During the fall of 2013, I wrote and sent a letter to all of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve (except Dallin Oaks). I did not mail the letters at the same time, but I sent the same letter to all of them.
I received a letter dated January 6, 2014. It was from Brook P. Hales, secretary to the First Presidency.
Hello Elder _______________,
I am writing in response to Dieter F. Uchtdorf's general conference talk. I did not listen to conference, but a family member sent me a copy of his talk. Do you really want people like me in your church?
Here is a little background about me: I am happily married and enjoy being the mother of 11 children. Both my husband and I served full time missions for the LDS church. I have attended church regularly throughout my life, and for most of my adult life have attended the temple on a weekly basis. As a family we have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund church operations.
A little over two years ago things changed for me in regards to my relationship with the church. We were talking about prophets in relief society, and I asked a few questions. I wondered why we were required to follow the counsel of the first presidency and quorum of the twelve without receiving a confirming witness from God. I also wondered where is the precedence showing that the president of the church won't be allowed to lead us astray? If that is true, Caiaphas would never have been allowed to be the High Priest of the church.
These few questions caused enough of a stir that I was reported to the bishop, called in, chastised, threatened, punished, and silenced. I have been without a temple recommend since that day. I told the bishop that I sustain you in your calling, but the Lord has not yet confirmed to me that you are a prophet, seer, and revelator.
So, for the past two years I've stayed at home and enjoyed taking care of my little ones while I pray and study the scriptures. Even though my husband was also punished, he still takes some of our children to church. Just this last summer, I received word from some of the youth workers that the bishop directed all of the auxiliaries to shut down and silence the questions of the Willis children. I wonder what kind of adult is intimidated by the questions of a child.
So I ask, “Is President Uchtdorf talking to people like me or is his message directed toward some other type of member?”
In an attempt to find answers to my questions, I am asking the men who know the answers to my questions?
Are you a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ as defined by Joseph Smith and the scriptures? Have you been sanctified, come into the presence of the Lord, and been ordained by God himself? Have you seen heaven and hell? Are you a member of the church of the firstborn? See quotes and scriptures below:
"Answer to the question, Was the Priesthood of Melchizedek taken away when Moses died? All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels remained. All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself." p.180 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
“Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it. No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a Prophet. No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy. Whenever salvation has been administered, it has been by testimony. Men of the present time testify of heaven and hell, and have never seen either; and I will say that no man knows these things without this.” p. 160 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
“. . . for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10
D&C 76:51-70 explains what it means to have a testimony of Jesus.
15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known. Mosiah 8:15-17
“Wherefore, we again say, search the revelations of God; study the prophecies, and rejoice that God grants unto the world Seers and Prophets. They are they who saw the mysteries of godliness; they saw the flood before it came; they saw angels ascending and descending upon a ladder that reached from earth to heaven; they saw the stone cut out of the mountain, which filled the whole earth; they saw the Son of God come from the regions of bliss and dwell with men on earth; they saw the deliverer come out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob; they saw the glory of the Lord when he showed the transfiguration of the earth on the mount; they saw every mountain laid low and every valley exalted when the Lord was taking vengeance upon the wicked; they saw truth spring out of the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven in the last days, before the Lord came the second time to gather his elect; they saw the end of wickedness on earth, and the Sabbath of creation crowned with peace; they saw the end of the glorious thousand years, when Satan was loosed for a little season; they saw the day of judgment when all men received according to their works, and they saw the heaven and the earth flee away to make room for the city of God, when the righteous receive an inheritance in eternity. And, fellow sojourners upon earth, it is your privilege to purify yourselves and come up to the same glory, and see for yourselves, and know for yourselves. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” p. 12 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?
Do you really want people like me in your church? Can I come as I am with all my questions and thoughts? If so, let me know.
May God Bless You,