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Lois Speaks Out on RLDS Issues
I will start out with three categories:
1. Issues Concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ
2. Guest Commentaries by Fellow Restorationists
3. This Is Serious
Apostasy Within the Restoration Movement
Issues Concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is
the Power Outlet
Added April 30, 2003
I had to use that for the
title, it describes the metaphor I am going to use, and I hope it
got your attention too.
Jesus saith unto us, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
metaphor, a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another (Ex.: the curtain of night, "all the world's a stage" (from Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition)
Ah ha! I caught you sitting at your computer! Your computer is plugged into the electric wall outlet or it is run with a battery which was charged on an electric wall outlet. (Of course maybe you are reading this from a piece of paper, printed from your computer. I can only hope that this could be true.)
There are many things in your house which make your life comfortable, and many of those things are run with electricity. All you have to do is plug them in to the outlet and pay your electricity bill.
What is behind that electric wall outlet or switch which turns on the lights?
Behind the electric wall outlet or switch there is:
a set of wiring inside the walls of your house,
a circuit breaker box in the garage or someplace,
a meter outside so they can tell how much electricity you are using,
a place to connect to the outside power lines,
maybe a relay station in town,
huge transformer lines which carry the electricity across many miles from--
the main power source, which is:
a hydroelectric dam,
a coal burning plant,
a nuclear energy plant, or
maybe cutting edge wind machines.
Behind those things are earth's forces of nature:
water and the whole weather system,
dead dinosaurs and prehistoric trees,
atoms smashing into each other, or
wind and the whole weather system.
And the earth does not act alone. The earth's weather is regulated by the sun. The sun is just a tiny star at the edge of a galaxy of a universe that we cannot even see a tiny part of. There are strange things out there, comets, asteroids, nebulas, black holes, etc. All these things are interacting with each other and effecting us on the earth.
So when you plug in your Mr. Coffee for your morning cup you have plugged into the universe!
Do you think I have somehow described God? I think I have. Except most of us do not attribute a personality to the universe. I do. I see the universe as part of God. God is even bigger than the universe, since He created it and continues to create.
Some people think that mankind created God as a way to describe the universe and that we gave Him human qualities. No, no, God created us in His own image. The God of the Old Testament does not get angry, proud, vengeful, or merciful and loving because ancient people created Him that way. God created us. We have the capability of becoming angry, proud, vengeful or merciful and loving because we were created in God's image. But at least God is mature and knows how to channel His emotions to the ultimate good of His creation.
Now we get back to the original metaphor, Jesus Christ is the power outlet. Or in other words, Jesus saith unto us, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." And let's get something straight, Jesus meant what he said.
I have tweaked that verse a tiny bit to let you know that Jesus is talking to all of us. You can read what Jesus has to say in the New Testament. If that is too much reading, just skim through it to the end of the chapter.
John Chapter 14
1 Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And when I go, I will prepare a place for you, and come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know; and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot,) Lord, how is it thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of darkness, who is of this world, cometh, but hath no power over me, but he hath power over you.
31 And I tell you these things, that ye may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
Did you notice that Jesus said, "for my Father is greater than I"?
The outlet is how we get to the power source, which is God the Father, in all His glory and power. God is so huge that we cannot even begin to grasp the concept. But God sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that we could understand some. We know that Jesus Christ is far more than any of us.
Genesis Chapter 1
1 And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven and this earth; write the words which I speak.
2 I am the Beginning and the End; the Almighty God. By mine Only Begotten I created these things.
3 Yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.
God's power and glory is so huge that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can understand him while we are in the flesh.
Doctrine and Covenants Section 22
1 The words of God which he spake unto Moses, at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceeding high mountain, and he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.
2 And God spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and endless is my name, for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?
3 And behold, thou art my son, wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands, but not all; for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease; wherefore, no man can behold all my works except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh, on the earth.
8 And now it came to pass, that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying, Moses, son of man, worship me. And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan, and said, Who art thou, for behold I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee? For, behold, I could not look upon God except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so surely?
9 Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me; or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me, and I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me, Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve. Get thee hence, Satan, deceive me not; for God said unto me, Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.
Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of the Father. He has always been active in our history, he didn't just arrive in Bethlehem, that was merely his physical entrance. The scriptures make it clear that we cannot approach the Father without first going through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the power outlet which plugs us into the full power and glory of God's universe.
The Gospel is Simple
In the spring of 1970 I was a sophomore at
college. I was at the age when young people question everything
about life. I had been a Vietnam War protester, investigated the
concept of reincarnation and had asked God why things were so bad
in the world. I couldn't understand why there were wars, and why
babies had to die and why people had to suffer so much.
I had bought a Book of Mormon at reunion during the previous summer. I had never read it before and decided that it was time to read it. One day as I was reading, it finally dawned on me that I was not as bitter as I had been. Some worries and questions were simply melting away and in their place was a new kind of relaxation and peace. I read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, and when I got to the last page I cried. I cried when Moroni had to go away alone, because his people had been destroyed because of their own wickedness.
Of course at college I was not the only person questioning God. Many of my friends were challenging the things that they had been taught. One night I stayed with a friend of mine. I was looking for new housing and was interested in moving into this house. Before my friend and I went to sleep that night we discussed the things young women are interested in, men, of course, our daily grind of classes, and religion.
As we talked about our religious experiences words began to form out of my mouth. They were not my words.
"Oh you little children! Why do you try to make My gospel so hard? When you make the gospel hard you think you are wise. My gospel is very simple. Why do you make it hard?"
I was exhilarated. I knew that the Holy Ghost had spoken to my friend and I. My friend was confused, but knew that something strange had happened. I explained the best I could and soon we went to sleep.
I was at reunion again. At a prayer and testimony service I got up and related this experience. I explained that I felt the experience was for my friend and myself and to warn both of us not to complicate the gospel simply so we could feel important.
Years later I was a wife and mother. Things were happening at church which were bothering me terribly. I even thought that I must have a very bad attitude or something. Finally I left my congregation because of the women in the priesthood. I had voted against every one of them and finally became alienated from the rest of the people. I finally realized that I did not belong there anymore. I also finally realized that I did not have a bad attitude. The Holy Ghost had been working in me, making me dissatisfied with changes that God had not instituted.
In my loneliness at being cut away from a viable church congregation I began reading every bit of church literature I could lay my hands on. I was reading books from staunch servants of God who had been shuffled away. I learned a lot from them. It was like finally eating meat after a diet of milk toast. And I was reading the Herald and the Position Papers. I began highlighting things that bothered me and that were not scriptural. These things that bothered me were the things being taught in the church.
All of a sudden I remembered my experience from 1970. I remembered standing in front of church officials who sat on the podium and bearing the testimony of what the Holy Ghost had said to my friend and I. I realized that this is when the Position Papers had come out. The Position Papers were not meant to be seen by the rank and file. They were given and taught to the church appointees and officials. I believe that God was letting certain men know that God knows the secrets of their very souls. Nothing is hidden from the Lord. The Position Papers are cloaked in complicated language. No doubt the writers felt very, very wise. Hidden in the complicated language were their plans to destroy Christ's church and pervert His gospel.
God had warned me that His gospel is very simple, so that I would recognize certain actions when I finally saw them in the years to come.
Following I offer definitions of the gospel from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. The simple components are the same in each one, Jesus Christ, repentance, salvation for those who will come to Jesus Christ.
Genesis Chapter 4
6 And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord. And after many days, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying, Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him, I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
7 And then the angel spake, saying, This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth;
8 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest, in the name of the Son. And thou shalt repent, and call upon God, in the name of the Son for evermore.
9 And in that day, the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying, I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever; that, as thou hast fallen, thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
Luke Chapter 1 Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist says:
75 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,
76 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people, by baptism for the remission of their sins,
77 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us,
78 To give light to them who sit in darkness and the shadow of death; to guide our feet into the way of peace.
I Nephi Chapter 3
28 And the way is prepared from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him;
29 For he that diligently seeketh shall find;
30 And the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in this time as in times of old;
31 And as well in times of old as in times to come;
32 Wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants
[Sec 76:4g] And this is the gospel, the glad tidings which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us, that he came into the world, even Jesus to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
[Sec 76:4h] that through him all might be saved, whom the Father had put into his power, and made by him; who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition, who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him;
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Guest Commentaries by Fellow Restorationists
A Letter to Friends from Jan
added May 2, 2003
February 4, 2003
It was good to see many of the saints I worshipped with for so many years. So much has changed over the years, and yet, so much has stayed the same.
In your sermon you cautioned that we needed to challenge our traditions saying some are not supported by scripture. You cited women in the priesthood as an example. I agree with you that some of our traditions have been false, but we need to exercise caution in challenging traditions just for the sake of challenging traditions. In fact, scripture itself says "Stand fast, hold thy traditions you have been taught, whether by word or our epistle." (2Thess 2:15) Traditions are like a coin, they have two sides. Either a false tradition or a true tradition may be a common practice. Our challenge is to discern which is which. You implied since there is nothing in the scripture against women in the priesthood, therefore an all-male priesthood must be a false tradition. (I have heard some say there is nothing in the Bible about abortion, therefore it is okay.)
I would like to share with you my experience on this issue. When the issue of women in the priesthood surfaced in the 1980s, I heard sermons quoting scripture that women in the priesthood was acceptable. But because there was so much hubbub about it, I assumed the scriptures were not definitive either way. (No scripture emphatically says "Thou shalt...or thou shalt not have women in priesthood.) I began to search the scriptures on this issue and others. * I spent many months searching and considering the issue. In 1989 I was called to the office of elder by our pastor. Because I was unsure of its appropriateness, I declined. My final judgment was that there was no definate,clear cut resolution, but scriptures give us a preponderance of evidence
Your sermon on "Do What Christ Did" fits nicely with the preponderance of evidence. (Just as you urged us to follow Christ because he didn't discriminate (he showed His love of all groups and people) I urge you to consider Christ's example in calling priesthood. He called twelve apostles (all male) in Jerusalem and twelve disciples (all male) in Zarahemla.
The Doctrine and Covenants tells us God gives us a pattern in all things (DC 5:42), and God does not change His pattern (Mal 3:6) It is Satan who attempts to alter our perceptions through the precepts of man (2Nephi12:39) and he flatters us (2Nephi 12 :22) away from God's principles.
The patterns we have been given regarding priesthood can be divided into two categories: NEW BEGINNINGS and RIGHTEOUS MEN/GOD"S PLAN
NEW BEGINNINGS EXAMPLES:
1. Adam and Eve--In Genesis both Adam and Eve were taught the gospel, but Adam was called to the priesthood. Eve was called to be a helpmeet "to womenhood, motherhood, and sainthood". They taught the gospel to their sons and daughters, (Gen 4:10-12), but the priesthood was passed from father to son. (DC 104:18) At this point the idea of the culture being too rigid to accept women is unfounded.
2. Noah--Noah had a new clean earth to reestablish the gospel in his dispensation. He was inspired by God to follow God's plan for redemption of mankind. Priesthood was conferred on righteous men.
3. Jesus Christ--Our savior came, fulfilled the Mosaic covenant and law, and preached His gospel of love and Zionic living (Matt 5;6;7) If we follow His example he quoted scripture to ward off Satan, followed many of the Jewish traditions, and reestablished the Melchesidek priesthood (males). Later in the New Testament, Paul makes many statements about the role of women in church, most of which modern women do not like.
RIGHTEOUS MEN/GOD'S PLAN EXAMPLES:
1. Enoch--This prophet and leader created a community of righteous people who were taken to Christ. He followed Melchesidek Order and called only men.
2.Joseph Smith--Our prophet, seer, and revelator of this dispensation was to restore the Gospel and establish Christ's church, following God's plan. He was challenged to call women to the priesthood, and even though it was common in his day, (Shaker groups not 16 miles from Kirtland had many women ministers) he called and ordained only men. This would have been an ideal time to introduce the practice of ordaining women to the priesthood (he would have been way ahead of the women's movement)--if it had been part of God's plan. Certainly Emma Smith was an elect woman, but she had a calling of a different nature: "to comfort her husband".
Yes, there are false traditions that still exist in the church. As followers of Christ we need to use the scriptures to support our position (2Nephi 12"4) and be extremely cautious about succumbing to the precepts of modern man (2Nephi 12:39) When Christ was tempted three times he responded each time with "It is written" to defer Satan. I urge you as you face the issues of the church (homosexual priesthood and redemption through Jesus Christ) to do as Christ did and search the scriptures for your understanding.
And finally, (if you are still with me), one of the gravest traditions in the restored gospel deals with the six principles (Heb 6:1-2) Because of a missing comma, we have been taught the six principles, when God's Gospel has seven principles. (Hebrew poetry makes lists by repeating and and prepositions--here it is "of")
1. of faith
2. of repentance
3. off doctrine of baptism s
4. of laying on of hands
5. of resurrection
6. of eternal judgment
1. of faith
2. of repentance
3. of doctrine**
4. of baptisms
5. of laying on of hands
6. of resurrection
7. of eternal judgment
* Other issues were open communion, homosexual acceptance, and redemption through Christ
** The Book of Mormon uses the phrase "come unto me" which refers to making a covenant before baptism. Come unto me is the critical covenant step which puts our faith and repentance into action.
I write this letter to present you another side of the tradition coin, not to be contentious, critical or argumentative. It is critical to use God's word as our guide, listen to the Holy Spirit, and pray that we not be deceived. Our salvation depends on such issues--we have been told to "trifle not with sacred things (DC 6:5d)
May God bless your understanding,
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