I recently watched the Passion of the Christ with my wife and older kids. My wife and I had watched it before. Anyone holding off on watching it because of its rating may want to reconsider. It’s a very powerful movie, that for me, shows the toughness, love, determination, grit, and passion of our Lord that is so often not captured or expressed in media.
I wish we spoke more of this magnificent Man and of His sacrifice. He is worthy of our worship and adulation. Too vain are our meetings, too trite are the things we discuss and contemplate. Endless genealogies and endless fables and all manner of false doctrine. When possible, we should focus every talk, every lesson, every meeting, and every discussion upon Him and upon obtaining faith in Him. I fall short of this ideal and pray for God’s mercy and help.
In the above clip (which I highly recommend you click on) is the following exchange between Pontius Pilate and his wife Claudia that although embellished, I think captures her likely perceptiveness to truth. She was the one who had a dream that revealed Jesus’ innocence shortly before his trial (Matthew 27:19).
Pontius Pilate: What is truth, Claudia? Do you hear it, recognize it when it is spoken?
Claudia Procles: Yes, I do. Don’t you?
Pontius Pilate: How? Can you tell me?
Claudia Procles: If you will not hear the truth, no one can tell you.
Pontius Pilate: Truth… do you want to know what my truth is, Claudia? I’ve been putting down rebellions in this rotten outpost for eleven years. If I don’t condemn this man I know Caiphas will start a rebellion. If I do condemn him, then his followers may. Either way, there will be bloodshed. Caeser has warned me, Claudia. Warned me twice. He swore that the next time the blood would be mine. That is my truth!
I feel for Pilate and so many others whose “truth” is steeped in tradition or social and political pressure. All of us can relate to that, can we not? I cannot say that I would be any different than Pilate or than Thomas or Dieter, if I were in their seats. They deserve our prayers and our compassion. I admit that at times I’m frustrated or saddened by what I see and experience in the Church. But, my anger is not directed towards them individually. I know a couple of these men on a first name basis. They have “their truth,” as we all do and have a lot of pressure to keep the peace in their outpost.
Amidst so much worldly pressure and so many distractions, how can we hear and know Truth? And how can people share it (assuming they even have it) when the receiver’s mind and heart are often so incapable of recognizing it?
Young Joseph sought the truth. He had become discouraged and possibly angered by the “lo here’s and lo there’s” of his day. So many differing and contradicting voices even within his own family. I’m sure he felt the pressure to join a Church, to be baptized, to comply with his societal norms. There were several different religions being practiced in Joseph’s own family! Somehow Joseph knew how to hear Truth, and among the various sects, he wasn’t getting the full Truth he sought.
I cannot tell you, whether my truth is truer than yours. Or if you or I are able to hear truth or not. But I can tell you what I believe is the process whereby we discern truth. And I can tell you by what process I feel my heart is being changed.
I believe that God sends angels to certain men, women, and children (Alma 12:28,29). They minister to them and prepare them for a great work (Moroni 7:22). These chosen messengers have proven to be firm minded in every form of Godliness (Moroni 7:30). They become trusted by God and become His friends (James 2:23). They enter His presence and thus obtain a message from Heaven (D&C 84:23). Their message from heaven shared by the power of the Holy Ghost with us non-servants, has the power to change our very hearts (2 Nephi 33:1).
The true messenger, even when it was the disguised Savior on the road to Emmaus, is always to be a question of faith. And the burning of our hearts and its subsequent change of disposition away from evil is the only way we can know whether his message is from God or not.
I now see the Church and the gospel in a new light. I have come to see things differently than I once had. This new viewpoint has awakened me and startled me. There have been times where I have been angry along the way. Like many of you, my very identity has been entangled in a powerful and deeply rooted tradition. To untangle it all and to consider so many new possibilities and truths is indeed a painful and humbling process akin to passing through a dark birth canal or the eye of a needle.
So to you my fellow truth seekers LDS, exLDS, nonLDS, and everyone somewhere in between, may we rejoice in our love of Christ and unite in our love of finding Truth. May we each pray in humility to be led to the Truth, that we may be freed by Him of our darkness and sin. I pray you will forgive me of my weaknesses. I seek mercy for me and for all. May God bless the men who lead this Church that they too may receive mercy and light. That they may not be cast off for their false traditions, but that they and we may all learn to hear Truth. May we remember as we challenge each others views and ideas that we are on the same team — we are all children of God, souls in need of light and love and truth.
For now, this is my truth. God bless.
Perhaps the greatest sadness that has descended on the modern church is the idea that truth is simple: Just agree with the brethren. If the Holy Ghost moves your soul to action and that action goes against LDS morays and traditions…well, by LDS definition that’s not Truth. The loss of personal truth is one of the things that drove me out.
I agree with what you say, so why are our comments anonymous. I’m not too concerned about the ‘cleansed’ church history we have been fed, all churches, all religions, have hagiography they need to overcome. Part of my truth is that am disturbed about not baptising the children of same sex couples. Not so disturbed I would leave the Church about it. I am disturbed about the obsession with unthinkingly following the 15. That in them, and only in them is all wisdom, all truth, again not so disturbed that I would leave the Church about it. But, and this is the big but, we both know that if you or I openly shared our ‘truths’; even in frank and open discussion, we would be next in the line of those subject to disciplinary action of ‘love’. That’s why we cannot be on the same team.
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
It hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Perfect in thought or action? Current LDS works theology seems clear:
Perfect adherence to The Brethren.
This is part of the great sadness the current church is.
I’m curious Seeker – what is the so-called cleansed history of the Church? Why are you disturbed by the Church not baptizing children of homosexuals? What part of Church history don’t you agree with? IT54
Doctrine and Covenants 1:14 “And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;”
Tom, This is a great little verse in the D&C but i’m sure you don’t understand it and so let me explain one part of it to you. The part that says “who will not hear the voice of the Lord” can only refer to the 15 phony apostles and prophets down town. It is they who will not hear the voice of the Lord nor will they listen to the voice of His true servants the prophets anciently. It is they as well as the members who rely on them for everything who will be cut off in the last days.
Look at the next verse vs 15 where it talks about straying from the ordinances. Who strayed? These apostates that run the Church have changed all of them except baptism. It is they who have strayed from the ordinances.
So this is indeed a prophecy of our day. Good stuff Tom – thanks for these wonderful verses. IT54
For example, how often were we told in manuals and talks that Thomas B Marsh’s inactivity was due to his wife’s quarrel with a neighbour over some cream. Yet with the most preliminary research we discover that he did not leave the Church at that time but some time later. He left over the matter of Church vigilante groups. For how many years was the image of Joseph literally translating the plates promoted, whereas he used a seer stone placed in his hat, and the plates were not present. There are many other examples; brevity prevents me from listing many more. I would suggest that the truth of many of the popular faith promoting stories has been known for many years by those who have access to the source documents but no attempt was made to correct them until recently. Some continue to be used in manuals and talks. Never ruin a good story by the facts.
It disturbs me that we would penalise children by refusing them baptism because of the sins of their ‘fathers’. We are told that we don’t want to create conflict in their lives if they are taught one thing at Church and another in the home. However, if they are attending Church and ask to be baptised aren’t we compounding any conflict in their lives by refusing to baptise them. Shouldn’t we be attempting to reduce the conflict in a child’s life rather than exacerbating it?
The early events don’t mean all that much however. So what if Joseph translated the plates by looking into his hat. It was still translated by the gift of God. He wasn’t a scholar but a seer and a prophet. That doesn’t bother me at all. I knew about that then I was a kid and it didn’t bother me then either. As for TBMarsh who cares how he left the Church. I knew all about the plural marriage of JS too. Doesn’t bother me. If a person knows that the restoration was true then those things aren’t a problem. I see many people leaving the Church today for the wrong reason. The right reason to leave is because it is in apostasy. But there are many members who themselves are apostates that ought to leave or be exed. I guess either way it doesn’t matter however because the Church is dead now anyway.
The thing I’m concerned about is the Church accepting homosexuals. That is a problem in the Church and has been for many years. They don’t condemn it. Someone told me that Todd Christopherson said homosexuality wasn’t a sin. If that is true then that disturbs me more than baptizing a child of a homosexual.
Thanks Seeker, I’m sure there are other items of interest about the early Church. The thing that really bugs me though is the current apostate leaders throwing Joseph and Brigham under the bus for polygamy and giving the priesthood to the blacks. None of that came recently by revelation. They blame it all on those early true prophets when they themselves are the apostates. IT54
I really liked the blog post this time as opposed to the last one. We all need to focus more on Christ. The irony is that most if not all LDS and TBMs would agree with you on that. I’m not sure what the state of the church is in Utah right now but I can say that in Texas where I live there is very little dogmatic emphasis (as it seems there is in Utah from what I read on blogs like these) on “following the brethren.” In that regard I don’t think the anti-brethren rhetoric is helpful for those of us who live outside “the bubble.” You can both follow Christ and follow the brethren as they follow Christ. If you think for example, the house an apostle owns is too big that there’s no chance he’s a true witness, then don’t follow him and you yourself buy a huge house. But I digress – a good post by AB this go around. Well done. I would also add my two thumbs up for The Passion!
I am glad you are so confident the scriptures say what you interpret them as. I see you criticize the Church of Jesus Christ but not suggest any alternatives. What are you suggesting people do as you claim the church is led by apostates, but you also acknowledge D. Snuffer does not have the gift of healing or other gifts of the Spirit?
Tom, The Church is in apostasy right now. D. Snuffer isn’t the one mighty and strong. We are in a very difficult position right now. Let me explain. Lucifer has a strong hold on the leaders of the Church. This is explained in Ezekiel 13 where the Lord calls them the false prophets of the house of Israel. There are a number of scriptures about them where the Lord calls them his enemy. The thing that you need to do is NOT sustain them. Lucifer set up the Church in the last 40 years or so that you would sustain them without question. When you attend Church you have to sustain them right? If you vote against them they will give you the boot. BUT what do they teach and accept in the Church. They accept abortion which is murder, homosexuality which is sin, idolatry of the images of deity. Those are just a few. So by sustaining them you by default become as wicked as they are. They are all going to hell and end up either in the Telestial kingdom or outer darkness as in the case of Gordon B. (Isaiah 22). Tom, you’ll be right on their heels if you sustain their wickedness.
What are you supposed to do then? Recognize the apostasy and not sustain it. Get your food storage and wait until the Lord corrects the situation. Only He can correct it now. You can’t and Denver certainly isn’t the one. It is all prophesied in the scriptures how the Lord is going to correct the situation. He will expose them as false prophets and apostles at some point. By then it will be too late if you’ve been sustaining them.
You were told by Christ about 10 times to read and study Isaiah. That is where the answers are found – in Isaiah. If you don’t understand the entire book completely then you haven’t been searching. Good luck there buddy. IT
IT no offense but your comment sounds a little paranoid. Which church are you talking about accepting homosexuality and abortion ? The LDS church I belong to teaches both are sins but we still try and be kind to people who do either. That is far from “accepting.” The state of the church is not rosey but I think you are “awfulizing” (psychology term) the situation. Stay calm, brother.
“Someone told me that Todd Christoffrson said”- I’d put next to no trust in that statement. You have no context or clue to what was actually said. This is the kind of “evidence” that many anti Mormons like to use.
Jaron, Does the LDS let homosexuals into the scouting program? Yes! Has the Church let homosexuals serve in bishoprics in the Church? Yes! Does the Church excommunicate homosexuals other than those who marry? No! Recently they were all invited back to sit in congregations with the regular members in Washington State. This was reported in the news. Is the largest Gay Pride celebration in the US in Salt lake City? Yes!
How about abortion. The Church believes abortion is okay in the case of rape, incest and when the life and health of the mother is threatened. Do you agree with that Jaron? You likely do because of what you’ve said. I suspect you sustain them don’t you? Abortion is murder and before around 1980 the Church viewed it as such. They had it right then but now because the Church is in bed with the government they have to tow the line. So again – they accept abortion. I’ve discussed this with prominent members of the Church that you know and with my Stake pres. In my view this makes these people accomplices to murder and makes them evil people. There are 3000 abortions a year in SLC how many of them are from LDS families? I suspect not a few.
All of these things are mentioned in Isaiah. Isaiah is the prophet Jaron that makes these statements about the Church. I’m repeating them to you as a service. Isaiah calls Salt Lake City Sodom and Gomorrah and the leaders as leaders of Sodom. He says that the Church has blood on it’s hands. This is the Lord accusing you and your leaders of this – not me – I’m just repeating what a prophet of God said about us.
So far from paranoia this is nothing but deep dark sin. Lucifer set up a very clever system in the Church in the last days. After he got a hold of the leaders he changed all the laws of the Church to include homosexuals, abortion, and idolatry. That way in order for you to become an evil person is all you have to do is sustain the brethren. Its a very clever system he has set up and this is why Nephi said many will say like you Jaron in the last days that “All is Well in Zion, yea Zion prospers”. And Lucifer cheatith their souls and leds them (Jaron) carefully down to hell. Not my words Jaron – Nephi’s. IT54
IT. If your wife could die in child birth and the only way to save it is to abort the baby what would you do? That’s like saying Nephi shouldn’t have killed Laban because it is absolutely a sin to kill. Be careful with the absolutes. Heaven forbid that you or I would ever be placed in a similar situation where we had to choose between our wife and a child. I wouldn’t judge anyone who had to make that choice. As far as gays – i think the church has been clear that having a propensity for same sex attraction is different than homosexual behavior. There are people in bishoprics with a strong attraction to pornography but they ofcourse ABSTAIN for pornography because they know it is wrong. What’s the difference? Sexual sin is sexual sin IMO. Everyone has desires and passions that need to be bridled. Yours might be anger. Just saying
Jaron, So you support abortion then in this case. NO I would not abort the baby because that is murder. The women knows very well that when they go into labor they are entering the valley of the shadow of death. That isn’t true however if the baby has not formed and is dead in the womb. That’s not murder, but what you are suggesting is murdering a live baby.
You’ll have to read this blog about the Church’s acceptance of homosexuality. Church accepts it and you’ve already admitted it does and so we don’t need to discuss that one any further.
Last time I didn’t quote you the scriptures from Isaiah. The Lord is the one who is accusing you of murder and acceptance of homosexuality. I’m just repeating what He says – this is the prophecy about what He says about us and what He is going to do about it.
7. Your land is ruined your cities burned with fire; your native soil is devoured by aliens in your presence, laid waste at its takeover by foreigners.
8. The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, a hut in a melon field, a city under siege.
9. Had not the Lord of Hosts left us a few survivors, we should have been as Sodom or become like Gomorrah.
10. Hear the word of the Lord, O leaders of Sodom; give heed to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
14. Your monthly and regular meetings my soul detests. They have become a burden on me; I am weary of putting up with them.
15. When you spread forth your hands, I will conceal my eyes from you; though you pray at length, I will not hear—your hands are filled with blood.
Jaron the Lord is addressing the leaders of Sodom and Gomorrah in verse 9. I added the scriptures before it so that you can see that the Lord will soon be destroying the Church for their wickedness. Verse 15 says that YOUR hands are filled with blood. Tell me Jaron why is the Lord accusing you of having blood on your hands? Answer? 3000 abortions a year in SLC and you’ve just admitted that it is okay to commit this crime against humanity. IT
I found pleasure and temperance in this blog posting. I’ve been cycling through many emotions relayed to my mourning about the church and many leaders.
We are each entitled to our “process” in coming to terms by reconciling our awareness of the Church’s lack of transparency with 2Pet. Chpt 1… taken from faith right through to being sanctified and having our election made sure. When our focus shifts from the blame game to actually striving to attain a Christ-like status, we grow.
I will always miss the “romantic innocence” I have had regarding the Church. But I’m determined to trade it for a truthful, fortified friendship with Christ. He’s been good to me, not in the sort of life blessings others might have had, but truly blessed in knowing he is real and he’s invested me. I thought he was pleased with all my service in the Church and community, but while he appreciates my commitment to that, I now know that is not what his “friends” do with their lives… yes they serve, but they ask Him what service he sees needs to be rendered and they comply, no matter the cost, sacrifice… Noah – 125 yrs building an ark and doing missionary work only bringing his family with him; Moses, leaving cushy Pharaoh’s court in exchange for leading a snivling group of “children” who found fault endlessly; Joseph, who proved valiant, restored the gospel, witnessed treachery against God’s plan for his people, died at the hands of enemies (inside the church as well as outside) and today observes the ongoing destruction of the restoration as the Saints are led to forget what he taught by leaders who should honor him. “For good and for ill” he foresaw, and he was right.
I keep referring people to Joseph’s last dream about his Kirtland property. It clearly describes how today’s Church property owners ( Corporation of the President) feel about Joseph today and how Joseph walks away from the crumbling remains of what he and his associates created at Christ’s request.
Anonymous Bishop is correct, Christ will work things out with individuals and he would prefer each of us to work out our “calling and election” with him and to leave the church mess around us to his capacity to make beauty out of chaos.
He created the world, he parted the Red Sea, He killed 185, 000 enemy soldiers in one night to protect Jerusalem, he saved every life of every “stripling” warrior… and he will make even more miracles.
I agree Jaron. It can take great humility to follow the brethren but it is the Lord’s way.
The Truth my friends is that the BofM is NOT true, but a work of religious fiction. “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins” by Grant Palmer is great book the explains everything.
Joseph was gifted alright just like Ellen G White (prophetess), but by raw data only the Seventh Day Adventists (+18 million members) have surpassed the LDS (+15 million members). Also, the SDA have an 80% retention rate, vs the LDS with less than 50% retention. Maybe the SDA have the TRUTH? Sounds like they are heading the “Hastening” message better than the LDS. Just say’n!!!
And there are an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims. What is your point? Numbers alone don’t represent absolute favor with God. By the logic of numbers alone we should all be following the Koran. As for the Book of Mormon, diss it all you want. For many of us, it’s teachings are gospel. Our choice. Grant Palmer can believe what he wants. So can you. Don’t presume to identify truth for the rest of us.
Humility to follow the brethren? To become accessory to murder because of abortion – is that what you mean by humility? Or maybe siting next to an unrepentant homosexual in Church and partaking of the sacrament. Is that the kind of the great humility that you have to follow them? Sounds to me like it isn’t humility but blind obedience to wicked and evil men. You will be judged Tom for sustaining wickedness. The Lord will hold you responsible. IT
Jimbo, Hey – the first antiMormon I’ve seen here. I haven’t talked to one for a long time. You a former member of the Church there Jimbo? You an Evang type?
Boy that Joseph Smith was sure gifted wasn’t he Jimbo. That is a new one because it used to be that he had somebody else write the book for him. Now all of a sudden he’s a genius. How things change over the years. It’s nice to hear an update on what you antis are thinking. IT
To raise The Right Hand and sustain or not is a good question.
I really loved this post. I felt the Spirit. And then I come to the comments and read the ignorant words of iterry and now I’m angry all over again. There is no room for Christ on this earth.
ahh nuts Angry. What I say that got you so upset? All I was doing is injecting a little bit of reality into the discussion is all. I simply pointed out from scripture that the Lord stopped talking to us when He brought us to this valley. That’s all I said. I’m also pointing out that there are many false prophets running around and you have to be careful. What is wrong with all of that? You are the one responsible for you salvation. Not me nor the leaders of the Church. You are the one who must find the truth while here. If you get taken in by all these charlitons running around then how can the Lord trust you with anything else? There are lots of false prophets running around right now claiming they know Christ and deceive many. That’s all I’m talking about.
There are churches that can cope with members with ‘differing truths’ in their organisation without casting them out. You can be an orthodox Jew or a reformed Jew. You can be High Church or Low Church as an Episcopalian. They may have robust discussion about their differences but still co-exist, still find the common ground that enables them to co-exist. For us the common ground is the message of Christ we learn from the Gospel. Maybe if we could co-exist we would learn together not to ‘through out the baby with the bath water’. That’s why I stay in the Church. I live in hope that we can learn to be on the same team. I think it is the only hope for the Church’s long term continuing viability.
Sorry for my lousy typing, that should be ‘throw out the baby’ of course.
Seeker – you obviously haven’t been behind the closed doors with your Stake President. It doesn’t matter what you believe in this Church just as long as you don’t teach anybody and vote against anything they say or do. But what if you disagree with what is going on? I disagree with the Church’s position on abortion. I can’t say nor do anything to change it and so if I went to Church my conscious tells me to vote against these apostates that are running the Church. You obviously go along with them. What would Christ do if He were here? Isaiah says the leaders in the last days are wicked men and He/Christ is going to cast them out. He calls them His enemies. So you can go and jabber all you want about Christ but the real message is you can’t disagree with anything they do and say even if it is completely contrary to the gospel of Christ which abortion is. That is only one example. There are many others. IT
Actually my friends, I am not an anti-mormon. I am actually LDS going thru a faith crisis. I was born in the church, graduated from seminary & institute, served a wonderful mission (baptized many), attending BYU-H, and graduated from BYU. Married in the Temple, etc. I had great LDS answers to all the questions and attacks, and labeled everything else as anti-mormon lies.
Then I read the Church Essays followed by the CES Letter, and find out that what I thought were lies, was actually the truth. Needless to say it all went down hill from there.
That being said I love reading posts from Anonymous Bishop, but I also love watching videos from Mormon Stories. I’m learning a lot for sure. As an FYI, I still love the LDS people.
I know how you feel Jimbo. I’m a convert to the Church, I joined about 50 years ago. I was, and continue to be, deeply committed to the Church. I have served in many positions including various priesthood leadership positions. I am a full tithe payer and have attended the Temple regularly. I say these things not with any sense of pride but to confirm my commitment, including emotional commitment, to the Church.
There was no one thing that brought about my faith crisis. It was a slow steady process. When I learnt that Brigham said that Negroes could not hold the priesthood I found that disturbing but a prophet had spoken and so be it. When Spencer said that Negroes could now hold the priesthood I was pleased, a prophet had received new revelation. Then I read the Church essay – an essay authorised by the 15 – on this matter that implied that Brigham was simply following the social views of his time. But isn’t a prophet supposed to teach us truth no matter what the prevailing social views may be. You might ask who was wrong Brigham or Spencer.
Do you remember when we were taught that couplet, “As man is God once was, as God is man may become”. That was taught as a central theme of the gospel. Now we learn that it was never Church doctrine. So why did the prophets teach that. So on and so on with so many other matters.
Of course I could go to my Bishop or Stake President and discuss my faith crisis with them. But you know what will happen, out will come all the old clichés, “doubt your doubts”, “follow the prophets, they will never lead you astray”. It’s because I think they have lead me astray that I am in my current state. What will be absent would be any serious attempt to resolve the issues.
I think the 15 are well meaning men, who have served long and hard for the Church. I respect and honour them as priesthood leaders. But prophets , well ………
Nice piece as usual!Keep kicking them in the ass!!!!!!
I know how you feel. I went down the faith crisis road myself for a bit. It’s all very confusing and the evidence against Joseph Smith can appear overwhelming. I don’t have answers to all of the issues that surround Joseph Smith that the antis love to bring up. I have answers to some of them, but not all. Some things just can’t be explained. I actually think that the Lord did it that way on purpose. The things of God are not suppose to be proven by tangible evidence. Just like there’s overwhelming evidence against Joseph Smith and the truthfulness of the restoration there is also overwhelming evidence against the biblical creation and Adam and Eve. I really believe that it’s all part of God’s purposes. I believe that he intentionally leaves us plenty of reason to doubt. He could refute the “proofs” against his work, but chooses not to. His ways our not our ways. There’s a scripture somewhere in the New Testament that says that the ways of God our foolishness unto man. It’s all part of the test to see if we will recognize the master’s voice and exercise faith instead of doubt. Will we have faith in him and listen to him, or will listen to the opinions and philosophies of men?
You mentioned that even though you are in a faith crisis and no longer believe that the Book of Mormon is true that you still like reading AB’s blog. Why do you think that is? I’m betting it’s because even though your testimony is in tatters and you are overcome with doubt, that deep down you still want to believe, but don’t know how. I know this is how I felt as I briefly went through my own faith crisis.
Though I don’t have answers to all of the issues, here are a few things that I think are very strong evidences that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, that the scriptures he brought forth are true, and that he did in fact restore the true gospel of Christ to the earth.
Throughout the D&C Joseph is repeatedly chastised by the Lord and warned that if he transgresses he will fall and be removed from his calling as a prophet. Take a look at this list and tell me if you think a false prophet, or fraud, or whatever would say these things about himself in his phony made up revelations that he produced to deceive people and get fame and wealth.
6 And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men.
7 For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words—
8 Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.
9 Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.
10 But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work;
11 Except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift.
17 And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him;
18 And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.
2 For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations from my hand.
3 And this ye shall know assuredly—that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.
4 But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.
5 And the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom shall not be taken from my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., through the means I have appointed, while he liveth, inasmuch as he obeyeth mine ordinances.
6 There are those who have sought occasion against him without cause;
7 Nevertheless, he has sinned; but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.
47 And now, verily I say unto Joseph Smith, Jun.—You have not kept the commandments, and must needs stand rebuked before the Lord;
48 Your family must needs repent and forsake some things, and give more earnest heed unto your sayings, or be removed out of their place.
To me these warnings are a very strong and compelling evidence that Joseph was a true prophet. It also leaves open the possibility that at some point he might have fallen as a prophet which would explain some of the bizarre things he is accused of. I’m not saying that he is a fallen prophet, but based on the scriptures it’s certainly possible.
To me an even stronger evidence of the truthfulness of the gospel Joseph restored is the fact that the church the Lord established through him fell into apostasy. There are many, many prophecies in the scriptures that show that the church would fall into apostasy prior to the second coming. AB, Rock Waterman, and many others have done a really good job of documenting just how far the church has departed from the gospel that was established through Joseph Smith. Here are a few of the ancient prophecies that foretold the apostasy. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that about 99% of the members of the church are of the house of Ephraim (I’m betting your patriarchal blessing says you are too). Also keep in mind that we latter-day saints are the only ones who claim to have living prophets. seers, and revelators. Look at what Isaiah says:
Isaiah: 28:1-4, 7-9
1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
7 ¶But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
9 ¶Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
The Lord says that modern day Ephraim is drunken, even the prophets of Ephraim are drunken. This drunkenness is causing them to err, in fact so much so that the Lord is going to have them trodden under foot. verses 2-7
To be drunken in this vase does not me to be drunken with alcohol. It means to be drunken with the wine of Babylon, which is worldliness, wickedness, idolatry, etc. Look at Jeremiah 51:7 for the definition of being drunken.
7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
verse 8 in Isaiah 28 says that that our tables are full of vomit. This means that at church all we hear is the same old regurgitated material. We never hear anything new. There’s no new revelation. Just the same old stuff.
verse 9 says that only those weaned from the breast will be able to be taught or understand doctrine. In the church all we get is the milk of the gospel. We might as well all just go to primary on Sunday, because no deep doctrine is taught in Gospel Doctrine, or Priesthood, or Relief society. Or in Seminary I might add. Everything is watered down and white washed to fit a certain version that the brethren want us to hear. Obviously this also includes how church history has been presented, which is why so many faithful LDS are now experiencing a faith crisis when they find out that our history is way more complicated than we were all led to believe. Isaiah is saying that only those who are weaned from the milk of the gospel (and church history) will be able to see the truth. That requires some serious scripture study!
9 ¶Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
10 For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
Again we are accused of being drunken with the wine of Babylon. He says we’re spiritually asleep. As I’m sure you’ve noticed the LDS nowadays are very much like everyone else. We listen to worldly music, watch worldly movies and TV shows, live in oversized luxuries homes well beyond our needs, have cabins and vacation homes, have RVs and ATVs, go on expensive vacations, watch sports on the sabath, wear costly apparel and fine jewelry, just to name a few things. We are guilty of all these things and much more, but yet we still proclaim that all is well in Zion. We are the Lord’s chosen people and as long as we keep a current temple recommend we will punch our ticket to the celestial kingdom. The Lord also adds that our eyes, the prophets and seers, have been covered because of this rampant spiritual drunkenness which the members from top to bottom are seized by.
Here’s one more prophecy.
9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:
10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Here the Lord adds that we actually want the prophets and seers not to prophecy or see. We’d rather they tell us how good we are and that if we just do a few simple things we will be saved. We can keep living in our mansions and driving our luxury vehicles while there are those around us who live in trailers and don’t have enough food to eat. Never mind what the scriptures say about the love of riches or the commandment to care for the poor.
There are many more examples I could give you. The answers are in the scriptures not on mormon stories, the church historical essays, the CES letter, or anti sites. Search the scriptures. Search the Book of Mormon. It fits perfectly with the Bible. I don’t care what anyone says about how it came forth, read it, study it. Compare it to the bible. There’s no way ANYONE could have made it up, let alone an uneducated farm boy. Look at the Old Testament and the ancient prophecies. Isaiah and other ancient prophets saw our day. They saw latter-day Ephraim. Who else on earth claims to be Ephraim besides the LDS? No one! How can the prophecies about latter-day Ephraim fit the church perfectly and Joseph Smith not be a true prophet? It began with him. He was the prophet of the restoration, He restored the gospel in it’s fullness, but we have since fallen into apostasy. Like I said earlier it’s possible that at some point he fell as a prophet and that the apostasy actually began during his lifetime, though it’s more likely that it began after his death.
Think about it. These ancient prophecies fit the church perfectly. We are Ephraim, which means we really are of the house of Israel. Joseph Smith was true prophet. The scriptures he brought forth are true.
You might want to check out this mans blog https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/
In his blog he tries to explain all of the controversies that surround Joseph Smith and the restoration. He utilizes the scriptures and church history to show why Joseph did many of the things he did. There is a reason behind the things he did. His mission is much greater than what we were all taught in Seminary. I don’t agree with everything put forth in this blog, but it helped me make sense of the issues surrounding Joseph Smith, perhaps it can help you, too.
All the best,
Thank you for your thoughts and comments Seeker of Truth.
Thank you for your thoughts and comments MC. It was very long, but I read it all.
Jimbo, sorry to make that comment so long. I didn’t intend to write a novel, but I did want to show you that there are quite a few plain and clear scriptures that support was I was trying to show you, and not just one or two vague ones.
I know it’s hard to make sense of the issues with Joseph Smith. Hang in there, don’t loose the faith. Think back to all of the times you felt the spirit. Remember how you felt as a missionary when you would teach people and baptize people. Those conversions were real. The spirit you felt so many times was real. It’s not all a sham like the antis would have us believe.
If you haven’t yet you should seriously check out the onewhoiswatching blog. Take a break from the anti stuff and see what this guy has to say. He explains a lot of the things that seem unexplainable. If nothing else it will give a a different perspective on the issues. I know it’s tough but try to have to have faith and try and let go of your doubts. There’s a reason people who loose their testimonies and leave the church can’t leave the church alone. There’s way to much evidence that the gospel is true too. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life trying to suppress the memories of when you felt the spirit and trying to convince yourself it was all in your head. It will never go away.
I seriously wish you the best and hope you can make sense of everything.
a lot of leaping over the tallest bldgs whilst sucking a pickle for nourishment. the doctrine of take my yoke and learn of ME. seems to require in the first instance lots of fiddling and the second trying to find a way to love thy neighbor while piling up browny points of the last oracles of sinbad