November 17, 2019
Dear Copper Hills 8th Ward Members,
I’ve now asked the church, 151 times, by a letter sent every 10 days, to please verify whether or not the church considers 2 Nephi 32:5 to be true, or not. This passage states, “…if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.”
How does it feel, to you, that the church won’t answer my question? Do you sustain church leaders in their decision to ignore me? I was excommunicated for believing this Book of Mormon concept. Isn’t the church dishonest, if they say they embrace the Book of Mormon, but don’t embrace this concept?
Greetings! This is my 21st postcard. I’ve sent my postcards, three times each year. Because my mailing list is outdated, you might be receiving this, and yet, not be a member of the LDS church. If this is the case, please pardon me, or feel free to read what I have to say.
When I was a missionary for the church, I spent most of my time exploring the concept of being led in all things by the Holy Ghost, and my mission president backed me, being inspired toward this idea too, where he even felt inspired to assign me as a traveling trainer, to teach it to every missionary.
As a result, the number of baptisms in that mission, tripled.
But then, after coming home from my mission, I soon discovered that this isn’t how the church actually operates. Rather than teaching members to be led by the Spirit in all things, they’re urged to obey the words of their leaders in all things.
In fact, the church has strayed so far, from the idea of being led by the Spirit in all things, that members now perceive the Holy Ghost, as only leading them on rare occasions, like being warned when backing out a car, to prevent them from hitting a child, or on other rare occasions like that.
I remember sitting in a Copper Hills 8th ward elders quorum meeting one time, where the lesson was on being led by the Holy Ghost, and I remember being astounded by how little everyone was actually led, where stories were told, only about being led on rare occasions.
Because being led by the Spirit, in all things, is so far from the norm in the church, where obedience to leaders is perceived as the correct path, it makes sense that the path of always being led by the Spirit, would be considered apostasy, but what if the church is wrong, and is actually in a state of apostasy, themselves?
Were you aware, that the covenants presented by the LDS church are not the same covenants as those spoken of by Jeremiah and Paul? These prophets both testified that the new covenant, was that God would lead his people, not by church leaders who would establish rules to be obeyed, but now God would lead everyone, individually, by the Holy Ghost.
We read in Jeremiah 31:31-33, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
In Hebrews 8:10-12, Paul taught the same, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
The new covenant, is God’s promise to Spiritually lead each of us, that we might know the Lord, which is have eternal life. We read in John 17:3, “…this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
We read in D&C 45:56-57, “…at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins. For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.”
So, how many of you have taken the Holy Spirit as your guide?
If not, according to this passage, won’t you be hewn down and cast into the fire?
With all this, it’s fascinating to me, that I was excommunicated for wanting to take the Holy Spirit as my guide, for embracing the new covenant, to know the Lord, receive eternal life, and keep myself from being hewn down and cast into the fire.
Being Spiritually led in all things, was considered apostate and out of order by President Davies. He said, that I needed to embrace a different covenant, to always obey church leadership “without question,” because Joseph Smith taught, “the Lord’s house is a house of order, and all blessings come from obedience.”
Do you agree with President Davies, that the Lord’s house is a house of order, and that all blessings come from obedience? Or, do you believe the Holy Ghost is a “gift,” which doesn’t come from obedience, but only comes because God covenanted to reveal himself to us, by the Spirit?
Have you ever prayed about these teachings of Joseph Smith? When I prayed about them, I was led to know something different. I was taught, by God, that his house is a house of love, and that when we experience the “gift” of the Spirit, which is the Spirit of love, our minds are transformed away from thinking “what’s in it for me,” to thinking about how we might bless others.
In the New Testament, eternal life is described as knowing God, and God is described as love.
Love, isn’t something we have power to know, without being led by the Spirit of God. We can’t earn the Spirit, through obedience. We don’t obey, and then feel love. God never said, first obey certain commandments, and then you’ll feel love.
In other words, it’s a “gift” to feel love, which is to know God, who is love, which is to have eternal life.
When I was a missionary for the church, I remember searching for talks, scriptures, and books about the Spirit, about how to recognize it, about how to be led by it. But, I didn’t find solid information. The information I found, was vague and incomplete.
So, I determined to clearly understand this concept, on my own, and over the years, after pondering, studying, and praying, I’ve come to recognize exactly what the gifts of the Spirit are, and how to recognize them.
First, there’s the light of Christ, also known as, conscience, and in my opinion, this gift simply empowers us to love others as much as they love us, to be fair and just. So, whenever we’re being unfair, conscience will kick in, to let us know how to be fair.
Then, after we’ve mastered being fair and just, we can receive the “gift” of the Holy Ghost, which takes our love to the next level, where it empowers us to love others, unconditionally, enabling us to love, even our enemies, as Jesus asked us to do.
In other words, as we recognize the justice of God, by our conscience, that it’s only fair that we deserve to be condemned, because of our sins, it’s only then that we can fully comprehend the need for an atonement in our behalf.
And, when we exercise faith in that merciful sacrifice of Jesus, when we experience his unconditional love toward us, where he suffered, not for his sins, but for our sins, after we experience this divine forgiveness extended to us, we’re then enabled to extend that same love to others.
So, after we’ve mastered being fair and just, and exercised faith in the atonement, it’s then that we’re led by the Holy Ghost, which will kick in, whenever we’re being the least bit selfish, even if we’re thinking in terms of being fair, to let us know the mercifully loving thing to do.
So, what level of love do you feel in your heart? Are you striving to become fair and just, or have you mastered conscience, knowing how to be fair and just, and also exercised faith in the atonement, resulting in your love being inspired of the Holy Ghost, where it’s mercifully, “unconditional?”
As I think about the church leaders who won’t answer my question, is 2 Nephi 32:5 true, or not, I can’t help but think, that they’re neither unconditionally loving toward me, nor are they fair with me, for if they were fair, they’d want to answer my question, as much as they want their questions answered.
So, I’m left to conclude, that they’re neither guided by conscience, nor by the Holy Ghost, but rather, it looks as if, they’re inspired, only of a selfish desire to exert power over others, to dominate them, yet they think it’s Godly, because they’re establishing “order,” as Joseph Smith taught the church to do.
We all know, that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
It’s even explained in D&C 121:39, that “…it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”
The fact that my question has not been answered, is 2 Nephi 32:5 true, or not, actually proves, that the exercise of unrighteous dominion, is now, normal operating procedure in the church, and those who currently sustain church leadership, are participators, supporters, and promoters of this darkness.
Although, this darkness, does have the appearance of light.
For instance, LDS people are taught to obey, in order to qualify for blessings. Joseph Smith taught, that all blessings come from obedience to laws irrevocably decreed in heaven, that whenever a blessing is obtained, it’s only because of obedience to the law upon which it was predicated.
So, LDS people obey, what they think, are the laws of God, and they seek to collect blessings associated with their obedience. In this way, they appear righteous, for they don’t steal, they don’t kill, etc. But, what about their hearts? What’s their motivation? Deep down, aren’t they actually motivated by a selfish desire to “get” blessed?
Compare this to a person who’s led “in all things,” by either the light of Christ or the Holy Ghost. They also don’t steal, or kill, etc. But, they aren’t seeking for blessings in doing this. Instead, they’re only thinking about acting on the loving feelings in their hearts, which inspires them with a mindset of wanting to selflessly “give” to others, to bless them.
As I see it, all sin is in the realm of selfishness. People who obey directives from spirits of darkness, always expect a reward for their obedience. For instance, a person tempted to steal, obeys the command to take something, so they’ll be rewarded with that possession.
And, the same selfish motivation exists, under a system of worship that includes obedience in order to qualify for blessings. Like with stealing, when a person obeys the command to not steal, there’s the expectation of a blessing, so in both cases, the motivation is to selfishly “get” something out of it.
In my opinion, only when our motivation, is purely to “give,” only when our motivation is inspired of conscience or the Holy Ghost, only when we’ve simply been moved upon by gifts of the Spirit to do something, without any expectation of reward, only then are our actions outside the realm of sin.
Now, let’s consider an even deeper doctrinal analysis.
Years ago, when I went to the MTC, before heading out to the mission field, our instructor explained the concept of making our calling and election sure. And, it might be, that this is taught to all missionaries.
In the teachings of Joseph Smith, he explained, that after a person has proven them-self completely obedient to God, willing to serve him at all hazards, they’ll be visited by Christ, who will voice the blessing of exaltation upon them.
But lately, as I’ve thought about this, I’ve had the question come to mind. Would I rather, that a being who claimed to be Christ, visit me and declare that I’d passed the test of life, where my exaltation was pronounced to be sure?
Or, would I rather that the Holy Ghost remained inside of me, as a constant companion, where I felt the presence of God always, where my heart felt nothing but love for others, where the idea of seeking or wanting the blessing of exaltation was furthest from my thoughts, where I would only feel to act on loving feelings in my heart, to bless others?
As I thought about this, I wondered, which is the more sure witness of God? For me, I’d rather feel the presence of God inside of me, than be visited by a being, who said they were Christ, who told me that I’m awesome.
Is it possible, that even the mighty Joseph Smith was led astray, to embrace a counterfeit gospel, where obedience and seeking to be blessed is the main objective, which appears righteous on the outside, but where inwardly, the motivation is selfishly to “get”, rather than to “give,” including angelic visitation as the crowning event to seal these ideas of darkness, as something of light, in the minds of those seeking blessings, who don’t feel the presence of God inside of them, which if they did, it would move them to only seek that they might bless others?
When reading Joseph Smith’s description of this crowning event, I didn’t notice any mention of the word “love,” which was taught by Jesus, to be the sole sign of his true disciples, and so, this is a huge red flag in my mind, that makes me think this concept is false.
Oh, I suppose it could be considered a “true” concept of darkness, where those seeking to obey, in order to “get” blessed, if they believe strongly enough, will actually obtain an angel of darkness appearing as light to give them a pat on the back.
Also, have you ever noticed, that nearly every member of the church, who bears a testimony, states that they know the scriptures, the church, and their leaders are true, where they testify, not of truth, but of external guides? So, doesn’t this mindset contribute to the acceptance of angelic pats on the back as being true?
But, is this in harmony with what Jesus taught?
No. Rather, Jesus taught, that we’re to know truth, internally, inside ourselves. He commanded us to love as he loves, that by continuing in his word, to love as he loves, we would be his disciples, and we would know the truth, and the truth would set us free.
So, why, in LDS testimony meetings, aren’t members saying that they know the truth, and have been set free? Why, instead, are they talking about scripture, the church, and leaders knowing truth, where they express an absolute determination to “trust” these sources of guidance?
Wouldn’t it be more accurate, and honest, to describe LDS testimonies, as “trustimonies?”
How often are church members trained to think, “follow the prophet, for he knows the way,” rather than taught to continue in the Lord’s word, to love as he loves, so they can know the way, for themselves?
Jesus invited those who labored, to come unto him, and he would give them rest. He described his yoke as easy, and his burden as light. He was talking to those who labor to obey laws, who seek to perfect themselves, by pushing themselves to obey their leaders, like what LDS members do. He wanted everyone to know another way, his way.
Through being led to love, by conscience and the Holy Ghost, there also comes an energy, that makes acting on prompting from these gifts, a light burden, peaceful, and restful. In other words, when we allow God to perfect us, rather than laboring to perfect ourselves, it’s like riding an electric bicycle, rather than peddling.
Also, there’s complete freedom in the principle of love, because when filled with love, even for enemies as Jesus taught, nothing can stop us from feeling love, even if others try to cause that we wouldn’t feel love.
In other words, when we walk in the Spirit of love, nothing can bother us, or get under our skin, to control us, where those who aren’t filled with love, can’t help but be bothered and controlled by feelings of hatred.
In fact, all hatred stems from a belief that there’s no freedom, where evil spirits convince people to believe, that they can’t help but be bothered and controlled by the actions, or inactions, of others.
How often do people say, you made me mad, or you made me happy, but isn’t it within our power to choose to be happy, which is to love others, no matter what? Isn’t this the freedom that Jesus was talking about?
Freedom, is to experience perfect love, which is to enjoy the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which, according to scripture, casts out all fear, or in other words, it casts out all hatred, and thus, all bondage.
In my August message, I talked about how love isn’t mentioned in LDS worthiness interviews, nor in LDS sacrament prayers, nor in LDS temples. So, doesn’t this prove that the church isn’t interested in your freedom, but rather, that you would be brought into bondage?
Church leaders seek to control you, by convincing you to believe that you can only feel good, if you obey them, which causes you to feel bad, if you don’t obey them. They don’t want you to know that you can be happy, without obeying them, and this is why they don’t emphasize the principle of love. In fact, in reality, they even excommunicate those who advocate, always being led by the Spirit of love, as I was.
I’m reminded of a time, after my excommunication, when I met with President Davies, where I told him that I felt so very happy. He said to me, “how can you be happy? All church blessings have been taken from you.”
Before my excommunication, for my entire life, I’d heard that when people are excommunicated from the church, all blessings, including the Holy Ghost, are taken from them. However, by going through that experience, I learned that the Holy Ghost doesn’t actually withdraw from those seeking to be guided by it.
It’s odd, that anyone who dares to seek to be led by the Spirit of love in all things, is considered apostate by the church, and are subject to excommunication. Go figure. Isn’t it blatantly obvious, that this is the opposite of how Jesus wants his church governed? He said, his disciples would be known by their love.
In fact, wasn’t Jesus led by the Spirit of love in all things, and didn’t he command us to do the same?
Let’s look at this from even another angle.
What if we have two people, who both appear righteous on the outside, who don’t steal, kill, etc? Let’s say that one of these people is LDS, who expects to be blessed for obeying commandments, and who fears that if they don’t obey, they won’t be blessed.
Let’s say the other, is a person who simply loves others, being led by the Spirit of God in all things, who thinks only about blessing others, who doesn’t feel any fear, because fear only comes to those who think about getting blessed, who always fear they might not be obeying enough, to be blessed.
Which of these, is in bondage to fear?
Which of these, is free?
Please ask yourself, and if possible, please be honest, are you free? Do you feel, so much love in your heart, that you know the atonement of Jesus Christ has redeemed you, and that it’s set you free? Or, are you obeying the church’s dictated rules, because you “fear,” that if you don’t obey, you won’t be blessed?
Finally, let’s consider a few scriptures on the subject.
See Galatians 5:14-18, “…all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. …Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. …if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
See 2 Corinthians 3:17, “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” And, liberty is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.”
See Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” of fearful obedience to a set of dictated commandments.
See Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”