Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Faulty Memory

Every Wednesday night at 7:30 pm we attend a prayer service within our branch to render thankfulness for His gifts, supplications for the infirm, requests for forgiveness for straying from the path and acknowledgement of the premier placement of Jesus Christ in our lives. In addition we share testimonies of the presence and direction God gives to our daily activities. We are asked to submit the names and circumstances of persons who require special mention.

Invariably, we have a request from a sister who wishes to call God’s attention to members of her family, who followed the path to apostasy decades ago. Each time I hear her request, I can physically feel the pain in her heart as she registers her disappointment. To all accounts she has been a faithful witness for more years than anyone cares to remember. Her late husband was an appointee for a while and she personally has been a key player in building Zion. Despite her advanced age and physical infirmities, her mind is razor sharp and her memory (unfortunately, sometimes) is clear as a bell. While contemplating the events of the late sixties and seventies, I realize how instructive these memories are to those who were too young or too brain-washed to comprehend what was taking place around them. This dear sister’s prayers are for those loved ones and others who were then and are now, mistaken. Seduced by the wiles of men and eager for advancement, some family members succumbed to the enticement as did thousands more.

Memory can either be from first hand experience or from appropriate education. We have available as a memory jogger and a comprehensive look at the activities of the church over thirty years ago the excellent book, “The Failure of the Gentiles” by John Moody, available at a very modest cost. I will confess that it is a difficult read on many levels. The font selection, size of type and formatting are difficult but, not impossible. The weight of the material requires your full attention. The content is often difficult for those of us who lived these experiences in real time. It is also true that having shared copies with others, they have all been very grateful for the superbly organized approach that Brother Moody has taken. He, unlike many others, was paying attention at the time. At this critical juncture in the growth of the Restored Church, this volume is an absolute must—to be read, passed on, discussed and be absorbed by priesthood and member alike. For copies, please call: Deborah Bergquist: 816-916-0543. The cost is $5.00 plus shipping.

To deny the repetition of the failures from the sixties up to and including the present is to beg for further apostasy. To not heed the warnings in our history is to abuse our God-given intelligence. Just because we have agency to make our own choices does not excuse us from fighting for the right for all the wrong reasons. We all abhor contention. But, is it easier to follow along to get along? We, as a people, look to centuries past for lessons for today and the future. Our scriptures (all three) examine conflicts between God and his people and the agents of darkness. God has shown a clear path to verify the truth of every issue. He can and will provide that warmth in the bosom to confirm that which serves his desires. He will, however, only do that when He is sought.

Believe it or not, our youngest members do respect the opinions and observations of their older fellow congregants. We owe it to them to share our experiences and our analysis of how they came about. Do we seek them out and make them feel the vital part of their church? Do we attempt to understand the level of conflict in their lives? Do we listen, or just preach. Do we realize that eventually they will be the ones who either move the church forward or consign it to insignificance? If we understand the aforementioned, then we will be able to employ them in the advance toward Zion. If we don’t, then we abandon our memories, lessons, and history. They are, indeed, Zion’s Hope.

I recently had a conversation at the golf course with a non-member who attends the Elm Branch Christian Church in Aurora, MO. This good and faithful man and I shared much about how many life situations apply to both golf and church. The golfer who uses the game only to enhance his business, enjoy the sociability, and enable his acceptance in his circle will never improve his game. In the previous sentence, replace “golfer” with member and “game” with church. In both cases, we suffer from selective memory. In an otherwise mediocre round of golf we tend to remember the 40’ putt, the rare 255 yd. drive and the lucky chip that left you pin high and inches away. In church, we remember the comfort, the great dinner and the wonderful music presentation. Do we remember the effort to bring a new member to the joy of Christ? Do we remember the sometimes painful experience of insisting on conforming to those things which build the Kingdom? Are we willing to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and hone our “game” to avoid those things? If we ignore our history and continue to repeat past mistakes, then we are doomed to a watered down existence. Remember our history accurately and reflectively. We need not repeat the past every thirty-five years.

Cecil Moon

Thursday, July 19, 2007

After the April Conference

The drive from Cameron, Missouri, to Las Vegas, Nevada, is about 24 hours, depending on whether and where you stop other than for gas and Doritos. I have a tendency to drive straight through to my destination and resent greatly having to pump gas along the way. I think Hartley is the same way. There are many miles of just rolling down the highway. Lots of time for reflection.

Hartley put this together on his way home from his daughter Julie's after the April, 2007 CRE/JCRB Conference, I dare you to read it:


Here it is Sunday, and I feel like I need to talk, perhaps even preach. A long, silent drive does that to me. I think of things past and present, and marvel that the people of today are still living the traditional way that we all grew up with.

The Conference of Elders causes my patience to come to an end. I can no longer find it within myself to be silent. The highest ideals presented there were men stuff. The great things that God has prepared for His people far exceed anything that I personally saw take place there. If I missed it, the Servants of God will readily forgive me. If they cannot, they are not His servants.

In the seventies, a financial guru analyzed the American dollar and found its true worth to be a few pennies, around eight cents. It had value only as long as people believed it had value.

Friday the Stock Market hit an all time high, while Social Security trembles; many privately financed pensions wobble, as well as those funded by large corporations. The tax cut announced by our government, and the increase in Social Security amounted to around Fifteen Dollars a month net to me. The power companies have increased their price, taking all of that tax refund and more, then added a promise to seek more. The gasoline increase has taken twice the increase. The grocery stores have taken the increase several times over, and I find very few stocks offering dividends, so to me the overall tax refund is moot.

The financial guru referred to above stated that in the last stages of our money system, the corporations would become silent tax collectors for the government. In conclusion, I respect and generally support the government, realizing they are in a quagmire of great proportion, brought about by many different people over many years.

Anarchy is not a solution. Neither is ignorance. The abortionists have done great harm also, some thirty million babies have been aborted, certainly at least eleven million, the same number of illegal immigrants that have come into the country, plus having three or four children at government/our expense; until the predictions are that in a few years, they will have a majority voting base. Not to mention people with a different sense or view, taking High places in government and socially privileged areas, who invite people of a like mind to sit with them, to alter the course and direction of our nation, our schools, our churches, our universities and the minds of our people and our children.

The Antichrist takes on greater strength as shown in the Book of Jude. Only 25 verses. (Pause here—read it.) See if it does not dovetail with the liberal media of today; their tactics could have been taken right out of that book. No wonder they wish to hide the Bible, and/or discredit it; it condemns them and leaves no place for them to hide their evil or wickedness.

They represent themselves to be "altruists" with no obvious agenda, just peace; that is all, just peace. Even if we must surrender, just peace. We need no intestinal fortitude, no brains, no will, no glory. Subservient peace. Peace at all cost. Let Satan grasp you by your ankles and pull the Nation down, person by person. All for peace, while Jesus cries out in the last days, men will cry "Peace, peace," and there is no peace.

These days, it seems to me, are the days of the Great Battle of our God. We are to wake up and choose sides. God will not surrender, will you?

Deuteronomy Chapter 10: Who God is. Deuteronomy chapter 11: God's promises and curses.

[Isa 42:12] Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.
[Isa 42:13] The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up
jealousy like a man of war; he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
[Isa 42:14] I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and
refrained myself; now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.
[Isa 42:15] I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
[Isa 42:16] And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
[Isa 42:17] They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that
trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.
[Isa 42:18] Hear, ye deaf, and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
[Isa 42:19] For I will send my servant unto you who are blind; yea, a messenger to open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf.
[Isa 42:20] And they shall be made perfect notwithstanding their blindness, if they will hearken unto the messenger, the Lord's servant.
[Isa 42:21] Thou art a people, seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears to hear, but thou hearest not.
[Isa 42:22] The Lord is not well pleased with such a people, but for his righteousness' sake he will magnify the law and make it honorable.
[Isa 42:23] Thou art a people robbed and spoiled; thine enemies, all of
them, have snared thee in holes, and they have hid thee in prison
houses; they have taken thee for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
[Isa 42:24] Who among them will give ear unto thee, or hearken and hear thee
for the time to come? and who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the
robbers? Did not the Lord, he against whom they have sinned?
[Isa 42:25] For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient
unto his law; therefore he hath poured upon them the fury of his anger, and
the strength of battle; and they have set them on fire round about, yet they know not, and it burned them, yet they laid it not to heart.

A Book Mormon History Property and Politics to the End of Far West,
by a Vern Elefson, states the 13 requirements of "The plan" for the foundation of the Holy City. It is copyrighted, copies are available from: Vern Elefson, N6616 Country Road, River Falls, WI 54022, Ph: 715-425-6240. The reason I mention it is because we might find the principles mentioned timely.

The reason these 13 principles failed in the past was that the rich, the wise and the learned held back, the poor came and faltered, and no one rescued them.

I wonder if today the banks failed, how would we secure and defend our necessities, our honor and our families. Those who have "gathered" have not stood shoulder to shoulder. One lives here, one lives miles in another direction; others are in the area, in the same predicament.

How can the priesthood in Independence proclaim it is a tough fight? A fight we are still in. How can they say they have reason to be proud? Did they teach love beyond all boundaries? Faith? Sacrifice?

An Elder told me, "If God doesn't like us the way we are, He can’t have us."

I was present at a prayer service in Independence where the Spirit broke forth at 7:59 PM, the presiding Elder, who obviously felt the Spirit leapt to the podium and declared, "There will be no closing hymn. A quick prayer. The choir has to practice."

Or the Sunday meetings that close precisely on time because the wife has a roast in the oven. Sorry, Lord of Lords, God of Gods, please get out of the way. Do our actions keep God in a box, to be opened at certain times by us?

Come on now.

The Holy Scriptures never worked their way around sin, exposed it and qualified it. They tell us to face it. Repent. Then it has no more hold on us, nor stands between us and God ever again.

Or we can do a Laman/Lemuel thing, become falsely enraged, bind the messenger, beat on him with sneers of contempt, falsely accuse him of being out of touch, and hide his testimony from the people. We can pretend he accused our ancestors falsely, insulted our uncles, cousins, fathers and grandfathers. Judge him judgmental; accuse him of accusing us, and all we hold sacred. Slicker that taking candy from a baby! Works most times! No changes needed. Not in faith or doctrine. What it really says is "all is well in Zion," which saying is forbidden!


He prophesieth a restoration—Christ shall rule and save them—False Prophets.

[Jer. 23:1] Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my
pasture! saith the Lord.
[Jer. 23:2] Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors
that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and
have not visited them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings,
saith the Lord.
[Jer. 23:3] And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries
whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their
folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
[Jer. 23:4] And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them; and
they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking,
saith the Lord.
[Jer. 23:5] Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto
David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
[Jer. 23:6] In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely;
and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
[Jer. 23:7] Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall
no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of
the land of Egypt;
[Jer. 23:8] But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of
the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither
I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
[Jer. 23:9] Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my
bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome,
because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.
[Jer. 23:10] For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the
land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their
course is evil, and their force is not right.
[Jer 23:11] For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I
found their wickedness, saith the Lord.
[Jer 23:12] Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the
darkness; they shall be driven on, and fall therein; for I will bring evil
upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.
[Jer 23:13] And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they
prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
[Jer 23:14] I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing;
they commit adultery, and walk in lies; they strengthen also the hands of
evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
[Jer 23:15] Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets;
Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of
gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land

If the above sayings and Prophecies are not current with us, if you cannot see them as happenings of today, I must live in a different world. The sky is blue in my world, the evidence striking before us all. The opportunities before us today might not be here tomorrow. Have we procrastinated too long?

Are the things you have read above unsuitable? Or are they the product of a person who stood before God, who was told by God, "behold, these are the true lambs of Christ….. Behold they have eyes that see not. …..Behold, the blind doth lead them."

One who saw the heavens open and heard the voice of the Father say, "Ye who have been faithful, come ye, enter into my rest." One who has found no pulpit or place to speak to those who were called the "true lambs of Christ."

I was prohibited from sharing those wondrous experiences by a Priesthood who the heavenly messenger showed me "had the keys to the Kingdom (as if on a chain,) would not use them themselves, nor would they permit others to use them." The reason the priesthood gave me is that, "you, the people, are not ready." Who should know more than they? Those who have said they are preparing you for these last days when the Great Last Battle of Almighty God is about to take place.

Deut: 12, 8. "Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day,
every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. 9. For you have not as yet
come to the rest, and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God
giveth you."

What God says to one generation He says to all generations. I have not singled out any individual nor touched any man on the nose, yet suggest all men, and include men of faith and high places, consider well:


[Heb 12:6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son
whom he receiveth.
[Heb 12:7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for
what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
[Heb 12:8] But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers,
then are ye bastards, and not sons.
[Heb 12:9] Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us,
and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto
the Father of spirits, and live?
[Heb 12:10] For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own
pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
[Heb 12:11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but greiveth; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
[Heb 12:12] Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the
feeble knees;
[Heb 12:13] And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame
be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
[Heb 12:14] Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man
shall see the Lord;

Within my family, more people have been driven away from Christ's church than I have assisted to come into it. Many of your children also have left.

The Gospel of, "come, wait, be patient, God will build Zion, we will gather up our bags and move in," is an incredible, devious, evil, altruistic, vile distortion of God's work, and yet has a place as a common and acceptable doctrine in Christ's church today, Hidden and openly spoken.

We were called to lay the foundations of a Holy City from which would go men endowed with great power from on high. We have found it easier to say "they" than "we." We send missionaries out to toy with peoples’ hopes and feelings. There's nothing here in the Holy of Holy Places to really support the final end of the good work of the missionaries.

While here in this Center Place, the lambs wander from group to group, while the goats are fed and the lambs left destitute. It was no more obvious than at the Elders Conferences. One would think that those who have wisely used their best wisdom and presided so long would come to some feelings of awareness or shame.

Adam was baptized by the Holy Spirit, as are we today. The Baptism represents God's anger at sin, and his willingness to forgive. If not accepted, his determination to cleanse, as reported in all the Holy Scriptures, He being no respecter of persons.

God's determination is to remove or excuse all sin before His face. The whole earth was purged of sin in the great flood and you in your baptism were also purged. Before His judgment bar "I am sorry" is just and excuse, but today, this day, "I am sorry" is an opportunity.

Refresh this opportunity, read Genesis 7th chapter. The Everlasting Covenant, passed on to Noah in chapter eight, with the Rainbow to remind us; Genesis 13:13-14 where it was covenanted to Abraham and his seed, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Joseph and their posterity forever. Read on.

The Powers of Heaven held in Trust by God, for the great battle of Our God and establish His Glory. Thrice sealed, Sworn and sealed by His Name, as there is nothing greater. God cannot lie. HIS promise that all His words will be fulfilled. This is His Gospel and His calling, waiting for a generation that can find the faith to reach up above self, and trust His Word. That he might crown the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with glory.

A power to be meted out according to a person’s desires, circumstance, need and faith. Power to dry up waters, power to move mountains, to change the course of rivers in God's name and for His Glory. Power to shake nations, spiritually and physically.

Have the defenders of today’s faith, as it is, seen it? Have they used it? Where? Open my eyes! Short of this, it is called sin.

When God attends His glorious moment, when all things are subject to Him, crowns are thrown at His feet. Better to throw a crown than a towel filled with tears. Arouse yourselves; wake up from your spiritual slumber. Stand up, and firmly grasp the promises of the Almighty God who cannot lie.

There is no intent here to demean any person or missionary objective. I judge no individual or purpose of any person or group. I am trying to show a contrast where we are and where we could be. So if you are blessed and led in your daily life by the Holy Spirit, blessed indeed you are. Pray for me also that I might find greater wisdom. If you are not so blessed, pray, pray. God's promises are sure.

In the scriptures, Nephi and others told how sin presented was difficult to view and even more difficult to accept. It is the same for all mankind. I refuse to let any passion accompany that which is hurtful until I reason it out to the end. Otherwise I would join with the Pharisees and Sadducees, Laman and Lemuel and cast away the pearls of truth.

I lie on my bed and repent every day of my life. My errors are great, my omissions torment me, yet I pray to our God unceasingly, that the blood of Christ will in the end, cleanse me and, I hope, all mankind. God finds no joy in the workmanship of His hands, that He loves, and must, because of His word, cast away. Liven your faith and hopes in Christ today, now. Never sink back to despair.

We are the heirs apparent, by covenant/contract in fee simple, unbreakable through faith in God. Arouse yourselves. Become anxiously engaged. But above all find God's perfect love. The Love that hides boundaries of ownership, pride, arrogance, self-will, self in all aspects of life. The body we live in is on loan from God; this whole experience of probation is designed and offered by God. The heat of the Sun, the roar of the ocean, the beauty of the land, but most of all, the opportunity to join with God in His purposes. The path, long suffering, humility, tried as if by fire, rejoicing in affliction, praying for those who despitefully use you, praying for your enemies, praying for God’s unending love.

I had an enemy who persisted against me for a long time—years. I saw a way to rid myself of his presence. I took it to the Lord in Prayer. As I sat there I saw a vision of a wall with a great door. A heavenly messenger came and opened that door. I saw into Hell.

The most fervent prayer of my life followed. I prayed that nothing I had ever said or done would put a person in that place. My enemy became tolerable until others removed him.

I pray ministers who are not guided by or have testimony of the Holy Spirit, would be humble enough, and give way to those who are so charged, that in their enthusiasm they would not stand or inadvertently find themselves in the way of God's purposes.

As I sit before this critique I wonder if those ministers would be offended, throw up their hands and say, "I am finished. Now let us see if the church holds together." A very human thing to do. What, dear reader, would you do? Say, that is that? I tried. Walk away? I tried. Would you reach deep down in your soul and cry unto the Lord in faith? Asking for direction? Or just say it is finished?

Have you any faith? The bottom line is each of us has to find faith, and each is confronted with the final choice. It is not an others fault if I fail my opportunity given in these days of probation. It is my singular and final determination. It is not a prophet’s fault, or a minister’s fault. It is the thoughts I permit in me and harbor, the songs I sing, and the prayers I pray, the sincerity of my soul and the faith I must seriously contend for.

I hope others are supportive to that end and help, not hinder. In the end it is my relationship with God that I must forge. God has already set the parameters; I must comply or lose the goal set by Almighty God, using the only tool He favors, FAITH.

If my words are painful to you, please forgive me. If the words of the prophets above are painful, may they work on you, and in you, until that perfect day, when we all might cry "Hallelujah!" and give God Glory, Dominion and Sovereignty according to His desires, when His long fight is over, and we dwell in His Glorious presence forevermore.

I read the other day where the Lord commissioned Samuel the Lamanite to speak all the words in his heart. These area the words in my heart; my credentials are testimony after testimony.

I certify the Holy Scriptures are perfect unto salvation.

That God is, was, and ever will be. Every word that is of Him shall be fulfilled in its time.

The greatest words a man could find to speak about standing in the presence of God, could not describe the totality or absoluteness of that moment. Joseph Smith said if one could find the words it would be unlawful to utter them. So absolute, if we did not cry Hallelujah, the very rocks would cry out.

So by faith we hope; by hope we respond; by responding God Blesses us. But without praying for and finding His total Love and Charity, it all might just be for naught. Pray for Faith that delivers God's Love in its fullness, lest we err and are not found fit at the last day. God's work is serious; it is not as we imagine, but it is as God has spoken.

So, if you did not hear a sermon today, pretend this is one.

God Bless and lead you,


Who Said Negotiations Are "Fizzling Out?"

Oh, I remember. It was the mysterious ANONYMOUS. Hey, Anonymous, negotiations between the JCRB and the CoC are alive and well. You people who are misled enough to think the JCRB is all about the will of God, watch your backs. It's the whole armor of God, not just a piece here and a piece there. Ephesians 6

Joint Conference of Restoration Branches
1100 Truman Road
Independence, MO 64050
May 31, 2007

President Stephen Veazey
Community of Christ
1001 W Walnut
Independence, MO 64050

RE: Committee Appointment

Dear President Veazey:

The JCRB’s Logistics Committee met Saturday, May 26, 2007, and took up the issue of appointing representatives for dialogue and discussion with CoC representatives. I am pleased to advise you that the committee has approved the appointment of seven representatives and has requested that JCRB President Rob Rolfe make this a matter of prayer before nominating these persons. The official appointments will be made at our next meeting, June 16th.

Recognizing that the actions and recommendations which may come from these discussions, negotiations, and interactions will be subject to the approval of the JCRB, we, nevertheless, look forward with great anticipation to the “possible reconciliatory processes and procedures and new ways of working together” that may arise out of these mutual efforts. With this in mind, we hope that a meeting may be arranged to take place before the end of June and will be pleased to assist in specific details as to location, time, and an initial agenda.

Thank you for your support now and in the future.


Rudy Leutzinger

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Spouse Speaks

Denial: A Comfy Place

I choose to give freely of some painful prior experiences to state my bona fides to recognize sin. Back in the late sixties, I cleverly managed to conceal from nearly everyone, including myself, my alcoholism. One of the cruelest characteristics of the disease (Yes, I believe it is a disease) is the promotion of denial. Although the Ten Commandments appears not to mention it, it really does. We are advised to forbear giving false witness. We easily recognize the evil inherent in telling lies to others. The hardest to acknowledge is the falsehood we tell ourselves. This trait has a name. It is denial (please skip the river in Egypt jokes.) This practice can lead down the slippery pathway to degradation. The addiction to alcohol, and other sins, is bad enough, but self deception is even worse. I am certain that this flagrant violation of God’s commandments breaks His heart.

Why would an individual decide to yield to self delusion? Yielding to worldly temptations is not unique. To assuage one’s guilt is, I suppose, a natural response to thoroughly enjoying the pleasures of the flesh. Real personal comfort is exemplified by a life without guilt. If one does not admit to sin then it must not be sin, right? Wrong! Sin—separation from God—is still sin no matter what name is applied. To deny it is only to exacerbate the magnitude of the sin, and the extended separation from God.

Unlike Old Testament figures who were dispatched without ceremony, we live in a time of forgiveness and redemption purchased with Christ’s blood on Calvary. Twenty seven years ago, I begged God to assist me in shaking my addiction. As usual, he answered my prayers and provided me with a richer, fuller life. He provided inner strength, logical goals and a superb support group—AA. Most important, He provided the avenue to truth in my innermost self. He allowed me to grasp the concept of facing life’s problems one day at a time. Like Restoration Gospel, there is no real end point. It requires continued study, prayer, self-improvement and the realization that God is in charge and only through His good offices can life hold real meaning.

Once the recovering alcoholic is on track to a successful life, realism forces him to contemplate the damage he has done to himself and to others. This often results in extreme guilt. The wisdom of the Almighty takes care of this in James, with the assurance that once we repent and make amends, He forgets it. This promise is as important as any other in the recovery from the addiction. Can we then proceed as though nothing ever happened? No. We must always be vigilant to avoid that which displeases God.

One of the conveniences of alcoholism is that it is a highly visible sin and therefore treatable, if not easily, at least possible. What about the less apparent sins? What about concealed inner jealousies, overwrought concepts of self, holding impure thoughts, and all the other well-concealed barriers to a full enjoyment of life with our Maker? The solution to these problems lies in the sufferer’s ability to acknowledge their existence. After years working with other recovering alcoholics we all agree that the most difficult step is actually acknowledging that a problem exists. These other deviations from the will of God are in the same boat. Strong self-examination requires that we realize, deep within, that problems exist. Denial is a great provider of excuses. “I followed this or that path for the greater good.” No, you followed it for self-aggrandizement. You did it because it enhanced your own self-importance. You put your own goals ahead of the work of Kingdom building.

If you do not recognize yourself in any of these assessments, that’s great, and you can sign on to the “Enoch” experience. However, if you can stand in the vestibule and accept the plaudits of the congregation for your sermon, or, bask in the praise of all who enjoyed the church dinner you hosted, or believe that your musical presentation was your own doing, you may be in need of some self-examination. You have exercised the gifts of God-granted talents and may be reaping the glory which belongs to him.

What has this to do with the problems facing the church today? For one, I sense a lack of humility in some individuals who would lead us. They would of course claim denial. When ever possible, I take the opportunity to shake the hand and look into the eyes of these individuals. Somehow, I find it comforting to be with some of these people. In other cases, behavior and body language betrays their real purposes. Do I have any special gifts? No. Have I in a past life come in contact with grifters, con men, fast buck artists and other nefarious characters? Yes. As a result, unlike many blessed sheltered saints, I am ever on the alert for those whose motives will thwart the works of God. My fellow congregants have not been exposed to these folks and are willing to accept on faith many of the schemes put forth by some of the “leadership.”

The above paragraph is to no way imply a general condemnation of the hierarchy. But, the late President Reagan worked successfully with the Soviet Union by exercising a constant policy of, “trust but verify.” One of the first warning flags is any hint of secrecy. Virtue operates best in full sunshine. Another warning would be decisions related to the spiritual direction of the church which are unsupported by the common consent of the greater body. Another flag goes up when there is a suggestion of disbelief in any of the scriptures which have served us so well for so many decades. The Book of Commandments is not scripture.

The last signal I will mention is the ingratiating manner in which the Community of Christ is being approached of late. Any desire to express anything past the respect we would afford to any church in our area and to re-embrace those failed doctrines which lead to the painful breakup in the first place is unconscionable. This does not mean that we should not pray for them, nor should we be rude to any of their members. They know who they are and we should clearly understand who we are, and I for one don’t see how the twain shall meet.

So here we are back to denial. Much of what is outlined here would be vigorously denied. Shakespeare said, “Methinks, thou doth protest too much.” When all else fails, claim it isn’t true. Twenty seven years ago, I looked in the mirror while shaving and came to a startling conclusion. The man I was shaving was not God. Relieved of that responsibility I could then go on to an enriched life and less denial.

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Common Consent

I’ve been playing with the term “common consent” ever since my branch sent two members as “delegates” to a conference of the JCRB a year or so ago without the church body’s knowledge. Water under the bridge.

Section 25 in the Doctrine and Covenants makes it quite clear and I would like to address it in regard to the JCRB now. To refresh your memories: Section 25:1 b.—And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith; for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.

No brainer, right? Wrong. The JCRB meetings which have been going on in secret for years do not even begin to consider common consent. In fact, they speak more to priestcrafts and secret combinations, documented in Scripture. These meetings have also been well documented by Richard Price in Vision Magazine, and others. I can only hope that thinking saints have read these articles.

More recently, the RLDS name has been cropping up, and even now there are negotiations afoot with the CoC to try and get the name back. Fine. But at the risk of kicking a dead horse, a question still remains, and nobody seems to be willing or able to answer it.

To give a little history, everyone got all twitterpated a couple of months ago when an announcement appeared in a Kansas City paper announcing use by the Restoration of the RLDS name. I posted the question on the Center Place discussion board and you all know what happened then. The following is the email from Rudy Leutzinger to a sister in Christ (yes, a personal email) written sometime around the end of May or beginning of June, which she then posted on another discussion board, and which is now pretty much in everyone’s email archives. I shall go through it point by point. Even though it was not sent to me, it concerns us all:

We began using the name two weeks ago.
Who began using it? His branch? The RLDS? The entire church?

There have been two advertisements in the paper so far The POZ have drafted a new advertisement that has been forwarded to the branches that incorporates the name in it. It will probably appear sometime in June.
I’m not privy to all Center Place happenings. Did the Advertisement appear in June?

The CoC has not granted permission but they have not disputed our claim that we have a right to use the name. If there is a law suit, they will initiate it. (I, for one, hope that there is some kind of legal action. Our case is very strong.)
What am I missing here?

We are looking to negotiate several things with the CoC including the use of the name. These talks will begin in earnest this summer. I do not care to say more at this point but will be happy to keep everyone advised as news comes.
Okay, advise away.

Why claim the name? In two court cases, the RLDS church was recognized as the successor to the original church of 1830. I was baptized into that church and ordained under its authority. Twenty years from now, people will look back on this time in the history of the church and realize that the RLDS church is still the legal and spiritual successor--especially after the CoC revelation of 2007.
Does anyone have access to the CoC revelation of 2007? If so, please post it here.

Any other organization will be viewed as a faction.
By whom, Bro Rudy? By you? By your branch? By the JCRB? By the church at large?

You see, folks, I don’t remember voting on any of this. I don’t remember my church joining the JCRB and being subject to the new hierarchy. I don’t remember being a part of the meetings which have been taking place for years among the branches who have chosen to run ahead of the precepts of the Church and set up their own little kingdom. I don’t remember anything about common consent. If, indeed, common consent was utilized way back when the JCRB was forming, does that mean that those who voiced their opposition are now being punished? I don’t believe that’s what our Lord had in mind.

Which brings me to a question posed on the JCRB website on 7/01/07 asking whether it was true that the JCRB was using the RLDS name on its letterhead. The answer follows:

Thus far, use of the RLDS name has been limited. The letterhead of the Joint Conference of Branches does not currently contain the name. A committe has been appointed to discuss this subject with the CoC. The earliest use of the RLDS name will likely be in reference to and at the National Conference in the fall.

Either the name was being used in the middle of May or it was not. Which is it? Why did he say they had started using it and then state it was not being used? Why the forked tongue?

Much is being said about the JCRB allowing THE PEOPLE a voice in the issues. Not so. The only PEOPLE who have a voice are the PEOPLE who have joined the JCRB and are now brainwashed enough to be blind to what is really happening. I have received several emails from JCRB elders in reply to my posts on the Center Place discussion board, bemoaning the fact that they wish everyone would join the conference. When I replied that I saw a very clear split in the church because of the JCRB the emails stopped. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. To allow the free exchange of ideas without the fear of being censored. To be able to say that yes, there is a split. To be able to ask questions of all you people out there, who went through this just a couple of decades ago and who see clearly what is happening.

There is no room for a pride or arrogance or deception in the Restoration Church. Why, then, is it so blatant in Independence?