THIS BLOG ATTEMPTS TO SHOW HOW SCIENCE IS CATCHING UP WITH REVEALED RELIGION

THIS BLOG IS AN ATTEMPT TO PUT ALL THE COOL STUFF THAT I BUMP INTO ABOUT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND EVENTS THAT LEAD UP TO IT INTO ONE LOCATION.
THE CONTENTS WILL BE FROM AN LDS PERSPECTIVE. IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ANYTHING IN HERE, I DO NOT PARTICULARLY CARE TO ARGUE, UNLESS YOU CAN ADD TO THIS BODY OF WORK. I HAVE AN OPEN MIND, THAT IS WHY I READ STUFF FROM ALL DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES AND SEEK LEARNING FROM THE BEST BOOKS. I JUST AM NOT HERE TO ARGUE ABOUT IT - BUT TO PUT IT OUT THERE WHERE OTHERS CAN PERUSE/PURSUE IT. I TAKE PARTICULAR INTEREST IN HONEST SEEKERS OF TRUTH AND BELIEVE THAT SCIENCE IS REVEALED RELIGION'S BEST ALLY. YOU WILL SEE ALOT OF TOPICS IN THIS BLOG THAT SHOW SCIENCE BACKING - AND SLOWLY CATCHING UP WITH - REVEALED RELIGION.
ENJOY!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

A PLEA TO PREPARE - FROM DAVID SCHULTZ

Folks, as my wife and I rolled up to McDs to use the wireless internet, we ran in a nice old man who happened to be Jehovah's Witness.  We chatted for a good hour about what is coming.  He feels it to.  Any sincere person that I run into feels it.  If they do not, I do not waste my time on them.  Time is short.  Time is precious.

Things will be changed forever quite soon.  For most, it will be too late to prepare, for it will happen in a day; suddenly.

Here is his post - and I endorse what he had to say:


A Plea To Prepare (David Schultz)

Postby Rapunzel » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:44 pm
This article was written by David Schultz and was posted on the Gods-Wrath forum that is now closed. David had given several of us
permission to repost on other forums as long as he was given credit for the article. Here it is in its entirety.

"A Plea To Prepare"

“And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.” (D&C 45:39)



“The greatest events spoken of by the Holy Prophets will come along so naturally as the consequences of certain causes, that unless our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit of God, and the spirit of revelation rests upon us, we will fail to see that these are the events predicted by the Holy Prophets.” (George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 21, p. 264)



The prophecies regarding the events of the Last Days have long held my interest. I have felt keenly the importance of watching and preparing for these events; it has been a primary source of motivation throughout my life. I write this brief paper in the hopes that all who read it may understand and grasp fully the magnitude of what lies immediately before us and the importance of using wisely the time we have—while we have it—to do all that is necessary to ready ourselves for the times of tribulation. In doing so, I feel there is no room for timidity; rather, discussion of such things requires boldness and frank language as the lateness of the hour will simply not allow anything less, lest any continue in their apathy and complacency and these things come upon them unaware and unprepared. In April General Conference, 2004, Elder Dallin H. Oaks stated “While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.” It is for this purpose that I am motivated to share my thoughts with you. It is my opinion that the exact timing of the Lord’s return is immaterial to discussions of the Last Days; if we are not prepared for those events preceding His return, we simply will not be alive to witness it. Therefore, it is my hope that you who read this will gain a heightened sense of urgency to prepare.



We have been given, through prophets of God, insight, instruction, and warning concerning these times in order that we may escape much of the misery and destruction that will befall the wicked. Our safety through this period will be assured only by our giving heed to the warnings given us to prepare; when the calamities are upon us, it will be too late. At that time, will we be classed among the five wise or the five foolish virgins? The choice is entirely our own. It is my testimony and witness to all that the visions and prophecies of future events, frightening as they are, are given to us as an act of love: it is because of the infinite, perfect love that our Father has for us that He gives us warning and commands us to repent and prepare.



What, then, is our responsibility concerning the matter? Assuming that those reading this have a firm testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with its Priesthood keys and authority, and of the reality of modern revelation, both general and personal, then three things must follow:



First, we must become familiar with the prophecies given as to what these “signs” are. How can we watch, as the Lord commanded, for the signs of His coming and be aware of its nearness if we have no idea what it is we are watching for?



Second, we must cultivate and develop our spiritual gifts so that, as President Cannon stated, “…our eyes [will be] enlightened by the Spirit of God, and the spirit of revelation [will rest] upon us.” It is in this way alone—seeing with spiritual eyes—that we will recognize the signs that have been and will be given.



Key to this spiritual development is daily repentance. If there is anything in our lives that requires the aid of the Bishop, it should be given highest priority. However, whether or not this is the case, we are, each of us, in need of the purifying process of repentance. Not a day goes by that the healing balm of the Atonement is not needed in our lives; that we don’t fall short, in varying degrees, of what we know to be right. Hence the need for daily repentance.



The list of ways to develop those Gifts continues with what we are already very familiar: daily scripture study, daily prayer, Sunday meeting attendance, and regular (monthly at least?) temple attendance. A sincere, earnest effort must be given in these areas. Regarding scripture study, it is my testimony that there is no better way to familiarize ourselves with the voice of the Spirit than by reading the words of the Lord. Knowing that Voice is critical to receiving personal revelation and guidance. And receiving that guidance is likewise critical in our efforts to prepare.



We must seek to remove the daily interference that blocks our reception of the Spirit. Our modern media is saturated with elements hostile to the Lord and His work. Television programs and music offensive to the Spirit should—must—be avoided, as must all other sources with offensive content.



Third, we must act. Information obtained does little good if we do nothing with it. We cannot do all there is to do. Yet, we have the assurance that our efforts will be blessed, as we seek to serve the Lord with “…all [our] heart, might, mind and strength.” (D&C 4:2) It is only by doing all we can do that we have any right to expect help from the Lord. That we will have His help upon that condition is guaranteed. Miracles will happen as we commit ourselves to Him.



In short, we must discipline ourselves to abstain from anything that will weaken our bodies, sap our mentality, deaden our spiritual sensitivity, and waste our incomes. We must make a concerted effort to invite into our lives those things that will lift and build us.



The information that follows is given as 1) evidence that the tribulation we will face will demand all of our efforts and strength to be ready for and endure—physically, spiritually, and mentally—as they will be of a magnitude, intensity and scale that has not existed before in the history of the world, 2) evidence that we are in the opening days of that period, and 3) motivation to action—now. The time left to prepare is quickly diminishing and our efforts must be increased substantially.



When I contemplate what is about to befall this nation and the world, I am saddened beyond words to know that there are many who, with a knowledge of these things, will yet refuse to prepare. Consequently, they will witness the untold suffering of those who are dependent upon them for their welfare. Can you imagine yourself watching your little children starve to death? Can you comprehend the anguish of soul in that situation, knowing that you could have prevented it? With that knowledge, the guilt and grief will be excruciating. Are you willing to face such? I am not! Why should we expect the Lord to save us from our folly when He has warned us repeatedly to prepare and promised His aid in our efforts? Our expectation of such would be contrary to the laws of Heaven.



In the October 1980 General Conference, then Elder Ezra Taft Benson addressed the issue of preparedness. His words were powerful, direct, and explicit. He warned:



“For over forty years, in a spirit of love, members of the Church have been counseled to be thrifty and self-reliant; to avoid debt; pay tithes and a generous fast offering; be industrious; and have sufficient food, clothing, and fuel on hand to last at least [AT LEAST!] one year.



“Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community? [Note: implicit in these remarks is the message that the Church will not, under such circumstances, be handing out food to those in need; it is not their responsibility to do so.]



“President Brigham Young said, “If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast, and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives?” (In Journal of Discourses, 8:68.) “From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. “There is more salvation and security in wheat,” said Orson Hyde years ago, “than in all the political schemes of the world” (in Journal of Discourses, 2:207). Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent. The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.

“I speak with a feeling of great urgency. I have seen what the days of tribulation can do to people. I have seen hunger stalk the streets of Europe. I have witnessed the appalling, emaciated shadows of human figures. I have seen women and children scavenge army garbage dumps for scraps of food. Those scenes and nameless faces cannot be erased from my memory.

“I shall never forget the Saints of Hamburg who appeared on the verge of collapse from starvation, or their small children whom I invited to come to the stand as we emptied our pockets of edibles. Most had never seen these items before because of the wartime conditions. Nor can I forget the expectant and nursing mothers whose eyes watered with tears when we gave them each an orange. We saw the terrible physical and social side effects of hunger and malnutrition. One sister walked over a thousand miles with four small children, leaving her home in Poland. She lost all four to starvation and the freezing conditions. Yet she stood before us in her emaciated condition, her clothing shredded, and her feet wrapped in burlap, and bore testimony of how blessed she was.

“I cannot forget the French Saints who, unable to obtain bread, used potato peelings for the emblems of the sacrament. Nor will I ever forget the faith of the Dutch Saints who accepted our suggestion to grow potatoes to alleviate their own starving conditions, and then sent a portion of their first harvest to the German people who had been their bitter enemies. The following year they sent them the entire harvest. The annals of Church history have seldom recorded a more Christlike act of love and compassion.

“Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, November, 1980. Emphasis added.)

President Benson spoke “…with a feeling of great urgency.” That was 25 years ago. He told us that the same counsel had been given, at that time, for over 40 years. Some would dismiss this counsel since, obviously, no major catastrophe has befallen us. Yet it was given to us by the Lord’s chosen prophets, speaking in their capacity as such. How long will we ignore such wisdom? How long will we procrastinate making the preparations that will save our lives and the lives of our families? So, nothing major has happened. I ask: what does that have to do with anything? The Lord gives His warning well in advance, and whether the need is realized in 1 year or 100 is irrelevant. It is incumbent upon us all to give immediate heed to it. As was stated previously, when disaster strikes, it is too late. The day will come—is upon us now, I believe—when the Lord’s servants will cease their warning, and the Lord Himself will preach the sermon. Today the political, social, and geological environment we live in is vastly different from 1980. Who among us can dismiss the evidence of the Lord’s voice calling the nations of the earth to repentance?

A careful study of history and the scriptures will reveal that no nation can long endure when wickedness becomes the accepted norm. This land of America is a choice land, and has upon it both a blessing and a cursing. Prophets have warned us that if this people do not worship the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ, we will be swept off. At least two great civilizations before us failed to do so and suffered that very fate. The evidence of that condition—of this nation’s refusal to worship Jesus Christ—is now everywhere present.

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the old world have long been the standard in determining how wicked a people must be before they are “swept off.” Are we as wicked as they?

President Thomas S. Monson, in a devotional address given to the students at BYU, witnessed: “Today we have a rebirth of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.” (“I Will Serve the Lord,” BYU Devotional Address, January 20, 2004. Emphasis added.)

In General Conference, President Hinckley, referring to our present conditions, said: “All of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah haunt our society” and later, “I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah.” (“Living in the Fullness of Times,” Ensign, November, 2001; Address given at the General Priesthood Leadership Training Meeting, February, 2004, respectively. Emphasis added.)

President Boyd K. Packer was more explicit. In an address to a group of lawyers, he declared:

“These are days of great spiritual danger for this people. The world is spiraling downward at an ever-quickening pace. I am sorry to tell you that it will not get better.

“I know of nothing in the history of the Church or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds the wickedness and depravity which surrounds us now.

“Satan uses every intrigue to disrupt the family. The sacred relationship between man and woman, husband and wife, through which mortal bodies are conceived and life is passed from one generation to the next generation, is being showered with filth.

“Profanity, vulgarity, blasphemy, and pornography are broadcast into the homes and minds of the innocent. Unspeakable wickedness, perversion, and abuse—not even exempting little children—once hidden in dark places, now seeks protection from courts and judges.” [Note: Ponder that last statement. It is horrifying when understood fully.] (Boyd K. Packer, J. Reuben Clark Law Society devotional, February 28, 2004. Emphasis added.)

Again, the lord’s prophets have spoken. Their words ring with unmistakable clarity. Has our society, like Sodom and Gomorrah, become “ripened in iniquity?” Are we as wicked as they? The answer to that is a resounding “Yes!” It would seem that we are living on borrowed time.

Time is of the essence; there is none of it to waste! As evidence that the prophesied days of tribulation are upon us, that we are beginning to reap the consequences of our collective wickedness, I quote more from the recent words of prophets of God:

In General Conference, April, 2004, Elder Dallin H. Oaks delivered a very clear message to the members of the Church:

“We are living in the prophesied time “when peace shall be taken from the earth,” (D&C 1:35) when “all things shall be in commotion,” and “men’s hearts shall fail them.” (D&C 88:91) These signs of the Second coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity.” (Emphasis added.)

Six months later, President Packer declared:

“The calamities the Lord foresaw [referring to D&C 1:17] now come upon an unrepentant world.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Least of These,” Ensign, May, 2004. Emphasis added.)

It should be understood that, in the scriptural context, the word “calamity” (or “calamities”) does not have general application to any and all disasters but has specific meaning and reference to those events of the Last Days just prior to the Savior’s return. In this setting, President Packer’s words carry tremendous weight: he is explicitly proclaiming that the destructions of the Last Days—the period of “tribulation” prophesied by the Lord’s Holy Prophets—have begun. It is significant that only three months following his declaration, one of the most devastating and tragic natural disasters in the history of the world took place in Indonesia and the surrounding countries of the Indian Ocean. The earthquake and resultant tsunami claimed over *400,000 lives. Countless more continue to suffer and die in the deplorable conditions of its aftermath. (*Official death toll was approximately 250,000, with over 150,000 missing and unaccounted for.)

Of this event, Elder Henry B. Eyring said:

“The giant earthquake, and the tsunamis it sent crashing into the coasts around the Indian Ocean, is just the beginning and a part of what is to come, terrible as it was.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Raise the Bar,” BYUI Devotional Address, January 25, 2005. Emphasis added.)

If this was just the beginning, what it is that will follow? What is to come? Elder Eyring continued:

“You remember the words from the Doctrine and Covenants which now seems so accurate:

“And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people. For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand. And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.”

In addition to natural disasters of every kind, wars, pestilence, famine, and plagues are promised. These things are now upon us and will continue to increase in their frequency, intensity, magnitude, and scope until the Lord returns in His glory. We are—or should be—familiar with the scriptural warnings of these. (A couple are given below.) However, in that scriptural setting these events run the risk of becoming sterile and safe; they are intrinsically ambiguous and we can easily fail to comprehend their terror. Knowing this, the Lord has given further, graphic vision of what lies ahead. I feel it is important to know what has been given, that we may comprehend the seriousness of our situation and cease to take these things lightly. These visions were, after all, given by our Father in Heaven for the benefit of His children.

In section 87 of the Doctrine and Covenants, known as the “prophecy on war,” the Lord declares the destruction that shall come upon the inhabitants of this nation and the world because of their unrepentant state:

“And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations. (D&C 87:6. Emphasis added.)

He further warns:

And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land. (D&C 45:31. Emphasis added.)

Joseph Smith prophesied that:

“The United States will spend her strength and means warring in foreign lands until other nations will say, “Let’s divide up the lands of the United States,” then the people of the U.S. will unite and swear by the blood of their forefathers that the land shall not be divided. Then the country will go to war, and they will fight until one half of the U. S. army will give up, and the rest will continue to struggle. They will keep on until they are very ragged and discouraged, and almost ready to give up, when the boys from the mountains will rush forth in time to save the American army from defeat and ruin. And they will say, “Brethren, we are glad you have come; give us men, henceforth, who can talk with God.” Then you will have friends, but you will save the country when its liberty hangs by a hair, as it were.” (As recorded in the journal of Mosiah Lyman Hancock. Copy of original manuscript in BYU Library.)

And also that:

“There is a land beyond the Rocky Mountains [U.S. West Coast] that will be invaded by the heathen Chinese unless great care and protection are given.” (Prophecy recorded by Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley as having been made by Joseph Smith on May 6, 1843.)

Elder Orson Pratt said:

“If it be asked, why is America to suffer? The answer is, because they have rejected the kingdom of God, and one of the greatest divine messages ever sent to man; because they have sanctioned the killing of the Saints, and the martyrdom of the Lord’s prophets, and have suffered his people to be driven from their midst, and have robbed them of their houses, and homes, and land, and millions of property, and have refused to redress their wrongs.

“For these great evils, they must suffer; the decrees of Jehovah have gone forth against them; the sword of the Lord has been unsheathed, and will fall with pain upon their devoted heads. Their great and magnificent cities are to be cut off. New York, Boston, Albany, and numerous other cities will be left desolate. Party will be arrayed in deadly strife against party; State against State; and the whole nation will be broken up; the sanguinary weapons of the dreadful revolution will devour the land. Then there shall be a fleeing from one city to another, from one State to another, from one part of the continent to another seeking refuge, from the devastations of bandits and armies; then shall their dead be left unburied, and the fowls of heaven shall summer upon them, and the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.

“And it shall come to pass, that the heavens will withhold their rains and their fruitful fields be turned to bareness, and the waters of their rivers will be dried up, and left in standing pools, and the fish therein will die; and the Lord will send forth a grievous plague to destroy the horses and cattle from the land. Thus by the sword and by pestilence, and by famine, and by the strong arm of the Almighty, shall the inhabitants of that wicked nation be destroyed.” (Orson Pratt, Millennial Star, vol. 28, pp 633-634, October 6, 1866. Emphasis added.)

To bring the prophesies of war up to date and make them a little more tangible to us, I quote from a talk given by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in General Conference, April, 1979:

“We do not say that all of the Saints will be spared and saved from the coming day of desolation. But we do say there is no promise of safety and no promise of security except for those who love the Lord and who are seeking to do all that he commands.

“It may be, for instance, that nothing except the power of faith and the authority of the priesthood can save individuals and congregations from the atomic holocausts that surely shall be.

“And so we raise the warning voice and say: Take heed; prepare; watch and be ready. There is no security in any course except the course of obedience and conformity and righteousness.” (“Stand Independent Above All Other Creatures,” Ensign, May, 1979. Emphasis added.)

Of special importance to me is the vision given to George Washington during the winter at Valley Forge. Though not a prophet, he was shown the destiny of this great nation. I give credence to this account because it is in complete harmony with visions given by the Lord to His prophets, and I believe it was his right as the “Father” of our country and a righteous man to receive such. Further and most importantly, the Holy Ghost bears witness that it is true.

In his vision, he was shown three great “perils” that would come upon this nation: The first was the Revolutionary war, the second, The Civil War, and the third, a yet future world war in which the nations of Europe, Asia, and Africa would combine and come against us. Current conditions in the world tell us this will be the case; hostility toward the United States, justified or not, is dramatically intensifying the world over, even among those who have long been our allies. Russia and China, now military allies, are engaged in a massive buildup and modernization of their armed forces. They have long viewed war with America as inevitable.

Remember President Benson’s statement: we are deluded if we think war and destruction will not visit us here! Although this nation—or rather the righteous inhabitants of this nation—will ultimately be victorious, the horrors and privations that must be endured should be obvious. The light that comes through victory and the peace enjoyed by the victors will be had only among those righteous who remain committed to the Lord. The remaining wicked will continue to war with one another on this land and throughout the world until the Lord’s return. As horrible and terrifying as war is, conditions in its aftermath are often much worse.

The visions given of these things are many. John Taylor was given perhaps the most graphic of these, which seems to portray the conditions in America immediately after this war. His experience is recorded in the journal of Wilford Woodruff as follows:

“I went to bed at my usual hour, half past nine o'clock. I had been reading the Revelations in the French language. My mind was calm, more than usual if possible to be so. I composed myself for sleep but could not sleep. I felt a strange stupor come over me and apparently became partially unconscious. Still I was not asleep nor awake with a strange far away dreamy feeling.

“The first thing I recognized was that I was in the Tabernacle at Ogden, Utah, sitting upon the back seat in the corner, for fear they would call upon me to preach, which after singing the second time, they did, by calling me to the stand.

“I arose to speak and said I did not know that I had anything special to say except to bear my testimony to the truth of the Latter Day work, when all at once it seemed as though I was lifted out of myself, and I said "Yes, I have something to say, it is this—some of my brethren present have been asking me what is coming to pass, what is the wind blowing up. I will answer you right here what is coming to pass shortly.

“I was immediately in Salt Lake City wandering about the streets. In all parts of the City and on the door of every house I found a badge of mourning, and I could not find a house but what was in mourning. I passed by my own house and saw the same sign there, and asked, 'Is that me that is dead?' Something gave me answer, 'No, you [shall] live through it all.'

“It seemed strange to me that I saw no person on the street in my wandering about through the city. They seemed to be in their houses with their sick and dead. I saw no funeral procession, or any thing of that kind, but the city looked very still and quiet. The people were praying and had control of the disease what ever it was.

“I then looked in all directions over the territory, east, west, north, and south, and I found the same mourning in every place throughout the land. The next I saw I was just this side of Omaha. It seemed as though I was above the earth, looking down to it as I passed along on my way east and I saw the roads full of people, principally women, with just what they could carry in bundles on their backs traveling to the mountains on foot and I wondered how they could get there, with nothing but a small pack upon their backs. It was remarkable to me that there were so few men among them. It did not seem as though the cars were running. The rails looked rusty, and the road abandoned, and I have no conception how I traveled myself.

“As I looked down upon the people I continued eastward through Omaha and Council Bluffs which were full of disease, and women everywhere. The States of Missouri and Illinois were in turmoil and strife, men killing each other, and women joining in the fight, family against family were cutting each other to pieces in the most horrid manner.

“The next I saw was Washington, and I found the city a desolation. The White House was empty, the halls of Congress the same. Everything in ruins. The people seemed to have fled from the city and left it to take care of itself.

“I was next in the city of Baltimore and in the square where the monument of 1812 stands, in front of St. Charles and other hotels I saw the dead piled up so as to fill the square. I saw mothers cut the throats of their own children for the sake of their blood, which they drank from their veins to quench their thirst and then lie down and die. The waters of the Chesapeake and of the city were so stagnant and such a stench arose from them on account of the putrefaction of dead bodies that the very smell caused death and what was singular again I saw no men except they were dead or dying in the streets, and very few women, and they were crazy and mad, in a dying condition. Everywhere I went I beheld the same condition all over the city. It was horrible, beyond description to look at.

“I thought this must be the End. But no I was seemingly in Philadelphia, and there everything was still. No living soul was to be seen to greet me, and it seemed as though the whole city was without any inhabitants. In Arch and Chestnut Streets and in fact everywhere I went the putrefaction of the dead bodies caused such a stench that it was impossible for any creature to remain alive, nor did I see any living thing in the city.

“I next found myself on Broadway in New York and there it seemed the people had done their best to overcome the disease. But in wandering down Broadway I saw the bodies of beautiful women lying stone dead, and others in a dying condition on the sidewalk. I saw men crawl out of the cellars and rob the dead bodies of the valuables they had on and before they could return to their coverts in the cellars they themselves would roll over a time or two and die in agony.

“On some of the back streets I saw mothers kill their children and eat raw flesh and then in a few minutes die themselves. Wherever I went I saw the same scenes of horror and desolation, rapine and death. No horses or carriages, no busses or street cars, but death and destruction everywhere.

“I then went to the Grand Central Park and looking back I saw a fire start and at that moment a mighty east wind sprang up and carried the flames west over the city, and it burned until there was not a single building left standing whole, even down to the wharfs and the shipping all seemed to be burned and swallowed up in the common destruction and left nothing but a desolation where the great city was a short time before. The stench from the bodies that were burning was so great that it was carried a great distance across the Hudson River and bay, and thus spread disease and death wherever the fumes penetrated. I cannot paint in words the horror that seemed to encompass me around. It was beyond description or thought of man to conceive.

“I was here given to understand, that the same horror was being enacted all over the country, north, south, east, and west, that few were left alive. Still there were some.

“Immediately after I seemed to be standing on the west bank of the Missouri River opposite the city of Independence but I saw no city. I saw the whole states of Missouri & Illinois and part of Iowa were a complete wilderness with no living human being in them. I then saw a short distance from the river twelve men dressed in the robes of the temple standing in a square or nearly so. I understood it represented the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem, and they were with hands uplifted consecrating the ground and laying the corner stones. I saw myriads of angels hovering over them and around about them and also an immense pillar of a cloud over them and I heard the singing of the most beautiful music the words 'Now is established the Kingdom of our God and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever, and the Kingdom shall never be thrown down for the Saints have overcome.' And I saw people coming from the river and different places a long way off to help build the temple, and it seemed that the hosts of angels also helped to get the material to build the temple. And I saw some come who wore their temple robes to help build the temple and the city and all the time I saw the great pillar of cloud hovering over the place.

“Instantly I found I was in the Tabernacle at Ogden yet I could see the building going on and got quite animated in calling to the people in the tabernacle to listen to the beautiful music that the angels were making. I called to them to look at the angels as the house seemed to be full of them and they were saying the same words that I heard before 'Now is the Kingdom of our God Established forever & ever.” (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, December 16, 1877. pp. 179-183.)

As I said above, the visions given are many, and continue today. The vision of Joel has been fulfilled, as declared by President Hinckley, and the Lord’s Spirit is being poured out upon all flesh. A great many have been given personal revelation through dreams and visions pertaining to their individual roles in the days ahead. However, warning should be given that Satan also gives revelation, true to form as the father of lies, that he might thwart the Lord’s work. Remember, we must develop and refine our spiritual gifts, among which is the gift of discernment. We must know the difference. We must, now and in the days ahead, be familiar—very familiar—with the voice of the Spirit, and keep ourselves in such a state of spiritual preparedness that we may recognize the direction given to us through Him and give immediate heed to it. Elder Oaks’ counsel that “…the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult—the spiritual” (“Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign, November, 2004.) should be foremost in our minds.

A vast amount of information pertaining to the Last Days has been given by the Lord to man. However, from the beginning of this paper it has been my intent only to offer a succinct statement of the dire conditions we face, backed by recent, authoritative confirmation. What I have presented is sufficient to make the point. We must be sober, and we must be focused. Words cannot do justice to the sense of urgency I feel; it must be comprehended by each individual through the ministrations of the Spirit.

The coming of the Lord will be both great and dreadful. To the righteous, there is no need to fear. We have the promise of Divine protection and help as we prepare. We have the promise, regardless of when we die, of an eternity of peace and joy in the presence of our Father and the Savior. This time in which we live is a glorious time indeed, despite the peril that does and will exist. The Brethren are filled with hope and faith, as am I. They are so filled because they are prepared, and know that this Work will continue into the Millennial Era. That there is “much yet to do” in no way negates the nearness of these events for which we are preparing.

To all who read what I have written in this paper, I implore you to seek a witness as to the truth of this message. I firmly believe that time is very short. I testify to all, in the name of Jesus Christ, that we of this generation will witness the Return of our Savior; it will not be left to our children, but will be to us with our children. Let us take seriously the warnings of a loving Father! He will help us and protect us, if we do our part! I pray that we may.

I close with my testimony:

Above all else, I know that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son in the flesh of God the Father; that he is the Savior of the world, and, most importantly, my Savior. I know of the reality of His Atonement. I partake of its fruits daily. Indeed, I cannot make it through a day without being washed in and by it. He has lifted me and will continue to lift me from every fall I have taken and will take. He is real. I know Him. I have felt the divine love He has for me, a lowly, flawed, wretched mess. He lives, and in Him I have life. He is the one constant in every passing day. I know that this is His Church; He alone is its Head, and He guides its course every second of every day. He restored it through the Prophet, Joseph Smith, called and foreordained for that very purpose, and has called a prophet to lead us today, to whom He reveals His will, and that prophet is Gordon B. Hinckley. I know that likewise, He has called other prophets and apostles, and they lead us with the same authority. They are proven disciples of Christ, and they bear the Holy Priesthood of God. I am humbled to bear that same Priesthood. I know of its power; I have been witness to it. I know that I will yet behold that power in ways I cannot now comprehend—and will be a vessel through which it is made manifest. I know, and am grateful for, the power and influence of the Holy Ghost, who, above all, bears witness to all that God the Father is real and that Jesus is the Christ. It is through His influence alone that I know these things. I know that through that influence, I am cleansed and purified and renewed—and led. Daily. I know that through the peace and comfort He offers me, I will endure any and every hardship I am called upon to bear, will rise above all, and will accomplish the mission I was sent here to fulfill. And when that mission is complete, I will return to Him who gave me life, to live forever in His presence. In whatever circumstance I may find myself, I will be filled with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for this knowledge, and for the privilege of living. I long for His return, and when I again behold His presence, I will wet His feet with my tears. He is my every hope! In the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Yours in the Lord,

Dave





Addendum

To those who cannot obtain a year’s supply of “food, clothing, and fuel,” for whatever reason, may I remind you that the Lord has commanded us to serve Him with “all [our] heart, might, mind, and strength.” As we do this, we may have the assurance that our efforts, whatever they may be, will be sufficient. But we must be honest with ourselves. Are our efforts the best we have to give? No, we cannot do “all we know,” but we can do our best. Do your best, and put your trust in the Lord. Do not give in to discouragement, simply move forward in faith. And do it NOW. (Please.) (Edited to Add the rest of Dave's article)

Pertaining to food storage, the Church gives recommendations as to what constitutes a minimum supply of the essentials—what would be sufficient to keep you alive—on the Provident Living link listed on the official website, www.lds.org. Remember, lest you think that you will be able to live comfortably on what is suggested, that these quantities are minimums that will keep you alive only. If your situation allows more, do more!

Now, some perspective—with a little bit of Strong Opinion added for zest:

· Self-sufficiency does not mean driving yourself to the store; it means not needing one.

· When there are no stores open anywhere, the only source for food will be your own stores.

· A garden is a good idea, and bigger is better. You can find all the lawn you need at the park or the church.

· Nothing—nothing—beats fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables for giving you a healthy body.

· Sprouted wheat tastes a lot better than grass and dandelions—which is what you’ll be eating if you haven’t bothered to store food--and is one of the most nutritionally complete foods there is.

· A 50 lb. bag of wheat, either through the Church canneries or at Macey’s is about $9.00. The Church recommends a minimum of 400 lbs. per adult per year. That’s less than $80.00 total! Buy one bag every other week, and you’ll have a minimum years’ supply of wheat for two adults in less than 8 months.

· TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein, a soy-based meat substitute), horrifying as the concept is to some, tastes better than worms—which is what you’ll be eating if…

· Ramen soup, though probably just above cardboard on a list of nutritional values, will keep you alive, and tastes a lot better. Besides, your kids will actually eat it. (A year’s supply for a child can be had for less than $50.00 on sale.)

· Peanut butter is better for you than mud. Though sometimes the consistency is very similar. Again, kids will eat it. Maybe even before the ramen!

· A new four-wheeler or wave-runner looks really cool and is a lot of fun, but you can’t eat it. Neither can your kids.

· You don’t need a brand-new car or truck; a used one will suffice. You do need food.

· You don’t need a huge home. You do need food.

· You don’t need a TV or a boat or a motorcycle or any one of a very long list of “toys.” You do need food.

· Television is, for the most part, an intellectual and moral wasteland, and will suck the life out of you. Your time is better spent by doing almost anything else. Since time is critical, use it to educate yourself and prepare for the days ahead.

That’s probably enough, but the point is made: Priorities need to be identified. “First things first,” as they say. Food storage--at least a year’s supply—should be very close to the top of the list.

Pertaining to clothing and fuel: these are likewise essential, but obviously secondary to food. Use the promised guidance of the Spirit (addressed above) to know what course to take in that regard.

And then there’s the spiritual preparedness that is so essential. I have no words strong enough to address its importance! It should already be understood.

May the Lord bless your efforts to prepare. I know He will. And you will sing His praise forevermore!

Dave

Thursday, May 29, 2014

JEWS BEING DRIVEN FROM THE UKRAINE

I just commented on a FB post about how God is concentrating and then will cull the herd (so to speak) so that those with the valiant and faithful blood (Godlike temperament) can start over after the reset button is pushed.  It is all about a righteous seed.  The culling will be brutal, because there will not be another opportunity for another 1,000 years.  The seed stock (so to speak) will be as pure and obedient and as pliant as He can have so that he can do a little better than the record of 300+ years before a partial or complete purge has to be accomplished on this telestial rock.....

I know God sees things from an eternal perspective - but, gee what a disappointment this herd has to be.  Most should be at Lehi or Jacob's level.  But there are so few.  All of us fall so short.  So few have the desire (that I have run into).  Statistically speaking, we are at the ends of the bell curve.  God would love to have it the other way around.  Of all God's works, it would be awesome to find out how  things are on the other orbs that our spiritual siblings are on.

Here is the article:
http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Israel-rescues-Ukrainian-Jews-stranded-by-fighting-354543

Friday, May 23, 2014

THE STATES THAT SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE ARE THE ONES SLATED FOR DESTRUCTION

Generally, the states with the biggest cities are the ones on the list laid down quite some time ago before this ever became an issue.

We are oh so close to our utter destruction.  It is painful.  I have been in a state of mourning for quite some time over this once-great nation.  We had it all.  It has been squandered away, piece by piece and bit by bit.  I have watched loved-ones squander away greatness and trade their futures for a mess of pottage.  Sad - quite sad.  What can you do?  People must have their agency.

They also must endure the consequences that were spelled out millennia ago.  You can choose how you want to, but you cannot choose the consequences that will beset you.  It is oh so simple.

Here is what got me spun up:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/22/gary-herbert-gay-marriage-_n_5374739.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A GREAT METEOR SHOWER RE-VISITED

I said this to a FB buddy who also a blog buddy:
That (meteor shower of 1833) was said by Joseph to be a herald the coming of the Lord. Well it has been 180 years and still no Lord. Or....did it? The Lord came suddenly to His temple 2 1/2 years later in Kirtland. Could it be that this will herald the Lord coming suddenly amongst the people again in 2 1/2 years at the end of the events in Jerusalem? Time will tell.
Here is the narrative of the event:
On one occasion Joseph was preaching in Kirtland sometime in the fall of 1833. Quite a number of persons were present who did not belong to the Church, and one man, more bitter and skeptical than others, made note with pencil and paper of a prophecy uttered on that occasion, wherein Joseph said that 'Forty days shall not pass, and the stars shall fall from heaven.'
      Such an event would certainly be very unusual and improbable to the natural man, and the skeptic wrote the words as a sure evidence to prove Joseph to be a false Prophet.
      On the thirty-ninth day after the utterance of that prophecy a man and brother in the Church, by the name of Joseph Hancock... and another brother were out hunting game and got lost. They wandered about until night, when they found themselves at the house of this unbeliever, who exultingly produced this note of Joseph Smith's prophecy, and asked Brother Hancock what he thought of his Prophet now, that thirty-nine days had passed and the prophecy was not fulfilled.
      Brother Hancock was unmoved and quietly remarked, 'There is one night left of the time, and if Joseph said so, the stars will certainly fall tonight. This prophecy will all be fulfilled.'
      The matter weighed upon the mind of Brother Hancock, who watched that night, and it proved to be the historical one, known in all the world as 'the night of the falling of the stars.'
      He stayed that night at the house of the skeptical unbeliever, as it was too far from home to return by night, and in the midst of the falling of the stars he went to the door of his host and called him out to witness what he had thought impossible and the most improbable thing that could happen, especially as that was the last night in which Joseph Smith could be saved from the condemnation of 'a false prophet.'
      The whole heavens were lit up with the falling meteors, and the countenance of the new spectator was plainly seen and closely watched by Brother Hancock, who said that he turned pale as death, and spoke not a word.

 I am excited to see how this turns out!  Tomorrow and in 2.5 years.....

KICKING AGAINST THE PRICKS

I know this is a principle.......  I have a "daughter of Alma".......

I have seen much rebellious blood within my own family amongst siblings, in extended family and very much on my wife's side of the family.  It simply is bad breeding.  If you look at things surgically (not emotionally), God's purpose has always been to exclude the "bad blood" amongst His children.  Those simply who are too wild to be tamed, simply do not receive "an inheritance" with Him.

Jesus, who was quite loving and forgiving said the following:
 46 ¶While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
In other words, the definition of family, simply are those who are bound together by common values (and therefore goals).  We cannot move forward together if we are unequally yoked and pulling in opposite directions.  We are to love all, but the true glue that holds us together is simply the value set that we hold in common.  That is the very nature of Heaven - those who feel comfortable under the same tent of values, will co-habit.  Others will be quite comfortable in some other location where they are not under the same obligations - (as they see it).  I choose to call it under the same covenant. 
I just went out to the Flight Line to look at a sick 747 tonight and we took a company van since it was over 1/2 mile to get to it.  As with any conversation, I did the D&C 88:81 thing and told this young mechanic that it was close to the coming of our Lord and that certain events were shortly on the horizon and that he needed to prepare.  I felt as if he had some elect blood in him - being clearly from Judah judging by hair, complexion and facial characteristics.  I probed about where he was from and he admitted from Sandy, UT.  I asked him if he was LDS and said he had grown up in it and that his mother had divorced his dad in UT and she then joined the Church and then moved to FL and is apparently firm in the faith.  He, on the other hand, is athiest and did not like being "forced" to go to church as a 12 year old.  So, he does not have a good relationship with his mother because of her value set.  He, on the other hand, would like to have the freedom to commit any specie of sin while not having that nagging little conscience eating away at him.  Such are things with many youth today that fall because they are beset with sexual sin, greed, Word of Wisdom issues and so much more.  Many simply have drunk the purple kool-aid that is being taught in the public screwels that all things must be fair and that marriage, as defined by God, is not fair.  So, we have an entire generation of failures.  It will be quite spectacular when DC and the centralized federal programs that have spawned such spiritual carnage amongst the youth, are brought to a fiery end.

Question: "What does it mean to kick against the pricks?"

Answer:
“It is hard for you to kick against the pricks” was a Greek proverb, but it was also familiar to the Jews and anyone who made a living in agriculture. An ox goad was a stick with a pointed piece of iron on its tip used to prod the oxen when plowing. The farmer would prick the animal to steer it in the right direction. Sometimes the animal would rebel by kicking out at the prick, and this would result in the prick being driven even further into its flesh. In essence, the more an ox rebelled, the more it suffered. Thus, Jesus’ words to Saul on the road to Damascus: “It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”

Of the better-known Bible translations, the actual phrase “kick against the pricks” is found only in the King James Version. It is mentioned only twice, in Acts 9:5 and Acts 26:14. The apostle Paul [then known as Saul] was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians when he had a blinding encounter with Jesus. Luke records the event: “And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14 KJV). Modern translations have changed the word pricks to goads. All translations except the KJV and NKJV, omit the phrase altogether from Acts 9:5.

The conversion of Saul is quite significant as it was the turning point in his life. Paul later wrote nearly half of the books of the New Testament.

Jesus took control of Paul and let him know his rebellion against God was a losing battle. Paul’s actions were as senseless as an ox kicking “against the goads.” Paul had passion and sincerity in his fight against Christianity, but he was not heading in the direction God wanted him to go. Jesus was going to goad (“direct” or “steer”) Paul in the right direction.

There is a powerful lesson in the ancient Greek proverb. We, too, find it hard to kick against the goads. Solomon wrote, “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path” (Proverbs 15:10). When we choose to disobey God, we become like the rebellious ox—driving the goad deeper and deeper. “The way of the unfaithful is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). How much better to heed God’s voice, to listen to the pangs of conscience! By resisting God’s authority we are only punishing ourselves.
Joseph Smith said the following which is surrounded by much good contemporary quotations in this article at the following link:
    http://www.lifeongoldplates.com/2008/08/they-leave-church-but-cant-leave-it.html


August 25, 2008
Seth R. Payne's 2008 Sunstone paper on the ex-Mormon narrative discusses three general "exit roles" and the types of organizations from which they spring. He places these roles in the context of people who leave the LDS Church. The "Defector," an inactive member uninterested in attacking, just uninterested in general, the "Whistleblower," a generally dissatisfied defector who makes some noise upon leaving, and the "Apostate," who "undertake[s] a total change of loyalties by allying with one or more elements of an oppositional coalition...[the narrative serving to document] the quintessentially evil essence of the apostate's former organization."1 It should be noted there are former members of the Church who are capable of "leaving it alone" who fill the "defector" role. Still, it seems there are others who cannot jettison their former faith. I believe some may have more difficulty due to family or friend relationships, or because of where they live. There is a very vocal group who would fill the "apostate" role, though I don't intend to use the word as a pejorative, but in the same way Payne uses it in his paper.2

I believe the statement regarding people leaving the Church and not being able to leave it alone is not universal, though I believe it does represent some former members with accuracy so I decided to discover where the statement originated. With help from Reed Russell, I believe the exact phrase itself originated with Elder Neal A. Maxwell, though the thought goes back to the early days of the restoration. From his 1979 book All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience:
The Prophet Joseph spoke of how apostates often bring severe persecutions upon their former friends and associates. "When once that light which was in them is taken from them they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors." (HC 2:23.)

Strange, how often defectors leave the Church, but they cannot leave it alone!3

That same year the statement was made by Hugh Nibley in an essay he wrote for Dialogue:
Apostates become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything--it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church- -they just don't believe the Gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone? It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it--that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it any more, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion.4
It's possible that Nibley or Maxwell coined the phrase, though it seems that Maxwell was the first to publish it, and it seems very Maxwellian. He used it in a conference address in October 1980:
Newcomers, you may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is his work. Meanwhile, be unsurprised if, as the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth, some seek to chip away at it. 5
Two other examples from Maxwell's conference addresses:
[There are a] few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone.6
In 2004 he coupled some instances of seemingly intellectual apostasy with behavioral lapses:
In later years, I saw a few leave the Church who could then never leave it alone. They used often their intellectual reservations to cover their behavioral lapses...7
I reiterate: I believe there are some who leave the Church over "behavioral lapses" which can lend into intellectual issues, etc.

Several Conference addresses by others have touched on the subject, for example, James E. Faust:
Among the assaults on families are the attacks on our faith, for which parents should prepare their children. Some of it is coming from apostates who had testimonies and now seem unable to leave the Church alone. One, complaining of Church policy, was heard to say: “I am so mad: if I had been paying my tithing I would quit.” Persecution is not new to the devoted followers of Christ. More recently, however, the anger and venom of our enemies seems to be increasing.8
Glen L. Pace:
It seems that history continues to teach us: You can leave the Church, but you can’t leave it alone. The basic reason for this is simple. Once someone has received a witness of the Spirit and accepted it, he leaves neutral ground. One loses his testimony only by listening to the promptings of the evil one, and Satan’s goal is not complete when a person leaves the Church, but when he comes out in open rebellion against it.9

Pace discussed apostasy more in-depth than most of the addresses I found. Because of the extra detail, his address seemed more expressly aware of nuances.10

There is also some precedence in LDS scripture for the idea that "apostates" have sinned, though I believe taking the verses too literally is problematic (see Luke 11:24-26; Alma 24:30; D&C 93:38-39).

Maxwell's phrase is very similar in meaning to an 1892 account by Daniel Tyler on Joseph Smith:
When the Prophet [Joseph Smith] had ended telling how he had been treated [by apostates], Brother Behunnin remarked: "If I should leave this Church I would not do as those men have done: I would go to some remote place where Mormonism had never been heard of[,] settle down, and no one would ever learn that I knew anything about it."
The great Seer immediately replied: "Brother Behunnin, you don’t know what you would do. No doubt these men once thought as you do. Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant."

He emphasized the fact that a man or woman who had not taken sides either with Christ or belial could maintain a neutral position, but when they enlisted under either the one or the other they left the neutral ground forever.11
This account was included in Pres. Mary Ellen Smoot's 2001 Relief Society meeting address:
Even though we were instructed regarding the difficulties we would encounter on earth [in our premortal state], I doubt we understood or could have known how demanding and trying, how tiring and even sorrowful at times this mortal existence would be. We have no doubt all, at some point, felt that what we were experiencing was just too hard to bear. Yet the Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “When [we] joined this Church [we] enlisted to serve God. When [we] did that [we] left … neutral ground, and [we] never can get back on to it. Should [we] forsake the Master [we] enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and [we] will follow his dictation and be his servant."12
Finally, the story has received a fair amount of notice in various LDS publications. For example, see Hyrum and Helen Andrus, ed., They Knew the Prophet, (1976) pp. 53-55; Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet, (1991) pp. 52-53; Book of Mormon Student Manual Religion 121 and 122, (1996), p.95.


FOOTNOTES

[1]
Seth R. Payne, "Purposeful strangers - A Study of the Ex-Mormon Narrative," Sunstone Symposium, Salt Lake City, August 9, 2008. See p. 6.

[2]
Payne, pp. 3-4:
Recent ex-Mormon narratives...focus on the description of a fundamental shift away from what is perceived as rigid literalism to an unbounded scientific rationality. In this sense, members of the emerging ex-Mormon movement should be sociologically considered apostates although I hesitate to employ this label due to the extremely negative connotations this word has within the LDS community...I use this word purely in a technical sense and in no way intend to attach inherent negative connotations to its meaning.
[3]
Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, 108.

[4]
Hugh Nibley, "How Firm a Foundation! What Makes It So," Dialogue, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.33 (Winter 1979).
[5]
Neal A. Maxwell, “The Net Gathers of Every Kind,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14. Maxwell was then in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. As Reed Russell discovered, the statement would appear in at least three more Maxwell books:
Newcomers may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His work. (Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 84.)

Willful dissent ages ago produced yet other symptoms that are worthy of our pondering today as life confronts us with determined dissenters who leave the Church—but who then cannot leave the Church alone: [cites Alma 47:36] (Plain and Precious Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 72).

Then there are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20) (Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 4.)

[6]
Maxwell, "‘Becometh As a Child’,” Ensign, May 1996, 68.

[7]
Maxwell, “Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been,” Ensign, May 2004, 44).

[8]
James E. Faust, “Enriching Family Life,” Ensign, May 1983, 40.

[9]
Glenn L. Pace, “Follow the Prophet,” Ensign, May 1989, 25

[10]
Pace, ibid. For example, he said:
Criticism always hurts most when we deserve it...We would eliminate the most painful criticism from responsible nonmembers by simply internalizing and living what the Church teaches. The second category of critics is former members who have become disenchanted with the Church but who are obsessed with making vicious and vile attacks upon it. Most members and nonmembers alike see these attacks for what they really are...Hopefully, however, they make us more sensitive and extra careful not to make light of the sacred beliefs of other denominations.
[11]
Daniel Tyler, “Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Juvenile Instructor, 15 Aug. 1892, p. 492.

[12]
Mary Ellen W. Smoot, “Steadfast and Immovable,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 91.
By Blair Hodges
14 comments:
Ardis Parshall said...
It's always good to track the development of statements that become almost proverbial -- in part because that lets us go back to the context when their axiomatic use sometimes distorts the original meaning. Thanks for doing this.

Besides, anything that lets us revisit some paragraphs from Elder Maxwell is a good thing!
http://bp3.blogger.com/_YFHhL_xB894/SGUc7JUEhwI/AAAAAAAAAC0/0erOUg0hfWc/S220/pedro2-1.jpg
LifeOnaPlate said...
Agreed! I hope to find the statement in an earlier book by Maxwell in the future.
Joseph Addison said...
Thanks for this, I was wondering as to the origin of the phrase -- I wonder if Elder Maxwell in turn got it from someone.
http://bp0.blogger.com/_wHnZPxJ0_8s/SJfQLGynxYI/AAAAAAAAADw/8bg3-954qXU/S220/Darth.jpg
Hans said...
"Secular spotlight" is so Maxwellian, but "departees" sounds very Oaks-ish. I wouldn't be surprised if Maxwell really was the first to coin the phrase, even if the idea originated so much earlier in our history.
http://bp3.blogger.com/_YFHhL_xB894/SGUc7JUEhwI/AAAAAAAAAC0/0erOUg0hfWc/S220/pedro2-1.jpg
LifeOnaPlate said...
If anyone finds an earlier incarnation of the quote you win a free cookie. I couldn't, but I think there might be one in an early Maxwell book.
http://img2.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif
Reed Russell said...
Found this from Nibley:

How Firm a Foundation!
What Makes It So

Hugh Nibley

Dialogue, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.33 (Winter 1979)

Apostates become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything--it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church- -they just don't believe the Gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone? It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it--that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it any more, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion.
http://bp3.blogger.com/_YFHhL_xB894/SGUc7JUEhwI/AAAAAAAAAC0/0erOUg0hfWc/S220/pedro2-1.jpg
LifeOnaPlate said...
Excellent find! Now I need to see if I can find an earlier quote by Maxwell.
http://bp3.blogger.com/_YFHhL_xB894/SGUc7JUEhwI/AAAAAAAAAC0/0erOUg0hfWc/S220/pedro2-1.jpg
LifeOnaPlate said...
Added.
http://www.goatley.com/hunter/autos/richard-moll.jpg
Bull said...
Is this meant to represent your views on the question or just an investigation into its origins? I could give some insight into some other alternative explanations for the phenomenon that don't involve being a "defector", a sinner, or selling out to Belial.
http://bp3.blogger.com/_YFHhL_xB894/SGUc7JUEhwI/AAAAAAAAAC0/0erOUg0hfWc/S220/pedro2-1.jpg
LifeOnaPlate said...
This is mostly meant to be an investigation on the origin of the phrase and how it is used in higher channels of the Church.
http://bp3.blogger.com/_Z8SMOqU_AO4/SFKjvu3xHYI/AAAAAAAAA28/FX14nL_9aos/S220/bryce.jpg
Bryce Haymond said...
I found another scripture which relates:

"Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God" (Alma 47:36).
http://img2.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif
Reed Russell said...
Blair,

This is what I've found - in chronological order:

(Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 108.)

The Prophet Joseph spoke of how apostates often bring severe persecutions upon their former friends and associates. "When once that light which was in them is taken from them they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors." (HC 2:23.)

Strange, how often defectors leave the Church, but they cannot leave it alone!

= = =

Neal A. Maxwell, Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 84.)

Newcomers may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His work. Meanwhile, let us not be surprised if, as the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth, some seek in vain to chip away at it.

= = =

Neal A. Maxwell, Plain and Precious Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 72.)

Willful dissent ages ago produced yet other symptoms that are worthy of our pondering today as life confronts us with determined dissenters who leave the Church—but who then cannot leave the Church alone:

Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God. (Alma 47:36.)

= = =

(Neal A. Maxwell, Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 4.)

Some members maintain only cultural ties to the Church. Often these people have had valiant parents but they themselves live off the fruits of discipleship banked by those parents and grandparents. They make no fresh, spiritual investments; they have neither new earnings nor an inheritance to pass along to their own posterity.

Then there are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20).

= = =

(Cory H. Maxwell, ed., The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 68.)

Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves of course, they leave the Church but they cannot leave the Church alone. (Ensign, May 1996, p. 68.)
 

August 25, 2008

They leave the Church but can't leave it alone

Seth R. Payne's 2008 Sunstone paper on the ex-Mormon narrative discusses three general "exit roles" and the types of organizations from which they spring. He places these roles in the context of people who leave the LDS Church. The "Defector," an inactive member uninterested in attacking, just uninterested in general, the "Whistleblower," a generally dissatisfied defector who makes some noise upon leaving, and the "Apostate," who "undertake[s] a total change of loyalties by allying with one or more elements of an oppositional coalition...[the narrative serving to document] the quintessentially evil essence of the apostate's former organization."1 It should be noted there are former members of the Church who are capable of "leaving it alone" who fill the "defector" role. Still, it seems there are others who cannot jettison their former faith. I believe some may have more difficulty due to family or friend relationships, or because of where they live. There is a very vocal group who would fill the "apostate" role, though I don't intend to use the word as a pejorative, but in the same way Payne uses it in his paper.2

I believe the statement regarding people leaving the Church and not being able to leave it alone is not universal, though I believe it does represent some former members with accuracy so I decided to discover where the statement originated. With help from Reed Russell, I believe the exact phrase itself originated with Elder Neal A. Maxwell, though the thought goes back to the early days of the restoration. From his 1979 book All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience:

The Prophet Joseph spoke of how apostates often bring severe persecutions upon their former friends and associates. "When once that light which was in them is taken from them they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors." (HC 2:23.)

Strange, how often defectors leave the Church, but they cannot leave it alone!3

That same year the statement was made by Hugh Nibley in an essay he wrote for Dialogue:
Apostates become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything--it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church- -they just don't believe the Gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone? It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it--that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it any more, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion.4
It's possible that Nibley or Maxwell coined the phrase, though it seems that Maxwell was the first to publish it, and it seems very Maxwellian. He used it in a conference address in October 1980:
Newcomers, you may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is his work. Meanwhile, be unsurprised if, as the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth, some seek to chip away at it. 5
Two other examples from Maxwell's conference addresses:
[There are a] few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone.6
In 2004 he coupled some instances of seemingly intellectual apostasy with behavioral lapses:
In later years, I saw a few leave the Church who could then never leave it alone. They used often their intellectual reservations to cover their behavioral lapses...7
I reiterate: I believe there are some who leave the Church over "behavioral lapses" which can lend into intellectual issues, etc.

Several Conference addresses by others have touched on the subject, for example, James E. Faust:
Among the assaults on families are the attacks on our faith, for which parents should prepare their children. Some of it is coming from apostates who had testimonies and now seem unable to leave the Church alone. One, complaining of Church policy, was heard to say: “I am so mad: if I had been paying my tithing I would quit.” Persecution is not new to the devoted followers of Christ. More recently, however, the anger and venom of our enemies seems to be increasing.8
Glen L. Pace:
It seems that history continues to teach us: You can leave the Church, but you can’t leave it alone. The basic reason for this is simple. Once someone has received a witness of the Spirit and accepted it, he leaves neutral ground. One loses his testimony only by listening to the promptings of the evil one, and Satan’s goal is not complete when a person leaves the Church, but when he comes out in open rebellion against it.9

Pace discussed apostasy more in-depth than most of the addresses I found. Because of the extra detail, his address seemed more expressly aware of nuances.10

There is also some precedence in LDS scripture for the idea that "apostates" have sinned, though I believe taking the verses too literally is problematic (see Luke 11:24-26; Alma 24:30; D&C 93:38-39).

Maxwell's phrase is very similar in meaning to an 1892 account by Daniel Tyler on Joseph Smith:
When the Prophet [Joseph Smith] had ended telling how he had been treated [by apostates], Brother Behunnin remarked: "If I should leave this Church I would not do as those men have done: I would go to some remote place where Mormonism had never been heard of[,] settle down, and no one would ever learn that I knew anything about it."
The great Seer immediately replied: "Brother Behunnin, you don’t know what you would do. No doubt these men once thought as you do. Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant."

He emphasized the fact that a man or woman who had not taken sides either with Christ or belial could maintain a neutral position, but when they enlisted under either the one or the other they left the neutral ground forever.11
This account was included in Pres. Mary Ellen Smoot's 2001 Relief Society meeting address:
Even though we were instructed regarding the difficulties we would encounter on earth [in our premortal state], I doubt we understood or could have known how demanding and trying, how tiring and even sorrowful at times this mortal existence would be. We have no doubt all, at some point, felt that what we were experiencing was just too hard to bear. Yet the Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “When [we] joined this Church [we] enlisted to serve God. When [we] did that [we] left … neutral ground, and [we] never can get back on to it. Should [we] forsake the Master [we] enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and [we] will follow his dictation and be his servant."12
Finally, the story has received a fair amount of notice in various LDS publications. For example, see Hyrum and Helen Andrus, ed., They Knew the Prophet, (1976) pp. 53-55; Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet, (1991) pp. 52-53; Book of Mormon Student Manual Religion 121 and 122, (1996), p.95.



FOOTNOTES

[1]
Seth R. Payne, "Purposeful strangers - A Study of the Ex-Mormon Narrative," Sunstone Symposium, Salt Lake City, August 9, 2008. See p. 6.

[2]
Payne, pp. 3-4:
Recent ex-Mormon narratives...focus on the description of a fundamental shift away from what is perceived as rigid literalism to an unbounded scientific rationality. In this sense, members of the emerging ex-Mormon movement should be sociologically considered apostates although I hesitate to employ this label due to the extremely negative connotations this word has within the LDS community...I use this word purely in a technical sense and in no way intend to attach inherent negative connotations to its meaning.
[3]
Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, 108.

[4]
Hugh Nibley, "How Firm a Foundation! What Makes It So," Dialogue, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.33 (Winter 1979).
[5]
Neal A. Maxwell, “The Net Gathers of Every Kind,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14. Maxwell was then in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. As Reed Russell discovered, the statement would appear in at least three more Maxwell books:
Newcomers may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His work. (Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 84.)

Willful dissent ages ago produced yet other symptoms that are worthy of our pondering today as life confronts us with determined dissenters who leave the Church—but who then cannot leave the Church alone: [cites Alma 47:36] (Plain and Precious Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 72).

Then there are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20) (Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 4.)

[6]
Maxwell, "‘Becometh As a Child’,” Ensign, May 1996, 68.

[7]
Maxwell, “Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been,” Ensign, May 2004, 44).

[8]
James E. Faust, “Enriching Family Life,” Ensign, May 1983, 40.

[9]
Glenn L. Pace, “Follow the Prophet,” Ensign, May 1989, 25

[10]
Pace, ibid. For example, he said:
Criticism always hurts most when we deserve it...We would eliminate the most painful criticism from responsible nonmembers by simply internalizing and living what the Church teaches. The second category of critics is former members who have become disenchanted with the Church but who are obsessed with making vicious and vile attacks upon it. Most members and nonmembers alike see these attacks for what they really are...Hopefully, however, they make us more sensitive and extra careful not to make light of the sacred beliefs of other denominations.
[11]
Daniel Tyler, “Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Juvenile Instructor, 15 Aug. 1892, p. 492.

[12]
Mary Ellen W. Smoot, “Steadfast and Immovable,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 91.

14 comments:

Ardis Parshall said...
It's always good to track the development of statements that become almost proverbial -- in part because that lets us go back to the context when their axiomatic use sometimes distorts the original meaning. Thanks for doing this.

Besides, anything that lets us revisit some paragraphs from Elder Maxwell is a good thing!
LifeOnaPlate said...
Agreed! I hope to find the statement in an earlier book by Maxwell in the future.
Joseph Addison said...
Thanks for this, I was wondering as to the origin of the phrase -- I wonder if Elder Maxwell in turn got it from someone.
Hans said...
"Secular spotlight" is so Maxwellian, but "departees" sounds very Oaks-ish. I wouldn't be surprised if Maxwell really was the first to coin the phrase, even if the idea originated so much earlier in our history.
LifeOnaPlate said...
If anyone finds an earlier incarnation of the quote you win a free cookie. I couldn't, but I think there might be one in an early Maxwell book.
Reed Russell said...
Found this from Nibley:

How Firm a Foundation!
What Makes It So

Hugh Nibley

Dialogue, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.33 (Winter 1979)

Apostates become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything--it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church- -they just don't believe the Gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone? It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it--that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it any more, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion.
LifeOnaPlate said...
Excellent find! Now I need to see if I can find an earlier quote by Maxwell.
LifeOnaPlate said...
Added.
Bull said...
Is this meant to represent your views on the question or just an investigation into its origins? I could give some insight into some other alternative explanations for the phenomenon that don't involve being a "defector", a sinner, or selling out to Belial.
LifeOnaPlate said...
This is mostly meant to be an investigation on the origin of the phrase and how it is used in higher channels of the Church.
Bryce Haymond said...
I found another scripture which relates:

"Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God" (Alma 47:36).
Reed Russell said...
Blair,

This is what I've found - in chronological order:

(Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 108.)

The Prophet Joseph spoke of how apostates often bring severe persecutions upon their former friends and associates. "When once that light which was in them is taken from them they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors." (HC 2:23.)

Strange, how often defectors leave the Church, but they cannot leave it alone!

= = =

Neal A. Maxwell, Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 84.)

Newcomers may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His work. Meanwhile, let us not be surprised if, as the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth, some seek in vain to chip away at it.

= = =

Neal A. Maxwell, Plain and Precious Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 72.)

Willful dissent ages ago produced yet other symptoms that are worthy of our pondering today as life confronts us with determined dissenters who leave the Church—but who then cannot leave the Church alone:

Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God. (Alma 47:36.)

= = =

(Neal A. Maxwell, Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 4.)

Some members maintain only cultural ties to the Church. Often these people have had valiant parents but they themselves live off the fruits of discipleship banked by those parents and grandparents. They make no fresh, spiritual investments; they have neither new earnings nor an inheritance to pass along to their own posterity.

Then there are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20).

= = =

(Cory H. Maxwell, ed., The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 68.)

Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves of course, they leave the Church but they cannot leave the Church alone. (Ensign, May 1996, p. 68.)

August 25, 2008

They leave the Church but can't leave it alone

Seth R. Payne's 2008 Sunstone paper on the ex-Mormon narrative discusses three general "exit roles" and the types of organizations from which they spring. He places these roles in the context of people who leave the LDS Church. The "Defector," an inactive member uninterested in attacking, just uninterested in general, the "Whistleblower," a generally dissatisfied defector who makes some noise upon leaving, and the "Apostate," who "undertake[s] a total change of loyalties by allying with one or more elements of an oppositional coalition...[the narrative serving to document] the quintessentially evil essence of the apostate's former organization."1 It should be noted there are former members of the Church who are capable of "leaving it alone" who fill the "defector" role. Still, it seems there are others who cannot jettison their former faith. I believe some may have more difficulty due to family or friend relationships, or because of where they live. There is a very vocal group who would fill the "apostate" role, though I don't intend to use the word as a pejorative, but in the same way Payne uses it in his paper.2

I believe the statement regarding people leaving the Church and not being able to leave it alone is not universal, though I believe it does represent some former members with accuracy so I decided to discover where the statement originated. With help from Reed Russell, I believe the exact phrase itself originated with Elder Neal A. Maxwell, though the thought goes back to the early days of the restoration. From his 1979 book All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience:

The Prophet Joseph spoke of how apostates often bring severe persecutions upon their former friends and associates. "When once that light which was in them is taken from them they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors." (HC 2:23.)

Strange, how often defectors leave the Church, but they cannot leave it alone!3

That same year the statement was made by Hugh Nibley in an essay he wrote for Dialogue:
Apostates become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything--it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church- -they just don't believe the Gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone? It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it--that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it any more, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion.4
It's possible that Nibley or Maxwell coined the phrase, though it seems that Maxwell was the first to publish it, and it seems very Maxwellian. He used it in a conference address in October 1980:
Newcomers, you may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is his work. Meanwhile, be unsurprised if, as the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth, some seek to chip away at it. 5
Two other examples from Maxwell's conference addresses:
[There are a] few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone.6
In 2004 he coupled some instances of seemingly intellectual apostasy with behavioral lapses:
In later years, I saw a few leave the Church who could then never leave it alone. They used often their intellectual reservations to cover their behavioral lapses...7
I reiterate: I believe there are some who leave the Church over "behavioral lapses" which can lend into intellectual issues, etc.

Several Conference addresses by others have touched on the subject, for example, James E. Faust:
Among the assaults on families are the attacks on our faith, for which parents should prepare their children. Some of it is coming from apostates who had testimonies and now seem unable to leave the Church alone. One, complaining of Church policy, was heard to say: “I am so mad: if I had been paying my tithing I would quit.” Persecution is not new to the devoted followers of Christ. More recently, however, the anger and venom of our enemies seems to be increasing.8
Glen L. Pace:
It seems that history continues to teach us: You can leave the Church, but you can’t leave it alone. The basic reason for this is simple. Once someone has received a witness of the Spirit and accepted it, he leaves neutral ground. One loses his testimony only by listening to the promptings of the evil one, and Satan’s goal is not complete when a person leaves the Church, but when he comes out in open rebellion against it.9

Pace discussed apostasy more in-depth than most of the addresses I found. Because of the extra detail, his address seemed more expressly aware of nuances.10

There is also some precedence in LDS scripture for the idea that "apostates" have sinned, though I believe taking the verses too literally is problematic (see Luke 11:24-26; Alma 24:30; D&C 93:38-39).

Maxwell's phrase is very similar in meaning to an 1892 account by Daniel Tyler on Joseph Smith:
When the Prophet [Joseph Smith] had ended telling how he had been treated [by apostates], Brother Behunnin remarked: "If I should leave this Church I would not do as those men have done: I would go to some remote place where Mormonism had never been heard of[,] settle down, and no one would ever learn that I knew anything about it."
The great Seer immediately replied: "Brother Behunnin, you don’t know what you would do. No doubt these men once thought as you do. Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant."

He emphasized the fact that a man or woman who had not taken sides either with Christ or belial could maintain a neutral position, but when they enlisted under either the one or the other they left the neutral ground forever.11
This account was included in Pres. Mary Ellen Smoot's 2001 Relief Society meeting address:
Even though we were instructed regarding the difficulties we would encounter on earth [in our premortal state], I doubt we understood or could have known how demanding and trying, how tiring and even sorrowful at times this mortal existence would be. We have no doubt all, at some point, felt that what we were experiencing was just too hard to bear. Yet the Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “When [we] joined this Church [we] enlisted to serve God. When [we] did that [we] left … neutral ground, and [we] never can get back on to it. Should [we] forsake the Master [we] enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and [we] will follow his dictation and be his servant."12
Finally, the story has received a fair amount of notice in various LDS publications. For example, see Hyrum and Helen Andrus, ed., They Knew the Prophet, (1976) pp. 53-55; Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet, (1991) pp. 52-53; Book of Mormon Student Manual Religion 121 and 122, (1996), p.95.



FOOTNOTES

[1]
Seth R. Payne, "Purposeful strangers - A Study of the Ex-Mormon Narrative," Sunstone Symposium, Salt Lake City, August 9, 2008. See p. 6.

[2]
Payne, pp. 3-4:
Recent ex-Mormon narratives...focus on the description of a fundamental shift away from what is perceived as rigid literalism to an unbounded scientific rationality. In this sense, members of the emerging ex-Mormon movement should be sociologically considered apostates although I hesitate to employ this label due to the extremely negative connotations this word has within the LDS community...I use this word purely in a technical sense and in no way intend to attach inherent negative connotations to its meaning.
[3]
Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, 108.

[4]
Hugh Nibley, "How Firm a Foundation! What Makes It So," Dialogue, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.33 (Winter 1979).
[5]
Neal A. Maxwell, “The Net Gathers of Every Kind,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14. Maxwell was then in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. As Reed Russell discovered, the statement would appear in at least three more Maxwell books:
Newcomers may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His work. (Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 84.)

Willful dissent ages ago produced yet other symptoms that are worthy of our pondering today as life confronts us with determined dissenters who leave the Church—but who then cannot leave the Church alone: [cites Alma 47:36] (Plain and Precious Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 72).

Then there are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20) (Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 4.)

[6]
Maxwell, "‘Becometh As a Child’,” Ensign, May 1996, 68.

[7]
Maxwell, “Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been,” Ensign, May 2004, 44).

[8]
James E. Faust, “Enriching Family Life,” Ensign, May 1983, 40.

[9]
Glenn L. Pace, “Follow the Prophet,” Ensign, May 1989, 25

[10]
Pace, ibid. For example, he said:
Criticism always hurts most when we deserve it...We would eliminate the most painful criticism from responsible nonmembers by simply internalizing and living what the Church teaches. The second category of critics is former members who have become disenchanted with the Church but who are obsessed with making vicious and vile attacks upon it. Most members and nonmembers alike see these attacks for what they really are...Hopefully, however, they make us more sensitive and extra careful not to make light of the sacred beliefs of other denominations.
[11]
Daniel Tyler, “Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Juvenile Instructor, 15 Aug. 1892, p. 492.

[12]
Mary Ellen W. Smoot, “Steadfast and Immovable,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 91.

14 comments:

Ardis Parshall said...
It's always good to track the development of statements that become almost proverbial -- in part because that lets us go back to the context when their axiomatic use sometimes distorts the original meaning. Thanks for doing this.

Besides, anything that lets us revisit some paragraphs from Elder Maxwell is a good thing!
LifeOnaPlate said...
Agreed! I hope to find the statement in an earlier book by Maxwell in the future.
Joseph Addison said...
Thanks for this, I was wondering as to the origin of the phrase -- I wonder if Elder Maxwell in turn got it from someone.
Hans said...
"Secular spotlight" is so Maxwellian, but "departees" sounds very Oaks-ish. I wouldn't be surprised if Maxwell really was the first to coin the phrase, even if the idea originated so much earlier in our history.
LifeOnaPlate said...
If anyone finds an earlier incarnation of the quote you win a free cookie. I couldn't, but I think there might be one in an early Maxwell book.
Reed Russell said...
Found this from Nibley:

How Firm a Foundation!
What Makes It So

Hugh Nibley

Dialogue, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.33 (Winter 1979)

Apostates become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything--it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church- -they just don't believe the Gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone? It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it--that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it any more, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion.
LifeOnaPlate said...
Excellent find! Now I need to see if I can find an earlier quote by Maxwell.
LifeOnaPlate said...
Added.
Bull said...
Is this meant to represent your views on the question or just an investigation into its origins? I could give some insight into some other alternative explanations for the phenomenon that don't involve being a "defector", a sinner, or selling out to Belial.
LifeOnaPlate said...
This is mostly meant to be an investigation on the origin of the phrase and how it is used in higher channels of the Church.
Bryce Haymond said...
I found another scripture which relates:

"Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God" (Alma 47:36).
Reed Russell said...
Blair,

This is what I've found - in chronological order:

(Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 108.)

The Prophet Joseph spoke of how apostates often bring severe persecutions upon their former friends and associates. "When once that light which was in them is taken from them they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors." (HC 2:23.)

Strange, how often defectors leave the Church, but they cannot leave it alone!

= = =

Neal A. Maxwell, Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 84.)

Newcomers may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His work. Meanwhile, let us not be surprised if, as the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth, some seek in vain to chip away at it.

= = =

Neal A. Maxwell, Plain and Precious Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 72.)

Willful dissent ages ago produced yet other symptoms that are worthy of our pondering today as life confronts us with determined dissenters who leave the Church—but who then cannot leave the Church alone:

Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God. (Alma 47:36.)

= = =

(Neal A. Maxwell, Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 4.)

Some members maintain only cultural ties to the Church. Often these people have had valiant parents but they themselves live off the fruits of discipleship banked by those parents and grandparents. They make no fresh, spiritual investments; they have neither new earnings nor an inheritance to pass along to their own posterity.

Then there are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20).

= = =

(Cory H. Maxwell, ed., The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 68.)

Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves of course, they leave the Church but they cannot leave the Church alone. (Ensign, May 1996, p. 68.)