Who’s on the Lord’s Side, who? Good Question…

Recently, if we are to believe LDS Church (TM of the corporation sole) Official Voice, Dallin Oaks and Richard Turley had a free weekend, and road-tripped up to Boise (Why Not? I mean, Boise? Yeah!) to answer a few potential questions, which come up from time to time.  So they called a “fireside,” which my son is still confused about the meaning of.  Why is it called a “fireside,” for example?  What happens at a Fireside?  Who’s side is in the Fire, or is on, at maybe at the fire’s side?

In said spontaneous combustion of fire at someone’s side, Oaks and Turley explained how they interpret various texts said to speak on “apostasy.”  The recording of their words can be found in various places on the Interweb.

Not surprisingly, we learn from the Boise Rescue that it is the Other Guy who is “in apostasy,” or is “an apostate.”  They don’t name names, of course, but we know who they mean: that guy!  In fact, these terms only have meaning when pointing at the Other Guys, from our state of Being Correct.  Perhaps Oaks and Turley would be surprised to learn that every passage of text or scripture they quoted has been used to point at them and their non-church church as “being in apostasy,” and as them as being “apostate”?

What use is a term that has no definition, except in usage, and by using, cuts up the world so that those we don’t understand or cannot agree with are now, not merely wrong or confusing, but instead Opposed To God?  Well, it’s pretty obvious what the use is.  That’s why I don’t use it.

Now, after an hour of spontaneous reading of scripture by Oaks and Turley, and plenty of interpretation, the congregation was assigned to sing, “Who’s On The Lord’s Side?”

It may surprise those singers, that apostle, and church historian, that the song’s most repeated line is a question (so ends the National Anthem, as well: with a question).

Who’s on the Lord’s side, who?

I give you the lyrics, from the Official Hummbook:

1. Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who? Now is the time to show.

We ask it fearlessly: Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

We wage no common war, Cope with no common foe.

The enemy’s awake; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?


Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who? Now is the time to show.

We ask it fearlessly: Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

And now, rather than seek out an honest answer, the singers merely assert, They really know, and have known all along: We Are!  Of course, only those on the Lord’s Side could actually sing this song!  The Lord would stop up the mouths of those Not On His Side, for sure, for it is impossible to sing a lie in the presence of the Lord’s Servants.  Who are his servants?  Whosoever we can sing in the presence of, of course! 

2. We serve the living God, And want his foes to know

That, if but few, we’re great; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

We’re going on to win; No fear must blanch the brow.

The Lord of Hosts is ours; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Apparently, the answer is: Anyone who can say, “We Are!”  Notice how a question, a pretty good question, I’d say, about sides, has suddenly been replaced by a metaphor that comes from two sides, one winning, and the other losing.

3. The stone cut without hands To fill the earth must grow.

Who’ll help to roll it on? Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Our ensign to the world Is floating proudly now.

No coward bears our flag; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

So, they who sing, and who wave flags, too, are on the Lord’s Side.  He is leading a pep rally, it seems.  Yet listen to the spoils taken by the victors of this “We’ve Got Spirit Yes We Do” Battle:

4. The pow’rs of earth and hell In rage direct the blow

That’s aimed to crush the work; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Truth, life, and liberty, Freedom from death and woe,

Are stakes we’re fighting for; Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Now, if those are the stakes, and maybe they are, are they won in a fight over who can wave and sing most vigorously, or by finding an answer?  Have we turned it into a fight, because we have received “the blow that’s aimed to crush the work”?  Suddenly a question has become a fight, won in a pep rally.  Who’s on the Lord’s Side, really?  Probably not those guys.

Oaks and Turley cannot answer the question in any manner, other than “We Are!  We Really Are.  Really!”  And that means they are NOT. 

Wouldn’t you expect an actual prophet to prophesy, and to reveal, say, things which are not known, and which may be known?  Consider Nephi or other prophets from the Book of Mormon.  Would they hold a fireside, and rant and rage (sighingly), and then sing their way to the Lord’s Side?  Or would they prophecy, know the minds of their enemies, point their accusers to hidden events, and show by their works (prophecy, for example) that they are prophets, on the Lord’s Side? 


Scribes and Pharisees, they speak as.  What better evidence does anyone need who understands the word “prophet” than that Boise Fireside, that Oaks is no prophet?  And by his own admission, no more a “special witness” of Jesus than anyone else who has heard that word and believes something about what it means?  

Perhaps we have forgotten what prophecy is, because we accept its counterfeit so often, being desperate to hear that some magic remains from the Old World?  Or worse, we use these words as titles for one’s place in a hierarchy of our invention?  Well, should we be surprised that such men as use these titles in that corrupted manner, in the fashion of men who get a little authority as they suppose, would also be willing to spend a free weekend using another word that has no meaning other than, “We are Right, He is wrong”?  There is no fire on this side.


15 thoughts on “Who’s on the Lord’s Side, who? Good Question…

  1. Steve says:

    As good a comment as I’ve heard about the event.

    Thank you, sir.


    P.S. Perhaps they could have specified the source of their non-definition of the word: The voted upon scriptures or the not so secret Handbook 1.

  2. Antônio Trevisan Teixeira says:

    It seems they have downgraded a little their role as “witnesses”, at the same time emphasizing they have the greatest authority.

    – Gospel Principles, 1997, p. 112:

    Twelve Apostles, who are special witnesses of Jesus Christ, teach the gospel in all parts of the world. Other general officers of the Church with special assignments include the Presiding Bishopric and the Quorums of the Seventy.


    – Gospel Principles, 2009, p. 98:

    Twelve Apostles, who are special witnesses of the name of Jesus Christ, teach the gospel and regulate the affairs of the Church in all parts of the world. Other general officers of the Church with special assignments, including the Presiding Bishopric and the Quorums of the Seventy, serve under the direction of the First Presidency and the Twelve.


  3. lemuel says:

    If you really want to show that you are on the Lord’s side, sing it to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

    Who’s on the Lord’s side?
    Who? Who? Who?

    Who’s on the Lord’s side?
    Who? Who? Who?

    1. Adrian Larsen says:

      That doesn’t fit the proper spirit and tone of the “Official Hummbook!” No, the way to sing yourself to the Lord’s side is by turning every anthem into a funeral dirge, mumbled, barely audibly, above organ music played by a pianist.

  4. Michael says:

    When Oaks said he was just a witness for the name of Jesus I thought he really said that the Church is not really the same as the ancient church. Those apostles, or those who were apostles, were with Jesus from the beginning and so able to fulfil his command of carrying on his ministry. Modern Aposgles, Oaks owns, can’t tell us if they are special witnesses because someone might doubt and talk about it in a negative way on the Internet. Boldly testifying doesn’t seem to have been a problem for ancient Apostles. I then thought again of what I told my son about priesthood. Every organisation needs to have some sort of management and roles are created, assigned functions and given names to aid in that management. This is what we call priesthood in the LDS church. So I couldn’t agree more that these titles are references to a heirarchy of our own creation.

    1. Chuck says:

      “Boldly testifying” as a key to know if someone really is (by imitation?) part of an ancient order (and therefore shares its power / authority) versus creating modern hierarchies with Bible names? Funny, but I heard this same key to power and authority offered up in elder’s quorum meeting last Sunday as a sign of the truth of the church, and the laziness of its members (our prophets “offend”, and therefore we should, too). You can see the problem with that argument. Anyone can say it, and so is not very convincing of anything.

  5. talulah says:

    Spot on. Jiddhu Krishnamurti would have had a field day with Oaks and his band of phony tricksters.

    On the historical point, i would love to know of a single documented account of a modern miracle from a ‘priesthood holder’ from JS’ time to our own. One that was somehow different to other miracles that could not possibly be the effect of simply FAITH as per the Book of Mormon. One that was evident after that High Priesthood showing at the Morley Farm in 1831. One that is evident that priesthood is a power one can hold that can actually do things that one without this priesthood cannot do. Onewhoiswatching, where are you? This would be yours to answer

    1. Chuck says:

      Since priesthood is not a power anyone can “hold” (and possibly passed around by word of mouth), then no miracle can possibly be offered up to prove such a notion (regardless of anyone’s ability to uncover heretofore missed historical evidence). Membership in a priesthood can, however, be identified by public and obvious display (witness) of certain “keys” of power which, by definition, indicate membership in that ‘hood, with the effect of making any potential “holder’s” (or their devotees’) claims to the same redundant. That anyone has to hunt and peck around in a pile of shit for such things should tell them something, someone once said. Anyone can claim to have used “power” in the past (by way of dreams, visions, visitations, second comforts, etc.), and so be labelled “the prophet” (as we are wont). We know that path well by now. It’s not the ‘hood member’s testimony of such things (what’s mistakenly called “witnessing”) that matters (and, as a result, whether they be called “apostle,” “prophet,” “president,” or some other suitable Bible-sounding name), but the eye-witness of them in the act, so to speak. This being true, it seems that faith as “trust in someone’s (Boldly Testified!) claim to power, authority, gospel, or true message and plan” will need re-tooling as a result.

  6. Tiani says:

    “There is no fire on this side.” — Couldn’t have summed up my takeaway better.

    Don’t blame “the apostates.” Blame the Spirit. -truemeaningofhastening

  7. Nlocnil says:

    The Church cannot do wrong?
    The argument is weak.
    How long must they drone on?
    I need to take a leak.

    We have been instructed to not cast pearls before swine. Therefore I cannot reveal any pearls to the deserving if even a single pig may trample, turn again and rend me.

    1. day2mon says:

      As long as “the Church” doesn’t mean anything, other than all that is right about something vague, yes, it can do no wrong.

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