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What About Priesthood and Church Structure?, Pt. 1 (Articles of Faith Series)

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The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2021 12:01 am

What About Priesthood and Church Structure?, Pt. 1 (Articles of Faith Series)

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January 31, 2021 12:01 am

The sons of light begin a discussion of the LDS view of priesthood. Here they tackle questions about their experiences in the LDS Church with priesthood, what it meant to them and their families, as well as the LDS Church hierarchy. Trigger Warning: The last twenty minutes or so of this episode contain discussion of sensitive topics. We’ll let you know when you bow out should you so desire.

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And and works A restored Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints where we go will your mercy, because of this process? Traverse stress, made us alive in second century are fireflies looking back to the underwriters podcast this week. We have a special gesture with the Breanna 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 a podcast with brand-new song written and performed by Breanna. So Breanna 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 this song actually came in duration because I was new next morning.

I was also new relationship with Mr. Henry together with kids that would portray the kindness during the have you come to Christ and the transition from dinner into being with Christ in Christ and are writing some lyrics and two cats are not faded more song just all song so it's called in your eyes on the stage where you're trying to break in despair looking for hope and then God comes in closing, and, and that's when the chorus comes in here the course and shall, and the words are how can you look upon the sinner with such love, Grace overflows my cup. All of my but is it all my heart I yeah you unsatisfied. It just shows that when you see Mormonism there is hope in the slides and beauty beyond measure.

Started the conversational and the other new intro months ago to kick off with our first episode, which also coincidentally is this episode so congratulations guys, we have 50 and no start time we were looking for a sonnet that had more urgency and immediacy and is something that we could put some voiceover clips on and brownies just you have something that you are working on that that you thought fit that bill.

But I gotta tell you, when you asked several months ago. If you could sing the chorus over over the and 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 that really really appreciated into because you got that quote now from Elder Ballard so so dark and so so abusive and manipulative, just the horrible quote just makes you feel that despair inside all over again.

But then it cuts out here that music and it's 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 or where you can go you know he's he's alluding to the question but that the disciples had for for Jesus right world where we go free 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 double will go to Christ right.

That's where we will go and you also.

We have worked were taken off this episode, a new ultrasound from Adams Road. Dad's also ties into that Ballard quote self called heaven and earth.

And it's a beautiful song so you 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 of that was at that is really great song.

I mean it's it's he has exactly the kind of tone we want to. It's great to kick off each episode get the tone going for our discussions. Thank you very much.

I do have good I do have to check the light on her a little bit because she's a is always there in the background doing stuff like, 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 and remarry thankful to her for that. She's very talented and really appreciate it. Yeah for sure that we wanted to with this first first introduction for listeners to the new intro kind give a nod to that the first piece coming in May men, 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 they 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 Melchizedek priesthood the same way I felt incredibly blessed to hold the 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 still on earth with the priesthood to 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 podcast will be discussing one of the biggest pitfalls to leaving Mormonism priesthood authority. So first immediately 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 and 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 like of missionaries over so we can give them a short lesson but he said he wasn't feeling well yeah like a really bad sore throat in a kind of cold symptoms and so he said it was, he 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 is fine and then the next week or two at church. We talk to him 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 and having symptoms from that sickness. So we all felt that that was kind of like an answer to our prayers are confirmation to us that God was working through us in the priesthood. As for how I would explain that.

Now there's a there's a lot of different ways to 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 parasite 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, 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 the Sikhs but he talks about how well why do some people go on stage to go see a Todd Bentley or know any of these other features and go 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 ill the skewered people instantly their leprosy, he would give sight to the blind. That kind of thing raised people from the dead, that kind of thing cannot be explained through medicine but the other form. Like I said it's like 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 waiting for it affects her body how functions so it is a real phenomenon where the brain can actually remove pain or no alleviate symptoms that kind of a thing. Just like your belief it's it's kind of like a placebo effect. You know it 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 heal 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 buy. Given really believe that I can grow my hair back that I could maybe stimulate as a program yes all I am in the mood to answer the margin time for another dumb skin but by 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 I 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 and then you know 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 heal and every asked those questions and elders quorum you know what what happened in this 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 healing but I didn't. I didn't give 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 winter after I graduate high school head on 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 you 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 the my former high school basketball coach and his two sons were brought in on an ambulance. They had been on the way home from a basketball game that evening and and slipped off the road in the snow and the mud wrestling coach was was hurt but not not terribly badly and with 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 that that he and I would give them a priesthood blessing and I struggled 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 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 you result yes. I asked him I was not close with them, but we did him and his son a 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 the far left of 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 he made were just unintelligible noises.

And we know took him to sign language classes at my my wife's parents. The Baptist Church offered sign language classes we took him to sign Michael's classes a month. Simon was with them because the doctors were telling us that they didn't think he 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, while 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 he blessed him 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. Were we were retake our children and suggested that we try having troops, but is put in his ears because she was convinced, given my son's history of infections that refer to some visitors that that would clear out his ears new build speak so we ended up doing that and now I kind of the stop 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 we 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 himself is definitely a medical success where we were reviving a doctor. The recognized 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. I know you didn't hold the priesthood. Witnessing that now really I may not things like owners or fathers blessing school year and you know if he were would have a nice write down numbers from our father's blessings in my being mindful that everything that we do to be successful in school learning if they were baseball will find a couple of 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 her blessed and 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 blasting felt really inspired to stay know that your everything to be okay when your date of the visit since he 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 seven seen people write gear up to ask for blasting 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 blasting and lavishes the feeling that I had. I wanted her to feel assured and so I think that's why I said work out that way and I think the odds were pretty good that you know both her parents were going to pass away while visiting so but I'll send a companion on my mission. He said he had horrible leg act that injured his leg and walking. He was given a priesthood blessing because of that is able to walk again bear testimony to that several times I will. I know this person claims you 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 as homes are being built rapidly.

If you drink ice water asked me for a blessing and I knew that it would come his heart out biking go back to normal and so all of this stuff is there, all things it when I was on the unit is being 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 probably the most difficult one to come up with a reason for his casting out demons, but I think that 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 argument 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 is 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 giving these blessings and they talk like they have this authority in their communities. Blessings 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 noticed 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 know is as a decanted teacher produced from for those listeners to maybe never were LDS don't know young men in the on the stretcher 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 16.

So it's kind of like a progression but you got that every LDS mail teenager goes through, but in those and those particular priesthood 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 asked if you were a little bit to may be loose with our with our humor. While we were doing those kind of paste on Sunday morning never jerked around so or 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 know 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 ability to be reverent and 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 were just made it feel like a heavyweight but I thought of the Aaronic priest as a 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 had cheated on her and left her and she was a single mother working with a down syndrome son and her needs, both from an emotional standpoint and Enos financial standpoint were far beyond anything I could provide for even figure out how to meet as a teenager and you knew there and and you know you are 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 you know 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 ended since one of the good wasn't just that I didn't like the guy that I kinda protested to my dad that I didn't want to go asked him if you want to blessings, but also I was only a priest at the time so my dad was a high priest. I was priest. He held the milk is 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 forgot for a long time after that I felt 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 and 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 and I have been one of my mission journals and read it, but it's basically talks about being the bearer of the priest and how kings and and and everything will like be jealous of the sky to stop all this us language of trying to make you feel superior because you hold the priesthood and yet is as a young missionary after having been ordained an elder. I read that dad really made me a five in my chest and feel important.

So did my family a sense of security that I held it yeah I think so. I think my much older mom when we were still in the LDS church likes getting blessings if they were sick, my wife did I know, I think that I shared in one of my blog posts that that is posted at that water to wind the work that one time my wife and I were going through a miscarriage and she asked for a blessing. 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 said in your intro, Michael. You know, and you end up feeling like you know I didn't have the faith to bless her and been one of things would've been different if I if I had the faith. Bless her right see feel like a failure. But if if God is sovereign and in control.

Then what happened was exactly what happened and what was what was ordained to happen by God and Latter Day Saints do reach the same conclusion. When they did a blessing and it fails and they did reach the questions I talked about earlier. They reached the same conclusion about wasn't God's will so you know, in some sense that they do cop to the idea that God is sovereign, yet this should have seen that happen several times why you 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, ever 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 were LDS. What is different 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 inlets. 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 expense for me at the time to talk is because my dad and I were both kind of returning to activity in the church so as A special experience for both of us to be able to share that there's a 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 where they said that the Melchizedek priesthood. You have the power to cast out demons can rethink and I had read accounts of early Latter Day Saints that had had such encounters or had performed exorcisms or things like that is only started reading about that I started to get like semi paranoid theirs can be like a demon in audit would visit me in the night before. I was ordained an elder and a Michael Mike and I do like I'm not an elder, yet you know how when you cast them out on the Presidio on my house as a priest in the negative.

So that was can I go my mind a little bit sized, interesting looking back on that now. But in afterward after receiving it I felt I felt similar to how Paul was explaining was kind like a burden's account, my like a burden to wait you know that 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 it 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 affair to misuse 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 that.

I really like your analogy about the guy because that is so truly it's like you security but it also gives you anxiety.

At the same time, but it's a double-edged sword for sure housing about this question to you, and I think holding the priesthood of the positive aspects of it. 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 your 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 coming 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 is, I have this extra weight. Like you said, there is extra accountability and I felt like if 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 is 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 went 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 like with the priesthood in your house brought a sense of security in her way back the same time there was also this underlying fear with him and his priesthood because he was. I just feel like if he were to give a blessing and they were certain standards to follow and I are more things in A lady on my part and like everything is time my obedience in my worthiness and I was worthy to receive the blessing or afterward. There is always fear, shame and humiliation to come after that. He would always be in the presence of all my other family member is we 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 like this title shall extra respect father like royalty, I totally forgot about that.

Is there somebody different conditions for blessing actually working always thought this is the priesthood holder that my worthiness would dictate whether or not the blessing work.

I forgot. They often said that the person receiving the blasting their faith was a factor as well.

So the blessing did not work then it could've been that the priesthood holder unit wasn't being obedient about working a bit 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 just fine that elders quorum would kinda devolve anytime you would be talking about priesthood blessings like somebody would have an example of a ceiling right in their family, usually several generations ago when the person giving the lesson which Derek and then people would start asking that Ben doesn't start asking the questions below about this and and and like like your sagging out the excuses would come well maybe the fade. Maybe the person doing the blessing to have faith, maybe the and the other the person the others asking God no, I believe they were individually and in the bed and become as well as the estate of the person receiving the blessings that they 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 you 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 priesthood them. They're not special at all member, any cases where so if I sent Paul, you're saying someone gives a story about someone was had a prison blessing, but they weren't healed. W meant that if he is yes a like a lot of time to see what elders quorum. Megan proceeded in the lesson would would share an anecdote of someone in their family generations ago that was healed miraculously and because they wanted to give evidence of the priest 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 now and then. Then the excuses start coming out as to why it why must not of works right. Okay, that makes her sense as confused as I quit when I thought the story was proving that it did work, so I added some specials which is cross my head.

I don't ever remember cases like that and evolving intent elders quorum about that. 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 but as far as Edna Brown fairly lengthy conversation about who baptized in one of most of them but what it must've been like Brown to have been baptized by the Holy Spirit was with the Hungarian gentleman that was a member of the church. I want to ask you.

Follow-up Matthew as you mentioned that you are Dames another bite 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 he 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 7 billion so 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 reversion to be the one when I was ordained a high priest, you know, because technically, a 70 is a higher level right so there's connection 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 being seen on my expense right for like I was saved a mounting surface before or 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 doesn't make you 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 laminated everything cyclic carry with me next like a phallic is a special thing to carry so I still have in my wallet is just like Memorial of no times laterally same. Yeah I thought was important in honor 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 tieback their 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 our like all I'm the great great great great grandson of a note, King Henry VIII, or whatever it's can like that like a pre-stated genealogy together explains that loving my neck.

She has Brigham Young in its my line of authority didn't have much other people that I had no idea that they were slimy as you know wasn't that impressed with it as I was going.

Brigham Young was in there for sure, but I'm even more impressed by my current line of authority that I am yeah I remember when I asked my dad for his wasn't sure the guy was on my mission of the times I was 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 get it to 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 priesthood questions they don't really think about before you start digging is interesting. Did we lose Breanna just for a second she stopping the cancer fighting okay there little little monsters also on auctioning off any chance that anybody is interested in them both to auction them off more like this is speaking of hydrants like he cut off one cat two or three grow back.

Yeah I know it is flying out of her sleeves like one of these cats scrape listening to our brightness, contrast, drawn by God, to walk with Jesus when he is willing national 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 that religion and have been drawn to faith in Jesus Christ. Basin teaching the name of our podcast brightness six, John 19 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. Thus, our purpose is to share our journeys of faith God has done in drawing us to his son to have conversations about all aspects of the transition years 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 St. 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 for 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 meet all of the light from the local bishops of the apostles, absolutely yeah I meet all of 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 joy I felt 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 good the like what I would listen to conference, never hear a 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 and like I was special going. This priest of things this all, all boys club so that I felt that in terms of the hierarchy doing 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 went on my mission. I think in the MTC is where I really know was I was facing having to go out and teach people know something that 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 for the white meat asked Matt to Lori and what he thinks back to Lori and that I need some work. Need some work because 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 enormity. Roman Catholicism has a beat I don't know you got everything from the local all the way up to you know the very top of the church and I see I see 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 other LDS prophets possible to criticize them or say anything wrong about them or speak ill of them so that it's so that it 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 our this 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 her 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 you 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 and other kind of put on a higher and higher pedestal maggots figuratively and literally anoint general general conference or standing above the entire concert distal technically in a blow but unit you get one thing that 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 like 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, but 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 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 make that work out the so I mean there's a lot of things a lot of things I have in the mind about that but I think I think overall yell 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. The 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, little apostles and then corms 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 a no, it was nothing. When that was like a special priesthood office so I mean in terms of a biblical sense as it's a detriment because it's not biblical but I can't give reasons why I think it's a detriment.

Overall really good brilliant insight I will relent to the commission. I am lying to me.

The district leader and winding it is no later than actually becoming as a leader and being like I hate this. Why did I want to be as meter 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 steps a district leader was much better for me to get interesting thing you brought totally forgot about that aspect of being Ellie*CL is all paperwork because I made it yell and I hated that.

But I was also branch financial clerk and asked on a 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 the time of my mission stopped aspiring to leadership. Yeah, after certain leadership callings, which is 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.

This 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 winning, but 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. Maybe we should split them up and put them or somebody else. Maybe that'll help get them Rebecca meeting Michael yeah yeah kind of 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 might well at what he does make us companions you know will go on teaching because we know each other and we get along. You just kind of the point like while we have really decimal numbers so sure it's pretty awesome. Do you have any thoughts on the hierarchy of the church break anything that I can't begin, like I'd always be interesting as I was part of a couple singles wards. I always wonder what those elders quorum, no 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 pair people up. Yeah, it's more like we can't have with we have to break them because we we can't lose our ward mission leader going too fast because I work on a question with regards to 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 LDS priest of the superior to anything else in Christianity because it's a lay priest is getting paid for what they're doing 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 was your experience so all glances kind of with the other with my own question two.

Highlight the whole hierarchy really positively stated in the introduction of this episode, nobody else had prophets and apostles and even if I didn't always agree or find their talk steeper inspiring. Just the fact that they were there gave me something to boast about to everybody else you know like well I am a prophet.

We will profit our church and my cousin asked me what I what was so special about that might, 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 that were 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've 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 pretty high view of my local leaders.

There were a couple times where I bishops that seem very stern and very on also cold but kind of what you say in a less welcoming or less.

Warman and inviting than some of my other bishops were, but I was seem to have's know I seem to have respect for them, especially because I knew how much time they were putting into their callings, especially 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 families always had a lot of respect for them and even after they were released from being Bishop, you know, you kind of see them.

I don't know you but it always seem to like their retired bishops and retired state presidents or whatever they seem like you know like there there still there, like the trumps of the spiritual world, you know, it's like it made so much money. You know 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 and I think a 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 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 a changeover or had gone through a changeover in this trip and admit it had been several months and the prior Bishop walked past my mom and I what we were sitting in the in the foyer and my mom was like a bishop you know. They talked for little bit and then when he walked away and left I asked my mama civil is not Bishop anymore except in the Stalevo scholarly date they remain the Bishop forever yours: Bishop Spencer Murray.

I had some success experiences. Local leaders that noted there's there's 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 her 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.

Get food on the table and I remain really angry with them about that for several weeks until I finally just had to go and admit to him.

The house angry about it and ask for his forgiveness for being angry with them and then called me to be the ward mission leader and now I 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, but we only have one car so you not call my bishop eyesight. I will bill to make it work counsel.

We only have one car. So if the families can become the church I'm gonna wait for them until they are ready, you know, is there not come to church.

It said in the morning for work counsel so is the law. Swing by and pick you up. You notice on the way to the church. I remember were having this conversation.

And you know he was asking 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 and he was like in his amenities like well you know is like the Impala was inspired. I was just like what what was inspired him and I told you that I'm experiencing, but wow, I simply submitted that and I wasn't were persuaded from her much longer after that. So you just a crazy story. Paul singles Ward. There was this young lady that was. She was called to be the ward canonist and she accepted the calling. She had all this anxiety and like I asked her why she said she didn't know how to play the Bishop was oh my gosh, availing totally just released her right away but is just like that one wasn't.

I wasn't inspired but is it really you are were initially to do this just in a funny story were excellent. Ward mission leader to explore 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 woods are budget for the mission just smiles and starts to viciously zebra like you would think that missionary work, would have a higher priority, but apparently it doesn't cost any money to sit down members to try to give them their friends names Michael did you want to, although local leadership yeah well one thing I can have this experience. Girl growing in with all that I 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 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 a concert.

I still have it I would try to talk about it to try to talk about patients but I was older because it was getting worse and I thought that maybe I opened up about my struggles even have anything related to.

Maybe I could get comfortable in talking 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 adjustment that they 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 patient. He served with and talk all the time. They were good buddies and my dad. You tell him everything he needs to hear and if I find out that you don't like the consequences of your abstract just in so the reason I'm really glad we have you on the substantive brand this this topic.

Your priesthood in the LDS church is a very bad man centered topic typically I 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 my and I really struggled into when my father had cheated on, and we found out by my mom try to bring the Bishop and she had to sit down with my 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 her leadership is around I was a teenager in high school I was already kind of like questioning authority. At that point and it really sorry you went through that the terrifying and very difficult to deal with as a young woman and I know you're not the only one in the LDS church was dealt with something like that. Kind of reminds me of when I when I was pretty nearly Christian. I had my there was a friend of my son who lived in our neighborhood and I knew his parents you know because they live nearby and are our children have been friends 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 find 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 foreign to do that. He has several several months of pretty consistent church attendance with Allison and men's breakfast attendance with median newsprint and 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 Allison.

They asked if we could come and get them from their house and keep them at our house is a safe place until her 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 and got off the bus and I remember it blew up my world because you know he was coming to church each seem 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 your 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 call and I remember just had been blown away by that because I me I know I know there's LDS social services seen. I never really had a situation where I needed to to reach out for that. But it is. There's a lot of situations in the LDS church 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 and no savings account would be waived in Christian churches think they refer you to someone who has educated and trained as a as a licensed counselor. I thought that was really good difference for sure method unity wanted to add that are as I think you for sharing your stories. Thank you for doing into this of the outer podcast we love to hear from please visit the out of my face and feel free to send us a message that comments or questions, send a message of appreciated July we also have and how to write his and others can also send this on to subscribe to the other brightness podcast on Cass cashbox cast the modified stitcher. Also you can check out our YouTube channel. If you like it shortly surveyed Michael just whined, lungs, and sometimes Poland Matthew 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 of man may man in the P and human way and in

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