I am checking out a new service. My previous website, though hardly visited, was overrun with malware. I had the choice: either spend X dollars a month on security, or get kicked off the website. Now, I am opting for a managed plan. More restrictions and limitations, but without the hassle of maintaining security.
I just noticed that the last time I posted was over a year ago. I have plenty of material ready to go, but I have been busy on another project for the past few months. I will post again soon.
These people described as “doubters” seem to want remake the Mormon church from a hard-Right political institution into a hard-Left political institution. And when they post their remarks on blogs and Facebook, they get both agreement from the other so-called “apostates” and demonization from the so-called TBM’s (true blue Mormons). These are your typical, expected, knee jerk Facebook responses. This is really nothing new.
What I have to offer, and it seems refreshingly new to me, is that nobody besides me is pointing out:
(1) Nobody in all of history ever reformed a church or religion, including Christ. Christians were driven out of the synagogues and formed their own congregations.
(2) Obsessive love or hatred for the Church is two sides of the same coin and indicate an attachment to the Church. It’s the Tar Baby from Uncle Remus. Once you get stuck, love it or hate it, you can never break lose. (Unless, of course, you find something more appealing to take your attention off the church and what you love or hate about it.)
(3) Joseph Smith was both a genius and a charlatan. Like all of us, he was a complex mix of both good and evil. This was prophesied by Moroni who said his name would be known for good and evil. Moroni never said that either reputation was undeserved.
We need to discern the true principles that Joseph Smith taught and find ways to apply them to today’s world, not the nineteenth century world. We need, also, to clearly identify his ruses and his mistakes, and take care to not repeat them and call out others who do.
Joseph Smith taught some principles that will empower us as individuals, as families (both traditional and non-traditional), and remake society and the whole world. But, this cannot be accomplished using the failed model of the traditional church or organized religion. We must find something better.
But, the haters don’t want to see this. They are too busy fighting brush fires and kicking against the pricks to see the larger picture.
And, why is nobody else pointing out these simple facts? Because nobody wants facts. Facts end the argument and stop the discussion. Bullshit keeps the argument, the discussion, and hence the game going.
I’m sorry to step in and spoil your game, but as I said above, the only way to get people to pry loose from the Tar Baby is so offer something better. A bigger game. A more important game. That’s what this blog is all about.
“The Lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean.” H. P. Blavatsky
“I speak ‘with absolute certainty’ only so far as my own personal belief is concerned. Those who have not the same warrant for their belief as I have, would be very credulous and foolish to accept it on blind faith. Nor does the writer believe any more than her correspondent and his friends in any ‘authority’ let alone ‘divine revelation'”! H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, vol. XI, p. 466 (October, 1889)
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Every teacher needs to be a full time student, else he should quit teaching.” Ed Dawson
“Each ascension is a new creation in a new unit of time, because it really isn’t fully inside the stream of time. There is no repetition of ascension. Impossible.” Ed Dawson
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it. ” Alan Kay
“Do not enter into an unclean area, unless you intend to clean it up.” Mary Baker Eddy
Any true teacher should make statements which the student can then confirm for himself. No more.
A real “guru” gives you methods whereby you can look for yourself.
Unfortunately, most people are not up to doing so.
Teachings are very valuable as they can guide where to look. That saves lots of time as one has the chance to inspect the relevant things first instead of engaging in endless journeys.
Manipulators like to indoctrinate others with truths that make them do things which is of benefit for the manipulator. The combination of certain truths are then known as ideologies. They are not made for the benefit of the people who live it out.
A temple, in and of itself, is a pretty, but useless relic.
It’s people who use the temple that make a temple a temple. It’s their participation and attentiveness to the ordinances. It’s their sincerity in entering into the covenants made therein.
And it’s the Spirit of the Lord that should fill the temple.
Rather than emphasize more temples, I would emphasize more temple preparation.
At the eastern entrance to every temple, there is a door which is intended for the Lord to use, should He determine to visit the temple. Emblazoned above the door are these words: “The HOUSE of the LORD. HOLINESS to the LORD.”
This is not just a logo, a slogan, or a catch-phrase. This is a greeting and a reminder of the attitude which we should bring with us into that house. Reading this ought to prick our conscience and cause us to reflect every time we enter.
Rhetorical question: If the Lord should walk through that door of your temple, looking for Holiness, would He find any?
People don’t just leave the Mormon Church. They have to stage a dramatic exit, then slam the door behind them. All for the affirmation, agreement, and amusement of those who have already done this. Otherwise known as preaching to the choir.
You brought up new evidence. You stated it more eloquently than most could, but the story is the same: somebody who made a man-made church their idol, but now has seen that idol has come crashing to the floor.
Have you ever considered what it might be like had you built your world around a real, personal relationship with God, and personal ethics in your life, rather than worshipping a legal entity and paying lip service to the fictional God they have created?
I built my entire life around following the Spirit of God. I learned about the Gospel as a youth, not from the church, but from reading the scriptures and the writings of the early leaders of the church. I basically converted myself to Mormonism because I wanted to know and live the truths experienced by the leaders in the scriptures, and early church leaders.
I made the mistake of thinking that all Mormons felt as I did. However, when I finally became directly acquainted with the Church, I found people who only saw the Church as a short-cut to doing their own thinking and blazing out their own personal search for truth.
I found myself in the same position as truth seekers in Joseph Smith’s day — there was no church teaching the truths of the Bible, Book of Mormon, and D&C. Claiming to have the same organization as the primitive church is not going to save anybody and hasn’t saved anybody. In the end, salvation is an individual affair. We need a Shepherd to guide us through life, and there is only one Shepherd, worthy of the name.
Then, I discovered the Church endorsing, if not master-minding, a plan, reminiscent of the people of Ammonihah to destroy the liberties of their fellow Americans, not through the force of arms, but through the force of law.
When I found all of this out, I could no longer reconcile the two.