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  1. So I almost feel like I have to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to become Mormon again.
    I confess it was the expansiveness of Joseph Smith theological views that drew me in. My heart broke when Gordon B. Hinckley said he wasn’t sure that we even teach that we can become Gods within Sunday School back on 60 minutes with Mike Wallace in 1997 I think.

    It’s a real loss for the Church to have sold it’s birthright to Christianity just to become another denomination.
    Tithing settlement is upcoming, and now I”m wrestling with how much is right. It use to be 10% Net for me, I wonder sometimes if that is still the right amount.

    King Follet discourse has been what has kept me in the church even though we rarely talk about it.

  2. I agree completely, David. I was an active LDS member in 2000 when Hinckley made his infamous (and disingenuous at best) “I don’t know that we teach that” remark. It broke my heart.
    For me, LDS and Mormon were never necessarily synonymous. LDSism is but one denomination within Mormonism. At least it was until the LDS Church’s purge of the label “Mormon.”

  3. Wow! This truly is a refreshing podcast about Joseph Smith and so much fun to recognise myself in the words of Jane, Rob and Dan ! I also read Digger and a piece from the book from Jane. Just like you, Jane, I fell in love with Joseph Smith. When I learned about the church through the Osmonds music, I looked up every enceclopedea to learn more about the church, back in 1973, allmost 11 years old, but I never knew how Joseph looked like, because they only used pictures from Brigham Young. But in 1974, just like you both, I found a negative book about the church from a dutch writer Spier. I understood it wasn’t positive, but one thing it made it all allright was: I finaly had a picture from Joseph Smith !!!!!!! I couldn’t keep my eyes of him. I even wrote a story about meeting him and dancing with him, and made a drawing from us both dancing, even though I only was 12 years old ! I met a mormon girl a year later and just before 14 years old I got baptized. Also for me Joseph Smith had been the one who drew me into the church, especially with The Plan of Salvation. I remember as an investigator I went to a fireside evening and they showed a new film; The First Vision, with Elder Peterson (he came on his mission to the Netherlands) playing Joseph Smith. Even leaving the church (1986/excomm.1989) I never gave up my believe in Joseph Smith, he kept on inspiring me and helping me through with this glorious vision from The Plan of Salvation. It’s easier to forgive people who harm you, when I sense them as a child of God on a learning path, and I have been bullied and illtreated all through my life. Joseph Smith helped me so much with his theology/theory.

    I want to share my testemony about The Book of Mormon, I think this is the right place to do so !

    When the missionaries asked me to pray for an answer about the Book of Mormon, one read the verses Moroni 10: 3 – 5 to me:

    https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/10.32?lang=eng

    3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

    4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

    And in the sentence: ‘if these things are not true’ the word NOT bothered me immediatly: I had to pray if it was NOT true ! I eased my mind thinking: it is a languistical thingy, I shouldn’t feel bothered by it. Something like: It’s raining, isn’t it ? In Holland , in dutch, we also have such sentences. So I prayed and I got this warm nice feeling and Yes ! The answer was given to me ! and immediatly, I geuss it was The Holy Ghost, pointed to me: ‘Strange, huh? The word NOT ! Don’t you think it is strange ?’. I ignored it as a languistical thingy but the question kept haunting me. I built a very strong testamony through the years, reading the scriptures and other books about Mormon history and offcourse: Caroll Lynn Pearson’s poems ! I left the church in 1986, after 3 years of struggling, wondering what I had to do outside the church, while the truth was inside the church. I held on to my believes, believing and hoping one day I would return.

    In 2014 I found Mormon Stories, and boy I knew about polygamy, but what a lot of new things I could learn about Joseph Smith: peepstones, looking into a hat etc. I had to take a new point of view on Joseph. I decided polygamy was based on gossip, since JS said himself he would never do that, and about all the other things: I was a bit of mourning about loosing my faith in the gold plates, and I also learned that the BOM could never be true !

    Than slowly this voice was returning to me with it’s insight: I prayed and got an answer for asking if the BOM was NOT true! The Holy Ghost had not been playing with languistical thingies. I suddenly realized: It was never meant for the BOM to be true, it was just a tool to get you into contact with God. The question was meant to put you on your knees and ask, and God will answer, like a first practice to learn how to connect with God. And if you asked if the BOM wasn’t true, than He’d give you the right answer, with a warm nice feeling in your heart

    Even now I am a stronger believer in Joseph Smith and the BOM as a tool to point us toward Jesus. In the meantime I learned you could get inspired by the telephonebook, Why does it have to be true … if it is inspiring !

    For years I have been walking with my doggy and when I had a question I asked myself and went for a walk. Soon cars started to appear with numberplates with vowels and numbers and kept me busy guessing what words the vowels would make and what the meaning of the numbers meant for me: regularly it wasn’t just a game while walking, keeping my mind busy and playfull puzzling, it also turned into answers that I needed, remembering things I had forgotten and help me remember again how to face a situation. Just by being inspired by numberplates !

    It’s the walking with God, the friendship with Jesus, that’s important, so, we keep looking into the right direction !

    When I found Mormon Stories in 2014 I developped an insight that Joseph Smith wanted to create a church that combined all. Like nowadays Bahaaï does.

    In Moroni 10: 32 and 33 Joseph Smith clearly points us toward Jesus:

    32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

    33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

    To me Joseph Smith always pointed me toward Jesus. Here we find christianity compleet with ‘the shedding of the blood of Christ.’.

    I loved to read in ‘Digger’ how Joseph Smith, through his peepstone, got a greater vision than digging gold on earth and realized a church could give so much more. And Jane you made me laugh so much about the humor of God, that Joseph got the BOM through his hat, and that Joseph had some fun a bit at the cost of God, I thought: but maybe God also had fun a bit at the cost of Joseph.

    To me, it’s the concentration Joseph seeks when he puts his face in the hat and tries to understand what’s comming into his mind. I believe God will use any tool to bring his children the memory from where they came and where they could go. And I believe Joseph Smith was a great tool !

    Peace,
    Adrie de Jong
    The Netherlands

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