10 June 2015

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:1,6 ESV)
When I heard this psalm shared recently, that last verse really stuck out to me . . . "everything that has breath". And I heard "ruach". The last verse then repeated in my heart:
"Let everything filled with the Holy Spirit praise the Lord!"
All Creation is filled with the Spirit of God . . . as Jesus told the Pharisees in Luke 19:40, if He shushed the people's praise, the very rocks would cry out to Him.

And I love that praise, in this psalm, is an injunction in command form: "Praise the Lord!"

Lord God of Heaven, You are the joy of my life, and You radiate all around me, both inward and outward, permeating all things with Your Goodness, Mercy and Grace. Thank You, so much! And thank You for the ease of finding You in Your Word. When I start to get overwhelmed with the idea of the sheer VOLUME of scripture before me, not sure where to start, I love that I can remember I just have to open the book, and I will find YOU. I love that it truly IS my joy to say "Your will, Your way", and I pray all of Your children can catch that vision, can feel the joy of Your presence, learn to rest in Your kindness, and be drawn inexorably into Your embrace where they will find their deepest needs filled, their captivity broken forever, and their hearts given rest, in the beautiful name of Jesus, Who I will praise all my days, amen.

19 comments:

  1. I take it you are done discussing your claim to authority through the voice of Jesus Christ for re-baptism. I would like to point out to your readers that I used scriptures to demonstrate the Lord follows the pattern of giving that authority to the leaders of His church and not just anyone. I asked for scriptural examples of what you have claimed, but have seen none yet.

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    1. Nope. Just living my life. :o)

      I am fully aware you used scriptures to support your curious position that Paul, Nephi and Joseph Smith didn't know what they were talking about (Gal 3:28, 2 Ne 26:33, History of the Church 3:380). Proof-texting does not a sound argument make.

      Of course God doesn't give authority to "just anyone". He gives authority to those who belong to His church. Jesus told us who His church is, in D&C 10:

      "67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church."

      He then goes on to make it really clear how serious He is about this definition:

      "68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

      69 And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them."

      I find it interesting that you don't consider my previous responses to you, which included scriptural support, as "scriptural examples". I HAVE given you scriptural examples. This is the third time you have said that. Each time you've asserted it, I've asked to be shown where I haven't done so, and you've ignored that. As far as I can see, I have addressed and responded to each thing that you've presented. If there's something I missed, that you'd like to see addressed, please bring it to my attention.

      God bless you, brother, whoever you are.

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    2. Actually, I should amend that last blessing to read: "God bless you, my brother in my own home stake, whoever you are."

      Yeah. IP addresses. Handy things.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the post and the gratitude reminder!

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  3. Thanks for the post and the gratitude reminder!

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  4. Maybe I should lay out the timeline the way I read it.

    You responded to a question about your re-baptism by saying that authority comes from the voice of Jesus Christ like it did in 3 Nephi to Nephi. I pointed out that it was given to Nephi, the Lords leader of His church and also given to 12 other men.

    3 Nephi 11
    21 And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.
    22 And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.

    Another person who follows Denver Snufffer disputed it saying Alma wasn’t the leader of the Lords church and he received it. I then demonstrated with scripture that Alma was called to lead the Lord’s church and Alma decided who received the authority. And I demonstrated that nothing was taught in the Lord’s church except it came from Alma, and what did he have taught, the teachings of the prophets. Just like our manuals today.

    Mosiah 18:19
    And he [talking about Alma] commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which HE HAD TAUGHT, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.

    Mosiah 23:16-17
    16 And now, Alma was their high priest, he being the founder of their church.
    17 And it came to pass that NONE received authority to preach or to teach except it were by HIM [talking about Alma the Lord’s leader of His church] from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers; and none were consecrated except they were just men.

    You then brought up Paul and Samuel the Lamanite. I did not address Paul but I did demonstrate that Samuel did not claim to receive any authority outside the Church’s leadership, which authority you have claimed outside of the LDS leadership. Everyone looked for Nephi (the Lord’s leader of His church) to baptize them.

    Helaman 16:1 “And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls of the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and SOUGHT [they didn’t seek for Samuel] for Nephi; and when they had come forth and found him they confessed unto him their sins and denied not, desiring that they might be baptized unto the Lord.

    Every example discussed follows the pattern the Lord has followed throughout history of Him giving that authority to His church leadership, not some random person to be baptized outside His church.

    The scriptures you referenced (Gal 3:28, 2 Ne 26:33, D&C 10:67-69) say nothing of baptism or authority. They are great scriptures about being part of Christ’s church, but say nothing that would justify your claim to authority through the voice of Jesus Christ outside the leadership of His church.

    I have scriptures that talk about being part of Christ’s church too, but I am asking you give me examples that support your claims to authority outside the order the Lord has clearly followed throughout the years.

    Or maybe the answer is that Denver Snuffer is wrong.

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    1. Here are the things you laid out, point by point, with responses:

      You wrote:

      3 Nephi 11
      21 And the Lord SAID unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.
      22 And again the Lord called others, and SAID unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.

      My response:

      The Lord conferred the authority to baptize by His voice. Those verses show that He did not touch them, mentioning specifically, twice, that He only spoke. (Emphasis in the verses mine.)

      ***********************************
      You wrote:

      Another person who follows Denver Snufffer disputed it saying Alma wasn’t the leader of the Lords church and he received it. I then demonstrated with scripture that Alma was called to lead the Lord’s church and Alma decided who received the authority. And I demonstrated that nothing was taught in the Lord’s church except it came from Alma, and what did he have taught, the teachings of the prophets. Just like our manuals today.

      My response:

      Saying the LDS manuals are spirit-filled preaching is simply not a comparison that works. The purpose of both may be the same, to try to teach the word of God. However, the manuals were put together by selecting quotes that support a list of 42-ish preselected topics. If you took the same topic-based approach to my blog, you could take a quote here and a snippet there, and put it together to mean so many things that I never intended. That’s not the way to teach, and it’s not the way to learn.
      There’s also this example of a quote being modified to change its meaning:
      Lorenzo Snow said in the 1899 Conference Address

      "...I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child who has means shall pay one tenth of their income as a tithing..."

      Conference Report Oct 1899 page 28 (3/5th way down column 2 on page 28) [http://archive.org/stream/conferencereport1899sa/conferencereport692chur#page/28/mode/2up

      In the 2011 Lesson Manual, in Lesson 12- Tithing, the Church quote this talk as:

      "....I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child ... shall pay one tenth of their income as a tithing...."

      Teachings of Lorenzo Snow manual, page 160 [https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-of-presidents-of-the-church-lorenzo-snow/chapter-12-tithing-a-law-for-our-protection-and-advancement?lang=eng]

      That lesson is used to support recent leaders’ statements that you pay your tithing before you meet your family’s basic needs, which is in direct contradiction of King Benjamin’s address, where he said the poor and “those that have sufficient to remain from day to day” are not to give, and the poor are to receive.

      **********************************
      You wrote:

      Mosiah 18:19
      And he [talking about Alma] commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which HE HAD TAUGHT, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.

      Mosiah 23:16-17
      16 And now, Alma was their high priest, he being the founder of their church.
      17 And it came to pass that NONE received authority to preach or to teach except it were by HIM [talking about Alma the Lord’s leader of His church] from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers; and none were consecrated except they were just men.

      My response:

      Of course. No scripture is of private interpretation, and right teaching is vital to the believer girding themselves with truth so they can “withstand the evil day”. To gird up your loins meant to take the long robes commonly worn and secure them up high around the legs and waist so they wouldn’t trip the wearer as he went to work, or to war. The analogy of truth providing girding, so we don’t trip and stumble, is a powerful one.

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    2. Alma had the proper understanding of scripture from God, and he was following the same principle Paul wrote about to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 (starting in verse two), to teach what he had been taught. We have Alma’s teachings, and they are ALL in accordance with what other scripture teaches. The message from God, carried by a true prophet, will never contradict God. God exists outside of time, and Mormon reminds us that if He changed, He would cease to be God (Mormon 9:19).

      The verse you quoted only supports the idea of a single, monolithic, leader-centric church if you start with that belief and proof-text. It supports what I’m saying equally as well; I have, however, the historical records of the early Christian churches in the Old World to support my position, as well as plenty of other examples of God calling individuals to His work. God called Paul, who then answered the call and had one of the most amazing missionary ministries ever. Ditto with Zeezrom (Alma 31, Helaman 5—I have a feeling you’re one who knows these chapters off the top of his head). Oh, and Alma the Younger. My point isn’t that God doesn’t call leaders . . . it’s that He can, has, and will call anyone He sees fit, regardless of institutional positioning or membership. There are so many powerful prophetic ministries, healing ministries, and even community & civic ministries, in the world for anyone to think that the LDS Church somehow equates with the Kingdom of God on the earth, or that anyone with any of the gifts laid out in the first 17 verses of Ephesian 4 has to be called and ordained by someone in the LDS church.

      Have you read about Cuidad Juarez in Mexico? From the murder capital of the world to the safest city in the world in just a few years, thanks to Transformational Christians following the pattern set out in Luke 10. Similar things have happened in a prison, and are beginning in the Philipines. These people are following God’s word, and bringing about the end of violence and poverty. No poor among them. God is no respecter of persons, indeed.

      ***********************************
      You wrote:

      You then brought up Paul and Samuel the Lamanite. I did not address Paul but I did demonstrate that Samuel did not claim to receive any authority outside the Church’s leadership, which authority you have claimed outside of the LDS leadership. Everyone looked for Nephi (the Lord’s leader of His church) to baptize them.

      Helaman 16:1 “And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls of the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and SOUGHT [they didn’t seek for Samuel] for Nephi; and when they had come forth and found him they confessed unto him their sins and denied not, desiring that they might be baptized unto the Lord.

      Every example discussed follows the pattern the Lord has followed throughout history of Him giving that authority to His church leadership, not some random person to be baptized outside His church.

      My response:

      Yes, every example discussed can be used to support your position. But they are not the only examples, and I would like to see you address Paul, as his story still stands. Not only was he called outside of leadership, but he was called as an APOSTLE outside of the twelve. And he wasn’t the only one, either. The KJV takes out many of the titles that exist in the Greek manuscripts.

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    3. You wrote:

      The scriptures you referenced (Gal 3:28, 2 Ne 26:33, D&C 10:67-69) say nothing of baptism or authority. They are great scriptures about being part of Christ’s church, but say nothing that would justify your claim to authority through the voice of Jesus Christ outside the leadership of His church.

      My response:

      You handily omitted the Joseph Smith quote from the history of the church, that says: “God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them” (HC 3:380).

      Not anything. Including a personal visitation by Jesus Christ. Revelation. Prophecy. Authority to baptize (given to Joseph & Oliver). The story with that is that John the Baptist came and ordained them, while Jesus SPOKE to the Nephites to whom He gave authority to baptize. So authority to baptize can come either through ordination by a fellow-servant, who God has given authority to do so, or from the voice of Jesus Christ directly. If God did it once, then it follows that He will still do it, if conditions are met.

      **********************************
      You wrote:

      I have scriptures that talk about being part of Christ’s church too, but I am asking you give me examples that support your claims to authority outside the order the Lord has clearly followed throughout the years.

      My response:

      I didn’t give you a scripture that talks *about* Christ’s church. I gave you Jesus Christ’s own words, defining His church, and His solemn injunction that those who teach that His church or doctrine are more or less than the fifteen words He spoke are not of Him, but are against Him.

      I believe Jesus Christ, and will stand by what He said, no matter the claims of any man who adds to what Christ said, regardless of office, declared prophetic mantle, or authority. A title is meaningless without the fruit—the signs and wonders—that God declared in scripture. Jesus gave us the warning concerning changing what He said . . . and my only desire is to be of Him, and for Him. If that means that men strip me of the church community I have cherished my entire life, then that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I esteem all flesh the same: with a great deal of love and respect. But I will honor no man or woman above another based on claimed authority from God.

      If someone has authority from God, that person will heal the sick, raise the dead, declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ, doing not only the works that Jesus did, recorded in scripture, but do “greater works” than those (John 14:12).

      And I wholeheartedly reject the notion that construction projects count as “greater works”.

      I will lift ONLY the name of Jesus Christ high, in reverential or joyful tones, proclaiming His love, His power, His ministry, His victory, His word unto salvation. No one stands between Him and the seeking soul, for He is the keeper of the gate, and He employs no servant there.

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  5. I appreciate your analysis of my comments but you still have yet to produce a single scripture that the Lord gave this authority to just anyone that is not called to leadership in His church. I’m not sure how far you beliefs have strayed from the LDS church (that you claim to love so much) but we believe that Paul was called to be an Apostle by the Lord and later became a member of the Quorum of the 12, the Lords leaders of His church which you so openly reject today.

    I’m sorry I did not mention the History of the Church quote because again, it does not mention baptism or authority, or that the Lord would give this authority to just anyone.

    You wrote:

    “You handily omitted the Joseph Smith quote from the history of the church, that says: “God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them” (HC 3:380).”
    I don’t know how Denver Snuffer pulls out that the Lord will give anyone authority from this quote, but then again I don’t know how anyone who reads the New Testament believes that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are the same person.

    It seem like you’re going to keep using Paul as an example so I guess I better address this.

    Paul said:

    Hebrews 5:4
    “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.”

    How was Aaron called?

    Exodus 28:1

    “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.”

    The Lord working through His prophet once again called who would receive the priesthood. Again the Lord didn’t go directly to Aaron and call him but did it through His prophet.

    I ask you to produce a scripture where the Lord by His voice gives this authority to someone that is not called to be the leadership in His church. Unless you think you or those associated with you are being called to the Lord’s leadership of His church?

    The reason you cannot produce a scripture is because there isn’t one. The ones that I pointed out in the scriptures directly talk about this authority and directly to the leadership in the Lords church.

    That is why every splinter group that thinks they now better than the Lord’s prophet ends up the same. Because they are blinded to the fact that it is the Lord working through His prophet. The Lord will never lead His church astray. Those who leave the church find this out at some point. Every group thinks the Church will fail because they believe it is nice, old men, but not prophet, seers, and revelators that lead the Church. 15 million of us know it is the Lord and not nice, old men.

    Have you not enough history to see where this will end up for you?

    I’m sorry I got off topic, but I don’t think you can produce the scriptures that justify your claim to authority.

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  6. In your eyes, I never will be able to produce a scripture that "justifies my claim to authority", for two reasons:

    1) Your way of looking at the scriptures is fundamentally different than mine. We operate on wholly different paradigms: you from a leader-centric point of view, I from the view that all are able to receive whatever God has to offer, regardless of office or membership in an organization.

    2) I, personally, am making no claim to authority. None. So there's nothing to justify.

    It's not that I'm trying to prove an opposing point of view from yours. It's that I'm saying "There's a whole, lovely, amazing, sweet world out here in Jesus Christ", and you're insisting that everything I say has to make sense according to the rigid paradigms you believe are the whole of the spiritual universe. The cognitive dissonance I present is too high a price to pay, and you haven't yet been willing to consider that there are more ways of looking at these ideas that your own.

    I'm going to repeat just one part of the response that I made the mistake of spending hours of my life on today:

    You have “othered” me, therefore making it much easier to vilify and discount me. Your actions bespeak motives that, far from being for my soul or the souls of my family, are more for the expulsion of us from the community in which we were once gladly accepted and welcomed. If not, then it seems you would not have chosen a blog format for your writings, nor would you insist on anonymity in my blog comments. You would have come directly to me, and sought to be reconciled to me and my husband, directly.

    D&C 42 gives painfully clear instruction on how to handle disagreements and offenses . . . yet you have chosen to take your disagreements public, without talking to me.

    YOU KNOW WHO I AM.

    You know my name, my husband’s name, my children’s names. You probably know my parents, and are acquainted with one or two of my brothers. You know information about our baptism that I have not made public. Odds are you’re in the High Council, in my own ward, or a ward I’ve been a part of in the last fifteen years in this stake. I’ve shaken your hand, probably chatted you up in the hallway, maybe even been in a class you’ve taught or served side-by-side with you. Can’t you see that the way you’re going about this says to me that you place absolutely no value in the worth of my soul, or the words of Jesus Christ in how to strengthen the stakes of Zion? This is a betrayal of the love and trust I invested in relationships in my ward and stake, and it is deeply painful to me.

    I have put my face, my name, on my blog, so those in my ward or stake who had concerns about me could more easily contact me . . . I was hoping to create the beginning of a dialogue, to invite personal contact. I'm deeply disappointed that that has not been the result.

    If you would like to continue this conversation, you're going to have to so do in person. We've reached the point now where you're simply telling me I'm wrong, refusing the answers I've offered, and that will get you nowhere. I've had enough actual primary-source history to know that I can trust Jesus Christ, and place no confidence in men whatsoever. Your injunctions to follow LDS leaders has no meaning and no weight to me, both because it contradicts scripture (trust not in the arm of flesh, as Nephi said), and because I don't know who the hell you are. Therefore your words carry all the weight of any other person who takes upon themselves to pester someone with whom they disagree. None.

    I'm telling you now, before God and every angelic and mortal witness that sees this, that the fruits of the course I'm pursuing, for the first time after three decades plus of uber-faithful LDS living, match what God has promised. The fruit is GOOD. If you don't think so, that's fine. But I'd ask to you to take it up with me in person.

    Dear God, bless this man, in Jesus' name.

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  7. PR: I asked that any further communication is done in person. I expect you to honor that. You misunderstand my motives, my beliefs, and I really take exception to the aspersions you continue to cast.

    There are only three possibilities in the stake boundaries for the neighborhood IP address through which your comments come. One of them is my home. No, I'm not certain who you are, but it won't take me long to find out, if I care to do so.

    The comment you posted is the first I've ever removed from my blog, and I'm sorry to have to do so.

    God bless you.

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  8. It says you welcome questions and concerns but you delete my reply? Anyone who would like to read my reply can click on my name.

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    1. by65: I asked you, in the plainest of terms, to please contact me directly. It's wholly within your power to do so.

      Additionally, the posture you assumed, in writing that last comment, was most definitely not giving me "the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible". Your earlier statement, that you don't (or can't) allow "false doctrine" to go unquestioned, was simply judgemental. You are not the doctrine police. I appreciate your fervor, but the Crusades ended a long time ago, and were notoriously unsuccessful for a reason. Taking up the pen in a like spirit will have similar results.

      I was certain you would post your response on your blog, which is totally your prerogative, and so I felt little to no compunction about removing your comment (which was outside of my commenting policy) from mine. I bear you no animosity. I'm just sad that you are sufficiently afraid (or disinterested, or something) that you won't contact me in person.

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  9. I hope I can reply when you comment publicly to me, but if not it will be on my blog just click my name.

    From your recent comments, you think I am somehow associated with you enough to contact you directly. This is not the case. I remain anonymous because I seek no praise or honor of men or women.

    I simply asked you to provide scriptures to support your claim to authority for your baptism (and yes I cut and pasted on my blog how you DID claim your re-baptism was done with authority). Each example you came up with supported the LDS doctrine and not the doctrine that God just gives this power to anyone not associated with His church leadership. You made every attempt to turn the focus on some other issue. You could not provide one single scripture that supported that claim because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That is why you could not provide one scripture. When I would not let you side track the discussion your post became more and more personal. Your tone reminded me of Nehor.

    Alma 1
    9 Now, because Gideon withstood him [Nehor] with the words of God he was wroth with Gideon…

    Who made Gideon the “doctrine police”?

    And yes when someone claims “A: The LDS Church is MY church. I am a member. It has been the bedrock of my own personal community for my entire life.” and clearly and openly teach doctrine contrary to what the LDS church teaches, that is FASLE doctrine.
    Ready for the next discussion?

    You wrote:
    “Excommunication can be a good thing, but only if it's done in cases of serious sin. So many people I know have been excommunicated because they had the gall to do what the scriptures teach, instead of honoring a leader's contradictory instruction. Between the word of man and Word of God, they chose the Word of God, and were cast out. No sin involved-- most were worthy of temple recommends when they were excommunicated.”

    Apostasy is a serious sin. When you publicly teach and embrace doctrine that is contrary to and oppose those accepted by the LDS church, that is apostasy. One third of the hosts of heaven were cast out for apostasy. Excommunication is being cast out of Gods Kingdom on earth.

    From your posts you don’t think the current Apostles are prophet, seers, and revelators. You (through Denver Snuffer) do not believe this was passed on to Brigham Young or anyone since Joseph Smith, Jr. Can you show me in the scriptures to back up this claim? Surely the Lord would have had His prophets testify way before this happened so we would know that He would restore His church and then take “the heavenly gift” away to restore it again at some later date.

    Just so there is no misunderstanding. Scriptures that clearly state that this would happen after the restoration.

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  10. You can contact me directly at (my first name) at (my domain name) dot com. I'm happy to talk on the phone, or meet in person. You are using IP addresses local to me, and so geography shouldn't be a problem. If you are a member of my ward (or stake), then you have a strong association with me, even if you're a new move-in. I would be happy to talk to you in person. I'll even bring my husband, if coming face to face with me, solo, bothers you. Even if you feel little or no relationship to me, relationship is necessary if you want to try to persuade me. (And if you're somehow not geographically local to me, then there's always the old-fashioned "reach out and touch someone" long-distance call. ;-)

    So far, though, you've pushed and prodded and judged and condemned, as if your resistance could somehow invalidate my personal experience with Jesus and His Word. Need I tell you that is not the case? "I would not that ye should think that I know these things of myself, but it is the Spirit of God which is in me which maketh these things known unto me. For if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things." ~Alma 38:6 I have been born of God . . . given a new heart and new life; I hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, and I follow Him, regardless of what anyone else might say or do. This blog is a result of that rebirth, and there are hundreds of posts bearing witness to my personal knowledge of Jesus Christ, my interactions with His Spirit, and the way His Word has been opened to my understanding.

    I have provided scriptures. The difference is that I understand them differently than you do. Your claims that the passages I presented supported your arguments stand on the flimsiest of foundations, because it requires proof texting to make them do so. Solid hermeneutics and exegesis are absolutely necessary, (despite Elder Christofferson's derision of them a few years ago in General Conference), along with an understanding of the culture and context of each passage. Every word in scripture is both rich and deep, and holds an entire world of meaning, if we will but search into them.

    I will no longer scripture-bash with you--it's futile. To me, the LDS Church is the Gentile Church. The warnings and prophecies in the Book of Mormon are there for US. Mormon included the story of the Zoramites, not so we could say, "Wow. How crazy! So glad we're not them!", but so we could have a fighting chance to see that we ARE them. The pollution of the Holy Word of God, the corruption of EVERY church, the refusal to take responsibility for mistakes (Elder Oaks' recent statement that the church neither seeks for, nor offers, apologies), children of active families starving to the tune of an average of TWENTY TWO every day while the church built a mall with funds that could have saved the lives of every starving child within the ranks of LDS membership for hundreds of years. And the more personal one to those of us in the first world: the "amen" to the priesthood of those who use compulsion and force, and the dire situation church leadership is in as they seek to enforce their beliefs with the sword of excommunication.

    Please give me the same courtesy that I have given, and stop hiding. Anonymity never won converts. It takes real people, with real faces and real stories, to build relationships that will change lives.

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    1. Your differences, and mine, lie much deeper than trading scripture references. Providing passages makes no headway, because you refuse to entertain the idea that they could be understood in a different way than you currently see them. We are speaking completely different languages, even though we both use an English lexicon. You demand proof . . . and yet so long as you labor under your current paradigm, you are happy with the cognitive dissonance that all the evidence before you provides (both in current events, historical events (the Catholic Dogs of God come to mind) and the fulfillment of prophecy), because you feel you can rely on your leadership for all things. My evidence are easily discounted by you, simply because they have not been uttered by your leaders.

      If you ever are interested in conversing, with an open mind, please contact me directly.

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  11. I understand your need to discuss (debate) in private. When you proclaim YOUR beliefs publicly, I believe they should be talked about publicly, otherwise people only read your side.

    My only objective is to defend the faith of 15 million. I’m sorry you have felt judged or condemned but both of us cannot be right. I have never tried to invalidate your spiritual experiences, I only asked how you can justify your claims to authority with the scriptures. I don’t know why you continue to make it personal. It was always about discussing your scriptural claims, which it looks like that has come to an end.

    When Joseph Smith, Jr. was killed, Sidney Rigdon had a vision in which the Lord showed him that he was to be the guardian of the Church. Sidney Rigdon was no stranger to visions (D&C 76). He claimed he was called to finish the work of Joseph Smith.

    Ask yourself, how could Sidney Rigdon be wrong? He claimed to have had a vision where the Lord told him to lead His church.

    The answer comes from Brigham Young who spoke at the famous meeting.

    “Joseph conferred upon our heads all the keys and powers belonging to the Apostleship which he himself held before he was taken away, and no man or set of men can get between Joseph and the Twelve in this world or in the world to come.

    “How often has Joseph said to the Twelve, ‘I have laid the foundation and you must build thereon, for upon your shoulders the kingdom rests.’”

    With his vision of the Savior, we know Sidney started the Church of Christ. How did that end up?

    I have read your views on following prophets (mortal men) and you believe we place them between us and God. 15 million of us know they do not stand in front of the straight and narrow path, they stand beside it, helping us find our way back home. God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He has always called His children to help His other children back to Him. Without that help we can imagine any path to be straight and narrow, just like Sidney Rigdon.

    D&C 90:2 Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the LAST TIME.

    The Lord didn’t say second to last time, He said LAST TIME!

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  12. I think I'll just leave this last comment up and let my readers discern for themselves.

    God bless.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!