Monday, July 14, 2008

An open letter to anonymous

I'm setting some blog ground rules. As of now I've been fairly liberal with the posting of anonymous blog comments. But as of now if you can't attach your name to your comment then it won't be posted. I will read them, but I will consider them the same as e-mail. But since I can't privately respond to them I won't. If you want to write me privately great. But unless you post a name to back up your opinion, don't expect me to allow you to use my blog to serve as your platform.

When I blog I attach my name to what I write. In the right hand column is my e-mail address. I own my statements and I stand by them. The problem with anonymous comments is that they aren't owned. If the writer feels so strongly about something to leave a comment then they need to stand by it. If for whatever reason they feel they can't then honestly I don't really want to read them because what its telling me is that they can say anything they want with the safety of hiding behind the shield of being anonymous. Its a lot like punching someone in the back in the dark.

One more point that I feel I need to clear up. I am an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have a testimony in the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the Book of Mormon and in the continual revelation received and given by our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I also believe that Christ is at the head of this church and that it is led by His prophet. When the Prophet speaks as the Prophet he is saying the things that the Lord has told him to say.

If the Prophet speaks as the Prophet and asks us to do something. It is the same as when Moses or Lehi or Noah was told to tell the people of their dispensation to do something. Yes they had their agency to follow, and those who did were blessed. Its not a matter of being a sheep blindly following. Its a matter of accepting that I have a Sheppard who is also my Savior. I know he has called a Prophet. I found this out for myself by praying for a confirmation and by putting faith in God.

If my blogs sound like someone who is following the Prophet, well its because thats what I'm trying to do. I am standing for something. I won't be anonymous about that.


One of So Many said...

I believe there is a way to prevent anonymous comment posting on your blog. As for everyone else...that is up to the owners of each individual blog.

Anonymous said...

Why anonymous? Perhaps someone is afraid of being outed as gay. I'm sure you can understand that.

robert said...

You seem stuck in single loop learning. As such, you will only know what you know now or as it continues to be informed by the "right" source of information which for you is the LDS church. What do you hope to accomplish with such an education? What precisely do you think that gays, lesbians or transgender individuals in the LDS church should do? Seek the counsel of bishops who are completely clueless about the subject?

robert said...

1. Our current understanding is incomplete. One of our Articles of Faith is that God “will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (Ninth AF.) The key words being “will yet” (meaning it hasn’t happened yet), “many” (i.e., not just a few), and “great and important things” (i.e., not just minor details). Thus, the Church has officially acknowledged we do not have a complete understanding; we don’t claim to know it all. So if a particular doctrine or policy doesn’t make sense to you, it may be because we are still missing some important pieces of the puzzle. And because our current understanding is incomplete, we should expect to see changes in Church doctrine and policy as the Church grows “line upon line, precept upon precept” toward a more complete understanding of God’s ways.

2. Church leaders do not claim to be infallible. Elder Faust said it clearly: “We make no claim of infallibility or perfection in the prophets, seers, and revelators.” (James E. Faust, “Continuous Revelation,” Ensign, Nov 1989, 8.) Similarly, Elder Hales has said: “I am not a perfect man, and infallibility does not come with the call.” (Robert D. Hales, “The Unique Message of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 1994, 78.) So we should expect to occasionally catch our Church leaders being human, sinning, and making mistakes.

3. Not everything a Church leader says is inspired of God. The Prophet Joseph Smith acknowledged that “some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil.” (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:163.) Similarly, the Church’s official website recently stated: “A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church.” (See So don’t be surprised if a well-intentioned Church leader mistakenly expresses his personal opinion as if it were doctrine.

4. The scriptures may contain human imperfections. When divine inspiration is reduced to imperfect human language, we should expect some things to get “lost in translation.” (See Eighth AF ["as far as it is translated correctly"]; BOM Title Page ["And now, if there are faults, they are the mistakes of men"].) Also, don’t be surprised if a revelation or translation delivered by a man in the early Nineteenth Century sounds like something a man in the early Nineteenth Century would say. (D&C 1:24-25 ["these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language . . . [a]nd inasmuch as they erred it might be made known”].)

5. Prophets do not claim that all their inspiration is received through face-to-face conversations with God. When we say that a prophet speaks for God, that does not necessarily mean everything he says was told to him by God directly or face-to-face. Rather, prophets have made clear that their inspiration typically comes from the Holy Spirit. Elder Packer has stated: “This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings, through impressions and promptings. It is not always easy to describe inspiration. The scriptures teach us that we may “feel” the words of spiritual communication more than hear them, and see with spiritual rather than with mortal eyes. The patterns of revelation are not dramatic. The voice of inspiration is a still voice, a small voice. There need be no trance, no sanctimonious declaration. It is quieter and simpler than that.” (Boyd K. Packer, “Revelation in a Changing World,” Ensign, Nov 1989, 14.) So, as with the preceding point, we should expect some imperfections whenever someone undertakes the daunting task of reducing divine thoughts into human terms. And because there is some “room for interpretation” in discerning spiritual impressions, we should expect Church leaders to sometimes differ in their perceptions and views.

robert said...

In the end, the church doesn’t care about any life except its own. It views as its mortal foe every aspect of humanity, which it cannot control. In fact, in this sense, the entire cosmos, the whole structure of reality, is “anti-Mormon” (since Mormonism is out of alignment with what it purports to be synonymous with: truth and reality) and so we should cease to be surprised when the church murders historical facts for Joseph, as it does on its new website, murders archaeological and genetic and linguistic facts for the Book of Mormon, murders - through all the anti-depressant prescriptions handed out by LDS Social Service headshrinkers - the conscience of women who keep sensing there is something wrong, or who acknowledge to themselves that they are miserable, etc., etc.

And of course, in the end, it doesn’t even really care at all when its missionaries are literally murdered for it. The church ignored the many death threats issued by Bolivian terrorists against Mormon missionaries; it ignored the bombs left at La Paz chapels; it ignored the firebombing; and left the missionaries there in La Paz. Then, after the assassination of Elders Ball and Wilson, the church left its missionaries there just the same as always, just as they had after the warnings started coming in. And Hinckley went to Wilson’s funeral, once his bullet-riddled body arrived back in Utah in a coffin, and said, “It doesn’t really matter how long we live in this life”, and then left, accompanied by his bodyguards.

Anonymous said...

robert, your August 3, 2008 3:53 AM post was one of the best responses I have heard to the LDS Gay issue. It was well thought out and researched. I wish I could say the same about your August 5, 2008 6:02 PM post.

Be careful, bitterness will eat you from the inside.