Of course, I "can't" go with them. The Mormon leaders and their lawyers have banned me from "their" property. This former missionary for that church is no longer welcome to visit BYU (his alma mater!) or Temple Square or even City Creek Mall without facing arrest. (Please insert the appropriate verbiage here: "I ____ this ____ church!")
How different is this institution of religion from that of Christ's day?
Back then, our Lord chastened the strictly "religious" who regarded themselves as more "righteous" or "worthy" than others because they tithed the weeds that grew in their yards! (On the net or on the gross, I wonder.) Yet Jesus said such souls lacked judgment and the love of God. He pronounced a woe upon those who delighted in wielding authority to receive the honors of men. He identified those "letter of the law" types and those sycophants of the prophets as hypocrites, announcing to the unsuspecting that they walked among the spiritually dead.
For the lawyers (who write such letters as I received) our God On Earth pronounced a further woe: He condemned them for heaping upon others what they themselves would not deign to lift; for honoring the very prophets whom their fathers abused and killed while actively persecuting true prophets and apostles in their midst.
These types who claim to possess the "keys of the kingdom" Jesus said lacked "the key of knowledge". They failed to enter into His rest and hindered others from doing so!
Could truer words be spoken today?
42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.What do modern "pharisaints" expect to accomplish by making me their "enemy", even an "offender" for a word? By making my wife a "church widow"? By forcing her to shuttle our large brood to their church and back, to manage on her own? How dare they separate me from my wife and children!
43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.
45 ¶Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.
46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.
49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. (Luke 11:42-52)
I do not have kind words or feelings right now for these false priests who oppress.
But I must forgive them their trespasses even as I wish to be forgiven.
With this post I hereby announce to the world that one very much like unto my children's father will be accompanying them in all their travels through Utah next week. He will be checking them into their dorms at BYU (where he once slept). He will walk with them whithersoever they go and remind them of the glories of God he once experienced there. He may even go to their church and visit that 3-billion-dollar mall his former tithes helped pay for.
And if they arrest him or ask him to leave for supporting his wife and children, so be it.
They will be doing the works of their father and by their fruits you shall know them.