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What About PRIESTHOOD? Part 1

Outer Brightness /
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2021 1:34 pm

What About PRIESTHOOD? Part 1

Outer Brightness /

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April 30, 2021 1:34 pm

From Mormon to Jesus!  Real, authentic conversations among former members of the Church Of Latter-Day Saints

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Your right and him and our fireflies. But just this week we have a special gesture with Flournoy. She's with us for a number of reasons but first and foremost is with us because, as you just heard. We just rolled out a new intro for podcasts with brand-new song written and performed by Brenda Sylvia and I thank you for joining us. No problem, and what can you tell us about the song. What was the title. When did you start working on it was, it means you know actually came in duration because I was in UX learning is also in a new relationship, but we certainly had already written a song together wanted one that is pretrade the kindness during the how is when you come to Christ and the transition from dinner into being with Christ in Christ and are writing some lyrics and to my cat. Sit back and write. More song just now all song so it's called in your eyes on an extensive stage where you're kind of break and despairing you're looking for hope and then God comes in closing the estate and that's on the course comes in here the coarsening, and shall, and the words are how can you look upon the sinner with such love, Grace overflows my cup. All of my visit all my heart I yeah you unsatisfied just shows that when you lead Mormonism. There is hope in the slides and beauty beyond measure certain conversational and the other new intro months ago to kick off with our first episode, which also coincidentally is this episode so congratulations guys is 50 and your start time we were looking for a song that had more urgency you see and something that we could put some voiceover clips on and brownies just to have something that you are working on that thought fit that bill.

But I gotta tell you, when you asked several months ago. If you could see the chorus over over the end part of the song.

I was excited to hear them when you sent it over the other day I was just blown away by how beautiful it is. So thank you for the really really appreciated to because a we got that quote now from Elder Ballard so so dark and so so abusive and manipulative, just a horrible quote just makes you feel that despair inside all over again.

But then it cuts out here that music So so the opposite of that you feel that that hope you know there is somewhere to go if you meet another subtle point right is the Ballard quote is asking you what would you do if you leave the LDS church are where you can go you know he's she's alluding to the question but that the disciples had for for Jesus right world where we go for you of the words of eternal life, but it is time back to the LDS church and it's just interesting that juxtaposition right where we go will will go to Christ right. That's where we will go and also we have worked were taken off this episode, a new ultrasound from Adams Road. Dad's also ties into that Ballard quote so call heaven and earth. And it's a beautiful song so you'll hear that at the end of this episode. Matthew thoughts on the new intro. I don't have much new to say.

I just wanted to also say thank you to Breanna for doing a force that was at that is really great song. I mean it's it's he has exactly the kind of tone that we want to do it. It's great to kick off each episode to get the tone going for our discussions. Thank you very much and have good I do have to shed the light on her a little bit because she's out is always there in the background doing stuff that is going to be the center of attention at all, but also there's two different musical compositions and that let intro and she wrote both of them.

She wrote the music that that is in the background with Elder Ballard and the new one as well so yeah definitely. Yeah.

Very helpful for us we just provided our intro music from the get go in the very thankful to her for that.

She's very talented and really appreciate it and yeah for sure that we wanted to with this first first introduction for listeners to the new intro kinda give a nod to that the first piece Canada in May man, which would use from episode one on because it is a beautiful piece as well. So I Michael you want to kick off that the topic for us for listeners.

We invited Breanna to join us for the entire time today because we thought that it would be good to have a female voice and a females experience. Given the topic that were discussing today so absolutely so I was filled with pride when hands were laid on my head.

At 12 years old. The erotic priesthood was passed down to me. Four years later, I received the Mackenzie priesthood the same way I felt incredibly blessed holy authority to act in God's name with the special authority I had more right to preach the gospel and baptize people than any pastor on earth I had more power than the pope because only the priesthood held by my church was valid and only it could seal in heaven. What was sealed on earth with the priesthood. I could change someone's eternal trajectory help them achieve exaltation. The priesthood offices gave me great faith.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was true. I would look at Protestant churches and think where are there apostles.

How can they even claim authority without the prophet as it turned out the priesthood that I believe I held was idle that usurps the trust. I should've been placing in God if I give a priesthood blessing and it worked.

It was because of my faithfulness. If it didn't work.

It was also my fault. God wasn't even in the picture. In this episode of the other brightness podcasts will be discussing one of the biggest pitfalls to leaving Mormonism priesthood authority.

So first immediately missed his first question to you. Matthew will coming around on this but did you did you or anyone you know experience miracles through the LDS priesthood and how do you explain that now so I've heard from you just as you will have.

I've heard stories of people giving their accounts of moments when they felt that they saw miracles through an administration of an ordinance or blessing of the priesthood LDS priesthood so but in terms of personal experiences at the time.

I think there was one instance, I could really think of. And remember where I felt like it was a faith promoting experience that boosted my faith in the priesthood and in my calling as a missionary nose during my mission and to be honest though, I do remember it was is in Belgium and Lige was the town I was serving in and it was just kind of routine lesson that we gave to a member they called us tonight they said we like you to come over to missionaries over so we can give them a short lesson but he said he wasn't feeling well you like really bad sore throat in a kind of cold symptoms and so he said it was and I felt really terrible on sick leave. Overly terrible, so he asked for a blessing. So we went there we give a lesson we we gave him the priesthood blessing and then we said goodbye spine and then the next week or two at church.

We talk to later and he told his use telling us he has wife are there and they were explained to us that he felt like within an hour or two after we given the blessing he felt like all the symptoms had had been alleviated didn't even have any symptoms that sickness so we all felt that that was kind of like an answer to our prayers. Confirmation to us that God was working through us in the priesthood. As for how I would explain that. Now there's there's a lot of different ways you can explain that there's I was going to recommend their summoning Justin peters and if you look on YouTube. He is YouTube channel called YouTube. Sorry Justin peters ministries and he is all man I should look up what his condition is, but he has is a debilitating physical condition since birth and I is a teenager. He kind of went through try to go see these faith healers to heal them, and none of them are successful and so he kind of you know he kind of started to see beyond you know behind the curtain.

You can see that these are all these faith healings were not genuine and so he can dedicate his ministry to you know to showing that it allows people to claim have this power to heal don't have the power as he talks about this. He explained he talks about how well why do some people go on stage to go see a Todd Bentley or you know any of these other features and for healing and they say that their neck pain is gone. Are there chronic back pain is gone and he explains that there there kind of like two ways of of healing one is kind of like psychosomatic method of healing and one is like an actual genuine miraculous healing so genuine. Miraculous healing is something that is supernatural, something that just could not happen naturally. For example of Jesus's ministry. He would know heal the sick, you had people instantly their leprosy, he would give sight to the blind.

That kind of thing raise people from the dead, that kind of thing cannot be explained through medicine but the other form. Like I said to cite the psychosomatic kind of aspect explain is something that is possible and it is a real phenomenon, a physical phenomenon where people are expecting something really expecting something and their brain actually affects their their their other genetics was looking for. It affects her body how functions so it is a real phenomenon where the brain can actually remove pain or to alleviate symptoms. I kind of a thing. Just like your belief is. It's kind of like a placebo effect. You know it's similar to that so he explains a lot of people who do claim to be say claim to be healed. It's kind of the sky was happening with them, so that's a possibility to go through all that, but I'd really recommend Justin peters YouTube channel, but other than that, I mean, I do believe the gods can still feel by our faith.

And I'm not saying it's outside of God's will, and it certainly is in his sovereignty that he could kill anyone at any time, so it could have been. I mean, I could've been a genuine healing but it did not necessitate special priesthood from the LDS church to do so.

That's really interesting so I guess does that mean that I could like really believe that I can grow my hair back that I could maybe stimulate is program yes all I am in the mood to answer margin time for another listening for Paul's alter ego need a name for him. You know you Mr. Pip for Michael. I don't know I just call me old fossil all I think instead of Paul Bunyan. Like Paul onion you know Don you and what you slice that onion you know you like to follow.

What are your thoughts on this question.

Yeah so I don't think I ever experienced either giving or receiving word or hearing about someone having been given a priesthood blessing that was a miraculous healing.

I saw many priesthood blessings given I saw priesthood blessings of healing, given to people who then a few weeks later were given blessing of release and passed away so I think every latter-day state has to deal with those types of situations where they start asking questions you know we got this priesthood authority and were supposed to be able to steal and every asked those questions and elders quorum you know what what happened in the situation and that the explanations from people that know how well you demonstrated yourself when you're speaking in the blessing as to what the will of the spirit if not in tune with the spirit them when you're speaking is just your will and that's not going to result in an image viewing but I didn't. I didn't just some blessings that when I was latter-day St. I kind of viewed as as successful.

Maybe if not miraculous, but so my sister that this the winter. After I graduate high school head gone to the Institute at the local college and was hanging out there for an evening of of I guess they were playing games on what their plan, but she was she was running in and hyperextended her knee and pretty badly to the point that assured off part of the part of the top of her, her tibia and fibula bone and she called me and I went picked her up and help to get into the car and took her to the hospital. My dad met us there and we were in the ER waiting for x-rays and casting and the type of thing and my former high school basketball coach and his two sons were brought in on an ambulance. They had on their way home from a basketball game that evening and and slipped off the road in the snow and my basilar coach was with her, but not if not terribly badly. And one of his sons was unable to move and they were fearful that he might be paralyzed.

So my dad suggested that I go offer to give a bit fishy and I would give them a priesthood blessing and I struggle with that because I do not like the man at all.

She had been my coach my junior year of high school and we did not see eye to eye on my skills as a basketball player and so I ended up switching schools my senior years like I did not have any love for this man at all, but I went in and asked him if he and his son would like a priesthood blessing and he said yes. I didn't know if he was all yes I asked him I was not close with them, but we did have a son priesthood blessing and his son ended up being fine and so did my coach and she wrote me a letter a few months later slow while before I left on my mission thanking me for that site. I did view that for a long time most like a successful blessing. Another one was when my son Curtis was was little she had speech development problem and couldn't couldn't speak to the noises that she made were just unintelligible noises and we took him to sign language classes at my my wife's parents. The Baptist Church offered sign language classes we took him to sign language classes a month.

Simon was with them because the doctors were telling us that they didn't think you would ever be able to speak and so you know I course, we as a family. Pray for them. I didn't blessings and then one time when he was 2003, said he was just about a year and 1/2 old well is that he was to you to almost 2 happy years old.

We went out to Utah to go to Yellowstone with my family and while we were there.

My dad didn't blessing and bless them that that he would be healed and he would build speak and it was just a few few months after that new pediatrician came into the practice where we were retake our children and suggested that we try having trips, but is put in his ears because she was convinced, given my son's history of infections that refer to solicitors that that would clear out his ears new build speak so doing that and now I kind of stopped talking ever.

So you viewed that as as a success again and then the second part of the question is how I view that now. Now I view it as providential for sure because we were getting answers from doctors.

Previous to that, but at the same time, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law rest of my wife's family. All of my wife's parents, church, family were also praying for him concurrently with the blessing of having been given to him so I was definitely a medical success where we were reviving a doctor.

The recognize what needed to be done, but I also viewed as providential, but I don't necessarily think that it was specific to the blessing that was given. Thanks for sharing that grant did you experience anything like that hold the priesthood.

You witnessing that now really I may go things like owners or fathers blessing school year and you know if he were would have nice write down numbers from our father's blessings in my being mindful that everything that we do to be successful in school if they were baseball will find success in a couple experiences myself. I just just in my mind, but there is a woman is a pretty new missionary on my mission and as she was less active and she just started talking about how like her mom and come to visit and and she died during the visit was just talk about a bunch of things and I just had this really strong impression that she's going to ask for blessed than she did, just for blasting. I kinda got this impression that I'm the one supposed to give it and so she wanted assurance that his dad would want to come visit and she didn't want a repeat of what happened before, so I gave her a blessing. Felt really inspired to stay don't like your okay when you say came and visited everything was fine. It was viewed as being being a miraculous thing. The way we can explain that now is just that I am pretty good at reading people and and sentencing people gear up to ask for a blessing before so I really think it was just kind of me seeing the signs of what was going to happen.

Predicting that she was going to ask for this blessing and lavishes the feeling that I had. I wanted her to feel assured and so I think that's why I said that work out that way and I think the odds were pretty good. You know both her parents were going to pass away while visiting so companion on my mission. He said he had horrible leg act that injured his leg and he will walk and he was given a priesthood blessing because of that was able to walk again bear testimony to that several times I will. I know this person who claims he cast out demons using the priesthood or did on his mission several times and then my dad. He's to have this issue where his heart would start. His arms are being will rapidly if you drink ice water asked me for a blessing and I knew that it would come his heart out biking back to normal and so all of this stuff is there, all things it when I was on the unit is being proved that the LDS church was obviously true because we have this priesthood and it does these miraculous things, but I think there's a lot to consider. Now and probably the most difficult one to pretty come up with a reason for his casting out demons, but I think that it is possible that somebody can be a safe Christian in the war in the modern church and just not be called out of the organization yet and I think there is power in invoking Christ name and so I don't think that that is necessarily something that the priesthood is causing to happen, the other times it could just be a coincidence when it comes these miracles. If there is already going to be a natural healing because priesthood blessings are given quite often and in the event that there was already going to be a healing. Our feeling was going to take place. The blessing gets credit for that healing. When it does happen, and there's no way to know if it would've happened or not, without the priesthood blessing, but I think 99% of the time like Massey was saying there's a placebo effect when you receive one of these blessings. I mean it just this is because this good feeling that comes from having people put their hands on your head and you hear me talk pretty pretty calmly pretty stoically when doing these blessings in a chocolate they have this authority in their communities blessing automatically calms you down and I suggest that effect by itself will probably has some healing property so I don't think that there's a special priesthood and all that is causing any of these things to happen all right. So move on to the next question asked you this first call. What did holding the priesthood mean to you to give your family a sense of security that you held it yet. So when I was a teenager. Breanna mentioned that her that she would get blessings of the school year I got those as well for my father was always very comforting. Did you sense that the coming school year would be a success, you would be able to attend good grades and and notice it was always a peaceful thing to have happen. Going to the school year, but in terms of new myself holding the presume I was a teenager I felt like a heavyweight you is as a DJ and a teacher produced from for those listeners to maybe never were LDS don't know young men in the LDS church or are advanced to be a deacon at the age of 12. The teacher at the age of 14 and a priest at the age of 60 and so it's kind of like a progression but you got that every LDS mail teenager goes through, but in those and those particular preset offices. You know you pass prepare and bless the sacrament of the Lord's supper and that was that was nerve-racking mostly because our young men's leadership would come down hard on us. If you were a little bit to be loose with our with our humor. While we were doing those kind of paste on Sunday morning never jerked around so were or even if we make too many mistakes with the sacrament prayer. You know, which is what verbatim.

You have to give and they would come down hard on us because you have to be respectful of these things and you know that the congregation is watching and that you know if you if you would want to do if you mess up somebody's abilities to be reverent in their repentance time during the during the sacrament. If you mess up the car too many times they can concentrate on what they need to do so. You know those kind of messages were for me to feel like a heavyweight but I thought of the run increases in preparation to hold the real thing right.

The milk is the priesthood and had a top view that way as well. I went home teaching with an older companion who was my young men's president of the time and we would go home teaching to this single mother in the ward, whose husband cheated on her and left her and she was a single mother working with a down syndrome son and her her needs, both from an emotional standpoint and Enos financial standpoint were far beyond anything I can provide for even figure out how to meet as a teenager and yet you there and you know you were calling is as a teacher quote unquote in the in the LDS church is to be there and provide for that person's needs and yeah just it just felt like a heavyweight that I was not in any way prepared to bear. I mentioned blessing that I did my basketball coach with my dad that the problem with that and it's in this one wasn't just that I didn't like the guy that I protested to my dad that I didn't want to go asked him if you want blessings, but also I was only a priest at the time so my dad was a high priest.

I was priest, she held the milk as a priest. I did not I should not have been able according to Sylvia's teachings to lay my hands on that man's head or his son's head and dissipated my blessing and when I protested that my dad he was notably fine. You know what the Scriptures say when when there's not another elder present.

You can help lead a meeting.

This is the same kind of thing so we went ahead and did it, but that left me with a lot of guilt because I felt like I had usurped some authority that I didn't have and so for yeah for a long time after that I feel guilt worried that I had brought down God's condemnation on my head by pretending to an authority that I didn't have, even though you know really all we were doing was praying for him and giving them comfort in his son as well so right when I when I finally was ordained an elder did kind of feel like I had arrived this Bruce R.

McConkie quote I have been one of my mission journals read it, but it's basically it talks about being the bearer of the priest and how kings and and and everything will like the jealous of the sky to stop all this language of trying to make you feel superior because you will priest it gathers as a young missionary after having been ordained an elder. I read that dad really made me about my chest and feel important. So did my family a sense of security that I held it yeah I think so. I think my my children when we were still in the LDS church likes getting blessings if they were sick, my wife did I know, I think I've I shared in one of my blog posts that that is posted that water to wine the work that one time my wife and I were going through a miscarriage and she asked for a blessing and I was not able to muster the faith to bless her that everything would be okay even though that is all I wanted to do. I didn't feel like the situation was in my control, and so I didn't bless her that everything would be okay as you send your intro, Michael. You know then you end up feeling like you know I didn't have the faith to bless her and what if things would've been different if I if I had the shape, bless her I see feel like a failure. But if God is sovereign and in control. Then what happens exactly what happened and what was what was ordained to happen by God and in Latter Day Saints. Do reach the same conclusion when they give a blessing and it fails in the recent questions I talked about earlier. They reached the same conclusion about wasn't God's will so you know, in some sense they they do cop to the idea that God is sovereign, yet this should have seen that happen several times while I misinterpreted what God's will was irregularly said earlier Jim. It does fill you with with pride when you think about holding the priesthood, especially anything about how you people there are on earth that are LDS, much less noteworthy priesthood holders and think wow I'm really the salt of the earth. But what do you have on this. Matthew I'm going to some ideas I've got. I felt really impressed when I was latter-day St. of how special the priesthood was and we've got ready and did about this, but if we think about if we really boil down if we get down to brass tacks. What is the difference between the LDS church lease when we are LDS.

What is the difference between LDS church and rest the world and it's the priesthood because I mean you can say what we have the correct teachings about God, but in the end, you know, you can still teach them those those things really can learn about either now or in the eternities but really matters is the priesthood know if you don't have the priest said your baptisms don't matter.

Your confirmation as a matter you don't have temple ordinances you don't have true prophets. So without priesthood units. That's what makes the LDS church. The quote unquote only true and living Church upon the face of the earth.

That's what pleases with the LDS leaders taught when I was a member may be there kind of changing how they their emphasis on things but my family we were really active so it didn't really play a major part in my life, terms of like going off to school or buy new job or subject that night and asked my dad for blessing was. I was fortunate enough to have my dad ordained me to be an elder. So I was just a special space for me at the time to talk is because my dad and I were both kind of returning to activity in the church does have a special experience for both of us to be able to share that to giving our family sense of security. We like I said, my family, my parents were married in the temple so yeah is a bit different. I mean I felt his chemistry story, but I felt secure. After having received the priesthood because before one is kind of returning activity is just devouring lots of books and I forget which book it was.

If it was like journal discourses or something like that.

But I remember reading it if Brigham Young another elder's profit really said that the milk is a priesthood you have the power to cast out demons. Can we think and I had read accounts of early latter-day Saints that had had such encounters or had performed exorcisms or things like that so to start reading about that I started to get like semi paranoid theirs can be like a demon you know they would visit me in the night before.

I was ordained an elder and a McCormick, I do like I'm not an elder, yet you know how when you cast them out on the Presidio in my house as a priest to the negative. So that was can I go my mind a little bit sized, interesting looking back on that now that and after and after receiving it I felt I felt similar to how Paul was explaining was kind like a bird in his account. Let my like a burden to wait you know it it it felt like you know like when you're carrying around a lethal weapon. You have to concert be conscious about it. Okay where is it how much ammunition do I have is a safely holster that kind of thing you know, like the priest was something is very special and to treat it as something special but also dangerous if you don't use it correctly and I like it could bring disrepute on the church or a Christ of Artemis, use or abuse it. So's I was always conscious about those things in bit about being worthy, but I think we'll talk later about being worthy of the priesthood. So yeah, thoughts on now. I really like your analogy about the God because that is so true Van Slyke usually security but it also gives you anxiety. At the same time but since a double edge sword for sure thing about this question to you, and I think holding the priesthood of the positive aspects that at first it was proof of my worthiness in the church that I hope this is priesthood is a sacred responsibility, and I know that I give my family a lot of comfort you. My ex-wife would often ask for blessings she got sick, or if my son got sick as a little baby is always nice to feel like we had something up our sleeves in case there was ever an emergency, you know, we were never truly at the mercy of anything because we always had this backup plan and that was for me to use the priesthood if it was necessary that the problem with having this this priesthood as I have this extra weight. Like you said, there is extra accountability and I felt like I stand that it was good be greater condemnation on me because I was a priesthood holder so I was on a higher standard and so I often felt.

You don't just extra guilty extra condemned in my life because they held the priesthood and I often didn't believe that I was worthy of this priesthood because there was such a high standard to the priest. I looked around and I saw the priesthood leaders and I thought Mandy's people believe they probably never have an unclean thought in their lives they're sitting there with their white shirts and their ties and they would just talk like they had everything figured out like the were veterans on the path to eternal glory is easy for that you get that impression to Breanna. Was it like with the priesthood in your house brought a sense of security way back the same time there was also this underlying fear with him because he was. I just feel like if he were to give the blessing and they were certain standards to follow and I are more things in calculating my part and like everything is time my obedience in my worthiness and I was where the lasting order after wearing it is always fear, shame and humiliation to come after that. He would always be in the presence of all my other family members. He always hold watching each other. See, we were now on) and how it felt like with the priest in my family seemed like it was his title like show extra respect father like royalty You totally forgot about that is a somebody different conditions for blessing actually working in always thought this the priesthood holder that my worthiness would dictate whether or not the blessing work. I forgot. They often said that the person receiving the blessing their faith was a factor as well.

So if the blessing did not work and it could've been that the priesthood holder unit wasn't being obedient enough or could've been of the person receiving the blessing didn't have enough faith. But if it did work. That was the priesthood.

You know it was the priest of the priesthood always always works always triumphs, but in the event that it doesn't work is not the priest's fault that the priest is not valid, it just means that the people are in perfect order wasn't God's will is fine that elders quorum would kinda devolve anytime you would be talking about priesthood blessings like somebody would have an example of ceiling right in their family, usually several generations ago. The person giving the lesson which Derek and then people would start asking the guys would start asking the questions will what about this and and and Mike like your sagging out the excuses would come well maybe the fate maybe the person given the blessing to have faith, maybe the and the other the person the others asking God know. I believe they were to be healed and that becomes well. It's a is the fate of the person receiving the blessings that didn't have enough faith and that's that's why it didn't work assignment lessons on this devolve quickly into that, conversation yeah I think that that happens fairly quickly. I think you're right because you gonna start coming up with defenses. Whatever you can really quick for the priesthood still being valid because like Matthew said it daily as church does not hold the authority they don't have the priest said them. They're not special at all member, any cases where some offenders and polyurethane someone gives a story about someone was had a priesthood blessing, but they weren't healed. W meant yeah is yes a like blood is like an elders quorum maybe person in the lesson would would share an anecdote of someone in their family generations ago that was field miraculously and because they wanted to give evidence of the priesthood being legitimate and then someone in the class would ask about it about a blessing that they had given were blessing may have perceived that didn't work, you know. And then then the excuses start coming out as to why it might must not of works right. Okay McPherson's as if he is is like when I thought the story was proving that it did work, so I had an asthma specialist which is cross my head, I don't ever remember cases like that and evolving into elders quorum about, but there are. There were some weird circumstances like unto weird discussion of my mission about who gave Adam the priesthood and then it started talking about Temple stuff and then that started kind of a commotion so it allows can weird that as far as I know, that member having a fairly lengthy conversation about who baptized in one of most of them but one of us and Mike Brown to have been baptized by the Holy Spirit was with the Hungarian gentleman that was a member of the church. I want ask you follow-up. Matthew mentioned that you are Dave's another bite. If by your dad and I was well and I remember, like midstream on my mission thinking you know if her all the stuff about lines of authority.

I should ask my dad for his line of authority.

So I asked him and she was so my dad my dad when I was her day was a high priest, but she had been ordained a 70 when the church still have local 70s forms back in the 1970s and he had been ordained a 70 by Milton R. Hunter.

If you're familiar with that name or not. He was 70 and the church and wrote several books that were pretty popular and so he was kind of held onto that is like I was ordained a 70 by Milton R.

Hunter by an actual 70 national Gen. 41st quorum of the 70 and so when I asked him for my priesthood line of authority was like why don't know which one I should give you enough I should give you the Milton R.

Hunter one version to be the one when I was ordained a high priest, you technically a 70 is a higher level right so is finishing to do. Did you ever ask your dad for your line of authority yeah. Did he never had enter Think think he got it from his dad when his dad was a high priest, but beyond that he didn't know but then when I was kind of like it's actually funny.

The funny story, but I was actually questioning whether to stay LDS or not I got I kinda had not even sure if it was before my like beings my expense. I feel like I was saved a mounting surface before. After that is, there is a gap. Rows like you know handle Jesus you know like I can make this Mormon thing working on and like I was trying to adjust at the Bible to my beliefs and stuff is what makes like a hydra monster of Christian and Mormon beliefs.

So I actually sent a letter to like church headquarters and asked them to send me my line of authority and so few weeks later they sent it back to me as I command this is awesome.

You know like this is really cool so I like I made a little tiny little card printed it out and like I laminated everything's likely carry with me next like a fella because a special thing to carry so I still have in my wallet is just like Memorial of Times Latter Day Saints.

Yeah, I thought that was important in order in his constraint on what it's like you're saying you know like if he can tie if you have either of you guys are the six transverse people could tie back there priesthood to like Brigham Young or you know like one of the prophets in the be like so honored that they can is is also a genealogy tree in. I like all I'm the great great great great grandson of amino King Henry VIII, or whatever sky dad like a pre-stated genealogy to get everything set loving my neck. She has Brigham Young in its my line of authority didn't have much other people that I had no idea they were slimy as you know wasn't that impressed with it as I was closing. Brigham Young was in there for sure, but I'm even more impressed by my current line of authority that I am Elliott yeah I remember when I asked my dad for his wasn't sure I was on my mission of the time so is over letter that I was asking him and he was responding and he is asking our bishop at home which one you should give me anything extra didn't have the one from when he was ordained a high priest that had happened in our home ward are no set somewhere when I was a kid and he said he didn't have that one but he did have the one from illness Hunter Arnold are Hunter and so she asked her bishop and the bishop was like I don't know which one you should give them probably the one that that was current when you were Dan Kinsler's local 70 quorum 70s forms were disbanded, so he didn't have balance. I did end up having to get it through my mission office to request it from the church but I member that kind of raising some questions in my mind like a convict on the way with them than the entire organization at the local level was admitted for preset questions they don't really think about before you start digging itself is interesting.

Did we lose Breanna just for a second she something a chance from fighting.

Okay, little monsters also know I'm auctioning off any chance of anybody's interested in them with you auction them off more like this is speaking of hydrants like he cut off one cat two or three grow back. I know it is flying out of her sleeves like where these cats scrape listening to our podcast to walk with Jesus when will you measure born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, commonly referred to as the Mormon faith. All of us have left that religion and have been drawn to faith in Jesus Christ.

Basin teaching the name of our podcast brightness reflects John 19 calls Jesus, the true light which gives light to everyone you found life beyond Mormonism brighter than we were told in the light, we have is not our own comes to us from without us brightness. Our purpose is to share our journeys of faith God has done in drawing us to his son give conversations about all aspects of the transition fears, challenges, joys, and everything in between. Glad you found us and we hope you'll stick around for fireflies. The final section of this episode contains discussion of sensitive topics, including sexually abusive questions asked of Latter Day Saints youth and bishops, interviews, drug addiction and death wanted to give you the option of bowing out of this portion of the episode, should you so desire. Thank you all. What are your thoughts only what were your thoughts on the church hierarchy to give you a sense of security.

In your opinion, was an asset. It was a detriment to the church so clarifying question for you when what you mean by heart hierarchy, leaving all of the light from the local bishops of the apostles, absolutely yeah I meet all so you mentioned before that for Kennedy for my mission.

I wasn't really dogmatic about LDS truth claims or even authority claims. I was more of a pragmatist when it came to my personal beliefs.

For the most part, like I had really good friendships with people who were not LDS and I viewed them at the time is as good kids good friends and so I was a pragmatist United. I didn't wasn't dogmatic and the same way about church leadership. I didn't.

I didn't have a strong sense of all this makes us special because we got apostles and stuff like that. It was part of my culture is like all-encompassing in Utah but it I didn't feel particularly attached to that as as a necessity within the church. Even though I imbibed on a weekly basis. The teachings that made her so I didn't feel a connection that I do remember I remember feeling like what I would listen to conference number here couple of voices. In particular, Spencer W. Kimball and Bruce R. McConkie and I think that as I think about that is probably because when I was younger like really little my dad would take me to the priest of sessions at the stake center were at the work, the tabernacle of room to get in there and so you just hearing their voices reminded me of those times when I was little and with my dad like I was special going. This priest of things this all, all boys club so yeah I felt that in terms of the hierarchy giving me a sense of security.

I don't think so and I didn't I didn't feel strongly about whether or not it was an asset or a detriment to the church until until I come. When on my mission. I think in the MTC is where I really not as I was facing having to go out and teach people know something that we were going to be claiming was the truth and so at that point I felt a real sense of urgency to determine whether I believed the exclusive truth claims of exclusive authority claims of the LDS church and at that point. Yeah I became kind of dogmatic about it but not before that.

I asked Matt to Lori and what he thinks that to Lori and I need some work, some work of the hierarchy. I thought it I thought the hierarchy of the church.

Kind of gave us a lot of structure the church and I think it does.

I think your discharge is probably one of the most hierarchical structures of any religion in the world he know maybe Roman Catholicism has a bead on a you know I got everything from the local all the way up to you know the very top of the church and I see I see it as a strength and is a weakness because I do not. There are some of those posting in one of the discussion groups about how they're so blessed to have their profits and weird were not supposed to criticize the prophets and of LDS prophets possible to criticize them or say anything wrong about them or speak ill of them so that it's so that makes me think okay will then how are they supposed to be corrected. How are they supposed to be. If they do something that's not in line with Scripture how powerless was to be corrected are this was to be reproved. I guess I could do to each other but if they're so disconnected from the rest of the body of Christ, then then how I was there accountability basically told to not question, so I think that's a real issue with the LDS church so that it's a pro in terms of, you know, they've got they've got kind like a military almost organization where know you have a chain of command case something comes up you have this very structured organization to deal with it but same time. It's like the higher up you go, it seems like it is just my imagination, but it seems like there's less accountability to the people as a whole.

In other kind of put on a higher and higher pedestal, figuratively and literally anoint general general conference or standing above the entire concert distal technically in a blow, but you get what I'm saying but I didn't. So there is some security there, but the same time it always felt like I do know I don't know if either of you had these thoughts, but it felt like going back to the mission Daisy know most missionaries aspire to be the district leader and then the zone later in the assistant you know and when you see something called as a bishop I see them called as a as a councilmember stake presidency, something that you like wow like I just really righteously like he's just living his life the right way. That's the way I want to live my life in on a kind of an Internet since I was like kind of aspiring to leadership, not in the sense of you know wanting to hold my power over abuse my power over people because like you know I want to want to work my way up because that's you know that's the way that I can serve the Lord and things like that so I kind of thought is almost like an ambitious type of thing, but same time, I thought to myself as I call it a night. You can't really make yourself a bishop you can make yourself a stake president I mean first of all, you married, which I've had issues with it seems like I can never write that work out the so I mean there's a lot of things a lot of things I have in my mind about that but I think I think overall yeah at the time it did give me kind of a sense of security, but I but I do think that it's it's way over structured church is way too much going on. You know, like when when we see the early church evangelist was not a church office. You know it was just someone who share the gospel there. There wasn't a first presidency and then call little apostles and then forms of 70 and a like 15 million hierarchy using a like the 70 were just people that were empowered to go out and preach the gospel. I was at no it was nothing.

When that was like a special priest office so I mean in terms of a biblical sense is it's a detriment because it's not biblical but I can give reasons why I think it's a detriment.

Overall really good brilliant insight to commissioning line to meet the district leader and winding it is no later than actually coming as a leader and being like this.

Why did I want to be as leader like I want to go back to being a district leader because zone leader with too much paperwork, which I hate paperwork and I love teaching the other missionaries do stuff so district leader was much better for me to interesting product. Totally forgot about that aspect of being Kelly asked the CL is all paperwork because I made it yell and I hated that. But I was also branched financial clerk saw small branch where the finances were like four months behind. So I spent a lot of time with the branch president trying to figure out if you have received for this funeral that you bought flowers for do you have a receipt try to get the books in order.

Every Sunday and Tuesday night say I felt like district leaders. Well I guess it was two different callings, but I hated that time of my mission stopped aspiring to leadership. Yeah, after certain leadership callings, which like why light you know and I was in an elders quorum presidency for a while to and I felt really honored to be in the_presidency like this is really cool is never happened to me before, but then we have these long meetings on Thursday night just go for three or four hours in my time would be texting me like wedding, I don't know that Brother Johnson has been teamed up with with Brother Hansen as home teachers for four months and they haven't seen any of their families should split them up and put them with somebody else.

Maybe that'll help get them got Rebecca meeting Michael yeah yeah meeting. Yeah let's put all these elders together and find them companions was in a ward with my friends and we went to the to the president well at what he does make us companions you know will go. I'm teaching because we know each other and we get along. You just kind of the point. Like, well, we have really decimal numbers so sure it's pretty awesome. Do you have any thoughts on the hierarchy of the church. Anything that I can think like I'd always be interesting as I was part of a couple singles wards. I always wonder what those elders quorum you know those elders presidency meetings are like, it's like okay no Sally look is everybody single right. I think Sally would be a good choice for Bobby Hannah like like awkwardly trying to figure people out. Yeah, it's more like we can't have with we can break them because we can't lose our ward mission leader going to get assigned work on a question with regards to your like your local priesthood leadership as we just asked the question you, the hierarchy is as an asset reduction to the church and you know there's always that the claim made that the obvious priest of the superior to anything else in Christianity because it's a lay priest is getting paid for what they're doing is volunteer service that makes it better makes it more pure in some way.

What was your experience with your local leadership did you did you have them on a pedestal. Did you have experiences with them that made you realize that there just like you and me what what was your experience so all glances kind of the other with my own question two. Highlight the whole hierarchy really positively said in the introduction of this episode, nobody else had prophets and apostles and even if I didn't always agree or find their talks to for inspiring just the fact that they were there gave me something to boast about everybody else unilingual. I am a prophet prophet are church and my cousin asked me what I what was so special about that. I don't know, you would ask a question like that was not so special about that, but I felt the same way about the local leaders as well.

Always had really good bishops my whole life. You feel that she really down to earth and never easy to get along with.

I was felt like they were inspired and gave good advice and that they were there to help me grow and to listen to my problems and so yeah I was put the local leadership on pedestal myself. The question I kind of forgotten finance review local leadership did you have a pedestal or did you have experiences with them that the committee realize they are just kinda normal guys that's get on a high view of my local leaders. There were a couple times where I bishops that seem very stern and very also cold but kind of what you say in a less welcoming or less. Warman and inviting than some of my other bishops were that I was seem to have. You know I seem to have respect for them, especially because I knew how much time they were putting into their callings specially bishopric us on their putting into it, how much they were spending time away from their families to serve here and how much how difficult it would be for the family so I always had a lot of respect for them and even after they were released from being Bishop, you know, you kind of see them, you know, I seem to like their retired bishops and retired state presidents or whatever they seem like you know I care there still there, like the trumps of the spiritual world, you know, it's like it made so much money they can retire now and it's like they're just like a spiritual powerhouse that's in your ward.

That's not part of the leadership anymore, but they're still there and you can kinda glean knowledge and stuff you know to me so it's like there's still kind of they still hold a higher status.

You know I mean people anything so call the Bishop even if they've never been a bishop for 20 years in on psycho title that stays with them forever. So I mean I think in general that is membership views them as that calling is something special that is this true when you just said reminds me of, I'm asking the question so that is a whole status thing where they remained bishopric, remember when I was younger. Our ward was going through the changeover or had gone through a changeover in this trip and it did it again several months and the prior Bishop walked past my mom and I what we were sitting about in the foyer and my mom was like a bishop you know. They talked for a little bit numb when he walked away and left I asked my mama civil is not Bishop anymore except in the slowly loose college date they remain the Bishop forever yours: Bishop Spencer member has some experience with local leaders that noted this is this whole time mythology that goes around with with local leadership in the LDS church elder inspired by the callings that your your asked to perform are inspired to come from God. These these men pray over them and when they invited to serve in a calling it something that you shouldn't turn down because it's calling from God and when I was man's when I was first married. We had two young children and I was working. She was working and there she was doing medical transcription that was a period of time when the volume that she had been working was severely cut back and so our income was and we were really struggling to try to make rent and a member going. We went to our Bishop to ask for assistance and turned us down is not as I was with your finances. We went over them is like.

I think I think you make enough that you don't need assistance that we were like barely able to make rent and get food on the table and being really angry with them about that for several weeks until I finally just had to go and admit angry about it and and ask for his forgiveness for being angry with them and then called me to be the ward mission leader and now I picked up two jobs.

A full-time job during the day and then part-time job at night and so I was away from my family, my son Justin Moran and I was away from my family, you know. 18 hours a day and I was trying to serve as a as a ward mission leader. The missionaries in the area were really struggling to try to find time with me.

I was working all the time and I remember one Sunday morning I had to go toward counsel. We only have one car so you not call my bishop.

I said I will build to make it work counsel. We only have one car. So if the families can become the church I'm going with them until they're ready. You know, is there not come to church. It said in the morning for work counsel.

So this is Lawson by and pick you up. You notice on the way to the church members were having this conversation and he was asked me about serving us ward mission leader.

I was explaining to the difficulty I was having him working two jobs I don't ever have time to see the missionaries there frustrated with me because they're not getting what they need from me in his like amenities like well you know like the Impala was inspired. I was just like what what was inspired and told you that I'm experiencing, but wow simply submitted that and I wasn't were persuaded from her much longer after that. So you just a crazy story all the singles ward. There was this young lady that was so she was called to be the ward canonist and she accepted the calling. She had all this anxiety and they had asked her why she said she didn't know how to play and oh my gosh, availing totally just released her right away is just like that wasn't I wasn't inspired but is really you are were initially to do this just in a funny story were excellent. Ward mission leader to export mission leader sitting in and work counsel one week and telling everybody their budgets write something all the young many of this many hundreds of dollars. The young women has this many hundred dollars. The elders quorum etc. etc. knowing submission of the what's our budget mission just smiles and starts to like all missionary work, would have a higher priority. Apparently it doesn't cost me money to sit down members to try to give them their friends names Michael did you want, although local leadership yeah well one thing I this experience girl growing in a going in for like interviews a lot it started from night before I got baptized. I got one there. I remember just when I was really just before I was young when at the age of 12. I remember sitting member exchanges that happened but I do remember afterwards coming out of there. I was in tears.

And I don't number why what happened that I would just always be afraid to go in and talk to leaders.

For some reason and I remember having certain still have it I would try to talk about it to try to talk about a patient when I was older because it was getting worse and I thought that maybe I opened up about my struggles have anything related to. Maybe I could get comfortable talking to because I had no idea Lazarus having so much a hard time so I talked about on turning worse than before and she would ask probing questions and try to get to something sexual and very uncomfortable. And ever since that just shot.

I would get pulled in. During and he be asking questions and they would all be actually reading and very probing and I was always very afraid to go back to church but I have to keep my dad especially. She was very close contact with. He served with and talk all the time. They were good buddies and my dad tell him everything he needs to hear and if I find out that you don't like just so the reason I'm really glad we have you on this episode brand because of this, this topic you'll appreciate in the LDS church is a very man man centered topic typically wanted to bring the woman's perspective. In August 2 perspective, would you say that the priesthood was used as a tool to control you or control people in the church. I would say it would be there. Mark compliance and I really struggled to continue when my father cheated on, and we found out by my mom try to bring the bishop and she had to sit down with mom and tell me about it afterwards and say that the patient was basically telling her that it was her fault that he might go down citing very angry with the leadership I was a teenager in high school I was already kind of like questioning authority. At that point and you went through that the terrifying and then very difficult to deal with as a young woman and I know you're not the only one in the LDS church is dealt with something like that. Kind of reminds me of when I when I was pretty nearly Christian. I had there was a friend of my son who lived in our neighborhood and I'm I knew his parents you know because they live nearby are our children have been friends for for several years, from elementary school on and I knew that this this kid's parents were going through a separation and heading towards divorce and I and I also knew that this friends dad head head on painkillers of the opioid epidemic in our country and he was really struggling with that and the church to attend, was having men's breakfast on Saturday morning and I'm I'm decided on by this.

This gives dad to come with me to his breakfast and so he started coming with me in it. It was really good for them to do that. He has several several months of pretty consistent church attendance with us and men's breakfast attendance with median use bring the boys and then one day, we gotta we got a call that you are asking if we could call from the police asking if we knew these two boys and we were like yes they asked if we could come and get them from their house and keep them at our house is a safe place until their mom got home and so we did that and my my friend John head had overdosed and his sons and found them when they came up from school that day. I got off the bus and I remember it blew up my world because you know he was coming to church each assume to be doing better was starting to attend some meetings. I remember just kind in a freefall and then reaching out to one of my pastor mentors at the church and and asking for some counseling and he said you know I would love to counsel you on this because of who you are and normal car-rental mentor mentee relationship, but he said I'm not equipped for this.

We do have people who are equipped as counselors trend educated counselors to give a number of someone the call and I remember just had been blown away by because I know I know there's LDS social services and I never really had a situation where I needed to to reach out for that. But in this there's a lot of situations in the LDS church I went through some things with some things. My dad struggled with that were sheep people try to counsel him recently to try to counsel him at the local level weren't equipped to deal with what he was dealing with anda time-limited way than Christian churches think they refer you to someone who is educated and trained as a as a licensed counselor. I thought I was really good difference for sure method unity wanted to add this matter is I think you for sharing your stories into this of the out of love to hear from please visit you Facebook free to send us a message that send a message of the pain appreciated. We also have and how to write his and other also send this to the other brightness podcast on Cass cashbox cast the modified stitcher. Also you can check out YouTube channel.

If you like it shortly grade can also connect with Michael just whined, blogs, and sometimes Poland as well. Music for the other brightness podcast is graciously provided by the talented Breanna Flournoy and by Adams Road. Learn more about Adams Road. By visiting their ministry page. It Adams Road Stay bright fireflies to show the kind a and and we he and and human way and

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