April 2nd, 2007

Our Awful Situation

Our Awful Situation

Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.
For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning. (Ether 8:23-25)

Today I was emailed a PDF presentation containing several quotes by Church leaders, scripture, prominent politicians, and others concerning the secret combinations of our day. The slides are an excellent resource for those who might not be that familiar with this topic, presenting the content in a clear, contextual manner.

As the scripture cited above indicates, we are commanded to awake to a sense of our awful situation. You can start by downloading the PDF and reading some of the relevant quotes on the subject.

Enjoy!

32 Responses to “Our Awful Situation”

  1. Kurt
    April 3, 2007 at 9:32 am #

    So, um, Connor, the Illuminati is Communism is the United Nations is our Modern American Government? That slideshow is a wacky mish-mash of out-of-context historical leap-frogging that does little more than identify the author as a conspiratorialist. Oh, I guess if I had my eyes open, then I could see the Truth, and then I would be free. Another flagrant acontextual scripture quote.

    The quotes you provide above, in your comments, point out that part of the definition of the secret combination is that they murder prophets. Last I heard the Illuminati/Communists/United Nations/Modern American Government hasnt been murdering prophets lately. But, hey, why not just overlook that in order to make your point? Sorry, Connor, if the Scriptures reveal the message, you have to stick to their definitions and not ignore the inconvenient points that dont fit your point of view.

  2. Connor
    April 3, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    So, um, Connor, the Illuminati is Communism is the United Nations is our Modern American Government?

    Um, no.

    Another flagrant acontextual scripture quote.

    Um, no.

    The quotes you provide above, in your comments, point out that part of the definition of the secret combination is that they murder prophets.

    The scriptures enumerate in several locations the objective of secret combinations: to get power and gain. Often this is accomplished through murder, and always through deception. Murdering the prophets is not a prerequisite to being labeled as a secret combination.

    But, hey, why not just overlook that in order to make your point?

    I’m not overlooking anything. You are narrowing the scope of the issue to a point sufficient enough for you to feel comfortable about ignoring the quotes presented.

    Sorry, Connor, if the Scriptures reveal the message, you have to stick to their definitions and not ignore the inconvenient points that dont fit your point of view.

    Your accusation of me ignoring something incovenient is as absurd as it is unsubstantiated. May I suggest you pick up a copy of Jack Monnett’s book Awakening to our Awful Situation. So long as you don’t likewise try to narrow the scope of its presented issues to a tangible singularity you can dismiss so easily, you might learn something new. Or not.

  3. Shaun
    April 3, 2007 at 10:05 am #

    Kurt,

    Perhaps you will get some insight that once these secret combinations gain their power in full, then they murder mercilessly prophets, and such will occur to in the not to distant future because too many such as yourself mock and “mentally stone” the prophets, refusing to understand.

    Ezra Taft Benson taught:

    “To all who have discerning eyes, it is apparent that the republican form of government established by our noble forefathers cannot long endure once fundamental principles are abandoned. Momentum is gathering for another conflict—a repetition of the crisis of two hundred years ago. This collision of ideas is worldwide. The issue is the same that precipitated the great pre mortal conflict—will men be free to determine their own course of action or must they be coerced?” (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, p. 27; as quoted in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 623.) [He stated this while Church President.]

    “At this particular moment in history the United States Constitution is definitely threatened, and every citizen should know about it. The warning of this hour should resound through the corridors of every American institution—schools, churches, the halls of Congress, press, radio, and television, and so far as I am concerned it will resound—with God’s help.

    “Wherever possible I have tried to speak out. It is for this very reason that certain people in Washington have bitterly criticized me. They don’t want people to hear the message. It embarrasses them. The things which are destroying the Constitution are the things they have been voting for. They are afraid of their political careers if these facts are pointed out. They therefore try to silence any who carry the message—anyone who will stand up and be counted.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 684.)

    “There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 614; see also pp. 682 & 704.)

    “Many well-intentioned people are now convinced that we are living in a period of history which makes it both possible and necessary to abandon our national sovereignty, to merge our nation militarily, economically, and politically with other nations, and to form, at last, a world government which supposedly would put an end to war.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 695.)

    “Our leaders in Washington have been acting as though the American people elected them to office for the primary purpose of leading the entire planet toward international peace, prosperity, and one-world government. At times, these men appear to be more concerned with something called world opinion or with their image as world leaders than they are with securing the best possible advantage for us.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 682.)

    “I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14- 16; 84:49-53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18-25.)” (Conference Report, Oct.. 1988, Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 87.)

    April 1987: “Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers ‘had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils’ (Helaman 6:38).” (Conference Report, April 1987, Ensign, May 1987, p. 4; italics added.)

    “One of the most urgent, heart-stirring appeals made by Moroni as he closed the Book of Mormon was addressed to the gentile nations of the last days. He foresaw the rise of a great world-wide secret combination among the gentiles which ‘seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.’ (Ether 8:25.)” (Conference Report, Oct.. 1961, Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 953; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 348.)

    “. . . . each gentile nation of the last days [must] purge itself of this gigantic criminal conspiracy which would seek to rule the world.” (Ibid.)

    “Moroni seemed greatly exercised lest in our day we might not be able to recognize the startling fact that the same secret societies which destroyed the Jaredites and decimated numerous kingdoms of both Nephites and Lamanites would be precisely the same form of criminal conspiracy which would rise up among the gentile nations in this day. . . .

    “Moroni described how the secret combination would take over a country and then fight the work of God, persecute the righteous, and murder those who resisted. Moroni therefore proceeded to describe the workings of the ancient secret combinations so that modern man could recognize this great political conspiracy in the last days. (See Ether 8:23-25.) (Conference Report, Oct.. 1961, Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 954; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 349.)

    “Today the Christian constitutionalist mourns for his country. He sees the spiritual and political faith of his fathers betrayed by wolves in sheep’s clothing. He sees the forces of evil increasing in strength and momentum under the leadership of Satan, the arch-enemy of freedom. He sees the wicked honored and the valiant abused. He senses that his own generation faces Gethsemanes and Valley Forges that may yet rival or surpass the trials of the early Apostles and the men of ‘76. And this gives him cause to reflect on the most basic of fundamentals—the reason for our existence. Once we understand that fundamental, the purpose for mortality, we may more easily chart a correct course in the perilous seas that are engulfing our nation.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 397.)

    “Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the ‘keystone of our religion’ and the ‘most correct’ book on earth. (DHC, vol. 6, p. 56.) This most correct book on earth states that the downfall of two great American civilizations came as a result of secret conspiracies whose desire was to overthrow the freedom of the people. ‘And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking,’ says Moroni, ‘and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.’ (Ether 8:21.)

    “Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity and the spread of God’s work, but it has singled out as the greatest threat the Godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon—it is a conspiracy fact.” (Conference Report, April 1972, Ensign, July 1972, p. 60; as quoted in God, Family, Country, pp. 321-322.)

    President Benson cites President J. Reuben Clark’s warning that, “’we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known. . . .’ (CR, April 1944, p. 116.) He also stated that if the conspiracy ‘comes here it will probably come in its full vigor and there will be a lot of vacant places among those who guide and direct, not only this government, but also this Church of ours.’ (CR, April 1952, p. 80.) (Conference Report, April 1972, Ensign, July 1972, p. 61; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 323; quoted also in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 107; again on pp. 658-659.)

    If you use the scriptures as a guide, you know what the Book of Mormon has to say regarding murderous conspiracies in the last day and how we are to awake to our awful situation today (see Ether 8:18-25). I find certain elements in the Church do not like to read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants so much—they have too much to say about freedom.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 81; see also p. 42.)

    The Book of Mormon warns us that when we see these murderous conspiracies in our midst, we should awaken to our awful situation (see Ether 8:24). Now, why should we awaken if the Lord is going to take care of us anyway? Let us suppose that it is too late to save freedom. It is still accounted unto us for righteousness’ sake to stand up and fight. Some Book of Mormon prophets knew of the final desolate end of their nations, but they still fought on, and they saved some souls, including their own, by so doing. For, after all, the purpose of life is to prove ourselves, and the final victory will be for freedom.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 660.)

    “The sad and shocking story of what has happened in America in recent years must be told. Our people must have the facts. There is safety in an informed public. There is real danger in a complacent, uninformed citizenry. This is our real danger today. Yes, the truth must be told even at the risk of destroying, in large measure, the influence of men who are widely respected and loved by the American people. The stakes are high. Freedom and survival is the issue.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 582.)

  4. Kurt
    April 3, 2007 at 11:04 am #

    Hey, Connor, look, you and Shaun are a couple of peas in a pod. Cool. I guess he is one of the few elect, like you, who have your eyes open, while the rest of us are just blind, right?

    OK, so Connor, please summarize in one relatively brief and comprehensible paragraph, of less than or equal to 5 sentences, what the heck that Illuminati thing was supposed to prove. I know I am dying to be enlightened by your brilliant insight.

    Absurd and unsubstantiated? Connor, the Scriptures are about spiritual things, not political things. You are so wound up in your goofy political conspiracies that you think it is the other way around. And, yes, the “truth shall set you free” quote is way out of context, way out. If you bother to read the gospel of John some time, actually read it, and not just look for proof texts to support your political conspiracies, you will see that. And sitting around implying that anyone who doesnt agree with you is in the dark is just arrogant nonsense.

  5. Connor
    April 3, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    I guess he is one of the few elect, like you, who have your eyes open, while the rest of us are just blind, right?

    Have I ever made such an accusation? Have I ever looked down upon others who disagree as did those on Rameumptom? Have I accused you of being blind? Are we not all blind to a certain degree, commanded to help each other seek truth on the path to perfection?

    Please stop putting words in my mouth.

    OK, so Connor, please summarize in one relatively brief and comprehensible paragraph, of less than or equal to 5 sentences, what the heck that Illuminati thing was supposed to prove. I know I am dying to be enlightened by your brilliant insight.

    No. I will leave it up to you to study and learn. Why will I not give you the summary you request? Because your blatant sarcasm and scoffing show that you are not after truth. You only seek another opportunity to ridicule, mock, and disagree.

    As Goethe once said:

    It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter liest in the depth, where few are willing to search for it. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, via Quoty)

    Connor, the Scriptures are about spiritual things, not political things.

    We must be reading different scriptures, then. The scriptures that I read have numerous references to government, kings, judges, law, punishment, conspiracy, corruption, war, policy, and politics. Even the scriptural references have application to numerous facets of life, including all things political.

    You are so wound up in your goofy political conspiracies that you think it is the other way around.

    Rather than use ad hominem to make your case, perhaps you would care to rebut a specific quote or idea rather than arguing with abstractions and generalities?

    And sitting around implying that anyone who doesnt agree with you is in the dark is just arrogant nonsense.

    Once again, Kurt, you are putting words in my mouth. I have never said such words, and your repeated insistence to the contrary shows your close-minded refusal to consider the subject matter. Instead, you fling mud.

    Much more could be written in detail regarding these conflicts, but is it not the duty of the elders of Israel to speak of these things with a warning voice? Shall we close our eyes and our ears and seal our understandings simply because some things are unpleasant to the ear and to the eye? Shall we refuse to raise a warning voice when danger approaches, when trouble is near, when destruction is at our door? Such a course would be cowardly if we know the truth. We cannot cry “all is well” when danger lurks on every side. We must not lull the people to sleep in a false security. President Woodruff declared that “no man that is inspired by the Spirit and power of God can close his ears, his eyes, or his lips to these things! And it is for us, Latter-day Saints, to understand the position we occupy…” (Joseph Fielding Smith, via Quoty)

  6. Kurt
    April 3, 2007 at 11:31 am #

    Connor, I am not putting words in your mouth. Here is a quote from your own Luciferian post from a couple of months ago:

    The fact that so few people are aware of Satan and his tactics only testifies of the success he has enjoyed in blinding our eyes and hardening our hearts. For that reason we must “awake to a sense of [our] awful situation” and waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness.

    What you are saying above necessarily implies that only a tiny handful, or “so few” in your words, know the truth and these “few” who have not been blinded by the adversary must “wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness”. Those are your words, Connor. Not mine.

    You are holding yourself and your views up as enlightened, and that necessarily implies anyone who doesnt ascribe to your views is benighted as you try to reach out to them with your ministry of religio-political education about the TRUTH.

    The real reason you will not respond to my request for a pithy and intelligeable summary of that goofy presentation is because you cannot write one. The presentation makes no real sense, but is just a mess of selective quotes that equate things that do not bear equation. If you can do it, Connor, then do it. No more weak excuses.

  7. Connor
    April 3, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    What you are saying above necessarily implies that only a tiny handful, or “so few” in your words, know the truth and these “few” who have not been blinded by the adversary must “wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness”. Those are your words, Connor. Not mine.

    Ah, finally, a direct reference. Would you disagree, then, that there are few people on earth (out of its current 6.5+ billion inhabitants) who know revealed truth? President Faust in this weekend’s Priesthood Session agreed:

    The great blessing of holding the priesthood is limited to a relative few given the numbers of people in the world. (paraphrased, as the transcripts are not yet available)

    There are 12+ million members. About half of those are active. I would venture to argue that not all active members really “get” the gospel, and are personally at a level of “milk” as opposed to “meat”. So truly, anybody who understands revealed doctrine, at whatever level they may be, is in a minority.

    Enoch’s vision of Satan likewise supports the idea that Satan has blinded many:

    And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced. (Moses 7:26)

    You are holding yourself and your views up as enlightened, and that necessarily implies anyone who doesnt ascribe to your views is benighted as you try to reach out to them with your ministry of religio-political education about the TRUTH.

    Strong words, Kurt. I have plenty to learn myself, and like missionaries always do, I do not suggest that people listen to me as a beacon of truth and infallibility. I simply point to words of men far wiser than myself, and far more inspired than myself, to learn what truth is and what we must do.

    Were you not LDS, I imagine you might hold the same views of those people who boldly proclaim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one true church, restored by God Himself, on the earth. Given your stance here, and defiance to anything that contradicts your own views, I find it easy to imagine you so dismissing the Lord’s missionaries who seek only to share what they have learned with others, and testify of its truthfulness. I hope I’m wrong.

    The real reason you will not respond to my request for a pithy and intelligeable summary of that goofy presentation is because you cannot write one.

    If you feel that is true, I’m sorry. If you’ve read my other posts then you know full well that I could if I wanted to. In this case, I do not, for the reason I previously sated. Whether you choose to believe my stated intentions or not is of no concern to me.

    The presentation makes no real sense, but is just a mess of selective quotes that equate things that do not bear equation.

    If you feel so strongly about it, I encourage you to take it up with the author of the presentation, whose contact information can be found on the last slide.

  8. Carissa
    April 3, 2007 at 12:01 pm #

    Kurt,

    …the Illuminati is Communism is the United Nations is our Modern American Government?

    Interestingly, you use the word “is” to connect each of these organizations — as if they cannot constitute a secrect combination unless they are really one organization, masked as many. Cannot separate organizations be influenced by secrect combinations, each in turn? Is Satan somehow prevented from using multiple entities and designs around the world and throughout time to accomplish his goals? Is he prevented from adjusting his strategy now and then, using the most effective means and tools available?

    Shouldn’t we be extremely cautious of any group of individuals desiring to gain power over others’ lives through force or deception, especially in connection with government? Remember the murders and oaths are supposed to happen in secret, and there are probably few who know about them or participate, in order to keep them that way. Most people who help carry out Satan’s plans are probably either deceived into thinking they are part of a good idea, or unaware. What a perfect plan this would be:

    Satan could start working primarily with one organization (such as the Illuminati), then as time goes on and that organization’s name is connected with having evil designs, he could start working through another group with a different name. Then when people became suspicious of that group or prophets exposed it (like Communism), he could influence another, then another, etc. Pretty soon, everyone who is trying to uncover his designs are so busy arguing with each other as to what organization he is actually using, that nobody realizes his plans are being carried out through all of them in different ways, maybe with a small group at the head. What a perfect, deceptive, hypothetical plan this would be…
    there are so many possibilities…
    and so many people seeking for money and power…

    I’m sorry, but calling this slideshow a “wacky mish-mash of out-of-context historical leap-frogging” just sounds ignorant to me. I thought it was put together very well, was very informative, and gave the observer some direction to continue researching his own conclusions. If you think the quotes are used out of context, please say why, or maybe give us your opinion of what secret combinations consist of today (if you believe the Book of Mormon’s warning).

    According to your criticism, it sounds like you do not believe secret combinations exist today since no prophet has recently been murdered. If that is your view (that they don’t exist), please just say so. Otherwise, we’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

  9. Kurt
    April 3, 2007 at 12:02 pm #

    Connor, you are the one promoting the presentation in the Bloggernacle, not him. Yet you defer to him to defend it when challenged. You cannot defend it, because it makes little to no sense. No other reason. I have read your other posts, too many of them in fact.

    And all you are doing with the above statement is trying to change the subject away from what you actually said. I presented a plain quotation of yours, which manifestly shows that you hold up yourself as enlightened as to the TRUTH and you take quotations that have nothing whatsoever to do with your political conspiracies to explain away what you actually said. Faust was not talking about political conspiracies, and neither was Enoch. You are. And you are heralding your own brand of political TRUTH and calling on all disbelievers to accept it and be enlightened like you.

    For someone who thinks the Scriptures are political, I would like you to explain why it was that Jesus didnt over throw the Romans and establish that perfect theocracy the Jews, and you, are/were looking for. Why not? Because his ministry was not about government or politics, no matter how much you want it to be. And the truth that shall set you free is not political enlightenment, it is following Christ as his disciple and having a godly walk. That is what the Scriptures teach.

  10. Kurt
    April 3, 2007 at 12:11 pm #

    OK, Carissa, you say:

    I’m sorry, but calling this slideshow a “wacky mish-mash of out-of-context historical leap-frogging” just sounds ignorant to me. I thought it was put together very well, was very informative, and gave the observer some direction to continue researching his own conclusions.

    Then maybe you would like to share some of these very informative conclusions you personally came to? And would you like to provide the pithy 5 sentence summary of that slide show? Doesnt the simple fact that the presentation jumps back and forth through time while glossing over huge political chasms of differences to attempt to make its point make you wonder? If not, please do what Connor is unwilling and summarize the presentation.

  11. Connor
    April 3, 2007 at 12:29 pm #

    You cannot defend it, because it makes little to no sense. No other reason.

    Wow, you speak with such certainty. And contempt, might I add. You are welcome to disagree with the ideas presented on my blog, but I would request that you do so in a civil tone rather than making blanket accusations, pretending you know my thoughts and intents.

    I presented a plain quotation of yours, which manifestly shows that you hold up yourself as enlightened as to the TRUTH and you take quotations that have nothing whatsoever to do with your political conspiracies to explain away what you actually said.

    When have I ever held myself up as enlightened? Yes, I have read and studied things that many others do not know. That’s why I blog about them – to share them with others. I am confident that you know many things I do not, and hence are more enlightened than I. Accusing me of claiming to revel in my knowledge (especially in relation to the lack thereof in others) is absurd and unwarranted. If you cannot stop making such heated accusations, I would ask you to not comment here anymore.

    Faust was not talking about political conspiracies, and neither was Enoch. You are.

    Pray tell, what narrow type of conspiracies and secret combinations do you think these men of God were referring to? Are you discounting the notion that political conspiracies do exist, that Satan heads them up, and that he uses the to get “power and gain” over the peoples of the earth?

    Can you find any quote by a general authority that would support such a position? Has any prophet declared that their references to secret combinations and conspiracies did not apply to politics and government?

    On the contrary, I am aware of numerous quotes that support the notion that Satan supports and upholds those who use government and political power to their (and his) advantage. The Book of Mormon is likewise permeated with such examples. Shaun shared a few, but of course you disregarded them completely. Such is usually the modus operandi of one who cannot support his position.

    I would like you to explain why it was that Jesus didnt over throw the Romans and establish that perfect theocracy the Jews, and you, are/were looking for. Why not? Because his ministry was not about government or politics, no matter how much you want it to be.

    Why not? Because Christ’s life on earth was not to be one of political rule. That He will return as King to govern over His theocratic government is explained by Elder Talmage:

    The Kingdom of Heaven is the divinely ordained system of government and dominion in all matters, temporal and spiritual; this will be established on earth only when its rightful Head, the King of kings, Jesus the Christ, comes to reign. His administration will be one of order, operated through the agency of His commissioned representatives invested with the Holy Priesthood. When Christ appears in His glory, and not before, will be realized a complete fulfilment of the supplication: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ)

    Have I ever said that I wanted his ministry to be about government and politics? No. You seem to think you know my intentions and perspective, when your comments clearly indicate that you do not. So please stop trying.

    And the truth that shall set you free is not political enlightenment, it is following Christ as his disciple and having a godly walk.

    Claiming that “the truth shall set you free” does not apply to politics is an attempt to narrow the scope of truth. Truth is truth, regardless of source or subject matter. There is truth in religion, there is truth in science, and there is truth in politics.

    Do you disagree that the founding fathers were inspired? Was not the Constitution a divine document? Are we not commanded to befriend the laws it proclaims? Are we not told that the principles contained therein are for all men?

    You can argue all you want, Kurt, but your narrow minded definition of what truth is only tells me that you are unwilling to consider anybody’s viewpoint that differs from your own. If such is the case, you won’t do much good commenting here, because as Stephen R. Covey explains in habit #5 of his book Seven Habits, the way to teach, share, and lead is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood”.

  12. Kurt
    April 3, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    Such is usually the modus operandi of one who cannot support his position.

    You mean like refusing to stay on topic and running down tangents rather than admit error? I was pointing out that you had in fact set yourself up as a light in the darkness, and provided evidence of that, quoting you. You are now trying to change the topic to whether or not there are secret combinations at all. Of course there are, but that isnt what was at issue. But, you want to change that, so we are discussing something else, other than the fact that my accusation is correct, as proved by provided evidence, which evidence you want to distract yourself and others from. This is the modus operandi of people who cannot defend their position.

    Have I ever said that I wanted his ministry to be about government and politics? No. You seem to think you know my intentions and perspective, when your comments clearly indicate that you do not. So please stop trying.

    Again you try to change the subject by fabricating some straw man and saying I applied it to you. Never did. You are just making stuff up, Connor. You said the Scriptures are political, I say they are not. You say the truth shall set you free is contextual to your political conspiracies, I say it is not. Rather than admit it, you fabricate absurd accusations you apply to me and then insist that I stop it. I never did it, so I dont need to stop it.

    What is plain is that when you are shown to be in error, you resort to sophistry to change the subject and attack those who show you to be in error.

    Claiming that “the truth shall set you free” does not apply to politics is an attempt to narrow the scope of truth. Truth is truth, regardless of source or subject matter. There is truth in religion, there is truth in science, and there is truth in politics.

    And here is a perfect example of that. You take a scripture totally out of context, I point out that it is out of context, you deny it is out of context, I plainly establish the context, and now you seek to explain it away with vague, unrelated sophistry. The fact of the matter is Jesus was not talking about philosophical or intellectual “truth” when he said that, he was talking about people being his disciples and actually living what he taught. That is the context. A context easily established by the Scriptures, which context you ignore in an effort to avoid admitting you are wrong. How dare I “narrow the scope of truth” by pointing out your reading is self-serving and acontextual.

    And, I will end it there, as you will only continue to avoid the subject at hand, run down tangents, and make up more straw men to throw at me.

    Connor, if I had to resort to this kind of stuff to defend my position, it would cause me to take pause. Forge ahead, brave soldier of conspiracy, may you wear out your days bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness. I just hope you wear out sooner than later.

  13. Carissa
    April 3, 2007 at 12:53 pm #

    Kurt,

    Please tell me how you interpret this quote by George Q. Cannon:

    There is that terrible tradition, that has such strong hold of all our minds, that the Priesthood of God and the religion of Jesus Christ have nothing to do particularly with temporal matters. It is a tradition almost as old as Christianity. It has come down to us for generations and centuries and is fully interwoven in the hearts, minds and feelings of the children of men, and it is an exceedingly difficult thing to get them to comprehend that temporal things and spiritual things are alike in the sight of God, that there is no line of demarcation between the two, that the religion of Jesus Christ applies to one as much as another and comprehends within its scope temporal equally with spiritual matters. (George Q. Cannon, 1879,Gospel Truth 1:350)

    If the scriptures are never political, how do you account for D&C sections 98 and 101 and especially section 134?

    Just because Jesus didn’t overthrow the Romans and establish a perfect theocracy while he was alive does not mean he is not concerned about government.

    To me, “the truth shall set you free” is about TRUTH — wherever it is found. It very well can pertain to political enlightenment, among many other things. Who are we to place limitations on God’s counsel to us? One of the footnotes from the word “truth” in John 8:32 is a cross reference to D&C 50:25 which says:

    And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you;

    To me, it says recognizing and accepting truth will allow us to free ourselves from the powers of darkness. I think it can have many applications including freeing ourselves from sin, guilt, and false ideas.

  14. Russell Page
    April 3, 2007 at 1:46 pm #

    This presentation would have a more powerful effect if it were shorter.

  15. Carissa
    April 3, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

    Then maybe you would like to share some of these very informative conclusions you personally came to?

    Sure (although I still have a lot of research to do, as this subject is pretty new to me). This is what I got out of it:
    Hearing all the quotes from the prophets in the Book of Mormon and those in latter days was very powerful, emphasizing the reality of secret combinations, the effect they have had and will have if we do not expose them and destroy them, and the personal accountability we will each face if we allow ourselves to be deceived and help support them. I do not want to be deceived any further (as I realize I have been in the past) and so I have a great interest in knowing how to recognize them.

    The quotes from others were directed to some possibilities of modern secret combinations. They were powerful too because they were direct quotes from people either witnessing the acts of an organization, or involved in one themselves. I had never heard many of these quotes before and they were pretty shocking admissions. I don’t know much about the Illuminati, but now I know the stated intent of the organization from the words of it’s own founder and that its principles go against those of the gospel. Same with communism. I was born too late to hear President Benson and others comment about it, but now I know why they opposed the philosophy.

    The thing that made the biggest impression on me was how the principles behind all these organizations seemed very similar. Taking away individual freedoms granted by the constitution, destroying religion, morality, the family unit, property rights, etc and imposing some type of force on mankind. Wherever we see evidence of these things, we should not support them — no matter the name that goes with it or where we find it.

    And would you like to provide the pithy 5 sentence summary of that slide show?

    Well, from my viewpoint, the slideshow was a call for awakening to the secret combinations, that as members of the LDS faith, we all know were prophesied to exist among us in these latter days. It gives substantial evidence for their existence from prophetic quotes, and some possibilities as to where their influence might be found. Some of these possibilities include the Illuminati, Communism, Socialism, the United Nations, and the recent/current United States government. The observer is left with the feeling that he/she needs to look into the fruits/goals of these organizations or individuals more closely (and possibly many others) and compare them with Satan’s goals. Our hope lies in “awakening” to the truth of what is going on and studying the principles of the constitution in order to preserve and defend it.

    Doesnt the simple fact that the presentation jumps back and forth through time while glossing over huge political chasms of differences to attempt to make its point make you wonder?

    It was clear to me that the reason for jumping back and forth through time was because the quotes were not arranged chronologically, but rather by subject:
    First, warnings of sc in the latter days
    Next, understanding their character and goals
    Preparing ourselves to accept the truth
    Looking for evidence (this one had many sub-groups like propaganda, media, schools, morality, economic issues, etc)
    What to do next

    I thought it was well organized and informative. If you don’t look at it with an open mind and a desire to learn, though, I guess it would be easy to discount it as a senseless conspiracy theory (as the world makes this stuff appear to be). But still, how do you account for the powerful quotes? They shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  16. Shaun
    April 3, 2007 at 3:50 pm #

    Kurt,

    Here comes another pea in a pod for you.

    Ezra Taft Benson, standing as President of the Church gave great insight as to something he—a Seer—could see as to those who “see” and understand. In the 1986 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, this Prophet, Seer, and Revelator dropped this bomb shell as to what he saw within the church, the seemingly apparent division of people:

    “I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter.” (“News of the Church,” Ensign, Mar. 1987, 75)

    So if there are those within the Church that seemingly lack “discernment, insight, conviction and spirit” for not using the Book of Mormon and loving it, then it’s not myself, Connor or others stating this to be the case, but the Lord Himself through his prophets. It is also spoken to us that “our minds” have been darkened for having treated lightly the Book of Mormon, and this condemnation we are under will remain until we repent of this, and indeed wake up to the great and powerful book of Mormon messages, which you recoil at it seems, even stating that such things are “out of context.” Reed Benson, who taught the Book of Mormon at BYU stated that a full one third of the Book of Mormon speaks to warfare and secret combinations, yet you accuse Connor of being “way out there” in terms of modern application of such teachings from a book written for our day?

    Let us all make sure we are using that sacred book of Scripture as we must in order to get out from under condemnation, a scourge and judgement, which the entire church suffers under.

  17. Chris
    April 3, 2007 at 4:12 pm #

    Kurt,

    The scriptures are full of political ideas. God’s kingdom will one day be a political kingdom, not just a spiritual one and many, if not all, of the political principles that it will be built upon are already in our Standard Works.

    To just blindly discount this is to discount a large portion of the scriptures, and the words of latter-day prophets.

  18. Michael L. McKee
    April 3, 2007 at 4:33 pm #

    Connor

    This is absolutely the greatest work you have accomplished since I have been an adherent to your blog site. I have emailed the author to request a printed compilation if one is available. I would like to be able to distribute this valuable information to as many members in my area as possible. I am certain that the followers of General Moroni are preparing to rise up sufficiently to bring justice to those who would give away their freedom for the ill perceived notion of security offered by the adversary.

    Your wisdom and insight far exceeds your detractors, and I find it a pity that those who vigorously strive to stifle your work will not permit themselves to partake of truthful enlightenment. Apparently many cannot let themselves discover humility sufficient to overcome their destructive prideful personalities. I sincerely hope they will consider their puny existence upon this earth sufficient to save themselves from that which is coming. Their fate will be an absolutely heart wrenching experience if they do not shake themselves loose from their grasp upon the arm of flesh.

    Keep up the good work Connor. You are certainly a blessing to those of us who are able to discern your humble efforts to guide us away from the evil circumstances in which we find ourselves in this land. You will be leading others toward salvation when the naysayers are merely wandering aimlessly in the shadows of the images of Satan, and his minions.

  19. Tyler P.
    April 3, 2007 at 7:26 pm #

    Wow… what interesting dialog. I’m glad I was directed to this blog.

    Years ago (2003 to be exact) I would’ve sided with and shared the same oppinion as Kurt. I was born in the church to ‘goodly parents’ in Utah County. I went to church weekly, baptised at 8, etc. etc. Prior to 2003, I struggled with my testimony and life in general. I asked myself ‘life questions’ such questions as, “Why am I LDS?” and, “What do I really believe?” Many in the world and throughout history have asked these same questions to one degree or another. I am not the only one that has asked these same questions. Among the barrage of questions was why I affiliated with the political party that I did at that time. This and the other questions mentioned above led me to search the Book of Mormon to answer these questions. It became apparent that the scriptures are for spiritual answers as well as answers to our personal lives… politics included.

    I would like to ask Kurt (or anyone for that matter) what President Hinkley meant by the following statement:

    “The Book of Mormon narrative is a chronicle of nations long since gone. But in its descriptions of the problems of today’s society, it is as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions of those problems.
    I know of no other writing which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. But with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras.”

    (Gordon B. Hinckley, 2005 italics and bold added)

    Ask yourself if we are more free today than we were 5, 50 or 200 years ago? There is a famus quote that says something to the effect of the war in heaven continues to be fought here on earth. As we all know, the war in heaven was over our agency and to give the power and control to Satan. If this war is being fought on earth today how would Satan ‘win’ this war? He has and will do it as described in the scriptures. It worked effectively in ancient civilizations and it will work effectively in modern civilizations. I quote President Hinkley:

    “The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.”

    (Gordon B. Hinkley, “The times in which we live” January 2002)

    Those that share the same oppinion as Kurt, please do not attack those of opposing views. It’s alright that we have opposing views. God gave us distinct minds and therefore we will have distinct views. Take the time to study, pray and be open minded to new ideas, even if they don’t agree with your current views because you never know when your views might be changed due to your own understanding and interpretation with the help and confirmation of the Holy Ghost… just like mine did. Instead of looking for answers and arguing to such questions and oppinions here on a blog, truely and honestly open your mind, the corridor to prayer and read the Book of Mormon with such questions in mind. Thanks to all (yes, Kurt too) for such a great blog.

  20. Carissa
    April 3, 2007 at 10:04 pm #

    Tyler P,

    I enjoyed your comment very much. Honestly opening our minds to new ideas and seeking guidance through personal study, prayer, reading of the scriptures, and the Holy Ghost is the only way any of us can discern truth among so much deception and error. Thanks for your insights!

  21. shestalou
    April 9, 2007 at 10:32 pm #

    Yet another view………….
    A VISITOR FROM THE PAST

    I had a dream the other night, I did not understand.

    There was a figure walking through the mist with a flintlock in his hand.

    His clothes were torn and tattered, as he stood there by my bed.

    He took off his three cornered hat, and speaking low, he said:

    “We fought a revolution to secure our liberty,

    and we wrote the constitution as a shield from tyranny.

    For our future generations, this legacy we gave,

    in this the land of the free, and home of the brave.

    The freedom we secured for you, we hoped you’d always keep.

    But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep.

    Your freedom gone, your courage lost, you’re no more than a slave

    in this land of the free and home of the brave.

    You buy “permits” to travel, and “permits” to own a gun,

    “permits” to start a business, and “permits” to build a home.

    You live on land you believe to be your own,

    but you pay a yearly rent, just to keep a home.

    Your children attend a school that doesn’t educate,

    and your moral values can’t be taught, according to the state.

    You read about news in a very biased press,

    and you pay a tax you do not owe to please the IRS.

    Your money is no longer made of silver or of gold;

    you have traded your wealth for paper, so your life can be controlled.

    You are just a number, there’s no family honor that you hold.

    You’ve given government control, to those who do you harm,

    as they padlock your businesses and steal the family farm.

    Can you regain the freedom for which we fought and died?

    Or don’t you have the courage, or the faith to stand with pride?

    Just what would you fight to save?

    Aren’t you sick of being just a government slave?

    Sons of the Republic, arise and take a stand!

    Defend our Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

    Preserve our great republic, and each God given right!

    And pray to God to keep the torch of freedom burning bright.”

    As I awoke he vanished in a mist from whence he came.

    His words were true, we are not free, and we have ourselves to blame.

    For even now as tyrants trample our God given rights,

    we only stand and tremble, too afraid to stand and fight.

    If he stood by your bedside in a dream while you were asleep,

    and asked you what had happened to the rights he died to keep,

    What would be your answer if he called out from the grave?

    “Is This Still The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave?”

    The End.

  22. Aaron
    May 11, 2007 at 9:29 am #

    Talking about all of these prophecies and secret combinations, I have a concern and some questions.
    Maybe someone might be able to see my point of view. this might be a little touchy but i have no hateful feelings.

    The current doctrine today is somewhat like this, “We must follow the current living prophet even more than the dead ones.
    I was at a meeting which Steven Jones, Jack Monnett and Susan Monnet were speaking. They reaffirmed that we must follow that doctrine. They were also speaking of the 9/11 attack and evidence that this was no outside job that it was an inside job from our oun government and about secret combinations in reference of our own government being the bigger threat. Thats great and i believe that, so naturally to follow the above doctrine i must turn to my religious leaders to confirm if what they are saying is true. I have read many good quotes from past authorities and church presidents talking about and even constructive criticism about the government. I have not heard any specific warnings from my leaders to us about our own government being the threat. The three above mentioned in my own opinion seem to be doing to duty that I believe to be a prophets duty. The three mentioned above not just give us general warning like saying, “there are seceret combonations in the world”, but they also give us a warning of who is doing these thing now. My current leaders are not. Is there something holding my leaders that they cannot be specific about who is involved in these murderous acts? Isn’t it a prophets duty to do such when such kind of event happens and the people are unaware of who they should believe when political leaders put a blame on some one? I believe I would be held accountable if i shed innocent blood of those that didn’t actually do the attacks. So to end my writing I will make the point that what these three persons mentioned above what they bring to light is true and is obviously a warning of danger from within our government, and my leaders are not doing their duty as prophets, seers and revelators and say nothing of who is involved so i can make a better judgment on where this government should take it’s direction. Or the three above are teaching falsehoods and misleading people to believe that our own government would do such a evil act or even suggest it to criticis or political leaders because my living prophets have not spoken any such detail on the matter indirectly saying that our government is a good one and our political leaders are leading us in good place that we can trust our government leader in what they are doing.

    I hope this makes sense to some and if not please respond that I may elaborate more for a better understanding.

  23. Connor
    May 11, 2007 at 9:35 am #

    Aaron,

    For further discussion/insight on your question(s), I’ll direct you to this thread.

  24. Kelly Winterton
    May 11, 2007 at 10:50 am #

    Aaron,

    I feel your pain, please email me privately if you would like to discuss this. I have been through your line of questioning, and have some personal feelings on this. (I have also listened to Steven Jones and Jack Monnett speak.)

    kellysgarden@juno.com

  25. Curtis
    September 11, 2007 at 12:53 pm #

    The following is part of a lecture given by John Stockwell of the CIA in 1987. He had quit the CIA, but had risen to its highest ranks, sitting on the National Security Council being the coordinator for covert actions in several different places. He writes that our leaders constantly tell us bold-faced lies about our involvement in foreign lands. He says that our covert actions up till that time had probably killed about 6 million people. He writes of the best example we have of how the CIA works in Nicaragua below, saying that the CIA spent hundreds of millions of dollars there. My brothers and sisters… I testify to you that this is a major part of the secret combination of the day. Please read his lengthly testimony with great care, and be prepared to be competely horrified at what we do.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4068.htm

    [When the U.S. doesn’t like a government], they send the CIA in, with its resources and activists, hiring people, hiring agents, to tear apart the social and economic fabric of the country, as a technique for putting pressure on the government, hoping that they can make the government come to the U.S.’s terms, or the government will collapse altogether and they can engineer a coup d’etat, and have the thing wind up with their own choice of people in power.

    Now ripping apart the economic and social fabric of course is fairly textbook-ish. What we’re talking about is going in and deliberately creating conditions where the farmer can’t get his produce to market, where children can’t go to school, where women are terrified inside their homes as well as outside their homes, where government administration and programs grind to a complete halt, where the hospitals are treating wounded people instead of sick people, where international capital is scared away and the country goes bankrupt. If you ask the state department today what is their official explanation of the purpose of the Contras, they say it’s to attack economic targets, meaning, break up the economy of the country. Of course, they’re attacking a lot more.

    To destabilize Nicaragua beginning in 1981, we began funding this force of Somoza’s ex-national guardsmen, calling them the contras (the counter-revolutionaries). We created this force, it did not exist until we allocated money. We’ve armed them, put uniforms on their backs, boots on their feet, given them camps in Honduras to live in, medical supplies, doctors, training, leadership, direction, as we’ve sent them in to de-stabilize Nicaragua. Under our direction they have systematically been blowing up graineries, saw mills, bridges, government offices, schools, health centers. They ambush trucks so the produce can’t get to market. They raid farms and villages. The farmer has to carry a gun while he tries to plow, if he can plow at all.

    If you want one example of hard proof of the CIA’s involvement in this, and their approach to it, dig up `The Sabotage Manual’, that they were circulating throughout Nicaragua, a comic-book type of a paper, with visual explanations of what you can do to bring a society to a halt, how you can gum up typewriters, what you can pour in a gas tank to burn up engines, what you can stuff in a sewage to stop up the sewage so it won’t work, things you can do to make a society simply cease to function.

    Systematically, the contras have been assassinating religious workers, teachers, health workers, elected officials, government administrators. You remember the assassination manual? that surfaced in 1984. It caused such a stir that President Reagan had to address it himself in the presidential debates with Walter Mondale. They use terror. This is a technique that they’re using to traumatize the society so that it can’t function.

    I don’t mean to abuse you with verbal violence, but you have to understand what your government and its agents are doing. They go into villages, they haul out families. With the children forced to watch they castrate the father, they peel the skin off his face, they put a grenade in his mouth and pull the pin. With the children forced to watch they gang-rape the mother, and slash her breasts off. And sometimes for variety, they make the parents watch while they do these
    things to the children.

    This is nobody’s propaganda. There have been over 100,000 American witnesses for peace who have gone down there and they have filmed and photographed and witnessed these atrocities immediately after they’ve happened, and documented 13,000 people killed this way, mostly women and children. These are the activities done by these contras. The contras are the people president Reagan calls `freedom fighters’. He says they’re the moral equivalent of our founding fathers. And the whole world gasps at this confession of his family traditions.

  26. Brian Mecham
    June 4, 2008 at 12:44 am #

    The book with the same title, Awakening to Our Awful Situation, is now available as an mp3 audio book (great for those who never took the time to sit down and read it, but probably could find the time to listen)… http://www.latterdayconservative.com/book-store/281.html

  27. Eric Tannery
    January 10, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    For those who have a hard time hearing about the conspiracy I ask you to read the Book of Mormon institute manual religion 121 & 122:
    pages: 139, 107, 140 and take it for what it says.

    Also: Alma 31:4 commentary: “Inciting War” “The Nephites feared that the Zoramites would incite the Lamanites to war, which is what actually happened later. This happens in modern times as well. Leaders in power want war for their own wicked purposes, so they stir up their people through hate campaigns and propoganda to the point where they will go to war.” pg 88

    Also: Boyd K Packer’s talk in 2007 “Lehi’s Dream” http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=11528

    pay special attention at the end when he quotes Ether 8 and says, the mockers are not only those outside the church. He then says, let me repeat that…

    Also: see lds.org for the churches official position on politics. You won’t hear it from the pulpit anymore as we did in the days of Ezra T. Benson. If the members live the gospel, they will find the truth and be accountable for the actions if they don’t (see pg. 140 BofM institute manual “special warnings” for the consequences of what happened to the early saints for not following the prophet and what will happen to us if we ignore these warnings”

    last point: the contention in these post is why David O. Mckay pulled his outline on Government in the 60’s. It causes too much contention.

  28. joe
    January 11, 2009 at 1:21 am #

    Here it is again…the stoning a prophet thing. A person was only stoned from being found to be a false prophet. Stoning from what I know is a practice from Judaism and Islam.

    Is there any evidence of stoning in the Americas?

  29. joe
    January 11, 2009 at 1:44 am #

    Tyler,

    About the ‘war in heaven’. Is the whole ‘free agency’ thing limited to just the LDS faith? Wikipedia only references the LDS faith as this having anything to do with free agency.

    I find it interesting that another source has suggested that ‘war in heaven’ meant in the sky, possibly with physical weapons. This is not an LDS source, and also not christian, but a source which compares christian stories with summarian and other stories.

  30. Carborendum
    January 11, 2009 at 9:07 am #

    Joe,

    Stephen was stoned in the New Testament and he was NOT a false prophet. They only thought him to be a heretic.

    Stoning was simply the chosen method of protest for those eras and cultures. In America, they had a new form of expressing social displeasure: tarring and feathering. This was not quite as deadly as stoning, but almost. Although developed much earlier in Europe, it was carried over to the Americas and continued on throughout most of the 1800s. I haven’t yet heard of a tarring and feathering (for religious offense) much past the early 1900s.

    Free agency is mostly an LDS thing. Although not a central doctrine in other faiths, they believe man can choose right or wrong (Christian & non-Christian). But in this faith it is a central theme because a lot of things fall apart if we are not free to choose.

    Evangelical Christians tend to believe in Calvinism in that we don’t really have a choice about anything. Anything we do, good or bad, is because God wills it. Of course, their beliefs keep changing from person to person, place to place, and day to day. So, it is difficult to say.

    @ Eric

    I have been troubled for a long time about how many LDS have said of the current prophet,”Who does he think he his? He doesn’t speak for me. We’ll see how things change when we get a new one.”

    You know, we keep getting new prophets. They keep saying the same things. Aside from minor policy changes and only two major changes in 178 years (which I think is a much better track record than ANY other faith) the doctrines of this church don’t change.

    For those who don’t want to listen to the prophet or don’t want him speaking for “us”, what are they doing as members of the Church?

    Reference the article on this blog: A Saint’s lament . . .

  31. vontrapp
    January 12, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    Joe, of course americans don’t actually literally stone anyone. It’s metaphorical, for exactly what you said, finding someone to be a false prophet. So “stoning the prophets” means that people don’t believe them, say they are false prophets, and otherwise talk them down or ridicule them.

    “Free agency” is merely a slang term and is very peculiar to the lds faith. Even within the faith it really is not much more than a slang term. “Free agency” is not the doctrine, it’s “Moral agency.” I don’t know if you’re going to find that term in other religions, but a nice synonym is “Liberty.” See, mormons have mixed to two terms, freedom and (moral) agency, and come up with free agency, because they really are the same thing.

  32. joe
    January 12, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    Carb,
    The story of stephen being stoned…ugly. Just read the account. Sorry I wasn’t more clear. I guess the passage was referencing also prior ages and events in the old world, not just in the new. I have never heard of Native Americans stoning people. There may be other methods, but I am not sure that stoning is one of them.

    I was also unclear about the agency question. I was meaning in connection with ‘the war in heaven’. That was the central issue wasn’t it?

    Its interesting the term ‘moral agency’ it does sound different from ‘free agency’. I think the monotheistic faiths generally have that, or something close to that, with some exceptions. I personally don’t accept ‘free’ if that means that you can make choices independent of your upbringing and experience. If you study ethics you will find that can be simple or complex. Sometimes simple while being complex even. One thing is for sure is that there are stages of moral development, and you can’t get to number 6 without first going through 5 and 4. There is a general feeling that most people will never get past 4. (kolbergs theory of ethical development)

    The other thing is that you do make different choices in different stages, there are generally more options as you ‘progress’. Somethings that seemed unthinkable in an earlier stage are totally accepted in later stages. Your sense of right and wrong can totally shift and change.

    Here is a work and commentary about the interconnectedness of everything. In some eastern philosophies the idea of anyone existing and behaving apart from anything else is total non-sense.

    Interbeing – by Thich Nhat Hanh
    INTERBEING – by Thich Nhat Hanh

    If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will
    be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, wecannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist.

    If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix
    with the verb to be; we have a new verb, inter-be.

    If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. Without sunshine, the forest
    cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow without sunshine.

    And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. The loggers father and mother are in it too.

    When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

    Looking even more deeply, we can see ourselves in this sheet of paper too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, it is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here in time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. We cannot just be by ourselves alone. We have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

    Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its

    source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that

    this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can

    be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of

    paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up lonely of

    “non-paper” elements. And if we return these non-paper elements to

    their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without non-paper

    elements, like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no

    paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the

    universe in it.

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