The Rapture, New Order Mormons, LDS Politicians, and Church History

This episode of the Mormon Chronicle podcast is presented by Ezra Taylor, Brian Mecham and the letter T.

Listen to this episode:

Download the podcast episode at this link: Mormon Chronicle Podcast Episode 1: The Rapture, New Order Mormons, LDS Politicians, and Church History

Discussed in this episode:

According to many online sources, May 21st, 2011 is the end of the world, the rapture, judgment day, etc. (It might be nice if we could postpone it until Sunday after Sacrament meeting is over (more souls saved, right?)).

The perils of labeling various Mormons (TBM’s vs. NOM’s)

It seems that the New Order Mormons didn’t like one of the articles we posted by Ezra Taft Benson:

Three Dangers That Threaten The Church Within

One of the specific statements mentioned by the NOM’s was this:

“These false educational ideas are prevalent in the world, and we have not entirely escaped them among teachers in our own system. There are a few teachers within the Church who, while courting apostasy, still want to remain members of the Church, for being members makes them more effective in misleading the Saints. But their day of judgment is coming, and when it does come, for some of them it would have been better, as the Savior said, that a millstone had been put around their necks and they had drowned in the depths of the sea, than to have led away any of the youth of the Church.”

(Source: )

Our most popular article on Mormon Chronicle right now is “LDS Politicians Have A Hard Time Standing Up For The Gospel

The MOST convincing evidence of the truthfulness of the Gospel to date: 100 logo’s!

Speaking of the Church being true…

LDS in survey call for unvarnished history

“Active Latter-day Saints want their church to provide a “frank and honest” presentation of church history, unvarnished by attempts to sugar-coat the past in order to make it more palatable.”

“That’s one finding to come from a new e-mail survey done by the family and church history department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The survey also showed:

“…want to get their information about history from the church but ‘don’t want to hear it in Sunday School. They want Sunday activities to be devotional and inspirational.'”

Ezra Taylor discusses this article from the Salt Lake Tribune: Some LDS conservatives worship political dogma

We look forward to your feedback…

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31 Responses to The Rapture, New Order Mormons, LDS Politicians, and Church History

  1. Jules Allred says:

    I loved the podcast!! It’s too bad there isn’t more time, I would love to have heard more in-depth discussion on some of these things.

    For example, the NOMs. I only recently learned of New Order Mormons, and I’d like to hear more about what they are doing to promote these “changes” in the Gospel and Church policies. I’d be VERY interested in hearing some feedback from Church leadership on their agenda and what they plan on doing about them. Any possibility of an interview with Pres. Monson?? ;-)

    And if the Church IS catering to NOM dogma (eg. allowing bare legs instead of pantyhose, and shortening the length requirements for sister missionaries’ skirts), what is the Church’s reasoning behind this? Are they working to become OF the world and shedding their skin as a “peculiar people”?

    Just a couple of thoughts, but I love the podcast and will be back for more!


  2. Brian says:

    We actually could record much longer episodes but the plan was to keep it to around 15 minutes and also post these as videos on YouTube.

    Thanks for your comments.

  3. FURB says:

    As a convert to the church, how can I not be a New Order Mormon. I am an investigator of the church, even though I am a member too. Should we, the beneficiaries of God’s grace not stand up when we see something happening in Church that doesn’t jive with how we understand the gospel?

    When I initially joined the church, back in 1999, I lived in New Hampshire. I went to Stake conference in Concord, and had the opportunity to meet with Elder Holland. I told him that I was not yet a member, but that I was investigating the church. I stated that even if I joined, I would continue to investigate, and if I found anything was didn’t seem right to me, that I would continue to investigate. As a congregant at that gathering received Jeffrey Holland’s apostolic blessing. This blessing has emboldened me to seek the truth, even if it seems critical of church authority, and doctrine.

    I’ve been baptised for over 10 years and now report the findings of my investigations to anybody willing to listen to me. This I do to further my understanding, and to bring others into the discussion, not to destroy the doctrines of the church, but to help make the chuch a better place. If I believe my understanding to be more correct than what has come before, then why did God introduce me to the church?

    It says in the opening pages of the Book of Mormon, that If there are mistakes in the work, they be the mistakes of men, not of God. So are we not our brother’s keeper? Cannot participation in the church be used as a refinery of our understandings of God’s will?

    For instance, I have a major, major issue with the 12 article of faith, which reads: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” Shadrak, Meshak, and Abendigo did not obey, honor, or sustain the law of the land, neither did Daniel, nor for that matter did our most perfect example, Jesus Christ.

    God gave us life, not to be subjects of worldly governments that violate our agency, but to allow us to choose the right without coercive force.

    Thanks for introducing me to your podcast!

    • James says:

      Your major issue with the 12th article of faith is that you don’t understand it. Because the Lord further defines what “law” is and it includes your agency. For instance, a “law” in NAZI Germany to turn in any known Semites is not to be obeyed for instance. There is great article over at LDSLiberty about it. I think Brian also has a podcast about it there. I suppose he probably put a copy of that stuff over here on this site somewhere.

    • G. Michael Craig says:

      Furb, you don’t understand the syntax in Article 12. For a correct understanding, substitute the words “when they are ” in place of “in” in the last phrase. It is thus “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates when they are obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”. Is that clear now? As a good cross reference to verify that this is what the Lord meant, read D&C 134:5. “We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, WHILE PROTECTED IN THEIR INHERENT AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS BY THE LAWS OF SUCH GOVERNMENTS, and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen THUS PROTECTED”. The huge quid pro quo is that our allegience is conditional upon our rights being protected.

  4. Brian says:

    Furb, you don’t sound like a New Order Mormon to me. I was born into the church, and just as you continue to investigate, seems similar to what many of us are doing as we continue to seek for truth, continue receiving truth, light and knowledge, line upon line, precept upon precept. It seems that many NOM’s are not actually seeking this further light and knowledge but are subversive, and strive to influence the Church in ways that are counter to the Gospel, taking away light, no increasing. The quote in the article by Ezra Taft Benson is an accurate description of some NOM’s:

    “These false educational ideas are prevalent in the world, and we have not entirely escaped them among teachers in our own system. There are a few teachers within the Church who, while courting apostasy, still want to remain members of the Church, for being members makes them more effective in misleading the Saints. But their day of judgment is coming…”

  5. Earnest says:

    Hmmm… I’m not quite sure what to think of you two and your discussion. I think it’s refreshing that you appear to be in favor of the macro consistency of truth. I applaud you for recognizing that the apologists are in apostasy along with… apostates. I will be interested to see if you actually deliver on the promise to look at truth from all directions. I commend you for unflinchingly accepting the BOM translation method as it happened as opposed to the (deceptive?) way it is presented.

    Based on your comments, I’m going to go out on a limb and presume that neither of you have spent much time at all on NOM. I spend A LOT of time there. I want to gently suggest that you missed the point of the community/support forum. Let me sum it up: When people come to the (unfortunate and painful) realization that the Church is not everything it claims to be, they are faced with the challenge of how to move forward with their life. Often they face a challenge and a paradox.

    The challenge is that active participation in the Church is a factor in marital stability among the faithful. People get divorced over leaving the Church. Frequently. Many of the people on NOM go there as a way to get some therapy for the fact that they are quietly continuing to participate in a faith tradition to which they no longer subscribe. They decide to live a lie in order to demonstrate faithfulness to family, and especially spouse.

    The paradox is that (unlike the false teaching that trees only bring one kind of fruit) there are a lot of great things people may get from their Church participation, even if the objective facts suggest that the organization isn’t GOD’S ONE TRUE CHURCH. When you realize that Nephi probably didn’t actually build a boat, and that Joseph really was a typical philandering charismatic, it doesn’t mean you want to not hang out with all of your friends. It doesn’t mean you don’t love Jesus anymore, or that you don’t want your kids to learn about Him.

    NOM is not an organization. It is a support community. It has no agenda to change the Church. Perhaps some of the people who frequent NOM have an agenda to change the Church, but there is no organizational objective. The type of fear mongering that Flower was concerned about in her post is… *surprise*, the kind you are promoting.

    In order to understand the NOM purpose, you should take a few minutes and read the article John Dehlin and Brian Johnston wrote to help people that want to stay in the Church after a faith crisis.

    I’m happy to assist in any way. We can talk about your political rhetoric some other time :)

    • Brian says:

      But this is Christ’s Church, Nephi DID actually build a boat, the Book of Mormon is not just a good book, it’s a true and literal account, and contains the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      • Matthew says:

        Did you intend this comment to be responsive to what Earnest said? Plenty of people don’t agree with the factual assertions you just made there but value the church for other reasons. I’m not sure how just reiterating “is too true!” advances the discussion. It sounds like you don’t think the tent is big enough for the less than literal believers. True?

      • Earnest says:

        Yeah, Brian… I really want to respect what you are doing here. I’m not out for blood. I’m out for an honest discussion without apologetic twists.

        One of the reasons I posted my response was because I was impressed by what I was gathering to be your sincere purpose.

        Let me see if I got it right:

        You are aware that there are problematic issues to be dealt with in our history, doctrines, and in the evidence (or lack thereof) of the truth claims of the Church.

        You agree with me that apologists are definitively in apostasy because they deny the words of the prophets in an effort to make scenarios under which the story of the restoration, and the doctrines of the Church have the possibility of being true.

        You feel like the truth should stand on its own, without manipulation, spin, or reliance on “faith promoting” history.

        You are prepared to examine the issues head on and deliver a defense of LDS truth claims from a “chapel Mormon” faith definition (i.e. when Joseph said the papyri were written by the hand of Abraham, gosh dangit! they were, and evidence will prove this out).

        Did I get that right? Let’s do it, man! I’m pulling up a chair and I’ll be interested to see how you pull it off.

        So… do we need to talk about legitimate epistemology? Are you proposing that your feelings about something are going to trump tangible evidence? Are you prepared to discuss the fact that your sincere feelings will be at odds with many other people’s sincere feelings and spirit borne conclusions?

        I hope you’re going to come up with something a little more compelling than, “Well, that’s just how I feel. The spirit told me.”

        The claimant bears the responsibility of evidence.

        Give me something to build on.

    • Kath Fletcher says:

      Earnest, what makes you think Nephi didn’t build a boat? Even Thor Heyerdahl built a papyrus boat that sailed successfully (the second time when he faithfully followed the drawings) from the middle east to the Americas, so why can’t you believe that Nephi built a boat and made it too (plus he had God’s help).

      • Matthew says:

        Kath, let’s assume that it is possible. That is a completely different question than whether it is probable isn’t it? What evidence do you have that Nephi did build a boat apart from your feelings? Nothing wrong if that is what you are relying on, but that is totally subjective, that is, no one can rely on your feelings but you.

  6. Earnest says:

    Ezra and Steve,


    Ezra, I really appreciated your response. I believe you are sincere and I am excited to see you tackle something a little more troubling than the head in the hat (although maybe a nice junior subject to tackle initially is the implications behind the head in the hat: i.e. the use of the peepstone to translate is simply a continuation of the (decidedly unholy) occult practices Joseph was engaged in directly prior to his BOM work, work that was in full swing post the (supposed) time of the First Vision (a time in which Joseph was theoretically cleansing himself from sin, but was actually practicing necromancy, scrying, and treasure digging more than ever. You could also address the troubling lack of the presence (or necessity) of the plates in the translation work.)

    In the meantime, and I won’t hold you to it, but given your kind of less than gallant (and certainly less than accurate) comments about the intentions of my friends over at NOM, you could take the high road, reconsider your comments, and maybe make a more accurate statement that takes into consideration the difficult situations they find themselves in.

    The day may come soon when you would welcome that kind of support.

    Best regards. I’m looking forward to your future posts.

  7. Matt says:

    If you talk about Nephi building a boat in 600BC. What about the Jaredites. They built enclosed boats long before Nephi about 2200BC. They had one hole on top and one hole on the bottom to get air from they had goats and other livestock, bee’s, seeds, flocks of birds and fish. So you and your family are in one of these barges for a year being tossed about upside down. With all the animals and manure and bees and the year supply of food. Not much fresh air. Wow talk about tough people and I thought the pioneers were tough.

    • Sandra Christman says:

      What makes you think the boat ( barge, ship, whatever you wish to call it) was ever upside down. This is ridiculous! I recently was given this arguement and went back to study and ponder the scripture. It does not say anything about the ship being upside down at any time. What I got from the scripture was that the boat may have had two levels, with an air hole in the “top” and one in the “bottom”, so that air could circulate. The scripture does not state that the “bottom” is the floor of the ship. This explanation seems very logical to me. The scriptue says to plug the hole up if water comes in. That could have reference to being caught in a tempest with waves coming over the top. We are taught to “liken the scriptures unto ourselves”. As I ponder this particular story, this seems quite pausible.

  8. Fulanito says:

    Ezra, you skirted the Book of Abraham question all together. The BOA, according to any apologist worth his/her salt, is nothing more than the Egyptian Book of Breathings, dated to maybe 2,000 years, not 4,000 years. Explain that one.

  9. Brian says:

    Based on what I have read so far, I’m not really in your camp, but I’m glad you are around. We need a variety of voices. I’m intrigued by your unique stance regarding apologetics and disaffected members. I’ve spent the last six months digging deeper into historical issues, truth claims, etc, and the cognitive dissonance has only increased, causing me to struggle mightily to reconcile my former level of faith with my current understanding of the facts. I now have serious doubts about many things I used to be certain were 100% true.

    Rather than paint everyone who struggles with a broad, dismissive brush, perhaps you could engage a variety of people who claim to be NOM to find out what is going in inside their heads. The joke about pantyhose was consistent with the tone of the podcast. I thought it was cock-sure, flippant, and condescending (no offense). You knocked down the NOM straw man with a bad joke. I’ll gladly claim to be a NOM, just as I’ll claim to be a Mormon, but my approach and practice of my faith is as unique as my DNA, and it changes every day as my seeking leads me to new information and experiences.

    Of course, I’m a fan of both Mormon Stories and Mormon Expression. When I complained to John Larson that his TBM, Mike, was too much of a punching bag, he said it was very difficult to find articulate, intelligent people who would be willing to come on. He can’t even get prominent apologists participate. If he hasn’t reached out to you, or you to him, I would highly recommend you do so.

    You guys are rare birds: Educated on the issues, public in your declarations, willing to debate, and firmly on the true believing side of the line. Scholars such as Richard Bushman and Greg Prince have presented unvarnished histories while leaning away from apologetics. They remain active members of the church while acknowledging some of the currently intractable controversies. Its seems you take it a step further by embracing it all with open arms. Is that a fair assessment?

  10. Jill says:

    Compare the following statement made by Bruce R. McKonkie with the statement by Wilford Woodruff. W.W. ” A prophet will never lead us astray…” B.R.M. in a personal letter to Dr. Eugene England in 1981, ” Brigham Young erred in some of his statements on the nature and kind of being that God is…” ” Prophets are men, and make mistakes, sometimes they err in doctrine, this is why we have the Standard Works, without which, we would believe one thing when one man was president of the church, and another thing in the days of his successors… This letter had DO NOT REPRODUCE stamped all over it. But you LDS had better follow those prophets! Even if they are just men and err in doctrine and make mistakes!

    • Jeremy says:

      People always seem to miss what the quote is saying. The prophet cannot LEAD PEOPLE ASTRAY. That is a very different statement than, “the prophet speaks in perfection to men” which is completely inconsistant with oh so many prophetic utterances such as that title page declaration and occurances in the Book of Mormon as well as Brigham Young’s declaration that mankind seldom if ever recieves revelation in perfection. I know that when I give blessings the voice is very much not my own and it is very much like I have to translate what’s being said in my own words. It comes as ideas unframed and I often struggle to find the right words. We do not (or rather should not) deify the prophets though we rightly revere them.

      • Eglantine says:

        One of my pet peeves is that people expect perfection out of Mormons and Mormon leaders but then ignore the fact that in the Bible the prophets and leaders were far from perfect. The Bible even points out the imperfections of Abraham, Moses, and Peter. I guess what I am trying to say is that those attacking the church leaders either are misleading you or really don’t know the scriptures.

        I am married to an evangelical anti-Mormon (somehow we make our marriage work) and have heard it all, even once debated with a top writer within the evangelical movement. I learned my lesson that those people don’t want to listen but they want to destroy. (My husband now respects my beliefs and goes with “agree to disagree” so we have moved on)

  11. Lilia says:

    It also appears from their statements, that Joseph Smith & Brigham Young believed that Prophet (Pres. of the Ch.) ‘could’ fall & the D&C even has instructions how to handle that, should it occur.

    They also warned & taught that it was our responsibility to make sure the Prophet or anyone in the Church or elsewhere was teaching correct doctrine, by using the Holy Spirit & by comparing what they teach to the scriptures. For Joseph taught that ‘true’ prophets will never contradict with what the scriptures say. That’s how you tell truth from error.

    They also seemed to teach that Prophets ‘could’ lead the church astray & if they did it would be the member own fault & that they would deserve it, for not having the Spirit to discern truth from error.

    We know that ‘false’ prophets can lead people astray & thus we are warned against this today. There were false & fallen Prophets in the 12 Apostles in Joseph’s day, so could it happen again? If the majority of the membership rejected the truth & the Prophet, would God allow a false Prophet to come in among them & lead them astray because they desired falsehood rather than truth?

    It does not make sense that a Prophet would have less agency than any other person on this earth to fall & lead people astray. Given the huge amount of agency he allows so many evil people in this world to deceive & destroy so many innocent people & children. It doesn’t sound right that he would take a man’s agency away to do ill just because he was a Prophet.

    In any case, which ‘Prophet & Presidents’ of the Church are right? Joseph & Brigham who seem to say it ‘is’ possible & thus beware, or more current Prophets who say it is ‘not’ possible for them to fall & lead us astray?

    The Church teaches that all ‘true’ revelation will never contradict itself, so was one or more Prophet’s teachings on this subject not correct? For they seem to contradict each other. And if one or more was wrong, wouldn’t that be leading us astray then?

    There seems to be many other doctrines also that ‘Presidents’ of the Church disagree on, so which ones were right, if their revelations can never contradict one another?” It would be impossible for a more current President to get contradicting ‘true’ revelation on a former Prophet’s ‘true’ revelation. For God is the same yesterday, today & forever & truth & doctrine never changes.

    Just wondering about this perplexing issue.

    • James says:

      Can you reference exactly where in D&C it says the prophet can fall? Trust but verify. The only thing I am aware of states that if the intent to lead astray were ever entertained he would simply be removed out of his place by God himself (ie death and a swift return to base-camp). I also don’t less agency here for the Prophet than anyone just less lenience on the Lord’s part for swerving from his will be the stakes are too high. An example similar to the one of Laban where the long term implications would be too extreme to allow to happen and it is therefore better that one man shall perish than a nation dwindle in unbelief. So I am asking for references to what your speaking up but also don’t see a conflict. If Joseph and Brigham thought a prophet had enough agency to choose to lead people astray it is not in conflcit with later prophets assuring us that the Lord would in intervene in that actually coming to fruition. Maybe it’s semantics. Anyway if I could see what the quotes are I think I would understand your opinion better.

    • G. Michael Craig says:

      Lilia, you may find the following quotes helpful. “How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the Spirit yourselves”. “What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God WHETHER THEY ARE LED BY HIM. I am more fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of

      • G. Michael Craig says:

        Jesus, that they are led the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, WHETHER their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, OR NOT”. (Brigham Young, June 28, 1857, JD 4:368 & Jan.12, 1862, JD 9:151, respectively). Also, “Yes, within the Church today there are tares among the wheat and wolves within the flock. As President (J. Reuben) Clark stated, ‘The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing because they wear the habiliments of the PRIESTHOOD….We should be careful of them’…(J. Reuben Clark Jr., CR, April 1949, p. 163) The wolves amongst our flock are more numerous and devious today than when Pres. Clark made this statem

        • G. Michael Craig says:

          ent…Not only are there apostates within our midst, but there are also apostate doctrines that are sometimes taught in our CLASSES, and from our PULPITS, and that appear in our PUBLICATIONS. And these apostate “precepts of men”(2nd Nephi 28:14) cause our people to stumble”.(Ezra Taft Benson, CR, April 1969, pg. 11). Also “Do not brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president…When men and women depend on God alone, and TRUST IN HIM ALONE, their faith will not be shaken if the HIGHEST in the Church should step aside. Perhaps it is his own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His saints may learn to trust in Him, and NOT IN ANY MAN OR MEN”. (George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, 53:674)

  12. Tom says:

    Brian and Ezra (nice mormon name) WoW you just got Lawyered.

  13. Merche says:

    I’m not sure what this Mormon group is all about, but by reading Ernest’s comments I clearly see am apostate in the making. That Joseph was “Typical philandering charismatic” and that Nephi did not actually build the boat. That we have to come to these uncomfortable realizations?? Who the hell is this guy and where does he think he is getting his information from?

  14. Ken H says:

    One of my axioms is,”Never asume anything about everything accept only that which is true.” I rely on the confirming power of the Holy Ghost. This applies to any and all doctrines and truths in the scriptures, talks, books or manuals. Now we do not have any “physical” evidence of Nephi building a boat but then again we don’t have any evidence that Moses parted the Red Sea either. But we do have the opportunity of knowing these things by the power of the Holy Ghost. I never accept anything to be true without the confirmation from God. It seems that people are saying that unless it makes sense to themselves logically it can not be true. But the things of God do not and will not conform to man’s understanding and logic. This is where faith comes into to play.

    • Jeremy says:

      People often demand a much higher standard for a lower priority. They demand physical proof from thousands of years ago about something that really should be of little consequence to whether the Plan of Salvation is the Straight and Narrow Path of happiness, but when it comes to love they are perfectly willing to trust what they feel. Everyone believes the “heart” is the fittest instrument for measuring love and yet when the subject of religion comes up we all demand physical proof. The only proof you are ever going to get about how you feel is how you feel. Spiritual things can only be measured by spiritual yardsticks.

    • Blake says:

      I guess my whole point I try to make is that we’ve been taught our whole lives to rely on this “power” of the Holy Ghost. Let the warm fuzzy tell you what is true, the “confirming power of God”… The church never lets your thoughts and feelings be your own. They were either placed there by Satan or inspired by the Spirit. We have incredible brains and nervous systems capable of producing or own warm fuzzys for anything we WANT to be true. If you have been submerged your whole life in Mormonism and prayer and scripture study and pray to know that it’s true, you’re going to tell yourself it’s true. Give your brain some credit, open your mind a little and read some history and science without prejudice one way or the other. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  15. Wini4truth says:

    NOM = Protestant Mormons

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