Friday, December 31, 2021

A BOLD CLAIM: The opening verses of "Upon My House" are now underway

Yesterday, news outlets reported that 91 of the church's 588 missionaries in the Provo MTC have Covid. They're now implementing additional precautions there in Provo. [52]

This raises a few questions for me:

  1. Aren't the Brethren supposed to be "prophets, seers and revelators"? If so, and they foresaw this happening to the MTC, then why would they let their own missionaries get so sick? If they didn't foresee this happening to their own missionary workforce, then that raises a ton more questions.
  2. Aren't missionaries supposed to have received the jab prior to entering the MTC? How can this be? Isn't the jab supposed to be "safe and effective"? With 1/6 of the already-jabbed missionaries down with Covid, it doesn't sound like the jab is very effective to me.

So, in light of these developments, I thought now might be a good time for a reality check into just how "safe and effective" the jab is which the Brethren recommended we get:

In an announcement sent to the world in August 12, 2021, the First Presidency made the first of two claims:

Claim #1: "Vaccines have proven to be safe and effective"

"To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective." [1]    



Let's examine both the safety and effectiveness of the Covid-19-related vaccines so far. 

"Safe"

  • (12/5/21) Pfizer document concedes that there is a large increase in types of adverse events to its vaccine. [2]
    • Document released by Pfizer apparently as a result of a Freedom Of Information court order in the USA reveals a vast array of previously unknown vaccine adverse effects compiled from official sources around the world.
    • Pfizer concedes this is 'a large increase' in adverse event reports and that even this huge volume is under reported.
    • Over 100+ diseases are listed, many very serious.
    • This document was compiled by Pfizer in the very early days of the vaccine rollout in NZ but was possibly not supplied to our government.
  • (11/8/21) CDC director admits to "people dying from vaccine" during an interview [3]
  • (10/10/21) An excellent compilation of events surrounding Covid-related deaths [4]
  • (9/28/21) Whistleblower: Nearly 50k Medicare patients died soon after getting COVID shot [5]
  • United Kingdom
    • (12/6/21) A still-staggering 81% of hospital deaths in the UK are of the vaccinated. [6]  [7]
    • (9/24/21) UK hospital data shocks the world: 80% of COVID deaths are among the vaccinated… COVID deaths up 3,000% after vaccine wave [8]
    • (11/11/21) U.K.: 4x more vaxxed people are dying than unvaxxed [9]

"Effective"

Studies

  • (11/23/21) Swedish study of 4 million people found that the vaccine (1) doesn't offer protection at all, (2) its so-called protection plunged significantly after six months, and (3) those who are vaccinated are more likely to be infected and suffer severe disease than people who aren't vaccinated. [10]
  • (9/30/21) Comprehensive study: Higher vaccination rates DO NOT result in lower COVID-19 infection rates [11]
    • Published in Sept. 2021 in the European Journal of Epidemiology, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal
    • Examined 168 countries and 2,947 counties in the United States

US

  • (10/8/21) Most vaccinated state in America now seeing massive surge in Covid hospitalizations [12]
  • Biden's own administration advises against traveling to high vaccination countries because of surging Covid outbreaks there. [13]

Israel

  • "Most of the population [in Israel] is vaccinated, and 90%...85-90% of the hospitalizations here are "fully vaccinated" people. Yes, unfortunately, the vaccine…as they say, the effectiveness is waning. Outbreaks in hospitals, one patient infects a large number of people. It is not just here and there." [14]
  • (8/16/21) "Israel has among the world's highest levels of vaccination for COVID-19, with 78% of those 12 and older fully vaccinated, the vast majority with the Pfizer vaccine. Yet the country is now logging one of the world's highest infection rates, with nearly 650 new cases daily per million people. More than half are in fully vaccinated people." [15]

Singapore

  • (9/13/21) It has already reached 81% vaccination rate (ages 12+; one of the fastest in the world to reach that level of compliance). [16]
  • Still seeing chronic illness explosion [16]
  • The number of patients requiring oxygen doubled [16]

Scotland

  • (12/3/21) Fully vaccinated account for 9 in every 10 Covid-19 deaths since August in Scotland. [17]
  • (9/14/21) 80% of Covid deaths in Scotland are occurring among VACCINATED residents. [18]

Ireland

  • (11/5/21) Ireland experiencing highest number of new Covid infections in Europe despite also having highest percentage of adults "fully vaccinated" [19]

Australia

  • (9/30/21) 6 out of 7 new COVID-19 deaths in New South Wales were vaccinated [20]

Africa

  • (11/22/21) Africa is only 6% vaccinated, and Covid has practically disappeared. Scientists are "baffled" [21]

Schools

  • (9/27/21) Almost fully vaccinated Harvard Business School shuts down after massive COVID-19 outbreak [22]
  • (9/16/21) Cornell University [23]
    • It has a strict vaccine mandate
    • Has a 95% FULL vaccination rate
    • The mandate has done little to control infections at the school
    • COVID-19 cases are spiking
    • The shots are not stopping the virus from spreading

"Ye shall know them by their fruits." [24]

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." [25]

"You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul." [26]


Claim #2: "Follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders."

"We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders." [1]




What is the most underreported story of 2021? The horrific COVID policies (developed and promoted by said medical experts and government officials) that are hurting young people.

What do the "medical experts and government leaders" actually do (or not do)?

Here's Rep. Jim Jordan interviewing Dr. Marty Makary (Professor of Surgery, John Hopkins School of Medicine) on Dec. 21, 2021 during a meeting of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis:

"We have we have the head guy, Mr. Fauci,  Dr. Fauci, saying "I represent science," but he's afraid to actually do the science and do the studies that need to be done to answer this question [about natural immunity] and we have to rely on international studies and your private study to get the truth to the American people."

"They [the U.S. federal government] knows the answer and don't want the American people, uh, they they know the answer and don't want the American people to know or they do know the answer and are trying to hide it." [27]

What do the scriptures and church leaders say about trusting in the arm of flesh?

(Unless the First Presidency, medical experts and governments are not mortal, the following applies to them):

"For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah." [28]

"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils" [29]

"Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders." [30]

"Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." [31]

"O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." [32]

"Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost." [33]

“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh” [34]

"For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God." [35]

"And now I command you, my servant Joseph, to repent and walk more uprightly before me, and to yield to the persuasions of men no more;" [36]

Click here for General Authority statements which condemn trusting in the arm of flesh. 

My Opinion: We are now witnessing the opening verses of "Upon My House"

Are church leaders telling us to follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders? Yes.

Are these same medical experts and government leaders ignoring a course which prioritizes natural health (and enhancing the body's innate, God-given immunity capabilities) and instead promoting a man-made remedy (that's neither safe nor effective)? Yes.

Are we in the last days? Yes. 

Did the Lord say there would be evil, designing, conspiring men in the last days? Yes. 

Are these men linked to our health? Yes, via D&C 89 (aka the word of wisdom):

"Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.

Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation" [37]

What did the Lord promise those who took his word of wisdom seriously?

"And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen." [38]

Wow! What promises! I believe them with all my heart and soul. I rejoice, and am thrilled, that they totally supersede and are superior to anything man can develop! I cannot praise his name loud enough, nor long enough, for these awesome promises the Lord made to you and me.

Now let's see what General Authorities have said about the word of wisdom, its awesome promises of health (and more!) and Covid:

The answer is: Nothing.

That's right: Not once has the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve nor any general authority mentioned D&C 89 in any General Conference talk nor official public pronouncement regarding Covid. They have ignored it. [39]

This is baffling because there has been a genuine, bona fide, worldwide health crisis for the last couple of years, and yet the church treats God's word regarding health with utter silence? What's the deal? 

Isn't this a prime opportunity to invite the world to put the Lord's words regarding health to the test? An opportunity to testify of the mercy and the truthfulness of his words? Isn't this an opportunity to show the world what the power of faith, and the power of true priesthood, can do to those stricken with Covid?

What an utterly blown missionary opportunity.

The words of the "wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders" are always changing. How can you possibly trust "wise and thoughtful recommendations" which are inconsistent?

Yet God's words never change. They are always consistent. You can always count on them.

"Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? 

And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

If it be some other way it is not of God." [40]

Now let's look at the implications of the LDS church members' desire to "follow the prophet" and trust the medical experts and government leaders (instead of the neglected/ignored words of the Lord). 

In this quote, Joseph Smith directly links "depending on the prophet" with having a darkened mind:

"Prest. J. Smith rose, read the 14th Chap. of Ezekiel— said the Lord had declar’d by the prophet that the people should each one stand for himself and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church— that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls— app[l]ied it to the present state of the church of Latter-Day Saints— said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall— that they were depending on the prophet hence were darkened in their minds from neglect of themselves— envious toward the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy." [41]

Interestingly, there's another scripture that mentions the loss of one's spiritual light (and quite likely ties in with Covid):

"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." [42]

  • "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee"
    • Is literally kai phOs luchnou ou mE phanE en soi eti, or "And light of lamp not no may be appearing in you." [43]
    • This cross-references with Jeremiah 25:10: "I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle"
  • "the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee"
    • The spirit of the bride (righteous, faithful mortals) and the spirit of the bridegroom (the Lord) no longer resonate within them. [44]
  • "for thy merchants were the great men of the earth"
    • The Greek word for merchants is emporoi (plural of emporos) [43] [45]
    • They -- the great and important of the earth -- are selling something. What are they selling? Keep reading...
  • "sorceries"
    • Is pharmakeia (far-mak-i'-ah) - the root word for words we commonly use today, like pharmacist and pharmaceutical.
    • It not only means "drugs," but also "poisoning" and/or “the use or administering of drugs” and/or an "enchantment" [46]
  • "were all nations deceived"
    • Is eplanEthEsan panta ta ethnE, or "all the nations were strayed/deceived" [43]

Next, let's move things forward a bit into D&C 112:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face." [47]

Here, we see many associations between Revelation 18:23 and D&C 112:23 AND the Joseph Smith quote from above:

And the ultimate result of all this darkness?

"Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord." [48]

(Interestingly, according to the National Institute of Health, "COVID-19 infection is accompanied by an aggressive inflammatory response with the release of a large amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines in an event known as a “cytokine storm.” The host immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is hyperactive resulting in an excessive inflammatory reaction.") [49] A "whirlwind" is a type of "storm."

Where will these punishments emerge?

"And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;" [50]

Where will it start?

"First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord." [51]

Or, in other words,

"depending on the prophet" --> 

means you are following the ever-changing "wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders" -- "conspiring men" -- instead of the never-changing words of the Lord -->

means that "the people" are "darkened in their minds" --> 

because of that, "vengeance cometh speedily"

which begins "upon my house"

"First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me"

I wonder who these people are "who have professed to know my name and have not known me"…

Sources

1. First Presidency, August 12, 2021; https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/first-presidency-message-covid-19-august-2021
2. https://dailytelegraph.co.nz/news/pfizer-document-concedes-that-there-is-a-large-increase-in-types-of-adverse-event-reaction-to-its-vaccine
3. https://www.infowars.com/posts/slip-of-the-tongue-cdc-director-says-people-dying-from-vaccine-before-quickly-correcting-herself
4. https://www.stopworldcontrol.com/downloads/en/vaccines/vaccine-death-report.pdf
5. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/nearly-50k-medicare-patients-died-soon-after-getting-covid-shot-whistleblower
6. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1036047/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_47.pdf
7. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/11/report-fully-vaccinated-account-81-covid-deaths-uk
8. https://humansarefree.com/2021/09/covid-19-deaths-higher-than-this-time-last-year.html
9. https://dailyexpose.uk/2021/11/17/covid-deaths-ratio-vaxxed-to-unvaxxed-41-corporate-media-should-be-censored-for-spreading-disinformation
10. https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/another-major-red-flag-about-covid
11. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-021-00808-7
12. https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-state-with-highest-vaccination-rate-hit-by-virus-surge_4032144.html
13. https://www.naturalnews.com/2021-07-28-government-advises-against-traveling-high-vaccination-countries.html
14. https://grandmageri422.me/2021/09/15/israeli-doctor-kobi-haviv-fully-vaccinated-account-for-85-90-of-hospitalizations-and-former-vice-president-of-committee-from-who-professor-christian-perronne-yesterday-said-that-all-v/comment-page-1
15. Dr. Kobi Haviv, https://www.science.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta
16. https://news.trust.org/item/20210913112754-w5k94
17. https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/who-no-evidence-booster-vaccines-offer-greater-protection-to-healthy-populations_4137217.html
18. https://citizenfreepress.com/breaking/check-the-covid-death-chart-in-karl-denningers-new-piece
19. https://www.naturalnews.com/2021-11-05-ireland-highest-covid-infections-adults-fully-vaccinated.html
20. https://bigleaguepolitics.com/australian-public-health-official-admits-that-6-of-7-recent-covid-19-deaths-had-been-vaccinated
21. https://news.yahoo.com/scientists-mystified-wary-africa-avoids-074905034.html
22. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/27/harvard-business-school-temporarily-moves-some-mba-classes-online-to-curb-covid-outbreak.html
23. https://www.ithaca.com/news/coronavirus/cornell-sees-spike-in-cases-no-severe-disease-sticks-to-status-quo/article_95b11d7e-0ce1-11ec-bb9d-a728f02c2e99.html
24. Matthew 7:16; 3 Nephi 14:16
25. Matthew 7:20; 3 Nephi 14:20
26. Mahatma Gandhi
27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJE7Tc8YGsc
28. Psalm 44:6–8
29. Isaiah 2:22; 2 Nephi 12:22
30. Jeremiah 9:4
31. Jeremiah 17:5
32. 2 Nephi 4:34
33. 2 Nephi 28:31
34. D&C 1:19
35. D&C 3:7
36. D&C 5:21
37. D&C 89:3-4
38. D&C 89:18-21
39.   https://www.google.com/search?q=%22word+of+wisdom%22+%22covid%22&newwindow=1&rlz=1C1FHFK_enUS980US981&tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1/1/2020,cd_max:12/31/2021&sxsrf=AOaemvLx9-39kElN2zm4_8v82P8Xh6zcIg:1640158647743&source=lnms&tbm=nws&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiD7MqM8_b0AhVMmWoFHVBVBU0Q_AUoBHoECAEQBg&cshid=1640158672297106&biw=1920&bih=937&dpr=1
40. D&C 50:17-20
41. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/nauvoo-relief-society-minute-book/48#full-transcript
42. Revelation 18:23
43. https://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/rev18.pdf
44. See Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9
45. https://biblehub.com/greek/1713.htm
46. https://biblehub.com/greek/5331.htm
47. D&C 112:23
48. D&C 112:24
49.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308649
50. D&C 112:25
51. D&C 112:26
52.   https://www.thechurchnews.com/members/2021-12-30/provo-mtc-implements-additional-covid-19-protocols-after-91-of-588-missionaries-test-positive-238390


Saturday, December 25, 2021

The New Latter Day Truths Podcast is now online!

Latter Day Truths is thrilled to announce that we have begun the process of converting our past blog posts into podcasts.

Accessible via this link as well as the "Podcasts" link in this blog's menu, the podcasts are verbatim transcripts of what's on the blog. You can either listen to the podcasts on your device, or you can download them.

Please note that not all blog posts have been converted; just the most recent five. We'll continue with the conversions in batches of five -- in descending order chronologically -- as time allows. We'll announce future podcast batch conversions on the blog homepage, and any future blog posts will contain links to their corresponding podcasts.

If you have any Podomatic-related questions, please contact Podomatc at podomatic.com.

Thanks so much for your support and enthusiasm! It really is encouraging. If you have any suggestions for future blog posts/podcasts, please visit our contact page (also on our menu) at ldtruths.blogspot.com.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

The word “Mormon”: You’d be surprised who has – and is – literally embracing this reported curse word.

Of all the swear words we members are exposed to, one of the most vicious, brutal and evil is this word: Mormon.

Even Pres. Nelson said in 2016 that those who use such nicknames are scoring "a major victory for Satan" and "are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us-even His Atonement." [1] 

That's a pretty heavy condemnation for those who have or still do use this nickname.

Today, church members readily accept the divinity of Pres. Nelson's declaration. I read one account online of a man who asked a relative, "Do you really think using Mormon is gone forever?" His response: "Absolutely, because a prophet of God has told us so by revelation and I have received personal confirmation from the Spirit."

Thus, the word "Mormon" is so despised within our church, that it's even being equated with another racial epithet (as explained by one person on a Facebook group): 

With the hypersensitivity and persecution complex now going off the charts among members, I thought it might be helpful to see who exactly scored these victories for Satan in the past…and still do, today. More importantly, we'll see why…

The word "Mormon" is perhaps THE most significant
doctrinal dilemma in the church today.

The Shocking History of Who's Used the Word "Mormon"

Click here to see 80-ish instances where Pres. Nelson's predecessors used the word "Mormon." Here are a few highlights:

  • Joseph Smith: "we have the word "mormon"; which means, literally, 'more good.'" [2] 
  • Brigham Young: "We Christians are divided and subdivided, but we all believe that there are good people among all the sects of the day. As a "Mormon" or Latter-day Saint, I believe this just as much as any sectarian believes it, but I do not believe it as the sectarians believe it." [3]  
  • David O. McKay: "A true Mormon home is one in which if Christ should chance to enter, he would be pleased to linger and to rest." [4]
  • Spencer W. Kimball: "I have always gloried in those words: 'I might be envied by a king, For I am a 'Mormon' Boy.'" [5] 
  • Thomas S Monson: "Dare to be a Mormon; Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose firm; Dare to make it known." [6] 

Perhaps the most notable difference in opinions is found between Presidents Nelson and Hinckley. Here's a side-by-side comparison of President Hinckley from the October 1990 General Conference, and President Nelson from the October 2018 General Conference. It was one of the few instances in the church's history when one church president (in this case, Nelson) openly, publicly disputed the supposedly inspired words of another church president (Hinckley).

Since that exchange, the church - under Presidents Hinckley and Monson - launched aggressive, worldwide promotions of the word "Mormon":

  • May 18, 2009 - September 17, 2019: The "Mormon Channel" aired. [7] 
  • January 2011 - October 2018: The "I'm a Mormon" advertising campaign ran worldwide. [8] 
  • 2014: "Meet the Mormons" movie hit theaters. [9] 

Alms Before Men

One of the most prominent church-based promotions has been its member-oriented "Mormon Helping Hands" humanitarian efforts, which are best known by members wearing yellow vests/t-shirts which include a certain curse word:

Here's a Sept. 4, 2016 picture of President (then Elder) Nelson meeting with some of the 5,000 Church members who assisted in Louisiana disaster relief efforts. See how upset he is with that "Mormon" word on all those vests?

Other leaders who actually wore the "Mormon Helping Hands" vest/t-shirt include:

  • 2017: Pres. Henry B Eyring [10] 
  • 2017: Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf  [11]
  • 2017: Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé [11]
  • 2017: Elder M. Russell Ballard [12] 
  • 2017: Elder Ronald A. Rasband [12]
  • October 21, 2018 (16 days after Pres. Nelson's conference talk on "Mormon"): Elder David A Bednar [13] 
  • October 22, 2018 (17 days after Pres. Nelson's conference talk on "Mormon"): President Dallin H. Oaks [14] 

Look Who's Still Using "Mormon" Today

Today, Deseret Book (which is owned by the church) [15] sells many books and/or videos online containing the word "Mormon," including:

  • Mobsters and Mormons
  • Meet the Mormons
  • Mormons: An Open Book
  • Are Mormons Christians?
  • Canadian Mormons
  • Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons
  • Mormons and Masons
  • The Mormons
  • Mormons in the Piazza
  • Much Ado About Mormons
  • Mormons and the Bible
  • What of the Mormons
  • Mormons and Muslims
  • Expulsion of the Mormons
  • Mormon Redress Petitions
  • Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction

Also, when you type the satanic victory terms Mormon.org or LDS.org into your internet browser, you're redirected to -- you guessed it -- the church's website. 

Introducing…The Changeable God!

So here we have perhaps the greatest doctrinal dilemma in the church today.

On one side we have…

All the prophets before Pres. Nelson: From 1842 (when we have Joseph using the word "Mormon') to 2018, the Lord apparently had no problem with the usage of the word "Mormon." He inspired prophets and apostles to spend tens of millions of dollars promoting the church under the "Mormon" banner. He had no problem with the word "Mormon" as it was said - and/or sung - by every one of His prophets.

On the other side, we have…

Pres. Nelson, who was allegedly "impressed" by the Lord to say that those who use the word "Mormon" offend the Lord, score "a major victory for Satan" and "are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us-even His Atonement."  

So who's right?

That's THE question regarding usage of the word "Mormon." This is because:

  1. The church makes a big deal of how the prophets are inspired and chosen by God, so their words can be trusted. As I stated two posts ago, "Following the prophet" now "supersedes" all other primary Christian doctrines.
  2. The Lord is crystal clear: He doesn't change His mind.

"For I am the LORD, I change not" [16] 

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." [17] 

"God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?" [18] 

What God says applies eternally. This is only logical because…

How can we trust God's promises
if He's liable to change His mind?

So, let's take God at his word and assume he doesn't change, and that we CAN trust his promises. We are then left with a tremendous dilemma:

If Pres. Nelson is correct, and usage of the word "Mormon" is indeed offensive to God, then..

  • Why did God allow all of Nelson's predecessors -- from Joseph Smith to Thomas S. Monson -- to score victories for Satan? 
  • Why did God encourage said prophets to spend countless millions (in marketing and advertising campaigns) solidifying those victories? 
  • How can you possibly trust any of the words of past prophets who were actually scoring victories for Satan? 
  • What else were the past prophets wrong about? 
  • Why did it take God so long to tell us how bad the word "Mormon" is?

If Pres. Nelson is wrong, then…

  • He has presented as inspiration and truth the teachings of a man mingled with scripture. This contradicts his statements that "Prophets are rarely popular. But we will always teach the truth!" and "Thus our commission as apostles is to teach nothing but truth." [19]  
  • What else is he wrong about?

You can't have Pres. Nelson's predecessors be doing a supposedly acceptable thing to the Lord for generations, only for the Lord to change his mind and all of a sudden, it's bad. God doesn't change the rules in the middle of the game.

So, here's a question to answer in this day and age where we are told we can unequivocally trust church leaders:

Who's right: President Nelson or his predecessors? You can't have it both ways.

My Opinion

Nelson is wrong. God has more important things requiring the church leaders' -- and our -- attention: 

  • He wants us to be spiritually and temporally prepared for his tribulations, which are coming sooner than most people suppose.
  • Paramount in that preparation: He wants people to be able to hear and communicate one-on-one with him, not intermediaries or any mortal. Once society is without electricity and survivors are forced to flee from cities, you won't be able to hear the Brethren. But you might be able to hear the Lord, who is the only one who can save you.
  • He wants people to trust in and prioritize his health advice, not government leaders (who never have and never will be his spokesmen).
  • He wants us to support those who oppose, not advocate, abortion.
  • He wants our church leaders to love, not abuse, children and women. 
  • He wants us to prioritize and show charity towards people dying of starvation, war and brutality. 
  • And he wants us to spend our charitable dollars to improve lives, not investment and real estate portfolios "where moth and rust doth corrupt". [20]  .

These are tremendously significant, weighty issues which far, far outweigh any focus on the name of his church.  

Sources

 1.   https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/10/the-correct-name-of-the-church
 2.   Times and Seasons, 1843, 4:194; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 299-300
 3.   JD 17:51
 4.   Conference Report, October 1947, pp. 115-121
 5.   "Strengthening the Family-the Basic Unit of the Church," April 1978 General Conference
 6.   "Dare to Stand Alone", October 2011 General Conference
 7.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latter-day_Saints_Channel
 8.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_a_Mormon
 9.   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/08/18/russell-m-nelson-mormon-not-substitute-full-name-church/1032948002
10.   https://mormonlifehacker.com/president-eyring-provides-lift-to-puerto-rico-st-thomas-and-aids-mormon-helping-hands-in-florida
11.   https://mormonlifehacker.com/uchtdorf-houston-hurricane-harvey
12.   https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/apostles-spend-time-with-flood-cleanup-volunteers-in-texas
13.   https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2018-10-21/a-florida-sabbath-day-defined-by-ministering-via-chainsaws-and-yellow-t-shirts-7406
14.   https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/president-oaks-promises-storm-weary-faithful-floridians-that-blessings-await
15.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deseret_Book_Company
16.   Malachi 3:6; 3 Nephi 24:6
17.   Hebrews 13:8
18.   Mormon 9:9; Moroni 10:7, 19; D&C 20:12
19.   Russell M Nelson, "The Love and Laws of God," BYU Devotional, September 17, 2019
20.   Matthew 6:19


Thursday, December 16, 2021

The General Relief Society counselor who says she's single…but has a ring on her finger

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised by a story, written and posted by the Associated Press, about the expanding influence of women in the church. Entitled "Mormon women's influence expands despite priesthood ban," it highlights the progress women have made in the church since the first spark of the Restoration. Baby steps? Yes. But also very solid, inspiring ones.

Sharon Eubank: The Revolution within an Evolutionary Church

In my opinion, no one personifies this progress better than Sharon Eubank, who is shown atop the article in a photo of her sitting beneath portraits of past General Relief Society Presidents. Although she is not herself such a president, she is currently First Counselor in the General Relief Society, president of Latter-day Saint Charities (the church's humanitarian arm) and is the church's de facto Ambassador to the United Nations (go here and here to read my previous posts about her UN associations). 

In my opinion, you have to travel back in time to Emma Smith to find a woman as potentially influential in the church as Sharon Eubank. Just as Emma was instrumental in the early, formative steps of the church, Sharon is perhaps the point person in helping the church obtain respect and acceptance among world leaders, especially the United Nations, its non-governmental organizations and the Catholic church.

She is not only influential, but unique as well. As the AP story points out, Eubank "is neither married nor a mother but glad to embody a different image of womanhood as one of the top female leaders in the male-dominated faith widely known as the Mormon church." In a church and a (Utah-centric) society where temple marriage is equated with exaltation, her status as a single woman (confirmed by the church here)  - in such elevated levels of leadership - is striking.

The Ring of a Thousand Questions

Intrigued by the articles I've linked to above, I sat down today to watch a few of the General Conference addresses she's given. And it's there that I saw something which confused me:

Sharon Eubank is wearing a ring on her left-hand ring finger…in not one, but two Conference addresses and one international forum.

Click here to view her April 2019 General Conference address. She displays a ring, on her ring finger, at the 9:27 mark:

She again displays a (possibly different) ring on her ring finger in a photo taken of her interacting in a G20 Interfaith Forum on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020:


Finally, she's seen wearing a ring at the 3:12 mark during her October 2021 General Conference address:


It's my understanding that there are three commonly agreed-upon reasons why a woman would wear a ring on her ring finger:

  1. She's engaged.
  2. She's married.
  3. She's widowed.

I wonder which one of these pertains to Sharon Eubank.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

VIDEO PROOF – Apostle: “Following the prophet” now "supersedes" all other primary Christian doctrines

Let’s cut right to the chase: As of October 2, 2021, the LDS Church officially ceased being a Christian denomination. 

And all those non-LDS Christian churches who for years have accused the church of not being Christian? Turns out they were right all along. 

First, let’s take a trip back to November, then October, 2021, to better understand what we will now call…

The Rasband Declaration

On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Elder Ronald Rasband presided over a live Facebook broadcast spanning 32 countries across the Africa Central and Africa South areas. During the broadcast, Rasband and others fielded questions posed by members from those areas.

The event was part of a busy 11-day visit to Africa by Elder Rasband, who was recently assigned as the supervising apostle for the Africa Central and Africa South areas.

In his remarks, Elder Rasband said:

“In fact, if any of our audience (and I hope they did) listen to my conference talk just last October Conference, I gave things of my soul points one through seven, do you remember? OK, and my point seven was, follow God’s living prophet. 

And as I have met with youth and young single adults all over the world, if they cause me to narrow down to one thing of my soul that they would like me to comment, my one thing, kind of first and foremost in my mind, is follow God’s living prophet."

This mirrors what Elder Rasband said in his aforementioned October 2021 General Conference address, “The Things of My Soul":

“What are the most important things I should know?”

I answered with the things of my soul, the things that prepare me to hear promptings, that lift my sights beyond the ways of the world, that give purpose to my work in the gospel and to my very life.

May I share with you some of the things of my soul? These things apply to all who seek to be true disciples of Jesus Christ. Ten would be a good, round number. Today I am giving you seven with the hope that you will complete eight, nine, and ten from your own experiences.

First, love God the Father and Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Jesus decreed the first great commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

President Nelson declared his devotion to God, our Eternal Father, and to His Son, Jesus Christ, when he was called to lead the Lord’s Church, saying, “I know Them, love Them, and pledge to serve Them—and you—with every remaining breath of my life.”

So first, love the Father and the Son.

Second, “Love thy neighbour.”

That is not just a good idea; it’s the second great commandment. Your neighbors are your spouse and family, ward members, work colleagues, roommates, those not of our faith, those needing a helping hand, and, frankly, everyone. The essence of “love thy neighbour” is voiced in the hymn “Love One Another.”

President Nelson reminds us, “When we love God with all our hearts, He turns our hearts to the well-being of others.”

Third, love yourself.

This is where many struggle. Isn’t it curious that loving ourselves seems to come less easily than loving others? Yet the Lord has said, “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” He values the divinity within us, and so must we. When we are heavy laden with mistakes, heartaches, feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, anger, or sin, the power of the Savior’s Atonement is, by divine design, one of the things that lifts the soul.

Fourth, keep the commandments.

The Lord has made it clear: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Strive each day to be and do a little better and to press forward in righteousness.

Fifth, always be worthy to attend the temple.

I call it being recommended to the Lord. Whether you have access to a temple or not, being worthy of a current temple recommend keeps you firmly focused on the things that matter, the covenant path.

Sixth, be joyful and cheerful.

“Be of good cheer, and do not fear,” the Lord has said. Why? How, when challenges face us at every turn? Because of the promise made by Jesus Christ: “I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.”

President Nelson describes the restored gospel as “a message of joy!” And he explains, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”

Seventh, follow God’s living prophet.

This may be seventh on my list of things, but it is at the top of my mind in terms of its importance today.

We have a prophet of God on the earth today! Never discount what that means for you. Remember the young woman I mentioned at the beginning. She wanted to know what things matter most. “Follow the living prophet,” I said then and I emphasize again today.

We are distinguished as a Church to be led by prophets, seers, and revelators called of God for this time. I promise that as you listen and follow their counsel, you will never be led astray. Never!”

Just so we’re straight on what’s most important to a prophet, seer and revelator – an apostle – of Jesus Christ, who has emphasized again and again to the world:

And to add further weight to this new doctrinal shift, neither Pres. Nelson, nor anyone in the First Presidency nor Quorum of the 12, have refuted Elder Rasband's claims. Nor have they demanded a public retraction of his comments. In Dutch, the phrase is Zwijgen is instemmen -- "Silence implies consent."

What kind of Christian church demotes loving the Father and the Son below glorifying a mortal?

What kind of Christian church demotes loving your neighbor and yourself below glorifying a mortal?

What kind of Christian church demotes keeping the commandments, joy and cheer below glorifying a mortal?

How can the church legitimately call itself Christian (which should worship Christ above all else)? The church is instead teaching its members to trust in the arm of flesh, to glorify Pres. Nelson, above all others, including and especially God. 

“Apostasy happened in part because
philosophies 
of men were given more
value than the teachings 
of Christ.”
(Elder Quentin L. Cook, Oct 2016 General Conference)

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Why the Church befriended the Nazis, Exed a Nazi resistor and what it all means to you...NOW

When you think of Nazis, what words cross your mind? "Evil"? "Devils"? "Monsters"? "Criminals"? 

And probably worse. 

But what if someone, or something, just as bad came along? Well, naturally, the general public would say that they would never, ever allow another Adolph Hitler to come to power. And I'd agree; Any political leader who wrote a book calling for the genocide, the extermination, of an entire world race would be appalling to us. 

But what if another Hitler were to come along who had the same intentions, the same capabilities (if not more), than the original Hitler? Could we detect him then?

Could the church, which is helmed by "Prophets, seers and revelators" who say "You keep your eyes riveted on the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We will not lead you astray" [1] ever detect an evil, devilish Hitler and his regime?

Let's see. 

"Keep Your Eyes Riveted"

In 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed German Chancellor. He called boycotting Jewish businesses, opened the Dachau concentration camp and established the Gestapo. In 1934, Hitler proclaimed himself Führer und Reichskanzler (Leader and Reich Chancellor). In 1936, Germans marched into the Rhineland (previously demilitarized by the Versailles Treaty) and opened the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. On July 15 1937, they opened the Buchenwald concentration camp. [2]

Now let's say you're the President of the Church at this time (and remember: you're a prophet, seer and revelator. You know stuff most of us don't). As the one who has a direct line to God, would you travel to Germany and hang out with a bunch of Nazis? Would you get photos taken with them, add to their credibility and seek to glorify them? Or would you stay at home, and perhaps even condemn the Nazis?

Well, if you chose to avoid the Nazis and condemn them, then you would be choosing the incorrect course of action. In all actuality, the Church President at the time - Heber J. Grant - chose to spend several weeks in Germany, praising the people and Nazis at every turn. He oversaw the church when it glorified Nazi actions (and even took credit for a few of them). And it was the church Grant led which excommunicated a church member who directly opposed the Hitler regime.

"Good Citizens"

In December 1933, the Deseret News published an article with glowing descriptions of the Nazi's adoption of "Fast Sunday," Hitler's personal physical superiority by adhering to a form of the Word of Wisdom, and the praise members had been receiving "for their patriotism": [3]

A little over two years later, Nazi basketball players participated in the 1936 Olympic Games, held in Berlin. They were trained by none other than LDS elders (on the left). [4]

In his Book "Moroni and the Swastika," author David Conley Nelson stated,

"Mormon missionaries played a small but significant role in the German national basketball team's 1936 Olympic efforts. It was not enough to help a hopelessly overmatched team win even a single game, but it helped Mormons win friends among government officials and assert that the American-based sect was no foe of National Socialism. Young elders introduced basketball fundamentals to some of the athletes who had been picked to play on the German team before a professional coach could be hired. Four missionaries kept the official score books for the first round of Olympic basketball play." 

Also in 1936, the Deseret News published a picture of the European Mission President, Joseph F. Merrill, speaking at a Berlin podium adorned with a large swastika. [5]


More than 700 people attended that soiree.

The next year, in the summer of 1937, President Heber J. Grant visited both German-speaking Switzerland and Nazi Germany. [6]

Below is a picture of Pres. Grant at a banquet with the Saints in Frankfurt, Germany on July 8, 1937 - a few days before the Buchenwald concentration camp (the third one to be constructed) opened. [7]

By this time, Nazi Germany had curtailed many freedoms, including religious freedoms. More than thirty different denominations had been prohibited from preaching there. [8]

And check out that Nazi flag in the background. To the Nazis, it was displayed as a requirement of the National Socialist Government. To us, we posted it because we LDS "believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law" - evil or not.

In other words, the Nazis had already shown a significant hatred for the Jews and had curtailed the religious freedoms of thousands of people. But we were OK with all that (after all, our missionaries were competing against fewer Christian denominations for converts), and to symbolize our okay-ness, the church president plopped himself directly in front of the Nazi flag.

It is reported that there were about 870 people present at this meeting -- one of the largest groups of saints that had ever assembled in Europe." [9]

All of these efforts above were synergistic in positioning the church, its leaders and members as non-threats to the Nazis. Nelson summarized:

"From the top to the bottom of the ecclesiastical chain, Mormons in prewar Nazi Germany cooperated to survive and prosper. Many happily believed that they were favored citizens in a police state. Some ordinary congregants convinced themselves that Hitler had read the Book of Mormon and was a secret church member. Mission President Roy Welker, whose wife rode with Hitler in the Führer's limousine, told a civic meeting in Salt Lake City in 1937 that "Jews are safer today in Germany than they are in many parts of the world." [10]

As BYU professor and historian Douglas F. Tobler summarized (regarding Arthur Zander, the Hamburg Branch President and a Nazi party member), 

"He wanted to show that latter-day saints were good Germans, and there was a tremendous amount of pressure that was put on by the government and the party to quickly separate those who are who are good Germans and those who aren't." [11]

Tobler also said,

"I believe Zander put that [a pro-Nazi sign] up there [in a church building] partly as an expression of his support for the regime and partly to communicate that latter-day saints were good citizens in the Third Reich and partly perhaps to protect his own flock." 

We are told that God will "inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." [12]

Are praising, assisting, validating and glorifying Nazis "good" things? I'd say no.

Where was the power of discernment amongst the prophet and apostles? How could they not have had any clue that Hitler, that the LDS Church wrote many praising things about, was within a few years of becoming the most evil man in history?

(Kind of reminds me of that picture of the First Presidency meeting with Mark Hofmann just before he killed two people).

That being the case, is it possible that the Lord was telling the church, its leaders and members to avoid the Nazis, and to quit giving them credibility? If he didn't, then he abrogated his responsibilities of "Standing for Something". If he did, then it looks like the Jehovah's Witnesses got the message (see below). But why not the LDS Church? 

Let's see what happened to one member who did resist the Nazis, and went on to define what a real hero is made of.


The (Nazi) Traitor in the Midst of the Church


If you're not familiar with the name Helmuth Hübener, you need to be. Click here for the Wiki article about him. Or better yet, watch these YouTubes about him. It would be well worth your time to do so.

And of course, I can't recommend enough THE definitive work on this topic, David Coney Nelson's book, Moroni and the Swastika, available here.

To summarize:

"Helmuth Hübener, a 16-year-old Mormon youth living in Hitler's Germany, exhibited unprecedented moral courage in opposing the propaganda machine of the Nazi regime in the summer of 1941. 

By all accounts, Helmuth Hübener was a remarkable boy - a worthy role model for any teenager, male or female, then or now. Unlike his peers in 1941…Helmuth acted on his discomfort with the ever growing restrictions on civil rights and personal freedoms in the totalitarian dictatorship and specifically with the treatment of Jews. Following his conscience rather than his fears, he secretly tuned into illegal German-language BBC broadcasts and discovered the distortions and outright lies in the Nazi propaganda about the progress of the war effort, as compared to the details provided by the BBC. He discretely enlisted Rudolf "Rudi" Wobbe and Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, trusted Mormon friends from his St. Georg LDS branch in central Hamburg - the largest branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its West German Mission with over 400 members at the time - (and later also his colleague Gehard Düwer) to help him distribute leaflets typed using the branch typewriter, which he kept at home as part of his work as Branch Secretary. As noted, his resolve was fatal.

For his trouble he was arrested on February 5, 1942 (less than a month after turning 17)." [13]

What is not commonly known is that when Hübener was arrested it put the whole branch in danger. The Gestapo scrutinized the branch even more intensely, with agents frequently attending meetings and taking notes. The Gestapo naturally believed that adults in the branch had influenced Hübener and his friends to act, which it did not.

Thus, 10 days after Hübener's arrest (15 February 1942), Hübener's branch president excommunicated the young man without consulting his church superiors or holding the church court normally prerequisite for excommunication or other discipline. [14] The reason: for "intercepting and spreading foreign broadcast transmissions." [15]

"In removing Helmuth's name from the church membership rolls, and simultaneously defrocking him from the universal Mormon male priesthood, Arthur Zander had decreed that Helmuth Hübener's soul could not enter the Celestial Kingdom, the Mormon concept of Heaven. That was a steep price to pay for defaming Adolf Hitler, but apparently the Nazi Party was pleased with Zander's actions and with the attitude of his congregants. On February 24, 1942, nine days after Zander's excommunication of Hübener, the Hamburg district leader for the Nazi Party wrote to the Gestapo: "This [St. Georg Mormon] church congregation is legally recognized and stands on a firm footing with the present government." [16]

What a place to have your congregation - "on a firm footing" with Nazis!

"[Hübener was] brutally interrogated and later tortured in Gestapo prisons in Hamburg and Berlin, and then finally beheaded by guillotine in the Gestapo's Berlin Plötzensee prison on October 27, 1942 as the youngest person (at age 17) to be sentenced by Hitler's special "People's Court" and executed for conspiracy to commit treason against the Nazi regime." [13]

Hübener died with a clean conscience. He was executed for engaging in acts of heroism against a truly evil totalitarian government. Here are the last words he said in mortality:

“Now I must die, even though I have committed no crime.
So now it's my turn, but your turn will come."

"Standing for Something"? Damn straight he did.

Amidst a church which had adopted - from top to bottom -- an enthusiastic attitude towards the Nazis, it's clear to me that Hübener acted as inspired by the Spirit and was morally right in warning others about the evil Nazis.

On January 24, 1948, Pres. George Albert Smith ordered the reversal of Hübener's excommunication. [17] Hübener was later ordained an Elder and endowed by proxy on June 8, 1948. [18] So, the church and its leaders abandoned Hübener when it actually meant something, then supported him after he'd been long dead and it's the popular opinion again. How brave! While some members may see this as a good thing, it's the most awful example of how fickle, cowardly and pathetic the church's leaders really are.

The church's Hitler policy was to display allegiance to the Nazis in hopes that the church would thrive. The Nazis had power, and the church's leaders needed power in order for the church to survive in Germany. So, they aligned themselves and promoted this powerful political entity. Conversely, Jehovah's Witnesses spoke out against the Third Reich. They were sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. They suffered dearly and many were murdered. I admire them speaking out against Hitler. 

(One might think, "Well, the LDS Church had to go along to get along, in order to maintain its membership base there," but that would be wrong. If membership numbers are any indication of inspiration, the Jehovah's Witnesses (who opposed the Nazi regime) still come out on top. The LDS Church currently has around 40,000 German members [19], whereas the Jehovah's Witnesses have four times that much, or 161,931 [20]).

Still, the story of the church's very public admiration and assistance of the Nazis and its excommunication of a Nazi resistor among its membership is proof enough that the church's leaders were not in tune with God.

"I don't know what we accomplish by dredging these things up and trying to sort them out."

In 1992, BYU produced a play, Hübener, which enjoyed sellout crowds and gained national acclaim and recognition. Yet because German Mormons in Utah and Europe (many of whom were former Nazi party members and military officers) feared the play would cast them in a bad light, church leaders (specifically Dallin Oaks, then the university's president) asked the play's producer not to make the play available again. [19]  

(Today, you can get the play -- and a lot of other cool stuff -- here).

Of the play's quiet suppression, then-apostle Thomas S. Monson stated, ''Who knows who was right or wrong. I don't know what we accomplish by dredging these things up and trying to sort them out." [21]

That's called "sweeping it under the rug" -- a classic action which demonstrates an unwillingness (or perhaps inability) to learn from the mistakes of the past.

Which takes us to today.

Have the church's leaders learned from their mistakes?

Because of our natural human predilection not to learn from the past -- and church leaders' ambivalence toward learning the lessons of Nazi sympathy and Hübener's excommunication -- neither the general church membership nor its leaders are in a prime position to ensure past mistakes are never repeated. 

And as we know, God's pretty fond of teaching us the same 'ol lessons until we get them.

Today, the church is dealing with a number of interesting situations:

As I asked earlier, what if someone, or something, just as bad as Hitler and the Nazis came along? 

Will we have the necessary discernment to detect evil?

What this all means to you...NOW

We are told in 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."

  • "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee"
    • Is literally kai phOs luchnou ou mE phanE en soi eti, or "And light of lamp not no may be appearing in you." (source)
    • This cross-references with Jeremiah 25:10: "I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle"
  • "the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee"
    • The bride (righteous, faithful mortals) and the bridegroom (the Lord) no longer resonate within them. See Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9.
  • "for thy merchants were the great men of the earth"
    • The Greek word for merchants is emporoi (plural of emporos) (source; source)
    • They - the great and important of the earth - are selling something. What are they selling? Keep reading…
  • "sorceries"
    • Is pharmakeia (far-mak-i'-ah) - the root word for words we commonly use today, like pharmacist and pharmaceutical.
    • It not only means "drugs," but also "poisoning" and/or "the use or administering of drugs" and/or an "enchantment" (source)
  • "were all nations deceived"
    • Is eplanEthEsan panta ta ethnE, or "all the nations were strayed/deceived" (source)

Because the faithful lack the light they need to detect these sorceries, Hosea 4:6 kicks in: 

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee … seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God. …"

Joseph Smith once explained how members develop darkness in their minds. He said,

"if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall -- that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves..." [22]

Or, as Brigham Young stated,

"What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually." [23]

Question: Would true "prophets of God" encourage you to put your trust in "medical experts and government leaders" [20] -- in other words, the arm of flesh -- or in God? [24]

They've aligned themselves with "government leaders" before, and with tragic consequences.

Seems to me since church leaders are reluctant to do it, it's time for us to not be found having a lack of knowledge. We need to learn the mistakes of the past, and ensure they are not repeated today…

…before it's too late.

"To sin by silence, when they should protest,
makes cowards of men." (Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
contained in "Poems of Problems", p. 154–55)

Sources

1.   M. Russell Ballard, "When Shall These Things Be?" BYU Devotional, March 12, 1996
2.   https://www.museumoftolerance.com/education/teacher-resources/holocaust-resources/timeline-of-the-holocaust.html
3.   Deseret News, Dec. 10, 1933.
4.   "Two Modern Methods: Sports, Radio," Deseret News, January 25, 1936
5.   "Germany holds M.I.A. 'Echo of Joy' Festival" Deseret News, July 18, 1936
6.   https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4088&context=byusq
7.   Hyrum J. Smith, "President Grant in Frankfurt, Germany," Deseret News, August 7, 1937
8.   Grant, in 108th Semi-Annual Conference of the Church, p. 4
9.   Bertis Lloyd Embry, Journal, July 5 and 8,1937, typescript, Missionary Journals November 1935-July 1938, Church Archives
10.   David Conley Nelson, "Moroni and the Swastika," p. 13.
11.   https://youtu.be/ICswA1YnvA8?t=401
12.   Moroni 7:13.
13.   https://bycommonconsent.com/2014/10/27/helmuth-hubener-on-the-day-of-his-execution
14.   Barbara Beuys, "Vergeßt uns nicht - Menschen im Widerstand 1933-1945", 1987. P. 488.
15.   "Abhören u. Verbreiten ausl. Rundfunksenden."
16.   District Leader to State Secret Police, in Holmes and Keele, "When Truth Was Treason," Document 17: 175.
17.   "Helmuth Hübener Membership Record," LDS Archives.
18.   Kunkel interview, LDS Archives, 21.
19.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_in_Germany
20.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_by_country#Europe
21.   https://www.nytimes.com/1984/02/15/us/play-about-mormon-youth-s-war-on-hitler-stirs-conflict-in-church.html
22.  Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pp. 237-38
23.  Brigham Young, JD 9:150
24.  https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/first-presidency-message-covid-19-august-2021


Friday, December 3, 2021

VIDEO PROOF: When a First Presidency member publicly told a bald-faced lie

In his address, "The Love and Laws of God," given at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on September 17, 2019, Pres. Nelson said:

"We may not always tell people what they want to hear. Prophets are rarely popular. But we will always teach the truth!

My dear young friends, exaltation is not easy. Requirements include a focused and persistent effort to keep God’s laws, and rigorously repenting when we don’t. But the reward for doing so is far greater than anything we can imagine, because it brings us joy here, and 'never-ending happiness'  hereafter.

Thus, our commission as Apostles is to teach nothing but truth." [1]

OK, great: Apostles teach nothing but the truth. Got it. Now, with that in mind, let's stroll down a bit of Brigham Young University Memory Lane. It's important.

A Brief History of BYU Electroshock Aversion Therapies

Dallin H Oaks served as BYU's President from August 1971 – August 1980 [2]. During that time, Gerald J. Dye oversaw the University Standards Office (renamed the Honor Code Office in 1991). [3] Dye stated that during that decade part of the "set process" for homosexual BYU students referred to his office for "less serious" offenses was to require that they undergo some form of therapy to remain at BYU, and that in special cases, this included "electroshock and vomiting aversion therapies." [4].

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on BYU electroshock aversion therapies (all source citations are found in the article, here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Young_University_LGBT_history):

'In an independent BYU newspaper article two men describe their experience with the BYU Aversion therapy program during the early 1970s.[89]: 162  After confessing to homosexual feelings they were referred to the BYU Counseling Center where the electroshock aversion therapy took place using pornographic pictures of males and females. Jon, one of the individuals, implied that the treatment was completely ineffective.[90] The experiences match most reports which state that shock therapy was ineffective in changing sexual orientation.[91]

From 1975 to 1976 Max Ford McBride, a student at BYU, conducted electroshock aversion therapy on 17 men (with 14 completing the treatment) using a male arousal measuring device placed around the penis and electrodes on the bicep. He published a dissertation on the use of electrical aversive techniques to treat ego-dystonic homosexuality.[92] The thesis documents the use of "Electrical Aversion Therapy" on 14 homosexual men using a "phallometric" apparatus, "barely tolerable" shocks, and "nude male visual-cue stimuli."[93][94] Although it is not publicly published whether all top LDS Church leaders were aware of the electroshock aversion therapy program,[95] it is known that apostles Spencer W Kimball, Mark E. Peterson, and now apostle Dallin H. Oaks were,[2]: 379  and leaders involved in LDS Social Services thought the therapy was effective.[96][40]: 164–165  At the time, homosexuality was considered by the medical community as a psychiatric condition,[97] and aversion therapy was one of the more common methods used to try to change it.[98] In 1966, Martin Seligman had conducted a study at the University of Pennsylvania that demonstrated positive results, which led to "a great burst of enthusiasm about changing homosexuality [that] swept over the therapeutic community."[99] After flaws were demonstrated in Seligman's experiments, aversion therapy fell out of popularity, and in 1994 the American Medical Association issued a report that stated "aversion therapy is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians."[100]

Participant in the 1975–76 BYU study Don Harryman wrote that he experienced "burns on [his] arms and ... emotional trauma."[101][102] Another participant, John Clarence Cameron, who wrote a play called "14" about his experiences, said "it didn’t change anything except increase my self-loathing. I didn’t know the ramifications of the experiment until years later."[103] Cameron stated that he "would like everyone to tell the truth, admit the mistakes that took place, and stop trying to act like it didn't happen"[104] Another one of the test subjects described his experiences, stating "No one wanted to change more than I did. I did everything within my power to change, and it didn't alter my homosexuality one whit. All I had learned to do was suppress much of my personality ... I was shutting down, turning off.... I was making my life miserable by a pervasive denial of who I am."[105]

Additionally, Connell O'Donovan describes the attempts by the University to 'cure' his homosexuality through vomit-inducing aversion therapy as well as electroshock aversion therapy. Val Mansfield and Drew Staffanson also describe undergoing aversion therapy and Raymond King describes his involvement as an intern with the BYU psychology department's electroshock aversion therapy program in the 1996 short documentary Legacies.[106] The documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition also contains an interview wherein Bruce Barton states that BYU coerced him into vomit aversion therapy, as well as electroshock therapy, which later precipitated his suicide attempt.[107] Jayce Cox also reported his experience with BYU shock therapy[108] and suicidal ideation in articles and an MTV documentary.[109][110][111] Scott Burton discusses the burn marks on his wrists he developed when undergoing electroshock therapy from ages 13 to 15 at the hands of a Mormon therapist by request from his Mormon parents.[112]

In 2011 BYU admitted to the past use of electroshock therapy but denies that it had ever used vomit-inducing therapy "in the BYU Counseling Center"[93] (which has been in the Wilkinson Student Center since 1964). However, the students that underwent the treatment have stated that the vomit therapy took place in the basement of the Psychology department's Joseph F. Smith Family Living Center (built in 1957, demolished in 2002).[106][113]"

Even BYU admitted that electroshock aversion therapy was conducted in the 1970s [5] by Max Ford McBride, then a Psychology Department graduate student. A copy of his August 1976 thesis paper, "Effect of Visual Stimuli in Electric Aversion Therapy," can be found here. August 1976 falls right in the middle of Oaks' tenure as BYU President.

Fast Forward to Today

On November 12, 2021, Oaks participated in a forum at the University of Virginia School of Law. [6] Here is a brief snippet of Oaks' remarks there:

Here is a transcript of his quote:

"Let me say about electric shock treatments at BYU. I became presdient at BYU, that had been discontinued earlier and never went on under my administration." [7]

You can add this one to the discussions about Pres Nelsons' "Flight of Death" and Elder Holland's talk about the missionary and his brother.

Nevertheless, "Oaks declined to comment on the discrepancy between his memory and the research, church spokesperson Doug Andersen said Monday." [8]

So we are left with two options: Either Oaks is suffering from memory loss or he lied. And the church's unwillingness to comment only deepens the suspicion.

Goodbye total / complete "transparency"

Given Oaks' reticence to apologize or comment on his statement -- as well as his position in the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve and his position as Nelson's heir-apparent -- it looks like now is the appropriate time for us to bid a fond adieu to the church's claim that "We’re as transparent as we know how to be."

Although some might say it's been like this for decades or even generations, we can now consider the following quotes to be invalid re: the LDS Church:

“We would have to say, as two apostles who have covered the world and know the history of the Church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning, there has been no attempt on the part of the Church leaders to try to hide anything from anybody.” [9]

“Just trust us, wherever you are in the world, and you share this message with anyone else who raises the question about the Church not being transparent. We’re as transparent as we know how to be in telling the truth. We have to do that; that’s the Lord’s way.” [9]

“My view is that being open about our history solves a whole lot more problems than it creates. We might not have all the answers, but if we are open (and we now have pretty remarkable transparency), then I think in the long run that will serve us well. I think in the past there was a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed or at least not give access to information. But the world has changed in the last generation — with the access to information on the Internet, we can’t continue that pattern; I think we need to continue to be more open.” [10]

“Well, we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues.” [11]

“I think in the past there was a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed or at least not give access to information.  But the world has changed in the last generation-with the access to information on the Internet, we can’t continue that pattern; I think we need to continue to be more open.” [12] 

It will be interesting to see if God ever calls this proven liar to be his "mouthpiece" to the world. 

"Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell." [13]

"Lying is sinful, as it has always been, and there is no exempt category for so-called lying for the Lord. Lying is simply outside the range of permitted or condoned conduct by Latter-day Saints members or leaders." (Dallin H. Oaks, Gospel Teachings About Lying, address to faculty, students, and alumni of BYU on September 12, 1993)

Questions

I have a few questions for Pres. Oaks:

  1. Pres. Nelson says apostles "teach nothing but the truth." Is that still true?
  2. Were you BYU President from August 1971 to August 1980?
  3. Did you state at the University of Virginia School of Law forum held on November 12, 2021 that "I became president at BYU, that [electroshock aversion therapy] had been discontinued earlier and never went on under my administration."?
  4. If so, then why is there such an abundance of evidence that contradicts your statement (even from BYU itself)?
  5. Do you still believe that apostles "teach nothing but the truth"?
  6. If this was a mistake, then why didn't you admit to it and apologize (as others would)? That's called being "open" and "honest" -- two of God's virtues. 
  7. What makes you superior to others by not admitting mistakes, and how is that an example of humility?
  8. Is your statement re: lying dated September 12, 1993 still truthful, or not?
  9. Just to clarify: Are members expected to repent and be accountable for their actions, but the leaders have a “no apologies” policy? How is this not the height of hypocrisy?
  10. What are members to think/do when one of their top leaders is not exactly being honest in their dealings with their fellow man? 

Sources

1 https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-nelson-byu-transcript-september-2019
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallin_H._Oaks
3 "Brigham Young University. University Standards Office". BYU Library. BYU. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
4 O'Donovan, Rocky Connell; Corcoran, Brent (1994). "'The Abominable and Detestable Crime against Nature' A Brief History of Homosexuality and Mormonism, 1840–1980". Multiply and Replenish. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 978-1560850502. Retrieved 13 August 2017, p 155
5 https://abcnews.go.com/Health/mormon-gay-cures-reparative-therapies-shock-today/story?id=13240700
6 https://www.law.virginia.edu/news/event/1411656
7 https://twitter.com/lambdaatuva/status/1459256897958260741?s=21
8      https://sltrib.pressreader.com/article/6788663979620408
9      M. Russell Ballard, 11/20/17, https://www.thechurchnews.com/archive/2017-11-20/personal-revelation-homosexuality-and-dating-among-topics-discussed-in-face-to-face-broadcast-46757
10    Steven Snow, former member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and former executive director of the Church History Department, 11/8/2013
11    Gordon B. Hinckley, The Associated Press interview, Dec. 25, 2005
12    Steven Snow, https://mi.byu.edu/truth-in-church-history-excerpts-from-the-religious-educators-qa-with-elder-steven-snow
13    2 Nephi 9:34