Who Does God Obey?

Who does God obey? To answer that question I’d like to start with a personal observation. The LDS religion isn’t what it used to be. Over the course of my life I have noticed an effort by the church to become more mainstream. PR responses if you will, to make the doctrine more palatable to the world at large. In many cases it’s a good thing. For example, the Book of Mormon declares skin color to be a sign of a curse that God put on those who were wicked specifically to make them loathsome to the good guys. In 1978, realizing the growth opportunities in countries with dark skin as well as facing some serious tax repercussions due to racist policies at BYU. God ‘revealed’ that all men no matter the color of their skin were now worthy to get the priesthood. An old doctrine went away and a new one of equality was ushered in.

A little history lesson

To better understand where I am coming from you might need a little education on this blacks getting the priesthood thing. Look here at the critics position and here for the apologists. You might notice that the apologetic response doesn’t mention the fact that other universities were feeling tax exemption pressure when all this went down. When I dug back into it, I also noticed that FAIR mentions a letter from Kimball to Carter, but neglects to point out “U.S. President Jimmy Carter commended President Spencer W. Kimball for “compassionate prayerfulness and courage.” In a telegram right after the ‘revelation’ was announced. I think the full text of that commendation is relevant so I took some time to find it for you. President Carter specifically mentions the courage of president Kimball to get a revelation. Does it really take a lot of courage to talk to God and ask him if he really, really wants to keep banning black people even if it means loosing BYU’s tax exempt status?


To add insult to injury why would FAIR neglect to mention this telegram in their rebuttal? Could it be because in hindsight it adds weight to the idea that the revelation was contrived due to pressure from the president of the United States? I leave that up to you to decide.

Changing doctrine isn’t new

The idea that the church changes policies and doctrine dependent on society isn’t something new. In fact exactly that situation is part of the LDS cannon. The faith was under fire for its polygamous doctrine (D&C 132) long before the black priesthood thing came up. Polygamy was preached and practiced openly once the faith moved the Utah territory, (before that it was a secret practice in Nauvoo.) Slavery and Polygamy were hot topics of the time when Utah was applying to become a state. The church was even in danger of losing a lot of church property due to the Morrill anti bigamy act of 1862. Then president Wilford Woodruff took the matter to the Lord and got the revelation to stop marrying multiple wives. This is canonized in D&C, official declaration 1 of LDS scripture. What I find interesting is the commentary on this revelation that is also canonized. Church President Woodruff declared:

“The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty”

He says this:

“The Lord showed me by vision and revelation exactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice. If we had not stopped it, you would have had no use for … any of the men in this temple at Logan; for all ordinances would be stopped throughout the land of Zion. Confusion would reign throughout Israel, and many men would be made prisoners. This trouble would have come upon the whole Church, and we should have been compelled to stop the practice.

And thus, the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, the one where most of the revelation is dedication to justifying lots of wives for one man well stopped… lasting, sorta. It’s still there for eternity if you dig a bit, just not while people are alive well… kinda. It must be hard for God to give a command and then rescind it. Sure takes away from his ‘never changing modus operandi’ that he’d like to propagate don’t you think? This has to make you wonder though. Why did God have to change because of the threats of little ‘ol mankind?

Who Does God Obey?

To me this is a very relevant question for a lot of reasons, one of them is the idea that we need to obey God is core to nearly all religions. In fact it is often considered by the faithful the only way we can be morally good people. But, if these two examples are carefully considered doesn’t it look like God obeys man’s will rather than the other way around? That seems kinda whack for an all powerful being though doesn’t it? Almost like man invented God to do his will rather than the story we have all been told.

Up till now, I have used examples of God’s changing but not changing doctrine due to societal pressures that were a good thing. But what if good ideas lose out to popular opinion thanks to man pushing his will on God?

Man Can Become God

This is or at least was a core doctrine of the LDS faith. Man can become God. It’s right there in the same revelation as the polygamy stuff section 132 verse 20:

“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.”

Joseph Smith declared this concept just days before his death in the King Follett Sermon. Men get to be Gods. Just like the God before him became God. Blasphemy cried the rest of the Christian world! The response of the church to this public defamation? Well, I first noticed it when one of my favorite prophets President Hinkley when interviewed said regarding this topic.

“I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.” 

When I heard this I felt kind of taken aback. I loved this doctrine. As Joseph Smith stated, it was sweet to me. It made sense with the idea of free agency that the purpose of this life was to learn how to responsibly handle the power one would get when they became well… god of their own universe. But that doctrine seems to be getting down played more and more. Even to the point of selectively editing prophetic statements to make it go away. Most recently becoming a god is now describe as becoming like god in the LDS essays. The faith seems to be embarrassed of the entire concept of human’s following the same path as God from man to Godhood. That’s where this obedience question comes in.

Who Do You Obey?

If we do get to become Gods, who will we obey then? For myself and my family I have always felt the right thing for a parent to do for his kids was to teach them to think for themselves. Strict obedience for obedience’s sake makes no sense in this paradigm. As our children matured we decided to let them make choices on their own only suggesting how some of the consequences might turn out badly but letting them try it out anyway if they chose to. (Free agency right?)

Ultimately our goal was that our kids would be making their own decisions by the time they left the house. If they weren’t making nearly all of their own rules by age 16 to 17 then in my opinion they were totally unprepared for going it alone at 18. For this reason hard curfews in our home were replaced with mutual respect for each other. We didn’t say, ‘you must be home by 11:30.’ We asked the 16 year old when he planned to be home and then expected him to abide by his promise.

Can you see the difference from a ‘strict obedience’ style of parenthood to our apparently uber-liberal ‘fostering personal growth’ way of approaching it? Now of course this method isn’t without its bumps in the road, and I found more than once my gut just wanted to scream, ‘because I said so!’ when my own children questioned my judgement. But overall, so far with two kids out of the house and three more on their way I’d say the results are far, far more positive than negative.

Don’t Be A Dictator

Who do my kids obey? Certainly not me, I’m not a dictator. Maybe that is why I respect so much the ideas of Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris when it comes to the terrible concepts of unflinching obedience demanded by so may religions. In fact 10 years ago when I was still a true believer I’d probably said people like Hitchens and Harris just didn’t understand Mormon doctrine well enough to realize there is a religion out there that isn’t just obey, obey, obey. Looking back maybe it was some of the recent focus on obedience to the leaders of the faith no matter what that helped me realize that my own faith was every bit as flawed as all those other abominations as God called them.

Obedience without question is lauded as the best thing to do in Mormonism, that’s what Abraham did with Issac, it’s what Nephi did when he killed Laban. It’s what Joseph taught the women he wanted to marry to increase his harem when they balked at the idea. If God says so, that makes it right. Especially if God sends an angel with a sword to make sure you are listening. It seems to me that a path like this only leads to subservient soldiers that can’t think for themselves.

Think For Yourself

Contrary to the idea that men are here to think for themselves the core tenant of the faith really is “when the prophet speaks the thinking is done.” First taught here. Of course the response from then church president George Albert Smith says God won’t ‘force anyone to heaven’... He will just deny you access to your family for all eternity if you don’t do exactly what he says, which means becoming LDS, and pledging 10% of all your income to the church so you can be eternally sealed in the temple. Because that’s the ONLY way you get an eternal family according to LDS doctrine.


The Mormon faith teaches obedience is core, thinking for yourself not so much. Don’t believe me? Try this experiment, go to LDS.org search for ‘obedience’ see the hundreds of links that popup. Now search for ‘thinking for yourself’ and notice there is only one link with that phrase in it from 1971. Don’t fool yourself like I did that the Mormon religion encourages you to not be anything but a blind and obedient sheep.

If you feel mankind is more than obedient sheep to be lead merrily to the slaughter without defiance. You will soon discover as I did the people that think like you have a hard time with this jealous Yahweh/Allah/Jesus guy. A guy that is ready to damn anyone that isn’t gonna worship him and can’t let people think for themselves runs counter to the concept of free agency and responsibility. If you think that our destiny is truly divine you might want to stick with the Fridge, after all you can’t prove it didn’t inspire Rick to dispense this wise council. 🙂

 

The main LDS church STILL practices polygamy

This is the third installment in a series on the polygamist past of the LDS church. What if I told you it isn’t really past at all, but very much a current doctrine condoned by the highest ranking leaders? Would you believe me?

First lets consider eternity vs this life. Which of them is more eternal?

A little math as pointed out by redditor on a thread about the previous post on this topic1 shows exactly what this means.

1 lifetime/eternity = essentially 0 

Yep in the big scheme of things, this lifetime isn’t much at all. That is why we needed the everlasting covenant According to Joe Smith. So we could bind together all these things on earth and not deal with that ’till death do you part’ malarkey all those other churches do in marriage. After all who wouldn’t want to be with their spouse forever? Or in Joe’s case several spouses in this life…

That’s where it gets interesting. You see The LDS church considers a temple sealing to be an eternal marriage. It’s taught to every daughter of Zion to yearn for marriage in the temple. They seek out the prince that will take them to his Mormon castle for that magical moment they have been taught to crave. For only a true and just man will marry them forever instead of just for now.

But there is a doctrine that isn’t talked about much yet is followed over and over again by the LDS faith. In the case of death of the first wife the man can be sealed to a second wife. Yes, you heard me right. A man can be sealed for eternity to a second wife after the first is gone. How this can’t be considered eternal polygamy is beyond me. Not given the fact the the church thinks the rules of marriage are so rigidly defined by their God that any non sanctioned form of union requires a person to be kicked off the celestial kingdom path to forever.

Celestial marriage = celestial polygamy. It says as much in D&C132 canonized scripture currently used today in the church.

 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

 And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.

 37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

 38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

 39 David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriahand his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

 40 I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word.

According LDS conon, the idea of polygamy was part and parcel of the restoration of all things. Now I realize you might have a hard time believing this. If so I suggest you take it to your stake president or local area authority and ask him. 2 I suspect you will get an answer along these lines when the members in Sweden asked church leaders if we believe in polygamy.

But wait, there’s more! If you are finally convinced that the LDS doctrine supports and even likely encourages the idea of eternal polygamy there is something else you should know. The Mormon church (the main one, not the FLDS Warren Jeffs version) believes in polygamy right here, right now, with living women. I realized this when a good friend of mine went through a divorce from her husband. A sealing in a Mormon temple isn’t dissolved just because some legal mortal men said a person got divorced. As is clearly evidenced by the churches actions toward other types of marriage the leaders confidently believe God defines what an eternal union is. Not man.

A temple sealing continues to be in force until the first presidency says otherwise. This is expounded on very clearly in the handbook given to all local leaders of the church. Here is a screen shot to save you some time digging for it:

 

My friend told me one day that she was now an eternal polygamist. The reason is spelled out right there ^^^ in book one. Her previous husband had just been sealed in the temple to his new wife. She wasn’t allowed to dissolve their eternal sealing, while by policy and doctrine it was totally ok for him to be eternally sealed to two women at a time. Even when both of them are still alive.

So does Eternal sealing = Eternal Marriage? That is the question right? And if the answer is yes, then it is pretty clear that the LDS church here and now promotes polygamy of it’s own Celestial variety even as it denies monogamous couples that same right if they happen to have the same genitalia. It is obviously unfair and unjust and more than a little embarrassing as well as hypocritical to most people. Maybe that is the reason when it comes to polygamy the LDS church keeps lying… or maybe should I say careful wording about it.

  1. Click here for part 1 and part 2.
  2. There is no her to ask… after the answer you get you might realize why.

Losing a Loved One

Some days it just hits me, usually by surprise. I think I won’t ever see him again… he was like my own son. The only pain I could imagine feeling worse is if it were my own son. Then I think of my best friend and his loss. Then I replay over in my head this scene from Lord of the Rings.

No parent should have to bury their child. 

It rings in my ears. This scenario happens every few days, sometimes several times a day, even now, months later. I can only image how much harder it must be for my closest friend, the parent of this wonderful kid.

If I believed in God, I think I’d shake my fist at the sky in rage. Why allow such pain and suffering? I’m not buying the ‘its for your own’ good baloney. When its someone else you don’t know that died its easy to think that. But not when it’s close to home. Not when presumably God is so willing to jump in and help someone else. (if their FB post gets enough likes) It just makes no sense in my mind.

Of course neither does this loss. It is senseless, a stupid mistake that didn’t need to happen. I can’t find shelter in the ‘all part of Gods plan’ motif either. Thing is, I want to. When I’m honest with myself, I want to believe in another chance at this life. An opportunity to right wrongs, a do-over to avoid the mistakes of the past. A chance to see his bright smiling face again. This is nothing like losing my grandma, she was 96 years old. She got to spend 86 more years here and experience what life had to offer. I was close to her too. I loved her dearly. That progression seemed natural. This one was all sorts of wrong.

Does the Fridge help me? Well, yes and no. The Fridge is a self avowed God of the little things and the loss of a loved one is a big thing. Close to, if not at the top of the list, so in that way not helpful at all.

On the other hand I write. I write things and I put them on the Fridge door. There they remind me. They remind me of the places I need to be and more importantly the things I want to be. One thing on my Fridge that I that will be posted till the day it’s my turn to go was etched there by a little boy that always looked on the bright side. It says:

 

A note he had left on his family’s Fridge. Coincidence? In this case I choose to think not. Because it reminds me of things. It displays accomplishments, wedding announcements and words of advice. It is very much a symbol of things that I need to know.

One thing I think about when I look the Fridge is how cool human beings are to invent something like that. Being able to preserve food turned out to be pretty handy in the big scheme of it all. Hell, we are even freezing people in an effort to cheat death right now. More chill coincidence? You be the judge. What does this mean? It means I still have hope. As an electrical engineer with a decent grasp of physics I realize our lives leave an imprint on this universe. Each thought that has cruised through your connectome was accompanied by an electromagnetic wave that left your noodle at the speed of light wafting out into the universe.

There is a record of you, in energy that you expended, yesterday and the day before, and the day before that traveling out into the cosmos just like a cell phone signal. If we could collect that, and imprint it on an exact clone of a new you, wouldn’t that be a resurrection?

Now this is not an easy problem to solve. Sorting out a single person from the billions of brain wavefronts alone is mind boggling. Let alone building the systems to pick up those signals and turn it all back into the person we know today. It’s such a crazy improbable task that I expect us to figure out how to live forever and record living humans long before we pull this off. But if we can get along, If we keep from wiping ourselves out we have a long time to work on this problem. Another 5 billion years or so…

5 BILLION years???!!!! We invented the Fridge in about 50 years… computers in a century… the internet… space travel… medicine… we are already manipulating our own DNA! The list of what has happened since we took matters into our own hands and instead of waiting for something ‘out there’ to save us is impressive and long and can easily fit in the last 1000 years. Think about that. What kind of problems will we be able solve in 5 million of those millennia? Sure it’s a problem but isn’t that what we humans are particularly good at? Solving problems?

 

“If you solve enough problems you get to come home” – Mark Watney

 

I can’t imagine a better homecoming than one more hug from a bright eyed kid ready to take on the world. So you see my lack of faith in the divine hasn’t caused me to lose hope. If I’m right and a couple billion years down the road we have figured out how to resurrect someone. To them it will be but an instant. To me it will be a blink of an eye. 1The Fridge gives me hope. Not because it is magical, but because it is a symbol of how once breakthrough human achievement can become mundane and so commonplace it is in everyone’s kitchen. Is it really that big a stretch for me to think the same thing could happen to the way we will cheat death in a few billion years?

So when the pain hits and I hurt because I lost a loved one this is how I deal with it. I find hope in what humanity can achieve, and that gives me a reason to be happy all day.

 

  1. To the future scientist reading this blog I hope to be in your top 10 people you bring back if you found it at all inspirational 🙂

The Meaning of Dreams

Last night I had a dream:

 

I struggled to make it to the rendezvous. Killer robots, desperate raiders and feral mutated animals all converged in thier intent to kill me. 1 as I struggled to survive I got the call to meet my father at the ruined house of one of the 12 LDS apostles in this post apocalyptic wasteland.

I battled my way there and got inside, meeting my dad in the hallway of the mansion. He said,  “follow me.” And I did. We entered an office decorated in red suede leather furniture with a semi-circular shaped couch in the center of the of the room. 

He motioned me to sit, there was was a message coming in. We both sat on the couch. It was a tight sqeeze as if meant for only one person but we made two fit. Then a large cone descended (like the one that covers Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi) and a screen flickered on. 2 I was paralyzed with fear. I was getting called back to church by the top level guys and they were not letting me answer, instead they were speaking only to my father! 

My father, the true believer, the one who I disappointed most when my own faith in the divine plan I’d taught on my mission faltered and collapsed in the face of evidence I’d uncovered. Evidence that I could not deny if I wanted to be honest with myself. It had broken my heart to tell him I just didn’t believe it anymore. Later the only confrontation we had that involved religion blew up in to an argument I’d sooner forget but can’t because it left a scar on my soul that devastated me. 

I didn’t want to go back, I couldn’t! But in my dream I was constrained. I sat there trapped as the screen flickered on and a non descript wrinkly old face formed. “We want him back.” He gestured to me in this teleconference prison. “Will you bring him to us?” He asked my father. 

In my head I was screaming “no!” but my body couldn’t move or speak. I was trapped and realized my fate was in my fathers hands. I trembled in fear because I knew he wanted me in the church more than anything else. My leaving it had broken his heart. But I knew it wasn’t what it claimed to be and once you know that you just can’t sit in the pews week after week pretending. I couldn’t go through the motions of teaching white washed history under the pretense of serving the milk and saving the meat for those who’s weak testimonies couldn’t take it. For me going back meant the hell of lying to others, of selling my integrity for acceptance and friendship. That didn’t work for me. It simply wasn’t good for my mental well being. 

My fear was very real in this dream, I completely expected to be given back to the religion by my father when something amazing happened.  He looked squarely at the leader, and said, “no.” No big speech or fanfare. A quiet but firm “no.” My heart burst with love as the cone retracted and the screen went dark. With tears in my eyes I told my father “thank you” as I reached out and touched his arm. 

Then dream time fast forwarded in that strange way, an irrational jump ahead that still somehow makes sense. We all sat down to a meal of mirelurk eggs and death claw steak in a celebration of life. 3 As my dream faded the last thing I remember is a robotic chair lifting my father up a few inches at the head of the table as he surveyed our family feast and I felt a burst of pride. 

Before discovering the Fridge has as many divine powers as any diety I’d ever known I used to put a lot of value in dreams. I was pretty sure they were communication from people who had died, or divine advice that I needed at particular times in my life.

Guess what? I still think dreams have meaning. Just not quite the same way as I used to. It’s pretty obvious thanks to Fallout 4, Star Wars and the LDS church where the components of this dream came from.  But as I woke up I realized there was something that I have been afraid of for quite a while. My own dad. A man that has been my hero my whole life. The fear that the church meant more to him than I did was very real to me.

In my dream that fear dissolved and was replaced by hope. Hope that I really am important in his eyes and he is still the hero sitting there just a little bit taller than his actual stature.  I was proud because of his courage to love and respect me despite the pressures to do otherwise.

Now I realize this dream is a reflection of me. Of my fears and my hopes. I can’t be 100% sure that dream dad equals real dad. But that’s ok. You see I’m going to live my life as if it does. Because that is the way we change the world around us. The way it becomes what we hope for. In a thousand subtle ways others you deal with in your lives pick up on the way you percieve them. Then that subconscious understanding of reality is woven into thier being too. In this fashion, I believe our dreams really can shape our lives.

I think we can learn about ourselves from our dreams. They are a powerful insight into our deepest fears and innermost hopes. Even without religion we can use them to our benefit. So let’s dwell on the positive ones and keep on dreaming!

  1. The imagery for this dream was obviously provided by fallout 4. a favorite game that came out while I was working in China so I’m just getting around to playing it!
  2. Kudos to the new Star Wars flick for making it into my dream as well. Even if it was a retro effort! 🙂
  3. Still a fallout motif with a dash of thanksgiving thrown in 🙂

Confidence Man

Just a bit ago, I had someone tell me that people just didn’t con the people back in the 1800s, that is why I shouldn’t be skeptical of Joe Smith when he started a fraudulent bank or charged people for scrying buried treasure that he never found. He certainly wasn’t in it for the money! That got me to thinking…

As is common to many of us now days when we wonder about a bit of history or how things work, I turned to the google machine. This popped up on NPRs website.

How Scams Worked In The 1800s

The article said:

…Arguably, the 1800s were the Golden Age of schemes. The term “confidence man” or “con man” was probably coined midcentury and, according to the New York Times, the Brooklyn Bridge was sold more than once to unsuspecting folks in the 1880s and 1890s… 

“Modes of communication were not so swift,” she says, “so it was easier for itinerant swindlers to move from town to town, practicing the same small cons within a given region without getting caught.”

Reading this sent my post-mormon confirmation bias ringing off the charts! If you have studied even a small amount of Mormon history you know that this group of people moved a lot. Especially when Joe was running the show.

I immediately thought of one often taught situation where Joe, upon arriving in Kirkland walks up to general store owner, Newel K. Whitney, and said:

 “I am Joseph, the Prophet. You’ve prayed me here; now what do you want of me?”

Talk about brash confidence! This story is a faith promoting one of how Joe miraculously knew the name of a store owner and ends up with them giving him and his family a place to stay for the night.

To me first time through this seemed amazing, partly I am sure because of the way it was presented. But if you stop to think about it. Is it really that hard to find out the name of a store owner in a new town? Especially of the only general store in town? Probably not. Most people prayed for help and stuff those days too, not too much a stretch to guess that part either. But such is the way of magic tricks and conmen. They make it seem amazing when the trick is so simple that if you discover it you are ashamed you were so easily fooled.

I was a mormon very much like the dad in the south park episode relating the story of his religion. Blissfully proud of that miraculous way Joe made up for the pages that went missing!!

These days I’m much more the dumbfounded Stan wondering how in the world people believe this stuff!

But isn’t that the way it goes when you are bamboozled? The mark is always happy to be taken. It is the sign of a good con.

For a bit I did my best to counter my own bias as I googled around the church history I was learning. My old beliefs definitely popped up to defend themselves by pointing out that Joseph had started a religion before the fraudulent bank1 while he ran from town to town. I mean were there really that many religions started in the 1800s?

Turns out there were, it was called The Second Great Awakening because there were so many of them:

“The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”

Mormonism wasn’t particularly unique in its goals for the time nor even the most successful one. Prophetess Ellen White and the Seventh Day Adventists claim some 18 million followers and started about the same time. So much for that stone cut without hands eh?

So con man or prophet? I guess that is the question every LDS person faces sooner or later about Joseph Smith.2 One thing is for sure, there is a lot more to the story than is taught in Sunday School. If you don’t believe me, try putting together some timelines of the events on your own. It is very enlightening. But am I gonna convince you you might have been fooled? Not likely, especially if you adamantly don’t want to know. But I do feel it is my duty to at least voice a warning.

One last note from wikipedia:

Confidence tricks exploit typical human characteristics such as greeddishonestyvanityopportunismlustcompassioncredulityirresponsibilitydesperation, and naïvety. As such, there is no consistent profile of a confidence trick victim; the common factor is simply that the victim relies on the good faith of the con artist. Victims of investment scams tend to show an incautious level of greed and gullibility, and many con artists target the elderly, but even alert and educated people may be taken in by other forms of a confidence trick.

A confidence man gains your confidence, a confidence man projects his confidence in the same investment he is asking you to commit to. It leverages social connections, it leverages your fears and your greed.

Are you afraid of dying? Would you want to have the power of a God? If the answer is yes to both these questions. Please ask yourself once more…

Are you still confident that Mormonism is a religion not a con? Are you smart smart smart smart smart, or dum dum dum dum dum? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Google Kirkland Safety Society to do some of your own learning’, you will be glad you did, um well, or maybe not.
  2. For the record I think Joe started believing his own con. People that learn the tricks of psychics and cold reading often report how easy it is to get trapped in the idea they have those powers. If thousands of people start calling you a prophet, do you think it might go to your head a bit? Even if it had just started as a way to make a living?

More Problems with Polygamy and Children of Homosexuals

Joseph Smith once said:

“Our Heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive…”1

Of course these days gay peoples kids don’t seem to get the same liberal considerations that the prophet Joe was talking about when he penned the above words in a letter to Nancy Rigdon in his effort to convince her to be his plural wife after she refused. I have seen a part of this same letter quoted by believers in the wake of this policy to restrict children from joining the church.

“That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.”

Continuing to Nancy in an effort to explain why polygamy is a good thing and not at all as bad as she thinks it is. Joseph wrote:

“…even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.”

This to me is where it gets interesting in regards to the latest policy this church Joseph founded has taken towards gay marriage.2   The main theme in the wake of this exposure of internal bigotry towards people that are attracted the same sex is that the limits placed on children are for the good of the kids. To protect them and all. Even in the latest clarification they have doubled down on this excuse. The reason I call it an excuse is because the only other children that are treated that way are the kids of polygamists. Specifically those apostate polygamists that are awful because they are following the teachings of the original prophet of the church.3 It’s like they are saying:

‘We need to protect those kids from conflicts about religious beliefs, not from atheists or Jehovah’s witnesses, or ever even scientologists. That isn’t enough of a conflict, but polygamy and gay marriage that is pretty bad and requires kids to condemn the lifestyles of their own parents before they are good enough for the LDS faith.’

Don’t take my word for it, look at the policy yourself. 
To me that screams excuse. Especially when the kids are required to disavow their parents gay lifestyle to even be considered for admission into God’s only church. Maybe they really believe in this idea that is it for the kids. Who knows, maybe God did come talk to these guys about the gays just like he told Joe to marry Nancy even though she didn’t want it. I’m sure that kids in general don’t want to disavow their parents love and happiness right? I guess in a way it is like the problem with polygamy that to this day plagues the LDS faith.

You see the fact that no leader ever, ever mentions is they never really stopped believing in polygamy. Not from an eternal perspective anyway. Listen to Elder Oaks describe the relationship he has with his second wife. (And yes, he did get sealed to his first wife in the temple as well.)

Two wives? Eternally? Yep polygamy even if it is not ok while you are alive in the LDS faith is totally ok after you die. Hopefully this brings some perspective to the excuse about protecting the children from gay parents being a parallel to protecting them from polygamous parents. It never was about the polygamy. It is only about the apostate religion that still practices it… um when all the wives are alive as the same time that is. Does this make any sense at all? Is this a big crisis for the current leadership? Yeah it is. Fortunately Dallin has advice for them too.

Does all this dancing around making excuses make sense to you? Is this really how illogical and confusing God’s one true church is? Personally I don’t think so.
And if you are one of the believers that had your shelf seriously rocked by this whole situation. Maybe, just maybe you are beginning to suspect that too.

The real question if you believe that children should not be held accountable for their own choices by a just and loving father in heaven is this. What are you going to do about it? Quietly submit and let the bigotry fester? Or are you going to speak up and take action?

It was interesting for me listing to this talk from Elder Oaks from a totally different perspective than I used to have. He proclaims it is all about timing. I kept thinking about the timing of blacks getting the priesthood and how the entire equal rights moment happened in the LDS faith some twenty years after the fact. Twenty years after rest of the world realized discriminating against people based on the color of their skin was NOT a good thing the leaders of the LDS faith had a revelation to end this demeaning practice. 4 Timing in hindsight it is obvious isn’t it? Too bad there aren’t people that can tell us the future in situations like this right?

Either way I did find a part of the talk in which I agreed 100% with Elder Oaks.

The most important thing in our lives is to do the right thing. Personally I think the golden rule is a good way to figure out what the right thing is. Don’t you?

 

  1.  Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.134-136, See also “The Letter of the Prophet, Joseph Smith to Miss Nancy Rigdon,” Joseph Smith Collection, LDS archives
  2. What do you think Joseph would have done about the whole gay thing? My bet is he would have rolled with it and brought it into the faith were he the one at the helm today. It is his nature to absorb the common themes of the day and make them part of the faith.
  3. Yeah I know its confusing, but what are ya gonna do right? Just believe and don’t ask any questions, do as you are told and all will be fine!
  4. Technically the church took till 2013 to actually say that the racist teachings of past church leaders was nothing more than their own bigotry shining through.