Sunday, November 29, 2015


Jared Eastley recently asked a number of questions that deserve answers:

Hey, I need you guys to help me out!  

1.  I can't find where in the Book of Mormon it says that the fullness of the gospel will be restored in the last days, which will result in a great latter day church led by apostles, prophets, seers, and revelators; who will spread the gospel across the globe with tens of thousands of missionaries, which will result in the great latter day Zion.  I'm looking and looking but I just can't find it!  Where in the Book of Mormon does it talk about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

2.  I can't find in the Book of Mormon where it talks about the great latter day temple work which is being done, where all these dead people are being redeemed and saved because of our temple work.  

3.  I can't find anywhere in the scriptures where it talks about how we all need to get to the temple to be sealed together as families, in order to receive salvation and exaltation.  Where is that in the doctrine of Christ?

4.  I can't find anywhere in the scriptures where it says we need to follow the prophet; about how the prophets and apostles will not and cannot lead us astray.

5.  I can't find anywhere in the scriptures where it says we need to sustain church leaders as prophets, seers, and revelators in order to be accounted worthy of the saving ordinances or membership in the Lord's church.

6.  I can't find anywhere in the scriptures where it says we must may tithing to the church in order to receive ordinances from the church or to be accounted a member in good standing within the church.  I might be wrong, but I don't think we are supposed to charge money for ordinances.

7.  I can't find anywhere in the scriptures where it says that general authorities and apostles should be payed for their service in the church; not to mention the six figure stipends LDS GAs receive today.

8.  I can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that tithing money should be used to pay GA salaries, or to fund extensive building projects, or be used as investment capital, instead of being used to care for the poor.

9.  I can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that priests, teachers, and church leaders should be made popular, or should be accounted as more righteous or inspired than the average church members.

10.  I can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that most people will be saved in the Celestial Kingdom because of our temple work for the dead; or that chances are, you will be exalted, etc...

11.  I can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that church leaders are authorized to disregard, reinterpret, edit, or delete scriptures at their whims; like when the Lectures on Faith where deleted from the D&C in 1921 after the General Assembly of the church had unanimously approved it as scripture and as the doctrine of the church back in 1835.

12.  I can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that church leaders are authorized to change the ordinances; like what has been done with baptism, the sacrament, and the temple rites and ordinances.

13. I also can't find anywhere in the scriptures where it talks about priesthood keys being required to perform ordinances, or to preside in a church, or to tell church members what to think, say, or do.  Or that priesthood keys can or should be used to control, dominate, compel, or intimidate people into conformity with church rule.

14.  I can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that church leaders should demand  they be sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, and as the only ones holding all priesthood keys, in order for church members to receive ordinances or good standing in the church.

15.  And maybe I'm just going blind, but I still can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that any church, or church leader, or group of church leaders, is in any way immune from the possibility of apostasy, or making very serious mistakes, or of leading the people astray. I just can't find any such guarantee.  

16. I also can't find it anywhere in the Book of Mormon where it says the Gentiles being warned do not include members of any church, even the church that claims to be the true church.  On the contrary, those who belong to "the holy church of God" are rebuked for having polluted the holy church of God. (Mormon 8:38)

17.  And finally, I just can't find it anywhere in the scriptures where it says that all we need to do to be saved is to identify the true church, get all the ordinances it offers, then just do and think as you are told until you die, in order to receive salvation or exaltation.  Easy!  Why didn't anyone think of that in the Grand Counsel in Heaven?  Just do as your told and you'll be saved!  Brilliant!

Seriously folks!  Where does it say all this stuff?   Am I going blind?

Getting Back into the LDS Church

Someone asked me for advice on what to do to "to get back into church and back onto church property," they having received the same letter I received. I wrote them the following:

I'd be glad to talk to you...but I really have no "magic" solution -- or any solution, for that matter. The LDS Church has made NO EFFORT whatsoever to "reclaim" me, welcome me, or even invite me back. From their perspective, I am (like Denver Snuffer, Rock Waterman, etc.) "irredeemable" and "expendable." (I'm assuming you were excommunicated for apostasy. If not, your circumstances may be different than mine.)

My wife has no interest is prosecuting a "crusade" to compel my return to the LDS Church. She is content to let me be "out" forever, if need be, even while she stays "in" with the kids. But even they are starting to "drop out" now, almost two years after my excommunication and a full year since my "banishment." (Ironically, I'm still the most "Mormon" of the bunch in my home, even if I'm no longer a Latter-day Saint!)

I refuse to dishonor the LDS Church's explicit instructions to stay away or their intention to banish me. (The sin be upon their heads.) I make no effort to come onto their property (property which I helped pay for and build upon, through a lifetime of service and sacrifice, at least at the local level). I have never stepped foot on LDS-Church-owned property since the day I received their letter. Not to attend Church. Not to drop off my kids at seminary. Not to hear my wife and children sing in the Church's Christmas Choir performance. I'm not welcome...and they (meaning the Church) couldn't care less.

have visited BYU (to take my kids to EFY) and I've toured City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City (cringing at the former tithing dollars at work!). But, in general, I've just stayed the hell away from all things LDS as much as possible. I can't even bring myself to wear BYU clothing (my alma mater) anymore! It just turns my stomach! Theirs was a betrayal of the highest order.

I ought to add: I loved the Church. I loved being LDS, attending the temple, striving to honor my covenants and keeping the commandments, etc. (It goes without saying that I wasn't perfect, but at least I tried and loved striving to be so, nonetheless.) The pharisees-in-charge today do not look upon the heart, however; they measure everything by the outward appearance (since that is the measure by which they judge themselves, apparently).

Sadly, they do not know Christ, have never met Him, have never seen Him or heard His voice. Consequently, they don't know in whom to trust or place their faith. When I confessed I didn't "know" that "Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God" as I KNOW Jesus is real and divine, even though I was willing to call TSM a "prophet," they asked me: "Then what do you have faith in?"

My answer to their question astounded them: "I have faith in Jesus Christ!" They just couldn't wrap their minds around or acknowledge that that was "enough." They can only "follow the prophet." He is what they see and hear and know. They have faith in him. One of them who excommunicated me actually said: "Why do we even need the Holy Ghost when we have a living prophet?"

I'm not that much closer to God than they are, I confess, but at least I know God lives! I've heard His voice! He has ministered to me! And I have no illusions that a prophet is an adequate substitute for Christ's personal ministry and salvation. In fact, at no time was my experience in the LDS Church ever truly spiritual or edifying except when the Lord ministered to me personally by revelation, dreams, visions and gifts of the Spirit. His power is inimitable and irreplaceable, except to those who have never known it. They are easily beguiled by changing "policies," ministers to preach to them, and a form of godliness that denies the power thereof. The priesthood leaders with whom I am familiar spent the bulk of their time quoting the Church's Handbook of Instructions rather than the holy scriptures. They did not preach, teach, expound, exhort or baptise by the Spirit, but instead relied upon rote patterns, memorized instructions, and vain repetitions proffered as saving ordinances and exercises. One would starve to death spiritually under their tutelage and ministrations alone! They verily blessed me when they cast me out!

Still, it's hard to be on one's own, as I am. The sabbath day (for me) is particularly difficult. I do not sing the songs of Zion with my friends and family. I do not hear lessons and sermons (however vain, repetitious, vacuous or trite), nor do I socialize with other saints (even if they do not believe in the foundational teachings of the gospel that I do). Being with friends (even misguided ones) was a comfort and "tradition" I was not wont to leave behind. But I've been forced to. The Lord has not seen fit yet to reveal to me -- or perhaps I have been remiss in receiving -- exactly what I'm supposed to be doing now. My sabbath days are far less ritual-filled and "busy" than they were. (But they certainly are far more relaxing now!)

I don't pay tithing as I used to to the LDS Church. (I always paid a full tithe.) At first we devoted those same resources to the poor. But then we became poor ourselves (for a time) and diverted our tithes to just keeping ourselves afloat! (It is time now to reconsider our circumstances and to make an end-of-year "settlement" with the Lord, giving one-tenth of all that we have in excess, beyond our own needs.) The LDS Church, on the other hand, does not follow the scriptural mandate. Their "version" of tithing insures that most members remain perpetually poor...if they pay a full tithe at all, leaving little, if anything else, to savings. This was not the Lord's intent, I believe. The LDS Church, for its part, certainly doesn't practice its own policy anyway. At least the highest leaders of the church DO NOT (from what I understand). They do NOT pay tithing, but spend Church funds as they see fit, even as if those funds were their own money. (I don't see the Church paying for my kids to go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the like, as their children do on the Lord's dime! But I digress....)

As I said, I have no magic solution for you. I take the sacrament on my own. I broke and blessed the bread and blessed the wine (grape juice) this afternoon while my family was at church. Angels did not come down. (They never have, as far as I know.) But I did feel the Spirit. (And not the alcoholic kind either! I don't like the taste of alcohol...not that I've never tried it...I did finally, once they "banished" me...but I prefer non-alcoholic drinks.) 

One amazing "benefit" to being cast out is that you no longer have to follow their regimen, all the rigamarole, religion, and "commandments of men" they offer masquerading as the commandments of God. If God didn't say it to you by the voice of His Spirit (even via His servants), than you may blithely ignore it! (And those in charge are NOT His least not any that I recognize. I thought they were...right up until they denied that Jesus was their personal Savior.)

"Say what?!" you ask? 

Yes, every one of them consented -- by his silence and the raising of his right hand -- to the statement made by one of them at my excommunication hearing that believing "Jesus is our personal Savior" is "false doctrine"!

They think they are our saviors...that their ordinances and "powers" and "authority" and "keys" bind and seal up others, even themselves, to salvation, while others they have power to relegate to hell. They have NEVER met or known Christ personally. (If they had, they NEVER would have assented to such a foolish idea!) And yet they THINK they have eternal life. They may, in fact, meet Christ someday. And, when they do, I HOPE they are not woefully disappointed. But I fear they trust too much in the arm of flesh. I KNOW they do.

One of them told me he never had a personal revelation, "spiritual" experience, visitation with an angel, etc. Neither had his dad, a "two-timing" bishop! "If it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me!" he boasted. For him, the "trappings" of religion and religious rhetoric suffice. The hope of eternal life in the world to come is "good enough," even if he never KNOWS its promise here in the flesh, even if he never meets his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ himself.

I told him that wasn't good enough for me. Joseph Smith knew God and Jesus. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saw and knew the Lord. ALL of the prophets testified of Christ. Which of those men today standing at the head of the LDS Church know Him face to face, as one man speaks with another, as Mahonri and Moroni testified THEY knew Him? As Nephi and Jacob did?

The Mormon "religion" today is a FAR CRY from the promise offered at its foundation. I wish to return to its roots.

I want to see and hear and know for myself. I know it's possible. I've experienced some of this for myself already. But I want more. And not just lip service.

Call me at your convenience.

--Will Carter

P.S.: To more specifically answer your question, I've never overtly endeavored to "get back into" the LDS Church. I would not do it merely for my family, for "religious" or "cultural" or "traditional" reasons. The leaders of the LDS Church forfeited whatever claim they had to priesthood authority when they abused theirs, by unrighteous dominion. In my view, the kingdom of God is no longer with them. (Where it is, exactly now, I don't know. But it's not with them, I KNOW that much.)

They told me that to get back into the LDS Church (not to be rebaptized, mind you, but just to attend services!) I would need to seek professional counselling, take whatever medications I am prescribed (what a joke!) and gain "clearance" from the very same man whose ministrations forced my ouster in the first place! 

Going back (for me) would be akin to John the Baptist asking Caiaphas to perform the ordinance of baptism on his behalf! Fat chance. I no longer recognize or accept LDS authority even though I acknowledge that the LDS Church had a positive influence on my upbringing. Consequently I still encourage my wife and children to attend LDS services and seminary (but without me, sadly). I even drop my daughter off each morning for seminary and sometimes shuttle my kids to church. (I stop at the curb.)

There WILL come a day when being LDS will be detrimental, not beneficial, to coming unto Christ. That day may already be upon us (for some). It wasn't for me, but the Church hierarchy forced my hand. I wish you the best in your pursuit of serving and seeking after Christ. May your efforts be rewarded.

Conversation with the Lord

Me: “Lord, do You have anything for me to do? Prophesy to the nations? Explain all mysteries? Heal the sick? Raise the dead?”

Lord: “How about doing the dishes while your family is at church?”

The Lord’s ways are far more down-to-earth and practical than we sometimes wistfully imagine.

Evils and designs of conspiring men

Evil conspiracies abound. But one conspiracy perpetrated by conspiring “king men” striving to enslave “free men” keeps rearing its ugly, phony head.

National “leaders” are ostensibly convened to “combat” “global climate change.” (They formerly called this menace anthropogenic (i.e., man-made) global warming, but when the earth unexpectedly stopped warming 19 years ago, despite mankind’s unabated efforts to muck it all up, they had to change their moniker to global climate change…which was convenient to do…since our climate has ALWAYS been changing, and always will be changing, irrespective of what anyone does about it.

The old joke used to be: "Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!"

Randolph Bourne observed: “War is the Health of the State.” Because employed government workers are happy government workers, they are ever incentivized to keep government and society in a constant state of war (“war on poverty”, “war on drugs”, “war against terrorism,” actual war, etc.) They have now declared "war" against ineluctable, ever-changing Mother Nature. (Heaven help them should their employers — the unschooled masses who pay their salaries — ever discover their shell game!)

Where were these “weather warriors” when we needed them 10,000 years ago, before the last ice age abruptly ended? Why didn’t they step in to combat “global warming” then, before the glaciers covering our continent started melting? I mean, really, what are we supposed to do NOW with those FIVE REALLY GREAT LAKES sitting on our northernmost border? How are we supposed to turn all that fresh, clean water back into barren ice again? 

More importantly, who’s going to pay for it? And clean up this mess? 

(Not me, that's for sure!)

Had our “leaders” gotten their act together sooner, the wooly mammoth, mastodon and sabertooth tiger might still be roaming around and Yosemite Valley, in central California, might still be safely “preserved” under a mile of solid ice! But, no! Thanks to their incompetence, our leaders have allowed millions of fossil-fuel-burning, greenhouse-gas-emitting cars each year to funnel into Yosemite National Park just so methane-farting tourists can hike up Half Dome (a glacier carved away the other half!) and take a snap shot of El Capitan! 

Couldn’t we just go back to the way things used to be…when the earth was “perfect”?

What’s causing all this “global climate change” anyway? Scientist say it’s carbon dioxide. But if man-made carbon dioxide is the culprit, what melted all those glaciers tens of thousands of years ago, before any of us even got here? (One can ask, can't he?)

They say that for every 10,000 air particles, just 4 are carbon dioxide molecules (otherwise known as CO2). A hundred years ago we had just 3 CO2 molecules for every 10,000 particles of air. That’s a whopping 33% increase! Whence came all that “extra” CO2? And what havoc is it wreaking now?

Some say we can’t allow CO2 to “pollute” our atmosphere as it did for hundreds of millions of years when dinosaurs happily feasted on plant life “fueled” by as much as 30 TIMES MORE CO2 than fills our skies now. CO2 is plant food and having more plant food causes plants to grow more quickly and healthy, making more trees, more forests, more habitat for animals to live in and even more shade to absorb more sunlight and cool the earth, and…wait, this can’t be right…to convert more solar energy into plant-based food that all of us can eat!

Why would anyone want to stop THAT from happening?

Because some folks think the earth is already WAAAY over-populated. They’d rather have the earth all to themselves (and their favorite animals) than share it with us. Most people are WAAAY too fat, they say, too! So we need LESS food, less plants, fewer trees, less healthy forests, less animals, less people, and, necessarily, LESS CO2. It's a Cloward-Piven strategy to stave off ecological apocalypse by bringing it on!

They call CO2 a “greenhouse” gas not just because it makes plants grow better but because it absorbs and “traps” solar radiation, which can potentially warm the earth. The earth has heated and cooled hundreds of times during its long 4.6 billion year history. It has currently been on a warming trend for thousands of years, so there’s more CO2 in the air now than there used to be. But it used to be A LOT hotter!

Ignorant people (like Al Gore, who got a “D” in natural sciences at Harvard) disregard the increasing insolubility of gases dissolved in warmer liquids, inferring that increasing atmospheric CO2 levels must indicate CO2 is at fault! Forget that CO2 is found only in trace amounts in our atmosphere — meaning “only in very, very small quantities” — and that, as they have warmed from increased solar activity, the oceans have expelled ever more dissolved CO2 into the atmosphere. CO2 levels have risen because of global warming; they are not the cause of it! (Even when they acknowledge this, they still get it wrong!)

But conspiring minds want you to believe that CO2 is responsible for ALL our environmental, geopolitical, and even social ills. Conveniently for them, ALL OF US exhale CO2, so they can hold US responsible! By golly, they propose that each of us pay THEM a global TAX, to save the earth from OURSELVES! They want to PUNISH us for breathing! (In fact, the “final solution” appears to be to get rid of US and our CO2 exhalations altogether!)

They say we need to eliminate CO2! It’s not like “CO2-eating” plants and phytoplankton produce ALL of the usable oxygen we breath or anything…


A mind-exercise dramatizing the insignificance of CO2 on global warming:

Imagine a football stadium filled with 10,000 spectators, all wearing distinctive-colored jerseys: 7,800 of them (78%) would be wearing green (we’ll call them molecular nitrogen); 2,100 (21%) would be wearing red (we’ll call them molecular oxygen). That's 99% of the total, leaving room for just 100 others (1%), or everyone else.

But 93 of those remaining "others" would be white (we’ll call them atomic argon); and 4 would be brown (we’ll call them carbon dioxide). There's only 3 left. (That 0.03% is a mixture of methane, hydrogen, helium, nitrous oxide, and what have you). Their numbers (like carbon dioxide’s 0.04%) are just too small to be significant. The brown spectators may, in fact, be just a little bit “louder” and more energetic than the greens, the reds or the whites, but there are only 4 of them among 10,000, so their overall influence is negligible, even inconsequential, at best.

Can you imagine the imbecility of blaming ALL the excess “noise” in a rowdy football stadium on just four moderately energetic fans? 

It gets sillier. There used to be only 3 browns in the stadium a hundred years ago — back when they say the “noise” was “perfect." Now there are 4. Do you think adding just one more fan among 10,000 others would make a significant difference?

Even if it did…at any moment, between 200 and 400 (2 to 4%) of other "gate crashers" — all wearing blue (we’ll call them water vapor) — flood the stadium, spill into the aisles and pour onto the field. Each of those particles absorbs and emits EIGHT TIMES more energy than any brown-clad carbon dioxide particle!

And becuase there are between 50 and 200 TIMES MORE WATER VAPOR PARTICLES THAN CARBON DIOXIDE PARTICLES in the stadium at any given moment, water vapor accounts for roughly 400 to 1600 TIMES MORE “NOISE” (or thermal energy absorbed and released into the atmosphere) than ALL the carbon dioxide in the stadium combined! That makes carbon dioxide (or the influence of that puny number of brown-shirted sports fans) even MORE insignificant.

Imagine 200 to 400 blue-shirted fans (in a stadium of 10,000), each yelling 8 TIMES LOUDER than any of the 4 brown-shirted carbon dioxide fans making a fuss. (Imagine the difficulty of just finding those 4 brown jerseys awash in a sea of 10,000 blue, green, red and white jerseys and trying to “hear” their feeble cries above the din of the rest!) Would you blame any excess “noise” on the pathetically weak (by comparison) cries of just 4 brown-shirted fans? Of course you wouldn’t! How preposterous!

But that’s EXACTLY what government-funded scientists (and their crony-capitalist conspirators) are proposing! 


It's dangerous to "read minds," but could it be because they think…indeed, they KNOW…that YOU are scientifically illiterate and can be TRICKED into thinking that CO2 is “bad” and that it needs to be “sequestered” at GREAT expense to YOU, even BANNED, for earth’s sake!

How utterly retarded! How ridiculously foolish!

CO2, being a “trace” gas -- meaning, it is almost immeasurable and utterly insignificant -- is “blamed” for global warming (even though it has practically NOTHING to do with global warming) while water vapor -- FAR more abundant and eight times more energetic -- gets a “pass," completely ignored by the “experts.” 

NO ONE is trying to “get rid of” water vapor (just yet) or eliminate fog, rain, mist and clouds from our atmosphere. No one is blaming global warming on that “evil” dihydrogen oxide!

They're not that stupid.

They just hope you are.


Update: Be sure to read the enlightening comments appended to the first article linked above. For many years I showed my students The Great Global Warming Swindle after showing Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Both are worth watching, if only to observe how clever rhetoric and artful dodging can masquerade as truth.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Suffer the little children

I've said nothing about the Mormon Church's recent "policy change" (not "divine revelation," mind you) excluding children of same-sex couples from joining the Mormon Church or from receiving the ordinances of salvation (including blessings and baptism by Mormon hands). I consider the Church's action to be just "more of the same." It's another manifestation of the Church's continuing efforts to exclude (or diminish) influences it doesn't want among its membership.

Quite frankly, I don't think the LDS Church wants gay couples -- or even gay people -- living, talking, kissing or holding hands among them. Just seeing two guys or two gals marching into Sacrament Meeting holding hands, with or without "their" kids in tow, would turn many a Mormon's stomach!

Being "gay" is a "problem" most Mormons (including most gay Mormons) wish would "just go away." But it's not going away. (Not yet, at least.)

Because "gayness" -- as most of us now realize -- has its "roots" in biological, sociological and even spiritual influences -- over which most of us have little, if any, control. We've all, probably, looked at or even just heard someone speak and, in little more than an instant, concluded that "that person is gay," or "that child is definitely going to be gay." (It's not always apparent, but the fact that it is often apparent indicates that this predilection is not purely a "choice.")

For decades I prayed to God that He would take away, once and for all, my heterosexual impulses (even as I was required by my faith to maintain a celibate, unmarried lifestyle). To my sorrow, however, I still felt powerful urges. (As a married man now, I'm overjoyed -- and, hopefully, my wife is, too -- that my prayers weren't answered!)

It's a common affirmation among religious (especially Christian and Muslim) homosexuals that they would "pray without ceasing" to be rendered "straight" only to find themselves mired in homosexual tendencies again. If it were wholly a matter of "choice," these people would have "chosen" to be straight long ago! 

But they are not. A biological component, therefore, is clearly at work: a re-wiring (or "pre-wiring") of the human brain toward a specific (or non-specific) sexual orientation and proclivity. These inclinations are deeply woven into our psyche and subconscious. We can, by sheer dint of will and effort, channel and control our impulses. But matters of the heart remain universally beyond human reach (except to express or repress them). We love whom (or what) we love. We can chose to behave as we wish (to one extent or another, at best, with limited success). 

But love is another matter altogether. 

Love conquers all.

We tend to strengthen our affinity for -- and proclivity toward -- what we do and what we love to do. Hence, repentance (turning away from the unwanted desire or behavior) has its effect. We can even begin to feel love for something we previously abhorred (or did not love) simply by continuing to associate with, partake of or engage in it. 

Thus, the Mormon Church now excludes children of same-sex couples from joining the Mormon Church because children would be the "back door" through which same-sex acceptance would enter Mormonism. Baptized children of same-sex couples would say in Primary and Sunday School: "My mommies aren't evil!" "My dads love each other!" or "Our family is good!"...until same-sex status became perfectly "acceptable."

The Mormon Church excommunicated me (as it has hundreds, perhaps even thousands of others) because I was a distraction; I made others feel uncomfortable; I challenged the status quo; I wasn't willing to conform to the mantra du jour imposed by its leadership. In their eyes, I was "irredeemable" and "expendable."

I accept that.

Mormon leaders now expel (or discourage from attending Mormon services) same-sex couples and their children (who themselves may be same-sex advocates) for the same reasons. This new "policy" is as judgmental, divisive, politically incorrect and unjustifiable as the former Mormon ban on black clergy or the former Mormon practice of polygamy. 

And just like subsequent Mormon "policy changes" which overturned those formerly professed (but now repudiated) "doctrines," this practice of discouraging practicing gays from attending Church and prohibiting their celibate children from joining altogether will likely one day be reversed as well.

After all, we're not talking about coming unto Christ here. We're talking about coming unto a church for Christ's sake!

Christ taught that all are invited to come unto Him and freely partake of His salvation. Being banned from LDS Church membership might make it more difficult for some to do so, it would seem.

But Mormon leaders now concede they are seemingly incapable of, once and for all, "curing" "gayness" anyway.

I, myself, believe that being "gay" is "wrong," just like being blind is "wrong" or being paralyzed is "wrong." It is what it is. It's a psychosexual disorder and reproductive dysfunction. We are what we are, regardless of what we are! How we handle our challenges -- what we do in every circumstance with what we've been given, according to the desires of our hearts -- is our "test".

We are being tested. Each of us has been given significant (and different) tests.

The question is: does the Mormon Church help people experiencing same-sex attraction -- even practicing same-sex couples and their celibate children -- come unto Christ? 

Or does it shun them? 

To paraphrase a famous verse of scripture: "Who sinned, this child or his parents, that he was prevented from being baptized unto Christ?"

I, for one, greatly benefited from my membership in the Mormon Church. Perhaps we would be better served, however, by now personally coming unto Christ and relying upon Him to save us rather than looking to the powerless priests who are willing to turn aside at the gate any who sin differently than they do.

I have tasted of the Savior's transformative love and of His matchless power, irrespective of the influence or involvement of any other man. Jesus Christ Himself has healed (and continues to heal) my broken and unclean heart and has cast out many devils from my soul.

There is no need for any of us who would come unto Him to be turned aside by those who vainly profess to speak and act in His name.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Trusting in the arm of flesh, Part 2

"[N]one are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood. We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do any thing they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God, who seeks for the redemption of his fellows, would despise the idea of seeing another become his slave, who had an equal right with himself to the favour of God; he would rather see him stand by his side, a sworn enemy to wrong, so long as there was place found for it among men. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty (!) authority, have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the Saints were told to do by their Presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience, as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves, and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong[.]" 

– Millennial Star, November 13, 1852, Vol. 14, Num. 38, pp.594-595, italics and punctuation in the original.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Trusting in the arm of flesh

President George Q. Cannon: “Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop; an apostle, or a president. If you do, they will fail you at some time or place, they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone, but if we lean on God, He never will fail us. When men and women depend on God alone, and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside. They could still see that He is just and true, that truth is lovely in His sight, and the pure in heart are dear to Him. Perhaps it is His own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His saints may learn to trust in Him and not in any man or men! Therefore, my brethren and sisters, seek after the Holy Ghost and his unfailing testimony of God and His work upon the earth. Rest not until you know for yourselves that God has set His Hand to redeem Israel, and prepare a people for His coming.” (Deseret Weekly, March 7, 1891. pg. 322, No. 11 vol. XLII a Discourse by Pres. George Q. Cannon, Manti, Sanpete County on the evening of February 15, 1891).

This was good counsel then. It is good counsel today. 

Ironically, if you follow this wise counsel, you may find yourself excommunicated from the LDS Church. If you don't follow it, you may find yourself cut off from God.