This last year has been a very difficult and yet enlightening one for me personally. Most of you don’t know me and so I will spare you from much of the personal information. But suffice it to say, this has been a year where I have learned much. Like many in the world, I have seen sickness, death and destruction all around me. I have looked into the skies at the signs that prophets foresaw millennia ago. I have witnessed miracles and have seen love grow in some of my most important relationships. I have experienced forgiveness in damaged or destroyed relationships and feel as though I’ve received added light. And yet, I am reminded of what a fool I am. So quick to anger, vanity, fear, retaliation, judgment, greed, and laziness. The more I study and ponder, the more I recognize my awful state before God as well as the awful state of our church.
When I first began to allow myself to consider that the church might not be what I had always defended it to be, my world began to fall apart. I was a bishop at the time. To some I was the poster child of Mormonism. Son of converts, valiant in my youth, from a large active family, son of a father who had many important church callings, of a mother known for her kindness and zeal; an eagle scout, returned missionary, temple married, BYU educated, a leader in the church at a young age. I served in my first bishopric in my early twenties. My second bishopric in my late twenties. On the high council in my mid twenties. I was interviewed as a potential stake president in my early forties and was told by the outgoing stake president that they almost selected me.
I share none of this to gloat or to brag. I merely share it to demonstrate that when it came to commitment to the church, I was all in. I loved the church with all my energy and served it and defended it for my entire life.
But, as I have noted here in this blog, there have been times along the way where my faith in the church has been challenged. In times past, I most often erred on the side of defending the church and the brethren. For much of my life, I had assumed the gospel and the church were mostly the same thing. That began to change however, as I was met with further contradictions. Separating the two became a required spiritual survival technique for me.
The last stand for me with the church was that I had held onto the Brethren being True Witnesses of Jesus Christ. I believed they stood where I hoped to one day stand — even in His presence. I believed in this doctrine since first gaining my testimony as a very young man. In reality it was my testimony. I read of Calling and Election Made Sure and I knew that this was man’s very purpose and I believed with all my heart that these particular men, the leaders of the church, HAD achieved this end! After all, they had always reassured me that they “knew” Him and were special witnesses of Him. Call me naive, but I believed them until only a few years ago.
Now, lest you think me apostate, let me remind my readers that I believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus, in His servant Joseph and in the Restoration and in the Book of Mormon. I am not a whacko. I’m not a wannabe polygamist. I consider myself a very normal “LDS” person. BUT I do not and can no longer believe that the leaders of this church are anywhere near the equivalency of Joseph Smith. To say so is to mock God! Additionally, my spiritual journey has led me to believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in a state of apostasy and has been since the early days of the Church when its members refused to accept the fulness of the Gospel. This is further evidenced by the fact that LDS prophets today do not prophesy! They do not see! They do not reveal! Ironically, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men. They worship Handbooks and consult the learned and rely upon their attorneys. Their lips draw nigh unto Him, but their hearts are so far from Him! They preach the precepts of men and lead souls to Hell, yea even the very elect. Because they do not KNOW Him! They cannot have the testimony of Jesus nor have they received the Gospel. If they had, there would be an abundance of signs that follow after them. They would be healing the sick, they would be obsessed with expounding Scripture especially Isaiah, they would be focused on the poor and in building up Zion. When’s the last time you even heard an LDS prophet speak of building Zion? Thus we are of Paul and of Thomas and of Gordon and even of Jesus, but we do not have His testimony before the Father and thus we are damned!
I read this week in the Joseph Smith Papers that in June 1834, Joseph announced that the Lord had revealed to him that the redemption of Zion was being postponed “for a little season” (page 44, JS Papers, Volume 1, Journals also see D&C 105). The reason for this postponement, despite that Joseph had just rallied an armed expedition of righteous and zealous volunteers to “restore and redeem Zion” was because the church refused to live by the laws of the Celestial Kingdom AND because the “leading elders of the church were not yet endowed with power from on high.”
I ask you my friends, are we any closer to the establishment of Zion today? Have our leaders now truly been endowed from on High? More so than the original 12? Have they been in His presence? Can we trust them as true messengers? Are we living by the law of the Celestial Kingdom? Joseph once taught, “Without a Zion and a place of deliverance, we must fall, because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, the moon turn to blood, the stars fall from heaven and the earth reel to and fro.” Have we fallen? Will we fall? Are the signs and prophesies being fulfilled while Zion is yet postponed?
Do you trust these men with your salvation? I do not! Do you trust them to save your children? I DO NOT! Do they teach the words of eternal life? Or are they just nice, good men, trying to do the best they can with what they’ve been given? How are you receiving their teachings!? Very well? If so, then you will be damned for they teach the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.
We must needs repent and be born again before it is everlastingly too late. We must awaken and learn to discern between true and false messengers or we will die when Christ comes AND shall never be a part of Zion. If we remain lulled and contented by these current teachings we will never recognize true messengers when and if they ever come to us.
I no longer see things as I did as a child. I now judge of their works and am no longer fooled. I have been in their secrets councils. I witness that they would rather cover up the truth than expose their own hypocrisy! They make exceptions and play favorites. The rules do not apply to their own! I witness that they know not God and stand not in His presence. I add my witness that only the broken hearted and the contrite in spirit will be filled with light and be saved in Zion. I believe that a servant has come among us who has the words of eternal life, if we will be but humble enough to read, to learn, and to hear.