We have been accused of “bashing” the JCRB and by “vote” of that other august body, the CRE, I guess the accusation extends to them as well. I plead not guilty.
There are several things to which I plead guilty. I confess that I believe in our Lord, Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit working within those who share the covenant. I further confess I am guilty of belief in the Rod of Iron as typified by the Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. As a Latter Day Saint, I believe in the miraculous occurrences which provided our three works of scripture. I continue to believe that, given a proper descendant of the prophet, the later book, with the consent of the body, may still be a record of revelations to the people. I believe, from personal testimony and that of other Saints, that we believers may enjoy all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I also believe that I am no more or less important in the eyes of God than the “fallen sparrow.” My choice, therefore, is to associate with those persons who share these beliefs. Doing so has bought great joy to my life. My guilt in pursuance of these beliefs has earned me the title of fundamentalist. Guilty as charged, your honor.
If holding and publicly stating these beliefs makes me a “basher” in the eyes of those who do not share in these beliefs, then so be it. This is not a matter of quantifying the numbers of angels which may be stacked on the head of a pin. This is an issue which clearly defines those of like beliefs and goals of enhancing Kingdom building and the realization of Zion in our mutual lives. It all boils down to a very simple proposition: “If you ain’t fer us, yer agin us.”
From reading the minutes of the last conference, it is unclear why the body felt it necessary to follow this path. But, follow it they did on Wednesday of that fateful week. This is not bashing, this is reporting! One hundred sixty-six elders met and decided to tear down the Restored Church one brick at a time. The first brick they removed was the Doctrine and Covenants. Why? Were the messages revealed to Joseph Smith and his descendants so threatening they need to be excised from the faith? What’s next? How about Isaiah? That book has some tough things for the Saints to wrestle. Now that we [appear to have] excluded the [Word of Wisdom,] maybe we should sit back, have another cup of coffee and think this thing over. I am sure we could find other scriptures which make us uncomfortable in pursuing our own selfish goals rather than the will of God. [If you don't like the law, change it. Works for our government.]
While re-reading the above paragraphs for errors, I decided I may have to alter my “not guilty” plea. One of the principal hallmarks of our Heavenly Father is his capacity for forgiveness. Once our errors are identified and repentance is present, He has promised to forgive and, most important, to forget our sins. This allows us to clean the slate and proceed with the business at hand with an uncluttered heart and renewed strength. There is one bothersome thing here. If we deny the record of His works and counsel as shown in the Doctrine and Covenants, does this mean we are denying Christ as well? We are well acquainted with the results of that grievous sin. Judgment is not in my job description. I would, with all the love I can muster, encourage my brothers to rethink their position on this critical issue. For myself, I will continue to hold the Doctrine and Covenants as a sacred document and testify to all who will listen that it reflects the mind and will of God. My prayer is that, after prayerful consideration, all will see it as a document worthy of standing with our two other Sacred Books.