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.