BOWbutton

This button is a resource to link those desiring baptism with those having authority to baptize. More information can be found here.

 

Logan Transcript – Repentance

Here is a link to the Logan lecture on Repentance. I will link it to the blog soon.

Yet Another Review of PTHG

Here is another link to a review done by The Association of Mormon Letters of Passing the Heavenly Gift.

Enjoy.

Another Review of PtHG

Another review of Passing the Heavenly Gift.

Enjoy.

[My wife noticed this and put it up yesterday. I’ve now skimmed the review. Wasn’t worth really reading. Doesn’t look like the reviewer actually read the book. Seems like he collected comments from others and put a patchwork together as a response. Committees always tend to bungle things. Maybe he’ll read the book sometime and look back with embarrassment at this poorly done review.]

I Will Not Start A Church

Apparently the reason the church is now interviewing and discouraging some of those attending the talks I have given is driven by the false expectation that I intend to start a church. Let me be clear: I will not start a church. Period. Won’t. Not now. Not later. Never.

There is nothing about starting a church that appeals in the least to me. To the extent one is needed, we already have one.

Any organization formed in this world must comply with laws of man. Tax issues, regulatory issues, and potential legislative intrusions are always part of the life of an institution. Pressure from political and economic interests abound. Before long, no matter how noble in origin, this world erodes and later controls the institutions here.

A “strong man” model is the opposite of Zion. A controlling hierarchy where some are over, and others under control perverts the essential equality that must prevail in order for Zion to exist with one heart, one mind, and all things in common. From the moment Brigham Young began to envision the church as a platform to support his kingly ambitions until today, the church has been a temptation to practice priestcraft.

The church can dismiss any thought I have that ambition. I don’t.

When religion is reduced to a market and business interests drive programs, I find it repugnant. The idea that you identify under served areas and build temples to drive larger temple recommend participation to produce a cash stream may excite business leaders, but it repels me. That the church now recaptures the cost of building a new temple in two to three years after building one is little more than priestcraft. The Jews used their temple as a place of commerce. The Latter-day Saints have turned the temples themselves into merchandise. That is NOT my ambition. It causes me to mourn, not to become excited that I might join in the feeding frenzy upon the sheep.

I am just not like you. Not at all. I will not become like you. You keep the Mormon religion as your product line and never give another thought to me trying to “poach” your paying members. I WILL NOT lead another church. Ever. Period.

The break off movements led by the carnal and ambitious polygamists are even more repugnant to me. They oppress their women and have descended into child sexual exploitation with disappointing regularity. The idea I want to follow in that distasteful abomination is even more offensive than thinking I want to be an LDS leader.

Read what I’ve written. Listen to my talks. You needn’t think there is a hidden agenda. There isn’t and won’t be one. I am so transparent that even the church court information has been made public.

Priesthood Talk

The next topic will be priesthood. This will be November 2nd. I will not take time to give all the background information from the scriptures and history to lay out the many problems we have in the traditions taught by the mainstream LDS culture. I will simply assume you are already well enough informed to know about these topics:

Claims of priesthood were rewritten into our history later than the actual recorded events.

The first church offices, Elder, Priest, Deacon, etc. were elected positions.

David Whitmer thought the addition of High Priests was as a result of Sidney Rigdon persuading Joseph Smith. David Whitmer thought it was wrong.

High Priest and High Priesthood are not the same thing.

In the Old and New Testament there was only one High Priest at a time. He was of the Levitical order, presided over the Levitical priests and was essentially the ancient equivalent of the Presiding Bishop.

There is no account of the visit of Peter, James and John conferring Melchizedek Priesthood, but only passing mention of the event added later into Section 27. It was not there when first recorded. Joseph also mentions them in Section 128.

If I were to say to you that I own the keys to a Dodge pick-up, does that make you the owner of the same truck? Joseph wrote in Section 128 that Peter, James and John “declared themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fullness of times.” You should ponder those words.

Joseph and Oliver were the first and second “Elders of the church” before the Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred upon them. Church offices include Elder, Priest, Teacher, etc. and do not require priesthood to possess.

President Grant changed church practice to ordain men to church offices, and to no longer confirm priesthood, a practice which lasted for over two decades.

If “all priesthood is Melchizedek” as Joseph Smith put it, “but there are different degrees or portions of it” then why did the Nauvoo Temple need to be completed to return the fullness? D&C 124: 28.

Joseph spoke of three priesthoods. We claim to have two.  D&C 107: 2

Even the idea of priesthood is not well explained in the many historic accounts of the restoration.

These are topics, not an explanation of the topics. I will not even mention these topics in the talk. I intend to clarify the overall subject of priesthood, and therefore cannot take time to address these other side-issues. But the more acquainted you are with these topics the more the clarity you will see in the next talk. The more you know beforehand the more you will get from the talk. But everyone will get something if they listen. Those who are only acquainted with the traditions will not get as much out of it.

A Friend’s Comment

I got an email from a close friend in Tennessee that said:

“I think if we live our life and don’t change our views over time, hopefully toward more correct, we are waisting our life. I suppose even if we become more incorrect, while trying to become more correct, then that is still better than not even trying to find out the truth.
Its hard though because the tendency is to search for proof of what we already think instead of just looking for the truth. 
I like that saying, ‘whatever there be that truth can destroy, it should.'”


I replied:

Well put.
Isn’t it curious how we adopt ideas like they are part of our anatomy and then refuse to give them up.  It’s like the ideas are more painful to change than cutting off a finger.  That’s quite strange when you think about it.  Ideas should be welcome when they come and welcome when they are replaced by something better.
Imagine if nature didn’t respond to changing demands.  Imagine if after a forest fire the birds refused to look somewhere else for seeds.  Everything adapts, except for the human mind in many people once we get past about 25 years old.  Then we think we know enough to keep holding onto the same tired ideas, even when they fail us in life.  We remain “devout” to the errors.

Questions

Four talks are finished. Two transcripts are up. I am working to complete the other transcripts.

The fifth talk will be on November 2nd in Utah County. If you are planning to attend and would like to submit a question, please bring it with you in writing and I will collect them before beginning. Questions will be difficult to incorporate into the recording of the talks unless I can read them as part of the discussion and then answer.

It would be good if questions did not change the subject, but related to the topics discussed this far. If a question is already part of what is coming in future talks, then it will get covered in the ordinary course of the material, rather than taking it out of context.

The next subject covered in Utah County will be the priesthood. I’m going to try to be there a little early to gather written questions beforehand from those who come. If you can’t attend, you can still send a question to me by commenting on this post and I will receive it.

Idaho Falls Transcription

The Idaho Falls lecture has been transcribed and uploaded to Scribd. You can link from the blog.

Next Talk November 2

The plan at the present is to have the next talk on November 2nd in Utah County. That is a Saturday, and I am hoping to find a venue that can be used in the morning. If possible, I’d like to begin at 9:30 a.m.

The next talk will be on priesthood. At that point, I will be half way done. I will continue sometime in the Spring in Grand Junction and that topic will be Zion.

All of this is really one long talk, delivered in 10 increments. But each one is a stand alone discussion. If you listen to them in order, you should be able to see how it fits together into one great whole.

Transcripts will be put up as they are completed. The recordings are all available now.

Last week I spent four days out of town in a trial, and then returned home to speak in Centerville. You should pay special attention to the scriptures in that talk. They are worth considerably more attention than can be given to them in a 2 hour lecture. I can only present ideas and then spend limited time directing you to where you can study them in the scriptures. The full import of the material is left to you to study out and reach your own conclusions.

Our thinking is tied to a model given to us by the Mormon traditions. The scriptures are not necessarily in harmony with those traditions. Therefore, it is necessary to look carefully at the scriptures, discard untruths, discover the revelations that are there and then believe what God has revealed. For many people that is too much to ask. I realize that, but the notion of people looking at things with new understandings should not be opposed. We all believe in Joseph’s ministry. We believe in the Book of Mormon. We believe in the revelations and translations given through Joseph Smith. That should be enough to allow us to have fellowship with one another.

Studying the revelations and finding something new or long forgotten is no basis for fighting with one another, or denying fellowship to those who choose to believe the works of God include something more than our traditions dictate. President Uchtdorf’s general conference address suggests the church welcomes different ideas. Whether that is true or not, our individual application of charity towards differing opinions and views should be broad, friendly and welcoming. On BOTH sides.