Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I stole it. Honest.

I know it's hard for anyone who knows me to imagine, but I was not the most popular person in middle school. (Yeah, I know, crazy, huh!)

In fact, I didn't have many friends at all. But I wanted to have friends! So I was happy when a group of "popular" people asked me to accompany them on a bike ride to go "shopping". 

What they really planned to do was go shop-lift-ing. I wanted to "prove" that I could be "one of the group". I wanted to be "popular", too. 

So we rode our bicycles 10 miles to the next town and walked into an old store filled with rocks and minerals -- the kind you see on display at county fairs. Racks and racks of gemstones, geodes and crystals.

I walked to the back of that dingy store and, when the old man wasn't looking, slipped a chunk of amethyst into my clothing...which was kind of hard to do, since I was wearing only a tee shirt and swim shorts...with no pockets! (Use your imagination.) It was also hard to ride a bicycle with that spiky, purple stone in my "special hiding place"! But somehow I got it home.

I added this crystal to my growing collection and "showed it off" to everyone who came to visit. "Here's smokey quartz," I said, pointing to one rock. "There's galena," I said, pointing to another. "Here's iron pyrite. And there's the rock I stole...."

Actually, what I said was "there's amethyst." But in my mind I heard "there's the rock I stole". Year after year I took pride in that collection. And every time I did, I reminded myself that I was a thief.

One day I displayed my collection to a group of cub scouts. I was now a man. When I got to that purple gemstone I heard my own mind say, once again, "there's the rock I stole". 

I had had enough!

I determined to repent.

I got back on my bike (now a motorcycle) and returned to that same store. When I entered, I saw everything had changed. The old man was gone. In his place stood a beautiful woman. Racks of dusty rocks had been replaced with gleaming counters and precious stones under glass.

I asked her: "Miss, can you tell me how much this rock is worth?" I set the crystal on the counter.

"Oh, no," she said, "I'm not the appraiser. You'd have to ask him."

"Well, can you give me an idea of what it's worth?"

"Oh, I don't know...maybe...a hundred dollars?"

I knew it was worth $3.75 when I stole it.

"Are you sure it's worth that much? I asked.

"Let me get the manager." She left and soon returned with a man.

"Sir, six years ago I came into this store and stole that rock", I said, pointing to the counter. "I want to pay for it."

"Oh, son, you don't need to do that! That old man got paid in full years ago! You don't owe me anything!"

"No, sir," I said. "I need to pay for it. Can you tell me what it's worth?"

"Oh, I'd say...maybe $20?"

"Could it be worth $10?" That's all the money I had.

"Ya, I guess so...."

I laid the money on the counter and turned to walk out. When I reached the door, the man called out to me.

"Hey, you forgot your rock!"

"No, sir," I said, "that's not my rock."

When I got back on my bike that afternoon, my backpack was light, but my heart was lighter. That amethyst crystal was no longer the rock I stole. And I was no longer a thief.

The price I paid for that rock that was never mine is incomparable to the joy and happiness I have felt ever since I became that day an honest man.

My "one thing"

Nephi counseled to inquire of the Lord (1 Nephi 15:8) and to feast on the words of Christ, delivered by the Holy Ghost. For "the words of Christ," he said, "will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3).

Just in case we didn't get it the first (or second...or hundredth) time, he repeated himself:
5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh.
So the Holy Ghost both tells us and shows us all things what we should do.

What?! Isn't that "the Church's" job? Don't we need apostles and prophets, high priests and pastors to "show and tell" us what to do? Don't we pay tithing to employ full-time ministers to travel the globe to enlist hundreds of thousands of volunteers, hiring business managers and public relations consultants and marketers and lawyers and thousands of full-time employees and spend billions of dollars each year erecting and maintaining chapels and other facilities, printing handbooks and pamphlets, manuals and magazines, broadcasting weekly sermons and producing videos and holding semi-annual conferences so we can be shown and told what to do? Is receiving the Holy Ghost even necessary? Can't we just "hitch our wagon" to "the Church" and be led by The Brethren to the Promised Land? I mean, the Church is the wedding party, right? We're the ones waiting for the Bridegroom, aren't we? "We're all in this together" right? What's mine is yours and yours is mine. If I've got no oil, I can see by your lamp, can't I?

Nephi called his words "the doctrine of Christ".

He said there would be no more doctrine revealed until after Jesus shall manifest Himself unto us in the flesh. I take that statement to be the promise of a personal visit to each of us by Jesus. But my stake president and bishop say that expectation is "false doctrine", that only those guys -- "prophets" and "apostles" and the like, not us -- get to see Him. They get to learn from Him directly, while the rest of us must learn to "submit to priesthood authority" and subsist on borrowed light (for now).

I'm not so sure about that. That doesn't "jive" with what I've been "seeing" and "hearing".

Denver Snuffer said (if I remember correctly) we should learn from God the "one thing" that we're supposed to "work on" and do that (until it's done or until God directs us to do something else). That makes sense to me.

Many, many years ago (I'm embarrassed to confess) God showed me, in a dream, a "priesthood holder" getting mad at his son. The boy had broken his own foot, goofing around. After yelling at his boy for breaking his foot, this "priesthood holder" proceeded to place his hands on the boy to give him a "blessing". He sought to heal him! The "priesthood holder" bowed his head, closed his eyes, and began to pray. 

I interrupted him. 

"You could pray all day over that boy's foot and never heal him," I said, almost casually.

The man was startled from his prayer. He looked up and lashed out at me in anger: "How dare you..."

"No! How dare you!!" I shouted. He was practically vaporized by the blast of words from my mouth. I told him that he was not righteous; that he was not worthy to bless his son; that he was arrogant and proud and angry; he didn't have power to bless because he didn't do what he sought to do with love. "Amen" to the priesthood or authority of that man, and all that.

I didn't understand that dream at the time. (I know. I'm a slow learner.) I'm still "working" on that dream. I see now that I am both the father -- who arrogantly chastens, but nonetheless seeks to "bless" -- and the son -- who foolishly hurts himself and needs to be healed.

D&C 121:41-42 meant almost nothing to me on my mission. Didn't we have the "power"? Wasn't the "priesthood" conferred upon us? Hadn't we been "ordained"? I didn't understand then that the powers of heaven are handled or controlled -- not merely by receiving and performing ordinances or obeying and following "rules" -- but only by being persuasive, long-suffering, gentle, meek, and truly loving, kind and compassionate. These are the "principles of righteousness" upon which the powers of heaven are exercised. Christ's bowels were moved with compassion before the heavens were opened and the dead were raised.

"Jesus wept." (John 11:35). It's the shortest verse in the Bible. You'd think it'd be the easiest to learn.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Follow the Prophet. He is the Way.

There is only one way to God and godliness, one path that leads to holiness and perfection. Those truths which save and exalt, ennoble and purify have been taught and are revealed by the ultimate Prophet, Seer and Revelator. There is only one life worth living, indeed, only one Source of life.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Everything else --and everyone else -- is derivative. All prophets -- all things -- bear record of Him. Consequently, when we follow Him, we can't help but follow all those who have followed Him before. We ultimately tread the same path every prophet and saint who has ever come unto Him has trod. All men and women are exalted upon the same laws and conditions.

If I teach what others have taught, if I happen to "follow a prophet" as I go along my way, it is only because there is no other way. We all must follow Him in His way if we wish to arrive where He is.

We must walk where Jesus walked.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Jesus didn't have a blog

The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. (John 18:19-21.)
Jesus wasn't trying to save His life; He was trying to lose it. He wasn't the one on trial; they were. According to the Record of Heaven, He wasn't found wanting; it was those who didn't receive His testimony. He wasn't cast out from among them; they severed themselves from Him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:3-4.)
While Jesus walked in every man's shoes, not many are willing to walk where Jesus walked.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Never-Ending Story

The people are "hungry". They want "true messengers". They would come unto Christ, if they knew how to find Him. If they knew it was happening.

But those in charge neither let them enter, nor go in thereat themselves. They sit "without", due to their own ignorance and disbelief. (Why else would they hinder those entering in?)

If they "went in", they would tell us plainly, wouldn't they? For prophets bear witness of their personal experiences with Christ. (See 1 Nephi 1:8; 1 Nephi 2:16Jacob 7:5; Ether 12:39...and many more. You get the point!)

Instead, we receive sermons on "Courage" or "Choosing The Right Moral Cell Phone Plan", or "Speaking Edifying Words While Your Wife Jumps Out Of A Burning Truck With The Baby!". 

All good topics for great "talks", for sure! (Don't forget "Pornography"! That's always a "best seller"!) 

But do they introduce us to Christ? Do they tell us how we may meet Him?

The list of topics for sermons to encourage us to be "good" and "better" people is endless

Those sermons could go on forever

Those sermons will go on forever

Unless we demand more.

"Oh, you want someone to preach to you. You want religion, do you? I will have preachers here presently." -- Lucifer

Preachers in Lucifer's "employ" won't tell you how to come unto Christ. They won't teach you about the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost -- the only way back to God -- because they haven't experienced it yet (or worse, because they've rejected it). Nephi taught that once you enter in at the gate, and are taught by the Holy Ghost, you receive the words of Christ from Him! (There isn't much need for a "middle man" once you have established a "direct line" to God.)

Those who will not teach you how to come unto Christ cannot teach you how to sing the song of redeeming love...because they haven't sung it themselves! They haven't been "born again". They haven't received a new spirit. (They still have the same old one! Oh, it's a really good spirit, no doubt! The worthiest, goodest, bestest, darned-nicest, you're-the-sweetest spirit in the whole state of Utah! Even in the whole world!)

But can you tell us, preacher, how you were "born again"? Will you confess your wrestle with sin, as Alma the younger did? (See Alma 36:5-24.) Or how you were immediately redeemed, upon offering up your whole soul as a sacrifice to know God, as King Lamoni's father did? (See Alma 22:18.) Will you tell us, preacher, how you were born of God?

Or will you tell us that "redemption" is a "life-long process", a "continual struggle" with "repentance", always requiring your continued involvement and employ on our behalf? 

How will you make any money if you are no longer needed, preacher?

(We were taught these truths somewhere before, weren't we? Why not now?)

Are you going to teach us how to receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost to come back into God's presence in this life? Or are you going to give us heart-warming stories while dispensing worldly advice and the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture? (I really hate to mention this, because I really like those heart-warming stories! And I really like those heart-warming preachers! They didn't ask for their jobs! And they were expected to accept them, no questions asked! I judge no man. There they go, doing better works than I could do.)

But will you tell us, preacher, how to overcome addiction, once and for all, for the love of Christ?

Who has gone to heaven among us? Who has gazed into the Savior's eyes and wept with sorrow and sadness for his own sins, wishing he could crawl away, being crushed by the enormity of His Holiness and the realization that one doesn't deserve to live before Him? Who is it that recognizes he can never be "worthy" of a heavenly recommend, on his own merits? 

"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?"

Can you tell us, preacher?

"Humility" isn't "submitting to priesthood authority". God doesn't rule by fear and external control. "The kingdom of God is within you." (See Luke 17:21.) Humility is owning and acknowledging one's own weaknesses and sins, confessing one's unworthiness and utter dependence upon God's grace through Jesus Christ. It is realizing we cannot live without Him. The only "salvation" from sin anyone receives comes at the hands and feet of Jesus. He holds the keys of salvation to unlock the gates of hell to free whomever will come unto Him.

The "keys of salvation" are, quite simply, the knowledge of God unto salvation. Jesus saves. There is no "power in the priesthood" held by anyone who does not hold these keys. To possess meaningful "keys" means to possess actual knowledge of Jesus Christ, His will and purposes as they apply to us, individually and personally, and to exercise faith in the same. Ultimately, no man can be saved unless he knows Jesus Christ for himself

It is vain and foolish to believe that a man can be saved in the celestial world by relying upon ordinances alone (activity in the Church, temple marriage, etc.) without coming unto Christ.

The power to save has not been delegated to another. He employs no servant there. If you knock, He will open. If you seek Him earnestly, you will find Him.

We follow Lucifer's ministers at our peril.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How long will you make us to doubt? Tell us plainly!

On Wednesday, April 9, at 11 pm, I was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for apostasy. The entire proceedings lasted about four hours. The presiding high council of my stake decided the matter upon first impression without having read any of my words beforehand or having considered in detail any of the doctrinal or historical arguments in question prior to this meeting. When it was over, I didn’t even know what doctrinal points the council found me to be in disagreement with with the Church, so confusing were the proceedings!

The hearing was organized in such a way as to prevent any effectual rebuttal. (My stake president is a trained lawyer, who knows how to “win” his case, after all!) He occupied the first two hours referencing my blog (and any links therefrom), beginning from May, 2013, when I first encountered Denver Snuffer and wrote about his ideas. The stake president read a highlighted sentence here, or a paragraph or page there, slowly, monotonally and, sometimes, incomprehensibly, reciting my words like a priest sometimes mumbles through the sacrament prayer. I cringed, because I considered my words sacred, and he obviously did not.

Because he read chronologically, he moved from topic to topic, taking my words out of context rather than addressing each point thematically. He asked me not to respond until he was finished, but I was compelled to butt in repeatedly! (I realized that, when he concluded, no one would want to go back and listen to these same words again! We would be there all night!) He was hopelessly poisoning the well. I had to speak up as he dropped each “bomb”, which only made me look disrespectful and contentious. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to remember, must less address, any of the ground he covered.

I had already been up since 2 am, fasting since the day before, while performing a full day of heavy labor. So I was beat!

As he continued to read, I noted the demeanor of those in attendance. Many seemed genuinely interested to listen, while others looked visibly angry, disinterested, or ready to pronounce their “verdict” immediately.

When the time came for me to “officially” respond, one member of the council said “I don’t want to be taught!” Another repeatedly demanded that I restrict my response to “five minutes”. When I took much longer than that, he walked out. (Ironically, he was selected to protect my interests!) Virtually everyone in attendance I considered to be a personal friend.

But this was not an audience that was in any way receptive to what I had to say. When I asked them questions, they remained silent. (I was told they were instructed not to respond. It was like speaking to a wall.)

In the end, the stake president recited (from memory) the list of “charges”. I was compelled to answer “yes” or “no”. It didn’t seem to matter what I said. My words were regarded as disingenuous, nuanced or contrived, as if I didn’t really mean it when I said "I support and sustain the Brethren", or "I recognize the leaders of the Church as 'prophets, seers, or revelators'", or "I believe the LDS Church to be the vehicle God is using to do His work today".

When I asked the stake clerk to read back to me the “charges” so that I could rebut them, he couldn’t do it, so rambling (and contradictory) had been the arguments made against me.

My stake president no doubt felt moved and obligated to protect the interests, integrity and reputation of the LDS Church. He believes sincerely that my actions and motivations are contrary to those ends. In a way, he is right. I don’t care about the corporate church. Much of what we “celebrate” as Latter-day Saints is tedious, uninspired and misguided. Still, we’re the Lord’s Church (His “chosen” people!) and we’re currently wandering, as a body, in the wilderness.

Building and perpetuating an organization is not my focus. Coming unto Christ is.

About a year ago our ward met in a combined meeting during third hour to discuss cleaning and maintaining the chapel. One speaker after another addressed the topic. When it was my turn to speak, as ward facilities representative, I said if we spent an entire hour talking in church about cleaning the building and not talking about or bearing witness of Christ, then we would be better off dropping a bomb on the building, and then speaking of Christ. Our focus, as a Church, in all things, should be on Christ.

It is not.

It is distracted by many other things. Things of Babylon, not Zion.

That’s why we, as a people, are failing to come unto Christ.

Nevertheless, we must have the opportunity to be “distracted”, so we may choose. We must choose Christ, or we cannot be saved. He will not have Himself be our God by default. We are given many opportunities to choose something else – anything else – over Him. We cannot put our souls on “auto-pilot”, hand our life’s controls over to others, or let the Church fly us “home”. We must actively seek afterfindfocus on and follow Jesus Christ ourselves in order to be saved. He would have us have no other gods before Him.

Recently in General Conference, Elder Claudio D. Zivic gave an inspired talk. He spoke of following a man who seemed to know where he was going, while he himself personally neglected to read and follow the signs posted along the way. This follower of a man ended up “missing the mark”. He became separated from his family and failed to reach his goal.

That’s what happens when we “follow a prophet” rather than the Lord. 

When we follow a prophet, we end up in the wilderness of Sin, not on Mt. Sinai. The Lord promises to give “living waters” from within to those who follow Him, that they might never thirst again. This “living water” is the gift of the Holy Ghost, by which men commune with God themselves. To a rebellious people, however, who follow after "strange gods", He gives to “follow a prophet”, to languish with thirst and hunger in the desert, until they learn to come unto God directly.  Only the words of God lead one back to God. “For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” Those who trust in men, or in the words and works of men, to save their souls do so at their peril. The words of God – delivered by His own voice or, equivalently, by the voice of His inspired servants, when delivered appropriately, both with respect to time and audience – are accompanied by power, being confirmed by the Holy GhostWe are required to distinguish between words spoken by men and words spoken by God, by taking the Holy Spirit for our Guide. Otherwise, we may be easily deceived and lead astray.

The kingdom of Heaven comes with power. Those who receive the Holy Ghost invariably receive revelation from God, for He (the Holy Ghost) is a Revelator. He bears record of the Father and the Son. All those who receive His witness become prophetsOne must become a prophet to have eternal lifeGod desires all his people to become prophets, filled with the Holy Ghost. Christ reveals Himself to those who earnestly seek HimThose who know Him recognize Him for who He is when He appears, for they are like Him – full of truth, righteousness and love. Otherwise, He remains hidden from view, for He comes as a thief in the night.

When Jesus’ spoken doctrine caused many to reject Him (because they would not believe or receive the witness of the Holy Ghost), He asked His remaining disciples if they, too, would leave Him. Peter’s response was instructive: “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Note he did not say “You have the proper priesthood authority!” It is the power of Jesus’ words, not the profession of His “authority”, that convinces others to follow Him. His words are delivered with power.

We must recognize, receive, and follow the powerful witness of the Holy Ghost. When we do, we come unto Christ.

People access priests to receive authorized rituals and ordinances. People access God to receive power unto eternal life.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'm tryin to be like Jesus, I'm following in His way...

I know a man in Christ above 3 days ago who was excommunicated from The Lord’s Only True ChurchTM for “apostasy”. He could appropriately answer each of the temple recommend questions without hypocrisy and without guile – except that he agreed, in principle, with someone else who had been previously excommunicated, who likewise answered those same questions appropriately, and he could not deny that. So they found fault with him and took away his membership.

With his wife of 14 years, also a convert to the LDS Church, whom he persuaded to enter the fold, he has raised seven children in the gospel, served a full-time mission, been a faithful hometeacher, attended all his meetings, diligently fulfilled every calling given him, and served in the temple. Yet they found him “unworthy” to bear the title of “Latter-day Saint”.

What did he do wrong? Well, he wasn’t exactly sure. Many confusing, contradictory allegations were made against him. He couldn’t coherently answer them all. The presiding high priest couldn’t remember them all and the stake clerk couldn’t recite them all when asked. But everyone agreed, from the least to the greatest, that he was surely “guilty” and they consented to his forfeiture of all of the rights and blessings of a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including his temple sealing – blessings otherwise afforded only to the “faithful”.

What did he teach that was so wrong as to be deemed “apostasy”, worthy of excommunication?

·     He taught that a man must be saved by grace,[1] not by works,[2] in this life,[3] and this by Christ,[4] personally,[5] if he is to be saved at all. (He could also be saved in the next life[6], but under the same conditions.) He taught that this power to save is not vested in any man or organization;[7] that He employeth no servant there;[8] and that when a man is saved, Christ and His Father come and dwell with him,[9] this being a personal appearance in the flesh and not a metaphorical one.[10] The presiding high priest declared this to be “false doctrine”; however, he offered no evidence to support his claim.

·     He taught that the saving ordinances of the gospel are purely symbolic[11] and that real power and authority are realized and received only from God,[12] priesthood ordinances merely pointing the way. This the presiding high priest declared to be “false doctrine”; however, he offered no evidence to support his claim.

·     This man taught that one must receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in order to be saved,[13] by which one will receive revelation, may speak with the tongue of angels,[14] be filled with unspeakable joy, perchance meet God[15] and be purged of all desire to do sin and wrong.[16] This the presiding high priest said was “false doctrine”; but he offered no evidence to support his claim.

·     He taught his belief that the saints in Nauvoo, 170 years ago, failed to build a temple to the Lord in the prescribed time allotted wherein the Lord promised to restore “the fulness of the priesthood”;[17] consequently, they were “moved out of their place”,[18] as the Lord had promised, because of their disobedience; they were cursed, smitten and afflicted, and driven into the wilderness rather than blessed.[19] The fullness of the priesthood was taken from among them even as it had been taken from among the children of Israel in the days of Moses, on account of their rebellion.[20] The early Saints had rejected Joseph Smith and his teachings. Apostasy, dissensions and rebellions among the ranks were largely responsible for his martyrdom. When he was taken, with him departed the fullness of the priesthood whereby the saints could have been invited back into the presence of the Lord and Zion could have been established. We have “wandered in the wilderness” ever since. This, the presiding high priest said, was “not ‘official’ Church history or doctrine”. (And the man conceded that it was not. However, he believed it anyway because it explained everything that has happened since.) The presiding high priest offered no evidence to support his claim that the man was mistaken.

·     He taught the Book of Mormon is absolutely true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Lord, and our God. The presiding high priest didn’t seem to take issue with that.

·     He taught that the LDS Church today is the Lord’s designated vehicle to carry the Lord’s saving ordinances and fullness of the gospel, including the Book of Mormon, to the world.[21] The presiding high priest suggested the man was insincere or confused about the Church, “emotionally unstable”, “searching for something”, and privately inquired whether he was taking prescription medication for depression or “masturbating and watching pornography” (that was a good one!) – all of which would allow the high council to dismiss his claims without further argument. But the man said “no” and claimed he had a clear conscience and a pure heart, free of lust toward anyone (except his wife).

·     He taught that the Book of Mormon is written to us[22] – the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – and that we, as Gentiles,[23] are the ones who have misinterpreted it and ultimately will be condemned for rejecting it.[24]

·     He taught that men and women may work miracles by faith in Jesus Christ;[25] that the Lord consented to organize His modern church with priesthood, after the pattern of the exalted family of Abraham, with three High Priests (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), twelve Apostles (the sons of Israel) and Seventy (the seventy grandsons of Abraham), but that He gave this organization to the Church in modern times only because they demanded it, and would not have another, they seeking a “restoration” of the “primitive” Church, not understanding that God intended to restore Zion,[26] not some ecclesiastical organization or structure. Rather, God would build His kingdom around families, working together in love, according to the Patriarchal Order.[27] But neither the presiding high priest, nor any member of his court, believed the man or cared about his teaching. They were moved, instead, to defend the very organization God intends to destroy when He withdraws the fullness of His gospel from among them, once they have fully rejected, as prophesied they will, the Book of Mormon and the gospel it contains.

·     He taught that he has seen the Savior and knows that He lives, by the power of the Holy Ghost, having received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

·     He bore testimony of all this and many more personal experiences by which the power of God has been demonstrated in his life, having convinced him that he must remain in the Church and teach the truth, that some might be led to Christ and be saved.

But, obviously, this was unacceptable to the presiding high priest or those sitting on the high council. This poor Zoramite confessed he was unable to ascend his sanctuary’s Rameumptom and offer the self-same, prescribed, predetermined, and vain recital. He was unable to don the “proper apparel” of a “testimony glove” and experience the “real power” of bearing witness to the “five pillars of Mormonism”. He could no longer boast that he belonged to the “one and only true Church on the face of the earth” and that everyone else, by God’s good grace and decree, was damned to hell unless they became and believed even as these Zoramites do.

So they kicked him out. Of the sanctuary and of the temple. Which he labored all his life to build.

When it was finished, one of those who consented to his excommunication asked the man how he was doing. The man thought to tell his friend to go home and pray and ask Jesus how He felt when they excommunicated Him from the Church He served and loved.