Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On Secrecy

One of the greatest threats to a free people is secret activity and combinations of people in positions of authority. On matters of national defense, it is unwise to share intelligence with our enemies. To prevent mass hysteria, it may not be prudent to release some information to the general public. Often, however, this prohibition of the dissemination of information is used as a tool to shield spurious dealings of those in power from the public.

Thanks to independent media (talk radio, web logs on the internet, personal correspondence, public protests, etc.) our first amendment protections, while diminished, are still intact. For now! Three separate and current new events support the need we have to hold our freedom to speak, think and communicate openly.

President Chavez of Venezuela recently banned the principal TV network there. Although he is the duly elected president, he does not take well to criticism. Despite protests and demonstrations, he will now be better able to exercise complete control over the people.

The drafters and sponsors of recent immigration legislation in our highest elected bodies have managed to obscure the intent of the bill‘s content to make it appear benign. Those who disagree are held in contempt, labeled with malicious accusations and accused of misunderstanding legislation which even the authors have not read or understand. The original bill ran to over 1200 pages and was never subjected to public hearings.

In Durham, North Carolina, a rogue (we hope) prosecutor obfuscated the facts of his investigation to secure false charges against three young men. Fortunately, the boys came from well situated families who were ableto secure capable counsel and come up with concealed evidence of theirinnocence. Because of sealed records and privileged grand jury testimony he was able to pursue his evil intent (to regain his position as district attorney at $100,000 a year.)

These are but three prominent examples of the result of the abridgement of first amendment rights. Our constitution cites these rights as granted by God Almighty and worthy of protection by our government. This same constitution, while intended to rigorously enforce these God given rights says nothing about the “separation of church and state.” Returning to secrecy, I submit to you words spoken by James Madison to the Virginia ratifying assembly on June 16, 1788: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

This, then, poses some questions. What could possibly be said at any gathering of elders in the Restoration that requires banning tape recorders? Why were my spouse and others told to “get out” of the Waldo gym prior to a meeting? Why are the leaders of the CRE and the JCRB so fearful of “sunshine” on their gatherings? I don’t know the answers to these questions. I guess it’s a secret.

Cecil Moon

Monday, July 23, 2007

Guilty as Charged

Closely following on the heels of Brother Arthur's letter comes this reaction by Cec, who nearly had apoplexy last night when he finally ferreted out the section of the minutes of the CRE conference addressing the apparent dumping of the D & C:

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.”
Building the Zionic condition in the people cannot be accomplished by dismantling our basic beliefs.

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.

Cecil Moon

Arthur Hawley's Letter

This is the first portion of Arthur Hawley's letter to the faithful saints. It was written and distributed soon after the April Conference.
Report on the 2007 CRE and JCRB Conferences

The Doctrine and Covenants Was not Affirmed By the CRE

I will give you a quick overview of the changes of the Church Teachings that took place at both the CRE and the JCRB. At the CRE there was a motion to reaffirm the acceptance of the Inspired Version, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. Russ Reid moved to strike the Doctrine and Covenants and replace it with the Book of Commandments, saying he has many objections to the D & C. The end result of the vote was that only the Inspired Version and the Book of Mormon was reaffirmed by the CRE (pg 5-18). Saints will ask which book of scripture will they reject next? Reid and many of the other men who reject the D & C are JCRB supporters; Reid also accepts faction priesthood. He ruled against me to be seated at the CRE saying, even if what you are saying is true, you are not to tell the saints. I have warned the saint about Reid and others like him, but some say, he is one of the “leaders”, and he would not do, or say anything wrong. The “leaders” are deceivers of Saints who do not want to see the facts. Now Reid has at last come out in the open, to publicly reject the Doctrine and Covenants. He and those who support this rejection of the Lord’s word, must think they are now strong enough to attack and remove the D & C from the Restoration Branches.

A Meeting to Consider the Succession of the First Presidency

The CRE will call for a “general gathering of the elders” before April 2008, to ”consider the matter of succession in Presidency”, and report to the CRE & JCRB Conference (pg5-17). Of course this is promoted by the JCRB leaders as they prepare to start their new church and get ready for the Presidency. By the way, the JCRB already has a motion to present that basically says, they do not care what name their church is called as long as the name Jesus Christ is in the name somewhere.

Another Effort to Form an Illegal District
Brian Mundy presented a motion from Quorum #1, “to encourage the formation of districts” (pg5-16). Now there can not be districts when there is no First Presidency, according to the pattern of the Church Law. If they had a district they would be going against the Church
pattern, and this would be apostasy because they would be changing Church Teachings.

The CRE & JCRB Will Work With Other Churches

The CRE passed a motion saying, “That the CRE leadership and councils work cooperatively and in harmony with the JCRB’ and . . . to ultimately function under a singular head . . . “and” . . . the CRE work with the JCRB and other Restoration Branch Groups . . . “(pg 5-15). This says, the CRE is to work with the JCRB and ultimately merge together. The next part really says, the CRE and JCRB will be working with faction churches. Don’t be deceived by the words Restoration Branch Groups; because faction churches claim to be a Restoration Branch or Group. To prove this; 1) The CRE accepts the faction priesthood. 2) The JCRB accepts faction church representation and faction priesthood. They want the baptism performed in faction churches, to be accepted by the JCRB and Restoration Branches.

Many Elders Stayed Home

In 2006, there were 130 voting elders at the CRE; 2007, there were 92 voting elders. One forth, [sic] 38 elders stayed home. Many gave words such as, [sic] I am fed up with the CRE. Some would say the CRE is almost an empty with leaders and councils, who support the apostate JCRB. There are many changes of Church Teachings that the saints have been warned about for years; and finally many good saints and elders are starting to see that what the Prices, I, and others have been writing about is true. Consequently, many elders and saints now realize the “leaders” have been deceiving them. The CRE goal now is to deceive priesthood and branches into joining the JCRB through the back door of the CRE. Most saints know the CRE will merge into the JCRB, and they are ripe to merge next April.