Monday, August 22, 2011

Our First (and Last) Interfaith Meeting

Last week I sent the public affairs representative from the High Council to an interfaith group meeting.  It didn’t go very well.  They were offended at his words and will not be inviting us to participate in the group going forward.  I asked them what happened.

It was decided that before the different denominations could all work together on certain community goals they would each speak for a few moments on how their church views other religions.  In this way they were hoping to dissipate any feelings of mistrust.

They sent me the notes taken from the meeting and it seems that my high councilors comments were accurate but somewhat lacking in tact.  This is what he said:

“I am honoured to be amongst such good people today as a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and know that we can accomplish much good together as we work within our communities. Rather than hearing my own personal thoughts on how our Church views other religions I am going to share with you what Church Apostle Dallin H. Oaks said in this month’s New Era Magazine*. 

"The fashionable opinion of this age is that all churches are true. In truth, the idea that all churches are the same is the doctrine of the anti-Christ."

You see when Joseph Smith asked God and Jesus which church to join Joseph recorded this as his response “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

My friends the Lord Himself referred to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased” This is right in our scriptures! (D&C 1:30).

Because of this declaration of the Lord, we refer to this, His Church as the “only true Church.”

Furthermore from The Book of Mormon we can read in 1 Nephi 14:10 where it states:   
"Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth."

I do understand of course that there is much good taught in all faiths and as Mormons we invite people to bring all the good that they have learned from their religions and allow us to add our additional truths that they may have a fullness of the truth.  I am very much looking forward to working with you all and being an integral part of this committee.”


Anonymous said...

Dear President,
You need to remind your High Councillor that there is meat of the gospel, and there is milk. Unfortunately, he cast his steak before swine. He should have waited until *after* the members of the interfaith group were baptized to share these truths. I hope you have corrected him in this matter.
All best,
Bishop Wigglesworth.

Sister Abbot said...

I know it's not my place to ask, but I am concerned that this High Council member may do damage to the Lord's church: will you be releasing him from his responsibilities?
I know it's not my place to say this either, so please forgive me President, but I can't help but feel that Elder Oaks's comments were a little intolerant, and even though we know that tolerance is a bad thing, it seems to me that just a little, tiny sprinkle of it might build bridges and bring people to Christ.
Sister Abbot.

Bishop Wigglesworth said...

Sister Abbot, as your priesthood leader, I feel inspired to tell you that you have been deceived. Please read the talk below by Elder Nelson which tells us that "Boundless mercy could oppose justice. So tolerance, without limit, could lead to spineless permissiveness. The Lord drew boundary lines to define acceptable limits of tolerance. Danger rises when those divine limits are disobeyed."

Also, dear Sister Abbot, you really should not presume to counsel the Stake President. You would be better served by studying this new recipe book on how to be an LDS woman

Gospel love,
Bishop Wigglesworth.

Sister Abbot said...

Please accept my sincere apologies President, and Bishop Wigglesworth.

Sister Abbot.

Bjorge Queen said...

I agree with Wiggles. Sister Abbot: Who are you to question the lord's annointed?

Sister Abbot said...

I am terribly sorry.

Brother Abbot has just got home from work - his tea isn't ready, and he saw what I've written on President Paternoster's blog and he's very upset with me too.

I can't apologize enough. I will endeavor to do better.

Elder Berry said...

Bishop Wiggles, r u suggesting that the High Council man shud have lied? We always tell the truth in the church. Always.

1 Nephi 16:2 - the guilty taketh the truth to be hard.

Anonymous said...

I'm lean more towards complete mercy myself, and love to associate with whores, whether they be people or churches. ;)

Cindy said...

I agree with you that your HC member was lacking in tact. Just because everything he said was true does not mean he should have said it. Most people are resistant to change or correction. They are complacent with the way they are. It's important to be subtle and not give too much information at one time, especially in situations like this inter-faith group meeting. It's often like that with investigators and new members too. The key is to teach with your works. I think that generally LDS members pride themselves in their humility of having the only true church. This example seems very uncharacteristic for a Latter-Day Saint. Most people notice something special about Mormons and that draws them to us and opens the way for communication. Had your Councillor joined this committee, over time, the others would have noticed he had something they didn't have and that would have peaked an interest to want to learn more about Mormonism.

J Peterson said...

Dear President,
I’m not a member of your stake. However, I must ask what on earth do you think you are doing by hosting this blog site? From what I can see you have created an environment where a member of your stake high council has been publically berated for his error in judgment. Members of your stake have split up and taken sides in the issue and are accusing one another. Poor Sister Abbot said something and the entire stake jumped down her throat. Sister Abbot’s priesthood leader chimed in and publically called her to repentance. Her husband came home from work and is mad at her and we all know about it. She has now apologized over and over and over. My guess is that she will show up at the next stake conference with a bag over her head… if she shows up at all.
What kind of a Priesthood leader are you President? I’m just scratching my head wondering how you justify introducing all of this controversy into your stake, promoting bad feelings, and setting up a situation here your members can be publically flogged by other members. I am 100% confident that if someone at Church headquarters knew you are doing this and the effect it is having upon your members, they would shut you down in a heartbeat.
This little blog of yours is the most ill-advised activity I have seen in a very long time.
Dear Members of this guy’s stake… my advice to you is to remove this blog from your favorites list and stop visiting this website. It isn’t good for you and it will destroy your stake if you continue to support it. Leave your president to his little blogging project, and go do something productive. Perhaps you could take some cookies over to Sister Abbot and let her know that you still love her.

Anonymous said...

I think this is clearly a case, President, where you probably need to remind your HC that all truth is less than useful.

Anonymous said...

Brothers and sisters, I am somewhat concerned at a tone I sense in this discussion, a critical tone directed at the High Councilor, who, we must remember, was called of God to his position.

It is fitting and proper for President Paternoster to counsel with the members of his stake leadership team. But it is outside of the stewardship of those of us commenting here. I imagine the High Councilor hoped to follow some of the mighty examples of righteous testimony in the face of opposition that are found in the Book of Mormon, likening the scriptures to himself as we are all taught to do. If he fell short and correction is needed, I have no doubt that President Paternoster can provide it in the proper manner.

For us here, in our role as onlookers, it would be well to recognize the righteous aspiration that motivated the High Councilor, and the virtue of truth found in his words.

Furthermore, we must recognize the responsibility of the interfaith group who took offense. In the inspired words of Elder David A. Bednar, of the Council of the Twelve, "To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else."

With this principle in mind, may we come to understand better where the responsibility for any unfortunate outcome lies, and refrain from unwarranted critical attitudes toward those called of God.

Anonymous said...

I know the Lord said that to Joseph, but I was under the impression that it wasn't true anymore. I don't think we teach that much anymore.

Mahonri Kimball said...

Cindy said

"Most people notice something special about Mormons and that draws them to us and opens the way for communication. Had your Councillor joined this committee, over time, the others would have noticed he had something they didn't have and that would have peaked an interest to want to learn more about Mormonism."

This is SO true! As the only people on earth with the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and the only people on earth with the true power of God (priesthood), the difference between us and everyone else is completely obvious.

The Holy Ghost tells us the truth about anything we desire to know. Non Mormons I deal with, are always amazed that seem to have all the right answers about every possible question. It is truly amazing for someone unacquainted with the spirit, but, the truth of anything is readily available to Mormons.

No one else has the power to heal in God's name. Medical outcomes for all conditions are so much better for Mormons than for anyone else with similar conditions! We have the true priesthood!

If people have not had their eyes closed by Satan, they can easily see that only Mormons have access to supernatural powers.

Nephite Warrior said...

Dear Stake President,
Personally I am so very proud of your representative to these other churches. Indeed he spoke out like even Joseph Smith or Brigham Young would have.

Joseph himself declared that no man, save Jesus Christ, had done as much as he had. Brigham was known as "The Lion of the Lord" because he too spoke out forcefully as on the truthfulness of the Adam-God doctirne. Your representative can be proud that he followed the example of Paul who declared he "was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ".(Romans 1:16)

These other churches are just shallow counterfeits anyway, and the only way they will know that is if they are forcefully told that, up front, and in their faces. If they have a problem with our total truth then they will have to take that up Christ and Joseph on judgement day. They need to just get over it and get baptized!

Bro. Murphy said...

I agree with NW. Our church has become to accommodating to the gentile world. Can you imagine the early prophets saying stuff like "I don't know that we teach that"? Why the prophet Joseph Smith would roll over in his grave! The early church gave us Danites, Zion's Camp, the Nauvoo Legion and Mountain Meadows. These Elders of old kicked butt and asked questions later! We need another Reformation, and Elder Oaks will lead the way!

Brigham Taft Pratt said...

What a timely post President! I have just returned from a two month vacation in the southern United States and, let me tell you, the whore of all the earth is alive and well down there. I actually spent considerable time "behind enemy lines" attending both Baptist and Evangelical churches. Attending other churches allows me to witness devilish tactics firsthand so that I am better equipped to reach out to members of other faiths. From what I can tell, both the Evangelicals and the Baptists spend way too much time and energy focused on Jesus and not nearly enough time focused on weightier matters: eternal progression, visitation rights between degrees of glory, curse of Cain/Lamanites, tokens, Kolob, etc. It's shocking to me how these "Christians" have taken the pure message of the gospel and mingled the ideas of men right into it. All I can say is thank goodness for the restored gospel because without it, we would be left with little more than the Jesus story.

Let us all pray for our missionaries in the southern states, for Satan's grip is strong there.

Bishop Wigglesworth said...

Sister Abbot - your apology has been noted.

May I just add that our fellow Brit, and spokesperson for the church, Michael Otterson has just revealed the words of the Lord in the Washington Post about this very matter. He said:

"The institutional church I belong to has never been comfortable with the word, “ecumenical.” While the definition of the word has shifted in past decades, in the Mormon mind “ecumenical” still carries with it a sense of doctrinal negotiation and compromise. That has never been on the Mormon agenda, and neither can it be if you know anything about Mormon history and how the church views revelation. It might be added that other churches haven’t been in a hurry to invite us into their councils either. However, the Latter-day Saint position, emphatically, does not equate with lack of respect for others with theological differences."

Suster Abbot, I know you don't read much. Ecumenism refers to greater Christian unity or co-operation (I suspect that you may be one of the ladies for whom the new Relief Society book has been written - there aren't any difficult words and there are lots of pictures so that it will be "user friendly for women who may not read much" according to Sister Beck).

You see? Compromise has never been on our agenda. We will not negotiate! We will never surrender! But we completely respect everyone. Now do you understand, Sister Abbot?

Sister Abbot said...

Dear Brother or Sister Peterson,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I just wanted to say that I feel much better now. You are my balm of Gilead.

And, Brother Abbot particularly wanted me to say that I really don't need any more cookies: I have been truly blessed by an outpouring of biscuity delights, but it really needs to stop now. Otherwise Brother Abbot will be very annoyed at my weekly weigh-in.

catinthehatter said...

I live in Morgdom and frankly there is NO difference in countenance between mormons and gentiles. I have been on both sides, now a happy non-perfect gentile, and somehow I get mistaked for a mormon all the time.

We ALL have the spirit of God, Christ, Holy Ghost or whatever you want to call it. Whether or not we keep it around is up to us, not someone with some so-called "authority". My son has it, I have it, and I can be good and I can be naughty. Gentiles might not think mormonism is so "weird" if you all didn't go around saying yours is the only true church.

kolobian said...

This blog is truly an inspiration to me. It is so because our beloved Stake President testifies of the living son of God, yea, even Jesus Christ.

I bear testimony that both the Father and Son visited the boy Joseph and indeed admonished him not to joing any church since they were all corrupt. It doesn't matter that Joseph joined the methodists after this holy vision, surely the prophet and now exalted man Joseph had his reasons.

I fully support President Paternoster's counselor in his bold words to the so-called "ecumenical council" he was invited to. These men sought to strengthen their position as willing apostates by holding court together, as if worldly popularity equals strength of spirit.

We should be as bold as the savior himself in declaring that all churches other than the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are corrupt, evil, and false. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Mahonri Kimball said...

catinthehatter said...

"I live in Morgdom and frankly there is NO difference in countenance between mormons and gentiles."

Sadly, you are unaware in your fallen state that only worthy Mormons are entitled to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Righteous Mormons also have the gift of discernment, and can see whether or not others have the spirit by the "light of their countenance"

I could easily pick you out of a line up of worthy Mormons due to the light in their countenances.

The Holy Ghost will testify to non Mormons that that Mormonism is true, but will not dwell with them unless they are baptized by God's true authority, and have the "Gift of the Holy Ghost" conferred upon them. As Elder Oaks has once again clearly stated, there is only one true Church, one true priesthood, one true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and one group of people who are on "the Lords side".

God is not a God of confusion. He would not tell me that I have the true gospel, and turn around and tell someone else that an entirely different gospel is also true. If you think that God has told you that any religious belief is true, other than the eternal and unchanging doctrines of the Mormon Church, consider that "the devil may also appear as an Angel of Light"

Brother Heber said...

I was inspired by the strength and courage your HC member showed when given the opportunity to speak to a group of gentiles.
Truly this is the type of man and the type of speech that enabled my ancestors to join the true gospel, leave their native England and move to the promised land, even Utah.
I wish we had more church leaders that were willing to go against the liberal, political correctness that has enslaved us and express the Lord's true words. The Lord does not consider political correctness when he declares his truth to his prophet even Thomas S Monson.

Sister Fuderwhacker said...

Your blog is I wish you would write more often. And of course, you are hot. Your picture, alone, is worth visiting the site.

Stake Pres. said...

It most certainly is Sister Fuderwhacker.

Muccavwon said...

Today in Sunday School, the instructor shared a story of his mission companion who had been in training to be a Jewish rabbi as a young man, but converted to Mormonism. This elder was so well versed in the Hebrew and Greek biblical texts that he could refute any combative pastor they ran into. However, even after emerging victorious from theological discussions, they did not bring any converts with them. On the other hand, when they began to use the power of testimony, they had much success.

Of course we can justify the truthfulness of the Church through the scriptures, but that will not lead to conversion. Conversion occurs after hearing the testimony of the righteous, and although I hesitate to criticize your counselor, I will because I feel he has a fundamental flaw in his approach. I do not read any testimony in your counselor's words to the ecumenical council, and the Spirit would have a hard time testifying of what was not said.

Jews are converting. Hindu's are converting (I saw a nice article on the Church website). I'm sure Muslims are converting (LDS soldiers are in the Middle East). All of this work is occurring because of the Spirit, and I am quite surprised that your counselor let an opportunity to cast his net on the other side of the ship and reap a bountiful catch of Christian converts by sharing a simple and heartfelt testimony.

Anonymous said...

Superb analysis sir!

Anonymous said...

Please note that this blog is a fake. President Paternoster is not a church leader in the LDS church. This is a made-up alias with the intent to mislead which uses

a stolen photoshoped picture of Ed Madden; a journalist for the Irish Medical Times (picture is flipped and hair is added).

Joseph P. Kimball said...

I am so grateful to have the True and Everlasting Gospel in my life. I can't even imagine belonging to a false church, even the church that is the great whore of the earth.

Lucy said...

Dear Anonymous,
This blog is not fake, I am writing on it right now and it is definitely real.
Please do not accuse our president of stealing. It seems to me in fact, that you are stealing the name anonymous from the Mesopotamian work entitled 'Debate between a bird and fish.' You definitely cannot have been alive since the third millennium BC when the name was first used.

Bishop Ripplefritz said...

I'm with you President Paternoster. I also agree with Sister Fudderwhacker and Bishop Wigglesworth. As a Bishop myself, I appreciate the responsibility we have as Latter-Day Saints to boldly proclaim ourselves as the only ones on the planet with the truth.


Bishop Poindexter Ripplefritz

Anonymous said...

Poindexter Ripplefritz ?!?!

You can't be serious !! LOL

Poindexter Ripplefritz was a fictional character on a childrens' program called "The Freddy Freihofer Show" on a TV station in Schenectady, NY in the 1950's.