February 17, 2020
Dear Copper Hills 8th Ward Members,
I’ve now asked the church, 160 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.”
I’m certain, at this point, that because the church focuses so much on obedience, and “seeking to be blessed” from obedience, that the church has strayed from being led by the Holy Ghost, which only leads us to love and seek to bless others.
Greetings! This is my 22nd 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 Because my mailing list is outdated, you might be receiving this, and yet, not be a member of the LDS church.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.
Please consider the content of my latest letter written to church headquarters. Also, if you feel inclined, would you please consider writing a letter to the First Presidency, asking them to please read this letter and answer my question.
February 11, 2020
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
FIRST PRESIDENCY & QUORUM OF TWELVE APOSTLES
47 EAST SOUTH TEMPLE STREET
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84150
Dear Church Leaders,
2 Nephi 32:5 states, “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.”
Please officially indicate the church’s position regarding this passage by circling either (a) or (b) below.
(a) The church recognizes this as a true concept, that if a person will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, “it will show unto them all things” what they should do.
(b) The church does not recognize this as a true concept, but rather, the church believes, that if a person will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, “it will not show unto them all things” what they should do.
I ask this question, because over and over again, to solicit my obedience to their dictates, church leaders have denounced this passage, and said to me, quoting from Joseph Smith’s teachings, that because the Lord’s house is a house of order, this passage is not applicable, that rather than be individually led by the Spirit of God in all things, we’re to obey church leadership, in order to create a house of order.
But, have you ever inquired of the Lord, for yourselves, regarding His house? When I inquired, my answer was different from Joseph Smith’s. The Lord illuminated my mind to see, that “His house is a house of love.” And, this means, that we’re to be individually led in all things by the Spirit, for the Spirit of God is the Spirit of love, which means 2 Nephi 32:5 is true.
So, why then, was I excommunicated from the church for believing 2 Nephi 32:5?
A house of order, based on my observation, is most often achieved by setting up an authority figure to dictate rules and regulations to a group. In the church, this has been accomplished, through calling a prophet, and to increase confidence in that authority, it’s also been declared, and many believe this, that “it’s impossible for a prophet to lead the church astray.”
Also, when a group is governed by an authority figure, blessings are always promised to those who obey, and punishments are threatened to those who disobey. And, in the church, it’s even taught, that those who obey the prophet, will always be blessed, even if, the prophet asks them to do something wrong.
Well, let’s analyze this way of thinking. When people are governed by authority, they’re led to “seek to be blessed,” through obedience. On the other hand, when people are governed by the Holy Ghost, it showing them all things what they should do, they’re inspired to love, and are led to “seek to bless others.”
Jesus taught, that His disciples would be known by their love. And, Love is only exhibited in those who seek to bless others. Love isn’t exhibited in seeking to be blessed. Love isn’t selfish. So, why would disciples of Christ, who only seek to bless others, want to obey a prophet, in order to be blessed?
Jesus didn’t seek to be blessed, through obedience. He never taught, the more obedient you are, the more blessed you’ll be. Rather, He loved, and only sought to bless others, which fulfilled the law, as actions motivated by genuine love don’t ever violate God’s law.
So, why would followers of Christ want to walk a different path, of seeking to be blessed?
Basically, Joseph Smith’s teaching, that “all blessings come from obedience,” is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because it leads people to seek to be blessed, where the Gospel is about seeking to love, which is to seek to bless the lives of others.
It’s obvious, and clear to me, that the church has, in fact, been led astray from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, however, it’s not so obvious to many, because the church “appears” to be on the path of righteousness, because they appear to be seeking to bless others, when in reality, members are seeking to be blessed.
Think about the temple, worthiness interviews, and the sacrament. They’re all about covenants, where members seek to be blessed, through obedience. There’s no mention of love in these church activities, which if they focused on love, would lead members to only seek to bless others.
When the rich man, who obeyed the commandments, who appeared so very righteous, who was so very blessed with riches, asked Jesus what he could do to obtain eternal life, Jesus didn’t say, “because of your obedience, you’ve been blessed, and you’ll be blessed with eternal life.”
Rather, didn’t Jesus basically tell this obedient rich man, “stop thinking about how much you’ve been blessed, and start thinking about blessing others, by selling all that you have and giving to the poor?”
Perhaps this request was so hard for the obedient rich man, because he’d been trained to think, like LDS members are taught, that blessings come from obedience, where perhaps he thought poor people didn’t deserve to be blessed, because perhaps he thought they weren’t obedient like he was.
I can’t ever remember reading, where Jesus taught, that obedience, in order to be blessed, fulfills God’s law, so why does almost everyone think this is the way? Rather, didn’t He teach, that “love,” which is the desire to bless others, fulfills the law?
How many of you have read, that perfect love casts out all fear? It’s not been written, that obedience to commandments will cast out fear. And, if disciples of Christ are to be known by the opposite of fear, which is love, then why isn’t the LDS church more focused on loving, in order to cast out all fear?
Maybe, because fear is such a part of the LDS church program, the church doesn’t think it’s important to understand how to defeat fear, and this would also explain why “love,” which is the opposite of fear, isn’t focused on either.
In fact, I would say, that it’s basically impossible for church members to escape fear, for the church’s entire program, is based on fearing to disobey, because members are taught, that blessings will be withheld, if they do.
It’s even been my experience, that if a church member attempts to possess perfect love, which casts out all fear, they’re pushed and pressured back into the realm of fear, for those who dare to seek to be led in all things by the Holy Ghost, as 2 Nephi 32:5 teaches, which is the only way to possess perfect love, they’re threatened with excommunication.
It’s strange to me, that the church would excommunicate those who want to only think about blessing the lives of others, and ask them to repent of that way of thinking, back toward the church’s way of thinking, of seeking to be blessed, through obedience.
LDS excommunication is even defined as the removal of all church blessings, which as I sought more and more to be led by the Spirit of love, those blessings became less important to me, as I was losing my desire to seek to be blessed.
In essence, I became a threat to the church, an apostate to the church’s way of thinking, as I repented away from seeking to be blessed, toward a life of seeking to bless others, which is a life of constantly communing with God.
In other words, as I gained a testimony, that God is love, and as all fear was cast out of my life, where church leadership couldn’t rule me with their fear tactics any longer, I was considered apostate, and excommunicated from the church.
So many people have been indoctrinated, taught over and over again to believe, that life is a test, that God is going to judge us, and either bless us for doing good, or punish us for doing bad, which causes people to fear, but I would argue, that unless all fear is cast out of our lives, we can’t do good, for if we’re motivated by fear, even in the slightest, we’ll be operating within Satan’s power and realm.
Contrary to what you’ve most likely been taught all your life, God’s plan, isn’t to judge or condemn us, but to save us, and redeem us from all fear. Course, you’re free to believe what you want to, but this makes sense to me.
Basically, to save us from fear, God sent his son, to suffer and die for our sins, to satisfy the demands of justice, to suffer our punishment, that we might not experience the fear of judgement or punishment, that through exercising faith in the atonement, through knowing that God won’t judge or punish us, every fear would be removed from us.
Because of Christ’s merits, God’s love is mercifully and unconditionally extended toward us. Because the sin debt was paid in full, there’s nothing preventing God from reaching out and filling our hearts with perfect love, by the gift of the Holy Ghost, to cast out all fear from our lives, even while we’re struggling in darkness.
Repentance is almost always taught, as a change from disobedience to obedience, where it’s also taught that we should hope for blessings when obedient, and we should fear the judgement of God when disobedient, but this can’t be right, because it’s God’s plan to cast out all fear from our lives.
Joseph Smith taught repentance in a fearful way, as stated in D&C 19:15-18, “Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink.”
That seems pretty harsh to me. What do you think about it? If we embrace this way of thinking, how can we ever achieve perfect love, which casts out all fear, for by thinking this, wouldn’t we be in constant fear of being judged or punished by God? So, I don’t believe D&C 19:15-18 is true.
Rather, I believe the New Testament contains a correct inspired statement about repentance, where the Lord simply said, “as I have loved you, love one another, and by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.”
In other words, I believe the Lord, here, was simply, kindly, and gently asking us to repent from fearing, to loving, from seeking to be blessed, and fearing that we might not be good enough to be blessed, to becoming people who seek to bless the lives of others.
And, did you notice, that Jesus didn’t use any fear tactics here? I think it was because he understood that people can’t become loving, if they’re in fear. So, he made no threats, but only led by example, inviting others to follow in His footsteps.
I’m not sure why Joseph Smith felt inspired to use fear tactics when teaching repentance. God doesn’t ever inspire fear. And, this is just one example, but over the years, since being excommunicated from the church, I’ve noticed that fear has crept into many church doctrines and practices, and it seems to me, unlikely, that the church will ever be delivered from the bondage of fear.
In essence, the church has been led into hell, as explained in JST Mark 9:40-48, where members always fear, that they might not deserve to be blessed, when in reality, followers of Christ, aren’t supposed to think about being blessed, but are to think about loving, about blessing others, which casts out all fear.
In my opinion, hell is best described as a place of fear, and heaven as a place of love.
So, it raises a huge red flag, when we consider that love isn’t taught in the temple, nor is it mentioned in worthiness interviews, and neither is it a part of the sacrament. In all these, only obedience, in order to “get” blessings, is the focus, where people fear that they’re not good enough, or doing enough, to “get” blessed, which opposes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is about seeking to “give” blessings to others.
Let’s consider another teaching of the LDS church, which I believe to be false, because it’s so fear-based, it even containing the threat of being burned. Course, the threat is vague, will the burning be small, or are people to be burned to death? It’s simply written, that those who are tithed, won’t be burned at Christ’s coming.
And, it’s interesting to me, that the church doesn’t allow excommunicated members to pay tithing, nor to contribute fast offerings, which seems like a church policy that’s engineered to instill the fear of burning in those expelled from the church.
It’s also interesting, that church leaders said to me, that excommunicated members aren’t allowed to give offerings, because they’re not entitled to the blessings associated with giving offerings, which is nonsense to me, because I thought the whole point behind giving tithing and fast offerings, wasn’t where we would be blessed, but that we would bless the lives of others.
Course, there’s that passage in Malachi, where it’s promised that the windows of heaven will be opened to tithing payers, and that blessings will be given to them, even that they won’t have room enough to receive them.
But, when Malachi voiced this, was he thinking deeply enough about the principle of love, which is not to seek for blessings, but to bless others? Maybe the storehouse was short on donations, perhaps he was in a hurry, where he didn’t fully think it through when he voiced the incentive, not realizing the ramifications, where, perhaps he unknowingly led people astray from seeking to bless others, and toward seeking to be blessed.
Perhaps all scripture needs to be translated again, or corrected, like when Joseph Smith translated the Bible, where the concepts of love and fear are kept in mind, to clarify them, so we can stop thinking there’s righteousness on both sides of these opposing motives.
After-all, didn’t Mormon write, that if there were mistakes in scripture, they’re the mistakes of men, so it’s possible that there are, in fact, mistakes, and it’s even also possible that no scriptural author has actually known the Lord well enough to lead us out of fear.
Even the late, President Monson, always voiced, that we needed to replace fear, with faith, which idea, in my opinion, came to him from the Holy Ghost, because I believe the Holy Ghost only leads us away from fear, and I believe this thought came, because I’ll bet, that even he struggled with fear, where Satan kept him in bondage to fear, because of his loyalty to Joseph Smith’s fear-based teachings.
The late, President Faust, quoted J Reuben Clark and Brigham Young, who taught that the responsibility of determining what is true, is not just on the prophet, but that members also have a responsibility of knowing truth for themselves, that members can’t know what an oracle of God speaks is of the Holy Ghost, unless they too are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
Brigham Young also stated, that he “feared,” and it’s interesting that he used the word “fear,” because wouldn’t this indicate that he wasn’t free from all fear? He said, that he feared that church members would have so much confidence in their leaders, that they wouldn’t inquire for themselves to know whether or not their leaders were led by God.
He stated, that members shouldn’t settle into a blind sense of security, through trusting in their leaders without knowing truth for themselves, that it would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and would prevent members from influencing their leaders, which is interesting to me, because nowadays, when members try to influence their leaders, it’s considered apostasy.
Then, Brigham Young stated, “let everyone know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, as to whether their leaders are walking in the way the Lord dictates, or not,” which is also interesting, because the word, “dictate,” is most often used to instill fear in people.
So, it appears, that the church has struggled with escaping the bondage of fear, from the beginning.
And, even in LDS temples, which should be all about love, there’s no mention of love, which casts out fear. Rather, these temples instill fear, by leading patrons to believe a lie, that if they don’t completely obey, they’ll be in Satan’s power, when in fact, the truth is, that if they fear to be in Satan’s power, then they’ll be in his power. So, by instilling this fear, patrons actually leave the temple in Satan’s power.
Also, in LDS temples, consider the fear-based threat, issued before the endowment. I’m telling you, because fear is used in LDS temples, Satan’s hold on patrons is actually increased, after attending.
The purpose of life, isn’t fear based, it isn’t to be tested, to see if we’ll do everything commanded by the Lord, but it’s that we might experience perfect love, which casts out all fear. God seeks to save us, and redeem us from all fear.
The Holy Ghost isn’t a presence, that we’re to become worthy to possess through obedience, which causes people to obey out of the fear, because they fear to lose that presence if they don’t obey, but rather, it’s a “gift” for unworthy people in darkness, engineered to deliver them from all fear, by filling their hearts with love.
Many people, including the LDS church, believe that people won’t do good, unless they’re threatened with judgment and punishment. Yet, true goodness only exists, when fear isn’t present, so it doesn’t work this way.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, isn’t about repenting from disobedience, to obedience, where a person is in fear, of not doing enough to obtain blessings, but it’s about repenting from fearing, to loving, from seeking to be blessed, to seeking to bless others, for disciples of Christ are known by their love.
It’s a huge leap of faith, I know, for the church to refrain from using fear tactics, which includes seeking to be blessed through obedience, where instead, it implements a leadership who loves as Christ loves, where members are simply encouraged to do the same, but until they do, they’ll be in Satan’s power.
Contrary to the church’s way of thinking, that we’re to obey commandments, and seek to be blessed for our obedience, it’s my testimony, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about loving and seeking to bless others, rather than seeking to be blessed.
So, it’s my testimony, that the church has, in fact, been led astray from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And, in addition to everything mentioned above, I’d also like to point out that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, isn’t about being “worthy” of blessings. Worthiness is a concept that’s only associated with seeking to be blessed through obedience. No worthiness is required of those who love and seek to bless others.
In fact, those who think they’re worthy, have a mindset that actually opposes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for they’re thinking about seeking to “get” blessings, thinking themselves “worthy” of blessings, rather than thinking about loving, and seeking to bless the lives of others.
It’s taught in the church, that the Holy Ghost only comes to those who are “worthy,” that they “get” the Spirit to be with them, if they’re obedient, but this just isn’t the case, and makes no sense at all, when you consider the fact that the Spirit isn’t something we “get,” but is something we’re endowed with, only when we’re thinking about “giving,” as it only leads us to love and bless others.
It’s my belief, that when a person refuses to think of themselves as worthy, when they’re not thinking, at all, about deserving to be blessed, when they’re only thinking about loving and blessing others, it’s only then that they’ll experience guidance from the Holy Ghost.
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’ve worked hard to become worthy to love and bless others?”
Rather, don’t people say, “I’ve worked hard to become worthy to get blessings?”
Hence, the idea of “worthiness,” is just another example and proof, that the LDS church has, in fact, been led astray, for the entire church program is centered around worthiness, and seeking to be blessed, which is in opposition to Christ’s intention, that we learn to seek to bless each other.