3 Nephi 16:10

“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”
These words come from the Father.
The Father has commanded Christ to speak them.
This material is important to understand.
“At the day when the Gentiles shall sin against the Gospel…”  Not IF.  Not SHOULD THEY HAPPEN TO DO SO. It is in the day WHEN the Gentiles SHALL sin against the Gospel.

The Father has already seen this happen. (D&C 130: 7.)  He has told Christ to speak about it. But it is before the Father and therefore He can speak with knowledge of the coming rejection by the Gentiles.

What do the Gentiles do as they reject the Gospel?  They “shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations… above all the people of the whole earth.”  Read again the prior post.  The Gentiles take their inheritance of the promised land as their birthright. They presume God’s favor. They mistake their probation and testing as proof of having God’s favor. They are on trial, and presume they aren’t being tested.

What, then, do the Gentiles do with their highly favored status?  The list is sobering:

-All manner of hypocrisy
-Secret combinations
Read the list and contemplate how much of this is among us. If we do not murder, do we delight in bloodshed? Are we warlike? Are there people whom we kill daily somewhere in the world to project our national will and great power?
Notice that hypocrisy leads to murder. Murder leads to priestcrafts.  Priestcrafts lead to whoredoms. Are we seeing a progression here?  By the time we have whoredoms, have we already passed through murders and priestcrafts?
What are priestcrafts? (2 Ne. 26: 29.)  What does it mean to seek the welfare of Zion? Is “Zion” the same thing as the institutional church? What is the difference? Can a person seek the welfare of Zion without seeking to succeed inside the institutional church?  What is the difference between seeking to be a “light unto the world,” on the one hand, and seeking the welfare of Zion, on the other? Can one seek to be a light pointing to Zion, and never be a “light unto the world?” What is the world? What is Zion? How are they different? Can one who seeks the welfare of Zion ever get praise from the world? Can a person curry favor with the world while also seeking to benefit Zion?
If not hiring a whore, do we nonetheless watch with delight the portrayal of sexual license to entertain us, fill our thoughts, satisfy our lusts?  Do you need to hire a prostitute to be practicing “whoredoms?” Utah is one of the largest consumers of pornography in the US. Hence, the continual return to this subject in General Conference.
When they do this, in turn the Gentiles will “reject the fullness of my Gospel.” To reject the fullness is not to reject the Gospel itself.  As we have seen, some fragment of the Gospel remains even when it has turned into “iniquity” and “abomination.” Without some fractured segment of the Gospel to salve the conscious and let the people feel good about their sins, there couldn’t be “abominations.”
It is not the “Gospel” which is lost. Rather it is the “fullness of my Gospel” which is rejected and then taken away. It is first rejected, then it is forfeited. The Gentiles lose their entitlement to possess what they have rejected.
The Father has decreed it will happen. The Gentiles will change the ordinance and break the everlasting covenant. (Isa. 24: 5.)  What ordinance? What change? Has it happened? If not, what will be required to make a change and lose the “everlasting covenant” by the Gentiles?  I hope to avoid that.

30 thoughts on “3 Nephi 16:10

  1. Hey, everybody. A beautiful day.

    The scriptures are an interesting thing. Most things can have a more than one true meaning or reference. Like Isaiah’s stuff often covers his own time, the Coming of the Lord, and the Second Coming. Things tend to cycle around.

    This seems to me to point back to D&C 84 around verses 23-26. Moses seeks to bring the children of Israel to behold the face of God (the fullness of the Gospel). They reject it and they lose it. They were ok with the preparatory. Those who go to the Terrestrial kingdom are good and honorable people. But someone who goes to the Highest is valiant in the testimony of Christ (the fullness of the Gospel). And of course, Denver just explained again what the fullness of the Gospel is using Alma 13.

    I like to keep in mind that Denver is telling us his point of view. I think he is using these scriptures to give a specific meaning (Gentiles are church members), even though there can be other meanings. I would think that this is because the people who read his blog are church members. This seems to focus on us, markedly to those reading this blog. He brings up a few things in particular, like our entertainment or our understanding of Zion. This is likely the softer way of saying it before it gets harsh. It seems reminiscent of authorized heralds in the past. To me, it seems as though the Lord is calling us to repentance. Any who will listen. It is up to us to find out for ourselves if the heart of message is true, regardless of exactly how it is said or from whom it is said. The important thing is to know if it is the Lord’s and that we accept it if it is. I think the post, “If you love me, receive instruction from me” was rather well timed.

    As for me, I believe it. How many have actually beheld the face of God? Even without Denver saying it, it is point blank told us in the scriptures anyway.

    A good thing is that it does say “if” the Gentiles reject the fullness of the Gospel then they lose it. The other things are a shall, but coming back to the Lord is open. That is great! As messed up as the Gentiles get, He still has His hand stretched out still! Wonderful! This is very much so the “mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles.” So let us take His hand and welcome the fullness of the Gospel into each one of our own lives!

    And here are a couple more exclamation points, just for fun!! :)

  2. Denver said: “What does it mean to seek the welfare of Zion? Is “Zion” the same thing as the institutional church? What is the difference? Can a person seek the welfare of Zion without seeking to succeed inside the institutional church? What is the difference between seeking to be a “light unto the world,” on the one hand, and seeking the welfare of Zion, on the other?”

    What thought provoking questions. In response to those, I happened across the church employment website last night. The central banner reads :

    Church Employment Opportunities
    Use your talents and skills to help build the kingdom of God by working for the Church.

    How interesting to read that in light of the questions posed by Brother Snuffer.
    Whomever produces and approves the website messages communicates quite a few assumptions that I personally found worth my time, and ponderous thought.

  3. “At that day”….Looks like we are there.

    Could the temple ceremony be modified (most recently back in the 90’s) without the sanction and direction of the Lord?

    Have any of the ordinances changed?

    Have any ordinances changed since the Prophet Joseph revealed them to us?

    Could changing the original baptism ordinance from complete immersion to “sprinkling” be an example of a changed ordinance?

  4. IMO, this is a critical point.

    A distinction is necessary between “the gospel” and “the fulness of the Gospel.”

    Here’s a list of what’s been deleted, deemphasized or departed from. How accurate is it (or what needs to be added to or deleted from it as well)?

    Any suggestions?

    — Michael

    “Transgressed the Laws”
    1. Law of Consecration – Not active in its fulness
    2. Law of Adoption – Not active

    “Changed the Ordinance”
    3. Sacrament Blessed with upraised hands – Done away with
    4. Prayer circles in homes/church meetings – Done away with
    5. Alters in homes – Done away with
    6. Original garments – Done away with
    7. Second Anointings – Deemphasized
    8. Original endowment (Penalties, Adamic Language) – Done away with

    “Broken the Everlasting Covenant”
    9. Law of Celestial Marriage – Not active

    10. Gifts of the Spirit – Not emphasized / not sought after / not openly discussed
    11. Aaronic Priesthood offices – Defined by age
    12. Patriarch of the Church – Importance not recognized among top church leaders

  5. I found this to be very sobering- as I ponder this verse and the questions posed on this blog.

    What a clarion call for repentence and to more diligently turn toward the Lord!

    I have so much to work on…

  6. D&C 42 looks like a covenant setting similar to when Moses and the children of Israel made a covenant as a people with the Lord. The only thing missing in the formula is a recording of when the LDS said their similar “We will obey all that the Lord has said” as the children of Israel did.

    To the Warden: I see where you’re coming from and you make some good points. The only thing I would ask is if a full realization (or you can call it an extreme interpretation) of what these scriptures are talking about is too painful to think of. Most of us have trouble mourning to the depths of pain that this scenario might be spelling out, and you may be right that the time for that kind of mourning hasn’t arrived and may not arrive. But surely there are precedents with the prophets for such mourning and stark realization: Nephi on his tower, Jeremiah in his Lamentations, etc. People were divided then, too, about whether they were true prophets or if they were over-dramatic worry-warts who may be breaking covenants to not speak evil of the Lord’s people.

  7. The redemptive process included in 1 Nephi and that is outlined in The Second Comforter speaks to proofs. If sound positive proofs of the spirit still exist within the Institutional church, or even within our personal lives, are we to assume that these occur only because of the “fraction” of the gospel we practice, or can we assume that the Holy Ghost is still leading us along our own custom path of redemption? Do these proofs demonstrate God’s arm is stretched out still and that the Savior is still seeking to raise us up as calves in a stall? Or, are they truly fractionalized results with no redeeming value? What of those who do not lie, deceive, participate in mischief, hypocrisy, murder, priestcrafts, whoredoms, and secret abominations?

    What of the humble followers of Christ who have no earthly ambitions but to build Zion? What are they to do as Lyings, Deceits, Mischiefs, All manner of hypocrisy, Murders, Priestcrafts, Whoredoms, and Secret combinations sweep our nation and the world as it were? Is there a plan to spare those who are striving within the path or are we all toast?

  8. Stephanie: Not sure this should be posted, or at least without an advisory statement for some of the readers who probably haven’t read all of Denver’s books, not sure why some of them are following this blog. I am afraid that some will take offense to this, and consider it speaking evil. You and Denver decide.

    What is a true prophet? How can we tell a false one from a true one?

    A true prophet will point us to Christ.. not to himself as the example to follow. He will cry repentance. He won’t be liked since he will speak the truth about our fallen condition and our status here in this realm if we don’t repent.

    We have just read on this blog in Alma 13 about the example of an amazing prophet: ALMA

    Alma stretches forth his hand ( I envision POWER…like Moses dividing the Red Sea).. and CRIES WITH GREAT ANXIETY.. even unto PAIN, from the inmost part of his heart… for the people to REPENT, to PREPARE, and to RECIEVE the LORD in HIS GLORY.

    How would we react to this type of behavior like Alma at General Conference?..

    Something tells me that this would appear to be out of place for us.. especially if it was broadcasted on live TV across the world. Instead, we prefer to hear that the church is doing well and growing. (BTW is this really true?… when we hear this, we can’t help but think that all is well in Zion) We like to pat ourselves on the back for our acts of service to all those around the world. We like to hear personal stories, sometimes light hearted to make us laugh.. we even like seeing someone wiggling their ears. We love the hear the quotes from poems and plays mingled with some scriptures.

    However, to be fair, we do hear about controlling our anger and pornography in Priesthood Session..which is good, but it is always balanced out with the advice to enjoy today and our journey.

    I would love to have an Alma speak at next General Conference…or maybe some of these posts read from this blog.

  9. Michael: You’ve made some important points.

    Could you point me in the direction I might find a reference for your point 3. “Sacrament blessed with upraised hands?” Where in our history can this be seen? I haven’t come across that. Thanks.


  10. I think we don’t always like what the Holy Ghost says. What will we LDS do if we can’t detect Him with warm fuzzies? What if we turn mad at what He says? How do we function!!! To use a term JDS used, that scenario doesn’t sound like sound or positive. What then, constitutes the proof? How do we detect the Holy Ghost and truth? It is so labor-intensive to start at square one, but yet we learn the poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of God. The devil is so thoroughly LDS when he whispers his version of the spirit, how do we tell the difference?

  11. ML1321 referencing blessing sacrament with “uplifted hands” asked to be pointed:

    I personally remember it being done in the 50s and it disappeared in the 60s (in Utah).

  12. Snuffer, this is your best piece yet!

    This scripture is a pretty strong indictment against the corporate Church.

    I marvel at how this scripture (and other in the Book of Mormon) clearly demonstrate a “second” falling away; and yet we continually hear “we have the fulness of the gospel”.

    Sadly, with this mentally, many are going to wake up in the resurrection to a great surprise (spoken of in Conference 1912) finding themselves in a different “glory” as they suppose they should have.

    As Michael [June 24, 2010 8:57 AM] has indicated, the keystone doctrines, ordinances and priesthood have been changed.

    There is a law irrevocably decreed … I’m not sure how one is going to be able to justify the claim of the “full” benefits of the law when there is only a partial compliance.

    The Gospel, as I see it, is contract law–you just don’t get the benefits of the contract unless you fulfill your obligations, according to the terms and conditions.

    It is an unjust law that has benefits but no penalties. Likewise with the contract(s) [covenant(s)] of the Gospel, both in and out of the Temple

  13. So, the institutional church has been led by men willfully disposing of the fullness of the gospel since, what, at least Wilford Woodruff’s time?

  14. Elder Oaks referenced a book by Kathleen Flake which can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Politics-American-Religious-Identity-Seating/dp/0807828319

    Plural marriage continued beyond the Manifesto as Priesthood holders used their Priesthood in non-Church related ways. A new generation of Mormons wanted to be accepted by the Progressives and didn’t like when news of continuing plural marriage leaked out. They didn’t like plural marriage or other things about the Church. Joseph F. Smith got rid of the private practice of plural marriage by making it excommunicable. Was that his fault, or the next generation’s? Didn’t Samuel the prophet give Israel a king when that was opposed to the Lord’s plan, but directed by the Lord because of their rejection of Him? Can we really blame the leaders? We are a sorry (although lovable) lot if you ask me – learning by sad experience, or not learning at all. We have made iniquity comfortable in our community and the leaders have let us govern ourselves, just as Joseph directed. The enemies of the Lord have now comfortably found themselves a spot in the “kingdom” because we opened up the doors. The Lord prophesied about the wheat and the tares Himself, and does nothing yet about it, but remember, He did NOT sow the evil seed, and He’d much rather prefer it wasn’t here, but He can make lemonade out of lemons. If we were challenged, seemingly happy and loving people would turn devils right quick. Just wait until we start having food shortages. I include myself first and foremost in not knowing how well I’d react being in such a state of ease in Gentile America. What praise can you give a people who plead with the Lord to never let them see what they are really made of, who cower in the corners of their Happy Valley? They have what they want. Again, this is all mainly a confession of my own sins. I will continue to weep. May no one else fall under these awful condemnations I outline here. I don’t think plural marriage in this life needs to be carried out with the intensity that Stone alludes to (and I may have you wrong), because there are scriptures that stipulate exceptions to its practice, but to reject it because we don’t like the Lord commanding it is to reject the Lord. I don’t think we as a people got over judging the Lord for His words in relation to that practice. We still carry the shame of the Gentiles towards our past. We ought to be ashamed for very different reasons, and other people ought to be ashamed for thinking they could do a better job of it than our predecessors. The strait and narrow is found by so few!

  15. Wonderful & very important post Denver.

    Zang Family,
    I agree, the Adversary’s whisperings can decieve almost everyone into thinking it’s from the Lord.

    I know countless people led to do things that are in reality very evil, but they can’t see it & think the revelation came from the Spirit. It’s truely unbelieveable to watch happen, all around us.

    It seems the Adversary’s favorite place to deceive people is in the temple, where most think their inspiration is safe & reliable.

    It seems that usually the more wicked a person becomes the more righteous & inspired they feel they are.

    How do we tell the difference between the real Spirit & the Adversary? That’s the million dollar question.

    The Prophets say our true revelation will never differ from theirs, though I believe it can add to it, even things that have never been revealed yet. Still, such true mysteries will not contradict anything they have said. The Prophet’s words are our Iron Rod to not go off into forbidden paths.

    I also believe that if we are willing to give our life, even one day at a time, to put God’s & our spouse’s will, wishes & happiness before our own, I don’t think we can ever go too far off.

    If we follow the commandments of God & our Spouse, we can only find joy & have the Holy Spirit as our guide.

    Remember, the Adversary wants you to put YOU 1st, your needs, your desires, your thinking, your feelings, above your spouses or Gods. Any selfish thoughts should always be suspect & shunned.

  16. Matthew/ML1321,

    The raising of the hands during the blessing of the sacrament is noted in John Tvedtnes’ article, “Temple Prayer in Ancient Times” located on the Maxwell Institute’s website (http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=21&chapid=105).

    If you scroll near the bottom and read footnote 35, you’ll learn how significant the uplifted hands have been in both scripture, church history and ordinances.

    I’ve also uploaded a picture of this “sacramental upraised hands” gesture that was taken during a sacrament meeting in Ephraim, Utah’s tabernacle in the early 1870s here: (http://i46.tinypic.com/23gy0aq.jpg). According to an article published in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon History Association, 1996, Vol. 22, p.95 (also found in the LDS Church Archives), the photo is of three mature men officiating at the sacrament table. You can read more about this photo here:


    (to access the photo/article, click “From Men to Boys: LDS Aaronic Priesthood Offices, 1829-1996 (p. 80)” in the left-hand menu, then click on Page 95).

    Real eye opener:This article also explains how the current Aaronic Priesthood offices became defined by age, and how the government of the Aaronic Priesthood evolved by need/policy/practice, not any specific revelation (Even Bruce R. McConkie agrees).

    — Michael

  17. To the last comment: Joseph of Egypt was put in a very compromising situation. Let’s assume he could’ve gone through with adultery with Potipher’s wife and gotten away with it. In fact, lets say it would’ve been better for his position as a slave that he would follow her orders, and that it was a true temptation. His refusal then showed real character and maybe even the possession of a gift from God. Perhaps the fact that Potiphar refused to let Joseph have his wife was a mere technicality, a formality if you will. She probably brushed that notion aside (perhaps he was jailed more for refusing, but it was advertised that he was jailed for attempting it, because what is said by the Egyptians must be kosher, even if practice is the opposite). This is Egypt we’re talking about! We Gentiles can’t see past the Victorian era. Regardless of what may be speculation so far, one thing is certain: for Joseph, the real meat of his comment was that he knew he would sin against his God. She didn’t care much about that, she had many gods. Maybe Potiphar didn’t even care. Joseph honored his God in secret, so he was rewarded openly.

  18. P.S. – If your comment is in regards to plural marriage, it should probably be directed to Elder Oaks if you can get ahold of him (I’m not intending to sound sarcastic). The book was his suggestion and most of my comment just a synopsis of what he considered the best treatise on the subject. I have no interest in plural marriage right now. Have you ever gone off into forbidden paths in your heart or in your mind, Anonymous? If so, (and you don’t need to answer here), the time to repent is now, as it is for all of us. If not, then rejoice! I get the gist of what you’re saying, but maybe would’ve worded it a bit differently. Pay no mind to my cryptic sayings if they’re not making any sense to you. I’m aware of others on this blog who might like to hear this perspective, so I’m just using this dialog as an example. I hope that doesn’t bother you. See my comments on repentance in the middle of Denver’s posts about Alma 13.

  19. Must every change that has happened be a corruption? Is there no room for the idea that some of the changes were the result of revelation or even mere inspiration? What if changes did evolve naturally (such as aaronic priesthood ordination of youth), but that there is no harm or evil in the current system?

    How often have I read here that nearly everything that isn’t concretely scriptural is immediately labeled a “false tradition” (not something I wholly agree with), isn’t is possible that raising the hands for the sacrament was a tradition that really wasn’t salvation-level important? Of course we see parallels of raising hands to temple ceremonies, but does that automatically mean removing the practice is the work of evil and conspiring men?

    The level of criticism of the current institution of the church really just astounds me. We read here about rejection of current servants of the Lord and only love of old ones and how wrong that is, yet we’re ready to throw away the last 2 generations of prophets and apostles because, “the institutional church has been led by men willfully disposing of the fullness of the gospel since, what, at least Wilford Woodruff’s time”?!

    I guess that would be news to Lorenzo Snow who, after Wilford Woodruff’s death, was following the short-lived tradition of leaving the first presidency unorganized for a time after the death of a previous president when the Savior himself appeared to him in the temple and told him that he should not delay in reorganizing the first presidency.

    Look in the D&C for how many times the Lord claims this church as his own. Its his, he owns it, he chastens it, he corrects it and he supports it. He uses the words “my church” over and over again.

    For those waiting for a messenger to relieve them from the horrible burden that is membership in the corrupt/evil/misleading/destructive LDS church, consider this verse:

    D&C 42:11

    Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.

  20. Good points, Ben. There is bound to be some recoiling, though, when people start to realize they’ve worshiped the institution over the Lord, until they take responsibility fully for their own sins and stop blaming the institution for their problems. With D&C 42:11, what would we do if Pres. Monson said: “I’ve been released from my calling by Peter, James, and John, who hold seniority over me. The Church as it stands is dissolved. Peter will now fill his commission again to build up the keys of the kingdom from scratch among the House of Israel. All who can stand being led by these former vagabonds, must receive instruction from them. If you have trouble following converted Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Africans, and Native Americans and Latinos, then you can join your Gentile neighbors in their wars. Good luck, and it’s been a pleasure serving you. I warned you about change in conference several years ago.” And then for the first time, opposing hands are raised during the request for a vote of thanks for his service.

  21. More on Joseph F. Smith: It looks like he called David O. McKay as an apostle as a representative for this growing dissent in the rising generation. McKay admitted being the most skeptical person he knew concerning spiritual things. And he had only one wife. He was a romantical kind of guy like the Gentiles with all this business about “falling” in love. After all, Joseph F. Smith was called on a mission when he was a brawling teenage ruffian, so he knew of the precedent. He didn’t worry about it. David O. McKay in late later years finally received his own vision. He doesn’t tell us all of it. I can imagine him saying to the Lord: “Lord, now I see I’ve done things wrong all these years, why didn’t you stop me?” And the Lord responding, “If I showed you too much of my glory, you wouldn’t be able to stand the people, and they wouldn’t be able to stand you. It is alright. They got what they wanted.” And David was troubled that he was used in such a way by the Lord, but found rest in Him and was left to mourn as he watched the superstructure he helped put in place unfold seriously impared.

    Ezra Taft Benson caught hold of the right spirit and tried in vain to tell us we were condemned as a people. We think we fixed it by reading the Book of Mormon a few extra times.

    Gordon B. Hinckley deemphasized the doctrine that we can become Gods in a Larry King interview, and for that and probably other reasons tried to apologize in conference to no avail. We thought him infallible and welcomed the de-emphasis of doctrine (I guess he was only fallible in saying he was fallible).

    Thomas S. Monson spoke on change. He very oddly pointed out that he was saying something without teleprompters this last conference or so. Was the correlation department starting to sweat at that and he had to console them? Was he testing the waters, realizing the beast of correlation had become something that it wasn’t intended to be? Will we let him make these changes? What Denver is saying is nothing new. Joseph F. Smith set up a system to babysit this wayward new generation. We stopped going on missions for a while and sent our boys into war, as if the Lord was saying, “Is this what you want to be involved in with your Gentile friends?” Some sobered up and we have a few of them as Apostles. Gordon B. Hinckley couldn’t stop apologizing for his days as a scoffing youth. We, instead, think the story is pretty cool, and makes him more human, more Gentile.

    Even though some of these men have wised up very much, they and us are not totally free from the influences of the peers we grew up with. The Lord wants the experiences of His chosen seed re-grafted into the tree, and He has kept them apart from us for a reason. It will help us, if we let it. They will help us, if we are teachable.

  22. Didn’t Pres. Monson give a high priestly request, a prayer if you will, that the other nations be opened up to the Gospel? What if this entails quite a different approach then before? Obviously what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked yet. Even if those changes for the Aaronic Priesthood are inspired, it is obvious in that article that the Church leaders kept revising things they thought they had made serious mistakes with before. Why else would the First Presidency need to say “We’ve figured out this practice has no basis in scripture, so we will change that”?

    I’m afraid we have an image of a Church that we hold up that doesn’t exist: a golden calf with no parts, passions, or feelings. The real Church that the Savior talks about and the humble leaders try to lead we do violence to. Instead, we have an image of a Church that we hold up that we should stop saying people are being critical of if they refuse to worship it. Moses went beyond criticism, he made the people grind the image to a pulp and drink its ashes.

  23. Great comments Ben!

    I believe we are far closer than ever before in the Church, in living & having the ‘Fullness of the Gospel’, than even in the 1800’s when they were living plural marriage. For that did not mean they were worthy of it or understood it, in fact the Lord took plural marriage away because they weren’t living it righteously or worthy of it, as Pres. Joseph F. Smith said, no matter what ‘outward’ reasons were given for ending plural marriage.

    Today we have received, through more modern Prophets, much more enlightenment on the most vital areas of the Gospel, far more than they understood or received in the 1800’s. We today enjoy far more of the ‘Fullness of the Gospel’ even with all the changes that have been made, then they ever did in the 1800s.

    Today we have the knowledge & doctrine to become so much more righteous & can understand much more truth than the early Saints had access to.

    But sadly, it seems almost everyone in the Church has been decieved to reject the precious truths of the Gospel that we have so generously been given.

    We have so much truth now, every married person could & should be living in ‘exultant ecstacy’, as Pres. Hinckley said, even amid our Sodom & Gomorrah world, or even if their spouse doesn’t cooperate & isn’t righteous. Ecstacy is possible even if only one spouse will ‘personally’ live the Gospel they have been taught.

  24. Zang Family,

    Interesting hypothetical you pose to Ben. Assuming, arguendo, that this occurred, how awesome would that be! I’d love it.

    I suspect that the number of active members who’d refuse to follow President Monson’s hypothetical hand-off to Peter, James and John would be less (as a percentage) than the number who left the Church in 1978…

    “If you have trouble following converted Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Africans, and Native Americans and Latinos, then you can join your Gentile neighbors in their wars.”

    Why should a leaders race or former religious beliefs matter? I think we’d both agree they don’t. Yet by posing the question I gather you must believe that some high percentage of American Latter-day Saints would be appalled to do so.

    That isn’t my view or my experience, but perhaps I haven’t lived in the type of ward or area you do.

    Maybe I’m an anomaly, but I’ve already been blessed with opportunities to serve with & under converts from every group/religion you mention other than Buddhists. And I’d be delighted to close that gap.

    I don’t doubt that there are some people who’d feel superior because of their pioneer ancestry, American citizenship or race but I haven’t personally seen it in the wards & branches I’ve lived in. I say this to explain why I may have more hope for my fellow saints.

  25. I’m not looking for a fight. I’m not even advocating plural marriage or a return to 1800s Mormonism. I’m repulsed by fundamentalist behavior in many regards (almost all regards). I disagree with the tone in most of Stone’s comments, for instance (I only say that to make sure my comments are never lumped in the same category as his, both perspectives deserve a voice). Any reasonable reader can see that I’ve supported the leader’s decisions with the institution and don’t think the problems with it are of much concern on an institutional level and neither am I advocating any change on that level. The leaders can take care of that on their own if they so please. That is of no concern. Having personal opinions that match the Spirit of Christ and His opinions about all these things is more important than changing the institution that He loves despite its whoredoms and abominations. Maybe there comes a point when we need to be in the Church but not of the Church, unless we’re talking about the Church of the Lamb of God within the ranks of the membership. Will any of you silent ones chime in on this, or am I a lone voice? If Stone’s arguments that we need to implement practices before receiving the promise of exaltation were true, then the Savior’s ministry that fell short of political deliverance was a failure.

    Also, I love my wife and I don’t have any frustrations in thinking she is not spiritual enough or not living the Gospel enough. I think she is doing just great in that regard and I wouldn’t say I’m ahead of her at all. If I ever had those temptations to deal with, I’ve considered them a problem worth overcoming. I’m concerned for hypocrisy when it rears its ugly head. I’m ready to confess my sins, how about all of you? I don’t want another or different wife. That being said, re-read my comments and let them sink in before condemning. I hold leaders in great respect, in the ranks of Samuel the Prophet, if they can successfully withhold sacred things from unprepared people.

  26. Ah…your comment is refreshing Michael. I’m glad to hear all of that. One point, though, and it may be a minor thing or a major thing: Do you think we’d be okay following others at first, but when they begin to implement policies that are unique to their culture and completely foreign to our traditions, would we balk? Can we really give up control and have no more leadership positions among us? Just lay members through and through? Maybe no more formal callings? That may be putting it in the extreme, but do you catch my drift? Would we be saying constantly, “No! That’s not how it’s done!”

  27. “Do you think we’d be okay following others at first, but when they begin to implement policies that are unique to their culture and completely foreign to our traditions, would we balk?”

    I’m sure some would. Some wouldn’t. I guess it would depend on the particulars.

    I think there is a lot of wisdom and beauty in all cultures generally. If we’re living the 13th Article of Faith we should be looking for them already.

    To keep this comment short enough to fit in Blogger’s limits, let me just illustrate with a single example:

    Our Jewish brothers & sisters have a lot to teach us about our common House of Israel heritage, the Old Testament and Holy Days & Festivals.

    If I’m ever asked to be on a Ward Activities Committee, for example, I’ll definitely suggest holding a Seder at passover. (If anyone is in a position to do so in their ward I suggest this book as a good guide.) This year my wife and I did manage to get twelve other couples from our ward to join us in Provo for the seder that Avraham Gileiadi’s Isaiah Institute puts on. It was awesome!

    “Can we really give up control and have no more leadership positions among us?”

    I think the Lord’s house will always be one of order with a certain amount of organization, even in the next life (cf. D&C 138:30).

    But hopefully everyone can give up aspiring to callings or feeling that their callings are anything other than an opportunity to serve humbly.

    “Maybe no more formal callings?”

    Certainly far fewer, I hope!

    “That may be putting it in the extreme, but do you catch my drift?”

    I think I do. I can only hope & pray and do my part within my family.

  28. Zang Family,

    Good points on your 12:49pm post. Ben and others also had some good points. I appreciate all of you.

    The changes I mentioned above (what’s been deleted, deemphasized or departed from) may or may not have come about by revelation or corruption. Although none of us really know the whole story behind any of these changes, I will admit that it is disquieting how, the more I study, the more I realize my list above is incomplete.

    Nevertheless, I believe it is imperative we sustain those called in leadership positions who are charged with implementing changed policies, programs and procedures.

    If (and quite possibly, when) the Lord decides to restore these and other plain and precious truths to a greater level of prominence in his church, or even if he decides to change the entire organizational structure of the church, he will bring about the right leaders and the right circumstances to make it happen.

    Until then, I believe we should remain living witnesses of Matthew 10:16: be “Wise as serpents” (Prudent. Discreet. Serpents are very cautious in avoiding danger) and “Harmless as doves” (Guileless. Innocent. Never preying on other birds, the dove has always been a symbol of innocence).

    Not only is this course of action signifying of our trust in God (to me, trust in God often equals faith); it is also that “control” you spoke about.

  29. Well said to both Michael’s! I think we’ve hit some good common ground! It would be good to continue to watch and pray, serve and love and keep these issues prominent in our minds, in my opinion.

  30. Those who are unprepared to hear the truth of our breaking the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in full… are amoung those who are not yet ready for the greater light or reject the plentiful revelations given by the Lord to our dispensing head of the 1800’s. It is a law unto the priesthood. It has been clarified by the first seven presidents and their apostles of this church. How else could the Father know we’d lose the fulness… maybe by instituting things like consecration and plural marriage among His priesthood leaders at such an early stage in the building up of the church?

    Those who think you have to already have perfection to live plural marriage… well I guess none would have lived it but the Lord Himself. It is one of the many ways to perfection, to purification, to glorification. More than that… it allows you to add to your kingdom (posterity/family) continously. Those who don’t understand these things yet, have yet to catch the vision of it, the truth or the Love of it. Our modern perceptions are not always accurate, no matter how hard we want to fret at the Lord’s direct commandments and revelations given to this very church to establish and maintain.

    I tell you the truth. This very doctrine was the one mainly used to put us were we are. Joseph jr sealed his testimony with his blood for these greater things we have given up on. Don’t let the Lord or our dispensation head down by rejecting, neglecting or not loving this celestial law and ordinance we no longer live.

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