In a recent meeting Elder Bednar was supposedly asked a question by a sister missionary about women and the priesthood. He’s said to have given his own thoughts about the subject and when he concluded, the sister asked a follow up question. “Are there any scriptures that talk about this subject?” Elder Bednar responded, “I am scripture.”
Now in fairness to Elder Bednar, I’ve heard this account from two different sources both in attendance at this meeting, and thus I relate the story relying upon second hand information. If any readers have also heard this same story, please correct or confirm the details.
My first reaction to such a statement is not good. Yet I fully understand as an LDS person raised in the church, that Elder Bednar is only stating what we teach. “When a ‘prophet’ speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost, it is scripture.” Elder Bednar obviously considers himself a prophet and many of us sustain him in that calling.
But, we are also taught that “when any person speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost, it is scripture.”
So why give more credence to the words of Elder Bednar than say… someone else claiming to speak by the Holy Ghost? The standard LDS answer is “because God’s house is a house of order and that’s why keys are so important. Whoever has the keys AND speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost is who you listen to.”
For nearly 170 years (post-Joseph), these men we sustain as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators have been able to more or less say “Let it be written, for I am scripture.” Their Conference talks are immortalized and their words are given as lessons and talks and made into refrigerator magnets all around the world for years and decades to come.
But to what end?
For me when someone (and I mean anyone, besides The Lord) says something akin to “I am scripture” the effect is to shut down any and all further communication or questions. The same can be said of many statements we tend to make as Mormons.
I’m reminded of a missionary companion who liked to one-up investigators who disagreed by “boldly” bearing his testimony. Its effect? The conversation usually stopped awkwardly. He taught other missionaries this principle too. “Whenever you can’t answer a question, just bear your testimony (really hard).”
One time we were having a great discussion with a Catholic gentleman. He was hung up on The Book of Mormon. His questions and concerns were sincere. Then it came. “Sir, I know The Book or Mormon is true beyond a shadow of any doubt and that this church is the only true and living church on the whole earth!” This man replied with his own testimony. “Well, I know The Book of Mormon is NOT true and that your church is NOT the only true church on the whole earth!” My companion was taken aback. I waited for him to say “IS NOT!” like a 4-year old who has no logical arguments left. Fortunately he didn’t.
To be fair, our investigator wasn’t saying he “knew” anything. He was merely demonstrating how strange and immature such grand statements sounded to him and how off-putting they were. The conversation usually just ends.
Even to members of the church familiar with such bravado, the effect of these traditional tactics can be very damaging.
To say “I know God lives,” five times in a row, for example, while increasing the pauses in between sentences, while climactically raising the tone of your voice each time, may just lead someone to believe you have literally stood in the Lord’s presence. This was a technique I observed from the late Elder Loren C. Dunn. If he had not actually seen God, would this be a good thing to do? Might this cause people to treat someone as a light and heap upon them their praise?
I spoke to a brother recently who provides security detail for the Brethren when they come to his area. He is a trained police officer. He told me that when an Apostle, Prophet or even a Seventy come nowadays, there are members who try to find out what hotel they are staying in so they can stalk them and try to meet them. He recently had to rescue a visiting GA from an overly excited LDS crowd, literally removing him from danger. The spared GA told this brother that it’s getting worse and worse as they travel around the world.
Curious, I asked why he believed members reacted like this around the Brethren. He said “It’s like they’re rock stars and people think that because they know the Savior, that if they can just touch them, something amazing will happen!” He then went on to say that a full grown man from his stake boasted that he shook Elder Ballard’s hand and was “never going to wash it again.”
Such adoration and idolatry is anti-Zion and anti-Christ. All of us can learn a lesson from this. Maybe you or I are not tempted by GA celebrity status, but our own claims may cause others to look to us as a light instead of to Him.
The Savior’s Example
The Savior of the world epitomized meekness and humility. When he was called “good,” he objected and deflected all praise to God (Matthew 19:17). When he gave talks, he quoted scripture, giving all recognition to the prophet he quoted. This despite the fact that it was He, the Great Jehovah, who had given the quote to begin with. Unlike any mortal, “prophet or not,” Jesus IS literally the Word of God. He, and only He, is Scripture.
When Jesus taught He did not often make bold self-promoting proclamations to induce obedience or to enhance his bona fides. Clearly He was entitled to, but He more often said:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. (Matthew 5:21) or “Blessed are the meek…”
He could have just as easily said “I am the Great Jehovah who once commanded you, Thou shalt not kill…” or “I the God of Heaven and Earth command you to be meek now before I pull your temple recommend.”
Jesus does not use His power and authority to compel obedience and adoration.
Although perfect Himself, He invited others to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
Jesus speaks in plainness and humility.
And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things… (Ether 12:39)
Notice that Moroni’s claims are also plain, overt, and factual. He doesn’t leave the audience guessing whether he did or did not see the Lord.
Some Ideas to Consider
Whether leader or layperson, none of us is perfect. We can benefit from each others’ feedback and prayers. It’s a humbling and difficult experience to recognize or be made aware of our weaknesses. The Brethren need not feel threatened, condemned or judged by our feedback. They deserve our help as much as we deserve theirs. Furthermore, it is incumbent upon us to discern when they or anyone act and speak in the Lord’s name, otherwise we do them no favors and we only damn ourselves.
Here are just a few suggestions that I think would help us as members to NOT idolize the Brethren as well as to not set ourselves up as lights unto the world (2 Nephi 26:29).
We should never mislead people about what we know. We should not exaggerate our claims. If we haven’t seen Jesus or Angels, we should not make people believe we have. We should not mislead others about it by speaking in circles or by emphasizing how special our witness is. Let’s be honest and humble and direct ALL praise to our Lord. Only He can save.
Most of us can all do better in deflecting compliments and praise. Jesus said we should not even call one another Rabbi, which is to say Master or Teacher (Matthew 23:7). In my ward the CES contingency take turns suggesting that the other is one of the “Great Master Teachers of the Kingdom.” I believe such things to be devilish and destructive and yet all of us are tempted to heap praise upon each other. It’s our culture.
We should not often call people by their full names preceded with titles. Let’s drop the words president, elder, beloved, prophet, seer, revelator, general authority, etc. from our vocabulary when addressing someone. EVEN Jesus said to not call Him good! Do we really suppose He would have liked to be called Our Beloved President Jesus (add initial) Christ, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, while in mortality? To do so is to desecrate Him; His calling. Why should we be greater than He? He was called “Jesus.” That should serve as our model when speaking to or about each other, no matter our calling. Titles and initials inflate egos.
Church Leaders not speaking at General Conference would send a powerful message if they did NOT sit on the stand. In fact, they could even dress normally, i.e. not to the nines in expensive suits and dresses (fine twined linen?) and they could serve as Ushers and Parking Attendants and assist the infirm. They should consider standing at the doorways rather than sitting in plush red seats where all can see. Didn’t the Savior teach us to be servants especially when we are viewed as greatest? (Matthew 32:11). Let the poor and the elderly sit in those seats.
General Authority families should not be given preferential seats at General Conference. They should not occupy the entire front section of the Conference Center as they currently do. These people should get in line with the rest of us for tickets. Why not let first year converts or investigators sit in those seats? Or the handicapped?
NO calling in the church should EVER BE REMUNERATED nor should anyone receive a stipend who teaches or serves in the church (Mosiah 18:24). The church knows that its 80,000+ missionaries and its 3+ million active members of the church tell everyone that what makes us different from all other churches is that no one is paid. The Brethren KNOW this is what we tell people. And yet some of us KNOW this is not true. It’s simply wrong to encourage the lie by not correcting the record. It’s dishonest. It’s immoral. It would be one thing perhaps if the brethren were merely being supported. This is simply not true. They earn very large sums of money as a direct result of their callings. The church needs to come clean and set the record straight and deal with the consequences.
ALL transactions and expenditures ought to be made available for members to see. Every contract, every piece of property bought or sold, every trip, every personal expense, every stipend, every salary, every bonus, every royalty ought to be made public.
Church leaders should not fly First Class as I have witnessed on more than one occasion. For those of you that don’t think this possible, here is a recent picture of President Nelson.
He’s apparently on an International flight from SLC to Germany, traveling with Elder Hallstrom accompanied by their wives and someone who appears to be Elder Nelson’s bodyguard (far right in the picture) ALL flying First Class. Retail price of each ticket? $13,000. Coach price? $1300. What would be wrong with sitting in a regular seat with normal folks? It would sure save a lot of tithing money. One ticket at this price is equal to two years of tithing for a person who makes $65,000 per year. Fifty people could have flown for the price likely paid for these five tickets! One ticket would pay for an entire mission for a young man or young woman who cannot afford it.
Are these men so frail and so important that they can’t sit in a normal airplane seat? Why not just pay the extra $100 for more leg room? “But everyone would bother them if they were in coach” one might argue. But, isn’t that their calling? To preach the gospel whenever they can? I’ve heard more than one apostle say we should pray when we get on a flight that we will be able to share the gospel with someone seated next to us. How does the future prophet of the church do that here surrounded by his wife on his right and protected by hired muscle on his left?
Church leaders should not be served the sacrament first, but rather should bless it and administer it as servants to the congregation as the D&C teaches.
There are many small but important changes the church could make that I believe would both help the church to better conform with scripture as well as prevent people from leaving. Again, brothers and sisters, it’s our duty as members of Christ’s church to sustain these men in their callings by sharing our concerns. We need not be angry or revile against anyone. We can share our concerns with love. If we don’t, then who will? Anti-Mormons? It is far better that we encourage positive change from within by “common consent” than have it imposed upon us by the wrath of God, when it’s likely too late. We who believe in the Restoration must open our mouths. Those in the chief seats would do well to stop trying to silence those who offer their concerns. It’s our church too. The Savior’s message to the church leaders of his day seems to still apply to us in our day. Will we heed the call of our Master?
And Jesus said unto his disciples, Beholdest thou the scribes, and the Pharisees, and the priests, and the Levites? They teach in their synagogues, but do not observe the law, nor the commandments; and all have gone out of the way, and are under sin. Go thou and say unto them, Why teach ye men the law and the commandments, when ye yourselves are the children of corruption? Say unto them, Ye hypocrites, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (JST Matthew 7:6–8)
Great suggestions. Made my heart jump to even think of such a humbling sight.
In fairness, they probably didn’t purchase First Class seats, but were upgraded to First Class. Since they travel a lot, they probably are Delta Platinum or Diamond status and are the first to receive upgrades.
Should they deny the upgrades? Sometimes that’s difficult as you are literally upgraded as your boarding card is scanned in a the gate, and a new ticket is printed on the spot. There’s not really an opportunity to switch.
They do travel a lot, and they are elderly. Think honestly, if you received an upgrade and you wanted to donate it to someone in need, wouldn’t a ninety year old be one of the first people you’d pick?
Yes, it would be great if they were back in coach with the rest, talking to strangers like the missionaries do, but travel can be brutal as it is. Traveling more than ten hours, probably with layovers, is exhausting.
Can we not just focus on the decisions we have to make in our own life than worry about what decisions other people are making?
Other than that, good article.
With as much as they travel, I’m not sure they are actually *paying* for first class seats but are probably just routinely bumped to first class as a result of frequent flyer status.
I was not at that meeting. I have no idea what Elder Bednar said. I do not judge him.
But Jesus Christ is the word made flesh and dwelt among us. Only CHRIST is scripture. (John 1)
Last summer I attended a symphony at Deer Valley. Dallin Oaks was there and he did act like a rock star. There were selfies, photo ops and chit chat. You could tell he was enjoying the unending attention. I watched this go on during the intermission, and I was shocked At what I witnessed. He certainly had his groupies! As I was leaving at the end of the concert, there was a mass of different people gathered around him. No humility there! I no longer attend church because of the people. I have received third degree burns from my ward. I was told I don’t follow the prophet because I did not agree with Prop 8. I have gay family. My family comes first! I had to ask my neighbor to leave my home, because I was watching CNN, and he did not approve of Anderson Cooper. What gall! Some members feel that they are entitled to be in your personal business. I no longer let that happen. I have become a hermit because I don’t want any more backlash. The church is not the same church I grew up with. What has happened? I have come to the conclusion that there is no place for me in this church.
The subject you cover here and the large and spacious mega mall are causing me to really question all of this.
I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. I grew up in The Lutheran Church and was 40 years old when I Joined the LDS Church. That was nearly 26 years ago. We all have our own very personal walk. I have been blessed to be “Glad” that I am different. If that were not the case I would not have remained active in the Church. I could not care less what others say, think or feel about me as long as I know I am doing my best to “Do Right”. Your family nor your friends nor anyone else will be by your side on that day when you stand alone in judgment before The Lord. If you make your own personal salvation your #1 priority and one on one commit to do your best to discover the “Will Of God” for you. How can you go wrong? If you would please “Google” a song by Woodie Guthrie called; “You gotta walk that lonesome valley”. I doubt Mr. Guthrie ever heard of The LDS Church but he surely knew truth when he seen it. Don’t let anyone sway you from the path that will lead you to eternal happiness. Be bless Sister.
Elder Holland said at a recent fireside I attended (not a recorded, exact quote, but very close if not exact): “The Institutional Church, the Brethren, will not lead you astray. The Church is the Light, the Life and the Way.”
I always wondered why they make deacons pass the sacrament. Is it so the little kids can do it and the old guys can sit in front of everyone like dignitaries? I don’t know, but spectacular article. I would like to see all of these implemented. Unfortunately I don’t think the church will do this. Furthermore, I don’t think they are interested in members like me who want to see this. They want the idol worshippers that are easily controlled.
Yes, I would reject the upgrade because of appearance of being above others and also, as AB pointed out, not taking a chance to preach the gospel and serve others. My dad is in a management job at the top and he even buys his own office furniture among many other things. All to avoid the idea that he wastes money or takes money for his personal gain and extra benefits. It is not uncommon.
The bible teaches the path of Jesus. Keep that close to you heart. Then listen to your heart and your path in life is easy. No council, no authority, no regret.
Sorry,one more thing. Do the apostles only worry about their own lives or do they try to micromanage us members?
Love your comment!
You’ve made some good points.
I think it would be best to use scripture to help convince people of their errors rather than point out, albeit many times true and alarming rock star status life styles these men live, to help tear down pride.
I say if people want to worship these men then they have every right to do so. However, I don’t think talking about these men will do us or those still following them any real good.
It was the scriptures, and only the scriptures, that finally convinced me that all was not well and what helped me to see my own unbelief and to find solutions to fix it too.
I liked this article nonetheless.
Where the brethren sit and how they fly are really that important to you, how vain does that sound? Many of them ARE the elderly with health issues. Just as you said, the brethren are not perfect and are not to be worshiped. However, we are to have a greater respect for the mantle and responsibility they have been given. This life is somewhat of a similitude with how God works and just as you stated the Lord’s house is one of order. I view these things as a line upon line precept to prepare us for how God’s house will work in the next life and if it’s to vain for you in this life then that’s your problem. We need to be prepared for God and the Savior sitting upon their glory and this is one way to do that. How old are you? When you get to be 80 years old with multiple health issues and back problems you will want to sit in first class too. Just as you stated you don’t know the finances of the church and what is being spent on what so how can you sit there and claim that they are being wasteful? Most of the brethren have been blessed very well financially and how do you know they are not paying for upgrades or the entire expense themselves? To sit there on your soap box and judge them when you don’t even know the truth is just plain wrong. Every member knows that it is by their fruits that ye shall know them and you are to test that fruit for yourself, that is the ONLY way to know for yourself. So when the brethren state that their words are scripture it is YOUR SACRED DUTY to test those words for yourself…
I find it amusing that the author is encouraging members to speak up and let their voices be heard, all while doing so anonymously.
Most likely it is because in this church if you do speak up about what you believe to be correct, you get ex’d. Kate Kelly spoke up about women’s equality. Rock Waterman spoke up about the current incorrect doctrines of tithing. John Dehlin spoke up about the correct history of the church. Where did that land them? I’d assume if the author did use his/her real name and continued to question the leadership of the church, he’d/she’d find himself/herself in the same boat.
^and not be offended that they have been given the mantle to become scripture. I could only imagine how hard it must be to walk a mile in their shoes, especially when you have people second guessing you and putting your imperfections under a microscope…
Where the brethren sit and how they fly are really that important to you, how vain does that sound? Many of them ARE the elderly with health issues. Just as you said, the brethren are not perfect and are not to be worshiped. However, we are to have a greater respect for the mantle and responsibility they have been given. This life is somewhat of a similitude with how God works and just as you stated the Lord’s house is one of order. I view these things as a line upon line precept to prepare us for how God’s house will work in the next life and if it’s to vain for you in this life then that’s your problem. We need to be prepared for God and the Savior sitting upon their glory and this is one way to do that. How old are you? When you get to be 80 years old with multiple health issues and back problems you will want to sit in first class or cushy seats too. Just as you stated you don’t know the finances of the church and what is being spent on what so how can you sit there and claim that they are being wasteful? Most of the brethren have been blessed very well financially and how do you know they are not paying for upgrades or the entire expense themselves? To sit there on your soap box and judge them when you don’t even know the truth is just plain wrong. Every member knows that it is by their fruits that ye shall know them and you are to test that fruit for yourself, that is the ONLY way to know for yourself. So when the brethren state that their words are scripture it is YOUR SACRED DUTY to test those words for yourself and not be offended that they have been given the mantle to become scripture. I could only imagine how hard it must be to walk a mile in their shoes, especially when you have people second guessing you and putting your imperfections under a microscope…
I am sorry Jeffery, I thought my post was to the author, it was not intended as a reply to your comment.
I can understand your line of thinking with the photo op and I ALMOST agree with you. However, of course the church is not the same church you grew up with, neither is this world. Line upon line, just as the world is changing so to is the church adapting. If that one photo or selfie that gets posted online by that member and their non-member friends see it and it causes them to investigate who that brother is and then investigate the church, then is it not worth it for the brethren to take the time to do that? It is very apparent these days that the brethren have been instructed to embrace social media more and to us it as a tool to spread the gospel. Are you sure he was not being humble in a more submissive way by allowing that to happen? Or was it you who was not humble because of your hermit lifestyle and thus jealousy? You state that you want church members to be more accepting of other lifestyles yet you cannot not accept a neighbor’s opinion about Anderson Cooper?
I think the suggestions are interesting, and they presented an interesting idea of what our leaders could be. I’m not necessarily disturbed by GA flying first class or having security guards. However reading, Matthew 6:25–34 (3 Nephi 13:25–34) shows me our leaders even today could paint our church to be a different or peculiar type of church instead of a typical large church.
I do take issue with the first part by Elder Bednar saying, “I am scripture” to me that feels like a cop out, my initial reaction to such a comment means he doesn’t know of any scriptural precedence to support his claim.
A correction for the record: tithing is not used for the general authorities’ modest stipends. Those stipends come from Church-owned businesses. President Hinckley addressed this in general conference. As for the first-class plane tickets, you don’t know how those are funded.
Different topic: from where are you pulling the line “when any person speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost, it is scripture”?
Makes me think about the old Anthrax song “I am the LAW!” (meme away). Serious lack of humility in that statement. I wonder is Mrs. Bednar didn’t take him to task in private, as my wife most certainly would have. What an arrogant, awful thing to say.
On the airfare thing – this is one of those things that doesn’t bug me at all. The leaders travel so much that they certainly have big-time upgrades that don’t cost anything. Yes, they get red carpet treatment by members. But a lifetime of stake conferences is a horrible price to pay for some celebrity treatment. I’d rather drink poison than give up weekends for life. As much as travel is a drag, let the man enjoy the legroom and warm towel. I just wish he’d open up Section 89 and enjoy a cocktail with those of us who choose to interpret that one the clear way.
“And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:4)
There were a lot of other observations made about the leaders of the LDS church besides their flying habits.
How about sitting among the members, how about not having preferential seating for families at general conference. How about not having people stand when you enter a room. How about passing and blessing the sacrament, rather than sitting up on the stand and receiving it first….
There are soooo many other things that we could mention. For instance, their fine clothing, their automobiles, their huge mansions, and vacation homes, etc…
Serisouly, these guys live in huge houses, and no it is not because of their previous employment. Don’t forget that not all of thegse guys made tons of money in the private sector. What did Bednar do, wasn’t he a professor? How much do those guys make? Educators aren’t typically the highest paid professionals.
Anyway, these guys are whited sepulchres. Think Matthew 23. Matthew 23 applies directly to the leaders of the LDS church.
Hey CJ….at least one leader I know of wouldn’t have flown first class on our dime.
See Mosaiah 2
11 But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me……
14 And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne–and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.
Actually you can’t prove that. Until the church opens its books – there is no proof either way where the stipends come from.
If you look at your tithing slip – you’ll see that all funds go to SLC and that the church will spend them as they see fit.
At least anonymous bishop won’t delete your comment like Mormon newsroom does constantly. :0)
If Elder Bednar Is “Scripture” then we have just found out for sure that a “prophet” can lead us astray, and at least at the writing of this comment, has done so without being taken from our midst.
A few conferences ago Elder Bednar gave a conference talk in which he said that the two individuals on the Mount of Transfiguration conversing with the Savior were Moses and Elias or in other words Elijah. That’s absolutely false. The two individuals on the Mount with Christ were Moses and John the Baptist. We know that “the Elias” on the mount was not Elijah, but was John the Baptist by referring to the Joseph Smith translation of Mark 9: 4 and then referring to footnote ‘a’ for verse 4, where Joseph added this clarification “…or in other words, John the Baptist and Moses…”
We also know the same thing about this instance by reading Matthew 17: 1–13 where it says the same thing. “Mr. Scripture” doesn’t seem to know this, however. Or, maybe he does but thinks his scripture supersedes that of Joseph Smith speaking in the name of Jesus Christ.
BTW we also know that Elijah didn’t restore the sealing power to Joseph Smith as our leaders say is the case. That was done, as it is always done, by Jesus Christ, Himself. (See D&C 132: 45–49; Helaman 10: 4–10 ; Matt. 16: 19; among others.) So what does that say about all this temple sealing work we do and have done by “The Power and Spirit of Elijah?”
We know all this, or can figure it out, but “Mr. Scripture” doesn’t seem to. Instead he spouts something different along with the rest of his “Quorum of Scripture.” And by doing so, that whole quorum, plus the First Presidency, and probably most of the Quorum’s of 70, should have been removed from our midst long ago.
Did I miss something? Or do they lie?
Oh yes! He did take Elders Packer and Perry away from us. I wonder if it was for anything they said? Elder Bednar, beware.
Keith M. Henderson
If true, this is definitely an unsettling declaration to hear from someone who ought to know better.
That being said, it is important that our focus not be upon reviling false teachers or accusing our fellow mistake-makers. Instead, we should focus on loving the Lord and our fellow man.
To love the Lord, we prepare our hearts to receive His voice, which is Spirit and then we do what He asks us to do, and say what He asks us to say, when He asks us to do it, even if the powers of hell and the traditions of earth rage against us for doing so.
Certainly there are times to rebuke with sharpness, but only when moved upon by the Holy Ghost. The rebuke must originate from Him. There can be no light or edification for anyone when the source of our complaints (however just) is derived from some demon stirring us up to anger and frustration, and goading us to vent.
Beyond the general charge to teach this generation faith, repentance, baptism and the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, let us take our stand against spiritual darkness in high places by focusing on our love for the Lord. And if we love Him, we constrain ourselves to do what He asks us to do, and say what He asks us to say.
My mission president was a GA. He told me the 1st Quorum of the 70, the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency live the Law of Consecration, and the “stipends” and travel expenses come from the shared wealth of those ~85 members, and it does not involve tithing. Assuming he told me the truth (and I have no reason to question it), then there are several things the church spends tithing on that we can question, but the GA/Apostle “stipends” are not one of them, nor are they a “paid clergy” in the strict sense of the word. I agree that most of these concerns could be addressed and resolved if the “Church” would open the books to the membership, as they used to do several decades ago.
Having flown internationally for several years as a government employee, with more flights than I would care to count, I don’t begrudge the first class tickets. Also, once I hit 100K status with United, I was upgraded to business or first class for free on every flight but one the following year – that was well over 30 flights that year, most involving transatlantic flights. I am an air mile piker by comparison to the GAs/Apostles.
“I am scripture!” Umm…. Yeah, I have an issue with that statement being made, if that is what was said, and the context is correctly presented.
The women and the priesthood issue confuses me because members obviously do not understand there own doctrine. All endowed women hold the Melchizedek priesthood by virtue of their being endowed (not married and sealed, but endowed), so the issue is not doctrinal, but procedural, as in: why can women no longer be mouth or stand in a circle during blessings? However, that is not the question being asked by the ordain women crowd. See:
Quinn also has a scholarly article that lays it out with more specificity and cites an address from a GA in 1946 or 47 as stating the policy changed because endowed women hold the Melchizedek priesthood, but not a specific office within that priesthood, they cannot exercise the priesthood keys – now there is something to question, how someone can hold the priesthood, but not have the authority to use it, based on a statement by a single GA in conference address in the mid 1940’s?
I will suggest the Bishop and his counselors bless the sacrament at least once a month – the Bishop is, after all, the president of the Priest Quorum in the ward in which he presides. I think this is a great idea, and a great example for the Bishop to set for the young men as well as the rest of the congregation.
I think it is also important to find out who is telling us what and why and match it to the scriptures. I mean the real scriptures.
This is not Rosyland. Your continued affiliation with “brethren” who think they are scripture and spout it to a mostly lulled to sleep constituency, who couldn’t care less or don’t know whether it’s true or not, is akin to giving responsibility for your very own salvation to those who will not be able to go therein, themselves. I personally think a leader who uses the line that constitutes the title of this blog doesn’t know the answer to the question he was asked and used that to shut everyone up.
Lack of knowledge of scriptures is a great problem. If there was more knowledge of what the scriptures really say there would be less of calling ourself “Scripture.”
My personal experience with both the leaders and the people they lead, is that neither side knows the scriptures in the books. Neither really know enough about the scriptures to, “constrain ourselves to do what He asks us to do, and say what he asks us to say.”
Huntsman’s plane was busy?
It’s good to hear from you, Keith! I am the one who you baptized in Eden this last Passover in April. My wife and I are grateful for what you did for us!
I am saddened to hear these things about David Bednar. To the greatest extent possible given the circumstances, I’d like to step in on his behalf and defend him where I can.
I knew him when he was the president of BYU-Idaho before his ordination. Despite his sterile-sounding manner, he did love the students there. Every morning, he would jog up and down the stadium bleachers with the same handful of guys and girls, neither distant nor aloof. At the request of one of those guys, he set apart a night to come to where we lived and discuss the gospel, answering our questions individually. The Spirit ratified some of the answers he gave, but not others. He answered one of my questions at length. I remember the question, but not the answer he provided, and I don’t recall the witness of the Spirit regarding that answer. (That may be the reason for my stupor on the matter.) Although He strove for a precision in his answers that often seemed mechanical and even sterile, I must confess that through it all, I felt the love and dedication he had for all of us in the room. I cannot deny that he served us in the best way he knows how!
When I hear of these recent quotes of his, I bear no animosity but and filled sadness and anxiety and questions for my friend. I am constrained to cry, “How is it that office could do such a bad thing to such a good man as yourself!? Don’t you know that the Spirit of Truth brings knowledge of Christ, and that to know Who and What Christ is, is to also know how hopelessly you fall short of Him? I plead with you to follow the Spirit that leads you to fall on your face in the depths of humility! I wish with all my heart that I could just reach out and pull you from the grasp of those flattering devils who want nothing more than the never ending misery of you and those within your influence! Hear His voice and follow Him!”
I don’t think he will ever hear this, and if he did, I would be most likely dismissed as being “out of harmony” with him.
In any case, David Bednar has nothing but my love and my sustaining pleas to the Father on his behalf. May the Lord keep him and bless him.
Unfortunately, I must agree with you 100% I wish it weren’t so.
Thank you for the time and energy it took you to post this.
I think your article points out that there is a definite opportunity for funds to be misappropriated, no matter how good the intended cause….we’re not talking about worthiness, or someone’s age alone. We’re talking about the LORDS money. If you are an apostle, you need to be particularly careful not to look like you are abusing a sacred trust.
Not to sound trite, but really, what would Jesus do? I’m taking a stab in the dark here but I am pretty sure he would sit where he could do the most good. He would not be a burden to others. He would take every opportunity to serve.
The church NOT making expenditures public knowledge (like they were originally intended to be) only compounds the problem. The price of the plane ticket and going first class is really not the issue….the concern is how are ALL the Lords funds being used and are they being used where He would use them?
I think if we were honest in our deliberations over the matter, I think in the end, the disaster stricken, the fatherless, the widows, and the starving would come first. I know I would gladly spend as little as possible on myself if I knew the extra money I had at my disposal could save a life, a family or a community.
I’d also like to add that I agree with you completely. While I wish to be as merciful in my evaluation of the leaders as possible, I cannot deny that if they understood the scriptures, they would not be making these claims, and if they do not repent, they will be held tragically accountable before God.
I’d also like to clarify that I didn’t intend to convey that I affiliate myself with these leaders and the false doctrines they purvey. You are correct that this is not Rosyland. The souls of men are a serious matter for sure, and I do not intend to trifle with them by treating lightly the seriousness of what these leaders have done.
My only intent was to attempt, to whatever degree possible, to adopt a standard of mercy toward these men, who are surely to be pitied, for that is the standard I wish the Lord to adopt for my poor soul.
Then again, I do think that in order to avoid trifling with the souls of me, it may just be necessary for me to play the part of the lion, and not just the part of the lamb.
Thanks for the rebuke.
1) The Church buys airline tickets in bulk and gets the corporate perks that any company spending that much gets. And that includes first class upgrades. Sometimes church leaders are bumped to first class by the airline too, just like any frequent flyer would get — pretty sure all those who aren’t sick earn lots of miles. If you don’t know that they paid 13K for their ticket, do not assume they did. But assuming they did, any road warrier (very few of whom are in their 70’s plus) will tell you that first class is necessary in order to be able to conduct their business when their feet hit the tarmac wherever they are headed.
2) Okay, you can make an argument that they shouldn’t be congregated in the first rows, but it is churlish indeed for members to want to take away one of the only things that families get to offset the hours and days they are missing their loved one who is serving on our behalf. And you can make an argument that their security requires them be in one place, as members tend to be as enthusiastic at greeting known family as they do of the church leaders themselves.
3) As Brother Otterson mentioned last week, many of the stipends are less than a tithe of what these men made before they were called (he didn’t say more). I tend to see the stipends for full time leaders as church welfare the same way that the church gives welfare to lots of members when they cannot support themselves. After all, they didn’t ask for the job, cannot give it up since they don’t do the choosing, and doing the job makes it impossible for them to hold down competitive employment to meet their personal needs.
The Savior was the Rabbi, or more accurately, Rabboni (master or great teacher). He taught that John the Baptist was greater than a prophet. John was a messenger. The meaning of the word apostle is “one who is sent away”, or “a messenger.” A messenger delivers a message. A mail carrier is a messenger. He or she delivers information from one person to another. They don’t open your mail, read it and then give you a synopsis.
An apostle is one authorized by the Savior to deliver his words. He does not have the prerogative to alter or provide his own commentary. For an apostle to say “I am scripture,” is totally inappropriate.
Nonsense. I fly international a heck of a lot more than these guys do, and I pretty much never get upgraded. And upgrades only happen if room is available, which is super rare on an overseas flight. And there are at least 5 of them. This just happens to be the blue moon time they got upgrades? The Internet is filled with gossip of people spotting GAs flying first class. There sure would be an easy way to clear it up though, when is the church going to open its books to the membership?
You don’t fly very much it would seem. Doesn’t work like that. And I don’t think these guys fly as much as you think.
Yeah this isn’t true. Several disaffected members who were privy to finances have spoken out on this. 70s get paid about 250k, apostles around 600k. All comes from tithing. They don’t pay taxes. Easy solution, open the books. Go read about the history of tithing. Back in the day apostles were borrowing money left and right, huge sums of money (millions) to satisfy personal wants. Some serious drama resulted. So what did church do? Doesn’t report its finances anymore. It is an amazement to me that we’re supposed to trust the leaders of the church, because, by golly, they are the leaders, so they just must be trustworthy. And if you don’t, people get all offended. Put simply, no, I don’t trust them. I don’t trust unapproachable men who are not subject to scrutiny or even question in any way. If there is nothing to hide, why hide it? “Oh because the enemies of the church, blah blah blah” What nonsense.
I’m curious. I keep hearing this. So if tithing dollars are invested to start some business, which makes a profit, isn’t that profit also “tithing”? IRS sure seems to think so. I’m not sure how an accounting gimmick changes things. The church is only able to receive money from one place – member tithes. They may spend it on all sorts of enterprises, end of the day, it’s still tithing.
I find it interesting that this post, written by an anonymous author, is based on secondhand information about an event held in an unknown location. I wonder if the author and many of his readers so readily and uncritically accept positive information they hear about the Church. Elder Bednar’s supposed quotation doesn’t sound like anything I have ever heard him say, over the span of many years he has served as an apostle. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like something *any* of the apostles would say. To say that the prophets declare the word of God isn’t the same thing as an arrogant statement such as “I am scripture.”
I am also curious as to where the author got his information about “large salaries.” No doubt from another reliable second, third, or fourth-hand source.
It is easy to stand from afar and criticize based on assumptions and hearsay.
Well yeah, he is scripture and that’s the point – the whole premise of scripture is that people accepted as called of God had things written down and people centuries later try to decipher what it means. The difference between what a drunken goat herder attributed to Moses or Paul and Elder Bednar is a few centuries distance and better record keeping.
In my mission we were told that the church was offered a great deal on bmw cars- enter than the fords we drove, but the church turned it down because of the way it would represent the church.
How vain does it sound when you have to double post your comments to be seen of men. I guess you have your reward, no?
I full heartedly agree that when the brethren speak from the pulpit, it can be considered scripture… As long as they cannot go back and rewrite the scripture to make it conveniently fitting to the current congregation. It’s too bad they have done this, and done it frequently. Brigham Young taught that blacks could not have the priesthood because they were less valiant in the pre-existence. Well, a recent article on lds.org states it isn’t the case anymore. Was Brigham simply a racist? Why was it spoken over the pulpit if it wasn’t scripture? Weird. I wonder what revelations of today will be rescinded 20-30 years from now due to convenience?
If our distinguished critic of all things Mormon were 90-years-old, he might be forgiven for riding 1st class on a plane. Our distinguished critic spends an uncommon amount of time searching for fodder which will feed the bloated belly of his own hatred of the of the LDS Church. Hatred becomes the sole reason for living if pursued long enough. Fulminate on!
And you don’t know the finances of the church or what is being spent on what either. You don’t know the truth either unless you have financial insights that the members dont have. Do you disagree that there should be financial transparency?
The rest of us who are elderly have to sit in economy. I’ve looked into first class tickets. It’s obscene, the cost. Let’s be reasonable folks.
This article started with a legitimate topic and then turned into a bunch of anti leadership rants. These are not perfect people who lead us and they are also not corrupt people. I think we should follow the Saviors advice and let the perfect ones among us cast the first stones. The rest of us should back off.
As far as the initial topic is concerned we need to remember that “scripture” refers to the script or direction that we would do well to follow. Any direction that we receive by way of the confirmation of the spirit from any any source should be considered our peronal scripture because the Holy Ghost does not steer us wrong.
The roles of prophet, seer, and revelator are distinct and separate. There are many prophets among us and as Moses declared to the Israelites… it would be a good thing if all men were prophets. We should all be engaged in proclaiming the will of God. We all should be speaking by the inspiration and power of the holy ghost and by definition we would all be prophets. When the spirit confirms the truth of what we have proclaimed it becomes scripture to those who have gained a witness of it.
As a member of the church we sustain these men as prophets, seers and revelators. That means we do things to support them in those roles. We agreed to assist them in their callings when we raised our hands in a sustaining vote. Is bashing them openly over a slip of the tongue or a poorly worded phrase doing that?
No man is scripture. Thats like saying I am a lamp. But yes, when he or anyone else speaks by “inspiration” and “through the power of the Holy Ghost” it is scripture.
Great blog. Would love to see the ideas posted, implemented in the church, especially transparency in the financial realm.If you have nothing to hide, then be open. The way I understand the set up of the Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, the corp.has no obligtion to inform us of the way or to whom the monies brought in are spent. Correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks.
What nonsense.. In our Ward, any Priesthood holder of any age may bless or pass the sacrament. They encourage the Aaronic Priesthood holders to do this because it is a way that even as young as they are they may serve their Father in Heaven. We are to be taught, learn and grow line upon line precept upon precept. We would not expect a boy of 12 or 16 to fill an adult calling. No, they must begin at the beginning, and blessing and passing the sacrament while the Bishopric sits on the stand is a way for these young men to learn and to grow. It is a blessing for them to be able to do this. It is a lesson in being closer to God, of being reverent, and serving others. And for the record, we hold the members of our Bishopric in high regard not because we are idol worshipers, but rather because they have proven themselves worthy of our respect. Be careful how you judge what you clearly do not understand. Most of us are quite capable of thinking for ourselves, and do not need anyone else speaking for us.
Did someone just use caps lock? Very religious!
I’m quite opposed to the LDS Church in general but I won’t begrudge a 90 year old man a first class ticket on an international flight. Many corporations do this when employees have longer flights (often over 6 hours). And everything I see tells me the LDS Church is a corporation.
Also – I know some couple missionaries who are serving overseas (I can’t remember exactly where). When they flew from the MTC to their mission the LDS church provided business class airfare for them. I have no issue with that either. Its good business.
Wow. And here was me thinking that Jesus Christ was the Light, the Life and the Way. Holland is a total apostate and anti-christ.
His marigolds angry rant at GC a year ago, where he metaphorically waved his magic priesthood keys at the members and verbally implied that to get to heaven you had to go through him – even my hardcore ‘follow the prophet’ family were disturbed by the narcissism of these guys.
They keep preaching their authority as the gatekeepers to Jesus. Maybe they should go back and read their scriptures…
I’ve personally had my dealings with Bednar and heard enough stories about Elder Bednar taking his wife to task in full public view to know what that man is all about. He has women issues for sure.
In fact, another story yesterday about Elder Bednar assaulting a teenage girl at BYU-I surfaced just yesterday. How this guy got into the Quorum is a mystery. He is NOT A KIND MAN. khttps://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/3ggrfr/bednar_helpfully_reminds_us_just_how_important_he/
The final question is who stands at the gate of salvation. If you believe that YOU do, that YOU are the gatekeeper and the author of people’s salvation–how could you not believe you’re scripture? After having your Second Anointing how could you not be a true voice of scripture?
And this is why nonmormons think that Mormonism is a cult! The way you view your leaders is how cult members view theirs.
A correction to your correction: the GAs’ stipend amounts are not disclosed, so it is impossible to know whether they are “large sums” as AB stated or “modest” as you proposed. (As an aside, whether a sum of money is “large” vs. “modest” is in the eye of the beholder.)
Even if the stipends are funded solely by Church-owned businesses, how do you think those Church-owned businesses were acquired? No matter how you spin it, any and all business ventures (and interests accrued and stock dividends received, etc.) that the Church has come into ultimately stem from tithing money. Tithing money was and is the seed money for everything the Church does financially. I understand that the Church needs to spend some money to operate, but let’s be honest about the root source of it all.
They are NOT routinely or randomly upgraded to first class. They always fly first class, regardless of the cost. So do managing directors of church departments. This is one of the many perks of the job/calling. To claim otherwise is nothing but apologist ignorance.
Spoken like someone who has his or her lips planted firmly on the back sides of the general authorities.
We would not expect a boy of 14 years of age to see and talk with God and Christ. He is not capable of being visited by Angels and eventually translate ancient records. He is to join mainstream churches, learning from older ministers so he will be able to eventually lead his own congregation one day. Line upon line.
Haha. Perfect response MK. Come on, CJ! Have you really forced yourself to believe that Elder Oaks had missionary work on his mind while taking photos with people? Really?
Members of the first and second quorum of the 70s do get a modest stipend. Plus other perks like free BYU for their kids and grandkids.
HOWEVER, members of the quorum of the twelve are handsomely paid. As of 2009 their annual “board of director’s” compensation was just over $600,000 per year. In addition, the Church pays them $1 million when they become a member of the quorum.
All of their travel is free. First class tickets are free. Everything. Plus they each get a car and a driver.
This is priestcraft.
The worst was when he referred to his wife as an old lady right in front of her.
Paul, could you please provide a source for this? I wouldn’t surprise me, but I need a source otherwise it’s heresay. I did read, much to my chagrin, that Mission Presidents are reimbursed for all their expenses. This includes schooling to BYU, missions for their kids, all other mission expenses, gifts for their wife, date nights, flying children back and forth, etc. This comes directly from the Mission presidents’ handbook, so, solid enough evidence. It was also stated in the handbook that they are NOT to discuss any reimbursement with their financial advisor or tax accountant. I had been lead to believe all my life that these men and women were called to be mission presidents and to serve a mission and the people. Service requires sacrifice.
So, the fact that missions presidents (lower on the totem pole) are reimbursed, stipends wouldn’t surprise me.
They do not pay for their own upgrades. They are remunerated for their service as officers of the corporation. Just so ya know…
So, because their “stipends are less than a tithe” they are somehow to be remunerated for their “service” to the Lord? Don’t try to pass them off as suffering for their service. They are officers of a multi-billion dollar corporation and are treated as such. As you would be if you were to leave your massive income to serve God.
The Savior denied the “upgrades” when offered. They should do the same. You could buy a lot of food or medicine or books or water for $13K. Just sayin’.
Yeah! No doubt! Gotta drive American made vehicles to present the appearance of thrift and frugality. No way the church employees could drive Beemers. Then everyone would really know how the “sacred tithing funds” are spent.
The world is changing and the church is adapting? Adapting to what? The word of God is the word of God. Last time I checked He doesn’t adapt to anyone or anything. We are required to adapt to Him.
Oh, yes! Must obey the Brethren! What is is with the capitalized “B” in Brethren? That is wack.
Why not expect a boy of 12, 14 or 16 to fill an adult calling? Joseph Smith did it. He communicated directly with God and was told what to do and fulfilled “an adult calling”.
“Joseph! You’re know you’re only 14. Put down those peep stones and get over here and clear this field. Sheesh, 14-year-olds are so clueless!”
Awesome observations! Why don’t they crack the books wide open as the scriptures direct? Because they’re not abiding by the scriptural mandates, that’s why. Amen.
Yes, it is a business decision. I hope the Lord takes mercy on my soul when he compute the ROI on my life. Then again, he’ll probably have to make a “good business” decision and cut me loose. Oh well.
Gatekeeper? Where? In our midst? I think not. Oh, yes. The SECOND ANOINTING that only a select few are allowed to receive? I thought we were all beloved of the Lord. Then again, maybe we aren’t based on the preferential treatment of a select few that I observe.
This! For the past two years I have not been able to get the images of my mother wearing church shoes with holes, figuring out how to fit the milk from the bishop’s storehouse in the freezer, watching her count out the exact number of boxes of mac & cheese and canned foods, and her careful planning to pay a full tithe with 7 children in the house out of my mind when I hear the word tithing and knowing what is in the mission president’s handbook.
One of the freshest takes I’ve read recently on this comes from Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14–30. After praising the hard-working servants the master criticizes the fearful servant, observing that at the very least he could have put the talent in the bank where it could have drawn interest for the master. It all belongs to the master. To say that interest income based on tithing doesn’t belong to God is self-delusion on a billion-dollar scale.
I thought this was a great post. Thank you.
It is wrong that people in the church hold titles such as President, Elder, etc. Christ washed Peter’s feet because the master is the servant. To raise oneself up is inappropriate in the Lord’s kingdom. As you mentioned, not even the Lord raised himself up, he always deferred to the Father.
So, I call our bishop, stake president, and area authority all by their first names every time I see them (except when I’m at the pulpit). It’s the right way to go and it sends a clear message that we are all equal in Christ. It’s worth noting that Joseph Smith went by Brother Joseph. The point being that when we use Brother/Sister/Elder/President and then the last name, we create distance and formality, yet when we use Brother/Sister with the first name we create closeness and intimacy. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
If Bednar actually said that, he may need to repent for being prideful. I will leave it in God’s hands.
Yes Paul, please provide a source. I’ve searched high and low and have yet to find a verifiable, concrete disclosure about reimbursements. I totally believe that financial compensation is happening, but I would love to know the actual numbers.
A bishop, or a stake president can deny you admission to the temple. According to LDS doctrine what happens in the eternities if you never go to the temple or have you blessings removed?
Gatekeeper. You have no way of entering the eternities without going through the Bishop or Stake President.
Imagine if you had the power to seal on this earth and the eternities as well as curse. A God complex isn’t a big step.
President Joseph Fielding Smith expressed the matter succinctly when he wrote:
³It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man¹s doctrine.
You cannot accept the books written by the authorities of the Church as standards in doctrine, only in so far as they accord with the revealed word in the standard works.
Every man who writes is responsible, not the Church, for what he writes. (referring to himself) If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it. If he writes that which is in perfect harmony with the revealed work of the Lord, then it should be accepted.² ¬ Doctrines of Salvation ¬ Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith, 1956, Vol. III, pp. 203-204.
CJ, do you work for the church headquarters? Perhaps the “strengthening the members” committee? I suggest you read Matthew 23 and ask yourself if it pertains to our church and leaders.
CJ said it perfectly. Yes, the world is changing and the Church IS adapting. My testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been strengthened as I recognize and distinguish the differences between the Church and the Gospel. They are not the same. The gospel can save you; the Church cannot. The Church and really ANY church can act as an initial conduit for providing the gospel, but one only progresses through obedience to God. The Church becomes less and less important as one progresses through the gospel. Elder Poelman understood this but was censored by the Church. http://www.lds-mormon.com/poelman.shtml
Amen to your recommendation to study Matthew 23 in relation to this, JPD. When I taught this in Gospel Doctrine the class was in agreement that the scribes and Pharisees were critically off track. Instead of extending the comparison to the Q15, however, we focused on the only ones we have any control over—ourselves. Along with the Catholic Magisterium, the Q15 do seem to be Pharisees of our day.
If anyone does not agree with how the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints chooses to spend the money it has been entrusted to then feel free to take your tithing money and fast offerings and help some one in need among you. Me and my family have been doing this for some time now and we are prepared to stand accountable before the Lord for how we have chosen to distribute our tithes and offerings. I cannot in good conscience give to an organization that is building shopping malls and filling them with costly apparel while the begger just outside the gates goes without. Maybe its time we read of the great and spacious building that king Noah built across from the temple. I wonder why our scriptures have a story like that in them? We read that account and think of them as beings idiots and wicked men. But now that we have done the same thing on a much grander scale we think ourselves justified and all the more righteous for doing so because we are the chosen people. I promise you that king Noahs court did not hold a candle to what this church has done.
As we read the scriptures we should see that almost always the “chosen people” become the people that the following generations will look to to realize what they should not do. The term “chosen people” is not always a compliment.
I cant help but think that if Mormon were to come among us today that he wouldnt open up a can of whoop ass on those who are calling themselves after his name.
I don’t remember king Noah building a great and spacious building across from the temple… In fact I’m pretty sure he and his priests hung out in the temple on gold ornamented chairs. Where is the reference found that talks about this?
Im pretty sure the church has their missionaries offer the homeless / panhandlers on temple square assistance on a daily basis by way of transient bishop offices and their welfare programs. From what I understand they are only there because they choose to turn these offers down in favor of taking handouts. I have known people who served in these callings in Salt Lake and they do a lot for the people in need.
As far as the mall is concerned, most of us have known for quite some time that the church has investment properties that have helped to provide funding for other programs. The mall was an opportunity that allowed for an investment, cleanup of the area, as well as an attraction that would bring people near to Temple square that may not have otherwise taken the opportunity to visit.
These guys aren’t perfect. They don’t claim it and we shouldn’t hold them to a perfect standard. They have been called and we are asked to sustain them.
The Lord is not without the power or authority to remove them if he were to choose to do so. It’s his church and his people and his work. If any of us think that this is not the case then by all means keep undermining the mantles that they bear the weight of. Otherwise if you believe in a competent god and you have a complaint you should take it to management when you kneel beside your bed at night.
The scriptures teach us of the weakness of men. Not one prophet who was called to lead was perfect and many of them paid dearly for it. Why do we as a people feel that it is our right to make their burdens heavier. Maybe Elder Bednar was just having a bad day and felt challenged by the request to validate what he had just explained.
When I am frustrated, I sometimes tell my children that the reason they need to do what I ask is because I told them to. We have all done it before and Elder Bednars statement is not that far off from what I have done. We might be well to look in the mirror and set our own homes in order before we determine to correct the Lords servants in how they perform their duties.
I am astounded at many of your statements. First of all, what on earth makes you think the Lord will remove any one of these men if they aren’t doing His will?
Do you believe in free agency? We are he ones who have a choice to remove these men through common consent. Why do you think God would remove our agency?
In D&C 107 there are clearly spelled out procedures for removing the president of the high priesthood. If these instructions were given from God, why do you think God would relieve us of that responsibility?
True prophets or apostles do not demand that people “sustain” them. They testify of Christ. So that others may come to know God while in the flesh.
These men have set themselves up for a light to the world. They demand that people sustain them, or they are denied baptism, or temple ordinances. If you really do believe these ordinances matter to God, (and these men do) then they have set themselves up as gatekeepers into God’s kingdom.
Fortunately, God doesn’t allow men such as these to have any say on anything that matters in heaven. These men are whited sepulchres. Again, read Matthew 23 for a description of these men. They love to be called Elder, President, or beloved prophet.
Brad, maybe you should focus less on men who set themselves up for a light to the world and read the warnings to us in the Book of Mormon.
Members of the LDS church sure do love their idols.
You are doing exactly what untold numbers of members of the church are currently struggling with; the idea that we have to show blind obedience and adopt a “because I told you so” attitude towards leaders of the church. This marginalizes the real concerns and is insulting to both the people, and I believe to God. If God can take a 14 year old boy, speak to him, reveal to him, and ultimately save him, he can do the same for each of us. The only requirement is that we listen to Him.
Then there is this mall. The concern with the mall for me is that we are being told to do one thing “be in this world but not of this world,’ but are being shown something completely different from the church leaders, “let’s go shopping.” This is hypocrisy plain and simple and if you don’t see it, you are choosing not to. It’s out in the open for all to evaluate the fruits of their work.
I dont delight in these words but they are quite appropriate.
20…in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
21. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: i have not spoken to them yet they prophesied.
22. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from the evil of their doings.
First of all the responsibility of a church court for a president of the church is not our responsibility (D&C 107). It is up to the presiding bishopric and the twelve. Not your responsibility unless you have a calling in one of these positions.
Second the Lord commands us to sustain the leaders of the church. Its more than just the act of agreeing to sustain them in a meeting. Sustaining has to do with the acts of assisting them in moving the work forward.
Doctrine and Covenants 112 Place an emphasis on Verse 27
24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.
27 Therefore, see to it that ye trouble not yourselves concerning the affairs of my church in this place, saith the Lord.
I don’t agree with everything the leadership does and I don’t look to them for salvation. My focus is on our Savior. But that’s not the point of this conversation. Right or wrong we sustain those who the Lord sees fit to lead his church because he has asked us to do so. In spite of their and our weakness the work is moving forward. Sustaining simply means to assist them. If we work against them it will be chaos and the work would slow until those who work against the work are removed.
The only people who said that the Lord would call perfect men to lead were those whose testimonies lean on that belief. We know from the scriptures that the Lord works through imperfect people so that we can recognize that the strength is his that moves the work forward.
We were warned that men would come and that their philosophy’s would be mingled with scripture. I see it every Sunday and I am sure that my opinions and understanding of the scriptures and Gods will are not always correct. The point is that we were warned so that we would know to look to the Savior and listen to the Holy Ghost. The Savior is at the head and has appointed imperfect men to lead. If they are good enough for him then I think I can accept it too. If there is something wrong or imperfect about the doings of these men the Holy Ghost will withdraw during that moment and we will know what is right and what is wrong if we have purified our hearts and are in a place to listen.
When we we look to Christ and learn to understand the voice and guidance of the Holy Ghost we will continue to progress and will not need to be led to living water by men. But for now the Lord see fit to allow them to lead even in imperfection. If we do things to undermine the support of the men who the Lord has called, we may find ourselves standing opposite the Lord and attempting to justify our well-meaning but disruptive efforts against his work.
The Lord has not abandoned us and if he can send angels to warn and recover someone as rebellious as Alma the younger, then I am sure he could do the same for our church leaders should he feel that their actions are so disruptive to his work.
-Bad mouthing any of the Lords servants drives people away from the Lords church and slows the work.
-The Lord restored the gospel and it is perfect unlike the church
-The Lord allows his servants to lead the church in an imperfect state
-The Lord does not need us to steady the ark. Keep your hands off and focus on yourselves and your families. Until he comes and commands you to do something about it you should exercise faith and do your complaining on your knees or in some other non-disruptive way.
Please read my comment above^^
Also, from what I remember the mall replaced a bar which I had been told had strippers and a number of other un savory things that were placed very near temple square… these kinds of thing detract from the spirit.
The mall was an investment property like many others owned by the church that also generate funds used to prop up the work.
I have a hard time thinking that just because the church invested money into cleaning up an area adjacent to the temple instead of in another area, that the Lord is upset over this.
“Also, from what I remember the mall replaced a bar which I had been told had strippers and a number of other unsavory things that were placed very near temple square… these kinds of thing detract from the spirit.”
The City Creek Center mall replaced….another mall. Two malls, in fact – the ZCMI Center Mall and the Crossroads Plaza Mall.
I’m curious to know where the strippers and the bar were located? Crossroads Plaza was directly across from Temple Square for many, many years.
What bothers me about City Creek is its upscale nature. It is designed to appeal to the elite. I can’t afford to shop there with the $100 ties (Hugo Boss) and expensive watches and jewelry (Tiffany’s and Rolex). Church leaders should not be in the business of encouraging this kind of dabbling in Babylon.
You are not alone, my Dear, you are not alone.
Sounds a lot like Judas’ mentality of wasting expensive oil on anointing the Savior. He said it could be better used to feed the poor, but was that really his concern or was he just worried about what someone else was doing with their money? It sounds a little prideful to me. Do you, jcharrison2014, use all of your money to buy food, medicine and books for the poor? Or do you have a nice car, tv, and a computer at your house? Do you ever eat out? One nice evening out could feed someone in a third world country for months and months. Do you consider that? Kudos to you if you’re contributing as much of your time and means to good causes as the General Authorities do.
Just thought I would help remind Elder David Bednar of the scripture about women and priesthood which the sister missionary asked for.
Doctrine and covenants 113:7-8,
“to put on HER strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which SHE, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which SHE had lost.”. Also the sister missionary needed to ask elder Bednar point blank if his wife Susan holds the fullness of the priesthood as an ordained priestess. After receiving the second anointing the obvious answer is ” yes, absolutely. “.
They are not treated as such. Do you know what officers of multi-billion dollar corporations make? Tim Cook made $9.2 million as the CEO of Apple and he is considered to be way underpaid. Officers of non-profits corporations like Susan G. Komen makes millions if not tens of millions each year. The brethren are given enough to live a moderate and humble life. Those who have been successful enough usually don’t need help from the Church and don’t take any stipend from the church. Those who do are not living like officers of a billion dollar corporation or even close. They don’t even make what directors at a medium sized corporation make. They do suffer for their service.
I absolutely disagree that there needs to be or should be financial transparency from the Church on how the brethren spend the money. It’s called faith. You either believe them to be Prophets and have faith that they will use tithes and offerings wisely or you don’t. We aren’t shareholders in a corporation that can demand a shareholder report at the end of the year. And obviously transparency would be a nightmare. You are all losing your minds about an apostle getting to fly in first class. Which by the way I have personally seen Elder Nelson fly coach. Like stated before when you buy as many flights as the Church does you get some perks. But imagine if you found out what the church spent on the fleet of cars for missionaries or the sound system for the conference center.
First of all if you were going on a 10 hour flight when you are 90 years old and offered a free first class upgrade that would allow you to sleep on the flight you wouldn’t reject it. Not in a million years. Also are you saying that the only way to preach and serve is to be with those in Coach? People in 1st class don’t deserve or need service or the Gospel? Heavenly Father would disagree with you considering how many times in D&C he says to first preach to those with wealth so that they can open doors for the church. And your dad buys his own office furniture for a company that makes way more money off of him than they pay them, which is the basic idea of why you hire people? That’s stupid. If he works for a for-profit corporation why is he spending his own money on things that when he gets fired he is going to need but the company is. Weird thing to hold up as an example of why your dad is better than the Apostles.
I do fly a lot. And yes, that is how it works. At least with Delta, which is who they probably use most as SLC is a Delta hub.
Who do you fly with?
I’ll get upgraded on a Delta flight to Paris, if it’s operated by Delta. However, if it’s operated by Air France, Delta’s partner, then I am not upgraded.
Perhaps you fly with many of the partners?
You are putting your faith in men instead of god. This is why people say Mormons are in a cult, because they put their faith in men who claim to be prophets, just as so many cult leaders have said before. Mormons can’t think objectively about this on any level.
Gotta get those malls built ASAP!
Jesus would have. These “apostles” have nothing to do with him though.
It would be better if the complaints of this blog were made to the source rather than to the public. It that manner the accused would be given the opportunity to clarify any misunderstanding. In addition, justified criticism could we weighted and accessed in private without the complications of public spiritual lynchings of the Lord’s servants. The Lord forgave Peter. I suspect that he will forgive David.
I think this has been made impossible as most communications to any GA simply get sent back to the individual’s stake president.
I totally agree, that that would be the preferred way of dealing with these issues.
Interesting article and comments by everybody. The thing that is striking to me is how many people here see the problem but yet call these men good, honest, and righteous men. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What is going on is apostasy. Martin Luther recognized the truth and wrote his thesis statements 600 years ago. He wanted to reform the Catholic Church who he recognized as the Lord’s Church – but in apostasy. What happen? WAR. The Church did everything it could to destroy Martin. The same is true today. These men are not righteous, not honest, and certainly not prophets and apostles. They are wicked and evil men and we should not sustain them for all the reason you mention here. Don’t sustain them – they don’t deserve the adulation they receive. They are thieves and pharisees. They feed off the members as you’ve pointed out. They aren’t like the true apostles at the beginning of this dispensation nor are they like the apostles at the time of Christ.
Where can you find the truth? The scriptures. Those are the standard works and they testify that the Church is now in apostasy. Don’t sustain wicked men or you’ll be jugded as upholding wickedness.
I’m inactive now because of all this and will remain so until the Lord corrects this situation. It cannot be corrected by members. The Lord will have to step in now and destroy the leaders. If you support them then you might be on the chopping block as well. So take heed.
BTW did you see that Salt Lake City just elected a homosexual mayor? The holy city of God in the last days just went the way of Sodom and Gomorrah. Anybody see anything wrong with this? Rocky
May I ask, did you first address in private to the poster your “complaint” about the public nature of his “complaints” in this post?
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Dear Anonymous Bishop,
You will never find truth or light by criticizing the leaders of the church and murmuring about them in secret. The only way to know the truth and be made free is by following the same pattern that Joseph Smith followed: “ask of God.” He is the only source of lasting peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. His spirit brings peace and understanding when we humble ourselves before Him and seek Him with real intent.
I know that Thomas S. Monson, his counselors in the First Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are prophets, seers and revelators. I know it for myself, through the witness of the Holy Ghost, which has testified that truth to me many times. They are the Lord’s mouthpieces on the earth today, and they speak for Him. They are not perfect, but each and every one of them has spent his entire life laying everything on the altar of the Lord and being purified by the influence of the Holy Ghost. There is no one else on earth from whom we have a greater chance of learning eternal and salvational truths that will bless our lives now and in eternity.
To any who read this, please know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is still true, and that we are now, we have been in the past, and we always will be led by a true prophet of God. To everyone who will “ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” Come, join with us. Come taste the fruit of living the gospel and see if it is not “sweet, above all that [you have] ever before tasted…and…desirable above all other fruit” and it will “[fill your] soul with exceedingly great joy.”
Joseph, I’ve heard all this stuff from members before and it just doesn’t ring true at all to me anymore. Do you have any facts to back up your claim that we still have prophets and apostles at the head of the Church? They don’t act like true prophets and apostles. They are nothing like Joseph Smith nor the ancient apostles like Paul.
Let’s look at some current facts about these guys. You make me a list too to prove your point.
1. They don’t receive any revelation. You can’t show me ONE revelation that any of them has received since the time of Brigham Young. Revelation according to D&C 101 long ago when the Saints entered the valley.
2. They do not keep the commandments of God such as abortion. You can receive an abortion in this Church for any reason and stay in full fellowship. Abortion is murder and is approved in this Church for rape, incest, and when the life and health of the mother is in jeopardy (which means any reason). There are 3,000 abortions a year in SLC. How many of them are members?
3. All the temple ordinances have been changed contrary to what Joseph Smith said that they were not to be changed.
4. The blacks were given the priesthood in 1978 contrary to the Pearl of Great Price which is real revelation. Eldred G. Smith was kicked out as patriarch to the Church because he OPPOSED the phony revelation of Kimball. As a result the High Priesthood was taken from the Church.
5. The leaders took/stole 3 billion dollars of the member’s money to build the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City instead of using the money for the work of the ministry.
6. Members are required to sustain them with no recourse. There is no more common consent in the Church for over 50 years now. You cannot vote no to any action or leader.
7. Idolatry is rampant in the Church in the form of images and statues of Christ contrary to the 2nd commandment of God. The leaders are leading the charge into idolatry among the saints.
The ancient prophets of God saw our day and prophesied about us. Isaiah said this about the Church today. Isaiah said that the leaders are drunk with the wine of Babylon meaning they are nothing more than a bunch of business men that are out to make a buck.
It is clear that this Church has fallen into apostasy. The Lord through His ancient Prophets of God have testified that our prophets are phonies (See Ezekiel 13, Isaiah 1, 28, 29). The 12 apostles are not prophets of God but are leading the members down to hell. All is not well in Zion as Nephi told you in 2 Nephi. Zion is failing because these guys break the commandments of God.
I’m really quite grateful to someone like AB who has the guts to point out the apostasy of the Church. The Church today is no truer than the Catholic Church that was once the Lord’s Church too. You’d be wise Joseph to look into the apostasy of this Church and compare it to apostasies in the Book of Mormon and other times. It always follows the same pattern. The foundation of the Church is true but it has now lapsed into apostasy and soon the Lord will expose your false prophets and apostles and restore what was lost including the Priesthood.
I’m becoming increasingly fascinated with Elder Bednar, but in an Alma 31:19 sort of way. “I am scripture”, “don’t refer to us as guys”, “our translation has to be perfecto”. It’s hard not to get the feeling that he esteems himself and his word to be of great worth unto the children of men. He seems to be skirting the edge of priestcraft. I’m waiting for him to say “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
So what exactley is their stipend?
A few months ago, I had an experience with the Lord. The interaction was of a personal nature but not of a kind nature.
I was reading another of these posts criticizing against the Quorum of the Twelve and the Presidency of the Church. The author was suggesting that the President (Monson) should step down because of dementia and the invalidity which often accompanies old age. I (like a fool) went to the Lord in prayer for something not knowing what, as an answer to the doubts her words engendered in me.
I was rebuked. The force with which this rebuking came was something I had never before or since felt. “You mind your business and I will mind My Church”, He said and He meant it.
I believe in Joseph Smith. I believe in The Book Of Mormon. I have asked of my own volition and received my confirmation that the Church to which I have bound myself is the “only true and living Church upon the whole earth, with which I the Lord am well pleased . . . “. I believe that He, Jesus Christ, is at the head of this Church. He directs the work. He, alone, will make a full report to the Father about the works and glory of His Church. I have complete faith that Jesus Christ is fully capable of condoning or condemning the actions of His representatives upon the earth.
And I for one will never steady the arc again.
Hi S. Boyer, sounds like the “force” of the phrase “there are none who dare to molest or make afraid.” Glad to see you are so loyal to the one who claims to “reign from the rivers to the ends of the earth,” although I am sad about the reward you may reap.
If Joseph Smith could detect a false angel because of his sandy colored hair, I would suppose you at least could detect a false Lord due to something being “not of a kind nature.”
Reading this entry broke my heart. Unlike some of you, President Bednar is one of my favorite Apostles. I once had a very difficult question I had taken to the Lord answered through Pres Bednar and had the spirit testify that what he was saying was the long awaited answer to the question I had asked. I knew at the time the Lord was speaking through him just to me. Tho I hope this here-say isn’t true I see it could be as I have of late few years seen the vast imperfections of my beloved church leaders, both past and present. I feel like a teenager discovering his parents aren’t perfect as I see their faults. Do any of you remember that time of life and having your bubble burst about the parents you saw thru rose colored glasses as children? The older I got the more I understood how imperfect my parents, grandparents, and on, and on, actually were. I feel like that with the church the last few years as the internet has opened up so much info from so many of you who have studied church history and shown real references to books and journals I don’t own. It’s a blow. But then I’ve read, and I mean I have really really read a lot of scripture in the past 25 years. Not a verse or even a chapter a day. There have been periods of time in my life I read and pondered for literally hours a day. So all of this talk of weak imperfect leaders reminds me of other leaders throughout history that the Lord has called on to lead his people. My mind goes to Adam and Eve. Look at the implications their choice to transgress brought on. And I don’t mean the blessing of having a family and how Eve said it was worth it. Look at the other side. Sin and the consequential pain that came into the world. How do you think they felt as parents of children like Cain? I bet they felt that they hadn’t parented well enough and could tell you how they wish they had done better. Their posterity became so wicked that the effects are still being felt today, as we are posterity. Ahh but their posterity also included Enoch who helped saints attain a Zion society, (but it did take 365 years, we’re a little over half that since the church was restored. Oh and apparently Enoch had been through trials in his life 65 years before he began to lead the people to be Zion as he was 430 yrs old when Zion was translated. I remember he said the people hated him. Could it be for reasons our GA’s are hated? who knows, the why isn’t recorded. He was slow of speech, (a physical weakness also.) Then there are others. Abraham came from a very dysfunctional family. If the Lord hadn’t had mercy on him to save him he would have been sacrificed by a very idolatrous father. And though he is a most righteous father to us all, being given more than one wife (I wouldn’t touch that subject with a 10 foot pole, since it was God directed and I fear to be struck down calling God wrong. And also then how many of you would start another rant on Joseph Smith) Abraham essentially cast out that 2nd wife and their son because of jealousy of his first imperfect wife. Look in our world the implications that has had on the world ever since. We are on the brink on 3rd world war because of it. Yet we all know he afterward developed such great faith in being obedient to sacrificing Isaac that is compared to the sacrificing of the Savior on our Father’s behalf. He eventual had blessings that are the greatest that can be given man, that of an eternal posterity. Oh and then there’s David. How I love reading of David. Could there be anyone greater than David and how wonderful and beloved a man he was? Only to then direct another man be killed in battle so he could take this man’s wife for his own after essentially experiencing a moment of porn, even though that moment might have been unintentional, he didn’t turn away, physically or spiritually. The consequences are equally heartbreaking. But how the Lord works with his children in patience and with a hand that is ‘outstretched still’. The child that came from David and Bathsheba is Solomon. And more than that, David was privileged to have Christ be born of his lineage. Does opposition in all things never cease? I can think of more. Lehi, saw God, in a pillar of fire, (I think of Moses who we know saw the Lord in the burning bush, so it’s no stretch to think Lehi saw the same as he describes this pillar of fire, and then afterwards saw God surrounded by concourses of angels) And yet Lehi, afterwards through his trials complains, quite a weakness for “the voice of the Lord came unto [Lehi]; and he was truly chastened because of his murmuring against the Lord, insomuch that he was brought down into the depths of sorrow.” (1 Ne. 16:25.) And Nephi his son, who again I can see he might be describing his physical experience with God declares in 2 Ne. 4:17, ” Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.” Apparently he knew of his own weaknesses and imperfections and they were real enough for him to experience this opposition in himself. Moses, another great Prophet, again having seen the face of God and speaking to him many times still is human and takes glory to himself when he brings forth the water from rock in 4th book of Numbers 20: 10–12, “And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the brock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” The key phrase was ‘must we fetch’. God meant it when he declared the consequence for taking the Glory from him, God to himself, Moses. Moses and Aaron did not see the promised land they had worked and toiled for 40 years to bring the children of Isreal to. Is not this the same stone or crime that is being cast at Elder Bednar. Is it being said he is taking Glory to himself that belongs only to Christ? And that in many ways the GA are also being likewise accused. I’m glad I’m not their judge. For this and any other of their sins they will be held accountable for. As will each of us. Living in these last days the Lord declared he would cleanse the world starting in his own house. D&C 112: “24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. 25 And upon my ahouse shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord.” end of quote. Are we there? How long have we heard we are in the last days? Do you believe it? I do. I can’t help wonder if this process of becoming negative, leaving the church because of faults of others is at least part of this cleansing. Now before you all start to throw stones at me as I can feel now that many of you have stones and vicious retorts to slam me with, let me say you can find no more fault with me than I have already had the Lord reveal to me. I sincerely asked him once to reveal to me what he saw in me that he was displeased with. No one else can humble me or find fault with me more than he has already done. I used to think I was a molly mormon. Actually the scripture 2 Ne 28:8 described me perfectly; “Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.” Let me explain. I thought because of my temple covenants and I have always had a current recommend, have always paid my tithing, have kept the commandments, (to the best of my ability) have a testimony, know all the ‘good mormon answers’, always fulfilled my callings….you get the picture….because of my ‘few’ imperfections’ (or so I had thought) I’ll be beat with a few stripes but at last I have that chair in the Celestial Kingdom. How many of you like me thought this scripture was for nonmembers? Even though Nonmembers will never read this and this book was written for those of us that read it. Couldn’t it possibly be meant for saints, members of God’s chosen church! I now think it’s written exactly to us. Maybe all who read this blog aren’t of the self-righteous nature I used to be, before God showed me otherwise. Maybe you only know of others who are, including all the GA we are busy throwing stones at. Remember I compared discovering their ‘secret places’, their sins similar to discovering my parents weaknesses as a teenager. How many of you like me, then grew up to get married and then see the sins of my spouse? (how slow are we to see our sins against our spouse) And then become parents and heaven forbid our children are less than perfect! In fact how many of their weaknesses are a result of my weaknesses that they inherited as their weaknesses, or as result of them having to deal with my weaknesses gained new ones? Now I have their blood on my skirts! I guess what I’m saying is “all have gone out of the way” (2 Ne 28:11, Isaiah 53:6) And “say nothing but repentance unto this generation” (D&C 6:9) I know I am less than the dust of the earth, or in other words since the earth is perfectly obedient, I am not. I am in grave need of the Savior. Knowing my need of the Atonement puts the light of our leaders weaknesses in a new vision. They are like me, or I am like them, needing to repent and come unto Christ continually. I am, and GA’s are, in good company, or human company. Thank heaven the Lord is not done with any of us. Knowing God still stands by his church, and therefore me also, in that he still chastises me. (Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”) I, and GA’s still have opportunity to repent and “Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full bpurpose of heart, and I will receive you.” (2 Ne 12:24) and I hope I can sufficiently forgive all men “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37) Let’s try more repentance and forgiveness. We will be more at peace and the world will be a better place.
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Apply the same logic “by their fruits” to Joseph Smith and Brigham but first, dig into the details a little. There is no doubt that the current leaders are good men and that the church has much goodness and beauty but I’m convinced that if anyone goes down the rabbit hole that is Mormon history, which is much easier to do nowadays, and doesn’t resist where the search may lead, they’ll discover for themselves. Most won’t dig in because we’ve been taught that “anti” material will lead us astray but at the same time, we’re taught that “truth can withstand scrutiny.” How strong is any faith that is unwilling to look at facts out of fear of deception? Id challenge anyone to read Todd Compton’s “In Sacred Lonlinees” or to just listen to the first 34 episodes of a year in polygamy podcast (done by an LDS woman) and then tell me that JS had good fruit.
So any criticism on church leaders is now compared to Judas…I’ve now heard it all. I will say, if I brought in 6-7 billion a year, I’d be paying more than 1% towards charitable causes. But I’m just a prideful member who probably sins too much so don’t listen to me.
I think the Keyword here is HUMILITY….not if you can or cannot afford a First Class Ticket to Europe and back. How different then are these LDS Leaders than the Popes, Bishops, and Cardinals in the Catholic Church that do exactly the same thing…Living in luxury and comfort…GROW UP…and OPEN YOUR EYES….This behavior does not in any way reflects the values of Jesus of Nazareth….PERIOD…..This is why I have left all organized religion behind and live off the SOLA SCRIPTURA…..Only…….Enough of churches conniving with Wall Street and Where the rich still want to live as rich while at the same time “preaching humility” to the rest of the sheep…..HYPOCRITS…WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING……Enough of you……
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