Wednesday, November 17, 2010

41t The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Since its Earliest Beginnings; Some Brief and Partial Glimpses at What it Has Become and Will Yet Be!

To Access This Blog's Index, Please Scroll Down To the Fifth Paragraph From the End of This Post!

Regarding the Promised Reply to the Comment made by "BOMC" at the end of Post 41s, this entire post should be read first down through the second video I present. Then in a section of paragraphs after those videos, down to the Accessing of the Blog Index referred to in blue, above, I, Neil Birch, have written my promised response to him.


The Prophet, Daniel Interprets King Nebuchadnezzar's Dream - Painting: Grant Romney Clawson
The following prophecy of Daniel's regarding the "kingdom which shall never be destroyed" refers to that which will eventually evolve from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That kingdom Daniel refers to is Christ's.  
Daniel 2: 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
As indicated at the beginning of this blogpost, in order to provide background information which will prepare the other readers of this blog post, and "BOMC" who has inserted 2 COMMENTS in that section of posts 41q and 41s. I will not quote his most recent comment at this point but will refer to it later in this post.

As part of my later presentation further on in this post, I will provide "Latter-day" scriptural evidence that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church authorized by the Lord Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father who are one.

Some of it will be a repeat of what I presented in post 41s, but I begin with two videos that demonstrate the kind of spiritual strength that can come to individuals who put their trust in the words of the Book of Mormon prophets and the Latter-day prophets who lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The two videos I present were produced by an organization (FAIR) whose organizers agree fully with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, FAIR is not sponsored by the Church.

This first video tells the very touching and very intriguing story of a young Utah man, who was raised in another church, who searched for the truthfulness regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in particular, the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

This is a true story

This first part of this post is short with the video you have just experienced being the key part of Today's Theme. This next video is a sequel, or follow-up to the very inspirational video you have just viewed.

It is narrated by the same young man who narrated that first video. This second video portrays how the central figure in it, as it was shown that he did in that previous video, demonstrated great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You will easily see this same young man did just as our Savior advises us all to do when we are confronted with weaknesses.

I personally have a special love for the final scripture, of several he will quote for us. It has given me much courage when I needed such. I'm sure you each will find that those words of our Savior Jesus Christ, words from the Book of Ether 12:27 (Book of Mormon) apply to you too. Be prepared for a very special experience

This is a second true story.

Those two videos were shown to assist each of you, including "BOMC" just in case he is sincerely interested in knowing the true value of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will now quote that final scripture from the Book of Mormon that young man quoted in the video you just viewed. You may want to copy it:
Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Next I will respond to one paragraph in BOMC's most recent comments. He wrote:
"You praise the works of the LDS Church, but ignore the darkness of its members with outrageously high Prozac and Porn use in the churches back yard.  Or the low retention numbers through out the world."
"BOMC", I just did some checking on the membership totals of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I did this because of what you claimed in the just previous paragraph.

Responding to the last sentence of your comment above: At the end of 1971 the LDS Church had: 3,090,953 members and as at the end of 2009 there were 13.8 million members and that Church continues to grow rapidly in an increasingly larger number of nations throughout the world. That refutes your charge of "the low retention numbers throughout the world.

There will always be "less active" members in any church. In this church, however, "church activity is strongly encouraged and each ward or branch of this church works hard under the direction of its local leaders to gently and lovingly lead and guide less active members into increased activity as church members and and in increased spirituallity, wherever they may live throughout the world.

The Church is organized in such a way that the highest leadership, the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, etc. does much to assist the lower levels of leadership to know and perform their duties.

This past weekend a world-wide leadership training meeting was held through the medium of closed circuit TV. (Language Translation services are an important part of these meetings) This kind of leadership causes there to be a remarkably low attrition rate in new members. Your statement: that the Church has member retention problems, is very much off track!

If our retention of members is so poor how is it that this Church provides such a huge amount of disaster recovery support throughout the world. Many LDS members become actively involved in helping people, throughout the world to recover from disasters. Our huge number of faithful Latter-day Saints, under the direction of Church leadership have contributed much effort and financial support in many disasters world-wide for many years.

I have summarized this in a recent post, 39p.
In my post 23 I mentioned a member of the First Presidency of the Church reporting how that during one of the presidency meetings in the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, UT, the then president of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley received a telephone call from President George W. Bush, then president of the U.S.A. President Hinckley told his counselors, after hanging up, that the President of the U.S. who was just flying over Salt Lake City in "Air Force 1" (a 747 Boeing Jet)",
"Air Force 1"
and had just  thanked him for the great support the Church had provided in a particular part of the U.S. recently and wondered how the church could move so fast in providing such excellent disaster recovery support.

You also mention: "Outrageously high Prozac and Porn use in the Church's back yard." I don't know what allows you to make such a statement.

Yes, there is illegal drug use among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as there is among members of most, if not all other churches. But there is much evidence that because of the Church's Word of Wisdom, and strong teachings about living morally clean, the numbers are much less than would otherwise be the case. Being "Temple Worthy" (meaning qualified to attend special services in those sacred buildings) is very important to most Latter-day Saints.

As a professional Social Worker for LDS Family Services for many years of my life before retiring in 1996 I was privileged to become involved in some extent professionally with the outstanding Addiction Recovery Programs of the Church. These have been established because Church members do have these kinds of problems among them as do members of other churches. This program was based on the Alcoholics Anonymous Program which has been so successful for many years.

Several years ago after my and my wife's returning from a Church Mission overseas where I help set up some of these addiction Recovery groups and led out in having the Church's Addiction Recovery Program translated into the language of the nation in Europe in which we were serving, I, here in the Salt Lake City area attended a good number of these group meetings. By firsthand observation, I can see there is much very effective help in assisting church members, recover from their harmful addicitons.

"BOMC", there is overwhelming evidence that this church continues to be very successful in helping their membership face the challenges of this life as well as helping them prepare for eternity.

NOW, I, as briefly as possible in the approximately next twenty paragraphs, will directly address the other charges made by "BOMC" in his most recent Comment:

These comments of mine originally were intended to be at the end of my previous post, 41s (published November 12, 2010) in the Comments Section. However I thought it better to make it a part of this post 41t which which you are reading right now.

Inasmuch as you, “BOMC” clearly have given your tacit approval of the Doctrine and Covenants (Section 10, one of the books of scriptures held as containing the Word of God, by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I, in this post, will now use a quote from another section of that same book of scriptures to clarify for you and the other readers of my blog, the truth regarding the position of this church whose stand I have been supporting since this recent exchange of comments began taking place between you and me at your initiation.
Doctrine and Covenants 1:30 (November 1, 1831)“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually-- (Date clarification and emphasis added).
That revelation was recorded about a year and a half after the Church was officially organized.

The next to last verse of that same section of the Doctrine and Covenants also sheds clear light on this subject,

Neil Birch
Doctrine and Covenants 1: 38 (November 1, 1831) What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
Under the direction of the Lord by revelation, it was his servant, Joseph Smith, with Oliver Cowdery assisting, that the Lord's only true and living church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” was officially established April 6, 1830 as was detailed in my post 41q, quoting from an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Priesthood and Relief Society Manual.

It is clear to me and anyone else reading both Doctrine and Covenants 10 and D. and C. 1,  “BOMC” only quoted from D. and C. 10, but not from D and C 1. In failing to quote from D. and C. 1:30 and D. and C. 1:38 “BOMC” is unable to make the inference from D and C 10: 54 -55 that He (the Lord) was then speaking individually and not collectively regarding members of His Church.

There were a good number of future official members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, His “only true and living church” that the Lord was referring to in D. and C. 10:54-55 even though they were not yet baptized and His Church not officially organized, yet they believed in Him and in His Book of Mormon which was in the process of being translated and was being witnessed previous to its completion and printing by Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the Church and a good number of others closely involved with him and his efforts to bring about the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, under the direction of the Angel, Moroni. Moroni, as a mortal hid the golden plates by the commandment of God in the Hill Cumorah anciently in the same place as he as an angel led Joseph to retrieve the plates when Joseph, and the other, spiritually speaking, members of His (Jesus') church believed was taking place!

The Book of Mormon's Golden Plates and other sacred artifacts hid in the Hill Cumorah by the then, mortal Moroni were witnessed by the Three Witnesses, before the official establishment of the Lord's Church, and were shown these things by the Resurrected Moroni who was then, an angel of light! No doubt they were considered then, by the Lord, while serving him as witnesses, as His Saints (members of His Church in the not too distant future). Their serving as such demonstrates that they were a part of the process which would bring about the Lord's one and only Church. This, of course, was followed by the witness of the actual Golden Plates shown the eight witnesses by Joseph Smith (under the direction of the Angel Moroni).

Finally "BOMC", there are several other allegations you make that I will deal with!
You wrote, quoting from the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 28:3): “For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up and not unto the Lord when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord's; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord's; and THUS SHALL EVERY ONE SAY THAT HATH BUILT UP CHURCHES AND NOT UNTO THE LORD – (2 Nephi 28:3)

You then ended your comment by instructing me: “Please adhere to the teachings of the Book you claim to love.” I have given you much evidence from the revelations, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established by the Lord Jesus Christ on April 6, 1830.

You, "BOMC", are the one clearly in need of considering the teachings of the sacred books (Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants) both of which I dearly love and accept as the word of God for all of us in this day and age of the world!

Finally, you made several other statements in you comments above that I must deal with:

At the very beginning of your above comment you stated:

“I appreciate your passion for the Lord and the Holy Book of Mormon, but must address your error in challenging others whether they “have really read the BoM: with “Do you really follow the Book of Mormon?"
My intent was to show that the particular statement made by a professor of the Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, that “every time I read the Book of Mormon” I hear the voice of the poor unlettered farm boy, Joseph Smith. I, Neil Birch, had just quoted the mortal Moroni in Chapter 8 of Mormon in his prophecies of the unrighteous way people would be living in this age of the world's history! Those clearly were not words written by the Joseph Smith described by that professor!

Who wrote them? The Mortal Mormon and his son, Moroni! They both spoke a form of the Hebrew language their ancestors, Lehi and Nephi, passed on down to them. Joseph Smith translated them by the power of God!

Then again, perhaps not in that particular chapter, but generously throughout the first edition of the entire Book of Mormon, were found Hebrew grammatic phrases, which Joseph Smith, wanting there to be just good English in that sacred book, corrected out all of those Hebrew phrases, before the second edition of the Book of Mormon was published!

As BYU Professor, Dan Peterson pointed out in his so well done Mormon Times article, Joseph Smith may have been unschooled by some standards, but was raised hearing and using Good English and he wanted the second edition and subsequent editions of the Book of Mormon to be in “good English”!

“BOMC”, I don't think you read the article written by Dan Peterson by the response you made in your comment! I don't even think that you sought the Spirit to guide you as (if you did) read Mormon Chapter 8 I quoted in its entirety and illustrated to make its message more vivid!

I have dealt with other charges you made against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the earlier part of this post.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones! Very sincerely!

Neil Birch


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BOMC said...

D&C 1:30 was given 1.5 years AFTER Joseph formed his church.

There is no commandment given prior to April 1830 commanding Joseph to start a church.

As I know Joseph was not meant to further divide the body of Christ by starting a church, I do not trust the post-Book of Mormon revelations - no offense.

You should leave the D&C and cling to the Book of Mormon. So far, your spouts about the Book of Mormon are as mist - no offense.

It is unconscionable to me, that a Latter-day Saint thinks he can ignore the teachings of that book and escape hell. I implore you to consider words of Christ:

"Whoso shall declare more or less than this (Book of Mormon) and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil...and the gates of hell stand open to receive such." (3 Nephi 11:40)

"I will bring to light my gospel (Book of Mormon)...yea, the only doctrine which is in me." (D&C 10:62, dated Summer 1828)

Please repent while there's time.

Neil Birch said...

BOMC, You are waaaaaaay off track in your criticisms. You don't believe my statements from the history of the Church which is true history! No where in the book of Mormon is there mentioned anything about there being more than one church approved by the Lord which it appears you are asserting!

It does mention false churches being around in our day. You appear to know the Book of Mormon reasonably well, you can look those up those references!

You failed to comment on the testimony of the young man from Salt Lake City (whose video I provided in my previous post) who received a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon (just one of millions of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have received such) and then became a very faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints despite facing very difficult physical problems.

In an answer that young man in the video received to a promise of a Book of Mormon, prophet, Moroni, that he would know that book is true by sincerely asking, He followed up on that answer by joining the one and only church authorized by the Lord Jesus Christ.

You criticize a lot but you don't offer any other alternatives, because there are none! God would not offer such!

Neil Birch

BOMC said...


I asked for the reference of a commandment that Joseph should start a church that dates prior to April 6, 1830.

Secondly, the definition for "church" I also cited as found in D&C 10:67:

"Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the SAME IS MY CHURCH."

Note, that revelation was TWO YEARS before Joseph started a church.

If "church" is who you are, a state of being, how can any organization claim to "the only true church"?

Now a second witness, from the Book of Mormon:

"He that will hear my voice shall be my sheep and him shall ye receive into the church and him will I also receive for behold this is my church." (Mosiah 26:21-22.)

That is why the angel told Nephi in 1 Nephi 14:10:

"Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God [believers], and the other is the church of the devil [non-believers]; "

Thus, it is ridiculous to claim "you are the only true church" when "church" is all who believe!

To recap:

1. Jesus said his church was on earth in 1828, prior to anyone being baptized.

2. Jesus defined who his church was in the same revelation as those who "come unto me."

3. The Book of Mormon's definition for "church" is congruent with D&C 10.

4. There is no revelation prior to April 6, 1830 commanding Joseph to "start a church."

5. Joseph changed "revelations" to justify: starting a church, giving revelations, ordinations, priesthood, etc.

Now, Neil, you may ask, why is this important when from your view, Mormonism has done good?

That answer, our Lord gave 2000 years ago, and I'll cite now:

21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt. 7)

I plead with you Neil, to ask, if the Lord told Joseph on Sept. 22 and 23 of 1832 that the WHOLE church was under condemnation for NOT following the Book of Mormon:

54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—[Book of Mormon]
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, NOT ONLY TO SAY, BUT TO DO according to that which I have written—(D&C 84)

And if President Benson and other LDS church leaders confirmed that the "WHOLE CHURCH" is STILL under condemnation, isn't it time to get out from that condemnation and follow the teachings of the Book of Mormon - not only to say but to do?

Neil Birch said...

BOMC, As I have done before I will respond to your comment in this Post by doing so by the means of my next post, 41v.This allows the discussion be made on a broader level instead of the qute narrow level you have chosen. I suggest you read that post in its entirety before responding.

It will be published very early in the morning of Saturday, November 27th.

Respecfully, Neil Birch