What Do You Do With Michael?

General Musings

 

What do you do with Michael? He has a testimony that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was given, by God, the gifts of being a prophet, seer, and revelator, and he has an unwavering testimony of the Book of Mormon's truthfulness. What he does not have is a positive testimony of the church.

His testimony of the modern LDS institution has many branches but, fundamentally, is simple: Joseph Smith was the "choice seer" referred to by Joseph of Egypt, by way of Lehi (in 2Ne 3). Joseph Smith saw and did everything he said he saw and did, and more. He was given an opportunity to restore what had been lost for so long and, to which, so many looked forward. Early on, false traditions entered the picture but Joseph continued to bring forth as much of the Restoration as he could, against incredible odds. 

He was an honest, faithful, and virtuous man, which disappointed the pro-polygamy crowd. But his private introduction of the "adoption" sealing ordinance, was perfect fodder for an unrelenting campaign of slander and false witness.

Nauvoo was becoming Sin City with Mayor John Bennett leading the lascivious charge and falsely blaming Joseph. The Lord provided two opposing promises. One of protection, restoration of knowledge, and visits from the Lord. The other of destruction and His wrath, for generations. Build a temple and you get promise one. 

How, besides the obvious, do we know they didn't finish the temple? Only Joseph knew the design and plans. The Lord put them in his mind but he was eliminated before the top floor was finished. Only he had the plans to finish. Now, they didn't.  They made a feeble attempt but it was too late. The Restoration was over on June 27, 1844. The polygamists had won. The man who declared he wasn't a prophet, like Joseph, but was a man who could keep the wolves away, in the end, became one.

Those who successfully conspired to have Joseph murdered took over the church in a very effective three-and-a-half-year coup d'état. Their descendent Mormon royalty, will have no disparaging word about "The Lion of the Lord," Brigham Young, because their "supposed" authority is, in their minds, tied to him. They accuse Joseph of practicing secret polygamy and introducing polygamy to the church while, in fact, Joseph and Hyrum vehemently preached against it, calling it adultery. They would have no part of it.

The modern LDS institution declares that its founding prophet, a man who God designated to accomplish what he was doing, was actually a liar, a gross hypocrite, and an adulterer. This false blame removes, from Brigham, Heber C, William Clayton, and so many others, (the actual polygamists), their obvious motive in the conspiracy to be rid of Joseph and Hyrum. They wanted their harams. And they wanted their harams sanctioned by the church. On top of that foolishness, Modern Mormonism throws Joseph under the bus to maintain a false tradition of authority through Brigham. 

This is Michael's testimony. The modern LDS institution is as viable, today, as is the Catholic Church. Both went the way of apostasy and now flail about waving arms of extreme wealth, and social posturing, in a desperate effort to maintain attention and significance.

So, what do you do with Michael? Many have been excommunicated for advocating such thinking as his. But that became a public relations problem. So they changed the name of the punishment to Withdrawal of Church Membership, and disfellowshipped became Formal Membership Restrictions. Perfect bureaucratic obfuscation. What used to be thought of as member "execution" has been softened to membership withdrawal or restriction. Top-notch PR tactics. Soften the blow for the media.

But they've done neither with Michael. He was removed from his church callings and had his temple recommend revoked, several years ago. But no official status has been declared. This has been his lot. Limbo. Out to pasture.

Michael must be some bad fellow to have been treated as a modern leper. Nope. Just a simple difference of opinion with a priesthood leader. Not, as you might think, about some deep, fundamental doctrine, but quite the opposite.

In October, 2016, Michael's stake president required Michael to agree that man has the authority to bestow the gifts of being a prophet, seer, and revelator. Michael says only God can do that. Man can bestow the organizational titles but not the actual gifts. And when God calls out a man from general society to be His prophet, there is always an announcement. We haven't had one of those, since Joseph Smith. 

For some odd reason, the stake president thought this difference of opinion should not go unpunished. He suggested that Michael leave the church. When Michael, respectfully, declined his invitation, he put Michael out to the back-forty, as has been described. 

The apostasy of the church, its lack of authority, the slander and murder of Joseph Smith by high church leaders, and other, certainly more, significant issues and opinions Michael holds, were not as important as the notion that the church President is a prophet in name only. How dare Michael choose not to kiss the ring of the Mormon pope?

Michael was perfectly happy to respect the stake president's opinion and not disparage it or him, over it. Apparently, he did not share that opinion, either.

And that's how it is. Michael grazes in the pasture of lukewarmth. They want him to leave when all he wants is evidence. He says, "please provide the revelation the Lord always provides which signifies the Lord's actions in bestowing the prophetic gift. The church says, "Can't, it doesn't exist, but it doesn't matter. You will obey our policies, regardless of revelations."

This is Michael's world. He is caught between his own, strong desire to serve the Lord, and a trillion-dollar empire shaking in its boots that someone has announced that the emperor wears no clothes.

A significant question arises in all this; whether the empire believes its own doctrine. The 11th article of faith recognizes our right to worship God, as we choose, and the prevailing law of the righteous rulers of the Book of Mormon prohibited prosecution or punishment for beliefs.

"Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds." (Alma 30:7)

Then, later, we get a clarification and warning:

"For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion." (D&C 1:35)

Isn't it interesting that the Lord would declare the equality of His children and in the next breath, warn them about those whose craft includes lying, deception, and unrighteous dominion? All in an effort to "bring men on to unequal grounds." (See also, 3Ne 30:2 for a more complete list of our societal ills.) Is this warning because the Lord knew how convincing correlated Mormonism mixed with modern emotional conditioning techniques would be in developing, perhaps, the most naïve and controlled society ever developed? It is a marvel of emotional engineering. 

What can you say about an empire that preaches the very doctrine it denies? Doublespeak, perhaps? Or simply hypocritical authority-worship. Modern Mormons appear to have only two duties, pay tithing, and kiss the ring of the Mormon pope. All else drops to less significance. 

Is there any surprise at the outcome when they teach their children to sing "Follow the Prophet?" Is it the Church of the Prophet, Michael respectfully asks?

So, what do you do with Michael? Take a stand and kick him out? Or shrink before the question and simply let him languish in the pasture-prison?

Michael will gratefully accept the former and leave quietly. The latter could get loud; squeaky wheel, and all that. Michael is rock sure about one thing, though, any man the Lord spoke about as he did Joseph Smith, in the third chapter of Second Nephi, is not a man he would falsely challenge, let alone murder, and think he could get away with it. 

All that does not concern us, of course, but Heaven's memory is infinite.

 

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