In 2014, I attended a lecture in Mesa Arizona in which I was impressed with the idea that any priesthood ordinations or conferral of the Aaronic priesthood that took place in the LDS Church after April of 2014 were not valid. I just went back and read the words given on that occasion, and am unable to find that exact phrase, but it got me to thinking about the Sacrament. Maybe I misheard or misunderstood what was intended. Has the authority to confer priesthood changed? And Priesthood is required to bless and administer the sacrament, right? Or is it?
I still attend the LDS Church with Carol each week and it occurred to me several times lately that the young men blessing the sacrament were ordained, or had the Aaronic priesthood conferred upon them AFTER April of 2014. So, does that mean that the exercising of their authority is not recognized of the Lord and that I really should be blessing the Sacrament myself? I’m hesitant to do so because Carol does not support this. She does not believe I hold any priesthood authority as I haven’t been a member of the LDS Church since 2014.
I Didn’t Have To Resign
Now, I know I didn’t have to resign from the LDS Church in order to be baptized again and show my acceptance of the message the Lord had delivered through his servant on that occasion (See 40 Years in Mormonism) but I did and I still feel it was the right thing to do. However, in Carol’s mind, I hold no priesthood as she is of the belief and opinion that priesthood is controlled and ONLY conferred by authority of the LDS Church. I stopped attempting to persuade her otherwise because I am more desirous to have peace in our home – no contention over doctrine.
Obviously, I disagree. There have been many times I would have been pleased to exercise priesthood on Carol’s behalf, when she was sick or distressed, but she never asks me. I don’t mind. I appreciate the good men she calls upon to come to our home to provide the priesthood blessing she seeks. I have long held a belief in my heart that such blessings are efficacious according to our faith. I am simply grateful she still has faith in Christ in spite of her disappointment over my resignation from the LDS Church. I exercise my faith right along with them for her recovery.
I Believe the LDS Church has Changed
The reason I asked that question at the end of my first paragraph about priesthood being required to bless and administer the sacrament is because on the rare occasions when Carol and I are not together on a Sunday attending Sacrament meeting, I have blessed and administered the sacrament to myself. I either recite the prayers from the Book of Mormon or I play the recordings of the prayers from Denver’s website. It’s my understanding that a lone sister in her home can participate in the sacrament in the same way. Is that how you perceive it?
So, yes, I believe things have changed. I do not believe the LDS Church has the right to say who shall administer or receive baptism or the sacrament. As I have long been taught and believe, Aaronic priesthood is very enduring. I received it from my father and can trace my line of authority back to John the Baptist, who bestowed it upon Joseph and Oliver. I also do not believe it requires the higher priesthood to receive the Holy Ghost, or in fact to receive that higher priesthood itself. That comes from the voice of the Lord directly unto man.
Priesthood is not Controlled by the LDS Church
I have been listening to various podcasts and re-reading talks dealing with the Holy Order, called priesthood in the LDS or Mormon Church. Inasmuch as I grew up in that Church, I have had to do a lot of “un-learning” about the true nature of the Holy Order. It is not what the Mormon Church teaches it is. What we have today in the Mormon Church is simply a bunch of offices called “Deacon,” “Teacher,” “Priest,” or “Elder.” These are not priesthood. They are offices in the Church, just like “Relief Society President” or “Sunday School Teacher.”
The LDS Church is totally dependent upon priesthood, not the other way around. The Mormon Church does not have the right to control or decree who can administer or partake of the Sacrament. It is a commandment from Christ as is made clear in the scriptures, “This do in remembrance of me.” Anyone who forbids to administer or partake of the Sacrament is anti-Christ. I would hate to be someone in authority in the LDS Church who forbids another to partake of the Sacrament or to say a father cannot administer it in his own home.
Forbidding to Partake of the Sacrament
What will they say to the Savior when they meet him at the bar of justice and are asked, “Did you tell my daughter she could not receive the sacrament, which I commanded her to “Do always in remembrance of me?” I’ve had many years to think about what was the triggering thing that caused me to resign my membership. I think it came down to this: When I went to my priesthood leaders to discuss my questions and concerns, I was told I could no longer partake of the sacrament. That still just seems so wrong to me. It is anti-Christ to forbid, even if directed by the handbook.
I wonder if anything has really changed in the Church since those days. I read so many accounts of compulsion being exercised by the leadership in various ways, especially in Utah. Maybe it’s different here in California. We are no longer compelled to wear masks, but I attribute that to power-hungry dictators of the State of California finally backing down. We are even allowed to sing in a choir again. Carol and I read the reports that lockdowns, masks and these shots (they are not vaccines) have been ineffective in combating what is really just another strain of influenza.
Cancel Culture Ineffective Tactic of Satan
Now I know I’ve expressed quite a few thoughts that some will find offensive, but I remain grateful I can still express my thoughts here on my blog. It disgusting to see the “cancel culture” in action as they try to enforce their way of thinking on others who do not agree with them. I am not persuaded by their words or their actions. The only thing that persuades me is kind and patient, clearly articulated thoughts that support the words of the Lord. I suppose that’s the biggest thing Carol and I have noticed – how great the divide is becoming for followers of Christ.
We still believe that those who live in this land of America must worship the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, in order to be blessed by him. Of course we don’t believe in compulsion, especially in regards to faith in Christ. We both served as LDS missionaries many years ago and learned long ago that those who seek to do good, to help others, are doing that which is pleasing to the Lord and will be blessed accordingly, no mater where they live or to what religion they belong. I work with good Hindus and Muslims every day and count them as my friends.
I Love my Local Ward and Stake Members
To me, as I look back upon decades of participation in the LDS Church, I see clearly how much it has changed. Carol has also noticed it and pointed some of those things out to me. Although she hasn’t been to the temple in a long time, some of the major changes have been in the ordinances performed there. To her credit she won’t talk to me about them, but there are enough people who have written about it that it’s clear the LDS Church has changed the ordinances there because they wanted the ceremonies to be “more comfortable.”
It is good to worship each Sunday with other folks like us who believe in Christ and want to do good. They are striving to bring their children up in light and truth. I love to hear the members of our ward share their testimonies and bear witness of the Savior’s hand in their lives. I confess I don’t understand why there are some who are so focused on “The Church is True” and “Follow the Prophet” as the most important part of their testimony. To me, the gospel is all about overcoming the natural tendencies of man and by trying to be more like the Savior.
The LDS Church was Cursed by the Lord
I do NOT have a testimony that the current leaders of the LDS Church are “Prophets, Seers and Revelators.” I see them as corporate administrators who use fear, intimidation and compulsion to enforce their dictates of how and when we should worship. I do NOT think it is necessary to be a member of the LDS Church to ensure your salvation or progress in the Lord’s kingdom. That blessed assurance comes only from Christ, not from men who claim to be his authorized representatives with “keys.” So in this sense, the LDS Church has not changed.
Inasmuch as I believe the LDS Church was cursed by the Lord for not completing the Nauvoo temple in a timely manner as He commanded them, I see all the doings of the Church over the past four generations as nothing more than the stumbling of men in the darkness. The older I get, the more I learn, the more that is revealed about the works of the church, the more convinced I am that it is an institution of men, and an abomination. I know that’s harsh, and offensive to those who believe the LDS Church is their only salvation.
Yet Most LDS People Love the Lord
I love the people of my ward and stake. I love attending Sacrament meeting with my wife each week. I love singing the songs of Zion. I love the music of the Tabernacle Choir and especially the program, “Music and the Spoken Word.” And although it’s not produced by the Church, Carol and I have been enjoying “The Chosen” because of the insights and different views of the writers about the life of Christ. We look for the good in the world and in the Church. That goodness is found in the humble people, the followers of Christ who love and serve others.
I am optimistic about the future. My life was not destroyed when I resigned from the Church. I did not lose everything as some were wont to say to me in private emails and in some of the comments here on this blog. I have been fed and uplifted by the scriptures, especially the Restoration Edition, and by the encouraging remarks of one Denver Snuffer, who has introduced me to more truth in the last ten years than I learned in the previous fifty. I feel blessed of the Lord and appreciate his loving kindness and longsuffering toward me and my family.
Happiness From Choosing to See the Good
I try not to focus on the things wrong with the Church. You can read plenty of that from some very talented and very knowledgeable writers whose blogs I link to in my blogroll. I try not to focus on what’s happening among the radical dissidents and what they are saying. They denounce the Church but also the scriptures, the Prophet Joseph, and in some cases, even the Savior. There are dissidents and then there are those who still firmly believe in the work of the Restoration, but that it is not being promoted or carried out by the LDS Church.
I receive a lot of private emails from individuals who ask me how I do it – how I stay with a wife who is a frim believer in the infallibility of the LDS Prophet and the LDS Church. I love Carol. I love her family. One of her nephews was just called as a bishop. He and his humble wife have always impressed me as people who love the Lord and love their neighbor. I love Carol’s Pioneer heritage and love doing family history research with her each Sunday afternoon. There is so much good to focus on and so much good we can do in spite of what we know.
Love and Serve Others in Spite of Signs of the Times
I mentioned above that I love to read what my fellow bloggers who have left the LDS Church have to say. Some have it right. They watch and understand the signs. I love reading Rock Waterman (Pure Mormonism) and Anonymous Bishop – two of my favorites. The reason I don’t get discouraged when reading Rock’s well-researched posts or Anonymous Bishop’s astute observations is because I know they both love the Lord and the Book of Mormon, and truly understand the role of prophets like Joseph Smith and Denver Snuffer.
There are so many voices out there. So many have rejected the LDS Church, but have also rejected the Lord, His scriptures and His servants. Truly, we need the spirit of discernment to understand where and through whom the Lord is speaking today. Yes, I will watch all of General Conference with Carol this weekend. I anticipate many wonderful discussions and a worshipful experience as we listen to the choir and hear good counsel, but Carol and I both know I will never be baptized into the LDS Church again, even though I have thought and prayed about it a lot.
Keep the Faith – Endure to the End
God bless you my friends. We live in wonderful times. We are so blessed. So many are doing their best to prepare for the coming Zion. It may not come in my lifetime, but I am trying to live as if it is. Who knows, I may be totally shocked at how quickly things change here in America over the next six months. The last two years have been trying, but the Lord has been with us. We can discern the lies and deceitfulness of the wicked who seek to control us. Simply give heed to the whisperings of the the Spirit of the Lord. He is real and He loves us. I know He does.
As many long-time readers know, I am not worthy to speak at fellowship gatherings or to minister in the ordinances of the gospel, either in or out of the LDS Church. I cannot administer the Sacrament in my own home because my wife does not sustain me (besides, the LDS Church withdrew that option now that COVID is over), nor can I minister in fellowship gatherings, again, because I am unworthy to do so without the support of my wife. Yet, I am content. I love my wife and as far as I know, she loves me. Surely God will bless us as we strive to avoid contention.