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Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Mormon Pioneer Spirit: One of…Inclusion?

President Oaks was the keynote speaker for SUPer DUPer Day on Monday, July 19, an annual celebration at This Is the Place Heritage Park for the families of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. [1]  

His talk emphasized the need for us modern-day saints to identify the eternal principles the pioneers applied for our benefit, and then apply those principles to the challenges of our own day.

When I think of the pioneers, I contemplate concepts such as strenuously hard work, dedication, conservative family values and a deep, abiding faith in the Lord.

I'm sure Pres. Oaks would agree with those aforementioned concepts. In fact, he would add one to the list as well:


That's right - "the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups." [2]  

Pres. Oaks told the Church News after the event that "We live in a time when inclusion is needed - in political relations, in cultural relations, in legal relations - and it's not forthcoming in our society. As a Church and as a culture, we need to lead out in demonstrating inclusion, not dissent, diversity, diversion or opposition."

I couldn't agree more with Pres. Oaks. I'm not sure how he's defining "our society," but assuming it's the church's society, then yes, I believe the church does have some work to do in closing the gap between itself and those who are excluded and/or marginalized.

Who might comprise these groups?

Women? Yes. I recently reviewed the speaker-by-gender counts for the most recent five General Conferences. Here is what I found:

General Conference Speakers 

April 2021: 28 men, 1 woman (3.5%)

October 2020: 26 men, 2 women (7.6%)

April 2020: 30 men, 4 women (13.3%)

October 2019: 26 men, 2 women (7.6%)

April 2019: 23 men, 2 women (8.6%)

Total: 133 men, 11 women (8.2%)

Blacks? Yes. In July 2019, a church news release said that "Over the past 18 months, the First Presidency has made its partnership with the NAACP a high priority." [3]  So, how is that high priority doing in the two years since that news release?

Not good. The Church recently purchased a hotel in Maui for $148 million [4] and bought the Easterday ranch properties in eastern Washington for $209 million [5]  -- over a third of a billion dollars in (known) real estate acquisitions within a month. (There has been no announcement yet as to how these acquisitions further the church's four-fold mission). [6]  These combined amounts dwarf (by a factor of 37) the $9.25 million in donations the church is making to the NAACP/UNCF (over a three year period). [7]  The facts make it crystal clear: the church places a higher value on land acquisition than it does helping out human beings who have been historically marginalized.

Gays? Members still cannot be baptized if their parents are gay and married, and the member-child refuses to discredit their parents' lifestyle. 

The less fortunate? Yes. In his address, Pres. Oaks noted the Church's 3,600 humanitarian projects ministering to people in 160 countries during 2020. As of March 26, 2021, Latter-day Saint Charities and its affiliates had provided over $2.5 billion worth of assistance in 199 countries and territories since 1985. [8]  Assuming the church still has somewhere north of $100 billion in liquid assets, that would mean that the church is not even close to donating what it requires its members (10%) in tithing.

The unmasked/unvaccinated? Yes. I have documented here and here how the church, especially local church leaders, are not only excluding unvaccinated members from enjoying full participation in the church, but also painting them as unfaithful members and uncaring Christians. Also, within the last few weeks, prospective BYU-Hawaii freshman Olivia Sandor was rejected admission to the school because she has a condition which makes getting the jab extremely dangerous. Despite a team of medical practitioners submitting a medical exemption for her, BYU administration rejected her exemption - not once, but twice. Please, Pres. Oaks, describe how these actions are indicative of the "inclusion" you spoke about. [9]


Do "We live in a time when inclusion is needed"? It appears so.

Does that "Church and as a culture" "need to lead out in demonstrating inclusion, not dissent, diversity, diversion or opposition"? Definitely.

I look forward to Pres. Oaks "leading out" on the issue of inclusion (with respect to the groups I named) as soon as possible.

Otherwise, the church has another word to deal with besides "inclusion":

"Hypocrisy." [10]  



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Are there Modern-Day Non-Prophets and False Prophets?


  • My last post, "Is the Church's COVID-19 vaccine advocacy leading you astray? Could it kill you, or is it OK?", is an in-depth look at the link between "trusting the prophet" and the so-called COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • It contains many, many organized COVID-19 related facts (as of this date, 70 source citations) which the mainstream media has chosen to ignore. 
  • Just so you know, I tend to shy away from rumors and gravitate towards statements by verifiable experts/patients. 
  • Because it continues to be updated almost daily, I encourage you to re-visit it regularly. Be smart. Stay informed.

Last week, the Church released a New Dew video. It was a nine-minute sermon on why we should trust the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve as "unfailing" prophets, seers and revelators. 

Here are some of her quotes:

"I know that President Russell M. Nelson is a prophet of God and that his counselors in the First Presidency and each member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are also prophets, seers and revelators. I testify that you can know for yourself that this is true, if you will seek a witness of your own."

"We have 15 prophets, seers and revelators - meaning the members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles - and many consider their teachings inconvenient and politically incorrect. But prophets are under covenant to teach truth, which is why they seem unbending at times - especially to moral relativists who love to pretend that there is no such thing as truth."

"Prophets are one of God's greatest gifts to His children. They form an unfailing safety net of truth."

"There is no greater safety in this life than following the prophet."

What's disturbing is what Sis. Dew stated near the end of her video:

"Some get tangled in asking whether prophets, seers and revelators are infallible. That's the wrong question. A better one is, 'Who exactly are prophets?' They are the ordained holders of priesthood keys that authorize the Lord's power to be distributed throughout the earth. They may not be perfect. But they are the most perfectly inspired leaders on earth, and their only motive is perfectly pure - to help us find our way back home by pointing us to Jesus Christ."

For the time being, I'll ignore the implications of her encouraging us to trust in the arm of flesh; I confronted that topic in my last post. Instead, let's focus on just four words - "That's the wrong question" - with which she entirely minimized the importance of prophetic accuracy. 

Should we follow Sis. Dew's lead and just assume that whatever a prophet says is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

The Bible consistently says otherwise. We are told to "PROVE all things; hold fast that which is good." [1] 

How do we prove that a prophet is a true one? Again, I turn to the Standard Works:

"The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him."  [2]

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."  [3]

In fact, the Apostle Paul took discernment of truth in preaching so seriously, he said:

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."  [4]

If God required 100% accuracy for His people in both the Old and New Testaments so they could discern a false prophet,  how much more so do we need that standard for discernment now, when we are told false prophets would abound and that the Anti-Christ would come with lying wonders so good that if it were possible, he would deceive very elect?

It's a dangerous world we live in, and a pretty dangerous time. That is indisputable.

Might I submit that now, more than ever, we need to be "asking whether prophets, seers and revelators are infallible." That's not the wrong question at all. And you know it.

"there came many prophets, and prophesied again unto the people"

I am, however, intrigued by two of the scriptures Sis. Dew included in her video. First, she quoted 2 Nephi 5:6: 

"And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words."

Then, she quoted Ether 11:12-13:

"And it came to pass that in the days of Ethem there came many prophets, and prophesied again unto the people; yea, they did prophesy that the Lord would utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth except they repented of their iniquities.
And it came to pass that the people hardened their hearts, and would not hearken unto their words; and the prophets mourned and withdrew from among the people."

Here, we see accounts of prophets with "warnings" and prophecies "that the Lord would utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth except they repented of their iniquities." 

I don't think they were the only ones. Lehi tells us in 1 Nephi that there were many prophets doing the same thing in his neck of the woods. Samuel the Lamanite prophesied, too. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that there's a strong, scripturally-based correlation between prophets and foretelling doom lest the people repent. 

The Lord says, "For I am the Lord, I change not". [5]   He "is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing" [6]  In fact, anyone who imagines "a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles."  [7]

Sure enough, as I've elaborated in several past posts on this blog, God has ALWAYS preceded plagues and pestilences with warnings by His prophets. And logically, because God doesn't change, if He sent prophets in the past to warn us of calamity and destruction, then I'm sure He would be doing so again, today. 

Yet as I read every General Conference address, and the transcripts of every public video Pres. Nelson has produced, not one of them has linked this pandemic with the need to repent. Perhaps mankind as a whole is getting holier, more righteous, and less inclined to do evil.  But something in me says that's definitely not the case at all; if anything, mankind is headed in the wrong direction these days.  

One truth remains: Prophets who don't "prophesy" are not prophets. Seers who don't "see" are not seers. Revelators who don't "reveal" are not revelators.

With God not being changeable, where are the unique "warnings" and prophecies pronounced by Pres. Nelson "that the Lord would utterly destroy" us "from off the face of the earth except" we repent of our iniquities? 

If you know of one, please include it in the comments below. 

"Nothing but truth"

In his September 17, 2019 BYU Devotional "The Love and Laws of God," Pres. Nelson said,

"It is precisely because we do care deeply about all of God's children that we proclaim His truth. We may not always tell people what they want to hear. Prophets are rarely popular. But we will always teach the truth!"

"Thus our commission as apostles is to teach nothing but truth."

So, there is the bar: Prophets and apostles always teach the truth. A true prophet will bring forth true prophecies. A true revelator will bring forth true revelations. Just like an apple tree will bear apples, not bananas, a true prophet will bring forth true prophecies and not some other work.

A man whom the church believes was a true prophet of God -- Brigham Young - never considered himself such:

"I am not going to interpret dreams; for I don't profess to be such a Prophet as were Joseph Smith and Daniel; but I am a Yankee guesser."  [8]

"I do not profess to be a Prophet. I never called myself so; but I actually believe I am, because people are all the time telling me that I am."  [9] 

"I have never said that I am not a Prophet; but, if I am not, one thing is certain, I have been very profitable to this people."  [10]

I tend to believe Bro. Brigham. After all, if Brigham didn't think he was a prophet, why should we?

Even if we were to consider him a prophet, then how do we explain this statement of his:

"In the days of Joseph [Smith] it was considered a great privilege to be permitted to speak to a member of Congress, but twenty-six years will not pass away before the Elders of this Church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones."  [11]  

As far as I understand (and feel free to correct me on this), but I've seen nothing indicating that "the Elders of this Church" were "thought of as the kings on their thrones" 26 years later, or in 1882.  In fact, 8 days shy of that 26 year deadline (on August 23, 1882), Elder Rudger Clawson was tried and convicted of practicing polygamy (in fact, he became the first practicing polygamist to be convicted and serve a sentence after the passage of the Edmunds Act). [12]   He was imprisoned and fined for his marriages. [13]   

Let's call that "Strike One."

In 1961, another "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" -- Joseph Fielding Smith - said at a Honolulu Stake conference in 1961:

"We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it. The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen."  [14]

Strike Two.

(Even cooler: A decade later, on September 14, 1971, the Apollo 15 astronauts presented Joseph Fielding Smith a Utah state flag that traveled with them to the moon).  [15]

On March 11-19, 2017, Elder Neal A. Andersen visited the Caribbean. He spent a week visiting the "tropical paradises" of Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, giving all kinds of wonderful assurances to the Latter-day Saints. He presided over a host of different meetings all over the islands.

Speaking of the Caribbean area saints, Elder Andersen said, "The Lord is blessing these people, and He's giving them His peace and His Spirit."  [16]

Elder Hugo E. Martinez, a General Authority Seventy and member of the Caribbean Area Presidency, said "Elder Andersen had a message of hope in the future of Puerto Rico that resonated with many members," [16]

Five months later -- August 30, 2017 to September 12, 2017 - Category 5 Hurricane Irma hit Saint Martin, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. It left 134 fatalities and $1 billion in damages.  [17]

Then, a few days later -- September 16, 2017 - October 2, 2017 - Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean. A deadly Category 5 hurricane, it is regarded as the worst natural disaster in recorded history to affect those islands. 

  • Puerto Rico: Its 175 mph winds killed 2,975 people in just Puerto Rico. A month and a half after the hurricane left, San Juan Puerto Rico Stake President Wilfred Rosa said, "The hurricane was so tough. We still have people struggling just to find food and water. We wait in long lines to get supplies. And, for most people, there's still no [running] water or power." [18]   Three months after the hurricane, 45% of Puerto Ricans (over 1.5 million people) still had no power.  [19]
  • Dominica: More than 85% of the island's houses were damaged, of which more than 25% were completely destroyed, leaving more than 50,000 of the island's 73,000 residents to be displaced. [20] 
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: Nearly a month after the hurricane, electricity had been restored to only 16% of people in St. Thomas and 1.6% of people in St. Croix. [21]   Three months after Maria, about half the entire U.S. territory still had no power, and 25% of the U.S. territory had no cell service.  [22]

Hurricane Maria is still ranked as the third costliest U.S. Atlantic hurricane in U.S. history -- $90 billion in damages.

I don't know very many people who would consider twin Category 5 hurricanes which killed a combined 3,100+ people a "blessing" which led to them experiencing "His peace and His Spirit."

Strike Three.

Ironically, in October 2017, while Caribbeans were still reeling from the after-effects of Hurricane Maria, Elder Andersen gave a talk in General Conference. Entitled "The Voice of the Lord," he stated, "In the commotion and confusion of our modern world, trusting and believing in the words of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is vital to our spiritual growth and endurance."  [23]

His speech included no mention of Hurricanes Irma or Maria just months after he went and blessed the land and its people as an apostle of the Lord. As the poor saints in the Caribbean had no electricity at the time, they were not favored to hear the Lord speak through his apostle in General Conference as they pondered whether the Lord had forsaken them.

"But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."  [24]

"What are we to understand by a Prophet? It is his character to predict things that are in the future. I ask what right has any man or set of men or priest of set of priests to say if a man will not do so and he shall be damn'd. Is he not taking upon himself or assuming the character of a Prophet? Consequently he must either be a true of false Prophet."  [25]

The bottom line:

If these "Prophets, Seers and Revelators" are clearly wrong about a few things, what else are they wrong about?

Again, as has been demonstrated numerous times here on this blog, we are commanded in the scriptures to trust in no man; only Jesus Christ. Those who trust in the arm of flesh will invariably see falsehoods and inaccuracies. In fact, I shutter to think of the fate awaiting those who consider themselves unfailing (a synonym for infallible)  [26]  and therefore like unto God.


 1.   1 Thessalonians 5:21
 2.   Jeremiah 28:9
 3.   Matthew 7:15-18
 4.   Galatians 1:8
 5.   3 Nephi 24:6
 6.   Mormon 9:9
 7.   Mormon 9:10
 8.   Journal of Discourses 5:77
 9.   Journal of Discourses 5:177
10.   Journal of Discourses 10:339
11.   A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, August 31, 1856; Journal of Discourses 4:40.
13.   Wikipedia, 19th Century (Mormonism),
14.   D. Michael Quinn, Elder statesman: A Biography of J. Reuben Clark (2002), p. 498
19.   Robles, Frances; Bidgood, Jess (December 29, 2017). "Three Months After Maria, Roughly Half of Puerto Ricans Still Without Power". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018
20.   Ian Pannell; Emily Taguchi; Ashley Louszko (October 18, 2017). "'It's all gone': Hurricane-ravaged Dominica, on the front line of climate change, fighting to survive". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017.
21.   Erdman, Jonathan (October 20, 2017). "Why Hurricane Maria Was Such a Catastrophe in Puerto Rico". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018.
22.   Pérez-Peña, Richard (December 18, 2017). "Recovering What Was Lost in the U.S. Virgin Islands, One Boat at a Time". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 5, 2018.
24.   Deuteronomy 18:20-22
25.   Words of Joseph Smith, p. 230

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Is the Church’s COVID-19 "vaccine" advocacy leading you astray? Could it kill you, or is it OK?

What if you decide not to take the jab?

It's become increasingly obvious that when it comes to taking the COVID-19 vaccination, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

In January (and again in March, in a General Handbook of Instructions update), the First Presidency said, "Individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. In making that determination, we recommend that, where possible, they counsel with a competent medical professional about their personal circumstances and needs."  [1] 

Two months later, they added this statement to the General Handbook:

"Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life. Ultimately, individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. If members have concerns, they should counsel with competent medical professionals and also seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost." [2] 

So, what happens if your doctor and/or the Holy Ghost recommends not taking the jab, and you obey their advice? Clearly the church would discourage your dissing their advice.

But here's the deal: If you don't get the COVID-19 shot, you're considered a bad global citizen (and by implication, a bad Christian)…

"…the Church urges its members, employees and missionaries to be good global citizens and help quell the pandemic by safeguarding themselves and others through immunization."  [3]

…who is therefore unworthy to serve in significant church callings, like the Tabernacle Choir…

…and not supportive/sustaining of the Prophet (who got his jab while calling it a "godsend"): [4] 

To underscore its commitment to COVID-19 vaccination:
  • In February 2021, the church humanitarian aid non-profit, Latter-day Saint Charities, gave $20 million to support COVAX, a global campaign to provide 2 billion COVID-19 injections to people in low- and middle-income countries. [4]
  • On June 16, 2021, the church's Church Educational System Administration Board of Trustees (composed of the First Presidency and several apostles) announced that BYU-Hawaii students are required to get the COVID-19 jab in order to attend that school. [5] 
So there you have it: If you don't take the jab, then you don't sustain the prophet, the Brethren and the Church, you aren't a good citizen and you don't care about others' health. 

What if you decide to take the jab?

Obviously, you're going to be perceived as a good, obedient citizen, Christian and member.

But are there consequences as well?

I think there's a pretty good chance. Let's read Revelation 18:23: 

"And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."

That's a pretty interesting verse right there when you read it in Greek. Take the word "sorceries," for example. In Greek it is the word pharmakeia - the root word for words we commonly use today, like pharmacist and pharmaceutical.

But have "all nations" been "deceived" about a pharmaceutical (specifically, the COVID-19 jab)?

On its way tripping over itself to embrace "the jab," have church leaders missed sight of the fact that the COVID-19 jab harms, injures and even kills people at rates never before seen and in ways which are undeniable?

Could they have been deceived, and in so doing, have deceived church members?

Let's take an in-depth look. Note that in these notes, I am wholly disinterested in conjecture, assumption and ill-founded conclusions. All I'm interested in are facts - and if stated by an expert, then all the much better. And if those facts are unjustifiably censored by Facebook and/or Google, then all the much better (because it's been my experience that those who seek to hide or bury truths are scared of them):

"A Global Faith Leader"

How can something so destructive be so praised by the church and its leaders?

Can a "prophet" ever mislead us? Here is what we are told:

As Pres. Dallin H Oaks recently stated,

“They [the apostles] teach and counsel as directed by the Holy Ghost, with no desire other than to speak what is true. Their voices can be trusted. Their voices are: clear, unpolluted, unbiased. You can always count on them. Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord.” [6]

"The Church of Jesus Christ has always been led by living prophets and apostles. Though mortal and subject to human imperfection, the Lord's servants are inspired to help us avoid obstacles that are spiritually life threatening and to help us pass safely through mortality to our final, ultimate, heavenly destination . . . While neither perfect nor infallible, these good men and women have been perfectly dedicated to leading the work of the Lord forward as He has directed." [7] 

Please review the facts regarding the jab I've included above. 
Do these facts demonstrate that "the Lord's servants" 
are helping you to "pass safely through mortality"?

Yet as I demonstrated in my past post, [1] We are told unequivocally NOT to trust in the arm of flesh, without exception and [2] prophets CAN screw up -- big time. It's happened before. Multiple scriptures and early church leaders repeatedly warned us not to trust in the arm of flesh, be they church leaders or not. 

Yet we, as a church culture, are instructed and advised to ignore such warnings, and that despite the absence of such, there's never, ever been an asterisk, exception or escape hatch to the "trust in the arm of flesh" injunctions.

Joseph Smith Jr. is considered the head of this dispensation. Here's what he said about trusting in the arm of (medical expert) flesh:

"I preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or poison; and when they were sick, and had called for the Elders to pray for them, and they were not healed, to use herbs and mild food." [8]  

He later warned members about those physicians "going about the country pretending to cure you of all diseases, and you swallow what they give you like young robins, without knowing what it is. I wonder you don't die, taking their nostrums!"

Why is it that some are so eager to throw Brother Joseph under the bus and disregard his words? Why do they instead believe Russell M. Nelson is a prophet who's looking out for your best interests…when multiple, multiple facts prove otherwise?

Which prophet do you believe: Russell M Nelson (who trusts modern medical doctors) or Brother Joseph (who said we shouldn't)?

Could the tiebreaker be "By their fruits ye shall know them"? [9]  If that is the case, then what kind of fruits are the COVID-19 injections producing? What do the facts demonstrate?

Historically, prophets have warned mankind to repent. They were adamant that people not focus on the messenger, but the message, of repentance.  

These days, we are receiving NO message of impending destruction, 
but instead, a message to partake IN destruction.

With the church's steadfast, eager promotion of the COVID-19 injection, I'll leave it to you to evaluate the facts and judge if the church is misleading you today.

After all, the only thing hinging on your judgment is your mortal life (as you entrust your life, and the lives of your family, to pro-COVID-19 injection advocates) and your eternal soul (if you feel God's now OK with your trusting in the arm of flesh).

If (and likely, when) the mass casualties start happening, there's a very good chance that those who followed the prophet and got the jab will be fearful as they see the death count rise. What does one do in such an instance? How do we prevent and combat the inevitable despondency, depression and demoralization? [10] 


1.   First Presidency News Release, January 19, 2021
2.   38.7.13;
3.   First Presidency News Release, January 19, 2021
6.   “The Lord Leads His Church through Prophets and Apostles”, Ensign, March, 2020.
7.   M Russell Ballard, "God Is at the Helm," Oct 2015 General Conference
8.   Joseph Smith - History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sunday September 4, 1841,Vol. 4:414
9.   Matthew 7:16-20