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William Schryver

"… He Did Go About Secretly … Seeking To Destroy The Church …"

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A couple weeks ago, on the Sunday of the spectacular solar annular eclipse, I also had the opportunity to teach my ward's gospel doctrine class while Dan Peterson and his wife Debbie sat in as guests. Interestingly enough, in light of conversations Dan and I have had over the years, the topic of the lesson was the conversion of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah. As part of the lesson, we read the following passages from the Book of Mormon:

Mosiah 27

8 … the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities.

9 And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them.

10 … for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church, and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God …

I noted the fact that we are often taught that the Book of Mormon was written, not for the people of that day and age, but rather for us, and that its various lessons should be "likened unto" us. Therefore, I posed these questions to the class:

We are informed that these apostates among the Nephites went about "secretly … seeking to destroy the church." Are there such people among us today? And, if so, in what manner are they "seeking to destroy the church" and "to lead astray the people of the Lord"? How can we recognize such people? What are their methods and techniques? Once we recognize them, what should we do to combat the things they are doing?

Dan has referenced my lesson and questions in his Mormon Times article today. I recommend it, and I hereby pose the questions to all of you.

Edited by William Schryver

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Not sure what to say... many think I am fighting the good fight while others say I am an ark steadier. I think I might be exactly the kind of individual some of you may describe in answering this question. But with that I will say, to me, the answer is those who take us away from Christ and his saving ordinances are those I would consider seeking to destroy the church.

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A couple weeks ago, on the Sunday of the spectacular solar annular eclipse, I also had the opportunity to teach my ward's gospel doctrine class while Dan Peterson and his wife Debbie sat in as guests. Interestingly enough, in light of conversations Dan and I have had over the years, the topic of the lesson was the conversion of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah. As part of the lesson, we read the following passages from the Book of Mormon:

I noted the fact that we are often taught that the Book of Mormon was written, not for the people of that day and age, but rather for us, and that its various lessons should be "likened unto" us. Therefore, I posed these questions to the class:

Dan has referenced my lesson and questions in his Mormon Times article today. I recommend it, and I hereby pose the questions to all of you.

Oh Brother...REALLY?????

Oh NO you've exposed us....there is a vast right wing apostate conspiracy to destroy the church...drat and we all thought it was being done in complete secrecy...well you've really foiled our evil plans to destroy the church now.... drat foiled again....

Here's a suggestion...

Drop the paranoia…there is no conspiracy to destroy the church…why would there be…the church is doing a pretty good job of destroying itself on its own....without so-called apostates help...a majority of Mormom members don't even participate in Mormonism

Most former Mormons would love nothing more than to just be able to walk away and never look back…

Edited by Craig Paxton

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Most former Mormons would love nothing more than to just be able to walk away and never look back…

I am sorry but this just is not true. You are a prime example. No one makes you post an an LDS themed board.

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I recommend it, and I hereby pose the questions to all of you.

One thing I have noticed is when some one starts to complain about things about the church all the time. That is a sure sign.

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. . . and I hereby pose the questions to all of you.

If you are referring to members of the Church as such, any Church members acting in that way today wouldn't be members of the Church for long. They would be exed, or leave the Church of their own accord before they got very far.

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...a majority of Mormom members don't even participate in Mormonism

Most former Mormons would love nothing more than to just be able to walk away and never look back…

Does anyone have numbers, such as "active/non-active" membership?

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If you are referring to members of the Church as such, any Church members acting in that way today wouldn't be members of the Church for long. They would be exed, or leave the Church of their own accord before they got very far.

You seem to forget that Mormon specifically informs us that these enemies of the Church "... did go about secretly ... seeking to destroy the Church."

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I am sorry but this just is not true. You are a prime example. No one makes you post an an LDS themed board.

Maybe one day he will figure out that actions speak louder than words.

It is like getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar and immediately exclaiming, "What?...I didn't do anything."

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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Well, one thing is to remember the rest of the story ---- those who were so labelled repented and turned back to God. So the take away cannot be to shun or judge. Take away has to be to stand firm, testify often of truth, and live as devote disciples.

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A couple weeks ago, on the Sunday of the spectacular solar annular eclipse, I also had the opportunity to teach my ward's gospel doctrine class while Dan Peterson and his wife Debbie sat in as guests. Interestingly enough, in light of conversations Dan and I have had over the years, the topic of the lesson was the conversion of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah. As part of the lesson, we read the following passages from the Book of Mormon:

I noted the fact that we are often taught that the Book of Mormon was written, not for the people of that day and age, but rather for us, and that its various lessons should be "likened unto" us. Therefore, I posed these questions to the class:

Dan has referenced my lesson and questions in his Mormon Times article today. I recommend it, and I hereby pose the questions to all of you.

Timely questions indeed, Will.

As I've read your post and Dan's Mormon Times piece, I have been reminded of an insight I have gained through my current reading of the Book of Mormon.

Several times in the Book of Mormon, the verb to flatter or noun flattery are used. As I have considered these usages in context, it has occurred to me that the word has a broader meaning than we are used to today. We think of flattery as insincere praise. I think the Book of Mormon uses it to mean any sort of influence that is applied in a beguiling or manipulative way. That could include insincere praise, but it could also comprise sophistry, deceptive rhetoric or reasoning that might seem persuasive on the surface but in reality is unsound.

Viewed in that light, flattery is employed today by those who oppose the Church of Jesus Christ, just as in former times and it is no more prominent than in Internet discussions about the Church.

I invite any reader to test this understanding by looking up usages of flattery in the Book of Mormon and applying this meaning to them.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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Most former Mormons would love nothing more than to just be able to walk away and never look back…

Uh, I don't know how to respond to this comment without sounding condescending and rude. This reminds me of the man who beats his wife and claims she made him do it.

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there is no conspiracy to destroy the church…

Nobody ever claimed there was such a "conspiracy."

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One thing I have noticed is when some one starts to complain about things about the church all the time. That is a sure sign.

Not necessarily. People are allowed to have opinions and disagree, and still be strong and believing members.

For instance, I had a very difficult time with a student ward bishop a few semesters ago. He didn't like my roommates and I - we were five minutes late to church the second Sunday of the semester, and his opinion of us went down from there - and I wasn't particularly fond of him and the methods he undertook to run the ward, and people knew that I felt that way. But I still sustained him, because he was my Bishop, and I knew where his call had come from.

Just because you disagree and/or complain doesn't mean you're on the fast track to apostasy.

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Nobody ever claimed there was such a "conspiracy."

There is indeed a vast and important difference between a conspiracy, which usually involves a group (ala Illuminati) and individuals acting of their own accord for their own reasons in ways that are designed to bring about change and/or destruction and/or defamation to the church. That multiple people of this ilk may pop around the same time usually speaks more to social trends than any coordinated effort.

Well, one thing is to remember the rest of the story ---- those who were so labelled repented and turned back to God. So the take away cannot be to shun or judge. Take away has to be to stand firm, testify often of truth, and live as devote disciples.

Absolutely.

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And, if so, in what manner are they "seeking to destroy the church" and "to lead astray the people of the Lord"? How can we recognize such people? What are their methods and techniques?

I would say their methods and techniques generally consist of placing reliance and trust in men rather than God.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Well, one thing is to remember the rest of the story ---- those who were so labelled repented and turned back to God. So the take away cannot be to shun or judge. Take away has to be to stand firm, testify often of truth, and live as devote disciples.

Meanwhile, to the extent that they publicly use flattering (influential, persuasive) words to destroy the Church or lead others astray, they must be be publicly exposed, opposed and their words rebutted, for the sake of those they would mislead.

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Hopefully this doesn't turn into another apostatesmeller pursuivant thread.

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I recommend it, and I hereby pose the questions to all of you.

1. They would be family members or close associates with faithful members in key leadership positions;

2. The faithful members in key leadership positions would have an idea that something was “off” but for a variety of reasons (likely family, economic or political dynamics) can’t quite put their finger on it;

3. They would enjoy such influence or be placed in positions of responsibility so as to sabotage, embezzle, make purposefully bad decisions and set others up to fail;

4. They might, unknown to others, invest in or contribute to endeavors that undermine the moral fabric of their community;

5. They would hardly be detectable until they have an experience like Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah.

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Take away has to be to stand firm, testify often of truth, and live as devote disciples.

I agree with this comment by rpn.

I think the scripture speaks of those in the church who deliberately attempt to convince all other members that the gospel need not be taken so seriously. They mock inspiration and openly complain about church bureaucratization, etc.

I think the best way handle it is to "stand firm, testify often of truth, and live as devote disciples."

~ Naomi

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Timely questions indeed, Will.

As I've read your post and Dan's Mormon Times piece, I have been reminded of an insight I have gained through my current reading of the Book of Mormon.

Several times in the Book of Mormon, the verb to flatter or noun flattery are used. As I have considered these usages in context, it has occurred to me that the word has a broader meaning than we are used to today. We think of flattery as insincere praise. I think the Book of Mormon uses it to mean any sort of influence that is applied in a beguiling or manipulative sort of way. That could include insincere praise, but it could also comprise sophistry, deceptive rhetoric or reasoning that might seem persuasive on the surface but in reality is unsound.

Viewed in that light, flattery is employed today by those who oppose the Church of Jesus Christ, just as in former times and it is no more prominent than in Internet discussions about the Church.

I invite any reader to test this understanding by looking up usages of flattery in the Book of Mormon and applying this meaning to them.

BINGO!

I was so much hoping that someone would key on this and comment on it, without me suggesting it first.

I think you are exactly right, Scott. And the key, in my opinion, is to come to recognize what constitutes "flattery" in the context of those who are attempting to "lead people astray."

Right now I must return to my regular 9 - 5 work, so I can't elaborate further, but I did want to acknowledge your reply and affirm that I think you are right on the money with your observation.

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Meanwhile, to the extent that they publicly use flattering (influential, persuasive) words to destroy the Church or lead others astray, they must be be publicly exposed, opposed and their words rebutted, for the sake of those they would mislead.

And we must remember that Mormon not only tells us the story of Alma and the sons of Mosiah, who were confronted by an angel and were thus persuaded to cease their destructive activity and repent, but he also tells us the stories of Sherem, Korihor, and Amalickiah.

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BINGO!

I was so much hoping that someone would key on this and comment on it, without me suggesting it first.

I think you are exactly right, Scott. And the key, in my opinion, is to come to recognize what constitutes "flattery" in the context of those who are attempting to "lead people astray."

Right now I must return to my regular 9 - 5 work, so I can't elaborate further, but I did want to acknowledge your reply and affirm that I think you are right on the money with your observation.

You are a good teacher, Will.

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And we must remember that Mormon not only tells us the story of Alma and the sons of Mosiah, who were confronted by an angel and were thus persuaded to cease their destructive activity and repent, but he also tells us the stories of Sherem, Korihor, and Amalickiah.

And Zeezrom. (Fortunately, his story, like Alma's, had a happy ending.)

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BINGO!

I was so much hoping that someone would key on this and comment on it, without me suggesting it first.

I think you are exactly right, Scott. And the key, in my opinion, is to come to recognize what constitutes "flattery" in the context of those who are attempting to "lead people astray."

Right now I must return to my regular 9 - 5 work, so I can't elaborate further, but I did want to acknowledge your reply and affirm that I think you are right on the money with your observation.

I do agree. Flattery is saying that they have made themselves attractive and acceptable ~as members. The easier to deceive with, my dear. Alma, after all, was the son of the prophet. I think of this in today's time and consider how confusing and misleading it would be if the prophet's charismatic son were using his position in family for influence while manipulating and distorting truths with a side order of inviting laughter and warm smiles. Even though we know so well that righteousness cannot be inherited, it is still easy to be slow in recognizing when the apple has rolled away from the tree!

edit: l should add that one would not ness. need to be prominent in the church by calling or family but be known and have a likable and engaging personality.

~ Naomi

Edited by Nominee

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