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In part 1 of this series we explored the Law of the Lord as laid down in Section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  We also documented from numerous scriptures the importance the Lord places upon the Law and how his people stumble when they fail to live the Law.

One of the distinguishing features of the Law commands that His church be governed according to the scriptures.

“Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church; And he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned if he so continue.” (D&C 42:59-60)

From this we learn that the Lord expects that His church is governed according to the scriptures, and those who fail to do so will be damned if they do not repent. Another scripture along these lines jumped out at me just yesterday as I was out for a long walk while listening to the D&C on my phone. The Lord here is talking with Oliver Cowdery as he was writing for Joseph:

“Behold, I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written are true; wherefore you know that they are true. And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; For in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock. Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.” (D&C 18:2-5)

Notice how the Lord tells Oliver to rely upon the things that are written (scriptures) because the scriptures provide the foundation of His gospel and are the rock. Also, that by relying thereon the gates of hell shall not prevail. ANOTHER WITNESS OF THE PRIMACY OF SCRIPTURE!

Interestingly, the preamble description of D&C 18 indicates that “Scriptures show how to build up the Church”. Yet in many instances the LDS church fails to follow the directives of the scriptures, many doctrines having been supplanted by the traditions of our fathers and the precepts of men. Let’s chronicle a few of the ways we ignore the directives of the scriptures in the modern church today:

1- Baptism Protocol

D&C 20:37 describes the way in which one is accepted into the church by baptism:

“And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.”

A similar commandment is given in the Book of Mormon:

“And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it. Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins.” (Moroni 6:1-2)

When was the last time that someone prior to baptism in the LDS church witnessed before the church that they had truly repented of all their sins? The scripture suggests that their is a public declaration / confession of some sort, not just an interview with the bishop behind the scenes. In all of my years in the church I have NEVER seen this take place. Yet this is the Lord’s protocol. Further, they are to manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of sins.

Also, prior to confirmation and taking of the sacrament they are to have all things expounded unto them by the Elders (see D&C 20:68) something that is rarely done in my experience.

2 – Administration of the Sacrament

There have been substantial changes to how the sacrament is administered that don’t comport with the scriptures:


Current Church Practice What the Scriptures Teach Difference
Following the hymn, the person who blesses the bread kneels and offers the sacrament prayer for the bread. (Church Handbook of Instructions 1, p.37) “And the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it—he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying:” (D&C 20:76) The entire congregation is supposed to kneel for the sacrament prayer


Current Church Practice What the Scriptures Teach Difference
The presiding officer receives the sacrament first. (CHOI 1, p.38) “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matt. 23:11) There is no precedent anywhere in the scriptures for this practice that gives undo deference to church leaders. Rather, we find the opposite when it is the disciples (apostles) of Jesus who administer the sacrament to the people, not receive accolades and recognition for their position.


Current Church Practice What the Scriptures Teach Difference
Although the sacrament is for Church members, the bishopric should not announce that it will be passed to members only, and nothing should be done to prevent nonmembers from partaking of it. CHOI 1, p.37 “And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it; For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him my flesh and blood.” (3 Nephi 18:28-30. See also Mormon 9:29 & 1 Corinthians 11:27-29) No attempt is made by the church to prevent those who have not repented or entered the waters of baptism from partaking of the sacrament, even though the Lord specifically forbids allowing those who are unworthy from partaking.  The sacrament should only be administered to those who have repented and are baptized as clearly taught in 3rd Nephi.
Current Church Practice What the Scriptures Teach Difference
Water is used as the emblem of the Lord’s blood in the sacrament. (CHOI 1, p.38) For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies;Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth. The commandment from the Lord is to not use wine that is purchased from others (your enemies) NOT to exclusively use water.  We have ample resources to make our own wine in conformance with the commandment. Obviously, when we have no wine it is appropriate to use water or anything else that is available.

3- Meetings According to the Spirit

The current handbook states “The bishopric selects topics for talks and music in sacrament meetings.” Handbook 1, p.64

How far we have strayed! Whatever happened to conducting our meetings according to the Spirit as commanded in scripture.

“The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.” D&C 20:45

“But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has been given to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to conduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.” D&C 46:2

“And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.” Moroni 6:9

Anyone who has sat through a sacrament meeting filled with talk after talk on the same subject, or the regurgitation of a general conference talk can attest to the fact that we don’t follow scriptural protocol. I am not saying that meetings are bereft of the Spirit, only that the scriptures say we should be spontaneous and listen to the Spirit as to what we do and say in those meetings.

General conferences are the worst in that every talk is pre-written and must go through the correlation committee to make sure that nothing is said that isn’t approved by the Brethren. Have we not correlated the Spirit right out of our meetings?

3- The Word of Wisdom

When given by the Lord on February 27, 1833 (See Section 89), the Word of Wisdom was not a compulsory commandment. Rather it was good advice from a loving and caring God.

To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—” (D&C 89:2)

By 1921, compliance of the word of wisdom had become mandatory under the direction of President Heber J. Grant. I am still searching for the revelation wherein the Lord makes it mandatory. There is an interesting passage regarding the word of wisdom found in the journal of Wilford Woodruff dated November 7, 1841. He writes:

“I met with the Twelve and High Priest Quorum. The word of wisdom was brought up. B. Young says shall I break the word of wisdom if I go home and drink a cup of tea? No wisdom is justified of her children; the subject was discussed in an interesting manner. All concluded that it was wisdom to deal with all such matters according to the wisdom which God gave, that a forced abstinence was not making us free but we should be under bondage with a yoke upon our necks.”

Yet, here we are today under a forced abstinence with a yoke upon our necks. Can we not say that the precepts of men have prevailed, no matter how well meaning they may be? If the Lord changed his mind, bring forth the revelation please.

4- The Responsibilities of the Twelve

In D&C 107, the Lord outlines the responsibilities of the Twelve apostles.  He designates them as “traveling councilors.”

“The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world–thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.” (D&C 107:23)

“The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nation, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.” (D&C 107:33)

The high councils in the states are equal in authority to them, according to the scriptures.

“The standing high councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all their decision, to the quorum of the presidency, or to the traveling high council.” (D&C 107:36)

Joseph made it very clear that the Twelve were not to rule where there were established stakes, and that the traveling high council (the Twelve) had jurisdiction only where no stakes were established. He said this in 1835:

The apostles have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes where there is a regular high council established, to regulate any matter pertaining thereto: But it is their duty to go abroad and regulate and set in order all matters relative to the different branches of the church of the Latter Day Saints. No standing high council has the authority to go int the churches abroad and regulate the matter thereof, for this belongs to the Twelve.” (Emphasis added. Minutes of the Grand High Council, 2 May 1835.  See also Patriarchal Blessing Book, p.2, Church Archives.)

The calling of the Twelve according to the Lord is to the world and the branches of the church, but has nothing to do with stakes where there is a high council. Yet today we find this hierarchy that completely subverts the authority of the high councils to make decisions for their stake. Local high councils have become puppets as everything shakes down from the top.

Further, the Twelve of the last days have been called to go forth without purse or scrip (money) in their efforts to preach the gospel, just as the apostles did in olden times.

“Therefore, let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom.” (D&C 84:86)

The Lord goes onto say that those who receive the Apostles, and by implication their message, shall “feed you, and clothe you, and give you money.” (D&C 84:89)

As you can see there is nothing here about stipends, living expenses, housing allowances or any of the other compensation that is paid to the highest leaders in the church, including the Twelve. Now pay attention closely because here is the zinger! The Lord specifically says that compliance with his commands to go forth without purse or scrip is how we can tell his true disciples.

“An he that doeth not these things is not my disciple; by this you may know my disciples.” (D&C 84:91)

5- Tithing and Common Consent

I have written in the past about how we have perverted the law of tithing, which is primarily for the poor, and how the unaccountable “Priests” that rule over us hide from the membership how their tithing dollars are spent.  This is in direct contradiction to the Lord’s commands that:

“And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith…” (D&C 26:2)

“For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith.” (D&C 28:13)

“An there shall not any part of it [tithed funds] be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and common consent of the order.” (D&C 104:71) 

You can read more about this topic here:

To Know the LORD – Part 3

In today’s LDS church you cannot even think about raising your hand in opposition without being viewed as an apostate or traitor. This is very different than how it was in Joseph’s day where the members of a stake would choose their own stake president. We are asked to ratify every decision as if that decision came directly from God. This is a perversion of true principles taught us in the scriptures.

There are other examples of how the church fails to comply with the scriptures, but this will suffice for now. The BIG QUESTION is:

Do we believe the Lord God or do we believe men who have changed the Lord’s directives over time?

I know who I side with. If there is any question my suggestion would be to rely on the word of God as revealed in his scriptures, which is the only way to avoid deception. (Be Not Deceived — Two Keys)

Keep Searching.