Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bound in Bundles

Response to a religious organization who views those who lecture, criticize, and counsel their church and its leaders as "tares".  Many members quote Neal A. Maxwell as their premise in dismissing any criticism advanced towards them. 

Elder Neal A. Maxwell's statement, I am amazed how history repeats itself:
"Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone."  (Neal A Maxwell, April 1996 General Conference)

Jesus lectured the Jews concerning doctrine. (John 9:40-41, John 10,Mark 7:7-9, Matthew 16:6-12)
Samuel the Laminate criticized the use of church resources for supporting their prophets and their doctrine of following such guides. (Helaman 13:24-29)
Jeremiah "condescendingly" sought to counsel the people and the Priest. (Jeremiah 26:5-24)
Jesus “condescendingly” sought to counsel the Pharisees and scribes. (Matthew 23)
The author of the book of Mosiah was very critical of the use of that religious group's resources. (Mosiah 11)
Jesus criticized the Pharisees on how they used their resources (Matthew 23:2,4,14)
Isaiah criticized leaders on how they used their resources (Isiah 3:12-15)
Malachi criticized the Priest on how they used the resources they collected from tithes. (Malachi 3:8-10)
Mormon criticized the use of church resources. (Mormon 8:36-41)
Ezekiel criticized religious leaders on how they used their resources (Ezekiel 34)
Nephi is "condescendingly" counseling us. (2nd Nephi 26-28)
Mormon is "condescendingly" counseling us. (Mormon 8:32-41)
Jesus Christ is "condescendingly" counseling us. (3rd Nephi 16: 10-15, 3rd Nephi 21:21-29)

These men had to leave “the church” but could not leave “the church” alone!
These men were all preaching to a religious people who believed themselves to be chosen and elect.
These men were all social outcast who were rejected because of the pride and collective self-righteousness of the people.

Given the current model, policies, belief-system, culture, and pride of the LDS church, if any of these men lectured us about church doctrine, criticized the use of church resources, or sought to counsel the Brethren, they would be excommunicated.

Beware of pride, it may trick you into thinking you are the “wheat” when in reality you are very much one of the “tares”. Every group of people in scriptures who fancied themselves as a chosen and elect people, and who would bear “testimony” that they as a collective body of religious members were infallible and could not be lead astray, fell into apostasy- they were all eventually destroyed and scattered.
Remember the pattern in scripture: Just like in times of old when the Lord separated His humble followers from the wicked before the people were destroyed, likewise, will the wheat be gathered out. While the tares, bound in their “Bundles”, will be left to burn with the field. (Matthew 13:24-30,38-42, D&C 86)

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