37 Comments

  1. I knew there was a reason I liked Faust. Hadn’t realized before that he was a Democrat.

    He came to a stake conference once in my stake in SoCal when I was still active in the church. Instead of holding himself aloof like most of the higher-ups in the church seem to (at least in my experience), he was out working the crowd before the session, and when I met him instead of just shaking hands like they usually do, he greeted me with a great big bear hug that actually felt genuine.

  2. I got in on one of the VIP functions at the JSMB, too, where Monson was present. So was Hinckley. The big difference was that Monson insisted on being served before his wife, what with his eternal priesthoods and all that, while Hinckley insisted his wife be served before himself.

    I think the Church of Monson will do what the Church of Monson wants.

    • Michael D

      GB Hinckley is a relative of mine. I’m happy to say that said behavior has been taught all the way down the line. And it has nothing to do with capability – it’s the time-honored principle of “you before me” – a trait present in all good men in my opinion and something I need to work more on in my own life.

  3. Yes, I was sad when James E. Faust died. He seemed so compassionate and open minded. As for Monson, he was never one of my favorites. And oddly enough, even my psycho-uber-conservative religion profs. really didn’t have a lot of good to say about his stuff. But if they had any similar experiences with his apparently arrogant attitude, they never had the nerve to mention it in class.
    At any rate, I’m glad I got out when I did 🙂

  4. The only impression I had about Monson was his schmaltzy general conference talks. They weren’t to my taste, and something rubbed me the wrong way. If it wasn’t the cloyingly saccharine, it was the fact that he dyed his hair. (I was pretty judgmental as a Mormon.) At least he seemed—even to my ex-Mo self—like a kind, caring person. So I was a little surprised when the church continued its pattern of sticking it to the little guy when he took the helm. I kind of expected Monson to be a soft touch.

    Now I know why I always felt like I was being had by a used car salesman. If Packer is a prig, at least he’s upfront about it.

  5. I didn’t know this about him at all. Though back when I did watch conference, I never liked his talks.

    But I was surprised at the sudden shift once Hinckley died. It’s interesting to see how much church policies (and therefore doctrines) change when there’s a new dictator at the helm.

    God sure gets weird mood swings every time a prophet dies…

  6. “God sure gets weird mood swings every time a prophet dies…”
    ha! craig. that’s awesome.

    thank you, john, for the insider information. 🙂

  7. As a former waitress/server myself, I agree that how a person treats the wait staff speaks volumes about them. Many people don’t realize just how poorly waiters/waitresses are paid (less than minimum wage). Others don’t realize just how difficult their job can be – if they’ve never had to do it themselves.

    I am no better than the person who clean the toliets at my work. Who, btw, does a great job and does a great service. Would I rather be doing that? No. So I have appreciation that she does that.

    Everyone deserves to be treated like a human being. No exceptions. (thank you John for this post, apologies, I think you hit a nerve for me).

  8. MostlyNormal

    An interesting post, but since it is third hand and hearsay I find it hard to buy in to. I’m not disagreeing, I just take third hand accounts with a grain of salt. I have heard equally harsh comments about Faust – as he lived in my stake (which I tend to not believe either)

  9. Honestly, I think that all of those who run that church have way, way too much power and authority, and it goes to their heads, pretty much universally.

    The fact that they’re NOT being visited by God/Jesus on a daily basis (or probably ever, in their lives) makes for a perception in the church (where they believe that) that they’re perfectly saintly nice old men, and outside for a (probably more accurate) perception that they’re really no different than say the Pope and cardinals of the Catholic church – old men with tons of power. And this is something which rarely helps people be more empathetic and loving – usually the opposite.

    I don’t trust or like any of them. And regardless of whether some of the individuals are nicer than the others, they’re still responsible for perpetuating horrible homophobia, sexism, and anti-intellectualism – because at the least, they do nothing to stop it, and are in a position not only where they could, but they absolutely ought. And that right there says to me that those 15 men (as well as many others) are untrustworthy.

  10. Craig –
    Awesome stuff!! After going though bad church experiences years ago, I myself came to the same conclusion about religious power structures.

    I made a proposal to turn to a less hierarchical structure (I call it the network model) where the buck stops with the elder board of a local church. Accountability of elders can be done without someone higher up in the chain of command, and instead could be handled by anyone more mature that they feel they can talk to. The pastor/priests would additionally have a check – they would be one elder in the board of elders, or would be under the authority of the board itself. Ideally, there would be no single pastor, else we have a little dictatorship, so the teaching ministry would be shared among elders with that gift. The money to run the local church would be raised by the regular supports in the body. Nice, simple, and much less prone to power corruption. Doctrine stances would be decided on a church level. I could see different societies forming that followed different theological packages (Calvinist, Charismatic, Traditional, etc.).

    One of the pastors at a church I used to go to talked with me at length about this model, and has since adopted it and removed the authority structures above them.

  11. Nathan

    What examples of:
    1) “power corruption” (Jonathan), and
    2) “sticking it to the little guy” (Jonathan Blake)

    Have you guys experienced (if it is not being too personal to ask)?

  12. Having political power corrupts a person’s morality. When it comes to a church power structures, this is all the worse – and can lead to many awful problems that drive people away from church, Christianity, and God in general. Pastors and priests hold spiritual authority in the eyes of their congregation. When they become too corrupt, they begin stealing money, lying, cheating, having affairs, plagiarizing sermons, and spiritual abuse people for their own selfish ends. Basically, they give in to their selfish nature and use their power to feed it.

    Pride is the first to rear its ugly head with spiritual power. With mindless devoted followers, a person who sees the corruption of a spiritual leader, if caught, will have the corrupt that spiritual leader turn the entire congregation against you – saying you are an evil dissenter in to body (excommunication) – You loose all your friends, etc.

    When this happened to me, my old pastor actually told people that it was OK to steal and lie as long as people are coming to God in the process (the end justifies the means)… But anyone who disagrees with him is hopelessly evil and needs to be made an example of and must be publicly humiliated. Why? Because I didn’t confront him face to face like is said in the Bible. I personally took to heart the “Don’t throw your pearls before swine…” verse instead. And good, moral Christian men and women believed him. I have never seen such a blatent example of pastor-worship in my life among Evangelical Christianity.

    Unfortunately, this pastor encouraged it. He discouraged personal study of the Bible and wanted the attenders of the church to not think for themselves, but to believe what he told them. When you’re only source of spiritual truth comes from one human being, you are up shit creek without a paddle.

    Sadly, my story is nothing compared to others. I’m still a very serious Christian after all this – still attend a church, am a leader in the youth group, am attending seminary, etc. However, I can understand the intense hurt and anger of people that came from similar or worse situations than mine, who may never recover from what happened to them (such as cults, sexual abuse, etc.). I see a loss of faith in these situations as a gracious gift of God. If God were good, He would want them to be rid of such diabolical poison that makes up the corrupted, man-made religion we find in our society today.

    Here’s my take for the theist crowd (ignore if you’re not) 🙂 —
    What they saw or experienced was not the real God, nor were the corrupt religious leaders His followers. They worshiped another god that may look similar to the Christian one, but isn’t. In such situations, if the real God was ever involved, my guess is He turned over the spiritual reigns to the one who would be more fitting for such filth – Satan. And as a Christian, I believe this is the individual that runs a majority of churches/religious centers today. Nothing is new- this is how religion has always been since the dawn of time.

    Sorry – not one of my finer comment posts. Its a sore subject for me, and I’m not altogether rational about it.

  13. What examples of: …“sticking it to the little guy” … Have you guys experienced (if it is not being too personal to ask)?

    I resist the idea that the abuse of religious and political power needs to be directed at me before it becomes my concern. Aside from being moved by basic compassion, a threat to anyone’s freedom is a threat to my own.

    What I meant by the Mormon church’s pattern of sticking it to the little guy is their repeated opposition to recognizing the rights of a politically disadvantaged group. They opposed desegregation and interracial marriage, the Equal Rights Amendment, and now equal marital rights for same-sex couples.

  14. ron

    Mr Monson is trying to sell a home in Maui right now for 8 million dollars!!!!!. How does a leader of the church get enough dough to buy an 8 million dollar vacation home. I am supicious as heck.

  15. to ron,

    do you have any documentation or source confirming Mr. Monson’s home in Maui. I’d really be interested in seeing it.

  16. My website lists how much money these “money changers” receive for serving on bank and insurance boards, etc. They are all prideful and do NOT have spiritual experiences. They have hundreds of lawyers (over 100 at Kirton and McKonkie alone including the son of Thomas S. Monson; Thomas L. Monson) to fight lawsuits filed against them for illegal theft of member’s (and other’s) assets through Zion’s Bank, Barrick Gold, etc. justified due to the Masonic blood oath and consecration of all “time, talent, and all ye do possess…and to not tell about the SECRETS of the temple” “or suffer your life to be taken”
    http://www.stopzion.com
    http://www.bridgingtruth.com

  17. Mauricio

    Judge and disrespect a person if you like, but until you have read The Book of Mormon and have diligently applied the promise found in Moroni 10:3,4,5, you’ll never know for certain whether TSM is a prophet called by God, or nothing more than a charlatan. Nevertheless, regardless of his title, judge him with the same vigor you wish to be judged.

  18. Mauricio, you’ve misjudged those of us who have read Moroni 10 innumerable times, applied its promise diligently, and came to different conclusions than you. Personally, I came to a point in my life where I determined that I would follow the answer I got no matter what. The silence was deafening. The only conclusion I could draw was that the BoM is not true.

  19. Mauricio

    Jonathan: I wish you all the best for a rich and fulfilling life. PS Just a little about me: I spent my mission in Chile and now feel practically like a born-again Chilean, i.e., I love to speak Spanish, and within the last ten years have birded in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Guatemal, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Cuba, and serve on the missionary committee in my Ward.

  20. The leaders of the LDS church are very human, but as you can tell, the sheep look at the leaders as perfect. There are anything but perfect as they are prideful and justify stealing from the wealthy member’s assets due to the serious (satanic) oath and consecration of “all your time, talent, and all that you do possess”. D&C 124 states that the church is condemned for its “follies and abominations” such as polygamy, Masonry (requires a secret oath which Jesus said “comes of evil”), altering the Book of Mormon. My husband and I have a mission from God thanks to a profound NDE preceded by his mother’s three prophetic dreams to restore the original Book of Mormon which was significantly altered with the second printing in 1837 taking out the identity of God as preserved in Alma 11:23-40, Ether 3:14, Mosiah 15:1-5. Also, the original Book of Mormon exposes the extreme corruption of the LDS leaders aka “money changers”. We have seen untimely heart attacks or accidents, for example, Harold B. Lee ~went into the hospital for a check up & has a
    heart attack”, ETB~ called us a “condemned church” and never spoke again, Howard W. Hunter talked about the importance of callling leaders to repentance ~ and never spoke again (~all repenting and taken out) and Alan Barnes ~ son-in-law to Hinckley and confessed to FBI about signing Olympic bribery checks, “Silent Witness” SLTrib). The path to these top positions is the ability to screw the members as illustrated by Pres. Kimball. He was the banker, insurance man, and church leader. When he was called as a apostle he thought it was for real and so he went back to all the farmers he had cheated (flood insurance payment) and then wrote “Miracle of Forgiveness” to stop the truth of his corrupt “multiple hats”.
    BTW, Monson and the Mormon Mafia as I call them earn millions serving on bank boards, insurance boards, etc. and when do they teach about repentance and Christ? Its all about the money and tithing and getting married to breed more tithe-payers for their “great and spacious buildings” like the 5 billion dollar mall in SLC. I have specific examples of their theft, murders, lies, etc. (Danite Warriors ilk)

  21. lama21

    who’s mr. thomas monson?

    well, ain’t nobody perfect. and if he’s some leader of a church, he’s probably really not all too comfortable with it. that’ s hard.

    john, let’s give this guy a break and move on to more intellechual stuff. i always liked mormons – they’re kinda boring, and i’m sure lotsa crazy stuff has been said about this crazy lot that may not be true, or is true.

    but – maybe we shouldn’t care about that, and just continue to be good, pray to God, be good to our wives (’cause believe me – i have had years of guilt, and i wouldn’t want any more weak men to go through that). girls are stronger than us. we need them. my poor wife – she’s too good for me. and us dumb ass hats quickly forget that…but these good ladies (not the whore kind who keeps thinking they can offer us something’ better’ —not like those kind on that tv show ‘mad mens’–those are straight up whores!)..

    the good ladies stay faithful to us asshats. well – maybe mr. tom moonshine is going throuh that phase of being mean because he hasn’t found his true soul yet and his wife is the only person who can stand him as a full human. and on top of that he’s some head haunch of a church – i do not envy that.

    so, lets be like me wife – and let personality flaws go. i think we can all call off the dogs – ain’t nobody perfect.

    but we can love one anothers like jesus said.

    but i have a question – does the mormo church likes gays? i been hearing no they dont. but i don’t think the local mormons here would ever treat them bad – mormons are nice folk. are they being fake about being nice folk?

    help me out, mr. john. i’m learning lots reading your blog.

  22. lama21

    speaking of wifey – i snuck out of bed to type all this. my mind has been on fire, sure! gettin back in bed so she doesn’t get too worried – you know how they are. thank you, mr. john for learning me lots of stuff.

  23. Mauricio depicts the PRIDE of the elitism of the church, whereas God wants us to be as children and honors the janitor who cleans up the messes with a pure heart greater than a false Profit, Apostle and even Bishop and their Counselors. From D&C 64 we find out that it will be the members of the church who will vote against our false leaders who need to be removed if they don’t repent.
    When the church is cleansed there will be NO polygamy with “Celestial Sealings” in the temples or even the belief in it as polygamy is an “abomination unto the Lord” no matter who practices it as clearly explained in Jacob 2:23-24 . Polygamy is the reason the Nephites were destroyed and never made one “Mother in Israel” happy as declared by Jedidiah Grant and Brigham Young who threatened them with “Blood Atonement” aka murder if they didn’t stop justifiably complaining about sharing their adulterous, carnally-minded husband with other women. The Lord WARNED Joseph Smith against following his “own will and CARNAL DESIRES” or he would FALL which is what happened. The condemnation of the church because of our “follies and abominations” is stated by God in D&C 124. The church has never repented of any of our abominable beliefs and practices. Masonry is another of our abominable practices complete with Satanic blood oaths and consecrations to the church and not to God or country. God seriously hates our secret names, secret handshakes, and Masonic rituals. Prior to 1990 we had to do the actions of the Penalty which was to slit our throat, cut out our hearts and intestines. This blood oath is “still assumed” today without these actions as they are afraid too many more will wake up. Read Moses 5:29 to see that Masonry started with Satan making Cain swear a blood oath to keep secrets prior to the murder of Abel. Our LDS Temple SECRETS are in line with the Secret Combinations warned against in the BoM. I read from the original Book of Mormon because the BoM was seriously altered in 1837 when the third MOST Great and Abominable Church took out the plain and precious truth of the identity of God. However, Alma 11:23-40, Ether 3:14, and Mosiah 15:1-5 did not get altered and clearly explain that Jesus Christ IS God the Eternal Father since He incarnated to this earth as a man with a Soul while His Spirit aka Heavenly Father remained in Heaven.
    A great cleansing is happening and those prideful “saints” who now reside in the “great and spacious building” mocking those of us who know the word of God will become sons and daughters of perdition because they do not know the identity of God and “deny the HG”.
    Its just that simple. D&C 64, 112 both show that the church needs cleansing. Go read your scriptures in new light without ego or elitism and recognize Tommie Monson as a false egotistical, whinny little boy who is mean to his wife and never of God. I believe Gail Smith who testifies that Tommy as a Bishop propositioned her and stated in anger when she refused his advances, “Don’t you know that I’m slated to become a Prophet”? This was due to the “pathway” of those who can be facades and loyal to the church and not to God.
    These scriptures warn us all to not turn our other cheek but to learn the truth and to know God!

  24. lama21

    wow! really smart people on here.

    john and karen – do you think we can just forgive mr. moron monson, and if he is gonna get punished – let god do the punishing?

    i think god will make sure his wife gets to slap him as many times as she likes in life after.

    well, help me out folks.

  25. John

    lama21, Thomas Monson is the current prophet of the LDS church. He is the voice of God to millions of Mormons. A certain portion of his power is linked to his public image, which is at odds with his personal character. Normally I would be all about trying to forgive folks their private character faults, but this post is written as a public criticism of a public leader who wields tremendous political power on issues I care greatly about.

  26. lama21

    oh, i see you responded (yeeehawww!)

    ok, wifey says i can type a little bit longer.

    oh, is mr monson a ‘douche’? (my grandson’s words for people he don’t like – i try not to have them follow me with all my history of cussin’ so much, so badd).

    well, i was reading up on him on wikipedia.org (same grandson showed me it and WOW! it’s got lotsa stuff!) and i learnt he went to school at University of Utah. he seems pretty big-wig.

    mr. john – do you think each of our own public images are at odds with our personal character?

    maybe he has just been pretending that he likes the power of being a public leader (same with mitt rommey if you ask me).

    i think if he’s a true old man (like me), he is carrying a burden i wouldn’t want, but i’d be too chicken to admit it (especially if you guys really are at about 15 million mormons around teh world). Hell – i have trouble admitting to my wife that i prefer corn on the cob to cut corn.

    i don’t wanna be mean if mr. thomas monson is mean enough already.

    help me out, john. i’m learning alots.

  27. Hi lama21,
    You make me laugh and I appreciate your wanting to learn! Thanks.
    Celestial Sealings referred to the continual belief in polygamy which is evident by the Temple practice where men can be sealed eternally to as many women as they can (usually due to death or divorce~ they can be sealed to all of them). While women, on the other hand, can only be sealed to one man and must get permission from a divorced husband to get unsealed to him. Many times, mean exhusband’s won’t give this permission. Celestial Sealings is not a tea, although it would be nice. ; }
    For Mauricio: I’ve read the Book of Mormon many times and know that the original Book of Mormon (altered at the 2nd printing in 1837 by the learned men) restores the “plain and precious” truths of the identity of God as still contained in Alma 11:23-40, Ether 3:14, and Mosiah 15:1-5.
    If you understand 1 Ne 13 then you know that there are THREE “Great and ABOMINABLE” churches listed with the MOST G&A church aka the LDS church having taken out the plain and precious truth about the identity of God.
    It will be getting back to the original Book of Mormon that will assist with the prophesied Cleansing of the Lord’s House (D&C 112, 124, 64). Polygamy will be known as always having been an abomination justified by Joseph Smith’s failure to control his “carnal desires” as he committed adultery (D&C 3:1-11). Masonry will be known as the Secret Combinations warned of in the Book of Mormon and practiced currently in ALL LDS Temples (Moses 5:29)
    Early church history shows that all men (Blacks) and all women held the priesthood simply upon Baptism during the early pure years of the church.
    And many scriptures will prove that Jesus IS God the Eternal Father aka only ONE God!
    Thomas S. Monson is a Jerk as all the leaders are in real life. I’ve met three of the prophets and talked with them and my husband knows all of them (apostles) and knows what they are really like behind the scenes… They are NOT Good and when they start repenting (Ezra T. Benson, Harold B Lee, Howard W. Hunter) they get “taken out” by the other “wolves in sheep’s clothing”
    We are the “Gentiles” and the Book of Mormon is a warning to the Mormons! And a second witness of God from the “other sheep” Christ taught after His Resurrection (John 10:16)
    Cheers!

  28. Sorry, lama21 didn’t answer one of your other questions.
    Everyone that wants to help clean up the LDS church should understand the LDS scriptures since they prophesy the need for the church to get cleansed!

    Nope, God is not going to clean up our messes for us as prophetically stated in D&C 64 although spiritually lazy people would desire that to be true.

    “For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion (where the pure in heart dwell) shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are NOT apostles and prophets (but proclaim themselves to be) shall be known! And even the (LDS) bishop, and his counselors…shall be condemned…” (D&C 64:38-40).

  29. Goldarn

    The first time I heard Thomas Monson speak in person (while I was at BYU) I got up and walked out because of the mocking he did of those “in the world” who disagreed with him and/or “the church.” The crowd ate it up as far as I could tell, but I couldn’t handle it.

  30. Obsever

    Why Does A Living Prophet of God Need Lawyers? 2/18/14

    The LDS church has always taught the following:
    God is the creator of worlds without number.
    God has all power.
    God has the power to “soften” or “Harden” hearts.
    God knows all things past, present and future.
    God through the power of the Holy Ghost can reveal the truthfulness of all things.
    God knows what everyone is thinking even before they think it.
    Prophets are god’s living oracles on the Earth and God speaks through them.
    The living prophet is more important to listen to than all the dead ones.
    All of this would make a true prophet an awesome force in a courtroom!
    The scriptures are loaded with stories of prophets so courageous, fearless, and powerful they seem like super heroes. In the Old Testament we read about Noah building the arc while the whole population was mocking him, Moses boldly contending against Pharaoh repeatedly, Elijah contending against the wicked priests of Baal, Daniel cast into the lion’s den for praying, to name a few. In the New Testament we read about John the Baptist losing his head for his beliefs, Paul writing his epistles while in prison, Jesus being tried and executed for his teachings, and the stoning of Stephen. In the Book of Mormon we have the stories of Nephi beheading Laban to get the Plates of Brass and building a ship from scratch, Ammon boldly going into enemy territory to preach the gospel, Abinadi fearlessly preaching against wicked King Noah and being burnt to death for his trouble, captains Moroni and Helaman leading troops into one blood drenched battle after another, we could go on and on here but this should be enough to make the point. To my knowledge there is not one scriptural account of a prophet so wimpy he has to hide behind lawyers. According to the church the living prophet is easily the equal of the ancient ones from scripture. So what happened? How did God and his living prophet become such gutless weenies?
    Any one of the ancient prophets mentioned above if ordered to appear in court would see it as a great missionary opportunity, fearlessly show up alone at the court knowing that the power of god was with him and at the very least deliver a powerful and convincing argument on behalf of himself and the church. If Monson really is a living prophet of God and the church really is true and on solid ground, with nothing to hide, it should enthusiastically do the same. If Monson does not appear before the British magistrate on the appointed date to answer the charges filed against him as ordered, the membership of the church and the world at large have every right to question his authority and the claims of the church.
    Another serious issue is that by using strictly secular legal means to defy a court official’s order is a huge act of hypocrisy. The church is constantly condemning secularism but it will be though secular means that the church will deal with Monson’s situation. Additionally it would defy the church’s own Articles of Faith as found in its scriptures. The 12th article states: “ We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring , and sustaining the law. “ If these words mean nothing to the living prophet why should they mean something to his followers?
    Surely there will be plenty of members with the same concerns as those expressed here and the great Google apostasy that the church has been experiencing the last several years will likely accelerate. The church may start asking “where is Abinadi when we need him?”

  31. Slick Willie

    Thanks for sharing, I found it very insightful and an interesting read. I agree with your assessment that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat those who are serving them. Supposedly Hillary Clinton is like Monson where she’s just a total jerk to everyone around her. Anyway I find Monson to be very creepy and that’s before you even get to the content of what he has to say. Thanks again.

  32. G P

    I spent some time with Elder Faust and miss him. Regarding President Monson…From the time he was a Young Adult President Monson has been in Church service…67 years (although some have even chosen to criticize some of his childhood actions). In totaling all the ill will and negative things said about him…assuming all are true, accurate, totally objective and honestly reflective of his true persona rather than isolated incidents…These criticisms sure don’t amount to much. I am just an average person and I am sure I am guilty of at least that many offenses every month. Thank heavens we do not all live in glass houses. GP

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