Website Updates

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.”

Cursed: Denied Priesthood

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.

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Thomas Monson Died

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.

The New Covenants

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.

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Motives

Never assume a person is motivated by a corrupt heart when their actions can just as easily be explained by stupidity.

Completing and Publishing Scriptures

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.

Abuse of Authority

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.

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New Paper-Update November 21st

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.”

Reformation Sunday

October 29, 2017 is Reformation Sunday. It is the Sunday closest to the date Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Whittenburg Castle church. The document raised questions and propositions for debate. It was intended to lead to a meaningful discussion among Catholics, in the hope it would cause a reform to the institution.

The institution did not accept the invitation to meaningfully discuss the issues raised, and instead of reflecting on their own conduct, they condemned Martin Luther. Martin Luther was a devout Catholic. His questions were sincere. His loyalty to the institution was unaffected by the errors he saw in the scandalous selling of indulgences to finance projects in Rome.

Rome believed itself above criticism. They assumed their historic control was a right conferred by God. Therefore, the sincerity of Martin Luther and the legitimacy of his questions and propositions meant nothing to the institution. They branded Luther a heretic and threatened his life. This was the worst possible approach for Catholicism, and the best possible result for Christianity.

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New Video

A new video has been posted on YouTube. The content has been taken from the first talk in LA, with video images added. The video and link are below:

A Message to All Christians

Throughout the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation we are reaching out to Christians to share the restored gospel. This year is a countdown to the 500th year of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Next year will be the 500th year. It is time for all who consider themselves “Christian” to consider carefully Christian history and the Christian message.

 

 

 

Dallas Talk

I will be speaking on Thursday, October 19th at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, Texas from 6-7:30 p.m. CST. This is the second in a series of talks about Christianity and the Reformation and will be followed by a third talk in Atlanta, Georgia in November.

If you live in the Dallas, Texas or Atlanta, Georgia areas, and are willing to help us with invitation and other needs for the lectures being delivered in those cities, please contact Vern or Whitney Horning: vernwhit@msn.com

Update and Correction

I announced the new website for the scriptures committee in my last post. I characterized it as a “Guide and Standard” website. That is the issue currently occupying a lot of attention, but the committee’s website has a larger purpose. The committee’s website is for reporting to the assembly of believers what the scripture committee is doing and how the final steps for publishing the scriptures are progressing. Providing a platform for those who don’t have a platform of their own is a secondary (and necessary) function. Submitted proposals might have personal opinion in them, but the committee does not see a need to curtail anything unless it is disrespectful.

I wanted to correct my earlier, limited description of the new website. The site provides its own explanation of the purpose and scope.