The Scriptures Won’t Save You

LDS people place a lot of confidence in the scriptures.  We believe that the answers to most of our questions and challenges can be found in the pages of the canon.  If you are faltering in your faith, you need to read the scriptures more.  If you are struggling with temptation, read the scriptures more.  If you are experiencing difficulties of any kind in your life, you will find guidance in the holy scriptures.

But as I have begun my next cycle through the standard works, something occurred to me, and it is so obvious that I am embarrassed because I am only just now noticing it.  In the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, the wickedest people are the ones who knew the scriptures the best.  Jesus reserved his most blistering condemnation for the scribes.  The Zoramites created their own special hell to occupy.  And the sectarian preachers of the 1830s and 1840s were undoubtedly scriptorians, but they were also mob leaders and some of the most hate-filled persecutors of believers in the Restoration.  I think we are forced to recognize that familiarity with  scripture isn’t an unadulterated good, at least by itself, and that scripture study can be a giant step on the road to Pharisaism.

If scripture study is so great, why have so many people gone off the deep end with it?  What measures can we take to assure that we don’t merit being called whited sepulchres?

Comments

  1. Did all of these people get paid for their study and knowledge of the scriptures?
    Is this wickedness, in some way, related to money?
    If yes, perhaps professional institute and seminary teachers should beware…

  2. Ugly Mahana says:

    Thanks for this important question and reminder. I think the answer, or start of an answer, comes from Paul’s reminder that the point of the law is to bring us to Christ. If we try to use the scriptures in any other way, then I think we will be lost. If we come to Christ, then He will be able to guide us.

    Of course, this principle really has no outwardly measurable standards. Thus, the temptation to just read, create a list of perfect attributes, check them off, and judge others who do not meet the criteria we have selected.

  3. First Steve breaks the news that the bloggernacle won’t save me. Now you’re saying the scriptures won’t, either. What’s left for me now–a prayer wheel? Indulgences? Ritual sacrifice of large rodents? Perhaps a combination of the three . . .

  4. RSoLR’s? I don’t believe they exist.

  5. Steve Evans says:

    Mark, you’re right that pure scriptural knowledge won’t save us – rather, I view scripture study as a means of getting to know the God we worship, and of learning more about Jesus. That’s about it – it is a means of adoration and achieving familiarity with Deity. But it’s not necessary for salvation, really, and certainly will not ensure forgiveness for sin.

  6. Left Field says:

    Jesus also said the scriptures won’t save us (“Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.”) But we most often manage to somehow read that passage as emphasizing the importance of the scriptures, rather than limiting the importance of the scriptures.

  7. I don’t know that it’s necessarily the scriptures themselves that are the problem, but the elaborate interpretations the arise around them. This necessarily pulls someone away from the core or essence of the gospel.

    A perfect example in our own Church: at its core, the sacrament is a chance to renew our covenants with God. But there is a chain of reasoning that has built up over the years:

    - sacrament leads to purity
    - purity is often associated with white (Though your sins be as scarlet…)
    - the color white is associated with white shirts

    Therefore, it is near to a commandment in many wards that you have to wear a white shirt to administer and pass the sacrament. Multiply this by just about everything, and it is easy to see how people can go WAY past the mark of what the scriptures actually say to what they think they imply. And we are as guilty as any…

  8. Scriptures won’t save you by themselves because they are just printed words on paper.

    I would wager though based on exp that a person that reads the scriptures is much more likely to be saved in the end then one who does not.

  9. You mean you’ve never had this conversation with an Evangelical?

  10. Steve Evans says:

    bbell, what experience could you possibly have to say that someone who reads the scriptures is “much more likely to be saved”? Based on your observations at the Judgment Bar of Christ?

  11. Perhaps that is why the Church, while encouraging us to study the scriptures, have us do so for two purposes:
    1. Know the doctrines.
    2. Know the principles.

    Jacob warned how the Jews had “looked beyond the mark.” Perhaps that is one major reason why the prophets of today are having us focus on doctrine and principle in our classroom studies.

    It isn’t that the Pharisees or Mormon-hating preachers were wrong in studying their scriptures. It is in that they were looking beyond the mark in their studies that led to radicalism, or justification of evil lifestyles.

  12. It depends on what you mean by “save” (“The Scriptures Won’t Save You”).

    In any case, my understanding is that God’s wrath at the scripture literate folks throughout history was not aimed at their knowledge of the scriptures, but what they DID with that knowledge: they excluded people. For me, so long as the scriptures help us to sing the song of redeeming love (as opposed to create barriers), I think they absolutely can help save us and those with whom we have influence.

  13. Mark–

    I think you make an excellent point. There is much that can be said on this subject.

    You asked: If scripture study is so great, why have so many people gone off the deep end with it? What measures can we take to assure that we don’t merit being called whited sepulchres?
    _________________________________________
    Alma left the Judgment seat and went to the churches of his day with the hope of reclaiming members because “there began to be great contentions among the people of the church…there were envyings, and strife, and malice, and persecutions, and pride…”.

    In Alma 5 he bore down in pure testimony against them. Note some of the questions he asked them that go a long ways towards answering your question.

    ” is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?”

    “ye that have professed to have know the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as a sheep having no shepherd…”

    “will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another…”

    “will you persist in turning your backs upon the poor and the needy…”

    “have ye spiritually been born of God?”

    “if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?”

    I’ve read that Alma asked 50 questions in this chapter with the purpose of helping members of the church see themselves as they are.

    Thanks for your excellent post.

  14. 11. I find your handle humorously ironic when reading the text of your comment.

  15. Larry the Cable Guy says:

    I think you’re giving these “scriptorians” too much credit.

    They had obviously steeped themselves in selective readings, but the Zoramites also gave thanks for not being falsely swayed to believe in Christ. The scribes and Pharisees could not reconcile their elaborations on the law with the Messiah that walked with them. I think that it was centuries of false doctrines that made it so difficult for J. Smith’s contemporaries to get their minds around what he was teaching.

    Point being, they weren’t suffering from too much of a good thing. Those massive doctrinal miscues are the sort of thing that broad consistent scripture reading is likely to prevent.

  16. God’s harshest condemnations, punishments, whatever are always directed towards those who have had the law and the Spirit given to them and then choose to rebel against Him. The same thing applies to those who have been given access to both but who choose not to become familiar with either one. Where much is given, much is required.

    The scribes and pharisees weren’t reading and interpreting the law through the Spirit, nor were they practicing the law according to God’s counsels. They had perverted it by adding their own rules and commandments and had let their pride overcome them.

    I don’t see reading the scriptures as the same thing as studying them and embracing what they teach which is why I think that the church focuses on terms that reflect scripture “study” and pairs searching the scriptures with prayerful contemplation of them.

  17. Steve (10) – Maybe bbell was just going under the assumption that those who heed repeated prophetic/apostolic admonitions are more likely to be saved.

  18. bbell,
    Following up on Steve, the fact that we believe in vicarious ordinances that can lead to salvation for people, even if they were unaware of Jesus or the Atonement in this life, combined with the idea that little children who die before accountability (and are generally preliterate) will be eligible for salvation suggests to me that those who haven’t read the scriptures are far more likely to be saved than those who have.

  19. Based on my life exp I am comfortable stating that those that read scriptures are closer to the spirit and therefore more likely to be saved. Why else do we ask investigators to read the BOM? Why do Bishops ask struggling people to read the scrips? Why does my home feel better spiritually if we read as a family?

    I think we are talking about the hear and now. Not little children who die before the age of accountability and not people who never had the chance to hear and accept the gospel in this life.

    I also think that non-members who regularly read the NT are more likely to find themselves if they never accept the gospel in the next life in the terrestial kingdom over the telestial kingdom.

    There is power great spiritual power in scripture study.

  20. StillConfused says:

    When you focus on the scriptures and more importantly in using them to support your own desires, you lose sight of being a good person in your core. You can use the scriptures to justify any action (there is some really nasty stuff in the old testament).

    I personally think that the admonition to read the scriptures more is actually very lame. Greater focus should be placed on living a good life and that comes from living, not reading. Knowing the scriptures helps you to be a good person but does not make you a good person.

  21. bbell, if you want to talk about the blessings and power of scripture study, you don’t need to make unsupportable claims about who gets saved or not. I mean, continue to make them if you like — your idea about non-members in the terrestrial kingdom b/c of scripture study is just great — but if you want to convince people about the power in studying the scriptures, you are going about it in a pretty hilarious way.

  22. Kevin Barney says:

    No. 6 Left Field, a big part of the reason we so regularly misinterpret that “search the scriptures” passage is that it is mistranslated in the KJV. The Greek verb in the second person plural can be either an imperative or an indicative; there is no difference in form between those two options. The KJV takes it as an imperative, “Search the scriptures!” and we read that and think that Jesus is giving a command to search the scriptures. But from the context it is abundantly clear (look at a modern translation) that the ver is actually in the indicative: “You search the scriptures…” He’s pointing out that his adversaries search the scriptures diligently and yet fail to see how they testify of Him.

  23. If you still have time to sin or have doubts then you can still ask you to read more scripture.

    In a religious society scripture knowledge was power and power attracts both good and bad. Following the prophet is helpful but will no more save you than reading scriptures. In today’s church we tend to have people called to the top leadership roles and we get a few that let it go to their heads and get the same way as the pharisees and scribes.

  24. The Song of Solomon saved my marriage.

  25. I thought scripture reading was just to keep us busy so we didn’t have time to sin. In that way, it saves us from more sinning pretty darn well.

  26. Stephanie says:

    I don’t necessarily think that the answers to our questions are found in the scriptures themselves. I think the act of praying for answers and then seeking the scriptures opens the channels of revelation so the Lord can answer us. He makes the answers available so we can find them (for example, the same scripture may mean two different things to us depending on which day we read it).

    So, anyways, I believe the admonition to read the scriptures often is primarily to open ourselves up to revelation. If we are using the scriptures for any other purpose (as other commenters above have outlined): pride, prove someone else wrong, justify our own actions, etc., we will likely find what we are seeking – it just might not be God or His will.

  27. How many Christian churches are there? I’ve seen numbers from 800 to 1200. How come there are so many using the same Bible?

    I think the answer tells and important truth. People see things differently when reading from the same book; and have different objectives and agendas, as well. Left to their own devices, mankind would do the same with the Book of Mormon as they’ve done with the Bible.

    Without the gift of the Holy Ghost, and prophets mankind get lost very quickly. I guess that’s why the scriptures refer to the world we live in as lost and fallen.

  28. Antonio Parr says:

    24. How can anyone argue with Ronan’s testimony of the power of scripture? This thread sould close now, without any further comments or elaboration.

  29. My feeling is the scriptures are essential to salvation, in that it is this source (in the Bible) that first taught mankind about salvation and how it is gained (albeit, as it would seem, prior to the written word the scriptures were likely oral.)

    Even so, scriptures can be a two edged sward, able to be used to cut asunder the true word of God (which seems likely to be why we have been warned not to add anything to the true word of God).

    Personally, I think a personification of the harm done by adding to the word of God can be found in the way the Word of Wisdom is viewed today. Turning the“word of wisdom” into a commandment, rather than what it was meant to be, has turned it (by some) into a tool to prevent many very good, faithful people from attending the temple (and, as we all know, LDS are taught that the temple is the only source of ordinances which gains one membership in the Celestial kingdom).

    I don’t believe God demanded smoking and/or drinking coffee (etc) be a “litmus” test of someone’s true worthiness and faithfulness for entry into His kingdom—but the church, in practice, teaches it is. Worse, in so doing, it has caused a great deal of needless despair, pain and suffering to tens of thousands of people and families.

    If the church today followed everything Brigham Young laid out as “the gospel truth”, we’d be in even worse trouble! B. Young (and men in general) are fallible. Only God–and the true words of God –are infallible.

  30. I agree that reading the scriptures won’t save anyone-“but it is impossible to be saved in ignorance”, ignorance defined as lack of gospel knowledge. Where do we find the gospel? In the scriptures.

    Alma states that the records God had preserved for them had “enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.”

    Helaman says that “whosoever will, may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful…and shall…lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course…and land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven.”

    In the D&C the Lord says “And the Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your instruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things”.

    And “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

    And-“Whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived.”

    And-“And if a person gains more knowledge [divine wisdom and truth] and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”

    Reading the scriptures doesn’t save, but they contain the will, mind, word, voice and power of God unto salvation. They do not just testify of Christ, they instruct us in His doctrines and ordinances that must be accepted in order to partake of His salvation. Christ IS the word; those who really know and really love Christ also love His word.

    D&C 137 points out that it is the desires of our hearts plays a huge role in the degree of exaltation we achieve. The Lord reveals to Joseph Smith that “Those who have died (or will die henceforth) without a knowledge of the gospel but who would have received it “with all their hearts” had they been permitted to tarry obtain the celestial kingdom”. “For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. “

    Since the desires of our hearts when we die is the same spirit we are possessed of in the spirit world, I would agree with bbell that those whose mortal works have proven that their hearts desire was to know and obey the mind and will and power of God will be the ones who dwell with Him forever.

  31. I appreciate the sentiment of the original post, but I doubt that scriptural literacy is among the most prevalent failings of the Saints. More prevalent and dangerous might be an erroneous belief that one is scripturally literate, but knowing the scripture, being familiar with them, doesn’t seem to me to be a large threat (or a presently widespread circumstance).

  32. *but knowing the scriptureS, being familiar with them, doesn’t seem to me to be a large threat (or a presently widespread circumstance).

    Also, I think it is just as possible that knowing the standard works quite well can either lead to a rigid fundamentalist understanding of scripture, or lead to an understanding of the diversity within our canon.

  33. Eric Russell says:

    The scriptures saved this guy.

  34. Your premise has a very significant flaw!

    If the people in general were literate in the scriptures then these people with self-centered and incorrect agendas they claim to be based on scripture would be shut down very quickly.

    It is highly inappropriate for you to make a direct relationship between scriptural knowledge and wickedness.

    This especially flies in the face of the vision that Lehi had about the Iron Rod, which is the Word of God. It is the Oracles of God that give is our foundation of faith. Even Joseph F Smith said all subsequent words of church leaders must agree with the former Oracles. I say “oracles” because a distinction must be drawn between “Thus saith the Lord” level of ministration. When we look at the manifesto we clearly see any man, including the head of the church, who endeavors in any manner to lead people astray from the Oracles of God is setting them self up for serious trouble. God doesn’t say how or when and who would go down with those in error, but whether in this life or in the next they shall be detected and removed.

    Take Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s recent talk regarding the Book of Mormon. He was very emphatic to point out our soul’s safety is directly connected to whether we keep a firm grasp on the Iron Rod or not. If we as a people do not have a comprehensive and clear understanding of the “big picture” that the scriptures provide, then we are far more likely to go astray, even along with our leaders if we offer them our praise and worship for going along with us. We have a grave responsibility to know the Laws of God as pertaining to our individual duties as well as the duties of the officers over us. It is the responsibility of the members to object to leaders who do not perform their duties, all the way to the president of the church. You won’t know this if you do not actually read the Law of God where this is concerned. This is why we are asked to sustain or object. It is our duty to do either in good conscience and to have our objections sincerely considered. Anything else is tyranny and unrighteous dominion and making fallible mortals into infallible demigods (which is idol-worship at best and blasphemy when extreme). Are we tempting our current officers with “godhood” by proclaiming their infallibility when the Lord gave us the responsibility to uphold them only as the perform their duties, prescribed by Him?

    Food for thought!

    Enjoy,
    Jason

  35. Jason, thanks for proving Mark’s point.

  36. Lotta said
    “Even so, scriptures can be a two edged sward, able to be used to cut asunder the true word of God (which seems likely to be why we have been warned not to add anything to the true word of God).”

    Hebrews 4:12 says “ For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

    I mean no mal intent but your post is an example of how not studying the scriptures affects our understanding of God’s true words, and therefore it affects our faith.
    The warning in Revelations 22 is not to “add to or take away from this book” applies only to the “book of this prophecy” which is the Book of Revelations. The Bible, which is not one book, but a collection of “books” did not exist yet.

    In Deuteronomy God tells Israel “You shall not” add or subtract “from the word that He commands” hundreds of years before John (and Revelations) came to be. Do we disregard the entire New Testament because it both added to and subtracted from God’s previous words to Israel?

    No, because nowhere does God say that He personally will not or cannot change His own word. He did it all the time. And if He is the same God now as He was then, wouldn’t He keep doing the same thing?

  37. Mark Brown says:

    I love object lessons.

  38. Mark Brown says:

    Another thing I’ve been thinking about is that even as we emphasize scripture reading, our missionaries are baptizing more and more converts around the world who are illiterate. Somehow the gospel has to be accessible to them, too.

  39. If we have the scriptures go through us instead of us going through them, it makes all the difference in the world.

  40. For the record, I have dibs on Home Teaching won’t save you, Food storage won’t save you, Savings won’t save you, and Lifesavers won’t save you (the candy, not the large wooden props on cruise ships of the 1920s).

  41. Home Teaching, or being Home Taught, John?

  42. Paradox, you’ve got me reaching for the Pepto-Bismol.

  43. Not necessarily Steve. I think Jason pointed out the strawman that Mark’s OP is based on.

    Mark presupposes that in every book of scripture that “the wickedest people are the ones who knew the scriptures the best” in an effort to prove that “scripture study CAN be a giant step on the road to Pharisaism.” Jason challenged that premise.

    For example, can Mark prove that the Zoramites had any access at all to the actual ancient scriptures that contained the authorized word of God-much less access similar to that of the average Latter Day Saint? Did the people of Noah’s time, or the Lamanites? Those in Sodom?

    Mark isn’t talking about “general knowledge of the gospel” or God’s words, or people who might have heard a real prophet speak a time or two. He’s talking about actual scriptural familiarity. Even Lehi wasn’t as proficient in scripture when his family left Jerusalem.

    Mark’s theory doesn’t fly unless he can prove a closer association between those who “knew the scriptures best” anciently and those who study them today.

  44. guest,
    I think you might be assigning too much weight to the particular choice of wording Mark used (although, I guess, a blog author’s particular choice of wording is fair game). He wrote that “the wickedest people are the ones who knew the scriptures the best,” but I think what should be understood from that statement is only the idea that many of the wickedest people were scriptorians–not that they were the “best scriptorians” period.

    For example, I highly doubt that any of those wicked Zoramites knew the scriptures better than Mormon, and I highly doubt that Mark is suggesting they did.

  45. The greatest enemies of God come from the ranks of those who have approached the closes to the Lord, and then turned–sons of perdition. Certainly, one doesn’t get that close to the Lord without knowing the scriptures.

    … the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him. D&C 76:43

    I would imagine Satan, and the other sop certainly know the scriptures as well as any of the prophets.

    In my opinion, knowing the scriptures is essential to our salvation but ultimately insufficient, as Mark states, unless the scriptures lead us to obtaining a remission of sins by fire and the Holy Ghost, and then enduring to the end faithfully.

  46. Mark Brown says:

    Jared, I think that is about right.

    As the Jesuits might say, a knowledge of scripture is a necessary, but not sufficient, component of our salvation. The gospel requires us to do more than read, otherwise we are “hearers only”.

    And I think the temptation to Pharisaism is strongest when we have knowledge but are too durned lazy to act on the knowledge. The parable of the sheep and the goats tells us about people who had scriptural knowledge but who still failed to recognize God. If we think our restoration scriptures make us exempt from that lesson, we are on thin ice.

  47. As I have gotten to know Christians of other faiths this year, I have been struck by the fact that Mormons do not “know” the scriptures as well as some other denominations. What does Mormon scripture study mean? In what way are we supposed to be approaching the scriptures to reap benefits?

  48. 46.

    The goats might be lazy, and indeed failed to “live” the gospel, but they didn’t fail to recognize God. They address him as Lord just like the sheep do.

    For someone to be defined as being like the Pharisees, yes, they would have to have access to scriptural knowledge and then act contrary to it. But those who do not (or anciently did not) have access to scriptural knowledge could not act contrary to it and are not guilty of sinning as the Pharisees did. Those without law cannot be judged by it.

    47.
    Can I ask you how in getting to know Christians of other faiths that you were able to establish it as a “fact” that
    Mormons do not know the scriptures as well as some other denominations? I’m partial to request evidence when people talk about facts that are not self evident.

    As far as how we’re supposed to approach the scriptures, the Brethren have taught pretty much the same thing for decades. Elder Bednar’s list of 5 basic principles for scripture study are:
    1.Pray for understanding and invite the help of the Holy Ghost.
    Begin with prayer, ask for understanding as you study, express gratitude as you conclude.
    2. Work.
    Pay the price of regular and diligent study.
    3.Be consistent.
    Set aside a specific and scheduled time each day.
    4.Ponder.
    Take time to to think about the truths, experiences and lessons in the scriptures.
    5.Write down impressions, thoughts and feelings.
    Record what you learn, feel and think. Invite the Holy Ghost to continue instruction

  49. Hmmm. To study or not to study?

    The Savior talks about the spirit and the law. (Wasn’t it the law that the Pharisees had so carefully mastered? Is that the same as the scriptures?)

    I have wondered: one can certainly have the law without the spirit. Can one also have the spirit without the law?

    The Savior’s teaching on moral cleanliness seems to suggest his new law, the “spirit” of the law, offers a higher standard: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt 5:27-28). He precedes this teaching with another in which he suggests that the old standard was not to kill; the new standard is not to be angry without cause (v. 21-22).

    (Sorry to have actually quoted scripture in my response; I realilze that in so doing I will likely fall in the esteem of some readers, but I didn’t know where else to go to be able to quote the Savior.)

    I have read the scriptures, and I have even studied them. Sadly, I’m not sure I’d say I “know” them. But I know this much about them: they probably aren’t meant as weapons for beating others down or tools for building myself up.

    I’m happy to keep reading.

  50. Mark,

    My apologies for my tongue-in-cheek reply above. The answer to your question about how we avoid becoming whited sepulchres also lies in Matthew Chapter 5 in the Beatitudes. If we read with those qualities, and then teach with the same qualities, perhaps we’ll avoid the trap of the scribes.

    P

  51. Kevin Barney (22) Even if that verse is mistranslated in the KJV, the difficulty could be overcome if we’d actually read the entire verse (and try to make sense of it). What after all does “for in them ye think ye have eternal life” mean?

    Usually when I hear that verse quoted, the second clause is read quickly, as if we really don’t have a clue what it means and don’t want to slow down and be confused by it, so we just move on to “they . . . testify of me.”

    But, then, if we really thought that words matter, why do we sing some of the songs that we do? : )

  52. I had awonderful mission president who taught that if the scriptures were helping you be more loving…read them more, if they weren’t maybe you need to evaluate how you are reading, take a break or change your focus…

    there balance restored, mission story shared instead of scripture

  53. Ref: #51, perhaps if you’d read #50, you’d have seen my first post was tongue in cheek. Didn’t know I had to check my sense of humor before posting.

    P

  54. Just because Satan uses the scriptures mingled with philosophy doesn’t mean you should throw the scriptures out with the philosophies.

  55. When it tends towards casting “tongue in cheek” aspersions on other people’s appreciation of the scriptures, then yes, you do have to check your sense of humor before posting.

  56. Mark Brown says:

    guest,

    Well, I don’t know where to start. To my untrained ear, “When saw we thee…..?” sounds like they were unable to recognize God when it really counted.

    SilverRain, please note that I’m not advocating that we shouldn’t read scriptures. I’m saying that I have recently concluded that scripture study has an element of danger in it and that we should be aware of that danger. As a personal example, there was a time on my mission where I spent almost my entire hour of personal study every morning looking for clubs with which I could bash potential investigators over the head. I now believe that the considerable time I spent in that enterprise was not only wasted time, it was counter-productive to my spiritual welfare and actually did me harm, not to mention the harm I did to others. In that sense, I was very much like a Pharisee.

  57. Mark—My comment wasn’t meant so much to your original post as to subsequent comments.

    I do think that blaming scripture study misses the mark, though. The problem is contention and pride, not the study of scripture, as is illustrated by the extensive use of scripture both by Satan and by Christ.

  58. Mark Brown says:

    Then we are agreed!

    As I said in the OP:

    I think we are forced to recognize that familiarity with scripture isn’t an unadulterated good, at least by itself, and that scripture study can be a giant step on the road to Pharisaism.

  59. John Mansfield says:

    I think Nephi was on the same track as Mark Brown. When he famously warned about the learned who think they are wise, well what exactly would have been the education of those he was worried about? Probably not arts and science.

  60. I love scripture study. While diligent study has not made me a more believing Mormon, I don’t think I’ve become a Pharisee. An intellectual grasp of what the scriptures are and are not has made me a better person.

  61. Steve Evans says:

    John Mansfield, rumor has it that Mark Brown is also into bow hunting and shipbuilding.

  62. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to: #35

    Steve,

    I’d be happy to hear you out on why you think I have somehow proved Mark’s point. Do you disagree with my point that the masses knowing their scriptures would prevent Pharisees from gaining traction against them and everyone potentially going astray together?

    Have you read the Manifesto recently? It is a warning to ALL, including the president of the church. Have you read D&C section 107 recently? Please do so and do please correct me if you find anything else that shows me to be in error. When you read it you will find the president of the church is “chosen by the body” and upheld through THEIR faith, confidence and prayers. (Note: The office of President is distinct from “Lord’s Anointed”. Joseph Smith was Prophet, Priest and King at the same time. Three separate “mantles”.) You will also see “none are exempt” from being held as a transgressor. You will also see if men do not perform their duties (the ones prescribed in the Law of God) they are to be counted unworthy to stand. Who has the responsibility to remove them? The general body that chooses them. God clearly makes this the responsibility of the church. If you think I am making this up, please at least look into it yourself before you draw your final conclusion.

    Where people go wrong is they talk like they are an authority themself and pretend to be basing their positions on scripture but the scriptures actually say something different entirely. Too few know their scriputes well enough to properly expose their error and then it seeps into the cultural mindset and becomes a blinding “tradition of the fathers”. It is sad that too few make a close inspection of scripture to see where they have departed from what the scripture actually says soon enough to check this human tendency. Thus, as was the case with the Nephites, the landscape always shifted in the direction of favoring the lies people wanted to hear, so to speak. “There is no sin in this or that…” because “everyone’s doing it”. This is why God eventually has to destroy a people. They have blinded themselves beyond redemption.

    That is also what the Pharisees did. Their bias blinded them to what was actually written in God’s Word. I advocate for everyone to actually know what is actually written and to conform to that, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. This is where our safety is. Jeffrey R. Holland made that point very pronounced when he said these warnings applied to “us” meaning members of the covenant.

    Thus, anyone who can point out errors in what I have shared will be thanked, not argued with. I hope you genuinely meant well in your remark and that you will make an appeal to what is actually written to settle this. Otherwise, you will have actually allowed me to prove my point as you have made no appeal to what is “actually written” to base your point on.

    As far as I can tell, you are in the mists of darkness until you actually crack open your scriptures where these points are plainly written that I have given reference to.

    Also, in the Manifesto, there is a reference to “the programme”. Will you please tell me where else we can find “the programme” if it isn’t in the oracles of god that are being referenced? Surely that would include section 107 wouldn’t it? Am I in a better position to avoid being “cut off” if I actually take the time to know clearly what the Lord has given us as “the programme”?

    Kind regards,
    Jason Wharton

  63. Steve Evans says:

    Jason, my point, to put it succinctly, is that scriptural knowledge won’t save you if you are a total jerk. And you, sir, are a total jerk. So, good luck with that.

  64. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to #64

    Steve,

    Why do you say I am a “total dick”? I have only advocated a proper respect for the Oracles of God. If the Iron Rod is something other than the Word of God to “safely guide us through” then what do you suppose it to be? Have you read Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk recently? If not, please do so. It’s title is “Safety for the Soul”. Google it please.

    Thank you,
    Jason Wharton

  65. Jason, I would not say such things if I were you.

  66. Jason, I’ve edited my earlier remark to make it less crude, but let me reiterate the point: you clearly have studied the Oracles of God, but you do not understand them, because the Oracles of God tend not to be so pompous all the time.

  67. Left Field says:

    I agree with Mark B (52) that even with the KJV’s imperative, the general meaning of that passage should be apparent with a careful reading.

    The imperative reading gives a meaning something like the following, and still limits the importance of the scriptures relative to Christ.

    You think you have eternal life through the scriptures, but you should search the scriptures, and if you do, you will find that they testify of me, and if you come to me, not the scriptures, you would have eternal life.

  68. But what about that guy who got shot in the chest but was saved because “nothing gets through Isaiah”? The scriptures clearly saved him!

  69. Jason Wharton says:

    Steve,

    For your convenience here is a link to that talk.

    In particular, please understand he is making reference to a massive calamity taking place right here, right now (inside the church as well as outside) that is manifesting in the failure of men’s hearts.

    The last sentence of his address reads:

    Remember this declaration by Jesus Himself: “Whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived”—and in the last days neither your heart nor your faith will fail you. Of this I earnestly testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

    Based on what appears to me to be unjustified and unsubstantiated insult against my person, it appears to me your heart is running critically low on oil. I recommend you read Jacob chapter 6.

    Kind regards,
    Jason Wharton

  70. Jason, no one here (I believe) is advocating that we not read the scriptures. I think the OP (though perhaps not arguing with particular caution) is trying to encourage us not to allow knowledge of our scriptures to make us prideful.

  71. Oh, I love it. Bless your stupid Pharisee heart, Jason.

  72. Jason Wharton says:

    Steve,

    I agree I do speak with boldness.
    I apologize if I have come across as pompous.

    Kind regards,
    Jason Wharton

  73. Mark Brown says:

    Blair, I’m glad you’re here. I generally avoid arguments from authority, but sometimes that is the only one that works. If you get a chance, could you please use your knowledge of the JD to find someplace where BY warns people that scripture reading doesn’t necessarily make you a good person, and sometimes just makes you a sectarian ignoramus?

  74. Jason,

    I agree I do speak with boldness.

    Not boldness, Jason. Boldness is what Jacob, Alma, Mormon, and Moroni spoke with. You do not speak like them in the slightest.

  75. Mark—Precisely! ;)

  76. Ha, Mark, well- I can’t think of one off the top of my head that fits that particular description, but I can think of a few that assert that we don’t believe in an infallible canon. IOW, the iron rod is the word of God, sure, but that word is best delivered through revelation. Scripture study can help invite the Spirit, of course, but the iron rod is not contained in any book. Not even one that is the “most correct.” :)

  77. Jason, if you’d prefer to not be mocked in future threads, may I make a suggestion? Don’t be so quick to point out a “very significant flaw” in the premise of a given post. Authors typically put a lot of time and thought into what they publish here–in fact, it’s rare for an average reader to match or exceed the author’s investment in the shared blogging experience. Certainly, from time to time even the best thinkers can miss the obvious answers to their own questions, and even the best writers can fail to communicate their main idea clearly. But if you see a big gaping hole in an author’s reasoning, it’s wise to consider the possibility that you’re misreading the post and that the flaw lies in your own reasoning.

    In short: if you’re thinking “this was too easy” while you gleefully wield your trump card, the joke is probably on you. Thanks for the amusing adventure in irony this morning, and better luck on your next attempt.

  78. I have thought about this concept before – how the pharisees knew the scriptures so well, yet they refused to know Christ. I came across the following scripture (haha! I was directed, comforted, and taught by scriptures) that shed the light on what I was wondering…This is what Joseph Smith recorded about his experience getting baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost:

    “Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.

    74 Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of…” – JS-H 1:73-74.

    But it’s true: the scriptures won’t save you. The law won’t save you. The church won’t save you. Only Jesus Christ will – and His atonement is only accessible through faith, repentance, baptism, and then receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Scriptures are just one of the many ways the Lord has helped us to access him.

    Thanks for the post.

  79. Choco, good observation as far as Joseph Smith and others receiving revelation through the scriptures, etc. At the same time we should note Joseph’s willingness to see beyond the text for something deeper. He lamented that some folks would “fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all.” In order to have the scriptures laid open to one’s understanding I am assuming it would occur more easily if one was open to receive, rather than reading to close.

  80. Jason Wharton says:

    I appreciate all of the advice I have been given. It’s wonderful to be among people who care enough to offer their criticism.

    These facts remain: There is and was a “missing” in the premise of the article and I’m happy to stand with Jeffrey R. Holland in providing the necessary instruction to “fill in” the “missing” so that this flaw would not give rise to justification to immediately dismiss people who are very passionate about the scriptures.

    “Safety for the Soul” is in holding fast to the Iron Rod. Feasting on the words of Christ is how His Spirit is brought within our being. It is absolutely essential for our salvation and something to be honored and respected when a person sincerely implores for others to hear them out and to verify things for yourself in the Word.

    What I suspect is people here are set off by my premise that the vast majority of us have allowed “traditions of our fathers” to establish “precepts of men” that allow us to function from day to day (as active LDS members) with a mindset that is actually contrary to “the programme” and putting us in great spiritual danger.

    Sadly, rather than take a keen interest in where perhaps we are out of harmony and to go to the Words of Christ to settle the point in clarity, many here think it preferable to see me as being pompous and give no further consideration to my points.

    This is the “stiff-neckedness”, “gainsaying” and “hardness of heart” that prophets of all ages have confronted when trying to correct wayward covenant people. Please, read Jacob chapter 6. The setting of God’s hand the second time to recover his people is yet future (Christ’s Coming) and we are going to need Jacob’s message desperately in order to survive the tribulations and cleansing that is in our future. Wresting the scriptures is the worst thing we can do given what is yet to come. Eternal Life is only for the meek and valiant few who shall find it. I very much hope to be there and for as many of you to be there too. God’s Word cannot be dismissed in any degree. It’s not everything, but it is absolutely necessary.

    Regards,
    Jason Wharton

  81. So much for the salvation of illiterates, aye, Jason?

    ;)

  82. Steve Evans says:

    PRICELESS

  83. Thomas Parkin says:

    Reading the scriptures cured my adult acne. ~

  84. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to #78

    Kathryn Soper,

    Assuaging the egos of people isn’t among my highest priorities.

    Also, if you look, my point has been all the more affirmed by the comments from Steve and others.

    Nobody here appears to have taken the time to see what is “actually written” in the oracles of God I have referenced. Rather, I have been dismissed for various reasons. This stems from the fact that people do not want to be reminded of responsibilities that are difficult to dispatch. Itching ears want to hear “all is well”, but when people like Elder Holland direct our attention to a massive spiritual calamity we are all a part of, it gets scary and they fight like a banshee to maintain their distorted views, including insulting others. The Nephites even would kill the men moved upon by the Spirit of God to come among them and try to get them to return to “the programme”.

    My experience here vindicates the danger that poses a greater threat to the masses than those individuals who make a dilligent study of the Word. When the masses lack a comprehensive understanding of the Word is when the Nehor’s have the ability to function in a manner that is contrary to “the programme”. This is when they become “popular in the eyes of men” and there is acceptance from the world. This is why those who try and pull down the pride of the people using the Word of God are treated as enemy #1 and why the people will not actually make an appeal to the Word of God to see for themselves. They prefer to remain in darkness.

    All the best,
    Jason Wharton

  85. Jason, all you’re doing is demonstrating what an ass you are. Go away now.

  86. Wm Morris says:

    There are some amazing insights to be gleaned from the last conference, including talks by Elders Bednar, Holland, and Scott.

    They are not, however, clubs to be used to bludgeon others with your particular worldview.

  87. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to #82

    BHodges,

    Should we alter “the programme” such that “not one soul shall be lost”, including illiterates?

    Or, does God use forms of discrimination in the roles and responsibilities he gives to peoples?

    Lucifer favored the former premise and God clearly advocates the latter. Appears to me you are leaning in the wrong direction.

    When the Savior returns (after the fulness of the Gentiles has come and they reject the fulness of the Gospel) the fulness of the Gospel will be brought to the “natural branches” of Israel. (See Romans 11) If after this shift occurs the Gentiles want to be a part of things they must seek it out of their own volition. Any member of the church who fights against Zion will be “cut off” as the Manifesto prophecies, even if it is the president of the church.

    Paul says Gentiles will be received even though prior to Peter’s vision no Gentiles were received. The difference is now the blood of Israel has been infused in them. But, the point is, God does discriminate such that all nations, kindreds, tongues and people enjoy blessings in accordance to the measure of their creation. That’s just how “the programme” works. The illiterate are incapable of experiencing exaltation in this life and so their blessings will have to come after the resurrection if they continue to add light to what little they have.

    An important point we need to bear in mind, Israel’s responsibility is to be a blessing to the entire world. So, if we are doing our job correctly, we will be helping all those who are illiterate, etc. as much as we can. But, if we get mixed up and start to believe “another gospel” (like Socialism) in contradiction to the fulness of the Gospel Joseph Smith was given, then we will fail in our role and become salt that has lost its savor and be held in reserve for a scourge and destruction when the adversary comes to take the spoil. On top of our own destruction comes the responsibility of the destruction of those we were supposed to save (the illiterate) that we failed to because of transgressing against the new and everlasting covenant.

    If we truly care about the illiterate we should diligently magnify (get out the magnifying glass) and learn the exact duties God gave us and perform them with exactness and faithfulness.

    The result of doing this will be the salvation of the world because He is the master and knows what will actually save us. If we think we can continue to have intercourse with the world and participate in the building up of the force/coercion/policy based “beast” system conspiring to overthrow the freedom of all peoples, then we can rightly expect the wrath and condemnation of our God to rest upon us as a people. I foresee few LDS will actually “make it”. Most seem just as inclined to fight against Zion’s fulness as anyone I know. In fact, more ofthen than not, worse. Failing to build Zion as God prescribed it is going to leave people in far worse circumstances than illiteracy would cause.

    Regards,
    Jason Wharton

  88. Jason Wharton, as you might have noticed, assuaging egos is not a high priority on this blog. That’s not what I was suggesting in #78. Rather, I was suggesting that you stop making a fool of yourself. Apparently you had other plans.

  89. Jason Wharton says:

    Kathryn,

    Upon what basis are you saying to me: “Thou fool!”

    I have advocated faithfulness to the Lord and the Oracles He has given us.

    Do you agree if the masses allow traditions of fathers to put the oracles of God in the shadows that this represents a great danger to the masses? Do you agree this is what makes it possible for Nehorites to start to run their agenda in contradiction to God’s agenda? Were this to happen, don’t you agree it would prove our destruction if we didn’t not awake to our awful situation and repent? This is the whole point of the Book of Mormon. How am I a fool to advocate this?

    Why is it you have nothing to say to Steve who somehow feels it is edifying to call me a “dickweed”?

    Thanks,
    Jason Wharton

  90. Oh, she has plenty to say to me, don’t worry. But at least with me you know you’re dealing a hotheaded jerk. Instead of, say, a whited sepulchre.

  91. Jason Wharton says:

    Scott,

    I would be delighted to forgive Steve. In my heart, I already have. He is in the Lord’s hands, not mine. I would be delighted if he repented and took it back, but I don’t recall where he did so. Rather, he seems to be quite proud of his brazen ludeness and rudeness.

    Would you kindly show me where Steve “repented and took it back”? Evidently I missed something.

    Regards,
    Jason Wharton

  92. Kathryn Lynard Soper says:

    Jason, you’re not a fool to advocate faithfulness to the Lord and the Oracles He has given us. You’re a fool to think that’s what you’re actually doing in this thread.

    Hell fire, ahoy!

  93. Steve,

    I do not think you are hotheaded.

  94. Jason,

    I hardly ever creep out of my lurking on this blog, but for some reason I feel an urge to respond to you. Perhaps it is because I feel you were treated more rudely than you deserved. I appreciate your zeal for defending the importance of reading scriptures. I’m not sure, however, that the original post is saying what you are accusing it of saying. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be saying that the fault of the original post is claiming a direct relationship between scriptural knowledge and wickedness. I’m pretty sure that you are misreading the original post because that is not what I understand it to be saying. The original post does not have the missing premise you claim because you misunderstand the original post.

    The original post is not saying that reading the scriptures is not important. Nor is it saying that there is a direct relationship between scriptural knowledge and wickedness as you claim. The original post is simply pointing out that some people who have a lot of scriptural knowledge still turn out to be wicked. Clearly you cannot deny this.

    The way I understand the original post, it is asking at least two questions. 1) Why are people with such great knowledge of the scriptures still able to be wicked, and 2) How do we make sure we don’t make that same mistake. Good questions to ask; and questions that you seem to have missed. That, or I have misread what you have been trying to say.

  95. Jason Wharton says:

    Kathryn,

    You are saying I have departed from the Oracles?

    Will you kindly show me exactly where I am in contradiction with the Oracles?

    Will you please answer my questions while you are at it?

    Thank you,
    Jason Wharton

  96. But, if we get mixed up and start to believe “another gospel” (like Socialism) in contradiction to the fulness of the Gospel Joseph Smith was given, then we will fail in our role and become salt that has lost its savor

    I was wondering how long it would take for a political jab to enter the conversation. The dreaded “sow-shul-ism” that I keep hearing so much about. I guess we ought to also spurn the false gospel of capitalism, communism, and all other isms post haste. :)

  97. 1) Why are people with such great knowledge of the scriptures still able to be wicked, and 2) How do we make sure we don’t make that same mistake. Good questions to ask; and questions that you seem to have missed. That, or I have misread what you have been trying to say.

    A good restating, and I think better than the OP only for clarity’s sake.

  98. Mike RM, thank you for being nicer to Jason than he deserves, and nicer than I could be.

  99. Jason Wharton says:

    Mike RM,

    Yes! Your post hits the nail on the head!

    It isn’t that what the author said was wrong. It just left me with a feeling that there was an important “missing” that would lead people to disdain those who have taken the time to feast on the Words of Christ to truly understand God’s Will. Thus, I said his premise was flawed.

    My answer to this author’s questions are summed up here:

    The root of the problem is the masses are so ignorant of their duties prescribed in scripture that they become susceptible to those who would, as the manifesto warns, seek to lead people astray from the Oracles of God. To what direction are they led? Look at what happend with the Nehors. We are there today. Why? Because too few actually know their scriptures and the particulars of their duties. They just want to hear “all is well” and punish with mockery anyone who claims otherwise.

    I appreciate very much your contribution to this thread.

    Kind regards,
    Jason Wharton

  100. I prefer the Oracle that spoke to Socrates and told him that he was the smartest of all of Athens. Or the Oracles with lazer eyes in The Neverending Story. The Oracle on a occasion speak to me. Then I take my meds.

  101. Jason Wharton says:

    BHodges,

    I have taken an oath and a covenant with Jesus Christ and consecrated myself to seek with an eye single to His glory to build up the Kingdom of God upon the earth. This includes a very distinct political system. It is none of the ‘isms you have cited. Thus, I do shun all sub-celestial forms of governance.

    If you think the Socialism that is taking over our once free nation under God is wonderful then I’m sure Christ is more than willing to allow you to reap its fruits.

    I say “touch not the unclean things” and to “come out of her my people lest ye partake of her woes”. You are either for Zion or you are against Zion. I realize I’m probably on a “to be disposed of” list for being outspoken in this manner, but I say “Give me liberty (to live God’s Laws) or give me death.”

    Regards,
    Jason Wharton

  102. CONFESSION TIME TO ALL: I am Jason Wharton. Sorry everyone for once again hijacking the Bloggernacle for an epic prank.

  103. Mark Brown said
    Well, I don’t know where to start. To my untrained ear, “When saw we thee…..?” sounds like they were unable to recognize God when it really counted.”

    Maybe you enjoy arguing semantics, which is fine. I mean maybe you like to couch different meanings behind your word choices and perhaps the people who are familiar with know that. But readers who don’t know you can only reply based on the words you actually posted. A polite heads up would be appreciated.

    Because you said this:
    “The parable of the sheep and the goats tells us about people who had scriptural knowledge but who still failed to recognize God.”

    The parable is not about a “past tense” event, it is about a future event. “When the Son of God shall come in his glory, with all the holy angels, and shall sit upon the throne of His glory”. Now, if you think that the sheep and goats see all that glory and angels and have no idea WHO just arrived, scripture says that “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is God”. I think it’s logical to conclude that ALL of them “recognize” who He is.

    This is why the righteous are confused when the Lord tells them that at some point in their lives they have fed Him and quenched His thirst and clothed Him and taken Him into their homes. I mean, you think you’d remember something THAT amazing. “When did we see a hungry person and feed [YOU]?”

    The word “THEE” is emphasized in the scriptures for a reason. “When did we see a hungry person and feed YOU? Or a stranger and take YOU in?” These good people could remember serving others, but not the Savior Himself. What neither group “recognized” was that we serve Christ by serving others.

    So, since this parable doesn’t even mention that either party had any “scripture knowledge” at all, much less that one “knew the scriptures best”, AND neither party failed to recognize Christ for who He is-perhaps you could “start” by explaining how you came to view this parable as applying to or supporting your OP?

  104. Also, I am “guest”, too. Apologies also for that.

  105. I cannot forgive you for that one.

  106. OH, this is SO much more fun than packing up my house!

  107. Rather, he seems to be quite proud of his brazen ludeness and rudeness.

    Jason, I resent your suggestion that Steve uses drugs.

    Would you kindly show me where Steve “repented and took it back”? Evidently I missed something.

    Do a little CTRL-F search for “dick” in this thread. You’ll find you’re the only one using it. And me, now, too. Crap.

  108. One more thing; If either or both groups have “scripture knowledge”, why is it that neither group seems to have a clue that Christ views serving the least among us as the same thing as serving Him…since that information is IN the scriptures?

  109. I was about to write a post about the magnificent glory I feel in recieving my first responses ever froma comment I wrote. But now with Steve’s confession it feels somewhat slighted (still pretty good though). If your confession is true, well played Sir! Pretty impressive playing of two characters. And if the confession isn’t true, then that was also well played for the timing of it all.

  110. Well, that makes Steve Evans a liar at the very least.

  111. guest, you ain’t seen nothin.

  112. Dangit, Chris! I didn’t see your #101 before my #111. I am Scotty-come-lately again.

  113. Because too few actually know their scriptures and the particulars of their duties. They just want to hear “all is well” and punish with mockery anyone who claims otherwise.

    The original blog post is a caution, not a declaration that all is well.

    This conversation reminds me of the old story of the young man who went to talk to President Harold B. Lee. He sat in front of the president and somberly declared that he knew the right direction for all the Saints and so forth. President Lee listened for awhile and then told the young man that he wouldn’t be taking his advice. He pointed out that the young man hadn’t smiled once since walking in, and the strange serious tone dismissed the Spirit. (Not that there isn’t a time to be serious, because there is.) He said anyone who takes themselves so entirely seriously may not be in complete tune with the Spirit of God. This may be an apocryphal story, heck, I heard it from a Truman Madsen talk tape on my mission. But it certainly rings true, and I believe it casts light on the rude reception you’ve received here.

    IOW, you are sort of creeping me out, and I don’t mean that in a rude way.

  114. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to 115

    I am referring to those participating in the thread who are mocking and insulting me.

    I think its pretty well clarified by now that I only consider the OP as having a “missing”.

    Take care,
    Jason Wharton

  115. “If you think the Socialism that is taking over our once free nation under God is wonderful then I’m sure Christ is more than willing to allow you to reap its fruits.”

    WTF?!?!

    You claim to be making all of these arguments about the merits of scripture and then you show you are just a silly ideologue who is willing to twist the gospel into whatever meets your worldview.

  116. Scott #114,

    Try keeping up with me next time.

  117. Cynthia L. says:

    Thank you, Scott 110. We must all be astray that it took so long for someone to post that.

  118. Cynthia L. says:

    Oh doh! I missed Chris’ too. Sorry, Chris. You are awesome.

  119. Thanks, Cynthia. This is just a hub of awesomeness.

  120. Is Steve really Atreyu?

  121. Jason (if you are real),

    Thanks for your kind words. I disagree with you that anything was missing from the original post. I don’t think that the typical “reasonable” person would think the original post had any disdain for people who read scriptures. Just because the post says some people who read the scriptures are wicked, I would imagine that most readers are not tempted by the fallacy that that means one should not read the scriptures.

    I also disagree with you that the problem is that “the masses are so ignorant of their duties prescribed in scripture . . . ” I think the duties found in the scriptures are pretty simple and straightforward, and I dare say most Latter-day Saints are familar with them. I believe the scriptures say somewhere that all the duties can be summed up in two commands: Love God and Love your fellow man. Pretty simple duties.

    I also thought the importance of reading scriptures often wasn’t to accumlate knowledge of them (although that is a postive effect), but it was to bring the spirit into our lives so that it can guide us. It isn’t the scriptures themselves that teach us all things, but the spirit that comes from reading the scriptures. And that might be a possible answer to the original post: The people who are in danger of falling astray despite having vast scriptoral knowledge are those who forget that the scripture knowledge by itself is nothing. The important thing is living as God wants us to live.

  122. Jason,
    I’ve no opinion on your defense of scripture, because I think you are misreading Mark’s post. However, it is bad form to sign your name at the end of a blog post. You wrote your name in the Name (required) area. We all know it is you. While your regards may or may not be sincere, they are redundant at the end of your comment. Other than that, please carry on.

  123. Chris,
    You may have been first, but only one of us brought a picture of huge-busted, winged blue busts.

  124. Cynthia L. says:

    Jason, don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Those with eyes to see recognize your brilliance. Maybe if you take it up a notch the others will finally get it.

  125. Scott,

    Only one of us is skilled at looking up pictures with huge-busts. I am out of practice.

    I think John C. is Falkor.

  126. Oh yes, please Jason, do kick it up a notch!

  127. Aaron B. Cox says:

    Indeed, Cynthia is right, Jason. I appreciate what you say, and agree wholeheartedly.

    Would you have any interest in joining a group blog of likeminded defenders of the faith?

  128. Hey Aaron,
    How did you whether that Duke Lacross scandal anyways?

  129. weather, not whether. Yeesh!

  130. Cynthia L. says:

    Do I get to be that princess in the tower? I used to steal a rubber/plastic strap for holding the dome lid of my mom’s tupperware cake platter, and use it as her crown/headdress. For some reason I thought it worked. Anyway, if I get a better costume can I be her?

  131. I was actually thinking you should be the the flying wolf who is the servant of the Nothing. But, maybe that should be Scott. You get to be the princess since you are awesome and you have practiced for the role.

  132. Mike RM, you are a gem. That is all.

  133. Mark Brown says:

    Mike RM,

    Thanks, I appreciate your restating of the major premises of my post. It is still incomprehensible to me how somebody could misread the post so completely as some here have evidently done, but oh well. Thanks again.

    Jason and guest, at this point I see litle point in engaging the argument further. You appear to be the only ones who continue to misundersand in spite of repeated attempts by me and others to clarify. If you still feel like arguing, re-read the last paragraph of Mike RM’s comment # 95. Then if you still feel that you are a lone voice crying in the wilderness of sinners on this blog, I suggest you get some professional help.

  134. BHodges,

    I certainly understand what you are saying, and I agree that it is possible to take ourselves too seriously. But this thread isn’t about whether or not we take ourselves too seriously. It’s about whether or not we take the scriptures seriously. When we don’t pattern our lives after what the scriptures teach us we’re no better than the Pharisees or the Zoramites. Those of us who are lucky enough to have the greater light (the fullness of the gospel) in our lives and sin against it will receive a greater condemnation than they did.

  135. I wish I knew how to take a screen shot to sent to FAIL Blog.

  136. guest: “I agree that it is possible to take ourselves too seriously”

    I’m not sure you do.

  137. Cynthia L. says:

    Ok just so you all know exactly how dorky I was: here’s what the Neverending Story princess is supposed to look like. Note the headpiece that converges on the forehead. Here is a vintage Tupperware Cake Taker covered cake plate. Note the rubber strap that holds it fans out to a large triangle at each end. Now imagine those triangles interlocked to make the strap into a circle, and placed on the head with the triangles facing forward. Oh yes. So, so sexy.

    Thus was my childhood.

  138. Jason Wharton says:

    The very title of the post is problematic and inconsistent with the truth. The fact is scriptures are the only thing that saved me and that continue to give me hope in this very dark hour, which is going to get much darker before its going to get better. If it were not for the scriptures I would not have come to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I would be filled with exceedingly great fear right now looking at what is coming.

    When you use a purposely “edgy” title as you have, you most definitely deserve a response such as I rendered. A more appropriate title would be “Scriptures Alone Won’t Save You”. That one word is missing and it most definitely alters the premise of your otherwise excellent points.

    As for blogging, I have never used a format like this so my apologies for doing things that are not normal. I’ll finish out this topic and withdraw from the blogging environment. It doesn’t appear to me the majority of people here have very much sincerity and discipline so it’s best I just move on.

    My full name is Jason LeRoy Wharton and my regards and best wishes for everyone here are indeed sincere.

  139. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to #117

    I am for the Zion that all temple endowed LDS have covenanted to lay down their lives if necessary to establish here on this earth. This entails, among many other things, a political kindom with a King of kings, not an elite lording over surfs and slaves. I am for an economic system that does not rob the rich to dole the poor but that fosters the wealthy to consecrate their surplus to accomplish two things: 1) Lay up their treasures where they are no longer subject to thieves, moths, rust and corruption. 2) Under the direction of bishops, have the wealth of the Saint’s inheritances made available to those less fortunate via usury free loans to assist everyone in obtaining the tools and education necessary to be able to establish themselves in a trade in order to build their inheritances as well once their usury-free loans are repaid.

    This is not wealth redistribution.
    This is not wealth confiscation.
    This is not speculative investing.
    This is not trying to make our money work so we can be idle.
    This fosters everyone being productive and intelligent and contributive people.
    Most of all, it is a world-class economic system that would have everyone enjoying an abundance of wealth in their inheritances instead of the exact opposite of what we have now where everyone is pretty much forced to incur debt to do the things of major importance, like a good higher education, a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood, start-up a business, etc.

    We have totally rejected God’s economic system He gave Joseph Smith and we have totally succumbed to the economic system of Babylon and there are severe and dire consequences coming our way for having done so.

    Perhaps you don’t care that the US deficit is approaching 10 trillion and is going to likely continue to accellerate. I do. We are heading to surfdom and slavery if we do not wake up and take confidence in the promises God gave our fathers and come out from under the condemnation we are wallowing in and actually put into practice the things we covenant to do.

    Wresting the scriptures is the worst thing we can do at this time and certainly if we are going to automatically dismiss someone as fringe just because he has awoken to our awful situation and has poured through scriptures like his life depends on it, and like yours also depends on it, and then passionately tries to stir people to come out of their apathy, well then I guess you can all just write me off as the kind of person Mark allegedly feels the need to steer you away from. The choice is yours.

  140. Oh whoops. Here is the cake plate: http://www.rubylane.com/shops/falkystreasures/item/TupperwareToysx20cake (bottom pic)

  141. Mark Brown-

    All the way back in post 16 and 30 I said that I agreed with you and why. I did however ask you personally to clarify specific points which you did not. I have no way of knowing whether or not someone else accurately “clarified” your points for you unless you actually state that they did.

    You mean this paragraph?
    “The way I understand the original post, it is asking at least two questions. 1) Why are people with such great knowledge of the scriptures still able to be wicked, and 2) How do we make sure we don’t make that same mistake. Good questions to ask; and questions that you seem to have missed. That, or I have misread what you have been trying to say”

    The scriptures answer both those questions.

    1)Mosiah 2:36-37
    “And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved—
    37 I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples.

    2)More than 85 times the Lord tells us “Keep my commandments”. In all things, with all our might, mind and strength, with diligence, willingly, with faith, because we love Him, because only the obedient will gain eternal life.

    Are we agreed?

    I am a sinner. Like “some” here, I have no problem admitting that. But I’m not proud of my sins, I don’t excuse them, and I don’t expose others to them whenever I assume that someone else has “sinned first” or because it might give others a chuckle, for “fools make a mock at sin”. I take the Lord seriously when He says that I will be judged with the same mercy and tolerance that I have extended to others and I am ashamed of myself and repentant when my behavior dishonors the name of my Savior.

  142. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to #123

    I disagree with you that anything was missing from the original post. I don’t think that the typical “reasonable” person would think the original post had any disdain for people who read scriptures. Just because the post says some people who read the scriptures are wicked, I would imagine that most readers are not tempted by the fallacy that that means one should not read the scriptures.
    My issue is deeper than what you are addressing here. What people are likely going to come away with is a disdain for people who passionately endeavor to use scripture to bring about much needed correction. Notice how there are many here who do NOT use scripture at all but with an air of much authority and righteousness “smack me down”. They do not take the time or make the effort to first actually investigate my points to see if in fact they are based on God’s Word. I am immediately framed as a deranged fool by virtue of the spirit Mark Brown is promoting irregardless of whether or not what I am presenting is actually scriptural or not. I have directly experienced the negative blowback that the spirit of his post fosters.

    I’ll repeat, a far more severe problem isn’t that there are a few who take scripture and twist it and run amuck but that there are too few people who actually are disciplined to rightly divide truth from error by making an appeal to the oracles God has given us. Rather, they are quick to rely on their feelings or their own mindsets and commit the hypocrisy of saying, with no foundation other than their own opinions and worldview, that I have no right to utilize the words of our apostles and the Word of God to advocate the things that I do.

    I also disagree with you that the problem is that “the masses are so ignorant of their duties prescribed in scripture . . . ”

    How long would the Nehors remain in business if 90% of the people were very knowlegable about how God’s political, economic and spiritual orders are to function and the proper spirit thereby? They wouldn’t last a year before they would be exposed and shown clearly for what they are. True watchman on the tower would quickly enlighten people’s understanding what the ultimate consequences of adopting their philosophies would bring about. It is only when people have lost the spirit of the fulness of the Gospel that other awful alternatives gain widespread acceptance.

    I think the duties found in the scriptures are pretty simple and straightforward, and I dare say most Latter-day Saints are familar with them.

    I used to think this of myself as well. I have come to find out that Jeremiah 4:22 applied to me. The church wilfully does not teach what consecration actually is anymore. Most people just think it is some form of voluntary communism and that socialism is an adequate substitution moving us in the “right” direction. Our duty is to build up Zion and there are extremely few LDS who have hardly a clue as to what it really entails.

    I believe the scriptures say somewhere that all the duties can be summed up in two commands: Love God and Love your fellow man. Pretty simple duties.

    If that is all that is required then what was the purpose of Joseph Smith coming? This is like saying priesthood keys are just a helpful bonus that are not essential. Anyone, and I dare say everyone (except a few hard-core Satanists I suppose), certainly claim to be doing this. But, have you looked around to see what these supposedly “compassionate and well-meaning” “do-gooders” are doing with our once free nation? We are about to be plunged into a living hell on earth because so many are deceived into thinking they are righteous when it is clear most people hardly know the first thing about what it even is.

    I also thought the importance of reading scriptures often wasn’t to accumlate knowledge of them (although that is a postive effect), but it was to bring the spirit into our lives so that it can guide us. It isn’t the scriptures themselves that teach us all things, but the spirit that comes from reading the scriptures. And that might be a possible answer to the original post: The people who are in danger of falling astray despite having vast scriptoral knowledge are those who forget that the scripture knowledge by itself is nothing. The important thing is living as God wants us to live.

    I am in 100% agreement with you on this particular aspect. Indeed it is the Holy Ghost that brings us to a full knowledge of the truth.

  143. Steve-

    Every. Idle. Word.

    Jason LeRoy Wharton- “I see you”. It was an honor.

  144. Crawdaddy,
    You win.

  145. Not. Following. You. But. I. Think. You’re. An. Avatar. Loser.

  146. I LOVE IT!!

  147. Jason Wharton says:

    Reply to #143

    The scriptures answer both those questions.

    1)Mosiah 2:36-37
    “And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken (or written), that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved—
    37 I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples.

    2)More than 85 times the Lord tells us “Keep my commandments”. In all things, with all our might, mind and strength, with diligence, willingly, with faith, because we love Him, because only the obedient will gain eternal life.

    Are we agreed?

    Absolutely brilliant response! I am in agreement here 100%.

    I was especially drawn to the fact of how similar the points in the manifesto are to the verses in Mosiah above. If we go contrary to God’s Plan as He has given it, we automatically lose His Spirit. It doesn’t matter what our intentions are. God is the author of what political, economic and spiritual systems will be for the blessing and salvation of His children. If we lay aside His “programme” and go contrary to Him, we become His enemy. This begs the question why the church is so reticent to at least teach and promote the principles of the fulness of the Gospel even if we are unable to put them into practice. Our lack of knowledge of these things is harming us greatly as a people.

  148. Mommie Dearest says:

    “It doesn’t appear to me the majority of people here have very much sincerity and discipline…”

    In my experience as a devout lurker, the majority of people here are most sincere, and the discipline of blogging is different from church meetings, but it definitely exists. Just ask your admins.

    It’s too bad that there wasn’t more thoughtful discussion of the OP, because it gave me a lot to think about, in that scripture study has no salvation for us until we apply it in righteousness, and there are many examples in the record of those who have studied and applied in wickedness. It’s an idea worth exploring that got hijacked by (let me choose my words carefully here…) an ego fueled, um, dogma-fight.
    C’mon now, be humble enough to admit it.

    It brings to my remembrance a sunday school discussion last fall when we were reading about the School of the Prophets. The title of the lesson was a quote from the D&C in which the brethren were instructed to “seek learning, even by study and by faith.” Our instructor, quoting Bruce Hafen, made an examination of how the development of knowledge is different when pursued by faith vs study. But in the end, no matter how we arrive at knowledge, merely knowing does not sanctify, but by service and trial only are we sanctified, and the model for this is the atonement. It was awesome and inspiring. I took notes. (And Cynthia L. thinks she’s a geek!)

    So lets get off our high horses and maybe even get away from our computers and get our hands dirty in service and struggle.

    And if you think this title is edgy, you haven’t spent much time online.

  149. Jason Wharton says:

    It’s an idea worth exploring that got hijacked by (let me choose my words carefully here…) an ego fueled, um, dogma-fight.
    C’mon now, be humble enough to admit it.

    To me humility means holding to reality. If I truly felt I was here simply for an ego boost I would be willing to confess such. This is something I would definitely want to repent of if it were true.

    But, I know I am here sincerely pointing out a significant flaw I see in the premise of the OP. So, it would not be humility on my part to accept your insinuation. I might be culpable of pompousness and I have apologized if that is so. I yet lack the ability to see where I crossed that line. You would do me a great service to review my words and find the exact quotes where my spirit erred in that manner.

    It is clear I have elicited a rather significant stirring of the egos of others, but that was their decision to take it to that level.

  150. Thanks Mommie Dearest.

  151. Antonio Parr says:

    Just read the comments to this post. I stand by my earlier entry in which I suggested that the thread close with Ronan’s testimony of the Song of Solomon . . .

    As to the vitriol on bycommonconsent — Steve calling some earnest soul pompous and a total dick or total jerk or whatever . . .

    Do people really talk this way to/about each other?

    I grew up in a famously gritty east coast city, and my friends and I all learned at an early age not to be so aggressive with our words because the aggressor tended to end up with a bloody nose. To add to that, my parents took me as a child to a protestant church — albeit one that was not quite the “one and only true church on the earth” — and we heard the Beatitudes over and over and over again, which formed an impression that we were supposed to treat each other with as much kindness and courtesy as we can muster.

    In “Under the Banner of Heaven”, Krakauer argues that Mormonism is an inherently violent religion. Since Mormonism produced Lowell Bennion, I take great exception with his argument. However, were he to chance upon this Board, and the persistent hurling of insults towards people who mean well but perhaps express themselves too earnestly, he would walk away with the smug assurance that the strain of violence he postulated is alive in well (albeit in the terms of expressions of verbal contempt for others as opposed to the physical violence that was at the heart of his book.)

    Those who delight in such vitriol will probably write back that if those being attacked can’t stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen, i.e., simply stop participating on this board. Would that it were that simple. The problem is that in spite of the dung that is so frequently hurled by participants on bycommonconsent, there are quite a few jewels — Ronan’s wit and insight; Kathryn Soper’s astonishingly beautiful essays; etc. etc. — that are worth wading through the cess pools to find.

    All that being said, I doubt that this board would lose any of its luster were it to move forward with just a tad bit less cruelty.

  152. Antonio,
    Fair enough. But I can assure you that guest doesn’t mean well (he arrived with a chip on his shoulder that continues to increase in size). As for Jason, he seems impervious to reason, common sense, and vitriol. I think he can only be made to listen with kryptonite.

    The ugly truth is that the hyper-meanness is a manner of crowd control. There is a good chance that Jason is a troll and it is, I think, definite that guest is. On some forums people throw recipes at trolls, on ours we use sarcasm and general meanness. That’s generally been effective and the cycle of someone leaving in an angry huff and then returning shortly thereafter is, unfortunately, endlessly entertaining.

    However, as you note, sometimes our trigger finger is itchy. Sadly, I’ve not yet seen a comment by either of the two characters here that wasn’t ripe with insinuation and righteous indignation. I don’t have a problem with pointing out that they are trolling until they stop.

  153. Antonio Parr says:

    John:

    The way to control the crowd of purported trolls is to ignore them, not to incite their further participation by escalating insults and snide remarks.

    As for this issue of “trolls” and “trolling”, I am a firm believer that “in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see”. We all carry a fair amount of pain, and could all profit from someone giving us the benefit of the doubt. There are exceptions, of course, but the insults on this board seem a bit too gleeful (which is a shame, given the prodigious talent of the moderator and contributors to bycommonconsent).

  154. It has been noted for a long time in the ‘Nacle that there is a sort of superlative tendency – if anyone is teaching on a given gospel-related topic or activity at any given time – to amplify the importance of this topic/activity. So if someone is teaching about x topic (say, Family Home Evening), there may be a natural instinct to say that Family Home Evening is the most important thing a person can be doing.

    I think this post turns that approach on its head. You could take any x program/activity/principle of the Church and say that it will not save you. And in a sense, that would be true.

    In regards to the worst people in the scriptures being scriptorians – I think that’s quite true. Particularly in regards to the Pharisees and Saducees during the time of Jesus – it seems that some of the most influential of them were committing murder, adultery, theft, etc. and they were running their little mafia clique out of the temple and the synagogues. The story of the blind man who is healed and then excommunicated (because he simply says that it was Jesus who healed him), is quite telling of their rapacious nasty nature.

    Keeping that kind of definition of evil in mind – we have to realize that in saying the scriptures won’t save such a person doesn’t necessarily translate well to the general membership of our church. It might not be very insightful to say that a criminally vicious person who happens to tote a Bible around won’t be saved. Most of the membership of the church fails to hit that kind of level of evil achievement. I suspect. So I think the scriptures could still save them.

  155. Danithew,
    I agree–the scriptures have almost certainly saved lots of people, least of all those who took a bullet during wartime, only to find that it was stopped by the page containing Captain Moroni’s letter to Pahoran.

  156. Antonio, every rose has its thorn.

  157. Antonio,
    My only response is that the arrival of trolls on our shores has been a relatively rare occurrence since the institution of the slash-and-burn policy (at least, it seems that way to me). FWIW

  158. Kathy,
    Every cowboy sings a sad, sad song.

  159. do they only have figurative thorns if the fall wasn’t literal?

  160. BRITT! BRITT! BRITT!

  161. put me down in the anti-slash-and-burn camp.

    I loved the Tupperware thing though!

  162. Steve Evans says:

    Antonio, your ark-steadying efforts are as appreciated now as they’ve ever been.

  163. By the way – if Jason got his comments blocked, it’s a relief.

    I tried reading just a few of them and began to feel acute pain almost immediately.

  164. Jason Wharton says:

    My apologies to all on this blog for my intrusion on your space. It is abundantly clear to me people such as I have no welcome here. Thus, I will no longer attempt to contribute to this gathering.

  165. Mark Brown says:

    danithew, maybe Steve will have pity and give you some of his ludes.

  166. Mommie Dearest says:

    a few quick thoughts.

    Jason was painful to read.
    The OP has absolutely nothing inherently wrong with it. Scripture knowledge won’t save you at all. Only if you apply it like the Lord did in his earthly ministry will you be sanctified.
    Blog discipline is fine on this site. Everybodys’ learning curves look good to me, and I am paying the most attention to my own.

  167. Steve Evans says:

    I lurve you Mommie.

  168. Mommie Dearest says:

    See? Steve can be a nice guy.

  169. (((((((HUGS))))))))

  170. Jason Wharton says:

    Before I leave entirely I thought I would do more research on what the blogging thing is all about since I have not participated in a blog before. In researching this particilar site, here is what I found:

    “We seek truth, reason, and honesty with our perspectives on faith. … BCC is a place of charitable discussion for everyone…”

    This is a claim that my efforts here to share my perspective of truth, etc., as an active and faithful Latter-day Saint would be handled in a charitable manner.

    This is a commitment that the spirit of Nicodemus would be a governing spirit here. Even though Jesus posed a very significant challenge to him and his brethren, Nicodemus put truth and honesty above all else and patiently received and tried to understand the difficult things that Jesus had to tell him. This spirit is the same spirit that Moroni advocates all seekers of truth should employ and that this spirit is indeed the Holy Spirit that leads a person to know the truth of all things.

    It is this Spirit that a person must have in order to abide the presence of God (all truth). If anyone comes into the presence of God and they do not have this Holy Spirit (of meekness), they will not be able to abide His Presence and inherit the earth with Him when He comes. Eternal Life is only for those few. As Jeffrey R. Holland warned, the hearts of men shall fail them. As Jacob teaches in chapter 6, a failed heart is spiritual death “Yea, today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, for why will ye die?”.

    We are at a time when the King-Messiah from the House of Joseph (the Branch) is due among us at any time to redeem Zion and usher in the Kingdom of God in its full glory. (See D&C 113) This time around Messiah is here to attain victory and all of His foes will meet their demise by the wrath of God being poured out upon them. The Stem was “stumped” and the Rod was “broken” but the Branch will obtain victory. Those who will not hear this prophet shall be “cut off”. His bow shall be made strong by the mighty One of Israel to defeat all his foes.

    I plan to be on the side of meekness (which should not be confused with weakness) in hearing out all and conforming to what is actually written in the oracles of God that my attention is drawn to so that I will for sure see and recognize Him when he comes. In turn, I also advocate all Saints doing likewise. Eternal Life is right on our doorsteps if we prove faithful when He comes. The most trying and difficult times are here to prove out who is truly worthy of Eternal Life with God. It’s not a walk in the park where light-mindedness is going to serve you well.

    Nicodemus could abide the presence of God because of his meekness and sobriety. But, most could not abide His presence and accused him of being filled with the spirit of Beezelbub instead. This same spirit ultimately led them to crucify Him rather than be saved by Him. This site purports to function with the Holy Spirit governing its affairs, but my experience has proven quite the contrary. What I have experienced here is the very spirit that crucifies truth. All those who participated in this who are Elders or High-Priests are headed to Perdition if they do not cast out that spirit and receive the spirit of meekness in its place. Only in this manner can they remove their veil of unbelief and blindness from the precepts of men.

    If this blog started out with charity, it seems it has now morphed into an animal with a very different spirit. Rather than my challenge being received with the spirit of Nicodemus who truly tried to understand the Savior despite how sorely he was challenged by Him, the spirit of the people congregated here are more akin to the covenant people to whom Samuel the Lamanite delivered a much needed chastisement. He was met with arrows zinging past his head. All of their arrows missing Samuel is a representation of how all of the verbal arrows hurled at me here in this blog were met with imperviousness as John C. very aptly pointed out. I’m 100% certain Abinadi was viewed as a troll too. He even went to the extent of using costumes and disguise to get back in the door and go another round to try and save that wicked and fallen people. Fortunately there was Alma who heard his words before he was cruely burned to death by that wicked people.

    There was even a period of time that men inspired of God to testify to the people of their wickedness and blindness were privily being “taken out” by those who had been judges and high priests. That same spirit is here to a very alarming degree. It is much less of a stretch than most people realize to go from verbal arrows to physical arrows. This blog is on a trajectory to treachery.

    It appears the policy here considers brazen rudeness, false impersonation, insulting, etc. to be “necessary evils” of “troll management”. Those who perform this “service” are allowed to continue with impunity while those such as myself who genuinely wish to contribute in a respectfully challenging manner are “taken out” by them. Where is the charity in that policy? There is none! This is an abomination with strange bedfellows to supposedly meet a “righteous purpose”.

    Thus, due to this blatent hypocrisy, if the administration of this site does not bring about correction, starting with a post to this thread responding to this post vindicating it and rededicating this entire blog to conform to their stated purpose and method, then upon my departure I shall remove the dust of my feet even as Alma and Amulek did with regard to the people of Ammonihah.

    This post must remain public until I consent to its removal. To remove it will be considered by me as the administration undertaking to cover their hypocrisy. They may save face to the outside world but my “dusting off the feet” shall rest upon them and they will in time, just like King Noah and just like the people of Ammonihah, reap their reward.

  171. J. Nelson-Seawright says:

    Jason, you rock. When you damn me to hell for all time, please shed a tear for my loving family.

  172. Jason, regarding the dusting off of feet: I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to do that. Or at least we should be a little more circumspect about it. I mean, you jump right from newbie to feet-dusting in no time!

    Admins: I expressly authorize the removal, incautious editing, outright doctoring, superimposition of Hasselhoff images, or execration of any post, including Jason’s. You’re welcome.

  173. By the way, my good friend A. Greenwood could stand to learn a lesson or three from this fine gentlemen on how to properly denounce a prominent Mormon blog! Seriously.

  174. J. Nelson-Seawright says:

    Hey, gst, you only got the public transcript! Good brother Wharton also sent a private prophetic email of warning and repentance to the BCC crowd. If I weren’t already damned because of all my Ba’al worship, I’d be pretty scared right now.

  175. Kathryn Soper says:

    Jason, I want you to know that some of the permas doubt your authenticity, I believe in you. Especially now, as once again your complete and utter cluelessness is revealed. Nobody with admin power has any interest in deleting your comment. On the contrary, it will promptly be bronzed and hung in the BCC penthouse suite.

    p.s. If you find a caseload of corn niblets on your doorstep before long, don’t wonder why.

  176. Edith Wharton says:

    You are giving all Whartons a bad name.

  177. Joseph Wharton says:

    No kidding!

  178. Mark Brown says:

    Jason,

    Your comment # 172 has a very significant lie!

    You claim to have never participated in a blog before, so could you please explain this:

    http://jwharton.blogtownhall.com/default.aspx

    I discern that you have hidden sins, probably of a sexual nature, which are causing you be untruthful. Does your bishop know?

  179. JNS failed to mention the subject line of that email:

    My experience at your site and the consequences

  180. I can’t freaking believe it.

    Jason, are you aware that you just compared yourself with Samuel the Lamanite, Abinadi, and Jesus Christ? Thank goodness for your meekness.

  181. Eric Russell says:

    I should have known Jason would be a Ron Paul man.

  182. Everyone, sorry to be late to the game, I just love a good fight.

    Jason,

    Here my whole thing. Ref: #43, 45 I have to agree with Scott. First of all, you are nothing like Alma, Mormon, Jacob, Moroni, or the other bold leaders of our church. Simply because you have been misinformed as to where the authority for boldness comes from. Let us not forget that there is an order in all things. We have Patriarchs, Bishops, General Authorities, Prophets, Seers, and Revelators all called to lead the church. These persons have been blessed with the ability to make inspired counsel and on occasion righteous judgment of their flocks. You are not my bishop, and I doubt any one else’s on this blog thread. You have not been called as a prophet, seer, or revelator. You are not, I assume, a called missionary (or your internet time would be much more limited). Therefore, your calling to repentance of anyone on this blog could easily be classified as unrighteous judgement. You do not know anyone on this blog personally, and any judgments you make are based solely on YOUR preconceived notions, and your INTERPRETATION of their comments. I would ADVISE you to not rain down hell-fire and damnation on sheep of other flocks.

    Second – ref #140 – I don’t know about you. I don’t know what will save you. As for me, when I am before the judgment bar of Christ and am asked by what virtue I deserve entry into eternal life, the only response that I will be able to proclaim is ‘by the atoning blood of my savior Jesus Christ.’ That is the only thing that will save me. Not the scriptures, not my hours of home teaching, not my mission, not my temple marriage, nothing will save me except for the blood of Christ. If the scriptures will save you then you assume yourself to be perfect. And I am sorry my friend, megalomaniac you may be, you are no Christ.

  183. No fair! The BCC permas get a feet dusting? But what about the rest of us commenters and lurkers? We are an abomination, too! We want to be included. Where is your spirit of charity, Jason? C’mon, if you’re pronounce judgment for not being charitable, the least you could do is extend your judgment freely to all!

    It’s just that I’ve never had anyone dust their feet at me, and, well, I’m jealous.

    Oh, and I hereby command the BCC permas to not delete this comment until I have received my official feet dusting.

  184. To the question posted earlier as to whether the most well-read are the most wicked, I answer: The Pharisees and ilk were the only ones wicked enough to meet their Lord and Savior – and crucify him. Yes, the Scribes and Pharisees were the most wicked.

  185. Jason said “I plan to be on the side of meekness” in his 14 paragraph rant where he condemed strangers to hell and compaired himself to prophets of old.

  186. Yeah. MCQ said the same thing.

  187. I’d just like to point out that time vindicates the admins.

  188. Well I’ll be darned. I was asked earlier if I had a nice Brigham Young quote for the occasion, and while this one doesn’t pertain strictly to scriptures, I think it fits into the discussion that followed the OP:

    “I will repeat part of the “Mormon Creed,” viz, “Let every man mind his own business.” If this is observed, every man will have business sufficient on hand, so as not to afford time to trouble himself with the business of other people…

    There are plenty of evils about our neighbors; this no person will pretend to deny; but there is no man or woman on the earth, Saint or sinner, but what has plenty to do to watch the little evils that cling to human nature, and weed their own gardens. We are made subject to vanity, and it is right. We are made subject to the powers of evil, which is necessary to prove all things.
    We are apt to neglect our own feelings, passions, and undertakings, or in other words, to neglect to weed our own gardens, and while we are weeding our neighbor’s, before we are aware, weeds will start up and kill the good seeds in our own. This is the reason why we should most strictly attend to our own business… if we, keep our own gardens clear of weeds, our neighbors will take a pattern by us, and produce from their gardens greater quantities of fruit another year,”
    (Brigham Young, JD 2:92-93).

    I suppose that goes for me, too, though. Wait, so is Brigham not paying enough attention to his own garden because he is telling others what to do about their own gardens?

    Maybe we can go back to talking about how the scriptures are neutral, not the fashioner of exalted or damned souls (either/or), but both/and!

  189. Jason Wharton says:

    Thank you for reminding me that I did make a post on the Townhall Blog site. Thus, I stand rightfully corrected in having made a false statement and I therefore retract it. I totally forget about that. I even tried to setup a WordPress site at that time but became discouraged and gave up because the flood of spam was torrential.

    That said, it is true I am not an experienced blogger who knows all the particular conventions bloggers have established. That is all I was really trying to convey.

    PS. I have participated in some email based discussion groups as well, for those who may want to know.

    WRT to dusting off feet. Any house that takes the policy of throwing arrows at someone sincerely seeking to teach truth, especially when the house sets themselves up as a source of light and truth in charity, they most assuredly have earned this condemnation when they are proven out to be complete hypocrites. Of course repentance is available to them and I sincerely hope this serves as a sobering wake-up call. And, the truth of the matter is, I would have to say anything and they would merely be cursing themselves anyway. My performing of the ordinance is simply my way of testifying to my Lord that at Judgment Day when these individuals are complaining and making excuses because they are being cut out of Israel’s lineage for their future resurrection I will be able to step forward and relate, as a witness, why they are no longer worthy to be sealed in a lineage that has rights to the priesthood.

  190. Give this man a Knoblet.

  191. If Jason is still lurking (he keeps saying he’s left but then he comes right back) I would be interested in his responses to the two questions posed by the original post:

    If scripture study is so great, why have so many people gone off the deep end with it? What measures can we take to assure that we don’t merit being called whited sepulchres?

  192. I don’t understand how Jason Wharton thinks he is in the same or similar position to Samuel the Lamanite or Abinadi. It’s a very confusing comparison. The overbearingness and overzealousness of that approach should be of real concern to him if he is a Mormon (if he is an FLDS then his rhetoric makes a little more sense as he will not be concerned with infringing on the perogative of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve or First Presidency). Zeniff’s societal experiment was an abject failure and it was characterized above all else by his overzealousness. The long, prideful comment also resembles aspects of Nehorite practice in the Book of Mormon, except that he acknowledges the existence of a Savior.

    I am not in favor of making fun of a disruptive commenter such as Jason or impersonating him by posting under his moniker. I agree that his comments speak for themselves in how far removed from Christ’s Gospel of longsuffering, meekness and joy they are and how pharisaically critical and closed they are to the world of ideas that the truths of the Restored Gospel can and should (and does) embrace. He kept making those outrageous comments precisely because people kept egging him on and fueling his persecution complex. Hopefully we can all be more circumspect with future commentors of that nature and not feed their appetite with responsive comments.

  193. J. Nelson-Seawright says:

    Jason, I’d say pretty much everything published at BCC is probably false, this sentence included. So what?

    You might try to be more like Paul: shipwrecked and eventually imprisoned. Oh, I mean: you become all things to all people in order to lead them to truth. If you tailor your presentation to the circumstances, you might not have to perform so many spurious and blasphemous ordinances.

  194. Can someone come up with one of those little animated emoticons of someone dusting off their feet? That would be the only thing that could top off Jason’s comment.

  195. I just want to say that posts like this are why popcorn was invented. Thanks, Jason!

  196. Never in my whole life have I been so upset at having been on a conference call at work than now. I left just after Steve Evans gave Mommie Dearest (((((Hugs))))) and returned at 195.

    I weep bitterly.

  197. If the dusting off of feet is an ordinance between you and the Lord, then why would you post it on the internet? Is it because you think God will do a Google Search for your name in preparation for Judgement Day?

    Please do not mess around with holy ordinances you do not understand. Doing an ordinance incorrectly or in the wrong spirit is really heading down the wrong road, so I would advise you to be careful.

  198. Matsby,
    In fairness to Jason, I don’t get the impression that he is sort of guy that God will be judging all that harshly, if you know what I’m saying, which you probably do, by which I mean I think that he is not among the sane, by which I mean that I think he needs to seek treatment at a mental health facility as soon as possible.

  199. Mark Brown says:

    OK, I think it’s time for this thread to go to the spirit world.

    Jason, you have given me plenty of free and unsolicited advice, so I think you should take some from me. I think it would be a good thing for you to see your bishop about some of the things you have said here and get his input. I really do.

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