My Other Blogs


1841, 1867, 1961 ... Jehovah = Father

I don't know what I think about the Bible right now, today, but, I ran across these quotes, all authorized by LDS Church Presidents, supporting the view for which I was previously charged with apostasy in the modern LDS Church:

“We believe in God the Father, who is the great Jehovah and head of all things, and that Christ is the Son of God, co-eternal with the Father; yet he is our Savior, Redeemer, King, and Great Prototype;… and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.” – Times and Seasons 3 (1 November 1841): 578.

“Jehovah God, Thou Eloheim - Thy Son Jesus Christ” (BYA, 4 Aug 1867) - Brigham Young

“Jehovah, God the Father is one / Another His Eternal Son” (Sacred Hymns #262) - John Taylor

“Jehovah and his Son, Jesus” - (1 July 1961, Church News) - David O. McKay.

Today, the Church teaches that Jehovah is the same character as Jesus, a view primarily introduced and pushed by James E. Talmage, and unsubstantiated by Scripture.


Elder Nuttal's Journal vs. Lecture at the Vail

I'd like to compare some things from these two texts, as well as throw in a little commentary of my own observations.  I dare use HTML "table formatting" in a blog post, hopefully it works alright.   I've tried to bold phrases and words to illustrate correlations in the left and right side:

Text from the Pre-1990 Lecture at the Vail:

[Preface to Lecture]

PETER: A lecture will now be given which summarizes the instructions, ordinances, and covenants, and also the tokens, with their keywords, signs, and penalties, pertaining to the endowment, which you have thus far received.

Text from Elder Nuttal's Journal, and my own Commentary in Italics.

It is important to realize the Masonic literary traits present in this preface. The Entered Apprentice Degree has a concluding lecture that begins with a "recapitulation of the ceremonies through which you have just passed" and explains "why you were caused to submit to the various ceremonies of your initiation." It also explains "what constitutes a Lodge, its form, supports, covering, furniture, ornaments, lights, jewels; how situated, and to whom dedicated," This first paragraph appears to be essentially someone's recollection of how the Entered Apprentice Lecture started, with the content of the Endowment ceremony applied to it. The reason I point this out, is that such Masonic language was common to Brigham Young's sermons, and it is therefore very likely that the recapitulation section of the modern lecture originated with Brigham in spite of it not being present in the journal.


LECTURER: Brethren and sisters, the ordinances of the endowment as here administered, long withheld from the children of men, pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of time and have been revealed to prepare the people for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, where God and Christ dwell.

The deep meaning of the eternal truths constituting the endowment has been set forth in brief instructions and by symbolic representation. If you give prayerful and earnest thought to the holy endowment, you will obtain the understanding and spirit of the work done in the temples of the Lord. The privilege of laboring here for the dead permits us to enter the temple frequently, and to refresh our memories, and to enlarge our understanding of the endowment.

[Excerpt from the "Creation" Section]

As the creation of the earth progressed, you heard the commands and the reports of the persons representing the Gods.

If we are faithful, we shall enter the celestial kingdom and there hear and know the Gods of heaven. They are perfect; we are imperfect. They are exalted; we may attain exaltation.

Our spirits at one time lived with the Gods; but each of us was given the privilege of coming upon this earth to take upon himself a body, so that the spirit might have a house in which to dwell.

Michael, one of the council of the Gods, became the man Adam, to whom was given the woman Eve. However, as Adam he did not remember his life and labors in the council.

It is so with us all. We came into the world with no memory of our previous existence.

1. In the creation the Gods entered into an agreement about forming this earth. & putting Michael or Adam upon it. (I realize this isn't a very good match, but the statement here is actually corresponding to the recapitulation of the entire creation sequence.)

6. Adam was an immortal being when he came. on this earth

7. he had lived on an earth similar to ours he had received the Priesthood and the Keys thereof. and had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation and was crowned with glory immortality and eternal lives and was numbered with the Gods for such he became through his faithfulness. and had begotten all the spirit that was to come to this earth. and Eve our common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the celestial world.

3. We were once acquainited with the Gods & lived with them but we had the privilige of taking upon us flesh that the spirit might have a house to dwell in.

8. And when this earth was organized by Elohim. Jehovah & Michael who is Adam our common Father. Adam & Eve had the privilege to continue the work of Progression. consequently came to this earth and commenced the great work of forming tabernacles for those spirits to dwell in.

(you may notice that paragraphs 3 and 8 both have significant commonalities with the same paragraph from the modern lecture.)

9. and when Adam and those that assisted him had completed this Kingdom our earth he came to it. and slept and forgot all and became like an Infant child

4. we did so and forgot all and came into the world not recollecting anything of which we had previously learned.


[Conclusion of Lecture]

Brethren and sisters, you will have received this day the sacred ordinances of the endowment. The eternal plan of salvation for man, as he journeys from his pre-existent state to his future high place in the celestial kingdom, has been presented to you. You have covenanted to obey all the laws of the gospel, including the laws of obedience, sacrifice, chastity, and consecration, which make possible an exaltation with the Gods; and you have received the first and second tokens of the Aaronic priesthood and the first and second tokens of the Melchizedek priesthood, with the names, signs, and penalties of these tokens, except the name of the second token of the Melchizedek priesthood, which will be given you at the veil.

All this is done for the glory, honor, and endowment of the children of Zion.

Brethren and sisters, strive to comprehend the glorious things presented to you this day. No other people on earth have ever had this privilege, except as they have received the keys of the priesthood given in the endowment

The pre-1990 Lecture at the Vail ends with this text:

These are what are termed the mysteries of godliness--that which will enable you to understand the expression of the Savior, made just prior to his betrayal: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent." 

May God bless you all. Amen.

6. Adam was an immortal being when he came. on this earth

7. he had lived on an earth similar to ours he had received the Priesthood and the Keys thereof. and had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation and was crowned with glory immortality and eternal lives and was numbered with the Gods for such he became through his faithfulness. and had begotten all the spirit that was to come to this earth. and Eve our common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the celestial world.

Nuttal's Journal entry practically begins with this text:
2. these things of which I have been speaking are what are termed the mysteries of godliness but they will enable you to understand the expression of Jesus made while in Jerusalem. This is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

Complete Text from Elder Nuttal's Journal, in its original sequence, with sentences/ideas numbered.  Bold sentences represent the areas that have been entirely purged from the modern Endowment.

1. In the creation the Gods entered into an agreement about forming this earth. & putting Michael or Adam upon it.

2. these things of which I have been speaking are what are termed the mysteries of godliness but they will enable you to understand the expression of Jesus made while in Jerusalem. This is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

3. We were once acquainited [acquainted] with the Gods & lived with them but we had the privilige of taking upon us flesh that the spirit might have a house to dwell in.

4. we did so and forgot all and came into the world not recollecting anything of which we had previously learned.

5. We have heard a great deal about Adam and Eve. how they were formed &c some think he was made like an adobie and the Lord breathed into him the breath of life. for we read "from dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" Well he was made of the dust of the earth but not of this earth. he was made just the same way you and I are made but on another earth.

I believe the above concept was removed as part of the mainstream LDS Adam-God purge.

6. Adam was an immortal being when he came. on this earth

7. he had lived on an earth similar to ours he had received the Priesthood and the Keys thereof. and had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation and was crowned with glory immortality and eternal lives and was numbered with the Gods for such he became through his faithfulness. and had begotten all the spirit that was to come to this earth. and Eve our common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the celestial world.

8. and when this earth was organized by Elohim. Jehovah & Michael who is Adam our common Father. Adam & Eve had the privilege to continue the work of Progression. consequently came to this earth and commenced the great work of forming tabernacles for those spirits to dwell in.

9. and when Adam and those that assisted him had completed this Kingdom our earth he came to it. and slept and forgot all and became like an Infant child.

10. it is said by Moses the historian that the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam and took from his side a rib and formed the woman that Adam called Eve-

11. this should be interpreted that the Man Adam like all other Men had the seed within him to propagate his species. but not the Woman. she conceives the seed but she does not produce it. consequently she was taken from the side or bowels of her father.

12. this explains the mystery of Moses's dark sayings in regard to Adam and Eve. Adam & Eve when they were placed on this earth were immortal beings with flesh. bones and sinews. but upon partaking of the fruits of the earth while in the garden and cultivating the ground their bodies became changed from immortal to mortal beings with the blood coursing through their veins as the action of life.

13. Adam was not under transgression until after he partook of the forbidden fruit that was nesesary that they might be together that man might be. the woman was found in trans-gression not the Man-

So, I actually agree with making some changes to the above section; as I think Brigham wasn't quite on track with this as far as the process of procreation goes.  It has interesting implications concerning Eve's relation to Adam which I'm hesitant to knock down or to bouy up.  But I again want to point out the similarity to the Masonic EA Lecture.  "It is said by Moses the historian..."  and "This explains the mystery of Moses' dark sayings" are very similar to phrases from the Master Mason lecture "as the great Jewish historian, Josephus, informs us", and from the Entered Apprentice Lecture, "You have this evening during your initiation passed through many ceremonies which to you no doubt seem dark and unexplained, it becomes my duty to explain them."  I wouldn't point out these vague similarities if it were not that they exist in roughly the same place in the corresponding ritual. As Masons commit these lectures to memory, these ideas would likely be springing to mind as a Mason writes a new lecture for a similar ritual.  I am also unfamiliar with people, particularly those who believe in Prophets, referring to Moses as a historian.

14. Now in the law of Sacrifice we have the promise of a Savior and man had the privilege and showed forth his obedience by offering of the first fruits of the earth and the firstlings of the flocks- this as a showing that Jesus would come and shed his blood [Four lines without any writing on them.]

(This sentence #14 wasn't present in the correlation because it has been worked into the body of the Endowment as part of the explanation of the law of sacrifice, one of the only parts of the Endowment that contains blatant misinformation; Sacrifice didn't end with the death of Jesus Christ, but later, around 70 A.D. when the Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed, and also, the explanation given about Adam doing things in similitude of the Son and calling upon God in the name of the Son forevermore is contradictory to Brigham's own theology.  I believe this area of the Endowment was tampered with later, and prior to that, this statement resided in the Lecture at the vail rather than in the preamble to the Law of Sacrifice.)

15. Father Adam's oldest son (Jesus the Saviour) who is the heir of the family is Father Adams first begotten in the spirit World. who according to the flesh is the only begotten as it is written.

16. (In his divinity he having gone back into the spirit World. and come in the spirit [glory] to Mary and she conceived

17. for when Adam and Eve got through with their Work in this earth. they did not lay their bodies down in the dust, but returned to the spirit World from whence they came.

18. I felt myself much blessed in being permitted to associate with such men and hear such instructions as they savored of life to me-

Hypothesis based on Textual clues in the Temple Endowment

In the pre-1990 Endowment, there are two lines I'd like to point to as clues relating to a theory I have that the order of the Covenants in the Endowment has been switched around at some point in history:

ELOHIM: Jehovah, send down Peter, James and John and instruct them to give to the man Adam and his posterity in the Terrestrial world the law of consecration in connection with the law of the gospel and the law of sacrifice, and to cause them to receive it by covenant.

. . .

PETER: We are instructed to give unto you the law of consecration as contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, in connection with the law of the gospel and the law of sacrifice which you have already received.

You will note the absence of mentioning the law of chastity, even though it has already been conferred at this point in the ceremony. My theory is that the original order of the Covenants put the law of consecration before the law of chastity, and that the law of vengeance was sandwiched in between them.

This would make more sense, because the law of chastity would be directly connected with the token used for sealings.

What do you think?  Many early exposes have things quite mixed up; so I don't know how well they can be relied upon as a reference in this matter.


Training of Children

I shall not subject my little children to such a course of unnatural training, but they shall go to the dance, study music, read novels, and do anything else that will tend to expand their frames, add fire to their spirits, improve their minds, and make them feel free and untrammeled in body and mind. Let everything come in its season, place everything in the place designed for it, and do everything in its right time. – Brigham Young

This quote, ironically, illustrates the reason I don't think The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (among MANY other churches) is a suitable place for children to be brought up today.  It indoctrinates them into false ideas, and does not give them the freedom and diversity of experience necessary for their well-being.

Additions to Ether

[From the white river stone, probably on August 30 or September 1, 2007.]

Ether 6:12  And they did land upon the shore of the promised land.  And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.

6:12B  And the brother of Jared went and built an altar and offered sacrifice.  And he named the place Shadabekar, and he dwelt there for twenty days.

6:12C  And on the seventh day after the [landing] of the vessels on [the shore] of the [promised land, they were] approached by the man Shem.

6:12D  And Shem said unto them, I have seen in vision that [vessels] would come and that they would land upon the shore, and I have travelled to see, and behold! my vision is true, and for because of this I will join myself to you.  And from that day forth Shem, and his wives and children, and their sons and daughters also, did become numbered among the friends of Jared and his brother.

6:12E  And Shem did give an accounting of his people, and how they had come to be upon the land, and an account of their travels, which were many.  And this account he did write.  And behold, the writing of it was in a language that we knew not.  And although we knew not the manner of writing, it being curious, we understood perfectly the speech with which Shem and his people did speak unto us.

6:12F  And because he did write his account, I will not recount it here, for it is written already, and I do not doubt that we will learn to understand the manner of writing of Shem and that the record will become understandable to us after we have learned thus.  And until then we do have a recollection of all that he has related unto us, and we know that it is exceedingly great, and that his faith was exceedingly great, and that God did lead his people as he also had led us, and that we were not alone, and when we had this knowledge, it was like fruit, most sweet unto our faith.

6:13  And it came to pass that they went forth upon the face of the land, and began to till the earth.


My Letter of Resignation

Jeffrey Ryan Day
Birthdate: May 24, 1981
473 NE Winchester St.
Roseburg, OR 97470

Bishop Denton W. Herlan
{address removed}
Roseburg, OR  97470

This letter is my formal resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is effective immediately. I hereby withdraw my consent to being treated as a member and I withdraw my consent to being subject to LDS Church rules, policies, beliefs and 'discipline.' As I am no longer a member, you are hereby directed to immediately, permanently and completely remove my name from all records of the church.

I have given this matter considerable thought. I understand what you consider to be the 'seriousness' and the 'consequences' of my actions. I am aware that the Church Handbook of Instructions says that my resignation "cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation, withdraws the priesthood held by a male members and revokes temple blessings." I also understand that I will be "readmitted to the church by baptism only after a thorough interview."

I am not going to be dissuaded and I am not going to change my mind.  You will therefore waive the standard 30-day 'waiting period' in acting upon this direction.  I expect this matter to be handled promptly, with respect and with full confidentiality.  After today, the LDS Church or its representatives are not to contact me other than providing a single letter of confirmation to let me know that I am no longer listed as a member of the LDS Church. I am not interested in meeting with a representative of the LDS Church nor in receiving any counsel at all in regards to this matter, and I will not respond to any invitations for such.

It has come to my attention that a 'disciplinary council' has been scheduled for December 4, 2008 at 8:30 P.M., at which time the Stake Presidency plans to consider disciplinary action in regards to me. Immediately upon receiving this letter, I have withdrawn all consent, express or implied, to being treated as a member of the LDS Church, which includes disciplinary councils. I am aware of the case law pertaining to such attempts, and if any action is taken after the receipt of this letter to bring disciplinary action against me, I may be required to seek legal action and immediately contact the news media to publicize such action, regardless of any other directions which are found in the General Handbook of Instructions.

The reasons for my resignation are diverse and complex.  Almost all of them involve gradual changes which have crept into the Church.  I do not blame these changes on any one leader or person.  Some of them are a result of the LDS Church bending to the opinions popularized by conservative Christian denominations in order to gain acceptability and greater reception, some of them are the result of myriads of converts holding onto beliefs from their former faith without being given proper instruction, and some of them are more nefarious in their origin. My reasons can be divided into four major categories: 1) Systematic failure of the LDS Church to keep (or promote the keeping of) basic commandments; 2) Failure of the LDS Church to pass down all of the keys of the Temple Endowment; 3) Engagement in inappropriate political activity and unwise use of funds; and 4) Major idealogical changes.  I have included a more specific list of some of my concerns on the reverse side of this letter.  It was not any one of these things alone, but all of them together that led to my determination that the LDS Church is currently in a state of apostasy.  I could at least tolerate membership in a Church that is ashamed of its own God or its own History, but when coupled with a failure to "love thy neighbor," I see no positive benefit from my continued involvement in such a group, and this conclusion accounts for my recent actions intended to preserve the fulness of the Priesthood, unsullied, for future generations.


Jeffrey R. Day

cc. President Jon Hopkins, {address removed}, Roseburg, Oregon 97470.


I will make a follow up post with a transcription of the reverse side of the letter.


Parting Ways with the Church

On the night of Thursday, December 4, 2008, at about 8:20 P.M., Susie and I arrived at the Roseburg Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with two witnesses, Neal and Elee Hadley, members of the Umpqua Valley Worship Group of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), in response to the letters Susie and I had been given informing us of impending consideration of disciplinary action. The Disciplinary Council for myself was scheduled for 8:30 P.M., and the one for Susie was scheduled for 9:30 P.M. Both of us had been charged with apostasy.

We had spent the entire day preparing for this. As we entered the door, we were asked to take a seat in the waiting area outside the High Council Room.  Bishop Denton Herlan of the Roseburg Ward (our ward) was there with us in the waiting room. Also there was Bishop Rodney Grizzard, former Bishop of the Melrose ward (who was my first Bishop when I joined the Church), and is currently serving as Stake Executive Secretary.

After a few moments, we were informed that the High Council was ready, and Bishop Herlan and I were asked to enter the room.

Upon entering the High Council Room, every member of the High Council and Stake Presidency, fifteen men in dark suits, rose to their feet.  I was taken aback by this, whispered to myself "That was weird," and then said "You're scaring me: Sit down."  And, they did.  The look on people's faces were mixed of what seemed to be concern and love and respect and confusion.  I did not see a lot of "stern" looks, but there were one or two.

President Jon Hopkins asked if I would like to have Susie present throughout the entirety of the proceedings.  I said Yes, and they invited her in.  I took notice that they did not stand when she entered.  She had a seat.  I stood, and said:

"I have a couple of things I'd like to say before these proceedings continue any further," and, taking a stack of papers from my pocket, said "My beliefs square up to everything written here, and I would appreciate it if you would read this before placing any judgment upon me for my beliefs or actions."  I divided the stack into two, and said "take one, pass them down."  I accidentally omitted Bishop Herlan, as he was seated next to me, not in front of me, and upon my request, someone handed one back his direction.  I then said, "Don't read these right now.  I don't want to distract from what needs to happen here.   Next, I would like to introduce to you the witnesses that I have brought with me."  President Hopkins said, "At the appropriate point in the proceedings, we will ask them to come in."   I responded, "I would really like to introduce them now.  They've never been in this Church before, and they are waiting outside, and don't know what is going on at this point."   President Hopkins, with a sigh, (seeing that I was persistent) said "Alright, bring them in."

I opened the door, and invited them to come in.  Everyone stood upon their entrance.

I'd like to introduce Neal Hadley, and Elee Hadley.  They are members of the Umpqua Valley Quaker Worship Group, and Elee has just been appointed...  What is it again?"  She responded, "The Clerk for the North Pacific Yearly Meeting."

I continued "And, one of the reasons I wanted to introduce them at this time, is so that they could witness me handing this letter to you, Bishop Herlan," upon which I handed him a sealed letter, "and here is a copy for you President Hopkins," and I slid another copy in an envelope across the table.  "And, from Susie also", and Susie gave a letter to each of them.

"Should I read it now?" asked Bishop Herlan.  "Yes," I said.

They both opened the letters, and after reading what must have been the first paragraph or so, President Hopkins looked up from the letter at me and said,

"Alright.  This meeting is adjourned."

I shook hands with Bishop Herlan and High Councilor J. Lee Sharp, who was to our left, and said, "I wish I could shake hands with you all."

President Hopkins said, "You may if you wish."  Everyone stood, and I walked around the room, and shook hands with all of them.  I cannot remember everyone present, but I will do my best:

1. President Hopkins, President of the Roseburg, Oregon Stake.
2. President Vincent, Counselor in the Stake Presidency.
3. President Singer, Counselor in the Stake Presidency.4. J. Lee Sharp.
5. Jim Oliphant.
6. Bishop Powell.
7. Bishop Read, a former Bishop of Melrose Ward.
8. Dean Vincent.

(I can't remember the rest right now.)

After this, I left the room.  Bishop Grizzard was in the waiting area, I shook his hand, and noted how quickly everything was handled, then we left.


Pending Disciplinary Council

Today, this envelope was handed to me.

Here's what was inside:

My wife Susie received an identical envelope and letter addressed to her.
I will post follow up as events unfold.


RWW - This one's for you!

... and for the rest of those who have been wanting to hear from me again. Thank you all for your concern, your prayers, and your support. For better or for worse, I have found that blogging specifically to a Mormon audience is utterly not worthwhile. The Mormonism of today has its truth already, and is not looking for any innovation whatsoever. Innovation would separate it from mainstream Christianity, and favor with mainstream Christianity is that which the Saints of today most deeply covet. Strong words, perhaps, but true: If not individually, then collectively.

I am forever the heretic because I believe that Jehovah is the Father, as Joseph Smith did, and because I side with Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff on certain issues which, according to Bruce R. McConkie, implies that I "have the intellect of an ant and the understanding of a clod of miry clay in a primordial swamp" and that I "do not deserve to be saved." Why won't "our" apologists apologize for statements such as this?

(Side note: 2,555,000,000 years old. Hmm.)

And yet I believe! Well, I believe in something, and my beliefs are deeply intertwined with Mormonism. They may not be the Orthodox religion, but they are Godly, or, if they are not, then I have been deceived. But, I choose to believe that the Holy Ghost I have felt is real, that the answers to prayer I received about Joseph Smith are true. But I am not part of mainstream Mormon culture. They look at me funny. I scare some of them. They just don't know how to deal with me. And the more I endure, the more sick I feel when I hear their teachings. I mean their pet teachings, their naive teachings, not the truth. When they preach the truth it is still sweet, but the other things, the naive assumptions and philosophies of some of their most prominent men which they have blended with the gospel offends my spirit in subtle ways, and I would rather be in an environment more facilitative of my spiritual growth.

Is this selfish of me? I'd like to help them grow. I'd like to pitch in and teach, but I can't. My teachings are not permitted. So I feel saddened by it all.

If you like my posts, my thoughts, and want to hear more from me, or speak with me, please consider reading and commenting on my Masonic blog: Lodgical. Nearly everything I write there and elsewhere has personal religious significance to me. Even the articles I write for other organizations. If you have comments or questions to share with me of an overtly Mormon nature, or just want to chat, please contact me directly by email at

I want to talk. I have very little religious fellowship now. I am currently accepted as a sort of sojourner ("on the path") in the Jewish community, but that is not a place to deeply discuss my Latter-day Saint beliefs.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


In response to a post on "By Common Consent"

How to Give a Sacrament Meeting Talk - An Open Letter to Converts

This is in response to comment #44 on this above mentioned post, whose comments have been closed for some time: Ronan asked: "'Can someone tell me whether “talk” is an American-ism or a Mormon-ism in this context? Do business people or academics “give talks”?'

I can give the answer to this: This is one of hundreds of little administrational/organizational things that Mormonism has inherited from the rich heritage of Freemasonry. When a person is assigned to speak in a Masonic meeting it is termed a "Talk." We also have "Short Talks" which are talked designed to be 5 minutes or less, which has in modern times ultimately resulted in the widely circulated "Short Talk Bulletin" which I presume was originally used to provide a filler talk that can be used when one has not been prepared, but currently is just interesting in its own right.

The reason the Freemasons use the word "talk" is because of this: As Masonry is not a religion or a church, the statements cannot really be termed a Sermon, although talks may often involve biblical symbolism, etc.


Joseph Smith - Hermetic Prophet

I recommend everyone read this article. It's been around for a LONG time now.

Joseph Smith: America's Hermetic Prophet
To be sure, Gnosticism was always at core an independent product of primary, creative vision; by definition, devoid of this experiential ingredient there was no Gnosis.
Lance S. Owens


The Return of Mormon Gnostics

My new Bishop has informed me, and this is almost verbatim, that he couldn't care less whether or not I post on the Internet, that I can continue to do so if I want to, that I know what is right and wrong, that I can use my own judgment, and that he doesn't have the time nor desire to bother reading the things I write.

God bless his soul. I feel comfortable enough now to bring back my blog. I will be more careful about what I say. I don't think I'll ever feel completely comfortable blogging my feelings again. But I will blog, nonetheless.


Checking for the Countersign

Another little bit from my wife's GGGG Grandfather's journal. This one is fun:
A short distance from our camp stood a large tree. Here I was stationed with orders to let no one pass except he give the countersign. About 9 o'clock I heard two men approaching from toward camp. I knew by their voices it was our Prophet and his brother Hyrum. When they came in hearing distance, I hailed them, inquiring who they were. The answer was, "Friends." I bade them advance and give the countersign which they did over the muzzle of my rifle in true military style.

About two hours after this, I heard footsteps coming down the road. When in suitable distance, standing with my thumb on the cock of my rifle, muzzle of my rifle up, I called out, "Who comes there." All was silent; I stood there peering into the darkened road, expecting every instant to see the flare of some rifle. The sound began to move toward me. Then in a tone of authority, I ordered, "Halt!" Then I saw it was a cow. I stepped out of the road and let her pass without giving the countersign, thus giving the cow more leniency than I did the Prophet of God.

Danite Rites?

On the first Monday in August [1838] an election [at Gallatin] was held. It was the lawful right of the Mormons to vote, but the Missourians swore the Mormons should not vote, saying they had no more right to vote than a "nigger." This was trying to free born American citizens.

The ballot box was guarded but the brethren thought to claim our rights and maintain them, so they voted, walked up and offered their votes; a fight ensued and six or seven brethren cleared out all those who opposed them. Thus was the starting of the shedding of blood in the Mormon war of 1838.

About this time I was invited to unite with a society called the Danite society. It was gotten up for our personal defense, also for the protection of our families, property and religion. Signs and passwords were given by which members could know the other wherever they met, night or day. All members must mend difficulties if he had any with a member of the society, before he could be received.

This is the earliest dated reference I have seen to signs and passwords being in use in Mormonism, and predates the first Nauvoo Endowments by four years. This account comes from a Journal by my wife's Great Great Great Great Grandfather, Lumon Andros Shurtliff.


Michael Servetus

Some History from the Protestant Era:
"Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory."
-John Calvin
On 24 October 1553, Michael Servetus was sentenced to death by burning for denying the Trinity and infant baptism. When Calvin requested that Servetus be executed by decapitation rather than fire, Farel, in a letter of September, chided him for undue leniency, and the Geneva Council refused his request.

On 27 October 1553 Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva.

How true the saying is: They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me: they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.

Blessed be the memory of Michael Servetus and all the other good and faithful men who died at the hands of such a wicked generation.


Mortal Ministry of the Savior ...

After perusing The Mortal Ministry of the Savior as Understood by the Book of Mormon Prophets by Richard D. Draper at the suggestion of a reader here (going by the name of 'alma'), I feel impressed to say something about it.

Apologies to Richard Draper, but I don't think I've ever read a piece of work which denied or contradicted so many principles of the restored gospel in one fell swoop as this. Eternal Progression and any understanding of mans destiny seems to have been thrown out the window by Draper, who seems to have unclear goals in his essay. The absurd claim that Jesus "was neither man nor human but ever God" and that "He was different from all his mortal kin in that he was never man, and he was never human." introduces an ontological gap that elevates Jesus either above God himself, or casts him as some sort of a mule. I can't quite figure out which it is.

In attempting to harmonize what Draper seemed to consider obscure or easily misunderstood passages in the Book of Mormon, he appears to have spun an entirely new theology distant from anything present in Mormonism past or present, whether "orthodox" or not. This never becomes more clear than in his concluding paragraph:

The Book of Mormon witnesses that we worship a God who can be touched with both our strivings and failures, for he was indeed tried, tempted, and in this way filled with mercy and compassion. Though he was neither man nor human but ever God, he knew mortality and loved mortals, perfectly understanding them because of his experience.

Father in Heaven seems to have been forgotten in this scenario, and we have something left very similar to what one might find in a Protestant sermon. In contrast to this, I worship and serve God - meaning Heavenly Father. Anything short of this seems to be asking for trouble. Draper might try reading some of the amazingly clear passages in the Book of Mormon, instead of spinning theology from only the most obscure passages.

Do you agree? Disagree? Did you read the article in a different way than I did?

Thanksgiving update

I've read through Ether 3... Actually I had completed this far a while ago, and had forgot to post the update here.

I am amazed at the striking differences between Ether and the rest of the Book of Mormon. I think there may be room here to show evidence of either a Caananite or other Pre-Hebrew understanding of deity, but with some doses of Christian language thrown in as well.


Another reading update.

I've now read through Alma 13.

One comment: I must say that Abinadi's speech in Mosiah 15:1-5 is very odd, and seems to have very little or nothing to do with Mormon theology, unless the words are all redefined such that "Well, he said that but by using that phrase he really meant this." It sounds a bit like a description of modalism, though not sequential modalism. It is fascinating to me that modalism would have even been a concept at all in the B.C. years, let alone prevalent enough to have infiltrated the teachings given to believers of that time.


Reading update.

I've now read thru Mosiah 1.



Hello. If you've been reading my blog up until now, I apologize for it being down. If you were looking for something specific, you can email me and I'll send you the old information, or you can look it up somewhere else (like