Category: truth

How can Zion come from this?

I responded to an email posing the question of how Zion would result from what is presently happening and who is presently involved. I responded by explaining these ideas:

Any solution could be imposed quickly and would result in stabilizing everything–just by adopting a central command structure to compel order. Everyone is already conditioned to accept authority and obey it. But that step would bring peace at the price of altogether losing the hope for Zion. For now it must be this gentle way.

Don’t think about this as a time to gather but as a time to prove.

Continue reading “How can Zion come from this?”

I Am a Mormon, Conclusion

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints introduced to me the idea that God would speak to mankind again today, if we asked in faith and listened for an answer. It was a very difficult idea to accept at first. It seemed God was a distant being whose involvement was ancient, and who concluded His work with man in the Bible.

When the missionary Elders “bore their testimony” and said they knew their religion was true, it puzzled me at first. I wasn’t sure what that meant. They approached the subject of religion and their knowledge of their belief system with a sort of confidence I hadn’t seen before. When they said Joseph Smith had seen and spoken with God the Father and Jesus Christ, it was almost too much to take in at first.

The religion they offered did not come quickly or easily to me. It was very hard for me to accept. But their sincerity affected mine, and ultimately I did “ask God” and got an answer from Him. It was so subtle, and so small an answer that at first I wondered if it was an answer from God at all. I trusted in it, acted on it, and the light grew.

From small means to greater and greater light, I have been converted to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is my own testimony, last of all, which I give of Him: That He lives; for I have seen Him. He has ministered to me. I adopt the words of others and confirm they, too, have seen Him:

I can say, like Nephi: “And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him. And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.” (2 Ne. 11: 2-3.)

I can say, like Moroni:And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things; And only a few have I written, because of my weakness in writing. And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.” (Ether 12: 39-41.)
I can say, like Alma: And now, behold, I say unto you, and I would that ye should remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word. And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.” (Alma 32: 22-23.)
I am a faithful Mormon, who, like the missionaries who first told me of Joseph Smith and God’s answer to his prayer, also affirms that God does still answer prayer. He is accessible and willing to make Himself known to anyone who follows the path to get that knowledge. “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am…” (D&C 93: 1.)

If there is a problem with Mormonism today, it is that it doesn’t believe and practice the original faith restored through Joseph Smith. Leaders have inadvertently put themselves between the members and God. They don’t belong there. I have written eight books (at great personal cost) showing respect to the church, gratitude for all it has done and is doing to preserve the faith restored through Joseph, but also reminding all who read that it is ultimately about connecting with Jesus Christ. You will be damned if you are a successful Mormon with a good relationship with the brethren, but neglect your relationship with Christ.

Those in the Strengthening the Membership Committee are in the gall of bitterness when they suggest my writings are threatening to them. To promote faith in Christ threatens their fifedom? To testify of Christ somehow dimishes the men who claim to represent Him? The idea is so patently off kilter that it reveals a dark motive to place respect for men above faith in Christ. I make no apologies for my testimony of Christ. Nor for my healthy skepticism of men. We are given free agency and we are required to use it. We must have the choice. Everyone has to choose. No matter how good the man is, men are all prone to mistakes, to vanity and pride, and to self-interests above the interests of others.

I am and will always remain a Mormon. I have more than faith in the religion, I have knowledge from Christ about my standing before Him. Therefore, I state with confidence what I believe, knowing that the Lord has made things known to me which He has kept hidden from others simply because they will not ask Him and let Him inform them also. My confidence in the religion is not the same as my confidence in the church, and this misbehavior by the Strengthening the Members Committee only reduces confidence in these mere men.

Despite the fact that the church has changed dramatically in the four decades since I joined, I have not changed all that much. Because of the increasing changes and the pace at which those changes are now taking place, I began to look into church history. What I concluded is shared in Passing The Heavenly Gift. It is my effort to help all those fellow believers who are disoriented by the increasingly rapid changes made by the church. If it isn’t “true” then disprove it. However, if it is, then why persecute me for telling the truth?

The truth will prevail. No matter who fights against it, it will prevail. I will stand with truth, and against all who oppose it; either high or low, inside or outside the church. The truth matters. Men and institutions do not.

Criticism of the Church, Part 2

Frailty or insecurity in the mind of a person oftentimes interferes with the ability to cope with facts or truth. For example, a secure and healthy woman can be told “the horizontally striped dress you have on makes your hips and shoulders look large.” She will thank you for pointing it out, and take it into account. She may or may not change the dress. It is, after all, merely appearance. But an insecure and fragile woman whose self-consciousness interferes with interpreting facts will have a different reaction. She may think the person pointing it out to her hates her, thinks she is fat, even ugly. She will resent the remark and never pause to think there was no criticism or hidden insult in the observation.

Facts are not criticism. Opinions which differ from traditional historical opinions that I have fully explained and gathered the evidence from the sources to support, are also not criticism. If an event occurred and is accurately retold, it is not criticism even if the event is troublesome.

When it comes to evaluating our faith, indeed any faith, there are moments where two things are going to happen: First, you will encounter things you simply do not understand. For those issues, you may struggle with dissonance, or the inability to resolve the question sometimes for years, as I have. That is perfectly normal. It means you have more work to do. It does not mean you are wicked, lack faith, or are out of harmony with God because you are unable to understand a proposition. For me, plural marriage was a difficult topic which caused me to leave it unresolved for over two decades. It was not something I had time to resolve. During that time, the issue was an admitted “problem” for my faith. But despite that, I had a testimony, continued active in the church, paid tithing and served in callings. From time to time, when the topic was being discussed, I listened, asked questions, considered what others thought, and kept the matter in the mental file-drawer to be sorted through at some point. During that time many Latter-day writers took the effort to gather and publish histories of the practice. They aided me as I pondered the question. It was literally only a couple of years ago before I finally reached a conclusion. I’ve never fully explained my conclusions or why. I have, however, mentioned the matter in Passing the Heavenly Gift. That is a broad-brush treatment, and not an elaboration of my full understanding on the subject. I am now comfortable with how I view the subject.

Second, you are going to encounter information that proves what you believed before is wrong. It may be wrong because it was not true, or because it was poorly understood, or because it was based on a story or incident that never happened. It may be wrong because someone you trusted was mistaken, or they were dishonest. Whatever the discovery that reveals things in a new light, you will undoubtedly find along the path of faith that you were wrong at some point about some things in your religion. I’ve encountered that a lot since becoming a Mormon. When you encounter such things you have a choice to make – Either you can react with dismay and bitterness, or you can sort through what adjustments now need to be made, and proceed with faith and security in God to sort it out. In other words, you can act like the secure woman who was told the horizontal stripes had an unintended effect on her appearance, and proceed forward with that in mind.

There are those who have never ventured into our history. They don’t want to do so. They feel insecure and frail, unable to encounter the material because of fear that it will unhinge them from what they value. I get that. In the case of Passing the Heavenly Gift I’m not writing to even address them. For the life of me, I can’t understand why such a person would even read that part of what I’ve written. It was certainly not intended for them. The most frail and insecure of all, however, are those who have never read anything I’ve written and yet presume to be able to evaluate the intentions and even value of the work I have and am doing. I am not a critic of the church. I have never been one.

I have never said the church does not have the sealing power. Instead, I have discussed the scriptures and teachings of Joseph Smith, the revelations in the D&C, and Joseph’s public addresses, the critical moments when the authority has been conferred, and both how and why it is given. There are three chapters in Beloved Enos, and several chapters in Passing the Heavenly Gift, and some material in Eighteen Verses, along with a paper on Elijah in which I discuss things relating to the topic. In none of that have I ever said the church lacks sealing power. In Beloved Enos I discuss an example from President Monson where I refer to its use. I also concede regularly the claim by the church that it has it and I do not question that claim. Never have.

The fact that the power to seal is given in only one way is very clear in the scriptures and teachings of Joseph Smith. That is a fact. That fact has been shown in what I’ve written. Therefore, there are several facts which ought to be considered. First, in scripture, the sealing power comes to man by the voice of God and in no other way. Second, I have never said and don’t claim the church lacks that authority. Third, the church claims to have such authority, and I do not question the claim.

Frail and insecure church members, particularly those who presume they have the right to evaluate the faith of others are well advised to first ground themselves and their own testimony before deciding if an accurate observation about “horizontal stripes” is really an insult or merely a fact.

Here is a sample of the kind of foolishness my wife brings to my attention from various blogs:

Administrator
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Quote:
1. Have you ever been criticized by church leaders?
A: No. I’ve never been criticized nor asked to stop writing by any church leader. Not from my bishop, stake president, nor any higher authority. I have had some contacts, but they have been private, and encouraging me to continue. There have been a number of people who have returned to church activity because of what I’ve written. Those results are viewed with some support. The criticism I am aware of, some of which has been quite harsh, has come from overanxious church members who have not read the things I’ve written.

If this Q&A with DS was not in the last few weeks, then it could be true. The investigation by the church is currently in progress. I know that his stake president has spoken with him at least once recently and probably will again. I have a pretty good idea of what will likely happen, but I can’t say much about it.

__________________
Jay

“Far more important than the will to win is the will to prepare” -LaVell Edwards


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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayE View Post
I have a pretty good idea of what will likely happen, but I can’t say much about it.

If you’re not going to say anything about it, then why even mention something like this? 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayE View Post
If this Q&A with DS was not in the last few weeks, then it could be true. The investigation by the church is currently in progress. I know that his stake president has spoken with him at least once recently and probably will again.

It could be that his stake president did not criticize him, but merely asked him some questions. The Q & A is the result of an interview he did on Mormon Stories (a podcast) about a week ago, so I’d say it was created within the last few days.

__________________

Interesting that there are those who are “in the know” from inside the church who feel at liberty to gossip on the Internet about things such as this. What kind of an organization are they running? Why would the church pretend to have confidential conversations between members and leaders if there are going to be such leaks from within the COB?

Shame on all those involved. Shame on those who refuse to discuss openly the important issues rather than resort to subversion of members through back-channels.

For the Strengthening the Members Committee I have another thought for you: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28: 1.) That was Solomon. Today, if it were me, I would say instead: “Grow a pair. For the faithful tire of dealing with eunuchs.”

If I err in doctrine, and you have several million words of mine propounding doctrine in very public places then correct the error. Show me the mistakes. Teach me the better view of history. Show the better argument. If I err, I will gladly be instructed. But effeminate men hiding inside a tower who lack the testicular fortitude to confront me and debate the truth are unworthy of  any serious consideration. They have chosen to hide from the arena in which ideas are doing battle. Anybody creeping about behind a pseudonym when they dare to comment at all is in sharp contrast to my own public disclosure, public accountability and public defense of the faith I hold as true.

Here’s another truth for the self-righteous eunuchs accusing me of wanting the glory of leading my own following: You can’t find a picture of me on this blog, or in any book I’ve written, or in the advertising to the very few speaking engagements I’ve accepted. You can look into the Chiasmus Conference at which I spoke and you’ll find that there is no picture of me in any of the material advertising it, nor in the book when it came out. My picture isn’t in any of the material from the Portland Conference I spoke at last year. I’m not looking to be recognized. It is my IDEAS that are advanced, not me. I am nothing. I don’t matter. You shouldn’t  recognize me, pick me from a line-up, or think you know me. I do not do that. Even the interview with John Dehlin was predicated on it being a voice recording, NOT a video. If it were a video, I would have turned it down. I’m not a publicity hog, and offer no competition to the folks who want a following. I do not want one. I do not accept speaking invitations. I turn down dozens of them and rarely speak because I do NOT want to attract attention to myself. I want the IDEAS to have a life, not me.

If you want to search for men seeking to rival the Brethren, take a look at CES. For example, one of my my former Bishops is able to fill a stake center to overflowing mid-day with Mormon housewives who dote on the man. I can assure you I have no intention of trying to accomplish anything similar. I KNOW that what I’ve written is deeply offensive to many, many church members. It has no advantage apart from being honest, and the honesty of the material is accompanied by my sincere belief in it also being TRUE. If it is wrong, then  grow a pair and openly confront the ideas, tell us your name, give us your basis for contradicting the material, and act like you are confident in your beliefs. Or keep your skirts on and snipe from the sidelines, but never expect me to respect the frail and insecure who are unable or unwilling to compete in the arena where the valiant are found suffering for the Lord’s cause. I occupy a place where insults come from those who ought to be supporting the struggle; making the Lord’s cause all the more difficult for those making the sacrifice He has asked be made. It is not pleasant, but it does conform to a law ordained before the foundation of the world upon which blessings are predicated. Those blessings are personal, between God and myself, and worth enduring your attacks. I will not be deterred by weakness and criticism.

I have a testimony of the church. I have and do serve whereever asked. I pay tithes to her. But the horizontal stripes nevertheless are being worn, and they do affect her appearance.

The Whole Not the Parts

There are a few important ideas that define my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored by the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith. These are the ideas that make the Gospel whole, and not just a group of disconnected thoughts. Until these were part of the core of my understanding, I was left with disconnected dots and no overall harmony from which to orient myself.

First and foremost is that we are not to follow any man or men. No man is worthy of discipleship. Not me, not another. There is only one who is worth following. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14: 16). Beside Him there is no other person who can save you (Mosiah 3: 17).

This first principle is what has motivated all I have written. It is a mistake to think there is a departure in Passing the Heavenly Gift from the topic begun in The Second Comforter: Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil. They are both necessary. They do not reflect a change in my testimony or commitment to the truth, only an elaboration on the essential core principle that we are not going to be saved by following men. Rather, you will become “darkened in your mind” if you do so. (TPJS p. 237.)

Second and equally important, it is not the depth of your study that matters, but the quality of your connection with heaven that matters. Expounding doctrine is not only insufficient, it is oftentimes a distraction from what matters. We go from unbelief to belief when we learn truth. Not every source, including institutional sources, can be trusted to tell you the truth. Only the light of Christ, followed by the Holy Ghost is a reliable guide to distinguish between unbelief and belief. We go from belief to faith as we take action consistent with belief in truth. Faith is a principle of power. It will lead you to receive angels who still minister to those of a sound mind, not given to flights of fantasy or unstable behavior (Moroni 7: 30). We are brought from faith to knowledge as angels prepare us through their ministry. (Moroni 7: 31; Moroni 7: 25; Alma 32: 23.) Knowledge comes from contact with Jesus Christ. (Ether 3: 19.) This is the knowledge that saves, and nothing else. (John 17: 3.) The idea that knowledge of Christ through His personal appearance to you is now unavailable is an old sectarian notion and is false. (John 14: 23; D&C 130: 3.)

Third, there is no written record, including the scriptures, which are able to tell you all you must know. You can only know the truth by having it revealed to you from heaven itself. (D&C 76: 114-118.) This is the reason Joseph said if you could gaze into heaven for five minutes you would know more than you would by reading everything that has ever been written on the subject. (TPJS p. 324.) Either you do as James says, and ask of God, or you will forever remain ignorant of the only knowledge which can save a man. (JS-H 1: 13, referring to James 1: 5.)

Fourth, the truth is intended to save us. We should welcome corrections. Too often, however, we are offended and think the truth is a hard thing to endure. (1 Ne. 16: 1-3.) That is a product of pride and arrogance. It is impossible to learn what must be learned unless we are willing to be corrected. (Mosiah 3: 19.) Therefore, only the qualified will arrive at the gates, because the rest are unwilling to take the trip required of them.

Fifth, this is a personal journey which each must take for themselves. It cannot be shared. You must approach the Throne yourself. Joseph was alone when he met the Father and Son. Moses was alone when he ascended the Mount to meet the Lord. Enoch was alone when he was caught up to heaven. Elijah was alone on the mountain when the whirlwind, lightning and earthquake preceded the Lord’s own voice. Daniel alone saw the vision of the Lord. Paul alone saw the light. Nephi alone saw his father’s vision. Enos was alone in the wilderness in his encounter with God. Abraham was alone when the Lord spoke to him. Jacob slept alone when the ladder to heaven descended for him. You will also be alone should the Lord come to visit you. This cannot be borrowed from another.

These are the core. This core is what faith, repentance, baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost are meant to bring about. The religion of heaven always involves heaven. It does not involve men and administration and popularity. It is solitary, between you and God. The proud, however, are content to proclaim their righteousness and sit in judgment of others. They live without God in the world (Mormon 5: 16), and their end will be destruction. They think their own imagination is revelation, and they foolishly value only their conceit. (Proverbs 26: 11-12.)

I will never flatter you. But I will never lie to you, either. My faith in the Gospel is stronger now than the day I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My fidelity to the church is greater now than it has ever been. It offered me baptism and I gladly accepted. If offered me scriptures, and I gladly accepted. It offered me ordination, laying on hands, washings, anointings, covenants and sacraments, and I gladly accepted them all. It gives me fellowship, and I value it. But my faith is in Christ alone.

Men’s hearts will fail them

Luke records Christ’s first public sermon that occurred after His baptism, temptation, wedding and commencement of the public ministry.  He read from Isaiah about the commission He had received from God to preach.  (Luke 4: 17-19.)  After reading the verses, He proclaimed that He was the fulfillment of those verses.  (Luke 4: 20-21.)
 
He expounded on the verses adding that not only were they fulfilled, but He pressed on to explain how He would fulfill them in comments that were unrecorded.  However, those who heard could not help but be persuaded at His gracious words.  (Luke 4: 22.)
 
He moved from these verses in Isaiah to add His own prophecy about what they would eventually do to Him.  You will tell me: “Physician, heal thyself,” He added.  (Luke 4: 23.)  He will be asked by them to do miracles among them as He will do in Capernum, but they will not be given such a witness.  He explains that not all of a prophet’s works will be put to display before all people.  That some will see Him, but only have the testimony of others to learn of His works.  (Luke 4: 24-27.)

They were indignant at His comments.  It filled them with wrath.  They thought they should be given the same signs, the same proof, of His claim to Messiahship as He would put before others.  (Luke 4: 28-29.)  However, He explained to them that He would be without honor among those closest to Him.   (Luke 4: 24.)

 
The attempt of the congregation to kill Him failed.  He departed and went among more believing people, who heard Him speak with power from heaven.  (Luke 4: 30-32.)
 
What an interesting commencement of His public ministry.  Telling the truth among those unprepared to welcome Him did them no good, persuaded no-one of the truth, and resulted in His forced departure.
 
What can be said of those who would cast out of their congregation He who was greater than them all?  They thought they were making a bold statement about their fidelity to their religious traditions, and holding fast to the truth.  Instead, they were cutting themselves off from the lifeline sent to save them.
 
Irony is not a strong enough word to describe this singular scene.  It would be repeated throughout Christ’s ministry among the hierarchy and leadership of His day, ultimately culminating in His death at their hands.  These were the only people who would kill their God.  (2 Ne. 10: 3.)  They were devout.  They were misinformed.  They were very religious, but entirely mistaken.

What happened on that first day of teaching was a microcosm of His entire ministry.  It is often the case that those who regard themselves as the “most religious” and “most correct” are capable of missing the truth sent to them by the Lord.  They prefer the Lord package the truth in one way, coupled with a written guarantee that the package will never fail them, while the Lord is always sending it in another, and requiring them to receive it when only their hearts can guide them into recognizing it.  It is little wonder, then, that our day is when “men’s hearts will fail them” because they fear, and trust not the things sent to them.  (Luke 21: 26.)

Truth = Truth

Truth is a knowledge of things as they were, as they are, and as they are to come.  (D&C 93: 24.)  As a result, truth is really not subject to debate.  We either know the truth or we are deceived.  If we know it, we have an obligation to declare it.  If we are deceived, we have an obligation to be humble enough to at least consider the truth before we reject it.
 
When we dispute in anger, we move away from truth.  “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of  contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.”   (3 Ne. 11: 29.)  The truth is not being taught when men argue in anger with one another.  When they do, the Spirit withdraws and learning ends.
 
Truth should appeal to the heart and mind.  It should bring joy.  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;” (D&C 11: 13.)  I do not believe there is any past scriptural precedent for angry people bearing a threatening message about vengeance and revenge who then proceeded to build Zion.  I doubt we will see such an unprecedented and unscriptural event occur in the future.
 
Words that describe Zion include: 
 
Humble
Meek
Submissive
Contrite
One
No poor among them
Presence of God among them
Peaceful
Only people not at war
Singing songs of everlasting joy
Of one heart
 
It is an odd thing how those who learn about the possibility of Zion think that possessing that awareness entitles them to live there.  Before anyone will be admitted to Zion they will necessarily have to bring it into their own lives.  Gathering a crowd without considering first who has been chosen by the angels who possess the keys for this gathering, and those who have been sealed in their foreheads by those angels, is just another foolish and futile act.  (D&C 77: 11.)
 
Hugh Nibley wrote an article in Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless titled: “Zeal without Knowledge.”  That title was taken from Romans 10:2.  In that article he wrote: “We think it more commendable to get up at 5:00 a.m. to write a bad book than to get up at nine o’clock to write a good one.  That is pure zeal that tends to breed a race of insufferable, self-righteous prigs and barren minds.”  Nibley could be so hard on us at times.  But then again, he also hit the nail on the head.
 
For some particularly unsuited people to talk expectantly about Zion when they are utterly unprepared to understand the subject is beyond irony.  For them to be stirred to anger about the subject because they disagree with another’s view about Zion must provoke both bemusement and despair for the gods.  

The individual and truth

There are two propositions I believe have the potential for defining our lives here in mortality.
First, the importance of the individual.
I really do believe in the importance, centrality and power of the individual.  What happens everywhere in the world begins with interpersonal relationships and the individual.  More can be done, and is done to change the course of history by the actions of individuals than anything else.

There’s that old saying that when God wants to change the world, He sends a baby.  Whether that baby is Buddha, or Gandhi, or Abraham Lincoln, or Henry Ford, or Thomas Beckett, or Jesus, the world changes when babies enter mortality.  All lives matter.  No one matters more than another in my view. The accumulation of lives well lived is the stuff of history.  How many unnamed artisans were required to build the Parthenon? 

Our day is the great day of the individual.  Now your thoughts can be sent by electronic means anywhere in the world.  Your audience can include every living person who has a connection to the internet.  I think there is a purpose there.

You matter.  All of us do.  Good ideas can now spread on eagle’s wings, so to speak.  A spark kindled today can light the whole world.

Second, the primacy of good.

I believe truth will triumph.  To be here on the earth required an initial “screening,” which was conducted before the people who are born here were permitted to come.  All those who live here came from a shared God and Father of us all.  Therefore, we have something in common.
Truth is recognizable.  It must be fought to be suppressed.  Although some will wage that fight and succeed in blighting their sense of the truth and light, the overwhelming majority will not.  The “light of Christ” given to all mankind as a commonly shared inheritance persists here.
The result is that truth will win.  In free exchanges of ideas, it will be truth that will ultimately triumph.  I believe the truth will win even if it is only spoken as a whisper in a hurricane of opposition.  It will win.
It is unnecessary for truth to come from authorized sources.  It is irrelevant for it to be opposed by authorized sources.  It will always triumph.  Crush it, burn it, send it into the wilderness and crucify those who believe it – it will triumph. 

Truth

There is “truth” which exists independent of what we think or believe.  (I use the word in the same sense as D&C 93: 24-25.)  Our collective forgetfulness does not erase truth.  Nor does our vain imagination alter truth. 
 
Whenever a doctrine is changed because of man’s planning or arguments, then we are teaching for commandments the doctrines of men; just as Christ complained to Joseph in the First Vision.  (JS-H 1: 19.)
 
During the Third and Fourth Centuries the debates over “adoptionism” were causing doctrinal havoc for the Christian movement.  As they solidified control over the movement, the leaders of the developing Historic Christian faith had a plan to cure the schism involving arguments that Christ was just a man who had been “adopted” at His baptism to become the Son of God.  The original words spoken at His baptism came from Psalms 2: 7.  These words supported the “adoptionist’s” arguments.  The answer was simple – change the text of the Gospels.  So they edited the words and changed them from saying, “Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee” to instead, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  (Matt. 3: 17.)  That drove a stake in the heart of the “adoptionist” arguments.
 
Bart D. Ehrman has shown how this, and other controversies, affected the text of the New Testament in his book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament.
 
Patterns in history have a way of repeating themselves.  Men almost always find it easier to change doctrine than to conform to the truth; and to edit books to fit their failures than to follow direction.  Our challenge is to learn the right lessons from history. We should not succumb to the easy advantages of changing the principles our religion is founded on, in order to accomplish “good” and repel criticism by adapting to meet the critics’ arguments.
 
Truth is immutable and unchanging.  We either conform to it or apostatize from it.  We can’t change it.
 
How grateful I am to still have prophets among us.