About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery (joelsmonastery.blogspot.com). He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

Come Follow Me: D&C 2; JSH 1:27-65

My blog post on: Come Follow Me: D&C 2; JSH 1:27-65

Excerpt:In this lesson, we learn more of the early history of the Church and Joseph Smith. It had been three years since the First Vision. Joseph spend the time using a seer stone.  He found the stone at the bottom of a well, after looking into someone else’s stone, which only allowed him the ability to find his own stone.

This was a time when society was beginning to move from magical items to know God (such as seer stones and divining rods) to the era of Science and Reason. Over time, Joseph would learn to straddle the line between a vertical relationship with God (revelation) and a horizontal one (using reason). It was during this time that he worked for Josiah Stowe, looking for hidden treasure, and encountering his beloved Emma Hale.

His worldly life led him again to question his standing before God.


Trump’s Insurrection

In 2016, I switched from the Republican party to the Libertarian. Knowing Trump’s background in business, family matters, etc., I felt I could not trust him to be, well, to be Trump.

He did surprise me somewhat over his first three years, governing decently, though there were many areas I disagreed with him. Still, in 2020, I again voted Libertarian, knowing my state of Indiana would still probably go for Trump.

Sadly, Trump began his presidency giving accolades and appointments to his alt-right buddies. Trump is all about people being loyal to him, first and foremost, which is how he ran his business, his marriages, his love affairs, and the Oval Office. When competent leaders disagreed with him, they were often fired by him. He was enraged with several for not backing him, due to their own integrity, such as when AG Jeff Sessions recused himself regarding Trump investigations.

This was a continual process of Trump hiring, then firing those who did not remain loyal to him. For Trump, loyal friends and a growing stock market symbolized success.

During this past election cycle, we began again to see the real Donald Trump emerge. He put off serious consideration on the Covid virus, fearing it would hurt him in the election. Doctors he once applauded, suddenly were on his naughty list, because they disagreed with his assessments.

In the Black Lives Matter riots, he sought to punish them heavily, and had no problem with police shooting rioters. In previous incidents, he avoided condemning his alt-right compatriots, insisting there were good people on all sides of the debate.

During the presidential debates, when pressed on whether he condemned racism, he stated for the Proud Boys to “stand by.” The Proud Boys are a fascist alt-right group.

In insisting the election was rigged, he was given the opportunity to take it to court. He did, about 50 times. None found his claims to be credible, including Republican judges he appointed, nor the Supreme Court which he appointed 3 of the SCOTUS justices. There was no evidence. Yet, he used his Twitter feed and pulpit to keep pushing his agenda: reelect Trump at any cost.

He vetoed the Defense Bill, primarily because it included renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders. Another hat tip to his alt-right groups, like the KKK (who honored his 2016 win with a Hitler salute).

His continual conspiracy theory attacks cost the Republicans the Senate majority. He was so focused on Trump that he no longer cared about how he was affecting the party.

Finally, today he held a rally for tens of thousands in front of the White House. He encouraged them to march to the Capitol building. Several were armed, some with bombs (showing that this was not a spur of a moment decision to invade the Capitol building). He allowed his alt-right groups to wave Confederate flags in the Capitol (remember, the Confederates were traitors), brandishing weapons and endangering the lives of Congress and the Capitol police (remember Trump supporting the Thin Blue Line this past summer against the BLM rioters?).

When Trump finally responded, he told the rioters that he “loved them.” He still insisted that he and they had been ripped off.

From what I’ve seen, Trump and his alt-right factions are guilty of insurrection. Treason is only one of two crimes mentioned in the Constitution (the other is money forgery). Guess what, Mr Trump? You have gone against the Constitution and encouraged others to attack Congress. That is treason.

Trump is no longer competent to be president. I can’t imagine what he’ll do over the next two weeks. Encourage riots everywhere? I ask Vice President Mike Pence, my former governor, to invoke the 25th amendment, declaring Pres Trump no longer capable to fulfill his duties as president, and remove him from office.

To defend the Constitution, restore our national sanity, and keep us from becoming a banana republic, we need Trump out. Now.

Come Follow Me: JSH 1:1-26

My blog on the Come Follow Me: JSH 1:1-26 is now available.


What is the Great Apostasy? Apostasy is defined as the abandoning of what one believed in. It comes from the Greek words: apo -“away” and stasis – “a standing.” In other words, to stand away from what one once stood by. An apostate is someone who does more than just stops going to church. It is someone who once strongly believed in a cause, then vehemently opposes it and fights for its destruction. Noted apostates in the Bible include: Cain (Genesis 4:1-16); the people in Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8); Tower of Babel (Genesis 11); Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19); Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Numbers 16:1-35); fallen Israel (Isaiah 1, 3, etc.); Hymenaus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:19, 20); Anti-Christs (1 John 2) and wicked Judah (Matthew 24).

The idea behind the Great Apostasy is a “falling away” of not just a nation, but the entire earth from accepting the fulness of the gospel. They accept portions of it, but reject key points of Celestial law and covenant. In the Book of Mormon, the Nephite covenant with God was constantly at the forefront. If they obeyed and followed God, they would prosper in the land. However, if the Nephite nation forsake the covenant, they would be cast out of God’s presence.


Come Follow Me: D&C 1

My blog post on Come Follow Me: D&C 1 – Hearken O Ye People

Excerpt: A Voice of Warning This section was written in November 1831, 1 1/2 years after the Church was officially organized. It is a proclamation, not just to the members, but to “ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.” Imagine, a church of just a few hundred people, with just a few congregations in New York and Pennsylvania, coming forth with a proclamation to people throughout the world.  Missionary work was just beginning.  The members had yet to gather to Kirtland, or to open the great proselyting mission in England (still several years ahead). For a Church which now has millions of members worldwide, and experienced the “Mormon Moment” (2012-13), this proclamation may not seem so profound.  But for the little church in the woods to call the world to repentance was definitely a foreshadow of what was to come.


Thoughts on the Updated Handbook

The Church continues to update the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI). Among the changes are a couple new points that I’ve been thinking about.

First: An added section titled “Seeking Information from Reliable Sources” counsels Latter-day Saints to be wise in their pursuit of truth. “Seek out and share only credible, reliable, and factual sources of information,” the text says. “Avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor. The guidance of the Holy Ghost, along with careful study, can help members discern between truth and error (see Doctrine and Covenants 11:12; 45:57). In matters of doctrine and Church policy, the authoritative sources are the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the General Handbook.”

Second: Regarding “energy healing” and other similar actions, we learn – An updated section on medical and health care notes that “seeking competent medical help, exercising faith, and receiving priesthood blessings work together for healing, according to the will of the Lord.” Latter-day Saints “are discouraged from seeking miraculous or supernatural healing from an individual or group that claims to have special methods for accessing healing power outside of prayer and properly performed priesthood blessings. These practices are often referred to as ‘energy healing.’ Other names are also used. Such promises for healing are often given in exchange for money.”

In these two sections, I see a parallel thought from the Brethren. Members are looking beyond the mark, seeking answers that are not within the guidance of the Church. As I noted on a Facebook question regarding the former section, I wrote:

“I think it ties in with the new section on energy healing. Members are replacing doctrine and truth with conspiracies and Voodoo. As with spiritualism, which often combines Christianity with magic, we are seeing Latter-day saints drifting away into dangerous waters and seeking to justify their positions as within the scope of the gospel. These aren’t within that scope and they are wrong in seeking after their own gods (DC 1).”

While serving my mission in Bolivia back in 1978-80, I found a few pages from a spiritualist book. These were incantations that would bring health, love, and other events. Many of these required sacred water from the local Catholic chapel, or a cross, as the catalyst for the magic to work. In tying the magic in with Catholic rites, people justified their actions as being within the realm of approved Christianity.

However, we see that the Church works within a pattern given to us by prophets. These are found in scripture, modern prophetic teachings and the CHI.

In regards to conspiracy, we find often in scripture that the people were “stirred up to anger” by conspiracies. Secret combinations and Gadianton robbers were often accepted by the Nephite nation as the norm. Nephi warns us about those who are either stirred to anger, or “lulled” to sleep by the devil.

For energy healings, we find in scripture and the prophets that there is the true priesthood, and there is the false priestcraft. In the Old Testament, it was called sorcery and witchcraft. King Saul supposedly communicated with the deceased prophet Samuel via a seance.

The sons of the priest Sceva were impressed that the apostle Paul could cast out devils in Christ’s name. Yet, when they attempted to do the same, the demon pronounced, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?”

Finally, Jesus said there would be many who would proclaim “Lord, Lord” and show the many miracles and fine works they did. Yet, because they did not do it in the Lord’s way, the Lord would not recognize them. “I know you not” or also translated, “Ye know me not.”

Still, we see many who insist on chasing shadows. They find power in their conspiracies, fake news, and emotional belief systems. They find power in magic. They will justify themselves and their works, believing them to be good works.

Yet, they forget that Jesus is the Light and Truth. His is the Power through his eternal priesthood, the Holy Priesthood after the Son of God. He is the Source, and shares that power via his appointed representatives, apostles and prophets.

To “stand in holy places and not be moved,” means to closely follow the prophets and their guidance. Discard darkness and embrace the revealed light. The conspiracies and energy healings are not Celestial things. They cannot edify nor bring us closer to Christ. In the short term they may bring a form of hope and happiness, a surety of sorts. However, in the long run, only following the prophets and learning truth and power in and of the priesthood can bring us true power in Jesus Christ.