Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Destroying the Doctrine of Christ

I'm a fool--I'll admit it--and I believe I can prove it mathematically. Or at least I can use a math analogy to show what a fool I've been. Even if you don't like math, hang in there with me for a minute and let me show you what I mean.

Remember the constant known as Pi?


It's officially defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. You probably learned it as 3.14; and that's close enough for middle-school math.


But there's more to it than that. Much more. Here are a few of Pi's attributes:


Infinite: Pi is an infinite number, meaning it goes on forever without end. Computers have calculated pie to over 12 trillion digits, with no end in sight. (I'm pretty sure those are the same computers they use to compute the national debt, which has been computed to nearly 18 trillion dollars with no end in sight.)


Fixed: Pi is a specific ratio and cannot be changed. Obviously, if you change Pi through addition or subtraction, it's no longer Pi. 


Constant: No matter the size of a circle, Pi will always apply in exactly the same way. It never changes.


Universal: Pi is THE ratio used when relating circumference to diameter and therefore is used in trigonometry, geometry, cosmology, number theory, statistics, fractals, thermodynamics, mechanics and electromagnetism. It's everywhere. And if properly applied, Pi is the basis of wonderful, even seemingly miraculous, achievements.


But that's not the fun part, right? The fun part is hearing about those crazy people who memorize and recite Pi to several thousand digits. The current record for memorizing Pi is over 67,000 digits, which took over 24 hours just to recite. It's completely pointless! It's nothing more than an exercise in record setting. 


Having an incredible memory may be useful, but being able to recite Pi to thousands of digits conveys no practical advantage to anyone at all. You may know a long string of numbers, but unless you know how to apply the numbers, it does you no good to know them.


And so this brings us back to the fool who writes this blog. 


I used to memorize whole chapters of scripture. I had a pretty good memory, and I thought it was fun to wow people by rattling off an entire chapter like a circus side show. I could recite, pointlessly, for minutes on end, words I had memorized, but to which I paid little attention. I thought this somehow pleased God. But it was just a pointless exercise in regurgitating words I had crammed into my head. And showing off.


That changed a few years ago when I started to pay attention to those words, and actually believe them.


One of the first chapters I ever memorized was 3 Nephi 11. You may recall, this is the chapter that opens Christ's visit to the Nephites in Bountiful. I'd like to focus on some of those words I once ignored and talk about what Christ actually taught. 


When Christ visited the Nephites, His first order of business after proving His identity was to establish His doctrine. This is not surprising because the doctrine of Christ is the most important thing you can understand in this world. It is the only way to salvation, and is the culmination of what you and I came here to learn and apply. It not only matters, but in the end, it is the only thing that matters.

I've written about this previously, but it is so important I'll repeat it here, and expand on some ideas.

Here is Christ's doctrine. (Look at the number of times Christ uses the word "doctrine" as he emphatically declares the doctrine that he claims as his own):
3 Nephi 11:31-40
31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. 
32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. 
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. 
35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. 
36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one. 
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. 
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. 
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. 
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
So let's take a look at what Christ emphatically declares to be His doctrine--the doctrine that the Father gave to Him. It consists of the following items:
  1. Repent
  2. Believe in Christ
  3. Be baptized
  4. Be visited by fire and the Holy Ghost as the Father's witness of His son.
These are all concepts we think we understand. But each is a sermon of its own, particularly in light of the meanings we've overlaid upon these words, contrasted with their scriptural meanings. Like memorizing and reciting words without understanding, it's possible to look at this doctrine and assume we are following it when we're not.

For today, I'd like to focus on verse 40: 

And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
Christ makes it pretty clear, doesn't he? We are not to add to, subtract from, or tamper in any way with what he has just taught. There are to be no disputations about this (3 Nephi 11:28.) It is fixed, set and permanent. Don't even try to mess with it. 

Anything else, no matter what it is, and no matter what we call it, is NOT Christ's doctrine. I don't know how he could make it more clear.


Of course, there are other things that are part of Christ's gospel. There are tenets, principles, teachings, commandments, and covenants. He expects us to learn and apply these things, but they are not what saves us. Christ only has one doctrine, it has the power of salvation, and it is listed right there in 3 Nephi. Period. If you don't believe that, you don't believe the scriptures. 


And yet, how many things do we call doctrine? I own McConkie's Mormon Doctrine. It is nearly 900 pages long. Joseph Fielding Smith wrote Doctrines of Salvation. It is three volumes. I got an email from an LDS book club, offering me a two-volume set that contains, according to their ad, "Over 900 Gospel Doctrines" and "Over 8,500 Doctrinal Statements." That's a whole lot of salvation for only fifty bucks. And a whole lot of doctrine Christ didn't teach.


O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell! (2 Nephi 28:15)
There is a three-fold wo pronounced upon anyone who dares teach false doctrines (notice "doctrines" is plural.) Not surprisingly, this particular abomination appears directly next to the abomination of whoredoms, which doesn't mean what you think.

In scripture, whoredoms are not only sexual sins, but commonly indicate sins of infidelity to God. Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary defines "whoredom" as follows: 

In Scripture, idolatry; the desertion of the worship of the true God, for the worship of idols.
So, is it surprising that the teaching of false doctrines appears right next to whoredoms in the list? If you teach a way of salvation that is false, you are promoting a false form of worship, or the worship of a false god. This is idolatry. 

And the three-fold "wo" is pronounced by the three-named "Lord God Almighty." This is serious stuff. Do not mess with the doctrine of Christ. Got it?


OK, but maybe we're a little fast and loose with the word "doctrine." Maybe we should talk about teachings, tenets, and beliefs. But that's just semantics. I mean, the actual doctrine, the stuff Jesus calls HIS doctrine, we certainly haven't messed with that, right? Have we?


Well, unfortunately, we have. And rather badly, I'm afraid.


The Preconditions of Men, Mingled with Scripture

Look at Mormon 9:29:
See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out.
So there's a worthiness requirement for baptism. What is it? What must one do to qualify for baptism? Let's refer to the words of Christ in the 3 Nephi verses above. Go take another look.

Let's see...repent, believe in Christ, be baptized. 


That's it. 


Now, let's look at the baptismal requirements we place upon those who request baptism from the LDS church. The following is from Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, an official publication of the LDS church. 

  • Make sufficient changes in their lives to qualify as commanded in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37.
  • Develop faith in Christ.
  • Repent of transgressions.
  • Live the principles of moral worthiness.
  • Live the Word of Wisdom.
  • Commit to pay tithing.
  • Receive all the missionary lessons [lessons 1–4 on the Teaching Record and associated commitments].
  • Meet the bishop or branch president.
  • Attend several sacrament meetings.
("Statement on Missionary Work," First Presidency letter, 11 Dec. 2002)

Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men

I suppose it should be obvious that the above list goes WAY beyond what Christ set forth as His doctrine, but just in case the familiarity of the above requirements blinds us to the facts involved, let's talk about that list a bit.
  • Make sufficient changes in their lives to qualify as commanded in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37.
D&C 20:37 does not require any changes in your life. You simply must witness to the church that you have repented, and demonstrate the works of repentance. You may still be a terrible person, but one who wants to not be. 
  • Develop faith in Christ.
The scripture requires "belief" in Christ. Not faith yet. These are two different things. And if one is willing to go down into the water in Christ's name, this is evidence enough of belief. Doing so is an act of faith.
  • Repent of transgressions.
Adding "of transgressions" is a bit arbitrary, but maybe we can let this one slide. We'll talk about what it means to repent another day.
  • Live the principles of moral worthiness.
Nope, Jesus didn't say that. Moral worthiness is a good thing, but Jesus never made it a requirement before baptism. If you were morally worthy, you wouldn't need baptism.
  • Live the Word of Wisdom.
Section 89 says the word of wisdom is not a commandment, but a principle with promise. We are substituting a principle for a doctrine. This is a no-no. Furthermore, Jesus not only drank wine, but made a high-quality vintage. Joseph Smith drank wine and beer, before and after baptism. The Word of Wisdom is a good thing, but it has NOTHING to do with qualifying for baptism.
  • Commit to pay tithing.
Tithing is a good thing, and even a law (not a doctrine). But it's not a requirement for baptism. Is it? Moroni?
Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins. O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? (Mormon 8:32-33)
Damn... 
  • Receive all the missionary lessons [lessons 1–4 on the Teaching Record and associated commitments].
So, if I understand correctly, if somebody knocks on the missionaries' door one day, proclaims their repentance  and belief in Christ, and requests baptism, the missionaries must refuse them, and insist that they first sit through a set of missionary lessons and make associated commitments? Then we can schedule a date, but make it a few weeks out because first they must also:
  • Meet the bishop or branch president.
  • Attend several sacrament meetings.
This is starting to sound like we're trying to baptize them unto the church, culture, and behaviors of LDS Mormonism, NOT to repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. I'm kind of surprised a white shirt for men is not listed there somewhere as well.

But wait, there's more! Let's not forget the baptismal interview (though I didn't see Christ mention an interview...)

Baptismal Interview Questions

  1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
  2. Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
  3. What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?
  4. Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? Have you ever participated in an abortion? a homosexual relationship?
  5. You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand of the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?
a. The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman. 
b. The law of tithing. 
c. The Word of Wisdom. 
d. The Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.

  1. When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?
Question 1, at least the second half of it, is entirely in keeping with Christ's doctrine. And question 6 is in the spirit of Christ's doctrine, particularly as taught in 2 Nephi 31:15-16. The rest are additions of men, pretended requirements, and clearly outside Christ's doctrine.

Fact is, we've set up such tremendously high boundaries around baptism, we actually discourage people from receiving this all-important saving ordinance. We hedge up the way and we turn them away from the Lord who can save them.

Now, I know some might think, "But wait, the prophet can add those requirements. He's the Prophet and he speaks for God!" I think Jesus foresaw this very excuse and made it clear that NOBODY is authorized to change His doctrine. "And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock."


Hey, don't shoot the messenger, but did Christ just call five-sixths of the LDS baptism interview "evil?" Is there any way He is pleased that we refuse baptism to anyone who will not agree to attend our meetings, pay money to the church, abstain from coffee, or declare that [insert name of current Church President here] is a prophet of God? 


"But wait! Baptism is how one joins the LDS church, and therefore they have to learn the practices and keep the rules of the church."

Well, no. That's not true. Baptism doesn't make you a member of the LDS church. Confirmation does. And you'll note, Christ doesn't mention confirmation in His doctrine. So it's a different matter, subject to different rules. When you read what the scriptures actually say, sometimes things may surprise you. 

Like, for instance, the definition of Christ's church:
Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely. Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. (D&C 10:66-68)
There's that pesky reminder again--that declaring more or less than Christ's doctrine is against Christ, or in other words, anti-Christ. It should give us serious pause and cause careful reflection. 

Like the mathematical constant Pi, Christ's Doctrine is infinite--it never ends and is broad enough to encompass the entire human family. 

It is fixed and adding to it or subtracting from it only destroys it. 

It is constant and applies in exactly the same way to everyone--the greatest or the least, the saint or the sinner.

It is universal in that belief in and following of Christ's doctrine is required of everyone. There are no exceptions and there is no other way to salvation. Everyone must enter at the gate, and that gate is repentance and baptism. 

The doctrine of Christ is powerful when properly applied. It is the power of God unto salvation. If the doctrine of Christ is followed, the promised result occurs. "For he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost." This is real, this is true. This happens.

And like Pi, it's possible to memorize the doctrine of Christ, recite it, and never benefit at all from doing so. Until we believe and apply Christ's doctrine, it's just empty words. Adding to or altering those words to forbid baptism only damns us.
For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness. 
He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. 
Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance. 
Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden. (2 Nephi 26:23-28)
If you believe the doctrine of Christ and desire baptism, nobody has the right to refuse you. I certainly wouldn't refuse you. All are invited. You are invited. 
Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. (2 Nephi 9:50)
I know a sacred spot where the water runs deep
Where the Lord wakens those who are still asleep
And new life comes as the old is laid low
Oh, down to the river I want to go-
Lord, down to the river I'll go.




31 comments:

  1. Come one, come ALL. Come be baptized. Come and partake of the goodness of Christ. There are authorized servants, once again. The restoration continues.

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    1. Yes it does, but to baptize one must have authority, and who do you know who has authority? I believe the authority is out there, but that "few there be that find it." In order for priesthood to exist it must be in the order the Lord has set. Those who receive it obtain it by obedience, not mere ordination. (D&C 121, 130) I know a few people who fit this bill, do you? I however am willing to offer the ordinance of Baptism or Re-baptism to all who ask. Just contact me and I'll meet you at the waters.

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  2. D&C19:31
    And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

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  3. Well said. If Nephi and the Savior did not really mean it, why did they take so much space in the Book of Mormon (wh. had to be carved into metal plates at great effort) to explain the Doctrine of Christ. Why did the Savior say that ALL that is needed to be in His church (wh. church is that anyway?) is to repent and to come unto Him. If anyone thinks the LDS church is His church, I invite you to carefully read 1 Nephi 14:10 and decide wh. church you think you belong to…by the way, have you really "come" unto Him, in the way Nephi outlined in 2 Nephi 31-32:6 (i.e., the Doctrine of Christ)?
    James Russell Uhl

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  4. Beautiful and true. Full of light and promise. I'll add my testimony that these things, as taught in this post, are the word of God. Months ago I was taught these things by the Holy Ghost and I know they are of God and Christ. Thank you, Adrian, for your work to share this message.

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  5. So many “half-truths” have been smuggled into our minds that we don’t have to KNOW anything; we just have to be witting followers and believe that whatever we are told by a leader was inspired by God so is therefore revelation. So many members have such a sure firm touch on the wrong cord that no matter what notes are played we hear harmony and our tone deaf to our own flatness. In the case of the church the “true” part of the half-truth has such a narcotic effect on our senses that we’ll partake of appetizers as though they were the entrees. Once we’ve embraced “the church” we’ll use our “activity” in it as an alibi if anyone or anything questions our devotion. The cultural imprint of the “saints” celebrates social vs. spiritual promotion. We seem to orbit around “the church” instead of “the Son” in an effort to be noticed. I have been an active Mormon my entire life (52) so I “get it”. I was baptized by someone who had “authority” but not “power.” I was confirmed but have yet to “receive” the Holy Ghost as described in scripture along with baptism of fire. I am so frustrated that I have been reckless with my salvation for so many years. There has always been a Master, I just haven’t been an astute young apprentice. It was right in front of me all the time. I’m hoping that my guilt for wasted years will serve as a protection and not a punishment as it’s echoes hopefully keep me from repeating the same missteps. As the world agitates in every direction the “GOSPEL” is a contagious force with a gravity that will draw to her those who will hear. I pray that God will bless us all to recognize that He beckons.

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  6. "Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins," now appears to be official policy in some areas.

    http://www.nearingkolob.com/new-mormons-converts-must-pay-baptized/

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    1. Adrian, this article is wonderful - as usual. And how funny, I was just going to post this article you linked to! Utterly insane - the way we've polluted the ordinances and the very Gospel Jesus taught. Thank you for this! -Jules

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    2. And for your money you can watch your kids get married. And for your money you can have an eternal family. And for your money you can help save your ancestors. And for your money you can learn how women are subservient to men. And for your money you can be considered for higher callings. And for your money you can have a better reputation in the Church, etc. etc.

      Christ taught the Gospel is free and to teach it to others freely and to serve others freely. No paid prophets or priests. Christ taught that if we want 'Eternal Life' then we must seek out and give 'all' our excess money to the fatherless and poor around us ourselves (not just 10%, for He taught it's impossible for a rich person to get to heaven) , and not trust others or leaders with our money to take care of the poor for us who usually use it on things other than the poor and even pocket some of it themselves.

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  7. TPJS page 373: "The baptism of water, without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it, is of no use; they are necessarily and inseparably connected. An individual must be born of water and the Spirit in order to get into the kingdom of God."

    TPJS page 325: "You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half--that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Savior says, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God"

    The above quotes indicates the possibility of having a baptism of water without automatically having the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost also attend it. It also indicates that it is possible to be baptized by water and to not also receive a remission of your sins from Jesus by fire and by the Holy Ghost. (3 Nephi 12: 2, 2 Nephi 31: 17)

    So, how would a baptism of water without the baptism only Christ can administer (i.e, the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost) differ from a baptism having both water, fire and Holy Ghost attend it? Is there a remission of sins without both components of baptism? Can you be born again, or, born of God without the power of heaven to attend you? Can you say that you have then entered in by the gate and are in the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life? Have we conflated the purpose of the baptism of water to mean that it by itself merits a remission of sins? I know from my mission that nearly every missionary taught baptism by water remits sins, it washes you clean, it is what it means to be "born of God" or to be "born again" and by following these evil (see Christ at 3 Nephi 11: 40) rules you will have all these things happen to you.

    What does it mean that there is but one baptism and one gate by which we should enter, or that God wouldn't change as to use more than one standard by which all men of any dispensation may lay hold of salvation, or to have the baptism by water mean nothing except when the power of Jesus to forgive sins and to save us from an awful hell attend it? (2 Nephi 31: 17-18, Mormon 9: 9)

    Surely only faith in God is agreeable to Him and we will be cursed for any substitute of any kind whether it be a man, men, a prophet of God or an organized institution. (2 Nephi 4:34) Surely the keeper of the gate employeth no servant there, and only in and through Christ can we be saved. (2 Nephi 9:41, Alma 38:9)

    Certainly its not about the how righteous or faithful our leaders are, or about the mighty prophets and saints we can read in the scriptures. It must be about you!
    "You no doubt, will agree with us, and say, that you have no right to claim the promises of the inhabitants before the flood; that you cannot found your hopes of salvation upon the obedience of the children of Israel when journeying in the wilderness, nor can you expect that the blessings which the apostles pronounced upon the churches of Christ eighteen hundred years ago, were intended for you. Again, if others' blessings are not your blessings, others' curses are not your curses; you stand then in these last days, as all have stood before you, agents unto yourselves, to be judged according to your works." TPJS pages 8-9

    Another great post, thanks for the laying it out like you did with that fantastic analogy.










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    1. Thanks Greg for pointing that about about the remission of sins by fire and the Holy Ghost. For those interested, I wrote at length about that in my post called "Ordinances and Assumptions."

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  8. Adrian, I really appreciate your blog. Keep it up, it is doing a lot of good!

    Mike

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  9. Beautifully and well-written, Adrian. Thank you for laying it all out so clearly.

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  10. Excellent exposition of THE doctrine of Christ.

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  11. I love these words of truth. Thank you.

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  12. "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." Acts 8:35-38

    The baptismal "interview" indeed is not as it should be.

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  13. I find it interesting you don't allow contradicting coments on your blog. What are you afraid of?

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    1. Jonah,

      How would you "notice" such a thing? I'm just curious how you would know whether I approve or don't approve comments...But for the curious, here are the facts:

      As of this moment, there are 159 published comments on this blog, and 3 that I have refused to publish. These three were off topic and sought only to stir up contention by attacking Joseph Smith and the restoration. I thought it merciful to not publish them, as the premises they promoted were utter nonsense and quite foolish.

      As I've stated in my post called "Finding Fault or Feeding Faith" this blog is based on the reality of Joseph Smith's calling from God and the restoration he directed. Those items are non-negotiable for me.

      Yes, I've read and studied the arguments against Joseph Smith for many years. I find them weak, incomplete, and foolish. If you wish to call Joseph Smith a false prophet, there are many, many other places you are welcome to go do that. Not here. My blog, my rules.

      If you want to take issue with the things I've written, please feel free. I've published every comment that was directed against me or against my arguments. I'm not afraid of making those things public. But I will not provide a venue for attacking Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. You can go elsewhere for that.

      I've got topics I need to focus on and an agenda I need to follow. I refuse to get sidetracked by trolls.

      Sorry if this is harsh, but I want to make it perfectly clear what I stand for.

      To summarize, your question is a lie. I allow many contradicting comments on my blog, and I answer them when I can. My refusal to argue Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is not based upon fear, but upon knowledge.

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    2. Jonah, I find it interesting you don't use your full name or have a profile available. What are you afraid of?

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  14. My apologies. I must not have delved deep enough into your 159 comments. It just seemed as I perused there was nothing but praise...it seemed you have the only blog in the worldwide internet that doesn't have critics. Congratulations! You assume I meant comments contradicting Jseph Smith. No, I know Joseph smith was a prophet of God. Iwas shown your blog by a friend. I think you are confused and misguiding others. I do not think the structure of the "church" is perfect. Nor are its leaders, but I believe in revelation and I believe that generally they are doing what they believe the Lord would have them do...just as you say you are with this blog. I do know that I won't be coming back to read on. The things you have written leave me feeling uncomfortable and sad. Not because I think there is any truth to it, but because the spirit is telling me quite the opposite. I hope you can find peace for yourself and your family in your search for your own testimony of God's truths.

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    1. Jonah,

      I was way off base in my assumption that you were another anti-Joseph Smith challenger. Boy, did I get that one wrong! Please accept my apologies.

      I appreciate you sharing your feelings about what I've written. You make some important points, and I'll be addressing them more directly in a future post.

      God bless you, brother!

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  15. Adrian,
    Thank you for the light and knowledge that you are sharing on this blog.

    Jonah,
    Just a quick note, in case you take a "peek" to see if anyone responded to your post. Just a few short years ago I too would have read the things written on this blog and felt "uncomfortable" and "sad," and I would have assumed that it was the spirit telling me that the things written were not true.

    However, the real truth is that those feelings were coming from the adversary in an effort to lead me away from truth. I have learned through hard experience that feelings are not a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, and they can easily be created by both the adversary and man (Google "HeartSell®" to see what I mean). The Holy Ghost only speaks pure truth to our minds. Neither the adversary nor mankind can mimic this. Emotions and strong feelings (e.g., prickling and tingling sensations) often come to us after the Holy Ghost has spoken to us, but those things by themselves are not an indication that something is "true."

    In addition, a few years ago, I was just not prepared to "see" and "hear" the truth. I was asleep, even though I thought I was "awake" and "knew" the truth. After all, I am a 6th generation Mormon and therefore "knew" that the Church was true. Anything that stood in opposition to that must obviously be false. Unfortunately, the truth taught by the church is now only a part of the truth and also consists of the philosophies of men mingled with scripture and pleasant personal anecdotes from the "Brethren."

    After nearly 50 years, I had accumulated such heavy scales on my eyes that I simply could not open them to see the truth, and I labored daily under an awful burden of false traditions that kept me from recognizing further light and knowledge from the Lord. It took much study of the scriptures and crying unto the Lord in prayer before I recognized my "awful state," and was able to slowly, painfully and with much effort finally remove the scales and unbelief.

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    1. Amen brother. It was only after I let go of some long held traditions and precepts of men that the revelations really came strong.

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    2. Adam T. Thank you for writing your experience. I am a wife of a man who started this spiritual journey through Denver Snuffer 4 years ago. I was uncomfortable with him reading something "not directly church sourced" but I love and respect him and supported him. I didn't read Denvers books or blog, but again, I supported him. 2 years passed and my husband went to a conference by Denver Snuffer. We both prayed we'd receive an answer, that we would receive rest for our unsettled spirits. My husband had his confirmation, and it seemed so clear for both of us.

      But what you described with your feelings coming from the adversary, I know now those were my husbands feelings. We took our confirmation and got back on the straight and narrow "Latter day Saint path". Now here I am, searching, agonizing, wondering why didn't I awake when my husband was awake? Why am I now awake and he is now asleep?

      Again, Thank you Adriane. You have changed my life. Christ is apart of all I am. He is my brother you are my brother. I am so Humble and grateful.

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  16. 2BizE.
    Excellent article and discussion. Part of the issue with ordinances is the Church loves to bundle things in packages. Baptism is an example. We are commanded to be baptized, but along with that we also receive the Holy Ghost AND become a member of the Church. The requirements for baptism should be very basic, but to have access to the "country club" you must pay tithing, obey word of wisdom, and other principles. What if someone wants to be baptized, but not join the Church? Is that even an option? Another example is marriage and sealings. The church has bundled those important concepts into one. They should be done separately, not in the divisive way the are managed today.
    2BizE

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  17. You mentioned returning to the topic of repentance. As it is so fundamental and so essential I look forward to that post.

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    1. Thanks for the reminder, Kyle. Hope to get there soon.

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  18. You left out two of the most interesting properties of pi:

    1) It is transcendental. This means that you can't get pi by adding up any finite number of whole numbers, fractions or their roots. It is different from all the other numbers we know.
    2) It contains everything. Every possible sequence of digits, no matter how long, is somewhere in pi. For example, if you took the entire standard works and encoded it as a series of digits, that sequence is somewhere in pi, not just once but an infinite number of times, which is mind boggling.

    Pi is way cool.

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    1. And that was a way cool comment, DrabMatter! What interesting parallels with Christ's doctrine! Thank you!

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  19. For 10 years, I have been struggling with how we have these "doctrines" in the Church which simply do not ring true. Today I read 3 Nephi after praying sincerely to find the truth and the right path to Christ. I have read this many times, but today I realized from the mouth of Jesus came His doctrines, which are simple and pure. Believe in Him, Repent, Be Baptized, and become like a little child. That is all we need....all the other doctrines are "More or Less" and therefore can be accounted as evil. I googled these scriptures and came accross your blog. Exactly what I have been thinking today. I hope that I can become one of the few that find Him. I do not want to get caught up in all the "I have to do's" and instead focus on Christ. I am thankful for this day.

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  20. Can you please tell me your opinion on after someone realizes these are the pure doctrines of Chris, and the LDS Church has obviously added so much "more", where does that leave us, as far as a Church to follow? Thank you.

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