I struck a sensitive nerve with Mom, that isn’t new, but worth addressing. What I want to address are these five points, that Mom believes to be true. If you believe as she does, then I hope to persuade you differently. Here they are:
- The LDS Church is true because the prophet never led you astray
- Repetition of the word “Ignorance”
- Defiance towards Christ by addressing the hierarchy directly
- The tithes
- Are we there yet?
Here is her response, …and my response to her five points:
l just want to respond to you, my son, that I know that this is the only true church on the face of this earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe that our prophets – from Joseph Smith to Thomas S. Monson – are men of God, called by God to be His mouthpiece on earth. They have never directed me astray – never!
Point #1:If you claim that following a prophet will produce salvation, then THEY HAVE led you astray from the PROPHECY of Nephi, who prophesied of our latter-day leaders saying, “and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;” Six hundred years before Christ, Nephi testified of our church doing exactly what they are doing, and Nephi points it out for you to avoid believing their lies. But, of course, you will believe, following church policy, a living prophet is more important than a dead prophet. It’s not that you’ve never been directed astray, it’s that you are simply “unaware” of being led astray. Just because you don’t realize that you’ve been led astray doesn’t qualify you as not being led astray. It just means that you are “ignorant” of being led astray. Ignorant and unaware are synonymous.
Though men may fail at their attempts to do good and to follow Christ, their struggle to stay in His light and every effort toward Christ is steps closer to Him. In all my years of teaching – whether it be in church, in scouts, or in the public schools, or my own family raising my 11 children – I have never witnessed great results in calling the students ignorant over and over again. Even in Amanda’s case where she really DOES NOT KNOW much, addressing her as ignorant to HELP her would be totally unproductive. Your repeated use of the word ignorant for ALL comments anyone who has not listened to your “person” or those who don’t understand Isaiah, is not producing more knowledge, understanding, motivation, or testimony of Christ. I understand your point – WE don’t know-, but to constantly address ANY effort to do good or to contradict good comments with the labeling of “ignorant” is unproductive of what Christ had intended for those who love Him.
Point #2: I can see how positioning yourself as “a teacher” in scouts, church, public schools, or parenting (11) children, …that being called “ignorant” would seem offensive. Being a student is something you haven’t been for years now. And worse yet, being a student to your child almost seems ridiculous. You have misrepresented me as a person who slaps an “ignorant” label over people’s mouths before they can say anything. My emphasis is NOT on how ignorant you are. That would be hopeless, as you pointed out. I have focused my efforts on “the missing light.” But because you take the position of “teacher,” when it’s time to be the student, your offense gets in your way, and ignorance wins.
Just as those two men who ushered you out of church for your defiance to your bishop’s instructions, your attacks on the “worthiness” of our prophet and any and all leadership within the church and even the church itself, I believe, is in defiance to Christ of whom is the head of His church.
Point #3: You have labeled me defiant, yet you know very well that my bishop had no right to refuse my temple recommend, as I have paid a full tithe and more, and therefore had no right to stop me from bearing my testimony on fast Sunday. But you’re OK with calling my obedience to the voice of the Lord “defiance” because it contradicts the opinion you have that the bishop is called of God? I am not in defiance to Christ. I know Him more now than ever before. But the scriptures testify that our modern day church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, would be defiant. And you would know that if you read your scriptures.
The good you have produced is that we have become better at reading our scriptures. I have found out for myself by reading the scriptures that our tithing SHOULD be turned in to the Bishop. Malachi 3 tells us to take our tithes to His Storehouse. So that is what we will continue to do. The Lord has always kept His promise. The windows of heaven have poured out blessings to us that we could have never imagined. We are witnesses to that promise. We have raised 11 beautiful children who love the Lord and desire to walk in His light.
Point #4: The only message I have offered is the message you received: read your scriptures! But by reading to justify your position, you have twisted (or wrested) the scriptures. If Joseph Smith read the scriptures to justify the protestant position, or the methodist position, than he would have become a protestant or methodist. He didn’t do that. He read them, to be instructed of them, and let God dictate what he should do. But, as you have been so well institutionalized as a Mormon, seeing the words of Christ outside of an institutionalized mentality is almost impossible. Therefore, your visitation from Christ will be too, until the day of judgement.
Regarding tithes, if your tithes are entrusted in the right hands, then why is there STILL poor among you? You are still responsible to have no poor among you if you are to qualify for Zion. How’s that supposed to happen? Are we all going to become real estate investors, and charge those not in Zion rent? You have listed all your financial blessings as coming through “The Windows of Heaven.” But, who was the guy that promised to use gold and silver, false priests who oppress, to rule and reign on the earth? How we define our blessings from the windows of heaven is an indicator of the master we serve. I would not use the same measuring stick. As stated before, it is intelligence that I seek, which is light and truth, or knowledge. Ignorance is in defiance to intelligence, or light and truth. Your definitions of tithes would change if you would do as James 1:5 requires, or Moroni 10:4-5. So, again, I point to the scriptures!
Are we there yet? No. Can we get there and continue in His light. Yes. He has told us so.
This is His church and I will heed the counsel of His prophet, called in these latter days to be the mouthpiece of the Lord here upon this earth.
This is my testimony whether it be – in your words – ignorant or not. I have witnessed the blessings that have come from the wise and sacred counsel of our leaders as they have -together with us- raised our children to love the Lord and to work out our salvation.
I love you, son. I will do what I believe is right and hope that I have taught my children well enough that they will recognize the Lord’s hand in all they do and to do it with utmost gratitude and cheer.
Point #5: You are right, you aren’t there yet, but you can get there. I believe that more than anything you’ve written. And that’s why I continue to talk to you, to persuade you that you can’t get THERE (where you want to be) from HERE (where you currently are headed). If you continue doing the same thing expecting a different result, you will only find regret in insanity.
You have been “doing you” for decades now. “Doing you” harder will not produce what you say you want. It will produce more real estate investments. It will produce more gold and silver. But it will also produce more problems. If you seek the treasures in the heavens, where moth and rust doth not corrupt, or where thieves cannot break through and steal, then it is the presence of Christ in the flesh that you seek. You will never get there from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Point Griffindore-Conclusion: I love you too.