I was struck with what the Lord said in this passage from the New Covenants, Matthew 3:35: “And again I say unto you, Go into the world and do not care for the world, for the world will hate you and will persecute you and will turn you out of their synagogues. Nevertheless, you shall go forth from house to house teaching the people, and I will go before you.”
When the Lord tells us to expect to be “turned out of their synagogues,” I pondered over who would do that casting out. It can only be done by those who own buildings, who control houses of worship, and who expect believers to come to their religious buildings to worship God. It can only be done by those who think they have the right to enforce their religious ideas by compulsion, demanding conformity and suppressing ideas they dislike.
Continue reading “Turned Out of Synagogues”
The second volume of the new scriptures is now in final form and published. It combines the New Testament and Book of Mormon into a single volume. Joseph Smith always intended for these two to be published together in a single volume.
The New Testament version used is the “Joseph Smith Translation” incorporates all changes he made, including punctuation changes. It is the first time all of the changes Joseph Smith made are in print.
Continue reading “New Covenants”
I engage in a process that precedes what I consider having possession of any kind of reliable information. Speculation and casual comments I have made are not particularly reliable. Research I’ve done to try to understand a subject is not reliable. Conversations in emails about some topic may be nothing more than guess work or casual conversation. When information, light and truth come from God, I consider that reliable information worth writing about, talking about or teaching.
Years ago I was contemplating the subject of Christ’s original apostles. As I looked into the scriptures, the promise Christ made to the twelve was that in the resurrection they would sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Judas was among the twelve when the promise was made. Judas fell away, betrayed the Lord and committed suicide. Whatever promise Judas may have had would have required his continued faithfulness. He was not faithful. Therefore, his throne and position as a judge in the resurrection over a tribe of Israel was forfeited. This led to the question of who would fill that vacancy.
Continue reading “Reliable Information”
Latter-day Saints who go through temple rites covenant and promise before God, angels and witnesses to obey the law of chastity; which is that they will have no sexual intercourse except with their spouse to whom they are legally and lawfully married.
In Illinois during the entire 1840s it was illegal to be married to more than a single spouse. In the United States Territories it was likewise a crime to be married to more than one spouse. Because of open, unlawful cohabitation by members of the LDS church beginning in the early 1850s, Congress enacted harsher and harsher penalties to stop that unlawful conduct. Congress ultimately confiscated LDS church property to compel them to obey the law. Apparently the LDS church valued property more than their religion because they abandoned unlawful polygamous marriage as a tenet of their faith.
Continue reading “Unchaste”
The new Podcast function is now live. You can listen to episodes by clicking on the Podcast button and then playing the episode.
The website has been changed and updated. This is done preliminary to adding podcasts to the site.
In the “Downloads” section there is a new recording of a talk given Sunday, January 14th. It is titled “That we might become one.”
For Joseph Smith, 1838 was a terrible year. Rumors of immorality, begun that year by Oliver Cowdery, were given credibility because Oliver was the scribe who recorded most of the Book of Mormon text. They are still believed by most Mormon sects, including the LDS church. Cowdery’s insinuations resulted in him being brought before a church court on April 12, 1838 by the Far West High Council. A total of nine charges were brought against Cowdery.
At the time, Cowdery was the Assistant President to the Church and respected as the “second elder” of the church. Cowdery had been one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon and was responsible for selecting and ordaining the first Twelve Apostles. Cowdery’s church trial was perhaps the most significant to be held in the history of the church.
Continue reading “Cursed: Denied Priesthood”
Thomas Monson died last evening. I assume many people are aware of this but some people read this website from far distant places and may not yet know of his passing.
He was the last one of the general authorities who were serving in the LDS church when I was baptized in 1973. With his passing there are none of that original group left.
This makes the elderly Russell Nelson the new heir to the president’s position and the one who now possesses and controls all of the LDS church’s assets-or in church parlance the holder of all the keys.
Thomas Monson was a kindly man who projected an image of concern and care for members of his church. His passing leaves two vacancies in the church’s top leadership council which the new president will be entitled to fill.
There will be a general conference in Phoenix, Arizona on March 24 and 25. I have been invited and plan to speak. Below is a link to the conference site:
Spring 2018 Conference: Wisdom through the ages.
Details and updates will be made at that site. The plan is to broadcast it live on the internet for any who are unable to attend.
There will be three volumes of scripture: The Old Covenants, to be volume 1. The New Covenants, to be volume 2. Teachings and Commandments, to be volume 3.
The second volume of the new edition of the scriptures is now available to download from scripturesproject.blogspot.com.
It is now available in print through Amazon at this link: The New Covenants.
It contains the New Testament and Book of Mormon in a single volume, titled The New Covenants. Joseph Smith always intended for these two to be in a single book. Until now, however, Joseph’s hope was never realized.
Continue reading “The New Covenants”
Never assume a person is motivated by a corrupt heart when their actions can just as easily be explained by stupidity.
I’ve written a number of books. About 20% of the work is writing them. About 80% of the work is getting them laid out correctly, formatted, and ready for print. The scriptures project is now in that final labor-intensive stage before publication.
The hope was to have them in print before Christmas. Based on what I learned in a meeting last evening, that does not seem possible. Too much of the final process remains to be completed for them to be in print by the end of the year. When I learn that they are ready to print, I will announce that here.
The presiding high priest in the LDS church at Guymon’s Mill in early 1838 was Aaron Lyon. Guymon’s Mill was about eight miles east of Far West. Aaron Lyon’s wife died and left him with young children to care for as a single parent.
In 1837, a young woman named Sarah Jackson moved there ahead of her husband who was then serving a mission. Her husband was expected to join her a few months later, but by early 1838 he had not come yet.
Sarah Jackson went to Aaron Lyon as the presiding high priest to ask if he would pray for a revelation to know the reason for her husband’s absence. Lyon complied with the request and said her husband would not be joining her because he was on a mission now preaching to the dead because he was dead. Lyon also told Sarah Jackson that he had learned by revelation that she was to be his (Lyon’s) wife, and that if she did not marry him, her life would turn out to be miserable.
Continue reading “Abuse of Authority”
I gave a talk on Reformation Sunday about the priesthood. A paper based on the talk is now available as a download. The document is titled The Holy Order and can be accessed either on the Downloads page or through this link:
The Holy Order
The paper has been updated to correct some typos and add some missing words. Also a new footnote 58 has been added to clarify that the example used involved Moses. The example illustrated ancient Israel’s tribal identity issues involving Moses, and was “patriarchal.” In most Native American cultures today clan identity is reckoned from the wife’s clan, and is “matriarchal.”
A new video is now available. It is taken from the second talk, given in Dallas, Texas, to Christians. The video can be viewed here:
A Message to All Christians.