John Dehlin, Gregory L Smith and Mormon Stories

Hopefully everyone is familiar with the ongoing saga between John Dehlin and some LDS apologists (Including Daniel C. Peterson & Gregory L. Smith), that were challenging the motives of John Dehlin. If you are not, you can Google the topic.

The Controversial paper by Gregory Smith that was prevented from being published by a G.A. a year ago, was apparently related in part, to the firing of the staff at the Maxwell Institute.

That paper that has been described as a “hit piece” against Dehlin  has now been published by the Mormon Interpreter

The Student Review did a brief article about the published paper.

I made this comment in a reply to that blog post.

My comment went into review but was later published, to their credit.

I didn’t think it would be published so I submitted it to Faith Promoting Rumor Blog, responding to a post done by a poster called smallaxe . Smallaxe did not publish my comment so I made the same comments on John Dehlin’s blog at MormonStories. Needless to says, Dehlin also didn’t have the gumption to post my comments either.

I take my hat off to the Student Review for publishing my first comment.

A commentor calling himself Busy Busy Busy responded to my comments wherein I challenged anyone to show me something in the controversial article by Greg Smith that was false. He provided a link to a critique of the controversial paper by Smith, posted on “Mormon Discussions”. His comment is here,

The critique was done by a popular exmo called “Rollo Tomasi”. I am assuming Busy and Rollo are the same person but I am not sure.

I responded back to him on the Student review.

That response has currently been blocked by the student review. I don’t know if it will be released so I thought I would post it here so that Busy and Rollo would know that I didn’t just ignore their comment-

[ Editorial update, the second comment has also been approved. I am impressed with the fairness of the Student Review for allowing a diverse population of respondents  with different opinions to make controversial comments]

_______________________________________________________

Busy (Rollo)-

And I thought the length of my comment showed passion! LOL

I visited your post at Mormon Discussions and I am impressed with your lengthy critique of Greg Smith’s critique of how critical John Dehlin has been of the Mormon Church.

I am not going to lie.

I did not read your whole diatribe.

I didn’t even read most of it.

I am clearly not as invested in this issue as you are.

I am not a member of the church. I am not an angry exmo, or an an angry doubting member or a blissfully happy but incensed card carrying member.

In a sense, I just don’t have a horse in the race, in the same sense that you and many others do.

Nevertheless, having been a member of the church, and still being passionate about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, with a firm belief in the divine mission of Joseph Smith and the literal authenticity of the Book of Mormon, I am nevertheless interested in what is taking place in the world of Mormonism and I care deeply about my brothers and sisters in and out of the church.

If I were to invest the time in reading your whole diatribe, I would no doubt feel compelled to write a CRITIQUE of your CRITIQUE of Greg’s CRITIQUE of how CRITICAL John is of the church. LOL..

.. that would take many hours and I don’t have time to invest in such a project. Apparently you have the luxury of sitting in front of your computer reading and pontificating all day long. I am TRULY envious of your situation.

In my next life, I want to be more like you in that regard.

My challenge in the initial comment that I made was to show me one thing Greg’s paper says that is not true about John.

While I appreciate all the work you went to over on the other chat board, I suspect your efforts in creating your diatribe were not inspired by my challenge and in fact was probably written before you saw my challenge.
I would still love to see just one statement from the article that is categorically not true, posted in this forum, if you have the time and inclination to extract it from your thesis.

Further observations-

In the beginning of your critique, you accuse Gregg of making his attacks against Dehlin, the man, rather than Mormon Stories.

I agree with you but fail to see your point.

For all intents and purposes, Dehlin IS Mormon Stories and he controls much of the outcome.

He is the interviewer.

He controls who gets on his program and he usually controls the questions and the voice inflection and empathy he projects as the interviewer and the whole spirit of the interview.

He largely controls the environment and the outcome.

In that respect, the man is orchestrating the outcome of what Mormonstories is accomplishing.

I believe his responses to the comments of the interviewers have a powerful effect on the adoring audience that John has acquired.

John is anything but neutral and unbiased.

I believe he clearly has an agenda and it transcends what he claims that it is

If one wants to understand what MormonStories is all about, one needs to understand who Dehlin is, what his beliefs are, what motives him and what his personal agenda is.

The only way to determine these things is to scrutinize what John does and says.

I believe that is the spirit and intent of what Greg was attempting to do. He did it from his vantage point because that is the only vantage point he has.

Was he guilty of surgically identifying only the comments John made that verify the points he want to make about John?

Of course he was. That was the purpose of the article. So what?

I see things almost exactly the same way Greg does  with regard to MormonStories, and I am not even a card carrying member of the church!

Yet, beyond that common view of that particular situation, I have virtually nothing in common with Greg. We do not share the same religious beliefs and I was incredibly offended when he took it upon himself to challenge the folks at the Firm Foundation for their belief that the Book of Mormon people were inhabitants of North America rather than South America. http://www.firmlds.org/feature.php?id=25

I really don’t resonate with anything else Greg has previously written. I mention this only to clarify that I am not defending his Dehlin “hit piece” because I am a personal friend, or for any other reason than the fact that I believe he is sincere and correct in his perception of what John is trying to accomplish with MormonStories.

I can appreciate the fact that you see John through different eyes than Greg and I do.

I don’t discount that your perception is valid to you, and I don’t think you should question that Greg’s perception about John is valid to him and others, like me.

You also accuse Greg of having the motive to “destroy Dehlin’s reputation and whatever influence he has in the Mormon community.”

Again I must agree with you and again I must ask, what is your point beside pointing out the obvious?

It is a long standing tradition in biblical Christianity for shepherds to guard the flock. That involves identifying those who are trying to damage the church and destroying their credibility with the sheeple.

That is all Greg is trying to do.

I realize that it is unusual and politically incorrect to quote from the New Testament when on a forum like this where the precepts of men rule the day, but I am going to do it anyway.

Here is what Paul said to the elders of a church in Acts 20

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.Therefore watch…”

I believe that people like Greg and his associates at the Interpreter are simply trying to be good shepherds of the flock, trying to protect the members of the church from the grievous wolves that have entered the flock.

Interestingly, the LDS apologists spending 99% of their time fending off the wolves on the outside when the most damage is being done by the wolves on the inside.

This shepherd/wolf theology is actually how Utah Mormonism began.

Brigham Young emerged triumphant over Sidney Rigdon and others to lead a large portion of the church during the succession crisis in Nauvoo and he used the above theology to do it.

Years later Brigham used the Shepherds and Wolves theology to justify his actions.

” The brethren testify that brother Brigham Young is brother Joseph’s legal successor.

You never heard me say so. I say that I am a good hand to keep the dogs and wolves out of the flock. —” (Brigham Young 1860)

Frankly, I think many of the apologists and members of the church are quite perplexed and distraught about the fact that the brethren, everyone from John Dehlin’s Stake President to the top guy in the Ivory tower, have neglected their sacred duty to act in their stewardship’s as protectors of the flock.

The “hit piece” on Dehlin is one frustrated elder’s attempt to warn the sheep that are not being warned by the primary shepherds of the flock.

Let me attempt to simplify things.

(I can do this because I am a simple minded country boy and largely uneducated person)

There are three public foundational beliefs that members of the church are supposed to have in common along with a fourth unwritten belief.

1- A belief that God lives
2- A belief that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God
3- A belief that the Book of Mormon is a true, literal history of an ancient people that Christ visited.

The fourth, un-canonized belief is as follows:

4- The belief that the current prophet of the Church is infallible in the sense that God will not allow him to lead the saints astray. Therefore don’t question or speak ill of him, just shut up and do what you are told.

Okay… how does John do with his report card and see if you really qualified for membership in the only true church.

I am paraphrasing what I have interpreted John to be saying in many of the podcasts that I have listed to.

1- He has publicly stated that he questions the existence of God and that if God does exist, he is something quite different from what Mormonism teaches.

FAIL!

2- He does not believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and he is critical of many of Joseph’s teachings and actions, including the uninspired boinking  a14 year old girl.

FAIL!

3- He clearly believes that the Book of Mormon is a myth and that there is no legitimate historicity to it.

FAIL!

As you can see, from my point of view, John does not qualify for membership.

The truly amazing thing is that  John values his membership and wants to remain in the church. Why!

Even more astounding than that is the fact that the brethren have allowed John to continue spreading his gospel of doubt while using the credibility of being classified as a member in good standing… go figure!

As I have been pondering this discussion and viewed a few of your posts on the other chat board, I find a fascinating dynamic at play here between people like you and me who have strong opinions about how the church should be governed even though it isn’t any of our damn business.

Let me share with you the convoluted dynamic I am seeing in the positions that you and I have taken on this topic.

I invite you to respond and correct me where you think my perceptions are wrong:

YOU-

have studied the controversial things about the history and doctrine of church and have concluded that the restored gospel and the restored church is not true.

Hence you want everybody in the church to learn this information and leave the church except John.

John needs to be in the church right now because he is playing an important role in the church.

His role is to educate people with his podcasts and destroy faith and facilitate people in exiting the church.

John should stay in the church until everyone else has left… then he can come out.

Conversely-

I-

Have studied the same controversial things about the history and doctrine of the church that you have, and concluded that the restored gospel is true even though the current corporate church is stumbing a little bit.

I want members of the church to have the agency of staying in the church if that is where they think they should be.

Included in that agency, I think unsuspecting members of the church should have the right to stay in a relatively insulated environment where they are not exposed to information they do not want to hear.

I think people like John should not have the opportunity to “blindside” first timers to his site that naively visit his site and listen to his podcasts under the illusion and delusion that John is a faithful and active member of the church.

I don’t think John qualifies as as a believing and faithful member of the church. If the shepherds don’t have the gonads to extract him from the church he should provide a disclaimer on his websites that says something like this:

“Attention, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter days Saints, Beware, this site contains controversial information that could be damaging to your faith”

Watcher

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10 Responses to John Dehlin, Gregory L Smith and Mormon Stories

  1. Fusion says:

    Hi Watcher,

    I thought I was going mad last year because of my conclusion of Dehlin’s modus operandi! Great to see that if I am going down, you are coming with me…

    I saw your review at the ‘Student Review’ and posted this there:

    Watcher,
    I am with you 100%. As a seeker of truth no matter where I may find it, I came across Rock Waterman’s podcast on Mormon Stories last year. Rock, as always is thoroughly interesting to listen to. But as i listened to subsequent podcasts, and a video with the guy who left the church and is now a born-again christian…the feeling intensified inside. My heart said something is not right with this character (Dehlin) who purports to be a seeker of the truth. After some more study on the subject, my mind concluded with my heart a few months ago and I discontinued listening to his ill-intentioned sneakiness.
    I am very puzzled how someone who doesn’t believe in something can be obsessed with it after this self-realisation. I personally, if I came to a conclusion like that, would spread my wings and fly as far away from the offending lie as possible! It makes no sense that he would do what he is, but it does make sense to the dark side- wolves work in this manner from the beginning of human existence. As an ex-catholic I have never once entertained the thought of spending a minute of my time anywhere near their structure including their websites, chapels, whatever! Why wouldn’t John just up and disappear if he had good intentions? There are cruises to take, vacations to be had, hobbies to discover, family time to be spent, heck even potatoes to dig, money to be made…whatever. If Zion is false and worth nothing, and the whole thing is a lie, why spend time on anything but Babylon?! A very strange concept.
    As one who is clearly not one of the church-at-large, but one on the sidelines with a tonne of hereticism pumpin through my veins, I in much the same vein as you, Watcher, am PASSIONATE about the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored by Joseph Smith…and there’s no other way for me. No matter, what happens with the corporate church, my faith began with and ends Jesus. And the Book of Mormon. The JST Bible. The Pearl of Great Price. D&C (the authentic bits, anyway). There is no way to deny the very real Gospel of Jesus Christ…I am more astounded at the layers of depth the scriptures keep revealing!

    I don’t know Greg Smith, and probably would disagree with everything he says but I appreciate immensely what he has done.
    Watcher, thanking you likewise.

    Fusion

  2. I absolutely love reading your responses Fusion.

    They are so pregnant with profundities. ( I would probably say that even if you were not agreeing with the particular post they are attached to! LOL.

    I love your passion for the gospel of Christ and the fact that it is centered in Christ rather than man.

    It is quite contagious.

    I find the fact that you are a convert from Catholicism fascinating and would love to hear your conversion story sometime…

    The analogy about not wanting to hang around Catholicism is so poignant and relevant to this topic.

    I recently visited a blog by an ex-Mormon that commented on the common dilemma of those who leave Mormonism but cannot leave Mormonism alone.

    It caused me to wonder if in fact this is a phenomenon that is found in all religions or if it is an anomaly associated primarily with Mormonism.

    I don’t doubt that the JW;s and 7th Day Adventists have a few angry people who have left the fold and spend the rest of their lives trying to engage and antagonize the believers, however, it seems as if this situation is greatly pronounced in Mormonism.

    I am not saying Dehlin is overtly trying to do that, he is more subtle, but many of those angry exmo’s that are whining about his right to stay in the church fit in that category.

    If it is true that Mormonism breeds are considerably larger portion of people who leave but cannot leave Mormonism alone, it almost makes one wonder if perhaps it is because deep deep down inside these people, they still wonder just a little bit about whether they have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

    Perhaps they wonder deep deep down if despite all of the bizarre events and cognitive dissonance associated with the restoration movement and the current corporate church, they know that the Book of Mormon and the true Modern revelations contain eternal truths and events and witnesses that far transcends any man or group of men’s ability to orchestrate said truths and events.

    As much as I love Joseph Smith, and appreciate that he was of above average intelligence, the more I learn about history and doctrine in the context of his own life, the more apparent it becomes to me that he and his associates were pawns on the chessboard, not the players making the moves.

    There was clearly a higher intelligence pulling the strings… and it was the God of Israel.

    Watcher

  3. I really don’t know much about any of this situation, but last I checked, no one could be kicked out for their beliefs. Transgression is the standard, as far as I know. If he is preaching against the gospel or intentionally trying to destroy faith, that’s one thing, but just voicing his beliefs and allowing others their own, does not, as I understand it, comprise apostasy. Of course, there is the scriptural sin of unbelief, but since we don’t have any creeds, it’s kind of hard to nail down what it is exactly that we must not believe in order to commit the sin, which makes it pretty hard to bring someone up on charges. Although there is a belief standard for joining the church (faith in Christ), there is no belief standard for being kicked out of it. Breaking the commandments seems to be the only standard. If John hasn’t broken any of the commandments, even if he no longer believes in the commandments, I’m not sure how he could be removed.

  4. You provide an interesting perspective Anarchist.

    I am guessing you may not be real familiar with much of John’s history and the things he has said.

    I don’t know if that is what you are referring to when you say you “don’t know much about this situation”, or whether you are mainly referring to Gregory Smith’s paper and related events in having his paper delayed by people in high places.

    You said:

    “If he is preaching against the gospel or intentionally trying to destroy faith, that’s one thing..”

    Yes, that is what I am suggesting.

    My contention is that John does destroy faith and that he is calculated in what he does to accomplish that end.

    I think he has gone through his own crisis of faith and he feels that in addition to providing a support group environment for others who are having a crisis of faith, I think he feels a moral obligation to bring controversial issues to the attention of as many latter day saints as he can. He feels it is a noble cause to bring these things to people’s attention.

    If I am correct in that belief, then by your own admission, he should be excommunicated or at least disciplined and then asked to agree to put a disclaimer on his websites.

    You also said:

    “Of course, there is the scriptural sin of unbelief, but since we don’t have any creeds, it’s kind of hard to nail down what it is exactly that we must not believe in order to commit the sin, which makes it pretty hard to bring someone up on charges.”

    According to Websters dictionary, a creed is “That which is believed; any system of principles which are believed or professed”. It is also “A brief summary of the articles of Christian faith; a symbol”

    The LDS church definitely has publicly published creeds of belief.

    As examples, it has the “Articles of Faith” which is a creed that outlines the beliefs of the church. I think it is safe to say that based on things John has said, he rejects most if not all of the articles of faith.

    The church also has the “articles and covenants” of the church currently known as section 20 and also has section 42 which Christ referred to as his “law”. These two documents were manually copied and taken by the early missionaries of the church to present to investigators. It was upon the content of these two documents that new converts largely based their faith.

    The creed of the church, as contained in Section 20 requires a convert to “witness to the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism unto his church”

    It is my understanding from listening to John, that he now questions the existence of God and that if God exists, he thinks it is something quite different that what the church teaches. I don’t think he believes in the atonement of Jesus Christ at all and does not think he needs to repent or believe in an atonement.

    I am guessing that if John were not currently a member, he could not and would not in good conscious make the confession of faith required to be baptized. Hence, it does not make sense that he could qualify to maintain his membership if he is publicly mocking and denying these things and teaching false doctrine and destroying faith.

    Again, I like the podcasts and I think they provide an important service.

    I just think he should have a disclaimer stating that his material can cause a crisis of faith so that unsuspecting members of the church are not blind-sided and exposed to controversial information if they prefer not to.

    John should not be able to mislead people by having a good standing in the church.

    You also said:

    “Although there is a belief standard for joining the church (faith in Christ), there is no belief standard for being kicked out of it. Breaking the commandments seems to be the only standard.”

    I don’t believe this is true.

    I think there are countless people who have been excommunicated from the church for publicly teaching false doctrine including the statements that basic church doctrine is not true.

    The first high profile member to come to mind is apostle Amasa Lyman who taught that there was no need for a savior:

    “In a March 1862 sermon delivered in Dundee, Scotland, he asserted that man, coming from a perfect spirit father, was innately good and could redeem himself by correcting his own mortal errors. There was thus simply no need for a savior. The historical figure, Jesus, whom most worshipped as the Christ, was in reality only a moral reformer, teacher, and exemplar of great love.”

    For heresies like that Lyman was exed.

    Another more contemporary example is Avraham Gileadi.

    According to Margaret Toscano, whose husband was among the September Six and who would also later be excommunicated, Gileadi’s “books interpreting Mormon scripture challenged the exclusive right of leaders to define doctrine”

    According to that standard, you would be in big trouble since your blogs are always authoritatively defining doctrine and not respecting the leaders exclusive right to define doctrine.

    Let me clarify once more. I enjoy listening to many of John’s podcasts. I think he provides a valuable service.

    All I am saying is that he is using his membership and good standing in the church to lure members of the church into listening to his podcasts under the pretense that the interviews will be faith promoting or neutral and typical of what a believing member of the church would want to listen to.

  5. Fusion says:

    Watcher,

    Seems like it would be more honest for John to call his podcasts anything but ‘Mormon stories’. When one no longer has that passionate hunger and thirst for knowing the Lord through HIS terms- by this I mean through the scriptures, the very word of God on all subjects pertaining to Him, wherein the Lord Himself lays down what qualifies as being important and what doesn’t- then I am extremely confused by the motive behind it all. Seems the motive is to pretend to be one thing while attempting to do another.

    If I may further explain with a little point – if one’s whole belief structure is based on whether or not Joseph did the abhorrent secret marriages and subsequent things of a sexual nature to women not legally his one and only wife, and below the permissable age etc [something that is still not 100% clear, with folks on both sides of the fence having plenty of points- your blog Ldsanarchy, being a case in point], then it would makes sense that it’s better to go on a crusade to take down people who in THIS day and age are still doing those very abhorrent things around the world! Polygamous child marriages are taking place everywhere- better to go do something about it instead of pontificating on a man who died 170+ years ago, who simply cannot defend himself. There are definitely these things going on today, so go and be an active part in destroying these things!

    Clearly, in my mind, faith in a mortal instead of in our God seems to be one’s own undoing. I know, because I have been there myself in the past, and I refuse now to let the weaknesses of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jonah, Peter, Joseph etc taint the word of God. When I read Jesus’ words where He mentions that [paraphrased] ‘why do you call any man good when there is only One who is worthy of being called good?’ and thus the real God, it is clear that whether or not Joseph was going off the rails later in his life, it shouldn’t and doesn’t matter. People, including myself, have put so much stock in him! I am still repenting for that. Don’t get me wrong, he may turn out to be one of the most important people ever in terms of great prophets (are there un-great prophets?? Can one real one be better or worse than another??) But, in the end, it is the GOSPEL and the Atonement of Jesus, His reality of existence in the Old and New World and the truthfulness of those records.

    When one no longer has a belief in these things, why waste precious time?! Eternal life would then not be true obviously, neither would any eternal accountability, nor any problems with conscience, so since one would only have a few short decades left to really enjoy this ridiculous life that will end in nothingness, anyway! Makes no sense then to be focused on such a silly, tiny thing that affects just a few very stupid people…like myself. And those other stupid folks like the above prophets and people like Mother Teresa, Ghandi, and anyone else who dedicates their life to such non-consequential foolery.

    Fusion

  6. Fusion

    You said:

    “Clearly, in my mind, faith in a mortal instead of in our God seems to be one’s own undoing.”

    I don’t know if this is just a coincidence or if you are aware of the post I made on another site just before you made the above comment..

    http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=28672&p=693050#p693271

    LOL

    Watcher

  7. Fusion says:

    LOL Watcher, I just went and read it…funny coincidence indeed!

    I have to agree with all that you said on that site, because you based your decisions (as have I) on the Lord’s words in the scriptures, and on what the two modern Josephs have said. I am also at the same point as you in that I am tired of debating this stuff with anyone anymore. The facts are clear- we the LDS church are in apostasy. Period. It was prophesied in the Book of Mormon without question. Period! And there are simply too many variable to expect the gifts of the Spirit to suddenly return. D&C 124:28 says it all as far as I am concerned. WE DO NOT HAVE THESE GIFTS WE ONCE HAD! When all is said and done, we the LDS are one part of the full picture, and one where the watercolours are running into one another…and everything is very hazy and messed up. The ONLY way we can expect to get out of this mess is to stand by ourselves, have immense faith and wait for the ture messengers to come with the sealed portion. What else can I say?!

    Fusion

  8. I think I may have listened to at most one or two podcasts, and I don’t think I listened all the way, either. I haven’t had much interest in those, I guess. So, I don’t really follow any of the talk about Dehlin.

    I see a distinction between preaching and teaching doctrines that destroy faith and merely believing them. The leadership is usually pretty good at jumping on anyone that publicly teaches contrary to what they teach, which leads me to believe that they must see what he is doing, or has done, as merely expressing his beliefs and not publicly promoting them. If he has not been corrected, then I can only think it is because belief in the church is pretty much untouchable, according to the law of God. See, for example, Alma 1:17.

    Section 20 was what I was referring to when I said there is a belief standard for joining the church, but none for being ex’ed or disfellowshipped. Publicly teaching beliefs does not constitute apostasy, either, for only once a person has been corrected in those beliefs and still continues to publicly teach the erroneous beliefs, that would constitute, in my understanding, apostasy. If John has never been corrected or told to refrain from doing or saying this or that, then he is still outside of the jurisdiction of church discipline. There is also the law of witnesses that comes into effect. Perhaps no witnesses have come forth to testify against him? Without witnesses, nothing can be done (in a perfect world, for corrupt courts that subvert the law of witnesses surely happen, we being human and all).

    I would imagine that Amasa was corrected and told to stop, which he ignored, which is why he got kicked out. Gileadi I imagine also had a similar circumstance. He was told to retract his public statements and refused to, perhaps. That is how it is supposed to work, anyhow. We are not to just ex people without giving them a chance to repent first. But, like I said, corrupt courts surely must happen.

    In my own writings on my blog, I think I have been supportive of the leadership and encouraged people to stay in the church, though other contributors do just the opposite. Also, I think my writings have been faith promoting and based on my understandings of the scriptures (my beliefs) without trying to convert people to them, start a church, or oppose the leadership. In fact, I’ve even written on my blog that the leadership can officially interpret the scriptures! (You may have missed that one.) I think the leadership understands that weblogs are for expressing one’s opinion about this or that and even though I may write authoritatively, it is always from my perspective. I never pretend that my views are the official views of the 15 apostles or of the church at large. So, I think most people would say that I’m just expressing my belief.

    The only things I can think of that might make the leadership nervous about me is the GEMTAM and the tribal worship services, but even there, they would have to use my personal blog writings, or comments on the Internet, about these two topics, and consider them as proselyting, and not as just expressing my opinion. That might be a very difficult thing to do. However, if I were to take a second wife and they had witnesses to this, or use the priesthood in a tribal setting (and they had witnesses to this), then they would have a case, because then they could try me for transgression and not for my beliefs.

    I suspect that something along these same lines is going on with Dehlin’s case.

  9. Hey Anarchist and Fusion

    Not to highjack my own thread or anything, but I find it interesting that you are both converts to the restored gospel from Catholicism. (Although you were quite young as I recall, Anarchist)

    I personally find it very significant that the new Pope is a high ranking Jesuit. One who has no doubt taken the secret oath that Satan and Cain entered into.

    (http://www.remnantofgod.org/jes-oth.htm )

    Apparently he is the first Jesuit Pope in the history of Catholicism.

    I can’t help but think that this is prophetic since we are at the pinnacle of the reign of the great secret combination just prior to the return of the servants.

  10. Fusion says:

    I like the detour, Watcher.

    Yes, it is very interesting for me as I grew up directly under the Jesuits, my primary and early high school were with them. I KNOW what i know about them from an early age, as whatever understanding I had of the Spirit made me very wary of them. I knew they got up to all kinds of ‘stuff’, both from rumours and true accounts of those who experienced it first hand, and most importantly, this immense feeling I would get inside, that just felt dark and very strange. Now, this is no knock on the Catholics. Like the modern LDS, they are no different in their want of being able to worship as they know best, as they have been conditioned to, with persuasions and threats, no matter how subtle or obvious, of various types.

    On a side note, it is ironic to me that the evangelicals hate the Catholics (and Mormons equally) so much, yet have absolutely no problem in accepting the Book that came directly through them…and consider it to be infallible! They have absolutely every suspicion against the Catholics, yet have complete trust that the Bible that came from them is 100% complete and perfect! Anyway, that’s a further detour…i apologise.

    I just read that link…wow. I would need to do more research to see if it is true, but for what it is, I would right now say I don’t doubt the Jesuits do exactly that. I always do double and triplecheck these things various people with varying motives put up on websites because honestly, a large percentage of folks know how to twist things around purely to convince you of something they want you to. This is why anti-mormons tend to get such little respect from me (not that they would clamour for my affections anyway!)- because they seem like rabid dogs who just will go to any, and I mean any, lengths to get back at Joseph Smith. Their brand of truth has traces of hatred and deception. Like ex-mormons, as I mentioned above, I wonder why they haven’t discovered that the world is just so much bigger than Mormonism…and a whole lot more fun it is to go down that list of ‘100 things I must do before I die’! Instead, their list is a pedestrian ‘1000 attempts to bring down Joe Smith and Mormonism until I die!’

    Fusion

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