A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Some Things Said Just Ain’t So, Part 3

Made in the absence of direct revelation

In the official statement of the church it reads: “The Church unequivocally condemns racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church. In 2006, then Church president Gordon B. Hinckley declared that “no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church.”

Does President Hinckley really mean that any individual who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race is NOT considered a true disciple of Christ? If this is the case, are the racist Church presidents and apostles condemned and not considered true disciples of Christ? Gordon B. Hinckley, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, others, and the Church have all made some strong statements either for or against the black race. Are all of their statements authorized? Why do some directly oppose each other? 

Is the current Church denouncing doctrines that were preached by previous church leaders? Is it reasonable to conclude that the current official position of the church condemns precisely the official doctrine that had been approved by the church for decades? If so, would it seem logical that the church today should be considered out of harmony with the Church in times past?

If this, in fact, is the case, could some teachings previously encouraged and upheld by the church be wrong and be called abominations? Are there any abominations existing among the saints today? Are false doctrines being taught? Is it possible that some church leaders have led us astray in the past? If it happened before, could it be happening today? Are we ever led astray by the President of the Church, who is sustained by the members as prophet, seer, and revelator? How about the Apostles who are also sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators? General Authorities? Other leaders? If Church leaders have ever led us astray, how often does it happen? Seldom? Frequently? Every day? Always? How can we tell?

Are leaders and members held to the same standard of discipleship? According to President Hinckley’s statement, are some past church leaders disqualified as true disciples of Christ? Does this standard of discipleship apply to Church Presidents? Can doctrines taught by men, who fall short of true discipleship, be trusted to be accurate and official? Do the teachings of these religious leaders come from God and reflect His will? Are their messages valid and binding? Or are their words merely false traditions and the philosophies of men, which reflect the current trends of society?

Does God bestow power upon men who are NOT true disciples of Christ? Can they exercise power in the priesthood? Is their priestly power valid in heaven? Can anyone who is NOT a true disciple of Christ, possess sealing power? Is it possible for church leaders, who lack true discipleship, to hold the keys of the kingdom? Are the words of a non-disciple of Christ held up by God that whatsoever they shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever they shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven? Or do the words of an imposter fall to the ground and have no binding effect?

Can they pass priesthood power on from generation to generation, leader to leader, father to son? If the current leaders received priesthood from these former leaders who made racist remarks, and therefore are not true disciples of Christ, how valid is the priesthood the current leaders hold? How does all this workout? If the origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear, and there is an absence of direct revelation, as declared in the Church’s official statement, does this raise any apprehension? Alarm? Anxiety? Concern? Uneasiness? Or worry? Does it bring up any questions?

Contradictory doctrinal claims and conflicting official statements seem to be obvious and have been circulating, changing, and adjusting to accommodate the views of men for a long time. Where do we turn for truth? How can Church hierarchy, who claim to speak in the name of God, make official doctrinal statements in an absence of direct revelation?  How can church leaders sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators contradict others sustained in the same manner? How can both be speaking and acting under direct revelation from God? Or have one or the other or both been in absence of direct revelation, and therefore, not speaking the mind and will of God? Are they truly prophets, seers, and revelators chosen by God himself? Or do they merely hold the title or leadership position to which they have been sustained? In an absence of direct revelation how can they be revelators?

Isn’t there a general belief among members of the church that words coming from the prophet, presently President Monson, are to be esteemed with high regard, not debated or questioned, and regarded as the final word of God upon which our salvation hangs? Does this same standard of belief extend, and at least partially apply, to the words of the quorum of the twelve apostles and other general authorities? What does the Lord think of this deep-rooted idea promoted among the saints? 2 Nephi 4:34 How does He feel about our unbelief? Hebrews 3:19

The church officially declared that some explanations were made in the absence of direct revelation and some statements are personal and do not represent Church doctrine. If this is true, does it seem reasonable to conclude that some leaders were in error? Have they taught for doctrine the commandments of men? Matthew 15:9

 Is it sensible to believe that some men within the church hierarchy have practiced priestcraft and taught contrary to the will of God?  Have some authentic bona fide church leaders set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion? 2 Nephi 26:29 Or have they just made foolish human mistakes and contradict each other by following the crowd of the day?

When inconsistency and discrepancies of doctrinal views rise within a single church over a relatively short time, red flags are sent up all over the place. Sincere people seeking truth, together with critics, start asking some pretty tough and searching questions. D&C 123:12 Sensible, logical, and acceptable answers are very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain without admitting apostasy, priestcraft, and corruption within the church itself.

Lucifer employs fabrications, trickery, deceit, and cover-ups. One of his tactics is to imitate God and supplant true prophets with counterfeit powerless substitutes. The father of lies uses priestly leaders, formal procedures, and ceremonial observances to manipulate people and endorse collective apostasy. All the while, sincere folk think they are following God, obeying his commandments, making sufficient sacrifice, walking the path to heaven, and believing all is well in Zion. “And thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell” 2 Nephi 28:21.

Lyings, deceivings, whoredoms, secret abominations, idolatries, murders, priestcrafts, envyings, strifes, evil doings, much wickedness, and abominations are used in the grand scheme of deception by the evil one. If the adversary succeeds by keeping us from receiving a remission of our sins and being filled with the Holy Ghost, we will fail to be numbered among the people of God, who are of the house of Israel. 3 Nephi 30:2

Is a true messenger sent from the presence of God? Would he be clothed with power? Does he have a message for mankind? Is the message clear, binding, and unalterable? Are God’s messengers different than mere men who promote their own agendas? Are true prophets chosen of God or simply called by men? Do they really know God or just say so and claim His authority? Have they yielded to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, been born again, sanctified, redeemed from the fall, and become a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord? Or do they remain a natural man and enemy to God? Mosiah 3:19

Have they heard the voice of their Redeemer and personally received the testimony of Jesus? Or do they simply bear testimony of Him like many Christians do in churches throughout the world? Do prophets receive the sealing authority from God, possess heavenly power, and proclaim a binding message from God to society? Or do they use modern social sciences to determine public opinion and go with the flow?

Do they waver, change their minds, vacillate, back track, submit to and build up Babylon, and attempt to please the general public? Do they forget God, search for political correctness, succumb to peer pressure, and yield to society? Do they remain unclear, uncertain, unprepared, unqualified, unredeemed, unsaved and lost, being disconnected from heaven like most men find themselves? “Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides?” Helaman 13:29 What is the description of a true prophet who you want to receive?

Joseph Smith had something to say about true prophets: “The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves "in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth," and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men.” TPJS p. 206 

Are true messengers, sent from heaven, ever accepted, praised, or placed on coveted pedestals for public display? Do they ever receive special awards, earn high honors, have their names attached to buildings and engraved on granite, or accept recognition and praise from men? Or are they mocked, persecuted, reviled, and cast out by the non-repentant souls who attempt, against odds, to vilify their names, ignore the message of repentance, and deny the power of the Holy Ghost?

How can Church leaders in an absence of direct revelation possibly call repentance to Babylon, prophesy, declare warnings, curses, and blessings without Godly authority, teach the doctrine of Christ with power, and point souls to Christ, who is the One authorized to redeem mankind? Does the word of God spoken by prophets bend to worldly power, conform to popular opinion, and succumb to society? Or must the people humble themselves, repent of their sins, and surrender their will to God? What must we do to be saved and avoid damnation?

To be continued . . .

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