Comments « Meridian Magazine
May 6, 2021

Comments | Return to Story

JediMormonSeptember 13, 2016

With all due respect to Ben August 28, 2015: His comment that "It is a myth that the Lord ever said the church would not be led astray", is misleading. While technically he is correct that the Lord never made the claim, his prophets did. President Wilford Woodruff, regarding Official Declaration 1 in the D&C stated: "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray." As far as I'm concerned, that is as good as the Lord saying it himself. From childhood I've always been taught to "follow the prophet". I'm an old coot now (turned 70 just a week ago). For 20+ years I've been going on sites like AOL and YouTube and correcting the falsehoods that are told about the church and it's teachings. Naturally, and over time, I've learned how to recognize certain things about those who presume to dictate to the church what we should be doing. With all kindness, I can say that Ben is either on his way to leaving the church, or has already left it. His condemnation of the church in certain matters proves that. He has not kept his eye on the prophet. This is the restored church of Jesus Christ, and he did not restore it to have it wander off the beaten path, so to speak. The church is here to stay. If Ben and others of his kind don't accept that, it well be to their ultimate sorrow at some point in the future. And that's all I have to say.

RyanSeptember 16, 2015

'Mysteries' may not be the so-called 'space doctrine' that we joke about in connection with high priest group lessons. They may be the plain and precious things that are right in front of us in the scriptures, but which we don't come to understand as God intends and the prophets taught in plainness. Nephi lamented, after having taught what he considered to be plain things concerning the doctrine of Christ: "...I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be." (2 Nep 32:7)Why don’t we come to understand mysteries in plainness? Sometimes it’s because we don’t “search knowledge” as Nephi said. Sometimes it’s because we overlay our own notions on the scriptures based on tradition or lack of study of God’s word. Sometimes we don’t allow the scriptures to speak for themselves. One example of this is in the comments section when you said the following:{{ In the very verse I quoted, Alma 12:9, it makes plain that ‘it is given unto many to know the mysteries of God.’ That's wonderful! But it is crucial to remember the second half of the verse, which teaches that those who receive such knowledge also receive a ‘strict command’ not to teach more than authorized church leadership have taught. }}It doesn’t say anything about getting the sanction of ‘authorized church leadership’. The verses go on to say something very different than that. What you said is a product of our environment and our traditions in the church. What we actually learn is the following:[[ 9 …nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him. 10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. 11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. ]]Here we learn something very valuable. That we receive according to that portion that we are willing to receive. If we receive the word of God with gladness as given to us in our canon of scripture, we will increase in light and understanding until we know the mysteries of God in full. We also learn the meaning of the ‘chains of hell’, which is that if we harden ourselves against what God’s word is telling us, we will know less and less until we know nothing concerning the things of God. Then we are in darkness. Or as Nephi says (2 Nep 32:4):[[Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.]]What we need is more people asking for and pursuing an understanding of the mysteries of God. We are languishing as a church. We are languishing in helping to bring souls to Christ and bring ourselves and others into the light. Perhaps if we pursued these mysteries as God has commanded, we might see more of what Ammon and his brothers experienced among the Lamanites. This must happen. But if we continue on the path that the church encourages (trust in the leaders rather than the scriptures and the Holy Ghost), we will not see this happen among our own numbers.Here’s what Ammon has to say concerning mysteries and the need to understand them in order to bring about conversion on the scale that we see throughout the book of Alma and Helaman:[[22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.]]Yes, it is permitted to reveal the mysteries of God. And yes, it is permitted to reveal them solely with the sanction of the Holy Ghost (God’s messenger) and not of any man. But they must be understood first. With the fear that such articles as this instill in us (with all its warnings about dangers), we won’t understand the mysteries. And we won’t be able to reveal them and bring thousands of souls to repentance as Ammon has said.We don’t understand the liberties that God gives us by the power of the Holy Ghost. The power of the Holy Ghost gives authorization, not the brethren. And only a sincere and thorough reading of the Book of Mormon, without our imposed interpretations and limits due to our traditions and fears, will make this obvious to us. There is no room in the Book of Mormon to impose such limits as {{a ‘strict command’ not to teach more than authorized church leadership have taught}}. With such unfounded limitations imposed on the word of God, we are indeed in darkness and the ‘chains of hell’ as Nephi describes it. We are too afraid to take God at his word to ask if we lack wisdom and he will give knowledge liberally according to that portion that we are **willing to receive**.

Mike ForsythSeptember 14, 2015

Cassandra,With great respect for you and your efforts to bless others, may I add to this thread a few thoughts that hopefully add to the depth of our collective understanding, and draw us closer to truth. My comments pertain specifically to implications of believers of recent NDE accounts.Over a decade ago I found myself riveted by the near-death experiences shared in book form by of a number of individuals that are NOT of our faith. These books surprised me in two significant ways. First, I was amazed at how closely their accounts supported most, if not all of our beliefs regarding the purposes of our mortal experience here on Earth, the afterlife, the Plan of Salvation in general, and the role of our Savior Jesus Christ in that plan. Second, I was profoundly affected by the witness of the Spirit that came to me regarding the truthfulness of the things I’d read. The light and joy that filled my mind and heart were unmistakable, often lasting for weeks. The clarity and understanding these accounts provided me increased my faith in Heavenly Father’s plan and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It brought to me an added measure of love for every member of our human family.For me, the reading of these profound non-LDS accounts, and the spiritual confirmations that have come to me while reading them argue strongly for the following: First, we have a loving Heavenly Father and Savior who manifest their love to us by sharing truth and light in a variety of ways, especially when – as unique and individual as we are – show a tendency toward a variety of learning preferences, and are ever growing at various levels and degrees. Second, we should remain open to the possibility that revelation about MANY THINGS pertaining to the great Plan of Salvation and our personal missions in this plan can flow to the God's children around the world by means outside of Priesthood channels. Third, the very personal missions of those having had a NDE MAY INVOLVE sharing their experiences, love and knowledge with other beloved children of Heavenly Father. After all, doesn’t Heavenly Father’s plan implore that we all do what we can to help each other home?If these points as I’ve described them seem reasonable, what then do we do with the following question, and how might it shed light on our understanding of revelation within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Question: Is it possible that a member of the LDS church could ALSO have had a similar near-death experience, and ALSO feel impressed to share their experience with others – members and non-members alike? NOT by way of commandment surely, but rather to provide greater light and deeper understanding pertaining to the Plan of Salvation for the children of God who would benefit thereby.I truly believe so. And I believe that the LDS accounts of near-death experiences I am aware of are shared by members from the context of fulfilling their unique role and mission, to ultimately bless many fellow travelers here in mortality. I also believe that guidelines or parameters to receiving revelation that do NOT allow for the sharing of these types of experiences most certainly need revision. Lastly, I believe that we must allow all people the freedom and flexibility to determine for themselves – by the grace of God – how pertinent and applicable to their life’s mission these shared experiences will be.Most sincerely,

Cassandra S. HedeliusSeptember 4, 2015

Dave: "Where is your scriptural argument that it is dangerous to believe that we must meet God face to face while in the flesh in order to be saved? D & C 84: 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. 23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; 24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory."CSH: Dave, that passage doesn't even support your case. If one is to see God while mortal, the protection of priesthood power is necessary. Moses sought to prepare the Israelites and they rejected his help--that doesn't mean that everyone everywhere *must* see the Lord before dying. Are you condemning all the Israelites to being shut out of exaltation? That goes rather farther than the words of scripture that they wouldn't enter the Lord's rest while in the wilderness.Dave: "What seems dangerous, here, is hardening our hearts against the belief that we can meet Him while in the flesh, which kindles His anger and provokes Him to pull back and offer less."CSH: You seem to have missed the many places in my article and these comments where I have made quite clear I advocate whole-hearted seeking for this great blessing. If anyone falls into the danger you fear, it would not be from my words, but from yours and others' willful misinterpretation of them.Dave: "The scriptures are just full of this doctrine, but we have to believe Christ is offering Himself to everyone--now, during this life, not just to church leaders who then become the gatekeepers. Christ is the only Gatekeeper."CSH: I never said otherwise.Dave: "And where do you get the idea that this is elitism? Good grief, none of this is about any mortal being better than any other mortal. Compared to Christ we're all pathetic sinners and hopeless losers. So let's just set that silliness aside."CSH: Re-read my article. You've completely misunderstood what I identified as elitism. Elitism is thinking one has to use special sources, and make a special quest, aside from the scriptures and present-day church leaders' teachings, and steady incremental progress via obedience and service and keeping our covenants, to receive these great blessings.Dave: "Only the meek and charitable will ever succeed in entering into His presence. It is soul-expanding, understanding-enlightening,and delicious to believe we can know Christ in this life--you know Alma 32 stuff. To know Him in this life is to partake of the fruit. To fail to believe we can do so does not please Him, as we see above."CSH: Read my article. From your comment, I fear you did not, or did not read it closely enough to actually understand it.

Cassandra S. HedeliusSeptember 4, 2015

dannyk: I am indeed familiar with all that history. My comment assumed familiarity with it. Nothing you said changes the facts, that the Lectures on Faith are inspired but not authoritative scripture, have flaws wherein they were contradicted by later revealed scripture, and quote-mining them to support gnostic enthusiasms, while implicitly criticizing modern prophetic leadership, is a fruitless and dangerous pastime.

DaveSeptember 3, 2015

Where is your scriptural argument that it is dangerous to believe that we must meet God face to face while in the flesh in order to be saved?D & C 84: 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. 23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; 24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.What seems dangerous, here, is hardening our hearts against the belief that we can meet Him while in the flesh, which kindles His anger and provokes Him to pull back and offer less.The scriptures are just full of this doctrine, but we have to believe Christ is offering Himself to everyone--now, during this life, not just to church leaders who then become the gatekeepers. Christ is the only Gatekeeper.And where do you get the idea that this is elitism? Good grief, none of this is about any mortal being better than any other mortal. Compared to Christ we're all pathetic sinners and hopeless losers. So let's just set that silliness aside. Only the meek and charitable will ever succeed in entering into His presence.It is soul-expanding, understanding-enlightening,and delicious to believe we can know Christ in this life--you know Alma 32 stuff. To know Him in this life is to partake of the fruit. To fail to believe we can do so does not please Him, as we see above.

JuliannSeptember 2, 2015

This along with the Heavenly Tourism books are a curious trend. Thanks for the analysis.

dannykSeptember 2, 2015

With respect Cassandra, based on your reply to Ryan, it would seem you're not familiar with the history of the Lectures on Faith. Previously, the revelations we now call D&C were called the "Book of Commandments". That changed when the Lectures on Faith were added. In the intro to the Doctrine and Covenants, it specifically states that the book had two parts, the first part (Lectures on Faith) contained the "important doctrine of salvation", and that the second part of the book (what is now D&C) contained "items or principles for the regulation of the church." Joseph then finished the intro by stating "We do not present this little volume with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced."Scholar and Apologist Blake Ostler was recently reported to have said that the Lectures on Faith were the "Doctrine" portion of Doctrine and Covenants. It is worth asking if they have been unfairly demoted it the eyes of many church members when they were removed in 1921.I personally don't assume that church leaders are unaware of them. I don't think it makes people spiritually elite because they have read and studied them. But since their demotion from scripture, it seems very few people have read them. In the last 3 high priest groups I've been a part of, I can count on 1 finger, the number of brothers who've read them.Which is sad. They were removed from scripture, but some recent leaders didn't allow that to reduce their importance in their own worship and study. Bruce R. McKonkie stated: “In my judgment [the Lectures on Faith] is the most comprehensive, intelligent, inspired utterance that now exists in the English language that exists in one place defining, interpreting, expounding, announcing, and testifying of what kind of being God is. It was written by the power of the Holy Ghost, by the Spirit of Inspiration. It is in effect, eternal scripture. It is true.”And while you are correct that the Lectures don't state that someone needs to receive their calling and election in this life, it does have some pretty unambiguous words that the LDS would be wise to duly consider, and ask themselves if they haven't cheapened the "important doctrine of salvation". The lectures on Faith set a much higher standard for salvation. I understand that may be the very reason some people have rejected them as unscriptural or non-doctrinal (which certainly seems to go against what Joseph Smith thought of them). It is also the reason the "Gnostics" you speak of consider it an important text. Whether they are right or not, only God knows. For those who haven't read some of the bold statements in the Lectures on Faith about the requirements for salvation...See for yourself -Lecture 6:1-4,6,8 says "1 Having treated, in the preceding lectures, of the ideas of the character, perfections and attributes of God, we next proceed to treat of the knowledge which persons must have, that the course of life which they pursue is according to the will of God, in order that they may be enabled to exercise faith in him unto life and salvation.2 This knowledge supplies an important place in revealed religion; for it was by reason of it that the ancients were enabled to endure as seeing him who is invisible. An actual knowledge to any person that the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God, is essentially necessary to enable him to have that confidence in God, without which no person can obtain eternal life. It was this that enabled the ancient saints to endure all their afflictions and persecutions, and to take joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing, (not believing merely,) that they had a more enduring substance. Heb. 10:34.3 Having the assurance that they were pursuing a course which was agreeable to the will of God, they were enabled to take, not only the spoiling of their goods, and the wasting of their substance, joyfully, but also to suffer death in its most horrid forms; knowing, (not merely believing,) that when this earthly house of their tabernacle was dissolved, they had a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Second Cor. 5:1.4 Such was and always will be the situation of the saints of God, that unless they have an actual knowledge that the course that they are pursuing is according to the will of God, they will grow weary in their minds and faint;6 For unless a person does know that he is walking according to the will of God, it would be offering an insult to the dignity of the Creator, were he to say that he would be a partaker of his glory when he should be done with the things of this life. But when he has this knowledge, and most assuredly knows that he is doing the will of God, his confidence can be equally strong that he will be a partaker of the glory of God.8 It is in vain for persons to fancy to themselves that they are heirs with those, or can be heirs with them, who have offered their all in sacrifice, and by this means obtained faith in God and favor with him so as to obtain eternal life, unless they in like manner offer unto him the same sacrifice, and through that offering obtain the knowledge that they are accepted of him."

Cassandra S. HedeliusSeptember 2, 2015

To the commenter Ryan who wrote about the Lectures on Faith: I think you're being a Gnostic regarding the Lectures, making them into a special source of knowledge that only the spiritually elite (and not church leaders) are paying attention to. That's a dangerous position. There is a lot of truth in the Lectures, but they are not revelation, and some of their points were contradicted by subsequent revelation (e.g. the nature of the Godhead). Just because they were originally published with the revelations that are now the entirety of the D&C doesn't elevate them above what they are--mostly inspired but still imperfect teachings. To promote them as a superior fount of now-neglected doctrine is unsupported by history, scripture, and good sense.You write of those who "believe that we can receive the Lord in mortality" as though that's a subset of church members who are more with it than the rest. I think that's wrong. ALL believing church members, who have any familiarity with the scriptures, believe one can receive the Lord in this life. They just also know that it's not *essential* to exaltation to do so, because the Lord does things in His own way and time. Please see the Interpreter articles I linked in my article for a fuller discussion of this issue.I don't know how one earth you could read my article and conclude I "delegitimize[d] the original goal" of having one's calling and election made sure. I said plainly that we should study about it and seek for it. But you are believing things about it that are not true, such as that it must happen in mortality and will happen with enough spiritual elitism and determination, instead of humbly waiting on the Lord for Him to bless us in His own time. Please read my article again, and the Interpreter articles I linked.

Cassandra S. HedeliusSeptember 2, 2015

To the commenter Ryan who asked about politics: I agree that politics can be a snare. I have very strong political views myself, but as I said in my article: "any enticing gospel hobby that detracts from [faith, repentance, obedience, and service] is a snare." Law and politics are very important during our time on earth, and we should be conscientiously trying to make them reflect true principles, but setting them up as essential tests of faithfulness or ability to discern truth is a gospel hobby and a snare. And we should never use our politics to justify our sitting in unrighteous judgment against our fellow saints who disagree. Thanks for your comment!

TanyaSeptember 2, 2015

Excellent article, and very timely. I've known several folks who've gone down the "Mormon Gnostic" route, and it has led them out of the Church. Heartbreaking. The Lord set us up with a prophet and Quorum of Twelve for a reason: they are to lead the Church. If we listen to them, if we stay with our stakes, we will be safe. These alternate voices claiming to be receiving revelation that applies to anyone except themselves and their families or others under their responsibility (i.e., they claim to be called to warn the world) are deceived.Thank you for this warning and reminder to stick with the church leadership.

Ryan1September 1, 2015

Hi Ryan. This is Ryan1. I'll differentiate ourselves since it appears we commented the same day with the same name. I commented on what I would call "President Benson and his contemporaries and thoughts". The other Ryan is with regard to the 2nd Comforter with relation to Enoch, Mahonri and Moses. I'd like to comment regarding Ryan's words on the 2nd comforter:I think what Cassandra is trying to point out here is the doctrine of the 2nd comforter vs the inappropriate preoccupation with achieving the 2nd comforter. I really like that you use Enoch, Bro of Jared, and Moses as examples. I think it's important that neither of them set out to meet God face to face. That wasn't their goal. They didn't desire this. But rather they approached God in faith and prayer and service to those they served. God, upon his own volition, granted them back into His presence. I think we truly find God under the context of Matthew 25 and how the sheep reacted. I think if we place too much emphasis on the doctrine of meeting God then seeking God for the sake of seeking God becomes the goal and that's where we go wrong. God appears when we seek serving and loving others in humility. I think that's the important distinction. Make the desire of your heart Mosiah 2:17 and the doctrine of 2nd comforter wrapped in this context is beautiful to me. So while early teachings of the importance of meeting God in this life is an indeed invaluable part of the restoration I also see how our modern apostolic guidance in placing less emphasis on seeking God directly and more emphasis on building the kingdom through selfless service is good direction for the body of Saints today. Inordinate desire to meet God by spiritual progression seems perilous. Renting the veil by faith through prayer and concern for others seems delicious and I think that is the point Cassandra is trying to make here.

RyanAugust 31, 2015

Hi Cassandra -It's true that some of us who believe that we can receive the Lord in mortality may tend to set this up as an idol that we preoccupy ourselves with. The result can be that we grow impatient and grasp for spiritual manifestations that we're not ready for. This opens us up to false spirits that deceive. But this doesn't delegitimize the original goal. It only proves that salvation and spiritual gifts do not come cheaply.We've lost a something very valuable in the lectures on faith that comprised the first 70 pages of the 1835 edition of the D&C. There's a foreword just before these doctrinal lectures signed by Joseph Smith and the counselors of the first presidency at the time which says they would stand to account in the last day for the content of that book. That edition of the D&C was voted on and accepted by the church and the doctrinal lectures remained in the D&C for over 80 years.Verse 55 of the 2nd lecture says: "Let us here observe, that after any portion of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge, respecting his character and glory, will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until like Enoch the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God, and power with him to be hold him face to face."The commonality between the three individuals mentioned, who saw God face to face (Enoch, the brother of Jared and Moses), is that they saw God while still in their mortal tabernacle. The veil in the ancient temple that hid the holy of holies, I've read, was made of different colors of thread meant to represent the materials of which the earth is made. Man was formed of the dust (dust we are and unto dust shall we return) or in other words the same materials of which this earth is made. Our tabernacle forms a veil that mutes the spiritual communications that come by way of the spirit within us.Faith is operative within this veil or this mortal tabernacle. Within this veil of mortality we must develop faith (which according to the first lecture on faith is the power by which all things were made and are upheld). Amulek warned: "...do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."Why resist a gift and promise that God makes available to all without respect to persons? We must overcome the veil (rend the veil of unbelief) in the same way that the brother of Jared did - by faith. Like I said, faith is operative within our present estate. The veil or tabernacle that we have, given to us by God, is what Satan most covets. It's the key to our eternal progression.John 14:23 says the following: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." D&C 130:3 clarifies: "The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false." We've lost some plain and precious truths with the removal of the lectures on faith from our D&C. But remnants and clues about these truths still persist in the scriptures we have in front of us. If we study them, they can open a window to see what God actually intends for us to obtain.

RyanAugust 31, 2015

Great article. I'd love to hear your perspective on another type of Mormon. I have great friends in the gospel who spend what seems to me to be an inordinate amount of time focused on president Benson and those of his time who were so fiercely against communism. They usually hold to the far right on political and social issues and are convinced the tiniest form of socialism is pure evil and will bring about the end of the world. Perhaps I'm unlearned but I find a great deal regarding socialism that's very close to what the Lord has in mind in a society that cares for it's people. I usually find that those with a soft spot for social programs usually have good intent and a kind heart. I'm not advocating end of capitalism but I think combined with the right social programs we'd have a good benefit to society. And I've noticed those who are on the left on issues who aren't members of the gospel are quite intrigued by discussions of the United order and socialism similarities. But those who seem to hold fast to the Benson contemporaries cry foul and warning.

Cassandra S. HedeliusAugust 31, 2015

Hi Dave, thanks for reading! You said:"I would be careful about suggesting a preoccupation with the Second Comforter is off base or looking beyond the mark or in any way not right regardless of how little it is understood, believed, or taught by the church and its leaders."CSH: Please read what I actually wrote, and portray my position correctly. I said "It’s good to read scriptures and church leaders’ teachings about the Second Comforter, and to strive to receive it, by steady dedication to your covenants and following the Savior by loving and serving others. It’s bad to make the Second Comforter into a gospel obsession, thinking that your special quest makes you more spiritual or righteous than others, and buying books by self-proclaimed experts and discussing them for hours with strangers on the internet." I stand by that statement, and what you said does not actually address it."It would be an anti-Christ posture to offer any opposition the the Second Comforter doctrine."CSH: Good grief, I did not do that! Sorry to get riled, but these comments making accusations without having even apparently read what I wrote are not enjoyable to discuss."The goal is that we will all know Him and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Him."CSH: Quite. Again, I do not dispute this, though if you believe it is necessary to receive those ordinances in this life, then you have also bought into a dangerous misinterpretation of the scriptures. Please re-read my article again.

Cassandra S. HedeliusAugust 31, 2015

Ben, thanks for reading and commenting! I think you might want to read again, more closely, and also read the Interpreter articles I linked, because you have misunderstood much of what I said. I'll address a few big points here but I can't do it all justice in a comment."It is a myth that the Lord ever said the church would not be led astray. Please do not attribute those words to Him, or you are indeed taking the name of the Lord in vain."CSH: I should have included this as another hallmark of Mormon gnostics: chastizing without authority, warning against making perfectly legitimate points by saying the Lord will be especially offended. It isn't true. This is the last dispensation. The Lord is capable enough to build a church that can endure the foibles of His saints after saying He would do it."Instead we have grave warnings about our day describing, well, us. This is but one example, but please consider what Moroni describes in Mormon 8. This is addressed to us — in our day. He says we have polluted the holy church of God. Please ask yourself who the holy church of God is in our day. It’s the LDS church. Ask yourself who Moroni’s was writing to: it is us. We are his audience. Moroni goes on to explain that the holy church of God loves buildings more than the poor. Please ask yourself who Moroni is describing. Can you think of a single religious group on the face of the earth that loves the adorning of their buildings more than the LDS church? We are the ones who have robbed the poor because of these ornate temples and buildings we are making, all while gladly taking tithing from the dirt-poor people of Haiti, Dominican Republic and everywhere else. We must awake and arise to our own sorry state how much our scriptures are speaking a warning about “us”, not “them”. The Lord has finally moved his hand entirely from the LDS Church. It’s a large claim that has caused me to weep in dismay, but I cannot change that it’s true. Time will tell us, and our scriptures serve as our own warning about what’s going on here."CSH: This is a self-serving misinterpretation of Mormon 8. Verses 25-26 reference the coming forth of the Book of Mormon ("these things" and "them"), which "shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches (verse 28)." That's talking about Joseph Smith's day, and references the churches then existing. I do think the designation of "a day" can mean the years and even centuries after Joseph's lifetime, but the reference to churches still excludes the LDS church that hadn't yet been established. In verse 32, some of these "churches" say they'll forgive sins in return for money; this certainly isn't the LDS church. Every verse through 37 continues in the same vein, chastising the non-Mormon modern world. It would be strange and unintelligible for verse 38 to suddenly refer to the Latter-day Saints instead, and so the best interpretation is that those who have polluted the "holy church of God" are those who, over time after the death of Christ and the apostles, distorted the original truths of Christianity right up to the mid-1800s."Remember, when it comes to the gathering of the wheat, the tares are not removed from the wheat. It doesn’t work that way. The Lord will gather his wheat from out of the tares, then burn the tares. I see so many people promoting the false idea that the Lord is now gathering the tares from the church. It will not work that way."CSH: I'm not sure why you're bringing this up. I didn't. I don't think the "Lord is now gathering the tares from the church." I do think some members are apostatizing because they are deceived."Alma tells us that many know the mysteries of God, but are at strict command to not tell them. Do you, Cassandra, know the mysteries of God? If not, why not? They’ve been promised to *all* who will humble themselves before God."CSH: Did you even read my article? *I quoted Alma 12:9, the very verse you're referring to.* *Of course* I believe we can know the mysteries of God. I also believe those who learn them are laid under a strict command not to impart them except under very limited circumstances, and a comment section on the internet is not one such circumstance, so I ask you please not to request sacred things be said here."Are our leaders encouraging us to receive the second comforter and learn these necessary mysteries of God which Joseph counseled us to pursue. Elder Oaks recently explained in the Boise Rescue that the second comforter is not something we should be seeking, nor expecting."CSH: You are bearing false witness against Elder Oaks. He said "Of course, all of the righteous desire to see the face of our Savior, but the suggestions that this must happen in mortality is a familiar tactic of the adversary. To identify a worthy goal, such as to achieve exaltation, and then to use the desirability of that goal and people’s enthusiasm for it to obscure the new means the adversary suggests to achieve it. The means are important, even vital. As the Lord said in another setting, ‘it must needs be done in mine own way.’""And yet the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price teach plain as day the path to redemption in this life — and the definition of redemption is entering the presence of the Lord in the flesh. The brother of Jared learned this is redemption, and also learned this will happen to *all* who qualify. The church leaders are spiritually choking its own membership, teaching the doctrine of carnal security — that if you hold a worthy temple recommend you are guaranteed exaltation."CSH: This is wrong, wrong, wrong. The claim that redemption requires seeing the Savior in this life is wrong and unsupported by the scriptures. See the section titled "Necessity of Theophany" in this article, which I linked in my article, and which anyone making such sweeping claims should read before leaving long comments: https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/passing-up-the-heavenly-gift-part-one-of-two/"Indeed we receive the message at conference time to “stay on the boat” and to “follow our leaders” because all is well in Zion."CSH: Why is it so troublesome for you to quote our leaders correctly? Elder Ballard, who gave the talk telling us to "stay in the boat" did NOT say "because all is well in Zion." Go type "all is well in Zion" into the search box at lds.org. Your claim here is simply wrong.A true prophet does not counsel to follow himself. A true prophet *only* counsels to follow Christ.CSH: Wrong again. Naaman obeyed Elisha and was healed. The widow obeyed Elijah and was fed. The Lord told us to "receive counsel" from Joseph." You're making a silly distinction, anyway. Prophets say we should follow them *because* they follow Christ and lead us to Christ."Finally, even if Joseph Smith did say what is attributed to him about staying with the majority of the church (after a more scrutinizing look I don’t believe he ever said this) — two-thirds of the church are inactive. Is that who you believe hold the key to not being deceived?"CSH: I see you've read the Gnostic blog disputing that quote. This blog gives many more sources, to the point that you just can't honestly argue something to that effect was not said: https://etherscave.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-key-that-will-never-rust-majority-of.html Many church members are inactive, but that doesn't mean they've lost all faith or are coalescing around an alternate claimant to authority. In context, Joseph was teaching that when there is a major schism in the church, going with the minority is the wrong choice.

DaveAugust 28, 2015

I would be careful about suggesting a preoccupation with the Second Comforter is off base or looking beyond the mark or in any way not right regardless of how little it is understood, believed, or taught by the church and its leaders. It would be an anti-Christ posture to offer any opposition the the Second Comforter doctrine. The goal is that we will all know Him and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Him.

BenAugust 28, 2015

Cassandra, thanks for your article, and I do think your remarks echo the thoughts and feelings of most LDS people.It is a myth that the Lord ever said the church would not be led astray. Please do not attribute those words to Him, or you are indeed taking the name of the Lord in vain.Instead we have grave warnings about our day describing, well, us.This is but one example, but please consider what Moroni describes in Mormon 8. This is addressed to us — in our day. He says we have polluted the holy church of God. Please ask yourself who the holy church of God is in our day. It’s the LDS church. Ask yourself who Moroni’s was writing to: it is us. We are his audience. Moroni goes on to explain that the holy church of God loves buildings more than the poor.Please ask yourself who Moroni is describing. Can you think of a single religious group on the face of the earth that loves the adorning of their buildings more than the LDS church? We are the ones who have robbed the poor because of these ornate temples and buildings we are making, all while gladly taking tithing from the dirt-poor people of Haiti, Dominican Republic and everywhere else.We must awake and arise to our own sorry state how much our scriptures are speaking a warning about “us”, not “them”.The Lord has finally moved his hand entirely from the LDS Church. It’s a large claim that has caused me to weep in dismay, but I cannot change that it’s true. Time will tell us, and our scriptures serve as our own warning about what’s going on here.Remember, when it comes to the gathering of the wheat, the tares are not removed from the wheat. It doesn’t work that way. The Lord will gather his wheat from out of the tares, then burn the tares. I see so many people promoting the false idea that the Lord is now gathering the tares from the church. It will not work that way.Alma tells us that many know the mysteries of God, but are at strict command to not tell them. Do you, Cassandra, know the mysteries of God? If not, why not? They’ve been promised to *all* who will humble themselves before God. Are our leaders encouraging us to receive the second comforter and learn these necessary mysteries of God which Joseph counseled us to pursue. Elder Oaks recently explained in the Boise Rescue that the second comforter is not something we should be seeking, nor expecting. And yet the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price teach plain as day the path to redemption in this life — and the definition of redemption is entering the presence of the Lord in the flesh. The brother of Jared learned this is redemption, and also learned this will happen to *all* who qualify.The church leaders are spiritually choking its own membership, teaching the doctrine of carnal security — that if you hold a worthy temple recommend you are guaranteed exaltation. Indeed we receive the message at conference time to “stay on the boat” and to “follow our leaders” because all is well in Zion.A true prophet does not counsel to follow himself. A true prophet *only* counsels to follow Christ.Finally, even if Joseph Smith did say what is attributed to him about staying with the majority of the church (after a more scrutinizing look I don’t believe he ever said this) — two-thirds of the church are inactive. Is that who you believe hold the key to not being deceived?

Donald K. DannerAugust 28, 2015

Section 76:5 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.6 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.7 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.8 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.9 And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.

Cassandra S. HedeliusAugust 25, 2015

May, Amanda, and Jeff--thanks so much for reading and commenting! I just want to point out a couple of misunderstandings, and maybe another read-through of my article will help you see where I'm coming from. The "keep it to yourself" principle, and the standard that revelation can only be taught to the church by those authorized, does not in any way contradict the glorious truth that God can reveal to us many wonderful things. In the very verse I quoted, Alma 12:9, it makes plain that "it is given unto many to know the mysteries of God." That's wonderful! But it is crucial to remember the second half of the verse, which teaches that those who receive such knowledge also receive a "strict command" not to teach more than authorized church leadership have taught. In my article I go into the reasons why without this command we would all be in grave spiritual danger. Similarly, I never said we should just blindly follow our leaders and take their word for everything--we are absolutely commanded to seek revelation/inspiration for ourselves as a confirming witness of their teachings. But that doesn't negate the Lord's revealed standards that only authorized church leadership can promulgate new revelation, and others who receive special knowledge *must not* share it.

JeffAugust 22, 2015

While I agree with many aspects of this article, I think its important to know that Christ wants us each to develop a relationship with Him. We are not made for the Church, but it for us. To bring is to His feet, then we to become like Him. We shouldn't discount the important role that we must make personally, where the church cannot bring us. It is also true that the Church are just men and women like any of us, so we should always remain humble and honor our collective growth as a church just as we have for any individual.

FredAugust 22, 2015

As to personal revelation, I like the example where Lorenzo Snow, as a relatively new member, received a personal revelation that God was once as we are, and that we may become as God. At first, he shared this revelation with no one except his sister Eliza. Then he privately related it to Brigham Young, who wisely told him: "Brother Snow, that is a new doctrine; if true, it has been revealed to you for your own private information, and will be taught in due time by the Prophet to the Church; till then I advise you to lay it upon the shelf and say no more about it (Whitney, Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 1900, p. 4). This Lorenzo did until the Prophet Joseph delivered the King Follett discourse and taught the same doctrine publicly for the first time. Thereafter, Lorenzo Snow felt free to teach it.Yes, we may receive correct and inspired personal revelation. But true as it is, it will be for our own personal benefit, and not for others, until such time in this day and age as it is revealed and taught by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles.

Andy WykstraAugust 22, 2015

I love the comment that the Gospel of Christ, Faith, Repentance and Service are deep enough. I guess I am just a simpleton when it comes to the mysteries of the kingdom. This movement has taken my brother in law and my sister out of the church

Amanda PsuikAugust 20, 2015

Not that I didn't agree with most of this article...I think it is very useful diagnostically. I think it swings the pendulum a little too far to the right, to a place that even Brigham Young would disagree with. There are plenty of scriptures to provide "balance" to the preferences expressed in the article: Numbers 11:29 where Moses said that he "would God that all the Lord's people were prophets." Moroni 10:8-18 "Deny not the gifts of God...[which] come unto every man severally according as he will." 1 Cor. 14:3 "he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." Acts 2:17-18 "And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy." Are we to assume that everyone with the spirit given them to prophesy should keep it to themselves? That's ridiculous in light of other statements such as the one from Brigham Young who said "Be willing to receive truth, let it come from whom it may; no difference, not a particle." Or from Harold B. Lee who counseled "If we want to measure truth, we should measure it by the four standard workds, regardless of who writes it." We have been given the gifts, and we have been given the tools to judge. The aspect of your article that was discouraging is the inability to distinguish between prophecy that is given merely for wisdom (not binding on others) versus the kind given through proper authority which is "authoritatively binding." The "keep it to yourself" policy is pretty hard to support in our theology.

May C.August 19, 2015

While commending this author on a most thoughtful and articulate presentation I would like to echo the sentiments of Lorena H. and Andrea Z. as well as add the following observations from my own personal studies of the words of the Prophets both ancient and modern.From Joseph Smith, "I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office * * * in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessing which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation." (May 4, 1842.) DHC 5:1-2.And as recorded by the first Relief Society sisters in Nauvoo at the time of their organization, "President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ 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, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy. Section Five 1842-43, p.237 There is another error which opens for the adversary to enter. As females possess refined feelings and sensitiveness, they are also subject to overmuch zeal, which must ever prove dangerous, and cause them to be rigid in a religious capacity--[they] should be armed with mercy, notwithstanding the iniquity among us." (Teachings of Joseph Smith Section Five p.238)This from Brigham Young, "I am more afraid that these 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. Break not the spirit of any person, but guide it to feel that it is its greatest delight and highest ambition to be controlled directly by the revelations of Jesus Christ; then the will of man becomes godlike... And God shall reign within us to will and do of His good pleasure. (Brigham Young, journal of discourses, 9: 150)Even the great deliverer Moses had this to say when it was brought to his attention that others were receiving revelation in the camp of Israel. "Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them." (Numbers 11:29)And finally, "And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiff necked. And as many as are not stiff necked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith." (Jarom 1:4) It appears as if there must have been a number of such personal and possibly prophetic experiences shared throughout this community of ancient Saints.Add to these words the beloved story of a wealthy, yet "visionary," man by the name of Lehi, who dwelt in Jerusalem during the time that the Prophet Jeremiah was identified as the Lord's mouthpiece for "the church." Include his contemporary, the Prophetess Huldah whose fascinating story can be read in 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34, and perhaps there are evidences of many scriptural "patterns" in relation to the sharing of personal revelation, prophesy and the proper application of prophetic gifts that can be legitimized.I take great comfort in the all inclusive prophetic words of Moroni as expressed in Moroni chapter 10:3-5 with an emphasis on the following,"5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."It is my experience and observation that the majority of those Saints who choose to share personal spiritual experiences, whether they be on a small "testimony meeting" scale or in larger more public forums, are simply doing their best to follow in the footsteps of Nephi who recorded the righteous tradition of his community in the matter of sharing personal revelation "26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." Certainly there are exceptions however as the Prophet Joseph pointed out it is "mercy" that is required in the face of iniquity. I personally am uplifted and edified by the Christ centered testimonies of inspired seekers of truth of all different Faiths and religious persuasions. I applaud all earnest seekers of light and knowledge and wish to be counted among them!

Michael WinwardAugust 19, 2015

Alma 12:9 does not say that people must “keep such things to themselves”. Alma says we should “impart … according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.”Since we can’t know when the children of men give heed and diligence unto him for the portion of his word which he grants them, we should rely on the Spirit to instruct us when. As far as Joseph Smith’s statement about this, I can’t imagine that God told him to tell us to never, ever, share these things. I believe that we must share them when prompted by the Spirit. I believe Joseph Smith would agree with this.

Cassandra S. HedeliusAugust 19, 2015

Hi Andrea, thanks for reading and commenting! You're definitely correct that spiritual gifts are meant to edify ourselves and others, but that doesn't mean the Lord hasn't given us any standards to guide us in doing so. He has. There's just no way around the clear teachings that revelations are not to be taught and shared, and that we should not follow purported leaders who don't have authority. There's a difference between the office of Prophet and the gift of prophecy, yes, but that fact gives no justification for breaking the Lord's revealed standards. I don't see where "balance" is relevant here; the scriptures are clear on this matter, and I prefer not to balance them with non-scriptural preferences :-)

Andrea Z.August 19, 2015

I think what Lorena was trying to get across - and I agree with - is that gifts of the spirit were given for the edification of all (not to be binding on all - but potentially edifying). Like Elder Oaks said: "It is vital for us to honor the distinction between the prophetic gift and the prophetic office." It is significan that he mentions both. It is not wisdom that we should embrace the portion of our teachings that the author emphasizes at the expense of others (like the scripture in Joel); that would be reactionary anti-gnosticism. While the points mentioned in this article are useful, I hope we can restore balance.

Jessica WhitakerAugust 18, 2015

After reading some of these comments the author is spot on about prolific zeal of Gnostic adherents. WOW My son got taken down by them...but those who are predisposed to mental illness are especially vulnerable.

Cassandra S. HedeliusAugust 18, 2015

Hi Lorena, Thanks for reading! I have several thoughts in response to what you wrote.(1) The Book of Mormon doesn't specify Samuel's position in the church organization of the time, but that absence is a very frail foundation for your case that you can therefore ignore modern revelation in D&C 28, 42, and 43. (2) I also believe that many people "shall see greater things than these," as Samuel taught. That does not mean they can violate Alma 12:9 and the teachings of Joseph Smith which tell them to keep such things to themselves. (3) You say the NDEs you read don't claim to be commandments binding on the church. That's good, but that still doesn't absolve their authors of the problems I identified. They are not authorized to teach revelations; they did not "come in at the gate" so we can know what they teach is legitimate. (4) I never advocated putting "boundaries" on what they Lord can reveal. I only pointed out the boundaries the Lord has taught on how we may teach and share our revelations. Many are currently violating those boundaries. (5) I'm very glad you support the Brethren and your local leaders, and stay off internet forums that criticize them. I hope that you may stay spiritually safe, but please do keep in mind what modern revelation says about authority. By spending your time and enthusiasm on improper "revelators," you (a) open yourself to deception by violating the Lord's pattern; (b) put yourself in danger of the spiritual elitism that I see exhibited even by purported visionaries who claim to follow the Brethren; and (c) risk concentrating your means and efforts on preparing for false warnings when you would should instead be focusing on service. (6) "Energy healing" is completely unsupported pseudoscience, and worse, a counterfeit gift of the Spirit that you should avoid totally. This is exactly the sort of deception I fear happening to people like you. (7) I don't think you're apostate! I wrote this piece because I know and respect and care about lots of people who believe as you do. But it is important to clearly understand the principles the Lord has revealed regarding revelation.

Lorena HolmsteadAugust 17, 2015

One example from the scriptures that doesn't fit the criteria you cover in this article is Samuel the Lamanite. It doesn't say anything about him being a prophet. He just got up on the wall because an angel told him to. And his prophecies were entirely accurate, they were cited by the Savior as needing to be recorded, and were included by Mormon, to the tune of several chapters, in the final abridgment of the Book of Mormon. Those who heard Samuel and believed him, went to Nephi to be baptized because Nephi was the prophet. Interestingly, Samuel said, "28 And the angel said unto me that many shall see greater things than these, to the intent that they might believe that these signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men--". I believe this happens in our day also. As to whether such revelations were already had among the Nephites, before Samuel's, I don't know of any, which is not to say there weren't, but I think Mormon would have at least referenced them. What Samuel shared was indeed spectacular and very specific. Of the many visions and near-death experiences that I have read, none claims to be binding on the Church, or in other words, none claim to be given "by way of commandment", or, for that matter by way of wisdom or council. All have said basically, "this is what I saw and experienced", and they have borne powerful witness of the Savior. As I have read them, the Spirit has touched me deeply, and my husband and I both have received guidance from the Holy Ghost on how this knowledge should apply to our lives. We are under no illusion that this should apply to anyone beyond our own family. Revelation we receive is not binding on anyone besides us. I certainly believe that any commandment or revelation binding on the members of the church should come through the gate and be revealed through the proper authority, which is the prophet. But we need to be very cautious as a people not to put so called "boundaries" on what the Lord can reveal to faithful people, members and non-members alike, anywhere, at anytime. If we do so, we fall in to a group, similar to that ignominious camp of people who say, "A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible...". NOTE: I am not saying these visions and near-death experiences are additional scripture. I am saying that people can share what the Lord has given them, and we can discern what is good and needful for us personally. If Samuel's words apply to our day, and I believe they do, these witnesses given by angels to "many" people are given to the intent that there be no cause for unbelief.We are also not going apostate. We love the Church, love the Bretheren, from Pres Monson down to our Bishop and all in between, and actively seek to follow their counsel in our lives. We do not follow anyone who speaks against them. We are not on any online forums that speak negatively of the general authorities of the Church. We do believe we may be called into a tent city, but we don't base our testimony on it. We do hope to build up Zion if we are in a tent city, but we are actively striving to build Zion where we are (it doesn't have to be an either/or). We do love to pour over the scriptures and to understand what the signs are, so that we may rejoice in them, instead of having the Lord say to us, as he did the doubting, confused disciple on the road to Emmaeus, "O fools and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken". We have seen that gifts of the Spirit do bring true healing (not just healing claims), even by those who work in energy healing, which quantum physicists are finally beginning to understand. And, believe it or not, we are not going apostate.And finally - let me make this clear - I don't think you are going apostate either, which I'm really grateful for, because I really, really am saddened when someone leaves the Church. So basically, what I'm trying to say here is that not all people who do a lot of what you say in this article are apostate, or even headed that way. Beyond the basic ordinances, there are many paths and many different ways to hold on to the iron rod. And it's OK if you and I hold on in very different ways. At least we ARE holding on, and we are learning and growing and coming to the Savior. That is what it's all about.

Vern G. SwansonAugust 17, 2015

Your very understandable way of developing thoughts on the subject of Gnosticism was refreshing. I have studied Mormon Gnosticism for many years and believe that it will be a large slice of the apostate pie in the future. Brigham Young noted that he worried about people who got many revelations, he was worried about the source of those visions. I think research into the mysteries and obscure parts of the Gospel can for some people be beneficial. But anytime one starts believing as a matter of testimony their own ideas, they are in trouble. Gnostics are not good at uniting the Saints, but rather at dividing them.

Kirtland StoutAugust 17, 2015

Interesting but entirely useless article without an author. There's also a MAJOR flaw in the author's thinking: that "even the very elect" will be deceived. Our unnamed author is evidently referring to Joseph Smith - Matthew 1:22, "For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant." Or Matthew 24:24, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."In neither of these scriptures does is say that everyone, even the very elect, will be deceived.If it were so that the most faithful members of the Church were going to be deceived and fall away, why the restoration? Who would be here to prepare for Christ's second coming? If we're all on our way out, why did the Lord bother to restore the church?It's nonsense to believe that all faithful Latter-day Saints will be deceived. But it's not nonsense to believe that out of many good and faithful families there are those who choose unwisely and allow themselves to be deceived. These are, I believe, those "elect" who are being deceived every day.

Anne PearsonAugust 17, 2015

Ummm... Oge Swensen..If you look right beneath the title of the article you will see, in bright red, the name of the author- "By Cassandra Showell Hedelius". Great article!

sueAugust 17, 2015

I know about one of these people, and am in a group watching the effects of her predictions on people I am just waiting for the right time to share something like this. It really makes me ill. These people "would die for her." according to someone who moniters the group, but doesn't believe her either.

Oge SwensenAugust 17, 2015

I just finished reading ("Recycled Challenges to the Legitimacy of the Church"). I could find no place where the talk was credited to an individual. If this is a creditable talk, then share the speaker with us: otherwise it is useless.

JulieAugust 17, 2015

THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!!!

DianeAugust 17, 2015

Very interesting and thought-provoking article! Thank you. As I read the Book of Mormon, I see so many verses that apply to these things in our day. It is sobering to think that attacks on the Church from within are undermining its strength far more than those outside of the Church who attack it.

HerbAugust 17, 2015

May be the BEST explanation and warning on Mormon Mysticism I've read today.

Richard WinmillAugust 17, 2015

Living outside the Mormon corridor most of my adults life, I had not observed that the apostasy of the second or Gnostic type was very wide spread. I would only occasionally see it in HP groups and then only furtively. Sorry to hear it has metastasized. Your excellent article made me think of Yeats' "The Second Coming." Particularly his first stanza: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) THE SECOND COMINGTurning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

Helen ShawAugust 17, 2015

Thank you!!! It was perfect! I can't beleive it's become such an issue. It's scary. I'm sure one of the people who fall away ever thought they could be deceived, which means all of us (who feel confident that it couldn't happen to us) need to be extra careful to stick closely to the counsel of the Prophet and Apostles. It seemed to me that you covered everything! :) I think if people spend their precious time reading what other people say, it's less time spent studying and pondering the Book of Mormon, less time saying their prayers, less time pondering their Patriarchal blessing, at the temple, giving service etc... so the end result is a natural consequence :( When President Benson said the great stumbling block our our generation would be pride, it never occurred to me that it would be like this; spiritual pride. I thought it would be all for things and wealth. Thanks for your amazing and thorough article! :)

debbie howellAugust 17, 2015

Very nicely done. I enjoyed reading your article

Chris StreeterAugust 17, 2015

Thank you for putting a name to a malady whose symptoms I have observed, but was not able to so definitively diagnose! I expect this article will be helpful to many members and their leaders.

ADD A COMMENT

  • INSPIRATION FOR LIVING A LATTER-DAY SAINT LIFE

    Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.