Tag Archives: Russell Nelson

Musings of a Fool

TheParable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

Wise and Foolish Virgins (Source)

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:

2018

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.

2019

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 discontinuednew Young Women theme, class name and structure changes are announced.

Oct. 6, 2019 — President Nelson announces revised temple recommend questions2020 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.

2020

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.

(Source for the above)

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:

  1. “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?”
  2. “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?”
  3. “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?”
  4. “Why do I need permission from the Church to do Sacrament in my home anyway?”
  5. “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?”
  6. “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?”
  7. “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?”
  8. “Why is the Church NOT preaching in favor of our Constitution and the liberties it ought to want to safeguard that are GOD GIVEN?!”
  9. “Why is the Church saying we should trust science and medical people, when those same “scientists” are in favor of gender surgeries, abortion, etc?!”
  10. “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!?”
  11. “How on earth can the Church sit back while elections are stolen and the Constitution is being destroyed?”
  12. “How can the Church be okay with one of its own Apostles contributing to political campaigns?”
  13. “How come the Church congratulated Joe Biden while the election was still being legally contested?”
  14. “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?”
  15. “Why is the Church so pro-illegal immigration?”
  16. “Why is the Church investing in Facebook, Pfeizer, the UN, and a million other entities it should disagree with?”
  17. “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:

TheTenTalks.com

Scriptures.info

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.

Something New

Total Solar Eclipse as seen from the Sawtooth Mountains on August 21, 2017

One of the most memorable things our family participated in was the Solar Eclipse of 2017. It was truly amazing, mesmerizing, ominous, and somehow just felt very portentous of unknown things to come. The fact that it fell upon Thomas S. Monson’s 90th birthday also made it seem all the more important.

Thomas Monson died on January 2, 2018, just 134 days later and almost exactly on the first day of the New Year.

According to some astrologists, “If an eclipse falls on your birthday, or within five days of your birthday, the year that follows that particular birthday will be a critical one…”

Eclipses also represent the end of something old and the beginning of something new. (see source)

During an eclipse period, it is as though you will walk over a rickety old bridge. As you walk across this bridge, over a very deep, rugged, treacherous ravine, you may be a little nervous. Once you make it to the other side, the bridge will collapse and you will see the pieces fall far into the deep, perhaps making you jittery. The bridge snaps just as you get to safe ground, but you realize, first, that you could have been on that bridge when it fell (but you weren’t), and more importantly, you will never again be able to walk back over to the other side. Once we go through an eclipse, we can never go back to the former situation again, for the universe wants us to make progress, not go back to good old days. That option is taken away, forever. The only way with an eclipse is forward. If you find later you don’t like where you wind up, you can always have the option to make changes up ahead, but again, they must be future choices, not ones that bring you back to the past. The changes could happen instantly, but they also can occur over a period of months with each successive eclipse. Still, the news of those changes often comes as a shock.

Read more: https://www.astrologyzone.com/all-about-eclipses-a-guide-for-coping-with-them/#ixzz6QV1qnANq

Perhaps more ominous is that this particular eclipse from 2017 could only be seen in its totality from the NW United States to the SE of the United States. This was the “first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years.” More ominous still, the next total solar eclipse will be 7 years from this last one, on April 8, 2024, and it will be seen in its totality from the NE to the SW of the United States, thus making a huge “X” going through the United States.

We all know that April 6th is an important date and that the month of April where the world celebrates Easter, Passover, Spring, and new life, is also significant.

https://nationaleclipse.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/map_usa_2017_20244.png

If you look really closely at where the eclipses will intersect, you will find small lesser-known towns in Missouri, one of which is Cape Girardeau, interestingly, the birthplace of Rush Limbaugh, the undisputed voice of modern American conservatism who is battling stage 4 cancer. (This may be a complete irrelevant sidenote or it may be important — who knows.)

https://nationaleclipse.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/map_region_2017_2024.png

One thing is certain, the United States, during a 7 year period, will have experienced two amazing total solar eclipses that will make an “X” as if being crossed out, with its focal point being in Missouri along the banks of the Mississippi River, near perhaps the Garden of Eden and Valley of Adam Ondi Ahman, just downstream from Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois. Coincidence? Or significant?

And the date of the first eclipse, for me, also seems to be trying to tell us something, being on the LDS Church president’s birthday. The end of one thing old, and the beginning of something new.

On September 3, 2017, just 13 days after the first solar eclipse, something new began. It was obscure and most people did not take notice nor were they aware. The LDS Church leadership was very aware, however.

The location of this obscure event was Boise, Idaho, where hundreds of people gathered to hear a man named Denver Snuffer speak. Brother Snuffer is an infamous excommunicated member of the LDS Church. He was excommunicated at the insistence of Russell M. Nelson, under the direction of President Thomas S. Monson. Denver was excommunicated 40 years to the day from the date he was baptized in the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 1973.

I was blessed to be in attendance at this 2017 talk, where I believe something new and very important began.

I close with this man’s closing remarks at that event and I invite you the reader to ask yourself if any of what he said in that talk sounds like it may apply to current events we now all witness.

The Angel warned Joseph that the end times of the Gentiles was at a near-future date (after the fulness of the Gentiles) and that The Book of Mormon was a warning to us (the white Europeans) who inherited this Land of Promise, that we would be destroyed if we did not repent, just like the two civilizations from the Book of Mormon were destroyed.

I believe the day of the Gentile is coming to an end right before our eyes and that we will soon have NO nation on earth left to defend our freedoms and I think the eclipse is intended to be a warning and a testimony from Heaven.


Covenant of Christ Conference
Egyptian Theater
Boise, Idaho, September 3, 2017
Denver Snuffer, Jr.


That concludes all the work to be performed and all of the business. But I have a few remarks If I can impose on you for a few more moments before we finish up today. I was here in Idaho during the recent eclipse. We travelled to be near Lake Alturas, near Stanley in the zone of totality. At that spot totality was a little less than two minutes. During totality in a small lake adjacent to Alturas I performed a baptism. The one I
baptized might be here today.


We waded out in to the cold water beforehand and were trying to acclimate to the temperature of the water. At our spot the temperature dropped 20 degrees during totality. I observed as totality was approaching that it only takes one percent, certainly
no more than three percent, of the sun’s exposure to give absolutely, adequate light. But obscuring any significant portion of the sun affected heat at our location that day. Both of us were shivering for some time afterwards because of the water and the twenty
degree temperature drop.


Those who have entered faithfully into the covenant this day are going to notice some
things. The spirit of God is withdrawing from the world. Men are increasingly more angry without good cause. The hearts of men are waxing cold. There is increasing anger and resentment of gentiles. In political terms, it’s rejection of white privilege.


Language of scriptures gives a description of the events now underway and calls it the end of the times of the gentiles. This process with the spirit withdrawing, will end on this continent, as it did with two prior civilization in fratricidal and genocidal warfare. For the rest of the world, it will be as in the days of Noah in which, as that light becomes eclipsed, the coldness of men’s hearts is going to result in a constant scene of violence and bloodshed. The wicked will destroy the wicked.


The covenant, if it is kept, will prevent you from losing light and warmth of heart as the spirit now steadily recedes from the world. The time will come when you will be astonished at the gulf between the light and truth you will comprehend and the darkness of mind of the world.


Be charitable and patient and labor to reach others. They will judge you harshly, but nevertheless be kind to them. They are going to grow to fear you, but that’s only part of how darkness responds to light. Give them no reason to fear you. The time will come for us to gather, but between now and then, be leaven. Preserve the world. Be salt. Preserve the world, even if it hates you.


I hope for myself that when the time comes to gather I will have been proven faithful and to be among you.


May God bless you and send to each of you a growing light and warmth. As the spirit withdraws from the world may it continually shine uneclipsed on each of you to enlighten your minds and to warm your hearts. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Emphasis added)