GenCon14: Top Five Abused Nephi Quotes: #3

  1. “May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite!”


By Brother-Elder Ess

While the more common expression of “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” is heard from the Lord when he sets forth the new definition of “sacrifice,” it is Lehi who introduces readers to these words (which phrase, by the way, is NOT within the New Testament) when he is giving his final blessing to his son Jacob; and then Nephi inserts them as he gives his lamentation just after describing his father’s death. Again, they draw upon older texts, presumably found in the Brass Plates, namely the Psalmist and Isaiah:


Psalm 34:18The righteous cry and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saves those of a contrite spirit. None of them that trust in him shall be desolate.


Isaiah 57:15He that puts his trust in God will possess the land and inherit his holy mountain, and shall say, “Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.” The High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy dwells with him that is of a contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. God will not contend forever neither always be angry. He will heal and restore comforts to him and his mourners.


Psalm 51:17God does not desire sacrifice and does not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken heart and a contrite spirit. God will be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness.


Isaiah 66:2 – [Lord speaking] Where is the house that you build unto me, and where is the place of my rest? All those things has my hand made, but to the man who is poor and of a contrite spirit I will look. He who kills an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offers an oblation, as if he offered pig’s blood; he that burns incense, as if he blessed an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations. I will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them.


In our day, Mormon children are taught that “sacrifice” is some sort of quasi mix of the old Law of Moses and the mortification practices of the early Roman Catholic Church. Instead of beating our own flesh, though, it is self-flagellation of the soul. From the 1993 Aaronic Priesthood Manual:


“What does it mean to have a broken heart? (To suffer extreme sorrow.) What does the word contrite mean? (Repentant.)”

“The ‘broken heart’ spoken of in the scriptures is not the sorrow one feels because he has lost a close relative or loved one or suffered some other personal disappointment in life. Rather, the broken heart spoken of in the scriptures is the natural consequence of a person’s recognizing and admitting his own sins and imperfections.

Knowledge of the following truths should lead a person to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit:

  1. All of us in our natural, carnal, and fallen state on earth have sinned and transgressed the laws of God, for which a punishment is designated by the law of justice. 2. Jesus Christ is holy and pure. He lived a perfect life and was therefore the person least deserving of punishment for sin. 3. Because of his great love for us, Jesus Christ paid the price for all our sins. He suffered the punishment for the sins of all people.

We should realize that Jesus, the one who was perfect and had not sinned, has suffered awful punishment for all of us. Pondering the awful suffering of our Lord for us and our own unworthiness should be a heartbreaking experience.”


In other words, we are told that a broken heart and a contrite spirit is a heavy guilt on our shoulders for being unworthy sinners.  And we should try to bring this about, through a sort of Protestant self-reflection magic.


Why have we settled for this reading?  Perhaps because it is both something we can perform, and also something that seems to come from a “pool of sincerity,” as it were: namely, making ourselves feel sad.  A lovely combination, right?  The model of looking upon our own sins, and feeling ashamed is an old one, used by preachers for centuries to whip up their crowds and get them to the mercy seat, where they can offer absolution.  But this reading fails to consider what is to come, after we offer up a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  And, of course, presumes a sort of magic we ought to know better than to believe in, at this point.


When talking about the broken heart and contrite spirit, Lehi tells his son that “men are instructed sufficiently to know good from evil” and that “salvation is free.” One might conclude from Lehi’s words and his famous dream, that partaking of the fruit is a choice, and simply desiring it, asking for mercy and walking towards it is sufficient to receive. Lehi continues: “how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah…” No merits or performances warrant a soul to be with God, for those come solely from the Lord Himself.


Why can’t we perform “broken heart and contrite spirit,” and merit salvation?  Ask yourself: Can we sorrow our way right into Heaven?  Have we been sad enough, today?  Have we felt bad enough about ourselves, today?  Does that make you happy, to have felt so sad?  Feel worse, then!

Does this sound like a path to glory, or to a bipolar disorder?  Is Zion only filled with the most depressed and self-loathing among us, joyful in their sadness?  If so, can we make ourselves more depressed, or loath ourselves more deeply?  Is that why Moses raised the brazen serpent, in order to show people how rotten they really were, and thus, make them sad?  Or did they need only look and believe in something?


I have come to believe that Nephi and Lehi had different ideas about mercy and forgiveness. As indicated in his dream, Lehi’s approach to the Tree of Life was based on desire after having cried out for mercy in the “dark wasteland.” Nephi, on the other hand, preached the necessity of holding tight to the rod while in the “mist of darkness” which would lead one directly to the Tree.


Nephi, elsewhere, speaks of how “wretched” he is, how his iniquities cause him grief, and the sorrow he experiences “because of the temptations and the sins” which so easily beset him. For this prophet, the Lord is his Rod in the Fog, and has filled him with mercy and love as he journeyed through the wilderness and over the waters of the great deep. He has given him something to hold onto through his dark travels: knowledge and visions and the ministering of angels. Yet Nephi still wonders if this is enough to redeem his soul. He equates a broken heart and contrite spirit with having the gates of hell shut continually before him. That is the shutting of the gates, it seems, suggesting that Hell’s Gates are to be opened in a proud heart and a boasting spirit, perhaps.  The walk Nephi takes is “the path of the low valley,” being “strict in the plain road.” His prayer is to avoid these “stumbling blocks,” or at least to have the Lord clear the way so that he doesn’t encounter them.


Lehi and Nephi are not the only ones to use our much abused phrase:

Hel 8:15 – Nephi (son of Helaman) says that even as Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness and those who looked lived, the same will be for those who have faith and a BH&CS might have eternal life. Also, Abraham who saw his coming, was filled with gladness and rejoiced. And not only Abraham and Moses, but many were shown to the people, a great many thousand years before Christ’s coming. Other prophets knew of this, too, including Isaiah (which seems to be the source of the expression for the Nephites).


Mormon 2:14 – The Nephites mourned and lamented, but their sorrowing was not unto repentance because of the goodness of God, but it was the sorrowing of the damned. They did not come unto Jesus with a BH&CS, but cursed God and wished to die. The day of grace was passed with them.  Being sad because you are damned is not quite the sacrifice he is looking for, or else Hell itself is the doorway to heaven.


Ether 4:14 – Whoever believes the things which the Lord has spoken will be visited with the manifestations of his Spirit, (he will know and bear record). Whatever persuades men to do good is of Christ, and whoever will not believe his words will not believe that Christ is or that the Father sent him. Jesus beckons the Gentiles to come to him, and he will show them the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief. He will also show Israel what has been hidden. When the Gentiles rend the veil of unbelief which is founded in a hard heart and blind mind, then will that which has been hidden from the foundation of the world come to them. When they call upon the Father in the name of Christ, with a BH&CS, then they will know that the Father has remembered the covenant which he made to the fathers of Israel.


Moroni 6:2 – Elders, priests and teachers were baptized, but none were baptized unless they brought forth fruit showing they were worthy of it. And none were received unto baptism unless they came forth with a BH&CS, witnessed to “the church” that they truly repented of all their sins, and took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.


But perhaps the best explanation which we Gentiles should liken unto ourselves comes from Jesus Himself when teaching in Bountiful:


3 Ne 9:20 – The Lord appears to the Nephites and says that all sacrifices should be done away and that he will not accept them. He says that we should offer up a sacrifice TO JESUS a BH&CS. Whoever does, the Lord will baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, like the Lamanites, who received such and didn’t know it. The Savior came to bring redemption to the world and save it from sin. Whoever repents and comes to him as a little child, will be received by the Lord, for such is the kingdom of God.


3 Ne 12:19 – Jesus says that he didn’t come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill, and in him, all has been fulfilled. He gave them the law and the commandments of his Father so that they would believe in him, and repent of their sins, and come to him with a BH&CS. Unless they keep his commandments, which he commanded at THAT TIME, they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.


OK…So, what does the phrase mean? 

If we replace “broken heart and contrite spirit” in the above passages, with “heavy guilt for realizing we are unworthy sinners,” it does not make much sense. Indeed, it paints a picture of an oppressive god who demands we, too, contribute a pound of flesh in order to know what it was like for Jesus to be “punished.” A few revised examples:


And whoso cometh unto me with heavy guilt for realizing they are unworthy sinners, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost…


And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having heavy guilt for realizing they are unworthy sinners, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.


…yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with heavy guilt for realizing you are unworthy sinners, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.


Having a broken heart and contrite spirit appears to have more to do with an attitude of learning, as well as discernment regarding what is truth and what is not. Moroni tells the Gentiles that a BH&CS is associated with rending the veil of unbelief. Look and see how much more sense the examples make when we substitute “broken heart and contrite spirit” with “open heart and a childlike spirit, willing to sacrifice our false traditions:”


And whoso cometh unto me with an open heart and a childlike spirit, willing to sacrifice their false traditions, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost…


And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having an open heart and a childlike spirit, willing to sacrifice their false traditions, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.


…yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with an open heart and a childlike spirit, willing to sacrifice your false traditions, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.


This reading is perhaps more palatable, or reasonable.  But.  The problem, of course, in just inserting another phrase, as done above, is that the one phrase which makes sense is the one we currently believe.  Should we come across people who believed God was a crocodile, we can imagine it being sensible to read, BH&CS as a euphemism for, “antelope hearts and human torsos.”  Our theories of God render the interpretation reasonable or not.  Moreover, given the importance placed on having a BH&CS, it is apt to become a fetish, whatever we think it means.  If only I had that magic, I could be saved!

Are we left floating then, among our traditions, unable to lean toward a reading that really is correct?


Perhaps we cannot program ourselves into “getting” whatever is supposed to come of a BH&CS.  Apparently, when we have it, the Lord sees it.  We cannot seek out a BH&CS for ourselves, cannot look to become such; cannot sell another a way to this lowly place.  It isn’t a thing, nor perhaps even a state.  It just is, that it is.

This means that some passages in the Book of Mormon remain beyond interpretation, as a matter of words.  The text has a power, and that power is not simply a key to another interpretation, more suited to our current beliefs.  Can the text bring about a BH&CS?  Is it a magical fetish?  Should we read it in order to bring this magic upon ourselves?  We cannot approach the BH&CS as a conscious end to some practice or magic.  We are, or are not, and the one who sees is not impressed with performances, with our attempts to “be” BH&CS.


I’ll leave it to Nephi and the writers of correlated church material to be harrowed up in their sins and iniquities. As for me, I prefer Moroni’s confident approach, as he shared in his parting words:


Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.


PS – If you are wondering what is or isn’t “godly,” look no further than the words of our Lord and God Himself, found in 3 Ne 12-14.


  1. djulcsi says:

    Thanks, Brother Elder Ess! That was a very useful talk you just gave.

  2. sfort says:

    Brilliant and much needed. Thank you

  3. pmccombs says:

    Ok, so I agree that “an open heart and a childlike spirit” is much better than “heavy guilt for realizing they are unworthy sinners.” I agree that the traditional reading (is heavy guilt the same as sorrow?) reveals a god who is oppressive, mean, entirely without grace, and who has made atonement into some kind of cheap economy. I think people sorrow their way into hell, not into heaven.

    I’m also pretty open to the creative use of words. I don’t think that language is very much like math in spite of how much we might want it to be. Sometimes the meaning of words is other than the literal one, and you get a sense for it if you have the right context. So the commentary on Lehi vs. Nephi is interesting–for the former, desire is sufficient; for the latter, there must be a more tangible help. Maybe that gives us some context for interpreting “broken heart and contrite spirit.” Maybe.

    That said, I offer some skepticism that I hope can be addressed.

    Words are still contracts of a sort, aren’t they? I mean, “contrite” has a definition that is generally agreed upon. In Webster’s 1828 (which I imagine contains definitions that people in Joseph Smith’s time might have acknowledged), the word “contrite” means: “Literally, worn or bruised. Hence, broken-hearted for sin; deeply affected with grief and sorrow for having offended God; humble; penitent; as a contrite sinner.”

    That’s just what the word means by virtue of definition, and it seems to me that one who writes or speaks (in the language of an audience which possesses this contract) ought to mean something like that when he uses the word. In my opinion, a childlike spirit is nothing at all like a contrite spirit (literally a spirit that is worn or bruised), and it’s unfortunate that an opportunity to use clear language in order to produce a reasonable and reliable reading was missed. Or was it?

    “Our theories of God render the interpretation reasonable or not,” you say; but here it seems that we are re-defining more than we are re-interpreting. How far can interpretation reasonably take us before we cross into the abuse of language? Well, is “broken heart and contrite spirit” a euphemism to be understood in the light of our theories of God? Or is it evidence of a blind and insane god (not ours), or a blind and insane translator (maybe storyteller) who has nothing to do with God? Should the theory fit the words (or let the words be discarded as irrelevant, having failed the measure), or should the words be made to fit the theory (then most any book will do)?

    If we ever come across people who believe in a crocodile-god, I guess they would probably understand “broken heart and contrite spirit” as something foreign to their deity rather than as a euphemism that might have some True reptilian interpretation if only one thinks about it long enough.

    I already catalog enough broken word-contracts. For instance, “Rest” (as in the day of) really means “Work in the service of the Lord.” And “the Lord” (whom I have been told not to counsel) means “the church institution/hierarchy.” Also, “priesthood” now equates to some sort of authority/magic from God Himself, without which nothing in this strangely mediocre corporation can be accomplished. “The Spirit” is that weepy feeling you get when you watch a glurgy Jesus movie, and it surely indicates the presence of truth. “Truth” is all that “the Lord” has made official, unless found embarrassing and retroactively deemed “just a man’s opinion” at some future time. Etc.

    I heartily agree with the theory held by the writer of this talk. But why do I feel, once I begin to catch glimpses of a God who is Good, like I have to forget what words really mean if I want to keep them?

    1. day2mon says:

      I think the problem is that when we are dealing with a phrase, we are apt to drop the whole thing and insert something else, according to our existing theories of God. No matter, though, once we are aware. It seems like the words from the book are less important as a sort of map for us to follow, than a description given by someone who would use that description. That is, BH&CS isn’t our phrase, anyway; it describes something the Lord seems to be able to discern, however. It’s not that the phrase doesn’t mean anything, only we don’t know if our reading has any use. And I don’t think words are contracts, although the theory has been popular since the 1600s, at least. Some words work that way, say, “dog” but not phrases using metaphor, and referring to non-tangible material.

    2. Brother Ess says:

      Language is a challenging thing. How many language translations and cultural assumptions has the phrase “A broken heart and contrite spirit” gone through? Are we to just go off of what words Joseph used as the context of it’s meaning? If it doesn’t mean guilt and shame, then why didn’t he just say what it does mean?

      My best guess (and this is what I demonstrated) is that Joseph translated it that way so we could be able to see its movement through the ages and languages. Four times in the Old Testament (specifically Psalms and Isaiah) we have that exact phrase if not some version of it mentioned. Had it only been expressed as “repentance” or some other more nebulous word/phrase, then we would not be able to track it.

      But we can track it and so we should take note of what is going on around it. As Daymon often suggests, we can even call it something different, like “gavagai,” so that we aren’t tainted by our own dogmas or even the language (as presented to us by Mr. Webster). I won’t go through what the words surrounding the phrase are saying, (although I tried to describe them in the talk), but I quite confident that they do tell us something.

      Perhaps that is the way to resolve the problem of what seems like it is beyond interpretation. Maybe we can’t conjure up the magic of a BH&CS, but we might be able to see what it looks like when it appears.

      Just today I was reading Alma the Younger relate his conversion. He seemed to have something in common with the Ammonites and others who have described what happens when one is “born of God.” There are three unique commonalities: 1: the people believe the words they have been told about Christ (that salvation is a “free” gift), 2: they remember their (sometimes heinous) sins no more, and 3: Christ changes their hearts and thus their desires (in other words, being “righteous” is just a result of just BEing). (Is this another way of saying “faith, hope and charity?”)

      Nephi, on the other hand, goes into specifics about his weaknesses, and laments that they still haunt him. Maybe that’s the difference between trust and belief. Nephi “trusts” that the Lord that will clear the way for him, while Alma, Lamoni and others believe in the mercy of Christ, which in my opinion renders the “arm of flesh” completely impotent and not even an issue. That, in turn, leaves them completely free to go about doing “good” because it is their greatest desire, after all. (Sounds like some fruit I’ve heard of).

      At any rate, I think it is much more complex than using Webster to tell us what all these persons were saying, because from what I can tell, they don’t even always mesh with each other.

      1. Brother Ess says:

        But if there IS, in fact, some magic we can summon individually, or collectively as Gentiles, it all starts with “belief.” In what, exactly? That he will have mercy. That His blood will be applied to us in our own carnal state. That we will receive forgiveness of our sins. That he will work a mighty change in our hearts and they will be purified. That we will have peace of conscience. That we will be filled with joy. That we will have no more disposition to do “evil.” That we will be filled with desire. That we will always be abounding in good works. That we will be made free.

      2. Ryan W says:

        Thanks for the great thoughts Brother Ess. I had a look at that 1828 dictionary this is what is says broken heart means:

        Broken-hearted: Having the spirits depressed or crushed by grief or despair.

        Definition for contrite: Literally, worn or bruised. Hence, broken-hearted for sin; deeply affected with grief and sorrow for having offended God; humble; penitent; as a contrite sinner

        It gives several definitions for spirit that might apply:
        -Vigor of intellect; genius.
        -Temper; disposition of mind, habitual or temporary;
        -The soul of man; the intelligent, immaterial and immortal part of human beings
        -Turn of mind; temper; occasions; state of the mind.
        -Powers of mind distinct from the body.
        -Sentiment; perception

        Since broken-hearted is mentioned in the definition of contrite it would seem to be redundant to say a broken heart and a [broken heart].

        It might be rewritten as ‘Having the disposition of the mind crush by grief and a worn intellect.’ or ‘Having depressed spirits and a bruised temper.’

        I think your point about context is a more fruitful path than the dictionary.

  4. Tiani says:

    I gave the RS 1st Sunday lesson this month, and so I got to pick the topic, and I picked BH&CS. –Seemed like a good topic for the season. So it was nice to read this. I heartily agree on the more apropos definition. And I think that “definition” becomes clear from reading EVERYTHING in context, and from experiencing it. I focused primarily on 3 Nephi 9, keeping BH&CS directly tied to baptism by fire, discussing the need to read on in 3 Nephi 12-14 . . ., but also Moroni 6 and Ether 4, which certainly tie this state to manifestations of the Spirit as well. I also think it’s the true meaning of “faith and repentance.” Grateful again for the blog. Thank you.

  5. Tiani says:

    Nephi was left out of the lesson; though I’ve always found the soliloquy meaningful, I didn’t think it as relevant to the “heart” of BH&CS as 3Nephi, Moroni 6, or Ether 4 (or even Alma 5, though the term wasn’t used). So I enjoyed this additional insight. GENERAL QUESTION: What do you make of sacrifice by the shedding of blood under the law of Moses? The symbolism is clear, but why would God require that, when they practiced other things as though the atonement already happened? Why not the “law” be BH&CS from the beginning? Were prophets confusing the voice of God? I guess Nephi suggests it was BH&CS, yet they also held on to that tradition of their fathers? Interesting that BH&CS is referenced in Psalms, a deeply humbled David who I believe found mercy, and Isaiah, one of the most Messianic OT prophets. Christ said he fulfilled the law, and he would no longer accept their blood sacrifices. Did he accept them before because they didn’t know any better, or because he actually commanded it? I’m leaning toward the former.

    1. pmccombs says:

      One of the most interesting things I remember from Daymon’s Cultural History is the Ezekiel sermon that Joseph Smith used to book-end his career. It seems like God would rather not speak through prophets/idols, or better yet, would that all the Lord’s people were prophets. When you have to go to a prophet to hear the word of God, I think what you get is punishment in the form of Laws. I seem to remember Jacob in the BoM telling his people something like, “we have the law and we are going to answer to justice.” And then he says something to the effect, “but those without the law will get mercy.” I don’t know where that passage is found, but I just remember it.

      Anyway, when Moses came down from the mountain and found the people worshiping the golden calf, maybe the lesson wasn’t lost on him. That calf was his analogue; in his absence, something had to serve his purpose. The people needed something to represent God to them. They were going to answer to justice after that, and they were going to be deceived because they demanded representations rather than an authentic experience with the real. If you won’t face the genuine, then what else is there for you but to be deceived? What Moses brought back after that became their object of worship and the thing they thought would save them.

      The Law of Moses was always deception, as is the intricate narrative that some call the “Restored Gospel.” It seems that those who adopt that gospel must abide it, but it is our privilege to find mercy if we desire it. I think it happens when you stop listening to prophets as if they were God (never stop listening and evaluating, just don’t be in awe of them), and start listening to yourself as if (like Tolstoy suggested) the Kingdom of God is somewhere within you already.

      You know I’m a skeptic, and I’m not sure I believe in the story of Moses as actual history, but it’s an important story nevertheless, and that’s just what I think about it.

      1. Brother Ess says:

        I don’t know if this was the same thing you were referencing, but look at Alma 34:13-17 as spoken by Amulek:

        Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall be all fulfilled, every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away. And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you…

      2. Tiani says:

        Thank you, pmccombs, and thank you Brother Ess for highlighting Alma 34, which I haven’t looked at for a bit. Both helpful.

      3. pmccombs says:

        Here is the passage I was thinking of (It’s in Second Nephi, Chapter VI of my 1830 edition): …wherefore he hath given a law; and where there is no law given, there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment, there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation, the mercies of the Holy One of Israel hath claim upon them, because of the atonement… But wo unto him that hath the law given; yea that hath all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation: for awful is his state!

        I remember reading that and thinking that I’d rather have mercy and atonement than punishment, condemnation, and “awful is his state.” Who in their right mind would seek out these laws?

        And so I think listening to the counsel of God does not mean listening to another person tell us what those laws are.

  6. AV says:

    Who says we can’t speak about our disagreements, opinions, beliefs or truth to others in the Church and not just to our families?

    I realize that LDS leaders today don’t want anyone to contradict them, but where did Christ ever say that we can’t teach what we believe to be truth to anyone we want?

    Who would fall for a church who didn’t even believe in the basic right of free speech? Do the LDS leaders live by their own teaching? No, they teach things contrary to what the scriptures/Christ say all the time.

    Without free speech in the Church no one would be able to warn others of all the false doctrines being taught, or of false prophets in the church leading people astray. And I believe that’s exactly why the church leaders don’t want anyone speaking out contrary to what the leaders are saying and warning others of all the falsehoods, because they don’t want anyone to wake up and see that the leaders aren’t righteous.

    King Noah had this same commandment in his church, and didn’t like Abinadi coming along and speaking out among the members and teaching contrary to and correcting the leaders. ‘The Emperor who had no clothes’ had the same philosophy, don’t say anything contrary to what the leaders say you can say. Communist leaders also mandate this same thing too and don’t want their people talking to each other about the errors and evils of their leaders.

    Controlling mindsets and false prophets never want anyone to question them or speak out against them. While true prophets tell us to always be questioning and speaking out about what we don’t think is right or calling them on things that they do that are wrong. True prophets know they can fall or teach error just as easy as the next person so they warn the people to not follow them if they do teach falsehoods and to warn others about it, not just their family.

    Above all, Christ taught that we should waste and wear our our lives to shed light on evil and to warn everyone who will listen of false prophets and their falsehoods, especially in churches. Silence in the face of evil is evil. So when Churches teach silence, that is evil.

    Why would anyone who says they believe in Christ stay in a church that constantly preaches and practices so contrary to him? Could it be they haven’t really studied or followed Christ’s teachings in the New Testament, especially about how vital free speech is? And thus they fall for what so-called prophets say over what Christ said?

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