Romans 8:38-39; “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The following two recent talks given by the late apostle Russell Ballard, and current apostle Jeffrey Holland reveal the deep concern, if not panic, they’re facing when it comes to keeping members in their fold. The first talk was delivered to a group of CES Teachers who were attending a training seminar. (CES = Church Education System)
Wise People Don’t Use the Internet
Broadcast, ‘The Opportunities and Responsibilities of CES Teachers in the 21st Century,’ February 26, 2016;“For you to understand the doctrinal and historical content and context of the scriptures and our history, you will need to study from the “best books,” as the Lord directed. The “best books” include the scriptures, the teachings of modern prophets and apostles, and the best LDS scholarship available. … Teach them [students] about the challenges they face when relying upon the Internet to answer questions of eternal significance. Remind them that James did not say, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him Google!”8
Wise people do not rely on the Internet to diagnose…life-threatening challenges. Instead, they seek out health experts, those trained and licensed…Even then, prudent people seek a second opinion. …When something has the potential to threaten our spiritual life, our most precious family relationships, and our membership in the kingdom, we should find thoughtful and faithful Church leaders to help us.” – M. Russell Ballard
This talk is a classic example of the Church’s attempt at controlling people. This is the same type of teaching given to Mormons to keep them out of Christian bookstores, and discouraging them from reading everyday materials like concordances, or even history books on early Christianity, or world history when it pertains to events coinciding with their agenda.
One will notice Mr. Ballard’s list of ‘best books’ are all internal productions. None of his ‘suggestions’ come from extraneous sources which lends to a fuller understanding of events.
This Church Means Everything
The second talk listed here is an excerpt of a transcript retrieved from Ex-Mormon.org. A member of their message board painstakingly transcribed Mr. Holland’s talk and applied appropriate notes of voice inflections and minutes. The link provides resources where you can either read, or listen to the talk in full.
This talk was a devotional address Jeffrey Holland gave about 3.5 weeks ago in Tempe, AZ, on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.
Again, this sounds like a last ditched effort to keep members in, and maybe more importantly, recruit new members as well. After reading the dialogue on ex-Mormon, and seeing what other experts in the field are saying, the Church is having a really hard time convincing new people to join their ranks, let alone keep them from leaving. The younger generation is internet driven, with a mindset to investigate everything, and this doesn’t bode well for an organization who operates on secrecy.
In a way, we almost feel bad for Mr. Holland. You can feel the palpable tension in his words, and see how he’s grasping at straws trying to convince people not to leave the fold. However, the bigger question is this;
Why doesn’t Mr. Holland have this much concern/passion for those who aren’t following Jesus? Why is the concern focused solely on the Church?
The Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from the Lord. As Christians, we’re already well aware of this! Leaving a church (if it’s Christian) never equates to someone turning his/her back on God! It’s just a different setting with other believers, so no panic is necessary. If this was a Christian organization all this panic wouldn’t be taking place!
The excerpt starts at the 31.37 minute mark into the talk. If you’re reading thePDF, you’ll find it at the bottom of p. 7.
“I am so furious with people who leave this church. I don’t know whether furious is a good apostolic word. [massive laughter] But I am. What on earth kind of conviction is that? What kind of patty-cake, taffy-pulled experiences is that? [laughter] As if, as if none of this ever mattered; as if nothing in our contemporary life mattered; as if this was all JUST SUPPOSED to be [near yelling] JUST EXACTLY the way I want it? And answered EVERY one of my questions – and pursue this and occupy that – and defy this and then maybe I’ll be a later-day Saint. Well, there’s too much Irish in me for that. [laughter]
(32:29) [emphatically] This church means everything to me. Everything. I don’t care what happens; I don’t care what price has to be paid, as painful as that can be; and as much as I don’t want to invite the test as much as I don’t want to sound arrogant, or self-confident, or filled with any kind of pride other than the love of the Lord – this church means everything to me. And I’m NOT going to leave it. And I’M NOT GOING TO LET YOU LEAVE IT. And if there’s anybody in this room who’s investigating, I want to talk to you tonight before the clock strikes twelve for you to get in it. [laughter]
(33:08) Because everything that I’ve said tonight is true about the destiny of the human soul – a plan ordained for us to be like God-head [second anointing slip-up], with God, and resurrected, and whole, and perfect, and happy. And it’s in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that that happens.”