No Flesh Above Another

In preperation for General Confernce the first weekend of October 2018, various LDS / Brighamite church social accounts shared a video that basically says we are to stand when the LDS president enters the room. Here are two places I have come across that you can watch the video Facebook and Twitter.

At the end of the video it shows ldschurchnews.com. I bring that little tid bit up to point out the video is from the LDS / Brighamite church and not just from some believing member.

In this video we see the count of people standing go from 45,000, I’m not exaggerating the 45,000 number is on top of people standing at 53 seconds, and goes to 49,089 at 01:10. Wouldn’t it been better to show a man helping “the fatherless and widows in their affliction” James 1:27 than how many members stood while gaving adulation to one man? In the meantime please consider visiting Liahona Children’s Foundation who are helping LDS children who are starving and are not receiving the help they need from their own church.

Just in case you don’t already know but there are no scriptures that says we are to sustain anyone in their office in the church. But there are scriptures in the D&C that state we are to vote people into their office.

D&C (LDS 20:63-65) (RLDS 17) (1833 24) (1835 2)
63 The elders are to receive their licenses from other elders, by VOTE of the church to which they belong, or from the conferences.  65 No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the VOTE of that church;  66 But the presiding elders, traveling bishops, high councilors, high priests, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where there is no branch of the church that a VOTE may be called.

Although the video does not outright say we need to stand for this man, it highly suggestive of that. Especially if you combine the video with this talk The Unwritten Order of Things by Boyd K Packer given at BYU, a church owned school, while he was the acting president of quorum of the twelve apostles. One point that Boyd K Packer illustrates here is to do what other others are doing even if they are “not explained in the scriptures”. He goes on to say some things every members wont have “because they are given only to the leaders”. He continues to say there are things that “every member should know” and yet curiously says “for they are not written anywhere and they are not taught in classes”. I wonder if these things are “very important” why are we not being taught these things in scriptures or classes? And here is what he says in that we should be copying other people “if you do know them, you must have learned them through observation and experience”. Just like the video is showing we are to stand in adulation for a man.

Here is a quote from The Unwritten Order of Things that bothers me, I probably shouldn’t let it get to me, but I find what it is teaching deplorable.

I was on a plane once with President Kimball who, I think, served for 19 years as a stake clerk. A member that lived in the stake at that time was on the plane. He said to me, “If I’d known that our stake clerk was going to be President of the Church, I’d have treated him a lot better.”

This quote is giving the impression the only reason this member felt like he needed to be nicer to Spencer W Kimball is because he became the president of the LDS / Brighamite church. Which I find deplorable, we should seek to kind to all our neighbors. After all Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 how we treat the “least of these my brethren” is how you will treat Me. I also find Luke 10:10-37 very relevant.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Infants on Thrones also brings up some additional points in their Smackdown: The Unwritten Order of Things podcast where they focus on the talk The Unwritten Order of Things. They have a different approach to things than I do, but they do bring up some good points such as “wearing Sunday best” from the talk and how that causes a Zoramite society, see Alma (LDS 32:2) (RLDS 16:122). Seriously you should read Alma (LDS 31) (RLDS 16:78-120) after a fast and testimony meeting and see if you notice any correlations of what just transpired and the verses for yourself.

Alma (LDS 32:2) (RLDS 16:122) And it came to pass that after much labor among them, they began to have success among the POOR class of people; for behold, they were CAST OUT of the SYNAGOGUES because of the COARSENESS of their APPAREL—

Ironicly two and a half weeks after the talk The Unwritten Order of Things was given a biography of Gordon B HinckleyGo Forward With Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley, was published. Here is something that Gordon B Hinckley said in the preface of that book I believe is very relevant “Adulation is poison (emphasizing each word). Adulation has ruined many a good man and woman”. For those not familiar with the word adulation it means excessive devotion to someone; servile flattery.

Before we take a look at what the scriptures say about all this reverence going on towards this man, I just want to say something in regards to a quote from Russell M Nelson that is in this article from Deseret News that is reporting on the same event as the video. Russel M Nelson stated “we are living in the most crucial era in the history of the world”. Call me crazy but I would think those who believe in the Messiah would believe the meridian of time when Jesus was alive, living a sinless life, and making it possible to return to God with a physical body would be more important time than now, but what do I know I’m not LDS anymore because I resigned. But Jacob does go so far to say if it was not for Jesus Christ, the atonement and the resurrection every human would be damned to become a devil.

2 Nephi (LDS 9:7-11) (RLDS 6:15-26)
7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite ATONEMENT—save it should be an infinite ATONEMENT this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more. 8 O THE WISDOM OF GOD, his MERCY and GRACE! For behold, if the FLESH should RISE NO MORE our SPIRITS MUST become SUBJECT to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the DEVIL, to rise no more. 9 And our SPIRITS must have BECOME LIKE unto HIM, and we become DEVILS, ANGELS to a DEVIL, to be SHUT OUT from the PRESENCE of our GOD, and to REMAIN with the FATHER OF LIES, in MISERY, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness. 10 O how great the GOODNESS of our GOD, who PREPARETH a way for our ESCAPE from the grasp of this AWFUL MONSTER; yea, that monster, DEATH and HELL, which I call the DEATH of the BODY, and also the DEATH of the SPIRIT. 11 And because of the way of DELIVERANCE of our God, the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.

Paul E Koelliker of the seventy has an article in the June 2010 Ensign titled Recognizing Righteous Leadership that applies to what I have been discussing. Although Paul E Koelliker and I would inevitably disagree regarding who these words should be applied to today, they are none the less very wise words to consider.

The scriptures document examples of the effect of adulation. Consider the accounts of Rehoboam and Jeroboam, both kings of Israel who lost their vision of the Lord’s pattern while trying to protect their leadership positions. Rehoboam, who came to power following the death of his father, King Solomon, rejected the counsel of the “old men, that stood before Solomon” (1 Kings 12:6; see also 2 Chronicles 10:6) to lighten the burden of the children of Israel. Instead, he imposed additional hardships on them (see 1 Kings 12:11; 2 Chronicles 10:14), thinking that he could establish order and retain his hold over the people. His focus on his own might led to continuous contention with the leaders of other tribes.

The northern tribes felt threatened by Rehoboam’s actions and appointed Jeroboam to be their spokesman. Angered by the unrighteous rule and decisions of the king, Jeroboam determined to persuade the people that they should follow him, abandon the house of David, and establish a separate kingdom in the north called the kingdom of Israel. To capture the attention of the people, he revived a previously followed form of worship. He ordered the creation of golden calves, and he appointed false priests, thereby diverting their faith from the Lord to things of this world (see 1 Kings 12:27–31; 2 Chronicles 11:14–16). As the people were diverted to “high places” for idol worship and to “groves” for immorality (2 Chronicles 14:3; see also 1 Kings 14:15), they yielded to unrighteous patterns of leadership. The kingdom of Israel suffered until it was destroyed and most of its inhabitants scattered in 721 B.C.

When I read statements from Joseph Smith and revelations from God in the Doctrine and Covenants along with recollections from members who saw changes in LDS / Brighamite church government go from more horizontal or local to more vertical or central structure. In addition to abolishing voting for offices as was done in Joseph Smith’s day and even done with Brigham Young during the succession crisis, see D&C (LDS 20:63-65) (RLDS 17) (1833 24) (1835 2), such that they could put into leadership who would do what they told them to do instead of following God’s law in the scriptures, see D&C (LDS 42:59) (RLDS 42) (1833 44,47) (1835 13). I personally would say that the top LDS / Brighamite church leaders are guilty of what Paul E Koelliker is describing in those two paragraphs. Below are a few quotes that are a good start in demestrating why I believe there is an exalant case for my assertion.

The Twelve shall have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes and there undertake to regulate the affairs thereof where there is a standing high council. But it is their duty to go abroad and regulate all matters relative to the different branches of the church. Joseph Smith, Kirtland Council Minute Book, page 112.

D&C (LDS 107:33) (RLDS 104) (1835 3) The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church [missionary work], and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.

D&C (LDS 107:35) (RLDS 104) (1835 3) The Twelve being sent out [missions], holding the keys, to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ [sharing the gospel aka missionary work], and first unto the Gentiles and then unto the Jews. [nothing about sharing the gospel to the members]

D&C (LDS 107:82) (RLDS 104) (1835 3) And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress [sin], he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood;

D&C (LDS 112:12) (RLDS 105) (1844 104) And pray for thy brethren of the Twelve. Admonish them sharply for my name’s sake, and let them be admonished for all their sins, and be ye faithful before me unto my name.

D&C (LDS 20:63-65) (RLDS 17) (1833 24) (1835 2)
63 The elders are to receive their licenses from other elders, by VOTE of the church to which they belong, or from the conferences.  65 No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the VOTE of that church;  66 But the presiding elders, traveling bishops, high councilors, high priests, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where there is no branch of the church that a VOTE may be called.

LDS / Brighamite leaders take this standing “unwritten order of things” so seriously that an apostle’s wife can not stand up before her apostle husband.

The Book of Mormon is full of examples, principles, and doctrine that bring us to the prototype of all saved beings even Jesus Christ the Messiah (see Lectures on Faith 7:9) if heeded and applied in our own lives. I honsetly believe that it is more important to become like Jesus Christ, aka taking His name upon us, than memorizing scriptures or reading someone else’s talks. Actions speak louder than words.

Mosiah (LDS 23:7) (RLDS 11:7) is probably the best verse from the Book of Mormon on this subject as the Lord Himself says don’t do it. In fact Alma quoted the Lord to show the people that it is not good to have a human to rule over you.

Mosiah (LDS 23:7) (RLDS 11:7) But he said unto them: Behold, it is not expedient that we should have a king; for THUS SAITH THE LORD: YE SHALL NOT ESTEEM ONE FLESH ABOVE ANOTHER, or ONE MAN SHALL NOT THINK HIMSELF ABOVE ANOTHER; therefore I say unto you it is not expedient that ye should have a king.

I submit if you are not standing when any man or women enters a room and only doing it for some people, you are esteeming those who you stand for above those who you don’t.

Nephi was keeping this precept aka commandment when his idolatrous brothers wanted to worship or give reverence to him when they knew, not just thought, God was with Nephi.

1 Nephi (LDS 17:55) (RLDS 5:165-167) And now, they said: We know of a surety that the LORD IS WITH THEE, for we know that it is the POWER of the LORD that has SHAKEN us. And they fell down before me, and were ABOUT to WORSHIP ME, but I WOULD NOT SUFFER THEM, saying: I am thy brother, yea, even thy younger brother; wherefore, WORSHIP the LORD thy GOD, and HONOR thy FATHER and thy MOTHER, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee.

You may be wondering why I stated “worship or give reverence”, it is because reverence is a form of worship, just as the Berean translation of Hebrews 12:28 shows. If you would like to see some additional examples of this go to BibleHub.

Berean Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us be filled with gratitude, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Personally I don’t believe that Laman and Lamuel were trying to have Nephi replace God, because just before they bowed down to Nephi they didn’t say “you are our god” they said “we know of a surety that the Lord is with thee” 1 Nephi (LDS 17:55) (RLDS 5:165-167). In addition looking at the definition of worship in 1828 I can say what they are doing fits with the definition.

Here are some highlights from the Webster’s Dictionary 1828 for Worship:

2. A title of honor, used in addresses to certain magistrates and other of respectable character.
3. A term of ironical respect.
4. Chiefly and eminently, the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; or the reverence and homage paid to him in religious exercises, consisting in adoration, confession, prayer, thanksgiving and the like.
5. The homage paid to idols or false gods by pagans; as the worship or Isis.
6. Honor; respect; civil deference.
1. To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.
2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.
1. To perform acts of adoration.

In some cultures and circumstances we stand and in other cultures and circumstances bow to worship and to show respect and even further still sometimes we may even prostrate ourselves. One thing that is common in these situations is we put ourselves in a different arrangement than we were beforehand.

Interestingly enough the video has a man saying “we stand out of respect” starting at 18 seconds.

In the last part of 1 Nephi (LDS 17:55) (RLDS 5:165-167), Nephi is reminding his brothers to “HONOR thy FATHER and thy MOTHER” one of the ten commandments. Nephi’s response to his brothers when they wanted to put him on a pedestal was to deflect their praise of him and directed them to worship God and to honor their parents. In Matthew 15:4 Jesus paints a gloomy fate for those who don’t keeep this commandment.

Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

Back in late 2015 there was a leak how the LDS / Brighamite church was now denying a child, who had done nothing wrong themselves mind you, to receive a baby’s blessing or to be baptized when they have reached the age of accountability, see Moroni (LDS 8:10) (RLDS 8:11), in the only church that supposedly has authority to baptize and to give the gift of the Holy Ghost to receive God’s constant guidance. On top of that, that same child could only be baptized after they have turned eighteen and disowned their parents and approval of the first presidancy. It is fortunate that Mosiah (LDS 18:10) (RLDS 9:41) tells us that we can have God’s spirit ABUNDANTLY before we are BAPTIZED, I do believe we need to keep God’s commandments to have His spirit ABUNDANTLY before and after we are baptized.

Mosiah (LDS 18:10) (RLDS 9:41) Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord, as a WITNESS before him that ye have ENTERED into a COVENANT with HIM, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may POUR out his Spirit MORE ABUNDANTLY upon you?

So not only would this child have to say that, that president of the LDS / Brighamite church is the most important person on earth religiously, but they would also have to break one of the ten commandments because they could no longer honor their parents but had to disown their parents, to get baptized.

This practice echos what Jesus speaks out against in Mark 7:6-13. To get a detailed explanation of what is gonig on here please read What Is the Meaning of “Corban”? I also recomend watching The Hebrew Root of Honor. Here is quick summary of what Corban is, it was a false tradition in Jesus’ day were someone could give to the temple, supposedly the highest adoration then and even today in the LDS / Brighamite church, which then freed them from honoring their parents. Jesus denounces that false tradition and states if you keep that false tradition you are breaking the commandments.

Mark 7:6-13
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, HONOUR thy FATHER and thy MOTHER; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is CORBAN, that is to say, a gift [for the temple], by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free [from taking care of his parents]. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

When this policy or “revelation” was first leaked, LDS / Brighamite members thought it was so horrid when they first heard of it and they did not believe it. But as soon as the LDS / Brighamite church confirmed it, the members feelings changed from it being awlful to wonderful. Makes you wonder if they thinking about what is being said or who said it when they accept teachings from their leaders. If they are more worried about who said it, as I believe they are, than what is said, to me that sound like they are putting “one flesh above another” Mosiah (LDS 23:7) (RLDS 11:7), because they are only believing in things when specific people say them. What happened to knowing if something is true or not by the power of the Holy Ghost, see Moroni (LDS 10:3-5) (RLDS 10:3-5). On top this mess the LDS / Brighamite church could not decide if it was a “revelation” or man made policy change. If it was a man made policy change, as I believe it was, why in the world are they playing around with anyones, let alone a childs, salavation? Alan Rock Waterman talks about one theory in his post The Hidden Reason For The Policy Change On Baptisms.

In Acts 14:8-15 when Paul and Barnabas were faced with a choice to either receive honor and respect or not they “rent their clothes” verse 14 and said “we also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God”.

Acts 14:8-15
8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: 9 The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. 11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

The more I study Hebrew idioms the more I appreciate them. There is one in Matthew 23:2 I’d like to close with.

Matthew 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

Here are some notes from video The Quest: The Jewish Jesus, Part 02 05M22S – 06M58S which talk about this Hebrew idiom.

Although the English is in the present tense, the Greek is in arras tense which means sat.

Sit is not a direct translation of the eros, it should be sat, but if the translators used the word sat the translation would not make sense.

To get closer to the truth of it you should translate the eros which is not correct Greek speaking, you would have to say “the scribes and Pharisees have sat down”, now this is an old Hebrew idiom to take over the seat of Moses is to sit down on the seat. The minute you but the Greek text back into Hebrew the perfect tense and the Hebrew idiom comes out beautifully. We would simply say this “the scribes and the Pharisees have taken over the authority of Moses” that’s what it means.

I believe a better translation of Matthew 23:2 is “Saying, the scribes and the Pharisees have taken over the authority of Moses”. Meaning that they enforce their false traditions over the law of God given to us through Moses to the point of “making the word of God of none effect through your tradition” Mark 7:13.

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