This conference in September is one that our family will be attending. This is a very important project underway and I’m grateful for those who are working on it.
It’s sobering to contemplate that millions, if not billions of people will die before the Lord comes again. It’s equally sobering to realize that in order to survive the apocalypse, we must be able to discern between true and false prophets. This is what saved the relative few when Jesus came to this continent in 34 AD and it will be what saves those who survive what’s coming here shortly.
I was quite surprised that among all the talks shared at General Conference this last week, not a single “prophet” or church leader warned about the food shortage that is at our doorstep. It doesn’t take prophecy to see what’s happening and a true servant of the Lord would want to warn members… or at least remind them of the warnings of previous “prophets” I would think.
LDS messages today instead seek to flatter and look to not overly offend the world or the Church. They use corporate speak and repeat catch phrases like “positive spiritual momentum, hastening the work, staying on the covenant path, lifting where you stand and blooming where you’re planted, making the Sabbath a delight, lengthening your stride (going way back), and this is how WE hear Him.”
It seems that at every conference there’s either a strange overuse of the president’s most recent catch phrase OR there’s an attempt to create a new one that also sticks. Sister Dibbs (President Monson’s daughter who was a recent General Authority) even suggested her quotable would make a great t-shirt. And thus it was made.
In fact, all quotables that are made by the president along with others that float to the top, are quickly monetized by the Church’s own Deseret Book. Sadly. Elder Devin Durant and his family had already printed the t-shirts and made a website for his “Ponderize” talk, which they apparently hoped would turn his phrase taken from the evangelical world into a little family business. His mistake, ironically, was not trying to sell t-shirts and make money, but rather that he didn’t do so through the proper sales channels of the Church.
We’re on the verge of planetary destruction and today’s Church leaders are focused on t-shirt quotes and airplanes. (Uchdorf talk GC 2022, Not Joking)
For those of us who think we may be discerning correctly, we would do well to look more closely at the message being given. My family is not ready spiritually or temporally for what is coming. We’re working on it, but we’re not there yet. And who can actually “be ready” for something so apocalyptic, unknown, and devastating. It’s overwhelming for me at times. I personally feel the need to refocus my study on the Book of Mormon and on the words of the true prophets, of which there are only two or three in the last 200 years. It’s too late in the game to be focused on anything or anyone else.
It was a good reminder for me this week to read the counsel from the Book of Mormon about what we should be teaching:
And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets. Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another. And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God. Mosiah 9:9 RE
I was also rebuked by what President and Prophet Hyrum Smith said in T&C 152:
And again, I say unto you, an elder has no business to undertake to preach mysteries in any part of the world, for God has commanded us all to preach nothing but the first principles unto the world. Neither has any elder any authority to preach any mysterious thing to any branch of the church unless he has a direct commandment from God to do so. Let the matter of the grand councils of Heaven, and the making of gods, worlds, and devils entirely alone, for you are not called to teach any such doctrine — for neither you nor the people are capacitated to understand any such principles — less so to teach them. For when God commands men to teach such principles, the saints will receive them. Therefore, beware what you teach! For the mysteries of God are not given to all men; and unto those to whom they are given they are placed under restrictions to impart only such as God will command them, and the residue is to be kept in a faithful breast, otherwise he will be brought under condemnation. By this God will prove his faithful servants, who will be called and numbered with the chosen. And as to the Celestial glory, all will enter in and possess that kingdom that obey the gospel and continue in faith in the Lord unto the end of his days. Now, therefore, I say unto you, you must cease preaching your miraculous things and let the mysteries alone until by and by. Preach faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, the laying on of the hands for the gift of the holy ghost — teaching the necessity of strict obedience unto these principles, reasoning out of the scriptures, proving them unto the people. Cease your schisms, and divisions, and your contentions. Humble yourselves as in dust and ashes, lest God should make you an example of his wrath unto the surrounding world. Amen. In the bonds of the everlasting covenant, I am your obedient servant, Hyrum Smith. (T&C 152:3,4)
Again I feel rebuked, for I have taken these things too lightly and I am not ready. I commend to you in closing the words of such a true messenger that are worth reading, pondering, and heeding. One is from this week and one is from 2012. I am humbled by these words and I want to do better to prepare for what’s coming:
It would be wise to take steps to purchase food in advance of coming inflationary price increases and shortages. We will also be going through another government caused “stagflation” cycle. If you aren’t familiar with that term then you should look up how the era of President Jimmy Carter unfolded to explain how both a stagnant recessionary economy and inflation led to that term being adopted.
The bold, shameless advance of sexual abuse of children in the public schools, and unrelenting killing of the unborn are making this and many other countries ripen in iniquity. It will not go unnoticed by God, but will invoke the promised penalty: This is “the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people. And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and for ever should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fullness of his wrath should come upon them.” RE Edition Ether 1:6
Instead of instilling honor, integrity, honesty, and courage in children, schools are sexualizing and confusing children with corrupt ideas that result in mental damage. It is perilous and wicked to engage in this foolishness. It mirrors the words of Isaiah: “The show of their countenance does witness against them, and does declare their sin to be even as Sodom; they cannot hide it. Woe unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” RE Isa 1:8 (Source)
And from 2012:
Jacob makes a startling promise for those who live when the destruction begins preliminary to the cleansing of the world before the Lord returns. He says “none will he destroy that believe in him. And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed, both by fire, quakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine.” (2 Ne. 6: 14-15.)
This amazing promise is predicated on “believing in Him.” This requires us to understand what the word “believe” means in the parlance of the Book of Mormon. Those who believe in Him know and accept correct doctrine, or the truth about Him. Those who do not know and will not accept correct doctrine or the truth have dwindled in unbelief. They do not believe in Him. They may have religion, may belong to churches, may be active in all their observances, but they are not in possession of belief in Him. Instead they accept for doctrines the commandments of men, and their hearts are far from Him. They teach false and vain things. As a result they neither enter into the kingdom nor suffer those who are entering to go in. This includes those who, though they are humble followers of Christ, are nevertheless led that in many instances they do err in doctrine. (2 Ne. 28: 14.)
There will be many who are destroyed who will be quite surprised by it. They will complain that they have prophesied in Christ’s name, and in His name cast out devils, and done many wonderful works, but they do not know Christ, and therefore never did believe in Him. (See Matt. 7: 22-24.)
If you are one of those who believe in Him, and who will not dwindle in unbelief, will not accept the commandments of men as doctrine, but will take the Spirit for your guide, then Jacob promises that Christ will not destroy you. The rest He will destroy.
Fire will upset the order of things and make societal collapse inevitable. Men’s self-inflicted woes will not be the only sign of Divine disapproval. The earth will quake to signal God’s disapproval. Interruptions of social order and control will be followed by self-inflicted violence. Bloodshed will be widespread among the survivors. Disease and pestilence will be one of the results of the lack of social order. Air and water will be contaminated. Neglected hygiene will lead to the promised pestilence. As the downward spiral continues, food production and distribution will be inadequate to prevent widespread, global famine. It is as if Jacob could see the sequence of events and gave us the list of how it would unfold, step by step, as the unbelieving are wiped from the earth.
Survival during this bleak time depends on the qualification of “believing in Him.” Suddenly, if you think Jacob knew what he was talking about then our doctrines take on terrible significance. What we believe matters. Not just in the distant after-life, but for the preservation of our present lives. Jacob does make a powerful case for studying the Gospel a good deal more carefully than we can accomplish in a 40 minute class-discussion, with an approved “discussion leader,” using Correlated materials, rather than a teacher declaring and testifying of true doctrine.
I’m pretty sure Jacob would be a very marginalized Mormon, if he were among us today. (Source)
The Destruction of Church and State
The interesting thing about destruction is that those who are “destroyed” are often the last to find out. It’s extremely difficult to recognize such things AS they are happening and there’s usually a delay between the time a nation or institution has fallen and when it’s “swept away” into non-existence.
We can all look back on Nazi Germany and say we would have never been sucked into the propaganda of Hitler, for example, but the truth is, when you’re in it–seeing it for what it is, is really hard to do.
Going against “popular” opinion, even and especially when the opinions are the result of propaganda, usually make one look, sound, and feel crazy. Talk to someone awaiting life saving surgery who is unwilling to get the Covid vaccines or someone on a plane who refuses to put a mask on their special needs child and you’ll see my point.
And so the seeds of destruction are sown while a nation sleeps. Our apathy has allowed the foundations and pillars of our freedoms to be sabotaged and wrecked all in the name of protecting us. “Good is called evil and evil is called good.” “Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing.” And strangely it all begins to feel very much like Orwell’s 1984.
We see just how hard it is to actually DO something when the forces of evil control everything we think and do. Look at the people from January 6th, rotting in prison, who have not even been given a trial date and in many cases haven’t even been charged. Most of those people, many of whom were patriotic grandparents, tried to save our country from a coup by simply peacefully protesting what they believed was a stolen presidential election. They were in DC to wave the banner of freedom and stand up for America by exercising what used to be called free speech. Now over a year later they languish in jail cells as if they were in the Soviet Union or some third world country.
I suppose we could also talk about what happens to people’s bank accounts and social media profiles and ability to travel on airplanes or eat in restaurants or shop at grocery stores or keep a job when they go against the false narrative… The point is, America has been destroyed from within and many of us still don’t know it or want to believe it.
Of course millions of us and sadly maybe even the majority of us, hope and pray that something will change the tide. Swing the pendulum back. Give us more time. The hopium of elections in 2022 or 2024 to get these tyrants out of office… But to what end? So that Mitt Romney or Lindsey Graham can have more control over our freedoms? Name almost ANY other politician and my question remains the same. To what end? They are seemingly and almost completely ALL corrupted. Or at a minimum rendered useless in a system so deeply compromised, infiltrated, and controlled by secret shadow governments and global power structures in place.
And how is the Church doing at this unprecedented time of national and global crisis? Have they stood up to fight for our freedoms? For free and fair elections? Have they talked much lately about the evils of communism or even socialism? Or abortion? Or forced experimental medical treatments? Or defended our God given rights to speech and assembly?
Who would have ever believed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would NOT have written a letter for a soldier in the military, for example, confirming that aborted fetuses being used to make a vaccine goes against his or her religious beliefs?! A soldier who has defended our freedom and who is now trying to keep his job to feed his family… and the Church refuses to defend him? Shameful and unbelievable. Plenty of other churches have offered such support to their congregants, but for whatever reason, our church won’t.
Is the Church any different when it comes to silencing dissenters? They neither defend them nor allow them a voice. They too seek to control narratives and silence dissent. Just ask Richard Harward, the young BYU basketball player who will never play basketball or maybe even be able to run on a treadmill, ever again. Did the Church protect and defend him? His freedom? His right to choose? Have they told his story or LET him tell his own story? Just ask Denver Snuffer, who shared a different more plausible version of Church history, that ironically sought to help people keep faith in the Restoration. Did the Church defend his religious freedom? His agency? Just ask 1000s of others the Church has silenced through excommunication or litigation.
If the Church doesn’t stand up for its God given religious freedoms and protect its own people from government overreach AND won’t let us defend the Church or ourselves either, then what hope can be had that we will be left with any freedom, anywhere eventually? Soon.
What other foundational pillars have we lost in the Church? Can we say that we don’t pay our ministers and that we are not preaching to get gain? Can we say that our preachers are any better or different than those of other churches? Do ours commune with heaven any more or less than anyone else’s? Can we say that the Church is transparent with our finances? Or that lay members have any real voice in the decisions the Church makes with our tithing dollars or with anything? Has the Church completely abandoned the principle of common consent? Of revelation? Of agency? Of life and liberty? Can we say the Church doesn’t support communism when it partners with the UN and supports their 2030 agenda? (If this is news to you, I highly recommend this video presentation).
Can we say that the Church really focuses on the Book of Mormon in its teachings? Or the words of Joseph Smith? Or the Bible for that matter? Or is it more accurate to suggest that the focus is on the words of men? Can we say that the Church is warning people of our loss of liberty? Or really focusing on coming food supply issues and the collapse of world economic markets? Is the Church really preaching or preparing us for Zion?
When, in government and in church, do we pass a point of no return where undoing the damage to such pillars and principles becomes nigh impossible? When the destruction has taken place and is not likely to ever be reversed?
In the Glossary of the Restoration edition of the scriptures it discusses the idea of destruction:
In the vernacular of the Book of Mormon, to destroy did not mean annihilation. It merely meant to end the organized existence of a people or to terminate their government, deprive them of a land, and end their cultural dominance. In the Book of Mormon, a people were destroyed when they lost control over their government and land. Their ability to preserve their own values and choose the way they were governed was taken over by others. Most often it was from a different ethnic group, though not always. Once people were destroyed, they were oppressed and suffered. Often they were oppressed with grievous taxes and had religious liberties removed. Then they faced a choice: either repent, in which case they came through the period of oppression with another chance; or if they were angry and rebellious, they would then be “swept away.” Being destroyed is not at all the same as being “swept away.” It is possible for people to have been destroyed and not even realize it. But when they are “swept away,” they face extinction and cannot help but notice it. (emphasis added).
The most disconcerting thing about all this is that collectively there is likely not much we can do to save our country or our churches. And yet, personally WE must still figure out how to repent, come unto Christ, and protect ourselves and our families as the world around us is being destroyed. Without the protections of government and the spiritual guidance of Church, the opportunity for escape (Salvation), both physical and spiritual, becomes more and more difficult. Especially given that to even embrace truth has become heretical. We can easily see how society could arrive at a place where people are put to death for refusing to worship false gods or to cease to pray to the only true God.
No wonder the Book of Mormon warns us of the great and abominable church that in the Last Days will be the cause of the destruction of so many. Remember, the Book of Mormon was written for those who would read it and when the Lord refers to an abomination, He is referring to “the use of religion to suppress truth or impose a false form of truth. It involves the religious justification of wrongdoing. That is, something becomes abominable when it is motivated out of a false form of religious observance or is justified because of religious error.” See glossary
Is it possible that something that started as the Lord’s true and living Church could actually become the an abomination to Him? That answer is always yes. This scripture is being fulfilled right before our eyes:
And it shall come to pass that if the gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks, and harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father. Yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land for ever. They shall be no more brought down into captivity, and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded. And that great pit which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church — which was founded by the Devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell — yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God, not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end. For behold, this is according to the captivity of the Devil, and also according to the justice of God, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him. (1 Nephi 3:25 RE)
Youth Fast Update
This last month, some really great youth took it upon themselves to invite thousands of people to participate in a fast with them during the month of January. I am personally grateful for their invitation. We live at a time in history when the youth are especially vulnerable, distracted, and at times — lost. This particular group of youth are an example to me and to my family. I love them, thank them, and support them. They’ve asked me to post the following:
To those that fasted with the youth.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the holy ghost.” 3 Nephi 5:15 RE.
As the fast that everyone was invited to join comes to end, we, as the youth of the remnant, would like to thank those who joined, for their sacrifice. We hope that this was a good experience and helped you draw closer to the Lord and the people striving to be His. Doing this fast together as a people was a great way to start off 2022. To keep the Lord with us throughout the rest of the year we invite you to continue fasting, praying and studying on your own. There are many challenges that we will still face ahead, but with all of us joining together we can overcome them as one. We are excited for more opportunities for us to band together and see the fulfillment of the Lord’s work.
With Love from the youth of the movement.
Christmas Is For Cover Ups
More than one month ago, I reported on the vaccine injury of Richard Harward and I said that every day that goes by that the Church is not transparent is further evidence of their dishonesty and willingness to cover up the truth to protect themselves.
As of today, December 23, 2021, the Church-owned Deseret News, BYU, KSL, and the entire leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including, ironically heart surgeon and Church president Russell M. Nelson, are still complicit in a cover up that potentially affects the health and lives of millions of people just like Richard, who the Church and BYU coerced and apparently shamed into getting vaccinated. Since Richard’s incident, the Church has doubled down on its position, calling vaccines a godsend from heaven to gather Israel on both sides of the veil, as it’s been reported by LDTruths.
The Deseret News decided to finally to publish something about Richard’s condition, which until December 14th, no Utah media outlet was reporting on. They reported on knee injuries and other health updates of all of its players except for one. Richard’s. And now, they report that due to “a cardiovascular issue” Richard is stepping down from basketball. Likely forever. With NO mention of the vaccine whatsoever. (Source)
The Citizen Free Press, an internationally respected conservative news outlet, is way ahead of any and all Utah news outlets in reporting the truth about this awful situation.
Vaccinated BYU Starting Center — I will miss the rest of season due to ‘heart damage’…
I was pleasantly surprised that CFP linked to my story as one of its sources. But, that’s what real journalists do — they look under every rock and look at every possible source to try to get to the truth.
Where is the real journalism in Utah? Where is the Free Press here? Where is the Salt Lake Tribune? KSL? LDS Church News? Deseret News? The Daily Universe? Where is heart surgeon Russell Nelson? Where are the apologies? Where is the newly appointed committee to investigate? Where is the transparency?
Thousands of people have left and/or have lost faith in the church and its leaders because of the lack of transparency. See Mountain Meadows, polygamy, electric shock therapy, child abuse, missionaries abused at the MTC, finances, and much more. One would think that the Church would be trying harder, given the exodus of so many of its once faithful members, and given its current abysmal growth numbers that, for the first time in at least 40 years, it isn’t reporting to local news outlets and other officials. (Another story for another day).
It would seem the Church is more interested in protecting its own interests than in telling the truth and protecting the injured and vulnerable. I propose the Brethren give their combined Church salaries to this young man for the next 30 years along with millions of dollars in restitution (of their own funds) and it still won’t be enough. Why not remove one of their own names from the many buildings at BYU and place his name on it in the meantime? Do something. Saying and doing nothing speaks volumes.
I think it’s also important to shed light on other things the Church is now being strangely quiet about, namely LDS Apostle Gary Stevenson and his role in the company iFit. The Salt Lake Tribune and other news outlets reported on this Apostle’s “special dispensation” granted to him by the Brethren which allowed him to, instead of go without purse or scrip, actually keep his purse, scrip, and 43 million shares as well as other income from his company iFit (aka Icon).
I have it from a credible source that iFit has struggled for decades with over $1+ billion in company debt. Despite large annual revenues, its debt service costs have crippled the company and it’s been a problem it could not find anyone to help solve, for years and years. During all those years, Gary and his business partner, insisted that no matter how much the company might lose in a given year, they would pay themselves millions a year each in salaries. I assume this is why it was reported that “$53.2 million in loans to managers” would be forgiven as part of the IPO transaction.
I once met a woman who lived down the street from Stevenson for decades. For 10+ years she worked for him at iFit. She had 8 children and a deadbeat husband in prison. She worked the graveyard shift on the assembly line in very poor working conditions, making $11 an hour. The pay was so little that she was forced to also have a day job at Walmart. This poor woman worked 80+ hours a week while trying to care for her children’s’ needs. I’m told she explained her dilemma to her neighbor Gary, whose Logan home is reported to be more than 12,000 square feet, and asked him for a raise. He told her he could not give her a raise because “it would set the wrong precedent.”
In line with this sad tale is the recent Herald Journal reporting that iFit just laid off an undisclosed number of employees right before the holidays:
Lindsey Lundholm worked as a software tester and was one of the employees terminated on Friday. She wrote about her experience on social media the following Monday — in a post that has garnered over 100 likes and more than 150 comments. “We were told so many times in meetings that the company was growing and doing so well and to refer our friends,” Lundholm said. “A few weeks later, Friday, I get asked to join a Zoom meeting. It was the testing supervisor and an HR representative. They proceeded to tell me that I was getting laid off, that I had until the end of the day.” Lundholm stated the representative and supervisor said they had to cut back on employees and that the department was hit hard. Soon after, she was locked out of company Wi-Fi and removed from a workplace chat app. “I would guess at least half of my team was laid off that day,” Lundholm added. “I just feel iFIT isn’t telling the truth,” he said. “They go off telling people how profitable their Black Friday was but then why are they experiencing so many layoffs? … It feels that iFit’s ethics are nonexistent.” An employee in the home delivery department, who asked not to be identified, said she had no warning she would be let go. She said she was told during her termination that she would be put down for immediate rehire. “There is no such thing, as I found out later,” she said. “Then when I applied for unemployment, they put down that I was fired, which was not the case, and put misconduct and attendance as the reasoning.” (Source)
It should be noted that IFit’s IPO is now on hold because it’s being sued by two different large corporations, Peleton and Hyperice, for alleged patent infringements, which could ruin its hopes for an IPO at all.
Last checked, Gary Stevenson has at least 3 very large homes, which I’ve been told are all over 10,000 square feet each. Yet, his company lays off employees at Christmas time, carries a billion dollars in expensive debt, refuses to give a poor woman with 8 kids and no husband a raise and borrows millions in potentially phantom loans from the company for himself and partner.
It’s also concerning to many who have looked into this more than I have, whether Stevenson has used his position as presiding bishop and apostle to advance his personal business interests, which almost made him the first billionaire apostle. Keep in mind that as presiding bishop, Stevenson was one of only 7 people on earth to know about and to oversee the Ensign Peak 100+ billion dollar fund. Might there be conflicts of interest that arise while managing such funds and while being in need of funds for his own company?
One could also wonder if the Church has given special pricing for some of the ads we’ve seen from iFit (NordicTrack) in between General Conference sessions.
I don’t mean to pick on Elder Stevenson nor do I wish him any ill will. I’m sure he’s likely a very nice person. But, when a person holds the sacred office of Apostle and maintains such public business interests, there needs to be public transparency and public scrutiny for there to be also integrity and public confidence. Especially when he and his company decide to lay people off during Christmas and are being sued for stealing someone else’s patents.
It’s December 23rd
In contrast, Joseph Smith was petitioning for bankruptcy at the time of his death. He could have been the first millionaire West of the Mississippi like Brigham Young, but instead Joseph gave any spare money he had to the poor and spent months in jail unjustly accused of things he didn’t do. He was known as a poor businessman for giving away his store’s goods, giving away his horses, taking in other people’s children all while trying to care for his own family and was never paid a salary for his labors with the church. Joseph was also falsely accused as he is today… by his own Church and lamented before his death that no one really knew him and that if his life was of no value to his friends it was of none to him.
Most sad of all for me today is that on this the 23rd day of December, the Church does not remember or honor this man’s birthday. Not on their website. Not on Church News or Deseret News. It highlights Russell Nelson and #lighting the world and job training and CoVid and temples and missionary work in the DRC and interfaith concerts and temple square renovations and President Oaks in Rome… But not a peep about today being the day Joseph Smith was born.
This was certainly not the case for Russell Nelson’s 95th and 96th and 97th birthdays…
Joseph died trying to expose darkness. He fought against polygamy, called out impostors, stood against the mobs with boldness and went as a lamb to the slaughter in June of 1844… another day the Church no longer commemorates. Joseph knew Christ and not only saw Him, but he lived and died by His words. He was a true prophet and if he were here today, I think he would not be well received by today’s church.
A Special Fast For An Important Cause
Consequences of Compulsion
Today the Deseret News is reporting that BYU basketball star Richard Harward’s alleged knee injury last week is not a knee injury after all, but rather a “cardiovascular issue.” The 6’11” Orem High recruit is a key player on BYU’s team. Source
The article states:
Coach Mark Pope said the 6-foot-11, 256-pounder from Orem could be sidelined for an indefinite period of time due to a cardiovascular issue.
Doctors are monitoring Harward closely.
“It’s super tough for us. It’s a huge blow to our team. Rich has a cardiovascular issue right now that he’s going to be out for at least a little while,” Pope said. “It’s kind of going to be like every week seeing how he does. Super devastating for him.
“He’s in the best shape of his life, he’s playing the best basketball of his life. He is the emotional leader of this entire team over the last two years. His emotional leadership is even a bigger loss than his body on the floor. We miss him. We’re hoping he gets back as soon as possible. But we just don’t know. It could be days, weeks or months. We’re just not sure.”
Could this be a season-ending situation?
“I hope not. The doctors haven’t given us any definitive end date,” Pope said. “We’re super hopeful that it will be soon but we just don’t know.”
What the Church-owned Deseret News is not reporting is that the perfectly healthy young Harward was coerced by the LDS Church into getting the CoVid vaccine and had just received an injection 8 days before the incident. Make no mistake, this is yet another vaccine casualty that is not being reported on.
Are these vaccines really safe and effective as our Church leaders have promised? Will the Church be honest about this devastating situation? Or will it double down on their position? Will the Church now change its position on mandatory vaccines for BYU students and for missionaries? Will they now allow for religious exemptions? Will this young man and his family sue the Church? (Not that any amount of money can ever make him whole.) Does this news mean that the Brethren are not inspired? Not receiving revelation on this issue? Could they be leading people astray?
Well, you heard it here first. Let’s see how long it takes for the Church to publish what it knows right now. Every second that ticks by is evidence of dishonesty and coverup. And tragically, lives are literally hanging in the balance. As I write this, the Church (and the state of Utah) is supporting children getting vaccinated who are zero percent at risk of dying from CoVid. How many members of the Church will lose their faith in these men and possibly their lives because they were compelled to do as they were told?
Their temptation is to cover up and control what people see, hear, and know. Just like how YouTube makes this video below “age restricted” to discourage people from seeing it. As Church leaders have said in the past, “Not all Church history is faith promoting” and so they’ve made a deliberate decision to control the narrative and not be transparent or honest about their history. Will they follow the same course on this issue also? At the cost of peoples’ lives?
This one is also a must watch:
Musings of a Fool
I’ve spent a fair amount of time on this blog highlighting things that have contributed to my loss of faith in the direction of the LDS Church. I began in 2014 shortly after having been released as a bishop. However, my concerns actually began many years earlier at least regarding certain issues and topics. I tried to address many of these concerns as a bishop and made honest attempts to be bold, persuasive, and thoughtful as I did. I discovered that the scriptures are the best way to make a case. But, I came to realize that even the scriptures or words of Joseph Smith are very often ignored in favor of today’s so called prophets. “The living oracles” doctrine is the new “stare decisis” of Mormonism. Sadly. No one can argue against this statement while being honest, because this is what the Brethren themselves teach.
In fact, the Apostle who preaches this sermon the most is Elder Neal Andersen. Elder Andersen is a man I happen to like very much. I find him to be very kind, capable, and sincere. I think in his mind, not only is NOT sustaining the prophets “the high road to apostasy,” BUT I think he also believes sincerely that sustaining the prophet is the MOST important thing we can do. That it’s the BEST way we can truly follow Christ. He leads the Brethren in referring to President Nelson the most in his talks, having named him 98 times in conference since Nelson became president and 23 times in his last Conference talk alone. (Source)
President Nelson, despite being perhaps the least interesting and least revered president in Church history, “continues to be referenced more than any Latter-day Saint prophet with 133 mentions — whether named, quoted or footnoted” — in this last month’s General Conference. This clearly demonstrates the idea that this practice of prophet preeminence is becoming more and more prevalent.
Let’s be honest — and intending no disrespect — but, Elder Nelson was never a Church leader most people ever enjoyed listening to in Conference. His talks were and still are unnotable from a doctrinal or even “interesting” standpoint. I found myself even as a bishop cringing over his style and his rather creepy, seemingly staged, smiles into the camera. For me, he’s never been someone I’ve been very inspired by.
Most telling of all as to what perhaps his own peers have thought of him for the last 50 years comes from the very telling comment his wife Wendy made shortly after being installed as Church president, when she said that the new prophet is finally “unleashed to follow through on all the things he’s wanted to do.” (Source) Think about the implication of that statement! The Brethren claim they collaborate and vigorously debate endlessly together over important issues and that they always vote on those issues and obtain unanimity. So, apparently, ALL the ideas Elder Nelson ever had for nearly 50 years, even while President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, were rarely or never embraced unanimously by his 14 other colleagues. Not a sign of one whose ideas were well loved and accepted.
Now think of the converse of that implication–All the ideas Elder Nelson advocated for for nearly 50 years, which the Brethren were largely against, are now magically being put into action. Translation? If the Brethren really did ever debate anything, they don’t anymore. They now blindly do what the prophet wants to do. What the prophet says IS what they ALL agree on unanimously.
Of course, when it comes time to finally put into place all the changes of President Nelson that everyone was once against, we get statements like this one from Elder Holland:
“I bear my own witness that these adjustments are examples of the revelation that has guided this Church from its beginning. They are yet more evidence that the Lord is hastening His work in its time.” (Source)
Here’s a list of some of the “adjustments” that have been made since Nelson became prophet:
March 26, 2018 — The First Presidency updates guidelines on preventing and responding to abuse.
March 31, 2018 — Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares are sustained as Apostles; priesthood quorums are restructured as high priests and elders combined into one elders quorum.
April 1, 2018 — Ministering replaces home and visiting teaching.
May 9, 2018 — The Church will end relationship with Boy Scouts of America, announces new activity program for children and youth.
June 18, 2018 — Hymnbook and Children’s Songbook will be revised to create new, unified editions for the worldwide Church.
June 20, 2018 — A First Presidency letter announces new guidelines for youth interviews.
June 22, 2018 — A new and improved version of “Preach My Gospel” is released.
Aug. 16, 2018 — President Nelson issues a statement on using the full name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (He later addresses this topic in general conference, and changes are made to Church websites, social media accounts, mobile apps, etc.)
Sept. 4, 2018 — The first volume of “Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days” is released.
Sept. 5, 2018 — Missionary candidates will receive assignments online instead of in the mail.
Oct. 6, 2018 — Home-centered, Church-supported gospel study and adjustments to the Sunday meeting schedule are announced.
Oct. 30, 2018 — Some Church-produced pageants are discontinued.
Nov. 16, 2018 — All young missionary candidates — including prospective service missionaries ‚ will use the missionary online recommendation process.
Dec. 14, 2018 — Changes announced for Primary progression, young men priesthood ordination and youth temple recommends.
Dec. 20, 2018 — Sister missionaries have the option to wear dress pants.
Jan. 2, 2019 — The First Presidency releases statement on temples.
Feb. 15, 2019 — Missionaries are authorized to communicate with their families each week on preparation day by text, online messaging, phone calls and video chats.
March 22, 2019 — Seminary curriculum will align with “Come, Follow Me.”
April 4, 2019 — Children of parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender may now be blessed as infants and baptized without First Presidency approval.
May 6, 2019 — One-year waiting period for temple sealings after civil marriage is discontinued.
July 19, 2019 — The Church announces stakes in the U.S. and Canada will sponsor biennial For the Strength of Youth (FSY) conferences modeled after BYU’s Especially for Youth program.
Aug. 16, 2019 — The Church announces new training course to help adults know how to prevent and respond to child abuse.
Sept. 5, 2019 — Book of Mormon Videos series release dates are announced.
Oct. 2, 2019 — Women, youth and children may now serve as witnesses of sealing and baptismal ordinances.
Oct. 5, 2019 — Ward Young Men presidencies are discontinued; new Young Women theme, class name and structure changes are announced.
Oct. 6, 2019 — President Nelson announces revised temple recommend questions; 2020 will be “bicentennial year” with April conference “different from any previous conference.”
Nov. 15, 2019 — The Church releases new missionary handbook.
Nov. 17, 2019 — New Aaronic Priesthood quorum theme announced.
Dec. 17, 2019 — The First Presidency releases statement on Church finances.
Jan. 17, 2020 — Adjustments are made to ceremonial temple clothing.
Jan 30, 2020 — The Church announces new administrative handbook for all Church leaders and members to replace Handbook 1 and Handbook 2.
April 4, 2020 — A new Church symbol is introduced.
April 5, 2020 — President Nelson issues “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World.”
April 17, 2020 — The First Presidency releases administrative principles for the Church during challenging times.
June 12, 2020 — Blue dress shirts, no ties are approved as missionary attire exceptions.
Aug. 14, 2020 — The First Presidency announces three global Church magazines will replace the current four; Ensign title is retired and New Era renamed.
Aug. 25, 2020 — Church members can now submit names to temple prayer rolls online.
Nov. 20, 2020 — President Nelson gives his worldwide message on healing power of gratitude.
It’s ironic that the least popular prophet, ignored by his peers largely for 50 years, now makes the MOST changes to Church policy (and doctrine) and funny enough, becomes “popular” among the people (in a way) for having made so many changes. (Examples above such as shorter Church! No more home teaching! Home church for a bit! Shorter temple times with less effort! No more dresses for girl missionaries! More casual dress requirements for boy missionaries! More temples in cool places! Civil marriage today and sealed tomorrow! Missionaries able to call home every week! No more Boy Scouts!!! Kids with gay parents can be baptized! Etc.) I think anyone would be more popular if they enacted these kinds of changes.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let’s be very honest again. Some of my closest very active Mormon friends have told me discreetly they strongly disagree with and even dislike President Nelson despite all the exciting changes he’s made. And why would that be? Here are just a few of the reasons:
- “While home church is AMAZING and BETTER in every way than Church-church, why did the Church NOT fight for our religious freedoms and rights of assembly during CoVid like other Churches did?”
- “Why did the Church make me wear a mask once it began opening its doors, and why couldn’t we sing, and why were we forced to sit 6 feet apart, and attend only every other week, etc?”
- “Why did the Church not let us come every week and yet told Priesthood holders they could not do Sacrament in their homes for many of those weeks and why can’t people who still feel vulnerable to CoVid and are still not attending, do Sacrament in their homes in most cases?”
- “Why do I need permission from the Church to do Sacrament in my home anyway?”
- “Why has the Church been so friendly with the world and why are they pushing that we need to be good global citizens, by wearing a mask as a ‘sign of Christlike love,’ and by forcing vaccinations on its members?”
- “Why in the hell (direct quote) does my 18-year old son or daughter have to get a vaccine to go on a mission or to attend a Church college, especially when they’ve already had CoVid?”
- “Why won’t the Church grant religious exemptions for people who a) don’t believe the vaccine is right for them and b) don’t want to inject themselves with anything that comes from aborted fetuses?”
- “Why is the Church NOT preaching in favor of our Constitution and the liberties it ought to want to safeguard that are GOD GIVEN?!”
- “Why is the Church saying we should trust science and medical people, when those same “scientists” are in favor of gender surgeries, abortion, etc?!”
- “How can the Church say vaccines are safe and effective when there have been almost 1 million adverse effects “reported” on VAERS, many of which have been deaths of young people, mothers, teens, children etc. AND tens of thousands of permanent disabilities!?”
- “How on earth can the Church sit back while elections are stolen and the Constitution is being destroyed?”
- “How can the Church be okay with one of its own Apostles contributing to political campaigns?”
- “How come the Church congratulated Joe Biden while the election was still being legally contested?”
- “Why does the Church seem to hate President Trump so much and yet seems to give folks like Joe Biden, Jeff Flake, Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, et al, a free pass?”
- “Why is the Church so pro-illegal immigration?”
- “Why is the Church investing in Facebook, Pfeizer, the UN, and a million other entities it should disagree with?”
- “Why not invest in sports betting, porn, strip clubs, pay day loans, and pawn shops, if the whole goal is to just make money?”
I could add many of my own concerns, many of which I’ve spoken about on this blog. But, the point is that many, many LDS people are very upset with President Nelson about one or more of these above issues, hence the reason we are seeing historically low Church attendance/activity and growth rates. Another irony.
One faithful LDS mom took to the internet and read an open letter to President Nelson. I strongly recommend you listen to it. Her plea is incredibly sincere and needs to be shared and heard by the Brethren.
One friend who was a bishop recently told me, “Hey I will deny this in public, but I can’t stand this man leading the Church.” Another two friends confided in me that for the first time in their lives they believe the prophet can and IS leading people astray.
Add to the above list of concerns many have over a billionaire apostle being granted a “special dispensation” to be able to keep his company interests alive. So much for no purse or scrip and setting aside fish nets to become fishers of men.
AND secret accounts that only 7 people know about in the world where 126 billion tithing dollars are being gambled on the stock market…
AND the Church becoming more and more progressive on social issues including all things LGBTQ… meanwhile my gay friends have never felt less welcome or interested in Church… (In other words the Church has a credibility problem).
I think for the first time in my life we are seeing the beginning of the end of the Church’s ability to keep things from falling apart. I predict we are about to see a mass exodus from the Church.
Interestingly, the Church, for all its postering and unsupported policy impositions, is very sensitive to negative news and to member protests. Look at what happened recently with the Manti temple when members finally began to protest the Church for its decision to remove original pioneer murals. The Church went from “Pound sand!” to “Oh so sorry, we’ve heard you! And we’ve prayed again and good news! Jesus changed his mind! He wants us to keep the murals after all!”
The important thing to remember in all this is, DON’T just sit back and trust your leaders blindly! I know Mormons hate that word “blindly” (along with the word Mormon) and always contend that they don’t follow the prophet blindly… However… I have family members who literally have told me that they are getting the vaccine because the prophet told them to! And even if they DIE, they will not regret following the prophet NO MATTER WHAT! How is this not blind obedience?
Well, I rant. And I don’t mean to. Readers will notice that I don’t post much anymore. This has been largely for two reasons. 1) I really don’t find any enjoyment at this late point in the game to be critical of the Church. Things are getting too serious and I have too many people I love too dearly who are still faithful members of the Church. My hope for sharing my concerns has ALWAYS been with the desire to help people simply be willing to think for themselves and to focus on the Lord, not on men. 2) I am not a prophet or one who has words yet that can help produce faith. I am not one of His servants. For this reason, I am always reluctant to say anything at all.
And hence why I call these the musings of a fool, which I implore you NOT to give any heed to unless they turn you to the Lord, to the scriptures, or to those He calls. I am truly a fool before God and man, but I also truly hope He can redeem me and I pray I can learn how to serve Him and love Him better.
I will say this, however. I have absolutely found a new home in the Restoration movement. For any reading this blog who may be unaware of what that even means, I would refer you to these resources:
Here you can find a treasure trove of what I believe is God’s word as shared by at least one He has called to continue the work started through Joseph Smith.
The Church cannot save you, does not appear concerned with building Zion (i.e. a safe place to flee to during the troubles fast approaching) or saving the Constitution and will damn the people that follow them and hearken to their teachings if they have not been in the presence of God and His Angels.
The words you will hear in the Ten Talks above will better describe the work now underway AND will show you where you and your loved ones can land when you realize the dire and awful situation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“They Will Never Lead Us Astray”
I’ve spoken about this topic many times on this blog. The idea that the Brethren and the Prophet cannot lead us astray has become a very controversial topic even among active LDS.
Elder Oaks’ daughter Jenny Oaks Baker struck a chord on Facebook a few days before Conference with this post on the subject:
I woke up this morning feeling with a deep desire to publicly declare my testimony that the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by a true prophet who communes with God and who will never lead us astray! I also know that the Apostles and other members of the First Presidency are also prophets, seers and revelators who are called of God and who will lead us back to Him if we follow their counsel. My heart has been so saddened as I have seen so many members of The Church doubting and publicly disagreeing with these good and righteous leaders, thinking that they themselves know better. Wearing masks at church and in the temple as President Nelson has asked us to do, is our way of looking at Moses’ staff to be healed. It really doesn’t matter if masks work or not! That is not the point! This is an obedience test! And the same goes for vaccinations! The Prophet has encouraged us all to be vaccinated unless we have a medical reason to refrain from doing so, and if we do get the vaccine, we will be blessed! It’s that simple! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s true Church on this earth! I know it! And I feel so blessed to have the Gospel in my life as it brings my life so much peace and joy. Please don’t let your distrust of vaccinations and hatred for masks be the mists of darkness that shake your hold upon the iron rod and prevent you from partaking of the sweet fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! I know that following the Prophet in all things, will bring healing, peace and safety to us all! Facebook Post September 28, 2021 4:55 am #JennyOaksBaker
When I last checked there were 425 comments. The comments are quite interesting to read and range from completely in favor to accusations that this post is evidence that the Church is a cult.
I would simply point to the words published as said by Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God, forwarded to me by a good friend recently. This statement reflects quotes from early Church leaders, even Brigham Young, but which the likes of today are considered as grounds for apostasy by the Church.
We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them (even) if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without any questions. When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves.
Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, vol.14 #38, pp. 593-95
The religion restored through Joseph Smith has turned into something I think he would mourn. I don’t think the Church can continue pushing this “last doctrine” and not lose the vast majority of its members.
Insurrection of the Just
I have already written about a phone call I made to the First Presidency last year, sharing my concerns that they were already congratulating Joe Biden on his “victory,” while the election was still being legally contested and was yet uncertified. The response from their spokesperson was not a reassuring one. His focus was on the Church keeping their 501c3 status and on making sure they were friendly with the potentially new administration, rather than defending election integrity in an election that will be proven to have been stolen. (One source of many)
The Church, led by the Brethren, have continued in a trend that seems afraid of accidentally offending the current powers that be. Or worse, they’ve simply become woke. A recent recording of Elder Rasband highlights this concern.
There are some concerning statements Elder Rasband makes in the above recording. On one hand he notes that “most members” are obeying the prophet’s “request” to wear a mask and to get vaccinated, and that it’s a small minority that they are disappointed with for not complying. He states he would not hesitate for a second to call such people to repentance.
My questions to Elder Rasband are:
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you upset that some are choosing to not obey the request?
- If vaccinations work so well, then why be concerned about the small minority who decide not to get them?
- If most LDS are getting vaccinated, then why still wear masks and social distance?
- Do you really believe in a person’s right to choose?
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you NOT allowing unvaccinated young adults into BYU Hawaii or the MTC?
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you telling missionary applicants they will NOT be able to serve a foreign mission without the vaccine?
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you shaming members who don’t wish to wear a mask anymore at Church? Vaccinated or not?
Elder Rasband suggests that “among his Brethren” they have discussed how sad it is that those who refuse to comply with their counsel are failing in such a small thing–that this represents us failing a test of some sort in their minds, he says. Imagine if they asked us to do some great thing! he adds.
I am personally troubled by Elder Rasband’s tone and disagree with what seems to be the Brethren’s approach. My 18-year old son’s friends, for example, who are opposed to the vaccine, are now all relenting because they want a chance to serve a foreign mission and don’t want to do “home MTC.” What happens if they don’t get called to serve a foreign mission even after getting vaccinated? Will they feel betrayed? Or if they have medical complications caused by the vaccine? Abandoning their strong feelings and concerns over the untested and unproven vaccine is the end result of the Brethren’s coercion. The vaccine, they say, is just a request. Most of these friends of my son have had CoVid already and many medical professionals and scientists are warning that getting the vaccine if you’ve already had the virus, and are young, is an unnecessary risk. (one source here of many)
We’ve heard much from the Brethren of late of following the “wise counsel of world leaders and of scientists,” by complying. “Be good Christians.” “Good global citizens.” (Source) The implication of course is obvious and their clumsy attempt of pretending like everyone’s agency is actually being respected rings hallow.
I find myself far more inspired by the reaction of indignant citizens like the ones in the videos below. Lest we forget, their responses, as intense as they may be at times, represent a far more normal reaction to having your freedoms stolen from you than the current response of the Brethren, who, in my view, are yet again on the wrong side of this debate.
Many of these people being labeled as crazy, insurrectionists are on the right side of liberty and will be on the right side of history. It is people like them who are actually showing courage. It is many of these so called “insurrectionists” who are JUST, in my view. May there be many more of them, rather than more blind followers. There is no virtue in blindly following men who are trusting in the arm of the flesh. It is not their title that matters at this point, it is their fruits. We must discern and choose for ourselves what is right.
A friend reminded me today of the account of a young LDS man who the Church excommunicated for standing up for truth. It was only decades later after his death that he was vindicated. 16-year-old Helmuth Hubener was tortured and killed for standing up against Hitler and the Nazis while the Church did nothing to save him. (See the story of Helmuth Hubener)
Today these same types of forces are overtaking our freedoms yet again. History does not always repeat itself, but it always seems to rhyme. We will see one day who was on the right sides and wrong sides of this battle for human liberty. Will we be valiant or will we simply follow the seemingly wise counsel of our leaders? I say be valiant.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. San Diego is rising 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/LzRrGVQNy5
— rooted.wings (@BrittRooted) August 18, 2021
Matt Baker from Ocean Beach, completely unhinged. pic.twitter.com/095LweLKgZ
— The Activated Podcast (@TheActivatedPod) August 17, 2021
And here’s a normal reaction from an honest citizen regarding the recent election coup. I wish the LDS Church leaders were still encouraging its members to do as this man. It seems like the days of American Patriotism and the encouragement of civic duty are no longer being emphasized by the Brethren.