Friday, November 20, 2009

There Is Safety Only When We Follow The Lord's Anointed / Lloyd

The First Presidency of the Church of the
 Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(Prophets, Seers, and Revelators)

In our family over generations we do not speak ill of the Lord’s anointed. And with each temple recommend interview we reaffirm our testimony and commitment to follow Jesus Christ as he leads His Church through His prophets, seers, and revelators.

My mother recounted to us that during her youth in Preston, Idaho visiting general authorities prophesized that Salt Lake City would become one of the wickedest cities on the face of the earth. And one cause would be member apostates and their murderous opposition to Church leaders—even to include defections among the ranks of the general authorities themselves. 

My mother taught us we could stand safely with the Prophet, the united voice of the First Presidency, and the united voice of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.

Judy and I have endeavored to teach our children the same. And we constantly pray that they will be diligent in teaching and modeling for our grandchildren these same principles. No criticizing of Church leadership from our lips—not ever.

Furthermore, in our family we are committed to take the side of the Church on all issues, both religious and political. Elder Bruce R. McConkie put it succinctly in The Coming Tests and Trials and Glory, May 1980):
“If we, as a people, keep the commandments of God; if we take the side of the Church on all issues, both religious and political; if we take the Holy Spirit for our guide; if we give heed to the words of the apostles and prophets who minister among us—then, from an eternal standpoint, all things will work together for our good.”
One of the most uncomfortable moments of my life occurred when Judy and I were riding in the car of an older friend, a role model, who had recently finished his graduate work at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He angrily and disparagingly ragged on our Church leaders, “They are a bunch of old men who are isolated and insulated from reality.” 

His remarks made my stomach turn and my heart burn with indignation. I had never before heard this kind of criticism of the Lord's anointed. I was a young undergraduate at the time, and we sat quietly embarrassed. I have since learned to stand up to that kind of talk no matter what the consequences.

I am reminded of my mother's admonitions to support Church leadership when I hear the recent scathing member criticisms of Church leaders and defections of members about the following issues.

1) the Church’s stand against same-sex marriage,
2) the Church’s support for decent & caring treatment of illegal aliens, and, most recently, 
3) the Church's support of civic protections against discrimination in employment and housing with respect to homosexuals in Salt Lake City
In the Mormon Diaspora (the scattered pockets of members away from the geographical center of the Church) apostates and critical members of the Church typically just stay away from church. 

But in former Mormon societies like Kirkland, Ohio; Far West, Missouri; Nauvoo, Illinois; and today in sizeable Mormon concentrations throughout the Intermountain West ecclesiastical and secular relationships are intimately entangled.

In established Mormon communities the results of church disciplinary councils for sinful & rebellious behavior have real-world secular consequences, and Mormon enclaves easily become breading grounds for rebellious members who have social standing as local church leaders, politicians and judges. They are apt to mimic the destructive behavior of their counterparts in ancient America just prior to the appearance of Christ. (See 3 Nephi 6 beginning with vs 21). Furthermore, social media have

Two quotes from the Prophet Joseph Smith about similar member attitudes in his day prior to his martyrdom are particularly appropriate:

“I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say; as many are called, but few are chosen.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, pg 520)
“Although I do wrong, I do not the wrongs that I am charged with doing: the wrong that I do is through the frailty of human nature; like other men. No man lives without fault. Do you think that even Jesus, if he were here, would be without fault in your eyes? His enemies said all manner of evil against Him—they all watched for iniquity in Him” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, pg 522).
The Lord is charting a course of safety for church members to follow at a time that is quickly becoming the evil and dangerous end-time of world history. These principles and circumstances are also meant to prepare this people to qualify for the celestial kingdom. This is our testing ground. Who are we to say that God through his anointed leaders doesn’t know what he’s doing?

Oh Jerusalem by Greg Olsen
Will Christ not lament again even of our time? 
O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you. And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, year, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens and ye would not." (3 Nephi 10: 4-6)

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