Tuesday, May 01, 2007

my dreams of a future mormonism (NSFP - not safe for certain persons)

'certain persons' is a nice way of not offending.

for some reason i want to blame this on kurt vonnegut. this morning i finished reading slaughterhouse-five. in case you haven't read it, it's his novel about the bombing of dresden in the second world war. in case you really haven't read it, it has little do with the bombing of dresden. either way, it has even less to do with mormonism.

the bombings of dresden killed 30,000 to 60,000 people. nazi propaganda claimed 300,000. vonnegut cites 135,000. whatever it is, a lot of people died. so it goes.

this may be because of the recent spike in spirituality i've been feeling the last couple weeks.

it may be because of the recent protests against dick cheney at byu,

it may be because of the recent documentary on pbs.

it may be because of the recent claim by utah county conservatives that satan is behind illegal immigration and "that illegal immigrants 'hate American people' and 'are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do.'" or that "'If the Democrats take over the country, we will be dead, and we will have abortion and partial-birth abortion.'" or that the illegal immigrants were communists in disguise or that their fantasy world was "not extemism" but "fact."

(i was going to write a post about this last gem, but i'm still recovering from a headache and vertigo from initially reading about it).

it may be because i'm bored.

yet, for some reason i want to blame it on vonnegut. in case you hadn't heard, vonnegut is dead. it's easier to blame things on the dead. so it goes.

whatever it is, i have this renewed hope for the future of mormonism. a future some of you may not like. a future that is not driven by the leadership, but a future inspired by the ground up. a future led by the upcoming generation. we're constantly told that we were the generals and leaders of the war in heaven. isn't it about time that we took up our swords and led the revolution?

a year or so ago, i was talking with dan wotherspoon of sunstone about the demographics of sunstone. in case you've never attended, most of them are old. really old. they're progressive versions of my grandparents. we talked about how in a few years when they are all dead, sunstone might die with it. so it goes.

yet i have hope. like tyler durden looking across his bloodied and bruised brothers, i see a rising generation of mormons who are going to take mormonism to the future. i see mormonism as having a potential it hasn't seen since its birth and adolesence in the midwest.

what's beautiful about mormonism is its belief in continuing revelation. it's a belief in something new and different. its the belief that there is more to the gospel than there is currently now. its a belief in progression and change.

unfortunately, much of the church today doesn't want change. it enjoys staying stagnant, growing moss and harboring nymphs while a rushing river of progressive revelation lies within its grasps. hiding behind its myths of absolutism and unchanging foundations, it seeks to be mainstreamed instead of peculiar. it seeks to be accepted rather than stand out. like the early church that fell into apostacy, it seeks to be a part of the world rather than condemn the heart of it.

you may say i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one.

john lennon was right. the more i talk, the more i listen, the more i rant, and the more i write, i come to find that there are a growing number who want to see change. some may desire more, some desire much less. i see it among my peers more than i see it anywhere else.

so what do i want to see change? a lot.

first and foremost i want to see a mormonism that believes in the book of mormon. i'm not talking about the historicity of it. leave that to f.a.r.m.s.. i could care less. i want to see a mormonism that embraces the teachings of the book of mormon. i want to see a mormonism that sees the disparity between the rich and poor as the foremost evil of the world. the book of mormon repeatedly condemns the rich. the book of mormon repeatedly pleads with us to take care of the poor. over and over again.

over and over again.

and again.

yet how often are the rich condemned in mormonism today? how often does the prophet clothe himself in the camel hair mantle of a prophet and condemn luxury cars, over-sized homes, diamond rings, expensive clothing, and jewelry?

how often does the prophet clothe himself in the mantle of mr. mac and condemn those who don't dress according to his standard of decency?

i see a future of mormonism unconcerned with gay-marriage (or as the public-relations intensive church calls same-gender marriage). i see a future of mormonism that realizes that 'sex' and 'gender' are not co-extensive terms.

i see a future of mormonism that realizes that the true enemy of the family is our economic system that leaves children with absent fathers and mothers.

i see a future of mormonism that once again re-envisions its priesthood to include women, either as seperate holders, or as co-equal holders within marriage.

i see a future of mormonism that realizes that women are just as amazing, smart, and able as men. i see a future of mormonism that gives control and power of the relief society back to its women.

i see a future of mormonism less concerned with hierarchial control and more concerned with individual inspiration and will.

i see a future of mormonism that is willing to say that its ban on blacks was a mistake.

i see a future of mormonism that is willing to admit that its leaders make mistakes.

i see a future of mormonism that is willing to once again condemn the government. a mormonism that embraces the gospel of peace and condemns war. a mormonism that has the balls to stand up for what is right, despite what others may think. a mormonism that realizes that the anti-nephi-lehites did far more for the gospel and freedom than the war-hungry moroni.

mormon claimed that the devil would be shaking in his boots if everyone were like moroni. mormon was such a military man.

the anti-nephi-lehites bow are pacifists and thousands join the gospel. moroni kick's lamanite ass and the lamanites just get pissed off and return the favor.

i see a future of mormonism concerned with truth and honesty and less concerned with public image. i see a future of mormonism that embraces its scholars rather than kick them to the wayside.

overall i see a future of mormonism that is truly the church of jesus christ. a mormonism which embraces jesus's teachings. a mormonism willing to tell other christians what it is truly like to be a christian, instead with today's mormonism pleading with the rest of christianity to be accepted as one of them.

in vonnegut's slaughterhouse-five, billy pilgrim, with the help of the extra-terrestrial tralfamadorians, is able to experperience the future.

i haven't been abducted... at least not that i know of.

with that said, i love the church. i love president hinckley, even though i am perhaps ready for him to go. i know that sounds wrong, but its true. just trying to be honest. some of you have thought it to. so it goes.

i love the church with all its beauty and its failings. its beauty reveals its truth, its failings reveal its potential for change, progress, and growth.

isn't that what the gospel is supposed to be about? isn't that the plan? isn't it about progression? eternal progression? so why must we feel that the church needs to stand still and not grow with the rest of us.

as marx ended his manifesto, so do i. it's time for the rising generation to unite. its time for the pre-mortal generals and leaders to fight for the beauty and truth that the gospel demands. its time for change and progress. its time to build the kingdom of god that christ established and joseph smith sought to restore.

31 comments:

  1. Wow. Where do I start? How about:

    Best blog I have read. Period. Not just of yours - it is THE best blog I have read.

    i want to see a mormonism that embraces the teachings of the book of mormon.

    really agree with this. the teachings are far more valuable than the guatemala excavations.

    and you're right - there are many of "us." so many. some speak up, some dream. but all have the vision. the ideology of it all scared a few from expression, they don't want to seem like they are going against the church. shouldn't it be more important to not go against the gospel?

    The mainstreamed p.r. esque outlook will do nothing but weave the church into the tapestry of secularism.

    the true enemy of the family is our economic system that leaves children with absent fathers and mothers.
    truer words were never said

    i love the church with all its beauty and its failings. its beauty reveals its truth, its failings reveal its potential for change, progress, and growth.

    beautifully put.

    i could go on with the quotations, but i will keep it at that.

    I am all for this revolution. And as for Sunstone, maybe the new wave should be called Moonstone, cuz as the sun goes down, the moon comes up. So it goes.

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  2. Great post Loyd. It's hard to keep hope sometimes---sometimes institutions become so misguided you wonder if you should even belong. But when it comes down to it, we have to keep trying to make a better religion, country, and world.

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  3. Sometimes I find myself really upset and disappointed with the Church. Sometimes I'm not all that hopeful and I wonder why I'm sticking it out. But when you get down to it, I, like you, love the Church and the gospel. And I really, really, really want to see it change and improve.

    Awesome post. Seriously.

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  4. I'm also one of the "us" and I too loved this post. Absolutely loved it.

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  5. Wow ... where to begin? In all honesty I can't in a simple reply. You make some interesting (and valid) points and yet to me seem to miss the boat on the bigger picture.

    In the mean time - could you find me that reference about how we were the "Generals and Leaders" in the war in heaven. I hear it quoted, but I never have gotten a source on it. I've even tried Googling it (not extensively) but have come up short.

    ryan

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  6. mike_drechsel5/03/2007 8:23 AM

    If I may offer my impressions from your post, I'll say this. The "change" that you advocate presupposes that YOU (or anyone other than the true leader of the Church) knows what changes should be made.

    You say "[the church] seeks to be accepted rather than stand out. like the early church that fell into apostacy, it seeks to be a part of the world rather than condemn the heart of it." But then you go on to advocate many changes that would bring the Church more in line with the world's view of how the church should be organized. Gay marriage, priesthood for women, admitting that withholding the priesthood from black members . . . the list goes on. Don't you see that if the Church were to adopt your position on these issues that the Church would be LESS peculiar and MORE inline with the prevailing trends of today? Instead, my understanding is that the position of the Church on these issues reflects the position of Jesus Christ on these issues, as revealed through his Prophets. If you are taking issue with that then you might consider this final point. My feeling from your words is that you think the Church is misguided in certain aspects. In the nicest way I can ask, have you considered the possibility that YOU are the one off track? I hope you know that I ask that in the very kindest way that it can be asked and that I mean no disrespect to you or your ideas. But being self-reflective on that question is soemthing we each individual ought to strive for, right?

    Peace.

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  7. Mike,

    I think you might be misreading Loyd's post. He's not calling for the Church to adopt modern liberal politics. He's not calling for conformity. He's calling for a Mormonism that really embraces some of the ideals that we often give lip service to: continuing revelation, dynamism, boldness, truth (whatever it is and whatever implications it might have), compassion, and peculiarity rather than conformity. I believe he's calling for a return to some of the ideals found in the Book of Mormon and embraced by our founding prophet, Joseph Smith: real concern for the poor, building Zion, pacifism, egalitarianism, etc.

    And I don't see how the fact that Loyd (or any other lay member) is not a General Authority disqualifies him from speaking about and participating in the shaping and direction of this church. Each member shares in the ownership of the Church. In fact, the members are the Church: as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, "Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church" (D&C 10:67; emphasis added). As part of the Church, each member has a right and responsibility to speak out and contribute to the progress of the Church.

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  8. He's calling for a Mormonism that really embraces some of the ideals that we often give lip service to: continuing revelation, dynamism, boldness, truth (whatever it is and whatever implications it might have), compassion, and peculiarity rather than conformity.

    What if the truth received from continuing revelation is that gay marriage is against God's law, that any type of homosexual relationship is also against God's law, women are not to hold the priesthood except by way of their husbands, and that blacks couldn't hold the priesthood b/c God said so - and it wasn't until long after the civial rights movement of the 60's that church allowed it to happen ... Unfortuantly all these things have been preached by the leaders of the church, but since the don't conform to your opinion on the topic then they are misguided and it's obvious the leaders of our church don't know what God really wants, do they? If they truely knew what God wanted they would do it your way, becuase God usualy conforms to the will of the people. It isn't like God to have a law that goes against social trends. Why all over the Bible and Book of Mormon you read about how God is talking with his ordained prophet and says "Well, if that's the general will of the people - far be it for me to tell them what to do. Why don't you go take a vote and ask them what they think we should do."

    I'll get you my full reply to your post - I have my last final today so it'll probably be this weekend sometime. And yes, it's along these lines - just not all the sarcasim

    ryan

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  9. mike:

    thanks for your comments. i understand your concern that what i am proposing could be seen as adopting ideals of the rest of the world. i don't see any inherent problem with that. it has happened all of the time. much of the world was well ahead of the church with offering equal opportunities to blacks (as well as fighting slavery - utah mormons once paid tithes with slaves). i believe that the light of christ can influence all to good. i further believe that this influence is increasing as satan's influence increases the most condemned of sins (the disparity of the rich and poor).

    the future changes i see are not changes of becoming a part of the world. the changes i see are embracing the teachings of christ, that is, truly embracing the love of christ - teachings that much of the 'christian' world has failed to embrace.

    the book of mormon teaches what it means to be christian. king benjamin instructed his people on how they ought to live before he collectively renamed them 'christ'. he said very little about what is emphasized (along with the 'christian' world) in the church today. and wasn't the book of mormon supposed to be written for us?

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  10. ryan:

    as joseph smith once said in trying to understand one of his failed revelations - "some revelations come from god, some from man, and some from the devil." if THE PROPHET of the restoration had a difficult time with getting things right, why should we expect perfection from current leaders?

    furthermore, the will of the people has often led to revelation and change in the church. look at the word of wisdom. joseph liked his tobacco and alcohol - even after the revelation was received - but it was the nagging of his wife that ultimately led to what we have today.

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  11. I'm still waiting on a reference to us being "Generals and Leaders" in the war in heaven ...

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  12. well keep on waiting ryan. the whole generals thing was about as important to my post as my kurt vonnegut and fight club. whether or not someone has actually officially taught it, it's a well known teaching in mormon culture.

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  13. Loyd,
    You better stop talking like this. Much of what you have written is blasphemy. GBH is going to march over to your house and remove your garments thus making you an Ex-Mo. You are walking on some very thin ice.

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  14. Loyd,
    You better stop talking like this. Much of what you have written is blasphemy. GBH is going to march over to your house and remove your garments thus making you an Ex-Mo. You are walking on some very thin ice.


    Wow, I didn't know God used blogger... You'd think that He would use another name, and would stay away from the anonymous route.

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  15. About that "generals in heaven" thing... I've heard it said in a lot of different settings, but no one has ever supplied an exact reference. I think it is a Mormon urban legend. I don't think it is Church-sanctioned doctrine.

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  16. Sooooo Mr. H2oetry,
    How long have you been a brain donor?

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  17. hook me up with that email to send my reply to

    ryan

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  18. 'certain persons' is a nice way of not offending.

    for some reason i want to blame this on kurt vonnegut. this morning i finished reading slaughterhouse-five. in case you haven't read it, it's his novel about the bombing of dresden in the second world war. in case you really haven't read it, it has little do with the bombing of dresden. either way, it has even less to do with mormonism.

    the bombings of dresden killed 30,000 to 60,000 people. nazi propaganda claimed 300,000. vonnegut cites 135,000. whatever it is, a lot of people died. so it goes.

    this may be because of the recent spike in spirituality i've been feeling the last couple weeks.

    it may be because of the recent protests against dick cheney at byu,

    it may be because of the recent documentary on pbs.

    it may be because of the recent claim by utah county conservatives that satan is behind illegal immigration and "that illegal immigrants 'hate American people' and 'are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do.'" or that "'If the Democrats take over the country, we will be dead, and we will have abortion and partial-birth abortion.'" or that the illegal immigrants were communists in disguise or that their fantasy world was "not extemism" but "fact."

    (i was going to write a post about this last gem, but i'm still recovering from a headache and vertigo from initially reading about it).

    it may be because i'm bored.

    yet, for some reason i want to blame it on vonnegut. in case you hadn't heard, vonnegut is dead. it's easier to blame things on the dead. so it goes.

    whatever it is, i have this renewed hope for the future of mormonism. a future some of you may not like. a future that is not driven by the leadership, but a future inspired by the ground up. Could you show me ONE reference in scripture – any scripture – where God runs his church this way? I know of no where that God takes power away from his ordained leaders and gives it to the people. Please show me one. I can think of a bunch where God tells his leaders where he wants the church to head, I can even think of where God tells individuals where he wants their personal life and/or family to head, but none where God allows the general public to lead. a future led by the upcoming generation. When the upcoming generation is called into leadership it’ll be time for us to lead. When we are the bishops and the stake presidents and such, then we will lead. Until then we must realize that God knows what he is doing and follow him via his currently called and ordained leadership. we're constantly told that we were the generals and leaders of the war in heaven. This is what I have the hardest time with, you go on and on about truth and honesty and yet you use this unsubstantiated claim as your rallying cry. Let’s be honest, we don’t know if we were generals or leaders in the war in heaven. We don’t even know what the “war” was like. Let’s at least be honest in our assumptions. isn't it about time that we took up our swords and led the revolution? What revolution is needed? If you’re so big on what Joseph Smith really taught then you’ll recall he said he restored the gospel in its entirety and it would never be taken from the earth until Christ returned. So if the church of God is here, in its entirety, what’s the revolution for?

    a year or so ago, i was talking with dan wotherspoon of sunstone about the demographics of sunstone. in case you've never attended, most of them are old. really old. they're progressive versions of my grandparents. we talked about how in a few years when they are all dead, sunstone might die with it. so it goes.

    yet i have hope. like tyler durden looking across his bloodied and bruised brothers, i see a rising generation of mormons who are going to take mormonism to the future. I agree, we will take it into the future, but I think that’s more a function of mortal time as we know it than a revolutionary aspect as you are implying. i see mormonism as having a potential it hasn't seen since its birth and adolesence in the midwest.

    what's beautiful about mormonism is its belief in continuing revelation. it's a belief in something new and different. its the belief that there is more to the gospel than there is currently now. its a belief in progression and change. You have to address the idea that it’s possible that your idea of “progression” might not be Gods. I to believe that there is more to the gospel than there is currently known to lay members. In fact I know there is, simply b/c I have spent time talking with temple presidents and members (mostly emeritus) of the seventy. They have access to a lot of material we don’t. I don’t think it’s fair, but it is the way it is. I also didn’t think it was fair that I couldn’t drive until I was 16. It wasn’t till I was past 16 that I started to see the wisdom in it.

    unfortunately, much of the church today doesn't want change. Please substantiate this claim I don’t believe it – define much, define change and show me how matched the two up. it enjoys staying stagnant, growing moss and harboring nymphs while a rushing river of progressive revelation lies within its grasps. Again, define progressive and acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, Gods idea of ‘progressive’ isn’t yours. Is it possible that the church is heading in the exact direction he wants it to? If you are not willing to admit that God is doing something you wouldn’t agree with, then aren’t you putting yourself at his level, deciding for him what he can and/or cannot do? hiding behind its myths of absolutism and unchanging foundations, it seeks to be mainstreamed instead of peculiar. it seeks to be accepted rather than stand out. like the early church that fell into apostacy, it seeks to be a part of the world rather than condemn the heart of it. I think this returns to Joseph Smith saying it’s here and won’t be removed till Christ comes again. I think you have to admit that because it’s not going in the direction you want it to go that you’re bent out of shape. There is no other reason I can think of that would cause you to come to this conclusion.

    you may say i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one.

    john lennon was right. the more i talk, the more i listen, the more i rant, and the more i write, i come to find that there are a growing number who want to see change. I too would like to see change, just probably not in the same way you do. Does that count, or is my desire for change only “valid” if it’s parallel with your change? some may desire more, some desire much less. i see it among my peers more than i see it anywhere else. I believe the saying is “birds of a feather flock together”

    so what do i want to see change? a lot.

    first and foremost i want to see a mormonism that believes in the book of mormon. i'm not talking about the historicity of it. leave that to f.a.r.m.s.. i could care less. i want to see a mormonism that embraces the teachings of the book of mormon. i want to see a mormonism that sees the disparity between the rich and poor as the foremost evil of the world. the book of mormon repeatedly condemns the rich. Be careful with this last assumption cause we could back and forth over it. You cannot show me one place where rich’s are condemned, not one. You can show me a lot where the LOVE of riches are but not riches in and unto themselves. In fact, you could almost show the opposite. EVERY time the people (BoM or Bible) were righteous and did what they were supposed to what did God bless them with??? the book of mormon repeatedly pleads with us to take care of the poor. I completely agree 1000%!!!! over and over again.

    over and over again.

    and again.

    yet how often are the rich condemned in mormonism today? The rich aren’t supposed to be condemned b/c it’s not a sin to be rich. We shouldn’t condemn the rich, we should condemn the love of money, the love of power, etc. I hold to the idea that there is NOTHING wrong with me having 1 million dollars just sitting in my bank. Now, if someone were to come to me, and ask for help and I said NO just because I could, and “it’s my money not his” that is the sin. If I were to donate, and give, and share and when the stake president were to approach me and tell me of a family in need and I were to help pay some of their bills, and then hire their 12 year old son to mow my lawn and overpay him. Or I hire the dad to work for one of my companies and I give him and his family full benefits w/o charge … I hold that I’m not in sin, in fact I’m just the opposite. I’m using my riches that God has blessed me with for good. how often does the prophet clothe himself in the camel hair mantle of a prophet and condemn luxury cars, over-sized homes, diamond rings, expensive clothing, and jewelry? There is nothing wrong with being rich … the sin is in the love of money.

    how often does the prophet clothe himself in the mantle of mr. mac and condemn those who don't dress according to his standard of decency? Can you be sure that being clean cut, well groomed, dressed appropriately for the occasion and times is “the prophets” standard? Let’s pretend for a moment its Gods.

    i see a future of mormonism unconcerned with gay-marriage (or as the public-relations intensive church calls same-gender marriage). i see a future of mormonism that realizes that 'sex' and 'gender' are not co-extensive terms. I’m pretty sure that homosexuality has been a no-no for some time. It’s not a Mormon thing, it’s been taught since the early pages of the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that anyone with a homosexual urge is evil, I’m just saying that the ACT of homosexuality is against Gods law and has been since the beginning.

    i see a future of mormonism that realizes that the true enemy of the family is our economic system that leaves children with absent fathers and mothers. I couldn’t agree more! I wish there was some magic formula to relieve us of this destructive force, but right now I don’t see one, I can’t wait for something to help with this issue and believe me I’ll be the first to jump on board.

    i see a future of mormonism that once again re-envisions its priesthood to include women, either as seperate holders, or as co-equal holders within marriage. I hadn’t realized that the church had abandoned to co-equal in marriage stance. Last I knew it was still in strong effect and being taught. At least it was to my fiancĂ© and me by the first counselor in the temple presidency just before we were married. As for the separate holders I’m not sure of a time a woman was ordained to the priesthood but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was.

    i see a future of mormonism that realizes that women are just as amazing, smart, and able as men. i see a future of mormonism that gives control and power of the relief society back to its women. As for the Relief Society I’m not sure how the church has taken control of it, please elaborate more. As for the first sentence you really should stop making such broad sweeping statements. Take a listen to the temple ceremony. Women are GIVEN some sweet blessings that men aren’t. We have to earn them. And no I’m not making this up it was pointed out to me by Elder Joe J. Christianson – emeritus seventy and San Diego temple president at the time we had this discussion.

    i see a future of mormonism less concerned with hierarchial control and more concerned with individual inspiration and will. And another broad sweeping statement – please explain further

    i see a future of mormonism that is willing to say that its ban on blacks was a mistake. What if it wasn’t? What if there was time that God didn’t want them to hold the priesthood? Read the bible, Ham couldn’t give the priesthood to his offspring b/c they were of Canaanite decent. We know they went on to be the people that settled Egypt. Now start doing some research – now it’s time to start reading F.A.R.M.S. What does pharaoh mean – God King. Hmmm, interesting … is there more??? Why yes, they have statues depicting the ceremony of plural marriage exactly how Joseph Smith restored them. They have found the mark of the square and compass on the wraps of mummies. Pyramids have been found with hieroglyphs depicting certain acts of the temple ceremony. What does all this mean??? Ham was upset he couldn’t give the priesthood or temple rights to his off spring, so he did it anyway. Now, take that and send it through generations without the spirit of revelation and you get a contorted version of it all we know as the Egyptian experience. It’s all over, every major civilization has remnants of the temple ceremony – why, b/c someone taught it in correctly. What does this have to do with the Mormon stance on blacks? God didn’t allow them to have it in the bible; there was time that ONLY the decedents of the tribe of Aaron could hold it. It didn’t matter if you were black, white, green or purple; if you weren’t from the tribe of Aaron, you couldn’t have the priesthood. Its Gods priesthood let him give it to whom he will. I’m not excusing the reasons some of the early brethren gave for the with-holding.

    i see a future of mormonism that is willing to admit that its leaders make mistakes. We already do. Just b/c you think it’s a mistake, doesn’t mean it is and that someone should apologize for it.

    i see a future of mormonism that is willing to once again condemn the government. a mormonism that embraces the gospel of peace and condemns war. In my opinion it is. War is a last resort – but even God uses war at times. God commanded the children of Israel to wipe out the people that were currently in their promised land. I believe a command to kill every Canaanite, every last man, woman, and child. Nephi commanded to kill Laban. Joseph Smith said something to the effect of if a man is not willing to fight and die for his family he isn’t worth of the kingdom of God. This is not a defense of any specific war, just of military action in general. a mormonism that has the balls to stand up for what is right, despite what others may think. a mormonism that realizes that the anti-nephi-lehites did far more for the gospel and freedom than the war-hungry moroni. I agree, talking does a lot of good, but there comes a time when you can no longer talk. I’m not sure exactly the names but in the BoM there were a series of letters between the Lamanites and Pahoran. No matter how much Pahoran tried to reason with the Lamanite king, all the king would accept is absolute surrender. This is unacceptable to the people; at that point their only other option was to fight for their freedom. Either fight or become slaves, unable to worship their God according to the dictates of their own conscience – and to allow all men the same privilege (not right), allowing them to worship how, where, or what they may. War is justifiable and at times, sadly, necessary.

    mormon claimed that the devil would be shaking in his boots if everyone were like moroni. mormon was such a military man.

    the anti-nephi-lehites bow are pacifists and thousands join the gospel. moroni kick's lamanite ass and the lamanites just get pissed off and return the favor.

    i see a future of mormonism concerned with truth and honesty and less concerned with public image. What if the Mormon Church is worried about what is right and wrong and that’s why they are pushing heavily into media. They want the truth out there. They want to be the ones telling the story, not the “antis”; they want to be the ones explaining beliefs, etc. Maybe the church’s PR blitz isn’t to make everyone love us; maybe it’s to set the record straight. The fact that people start to realize that we aren’t the “crazy off in left field religious zealots” some people portray us as isn’t a bad thing. There is PLENTY that sets us apart from everyone else. PLENTY that keeps us unique and peculiar. i see a future of mormonism that embraces its scholars rather than kick them to the wayside. I know of many scholars in the church. I think this has more to do with your belief system / paradigm than anything else. Because the church doesn’t embrace YOUR ideology than it’s obvious that it doesn’t like any scholars what so ever. I see a future of Mormonism that is also more scholarly; mostly because I see the church investing millions into education. If the church was so against “scholars” as you put it, then why the huge investment into education???

    overall i see a future of mormonism that is truly the church of jesus christ. a mormonism which embraces jesus's teachings. a mormonism willing to tell other christians what it is truly like to be a christian, I agree whole heartedly 100% instead with today's mormonism pleading with the rest of christianity to be accepted as one of them. I only see the church asking the rest of Christianity to face the simple fact that we are already, by their own definition, Christian. We are not in any way shape or form changing our belief structure to match theirs nor have we ever adopted any of their creeds.

    in vonnegut's slaughterhouse-five, billy pilgrim, with the help of the extra-terrestrial tralfamadorians, is able to experperience the future.

    i haven't been abducted... at least not that i know of.

    with that said, i love the church. i love president hinckley, even though i am perhaps ready for him to go. i know that sounds wrong, but its true. just trying to be honest. some of you have thought it to. so it goes.

    i love the church with all its beauty and its failings. its beauty reveals its truth, its failings reveal its potential for change, progress, and growth.

    isn't that what the gospel is supposed to be about? isn't that the plan? isn't it about progression? eternal progression? so why must we feel that the church needs to stand still and not grow with the rest of us.

    as marx ended his manifesto, so do i. it's time for the rising generation to unite. Are we currently seperated? its time for the pre-mortal generals and leaders for someone about “truth” make sure you are using true statements to fight for the beauty and truth that the gospel demands. its time for change and progress. its time to build the kingdom of god that christ established and joseph smith sought to restore. I agree completely, I’m glad God has chosen and ordained a church presidency with a quorum of twelve apostles (just like Christ himself did AND Jospeh Smith did) to give us the vision, direction and leadership that God wants for his Kingdom.

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  19. sorry, forgot to sign that last one (h2oetry) - sorry it's long and the grammer sucks.

    ryan

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  20. ryan,

    thanks for the reply...

    1. Could you show me ONE reference in scripture – any scripture – where God runs his church this way?

    the word of wisdom. the tobacco thing was originally emma's idea. the hot drinks thing was originally the guys idea to get back at the women.

    2. I know of no where that God takes power away from his ordained leaders and gives it to the people.

    i'm not advocating taking power away from the leaders of the church. i'm advocating giving the leaders something to think about and implement with their leadership.

    3. This is what I have the hardest time with, you go on and on about truth and honesty and yet you use this unsubstantiated claim as your rallying cry. Let’s be honest, we don’t know if we were generals or leaders in the war in heaven.

    as i already mentioned, my use of the leaders and generals story was merely a rhetorical queue that actually has little to do with the overall scope of my post. like my use of tyler durden and kurt vonnegut, it's their for kicks. regardless of whether or not it is official sanctioned doctrine (which i don't believe exists anyways), it's a widely held view in the church.

    4. What revolution is needed? If you’re so big on what Joseph Smith really taught then you’ll recall he said he restored the gospel in its entirety and it would never be taken from the earth until Christ returned. So if the church of God is here, in its entirety, what’s the revolution for?

    it's for reformation, not restoration. it's happened in the church before. in the 19th century, brigham led a great reformation in the church and had the members all rebaptized. as i wrote in my post, this is about change. continuing revelation is about change. the church changes all of the time. what's wrong with wanting more change?

    5. I agree, we will take it into the future, but I think that’s more a function of mortal time as we know it than a revolutionary aspect as you are implying.

    a function of mortal time? i have no clue what you are talking about.

    6. You have to address the idea that it’s possible that your idea of “progression” might not be Gods.

    i'm open to being wrong. i just wish the rest of the church was open about it as well.

    7. Please substantiate this claim I don’t believe it – define much, define change and show me how matched the two up

    president hinckley is constantly claiming that the church is an unwavering standard that doesn't change. read my paper on mormon doctrine. elder maxwell used to constantly claim that the teachings (especially moral teachings) of the church did not change with the times. elder uchtdorf said the same thing in the october conferece. there is a constant appeal to the unchanging nature of the church - which reflects a desire to be unchanging. the fact is however that the church is constantly changing, including with its moral claims.

    8. If you are not willing to admit that God is doing something you wouldn’t agree with, then aren’t you putting yourself at his level, deciding for him what he can and/or cannot do?

    i'm not making claims about god. i'm making claims about god's human servants on earth.

    9. I think this returns to Joseph Smith saying it’s here and won’t be removed till Christ comes again. I think you have to admit that because it’s not going in the direction you want it to go that you’re bent out of shape. There is no other reason I can think of that would cause you to come to this conclusion.

    i'm bent out of shape? great argument there.

    10. I too would like to see change, just probably not in the same way you do. Does that count, or is my desire for change only “valid” if it’s parallel with your change?

    no. i'm open for everyone's views of change. even though i may disagree with them. what changes do you want?

    11. You cannot show me one place where rich’s are condemned, not one.

    being rich is relative. it only has meaning in relation to being poor, or lacking riches. this is why i said "i want to see a mormonism that sees the disparity between the rich and poor as the foremost evil of the world. the book of mormon repeatedly condemns the rich.". i've given you dozens of references before from the book of mormon condemning the rich while the poor exist. since i'm sure you agree that the poor exist today, the rich are justly condemned by the book of mormon.

    let me try to make this as simple as possible.

    a. being 'rich' means to have more than someone else.
    a*. if everyone had equal share of things, then there would be no 'rich'.
    b. to be rich while others are suffering from poverty is the most condemned sin in the book of mormon.
    c. we are supposed to be living by the book of mormon.
    d. suffering because of poverty exists at an immense scale today.
    e. the disparity between the rich and the poor is greater today than ever before.
    conclusion. we should be condemning the rich today.

    12. EVERY time the people (BoM or Bible) were righteous and did what they were supposed to what did God bless them with???

    equality. open up your book of mormon to 4 nephi 1:3 "And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor."

    13. The rich aren’t supposed to be condemned b/c it’s not a sin to be rich. We shouldn’t condemn the rich,

    see my simplified argument above.

    14. I hold to the idea that there is NOTHING wrong with me having 1 million dollars just sitting in my bank.

    a. poor people exist.
    b. poor people are asking (probably directly or indirectly) for help with your money.
    c. king benjamin says "And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. . . . And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, . . . and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world." (Mosiah 4:16-23, please read the whole thing before trying to say i took anything out of context).
    d. if you follow king benjamin's teachings, you will give up that man to help out the poor.
    e. in order for you to hold onto that money, you have to withhold it from the poor.
    conclusion. it is a sin to have that much money stored in your bank account.

    15. There is nothing wrong with being rich … the sin is in the love of money.

    again, read king benjamin (and the rest of the book of mormon, as well as d&c and pofgp carefully). it is a sin to possess riches while another suffers from poverty.

    16. Can you be sure that being clean cut, well groomed, dressed appropriately for the occasion and times is “the prophets” standard? Let’s pretend for a moment its Gods.

    we pretend that every sunday.

    17. I’m pretty sure that homosexuality has been a no-no for some time. It’s not a Mormon thing, it’s been taught since the early pages of the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that anyone with a homosexual urge is evil, I’m just saying that the ACT of homosexuality is against Gods law and has been since the beginning.

    as i've discussed elsewhere (and is largely the consensus of biblical scholars), the scriptural condemnations for homosexuality are vague and not as strong as the christian-right claim. as far as the book of mormon goes, there is not a single condemnation of homosexuality even though homosexuality has been prevalent in every society in history. and the book of mormon was written for us, wasn't it?

    18. I wish there was some magic formula to relieve us of this destructive force, but right now I don’t see one, I can’t wait for something to help with this issue and believe me I’ll be the first to jump on board.

    well the church could definitely start putting more effort into this. instead it ignores it almost altogether and puts its effort into a public relations plan to support a federal marriage amendment that would inevitably fail.

    19. I hadn’t realized that the church had abandoned to co-equal in marriage stance. Last I knew it was still in strong effect and being taught.

    not in the temple. not in the proclamation on the family. not in general conference. women are to be subordinate to the male priesthood holder.

    20. As for the Relief Society I’m not sure how the church has taken control of it, please elaborate more.

    the relief society used to be self-governed. the women called their own presidents. the general relief society president was a lifetime calling. if a woman had a problem with her ward relief society president, she was supposed to go to the stake relief society president, and so on. the relief society was completely seperate and self-governed. now it is controlled by the male priesthood.

    21. Take a listen to the temple ceremony. Women are GIVEN some sweet blessings that men aren’t. We have to earn them.

    this notion is really offensive to a lot of women. are they not strong enough to earn those blessings themselves?

    22. And no I’m not making this up it was pointed out to me by Elder Joe J. Christianson – emeritus seventy and San Diego temple president at the time we had this discussion.

    do we really want to start a discussion about all the nonsense various seventies have taught?

    23. i see a future of mormonism less concerned with hierarchial control and more concerned with individual inspiration and will. And another broad sweeping statement – please explain further.

    this is a whole other blog post. everytime we are told to put aside our own inspiration and follow the prophet, we are going against d&c 121: 41 "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood..."

    24. *your diatribe on blacks and the priesthood*

    there is no scriptural or doctrinal justification. joseph smith 'THE PROPHET' gave blacks the priesthood. it is a fact that brigham young was a racist. the evidence isn't in favor of inspiration.

    25. *your diatribe on war*

    maybe some wars are justifiable. maybe. 99.999% of the rest are not. iraq surely wasn't. president hinckly needed to be more worried about what was the christlike thing (like elder nelson did), and not so worried about the church's public relations ideal to paint the church as a patriotic american ideal.

    26. *your diatribe on the church public relations*

    much of the history the church portrays is dishonest. the joseph smith movie in salt lake is immensely inaccurate. as i wrote about in another post, the church's portrayal of its events are inaccurate. if it wants to fight the anti's and fight for truth, it needs to start telling the truth. continuing to paint a dishonest portrayal of itself only gives the antis more fodder for their attacks.

    27. I only see the church asking the rest of Christianity to face the simple fact that we are already, by their own definition, Christian.

    no. by their own definition we are not christians. we do not hold a trinitarian view of the godhead that asserts that the three persons are of one substance.

    since we can't meet that definition, the church tries to get as close as it can to the other definition - people who claim to believe in jesus, but instead focus their energies on fighting abortion and gay-marriage. the church is becoming more and more like the southern baptists and less and less like joseph smith's restoration of the kingdom of god.

    28. We are not in any way shape or form changing our belief structure to match theirs nor have we ever adopted any of their creeds.

    mormons have more and more adopted a belief in god that resembles (with some big distinctions), the theology of modern christians, and have further and further shed the more radical beliefs of joseph smith and early mormonism.

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  21. the word of wisdom. the tobacco thing was originally emma's idea. the hot drinks thing was originally the guys idea to get back at the women.

    Are you saying that God gave Emma part of the Word of Wisdom (WoW) and then gave another part to "the guys" b/c they were bickering? Last I checked, and I could be wrong, the WoW started with Emma, Joseph (THE PROPHET) thought it a good idea, prayed about it, and then God gave the revelation FOR THE ENTIRE church to THE PROPHET - who ironicly is ordained to receive revelation for the entire church. It didn't start out as a commandment, later on God gave another revelation to THE PROPHET saying it's time to make it a command for the entire church. Now, no one, and I mean NO ONE is stopping you from going and talking to the prophet and apostles (keep in mind they are very busy) and presenting them with an idea/problem/whatever much like Emma did to Joseph. Just keep in mind that the answer came to THE PROPHET ... not to Emma. THE PROPHET - acting as the mouth piece of God - sets the direction of the church.

    i'm not advocating taking power away from the leaders of the church. i'm advocating giving the leaders something to think about and implement with their leadership.

    I have no problem with that

    as i already mentioned, my use of the leaders and generals story was merely a rhetorical queue that actually has little to do with the overall scope of my post. like my use of tyler durden and kurt vonnegut, it's their for kicks. regardless of whether or not it is official sanctioned doctrine (which i don't believe exists anyways), it's a widely held view in the church.

    But I do have a problem with this - still. How you used it is VERY relevant to your entire post. You go on and on about how truth has to be restored and it's all about truth and if we only got back to the true teachings ... yet in a very hypocritical move you use something very untrue. I don't care if it is accepted de facto. Let's talk about the true teachings of Christ and Joseph Smith - did they truely teach that we were generals in the war in heaven? What's the truth Loyd?

    it's for reformation, not restoration. it's happened in the church before. in the 19th century, brigham led a great reformation in the church and had the members all rebaptized. as i wrote in my post, this is about change. continuing revelation is about change. the church changes all of the time. what's wrong with wanting more change?

    Understood

    a function of mortal time? i have no clue what you are talking about.

    Days, weeks, months, years ...

    i'm open to being wrong. i just wish the rest of the church was open about it as well.

    define the rest of the church - are we talking lay members, leaders or both?

    president hinckley is constantly claiming that the church is an unwavering standard that doesn't change. read my paper on mormon doctrine. elder maxwell used to constantly claim that the teachings (especially moral teachings) of the church did not change with the times. elder uchtdorf said the same thing in the october conferece. there is a constant appeal to the unchanging nature of the church - which reflects a desire to be unchanging. the fact is however that the church is constantly changing, including with its moral claims.

    Okay, seeings how it's nigh unto impossible to try and defend against such a broad accusation, let's play your game. What core morals have changed? If this is to specific a question for you and you prefer the abstract generalizations then skip it.

    i'm not making claims about god. i'm making claims about god's human servants on earth.

    Yes you are. You are saying that the church is missing all these great revelations that would help it become the church that God wants it to be. How do you know that? To say that means you know the mind of God. You know what he wants his church to be. YOU DON'T - the scripture says "for your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" or something to that close effect. To say there is revelation that the church doesn't have is to say you know more than the prophet OR that the prophet is purposely mis-leading the church by with holding Gods revelations and instilling his own. Yet we have "true" teachings from the brethren saying that if they ever tried to lead the church astray, or not implement Gods will that God would remove them from the position. So since it can not be the later, it must be that you know more. If you say "the prophet knows more than I do about Gods will" then you also have to say "I dont agree but the prophet knows more than I do about Gods will". Please tell me where I'm wrong.

    i'm bent out of shape? great argument there.

    Okay, I'll phrase it this way ... I think this returns to Joseph Smith saying it’s here and won’t be removed till Christ comes again. I think you have to admit that because it’s not going in the direction you want it to go that you’re acting like a spoiled brat throwing a tempter tantrum because it's not your way. There is no other reason I can think of that would cause you to come to this conclusion ... I know that in utopia life is grand, however in the real world life isn't always fair - God never said it would be. God only asked to do the best we could with what he have.

    no. i'm open for everyone's views of change. even though i may disagree with them. what changes do you want?

    I want the brethren to be more direct - I understand that the church his HUGE and they try to tailor their talks like Christ did so that many people could get something from it. But why is that only every long time does one of the brethren "lay down the law". I want the brethren to take a stronger stance in what they know. When was the last time we heard a "I know God lives for I have seen him ..." type talks/statments??? Why does it seem "not okay" to really use the priesthood? I mean, Joseph did some amazing miracles (granted he was extremly righteous) so why do all blessings today seem to be so conditional? It's like people put escape clauses in their blessings ... in case they don't get better right away or something. I've commanded people to be healed, I've seen life restored to a dead animal (interesting mission story). Why isn't the more of this??? WE HAVE GODS PRIESTHOOD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

    Okay, for the money issue ... show where in the scriptures being rich is a sin. Don't show me all the places where the love of money is a sin - I already know and agree. I'm talking about where in the scriptures it says being rich, in and of itself, is a sin. If you hold that belief - explain it in light of Abrahams wealth, Jobs wealth, and Lehis wealth. Remember that I agree that if someone has a lot and refuses to share it, or use it in the aid of helping out those in need - then the person loves their wealth more than God, I agree that's a sin - but show me where it's a sin to simply have the money. And explain in in light of the wealth of the aformentioned prophets. We can go from there - I believe all the other disagreements on money steam from this issue so I'll skip the rest. If you feel differently, please re-assert the argument.

    we pretend that every sunday.

    I'm not sure where your even taking this tangent. I don't think it's our of line for God to say "dress nice". I really don't. I've never seen anyone asked to leave sacrament meeting cause they were wearing jeans and a t-shirt. If this comes to "they should have given the money to the poor instead of buying a suit" ... then please refer to my earlier comment about temper tantrums and get over it.

    as i've discussed elsewhere (and is largely the consensus of biblical scholars), the scriptural condemnations for homosexuality are vague and not as strong as the christian-right claim. as far as the book of mormon goes, there is not a single condemnation of homosexuality even though homosexuality has been prevalent in every society in history. and the book of mormon was written for us, wasn't it?

    There is a scripture that says "trust not in the arm of flesh .." or maybe I should quote "lean not unto they own understanding ..." either way, you want continuing revelation in the church yet when it comes you throw it out b/c you don't agree with it. It's long been taught in our church that the Bible has been messed up a little bit. Things have been added and taken out. It's an ARTICLE OF FAITH!!! So we got some "continuing revelation" from God to the prophet (his usual means of communicaiton with the church as a whole) re-emphasizing that the act homosexuality is a no-no. However, you don't agree with it so therefore it must be wrong - so above comment about you knowing more than prophet - you are more than welcome to bring this subject up with the prophet and ask him to go to God and ask for current revelation - see above comment about Emma - but when he comes back with an answer, please note that he is Gods spoke person and accept the answer weather you like it or not. MANY people didn't agree with all of Joseph's revelations, but they followed him anyways b/c their testimony of the gospel was bigger than their desire to "be right".

    well the church could definitely start putting more effort into this. instead it ignores it almost altogether and puts its effort into a public relations plan to support a federal marriage amendment that would inevitably fail.

    To say the church ignores it almost altogether is extremely absured. How many millions does the church put into wel-fare? How many families are just scrapping by and b/c mom is home with the kids while dad works they don't have enough to make ends meet - so the bishop sends them to the bishops storehouse for food, or he writes them a check to cover rent, or the utilities to keep lights and phone on; allowing mom to stay home with the kids. Remind me again how much the church charges for marriage counseling trying to keep families together. Run the numbers by me one more time about how much of actual church time is spent on the importance of the family. How many time have you heard the brethren say "you don't have to keep up with the Jonses. Just live with in your means!" -- I'm sorry you don't agree with the federal marriage act. I do find it hypocritical that you want the church to be politicaly active -out spoken against the war- as long as it coincides with your political view, yet when they are political active and it doesn't coincide with your views you blast it! I believe you love to talk about falacies - well, your guilty. you used the issue of our social-economic system as cover for the real issue. Yes - economic structure is bad ... however your just upset about the political situation, so at least be honest about it.

    not in the temple. not in the proclamation on the family. not in general conference. women are to be subordinate to the male priesthood holder.

    Wow ... this interpretation of the teachings is extremely warped. I'm sorry you've come to this conclusion. I never have, it's never been taught like that to me, and I don't know anyone in my immediate circles (family, friends) that shares your view on that.

    the relief society used to be self-governed. the women called their own presidents. the general relief society president was a lifetime calling. if a woman had a problem with her ward relief society president, she was supposed to go to the stake relief society president, and so on. the relief society was completely seperate and self-governed. now it is controlled by the male priesthood.

    Very interesting, has any reason been given for the change? Was it dramatic like one day the brethren changed the whole thing, or more drawn out - a little change here a little change there? thank you for the history it's deffinatly worth learning more about.

    this notion is really offensive to a lot of women. are they not strong enough to earn those blessings themselves?

    Then a lot of woman need to read the scriptures. All blessings are received by being obedient to a law upon which the blessing is predicated. They have already EARNED the blessing. No where does it state that blessings are immediate, nor does it state that blessings have to be given in the same phase of exsistence. It's quite possible that women earned the blessing in the pre-mortal realm. It's been taught that we are born into this life with blessings we earned there so it's entirely possible. There is a lot we don't know - what we do know is that it's given to them, carte blanch. I'm sorry they take offense to God given them blessings but it's kind of ridiculous.

    this is a whole other blog post. everytime we are told to put aside our own inspiration and follow the prophet, we are going against d&c 121: 41 "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood..."

    Interesting interpretation of that scripture. I don't agree with it at all. Your inspiration is good for you and those you have stewardship over. If your kids don't like your rules, to bad - your the dad! When the prophet speaks about inspiration received for the church - he's the prophet.

    there is no scriptural or doctrinal justification. joseph smith 'THE PROPHET' gave blacks the priesthood. it is a fact that brigham young was a racist. the evidence isn't in favor of inspiration.

    Recall that I said: "I’m not excusing the reasons some of the early brethren gave for the with-holding." All I did was show GREAT eveidence of support that throughout history God has withheld his priesthood from people. If you don't agree then answer the following: Why was only Moses the High Priest during a time of VERY few if more than one, melchezidek priesthood holder? Why was ONLY the tribe of Aaron able to hold the arronic priesthood and officiate at the temple? Were they also "racist" against all the other tribes? I'm not trying to excuse the early brethrens personal views. I'm trying to show that there is historical evidence that God only allows certain groups to hold his priesthood. I don't agree with some of the reasons the early brethren gave - but I do agree that it's Gods priesthood and he can do what he will. He's done it before, so why not again?

    maybe some wars are justifiable. maybe. 99.999% of the rest are not. iraq surely wasn't. president hinckly needed to be more worried about what was the christlike thing (like elder nelson did), and not so worried about the church's public relations ideal to paint the church as a patriotic american ideal.

    You forgot "maybe 99.999% of them are justifiable" ... as long as your being really sarcastic about numbers, lets go both ways shall we. Please also note that like the priesthood I never claimed to be defending any war specificly. Only give scriptual justification for war. I'm not going to say much other than look at my earlier comment dealing with the churchs political activity and your political agenda.

    much of the history the church portrays is dishonest. the joseph smith movie in salt lake is immensely inaccurate. as i wrote about in another post, the church's portrayal of its events are inaccurate. if it wants to fight the anti's and fight for truth, it needs to start telling the truth. continuing to paint a dishonest portrayal of itself only gives the antis more fodder for their attacks.

    I'll be the first to admin that I don't have access to church archives. I have only learned what was taught to me in church and what I have gathered on my own - scripture reading, talking to people, church bookstore type books. I don't consider myself a church historian in any manor, so at this time allow me to bow out of this portion of the debate.

    mormons have more and more adopted a belief in god that resembles (with some big distinctions), the theology of modern christians, and have further and further shed the more radical beliefs of joseph smith and early mormonism.

    I can't agree with this statement at all. I'm not even sure how you can support it. If you could share your support on this please do so and maybe we can continue the discussion from there. Other wise I think it's completely false.

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  22. forgot my name again

    ryan

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  23. ryan,

    1. your diatribe on the word of wisdom

    here's what happened with the word of wisdom. emma complained about the boys using tobacco. the boys found out and complained about the girls drinking their tea all the time. joseph smith took both of these complaints to prayer and now we have the word of wisdom. the point is that if emma and the boys had not complained, we may have never received the revelation. i believe that god can speak to everyone. it's the duty of the leaders to make it official.

    2. your complaining about the generals thing

    again. i don't assert that it's doctrine. i only assert that we've been told that. again, i don't claim who is telling us that, only that we've been told it. and again, it doesn't matter. it's only there for rhetoric. believe me, i wrote the darn post. remove the generals bit and my post is the same.

    3. "a function of mortal time? i have no clue what you are talking about."

    Days, weeks, months, years ...


    so you mean time where one moment occurs before another moment? i know you are probably going to go on with something about god's time being different than our time or something like that... but i don't know what that means (and neither do you) and i don't see what it has to do with anything.

    4. define the rest of the church - are we talking lay members, leaders or both?

    both. open and honest.

    5. Okay, seeings how it's nigh unto impossible to try and defend against such a broad accusation, let's play your game. What core morals have changed? If this is to specific a question for you and you prefer the abstract generalizations then skip it.

    i didn't say 'core' moral values. and frankly what is considered a 'core' moral value has changed over the years. the emphasis on communal equality as a core moral value has shifted to sexual prudency for example. as far as other moral values go, see birth control, abortion, modesty, virtue of rape victims, wealth as some examples.

    6. Yes you are. You are saying that the church is missing all these great revelations that would help it become the church that God wants it to be. How do you know that? To say that means you know the mind of God. You know what he wants his church to be. YOU DON'T - the scripture says "for your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" or something to that close effect. To say there is revelation that the church doesn't have is to say you know more than the prophet OR that the prophet is purposely mis-leading the church by with holding Gods revelations and instilling his own. Yet we have "true" teachings from the brethren saying that if they ever tried to lead the church astray, or not implement Gods will that God would remove them from the position. So since it can not be the later, it must be that you know more. If you say "the prophet knows more than I do about Gods will" then you also have to say "I dont agree but the prophet knows more than I do about Gods will". Please tell me where I'm wrong.

    prophets can be wrong. just as i can be wrong. joseph smith admitted some of his revelations were not from god. if a prophet can be wrong, then we don't know what god's will just because a leader claims it as such. see my post on mormon doctrine.

    7. I think you have to admit that because it’s not going in the direction you want it to go that you’re acting like a spoiled brat throwing a tempter tantrum because it's not your way. There is no other reason I can think of that would cause you to come to this conclusion ... I know that in utopia life is grand, however in the real world life isn't always fair - God never said it would be. God only asked to do the best we could with what he have.

    a textbook case of an ad hominem argument. well i think you are wrong because you are ugly and smell like dog farts.

    i think the church needs to change because many of its practices do not align with the scriptures and revelations of god.

    8. Okay, for the money issue ... show where in the scriptures being rich is a sin. Don't show me all the places where the love of money is a sin - I already know and agree.

    ok. here we go again.

    a. being 'rich' means to have more than someone else.
    a*. if everyone had equal share of things, then there would be no 'rich'.
    b. to be rich while others are suffering from poverty is the most condemned sin in the book of mormon.
    c. we are supposed to be living by the book of mormon.
    d. suffering because of poverty exists at an immense scale today.
    e. the disparity between the rich and the poor is greater today than ever before.
    conclusion. we should be condemning the rich today.

    and

    a. poor people exist.
    b. poor people are asking (probably directly or indirectly) for help with your money.
    c. king benjamin says "And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. . . . And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, . . . and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world." (Mosiah 4:16-23, please read the whole thing before trying to say i took anything out of context).
    d. if you follow king benjamin's teachings, you will give up that man to help out the poor.
    e. in order for you to hold onto that money, you have to withhold it from the poor.
    conclusion. it is a sin to have that much money stored in your bank account. (ie. it is a sin to be rich).

    please show me which of the above is false. i don't need to show explicit scriptures. it's implicit in the text.

    9. I'm not sure where your even taking this tangent. I don't think it's our of line for God to say "dress nice". I really don't. I've never seen anyone asked to leave sacrament meeting cause they were wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

    that's called a strawman fallacy. i am only saying that certain church leaders have been spending too much time dealing with dress (hinckly has done it several times) and too little time on the most condemned sin in the book of mormon - THE DISPARITY OF THE RICH AND THE POOR.

    10. your diatribe about the bible having mistakes and other stufs

    ryan, it was YOU who was saying that homosexuality has been condemned from "the earliest pages of the bible." i was just showing you that you were wrong. perhaps modern revelation does condemn it. i was just showing that your claim was false.

    11. however your just upset about the political situation, so at least be honest about it.

    yes. i am angered at the church's politics that oppress and hurt others.

    12. "not in the temple. not in the proclamation on the family. not in general conference. women are to be subordinate to the male priesthood holder."

    Wow ... this interpretation of the teachings is extremely warped. I'm sorry you've come to this conclusion. I never have, it's never been taught like that to me, and I don't know anyone in my immediate circles (family, friends) that shares your view on that.

    maybe your circle of friends and family need to pay more attention. it's a well known fact that the temple tells woman to be submissive to their husbands.

    12. Interesting interpretation of that scripture. I don't agree with it at all. Your inspiration is good for you and those you have stewardship over. If your kids don't like your rules, to bad - your the dad! When the prophet speaks about inspiration received for the church - he's the prophet.

    wow. so what is your interpretation?

    13. concerning the move toward an evangelical brand of christianity

    read some books.

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  24. Wow. I wouldn't even know where to jump back in on this one.

    It seems to be that "x" is defined as "y" by Loyd, and "z" by Ryan...

    Good solid comments though. I side with the narrator.

    But, I do have to say, though I do not agree with a lot of Anonymous Ryan's thoughts, i do have a new respect for him - as long as he tags his posts with his name :)

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  25. Wow. I am horrified by the amount of twisting going on here. Darn that warmonger Moroni and his mindless flunky Mormon. They clearly didn't understand the gospel. Sheesh.

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  26. brilliant criticism latter-day guy.

    i totally stand corrected.

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  27. Look, I appreciate many of the things you mentioned in your post. I don't agree with them completely, but I do see where you are coming from. However, one of the first things you mentioned was a wish that mormons would really, truly accept the Book of Mormon and believe/apply what it teaches. I think that would be great (instead of using it merely as a stepping-stone on the way to a testimony of Joseph Smith).

    Does it not seem like there is a disconnect in your remarks then? Do you want us to really believe what the BOM teaches, except when you disagree with it? Yes the idea of just war and just killing is troubling; that's a good thing. Still, we need to seek understanding from the standpoint of faith, not merely discount what we don't like with character indictments.

    Yes, the Anti-Nephi-Lehis were pacifists, because of the special covenant that they'd made. But that must not be used as an excuse to cast dispersions on the important sacrifice offered by their sons and other righteous military leaders.

    So yes, absolutely try to apply the BOM teachings more fully, but you cannot just pick the parts you like. If you wish to personally be a pacifist, great! The BOM defends your right and my right to do that--in theory. We also need to remember, though, that we only have the opportunity to do so in peace in practice because others have chosen differently.

    There is space for all different kinds of fish in the net. For someone who seems to value egalitarianism, you seem to have been engaging in the hypocrisy for which you condemn others.

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  28. latter-day guy...

    i probably jumped on you a little too soon. sorry. i get used to people throwing out ignorant criticisms and sometimes have thee tendency to generalize others as being the same.

    i have a series of posts in my head about what i mean to say to really believe the book of mormon. to put it simply, i think we need to treat the book of mormon as if it were written by real historical humans. and by that i mean we should be open to the possibility (and reality) that the book of mormon was written by human beings who (like the rest of us) have self-interests, failings, and are struggling to understand the will of god. we are happy to allow brigham young and other latter-day prophets to make mistakes, but when it comes to ancient texts, we expect them to be perfect.

    i'm not claiming that moroni was evil, just that he was human. while moroni fought valiantly to defend his people, the text also shows that his righteous fighting ultimately just led to more violence. violence almost always begets more violence.

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  29. thanks, loyd. that helps. a lot.

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  30. I guess I'm just confused. Most people join the church because they believe it has continuing revelation. But you're telling me its stagnant? Then you go on to with a Martin Luther King Jr Speech to change Mormonism. Wow. Sounds like you're ready to just start a revolutionary mayhem. This is familiar.... oh wait isn't that what Joseph Smith tried to do?

    I once had a conversation with Henry B Eyring. Right before I came home from my Mission. His son was my mission president, and he happened to be visiting the week I was going home, so we shared several meals in the mission home. Over breakfast one morning, we talked about the Book of Mormon.

    the Book of Mormon has been through several changes in the Japanese Language. They kept the same meaning, they just retranslated it into easier to understand Japanese. I proceeded to ask Eyring, if the church was concerned with its teens, wouldn't it be in their best interest to create an easier to understand english version of the book of mormon? (Similar to the NIV bible i guess).

    he told me that they had considered it multiple times, but he felt that the church as a people would reject it, and that the critics of the church would have a heyday with it. Maybe this is what you're talking about, about the world of Mormonism.

    But let me say this. I never opened my book of mormon again. I should never think of something as legitimate, accurate, and full of truthiness simply because it sounds like it. And when the leaders of the church are being led by the opinions of the body of the people, instead of the voice of God, there is no point for me to continue in this church.

    Because if the leaders are getting revelation, and no one can receive revelation for me except for me.... then why should I belong to such a democratic organization?

    If you want change in the church, its like you don't know what the church stands for. But don't worry, neither do I.

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  31. You are right. You are not the only dreamer. I would sustain you as prophet, seer, and revelator any day.

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