Christians v Pharisees: Choosing Sides And How To Fight For Them In The Mormon Civil War
EPISODE 6B - THE THOUGHT POLICE: POSTMODERN PANTOMIME AND THE MURAL MASSACRE
- IF THE PROPHET IS A LIAR, WOULD YOU WANT SOMEONE TO TELL YOU?
- FACT-PROOF PHARISEES
- POSTMODERN PANTOMIME
- THE MURAL MASSACRE
- THE BETRAYAL OF THE MORMON ARTISTS
Christians vs Pharisees: Choosing sides and how to fight for them in the Mormon Civil War
EPISODE 6 THE THOUGHT POLICE Part B - POSTMODERN PANTOMIME AND THE MURAL MASSACRE
IF THE PROPHET IS A LIAR, WOULD YOU WANT SOMEONE TO TELL YOU?
WeLcome back intrepid listeners! In Part A of Episode 6 I began to explore and provide the abundant evidence that proves a conspiracy. A conspiracy to lie to people and defraud them of their true history and their money. Or rather TWO conspiracies to lie to Mormons and defraud them of their true history and their money. One by document forger and murderous bomber Mark Hoffman and one by the LDS General Authorities he was defrauding for money. It’s a tangled up complicated mess as always in Pharisee Mormon World!
I focused particularly on Dallin Oaks’ contribution to the ongoing conspiracy of the increasingly dominant Pharisee faction of LDS Prophets, Seers and Revelators to hide and rewrite our true history and instruct, condition, brainwash, guilt trip, shame, indoctrinate, whatever word you want to use for the same thing, all of us to never look at, or distrust and ignore, any evidence that LDS Prophets, seers and Revelators are anything less than superhumanly perfect and exemplary and therefore infallible, indistinguishable from actual God, who should be believed and obeyed with complete trust and loyalty and without question at all times, EVEN if the concerns or criticisms or evidence we have that they are not perfect and infallible is completely accurate, reasonable and true. How Dallin has publicly and repeatedly taught during his ministry as an apostle, recently as well as when he began in that role, that Mormon leaders and teachers and curriculum writers and historians and journalists and magazine editors are not just under no obligation to present all the information about the topic they are speaking or writing about or to be objective and “balanced”, but that in fact they are under an obligation NOT to be balanced or honest.
I explored his and others’ teaching that when we have questions or concerns about the Church and its doctrines and origins and unfolding history that the Apostles are unable to answer or totally unwilling to ask God for an answer to, our obligation is to seek the answer for ourselves from God and do their job for them, but we are in a Catch 22 because we are forbidden to tell any answers God DOES reveal to us personally to anyone else because only they are allowed to do that.
How they teach that if God doesn’t give us an answer to our question or concern, and surely that’s a big ask if they as actual apostles and prophets and revelators and seers cannot get an answer from God about something, to put it on a shelf to be answered one day in the future, or more likely after we are dead. How this strategy not only negates their entire alleged power and calling as Prophets, Seers and Revelators but also sets up every faithful and trusting Church member for a catastrophic faith and trust crisis because there are so many unanswered questions, or rather the academics have answered them but the General Authorities have no credible way of answering them that maintains or justifies their Pharisee version of the religion. And they will inevitably pile up until the proverbial shelf breaks and all the weight of those unanswered questions and concerns and contradictions falls on us at once from a great height.
Meanwhile, we must simply do as we are told, keep quiet and wait to die.
And I explored the idea used to suppress anyone questioning the leaders that we are forbidden to apply any critical analysis to what they teach or do because they are ‘The Lord’s Anointed’ even though the concept and the scriptures used to justify it are completely inaccurate and how ALL the scriptures from the example of mad, murderous king Saul, who Dallin Oaks totally misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented, to Doctrine and Covenants Section 121 all teach clearly that the second an anointed or ordained leader teaches or does things that is wrong they LOSE any authority or entitlements or protection from God or immunity to criticism and that in fact it is our faithful religious duty to step up and oppose them and protect our people from them just as David in the Old Testament did in the good years before he became a mad murdering king himself… because another message of the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants is that giving absolute power to anyone in politics or religion ALWAYS corrupts them and leads to unrighteous dominion, so regular Common Consent scrutiny by the entire community and accountability to it is the ONLY way to prevent inevitable corrupted dictatorship, and then the collapse of the country or the religion into chaos.
In this episode I will finish focusing on Dallin, already the dominant ideologue of our Church’s leadership so technically running it already in every meaningful way and in line to be its next President Prophet, and how he went for the totalitarian jugular in erasing the entire concept of objective truth and reconstructing our religion to be entirely about unconditional obedience and loyalty to them as our leaders and gods with a blind faith that is impervious to, and totally disconnected from, the fundamental moral values and truth claims of Jesus Christ and the events of the Restoration. The Lucifer Plan of Salvation, Pharisee religion doctrine that it is exact obedience and covenants made to THEM that save us rather than what Jesus actually taught and exemplified in his life on Earth and His merciful grace and the covenants and commandments of God. When our Pharisee leaders break those values, commandments and covenants they teach that our obligation and loyalty must still be to choose to trust and obey and believe those human leaders instead of choosing Christ. We must not even say or think any kind of criticism or acknowledgement of their weaknesses or mistakes.
This wasn’t an idea Henry B Eyring invented when he gave his horrifying ‘Power of Sustaining Faith’ talk in April 2019 General Conference we listened to in previous episodes which added speaking or even thinking of any of our leaders as having human weakness to the list of sins we mist repent of regularly and if we are about to have a temple recommend interview. As demonstrated in Henry’s quote of long dead apostle George Q Cannon teaching that only God can judge our leaders in that talk, this is an idea that has always been fundamental to the Pharisee Religion and regularly taught by the Pharisee Mormon apostles for over a century now as they steadily gathered influence and momentum and took over our religion step by relentless step.
I will then demonstrate how we have just witnessed the inevitable next step of totalitarian domination in our religion as the First Presidency have lied publicly and repeatedly to everyone and broken all their insincere promises to preserve the Salt Lake and Manti Temples and their live presentation of the Endowment ritual as it is meant to be experienced, and destroyed them instead. I will explore how this speaks volumes about the Pharisee incomprehension and immunity to the power and essential importance of Arts in religions.
And in destroying the art and the artefacts of our flagship sacred building, the icon of our religion, our Ka’aba of Mecca, our St Peter’s Cathedral of Rome, our Bodh Gaya where Buddha attained enlightenment or Temple of the Sacred Tooth, our Wailing Wall, our Amritsar Gurdwara, our Westminster Abbey, they have clearly signalled that they are now very close to destroying our entire religion, root and branch, unless we rise up and stop them doing this to us anymore. They have proven over and over again that they cannot be trusted with anything, ANYTHING at all… except to secretly make a fortune and then they cannot even be trusted with that because they have not got the slightest inkling of imagination or revelatory inspiration about what to even do with it, and meanwhile it is sitting in the stock market waiting to be erased and never used to help anyone or anything when the cataclysmic upheavals they keep insisting are just around the corner actually begin to happen they are so incompetent as well as conspiratorial.
A classroom of 7 year olds would take half an hour to come up with a spending plan for $100 billion that would turn that money into a world transforming wind of change that blesses millions of people in need and saves our religion. After 22 years of sitting on all that wealth and potential good these emotionally and intellectually and spiritually nearly dead old men have come up with precisely nothing.
While we still give absolute power with no common consent accountability to these few old men and their system and philosophy of power and their own infallibility even when they are wrong which are both strictly forbidden by the Doctrine and Covenants in the Common Consent instructions, and D and C Section 121, nothing we do or build is safe either physically or in our family and Church community relationships and sealings to each other. Nothing is safe in our beliefs. All our efforts to love and teach and nurture our children and our friends’ children in our religion are pointless if we continue to give these men with their false religion the power and opportunity to erase it all and drive more that 80% of those children away from the Church, which has already been happening for years.
All our efforts to be good examples and share our beliefs and be missionaries and pay for ourselves to serve for years as full time missionaries are pointless if we continue to give these men with their false religion the power and opportunity to alienate investigators and catapult converts out of the Church with their nasty racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic proclamations and sermons and policy-making and make our religion about cruel and merciless judgmentalism and never being good enough for them and worshipping them instead of about welcome, patient mercy, unconditional love and devoting our worship to God. And it doesn’t take long for the active membership in our entire continent to fall below 15% and continue falling as it has in mine.
All our efforts to pioneer doing the right things regardless of the rhetoric from the Ivory Tower in Salt Lake City and welcome and love people whatever their sexuality or race or gender identity or gender are pointless if we continue to give these men with their false religion the power and opportunity to preach the opposite from the General Conference pulpit and the General Handbook and undo all of that trust and goodwill and prove that while the principles are lovely and true, the organisation itself cannot be trusted with our loyalty and our deepest selves.
All our efforts to switch people on to a rational faith and the big doctrinal and philosophical ideas that are the whole point of our religion, and the lived experience of a rational faith where true science is true religion, are pointless if we continue to give these men with their false religion the power and opportunity to preach the opposite, to attack over and over again even the concept of learning, of research, of debate and dialogue and discussion, to insist that no one and no source of information other than themselves can ever be trusted, and they can change their mind about what the truth even is from one day to the next without explanation and we should just instantly transform our entre personal belief system to match theirs every time they do that if we are to keep up with THEM as the only saviours and arbiters of truth who decide who can expect to be making it to live with God in the next life. In fact, they are so certain that they know better than Jesus the Judge who is going to be saved they have already anointed themselves in the secret Second Annointing ritual in the temples they haven’t yet destroyed as exalted Gods and Kings who are guaranteed exaltation rather than waiting for judgment day like the rest of us.
So while I love all the persistent and brave faithful efforts of local members and leaders to buck the Pharisaical trends and rhetoric of the Church’s leaders and try to pioneer and normalise progress themselves when the international leaders refuse to, and hope that their good example spreads, and I have spent many years of my life since I was teenager supporting and working hard for such local initiatives, unfortunately that has proven to be a completely inadequate response to the full scale of the Pharisee philosophical tsunami and marching battalions of unquestioning robot Pharisee Mormons who do not want those changes and improvements to happen at all, let along spread through the Church, and will stomp all over them with a General Conference talk, a policy change, a new proclamation, an excommunication or a new piece of video propaganda unleashed on the internet. I
just turned 50. That’s 5 decades of watching nearly all these local initiatives come to nothing. 5 decades of watching the efforts of several generations of Latter-day Saints sacrificing EVERYTHING to raise children in the Church and all the promises they were made by these naïve, unrealistic or too often simply deceptive Apostles go up in flames as their children and grandchildren left the religion, often deeply wounded by it, when they were promised that they would stay and that every ward was on the verse of becoming a stake as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints inevitably and exponentially grew to fill the world. And not surprisingly a LOT of those experienced, faithful, hard working, self-sacrificing parents and grandparents have had enough of the lies and the nonsense and are leaving too.
So as I see it, the ONLY option we have left is revolution. To overthrow the Pharisee system and bring back truth, sanity, integrity, basic realistic competence, and democracy to our religion before it disappears in the next 15-20 years. But to revolt, a lot of people are going to need to wake up to these realities and choose to stay instead of leaving as they usually do. But to stay we need reasons and hope and a strategy for change. First step: Know your enemy. Know all of their strategies and tactics and centres of power. THEN you can defeat them. And have an AMAZING, inspiring and realistic plan for what to replace them with. The great news as I see it at least, and I know many others do, is that all the ingredients for a healthy and growing Christian Mormon Zion are already embedded firmly in our scriptures and foundational beliefs. We don’t need to start a new religion or a new LDS Church. Just follow the rules and big ideas of the one we’ve already got instead of tolerating imposters who have put themselves in charge teaching the opposite religion and who have tricked, intensively and over decades, enough people into never allowing themselves to see what has happened and stand up to them.
And as I keep emphasising, NONE of this is a secret. They blab it all, the entire Pharisee gameplan and the perversion of even the most basic foundational principles of our religion, in public. There is no excuse for not knowing all about it if you are willing to make the effort to read what they actually say and put 2 and 2 together in a liberating promenade of ponderising it all.
FACT PROOF PHARISEES
In this episode 6 of Christians vs Pharisees I have been demonstrating this gameplan of deception pretty clearly I think just from what the Apostles with an agenda of deception have said in Church settings – sermons and teaching to church members in General Conferences, Face to Face dialogues with young people and the annual training of the Church Education System faculty. But if you want to experience the full scale, raw mental gymnastics and justifications that Dallin Oaks has made of the very worst of his training as a lawyer and an apostle who has been told, and seems to believe like Russell M Nelson, that every idea he has is automatically God’s mind and will now he has been ordained to excuse and justify every kind of lying and deception as not just reasonable but a virtue, find and read his address titled “Gospel Teaching About Lying’ to the law students at Brigham Young University to which the general public was also invited on 12 September 1993. He was speaking at the J Reuben Clark Law School and you will find the link to the archive of the text of his talk in the Law school’s periodical called The Clark Memorandum of Spring 1994 if you Google “Oaks: Gospel Teaching About Lying 1994”
This has been brilliantly analysed and discussed in episode 217 of the ‘Radio Free Mormon’ podcast titled “Elder Oaks is NOT a liar!” by lawyer Radio Free Mormon and fellow highly skilled and expert researcher and analytical podcaster Jonathan Streeter who posted the same episode on his ‘Talk on Things and Stuff’ Youtube channel under the title ‘Deconstructing Dishonesty – An Apostolic Rationalisation for Lies.” But it speaks for itself and is only a few pages long to read if you don’t have time for an analysis.
The talk was given at a time when Dallin Oaks knew he was about to be embarrassed in national media when one of his many lies was called out by President Ezra Taft Benson’s nephew and political cartoonist for the Arizona Republic newspaper Steve Benson. As you may recall from Episode 4, September 1993 was the month that Boyd K Packer’s gameplan swung into action to go after intellectuals, feminists and homosexuals as the primary enemies of the Church in the modern age, and publicly teach an uncompromising socially conservative message that, for example, no mothers should work outside the home unless their husband was totally unable to and suchlike while comforting devastated people whose lives were exceptions to those rigid rules secretly in private that he had trained the rest of the Apostles to go for.
It all began with the coordinated excommunication or disfellowshipment of 6 leading LDS intellectuals, including BYU professors, who became known as the September Six. The General Handbook rules regarding Church discipline insisted that dicipline must be initiated by local leaders, NOT requested by General Authorities, but it was obvious from the coordination of these excommunications that this rule had been broken and that Boyd K Packer had ordered their excommunication to their various stake presidents from on high with a predetermined outcome of their Court of Love. Dallin Oaks knew Boyd K Packer had done this and admitted it in a confidential interview with Steve Benson and another journalist. He then gave another interview in which he denied that this had been done and insisted that it wasn’t possible because of what he knew about Boyd K Packer’s character and insisted that nothing shady had occurred. After Dallin Oaks publicly lied about this matter Steve Benson then went to press and revealed that it was a lie and Dallin got the hump that his lying had been proven publicly and as he saw it that a confidence he was depending upon to conceal his lie had been broken by Steve Benson, as if that was worse than an Apostle lying about another Apostle breaking the rules and claiming the Church had not done something that it had.
So in this interestingly timed address in September 1993 to the J Reuben Clark Law School at BYU Dallin is in full self-justification mode and pulls out all the stops to justify himself as an Apostle telling flat out lies in every way he can think of, all of which directly contradict the principles of honesty in the Gospel Principles teaching manual I quoted in Part 1 of Episode 6. I won’t go into it here as I’m going to be spending more than enough time looking at how lying has been justified by other General Authorities and included in the training manual for our current Seminary teachers, but in a nutshell he taught as an apostle educating Mormon lawyers that is it absolutely ethically hunky dory to lie in a whole load of situations, or as he describes it in typical Dallin-Speak "When truth is constrained by other obligations, the outcome is not falsehood, but silence for a season". We had what became a notorious political incident years ago in the UK Parliament when a government minister said he hadn’t lied to Parliament, but had been “Economical with the Truth.” Being economical with the truth is basically the Pharisee Apostle mantra repeatedly taught by Pharisee Apostles, but “When truth is Constrained by other obligations, the outcome is not falsehood, but silence for a season" comes a close second in the lexicon of lying I think. In his talk Dallin Oaks explained how his flexible configuration of honesty and integrity includes:
It’s not a lie if you are ‘silent for a season’. It’s not a lie if you can rationalise it. It’s not a lie if it’s for a cause – any cause. He isn’t specific. It’s not a lie if it’s too sacred to reveal. It’s not a lie if you don’t have a specific duty to tell the truth. It’s not a lie if it’s someone else’s job to reveal the truth you both know, so you can continue lying or not revealing that truth until they get round to it. It’s not a lie if the truth would incriminate you. It’s not a lie if you tell part of the whole truth – that was the main message of the talk I discussed in Part 1. It’s not a lie if you think you are under a commandment not to tell the truth. It’s not a lie if you covenanted to keep it secret.
To be clear, even though he was talking to lawyers he repeatedly framed his points as equally relevant to the duties and opportunities to lie of Church leaders like himself as an apostle.
If you are someone who is currently being asked regularly if you sustain Dallin H Oaks as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator of Jesus Christ and will be asked if he lives longer than Russell Nelson to sustain him as THE Prophet, Seer and Revelator and declare him to be such pretty much every time you bear your testimony of the Church, I strongly suggest you spend 10 minutes reading that talk he gave so you are in no doubt about who you are sustaining and what this means for the whole Church. They say ‘buyer beware’ and make sure you check out what you are purchasing before you hand over your cash. I strongly recommend doing the same before you hand over your sustaining vote and trust to someone who has repeatedly, publicly and very thoroughly justified lying to us all as not just a necessary evil in rare exceptions but a foundational principle of everything he does and everything the Church officially says and publishes about itself. It’s a one stop shop to get right to the heart of the matter and the lying heart of Dallin Oaks. Definitely worth 10 minutes of your time.
And if my assertion about him as a proven and habitual deceiver is wrong, after you have read that talk he gave come back to me and have that conversation. Please prove me wrong. Save me from myself because the track record of the Church so far has been to excommunicate members who prove that Apostles are lying. Not accuse them of lying, PROVE they are liars. So the stakes for me personally in making this assertion and proving that our Prophet Prince Regent is a liar could not be higher. If there is any chance that I and all these other people have somehow totally misunderstood what Dallin actually taught and revealed about himself, and his regime leading the Church, please save me from this grisly and distressing fate. I mean it. Prove me wrong and Dallin Oaks an honest man so I can retract my accusation and save my membership in the Church, and a lot of stress and heartache for my lovely Mormon family. There’s LOADS of them! At current rates of decline half the remaining active Mormons in the UK and Ireland are going to be Bleakleys.
At the end of Dallin’s 1985 talk “Reading Church History” he gets back to reading Church history. Mark Hoffman is still at large, he is steadily filling the Church vaults with expensive documents that are going to require a major overhaul of the official history of the Church’s origins, and Dallin is staring into the abyss of finally realising that the carefully correlated and sanitised narrative of the history of his religion he has never had to question before is going to be re-written, whether he likes it or not.
Even when you remove Mark’s forgeries from the equation, they have shone a dazzling light into the real murky history of Joseph’s many years of occult and folk magic chicanery, flimflam, skullduggery… literally digging for skulls! With magic rocks!, and jiggery-pokery for money that alarmingly overlapped with the years when we have been telling all the grown ups and the kids that the worst he got up to and had to repent of was some UNpassive aggressive wrestling and fisticuffs with his friends, which was perfect for the John Wayne-based Testosterone-fueled manly cowboy Christianity sweeping the psyche of America’s Evangelicals during the 20th Century and perfect for the Mormons scattered all over the actual Wild West, and patiently waiting for his annual appointments with Moroni… or a salamander… maybe a toad… at the Autumn Equinox every year … yes folks, the Autumn Equinox when Folk Magicing Pagans know the veil is very thin between our world and the realms of the dead, until the treasure guardian could be persuaded to give up the golden plates and their secrets into his not entirely reliable care.
So, while I disagree with pretty much all of his methodologies, the thing I will give grudging respect to my tormenter Dallin Oaks for is that he may lie with the cunning and facility of some of my slacker teenage students who did diddlysquat school work during months of Covid Lockdown and lied repeatedly, persistently and inventively to their poor Mums that they were on top of everything, but he doesn’t flinch from a difficult job.
When your back is against the wall and the Samurai of Truth are slaughtering your carefully constructed LieBots, you’d better call Dallin to pick up the gaslight and power through the mayhem.
Whether it’s informing the Church that the November 2015 Policy of Exclusion allegedly revealed from God to his Prophet in a spiritual feast comparable to the 1978 revelation of racial liberation was going to be abandoned because God is quite fickle don’t you know, and that particular foreordained revelation was only ever MEANT to last for precisely 3 ½ years all along, or explaining to the entire membership how their testimony should stay exactly the same even when the entire history of the Church gets rewritten, Dallin Harris Oaks is your guy. With his cheeky lip curl and his cute, elfen goblin head, he will clasp the pulpit in a firm grip and take control. Take it away, Oakster. And take no prisoners!....
“I have reviewed various general principles that should guide readers and viewers of stories and articles about the church history and biography. I have spoken of scientific uncertainties, lack of context, truths and half-truths, bias, balance, and evaluation. I have also spoken of the spiritual powers of discernment available through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which latter-day Saints should use in their efforts to understand the subjects. As Nephi taught his people: ‘Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall harken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.“ (29 528:31)
Our individual, personal testimonies are based on the witness of the spirit, not on any combination or accumulation of historical facts. If we are so grounded, no alteration of historical facts can change our testimonies. Our Heavenly Father gave us powers of reason, and we are expected to use them to the fullest. But he also gave us the comforter which he said would lead us into truth, and by whose power we may know the truth of all things. That is the ultimate guide for Latter-day Saints who are worthy and willing to rely on it. By the same token, we know that we are not saved by our own powers or by any earthly force or favour. We are saved by the precious blood of Christ, by the mercy of God, and the plan he has proscribed.’
Dallin said “Our individual, personal testimonies are based on the witness of the spirit, not on any combination or accumulation of historical facts. If we are so grounded, no alteration of historical facts can change our testimonies.” Well, that’s absolutely barking mad. A completely nonsensical thing to say. Of course historical facts are crucial to our testimonies of our religion – what are having testimonies OF if not real things being done by real Gods and people in what are claimed to be real events like Joseph Smith’s First Vision or Christ’s crucifixion? If we change the facts to ‘actually there never was a First Vision – no one mentioned it till after the Church was organised in 1830 and Joseph Smith made up the story in retrospect to boost his leadership credentials’ and when he was 14 to his early twenties he spent a lot of time engaged in occult scrying for lost property and legendary Spanish silver mines using several magical seer stones, for which he was taken to court by the nephew of one of the men who paid him a lot of money to do this for him when he was 21, not just sitting in different churches’ Sunday Schools agonising about whether to join one of them, that has a radically significant impact on what we believe and teach and think about him. If we start saying to people “Actually our religion isn’t about Jesus being crucified by the Romans at sort of 3 BC, it’s about the Flying Spaghetti Monster being sacrificed by Cthulu Destroyer of Worlds in a Viking ritual in 8th Century Sweden… its going to impact our testimonies!
This is a stunt Dallin Oaks and the other Pharisee Apostles keep pulling – they imagine the most utterly unthinking possible option for people to obey and never questions them about in any given situation or issue and just GO for it, boldly and with no shame or common sense, and teach that THIS is precisely what everyone must think or do to be acceptable to God. They demand over and over that we all become fundamentalist fanatics leaving our brain in a bucket outside the chapel doors. It IS the Lucifer religion remember – total unquestioning obedience to the leaders no matter what they demand. Noone steps out of line. Noone risks thinking about or questioning what is being taught, and everyone gets saved as an identikit batch.
And the icing on the Modern Mormon Pharisee Cake is to then always include in the talk or magazine article a random statement totally contradicting the thing you just said. Dallin does this particularly in his talks as a matter of course when he is speaking about significant matters. He did it in his March 2020 Ensign article teaching that all decision and doctrine making in the Church is the exclusive right of the 15 Apostles then tagged on the end a completely incongruous passage about Common Consent even though the whole point of his argument was that there isn’t any in decision making in the Church. He did it in his October 2020 BYU devotional ‘Racism and Other Concerns’ in which he spoke powerfully and beautifully against any kind of racism, surprisingly admitted that there IS endemic racism still in American society, then finished up wittering on about how the 150 years of institutional segregating racism by the LDS Church doesn’t count and wasn’t racism!
This 1985 talk though talk was perhaps the gold standard of all of them. Straight after teaching that our testimonies are totally disconnected from “ANY combination or accumulation of historical facts” he then said “Our Heavenly Father gave us powers of reason, and we are expected to use them to the fullest.” Well, what are we meant to use our powers of reason to analyse and consider if not concrete historical facts and evidence? I’ve been teaching my 12 year old Drama students to perform Nonsense poems this week. Edward Lear hasn’t got a thing on the complete irrational nonsense of a Dallin Oaks talk. It’s just some kind of random word salad, but in one way I absolutely love it. Because Dallin is not hiding what’s happening here. He’s speaking publicly and making it obvious to anyone paying attention to the actual meaning of the things he is saying, even when he does his other trick he taught to his Apprentice David Bednar of redefining the meanings of words in his talks. He is teaching two completely incompatible religions at once. Rational Christianity and irrational, command and control, unthinking obedience Phariseeism. He’s just smooshing them together, jumping from one to the other, and demanding that no one notices or calls him out on it. This talk like so man others I have looked at in these podcasts is a microcosm of what they have done to our entire religion.
If any of us have any intention of living a religion with some kind of internal logic or integrity to it, we have to free ourselves from this ideological chimera of chaos in LDS Mormonism. Decide if we are going to believe and live the Pharisee religion or the Christian one, pick a side!, stop trying to do and teach the other one as well, and then fight because one of us has to win. As the scriptures repeatedly teach, a house divided against itself will fall. Disunity doesn’t work.
Satanist Pharisees demand unity by submission to the current human leaders regardless of what their predecessors taught or asked of us and NOT using our “powers of reason” and deciding everything by vague emotional feelings they are taught are witnesses from God confirming whatever the leaders teach and do, even if it changes and contradicts itself. Their religion is all attached to THEM, the human leaders, and their absolute power in any given moment. In this talk Dallin Oaks fired a machine gun of words to damage or kill the credibility of every single possible source of scientific or rational evidence, proof, research or analysis or even using our rational minds to determine what is true and taught the only way to know truth, totally disconnected from history or evidence or rational thought is by what he calls a ‘spiritual witness’ and it doesn’t even matter if the history is changed.
This is the Pharisee response to the Latter-day Saints and their scholars learning new and more accurate things about our own history. It’s the same one they repeat over and over to the kids in all their devotionals and Face to Face broadcasts to them. Don’t think. Just feel. And ONLY trust in your feelings if they are confirming that we are infallible and you should agree with us and submit to our will.
Pharisee Mormons deal with the reality that we are all ‘seeing through a glass darkly’ and still having a lot to learn and discover by saying WE don’t need to work ANY of that our for ourselves – just leave it to the Prophets. They will tell us what to think today. THEY will know whether what we all believed yesterday needs to change. THEY will tell us when the history needs to be rewritten and they will do the writing. We just passively consume what they feed us and our spiritual energy should be entirely devoted to maintaining our absolute trust and loyalty to them as the way to receive what they have decided God wants us to receive, no more, no less. God has His timing for everything even if it makes no sense and the apostles will let us know when the time for each new step is right. Certainty and not having to think for yourself is easy and comforting. Everything is safe here in the sheep fold with the sheeple. Stay away from the edges! And don’t wonder off into the wilderness looking for the lost sheep. You’ll only get lost yourself. Group hug!
Christians achieve unity by teaching rational truth, inviting people to use their powers of reason to the fullest AND their emotional and spiritual intelligence to ponder, research and seek certainties that are spiritually AND rationally credible. Christian Mormons are open to mysticism and revelation and maintain a curiosity about everything. They don’t close their minds to the possibilities of supernatural miracles and discovering completely unexpected things, but their confidence comes not from blind faith in God or our human leaders but faith in our potential to keep learning and work things out into a win-win of the spiritual and rational working together because true science is true religion, and sometimes the scientists discover parts of that truth BEFORE the religious leaders have it revealed to them, so we all need to keep learning from each other.
This has been proven repeatedly in our short history as a religion so far. Pioneer French Egyptologist M Theodule Deveria’s dismissal of Joseph's translations of the facsimiles of the Egyptian burial papyrus that he claimed was a handwritten book by Abraham as rambling nonsense were published in a two-volume work by Jules Remy entitled Voyage au Pays des Mormons published in Paris in 1860. The 29 December 1912 New York Times had a whole page of Metropolitan Museum and other Egyptologists debunking the Book of Abraham translation under the headline “Museum Walls Proclaim Fraud of Mormon Prophet.” It was almost exactly a century later that the Gospel Topics Essays signalled that the Church was starting to officially agree with them and segway from translation to the apologetic mental gymnastics of the catalyst theory.
Genetic scientists were the first to discover and prove that the Jaredites, Mulekites and Lehites from the Middle East were definitely NOT the primary ancestors of Native Americans and adjustments to the Book of Mormon introduction followed.
Scientists like archaeologists and geneticists were the first to discover that the Mormon Doctrine and Pearl of Great Price narrative that black Africans were cursed descendants of the original white humans was literally the opposite of the truth and that in fact the first several thousand generations of Homo Sapiens were black Africans and all the other races are the ones descended from a tiny handful of those who left Africa for colder latitudes and interbred with Neanderthals who may well have evolved pale skin as an adaptation much more recently. And if there ever was an actual Adam and Eve they were very black and very African. Talk about flipping a script!
Historian researchers like Lester E Bush were the first to discover and prove in the modern age that there never was a revelation justifying the LDS church withdrawing priesthood ordination and temple ordinances from black members after Joseph Smith died, and the first to track and publish the catalogue of lies and errors by General Authorities for 150 years after that doubling down on racism which helped convince enough Apostles who read that research after it was distributed to them to contemplate liberating black Latter-day Saints from segregation in 1978 instead of waiting till the tail end of the Millennial reign of Christ upon the Earth which had been oft repeated Pharisee Plan A for a very long time.
Of course I and most of the international Mormons outside the Utah academic Mormon Studies bubble grew up and lived out our lives with no clue whatsoever about Lester E Bush’s vitally important research and article in the Spring 1973 edition of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought called “Mormonism's Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview” and most still don’t because the Pharisee-dominated Church will literally try to move heaven and earth to avoid admitting that the Prophets and Apostles were just wrong and nearly everyone else in the world was right about a matter that important decades sooner, and it was one of the accursed scholars rather than the Almighty who basically spelled it out for them and convinced them the game was up.
A sure sign of Christians taking control of the Church again will be that no official account of the Church’s racist history and the game-changing 1978 course correction will ever be published again without giving Lester E Bush the credit he is due. And that article is still more transformatively important and powerful today – IF you find out about it and read it – than anything the Apostles have said about 1978 since the racism U-turn. It explains everything. Dallin’s oft-repeated gaslighting that it is all a mystery and noone knows why God’s Church racially segregated for so long is total nonsense because it was all explained very clearly in 1973, and his gaslighting is demonstrably an intentional lie because he completely ignores the black people who WERE ordained in their early days of the Restoration long before 1978, such as Elijah Abel who he of course knows all about and who we literally watched him being reminded about during the 2018 ‘Be One’ event he had just introduced with a narrative that erased Elijah and other ordained black members from the timeline he laid out until 1978. Liar Liar pants on fire yet again, Dallin!
It was skeptical ex-Mormon and allegedly Anti-Mormon researchers and historians who first discovered and understood the real history of our religion’s founder and the extent of his family’s occult magical worldview and practices that are only recently being officially acknowledged as accurate by the institutional Church.
Geneticists and other scientists have been the first to discover and understand why millions of people are born with a gender, gender identity or sexuality very different to the cisgendered heterosexuality the LDS General Authorities and the Family Proclamation insist are the only ones.
In fact, one would be hard-pushed to think of any revelations LDS Prophets have had which have clearly proven to be ahead of the secular worlds of academia and science in revealing truths to us that can be proven to be true rather than having to be taken on faith. And then there is always the biggest rational elephant in the room of all for any Bible-based religion regarding revelation – If God is all-knowing and all loving, why did he reveal to His prophets endless screeds of extremely detailed instructions regarding rituals and clothing and who to stone to death yet never get round to breathing a word about germ theory and boiling water to disinfect it that would have saved billions of people from miserable disease and early death? It would only have needed a couple of verses somewhere. Why did God leave it to scientists Louis Pasteur in France and Robert Koch in Germany to work out how micro-organisms slaughter humans 30 years after God re-established his One True Church led by a prophet through whom he speaks to the world in the USA in 1830? Or as others point out, why did he not in the Old OR New Testament simply forbid slavery?
At face value these scriptures seem to indicate that Bible-based mankind has always made God in their own image with priorities and values that mostly reflected the priorities and values of their own culture or stage of development as a civilisation rather than really getting prophetically ahead of that very slow pace of the acquisition of knowledge and ethical development.
It is becoming increasingly clear to me that perhaps the most important idea in the Mormon Restoration was the idea that our religion should be completely welcoming to incorporating any truth any human anywhere discovers from any source without getting competitive and jealous. The doctrine that God is always speaking and revealing essential truths to ALL of humanity all the time, not just the Mormons and particularly their tiny handful of Prophets, Seers and Revelators. I will take a joyful deep dive into that Biggest and Brightest of our almost disappeared Christian Mormon doctrines in a later minisode of Episode 6.
But here’s a sneak preview from the Discourses of Brigham Young, page 248:
“It is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their Elder Brother, being at their head) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, … to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and bring it to Zion.”
There are a LOT more statements from significant Mormon leaders teaching the same principle where that came from that I look forward to sharing, but isn’t it a glaring contrast to the fearful paranoia and total lack of intellectual curiosity of the current leadership of our Church who devote nearly all their words when discussing learning and research and seeking truth to telling Latter-day Saints NOT to trust the ex-members and other religions they regard as infidels because they have nothing to teach us except evil and lies, NOT to trust scientists or philosophers as having anything useful or trustworthy to teach us, specially when it contradicts their out-dated and ignorant traditions.
What an incredible, brave, and I hope we can now see, totally sensible attitude to have to knowledge and truth and where to find it. Listen to and learn from everything that could be a truth that can benefit us, and then TRUST our people and God’s discerning spiritual gifts to us to make the right decisions about what to add to our belief system and what to reject as we move forward and progress towards having ALL the knowledge of a God.
Lucifer’s most effective strategy to sabotage us on our journey to that divine knowledge of the whole truth about everything is to convince our First Presidency to convince all of US that we don’t NEED that knowledge, that the knowledge all those religions, cultures, scientists and philosophers can give us is forbidden and dangerous, that they will do all our knowing and thinking FOR us, and that the intellectual and creative imagination of all the millions of people of Zion should be entirely limited and boundary policed to what a handful of geriatric, mostly Americans who have been promoted to power because of their proven unquestioning obedience and refusal to ever question their line managers, have decided it is safe to put into our correlated, dumbed down and infantilising curriculum.
What a turnaround from fearlessly seeking and embracing all the truth to be found anywhere and from literally anyone.
It is the ONLY way for ANY religion to survive the onslaught of the modern age of science and information as our species evolves the technology to create a god-like hive mind sharing and exponentially accelerating our acquisition of knowledge; and WE had it from the very start as a fundamental principle…. And we threw it away! We let control freak, ego-driven Pharisees take over and completely shut that down as we have been hearing Dallin Oaks among others teach all my life.
Paradoxically Dallin Oaks was one of the early editorial board members of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought after it began in 1966, but he was lured to the Dark Side of the Force and corrupted and twisted by the Pharisee religion and lost that vision. He and his Pharisee co-religionists have engineered one of the biggest strategic errors in Mormon history to arrive at their present position that NONE of these sources of wisdom and truth should be trusted or even listened to out of curiosity and ONLY a ‘spiritual witness’ from God can answer ANY of our thousands of questions that they cannot answer or cannot be bothered to even seek a revelation to TRY to answer. The problem is, short-sighted Pharisee numptees, because there are so many really fundamental questions that you dodge or don’t even try to answer, and tell us to ‘put on the shelf’, inevitably the shelf gets so overwhelmed by that burden that it eventual breaks and unleashes a torrent of questions and faith and trust-destroying answers that pour down from the breach in the shelf like an unending avalanche until we are pinned to the ground by the weight of them and gasping for air.
One of the biggest ironies of the American culture war as it is manifest in the Mormon Civil War between Christians and Pharisees is to be found in the mantras of the young militant LDS apologists in their twenties broadcasting through various outlets. These include FAIRMormon (now finally getting round to not giving victories to Satan by changing their name to FAIR with different words – what was once Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research is now ‘Faithful Answers, Informed Response’ in their projects like Fairvoice with the steadily improving Hannah Sereac, and the relentlessly declining TITS, or This Is The Show.
Hot off the press! My ‘The Loyal Opposition’ collaborator Nemo the Mormon noticed today that someone with an ounce of common sense has finally prevailed at FAIR and they have just thrown TITS down the memory hole. It has been erased from FAIR’s website and all the episodes have disappeared from Youtube.
Even hotter off the press!! It’s been a wild fortnight in Mormonism and I have to keep adding edits to try and keep up. FAIR’s President Scott Gordon, who I last heard confidently defending the TITS project and saying he stood by it 100% and was excited to announce that something like 10% of its viewers were under 30 so it was clearly delivering on its promise to reach the younger generation with FAIR’s apologetics and be relevant to their world, has now tried twice to have Nemo’s debunking TITS videos on Youtube removed on the basis of copywrite claims all of a sudden, but Youtube has rightly refused because they are fair-use. He is really desperate to have every trace of them removed from the internet, as he should be, but why did he not realise this was where he would inevitably find himself in the first place and ever support them even at the planning stage?! I’ve had a few encounters with middle aged and older LDS insiders from Utah desperate to use pilot projects and new media to engage with people and every single time I have been amazed at how incredibly naïve they are and oblivious the realities of journalism, news media, social media and the world they are trying to be a player in. Because they have entirely stayed withing the strict parameters and boundaries the Apostles have proscribed and the LDS / FAIR / BYU bubble they haven’t the first clue what they are doing, and are always desperate for someone who does seem to know how to relate to the real world to kind of do it for them and then cheer them on from the sidelines. They have no idea how they are coming across to ordinary people. This is a microcosm of the problem the whole Church faces being held hostage to leaders without a clue trapped in an alternate reality. They just keep doing completely crazy things like the TITS or the November Policy or 110% embracing the name MORMON then making it a sin that offends Jesus and gives victories to Satan, and each time what made perfect sense in their bizarro world crashes into the immovable object of a bemused and unimpressed real world the rest of us live in.
Part of my hope and dream and vision for our religion if we can stop letting the Pharisees run the show is that we could at last just get REAL. About EVERYTHING. And stop being embarrassed by these twits with enormous budgets and no common sense.
Why the TITS episodes were ever made in the first place is incomprehensible and baffling unless you are used to the disturbing and tragic dystopian arena of half truths, Olympian mental gymnastics and nasty, personal ad hominem attacks on anyone critically analysing the LDS Church that has been the norm from FAIR for years now since it chased away its more reasonable thinkers who wanted to actually be fair and balanced when responding to controversial issues and not persist on defending the indefensible.
We’ll see how long theses other project survive now but the very small handful of Bright Young Things have also been cranking out shows like Book of Mormon Central and Midnight Mormons, a chat show with episode titles like “Why Do Calvinists Hate Us’ and ‘John Dehlin’s Hypocrisy is Hilarious and Sad’ Now, to be fair I’m not above blunt statements like that myself, but I think I’m better at backing them up with proof and rational arguments LOL. It’s mostly the same handful of people but they have occasionally endearing energy even if they are mostly on some totally different planet to where the real issues in Mormonism are and tilting at windmills rather a lot.
Of interest to this point about Pharisees vs Christian Mormons though is they are VERY overexcited about the concept of atheistic postmodernism – basically the postmodern idea in recentish Deconstructionist philosophy that there are no objective truths and with that no objective morality or ethics. We all kind of construct our own truths and realities and value systems when you look closely at these things whether as individuals or cultures. The Bight Young Apologists are insistent that all the critics of Mormonism are atheistic postmodernists with an intense agenda to detach Mormons from truth, from reality and from any moral values and thus detach them from their God, and their temple marriages. Because they have totally bought into the Pharisee religion idea that the leaders are infallible… except when they have to admit they aren’t, then go back to talking as if they are… the usual mental gymnastics… they are completely blind to what should be really obvious. That the vast majority of the people having faith and trust crisis and becoming disillusioned with Mormonism, and in some cases becoming vocal critics of it, are primarily going through all that because they LOVE objective and consistent truth. It’s the constantly changing narratives and irrational and contradictory mental gymnastics of the Pharisee leaders over the years that have triggered them by VIOLATING the concept of consistent, rational, absolute truths.
Passionate, highly motivated young ideological warriors are wasting most of that energy barking up totally the wrong tree because they have refused to actually respect and listen to the people they have decided are their enemies; and because they are so terrified of discovering that their enemies might have a convincing point, they have come up with an explanation for so many people rebelling against the Apostles and leaving or hanging around to challenge them and projected it onto them even though it mostly doesn’t fit, or make sense, or speak to what is really going on.
We see the same phenomenon with Latter-day Saints who simply will not tolerate anyone criticising the General Authorities, or questioning them in any way, and will not believe cold hard proof that they are making mistakes, or not very nice sometimes, because they have projected all of their own pure ideals onto those men and not in any way inoculated or protected themselves from coping with the reality that they are human and make mistakes, or might be the very last people God would actually choose to lead His Church and definitely WOULDN’T be leading it if we were appointing Apostles by revelation and Common Consent instead of Nepotism and the Old Boys Network and then geriatric seniority. It’s no surprise how these people have got where they are. The entire system that selects and appoints their cultural and personality type is simply the wrong one. According to our own canonised Latter-day Scriptures.
The entire religious sense of self and world-view of the Pharisee Mormons sitting next to us on the pews and weeping about the God of lost keys and how perfect the prophet is into the pulpit microphone is built on a very fragile foundation of a totally unrealistic assumption about Apostles and their perfection and infallibility. It takes a LOT of ludicrous hot air and completely irrational reasoning to maintain that religion, as we have already seen in this talk by Dallin Oaks.
And the huge irony is that it is in fact the orthodox traditionalist Apostles who actually practice the postmodern disconnection of reality and truths and values from consistent, real, universal truths. If the Apostles get caught up to no good or lying about something or the version of history and reasoning they have been teaching for ages falls apart and is proven wrong, they will just change it, usually with no explanation, 0r pretend the new version of reality is what the Church was actually teaching all along in true Orwellian style, and they do actually teach now that today’s prophet takes precedence over previous ones or even the scriptures, when their predecessors used to teach that every single thing any General Authority has ever said when claiming to be inspired MUST be completely compatible with everything any other GA has taught in any age of history, and compatible with any canonised scripture, because their assumption was that it all came from the same divine mind.
The net result of this is that everything in the Pharisee Mormon religion now has a default setting that makes really extreme demands of a dangerous and unsustainable level of fanaticism in all the active Church members. It demands that we all stop thinking for ourselves and just believe whatever the leaders are saying and doing right now, in the moment. It doesn’t matter whatsoever if it is totally contradicting what they did yesterday or what they will tell us is the truth tomorrow. Even the supposedly eternal and unchanging Temple Endowment can just be rewritten with no explanation of why. Our salvation and safety in the journey of life towards Heaven depends entirely on us clinging tightly to them with exact obedience and loyalty because the reality they have created makes no sense at all, it has so many contradictions in it as this mishmash of two incompatible and contradictory religions, so we are literally lost trying to navigate it on our own. And we definitely cannot trust ourselves to get enough information from God to know what to do without them. Only the Apostles can see the way. We live entirely at their mercy and their behest.
So mainstream allegedly ‘Faithful’ Pharisee Mormonism has become in recent years a radical experiment in having an international community of people embrace and live by an extreme form of postmodern detachment from absolute truths, even though of course when announcing the latest 180 degree U-turn on what the truth actually is, like for example Russell Nelson spinning the abandonment of the November Policy to the BYU students in the 17 September 2019 ‘Love and the Laws of God’ sermon, they will of course go on and on about absolute unchanging universal truths while at the same time totally contradicting that whole concept.
Apostle Ronald Rasband got particularly excited about how we don’t even have to wait till the next 6 monthly General Conference to find out what the new constantly updating truth is from our Apostles and prophet, including of course himself we should remember, in his September 2020 Face to Face with Young Adults.
Sister Rasband: “From Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord will do nothing but he revealeth his secret onto his servants the prophets” and in modern revelation the Lord added in Doctrine and Covenants 21:4-5 “Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.“
Elder Rasband: “Now Dear, as you know, that last scripture was in the beginning of the Doctrine and Covenants given to the prophet Joseph Smith and it was about him. But it’s also about every prophet that has followed the prophet Joseph Smith up until this very day with President Russell M Nelson. Now, I love a quote given back in the 70s by Ezra Taft Benson that I’d like to share with you tonight. President Benson said this: “Therefore the most crucial reading and pondering which you should do is the latest inspired words from the Lord’s mouthpiece.“ Now the prophet speaks to all of us frequently. It used to be that you’d have to wait until General Conference, or maybe an occasional article in one of the Church magazines. But now, and your generation knows this, the President of the Church, and all of the apostles frankly, are using their social media accounts to give their latest, inspired teachings to the members of the Church. So I invite all you young single adults throughout the world, and I’m not trying to give a commercial here, but I am inviting you to follow the President of the Church, certainly, and the other members of the First Presidency and the Twelve as you can, and you will have the latest, most inspired teachings of gods profits on the Earth today.“
Sister Rasband: “You know, it reminds me of when we were just married. President Spencer W Kimball had asked the Saints not to delay having children for excuses, especially like ‘We don’t have enough money’. We were young, we were still in school, Elder Rasband was juggling two jobs, and yet he felt to pray about this and felt strongly that we needed to follow the profit. I was young, I was yet nervous about having children, but I added my faith and my trust with his and we moved forward. That’s when we established a very important motto for us to always follow the prophet. I recommend that to you. Always follow the prophet.“
Elder Rasband: “Now Harriet in Wyoming, I hope we’ve answered your question. There are going to be times when you are going to have questions and we’ve got another question coming up later that deals with that very specifically, but as we begin our Face-to-Face broadcast we wanted to firmly establish for all of you the importance of following God’s living prophet on the Earth. That’s the safest, most sure way: to follow the Lord’s mouthpiece on the Earth.”
Things worked out well for the Rasbands and Ronald became an extremely wealthy businessman, but unfortunately telling young women in the 21st Century to start having babies straight away even if they and their husband have not finished their education and are already overstretched financially is the safest and most sure way of guaranteeing that that woman will find herself divorced and struggling to provide for those children in poverty at some point in the next 15 years because she dropped out of education and sacrificed her earning power for her ex-husband to continue improving his and they made their family lives as stressful as humanly possible. There was some TERRIBLE and dangerous advice given in that Face to Face about life choices and how to decide what is true, as I discussed in Episode 3 ‘It’s a TRAP! How the Pharisee General Authorities have been setting up the Young Adults for Disillusionment, Divorce and Disempowered Women this year… again.’…but I do want to give credit where it is due.
At the end Elder Rasband said something about the young people deserving answers to ALL their questions that must be profound and wise and true because I totally agree with it LOL:
“The aspect of the Restoration that I treasure is that Joseph Smith was a 14-year-old boy when he went to the grove of trees in response to reading the Scriptures to ask his Heavenly Father in humble prayer that which he did. Now that reminds me of what we are doing tonight. As I mentioned earlier there have been thousands of questions submitted and we’re only getting a fraction of them in this Face-to-Face broadcast. But your questions are IMPORTANT. Every one of you has questions, and they to be asked and they need to be answered. Choose people who are FAITHFUL who can answer your questions. Your friends, your parents, leaders, teachers. Ask your questions! They all deserve to be answered, even the many that we couldn’t get to tonight. Joseph Smith was actually a model for us in this regard. He had a question that he had been labouring with for a long time and he took his question to Heavenly Father, expecting that he would get an answer, and he did. Not all of our questions are going to be answered like Joseph‘s was, but, like Sister Rasband described how she received and heard the promptings of the Holy Ghost, mine has been more along the nature of reading the Lord’s words in the Scriptures. All of you my young friends, all of you can have responses to your questions.“
How I wish that was true. That all young Church members need to do is ask their faithful friends, parents, leaders and teachers their thousands of unanswered questions, or go and pray to God expecting a clear answer, a visitation even, and they will all get a useful response answering their questions and resolving their concerns. The reality, tragically, is that pretty much all of their friends, parents, leaders and teachers who would be regarded by someone like Elder Rasband as kosher and faithful enough to be trustworthy haven’t the first fricking clue about how to answer most of the questions that are coming up with increasing frequency these days. It’s going to be tumbleweed and uncomfortable gaslighting and if they keep persisting in asking their questions it won’t take long before they are told to shut up and start being told they are faithless, deceived by Satan, wicked DOUBTERS, and that they don’t need to even know the answers to those questions because, as Emeritus Elder Lawrence E Mental Gymnastics Corbridge and anyone with the surname Eyring and countless other apologists in denial published in the Ensign keep telling them, all you really need to know is that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a prophet and Russell M nelson is a prophet because of a warm fuzzy feeling and none of the thousands of what they call ‘secondary’ question will matter any more or need answering, in complete contradiction to the Apostle having a brief Christian Mormon moment telling them that every question counts and deserves an answer. Because LDS General Authorities contradict themselves and each other all the time. Why? Because they are practicing and teaching 2 totally incompatible religions at once.
So those young people will take their questions to Google and Google will be very happy give them very thorough and thoughtful and accurate answers to their questions. Unfortunately for the earnest Apostle, the first answer will nearly always be “Your leaders are liars and they hid the real answers from you and your people for generations and the correct answers usually contradict what they are teaching you in Seminary and Institute. Would you like to know more?” and down the rabbit hole, to Faith Crisis or Freedom, depending on your point of view, they will go. And in more than 80% of cases they will soon disappear from the pews on Sunday, and some of their entire families will eventually disappear with them.
And Dallin’s extra icing on his Dallin Cakes he always piles on with relish is a layer of guilt tripping and pressure by insisting that if you don’t totally agree with him about everything he has just said, then obviously you aren’t a real Latter-day Saint. You aren’t serious about making it to heaven. You are not worthy. You are not ideologically pure enough. In his several General Conference talks in the last few years unilaterally canonising the Family Proclamation he has shamelessly and bluntly taught that if you don’t believe the Family Proclamation 100% as he interprets it you are not faithful, and you have no chance of being exalted. He doesn’t do subtle does our Dallin. It’s always all or nothing. His way or the highway. No shades of grey. No loyal opposition. No doubts. Clear boundaries and the gays have a different kingdom to go to anyway so we have no obligation to cater for them or worry about what they think, because the LDS Church is an exclusive first class ship that only has places for completely loyal temple married heterosexual breeders.
In this talk from 1985 – it’s a strategy he’s been using for donkeys’ years – he said “Our individual, personal testimonies are based on the witness of the spirit, not on any combination or accumulation of historical facts. If we are so grounded, no alteration of historical facts can change our testimonies. Our Heavenly Father gave us powers of reason, and we are expected to use them to the fullest. But he also gave us the comforter which he said would lead us into truth, and by whose power we may know the truth of all things. That is the ultimate guide for Latter-day Saints who are worthy and willing to rely on it.”
Notice the key words there – if we don’t pass the test of having unwavering testimonies of the truth of our religion and its leaders even if they make ANY kind of changes to the historical ‘facts’ that means we are not “grounded,” not “worthy” and not “willing” to rely totally on our feelings rather than our rational minds as he is instructing us to. We are too sinful and unworthy, we are too stubborn to just go with what he thinks is a clearly explained and sensible methodology for making our loyalty immune to any contradictory evidence.
Some people with the authority to excommunicate me are extremely uncomfortable with me calling the Pharisee General authorities names like ‘satanic’ or ‘pharisee’ or ‘hypocrites.’ May I point out that this is what those same General Authorities do all the time. They are always calling people names.
President Nelson called his immediate predecessors Presidents Hinckley and Monson and all of us who supported their ‘I’m A Mormon!’ missionary outreach for years Satanists - he said we were spending those years giving a “victory to Satan” and offending Jesus. If it’s OK for you to keep sustaining him not just S A MEMBER OF THE Church in good standing but you actual Prophet, Seer and Revelator and the mouthpiece pf God when he calls prophets Satanists for no good reason at all, why is it all of a sudden an excommunicable offence if I call a prophet a Satanist for precisely accurate and well documented reasons with a long list of canonised scriptures to back me up? Surely what’s good enough for the Lord’s Keyholding Annointed One is kosher enough for a mere peasant like me?
In this talk Dallin called people like me who insist on a rational faith that incorporates rather than ignores history and evidence “ungrounded”, ‘unworthy’ and ‘unwilling’ - Basically we are frivolous, sinful and stubborn.
I suggest the important thing is whether those descriptions are justified. And Jesus Himself was far more fruity and insulting in his language than either of us when HE was having a go at the Pharisees. Read Matthew 23! Jesus called them “prideful, damned hypocrites, Satanists, Hell-childs, blasphemers, dirty rotten corpses behind a pretty paint job, snakes, and murderers.”
Why? Because that’s what they were, just as the Pharisees are today and will be in any age where they rear their ugly heads. And when one of the most powerful tools Pharisees use to control and oppress people is to create a stifling culture of peer pressure and toxic perfectionism and hypervigilance about every detail of what you say or do or think, violating those rules of what it is acceptable to say in polite society that also forbid ANY of the essential robust criticism of the status quo and the leaders that will keep them realistic and honest becomes an essential act. Jesus understood this. You can’t break the carefully constructed spell Pharisee leaders cast over people’s minds to imprison them unless you take action in what you do and say to violate their manmade boundaries and rules that stop people being real and seeing what is real and talking about what is real.
You have to eat with the unclean sinners. You have to work on the Sabbath. You have to touch the lepers. You have to forgive the harlot. You have to speak to the woman. You have to make the Samaritan the hero of the story. It’s the only way to break their system of control.
You HAVE to shout in the streets and the social media about what they really are, and give people permission to lift up their heads and speak their truth to hypocritical and dangerous oppressive power. You have to end the conspiracy of silence by speaking the uncomfortable truth.
It is pointing at the deluded Emperor With No Clothes and laughing and thus freeing him and everyone from cognitive dissonance and humiliation. It is pulling back the Wizard of Oz’s curtain and showing everyone who and what he really is. It is Fred and George Weasley flying a fire dragon into Delores Umbridge’s totalitarian racist exams. It is standing up at the meeting to give obeisance to Big Brother and shouting “NO!” or “Opposed!” What follows is liberation and reform.
So I’m trying to be like Jesus folks. A hypocrite is a hyprocrite. So let’s call them ‘Hyprocrites!” An arrogant thought-suppressing tyrant is an arrogant thought-suppressing tyrant. So let’s call them an arrogant thought suppressing tyrant.
The scale of harm these Pharisee Apostles have done to our religion and to our wards, and to our families, and to me and many of you personally is off the scale and way beyond any polite deferential boundary policing illusion of acceptability. In many cases THESE men, who many revere as infallible mouthpieces of God and naively project all their own best virtues onto, have lied to us more than anyone else we have ever given power over ourselves. Including politicians! In many cases THESE men have harmed our peace of mind, our marriages, and the safety and wellbeing of our children more than ANYONE else in our lives. They are objectively, literally, empirically the absolute WORST.
And when I find out that Dallin H Oaks spent the summer before I began Seminary training the entire Church Education System to lie to me, and hide the true history of our Church and its founders from me and my friends, and set us ALL up for catastrophic trust and faith crises down the line when we inevitably found out about the deceptions that he made me and lots of people I love waste our lives perpetuating and sacrificing to teach to our friends and each other, I’m going to call him an utter bastard. Because that’s what he is. That’s what people like him are. But if you can’t cope with that whoever is contemplating excommunicating me for saying it, I’ll make it less traumatic for you and just quote actual Jesus whose Church this is, our Lord and Saviour. Yeah, THAT guy! Jesus didn’t give a fig for your Pharisee pretentions and manners and aversion to plain speaking. He knew there were far more important things to worry about and make happen.
Dallin H Oaks and the Pharisees like him may have virtues. Sometimes they teach the real gospel really well… usually in the first half of their talks… but when they descend into the dark choirs of the Pharisee religion, Amen to the priesthood or the authority or the anointing of that man. When “their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world and its money and its stock markets, when they aspire to the honours of men and their news feed is boasting regularly, as it has all my life, about the civic or honorary academic awards that some organisation has decided to flatter the Church by giving to an apostle this week and the awards they are dishing out to dignitaries in return, instead of serving the poor and comforting the outcasts, when they undertake to cover their sins, or to gratify their pride, their vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, when they force the heavens to withdraw themselves; and grieve the Spirit of the Lord until it is withdrawn and they can no longer receive revelations, so they start to make proclamations in committees instead just like the Catholics did when they lost their spiritual gifts and authority, when God has removed their priesthood authority when they kick against the people trying to save them from their own disfunctions, when they persecute the real Christian Latter-day Saints, and fight against God by teaching Lucifer’s plan of salvation in every detail instead of Christ’s, and repeatedly proclaim their authority, as they suppose, to exercise unrighteous dominion over us and make all our decisions for us, and I have provided abundant evidence that they are doing ALL these things, then I am going to call them what they are.
As Jesus put it so eloquently, Pharisee leaders like Russell M Nelson, Henry B Eyring, Dallin H Oaks and their apprentices may come across as charming innocent grandfathers just trying to do their best out of the kindness of their hearts, but they have repeatedly proven themselves to be prideful, damned hypocrites, Satanists, Hell-childs, blasphemers, dirty rotten corpses behind a pretty paint job (and even the paint jobs are not safe in their hands as we will shortly get to) , snakes, and murderers. I didn’t ask them to be. Like all my peers who have realised what was done to us and left the Church, we were led like lambs to the slaughter since we were babies straight into their trap by our parents who trusted them, their abomination of lies and hypocrisy and thought suppression, and it has taken us a LONG time to find the truth and even begin to process it and decide what to do about it. My personal hope is that enough of the real Christian Mormonism has survived in this contradictory mess to salvage once we irradiate the Pharisee cancer that is killing the Body of Christ. But its going to require radical surgery and decisive action.
The choice anyone sharpening their knives for a ‘Court of Love’ in response to people like me speaking up about these abuses of power and damaging distortions of what are meant to be our core doctrines and values now have is to admit this and start to get urgently realistic about the full scale of the danger and imminent calamity our Church is in, or to continue the failing Pharisee plan and instead choose the radical surgery of cutting out the last remaining healthy tissue in the Church by continuing their well established conspiracy to excommunicate anyone speaking truth to their power where others might hear it. Are you going to be part of the solution or make the problems even worse? Are you really going to excommunicate me for calling these people out for their cruelties and the false and irrational religion they teach and calling them names? Is this the religion of Jesus the rabble rouser or the religion of the pious hypocritical Pharisees in the Q15? Is YOUR personal religion the religion of Jesus the rabble rouser revolutionary or the religion of pious, hypocritical Pharisaism that turns a blind eye to leaders who abuse their power, because they told you to and that only God can judge them? The people that Jesus led his revolution against?
If you are going to believe the manmade Pharisee law they have relentlessly brainwashed you to believe that it is impossible for people who are angry with ordained faith leaders and high priests, and speaking their anger, and calling them anything less than perfect and exemplary to be right, to be true, to be good or to be inspired by the Holy Ghost when they do so, I remind you that this was NOT what Jesus practiced himself. Jesus flipped tables and whipped people in the temple. Jesus swore at Pharisees with eloquent passion and relish. Are you really going to pretend that the Holy Spirit was offended and chased away because Jesus was being “contentious”?!!! Or any of his other disciples and prophets through the ages who have shouted the truth to and about corrupt priests and kings and leaders?
A kind listener to this podcast with perfect timing sent be this perfect quote by English genius, novelist and poet Charlotte Bronte: “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.” Considering that Christianity began as a radical revolutionary rebellion against the traditions and conventions that had become normalised in Jewish culture when Jesus and Paul lived, and the Mormon Restoration of that radical religion was similarly framed as a revolution against complacent religious tradition, I have found it alarming how often our prophets and apostles, particularly during their crusade against same sex marriage, kept using the language of an appeal to conventionality and tradition to declare monogamous heterosexual marriage the only kind that is ‘traditional’, and acceptable, of course with typical wild hypocrisy as they pretended our own polygamous rebellion against traditional monogamous marriage had never happened. True religion must be able to stand up as credible on its own merits and strengths of rational integrity, not need to rely on social conventions or traditions in societies we are at the same time criticising for being godless and under the control of Satan. We have lost our true religion when we forget it was a revolution and value it as a reassuring bastion of the status quo in a changing world. It is meant to be all about challenging safe human conventions and how they tend to become unmoored from their ethics and morality and drift into excusing the inexcusable and becoming the very thing they rebelled against. Just like the pigs in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’
Jesus’ criticisms of the Pharisees in the New Testament provide the perfect examples of how we have normalised this in LDS Mormonism as I have mentioned before. Jesus strictly forbade giving Church leaders ANY formal titles like ‘President’ and ‘Elder’ but we have made that fundamental in our religion. Jesus strictly forbade Church leaders having privileged seats in the synagogue, but we have made that fundamental in our religion and even give the sacrament first to the most senior priesthood bigwig sitting on the actual stand, or Rameumptum, at the front in the privileged seats. Jesus strictly forbade Church leaders to virtue signal by having the most precisely and obviously formal clothing, but we have made that fundamental in our expectations of how we present ourselves on a Sunday, with some teaching and boasting that they make their poor families keep their Sunday Best clothing on all day even after the Church services are over and they are back at home.
Pharisees who do Pharisee things and commit the Pharisee sins and abuse power in all the ways the Pharisees Jesus swore at and taught people to be careful about treating as role models are NOT the Lord’s anointed. Taking them down, plucking off their mask of decency, their disguise of sheep’s clothing, is not taking down Christ or His Gospel or His Church or His Church members. They are completely different things. Different religions! Please don’t get them mixed up with each other and make yet another martyr of someone doing what Jesus would do in the same situation – what Jesus DID do in the same situation. Read all about it in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Don’t make the specific hypocritical mistake Jesus mocked the Pharisees for making – the mistake of teaching about dead revolutionaries with truth and justice and God on their side speaking truth to corrupt power as heroes and role models, then rejecting and executing the living ones doing exactly the same things here and now, in response to the same corruptions among the senior priests and oligarchies and power elites today. You can’t have it both ways.
“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.” The “gestures” of resistance to Pharisees that Jesus turned into a religion and Dallin Oaks, who claims to be an Apostle of Jesus, strictly forbids are our religious obligation, our duty, an expression and a defence of our morality and justice and truth.
We need to get more angry. There are clear abuses and injustices going on that justify anger and outrage and rebellion. When we get publicly angry and shine a public light on their crimes, they DO something. They have to be really pushed to act, but eventually they do. They stop institutional racism. They allow children to have a second adult in the room in their worthiness interviews with men with no training or background checks for child abuse convictions. They repeal the November Policy. They start talking about women having priesthood authority.
But they are nowhere near scared enough of us and what we think of them yet. They still feel invincible and the longer we let that continue the more they will abuse their power. They will keep stepping it up a level because they are power addicts and they need to do get ever bigger doses of it to get the same sick and twisted buzz.
THE MURAL MASSACRE
Telling everyone to fast from social media then totally flip the script and tell us all to spend a week flooding social media with their hashtag while not actually doing it themselves last Thanksgiving was just the start.
This month we have witnessed them do exactly that – take their abuse of power up to a whole new level of wanton destruction and dare us to do anything about it to resist them. This time they have not destroyed people’s peace of mind while pretending to be peace makers or destroyed more families while pretending to be all about family unity. They have destroyed the actual Salt Lake Temple while pretending to be spending a fortune of tithing money conserving and preserving it. And the lying was spectacular. On a while new vindictive level. Tyrants always get round eventually to destroying their people’s Art and Heritage because on a deep psychological level they cannot stand their people loving anything they did not make or control, and they cannot stand their people having deep affection for the people and leaders of a different historical era than their own. Their towering ego, the absolute corruption that ALWAYS comes with absolute power, drives them to destroy it all.
The jealousy builds until they cannot contain it any longer and they freak out in a frenzy of iconoclastic destruction of shrines, temples, paintings, statues, palaces, churches, synagogues. Hitler’s Kristalnacht. Henry 8th’s Dissolution of the Monastaries. Oliver Cromwell’s Puritanical gutting of the Parish Churches. The Chinese Communists’ destruction of the Tibetan Buddhist monastaries. Tyrants cannot stand their people having their own culture and traditions and heritage.
Russell Nelson and Oaks and Eyring have already been doing this for a while as a First Presidency. They tore down President Hinckley and President Monson’s positive embrace of our heritage and being proud to call ourselves ‘Mormons’. They cancelled the Hill Cumorah Pageant and the Manti Pageant, the longest traditions of theatrical performance in Mormonism. But they were delighted to throw a massive celebrity pageant for Russell Nelson’s birthday that literally worshipped him. They stopped the cultural celebrations of the global Latter-day Saints who look and sing and dance and celebrate differently to their own families when we dedicate a new temple in their nation. They disbanded the ward and stake Activities Committees and killed the local Arts and cultural life of our communities. I was on the last Activities Committee in my stake. They simply cannot stand diversity or difference. They cannot stand joy. They don’t understand its value. Everyone must look like them. Think like them. Worship like them. Worship them.
And having got away with that, these evil Pharisees, servants of Lucifer whose plan of salvation they teach, have of COURSE turned their attention to the temples which teach us to beware and recognise Lucifer and his ministers and change them for the better or cast them out. The last remaining remnants of the Temple Endowment as it is meant to be experienced holding on against the odds in Manti and Salt Lake City after Nelson’s predecessors gutted and ruined the Logan Temple and we assumed they had learned their lesson and would never do that again; a live, immersive theatre experience in which we and our family and friends participate and become all the characters in the ritual retelling of our most precious foundation myth – were just too disturbing an example of our religion’s resistance to their total control and Lucifer’s plan that we all, without any exceptions, live and think exactly the same in every detail.
A technicolour blast from our deep past and the roots of our religion. A priceless gift to us all from a time when our Artists were free to be real world class artists and ENCOURAGED, sent on missions to study in Paris and bring home the best the cultural world could offer in creativity and beauty and paint gorgeous murals with their hands on the walls of the first Mormon temples instead of cranking out generic kitsch of white Jesus that might make it onto the approved list of images for Russel Nelson’s new generic foyer shrines that he has insisted must replace all the unique and individual creativity of the members and congregations of the world as the only permitted artistic expression of our faith in our own chapels.
But destroying the Salt Lake Temple, the Mother Temple of our faith, where my parents were married and began our family like hundreds of thousands of others, a priceless, irreplaceable, incredibly rare masterpiece of pioneer era Western American Art and Craft and Architecture, would require a deception of epic proportions. It is deeply embedded in our collective Mormon psyche and souls, specially of those who have lived near it or just experienced it the once as I did as an 18 year old just before entering the Missionary Training Centre. Christian Mormonism has deep reverence for our ancestors and the artefacts and stories and heritage they have bequeathed to us to pass on to future generations. We are constantly told by our manuals and scriptures and General Authorities to devote a significant proportion of our time to the Spirit of Elijah – learning about our ancestors, safely archiving their records, going to these temples to perform rituals to give them opportunities for learning and progression. We are told that in the temples the veil is very thin between our world and theirs.
There was no way the Mormon people of Utah or the heritage organisations would EVER sanction just destroying the Salt Lake Temple and the Manti Temple, home to Mormonism’s Sistine Chapel – the murals by our greatest, and female, artist Minerva Teichert. So to get everyone to look the other way and leave the temple unstead of chaining themselves to it to protect it, the First Presidency decided to lie on a more epic scale than they have yet lied, and they’ve already told some absolute whoppers. Just over a year ago in 4 December 2019 the director of historic temple renovations Andy Kirby gave a press conference briefing everyone about the details of the plans.
As Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune reported at the time, he promised that the temple interiors would be enhanced and improved but remain essentially the same. The hand-painted murals in ordinance rooms will be cleaned and repaired, leaving the colours “brighter and more vivid,” and the rituals performed by live actors would remain part of the ceremony. The only significant change would be adding screens to the ordinance rooms so the filmed version of the endowment could be shown to those who speak a language besides English. It was a simple and brilliant win-win solution – preserve the art, preserve the live endowments and introduce that language-inclusive flexibility in the same space. “The finished work will look more like the 19th century”, said Emily Utt, curator of the church history department. “The expense and care to renovate the Salt Lake Temple are worth it”, she said. “It is the symbolic centre of the church — and the community.”
On the 4 December 2019 one of the Church’s own newspapers, the Deseret News, printed artists’ impressions presented at that press conference of the renovated interiors with the murals immaculately preserved intact and reported that:
“Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department, said renovating a building as sacred and beloved as the Salt Lake Temple is an undertaking of historic magnitude. “We have hundreds of people working intensely upon the design and putting schedules together and working with the city and other departments of the Church for this wonderful opportunity,” he said……
“ “But we are so excited to one day be able to open our doors to the entire world and say, ‘Come to the Salt Lake Temple’,” said (Rich) Sutton (Temple Area Director). “This is the iconic, historic temple of the Church.”
HISTORY PROTECTED AND PRESERVED
“The fast-approaching temple renovation will require the skills and know-how of hundreds of skilled craftsmen and builders. But Church history curators such as Emily Utt are also being utilized to help ensure that the building’s priceless and essential historical design and feel are not lost. “Preserving and restoring the temple requires a combination of the newest technologies and historic construction techniques,” said Utt. “This project will highlight and honor the work of past craftsmen while making the temple safe, functional, accessible and beautiful for future generations. Experts in preserving historic stone, murals, plaster, wood and metal have been consulted in every stage of design and will complete much of the work required in the historic building.”
Design elements from past renovations “that don’t feel compatible” will be removed, she added. The newly released interior renderings display the temple’s historic paint colors. “And we will be restoring murals to their original brilliance, and installing carpets and furniture and lightning that will look and feel like a 19th-century building,” said Utt. “But we will also provide all the function that we need for a new temple.”
8 months earlier President Nelson himself along with the Presiding Bishopric had announced the plans for the renovation and restoration of the Salt Lake City Temple in a press conference also reported by the Church News and you can watch the film of it on their website. As the Church News reported:
“The Salt Lake Temple will close Dec. 29 and remain closed for approximately four years (in oder to complete its renovation), President Russell M. Nelson announced Friday morning, April 19.
“We promise you that you will love the results,” said President Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “They will emphasize and highlight the life, ministry and mission of Jesus Christ in His desire to bless every kindred, nation, tongue and people.”
Speaking at a press conference held in the Temple Square South Visitors Center, President Nelson joined other senior Church leaders and renovation project managers to talk about the massive and historic Salt Lake Temple renovation and preservation efforts.
“The project will enhance, refresh and beautify the temple and its surrounding grounds,” he said. “Obsolete systems within the building will be replaced. Safety and seismic concerns will be addressed.”… “Every reasonable effort will be made to honor and maintain the temple’s historic beauty. We will strive to preserve its reverent setting and character as originally directed by President Brigham Young.”
President Nelson said looking at the historic Salt Lake Temple brings to remembrance the pioneers who built the temple. With the site identified by Brigham Young soon after the pioneers’ arrival in 1847, construction on the building began in 1853 and was completed 40 years later.
“This temple and others built in Utah by these pioneer forebears represent some of the finest examples of architectural design, engineering and use of materials then available,” he said, noting the Church has a sacred responsibility to care for the buildings.
“(Thy are among the most highly utilised temples in the Church. We have a sincere desire, yes, a sacred responsibility, to care for them, that they may continue to serve as sacred houses of the Lord for many generations to come.) To some extent, buildings are like people. Not only is the aging process inevitable, but it can also be unkind. The good news is that buildings can be renovated. The bad news is that needed renovations takes time.”
In addition, the closure will also impact thousands of Church members who volunteer their time to serve as workers in the temple, he said.
“We express our heartfelt gratitude for these faithful and dedicated workers, as well as to our devoted employees,” Elder Wilson said. “Following established precedent, the temple presidency and all ordinance workers will be formally released after the temple closes for renovation.”
Just over a year later after the thousands of volunteer temple workers were safely out of the way and the bulldozers had moved in and been busy on the site for a while, on 12 March 2021 the First Presidency released a statement describing a completely different project for the Salt Lake temple with completely different priorities to the ones they lied about to reassure worried Church members previously. Now it is all about a transforming remodelling of the entire interior infrastructure of the temple to make it look and function exactly like the dozens of modern temples.
As you can read in the Church News reporting of this new First Presidency Statement:
“Two more instruction rooms, additional sealing ordinance rooms, and a second baptistry are being added to allow for greater capacity and more temple ordinances. Previously, the member experience in this temple included a progressive room-to-room presentation by live actors. When the temple reopens, this will transition to single-room presentations by film, available in more than 80 languages (previously presented only in English). This decision will also make it possible to hold more sessions each day. And finally, we hope it will help more members feel confident to serve as ordinance workers without the requirement for lengthy memorization.”
And now watch the gaslighting about the murals swing into action. Gone are all the confident reassurances about preserving and restoring them – now they are pretending that was never a thing and it was “impossible” for them to know if they could be saved at all, and they are going to pretend they weren’t really the original murals anyway so no one should care. They will give the impression that the previous restorative interventions on them amount to basically repainting them several times, which they did not. Remember, this is a First Presidency Statement by Presidents Nelson, Eyring and Oaks. It is THEM lying to us and completely flipping the whole narrative about the work on the Salt Lake Temple just a year after telling everyone a completely different one:
“…As we make these significant changes for the future, many historic elements are being impacted. For example, the addition of new instruction rooms, a new method of presentation, seismic strengthening, and changes to meet accessibility requirements meant that the murals in the temple would need to be moved and/or repainted. It was impossible to know whether the murals could be preserved during such a move. They were originally painted directly on lath and plaster walls, which had been repaired and repainted many times because of water damage and other deterioration. Further, the change to a film presentation meant that the rooms would be reconfigured. For all these reasons, the murals were carefully photographed and documented before removal, and some of the original portions are being preserved in the Church’s archives. Many other historic features of the building have also been photographed, documented, replicated and in some cases, architecturally salvaged.
Beginning later this year, the Manti Temple will begin a multi-year renovation that will include mechanical updates and other changes to prepare the temple to serve for generations.
Similar to the changes in the Salt Lake Temple, the progressive room-to-room presentation by live actors will transition to single-room presentations by film. The murals will also be photographed, documented, and removed. Some elements of the temple’s structure will be updated to accommodate these changes and improve accessibility for patrons. The historic staircases in the Manti Temple (and Salt Lake Temple) are being preserved during the renovations.” …With each of these temples, there is a desire to ensure that the learning and experience are similar for all who come to the temple from anywhere in the world. The same ordinances, covenants and authority are available in every temple, and will now be presented in the same way, and now in more than 80 languages.
The historic pioneer-era temples have been a blessing to the Latter-day Saints for more than 140 years, and we know that with the updates and renovations now announced or underway they will continue to serve their sacred purpose for generations to come.”
Artist and one of the many unpaid volunteer Salt Lake Temple ordinance workers who have dedicated their lives to that temple and preserving its unique contribution to our shared heritage for generations since building it began in 1853, Jody England Hansen, has described powerfully through tears in episode 173 of the Mormonland podcast on 17 March 2021 the lies they were told in their last briefing before leaving the building for its 4 year earthquake proofing and conservation renovation. They were told the same story - that it would be carefully preserved and in fact the project’s experts were working hard to research precisely the original colouring and details of the original pioneer décor so they could get it back as close to the original as they could.
What has actually happened is they gutted it, destroyed and removed ALL the murals and are replacing the gorgeous large original interiors with subdivided identikit cinema rooms. The powerfully symbolic statue of the mother goddess will also likely disappear.
The response to the First Presidency statement announcing that the plan was to destroy these temples all along and end the live presention of the endowment, which is the main reason people make pilgrimages from all over the world to enter them, was horrified grief or the usual passive shrug of the shoulders by brainwashed members who think they can’t do anything about what the First Presidency decide so there isn’t much point getting worked up about it. The Salt Lake murals were already lost, but the fight was on to save the Manti ones.
It seems the First Presidency have already realised they just made one of the biggest mistakes of their life and the backtracking has already begun. 2 weeks later on 24 March 2021 they added an update to the official First Presidency statement about the Manti Murals:
“The artwork in the Manti Temple includes murals painted by Minerva Teichert, which are valued not only for their beauty, but also as a treasured remembrance of the faith, talent and dedication of the artist.
The Teichert murals in the Manti Temple were originally painted on canvas, which was adhered to the plaster walls. The Church’s intent is to separate the canvas or portions of the canvas from the plaster and preserve the murals for future restoration and display in a public setting. We are seeking the advice of international experts in the field of art preservation during this process.”
The Salt Lake murals are gone but we need to mobilise and insist that they do not lay a finger on the arguably even more important Manti Temple murals by Mormonism’s Mother Goddess of Art Minerva Teichert. This is a test, my fellow Latter-day Saints. If you let them do this to these temples without resistance, without opposition, there will be nothing left of our religion. They will know they have a free hand to destroy anything and anyone. They are already doing it to our families as they drive them out of the Church with their nasty Pharisee religion and lies and money hoarding. But there is something profound about the moment when tyrants go after their people’s art and heritage. It’s crossing a Rubicon. A watershed moment. In many revolutions that has been the trigger for the masses to rise up, take back their rights and their power and insist on democracy. I hope anyone who can will join the ‘March for Minerva’ and any other efforts to resist this barbarian vandalism that shames us all, and every propaganda art exhibition, book, and press release these hypocrites have put out there to claim that the Mormon people are refined, civilised, artistic, cultured and the equal of any other civilisation on earth. The Christian Mormons are. These Pharisee Mormon barbarians clearly are not. They have $100 Billion sitting in the stock market. They could afford the actual Sistine Chapel. If we offered the current Pope $100 billion to feed the poor in return for the actual Sistine Chapel he’d sell it to us in a heartbeat. Because he’s a real Christian.
They could DEFINITELY afford to make the Salt Lake Temple earthquake-proof while also preserving every speck of dust of those murals, or just leave it alone until the technology is developed to do that if they really can’t. (They CAN already of course. The technology for that kind of preservation was developed years ago.) The Salt Lake Temple hasn’t been destroyed by an earthquake yet so why the rush? Is this all part of a manipulative gameplan to further ramp up the endtimes hysteria of the hardcore unquestioning Mormon faithful who have been convinced to accept the accelerating collapse of global active membership in the Church as being an inevitable final sifting of the wheat from the chaff in the last moments before Christ’s second coming, instead of fruity proof positive that the current leadership are screwing up spectacularly and driving the Church off a cliff?
The Salt Lake Temple is no more. It’s twin souls of art and ritual have both been torn out by Philistines. It is now an empty shell. A fondant decoration on a wedding cake that when you cut it open is actually made of polystyrene instead of food.
THE BETRAYAL OF THE MORMON ARTISTS
I know it’s wrong to be even more upset about that than I am about the hundreds of thousands of testimonies these men have eviscerated, but I’m an artist and an Art teacher. And I’m a bona fide Mormon Muralist, dammit!! If anyone living today qualifies to claim to be a Latter-day Saint Art missionary, who paints murals, I’m actually it! The real deal! I keep saying you couldn’t make this up and my Heavenly Parents must be falling off their thrones chuckling at me as my Patriarchal Blessing delightfully describes about the surrealist Performance Art experience they carefully prepared for my turn on Earth, but this is really getting out of the box, Papa Elohim and Mamas Sister Wife Elohimas! In the second area of my mission in the wonderful town of Jackson in Clarke County, Alabama, I was invited to paint a huge mural on the wall of the main hall that served as a gym and canteen space for the School. It would be a huge undertaking but my awesome Mission President was 100% supportive and for the next several months my patient companions and I would let ourselves in to the school in the evenings when we didn’t have appointments after our prostelyting activities were done and with house paints and a stack of National Geographic magazines as references I painted a temple-mural-like celebration of the created natural world with mountains, waterfalls, and a cross section through an ocean with coral reefs, whales and tropical fish. The Church News sent a missionary couple as correspondents to interview me and feature the mural project. It remained for decades and a couple of years ago I received a delightful message from the Headmistress explaining that remodelling of the school meant it was finally going to have to be painted over and thanking me for all the joy I had given the pupils over those years. So I understand that murals cannot always last for ever, but some are more important than others and the Catholics have managed to keep rather a lot of theirs pretty much intact for more than a thousand years in their sacred buildings, so we can do much better than 140 years in our actual temples that are meant to last through the Millennium!
My Art missionary story didn’t end there – the librarian at Jackson’s Middle School asked if I would paint a mural in her library all around the walls above the book cases with images representing the content of the books underneath so I spent the rest of my non-prostelyting time on my mission completing that wonderful opportunity to turn the Dewy Decimal System into Art with the patient assistance of my longsuffering companions. In total I spent 1 ½ years of my mission painting murals and building bridges for the Church as an Art ambassador to the often religiously hostile Bible Belt and I have been painting murals in the schools I have taught in ever since. I spend a similar amount of time during my Art Degree course at university being a missionary so it all balanced out and a satisfying way. I have had two of my paintings accepted in to the Church International Art Competitions and featured with other finalists in the Ensigns. As a teacher I don’t get much time to make Art, but when I do tackle a deep and meaningful topic it is always an expression of the ideas in our theology and the experiences and places in our history that fire my creative imagination. I LOVE Mormon art and artists. Simon Dewy coincidentally was a jobbing commercial artist in my stake and I judged a stake art competition with him before he moved to Utah and became an LDS Art superstar.
I have lived in my small way the life of a Mormon artist and experienced how powerful and important religious and public art are to our faith experience and our communities and the connections, and the uniquely transcendent communicator art can be in breaking down boundaries of distrust and making friendships.
This is why the wanton and deceptive destruction of the Salt Lake Temple murals has broken something deep inside me that I don’t think is ever going to heal. It is more than the unnecessary loss of priceless artworks that can never be replaced. It is a fundamental breaking of trust between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its Artists.
It’s not enough that they shamelessly blamed us for making people think that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon with the Urim and Thummim while looking at the golden plates, which is what the General Authorities told us happened and how they instructed illustrators for Church publications to paint it, when what really happened was that he dictated the Book of Mormon staring at an occult peep stone with his face in his hat.
We make all kinds of sacrifices to be Mormon artists and make the institution look far more serious, cultured, credible and profound than its leaders too often deserve. But as so many other grass roots members, apologists, academics and creators have found, ultimately we are all expendable. In a dictatorship your life’s work, your sacrifices and your commitment do not matter if the dictator decides to change the script, erase your history, finds you an embarrassing reminder of something they want to forget or pretend never happened. Your people, your peers, your community may adore you and what you have contributed, but it won’t matter and ultimately they will fall in line with the dictator and shun you if that it what the dictator commands.
This is yet another reason why Common Consent and balances of power and democracy are so vital in our Church and why God originally embedded them in its foundational covenants and constitution in the Doctrine and Covenants. The Pharisees are convinced that the kingdom of God is a bureaucratic machine. A hierarchichal male-brained priesthood authority system. A covenant path to be marched along to glory with exact obedience. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God really lives in every heart that has compassion and love. D and C 121, the last scripture that will have to be prised form my cold dead hands if I ever abandon Mormonism as my religion, is a forensic annihilation of the Pharisee religion and all its assumptions. It teaches that ordained authority is not the important thing and the covenant path is NOT a checklist of ordinances and performances as the current First Presidency teach and believe. Glory and priesthood and power and truth and spirituality are all things that you almost imperceptibly BECOME as you learn compassion and wisdom. They distil upon your soul like the dew from heaven…
“Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.”
That has to be the most poetic and beautiful yet fundamentally meaty and doctrinal line in the entire Mormon canon. I would love to see and hear amazing Amanda Gorman the teenage poetess who spoke at Joe Biden’s Presidential inauguration recite D and C Section 121. It would change the world.
So when I hear that the First Presidency lied to us all and destroyed the murals and endowment rooms in the Salt Lake Temple that they had promised to sensitively restore to their original condition and setting, I know and feel in my bones how bad this is, and what it means, and how we will always regret it. If this geriatric First Presidency wanted to leave a legacy before they all die in a few years, they’ve got it now. Whatever else they do, they will be a hiss and a by-word. They will always be the short-sighted, bureaucratic, machine-minded liar automatons who chose the dark side of the force and the bulging purse and deceiving scrip of an ancient primordial evil who gutted the Salt Lake Temple and probably the Manti Temple after promising literally everyone that they were preserving them.
And now they are sitting in their temporary Apostle Temple they just spent $2 million building for themselves in the top of the Hotel Utah because they are too corrupt and pampered and lazy to get in a car and drive the short distance to one of the countless other temples in Utah to meet in while the destruction and remodelling of the Mother Temple continues. And harried minions are no doubt trying to explain to them, yet again, that they just made a really bad mistake and are going to have to start backtracking from it and do some kind of damage limitation exercise before they send the wrecking balls into the Manti temple because they never learn from the mistakes of their predecessors in the velvet thrones. Of course they don’t. You can’t learn anything from history if you erase history, and invent and constantly re-write and censor history.
You will probably never be told that President Spencer W Kimball bitterly regretted doing what they just did to the Logan Temple in a similar frenzy of modernising and homogenising zeal if you have insisted that Mormon journalists, teaching curriculum writers and historians must erase any memory of Church leaders making mistakes and teaching as Dallin Oaks did that even if you are reading an accurate and balanced biography or history of the Church or its leaders and come across examples of them making mistakes and getting something wrong or causing hard, it is your religious duty and the Pharisee religion version of spiritual discernment to automatically assume you are reading a satanic lie that if believed will diminish the ability of God to use that leader to guide and inspire you in any useful way. And the inevitable outcome will be that generation after generation your religion’s leadership class who have drunk their own Kool-ade, believed their own deceptive propaganda or at least are pretending to, will endlessly repeat the exact same mistakes as their predecessors. They will never actually learn.
Just as our souls cannot thrive without artistic and cultural nourishment from our ancestors, religious leaders cannot make good decisions in a vacuum and only listening to the voices in their own heads. Salvation is a team effort in Mormonism.
They have taught us that we cannot be saved without our ancestors, but they obviously don’t really mean it. Or they understand the shallow bureaucratic ticking of a box of vicarious ordinances version of it, but nothing of the real point. That deep personal connection the otherwise empty ritual makes between ourselves and the generations before us, and the value of every child of God and their unique existence and contributions to the human family which all these endless hours of repetitive temple rituals are ultimately all about. God doesn’t really need us to do this to save those people. He could flip a divine switch somewhere and it would all be taken care of. Ultimately it’s all about Him forgiving people which He can do any time He likes without all this palava.
This is a reasonable, rational criticism of Christianity that the Quran makes as it chides Christians for believing in a God who can only forgive us if He kills his own Son when it is surely His divine nature and capability to forgive anyone He chooses to without requiring a crucifixion. But just as there is something profoundly extra about a God who humbles Himself to become one of us, suffer with us, die for us that reaches parts of our souls and psyches that in my opinion cannot be reached by an entirely abstract God who never steps down from His unfathomable throne on high, there is something unique about making the connections with each of the other humans in the extended family, one at a time, that goes deeper. And something unique, as others have been describing as they mourn the murals, about looking at the finger prints and brushstrokes in the paintings and touching the carved wood that were made and touched by our religious and actual ancestors. There is none of that in a film, none of it in a McTemple decorated like a posh but kitschy motel. The First Presidency simply don’t understand Art. They don’t feel it. Their souls have dried up and turned to legalistic dust.
Like scriptures and prayer, Art is transformative simply by encountering it and revisiting it. Sacrificing and struggling because every soul matters, whoever they are, and really spending time with that interconnectedness of the human family is what is transformative. I’ve usually been too knackered to remember to do it, but for the last few years of having a temple recommend I tried to memorise the names of the people I went through the temple for and write them down in my Filofax when I got back to the car. People like Samuel Gunton from Yarmouth in Norfolk born in 1760, Carl Jacobus Van Pletsen from the Cape in South Africa born in 1832, my friend’s Grandfather Horace Moore from Wandsworth, London born in 1909, Charles Francois Planq From Gruson in France born in 1795, Isaac Marquand from Guernsey in the Channel Islands born in 1850.
I have wondered about their lives, where they lived, what they knew and learnt in their turn on earth. I have spent several hours in an act of pure unconditional love, offering my time and attention to one single other person in all the teeming billions who have lived in our world who I have never even met and cannot talk to on the basis that they are still worth that effort simply because they are a person, a child of God, with infinite potential. And the after effect makes me see everyone I encounter in the street, the students I teach, my family members, the person in the teeming masses on the telly from a completely different race, culture and community to my own, as equally precious and worth my compassion and empathy and care.
I have a similar spiritual or even religious experience because of art, which tells me how important Art is to religion and civilisation and stretching our minds and our souls to become more intelligent, more loving, more wise, more patient and compassionate towards other people.
As well as communicating to us the ideas and values and unique languages and skills and gifts of every ancient and modern culture, which is wonderful enough in itself, art also connects us to every other human. One of my annual soul pilgrimages, to which I was inducted by my Mother and my school teachers, is to go to the annual Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London in the Autumn that began when I was 9 years old in 1980. Any artist can submit paintings and drawings they have made of other people to the competition and the best are exhibited for anyone to come and contemplate. Through the artists’ eyes and mark-making we are invited into powerful, intimate encounters with other humans we never met before, to study their character, their beauty, their blemishes, their clothing and habitat and their emotions as we slowly and quietly rotate through the sacred space from one image to the next on the walls of one of my nation’s temples to Art.
And then something miraculous happens. On the bus or the underground train home afterwards, very face you see is transformed. You see their beauty, their unique power and being. You notice details of the colours on their skin and their hair and their facial expressions you never usually notice. This is what spending time making and looking at art does – it shows you things in everyday experience that you never noticed before, and once you see them you can never unsee them. A tree stops being a green blob on a stick and becomes a shimmering vision of textures, a thousand colours that are not all greens and browns that constantly change with the changing of the light and the passage of the sun and the moon through the sky and the constantly changing weather. It becomes a spiritual and 3-dimensional FORM with structure and weight and balance, or imbalance, like a human dancer, and you understand why our ancient ancestors saw them as having human-like spirits living in them, and a forest as a festival of dancing dryads and demigods, and constructed religious beliefs and spirituality that permeate every aspect of the natural world.
Art, whether it is visual or literary or musical or acted or danced about humans and the human experience empowers you to see every face as the face of a glorious, unique, divine being. You truly see people with God’s eyes just as when the Holy Spirit fills you will unconditional love and compassion for everyone you meet because you have been praying or reading scriptures or decided to spend the day being a full-time missionary that filled you with that focus and divine perspective about the great worth of every soul.
As one of my favourite scriptures 1 Corinthians 2 puts it, the knowledge and wisdom and perspective of God may seem unfathomably different to our own human limited understanding, forever out of our own reach, but the presence of the Holy Spirit, or an act of love and compassion by another person, or an encounter with real art that comes from a place of sincere connection and expression, powerfully, startlingly and tranformatively bridges and removes that gap, that chasm between ourselves and the divine. And we become one with the Gods and how They see us. As Paul wrote in the best succinct punchline in the scriptures at the end of 1 Corinthians chapter 2, “But we HAVE the mind of Christ.” That is the gift that religion and Art offer to us.
As every religion and culture in human history has discovered and taught us, if we are willing to learn it, you cannot have religion without art. And when you control, hide, censor or destroy your religion’s art, and thought police its artists, you profoundly damage and limit the power and gifts of your religion and its ability to give us the mind of Christ, to rise above just being functional animals, ‘the natural man’ as 1 Corinthians 2 and the Book of Mormon put it.
It is meant to be fundamental to Mormon theology that building Zion is a team effort. It takes all of us, listening and learning from all of us. Making decisions with all of us involved.
We are told that in the temples the veil is very thin between our ancestors and ourselves, between our world and theirs. I don’t think the First Presidency really believe that. If they did, what on earth would they think the horrified souls of the craftsmen and artists and temple workers felt as they watched the masterpiece they created from their poverty and the rocks of the quarries of Utah as a prayer to God, a gift to the civilisation they were building from scratch in a wilderness and a Holy House of God fit to welcome Christ at His return and be beautiful enough for His millennial Reign being destroyed before their eyes? No wonder they are hiding in shame behind the walls of their Apostle Temple, perhaps hoping they cannot hear there the tears and the horrified screams of all those people watching their life’s work being destroyed by imposters who had already desecrated the temple by ordaining themselves in it in secret without authority before they were ever sustained by the members.
I mean, what MORE do these fatcat oligarch Emperors need to actually DO before the majority of the few remaining Mormons rise up and overthrow them and their system that has nothing to do with our real religion or how it was ever meant to be led? Rise up! Stand up! It’s time to Common Consent their feet from off of our necks and rescue what’s left of our religion and our temples to be saved from them.
This is too depressing. Too painful.
Let’s consider the much more cheerful Christian alternative. What is the better way of doing things that would make the pain and sacrifices of revolution worth it? What is the hope? The vision of the Zion we could one day live in instead of this soulless and destructive dystopia?
Christian Mormons deal with the reality that we are all ‘seeing through a glass darkly’ and still having a lot to learn and discover as we gradually come to understand and think like God by making a welcoming space for us all to help us in that ongoing progress of learning and improvement and progression. A space where it is OK to challenging each other and share the new things we are discovering. A space where like in ANY real educational setting it is completely fine, and in fact healthy, to leave behind the beliefs and ideas that turn out to be bad ones or too limited for the understanding and further light and truth we have now, and dragging us backwards to somewhere on the road behind us where we should have left them, always learning more and hopefully getting better in what we understand and how we love and treat other people in practice. Because, as Doctrine and Covenants 121 teaches, “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile.”
Having established and tracked the gameplan of deception of the Pharisee Apostles to stop us thinking, forbid resistance to their corruptions and dictatorly control, and say nothing about whatever unrighteous dominions they decide to inflict upon us, in the rest of the minisodes of Episode Six – ‘The Thought Police’ - I will explore precisely how bad our trouble has got. How it isn’t just Dallin Oaks teaching the teachers in our religion to withhold information and deceive their students but a repeated message that many key apostles and prophets, including Russel M Nelson, have taught for a long time and still include in the current training manuals for your children’s Seminary teachers.
I will explore exactly how many of the criteria for a harmful mind-controlling personality cult our poor battered Church now ticks. I’ll give you a heads up – it’s basically ALL of them except perhaps rampaging around the place actually killing people.
We USED to do that in the Danite era of course, and it was the Mormons who perpetrated probably the largest massacre of white Americans outside of wartime in early American history when they slaughtered 120 innocent men, women and children in 1856 in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but we have now segwayed to driving Lesbian Latter-day Saints, Gay Latter-day Saints, Bisexual Latter-day Saints, Transgender Latter-day Saints and Queer Latter-day Saints to suicide instead to keep up the death toll. So basically we ARE still actually killing PEOPLE. And not just killing their souls softly with boredom and the ‘Follow The Prophet’ song in Primary.
I will explore how, now it’s got THAT bad, rather than panicking and trying in vain to put the rampaging army of skeletons back into the Mormon Closet like the First Presidency and their Pharisee helper Apostles are now as they move decisively to pretend the Racism never happened… and it was all God’s idea anyway… so you can’t criticise it, it just might be time to take hold of a liberated skeleton of uncomfortable truth in a 5 Points of Fellowship Embrace, stop fearing it, and dance with it.
Let’s own, and get a firm grip on, ALL of Joseph Smith’s crazy – his inexcusable sins and adulterous betrayals of Emma, his translating shenanegans. Let’s get Zelph off the Shelf. Let’s rediscover and for once understand his obsession with and plagiarism from Freemasonry instead of destroying the Temple Murals like barbarian Vandals sacking Rome or burning the library of Alexandria, and abandoning the last remnants of how the Endowment was meant to be experienced and what it was meant to mean.
Like a wild and exhilarating Dia De Muertos Fandango, let’s resurrect our religion like the Freemasons resurrect Hyrum Abiff, the Everyman, with the 5 points of fellowship. It will be much less icky when we have ordained women and it isn’t an elderly Grandpa accidentally boinking your boob at the veil.
Let’s get back to our religion’s mindboggling and meaty roots and all its potential for growth. Cut off and burn the dead bits of the struggling and dying trees in the Olive Orchard and make room for healthy new growth and grafting back in the sheep and the young saplings growing out there in the wilderness we chased away who are now thriving without us, but breaking our hearts and shaming us for what we did to them from their exile.
I’m going to explore the first Mormon prophets’ manifestos for the religion that could make Mormonism a real world religion in the 21st century by totally embracing science and research and ALL the truths every single qualified expert, religion and culture can teach us and making them our own.
I’m going to explore a crazy idea that might just work. All these things the Pharisee Thought Police have worked so hard to erase from the historical records and the consciousness of the Latter-day Saints, ALL of them, could actually be the stepping stones to our salvation, our redemption, the restoration of our shattered institutional integrity. Jesus absolutely loved flipping people’s scripts and assumptions and turning everything upside down in order to liberate people from their mind forged manacles and the imprisoning and self-sabotaging control freakery of the Pharisees and their satanic religion preventing the Jewish people and their precious scriptures from saving the world. He loved liberating them to truly experience and embrace universal compassion for every fellow traveller in this mortal coil regardless of their tribe, their race, their gender, their nationality or their religion.
Our only hope could be to learn from the real founder of our Faith and do THAT all again. Now. Here. On OUR watch as we take on the responsibility and hope of making our people the healers of the world and its people instead of a dysfunctional and short-lived historical footnote of naïve eccentrics who genuinely cared more about how many earrings you had and whether you drank hot caffein than your mental health and your soul. It’s going to be up to all if us, as it always should have been in the Laws of Common Consent, because tragically these General Authorities and their unscriptural dictatorship as currently constituted just is not working and has NO chance of changing fast enough or in time to stop our Church evaporating in the next 15-20 years. Unless we rebel and restore the Restoration.
I’m going to give the last word of this minisode to another of the wise social media commenters speaking truth to the LDS Pharisee leadership and culture from their frustration and pain as they lick their wounds and hope for the Church to do better. Kyle Ashworth kindly gave me permission to quote a post he recently made in Mormon Stories Podcast Community, which has 14,000 members, that speaks to what this episode is about. Kye wrote:
“I’ve recently noticed an uptick in LDS church surveys being sent to active, disfranchised, and distant members. With the Church, I never quite understand their motives—so I don’t want to speculate on why they do what they do. But one thing is more certain: the Church creates an atmosphere that prohibits open discussion and dialogue—but somehow they have to employ surveys to hear the “truth” from their members.
Imagine a world (church) where discussion of nuance and disagreement could take place in a two hour block, and be freely accepted. Imagine a revelatory church where it’s issues could be forewarned long before the pews became empty and bare. Imagine a place of worship so strong that it’s strength is measured by the happiness of its members and not by the hiding of its history.
Surveys can only tell a fraction of the story, but the sound of feet leaving the chapels writes novels. Hopefully someone is reading the surveys and listening to the doors close.”
Amen, Brother Ashworth.