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Showing posts from January, 2016

Elder Oaks: The Thoughtful Apostle

My new book has a lot of quotes from modern church leaders in it. A lot. About half of them are cited in support of my positions, about half are cited in comparison to scriptures/quotes from Joseph Smith to show that their statements were incorrect. My stake president asked me recently if I had something against Elder Oaks, since he is cited more than anyone else in the latter category. Rest assured, my approach was topical, not personal. The truth is, Elder Oaks is cited more than anyone else because he comes out and says what most of the Brethren merely feel. Note that I used the word feel instead of think. If they thought about what they do, say, and believe, they would be inundated with contradictions that they would have to explain, and it takes a lot of effort to develop a believe system twisted enough to explain away even the most obvious of contradictions. These men simply aren't doing that, and it is apparent by the things they say and don't say. Inste

Is Criticizing Church Leaders Apostasy?

The Lord told Ezekiel: When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (Ezekiel 3:18) In chapter 8, Ezekiel is shown the wickedness of the leaders and the people: 1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me.  2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.  3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate t

Importance of Baptism by Fire

I wanted to write a quick post on the very important topic of the necessity of the baptism by fire. Joseph Smith taught: "But except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. This eternal truth settles the question of all men's religion. A man may be saved, after the judgment, in the terrestrial kingdom, or in the telestial kingdom, but he can never see the celestial kingdom of God, without being born of water and the Spirit. He may receive a glory like unto the moon, [i.e., of which the light of the moon is typical], or a star, [i.e., of which the light of the stars is typical], but he can never come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God..." (TPJS) Many would like to think that they are on the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life, having been baptized, confirmed, received temple ordinances, etc. However, Nephi taught that the gateway to the path is not baptism by water, but baptism by fire: "...then cometh a remission of

The Seals of the Book of Revelation Do Not Represent Each 1000 Years

In my book, "Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men," I address the example of the wording of the baptismal prayer, which have been preserved in their incorrect form since Oliver Cowdery took the liberty of changing them from what Joseph revealed while preparing the 1835 D&C. I provide the links to the Joseph Smith Papers Project websites which both show the differences and show that the changes came from Cowdery (Joseph was not around when the manuscript was prepared). This post will treat another error in the Doctrine and Covenants: The exposition on the book of Revelation found in D&C 77. Say the Joseph Smith Papers Project for this text, "[Sydney] Rigdon probably served as the original scribe for the explanation, but Jesse Gause could have been the scribe instead. The earliest surviving copy is an undated one made by John Whitmer in Revelation Book 1, where it is identified only as 'Revelation Explained.'" There is no known original copy

Lehi, Nephi, Laman, Lemuel, and "Follow the Prophet"

How did Lehi receive further light and truth? He listened carefully to contrarians, who preached directly against what he considered to be true, and took it with an open mind to God. Is this how you respond to people who seemingly attack what you consider to be sacred, who insult what you consider to be precious? What was God's response? Essentially, God said to Lehi, "it is not only true, but it is worse than those men told you." Lehi was a good man. Despite his faithful acceptance of the apostate Israelite traditions, he was humble enough to consider the possibility that the men who had come preaching against what he cherished may in fact have been from God. God rewarded him with what may have been his first vision. No doubt Lehi had a plethora of "tender mercies" from his life that had suggested that his idea of the gospel was correct. In one moment, all the treasured experiences he had accumulated from a lifetime of living an apostate religion were minimized

The great and marvelous work

What is the great and marvelous work? In the past, the scriptures used the words great and marvelous have been used to describe: Total temporal destruction of a people. "And it came to pass that Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not. (Ether 12:5.) "And in the days of Coriantor there also came many prophets, and prophesied of great and marvelous things, and cried repentance unto the people, and except they should repent the Lord God would execute judgment against them to their utter destruction;" (Ether 11:20.) "And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon. And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he