Friday, November 7, 2008

When did the Church apostatize?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has lost its Theology. Entirely. During Gordon B. Hinckley's Presidency, they didn't say very much about their theology, or the things they said were conservative enough to make it ambiguous.

But now, (and perhaps also at the very end of Hinckley's life, it is hard to tell when things were written) the Church has apostatized (fallen away) from many of its former views.

The most significant one which I see is that they have entered into idolatry by beginning to worship Jesus Christ. This is the next step (and final straw) on top of the Talmage theological reformation which took place beginning around 1915.

The "correct," original position:

Heavenly Father (Father Adam, if we want to get specific) is the only God whom we worship. Also, we pray directly to him.
We are all spirit sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and Mother, and Jesus is their eldest son, firstborn in the spirit world.

Read Moses Chapter 1 in the Pearl of Great Price. It clarifies that Worship of the Only Begotten is a tactic of Satan, and that Jesus teaches that we should exclusively worship God.

Proposition 8 and LDS Church

I recently ran across the following disturbing statement at
The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008:

Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families

In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2 008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters.

The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage.

A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.

We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.
I knew they leaned this way politically for quite a while, but I am quite shocked that they are being so direct about it now. I feel the need to clarify my own position:

Owing to this and previous similar activities, I have ceased to pay tithing or offerings to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I do not support the evil political designs of this institution in any way. I believe in equal rights for all people. As long as TCoJCoLDS maintains these policies it is evidence that the leaders of the Church are going astray from the teachings of Jesus and are diverting their focus away from what should be their highest goals. I encourage all others who are or have been members of this Church to make a similar statement so that your voice may be heard. I do not want to be counted as one among the "millions" of members who are backing discriminatory, damaging behavior.

If any of the leaders in SLC read this, I have one word of advice: PRAY.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Gentle Tugging at My Soul

Every day lately, it seems like I've been feeling a gentle tugging at my soul, to go out and share with others the religious knowledge that I have found.  Like I'm supposed to hit the streets and share the original message of Jesus, ethical behavior, the Kingdom of God.  To help set them free from the deception of Paul.  Also, to teach about the restoration, modern revelation, and the priesthood.

My last post about not having a name, is one of my excuses.  I don't feel equipped to do this if I don't have a name to ascribe to the work.  The Hebrew word Kevod popped into my mind today.  It means Glorious.  That isn't a name, though.

Maybe I should go out without a name. How to start? What a humbling feeling.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Need of a Name

Thomas Jefferson wrote that Paul of Tarsus was "the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."

By his teachings, Paul has pervaded and forever stained the title of Christian, such that I do not feel inclined to adopt it.  Jesus was certainly not a Christian, for he was an observant Jew.

Just as Paul poisoned the term Christian, so has The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints poisoned, to a large extent, the terms "Latter-day Saint" and "Mormon" in both the popular view and that of the religiously informed.

I am a little bit Jew, a little bit Christian and a little bit Mormon, but I do not feel entirely comfortable using any of these titles plainly to speak of my faith.  Yet, I want to share.  I want to be counted.  There is need for a name in this, not because the name itself is so important, for Mormonism must seem to be a nonsense word to anyone unfamiliar with the book from whence the name is derived, and its etymological roots are even unknown to those who are most acquainted with it.  My people need a name, so that they may be called out.  There is a usefulness in having a name.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Morality of Deuteronomy and Joshua

I read the Torah portions for the entire year, starting over yesterday on Genesis 1 again. Instead of just starting on Genesis 1, I decided to continue reading forward in addition to the portions this year, so I read the beginning of Joshua.

In my readings, I have come to the conclusion that the ethics presented in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers are superior to those presented in Deuteronomy and Joshua (thus far.)

Deuteronomy appears to be a much later book, attempting to convince the Israelites that they have fallen astray, and get them to abide by a much harsher law. I don't think Deuteronomy really contradicts Torah much if at all, it just extends it in a dark way.

Joshua, curiously, begins where Deuteronomy left off, and seems to be using its opening passages as an argument to persuade people to believe in Deuteronomy.  I see this as evidence that Deuteronomy and Joshua are nearly contemporary, Joshua following because Deuteronomy may not have picked up much traction at first.

The purpose of Deuteronomy seems to be to build up the kingdom, (or, if it is retrospective, to explain how it was built, in possible hopes that it can be built even larger) to give more authority and power to the Priests, to abolish formal worship outside of the official national sanctuary and to promote certain theological points.

I feel pretty good about Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, but Deuteronomy remains unconvincing to me as a "good book." Although, it does have certain passages that could be considered cherished and are very good by their own merit, but as a complete work, it just doesn't add up.

It seems a shame to end the Torah reading each year with such a "forgery" to the good name of Moses, and such an ethically challenged book.

Monday, August 18, 2008

How to Pray

I have been having a difficult time with settings requiring formal vocal prayer. In the past, I had been taught to pray in a manner that ends "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." I no longer believe this to be required, and in some cases, feel it is an inappropriate way to end a prayer.

My beliefs about Jesus are vague right now. I wish I had a trustworthy account of his life and teachings so that I could see more clearly how he fits in.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Godhead

Just contemplating...

Primordial Energy
(Not an object of our worship)

Aur Ein Sof = Light Without End.

This light constitutes the "intelligences" that Joseph Smith mentioned. It forms everything, it is the source of the power of God and of all things. This is the energy that constitutes the Universe.

Grandparent Deities (Not objects of our worship)

Eloh-Yehvah v Khevah = God of Yehvah and Khevah, Grandfather.
Eloah-Yehvah v Khevah = Goddess of Yehvah and Khevah, Grandmother.

Celestial or Heavenly Parents (Proper objects of our worship)

El - Yehvah - Adam - Father
Asherah - Khevah (Eve) - Mother

Terrestrial Guide (Not an object of our worship)


Telestial Guide (Not an object of our worship)

Yophiel (Beauty of God)
(Or another Angel.)


Yourself (Not an object of our worship)

My Curious View of Temple Square

I just got to explore Temple Square in Salt Lake again. I wanted to share some of my photos and observations.

I call this Photo "Herod's Tower." It shows the Salt Lake Temple (bottom left corner) and the Church Office Building (on the right) towering above it. This angle is a little bit deceptive because I'm actually closer to the COB than I am to the Temple, but in reality the COB is taller than the Temple, and its design makes it quite an eyesore, and this photo captures how I feel about that.

Near where I took that picture, we found a statue of Joseph and Emma Smith. It has a caption about giving to the poor, but we found it curious that Joseph is handing Emma a coin.

The coin appears to be modeled after some real coin, with a year and other symbols on it, but it is in an awkward position and my camera wasn't strong enough to pick it up with clarity, so I'm not sure what it is.

This is a picture of the northeast corner of the Salt Lake Temple with the Annex building clearly in view, and reflected in the pool. This Annex is not to be confused with the more beautiful building which once existed, and housed many additional sealing rooms to handle overflow from the Temple. The current annex, from my knowledge, serves mainly (if not only) as a reception area, recommend desk, and possibly clothing rental facility, from whence an underground passage leads to the main Temple. Some of this functionality takes place underground, however, and I lose my bearings on exactly whether it is under the annex or in the Temple "basement," or somewhere in between. Nevertheless, this current Annex is a complementary match to the architecture of the Temple itself.

This is my favorite pipe organ on Temple Square. It is located in the Assembly Hall, just south of the Tabernacle. One of the Sister Missionaries graciously let me go up on the stage to take a close up picture of this organ even though they had a white video screen set up in front of it blocking its visibility from the hall itself. Notice the Alpha and Omega symbolism on the medallions. The other medallions also have interesting and unique symbolism. I will have to analyze other pictures of it to determine what all of them are. I love the "trumpet pipes" coming out the front of this organ. And, finally, a classic picture:

This is my photo of the Salt Lake Temple, Annex, Tabernacle, and Conference Center, taken from the 10th floor of the former Hotel Utah (Now the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.) I haven't edited it at all, so there is some minor reflection from the window. You can also see the Hotel Utah's 10th floor "fringe" in the bottom right corner of the photo. This is the first time I've taken a clear picture of the Temple from an angle that hasn't made it look skewed or distorted, as photos from the ground are apt to do, and I think it turned out pretty good.

I will post more pictures of Temple Square and the surrounding area soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Learning True Good - Ethics as a Tool of Spiritual Discernment

This is only a partially developed thought, but I wanted to share it.

Somewhere out there on a planet in Alpha Centauri there is a being so Superior to us that we call Him God. He is not alone. There are many Supreme Beings out there - the Elohim. Some are good, and some are evil. Well, what makes our God special? He, together with our Mother, seeded our world.

If any of these Elohim visited us on earth, we would be tempted to worship them as God. It has been revealed to us that our Deity is one of Goodness. If an Evil being came it would seek out this worship, and try to be recognized as God, but it is our duty to know the Good from the Evil so that we can detect such an impostor.

Any other Good being would not try to take that which is not rightfully theirs. No Good God would come to a planet not under his or her authority and usurp it.

While this example may not be correct in its technical details, it is illustrative of the principle: If we properly learn Ethics we can discern between God and all Impostors. Therefore, to know Ethics is to know God. To know Ethics will cause us to practice them. If we know God we will know ourselves. To show it another way, if we understand the Ethical teachings of Jesus, we will know the Father when we see Him.