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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

136: LDS CITY CREEK CENTER: AWARDED BEST MALL IN THE AMERICAS

It is award season right now where the world gives praise and awards are given ( ie.. Golden Globes, Oscars etc) Who would have thought that not only are there awards for entertainment and media, but also for malls?

It was reported today in the Deseret News that our LDS Church Mall was named the best mall in not only in America... but in the Americas (Canada, US,and South America).



"Opened in March, City Creek is the centerpiece of Salt Lake City's mixed-use downtown redevelopment project, undertaken privately by City Creek Reserve Inc. — a real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “City Creek Center is a world-class experience in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City," said general manager Linda Wardell. "People have recognized this, and downtown Salt Lake City is more vibrant than ever."


One commenter on the article stated this: "City Creek is an outstanding achievement.  We are all very fortunate to have a downtown shopping development of this magnitude.  Many thanks to the Mormon Church for bringing this project to our city.  Thank you Mormon Church!"

Maybe I am alone.. but I find all of this to be quite troublesome. What causes me even greater concern is how we choose to market and advertise our LDS Mall.  Here are a few photos that I took along the freeway of the new billboards advertising City Creek. In the first billboard shown, the advertisement uses the word: "Enchants" to describe City Creek. A synomym for the word "enchant" is "beguile".  That word sounds familiar.
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29 comments:

  1. I find it disturbing, too. But it doesn't seem as though there is anything *we* (out here in saint-land) can do--

    I find myself wanting to boycott all malls since this happened. I've never been a mall 'lover', but we do have a few good stores in our small mall that carry reasonably priced and fairly high quality things that are necessities for any family.
    And one of our family members has a part-time job in our local (small town) mall.

    But there is something about any mall that appears to be a shrine to the gods of Babylon.

    Where will all of this go before it ends?

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  2. oh, and thanks for the update. I (tongue in cheek) use the term 'saint-land' for those of us who are members of the church in far-flung places; we don't have access to Utah news, and perhaps we don't really want to have access to it--LOL!

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  3. There were some comments on the KSL article that attempted to claim that the mall was not owned by the LDS Church. Seemed to me that the purpose of the comment was to deflect criticism away from the church for the opulence and extravagance that City Creek represents.

    This one issue has caused me a great deal of consternation over the last couple of years and has lead me to seriously question what is going on at the top levels of the Church. Yes, I mean the very top.

    This is not a position I would have pictured myself being in - one who questions the brethren. But the City Creek mall has led me to question whether some of the leadership may not be acting in the best interests of the members and the Lord, who is supposedly the head of the Church.

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    1. I find myself in this curious position also. Never thought I'd be questioning either. But this is not a bottom-up problem. This is a top tier problem, as you said.

      Since when can interest on tithing (that is the rationale, isn't it?) be considered non-tithing money?

      I almost feel like saying the Church is making so much money they don't know what to do with it all. A grand mall built by a tax-exempt church - boy, if it were the RLDS, I think we'd be all over that claiming how obvious it is that they are fallen. Or the Catholics.... or the Baptists.... anyone but the man in the mirror.

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    2. @ Anonymous - 9:08AM:

      Couldn't agree more. I recall reading some time in the not-to-distant past the theory (or perhaps fact) that the Church invests tithing funds over a three year cycle. In year's one and two, the Church only utilizes the interest income. It is in year three that the principal is spent on various projects on the non-profit side of the business.

      I may have read that in one of Daymon Smith's writings, but I can't be 100% certain of that.

      Either way, I'm not convinced that the Lord would spend $5,000,000,000 in this way.

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    3. Denver Snuffer talks about it here: http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/04/tithing.html

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  4. I'm only surprised that people are still surprised at what the Church does and supports.

    It's way past time to accept and awake to things as they really are.

    The mall is only the tip of the iceberg.

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  5. Anon above...will you please share more info?

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    1. Sorry to get off subject, hope it's ok to quickly answer A&E's question.

      Part 1

      A&E,

      If you have the Spirit and a sincere heart I would encourage you to study further into the truth of these things for starters. Prove all things (& persons) and only hold fast to that which is good. "Only those who are unafraid of the truth will find it" (LDS Quote from "Man's Search for Happiness)

      God wants 'us' to decide and prove 'what or who' is true or false, by, as Joseph Smith taught, comparing what anyone 'says or does' with what Christ taught and by what his true prophets in the BoM said, along with Joseph Smith.
      Plus, we must have the Holy Spirit as our guide so we can interpret those scriptures correctly. Living worthy of the Spirit is the hard part. Most think they have the Spirit when they don't. Thus most everyone is easily deceived, yet doesn't realize it. For the Adversary constantly gives us revelation that sounds right & good to us. Thus we must also have the scriptures to test if our revelation is true or not. It takes both the Spirit & the Scriptures to test & prove all things. (Bible,& especially the Book of Mormon & original D&C - 1835 edition)

      Joseph Smith taught a completely different religion than Brigham Young did. They believed & taught opposite doctrines on so many vital issues. Brigham Young and church leaders up to today continually preached & practiced & still do contrary to Christ, Joseph Smith and the ancient prophets in the Holy Scriptures, on these & other doctrines:

      - Polygamy. We have tons of proof & scriptures published by Joseph Smith 'while he was alive' that he constantly fought against polygamy and left his testimony & scriptures (BoM) that he never preached or practiced it and that is was a whoredom in every instance in history. Polygamy was instigated by BY and other Apostles who wanted to live it and who pinned it on Joseph (after he died and couldn't defend himself anymore), saying Joseph lived it too, but we know Joseph knew better & that he intended to discipline & excommunicate BY and other Apostles for polygamy if they didn't repent, if Joseph had lived a little longer. Even today Church leaders still preach such whoredoms & promise and practice forms of polygamy, by sealing multiple women to men after death or divorce.

      - Divorce and Remarriage. Since Brigham Young, the Church has not followed Christ's teachings on divorce and remarriage, and still does not today, but allows, supports, encourages & rewards abandonment of spouse & children by divorce & the subsequent adultery by remarriage, without discipline and excommunication as called for by Christ & his scriptures.

      - Birth Control, used to be consider evil in most religions, now accepted by the Church.

      - Abortion, Church now allows it sometimes.

      - Blacks & the Priesthood, Joseph Smith allowed Blacks the Priesthood & considered them equal. BY didn't consider Black to be equals and would not allow them to have the Priesthood, neither did all other Church Presidents up to Pres. Kimball.

      - Slavery. Joseph Smith was against slavery and Brigham Young was for it, he even wanted to legalize it in Utah.

      -Treatment of Indians by Brigham Young. Joseph believed in being respectful & kind to the Indians and not stealing land from them, BY didn't, to say the least.

      - Blood Atonement
      - Adam God Theory







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    2. Part 2.

      - Tithing. Brigham Young changed Joseph's tithing laws once he became President into something tithing was not meant to be. Tithing was supposed to be paid only on 'surplus' (the extra the families had after their needs were met), and not before we took care of our family's needs 1st. Today the Church pressures people, even the poor, to pay tithing even if it means they can't feed their family or pay their heating bill. The Church's tithing doctrine is not found in the scriptures and go against what Christ taught, which is that if you only have enough for your family and not the poor too, then you are justified to not give $ to the poor, as long as you would have helped the poor if you had had more money.

      - Paid ministry. True Prophets & apostles, & disciples of Christ would never expect or ask members to support them for their service, let alone rich ones, let alone big salaries, let alone before the widows & the fatherless who suffer but are generally ignored and even told to give their last dollar to support rich church leaders before feeding their own suffering children. Church leaders & Prophets, are not to be supported by the people, but as King Benjamin taught they should work & support themselves and serve in the Church for free like everyone else.

      - The Church allows men to abandon (divorce) their wives & children for any reason, as many times as they want to remarry & abandon women & children, without any consequences applied, (something JS said church leaders would lose their salvation for if they allowed such, along with the man losing his for abandoning his family). The Church does not expect and insist that men do their duty & totally financially support their wife and children that they abuse or abandon & cause a divorce, except for the small amount the courts may require, if any, which is usually not enough to keep the abandoned & abused mother from having to work & leave her children and cause even more suffering & problems for them.

      - The Church does not teach true equality of women as Christ & Joseph Smith did. Instead it teaches the submission, in-equality and disrespect of women in the home, church and society. The Church teaches the false doctrine that men 'rule & preside over a wife' and that women don't have the Priesthood, (when righteous women know that they clearly they do & always have) or the right to high leadership positions in the Church like Prophetess, Apostle, Co-Stake Pres. or Co-Bishop equal with their husbands, as evidence shows was done in Christ's early Church.









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    3. Part 3

      - Church does not believe in Christ's most vital & important doctrine of Unconditional True Love in marriage.

      - Church continues to teach the false doctrine from W. Woodruff that 'prophets cant lead the Church astray', when Christ and his 'true' prophets have always continually warned the Saints of 'false' prophets that can arise in the Church, or even true prophets who can fall, like many have, like David, Solomon, Jacob & Abraham, most Apostles in Joseph's day, etc. (not sure all those men were 'prophets' though, but many of them were very favored of the Lord in younger years, then lost their faith & fell to immorality by polygamy, among other things.)

      - Temple endowments & ordinances written & created by BY. False doctrines taught in the temple that Joseph called evil when he was alive. Joseph seemed to have a different vision of the use of temples, more like chapels, for Sunday service and public meetings, for men, women & children, even non-members. Much like the Kirtland Temple. But Brigham Young finished the Nauvoo temple after Joseph died & used it for secret ordinances & sealings for polygamy, etc.

      Joseph always taught that marriage should be a 'public' ceremony, for all to join in the celebration, and he even published & taught that in the original D&C 101. But, again, after Joseph died, BY took that out, along with other scriptures in the D&C where Joseph commanded only monogamy in the Church, and BY replaced those with D&C 132 - his new doctrine of polygamy and sealings.








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  6. For more on info on some of these issues I would recommend puremormonism.blogspot.com

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  7. That's fantastic that it achieved that award. I had no idea that it was such a high class mall. Next time I visit Salt Lake, I'm going to make it a point to check it out.

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  8. It's amazing in posts decrying apostasy the mix of truth and falsehood. Moderator - Thanks for allowing comments.

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  9. To the Anon above who is favorable to Joseph: I was under the impression and still am after very much research that Joseph Smith had several wives. Many in fact. He also modified the Book of Commandments, the Book of Mormon, was baptized twice, did search for treasure with a stone, was baptized and ordained a High Priest after apparently being ordained an Apostle by Peter James and John (and John the Baptist viz. lesser priesthood to boot), established a church with 6 members after acquiring nearly 2000 before that, lost the gold plates and urim and thummim through disobedience, then very strangely only received the plates back but was yet allowed to translate the plates while looking through a stone in a hat while the plates were hidden in the woods, allowed the name of the church to be changed twice more after it's original name, was fooled into thinking the greek psalter was not what it was, was duped by the kinderhook plates, changed the name of the visitor in his first vision, then changed it again to be God and Christ, broke the law and trampled the Illinois Constitution by destroying a free press, had himself anointed king of the world, renounced "spiritual wifery" and at least part of section 132 and the garment telling others to remove and destroy them, announced to William Marks he had been "deceived", then shot two men dead the same day he drank wine and smoked a cigar while hailing for help with the masonic distress signal, was then buried and exhumed not once, not twice but three times before finally being laid to rest as late as 1928! I would truly love to continue believing, my heart is there even now, but I need something to trip me up on my journey out of the church, along with my beautiful wife and very large family. I've written a nearly 400 page book on this over the last 8 months, just going with the flow of what I could find. You can imagine what kind of a book I have on my hands right now. If nothing trips me up soon, I will publish what I have, heartbreaking as it is. Go ahead: trip me up. Anyone. Please.

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    1. Anonymous, it sounds like you have bought into a bunch of nonsense. Joseph was not perfect, but just because someone contemporary with him says something about him does not mean it was true.

      For example, the kinderhook plates have nothing to do with the gold plates. Nada. Find the original kinderhook, if you can (I doubt it exists). If there was such a thing, it won't match the Book of Mormon.

      He did shoot a gun when he and the other prisoners were in the process of being murdered. Self defense is not a crime. And, in those days, the Word of Wisdom was not a commandment. In fact drinking wine was part of the sacrament before that ordinance was changed to be water-only.

      I'll tell you what. If you have the money, buy "Passing the Heavenly Gift." It will probably not address every single thing you brought up, and it may even bring up things you didn't know about, but if you read the whole book from beginning to end, you may find that it is worth staying in this church in spite of its defects.

      The concentration is supposed to be on Jesus Christ. Joseph taught that we should be searching for an "audience" with the Lord. Our focus should not be on how perfect or how evil the leaders are (and Joseph was not evil, even though he was not perfect). In fact, lies, half-truths, or truths slanted to appear satanic will lead us down the path to hell quite rapidly if we let it.

      Noah, according to the Bible, got drunk. Joseph didn't get drunk. Does that make Noah an evil man?

      The problem I see, when one concentrates on all the truths presented as satanic, lies, and half-lies then one forgets that concentrating on the Savior is what one should be doing. Focus on a man. Focus on darkness. You'll get darkness.

      Humble yourself. Put away your tools of attack. Read the Book of Mormon as if you have never seen it before. Study it. Without thinking about Joseph Smith or the church. Humbly and sincerely ask God to help you sup from its pages in the way He would want you to do so.

      And, if you're wondering, yes, I have read anti-Mormon literature. I read it a lot when I was in my twenties. I noticed that the authors often contradicted themselves, loved to say "it MUST have been," when dispassionate logic declares, "it COULD have been, but may NOT have been."

      The problem is that most such books suck people in with strong emotions such as fear and alarm, lacking the logic to attract people.

      And, one thing you should know. The Book of Mormon is a bona fide record. This means Joseph Smith was given the gift to translate it. End. It does not mean anything else. It does not stretch to the church being true or false. It does not stretch to whether Joseph was faithful or unfaithful later on. It does not stretch to the presidents of the church being prophets of God or not being prophets of God. Those are different things that the Spirit must tell each person, and they are separate from whether the book is a true history of real people.

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    2. Passing the Heavenly Gift:

      http://www.amazon.com/Passing-Heavenly-Gift-Denver-Snuffer/dp/0615528961/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359259683&sr=1-1&keywords=passing+the+heavenly+gift

      Removing the Condemnation (might be a good one to read, for any one interested in how to repent and lift the condemnation the church is under according the the D&C) (or you can just read the author's blog).

      http://www.amazon.com/Removing-Condemnation-Denver-Snuffer-Jr/dp/0615438865/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359259683&sr=1-3&keywords=passing+the+heavenly+gift

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    3. To go to the links above, highlight the address, then right click. A list should pop up that gives you the option to open the link or to open it in a new tab (at least it does this on firefox).

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  10. Toni, thx for taking the time to respond. I respect what you have related, but honestly, if it was as easy as you make it to be I wouldn't be posting here. We could pick and nitpick and argue about any or all of the things I have posted, which represent just a fraction of what is in my book. In short, I don't know what your research turned up but Joseph did get drunk and also attempted to open a tavern in Nauvoo. Eventually, a bar was opened, but that wasn't until SLC and the funds were used to pay off the Hotel Utah. Now, it seems it is appropriately named the Joseph Smith memorial building. Drinking in the church as sacrament continued in the temple until 1906. Kinderhook plates are real, and copies of them were even available for sale as advertised in the Nauvoo newspaper as late as June 1844. I have and have read Snuffer's book about a year ago. I quote him in my book. Everyone's situation is different, and I just have a different situation than Snuffer does. He has not been pushed as we (I) have. For example, in his podcast at mormon stories, John asked him why he stays, and he said "as long as he's permitted to talk the way he likes, he will stay". Well, I have not been permitted that same privilege, so if I measure Denver with what I have been subjected to, then I would say he would have to leave too. I suggest that the reason they won't touch Denver (yet) is becasue he claims to have seen Christ. I think they are wary of who he is.

    I understand the focus is supposed to be on Christ, and folk point to the temple for that, but do you really think that giving everything you have and are to the Church of Jesus Christ is the same as giving everything to Christ? The church is a corporation sole running under the name Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the latter part of which is nothing more than a trademark. Committing everything to the church is dangerous if you ask me. I would prefer the church have us give everything to Christ -- or better yet, just ask us to play nice. I believe Christ warned us to "swear not at all.... let you communication be yea yea, nay nay" We are also prohibited from entering into binding oaths. Why? Because it is always abused. Always. If we just simply commit to Christ, then the onus is on them (the corporation) to stay in line. If not, they may stray and then your loyalty will be split when you see them stray when they do everything that has been posted on this blog -- and more. A church dedicating banks? You have to be kidding me. But if you stay in the church -- you are supporting that! Do you see the difference?
    When I look at my book and my research, I see a grand concatenation of lies and satanic half lies as you say. And the church is the purveyor of them all. One of the worst examples of the arrogance that accompanies that and which is still verifiable is the unbelievable situation of the church modifying Poelman's talk and re-rerecording it's replacement -- then posting that facade (after Poelman's death) on youtube side by side with the original as if it is the original. There is no arguing or dancing around on this one: that is as bald a faced lie as you can get. But it is really the same patter than has existed from the beginning, and anyone in leadership knows to look for patterns. I do, and I see a pattern here.

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    1. I apologize for taking so long to return to you. The charger on my laptop died very suddenly (and the battery life is literally about 5-10 minutes). I received a replacement today, so ...

      I don't think it is easy, even if it sounds like I do. I have struggled many times with various parts of testimony.

      We have choices to make. Each level of of spirituality we attain, we have choices because there are always those things that are alternate explanations, always those things that can turn us away. Servants of God are not perfect, and it is damnable when they are held up as such - and when a narrow portion of the word of wisdom (which was not a commandment when it was given) is held up as the way to heaven, and all are damned who dare drink, it is also damnable because our focus is turned aside from where it should be.

      As far as committing everything to the church, that used to bother me until I realized (in the temple, actually, while I was hearing that part) that if it was not a covenant that God commanded, I was not bound to it because I was deceived (I had been taught that I was giving all to God, not to a corporation). The church is a corporation, consisting of one man. I fail to conceive how I should commit to give all I own to that entity. But I can plainly see how I should give all to Christ.

      I sense your upset and your outrage at your discoveries. You must do what you feel/think is right. But I would beware of letting excitable emotions get the best of me. I would prefer to step back and figuratively take a deep breath.

      To realize that the church is not the have all/be all that most are taught it is. It is not perfect and should never, ever have been presented to you as perfect. Neither should any of the leaders of times gone by. Nor the current leaders.

      I suppose my perception is different than yours because I tend to believe nothing is perfect, and those people and things that pretend to be perfect are even farther from perfection. I have nothing to lose by anything Joseph Smith does or does not do. The same with anything else.

      Have you read the kinderhook plates? Or any of the other things that claim to be the "real" Book of Mormon? Have you compared them side by side with the Book of Mormon?

      As for the D&C, I understand your quandary there. I have downloaded an 1833 edition of the Book of Commandments and have compared several of the revelations (I have not finished). It surprises me, but I see Joseph's naiveté in allowing them to be changed because I have had enough revelations to know how they come and how simple it is to see something I hadn't seen before.

      I still think that changing the message that was originally given to whomever the original revelation was given to was wrong. In my mind, it was a record of what was originally said. And if, for example, Joseph was given other gifts later, he should have recorded that understanding as a new revelation, because changing the old one makes him look like a fraud.

      I see no need to fight, no need to write a book exposing what I believe to be darkness or steps away from Christ because I believe that not only is this still Christ's church but that He will soon step in and clean it up. It won't be pretty. It will hurt. But I believe it will happen.

      I know the Book of Mormon is a true record through the workings of the Spirit that is in me. It is something I can verbally express to some degree, but it is not something I can give to another. If I knew how to ease your feelings of betrayal and anger, I would. If I could show you what I understand, I would.

      All I can really do is say that I understand how difficult it is to be faced with some of this stuff. I can pray for you if you would like (and I promise the prayers would be more along the lines of helping you to feel peace and to come to understanding - I would not dare to try to pray away your freedom to choose what you will do or think).

      I wish you the best in your journey.

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  11. I wrote my book to sort things out in my head. I've already studied the BoM at length -- I have done that all my life. I've read it more than anyone else I have ever personally met and most others also, and in fact many times more than what some apostles have from what I have heard. My question now is if I read it again -- which version should I read? The original -- or it's altered replacement? Ditto for the Doctrine and Covenants: should I read it in it's original form Book of Commandments style, or should I read it's modern altered addended and redacted style? And knowing it is altered addended and redacted, but the published makes no indication it is -- how do I trust anything else they say? As far and as deep as my shovel goes, I still find nothing but the same problem. In the words of my 8 year old daughter: "Daddy, if they're not telling the truth, I would do the same thing as you".

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    1. It is a quandary, indeed.

      For myself, if I still had an 1830 BofM, I would read it and I would read the current one, together. I read some articles about the changes and the original manuscripts. I compared the current BofM with some of what they said, and it seems to match the originals best - at least the parts I looked at.

      Regarding the Doctrine and Covenants, I really don't have an answer. I haven't figured it out, myself. I would be prone to take the original forms a bit more seriously than the later forms, though I can feel the Spirit in some of what was added. It did make me feel as if I could not really trust what was written - but, then, I was pointed to the truth that I need to find Christ and truth for myself, anyway; that I was learning these things so I could trust solely on God and not on any human source.

      The revelations are all good and well. We can gain much from them. And the BofM has much truth and deep doctrine hidden in it in spite of any changes. But they are all to lead us to Christ. None of them should be a substitute for learning directly from the Holy Spirit, and eventually from Christ, Himself.

      The key, I think, is Moroni's promise that the Holy Ghost teaches the truth of *all* things. I think we can trust God. I think we can trust the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, if we are not humble enough or open enough (like a little child) - or if we have strong emotions that stand in the way, we may not hear what the Spirit is trying to tell or teach us.

      It is difficult to be taught that that person cannot lead you astray - or this book is perfect, unchanged from when it fell from the lips of God - and we find out that it is not so.

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    2. And, with the Book of Mormon, we are often taught that it means thus and so, when it may not mean that at all. I found my eyes quite opened when I read Denver Snuffer's blog posts about the scriptures in the Book of Mormon.

      As for studying the Book of Mormon, I have studied it many times. There are so many things in it. There is a hint of a Mother in heaven (Nephi saw the mother of Jesus "after the manner of the flesh" - why specify that unless there was a mother who was after the manner of the spirit?). There are mentions of "holy ordinances" - too holy to write in the book (temple rites, I would expect). Alma 13 contains much depth - premortal faithfulness, it sounds like to me. The LDS Gentiles saying "All is well in Zion." Not to mention them polluting the "holy church of God." It's all in there, and you have studied so much, I'm sure you have noticed these things.

      Nephi talking about seeing Jesus in the flesh when he tells us: "when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do." It seems we are taught that this refers to when Jesus came to the Nephites after His resurrection, but Nephi isn't talking about that when he says this. He was telling *us* that we should be seeing Jesus in the flesh.

      Like I said, I'm sure you are aware of much of the knowledge hidden in the Book of Mormon since you have studied it so diligently and for so long.

      I don't know if I have done anything to help you in your crisis of faith, but I do hope that I have helped in some small way, even though I cannot answer your concerns in a way that alleviates your anguish about the church and the other things you expressed pain over.

      Vaya con Dios, my friend. Go with God (literal translation).

      The scripture that Nephi, the son of Lehi wrote, that I mentioned above:
      3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
      4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
      5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
      6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.

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  12. Obviously Toni you have taken considerable time in responding to my question. Your comments are invaluable.

    We have not cast the BoM aside although it contains errors that could not be attributed to a translation that came though a stone. It contains many errors that ought not to be either if it was totally of the devil. I was raised to think black and white so this is tough to find that it is all grey. The church still preaches all black and white, which is irresponsible at the least.

    I would be prepared to accept the church with it's profound greyness if it would be prepared to receive me the same way. Sadly, it will not. I have been put in a corner by the church. I don't really have a choice. Either I lose my integrity, or the church loses it's integrity. It can't be both ways – except that we both lose ours. I don't think Christ cares about the Church anymore, it has gone too far for too long and at this point is like the Jewish church of old. I don't blame the people in it generally, though they are all culpable to a point, but certainly as Victor Hugo says “they did not create the shadow”.

    There is a lot of discussion going around about visits by Christ personally. Now if I play devil's advocate for a moment, I want you all to think about this. Christ warned us: "And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:" I ask: did Christ mean what he said, or not?

    If the church is part of the greatest and most elaborate scheme in history to deceive “the very elect”, then this whole thing makes sense. If not, I have no idea where “the very elect” are being deceived. Do you? Do we believe the devil to be so stupid he cannot organize anything like this?

    Now if I say that the adversary has been leading this church on from the time that the Urim and Thummim was not returned to Joseph, then we have a problem. Remember Christ's attitude to the funeral procession? "Let the dead bury the dead"? Now consider Isaiah "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. ". Could that passage aptly say today "let the dead baptize the dead"? We have put an inordinate amount of weight on ordinances today. We seem more concerned today about the dead than we do the living, even though Christ was prepared to "reject" the church, the living and the dead if they did not do what He asked in a certain time frame.

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  13. I have a tough time believing that Christ is going to show up and "set us straight" if we are not looking for it to happen, but blogging and writing books and witholding our participation – as painful as that is. He doesn't send angels with swords to threaten us do to anything – never ever. The adversary does things like that. I ask, if Joseph was deceived as he said he was, then why not me, you, or Denver Snuffer? Isaiah to the rescue again: “The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof. The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit “ There is the answer right there: a mixture of spirits. Are come revelations good? Sure. Are some totally backward? Yes again. Are they all in the same book? Yep.

    Everyone wants to see Christ, we all want to be Denver Snuffer, but we have already been told where He is: “16 ¶Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow”

    We have the one might and strong scheduled, but I believe we get what we deserve and what we desire. If we keep calling the non miracles miracles (like the age missionaries can go in missions) -- God will allow us nothing more since we are satiated with what we already have.

    I have not written a book as an excuse to leave. I'm not angry. I'm upset, but not angry. But I have little patience for those who ought to know better. After 9 months, I'm no further out that I was when I started.

    I will figure this out, or I will die first. Again, your input is invaluable, thank you for posting.

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    1. Yes, much of the church today deals in black and white but, as you noticed, most things are not black and white.

      I believe the "Lo, here is Christ" scripture is referring to telling people, "Come, follow me, because Christ has already returned. His second coming has happened. Let me show you where He is." His ultimate coming will be in great and unmistakable glory.

      Still, we all have the right (and even commandment) to seek Him and to find Him. Not to have other people tell us where to find Him, but to actually and truly find Him.

      The scriptures actually say "if it were possible" the very elect would be deceived. The Joseph Smith translation adds, "according to the covenant," and I would submit that the covenant that makes it impossible for one to be deceived is the one Christ makes to an individual who has reached the point of holiness wherein Christ makes a personal appearance to the individual.

      The road is fraught with deception, because the adversary does not want any of us to find the truth. I would think that if a fulness of truth is offered, and an organization that contains that exists upon the earth that the adversary would do all he could to take over that entity and twist it for his own use. How far along that path we, as a church, might be I do not know.

      I do agree that we should be putting more emphases on perfection of the "saints" - on being pure and holy, on reaching for Christ, on following the Holy Spirit not a man - and that the men "at the top" should cease pointing to each other and point only to the One worthy of a following.

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    2. I think you are absolutely right. It is easy to be seduced by wayward spirits. I doubt it is good to continually focus on, "I want to see Christ," because that opens the door for deceptive spirits who would be only too glad to step in. What I believe is the path to Christ is exactly what you said we should be doing: making ourselves clean, putting away our evil doings, doing well (which I understand to mean being genuinely good, no pretenses), relieving the oppressed and so forth (instead of griping about how the gov't is stealing one's money to help the poor, or otherwise turning one's back on the needy).

      Sadly, we do get what we desire. And the reach to say that we had several revelations in the last general conference (I think it was Elder Holland who said this, but I'm not sure) is pure imagination. The announcements were not "revelation" and were not even announced as such. I do believe you are very accurate in what you wrote - that we get what we deserve (eventually), we get what we are willing to receive, and nothing more.

      I am not sure if the one mighty and strong is part of the cleansing, but there is a cleansing coming. I do not believe that Christ has abandoned us, because his m.o., according to the scriptures is to call a wayward people to repentance at least one last time. I believe Denver Snuffer is that call to repent. He is certainly treated like scriptural prophets were often treated (contempt, scorn, made a mock of, considered of the devil, going against tradition).

      I know that writing can be cathartic. I expect that is what your book is - an attempt to sort out your mind and feelings.

      I am glad to help you as well as I can. I have my own doubts and demons to fight, but when I see someone crying out like you did in your first post, I find I want to help ease the burden if there is any way I can. I want you to know you are not alone - there are others who are fighting the same fight. I want you to know that Christ is right there, wanting you to know the truth.

      What I do NOT want to do is give you platitudes, to lead you into false logic (if the BofM is true, then everything else about the church is, also), to figuratively pat your hand as part of a pretense of listening while my mind is elsewhere, singing the mindless mantra, "All is well in Zion. Follow the current prophet in his every whim and utterance and you will at last make it to heaven."

      This is a real war we are fighting. The battles have genuine casualties. It can be ugly, and often is ugly underneath the whitewashed facades we hold up to each other. This life is not an easy life to fight. I commend you for reaching out to push the cobwebs of false teachings away, and trying to find the jewels of truth that lay hidden. (Not that my commendation means much, but a genuine seeker after truth is worth more than ten who refuse to seek because "we have enough; there cannot be anymore."

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  14. Wow Toni, in my mind, you are right on the money in so many ways. Yesterday our family discussed at length the greyness of it all. Nothing is black and white, but it is polarizing more and more by the minute.

    As you said, it is not wise to say because the BoM is true, that all the rest is true. Times change. It is just as silly to say that because Jesus is Christ, that the church is true. We cannot even say that because Joseph had a vision (what kind, we can't be sure) everything else he did was A-OK. There are disconnects, and time changes everything, and sometimes a short time changes a lot more than we want to admit. What may have been good, may not be any longer -- but only for some people. Others can and may choose a different path. I no longer believe that any institution has it all -- or nothing at all. I now think that the sincerity of anyone anywhere at any time will be met by a God on the same level. That is how I would do it, as it leaves every man with the most liberty to become one with themselves, not to be one, a carbon copy of anything else.

    For us (me in particular), staying LDS is not healthy. I am the worst personality for the church -- an INTP, whereas the church tries to make everyone an ESFJ. That, according to my reading -- is dangerous.

    My book is practically complete. The title is "A Burnt Child". Eventually I will publish it, and you will know who I am. But for now, I'm still anonymous.

    Your responses have been invaluable. Thank you.

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    1. "Times change. It is just as silly to say that because Jesus is Christ, that the church is true. We cannot even say that because Joseph had a vision (what kind, we can't be sure) everything else he did was A-OK."

      You have that right.

      I cannot remember, but I think I may be something like an INFJ. It has been a while since I took a Myers-Briggs test. Perhaps that makes it a little easier for us to communicate. If the church fosters ESFJ, it would seem diametrically opposed to your type. Makes for muddled communication, I think. And hurt.

      For those wondering:
      1.3 Attitudes: extraversion/introversion (E/I)
      1.4 Functions: sensing/intuition (S/N) and thinking/feeling (T/F)
      1.5 Lifestyle: judging/perception (J/P)
      (from wikipedia)

      Thank you for telling me the title of your book. And I am glad I could help.

      Ultimately, you have the need and the right to choose what is best for you. I respect that.

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