those related exactly?
It is so sad how they are given the opportunity to say the right thing and they totally blow. Their responses to concerns were completely irrelevant. Someone struggling with Truth Claims of the church needs answers!
I was disappointed that when a person mentions struggling in the faith over doctrine or history that the issues are never explored. Why is this so? It would seem only natural to want to know what people struggle with in order to shepherd them in the faith. I personally have struggled with discrepancies between the Book of Abraham text and what Egyptologists report from scholarly translation of the fragments in the possession of the church. Nobody in the church seems willing to talk about this or my concerns with the various versions of the Joseph Smith story..
You’re not alone. Anyone who is observant and objective will recognize that the church is dodging the issues. At the very least…the very LEAST…Rasband could have directed the questioner to the Gospel Topics Essays that address these issues on the church’s own website!! But he couldn’t even bring himself to do that. And why?? Because he is aware that many people have left the church precisely BECAUSE of what they learn from the Gospel Topics Essays. Talk about your dereliction of duty!
I really do not like that they screened and prepared the questions and “answers” in this meeting. It feels very staged. I would have liked to have seen honest real answers off the cuff. The emotional manipulation here is intense for those still inside the church bubble. Take one foot out of it and you can see what this really is. Sadly, many never will for fear of losing family and friends, and that’s a legitimate fear. Especially if you live in Utah.
Sadly, many who struggle, see these Face to Faces with “the Prophets” as shallow and unhelpful. The above questions and comments are sincere and worthy of consideration. Why can’t these men be more relatable? Approachable? Off the cuff? Real? I’d invite you to watch the Face to Face for yourself if you haven’t already.
There’s a story that Sister Rasband shares where she was hit by a car as a little girl because she did not listen to the Spirit warning her. Elder Rasband thanked her (no fewer than 1,000 thank you’s in this F2F) and told her while getting choked up that “Their family’s faith has been built on her telling this story so many times over the years.” I’m sorry but the exchanges between Elder and Sister Rasband seem very unnatural. You can watch and decide for yourself.
I also do not like that Elder Rasband stops midway through and asks the audience to #hashtag the event and to “follow the prophet” on social media. Reminds me of the scene in the Truman Show where out of the blue, Truman’s wife takes a moment to thank the Show’s sponsors:
So much advertising. So many hushed tones. So much superficial reverence. So many thank you’s. There’s even a “scene” where Elder Rasband stops the tape and reinforces that HE and HIS WIFE KNOW the SAVIOR! This is their gift! According to him, it’s other people’s gift to believe on their testimony. Sure seemed like Elder Rasband was checking off a box to reinforce to the audience his assignment to be a “special witness.”
Another interesting moment is when Sister Rasband refers to “Anti-Church literature.” I always knew this as “Anti-Mormon” literature, but I assume that Sister Rasband is trying very hard to not use the word “Mormon” in any way, in accordance with the current prophet’s teachings. A little awkward. I wonder if the Church will buy websites such as: “memberofthechurchofjesuschirstoflatterdaysaintsandgay.com so as to be exactly obedient to President Nelson’s teachings.
All in all, the lack of authenticity carried the day. Now, having said that, there are incredibly talented people who sing and there are people there who are amazingly sincere, who surely God loves and watches over. But, Mormonism has sadly become something that appropriately feels very staged and scripted. It belongs on a movie set. They would do well to learn that real, raw, and authentic are always better than staged, scripted, and phony. They need to learn from The Chosen, rather than trying to hijack their spotlight. Again, the Church would do well to give The Chosen millions of dollars. It would be a far better investment than in the City Creek Mall or in the Book of Mormon Musical (aka Hale Theater), which is a very “anti-Church” production.
I’ve recently been reading the autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. I know some of his descendants quite well. One, in particular, is a dear friend and is willing to go deep with me and to be “honest” about polygamy. He truly believes in the principle as one taught by Joseph Smith. He believes his grandfather was only doing as he was taught and commanded by Joseph.
Yet, as I have now read and analyzed the whole book, I have found NOTHING in Parley’s account that links the teaching of polygamy to Joseph Smith.
I was struck, I must say, by the many accounts Parley shares of healings and miracles and baptisms. He was truly a fierce and loyal force for good at the time of Joseph. He converted many! In fact, some could argue that he even neglected his first wife Thankful as he served mission after mission, leaving her home, unhealthy, childless, poor, and alone for years at a time.
But, no one could argue that there was any contemporary of Joseph who was more sincere and more faithful than he was. Parley was about Joseph’s age and was one of the original twelve apostles of the Church. He was killed on May 13, 1857 by Hector McLean, at the age of 50, for having taken McLean’s wife Eleanor from him. She was Pratt’s 11th wife.
I decided to read Pratt’s autobiography in part because I thought surely if anyone would be honest about polygamy and its origins, it would be him. If anyone would have first-hand information about Joseph teaching polygamy it would be him.
I was surprised that I did not get to the topic of polygamy until page 407. Although I should mention that there is a footnote on page 369. Footnote 20. This footnote references a paragraph from pages 361 and 362 where it says:
In Philadelphia I had the happiness of once more meeting with president Smith, and of spending several days with him and others, and with the Saints in that city and vicinity. During these interviews he taught me many great and glorious principles concerning God and the heavenly order of eternity. It was at this time that I received from him the first idea of eternal family organization, and the eternal union of the sexes in those inexpressibly endearing relationships which none but the highly intellectual, the refined and pure in heart, know how to prize, and which are at the very foundation of everything worthy to be called happiness. Til then I had learned to esteem kindred affections and sympathies as appertaining solely to this transitory state, as something from which the heart must be entirely weaned, in order to be fitted for its heavenly state. It was Joseph Smith who taught me how to prize the endearing relationships of father and mother, husband and wife; of brother and sister, son and daughter. It was from him that I learned that the wife of my bosom might be secured to me for time and all eternity; and that the refined sympathies and affections which endeared us to each other emanated from the fountain of divine eternal love. It was from him that I learned that we might cultivate these affections, and grow and increase in the same to all eternity; while the result of our endless union would be an offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, or the sands of the sea shore. It was from him that I learned the true dignity and destiny of a son of God, clothed with an eternal priesthood, as the patriarch and sovereign of his countless offspring. It was from him that I learned that the highest dignity of womanhood was, to stand as a queen and priestess to her husband, and to reign for ever and ever as the queen mother of her numerous and still increasing offspring. I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved — with a pureness and intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul from the transitory things of this grovelling sphere and expand it as the ocean. I felt that God was my heavenly Father indeed; that Jesus was my brother, and that the wife of my bosom was an immortal, eternal companion; a kind of ministering angel, given to me as a comfort, and a crown of glory for ever and ever. In short, I could now love with the spirit and with the understanding also. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 361-362.)
Notice, not a mention of polygamy. And this is in 1839 and 1840. The footnote, however, which was added by either Parley P. Pratt Jr. many years later, or more likely by Scot and Maurine Proctor, the most recent LDS editors, tells a very different story. They conclude that in the above paragraph:
Parley is referring to marriage for time and all eternity and to what would be later referred to as “the principle,” or plural marriage. As in all things in the gospel, Parley was obedient to this teaching. Less than three years later, he married the first of his ten plural wives. (Page 369)
Did you read the preceding paragraph on page 361 and 362 as the teaching of polygamy from Joseph Smith? I did not.
I am amazed that someone so close to the original source of this foundational eternal teaching is in need of 20th-century assistance in making sure the attributions and definitions are correct.
And so we go to page 407, footnote 9:
…We learn of Parley’s first plural marriage at this period from the family record: “Elizabeth Brotherton, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Brotherton, born March 27, 1816 in Machester, England, sealed to Parley P. Pratt for time and all eternity, June (then overwritten with July) 24, 1843. Done at the house of Brigham Young in Nauvoo, by the hand of Patriarch Hyrum Smith… (Pratt, Family Record, my emphasis added).
Why would the Family Record have written over the date of Parley P. Pratt’s first plural wife? Especially given that Parley’s own record in his autobiography that this footnote is created from says nothing of any marriage with anyone. In fact, it simply says:
My time, from arrival until the last of the year, was spent in the ministry, and in building, travelling, etc. (Page 406).
And yet, the footnote added over one hundred years later seems to want to establish the precise date of Parley’s first plural marriage although he himself, an ardent believer and later preacher of the polygamy, does not think it important to mention when he actually begins to practice the Celestial Law in his own autobiographical account. In fact, he was so busy in the ministry and in building and in traveling that he literally did not even have 30 minutes to return a letter:
Although it may seem strange to you I have not seen 1/2 hour which it was in my power to devote to that purpose (returning a letter) till now on account of business, building, visiting and receiving company etc. (page 407, footnote 9).
And yet we’re to believe that during this time he HAD time to court a woman in addition to his wife and propose marriage to her.
Furthermore, why write over Parley’s original date of June 24, 1843? (Or whoever’s…) Well, it’s important to note that Joseph Smith did not receive the revelation on polygamy until July 12, 1843, according to the LDS Church. So, if Parley did in fact enter into plural marriage before that date (i.e. in June) then he would have done so before the actual revelation was even received, let alone taught by Joseph.
Another relevant question is why is it important that Hyrum performed the ceremony, rather than say Brigham Young, IF it was in July of 1843, when it was “approved”? That’s also an important and interesting detail. The appendix of Parley’s autobiography spells out why. According to this appendix (added by who we cannot be sure) the “Twelve” did not receive the Keys from Joseph until April of 1844. So Brigham would not have had the authority to seal and to bind or to perform this plural marriage.
So although it was conveniently at Brigham’s home, the attribution of who married them, needed to be Hyrum or Joseph. Both of whom were prophets and co-presidents of the Church.
As important as this event would be in Church History, I can find nothing in the actual Joseph Smith Papers or in the History of the Church regarding the plural marriage of this prominent apostle during Joseph’s lifetime. This, however, is conveniently added to the footnotes of the JSP during that timeframe:
Less than a month before this revelation was dictated, Hyrum Smith sealedParley P. Pratt to his wife, Mary Ann Frost Pratt, without authorization from JS. Upon finding out about this sealing, JS criticized Hyrum and reaffirmed his sole authority to perform or to grant authority to others to perform such sealings. Following the dictation of this revelation and with JS’s approval, Hyrum Smith sealed Pratt to his deceased first wife, Thankful Halsey Pratt; his second wife, Mary Ann; and a third wife, Elizabeth Brotherton. Since 1832, JS had dictated revelations that identified himself as the person holding the “keys of the Kingdom.” (Givens and Grow, Parley P. Pratt, 204–205; Mary Ann Frost Pratt, Life Sketch of Olive Frost, ca. May 1887, in “Miscellaneous,” Historical Record, May 1887, 6:234–235; Revelation, 15 Mar. 1832 [D&C 81:2].)
How strange indeed that Hyrum would perform an eternal sealing without Joseph’s consent.
Like many of these footnotes, they don’t lead to any solid sources. Look at the last link above — it’s to a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1832. Yet, we’re in 1843 supposedly. No actual corroborating sources to verify JS’s anger, either… The Church and its apologists yet again, wish to stack the footnote narrative to fit their story.
I find it amazing that in one of the few autobiographies of one of the original LDS apostles, Parley Pratt does not help the LDS Church clear up the issue of whether Joseph Smith taught and practiced polygamy or not. Without footnotes in Parley’s record, Joseph cannot be tied to the teaching.
There seems to be confusion as to what love is, and what it’s not. Some would have you believe that true love is to remove all consequences so that no one is ever punished or “hurt” by their own choices.
“We should simply love those who commit crimes, not punish them. We should simply love those who commit sin. Love those who are gay or criminal or confused or addicted. We should get rid of laws–the police, prisons, Courthouses, and while we’re at it, churches too, since those things just seem to make people judgmental.” So they say.
Yet what’s interesting is that these same people who have attained to this highest, purest form of love a human can attain to in this life, it turns out, are intolerant, violent, angry, murderous, and lawless. They rejoice when people die, black or white. They mock and would kill a gay man or a black man if he happens to be of a different political persuasion than their own. They love the world’s “Karens” who pepper spray mask offenders and injure and patrol the non-compliant. They love their right to kill their children. If it was up to them, all American cities would look like Portland. Anarchy would rule. America would fall.
American politics was meant to be messy. Fools such as Jeff Flake and Mitt Romney (who should know better), seemingly forget that our system is always a choice between the lesser of evils. All worldly governments are inherently evil, because they are endowed with the power to control people. Hence the need for checks and balances and most importantly, the need for wisdom, virtue, morality, and religion. Our system only works when we are moral and virtuous.
“Liberty considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom,” said Alexis de Tocqueville.
“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous,” said Frederick Douglas.
“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society,” said Theodore Roosevelt.
“History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster,” said Douglas MacArthur.
Luckily we still have by and large a two-party system, where the majority of the people can choose their president. The voice of the people is important. Countries that allow for multiple candidates often elect presidents without this “voice of the people.” Without a majority. And so minority voices can take over a nation.
“Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct and which were given them by the hand of the Lord. Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right, but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right. Therefore, this shall ye observe and make it your law: to do your business by the voice of the people.” Mosiah 13:6
When the voice of the people, or the majority, choose that which is not right, the die is cast for our destruction as a nation. We are defined as a nation by what the majority of us choose to be and to do.
And now we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God or they shall be swept off when the fullness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fullness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity. For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands. Wherefore, he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off, for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fullness of iniquity among the children of the land that they are swept off. And this cometh unto you, O ye gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God, that ye may repent and not continue in your iniquities until the fullness be come, that ye may not bring down the fullness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land hath hitherto done. Behold, this is a choice land; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under Heaven if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who has been manifested by the things which we have written. Eth. 1:7
An example of true love is the example of Moroni. He loved his nation and fought to preserve freedom. He wasn’t violent although he killed many. He wasn’t an angry man. Although he hated sin. He realized that letting immoral and evil people like BLM and Antifa get control of the powers of government would lead not just to death, but to millions of souls being swept off this continent. Moroni, filled with love, saw the bigger picture, and acted accordingly. He defended his nation and their freedoms with love and with violence.
And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah. And it came to pass that he rent his coat, and he took a piece thereof and wrote upon it: In memory of our God, our religion and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children. And he fastened it upon the end of a pole thereof. And he fastened on his headplate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole which had on the end thereof his rent coat, and he called it the Title of Liberty.And he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land. For thus were all the true believers of Christ who belonged to the church of God called, by those who did not belong to the church; and those who did belong to the church were faithful. Yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them gladly the name of Christ — or Christians, as they were called — because of their belief in Christ who should come. And therefore at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians and the freedom of the land might be favored. Alma 21:7
Let’s be crystal clear, a vote for Joe Biden in this year’s presidential election is a vote for Antifa and Black Lives Matter. You may think he is somehow a better man than Trump. More “moral”. Or you may think Trump is too offensive and is the reason so many are rioting and are angry. Either way, if you choose to vote for Joe Biden, you are, as a Christian, voting for a man who is being funded by these anti-Christian groups who seek to overthrow our nation.
A vote for Biden is also a vote for gay marriage and the advancement of the aggressive LGBTQIA+ agendas. And they are legend! Literally. In fact, there is now a push to decriminalize pedophilia in our country. LINKLINK This is the problem with the Queer agenda — IT NEVER IS CONTENT AND WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED. Vote for Joe and if he wins and your child’s Kindergarten teacher someday soon is a Transexual MAP (Minor Attracted Person), don’t be surprised. That slope, will slip quicker towards Hell than any other. A vote for Biden will lead to more abortions, more lawlessness. More control.
If you think otherwise, I invite you to ponder further and to reconsider. No reasonable person, in my opinion, can support a candidate that IS unwilling to renounce those who seek to overthrow our government, WHICH was at one point, approved of by God. It is not valiant in my opinion, to embrace, support, vote for, those who will “get us to the Second Coming sooner.” WE MUST choose more good over more evil. God will do His part when the time comes. HE does not need our votes for more wickedness to accomplish His works. HE will judge us based on our ability to discern and to choose, as it has always been.
I recently watched two very good presentations that gave me a broader scriptural context for the current events we now witness. Both dispelled any confusion I may have entertained on the subject of Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter is, by its own definition, a Marxist, anti-American, anti-traditional family, Queer-Transgender, violent organization of thugs, thieves, bigots, and misfits. I am now convinced that it is 100% evil and that there is no good in it and nothing good will come from it. It is a Satanic organization that seeks to murder, plunder, get gain (or reparations one could say) and to overthrow all nations. Their covenant is with Satan just as it was in former times.
What troubles me the most is that everywhere I now turn, I see so many people bowing the knee to their demands, perhaps some believing they are being sensitive, loving, and “woke.” The NBA has the BLM Logo painted all over their courts and on their jerseys. The NHL is now taking a knee along with the NBA and MLS and other professional sports leagues. There have only been a few courageous who are still standing for what is true and right.
People are being shamed for NOT kneeling. Young people are weeping as if they have been somehow victimized by some fictitious monster. Overnight, our nation… the world, in fact, looks like a war zone–so effective is the propaganda and so vicious are the lies.
Well, I’m convinced that a person may as well wear a T-shirt that says “Heil Hitler.” The inspiration behind BLM and Adolf Hitler is the same. “Overthrow nations, rule with blood and horror, murder, ethnic cleanse some populace (eventually everyone), be free to commit whoredoms, rob, rape, and pillage, etc.” How is Hitler’s desire to eradicate the Jews and take over Europe any different than BLM’s mission to destroy our nation? If anything, his mission seems less ambitious than BLM’s. Do you think these people are incapable of murder? Just watch TV or read the news for 5 seconds and you’ll see what they are both capable of and are doing. Who can honestly say that these animals (like Hitler) wouldn’t be satisfied to see millions of people burn? They’re burning down our cities as we speak.
Prophets foresaw our day and Scripture is a warning to us to awake and arise, NOT be “woke and kneel.”
I leave with you a few scriptures on the subject and with a few pictures, which I think say way more than I am able to.
And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people; and they are had among the Lamanites. And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi. And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints which shall be shed by them shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avengeth them not. Wherefore, O ye gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shewn unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you — which are built up to get power and gain — and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the eternal God shall fall upon you to your overthrow and destructionif ye shall suffer these things to be. Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you, that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or woe be unto it because of the blood of them who have been slain, for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who build it up. For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries. And it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the Devil, who is the father of all lies, even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning, who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning. Wherefore I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things, that evil may be done away and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.Eth. 3:19
And Lamech said unto his wives Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice, you wives of Lamech. Listen unto my speech, for I have slain a man to my wounding and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech shall be seventy-sevenfold. For Lamech, having entered into a covenant with Satan after the manner of Cain wherein he became Master Mahon, master of that great secret which was administered unto Cain by Satan — and Irad, the son of Enoch, having known their secret, began to reveal it unto the sons of Adam — wherefore, Lamech, being angry, slew him — not like unto Cain his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake. (For from the days of Cain there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.) (This is a likely reference to homosexuality) Wherefore, the Lord cursed Lamech, and his house, and all they that had covenanted with Satan, for they kept not the commandments of God, and it displeased God, and he ministered not unto them. And their works were abominations and began to spread among all the sons of men. And it was among the sons of men; and among the daughters of men, these things were not spoken, because Lamech had spoken the secret unto his wives and they rebelled against him, and declared these things abroad, and had not compassion. Wherefore, Lamech was despised and cast out, and came not among the sons of men lest he should die. And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men. Gen. 3:12
Awake? Or woke?
The upheld fist is the sign of Communism, which is Satan’s system of Government.
It’s a good thing there are no fans in the stands to boo these misguided people.
Not just in our nation — Satan has spread his lies to all continents.
Drinking the koolaid of BLM which….
FUNDS THE DEMOCRAT PARTY! (This is not an accusation — this is a fact, despite the misinformation news outlets are sharing.) Read Here.
Does any of this look cultish to you?
Look so different from other terror or communist groups?
This is the symbol of Communist Revolution.
Which Bernie Sanders subscribes to…
I SEE NO DIFFERENCE and YET it’s happening right before our eyes.
Not the first time the BLM Fist has been used.
In living color. History always repeats itself.
This is NOT about Black Lives Mattering. Will we awaken to our awful state and repent? Or will we see the fall of our Nation? And wish we had not been scared into silence…
I recently received an unexpected response for having sent a video presentation to some people I’m close to. This video makes a very compelling case that Joseph Smith didn’t teach or practice polygamy. I’ve included a link to it at the end of this post. I was taken aback by their various responses and was saddened by some of their comments, which seemed to dismiss the content of the video.
As I’ve pondered this experience, I’ve tried to see things from their current perspective. But, admittedly, this one is hard for me, perhaps because I have never liked the idea of Joseph being a polygamist. It’s always felt inconsistent with Joseph’s mission and message.
One person I sent this information to simply does not think that getting the history on polygamy right is important at all. Somehow Joseph’s character is inconsequential to him. All he knows is God commanded Joseph and Joseph obeyed. “The Church is true. Nothing else matters.”
It seems as though some people are more worried about their narrative staying “true” than they are about the truth itself. I do sympathize with the dilemma, but truth does matter and lies matter. Do we really believe the words to the song — “do what is right, let the consequences follow…?”
Black Lives Matter (#BLM) (since this is a current theme and because I’m using this thematic play on words) is a great example of why the truth matters. Simply look around and see what someone’s false beliefs can inspire them to do. Anyone looking at the title of the organization might be fooled into thinking that #BLM has something to do with caring about “lives.” Look a little more closely and you’ll quickly discover that the organization is a hate filled, Marxist, murderous, anti-family, racist, immoral, disgusting organization that seeks to overthrow our way of life. The content of their message and the effect their beliefs have on them and on society matters a great deal. To suggest otherwise is simply intellectually dishonest.
Let’s look at some other examples.
Many LDS people (myself included) believe that our nation was founded by inspired men. Men of character and honor who God brought together and upon whom His Spirit descended in order to fulfill prophecy in the birth of this great nation on this land of promise. Those who may not share this belief, love to rewrite history to fit their own narrative. False rumors against Thomas Jefferson, for example, were conveniently resurrected to defend Bill Clinton on the eve of Congress deciding whether to remove him from office or not. Revisionists and those who have an agenda want desperately to have it be “settled history” that Jefferson was sleeping with his slave Sally Hemings. This a) helps people like Clinton get away with the crime of adultery with an intern and b) undermines people’s faith in the idea that many of our Founder’s may have actually been honorable, moral, inspired men. Does the truth about Jefferson and our Founders matter? I say it does.
If I had sent a video that exonerated Jefferson of the charges of immortality and fornication, would I have received a different response? These people all generally like Jefferson and I think they’d say he was a man of God. Would they have been upset with me for sending them something that restored faith in him as a person and vindicated him of those false charges? And if that presentation happened to make John Adams, who many believe was complicit in sharing those false claims, look less honorable — would they still have responded so defensively?
If you love this country and love its Founders, aren’t you interested in knowing the truth about our history? And aren’t you especially interested when you find things that defend what you believe is true? Doesn’t it matter? If Adams or any president proves to be less honest than say Jefferson (hypothetically) and less inspired, it doesn’t necessarily make America untrue. But whitewashing history surely doesn’t make the such contradictions go away. Is your faith so fragile in our Founders that you only read books that echo your own current uninformed beliefs? If not, why do so in your study of Church history?
None of these things prove that the United States of America was never “true” or inspired. But I think a clear minded person recognizes that if Jefferson was an immoral man and so were ALL of our Founders, that it absolutely would undermine the integrity of the foundation our nation and thus it matters. This is precisely #BLM’s message. “America was never good because it was conceived by white, racists liars.” Do we not defend against such lies?
To take a modern example, does it matter who went to Jeffery Epstein’s Pedophile Island? Does it matter that Epstein was a pedophile? A sex addict? Does what you know of him cause you to make reasonable judgments? Would you have let him babysit your 12 year old daughter or support his causes? Does it bother you that he was murdered in prison and no one knows who did it? Does it matter that a Prince and at least one American president were regular visitors on the Island? Is the truth not important? Do we just NOT go down that road because we’re afraid of what we might find out?
Laman and Lemuel I think were sincere in their belief that they were tricked into leaving their homeland and were thus robbed of their land of inheritance and consequently their happiness. Their otherwise innocent version of the facts led to the annihilation of civilization. Laman and Lemuel’s beliefs/lies mattered. They led to millions of people dying horrifically, unnecessarily, and prematurely.
I guess we could sanitize everyone’s history and say none of it matters. “The Book of Mormon is true and so disregard the foolish teacher who says beware of false prophets and judge them by their fruits.“ Just because something is or was true does not guarantee it cannot become false when its leaders corrupt it. Wouldn’t you agree? The Constitution is “true” but it must be upheld and defended by virtuous people. It is the oldest Constitution in the world. Any nation is welcome to use it as their own. But could Putin succeed in establishing freedom in Russia by simply adopting and copying our Constitution? Of course not. No one can just copy it unless they are willing to do so upon the principles of righteousness. And the same is true for whether or not we can keep it “true.” This same principle applies to any institution, even a Church we “want” to never fall into apostasy.
Do you think it matters to an investigator of the LDS Church whether Joseph was a pedophile or not? Let’s be really clear — if the Church’s current history is true then:
Joseph was an adulterer. The Church says he took his first plural wife without Emma’s knowledge or consent AND 12 years before even he received the revelation on plural marriage.
Joseph was a polygamist and consummated those marriages sexually.
Joseph was a pedophile. He married underage women.
Joseph was a liar. He openly preached against polygamy and secretly practiced it.
Joseph was a hypocrite.
Of course, according to the Church, Joseph was commanded by God to do all these things.
But does the truth matter? If you have a child having a faith crisis because they’ve read the Church’s Essays, might these details matter to them?
If the presentation I sent to my friends is correct, then:
Joseph Smith was not an adulterer.
Joseph was not a polygamist.
Joseph was not a pedophile.
Joseph was not a liar.
Joseph was not a hypocrite.
If teaching your friend who is interested in learning more about the Restored Gospel, which set of facts would you rather have on your side? The first set that potentially undermines everything you may share? Or the second set, that is way more consistent with the beautiful message of the restored gospel? More importantly, do you want to share the truth or do you want to unwittingly spreads lies? WE have a duty to find out the truth on the matter OR we lead people astray. And lastly, do you care more about a “church” than you do about the Restoration?
Let’s look at the train wreck of polygamy. What did that teaching inspire? What did it yield? It did not produce more offspring. That’s a fact. Women had fewer children who were polygmaIst than the average non polygamist woman. There was no shortage of men — that’s completely false. Are we so comfortable lying for the Lord as Mormons that we don’t seek to correct the record when lies are shared? What other lies are we comfortable sharing? Unpaid ministry? The brethren seeing God as did Joseph? The Lord attending Thursday meetings? If those are lies, do we not want the truth? Do we really want to simply let the lies go uncorrected for the greater good? I can promise you one thing, if you lie to someone (even if by simply not correcting the record) it is likely to lead to a far more serious faith crisis at some point as a result.
Polygamy in the Church led to wife swapping, whoredoms, murder, adultery, wife stealing and abuse. Does it really not matter one iota to you that it may not have been started by Joseph Smith? And if it wasn’t do you not think it important to defend our dear brother Joseph at all costs? Regardless of whatever we think the implications may or may not be?
Here’s an example a little closer to home. Let’s say that someone starts a rumor about you at work that you are fooling around with your secretary. Do you care if no one comes to your defense, assuming there is no truth to the allegations? Do you think the rumors could lead to other adverse consequences if not corrected or addressed? Do you think the company could suffer as a result of the falsehood going uncorrected? Worse, imagine now that the rumor is that you secretly believe in polygamy and you are entering into secret marriage covenants with other men’s wives, with teenagers, all behind your wife’s back. Would these lies matter? Would they affect the way people treat you? Respond to you? Would people quit because of the rumors? Would the organization and its mission suffer? If this is you being accused, do you want the company when you’re gone to publish lies that confirm that the rumors were true? When they’re not? Do your kids want their father’s legacy to be those lies? Do you want your kids and grandkids to use those lies that they now believe to be truths to justify their own immoral actions? Again, does the truth matter?
A dear friend made an great point the other day. According to Brigham Young, anyone who rejects the teaching of polygamy and does not enter into it, cannot be saved in the highest degree of the Celestial KIngdom. As far as I know, those words have never been renounced. To the contrary, President Nelson and Elder Oaks and others are often cited as living that “higher law.” So, if polygamy was started by Joseph and it is the higher law and we must accept it and practice it at some point, then why isn’t the Church pushing for its legalization? It would be a brilliant legal move in my opinion and may have prevented gay marriage from becoming legal. But, now that gay marriage is legal, why not push for it if you believe in it? If it was true then, why is not true today? Better yet, IF it becomes legal, will the Church re-instate it? And why wouldn’t it? And more importantly, would you practice it? Now would you want to know for sure if Joseph really taught it? Would the truth matter to you now? Your bishop tells you you need to marry the 16 year old from the Sunday School class your’e teaching. You need to go home and break the news to your wife. Are the historical details meaningless to you now? Your wife may leave you. Your boss may fire you. Your kids may lose all confidence in you. Does whether the doctrine came from Joseph or Brigham matter now? If it was a lie promoted by Brigham, are you still comfortable proceeding? If it leads you to hell, and to whoredoms, do you really just want to trust your bishop rather than figuring this out for yourself?
I sent this video that I’m including here below to many of my friends and family because I think enough of them to share things I find persuasive, lovely, exonerating, and good. Because I love the truth and I love the Lord. And I love Joseph. I did not send it to them with some hidden agenda or with any grand scheme in mind. I sent it to all my kids as well and shared it with my wife. That’s how good I think it is. I do not know the producer of it. I don’t know his beliefs or his religion. All I know is I think he does an amazing job of shedding light on a really important topic. And it excited me. Certain people’s response was deflating and reminded me that people are afraid of truth. It threatens them and they fear what it may lead to. Surely Joseph was right when he said:
“I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen [see D&C 121:40].
I truly believed this group of friends would respond normally and maturely (in fairness two of them did):
“Hey thanks for the recommendation! I’ll check it out! (After watching it…). “Wow, that was really interesting! Made me think! Not totally sure I agree with all the conclusions but will certainly study the topic further… Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad we share a mutual love for Joseph and Emma!”
This is how people might reply who are not threatened by someone who they know loves them and who is sharing something they are excited about. The way they chose to respond shuts down dialogue, makes people feel foolish, and frankly reminds me of how so many leaders in the Church treat people they disagree with. Testify louder! Rebuke. Correct. Stay true to the Brethren at all costs. Be intellectually dishonest. Don’t reason. Don’t ponder such things. Don’t pray over such things. Protect the flock by silencing ideas and by turning off the mic. In short, passive aggressive and fearful and controlling.
As I have learned the truth about Joseph and Emma, it has strengthened my faith in the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, Lectures on Faith, the JST Bible and in all the Teachings and mission of Joseph Smith. Surely he was a prophet of God! And as he proclaimed, he was surely guilty of sins, but NOT the ones he is charged with. And the truth on that subject matters. I invite you to watch this video and ask God which version of the history of polygamy is true.