I write as a bishop in the LDS Church. I am told it is my priesthood office and title for life. I served for more than 4 years and was released not long ago. For now I choose anonymity. Not because I fear men, retaliation, or criticism, but because I do not wish for me or my family to become the focus of attention, for good or for bad.
I plan to proceed responsibly, knowing that I may someday put my name on the things I write. I also know that when and if I do, it may sadly cause concerns for some within church leadership. I hope this is not the case. I think it would be unfortunate. I think we need to be far more patient and tolerant of other peoples’ points of view. Disagreement does not equal apostasy and the thoughtful discussion of complicated and important topics which, are often faith-challenging to otherwise faithful members, can be of great benefit.
In my years as a bishop and over a lifetime in the church, I have met many of the Brethren. More than one very prominent such authorities resides in my ward. I know many of them and I love and sustain them in their callings. But I have come to recognize by their words and their deeds that many of them do not have a message directly from Heaven as did prophets in times past. I have a deep love for the Book of Mormon. My study of that book has reinforced my conclusions. I now witness that the message and example of prophets from scripture differ from those of today in the church. I can no longer close my eyes to that reality. Nor do I think God will excuse me in doing so.
I do not make such bold statements to challenge the authority of the Brethren to lead the church. I wish them no ill-will, nor do I condemn them. On the contrary, I pray for them and hope they will live up to their sacred callings. I believe the survival of our church depends upon it.
I’m simply stating what I believe to be true. I believe the scriptures warn us to not follow the arm of the flesh, most particularly the precepts of men, who do not receive such angelic manifestations from God and His Son.
As a direct result, I have sadly come to the conclusion that the general message of the church today is unwittingly “anti-Christ” (Alma 30:6) and promotes the unintentional worship of men and their precepts. Let me clarify so there is no misunderstanding. I do not believe the church does not believe in Christ, I simply believe the church often places itself and its leaders in the way of Christ and preaches, in many cases, against his “coming” to individuals who seek Him.
We preach that such a pursuit of Christ and the Angels who precede Him is dangerous and leads to apostasy. The excuse being that we “should never pray to see an angel” because every man who did so in the early days of the restoration, left the church. Whether we admit it or not, I believe this is the precautionary message of our day, thus encouraging a different, “safer” course, to honor the “keys” and follow the Brethren rather than personally seek Heaven.
Elder Ballard recently made this very clear:
Recently, I spoke at the new mission presidents’ seminar and counseled these leaders:
“Keep the eyes of the mission on the leaders of the Church. … We will not and … cannot lead [you] astray.
‘And as you teach your missionaries to focus their eyes on us, teach them to never follow those who think they know more about how to administer the affairs of the Church than’ … Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ do through the priesthood leaders who have the keys to preside.” (October 2014, my emphasis added)
This is one example of many one can find today of what I view as an anti-Christ, pro-Brethren message from church leaders.
I have had to ask myself the very difficult question of whether Nephi was warning the church or not when he said:
And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; (2 Nephi 28:5).
The answer has come to me by the Spirit and with incredible clarity, that the Book of Mormon is a warning to us, particularly the gentiles who form the Gentile Church and to its leaders. If we can’t apply its message to ourselves, we fulfill condemning prophecies leveled against us thousands of years ago up until Joseph Smith.
I love the church and I try my best to love its people. I have raised my family in this church. It has been a significant part of my life. I have served in the church more times and for more years than I can currently recall. I am currently active in the church. I do the best I can to encourage others to come unto Christ, and to turn people to the Book of Mormon for the greatest assistance in that effort.
I share the belief of Joseph and other prophets that if we do not literally come unto Christ in this life, we cannot be exalted with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I personally seek that audience with Him and humbly invite all others to do the same. I have deep concerns the church no longer teaches this doctrine. I will provide examples in later posts demonstrating this point.
My sincere hope in sharing some of my observations is twofold:
1) To thoughtfully provide my honest and candid feedback to the church; its leaders and its members in matters of policy, tradition, and practice. I hope this feedback is not simply dismissed as inappropriate or unnecessarily critical. I believe such feedback is crucial in maintaining doctrinal integrity in our church intended to be directed both by revelation and by common consent. I do not profess that all of my observations will be “true.” I look forward to your comments which I believe can help us all better come to a knowledge of the truth, both as members and as a church.
2) To share my faith of Jesus Christ and of the restoration of His gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith. In so doing I hope to share and discuss doctrine, scriptures, faith, ideas, and all sorts of interesting and uplifting gospel topics. I hope to challenge and be challenged as I believe it will help me to grow and gain greater knowledge and understanding. I also plan to challenge the teachings of “doctrine” in the church. I will not do so with the intent to attack anyone personally. When and if I do so or am perceived as doing so, I ask for your forgiveness in advance.
I look forward to our experiences together.
Thank you so much for having the courage to speak up. Growing numbers of faithful church members are feeling the same way.
Thanks Gordon! I think you are right about many people beginning to feel this way. I hope I can help shed light on the truth in a way that is helpful to the cause of Zion. Thanks for reading.
I have enjoyed reading your posts so far. I am currently serving as the 1st Counselor in the Bishopric in my ward. It’s nice to see that there are others out there that understand “all is not well in Zion”.
Thanks for reading Rico! And way to go on continuing your service. The church needs good people willing to patiently and lovingly try to share truth. Is there a topic you’d like to see addressed in the future?
Oh good! You’re not a Bishop anymore! It was probably inspired that you were released before the standard five years.
I am glad that Rock shared your thoughts on Facebook. I am hanging by a thread and the main reason is that some Mormons are so darn mean. I don’t fit in. Period. I am a Democrat living in Utah county. I don’t look forward to attending church. I am tired of the heavy handed authorities who feel they need to excommunicate. Enough already! It just makes the church look really stupid to the rest of the world. How would they like to be treated like they treat others
Thanks for your courage. I share your views and to some degree your experience. I was in multiple bishoprics , on the high council in multiple stakes and was blessed to serve as bishop for 8 years. Both my wife and I and both of my sons are RMs . I am now an aging scoutmaster ( for the 2nd time) and am also a temple worker. I know many with our set of experiences see the crisis that has come upon the church we love and have served all of our lives. Unfortunately the visions of Moroni in Mormon 8 , of Nephi in 2Nephi 28 and of the Savior in 3Nephi 16 are being fulfilled before us. Obviously now is the time to follow the Savior and not men. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for your very sincere comment. We are not from Utah, but have lived here many many years. We love “Utah” but we all struggle in Utah, my kids especially. We don’t have the right last name. Our families are converts mostly. We are outsiders. We actually find more in common with non-members or at least find them to be more genuine. We have had many sad and hurtful experiences. Some of which you would simply not believe if I told you.
I have abandoned my former excuse that “the church is true, but the people in it aren’t perfect.” I now say “The church is only as true as its people. The Gospel is perfect.” That’s why I’m so saddened. It’s comments from people like Josh, who by no fault of his own, does not know me, and yet assumes so much.
I spent more hours than I can count during those 4 plus years away from wife and children, often sitting in boring meetings that were “mandatory.” Other times I had the honor to be with those in hospitals or in prisons. A privilege indeed, but still time away from family. In court, supporting those charged with possession and robbery and assault or murder. At the hospital with the sick, dying, pregnant out of wedlock. Countless funerals. Countless confrontations. Countless weddings I performed or was invited to attend. Baptisms each month. Firesides. Stake meetings. Ward meetings. Bishopric meetings at 6am. Youth activities, camp-outs, conferences. Missionary applications. Letters of reference. Financial counseling. Baseball games. Football games. Wrestling matches. Basketball games. Tennis meets. Cheer leading activities. Seminary graduations. Regular graduations. Primary activities. Cooking. Cleaning. Ward parties. Tithing settlements. Donating from my own pockets to those the church said I could not give to. Countless calls in the early morning hours. Marriage counselor. Abuse therapist. And yes, counseling people who either called themselves gay or who preferred calling themselves SSA. All of it was a privilege.
But, I would be a liar if I said I did not see and experience things in the church leadership that have changed the way I view the church. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s the Lord’s church. I just don’t think He’s pleased with us. I don’t think we should be bragging anymore about who we’ve collectively become.
Nearly five years of giving my life to the church, neglecting my family as church service required, losing a child in the process, and Josh and many others in the church, say, “Hey don’t let the door hit you on the way out a-hole.”
Josh, your name from Hebrew means Jesus. That’s a very difficult name to live up to especially when you profess to also be one of His disciples. I admit I am flawed. I admit I am no one. I admit I am finding fault with the church. I see it as judging its fruits. I’m not trying to condemn any man. God have mercy on us all. But, I am on a quest for truth and I have come to the conclusion that generally speaking, the church brings people unto church and not unto Christ.
It’s this lack of Christianity and kindness, that the world sees in us that makes our message so hard to sell. We change logos and marketing techniques. We fire and rehire offensive coordinators, so to speak. We fire Mormon Tabernacle Choir directors and replace them with people we can trust, who are Church Broke as they call it. As a leader I was asked to set up a Facebook page and to immediately go to President Monson’s page and “Like It.” Maybe we should be more concerned with loving each other than “superficially “liking” each other.
This church and the Joshes in it, leave people like me and my family and others who perhaps don’t fit into your perfect, cookie cutter, proud Nauvoo mold, wondering “Are Mormons Really Christian?”
Missy, God bless you. I hope that while we are all trying to find Christ, we can become more like Him in the way we treat others, despite our disagreements on the direction of the church.
Thanks again Missy,
Thank you boo. The Book of Mormon is truly the keystone to our religion. We are indeed still under condemnation because we have not read and understood its message. “They have seen us.” And they warn us to repent or be trodden down. I feel the desire to repent and come unto Him. I feel badly at times, I do not wish to bring about contention. I was once a Saul, who sought to defend, even unto blows, my church–my institution, my tradition, our heritage. But until we see that all is not well in our little Zion, I think it is hard for us to truly change, myself especially. Thanks for your view point and words of support.
I wanted to say that what you have written is impressive. I have been trying to find the truth of the LDS empire. I have been a member for little over 20 years not a very active member in some peoples eyes would say jack Mormon. There is a reason for it I went to Iraq in 2003 and was injured there. After the army had no use for me I later discharged. When me and my family returned to Mesa were I met a Bishop and his first words to me was as follows are you the man that went to Iraq? I said yes. Then he said to me so your just a baby killer and theirs no place for you here I have to protect my brothers and sisters from evil filth from dirty warmongers like you. I wanted to rip his head off and stuff it some where at this point I couldn’t go on with this trash I wore damnation and still till this day and I be saying that I’m not afraid to burn hell. I did what I was told I followed my orders I did what this nation asked of me and to be told by some 2 bit sawed off monkey bishop of this church I’m a evil filthy warmonger and I’m going to hell well I hope I see him there. The church betrays its members telling to give your all to the church for what losing time with your family. If we are such a great family people why they people like yourself giving ur all to the church and fill your weekends and week days for such a shotty cause. I respect what you have done no question there. But I feel trapped my wife family is so brainwashed about the church it sickens me I love my wife and children I will do what I can on this earth,for them and that means staying inactive and avoid church members so be it cuz if I say something to the effect that the lds church is bogus even to her family they will find her the best divorce attorney so they can destroy me. For example the other day my mother in law ask when I was going to get my temple recommend I told probably not for awhile but in my mind I was saying never. I haven’t set foot in the temple since 2002 and not planning on it either.But I can’t put on this act forever. My wife even has doubts about the church but I tell her maybe she should look more deeply. I think alot reasons she won’t cuz of my mother in law. Well that’s a little bit about me I do have some questions for you and I would like to email,them to you. Thanks again sir for what you do and may god bless you.
I spent a mesmerizing evening with my Brooklyn, NY Lubavitcher friends (Chabad is a unique sect of orthodox Jews headquartered at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn) over the past 24 hours. They have families which rival and top ours for sure. In many ways, seeing and talking to my friends here parallels roughly the experience of Zion Utah with our headquarters but they are not nearly so organized and group-compliant. Tradition and necessity, however, have codified everything they do and most of it is impressive indeed. The fruits of Chabad are evident by simply looking into the faces of the happy women and children which pour out of tenements like our recent greatest generation raised us in small houses (2-3 bedrooms with 8 kids) in post war subdivisions. The Hasidim sometimes have 12, 13, 14, 15 kids in a 3 bedroom apt. My apartment has 16 units with 10 strollers at the stair bottom with 4 of them sporting a double seat. On Friday we prepare for Sabbath. Period. End of argument. Why? Sundown is coming! The siren rings over the community 10 minutes beforehand and everyone knows their place. Silence. Reverence. Wash your hands. Stay silent. Light the candles. Wait for papa to wash his hands and break the bread! Children smiling up at papa. Fidgeting. Papa smiles back. Children and mother holding hands. Papa gives a blessing and sometimes sings to his wife. Wife and children follow with their hymn to God. Each Friday is the same. Each of the 7 other sacred “mandatory” holidays is started with the same family ceremony.
If only we could do that. Wouldn’t it be awesome to change our day of worship to the biblical 7th day? Why have we followed the mainstream christian tradition anyway? OK…if we can’t do that can we start our Sunday Sabbath worship at sundown on Saturday and end it 24 hours later without raising suspicion from fellow ward members? Can we invite other families to join us without hearing someone quote the Church Handbook of Instruction regarding study groups? Who besides the pope said Easter is the right way to commemorate the Passover? What about Feast of Tabernacles? What about Yom Kippur? What about Rosh Hashanah? When did God release us for the festivals He set up? A young boy from Israel asked me, “do you think we are crazy?” I said, “No. I wish we had your traditions!”
My “thing” has always been about the 7th Dispensation and I can’t stop thinking about it. Gradually…, slowly…, we have dispensed with the unique messages of Mormonism to adopt our mainstream image which means talking about “when I walk back to Jackson County” mostly something of the past. In my last interview with Church Patriarch Eldred G Smith we reminisced about the old ways of thinking in our Ephraim-centered culture. When I speak with Jews I know not to provoke them with the name “Jesus Christ,” so I always refer only to my hope for Messiah of the House of David. However, as great as my gifted Jewish friends are, they are not likely to help save, by inclusion, all the remnant of mankind unless a big change comes their way. On the other hand, aren’t we supposed to be part of that crew (the crew that lovingly somehow relates to all of God’s scattered House of Israel)? The Lord is moving and changing us right before our eyes and I can only hope we will cast off our foolish traditions and put on a new garment which is based more on God’s truth.
We will change or God will sweep us out of His way. Good luck on this blog…I will be reading.
salemManofTheCloth: Thanks for taking the time to share such interesting thoughts. I think your thoughts on the Telestial Kingdom are very good. The Mormon God is only slightly more merciful if we believe that a child raised to become a jihadist in this life, has an “equal” chance to accept Christ in the afterlife. Good luck with that if you believe Alma’s sermon on the law of restoration. I do find it interesting that Corianton is so worried about the “resurrection” WHILE his father is warning him that he may have committed an unpardonable sin. I think resurrection means more than we think. I also find it curious that the Jews of Jesus’ day remarked the following regarding Him:
Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets (Matthew 16:14).
Why would they say such a thing if they did not believe such a thing was possible, at least according to their beliefs.
I also want to just comment on your other wonderfully vivid comments on The Holy City. I once had a chance to go to Jerusalem and attend the Wailing Wall during a time of celebration. Only men were in attendance. I was in awe as I watched hundreds of men, socialize lovingly (fraternize is a better word), all looking diverse enough, i.e. not all wearing white shirts and a suit and tie. Some were looking more Orthodox in dress, while others were a little more casual. BUT the spirit of that event marked me! I have NEVER felt so much light, unity, and love amongst men at any type of similar gathering in my own church, although I certainly love my Mormon brothers and sisters. Now, I’m not saying they necessarily “know” more than the LDS or other Christians about the the “gospel”. But, I am saying that I felt a depth and capacity in their demeanor and in their expressions that overwhelmed me. I strongly believe that when God moves His Hand to fulfill His Covenant with Israel, it will stun the Gentile “Christian” nations! And perhaps no one will be more surprised than the LDS church.
Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? (Isaiah 29:16)
I also think about this warning to us from inspired seers who saw our church.
But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
Do we remember? Or do we also look down upon them and see them as lost?
Regarding Denver Snuffer, I have taken great care to read most things he’s written. I simply have not been able to set aside his message. It resonates with me. It is doctrinally sound. I think he’s the real deal.
Again, thanks for your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you again.
I sincerely want to thank you for your comments. Your painful experiences sadly mirror those of many in the church. I don’t have many answers for why we experience what we do. Except that it seems to me that Christ is the greatest example of one who did not feel accepted in the church. The Church He founded by the way. How ironic. He turned His face to the smiters. To the mockers. To the hypocrites who strained at gnats and swallowed camels. And HE SUFFERED IT. “For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (2 Nephi 7:7)”
I’ve tried to start a fire with flint. Generally I have to SMITE the flint with a stone hundreds of times, quickly, forcefully. Christ turned his face to those whose hearts are stone, who smote Him, who smite Him still. And yet, because He saw us when He bled in the garden and hung on the cross, It pleased Him to be bruised for us. Robert, my brother, God loves you. The church is full of idiots. Pay them no heed. Ironically they need you more than you need them. The Gospel of Jesus Christ heals. God bless you my friend.
Feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop Al (because Al goes with Anon 🙂 )
Two more comments please:
1) The Jews do believe in multiple gilgul sorrows. A gilgul sorrow (or gilgul tzar) is one lifetime in this world. They say they are part of a system of souls that can be great or small (sounds like Abraham 3). The great ones are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses etc. The small are smaller. Women remain women and men remain men. The small soul can be a split (or division) of one of the great souls (sounds like the law of adoption). Of this local sect of orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, it is widely believed they were present for the covenant at Mount Sinai and they are here now on earth to do a job. Messiah is coming! Be ready. Prepare each day. Each soul has a job and when the task is complete, God can call him home. In other words, they reap what they sowed from a previous life. To me this is far more rational than our halfway between pre-existence plus heaven vs hell linear path. You can’t tell me attaining anything other than the Celestial Kingdom is anything but Hell. Joseph gave us the possibility of understanding the true nature of our spirits, but we will not discuss it. According to our traditions it is simply not possible to live more than once between Adam and now. Why? Well…we don’t know why, but we know truth when we hear it! There was an interesting Sunstone talk by a Dr Beckstead from Idaho Falls who said Eliza R Snow Smith (why did we remove her married name) remembered a discussion about plural lives from her husband. He called them Plural Mortal Expiations (an expiation is an atonement). When I tell Jews about Joseph’s term “expiation” they readily “get it” because they call atonements tzars (or sorrows) because each time on earth they are separated from God and have no guarantee of being restored to him. It’s a risky business to be here. We (LDS) do genealogy with the idea of diligently restoring family lines, but there’s a huge unmistakable problem. There’s NOT enough time to complete the task before Millennium and records only exist (99% true) from this current late dispensation (especially if one reckons the sixth dispensation back to about 1400 or so with the reformation). Eliza also said Joseph thought we progress with one life per dispensation which makes absolute sense to me because neither we without them nor they without us are made perfect. In other words we perfect ourselves and we perfect one another by standing on the backs of our own sowings while relying upon each other. It’s a mind-opening thought to be sure. Joseph died prematurely and could not explain why we do temple work, but vacuums are always filled. Unfortunately we filled the vacuum without any debate. Think what we could have done with the likes of Denver Snuffer, Bishop Anon, Orson F Whitney, Joseph F Smith, Bruce R. McConkie and Mark E Petersen all in a giant transparent debate. The people could turn to God for help in understanding the huge mysteries and have things settled by a prophet speaking to God and with common consent. Right?…Dream on.
2) What I am learning about Jews is their total commitment to purity and separation. Having a gentile among them (that’s me) is not a good thing in most minds. Why? Because I subtly challenge their ideas by asking questions. And..they challenge me too, but I mostly welcome their challenges. Remember Tevya? I am challenged because I don’t live the Law of Moses. Why don’t I know the law better? I’m not sure, but am sure all I need to know is taught to me in General Conference. I digressed. Jews also do not trust one another which is why they dress in such different costumes for more separation and exclusivity of community. That’s one thing our Department of Correlation has done to keep us unified. Think of every stake with a different hat for conference. Some Jews will wear their hair in locks. Some will wear a giant beaver skin hat. Some will have beards. Some will have a wide brimmed black felt hat. Women will wear scarves. Some women will wear wigs instead of scarves. Children are just happy to be Jews. Why do I bring this up? Because something drastic must come to bear in order to bring Jew and Gentile back together. We are of the lost tribe of Ephraim which means we are lost, but we are of the House of Israel. Jews don’t like us to be a part of the their House. The prodigal son comes to mind. We obviously haven’t kept our covenants like they have done which means we don’t have the rich history of cohesive union which bears great fruits. They have the fruits despite not knowing “the truth.”
The Lord is preparing us to be part of the reunion and we must be ready with open minds.
Thanks for your heartfelt reply to my post. It does not feel good to not fit in. It does not feel good to have members tell you what you should be doing. The church today is not the same church that I grow up in the the 1950’s and 60’s. It seems as though the tea party and Glenn Beck have taken over the church. You are not a good Mormon unless you hate President Obama. People I know in Nevada hate Henry Reid. They are temple workers, and brag that no one wants to be in the temple the day when Brother Reid is there. How sick! The church is now the church of the “righteous right”. Judging others is common place. The church runs the Utah Legislature, who bows down to whatever they want. There is no separation of church and state in Utah. When the church got involved in California’s Prop 8, that was the end for me. I have gay family. This was heartbreaking! Stay out of Politics! No wonder we are a hated religion, by some. I have not support system in my ward, and a handful of friends. I know I am suppose to attend church because of the Love for the Lord, but when people act the way the do, I just do not want to be there. The direction the church is going in worries me. I wish it was the same as when I was younger……..I don’t plan on seeing the movie “Meet the Mormons”. It will be sanitized and a fantasy.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Praise God that He has awakened you to these truths, and has given you the inspired desire to share them. I pray that others will come to understand these things and will come to know the Lord in this life!
Thank you Jules!
Thank you for sharing your deeply personal thoughts, concerns and feelings on this blog. I consider any such attempt to be a sacred space, which makes comments like Josh’s all the more sad. Unfortunately the whole rhetoric of infallible leaders leads to people like Josh feeling justified in degrading such a sacred space. I’m not perfect by any means either, most times I feel like the least of men and the words of 2 Nephi 4 resonate deeply within me, but shame on you Josh for being so unkind and so insensitive. I am saddened that people can reach such levels of self-righteousness. But I digress.
As a European member in his early thirties and notwithstanding the many positive aspects of the Church, I have struggled for some years now with what appears to me to be a very American, capitalistic, business-like-run, Republican-loving corporation. I do not use these terms in a derogatory sense, just to highlight biases that are obvious to someone from another culture, but to which most Utah-born and raised members are completely oblivious. The Church I have come to know through personal research bears little resemblance with what I thought it was, what the Church itself told me it was and what scholars have discovered about early Christianity. It seems prone to forget (or at least put on the back burner) core elements of the Gospel (I’m looking at you, much-needed-and-not-nearly-spoken-enough-of 4th mission of the Church).
I have had the opportunity to serve in branch presidencies (as is currently the case) and at the stake level (executive secretary), which has allowed me to witness a lot of the behind the scenes action that you have witnessed as well, albeit without quite the same level of sacrifice you’ve had to make. When I consider how many times on my mission I have sung the praises of the Church (by their fruits ye shall know them), I feel a sense of shame because I have since witnessed that we, as a people, are absolutely no better than any other. We’re just like everyone else. We have some of the finest and some of the worst people on this planet. A realization that in a sense is as challenging as it is liberating.
My own personal journey through study, faith and reflection has led me to this strange position where I almost feel like an outcast within my own community. I am saddened that current priesthood leadership values and promotes loyalty (i.e. blind obedience) above other Christ-like attributes. If you’re not convinced of the dangers of such policy, watch the 2008 German movie Die Welle (The Wave): people who get really excited about such a program are not the ones you want to have in leadership positions. And at the same time it excludes some of the best elements of a society. Recent events unfortunately demonstrate that the current trend is toward more repression and less expression.
The fact that we are unable to voice opinions different from that of our leaders without fearing retaliation in the form of church discipline, coupled with the Church’s more than opaque financial practices are particularly concerning to me too. So, I share your concerns, and, as someone who still cares about the Church, I understand the need for anonymity. I am looking forward to reading more from you…
Thank you for your very kind words. Your comments are so eloquently and humbly stated. I can feel in your words a love for this church and for the people in it. I hope I can share my concerns and thoughts as well as you have.
God bless you my friend and thank you again.
You referred to the religion that this anonymous Bishop affiliates with as “Your Cult”, as if you weren’t a member of the same organization. THEN you said you were relieved he wasn’t YOUR Bishop. Now you speak as if you know that Bishops actively serve for 5 years.
Take a stand, Josh. Are you affiliated with the same religion as Bishop Anon?
I recently read a report where the women of the LDS Church are expected to fit into a particular mold, much like a narrow shoe. Not all women have the same width of foot, but should wear the LDS shoes regardless. I have found that my “foot” is just not fitting into the LDS woman’s shoe. I don’t fit in, either. I’m liberal, divorced and outspoken. I’m hanging by half a thread, so I understand.
I have enjoyed your blog. I left the church last year after being a faithful member for 12 years. In my experience I see basically 3 stages of transition out of the church. The first stage is realizing there are some serious issues with the current corporate church. Stage two is fully embracing that the current Mormon Church is in a state of apostasy, but still wanting to hang on to the book of mormon and Joseph Smith being a prophet. People differ on the amount of time they stay in stage two. Most people in stage two hang on to guy’s like Denver Snuffer for hope. Stage three can go two directions. The majority of people leaving stage two will throw away religion all together and become agnostic or atheist. A small few like myself will put time and effort into researching the Bible and embrace Biblical Christianity. I was in stage two only for a short while. I felt prompted to study both the textual support for the Bible and the doctrine it teaches. Once I was through reading the New Testament I realized that I could no longer hold to Joseph Smith being a prophet. I have spent the last year researching Church History and studying the bible. Not a day goes by that I don’t at least look at one or the other. It didn’t take long to see that almost all of the doctrine that the LDS church holds too today was non existent in the beginning. You can clearly see the evolution of doctrine throughout history and the waves it made in the congregation. I have created a document that I would like you to look at. This document does not even scratch the surface of the issues with the church. It does however briefly discuss some doctrinal issues that I feel are show stoppers for anyone who wants to hold to the teachings of the LDS church. Take a look at it and let me know what you think. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16251145/AbrieflookatsometroublingissueswithMormonism.pdf
You misread my post on being a colt member, not a cult member. Please go back and read it. I’m active, believing,etc.
I find it so sad that you feel the most productive way to express your concerns are anonymous blog enteries that all seem pointed at fault finding those mortal, imperfect men who are doing the best they can to do what the Lord would have them do, and lead the church. After all your selfless service and sacrifice I am surprised you do not have more empathy, but instead dishonestly represent yourself so you can continue to serve in the church.
I am perplexed by your perspective. You appear to serve in the Church (therefore believe to some degree that it is true), yet it would seem by saying, “But I also recognize by their words and their deeds that they do not have a message from Heaven,” that the Church is not being lead of God. If I have mis-characterized or oversimplified your words please explain, but if it is not lead by God, why do you continue to be a part of it? or maybe the better questions is, is there something that can be done to change the Church?
Great question Tommy. I think I stay because I love the restoration and I believe there are many good people in the church. I also believe that with all its warts, it is still the Lord’s church. I hope that speaking up, even though anonymously for now, will help others realize that disagreement and concern do not equal apostasy. The church is expanding the Mormon tent to include nearly every walk of life, except those who think differently about the history of the church and who may disagree with its direction (see Denver Snuffer and countless other faithful members).
salemManofTheCloth: great thoughts here. Do you happen to have a citation for the Eliza R. Snow Smith quote? Thanks!
You aren’t alone in your thoughts. There are more of us out here than you may realize.
I posted your last post and this is what happened-
Nick Boyer –
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Very good points
No Poor Among “Them”
Is the church building Zion? The purpose for establishing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was to build the Kingdom of God on Earth and establish latter day Zion. Faithful members, …
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Brian Bowles, Dallin Forrest, Matt Tater Hodson and 2 others like this.
Tom Partridge So many words, so many partial truths. I wonder who elected this man judge. “There but for the grace of God goes god.”
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Nick Boyer Judge maybe. Faithful observant definitely. If there be errors then how can you judge him based on missing information?
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Nelsy Delgado Woodbury Blah, blah, blah
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Tom Partridge Hardly an accurate observer. As an outsider he judges how the Church spends it’s money. The out party can (and usually does) say any irresponsible thing it wants. By way, my name is associated with my post. What’s his name?
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Nick Boyer I’m sure he’d love to see where he is being inaccurate and irresponsible in his views. As would I. As far as knowing his identity I’m guessing he feels more free to express his feelings about the Church without fear of expulsion.
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Michelle Partridge Boyer Dad, I think the real reason why Nick posted this is because he may be having some of the same concerns as the author. Perhaps instead of criticizing the author for being ignorant, You might resolve some of the concerns that are addressed?
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Marc Laliberte I’ve had some similar thoughts on similar topics relative to the corporate management mentality that increasingly seems to pervade the decisions, policies, and actions within the church. There is a separation between what currently exists within the or…See More
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Nick Boyer At what point are you choosing loyalty over your own morality? Is what I see in this blog. A working bishop with values and questions about hypocrisy. I don’t doubt there to be inaccuracies in any view but i see an honesty of seeing disparity in practice and teachings which can be extremely disheartening. Examples include Jesus and Martin Luther
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Tom Partridge I seriously question whether he is a bishop. If he were, to follow his conscience he should ask to be released. Can there be bigger hypocracy than living with one’s feet on different sides of the fence? On Facebook no less? No, I cannot believe him. He sounds like a snake trying to pass himself off as a sheep. There are other venues for this.
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Tom Partridge As far as disparities, once again, Im going to call foul. I’m also going to point out that the man shows considerable ignorance of Church budgeting practices and policies. I say, manipulative, self-agrandizing fraud. There are ways to question things. Anonymous Facebook posts is not one of them. If the man would like to send me his name via messenger, I promise that if he really is a bishop (which again, I doubt) to ease his pain.
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Michelle Partridge Boyer I get that the guy is a coward. What about the content? Could you specifically address where he is wrong for Nick?
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Tom Partridge I do not discuss issues of a sensitive or important nature on Facebook. I have previously invited Nick to talk with me personally about this sort of thing whenever he wants. That invitation still stands –
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How would you answer this? Would you be able to contact Tom?
Interesting responses, Nick. Is Tom Partridge a church leader?
He’s a sociologist for the church as a job.
I respect his feelings and certainly understand his viewpoint. It’s always hard to share these types of concerns with people in the church. It’s often viewed as “angry” or apostate or quickly dismissed as preposterous. I have no anger towards the brethren or the church or towards your friend Tom. I simply share my point of view which is obviously different than their own. I think the many comments that agree with some of my concerns represent a groundswell of discontent with some of the church’s financial decisions. Yet, people are often afraid to say anything. As Tom suggests, it’s as easy as a phone call “to a friend” to make sure someone with different ideas is released and excommunicated. If that’s what Tom was indeed referring to, I am very saddened by that tactic. Thank you Nick for sharing my post and for your thoughts. God’s speed.
Would you want to see where he is in disagreement of your assessment of the budgeting? I would be able to get you in contact with him.
Not that I think your blog is inaccurate but if it is, it would be good to know. I might ask him myself to enlighten me on the subject.
I’m more curious if you could somehow prove your Bishop status and if your numbers are right. When would you be able to reveal that info?
Thank you so much! I am a convert of just 4 years. I studied many religions and yet chose this church. I chose the doctrine, not the men. I knew nothing of the men. I only knew the truth of what I read in the BOM. After my conversion I moved to Utah where I hoped to be surrounded by examples of Christ’s love of of the doctrine I so love in action. That is not what I found. What I found was a community who had forgotten all the most important doctrines of the BOM that made this church truely the Restoration. What I found were simple people with little to no perspective judging the world they know nothing about and feeding each other a brand of group think so reminiscent to Nazi Germany that I have found myself weeping for the future of this people more than once. My husband and I struggle to go to church now where we once loved it. We feel we are nolonger learning anything as only the most superficial of topics are taught. I know the Lord brought us here for some reason though I can’t imagine what it is. I miss my wards outside of Utah and the challenging doctrine and magnificent and intelligent thinking people there. I miss the spirit that was always present. Knowing there are leaders out there like u who see what’s happening, who see the church abandoning it’s truths to fit in with the apostasy itself, mainstream evangelical literalist christianity, gives me hope. I hope u are able to find others like you and that you can stand together to bring the church back home.
Missy and Paige, I am a liberal convert near Salt Lake. I am also an outspoken feminist. Several Mormon Feminist women in the area and myself have found each other online and formed a book club and a meet up for women like us. We want to remain in the church but their are days it is hard and we need each other those days. If either of you feel that joining us would help u please let me know and I’ll get u invites to the group. There is also Active MoFems Unite, a group on Facebook as well as Gender & the Gospel. Both have been a help to me.
I read your introduction and your posts but I don’t buy it. You have obviously done a lot of research, but you don’t believe in the organization at all. Not one word of it. So I call you out as misrepresenting your identity, using a clever ‘anon’ line to hide the truth. If you have faith in your ministry, why not represent it and set aside the lies? Why attack an organization you clearly don’t support and never have?
If I was going to teach you math, I’d spend the time teaching correctly how to do math. I wouldn’t waste months on post after post deriding a method of math that I felt was not correct. Stand up for your real faith and set aside the subterfuge. You are better than this nonsense. Is your faith in your own ministry really that lacking that it can’t stand for itself? Or do you use your real identity on a different blog where you are more honest?
Thank you Elle. I’m starting to see there are many who feel as we do. I’m so grateful for the Book of Mormon which, as I read it, is the Ghost of Christmas future for the Gentile church that we know and love. It is our warning that all is not well. Thank you for your example and your words.
Do you mind if I email you directly to discuss further? I’d love to visit with him.
This blog gives me hope.
For the those who feel as you do it might be time to leave the church and leave it alone. So many millions more do not share your “concern”, But there are many whose testimonies or faith are not strong enough to tolerate what you say. You are encouraging people to question the inspired church leadership which is the first step to apostasy. I trust God to not allow our leaders to lead us astray. It’s scary that you are using your title as Bishop to lend authority to what you say.
You write of “so many millions more do not share your concern”. I would say you have your numbers reversed.
Of the 15 million members on the rolls of the Church, 10 million are inactive. That would suggest to me there are probably two million of us who share the bishop’s concerns for every one million who do not.
Unfortunately, we live in a day when those in authority, as in the ancient Jewish Church, persecute those who speak the truth, whose testimonies of Christ supercede loyalty to the earthly leaders. It is sometimes wisdom to speak behind a veil for a time. The bishop will identify himself in the Lord’s own time.
I can give you a list of devoted latter-day Saints who have been excommunicated and otherwise disciplined for putting Christ and his gospel first, and that number has grown exponentially since this article in the New York Times which shows how Bishop Kloosterman was piled on for speaking the truth. For now, our bishop friend can do more good reporting from the inside.
I just found your blog today and so far I have to say that I’m quite impressed. Everything I’ve read so far perfectly blends with what I believe/see. You see, I’m currently serving as a bishop in a big ward somewhere on the globe and I share the same thoughts as you do. Thank you for openly sharing your thoughts. It gives me hope as a bishop to see that the Lord is indeed pouring out his spirits in other ways to reach out his children. Thank you.
Thanks for your comment Bishop. I look forward to your thoughts and perspective!
Bishop Anon, as it seems you are being called on here. I find your posts interesting, but logically fallacious if you are trying to approach things from a “the church is true but the leadership have gone astray” aproach. You obviously feel very strongly about what you are doing but I have a few questions for you. If the men who the church sustains as prophets seers and revelators have gone astray why have you been given that message to share? The are over 20,000 Bishop’s currently in the church right now, not to mention tens of thousands who are still alive who have been released like yourself. Why you and why should I or anyone for that matter listen to you? Perhaps you will give the canned response, I’m not setting myself up (not true simply by virtue of your blog and statements you have made), or that people shouldn’t take your word for it, you are just stating your concerns, you love the brethren, you just are trying to help them, etc etc. Those who agree with you will cheer you on, and those who know better will recognize your true intent and deceit. You state very plainly that the brethren are leading the church away from Christ and to themselves. Why? Why would they do that? For gain? For money? Maybe, could be true, they do make money off their books etc. That’s a lot of deceit for a little bit of money off of a few (and yes, the LDS book market is a very small market comparitively) book sales. So let’s say we keep with your assertion the church is true but the brethren are wrong and you just have to set them right. What now? Let’s hypothesize that they listen to you, realize the error of their ways and repent. Obviously since you are the one receiving the message from God that you need to correct things you will have the responsibility to make sure they do this correctly. And when they do follow your inspired council, what now? The church just moves forward? Thank you for saving us? What if they don’t listen to you? The church has gone astray and the leaders refuse to bring it back. What do you do then? Set up your own true church? How do you do that when the priesthood authority resides in this church? Or is the priesthood authority not necessary? Maybe it was just some good ideas but everyone act within the realm of what you feel God inspires you to do. After all that is the reality of what you are doing right? But what if I say I have studied the Book of Mormon and the spirit let’s me know with absolute certainty that the leaders of this church are still inspired men of God, that are not leading the church astray but doing exactly what they are supposed to do as prophet seers and revelators? Which one of us is right? What if I said I am a Bishop? Does that validate my claim? (It would in fact be the very essence of unrighteous dominion to use a priesthood title to give the appearance of validating my claim but that is a whole other discussion) Maybe I just don’t know enough yet. And you feel driven to help poor blind people like me to see just how wrong I am. What is the true end result of what you are trying to do? You know in your heart that in either scenario you will not be listened to by the brethren. If they have indeed gone astray they have fallen, lost the spirit and their authority and can only intend to stay where they are for their own power greed and prestige, Satan would Have too strong a hold on their hearts. They will not abdicate their power. If however they have not gone astray they also will not listen to you, because you fit the very definition of an apostate, claiming that you have now received direction for the church from God. This is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn. I think you know this, which is why I think your intent is not to warn the brethren from the error of their ways but to try to bring as many as possible around to your viewpoint. Again, another aspect of apostasy. And trying to set yourself up as the guide, as the voice of warning, which is again, another aspect of apostasy. So in reality, whether you are right or not will not matter because in the end, in the eyes of the church you will be wrong. So what is your true intent? Will you be honest about it? Maybe I am judging to harshly, but we are required to judge and discern good from evil, truth from error, but all I have are your own words and your own words offer no other conclusion from my perspective. But I do urge you brother, with all sincerity and love possible to reconsider, before continuing down this path you are on, the brethren are not I infallible, they do not claim to be, but as a group, they lead this church the way our Lord and Savior would haVe them run it. As I said earlier, you are being deceitful, those who agree with you will hold you up as another example to reinforce their own apostasy, those who know better will recognize your ideas for what they are.
I will only try to address a few of your comments. First, I don’t believe “the church is true but the leadership have gone astray.” I believe the church is the Lord’s but that it is no longer true. At the time of Joseph, when the church was “living” – I believe it was then true. But, for the church to be alive, it must have a prophet who speaks with God face to face, and who is led by angels and Christ himself. By the church’s own admission (or lack thereof), we are sadly no longer there.
I believe the brethren have inherited and in some cases contributed to the church’s demise. I believe the brethren are well-intended but are too close and too conflicted to ever see what the church has become.
I have personally made a solemn covenant with Christ to stand as a witness of Him in all places and at all times. I’m certainly not perfect in my covenant, but I don’t believe that I’m NOT suppose to seek and speak truth when it’s ironic and uncomfortable. I share my observations that have come from decades of service in the church accompanied with an in depth personal study of the scriptures and a personal relationship with the Holy Ghost. As you suggest, you are not bound to agree with me nor do I desire to compel you.
I disagree with your accusation that I’m being deceitful. I’m being as honest as I know how to be, short of revealing my identity to most readers. I do not seek to deceive anyone. On the contrary, I’m asking for more transparency. I’m not alone. There are thousands of members who expect more from those leading the church. More honesty, more transparency, less nepotism, less corruption, less false doctrine. If the restoration is to be salvaged, we must repent as a church. It’s every member’s duty to do so. No one ought to be immune or above this basic doctrine. As you suggest, no one is infallible.
The message is come unto Christ, not come unto church or come unto men. The Lord has given us a book that condemns us. It is a warning to repent or be lost. We have been warned we are under condemnation for not taking that book seriously. My only desire is to come unto Christ and to share that fruit with others who may listen. That’s my true intent. Just because we disagree doesn’t make you or me bad. But, you’re right – truth matters. I have spent much of my life in the church unwilling to consider things out of loyalty to a group of men. I have met many of those men. I respect them. But, I will not let a loyalty for anyone stand in the way of me and the Savior. No longer.
Thanks for your comment. God bless you in your journey.
I find this one of the more compelling arguments for the failure of leadership at apostolic level of the church. The deceit Ryan worries about is the fact that the leadership will not offer a direct “God says” like Joseph did. Instead leadership implies divine imperatives, never attributing doctrine or dogma to the Lord himself. God, in the traditional LDS Church, is DEAD. He speaks not, doctrines readily change and the Word Of God (Book of Mormon) is altered and changed to be palatable to mass society.
I personally fully believe that the COJCOLDS will accept homosexual unions sometime in the foreseeable future. Once the KKK feels bold enough to step from the shadows and agree with your position you know you’re in a place where “Just like the KKK…” can actively be used as club to beat you down. Once the church was labeled as “Racist” scripture and dogma changed to throw that yoke off. Same will happen with Homosexuality.
The Church isn’t driven by the Lord. Who speaks for the Lord? Church PR Who is on the leading edge of same sex marriage opposition? Church PR. Who explains what the deal on excommunication is? Church PR. How does the Lord feel about x or y? Ask Church PR. The apostles and prophets are silent and, when they do speak, it is in a manner that could mean anything to anyone. They are as careful as the chair of Intel in the words they say.
Ryan, please prove us wrong. Where does anyone at that top say the words, “Thus saith the Lord” and reveal anything?
Institutional churches are not the body of Christ anyway. Just walk away from them and stop supporting them…all of them. The kingdom of Jesus, the kingdom of Zion has nothing to do with traditional Judaism nor Christianity. It is and always has been about the very person of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Anon is just another Denver Snuffer follower. Cowardly so he must remain anonymous.
Does that negate the concerns he has? Heck, if he were a Phillies fan that would be one thing…but his worries about the direction and tone of the CHURCH are still valid.
That’s what’s called a chickenshit argument, Angel Lopez. You didn’t address the bishop’s arguments. All you did was call him names. That’s a cowardly act in my book.
Brent Crash Allen is correct. The bishop’s concerns about the tone and direction the Church is taking are held today by many thousands of devout members who also feel the Church is slipping from its moor. Why not address the bishop’s very valid concerns, and refute them if you are able, instead of acting the coward by engaging in useless ad hominem attacks that fail to advance the dialogue?
Maybe Anonymous Bishop is Denver Snuffer.
At least Rock is man enough to put his name. I can appreciate that. What about Anon Bishop? How do we even really know he is a man or even was a Bishop?
It doesn’t matter who said it, what matters is what is being said.
I know this bishop personally; we have become close friends, and I can attest that he was indeed a bishop until quite recently. I’m also acquainted with four other bishops who share his concerns.
Again, if this blog were about his experiences as a bishop, we might want confirmation that he did indeed hold that office. But he is writing of his concerns of the direction the Church has been taking over these past few years. The fact that he has witnessed some of these problems as one holding a position thought of as authoritative in the church only tells us that even those in office are seeing the problems, not just the rank and file.
It’s more disconcerting to one who has been in a high calling such as bishop, and that is why his concerns reverberate.
But it is not ONLY because he was a bishop that he sees the problems. Thousands of others are alarmed by the same things he has witnessed.
You need only read the reactions of good members to his tithing piece to see that many others are resisting the status quo and choosing to follow Christ rather than remain obedient to the tenets of men.
He could be a agent of the church looking to draw out those with weak or faltering testimonies.
Either way he’s still correct.
The true church of Jesus Christ restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith has always had issues and problems; especially in the time of Joseph. It is administered here on earth by mortal men with weaknesses (Mormon 8:17; 1 Nephi 9:6).
We can nit pick, fault find, and blow out of proportion those problems (no matter how well intentioned) or have gratitude for the Lord for all his goodness and his church in the latter days; we have our agency.
How are you different from those in Kirtland in 1837 who waited until the Prophet Joseph Smith left town and then commenced back biting, murmuring, and/or claiming he was a fallen prophet and had departed from the true faith?
Interesting Brent, so saying the words “thus sayeth the Lord” are necessary in order for a prophet to be a prophet? What scripture states that requirement? I can think of many statements of prophets in the scriptures that do not contain the verbiage “thus sayeth the Lord” and it does not make those statements any less prophetic. I personally hear the Lord speak everytime I listen to conference. Why don’t you? Maybe because your missing the point and as a result have become blind. Every conference the overwhelming theme, every time, is following g the Savior, without fail. Testimony of him is given in nearly every talk. How is that a church leadership that has gone astray? Because of a movie? Because the church is too focused on PR? You have missed the point if those are the issues you and other on here including Bishop Anon are having. There were many in the early days of the church who felt like Joseph was a fallen prophet, he failed at business, a store, a bank, acrued significant debt and asked members of the church to help pay it. Those who held on to those things and used them as a reason as to why he was no longer a prophet missed the point. So the church today is very good at business, it is a multi billion corporation, tables have turned and now the leaders of the church are no longer inspired? Because they made a movie? It was a PR movie, so what? Why is that a bad thing? If we do not as a church make an effort to inform and educate about our church and it’s members then who will? Those who are against the church will. Why is PR bad? Have you even really thought about that? You miss the point. The point is Jesus Christ. The point is that part of following the Savior requires baptism. The Bible and Book of Mormon are very clear about that. The baptism must be performed by somebody holding proper authority. Right now that authority resides in the LDS church, the authority to bind on earth and bind in Heaven. So if the leaders of the church have gone astray the authority of the church has been lost. If the leaders of the church are truly as Bishop Anon has described they are all guilty of unrighteous dominion and amen to their preisthood. Which means that every one they pretend to then pass authority onto from Seventy all the way down to Bishops, that authority no longer exists as well. So where is that authority now Bishop Anon? With you? If you talk about truly following Christ, and you talk about how the Book of Mormon is not being used as it should, them you have to talk about the necessary nature of baptism, and since baptism requires proper authority what is you resolution to the paradox your rhetoric has now created? Are you say “thus sayeth the Lord” now Bishop Anon? If not you then who is? Where is the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands to fill the whole earth? If it is no longer the LDS church the who is it? And based on your rhetoric you have no right to claim it is still in the church it is simply the leaders thay have gone astray. The authority goes from the top down, this is a theocracy not a democracy, if the authority is lost at the top it is lost. So what is your solution? What is your point, because if your point is not the Savior and a clear instruction on how to follow him then you are no better then the leaders of this church who you claim have gone astray and lost their authority. But the truth of the matter is, in this situation, that you have missed the point, and just like the ancient Jews are blind. “they despised the words of plainess, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainess from them” Jacob 4:14. The mark that the Jews missed was the Savior, that is the point, and unfortunately, from everything I have read on here you are all missing the mark. Because when I listen to conference I hear words of plainess, simple words, words that teach me how to follow the Savior. I hear, “thus sayeth the Lord” every time Brent. So the question you need to ask yourself Brent is why don’t you? Why are you missing the mark? Because the church made a movie and is becoming better at writing our own narrative rather then letting those who oppose us write it for us? I encourage everyone on here, who comes here and reads the posts and the comments, anyone who may be questioning themselves and their testimony. Remember the point, don’t miss the mark. I am a Bishop, are there things I don’t know? Of course. Are there things I don’t understand fully? Of course. But I have no doubts, that this is the Lord’s church, that we do have inspired men who lead this church as prophets seers and revelators. And while this blog may try to make it seem that bishops that doubt are the norm the exact opposite is true, they are the exception. Dont look beyond the mark, everything will resolve, all questions wil be answered, maybe soon maybe later. But it will happen, and the church will still be true, and will still be the Lord’s church. And while the hope is that Bishop Anon and others on here resolve their issues, that is between them and the Lord. Either way the Lord’s church will move on, and they will fade into obscurity like the many, that have followed the road of apostasy through the decades.
Thanks for the input.
Ryan, Why wouldn’t the Lord’s anointed declare with authority? Why not say, “The Lord is…Happy…Sad…Mad…Glad.” The leaders of the Church answer politically, with an eye to deniability.
Where’s the new revelations?
Where’s the new Scripture?
Where’s does one turn to hear the Lord boldly declare himself?
Where’s the plain speech and simple message?
One last question for you:
Why not use your full name? Do you fear being found here, among the lost and doubting? Own it. You’re here for a reason. If the Holy Ghost tells you be here then be bold in the Lord and own it. Almost all who discuss doubt won’t do so openly. They fear the repercussions. Ryan, is your comment designed to make us think that no doubt is the rule of the day inside the church? Or–am I? Or was I? YMP, EQP, SSP, GDT, HPGL1, B1, Endowed, Sealed and questioning?
At least I can be found and you can decide about the real me.
I support everything Ryan has said.
To be honest Brent, I am not sure if your “own it” comment is meant to be funny considering that we are commenting on a blog written anonymously. I realize the reaction to ask you to produce your statement to Bishop Anon to “own it” is a little childish and unproductive. So in response to that first, the Internet can be a source of unintended consequences, the only place my whole real name is attached to any comments I make, whether they are in a forum like this or a political forum or whatever it might be is on facebook and i rarely post there. As a rule I do not put my full name. I seriously considered even mentioning that I am a Bishop, mostly because it doesn’t matter if I am or not, my opinion and testimony are mine, and mentioning position or rank in any discussion is in my opinion a form of unrighteous dominion. But I also considered all of the people who might come to this forum and could potentially read the posts and develop the idea that there is a large number of Bishops who are questioning to the point of potential apostasy. And in my opinion that is a false idea. So I did state I am a Bishop which I am, but I do so with only that idea in mind, to show that I for one do not agree there are many with doubts, that the majority of Bishops like me, while there may be questions, are very much strong in their faith and testimony.
As for your other questions I will simply say this, refer back to my original comment and ask yourself this question. How do you know that our modern prophets are not doing exactly what you are saying they should do? What qualifies as a revelation? Being in the Doctrine and Covenants? What more revelation are you thinking there should be? Define new scripture, if it is in the Book of Mormon? D&C? Have you read the Book of Mormon? I am assuming you have, are the words of the Book of Mormon prophets any less prophetic because they weren’t included by Mormon? What about the writing on the wall of the temple referred to by Amulek in Alma 10:2? Is that not a story worthy of being scripture when a man interprets the writing of the hand of the Lord on the wall of the temple? Have you read the discourses of Alma and Amulek? Compared them to our modern prophets discourses on the mission and purpose of the savior? There is very little difference in message and content. So Alma is prophetic when he testifies of the Savior but President Monson isnt? While you are correct, sometimes when prophets speak they speak very forcefully, sometimes they give very strong and prophetic scripture. Just look at Isaiah and Nephi and the things they saw and wrote. But if you seriously look at the Lord’s prophets over the history of mankind the Isaiah’s and the Nephi’s and the Joseph Smiths are rare occurances, if that wasn’t the case our scriptures would be larger then what a library could reasonably hold. If every prophet in every dispensation spoke like you are suggesting and all of their words spoken as prophets were put into scripture the world could not contain the books (sound familiar?). So why do you put that on our modern prophets when clearly the Lord does not require that every time they speak they speak as you are describing? Sometimes prophets expound doctrine through discourses, written or verbal that are then written. A good portion of the new testament is simply letters written by apostles. Are our modern apostles conference talks really any different? Maybe a few centuries from now a prophet historian will go through these inspired messages and put them in a book. Maybe these inspired words and messages will be the scriptures during the millenium. What does it really matter if they are ever put in In a book? Are their words any less inspired? I would excersize caution when you project your criteria and begin to dictate to the Lord how He should direct His prophets to speak. Because that is in reality what you are doing. Now I recognize you don’t believe they are prophets. That is fine, your choice, it is between you And God. But as the Lord told Saul on the road to Damascus, it is hard to kick against the pricks. You only end up hurting yourself. I refer you again to my original statements. Dont miss the point. The point t is Jesus Christ. Conference is coming up, listen, talk after talk is about the Savior and about doctrines that He taught. He is the center of all that the Church is. Of course there is an administrative side, of course there is a business side, Joseph Smith started a bank and a store. Was he less prophetic because he did so. They both failed miserably, does that mean he wasn’t a true prophet? The church is very successful in what it does, so that means it isn’t doing what it is supposed to be doing like Bishop Anon post about Elder Hollans Are we not all Beggars talk? At what point does the criticism come about no matter what the church does? Those who want to criticize will always find a reason to do so. But something that is missing on here that is missing on every single forum that is similar is the offer of an alternative. There is plenty of criticism of the church, plenty of reasons why the church is wrong, but never an explanation of what an alternative solution. So for somebody like me, who’s only desire is to follow Jesus Christ, if the LDS church is not the correct way then what is? Some will try to venture that you simply make a personal commitment and follow him as best you can. A perspective that is completely contrary to any scripture ancient or modern. Others will simply say they are not the ones to say what you should do but will simply stick to the narrative that the LDS church is wrong. So what is the answer Brent, which of all of these sects are right? Do you 100% agree with Bishop Anon? Why not? I have read a lot of responses on here telling Bishop Anon how he is wrong, that the church isn’t true but that he is wrong on some of his points on how and why the church isn’t true. He is one of the few I have seen that still believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, definately unique from that perspective. But for all of the comments on here trying to state there is an overwhelming level of support for the idea that the church is not true. I have noticed a significant lack of consensus on how that is exactly true. Dont miss the point Brent, I encourage you to give thought to this, honestly and sincerely, if it is not the LDS church then which is it? To whom shall you go? What does that leave you with if the church isn’t true? Are your issues really legitimat issues or are you maybe trying to project your thoughts and ideas and trying to dictate to the Lord? As I said previously, when I listen to conference, when I hear these prophets seers and revelators speak, I hear the voice of the Lord through them. It touches my heart, I am inspired to do better, to be better. I feel closer to my Savior and a stronger commitment to follow him. While I am not perfect by any means, I am trying to focus on the point, my Savior. I have no doubt all other questions will come in the Lord’s time.
Mike Hall asks:
“How are you different from those in Kirtland in 1837 who waited until the Prophet Joseph Smith left town and then commenced back biting, murmuring, and/or claiming he was a fallen prophet and had departed from the true faith?”
I’d say the issues that concern Anonymous Bishop are quite different from those who murmured against the prophet over the failures of the Kirtland Safety Society.
For one thing, critics don’t seem to realize that the entire banking industry in our young country was experiencing unprecedented failures in 1937. It’s hard to fault those who invested in the venture and lost their savings, but the Kirtland Bank was just one of many that went bust because the whole economy in America at the time went bust. Joseph Smith greenlit the project because the church was in need of funds, but he wasn’t a banker and left the operation to others. He was left taking the blame, but he was not the bank manager. Still, the buck rightly stopped with him because he involved himself with something beyond his ability to control.
What Joseph does appear to have in common with some of our present day leaders is that as far as I can tell, his involvement in this banking venture was not something he was instructed by the Lord to get the Church tangled up in.. The difference, however, is that Joseph Smith learned from his experience and afterward confined his activities to the ecclesiastical. Not so with the current crop today. Even with the obvious boondoggle that City Creek Center is turning out to be, they continue to shovel Church funds into additional condos and high rise office buildings. Because our economy today is built on sand, these “investments” will fail as surely as the Kirtland Safety Society failed.
And unlike the way things are handled today, Church funds were not used as investments in the Kirtland Safety Society. The reason individuals were so worked up about its failure was because those individuals who were angry had invested their own money in it, assuming that because the prophet was involved, it was a sure thing. But it was private money invested by men who assumed a risk by investing their own money. What makes the sins of the leaders so glaring today is that they risk the funds derived from the tithes contributed by the members, and to compound the sin, they blatantly disobey the Lord’s commandment that all monies taken from the treasury are to be approved by common consent of the members.
For the best analysis I’ve ever seen on the Kirtland fiasco and what it meant to the church, I recommend doing an internet search for the pdf file “The Kirtland Safety Society:
The Myths, the Facts, and the Prophet’s Good Name” by R. McKay White.
Bishop Anon, I didn’t question the church nor it’s leaders two months ago. Now my name is completely off their records, and my wife is reeling, my parents horribly disappointed, and my life turned upside down. But…I have no disposition to do evil. I had always wondered if I would make it to this point in my mortal life. The reason is I have read The Book of The Remnant, and have personal acquaintence with an Indian prophet. In a year the book will be fit to be released to all, for free in PDF format. It is about 3-4 time the length of the Book of Mormon and written by the person written of throughout the scriptures, including D&C 113:3–6. I have been reading your blog for about an hour, and am amazed by your discernment. I invite you to have the courage to finalize your journey.
Just one question Bishop Anon…….
When you were deciding whether or not to make this website or put your efforts into another endeavor, was Cowboy taken?
Regards to the lads,
Ryan. You offer valuable insight and views to a much needed discussion and are an effective voice here for many in the church. The reality is that not all members are in the same place in their spiritual development, and thus have different needs. For many members simply believing on the words of the brethren is more than enough. Others are ready for much more as they ‘seek out the mysteries of God’ as commanded, truths that are ‘unspeakable’ and will not ‘fit in books’. Christ describes this in terms of milk and meat. Joseph Smith says ” we believe all things . . . ” and goes on to tell non members
“In January 1843, Joseph Smith had a conversation with some people who were not members of the Church: “I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints … are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time.”6
“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes [limits], and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further’ [Job 38:11]; which I cannot subscribe to.”7
I believe the problem with the ‘Anonymous Bishops’ and ‘Denver Snuffers’ of the world have is that todays church leaders do not honor the spirit of Christ or words of Joseph Smith when they excommunicate members for simply having a different opinion, and by doing so put down “Stakes” to not go past.
Although some things are not appropriate for the pulpit, a forum to explore and discuss all truths needs sanctioned by the church no matter how uncomfortable, lest the church be no different than the very other denominations, who in some cases had inquisitions, Joseph Smith mentions. Do we limit what God can teach us, is there room in the church to be wrong? The church is losing as many members to this as they are protecting. Look what historic force did to Christianity in Europe, it is not Christ’s way.
I’m a young men’s president. I love the Gospel, love the scriptures, love the Book of Mormon. I believe the narratives of the scriptures are true. I trust the authenticity of the Book Of Mormon on rational grounds as well as the profound life changing experience that came from seeking God while reading that book. I’m just now starting to understand it.
Thank you, Bishop, for your candid word and your faith in the plain and precious truth in the scriptures. I’m 30 yrs old and it’s taken me quite some time to see that the Gospel is radically beyond the Church, but it shouldn’t be that way.
We are praying that the Church continues to fall apart from the inside out. This is the only way real change will take place. It is too easy to go along to get along or to bury our heads. Taking a stand is incredibly difficult for reasons we all know … all too well. Jesus the Christ will not lead us astray – all others are very much suspect.
I’m currently working through many of your blog posts.
I am also feeling that things are not all well in Zion.
You and many other bloggers have done a good job in pinpointing the “wrongs” with the church organization – but please start sharing what we can do within our own families, and communities.
I mean, it’s one thing to point out a problem, but it would also be good if we can offer solutions as well.
I’m not sure petitions or online blogs are given a lot of weight when it comes to requesting change in church policy. But, maybe I’m wrong. I hope I am.
My largest concern right now is that my oldest son will soon decide on serving a mission. Should he choose to go, I want him to go with a “realistic” sense of what he should be doing. I want him to be prepared for what the Savior expects, not what the church organization expects.
Is that even possible?
I told my wife that I don’t like to hear people state that “the church is true” because it’s an organization of men on earth. I do believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ however and I try to educate people of the difference. When Wilford Woodruff declared “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray” he did the membership a tremendous disservice. Unfortunately, there have been occasion where the prophets have led us “astray”. The first example I can think of is when Brigham Young discontinued the practice of ordaining black men to the priesthood. Men are imperfect and can lead others astray and this includes the brethren. Get to know the history of the church and it’s easy to spot it.
Hi Bishop, I too have come to the same conclusions you have but I think it goes much deeper. Some here have talked about how mean the leadership is. I’ve seen that in my case. If you say anything that is not in total agreement with the leadership then by golly we need to bring you in and browbeat you into submission by threatening you with excommunication if you don’t change.
I have finally come to the conclusion with the help of an ancient prophet Isaiah that the Church in the last days has finally lapsed into apostasy. The book of Mormon tells us that restorations only last about 200 years. We didn’t quite make that but not too bad. It’s clear to me that it has lapsed and the evidence is everywhere that this is the case. Few examples:
1. Abortion. How many of you know that the Church teaches that it is okay to have an abortion for rape, incest, or mental health of the mother. You can have one if you get permission from them and perhaps pump up a few prayers. This is murder and represents apostasy.
Isaiah 1:15 When you spread forth your hands, I wil conceal my eyes from you; though you pray at length, I will not hear-your hands are filled with blood.
2. Acceptance of homosexuality. You never hear condemnation of this practice in this Church like we did at the time of Kimball. No no, this is forbidden. We need to love them and accept them and partake of the sacrament with them. Elder Christopherson even said that it wasn’t a sin. Our leaders paved the way in Utah so that all the laws protecting us from this evil could be changed to protect them and not the people of this state. IT was the Church that did this by backing off and signalling that they had changed. Apostasy
Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of the Lord, O leaders of Sodom; give heed to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
3. The leaders are in apostasy and are leading the charge. You’ve pointed this out dear bishop and I can certainly understand why you don’t want your name revealed. The leaders will excommunicate you. But at this time it doesn’t matter because the Church does not have the priesthood power it once had because of the apostasy. So it really doesn’t matter now if you go or stay. In fact, If you sustain these men very likely because of what the now teach you will end up in the Telestial world along with most of them. It is better to remain separate and apart from them and not sustain their wickedness rather than support them thinking that somehow you are displeasing the Lord. He is not pleased with them and is going to destroy them because of their wickedness. I’ve only mentioned two. I’ll go into more detail if anybody want to discuss.
Isaiah 28:7 These too have indulged in wine and are giddy with strong drink: priests and prophets have gone astray through liquor. They are intoxicated with the wine (of Babylon – example City Creek mall) and stagger because of strong drink; they erra s seers, they blunder in their decisions.
Isaiah 29:10 The Lord has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep: he has shut your eyes the prophets; he has covered your heads, the seers.
Isaiah 56:10–11 Their watchmen are altogether blind and unaware; all of them are but dumb watchdogs unable to bark, lolling seers fond of slumber.
Gluttonous dogs, and insatiable, such indeed are insensible shepherds. They are all diverted to their own way, every one after his own advantage.
Oh yes Joseph Smith was a prophet and the restoration is true. But it only lasted about 150 years before the great apostasy which was made know in Isaiah. Nephi said that in the last days the prophecies of Isaiah would be fulfilled and in that day would we understand them 2 Nephi 25:7–8.
Anybody want to discuss further? Thanks Rocky
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You make excellent points. However, I’d designate the apostasy as having happened much earlier.
The apostasy of the LDS church was in 1842.
God rejected the church–after promising he would–after the Saints neglected to build the Nauvoo House/Temple.
Thus began polygamy, the satanic endowment, the King Follet sermon etc.
The church had been given God’s magnificent law of the gospel (Section 42) which contained monogamy and consecration, but the Saints did not live it.
Section 42 explained that it would provide protection from the enemy.
But the enemy took over the church and it fell into apostasy. The Priesthood of Aaron remains. The Twelve Apostles have authority over the mission field.
Because there is no legitimate stake of Zion, the entire world is now the mission field.
This is why they have authority.
Reorganizing the first presidency and claiming to be prophets & seers & revelators, on the other hand, is another story.
I’ve been reading and enjoying your posts. I too am a long standing LDS convert (50+ yrs). I have given my heart to the gospel, and have always known my testimony is pinned on the gospel, Savior, and Joseph which includes the restoration.
I’ve suffered considerable abuses at the authority of priesthood leaders but have always maintained my testimony allowing members their total agency.
I’m an imperfect woman, but as a grandparent i now strive to be certain my posterity knows the difference between a leaning on the church (and leaders) and a commitment to the gospel. We are all still engaged in the Church, but I find myself bearing a more carefully worded testimony than ever previously.
I am a widow, and I don’t have access to counsel with an honorable priesthood holder about key interview questions. I don’t use my recommend of late, realizing concern about one of the endowment commitments. Have you written about this subject?
Suspriringly well-written and informative for a free online article.
Robert, thank you for your service to our nation. I have a rental home here in Texas and let a lieutenant colonel recently home from Iraq live there for 7 months free… as an expression of gratitude for his service.
The Lord has said He will try us in all things and one of the biggest trials we face can be church leaders.
At least attend sacrament meeting and renew your covenants with the Lord so you can have His spirit to be with you and please pray and read His word each day. Then you are on a good path, my friend.
Stay close to your Father in Heaven and your Savior, Robert. Stay close to them.
Take care, and may God bless and keep you.
Your friend in Texas.
God doesn’t forget His sons who fight against evil and He will not forget you.
I’d like to know if you still read these comments, if so, please reply to the e-mail. I just read your last two posts and they were very significant and well said.
To say that they were refreshing would be a great understatement. I knew by reading D&C 101 what City Creek was, and how the Lord felt about the money exchangers, then and now.
I would like to share my experience on the first day that City Creek opened, as I was across the street at Temple Square. I was reminded recently by watching the Son of God, how Christ cleaned out the temple and toppled the tables of the money-exchangers, infuriating the leaders of the Church at the time.
It is happening again as the Lord has declared His true points of Doctrine and is giving one last chance for the Gentiles that do repent before the Lord clears again the tables and Temple preparatory for Zion.
Thank you, I would really like to share with you my experience.
Well said. This blog is a place for fault-finding and back-biting. Unfortunately there are those out there who are deceived by the subtle craftiness of men. The threat of destruction from the inside has always been the greatest. Judas betrayed Jesus, Joseph Smith was betrayed by many close associates and leaders, Joseph of Egypt betrayed by his brothers, Samson by Delilah etc. It pains me to see that there are so many people out there who lose their way after having the spirit bear witness that this is God’s church, the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet.
Professing to be a faithful member of the church yet hiding in the darkness to tear down the faith of others is all that I see this as. People “coming together” is only good when truth is taught and all are edified. Instead there are many stories herein where people find joy in pointing out the flaws of others and sharing their great and wonderful wisdom and the conclusions they have come to after many deep hours of contemplation…right.
God is the head of this church. People think they know better than him. Please don’t claim to be an LDS Bishop and then throw stones the whole time. It’s not constructive nor does it edify. If you have issues with the church then pray about it and study from the scriptures and legitimate sources-not other bitter individuals who fell away.
Is this the Lords church or not? If you say yes then you should act on that. If you say no then you should also act on that. There is no in the middle. The Doctrine and Covenants says that this is the ONLY true and LIVING church upon the face of the whole earth. That means that this really is the ONLY church or it’s not and this is all a lie. No middle ground.
How can you say that you believe this is the true church and in the same breath criticize? All good things come from God but this…this does not instruct and build up.
No worries. You’re not the first to fight against God and will not be the last. Please cease from tearing the faith of others down.
Yes, the Book of Mormon is a book of warning to the LDS people today in a lot of ways but a warning specifically to Mormons first and then to all latter-day people at times.
It is interesting to me Moroni was commanded to finish his father’s work (Mormon 8:1) and part of that command Moroni spoke directly to the Mormon people starting with Mormon 8:33 and through to 41, in 1st and 2nd person, present tense pronouns and if that were not enough in verse 35 Moroni speaks to the Mormons telling them, “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye are present, and yet ye are not,” (Compare Moroni 10:27).
The key verse identifying who in the latter-days Moroni is speaking to is when he speaks of “the holy church of God” in verse 38 and the only church in the latter-days that could even qualify would be the Mormon Church since in the 1st Vision Jesus told Joseph all the other churches were wrong and their professors were all corrupt.
A Google search for Mormon 8:38 will bring up some Internet websites explaining this and how the G.A.s are purposely “transfiguring” these nine verses (compare Mormon 8:33).
May I address Ozzy’s comment, “When Wilford Woodruff declared ‘The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray’ he did the membership a tremendous disservice.”
Actually President Woodruff was telling the pure truth when a person realizes the true meaning of “permit” and “allow” as used in a deliberate effort to brainwash members in Gospel Principles, pages 41 and 42.
To “permit” is to give permission or license to do something. For example a government building department will give a building permit to build a building which is a license to build a building within that government jurisdiction.
There are government jurisdictions that do not have a building department but “allow” the building of buildings without restriction because they do not have local rules and codes for building that they enforce. Incidentally, in the U.S. there is a National Building Code that covers every square inch of the U.S. so there is no jurisdiction that is not governed by code for the building of buildings.
The Mormon Church has tried to take what President Woodruff said and has “transfigured” (Mormon 8:33) this to mean something completely opposite because the Saints are unfamiliar with the specific meanings of permit and allow.
In G.P., page 41, the incorrect Gospel Principle is stated as, “a prophet will never be allowed to lead the Church astray.” Then on page 42, the correct Gospel Principle is stated, “The Lord will never permit me…as President of this Church to lead you astray.” Then the incorrect Gospel Principle is again stated as, “The Lord will never allow the President of the Church to lead us astray.”
This is a textbook example of brainwashing which seems to have worked quite well judging from the universal false sense of security among the “faithful” Saints that Jesus Christ will never allow the President of the Church to lead the Church or Saints astray, no ifs, no ands and no buts which actually violates every principle of the Law of Free Agency if a person were to just think this through.
One more proof the Church has purposely misled the Saints on this one is the reference to President Woodruff’s quote as (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff  199). A much more ethical reference would have been D&C Official Declaration-1. Actually the Code of Ethics for Journalism specifically states when referencing a quote or article the reference closest to the quote is the one that should be given. In this case D&C Official Declaration-1 is by far closer to the closest since it is the reference and also canonized as scripture too.
So why didn’t the Church direct the Saints to Declaration-1? Simple answer: the main theme for the Gospel Principles Chapter 9 was to follow the President of the Church no matter what. Declaration-1 specifically states the Saints should follow the President of the Church “by the Spirit and power of God” which would be counterproductive to the method of brainwashing to follow the President of the Church no matter what, no ifs, no ands, and no buts.
Only One Generation Away
President Ronald Reagan is reported to have stated one of his observations as, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Only a fool would think this exact same principle would not apply to the True Church. The True Church is only one generation away from apostasy if the correct principles and Doctrines are not fought for, protected, and handed on for the younger Mormons to do the same.
Only a Mormon in name only would ever consider the Mormon Church will somehow perpetuate forever as the True Church without the influence of Satan interfering if the correct principles and Doctrines are not fought for, protected, and handed on for the younger Mormons to do the same.
A true disciple of Jesus Christ would understand the True Church is Satan’s #1 target and if true Mormons, who honor all of their true and correct covenants with Jesus Christ, understand the correct principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they will understand they never made a covenant with Jesus Christ to follow any Church leader who does not follow Christ in their every action including official Church affairs.
The Book of Mormon makes this principle crystal clear. “And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” (Mosiah 23:14; compare 15-18)
When doing anything in the Savior’s Church remember these three correct principles: A. Jesus is The Christ and that will never change. B. The Book of Mormon is true and that will never change as long as someone doesn’t tamper (transfigure-Mormon 8:33) with its dialogue somehow, which has happened in a few places. C. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as organized by the true Prophet Joseph Smith, started out as the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter-days and that can be lost in one generation unless the Mormons are vigilant in fighting for, protecting and teaching the younger Mormons to do the same with this Restored True Religion.
Your website is back up !?
What happened ??
I’ve missed your columns.
I wanted to comment on your recent article on The Sealed Book of Mormon. Did you realize that this is not the sealed portion that will be opened by Christ and it doesn’t claim to be. In fact what we have now is only about half of what was recently unsealed. And even in this portion there are many places that the full text was not given to us, indicated by a long dash —.
I agree that in English it doesn’t read very well. There are several awkward word choices and for those who expect to be reading the later sealed portion it can be a disappointment. It was given to try our faith. Have you read the review by John Pratt? http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/2019/sealed_book.html
I have also written up a review that gives some more historical information.
I appreciate the effort you have taken to evaluate the claims of the Brazil plates. Some of the issues you raise have easy answers. But I don’t expect that you want to enter into an actual discussion. I am willing to wait while this gets sorted out. I think you have made an honest effort to see if there is anything here and have decided that it is just a hoax. I also believe that if it later is shown to be true, you will also modify your opinion. I appreciate you honesty. I know I can’t give you any information that would convince you one way or the other.
At one time I started to go through the whole book to reference all the concepts and tie them to scriptures and then list those that are not sourced in other scriptures. I was a very big job and I put it on the shelf. To suggest that this Sealed portion doesn’t have anything to offer, is an over simplification. Yes, it definitely doesn’t have as much new information as most people would hope. But this is not the main sealed portion that will not be opened until Christ comes.
Hey! Welcome back to the bloggernacle. We have missed your messages.
God bless you and your family. We look forward to seeing you again.
Gary and Jennifer
Nice to see you back again AB.
In one of your posts about Maurício and there being photographs of the gold plates—you said how odd that was, you mentioned you were surprised there wasn’t a picture of the angel—well, there was one put out there and I have a copy if you would like to see it. I don’t believe in any of it, but I have a family member who is close to the head of things and he shared the picture with me.
Anon, I just saw that Wikileaks has screen shot from the Church membership records system indicating that under no circumstances are members allowed a copy of their membership records. I’ve never been in a position where I could see a membership record. It would make for an interesting post to have a reflection on this.
How “The Chosen” came to Utah: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQcYNcjX5vU&ab_channel=TheChosen
Saw your recent post about BLM and President Oaks talk he gave at BYU this week. I wasn’t able to leave a comment on that post but leaving it here. One thing you didn’t mention in the post but which strikes me as bizarre was this phrase from President Oaks Talk: (the last sentence most specifically)
“The shocking police-produced death of George Floyd in Minnesota last May was surely the trigger for these nationwide protests, whose momentum was carried forward under the message of ‘Black Lives Matter,’” President Oaks added. “Of course, Black lives matter. That is an eternal truth all reasonable people should support. Unfortunately, that persuasive banner was sometimes used or understood to stand for other things that do not command universal support. Examples include abolishing the police or seriously reducing their effectiveness or changing our constitutional government. All these are appropriate subjects for advocacy, but not under what we hope to be the universally accepted message: Black lives matter.”
Ok so let me get this straight:
1. abolishing the police or seriously reducing their effectiveness
2. Changing our constitutional government.
All “these” are appropriate subjects for advocacy??? President Oaks is saying the only issue with them is that they were promoted under the banner of BLM? But if we don’t put them under that banner…. they are then appropriate subjects for advocacy? Changing our constitutional government? Really?
I’m so confused.
Wow. I joined the church because it struck me as the source of all truth from Christ our Lord. Yet so many LDS are so full of hate that they can’t recognise the lies they spout, lies from the father of lies, as funnelled through a man for whom lying has become not only a daily way of business, but an essential act like the act of breathing, who somehow stumbled into a position of leadership. It would take a book to debunk all of the lies you spout here, and you’d dismiss any truth I bring to you as “biased garbage”, even though much of it is as obviously true as 2 + 2 = 4 is true. If you want to keep believing 2 + 2 = 5, so be it; but your dismissal of objective reality is Orwellian at best, and satanic at worst. Please stop watching Fox News and Breitbart and RT and please stop listening to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh; there is bias, and there are lies, and those provide you with a heaping helping of both. Stop fighting against dear friends of mine, friends who are epidemiologists and researchers, friends who are doctors and public health officers, friends who are taking this pandemic seriously, friends who are striving to minimise the toll from this new plague. Wear the stupid mask. Breathe. Read some books. Get a clue.
I loved your article “Latter Dissent” which I found on FaceBook tonight. I shared it. There were 2 comments under it, both of which I responded to. Will you please comment on my responses?
First Comment: I’m sorry but I don’t agree with much in this article. He had me until he started criticizing the prophet and general authorities. Here is a quote by President Kimball in Faith Precedes the Miracle.
There will be no general warning to the membership at things will be shortly falling apart. We have been commanded to follow the signs of the times and that is all the warning we need or will be given, but the membership is asleep. Like the Ten Virgins, we have been commanded to watch and prepare, but like the people in the days of Noah, many members have become lulled into a sense of security. This lack of warning is designed to weed out the tares; the “All is well in Zion,” crowd.”
My resonse: If you think this meme in any way supports you words above, you have completely missed the message here. This is what it means: The church leaders are not allowed to influence our personal decisions of action or inaction because we are to be judged on our own choices, not simply following their instructions. They have for many years helped us to understand God’s message to us. They have emphasized the Book of Mormon and its history of Gaddianton Robbers and the destruction of nations because of unrighteousness and worldliness. It is up to us to understand and act accordingly. What about our Constitution hanging be a thread do you knot understand? God gave us that Constitution and you don’t even want to save it? You just want to watch Satan take over our entire country? What about the 10 virgins who did something about the lack of oil? Don’t be one that didn’t! This writer is absolutely right in every way. He might be frustrated with the lack of support from the Prophet, but he tells us what we need to know, not what we need to DO!
Amm I wrong?
Second response: This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Lattter Day Saints. Christ is the one leading us, so what we hear from the prophet and apostles comes from Him and no one else. Put it to the test! His methods might be different from what you think will work but I promise you’ll find His way is the only way that works. I had to learn this several times. Trust Him.
My response: Forgive me if I get your meaning wrong but it sounds like you are saying do what the Prophet does rather than what he says. Jesus will never force us to choose good. That is our job. The prophet cannot force us to choose the right, he can only tell us and explain what God means is right. He doesn’t say choose Trump or Biden. He says to choose the one who does the good things. We have to study each one and pick the one who does the good things. Like Trump follows the Constitution and Biden does not. See, easy. But you have to find that out for yourself. Do not listen to the mainstream media because it is owned by traitors. You can find that out for yourself. Even FB YT and Twitter are owned by traitors and they are censoring us like never before. Why? Find out.
Am I wrong?
Just want to thank Anonymous Bishop for this blog. You make some interesting points in many of your posts. I was released as bishop of my ward recently after serving nearly 8 years, and can concur with many of the issues you raise. The Saints are in trouble because they are too comfortable in Babylon and so is the corporate church. I believe the current scamdemic has illustrated the deficit in the faith of the people, who would rather trust in the arm of flesh by taking a vaccine than to trust in God. We even have apostles praying for a vaccine!
How long will God tolerate the apostasy of modern Israel!
Just finished reading “Wars and Rumors of Wars” and WOW!!…..I too have been wondering about the leadership in the Church and its seemingly “woke” declarations Felt like a smack-down to me (and all Conservatives). I feel so dismayed and discouraged at such an uncertain time. Kind of like having the door to the only place where I felt understood slammed in my face. I know that there are many of us who feel the same way. I am by no means a spiritual giant (like many I know and who have shown their “wokeness”)…. So, what does a not-so-important Latter-Day Saint woman know if those “spiritual giants” are walking down one road and I, another?? It’s frightening. Hasn’t the Lord promised us that He would never allow His church (or His Prophet) to stray from His truth? What’s the church without a prophet to lead it? Very sad.
AB: If you aren’t already, I recommend you follow this blog: http://www.deepcapture.com/
I appreciate your thoughts. The question is, “What is the correlation between spiritual and political discernment? What are we to make of all these “adjustments” to our sacred rites and rituals, church policies, public relations content, etc. by our leaders who have exhibited such poor political instincts? How long of a leash does Lord give to leadership? I don’t have an answer to these questions. I do, however, see the results in many, I dare say a large majority of faithful members, a sort of cognitive spiritual dissidence…a feeling that something is amiss with our current leadership. Seems like we need a Samual testifying in front of King Noah and his wicked government rather than exhortations to be Good Germans and wear our masks and promulgate the Big Lie.
Thank you for your courage! I never thought that I would find myself in this position – that of being totally passive at the moment concerning the direction of the Church. I am holding out for something to transpire in the Church to take us in the direction of standing up for what is “right”. I know none of this has nothing to do with a testimony of truth and church doctrine. I have been a stalwart in the church and unwavering all my life. I am 61. This does not affect my spiritual answers from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true!
My mother was the personal secretary to several Apostles (my favorite was Mark E Peterson) And I was raised with the Brethren. My mother was an avid and religious journal writer. Her journal from those days working for the Apostles has many many stories of the Brethren and their “personal” views on many issues! Which are eye openers!
Now in the church, I feel alone, unwanted, every one is so cold and unfeeling due to this hoax of mask wearing! I have only wore a mask once in the last year and that was on a plane in December to DC for a Trump rally.
My son in law received an email from his Elders Quorum President 2 weeks ago telling him “I have given you the truth and leave you to your own decisions. You can let go of what is holding you back and follow the ways of Christ and His gospel completely by humbly accepting the will of the Lord regarding COVID and everything else he might command through his church leaders or his Spirit.” This is what we are having to deal with.
I just want all of this indecisiveness to end……
In the blog post title, “The Lord’s Strange Act”, you posted a photo of Eldred G. Smith. Who is the person next to him? Is that you Anonymous Bishop?
The time is now to gain your own testimony of what is true and what it not. The world is so full of deceit. A few years ago I did my own research on marriage and polygamy in the Church and put up a website for those who would like to see what I perceive to be the truth. http://www.MarriageAndPolygamy.com
I love the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
I totally align with you on the ridiculousness of the lds church caving to medical tyranny! I’d love to have you as a guest author on @utahsnews . Let me know what you think!
I just recently sent this letter to the First Presidency and the Twelve:
Dear Brethren: First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles November 21, 2021
President Russell M Nelson, Dallin H Oaks, Henry B Eyring, M Russell Ballard, Jeffrey R Holland, Dieter F Uchtdorf, David A Bednar, Quentin L Cook, D Todd Christofferson, Neil L Anderson, Ronald A Rasband, Gary E Stevenson, Dale G Renlund, Gerrit W Gong, Ulisses Soares,
I am concerned about the deception the LDS Church is holding on to since the Manifesto. D&C 132 should have been removed when the Manifesto was presented to the Church in 1890. D&C 132 is diametrically opposed to and is in direct contradiction to the actual revelations received by The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. found in D&C 19, D&C 42 and D&C 49 which states:
“Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else…
Thou shalt not commit adultery…” (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 42:22 – 26). Revelation given February 9th 1831
“And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife
(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 19:25) Revelation given March 1830
“Wherefore, it is lawful that he [man] should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; …before the world was made” (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 49:15 – 18). Revelation given March 1831
The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. never wrote or received D&C 132. He never taught or practiced polygamy but fought against it his whole life. Sadly, Brigham Young was the creator of 132 as true history shows today. He lied and doctored our LDS history. Joseph was honest, true, chaste, benevolent and virtuous. He was true to the marriage principle revealed in the scriptures:
“Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. (Book of Mormon | Jacob 2:24) I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. (Book of Mormon | Jacob 2:26) [The Book of Mormon is for us in Latter Day Israel] Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts…For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will always command my people in righteousness; [therefore] they shall hearken unto these things” (Book of Mormon | Jacob 2:29 – 30).
Italicized, boldness and brackets added for clarity by the spirit of godliness, “in context,” that “virtue” and honesty might “garnish” our “thoughts unceasingly” [D&C 121: 45–46].
“Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father (it should read “fathers”) [from 1830 – 1920 Book of Mormon printings of Jacob 3:5 says “fathers” and this was changed to “father” in the 1981 printing]—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them. And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people” (Book of Mormon | Jacob3:5 – 6).
Who had the “right” to change the word “fathers” to father, and to do it without the “common consent” of the church? “Fathers” is how it should read…because “the commandment” to have only “one wife” was a commandment going all the way back to all the “fathers” (from Adam going forward were to obey this commandment, no exceptions!). “Neither shall [man] multiply wives to himself” [Deuteronomy 17: 14–20; “man…shall cleave unto his wife” Genesis 2: 24].
The whole Church is under condemnation [D&C 84: 54–59] today because of the polygamy lie and has been called to repent [D&C 63:13–16] and restore back D&C 101 of 1835 on Marriage which was removed by Brigham Young without “common consent.” The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. is “The Prophet” of this 6th Dispensation and all who deceive and continue in the propagation and accusation that God or The Prophet Joseph Smith was the creator of polygamy will be accountable for the deception and bearing “false witness against thy neighbour” [Exodus 20:16].
Jesus Christ himself taught against polygamy and warned the Church [D&C: 112:23-26]
“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:5 – 6).
• Note that the man leaves his “father and mother” (“mother,” singular, not mothers’ plural) as would be the case in a polygamist relationship.
• Note that the man is to “cleave to his wife” (“wife,” singular) this is the godly pattern, the divine pattern, the sacred pattern. To “cleave” means to “adhere closely,” “to stick to,” “to remain faithful and honest to.”
• Note, “they twain” …not “they” multiple wives, but “they twain” (“twain” meaning two).
• “Therefore” what “God hath joined together” (the proper marriage relationship or pattern is what “God hath joined together” is one man one wife) [Genesis 2:24; Deuteronomy 17: 14–20; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6; Jacob 2:27, 3:5; D&C 42: 22–26; D&C 49:16–17].
• “Therefore…” “let not man put asunder” … in other words let “no man” (JST 19:6) Not even Brigham Young and all those who got caught up in polygamy deceive you in thinking a man can have many wives and concubines or man with man or woman with woman and justify it as good or coming from God. It has never been Gods will or God’s plan “from the beginning,” [Mark 10: 6–9] “before the word was made” [D&C 49: 17].
Christ is teaching the principle of marriage which has been the same from the “beginning.” It is fallen man who has corrupted His laws and “put asunder” the marriage relationship of “twain,” (meaning one man and one wife) who are to become “one” in a divine relationship of virtue and holiness of character together! Polygamy is the Sin of Adultery. My testimony is not founded in journals, documents or affidavits by members of the Church who got caught up in the false doctrine of polygamy; but in the Scriptures as quoted above and in the words of Christ himself!
Sincerely, your brother in Christ,
Kenneth A Card
I appreciate your words Bishop. I find myself in uncharted territory knowing that the current words of the Brethren are at odds of what Joseph Smith taught regarding infallibility. They certainly can and have led us astray. I’d say that Joseph’s repeated ask of the Lord to share the 116 pages demonstrably shows he was able to lead us astray by the loss of the scriptures that we still don’t have! How anyone can miss this obviousness example is bizarre to me! And Joseph wasn’t “removed”. Moreover, Joseph specifically told us that a prophet is fallible. Many other leaders echoed that principle in the early Church. Joseph and Sidney being given exorbitant salaries is another example of misstep by the Brethren. They voted for it with one dissenter, but then quickly rescinded it after the membership revolted against it. The White Salamander Letter and being fooled by Mark Hoffman is another example. I could go on, but there’s no reason to.
I have strong feeling that their urging over the vaccines is going to serious harm the Church as well when the truth about their safety and effectiveness is no longer up for debate. I’m hope I’m wrong about that, but I have received personal confirmation through prayer that taking the vaccines is harmful for myself, but especially my children. I’ve had Covid and with natural immunity, the vaccine and boosters are unnecessary. My kids were exposed to both myself and my wife and got nothing.
I especially appreciate the 2Nephi 28:5 reference.
You are a breath of fresh air. I feel the last two years were a blessing and a curse. A blessing in the form of opening my eyes to what the “bretheren” were really thinking and believing. I knew immediately when Q15 recommended, then urged, the deadly-jab that they were wrong and acting incredibly reckless…giving crappy medical advice to 16 million people. Their unapologetic and arrogant stance, in spite of mountains of evidence that prove how deadly the deadly-jab really is…is totally unacceptable for anyone claiming to be Christian.
Your words are appreciated and NECCESSARY…please write more often!!!
I have two daughters at university in Provo. One of my two daughters has a damaged heart from the COVID vaccine. I’m very disappointed in the response from the prophet. As things these days are looking like the vaccine is completely worthless and just injuries people. I’m just wondering where their allegiance is. How can they so easily sacrifice my beautiful daughter. How were they duped to follow our corrupt government and politicians. How did the prophet make such a big mistake? We were always taught to follow the prophet and we won’t go astray. We were always taught to take care of our temples, our bodies. Never to use alcohol, coffee tea or drugs. how could the prophet be so deceived? For the last two years and half, the media has lied to us and the church has lied to us as well! The prophet is a heart doctor, how ironic. It’s my understanding in the medical profession the number one rule is to do no harm. How many hearts has the prophet damaged? I’m sure I’m not the only one there must be hundreds or thousands like me. Do you know of any websites that deal with this specific issue? Thank you!
Bishop, I’ve had a sick sinking feeling in my stomach the first and every time I heard the words “Our beloved prophet” venerating the man the profit above he who’s church it is Jesus Christ!. I’ve felt this way for about 10 years. I see that his post is from 2014.
The thing is brothers and sisters, this is prophecy being fulfilled. “Even the very elect shall be deceived”…. “Cannot tell and enemy from friend in these streets”…
Salt Lake City is corrupt, wicked. It is not longer a suitable location for church headquarters IMHO. The Church has 1,000,000,000 (yes one trillion) dollars. They can do whatever they want. It would be nothing to acquire the property and build a new HQ. It could happen pretty quickly. One weekend I was at the site of the destroyed Nauvoo temple. The next weekend they announced it was being rebuilt.
I testify Jospeh Smith is the true prophet of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon and the standard works are all true scripture. TCOJCOLDS is the only church containing the complete fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as in the Ancient Christian church, most especially the temple. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD