Thursday, June 19, 2014


I was saddened to receive news yesterday from my (former) stake president (via telephone, his first verbal contact with me since my excommunication over two months ago) that he had received word (if I understand correctly) from the local area presidency that the First Presidency had -- to use his words -- “affirmed the decision” sustaining my excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Given that my appeal was denied, I now release that request:

21 May 2014

The Office of the First Presidency
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

Dear Presidents Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf,

I wish you well and every blessing as you administrate the affairs of the Church.

I appeal to the First Presidency to overturn the decision to excommunicate me from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for apostasy. I am not an apostate. I believe the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, live its principles to the fullest of my ability and support the manifold missions of the Church. I have been a near-life-long member; served an honorable mission; graduated from BYU; introduced my wife to the gospel and the Church; was sealed to her (and our three oldest children) in the temple; and (with her) have raised a family of nine in the fullness of the gospel for the past 14 years. I have been a full-tithe payer since I joined the Church at age 15; held a valid temple recommend at the time of my excommunication; have been faithful to my covenants and remain active in the Church in every way.

How, then, am I an apostate?

Palm Desert California Stake President Matt Morris claimed that I “espoused and persisted in teaching false doctrine after having received counsel and correction by priesthood leaders.” I have repeatedly asked him, Bishop Chris Risenmay and others to clarify the “false doctrine” I have “espoused and persisted in teaching”, pledging to denounce such if they would only show me where I have gone astray, but they have inexplicably and invariably declined to do so. One might expect, if I had embraced false doctrine, they would have opened the scriptures to me and showed me the error of my ways. The only scriptures they quoted, however -- by way of “counsel and correction” -- were Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 and 68:4, which I fully support.

At my disciplinary hearing, President Morris polled each member of the stake high council for his opinion. I am told that none suggested I be excommunicated. During that hearing, I heard no evidence presented suggesting that I espouse, believe, or teach false doctrine of any kind. I have since spoken with over half of the high council and leaders in attendance and asked each why I was excommunicated. While I received many answers, none suggested that I violated any actual commandment of God, contradicted any scripture, or taught anything contrary to the revelations and teachings of Joseph Smith or even current Church leaders!

So how, then, am I an apostate?

When I asked the stake clerk at my disciplinary hearing to read aloud the “charges” against me so that I might refute them, he couldn’t because (he said) he couldn’t figure out what they were and couldn’t write them down! Likewise, President Morris couldn’t recite them because (he said) he couldn’t “remember” them! Nevertheless, he found me guilty of apostasy, which decision was then sustained by the stake high council.

When I later asked several high priests present and/or privy to my case to explain the rationale (which they later “sustained”) for excommunicating me, they gave the following reasons:

·      “It’s not so much what you said, but how you said it.”

·      “You seem to be going one way, while the Church is going another. It’s a gray area.”

·      “You believe that the Church is neglecting to teach important doctrines. You believe that not enough members are coming unto Christ or reading their scriptures. You believe that we must be saved personally by Jesus Christ.”

·      “I believe the Church is a divine institution that can never go astray. It has been prophesied that the Lord will remove any leader before he leads the Church astray. You believe the Church can go astray and might be going astray. I don’t. I believe our leaders are inspired in whatever they say and do.”

·      “You need to bow and kneel to the scepter of their authority.”

There is enough evidence in those quotes above to deduce that I have only taught the truth. Where is the false doctrine?

Inasmuch as I have never taught false doctrine; fully support and sustain the programs, policies and general leadership of the Church; live the gospel – and teach and encourage others to do likewise – I am not an apostate and therefore should not have been excommunicated from the Church.

I therefore respectfully ask the First Presidency to restore my membership, expunge my excommunication, return me to full fellowship, and remove any “annotation” from my record that might otherwise prevent me from freely serving in any capacity in the Church.


William T. Carter

cc        Stake President Matt Morris
            Bishop Chris Risenmay

The stake president passed on to me the First Presidency’s “warmest regards” and stated “we want you back in the Church”. 

Interesting language for one to use while dispensing such spiritual violence.


  1. Sorry to hear, Will. The powers that be are clamping down on any kind of statement that does not square with every word coming out of Salt Lake. The Church is driving away those who can teach the greater things of the gospel.

    Your experience, although difficult, has been a valuable lesson for others of us who seek the fullness of the gospel for ourselves. Thank you for your example.

  2. So what conditions did they place upon your reinstatement?

    1. Incidentally, this was a good appeal letter.

    2. No one has ever bothered to tell me what I need to do to be reinstated, although my (former) stake president promised (in that phone call) to have his executive secretary contact me to set up an appointment to meet with him to discuss that very topic.

      There is no incentive for me to be LDS. It is life-long second-class citizenship (inequality), imposed silence, and submission to "priesthood authority" -- which, in modern LDS parlance, goes far beyond anything permitted by D&C 121:41-42.

  3. Log, I think it might be along these lines:

    "7 And he said unto him: Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death.
    8 For thou hast said that God himself should come down among the children of men; and now, for this cause thou shalt be put to death unless thou wilt recall all the words which thou hast spoken evil concerning me and my people. (Book of Mormon, Mosiah, Chapter 17)

  4. (Full disclosure, now that I'm not on my phone: it was my better half that thought of that passage in response to Log's question.) ;-)

    1. I regret that I didn't have the composure or focus of Abinadi at my hearing, although I was glad that it came down to this:

      One high priest asked "Do you believe that Jesus Christ saves us personally?"

      I said "Yes."

      "That's false doctrine", he said.

      No one in that room spoke up in my defense or refuted his statement.

      I knew then that none of them had seen HIs face or heard His voice or had any personal interactions with Jesus Christ as are described in the Book of Mormon -- from Nephi's first chapter to Moroni's last. Otherwise, how could they say such a thing? Or let such a statement stand?

      I knew then that I would be excommunicated from the LDS Church and there was nothing I could, or should, do about it.

      These men simply believe different doctrine and belong to a different church than I do (see D&C 10:67).

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. The supreme cowardice and ignorance of your accusers and bullies, and of the silent and cowardly sympathizers the the room, was REALLY bad, no doubt, but reinstatement and rebaptism is the best testimony (slap) in those cowards' faces (allowing evil to stand, when it can be defeated, creates more cowards).

      There was zero justification for your excommunication, and the high council and stake presidency was clearly cowed into a type of cowardly secret combination by satan, but you can defeat it in the end.

      Cowards and bullies are so evil (in this action but maybe not in the rest of their daily actions) that I suspect they quietly hope you'll fume and stay away from the church and gnash your teeth at them SPECIFICALLY SO THEY CAN FEEL JUSTIFIED in what they KNOW was wrong that day.

      If you're reinstated in a year or so, their whole fraud and cowardice comes crashing down and you become a daily VISIBLE walking testimony to their ignorance and cowardice, as well as their lack of evidence (visible testimony has ALWAYS been the chief method of defeating evil).

      If you stay away from the church, you prove those bullies RIGHT (yuck and vomit at the thought of them being able to easily self justify what they did and didn't say).

      They know what they did was wrong by sitting there silent while no charges were explained and by being so afraid to break with the mob that they wouldn't utter a syllable in your defense, even though half the high council had that specific responsibility. They "did unto others" what they would NEVER want done to themselves. They made themselves false accusers and liars. They "meted" out a type of unrighteous judgement that will haunt them until they repent, but they need visible testimony, i.e. YOU reinstated to the church.

    4. I initially struggled with the temptation to label some as "cowards" and "bullies".

      The "silent treatment" was particularly galling and irksome to me. My sense of justice, if anything, was deeply offended by it. However, these men have obviously been "trained". The Church has "learned" from its experience with Denver Snuffer that actually addressing the issues only exposes the weaknesses of their arguments. So they resort to their "trump card": "We are the authorities. He is not. He has been excommunicated and is therefore an untrustworthy witness no one ought to give heed to." This was used effectively against Jesus -- to "paralyze" those who might otherwise believe in Him. And it works about as well today.

      Like I said, I would call some "cowards" and "bullies", but then I would have to "judge" them. And despite how "good" it would make me feel to do so, I don't feel sufficiently "qualified" to make that formal assessment. These men are my friends. I would rather not condemn them.

      Brigham Young (prophet or false prophet?) made an interesting statement:

      "“When we are brought before a Council to be tried for misdemeanor, and we receive a sentence that our deeds deserve, it may be offensive to our high sense of character, but bear it patiently; and let the High Council judge, or let the Bishop judge, and do not raise one objection to their decisions, pronouncing them unrighteous. If their decisions are unrighteous and we are oppressed, walk up, nevertheless, and fulfill the decision, let it be ever so unjust. After that it is our privilege to appeal to the High Council, to the First Presidency, and from them to the General Conference. But if, after we have received an unjust sentence from a Bishop’s Court, we suffer the penalty patiently, conscious of our innocence and of the purity of our characters, making no appeals to higher courts, I will promise in the name of Israel’s God, that we shall rise and not fall, and shine forth in splendor like the noon-day sun. But how many say, “we will never submit to an unrighteous decision; our consciences are too pure, our hearts are too innocent to acknowledge what we are not guilty of.” You had better confess that which you are not guilty of, than neglect to perform the least duty. Upon the same principle it is better to give to ten unworthy persons, than to turn away one worthy person. If you are required by the courts of the Church of God to acknowledge a thing, do it, however painful it may be, for God’s High Priest requires it . . . . The Bishop is God’s High Priest, and a common judge in Israel."

    5. (Cont.)

      “Blessed are they whose sins go to judgment beforehand, instead of following after. Let the Bishops and High Council and those who have a right to judge the people, bring up every individual who transgresses the laws of this kingdom and judge them that they may not be judged hereafter when the books are opened and the judgment is set and presided over by the Great I Am. Those who have never ceased to obey all the counsels of the Church of God, and who have been judged by the authorities of the kingdom of God upon the earth, will not be judged hereafter. If this people are required by their leaders to perform acts that are unrighteous, God will condemn them and hold the people guiltless, if the unrighteous acts are performed with an honest intent. It is my counsel to the Latter Day Saints to crave judgment or sentences at the hands of their brethren, that at the judgment of the quick and the dead they may have the happy assurance that their judgment is all passed; sentence has been passed upon them, every requirement has been answered, and nothing now remains but to sit and hear judgment passed upon those who would not be judged by their brethren. All those who refuse to be judged by the least authority in the church and kingdom of God, will receive their judgment hereafter; therefore do not refuse to be judged, but crave it now at the hands of your brethren. Live so that you are constantly justified before the Heavens–that if your brethren condemn you, you are justified before the courts on high, and the sin is then upon them and not upon you. If I should require of this people, or of any portion of them, that which is unjust, and the people perform it with an eye single to the glory of God and the building up of his kingdom on the earth, the sin is on me and not on them, and no power can make it otherwise. I wish the people to be willing to be judged and hearken to counsel. I do not wish them to run by their Bishops to me, for I have already plenty of business on hand; if I have not, I can soon make more. If the Saints of the Most High who compose this church and kingdom upon the earth, are willing to be judged by the proper authorities God has placed in his kingdom, it will not occupy much time to judge them hereafter. No question but what there will be some disobedient ones and apostates to judge.” (Brigham Young, Deseret News Weekly, 30 March 1862.)

      As for my potential reinstatement, I do not concur with your assessment. Being re-baptized will only vindicate those who prosecuted me, not condemn them. They will say "See! He was a sinner! He needed to be re-baptized! He agreed to it!"

      Requiring me to be re-baptized is a solemn mockery of the ordinance. Was God's power to cleanse not sufficient the first time? Are we to trivialize matters and trifle with the souls of men?

      I will agree, however, to be re-baptized if (with one other concession) the stake president (1) performs the ordinance himself and (2) he goes under the water with me.

      Fair enough?

    6. You may appreciate another citation from Brigham.

      "Again, let me appeal to those who have done wrong (if any there are) and follow it. Did you come to this Conference from your homes before you first repented of your sins, and obtained forgiveness? If you did I want you to leave in the intermission and go home again, and there I want you to stay, until your sins are remitted; or get an Elder to immerse you in City Creek, and wash away your sins, so that you may not hinder those who are pure, that every individual's heart in this Conference may be pure before God, and have a mite to contribute to the faith of the whole body, that every heart may be lighted up by the power of God, and receive the Holy Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and increase from this time in all righteousness, and not come and go like a door upon its hinges, without any variation for the better. When the people complain of each other -- when they complain of the Church, of their hardships, of hard times, of this and of that, because the Lord does not speak with His own voice from Heaven, because the revelations of God are not forth-coming, as they were in the days of Joseph Smith, all I have to say to them is, prepare your hearts, for there is all for you that you can receive, and a great deal more than you know what to do with. That is all that I need to say to you on that point." (The Teachings of President Brigham Young, pp. 263-264)

      It is not important to be seen as being right. It is important to be right.

    7. Or, to be more explicit - rebaptism used to be a more common occurrence in the Church, and setting conditions where others acknowledge your righteousness is unnecessary.

      Satan and his angels desire to be reunited with us, but on their terms. We would have to acknowledge that they were right, and even that wouldn't satisfy them. Because they cannot forgive they cannot be forgiven.

  5. I am so sadden but not surprised by this development .It shows that the warnings of contained in the 121st and 122nd sections of the D&C are as relevant now as they were170 years ago. Perhaps you can take some comfort in Matt 5:10 which describes you to a tee and promises you the kingdom of heaven

  6. @Good Will,

    I am so sorry. I don't know why this should have happened to you. There seems to be a terrible sickness in the 'church', a sickness of the spirit.

    I thought your letter was good, and I wonder who is behind this and why--

    What is the point of all this--you said it correctly, spiritual violence?

    Who benefits?

    I was just reading Abinidi this morning, and King Noah was so offended.

    Not long ago it was pointed out to me by someone wise (whose name I have promptly forgotten) that the 'church' really does not know what its doctrine is, which leads to confusion.

    Which is why (and I continue my Book of Mormon rant) the Book of Mormon is so vitally important. It has the doctrine of Christ in it.

    And that is all that matters.

    But in saying that, in encouraging the sincere study of the Book of Mormon--

    I must be an apostate as well.

    Jesus saved me. I realize now that I have been told not to tell 'those at church' for a reason.

    Again, I'm sorry, Good Will. I'm sorry for the suffering of you and your entire family. It will all be made right, but in the meantime, this carnage continues.

    1. The doctrine of Christ is easily accessible to all, easy to grasp and easy to abide by. See 2 Ne. 31:10-21, 3 Ne. 27:13-22 and 3 Ne. 11:31-41. I believe the answers to this post string lie therein. Moreover, these scriptures are frequently cited in every major church publication since the restoration. How is it that we seem to have missed them?

      However, too many of use are too wise to notice: in the church, out of the church, and among those that have left the church. And we forget to seek with "a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ."

      Rather, it seems our intent is to prove ourselves right and prove others wrong. Then come the consequences, "for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended."

      Wherever we might be, whoever we might be, let us abide by the true doctrine of Christ: exercise faith in Him, repent of our sins, be baptized in His name, receive and retain the Holy Ghost, and endure unto the end (which means to continue to exercise faith, continue to repent, and continue to take follow Christ throughout our lives).

    2. Thank you, Kim, for your contribution. I'm surprised anyone is still reading this blog!

  7. Ever since Denver Snuffer was excommunicated I've put Truman S. Hunt and Russel M. Nelson's names on the prayer rolls every time I attend the temple that, peradventure, they might yet repent of their exercise of unrighteous dominion and the spiritual violence they inflicted. Going forward I'll add Matt Morris and Chris Risenmay too for the same reason.

    1. Adam, I would kindly ask you not to do that...not that we all don't need repentance, prayers or blessings, but because I don't believe President Morris or Bishop Risenmay deserve our opprobrium.

      Neither of them campaigned for the office they now hold and I am confident they are serving with all their heart, might, mind and strength, striving to do their best to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. They may have glaring weaknesses (we all do), but I also know they have great virtues that put mine to shame and make my "brilliance" look dull by comparison.

      I believe we are tried, individually, in our stations: that both the man on the cross and the man nailing him to the cross can be doing the "right" thing. What one man does, seeking God's pleasure, may harm another...but it may be the right thing for him to do, nonetheless. Likewise, things we do, striving to serve our God, may harm others, despite our best intentions. That same God who loves us all can bless two men fighting on opposing sides of the same war. Each man may be required, in his station, to do his duty, to defend life, family and freedom. Each may be compelled, by fate or folly, to kill the other, who is likewise righteously motivated. Hence Christ pleaded for the Father to forgive those who hurt Him, for "they know not what they do". They thought they were justly putting an evil-doer to death! Is that so bad? We can be charitable when we stand in another's shoes.

      I am convinced that President Morris and Bishop Risenmay, according to their own understanding, have done what is right by the LDS Church and the Lord whom they serve. Just as those who make temple covenants live by different standards than those who don't, those who serve in capacities of leadership within the LDS Church are constrained to comport themselves -- and make decisions -- that may be very different from what they might otherwise do if they acted on their own behalf.

      I believe this is true in my case. I very much doubt that either of these good men would have sought me out for censure or discipline had they acted as mere members of the Church. (Heck! They probably wouldn't have cared what I did!) But as Church leaders, they felt compelled to act, for whatever reason. I do not fault them for doing that.

      Yes, their actions hurt me (and my family) very deeply. But we are alive. I now have the opportunity to bless those who curse me, to do good to them who (seemingly) hate me, to prayer for them that (perhaps) persecute (and certainly prosecute!) me, and teach my children to do likewise. I can set an example for my children that they will never forget and cannot deny. How am I not blessed by such an exercise? How are my children thus disadvantaged? How else would I (and they) be given the chance to develop such character, which would otherwise be selfish, peevish, pompous and unforgiving? These men have done -- and are doing -- me a great favor! And they deserve my thanks, not my scorn.

      This life is an exercise. A chance to show what we're made of. I would feel privileged to enter heaven with either (hopefully both!) of these men. For all I know, they are righteous and worthy. Let us honor them. If I didn't before, because I felt unfairly targeted, mistreated or dishonored, I repent. You can put my name on the prayer roll, if you wish. I think my family and I could use it more than either of them. (After all, they can pray at that altar themselves!)

      Thank you for your kind intentions.

  8. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me". (Matt. 25:40).
    Those words will haunt Russell M. Nelson, L. Whitney Clayton, the "Strengthening the Members Committee", and various other church officers one day in a far Higher and more Holy Court.
    In the meantime, remember there are ONLY two churches, Christ's (wh. is most certainly not the LDS church), and the church of the Devil.
    Were you expelled from anything that really matters?
    Take it in stride Bro. Will. You are loved by many.

  9. Hello,

    Discovered your blog & wish you well.

    You do know you can be a Saint & not be Mormon or fundamentalist Mormon? in Independence, Missouri you may find the Community of Christ, Remnant Church, Restoration Church. & the various Restoration Branches. In Pennsylvania, you may find the Bickertonites.

    You say you have no where else to turn. But you can be a Saint & not be a Mormon. It's OK if people don't like you for your views & defend the rules of voluntary association. It's their right. You stand tall for your views. That's your right. Can you not look elsewhere besides Salt Lake City for spiritual sustenance? Joseph Smith III did.

    Best regards

  10. Are you kidding me???!!! They actually condemned the idea that we must personally be saved by Jesus Christ? Do your leaders read the scriptures? Do they have any understanding at all of what He meant when He said "I will baptize you with fire and the Holy Ghost?" I am dumbfounded by this comment.

  11. So was I.

    That's when I "gave up".

    A bishop, a stake president, two counselors in the stake presidency, and 12 high priests on the stake high council all sat around a table...and not one of them said "Uh, that's not right...we are personally saved by Jesus Christ!"

    Not one of them.

    Then I knew: they didn't have a clue. They didn't have the power. They didn't know what they were talking about. And it didn't matter what they did to me. They certainly, couldn't possibly, represent Him.

    Or they were very deceived.

    And there was nothing I could do about it.

  12. Will,

    Just lost my comment. Guess I'll try again.

    Imagine finding some who reads Denver, Vox Day, Lew Rockwell, Rock Waterman and Tim Malone. I didn't know there were others who had such odd tastes.

    I'm sorry for the stress you've been under, but grateful that you have experienced the Lord and were found worthy to suffer for His name. It's lonely when others are so enamored with "Follow the prophet" and such makes you sick.

    I cannot understand for the life of me how the members of the court can think that it meant anything in the eyes of heaven when they couldn't specify the charges against you and denied the need of being saved by Jesus Christ. What happened to justice in the courts of love?

    My wife and I still attend and try to help, but sometimes it's lonely for us. Thank goodness for the 'Net.

    God bless you and yours. And thank you for sharing on your blog.

  13. Is my blog reading list that transparent? I'm surprised! You nearly got them all!

    Thank you for your kind words.

  14. Will,

    Pardon my attempt at counsel, suggestion, or comment.

    First of all, I don't think some leaders really appreciate the gravity of excommunication because a person “can always come back” if they comply with the requirements, usually set by the local leaders, and they expect them to. If the disciplined does not, it’s their own fault, after all (in their minds). But in the Mormon traditional/doctrinal view, though, excommunication really is tantamount to spiritual execution; all blessings, covenants, and sealings being revoked permanently and eternally, unless reinstated. Rebaptism can occur within one year, but restoration of blessings usually takes at least another year to five years, depending on the offense and the reform. Both of these steps back into the fold require applications to the First Presidency and their approval.

    I believe that the Lord only honors the words and acts of His servants when they actually do His will, as authorized by the Holy Ghost (D&C 68:3-5). In other words, if your excommunication was unjust judgement or unrighteous dominion, I can’t imagine that its effects are in reality ratified or recognized by heaven; and those who judged you will have to answer for their parts in it, as well as have their own judgment visited upon their own heads. All judges (in Israel too) should take the Lord’s warning more seriously. Paradigms are very powerful, though - they filter and interpret how we see and understand everything. The pharisee/brethrenite paradigm seems to be missing a lot of scriptural teachings of Christ, but they seem to think that all His teachings are incorporated into the policies, procedures, and practices of the church - and many of them consider it heresy or apostasy to question that, to any degree. I don’t know, but it makes me feel very uneasy.

    First of all, pray for your enemies. Make intercession for them. As Zenos and the Lord both taught:

    Alma 33
    3 Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said concerning prayer or worship?
    4 For he said: Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer, even when I was in the wilderness; yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were mine enemies, and thou didst turn them to me.
    5 Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my field; when I did cry unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me.
    6 And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer.
    7 And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me.
    8 Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not of men, and thou wilt hear them.
    9 Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations.
    10 Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by mine enemies; yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies, and thou didst visit them in thine anger with speedy destruction.
    11 And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.

  15. 3 Nephi 12
    38 And behold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;
    39 But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also;
    40 And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;
    41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
    42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away.
    43 And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy;
    44 But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;
    45 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.
    46 Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.
    47 Old things are done away, and all things have become new.
    48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

    With all that said, Will, I hope you consider pursuing the course of getting these local leaders to actually, clearly outline your offenses and what they would require of you to return to membership, not only for your own peace of mind, that you did everything in your power to understand and go the mile or two that they compelled you to go, but also for their sakes, so that they are fully conscious and accountable for their decisions and judgements and the consequences upon you and your family - and so that they have opportunities to fully consider or reconsider it - rather than brush you and your family aside cursorily and blithely. Did they really consider you wife’s and children’s sealings being severed when they did this? My stake president always considered the wives, maybe even primarily, the effect that the discipline would have on them. I recognize we’re only hearing your side of the story here, but no church disciplinary council should go down the way you’ve described yours. Was the SCMC involved? Was a verdict handed down? Why wasn’t there more counsel and correction beforehand? Do they actually care about the eternal welfare of your soul or are you just a lost cause to them? Excommunication is spiritual death, in the eyes of the church. The charges, the sources of the charges, the reasons, and the return path should be clearly marked and documented for you. Anything less is simply unacceptable. Just like we do not convict people of murder and sentence them to death without “beyond a reasonable doubt” evidence. Why would they not use the same very high standard of judgment/conviction here? That the office of the First Presidency accepted and affirmed all of this is very disheartening, considering what seems lacking. But they said they look forward to your return, so maybe see what that means exactly. You just seem unsettled still. The way I see it, you can think and believe what you want, and you might even be able to ask some questions publicly with the right tone, you just can’t teach it publicly (that such is so) if it contradicts current church teaching. That seems to me what they are punishing/executing with very little mercy. Maybe you’re done with the institution. Maybe you’ve graduated and moved on to the Church of the Firstborn. These are just a few incomplete thoughts - ignore my advice and seek and do the Lord’s will. Don’t listen to any man on this.

    1. Once again, Jesef, you have greatly enhanced my blog by your contribution. I will certainly take your counsel to heart.

    2. I just want to amend one portion of my previous counsel. And I'll quote Denver's post today for part of it:

      "There are problems to be sure. Why run from them? Why not confront them by your quiet example, your goodness and firm testimony of truth? Why not bring to the attention of others what they have not yet noticed on their own? If they cast you out, then it is their doing, not yours. Let them be the aggressor, and you stay true to the Lord and His path. It is better to offend them by your example of righteousness than to take offense at their example of unrighteousness. Christ is your example."

      I don't think it's wrong to say what you think is right in public, even if it contradicts current church teaching. I think it might be important to be inspired/assigned/commanded by the Lord to do such because the consequences are real and affect not only the individual but their entire family, as in your case, Will. So, in the end, I believe the Lord's will trumps every other consideration - His ways and thoughts are higher than ours - we lack wisdom, and if we trust in Him, He probably is going to have us do some things we don't completely understand. But He won't abandon us, but rather support us in all our trials and afflictions for His sake. For example, if a person has had experiences with Heaven and is commanded to testify of them in public, and some local leaders end up misjudging that person and their testimony based on fear or jealousy, so be it. If the Lord commands a "nobody" (non-leader) to cry repentance, and that person is authorized by the Holy Ghost to speak those words, etc., and they are not received or are rejected, so be it. Do the Lord's will and let the consequences follow. This whole line/bit of "the Church and its leaders are always right because they hold office and possess authority" that is being touted above all else - well, that's just bogus. Might doesn't make right. Power/Authority doesn't make right. The Lord makes right. Truth/Light/Right makes right.

  16. And Now A Few Words from Elder Oaks : Video

    1. Dear Brother Anonymous,

      Could you be a dear and explain exactly what contradiction you see between the two videos you have very skillfully spliced together? For the life of me, and maybe it's just the limitations of my sub-par intellect, I can't see it.

    2. I think that video deserves a response:

      I may not always agree with Elder Oaks. (His treatment of the young lady who wore jeans -- and then nothing -- underneath her coat to take a test on a very cold winter day at BYU was particularly harsh. He's a "letter-of-the-law" kind of guy, apparently, but that should be no surprise, given his former employment as a lawyer and state supreme court justice!)

      However, I do not impugn Elder Oaks' integrity and I find your implication unfounded and, therefore, offensive. I do not suspect that he serves in any fashion to bring glory, honor or earthly reward to himself. (Perhaps I'm mistaken.) But I believe he serves unselfishly -- imperfections and all.

      Please don't consider this a place where "bashing the Brethren" is welcomed. It is not.

      Nothing is gained by casting stones at each other. (I have been guilty of that, too.)

      Let's all strive to "drop our weapons" now and learn to live together in love.

  17. I am not a "brethrenite", who often judge by the appearance of orthodoxy, but neither do I wish to trade that for the bitterness and misjudgment of an accuser of the brethren. It's true that in our modern western/corporate church culture the brethren have been elevated to a level of popularity and idolization (idolatry) that is unhealthy, not only for those who are practicing it, but it is also dangerous to the brethren themselves - if they "inhale" the praise and adulation. That video doesn't prove anything, and could easily be a false accusation because only the Lord knows what is in Elder Oaks's heart and his motives in shaking hands with the members wherever he goes.

    Hugh Nibley codified and condensed some of the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith's into these "nevers" - I think they are wise and true:
    1. Never Accuse.
    2. Never Apire.
    3. Never Contend.
    4. Never Coerce.

  18. Jesef,

    Am I just lucky that you don't have your own blog -- and thus no other place to leave pearls of wisdom for us to enjoy and benefit from? :o)

    Thank you for sharing those four "nevers". I am now convinced of their efficacy and necessity and thus determined (perhaps for the first time) to live them.

    Reader, if this "word" has been planted in your heart as well, why not "try the experiment of its goodness" with me? Let us mediate upon these four principles and let them permeate everything we do.

    Let's see what happens -- in our hearts, homes and lives.

    1. At the very least, the credit for the quoted principles goes to Brother Nibley and the Prophet Joseph - but we all know who the Source of Truth is, so all praise, honor, and glory to the Lord! I'm unwise, unprofitable, and well, pretty much totally idiotic.

  19. does Jesus save us personally? is that not core? why does no one understand and speak up? I think a bunch of people need to watch "12 angry men" and see how one person with courage can make a difference.

  20. My opinion: at this point why get rebaptized in this church. We can assume that all thise involved in your court all the way to the top have probably lost their priesthood through unrighteous dominion. I would find a true worthy priesthood holder and be baptized out of the church, if you feel it necessary to rebaptize, as some are doing. I appreciate your account of what happened and i feel bad you had to go through that but with an eternal perspective, you have only become stronger and closer to heaven. -Rebecca C.

    1. Thanks, Rebecca C.

      I was rebaptized, just as you suggested.