<![CDATA[FAR WEST JOURNAL - Far West Commentary]]>Wed, 09 Mar 2016 04:34:23 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Confessions of a Caucus Goer]]>Sun, 06 Mar 2016 00:15:48 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/confessions-of-a-caucus-goerPicture
Savvy pundits call this political year unprecedented.  I call it weird. 

I find it little ironic that the same concept behind the fall of Hitler, (2 front war) is in our time aiding to the rise of Trump as a potential nominee.  It is conceptually simple, split the enemy and you can win.
Whatever the cause, this political season my first preference was Ben Carson.  In fact as I listened to his suspension speech he gave on Friday at the CPAC, a part of me still hoped that in a convention he would come back in and win. However as it became clear that Ben would not get the nomination, the practical side of me felt to support Rubio and as my wife and I had observed him; his words, conduct and depth of his feeling, we both felt spiritual promptings the he was a man worthy of our support.  Accordingly, I sent an EMAIL to the Kansas Republican Party offering to stand and speak for Marco at our County Caucus.  The enthusiasm grew, that is until the week before the caucus was to take place.  That was when Rubio changed his tactic and went on the attack.
At first I enjoyed that Rubio was finally dishing back to Trump what he had been dishing out for months. It was sort of like cheering in the movies, when the bully finally gets his just retribution. But then came the off colored Rubio remark and it was like the wind left my sails.  Nina and I discussed, watched and re-watched the comment, watched and re-watched Rubio’s responses to the press about it, all trying to determine if he truly intended it.
While the verdict is still split among our children, we felt like he had indeed intended to cause the innuendo.  We understand that given the human nature in all the candidates, it is likely that behind the scenes they have their own jokes, foul language, etc., but still, when character is the main power behind your vote, character flaws can really cause one to question.
Then the Caucus was upon us.  I received the stickers, poster boards, talking points, and letter from the Rubio campaign. Nina and I had to decide what to do and how.  We were not willing to compromise our own characters. After much prayer and thought and more review of the press clips, I felt that Rubio, had truly recognized the error of his act, but had not had the political will to admit it openly. So I sent this email to his campaign:
Just a note to pass on to Marco. 
We are caucusing for him today and I will stand in Geary County to support him....but it is with much less enthusiasm than in the past. The hands innuendo was crude and beneath Marco.   We feel he needs to simply admit it, say he is sorry, and move on.  Many conservatives have sensitivities to moral compromise and do not want a candidate whose religious convictions seem easily set aside. 
On the other hand, we understand grace and slip ups, and the power of repentance and moving on. Accessing that shows strength!
Having sent the EMAIL and with the scene from Amazing Grace floating in my head (..I know that I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior) I felt like I could still recommend him, judging his sorrow to be real, and feeling strongly that neither Kaisich nor Cruz were genuine (Trump was never a consideration). However, at Nina’s urging I also determined to do a caveat at the speech, and point out that we did not support Rubio’s error. Thus we loaded up and headed to the Caucus.
As we entered the building with our Rubio signs, and stickers, a sweet lady from Puerto Rico greeted us. She was one of the volunteers and I knew immediate she spoke Spanish, so I started to speak with her and she told me in Spanish that Rubio was "her man". As we spoke I felt the spirit and at last had peace about our decision.
Inside we met the organizer and drew lots. I was to speak third. I was told there was also a young African American man running for State Senate who was a Rubio supporter and that he wanted to speak for him also, so I told him I would yield ½ of the time to him. I thought then how emblematic of Rubio it all was, that  HE would have supporters from three distinct race groups at what was really a very homogeneous caucus.
Ted Cruz supporters got the first shot at it.  A young woman, looking to be of college age, got up and read Cruz’s talking points.  She did well and her presentation reminded me of Cruz, (to the point, but leaving one questioning the sincerity behind it). She yielded some of her time to another man who stood up and started to go on about how Ted was Born to an American Mother, and so was a citizen, even though  it happened in Canada, but that Marco was not born to a citizen mother and even though was born in Florida he could not be President.  That seemed ironic, that a Trump hater would employ the same tactics on Macro, which Trump employed on Ted.
Next up were the Trump supporters.  The first one was nice enough, but he went on and on with spotty and illogical comparisons between the rise of Reagan and the rise of Donald Trump? Then a few others rose to speak for one minute each, and there was the anger.  At the end I remember thinking of the Andy Griffith episode, where Barney quips “I’m just a hick deputy, in a hick town working for a hick sheriff.” Enough Said. I am not sure if a few of them were actually glaring at me, or if it was my imagination, but it was freaky.
My turn was next. Purposely not using the talking points, I rose and gave my disclaimer, then pointed out the three main reasons we still supported Rubio. I spoke of the deep sincerity of his beliefs, unsurpassed knowledge of Islam and world issues, and his electability over Hillary. Then I yielded time to the other supporter.  He gave a classic establishment talk, using the talking points.
Last up, the Kaisich supporter was an older gentleman who spoke softly and slowly and we both thought….just like Kaisich, kind of boring.
When it was over, hindsight kicked in I felt regret that I had not articulated what I should have said, what I really felt......... what I feel now!

Marco Rubio’s action was an example of a moral and good man, who had a momentary slip into the profane. It was NOT the case of an immoral man letting some of his true character slip out. 

That is when I realized that in spite of the blunder, Marco and Donald are two opposites. I saw the wisdom of watching our words, deeds and actions, to insure that anger does not allow us to descend into the mud, to wallow with those who live there daily. I only hope that Trump supporters will finally figure it out!

<![CDATA[Judging God-A Call for Reflection]]>Mon, 09 Nov 2015 00:55:25 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/judging-god-a-call-for-reflectionPicture
It is pure human arrogance to misjudge God. Our application of limited and flawed human reasoning in judging the actions and motives of an omniscient being is ridiculous and no doubt frustrating to God.......... Yet He loves us still.

Last Wednesday, while teaching Institute about the rebellion of Aaron and Miriam, who in a spirit of apostasy accused Moses and thought to challenge his rule..... I misjudged God.  It was clear that God called them both out for their sin, but only Miriam was made leprous. My first thought was… "what about Aaron?" I remarked to the class that one of my questions I had for God one day would be to inquire why Miriam got leprosy and Aaron did not?”  Having passed judgment on God’s apparent injustice, I was ready to move on when one of my students remarked:  “Maybe, it was because Miriam needed that week of suffering with leprosy outside the camp to bring her to sincere and lasting repentance.”  How simple and profoundly beautiful that insight was.  I had never even considered that a tender, loving, God might have different reactions to the same sin, based on the fact that he knows the individuals, as individuals.  God’s perfect knowledge spares us from a one-size-fits-all response to sin, and allows Him to tailor responses to each individual that will minimize their eternal suffering and maximize their chances of exaltation. Duh! I had forgotten the first principle of God’s perfect and absolute love and so I was left to muse about justice and fairness in my worldly, imperfect mind.  The sudden reflection back upon a first principle, brought to me by my student, filled me with great peace and I even marveled as I saw true love and compassion where I had only seen injustice.

                                          Baptism for Children of Homosexual Unions

When looking at the latest policy with regard to children living under homosexual unions, understanding the first principles of God’s perfect love and perfect justice, combined with the first principle that unrepentant sin will separate us from God forever, can help us to see tender mercies and compassion where the world would judge harshness
Just as the actions of parents (nurture) can and do help their children to grow in light and truth and increase their chances for eternal life and exaltation, so too, bad parenting whether by example or precept can cause great and eternal harm to the children God so loves. God would have us act to counter that influence.  

As a Bishop I often worried about new converts who, though they may have been worthy, seemed to not be ready to make such sacred covenants.  How tragic and unkind it is to help souls into making covenants they are not prepared to keep. Such baptisms may appear to be accepting and good, even part of the culture of acceptance, but in truth they only increase the condemnation for the soul who prematurely makes covenants only to violate them later, because they were not truly prepared. 

Those who can set aside the satanic concept which equates acceptance with love, will soon recognize how tender a mercy it really is for the church to require that children who have been subjected to the evil examples of their gay parents, and raised in homes where the spirit of the Lord was necessarily absent, be given special attention to ensure that we are not setting them up for failure. 

It seems clear that it is the cultural Mormons, those who see baptism as a check the box activity or an entitlement of membership who might be offended by such a policy.  On the other hand those who understand the sacred nature of baptism, and the deep responsibility that attends to the making of those covenants, are much more likely to see the need for, and even celebrate such a policy, for the sake of the child. 

I remember one interview I had with a child whose parents wanted him to be baptized. He had been raised in a spiritless home and had no clue what the ordinance truly meant.  I simply could not subject the child to making covenants that he did not understand and would not be able to keep.  So I suggested to the parents that he needed some preparation, some spiritual training.  The parents looked shocked, got angry, and stormed out of the building never to return while I was bishop. Clearly baptism to them was a cultural thing, a rite of passage. They had absolutely no understanding of the true nature of the covenant, and the sacredness of the responsibilities attendant to it. Their leaving the church was its own tender mercy in that it spared the child from entering covenants prematurely, and forced the parents themselves to acknowledge by their acts, who they truly served.  I remain thankful that I did not participate in making that child accountable for covenants he would not keep.  Similarly, when viewed humbly through the eyes of the underlying doctrinal first principles, these policy clarifications can be seen as acts of protection and love.

                                                                    Name and a Blessing

The blessing and naming of children is an ordinance and has been closely tied into the covenant of marriage and perpetuating of the family.  The family remains the basic unit of eternity and of the church.  It would be spiritual schizophrenia, for the church to denounce the homosexual union and not recognize it as legitimate, and then to grant the union the appearance of propriety by allowing the naming of the child to take place.  If the family is not recognized as such..... what name is the child to receive, what "family" to enter into?  One possible application of the first principle of God’s love to this area is found in the fact that perhaps this action by the church will help the indoctrinated and deceived couples, and their blind supporters, to recognizing that the marriage is not accepted by God and their unholy union has, and will continue to, cause harm to their children.  It seems clear that any action the church might take which tends to cover the sin, or normalize an unholy relationship, only causes harm to the couples and to others who perhaps have held back from such unions, but who by that action would then come to feel they have permission to enter into them, or bring children into such harmful relationships.  I know some cultural members cry hate, but it is the facilitators, those who want the sin to be accepted, who in the eternal sense are the true haters.  They hate God, and the children He is trying to save, caring only for their own private interpretations to be enforced. Their actions demonstrate that they want God to do it their way, no matter who they hurt in the process. Oh how it must grieve a loving God, that such couples, and their friends in iniquity, would not at least consider the eternal harm they are causing by even trying to raise children under such circumstances. 

By association such persons join those who harshly judge God’s actions toward Sodom and Gomorrah. On the other hand, those who know first principles see it differently.  I once saw harshness in the destruction of those cities. However, since coming to know the first principles absolutely, I now grieve with God as I ponder how he had to send precious, tender, moldable children, into cities filled with depravity and filth.  At least in one sense I can see God’s destruction of those cities as saving the people themselves from continually sinning, and growing more and more depraved while also saving precious new children from having to enter into such a society. That demonstrates true love, founded in eternal consequences.


The same principle of God’s eternal love holds true for disciplinary councils. They are not, and never have been, instruments of punishment, but rather instruments of repentance. They are like leprosy was for Miriam. Sometimes it is better in the eternities for souls to be removed from the church and freed from the covenants they violate, rather than to allow them to go on sinning against the covenants, to their greater condemnation. Excommunication is an act of supreme love.  It is a process of love for the individual as it may be the only thing that helps them to wake up to the eternal consequences of their choices and motivates them to seek repentance before it is everlastingly too late.  It is also an expression of love for the church as it helps other members remain free from the subtle, corrosive and destructive “doctrines of devils!”  There was a sound doctrinal reason for Paul’s exhortation for Saints to not accept sin and to cease having communion with Belial.  Advocating for homosexual couples, supporting them in their destructive and perverse lifestyle, is in direct contravention of God’s desires and constitutes a lack of true love. 

Members who engage in such support and condoning such actions are guilty of committing spiritual murder in the same sense that the early Alma the Younger did, or in some cases perhaps it would be more like assisted spiritual suicide.  Either way, doing so in defiance of God’s leaders constitutes apostasy and hurts both the couples and their children.

At the final judgment we will not see a single gay couple speaking to their facilitators, their partners in sin, and thanking them for making it easier to live a life that guaranteed their separation from God for all eternity.  However, we will see such couples tearfully asking why, if such supporters truly loved them, they did not warn them, seek to redeem them, before it was everlasting too late. 

Those filled with the true love of Christ, and with a clear and spirit based understanding of the truth as it relates to homosexual unions, and who know the first principles, will be able to see in the recent policy clarifications, tender mercies and real compassion, while the myopic, arrogant  and thoughtless world sees only harshness.

<![CDATA[Judging Kim-A Moral Perspective]]>Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:20:25 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/judging-kim-an-moral-perspectivePicture
Much has been said about the legality of Kim Davis’s actions, and those of the judge who incarcerated her.  While purely legal analysis is interesting, it is not compelling.  The real issue comes down to morality. Morally speaking, it should be clear that when “rendering unto Caesar”, comes into direct conflict with “rendering unto God,” God must win.
It has always been true, and is increasingly becoming more common, that things which are moral, are not always legal, and things which are immoral are not always illegal. However, there always has been, and always will be, an inseparable link between morality and law.  While it is the duty of law to keep societies organized and governed, it has also been its duty to do so in a moral way. Sadly, given the corruptible nature of man, it is inevitable that law and morality will at times come into conflict.  The divine principle when such conflicts arise is that morality must prevail.  The rule of law is a powerful and protective concept, until that law becomes oppressive and immoral, and thus ceases in its divinely appointed function.  That is when the rule of morality must prevail.
This first principle here is that morality is higher than law and it lies at the basis of our government’s inception.  In fact, had the founding fathers placed the rule of law, the king's law, above their own moral convictions of justice, there would have never been a United States of America.  The Declaration of Independence outlined it thus:
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Of course in the eyes of the established British government, that declaration was sedition, and its signers were treasonous. From a moral perspective the founders acted against the established laws in the furtherance of higher moral principles, and were right in doing so.  Morality has been the driving force of many reformers since that time, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Eric Bonhoeffer and Nelson Mandela, the latter two being touted in a recent General Conferences for their actions taken against established law, in furtherance of what they deemed to be higher moral principles.  Joseph Smith’s powerful treatise on government allows for the supremacy of morality over law, limiting man’s obligation to “sustain and uphold” their governments to times when they are “protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments” inferring at least that those unprotected, are no longer obligated to uphold such governments.
 (D & C Section 134:5)
                                                            Nuremberg and Moral Duty
Once the immoral and destructive government of Nazi Germany was finally ousted, and the unfathomable atrocities committed under its rule of law was revealed to the world, many of the government officials were brought to be held accountable before tribunals. Almost without fail the defense argument offered to justify their clearly inhuman and debased actions, was that they were acting according to law, and doing their duty as outlined by that law. That was true of course, but the horrendous nature of their actions compelled the world at large to reject their reasoning, and to still hold them accountable for their immoral conduct, in spite of the fact that they actually were acting under the color of law.  This supremacy of moral principle is still taught to Soldiers within our Army.  They are taught, and even take an oath, to obey the orders of the officers appointed over them.  However, they are also taught that they are not required to obey orders to act in immoral or inhuman ways, notwithstanding their oaths.
While I do not factually equate extermination or genocide with issuance of marriage licenses, the topics of the analysis are never controlling, it is the underlying principle that controls. Thus every German public official, who violated their oath of office, and acted contrary to their legal duty, doing so on the basis of higher moral principles in order to save Jews, Jehovah witnesses and others from destruction, should be touted as heroes.  Those who would demand that Kim Davis act contrary to higher moral principles, simply because of an oath of office, must necessarily embrace the defense offered by the many German officials who ignored conscience, and cast aside morality, and sought  only to do their sworn duty.  One of the great undertones of the Movie “A Man for All Seasons” is the aggravating, but frequently seen, attitude taken by the common man, who causes great harm to Sir Thomas Moore, always with the quip that they are only doing their duty.
                                                                    The Rule of Law
     While there was protection and safety in the concept of the rule of law as it originally existed, that concept is becoming a notion, a vestige of past moral standards. Originally the rule of law included the concept that no man was above the law, that the law, like a god, was supreme to all men and authority. Stare Decisis, was an essential part of that law.  Which meant once a legal decision was made, it must stand. Early jurists recognized that moral laws must remain steady and inviolate or they lose their power to govern. Some believe that the constitution is in disarray and that the balances of power have been seriously degraded.  They see the courts as becoming super legislatures, who have elevated themselves above the law, applied their private morality to their decisions, and now use the rule of law, to rule in an oppressive and immoral way.  In the eyes of some conservatives, it is as if the majority of the Supreme Court, as well as the lower Circuit Courts, have become the King, and now use their judicial power not to support the constitution, but to usurp and deform it to their private ends.  If the rule of law actually becomes a tool of tyranny, then it no longer has the power to protect and bring order, but rather becomes the oppressor leading to absolute despotism. In such cases, having lost the protection of the rule of law, it may be the case that civil disobedience in accordance with higher moral principles, is no longer a vice, but rather becomes a virtue.  Segments of our society still recognize and acclaim such virtue in the civilly disobedient actions of both private and government individuals, which were rampant during the civil rights movement.
It seems disingenuous for a society to tout the civil disobedience of great reformers throughout history, only to turn and attack a person who believes she is acting on the same higher moral principles, against what she may see as a despotic government.
                                                                     About The Oath

     In light of the foregoing it is important to note that most oaths for government service are made before God and to the effect that the party will support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Some questions for ethicists and the public at large are; If a court violates the constitution, usurps power, and destroys the balance, does that court then by definition become an enemy of the constitution, and if so, does civil disobedience become a legitimate step that the oath bound party may take to defend the constitution against those actions?  One of my favorite movie clips on this topic, depicts a firing squad of German soldiers lined up to assassinate innocent civilians from a local village.  Suddenly one rifle barrel drops, a sign that the individual soldier will not comply with his sworn duty because of his higher moral principles. Eventually, after refusing to yield to his superior’s demands, he is removed from the squad, and sent to join the civilians along the wall, meeting their same fate because of his adherence to higher moral principles. As Latter-day Saints, we should at least ponder over what our church would be like, had General Doniphan acted in accordance with the direct orders of his superior, General Lucas, at Far West, Missou
ri.  Thankfully, he acted on higher moral principles and refused to execute Joseph and Hyrum Smith, saying:
"It is cold-blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning, at 8 o'clock; and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God…”
Taken to its extreme, any argument that suggests that civil disobedience, by private citizens or government officials, is NEVER appropriate, becomes an argument for the justification of all sorts of atrocities and immoral actions made by corrupt governments and its officials, simply because they are governments. Such belief would twist Christ’s comment to the conniving Pharisees to be: “Render unto Caesar everything, even all which is God’s.”  That is a place I hope we never come to.

<![CDATA[Of Lambs and Lions]]>Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:30:51 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/of-lambs-and-lionsPicture
This was a very hard month.  Almost daily I witnessed people surrendering their values, their passions, their morality, while political correctness and valueless acceptance of evil were ruling the day. Nothing new for the world, but perceiving it in God’s church and kingdom had me worried. Flesh reliant church scholars, seeking to make God more palatable by explaining away his miracles and denying his power.  Professing Saints, demonstrating that they were way past the pitying and enduring stages and were fully embracing vice.  Covenant people, mocking, demeaning, and belittling others who stand firmly for their religious convictions.  Messages of acceptance of immorality everywhere seemed a fulfillment of the prophesied calling of good, evil and evil, good. I was getting depressed and wondering if there was any hope. I longed for a Captain Moroni to stand tall and firm and speak the truth with power, clarity and resolve, setting the world straight, no matter the backlash. Oh how I desired for the death of political correctness in both the spiritual and secular realms!

                Thankfully the spirit spoke through my self-centered fears, chastening my pride and teaching me a lesson I had never learned before. God is the one who must determine the response to evil, not me. I saw that faithful, powerful, bold advocates of morality, willing to suffer for the name of Jesus, are still of no value if they exercise their boldness, contrary to God’s will.  In fact, if they do so, they are no better than the men-pleasers, who live by moral relativity.  Both types seek to replace the sovereign God with their own wills, their own ideas of what is right.

                I was reminded that for every Abinadi, Samuel the Lamanite  and Shadrach, Meshac and Abednegp, boldly proclaiming truth and risking or even suffering death without fear, there are others following God’s will in quietness. The people of Alma, who bowed to political pressure and ceased to pray vocally, the marchers of Zion’s Camp, who abrogated their rights, turned from the fight and went home, the Utah saints who, though willing to go to prison for the cause, embraced the manifesto instead. 

                I next thought of Peter who showed his willingness to die for the Lord by wielding a sword in defense of his Savior against overwhelming odds in what was an impossible mission, yet seemed unable to embrace the idea of giving up without a fight. I thought of Daniel, who when threatened with death for praying, remained faithful and kept praying without regard to the consequences. God blessed him for his boldness and preserved him from the mouths of the lions.  I wondered why Alma and his people did not do the same.  Why didn’t they boldly continue to pray no matter the consequences and rely upon God to spare them from their Lamanite captors? God knows His reasons, but I finally recognized that it is God’s will that must reign supreme in our response to pressure and attacks we face because of our moral stands.  We may want to always respond as a lion, but God may desire us to be lambs. I do not doubt that the people of Alma would have continued to pray vocally if God had commanded it. The key is that God had a different plan for them then he did for Daniel.

                Jesus was the most powerful being to ever walk the earth. When he needed to be a lion, he was a lion.  Yet when spit upon, cursed, tortured, and nailed to a cross, the being who could have stood boldly for the right and destroyed all the oppressors, submitted to his Father’s will and became the Lamb. So there it is.  I have learned that when I want a lion, when I expect and desire a bold, unashamed response from the church to a world promoting immorality in many hues, I must remember that God, whose knowledge and wisdom far surpasses mine, may want a lamb.  When I yearn for conference talks that hit the world in the face with radical, truth, and fill our ears with the moral battle cry, God may desire a different response. When I want war, God may be extending the olive branch. Whether I am the Nephite who is willing to fight, or the Lamanite convert who is not, I must still be ready to fight, submit, or flee as God commands, and be content in knowing the master lion, who can also be a lamb, knows what is best.

                My soul is at peace now as I ponder on these absolute truths.

                1. This is God’s kingdom restored in our day for the salvation of his children, and it will NEVER again be taken from the earth.

                2. God’s prophet is called by revelation, and God will NEVER allow him to lead the kingdom astray. If God wants him to be a lion, the Prophet will rise to the occasion, if He wants him to be a lamb, God’s desire will reign supreme with the mouthpiece of the Lord.

                I admit it.  I am much more lion than lamb. I have often fantasized about dying for the cause of truth.  I have pictured myself at times, facing down a ruthless mob like Lyman Wight, yelling; “shoot and be damned!”  I have almost never even considered dropping my sword, and submitting to my enemies because God wills it to be.  It would be so easy for me to be a lion for the Lord.  It would be much more difficult for me to be a lamb for him, yet now I see that lamb or lion, I am His. I love Him, and therefore, I must submit to his perfect love, powerful wisdom, and compassionate commands.  With Abraham, and even with Jesus, I must be willing to say in how I response to evil, “God’s will be done!”

                I still stand ready to be a lion and defy an evil world even at the risk of my life, if God wills it. However, I now add to that stance the sincere prayer; “Lord give me strength to be a lamb, when a lamb is what thou dost require.”

<![CDATA[September 04th, 2015]]>Fri, 04 Sep 2015 10:55:40 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/september-04th-2015]]><![CDATA[5 Reasons Why I Reject the Authenticity of the  “Seer Stone”]]>Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:15:16 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/5-reasons-why-i-reject-the-authenticity-of-the-seer-stonePicture
1.       When I first saw the story and related pictures it struck me exactly the same way that Mark Hoffman’s now famous “Salamander Letter” did when it was being touted as a historically accurate and valuable document years ago… that is to say, the story is inconsistent with both doctrine and revealed truth. In fact, the explanations by the Chruch Historians on the stone, parallel those offered to rationalize the impact of the Salamander Letter, which has since been shown to be a total fraud.

2.       The story of its use plays into the bogus but popular Anti-Mormon theme that Joseph Smith was a money digger, using magic or divination to locate treasure.

3.       It is inconsistent with the word of God as revealed in scripture.

--The stone is not the Urim and Thummim which is clearly described in holy writ as clear stones (Plural) fastened in the rim of a bow.  Ether Chapter 3, JS History 1:35, etc. For Biblical references one need only look in the Bible Dictionary under Urim and Thummim, which words, it should be noted, are also plural in the Hebrew. 

--D & C 28:11 Does mention a singular stone, but it was the one used by Hyrum Page to obtain FALSE revelations.

--Mosiah 8:13 wherein Ammon clearly teaches that the interpreters (plural), can only be used by the command of God and that if anyone tried to look for that which they ought not,(treasure) they would perish. Which contradicts the folk lore story of Joseph first using the stone to find treasure .

--Multiple B of M scriptures refer to the true interpreters as plural, consistent with the Urim and Thummim. Alma 37:21 & 24, Ether 4:5, Mosiah 28:20. Even the one use of stone singular (Gazelem) Alma 37:23-24 is immediately referred to in the next verse in the plural (Interpreters)

4.        It is inconsistent with God, being a God of order, to supply the perfect system for translating, known as the Urim and Thumimm, and then to later supply a lesser system, whose symbolism is tied up in the occult.

5.       The flesh based revisionist histories which support its use, suffer from credibility issues.

a.       Both Emma Smith’s and David Whitmer’s accounts of the use of the seer stone, with the Hat, were written while both were in apostasy.  In fact, one need only read Whitmer’s writing “An Address to All Believers in Christ” in its entirety to recognize his apostate, self-justifying and spiritless state when he shared the account.

b.      The stone itself came to the church from those who had been estranged from it, and there is no chain of custody to verify its authenticity.

c.       Multiple accounts of Joseph finding and using the “peep stone”, contradict each other and have various differing descriptions of the stone and how it was used.

Just as with the Salamander letter, I believe in a coming day we will know the absolute truth regarding the matter.  However, since I already know by direct revelation from God, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, this current controversy is only important in that is serves as a timely and potent reminder, that the absolute truths with regard to LDS history, can only ever really be known by revelation from God. Fleshed based and flawed histories and stories, (even those support by some physical symbol), without verification from God by his Holy Spirit, are still mere mythology

<![CDATA[July 28th, 2015]]>Wed, 29 Jul 2015 00:50:27 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/july-28th-2015]]><![CDATA[July 10th, 2015]]>Sat, 11 Jul 2015 03:49:57 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/july-10th-2015]]><![CDATA[July 02nd, 2015]]>Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:57:17 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/july-02nd-2015]]><![CDATA[Sin=Spiritual Suicide]]>Wed, 01 Jul 2015 21:44:28 GMThttp://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary/sinspiritual-suicide]]>