Don’t Read TPJS or that Snuffer Guy

teachings-prophet-joseph-smithYou’re probably familiar with Nearing Kolob, the blog dedicated to posts from missionaries and mission presidents that seem a little, well … unusual. I recently came across a letter from one such mission president whose counsel falls into that “unusual” category by controlling what missionaries study. When I served as a missionary in 1976 we were encouraged to read books from the list below. In fact, our mission president, a former CES Institute Director, encouraged us to read many additional books that were found in the mission library, mainly from current General Authorities.


  1. The Standard Works / the Scriptures
  2. Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage
  3. The Great Apostasy by James E. Talmage (not all missions approved this one)
  4. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder by LeGrand Richards
  5. The Articles of Faith by LeGrand Richards
  6. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith
  7. Essentials in Church History, by Joseph Fielding Smith
  8. Doctrines of Salvation (three volumes) by Joseph Fielding Smith
  9. Faith Precedes the Miracle by Spencer W. Kimball
  10. The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball

Today, the only book that I think is still on the approved list is Jesus the Christ. I find this simply amazing and absolutely deplorable. It’s no wonder most of the missionaries today seem to know so little about LDS Church History or what Joseph Smith taught on a subject. In fact, as this letter demonstrates, knowing what Joseph taught is detrimental to missionaries.


Hermana – I do appreciate your openness in our discussions. That helps me understand where you are in your personal conversion process and areas that I might be able to help you with. We are all converts and are all going through a continual conversion process throughout our lives.

I know you were concerned about not being able to read the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It may seem unusual that you are not allowed to read this book while on your mission but you will recall that the call letter you received from President Monson specifically said to not bring any books with you that were not on the list of the missionary library. The principle here is that with the missionary library, including the standard works and those teachings available through the church web pages, you have all you need to effectively teach the gospel here on your mission. Not reading Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith is a matter of obedience to the counsel and direction of our living prophets and apostles and is not something that I have personally determined. That said I wholeheartedly support what the brethren have asked of our missionaries in this regard and see the blessings in the lives of those missionaries who are obedient to this principle.

We revere Joseph Smith and reverence his role as the first prophet of this dispensation. That said we believe in modern and continuing revelation through living prophets such as Thomas S. Monson. Many of the things we are doing in the church today were not revealed to Joseph Smith and came to us via continual revelation and are nevertheless part of the restored gospel in its fullness. A good example would be the revelation given that all worthy men could hold the priesthood which came through living prophets of that time I also find it wonderful and inspired to see how D&C 107 has continued to be used to address the expanding needs of the church with the quorums of the seventy taking on a larger and larger role in the administrative affairs of the kingdom.

When we discussed the fact that President Monson is a prophet just as Abraham and Moses were you noted that you knew of no prophecy given by him. It is certain that you and I do not know of all the revelations and prophecies given to President Monson but that lack of personal knowledge of revelations that God does not want him to share with the rest of us does not then make him any less of a prophet. Over the years there have been many prophecies revealed to the Lord’s anointed prophets that are not widely known to men such as when prophets have been shown things but were forbidden to write them or reveal them. A good example is found in Alma (See Alma 45:9-14).

I know you have dedicated much time in the study of the history of the church and related information. That is good. My only caution is that you take care not to trust so much in your own understanding and that which you are personally able to learn for yourself and shut off spiritual learning. We know that the Holy Ghost is the Master Teacher (See Elder Bednar’s talk – Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary) and that through the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things (Mor 10:4-5). When Elder Bednar toured our mission he told the missionaries to not write down the words that they hear him say but to write the feelings that come to them as he spoke. Scholars both in and out of the church risk becoming so enamored with their own understanding and learning that they are blinded to the Spirit. Of use is the caution provided in 2 Nephi 9:28.

28 0 that cunning plan of the evil one! 0 the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

I am quick to admit that I do not know everything about the gospel. I think you would admit this as well. When we trust our own learning we are trusting in the arm of flesh and that always leads us to places where we do not want to go.

For talks to study this week I would like you to print, study, meditate and pray about the following:

President James E. Faust, The Healing Power of Forgiveness.

I am concerned about feelings you have about President Monson and these incidents that you do not want to disclose to me but which seem to trouble you about him. Read this talk and begin the process of forgiving him for whatever wrong you perceive he has committed. You will be healed and be strengthened in your testimony of him in the process. I sat next to Gary Ceran on a plane coming back to SLC on a business trip a few months before our mission and we had a most amazing conversation.

Elder Soares does an amazing job helping us realize those attributes that make us true disciples of Christ. by Elder Bednar.

I wrote this on Sunday afternoon but very early this morning as I was pondering and praying about your situation and feelings I had the impression to share the following. I tell missionaries who are going home that if they show me their friends I will show them their future. I am trying to inspire them to seek out good company and in surrounding themselves with such people they will live the standards of the church as well. It goes without saying that if you hang out with people who do drugs or break the law of chastity that you will eventually do those things too. How does this apply to you? It applies in the fact that if you read literature produced by or focuses on things taught by people who are disaffected with the church who are either members or who are separated either of their own choice or through church discipline that you will eventually become like them. That is why it is never good to do so. The 13th Article of Faith says in part that if there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things. Nothing that someone like Denver Snuffer or any other person who criticizes the prophet or the church and what they do falls into any of those categories. Time spent on these things are a distraction from that which will elevate us to exaltation … the things spoken of in the 13th Article of Faith.

As I thought further on this my mind was taken to those who criticized Joseph Smith and sought to tear him or the church down or diminish him as the Lord’s chosen vessel. They either repented of those things or they became separated from the church either by their choice or by church discipline. Regardless, they put in jeopardy their exaltation for doing so. Some would say that church discipline is wrong. I know that Denver Snuffer says that he was treated unjustly by his local leaders for holding the council and by President Monson for upholding his excommunication and that it was an exercise of unrighteous dominion. The simple fact is that there were those who opposed the church and Joseph Smith who were excommunicated in councils in which the prophet presided or which were approved by him. That was not unrighteous dominion any more than the actions of President Monson.

I truly hope and pray that I can help you through these challenging moments so that you can achieve your full potential as a missionary and as a daughter of our Heavenly Father. I am not your enemy. I am here to help you from going down a path from which the return will be hard and perhaps ultimately impossible if followed for too long.

Regards, President ******


26 thoughts on “Don’t Read TPJS or that Snuffer Guy”

  1. The language of Priesthood leaders is usually very kindly and paternal. When I read these sort of chastisements, I feel instructed and chastised. My reaction is to re-examine where I am at, to see if I really am following a destructive path. This is no exception. This President is trying to save a soul from a path that he feels in destructive. One can sense his sincerity here.

    That being sad, the solutions he gave to this missionary is precisely WHY there is a problem. Instead of helping the missionary use the Holy Ghost to learn HOW to discern truth from error, he simply expounds from his own knowledge, using the knowledge of others (The Brethren) to persuade this young missionary of the right course. Nothing he counsels here gets one closer to Christ, only closer to the Church. The false equivocation is almost completely circumscribed in our language so much so that’s it hard to parse sometimes.

    If I were a Priesthood leader, I’d hope to teach someone how to draw closer to Christ, to understand the prodings of the Holy Spirit, and to exercise faith on a matter. I would trust that God would lead my charge in the right way. It matters not whether what I think is the right way as a shepherd. In many respects (as shepherds and sheep) because we are not Christ so we are all going in the wrong way and in need of correction. But in our humility we can testify to the power of Christ to save, to lead one to still waters and the fat valleys. It’s that sense of leadership that we learn in D&C 121 that qualifies us to be shepherds.

    This Priesthood leader doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. He is content in his ignorance to counsel others within the safety of the Church. That’s typical, it’s sad, and it’s why so many of us are on lonely roads. Buildings and marketing and large conferences give the aura of safety. But it is an illusion that fades and that’s why there are so many LDS members that feel lost.

    Would to God that I could figure out a better way to reclaim them, to at least have equal voice in my faith and my testimony, which today is afire with hope and light about preserving the restoration and recommencing the establishment of Zion. Nothing of scaffolding of the LDS Church is in that flame, it has been God alone that had lit it.

  2. I just ate 5 minutes worth of barfaroni right there. This is why false traditions damn. They become rooted, and become the rock upon which they build their foundations. And it becomes worse generation upon generation. It must have been extremely difficult for Abraham to break those traditions. Its hard today also, but possible.

    Everything went from complexity to simplicity with in a short period of time. From a long list of to do’s, to humbling yourself and gaining a broken heart and being baptized. God is way too cool.

  3. Oh boy.

    This mission President’s assumption that President Monson receives revelations meant to guide the missionaries that the missionaries ARE NOT PERMITTED TO READ simply boggles the mind. All instructions Joseph Smith received from the Lord to guide missionaries in his day were immediately conveyed to the people those instructions were intended for.

    And we wonder why outsiders call us a cult.

    1. My thoughts too. Whatever Pres Monson receives as revelation that he keeps private is his personal revelation. Revelation for the CHURCH is meant to be given to the CHURCH.

      1. That’s my understanding too. If he’s getting revelation regarding the church, he’s supposed to share it.

  4. Minorityofone

    13 ¶But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (New Testament, Matthew, Matthew 23)

    Can people see how this is true, and has been true about the LDS church almost since the beginning? When people begin to open their eyes, to think for themselves, and even receive pure revelation for themselves (in other words they begin to enter in to the kingdom,) the so called leaders try to reign them in. They attempt to make them feel guilty for thinking differently, for searching in areas outside the prescribed safe zone. They do this with self righteousness. They have not taken the beam out of their own eye to see clearly and they use the judgment of men. So many have been close to escaping and the false leaders convince them through fear-mongering to come back to the all is well in Zion mode. People literally feel guilty even considering things that don’t fit within their little paradigm. It is a tactic of the adversary to rule through fear. People won’t even pray about certain things because they are afraid, and the adversary has convinced them that “faith” equals rejecting any new idea, and remaining true to the dogma, to the leaders, and closing your heart to anything new. This is actually the exact opposite of faith. This is fear. This causes prejudice and judgment of those who believe or act differently, even when the spirit has never told you that what those other people believe or do is wrong. This is damnation. This priesthood leader was acting as an agent of darkness. Plain and simple.

  5. Breaks my heart. This type of control and coercion baffles me. Did you see those people Jesus had for friends and acquaintances? He became just like them! On the contrary, that is where he spent most of his time, with those who needed him. God is love.

  6. How familiar this post is and how apprapo for our family at this time. I already texted you about our situation, but the drama continues. We keep getting calls for interviews and honestly, we are doing nothing to warrent them. We thought if we avoided the interviews we wouldn’t be shoved down that same path to excommunication so fast. Our missionary son pushed us out of the closet before we were ready, and his leaders, now that he’s home, are pushing him away even further.

    I just wish they’d leave us be and stop calling. We are doing nothing to cause trouble or draw attention, but maybe this is the way the Lord will finally get us to move forward. LOL

    Sitting still and stagnating doesn’t benefit anyone in the end.

  7. Dear president ……………,
    I wanted to read your letter to me but it was not on the approved list. Have a great day!

  8. Dear president ………..,
    I took your council to heart and regret to inform you we can no longer be friends or acquaintances. Have a great day!

  9. Dear president …………,
    The talks you gave me to read are not on the approved reading list. Why must you jeopardize my soul so? Have a great day!

  10. I am wondering – Why on earth would you NOT want missionaries to read Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith?? He was the one who revealed the doctrines they are teaching. He was the one given the keys for this dispensation. He was the one who taught, and encouraged, and lived the Gospel fully. He is the reason the missionaries are out there. He is the reason the Church exists.
    Yes, there is supposed to be continuing revelation, but to cut out the teachings of Joseph Smith is to cut out the heart of the whole matter.
    It is greatly disturbing to me that this is being told to missionaries, especially when there is so much out there these days both pro and con. The missionaries need all the ammunition and guidance from the Spirit they can get. Learning the teachings of the Prophet Joseph should be encouraged, should be mandatory!
    As a convert to the church (when I was in my early 30’s) the TPJS, along with the Spirit, were a mainstay in keeping me active during the first few years.
    Good Grief!! This rule is a travesty. RD

  11. I do appreciate the mission president’s letter explaining himself (mine would’ve never taken the time to even write something like this), it’s heartbreaking to see what kind of teachings have become the mainstay of the church.

    Specifically it’s disheartening to see the explanation of how we’ve seen “the blessings in the lives of those missionaries who are obedient to this principle”. The “principle” here is being knowledgeable of our own religion. Apparently, he’s seen missionaries blessed by being obedient to a commandment of ignorance.

  12. This is perhaps the biggest problem in the Church:

    “…if you read literature produced by or focuses on things taught by people who are disaffected with the church who are either members or who are separated either of their own choice or through church discipline that you will eventually become like them. That is why it is never good to do so.”

    I’ll be the first to admit that perhaps the biggest thing I allowed to keep me from investigating the Church using outside (and thus “unapproved”) literature was this ridiculous fear of “apostate germs.”
    I can provide a page-long rant about how it’s the Church’s fault and it was the Church that led me to fear this, but the real root of the problem is simply that I didn’t trust that God would help me discern truth from error. I honestly thought I was too stupid to trust my own moral compass, that God had already provided a Church to instruct me so why would He bother instructing me outside of His Church?
    Yeah, I learned this erroneous (and fearful) way of thinking from Church culture, but I can only blame myself for my lack of faith. It was my own fear that led me to accept the Church’s false teaching that we can only trust Church-approved (and thus “God-approved”) sources. Teaching members to fear contrary ideas and outside sources (a cult tactic) is one of the Church’s greatest weaknesses, and I fell for it.

    1. Minorityofone

      That was one of the best comments I have ever read.

      The same feeling members get when they read any scripture from other religious traditions, the feeling that anything outside of the LDS canon is not trustworthy, and yet everything in the canon IS completely trustworthy, that is also a fear induced falsehood. The LDS church creates Zoramites, but the members feel they aren’t Zoramites, because they believe they really are chosen, blessed, the only ones with the Holy Ghost, the only ones with real prophets, and so on and so on. Very twisted.
      One of the most beautiful awakenings occurs when one realizes Mormonism doesn’t have a one up on anyone. Not with authority, not with the spirit, not with spiritual gifts or miracles. There really truly are prophets in other religions and cultures. There really are miracles from God (probably a lot more in fact) going on in other religions and among other people of faith. It is a humbling awakening though, because then the person realizes all of the stupid judgments they made about others, the pride they had because they felt like they knew better than the rest of the world, and so on, and then repentance occurs and there is a new beginning, without any cult or figurehead mortal to guide us. Just us and God and that’s it, and no humans writing, or words, means any more than any other humans, because humans cannot be trusted with our personal spiritual welfare. The only real scripture is what God tells us individually. That’s it, in my opinion that is:)

      1. Aw, thanks Nate. c:

        And YES
        And as humbling as it was, it was also kind of…freeing…to know that “my way” was not the only way, that salvation wasn’t dependent on the church I belonged to. It was wonderful to realize that to be an instrument in God’s hands for bringing about salvation, I didn’t have to “sell” my church like I previously thought. I never liked the idea of having to drag a person through all aspects of a mormon lifestyle in order to save them, especially knowing I’d have to explain away all those awkward holes in my religion. (ex: You can’t be with your kids in heaven unless you pay money to go through our temple ceremony, we won’t baptize you unless you abstain from hot drinks like iced tea but hot cocoa is okay) But now I don’t have to be an apologist! Or a saleswoman!

  13. I just want to throw a different perspective out here for discussion. I am not TBM, btw. And I served in one of the more “Nazi” missions (as far as I can tell) 20 years ago – where we were required to fast every week (we skipped Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast, and Sunday lunch) – this lasted until we got a new mission president a few months after I got to the mission. I learned later that the first MP had cancer and the AP’s had really been in charge during that time and had instituted a weekly fast for the MP – not sure he knew about this – he really was fighting for his life at that point (and yet chose to stay and serve to the end of his 3-year term). He died two months after going home. Also, new missionaries were often not spoken to until they achieved “Basic” certification which was having all the principles in the 6 discussions memorized as well as the inline scriptures. My trainer wouldn’t talk to me except to test me and help “certify” me. In short, it was a very militaristic mission culture without a lot of explanation and increased the sense of loneliness during that first 6 months. Surprisingly, I don’t remember any missionaries voluntarily going home. This did end up producing a slightly rebellious mission subculture – about 10% of the missionaries were rebellious – not crazy, like transgressing real commandments of God, but against some of the ridiculous mission rules, the young leaders, etc. When the new MP arrived, he immediately started instituting reforms that softened the mission culture quite a bit, making it much more enjoyable.

    So here’s the different perspective I want to throw out here. It’s easy to point out all the faults and problems with the Church and its programs. But as I take a look at how it has served a positive purpose in my life to help me learn, grow, and bring me where I am, I can’t help but see many parallels. Like to ancient Israel. They were unruly, they were spiritually immature, they were in bondage, etc. So what did the Lord do? He sent them a strongman, Moses, who was pretty darn good and they weren’t ready for the greater/higher things yet, so the Lord gave them a strict code of laws, performances, and ordinances (that lasted for many generations). All the while I’m sure the gate to higher learning was open if any individual decided to rise up. Paul said this strict, almost militaristic, Law of Moses was a schoolmaster to bring the children of Israel to Christ, to prepare them (btw, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense without multiple mortal lives, if you think about it, because how does something that lasted many generations – many, many individuals’ entire lives – serve to prepare them for Christ who came later? You could finagle this to fit the spirit world model that we learn in the LDS Church, but it makes much more sense if these same individuals/spirits can keep coming back and benefiting from changes through the generations… it also makes more sense out of the sins of the fathers being visited/returned upon the children, sort of like karma):

    Galatians 3
    21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
    22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
    23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
    24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
    26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    So I see a lot of these young men and women coming home from their missions, loving Christ more, having more self-discipline, etc. Similar to the self-discipline that a lot of wayward youths obtain by serving in the military – by voluntarily/freely surrendering a lot of their freedoms for a period of time to learn. Now it’s also true, just like with the Law of Moses, that missionaries can end up being Pharisees who start to see the Law and their Leaders as God, etc.

    A similar analogy could be used with school and education. When we were in elementary school, the rules were fairly strict and our freedoms very much constrained – it’s a very paternal system, and for good reasons – we’re immature little children. There are fences and locked doors everywhere. We can’t even go to the restroom without permission. And this is the atmosphere where we are learning the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Freedoms and responsibilities expand as we move through Junior High and High School – most High Schools even let the older (now driving) students leave campus for lunch. After we graduate from HS, we can move on to college/university and at this point we’re paying for our own education and most of the professors don’t even care if we show up for class – I felt quite free, even at BYU. Now it’s easy, when you’ve grown up and moved on to some kind of higher learning/education/curriculum, to look back at elementary school or junior high and have nothing good to say about it. (Man, I hated that place and I’ll never go back!) But is that really the right way to look at it? Would you be where you are without it? Would you deny your children the same learning/growth experience? I look back and as unpleasant and difficult as many of the experiences, trials, and challenges have been, they really seem to have been for my good. Maybe this is how we look at mortality when we move on to the next sphere.

    Just throwing some thoughts out there. Yeah, a lot of it sucks, but doesn’t it suck for a reason? And don’t we learn valuably from it?

    1. Minorityofone


      Good points. I think we should look back with gratitude for every experience in our lives. This is taking it a bit to the extreme…maybe. Thinking of karma, multiple lives etc. we could conclude that many people are born into abusive homes with abusive parents and terrible conditions, because, of course that is where they can learn something. If you replace the law, with abusive parents, in the scriptures you cited, it would still fit perfectly. Abuse can be a great school master in all reality.
      The problem with the church is that it claims to be the fulness. The higher law. The way, in fact the only way. Theoretically yes anyone could rise up to the higher truths, but they will be punished, looked down on, and eventually kicked out, unless they keep their mouths shut and pretend they are still fully in line with the church. They will attempt to squash someone like a bug if they start learning more truth about reality. They will ostracize you, turn your neighbors against you, and make you out to be evil. They discourage people (especially in the mission field) from having spiritual experiences outside of their religious viewpoint, they discourage people from reading “self help” books. That is literally true the first presidency has done that. They say that if a revelation does not conform to their prescribed doctrines it is not from God. It is very close to a cult. The military lifestyle screws people up big time as well in my opinion. I have seen enough people come out of the military completely nuts to see something is wrong there. A lot of times when they call it PTSD it could very well also be trying to adapt from the rigid lifestyle you described to a normal life where you don’t have someone to dictate every minute of the day. It’s the same with Mormonism. Many people who begin to see that the church is not the perfect kingdom of light and glory they thought it was do not know what to do with themselves. Their whole identity was founded upon Mormonism so they have a meltdown and can’t function in normal society without extremes. Anyway I truly am grateful for my time in the LDS church, I am grateful for every experience. All things have their purposes and bounds and they are all for our learning and benefit. So you have some fair points there. At some point though elementary school becomes an evil for those who are ready for college, and if the elementary school teachers refuse to allow any of the kids to graduate, tell the kids they are stupid for thinking any truth exists outside of the elementary school, and insist they are the only teachers with any authority and the fulness of truth and valid education, then those elementary school teachers should be fired, lose their teaching licenses, and have to be thrown back into kindergarten themselves for their pride, selfishness and stupidity. I believe the analogy is fitting for the fate of certain church leaders around the globe when it comes to multiple lives:)

  14. Also good points, MinorityOfOne. The real question is whether the analogies of the Law of Moses and Elementary school, etc., with LDS/Mormonism are true or good ones at all. You have to admit, the Law of Moses in Israel could be construed as an abusive cult by the same criteria, both religious and cultural – they could stone transgressors for violations – it was theocratic for a long period of time. I’m not sure LDS/Mormonism actually holds a candle to Mosaic Israel. What do you think? And was not the Lord, through Moses, Joshua, etc., the Author of it? Paul seems to believe so.

    The Law of Moses and Elementary school both included limits to freedom, lower laws, lower learning, and hierarchical leadership structures. In the case of the Law of Moses, which the Lord did seem to establish and approve (for many generations, though it deed seem a form of discipline), that system was in effect for many a person’s entire lifetime from cradle to grave. Lehi and Nephi are examples of people who continued to observe/obey all the strict requirements of the lower Law (pre-Christ) but also managed to rise up and obtain higher learning. They broke away from the entrenched hierarchy in Jerusalem/Israel and started their own branch. It’s very interesting to consider the pattern with all the ramifications and customizations in their case. At that point the entrenched hierarchy had become very wicked and self-serving and power-hungry and the Lord was calling and empowering non-hierarchical prophets like Jeremiah and Lehi to call the mainstream to repentance and warn them of impending destruction. Then the Lord actually led them away. As for Jeremiah, according to Wikipedia, “when Nebuchadnezzar seized Jerusalem in 586 BC, he ordered that Jeremiah be freed from prison and treated well.”

    1. Minorityofone

      That is a great question. I believe in most points given in this address by David whitmer. I believe the church has been under a curse and the time is arriving that many are learning the truth of what happened by the spirit. I believe the church was commissioned under the spirit of Elias with a preparatory/aaronic function (which would equal a law of moses type law being given) with the promise that we would be offered the fulness at some point. It seems we screwed up even the lower law and I believe it was turned into something lower than the law of moses even. At least moses was truly being given revelation from God to lead the activities of the Israelites. The Lords power was manifest in marvelous ways. Yet still it was preparatory for Israel as a whole.

  15. OK, I don’t write much here but will add my ten cents worth.
    I feel some affinity for those who frequent this site because I sense you’re all sincere in seeking truth and unafraid of casting off preconceived notions or perhaps even some core beliefs. I think it’s important to be open enough to challenge yourself.
    What brought these thoughts to mind was minorityofone’s statement that there was a curse upon the church. I’ve known for quite a few years now that something was brewing in the church. I believe a lot of it has to do with what has been God’s format in the past in dealing with those who profess his name. They’re the first to feel his displeasure. D&C 112: 23-26: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face. Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house it shall go forth, saith the lord. First among those among you saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house saith the Lord.” (See also D&C 41:1)
    It’s interesting to note that this same format was used in old testament times and in the church of Christ’s day as described by Peter: “For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17-18)
    It shouldn’t therefore be surprising to see a strain within the church, a purging so to speak to discover who the true believers really are.

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