Sunday, November 30, 2014

Exiled into Egypt


Two high priests from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to my door this afternoon. I invited them in, but they declined, saying they were there to deliver a letter "in private".

Right there. On the doorstep.

So I shooed the kids inside and closed the door behind me.

"What's the letter say?"

"We want you to read it."

The last two "messengers" the Church sent (eight months ago) delivered a letter that summoned me to a "kangaroo" court where they stripped me of my membership.

I scanned the first paragraph: 

"As a result, you are no longer welcome to come onto any property owned or controlled by the Church, wherever located."
I had already pondered the implications of a global restriction, having been given the "heads up" by Bishop Risenmay two Sundays ago.

Imagine sending your children to a church where you are not welcome...and never allowed. How would you describe such a church?

Repugnant and repulsive, right? 


How would you feel about belonging to a church that treated your family and friends that way?

It's an unimaginable blasphemy.

"Do you even read the scriptures?" I asked one of them.

He was my friend. Our families had spent serious time together (several years ago). I genuinely loved the guy! He was on the stake high counsel that excommunicated me and the only one who sat beside me and comforted me (with cheerful banter and genuine support) during that ordeal. He tried to encourage me: "Don't worry! You'll be back in no time!" He clearly didn't understand the enormity of what was transpiring.

A month ago he confessed he hardly ever studied the scriptures. "Not enough time!" he lamented, "I really need to study more." He didn't seem the least bit interested in the respectful doctrinal discussion I was having with another member of the stake -- even though he knew I had been excommunicated over doctrinal concerns. He turned a deaf ear to our conversation, perhaps thinking: "Better not get involved."

I summarized the following verses for him:
30 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood. 
31 But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered. 
32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. (3 Nephi 18:30-32.)

"How can I return and repent," I asked, "when you won't even tell me what I've done wrong?"

"You've been told many times."

"Oh, really? Remind me."

He wouldn't elaborate. (Of course he wouldn't!) Instead, he remarked about my demeanor:

"You don't seem very humble...You haven't been humble for a long, long time."

"How am I supposed to be humble when you keep persecuting me?!"

I knew I didn't look or sound humble. What does a "humble" person do? I could use some (more) humility.

The truth is: I don't suffer bullies and thieves well. (My inclination is to beat the crap out of the bullies and bring the thieves to justice!) These people -- not the guys I was talking to, but the ones they "work" for -- were stealing both my church and my religion.

I didn't like that at all!

I guess if it were possible for someone to take away my church and religion from me, then I ought to let them have them. As they say: "You can't take it with you!" And if they could take these things from me, then they weren't mine to begin with and certainly nothing "eternal". In other words, nothing to get mad about.

Even so, I was obviously ticked. Not at these gentlemen, but at the organization -- an organization I deeply loved and proudly served with all my heart -- an organization that had morphed into something...diabolic.

***

A friend of mine expressed his own concerns to me at Church this morning:

"There is a schism forming," he said. "The bishop of [he named a ward] stood up and told his congregation not to go to LDS.org anymore because they teach false doctrine there!" He described what's happening in the Church today as "tyranny". He urged me to teach my children how to survive in a world -- and Church -- fraught with tyranny.

"Types like this," he said, naming several political and genocidal despots of the recent past "arise in every generation and organization. You have to learn to deal with them. If you don't, you're dead. If you want to survive, you've got to learn to keep your mouth shut and your head down. That's what I do!"

"That's un-American," I said. "Americans don't submit to tyranny. I'm going to teach my children to stand up and speak out!"

"Then they'll be dead. They're going to need a job. It takes only 30 or 40 days to starve to death, you know."

"I would rather they were dead than acquiesce to tyrants."

My wife said tonight: 
"You've only got to read Moroni 6 to know that what they did to you was wrong. They were supposed to have three witnesses. They were supposed to give you time to repent. 
Also the meetings are supposed to be conducted by the Spirit. They aren't. That's why the meetings are always "dead" now. There's no Spirit there. It's all routine."
***

I was mad at the blasphemy of it all! These guys (the ones on my doorstep) were just cogs in a machine, doing what they were "programmed" to do. "We're just the messengers", they said.

I believed them.

But I wanted true messengers.

I reminded them that, in three and a half years, not one of them (or their leaders!) had ever visited my home to instruct me in correct principles or doctrine. If I had gone astray, why didn't they visit me?

"We've not even had a hometeacher!" I told the pair, "But you've already come to my home now twice to cast me out?"

Such was a sickening perversion of priorities, in my opinion.

We went back and forth a few times, talking in rancorous circles. It was obvious these two were sent, not to solve problems, but to get rid of one: me. They were sent to deliver their letter and to let me know "there would be repercussions" if I showed up at Church again.

What type of repercussions? 

"If you come onto any Church property in violation of these restrictions you will be treated as a trespasser and subject to arrest and prosecution."

This letter was dated November 17. My wife told me yesterday a certified letter from Utah had been sitting at the post office since November 19. (She just found out. We don't check our mailbox very often. Who does anymore?)

Ironically, I've been attending church with my family -- unaware of this "prohibition" against my doing so -- for the past two Sundays...three, if you count the day Bishop Risenmay threatened me, saying it was "out of [his] hands now".

That pretty much sums up what the LDS Church has become: Distant. Impersonal. Imperial. Legalistic.

I attended church these past several weeks as an unwitting "trespasser" and no one said a word. Not the bishop, who obviously knew. Not the bishop's first counselor, who shunned me. Not the 1st counselor in the stake presidency, with whom I shook hands this morning and said hello. (We went to school together!) Yet he never said a word.

They all knew.

These aren't my friends. They aren't even my brothers. I don't know who these people are.

We are nothing alike.

38 comments:

  1. Will,

    I don't know what to say.

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  2. Look, it's super late and I wish I were in bed (with my wife), but I'll say it anyway:

    I've "come clean". I've confessed my sins. I've done my part. I've learned and taught the truth. And I keep my covenants.

    Am I fraught with flaws still?

    Absolutely.

    And the Church has spit me out.

    I asked for bread. They gave me a stone. I asked for fish. They brought me a serpent.

    It's not the true church anymore.

    Even this insignificant, utterly trivial "matter of the heart" they drummed up against me to "warrant" this "exile". Only I would "confess" such a "sin"! Or dare to reveal my true feelings and emotions!

    These quivering, careful climbers, they disgust me with their hypocrisy! What are they thinking? That salvation shall be had in cushy seats and high callings? That the level of their devotion to God shall be measured in how well they memorize and apply the Church's Handbook of Instructions, rather than the scriptures and the words of God?

    I am sickened by the fact that they have changed the temple ordinances! Anyone with a spiritual bent or understanding realized what a loss occurred!

    I am sickened by the bureaucratic manner the Church conducts its "relations" with its members. So "business-like". So impersonal. So careless. So soulless.

    I know there are men and women -- saints of God -- who populate this Church and feel and convey the Spirit of God. I know them and I love them.

    I wish I were more like them!

    But not all in Zion are of Zion. Hypocrites and posers abound!

    Do I have charity?

    I love my brother and sister enough to tell them the truth, even when it hurts me. I'm willing to sacrifice myself (and my reputation, my comfort, my where with all) for them, for any of them.

    And I'm willing to forgive all men their trespasses.

    My wife and I knelt in prayer tonight and prayed for each of the men who dumped this curse upon us. We did it with pure hearts, unfettered by grudge-holding or malice of any kind. We wish them the best.

    But we would never do to them what they have done to us. It is unfathomable.

    Just when I thought I had given my all, the lawyers and pharisees who run this satanic imitation of Zion demonstrated there was even more they could require and take from me by force, that I am yet in their power!

    I was tempted to go to church again next Sunday and dare them to arrest me for trespassing -- in the very chapel I helped clean last month (though I am no longer, because of them, a member of their church). Would they really stoop so low, now that they have "banished" me from even watching the Christmas program to which my family has contributed so much time and effort in preparation for?

    These people surely are souls worthy of pity.

    That being said, I could use a healthy dose of humility. (I thought I was demonstrating it this afternoon when I didn't tell the two who cursed me what they could go do, both with themselves and their church.)

    I will never, ever "bow and kneel to the scepter of their authority". I swear to God! They are false gods, false priests, and false prophets. By their works I know them!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Relevant, regardless of rationalizations to the contrary:

    D&C 46:3-5
    3 Nevertheless ye are commanded never to cast any one out from your public meetings, which are held before the world.

    4 Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him not partake until he makes reconciliation.

    5 And again I say unto you, ye shall not cast any out of your sacrament meetings who are earnestly seeking the kingdom—I speak this concerning those who are not of the church.

    My heart goes out to you for the pains these men cause your family.

    It is wonderful that their claims to authority and the eternal weight thereof are empty at best, and of fully inverted consequence at worst.

    Mike

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  4. Will,
    Since you have declared yourself my friend, I will tell you of my own travail with the little men who run the corporate church. They are stamped out, as if with a cookie cutter, from the same cheap cloth of self-righteous hypocrisy the Savior encountered in His day of mortality.
    Since I have confessed all (over and over again) in public, I will send my note to you in a private email.
    Suffice it to say, you are not alone in what you have suffered at the hands of these pseudo-servants of a corporate monolith devoid of love, charity, or mercy who profess love but show forth only fear.
    James Russell Uhl

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    1. Brother Jim,

      That being said (and no doubt more truthfully now than ever!), I have known their opposite in the Church as well: holy men, full of the Holy Ghost, righteous and true, selfless and serving. I have known priesthood leaders I would walk through fire for...because they walked through fire for me.

      Not all are lost or broken. Many good men and women still serve in the LDS church. Many of those who raised their hand to condemn me no doubt knelt that same night in prayer, asking God to forgive them for their own sins. In time they will learn, like the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, never to dare to condemn another lest one be condemned himself.

      I hold out great hopes for all men and women of the LDS Church and would not withhold salvation and glory from any of them -- if they are willing to get it the same way all have done before -- by coming unto Christ and doing as He has done.

      Delete
  5. There are ways to fight this, but is it worth it?

    You've been removed from the classroom. Amputate, cauterize, and move on.

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  6. It sounds like the lady thought you were a stalker and that's why she didn't answer your messages. She may not have known how to respond to your offers of help - misunderstanding (or perhaps understanding too well, even more than you did, where it could lead).

    In any case, you meant no harm and you have been compelled to sacrifice the LDS church in a big way. As I'm sure you know, God will turn it to your good.

    Toni Bate

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  7. I have been very surprised at the spirit of the last few posts. Normally I keep my comments to myself but I feel prompted to add a couple thoughts to the discussion.

    You are in the Lord's school now. You are being given opportunities to apply his rules in refining fires to rise up to the standard he will hold you to. I love the teachings found in Section 59. You seem to be applying verse 12, however I would suggest verse 7 as something to consider.

    "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in ALL THINGS."

    This is contrary to our normal way of doing things. We are usually grateful for the things we want or like, but the COMMANDMENT is more stringent than our preferences allow for.

    Sometimes all we can do IN FAITH is to obey the commandment. Be thankful. As that obedience filters into your heart, you may then be able to receive an answer as to why this trial is actually a blessing. After all, "all things work together for good to them that love God". (Romans 8:28)

    Your answer to WHY might be found in Luke 6:22-23. "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets." (This thought is echoed in 3 Nephi 12)

    I have offered my thoughts in a spirit of love. I pray that God will bless you to find peace again that you will be able to hear the direction of His Spirit through this trial.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you all for your comments.

      RaNae, the reason I am ambivalent, at best, to "jump for joy" is because I know that, more often than not, the "evils" of which I am accused, unfortunately, are true.

      If it's sin they want, they can find plenty in me.

      But they prosecuted me for believing and promoting false doctrine. That's the crazy thing! They don't even know their doctrine, where it comes from, what it leads to. They have bought into the filtered fables fabricated to firm up the facades of their faith. And implicitly trusting in their "prophets" to "never lead them astray", they don't even have to think or learn anything for themselves anymore. Just follow the handbook!

      Their "doctrine" is whatever it says.

      Delete
    2. Will,

      What does that matter? Christ has commanded us not to contend. The best way to stop fighting about what you think someone else is wrong about is to leave them in God's hands and walk away.

      I have two final observations for you.

      First, the Lord is willing to train you in His methods before you are perfect (welcome to the club).

      Second, you seem really concerned with what the church leaders are doing, despite the invitation of the Lord to follow Him. You have to choose which way to face.

      In trying to warn others to repent, you have taken upon yourself the responsibility of a prophet, whether you want it or not. That means you also get the hazards of the job when anyone pays attention to what is being said. There is a reason God warned us to count the cost before we start, lest we are unable to finish the job.

      Read your last paragraph from the point of view of the Savior and see if it applies to His trial as well. Use His example to help you find your way safely through your trial.

      Delete
    3. I mean the paragraph from your comment (in case that was confusing).

      Delete
    4. RaNae,

      No man rejoices while under the lash, and the natural man naturally reviles and thirsts for justice. Let us therefore have compassion upon Will, who is being broken, and lift him up, rather than bear down upon him.

      Delete
    5. I was comforted and encouraged by all your comments.

      You are my true friends.

      Delete
  8. So, is this a form letter, I wonder? I just found out that another cast out member got one a month or two ago.

    http://www.greaterthings.com/News/2014/11/15/2392526_Hailee-says-Thats-Crazy_that_the-LDS-Church_banned-me-from-all-LDS-property/index.html

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  9. Sorry. That was the wrong link. It doesn't have the form letter in it. This link has the form letter that sounds suspiciously like the one Will got.

    http://www.greaterthings.com/News/2014/10/23/2392525_LDS-Church_bans_Sterling-Allan_from_all_LDS-Properties_for_participating-in_Sunday-School/

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    Replies
    1. Well, I finally read the two posts I linked to here in the comment section. The letter does seem exactly like the one Will received - but Will's attitude (even when he expressed anger) has a different spirit than the one Sterling Allan seems to have. In other words, even though he was also innocent of harming anyone, he doesn't seem to rely on God, nor be open to the idea that God may be trying to teach him something in regards to this experience. There seems to be no reaching for a personal relationship with Christ, that I could see. (Not condemning or accusing him - it's just an observation about the differences in the spirit of the two blogs.)

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  10. will why are they talking about people fearing for their safety? was there anything you did that could be construed as threatening or legitimize this in any way? please don't hold back any pertinent facts. not saying you are, but please clarify whether there is any reasonable justification for their accusations.

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    1. Will, for the record I agree with Anon that it to have the whole story would make a more compelling argument. As it stands, the probably ridiculous accusations in the letter, if assumed true, would be quickly explained away by any member.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Anon and Rob. The truth doesn't conceal anything.

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    3. After reading this post: http://in200wordsorless.blogspot.com/2014/11/feelings-and-inclinations.html it makes a lot more sense. I'm sorry you got this letter Will but I can't really join in the outrage. You weren't exactly wise as a serpant yet harmless as a dove. Not that I wish to judge you but I think it's important people know you didn't get this letter directly b/c of your exing but b/c of the inappropriate behavior w the woman in your now-former ward. I do pray for reconciliation for all involved.

      Delete
    4. Leo

      I'm sure Will is fully aware of his error... as you have so vividly expressed.

      If Will had not been "exed" I doubt this business would have ended up where it is. The fact that he is not a member anymore means that he is not counseled in the same way as a member. They have no "spiritual" jurisdiction over him any longer. I think the leaders are just "ticked" because he has not submitted to their "authority" in getting his membership reinstated.

      This issue could have been taken care of by the bishop.... and the excuse that " it is out of his hands" was a cover up for his own ratting to the "higher ups."

      Such "Punishment" had never changed the heart of a man or woman who would otherwise return if handled differently. This is a lesson for all of us... to not be the JUDGE of any situation but to be the author of hope when such errors are made by our brothers and sisters. Life has a way of putting us in similar circumstances when we censure others when they make errors.

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    5. It would be nice I spoke from an sort of fact. You have no idea what he has done or not done. You have no knowledge of the facts that led up to that letter.

      You are hearing one side of things and even that is subject to half truths. You want to support him, fine. Don't go assuming you know what is "going on" when you don't.

      "Better to be quiet and let people guess how stupid you are, than open your mouth and prove them correct."

      Delete
    6. Type. Should say "It would be nice if you spoke from any sort of fact"

      Delete
    7. Anonymous wrote: "will why are they talking about people fearing for their safety? was there anything you did that could be construed as threatening or legitimize this in any way? please don't hold back any pertinent facts. not saying you are, but please clarify whether there is any reasonable justification for their accusations."

      I was planning to respond in a more thorough post, but my wife said: "Just tell them you're not a pedophile; you never caused a commotion or disruption in Church; you didn't have an affair or do anything that would justify this action." And I didn't. So there.

      However, the answer is not just "no", but "yes"...as you will see...if I ever get this post put together. Please be patient. (However, by then you may not be interested.)

      I'm not really that interested in defending myself. I have nothing to "win" anymore. There is no "fight" here. I am not an "enemy" of Mormonism. (I still love the gospel restored by Joseph Smith.) I don't care what the Mormon Church does or says, however. They have forfeited their priesthood, as a corporation, and "de-legitimatized" themselves in my regard, in every way they could. They are the ones who will give account -- to the Christ they claim to worship but have never met or known.

      I am pleased to confess my sins now if it relieves me of the burden of doing so later.

      The Lord has not given me any commission to tear down others, but to build up His Church on a sure foundation, which foundation is faith in Christ.

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  11. Will, Like Log, I don't know what to say. You are my friend. I love you and your family. I can't believe this is happening to you. I offer you my heartfelt support and prayers on your behalf. I can't imagine how I would feel or respond if I were given such a letter. Amazing. I never would have conceived such a thing were possible, especially in view of the scripture to continue to minister. Don't they realize what a PR nightmare this is? The hypocrisy is simply astounding.

    Also, in agreement with Log, is there some way you / we can change (y)our focus from the LDS Church to the Savior? Log was direct, but I know his advice was given in love. I say let us do all within our power to bring the love of the Savior into our hearts and homes, in spite of what the LDS Church has become. God bless you and your family. I will continue to ask the Lord to bless you each night I pray. Thank you for sharing these things. May the sweet peace of forgiveness fill your heart. To forgive others when not warranted is Christ-like indeed.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tim. I will endeavor to reply in a subsequent post.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Oh my gosh... you are really being put through the rigors. I am so sorry that it has come to this. I was astonished by the letter, not only the fact you are to refrain from any contact with Church property but have caused members to fear for their safety?
    I fear the woman has betrayed your kindness in some way.

    I am also taken back by the fact that they are forcing “professional help” assuming you will be “medicated.” What kind of a requirement is that? This puts a long line of “so called” authority in the way of the restrictions being lifted. And for what purpose... to make it so outlandish that it is would be difficult to have the restrictions lifted? This is
    over the top and puts salt into a healing wound.

    I just read Denver’s new post “Patience and Faith” and found it very helpful toward my own circumstances in sharing information that others are not ready for it. I have not always been wise in sharing my recent experiences with scripture, my feelings about the Church and my quest to “Follow Christ” rather than “Man.” I have to trust the Lord to
    apprise me of those who would be receptive to the message rather than making that
    determination on my own.

    I’m grateful to those of like mind, such as yourself, who have risk to much to teach and share the message to “Follow Christ” first. I’m truly grateful for the online community, communication, sharing and learning that I have received in reading your blog as well as several others.

    I don’t under estimate your pain and disappointment. I’m sure it is very confusing to your children and pray that it will not be harmful to their testimonies of Christ.

    I agree with Denver, that it is time for all of us to “live the talk”, have faith and patience and support each other. I’m convinced that you have a multitude praying for you during this most difficult time. You are certainly in my prayers.

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  14. I received a letter telling me to stay off church property too. Maybe if we gather enough people and stage a sit in . . . Wouldn't it be interesting if we got a few dozen people together, went to a sacrament meeting and invited the media to see if we will all get arrested. Talk about ugly PR.

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't recommend doing that (though it does sound fun, doesn't it?)

      I wouldn't want to give the LDS Church any reason to say "See! We knew you were a trouble maker!"

      I see no divine purpose in agitating and dissenting.

      Delete
  15. In Sunday school a few weeks ago, the topic was Jeremiah. As I was reading that book, I thought to myself, if Jeremiah showed up today, we'd kill him. Your post just confirmed it. How, you ask? Well, here's how it works. Let's say someone did have a divine messenger visit them and tell them to declare repentance to the people. So, in gospel doctrine class, that person says something about everyone needing to repent. The first thing that would happen is that a kind bishop would call that person into his office and remind him that only the bishop is authorized to receive revelation for the ward. If the person persisted in suggesting that people need to repent, he'd end up visiting with a member of the stake presidency. If he persisted, he'd be excommunicated.

    Suppose, the person persisted. He showed up to gospel doctrine and continued to recommend that people repent. Well, he'd then get a letter like this (I hadn't seen one until now, but supposed this would be the next step - was I inspired or what?). If he persisted in showing up, at some point, there'd be an armed representative from the state who would prohibit the person from visiting. People in the congregation would start whispering, "Well, he owns guns, you know." Then, the next time he show up, someone would have warned the deputy that this guy might be armed, the deputy pulls his gun on the person, and, well, who knows what happens after that.

    The point is, this letter confirmed what I was wondering - how quickly the Church would result to the use of force to silence someone suggesting that the membership needs to repent. Although it's wrapped in velvet, this letter is saying we will employ the iron fist of the state in preventing anyone from hearing what you might have to say.

    So, I have a question...

    What things have you said, in church, subsequent to your excommunication? Or, is this simply a response to your continued blogging? Or, is there something else happening?

    I'm posting as Anon (I'm not ready to be excommunicated - as I think my comments would lead to such an action), but for those referencing my comments, just call me BT.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your inquiry. (I've been positively buried at work all week and afterward, what with the holidays.)

      Please allow me to answer all your (and others') questions in a subsequent post "for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known." (Matthew 10:26.)

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    2. After all, I'll have some "free" time on Sundays. ;o)

      Delete
  16. I'm sorry, Will. Were it not contrary to the way of Jesus Christ, it would tempting to label your persecutors, 'heartless bastards' in the employ of the great and abominable church.

    This experience reminds me of lesson six in the Gospel Doctrine New Testament course of study. Jesus gave his apostles remarkable power. He told them that they would suffer and suffer they did. Telllingly, the lesson closes with a quote from Elder Spencer W. Kimball: “No one in this Church will ever go far astray who ties himself securely to the Church Authorities whom the Lord has placed in his Church. This Church will never go astray; the Quorum of the Twelve will never lead you into bypaths; it never has and never will” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 104).

    Never mind that 29 years later President Spencer W. Kimball came out strongly against Elder Ezra Taft Benson's '14 Fundamentals in Follow the Prophet' speech arguing for the infallibility of the prophets, seers and revelators. I'm aghast that ponts from '14 Fundamentals' has been woven into chapter 11 of the priesthood/Relief Society manual for this year. You've been thrown out of your religion by heartless bastards (oops) who have co-opted the religion restored by Joseph Smith.

    God obviously has a work for you, Brother Will. He needs plain-spoken devout souls willing to say and do what needs to be said and done. I think you have it in you. We may look back on this moment and recognize you as one of the remnant prophets.

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    1. I would consider a prophet one who -- not only has a testimony of Jesus Christ but -- is sent by Him to deliver a message. I am unaware of the Lord sending me to do anything more than strive to keep His commandments.

      I believe there are many -- many -- who have come to the realization that "all is not well in Zion". In many ways, I was much closer to the Lord three years after my conversion to Christ and my initiation into Mormonism than I was thirty years afterward. It is essential that each one of us learn to do what the Lord tells us to do, not just "follow a prophet" or expect the Lord to tell him. If Christ does not save us personally -- and we know Him! -- then we are not saved.

      It has been less than a year since I was "cut loose" from the LDS Church. I'm inclined to fall back into my old "patterns", my old "routine", of religious observance rather than purposeful, strenuous, daily discipleship, reaching out to access, hear and follow the Lord in all that I do.

      Let us follow the Lord and become true prophets ourselves. I'm looking forward to "finding" Him again.

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  17. Will,
    Someone posted a link to this on my facebook page, and I ended up reading it again for the third time. It never gets old. And it never ceases to appall.

    Thanks for your heroic stand. You have been an inspiration to me and many others.

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  18. Rock, I sorrow that both of us have been forced to walk this path for now. But what choice did we have? To cower in fear? To keep quiet? To live and teach (what we knew to be) a lie? To trust in the arm of flesh? To believe that being a child of Abraham (or a follower of Mormonism) was enough? That some fallen man holding "keys" could somehow "save" us? That we should have trusted our salvation to another other than Christ?

    Heaven forbid!

    Now the real struggle is not to build a glorious case against Mormonism or to fashion an unimpeachable argument against her false teachings or historical distortions, but to face our accusers with love, to forgive them whole-heartedly and to forget their sins completely; to become loving, not acrimonious, cantankerous, bitter, spiteful or ruinous. Because to "win" -- or even to be right -- is of no importance to us unless we are (or become) loving people at heart, having charity for all (first for our wives and children, then for the whole human race, even our enemies).

    When I consider my own failings at doing so -- at being charitable -- then the LDS Church's failures and offenses against me seem slight by comparison.

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  19. Please contact me.

    Anonymousltrreceiver@gmail.com

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