Monday, December 1, 2014

What wings are used for

As Log has written elsewhere (I haven't read most of the comments yet in the previous post), being an accuser invites being accused.

I have accused my brethren of being "false gods, false priests, false prophets." That may all be true. But making that observation only invites others to observe that I, too, am "false". (I pre-empted that attack, in part, by confessing my sins publicly.) I have weaknesses. I make mistakes. I am imperfect. I am flawed, feeble and failing.

That is human nature.

If we spend our time firing our guns and swinging our swords at everything imperfect around us, there will be nothing -- and no one -- left standing.

That is not what God intended for this world.

Gods are not made by tearing down, but by building up. The doctrine of the Son is that -- by "covering over" the imperfect with the perfect (the atonement of Christ), coupling true grace with real repentance -- the imperfect can be made perfect over time. False gods, false priests and even false prophets can, in fact, become true ones.

I pointed out the obvious (both in myself and in those around me) so that those who are enslaved to the false idea that, somehow, LDS leaders are infallible, always to be obeyed as if they were God, etc., might avoid that cowpie and move forward successfully.

I do not wish to unnecessarily cast aspersions or point out the weaknesses of others (or myself). It's an awful thing to face your own failures and sins. (I know!) The proud and arrogant will not do it.

It takes Christ-like development and humility to overlook the sins of others and say nothing. (A fool can also keep quiet, not knowing any better, but there is a qualitative difference between the two.) The goal is not to be oblivious, but to be magnanimous

As wise as serpents, but as harmless as doves.

I have not, by any measure, been magnanimous. I am, quite frankly, surprised and appalled to find the LDS Church (its leaders, in particular) doing what they're doing. It is shocking to me, revolting and despicable.

Can I be magnanimous, none the less? Hopefully, in time, I can be. Hopefully, once I gain hope that somehow, someway, there will be proper correction, I can drop my weapons and say "Lord, you handle it."

In fact, that's what I can (and want) to do right now. I can have faith in the Son that He will someday, somehow, make it right again.

While hiking up a trail in a group, it is "common courtesy" for one in front to say "Watch out for the poo!" whenever he finds it, so that those behind don't unwittingly step in it. Good leaders look far ahead, try not to step in the poo themselves, and warn others who are following up behind. A really good leader will even remove the poo, if possible, and, if not possible, blaze another trail around it.

I've clearly stepped in the poo. My efforts here are to warn those who follow (not me, but the trail I walk in), that they might learn from my (poor) example and not step in the poo! Go around it! Avoid it altogether!

Bret Corbridge's book is an excellent means to learn how to do just that, in case (like me) you've grown rather ossified in following the dictates of the Holy Spirit and have forgotten to ask yourself in every instance: "What would Jesus do? How would Christ handle that? What would He say? How would He respond?"

I'm greatly out of practice. I've spent so much time viewing myself as a turkey -- among a flock of would-be eagles constantly reminding me that I'm a turkey -- that I've stopped trying to fly.

It's time to stop looking (and listening) to those around me -- and start looking upward to Him who truly knows what wings are used for.


  1. Will,

    A person with pride and a person with humility have one thing in common, that is none will admit to it. Bruce Porter, the great linguist and historian said to me once, "No matter what anyone does or says to you, do not let it affect your agency." I think the scourge that has taken place and that has displaced many people will only go as far they let it affect their agency. We have looked to man far too long, and as the fog lifts, so do we. We have our scriptures and each other who strive for the same light. As we see it, light has no contention, neither puffed up, nor gladness in the downtrodding of any man or woman. To rescue the "one" is everyone's goal, wouldn't you say? Nowhere does the Savior castigate nor relieve one from their flight upward. Men do these kind of things. As the shifting that is taking place starts to gain momentum, we will see an opening up of love and reaching out amongst us. It is coming and coming soon. Keep writing as your mind prompts you. You will find love and light in gathering the meek and seekers through words of the Saviors teachings. Keep up the movement upwards my friend.

  2. What you share and admit helps the rest of us not feel so alone Will. Your honesty is frank. So many of us aren't even that honest with ourselves, much less anyone else. And as for you, sfort and Log, thank you well. We are nourished by your council and encouragement. We are reading and learning, I hope.

  3. I've seen a lot of these "criticism is of the devil" claims. Criticism is not contention. What is contention? Ad hominem arguments and refusing to reason.

    God reasons. He criticizes big time. Jesus told us to do what he did. He criticized those in error. When those he criticized were humble, he backed off and showed kindness and mercy. When they were prideful and refused to repent, he laid into them to show all those around them that they were not good subjects of emulation.

    In the Book of Mormon, we are taught over and over again that it is impossible to teach truth without first tearing down false traditions. It's as simple as that. This is not being an accuser, it is being a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Forgiving someone of their sins is not the same thing as turning a blind eye to one's sins. Ignoring someone's sin is not an act of love. It is an act of self-serving cowardice. God told us that those he loves he chastises. Shouldn't we do the same? Obviously, the difference comes in our own humility reminding us we could be wrong about it. Hence the importance of avoiding ad hominem and being willing to reason.

    1. Rob, I've come to cherish and respect your wisdom. Thank you for sharing it here.

  4. I would settle even for as little as avoiding strawman argumentation.

    "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."

  5. The next time you stop to think, what would Jesus do, Remember that whipping people and kicking over tables is an option.

    1. Overturning tables I recall, but I don't recall where he whipped anyone. Do you have a citation?

    2. Log,

      I'm surprised you don't know this as you are such an expert with the scriptures. As a wise man once said, "I wouldn't deny you the pleasure of finding this out for yourself."

    3. Let us go through the relevant citations.

      Mark 11:
      15 ¶And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

      16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

      17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

      Luke 19
      45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;

      46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

      Matthew 21
      12 ¶And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

      13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

      John 2
      13 ¶And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

      14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

      15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

      16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

      17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

      Where is it written that he whipped anyone?

    4. Also - even if there existed a scripture, somewhere, unknown to me, that says Jesus whipped someone, it's still not an option for us.

      Mormon 8:20
      20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

      Nevertheless, I have heard of several who have used the claim that Jesus whipped people as justification for abusing their wives.

    5. "The next time you stop to think, what would Jesus do, Remember that whipping people and kicking over tables is an option."


    6. 15 καὶ ποιήσας φραγέλλ ιον ἐκ σχοινίων πάντας ἐξέβαλεν ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ τά τε πρόβατα καὶ τοὺς βόας, καὶ
      τῶν κολλ υβιστῶν ἐξέχεεν τὰ κέρματα καὶ τὰς τραπέζας ἀνέστρεψεν,

      And making a whip out of ropes he cast out of the sacred place both the sheep and the oxen AND THE BROKERS, he poured out the money and the tables he overturned.

      This is contrasted in the next verses where he ASKS the sellers of doves to remove the doves. He does not drive them out but just asks them to leave.

    7. That doesn't suffice to establish your contention that Jesus struck anyone with the whip.

      Since the doves were probably - so I gather - in cages, he could not really toss them to the ground without making himself legally liable for destruction of property.

      I still do not understand why the point is not conceded since I am clearly correct - there is no scriptural warrant for the claim that Jesus struck anyone.

      And a reason Christ would in all likelihood not strike anyone ought to be clear - Jesus had to be legally and morally blameless at all times.

    8. So John the Beloved is a liar and made a false record to deceive us. So glad you cleared that up for us.

      Log, I love it when you say, "I am clearly correct."
      It's a window to your soul.
      It never even enters your mind that someone could possibly know something that you don't.

    9. So the answer to my question, "May we see a cessation of accusations toward Jesus of having struck anyone?" is, as far as you're concerned, "no"?

      And, as far as you're concerned, the answer to my question, "May we, therefore, see a cessation of mockery and scorn towards myself or anyone else?" is likewise "no"?

      And the answer to my question, "Might there be peace among us, with all contributing to the good of the whole?" is, as far as you're concerned, "no"?

      So, is being right and triumphing over others more important to you than peace and love?

    10. LOL.

      This is exactly why I never believe a damn thing you say. Not once did you ask a "question," yet I am accused of not answering them. You build a straw man by putting words into people's mouth and then knock them down to make yourself look good and "win." Your twisting of the scriptures is only exceeded by your arrogance. And then you have the gall to say that I'm the one who looks to triumph over others, implying that you yourself are the one filled with peace and love. What a hypocrite you are. You supposedly preach love and peace and yet viciously attack anyone who disagrees with you. Why anyone listens to you is beyond me.

    11. At 1:59 local blog time, I posted this:

      At 2:05 local blog time, you posted this:

      At 2:29 local blog time, I posted this:

      Then, at 4:02 local blog time, you made the comment preceding this one.

      It seems to me that what we have got here is failure to communicate. I believe you did not see my 1:59 post with the questions before you posted your last two comments.

      In any event, I asked questions and have not accused. If I have wronged you, however, please accept my apologies. I confess that I don't know what I have done to provoke you to make such outbursts towards me.

      I don't know where I engaged in strawman argumentation, and people are allowed to trash me all they like.

      The only reason I spoke up about the fact that there is no scriptural warrant for the claim that Jesus struck anyone is because I have noticed, whenever I have had power to check, a perfect correlation between people abusing others and also claiming that Jesus struck anyone. It seems that believing Jesus struck people with his whip runs hand in hand with abuse.

      I'm not sure if the unfounded belief that Jesus struck anyone with his whip leads people to abuse others, or if abusers wrest the scriptures to justify their abuse, but there it is.

  6. But what did Joseph say?

    'I charged the Saints not to follow the example of the adversary in accusing the brethren, and said, "If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours--for charity covereth a multitude of sins. What many people call sin is not sin."(November 7, 1841.) DHC 4:445-446.'

    1. Accuse can't possibly mean what you suppose it does. If it did, Jesus would be the chiefest accuser of the brethren that ever lived, given his consistent sharp criticism of the leaders of his day.

      Joseph, in a letter to his brother William, invites William to call him to repentance any time he sees fault.

      Again, this is the distinction between criticism and contention.

      By the way, if, despite your obvious intellect, you honestly believe Jesus took the time to make a scourge (this takes a long time) and then "drove" out men and cattle in droves without using it, you are clearly not at all interested in any point of view other than your (in this case) incorrect preconceived notions.

      Ironically, every comment you've posted on here about how criticism = accusation & contention seems to be itself a criticism.

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    4. Rob,

      Would you care to cite me declaring "Criticism Is Accusation And Contention?"

      Because accusation is exactly what I think it is.

      Criticism is not always accusation - after all, I am in this very comment criticizing your lack of substance on the subject of whether there is scriptural warrant to claim Jesus struck someone without accusing you - I have exhaustively demonstrated there is no scriptural account of Jesus striking someone. That you lack scriptural warrant to claim Jesus struck someone is not an accusation at this point, but a statement of fact. I'm not accusing you of evil intent in being without substance on this particular issue - just noting that you are without substance on this particular issue.

      I also appreciate the skill with which you avoid the charge of outright lying - you don't actually declare that Jesus struck anyone with the whip, you simply informally imply it while simultaneously deriding my "incorrect preconceived notions," speaking as though I did not substantiate my claim that there is no scriptural warrant for the assertion that Jesus struck anyone with a whip. Incidentally, since I was exhaustive in my demonstration that there is no scriptural warrant to claim Jesus struck someone, labeling my view - that there is no scriptural warrant to claim Jesus struck anyone with the whip - as "preconceived notions" is deeply misleading on your part. In this, I am not accusing you of evil either. Maybe you have nothing but holy and pure reasons for doing this. I haven't a clue what such holy and pure motivations might be, but hey. What do I know?

      Criticism is also not always contention. After all, I'm criticizing your tactics, technique, and lack of substance, without arguing about them - heck, I'm not even angry.

      Now, if I were to say you did and said things out of pride and malice, seeking to dominate me and argue me into submission to your opinions, THEN I would be accusing you of evil. As it is, however, I am simply recounting your actions without imputing any evil motives to you - that is, without accusing you.

      I don't know why you choose not to concede that there is no scriptural warrant to claim that Jesus struck anyone with the whip, and I do not know why you choose to scorn and mock at me.

      But whatever reasons you have, I hope they're good.

    5. So... I forgot to ask - which of my "preconceived notions" were actually and demonstrably incorrect?

      It can't be the claim that there is no scriptural warrant to claim Jesus struck anyone with the whip - because I exhaustively demonstrated there is no such warrant.

      Preconceived notions are notions that have to be... well, conceived prior to an analysis of the evidence, hence the prefix "pre" on "preconceived." Clearly, my notions are not, in this case, "pre" conceived, but "post" conceived, having been arrived at following an exhaustive analysis of all available evidence. But, again, the empty set has no members, so Rob cannot be justly charged with lying.

      Speaking with people whose every statement I have to methodically parse and analyze for formal correctness and facticity gets old real quick.

    6. And let us continue.

      If Jesus charges someone with a fault, or having committed a crime, he knows whereof he speaks. It is intent that divides good from evil - the only action that cannot be undertaken by a person with good intent, that I am aware of, is lying. Even so, good people sometimes misstate the facts through ignorance and assumption, so simply being factually incorrect does not necessarily serve as a discriminator between good and evil.

      The problem is, Rob, unless you have a mind-reading device that you'd care to demonstrate, or unless God has revealed to you the intent of heart of those whom you accuse of committing evil, or being in error, you don't know that they have, in fact, committed evil or are in error. Therefore, you judge according to appearances in those cases, or, in other words, accuse, which is not what Jesus did.

      "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me."

      An accusation based on knowledge is not accusation, but just judgement.

      "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all things, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man."

      To Jesus, stating that one of his disciples was a devil is a statement of fact. He knew whereof he spoke.

      Just judgement is simply a recounting of fact - it is a statement of knowledge.

      So, whenever you say someone has committed a crime, or a sin, maybe you had best either give a public demonstration of your mind-reading device, or cite your revelatory authority that you know because God has declared it to you in his voice that those whom you accuse of evil have indeed committed evil, and God has charged you with the onerous task of bringing their sins to light on an obscure blog somewhere in the dark corners of the internet.

      I have had my fill of accusers, and I have had my fill of those who justify accusation.

      I believe the Lord gets sick of them, too.

      Doctrine and Covenants 121:16
      16 Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.

      Let those with ears to hear, hear.

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  8. Incidentally, do you, dear reader, want to be criticized, or convinced?

    The Golden Rule tells you therefore to do likewise to your fellow man.

    Likewise, do you want your traditions torn down, or do you want to be shown there is a better way?

    The Golden Rule tells you which way, therefore, to approach your fellow man.

    Do you wish to be argued into submission to someone's opinions, or persuaded by meekness, mildness, long-suffering, pure knowledge, &c.?

    The Golden Rule tells you therefore the way to go.

    It is the role of a priest to teach the commandments to the children of men that they may likewise enter into the rest of the Lord. The only tool he gets is persuasion - and he teaches through pure knowledge, not opinion.

    Sophistic argumentation and rhetorical tricks, otherwise known as formal and informal fallacies, are deceptive devices deployed to short-circuit the necessary process of persuasion. They are not the tools of a priest.

    "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile."

    1. "
      Sophistic argumentation and rhetorical tricks, otherwise known as formal and informal fallacies, are deceptive devices deployed to short-circuit the necessary process of persuasion. They are not the tools of a priest."

      Log, seriously. I know how well you know the scriptures. How can you say this at all having read the New Testament even once? Almost everything Jesus said was a mix of every argumentation and rhetorical trick n the book (with ample sarcasm and sharpness, I might add)!

      Whose image and superscription is on the coin?

      A man must be born again...

      The parables!

    2. Rob,

      It's interesting that your apparent perception of Jesus and mine diverge so widely. Who sees Jesus as he is, if either of us does?

  9. And, if I may, Anon and Rob, I have not got any real desire to continue speaking in sharpness to those who ought to be my brethren in Christ.

    My purpose in frequenting this blog is to build up my friend Will in the principles of godliness as I have come to know them according to the doctrine of the priesthood, and help him in his quest to make his eye single to the glory of God, deny himself of all ungodliness (such as the inclination towards judgement, reviling, accusation, and abuse), and to come unto Christ and be perfected in him that he might be sanctified from all sin and become holy, without spot.

    May we, therefore, see a cessation of accusations toward Jesus of having struck anyone? May we, therefore, see a cessation of mockery and scorn towards myself or anyone else? Might there be peace among us, with all contributing to the good of the whole?

  10. Log I agree... the game of "I am right" serves no uplifting purpose.


    Who isn't flawed? Some of our flaws are just more visible to others and therefore open to criticism. By the very public nature of your blog, it has put you in a visible position where are your faults can be openly censured and has put you on a difficult path. You have been brave to be so open, as many of us don't have the "guts" to follow your lead.

    I cannot believe that all those who have made you and your family's life difficult do not go home and ponder about what they have done. Some will continue to be self-righteous but there is a fair amount that are questioning, policy and their personal actions.... and their hearts are disturbed. This may be a cross-roads for some of them. Let's hope so.

    So many of us are trying to fly at a higher level than ever before and the forces of the adversary know it. Let the Lord and your friends help... as you will for us... when we are in the "Poop."

    This is a most interesting journey for all of us. May we all lift our heads and look upward to Him. Blessings my friend.