There is nothing ‘brave’ about challenging the Church

Of all the silly arguments made by supporters of John Dehlin and Kate Kelly, the silliest of all is that they are doing something “brave.” If you do a search for “John Dehlin brave” or “Kate Kelly brave” you will encounter dozens of sycophantic followers claiming they are “brave” for standing up to the Church.

There is nothing courageous about it. In fact, contradicting the Church in this day and age is so certain to please the crowds that even the basest coward can do it.

Elite media have turned Dehlin and Kelly into heroes. Nothing would be known about their disciplinary councils if Dehlin and Kelly didn’t immediately run to the press to let them know because the Church does not release details on such councils. Dehlin and Kelly, however, emit press releases and try to turn private, sacred events into circuses by ginning up public support. In Kelly’s case, it involved protesting General Conference. For Dehlin, it is an attempt to ask his supporters to hold a “vigil” at a stake center during his disciplinary council.

Since when it is “brave” to take actions certain to be applauded by the mainstream media and supported by crowds of people?

The truly brave people are those who do what is right even when the crowd disapproves. Today, that means maintaining God’s standards even in the face of overwhelming public disapproval. For example, here is a brave man:

“Our doctrine—not just belief, but doctrine—that sexual relations are only appropriate and lawful in the Lord’s eyes between man and woman legally and lawfully married is unchanged and will never change.” —Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve

It is a certainty that maintaining such a position will become increasingly unpopular in the coming years, and Church leaders will not cave and will indeed be courageous.
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Untold Stories – Nauvoo, Log Cabins, and Cthulhu

imageWhen we visit Nauvoo, our home away from home is the Van Fleet cabin, one of the authentic log cabins off Mulholland Street, a few blocks east of the Nauvoo temple.

I love to stay in this home, where dozens of people lived over the years, a cabin where Butch Cassidy was welcomed as a friend. As late as 1924 babies were being born in this small cabin that had neither electricity nor running water. Now it has both and all the comforts of a modern hotel room. Yet as I lay back and look at the worm-carved ridge beam, I am still powerfully reminded of a time in the past.

This adds extra depth to what my husband and I are learning this weekend at the Untold Stories symposium at the Community of Christ Joseph Smith Historic Site here at Nauvoo, where historians and members of the two major sects that grew up out of Joseph’s teachings happily work together to learn about the past. Continue reading

John Dehlin’s new plan: his own church of ‘cyber wards’

Tucked away in this sympathetic article about John Dehlin are details about his post-Church discipline plan: starting his own church for people “transitioning away from Mormonism.”

From the article:

Whatever the outcome, Dehlin plans to capitalize on the momentum.

In a year-end podcast, the charismatic host promised even more support for those “transitioning away from Mormonism,” including interviews, podcasts, websites, workshops, radio/TV programs, books and more academic research. He offered to help listeners create “Cyber Wards” of like-minded friends and is opening his private counseling practice to help “progressive and post-Mormons.”

The article points out that Dehlin made $90,000 per year in 2013 and that his donations are up since then, so he is doing well financially.

The Book of Mormon appears more and more prophetic. Here is what 2 Nephi 26:29-31 says about priestcraft:

29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.

31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.

Thus are the scriptures fulfilled before our eyes.

The 1 Percent who own half the world’s wealth

As a Libertarian, I hate faux Republican and Democratic government programs equally.

Given the “war on poverty” has been going for 50 years and we have more poor people than ever, while spending trillions of dollars on it, we can see that it is a failure.  Has it helped people to eat? Yes. Has it eliminated poverty? No.

So, what’s the solution? Many would have us double down on the program, spending twice as much.  The reality is, the more we do, the more people end up dropping below the poverty line. Continue reading

Guest Post: Addiction, Alypius and the Gladiators

This is a guest post by Reid Litchfield

Alypius 1 was a life-long friend of Augustine of Hippo, one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time. Both were born in the 4th century in Numidia (current Algeria) which was part of Roman North Africa.  They were converted to Christianity together while studying in Milan. Though revered as a Saint of the Catholic Church, there was a time in his life when Alypius seemed hopelessly enslaved to an addiction of the most unlikely sort.  Augustine describes the plight of his friend better than I could ever hope to.

He had gone on to Rome before me to study law . . . and there he was carried away again with an incredible passion for the gladiatorial shows.

For, although he had been utterly opposed to such spectacles and detested them, one day he met by chance a company of his acquaintances and fellow students returning from dinner; and, with a friendly violence, they drew him, resisting and objecting vehemently, into the amphitheater, on a day of those cruel and murderous shows. Continue reading

Notes:

  1. He is also referred to as Saint Alypius of Thasgate